Friday, December 12, 2008

holy baloney more than a month...

I have been a lousy blogger of late, I apologize to anyone who cared (all three of you?). I found Facebook, at first when the kids were pestering me to get a facebook I said, 'nah, that's weird for a mom' then I started hearing of these other moms who have them -- so I relented. On Facebook, I have been able to be in touch with many of my friends from overseas -- so that is most exciting and wonderful, as I am a lousy correspondent with regular mail - add that to the list of things I don't do as well as I would like. Also, I have a new boss, I'm sure I mentioned that before -- and well honestly, she's requiring a much longer period of adjustment than I had expected (damn expectations, they are never based in reality) -- and that is taking up a lot of my time. Also, she works in the office damn near every day, which cuts into my usual - 'hey I think I'll take a break and go blog' time.

So my world is a new and confusing place in which I am trying to maintain a little normalcy -- which is pretty much just amounting to an occasional beer or manhattan in the evening and still watching my secret soap opera on Monday's while I work from home.

Be assured I am also still continuously amused with myself, more frequently than might be considered fully healthy, and yet no one has had me committed to a facility yet.

Today's amusement:

Friday, November 07, 2008

a little late...

I've been tagged by Baseballmom for a new meme...answer the following questions using the first letter of your name-try to use a different answer if the person before you has the same initial. It's harder than it looks!
What's your first name? Amy
A four letter word- ass (assbag, asshole, asswipe, ass-for-brains, etc) – I realize that ass only has three letters, and the rest have more than four – so if you were looking for literally a four lettered word – well then ‘amen’
Boy name? Ass
Your occupation? Accounting
A color? Ass? – that’s probably not a color, um auburn
Something you wear? Ascot
A place? Albuquerque
Something found in a bathroom? Ass (duh)
A reason for being late? Ass (getting some)
Something you shout? Assbag!
A food? Almonds

I'm tagging moosema, neveradullmoment, and anyone else that is looking for a post.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Yes I am that kind of helicopter mom...

I know I say plenty of derogatory things about helicopter parents... and, having worked with them as volunteer and in the classroom and as another parent, basically -- they need to let loose a little. However, and maybe I am just being too hard on myself and this isn't helicoptering -- if any of you watched Desperate Housewives (spoiler ahead) this week, you saw Lynette starting an account on a social networking site to get her son to talk to her. She was deceptive about it, and that is never a good idea. I am also a snoop, and I also have a social networking site account - for the mere purpose of snooping on my kids -- here is the difference, they know it's me. They know they a. have to provide me with their passwords to myspace, facebook, email, whatever I ask and b. they had better approve me as friend so that I can see what they are posting. I have asked more than once that one of them change something because I don't think it is appropriate to everyone who might be viewing their profile. Yesterday in fact, I went into my son's facebook and changed his "status" myself because I was unhappy that he had used an expletive in it. As you all know, I am potty mouth number one, and I don't really care if my kids use expletives, depending on venue, audience, and circumstance. The thing is, you cannot always control venue, audience and circumstance of the viewers of your facebook. (Along with that, I pay for their cell phones so they know that they have to hand them over randomly and on demand for me to peruse their text messages... could they just delete anything that comes in that I would find objectionable, you bet... I'm banking that if I am random and unpredictable enough they will be too comfortable and I will find that rare item...) even more, I'm banking that they know I may look, so they will watch what they are presenting to the world, which is in fact the goal. None of us parents can sit back and say we never thought things like so and so is a f-ing bitch, or fuck the team that I don't root for, or damn that was fun doing that really outrageous rude thing last night, we just didn't publish it. My mom always said "if you don't want it on the cover of the Rocky Mountain News, don't write it down!" -- I think that advice applies well to texts and IMs and social NW sites. I also think that you don't have to deceive your kids to engage them in conversation and responsible action. So I helicopter -- but I kind of swoop in and helicopter and then swoop out again.

So after having changed my son's status from "F the other team" to "in trouble with his mom" yesterday -- I was curious this morning, as to what he might have done with it last night. He put up some other insult to the other team again, this time in much more appropriate language and I left it... but what I found out was... he is friends with a girl who my daughters know outside of school, sports, etc. A girl he has maybe met and doesn't remember, and has no reason that I can think of for being friends. She is graduated from high school, though she attended the same school as his girlfriend, and she is not involved with his work or any of his activities. On Facebook, you can click on someone and see "friends in common" -- so I fully expected to see his sister or his girlfriend, because there is no other reason for him to know this girl exists -- she is not friends with either of them. I have a mystery to inquire about today, and I can't wait.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

you ever open your big fat ass mouth and...

(I will get back to the family saga... I just really needed a break before the next one)

... state that you are going to "post that on my blog"


That one reader out there that knows where my kids attend school will probably confirm that it is in fact a geek school... for the rest of you, I could completely make shit up to convince you... but I don't have to!

The school won a math award, a rather prestigious math award... and so... the school motto for games and stuff is "Mean and Green" -- well since 'mean' is also a math term... and can be communicated in writing (as a formula) and green can be communicated in writing as a gamma wave... they have t-shirts that say in math/science speak "Mean and Green" -- tell me that's not geeky!! (ps - I own and wear mine proudly)

also... they were featured on a South Park, okay featured is an exaggeration, but they were on SP -- the SP kids came to Denver to play basketball against our school and the kids from our school were on the court with their TI-87(or whatever designation) calculators calculating their shots, lol. I actually haven't seen the episode, only heard about it -- I have tried looking for it and cannot find it, if anyone knows which episode I would love to know at least what season it was.

Many of the students also post this on their myspace... (it changes some each year, and I am not posting the complete list)

You know you go to (Insert name of Geek School here)

Your definition of having a social life is hanging out with your friends to have a study group

You don't have a social life in the summer either

You regularly stay up till 2 or 3 in the morning and then get up at 5:30 and call it a good night's sleep

If you have a B average you are in the lower quarter of your class and consider yourself to be the stupidest person alive

The "bad kids" are the ones who ditch activity period a couple times

The coolest kids have straight A's and are in mathletes

If you're not at least one year ahead in math you are a loser

The senior pranks always suck because the administration has no sense of humor

You drink 2 or 3 coffees a day and finish it off with a red bull

If the teacher doesn't teach you anything you actually get angry and demand to be transferred to a different teacher...and of course no one listens to you

Every single person in the school has either a TI-83 or a TI-84 calculator (well duh! there all in algebra by at least 8th grade, and then you're on the stupider end)

If you get a C you start to worry that the only college that will accept you is community college... and even then it's a stretch

The senior privilege that you look forward to the most is being able to cut in the lunch line (o baby! I've been waiting for that since I was a sevie!)

You're a slave to P-E-A.

You know just how many problems are on a problem set sheet.

You dreaded going to the library because of the half hour lecture explaining
How to use Gale and EBSCO. Every. Damn. Time.

The cast of the musical included several football players.

You won any sort of sportsmanship award.

You know what goes in and what goes out... (Say it!)...WATER WATER!!!!

You took Photo just to be able to screw around.

You know exactly why fysics is phun.

Any of your teachers joked about sending you across the street for

You're certain your ACT scores will be the best in the state. Again.

Another semester means your term paper is 500 words longer.

You've rebelled by getting something from the vending machine between the
hours of 7:30 am and 2:30 pm.

You learned someone else's student ID to see their grades.

You sing along to twinkle, twinkle little star, voltage equals I times R.

You loathe any form of standardized testing.

You actually went to after prom.

You had to get your planner signed to go to the freaking bathroom.

You ever came straight from football practice to marching band practice.

Instead of taking all art classes your senior year like "normal high school students" you continue to take every AP class possible, and throw in some classes given by UCD just to be sure you have plenty of college credit, before you actually go to college.

The only reason you dressed up for pirate day was so you could wear a bandana and ripped clothing.

I love geek school -- my daughter who is now in College took what I thought was going to be a brutal schedule for a freshman, she is bored to tears, is always done with exams and homework way before her friends, and has too much time on her hands... I'm proposing she double her credit hours next semester, save me some money on something by finishing early!

Monday, September 29, 2008

a quick meme...

to break up the family saga

1. Where is your cell phone? desk
2. Your significant other? R
3. Your hair? cut
4. Your mother? amazing
5. Your father? amazing
6. Your favorite thing? peace
7. Your dream last night? weird
8. Your favorite drink? bourbon
9. Your dream/goal? happiness
10. The room you’re in? living
11. Your fear? heartache
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? here
13. Where were you last night? here
14. What you’re not? diplomatic
15. Muffins? lemom
16. One of your wish list items? tickets
17. Where you grew up? colorado
18. The last thing you did? puzzle
19. What are you wearing? pajamas
20. Your TV? big
21. Your pet? skinny
22. Your computer? old
23. Your life? pleasant
24. Your mood? mellow
25. Missing someone? yes
26. Your car? lincoln
27.) Something your not wearing: shoes
28. Favorite Store? Kohl’s
29. Your summer? short
30. Your favorite color? pink
31. When is the last time you laughed? today
32. Last time you cried? saturday
33. Who will/would re-post this? moosema
34. Four places I go over and over? Work, home, store, temple
35. Four of my favorite foods? Eggs, lasagne, roast, gravy
36. Four places I would rather be right now? Lodge, europe, alaska, moutains

amazing how many of my actual answers are more than one word

Thursday, September 25, 2008


L –

This one is going to be harder. I know that my sisters are both going to be harder to write about. There is a fondness for your brothers that you can never feel for your sisters, at least for us three girls. I know they feel it too, it’s just different, some sort of ‘they-could-blow-up-puppies’ and it would somehow be forgiveable, but with your sisters there is a bond that comes from sharing the deepest secrets, your innermost fears and anticipations, your embarrassments, you can brag about your accomplishments – big and small – no humility or dignity required at all. Sisters could probably blow up puppies too – but the difference would be that you would have known before they did it that they were contemplating it, and why – and for some unG-dly reason, you would have found a way to support that (or you would be the one person on the Earth who could convince them to do something different). My oldest sister is eleven years older than I am. That’s a lot when you are young, she was feeling teen angst while I was still peeing the bed – the bed we shared. Our great grand-father lived with us when I was a baby/toddler – he died when I was three. He had the master bedroom, my parents had another bedroom, then we girls had a room and the boys had a room. After he died, my parents moved into the master bedroom and we girls split the two upstairs rooms and the boys continued on with the one room downstairs. Anyhow, we shared a room for a few years, and she was a tween (not a term in the sixties) and I was tiny baby. She adored me – or so she reminds me, more frequently than I think is necessary. I had a heart on the end of my nose and she loves to tell me about it. She was a regular wanna be flower child, she loved all the hippy stuff, but she also loved good hygiene – my mom says she was the cleanest hippy on the hill. She has a magical way of attracting all of the most unique people, all of her friends for her entire life have been the most interesting people in the room. She is the most generous soul you could ever hope to meet. For her gift giving is an art, and it feeds her soul. She is not complete when she is unable to select what she feels (and is almost always right) is the perfect gift. She is also hands down the most loyal person in the family. I think I’ve made it clear that we are all very loyal to each other and would support anything – but she is more loyal than that somehow. I can’t put into words her loyalty, but you dare not utter a syllable that could even be interpreted as against one of us – she will exact a vengeance, and she will make it clear to all who are witness that you do not mess with her family. She is also the most vengeful – I don’t remember her being as vengeful when we were kids, but she spent 17 years in Boston, and she picked up some character traits there that are as ingrained in her as anything she learned at home. She too, like Markie, loves completely and utterly and with a deeper passion than many people ever know – but rarely, very rarely. She has had two true loves in her life – she married neither. She never had children, but she has always made it very clear that it is her goal to be favorite auntie – and she has spent many hours finding just the right way to express her special love and loyalty for her many nieces and nephews. She is very careful what she lets people see of her inner self, very guarded. I would say that only one person outside of family really knows her at all – and it’s not the man she did marry. She did love her husband, and they had a good life for awhile, but he had addiction problems (he was recovered when they met and married, but eventually replaced drugs with gambling and eating) and that can tear a marriage apart. It doesn’t help that she also has a drinking problem – she wasn’t what I would call an alcoholic then, though she probably is now. She has always suffered from Alcohol Induced Psychosis however. I don’t want to give a long description of this – just to say my grandmother and my sister both have it – and it’s so unfair that my mother has had to suffer through the behaviour again and again all of her life. Drunks are ugly, but they eventually pass out or something. Psychotic drunks are far uglier, and they never pass out – they can go and go for days and days like some sort of demented energizer bunny. I don’t want to focus on that though, but I want to give a complete picture – so there it is, one of the ugly skeletons in the family closet. My sister is so much more than her drinking. She is one of the most beautiful women you could ever meet – she turns heads from nine to ninety. At one time, while she was living on the East coast, she was doing makeup for a Marilyn Monroe review and she looked so much more like Marilyn than the stars it was uncanny. She did herself all up in her Marilyn look and flew home. My dad said that walking through the airport men were actually stumbling and falling as she walked by. Mom always says that yes, she’s as beautiful as Marilyn when she does Marilyn, but she’s so much more beautiful than Marilyn when she doesn’t do Marilyn. She’s not just physically beautiful though, her soul is tremendous. Generous, loving, loyal – she exudes an excitement for happy things that catches anyone and everyone in it’s wake – you can’t help but get excited too – it can be Mom’s cooking, decorating the house for a holiday, a kids kindergarten recital, a rose blooming in the garden, a vacation, a baby, any happy occasion and she will involve and excite all who come near. She always wants to make everything bigger and better – if the neighbors had a piñata – she will have two piñatas and they will be stuffed with better bigger candy. If the last wedding had a well known band, she will have a better known band, and they will play all night. She’s also the queen of getting what she wants – it doesn’t matter how absurd it seems, she will find someone who can get it for her – but, it’s usually not for her, it’s usually for her to give as a gift to someone she loves. Oh and artistic, she is amazing – hair, makeup, decorating, clothing, ideas – always new and eccentric and people just ooh and ah. She also has an uncanny knack for impressions – she does so many so well – we laugh and laugh. I have so many funny stories, I can’t seem to choose one to share. So her artistic side, and her ‘hey-I’m-so-excited-side’ took over on a fishing trip one time. She packed a “fishing outfit”. It won’t sound quite so strange in 2008 as it did in 1985ish – keep in mind… she has always been ahead of her time. It was part glamour, part hippy – like pretty much everything she wears – it was like a collage of blue cotton rags, all hanging here and there on this shirt and Capri pants – she really looked like shredded blue burlap from a distance – and a turban of the same material…so this turban had shreds of fabric hanging here and there too. Her makeup was flawless – her hair just jutting out of this turban thing here and there, and she headed for the dock to drop a line in the water. She was clearly out to entertain my mother’s friends – as she had been bloody-worm-gut-your-own-fish fishing many times when we were growing up – but it had been awhile since she had fished. She headed down to the dock with her Boston accent and said to my mother – or perhaps no one in particular – “I’m here to fish darling, how do you like my outfit?” – my mother laughed at her and said, all those rags will come in handy for wiping up worm guts. She proceeded to cast her line out into the water, catch a fish right off and as she was reeling it in to the dock another of the seasoned fisher-women on the dock (also a very glamorous woman actually, but could dress down and be her raised in South Dakota regular gal when in the right company and venue) said to give it a tug to set the hook – so my sister yanks her rod and reel hard and the fish flies outta the water up over her head across the roof of the boathouse and down the otherside where I am sitting quietly fishing and reading a book – amidst quite a cacophony of squeals and drama from my excited sister – “I caught one, I caught one, I just put my line in and I caught one” – laughing and squealing. We never heard the end of the “lucky fishing outfit”.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Markie –

My brothers and sisters brought home lots of strays over the years – hell so did mom and dad for that matter – mostly dogs, occasionally we would sneak in a cat or snake for a day or two – dad is allergic to cats and deathly afraid of snakes – we had a monkey, goats, rabbits, gerbils, turtles, birds, lizards, frogs, salamanders, crabs, hamsters, fish, dogs and cats – my sister brought a dog home one time and she thought the dog was so beautiful that the only name that would fit would be her own – so she named the dog after herself! She also brought home Mark. She was 14, he was 14 – just a few months difference in their ages. Mark had been going to Jr. High with her, and he was cute and fun and everyone loved hanging out with him – besides he was the new kid in school and that offered all sorts of possibilities since his parents didn’t know who was who or what was what. It was 1969 – summer of love and all that. Mark had recently moved in with an uncle in a foster care situation – his single mom of 5 boys and 1 girl – all hellions couldn’t handle the older three boys anymore and shipped them all out to foster care. Mark and his twin brothers – Uncle was not the best foster parent on the planet – well in fact, he really wasn’t equipped to have any kids around – some people have to learn in baby steps and having a few teenagers plunked on your doorstep isn’t much of a baby step. Mark’s first twin (btw, they are the least connected twins I have ever been around, it’s impossible for people to believe they are twins) was last out of uncle’s house, but ended up with some great foster parents that kept him for the rest of his growing up years. The other brother bounced from here to there and eventually just ended up on his own, which he always did very well anyhow. He had been born overseas, in Germany, a military brat. I don’t really know the story on his biological father, they lived with their mom and grandmother – the grandmother was quite the hard ass – the boys rebelled big time – and it being the late sixties, there were plenty of creative opportunities for rebellion. Mark came to us – it didn’t take my parents long at all to decide that they could do a lot more good for this boy than the uncle was doing. Mark had already been in quite a bit of trouble with the law and had a few habits that continued getting him into trouble – and it was 1969 – a lot of kids were getting into trouble. Eventually Mark ran away (I think it was more “running to” for those kids in those days – at least the ones in my family, cousins, inlaws, sister, brothers – they were always running to some cool event that they weren’t going to be allowed to attend – maybe even a long-term, open-ended return on a sneaking out – they weren’t running away from anything, they were running toward an opportunity to be a sixties kid) one too many times for the foster care people to put him back in our house – they sent him to a boy’s home – but he never lost touch or quit participating in the family. He eventually fell in love with a great girl and had two beautiful babies with her. My first niece and nephew – both parents themselves now. The relationship didn’t last – Mark drinks too much and the passion fell away from their young love and they parted ways – but Mark never lost touch with his kids, and neither did we – we saw them all of the time, at times they spent huge chunks of their summers or other vacations with us. Mark shared so much of his life with us, it was like a puzzle piece we didn’t know we were missing until he filled the spot. Mark eventually married again and had another daughter – she lives with her mom in another state – that marriage ended also. Mark loves very passionately, he falls very hard for the women he falls for, and then he usually gets his heart broken very deeply. It’s been hard to watch him fall and hurt and heal over and over, but it has never dampened his spirit – he continues to love passionately, all of his family, to share anything he has with anyone he loves, to be there to help or support regardless of what you’ve done or how inconvenient it is for him to get there for you. I know that any of my brothers or sisters would do ANYTHING for me – you know “help me bury the body” type of help – but Mark would be there first, and he would stay to the end making sure I was okay – even if it meant missing work or traveling a long distance – it’s just part of his passionate way for things. And he is always up for some sort of party – he loves people, women, talking, drinking, dancing, music – he may not always be the first to arrive at the party, but he is generally the last to leave. I have so many fond memories of hanging out on the beach at the lake, drinking beers and listening to George Thurogood – going to the racetrack to watch he and my other brother, or just to watch the races even if they weren’t driving and then drinking in the pits till the early morning, always laughing, always singing. His children hold a very special place in my heart, watching them grow, seeing them become beautiful wonderful passionate people like their parents, and watching them grow more beautiful children with that same amazing passion for life and love.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


He was Lee. He was seventeen years-old, dating Mom’s housekeeper, and working as a wrangler at a local stable. He was super handsome – James Dean handsome – gorgeous thick slicked back hair and a perfect duck butt in the back. He was built like a brick shithouse and could turn heads from nine to ninety. He’d seen more in his short seventeen years than most screenwriters can dream up in a lifetime of imagining awful drama that happens to other people’s kids. I’m going to write a little about his childhood, but I may edit it out later. He had been born to a woman who had a knack for choosing lousy men – of course she came from a long line of lousy men – and lousy women. They were from the poorest Irish neighborhood in Denver – and folks who knew of their family said there was lots of violence, beatings and incest -- no one from that part of town had much respect for the family. I don’t even know if she was married to his father. All I know about his father is that when my brother was old enough to still have memory of it as an adult, and little enough for no one to think anything of it – he watched his father shoot a man in the parking lot of a bar. He was supposed to be sleeping in the car when he woke up and saw his father shoot another man. His father went to prison for murder and he never saw him again. His mother married a man far worse. He had three sisters, I think they are all half-sisters, children of the second marriage, but I am not certain about that. The man drove a truck. They lived in the mountains – rural, away from folks. That man was abusive like something out of a book – I know there are stories that I have never heard because they are worse than those that I know. He tore into the mom on a regular basis, beating the hell out of her and the kids. I’m sure from things I’ve heard, and having met the man, that he wouldn’t have blinked twice at doing the unimaginable to those kids. While my brother was still too small to attend school, he would play with his toys outside – often under the big truck/trailer that the old man drove. Like most kids, when he was called inside for supper or chores, he would forget his toys and leave them where they were. The old man was furious, and sent the little boy under that truck to retrieve those toys – then he intentionally ran over his hands, mutilating his young growing bones. He locked him in a tin shack on the property and beat the hell out of his sisters for sneaking food and water to him – I don’t know what prompted him to feel that punishment was warranted. There was a neighbor down the road who was somehow aware the boy was locked in the shed – he would let him out and feed him whenever he could without the old man finding out – he saved my brothers life, I have no doubt. He hated that man, and was gone as soon as he could earn a living on his own, at about 13 years old – strangely though, he could never completely break that tie with his sisters and his mother – he hated her too, for allowing the abuse – but he never lost touch with them. And so he met my parents – and they treated him kindly, trusted him, loved him, and respected him – he blossomed into another kind of man than what he probably would have become. He joined the Navy shortly after my parents were married – he served aboard a ship during Viet Nam. I don’t know many details of his service, I just know that he doesn’t like to talk about that either. I remember him always always being so excited for family time – so into the holidays, the gifts, the meals, the sharing and the love. He would find that one gift that no one else could find and make the biggest deal out of not just the gift, but the whole experience of giving and receiving a whole separate memory worth holding in your heart forever. He made reindeer hoof prints in the snow, and sooty santa boot prints on the hearth when I was little. He hid easter eggs in the most exciting places – you would have to talk him into a shoulder ride to find them all. It wasn’t just for me though – one year he was certain he wouldn’t be home for Thanksgiving – mom was very upset, she’d never had a Thanksgiving without all of her kids gathered around her. It was awful weather in Montana, and he didn’t think he could beat the highway closures. We were all sitting down to eat when we heard the jake brake coming down the hill – my mom ran to the door and ripped it open – tears streaming down her face. He jumped outta the truck clear down the hill and across the street and shouted – “hey ma, I brought some pie”. She ran out to meet him and he took her up the hill and behind that huge trailer and whipped open the doors to reveal two pies sitting right there in the back of the empty trailer! I had pet rabbits when I was growing up – rabbits were my thing. I had this wonderful rabbit, Jacques for years – my Jacques stories could fill an entire entry on their own! – Jacques was probably 3-4 years old the morning that my father found him dead in the yard – having been attacked by neighborhood dogs. I was heartbroken, I thought no pain could compare to my grief for my beloved pet. JL (he was JL by then, having changed his name to ours – the J for my dad’s name and the L for the Lee that his mother had given him) had come home a few nights later after a long trip of driving. I didn’t know my mom had even told him about my awful loss – I was pouring my heart out to him as he sat at the kitchen counter eating something. All of a sudden he was certain he had left his sunglasses in his car and could I run out and get them. I didn’t want to go, I wanted to keep talking to him, but he was really insistent, he needed those sunglasses right now. So I ran out to his car… and there on the seat of the car was a little tiny white baby bunny – hopping around and pooping – just like bunnies do. I couldn’t get up the hill and into the house fast enough. It was the perfect medicine for my broken heart – and he thought it was so funny sending me for sunglasses in the dark of night. He did equally passionate, loving or funny prankster things nearly every time he came home. He married a lot – too much. He had a hard time finding women who could be good enough for him and still put up with his baggage – no matter how much healing you find, there’s still some baggage from a life like his. His longest relationships were those that he had with women he didn’t marry – they became important parts of the family also. He has one son – named after my dad and another of my brothers – spitting image of JL. We danced, we were dance partners. We had so much fun, dancing Country swing and two-step and triple and whatever was required to compete in the competitions at the local country bars. We were good – very very good. We had so much fun hanging out in the bars together – oldest brother and baby sister – so many years difference in age and still such close friends – and when people would ask how old he was or I was – since I wasn’t 21 and he was older than he wanted people to know – I would just say “he’s twice as old as me” – that left them wondering. The string of tough relationships with pain in the ass women and a couple of nasty accidents that left him unable to drive a truck anymore made life in a tiny town in the Texas panhandle look pretty appealing. We knew where he was, but the rest of the world would only wonder. He worked that farm in Texas for a long time, driving a tractor – when he would come home to visit he would charm my kids with stories about the farm and his big tractor and how he would take a potato in the morning and stuff it full of onions and butter and whatever he had around and wrap it up in foil and put it on the engine of that big old tractor – then he would work all morning and when he stopped for lunch he’d have a nice stuffed, baked potato. Somehow my kids took to calling him Spud – the name stuck, darn near everyone calls him Spud now and all those other names are forgotten. His biological mother and her husband are dead, and he sees his sisters only for brief visits every now and again. So his new life as Spud, rotten childhood behind him, crappy marriages all but forgotten, and just Uncle Spud to the kids has him as contented as is imaginable.

where to go from here

I wrote a piece about my oldest brother -- you know way back in part 1 when I said I would go from oldest to youngest -- I used real names (which I will change) and right now it feels like I'm somehow violating his privacy -- and then I thought -- well I could post it for a short time and take it down again -- only my regular readers that have been reading thus far would probably be interested anyhow...

I'm not sure what I'm going to do now... I guess I will go write about my next brother and see where that takes my heart

so my question to you dear readers (all three of you, lol) is are you feeling voyeuristic enough to want to read about my siblings now that you know how crazy our attachments are - or would you rather I went on to something new?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

part VII

My parents live on a strange piece of land, which if you were there, all the description of what and how might be interesting – but to be as brief as I can, the location of their land, and the shape of their land, and the road that runs through the land make it the ideal neighborhood shortcut for kids needing to get to the houses higher up the mountain. A couple of those kids spotted the puppies one day. They were reaching over the fence petting these adorable little black-lab-hey-come-have-fun-and-play-with-me-kid-magnets several afternoons. Mom let them have their time for a few days and then stepped out her back door to ask the boys if they wanted to walk the pups. It scared the hell outta the boys who were sure they would be in trouble for having used the shortcut, and worse yet gotten caught so close to the house. But, clearly Mom’s not very scary, and the boys took the dogs on many walks on many days. The one boy began to tell Mom a little about his life – well be damned if he wasn’t having a shitty childhood with misguided parents who weren’t capable of treating him like he should be treated, or his little brother either. There’s a big deal in the County where I grew up in 6th Grade. It’s called “outdoor lab” – you go away with your classmates for a week and live in a sort of a summer camp environment and you study animal scat and meteorology and hiking and survival and eco-systems, etc. Everyone looks forward to it for their entire time in school. Well one day the kid confessed that he couldn’t go to outdoor lab cuz his mom, who was a drunk and unemployed, didn’t have the money to get him the needed equipment. Mom said, hey, we probably have most of what’s on your list around here, you can borrow it. So he got out the list and sure enough Mom and Dad hooked him up – sleeping bag, flashlight, duffle bag, rain gear, wool socks, etc. They even found him a pair of boots. He was SO excited – he went home to tell his mom all about the nice “old couple” down the hill who were loaning him what he needed. Well his drunken abusive mom freaked out and made him take her to see these weird people. Mom and Dad charmed her, just like everyone else, and she left convinced they weren’t some weird pedophiles or religious fanatics that were gonna do something strange to her kid. But… she still wouldn’t allow him to go to Outdoor Lab. That kid, the only kid I ever knew who missed, had to sit at home that week with his drunken mom and know all his friends were at Outdoor Lab. He continued coming around to walk the dogs, or even just to avoid going home though, and started occasionally bringing his little brother too. After some months passed he showed up really needing some advice. His mom was being evicted and had told the boys (then 11 and 13) that she was going to go live in a box and they needed to find somewhere to live. Well they all discussed it and mom had two other boys already, and only really had room for one more – and the brothers notoriously did not get along well, and mom really didn’t want to referee all the time. Well the older brother decided he had a friend who lived nearby that he could ask and the younger boy moved in with Mom and Dad. Eventually the friend’s parents asked him to see if he could make some other arrangements; they hadn’t realized it would be so difficult and expensive to have two boys in the house. So he ended up at Mom and Dad’s too. My two little brothers hadn’t been loved or trusted or respected in a long time – and a little trust and love gave them a great foundation. Lots of other complicated crap happened to them… but eventually, they both managed to become fine young men. One is a Sergeant in the Marine Corps and the other has a college degree and a great career. The older one had so little respect for his biological father that when he was about to get his High School diploma he went to my parents, and asked if he could take their name. He didn’t want to ever use that other name again. It was so touching and we all sobbed through the entire graduation events every time they would proudly say his new name.

You should know, he wasn’t the first “foster” brother to choose to change his name. My oldest brother – since he couldn’t get that adoption he wanted – when he was in his twenties and about to get married – he didn’t want his bride to have his birth name, and he too changed his name to ours.

Now we were nine, with three extra exchange students.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

part VI

When I was in High School, I had the house pretty much to myself. My healthy brothers were married, my sisters were both in Boston, and my other brother had chosen a completely anti-social existence that excluded everyone, including his mom, our mom and dad, and all of us. It was very empty, and then when I graduated, I became an exchange student – well that lit a fire for Mom. She wasn’t about to have that house empty, so she got an exchange student. I was living at home for college, so it was me and the French exchange student for a year. Then they contacted mom the next year needing a temporary place for a Brazilian kid whose host family didn’t want him (can you imagine!) She agreed, and of course he stayed for the whole year. Then they called to ask if she could take a Dutch girl a couple of years later – well yeah. So, then we were sort of 10 – really after you spend a year with someone, particularly at our house, they do feel like family. I cry when they have babies and get married; the French girl even had my parents at her wedding and treated them completely equal to her own French parents. They have all been back, the girls for visits, and the Brazilian came back and lived another year here while he attended college. It was during that year that my #2 brother’s ex-wife contacted my mom and said… “Hey I’m having trouble with this kid, and I think that your neighborhood would be much better for him to try to get through school than here in the city”… so my nephew moved in. My mom had the nephew in High school, the Brazilian kid in college, and two new puppies.

Monday, September 15, 2008

part V

Time passed, and everyone got old enough to bring home stray cats, dogs, and my oldest sister even brought home a stray kid or two. One of them was in foster care in the neighborhood – and the foster care wasn’t working out so peachy keen – he was in the foster care of a relative, and that wasn’t much accomplishing anything to help with his self-image, etc. My parents spoke with his foster parent and biological mom and they all determined maybe a new environment might really help him to thrive. He became our foster brother – so wow – we were three girls and four boys in a relatively moderate house – this meant four boys in one bedroom at some times, it worked out okay though, as our oldest brother was already an adult and was driving a semi over the road – he was gone for weeks at a time and home for only a few days here an there. No reason to have his own place when he wasn’t around much, and not much of an inconvenience when he was home as he was an adult, and I personally as the baby thought he was quite fun! Also, middle brother and sister were there like half-time – and in fact he was choosing to be around less and less as he became a teen and was unfortunately afflicted with schizophrenia, which at the time wasn’t diagnosed, but none the less made him anti-social. It was really very awesome – the seven of us, being loved and taught how to be great adults who contribute to society by our parents who had more than enough love to go around for us and any other strays that needed some comfort at various times.

Monday Monday

SIGH... I know I said I was gonna quit using this as my bitching outlet, but I just gotta

I have two meetings tonight, my son has a double header for baseball, and I have a meeting at work tomorrow that I should be spending today preparing for but instead I am cleaning my house as one of the meetings that I have tonight -- I am supposed to hostess -- UGH

also -- WTF is up with all my drafts posting on the day that I typed them instead of the day I click "post"?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

part IV

Mom’s job, the one she had to get to feed her kids, was working as a bartender at a popular bar/restaurant that happened to be attached to a bowling alley. Dad was having his “boy’s night out” with some industry colleagues every week by bowling on a league – hmmmmm, I wonder where Dad was bowling? Well I know where he was drinking! It was an instant chemistry – but they were both a little gun shy – particularly Mom. In the end, Dad won her over and they started dating.

Ironically, they started dating around the time that Dodie decided to up and run off from her job and her boyfriend – she apparently was too fond of a few of Mom’s valuables to leave them behind though. The boyfriend showed up to pick her up for a date at about the same time Mom was panicking who would take care of the kids so that she could go to work. He offered his time until she could find a new housekeeper – and then he kept hanging around after that – he was fond of the kids and mom – and his own family life was more hideous than any Hollywood movie ever depicted child abuse being.

The magic eventually resulted in a marriage – and the blending of their four… well actually five kids. The Wrangler, who was seventeen, asked if they would adopt him – his own family clearly didn’t care about him, and he had never felt like he was loved or belonged anywhere before. They discussed it, and determined that adopting a seventeen year-old was a bit more than they could bite off with a new marriage – but he was welcome to be a part of the family in every way. It worked out that Mom was willing to give the baby making thing one more shot, and she and Dad didn’t have much trouble creating a little one once they set their sights on it. Five soon became six after I made my first appearance. I was absolutely adored and spoiled, or so all five of them would have me believe – my cousins and occasionally my mom will actually rat them out for various levels of neutrality or even annoyance with my existence. Dad adopted Mom’s two kids – their biological father was no peach and they needed the stability of having a good dad and the same name as their mom and siblings. Dad’s two contributions to the family continued to live with their mom, and spend weekends, holidays, and a good part of the summer with us. Though they lived with their mom (the address and phone number are still right at my fingertips in my memory!) we saw them often and were very close.

part III

They were a match made in heaven – Mom and Dad that is – but they had some more learning to do, and part of that was to have other marriages first. Thus came four of my siblings.

Mom and her first husband had a daughter and son – but he was abusive and in order to survive and protect her kids Mom made the brave (and very unpopular choice in the early sixties) decision to get a divorce. This left her in the unique position of being a single mom that had to work to support her kids. There was no such thing as daycare, so she hired a housekeeper – you know like Alice or Hazel or Mr. Belvedere – Mom’s housekeeper stories alone are enough to fill a blog for a few months – wow! Anyhow, after hiring, firing, and chasing a few away with the pet monkey – mom had a cute little young housekeeper named Dodie that was dating the cute wrangler at the stables – this was handy, as Dodie could take the kids out horseback riding for an activity with some frequency, and the kids became as fond of the wrangler as they were of Dodie.

Meantime, Dad was trying to have children with his first wife and things were not working out in the ordinary way – so they took themselves over to the local Catholic orphanage and spotted and adorable baby boy – they took him home and named him after Dad – well at least his middle name. A little time passed and they thought, heck, let’s go get another one. Though thinking they would bring home a baby, Dad’s first wife spotted a toddler girl in a green dress and a miserable expression – she determined this poor child who no one else had wanted had spent enough time in the orphanage and needed the love that she and Dad could give her. She was right; she fit in very well and thrived in their care. But, some lessons are harder to spot, and as it turns out – Dad’s youth had caused an awful lot of damage to his self-esteem, and he really had just settled on the first girl who would have him, and there wasn’t a passionate love to keep them together – and they had different ideas about the future as well, which was a frustration to them both.

part II

Dad had a rough time growing up – his dad had married a woman who had died in childbirth having my oldest aunt. My grandfather joined the army and left the baby with his parents to raise. During WWI he was gassed and had some sort of bayonet injury – while he was recovering in the hospital, he met my grandmother. They were married, but the first daughter was nearly grown and didn’t stay there long, she got married herself. My grandparents had two more children, my dad’s other older sister and of course my dad. There are about as many stories as to what actually happened as there are days in a year, but for one reason or another, my grandmother chose to leave her husband, and he got the kids – I think in order for him to get a divorce she had a pretend nervous breakdown of sorts. According to my oldest Aunt, and it may well be true, before she went to the hospital, or wherever, she interviewed “house keepers” and selected one that she thought my grandfather would be attracted to so that he wouldn’t be too long without a wife and these two kids. It worked. He married the housekeeper and they had two more children, both girls. By that time, my other aunt had also married, but my dad was still a young teen. Since his step-mother was wicked, really awful and wicked, by nature, she had him sent away. It wasn’t very hard to do as my grandfather was downright abusive of the kids and particularly my dad himself. He lived with his uncle on a farm so that he wouldn’t be near the babies. Then he pulled a few normal teenaged boy stunts and the uncle sent him to a sort of a catholic boy’s reform school. The priests knew that he was just a normal kid and not a troubled kid and didn’t want him in there with the other more worldly kids – so they helped him run away. He ran away and came west. He was in Colorado and Nebraska in those early years and met his first wife. Interestingly enough, the two younger sisters were never told they had a brother or other sisters until they were grown women and their maternal grandmother was dying – on her death bed she told the family secret – that their father had other children.

Mom had an equally rough childhood. Her parents were married out of necessity when she made herself known to them. They were deeply in love, and maintained until they died that they both loved each other and never their later spouses. Grandpa would say he only loved two women, my grandmother and some red-head in Florida. My grandmother would only say that the only time she was truly in love was when she first met Grandpa. They were also divorced, but getting married at 18 is not a great choice now and wasn’t a great choice then. Grandpa wanted to fly and ride motorcycles and horse around and didn’t really want to sell furniture and come home to the little family every night. My grandmother was equally as wild and hated children. She was a musician, she wanted to play in nightclubs, fly, ride motorcycles and horse around and didn’t really want to stay home and do housework and take care of babies all day. Also, due to her own baggage, babies and children really truly disgusted her – she didn’t just hate babies, she was completely averse to them. She was extremely abusive to my mom and uncle – and Grandpa would defend them on the rare occasion he was aware of it, but he was so into just doing his own thing he didn’t always realize what was going on. My great-grandparents were very disappointed in their son-in-law, and though they knew that my grandmother was not a great parent, they made certain he didn’t have any contact with them after the divorce. My grandmother eventually took her music to New York City and left my mom and her brother with my great-grandparents, those years were a reprieve from the nasty abuse – but then she eventually returned when they were teens. She promptly shipped my uncle off to military school – she felt he was too “milk toast” and needed toughening up. She re-married and set up house with her daughter and new husband. It was during these years that she really screwed with my mom’s mind – she didn’t completely hate her anymore, because she wasn’t a child – and she would introduce her as her sister most of the time – but she would also manipulate her in the worst ways, and was very unpredictable and often violent, particularly when she was drinking – which being a musician in a nightclub, meant most nights. Mom couldn’t wait to get away, but when she fell in love in High School, her mom sent her away to boarding school to keep her from that happiness. Mom escaped from boarding school, came home and married a different guy.

I got a little carried away -- love inspires me? -- part one

I thought for a writing exercise (and no, I don’t actually passionately aspire to be a great writer someday – but I think we’ve all thought it would be cool at one time or another) and to broaden my blog away from bitching about kids/work/other humans, and to stop trying to force the funny, since I’ve had some feedback that is the reason my few readers drop in – I would start writing stories about my siblings – I have loads, so if I write one story per week that gets me through an entire quarter!

I’ve put very little thought into this actually, but since I generally work from oldest to youngest (I think it is a natural order not just because of first in-first out, but also because you are supposed to list yourself last, and being the “youngest”, that made it appropriate – so I guess I will start with oldest. Well now see this doesn’t work if you don’t understand the whole family flow-chart – which to my knowledge no one has ever attempted to put in writing before. I’m tempted to actually make a chart, you know so that it would look a little like the ‘Days of Our Lives’ character/family tree. Teehee, I’m going to try, I may come back and say – wow I suck at flow charts – we’ll see.

Well it’s not that complicated – but… I don’t have clever names for all of them yet – gonna have to work on that.

Anyhow, the chart will follow when I get the clever pseudonyms figured, for now; I think we have to go from describing my siblings to describing our complicated situation. BTW – if I knew how to put a song up, I would put up Garth Brooks – Love is thicker than Blood – you’ll see what I mean. DO NOT MISUNDERSTAND THIS EXPLANATION – THESE ARE ALL MY SIBLINGS – EQUALLY! A lot of people, including a lot of my in-laws and my brothers and sisters in-laws an spouses have made the mistake of thinking that somehow our biological disconnects makes us less siblings than other families – I think it makes us more siblings – more important to each other, because we know what fractured homes can become and have seen them first hand. When the two youngest came along, none of us were at home anymore, and still Mom and Dad asked us what we thought about them taking in the two boys – not one of us even had to think about it – Mom and Dad cried and carried on about how good we are at sharing what we have – an it’s really not like that at all, it doesn’t feel like sharing, it just feels right.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I drink alone

I spend a little time wasting time, oops improving my mind at other blogs. I was feeling particularly like procrastinating, oops enlightening myself one day a couple of weeks ago so I looked at the reading lists on the other blogs I read. I ran across a particularly well written, and at least for my sick twisted mind, funny blog – plus it had a great title (I really like great titles, in spite of mine meaning nothing at all to anyone but me) Mommy Wants Vodka. I can relate to that title – there are days… yeah yeah yeah, I know alcohol is a depressant, alcohol does nothing to enhance your mood, if you turn to alcohol for stress you could develop bad habits, blah blah blah… like I was saying, there are days, work goes poorly, some stupid dr’s office you can’t even remember calls up and wants to know why you haven’t paid the $12 you owe them… for which kid, that kid never had xrays, oh in August of 2006, well I never saw a bill, you have to pay them on the spot or apparently they can repossess your house or something, the dog is shedding and the cat is eating it, your kids didn’t do chores because they a) didn’t have time (ROFL, this always cracks me up – they DON’T have time, yeah okay) b) the other kid didn’t do their chore and they couldn’t do theirs until the other kid was done (um if little sister doesn’t clean the bathroom how does that affect doing the dishes?) c) someone was taking a shower… okay my kids are spoiled, and they get away with some pretty long showers on occasion, but seriously, showers do not take ALL day (and, you can actually do dishes while someone is in the shower!) d) they didn’t know – really, so when you fed yourself (WHAT?! YOU HAVEN’T EATEN ALL DAY?!?!)… really, so when you dragged your lazy, oops I mean really busy, ass into the kitchen for beverages and there were NO CLEAN glasses and you couldn’t get to the sink for all the dirty ones stacked in it, you didn’t notice the kitchen was a freakin pigsty? This is when they pull the super card (cuz I’m always bitching at them to be more friendly to each other)… well I didn’t get myself anything to drink, I had a headache and my siblings waited on me hand and foot all day (sure, yeah, okay…) e) speaking of headaches, I had a headache/cramps/backache/my elbow hurts/I’m resting my injured earlobe because I have sport/dance/speech/work later and I couldn’t possibly get up off the couch from my Scrubs/CSI/Gilmore Girls marathon to drop some glasses into the dishwasher and leave the counters all crappy and the trash overflowing so you would think I got something done today. Then of course the followup… “Did you pay the 8gazillion dollars to the place for my thing yet?” – please read that in snotty 14 year old girl voice, cuz it just doesn’t have the same bang if you say it nicely. Those are the days when a little vodka (or in my case God sent from heaven Bourbon) sounds just delightful. My kids know that when I walk through the door and begin to get my cocktail shaker down before I go pee or change clothes they had better walk on eggshells… too bad they can’t read any more discreet (and more frequent, a hell of a lot more frequent) signs of distress from their father and me. I hate to have to drink just to manipulate them into being nice to me – but I wouldn’t want to put those Bourbon distillers out of work either, so I have obligations all over the place.

So yesterday… some stupid xray place called, they wanted their $12.83 for a cat scan in August of 2006. I do not remember this exact date, but I do remember that kid having a cat scan (hey $12 is cheap for a cat scan, so I was very willing to just pay it and not bother looking for the EOB or other documentation). The assistant principal called… the NEW assistant principal, that I haven’t met yet, that is in charge of discipline, called. Well since we are a whopping three weeks into school, and my darling son has already been to see this man (usually he’s a very good kid, but…) for a trumped up charge of bullying from some Sevie on the bus – seriously, I talked to several other kids on the bus, I wouldn’t say I don’t trust my kid, but, he has been known to put a spin on things on occasion and to get to the bottom of the story BEFORE the school calls I like to have the facts, without the spin. He didn’t spin this, his friends, his sister, and his sister’s friends and even some kids that just know my kids all confirmed this particular little Sevie is on a crusade to torture all older jocks and accuse them of bullying, and sexism, and racism. She sounds like a little darling! So, one of my kids was already in the new hatchet man’s office FIRST week of school. When the phone rang and he said “Mrs. Momumo, this is Mr. Administrator from your child’s school.” I wasn’t actually immediately surprised. I thought maybe there had been a development in the bully crusade, or that he needed to speak to me about something totally unrelated to my kids that related to my position with the School Foundation. I was wrong. He didn’t have my son in his office. He didn’t have news on the great Colorado Bully Inquisition. He probably doesn’t even know I have a position with the Foundation. No, he had just sent my darling daughter back to class after having given her a detention. A what? A detention. For what? For chronic tardies, three unexcused already this term. For what? Three unexcused tardies this term.

LONG PAUSE while I gather my thoughts.

Which class? Math. What period? Fourth.

– Aha (really seriously, if someone had been sitting here they would have witnessed one of those cartoon lightbulbs above my head!), 4th period determines lunch – yeah yeah, the boy had a problem with this a few years ago, could not manage to get to the class that followed lunch cuz he was dicking around with his friends during lunch.

So she has lunch immediately preceding math? Let me check. No. She has lunch AFTER math. Well what class precedes Math? (I mean duh, it’s not like she’s running out to do a little shopping – with my money, cuz she has none of her own – from the closed campus) French. Wait, she is late to class going from upstairs to downstairs in the same wing – that takes like 2 minutes tops, on crutches, in bad weather, and a crowd. Yes, she said the problem is that she is going to her locker between classes. She is what? Going to her locker between classes. She is going to her locker BEFORE 4th hour even though lunch is right after 4th hour? That’s what she said. Well she will have to stop doing that. I will talk with her. She will have detention on Thursday from 2:40-3:40, please sign the slip she is bringing home. Okay, thanks bye.

Well then I talked to her dad about the impending explosive afternoon schedule of everyone going 14 places with only four bodies and three cars to do the going. Could he help out, I didn’t know when my staff meeting would end, they’ve been awfully long lately. Oh yeah, did he this or that? Oh and, your daughter has detention. What? Detention. For what? For three unexcused absences in math. Is she ditching? No she’s just late. You said absences. Oh, I meant tardies, sorry. Okay so she’s been late three times to the same class already? Yeah – she’s going to her locker. Well where is her locker. In the other wing. Well what class does she have before math. French. Well that’s stupid. Yeah. Okay, anything else. Yeah, what are we doing for dinner? I dunno, I’ll call you after my meeting. Okay.

Then… staff meeting wasn’t long! So I left early to go home, pull all my stuff together for the fundraiser for HER organization that I chair (cuz I have this “I can’t say No” neon sign that protrudes out of my ass on a stick and lights up above my head [behind the lightbulb]) – I went home, grabbed my crap, remembered I needed to print more flyers. Husband’s printer is superior to mine, so I trotted my ass downstairs to use his printer. My car is in the driveway, the front door is hanging open, and my son immediately comes downstairs to greet me “Hey, we’re home.” Then, my cell phone rings, it’s her – calling me from upstairs. Well, I didn’t answer. So when I go upstairs a few minutes later she is on the phone with her dad asking where I was. This child walked past my car, into the unlocked house, past my purse and called her dad to find out where I was! Then I hear her end of the conversation about the detention. Which, it was clear he was simply asking her about and not being nasty about. She immediately got defensive and snotty and announced “At least I didn’t kill anyone!” – you know, cuz that’s an excuse?!?! Needless to say, that conversation went downhill fast. Then she got off the phone and asked in her snotty voice if I had registered her for dance. I have told her at least 6 times, that I will not register her, she has to do it herself. So I told her that again and left. As I’m walking to my car, she has the balls to ask me if she can borrow my shoes. Seriously – after talking awful to her dad, making unnecessary excuses (Oh yeah, after she got off the phone with her dad, I told her “ you knew you were late, you should have made an effort not to be late a third time” – to which she replied “I did try” – oh yeah, by GOING to the other side of the school?) she wants to borrow my shoes that I haven’t worn. And her feet are larger than mine, and she is really really hard on shoes. Um – NO.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

color me falling out of my chair patting myself on the back

I wrote this almost one year ago...

listerine let me count the ways

I read this today...

Listerine Fixes More Than Your Breath

hmmmm... I wonder if the Denver Channel will run a piece on circumcision next July???

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

seen at DNC protests

Many, I mean Many Many Many groups have apparently acquired permits to 12-15 square feet of what will eventually be known as the grass that WAS in civic center park here in Denver. They are protesting for and against and not even really on the sides of so many issues you can't really take it all in. Husband and I circled the park a couple of times yesterday checking things out -- we do live here, it would be a shame to say we completely locked ourselves up in our home in the burbs and avoided the entire thing. I saw several groups that I could agree with their basic premise if not their methods. I saw groups that I thought both issue and method were right on. And I saw groups that I absolutely vehemently oppose their issue, their method, and hell at that point, they even had bad hair and stupid shoes (hard to be objective sometimes, smirk). I also saw a couple of groups/signs that bewildered me. One group (on the NW corner of the park, directly across Bannock from the courthouse and right on Colfax was a group dressed in all the same color shirts (which I couldn't read) and doing some hugging/praying/imploring gesture -- arms outstretched and raised just slightly -- I haven't the foggiest what their issue was. Then there was the man walking up colfax carrying a rather tiny sign (in comparison to most, it was really like about a 8.5" x 11.0" piece of laminated paper on a stick) that said "Restore the Constitution". To this sign my husband replied -- well both sides want that, to which I said, then it should read 'Restore MY interpretation of the Constitution'. And the first group that bewildered me, "HUMANITY NEEDS COMMUNISM" - not because I'm not aware people feel that way, but because after over a half century of experiments, I am amazed people can't see the failure of the philosophy. Let me begin by saying that when I was in my first Government class in High School, I came home, and at the dinner table my father asked about school. I said -- We learned about Communism today, and it sounds wonderful on paper. My dad (being a child of the 50's) totally freaked! He never let me finish, he wouldn't hear me again, he was convinced those damn pinkos had brainwashed me and all of my classmates. I believe it took my mom a couple of weeks to get through to him that I had said "ON PAPER". And I maintain to this day that Communism sounds great ON PAPER. However, when you take it off the paper and combine it with um... humanity -- well then it fails. No capitalism, no competition - no competition, no motivation - no motivation, no production - no production, no commerce - no commerce, um no commerce.

Also seen at the protests, lots of police ready to jump in their riot gear and take care of business -- and the most disgusting t-shirt I have ever ever ever seen (which I will never repeat what it says) -- there is a limit to free speech, and people are welcome to disagree with religion, but to pick a specific religious figure and then label that person who a huge percentage of the world reveres as a c-word in huge 6" letters on your shirt - is in my mind criminal and dispicable. In fact, just having the c-word where young people can read it makes me nauseous.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Democratic National Convention -- and Anarchy

We have the DNC here... most locals can be lumped into one of three groups -- those who wish it weren't here (bi-partisan), those who love the idea and can't wait to go participate (mostly dems, but also bi-partisan), and those who can't wait to go protest (generally party doesn't matter, they are more interested in making asses of themselves while exercising their right to free speech). I am a HUGE supporter of free speech, although those who know me well, realize that this includes my perogative to drive by protesters in my car and use a flurry of profanity under my breath to describe how ignorant I think most people who bother with protesting are. I have seldom met an intelligent person from either major party who actually stands on street corners with signs that betray how ill-informed and ignorant they are. I won't engage protestors, because that is what they want. I don't protest myself, because frankly making the nightly news or being honked at does very little to further any cause that I feel passionate about -- there are a lot of other ways to exercise my right to free speech that have a much better chance of affecting policy.

So, it is with my same view that I look at all the asses who have come to Denver to use the DNC as their stage for their cause. Certainly a national (international really) media event such as this, and a huge political stage does seem the proper venue to declare your opinion -- but seriously, again... they are mostly radical extremists that don't even understand what they are declaring to support. Among these are 'anarchists'. Now I understand that there are varying views on what anarchy means, however the basic definition is
n., pl. -chies.
Absence of any form of political authority.
Political disorder and confusion.
Absence of any cohesive principle, such as a common standard or purpose.
[New Latin anarchia, from Greek anarkhiā, from anarkhos, without a ruler : an-, without; see a–1 + arkhos, ruler; see –arch.] from

so... my question is, if you don't have any sort of cohesive principle, a common standard or purpose, and no leadership -- how the hell do you organize a protest?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

two days...

till my baby MOVES OUT -- I have mentioned before that I don't generally miss my kids that much when they are gone on trips, etc. -- A. -- I've always been a "they'll be back, look at the benefits of this one less person" regardless of who is gone, mom, dad, husband, boss, child, etc. -- B. -- I can always be very happy for them that they are getting to experience something new and wonderful -- C. -- my life is so freaking crazed that I don't actual notice it much except in the mornings/late evenings as we don't generally see each other every day anyhow. Another trait of mine is that I don't get excited/nervous/other anticipatory emotional until the absolute deadline -- if we are taking a trip, I am not excited, truly not excited until we are actually driving to the airport; if I have a meeting or other public speaking event I don't get nervous until I actually walk into the room (and luckily, the nerves usually dissipate the moment I start speaking); I don't worry about anything generally (part of my faith -- I believe that G-d will provide whatever I need and that my life will be good, so I don't really worry much) -- now don't be silly, I have boobs and I have children so of course I don't like watching my son get tackled by some godzilla sized lineman from another football team and I don't like when my daughter is out driving home from across town in the rain alone at 11pm, and I do fret bits here and there about all the normal things "will they grow up happy"; "will they be successful" -- ordinary mom things -- but I am not by nature a worrier, I just know that good preparation and faith will carry you through damn near anything and therefore worry is just wasted time and effort and could manifest the negative -- so dwell on the positive so that may manifest instead. However, this morning I find myself worrying, and fretting, and already missing my angel -- now she absolutely detests if I think of her as anything at all like "angel" -- but she really is an angel for me -- we have a really close tie, different from my close ties to my other kids, and she is sort of a rock for me, maybe because she's not as emotional as the other two, she's very predictable, very stoic, very logical, and I'm going to miss her so much I can just barely get through the day today without crying. I am worrying about her too, what if this time away drives a wedge in our little special closeness -- what if she gets hurt and I'm not there -- what if she parties too much and something bad happens -- what if she falls madly in love and I'm not her rock anymore -- what if she grows up in some new way and I don't get to see it -- and I miss her so much already I can barely bear it (for the moment, it will pass, I'm not that much of a drama queen). She is ONLY TWO AND A HALF Hours away -- seriously I can get to her in less time than it takes to wait in the ER for someone to take care of an urgent need -- and she can come home frequently, and I can visit frequently -- and she has a phone for crying out loud, and we are getting her webcams, and she has a computer, so it's not like she moved to Timbuktu or something -- and she won't be arguing with her sister, bitching abou the cat, contradicting her dad, irritating her brother, eating the last of some food I love, drinking up all the coffee before I wake up, leaving her shit all over the house, and gone all the time at work or out with friends (seriously, it's not like I see her that much anyhow) -- heck I may even talk to her more because she will have so much new stuff to tell me and I will have stuff to tell her that normally we wouldn't talk about cuz she would be there also. Also, she seems to get along with her roommate (based on a couple of phone calls) and she has hooked herself up with the Job's Daughters there, so she will have not only some built in friends her age, but also a bit of an adult support network also. My little brother actually only lives a little over an hour from her (when he gets back from Iraq) so he can get up there really lickety split if needed. I have to focus on how cool this is for her... I didn't move out when I went to college (I did go live in Spain for a few months first) I lived at home for all of my freshman year, and then lived a whopping five minutes from home after that, so it's hard to imagine what she is feeling. My sister tells me it isn't that bad at first, but her oldest went AWAY to school in Boston -- and I remember how miserable she was, so I don't believe her! I remember that my husband's brother/wife were up at their son's college every couple of weeks for awhile, they missed him so much... and they both cried all the way home from dropping him off -- he was only about an hour away -- actually he's still in that town and so that makes him a little over an hour from my daughter also. It's gonna be just fine... I just have to get through these next two days without freaking her out...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

This morning at our house...

...was just great! my daughter dropped an entire quart (the ziploc twist and seal containers just shatter when you drop them btw) of au-jus leftover from last night. First, my oldest put dinner together because I had a board meeting ... she made enough au just for the entire 1st airborne to come over and have french dips with us -- second, my son put away all the food, except for the huge pan of leftover au jus -- so of course at like midnight I was pouring au jus into this ziploc container, there was actually more in the pan, but I honestly thought that saving a quart was going to be sufficient for any use we might think of in the next millenia.

Cleaning up cold au jus is just about absolutely equal to cleaning up baby shit. I'm thinking of some sort of baby shower game where you clean it off of a dolls butt or something -- oooh oooh, maybe out of a carseat - with only two partially used taco bell napkins and an old grocery receipt! It's got enough fat in it to not be completely liquid and to make you chase it all around -- it still acts like liquid though and so you can't just wipe it like a nice spill of something with some sort of solidity. Also, and this is true of any liquid spill... a quart of contained liquid somehow multiplies by like 12.5 when it spills, so you find yourself actually cleaning up gallons and gallons of spilled whatever. Further... it's full of salt and fat, so you can't have the dog come help with the cleanup... and I just know that even though we were very thorough, I'm going home to an infestation of ants or some other nastiness. Lastly, while I dearly love my new refrigerator... it is actually too close to the ground to clean under, seriously I could fit one flat papertowel under there, but I'm sure you can guess what that did... yeah pushed the slime further under the fridge...
Yeah, so... 1st Airborne or not, we are not having any left over French-dips at our house for lunch or dinner anytime soon. Well unless you want to figure out how to suck it out from under the fridge with a straw.... bleah

***** U P D A T E *****
so my daughter says to us last night, "hey why didn't anyone save the leftover au jus?"

tagging y'all...

my friend Mike has this post... and it motivated me to tag all of you... I want to know (to the best of your recollections, cuz I'm hoping that I am not alone in the fact that I might actually have been to the ER so many times as a mom that I have forgotten one or two) how many times have you gone to the ER for a kid emergency, please feel free to elaborate with editorials on weirdest, most unnecessary, stupidest ER staff, best most awesome, etc. -- seriously they have half grown kids and they just went for the FIRST TIME after 11 years -- I simply don't think that's actually possible, they must have been flashed in the eyes with one of those Men In Black penlight things that makes you forget what you've seen after all the other ER visits... you can't have 3 children and not actually have a bench at the ER named for you...

Okay, and this is freaky and scarey all at the same time... one of the first times I took my daughter to the ER at the good old "family hospital" where we all spent our ER visits as kids, my mom met me there, and the Triage nurse ACTUALLY RECOGNIZED MY MOM from all the visits we kids had over the years. Yes the triage nurse was actually 157 years old and hadn't retired yet, I think her secret (from the sounds of her voice) was that she smoked a half dozen packs a day and quite possibly had been injected with formadehyde or something.

I'm going with 12 in 18 years off the top of my head... I'll bet I forgot some... also in addition to that we had at least four -- two that actually have stories attached during office hours visits to the doctor -- one for stitches in the head and the other for beans shoved up the nose. If that had happened not during office hours we would be at 16 in 18 years, plus a couple forgotten, works out to about 1 emergent care visit annually. Stupidest/Biggest waste of $$ -- son convinced me his foot was broken, and then proceeded to jump up and down and skip around on it for the doctor after we waited in the nasty ER to be seen for like 1.5 hrs. Worst care -- Children's Hospital - sad but true, only one visit ever, will not ever go back to their ER -- maybe long term care rocks there, but I will not ever willingly step foot in their ER again. Best Care -- there really isn't one, honestly every visit has had some stupid facet to it that just makes it impossible to give any of them "best" -- grossest -- either the night that the prisoner who was handcuffed to his gurney pissed on the police officer in front of my 5 year-old, complete with some really colorful words that she probably would have eventually learned at home, but hadn't heard yet, getting bitten by a mosquito in the ER waiting room (ewwwwww can you say blood born disease -- EEEEEEEEEEEK) or the night when I took my youngest for her broken nose received at softball practice so she was in softball stuff, and this 112 year old man came in, also dressed for softball with his hand all wrapped in what looked like a t-shirt... I was comforting my daughter telling her she wasn't stupid for getting hurt at softball, look at him, he's probably been playing forever and he's hurt -- he proceeded, while I was away from her for 12 seconds to show her how he had accidentally nearly completely amputated his index finger when a ball came over the back of the glove (he sticks his index finger out the little hole) -- btw, he was actually 77 years old and still playing COMPETITIVE co-ed softball, his granddaughter brought him in, and plays on the same team as him!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Overheard during Olympic viewing at our house...

Mom, I want a Tony Azevedo jersey

Of course we are obsessed with viewing the olympics in our house, our DVR is fully packed every day -- in fact we have lost some excellent recordings (the one show that I use to fall asleep) in order to make room for all the olympic episodes piling up. One particularly popular sport in our house (remember we have two swimmers, one of them a lifeguard, and another athlete who has a best friend that is a swimmer and is also planning to be a lifeguard) is water polo. I know, it looks a little slow and dull, but seriously could you tread water for an hour? And bat a volleyball around while you do it? and try to score with that ball into a floating soccer goal? and attempt to defend your team by trying to dunk/drown/disable the opposition while they attempt to dunk/drown/disable you? -- really, when you think about it, it really is pretty bad ass -- and the most bad ass of all TONY AZEVEDO.

ps. the quote was from my smart ass wanna be comic son, if you don't get the humor tell the story to folks who understand water sports until you get an explanation.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


looking at my post from yesterday, it occurred to me that I am always saying to my kids that "we had to do chores EVERY day, and we couldn't do anything else till they were done" as some sort of retarded parent comment that is supposed to motivate them to run around and clean up my house before they go to an activity -- what it actually elicits is an empty "yes ma'am" from the boy, rolled eyes from the youngest and a weak effort to carry some imaginary piece of lint to the trash can to escape, and an argument from the oldest about how she already did 84 hours of chores (translate, dropped a load of towels in the warsher, and didn't even dry them yet) and she has a job and the others don't and it's too hot to pick up dog crap, plus she just showered and she has to be whereever in like 4 minutes and the other sister just finally got out of the bathroom and now she's gonna be late and we said that as long as she was doing the laundry the other two had to do the rest (ps. my laundry pile is larger than it has EVER been, I would estimate that it would take 3-4 days of constant laundry to catch up at this point -- which I will be starting on when I get home tonight... I will also just be doing all of the housework all night long, while they sit in front of a paused t.v. NOT watching the Olympics because they will have to wait for me to finish their chores).

Alas, this is not about my plans to guilt the little darlings (read brats) into helping out -- this is about my cataloging the various chores we did growing up -- keeping in mind there were a gazillion of us -- though at one point in time, due to some sort of confusion on my parents part, there were a couple of YEARS when only my one sister and I were at home full time, followed by a brief year or so that I was the only kid at home!

We (girls) did all of the interior housework -- dusting, glass, vacuuming, dishes, sorting mail (we actually had mailboxes because there were so many of us), bathrooms, kitchen, dining room, cleaning light fixtures, stripping, mopping, waxing floors, trash, laundry (mostly folding, mom did most of the washing) -- they (boys) did most of the outside work -- mowing, wood chopping, cleaning up dog crap (which was WAY easy cuz mom would let us just turn the hose on blast and blast it across the lawn into the drainage ditch!), painting, nailing, fence repair, watering (mom did most of that), cleaning the deck, and taking out the trash -- they also had to do any heavy lifting or crap like that -- now, my parents were not completely chauvinistic -- the boys had to take turns vacuuming the dining room every night, they had to help with dinner dishes and clearing the table, they had to help with heavy housework like windows, cleaning the store room, etc. -- and the girls had to help outside, like gardening, and we were allowed to mow the back (flat) lawn, but not the front (giant hill), no matter how much we begged (I know, sick, but we did beg to mow the front) and chopping wood, particularly if you were hungover, you would be asked to go outside and "split some wood for the fire" -- it wouldn't matter at all if all the boys had been hungover the previous morning and there were already two cords of split wood -- you had to go "split enough to last all week" -- I never did know what that meant, I don't think anyone did, what it actually meant was go do it until someone came to call you in for a meal or someone came out and said "okay that's enough go help your _____(insert other parent)". Also, I had pet rabbits, and I had to muck out the rabbit pen every few weeks, it was a huge pen for only a couple of rabbits, so it could go like a month without being bothered with (rabbit poo doesn't stink, but their urine does) -- and then I had to "compost" the straw/poo/etc. from the rabbit pen -- which meant I had to get in the compost and turn that -- ugh... mucking out a rabbit pen is work, but sort of feel good work, turning compost just sucks. In between that mom would occasionally send someone to turn the compost instead of splitting wood -- you know when there was no more unsplit logs -- or we had enough split wood to start sharing with the neighbors. And really -- all of this only took maybe 30 minutes a day and once in awhile a weekend where you spent several hours one weekend day -- but if we were all working our asses off on a weekend, we could count on some awesome dinner and dessert and probably some beers with dad at the end of the day. And most of us liked to be home, it was a great place to be, we laughed all the time, we did silly shit to each other, and our friends were always welcome, and we never batted an eye at "yeah come on over, but I'm cleaning the rabbit pen" -- most friends would just watch, some would grab a pitchfork and help -- my best friend in high school would actually do a better job on the kitchen than me, and then I would be busted for not having done it myself. I remember that at the point where it was just my sister and I at home, every wednesday we would "clean house" -- we would put on an 8-track of Donna Summer or some equally upbeat awesome disco dancing around music and just go mach 3 dusting, glass cleaning, vacuuming, putting crap away, bathrooms, etc. for about an hour, and then we would start dinner -- The rest of the week we just did little stuff that mom asked "run this down to the store room", fold this load of whites, etc. -- Then on Saturday a.m., Dad would wake us up at the buttcrack of dawn (well to a teenager and a pre-teen it seemed the buttcrack anyhow, it was probably like 730am -- and we would have to pull weeds, mow the back, etc. -- and usually one or more brothers would wander in around mid-day (probably looking for food) to pick up their mail and would maybe mow the front, or turn the compost or some other crappy chore, and then convince us they had really done us a favor and we should do something for them -- usually cleaning their nasty ass bathroom, sometimes their cars, sometimes hooking them up with some girl (well my sister, my friends were all in 6th grade, and that's nasty). Then when I was home alone, I had it easier actually -- sort of -- fewer saturday mornings pulling weeds (mom hired a guy!), and just the usual dishes, vacuum, fold laundry, clean the girls bathroom (which took like 6 minutes, no one used the tub, girls don't splash pee everywhere, so it was really simple) -- then came the "little brothers" (foster brothers that moved in after we were all grown and gone) -- they didn't do shit -- I think they took out the trash occasionally and maybe mowed the yard once a summer -- well that's how it looked from my side of the fence, I'm sure they were doing stuff, it just wasn't noticeable.

Lastly, every Sunday, forever, was family day. We would run around during the day possibly, and only some of us would go to church with dad -- but the evening was family time, and everyone's friends had an open invitation -- I don't think a single Sunday went by that we didn't have someone there, usually a few someones -- even sometimes Mom's or Dad's friends, usually ours though. Mom made spaghetti every Sunday -- EVERY Sunday (except Easter and Mother's Day) and people would show up and eat. It was the only time we didn't eat in the dining room actually, some did, but usually people just sort of ate whereever, if my sister had her boyfriend over, they might eat at the kitchen counter -- if my brother had his friends over, they might eat downstairs in the "rec room" -- we didnt' have a family room, we had a mostly unfinished room, with some little panelling sections here and there on one side of the room around a pool table, and bare concrete on the other walls, it did have built in bookshelves on one wall for all of mom's books, an a t.v. and an old ratty couch -- which was eventually replaced by an equally old ratty couch -- and a piece of leftover carpet just laying on the concrete floor on the t.v. side of the room. There was a "bar" - which was more like a workbench with a hunk of formica on it and some barstools under the bar were a bunch of MARKED bottles of booze. And if there was a football game on, everyone would gather in the rec room and eat while watching the Broncos. If it was a home game, mom and dad were at the game and the only difference was one of us girls had made the sauce and there were two more seats in the rec room to sit in. Occasionally if several of someone's friends showed up, that group would eat in the dining room or out on the deck -- and you never knew who would be there. I had a few friends that were really very regular, one that even came nearly every week (I think his mom was a bad cook and he liked the idea of good food once a week), and I can remember different friends of my siblings being pretty regular -- and then there would be the surprises -- years after my brothers had moved out, one of their friends would show up at the back door and ask if we were having spaghetti, mom would be in her very best mood because one of her "kids" was back and she would have made them stay til she whipped up a batch if there weren't one, but there always was. Every one in the neighborhood called my parents Ma and Pa, and everyone knew they could stop in for spaghetti. Years later mom told all of us that she hates red sauce, lol. Now when we have her over on our spaghetti nights, we all make some sort of optional sauce.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bon Ami - my Dad, not the stuff in the can

I grew up in a upper middle class neighborhood, and actually in one of the richer neighborhoods within the neighborhood... in Junior High I learned that the kids who didn't live on the hill called it "snob hill" -- really it wasn't any snobbier than the rest of the area -- but anyhow... and we weren't rich. A lot of our neighbors were rich, some quite rich, but we weren't rich, my parents were in the market at the right time, had property to sell before they bought that house, and an inheritance to help out with the land. Plus, there were NINE of us, for crying out loud, even if my parents had an inkling of rich, that flew out the window as soon as mom went to the grocery store to feed all of us little brats. So the point of all the economics is that my mom would buy, for my dad, FREQUENTLY, the most giant can of store brand scouring powder available. It smelled a little like comet and dishwasher detergent combined together, and it scoured the hell out of everything, including the finishes off of everything. All of my rich friends mom's bought Bon Ami or Comet or usually both - because Bon Ami didn't scratch (or forcibly remove the finish/surface/color/etc.) This scouring powder, I do believe was actually rocks mixed with straight lye. My father would use it religiously, on everything. Burnt crap on the grill, get the scouring powder. Burnt crap in a pan, get the scouring powder. Greasy crap on the floor, get the scouring powder. Shower floor, get the scouring powder... in fact I didn't know that shower basins were smooth and nice until I got old enough to spend the night at someone else's house (who's mom no doubt used scrubbing bubbles, and maybe just once in a while hit the worst of it with a dash of Bon Ami). Our shower basin floors were almost like concrete! In addition to that (and I must thank this post for reminding me that my dad even used scouring powder as part of his own personal hygiene), while the rest of us were gagging on the fumes and dying from the nasty gritty crap under our fingernails and eating away the skin on our hands while we scrubbed the marks from the hallway floor that came from someone's boots... dad was merrily digging out from under the boy's bathroom sink ONE of his trusty 12 pound cans of scouring powder and a can of GOOP to wash off car grease or printer's ink from his hands. My dad worked on all of our cars, and he had a printing press in the basement, so he could be home while he did his night job... and of course we could help (which he managed to "Tom Sawyer" us into thinking was fun), he had nasty hands frequently... but during the day, when he wore his suit to work, no one would ever have guessed he had ever been anywhere near the hood of a car, let alone re-packing bearings the night before -- in case you don't know, re-packing bearings is a super nasty job, imagine 80 gazillion large BBs and a wad of axle grease that could fill a large coffee mug... then put them together, BY HAND. His hands were spotless, all of the time... it had to be the handful of GOOP and the generous sprinkling of scouring powder which he would rub and rub all over his hands and up his wrists and then (ever the water conservationist) call whoever was nearest the boys bathroom in to crank up the water so that he could rinse off. I remember spending many times sitting on the boys toilet waiting to turn on the water for him, after helping him with a printing or car repair job and having to use the same ritual to clean my own hands (cuz it was SO cool, not because I wanted to have lovely hands later in life).

Later, when I worked on a pit crew (not because I'm a car genius, because the driver of the car was cute,and I impressed him with my knowledge of cars, and he wanted in my pants), I discovered that other mechanic type people use Fast Orange... and that's what I have in my house now. But seriously, I don't think it does nearly as good of a job as GOOP and scouring powder -- it sure does smell better though.

I also don't work on my car... those days sailed when I was able to buy a car that had fuel injection and electrical crap, so that bottle of fast orange under the kitchen sink has probably been there for ten years - besides, the one time that I did change the oil in the car, in the driveway, in full view of the neighbors, it embarrassed the hell out of my husband and he sort of unspokenly forbade me from making him look like a slacker ever again.

Oh yeah, and for those of you who are wondering... when you have 6 brothers, and your mom is the smartest woman on the planet (I'm not being sarcastic, my mom is a frigging genius)... the boys have their own bathroom - which they are responsible for keeping clean, and the girls have their own bathroom, which they are responsible for keeping clean. Also, the other question I thought might arise is this... yes my dad comes from the sit on your ass and make your woman do all the housework generation, but he is a workaholic, believes that "chores build character", grew up (well a little bit) on a farm, and understood that the woman he adored had already spent all day chasing kids around, cooking, cleaning and disciplining... he had no issue at all with keeping his own shower clean, vacuuming, doing windows, dishes, whatever needed doing (except laundry, he doesn't do laundry) - and he way didn't have an issue with making us do it, and he would show us by example just how a little elbow grease and scouring powder could do everything but chop wood - which we would also be doing later.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

a poke in the eye

I’m sure I have mentioned before that strange things just pop into my head… and I try to make an effort to remember them to post here for some amusement, usually I don’t remember though. Today is an exception, I remember -you know how they tell you that you have to hear something 84 times (or some such number, I made that one up) in order to recall it at will… well it must be because I said it over and over to my friend, because it makes her laugh.

I was late this morning (look back, I’m sure it’s not news that I’m outing myself as a not-prompt person) – and of course fantasizing, what would I tell the group of women who were all prompt and waiting on me when I arrived – nothing is usually what I tell people, but I do pass the time in traffic fantasizing great things. Today was pretty darn good – I had received an email late last night from my friend, it said simply “I need some momumo time, seeing the world through different eyes, do you have time?” (she doesn’t actually call me momumo, but ya know, I’m not gonna out my real name).

I didn’t get it until pretty late, right before I was going to sit down to a nice glass of milk and some graham crackers with my wonderful husband, who as of yesterday, I have been together with for 20 years (yesterday was the anniversary of our first “date”) – so I didn’t reply, she sent her email around 4 in the afternoon and I had to assume that by 1030pm she was either already in bed, or already found some other soul to unburden her venting to.

So I phoned her on my way across town to the meeting that I was already running late to, assuming that she of all the people I needed to touch base with today, would answer her phone at 715am and not want to beat me senseless with the handset. She did answer, she was awake, and she didn’t want to beat me, so I made a good assumption there (always dangerous to make assumptions) – I said, hey I got your email late last night sorry… I have about 30 minutes right now while I drive across town to a meeting I’m late for. You know, I don’t know if I hogged the conversation, I don’t think I did, because thinking back we spent a significant amount of time talking about a crop “circle” out near the Denver International Airport, that seen from the air looks like a Republican symbol, you know to greet all the visitors to the Democratic National Convention (I would think it just as hilarious if they did the opposite at the RNC) – anyhow, she brought up this topic asking if I had seen any news stories on it, etc. so I think she just needed to talk to a grownup that wasn’t her family or ex-husband maybe, not particularly about anything, and maybe just not about anything. Alas, I digress from my story (big shock there, I never do that)… so we were talking about how I was running late to my meeting and I had gotten something in my eye while getting ready and maybe I could sell that as my excuse “sorry I’m late, I got something in my eye” – and I said you know though, my eye isn’t really red anymore, maybe I should just poke myself in the eye before I walk in (and we laughed our asses off)… oh crap, you know I think this another of my stories that just doesn’t translate well to the written word. I must say however, that we continued to beat that dead horse as we visited other topics during the conversation. I told her about my nephew being born, and I got all teary eyed during the teary eyed part, and I was like “hey, if I don’t wipe off these tears, the whole poked in the eye thing might fly better at the meeting!”… then I called her back after the meeting, because clearly 30 minutes was not enough, and well I had another 30 minutes of driving to get to my office… and I mentioned that I had been in the ER having my bleeding eye looked at – she laughed, she knows damn well I’m way too big of a wimp to actually poke myself in the arm let alone the eye. I did manage to retain this story for y’all, and I’m telling you driving across the highway this morning it was very hilarious, imagining myself sitting in the parking lot at the school jabbing myself in the eye with my finger until it reached the appropriate redness and tearfulness to convince a whole group of prompt women that I had an issue big enough to delay my arrival at this important meeting. Like I said strange things pop into my head.

So, yes my nephew was born, and circumcised for those following that craziness. He is fine, he hasn’t rebelled against his mom and begged for his foreskin back at this point, so we’ll see how it goes after he loses interest in milk and sucking on his fist and begins to use words. It was WONDERFUL – I know, all births are wonderful, and I have had the fortune of being at now 6 other births in addition to the three that I pushed out myself – and this would be the third birth that I have coached – what a great thing to be able to do for another woman. Anyhow, the best most awesome wonderful part of the story – you know that part I alluded to that makes me cry every time I tell it (still a week later) – I believe I mentioned that the baby’s daddy is stationed in Iraq, he left the first week in July. He is able to call home to his wife with good regularity, generally twice a day – they did get skype, so the calls are not costing a fortune – and I don’t know that he will continue twice a day after the whole ‘is the baby here yet?’, ‘the new baby is great’ stuff passes – but for now he calls when he gets off of his shift and before he goes to bed and he calls again when he wakes up and before he starts his shift – this would have been around 5am our time – so after hearing from him during early labor, we didn’t expect to hear from him again until 5am. So as the baby was crowning, and we all got a look at his little head, the phone rang… and it was his daddy calling (during his sleeping hours, he had awakened and had the urge to call), and he managed to maintain his connection during the entire birth and hear the whole thing – it wasn’t anything at all like being there – but he was able to have a connection somehow – I’m crying (or maybe I just poked myself in the eye with something?) just typing it – and the baby is great, mom is great, everything went wonderfully – she was able to follow her birthplan to the tee, it was just wonderful. I have to say, this was my first midwife attended birth, and that is a great way to go!! It was a hospital birth, midwife attended, and as they live out a ways into the country from the hospital, I don’t know how comfortable I would have been with a home birth – just because I have seen complications at a birth that needed aggressive attention (which I still believe, but it can’t be proven – were actually brought on by, or at the very least exacerbated by intervention – there, my natural is the way to go speech will end there, I could start a whole blog on how I think birth should be natural – and that would get way too deep for what this blog is about?). If I were to have another one (immaculate conception?), I would have a midwife attended hospital birth – wow the advances in letting you move around and labor in multiple positions are wonderful too. She wasn’t tied to the monitor at all except for the first 15-20 minutes after arriving at the hospital – they just bring the monitor to you and hold it on for a couple of contractions and then go away again for an extended amount of time.