Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I Thought I Was so Cool

Here in Northern Virginia school follows the old time traditional calendar. Classes don't begin until after Labor Day and they let out in June.

Here at Mamma's house we have a guy starting Kindergarten next week. And while it took some time before our friend was convinced he'd actually attend, I was completely unphased as a seasoned mom convinced that everything would be fine. J has an older brother who will be a sixth grader, and we'd been through this all before. I'm on the PTA, I've been the class mom, I survived Colonial Days (yes it required me dressing up in period dress) and I've spent more money at fundraising auctions and on wrapping paper than I care to admit.

But the oddest thing happened this evening.

I was filling out all of the paperwork and questionnaires tonight and when I finished I decided to read the Kindergarten teachers' newsletter. It was filled with much of the usual talk about "our community of learners" (oh that's too sweet) and all kids reacting to beginning school differently (yadda yadda yadda) and then I reached this phrase: "we're here to help them as they make their transition into the big wide world."

And tears welled up in my eyes.

Guess I'm not so seasoned after all.

Monday, August 27, 2007

I'm on Blog Vacation Today

Check out where I'm staying tonight.

A Little Spring Summer Cleaning

It's that time of the year to rearrange the furniture. Typically, I do it late at night when I can't stand the current digs one minute more, but here on the interwebs I'm forced to rely on the help of friends.

Say hi to Geff. Geff's making room for more real estate on the site. And all out of the kindness of his heart--and the fact that he feels bad that he didn't call me the last time he came to town.

Some day I may actually treat this blog with tender-loving care and put it in the hands of a professional, but for now it's stuck with my mad skillz and poor ole Geff.

So sorry blog.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

You'll Understand

No time to post. On page 525 of the final Harry Potter. Should be able to go to sleep before dawn. Thanks all for not revealing any of the secrets.

Oh, and about yesterday? I was the one on the right. Though lord knows I wish I could have claimed the boobs on the left. Must remember to ask for the name of the doctor next Bingo night.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Just Another Tuesday Night at Bingo

Can you spot the drag queen?

Monday, August 20, 2007

In Just One Evening...

I had the following conversations with my sons.

A, The eldest: My breath stinks and my teeth feel like rocks.
Me: Why are you taking my toothpaste? You have three tubes in your bathroom.
A, The eldest: I need manly toothpaste mom.

Yeah, he's not eleven yet.

And then in the bath:

P, the small: Look at my pickles. (Grabbing his testicles)
Me: Your what?
P, the small: My pickles.
Me: Oh no. You know what those called. Those are your testicles.
P, the small: My teckles. This one's Oodie and this one's Chonk.

I fear for the women who will date my son.

J, the middle has yet to regale me with any of his wisdom, but the night is still young.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Day My Music Died

The radio was on in the car as we drove down the driveway, on our way to where I don't remember anymore. I was in the front passenger seat unable to see over the dashboard of our maroon, two-door Ford LTD. I probably wasn't wearing a seatbelt not because my mom didn't care about me but because it was 1977.

My mom brought the car to a stop at the bottom of the driveway before she pulled out to make a left hand turn. That I remember.

The radio was tuned to an AM station, most likely AM1240 out of Waterbury, CT. I remember because we had to change our phone number not long before because it ended in those same four numbers--1-2-4-0. We were forever answering calls for song requests. After a weeks of apologizing to the callers and letting them know they had the wrong number, we just said we'd get the song right on and hang up the phone.

As she nudged the car forward to see beyond the hedges that lined our front lawn, the announcement came through the speakers.

"Elvis Presley is dead."

Her foot went back on the brake.

"Elvis Pretzel is dead Mom?" I never could get his name right.

"Yeah," she said, and we were both quiet for a moment--both of us processing the information in our own way. Me contemplating the finality of death; wrapping my seven year-old mind around such a horrific thought; worried that if he could die so too could the person I loved most in the world--the woman sitting next to me. And suddenly I was afraid. He couldn't be dead! He couldn't be gone!

"Isn't there something someone can do?! Can't they turn back the clock?" I asked. "No," she said as she explained that if he was dead it was already too late. She was a nurse, and my mother, so I took her at her word letting the information sink in.

I wonder now what she was thinking when she heard the news. Elvis was the icon she grew up with. She had watched him on the Ed Sullivan Show with her family--my grandparents not understanding the draw. The cameras focused in on just his upper body. She watched over the years as he aged. She saw how he had become bloated. She saw too his comeback. But now he was gone.

Was part of her childhood gone too on that day?

Once again she inched the car forward and then turned left down the road. To where, I don't remember.

It was just a moment in the car, at the end of the driveway, on a warm August day in 1977, but it has stayed with me for thirty years.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

If You Feel Like Getting NOTHING Done Today...

Oh the fun via Kevin!

Go ahead, upload those photos.

You should see my parents get down.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My Joys Are Simple, But They're Real

When I worked in retail--back when people used paper money--my favorite change to give was $.41.

One of each coin. So satisfying!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Fun with Haiku

It's Friday. I'm brain dead (so fried I just typed "ded").

Thought you might be interested in getting in on a little contest over at My Mommy's Place. She's hosting The Buckaroo Haiku Contest. Hop on over. All entries must be submitted by 11:50 p.m. tonight.

My entries are below.

Happy Haikuing!!

I am so tired
Could be I'm glued to my chair
What? There's beer? See ya.


My foot is broken
Can you Bedazzle a cast?
Mamma needs some bling


A fight is brewing
States are fighting for first place
Really?! Primaries.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

If the Blog's a-Rockin'...'s probably just me limping across the floor.

Has anyone mastered the sexy saunter while wearing the walking cast? Cause this ski boot I have on my left foot is making it difficult to strut my stuff.

In the meantime, I give you *dun dun dun duuuun*

The Top 5 Reasons I Prefer to Visit My Podiatrist Over my Other Docs

#5. No hauling my ass over to another office for x-rays. He's got a machine right in his office. Just for feet!

#4. The office decor includes many posters of fabulous shoes.

#3. When he pulls out the ultrasound I'm not going to find out if it's a boy or a girl.

#2. You only have to get undressed from the ankle down.

And the #1 reason I prefer to visit my podiatrist over my other docs...

You don't have to step on the scale.

Monday, August 06, 2007

BlogHer 2007--Some of My Favorite Quotes

"I'm grinding my teeth instead of sprinkling glitter."

Crafty Chica discussing the stress of the busisness side of her art rather than enjoying her craft.

"My stuff looks like deaft people would love it--it's all glitter and..."

Amy Sedaris talking about her craft projects (PC as usual).

"Personal blogs are legitimate."

Kris Likey during Digital Exhibitionists or Chroniclers of their Time: Will Naked Bloggers Make History?

"I don't want to hear ninety seconds on an issue. I want to hear it discussed."

Elizabeth Edwards on why she likes to get her news from sources other than the mainstream American press.

Allow Me to Fall on my Sword

I don't want to mislead people about the benefits of the BlogHer conference. I really did meet some incredibly, wonderful women and attended some thought-provoking sessions. I had a chance to put faces with the voices that have become staples in my blog reading--and found out that they are even more beautiful in real life. The food was good (especially for a group that big), most people were VERY friendly, and there was a ton of swag (even if there were Butterball pot holders thrown in with the good stuff).

I was merely talking about a reaction I was having to reading blogs post-conference. This is my experience and mine alone. And it is probably happening because of some unresolved flaw in my personality. Lord knows there are plenty to choose from.

I won't remove the post because I had to blog it out, and I'm hoping that by doing so I got the feeling out of my system, but I don't want to discourage others. I will most likely attend BlogHer next year if I'm still blogging.

All this second-guessing. UGH! I guess I just don't know why I do this. What I'm really saying, and honestly, if I'm just a big ole blogging fraud.

So to recap,

1. BlogHer was great. Go next year if you can.

2. I'm a big fat dork, and don't know why I have a blog.

Will Popularity Make Me Quit Blogging?

Before I went to BlogHer I commented without abandon. I never considered whether or not a blogger visited my site. I never considered how they were catagorized in the hierarchy of the blogosphere. I just left a comment when what I read moved me to do so.

Many times those bloggers would come visit my site and leave a comment, many times they didn't. I didn't keep a tally. Certainly, I felt I had developed a community with those whose blognames were regular visitors to my inbox.

Then I went to BlogHer.

Don't get me wrong. The conference was good. It introduced me to many terrific women whose words I would never have had the privilege to read had I not been there. And boy, if I hadn't attended I would have missed out on pulling my turkey out of the oven each week (you know I roast one every week for Sunday dinnner-HA) with my new Butterball pot holder.

All that said, I find I'm not looking at blogging quite the same way.

There were cliques. There was a hierarchy. There were snarky comments and "once over" gazes. And I kept looking over my shoulder to see if the principal was coming down the hall.

And that was diappointing.

The beauty of blogging has been for me the opportunity to get to know writers without the filter of appearances or "neighborhoods." In the blogosphere, I felt I could get to hear about another's experience in a way I might never in the "real" world.

I've resisted writing about this for fear that people will assume I am just the bitter, "dork" in the corner (okay I was) who no one would talk to. I tried to just let it go and move on with blogging in a way that was good for me.

But I'm having a hard time.

Maybe it's because of my feminist leanings, of my approach to the world, but I don't think women do each other any favors by knocking each other judging each other because of their setting themselves apart to feel better about the choices they have made. We only become stronger together if we support each other.

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

I'm noticing whether someone has visited my blog now. I'm considering whether or not I should leave a comment. I'm thinking about cutting down my reader list. AND I HATE THAT.

I don't know that what I have to say on this blog is really all that profound or all that important. And I don't know if it's worth doing if it means having to be aware of these things.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Brunettes Not Fighter Jets

I just can't stop myself!

This is for all the ladies, but I think I can hear Mitch McDad singing it too.

Givin' You the Business

I was just turned on to this by Heather at Oh My Stinkin Heck.

Thank you, thank you Heather!!

Edited to add: Am I the only loser who has never heard of these guys before?

I had to add one more.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

It's All a Matter of Perspective

Sunday: I spent six hours sitting on either a plane that wasn't flying or in an airport while my children were far away from me at home.

Monday: I spent more time sitting in an airport due to my son's cancelled flight.

Tuesday: I discovered I had been walking around on a broken foot for a week and would be in a cast for at least the next three weeks.

This morning: I ran out of gas on the way to work--mere minutes from my office. Due to the bum foot, I had to wait for an hour and a half for AAA.

This afternoon: I read a post by WhyMommy and her justified anger.

I am grateful for the time I had to read my book on Sunday.

I am grateful for the extra time I got to spend with my son on Monday.

I am grateful that it's only a broken bone.

I am grateful for the helpful man who brought me fuel and didn't chastise me for running out.

Cross-posted at Gratuitous Gratitude