Thursday, September 27, 2007

Poetry Friday Word for tomorrow

In my line of work, in many careers of a specialty nature, and in our everyday lives, there are words and phrases we use that others do not understand. We develop shorthand ("IDK, my BFF Rose"), and we go the extreme and find new words to describe everyday objects and events.

When I'm here at work with the IT guys, and we're doing our computer thang, we find different words for swearing. Because although it feels really good to say, "That fackin' database isn't capturing my damn information!", there are those who take offense to such language.

So we geek-speak our way around it.

When something doesn't work, we say, "That thing is hosed."

Or, "My code is full of dingus."


My favorite.

"Your screen is honked up."


Like a goose.

Like a goose that comes in your backyard with a gaggle of his friends and craps all over your lawn furniture, and chases your pets, and makes such a noise that you call your old Uncle Phil and ask him very nicely if he wouldn't mind coming over with his rifle and a few pockets of ammo.

The Poetry Friday Word for Tomorrow is HONK. Feel free to use it in your blog post tomorrow, in whatever fluffly down-covered variation you wish...story, poem, photo, fine piece of software programming, chocolate-cream-filled delight....

Because my blogging this week?


Friday, September 21, 2007

Poetry Friday: The Word is SOCIAL

Ah piffle, time is slipping away from me already.
My head is full of music, and I can barely type with the chords ringing in my ears.
But, onward.

The Word of the Day is SOCIAL. Feel free to use it in your blog post today in whatever lovely plump powdered sugar shape you choose…write a song, take a photo, string some words together, bake a pie.

My only contributions are a 4-minute Free-Write, and two songs with the word “social” in them or around them or through them.

Have a good weekend, y’all!

4-Minute Free Write

Of course once I hear the word social I get Glenn Tilbrooks voice all up in my head, plaintively “he drove up to his local/where he felt anti-social”, on the cover of the first album of theirs, not slap and tickle the other one backwhen there were albums, he has quite a package, there in his underwear, sideways, and from then on I had a massive crush, social indeed, not a disease in the sense of something bad but something to buy tickets for and travel great distances in someone’s parents’ car with mugs of black Russians or screwdrivers and a map drawn on legal paper by the older brother and wondering if we should eat before the show or after or sleep in the car or drive home, wasted and on fire from the notes that hung there in the air notes that ran through our hair notes that lifted us up by the chin and made the sigh come out crystal and squinting from the twenty-second row to see facial expressions and a real smile and something unscripted, Hey Detroit, we love ya!, and near-silence on th way home because everything had been said and the buzz held our brains together but nothing else would fit in and when we got home the message from our friend that his brother had died in an accident, and the crying, and still the music packed in our souls like Styrofoam peanuts, and which is the dream and which is the life

Squeeze, “Slap and Tickle” (Glenn Tilbrook lead singer, the cute one, in the white hat, he of the package):

Social Distortion, “Ring of Fire” (warning, slight swearing)

Oh, and what the hell…Social Distortion, “Story of My Life”.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Poetry Friday Word for tomorrow, plus Flav and Josh

In the last 10 days, I've been to two ice cream socials. The schools around here are correct in assuming our 30% obesity rate will play very nicely, thank you, into 50 cent ice cream sundaes and a chance to meet your child's teacher. The schools are always packed. And the kids never finish their ice cream, as the siren's song of the playground equipment is always too much to resist. (Like they didn't get enough of it during the day??)

The Poetry Friday Word for tomorrow is SOCIAL. Feel free to use that word in any or all of it's variant meanings, in whatever form you choose...poem, photo, audio post, story, cotillian dress, teen-angst recalling, trippy college moment....

Yesterday morning on my way to work, I turned a corner and almost ran into Flavor Flav. I swear it was him. Same clock around his neck. Same clothes. It wasn't even 6 a.m., so I can only assume he was going home from a late-night party and couldn't follow the pattern of the sidewalk. I swerved to avoid hitting him, and it reminded me of those scary movies where the heroine is driving and the Scary Man With an Axe appears in front of her car out of nowhere and she swerves and drives past, then sighs relief that she's safe, only to look in her rearview mirror and see that he's now sitting in her backseat! Argh! Flavor, next time, use the sidewalk, m'kay?

I had this song in my head yesterday. Josh Homme is like this ubergod of college radio rock (QOTSA, Desert Sessions, Eagles of Death Metal), and the more I see and hear him, the more I'm swooning. I feel an appointment to the Fantasy Boyfriend List approaching.... (If he's good enough for Polly Jean, he's good enough for me.)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sleepus Interruptus

I was kissing my fantasy boyfriend and making a gourmet dinner with him in my sky-high penthouse suite in Manhattan when my alarm rang this morning. Dammit. The alarm never goes off when I’m in the middle of a bad dream, only the good ones, I swear it’s some sort of conspiracy.

I sat up and tried to get my bearings, but it took a while. I kept losing my train of thought. I bumbled, stumbled to the bathroom and sat there, wondering what I would have made for dessert for my fantasy boyfriend, and was it chocolate, and jeebus I hope so.

While putting on makeup, I ran out of three products. Concurrently. That's weird, isn't that weird. Knowing I’d never remember what they were by the time I slunk downstairs, I put the empty packaging in my pants pocket to add them to my grocery list. I almost forgot once downstairs…I couldn’t remember what to put in my lunch bag, and did I eat lunch?, and am I sure I’m not just dreaming this too?

I managed the drive to work. I sat down and was overcome with the feeling that if I didn’t have caffeine, and in large doses, I would surely die. Die a horrible, twitching, lonely death. Given that I gave up caffeine months ago, and have started my second cup of caffeinated coffee splendor, this morning will certainly be interesting.

Monday, September 17, 2007

It’s the quiet ones you have to watch out for

Girl-child was at a multi-girl play date yesterday, at the 2nd grade equivalent of a Party House. All the neighbor kids are magnetically drawn there, and the parents of Party Girl are of the hip, laid-back variety, something I wish I could be if it wasn’t for all the damn stress.

I go to pick up Girl-child at the appointed time, and I start chatting with the father of another 2nd grader, who I’ve known for a few years in the Circle of Girls that we’ve grown. He turned to me and said, “When we spoke on the phone last night about the play date, I wasn’t sure if you said you were busy or not. You’re a rather soft-spoken person.”





That threw me, and while the blush descended up my face I blurted out, “Well, I guess I should speak up then!”, and giggled like I was one big twitchy nerve.

Being called “soft-spoken” really bugged me. Still does. Because in my head, and with my friends and family, I can be anything but. Or so I think. Am I really so different from an outside view than I am from the inside? I have been habitually shy since birth, but have largely overcome that. I politely hate to interrupt the conversation of others. And while it’s true that I have a soft voice, it’s not that soft (although Girl-child can yell at her brother louder than I can…or do).

I don’t want to be soft-spoken. I want to be bawdy, and have a voice, and be heard, and have people nod at my brilliant opinions and laugh like a bloody stupid hyena without feeling self-conscious. And I do that, sometimes. But apparently not enough. And that reminds me, another parent this summer called me “laid back”. She has no idea how much I squelch the stress inside, I guess.

The thing is, if I were to change, to suddenly chatter-out all the thoughts and ideas in my head, to shake with fervent conviction at some point I was trying to make, to chat with every parent waiting outside the school with this-thing-and-that-thing, it would not only take a hellova lot of energy from me, but freak them out by my change in behaviour (“Is she on drugs? Too much caffeine? Who pulled her string?”).

Maybe I’m lazy. Or maybe that’s what this blog is for. I dunno. I'm just stunned at my own inability to judge how people see me.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Poetry Friday..."Letting Go"

Do human beings enjoy the feeling of inner turmoil? One of the hardest things I'm trying to teach my kids is how to "let go" of certain emotions. Got upset after losing the soccer game? Now it's time to let it go. Mad at your brother because he won't play Barbies with you? Let it go. Fighting bedtime yet again? Let's do that relaxation exercise so you can let it go.

Today's Poetry Friday word/phrase concerns "letting go". Feel free to explore that concept in whatever creative outlet rubs your temples...story, photo, song lyric, recipe for cinnamon rolls, lullaby.... I have two real-life things today, as the ability to write poetry is currently escaping me.

Have a good weekend, y'all!

Mona Lets Go

The house I grew up in was a 2-story farmhouse of sorts. My brother and sister and I all slept upstairs. The stairwell to our bedrooms was claustrophobic, and going up the stairs felt like jail, not just because it meant bedtime, but because the upper railings stood tall and firm, with spindles set apart every three inches. They were old, previously painted some hideous shade of pink, now hidden by layers of brown paint. For years, there was no handrail along the side of the stairs to support you as you traversed the scary landing. I would have nightmares of those stairs.

The dream, always the same. Somehow I'd gotten my arms and legs caught on the top of the landing, on each side, so that I was touching my toes with my hands, jackknifed, my butt dangling in the air, over the dozen or so wide steps below. I held on for dear life. I'd cry and scream for help, which never came. I'd shake, and feel my grip slipping, and when I couldn't stand it any more, I'd let go and faaaaaallllll and thump myself awake, sweaty and anxious and wondering why no one would help me.

My dad put up the handrail when my sister was born. The dreams stopped.

The feeling never quite went away, though, that feeling of non-support and fear. Throughout high school, college, and forward, sometimes fear would grab me and make me feel like I was dangling, butt down, over a pit, trying to hang on, shaking and crying. Eventually I'd have to let go. Eventually I'd have to wake up. Eventually, letting go would be the best thing I could do.

Boy-child Takes Over

After a busy evening of running to sports and a school meeting with Boy-child, we stopped at his favourite sandwich shop to get him some dinner. We'd gone round and round with where to go, and the lateness of the day and the fatigue of the work/school circuit had gotten to me. I was frustrated at our inability to decide on one place to grab dinner, and I could feel the tension accumulate in a little bubble in my brain...

Dammit, why is this such a hard decision?
Why does he never want to go where I do?
He should just get dinner himself.
He should do it.
He should know how to order a sandwich and pay for it.

I announced to Boy-child, "Alright, we'll go to Subway for you. But I want you to order all by yourself. I'll give you $10 to buy whatever you want. I'll sit inside and wait for you. Then we'll stop at the chicken place and pick up my dinner." Boy-child was eager to savor this new freedom. I handed him a tenner and parked the car.

We went in, and Boychild stood at the end of the line. He held the money I'd given him like it was butterfly he had palmed, fluttering, ready to fly. "Here's a thing," I whispered to him, "When you have money, fold it up in your hand or keep it in your pocket, pull it out when you have to pay, and put the change back in your pocket. Too easy to lose it or have someone grab it when it's held so loosely." Boy-child nodded and folded up the paper. I told myself that was the only thing I'd help him with. I went to a nearby booth and sat down to watch.

Boy-child moved to the window to order, selected his sandwich in a loud and clear voice, directed the sandwich chef to the toppings he wanted, picked out chips and ordered the very adult-like ‘combo’. Not the kids meal. The sandwich chef looked at me and smiled, looked back at Boy-child, now the only customer in the place, and started chatting him up.

“So, are you a senior?”, she said, and shot a quick smiling glance my way.

“No, fifth grade.”

“Do you have a girlfriend?”

“Well, no, I mean, not yet, I mean, sorta.”

“Oh, you’ll have one soon, I’m sure of that!”

Boy-child blushed, mumbled, “Yeah”, and took the change she offered him.

While Boy-child was spritzing soda into his cup near the cash register, the sandwich chef reached behind the counter and took out a toy that comes with their kids meal pack. She put it on the counter and motioned to it. “Here, this is for you,” she said.

Boy-child was surprised. “Thank you! Oh, cool! I mean, thank you!”

He jumbled the toy, the money, the soda, the chips, the sandwich, juggling them, dropping the chips, startled. "Here, let me help you, bud," I said as I folded up the three dollars in change, showed him how the Subway bag would carry not only the sandwich but the chips and toy, held the bag for him as he found a lid and straw for the soda.

He took the bag from my grasp, turned to the sandwich chef and said "Bye!" over his shoulder, and sidled up to me, putting his head on my arm for just a second, walking close to me, smiling.

We walked out, Boy-child grinning, holding a grownup meal in one hand and a toy in the other. Straddling those two worlds. Growing up.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Poetry Friday Word…er, I mean, “Thing”…for tomorrow

I’ve been trying to let go. To cut the strings and sit back and grip the chair arm and smile, all the while holding the panic at bay with a pitchfork and good juju.

Boy-child is 10, soon to be 11. He’s now entering the stepped up world of 5th grade, which comes with multiple teachers, more homework, musical instruments, and daily planners. We moms, we women who have known each other since our kids were wide-eyed kindergarteners, have been chatting recently about the changes happening with our ‘babies’, the adjustments to be made, and the sweet-and-sour sadness that has kicked us a few inches above our belly buttons.

Our kids are growing up.

Slowly, and with much trepidation, I have been trying to let the boy fly. Last weekend he wanted to go down to the park around our block with his buddy and try out his new rubber band rocket launcher. With no parents tagging along. Sergei said it was alright. I had a brief moment of panic. But what if…but what if…ran through my head. And then…I punched at it. Forced it down. Went through the myriad of ways he’s a responsible, smart kid. And I said nothing. And I let it go. And he was okay. Great, in fact.

The Poetry Friday Word for tomorrow is, well, more a phrase, or an idea. "Letting go". Feel free to use this in your blog post tomorrow, in whatever form tickles your chin...story, poem, photo, audio post, diary entry from second grade, recipe for appletinis....

Hasta manana!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

When the end comes I know they'll say just a video

So I go away from Teh Internets for a couple months and what do I miss? This gem.

Then this morning I stumbled across this one...this song makes me hot.

And I'm falling for Patton...fallin' hard, man.... (WARNING: NSFW)

Monday, September 10, 2007

World from the bottom of a well

I have been unmotivated and unable to blog. As is evident by my lack of. Blogging. First I was in hospital, then long and lazy weeks of recovery at home, then last week started up the kids’ schools and I headed back to work and that whole frantic lifestyle kicked in, and my brain, when it has a few minutes, wanders to jeebus-knows-where.

Maybe the doctor accidentally severed my blogging nerve?

I had a post in my head last night, but can’t remember it. So I’ll do what comes easily…a list.

1. After 7 weeks of doing practically nothing and eating practically everything, I stepped on the scale last week and had this reaction: “Oh! Shit! So that’s what desserts four times a day will do!” I started a South Beach/Atkins diet and have dropped a couple sympathy pounds. I’ve never done well with carbs. I do very well with protein. I have high hopes.

2. I’m resuming my regular physical activities. Like walking. And weights to make my arms look less like marshmallows. And some Kegels, just because.

3. Of course, tonight Boy-child’s school is having their annual Ice Cream Social. I’ll take a bottle of sparkling water. And smile broadly.

4. During my recovery, I became addicted to The Discovery Channel. And to VH1 Reality shows, specifically Scott Baio is 45 and Single, Rock of Love with Bret Michaels, and The Pickup Artist. Yes, I am ashamed, thanks for noticing.

5. I see the dentist tomorrow morning, and no, I haven’t been flossing regularly, and NO, I can’t afford that crown we’ve been putting off for a year now because I’m still paying for this summer’s operation. I might just eat some oreos before I see the hygienist, ‘cause I’m evil like that.

6. What can y’all tell me about Neil Gaiman? I’ve heard his name bandied about on Teh Internets for ages now, and recently bought “Coraline” for Boychild and me (but which I can’t start until I finish reading “The Princess Bride”). What should I know about Neil?