Thursday, May 31, 2007

Steamy Dreams...

Last night I had a dream that I was the 'older woman' that Taylor Kitsch (from my show Friday Night Lights) was having a fling with. Oh, and yes, FNL is *my* show. I love it, and would marry it if I weren't already married and if you could marry a tv show.

Anyway, this dream was all nice and steamy without being so graphic as to make me uncomfortable when I woke up. You know what I mean, like when you have one of those dreams where you got really adventurous and you wake up thinking, "Wow. Is that maneuver even physically possible?!" and then you dwell on it all day, and with any luck the partner in the dream wasn't someone icky from work or your old neighbor who looks like Santa Claus. Because if it is the icky guy from work, or Mr. Claus, you spend a lot of time trying to mentally comet-scrub your brain.

But back to Taylor. I think I've posted a picture of this man before, but if not, here's my visual gift to you. Go ahead and stare. He's both hot and adorable at the same time, something that's incredibly hard to pull off. He does have an errant eyebrow, and my friend G might have issues with that, but otherwise, this is perfection, folks:

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Yeah, that's the guy who wanted ME in my dream last night. No wonder I didn't want to wake up and come into this hellhole the office today.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Work Website Woes, Hazardous Hygeine, and Boring Bedtime Babbling

Yeah, I know I go overboard with the alliteration on my titles.

Work is slowly squashing the life out of me.... can't take it anymore.... will someone PLEASE figure out what's wrong with our "effing" web database so I can quit being on late night conference calls and working all hours?!? GAHHHHHHH!

On the way into work this morning I saw a man brushing his teeth in his car. What the hell...? Where do you spit when you brush your teeth in the car? And you know those splatters of toothpaste that end up on your counter and mirrors in the bathroom? Do you suppose those are on the inside of his car windshield? What an odd morning routine - and how dangerous is that, do you suppose? Worse than driving while eating, or not? I can't decide. I understand the dude might have been running late. But when I do that, or if I forget to brush my teeth, I use my spare toothbrush and toothpaste that I keep at the office. I also use it after lunch, but that's another story entirely. I hate the feeling of fuzzy teeth.

Sigh. I'm not feeling creative and have nothing interesting to say. The Husband is out of town and both of the girls are in my bed tonight, they begged to sleep with me. This is typical for Bumblebee, but Hollywood wanted to sleep with me too. Makes me feel like I'm excluding The Boy. But he's sleeping peacefully in his usual burrito fashion with his covers over his head and wrapped around him several times. It'll be nice to snuggle with the girls since TH is gone. Except that Bumblebee snores. Very loudly. But I can always turn on my iPod if it gets too loud. I have a classical playlist set up for when The Husband is having an especially snory night.

I suppose I should shut down my laptop and quit looking at the website performance reports. Tomorrow will be another fun day of explaining to the Senior VPs why our sites keep failing. Good times.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Power Lines

Tonight I was driving home from The Boy's baseball game and it started to pour. And I mean POUR. Traffic on the county road I was traveling slowed from 55 to 20 then finally to a halt. After a bit I saw what was causing the congestion: a power line was laying across the street. On one side of the road, a utility pole had fallen, presumably struck by lightning. The pole had crushed the fenced in area where a group of cows were milling about. I was worried about those cows. What if they got electrocuted?!

I didn't know what to do about the line in the road. Two, three, four cars drove over it, but I was still worried. Can you do that without getting zapped? What if the line was still 'live'? I assumed it was, since it had clearly just fallen. But all of the other cars did it and weren't electrifried. (did you see what I did with that word there? I used 'eletri' and 'fried' instead of electrified? Isn't that clever? No? Man, tough crowd. Well, I tried...) So I drove over it and of course we didn't get zapped, we are all fine, but then I wondered why a car would make a person safe from downed power lines and decided to look it up. And here's what I learned in my research: It's NOT safe to drive over downed power lines!! I totally did what my mother told me not to do all of my life, which is to act like a sheep in a herd. "If your friends all jumped off a bridge, would you?"

I feel very blessed that I didn't get hurt after doing something stupid like that. I also feel pretty darn lucky that the downpour started precisely eleven seconds after I got into the van after the game ended. It could have happened as I was sitting on my foldout chair, half a mile from the parking lot. Pretty good timing, I'd say.

I've tried to continue this post a few times, but each time I started writing about sad or depressing subjects, So I deleted what I wrote, not being in the mood for a philosophical post. Being down in the dumps isn't normally my style, but today was a pretty bad news day. Too many sad stories that are swimming around in my head. At least there wasn't yet another sad news story reporting about the kids and me getting barbecued (or barba-cubed, as Bumblebee would say) by a downed power line. And, dear readers, on that upbeat thought, I will bid you good night.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Happy Birthday, Sis-in-law

I didn't forget you... it's 11:20, which means that technically I'm not belated. But I didn't remember to call, so now I feel really bad.

Happy Birthday, K!! Hope you had a nice one.

I think today is also my friend G's daughter's birthday, so happy birthday to little Lulu too!

Two Control Freaks Working Together

Today The Husband and I worked on a project together. I suspect there are couples out there who can work harmoniously side by side, giving and taking, enjoying the pleasure of each other's company while relishing the satisfaction of a job well done together.

But we aren't one of those couples.

What do you get when you put two control freaks, and the task of refinishing/restoring a filthy, old, mechanically confusing table in the same garage? I'll tell you. You get two very definite ideas of how to do things. And those of you who know me and TH, can imagine that we had very different ideas on how to get started on this mammoth project. We are refinishing a set that consists of the table, a buffet table, and a set of chairs. If we get this project finished before Hollywood graduates from college, it'll be a miracle. Our focus today was on the underside of the table.

The conflict started when TH said, "You are going to refinish the underside, aren't you?"

I hadn't planned on stripping it and refinishing it, considering that 3/4 of the underside wasn't finished originally.

I explained that it would be silly to spend the time refinishing the underside of the table. The trim that was visible on the underside, yes, but not the actual underside of the table. He disagreed, and of course had a million reasons why. We went round and round about this issue and he started making me nuts! I explained that the underside of the table was never going to be seen, unless one was lying on our floor! At one point he said that the mechanics of the table wouldn't work as well if the table wasn't finished, meaning that the leaves on the end wouldn't pop out and up like they're supposed to in order to enlarge the table. That was a ridiculous statement, I thought, and because I can't keep my thoughts to myself like I should, I told him.

I told him he was a control freak and he started laughing. Real, genuine, amusement came from this man who was trying to tell ME what to do!! I was incensed. But then I thought about it for a while and realized that if I were to call him a control freak, I may as well don my pot (calling the kettle black) outfit.

He went to the store to get some supplies. He had a lot of work to do to reinforce the bracing on the underside of the table, and to fix broken pieces. While he was gone I removed the cobwebs and wasps nest shells on the underside. I cleaned it up with degreaser, and began the tedious process of stripping the trim on the underside. When he got home, he was surprised at how well it looked cleaned up. He told me that he was fine with leaving the underside that way since it looked nice after I'd cleaned it up. "Did you think I wasn't going to CLEAN it?" I half-joked.

In the end, we both kind of compromised. I know, shocking!! I decided that I would strip and refinish the undersides of the edge pieces, if for no other reason, than for when someone looks underneath the table to retrieve some gum that was left there. Actually, I decided that he's right. The parts of the table he was referring to were finished originally, though I still have no idea why since the rest of the underside wasn't. I agreed to restore it the way it was originally made. But only partially because he said to. I think it'll be good practice, and if I mess up while I get the hang of it, nobody will ever see it!! He seemed genuinely impressed that I thought to label some trim pieces and their corresponding spots on the table, and complimented me on thinking of that. (I didn't tell him that it was suggested on the DIY site when I googled 'furniture refinishing'.)

We're both control freaks. We both have very different ways of doing things. He's very precise, deliberate, and has an amazing attention to detail. I'm efficient, organized, and maybe the best multi-tasker in the world. Which means we are just about polar opposites who have to meet in the middle.

It's going to be a long project. I know the set will be beautiful when we're done with it, and it means so much to us because it belonged to TH's grandma, who we visited this weekend. I'm happy to say that we didn't kill each other while working on day one of the project, but there are many, many more opportunities for carnage since this will take forever to complete!

At the dinner table tonight we were casually discussing the day's work and Bumblebee chimed in with her two cents' worth: "You know," she said in a very serious, grown up voice, "It would be much easier if you put the legs on the table first." She's got her own way of doing it too, and she's only three. Yeah, I think we've spawned a mini control freak.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

My Son

It startles me
each time I discover how much he's grown.
I have to steady myself and become accustomed to his changes.

Still my loving little man,
Not too old to say 'I love you, Mom.'
But old enough to want some independence.

Without knowing it,
He shows me glimpses of the man that he will one day become
As he plays with his little sister or holds the door open for a stranger.

He hasn't learned to disguise his feelings yet.
His face shows his soul.
I wonder when he will learn to mask his emotions.

I envy his cheerfulness and optimism -
Happiness rules his world.
Will this be lost when childhood abandons him for good?

He's fond of telling me that I'm
The 'Best Mom in the World.'
If only he knew the doubts and fears I have.

Reflecting on what a great child he is
Makes those doubts shrink,
As pride and love swell in their place.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Mrs. Roper is WHAT?

I had a disturbing conversation with The Husband tonight. He was telling me how much he liked the shirt I was wearing today. I have to give him props for doling out the compliments. He's very good at them. But I was skeptical. The shirt I wore today is a flouncy, floral blouse that belts at the waist. It's got puffy, gauzy sleeves, and while adorable on the rack (and I mean the sales rack, not my rack), it's just not me. I think I could still wear it under a jean jacket, but alone, it reminds me of Mrs. Roper. Remember her? From Three's Company?

I told The Husband that I thought the shirt was like something Mrs. Roper would wear, and he dropped this little bomb: "Mrs. Roper was hot."

"Uh, excuse me? Do you remember who Mrs. Roper was?" I asked.

He did. In case you don't remember, here's a picture of her:

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That's hot? What the??

"There's obvious hot, and there's 'good to go' hot. Mrs. Roper was always in the mood. She was hot." Apparently, always being horny makes you hot. This should bring hope to homely women everywhere!!

I will never understand men, even if I live to be a thousand years old. But if my husband thinks that is hot, then I really probably could have skipped my work out tonight. :)

Speaking of working out, I have a 'what would you do' question... As I was getting ready for my post-workout shower, I grabbed a new bar of soap out of the closet. The wastebasket is next to the toilet in our bathroom, and as I took the soap out of the carton to throw it away, the soap dropped and fell into the toilet.

It was a flushed toilet, which is hit or miss at my house, so fortune was with me there. But, I haven't scrubbed that toilet in a week and a day, and a week is about the limit when we have four people sharing the bathroom. (The Husband has his own bathroom and the rest of us share one. He needs his own personal bathroom space, and we're happy to give it to him. ) Back to the soap: do I throw it away because it fell into the toilet? Normally, that would be a no-brainer. You throw things away if they fall into the stool. But soap is pretty much self-cleaning, right? So even though it fell into the toilet, if I wash it off in the shower, it gets clean, doesn't it? I mean, that soap touches my kids' asses. I know they don't use the thing I do to get clean. You know, those spongy-scrunchy-mesh-things-that-I-want-to-call-a-loofah-but-that's- not-right-and-they-have-no-good-name, nor do I ever find a washcloth in the tub. So... either their butts aren't getting clean, or the soap is coming in contact with such germy body parts.

What would you have done about the soap?

It likely won't come as a shock to you that I gave it a good ole rinse and put it in the shower. .. And then I proceeded to use the last of the body wash I swiped from the hotel in Phoenix instead of the soap, letting whoever's next in the shower deal with any leftover toilet germs. Yeah, I'm mean.

Worries...

The Husband's uncle isn't doing very well. He's got leukemia. His blood pressure is at dangerous levels (I'm not sure if it's too high or too low), he's being treated for infections and high fevers, along with his diabetes, and the chemo is wiping him out, and the last I heard they were keeping him heavily medicated and he didn't know his visitors.

It's hard to take this in, to come to terms with the fact that he might not beat this. The Husband will be crushed - he has been very close with this uncle for his whole life, I think because they share a lot of the same interests (Native American spirituality, fishing, outdoors stuff, etc.) and because they are only 10 years apart in age.

The 10 years age difference really frightens me - I worry that it could happen to TH. Cancer has been very prevalent in The Husband's family. His maternal aunt passed away from it when she was young - in her early 40s maybe. His grandparents had it, and now his paternal uncle has it. He's got a very heavy family history of cancer, and he smokes. I've tried a couple of times to explain my fears to him lately. I know he's worried about it too, but he still hasn't quit.

My MIL quit smoking about a year and a half ago. She just up and quit one day. I'm sure it was harder than just 'up and quitting', but she's done a great job with it, and I'm so glad that she did it. I hope TH will do the same soon. He's talked about hypnosis, and has tried almost everything else at least once. I don't care what method he uses to try, I just want him to quit smoking because I worry about him getting cancer and leaving us to watch him die a slow and painful death. I have never been a smoker (well, except for a few cigarettes at the bar, but they made me feel so horrible that I could never understand why you'd want to try them when sober...) so I don't understand the urges and how tough it is to quit. I have seen friends and family quit for good, though, so I just hope with all I've got that The Husband will be able to do that someday soon.

But back to Uncle B. I'm still hoping for the best. He's such a positive, stubborn man, that he just might be able to pull through this. But if not, it's going to crush The Husband, and I just hate to even think about it. So if you're the prayer saying type, I'd appreciate a shout up to The Big Man for Uncle Bob.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Sticker Shock, Comments on Parenting, and the Load of Garbage

Yesterday was a full day. I went shopping to find a dress to wear to all of these weddings I'm going to this summer. My cousin, my dad, and my brother-in-law are all getting married within weeks of each other. I shopped and shopped. Didn't have a lot of luck at Dillard's, and I swear I tried every non-matronly dress on there! Bumblebee was my shopping partner, and she was a great sport. She was cracking me up right and left. As we walked past the shoe department in Dillard's, she broke away from my hand, ran up to a pair of black patent leather pumps with blue, yellow, and pink polka dots and said in a voice that totally sounded like her Grandma Judy, "Oh, these are gorgeous!" A 3 year old saying the word 'gorgeous' is funny. She kept up the act by pointing out other shoes and saying "Those are beautiful!" and, "Ooooh, Mommy, these are sooooo cute!" The older women who worked in the shoe department were laughing their heads off. It was funny.

Anyway, back to the dress. I finally found one at Ann Taylor. It's very cute. Here's a picture (and obviously that's from the online store, not of me.)

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I spent WAY, WAY, WAY more than I should have, but it really is cute.

The Boy had a baseball game last night. The park we were at was a really nice facility. It had a large playground area, and Bumblebee kept asking me if she could play on it. I told her she could if she listened to me during the game. Well, it turns out that she didn't listen to me during the game on several occasions, so as the game was almost over, she begged again to go on the playground. I told her that we weren't going to because she didn't listen. She sat up straight and promised to be good from then on. I explained that it was too late, and that she could play on the playground the next time, if she listened to Mommy better.

All of this is standard with Bumblebee. She's 3 1/2, so we have a lot of these types of conversations. I'm fairly good at sticking to what I threaten too. So when one of the moms at the game said, "Keep up the good work, Monnik, you have to follow through with those consequences..." At first I was irritated because she sounded so condescending. This particular mom has four kids, ranging from 16 - 9 years in age. She's a stay at home mom, a substitute teacher, and has very well-behaved kids. She tends to be a smug, kind of intimidating woman too, in my opinion. I reflected on it a bit, and decided that she was paying me a compliment instead of handing out unsolicited parenting advice. There are other parents to small children at the ball field who let their kids have full reign over the place, and so I think she was commenting that it was nice to see some parents who didn't.

Today is our town's spring cleanup day, which basically means you can pile up tons of trash and old appliances and the garbage collectors will come pick it up for free. Since we had a game last night, we didn't start putting our pile together until late - well after dark. By the time we were done gathering our trash from the garage, basement, under the deck, closets, etc., we easily had the largest pile in the neighborhood. When we were done, The Husband and I looked at each other, embarrassed. It really was a huge pile of junk. We got up this morning, and it was already gone. The trash guys had it picked up before 8 a.m. So we lucked out that our neighbors didn't have to see our giant pile of discarded junk. And, as a huge bonus, I will be able to pull my van into the garage without worrying about hitting a bicycle along the way, because there is actually room for everything now!

That's enough rambling for a Saturday morning. Happy Weekend!!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Thoughts on the shape-shifter from the show "Heroes":

Heroes is a great show. Hollywood and I are addicted to it. We watch it faithfully every Monday night and thank God for TiVo, because she always asks so many questions that we'd miss a ton of important things if we couldn't pause the show.

Anyway, there's a shape-shifter on the show. You know, someone who can change herself to look and sound like anyone else? She looks like my old friend Shawnel (who I haven't seen in ages, and really need to get back in touch with).

Each week, the show develops the characters a bit more, and I thought the development of the shape-shifter character in Monday's episode was really interesting. In the scene, she was 'babysitting' a little boy she had kidnapped. She works as a minion for one of the bad guys on the show. She was eating french-fries, and the little boy said, "I have a cousin who eats like you do. But he's huge." The shape-shifter replied, "So am I."

Interesting... If you had the power to be a shape-shifter, and you liked to eat to fill the void in your life (the shape-shifter character mentioned something about the world always disappointing) why not make yourself be beautiful? I mean, as long as you had the power to do so, why not, right?

So if you had this power, who would you want to look like? I'm not sure of my answer to this one. Someone beautiful and sexy, but who looks different from everyone else. No obvious, Barbie-like, Carrie Underwood glam for me. She's gorgeous, but a little too cookie-cutter for me. On second thought, she's got a thing going with Tony Romo, and I think you all know my fascination with football players, so hmmm... I'm just not sure. I'll give it some thought and get back with you. But what do you think? Who would you be if you could be a shape-shifter?

Jogging

I'm becoming a runner (well, technically, a slow jogger, but 'runner' sounds better). For those of you who know me, I'm sure you're skeptical. But, really, I'm doing pretty well for a 34 year old woman with absolutely no athletic ability.

Here's the scary part: I actually like to jog! I like pushing myself to see how far I can go before I wimp out. I'm still pretty slow, and can only jog continuously for about 16 minutes. But when I started about 6 weeks ago, a 400 meter jog was near impossible. My goal is to run the 5K Race for a Cure in October. I've had that goal a few times before and failed miserably. Not this year!!

Here are some things I'm finding that are pretty cool:

  • I'm learning that as I increase my endurance and overall fitness, I can still breathe comfortably while jogging. Through my nose even!
  • I can talk while jogging now!
  • I sweat like crazy, which is interesting because I never used to sweat that much when I worked out. (I think I wasn't working out enough)
  • My legs are never sore after running anymore. But I do my running on a treadmill, I expect that I'll have joint pain when I get the guts up to start running outside.
  • My iPod is the best thing ever. I have a workout playlist that I've timed to be the same length of my workout, so the upbeat songs really help me push it just a little bit farther.
My favorite workout song? It's dorky, but I absolutely love it. It's I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) by The Proclaimers. You all can make fun of me like The Husband does, but I stand firm in my affection for that song.

"I would walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more, just to be the man who walks a thousand miles to fall down at your door...."

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Rugged Handsomeness, anyone?

Ok, so for someone who's been complaining about being stressed and busy at work, I'm sure posting a lot, aren't I?

I had to comment about my favorite football player, Brett Favre. He got mad at the Packers for failing to acquire Randy Moss, and said he wanted to be traded. He's since cooled off and said that he never asked to be traded, but that he does let his emotions get the better of him sometimes. Now there's all sorts of speculation about how the Packers shouldn't let Favre dictate the team, and how they've been living in fear of Favre for the past few years, being on pins and needles to see if he really will retire or not, yadda, yadda.

I'm glad he doesn't want to be traded, because I'd be crushed to see Favre playing for another team. He's just got to retire in Green Bay, or I'll freak out. It's kind of fun with him in the news a lot because I get to see pictures of him like this:


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or the classic 'number one' pose:

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Or, look at this one... How cute is this man? Look at those laugh lines! That smile! (swoon) And The Husband thinks I watch football because of the sport!

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Is "Please" Dead?

Warning: I've had several really shitty and stressful days at work lately, so this post could will turn into a bitchfest.

Whatever happened to people saying 'please' when they ask you to do something for them? Is the act of saying the word 'please' outdated? Am I hopelessly old fashioned when I force my children to say 'please' and 'thank you' whenever it's warranted?

I've had four requests come through my desk today. Of course they were 'URGENT' - the clients can't wait! Here's a little background: I work for a giant bank, in their retail financing department. You know the drill: "Shop today, and make no payments until 2050 on all big screen tv purchases!!!!" We do the financing for those businesses. With the help of my designer Webgal I create online applications for clients so that their customers can apply online. Some of our clients are very large retailers who deserve the respect and 'yes sir, right away sir' responses. But they're usually not the ones who demand overnight turnaround. It's the small guys, who have two people a month apply for credit on their site who get all ticked off about how quickly we can send them the URLs. These clients get all snippy with their sales reps, and demand that they get the link TODAY so that they can place it on their website. And then the sales reps get all pissy with me, and DON'T SAY 'PLEASE' WHEN THEY DEMAND THAT I SEND THE EFFING LINK OUT THAT VERY SECOND!

It's not like I don't have better things to do! (Like write a lengthy blog post instead!)

But it does make me wonder, why wouldn't they ask nicely or say 'please'? Didn't their mother ever tell them that sugar attracts flies better than vinegar like mine did? Or something like that, maybe I got that little saying completely wrong... Now that I think about it, why would anyone want to attract flies? Doesn't matter - the gist is that you get what you want better by being nice than by being a bitch. I had a sales rep stomp her foot because she was told that I got the setup information on Friday, and why hadn't I created the application by now?!? (We have a two week turnaround time.) She seriously stomped her foot! WTF?

Little kids say please. Last night at Hollywood's band concert, a little girl played with Bumblebee's toys the entire time. She was only two years old, but she asked if she could play too. And she said please. So why can't an educated, professional person in the workplace do the same?

The sales rep who stomped her foot at me isn't getting her link until next Friday. Right at the end of my two week turnaround time. Even though I could do it today. But I choose not to because she acted like a child. No, scratch that. She acted worse than a child! A child would have behaved better!

Whew. Rant over. I feel better, but I'm a little out of breath! If you made it this far in the post, you must be really, really bored.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Oh, Happy Day!!

Friday Night Lights got renewed. Check it out here!

WOO HOO!!!!!

This is my favorite show ever! I'm so glad it will be back on next year.

That "Thing" on Her Face

Last night I was getting Bumblebee ready for bed. She had a bug bite or something on her cheek. I touched it briefly and asked her if it hurt. She said it didn't.

"I know what that thing on my face is called, Mommy. Hollywood told me," she said.

"Oh yeah?"

"It's a nipple!" she explained.

It took me a second to figure it out. "Do you mean a pimple?" I asked.

"Yeah, that's what I said. A nipple." She paused, then realized her mistake. She giggled. And giggled some more. "Oops. I meant that other word. What was it?"

"Pimple?"

More giggles. "Yeah. Cuz a nipple is what you got on your BOOBIES. And my boobies aren't on my face. Right, Mommy?"

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

Mom:
I couldn't ask for a smarter, more accomplished, and understanding mom. My whole life, people have been telling me how amazing my mom is. I agree with them, but I think she's amazing for different reasons. When I was twenty, and an unmarried sophomore in college, I made a phone call to her to tell her that I was going to have a baby. She could have reacted with disappointment - I'm sure it's not what she dreamed of for me. She could have reacted with anger or disdain for my poor decisions. She could have acted with indifference, distancing herself from my lapses in judgment. Instead, she responded with love, understanding, and a calm knowledge that I would make a good mom, young and penniless though I was. Her faith in my ability to have and raise Hollywood will never be forgotten. She's always believed in me, and that means the world to me. She gave me her love of reading, learning, and experiencing new things. She taught me by example that if you want something, and are willing to put in the work to achieve it, it can be yours. Mom makes the best lemon bars in the world, and taught me that you don't need a measuring cup to make good food. Not long ago, Mom watched the kids when the power in her house went out. They spent time reading books, playing twenty questions, and telling stories. The kids still talk about how they had a great time that night. In an age of too much tv, computer, and X-Box, that means a lot, and I love that they are getting those kinds of memories with her. Thanks, mom. You're the best, and I love you.

* * * * *
Mother-in-law:
I have to also give a shout out to The Husband's mom. I'm so lucky to have a wonderful mother-in-law. She's always willing to help out when we need her, and she's been a good friend and confidant to me throughout the years. I envy that she's one of those women who never has a hair out of place, and always looks like a million bucks. She's an awesome grandma, the kids adore her, and I love that they get to see her as often as they do. But most of all, I appreciate the support, advice, and understanding she's given to me over the years. I know the value of my relationship with her, and am ever thankful for it.

* * * * *
Step-mom:
In just a few short weeks, I'll be getting a step-mom. My dad is getting married to a wonderful woman who makes him happier than I've ever seen him. To MJ, I appreciate what you've given to my Dad. I am so thankful of your sacrifice to move here for him, especially when it means you're hundreds and hundreds of miles away from your kids and granddaughter. Seeing Dad as happy as he's been these past few years is amazing, and we owe that to your love. Congratulations on the upcoming wedding, and welcome to the family!

* * * * *

And to all of the moms out there: Happy Mother's Day, I hope you had a great day like I did! I spent the day being pampered by my kids. The Boy gave me breakfast in bed (Golden Grahams), and they each made me cards. Hollywood got three forget-me-not plants from the school greenhouse and had The Boy and Bumblebee write their names on the styrofoam cups they were planted in. The Husband got me a great card and had new tires put on my van (I know, it's not a sexy Mother's Day present, but it's what I asked for... I HATE taking the van in for service, so it's really a great gift!) My MIL came over for dinner, and TH grilled steaks for us. The weather was perfect and I even had a few hours of luxurious lounging outside with a good book. It was a wonderful day! (Too bad tomorrow is Monday. Ugh.)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Shear Genius

Has anyone seen this show on Bravo?

Hollywood and I sat and watched four episodes of it in a row last night. How lame is that? My ass was stuck to the couch for like four hours... Unbelievable. I felt seriously guilty about it, but it was an unusually interesting show. It's a reality competition for hairdressers. Some of the things they had them doing were crazy.

I got inspired halfway through the marathon of shows and cut The Boy's hair. It looks great and isn't the typical summer buzz cut. He's a bit old for that these days anyway, but that boy has the thickest, coarsest hair ever. And it grows faster than you can imagine!

But cutting his hair was the only productive thing I did last night. The house is a mess, laundry needs to be done, I didn't clean out closets like I'd hoped to do, and Bumblebee only got one story read to her all night. It was a seriously lazy evening.

Tonight will be different. The Boy has his school track and field day this afternoon, so I get to leave work early for that (yay!) Hollywood has softball practice after school. So get this: track ended yesterday, and softball starts TODAY. How's that for a breather? Then, after practice, Hollywood has to give a presentation about her 'Notable Person' for her TAG class. She picked Lance Armstrong and has been working on this project for months. Her presentation is tonight, so that should be fun to watch. To make tonight really hectic, at the very same time as Hollywood's presentation, in a different town, The Boy has baseball practice. The Husband is out of town, as is often the case when we have conflicting events scheduled. I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to manage this, but I'll figure something out... All of this is payback for my comatose evening last night.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Some Kind of Wonderful

Ideas and thoughts for today...

Hmmm. Do I have any ideas or thoughts? Warning: I'm writing off the top of my head here. Prepare for another disjointed post.

iPods are wonderful things. I won two of them at a conference a few weeks ago. Gave The Husband the shuffle, and kept the shiny blue nano to myself. So I'm sitting here at my cubicle listening to it because the most annoying woman of all time sits on the other side of the wall from me. She's so loud, you can hear her from two rows over. And her job is to be on the phone with clients ALL DAY! Which means I get a lot of use out of this nifty musical contraption. Right now, Grand Funk Railroad's Some Kind of Wonderful is playing. And it makes me think of the movie Some Kind of Wonderful. With Eric Stoltz and Lea Thompson? Geeky nobody falls for the popular, gorgeous, but secretly poor redhead, while his faithful, tomboyish best pal (played by Mary Stuart Masterson) stands by, heartbroken. It ends up with Eric Stoltz' character choosing his best pal, and giving her the earrings he spent his college savings on (instead of giving them to the popular Lea.) Predictable, cheesy, typical 80s movie. I wanted Lea's hair. I was pissed off that Eric didn't see how much Mary loved him... (or would it be 'Mary Stuart'? I can never figure that out when there are two last names, but one of them could be a second first name instead of a first last name... Just like Jennifer Jason Leigh. Is she a Jennifer Jason? Or a Ms. Jason Lee? Are you still with me here? Doesn't matter, Mary Stuart Masterson's character had some other funky, boyish name in the movie)

Now Gwen Stefani's song Crash is on. I love this song, and I love, love, love Gwen. She's quirky, appears to be a really great, hands-on mom to adorable little Kingston, and she has an attractive husband. Speaking of Mr. Rossdale, a friend of my future sis in law thinks my husband looks like him. We were all hanging out in a small town bar, and this friend asked my permission to 'gawk' at my hubby. I said sure, gawk away. The Husband looks like Gavin before he chopped his hair off, though. But, back to Gwen. I love her music, profane and undecipherable as the lyrics may be. It's great to work out to, and that's worth 99 cents per song on iTunes.

I did a bad thing at lunch today. I went with my friend webgal to the rescue league to look at kittens, and afterwards had her drive through BK. I got a chicken sandwich and fries. And not even a GRILLED chicken sandwich! It was fried! But it tasted good, and I don't really feel all that guilty, because I've been eating healthy *most* of the time, and working out on a regular basis.

What did I learn today that was new? I'm sure I learned something... I remember reading that during a campaign speech, Barak Obama accidentally said that 10,000 people died in the Kansas tornadoes instead of 10 people. That was kind of an amusing blunder, but I still secretly like the guy. (Shhhhh.... don't tell The Husband, or he'll totally kick my almost-becoming-Democratic ass.)

Well, that's it for now. Tonight is Wednesday and I think we're free of obligations, which means I'm going to pack up a picnic, and take the kidlets to the park for dinner. It'll be fun!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

What I Learned Today

Here's what I learned today:

The next time my boss suggests that I postpone a meeting with executive management to put some distance between the meeting and last week's website outages, I'm going to listen to her.

I disagreed, and figured that the problem was best faced head-on. My bravery got me a tongue-lashing at work today.

Oh well, people respect those who are accountable for issues, right???

Insecurity...

My mom forwarded me this poem that she got from a daily writer's almanac email she receives. I can really relate to it:

Poem: "Instrument of Choice" by Robert Phillips, from Spinach Days. © The Johns Hopkins University Press. Reprinted with permission.

Instrument of Choice

She was a girl
no one ever chose
for teams or clubs,
dances or dates,

so she chose the instrument
no one else wanted:
the tuba. Big as herself,
heavy as her heart,

its golden tubes
and coils encircled her
like a lover's embrace.
Its body pressed on hers.

Into its mouthpiece she blew
life, its deep-throated
oompahs, oompahs sounding,
almost, like mating cries.


I was a chubby kid in late elementary school and junior high. Not only was I was chubby, but I had bad hair, and wore a BIONATOR! Which seemed to be the trifecta of ugly. A bionator is not a relative of the terminator, it's nothing cool, or deadly. Instead, it's an evil contraption - a retainer that fits your top and bottom teeth into it so that you talk through your teeth without moving your jaw. It wasn't the picture of glamour when I was in 8th grade, let me tell you. Unlike the subject of the poem above, I didn't feel totally isolated, I did have some great girlfriends, but never felt like I stood a chance with boys until years later, college probably.

This poem makes me think of being young, and yearning for attention from a boy. Any boy, except maybe the nerdy, smart one who had his eye on me. (He's probably a billionaire by now.) I remember writing in my journal that "I want to know what love is..." I stole the line from that Foreigner song. Real original, huh? I look back on that shy, self conscious girl and wish I could give her a good shake. I was chubby in junior high, yes. It was a very icky stage for me. But it passed quickly enough and by high school I was actually pretty cute! But I remember thinking at the time, that I was too short, too fat, my hair was to icky, my clothes weren't good enough, my teeth were too crooked, you get the picture.

I once had a crush on a boy named Brad Johnson (swoon.) He spilled juice on me once in the lunch line, and it made my heart flutter for WEEKS. But I never told him that I liked him, I would have died first. I was too sure that he'd never be interested in me when there were all sorts of other girls out there after him. I think back about that time and I wonder why I was so insecure? I wasn't hideous... I was smart. I was sort of funny. I had great friends, we had a lot of fun together. I remember yearning for the same experiences my friends G and J were having with boys. The only boyfriend I had in high school ended in complete and utter disaster: He told me he was dying. Of cirrhosis of the liver, FFS. He wasn't. It was a lie, presumably to get me to 'give up the goods.' Thank God my chastity belt was still firmly in place then. (He's a doctor now, I hear. HOW SCARY IS THAT?) But I digress, the point is, I was insecure, thought I wasn't worthy of boys' attention, but earnestly wished I could have the experiences my two best friends were having. It makes me kind of sad, really, that I didn't like myself the way I do today.

I don't have any of that insecurity anymore. I am a confident, successful, social, smart, and (ok, I'll say it, but don't think I'm conceited, because I'm not) attractive woman. I love who I turned out to be. I wish I could go back in time and give my old junior high and high school self some of today's confidence. But I know that I am confident today because of the struggles, victories, and experience my 34 years have given me. I also believe that my youthful insecurities helped make me the empathetic, compassionate woman that I am today.

I think it's interesting that my own daughter, who is now 13, doesn't struggle with insecurity like I did. It helps that she's a size 0, gorgeous, athletic, popular, and uber-intelligent, but I think a lot of it is sheer personality. She is happy with herself, and I love that about her. Sometimes I worry that her self-assurance will hinder a compassionate outlook in certain situations. How can she understand what it's like to feel left out, lost, alone? Maybe she can't identify with those feelings like I can, but I'm hopeful that she'll be able to recognize the feelings, and act accordingly.

So, as it often happens when I get going about abstract things like insecurity and feelings, I rambled on and on, without coming to a clear ending. Mrs. Spiker would NOT be proud. But I think there are many things here worth pondering. How exactly did my adolescent insecurity evolve into the confidence that I have today?

Monday, May 7, 2007

You Learn Something New Every Day

This morning I was reading a blog by Maeve Binchy, an author I enjoy, and she decided to write down something new that she learned each day. I won't remember to do this every day, but I thought it was a good thing to incorporate into my blog.

It's early on Monday, but I have already learned something: George Washington was a badass! I'm listening to the book "1776" in the car on my commute into the office. Today's portion talked of when the British took New York. During this campaign, there was a battle in which a couple thousand American troops got spooked by a few hundred British troops and fled into the nearby woods and cornfields. Washington was so incensed by this behavior that he galloped right down to the battlefield and was said to flog a few of the officers with his riding gear. He was pissed off! He was in such a rage, that he wouldn't leave, and was within 100 yards of the enemy lines. He had to be forcibly pulled off the battlefield by a few of his servants.

Not the image you have in your head when you think of George Washington, is it? I love it!

And that's what I learned today.

Friday, May 4, 2007

A Few Bumblebee-isms

Bumblebee cracks me up. Last night we were getting ready for her bath and she said, "Mommy. I really need a bath. My hands smell like Barba Cube." (BBQ)

This morning she was talking about a boy at her old daycare who was mean. "He was so mean that when someone said uh-huh, he would say nuh-uh." I think her definition of 'mean' is pretty funny.

This morning we had a Mother's Day breakfast at The Boy's school. Bumblebee was so excited about this, because they serve donuts with sprinkles!! Donuts are a rare treat for my kids, so she was seriously jumping up and down with glee when she saw that they had the ultimate perfection in donuts: white frosting with pink sprinkles. Pink! Not only did they have sprinkles, but they were pink! She was in heaven.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Cheesy Ode to Springtime

Temperatures rise, the flowers bloom,
Time for the hectic schedule to resume.

The rain smells fresh, the birds chirp sweetly,
My calendar is full completely.

I admire the lilacs, and my lovely purple phlox,
Now where in the hell are The Boy's baseball socks?

The grass turns green across all of the land.
What do you mean, I have to work the concession stand?

The fields are prepared, the earth is being plowed,
Track meets are fun - chasing Bumblebee through the crowd.

Animals are everywhere: newborn calves and baby chicks
Can I make forty cupcakes with one cake mix?

The sun shines brightly, warming us with its rays
We won't have a free night for days and days...