Sunday, February 27, 2011

So This Is What the Aftermath of a Tornado Looks Like. Good to Know

Yesterday, after the Man-Cub’s wrestling tournament (more on that in a bit), we hosted an open-house for The Teenager’s birthday. The Teenager was a bit worried that not very many people would show up, and she could not have been more wrong; the party was a total success by which I mean we fielded a constant stream of teenagers in and out our door, watched in amazement as they inhaled five pizzas in record time, survived a cake-fight between The Teenager and her father (my mother just flashed back to the night of my wedding and is probably still whimpering in a corner, sorry, Mom!) and were forced to open windows throughout the house to air out the smell that results from twenty teens playing Dance Party on the Wii.

This morning, we collected the debris from a tidal wave of empty soda bottles, a small handful of M&M’s that were scattered randomly throughout the house, enough empty chip bags to fill the chip aisle at the grocery store and a few extra bodies, courtesy of Kaz and another girlfriend who slept over. I’m pretty sure all of this constitutes a successful party and, a quick Google search assures me that my hair will grow back in fuller and glossier than ever before. Probably.

So, back to the Cub’s wrestling tournament, the first of the season and his first as a sixth grader who now practices with the Middle School rather than with the town’s Pee-Wee program (which we blessedly are no longer in charge of. Wait, did you just hear a heavenly choir of angels sing, because I did). The Cub wrestled very well, pinning his first opponent in record time.

 His second opponent put up more of a fight but the Cub was well ahead in points before The Incident which is what I am calling the mess that occurred in the second period when the Cub’s opponent, irritated at being behind, attempted some not-exactly-cool maneuvers, including head gouging that resulted in him sticking his finger in the Cub’s mouth.

What do you do when someone sticks their finger in your mouth unexpectantly? Other than gagging uncontrollably and throwing up, I mean (because that would have made for an entirely different post).

You bite down.

So, yes, the Cub instinctively bit down and then he pinned the kid and the kid went ballistic, screaming about his bitten finger and wailing that the Cub should be disqualified. The kid’s parents got involved, the head of the tournament was called in and; when both he and the referee (who was a High School wrestler, refereeing as a volunteer) determined that it was not a disqualifiable offense since there was neither premeditation nor malice involved, the parents demanded their money back, called the head of the tournament, the referee, my son, the entire town and I don’t remember who all else, some choice words and were asked to either calm the fuck down or leave the building.

It was entertaining.

In the end, the Cub took second place, losing by one point to his final opponent who happens to be one of his teammates. For the record, upon losing his match my son hugged and congratulated his friend all while knowing that the referee had accidentally awarded the wrong points and that, in reality, the Cub should have won the match.

He behaved that way because the referee was a High School student who volunteered his services and who can't be blamed for making an ocassional mistake and because; that is how one loses, graciously.

The end.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


New parents typically operate in a sleep deprived mental fugue, unable to string together a coherent sentence much less appreciate the well-meaning platitudes of those who have gone before them; “Enjoy this time, it will be gone in the blink of an eye” is generally a sentence that carries little weight to someone who hasn’t had a full night's sleep in weeks, is wearing the same sweatpants and spit-stained t-shirt that they have had on for the last two days and who couldn’t even begin to tell you when the last time was that he/she showered, ate a full meal, or discussed anything not involving feeding schedules or when the last time was that precious made a poop.

As a not-so-new parent, I can tell you; those well-meaning platitudes are not only true but, heartbreakingly so.

Although I vividly recall the cloud of fog that surrounded my brain during the first weeks of The Teenager’s life, the exhaustion, the confusion, the doubt and, let’s be honest, the fear involved in the daily care and feeding of a seven-pound time bomb; I also remember the smell of her head when she nestled underneath my chin as we lounged together on the couch.

I remember her tiny fingernails, her delicate toes, the way her mouth pursed into a perfect pink bow as she dreamed and the delight that we took as she reached each and every milestone.

We are still delighted by the milestones but, indeed, they come and go in the blink of an eye and, before you know it, the pre-schooler who was just terrorizing the sidewalks in her new Barbie Jeep like, yesterday, is gearing up to take the test for her driver’s permit and we have become those well-meaning people, speaking in platitudes while shaking our heads in a combination of awe and disbelief…"Enjoy this time, they grow up so fast….”

Happy birthday, Teenager. We love you and are so very proud of you and, when you need us; we’ll be right here, in your rear-view mirror. No matter how fast you go.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Things I Survived This Weekend or: The One in Which I WASN'T Killed by Serial Killers Reeking of Pizza

-A hotel that could provide the ideal location for a low budget slasher film.

-Fraud, attempted by a drunken waitress.

-A near-heart attack caused by the siren ring-tone of the Man-Cub’s cell phone ringing at 2:38 in the blessed a.m.

-Five meeelion hours of volleyball and the accompanying bleacher-butt.

-Ice-cold showers.

-Frequently interrupted sleep, courtesy of the VFW conventioneers roaming the halls at all hours of the night (to whom we demanded "You senior citizens knock that shit off!" while shaking our fists in the air).

-Possible abdominal infection caused by side-splitting laughter encountered while enduring all of the above** with a really great friend.

**With the exception of the ice-cold showers, I mean, obviously.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Remember The Hotel From The Shining?

Remember how the elevator doors opened up and a tidal wave of blood came poring forth in a grisly flood of horror while the creepy wonder twins stood creepily by, staring at the camera?

I am currently staying in a hotel just like that only, instead of creepy dead wonder twins, our protagonists are a pair of questionable pizza delivery men with possible homicidal tendencies, the jury still being out on that simply because no one has discovered the bodies of their victims yet; I give it until tomorrow's evening news.

On the bright side, I'm not alone; Jules, her husband and her daughters are here with us so, The Teenager, the Man-Cub and I have someone to commiserate with and, what could we possibly commiserate over, besides the possibly-murderous pizza delivery guys? Um... how about the rather unkempt condition of the bathroom in our room when we checked in (four-out-of-seven of us vote for rats being the most logical explanation for the mysterious mess discovered on the bathroom floor while two of us are certain it is merely remnants of the popcorn ceiling that have fallen from the sky due to obvious water damage. One lone hold-out insists the mess was actually cigarette butts but, seven-out-of-seven of us agree; shit was nasty).

Ok, maybe that's only one or two things but, I think we can all agree; serial killers masquerading as pizza delivery men and unidentifiable gore in a room that you paid $69 for are pretty big things.

And, lest you think me a over-dramatic, I will spare you the details of our dinner at a local restaurant. Really. I won't tell you about the filthy condition of our tablecloth, about the creature seated at the table next to us (although you might be interested to know that it was probably a Yeti. A Yeti in drag) or about how our waitress was drunk and stumbling over her own feet because, so what, right? Waitresses get drunk on the job all the time and I'm sure she wasn't the first drunk waitress who ever tried to add her Dos Equis to an unsuspecting customer's bill (oh yes, she did). It's ok, though because she totally made up for it by promising to cheer for the girls at their volleyball games tomorrow and, I mean, yay!! Who doesn't love a drunken, thieving waitress-slash-cheerleader?


Plus, we arrived back at the hotel to find an extremely tattooed police officer guarding the front lobby so; apparently no need to waste more worries on those possibly-murderous pizza delivery guys! That right there? Is service worthy of $69.

So, it's all good.

But, just in case; if you all don't hear from me again by Monday, you might want to alert the proper authorities.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

This Is the Moment When You Begin to Regret All Those Flash Cards and Educational Books From Her Childhood

I napped a total of seven hours yesterday. Today, I feel more like myself than I have in two weeks; I can even take a deep breath without coughing and I managed to go over a chapter of The Teenager’s Driver’s Ed course book with the child without tearing my hair out, braiding it into a rope and strangling her with it. Seriously, I don’t remember Drivers Ed being this complicated when I was a teen and, while one might argue that this is because I didn’t take Driver’s Ed as a teen; I still think it’s pretty damn complicated.

Also complicated? Finding an inexpensive used car to purchase as a third family vehicle, I mean; when did twenty-year old beaters become so valuable? Are they crafted of gold? Are the seats stuffed with hundred dollar bills? Is the paint comprised of crushed diamonds? What. Is. The. Deal?

To be clear, the car (assuming we ever locate one), is not meant as a birthday present for The Teenager despite her fervent wish that we Make it So. Unfortunately, since she has given us no additional ideas for appropriate gifts to mark the occasion of her fifteenth birthday; we are scrambling. And, while it would certainly be easy to simply throw our hands in the air and say “Fine! Consider the car a gift!” that is hard to do when a) one cannot find a car to purchase and b) one is morally opposed to buying one’s child a car for their birthday.

So, sorry Teenager; you’ll have to settle for a gift card from Hollister. Oops! Spoiler!

In my defense, while a gift card may seem like an impersonal gift to receive from one’s parents on the occasion of one’s fifteenth birthday, a gift card from Hollister is an exception due to the fact that the mere process of obtaining said card requires one’s parent to risk three out of five senses, indeed; the possibility of one’s parent leaving Hollister deaf, blind and with a highly diminished sense of smell is practically a given and, what price does a child place on her parents’ senses? Well? What price?

Let’s just say; a smart child would agree that the price is considerably higher than that of a used car. Or, let’s not since, then a smart child could argue that the used car would be a more practical gift.

I am screwed either way. This is what we get for raising such a smart child. Damnit.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I Just Woke Up and I Already Need a Nap

This cold is kicking. My. Ass.

I am so tired I can hardly function and I really need to function because this is a really busy week for us. In addition to my normal work schedule, I am running the Man-Cub to wrestling practices and tutoring, running The Teenager to volleyball and attending her CAP (Career Academic Planning) conferences, trying to get us prepared for a trip to New Mexico for volleyball this weekend and, oh, there was that Hallmark holiday yesterday and laundry that keeps piling up despite my best efforts and dust bunnies that rival the Great Sand Dunes drifting across my wood floors and, and, and...

So tired. So. Very. Tired.

Despite my exhaustion, I did manage to have a nice weekend this past week. The Man-Cub finished his basketball season with a pretty impressive loss to the other team but, the Cub scored and had fun so, all was not lost.

After the game, the Cub went home with Jana to spend the rest of the weekend trekking through the wilderness with Darren while The Teenager and I ventured to Neighboring City to watch Hugh officiate in the Regional wrestling tournament after which we did some shopping, ate lunch and saw a movie together before coming back home to watch yet another movie before Hugh got home.

This weekend, as I mentioned, we are headed to New Mexico for a volleyball tournament while Hugh heads to Denver to officiate at the State wrestling tournament so, in addition to whining about this never ending cold from Hell; I get to bitch about driving through a snowstorm.

Good times.

And, have I mentioned that I am tired? So. Very. Tired.

Friday, February 11, 2011

And Somewhere, Linda Blair Does a Slow Clap

I’m still not feeling well and, by not feeling well, I mean; I am in snot-nosed agony. My head and chest are so congested, I feel like I am carrying an alien twin, an angry alien twin bent on attaining world domination one sinus cavity at a time. This is ridiculous, of course since; we all know that the aliens only possess grandparents, their evil plan being to attain world domination through sugary treats and nonexistent curfews and, as is always the case, I digress.

Actually, I’m thinking of changing the name of this blog to And I Digress. Thoughts? Comments? Discuss amongst yourselves.

Anywaaayyy…a few minutes ago, my solitude on the couch was interrupted by two Jehovah’s Witnesses at my front door. They observed the box of tissues under my arm, the mug of Thera-Flu in my hand and the look of despair on my face and deduced, quite accurately, that now was not the most opportune time to talk to me about my immortal soul. They did, however, want to take a quick second to discuss the prevalence of the occult in today’s society to which I replied “Really? You think the occult is prevalent? Because I am having the worst time finding willing participants for my blood sacrifices. Do y’all actually know people who are interested because, that is the kind of information that I would pay for.”

Ok, I didn’t actually say that but, I was just about to when I inadvertently burst into a spasm of coughing and gagging that made anything Linda Blair could come up with pale in comparison. Seriously, there were bodily fluids involved as well as some righteous head spinning.

It wasn’t pretty but it was certainly effective; the Witnesses made haste to depart from the front porch and I was allowed to return to the fetal position on the couch which means that this cold has had at least some redeeming purpose if you consider screwing with Jehovah's Witnesses to be a worthwhile pastime.

Which I apparently do. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

How to Save $100 on Car Insurance: Spend $350 on a Driver’s Education Course

Less than two weeks from now, The Teenager will turn fifteen.

Yes, yes I did just throw up in my mouth, a little; how did you know?

Anyhoodle, fifteen, for the uneducated amongst you, is teenager-speak for OLD ENOUGH TO OBTAIN A DRIVING PERMIT which also translates into adult-speak for DANGER, DANGER WILL ROBINSON! And, anyone living within a fifty mile radius of Petticoat Junction might want to steer clear of the streets for the foreseeable future.

(In the interest of full-disclosure; sidewalks might not be safe, either.)

I’m kidding, of course; I’m sure The Teenager will be a fabulous driver, once she actually gets behind a wheel which, won’t actually happen until Hugh manages to find an inexpensive, gas-efficient used car that doesn’t set us back an arm and a leg because; girlfriend is not learning how to drive in my ginormous Tahoe.

Indeed, if I had it my way, she would learn how to drive in the pink Barbie Jeep that she received for her fifth birthday; much safer and, ultimately less expensive than say, a 1974 VW Beetle or a Cadillac, circa 1985 which are the current front-runners in our search for a third family vehicle.

(Also in the interest of full-disclosure; The Teenager is impressed with neither.)

Actually, I think all teenagers should be required to learn to drive using the child-sized cars and, those cars should be all that they are allowed to drive until they leave home for college. It makes sense, when you think about it; less congestion on the highways (they could use the bicycle lane), more efficient parking (three kiddie-cars to one parking space!), less chance of injury in case of accidents (a maximum speed of three miles per hour hardly encourages drag-racing after all) and, most importantly, a vastly reduced risk of teenage pregnancy since most kiddie-cars lack a backseat.

Wow. I think I might actually be on to something, here.

I should contact my local legislature to sponsor a bill on the topic. In the meantime, I have to write a check for $350 to cover the expense of The Teenager's driver's ed class which, it should be noted, is more than I spent on that pink Barbie Jeep ten years ago.

Just sayin'.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

In Which Otis Bags His First Kill and I Maybe, Kind of, Sort of, Wish to be His Second

So, Otis killed his first mouse sometime last night and must now be considered a contributing member of the staff rather than being just a fluffy adorable mascot. He’s understandably proud.

In fact, he presented his rather gory trophy to the staff this morning as soon as they opened the store, and I mean, as soon as they opened the store. Apparently he was quite vocal in his demands that our store manager follow him, and, using a technique not seen since the heyday of Lassie, managed to get her to do his bidding.

Unfortunately (or not), I am under the weather and I missed the chest-thumping and high-fiving that I am certain occurred upon discovery of the eviscerated corpse (which our store manager was so kind as to take pictures of for me to see once I did make it in. She’s a doll, that one).

Anyway, Otis has proven himself to be a mighty hunter and we can all feel better about the decreased possibility of having a mouse run over our toes while we are wearing our cutest Tommy Hilfiger sandals, the ones with the madras print, not that I necessarily have any personal experience with such a situation.


And, I digress.

So, as I casually mentioned earlier in this post, I’m sick. Actually, I am SICK. The dreaded flu has overtaken me with headache, body ache, sore throat, nausea caused by nasal drainage, low-grade fever and the propensity to burst into tears at any minute. It’s not pretty.

I’m not used to being sick and I have to admit that I haven’t handled it very well. There may have been some ridiculous whining and possibly a request to the cat to just finish me off, already; the possibility that evisceration-by-cat might prove desirable to dying a slow death at the hands of a stupid virus.

Which, I know; ridiculous, right? I blame the Nyquil.

On the other hand, thank GOD for the Nyquil.

That is all.

Monday, February 07, 2011

I’m Not Cut Out For the Presidency

It’s the time of year when my woman’s club starts rattling the bushes for candidates for the Board of Directors. As we all know, I am notorious for running-and being defeated for-office, indeed, I have run for office and lost in at least three of the past elections; making me the official Susan Lucci of Altrusa.

So, when the nominating committee came a’ callin again last week, I was somewhat amused, that is; until they revealed the office for which they were hoping I would run: First Vice President. Then I was not so much amused as freaking terrified.

For the record, First Vice President is the first phase of a three-year commitment, ending in the Presidency. I have no desire whatsoever to be President. Ever.

That said, I was flattered by the nomination and, I made sure to stress that fact as I gracefully declined the offer. THREE times.

Seriously, three separate members of the nominating committee have spoken to me personally, in the hope that I will change my mind and run in the election. Which, I won’t because, what if I won? I mean, even Susan Lucci eventually took home the trophy.

And, if I did win, I would enter my presidency the same year that The Teenager entered her senior year of High school. I cannot fathom trying to run a service club while simultaneously suffering a nervous breakdown at the thought of my baby going off to college.

Besides, I doubt the club would have much faith in a President who dissolved into tears at the podium when it was time to present the Apple Award for Teacher of the Month or who fell to her knees, wailing and keening each time a local scholarship recipient was announced, such was her distress at the impending  half-empty condition of her nest and, yes; those are two scenarios that would play out in all their snot-nosed glory, I assure you.

So, thank you dear club members but, no thank you. No thank you very much.

Now, I just have to avoid phone calls, emails, texts, instant messages, Skype calls and personal visits from some of the more persuasive members of the nominating committee. At least until they flush some other sucker out of the underbrush, anyway.

See? Freaking terrifying.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Who You Calling Dense?

Yesterday’s mammogram went as well as one might expect; clothing was shed, the girlie bits were dutifully delivered into the hands of a total stranger while eyes were averted (mine, obviously the technician was required to keep her eyes on the prize) and some pretty pictures were taken.

While the technician was waiting for the machine to develop the films enough to ascertain that the scans were clear, we made small talk about such fascinating topics as the weather (wow, its cold out!), the new radiology technology, current events and, the apparent denseness of my breasts which; is when I heard the distinct sound of a needle scratching across a record.

Dense? What?

I have had numerous breast exams in my mumble, mumble, twenty-nine years on this planet, mumble, mumble and not once have I been accused of having dense breast tissue. You can rest assured that I made a point of telling the technician exactly that.

And, she back-pedaled pretty quickly, assuring me that the tissue wasn’t like, obnoxiously dense just, you know, remarkably so which, not much better technician-person!

She then informed me that, while my tissue is dense, it also has a really nice consistency; think perfect mashed potatoes, dense with nary a hint of lumps.

I know, right?

The comparison was…sort of weird. And, I left the hospital with a picture in my mind’s eye; my breasts on a platter, two nice white mounds with a pat of slowly melting butter running between my cleavage. Why, just add a smidgen of gravy and my boobs would be totally delectable.

And, because I’m a sweetheart who is in no way, shape or form jealous of what I’m certain are your perfectly non-dense breasts; I’m going to leave you with that image, too.

You are welcome.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Nothing Says Fun Like Taking the Twins to a Taffy Pull. Unless it's Hunting for Rodents That Make Poor Weather Predictions. That's Fun, Too.

Last week I endured my annual nether-region spelunking. My gynecologist has recently moved into a new practice in a brand new building, which by the way is gorgeous and, while the change was nice, I have to admit that I kind of missed the wacky jungle print poster that hung on the ceiling in the examination room of the old building; staring at squares of ceiling tile during said spelunking just wasn’t the same. Anyway, the results came back yesterday and all is right in Hooville.

While the good doctor was mining for treasure in my downstairs business, her PA was making an appointment for my annual mammogram; she made it for today so I guess that means I have to go. I don’t really wanna. In fact, I made a bargain with myself; if Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow (highly likely given the bastard’s track record), then I would skip the exam. So, the damn groundhog came out of his den this morning and, no shadow. OF COURSE and now I am stuck with keeping the appointment.

I think the lesson here is this: Never trust a rodent to determine your health-care plans.

Also, get a mammogram; your boobies will thank you.