Thursday, January 29, 2009

Idol Chatter (Auditions in NYC and Puerto Rico)

OK, again not starting out on a high note here.

Let's start with Adeola shall we? You would think that a woman with enough confidence to quit her job would be an amazing singer. Alas, such is not the case with this poor chick. She was really, really bad. Oy!

Jorge, on the other hand, was a different story. He sang Sinatra's "My Way" in his native tongue, and I really liked it. His vocals were nice.

Jessica -- for someone who has done this her whole life, you would think she wouldn't get nervous. She was bad, and she was shoutingly loud.

Melinda -- she had me feelin' good. She was just a sweet girl.....with not bad vocals. I loved her attitude. She really WAS like a vitamin boost.

Jackie -- she had a kind of different, raspy Allanah Myles meets Janis Joplin sound. I didn't like her as much as the judges did, but her voice was interesting.

Joel the crazy rocker. Well, he was just lame and rediculous.

Nick aka Norman Gentle. He also was lame and rediculous. I almost liked his rendition of Amazing Grace, until he turned his audition into one for Last Comic Singing.

Kenny sang some Jason Mraz and HE WAS FAB!

Kendall the country girl.....loved her too. Why can't they show more footage of people like this?

Monique -- she was the girl with the little brother. She's not a powerhouse, but I like her. There's no way she'll win, but I think the golden ticket may be the confidence booster she's needing to break her out of her shell.

Alexis -- worse than last year. Ha ha ha!!! I wrote that before the judges said it.

Patricia --she was really shouty while doing her Whitney number. She did still have a pretty voice, but nothing fantastci

So there were a few bright lights on tonights, which has been a refreshing change over the past couple nights.

The Mother Ship Has Landed

Let's just say that sometimes slightly unorthodox parenting tactics work best for me.

This morning Ryker did not want to get dressed. This is not unusual. I deal with the dressing fight an average of four times a week. This morning however was special. Not the good kind of special either. This morning I had an errand to run and an appointment to keep. Dressing this morning was non-negotiable. My little boy number three did not apparently get the memo.

The typical battle ensued. The kicking, the screaming, the running away and hiding. I'm no fool. I know all about picking your battles. Some days the exhausted, overstressed, mommy in me will let it slide. I'll coddle and coo and coax, and after a long, long, long, long time, victory is achieved- usually. But this morning I was cold and tired and frustrated, and still in pain from these bloody infections.

And so, in a particularly stellar parenting moment, I pulled out of the mommy arsenal one of my most outlandish mommyisms ever. I told my my child, my impressionable four year old son, that if he did not comply with my demand to put on his pants at that very moment, aliens were going to come and take mommy back to their planet to live with them. I even went so far as to explain that this is how the term "mother-ship" was coined. Yes, coined as a result of all of the mommy's abducted and hauled off to parts unknown by aliens. Hauled off all because they had wild and defiant preschoolers who refused to get dressed in the morning! I could hardly believe it myself. Aliens? Aliens? Has it really come to this? Apparently it has.

We don't have to recount all of the ways in which that was wrong. I already realize the potential for disaster that I unleashed. The proverbial Pandora's Box that I had opened. For one thing, I could have shot myself in the foot by instilling a life long fear in him that my well being was a direct result of his actions. Not to mention I could have really screwed things up by giving him a year's worth of nightmares about aliens landing on our rooftop and toting mommy away while he stands by helplessly, pants in hand, pleading for one more chance.

I know. I'm horrible. But before you fret too much, before you do what you always do when you read something I've written about my awesome parenting techniques (speed dial social services), let me tell you this; the boy did not scream, he did not cry, he did not shake in fear. He simply said "mommy there's no such thing as aliens".

I didn't even dare get into that one. At that point I did not care. I did not care because he spoke those words, looked up at me with his sweet little smile and he put on his pants. And out the door we went.

Feel free to call on me for more helpful pointers.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Idol Chatter (Auditions in Salt Lake City)

Ah, the SLC auditions. What Utah music style show would be complete without a few dozen Osmonds? Daniel, who is completely adorable by the way, was pretty darn fabulous. I agree, he should have picked a more "solo enhanced" song, but he was great. I was worried that the judges were really going to pigeon-hole him as a group variety singer. So I was happy to see him get the ticket.

Tara "goth girl" Matthews -- Please fly away NOW

The third girl with the chipmunk voice....all I can say is WTH?!?

Dude with the bunny.....I thought he had potential, but his gimmick was stupid so they dismissed him before they heard a word out of his mouth.

Frankie -- I really liked her vibe. She had a really cool tone to her voice

Meagan -- the single mom who sang "Can't Help Lovin That Man".....I totally and vehemently disagree with the judges on this one. Granted she was cute, tattoo sleeve notwithstanding, but he voice was just weird. I really didn't like it.

Andrew -- let just let him fly too. That was BAD!

Austin, the young student body president -- his first song vocals weren't bad, but I LOVED his Raffi song. I think he's this years David Archuletta, and I LOVED how the first person to plow through the crowd and bear hug him when he made it to Hollywood was his dad. Such an awesome moment.

Taylor, the tall Samoan girl -- I loved the emotion in her face when she sang Joyful, Joyful. You could see she really felt what she was singing. Her vocals weren't fabulous, but she was pretty darn good.

And finally there was Rose, the orphaned hippie girl -- I can't imagine losing my parents at such a young age, and so tragically. And what an amazing family that took her in and is now helping encourage her to go for her dreams. I didn't think her vocals were fantastic, but she was such a sweet girl.

All in all, SLC left me with the same emptiness that Florida did. No one really stood out to me as a superstar. Anyway......don't forget to watch tomorrow night for the final two audition cities. Let me know what you're thinking!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Idol Chatter (Auditions in Jacksonville)

Sigh......what a yawnfest Florida turned out to be. Let's start at the beginning shall we?

Joshua, the first contestant, claims to be compaired to Justin Guarini from season one. He sang a little Marvin Gaye, and while he didn't have a bad voice, his audition had a bit too much "free-stylin" for my liking. Singers like that always make me nervous. It makes me think that they have no real confidence in their vocal abilities so they have to hide their flaws with unnecessary runs and vibrato. I really don't see this guy rockin' Hell week....but he gets a golden ticket anyway.

Then the next contestant, Sharon, brought her puppy to the audition with her. Can't say I remember seeing that in previous seasons. She was another wannabe pop tart who put too much vibrato in her singing too. I thought her vocals were flat.

Dayna, the girl that sang Chaka Khan should just never EVER sing again.....nuf' said.

Kaneshwa sang "Caught up in the Rapture", which I most definately wasn't. She was really nasally and flat also.

Jelisa, the beauty queen. I had to give her props in the beginning. I thought she was ballsy to try pulling off Whitney. And, like Simon, it turned out for me better than I thought it would. But he should have stuck to his first instinct and told her "no". And what was with Paula's little hissy fit and walking off stage? I mean really......she got all pissy because after three yes votes no one wanted to hear what she had to say. Give me a break. How many times has that little valium riddled train wreck cut someone else off before they could say something? (insert heavy eye rolling here)

Darin, the hyper happy black guy -- for a guy who got so darn emotional, he sure gave a pretty stoic, emotionless performance.

Niomi I thought was the worst of the night. Her audition did seem like a joke. I mean, even her friend sitting on Randy's lap had this "what the heck is this crap" look on her face.

Day two seemed to start out on a bit of a happier note....or so I thought

Jasmine sang some Fergi and overall, I thought she was a cute little girl who pulled out not a bad audition.....but still, I found her a bit nasally. (I'm starting to notice a trend in Jacksonville)

Then there was George, the Amish Physicist......what can I say That was the most bizarre rendition of Walking on Sunshine I have ever heard. I actually had to sing the song for Andrew so he knew what song the guy was trying to accomplish.

TK, the dude from last year who didn't make it through....I thought he overcompensated with his rendition of Imagine. It was WWWWAAAAAYYYYY too much for that song. That song in all honesty is so simple and soulful and he just kind of bastardized it. Don't get me wrong, the kid can sing....but I think he just needs to pull back the reigns a bit. Unless he is auditioning for Broadway.

Ah, Michael. Remember him, the crying, panick attacked laden, guitar player. The poor kid just didn't stand a chance the second he got in the room. And I almost started to feel sorry for him. But then the little punk decided to dis his mother on national television. That was harsh, and you could tell has happened before. Mom pulled back and spun around real fast so the cameras couldn't catch the hurt and heartbreak in her eyes. But I felt it. Now I just want to kick the kid in the ass.

And finally, Anne Marie. She sang Bubbly, which is a song I HATE beyond measure. But she wasn't horrible at it. So I'll let her slide.

And that's really about all I have to say. I have my fingers crossed that the talent in SLC tomorrow night is a little more substantial. Because for being the Sunshine State, Florida's auditions left me cold.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I Love Eating Crow

If there's one thing I have done a lot of since becoming a parent, it's eating my words. I said lots and lots of stuff about parenting before I was actually a parent. My kid will never...." (insert offensive behavior here).

But as we've all learned, once you get down there in the trenches, you do what you have to do to cope. And that's alright. It took me a long time to be okay with being okay; to allow myself to be less than perfect. And to accept that I was a good mother anyway.

For me, it was every time I left work to stay at home with my children. I felt the need to justify and validate that decision. So I had to be the best mother. The best homemaker. The best household manager - EVER. Could I have set myself up for disappointment and failure any more effectively? I think not.

But I learned a few things, stumbled, found my feet and my groove, and ate a lot of crow regarding the judgements I'd made before I had children. My kids have eaten cold pizza for breakfast. I sometimes let them have dessert even though they didn't finish their dinner. I don't always follow through on my threats. I sometimes give in to avoid an argument. I sometimes pretend I don't hear when they let fly with a particularly "forbidden" word. (Things like, "stupid", "shut up", etc.....) The list goes on.

Because parenting is hard work and I get tired. Damn tired. So unless they are doing something really, really harmful to themselves or others, it's okay to let them get away with stuff once in a while.

Still, I do it. I judge. I find myself looking at teenagers and thinking to myself..."Boy, if I ever caught my kid behaving that way...."I should know better.

Recently, I've read a few parenting posts by bloggers I respect and admire. Nothing unusual there; a lot of us write about parenting. But what struck me about these particular posts is the fact that they made a whole lot of sense regarding a two year old, or a ten year old, but were completely off the mark for say, a nearly twelve year old. And I'm finding that's the case with just about everything parenting related. Everything I have learned over the past twelve years now means exactly nothing. And that's really what I want to tell you.

Parenting a teen or soon to be teen is, in essence, starting all over. So please, don't judge parents of teens by the same standards you judge yourself. They've got a whole new set of hurdles to jump, and a stranger that has sprung forth from the child they once knew. They are coping with issues that have long term consequences on the lives and future of their children. Because honestly? The age at which a child is potty trained or learns their ABC's is wholly insignificant when you consider the perils they face in adolescence. Drugs. Alchohol. Driving ((shudder). Sex and Relationships. Identity struggles. Being a leader and not a follower when following is so much easier. Autonomy. Who and what to be when they grow up, and how to achieve that.

And here's the thing...when we see them poised to misstep, we can't put out a hand to steady them or set them on the right path. We can only watch them muddle through and hope their mistakes are not too grievous. You can pick a toddler up, bush him off, and kiss away the hurt. You can hold their hand when they cross the street. You can hold the back of the seat when they learn to ride a bike. But you can't take their SAT's. You can't say no when they're offered a joint or a beer. You can't put on the brakes for them when they're in the throes of teenage passion. You can't tell them not to run that stop sign, even though there's no cop in sight.

Independance is the name of the game when parenting a teen. It's more about facilitating autonomy than imposing our own will. The focus shifts from actively teaching, to simply letting them learn. And that is harder than anything you can possibly imagine. Especially knowing that if we fail, our children go out into the world with no idea how to navigate it. And on top of AAAAALLLLL have to learn not to take it personally when they'd rather be with their friends than you. When they ask you to drop them off at the corner. When they roll their eyes and sigh at the things you say and do. When you are no longer their hero. I'm lucky. My almost twelve year old (in April) is really a good kid. But still he drives me INSANE.

So the next time you see a teenager in the mall, talking big, showing off, being obnoxious, don't judge him. Don't judge his parents. Chances are, he's a good kid too, despite his behavior. And believe me, his Mom is cringing in the wings. But she's smart enough to know that she has to let him experience the consequences of his actions in order for him to really get it.

Cherish your little ones. Don't sweat the Crayola on the walls. Kiss as many boo-boos as you can. Read stories. Play games. But be ready for the day when they push you away. It means you did it right.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Idol Chatter (Auditions in Louisville)

OK, since I didn't post anything after last night show, I am going to have to forgo this weeks Thursday Thirteen in order to give you my recap and thoughs from AI in Louiville.

I sometimes have to shake my head in wonder at the producers of the show. Why is it that they always start the night with an absolutely horrid singer? Not exactly a way to endear viewers in my opinion. I mean seriously, did that girl who sang Mariah Carey's "Hero" really think she was as good as she and her mother said? Seriously? I guess she has a voice only a mother could love because I found the entire thing a train wreck.

I did see some promise in the next girl, Joanna, however. She's the one who sang "We Belong" by Pat Benetar. I mean we all know that she's tried to make a career of music for a while and hasn't had much luck. But I'm telling you, that girl could be a powerhouse with a bit more confidence in herself.

The cowboy,Mark Mudd......oy! Voices like that really make me HATE country music. But I think the judges read way to much into his "threat". Seriously, I hear people say "be careful" as their parting words ALL THE TIME! Maybe it's a "Southern" thing.

Brent, the guy who sang "Can't Get Enough Of Your Love".....meh......I really didn't care for it. It really wasn't that great for me. And the dueling piano guy (darn....can't remember his name right now), he had a pretty good voice.....but there was just a bit too much vibrato for me. Vibrato when singing should be used really sparingly. I wish more singers would realize that.

Then there was Ross (the nerd guy). I really hoped that this guy was a rockstar in dork clothing. You know kind of like Enook was (Go Noop Dawg). But alas, he was awful and his entire audition was excruciating.

Alexis, the girl who sang "Dr. Feelgood", was not bad. She was a bit shouty and I reserve my opinion on her vocal ability until I see her sing something in a softer, ballad style.

Aaron, the black guy with the big voice. WOW!! Seriously, the guy shouted through his entire audition, which I thought was unfortunate, because if you listen past the screaming, he does have a pretty decent voice.

And finally, Laniesha.....she was pretty good. Her vocals were good, but her attitude scares me. She seems like she could have a SERIOUS diva complex.

So, all in all, I would have to say that Joanna was my favorite of the night, but for the most part I thought the talent was pretty sucky in Kentucky.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Idol Chatter (Auditions in San Fransisco)

So of all the thousands of people that auditioned for AI in San Fran only 12 people got the ticket to Hollywood. That is just insanity to me. You can't tell me only 12 people in that massive crowd were deserving.

But then again, the night really didn't start off well, did it? I mean, seriously! That chick with that annoying Fran Drescher laughter was not the first thing I wanted to see when I tuned in. Seriously, GAG me. Her attitude was rediculous and she sang flat. She never should have made it through, and I completely agree with Simon that she "didn't get through on her vocals".

Then there was Jesus. He seems like a nice enough guy....but again not a strong enough voice to really carry him to far. Bringing his children in was dirty pool, but I guess it got him through -- for now.

Akeelah -- wow! What was up with that chick. It's a music audition, not a pretest for the med school MCATs. Anyway, she was horrible.....way to much vibrato and too many runs.

Then there was know, the blonde chick who sang "Summertime". She was awful. Maybe she would have sounded better had she loosened the saran wrap around her neck. Who knows.

My favorite of the night was Adam; the guy who sang "Bohemian Rhapsody". He was fantastic.

And Kai....(the guy with the mom), he was pretty good too. He seems like a really nice guy with a pretty decent voice.

OK....anyone else have thoughts? We'll see you again tomorrow after the auditions in Kentucky!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Still Flying

Today, I was talking with a friend who has no children.

She told me, shyly, haltingly, that she wants kids, but she doesn't want kids. I think that kind of ambivalence is perfectly natural. But I didn't really know how to respond. Maybe she wanted some assurances; some cheery little platitudes or rosy hued rhetoric about what "blessings" they are.

But I couldn't give her that. The falsehoods simply refused to roll off my tongue.

Instead I told her the most honest thing I could think of.

"Having children is the most terrible thing and the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me."

She looked at me with something like horror.

But then she smiled.

"I should have known you'd give it to me straight."

I don't have to tell all of you with kids what I mean. You know why it's terrible. You know why it's wonderful.

You know how the fear and insecurity and confusion and self-doubt. The weight of responsibility. The regret. The second guessing. And the tired. Oh man -- the exhuastion of body and soul. The ceaselessness of being someobody's whole world.

And you know the pride, the love, the pure unadulterated joy. You know the elation of watching your child fly on wings that you have helped them spread. You know the heart clenching love of such bigness it can scarcely be contained within your own body. And indeed it is not. It walks outside you, on legs steadied by your own hand.

But how to tell someone who doesn't know? How to explain that some days you look at your child and are filled with peace. I did this. I did a good job. I'm a good mother, you think to yourself.

Those days are satisfying in a way that defies description. But then there are the days when you doubt everything. The peace and the satisfaction evaporate and the only voice you hear is your own shrewish conscience carping at you about how badly you are screwing this up.
And those days are bad in a way that defies description.

Soul darkening, those days can be; thinking that the biggest most important thing you have ever done, you have done dismally bad.

Sometimes it seems those days are the majority. But when the good days come...or even just the good moments...those tiny little slices of absolute clarity and perfection amidst the grinding's somehow enough. Enough to keep us all going and trying and doing our best to muddle through.

So knowing all do you tell someone?

You don't, I think. You can't, I believe.

They have to take a leap of faith like the rest of us.

Sometimes that leaping is a thrilling, weightless, soul soaring freedom. Sometimes it is a terrifying, sinking feeling as we hurtle towards disaster.

But either way, it teaches us something about the people we are. We are either people who find a way to stay afloat, or people who accept the inevitable and give in to gravity.

Honestly? I don't know which is true of me yet. Twelve years of experience have not left me any more certain than I was the very first day.

But I'm still flying, which, I figure, has got to mean something.

Even if it is by the seat of my pants.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Words & Phrases I would love to banish from my boys' vocabulary…

1. Stupid — used to describe anyone or anything that he doesn’t like or understand

2. Oh my gosh — as in, “Oh my gosh, you are so unreasonable!”

3. Of course! — used whenever they are disgusted with something we say, to convey that theyalready knew what we were going to say

4. Like — It’s, like, everyone’s favorite sentence filler!

5. My bad — just a highly irritating phrase that I would like to see banished from the entire human population, not just my kids

6. Andummm — a word that is used in place of a period. Thus, the sentence never ends and cannot be interrupted.

7. Heavy exhale — okay, not a word per se, but still an audible expression of disgust or disappointment, used most frequently when told to do something that they were supposed to do, but didn’t.

8. Some kid — this the person who is always a part conversations my kids relay to me....but never actually is named ( not always the same kid in each conversation)

9. What?! Why?! -Usually when I’ve answered his request with a “no,” as if it were the most outlandish thing he’s ever heard.

10. Whatever — the typical response any time I correct his pronunciation, grammar, or assumption of knowledge on a particular subject. I’ve been telling him for years to say, “I brought,” instead of “I brung,” and he still responds this way. Aggravating.

11. Basically — overused when describing something.

12. You know — no, I don’t. That’s why I’m waiting for you to tell me.

13. Chillax! — a combination of “Chill out!” and “Relax!” It has quite the opposite effect on me, as made up words tend to do.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Idol Chatter (Auditions in Kansas City)

Well......thank God Kansas City had more talent then Phoenix. I actually feel like I have something worth writing about tonight. And while, I wasn't as blown away by some of the contestants as the judges seemed to be, there were some amazing singers.

However, the show definately did NOT start on a high note for me. Little miss Varsity Choir girl almost made me want to change the channel. Simon got it bang on when he said her warbling sounded like cats being tossed off a roof. Thank goodness the second girl had a nice voice and I decided not to switch over to reruns of "Reba".

And what was up with classically trained Opera guy. His audition was just weird. I didn't care for it at all. But now dude in the fedora who sang "Over the Rainbow" -- I really liked it. I wasn't sure I was going to at first, but the kid has amazing range.....and guts.

And Jason Castro's little brother. I gotta admit I wasn't expecting much out of this kid. It's no secret that I was NOT a fan of his brother last season. But, I must say I was pleasantly suprised. The boy can sing. It will be interesting to see if he goes as far as Jason did.

Let's see....who else?? Oh welder dad. He was just meh, okay, for me. I didn't think he deserved a ticket to Hollywood, but we'll have to see what Hell week brings out of him.

And what was the deal with Rainbow Brite hair. I mean, ouch.....she was horrid.....and her facial expressions were really, really creepy.

"Oz" girl who sang Janis Joplin was awesome; loved her voice. I liked the little black sister....and I think her big sister knew that she wasnt as good. And I really didn't care for "California Dreamin'' guy. He reminded me of a wannabe Broadway act or something. was a bit much.

Just like last night, there was a story that tugged at the heart strings. And just like last night, the singer had some talent. My heart broke for this young guy who had lost his wife. But, I think he has the ability to go really far in the competition.

And then there was NoopDawg. I must admit that I had the same feeling as Simon about this kid. He looked like a computer nerd who probably had no real singing talent. Man, was I ever shocked to hear such a soulful sound come out of him. One of my favorites of the night for sure.

Andrew (the dude with the cheerleaders); singers like him annoy me. They have okay talent, but they try to show off and do way too many runs. He was just so over the top for me.

Band teacher guy was my other favorite of the night. I thought he was great. But the Dennis guy was another one that I figured really didnt' deserve a golden ticket to Hollywood. But thankfully the night did end on a high note. Lil was fantastic. The girl has some great pipes.

So there's my thoughts tonight. I know it's a little long....but like I said, there was some real talent in OKC. Let me know your thoughts. Do you agree with me or disagree? Who did you like? Who made you cringe? And I'll be back with more Idol Chatter next week.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Here we go again!!

OK, as some of you know, I had a blog last year through my online parenting group dedicated to American Idol. Sadly, the online group has been shut down, so this year, my "Idol Chatter" will be featured here on my personal blog instead.

For starters: I have already decided I love the new judge. Part of me is hoping that she was brought in to eventually phase out Paula Abdul. She's awesome. She has a bit of the sweet factor like Paula, but she's brash and ballsy when she needs to be too (cough, cough....bikini girl....cough, cough).

And speaking of the contestants, lets start with bikini girl, shall we? Can you sat attention whore. It's sad when someone is so insecure about their abilities and natural talent that they have to come to the audition with some sort of gimmick. Her voice was nasaly and irritating, and while she may have wanted us to focus on her, ahem, assets....I couldn't take my eyes off her mouth. She has big ole Julia Roberts lips which she purses and contorts in weird ways as she sings. I don't see her making it past Hollywood. And who else thought of the guy from last year who sang, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot", when that young black kid with the deep voice opened his mouth? WOW!! And it would appear that, whatever that weird kids name was that got really nervous and was eating the banana as he was almost passed out on the floor, has become the middle earth version of William Hung.

But all is not lost. The new rocker girl who sang "Barracouda" was phenomenal. I'm not hugely crazy about her looks, but the girl has mad skills. And the Asian boy who sang two after her....he was awesome too. I'm not happy that Simon changed his mind with "nice personality" girl. True she did have a sparkling attitude, but why put someone through to Hollywood that you know doesn't stand a real chance. And the blind guy at the end. What a perfect and gut wrenching way to end the evening. That guy was phenomenal; and has secured his spot as my early favorite.

Anyway.......thats my condensed thoughts on Phoenix. We'll see what Kansas City has in store for us all tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Don't you just hate that?

I Hate It When medicine doesn't do it's job.

11:30 Freakin' Nyquil. Why am I awake?! I take this for your tagline 'sleep-whatever-whatever-whatever medicine'.

12:30 I am coughing. Am not asleep.

12:45 Still coughing, thinking I am dying, why can't I breathe, Oh my gosh, I am DYING!

1:25 Still?!? This is crap. I have had 2 mugs of Chamomile tea, 2 TBSP of Honey and a spray of lemon down the trap. Still thinking I am dying, and now I have some random strain of megaloblastic anemia thanks to a late episode of Diagnosis:Unkown.

2:25 Drifted off. Awoken by intense urge to pee. Damn tea. Cough is back.

3:25 Drifted off. Awoken by cough. Hate my life. Love my life IF I can sleep this off tomorrow while kids are at school.

4:25 Sing praises, literally, when I discover a bag of cough drop at the back of the drawer with 4 boxes of open tampax. Really. I must forget these are here. Remembered to condense and clear out drawers in bathroom.

4:30 Tell hubby to 'shuddthahellup' when asked why I am awake and singing in the bathroom. Consider it all shot to hell, coughing fits ensue. Go downstairs start Hot Toddy's and laundry. (OK, not really Hot Toddy's but a girl can dream, right?)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Roles I Play

Like most of you, I have a lot of roles. I’m a busy girl.

1. I’m a daughter [for 32 years].
2. I’m a wife [for almost eleven years].
3. I’m a mother [of three].
4. I’m a friend.
5. I’m a sister [to three younger siblings]
6. I’m a Child of God [although a bit "prodigal" at the moment].
7. I’m a student [of life].
8. I’m a cook [albeit far from professional].
9. I’m a housekeeper [but not a very good one].
10. I’m a chauffer man I miss my little blue Dodge minivan].
11. I’m a tutor [even if I have forgotten much of this stuff they are teaching the kids these days].
12. I’m an entertainer [although my kids sometimes refer to it as an embarrasser].
13. I’m a warden [and that I know the kids will agree with].

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Only Me

I was applying mascara this morning in preparation for an impromptu trip to Wal-Mart. I know, mascara is not a prerequisite for shopping at Wal-Mart. Hell, teeth are not a pre-requisite for shopping at Wal-Mart. But because we spent all of Christmas Break travelling and moving and packing and unpacking, I haven't really had make-up or decent clothes on in over two weeks, and my hair had been up in a ponytail for so many days in a row that I was developing a sore spot on top of my head. Needless to say, I was feeling very frumpy and dishevelled. Plus, I was grouchy and irritable thanks to Eve and her inability to follow one very simple little directive. I thought putting on some make-up and fixing my hair a little might brighten my outlook.

Alas, my mascara has apparently reached the threshold whereby it stops being all smooth and creamy and becomes the consistency of spackle. When I finished applying it, I realized that I was looking decidedly Tammy Fay-ish. But rather than take it off and start over, I pulled out my handy dandy safety pin, which I keep at hand for just such an emergency. As I was using it separate my spiderifficly gummed up lashes, I thought to myself...Gee, wouldn't it suck if I slipped and poked myself in the eyeball with this thing?And then I poked myself right in the eyeball with that thing. Foolhardy thought it may be, I've been using a pin to separate my lashes since I began wearing mascara 20 years ago, and not once have I poked myself in the eye. Not once have I even considered that I might poke myself in the eye. And then, as soon as the thought was thunk, it happened. It's as if my brain somehow short circuited right at that very moment. Weird.

Only me, People. Only me. Don't worry, it's fine. Corneas heal quickly thank God, and I didn't like...impale my eyeball. It's just a little surface scratch, which I've gotten before from getting debris under my contact lenses, games of "Hey! My Mom has an eyeball too!" and various other cosmetic industrial/household accidents.Right about now, you should be feeling like the smartest person on the planet in comparison.

Superiority. It's the gift that keeps on giving.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Deep Thoughts

by Jack, I mean.......Erin M.

1. Wouldn't it be cool if you could take off your arms before you go to bed? I'm a side sleeper, and I often wake up with my arms dead and wooden beneath me. That's a most disconcerting feeling, even though I know that I've simply lain on them too long. It still skeeves me out, because it's like being in the embrace of a corpse. Also, I have yet to find a pillow that is really excellent for side sleepers, so I often wake up with a crick in my neck or an ache in my scrunched up shoulder. However, you'd have to be really careful. One of you would have to leave an arm on each night. Otherwise, you'd have no way to get them back on. Imagine waking up having to pee, and realizing you cannot untie your pajama bottoms or pull down your pants. God forbid the lid is closed. Imagine looking at your arms, dangling limply there where you hung them up the night before; completely useless independant of your body. Maybe that's not such a good idea afterall.

2. What if the Scientologists have it right? Think about it. Why is being descended from a master race of aliens any crazier than the traditionally accepted theological explanation of human genesis? In fact, it might be slightly less crazy than the concept of people springing forth from clay and/or constructed from a single rib bone. But don't tell Tom Cruise I said so. I don't want that smug bastard and his extraterrestrial Jesus knocking on my door any time soon.

3. Do you ever wonder if cats and dogs can really speak and understand English, but choose not to let us know that they can?I just seems to me that when you live with people for an extended period of time, say....8 years or pick a few things up.

4. I think I have discovered an actual disorder. I need to contact the New England Journal of Medicine, because this could be BIG. It's called "Male Pattern Blindness."How else do you account for the fact that both my husband and my male children, despite being given very detailed directions on where to find a given item, will look right at it, and yet not see it? Why else would said husband and children walk past a laundry basket and/or various belongings piled neatly at the bottom of the stairs and never carry it up? I once did an experiment with Husband's PC Magazines. They sat at the bottom of the stairs for 3 weeks. I figure that's about 2100 trips. And he never even saw the stupid things. And how else do you explain the fact that my husband still finds me sexy, despite the cottage cheese on my thighs and a roadmap of the entire Western Hemisphere on my belly? Now, if only I could find a cure. THAT would be big.

5. Why don't ears sprout during puberty? I don't know about yours, but my kids do not need ears. They don't use them. They are thoroughly useless little appendages. Women don't need breasts prior to giving birth, therefore evolution has biologically programmed us to grow them only after our bodies are capable of bearing children. I think the same should apply to ears. They should grow only after one develops the capacity for listening. Maybe puberty would not be the ideal time. For men it would be about 40, I think.

6. Everybody should sit down to pee.I would like to know who is to thank for the foolish notion that men must pee standing up. This, is not a concept borne of common sense. And I can almost gaurantee you that is not a practice that was conceived or endorsed by a woman.This is not a conversation that ever took place:

"Forsooth Good Wife, henceforth, I shall endeavor to relieve myself without soiling my buttocks upon the privvy seat. I shall accomplish this by taking judicious aim from a stance apace from yon aperature. What thinkest thou?"

"Good Husband, I think that thou art as clever as thou art handsome! T'is a wondrous idea for certain. I implore you to instruct our sons in this most novel practice."

Never. Happened.

It's really just a matter of physics. When you are going to fill a bucket with a garden hose, do you stand three feet away to do so? No. You put the nozzle down into the bucket. Why? Because water is not a cohesive substance. And neither is pee. It seems pretty simple to me. And yet, for centuries, the male collective has duped us into believing that sitting down to pee is, in some way, emasculating. What about cleaning the bathroom with your tongue? Is that emasculating? Because I'm truly to point where that is what's going to happen the next time I find pee in the waste basket that sits three feet to the left of the toilet, or the next time I sit down on a toilet seat liberally sprinkled with rapidly cooling urine in the middle of the night.

7. I was born a several centuries too late. I should have been born when the standard of female beauty was this:

Eh. It's just as well, I suppose. I don't think objectification is all it's cracked up to be. Besides, if I was happy with my body, then I would have to find something else with which to flagellate my tender self-esteem. At least I can change my body. Perhaps I should count myself lucky to have born in a century where I can sculpt my body and my face into whatever the currently accepted standards dictate as "beautiful".
8. Sometimes I think all the truly great men have already lived. I was thinking this the other day when I was watching Immortal Beloved. How many truly great men have been born in the last century? How many men this century have really changed the course of history with their bravery, their humanity, their talent or their trailblazing? I can think of a mere handful. The Time Top 100 lists Sascha Baron Cohen and Justin Timberlake for pity's sake. But I don't put much faith in that list anyway. There is a difference between being influential, and being truly great. I don't think most of the people on that list are truly great people. Influential? Yes. Revolutionary? Possibly. Talented? Some. But have most of them reached a pinnacle of greatness so profound that their name will always be remembered and become synonmyous with the field in which they excelled? No. I don't know, in this day and age with the corruption and moral profligacy and the ease with which one can achieve counterfeit celebrity, if it's even possible for a man, or woman, to be truly great. It's a thought that saddens me. But...I think that women are making up for it. We are just coming into our own as a sex. I think we can expect great things from women in the days to come. And that's a thought that gladdens me. Okay, that was an actual deep thought, thus negating the ironic humor of my title. But roll with it.
9. I wish I was a witch. When I was a kid, I used to twitch my nose like Samantha, and fantasize that it would actually work. I remember once twitching my nose at some girl who was making fun of me. She was like..."Did you just twitch your nose at me dweeb?" Back then, I would have used it mostly to get stuff I wanted (rainbow striped suspenders, a lemon twist, a Steve Austin action figure) and for revenge. Now I think...dayum, that would be a really freaking useful skill. Laundry piling up? Twitch. Dog puked on the carpet? Twitch. Kids' rooms smell like feet? Twitch. Paint color looks more like "pea soup" than "antique verdigris"? Twitch. Husband developing a bit of a spare tire? Twitch his ass into Vin Dieseldom. would be so awesome. I know, you guys think I'm all highbrow and intellectual and deep and stuff, but trust me, I've got a million of these ridiculous and quite pointless little snippets of thought running around in my head.
Please don't leave me hanging out here in dorkdom all by myself. C'mon and share one of your own "deep" thoughts in the comments. K?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Moving Sucks

OK, I know that everyone knows that moving sucks. But try moving 2000 miles the week of Christmas from nice, balmy 70 degree F Texas, to cold, snowy, wet, frosty.....did I mention COLD, Southern Alberta. Not such a fun thing.

The trip was long, which is insantity in a 26 foot Uhaul with 5 people in the cab. Especially when you hit Wyoming and Montana where the weather took a turn for the worse. It was cramped, the roads were horrible......thank goodness my husband knows how to handle himself behind the wheel. We had a couple of close calls with going off the road; one where I was sure the Uhaul was going to end up on its side in the ditch. But we made it safely to Casper, where my dad picked up the kids to take them through the border. Being that it was 7pm on Christmas Eve, the border was quiet, and we sailed through without hassle. Arrived at moms just before 9 to a declicious and long awaited turkey dinner.

Christmas morning was modest by my kids standards, but they were so excited about it and about being at grandma's house, that they hardly noticed. We had a great day and are now trying to get settled in out new, albiet temporary, house before school starts.

Easy Ways To Be Happy

In the monotony of daily life, chasing after happiness can seem like an endless, really big project. And sometimes, it is. But sometime...