Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I'm king of the world

On the way to work, singing along with Smashmouth:

Daughter: What?

Me: Oh, I was just starting to sing, but they broke into their little musical riff.

Daughter: Um, I think that’s called a bridge …

Me: I’ll call it whatever I want, 'cause I’m the mom.

Daughter: I don’t think that gives you jurisdiction over musical vocabulary.

Me: In this car, I have jurisdiction.

Daughter: Fair enough

Thursday, January 24, 2008

New furniture

So, as we all know, it’s a relatively new year. The time when many people make resolutions. You know, stop smoking, get more organized, quit drinking, exercise more. And, of course, lose weight.

I pretty much make that resolution every damn year.

I’ve actually succeeded a time or two.

Yep, I’ve lost weight. Only to find it once again. And when I find it, it’s told all of its friends and family members to follow it home. Because I’m a nice, friendly place for all that fat.


Well, this year is no different. Once again “lose weight” is at the top of my list of resolutions. So, I bought this:


It even came with a DVD of exercises. Which, I’m sad to say, has yet to see the light of day. I joined Weight Watchers (again) today. I may actually put the DVD in the player and use that ball.

Until then, well …

It makes a damn fine footrest.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

It's raining cats and dog hair

Please, please, PLEASE be my friend!

We got a dog last August. Don’t ask me why. I mean, he’s a really nice dog. But the hair. THE HAIR! It’s been awhile since we had a dog and I had forgotten about the HAIR THAT GETS INTO EVERYTHING.

We already had two cats. Yes, they also shed. But not in anywhere near the magnitude of Gus.

I figured it would take awhile before Morton and Molly warmed up to Gus. Morton’s always been a big wimp, so I assumed he would take longer. My husband, the kids and I were taking bets on how long it would be before Molly was snuggling with Gus.

Could not have been any more wrong.

Morton immediately asserted his alpha male status. He has the hiss and whack down to a fine art. Whenever Gus gets too close he gives a warning hiss and then, if the warning goes unheeded, the lightning-fast whack. And this is no sissy whack. You can hear the sound of Morton’s paw hitting Gus from across the room.

Not Interested

And Gus, being a dog, just wants to be BFF. The hissing and whacking has not put any kind of damper on his efforts to play. He’ll crawl towards Morton, flat on his belly – really illustrating a phrase my husband has used for years: “Lower than a snake on snowshoes” – whining in absolutely the friendliest way he knows how. Whack, Whack, WHACK is the response from Morton. Does this dissuade Gus from further efforts to achieve BFF status? No. Because he’s a dog.

Molly just avoids him. Sometimes this means jumping up on the couch, walking across whoever is there and jumping down on the other side so she can get from the living room to the laundry room and cat box. She might have to come WITHIN A FOOT OF THE DOG if she walked across the floor.

Am I far enough from the floor
to avoid the DOG!?! I THINK NOT!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

This is, unfortunately, my life ...

cartoon from

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

Life lessons

My daughter, after spending a semester at a prep school in Southern California, will be attending a local college for the spring semester. In the meantime, and continuing part-time once school begins, she’s working as a clerk at the law firm where I am a secretary.

It’s fun working with my daughter. I have someone to ride to work with in the mornings and home with at the end of the day. We eat lunch together. Which she might view as not quite as much fun.

The other day we were in the lunch room chatting with some of the other secretaries. I don’t know how we got on the subject, but I related the fact that when I was in my early 20s I was unable to find a doctor who was willing to tie my tubes. At the time I was convinced I didn’t want kids.

The look on my daughter’s face was one of “Who is this strange woman?” I can understand that. I’m the mom who used to throw themed birthday parties and I taught myself to twist animal balloons for said parties. I graded papers for her 5th grade teacher, was the room mom for more than one elementary school teacher, and chaperoned innumerable field trips. PTA president, Band Booster secretary, soccer coach – I’ve been what you would call an involved parent.

But before I met my husband, I was sure that I never wanted kids. I’m really grateful that doctors know 23-year-old girls shouldn’t make such major, nearly unchangeable decisions about their future. There’s no explaining to them (or at least there wasn’t to me) that the first time you hold your baby, you fall in love in a way you never do with anyone else in your life.

It’s a completely different love than the love you feel for your parents, siblings or husband. It changes you to the very core of your being. It’s the reason you don’t mind changing poopy diapers, wiping snotty noses or getting peed on as soon as you uncover a penis (THAT was a shock, I’ll tell you!).

It makes you do things like agree to coach the soccer team. Even though you’ve never laid a foot on a soccer ball in your life. And the reason you can’t help but run out on the field, pick your son up and swing him around when he scores his first goal.

It’s why you get a nearly painful feeling somewhere in your heart when your daughter gets up during a jazz band concert and kicks total ass at her improv solo on the saxophone. That’s YOUR kid up there and she’s amazing.

My kids are 18 and 14 now and sometimes I still look at them in wonder. THEY came out of ME???? How can that be?

If I knew when I was 23 what I know now, I never would have tried to convince my doctor to tie my tubes. I would have tracked down my husband and insisted that he impregnate me RIGHT THAT VERY MOMENT. Which might have been awkward.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Superpower vision - I has it

Bathroom Update: My husband, desirous of having his bathroom cleaning efforts last longer than normal, swished the toilet and wiped off the counters this weekend.

I don’t believe he is a Flylady convert - although wouldn’t that be nice! He’s really not the kind to get up and put his shoes on. Much less do his face.

In celebration of the renewed cleanliness of the bathroom, I did a thorough cleanout of the refrigerator. I don’t mean just chucking out enough leftovers to fit the newest batch of soon-to-be-chucked leftovers in. I mean taking everything off of the shelves, pulling them out and really getting them cleaned. Doesn’t happen often, but I thought some reciprocal cleaning of the science experiments (really, what else could they have been?) was due on my part.

Which makes me wonder something: WHY AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN SEE LEFTOVERS? Do I have some hitherto unknown super vision powers? If so, I really wish they would kick in during night driving. Damn unreliable powers.

But really, I cook a nice meal. Sometimes I plan on leftovers - silly, silly me - and sometimes they just happen. Either way, there is enough Tupperware and Rubbermaid, etc., to store them handily in the refrigerator. Where typically they sit until one of two things happen. Either I throw them away to fit the aforementioned new leftovers in or I take a night off of cooking duty and force everyone to eat them. Even that doesn’t always work. Last night my daughter made a peanut butter and banana sandwich rather than having to consume the apparently dreaded leftovers. And here I thought I made a pretty tasty spaghetti.

But if I’m not around to point out the availability of the leftovers? Um, Wendy’s is the first choice. Followed closely by Micky D’s. I’m really ready to try this method of leftover management.

Gotta be because the leftovers are invisible and only I can see them.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Looks like we made it

I was listening to Shania Twain in the car on the way to work this morning. (What? WHAT? I have an ECLECTIC taste in music.)

Whenever I hear “You’re Still the One” I think about the people who literally took bets on how long my marriage was going to last. None of them bet more than a year.

Why, you might ask, did they feel compelled to make bets on the longevity of my marriage?

Could have something to do with how quickly it happened. (I was also asked by a very dear friend whether I was expecting. I responded, “No. And even if I was, it would be too early to tell.”)

My husband and I worked at the same casino in Sparks, Nevada. We were working a jazz festival on July 5, 1987. I was selling tickets and he was selling popcorn and drinks right across the hall. I remember telling the gal I was working with that I thought he was really cute (it was 1987, folks -that was acceptable terminology even if you weren’t in grammar school). We flirted with each other through our whole shifts and before the day was over, he had asked me to dinner and a movie that night. Oh yes, I definitely accepted. We saw each other every single day for the next two weeks and then decided we should get married.

Yes, two weeks.

One small hitch: I had made the decision earlier in the summer to move to Philadelphia and had already had a yard sale and sold everything that wouldn’t fit in my car. Being without furniture and most everything except clothes, books and records (1987, remember?), I was pretty committed to the move. I had made plans to leave approximately 9 weeks from the day we met.

Being young (and stupid, some would assert), we not only decided to get married, we decided to move across the entire country immediately thereafter. And I do mean immediately.

We got married on September 5 – two months to the day after our first date. And then we hopped in our car directly after the reception and spent a week visiting my family in California before heading back to Nevada, fetching all of our worldly belongings and driving to Philly.

So: Got engaged 2 weeks after we met. Got married 2 months after we met. Spent the first month of our marriage driving around the country together. Arrived in a place where we had no jobs and we knew no one except the gal who was renting a room to us. And my husband didn’t even know her, she was an ex-girlfriend of a friend of mine and I had only met her twice myself.

That? Is the marriage version of trial by fire.

But it’s been over 20 years now and even though the road has not always been smooth, I cannot imagine being married to anyone else. Being single is something I can occasionally imagine because, after all, he is a man and I am a woman. Mars and Venus and all that. But married to anyone else? Not a chance.

Ain't nothin' better

We beat the odds together

I'm glad we didn't listen

Look at what we would be missin'

They said, "I bet they'll never make it"

But just look at us holding on

We're still together still going strong

You're still the one I run to

The one that I belong to

You're still the one I want for life

You're still the one that I love

The only one I dream of

You're still the one I kiss good night

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Snow hides a multitude of sins

See this:

Snowy Backyard

It’s beautiful. No doggy leavings. No weedy flower beds. Hard to see that the rose bushes desperately need trimming. Well, now that you know they’re rose bushes, you can tell that they desperately need trimming. But whatever.

We were supposed to get another 2-4 inches today. Beginning during the morning rush hour. Such as it is in this neck of the woods. (We whine when it takes more than 20 minutes to get to work.) Since I get to work before the morning rush hour, that made me happy. Of course, it waited until about 30 minutes ago to start. Just the right time to impact my drive home.

Oh well. Rose bushes? What rose bushes?

On the bright side, my husband was very kind to me over the weekend. Since I had to work all weekend HE CLEANED THE BATHROOM. And did the laundry. But did you hear me? HE CLEANED THE BATHROOM.

Yes, in the same week that he sent me the "You were right and I was was wrong" e-mail. Wow. You think he wants hot monkey sex? I think so. Too bad I’m too old and tired for hot monkey sex. Oh yeah, I’ll put out. But not in the hot monkey category.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Forever, I say!

Just got an e-mail from my husband.

Subject: You were right and I was wrong.

I’m keeping it FOREVER!