Monday, September 27, 2010

Armed and Dangerous

Open Season on Deer--The Kiddo Leans the Finer Points of a Crossbow

Future NRA member---Supporting the Right to Bear Arms Since 1791 and Simultaneously Pissing Off Liberals

Friday, September 24, 2010

Schrödinger's Cat---My Feelings on Absent Men

I've been lax about writing these past several days because I have been very busy working alongside my dearest friend packing up her house, preparing endless snacks for the plethora of children running around the house, cleaning those dirty dishes produced by the plethora, and staying up late to talk, laugh, and watch super handsome David Boreanaz on Bones.  (Also, staying up until 1:30 AM five days running kinda screws up my ability to write coherently; I'm not complaining for I am too busy laughing).  But for right now, my friend is out on a date with her husband, all the kids are asleep, and I have silence to re-read my pondering.  And today's pondering has led me to ask: why is it more socially acceptable for a man to abandon his family?

When a woman abandons her children for a life free from child rearing responsibility we tend to think that her actions are reprehensible and question if she is of sound mind.  For example, Margaret Sanger (a topic of my college dissertation; I won't bother to footnote right now.  If wish to question this assertion, message me and I'll be happy to furnish proof) abandoned her children to further the birth control movement.  What sort of woman could be away from her four year old daughter as she lay dying from pneumonia?  It seems that a woman would have to be crazy to turn her back on the fruit of her womb.

Yet the flip side of the coin reveals we are quicker to dismiss the man's shortcomings.  "He couldn't handle the pressures/He wasn't ready for the challenges/He wasn't able to grow-up/He wasn't prepared."  Why is it that when a man abandons his children we do not question his mental acuity.  Why does not the world react with the same sort of disgust?
 
This hot topic issue came up today for I found myself in the neighborhood of my son's biological father; I was flash-flooded with memories from five years back. The last time I saw him I was 20 wks pregnant and he had promised to attend the 'guess your baby's gender' sonogram. Using your powers of deduction you can conclude he never showed up.

That was a horribly painful time in my life, but I have made peace with the loss of that relationship and moved on.  My Kid is the greatest joy of my folly and I can't imagine life without him.  I understand intellectually and rationally speaking that the path the Kid and I are on together is a far better journey than what may have been if his biological stayed around.  In retrospect I can see how the biological father and I were not suited for a relationship, even though we had been wonderful friends.  So why am I still angry after these years have passed?

I don't believe that I am angry at being left to raise a child on my own; I had the decision to abort, adopt out or become a single mother.  I knew that raising a child alone would/is a massive responsibility.  I think that I am more angered by the fact that one look at my ring-less left hand and the child on my hip, one can conclude that I am a single mother.  But no one will ever look at him and wonder if he has a child.

Like Schrödinger's Cat I am both alive and dead, happy and sad, angry and peaceful.  Next time I'm out driving around up here, I'll make sure to avoid those old roads.  And when I get back to FL, the Kid and I will cut new paths in the Florida sand.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"If you stare at me for a long time you'll get the hebie-jebbies." Where does he come up with this?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Now Boarding....Wanna Be Faux-Celebs

Apparently Lady Gaga's doppelganger was traveling through Chicago too. Note the lovely fringed boots and the non-existent shorts . Blah!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Leaving on a Jet Plane

I'm so excited right now, for in 10 hours I'll be jet-bound for VA.  (But I know I won't be all that chipper when I have to roll out of bed at 4AM).  Cool weather, wonderful friends, familiar places, and new sources for inspiration.....and MEETING WITH A MAGAZINE EDITOR!!!!!!!!

That's right!  I can't believe it.  Not that I am major overnight sensation, but after releasing my blog address at the beginning of August, I've gotten some fairly interesting traffic from all over the globe: Norway, India, Brazil, Pakistan, Jordan, Canada, and the US.  And it's thanks to YOU!  To all my friends, family, and readers across the globe (BTW, how do you translate 'YOUR PROBLEM' in Norwegian?).  Thank you for forwarding my posts, laughing at my observations/mistakes/opinions, and believing in me. 

I have to keep things short tonight; still a few things to do before reveille.  Now if I could only get the strange neighbors next door to cease the Macbethian witch-like cackling and forget that I came across this article tonight: Another reason you should fear flying.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Like a Remote, I Need a Pause, Rewind, and Volume Control

In childhood my siblings tagged me with the moniker "Doc," which has stuck til this day.  Not like 'You're so smart, like a doctor,' or Bugs Bunny-esque 'What's up Doc?'  No, I got the nickname Doc for one of the Seven Dwarfs; you know the one that sounded like he had Tourette's syndrome when he got excited?
Hmmm...is it open foot, insert mouth?  Or is it open mouth, insert foot?
Sometime, okay, a lot of times, my brain fires too fast for the cerebral links to hook up properly and before I realize it, my mouth has gotten involved, so I wind up saying something entirely backwards.  But I'm not the only one to do these types of things.

Take Brain Regan  for example.  (Note: this guy is totally family friendly and totally funny).




So you'll (hopefully) laugh and excuse/understand what I'm about to admit.

Not too long ago, I was at a very crowded, un-named mega store looking for everyday low prices on all the everyday items that I need or think I need depending if I've read the ad flyer.  (Look, a microwaveable egg poacher!  I don't eat poached eggs, but what if I have a guest someday who would request a poached egg! Then I could use my egg poacher!  And it's only $2.50!) (NOTE: I do not own an egg poacher, but I know someone who did.)

Anyways. . . I was just about to turn down the cutesy Hallmark card aisle when I noticed a man in a wheelchair trying to do the same.  I pulled back on my cart and motioned him to pass.  He smiled and said "Thank you."

And what did I say?  "YOUR PROBLEM!"

Yes, somewhere in that misfiring brain of mine I couldn't decide if I wanted to say, "You're welcome" or "It was no problem," so I came out with that darling gem.  (IT'S YOUR PROBLEM THAT YOU CAN'T WALK!  YOU'RE CRIPPLED AND I'M NOT!  SO IT'S YOUR PROBLEM!  NOT MINE!)

There was no recovering from that; mortified, I walked away. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Parenting for Dummies: Part I

I try not to be too judgmental when it comes to parenting now that I have a child of my own.  I readily admit that during my pre-child-rearing days I was a judgmental snob; my list of "things my kids will never do" was extensive, pretentious, and down-right obnoxious.  For example:
  • My child will watch educational shows only, and then only in moderation. 
  • My child will eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Organic meats or nothing at all. No processed foods.
  • My child will have the classics for bedtime stories; plenty of A.A. Milne and Aesop's fables, none of that Pat the Bunny crap.
  • I will never raise my voice, spank, or yell, but will have reasonable yet firm discussions with the Kid.  I will never say, "Because I'm the Mother.  That's why," as my mother said to me.
  • And on and on and on. 
Oh, the irony.  I make plans and God laughs at them.  The reality is:
  • The Kid's favorite TV shows are Sponge Bob and The Penguins of Madagascar.
  • The Kid enjoys vegetable as much as a hole in the head.
  • Chicken nuggets are his favorite food.
  • He (and I) laughs hysterically each time we read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and Fox in Socks.  (But thank God no Pat the Bunny). 
  •  "BECAUSE I AM THE MOTHER!  AND I SAID SO!"
  • And on and on and on.
So while motherhood has certainly relaxed my judgmental snob factor about the ins-and-outs of properly raising a child, there are some absolute standards that I will not relax, give a free pass, or ever change my mind.  Never.  Ever.  Even if I got beaned by a baseball.  Or really drunk.  Or brain dead. 

#1: Basic Parking Lot Survival
A child is auto-tuned to ignore every third word spoken by a parent, so this necessitates a parent to mimic an auctioneer when children climb out of the car: "We're in a parking lot, hold my hand.  There are lots of cars, give me your hand.  We are not moving until you give me your hand.  We're in a parking lot, with lots of cars, GIVE ME YOUR HAND!"

This is what I consider to be a good rule, an important rule, especially if you'd like to see your children grow up.  As most children are the size of garden gnomes and the distracted soccer mom in her behemoth Flex-Fuel SUV is not going to see your offspring, it's your job to hang onto their sticky hands.

What's a good example of NOT practicing parking lot safety with your child?  How about you standing by your car, hands on your hips, yelling at your child to not walk in front of a car?  While the child is three car lengths away? And is maybe 16 months old!!!!!

This is what I would consider to be an EPIC FAIL in car safety parenting.  

#2 Crash Test Dummies 
Car safety has come a long way since I came home from the hospital.  I rode home in a Moses basket set on the floor boards of my parents car.  While I had Mom's outstretched arm to prevent me from bashing my head into the dash when we stopped suddenly, today's car seats have built-in side air bags, juice cup holders, and designer colors.  So it always simultaneously baffles and pisses me off when I see a child riding around either in mom's arms or bouncing along the back seat.

For instance, yesterday while I was out running errands I happened behind a shiny silver compact.  And bouncing in the back window, like a bobble-head figurine on crack was an irritating troll of a child.  Now before you think I'm an ogre, can I say that the brat was picking his nose while making horrid faces at me, WITH his parents approval?!!!  Yea, I watched mom and dad turn and laugh at his hi-jinks.  Oh, my evil, dark side thought, "I'd love to tap the bumper of that car and watch the monster hit the headrest."  Which I'd never do because I'm not a psychopath, but still. . .  .I bet you've had that feeling too.

In all honesty if I hadn't been paying attention, say I was texting OR mobile blogging (which I just mastered) OR singing along with 3OH3(feel free to mock me), and I rear-ended the car, that kid was in the perfect spot to be hurled out the windshield.  I didn't like the kid, I didn't like the parents apathy towards their child's safety, and I didn't like the color of their car, but that didn't mean that I wanted their child to wind up as a crash test dummy.

While I'm sure I will have future posts on PARENTING FOR DUMMIES, I'm through with the lessons on car safety.  So parents out there, while I promise not to foist my particular brand of (ever-evolving) parenting rules onto you, I do demand that you adhere to the most basic of child and car safety. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

He's Lovin' It!

When The Kid says, "Look! McDonald's! My favorite place to eat!" each time we're out driving, I know it's time to give $2 Tuesday/Thursday Happy Meals a break.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Postcard to a Soldier

Dear Soldier,

I don't know how to say thanks, but in my imperfect way I will try.

When I see you dressed in fatigues pumping gas, shopping for groceries, waiting at the airport, or getting your haircut, I will always stop and say thank you.  I will offer my hand, that you might shake it, and I will offer you a hug, if you will accept it. 


I will pray for you each and every night with my son.

I honor you, because you have freely chosen the duty to defend this country, this people rife with error and imperfection.  You signed up to serve, not a president or a mission statement, but to protect and defend the lives of men, women, and children you will never know.  You were aware that your life would be put into harm's path, and yet you still undertook the task. 


Nine years ago, you watched in horror alongside the entire nation as the worst act of violence to overshadow Pearl Harbor occurred.  Planes fell from the sky, killing everyone in their paths.  Firefighters, doctors, nurses, paramedics, police officers, and men and women from all walks of life ran to recover the dead, dying, and wounded from the wreckage that spanned three states.  A nation was brought to it's knees, but sadly we didn't stay on our knees in prayer long enough.  A president struggled to address this bewildered populous as parents struggled to soothe their children and you prepared yourself, for you knew that you would be called upon. 

Maybe at that time you were 13, filled with righteous indignation and desire to stand up and defend your country.  Maybe you were 26, almost on your way out when your unit was stop-lossed.  Maybe you hated the president, maybe your were his biggest fan.  Maybe you joined the service to avoid the question, "When are you going to start doing something with your life?"  You all came from different walks of life, then, nine years ago and still today. 

I have a tender-hearted baby brother who is wishing to join the service.  I dread to think of him as a soldier, for a soldier has to grow hardened and accustomed to seeing the harshest conditions of life, possibly comforting a dying squad member, sleeping in foxholes or having to shoot a child who is firing upon you.  But who am I to say, "You, over there.  Thanks for your sacrifice; I appreciate it, but I don't want one of my own to possibly get hurt."


I can't do that.  And as much as it hurts, I won't.  I know my brother is at a cross-road in his life right now, with many possibilities to consider and many decisions to make.  But I know that if he does go into the services, I hope there will be someone out there like me, who will thank him and hug him while he's passing thought the airport. 


And I hope you can come home soon.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Trash Talking With Big Virginia Brother

I'm elated because I'll be up in Virginia in two weeks.  True, I'm going up to be a pack mule/indentured servant/cook/baby-sitter/comic relief for a dear friend who is moving further from the Beltway, and seeing as I'm a veteran mover (6 during childhood, 4 dorms in 4 years, 6 after college, and 3 since my return to FL), AND my current job status allows plenty of freedom (read: unemployed), I'm being brought in as a relocation specialist (read: cheaper and funnier than a professional moving company).  My motto: 'I bitch but I get the job done."

I miss the Old Dominion with its four seasons (as compared to Florida's two: Decent and Hot with Humidity high enough to steam vegetables in your armpits), the accessibility of a good non-Starbucks coffee house, the funky hipsters in George Town, the pretentious Beltway insiders, many friends, and the scenic waterfront of Old Town Alexandria.

The things that I don't miss include the Beltway traffic where one accident can cause you a two hour delay between exits (been there), the MS-13 gang (with whom I accidentally triggered a turf war), the high cost of living (900/mo for a one bed room in Ghettodale), and especially the taxes.  

Lo and behold, the government is finding yet ANOTHER way to squeeze water from a stone.  The lovely town of Alexandria is giving out larger recycling bins to customers who have requested them.  The cost is only $9/year.  Not too bad overall, unless you realize that even if you AREN'T using the new bins you STILL have to pay!  Oh and by the way, even if you don't use these tracking-chipped waste receptacles, you'll get mail flyers 'encouraging' you to recycle.  Don't be too surprised when you are fined next year for failing to participate in 'ecological consciousness.'

More to come.  I still have Koran burning idiots on the brain.  But for now I have errands to run, a crawfish and two gold fish that are begging for food, and a kitchen that won't clean itself.   

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Ctrl+Alt+Del

Had some major computer issues this week.  Fortunately, everything has been ironed out.  More to write on soon.  I have some major ranting to do: rats, psychotic crayfish, exposed underwear, and bigots .  Until then, enjoy this little piece: Irony thy name is Al Gore.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Work Smarter, Not Harder! or Why Motivational Posters Never Work


I've hit a wall tonight.  I spent over 6 hrs on the computer this afternoon working on a test for a consulting firm.  I'm so tired and burned out.  My brain hasn't worked this hard since freshman year when I arrived at my English final hung-over and bare-foot.  (A bit of knowledge to tuck away in the far reaches of your brain: 1. NEVER pack up your dorm room the day before your last final while 2. belting back large quantities of liquid courage so 3. you can tell your crush that you'll miss him all summer.  In my case, I threw away several shoes but kept their mates, had to fly home with a massive headache, and got crushed when he said he wasn't all that into me).

But the good news, I passed the first test.  I have until Thursday 7 AM to finish part two.  The bad news is that I have until Thursday 7 AM to finish part two.  All 150 questions.  Yikes!  Plus I've got a job interview tomorrow at a restaurant.  (But I don't have to deal with flair).

And funny as it may seem given my recent job was supposed to be a stepping stone to a bigger, more boring government job, I think that between the consulting gig and waitress-ing, it'll be the best move that I've made in a long time.  I'll have the flexibility to write, a vast amount of daily material to muse upon, and will enjoy the fact that I won't feel the extreme anxiety and pressure from my previous job.  My feelings for my former job are best described by this picture:

(Not that I'm thrilled to be unemployed; it was a major downer to deal with the feelings of failure and guilt that I could have done things differently.  That being said, I took some pleasure in hearing that things were exactly as terrible as I remembered them to be.  Catching up with a former colleague/friend instead of turning into bed early tonight was well worth it.)

So from now on (hopefully), I'll get my creative Energizer batteries charged by interacting with everyday people in a low key environment.  That way when I come to the key board I'll be buzzed on relevant human interaction, not grasping at creative straws while trying to suck the life force out of the 'motivational' posters on the break room wall.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Word of Fashion Advice--A Public Service Announcment

Dear Local Wannabe Gang Member,

You are under no obligation to take fashion advice from me, as my daily wardrobe consists of jeans and a graphic tee-shirt.  If I am feeling in a particularly festive mood, I'll gunk up my eyes with mascara before I plunk down to write, drop by the Post Office, or run to the local grocery store for milk, eggs, and Tastykakes!  (My addiction to the Koffee Kake CupCakes has been triggered by a recent marathon of reading many Stephanie Plum novels).  In short, I don't fancy myself being queen of the runway, however I am able to garner a few double takes as I am va-va-voom curvy. 

Thug life is hard, I am assuming.  Listening to my favorite rappers (yes, I listen to rap) if I understand correctly, thug life means that you have to fight your way to the top, letting nothing stop you, even though you had an emotionally-crippling childhood, full of drugged, deadbeat parents, with your best friend/brother/uncle/woman dying on your kitchen floor and never getting no respect cuz you were the smallest dude in the hood.  You survived because of your skills and raw talent; you are the fiercest, baddest, mutha-fludpucker around Thug Town.  

That being said, I appreciate your attention to detail.  I had a very mundane upbringing compared to you, and yet I can't coordinate/accessorize to save my life.  I applaud the flipped, stiff-brimmed baseball cap, the multiple golden chains of various lengths, the rock-sized faux diamond earring stud, the exceedingly large sports jersey and jeans, which apparently you borrowed from Andre the Giant.  (He called and would like his clothes back).  The fact that you are unable to walk two steps without having to hitch up the crotch of your pants should be an indication that you either need a belt or stop shopping in the Big and Tall section of the store.

To finish off the ensemble of bad-assness you have a mean scowl and children's rubber bands dangling from your wrist telling the whole world, "Watch out, don't mess with me.  I'll cut you!"

Yes, the Silly Bandz that encircle your wrists really strike fear and terror into my heart.  But instead of thinking, 'Oh my, maybe I should lock my car doors!' instead, I fear I will crash my car into a stop sign because I have just laughed myself into an asthmatic coughing fit. 

So Local Wannbe Gang Member, a piece of advice as you continue your bad-ass rise in Thug Town; if you are looking to strike fear into the hearts of people do yourself a favor and give the Silly Bandz a rest.  What you do with them behind closed doors is fine by me, but if I come across you and see you still wearing them, I can't promise that I won't laugh at you.

Friday, September 3, 2010

They just don't make 'em like they use to----Part Duex

Well, my first and certainly not last mistake has been pointed out to me by an expert trivia fan.  It was EVA not Zsa Zsa who played in Green Acres.  Whoops!  But still, I am grossed out when I think of plasticine Gabor.  

Thursday, September 2, 2010

They just don't make 'em like they use to

This week I have been bogged down with the continual aid at the parental property.  The MotherShip had the Wild Woman of Borneo look about her, so for the past three days, I've been logging in most of my time out in deliverance country.  No joke, there are deer that walk through the back yard and I half expect the neighbor down the road to invite the new folks to a Klan rally.  (Really, we get it.  You live in a log cabin, you have a truck with Dixie flags, and your yard is a testament to hunting.)

So while I have been unable to summon up the energy to write, I have at least collected articles of amusement and ideas that I have been running around in this highly caffeinated cerebral cortex.  The you've-got-to-be-kidding-me factor has been through the roof, and it's technically not even Friday for another 120 mins.

First up, is this brand of crazy.  I haven't followed up on it yet, but I am assuming that all over the blog-sphere one camp or another will be admiring/denouncing/sanctifying/vilifying James Lee, an obviously mentally diminished man.  It is apparent that by reading the first line of Lee's demand this is not your everyday Mother Earth Lover; he's quite off his rocker.  He hates, well, pretty much everybody.  He's no a peacnik but he's not a warmonger either.  Lee wants everyone dead so he can be Lord Cuckoo Head of the Beetle Kingdom.  The thing of this that makes me wonder the most, isn't why wasn't this person arrested back when he began causing public disturbances as we are now finding out about his prior encounters; it's why do we not have mental hospitals anymore?  I truly believe that there are people who cannot live in society, who need to be sheltered from the outside world, for their ideas of reality are far too warped.  I'm not talking about mental hospitals out of One Flew Over the Cuckoo Nest, or Girl, Interrupted  but maybe a cross between Shutter Island and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Second item up for intellectual target practice are the big bad gangbangers of Chicago.  It appears that "police and city officials do not respect them."  Well, someone stop the presses 'cuz this is the biggest shocker of my life.  Image that, citizens whose job it is to uphold the law don't like those 'self-identified gang members' who do their best to break the law.  And these upstanding Chicago boys really know how to represent their intelligence: "they were tricked into coming to the meeting, and that it amounted to harassment." 

Now here's the thing, if I were head of a gang I would be ASHAMED to admit that I was tricked by the police.  Isn't part of being a gang member/hooligan/thug with street cred supposed to be wise to the tricks of the 5-0.  Would you really want to project the image that instead of being wily like a fox, you are as dumb as Wiley Coyote?  And complaining that you were harassed by the police, isn't police harassment one of your merit badges?  Like you don't get any really respect unless the Po Po be hasslen' you every time a situation goes down. 

And of course if Chicago ever wants to see less gang violence all the city has to do is "provide jobs and improve their community."  Because of course, it's Chicago's fault for making all these gang members sell drugs, shoot out of driving cars, and destroy neighborhoods. 

Third and most lastly for the evening, vanity thy name is Zsa Zsa.  Is this even a real story or is The Onion being used as a source for real and current news?  It appears that Mr. Zsa Zsa beleives his alling wife would want to have her moral remains a la Madame Tussaud's for the entire world to gawk.  And not immortalized in wax, but to have her body pumped with plastic filler.  Wasn't Paris Hilton in a horror movie where that happened?  I don't know, it's far too weird for me. 

One might argue that Catholic do the same thing, noting the various chapel crypts in Europe where one can't throw a stone without hitting an incorrupt body, but the distinction here is that Catholics believe these people to have led holy lives, preformed miracles, and are spending their eternity in the presence of the Almighty Creator. 

I'm not too sure that Green Acres is a TV show that I'll be watching in late night reruns.