Friday, July 30, 2010

Party like it's 1990

My sister and step-sister are in town for their 20th high school reunion.  We're visiting now, but that won't last long. Neither of them have any intention of seeing our family for the rest of the weekend - they're spending the entire time with some of their high school girlfriends who are also here without husbands or kids.  They're making a girls' weekend of it.  Fun.  (But) Rude.

Oh, well.  I drug my sister to an hour of Power Pump (weights) and an hour of Zumba this morning.  That'll teach her.

(And, her kids are staying at my house while she parties like it's 1990. Don't tell her, but I like them better anyway.  KIDDING!  Kinda.)

Ali, Brandy and Ellery
I have no idea why I'm dragging myself down with this little gem when I'm really just trying to punish Brandy and Ellery!  This was the first day of school 1988 - actually their junior year.  But, you get the idea.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I'm sorry, now that I'm married, I don't date

We arrived at equestrian camp on Monday at the same time as a darling little boy and his dad.  At pick-up that day, the little boy's mom, dad and little brother were all there to get him.  We visited waiting for the kids to finish.

Tuesday, I'm walking Spence into the building as "dad" is walking out.  We say hi and - hold on a minute - Did you just look me up and down, man?!  Ok. Ok. Surely not.  And, if so, it's probably because I'm wearing exercise clothes and you're embarrassed for me that I'm out in public.

Later at pick-up, again, I'm walking in as he's walking out and he says, low and gravelly and almost directly into my ear (No. Surely not.  I'm making that up, right?!  Right?!), "How was your day?" "Good." "Well, that's good to hear." Shake it off, Ali.  And, for the love of God, get. over. yourself.  You probably think the mailman comes to your house every day because he wants to see you, too.  Or the sacker at the grocery store - you know, he's always trying to walk me out to my car...  "Conceited, party of one?"

Wednesday, we drop the boys about the same time and head out to the parking lot.  I get to my car door and.  BOOM.  "Dad" is standing at my door. Red flag!  Red flag!  Stranger Danger!

"Hey, I was wondering... Do you want to give me your number? [beat.  beat. As I look at him in stunned silence]  We could get the boys together sometime."

Now honestly, my naiveté knows almost no bounds.  But, even I can recognize that this exchange should make me uncomfortable since the entirety of it occurred while he stared at my boobs.  Honest to goodness.  I am not making this up.

I said, "Sure," because, obviously, you have to literally set me on fire before I would want to hurt your feelings or make you feel bad.  (Seriously, what is wrong with me?!)  He whips out his phone and takes my number. Damn. Damn. Damn.

I get in my car and have two schools of thought:  1)  Get over yourself. (reference entire conversation with myself from the day before); or, 2)  There are creepy people in this world.  And, how do I know this isn't the "dance" that married people do when they want to "date"?

But, I also think, I am not making up the fact that we just had an entire conversation with his eyes on my chest.  And, he's a grown man.  Whether my chest is spectacular or not, he should be able to exert enough self-control to not blatantly stare.  (And, P.S. my chest is not spectacular - which is probably why I was so caught off guard that he wanted to stare!)

I'm also reminded of a Designing Women episode when Mary Jo freaks out at a man in the parking garage because she thinks he's going to attack her.  It turns out he's a client she's never met, but he's seen her picture and just wanted to introduce himself.  She's terribly embarrassed, but he's the one who apologizes saying, he should have known better than to follow her and make her uncomfortable.  And, any man who has a mother or a sister or a wife would much rather she yell and risk embarrassment than become a victim. (Yeah, that's right, I just used Designing Women's powerful life lesson.)  So, really, shouldn't this husband, this son, be a little more aware of the way he is making women feel?  Would he want someone giving his wife the "oogies" in the horse camp parking lot?

Anyway, back to the story...  Of course, this is the day I don't have my phone with me.  When I get home I have a missed call and text.  This is the text:

I'm sorry, Creepy VonCreepster, did you just say, "meet up sometime"?  Don't you mean "GET THE BOYS TOGETHER?!"

So, finally, FINALLY, I have my first moment of clarity and I send him this:
P.P.S.  "he's much better @ getting spence together w/ his buddies" bwahahahahahahaha!

And now I think, "I have got to talk to Shawn.  He'll tell me if I'm overreacting or if this man is officially creepy since he's set my instincts a-buzzing four times now.  At the very least, if this is just the most clueless man in all the kingdom and really is just trying to set up a playdate, I need to tell Shawn I just gave out his number."  (Yes. I do have long, run-on sentence conversations with myself in my head.)

Shawn's on a call when I try the office so I text him.  "Dad at horse camp is creeping me out.  Asked for my number to 'get the boys together' so I gave him yours, too."

I got this response:

Well, now I feel like a 13-year old girl who needs to be told not to accept rides from strange men.

My phone rang about 30 seconds later with Shawn wanting the full details. Then, Shawn spent the entire evening answering my phone every time it rang. And "Dad" hasn't been too interested in chatting me up since I gave him my husband's number...  So, maybe I didn't overreact too much...

Anyway, we're all going to have a happy little reunion at the end-of-camp performance this afternoon.  I really look forward to the realization in "Dad's" eyes as he has the thought, "Oh.  Your husband could crush me."  Or, best case scenerio, he is just the most clueless man that ever lived.  In that case, he'll probably try to set up that playdate...



**Post-camp addendum:  Well, Creepy VonCreepster it is!  He stayed no less than 20 yards from Shawn and me at all times during the end-of-camp program.  I said to Shawn, "Well, the way he's avoiding us makes me think that he knew he was being inappropriate."  Shawn looked at me in-that-way-he-looks-at-me-when-he's-trying-to-figure-out-if-I-could-have-actually-said-what-I-just-said and said, "You think?!"

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

OMG dinner

I'm writing this post while I'm all hopped up on coffee and crashing - so we'll see how it goes.  I drank about 72 oz. of Diet Coke last night from 7:00 to 10:00, so, needless to say, I didn't get to bed at a reasonable hour.  Honest to goodness, sometimes I think I shouldn't be allowed out without proper supervision.

But, I drank all of that caffeine last night while I was out with my Old Mommy Group. (Or as we named ourselves last night, OMG - get it?)  Our first children were all boys and were all born within about six months of each other.  We met every single Tuesday for three years. Now, I think about that time commitment with a little bit of disbelief.  But, there was a time when we were each other's lifelines.  We stumbled through first time parenting together.  We kept each other from getting lost in the abyss of sleeplessness, sadness and worry that is the unspoken byproduct of the joy of parenthood.

Most of us had second pregnancies together.  Some of us had miscarriages. We all eventually had more children.  And, life took off like life takes off when you have kids and kids' activities.  And, the idea of being able to devote an entire day, once a week, to a playgroup was nothing but a distant memory for most of us.

It's been more than a year since we've seen each other.  More than a year since we've seen the people that kept us afloat those first few years of motherhood; those friends that charted uncharted territory with us.

But, we finally did get together last night (well, some of us did - that little thing we call "life" keeps playing havoc with our scheduling) and it's like we've never been apart.  Although, now the conversations are about learning to read, teachers and sports instead of breastfeeding, sleeping and diaper rash.


You might say we had a good time together.


A few things about this picture:
  • Shawn used to call me "Wrigley" because of my "gum" when I smile big.  Rude!  I know!  I made him stop, it really did kinda hurt my feelings.  But, looking at this picture, I gotta say... he's not all wrong.
  • I think Julie looks delightfully surprised to have me invading her personal space.  She claims she is surprised, but not delightfully so. She's lying.  That is clearly delight.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Horses are Teaching Everyone

Spence won a week at Equestrian Camp as a door prize at our school's Spring Fling fundraiser.  It's at our university's Equestrian Center and it's really quite amazing.  He started yesterday and has already ridden "his" horse, Scarlett, "all by himself - without a teacher touching the ropes or anything."  (He says he went "medium".  But, he's going to learn to go "fast" and then "super fast".) Wow.  You go, Buffalo Bill.

The Equestrian Center also has a program that is near and dear to our hearts - The Therapeutic Riding Center.  A few years back, it came to the attention of Shawn and his co-workers that this unbelievable program was having to haul its horses (and these aren't just any horses - these are the cream of the crop, gentle, patient, smart) in an old, dilapidated trailer.  The floor actually broke out from under one of the horses and his leg fell through (luckily the horse was okay).  So, Shawn's office single-handedly pooled their individual resources and bought them a top-of-the-line horse trailer.  Then, realizing that the school didn't have a pickup that could easily pull it - they bought them one of those, too!  Truly, it is an amazing group of people with whom Shawn works.

Fast forward to yesterday and I showed Spence the trailer. This morning we started talking about The Therapeutic Riding Center.  I told him how riding horses could teach kids who learn differently than he does.  I told him I didn't know if his "teachers" from camp are the same "teachers" that the kids at the TRC have.  Those teachers are amazingly skilled and help the kids learn even more than just how to ride a horse. "They're just as smart as your teachers at school, but they use horses instead of chalkboards!" (Picture me feeling smug and proud of my analogy.)

He looked at me thoughtfully.  I thought we were going to continue our deep, philosophical discussion about how God has made us all differently, but perfectly the people we are supposed to be...

And, he said to me, "Mom...  What's a chalkboard?"

Ouch.  The horses have now even taught me - that I'm old.  Does anyone have an abacus I could borrow?  I seem to have misplaced mine.


Monday, July 26, 2010

A Reunion, A Wedding and A Funeral

Seriously.  All of that happened this weekend.

REUNION
Some of my older friends had their twentieth high school reunion (I won't have mine for two more years, being so young and all).  So, some other friends decided to jump on the chance to come back to the ol' hometown and visit. We all had a great time together and acted appropriately socially-unacceptable.  But, I haven't baked so much in a while - my friends are very demanding about their sweets requirements.

Our dear friend Mike (that's his grownup name, but we've known him so long we still call him Mikey) stayed with us.  It was a long overdue visit and it was good to see him.  Not only is he a great guy, he oohs and ahhs over my cherry pie every time he has it.  He's the only person in this world that makes me feel like a regular Betty Crocker.

Here's a story that sums up a friendship with Mikey:
We were freshmen in college.  Mike lived in an apartment and I lived in the dorms. But, I wanted to make cookies.  Not being a fool, Mikey said I was welcomed to use their oven.  When it was time to pull the cookie sheet out of the oven, I grabbed a wet dishtowel to use as an oven mitt.  Well, you can imagine how well that worked out for me.  I exclaimed something like, "Ow! Ow! Ow!" and Mikey reached over and took the hot tray from me with his bare hands.  I'm not sure how good his cookies tasted after that - what with the chunks of his burned flesh sticking to them.  But, that's Mikey in a nutshell: he will completely sacrifice his own well-being to help a friend in need.

And, in return, he says he can tell how much I love him by how emotionally abusive I am to him...  I feel it's important to let the people you love know how much you care.

Quotes of the reunion weekend:
  • "You could put me in a room with a hundred little girls and I would know Lulu was Ali's daughter."  (I thought that was sweet right up to the point when Elizabeth burped louder than her father.)
  • "I do have a job, Ali!" (Mikey may have said this in response to something emotionally abusive I said...  And, to be fair, it's even a salaried job!)
  • "No.  We're not identical twins.  I have a penis and she doesn't."

WEDDING
Next, Shawn's business partner got married on Saturday.  He and his bride are a beautiful Barbie and Ken couple.  That fact makes me like them a little bit less, but I try not to hold it against them too much.  Because, otherwise, I adore them.  And their wedding and reception were per.fec.tion.

Quotes of the wedding weekend:
  • "Nana, I hate it when you dance like that."  (Honestly, I hope someone got a video of this woman and puts it on YouTube.)
  • "Quick!  While everyone's watching them cut the cake, we can eat directly off the buffet!"  (I'm classy.  So are my friends.)
  • "He's been practicing for four and a half months to be able to walk her down the aisle." (Said about the bride's dad who broke his back in a water skiing accident.  He not only walked his daughter down the aisle, but also danced a father/daughter dance with her.  It was a beautiful, tear-jerking sight.  It's not something I can imagine I will forget, well, ever.  I felt honored to be a witness.)

FUNERAL
Finally, and sadly, a friend of Shawn's lost her battle with pancreatic cancer after an eight month fight.  She was 56.  The visitation was Sunday.  The funeral is today.

Quote of the funeral weekend:
  • "I never realized how much I adored her.  I always thought there would be 'another tomorrow.'  Until you realize, there aren't going to be any more tomorrows.  But, at least we had time together to take care of things once we realized that."

Needless to say, Shawn and I came home and held on to each other for a while... just in case there aren't any more tomorrows.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Hey, Man at McDonald's:

What's the story behind all of those hideous homemade tattoos on your forearms?  With your clean shaven head and your non-descript work shirt, I have to assume that you're on your lunch break from some kind of gainful employment.  You ate your food so quickly, you got back in line for your dessert, cleaned up your table and headed out the door.  Your face seemed sweet.  But, your tattoos were scary.  They tell a story.  And, I wonder if it's a story you want told anymore.

The Mother Bear in me wanted you to stop looking at me and my children. But, the Mommy in me wondered if anyone ever let you choose where you wanted to eat lunch when you were four- or six-years old; and if anyone ever made you feel like the king of the world by granting your request to eat inside the McDonald's.

I don't know.  And, you're gone now.  And, I won't lie and say that I didn't check to make sure you weren't lingering anywhere near my car when we left, too.  But, I did say a prayer for you, Man at McDonald's.  You'll never know that.  But, I prayed that, no matter where you've come from, from here on out you'll find happiness, kindness, peace and opportunity.

And, I prayed for myself.  I asked forgiveness because I still judge people for their outward appearance.

I pray that I can be one of the people that show you kindness, Man at McDonald's.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Our Sunroom Defies All Logic

January 2009:
Spencer was playing with a Super Bouncy Ball.  He called out, "Mom! My ball just went in a cup."  What?  Oh!  By "cup" you mean "crystal glass".  I see.

Yep.  Those are two glass shelves of crystal.  And a Super Bouncy Ball.
(This incident is also known as "The day a miracle
super-ball-bounce saved Spencer Johnson's life.")

July 2010:
Shawn and I were finally putting the house back together from a couples baby shower we threw this weekend.  (Don't judge - it had only been four days.) As I was walking toward our bedroom (past the same bar where the "miracle bounce" occurred), Shawn said, "Hey babe?  Can you please put these Tums* away when you walk by the bathroom?"  Sure.  I turned so he could throw them to me and...


Truly, we have a logic defying sunroom.

*That's what a rockin' good party the Johnsons throw - so good that people get indigestion!  And, yes, yes.  Technically, they are not "Tums".  They are Equate brand Antacid Tablets.  See also:  Ali is cheap.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I would really NOT prefer the view through your eyes right now

Lest you think my wit and charm pervade all aspects of my life - they DON'T. (Although, I'm not quite sure how showing you my moldy bread is witty or charming.)

It is never more apparent to me that God gave me children to help teach me patience than when we are loading into the car.  It just takes longer to get three or more people out the door than, say, one.  So, I try to account for that.  I always tell myself we're leaving ten minutes earlier than we need to; so when we're running late (and we're always running late), we'll still be on time.  We never are.  And, I loathe being late.  Add to that my children's "woolgathering" and it pushes me to the brink when I'm trying to get us somewhere in a timely manner.

Fortunately for me, my car is usually parked in the garage.

Unfortunately for me, today it was parked in the driveway.  So, when my head spun around and I bellowed, "Get in your seat and get yourselves buckled right now," I was able to see the painter across the street look up to see who exactly was flippin' out in the neighborhood. Viewing it through his eyes, I realized that I looked like a bossy lunatic.  It was not a proud parenting moment.

Fast forward to the pool.  Elizabeth screamed at her brother like she was possessed by a legion of demons.  I put her in time-out.  And while she wailed (and by "wailed" I mean... WAILED), I sat one chair over from her with my arms crossed, ignoring her until it was over... while every other mom at the pool bore witness.  It was not a proud parenting moment.

Then, once it occurred to me to feast on my public parenting shortfalls as blog fodder, I tried to get pictures of them frolicking at the pool (mainly just to prove that they are seemingly well-adjusted children despite their unadjusted mother).  While trying to get said pictures, I may or may not have been overheard to have said, "You can't use your candy token until you let me take a good picture of you."

Geez.  It was like my public display of shameful parenting was becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

These are the best pictures you can attain of children (with a phone camera)
when you ask them to "be still" while frolicking at the pool.  Yeah, right.

This one may have preceded the "no candy" comment.
Evidently, Spence has a big problem with paparazzi.  Who knew?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

True Confession

This is what bread in my pantry looks like:


The condensation that I see upon closer examination of this picture makes me gag even more than I did when I saw this nightmare in real life.  What I can remember from high school biology makes me fairly certain that's proof of respiration from a life form.

Now I'm starting to think it was probably a mistake to make a sandwich out of the back half of the loaf.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010

So now how do I FORGET?!

I heard a news segment about how Americans are dumb and getting dumber. What's new, right?  But,  this particular segment was dealing with our increasing lack of memory skills. It went on to suggest useful memory devices; one of which was imagining a scene that consists of all of the things you need to remember for, say, your shopping list.  It claimed the more outlandish your scene, the easier it would be to remember.  So, I tried.

I imagined myself putting ponytail holders in Elizabeth's hair while she was wearing a Pull-up and I was wearing exercise shorts (yes, I need them so this never happens again) and socks and holding a razor in my mouth.  Then I started floating on a cloud of cotton balls while wearing a knee brace and applying makeup.

It worked perfectly.  I wrote out my list... once I finally remembered... to write it down... ummmm...

The problem is I can't get it OUT of my head now.  And, because misery loves company, I hope you never will either.

And, by the way, if you make it to the store anytime soon, could you pick up those few things for me?  I can't seem to remember to go.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

How do I look?

Do you like the new look?!

Today, somewhere between taking kids to camp, picking kids up from camp, taking kids to the pool, taking kids to get haircuts and attending a scholarship fundraiser, I met with the *insert as many complimentary adjectives as you can think of* Lin again.  He made my blog beautiful.  (And I only asked him to change the top banner 372 times.  I didn't want to be difficult.)

He gave me a Facebook fan page, too.  So, stop what you're doing and go be "a fan".  Now.  I mean it.  Why are you still reading this?

Oh yeah, tell me what you think of the new "look".  (Don't worry.  You can't use the word "awesome" too much, I promise.)


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Perfect Storm of Wardrobe Malfunctions

So, remember how I told you I'd started doing Zumba?  In case you forgot it's kind of hip-hop booty shaking for an hour.  You sweat like a pig, you burn a lot of calories and you call it a workout.

But, the clothes to wear while you're shaking, squatting and generally acting unladylike is a tricky dilemma.  You could buy the official Zumba pants for around $65.  Yeah, I'm way too cheap for that.  So, I was in Old Navy and saw some cropped cargo pants.  Yay!  Moveable, but with a little more substance than leggings or shorts.  This pear-shaped girl needs a little coverage while shaking every jiggly bit God gave me.  And, being cargo pants, I just knew they would make me look perfectly gangsta while hip-hop dancing. (That sentence may be too gramatically correct to contain the word "gangsta".)  I wore them to workout today.  Three things happened :
  1. They grew in that delightful way pants that contain 2% spandex have of growing while you're wearing them.  You know, because when you try on pants in the store you're always hoping they'll fit differently two hours after you put them on each time.
  2. The waist had been a little big to start with.  So, jumping and shimmying only led to my pants scooting further and further down my hips.  Unless my tank top had been dress-length, it didn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of bridging the gap.
  3. Let's just say I had taken "precautions" so as not to have a visible panty line.
So, to sum up this story:  I spent 60 minutes trying not to show my crack to all of my friends.  I don't think I was sweating from the workout.

(This is Vanessa Hudgens, not me.
But, don't worry, it's a perfectly natural mistake.)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

So, be careful what you wish for.  Or, in my case, shout it from the freaking rooftop and your amazing friends will make it happen!

I mentioned yesterday that I was sad :( [that's me being sad] my blog didn't have it's own domain name like all the fancy bloggers have.  My unbelievably talented friend, who happens to be getting his PhD in marketing and happens to be slightly brilliant (in my humble opinion) about social media marketing said, "Um.  Hello, Doofus?  (Ok.  He was probably nicer than that, but that's what I thought of myself after I realized how long I had gone without taking advantage of him.)  I can set you up a domain name and *blah, blah, blah, blah*" (I gotta be honest.  The rest of the sentence was a string of words that I didn't know could be strung together.  So, their value as useful English was lost on me.)

All I know is that by the end of a coffee break (in which he bought the coffee...  seriously, this is one lopsided friendship :-/ [that's me being flummoxed]), I am now the proud owner of www.theviewfromthejohnsons.com!  And, we're meeting again on Thursday to do even more brilliant things - none of which make any sense to me.

He must keep me around for my charming wit and pleasing personality.  No.  No.  That can't be it.  Oh, well, I'm going to stop asking questions.  I'm just going to say, "THANK YOU, LIN!"

:) [that's me being happy!]


Monday, July 12, 2010

Opinionated *blank* *blank* Outlook

So maybe I missed home more than I knew.  I've spent the entire day in my pajamas, on my computer - and even that much effort has been exhausting to me.

I did a lot of blog stalking, though - which only left me feeling completely inept in my own blogging pursuits.  I should never have looked.  I could have continued on in my own little blog world feeling like the most cleaver blogger that ever did blog.  Oh, well.  Too late. You can't put the lid back on Pandora's box.
  • My blog doesn't have it's own domain name.  :(
  • My blog isn't filled with Erma Bombeck-esque humor at every turn.  :(
  • I'm not pithy and wise like Heloise. :(
  • clearly don't have a degree in journalism and have never been accused of being a professional writer.  :(
Eh.  But, what do I care?  Vomiting too much personal information on an unsuspecting internet community makes me happy.  I get to wave my freak flag loud and proud.  It gives me a place to vent all the nonsense in my complicated brain (because, let's face it, after 16 years of being with me, Shawn's sympathy is getting a little lackluster).  So, I guess I'll just keep writing for me.  And, I'll be thankful for the positive reinforcement I get from being a part of BlogHer and the sweet friends I have who boost my ego by telling me they like what I put out there.  That's enough for me.  Let the other people be the show-offs with their domain names, pith and journalism degrees.

I'll just offer up this simple request to the other blogs out there (like The Junk Drawer, Attack of the Redneck Mommy, Guilty SquidThe Rocking Pony, Whiskey in my Sippy Cup and Hyperbole and a Half), please stop being so freakin' awesome.  You're making me feel inadequate.  Some of these women write books, have been interviewed on t.v., and even model naked in calendars (yeah, that caught your attention, didn't it?)!

I'm pretty sure the only reason anyone would want to interview me on t.v. would be to get the "opinionated blue collar outlook" a la Roseanne Conner.  But we'd have to replace the "blue collar" part with something else.

Suggestions? (But, remember, I'm very sensitive and I will blog about you if you hurt my feelings. ;)


Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jog

We're home after 13 days away.  It must have been a good time with great friends and family because it certainly didn't seem like almost two weeks. The last half of our trip was in a location with no wireless service, though. So, even though the accommodations were luxurious and the activities grand, I still felt like a was being forced to rough it.  Just a little bit.  I'm such a brat.

Our flight home was delayed two hours, but I was able to keep Elizabeth from any visits to the airplane lavatory.  So, it was a push.

But, that means this desperate-to-be-back-on-my-computer 12:55am post is happening while my eyes are slamming shut in the comfort of my own home (my home that did not become a temporary shanty town to a band of vagabonds while we were gone for so long - score one for the neighborhood watch).  Glad to be back.  Goodnight.


Sunday, July 04, 2010

I Will Kill You If You Touch My Child's Toothbrush

So here's a drawback to staying at a place by the water, especially a place that has seen record rainfall from a nearby hurricane.  Roaches.

Now there are a LOT of things I try to be a tough girl about; mainly on principle; mainly because squealing, wussy girls bug me.  But, roaches are. not.  one of those things.  If there is another mature person in the vicinity, I will run screaming from a roach as fast as these two legs will take me, and I just hope there is never a child or elderly person in my way as I'm headed out the door - I'm not sure I would pass that ethical challenge.

But last night.  Oh, last night.  I'm a night owl.  So, long after the last person had gone to bed, I shut down my laptop and headed off to get ready for bed. I walked into the bathroom and there was a roach.  On Elizabeth's toothbrush. "Oh, no you di'int.  You done ticked me off now, roach."  I became a one woman roach-killing machine.

But, here's the catch.  Elizabeth has (or should I say, had) a Crayola toothbrush with a suction cup on the bottom so it stands upright.  The roach was up on the bristles like some kind of demented roach flag from hell.  And, unless you're the kind of person who doesn't mind having a roach jump and scurry and try to climb up your arm after a failed kill attempt, you really have to whack these suckers dead on the first try.  So, this required some strategizing.  Needless to say (well, needless if you live inside my brain), it involved a tall Tupperware container, some foil, a lid, a mouthwash bottle, a candle and a flipflop.  Also probably needless to say, none of that mattered when the suction cup on the toothbrush caught on the countertop and the roach made his escape from my what-seemed-to-be-a-well-thought-out fortress.  But, still, after jumping and screaming like a little girl, I delivered the one swift deathblow (and then beat it to death about ten more times to be sure).  I was shaking and sweaty for the next 30 minutes, but I was victorious.  And, my baby girl's toothbrush was vindicated.

There will probably be epic poetry written about this battle.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

I will not barf... I will not barf...

We're celebrating the Fourth of July by hanging out down by the shore.  Today we had an awesome lunch at a little dive.  But, I had to ride home in the middle of the backseat between my brother and brother-in-law.  And, adjusting for the humidity, the temperature outside is hovering somewhere around 347 degrees.  Have I mentioned that I get carsick?

Then my dad and bro-in-law started arguing some topic of local news because it makes them as happy as pigs in slop to debate each other. Have I mentioned that I'm the most non-confrontational person that ever walked the face of the earth?

The more vexed my dad got by the argument, the more jerky his driving became - and this was around the curvy, naturally-puke-inducing roads of the shore.  The only thing that kept me from vomiting was the fear of solidifying my freshly discovered childhood nickname.

And, I've thought this through.  I just don't think there is any way to make "Puke Chunk" trendy and hip.


Friday, July 02, 2010

Put your weapons away, people!

Wow!  If ever a girl needed to know she's loved!  She just need write a blog post about being hurt.  Within minutes, minutes people, I had a flurry of text messages, FB messages and comments to my blog post.  Two friends were offering to "cut" people for me, and one even showed me every weapon she has in her quite-disturbingly-violent arsenal.  But, no worries, my darling friends.  I'm just down here visiting my sister and being deep (I can see how this is confusing to you all ;)

So, put away your weapons.  But, thanks for letting me know who I can call for backup in my next turf war!  I love you, my friends.


The Power to Hurt Me

I just can't stop thinking about how much power the people for whom we care wield with their ability to hurt us.  It's a risk vs. reward situation, though. You have to risk letting people hurt you in order to benefit from the rewards of a close relationship - and, oh the rewards! Laughter. Comfort. Understanding. Compassion. Strength. Love.

We all do have a tendency to "look out for number one," though.  So, I guess we just hope against hope that the people we care for will also give a slight nod to consideration of our feelings.  Sadly, sometimes they don't.  And, if I'm being a grown-up, I should probably add: Why should they?

It must be that I've been spoiled.  I usually find myself surrounded by unbelievably thoughtful friends - I guess I just run with some stellar people. But, man, on the rare occasion that my feelings aren't high on someone else's priority list - it's just like being that 13-year old girl all over again; broken-hearted over not being invited to sit at the "cool" lunch table.

I don't know what to do about it, though.  I can't imagine a life without my friends in it.  So, I choose not to become jaded - yet.  I choose to continue to trust my own judgement of people's characters - although not foolproof, when coupled with Shawn's judgement, it's pretty darn close.  I choose to believe that the people I love are of high enough caliber to be gentle with my feelings.  For now, I'm going to love and trust them enough to turn over the power to hurt me.  And, pray that they're the people I believe them to be - people worthy of that trust.

And, one more thing (this is the grown-up part!):  I'm going to do a double-check on the friend that I'm being to other people.  I pray I find I've been the kind of friend I would hope to have.  But, in case I don't, I'm going to remember how much power there is in a simple apology.

(And, although I'm pretty sure all my nearest and dearest are too busy to read this blog, if I haven't been the kind of friend to you I should have been and am too clueless to know it [if you're my nearest and dearest you are well aware this is not an unlikely scenario], please feel free to leap at this opportunity.  And, allow me to apologize.)


Thursday, July 01, 2010

Uncovering Childhood Memories

We were at my dad and step-mom's house for dinner last night.  Our niece Abby played a little joke on my dad and he said, "Oh, you..."  I really expected him to finish the sentence with "Puke Chunk."  Puke Chunk?!  What the hell?!

Then I realized my dad used to call me PUKE CHUNK when I was little and would give him a hard time.  As we all laughed hysterically at my recollection, he admitted that indeed that was one of his pet names for me.  Talk about a repressed childhood memory.  But, luckily for me, last night was the first time I wrapped my head around just how GROSS that phrase is.  When I was a kid, I just thought it was a term of endearment.

I feel like so many questions have been answered all of a sudden.  And, I feel like maybe my dad owes a few coins to the therapy fund himself!


Here I am with my big sister, Brandy.
Daddy's little "Puke Chunk".

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