Thursday, October 25, 2007

Let's go crazy. Let's get nuts.

I'm dealing with holidays already.

For the last week or so, every work day, I’m chained to my desk (figuratively, of course, lest y’all call the coppers on my boss), to work on websites and emails and copy and links for the effin’ holidays for my place of work. Holidays. Ack.

Now, don’t get me wrong…I LOVE the holidays. I obsess over Thanksgiving. I jump in glittery glee at the thought of Christmas, or the invitation to our friends’ Hanukkah party. I plan the menu for a small but delicious array of snackings for New Years. Boy-child’s birthday is in early December, and Girl-child’s is in January, so I go CrazyNuts buying gifts this time of year, hitting the sales, making a homemade gift or two, taking surreptitious trips out on my weekend errands to scout out That Perfect Gift. I love it. It’s hectic and stressful and cash-draining, and I love every damn minute of it.

But at work? Oh, I so don’t want to deal with it. Insomuch as ‘dealing with it’ involves spending every minute in meetings or system investigation or making sure something doesn’t blow up, leaving me little slacker time. Or personal time. I’m forgetting to pee until almost too late. I have to set my Outlook calendar to alarm me when it’s time to leave and get the kids, otherwise I’m just heads-down trying to dog paddle above the waves of Project Deadlines. There are days lately when my only forays onto Teh Internets be for work ONLY. WTF?

And now I must leave, as my boss is Hovering, and The Guys have just arrived with reams of system specs I’m supposed to look at. Hah. HAHAHA.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Poetry Friday WORD for tomorrow

Sergei's lucky I didn't punch him this time.*

I had a dream last night, a very real, painful dream, that Sergei was seeing a girl on the side, a 17-year old blonde high-schooler named Beth, who would hide in his closet and come out when I wasn't in the room. All this came out while we were hosting a party for a group of comic book artists. Sergei made me keep quiet. I wanted to scream.

Then the thump of the morning paper hit our front door and I woke up, to find my sweet husband in bed naked next to me. Well, ain't that a kick in the ass. For half a second, I wanted to slap him, but realized it was MY dream, and he was just the innocent, sexy bystander. So I had THAT to deal with this morning. I hatehateHATE that my dreams are getting more and more real as time goes on. Hate. It. Is it hormones? A cumulation of fears set in motion by everything I read in magazines and see on the boob tube and hear from well-meaning, but totally misguided, friends and acquaintances?


The Poetry Friday Word for tomorrow is "FEAR". Use it however you us your belly if you've been afraid to. Go up and chat with that cute guy at the gym and tell us what happened. Try your hand at Grandma's recipe for Double-Triple-Heart-Attack-Chocolate-Chip-Cookies. Write something...draw something...speak something. Go wid it.

(*I did punch him once, after I dreamed that he was enjoying dalliances with some skeezy ho. It wasn't a hard punch. It was reflexive.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

You can’t handle the truth!

Last week, I received the jury summons.

At first I laughed. My ass off. I remembered filling out the questionnaire early summer, and then I forgot about it, or blocked it out. It’s not an unfamiliar thing, the questionnaire and the summons, having been called up half a dozen times in my life, waiting in the boring room before the voir dire, hoping to the jeebus my name doesn’t get called, sighing with relief when it wasn’t or when they settled and didn’t need a jury. So yeah, I laughed.

Until I saw the date of service.

The week of October 29.

The worst possible week evah.

It’s Halloween, man! I’m a room mother, I always go to the kids school parties.

Plus there’s half days of school that week for conferences, and I’ve already taken that time off work (and declined the school child care program).

I have to attend a teacher conference, Girl-child’s school concert, and a crown for my tooth coming in that week.

Like with three weeks notice I can deal with all that? Rescheduling all that?

No. Uh-uh.

I wrote a letter. A detailed, emotional letter. Why I needed a postponement. I gave it to Sergei to read, and he crossed everything off and helped me write a not-so-detailed letter, one full of Please and Hardship and Ready And Willing To Serve. Then I crossed my fingers and toes and sent the letter in. I also emailed it the next morning, just in case.

A few days later, I got a letter back. “You are excused from jury duty…your new week of service will be December blahblah. You get one postponement only.”

This morning I got the corresponding email response back.

Somewhere in the recesses of my mind, I recall someone saying that when you got a postponement, they were sure to put you on the jury. And y’know, as long as it’s not a case where kids were harmed (which would make me cry constantly in the jury box), I think I’d do okay.

Have you been on a jury? What happened?

Monday, October 15, 2007

When she was bad she was

I nearly lost it this weekend and became Shrieking Harpy Woman Who Wants to Spank. When it came to dealing with a certain 7-year old girl.

Girl-child has a friend, let’s call the friend BeBe. We’ve known BeBe for a few years now, and she’s always seemed like a shy, sweet girl. I've never spent much time around her, maybe the occasional birthday party or school event. BeBe appeared to be well-liked by the Girl Group. So I was excited when Girl-child invited her over for a playdate Saturday, after the soccer game.

BeBe’s parents are a bit overprotective, that much I knew. During the soccer game, they micromanaged her every move…”MOVE, BeBe! Go left, BeBe! Heads up, BeBe! NO, the OTHER end of the field, BeBe!” All the while, BeBe stood there staring at her teammates like they were a wild dancing stampede of bison, not sure whether to move or pretend she was a scrub brush.

Her mom and I chatted a bit. Well, her mom chatted mostly. About how BeBe’s room was a slovenly mess, about how BeBe didn’t listen to their coaching, about how BeBe wanted this and that and GOT this and that. I should have heard the warning signs right there.

From the moment Girl-child and BeBe got in my car for their afternoon together, BeBe never stopped talking. Never stopped complaining. Never stopped demanding. I have NO idea where this Chatty Cathy came from, but BeBe was so picky, so hard to focus, that I sat there stunned for the drive home.

It was a trying afternoon. Oh, let’s see. A sample.

1) BeBe said Girl-child’s room was “boring”, and what else did we have to play with, and she really needed to see what crafts I had so she could do them, and I said NO.

2) BeBe sat on the back of the couch and started playing with the picture hanging over it, the big one with the big pane of glass, the one that could crush our heads if it fell on us, and I told her NO, and NO again, and still again, NO.

3) BeBe said she was thirsty, and I offered up milk? Juice? Juicebox? Water? Flavored water? BeBe said No, No, No, No, NO. BeBe said, well, maybe I’ll try the flavored water. I gave her one sip. NO. “I want water…cold water. The coldest water you have in the refrigerator. The kind with a cap. It has to be cold.” Well Miss Thang, we ain’t got no cold water in the fridge with no cap that ain’t been sipped on my someone who LIVES here, and so you can just have this bottled water that isn’t too cold but isn’t warm either and you’ll like it and be gracious and shit.

4) After dragging most of Girl-child’s stuffed animals downstairs, and providing commentary on Her Life Thus Far, BeBe demanded we go to the local park. “Not until you put all these toys away,” I told both girls. Girl-child started picking up, but BeBe sat there banging her feet on the bookshelf. Demanding to GO. “Not Until you PUT all these Toys AWAY!”, I said in a louder, gruffer mom voice, and BeBe got off her butt.

5) The playdate had been mostly impromptu after soccer, so BeBe had no spare shoes besides her cleats. “They’re too wet,” BeBe complained. So we fetched three pairs of Girl-child’s old shoes, the Just-In-Case shoes, which BeBe tried on. “Toooooo small,” BeBe whined, even though two of the pairs of shoes did fit her but weren’t the prettiest in the world. “Well”, I said, “guess we can’t go to the park then.” “Nooooo!!! I’ll wear my shoes, it’s okay.”

6) I had made the mistake of not setting a take-home time with BeBe’s mom, so after a few hours of dealing with the voice and the demands and “boring” room full of toys and books, I said, “Time to go home!” It was then that everything BeBe had brought with her…her shoes, her hoodie, her socks, her shirt, her stuffed cat toy…immediately disappeared, and we spent what seemed like a billion jillion hours looking for them.

We took BeBe home. BeBe dragged Girl-child to her bedroom while The Dad and I chatted for a minute. Girl-child came down a few minutes later and we thankfully, gratefully left. On the way home, Girl-child said, “BeBe’s bedroom is SO messy. I couldn’t even see the floor! I didn’t know where she slept! I don’t know how she does anything in there! It was weird, mom.” And then Girl-child sat there, staring out the window, sort of wistful, mumbling to herself, “So messy.”

Do we have BeBe back to play? I dunno. I mean, maybe I was just having an "off" day. But then again, maybe the little picture pulling, bookshelf kicking, ice-cold-water-from-the-refrigerator-with-a-cap-demanding, shrieking chatterbox would be better off not being in my boring house.

If we do have the girls play together again, I’ll find a convenient reason to take Boy-child away for the afternoon and let Sergei handle the girls. After all, he is good with the ladies.

Friday, October 12, 2007

L, M, N, O, Q, R…

It’s been a few months since I peed my pants.

Some convergence of age, bouts of childbirth, and a healthy libido have managed to weaken those muscles down thar what keeps the pee in a nice little stretchy sack with a convenient easy-flo exit. Every once in a while, when I forget to pee (which happens a lot, I’m like a damn camel), or sneeze really hard, or maybe daydream about lying on a bed at the ocean’s edge with Raoul giving me a fabulous hot rock massage, like in those commercials, a teeny bit of warm amber liquid will suddenly !spring forth! and I’ll wiggle around enough to check the damage, deem it unnoticeable, and go about my bidness.

It’s not so much a problem now as a badge of honor.

More and more of my girlfriends are squirting pee in public, sharing the story, and making us laugh so much we squirt more pee.

My friend Beth told me she was driving to work the other day, sneezed hard, and let go a pool of pee in her pants. Too far from home, and too congested and hepped up on cold meds to really give a damn, she came to work anyway, wrapped a sweatshirt around her waist, hoped to the jeebus she wouldn’t sneeze again. She worked a short day and then, on her way home, she had to stop at the bank, and while in line…yep, she sneezed again, and the pee went, Hello!, and she pulled the sweatshirt tighter and prayed for an open teller window.

Well, yeah!

I mean, our whole lives we pee! First we do it in diapers, then in underwear whilst potty training, then those youthful years of purposely, gleefully peeing in parking lots and squatting over rocks at the campground and odd random experiments with urinals. After a while, though, our bodies wave a white flag (made of toilet paper) and say, “Y’know, I’m tired, people, tired of holding this mess o’ liquid inside. Kegels? Pffft. Screw you, I’m outta here”, and then the word “incontinent” slips in through the cracks of our brain, and as we stand in front of the feminine products at the grocery store, out of the corner of our eye we can see the rows of Depends, and we wonder how many more years before those appear in our grocery cart, and couldn’t we just use super-sized maxi pads instead?

Beth heard of a surgical procedure wherein a doctor inserts a thick tube into the urethra, like a shunt or tube in the ear, so the pee has a smaller opening to escape from, and prevents the occasional “sneeze-oops-I-peed” scenario. I’m not sure about that…doesn’t liquid, when forced through a narrow opening at a certain rate of speed, make the liquid come out faster, like a pressure washer? That’s all we need…to be calmly standing in line at the DMV when all of a sudden, we’re on a geyser at Yellowstone, hoping no one notices.

And that, dear bloggers, is my first post on pee. And hopefully my last.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Middle Ages

On my 16th birthday, in a quiet moment, my mom looked at me as only a mom can, smiled sort of enviously, and said, “I may be 38, but I still feel like I’m 16 years old inside.”

Of course I thought she was nuts.

Back then, I had some crazy notion about what my life would be like when I got older, the “things” I would acquire, the obvious fame and fortune I would be immersed in, the slow hardening of my physical abilities and how, by age 38, I would never, EVER, feel like I was 16 inside.


Well, now I’ve seen 38 in my rear view, and…yep…inside I still feel like I'm 16. (Damn. Mom was right. And hells yeah! Moms are right!)

Yesterday was my Birthday of An Unmentionable And Unremarkable Age. I was treated to breakfast in bed, presents in bed, dinner out, and scores of kisses and hugs and “Happy Birthday Mom!”s It was all wonderful and sweet and memorable.

The 16-year old in me, however, still doesn’t know what she wants to be when she grows up. Is still a teeny bit scared of the dark. Still gets pimples. Is still shy about speaking to grownups. And still feels that tickly burning in her breastbone at what wonderful things might happen in her life. I hope she stays inside me for a long, long time.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

This is the hell that’s wrong with me.

I have of late been unable to sustain idle chitchat. I’ve seen it in myself, in some otherworldly out-of-body experience, wherein I stare at myself from above and monitor my speech patterns and concentration and ability to feign interest in someone’s personal life or funny workplace anecdote. I float up there wondering why I’m not more interested, or interestING, or why I don’t step the hell up and shout, “That’s frickin’ SO awesome that you trained your puppy to wear a diaper! Way to go, you! Whoop! Whoop!”

Alas, I cannot.

It’s not that I’m depressed. I’m pretty happy most of the time.

It’s not that I don’t have contact with the outside world…there seem to be no shortage of people wanting to talk to, around, and with me.

It’s just that…I can’t. I can’t get the words to come out. I have somehow lost the ability to politely talk about nothing.

It may be a crisis of self-confidence.
It may be that my thyroid meds need changing.
It may be that the Lupron shot has finally worn off and the temporary menopause has drained me of my former chatty self.
It may be that work is kicking my lily-white heiney each and every day.
It may be that my children, who I love more than life, who I would kill or die for, take the air around me and fill it with stories and aches and problems and jokes and laughter and gut-wrenching sobs, so that my words can’t penetrate their low ground cloud.
It may be that I’m just tired. So, so tired. Spoiled from half a summer on medical leave, and now trying to eke 5 hours of quality sleep time from the dark hours.
It may be that my head is full of ToDos, ShouldDos, MustDos, and CanIDos.
It may be that I'm already thinking !Christmas!, and buying gifts and trying like hell to finally maybe make some gifts already.

I know fer sure that blogging is nearly impossible for me. Doesn’t help that I have to keep it secret, hiding it from the boss and from my co-workers, especially the one who sits in the cube across from me and can see everything I do and every site I go to. Doesn’t help that every night it’s the soccer practice and the dance lessons, and Do Your Homework, and packing lunches, and paying bills, and tallying up the endless school fundraising materials, and maybe I can read the paper and most times not, and maybe a little television while I make my ToDo list for the next day, and where the hell does blogging come in there?

It’s something I have to fight. I guess by just pushing through it. And here endeth another sermon from another blogger with Nothing Much To Say.

(Poetry Friday Word and such will return next week. Along with some giggling and fart jokes.)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Egg Wine

There’s a poster in my new dentist’s office, a harlequin holding two bottles of wine, standing on grapes and eggs, with “VOV” in big letters above the clown.


I Googled it once I returned to work (after the filling, after the bad news about the crown that fell out and would threaten to fall out until she could see me again in 10 days…Ten Days).

Vov is an Italian aperitif. An egg and wine mixture something like zabaglione. Which I’ve never had either, and which is, I would guess, one of those you have to try, experience, and give thumbs up/down on.

I’m all for trying new foods. Especially foods that have been around a while and which, in my white-bread, working class upbringing, never made it to the table of my youth.

But eggs and wine? Ta-gether? Sounds like something we whipped up in college before heading out to the bar, something to coat our stomachs or some such baloney.

Still. I’m willing to give it a chance. Like eggs + cream + whiskey (or rum, hells) equals egg nog.

Meanwhile. I’m still trying to find the damn stuff. I’m purposely on a hunt for a liquor that I don’t need and haven’t tried and may waste good shoe money on.