2007-08-30

Please tell me I'm not the only one who thinks like this

My husband just came home from work; after a smooch he asked me, "What's up?"

"Apparently Larry Craig's palm," I answer.

"Huh?"

"Nevermind."

2007-08-29

Another time when I really, really had to pee

(This is part deux in a three-part series detailing in mind-numbing depth three separate occasions where I, Christine, had to pee very, very badly and managed to inconvenience strangers and family alike)(Oh! I just thought of another...perhaps this shall be a tetralogy).

Winter 2000

We'd been living in Northern California for a couple of months (we're from Detroit originally), and my husband had to travel to Reno to see some clients. I was thrilled to tag along and make my first journey over the Sierra Nevada mountain range. And hey! A free place to stay to boot! Woohoo!

Naive...oh, how naive we were. We left late in the afternoon Friday. No big deal, right? Two and a half hours tops in the car and we'll be rolling into The Biggest Little City in The World in time for dinner.

See, we didn't know. Highways around here are packed on Fridays with people from the Bay Area and such jamming to get some weekend skiing done in them thar mountains. We crawled along the highway. Dinnertime came and went. Our son was two years old at the time and my husband sat in the back keeping him entertained.

It sucked.

And then it got worse. It started snowing. And not a sweet little flurry, mind you, but a veritable avalanche. Yes, just as we were approaching Donner Pass we encountered a blizzard. I was already getting freaked out driving in the dark on an unfamiliar highway with *GULP* cliffs (have I mentioned here that I have a thing about driving on cliffy roads?), so I turned the reins over to my husband and I skedaddled to the backseat where I played with my son and tried to resist the urge to tell my husband how to drive.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand, I guzzled a big old bottle of water. No worries, we're only a half hour from Reno, I thought, and if we have to we can always pull off the highway. Which would have been a great plan IF THEY HADN'T CLOSED DONNER PASS.

That's right, they shut the highway down while we were on it, which in retrospect was probably a good thing because visibility was maybe six inches. So we sat in our Volvo wagon (this is pre-minivan days) with white flakes surrounding us like an inverse snowglobe and waited.

But, see, eventually I was in need of a bathroom and dammit my car isn't equipped with one (we didn't elect for that package). At one point I opened the door to consider peeing on the highway but it was completely black and white; I had NO idea if I took a few steps if I'd catapult of the side of a cliff. But I was getting pretty desperate so I didn't think I had many alternatives. I put one foot outside the car and WHOOP! the sheet of ice underfoot knocked me right back inside.

As my eyeballs were starting to float I looked at my son and thought how lucky he was to be wearing diapers and not have to worry about finding a bathroom.

Oh yes, I did. Let me just say that 2T diapers are NOT meant to handle an adult quantity of urine.

Adjustments


He held my hand the entire way to school this morning. My husband, my daughter and I were all there to see him off on this start of a new school year. We know the walk well; the kids always stop to touch the lamb's ear in a neighbor's garden and comment on it's softness, pet another neighbor's cat that always sits on their front porch, pluck a dandelion from the yard where they're always a sure thing. This is the fifth time we've we followed this path on the first day of a new school year; next year we'll be in a different home making today all the more bittersweet. We won't be walking our son to fifth grade along this familiar route, nor our daughter to Kindergarten. We'll be driving from another part of town.

But for today, I'm just thankful that my boy held my hand, gave me a big hug in front of his friends, told me he loved me and flashed a huge smile before he ran off to the playground.

That's his hand in the above photo, cradled in my husband's. I took it when he was six weeks old.

2007-08-26

Well, crap


One potential interested party in this house is all hung up on the nearly invisible power lines in the yard behind ours(not literally, but I have had visions).

The other wants to chop down the seventy-five year old oak trees to put in a swimming pool. City protected seventy-five year old oak trees.

So much for our bidding war.

2007-08-25

Apologies in advance for not proof-reading this...


I'm just too exhausted. This past week has been a whirlwind to say the least. Seven (or was it eight?) days ago we weren't planning on selling this house. Today it's officially on the market and our Realtor held an open house. He's been in the biz for years, is a close friend of the family, and knows his stuff. He was pretty ambivalent about holding an open house and left the decision up to us. His take is that they tend to be more about agents gathering clients looking to buy than actually selling the listing. I said I didn't care if he had an open house or not...he responded it doesn't hurt and as long as we were cool with the inconvenience he'd do it.

We whipped this house into shape like you wouldn't believe. Happily, we didn't have to go nuts on staging; we just had to straighten closets and pantries and cabinets and the like. Our friend/Realtor power washed the exterior, hired someone to clean the windows, someone else to touch-up paint (and paint over a very funky and fun but dark bedroom), and someone else to clean the carpets. We've also started the inspection process to speed up any potential sale along.

We did go a bit nuts on the landscaping...took down the NEW TRAMPOLINE, rearranged furniture, placed some cheesy place setting in various outdoor seating areas. Thankfully one of my best friends helped me (and honestly the fact that her husband is our Realtor didn't make her work any harder...she's just a gem) and that made a world of difference. She does staging (I have in the past as well) so between the two of us we knocked some serious shit out.

I am so fucking tired.

So today was the open house. It seems it went rockin'...his best ever. Crazy traffic. Some seemingly interested parties. We shall see.

The most interested couple had one concern. Our home, while only 4.5 years old, backs up to a mature neighborhood...a hoity-toity (I must be tired if I just used that phrase) golf course country club neighborhood at that. For me that was a HUGE bonus. They have mature landscaping and are all ranches (ramblers they call them here...one story, people) so it is far more private than you generally find in a new(er) construction.

But that hoity-toity golf course country club community (whose homes sell, by the way, for 100K plus more than any other place in our little college town) was built back in the day before underground power lines. So along the back of their lot line are strung old-fashioned above ground power lines.

The problem isn't that they are an eyesore...along the back of our lot line is a row of seventy-five or so year-old gorgeous oak trees that blend into the trees and large shrubs in the yard behind us on the other side of the fence. The power lines are hardly visible.

They are afraid of the health ramifications. These aren't humongous lines...just little neighborhood ones, and at the end of a street as well. As someone who sits in front of a computer all day...well, I'm not wasting too much sleep worrying about electricity.

*ring*

My Realtor called just as I was finishing the last sentence. These people are very interested, just worrying about the power lines. It seems it is a Feng Shui concern for them as much as anything else. THAT I get (and I'm not being sarcastic). Seriously, as much as I love this house it hasn't been good for our financial situation AT ALL.

Maybe it's those power lines draining our financial juju.

2007-08-22

What I've been doing since my last post

I've complained about my financial situation here many times.

We're house poor.

Love the house, hate the mortgage.

We're selling this house and renting.

Sucks. But is awesome!

More later.

But, sigh, this won't be my kitchen anymore:

2007-08-15

The Other Parent

If I'm going to start delving into my relationships with my parents, it should begin with my mom. She is the one from whom I have always been able to gather strength; she is my confidante and friend, my trusted adviser, my counselor, and one person with whom I can always be myself. To this day, if I am conflicted about anything, my hand reaches for the phone and my fingers dial her number.

But I'm not going to tell you about her, at least not right now. I've had some of you ask me about my father, as I've mentioned him once or twice here and on other blogs. I'll start answering your questions now...

When I was in first and second grade I lived in rural Pennsylvania; we had a couple of acres and my life was as perfect as any child could imagine. I could run and play all day with my little brother...down to the stream, into the fields, on the trails in the woods. My father had built a beautiful playhouse that was in our backyard; it was complete with windows and doors and green trim moulding. We had cats and dogs, my bedroom had a beautiful golden bedspread with matching pillowcases and a glass (or was it a diamond?) doorknob...and once, after I was supposed to be asleep, I heard my parents say that maybe we can get that horse Chrissie wants.

Then, suddenly, we were moving; my father had gotten a promotion, and we were relocating to the suburbs of Detroit. That put into motion a cascade of events that would change our family in countless ways.

Soon after the announcement that we were moving, my father went to Detroit ahead of us to get acclimated and find us a house. During that trip he was mugged by eight guys - including being beaten about the head with baseball bats. He spent a while in a coma, and when he woke up he surprised everybody by being able to talk, to remember snippets of the past; he eventually returned to work.

But he wasn't the same. He didn't really remember us; he had to learn who we were. We were strangers to him; he looked like 'Dad'...but he was different.

As the years went on his personality became more and more volatile. He was prone to fits of rage. And violence. It was unpredictable; we were never certain day-to-day who he was going to be, how he was going to react.

Ultimately we realized that all the therapy and medication in the world wasn't going to help him, he wasn't going to get any better...in fact, he was spiraling downward and we couldn't let him take us with him. The day he moved out we celebrated with pizza in the family room and great sighs of relief. I still saw him frequently and did my best to play the loving daughter, but I was afraid of him.

Sadly, he did continue to decompensate over the next several years...he lost his career (he had once had a corner office in Manhattan overlooking Central Park), then embarked on a series of increasingly less prestigious jobs until he couldn't hold one down at all. He would go months without letting us know where he was. He met my husband for the first time at our wedding ceremony. The last contact I had with him was a phone conversation where I regaled him with stories of my son, who was 8 weeks old at the time. I told him I'd just finished compiling some videos of the baby for him, and that I was sending it out to him that week.

When he died he was homeless, and was literally found in the gutter next to his car.

The tape I'd sent him months earlier was in that car, along with photos, letters, and other memorabilia. When I think of my dad, I try to remember the real him, the him before his closed head injury and resultant brain damage. My mom always told us, "He doesn't want to be this way."

When I see a homeless person, I remember they were once a baby cradled in their mother's arms. I think how they were probably once a teenager flushed with those first thrilling blooms of love. I wonder if they might have once been a parent, cradling their own infant in the middle of the night. I wonder who loves them and is worried about them.

I wonder about their life before.

Happy Happy Joy Joy

All in all, I'm probably more content now than I've ever been. My life isn't perfect...well, actually, the ONLY thing I would change is our financial state. Other than that, I wouldn't change a thing about my present circumstances.

And according to this UK study, I'm right on target. But my poor husband...it seems he's smack dab in the middle of an early mid-life crisis. We didn't realize that, but thankfully these researchers have set us straight. What a relief! I also learned that, "People's employment status also had an effect on their well-being." Who knew! Money well spent, researchers!

It reminds me of this study of a couple of weeks back. Because who knew that most people have sex because it feels good?

2007-08-14

Maybe I'm just officially old and crotchety

Does everyone have that moment where they think, what is up with kids these days? I seem to have them frequently.

One of my son's friends was being dropped off today at 9:45am. The plan was for them to hang out here for a couple of hours, for me to take them and my daughter to a movie, and then drop the boys off at their golf tournament. All was going well (the boys played with Legos and my daughter was with me) all day until after the movie. As we were getting into the car, the boys asked if they could play GameCube when we got home. I quickly nixed that idea, "We just left a movie...enough screen time for now. Go outside," I suggested. "Jump on the tramp, walk the dog, ride bikes or scooters. Get some exercise."

The kid turns to my son and complains, "That's not fair. We didn't play this GameCube at all today. We should be allowed to play now."

I heard his indignant lament repeated to my son all the way home from the theater. Instead of being thankful that I just took him to a movie, this kid complained loudly that it wasn't FAIR that he couldn't do what he wanted when he got back to our house. My son just sat there and didn't do much more to shrug to his friend; we met eyes more than once in the rear-view mirror and he had this look on his face that simultaneously made me proud and sad. He knew his friend was being unreasonable, he knew it wasn't going to work with me, he was a little afraid I might respond to his friend like I would to him (that is, call him on being ungrateful), he was embarrassed that his friend was being so rude, he wished that I wasn't more strict than his friend's family and didn't limit his screen time.

I wanted to yell at his friend, "Dude, I'm right here. Go ahead and complain about me later, but to bitch about me while I am is so disrespectful my head is spinning!"

When we got they all went upstairs to play. Pretty soon I hear my daughter crying...that kid locked her out of the playroom. Where her toys are. Where I had told him she was allowed to be.

I go upstairs, tell them to unlock the door. The kid starts to complain about having her in the room, "She's not bugging you; leave her alone and she'll leave you alone."

He rolls his eyes and turns away.

Five minutes later she's crying again. He wouldn't let her in the room again. My son was in his room, and this kid was pushing the door shut and not letting her back in (but he DIDN'T LOCK IT!). When I let her back she headed over to the Lego table; he watched her and as soon as she picked something up he snatched it out of her hand. "Hey! Let's not grab!" She picks something else up and he tries to wrench it out of her hand AGAIN.

I'm standing right there; I'd just told him not to do that. Now they're engaged in this tug of war over a little bit of plastic. "Let go." I told him. He looks at me and continues to struggle with her. It's not until I say his name THREE TIMES does he let go.

So, there's more, but you get the idea.

Can you imagine talking to the parents of one of your friends when you were nine years old? My son actually has a pretty nice group of friends for the most part, but there seems to be a fundamental lack of respect for us, their elders on the part of a lot of these boys.

Why is that? Why is their behavior trending in this way? Is this everywhere, or just my little academic town full of privileged kids who think that they *deserve* everything they want?

----------------------------------------------------

(Added Wednesday)

So, I was just talking to a friend and told her about this post...she burst into song ('Kids' from Bye Bye Birdie):

Kids!
I don't know what's wrong with these kids today!
Kids!
Who can understand anything they say?
Kids!
They a disobedient, disrespectful oafs!
Noisy, crazy, dirty, lazy, loafers!
While we're on the subject:
Kids!
You can talk and talk till your face is blue!
Kids!
But they still just do what they want to do!
Why can't they be like we were,
Perfect in every way?
What's the matter with kids today?
Kids!
I've tried to raise him the best I could
Kids! Kids!
Laughing, singing, dancing, grinning, morons!
And while we're on the subject!
Kids! They are just impossible to control!
Kids! With their awful clothes and their rock an' roll!
Why can't they dance like we did
What's wrong with Sammy Caine?
What's the matter with kids today!


Yes, it is official. I'm just old and crotchety.

2007-08-12

The telephone game

I'm not usually good at following through on meme's but this one is fun. Thanks Treadmillista!

Remember when we were kids and at every opportunity, some adult would have us play that silly Telephone game? You know… the one where the lead person comes up with a sentence or statement, whispers it into the ear of the next person in line, and the sentence is passed from person to person until it reaches the end of the line. The last person then repeats the sentence out loud, the first person announces what it actually was, and everyone gets to laugh about how goofy it got by being passed from ear to ear and being altered because of mispronunciations and hearing ability.

Of course I realize that the game was simply a means for adults to keep us in line while we were waiting for something or killing time. Haven’t we even now as adults, tried to use it on our own kids?

Being the silly kind of fracas that I am, I’ve decided to create an internet version of the game, and use it as an opportunity for link-getting. Everyone wants links, and yet lots of people I know, prefer to get their links in a non-obvious kind of way. We’ve all done the “copy this list and create a post and you’ll get links” type of tag…at least once, but most of us don’t want to fill our blogs with those posts. It may get links, but eventually will chase readers away.

This is a fun way to give your readers something entertaining to read and get a few links too.



Instructions:
If you’ve been tagged, check the last entry on the list. Copy this entire post, add your name and link to the end of the list, copy the sentence in the previous person’s entry and change ONE word in it to try and change the meaning of the sentence for your entry. Name and link only ONE person to tag and then post the whole thing as a new entry in your own blog. Please make sure to transfer all the links to your post otherwise you aren’t providing fair linkage to the people before you. Although this will take longer to get around, by tagging only one person you will avoid making mass enemies by having to tag many people, and it will also guarantee only one true version of the game is circulating out there. Fracas, the creator, will attempt to keep tabs on the game and periodically report on it.
Please try not to tag someone you see is already on the list. If you’re on the list, have been tagged again by someone who didn’t pay attention to the instructions and you don’t want to do another turn, please leave a comment at this post over at Fracas, and Fracas will take your turn for you in order to keep the list going.

1. Fracas - http://fracas.wordpress.com/
writes:Never continue dating anyone who is rude to the waiter.

2. Mark @ Blogitude - http://www.blogitude.com/
writes:Never continue dating anyone who is nude to the waiter.

3. Wiggy - @ http://damewigginsoflee.wordpress.com/
Forever continue dating anyone who is nude to the waiter.

4. Froggy @ The Road Less Traveled - http://froglette79.wordpress.com/
Forever continue dating anyone who is nude under the waiter.

5. InTheFastLane@ That's Life - http://thatslifev2.blogspot.com/
Forever continue dating anyone who is nude under the water.

6. Treadmillista @ Just Treadmilling Around - http://treadmillinginplace.blogspot.com/
Forever continue dating everyone who is nude under the water

7. Christine @ http://watchmenowatchme.blogspot.com/
Forever continue watching everyone who is nude under the water

I tag...Candace @ http://notthatidontlovemykids.blogspot.com/

Ooooooooooh, Spooooooooky



*cue supernatural-sounding music here*

The following is a story about some weird shit that happened to me many years ago:


I was 20 and rooming in Southern California with a friend who had an eighteen month-old daughter. Due to a cascade of events she was doing the single mom gig, and I helped her as much as I could with her little girl. That was my first glimpse into the love that comes with parenting; I haven't seen her since she was six, but I feel that I know her in a way that few can.

Anyway, one weekend afternoon my roommate and I were meandering along a beach; at one point we stopped and spoke face-to-face,trying to decide if it was time to turn around and head back to our towels. I was facing my friend with the ocean behind her, my back was to the rolling dunes. The little girl was propped on her left hip and the waves calmly lapped at her feet while I wiggled my toes in the dry sand.

Suddenly, OUT OF NOWHERE a wave that must have been five feet high engulfed her and her daughter.

And then they were gone.

The ocean was back to looking calm, and there was no sign of the two of them. I stood there for an instant, stunned, and then (here is where it gets weird) I ran out about five feet into the water, stopped, abruptly made a left turn, ran about 10 feet parallel to the beach, stopped, bent down, put both of my hands out, and waited. I couldn't see anything, I just was acting without knowing why. A few seconds later the baby emerges from the water, still being held by my friend (one hand under each of her armpits)...all I could see of my friend was about half of her forearms. She then released her grasp on her daughter, who was now in my hands as well (I grabbed her by the waist).

Her arms disappeared and my friend was gone again.

I stood still for a second, checked on the baby girl who was now on my left hip who was sputtering but fine, and inexplicably I started running parallel to the beach again, about 15 feet from where I had been standing. I stopped, bent over again, put out my right hand...and waited. Then, out of the water and directly into my waiting hand, my friend's right hand appeared. We clasped and I pulled her out, and the three of us stumble back to the shore and my friend and I discussed what we had separately (yet somehow together) experienced.

She said she was tumbling and turning and didn't know which way was up; she just clutched her baby as tightly as possible. Then, she didn't know why as it was counterintuitive and against all of her maternal instincts, she pushed her daughter away from her body and extended her own arms as far as she could...and then let go of her little girl. She didn't know why she was doing so, as she couldn't see me didn't know I was there; she didn't know I'd grabbed her daughter any more than I knew what she was doing. She just acted without thought. As I had been doing.

She tumbled around a bit more, then stuck out her right arm, felt my hand in hers. The rest you know.

If this hadn't happened to me I wouldn't believe it. If I hadn't written it down at the time I would doubt my recall. If this friend and I hadn't over the following years occasionally rehashed it I might think I had exaggerated my memory.

I don't know what was at work there, but something was.

(We came to understand later that this was a particularly dangerous beach with an odd shelf and these types of waves happen occasionally. So that explains that. The rest...your guess is as good as mine).

2007-08-07

Times When Christine Really, REALLY Had to Pee (A Trilogy); Part I



(This is part one in a three-part series detailing in mind-numbing depth three separate occasions where I, Christine, had to pee very, very badly and managed to inconvenience strangers and family alike)(Oh! I just thought of another...perhaps this shall be a tetralogy).



Picture it, Madrid 1997
(prize of nothing given to whomever gets that reference). It was well after dark and I had just arrived in Madrid. As I exited the train I managed to get myself robbed; I freaked out for a few minutes wondering what I was going to do without cash, credit cards, or the map to the hostel at which I had a reservation. I sort of remembered where the hostel was relative to the train station, so I started walking. Pretty soon I was lost and wandering around a poorly lit warehouse district (yes, not creepy at all). Eventually I stumbled upon my hostel; it was 11 pm at this point, way past their curfew.

As I rang the doorbell of the hostel, I tried to convince myself that the owners would take pity on me; I was a girl traveling alone who had been robbed in their beautiful city. They would understand why I was late and would be okay with the fact that I didn't have my credit card with me; they would take me in, perhaps give me some tea and a warm rag to wipe off my dirty, tear-stained face, console me, and do all they could to help this scared girl.

Uh, no.

I had to beg them to let me in; I started thinking that perhaps I should have taken my chances with the two slimy American guys who had "felt sorry for me" and offered to buy me "some beers" and let me "stay with them." I pleaded over the intercom and explained my story and after many protestations they let me in. Then they wanted payment. Up front. Now. "They took my wallet; if I can call American Express they will wire you the money from my bank account in the morning," I explained. "I just need to make one phone call."

"No. Phonecalls are not allowed after 8pm. It disturbs our guests."

I was beyond on the verge of tears. Ultimately they capitulated; I called AMEX as the two owners of the hostel sat five feet from me sighing and coughing and rolling their eyes. Finally, they got confirmation of their payment and I got to retreat to my room. I have little memory of going to bed, just the recall of a vague uneasiness all night.

In the morning I decided to high-tail it out of Madrid. I had wanted to go to the The Prado, but I was so freaking jittery I needed to get out of a humongous city and into a more manageable small-scale situation where I'd feel safer.

Thus Toledo it was. Less than an hour south of Madrid and home of El Greco, Toledo had been on my itinerary anyway...I was just bumping up my visit.

After leaving my hostel, I ran into a shop and grabbed some bread and a one and a half liter bottle of water. I hadn't eaten since I left Barcelona so I was famished. And thirsty (AHA! YES! Where the pee part of the story starts). I chugged the water and ate the bread as I ran to the station.

Once I arrived, I bought my ticket and located my platform. I had less than ten minutes before the train left...I was starting to feel the urge, but the closest lavatory was a bit of a sprint away. Could I hold off until the train was out of the station to hit the john (in case it was a Hopper Toilet that just dumps onto the tracks)? Yeah, I could make it; I didn't want to risk going to the bathroom then and having the train leave without me.

So, I hopped on the train and wiggled in my seat as I wait for us to exit the station...and when the time came I made my way to the back of the car, full of that feeling that relief combined with urgency that comes as you know are finally going to go.

Nothing. No bathrooms.

I zipped out of that car into the next, and then the one behind it, all the way to the end of the train. Nada. I worked my way back to the front of the train...no bathrooms anywhere. I went back to my seat, wondering what the hell I was going to do? I'd been traveling around Europe for well over two months at this point and I had never encountered a train that didn't have bathrooms. It hadn't occurred to me that this could be a possibility.

The conductor came by and I asked/mimed him how long until we arrived in Toledo. He pulled out a map; we weren't even a quarter of a way there. I was screwed; there was NO way I was going to make it. I tried to explain this to him; he wasn't getting my broken Spanish, my fairly good French, my English. So I used the international symbol for having to piss in the worst way: I locked my knees together, grabbed my crotch, and bulged out my eyes.

He got it. He put a sympathetic hand on my arm; once again showed me the map, pointed to his watch...NOW...pointed to the map, pointed to his watch again to show me the time lapse until we arrived in Toledo. Another half hour at least. There wasn't much between where we were and here; no other cities, no other stops. "Gracias" I said with a smile I plastered on my face. I knew I wouldn't make it.

I hummed, bounced, and squirmed. The minutes elapsed as the crop fields passed by my window. The motion of the train only seems to serve to swoosh the urine around in my bladder; waves of pee knocking against my urethra. I sat on my heal, hoping it would somehow act as a cork. I assessed the seat in which I was sitting; a bowl-shaped resin type thing. I *might* hold *some* pee, at least prevent it from sloshing onto the floor. I wondered what I could pull out of my backpack that would be sufficiently absorbent. Not only did I consider that, I actually thought it would come to that.

Suddenly, in the middle of what seemed like endless feilds, the train came to an unexpected stop. Outside my car there was a little platform, a dock only as long as my car and half the one before it and after it. There were two little buildings on it; the large one had a window covered by shutters. "Great," I thought. "This will help my situation - a delay."

Then right outside of my very window the conductor's face popped up. He waved for me to come down! Come down! He pointed to the little building, and to my extreme joy I saw those wonderful silhouettes of a male and female. BATHROOMS! I looked back at the conductor and he had backed away from the train, continuing to beckon me to detrain. So I did. And I RAN towards those bathrooms, carrying my huge backpack on my back.

"HEY!" I heard. I turned around and the conductor threw a key on a stick to me; I caught it, chucked my backpack to the ground and fumbled my way into the bathroom.

It seemed forever long, that pee. I realized as I was in there that someone could be grabbing my backpack and hopping on the departing train. It's worth it, I thought.

But I didn't hear anyone shuffling away with my bag, and I didn't hear the train chug away. I exited the bathroom, handed the smiling conductor the key and thanked him in as many languages as I thought we might have in common, but mostly with "Gracias, gracias, gracias." He stopped the train for me, a girl who didn't know better than to not guzzle a liter of water before boarding.

I picked up my backpack and as I headed towards my car I thought of how I had discovered a new Walk of Shame. The Ugly American who inconvenienced a train full of people; maybe made some late for work, or for getting home to their families, or disrupted their day's activites because I hadn't bothered to do my homework.

But then I heard a funny noise;I looked up, and out of each train car window were as many heads as could fit through; they were clapping, smiling, and waving.

Within twelve hours I'd experienced some of the worst and some of the best we as humans had to offer each other.

Oh Chris, I'm sure your kid's a genius

I was going to start a post earlier, but was interrupted by...a bunch of shit. Anyway, I just sat down in front of my computer to do a little email reading and was greated with the below post.

My daughter, at a few months shy of her fourth birthday, has composed and published her first blog entry. Gonna go write that in the babybook (or I would, if there was anything in that after week six or so).

Hopefully I'll get that real entry finished tonight.
rgv cffvvuggffswvbgggiewww44569-style="font-weight:bold;">m

2007-08-03

Series of Fortunate Events



Our little town has an abundance of single lane roundabouts. I love zipping around those traffic circles...the dance of cars merging, rotating, and exiting is just plain fun; it's the mom-in-a-minivan version of a doing donuts in a snowy parking lot. I know, that's pathetic. But I take me thrills when and where I can.

Today as I was circling one of those center islands, I saw a car getting ready to merge. What I DIDN'T see was the driver looking to his left to see if he needed to yield to cars already on the roundabout (that is, ME). Nope, the dude just cruised right into in intersection, arm dangling out the window, face staring straight ahead. I had to slam on the breaks and was forced to stop in the middle of the circle. As I sat there, he slowly turned his head and gave me a look like, "What? Why are you looking at me with your mouth hanging open? And why are you stopped in the middle of the road?"

If I hadn't stopped, if I weren't a paranoid driver that is always anticipating others to be boneheads, that guy would have plowed RIGHT INTO the passenger side of my minivan. Right exactly where my daughter was strapped into her cow-printed car seat, singing to her stuffed animals. I looked back at her and an image flashed in front of my face: that car seat smashed towards the center of the car. Right exactly where my son was sitting engrossed reading The Grim Grotto.

For a split second, my world was over.

But I turned back around and exited the roundabout, my world intact. The worries (financial, financial, and financial) of the moments before Mr. Stupid Driver blithely cut me off were forgotten.

So thank you, Mr. Stupid Driver, for reminding me to put it all in perspective.

2007-08-02

What you would probably hear if you spent 24 hours in my home

"Have you lint-rolled the finger puppets?"

"NO HORSES on the trampoline!"

" 'Out of Area'...eat malaria."

"Hola! I'm Dora! Do you know my family and friends?"

"What do you want to do for dinner? I dunno, what do you want to do? I don't care. I don't either." (yes, ONE person generally recites in its entirety every evening)

"Does this help you poop, Mama?"

"What happened to the cat yack?"

"The dog ate it."

"Freak."

"Insert Simpsons/Family Guy/Greg the Bunny reference here."

"Watch me! No, watch me!"

2007-08-01

Sarcastic apples

"Mom, can you get some medicine for Daddy? He has a headache."

"Where?"

".........uh, his HEAD!"

My boy has a firm grasp on the sarcastic.

I walk into the other room and ask my husband what kind of a headache it is that he has (I am so nurturing!). "Behind my right eyeball," he answers.

"Does it hurt when you move your eyes?"

"No."

"Oh, I had one earlier in the week behind my left eye that hurt when I moved my eyeball around."

Never one to pass up on an opportunity to make me the butt of a joke, he says, "It's always about YOU, isn't it? We're talking about me and MY eyeballs here. Why do you ALWAYS have to turn the conversation back around to youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu?"

"Yes. Yes, I do that often, don't I? I DO tend to bring the conversation around to myself often. I wonder why that is? What do you think?"

FBNOML says, "Well done, Mom. Nicely played."

Thankyouthankyouverymuch.