Tuesday, January 31, 2012

30 Days of Random Questions, Day 26

Day 26: Mayo or Miracle Whip?

You'd think that this is a simple, easy question. That it's not one filled with history and emotion and meaning like the last few have been.

You'd think that only if you've never been subjected to this persistent debate. Or been tricked into eating the one you aren't accustomed to by mean people.

I, on the other hand, have.

Mayonnaise falls into the category of things I like as long as I don't think about what goes into them. Like hot dogs. I love me a grilled hot dog in the summertime, just don't start telling me what it's made of. I buy the all-beef ones because it makes me feel better about it. At least it's only those parts from one kind of animal, right?

So, me and mayo get along just fine as long as there is no label reading involved.

Miracle Whip, however, is gross.

I have no idea who thought that was a good idea, truth be told.

I have friends who eat it, whatever it is, but won't touch mayo. Or who rationalize that ranch dressing (and it's requisite MSG) is okay, but mayo is nasty. I don't pretend to understand it.

We went to Costco this weekend, and my dear husband jokingly grabbed the gallon size jug of Miracle Whip. You know I gave him the look that says this:

You'd better put that back if you know what's good for you.

So, which is it? Don't worry, I'm not judging.

Unless you like Miracle Whip, that is. Then, I'm totally going to wonder what the hell is wrong with you.

Monday, January 30, 2012

30 Days of Random Questions, Day 25

Day 25: Do you really learn from your mistakes or are you destined to repeat them?

I've made a few really bad choices in my life, and I want to believe that I've learned from them. That I've made the changes necessary to ensure that I don't do it again.

Sometimes it took a while for me to learn, and I had to make the same mistakes over a few times before I got it.

Some of those changes have been very difficult for me, but I've powered through it because I had to.

There are more than a few people I know, though, that just never see the patterns.  That seem doomed to repeat and repeat and repeat the poor choices, never truly owning their responsibility for them or the consequences of them. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result every time. Change doesn't just magically happen one day when you've done nothing to make it.

And there are those still, who've been the repeaters time and again.  Who want to change.  Who say they want to.

I'm just at a place in my life where I have to keep believing that people are capable of change, even knowing that some of them never will.

Serenity, now.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

30 Days of Random Questions, Day 24

Day 24:  How many of your friends would you trust with your life?

This is one of those questions that I don't really intend to find a numerical answer for myself, but one that I think needs to be asked.


I'm at a point in my life where I would have thought I'd be done learning certain lessons. Where I would have figured things out more.

Then life reminds me that I don't know nearly as much as I think I do.

I've learned a lot in this past year. About who I can trust, but more so about who I can't.

You think that someone is loyal and honest, you think that they feel the same way about you as you do about them, you think that they will be there for you when you need them.

And then you are lied to, deceived. You find out that they don't feel the way you thought, and that your significance in their life is vastly different than you believed it to be. You don't really matter. You are expendable. Disposable. Temporary.

How many people can you really trust?

I guarantee it's a much smaller list than you'd wish it to be, and I guarantee that some of those who made the list probably don't deserve to be there.

They just haven't been tested yet.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

30 Days of Random Questions, Day 23

Day 23: Would you rather be stranded on a deserted island alone or with someone you can't stand?

Though there is an argument to be made that you'd get over your issues with the other person and eventually start to like them, I'm not so sure about that.  That it would be worth it to have human companionship, and all that.

I think I'd rather be alone, honestly.

Especially if there was no hope of ever being found.

I know I couldn't handle spending the rest of my life with a few people.

I could, on the other hand, probably be just fine painting a volleyball and making friends with inanimate objects.

I can be your forever friend.

Friday, January 27, 2012

30 Days of Random Questions, Day 22

Day 22: If you could go back to ONE day in your life and re-live it (without changing anything), what day would it be and why?

I think a lot of people would go back to the day they became a parent for the first time (assuming of course that you were reliving the day without the pain of labor). I wouldn't.

Though it was an amazing day in my life, and may be one of the most pivotal, I wouldn't ever want to go back there. It was terrifying and scary, my baby was born too soon and we were afraid we might lose him. I was powerless. If I never felt that way about one of my children ever again, I would be eternally grateful.

There are certainly other great days in my past. The day my second child was born was one of them. Graduation days, others. The vivid childhood memories of the good times. I'd be afraid, though, that like everything it seems, my memory has chosen just to remember the good portions and discard all the rest.  That even those days weren't as great as I remember them to be now.

Though my answer might surprise a few of you out there, I'd want to go back to the day I got married.

Back to the day before life got complicated.  Before cancer and children and crises and choices changed everything.

There were a few things that went wrong that day, for sure. The cake was atrocious, we ended up one bouquet short (not a good thing when you've already yelled at the bridesmaid who happened to get to the church last), my brother in law ripped his pants just before walking down the aisle, my maid of honor tripped on her way down, and someone (who I know who did it, but will never admit fault, I'm afraid) completely trashed the bathroom.

No one noticed most of that stuff, though.  

What people did see was something else entirely.  

A man walking his only daughter down the aisle, struggling to let her go at the end.

A groom who had never been more sure of anything in his life.

A bride in the horse drawn carriage she'd always dreamed of.

Love.  

A first one, at that.

The kind of love that they write books about.

It was perfect.  

It was new and unblemished. It was unyielding and constant. It was pure and it was truly amazing.

And I'd give more than you know to get that feeling back, even if it was only just for one day.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

30 Days of Random Questions, Day 21

Day 21:  Ever gone commando?

You know....without undergarments. Panties, underwear, briefs, boxers, skivvies, whatever you want to call them.

Those.


Now, I'm no prude. I'm sure there are those of you out there who do this routinely. Maybe even some who do it as a regular, daily part of living. I'd bet some of you aren't wearing underwear right now.

As an aside, I once knew this girl who NEVER wore underwear. And was terrible at predicting when she would get her period. Just a recipe for disaster, that is. A messy, gross, disturbing recipe for disaster. You'd think after a few public clothing catastrophes she would have learned to either wear something, carry feminine products 24/7 or get better at recognizing when her monthly friend would arrive....but no. Nasty.

I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Anyway, I wear underwear. All the time.

Except for this one time.

It was a series of unfortunate events that led to an entire store full of people learning of my missing undergarments, one that still makes me cringe to this day.

I'd selected a long denim skirt that fateful day. Gone out to lunch with my children, one of which decided to put his/her gum on the seat when I wasn't looking.

You know I sat on it. It got on my skirt, without my noticing, then proceeded to get all over other places when I left the restaurant, got into my car and tucked the skirt beneath me as I sat down. And you can probably guess where it went.

Yep. There.

I immediately realized something was very wrong.

But I also had errands to run, and was far enough away from home that I made a decision to correct the issue and power through it. I just took off my underwear. In the car. In a parking lot. While my kids laughed at me and asked why I was doing it.

I picked off the remnants of gum left of my skirt, thanked the lord that it was a long skirt, and took the kids into the store.

Ally had to pee. Ally always has to pee. That's just how it works.

I took them to the family bathroom in the back, she did her business, and we walked out. Then, as we passed a huge group of shoppers, in her non-inside-voice she asked me why I wasn't wearing any panties.

There's really no good answer for that, especially for a bunch of complete strangers.

Ahhh, kids. They sure are fun.

First they get gum on your ass, then they embarrass the hell out of you.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

30 Days of Random Questions, Day 20

Day 20: What is something people wouldn't expect you to be good at? What's your hidden talent?

Part of the awesomeness that is me is that I have bad knees. Really bad knees. They've been bad for a long time. I had surgery at 14, and am about 10 years overdue for a repeat.

Back when I was in school, and PE was actually a daily requirement (which it totally should still be), I couldn't participate in a lot of the activities because of my knees.

I am a gimp.

I never minded having to sit out on the days when my classmates had to run hurdles. Good lord, those things terrify me. I've never understood why someone felt compelled to jump over shit while running, or why that idea caught on. I gladly kept times on those days and stifled my laughter at the girls who tripped over the hurdles, all while thanking god for my gimpiness.

For the record, this is me:

Sadly, I do like to run. I just shouldn't ever do it. And I'm terrible.

Eventually, my doctors and parents and PE teachers decided that I shouldn't even be in the regular PE class anymore, and moved me to adaptive PE.

While everyone else ran the mile on Fridays, we played poker. We did crafts. We bowled occasionally. We had hour long relaxation sessions, where our teacher would play soothing music and the guy in the corner would fart loud enough for everyone to hear.

And we juggled.

Yes, we juggled.

I was actually really good at it too. I think I got up to 10 pins at a time.

It's good to know I can always join the circus.

Everyone should have a fall-back career.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Let me explain this so you can understand....

Last weekend, my husband and I had a discussion about a few of my favorite places in the world.  Two places that he's never once stepped foot in.  He has no desire ever to go to these places.  I, however, love them.

Ulta & DSW.

For those who don't know what Ulta and DSW are, I'll explain.  Ulta is a whole store devoted to nail polish and body washes and scented lotion and makeup and hair styling and eyeliner.  It is a happy, happy place.  DSW is a shoe store.  More on that later.

He doesn't understand the appeal.  At all.  Which is fine.

Let me explain this so you can understand, hairy person with Y chromosome....

You know how you feel about Best Buy?

...How it makes your heart race a little just to drive by?

...How you'll find any reason in the world to go there?  Like when we need batteries and you insist that you have to go to Best Buy to get batteries when I know damn well that I can get them at the grocery store, discount store or even the gas station for that matter?

...How you have to peruse all the aisles of the video games, music devices and phones at an absolute minimum every single time you go to the store, even if you have no reason to be there?

...How you have to touch every display item and play with every machine put out to be sampled?

....How you sit there and fall completely in love with the overpriced, unnecessarily large flat screen high definition television, then argue with your conflicted mind about why you can't live without it?

...How you can spend an hour there in the blink of an eye without even realizing you were gone that long?

Well....that's how I feel about Ulta.  I'd make the argument I'm not the only girl out there who does.

I can get my eyeliner at Target, but I'd rather not.  I'll take any excuse I can to go to Ulta.  I check out the nail polish, the flat irons and the lipstick at a minimum every time.  I sample the samples.  Because I can.  Then I wander to the expensive makeup and live in the fantasy world where I can justify $98 for foundation.  It would look so much better, right???

My analogy lesson wasn't over though.  I'd managed to convey the importance of Ulta, and he had a new found understanding of all the reasons I love it.  He was still a bit confused about DSW though.  You can, he reasoned, buy shoes anywhere.

Again, let me explain this so you understand.

You know how you feel about adult bookstores?

...How stepping foot in them brings you pleasure and makes you feel dirty all at the same time?

...How you have to convince yourself that you won't spend more than a set amount before you walk in?

...How the items are always mysteriously half revealed in the window displays, just showing enough to tease you?

...How you find yourself trying to figure out what that is and how you use it?

...How the lighting in there is just so perfect and the music gets you in the mood?

...How there is always the secret back room, secluded from the rest of the store, marked by the heavy velvet curtains drawn to the side seductively?

Yeah...that's how I feel about DSW.
Just take a moment to admire these fine ass shoes.

I have been in there once, and could barely contain myself.  I knew I had to leave or bad, bad things would happen.  I could deplete our bank account on shoes that only get worn once.  Oh, and there is a back room.  Damn, that back room....full of clearance shoes.  I have dark fantasies about what goes on in that room.

For those of you having difficulty explaining the significance of these stores, I urge you to point your boyfriends or husbands to this post.  Then they will get it.  I promise.

30 Days of Random Questions, Day 19

Day 19: If you could have lunch with anyone, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

For those of you who've been reading for any length of time, or those of you who know me in real life, you already know the answer to this question.

My Dad.


My birthday was just a few days before he died.   He woke up that morning and insisted that we were all going to breakfast. It didn't matter that he was weak and tired or that the nausea was unbearable.

It was my birthday, and he was taking me out. There was no negotiating.

I'd give just about anything to sit across a table from him again.

Monday, January 23, 2012

30 Days of Random Questions, Day 18

Day 18: Star Wars or Star Trek?

Unless you're too cool to answer this question, that is.  Or want us all to think that you are.

As for me, I'd have to definitely pick Star Wars.  It's way cooler.

Tom even managed to convince me to dress up as Leia one year when we were in college.  He, of course, was Darth Vader.

Star Wars is cool.  Well, except Jar Jar Binks, the lamest character ever created in the entire history of fiction.

I mean, seriously....Han Solo back in the day was hawt.  And that metal bikini....girl could rock it.   I always laugh at the hundreds of imitators every year at Comic Con thinking that they can pull that thing off.  Um, no.  There's a reason she was laying down in one position most of the time she was wearing it.

Because it's damn hard to look good in a metal bikini.

There is no way Star Trek beats this.

I do have to admit to watching more than my fair share of Star Trek, though.  My husband looked at me with a face that told me I'd brought shame upon our family when I answered a question about the Romulan galaxy correctly on Jeopardy a few days ago.

I'm already hanging my head in shame, please don't ridicule me any further.  ;)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

30 Days of Random Questions, Day 17

Day 17:  Do you have any food aversions?

I have issues.  I fully admit the fact that I have issues.

My youngest child mashed a banana all over my kitchen floor today with his feet.  It took everything in me not to throw up.

I like bananas, but can only tolerate them just to the point of ripeness.  The second they become even slightly overripe, I cringe.  It's a texture thing.  Blech.

When I use overripe bananas to make bread or smoothies or muffins, it takes everything I have to peel them.  Seriously.

My biggest aversion, though, is beets.  Beets.Are.Gross.

I have friends here who swear that beets are delicious.  Who grow them in their gardens and grill them and have dedicated recipes and all that.  I'm happy for them, really I am....but keep your beets to your damn self.

They contaminate everything they touch too.  If I am out somewhere and beets are put on top of a salad, I carefully remove them and every single thing that shows a hint of pink from where it may have been touched.

Blech.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The reason the challenge had to be broken

Yeah, so...normally when I am doing one of these challenges, I am good about sticking to them and all.

But then things like last night happen and I realize instantly that I've made a terrible decision not to write about all the stuff I'd normally be writing about.

When my eldest child arrived home from school yesterday, he presented me with a couple permission slips.

One was for a field trip to see the local symphony playing.

The other? Permission for the teachers at school to issue the talk.

You know which talk I'm talking about. The one about why people have pubic hair and why boobies and wieners grow when you hit puberty and where babies come from.

That one.

I immediately signed the slip and told the boy to put it in his folder. Asked him if he knew what it was for. He nodded, then gave me the nervous giggle that showed he wasn't exactly sure if he wanted to be taught about all these things in front of his friends. Especially the girls.

I jokingly asked him if he was teaching the class.

Um....no Mom. Hehehe.

In all honesty, he probably has a much better grasp of puberty and human reproduction than most of his classmates. Between his boy-part surgeries and being witness to the births of two of his siblings, we've had more than a few conversations.

I learned last night that his knowledge isn't complete, though.

You see, we've taught him the scientific words for body parts. The correct terms. Not the slang ones most people use. He's completely unfamiliar with most of them. He knows that a few words have more than one meaning, like nuts and wieners. He doesn't have the full vocabulary range, though.

He has no idea why someone would call someone else a dickhead, or what it would mean.

Which, I thought, was a good thing. I'd much prefer my kids to know the proper names for things.

I'm not even sure how the conversation started at dinner last night, to be honest. Aidan had asked if there were other words used to refer to girl parts, like the ones he already knew for boy parts. We told him a few, but reminded him again that we'd only told him for his information purposes. So that if someone used those words, he would know what they meant, but that he was not to use them himself. That they were often seen as derogatory terms or insults or were degrading and inappropriate.

Then the cat jumped on the table.

He started to giggle.

Then he asked what is quite possibly the funniest question he's ever asked in his entire life.

When someone calls a cat a pussy cat, does that mean they are really calling it a vagina cat?


A vagina cat.

I've never worked so hard to suppress a laugh in my entire life.

Friday, January 20, 2012

30 Days of Random Questions, Day 16

Day 16: Ever been drunk at work?

I can honestly say that the answer is no.

I did take a final when I was trashed once in college though.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

30 Days of Random Questions, Day 15

Day 15:  What was your worst job?

I've had a few that sucked, that's for sure. Not entirely loving this motherhood job at the moment. My kids are walking petri dishes, waiting to slime me with their diseased snot, I swear.

I've got the flu, and I'm a little bitter about it if you couldn't tell.

Anyway, back to the question.

I had a job that was menial and boring in college, but with a boss from hell.  Seriously, she was nuts. Crazy. One of those people who never got married or had kids or pets or friends and literally had nothing to do with her life than work. People like that expect that everyone else who works with them also have completely unfulfilling lives and will willingly work bizarre hours. That wasn't the worst part about her though. She asked me to do some illegal and unethical stuff, and I refused. She got pissed. I got fired. Fortunately, I already had another job lined up with a couple of women I absolutely adored. So, that worked out.

Wasn't the worst though.

I think the worst one has to be McDonald's. Though I had a ridiculously good time at work since a bunch of my friends worked there too, it was easily the crappiest job I've ever had.
I opened or closed most weekends, so I was up at 5am or working until 1am for a few cents more than minimum wage.  Completely not worth it.

You'd come home smelling like grease. And it was a smell that just didn't always wash off. Plus, the inside of your car always smelled like it too.

Customers were rude, especially in the morning. I can understand though. You don't want to see me before I've had my coffee either.

Cleaning the play area was nasty. You literally took your life in your own hands if you got in that ball pit.

I worked the birthday parties. I got to deal with groups of whiny children and their parents all weekend. Some groups were nice, some were obnoxious, some were just downright exhausting. I had a party once, where every single person there, parents and kids, were profoundly deaf. There was one 4 year old who could hear, but no one else could. Communicating was virtually impossible, and the party ended up lasting almost four hours when it should have been two. I was patient and kind to them, did everything in my power to fill their needs. I didn't even get a tip that day.

At least they were quiet.

Oh, seriously, people....it's a joke. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

30 Days of Random Questions, Day 14

Day 14: What is the most bizarre dream you've ever had?

I'm gonna get all Freud on you now.

I've often wondered if there is any truth to dream analysis. I suppose that there must be, or the messages specific dreams convey wouldn't be so universally accepted.

If you don't know what this means, you should go watch the
worst movie ever, Shark Boy & Lava Girl.  Right. Now.
I've heard that if you dream someone dies, it really means they will soon be getting married.   This one has happened to me a few times, always with the nuptial results as predicted.

Insert inappropriate joke about marriage being the death of a person.

Of course, I've always had my weirdest dreams when I was pregnant. Like the one where I birthed a litter of kittens or had triplets of the human species. The funniest were those insanely vivid hormonally driven libido dreams. I never knew I had such a creatively uninhibited imagination.

I had a really crazy dream last night, one that disturbed me on so many levels. Ah, the subconscious mind. So strong is it's ability to take our hopes and wants, our fears and aversions, and twist them into convoluted vivid movies.

I won't tell you what that dream was about, because frankly, it sucked.

Instead, I'll try to describe the funky dream my husband had a few days ago. It involved a pick up truck, no brakes, and rolling down some hill in Tijuana. He's not even sure what was happening, but he wondered what the hell his mind was trying to tell him.

I'm thinking he needs to change his brakes.

Monday, January 16, 2012

30 Days of Random Questions, Day 13

Day 13: Do you like clowns?

Disturbing, right?

I can't stand them.  Creepy, creepy, creepy.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

30 Days of Random Questions, Day 12

Day 12: Dog or cat?

I'm pretty sure this is one of those fundamental questions in life.  Either you are a dog person or you are a cat person.

Plenty of people have both cats and dogs.  Many of them, my husband included, claim loyalty to them both.

Some claim to be more into their dogs for one reasons or another, like Tom.  But deep down, Tom is definitely a cat guy.

I don't mind cats.  I like them well enough, even if I'm really allergic to them.  I wouldn't describe myself as a cat person though.    I'm definitely a dog person.


You can play with dogs, take them on walks.  They can fetch.  My dog even talks.

Dogs are protectors, or at least they can sound scary even if they are big babies.

Dogs are always happy to see you.  Always.  Cats really could care less.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

30 Days of Random Questions, Day 11

Only because of the game tonight.....

Day 11: Who is more perfect: Tom Brady or Tim Tebow?


You'd think, just based on the level of news coverage or internet traffic this week, something far more significant than a football game is happening tonight.

But no.

It's just a game, people.

It's also a reason for my brother and I to talk smack all day.

He has an affection for the Patriots.  I'm not sure why, to be honest.  He's not from Boston, in fact I'm not even sure he's ever been there.  Yet, he's loyal to the Patriots and the Red Sox.  And he really likes baked beans.

I give my brother crap all the time about Brady, the golden child of the NFL.  Last year, when Brady was growing his hair out, I coined the nickname Lady Brady.  Seriously, dude has Breck girl hair.  Those flowing blond curls really are magnificent.   Which makes sense.  Of course he has perfect hair.  He has perfect everything.  The perfect skills, the perfect body, the perfect personality, the perfect wife (who likes to rub in the fact that she is also perfect constantly, even if it insults all the normal mothers in the world).

Perfect, perfect, perfect.

I mean, well except for losing to the Jets in the first game of the playoffs last year.  Good lord, I love Mark Sanchez.

Mr. Perfect has some competition now.  And not just in terms of his overall perfection on the field.  There's a new golden boy, and he's leading the Broncos now.  This new Mr. Perfect even has Jesus on his side.

Tim Tebow.

The only guy who could possibly dominate all the news coverage over Brady.  The unlikely hero.  The one who has spent all season proving the naysayers wrong.  The guy who really can pull the game out in the final seconds.  The guy who can't throw a spiral to save his life, but somehow completed all those long passes last week to beat the Steelers.

I don't understand it.  They shouldn't be winning.  And yet they are.  It must be divine intervention.  How else can it be explained?

We watched a special about Tebow last night.  Not on purpose so much....there just isn't a whole lot else on TV this week in Denver.  Seriously.  Tebow 24/7 around here.  You people in other parts of the country think you are tired of hearing about him?  Try living here.

He really is a good guy, and he's a ridiculously hard worker.  He's always in a good mood, always grateful for what he's got going on.  He just oozes positive energy.  He's humble, he's always smiling, and right now, he's on top of the world.

Tonight, they meet again, the Mr. Perfects.  The Golden Boys.

Who will win?  I honestly stopped trying to predict the outcomes of the games after all the unlikely 4th quarter  victories.  Tebow has taken football and turned it into basketball.  You've only got to watch the last few minutes, the rest of the game doesn't matter anymore.

And tonight, I'll be watching.

It's not often that so much perfection is on display.

Friday, January 13, 2012

30 Days of Random Questions, Day 10

Day 10:  Ever broken a bone?  Where and how?
Of course I'd ask this question, after the year we've had.

As for me, I've never broken a major bone.  Which is good.  It grosses me out.

I've broken toes though, and can tell you first hand that it's a pain you can only fathom if you've done it.  They can't set toes, there's no cast, and you have no choice but to walk on them.  I've done natural childbirth more than once....the toes hurt more.

I don't even have good stories to go with my injuries.

The last time I broke one, I had help.  Ashley dropped a chair on my toe while she was in the middle of throwing a fit.

Being a mom sure is awesome sometimes.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

30 Days of Random Questions, Day 9

Day 9: When is the last time you won a trophy, and for what?

I'm gonna guess no one is this awesome who's reading
Of course, when I thought about this question, I was thinking about a trophy my husband won almost 20 years ago...not remembering that he won something else last year.  They're both pretty funny actually.  The one I was thinking about is a golden spatula award, given to him when we worked at McDonald's in high school with a bunch of friends.  You all know who you are....I won't be outing you.  ;) 

More recently, he won a toilet trophy for coming in last in his fantasy football league.

As for me...my last one came all the way back in junior high.  I'm not athletic in any way, shape or form....so you know it has to be for something else.  

Bowling.  

Hell, yeah.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

30 Days of Random Questions, Day 8

Day 8: If you could be an animal, what would you be?

Chalk this one up to reading I wish I had Duck Feet too many times with the kids.

It seems like whenever I see a question like this one, half the people answer with some kind of bird.  Which is great if you like birds. Personally, I think they are creepy.

A lot of people also claim they would be a cat....but to be honest, I have no interest in licking my own butt to stay clean. At all. Gross.

Being a dog would be fine, assuming you lived with a family that held to a regular schedule and paid enough attention to you. I mean, really, what dog have you ever met that wasn't always little too glad you came home? My dog even learned to excitedly say Hiiiiiii to me. I swear they think it's a miracle every single time we come back. I couldn't live my life feeling that much abandonment and separation anxiety all the time.  

I don't want to be a fish. Too afraid of drowning, though I suppose I'd have to get over that eventually.

I think I'd want to be some kind of ocean mammal, but not a whale. Who wants to voluntarily be a whale? Maybe a dolphin....or a sea otter. Sea otters are adorably cute, which suits me.  ;)


They always look so damn happy, right up until the shark pokes his hungry head from the depths of the sea and eats them.

Okay, so I'll be a sea otter in a protected, shark free area somewhere.  And it has to be far away from humans, because they just annoy the crap out of animals.  When we lived in San Diego, they actually had to enact ordinances to keep stupid humans away from the animals.  Yeah, your picture opportunity is way more important than the life cycle of a wild animal.

Humans.  Sheesh.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

30 Days of Random Questions, Day 7

Day 7: What is the most stereotypical thing you've ever done?

I have a few of these gems set aside for this challenge....questions that are supposed to make you uncomfortable.

Not even sure where I came up with this one.

Each and every one of us fit into certain categories.  Gender, race, ethnicity, religion, family background, region of the country we live in, etc.


All of those categories come with some pre-conceived notions. Sweeping generalizations. Whether they are true, false, or somewhere in the middle for any one person, doesn't really matter.

Stereotypes are very rarely flattering, and are often used to judge other people about things they have no control over.  They are patently unfair.

But....

Every once in a while I think we all do things that lend some credibility to the stereotypes.  Most people don't have to ask where I'm from if they hear me talk long enough.  I'll throw a dude in there somewhere.  Or totally.  I've worked on trying to say like less.  I'm a valley girl, born and raised.

Can't deny it.

Probably the most stereotypical thing I've ever done though, has nothing to do with the place I was born.  It has to do with the color of my skin.

I once sat in the pouring rain for hours with a homemade poncho.  If you're familiar with the kind, I'm sorry.  If you're not, let me describe it for you.  Literal white trash.  Two yard waste sized trash bags, one up from the bottom, one with a few holes poked through it and over the top.  As if it's not bad enough that I sat there in the rain in two trash bags, it's why I was there that is the real issue.

Monster trucks.  I love me some Gravedigger.
Oops, my white is showing.

Monday, January 9, 2012

30 Days of Random Questions, Day 6

Day 6: Assuming you have to make a choice, would you choose to go back in time and fix your mistakes or see into the future and know what was going to happen?

For the moment, ignore the fact that time travel isn't a real possibility.

There aren't enough Delorians to go around.


I would go back in time in a heartbeat, not so much to fix my mistakes, but to alter the course of events.  I'd warn myself what was going to happen and try to do whatever I could to prevent it.

I'd give anything to change the past.

It might be tempting to see what the future holds, but I think I'd rather not know.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

30 Days of Random Questions, Day 5

Day 5:  If you could clone yourself, would you?  What would you make the clone do?

In fairness, I did warn you all that these were going to be strange questions.

Don't ask where I came up with them....or why.  I'm weird like that.  No one wants to know what really goes on inside my head.

I'd totally clone myself in a heartbeat, as long as I could shackle the clone in my basement when I don't need it to do something.  Lord knows the world doesn't need two of me running around any more than necessary.

The only thing more terrifying than two of me is four of me.
I'm sure that part of why this question is appealing to me is my reality.  There have been plenty of times that my life would just have been easier if there were a few of me.  If I really could be in two places at once.  All the times that there were at least two situations that required my attention, and there was no way for me to be there.

Of course, part of it is also the fact that there are a whole lot of things that I'd rather not do.  Having someone else around to force to do those things for me would be great.

Like scrubbing toilets and cleaning up barf.  Gross.  You're totally on the hook for that, clone.

Or dealing with all the people in the world that I can't stand.  The ones that pop up on your caller ID and you cringe because you know that you can't avoid talking to them anymore.  The ones that try to talk to you and clearly think you are friends when honestly you want to duck and run when you see them.  Go take care of that, cloney clone.

It would be handy to have someone around to make dinner on the days that I'm just done too.  Especially if I could force them to clean up too.  Ha!

Dammit, now I really want a clone.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

30 Days of Random Questions, Day 4

Okay, so some of these are actually intended to be thought provoking.  I was actually talking to one of the other moms at school about this very thing yesterday...

Day 4: If you had it to do over again, would you have majored in the same thing in college/gone into the same career?

It's probably fairly obvious to anyone who reads this that I'd like a do-over.  I've never, and I mean absolutely never, used my undergraduate degree in Public Policy and Management.  I was good at it, not that it matters a whole lot now.  

My minor was where my true career aspirations were, in Bioethics.  Someday, I was going to be awesome.  I had dreams of sitting on advisory committees for the NIH and CDC.  Ask me how that worked out.

I used the background in Bioethics a bit more, mostly in the development of my purported career.  I went to law school, focusing on health law.  Then started (and was three units from finishing) a master's in public health.  Then we moved, and any plans I had for a career in that field pretty much evaporated.

By then, I already knew that I was never sitting on any committee and that I was just desperately trying to swim after a ship that had long ago sailed.

If I had it to do over again, I'd go back in time and tell my 22 year old self to bite the bullet and drop out of law school entirely.  Every single thing in my life changed the day my husband was diagnosed with cancer, and if I'd known what the future would hold, I would have cut my losses and quit school in a heartbeat.

After dealing with the cancer diagnosis, a miscarriage, infertility and eventually the birth of my son, I knew that my family was always going to be more important than whatever I'd imagined for myself before then.  I just wish I'd had the good sense to stop grasping at the straws of my career then.

At this point, I'd much rather pursue a career in writing...which you've probably also figured out by now.

Too bad there aren't do-overs in life.

Friday, January 6, 2012

30 Days of Random Questions, Day 3

Ok, so I warned you guys that I was just making this up.  And that some of these questions were going to be weird.

Day 3: If you had a sex change tomorrow, what would you change your name to?  
Please ignore the questions of whether you'd ever choose to have a sex change, or whether transgendered issues are something you relate to, or whether you agree that a person can be born in the wrong body....that's not what I'm asking.

It's just a name, people.

I've seen these questions where they ask if you'd change your name to something else, but never with this particular slant.

If I'm not making you cringe a little, I've failed at doing my job. ;)

As for me, if I woke up a nameless man tomorrow, I think my name would be Dylan.

Dylans are always cool.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

30 Days of Random Questions, Day 2

Day 2:  Have you ever been arrested?

As for me, I haven't been arrested...and I figure that by this point in my life I shouldn't be unless I try real hard.  

I have had a few mishaps though, a few run-ins with the law.

I have been pulled over many times for speeding, though I never get tickets.

Seriously....three times pulled over, three free passes.  

And I got a phone number twice.  

Apparently, I am too sexy for my car.

Got pulled into secondary at the border patrol checkpoint in San Onofre a few times, since I clearly look like I'm smuggling illegal immigrants across the border.  

Then there was that one time that I was actually detained.  It also involved a car, but not quite in the same way.  Bright shining lights in the darkness, interrogations, threats to call my parents.  Now, that's a good story....

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

30 Days of Random Questions, Day 1

It must be the time of year, or at least that is my best guess.

Every so often, I check my site traffic.  I'm always amused to see what search terms bring people here.  Lately, there are a lot of views to my 30 day challenges.

The reflections on the past, the planning for the future, the promises people make to themselves when a new year begins, all that.  The 30 day challenges for many people are a way to get them in the habit of writing daily.

It appears that I've never really needed such a kick in the ass.  I've got way too much to say most of the time.

I've done three blogging challenges now.

30 Days of Truth
30 Days of Music
30 Days of Photography

At some point, I need to go back and make every day in each of them live links, but I haven't done it yet.

I was thinking about it though, about how different my answer to so many of those questions would be now.  I'm in a very different place in my life now, even than I was a few months ago.  Seems like I never know who I'm going to be tomorrow anymore, like there is always another life changing event waiting for the next rotation of the Earth.

I'm not sure I'd enjoy doing them right now, to be honest.  Mostly because I wouldn't be honest with you all, I'd probably not be very honest with myself either.  Too many things in my life haven't gone the way they were supposed to as of late.

Instead of writing anything deeply reflective, I think I'll do a random daily question instead.

I can't promise that I will answer all of them, but I hope that you will.

And, for the record, I'm totally just making this up.

Day 1: What was your first car?

Mine was a 1981 Chrysler Imperial.  Virtual land yacht.  My grandmother's best friend left it to me when he died, and in my eyes it was the most awesome car ever.  It had, quite possibly, the largest hood ever manufactured, which I had to lift every time I needed to start the car.  There was a kill switch under there that my Dad had installed when the mechanic couldn't find the source of the electrical short that persistently drained the battery.  It had primer spots everywhere, and the interior leather was destroyed.  The tint was peeling off the windows and it had a distinct old man odor. I learned, by necessity, how to parallel park anything.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I love you and all, but...

I do love my children.  But they need to go back to school.  For my sake and theirs, they need to be out of my house for 7 hours a day.

Two and a half weeks is a long break.

Way too long.

Like so far too long that I may be petitioning the school board to knock it the hell off.

It's to the point now where even the kids are asking when they can go back to school.  Apparently, destroying the house on a daily basis then listening to me tell them to clean up their mess has gotten old.  I'm a mean old mom, and I'm no fun.  Who would have known?

Back when I was a kid, you know, when we had to walk uphill in the snow both ways to school (ignore the fact that I was raised in Southern California for the time being, okay?), we didn't get anywhere near this long off school.  We were out the 23rd of December and went back right after New Years.  Usually worked out to about a week and a half.

And yes, I'm fully aware of the fact that I've turned into a crotchety old fart.

I'm sure we managed to annoy the hell out of our parents back then too, but we had a lot less time to do it.  There was a week less to get into trouble and destroy the house.  A week less to poke our siblings and breathe each other's air.  A week less of demanding that the adults find ways to entertain us.

We didn't even have time to get bored of our new toys.

Underprivileged, we were.

Alternatively, I'll just say that my kids are spoiled.

That sounds better.

They go back tomorrow.  I'll be in a much better mood then, for sure.

Can't I just drop them off now?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Why does this have to be so freaking hard?

I went shopping by myself this weekend.

I was able to browse and wander.  I didn't have to chase anyone down the aisles.  I didn't have to drop everything to find the nearest bathroom repeatedly.  I didn't have to say no constantly.

I got to try on clothes and actually see what they looked like.  I bought a pair of jeans a few weeks ago when I was shopping with both the girls.  It's amazing how much patience they have when shopping for themselves....but for me, none.  They clearly haven't figured out how stressful shopping for jeans is yet.  I mean, honestly the only thing worse is swimsuit shopping.

Fitting rooms = torture chambers.

Taking kids along just adds a layer of misery.

Mommy needs to focus!  Seriously, sit down and shut up!  And stop making faces at me in the mirror and laughing at my underwear. There is NO LAUGHING in the fitting room!!!  Sheesh.

I was super crazy excited about the jeans since they were two (sometimes three) sizes smaller than my last few pairs.  My excitement blinded me to the fact that the inseam is at least four inches too long, though.  I was so amped up about the size on the tag that I neglected to notice the fact that they really didn't fit.  I've either got to get some ridiculously high heeled boots to pull them off or get them hemmed.

And that just sucked the fun right out of this fantastic new pair of jeans.

Anyway, I went out again yesterday.  In search of a pair of jeans that actually fit, with an armload of sweaters just in case nothing worked out as I planned.  I was alone, so I could truly evaluate things.

I had a few pairs of jeans to try, and you can only imagine my joy when I tried on a pair in the size I'm accustomed to buying and they were huge.  Like swimming in the pants huge.  Regrettably, none of the other pairs fit much better.  Too big here, too long there.  The pair that looked cute on the hanger, but immediately transformed into mom jeans once on.  Good lord, no.
Friends don't let friends wear mom jeans.

I got a few sweaters.  Which is nice and all.  I was initially going to buy a few new hoodie sweatshirts, since the ones I wear constantly have seen better days.  In a moment of pride, though, I put them back and opted for the tailored-looking sweaters.  At some point, I have to outgrow my flip flop and hoodie uniform, right?  Or I should.  I don't want to, but I should.

Maybe it's just because I bought a new sweater about a month ago.  The first time I wore it, along with a rocking pair of mule heels, my own daughter didn't recognize me at pick up after school.  When she realized it was me, Ally asked me where I was going.  I was way too dressed up for a Tuesday.

I'm going to take that as a sign that I need to try a little harder.

Or that my daughter needs a filter.

Either way.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

In character

We take our role playing seriously around here.

Yesterday, the girls dressed AJ up as Tinkerbell and insisted that he twirl around and dance.  He knows that it's not worth fighting them when they team up like that.  He could try to resist, but it would be an exercise in futility. Then, to punish him for his attempted mutiny, they'd probably put make up on him too.  Or force him to wear high heels.  
I don't have a picture of him as Tink, but I do have
this one of dressed as Cinderella earlier this year.  
That poor boy.

He puts up with it simply because he wants someone to play with.

And, judging by the picture, he doesn't seem to mind all that much.

A few nights ago, we went out to dinner at Texas Road House with all the kids.  As soon as they realized where we were going, they got ready.  

They all came downstairs wearing cowboy hats.  I'm a little surprised the chaps didn't appear, to be honest.

Um, no can do guys.  Sorry.  

p.s. We aren't actually cowboys.  Wink, wink.

We somehow managed to talk the older three into leaving their hats at home, by convincing them that if they took their hats, they might get lost or forgotten.  AJ wouldn't budge though.  

He wore his hat all through dinner, as any proper cowboy should.  His hat?  A cheap felt costume hat, with the brim all bent and misshapen. Didn't matter to him though, he thought he looked good.

Someone older trying to pull off that hat would have just looked sad. Fortunately, he's still small and cute enough to get away with it.

At least he didn't want to wear the dress to dinner.

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