Monday, April 30, 2012

After I get through this

I feel like so many things in my life have been put on hold lately.  I keep telling myself that I'll deal with this when I get through that.

And, in all fairness, I almost have to.

One can only slay so many dragons at a time, right?

Maybe someday I'll tell you all about the things that have really been going on in my world, the things that are huge and significant and far more important than whatever it is that I write about here now.  For now, though, you're just going to have to believe me.

I sure spend a lot of time protecting other people anymore.

Sometimes I'm not quite sure why I do, to be honest.

Here I am, erecting walls and telling half truths, holding back again. In part for them, yes, but also for me.  I can't say that I'd be this stable if more people knew what was going on and marveled at my strength.  I know I'm already close to the edge.  So I keep it inside.

Today is going to be hard for me.  I know that going in.  It's already hard for an entirely different set of reasons, but I can't worry about all that now.  Like I find myself always saying, I'll deal with that after I get through this.  I have to put aside that grief and trade it for another variety.  I have to dig deep and find my voice again.  I have to be the advocate that I know I am, even as my heart breaks all over again.

I know something is wrong.  Something is very wrong.  That something can be many things, but I have to know.  I have to push to find out what it is.

I have to do what little I can for her.

Everything else can wait.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Thank you

I received something yesterday, a gift.  A few actually.

From someone who knows she needs to give me nothing.

I do what I do simply because it's the right thing to do, not with any expectation of getting anything in return.  

And then, this.

A handmade card that forced the tears that had already been welling up inside me to the surface.  A gift card that will only be shared with the giver, whenever it is that we both get around to using it.  T-shirts from another fundraiser that have already been worked into the wardrobes of my kids.  And a plastic bag filled with change.

The bag of change from a little boy who shouldn't know why anyone would need it.  Who shouldn't know that there are many hours of the day when the only options for food and drink come from a vending machine.  Who shouldn't be familiar with the long, sterile hallways I've been walking this week.  A little boy who shouldn't know so much that he does.

A little boy who's had to grow up a lot these past few months.

A little boy we are rooting for every single day.

A little boy with a bigger heart than most adults I know.

He's told me in his own way what I've already known, that he is as grateful for me as I am for him.

In this journey through life, there are people who capture a little piece of our soul and hang on tight.

He's got a bit of mine.

Thank you, Trey.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

It might not be that bad...

In addition to all the other stuff I have going on in my life, I'm trying to get my oldest child ready to transition to the next part of his life.  Middle school.

Pretending to be excited for him has proven to be difficult.

I hated junior high.  Hated.

I know hate is a strong word that should only be reserved for the worst things you can imagine.  I'm busting it out, shining it up and using it.  I hated junior high.

I can honestly say that it was one of the worst periods of my life, though the last few years seem to want to compete.

Anyhow, he's almost done with elementary school.

This week, he has his first tour of the new school.  All the music classes performed for the incoming 6th graders, and watching the kids absorb their future environment was entertaining to say the least.

Most of them were nervous at first, a little unsure of what to expect.

They've heard stories, they've read the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, they've seen movies with kids being crammed into lockers and picked on, cafeteria-wide food fights.  Braces and pimples and growth spurts galore.  The school seems so much bigger than where they are now.  They've all enjoyed this year of being the big kids on campus, and are about to be thrown to the pubescent wolves.

Then, almost at the same time, they all realized that there were things to look forward to in middle school.

Puberty, for all it's awkwardness, produces things to look forward to.

Hairy legged boys and girls with, gasp, boobies.

Suddenly Aidan perked up a bit.

I caught him staring at the older girls a few times, and I could see the wheels turning in his head.

Maybe it might not be that bad after all....

Friday, April 27, 2012

The last thing I need right now...

Newsflash!

My life is insane.  Truly.

Enough to push any otherwise sane person right up to the edge sometimes.

I'd like a month off from it.  A day even.  To not have to worry about anyone or anything else other than myself for just a little while.  It wouldn't even matter where I was, I don't need an exotic vacation destination with a shimmering pool and a cabana boy bringing me drinks with tiny umbrellas in them, though that would be quite fantastic.

I could be just about anywhere other than here right now, and I think that would be good enough.

Who wants to run away with me?

Ha ha ha....like that's even an option.

A few days ago, my husband was helping run a program to teach middle school students about budgeting and money management.  He had one student tell him that he never wanted to grow up.  It didn't sound like very much fun to be a grown up.

It's not.  I'll vouch for that.

So, when you're in a place like I am now generally, it doesn't take much to make you insane.

Waking up every morning to see what I see every morning isn't helping.

You see, I have this dog here temporarily.  It seems like I always have a dog here temporarily.  My tag line should really be Blogger.Mom.Superhero.Dogwatcher.

The dog that's here for now is a completely neurotic animal.  Separation anxiety galore, and she's afraid of her own shadow.  Her way of self-soothing is to chew stuff up.

My youngest child has learned the hard way that he can't leave his army men out or they'll end up decapitated.

So we clean up the toys.

She doesn't need toys though.  She'll chew up anything.  Literally.  If she can't find anything to her liking, she'll chew up toilet paper and tissues and paper towels and newspaper and any other paper substance she can find.  She doesn't eat it, though.  She shreds it, then scatters it.

all.over.the.damn.house.every.damn.day.

Can't leave her outside because she'll dig under the fence.  She has nowhere else to go.  She's just determined to make me crazy, one tissue at a time.

Like I need this right now.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Mean People Suck

I saw a story on the news this morning that put me in a bad mood straight away.

That, and it reaffirmed my solid belief that there are a lot of people in this world who just plain suck.


At a Rangers game, a player tossed a ball into the stands.  The guy taking the picture caught it, gave it to his inexplicably much younger girlfriend.  They then proceeded to essentially mock the kid right next to them, congratulating themselves, showing the ball off and posing for pictures while the poor little boy cried hysterically.

Michael Kay, the commentator for the Yankees called the play by play in their ridiculousness.

There are videos of the insanity in the link.

Later, when a Rangers player realized what was going on and threw another ball to the family, this obnoxious couple decided to steal the spotlight yet again by getting all frisky in the stands.

Get a room.

Oh, and get a soul.

I hope you are proud of yourselves for catching that ball and making complete asses of yourselves.

But I'm gonna guess it probably wasn't worth it now that sports fans around the world hate you.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Something borrowed? A moral question

I've spent a lot of time in the car in the last few days, driving back and forth from the hospital that the helicopter flew to.

I love driving alone.

Always have, probably always will.

I can crank up my music as loud as I want, I can work through all the stuff floating around in my head, I can have full blown arguments with the radio.

I did all of the above on my way home Monday.

A local radio show hosts a daily online debate between a couple.  He wants, she wants, the general listening public gets to pick sides.  Usually, I can sort of see both sides.  Not this time.

The girlfriend, a nanny, works for a very wealthy family.  The boyfriend has a job that involves a lot of fancy dinners and events.

The nanny girlfriend decided at some point that rather than get creative with her own wardrobe, accessorize, bargain shop, etc (like all the rest of us do), she'd just start borrowing stuff from the boss.  She's been taking formal dresses and jewelry as she pleases, using it for her own purposes, then returning it without ever asking permission from the woman she works for.

Nanny claims what she is doing is perfectly fine, no moral quandary.  This mother has an abundant wardrobe, most of which is never ever used.  She "won't miss it".  She has enough money to buy whatever she wants.  And, as far as nanny sees it, as long as everything is dry cleaned and returned without damage, no harm, no foul.

Boyfriend, upon realizing what she has been doing, told her that she needs top stop immediately and return everything she's ever taken.

Ironically, she is the one who called the show, assuming that people would line up on her side.  It's just clothing, after all, right?

Um, no.

She is an employee.  Not a friend or a sister.  Not someone that there is a level of borrowing expectations from.

Her job is to watch the children, not rummage through the belongings of the parents.

If she seems to think there is nothing wrong with using anything that belongs to someone else just because they aren't using it, how far does that logic extend?  What if the wife isn't using her husband, can she borrow him too?

I don't care if this woman has a closet the size of the Taj Mahal.  It's hers.  Her things.  Her clothing.  Her jewelry.  Her belongings.  She's the one who has worked to earn the money to purchase those things. Regardless of how or why she may not be using them at any given moment, it's irrelevant.
If this was my closet, I may have to
kill you for touching my shoes.
The nanny who called the show then proceeded to get into arguments with every person who called the show telling her how wrong she was.

She didn't see a thing wrong with it.

What is wrong with people who completely lack moral boundaries like this?

I don't see this as a shades of gray issue.  I don't see this as something you can justify or rationalize.  It's wrong.  Point blank.  Black and white.

Eventually, I had to change the station because I was so angry.

What do you think?  Am I just nuts?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Things That Piss Me Off Tuesday - Dreams and Barfing and Liars, Oh My!

It's Tuesday.  I'm exhausted.  This is the best I can do to get riled up today.
When I woke up this morning, my husband informed me that I'd been moaning in my sleep.  Not the happy kind of moans, either.

Which is awesome.

As if I don't have enough anger, frustration and conflict in my conscious hours, now I get to do it in my sleep too.

That pisses me off.  I don't remember whatever it was I must have been dreaming about, but at this point it's not like it matters.  I don't ever wake up feeling rested anymore.

I'm annoyed by all the parents of the world who send their kids to school sick.  To parties sick.  To activities sick.  I don't understand it.  I probably tend towards the other extreme, trying to keep them home whenever they might be contagious.  It's not a perfect science obviously, no mom has an actual crystal ball to predict when someone could start barfing.  But there is a fundamental difference between misreading subtle signs of impeding illness and intentionally giving your kid tylenol to knock their fever down and sending them into a room full of as-yet uninfected kids.

And yeah, I actually know people who do it.

I'm being slowly driven mad by the fact that I can crack the whip one day and have the kids clean up the house, but it's not worth my effort.  Within mere hours, it's back to looking like a bomb exploded over it.  My darling youngest daughter came home from school one day last week, looked around the newly vacuumed house and asked me why I cleaned.

Why, indeed?

The kid has a point.

The cat seems hell bent on making me crazy.  His happiness at being rescued and safe and secure at home was short lived, and now the only thing he wants in the whole wide world is to escape.  He's like a cat ninja, hiding and waiting for someone to open the door so he can get out.  I don't have the time or energy to be chasing a cat all day, particularly one that seems to derive such pleasure from making me nuts.

I'm pissed off at genetics.  I wish that my kids didn't have to suffer with bizarre allergies, thanks to the wonders of being my child.  My three year old is currently sporting a scalp full of welts after reacting to colored hair spray.  How he hasn't scratched all his skin off yet, I'm not quite sure.

And, finally, I'm tired of being lied to.  I'm so very tired of being lied to.  Misled.  Deceived.  I'm tired of people blaming other people for their choices.  I'm tired of the lies spinning out of control, growing and multiplying, one more to cover the previous, until it becomes so huge and murky that you start wondering if there is even any truth left in the world.  I'm not a liar.  I've never been a liar.  I have no reason to lie to anyone.

Other people, though, seem to have all the reason in the world to lie to me.

So if anyone ever wonders why I've become so cynical and jaded lately, there's a reason.  There's a lot of them, actually.

And I think this morning, that's what pisses me off more than anything else.  That I've been changed by the lies of others.

The wisdom of my brother for you all this morning:

If it hurts, take comfort in the fact that it means you are still alive.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Add this one to the list...

In the last couple of years, I've had some experiences that I can honestly say I never thought I would.

Things have happened I never could have anticipated.

Things that I could have never conjured up in my wildest dreams.

Things like this.

I took this picture yesterday.

My hands were shaking so bad, I'm a bit amazed it came out.

We've watched a few helicopters just like this one leave the hospital from across the street at the clinic before.  My boys have always sat in awe, amazed by the power of the machine.  The girls always wondered who was in the helicopter and what was so wrong with them that this had to happen.

Now I know.

It takes a lot to rattle my cage, especially after everything I've been through lately, but this did it.

I hope beyond hoping that all this works.  That it is worth all this. That the urgency of it all made a difference.

So far, it seems to be working.

All I can do now is wait.

I love you, mom.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Done

Today has been one of those days.

The kind of day that I've had too many of lately.

I just got home.

I'm done.

I'm having a beer.  Or four.

I'll catch you all tomorrow, if I'm lucky.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Two dresses

One of the very first posts I ever wrote on this blog was about my youngest daughter.  She's always had a pretty firm grasp on who she is, she's always known what she likes, and she's always made sure that everyone knew, even before she was very verbal.

She got another year older this week, though there are days I'm so sure that she's really a teenager already and that she's just trapped against her will in the body of a seven year old.

She has always been a fashionista, always had her own quirky sense of style.  Her sister Ashley, is still, to this day, obsessed with things that match.  Ally, though, she's never been one to be predictable that way.  She's a complete tomboy on one hand, has always gotten along with the boys better.  She's scrappy and feisty and the other little girls aren't always sure what to do with her.  The boys understand her a little more.

Even though she really is a rough and tumble kid, she is super girly too.  If it sparkles and is covered in glitter, she wants it.  She's been determined to wear makeup since birth practically.  She lived in the princess heels for the first few years of her life and started carrying a purse before she was 2.

The post that I wrote so long ago is something that I could just as easily have written about her this week.  It's about her discovering a dress that she simply couldn't live without.  It didn't matter if it suited no practical purpose, if she had nowhere that a dress like that was required.  It didn't matter what anyone else thought, she thought it was beautiful.  It made her believe she was more beautiful.

The dress she had back then, the one tucked into a box for when she gets older, was a silver one.

She outgrew it years ago.

A few weeks ago, I took the kids to the store to get clothes for her older sister.  Ally has a vast and varied wardrobe, and had absolutely no need for clothes.  I told her she wasn't getting anything this time, but she begged and pleaded to let me let her just try stuff on.

Fine, go ahead....just don't fall in love with anything, I told her.

She didn't listen.

There was a dress.  Another dress.  This time a it was a blue dress with a twirly hem and silver glitter.  A dress that made this almost seven year old little girl twirl again.  I told her that, while it was quite pretty, it wasn't practical at all and she didn't need it.

Her sister needed clothes desperately, she didn't.

Some pouting, some tears, and sheer determination that somehow she could get her father to understand that she did indeed need this exact dress.

You know I went back later that week while she was at school and bought it for her.

She opened her only gift on the day of her birthday, and her eyes lit up.  She ran to put it on.  She wore it to school.  She'd wear it every day if we let her.

And we probably will.  Just like the silver dress she had when she was 3, this dress seems to have magic powers.

If only I had a blue dress like this.  If only we all did.

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl.

Twirl away.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Mommy's on the phone...let's mess with her

One of the things that could only reside in the fine print of the parenting manuals is the fact that children are perfectly capable of leaving you alone until the exact moment you get on the phone.

They can play quietly, they can exist in entirely different rooms of the house, they can go on about their business without incident...until their kid senses tell them to mess with mom.

They do it when you're talking to someone in person too, but when that happens, you can shoo the kids away.  You can patiently tell them to wait.  For some reason, they listen a whole lot better when the person you are talking to you is in the room.

Once the person you need to talk to is on the phone, however, they pull out their bag of kid tricks.

Mom.  Mom.  Mom.  Mom.  Mom.  Mom  Moooooooooooooooom.

He hit me, she pushed me, he's being mean, she kicked me.

I'm hungry, I'm thirsty.  Wipe me.  NOW!

They break out the high pitched shrieks.  They run around like crazed lunatics.

If you're on the phone for a casual conversation, it's bad enough.  But if you're on the phone with a bank, a doctor's office, a government official....they turn into actual demons.

I was on the phone with the District Attorney's office (don't ask, seriously), when my son sensed a disturbance in the force.  The 3 year old then proceeded to lock himself in the bathroom, open and flush an entire box of tampons.

Another time, and I can't even remember who I was on the phone with, he stood on the stairs mocking me with an evil little maniacal laugh while he colored himself purple.  Oh yeah....you can't do anything about this, woman.  You can't stop me.  You're on the phone with someone important.  Suck it.  Just sit there and watch me torture you with this marker.  Mwhahaha.

What is a mother to do?

You can't very well yell at your spawn when you're on the phone with the police department (again, don't ask).  You can't scream at them to leave you the f*&$ alone when you're on the phone with the pediatrician's office.

So, you do the only thing you can do.

You start making scary mommy faces, you start clapping and snapping at them.  You wave your hands frantically, pointing them out of the room.  There is a lot of pointing, actually.  You mouth the words, go away, but no sound ever actually comes out.  You start counting on your fingers.  Make more scary faces.

I'm pretty sure I look crazy when I do it.

I won't claim it works, but that doesn't stop me from trying.

If only the mute button on the phone worked on kids.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Harshing your vibe

I'm not a hater, even though I've been accused of it more than once.

I love music.  I love all forms of music.  I love the way it speaks to my soul and can communicate the things I sometimes find myself unable to.

Some songwriters, though gifted in their craft, are simplistic.  Some of them write simple, transparent songs with   music that portrays the message behind the words.  Love songs sound like love songs, sad songs sound like sad ones, happy ones sound happy.

I tend to lean the other way though, preferring the artists and the songs that sneak up on you and smack you with a surprise when you least expect it.  The songs that are upbeat and peppy, but the words say otherwise.

My husband just likes a catchy tune.  If it sounds happy, and it seems happy, then it should be happy, right?

He'd prefer the world to operate that way, without the subtle lyrics and hidden meanings.

Every so often, I realize it's my job to burst his bubble.  That new song he's singing constantly, changing his ring tone on his phone to, it's quite often one with a less-than-idyllic message.

Like Foster the People's Pumped Up Kicks.  I'm not sure what he thought the song was about.  It is deceptive, it's got a good beat and it's incredibly catchy.  But it's a song about a gun-toting kid hell bent on getting revenge on those who've tormented him his entire life.  Kinda like Pearl Jam's Jeremy, but less obvious.

He still gives me that look whenever that song is on, like I ruined it for him or something.

I didn't write it.

Honest.

The most recent one I ruined for him is Fun's We Are Young.  If you don't know what the song is about, then I suppose I'm about to ruin it for you too.  The chorus of this one sounds like a true rock anthem, something that huge crowds of people will sing on cue.  It's been featured in commercials, I'm sure it will be in a few movies.  This band had shot to stardom on this song.  It's just a feel good tune about the freedom and joy of youth, right?

Not so much.

It's about a guy who damaged his girlfriend, whether physically or just emotionally, leaving the scar that the guy with the sunglasses at the bar is asking about.  The rest of the song is about him realizing that his confessions are weak and flawed and him hoping that she'll eventually forgive him with time.  

It's not a happy song.

It's about a completely dysfunctional relationship, played out at a bar, while his friends get high in the bathroom.

In his words, "I know that I'm not all that you've got.  I guess that I just thought maybe we could find new ways to fall apart".

Clearly the guy is a keeper.

A few weeks ago when the video came out, I heard a fair amount of buzz online.  People asking why he is beating his girlfriend in the video.  Um....because that is what the song is about.
Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah.  

My husband accuses me of ruining songs.  I just think I'm providing a public service.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hope

I'm in a bad mood today.

Consider yourselves warned.

I'm tired of putting on this show.  I'm tired of it all, actually.

It's hard to take a step back and be grateful for what I have right now, because I live in a world where everything serves as a reminder of how much has been taken from me.

I'm left picking up broken pieces, trying to fit them back into the puzzle, knowing that some of them are crushed too badly to ever make the picture whole again.

It sounds silly, but I'd like the life I thought I had back.  It was far from perfect, further than I had any idea, but it was better than this.   I'd like to trade this one in.   I'd like a refund.

I'm tired.

I'm tired of just how little say I ever had in any of it.

I'm tired of fooling myself into believing that I just need waterproof eyeliner, and no one will know what I've been doing all day.  No one will see the brokenness inside me.  No one will know.

They know, you all know.

I can't hide it.

But I have to.  I have to do the best I can.  I have to wake up and dust myself off and put the mask back on and pretend.

I have to act for another day.

I have to hope the day will come when I won't just be acting anymore.

Hope.

There's not much else left.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Thing That Piss Me Off Tuesday - The Birth Control Rant

Though a few people like to give me crap about it, I have not been pregnant for my entire adult life.  For a while there, it seemed that way, yes.  But I haven't been the whole time.

Except for the times I have been actually pregnant or trying to get that way, I've been on some form of birth control for decades now.

And you know what?  It all sucks.  All of it.

I've tried all kinds of stuff, different forms of the pill, different methods.  All of them fail at least sometimes (I've got a kid to prove just that), and they all vary in degree of suckage.

The pill is fine I suppose, as long as it doesn't turn you into a homicidal maniac.  I know more than a few women who can't take it at all, in any form, because it makes them crazy.  Like certifiable.  I live in this fantasy world where I claim it doesn't have that affect on me, even if those around me may disagree from time to time, because I'm tired of trying other options.

I've been on the mini-pill, the low dose pill, the tri-phasal pill.  The mini pill doesn't work all that well, as evidenced by my 3 year old.

The low dose one works fine as long as you remember to take it at exactly the same time every single day.  And never get sick.  Or are up all night with sick kids.  Or any of that.

The tri-phasal one, which I'm on now, is supposed to better mimic your natural cycle.  Which explains why I turn into a raving lunatic the week before my period.  Which is this week, just in case you wanted to know when to make sure to avoid me.  The "period" you get isn't an actual period, by the way, just withdrawal bleeding.  There's nothing normal about your cycle at all when you're on the pill.

If the pill isn't an option for you, what's left then?

The Depo-Provera shots and Norplant work in much the same way as the pills, but you don't have to remember to take anything.  Which is more convenient, I suppose, but less easily reversed in a hurry if you react to them.  Cross your fingers.

Well, you could get an IUD which costs literally a bazillion dollars and will make you have cramps that feel like some evil demon is kicking you in the stomach over and over again.   Teeny little t-shaped torture devices, they are.  I've had both incarnations of the IUD, the copper Paraguard and the hormonal Mirena.  They both suck.  I have an astonishingly high pain tolerance, and the Paraguard reduced me to being a pathetic mess, crying in the fetal position, drugged up on motrin.  The Mirena was marginally better as far as the cramps go, but virtually guarantees you won't ever get pregnant.  Because you won't ever have sex.  Because you're going to be spotting all the damn time.

Cervical caps and diaphragms don't work very well, and there's the eww factor.

Spermicides and foams don't work particularly well either, and are fairly allergenic...trust me when I say you don't want to be experiencing an allergic reaction in your lady bits.

Condoms are condoms.  Their single biggest flaw is that they require men to use them.

So, what is left?

Permanent sterilization is always an option, assuming you are completely sure you never want to have any more kids.  I've never been that sure.  I'm leery of messing with your body that much.  I know people who it didn't work for anyway, and they ended up with surprises years down the road.  I know someone now who may have to go in to have the entire process repeated.

I'll admit that I'm just wishy washy, but I can't imagine ever being that sure.

There's always the choice of natural family planning.  Also known as the rhythm method.  And the reason Catholic families in the 50's and 60's were gigantic.  It can work, certainly, if you know what you are doing. The thing is, though, the days you actually have a primal urge to have sex are the days you can't.  You know, the days when you'd literally hump the wall.  No can do.  Good luck with that one.

Why isn't there someone out there figuring out something better?

They invented drugs to make eyelashes grow faster.  Seriously, work on this.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Who volunteers for this crap?

In my life, I've known a great many people who have had to endure serious medical crises.

Who found themselves weakened, tethered to tubes and monitors.  Who were at the mercy of machines and technology just to sustain them.  Who wanted nothing more in the whole wide world than to get well enough to get off those machines.

Who wanted to be disconnected and free and independent and strong.

In a word, healthy.

I know that I come from a place with a few more miles in this department than most people.  I've been through a lot.  My family has been through a lot.  My friends have been, and are going through a lot.

I'll admit that I have biases here, but I don't think they are shaping my opinion of this entirely.  I don't think I'm the only one who would be shocked and appalled by this.

Who wouldn't be sickened that we live in a society that would encourage women to go to these extremes?  Who wouldn't be sad for the women who choose this?  Who wouldn't be outraged that there is a licensed physician, a so-called medical professional who took a sworn oath to first do no harm, is the one authorizing this?

Women, many of them brides-to-be, are going on the K-E Diet.  Disappointed that plain old diet and exercise isn't getting them to the magic number on the scale, they are seeking out treatment from a physician who will connect them to a NG feeding tube.  

Photo from above linked story on abcnews.go.com
No, I am not making this up.  These women are forgoing eating entirely for 10 days at a time, and voluntarily having a tube shoved up their nose and into their stomachs for nourishment.  The same treatment reserved for the sickest and weakest is now a diet.  

Young and healthy women are willfully walking around like cancer patients just so they can drop a few pounds.

Society's pressure on women to be perfect and thin and beautiful is even more for brides to be, it's true.  That idealized image of the day where everything is exactly as it's envisioned.  It's a joke, honestly.  It's a bunch of lies conjured up to sell magazines and designer dresses.  

A wedding is ONE day.  A marriage, at least in theory, is supposed to last forever.  The foundation of a solid marriage is two people who have their priorities straight, who value themselves, who accept their partner.  Nothing about crash dieting like this says that.  It says that being thin is more important than anything else, that being a thinner version of them is always more valuable than however they are now, that these women are judging themselves, that they are afraid of others judging them purely on something physical.

Seriously, how many weddings have you been to where someone asked the bride what she weighed that morning?  No one cares.

There is no such thing as perfect, and if this is what you feel you have to do to try and get to perfect, there is a serious need to re-evaluate your thinking.

It's bad enough that women feel this desperate need to be thin.

It's abhorrent that there is a physician who packaged and marketed it.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Lost

If you pay attention, really pay attention, there are lessons to be learned in the unlikeliest places sometimes.  Bizarre parallels to our lives exist in areas you'd never think to look for them.

For roughly 36 hours this week, our newest addition was lost.  The kitten.  He's figured out how to operate the dog door, and our constant efforts to try and keep him indoors aren't working.  Up until he disappeared, he'd never gone much further than our yard.  

He'd hide under the bushes and hunt leaves blowing in the wind.  He watched the sky filled with birds in wonder.  He discovered new things.  The things an indoor cat would never have known.  Grass, sand, trees.  It was a whole new world, and he went out a little more into it with each day.

He always came home every night. 

Until he didn't.

We'd had a thunderstorm one night, and feared that he got scared and ran.  He, like someone else I know, ran.  Away from home, away from security and love, into the darkness.

Then he couldn't figure out how to get back home.

Also like someone else I know.

I knew he was gone before the kids figured it out.  I halfheartedly started looking, knowing all too well that once a cat disappears, they don't always come back.  We've had foxes looking for food, aggressive dogs live in the area.  I wasn't sure we'd ever see him again.  The kids were more determined.  

The kids gave me a reason to try.  

They made me want to find him, even if our efforts didn't work.  Even if it was all for nothing.

After a few hours of knocking on doors and cruising the neighborhood, I spotted a ball of orange fur under a car a few streets over.  

At first,  I don't think he realized who we were, he was so scared.  Then it clicked, we'd come to find him.

He was home.  

Now, the cat who always wanted out is perfectly content to stay home.  He curls up in our laps and purrs and just can't get enough of the love he took for granted.  Everything out there seemed so exciting and fun, but it just turned out to be dangerous and scary.

Though I'm sure this story seems like a bit of a stretch to most of you out there, a few of you will see the parallels I'm talking about.  

Forgetting why he needed those who love him, he got lost.  He's back, and only because he was gone, he sees what he ran away from.  He sees what he took for granted.  He wants to stay.  

Home.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

I should wear earplugs

I should.  Honest.

There would be so many benefits.

I'd be less frustrated with the people in the world.

I'd be less likely to get annoyed in public.

But then you would all miss out on posts like this one...

We went to the Rockies game last night and sat in a section we've never visited before.  Someone should do a study on stadium seating and general misbehavior.  How just being in certain areas makes people more prone to becoming obnoxious assholes.

The look at me girls that start acting way drunker than they probably are, getting up and shaking their asses between every batter.  It's just a sad and desperate cry for attention.  Really.  You can't dance, no one cares.  And you're blocking my damn view. Sit down.

You know it's never a good sign when people are mouthing off and yelling at the players on the opposing team in the second inning.  Oh goody.  I just can't wait until you drink for a few hours.

A few seats over was a girl with a laugh that could only come from some bizarre mating between Fran Drescher and Maria Menounos.  Good lord.  I wouldn't even be capable of making those noises if I tried.  If I had a laugh like that, I'd hope that my friends told me how horrifyingly embarrassing I am.  Then I would tell them to sew my lips shut.

In the fifth inning, a fan not far from us was actually convinced by the crybabies in the crowd to throw back a home run ball hit by a player on the opposing team.  Good job giving into that peer pressure, dude.  I hope you learned your lesson after you got hauled into custody and dragged from the seats.  Listen to the masses, go to jail.

The guys behind us cracked me right up.  I had to work pretty hard to stifle my laughter when the concession guy came down the aisle and they were bummed he didn't have the right beverages in his cooler. Because all men come to baseball games to request Mike's hard strawberry lemonades.  Yes, it had to be the strawberry ones, the plain wasn't good enough.
I don't even drink this crap, and I'm a chick.
I was drinking good old fashioned beer.  Because that is what you drink at a baseball game, not a foo foo girly drink.

I made a comment to my husband that I'm pretty sure I have bigger balls than those guys.  He didn't disagree.

Then they started to try to talk about the game, and it took everything in me not to turn around and teach them basics about the game.  You know, like you don't generally turn a double play when the only runner is on second base.  Or, how from the angle we were sitting, at the end of the right field foul line, it was impossible to tell if the referee was making the right call.  Oh, and that guy calling the shots is not a damn referee.  He's an ump.

I don't know how people make it to adulthood without knowing this stuff.
You really can't see a damn thing from these seats.
I really should wear earplugs.  Either that, or I should just accept the fact that I'm a crotchety old fart now.  I'm just there to watch the damn game.

I'm gonna buy me an old school set of headphones and listen to the play by play on AM radio, start yelling down in front and start shushing people.

I'm that guy.

Oh, wait.  I'm not a guy....

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Tunnel

I feel like I've been in the tunnel for a long time now.  Like it goes on and on forever.

Sometimes, in the middle of the tunnel, there is a swirling vortex trying to pull me down.

Sometimes, like yesterday, I don't have the strength to escape it.

Then I go

down

down

down


down


into the rabbit hole.  Just like in the movie, only there isn't a surreal fantasy world waiting for me at the bottom.  It's just cold and hard and uncomfortable and lonely.

I'm paying the price for my journey now, clawing my way back up to solid ground.

Squinting to see the light at the end of the tunnel again, marching towards it again, hoping to find a way out again.

I was trying to find a quote that sums up what I'm feeling right now, and this one was the closest.

When things are bad, we take comfort in the thought that they could always get worse.  And when they are, we find hope in the thought that things are so bad they have to get better. 
~Malcolm Forbes

It's twisted logic, but it's spot on.

I learned a long, long time ago never to tempt fate and ask the question what else could go wrong?  

Something else can always go wrong.

It seems like something else always does.

That something else more painful, more unimaginable than the last something.

I don't tempt fate anymore.

And so, today, I'm climbing back out.

I'm bruised and I'm broken, but I'm here.

Back in the tunnel.

This time, though, the light seems a little brighter, a little closer.

Maybe the tunnel really will end.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

This is why we have courts

Ah, the court of public opinion.

If you ever needed to narrow the reasons that we have a legal system down to one solitary justification, it's that one.  The public makes snap judgments about things they have limited information on.  The media can turn anything into a circus.  Cases are tried on TV before an actual arraignment is even issued sometimes.  People are biased.  People are racist.  People are sexist.  People allow their predetermined thoughts about others to determine what information they absorb.

This is why we don't allow "people" to determine guilt or innocence in this country.

This is why we have a legal system.

This is why we have voir dire, why every criminal defendant is entitled to a jury trial.

Sometimes people do terrible things to each other.  Sometimes people kill each other.  Sometimes there are reasons that the eyes of justice allow, and sometimes there is no claim to affirmative defenses permitted at all.

Only time will tell for George Zimmerman.

We, the public, have only the information leaked in the media about this case.  It seems that every single piece of that information has some bias attached to it.

As the days tick by, it's become more and more apparent that the police department failed miserably here.  The witnesses weren't interviewed.  The cell phone records of the shooter were looked at, but not those of the victim.  The criminal history of the victim made public, but not the one of the shooter.

Trayvon Martin was suspended from school for having marijuana.  Zimmerman had a history of assaulting a police officer and domestic violence.

Why was Trayvon's history relevant to the case here, when Zimmerman's wasn't?

Why weren't the witnesses interviewed for over a week?

Zimmerman was not arrested and charged immediately, apparently because the police supported his claim to self defense.  Think about the circumstances that night, though.  From the 911 calls, we know that Zimmerman called, claiming to feel threatened by a strange man walking around the neighborhood.  He was told by the dispatcher not to follow the man.  He did it anyway.  How can anyone claim self defense if they were the pursuer?  If they were the one tailing someone else?

Think about it from the perspective of Trayvon.  He was alone and minding his own business, walking back to his dad's girlfriend's house.  Some guy he didn't recognize started following him.  In the dark.

What do we teach our children if they are being followed?  If they are uncomfortable?  If someone they don't know is bothering them?  I've taught my kids to run, to get away, to scream.

Trayvon did that, at least according to the witnesses.

Several allege he screamed right before the gun went off.

Did he fight with Zimmerman?  It seems he did, yes.

But wouldn't you want your kids to fight back too in that circumstance?  Isn't that what we teach them?

After weeks, Zimmerman was finally charged with second degree murder yesterday.  Going against his attorneys' advice, talking to TV stations, setting up his own website soliciting money for his defense fund, and losing contact with investigators....not the way to look innocent and justified.  He's only made himself appear guilty.

Is he?  I don't know.  Only time will tell.  None of us have all the information here.  I'd venture a guess that the investigators don't even have it all yet.

This is why we have courts.  This is why we trust that the legal system will work.

This is why ordinary people aren't allowed to sit in judgment.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Raising my hand

You know how when you were a little kid and you went to a carnival, the ride operator would always make sure that you knew to raise your hand if you wanted off the ride?  If you were on the verge of getting sick, or got too scared, or just couldn't take it anymore?

There was always a way out.

Someone was watching, safeguarding your sanity and dignity, making sure that the ride would end when you needed it to.

I'm looking for the ride operator, waving my hand frantically in the air.

I want off this ride.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Things That Piss Me Off Tuesday

Welcome back!  Here is this week's installment of things that piss me off.

Well, most of it anyway.  Y'all know that I simply can't be trusted to divulge everything, now don't you?
I'm tired of my house looking like the Easter Bunny exploded on top of it.  I'm pretty sure there is a layer of colored sugar infiltrating every nook and cranny as we speak.  I'm also pretty sure all I have done for the last 2 days is pick up candy wrappers.  And grit my teeth and curse under my breath at that damn rabbit.

I'm annoyed that it seems like half the appliances in my house have decided they are going to die at exactly the same time.  Fortunately, they've given us a little warning.  The dishwasher hasn't actually washed anything on the first cycle in months.  Which is awesome.  You know I completely have the patience for hand washing, right?

I'm pissed off at people who criticize the hell out of others, yet never seem to offer to do anything themselves.  If you're so damned capable, and you know better than everyone else, why aren't you the one doing it?  Oh, that's right, because then you would have to deal with the mouthy jerks.

I'm always amazed by the people who find their way into professions that they so clearly shouldn't be in.  The people who work with children, but don't even like them.  The people who work in the medical field but lack decorum.  The people who claim to do the lord's work, but seem to have no soul of their own.  Just....why???  Go make widgets or something else that doesn't involve directly dealing with other humans.  Seriously.

I'm pissed that George Zimmerman has his own website now.  I've seen it, and I'm not linking it here on purpose.  Regardless of what your opinions are on the actual case at issue, no one should be allowed to profit from the death of another person.  He claims he's unable to work now.  Ask Trayvon how his job search is going.  Oh wait, you can't....because he is dead.  Deal with the fact that there are consequences to killing someone, asshole.  Don't you dare try to profit off of it.

I'm gonna stop now.  Not that I'm done, because I'm not.

What pissed you off this week?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Does not play nicely with others....

Mattel, Mattel, Mattel....

Like most mothers of little girls, I have issues with Barbie already.  I'll admit that.

The unattainable physique, the air headed main characters in the movies, the idea that all you need is an outfit change and the right pair of shoes and you can do anything.

Sigh.

The plastic image of beauty shoved down the willing throats of little girls, eager to look just like her.

Then, last month, in a move that probably surprised a lot of skeptics, like me, they decided to release a bald Barbie in support of cancer patients. To embrace the idea that all women are beautiful, even those who've lost their hair to the scourges of treatment.

It was a step in the right direction.

Then, this.
What the hell?  Like she had mascara on in the arena...
Katniss Everdeen, in doll form.

I guess it's just me and my firm beliefs that there are certain characters that shouldn't be molded and mass produced.  Katniss, and everything she stands for, is one of them.

She's not terribly feminine, at least not without a ton of help from her stylists. Barbie is always fabulous, all the time.

She's tough and rugged, Barbie went camping once.

She's not a believer in fairy tales and princes, where Barbie is often the face of the fantasy.

She's a reluctant symbol, where Barbie is an intentioned one.

She can never decide who she loves, playing two men against one another.  Barbie only has eyes for Ken.

Oh, and she's a killer.

Yep, Katniss Barbie is a killer.

Make sure you don't leave her alone with the other dolls...she definitely does not play nicely with others.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The assault on women's rights

If you aren't outraged yet, you should be.

I'm not exactly sure how or why the current political climate is one so vehemently opposed to women's rights, but it is.  

The birth control hearings on Capitol Hill were just the most blatant part of this three ring circus, run almost exclusively by men, all poised to threaten women around the country.  

Some of those advocating for the restrictions on birth control and abortion and even equal pay are loud and boisterous about it, scheduling press conferences and stumping during television interviews. 

More dangerous than that, though, are the ones who are doing it quietly.

Signing bills in offices without even issuing press releases, quietly undermining women's health choices and re-installing the glass ceiling.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker did just that this week.

Thursday and Friday, he signed over 50 bills.  



These signings have been the latest source of outrage, of rights being stripped away from women quietly, behind closed doors.

In response, Democratic representative Kelda Helen Roys issued the following statement.

"Perhaps he thought that in doing this behind closed doors, with no public notice, before a holiday weekend for many families, his actions would go unnoticed. He was wrong. We will not be silent - these issues are too important to ignore." 

She's correct.  These issues are too important to ignore.  

American women are at a crossroads this year.  We can choose to allow men to dictate our lives behind closed doors, or we can refuse.  This is a democracy, and we can change this course of events.  We can, and we should.

If not for ourselves, for our little girls.

These men have made a grave mistake.  

They've underestimated the power of a nation full of pissed off women.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Anemia & a f-ed up subconscious do not good bedfellows make

I've been anemic off and on most of my life.  It's one of the things that is awesome about me. 

Super awesome. 
I need more of these bad boys.
When you're struggling with anemia as bad as I am right now to begin with, then your monthly visitor arrives, you can plan to just be completely exhausted.

Which I was already.

Then, the night before last, I stared at the ceiling for a few hours before I fell asleep.  

Insomnia and exhaustion go together a little too well.

I'm not even sure how long I was asleep for, but I was startled awake in a panic.  

Nightmare.  Worst one in a while, and the first time I've had one like this.  I blame the Hunger Games.  I just finished the last book, and the series introduced me to so many new ways for people to kill one another.  Just a tiny bit of that knowledge stirred around with my already f-ed up subconscious, and frankly I am surprised it took this long.  

It took me a few hours to calm down, which is hard to do when your husband and the dog are on opposite ends of the snoring cycle.  Someone was always making some kind of noise.  

I finally calmed down enough to rest and the small boy climbed in bed with me, curled himself up in a ball and laid his head on me.  He went back to sleep almost immediately, while I resigned myself to the fact that I should just give up.

There was no more sleeping to be had that night.

I've mostly recovered, thanks to a 2-hour-long-constantly-interrupted nap yesterday after Tom got home and a full night's rest last night.  I got that eight solid hours as the result of being doped up on Benadryl.  

Whatever.

I'll take it however I can get it.  

I haven't struggled with anemia this bad in over a decade, and I'm getting to the point of desperation.  

I need a nap and a steak.  Stat.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Only because it's Good Friday...

I'm getting all controversial again.   Can.Not.Help.Myself.

If you line up on the other side of my views generally, you may want to let this one go.  I welcome all comments, of course, but can guarantee there is nothing anyone can say that will shift my views on this subject. At all.

Here in the lovely state of Colorado, we have this machine known as Focus on the Family.  They play the role of a family centered Christian church based organization.  I say they play the role for one reason and one reason alone.

They, like many other Christian fundamentalist groups, often hold up the Bible as a sword and shield, using it to attack other people, completely justifying what they are doing.  In doing so, they ignore the bigger messages of Christ's teachings.

Focus on the Family came out publicly opposed to the anti-bullying movement a few months back, saying that it was the equivalent to indoctrination.  That teaching tolerance of homosexuals in particular sent children the incorrect message about what was and was not appropriate.  That anti-bullying rhetoric was essentially the promotion of the homosexual "lifestyle". 

Now, they are planning a counter protest to the already scheduled "Day of Tolerance" on April 20th.  They call it a "Day of Dialogue" and plan to try to quiet the anti-bullying campaigns effort to indoctrinate children, to promote homosexuality and transgender issues.

Although I'm not exactly a practicing Catholic these days, I am well aware that today is Good Friday.  The day that Jesus died for our sins.

Jesus, that guy they talk and talk and talk about, these religious people.

Him and his father, God, and that book written about what they want.  The one they throw in other people's faces, the one the use to attack the bullied youth of this nation.  That book.  It's the same one that contains  some of the most important lessons Jesus taught.  The ones they ignore.

Love.

Compassion.

Tolerance.

Forgiveness.

There must be some fine print in the Bible I've never read that means you only have to apply those values to the things you like.

I saw this picture last week and laughed.  It wouldn't be funny if it wasn't true.
Every so often, these people, the ones bashing others over the head with the good book....they should take a second to actually read it.

Especially on days like today.

To be honest, I'm pretty sure Jesus would be pissed.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Time, through the eyes of a mother

I've been thinking about this post for a while now, wondering how to approach it.

Here's my theory:  as mothers, we have an ever shifting sense of time.  It is always, always relative.  It never keeps a predictable pace.  It can move faster than the speed of light or it can crawl painfully forward.

It actually starts before we are even technically mothers, though.

Though I know a few women who were fortunate to get pregnant immediately when they wanted to, on the time frames they'd predetermined, most of us aren't that way.  Most of us live in a world where we gauge time in cycles while we wait for the pregnancy to come.

Days tick by, and we sit thinking about when we might be ovulating, when we can start using the early pregnancy tests, when we feel the familiar cramping and mourn the loss of something that was never there in the first place.

I have always wondered about the marketing of home pregnancy tests, how they always seem to be targeted to single women.  Hidden mysteriously in the back corners of drug stores or in the front display so everyone can see you.  If I had to ever surmise the statistics on who purchases these products, I can just about promise that the overwhelming majority are bought by women, whether married or in committed long term relationships, just hoping that today isn't too soon to test.  And then buying another one the next day.  And the next.

If ever there was one thing to sum up the hope and anxiety of trying to conceive, it's the number of pregnancy tests purchased by women like me.

And then one day, it happens, you hope.  You are actually pregnant.  Time slows at first, waiting for the signs of pregnancy to manifest.  Waiting until you are far enough along to see the doctor.  Waiting out the first trimester where things can and do go wrong all the time.   Forget measuring time in days, sometimes it seems like seconds.  The mid trimester usually flies by, and then you are back to counting days again, waiting.

Once the baby is here, you start thinking in terms of months.  How many months old is the baby?  Which milestones should they be hitting?  Being with them every day, we miss the subtle changes.  We push them forward, encourage their first steps, their first words.  One day, without warning, they are walking.

They become toddlers and we start measuring things based on portions of the day.  Playtime.  Lunch.  Nap time.  Oh, thank heaven for nap time.  The frustrations of chasing a 25 pound wrecking ball catch up to you, and sometimes it seems like the days never end.  The days go on for eternity, but the years start to fly by, and you don't even realize it until they are starting school.

For a few hours at least, they are away.  We can begin to reclaim who we are, even if only in designated chunks.   Time begins to take on familiar routines.  Before school, after school.  We settle into predictability, we embrace the chaos of play dates and sports and scouts and other activities.

Now we never have enough time for it all.  There is always something left undone, something unfinished, something rushed.  We measure time by how often they outgrow their pants, by the school pictures on the wall, by soccer seasons, by years.
My little boy, 2006
Then, one day, they grow up.  We kiss them goodbye as they take the first steps into adolescence and our hearts swell with pride.  Yet, at the same time we begin to realize that we'd give anything to have it back just for a day.  To hold that newborn again, to take the stubborn toddler to the park, to watch a preschool performance, to see another t-ball game.

Time goes by too fast.

We wish so much of it away in the beginning, then would give anything to have it back again.

My oldest child, my first baby, is entering the home stretch of elementary school.  Clinging to what is left of his childhood, dipping his foot into independence, I think he realizes how much this transition is going to change him.

He hesitates, and I understand.

Yet, I push him again, towards who he will become.  I trust that his wings are sturdy and strong.  My role now as mom is different, but still important.

He needs someone to keep him grounded, he needs a safe place, he needs home.

And he needs to fly.

Raising them is hard, but watching them grow up is harder.

These are the things that no one ever warns you about as a mother.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What's a kid got to do to get some candy around here?

My son has no interest in going to see the Easter Bunny and taking a picture.  None.  Whenever someone brings it up, he cringes and makes his I'm so not comfortable with this idea face.

He is fairly certain the Easter Bunny has beady red eyes and sharp teeth.

I can't say I blame the kid, to be honest.

The Easter Bunny is terrifying.

As I was scouring the internet for web gems this week, I found quite a few pictures of children terrified by a giant stuffed rabbit.






Seems there is no way to make a bunny mask that isn't the stuff of nightmares.  I think we'll skip the mall this year and jellybeans will just magically appear without the furry freak.

What do you think?

Want some candy, little girl?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Things that piss me off Tuesday

Welcome to the first official Things that piss me off Tuesday post.


If you get offended easily, you should just stop reading.  Really.

Speaking of which....people who get offended easily piss me off.  In particular, the ones that seem to be able to dish out sarcasm and satire, but can't seem to understand it when it comes from someone else.  That just bugs me.  For the record, I breathe sarcasm and bleed satire.  Just in case someone out there hasn't figured that out yet.

Special people piss me off too.  The ones who invent parking spaces.  Or pull up in front of stores to load their groceries instead of walking them out to the car like everyone else.  Or cut in line because they have more important things to do than wait their turn patiently.  If they really are that special, I think it should be required that they have it tattooed on their foreheads, just so the rest of us normal people have some warning.

Stupid people piss me off.  The ones who have uninformed, yet copious opinions about politics and religion and anything else.  The ones that seem to think they know better than others and feel it's their place to judge the lives of people they could never understand.  The ones that open their mouths and speak words wholly inappropriate and offensive, but think that if they tack on "just saying" or "no offense", it makes everything okay.

All the people in the world who've judged me lately piss me off too.  The ones who could never possibly understand what I'm going through.  The life I've led for the last year is one that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.  (Truth be told, there might be a few that I'd wish it on, but that is just me being a vindictive bitch right about now).  I've had a lot of people tell me what I should do, or how I should feel, and I'm just really not okay with that.

Allergies piss me off.  I feel like I'm forcing my daughter to be a guinea pig, knowing that this is the life she's destined to lead forever.  I have no one to blame but myself, and I'd give anything for her to not have inherited my moody, sensitive, rash and hive covered reaction prone skin.

Parents that push their kids too hard piss me off.  I'm seeing them more and more these days, as my older daughter is officially playing soccer in a competitive league.  Screaming at the top of your lungs from the sidelines isn't encouragement and support, it's belittling.  When that child of yours suddenly falls out of love with the sport, there's going to be a reason.  Promise.

Incidentally, I wished that I had recorded that ridiculous father.  Every time he screamed, his voice cracked like a 13 year old boy.  Not only did he make an ass out of himself....he made us laugh at him too.

Testing in schools pisses me off.  Nine year old children shouldn't be made to feel like their entire academic career hinges on a freaking test.  Then again, standardized testing is something I have many opinions on, and could write entire posts about.  Or books.

Okay, enough venting for this week.  I have to save some for next time.  ;)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Winning

I have a reputation to uphold, that's all there is to it.

I pull pranks on people for April Fools Day.  Always have, probably always will.

Just you wait...I will be a crotchety old lady joking around someday.

I had a serious case of writer's block over the weekend, and just wasn't in the right mindset to write much that was funny or controversial or profound, so I decided to mess with people instead.

The idea didn't come to me until yesterday morning, but when it did...oh, my!

A new blog.  For crazy cat lovers.  I added pictures and links and even wrote a short bio about my cat, George.

I mean, don't get me wrong....I like cats well enough.  I have had one most of my life even though I'm terribly allergic.  And our most recent cat hasn't been launched into space yet, even though he has a pesky habit of ruining my sweaters and escaping from the house.

I like cats.  I don't luuuuuuuuurve them.  I don't want to put them in a basket with little bow ties on a rainbow.  I don't.

I fiddled with the fake blog for a little while, wrote a few posts, then launched it publicly.

http://mycatnamedgeorge.blogspot.com/

Crickets.  For hours.

A few people liked it, but no one commented.

Then I started to worry a little.

Did people think it was real?  Any good April Fool's prank this elaborate has to have a degree of believability to it in order to get people to fall for it, this is true.  But I started to fear that people really thought it was real.

That I'd really write a blog about my cat.

I posted and reposted it, shared it on my personal page even.

No one said anything.  Mwhahaha.

Then, sometime around 9pm last night, I confessed.  It was a joke.

All of a sudden, people came out of the woodwork to laugh.

I am the Queen of April Fools Day.

Me?  Winning.

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