Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 Review - also, tattoos are permanent, sweetie.

There is one more day left in 2011. I have a lot of FB friends posting about how 2012 is going to be "their year!!!!!" and good things are coming and blah blah blah. What I know for sure is you only have this very second to live. January 1, 2012 isn't guaranteed to any of us and why wait until Sunday to begin your best life ever? Start now.
My 2011 fairly consisted of a beautiful love story carried over from it's unlikely beginning in 2010. This year my kids have continued to grow and remain healthy. They're not perfect, but then, I'm not nearly the perfect mom. My bar is set lower than most, probably. My wish is that they carry over tomorrow what they're practicing today and that they continue their forward progress. My best hope is that they make decent enough choices to see them into a productive and self-reliant adulthood with minimal stresses and heartbreaks. I would call that a Success.

This year also opened up new internal doors for me. While I've largely been content being a secretary, I suddenly decided it wasn't good enough any more. Enrolling in university (online) has given me a new avenue in terms of my brain capacity and possible future educational, professional and economic opportunities. I plan to maximize every.single.resource. available to get to where I'm meant to go.

My extended family has made some interesting life changes this year. My exhusband went from homeless to having a roommate. Last I heard, he was on the road to being homeless again. Part of me wishes there was some miracle that would get his mind right. Part of me doesn't care. The stepkids have gone in completely different directions. My stepson is still in the Marine Corps and he seems to be doing well. My stepdaughter...well. She is still jobless and living with some dude and 4 other people in a one-bedroom apartment. It's unfortunate, but there's little I can do to get her to see where's she's headed. Let's face it, she's been doing the same thing for about 2 years and she's in the same spot: nowhere. On the plus side, she did get a new tattoo. It's a "peace sign" with a butterfly on it. Except....not really. Even my nine year old daughter said, "wait...

.....isn't that a Mercedes sign?" FML.

My resolution for 2012 is to just keep doing what I'm doing today. Your only opportunity to be great is TODAY.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I guess I need to put Armageddon on the 2012 calendar?

My need for order forces me to calendar specific events with each new year. Events such as national/work holidays, kid days off school, daylight savings....and, apparently, the end of the world. Whilst researching the actually day the clocks move forward in spring 2012 I stumbled upon the following list on the website:

When are other Important Days in 2012?
Huh. mmmmm'kay. So, should I put that one on the calendar? If I do calendar it, when should I set the reminder? Fifteen minutes? A week? What is the customary reminder for the end of the world calendar notice? WAIT A DAMN MINUTE! The calendar says the end of the world is December 21st, 2012. Do you know that today is December 21st, 2011! WHAT THE ??

Listen. I don't believe in coincidence. But I do believe in weird shit. Like zombies. And Tinkerbell. And I think it's no coincidence that I just now got a paper cut without touching any paper whatsoever. Unless I got it earlier and just now noticed. Still. I find it strange and mystical. And I bet that wound is totally related to the fact that one year from today, the world will end according to Nostradamus. Won't it be a trip if the prediction is actually right and we all disintegrate? I'm not much a believer in psychic shit, so I won't be giving all my worldly possessions to some crackpot spiritual leader. I won't be spending my last dollars on whores and whisky. I won't walk off the job on the 20th of December 2012 and tell my boss to go fuck herself sideways. But juuuuust in case...I will likely have a quiet dinner at home with ALL my loved ones. You

Thursday, December 15, 2011

New Years Eve 2011 - how the new old folks do it

A couple of years ago I went to a house party on New Years Eve. Actually, I went to 2 house parties.  I had invited a date (let's call him Ed) to go with me to both parties. Earlier on New Years Eve, around 5 or 6pm, Ed calls me and asks if he can bring someone to the party with us. Uh..."someone"? Yeah. I guess he inadvertently invited a date to go on our date.

Ed and I met up at Party #1. He had his date with him and all 3 of us went in. It was more than comical. I'd never been to this couple's house before, but I knew of them and I was specifically invited to the party. While we were there, I made it clear that I was unhappy with Ed bringing an extra date...when I'm uncomfortable, I tend to say mean things. I was very uncharitable to the extra date girl, but really? Who invites herself on someone else's NYE date? Damn desperate.  Anyway, I ran into another couple that I was vaguely acquainted with. The wife asked me who my date was - when I pointed him out, she looked at me and said, "um, who brings sand to the beach?" Exactly. I decided that it was time for me to make an exit and go to Party#2 so I could really let loose. I gave Ed the address for Party#2 and I made it clear that his friend would not be welcome at Party#2 since it was a By-Invitation-only, fully *ahem* adult party.

I don't remember what exactly happened, but I do know Ed showed up at Party#2 at some point, sans extra date. I was told he partied for a while and then left. It didn't matter much to me...I was very busy getting my adult party on. I left that party at 8am. I went home, showered, took a 2 hour nap and went back over to the house to continue partying for the rest of the weekend.  It was one for the books. 

That was the last real outlandish NYE party I attended. This year I wanted to fly away for a 24 hour turnaround trip. It was going to be a surprise for Baby...a la "pack an overnight bag and grab your ID. You'll find out where we're going once we get to the gate." However, between the thought and the execution, the air fare doubled and my plans were foiled.  So, we'll be going to an NBA game and chilling in a hotel downtown for NYE like some old folks. I better pack my fishnets and thigh high boots.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I am really bitter about the salaries of sports athletes

So, I've decided to get some professional sports tickets for Baby for Christmas - our NBA is back on, the NFL team is in the playoffs, we have a college bowl game coming in January. So, I go online to buy a handful of random NBA tickets and, WHAT THE FUCK? If I want to sit in a seat and actually SEE the basketball court, the tickets for certain games are outrageous!!! Baby happens to be a Lakers fan. In March, the Houston Rockets host the LA Lakers. But the tickets?  Check it out for yourself....

Rockets Vs. Lakers Tickets

To get the half decent seats, I'd have to spend 1/2 my rent money.  The HELL? And why, WHY do these teams need to charge that much money for simple tickets. It's not like we're asking to sit in an owners box. Or even at floor level. It's astounding. It would be cheaper to FLY to Los Angeles.

Which is also why I encourage my son to do well in sports and get a college scholarship *heh heh*....I have no problem with him having a piece of that pie!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

And then there were son's first love +1

This not a mommy-blog, HOWEVER, since I am a mom and I do have kids, I feel the need to share this little tidbit. Only because it's one of those things I'll get to keep in the vault and SLING-SHOT back to my son on his wedding day. Or prom night.  One of those.

My 13-year old son had his first date this past weekend.  Yeah. I said it. He "got" a new girlfriend on Friday. How did he "get" her? I guess he met her on facebook or something and they decided to meet up at a skating rink. Hold on....FUCK ME. Okay, now that I'm thinking about it, this is some creepish, pedophile shit, potentially.  DAMMIT! OMG, I fail at motherhood. I promise, it didn't even occur to me until right this second that this was a BAD idea all the way around. Except that it turned out fine. But it COULD have been a horrible kidnapping, arse-fucking situation. *sigh* I need lessons or an intervention or some medical assistance...

Anyway, my son goes to the roller skating rink a couple of Fridays per month when his grades are good and his attitude isn't making me feel murderous. Last Friday, he says he's going to meet up with his girlfriend. Um, "what girlfriend" is what I'm thinking, but....whatever. Here's the funny part - he got there at 7pm but he says he was texting her until 945pm and then he finally met her. He saw a cute girl fall down on her skates, so he went over to help her. She looked up and said, "are you Kendall?" And that's the first time he met her face to face.

This technology age is so damn weird. But he's all smitten and it's really kind of cute. Also, it's working out really well for me. If he wants his phone or he wants to go out, he gets to do extra chores. CHA-CHING.

Sunday, they have a movie date *insert giggles and jeers* Oh, but here's the very best part...her mom is going to accompany them. Oh how I LOVE this! The plan was, the mom would go see a different movie in the same facility. I'm not sure what changed her mind, but she ended up sitting two rows behind, watching the same movie as the kidlets. How awesome is that? My son's first date and the girl's mom horns in on it.

I am SO gonna invite myself to their next date :D

Monday, November 14, 2011

I'm a goddamn slimy slug on the under-belly of humanity

I'll make this short and sweet because it's an ALL OUT VENT. It has nothing to do with anything except that it's just fucking life. But it makes me very angry.

Last week my daughter had her first 4th grade choir recital thingy at her elementary school. Yippee. Here's the sequence of problems.

- We live about an hour commute from where I work.
- Daughter has to be at choir at 6:15pm
- Daughter goes to day care after school
- Day care is on my way home from work
- I work until 5pm
- Unless I leave work early, I will never get her to her school by 615pm.
- My job HATES me. And they hate when I leave early or come in late on account of kid issues.

But guess what? That day? THAT DAY???  I didn't give a good goddamn.  I instant message my boss with "s'okay if I split 15 mins early? my kid has a choir thingy." To which the boss lady replies "ok". That 15 minutes puts me way ahead of the afternoon rush out of downtown. I know I'll probably hear about it from the fucking timecard Nazi about leaving early. But do you know what makes up for the stress of asking to leave and the Gestapo whore breathing down my neck??  THIS:

Daughter: MOM!!  You're early? OMG! You got off a little early just for ME?! *Tearing up* Thanks mom.

See?  Now I'm gonna cry.  Because my kids know that I'm literally stuck to my goddamn desk until 5pm. No matter that my boss is going to her own daughter's glee club stuff and parent-teacher conferences and play rehearsals. It only irks me because that's my level in society.  I'm a subordinate. But not for goddamn much longer. I promise I can only eat this flavor of shit for so long.

Don't get me wrong. I need this job. But moreso, I need my kids to know I love them. And now I'm crying again.

Obviously, I gotta get these hormones under control.

Friday, October 28, 2011

I can prove that Zombies are real

Not only are they real, but they are (apparently) prevalent in downtown Houston. If zombies don't exist, then why would there be a task force dedicated to the complete eradication of the zombie population? Exactly. Such an organization wouldn't exist.  The group's very presence indicates that a likely zombie coup is in the works.

As far as organizations go, I think this Zombie Insurgency Eradicator group is probably really strong. I know they have good employee benefits. They even have a car allowance.

THAT (below) is the Zombie Outbreak Response Vehicle.  For reals.

I am not really afraid of zombies. I mean, they have excellent endurance, but they're REALLY slow runners.  If I get a good head start, I'm pretty sure it would take a zombie several blocks to catch up to me.

Have a great Halloween weekend, y'all!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I wonder if I'll get an A+++ for my first school assignment!

Also, I hope my co-worker never finds this blog.

Here's the task:  Think of a recent occasion when you needed to have a serious and/or potentially contentious conversation with someone important to you (e.g., your parents, supervisor, romantic partner or roommate). Describe that communication interaction in terms of the seven components of the communication process (i.e., message creation, meaning creation, context, participants, etc.). If you were going to study this communication occasion, what paradigm would you use to approach it (scientific, interpretive, etc.)?  Why?

And here's my assignment  I hope I haven't gone too far (again)....

Because I live a fairly peaceful life and I try to avoid contentious discussions, I will relay a conversation that occurred between a co-worker and my own boss [participants].  My (female) boss decide that she was uncomfortable with my co-worker’s office attire being entirely too suggestive. She e-mailed my co-worker and requested that they meet face to face [channel] before the end of the work day, as close to 5pm as possible. My co-worker agreed to meet in my boss’ office at 4:45pm that day [setting].
My boss relayed that she found my co-worker’s attire degrading and insulting, and she suggested that perhaps my co-worker could wear longer skirts and wear blouses that were less revealing of her ample cleavage [message creation]. My boss offered the explanation that, working in a conservative, service industry environment, my co-worker should make a different impression on our clients and visitors [meaning creation and context].
My co-worker was taken aback because our office does not have a written dress code.  Nor has anyone ever suggested that any staff members were in violation of an unwritten wardrobe rule. Because my boss’ glass-walled office is partially exposed to the hallway and I happen to sit immediately outside my boss’ office [noise], my coworker felt exposed and she provided very little return communication [feedback].  She listened, thanked my boss for her advice and went back to her desk.
By the way, two days later, my office received a new dress code policy.

I would study this exchange under the social science approach. I think I would like to know more about my boss’ real concern about my co-worker’s mode of dress and what drove her to open a dialog that lead to a policy change. I would also be interested to understand the reason my co-worker feels compelled to wear her pheromones to work. 

Okay.  If I get an F I'll know that I need to tone it down and start being all academic and shit.  FML, I'm probably not cut out for this kind of adult responsibility.

UPDATE:  Who's your daddy now bitches?  I got 100%. Yeah.  I'm bad.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Teenagers today are WEAK...we 80's kids knew how to get our Teen on

I wasn't a good teenager.  I was trouble. Drugs, parties, running away.  Oh, I've got some fun stories.  Like the time my friend Margo and I took off, got on a Greyhound, took it as far as our money would take us (1/2 way to our final intended destination), started hitchhiking, wound up at some old dude's house, too much weed and hashish, got back out on the road on foot, more hitchhiking, coffee shops, Christian families who pick up hitchhiking teens, blah, blah, blah....  But this story isn't about me.  It's about one of my kids and how I am training each one to be fully evil.

*CAVEAT - none of this is illegal, so don't bother sending CPS to look for me *

When my (now 19 year old) stepdaughter was in the 9th or 10th grade, she was being harassed mercilessly by a former girlfriend, Tati. I don't know why or what really happened, but I know that they used to be best of friends and then *shrug* they weren't.  Stepdaughter would tell me stories Tati spreading rumors about my stepdaughter.  Eventually, when you give me enough ammo, you'll get a pretty cool fire-fight.

One day, my stepdaughter came to me with a note.  The note was a love letter handwritten by Tati and some horned up boy at school.  They were passing the note back and forth in class.  The note went something like this:

Boy:  So, when you gonna let me hit it?

Tati: whenever you want. You wanna come to my house? The address is ....

Boy:  Yeah.

Tati:  ok, my mom won't be home, so come over tomorrow right after school and I'll give you alllll the loving (insert lurid and graphic details of what she plans to do to the boy).

Boy: right on. I'll be there and I'll (insert lurid and graphic details of what he plans to do to Tati).

While most parents would be disturbed and outraged that 2 young people were writing back and forth in such a manner, THIS mom right here?  Meh.  I don't care.  I know kids are "doing it".  Hell I'M doing it. But again, this is not about me.

"So, uh, you want Tati to stop messing you at school? I think we can get her fully distracted enough to just leave you alone.  Gimme that note."

The next day, in an unprecedented sneak attack, hundreds of copies of that very personal handwritten note, complete with the girl's address and her (and the boy's) names/signatures, were found strewn all over the school - in the cafeteria, in the locker room, in the hallways, on the football field....

Moral?  Don't fuck with my kids.  I have a lot of pent up teenage angst to unleash.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I'm completely sane. Until you put me in the kitchen.

I hate cooking.  Truly.  I could live on sandwiches every day for the rest of my life.  I AM an absolute wizard on sammiches. It seems, though, that children and other family members like their food cooked from time to time.  Also, they enjoy baked goods.  As much of a disaster as I am COOKING I can actually bake quite well.  I guess it bears mentioning that I can follow the hell out of a cook book and I have lots of measuring utensils. Which means, of course, that I can get a recipe right 9 times out of 10.

The other night my daughter wanted to make a chocolate cake.  Perfect! All she needs is eggs, applesauce (we use applesauce instead of cooking oil or butter) and water.  THANK YOU BETTY CROCKER! So, she does a lovely job mixing and greasing pans - she's making a 2-layer cake. NOM NOM! As the cake is happily baking, she takes the icing out of the pantry so she can sniff it and look at it and love on it before spreading the chocolate love all over that warm cake. WHAT THE WHAT??  She brings me the icing container - the one we just bought the day before. There was a big nasty hole in the "protective" aluminum cover under the plastic lid.  We immediately blamed my son because he's the type of kid to go sticking his fingers where they don't belong. I charged upstairs to his cave to accuse him of fingering the icing. He vehemently denied having touched it.  Usually he also lies, so I berated him until he almost cried.  Which means he wasn't lying so I let him go back to sleep. Knowing that some strange supermarket kid (we hope it was a supermarket kid) had violated our icing, we trashed it. None of us wanted to risk the likely hepatitis or typhoid.

Baby said, "well, why don't you just MAKE some icing?"


And that's where my mind went dark and I felt very stabby towards him. I suddenly lost any sense I had while he explained how to reduce the chocolate chips, blah blah blah. FUCK ME! My daughter is standing there with that Puss In Boots eye thing, like she might drop a tear at any moment if I don't woman-up and make some goddamn icing. FINE! I stomp over to the fridge and break out the whipping cream.  EXPIRED?! Sonofabitch! Can we use half and half?  Who cares. We're using half and half. I get the cream warming on the stove and I flail over to the pantry in high dramatic fashion and snatch out the stupid chocolate chips.  I'm whisking the chocolate chips in the warm cream and while they're melting, Baby is tossing suggestions out, like, "Hey BAY-BAY! I think you should put some sugar in there. Do we have any powdered sugar?  No? I guess regular sugar's okay.....hey you know what? Throw it all in the mixer, baby."  I could have died right there and taken everyone with me.  Not only do I not WANT to be standing here attempting to make something I've never made and don't even like to eat, but now you're throwing suggestions at me from the couch?! I FARKING KEEEEEL YOU!!!!!! First of all, there's not enough stuff to even make the mixer bowl full enough, and no I'm NOT going to use the hand mixer. I am WHISKING, goddammit.

As my blood pressure continues to rise and my brain is devising various ways to murder my family using sugar and egg whites, I realize it's my daughter's bed time. She is very dejected about not being able to ice her cake , however she is moreso, thrilled to be getting away from me and my kitchen rage. After tucking my daughter in, I returned to the kitchen to continue my torture...except, wait.  The kid has gone to bed.  I don't have to pretend I'm TRYING to make some icing. I take the pot off the stove, grab some wine, light a smoke and sit my happy ass down on the couch.  Baby takes one look at me and decides that if anyone is going to finish the icing experiment, it AIN'T gonna be me.  I just spent a week's worth of angst in 45 minutes in that stupid kitchen.  I. Am. Done.

On the way home through a thunderstorm yesterday, my daughter and I stopped to get icing. Before we paid for it, she looked at me and then took the lid off the container.  Thankfully, there was no finger hole in the aluminum. Total and absolute mom melt-down #2 averted. Thank you, Carmen.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Cheese and RICE! I've gone and done it now...

Last week during the Fest-o-Spite, I was messing around on the computer while bored at work.  I, for some unknown and probably very subliminal reason, went to the FAFSA website.  See, it used to be complicated and convoluted and challenging to submit the federal financial aid application.  Now?  Now it's as easy as updating your facebook status. Without even fully realizing it, I had the whole thing filled out and submitted.  One of the boxed that needed checking was the "school code" box so that the school (or schools) you might apply to will receive your financial aid info. I had been looking at a couple of online programs - one at TSU and one at ASU.  The ASU online program was exactly what I was looking for.  Suddenly, and without much forethought, I contacted ASU to apply for the BS-Communication online degree program.  Turns out, I'll be able to transfer most of the lowly credits I received from junior college in California in the mid-90's.

I'm just sitting here thinking about what a difference a year makes. Last year I was all about partying and living life!!!!  Turns out, I can live life just as well with an education.  Even better, probably. I also figure that now that I'm older I'll probably give a shit that I'm spending money to learn something.  This means I'll probably pass mostly everything and keep decent deadlines and bring an online apple for the teacher. In other words, I'll be my 9-year old daughter.

Here's to getting bright, using new words that I don't understand, and fighting educational and financial bureaucracy for the next 2-3 years.  Go me.

Monday, September 12, 2011

I have a disease called SPITE


[spahyt] Show IPA noun, verb, spit·ed, spit·ing.
1. a malicious, usually petty, desire to harm, annoy, frustrate, or humiliate another person; bitter ill will; malice.
2. a particular instance of such an attitude or action; grudge.
3. Obsolete . something that causes vexation; annoyance.
I don't think it's particularly malicious, how I execute my spite.  It, moreso, has to do with: when I get really angry to the point of the humiliating, public, "angry-cry", I get very very driven to SHOW SOMEONE. That someone doesn't have to be a real person.  Shit, the someone is frequently me.  So. I think I'm spite-y towards myself.  If that's possible.  The good part of that, though, is that it always moves me fervently forward in my personal growth and life progress.
Apparently, last week's talking-to got me real mad.  And I decided that I need to not work for other people for a whole lot longer.  I like when other people pay me. I like that I'm not ultimately responsible for the well-being of the company, its staff or its product(s). But I don't like that I have to check in with someone and I have to account to someone. And I obviously don't want to keep the office hours that have been firmly suggested to me. And by firmly, I mean, "keep these hours or we'll fire you".  I have, therefore, decided to further reduce stress in my life.  I will be slowly and methodically looking for a cushy job closer to home that pays nearly the same with similar or better benefits. I don't know if such a thing exists, but I aim to find out.
I have also decided to earn my degree.  In the mid-90's I went to a community college in California.  It was mostly for shits and giggles, but, turns out some of those credit will likely transfer.  Yay me!!
While most people fight against their main disease or illness, I usually let mine carry me away.  Oddly, my ailments are usually and eventually to my benefit.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Things that make puppies sing and difficult women behave

Yesterday was very trying. UP, down. UP, down. UP, down.

My car developed an severe attitude on Friday night and she decided to act her age.  Which in dog years means she's about 77. She blew a bunch of hoses and she hissed and she whined and she got all hot under the collar. Tempermental bitch. I had to have her towed to the shop but, because it was a long weekend, I had to wait until they opened back up on Tuesday.  I worked from home Tuesday so I could sign the car over to the tow company.  This all means, of course, that I had no way to get to work.

Yesterday, I carpooled with Baby - I dropped him off and took his car in to work. I arrived around 9am. My regular office hours are 830am to 5pm and because I'm a glorified secretary and cannot, apparently, make adult decisions, I must turn in a time card and I have to answer to some overpaid office bitch who is underworked and bored to tears.

Strike #1: late to work

I had planned to leave work early yesterday for my son's first football game. I asked my boss and she was fine with it. She recommended I e-mail the office Nazi, which I did. Apparently it has been decided that certain people I work with HATE me.  I'm cool with that. However, I had a good talking to by The Big Cheese about my work hours. Okay, okay...I hardly ever get to work by 830am. I will not, however, apologize for asking to leave an hour early to go watch my son play football.  Missing a kid event is one of those things a kid remembers for a lifetime. Will my coworkers remember I left an hour early on September 7th, 2011?  Very unlikely.

Strike #2: stern talking to about my work hours

I went to the football game after picking up the daughter from day care.  Baby was already at the game.

UNstrike #1: made it to the game and Baby supported my son (insert hearts and butterflies and kittens stuffed with rainbows)

UNstrike #2:  they won the football game :D

I had my son's optometrist appointment scheduled for tomorrow, but since I didn't know when I was getting the car back from the shop, I called to reschedule. Keep in mind I work from "830am" to 5pm. The eye doc does have late hours twice a week, but they couldn't fit my son in for several weeks. Yeah...that's not gonna work. They offered me a 10am next week.  Again...not gonna work for my schedule.  Really?  How about a 3pm tomorrow.  HELLO?  Perhaps my English isn't so good.  I need to work you into MY schedule know what? It's fine.  I'm afraid I'm going to have to fire you now.

Strike 3: find a new eye doc soonest so my son can get contacts.

I called an eye place near the fired eye place.  Not only are they still close by, but they had THREE Saturday appointments for this weekend. (YEAH!!)

UNstrike #3: scheduled eye appointments

I received a call from my mechanic about the car.  They were all done! YAY!  I can have my car back....after shelling out $511

Strike #4: pay out the ass for some fucking hoses

UNstrike #4: just so happens I have the money to be able to do it and I'll pick up the car Thursday.

The same afternoon (yesterday) I finally got a call back from my doctor.  I've been having a few "women's health issues" and I need to get it resolved soonest.  There are a few things I refuse to give up in my life and sex is one of them. The nurse suggested I come back in for another look-see.  Yeah....good call, sweets.  That's exactly what I was thinking. Hopefully we can come to an agreement on a course of treatment (read: they do what the hell I want them to do).

UNstrike #5: fix uterus

Because I was feeling stressed about all the silliness of the day, I decided to shop.  My type of shopping involved ordering DirectTV for the house so we could catch all the football games and all the premium channels. *HAPPPPPY SIGH* Well, I figure it's better than coming home with a bag full of shoes or jewelry.

UNstrike #6: buy stuff in order to feel better

Oh, I'm sure there were more trials yesterday of the regular sort: traffic, dinner, trash day, homework, carpooling. But all that was forgotten when, after the kids were in bed and the house was quiet, Baby laid me across his lap and played in my hair. This is the final and eternal cure for EVERYTHING.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Of Booblings, Scroticles and the VJJ [aka how men are titty-babies]

So, at the tender age of 42 (which is right now), I finally had my first mammogram.  Yesterday I posted that I was having my breasticles mashed and a male friend commented that it wasn't so bad.  Not as bad, let's say, as having a hernia exam.  And this is where I give you the gory details of what men go through versus what women go through.  EVERY.SINGLE.YEAR.

To the men, the doctor says: "Please bend over and cough. Thank you.  Okay, I need to slip my finger in....I'm sorry about that. We're all done here."

And here's what we get to do once a year:

For the pap sear, the doctor says:  "Please lay back and put your feet in the stirrups. Now, slide allll the way down until your bottom is at the edge of the bed.  Thank you.  Now let your legs MORE please. There we go.  Okay, a little pressure....this instrument will be a little cold [instrument in question is probably twice the size of your average penis, thankyouverymuch...also, ice cold]. No, don't tense up, please RELAX THE VAGINA. [FML, are you kidding?] Okay, a little more pressure and.... [SNIP - they steal a piece of cervix in a ninja move]...okay. Now, let me just [sneak attack into the bunghole with a slimy finger] and you can scoot back now. Please lay still while I check your uterus [2 fingers up the VJJ pressing upward, the other hand pressing downward]. Okay, this feels fine [more pressing and finger roaming in the 'giner]. Okay. Do you do monthly self-breast exams?  Let's have a feel [uncovers one breast, pressing down all around the breast - repeat process for second breast].  SO [snapping off gloves] I may have felt a little something and I'd like you to have a quick ultrasound.  Do you have time for that now?  Yes?  Good.  Okay, go next door and check in with the tech."

Part 2 of pap smear [same doc appointment, by the way]: "Hi. You can leave your top on, but I need you to undress from the waist down and cover up with this paper sheet.....all done?  Okay, please lay back and put your feet in the stirrups. Now, slide allll the way down until your bottom is at the edge of the bed.  Thank you.  Now let your legs relax...  Okay. This WAND will be a little cold...just relax....[insert jelly-lubed phallic wand up into vag. For anyone who thinks this is like masturbating, you'd be totally wrong]. So, I'm just going to go around and have a look.  Feel free to watch on the TV monitor [wand goes around the innards and the tech stops here and there to take stills and measurements.  Wand stay in there going around and around for a quite uncomfortable 10 minutes or so].  Okay, we're all done.  You can wipe up all the jelly and goo with that paper sheet and then you can get dressed.  The doctor will call you with any results.  Have a GREAT day!"

[walk gingerly to the car since you feel a bit like a horseback riding event gone horribly wrong, still slightly slick inside the thighs with lube and feeling oddly bloated]

BUT WAIT BOYS!  There's MORE!!!  I haven't even gotten to the mammogram yet. You still think your little ball pat and pinky in the recty is akin to what we get to do every year? 

The mammogram machine is like a sideways, Plexiglas vice grip. The tech literally positions your breasts, one at a time, onto the bottom platform and, with a foot pedal, brings the top platform down onto the low as you can stand it.  This goes on for 2 or 3 different angles and pictures.  The next time, fellas, you put your balls in a vice grip and have someone smash down on them, lemme know so we can compare notes.

Listen, I completely understand that most men are titty-babies when it comes to medical stuff and pain and whatnot.  But PLEASE don't insult us by even daring to suggest that your exams are anything like ours.  I mean, I didn't even get into the whole childbirth stuff, what with the mucous plug and the snail trail and the leaky collostom and the spinal tap and the placenta and the stitches, etc....  You're welcome.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

That bird at my door last night wasn't a bird

The following excerpt was borrowed from USA Today:

An enormous brood of cicadas that covers parts of 16 states is beginning to wake from its 13-year slumber underground.

The inch-long insects, which are sometimes mistakenly called 17-year locusts, have been reported hatching in South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina and Arkansas. They will appear farther north as soil temperatures reach 64 degrees. [and fucking TEXAS]

The cicadas don't bite or sting and only suck liquid from tree branches, but their sheer numbers, and the din they make when the males start singing as they search for mates, can be annoying. [annoying?!!? it's like torture....won't they just SHUT UP  and get laid already?!]

Enjoy them, says Gene Kritsky, editor of the journal AmericanEntomologist. "It's like watching a nature video in your backyard." [oh, we'll see about THAT, Gene]

For those who find walking through bugs to be the ultimate gross out, there's good news: The cicadas will die in a month, and the next generation won't emerge until 2024. Scientists call these cicadas the Great Southern Brood or Brood XIX. It is the world's largest "periodical" brood, one that surfaces after years.

Cicadas aren't dangerous, and are non-toxic and even edible, says Kritsky, a biology professor at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati. "The Iroquois ate them all the time." [they couldn't find a decent bison? they had to eat big ass nasty BUGS? C'mon man...]

Even so, the bugs are annoying: They get in people's hair, their cars, their picnics and their houses. [not in these here parts, Pardner.]

In all there are 15 broods, as the offspring groups are known: 12 of the 17-year variety and three of the 13-year kind. So most years, there is a brood hatching somewhere. Greg Hoover, an entomologist at Pennsylvania State University, says there was none in 2009 or 2010, which means the arrival of this year's Brood XIX "could kind of come as a surprise to people."

Here is a picture of the nasty little bastards.

The USA Today thinks its so smart....they never even discussed the flammability of cicadas.  It has been proven (in my backyard) that cicada wings are HIGHLY flammable.  Their legs and feet , not so flammable. And frankly, he's only gonna live a couple more weeks according to this article...he can live wingless, I say.  I wonder how that mating song goes without wings? Nasty motherfuckers....

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I'm not really what you'd call "maternal"

Last year when I picked up my 12-year old son from football practice, he was complaining about pain in his elbow.  Do you have any kids?  If you have kids you KNOW what a hypochondriac is.  There's a new damn ailment He's always complaining about his knee or his some stupid paper cut or some other phantom injury.  So, naturally, I ignored this elbow pain.

As I'm preparing dinner I tell the boy to go sit down at the table and do his homework. He complies. Hmmmm...that's weird. Since when doesn't he fight me on having to do menial unimportant things like homework? This is very curious. I can see that he's very quietly writing his math equations, albeit at a very strange writing angle. Er...

ME:  C'mere boy.

Son: [comes over to the stove]

Me: [big dramatic sighhhhh]  Okay, so what's this about your arm hurting?  How'd you hurt it?

Son: [holding his upper arm in his other hand]  I dunno.  When I went to tackle one kid, my arm kinda snapped backwards. And now my elbow hurts.

Me: [overly dramatic eye rolling] Lemme see...huh. [touching around the elbow] Ummmm. wait.  Is that a bone sticking out right there?

Son:  [shrug} I dunno.  It just kinda hurts.

Me: [grabbing my purse] CARRRRRMEN! Get in the car!! We need to take your brother to the hospital.

We go the nearest Urgent Care clinic. The doctor examines him and says, "I think it's just probably a tendon or a bad sprain" and it's funny because as much inner hate and torture that I was wanting to unleash on the doctor, I very calmly said, "no.  It's broken.  I need you to take an x-ray. I know my son's bones and this one isn't right."

After the x-ray came back, the doctor declared that the elbow was, indeed, broken and son would likely need a cast or surgery.

Moral of this story: if your child is holding how own limb, probably you should call a doctor.

I am loathe to admit this, but I have a similar story for my daughter....  When my daughter was about 16 mos old, she had the flu. It was such a wicked flu that she wouldn't really eat anything and she'd barf up the meds I was trying to give her to keep her fever down.  I did still take her to day care because I had to work, but they called me and said to come get her because she was just unnaturally listless and wouldn't eat. I spent the next 2 days on the couch with her trying to keep her cool and shoving Advil bullet suppositories up her rectum. Poor little cherub looked horrible...she was all sad and she'd look at me like "hhhhelllpppp mmmeeee....." and I just sat there shoving weird shit into her and waiting for the fever to break.  I can't remember what the reason was....maybe someone suggested it...but I finally took her to the hospital affiliated urgent care up the street.

Me: [with baby in the stroller] Hi, I need my baby checked out.  She's had the flu for a few days and she just isn't doing well.

Doctor: Let's see here....

Baby:  gggguuuuuuu *HURL*

Doctor:  OH! OH dear!!

Me:  OMG! That's just NASTY! What is that?! She hasn't even eaten in 2 days! Is that...soup??

Doctor:  Let's get a towel....  No, that's not soup.  That's phlegm. Please go downstairs for an immediate chest x-ray.  I believe your daughter has pneumonia.

Me:  [deer in the fucking headlights]

-after the chest x-ray-

Doctor:  [looking slightly smug and judgy]  Yes, just as I suspected. Your daughter has pneumonia.  Please take this envelope of chest x-rays and drive immediately to the hospital. 

And so that's the story of how we almost spent Christmas in the hospital. Three or so days of IV treatment and they sprung us on Christmas Eve.

Moral of THAT story? Pay a-goddam-tention to your kid.

Signed, World's Most Unmaternal Mom

Friday, August 5, 2011

Precious Moments of an Intoxicated Child

Son 13-yo is having surgery.  I mean, he is currently having surgery right this exact instant. I'm in the pediatric waiting room. There's a woman sitting behind me - we're separated by glass.  However, she's so close she could read what I'm writing right now. It's disconcerting. Also, why is it so cold in here? I feel like I'm sitting in a very colorful and sparkly server room.

While in pre-op, the nurse gave my son some versed to keep him relaxed before the procedure.  He drank it down and we waited.  For a short 5 minutes or so.  He insisted that he didn't feel a thiiiiing and he then mentioned something about Mr. T.

Me: You mean Dr. T. [the surgeon's name is too long to pronounce, so everyone calls him dr. T]

Son: Yeah.  Mr. T.

Son: stares off into the horizon....He pities the fool.

Mmmmm'kay baby.  I think the versed has kicked in.

Son lays back in the bed and then suddenly leans out of it to lay his head on my leg.

Son: Hambone, hambone....unghgf

Son:  what's hambone.

Son slides off the bed.... I need help now. Aso, I like theversed.  Maybe I need an intervention...

This is the best day ever.  It's the last time I'll ever watch him get high, laugh about it and insist he's more high than he thinks he is.  I shall miss this day once it's over.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I am Terrified of Spontaneous Human Combustion

I have succeeded in terrifying myself to the point that I'm afraid to even sit here and write this.

My car has no air conditioning at the moment.  It is 100+ degrees in Houston and has been kissing 100 degrees for about the past 8-9 weeks, every single day. I have taken to driving home from work with a big Ziploc bag of ice.  My coworkers know when it's almost 5pm because they call it "getting my a/c" from the office ice maker. It is so hot on my afternoon commute that I'm not even nearly ashamed that I walk around with a bag of ice. 

The other day I picked up my daughter from day care.  We were remarking about how hot it was in the car.  Even with all the windows down and the sunroof open, we still pass the leftover ice bag back and forth between us to reduce the chance of overheating.  Which, to my dismay, led my daughter to ask me if spontaneous human combustion was possible.  It's days like these I wish I had been a drinker when I was pregnant with this child.  She is far smarter than your average 8 year old and I am very very exhausted by her intelligence. Anyway, her question about combustion was pretty benign.  I didn't really have an answer except to say that I've heard of it, but there is some question as to how real spontaneous human combustion is.

Ever since that conversation, I've been trying to ignore the nagging fear in my bowels. I mean, let's be honest.  How often does a person really combust? What needs to be inside a person to trigger or promote combustion? I probably don't have any of those flammable elements.  Expect maybe for the wine.  Is wine very flammable?  Not to mention I'm 42 and I do get hot flashes a couple times per week.  What if I had a hot flash at night after 1/2 a bottle of wine? How fast would the bed go up? Should I keep a fire extinguisher by the bed and tell Baby to sleep lightly in case of combustion? He's very hairy.  If I go up, he doesn't stand a fighting chance.

I started to wonder where I might find combustion information and to my horror, YouTube is the best source.  As you probably know, YouTube is the source for everything any more.  I learned how to change my VW headlight from a YouTube video.  You can learn how to set up a bong, how to dance like a stripper, how to grown your hair....and how to combust.

I am now convinced that I will probably die any day from internal combustion. My family won't have anything to bury expect my hands and feet.  However, they'll save a whole shitload on cremation fees. If it wasn't so hot out I'd go shop for a lovely vase or urn.  But I'd probably combust in the car on the way to the urn shoppe (shoppe instead of shop because I'm sure it's a fancy specialty type place). I wonder if there's an online urn shoppe. Once the online urn is delivered, maybe the family can recycle the bubble wrap for shipping and delivery of my un-combusted hands and feet to the crematorium. I wonder how much it costs to cremate just the extremities?

I'll be spending the rest of the day scribbling out a will. Just in case.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Some Ex-Spouses should be set ablaze

My exhusband has 2 kids with his first wife. In 1997, when the kids were 4 and 7, she split and she left the kids with my exhusband...said exhusband was shacking up with me at the time (we met well after their divorce - I'm a harlot, not a homewrecker). Exhusband and I had a son in July 1998 and a daughter in August 2002.  In 2009, after 12 fucked up years, I left exhusband, taking my 2 kids and my stepdaughter. In 2010, ex moved back to California.

Okay, are we all caught up?  Exxxxxcellent.  This information is germane to the rest of this post.  It is a true story and only the names have been changed to protect the innocent (namely, my kids).

Last Friday was ex's birthday. My daughter was set to call him in the afternoon after day care to wish him a happy birthday.  Stepdaughter texted him in the morning. My son, whose birthday was 2 weeks ago, received a call from his dad some time Friday on his own cell phone.  Strangely, there was a message on the home phone from ex with the greeting "Hi Ken and Nicole" which is only 1/2 correct.  Ken is our shared son and Nicole hasn't lived with me for over a year.  He got OUR daughter's name wrong.  Which is quite common. He spells it wrong all the time.  It's quite shameful.  But I digress (for now).  After picking up my daughter, she tried to call her dad, but his cell phone was not on (overdue bill probably).  On the way home from day care, however, he was able to borrow a phone and he called my cell in search of daughter.

*ring ring* I hand the phone to daughter since it's ex's area code and I KNOW he isn't calling for me.

Daughter:  Hey dad. Happy birthday!

*insert drunken slurring from ex* [we're on speaker because she can't hear him on the handset for some odd reason]

SOB:  Hi baby. How are ya. Lemme talk to your mom.


Daughter: (clearly nervous, hands me the cell phone)

ME: Hi.

SOB: Issss mah bithday.

ME:  Yes.  I know.  Happy birthday. (Keep it cool, girl.  Your kid is in the car)

SOB: Um, c'you pay my phone?

ME:  I'm sorry? What was that?? (Barely able to keep the laugh in)

SOB: C'you plea pay mah phone bill.  Isss mah birfday.

ME:  (choking down the hysteria) I'm sorry.  I can not do that.

SOB: Ungh. 'Kay. (random gurgling) Lemm talk to Daughter.

They chatted for about another 20 seconds and then he hung up.  When I got home Ken asked if his dad had called me.  He mentioned that his dad had called him and asked for my cell number.

I asked son, "did he tell you it was is birthday?"

Son: Yeah. Of course.

Me:  Did you mention to him that he forgot to call you on YOUR birthday 2 weeks ago?

Son: No, Mom. I'm not that kind of person.

Me:  Hopefully you'll grow into being that kind of person, babe. It's just not okay.

I used to want my ex to quietly pass away on the couch. Nowadays, I don't care if he goes out long as he goes out. Yeah.  I said that shit.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Hurricane is coming. THE HURRICANE IS COMING!

Well, not exactly...

I will be stopping at Walmart on the way home this evening to stock up on supplies for the coming hurricane.  Okay, it's not a hurricane, it's a tropical storm, but I guran-dam-TEE you it will be the only thing Texans talk about from now until the weekend.  And also, I bet a month's rent that Walmart is packed with people in a frenzy: OH GOD! get snacks! GET WATER!! We're all gonna DIE!!!! I love the weather craze in this state.

Tropical Storm Don is entering the Gulf of Mexico and the projected path is Southeast Texas (Houston/Galveston).  Hopefully I'll have some personal "people of walmart" pics for you tomorrow.

UPDATE:  well that was very very disappointing.  There was no mayhem, no pushing and shoving, no wild-eyed feeding frenzy on the bottled water and the charcoal. There wasn't even a misfit available for my photographic pleasure.  Walmart, you continue to disappoint me. And yet...I continue to need you.  We are so dysfunctional. And I just can't quit you.  With anyluck we'll get a good tropical storm and I shall come to you again, after the flood waters recede, to replenish our supplies of low-quality goods and foodstuffs.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Drunk Men Shouldn't Attend Baby Showers

This past weekend the kids, Baby and I went to Baby's niece's baby shower.  The baby-daddy is a young 20-something Latino.  He seems nice enough.  However, there's apparently an unspoken code about accepting new males into the family. The code may involve violence or bladder-loosening fear.

Baby was in charge of the margarita's, which....I'm not sure it's wise to ever have liquor at a baby shower for two 20-something, underemployed, previous-baby-mama/daddy-having idjits. It is very possible that we unintentionally served alcohol to some minors, also. By the third pitcher of margaritas and one empty large bottle of 1800 Tequila later, the menfolk were getting rowdy in the kitchen and the women had retreated outdoors. GAME ON BITCHES! The niece's stepdad and Baby thought it was time to give the young baby-daddy the business. This is a phenomenon also known as Quien Es Mas Macho or Who Has The Bigger Nut Sack. Liquid courage is a dangerous thing.

Baby:  Let's GO!  Come on!  We can go out back and wrestle.

[I need to break in here to remind you that Baby and the stepdad are 40-ish.]

Hostess [Baby's sister]:  OMG!  Not wrestling!

Stepdad: [throws down his watch and IPhone] LET'S DO THIS! 

Baby: [pulls out a wad of cash, throws down $100 bill] I put a c-note on it.  COME ON, Son!  What you got?!

New Baby-Daddy: [deer in the headlights]

Larry [Baby-Daddy's friend]: hey...uh.  There's a basketball court up the street.

Stepdad and Baby in unison:  HELL YEAH!!  Let's go boys!

Stepdad goes into his room to change.  Baby, however, did not have a change of clothes. He burst in on his 8-year old nephew.

Baby: Gimme those shorts, boy.

Nephew: [looks down at the shorts he's wearing] No. [returns to playing his Xbox]

Baby: Dammit... [rummages through nephew's belongings]

Enter Stage left:  Baby in an 8-year old's pair of white basketball shorts.

Fuck My Life. Remember back in the 70's when dudes used to wear their jeans so tight that it was the equivalent of a camel-toe?  A male camel toe is basically what Baby was offering us.  I need to remind you that we're still at a BABY SHOWER.

[insert more shit talking from the elder statesmen]

Grandpa, in an effort to maintain some order, ushered all the boys into his large SUV.  The niece and I followed in my car. Poor she is 9 months pregnant and she's about to watch her uncle and her stepdad humiliate, torture and possibly injure her boyfriend.

The basketball game commences, but WAIT.  There's already a little boy on the court. They somehow commandeer his basketball and he takes it upon himself to be the unofficial official. Why was this little boy talking more shit than anyone else?  I think he was feeding off the testosterone of the players. The one hour long game was punctuated by one twisted knee, one turned ankle, a minor groin pull, a possible rib contusion, several trips and falls, very FEW jump shots made, and a handful of blisters.  The niece almost went into labor and started yelling "I'm gonna call my MOM" when Baby and the baby-daddy started wrestling for the ball and neither would give an inch.

The moral of this story is: when you decide to have a baby, meet the WHOLE family first and decide if you really wanna get involved with these machismo nutjobs. The initiation could get you killed.

I give props to the Baby-Daddy though.  As bad as their basketball skills were, they beat the old farts by 3 points. And no one got shanked.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Vagina Dialogues

I have a very diverse group of friends...all races, nationalities, colors and sizes, regular people, executive types, swingers, bisexuals, transgenders, wholesome christian folks and everyone in between. Nine times out of ten all of us are able to coexist in harmony and things stay sane, respectful and calm.  Sometimes, though, debauchery breaks out and unbelievably wild things go on. It's these times that I pray my memory keeps and I'm able, in my later years, to recall how hard I lived and that I lived how I wanted, enjoying every moment of life without doing harm to man or the environment. Or small farm animals.

Tonight I'm going to an all-girl party.  I won't be able to post any details.  I will say that the hostess stipulates that all cameras will be confiscated at midnight. You do the math.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Where I prove that I may have a lil ADD

I heard on the radio this morning that a guy in South Texas reported seeing a chupacabra.  He swears it was a real chupacabra...or a really hairy coyote. But probably a chupacabra.  I started to look up the news story on the intertubes and I realized that almost all the chupacabra stories and sightings are in Texas. *hmmmmm* Either we're insane here in the south, or there's something sinister lurking.  Until I see my very own chupacabra, I will reserve judgment.

In downtown today, while on my smoke break, I watched a cop pull over a dump truck. The truck drove on for a couple of blocks.  I assume he didn't realize he was being closely followed by the cop since the cop had no siren blaring. They need to figure out a way to put a siren on a horse. This was the second time I've seen a horseman stop a traffic violator. It is very disconcerting.  I think they can only issue tickets, right? I mean, how do you cuff a suspect and put him in the back of.....wait.  ON the back of ....nope.  Just can't see it.

There are lots of animals in Texas.  Lots of animals all the time everywhere.  In the spring driving into work I see no less than 4 species of animals per morning commute: bird of some sort, a pack of vultures [I don't count them as birds because they're just so gross and stuff], bunnies [probably feral, rip-the-skin-off-your-face bunnies, but super cute from a distance], deer [please don't run in front of my moving car], horses and cows. I don't see too many deer in the summer, but they are out in full force in the spring and fall seasons. I think I had a point to make with all this animal talk, but I've since lost interest because...

OOOOH!!  Snacks!!

Buh Bye.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Does the nation need a Death Museum? Apparently so.

I was driving through the hood yesterday and I noticed the National Museum of Funeral History. My first obvious thought was, "well, at least the gang murder victims won't have to go far". Which, come on now.   That's TOTALLY unfair and very prejudiced of me.  I mean, the museum isn't the Coroner. And the Coroner comes to you, doesn't he? travel time involved at all.

What I didn't understand about the museum was: isn't death a pretty basic natural occurence?  Who needs a whole museum for death and funerals?  Apparently the nation does.

I was looking through the website this morning.  I have no intention of visiting the museum.  I have an uncanny "gift" for creating mayhem.  It would be just like me to end up getting trapped in a fancy, antique coffin when I accidentally on purpose got into it just to see what it feels like.  I'd suffocate overnight and then the next day, the new visitors would think I was just some rotting part of the funeral exhibit. I'd be stuck in a damn museum for eternity with people staring at me and judging me all day long for a price. I can do that without being dead thankyouverymuch.

I was looking at the "Admission" section and they should totally change the name to something like "Museum Visitor Entry and Exit Costs".  Frankly I don't ever want to be "admitted" to a funeral museum.  I just think the implications are sketchy and a little terrifying. There's nothing in the "admission" page that suggests you get to exit.  I don't think I need to add that a museum is always looking to upgrade its material and keep things - *gag* - fresh for the audience. I'm really disturbed that kids under 3 are being admitted for free.  As though they are just a little TOO fresh and therefore worth less in a death exhibit. They should make the seniors free and charge kids under 3 at least $15.  Wait!  Who brings a kid under 3 to look at coffins??  The FUCK?

The museum has several exhibits including: Papal Exhibit, Day of the Dead, 1900's Casket Factory and Embalming. I need to know if they do Saturday workshops similar to Home Depot.  Like Saturday at 10am they show which "L" brackets to use on which coffin, depending on the type of wood you use. Stick around for the Saturday 1130am workshop where they discuss which color palate to use for which decedent on Dia de los Muertos and receive a free hot dog.  BRING THE KIDS!!

My very most favorite exhibit is the Fantasy Coffins.  These are just weird! Seriously, if I had to create or requisition my own personal coffin, it would probably look more like a wine bar.  Or a penis.  Or a vagina. That'd be funny...going out in a rigid vagina coffin.  Kind of the same way I came in.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

I'm a girlfriend's best girlfriend

I've always been mostly a tomboy.  Those who have met me in real life but who don't KNOW me, would say I'm very feminine and probably on the classy side. Those who know me would say I look classy, but I'm brash, forward, more than a little crude and definitely tomboy-ish. I don't even like to use the term girlfriend.  I enjoy poop discussions, I love sports - mainly football - and I'm like a dude in the way that I sex. I'm not a sensitive, give it to me slow, kiss me all over kinda gal. Although, admittedly, my current love has changed a bit of that.  He is quite adept at getting me all juiced up and I've come to enjoy the methodical precursor to the ....

MAN, did I go way off course....I must be in crave mode ...

My point is: I'm not all that girly.  I have a couple of girlfriends, now moreso than in my youth.  In my late teens I had 3 regular girlfriends.  At one time we all lived together in a 2-bedroom apartment. Kels I adored, Amy I couldn't stand and Mo I loved and admired.

Kels was utterly gorgeous! And the best part was she really had no idea.  I remember once walking down the street with her and she ran into a guy she casually knew.  The guy said hi to her, stopped to chat and he immediately pitched a tent.  I know he knew he had wood.  But Kels didn't.  I had to tell her after leaving him on the sidewalk shame-faced with an aching cramp in his groin that she's the only girl I know who can innocently spur on absolutely spontaneous hard-ons. Kels didn't live with the group of us for too long.  She was artsy-fartsy and ended up renting a righteous warehouse apartment which she promptly decorated with neon lights and neon paint flung onto the walls. To this day, Kels is one of my closest and oldest friends.  We frequently reminisce about dropping acid and tripping through Stanley Park in Vancouver.  Or walking home from the gay parties only to have no recollection of how we suddenly arrived at the apartment. By the way, Kels looks just as good as she ever did....better actually.

Amy was a Ho. Well, not literally.  I mean, had she been a real ho, we probably would never have been late with the rent.  The group of us used to go to a nightclub called the Warehouse every.single.weekend. In Vancouver, there weren't a lot of black clubs and my girls were very very into black guys.  Me? I didn't care what color they were. But the club was always amusing and because we went so often we never had to wait in line or pay cover. We used to drive to the club in Amy's car because she had the only parking spot in the apartment building and I had no car. Problem with Amy driving?  She controlled when we left the club and who left with us. I don't think I can count on one hand how many times NO ONE left with us.  While Mo and I were fairly picky about our bed partners, Amy was not. She'd have one guy on Friday from the club and a new one on Saturday night. I don't mean she dated them.  I'd wager 90% of her bedfellows were one-nighters. It wouldn't have bothered Mo and I except that Amy was a shrieker.  Not a screamer.  A fucking, open-mouthed, full-lunged shrieker any time she had sex. Which was at least twice a weekend, if you're still following. I mentioned earlier that I couldn't stand Amy. I can't remember what the falling out was, but it was colossal (albeit ~25 years ago). Mo and I had a chance to meet up with Amy about 3-4 years ago.  She had moved to California, but was back in Vancouver and I was there visiting Mo.  Amy invited us to a restaurant where she was waitressing.  The woman is now completely insane.  I mean, crazy-eyed, shrieky-laugh, inappropriate outbursts insane. And now it doesn't even matter why I can't stand her. Because I don't commiserate with the insane any more.

And Mo. Mo's mom was a friend of my dad's back in the 80's. I met Mo in 1989 and we've been friends ever since.  She witnessed the birth of my son and I witnessed the birth of hers. There are very few secrets between us.  The reason I admired her in our youth was that she was very good with money and she knew how to pay bills.  Sounds funny, but truly? At 19/20 I think that's incredible.  She made good decisions.  She had good judgment. She never really suffered or went without because she wasn't blowing her money every weekend.  She didn't drink and she's never done drugs. Clearly, she was the complete opposite of me.  But if I respect you and admire you I will be there for you at your most difficult moment.

Some time in or around 1991, Mo and I met a couple of cute sailors on the street.  Vancouver was popular with the sailors since it was so close to Whitbey Island in Washington state and crossing the border in those days was as easy as flashing a smile and driving on through. After hanging out and sharing a quick meal with the sailors, we adjourned to our respective apartments for a good ole game of "HEY Sailor!!".  Some time later that evening I get the phone call that would change the course of our friendship forever.

Ring Ring!

Idjit: Yo! You get some?!

Mo: Uh. Yes.

Idjit: what's the dealio? you sound weird.

Mo: ummmm. this is awkward.

Idjit:  the fuck dude? what's going on over there?

Mo: you should check your sailor for crabs.

Idjit:  EXCUSE ME??

Mo: yeah. you should.  right away. because mine has crabs.

Idjit: but, if yours has crabs and you just....

Mo: yes, exactly.  the thing is, I gave him head,  Shit.  can you come over here?

And I spent the next hour or so pulling crabs and eggs out of Mo's massive blond mane.  THAT is what a girlfriend's best girlfriend would do.

Also, I would totally have done the same for Kels.  But fuck Amy.  She would have had to shave her head. 

Friday, June 24, 2011

An Open Letter to my Stepson

I remember when I first met you.  You were 6 years old and angry.  Your mom and dad weren't together any more and here I come intruding on your fantasy that your folks would ever get back together. I apologize for your perception of me at that time: an interloper who was the ONE reason his nuclear family wasn't going nuclear. Never mind that I didn't even get together with your dad until 6 months after your mom and dad divorced. Still, I understand how my presence was unwelcome.

Your dad lived with his mom, your grandma, and you lived with your mom and your little sister.  I know that was hard for you.  I remember hearing about you having to wake up your little 4-yo sister and position her in front of the TV with a bowl of cereal before getting yourself out the door to walk to first grade. And Mom? Mom was in bed sleeping off last night's bender or meth session. Thankfully you were available and reliable, even at the tender age of 6, to care for your little sister. But I can't help but wonder what went on in your head at that time.  Did you disconnect?  Did you resent?  Were you terrified that you were virtually alone as man/adult of the house.  It gives me tremendous grief to imagine you in that position.  I wish I had been able to rescue you from such a horribly detrimental time in your early development.  Because I can see how it, at least partially, molded you into the man you are now.

You and I didn't spend a whole lot of time together when you were little.  You were never really comfortable being around me.  Your sister thought I was pretty cool.  I remember she used to sit in my lap and play with my ear for hours. Do you remember that your mom is responsible for the first time we were thrust together as a unit? It was two days before Christmas 1996 and it was also your little cousin's 3rd birthday. We went to Grandma's house to celebrate the birthday and then your dad and I were taking you and your sister home to your mom.  We arrived but your mom wasn't home. We waited for a while, we sent messages to her pager, we knocked on the door, we looked around the condo complex, but she clearly wasn't home.  We waited a while longer, drove to a nearby Kmart to see if her car was there, we drove around the neighborhood to see if she was at her friend's house, but we never found her.  We wanted to make sure we exhausted every avenue to drop you guys off, but she was nowhere to be found. So, we took you and your sister to my apartment. That was your first time ever being in my apartment.

The next day your mom called to say she was out of state and she'd have your Christmas for you in a few days. She had never informed your dad that she was leaving town.  Had she let him know, we could have made arrangements - clean bed for you, extra food in the fridge, a change of clothes would have been nice, maybe a jacket since it was December. Oh, and Christmas presents suitable for a 6 and a 4 year old. THAT was a mad scramble LOL! I remember using part of my bill money to buy you guys lots of little stuff that I hoped you'd like. Your dad couldn't contribute.  He was giving 89% of his net income to your mom in child and spousal support because he hadn't gone to the divorce hearing and your mom generously inflated his income so she could get more support. She certainly won that battle! My mom was kind enough to buy you and your sister some clothes to wear for several days, also a winter coat and some hair stuff so we could do your sister's matted hair.  Your mom came home from her out of town vacation several days later and you went home to her.  But not for long.

A week after you turned 7, your mom called your dad to tell him that she was being evicted and could we "come get the kids for a little while" until she gets on her feet.  Your mom was still getting 89% of your dad's net income, leaving him $100 to $125 every two weeks to live on.  That was in April 1997 and you lived with your dad for the rest of your youth.

In October 1997, I just couldn't support a household of 4 on my own any more.  We had moved to a bigger place since my 2-bedroom apartment wouldn't suffice. I helped your dad draw up the paperwork and we went to court to ask for termination of the child support. When the court agreed, we started living again.  You and your sister had a birthday party EVERY year.  You played flag football and basketball in the neighborhood league.  You played in a baseball league near your aunt's house.  We had family over all the time and we bar-b-que'd.

In the fall of 1997 we announced that we were having a baby.  You were FURIOUS! I wasn't sure why you thought having a baby was going to eliminate your place in the family?  But I guess kids just feel however they feel. I was sure you'd try to maim the new baby or do some horribly disfiguring thing to the child.  But when he was born, you sat in that hospital and held your new brother. We have a picture of you holding your little brother and I could cry right now just envisioning that picture.  You looked absolutely radiant and proud. It is, frankly, my favorite picture of you EVER.

We lived in relative peace, going through the motions of life.  We went to your school numerous times for the carnival, the Halloween parties, talent shows and to watch you dissect gross stuff. 

Do you remember the trip we took in 1999?  My friend was getting married in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  It was our first little family vacation trip. We stayed at a great condo/hotel with a room right off the pool.  We spent almost every day in that pool! It was great fun. We did a little exploring around town, it was a nice family trip. And it opened the portal for wanderlust.  Until we travel, we generally don't know how fulfilling and how exciting it can be.  I'm glad we were able to provide you with the opportunity to see life outside of San Diego.  I'm not sure if you know this, but the trip was made possible by my own grandmother's passing and my inheritance from her. 
In 2001 we planned a trip to Vancouver to visit my dad and his wife. Since your mom had moved out of state in 1998, she wasn't available to sign a note saying she would allow you and your sister to travel out of the country.  This was actually a blessing in disguise.  Your mom not signing the note forced your dad to go to court where he won win sole custody of you and your sister.  We happily traveled to Canada to see grandpa and nanna and a few of my other friends.  We went to the science museum and did some other sightseeing.  I remember you enjoying the jacuzzi at my dad's house and playing pool with grandpa and your dad. During that trip you bonded with grandpa and it seemed like you really liked the Vancouver area. As a matter of fact, I sent you back to visit on your own a couple of years later in your early teens. It was like your own personal vacation, grown-up style.

When you were getting ready to enter junior high school you wanted to try something different than the neighborhood school. You asked me to help you get registered for a Magnet school in a prestigious neighborhood north of town. We completed all the paperwork and got all the references and when you won the lottery and were set to enter the school, I took you shopping for new school uniforms and school supplies.  Since the school was only about 5 miles from my job, you carpooled with me every morning and every afternoon.  The school was a challenge and as it turned out, you weren't all that keen on the program.  Before the end of your first year, you asked to be transferred to the neighborhood school so you could just be a regular kid. That sounded perfectly reasonable to me.  I believe in preventing failure wherever possible. You seemed pretty happy to be able to walk or ride your bike to school, you made more friends in the neighborhood and all was good.

In 2002 we had another baby: SURPRISE!!  We had not intended to have any more kids, but....there it was.  Thank God we were ruinous at staying sterile.  That child is a true blessing.

During this time we were living in the southernmost part of the city.  You used to ride your bike all over, you built a bike ramp and you and your brother used to jump off the ramps.  Around this time you started to go out and socialize more.  I used to drop you off at the movies where you and a group of kids would meet up and hang out. You were a pretty good kid.  You never gave us any trouble, really. Decent enough grades, not trouble at school, no trouble with the law. You were pretty easy.

In 2004 we decided to move to Texas.  The housing prices were shooting through the roof and we decided to move some place with a lower cost of living.  Some place with better opportunities for all of us.  Our life in San Diego was completely stagnant and we realized there wasn't going to be a lot of upward mobility unless something drastic changed.  After a couple of trips to Texas, your dad and I agree that we liked what we saw.  I found us a rental house in the Houston suburbs and we made plans to move in June 2004. Your dad had taken a temporary assignment in Greece and he was able to send money home to help us with the move and to help us after we got to Texas since I wouldn't have a job right away. I was so proud of you when we were packing up the U-Haul.  There was no way we would have been able to get all that work done without your unbelievable strength and exceptional work ethic.  I'm not kidding.  You and your friend pretty much staged and packed up that entire truck while I cleaned and purged. Without you we would never have been able to drive off into the sunrise.  And drive we did!  It was helpful to be driving cross country with another family.  I know you probably enjoyed being able to ride with them for long stretches. You know, they still ask about you?  Ask how you're doing, what you're up to? The last time you saw that family was at your high school graduation a few years ago. We used to spend quite a bit of time with this family.  It's just funny how people can make a mark on your early life and become so dispensable later on. I, by the way, saw them 3 days ago.

Shortly after we arrived in Texas and got all moved into the house, we worked on getting you enrolled in the local high school.  You were going to be a big Texas Freshman! What's even better, you were going to play football! I remember taking you to the first day of football training.  We walked into the training room to hand over the forms and the coach took one look at you and said, "yo, California. Give your jewelry to your mom. We don't wear that stuff here." You unhappily handed over your chain and your earrings. But you replaced those cherished items with people and new experiences.  You made friends easily, your willingness to learn and your work ethic secured you a good position on the freshman football team. You played football all 4 years of high school.  Despite the knee injury and subsequent surgery, you made the varsity team and you even lettered!  I remember going through the forms and the decisions of what to put on your Letterman's jacket.  I think you picked just the right badges and crests.  It's a great jacket and it was totally worth the money I paid for it.  I'm REALLY glad you took my advise and you didn't give it to any girls in high school.  Girls are vicious creatures and you likely wouldn't ever have seen it again. But you do have it and it will, hopefully, always remind you of a fair and easy time in your life:  High School. I'll never forget your senior football banquet. The smallest offensive lineman was voted the Line MVP for the season.  It was a really excellent culmination of all your hard work on the line and your boys and coaches wanted to be sure to recognize you for all your effort.  We loved that moment for you!

When you graduated high school in 2008 we had high hopes for you. I personally hoped you would go to college and try out for football as a walk on.  We knew you wouldn't be in line for a scholarship because you didn't have the size to be a really effective lineman with the big boys in college. I did always hope that you would get faster because I thought you'd make a really excellent fullback.  I think, though, that life just got in the way.  I think we failed you when we let you start having 100% freedom in high school.  Well, I was against it, but I was always vetoed by your dad, which I believe you know.  I think, at the time, you were probably pleased that your dad wanted to be your buddy and he allowed you to roam the streets without curfew.  I think you probably loved it that, after I spent several months carting you back and forth to/from driving school, your dad let you drive his jeep without impunity - and without a drivers license. I don't think it occurred to you how dangerous it could be to drive without a license until you hit that drunk guy. I'll never forget the heart-stopping midnight phone call. You were absolutely hysterical.  You know I also heard the 911 call?  You actually called 911 to tell on yourself.  It was pretty morally righteous.  Most people would have driven away from a scene like that.  But you took full moral responsibility for hitting that man.  I hope you know that that accident wasn't your fault.  I believe that idiot drunk was in the street.  That intersection, now lit up like the 4th of July, used to be dark, marred by tall shrubs on all sides and with no street lights.  I do believe he was weaving in the street after a nearby concert in the park. Did you know that his insurance company tried to come after us for $25k since you were uninsured?  I wonder whatever happened with that...

When you finally did get a license at 17 you received a car. I don't think I need to even remind you that my mother and her husband gave you their SUV. Your dad was expected to pay them a small stipend for the car. I ended up paying them about $1,000 for it which was way way under market value. You really liked that car.  You put a new stereo into it. It's too bad you don't have it any more.  I understand your dad commandeered it a year ago to drive back to California from Texas.  I'm sorry you weren't able to hold onto that car.  It was intended for you to keep.

You and I never did get on very well.  From the age of 6 you had a fundamental distrust of me and a real dislike of women in general.  I'm not saying I blame you after how you were raised early on.  I used to watch how you treated your mother and your sister...and even me, if I allowed it. You used to complain about your female bosses - such bitches! I know you've got a real problem with women in positions of authority. Because frankly, you don't believe we have any worth other than serving you 24/7.  I watched it with the girl you dated in high school and then with the few you used afterwards. What's interesting is that I never maligned you in any way.  Frankly, you had more opportunities and benefits than any of the other kids since you were the eldest.  But what's strange is this:  you never took the time to get to know me as a person.  Regardless of who I am, all you had an interest in was taking as much as you could get without giving anything at all.  I remember mothers days when you wouldn't utter a word to me.  Birthdays when the other kids and your dad made an effort to give me a cake, you waited until the celebration was over and everyone had left the room to come serve yourself MY birthday cake. There were many times you ignored my existence until/unless you needed or wanted something.  I'm not all that hurt by your selfishness.  Except that you still think *I* have something against you.  If you had taken the time to know me you'd know that I'm "live and let live" about most everything.  Ask your sister.

A couple of years ago, the last time I really saw you, you tried to physically intimidate me.  I found it very very sad. It was like dealing with your dad all over again, except, I don't believe you're insane.  I believe you're completely sane, but you're utterly furious.  Just like you were the day I met you.

I can't tell you how excited the kids were to receive your letter from marine corps boot camp yesterday. They immediately wrote you back and I hope you get their letters very soon.  For some reason, the kids asked me to read your letter to them.  I didn't need to read your private words to them, but I guess in a way I'm glad I did. Your first sentence read "...I hope you actually get to READ this letter..." as though I'd ever interfere in a family relationship that isn't MINE.  I have never prevented you from being with your siblings.  I have never prevented your dad from being with his youngest children, no matter how I personally felt about his state at the time. Before you were ever out of diapers I learned that each person is entitled to make his/her own relationships and I am not at liberty to manipulate any of that.  YOUR relationship with the kids doesn't belong to me.

I guess I'll stop ranting and just say this:  of all 4 kids I always thought you'd be the most successful, the most balanced and the most stable.  I still hope this is true.  For you.