Friday, December 28, 2012

This Is Why I Love Her Sense of Humor

So yesterday I came home to find D alone in the house with a boy. Apparently their ice skating date had been canceled, but he still came over to see her. Huh.

She only smiled when I asked if he's a good kisser and then denied it all, which means something definitely happened. It must mean something if she's not telling me.

Anyway, I commented that I hope she waits to have sex with someone she really cares about. She said of course she's going to and then we had the following conversation.

Me: "I'm not saying I think you'll do it tomorrow, I just don't want you throwing away what could be a nice experience."

D: "Duh, Mom. I know that. Besides, there are plenty of other things to do besides just sex."

Me: "Ugh, I don't want to hear that!"

D: "I was talking about ice skating and bowling!"

Oh, help me......

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Where Does She Get It?

The other day I picked D up from school and we went Christmas shopping. Her friend Little N came along and the two of them talked about every detail of their day, which mostly had to do with boys.

When we stopped at a light, I saw a man begging with a sign and locked my doors. D thought that was exceptionally rude, but I assured her that he didn't hear me do it.

The car in front of us rolled their window down and it looked like they gave him money. The girls started going through their backpacks to see what they had and came up with a candy cane, a gold chocolate coin, and a strawberry candy.

I rolled my window down and motioned for the man to come to the car, telling him that the girls wanted him to have their candy. He got the biggest smile, said "That's awesome!" and then asked if I had a light, which I didn't. No matter, he seemed genuinely excited to be given candy and waved us off saying, "God bless you! Merry Christmas!"

It was actually really nice and felt good. I told the girls, "You just made that guy's day."

And D replied, "Even if we didn't, he might at least have better breath now."

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pigs In Blankets

I have a king-sized bed. I also have two Boston Terriers. Because they are small dogs, one would think that a king-sized bed would easily accommodate the three of us. This would be an incorrect assumption.

Even if it's only me, I sleep on one side of the bed. Reaching over to the nightstand to turn off the light, put my book down, set the alarm, or get a sip of water is just too much exercise to be done in a bed. This habit of mine leaves plenty of room for the dogs. They can stretch out. They can each have their own, separate spaces on the bed.

This doesn't happen.

My Puppy Loves like to sleep right next to me. As in right up against me. Which is kind of nice when I'm really cold, but not so great when I wake up and find myself on the very edge of the bed. With one dog at my torso and one at my legs.

My favorite thing is when they manage to pull the covers over to themselves while laying on top of them so that I'm left with only half covers and I'm cold and can't get their enormous weight to budge.

They also like to sleep under the covers. Especially Remy. If he's not under some type of cover he thinks the world is coming to an end. So several nights a week I am woken by a paw tapping my shoulder, waiting for me to lift the covers so he can find his favorite spot down by my feet.

Oh, wait. My very favorite thing is when Ruby is all snuggled up and I turn over to cuddle with her only to find that it's her butt in my face, not her face. And then she farts.

My sheets are not pretty. They are covered in hair and I know there have been dog butts on my pillows plenty of times. I find eye boogers and other, less-pleasing evidence of dogs if I dare to look closely enough.

You would think that it's time to kick them out. That I would sleep better with them in their own beds. That I would prefer clean sheets to hair and snoring and snorting and farting. You would be wrong, my friend.

Somehow it feels selfish to banish them to crates when I have such a large bed. It's also lonely without them. It's reassuring waking up to their warm bodies, knowing they find as much comfort from my half-covered, frozen, frustrated body. I love their smells and their sighs and their little frito feet. I love opening my eyes to find Ruby's little face next to mine, her look of pure contentment and trust.

Yeah, I pretty much sleep in a giant dog bed.
I wonder if I could teach them how to do laundry.....

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

He's Here!!

I have news! The baby is here!! Baby Boy has arrived!

I was stuck in a meeting and writing my to-do list after the meeting got completely derailed onto another, even less-interesting subject. Some things were work things, some were not. One of them was to check in with Mom and see if the baby was here because she told me last week that she would be induced on Tuesday of this week.

Got back to my desk to find a voice mail that Baby Boy arrived last night and is perfectly healthy. I am still working on the armoire for Princess so I will be able to see him and report back on how adorably snuggly he is.

In other completely unrelated news, I have discovered the cutest, smallest animal in the world and now I must have one. I want a bumblebee bat. I think he could hang nicely from the top bars in Jellybean's cage and we could let him fly around at night to catch any gross bugs that are in the house. He'd be especially helpful in the summer with mosquitoes.

Hear that, Fat Man? He'd also fit nicely in my stocking.

Monday, December 17, 2012

How to Grow Your Heart Two Sizes

I watched the president's speech in Newtown last night and cried. My heart goes out to everyone in that community. This morning I arrived at work only to find that the first email was from a co-worker whose father is very ill. It's the happiest time of the year and there is far too much sadness. So, so much of it everywhere.

It's very easy for me to get bogged down in that. I think it's hard for a lot of people this time of year, and depression makes it worse because it already tells me that life sucks. "Give up. Go back to bed. Why bother?"

But I decided that this year is going to be different. I've been so tired the last several years that I've made very little holiday effort. I've gone through the motions but my heart hasn't been in it. Most years I've only done it because of D; otherwise I wouldn't have bothered. Then this year I decided to be spirited and to enjoy the holiday. I still haven't baked enough (or at all) or watched enough Christmas movies but I'm in it more than I have been in recent years.

I loved helping our adopted family. It felt so good to be able to help people that really needed it. But then I keep hearing about more people in similar situations and it feels like I haven't done enough. That helping just one family almost isn't worth it when there are SO MANY people that need help. And I would love to help everyone, but I don't have the resources for that. My bank account only stretches so far.

So yesterday I decided to just give thanks to someone else who is doing something on a regular basis. To give them some encouragement to keep going, to know that their efforts are appreciated. They're both "friends" on Facebook.

One happens to be a little Boston Terrier who visits elderly people and sick children and many other people in need in his community. Of course there is a man with a giant heart behind this little dog who deserves most of the credit. I mean, the dog is adorable and obviously helps people, but he can't answer the phone when he's wanted for an appearance or drive himself there. Even though he does have his own motorcycle.

The other is actually a friend of a friend whom I have never met. She got tired of hearing about all of the shelter dogs who never find homes and decided to do something about it. She adopted two dogs herself from high-kill shelters and then floods my newsfeed daily with photos of other dogs whose lives are on the line. I don't mind. I'm glad someone is doing it. When she posted about how she feels like she isn't doing enough and gets discouraged knowing that so many,  many dogs are still put down daily, I had to respond.

I posted messages to both thanking them for what they do. I chose people with dogs because that is my passion. And it took all of maybe 10 minutes. Probably less. They both responded so I knew that they had heard me, but it wouldn't have mattered if I hadn't heard back. The point was to put a little more niceness out in the world. A little encouragement, a little bit of gratitude.

There isn't enough kindness right now. It's easy to get frustrated at long lines in stores and say something snarky about it. But you know what? It's just as easy to be nice to that cashier when it's your turn. Because she's probably dealt with a hundred crabby people and really needs someone to have some patience with her. It's easy to send out a message to someone you know or even don't know and thank them for what they do. Shovel a neighbor's driveway, let someone in line in front of you, leave a bigger tip than normal.

Someone might be on the verge of giving up. Giving up their cause, their plans, even their life. One kind word or act from you could change that. Even if you never know, you'll at least know you've done your best.

Let's do our best today.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Time for Change

Friday's school shooting is still in the headlines and still resonating with parents and will continue to do so. It is unfathomable what that community is going through. It is beyond understanding for me as a parent. I hate that I have to talk to my daughter about it when I have no answers. I hate hearing that her teachers are making escape plans and discussing them with her. I hate that she is now also afraid to go to school. School should be a safe place. A place where kids learn, not just about academics, but about friendship, how the world works, and what it is to grow up. This isn't how the world is supposed to work.

The knee-jerk reaction to this tragedy is gun control. Guns are bad. Guns kill people. I am certainly not advocating for guns. They frighten me and I don't understand the attraction to going out and shooting things up. I didn't grow up with hunters. But I do understand that thousands and thousands of people in this country own guns and those people could never conceive of using them in a way that the alleged killer did. There are people who respect guns and teach everyone around them how to use them properly. So I don't think that guns are the issue. Because happy, well-adjusted people don't take guns into school and take innocent lives just because these weapons are available.

It is time to look at the kinds of individuals that commit these horrendous crimes. What leads them to believe that taking lives, including their own, is the solution? These people are not well. They are also suffering.

I live with depression. For myself and my daughter. I can tell you that it looks very frightening at times. It feels frightening. And while seeing someone have a panic attack can be scary, it's even worse for the person having it. To be unable to leave the body and the mind that feels so uncomfortable leaves one feeling hopeless and trapped.

My daughter seems to struggle more. Whether it's her age or her particular illness, she is having a really hard time. Because she's a girl, she turns her fear and anger and confusion onto herself. As the mother who snuggled her for hours as a baby and relished in her experiences and watching her grow, this breaks my heart. I hate that I can't fix it. I hate that I can't change it and make it all magically go away. It confuses me. It feels like my fault. Because I'm her mom, so it has to be, right?

I am going to share something I'd rather not, but in the hope that it helps someone else. I didn't want to believe that she was feeling so bad. I blamed it on hormones and being lazy and spoiled and anything else that could make it her fault, make it a behavior that I could change. I minimize her feelings. I yelled at her. I took away privileges. I pretended it wasn't that bad. She was making it up. I couldn't be the kind of parent whose child has serious issues. I was raised better than that.

Denial is so dangerous.

Because it is that bad. I simply can't ignore it. Not when her therapist tells me it's bad. And her school counselor. Not when she suddenly does something that is so frightening to me I am afraid of really hurting her. I have to admit that there is something wrong. Ignoring it makes it worse. I'm not a perfect parent. And while I've always joked about that, I've never taken it to heart like I have recently. I had to set my ego aside so that I can be there for her. So I can really listen and be able to offer her the love and support she really needs. So I can do everything possible to help her out of the dark places that she gets lost in.

Girls, on average, turn in on themselves. While I worry for her, and hate the things she says and feels about herself, I only have to worry about her, and about my feelings and how to help her. Boys, on the other hand, typically turn all of their anger and confusion and rage outward. And, if D were a boy with the feelings she is having, I would be worried about the people around her. Because these are the kind of people that commit unspeakable acts of violence.

I am not taking away anything from anyone who has been through this experience, but there are other victims in these crimes. How much does a person have to hurt that destroying the lives of others is the only way out they can think of? How many times and in how many ways do they ask for help before this is their last resort?

Because D asked me for help. More than once. I am fortunate enough that I listened before it was too late and there was nothing to listen to.

We, as parents, have to listen to our kids when they ask for help. We have to put aside our own agendas and fears and feelings of failure because our children need us.

Nobody asks for mental illness. Nobody gets it and thinks, "Hey, this is pretty great." And for children, they don't even know what it is. They just know that something is wrong, they don't feel good. That scares them and confuses them. Babies don't understand what hunger is, they just need something and so they cry. Children can't articulate what they're feeling in much the same way.

We, as a society, need to be more empathetic to the disabilities of others. We need to look at a child or a family and recognize that they might need a little more help, rather than turning our backs in irritation or disgust. It is time that we start advocating for mental health. There are no easy answers, but there is a starting point.

Enough is enough. There has been enough loss. Enough sadness. Enough blame. It's time to look for real answers, have some understanding, compassion, and act from kindness. Kindness towards those who are struggling, whether it's an individual with a mental illness or the family members who care about them.

We have a responsibility to each other as basic human beings. Let's humanize this issue so that it doesn't happen to another child or family or community.

Friday, December 14, 2012

My Heart is Breaking

I woke up happy this morning. And then I saw the news. My heart just hurts thinking about those scared little children and the parents who must feel absolutely powerless right now. It's beyond tragic or horrific. There aren't words to describe that amount of anguish and sadness. It just hurts. A lot.

But I was so excited to tell you guys about our family so I'm going to mix in some joy with the sadness as a reminder that there are still enormous amounts of good in the world, that even though we hurt, we ease the pain a bit for others.

A small group of us delivered the tree and gifts to the family last night. When we arrived, Princess was standing and looking out the window. Mom said she had been there for the last hour anxiously awaiting the arrival of the tree.

Oh, the tree. That thing is enormous in their small apartment! It's so big the top is bent against the ceiling and it barely fit into the tree stand. But little Princess loved it and vowed to water it every day.

And she was oh-so-excited seeing all of the presents come in. She counted how many each one of them had and exclaimed, "There's so MANY of them!!" She was priceless.

But my favorite moment came when we brought her little pink bicycle in. Mom's hands flew to cover her face and she had tears sparkling in her eyes. I felt the lump in my throat and the sting in my own eyes seeing how completely surprised and happy she was for her daughter. She said that her daughter had wanted one so badly and yet they hadn't asked us for one. She must have thought it was just a bit too much. It was okay to ask for a toaster, but not a bike.

I had the fullest heart when we left after receiving hugs all around. This was one of the best experiences I've ever had and I am so grateful to have been a part of it. It has truly been invaluable and I am thankful to everyone who was a part of it. A part of giving happiness to a family that I know appreciates it wholeheartedly and with humility.

So, yes, let's take a moment to honor and remember those who are hurting and who have lost unimaginable amounts. They deserve our caring and prayers, hugs and help. But let's also remember that there is good and kindness and love in the world and choose to be a part of that. No matter the damage and harm that can be done by less-than individuals, it can't erase the kindnesses that have been given and the love that has been shared. If anything, we should be more determined to give the love we have, to show which force is stronger and work to overcome those actions that cause harm to our children, our friends, and all of those with love in their hearts.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Family Update and Helping Ideas

After posting both here and on HackBend about my company's adopted family, I have received offers from the community to help out. Granted, it's not the ginormous outpouring I had fantasized about, but it's still very touching and more than this family had hoped for themselves. And so I have an update.

Baby Boy will most likely arrive this week. I saw Mom last week and she was looking really ready to be done with this pregnancy. While there I was so happy to see that they had received a crib and some other furnishings. She's getting lots of clothes for Baby Boy and even Princess had a tv in her room. Mom says that  she's feeling like they really have a home. Isn't that the best gift ever??

Mom and Princess still need clothes. And girls always need shoes. Gift cards to fill in the miscellaneous items or for groceries would be really great. I happened to see the price of diapers at Costco last week and almost fell on the floor. And groceries are an ongoing need. Giving this family a good start in their new life is so rewarding.

Now, I know that there are many other families in the area and across the country that need help. I've just been lucky enough to be involved with one of them. (And one that provides an opportunity for new baby snuggle time!) And I've asked for help with them because I'm so involved and if you want to help them too, that is wonderful! But if you want to help other families that you know of, that is just as wonderful.

Do you not know who to help or how to help? There are so many ways. I've heard that the shelters and soup kitchens are pretty full this time of year so it's hard to get in there. But you know when they need help? All year. So put a day on your calendar in May or August to go help out and donate your time. People are hungry and homeless all year, not just during the holidays.

There are giving trees around town. Summit High School has one for teens in need. Toys for Tots boxes are collecting. Some grocery stores have pre-packed grocery bags you can buy for around $10 to provide a holiday meal. You'll spend more than that on your own holiday ham or turkey.

Here's something I started doing a few years ago that takes very little time and even less money. You know when you go to McDonald's and they ask if you want to donate $1 for their Ronald McDonald houses? Say yes. During December I say yes every time I'm asked at a register for a dollar donation. It might add up to only $20 for me for the month, but if we all did that? How much more could that be? Of course, if it's a charity you're really against, don't do it. But do it far more often than you don't. Because Ronald McDonald houses help families with sick children at a time they most need it. Animal rescues are my biggest passion. I gave a dollar to St.Jude's yesterday. A dollar. When do you not have an extra dollar? I couldn't give a lot last year when I was unemployed, but I still stuck to my December donations. Even then I had an extra dollar that someone else needed more than me.

Help my adopted family, help your neighbor, help a stranger. Just help someone.
Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Enemy Mine

I have created an enemy. Because I have declared war.

D sort of fell apart in school last year. First we thought it was the mono, and then found out it was depression. At the time her health seemed more important and, unfortunately, her grades took a back seat. Way back. Like back of the bus.

This year we were determined not to let that happen. She even declared that this was going to be her year. Her year of success. And it went well at first. She came home talking about school, describing in excited detail the pig organs that they were dissecting. She was getting an A. In science, of all things!

The Fiddler play was rough. It was a lot of work and she was often tired. I let her sleep in. I even let her skip a class here and there. But I let her because her grades weren't suffering. It seemed like this really could be her year.

And then, all of a sudden, once Fiddler was over, so was she. The exhaustion caught up to her and she just quit. Literally. As in quit going to class. I talked to her. I talked to her teachers. Everyone is willing to help her. Everyone has given her second and third chances. It's up to her now. And she's smart, I know she can do it. I think she has just enjoyed the extra attention a little too much.

She's now in the throes of the Christmas choir season. The special jazz choir she's in is performing gigs all over town. Chamber of Commerce. Old Mill. High Desert Museum. Private parties. It's a lot of work but she's enjoying it. But it's a lot of work and it's all she cares about. And it's a lot of work so she's understandably exhausted. She's tired.

But you know what? So am I. I'm tired of keeping track of everywhere she has to go. I'm tired of getting up early to take her to school because she's too much of a diva to ride the bus. I'm tired of emailing her teachers to make sure she's on track and where she's supposed to be. I'm tired of the excuses. I'm tired of spending money on all of her activities. I'm tired of working, going to school myself, being depressed, and still taking care of her. I'm tired of making dinners she doesn't eat and following up on homework when I have my own to do.

So this morning I turned into That Mom. I did something I never imagined myself doing. I'm still a bit in shock over the whole ordeal.

She wouldn't get up this morning. She was tired, she needed to "rest." What she "needed" to do was play her I'm-a-star-and-deserve-special-treatment role. She wanted to miss her science class yet again. I tried to explain to her that she made the choice to be in this choir and that because she made that choice, things will be harder for her. But there is no reasoning at 6:30 in the morning. And I hadn't had a sip of coffee. So I snapped. I gave her a five-count warning, to be fair. But then I did it. I poured cold water on her bed and on her pillow. Yes. I. Did. That happened.

I wish I had a picture of her face when it happened. Or even mine, because I probably looked totally crazed. She yelled, "That's going to be wet all day now!!!!" I answered back, "Well, it's a good thing we have a dryer in the house."

But she got up. And I bet she gets up again tomorrow.

Yeah, her diva days are over. The excuses are old and used up. There's a new mom in the house and she might not like it. In fact, she'll probably hate me. But maybe she'll thank me when she's 30 and not working at McDonald's.


Wednesday, December 05, 2012

The Hormone-Induced Junk Food Fest

Ladies, you know how there are certain times that you don't care what you eat even though you know you should? Like you really want to lose weight, but a pan of brownies is just way more appealing? And because you spent the previous three days crying because kittens might get sad? So you're a little vulnerable and that block of cheese looks really sympathetic to your plight?

Yeah, last night was one of those. I went to the store, roamed the aisles for 20 minutes and came home with the following:

garlic-bread pizza
Ruffles potato chips
ranch dip to go with said Ruffles
tortilla chips
Velveeta cheese dip to go with said tortilla chips
chocolate chip cookies filled with gooey caramel (yeah, they're as good as they sound!)
double chocolate ice cream with chocolate stuff added

Was I having a party? Yeah, in my belly! And did that party ever grow!

The wife came over and accused me of making her fat. Hey, join the club.

The boyfriend stopped by briefly as I was putting the dip away. Which is when the guilt crept in.
He: What are you doing?
Me: Oh, nothing.
He: Were you in the kitchen?
Me: Um. Maybe.
He: What were you doing in there?
Me: Uh..... Nothing.
He: What are you hiding?
Me: I'm not. I'm not hiding.... anything.....

I'm hiding my shame, okay? Because I complain about my weight on an hourly basis and then I still get Bad Food. And I don't want to hear that I'm not ready to do anything about it because some days I just can't. Not when it feels like I'm giving birth to a razor-blade baby or crying because one of my socks lost its matching friend or wanting to kill anyone and everyone who uses incorrect grammar on the wrong day.

There are three weeks out of the month that I can try to be good and eat less and eat better and do something that is considered exercise. But that other week? All bets are off. The hormones take over and chocolate chip cookies filled with gooey caramel are little miracle-workers. They complete me. I'm already bloated, so what difference does a bag of salt make? Who cares if I eat enough to feed a small army of pigs?

Yeah, men don't get that. Crazy, robotic-workout-warrior women don't get it (probably because their bodies aren't really female anymore as they have turned their ovaries into muscles). And those super-slim super models? They aren't human either.

But the rest of you? My sisters in suffering? You get it. Now, grab an extra spoon and help me eat this ice cream so I can hide the evidence.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

It's Whineter. I Mean, Winter.

I had one of those clothing dilemmas this morning. If you are female, you know what I'm talking about. It's when your bedroom is organized and everything is picked up and then you can't decide what to wear so your room looks like you were robbed during your shower.

I was set on wearing my new boots. So I put on the sweater dress that's warm. But then the tights I wanted to wear didn't match so I tore through all of them but didn't find the color I wanted. So I had to choose something else to go with the tights I do have. Which ends up being less warm than the sweater dress. Which led to this conversation in the bathroom at work:

Co-Worker: How are you?
Me: I'm good! Just cold.
CW: Well, you're wearing a dress.
Me: But I'm also wearing tights and boots and a scarf.
CW: But you're hardly covered from here to here.
Me: I don't care! I am inside!! It should be warm inside buildings! I shouldn't be subjected to freezing temperatures while I'm working! Besides, winter doesn't mean that you have to dress frumpy!! It doesn't mean that you have to look homeless in layers and layers of things that don't match!!! I had to wear these boots and this was all I could find after destroying both closets in my room!!!!

Okay. I didn't really scream that. I didn't even whisper it. I just sort of shrugged my shoulders shamefully and walked out. I could have said it though. It's all perfectly reasonable.

Winter is not my friend.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Baby Countdown

I told you last week about my office's adopted family. Since posting that, I have met our family and stopped by with a few items for them last night. I got to visit with Princess and, let me tell you, she is adorable! She has this wild, curly hair and wears glasses. She's like this cute little miniature book-nerd girl. I wanted to take her to the library immediately and show her off. Mom looked like she was going to pop any day last week. Yesterday she had obviously dropped and informed me that she has already started dilating. So our Christmas baby is most likely going to make an early appearance.

Below is a list of needed baby supplies. If you have anything on the list or anything I haven't thought of that you'd like to donate, please let me know. (Baby will be a boy.) Please note that I do have a stroller, bouncy seat, and car seat already promised.

crib mattress
crib sheets
burp cloths
receiving blankets
baby thermometer
diaper pail
night lights
lotions, powders, rash cream
play yard
changing table
baby monitor
diaper bag
baby wipes

I can't wait to meet this new baby and I will keep you all updated on how it goes with him!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Namaste, Motherfuckers

So something has been bothering me for a while. At first I just thought it was me. Me and the wife. Because we're a little louder than other people but we have a hell of a lot more fun. So we get some looks. Occasionally a comment is made. Case in point: An older "gentleman" remarked, "Well, someone's happy!" after hearing me laugh at Thanksgiving dinner in a restaurant. Well sir, I didn't realize happiness wasn't allowed on holidays. I'll change to the more appropriate wake behavior accordingly.

But then I talked to a friend today who has had similar experiences. She shared one with me that happened to her over the weekend at the mountain. So I thought maybe it's just people with money. People who think they are better than everyone else.

I've even tried to explain it away by telling myself it's PMS and I'm taking things personally. The woman who blatantly glared at me this morning while we were both dropping our kids off at school? Maybe she had PMS too. Or hadn't had her coffee.

But today, on the way home, I almost hit (with my car!) a man who was crossing the street, in the dark, wearing all dark clothes. Crossing at a random point in the street, not at a crosswalk. He was nearly impossible to see. And when I slammed on my breaks so that I wouldn't hit him? He flipped me off and sneered at me. Seriously. He fucking flipped me off.

So there it is. People are just assholes. Everywhere I go. I am surrounded by assholes. You have probably encountered them out shopping. Waiting at the gas station. At your kid's school play. People are mean. Mean, mean, mean. And there is no excuse for it. 

Hey, we're all stressed out. We all feel frustrated at times. But that poor woman waiting tables might have just lost her dog and doesn't need to be yelled at because your coffee wasn't decaf. Your neighbor might have some chronic illness that prevents him from shoveling the snow in his driveway. Who knows what goes on in anyone's life on any given day? Have some fucking compassion. Life is short but the days are long and we could all use a little kindness.

Stop being assholes. Just quit it now.

Take up my new motto if you like. Feel free to share it with your friends and family. Use it as a greeting when you see the mailman or you're getting your favorite burrito.

Namaste, motherfucker.

Just to prove my point, an anonymous coward just tried to comment on this post, asking me politely to "Move back home you fucking Californicator." I guess he/she didn't realize I moderate my comments for this sole purpose.

Namaste, motherfucker. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

There Are Still Good Ones Out There

I mentioned yesterday how much I abhor my neighbors and the ceaseless barking of their dogs. In anger and desperation I fired off an email to the captain of the police department, noting their mission statement and values on their website. I detailed my frustration, my numerous calls to the police department, and their seemingly complete lack of response. I even alluded to the fact that if I were to take matters into my own hands, it would not end happily for me or my family and how is that justice?

Well, I got an out-of-office response. Which was fine. It is a holiday weekend, after all. So I turned up my music and imagined all the ways in which I would like for these people to be tortured.

And then I got a real response, this one from a Lieutenant Brian Kindel. It was a long and thoughtful response, but I still sort of rolled my eyes at the usual advice. He even suggested that I file a citation with the city attorney but why should I do their job for them? He had looked up the records of my calls but only one was found under my address and he asked for the physical address of the neighbors from hell, which I gladly gave him. He then found numerous reports from me, as well as from my neighbor down the street and let me know that he would head over and "sit on the house for a while."

In all the times that I have only wanted those dogs to shut the hell up, I never imagined I would want them to keep barking. Only so that he could hear what I have been enduring for months. The beasts must have sensed my frustration as they happily complied.

About half an hour later I heard a knock at my door and it was, as I had hoped, Lieutenant Kindel. He told me that, while his neighbors' dogs often bark, it is nothing like what I have been subjected to. He said it was unacceptable and that he would have lost patience with it long ago. I cannot tell you the relief I felt from that validation. I wanted to kiss that man's bald head and supply him with doughnuts for life!

He started the citation himself, a $500 fine. Unfortunately, the court will most likely be lenient and dismiss the fine if they take measures to keep their dogs quiet before their court date. I wish it weren't that easy for them, I want them to suffer and feel a real hardship. But, really, the result I want is quiet so if that is what this accomplishes, I should be content with that.

One could argue that I only got the results I did because of contacting the captain directly. That's probably true and that's okay. However, the officer that finally addressed my concern did so with the utmost professionalism and consideration on my part and for that I am appreciative.

Thank you, Lieutenant Kindel.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

More Than You Know

Dear Neighbors,

I hate you more than you will ever know. Is it weird knowing that you live next door to someone who wishes bad karma on you on an almost daily basis? And what could you have done to bring about such hatred? Oh, so much. So, so much.

It started with the POS you had sitting in your driveway for months and months. I wish this neighborhood had CC&R's just for you. A vehicle with flat tires is obviously going nowhere and just becomes an eyesore after a while. The weird curtains you have hanging in your garage window just creep me out. I don't even want to imagine what happens in there.

I'm not normally fond of children I don't know, but yours are just Children of the Corn. Seriously. What are they, vampires? They never grow!! You've lived next to me for three years now and I swear they should be a foot taller by now. All of my friends' kids grow like weeds. I hardly recognize them after not seeing them for six months, but your kids look the same all the time.

While we're talking about your Satan-spawns, will they ever stop throwing their shitty toys in my yard? I tried being nice the first year. I threw them back over the fence for them. The first 20 times. After that I just started throwing them away. That's when one of your little monsters yelled out the upstairs window at me, "Hey girl!!! That's mine. Don't throw it away!" It's awesome that your little demons spy on me.

By the way, why have you not told them not to talk to strangers? They seem to like harassing my friends when they come over. "Who are you? What's your name? What are you doing here?" Don't you know this is how children get kidnapped and why they disappear forever? They are such easy targets! They've even climbed into our vehicles more than once. I'm pretty sure it was one of your little imps that left my car door open when it was in my garage. Then again, they are Children of the Corn so maybe they don't have anything to fear.

However, I could probably live with all of this if it weren't for the fact that your fucking dogs bark constantly. As in all the fucking time. Fucking incessantly. Not just once. Over and over and over and over. I'm surprised they even have voices left. I love dogs. I love dogs more than people. But I have the most evil thoughts about yours. I want to poison them. I want to open your fence and chase them out into the street. I want to kidnap them to cut their vocal cords. If you knew how much I really, really love dogs, you would know that these are disturbing thoughts. You would also know how indicative it is that your dogs are abnormally annoying. I hate them. I hate their barking. I can't even find any compassion for them.

Because I know their behavior isn't really their fault. It's yours. You leave them outside where it's cold. You leave them alone. I've never seen you walk them once since you got them. You occasionally yell at them to be quiet when you are home and you are quiet enough to hear them bark. You don't play with them. They are insecure and unsocialized and afraid of the wind and trees and anything else. They have severe separation anxiety. They hate their lives.

For this I hate you most of all. I feel sorry for them and I hate you for the life you have given them. And then they bark and I hate them. I hate you for making me hate a dog. I hate you for making me hate you so much. I hate you for making me feel this level of hate towards anyone.

You don't deserve dogs.

Please move away. Far, far away. Tomorrow morning wouldn't be soon enough. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gratitude Is More Than A Feeling

Each year the company I work for "adopts" a family in need. The family gives us their wish list and we place gift tags on a tree for employees to purchase and then deliver them all with the tree and decorations. I was involved directly with coordinating the choosing of the family and the gift delivery two years ago, which I enjoyed so much more than simply supplying a gift. Even though I knew my gifts went to a good cause, it added that extra personal dimension seeing the kids' faces and getting their personal thank yous and hugs.

This year's family just about breaks my heart. We have a single mom with a 7-year-old daughter who is pregnant. They just moved out of a shelter into an apartment last week and their belongings consist quite literally of a broken-down chair, an old TV, two twin beds, and a set of dishes. The baby boy is due on Christmas and doesn't yet have a crib.

While I think that what we provide as an office to our families is very generous and fills a need for most families, I think our adoptees this year are special and need more than we as an office can provide. I know how hard it is to be a single mom and I only have one kid and many resources. I can't imagine starting over from a shelter and being eight months pregnant.

This is where you come in. I'm asking that some or all of you help them out. Do you have a piece of furniture that doesn't fit in your new house? Clothes that your children have outgrown? Toys they no longer play with? Are you doing some shopping this weekend at the big sales? Maybe you have extra silverware or kitchen appliances that you don't use because you hardly ever cook. (Yeah, that's not the case in my house!)

I spoke to Mom this morning to find out a little more about her and her children. She said her daughter is a girly girl (I'm going to call her Princess) and likes pink, pink, and pink. Plus dolls and Spongebob Squarepants. Mom only has maternity clothes right now and won't have anything after the baby is born. The only thing she asked for besides clothes was a coffee pot. I totally get that! Baby Boy doesn't have anything, the crib offer she had fell through.

So far I have been offered an infant car seat and a coffee pot. Mr. A. is helping me refinish an armoire dresser donated by the wife for Princess. We got the cutest stuff to decoupage it with new door pulls. In pink, of course.

My wish is to fill their  home with everything comfortable - soft bedding and blankets, thick socks and cozy sweaters, pillows and plush towels. What makes you feel at home?

Of course anything will help and I would be more than happy to provide additional suggestions. Please contact me if you would like to contribute anything. In addition to what is donated, we might need some help transporting bigger items. I'd also be happy to purchase for you if you hate shopping.

My life is full of love and blessings. I'd like to give this family a little bit of that.


I got a request to supply a list of things our family might need or want. When I asked Mom, she just said everything, which I understand. I think the emptiness is overwhelming right now. Luckily, making a list is one of my favorite things, so here we go:

Soft, cozy blankets
Soft, cozy robes
Soft, cozy socks (are you sensing a theme here?)
Cozy sweats
Rugs (their entire apartment is "wood"-floored)
Coffee pot
Warm hats
Measuring spoons and cups
Tupperware - storage containers
Mixing bowls
Coffee mugs
Cookie sheets
Bath mats
Bath towels
Shoes - size 2 for Princess, size 8 1/2 for Mom
Clothes - size 8-10 in girls' and 11-13 in womens' (or 10-12)
Crib mattress
Baby sheets
Baby blankets
Burp clothes
Newborn and up baby boy clothes
Baby lotions, supplies
Diapers, wipes
Barbie dolls
Girls' makeup playsets
Spongebob Squarepants stuff
Toy box
Gift certificates for groceries, WalMart, Target, etc.

Gosh, the list goes on and on. Maybe think about what you use most every day and they probably need that! Princess loves pink, Mom likes black and bright colors but she's not the girly girl that Princess is. Incidentally, the armoire I am redoing for Princess will be green and pink if you're looking to match anything with that.

There was a group trying to supply the big furniture items but that seems to have fallen through. I'll keep you updated on how that goes.

My heart is already filling up with the offers I have received so far. My Christmas wish is to fill this family's home with, not just stuff in every room, but the kindness, caring and warm thoughts behind all of the stuff.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I Might Have a Problem

Actually, I have many problems. And technically, a bitch is one. Or many bitches. I might be turning into a crazy dog lady. Let's examine the evidence.

Exhibit A - Yesterday I went to see the new Bond movie. The 45 minutes of previews included one for a movie with Ryan Gosling, at which a friend and I made some kind of adolescent, inappropriate comment because, face it, he's hot. This same movie also features a bulldog. At which I squealed and my other friend pointed out that I squealed more over the dog than I did over Ryan Hot-Gosling.

Exhibit B - My dogs already have their costumes for  next year's Halloween. They are from the Bret Michaels collection. Yeah, I might have bought them, but I'm not the one with the clothing line for dogs.

Exhibit C - A co-worker got a new puppy over the weekend and has been bringing this perfect little package of cuteness into the office. Nobody was surprised that I was both the first to go meet this sweet little baby and the first to pick him up and let him lick my face, my neck, and my eye. I was also the first to Facebook him.

Exhibit D - I will sleep on sheets covered in dog hair and dog drool but I keep track of the women in the office who don't wash their hands after using the restroom.

Exhibit E - Actually, I think we should stop here.

Let the record show that I have not yet given up on interactions with people. Yet. I am, however, considering limiting my already-limited circle of friends to those who own dogs. It's just easier to stick to my own kind.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

I Didn't Need to Know That

D is dating a boy. Officially. Which in teenager-speak means she can call him her boyfriend but they haven't kissed yet. (And I thought I rushed my last relationship!) He's a ginger and I was briefly possessed by my mother when I said, "Don't have his babies."

Last night she told me that she talked to him about her boundaries. I thought, "Oh, how mature. What a way to communicate." I'm thinking of things like how she wants time with her friends, that she wants him to respect her goals, things like that. He also shared his with her. So when I asked what her boundaries are, she snapped back, "None of your business!" Oh. Gulp.

See, I don't need to know that my little baby girl is having this kind of conversation. With a boy. I do not need those images in my head. Ever.

I swear she just wants to kill me. Only she's making it slow and excruciatingly painful.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Just A Typical Day

I felt pretty cute walking into work this morning in my new sweater and cozy, fleece-lined leggings. I tried not to let the fact that my teenage daughter is wearing practically the same outfit today deter me from my feeling of Cuteness.

And then I sat down at my desk.

I felt a cold spot and thought I had already spilled something on my chair. (Because yes, spilling things is more of a daily occurrence than I would like for it to be.) So I stood up and felt my bum and discovered a gaping hole. Yes, friends, my cozy leggings betrayed me by ripping and exposing my bare butt.

Off I trotted to the restroom to assess the damage. Yeah, it was pretty bad. No way that I could play that one off all day and I didn't trust that stupid hole would stay that size.

Away I went to change my pants. At least the dogs were happy to see me.

At least there was a doughnut waiting for me when I came back.

Ouch. Ouch, I Said.

So I don't know what the new healthcare changes are doing for me. I think nothing because my insurance is going up next year and my deductible is going down. Whatever. Well, now the company I work for has instituted this wellness awareness thing. Which is great. Better health should translate into lower insurance premiums. Should. Not does. Anyhoo. What that really means is that we had to do a wellness assessment yesterday. I say we had to because not doing results in a $600 penalty on our insurance premiums.

I was told it was quick and painless. I was kind of lied to.

The first part consisted of a blood test and saliva test. What is a saliva test like? It's gross. There's this little white stick you put in your mouth and when it collects enough saliva it turns blue. But the end that goes in your mouth? Oh, that looks like the end of a pregnancy test stick. Yeah. That went in my mouth. And it made my mouth dry. I had to sit in another chair and wait for that damn thing to turn blue. Luckily, that didn't mean I was pregnant.

The blood test should have been a simple prick to my finger. Only the pricker thingy was kind of a dud and didn't make me bleed enough. So the lady sat there ans squeezed and squeezed and squeezed my poor little finger. And then she told me my blood was already clotting and told me I heal too quickly. Uh, okay. She asked if she could prick the same spot again. I told her to knock herself out. I bled better that time.

Next was the BMI calculation. The nurse asked me to take off my 4-inch heels since they would change my height. Which was the point, it would make my BMI look so much better. She added half an inch instead and took off two pounds from my weight.

When she took my blood pressure she said my heart was barely working. Between the low blood pressure and the fact that I'm not much of a bleeder, I'm starting to wonder if I'm part vampire. I didn't bring that up though because I didn't want to be flagged for a psych consult.

Oh well. I guess there are worse ways to spend my time at work.

Friday, October 12, 2012

At First Sight

She admired his jumping abilities. He had, after all, won highest jump among all of his competitors and remained undefeated. He drew her in with his wide smile and as she stared into his single eye, her heart skipped a beat. She knew he was the one. The one she had been waiting for.

He noticed  her from across the desk. Unlike those that had come before and broken her heart, he found her blood-red spots charming. He held his breath when she revealed her sharp fangs. She completed him with her 360-degree vision.

Theirs was a whirlwind romance, the kind that only happens in Pixar movies. Together they can face anything - coffee spills, plastic spider rings, monitors left on all night. They will rule the cubicles of Monitorland, inspiring others with their love and setting a shining example for saving energy.

Mr. and Mrs. Monitor Monster, may you live happily ever after!

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Gremlin in My Closet

Last week was picture day at school. D came out in one of her cutest dresses with her hair braided. I didn't notice until later that she was wearing my red cardigan. I thanked her for not asking. "It's not a big deal mom." This week I was in my room when she visited my closet. "I need to wear your black cardigan." Did you hear a request for permission in that one? No, I didn't either. Last night she had a short choir performance. As I sat there listening to her beautiful voice (and scanning the rest of the choir to figure out which is the boy that she currently likes), I noticed she was wearing an outfit I didn't recognize. Is that a dress? Where did she get that? I don't remember seeing it before. Afterward, up close, I discovered that she was wearing yet another article of clothing that doesn't belong to her.

"Is that my black shirt?"
"Ha ha, yes."
"You can't keep taking things out of my closet without asking!"
"You weren't there and I didn't have time."
"What if I wanted to wear it?"
"Oh well. I didn't have time to get anything else."
"You have to ask first."
"Again, Mom. I didn't have time."

Like I'm the one that doesn't listen.

KY said I should be flattered that a 16-year-old is even interested in anything in my closet. Maybe, but I'm not. I'm annoyed. This morning I had an outfit in mind. When I went to get the sweater I needed to complete my casual Friday ensemble, it wasn't there. D was still in bed when grit my teeth at her. "You can't keep taking my clothes!" Her response? "Ha ha. That's too bad."

I'm not enjoying this phase. I may start bleaching her clothes one item at a time. That will teach her to both stay out of my closet and do her own laundry.

Gremlins are evil little creatures after all.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Our New Family Member Gave Me a Genius Idea

It's been a couple or three or four weeks so I think she's going to stick around. I had to make sure one of the dogs didn't gobble her up before announcing that we have a new family member. Her name is Jellybean and she's a hamster. I think she's a dwarf hamster from what the internets told me but whatever, she's totally cute. Really, super duper cute.

And the best part is that she likes me most. D swears that every time she holds her, Jellybean bites her. I keep telling her that it's probably because she wears perfume or lotion that makes her smell like tasty candy and she just wants to take a nibble, but it's probably because she senses the evil that emanates from the teenage soul. Because she doesn't bite me. Not often. In fact, she has given me little teeny tiny hamster kisses.

Anyway, she's so totally cute that I wish everything was as small as she is. Well, not everything. Obviously. That's like crazy talk. Because size does matter. But things like kitties and puppies and ponies. (Ponies especially because they are assholes and then you could just stuff them in your purse when they start biting you and then all they'd have to bite on is the random dirty penny in the bottom of your purse.) But right? How cute would that be? Little hamster-sized pit bulls and Siameses? If you pleases.

Now, I am not advocating that we breed these poor animals down to nothing. That is immoral and unethical and wrong. It creates health problems you can't even imagine. No, this is going to take real magic, people. Like a leprechaun or Mickey as the apprentice or maybe a unicorn can poop them out. I need you to scheme on that for a while. Get back to me if you have any ideas on that.

I'm going to go hold Jellybean and get some little hamster kisses.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Very Important Debate

A friend and I had a very serious conversation yesterday. These are the real issues, people! Pay attention!

Me: My salad has walnuts and I am sick to death of walnuts. I am. At least these are candied.
Cashew-hater: Walnuts are awesome. Don't knock the walnuts.
Me: I did. I am. Walnuts are retarded and useless.
CH: Uh huh. If any nut is retarded, it's probably the cashew.
Me: WHAT????? I love cashews!!! How dare you!
CH: Are you serious? Look at them, all curled and wrinkly-looking.
Me: And delicious!!!
CH: Eh, they're ok. Nowhere near as good as walnuts.
Me: And curled? Walnuts are wrinklly!!
CH: Walnuts look like brains, which is awesome. Cashews kind of look like deflated balloons.
Me: They look like little smiles.
CH: lol. On a demented clown maybe!
Me: Seriously? You're comparing a cashew to a clown? You have some deep-seated issues, my friend.
CH: Oh, tell me about it.
Me: This is getting blogged, you know.
CH: Yeah, I figured. What will my pseudonym be?
Me: What would you like it to be? Cashew-hater?
CH: hah Sure. Knock yourself out. 

As you wish.
And cashews are better.
The End. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Why I Now Need a Baby

Well, the number one reason I need a baby is because I no longer have one. What I have now amounts to a roommate. A roommate who doesn't have her own car and needs to be driven around regularly. She also doesn't pay rent. Or do her own laundry. Or pay any of her other bills like choir, library fees, retreat costs, clothing, food, gas that I use driving her butt around, etc, etc, etcetera!

I happen to have given birth to my roommate, which is why I suppose she thinks she is entitled to all of the free meals and the warm bed she sleeps in. I think I am entitled to her not growing up too fast but she's not holding up her end of the bargain. She ditches me on a regular basis so that she can have her own life. With friends. Whatever.

I remember the first time I knowingly broke my mom's heart. I was 16 (hmmm... like someone else I know) and she offered to set aside a day to take me shopping for school clothes. I flippantly remarked, "Oh, that's okay. I'm going with Lori next week." Now, my  mom is the least sentimental person I know. I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen her cry in my life (while I need both hands and feet of everyone I know to count how many times I cry in a month), but I saw the look of hurt in her eyes and heard the tinge of sadness in her reply, "Oh. Well. Okay." I immediately regretted what I'd said. As proud of myself as I was for growing up and doing things like a Big Girl, I wasn't completely insensitive to the fact that my mom didn't always feel the same way.

And now I don't feel that way about D. Of course, the times she is being a total pain I start counting down the days until she's someone else's roommate, a real one who pays her own bills. But a lot of the time I'm happy that I still get to be the one still in charge of her. And a couple of weeks ago I got a taste of what my mom felt that day.

She has been going to retreat after retreat the last few weeks for everything she's involved in. A couple of weeks ago it was the cast camping trip with the play that she is in next month. I overheard her conversation with a Boy the night before she was to leave. "Why do you need to text him tomorrow morning?" I nosily asked. She replied, "We're having coffee and then he's dropping me off at the camp carpool." Oh. Well. Okay.

The next morning the Intruder Into My Relationship With My Daughter showed up. Of course she wasn't quite ready so there was the awkwardness of having to invite him in and then I ran off to go over the packing list with her repeatedly. Sunscreen? Yes. Bug spray? Yes. Books to read? Flashlight? Toothbrush? Yes, mom. I have everything.

I hugged her tightly, glared at the Intruder, and sent her off. KY said, "Well, he seemed nice. Most guys that age don't look you in the eye when they're speaking to you." And I was like, "Whose side are you ON!?!?" So he's nice enough. So what! I am the one who is supposed to see her off on her little adventures. I am supposed to meet the adults I am passing her off to. Not some teenage boy who has no idea what it's like to worry every minute of every day about your baby her first year of life. And then every minute of every day after that. Because it doesn't stop.

And she may be growing up, but that doesn't mean I stop being her mom. It doesn't mean I stop worrying. Or making sure she has everything she needs. And it doesn't mean I want to stop. I still want to be the one to hug her before she goes off on retreats. I want to be the one that tells her she is going to be great and everyone will love her. I want to be the one making her lunch even if that's the only part she will let me take.

I want her to be my baby until she can't anymore. And, since she is absolutely, 100% opposed to there being an actual, new baby in the house, she's going to have to hold up her end of the deal.

I just wouldn't mind a little gas money now and then.

Friday, September 14, 2012

9 to 5

I don't actually work 9 to 5. Who wants to stay that late? Plus most of my meetings start before 9. But I felt like writing a list about work and "The Top 10 Reasons I Like Working Where I Work" sounded too long and stupid. It's Friday, I don't want to work that hard. Just read the list.

1. We have birthday cake every month. I think we would even have it if there were a month with no birthdays.
2. Today there were three deer right outside the window. Bambi, his brother, and their momma.
3. People say bad words which makes me giggle.
4. People bring me coffee and frappuccinos. I am well-caffienated.
5. We wear costumes at Halloween and have Easter egg hunts and find eggs months later.
6.  Our building is over the river with lots of things to see, depending on what  you are looking for. Eagles? Got 'em. Hot guys on paddleboards? Yep. Girls in bikinis? If you like that kind of thing.
7. Our building has a deck and we have BBQ's. We make the managers do the grilling.
8. We have potlucks and Waffle Wednesdays and pizzas and bagels and holiday meals. I will never go hungry here.
9. People say things in meetings like "star-bellied Sneetches".
10. I get to leave early today.

Let the weekend begin!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Why Teenagers Are Evil and Must Be Destroyed

Me: Did you take my Hydro Flask? The one I put my coffee in EVERY day?
D: ......Maybe.......
Me: YOU are in SO much trouble!!!! I tore the house apart looking for that!
D: Seriously?
Me: Yes, seriously. Do NOT mess with my coffee.
D: I'm seriously in trouble?
Me: Yes. That doesn't belong to you.
D: I didn't have any more water bottles.
Me: Then go without water.
D: Mom, I can't go without water. It won't happen again.

Later that day.....
D: Did you get your precious bottle?
Me: Yes. No thanks to you.
D: You ruined it anyway. Every sip of water tasted like coffee.
Me: HA HA HA!! That's what you get!!!!!!
D: Wow, Mom. Just wow.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Wedding Do

I'm a girl. A girly girl. I love shoes and pink and wearing dresses. I giggle and I cry at sad movies and pet commercials. I'm terrible at sports, I scream when I see a spider, and I don't like getting dirty. I love Disney and princesses and I know almost every word to every song in A Sound of Music and My Fair Lady. So what I am about to tell you may not make sense.

I hate weddings. I don't necessarily hate the idea of them and I know they're some kind of tradition and rite of passage and ceremonial whatever, but I hate going to them. I cringe when I get a wedding invitation. If you are trying to cut back on your guest list, feel free to remove me from the invite list. My feelings won't be hurt, I will breathe a sigh of relief.

Seriously, weddings are only for the people getting married and maybe their parents, if the parents are happy about it. Nobody else really cares. Not about the actual ceremony part. It's boring. First you sit there waiting forever because it's against the rules for a wedding to start on time. I have been sunburned sitting at outdoor weddings. And then there's the ceremony with the words. Sometimes there are too many; sometimes you can't hear them. For me, it's all one big yawn-fest.

This weekend I totally figured out how to do a wedding right. Skip the ceremony. Pass Go, and go straight to the reception. It's brilliant!!

KY's friends got married this weekend. We were coming back from Portland and got in town about 10 minutes before the wedding started. I had the perfect excuse of having a presentation due for school so I bowed out gracefully. And then I got bored. And also realized that I hate doing some things alone and I was probably a Very Bad Girlfriend for not being there. So I threw on a dress and headed down to the reception.

This is definitely the best way to go to a wedding. Because it's the party part, duh. You still get to see the white dress and the bridesmaid's dresses. But you get to drink booze and talk and relax and eat and laugh. Plus, the reception is where the bride and groom are doing all of that too. They're past the nervous part and the possibly-sad-teary part and they get to be themselves. Their best party selves.

When the sister of my best friend in elementary school got married, my family was only invited to the reception. This is because her family was Mormon and, because we weren't, we weren't allowed inside the temple for the ceremony. I assume the reception was not in the temple, but I don't know because we didn't go. Something about my mom thought it was tacky and we weren't good enough to be in their church or maybe it was just a long drive, I don't know. All I know is that is totally the way to do it. Maybe I should befriend a bunch of Mormons so I have a legitimate excuse not to go to the wedding but I can still go to the party.

Maybe I can start a new trend. I don't even think the couples will mind that much. I'll still bring a present. And toast to happiness. I will be the best party guest there. Just let me skip the "I dos" and go straight to the booze.


Thursday, September 06, 2012

Out of Context

These are random things I said today, which taken out of context are either retarded or criminally insane or both.

"It's the only food that can taste you back."

"Isn't that who she was yelling at yesterday?"

"It isn't 'my job' to listen to someone fighting and it isn't 'my career path' to sit here tense all day."

"I'm going to go get the tongue out of the refrigerator."

"Tongue tacos or tongue stew?"

"We could dress them in matching sweaters."

"Go home and take it out on the fam."

"I absorb protein better when it's in chocolate."

"Who really cares about a hernia?"

Monday, September 03, 2012

The X-Ray of My Soul

Depression isn't sadness. Not real depression. Sadness is caused by something. Your pet dies. You break up with your boyfriend. Your favorite TV show ends. There's an impetus to sadness. A + B = sad.

There's no equation for depression. One day it just shows up, invites itself in, and makes itself at home. Sometimes it does wear a costume of sadness. Just to shake things up a bit. But it's at the oddest times. "Hey, I'm with friends! People like me, this is great! Oh, wait? What IS that? Why am I suddenly crushed with sadness? Get it off, get if off!!!" Yeah, it's kind of a mind-fuck like that.

Have you ever gotten an x-ray and they put that heavy coat/vest/doormat thing on you? Even if you're just getting your teeth checked? Depression is kind of like that. Heavy, only all over. Over your very soul. It's debilitating and makes it hard to breathe. Only it's invisible. Like an invisible cloak, but not in a cool, Harry Potter way. In the way that all you can do is crawl under it and drag it around until it gets a little lighter, then a little lighter, then lifts. It disappears for the same reason that it appeared. For no discernible reason at all.

And what does it look like to the people around you? Well, because it's invisible, it looks like you're being an asshole. It looks like you don't care. Because you don't. Depression makes you numb to caring, not just about other people, but about yourself. It's impossible to care about anyone or anything when your soul is covered with this heavy darkness.

And then it lies to you. On your better days, you know you're smart and capable and deserving. When depression knocks, it makes you believe that you're worthless and stupid and wrong. No matter what you do, it will be wrong. You know that you have things to do, that people depend on you. People you care about. Depression tells you those people don't care, that you're a disappointment, that the effort of trying is too much. And even if there are other voices saying, "No, do it! You can! You're someone who matters!", depression's voice is louder. Only it's not loud, because it's in your bones. And your bones are heavy and you're tired and you can't do it anyway because you're shit, so you don't. You give up.

Then people are disappointed. And you explain yourself until you're blue in the face but it doesn't matter. "Can't you see? I'm trying!! Can't you see? I care!!" No, it's like a one-way mirror. You see it, but they don't. You know you're different, that something is wrong and that you don't want it, but they only see the appearance of apathy, self-absorption, and discourtesy.

So you wait. You give yourself a time-out and face the corner. Which, by the way, is also rude and viewed as being a supreme asshole, but you can't worry about that. You can only wait for the heaviness to lift. For the lies to stop. For the moment you can smile again and really feel it.

One day you're happy again. What is happy for you, anyway. Once in a while you even forget for a little bit. You allow yourself to be carefree and silly and let the joy in. But it's there. It's at the edge, it's waiting to come back, unannounced, uninvited. You can blur the line for a little bit, you can put a few steps between you. But it will be back.

It always is.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Stranger in My House

Living with a teenager is an experience. I've gotten used to the eye-rolls (which are actually a genetic trait among the women in my family), the door slams, the tears over seemingly nothing and the gigantic mood swings from day to day. All of these normal symptoms seem to be exacerbated in my child because of her Gemini-ness. You know, kind of sweet and tolerable one minute, hating the world purely because it exists the next. One second she loves one of the dogs and the next hates them both because they breathe. And chew her lip gloss. That she leaves out on the floor.

Teenagers are supposed to be creatures that are unrecognizable from their previous incarnations as children. But I've heard very little about the nice parts. That's probably because the nice parts are related to the saddest parts and nobody wants to watch me turn into a dribbling pool of idiotic tears. The nice part has happened over the summer, practically over night. Here is how the nice part goes:

D: Can I go do such-and-such tomorrow?
Me: Yes, after you clean your bathroom.
D: Okay, that's fair.

What? Agreeing to a chore? This has been unheard of in my house for the last 16 years! Okay, maybe 11 years. It's not like I asked her to do the dishes before she could walk. But still.

She no longer cares about the amount of time that I spend with KY. She actually asks to spend time with us. She cleans her room fairly often. She's more realistic about her abilities. As in, she now admits she's not the greatest driver in the world like she originally tried to convince me. She just carries herself differently.

There are still the not-so-nice parts. The hormones are strong in this one; there are days I can't even look at her without her freaking out. "Why are you looking at me like that??" I'm now finding panties in the laundry that look like mine, but aren't. The Disney princesses and cute teddy bears have been replaced with lace and much less material.

This is probably the most bittersweet time in my life thus far. I'm watching my little girl grow up before my very eyes. She's beginning to leave her little-girl self behind as she tries on her adult skin. I'm proud of her and amazed by her and at the same time I want to scream, "NO!! Not yet! I'm not ready!" I want to turn back the clock to those days we'd sit in the rocking chair for hours, when I'd let her nap there with me because I knew the day would come when I didn't want to let go, when she wouldn't fit in my lap so perfectly, when she didn't look to me for all of her needs but to her friends and soon, to a boy. We're now farther from those days and closer to the days when she'll know herself how I felt.

She's really excited to start school this year as she feels that this is going to be Her Year. She has youth choir, Skyliner jazz choir, her first play, and she is ready to get started. Me? Not so much. This will be the second-to-last first-day-of-school. Can we postpone it until January? At least October? Because the sooner it starts, the sooner it ends and I'm not ready for it to end. I'm not ready for the quiet. I'm not ready to miss her grumpy face in the mornings. I'm not ready to miss the excited, talking-too-fast or the laughing over nothing. I'm not ready to pack up her room and let the world take her in. As much as I like and appreciate the new person she is becoming, I'm not ready to meet her adult self.

Not yet. Just not yet.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Travels with KY

This past weekend KY took me to Monterey for my birthday. Because that is where I wanted to go. Because I wanted to be in an actual castle on my actual birthday. And because he loves me. Which he should. And also because he's kinda great. Anyway. We did a lot of stuff, but detailed travel accounts are totally boring so I'll just give the highlights. (Unless you really want to see the slideshow and I can tell you more than you thought you'd ever want to know.)

1. Hearst Castle is a very nice place to be on a birthday. It's not an actual castle, but the guest cottages alone are three times the size of my house, and the pool (one of them) has gold in it, so it counts. However, when they tell you not to touch ANYthing, they mean it. Especially don't set your water bottle on a 2,000-year-old piece of marble. They kinda frown on that.

2. The California coastline was beautiful. My favorite part was how we went in and out of fog and coast clouds and how every now and then there would be a little puff rising from nowhere. KY got the best picture of the clouds hanging out over the ocean (see the slideshow!).

3. I am a total book nerd. Book nerds really need to go to the Steinbeck Center. It's small, but Rocinante is there and when I Facebooked it, nobody commented so then I knew what a huge nerd I really am. I made KY take a picture of me on the pony statue just because it was there. I took tons of pictures of the quotes on the wall, which probably sounds weird, but that's what book nerds do. Because they really love how certain words go together.

4. Planning is helpful because when you go to the Steinbeck house, and want to go inside and eat in the restaurant, you know not to go on Sundays. Which we did. But at least I got to sit on the steps and touch the window, which would have gotten my hands and feet cut off at Hearst Castle.

5. I loved Carmel! I so wish we had spent more time visiting that area. Even though I couldn't afford a sock there, the shops were all still really cute and there was a restaurant named The French Poodle (also closed on Sunday). We took pictures of cars that are normally only seen in magazines that were just casually parked on the street and we appropriately "cute-puppied" every dog that passed by. There were a lot (of both cars and dogs). The dog store was the best and of course I bought presents for the terrors back home.

6. We made two, count 'em - two! trips to In-N-Out. I got a chocolate shake the second time. mmmmmmm..........

7. Cannery Row is cool, even if it's pretty stinky. I couldn't imagine Steinbeck there though, and I'm sure he wouldn't recognize it. It had already changed beyond what he knew when he wrote "Travels with Charley". I doubt they had a Bubba Gump's back in his day.

8. California is beautiful. I saw more of it than I bargained for on our little detour, but it really is. I really miss those rolling hills, even when they're brown. I saw a HUGE lake I didn't know existed and drove by a Whiskeytown. With a Whiskey Lake. I choose to imagine that it's filled with whiskey, but I didn't verify that.

9. Northern Californians are really big into Bigfoot. Bigfoot restaurants. Bigfoot stores. Wooden carvings of Bigfoot. A wooden carving of Shrek. Like from the movie. Don't ask, I couldn't even guess.

10. I have one regret. Out of all the dozens of fruit stands we passed, we didn't stop once. Poo. At least I know what not to miss next time.

Danger in the Night

I was fast asleep in the dead of night, dogs snuggled up next to me. Cozy and comfy.

Until one dog started barking frantically, setting the other one off. They both leapt off the bed and went running towards the offensive, intrusive sound. Such brave souls! They run straight towards danger, not concerned with their safety, only protecting my well-being.

At first my inferior, human ear heard nothing. So I called them back, but they insisted that something sinister was afoot. Danger lurked just outside the door. And then! I heard it. It was the ear-splitting scream of a cat. Two cats! Two cats spitting and yowling at each other in anger. Oh, my brave, trusty hounds. Protecting me from such evil! From the horrors of felines! What luck to have them in my service to guard me. Suppose those evil beasts had allied themselves against me, scratching the window screen to get at me and tear my tender flesh with razor-sharp talons? I shudder at the thought.

I carefully, oh-so-quietly crept to the door to release my guardians, to unleash their wrath and fury on the ghouls in the night. Remy raced out first, while Ruby performed a check around the perimeter, assuring that all was once again secure. They performed these duties with such honor while I could only wait at the door, hoping for their safe return.

And then I went back to bed. Remy jumped back up on the bed, highly satisfied with his hero skilz and snuggled in under his blanket. Ruby, after licking my arm to either assure me that my life had been spared or to apologize for waking me up, curled up next to me once again.

Tonight the little champions just might find themselves in their crates.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Lessons From a Teenager

D had a friend over the other night and then a third friend went to the fair with them the next day. There were the usual silly, girly quotes and sayings. They were all screaming in anticipation of the concert they went to see and that was funny in itself. But she said some other things that were less funny but stuck with me afterward. See below.

"I got a guy's number!!!!!!"
Yes, she screamed when she said this. In the car. And it is funny. But terrifying at the same time. And the point I made at the time was that she didn't ask for his number herself. Technically her friend asked, she just put it in her phone. That turned out not to be the lesson. I'd like to say something about how boys are lazy these days and need to man up and make the first move. That isn't the lesson either. The lesson is that she wanted something and she found a way to get it. Life is short. You can't wait around for it, you have to go and get it. Sometimes you enlist a friend for help.

"The technicality just wasn't there."
This was in reference to a ballet we went to see in Portland. It was a rock opera ballet, meaning there was a live band and live singers and they played songs from the 60's while the ballet dancers did the twist and the mashed potato. At first I thought we've watched one too many talent shows, but then it struck me that she's just growing up. She's realizing that if you're going to do something and devote a large chunk of your time to it, then you better do it well. Nobody wants to see you half-ass it. My lesson to her was to look past the initial surface, let go of expectations, and just enjoy a situation for what it is. In this case it was a dance with fun songs and cute costumes.

"You're being mean and judgey."
My first response was going to be, "Did we just meet?" The second was "I'm your mom, I'm supposed to be." But this was about the boy whose number she had "gotten" and she was right. I was judging and red-flagging all over this boy I haven't even met and she just wanted to be happy and feel butterflies and imagine the first kiss. In my defense, I was only being judgey because she's my baby girl and nobody will ever be good enough for her and also I'm old and cynical and I don't want her heart broken a million times. But she was right and I was hurtful. She was living that second lesson about living in the moment and feeling the joy that comes and I needed to look past the serious stuff and the possibilities that may or may not happen and let her have her happy.

The first date with this boy is Saturday. For the first time a boy will come to the house, pick her up in a car by himself, and take her on a date. No parents driving. No parents dropping off and picking up. Yes, I am stressing this because it terrifies me. But I have to learn to let go and she has to learn how to move in her own way in the world. At least we're trying to figure it out together.

When You're Done, You're Done

People think they are funny. My friends especially think they're funny. They're not.

MR: Who has the best happy hour in Bend
Me: I don't know anymore, I don't go out much.
MR: You not go out? Are you pregnant?
Me: Not working for a year meant not going out.
MR: Well that's boring. It would be funner if you said you were preggers.
Me: Oh hell no!! I would throw myself down a flight of stairs!
MR: lol. You wouldn't dare.
Me: Totally would.

And if I didn't, my 16-year-old would probably push me down the stairs herself.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

A Frog Eulogy

Amongst all the crazy goings-on of the weekend, we had a death in the family. Because I chose to talk about other things first makes me no less sad that our little Potato Beans passed away. I held a private, one-person service for him last night, sending him to his toilet-watery grave, but I'd like to take a moment to pay my respects and let Potato know that he has been flushed, but not forgotten.

Potato, we knew you for almost a year and enjoyed every minute of it. You brought us joy with your little froggy antics. You were, hands-down, the sexiest frog, nay, amphibian, that we've ever met. The way you put one little webbed foot up against the glass, your other on your froggy hip with that "Hey, ladies. How YOU doin'?" look just took our breath away every time. There is no question that you packed more personality into your one ounce than most people do in their 150 pounds.

We will miss you dearly and think of you fondly. We wish you well on your journey to lillypad heaven.
Goodbye, our little froggy prince.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Fair Trends 2012 Edition

I went to the fair in Redmond this weekend. My favorite thing about the fair, aside from the food, is seeing all the animals. Of both the four-legged and two-legged kind. The four-leggeds outdid themselves this year. I saw baby goats, baby bunnies, baby chicks AND baby piglets! Oh, it was cuteness overload!!

I also saw the saddest thing I've ever seen in the world. Or at least at the fair. Of course I know that the fat piggies go to Bacon Heaven after the fair because I read Charlotte's Web. But knowing something and knowing something are two different things. In one of the little pens there was a boy, about eight or nine years old, lying in the hay next to his pig with his arms around the pig's wide, wide belly. He would sit up now and then to wipe the tears from his eyes and then throw his arms around that big belly again. It was heartbreaking, really. I questioned how his parents could put him through an experience like that. I couldn't do it. Life is harsh on its own, but I'm sure they have their reasons. If only I could have spun a web that said "Fucking fabulously fantastic pig right here!", I would have. I would have done it for that little boy.

Now for the real meat of the trip. The review of Fair Fashion. If the atrocities I saw can be called fashion.

The first noticeable trend is the pairing of short shorts with cowboy boots. I know that cowboy boots are kind of a fair thing, but it was hot and they don't look comfortable. And, although the girls wearing them got plenty of looks from members of the opposite sex, I couldn't decide what it was about them that bothered me. I asked KY* his opinion and he replied that he wasn't a fan, mostly because the girls dressed this way appeared to be about 12. Good point. I definitely preferred the boots with dresses and skirts. It's possible that only Daisy Duke or Jessica Simpson as Daisy Duke can get away with the shorts/boots combo. And even Jessica will likely never be able to do it again.

Next we have neon, which has reared its ugly 80's head once again. It comes mostly in the form of obnoxiously bright shoes, but I did see a teenage boy wearing shockingly yellow pants. It was pretty awful, but they were pulled up all the way, revealing no underwear, so I let it go.

I think the most disturbing trend I have yet seen is the showing off of the fat. This is when a girl who really shouldn't, but does, wears skin tight clothes that show off every roll of fat on her body. Now, I am no size 2 (well, sometimes I am. Or used to be. Actually I was once a zero, but I was also 13 and I would look dead if I were a size zero now. But I grossly digress.), and I just blogged about how we should embrace and accept our bodies, but there is a limit. I have a belly. I try to hide it, not accentuate it. And trust me, ladies, nobody wants to see in great detail exactly how fleshy you are. It's just wrong. It makes it even worse when you're standing in the line for a funnel cake because we know those rolls are just growing by the bite. Yuck. For the love of good taste and the sight I have left in my eyes, cover that shit up appropriately!

Remember this advice for next year. Or don't. I like having something to make fun of. I'm snarky that way.

*KY is Mr. A. and they are his real initials, which are funnier than any nickname I could come up with and I don't know why I didn't realize it before. KY. How did I miss that one?? He will be known as KY from this point on.


Dudes. How could I forget the all-important, New-Jersey-shore-style-on-the-wesst-coast known as the bump-it?? Yes. Bump-its. In Redmond. And yes, that is the plural form. As in more than one. As in more than two. I saw a whole FAMILY of bump-its. As in grandma, daughter, and granddaughter. I swear if that baby in that stroller had enough hair, they would have bumped it too.

And, Grandma Bump-it, yes, you have a great body. Except that you probably had your daughter when you were 16 so you're probably not as old as you looked. Or as the cheese on your legs made you look. Yes, cheese. Cover that shit up, take out the bump-it, and you'll take 10 years off your age. I promise, girlfriend. Do it.

Friday, July 27, 2012

I'm Bringing Bellies Back

I have always had a belly. Even when I was 19 and weighed all of 90 pounds. Of course I would give anything to have that belly back now. The belly I have now is much bigger. Sometimes it looks like a 6-month food baby. Sometimes it feels like a 6-month food baby.

Unfortunately I have inherited my mother's apple shape. I gain weight first in my stomach and then, when it's really bad, it moves to my back. Meanwhile, my arms and legs stay skinny. It's never evenly distributed. I have no proportion.

Sometimes it's okay. Like when I first wake up in the morning and it seems kinda flat. I think I might have actually lost weight. And then gravity takes over and reality comes crashing in. Or down. Or out, whatever it may be.

I bought a super cute dress the other day. I tried it on, noticed the belly bump and thought, "this will look cute when I get skinny!" So I bought it. Because that's what I do. I buy clothes based on what I want to look like, not what I actually look like. I end up with a closet-full of clothes that I can't wear. Yet.

Yesterday I put the dress on. I'd lost a whole pound and thought, "Why the hell not?" And then I examined myself in the mirror a few dozen times before leaving the house. I asked Mr. A., "Do I look fat? Should I change?" He said no. He said "You have a belly. It doesn't make you fat." And then he said something about how it's because of cheese and booze and pasta and all I heard after a while was "wah wah wah wahh..." So I wore the damn dress.

And then I started to wonder why flat stomachs are so awesome. Sure, they're all toned and tight and youthful-looking. Whatever. But there was a time when plumpness was attractive. Hell, there was a time when rolls of flesh were attractive because they were a sign of wealth. Well, my belly is a sign that I've lived. I've had delicious, decadent meals with my friends and my family. I gave birth to the bestest girl in the world. I've spent time snuggling on the couch with adorable puppies when we maybe should have been out on walks. I have earned this belly and it should be sexy because it's a part of me.

So this is what I propose. We make bellies sexy again. They're feminine because of what we do with them. We give life and we sustain life. We take care of our families. We provide pillows for our little dogs' heads. We're sexy because of all of that and we should recognize it. These little 20-year-olds with their flat stomachs. Pssh. What do they know about being a real woman? They haven't lived yet.

Now, this isn't permission to get carried away. Nobody needs to see a detailed outline of your mushroom top. This isn't permission to dress like a full-out skank. We are ladies. We are classy. The belly should be treated with respect. And love.

Isn't that what it's really all about anyway? Loving ourselves? Flaws, quirks, imperfections and all? Big bellies, big feet, small ears, freckles, curly hair, stretch marks, wrinkles. We've earned it. Let's embrace it. Let's be the sexy beasts that we know we can be. That we, in fact, are.

Eat the ice cream. Drink the martini. Laugh with friends. Make love with abandon. Maybe even with the light on.

And when you finally do get that flat stomach, those toned abs? Love them too. I know I will.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Pet Wish List

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who really loved horses. She collected horse figurines and knew all about Palominos and Arabians and Appaloosas. She read Black Beauty and watched The Black Stallion over and over. She decorated her room with horse pictures until she hit puberty and exchanged them for posters of boys wearing makeup. Because it was the early 80's and she thought that Nick Rhodes was the cutest member of Duran Duran. I digress. The point is this little girl wanted a horse so badly that she begged regularly for one, only to be told that horses are too expensive and require too much time and space. And they're expensive, did her parents mention that? Her dream was crushed.

Then one day the little girl grew up and became me and realized that her parents were right. Not about everything, but certainly about horses. They are expensive and they eat a lot and when they're ponies they are assholes and bite your shin when you try to pet them and say hi and then you end up saying fuck-you-pony in front of small children. So I gave up on wanting a horse and replaced my desire for a fucking pony with a sincere desire for something unique and smaller and less likely to bite me. I have made a list.

1. I want a seahorse and I will name him Seamour. Or Shelldon, I haven't decided. You know what's cool about seahorses? They're like a tiny horse that lives in water with a curly little tail and no teeth! Or maybe they have teeth, but they'd have to get through the glass of a tank to get to my shin so I'm not really worried. But you know what else is cool? The males have the babies! A guy should be pregnant in my house. Then I can sit around, eating whatever I want, cocktail in hand, and say, "Dude. Are you worried about stretch marks?" And he'd get all moody and pissy and swim to the other side of his little tank away from me and pout in a corner. Then we'd have to have some kind of hippie water-birth because he's already in the water but I could feel all smug about it. Totally awesome.

2. A platypus. I totally want a platypus. Because nobody knows what it is! Is it a duck? Is it an otter? What the fuck does it eat? I supposedly learned all about them in first grade when we learned about Australia but all I remember is the "laugh kookaburra laugh, please save some for me" song that nobody else in the world seems to know and any time I sing it people look at me like I'm crazy. So I looked up the platypus and it's very cute. It's not even in an it's-so-ugly-it's-cute kind of way, because it's too weird. It's more like freak-of-nature cute and you have to love it because its own mother probably doesn't. But you know the best part? Platypus (platypi?) are venomous. True story. They have a little spur on a back foot that they stab you with and inject their venom. So my platypus would be a guard platypus because heaven knows my dogs don't guard me. Unless it's possible to be licked to death, because that's all they do. So I'd have a watch platypus and I would name him Quinn. Or Biff. It would depend on his personality.

3. My other favorite Aussie animal is the koala bear. When I was four, my parents gave me a stuffed koala bear that I thought had real fur because it was so soft. And it had these tiny little black paws with little fingers. It's possible that it was a real taxidermied koala because we did live in Texas, but I don't have it anymore so I'm not sure. When I was in elementary school, the hot toy was this little clip-on koala. You squeezed his shoulders to open his arms and clip him to your shirt or your book bag or whatever. I lost that along the way too. But I think these experiences have prepared me well for having a real koala. I would stroke its fur and carry it around like a baby on my hip and feed it leaves and name it Elvis.

Now, my birthday is just a very few weeks away so if you'd like to get me a present, I will accept any or all of the animals from this list. However, two of them probably have a long shipping time as they come from Australia and I don't know how long it takes to get a seahorse so you might want to order soon.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I'm With the Band

D's guitar teacher is pretty great. He's really good at getting the kids out to play and sing in public, and I mean all of his students, not just my beautiful, extremely talented child but she's the only one I care about and I'm only mentioning the others because they have parents who are probably also proud of them. Whatevs. Anyhoo, I have now seen her perform in public three times since she first started her classes a year ago. And you know what? She rocks. Totally. Let me tell you a little story about Tuesday night.

I found out just a few hours before that Joe invited D and K (her friend that she takes lessons and duets with) to play at Good Life Tuesday evening. I had a paper to write, but of course I blew it off to go listen to my kid sing. Duh. It wasn't even a choice. I gathered Mr. A. and The Wife and her mister (who needs a name, obviously. Suggestions accepted in the comments) and hoped that it wouldn't rain before she was done.

Since I'd taken my camera along to get some good performance pictures, I ran up to the front when she started and snapped away the entire time, which also served the dual purpose of keeping me from crying. Because she amazes me when she's up there. She looks confident and perfectly at home, even though she tells me afterward how much she was shaking. And she gets better every time. This night her voice was louder and clearer and so.... her. And yet not her. This is a side of her that we are getting to know. And I really, really, like it.

So does everyone else apparently. While I was standing there clicking away, a man approached me and asked where the tip jar was. Tip jar? Are you kidding me? But I totally acted casual about it. There's a beer glass, right there. How convenient! He popped a $5 bill in there (which D later complained smelled like beer) and asked if I was with the band. I beamed and said, "Yes! That is my daughter on the left!" He remarked how good she was and I had to agree. Except I wouldn't have said good or great, I would have said fantastic or incredible.

The girls sang their five songs and were getting up to turn it back over to Joe when several audience members cried out, "Encore!" "One more!" "Another song!" The girls obliged them like complete professionals and I wooooood the loudest. And beamed. And cheered some more. Yes, ladies and gents, I now have a rock star in my house. I'm not proud of that fact at all. Obviously.

If you would like to experience the magnificent talent of my offspring, she will be performing July 29th at Broken Top Bottle Shop between 7 and 9 p.m. Tips and encore requests are optional.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Making an Entrance

This morning, like every morning, I walked into the office, over to my desk, set down my purse and my little bag of water and coffee, and turned around to turn on my computer. Only this morning, I somehow set the bag down lopsided and my coffee thermos fell over and, THUNK!!! Everyone in my area jumped and there was the standard joke, "Hey, we're sleeping over here!, har har." But I am often clumsy and have learned to laugh at myself so I said, "Hey. If you don't make an entrance, don't bother showing up."

I thought I was pretty clever.
And then I thought that may be the most profound thing I've ever said.
Because it totally explains life.

Seriously. It's like this. If you don't intend to put in 100%, don't do it. How can anyone take you seriously if you don't make an effort? Don't bother. Life is too short to waste on half-assed efforts and empty promises. Don't waste my time. Or yours.

And also, if you make an entrance, you're more likely to be remembered. This works for job interviews. First dates. Running for office. Taking a class. You want to show up looking like Plain Jane or Bland Bobby? Don't bother. Just stay home. Nobody cares to be bored.

Yep. This is my new motto.
If you don't make an entrance, don't bother showing up.

And if you're not wearing really fabulous shoes, don't bother getting out of bed.

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