Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ideas in the middle of the night

It's 2:44 a.m. and I cannot sleep for the life of me.  My mind is racing.  So, lucky readers, you get to keep me company as I attempt to get my mind to shut off so I can get some much needed rest!  I won't bore you with the details, but this year (as in school year - I think in those terms, not calendar years) has been very difficult for me personally.  Several unpleasant things have happened.  The result was that at the end of the school year I was barely hanging on and was completely drained - both personally and professionally.

As a teacher, I am so fortunate to get the summers off.  Now before you get envious, it's not REALLY three months off, there are still lots of things to do during the summer, and I'll be honest - we work some crazy hours during the school year.  It all balances out.  I always look forward to the summer, but this year I was even more anxious for a break.  I needed time to do nothing, to unwind, to rest my body and my mind, and to heal.

So far this summer I have been swimming each day, I have been reading my eyeballs out, and I have been spending tons of time with my nephew, the Former Baby.  It has been just what the doctor ordered.  The Former Baby is at a really fun age.  He is anxious to learn and is soaking up new concepts each day.  The geeky teacher in me is thrilled to work with him and help him learn.

In fact, it's going so well, and I have effectively blocked out the fact that I am employed, that it makes me absolutely dread going back to work in the fall.  Don't get me wrong.  I have a good job.  I love being a teacher.  I just feel like I have no energy left to put into it, and not enough of myself to give to 60 children and their 120-180 parents.  Suddenly, this Former Baby Boot Camp gig is looking better and better!  I've talked myself into just quitting my job and homeschooling the Former Baby.  I mean, wow, how easy is this?!  And there's no pressure.  No paperwork.  It's just bliss!

But then I remember that the Former Baby Boot Camp gig supplies me with no income.  And I remember that I am not meant to work with toddlers or preschoolers because after time my brain becomes soft and begins to leak out of my ears.  And then I remember that I get very impatient with little ones and their dependence on adults.  And I remember that I like teaching material that I actually have to study first to make sure I understand, and that teaching basic things is beyond my intellectual needs.  And I remember that parents of preschoolers and toddlers are extremely clingy, needy, and overbearing and that I prefer to work with kids whose parents don't care (just kidding - sort of).  And finally, I just can't handle the phrase "Criss cross apple sauce, hands in your lap/spoons in the bowl" and I'd have to blow my brains out.

So, I started thinking about alternate jobs that would be less stressful and would still meet my intellectual and financial needs.  Here is what I've come up with:

Welfare System Moocher
This would require me to use Food Stamps to buy bacon, macaroni and cheese and other items that will allow me to still have enough cash to buy cigarettes.  It would also require me to pop out lots of kids so I could get more government assistance.  Finally, I would be forced to try and get my kid diagnosed with ADD/ADHD so that I could cajole their teachers into filling out a form so that my child would be eligible for disability. 

Pros:  I like kids.  I like not working.  I like macaroni and cheese.  It works well for millions of Americans.
Cons:  I don't smoke, and don't want to start.  I like showering every day.  I'm not sure I can yell loudly enough at my children in public.  And I'm not a mooch.

Verdict:  Not going to work.

Working the Street Corner
This would require me to dress in a risque fashion and try to lure men in with my provocative ways.

Pros:  It would keep my days free and I would work at night, when I am the most alert.  I hear it's good money.  It'd help me to get out and socialize more with the community.
Cons:  I don't even want to be in a swimsuit in public, let alone...you know.  I don't like carrying cash - do prostitutes accept debit cards?  I am not provocative.  And finally, the nearest corner is at my cranky neighbor's house.  He once got mad at his neighbors for shooting fireworks off on the 4th of July so he pointed his headlights at them so they couldn't see the cool glow of their fireworks, and regularly yells at people for weird things.  He might point the hose at me.  I don't think he'd tolerate prostitution.

Verdict:  Not going to work.

Becoming a Nun
This would require me to devote my entire life to the Catholic church, doing good for others and spending great amounts of time in prayer and study.  It would also require me to take on a different name.

Pros:  I don't have to feel bad about being single anymore!  I'd be married to the church!  I don't have to worry about not having kids.  I like being at church, and it'd be good for me to devote more time to prayer and study.  I also like helping people.
Cons:  I'm not Catholic.  I think that wearing that thing on my head would make my hair get curly and I wouldn't like that.  I don't want to be married to the church, I want to be married to a hot guy and have his cute babies!  And, I can't sing as nicely as those nuns on "The Sound of Music."

Verdict:  Not going to work.

I love to read and have a strong passion for literature.  This job would require me to work with the community, helping them locate books, use resources to assist them, and participate in programs that benefit others.

Pros:  I love to read!  Being in a place surrounded by books would be awesome.  It'd be nice to work in a quiet, less stressful environment.  I'd get to see children on a regular basis.  I would get my pick of the good books as they come out!
Cons:  I think this job is slowly going to become obsolete.  I'd have to babysit all the kids that get dumped at the library for free child care.  I'd have to deal with morons wanting to play World of Warcraft on the computer all day.  There are lots of old people in libraries and they make noises and smells that I just don't want to subject myself to.  There is a severe lack of funding in the library world.

Verdict:  Not going to work.

So...as you can see, it looks like continuing on with my job is the right choice, unless you can come up with better alternatives.  In the meantime, I will just continue to pretend that I am unemployed and that I don't have to go back to work soon.  I will also freak out later, when it's actually time to go to work, and stress out and get sick over the fact that I'll have to actually DO STUFF again.  But I'll save that for another post!

It's now 3:09 a.m.  Wish me luck getting some sleep.

Monday, June 28, 2010

My 15 Seconds of Fame

We interrupt this morning wrestling/head butting session with the Former Baby to share this important story with you.

As a public educator, I am well versed in rules about confidentiality.  I am not at liberty to share any information about a child to pretty much anyone.  I can't even tell a parent the name of other children involved in a fight.  I have to shred all their documents and be cautious when emailing.  If you've never worked in a public school, you may not know that the dreaded "L" word, "lawsuit," is held over our heads constantly.  The sad fact is that people can, and will, do just about anything to make some money.  In the public school system, we serve a lot of people who are just waiting for any small slip up in order to make a profit.  It is a breach of confidentiality for teachers to even discuss students with other teachers, privately, in the work room, or at lunch.

So, I am typically very cautious.  I even have insurance in case that someone ever tries to sue me.  That is part of what makes the following story just so ridiculous. 

Several years ago, I had a student we will call Boris.  Boris was an interesting child.  He had some behavior issues and had to be carried out of the classroom by a counselor many times.  At the end of the year, my class made me a special book of memories.  Boris' contribution to the book had a list.  The list was titled:  "Ten Things I Like About Non-Mommy and Five Things I Don't Like."  Ahh, memories.

One day, Boris came into the classroom and he just looked...different.  I couldn't put my finger on what was wrong with Boris.  Honestly, he looked a little sick.  I stared at Boris, who acted as if everything was ok.  What was different about Boris?

Then, I realized what had changed.  Boris no longer had any eyebrows.  He looked like a cancer patient.

"Boris," I said, stifling a laugh, "where are your eyebrows?"

"Oh, I was shaving all of the hair off of my body and I shaved them off."

"Ok."  I responded.  I then had to lean under my desk to hide the fact that I was laughing hysterically.

Boris was bothered by the taunts and teases of his classmates.  He lashed out at them several times.  Being the sensitive, thoughtful person that I am, I found many excuses to send Boris to other teachers on "errands."  Usually, the "errand" involved a note stapled shut that said "Look at Boris' eyebrows (or lack of).  I just had to show you what he'd done.  Pretend this is a serious note."

Boris, being quite notorious in the school prior to this incident, was a secret celebrity among the teachers.  Everyone wanted to see Boris.  Some teachers found reasons to pop into my classroom just to see.

Disclaimer:  Not that I would EVER laugh at a student, and most certainly teachers are not to talk about their students!  End of disclaimer.

So, fast forward a few days.  I was getting ready for school, turned on the radio, and stepped into the shower.  As I stepped out of the shower, I heard the DJ's on the radio say that it was National Education Week and that any teachers listening should call in to win a prize.  I quickly picked up the phone, dialed the number, and was shocked to hear that I had gotten through and would be getting a prize!  I didn't realize at the time that the prize would be a Kathy Lee Gifford book and CD.  Had I known that, I would have never even called.

So I chatted with the DJ's during a song, not really thinking about what was happening.  I mean, I'd heard radio stations warn that you could be recorded any time you call a radio station, and that you should be prepared to have your conversation broadcast on the air.  I even made fun of that disclaimer, thinking that anyone who would call a radio station and say things they don't want recorded was an idiot.

Hi.  I am an idiot.

The DJ's said something about being glad I didn't have them as students.  I then, in my best comedic style, told the story about the student who shaved off his eyebrows.  I made fun of him.  And I laughed hysterically at my own witty style.  It was pleasant.  I hung up the phone and continued to get ready for work.

Ten minutes later, I heard a song end, and then...my own voice.  They had recorded the conversation.  And there I was, on the radio for all to hear, making fun of my student.

My blood immediately ran cold.  I became nauseated and panicked.  I called my mother and told her what I'd done, and she shrieked into the phone "How could you do that, Non-Mommy?  They could sue you!  What were you thinking?"  I burst into tears.

All the way to work, I cried like a baby.  My career was over.  I was going to be sued and I didn't even have a cute outfit to wear to court.  How many people heard that?  What would my boss say?  How could I sacrifice my job for a lame Kathy Lee Gifford book and CD?  I prayed all the way to work.

"Dear God, please, please, please let no one have heard my dumb self on the radio.  Please don't let me lose my job.  Please let the mother not sue me.  And please, please let Boris listen to any other radio station but that one.  I'm really sorry.  If you want, I'll even name my first child Boris as penitence.  I know that radio station signal is not strong, so please please please let it not work at Boris' house."

When I got to school, I told a few people about it.  No one had heard me.  I then came up with a GREAT writing prompt activity for my students!  Let's write about your favorite radio station and why!  Also, please tell me what kind of music and what radio stations your family listens to.

Not one of them listened to this station.  The station is too far away from this community and it sounds fuzzy there.  Also, they all listen to country music, and this was not a country music station.

God bless tiny, rural schools in the middle of no where.

Somehow, I got away with my major social gaffe.  I still thank God to this day that I am employed.  And I am much more cautious about sharing information.

Even with the internet.  Ha.

Boris, I hope your eyebrows have grown back and that you are happy and totally unaware that for a brief moment, you were famous for your shaving habits.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Walking Disaster

Once upon a time, a certain non-mommy was helping her cousin paint her house.  She wore an old pair of Umbro shorts (missing the drawstring) that she'd had since high school because she didn't care if she got paint on the shorts. 

All day long, the shorts started to slip and the non-mommy had to grab them and yank them up.  She even left a white handprint on the butt of the shorts in her zeal to not flash her cousin, cousin's father, or cousin's husband, Norman.

After a long day of painting, the painting crew returned to their home, weary but having a good time together.  It was late, and everyone was tired.  Most people went to bed, leaving the non-mommy and Norman in the living room together.  Norman was on a laptop, and the non-mommy stood up to return her glass to the kitchen and settle into bed.

As the non-mommy approached the middle of the room, the drawstringless Umbro shorts suddenly fell to the floor, leaving the non-mommy standing in a paint covered shirt and her underwear.  Norman, being sucked into the laptop, did not even notice his cousin standing in front of him in her underwear.

Being the calm, cool, collected person that the non-mommy is, she shrieked:

This banshee-like wail, of course, made Norman look at the blonde non-mommy standing in her underwear in the living room.  

After yanking her shorts up, the non-mommy frantically explained what happened to her cousin.  Her cousin laughed and explained that Norman used to do triage in Iraq, he'd seen many dead bodies, and had watched her give birth.  He'd seen lots of gross things, so it was ok that he'd seen her in her underwear.  

Being compared to a juicy birth giving session or a corpse was little comfort to the non-mommy, but she survived.  The next morning, the cousin came to the non-mommy's room with a pair of pants that the non-mommy could paint in without flashing the entire state of California.

The delightful part of this story is that the cousin, Norman, and all others related still speak to the non-mommy this day.  They are truly the best.  Not just because of this incident, but this incident does put them higher up on the list.

Moral of the story:  If your pants fall off, instead of yelling "Don't look!" just pull them up and draw less attention to yourself!

Monday, June 21, 2010


Alternate Title: What Happens When a Color Blind Man and a Blonde Repaint a House?

Blonde = Me

Color Blind Man = My dad (he was color blind to all shades of brown and yellow)

Important Background Information: I am a very impatient person, at times. I can also be pretty competitive, even with myself.

So my parents bought this new house, and were getting it all ready before they moved.  It's a great house with big rooms and tall ceilings, but an old couple lived there and the rooms were pink, BRIGHT yellow, baby blue, and mint green.  Obviously, a paint job was needed.  My dad liked to do things himself, so my parents decided that we (my dad and I) would paint the house.  My mom was forbidden (by my dad) to ever paint again due to a tragic paint related incident.   I like to paint.  I'm good at it, and it's a pretty quick and easy way to make a room look nice and new.   So I didn't mind.  I thought.

Painting had been difficult because of my dad's schedule and mine.  And I didn't live that close to their new house.  We had painted a very large living room, dining room, hallway, and kitchen.  We then needed to complete the master bedroom (which is huge) in one day.  But I am a painting machine, and knew I could knock it out easily in one day, and work on a bathroom after that.

But I had to get up at the crack of dawn to get there.   And I was tired.  And it was storming all the way down to their house.  And when I got to my parents house, my dad was napping on the couch.  I was cranky.

Crank or no crank, the paint must go on!  So I used the trusty PaintMate (a VERY HANDY roller that stores paint in the handle of the roller, and the paint comes out through the roller itself.   Saves you having to go to a paint tray 500 times.) and knocked that first coat out.  It looked really good.  In fact, it almost could have gone without a second coat.  But I like to do things right, so a second coat would go on!  I was painting the room a kind of very light brown/beige color.  I'm not sure how else to describe it.  Definitely a brown tone (remember the colors my dad is color blind with?).  Toward the end of the room, the PaintMate started to have some issues.   The gasket on the end of it was loosening, and paint started to drip out.  I was starting to get irritated but finished the room.

We stopped for a lunch break, and I told my dad that I needed another can of paint to do the second coat.   I told the color blind man to go get me another can of paint.  By this time, I was really not looking forward to the second coat because I was sore and tired.  Pulling the paint into the PaintMate takes a lot more upper body strength than you'd think, and the room was big, and I just wanted to get it over with.

I loaded up the PaintMate without looking at the paint very closely, because frankly pulling the paint into that stick was like pulling someone out of quick sand.  Then the leaky side started to leak, and I mean a LOT.   Paint was flying everywhere.   It was dripping on the walls, it was leaving lines, and I was having to go back and redo a lot to fix that.

This is where my bright, shining personality really came out.  I was pissed at that PaintMate.  PISSED. I was yelling at an inanimate object.  The f-bomb was flying.  There was a constant drip drip drip drip where paint was leaking everywhere.  My dad wasn't really caring that it was flinging paint everywhere and he wasn't helping me, and the drop cloth had paint all over it.  Every time I would take a step back, I was stepping into wet paint.  I was NOT a happy camper.  I couldn't even get OFF the drop cloth because my feet were so totally covered in paint.

I did think once "Gee, this second coat really looks light.  I can't believe how dark paint can be when it dries."   Cue the dramatic music.

However, I was so freaking pissed that I was going to get that room done QUICKLY, and WELL, and be DONE.   So I was laying on that paint very thickly.

I finally finished and vowed that I would never use that roller from Hell ever again.   My dad said "Yeah that one is getting old, I think it's time for a new one."  Gee, you think?

My sister came over and was looking at my work, and it was still pretty light on that wall.  And kind of...yellow.  Absentmindedly, I said "Gosh I hope we didn't use the wrong color in here for the second coat!  haha!  But see the trim?  That's what it will look like when it dries."

I left to go paint in another area.  I then went to get the gold paint my mom wanted in the kitchen.  Hmm.  Where is the can?  Here's the can for the master bedroom paint, but...oh no.  Oh no, oh no, oh no.  I went in the master bedroom to find a lovely second coat, dried beautifully on the wall, IN GOLD.  On top of the light brown walls.

My dad gave me the wrong paint color.   I didn't notice it.   I spent all day painting that room for nothing.

Guess I shouldn't quit my day job, huh?

Dedicated to my favorite house painter, Dad. 

Friday, June 18, 2010


From time to time my mother sends me helpful dating books or gives me great advice about picking up men, such as that I should be wearing tight jeans and lip gloss. She sent me the book called Become Your Own Matchmaker by that Millionaire Matchmaker on Bravo. There are lots of tips in the book and I decided I should share some of what I learned in the book.

1. Men like long hair. If your hair isn't long, you MUST get extensions.

2. All women should be wearing shape wear. If you don't have a girdle, get one.

3. All women need to make sure they regularly get a bikini wax. AT LEAST a bikini wax. Now, how exactly is this supposed to help me "reel in" a man - am I supposed to run around without any pants so he can know that I'm waxed appropriately? Or else, if he's seeing this, aren't we past the "Nice to meet you" point?

4. I need to make "Bio Cards." All single women should have a professional photo taken. They should put it on a postcard sized piece of paper, along with a short written bio, email address and phone number. I am supposed to be giving this out to guys. She says that it sounds corny, but the guy won't lose it, and will be more likely to call you since it has your picture. By the way, if a man gave me one of these, I'd run the other way, quickly.

5. I should be participating in "Dating Detox" for a set amount of time (for me, like 60 days) where I don't date anyone and it's all about pampering myself and spending time with myself. Um, isn't that kind of my life right now?

6. I should be trying to meet men in places like electronics stores, the prepared foods aisle at the store, etc.

It was an interesting book, but I just don't see myself as the "date a millionaire" man type, so I'm not too worried about picking up a rich guy. I'm not sure that my mom really knew what she was sending me, because some of the tips are to increase my, ahem, f---ability. I have a feeling she wouldn't like that so much.

If I pick up any millionaires, I'll let you know.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Chair of POWER!

From time to time I am THE PRINCIPAL for my building. At these times, there are no administrators, so it's just...me. Actually, I've done this many times and you just can't dread it, because it's so different every single time.

You know, at first when you are THE PRINCIPAL, you start to feel pretty powerful. You run around with the walkie talkie, shouting orders to the janitors, nurse, and secretaries (well, not really shouting, but I do adore using that thing). You see all kinds of discipline issues coming in the office. I like to sit behind the big desk and look all intimidating. In the building I work in we have teeny tiny kids, and we have gigantor kids (I have several students who are as tall, or taller, than me). When those little kids come in the office for the first time, they are scared to death. Their little lips quiver, their little eyes fill with tears, and all it takes is a very stern talking to. Just coming to the office is enough.

Then, when you start to feel like you might know what you're doing, and that you're in control, some big crap head who is taller than you comes in the office. The desk doesn't intimidate him, and neither do my meanest looks and sternest lectures. In fact, they reply something like "Whatever. I don't give a !@#$ anyway. Just give me ISS." That, my friends, is a GREAT feeling.

Or the phone calls like this:

Me: Hello, Mrs. Dumbass? This is Ms. Non-Mommy from The School of the Kids Have Their Way. I'm calling to let you know that this morning Johnny had an incident on the bus. Unfortunately, he chose to punch another child in the face and then poke him all over with a pencil.

Now, this is the moment that defines who you really are. You get one of the following reactions:

Mrs. Dumbass #1: Well, that just doesn't surprise me. I can't do anything with that kid. No one can control him. I gave up on him a long time ago. I keep telling my boyfriend to talk to him, because he needs a father. But Johnny doesn't like this boyfriend. I think it might have something to do with my recent break up with his old step dad. So I don't know what to do with him, either.

Mrs. Dumbass #2: Who is this?

Me: Ms. Non-Mommy, from The School of the Kids Have Their Way. I'm acting as principal today because Mrs. Head Honcho is out of the building.

Mrs. Dumbass #2: What the hell do you want me to say? I tell Johnny to defend himself. I'm not going to let some punk ass push my kid around. He can do whatever he needs to, and I support him.

Me: I understand your position, but unfortunately, Johnny went against handbook guidelines and the school is obligated to enforce the rules set in the handbook.

Mrs. Dumbass #2: You know, I am so damn sick and tired of hearing from this school about rules. When I was a kid, we didn't have all these rules. I guess you can put him in ISS, but I'm still going to tell him that he can hit whoever the hell he wants.


Mrs. Dumbass #3: Who is this again?

Me: Ms. Non-Mommy, from The School of the Kids Have Their Way. I'm the acting principal today while Mrs. Head Honcho is out of the building.

Mrs. Dumbass #3: And what do you say Johnny did?

Me: Well, Johnny chose to punch another child on the bus.

Mrs. Dumbass #3: I just don't think he did that. I know my son, and he would never do anything like that.

Me: I understand, it must be very difficult to watch your child make mistakes. I'm sure you understand my position, however.

Mrs. Dumbass #3: Well, I don't believe that Johnny did it.

Me: We have video directly from the bus of the incident. Johnny is clearly shown punching the other child, and has also confessed to hitting him.

Mrs. Dumbass #3: I want to discuss this with the real principal.

Me: I understand. I will ask Mrs. Head Honcho to call you back. It may be some time until she is available to call you.


Mrs. Dumbass #4: What?? I can't believe it!

Me: I know. It is very unfortunate.

Mrs. Dumbass #4: I just can't believe it. He's such a sweet boy. He never, ever gets in trouble.

Me: [Looking at his file, and the 16 office referrals he's had this year] I understand. However, Johnny has confessed to punching the other child, and so I will have to place him in ISS for the day.

Mrs. Dumbass #4: Ask any teacher in the building, or the principals. Johnny never gets in trouble.

Me: [rolling my eyes] Oh yes?

Mrs. Dumbass #4: I suppose you can't tell me who the other child was.

Me: I'm sorry, Mrs. Dumbass, I am not at liberty to share information about other students.

Mrs. Dumbass #4: I understand. It's just that I can't imagine Johnny doing that. I'm just sure he was provoked. Can you give me a clue who it was?

Me: I'm sorry, I can't do that.

Mrs. Dumbass #4: Was it Billy? Since first grade, he and Billy have never gotten along. Once Billy even sat on his Valentine box! Was it Billy?

Me: Mrs. Dumbass, I really am unable to share information about the other child. I just wanted to make you aware that Johnny had a discipline issue, and that he will be serving time in ISS for the day.

Mrs. Dumbass #4: Can you please have the real principal call me? I just don't think Johnny could have done it. Unless it was Billy.

(At the end of the day, all you can do is feel like you looked the part of the principal wearing a cute little jacket and big jewelry, and try not to despair at the state of our society.)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A trip down memory lane

I promised that I would write about another thing that happened the same year I went to the museum with the old fogies, so here is the event, written as a play.

The events in this play are real. Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Mary and Monica's Excellent Adventure

Setting - I15 Freeway, somewhere between Los Angeles and San Diego

Characters - Mary (me), Monica (My best friend and mother of two), Jose (2 1/2 year old boy), Ilse (1 1/2 year old girl), Home Owner.

Scene I - I15 North

Monica: I'm so excited to show you this house!

Mary: I can't wait to see it! It sounds amazing.

Jose: [singing]Baby Beluga in the deep blue sea...

Ilse: Ga ba ba la ba

Monica: Oh look, someone got pulled over.

Mary: Yeah look, like 4 motorcycles at the same time.

Monica: Have you noticed that that is like the 6th cop car we've seen so far?

Mary: Yes, and Border Patrol seems busy today, too.

Jose: I want a snack!

Scene II - The Amazing House

Home Owner: Blah blah blah wainscoting blah blah blah blah paint color [Sidenote: I'm only writing "blah" to demonstrate that a conversation took place about the new house, it was NOT boring in any way, and it's a gorgeous house!]

Mary: It's very nice!

Monica: I've got to get Mary back to pick up her car. She has to be back in San Diego soon. Gotta go!

[Jose runs around the yard like a crazed toddler while Ilse eats rocks]

Scene III - I15 South

Mary: Will we make it back on time? We left a little late.

Monica: Oh yeah, we should get there quickly.

(3 minutes later...traffic comes to a screeching halt)

Monica: This is weird. The traffic shouldn't be stopped at this time of the day. I wonder if an accident happened?

(7 cop cars go peeling by on either shoulder of the freeway, and three cop motorcycles drive through the traffic)

Mary: Wow. It must have been a big accident.

(15 minutes later, still sitting on the freeway)

Mary: Look! They are arresting more men on motorcycles! They are in handcuffs. I wonder what is going on?

Monica: We have barely moved on this freeway. I think you may need to call Grace and tell her you'll be late.

(30 minutes later, going 1 mile an hour on the freeway)

Monica: Oh my gosh! They are arresting another group of motorcyclists! They must be looking for something.

Mary: Look how many men they have handcuffed! I've NEVER seen so many police in one place before. Over there they are wearing "Gang Task Force" vests. This must be gang related. Oh my gosh! Here come even more police!!

Jose: Mama, I'm hungry!

Ilse: Ba la la ba ga!

Mary: I'm getting a sunburn from sitting in the sun. This is ridiculous.

Monica: Here, put Ilse's outfit on your arm. I know it's dorky, but at least it'll cover the skin.

[Mary looks skeptical, but desperate times call for desperate measures. They were not going anywhere.]

(55 minutes after crawling or sitting on the freeway)

Mary: I cannot believe how many motorcyclists they are stopping. This is crazy. Hey, I'm kind of tired of this kids CD. Can we listen to something else?

[The entire car sings along with Madonna]

(1 hour and 5 minutes into the sitting break)

Monica: Traffic is starting to lighten up now. We're finally getting out of here. You were already supposed to be back. I'm really sorry.

Mary: It's not your fault. You didn't arrange for a billion cops to arrest all these motorcyclists to be arrested.

Monica: Here are more cops. Look, this time, it's a truck. They are arresting people out of it.

Mary: They are totally looking for drugs. Look at the way that they have every part of that truck open and apart.

Monica: You are right.

(1 hour and 15 minutes in the crawling traffic)

Monica: LOOK! There is a line of men with their hands tied with those plastic things sitting on the side of the freeway.

Mary: They are loading their bikes onto a trailer. There are at least 13 motorcycles there.

Jose: Motorcycle! Motorcycle! Motorcycle!

Ilse: hahaha

(1 hour and 23 minutes into the crawling traffic)

Mary: OOOH! Here are a TON of cops! And I'm right next to them, so maybe I'll see something good. Oh my GOSH!

Monica: I can't even COUNT how many cop motorcycles are there!

Mary: I'm going to get my camera. When we get to the action, I'll take a picture.

[Mary bends down to get her camera, when Monica suddenly screams]

Monica: OH MY GOD!!!!!! Mary!!

Mary: [jerks up and gasps] HOLY !@$%

Monica: It's a standoff!!!


Monica: AHHHHHHHH!!!


Jose and Ilse: [Laughing because they don't know what is going on]AHHH!

Monica: We are only one lane away from them.

Mary: Just go! Go forward!

(Traffic opens up, and Mary and Monica speed away, shaking and panting. Mary calms the kids down while Monica drives)

Monica: Holy !@#$%ing !@#$

Mary: My hands are still shaking.

Monica: We were so close to them.

Mary: Well, at least it's a good story to tell. If only I had gotten a picture!

The End

Sidenote: The Gang Task Force was arresting the Mongols motorcycle gang who were having a convention in this area.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Cocoon Revisited

 I got my first ever "Senior Discount" two years ago yesterday.

Before I tell you this story, I need to give you some background history. You see, I've never really been a fan of the older generation. I tend to think that, in general, some of them can really be pushy simply because they are old and think they deserve to be treated in a certain way. Sometimes I think I have some sensory issues, because the smacking/licking/coughing noises that people naturally make are very, very difficult for me to stand. And this generation makes a lot of those noises. I think you need to know that I do believe there are really sweet, thoughtful old folks out there. But the church I was forced to go to as a child was FULL of very mean, judgmental, pushy old people. I was one of the few children there. This experience really jaded me. Since the death of my grandfather, my grandmother has rapidly gone through a transformation into a miserable old lady. OK, end of gross generalizations, and onto the story!

Two years ago, I went through my own personal hell called a DayTripper trip to see the terracotta warriors from China. My grandma really wanted to go. I knew this would be a hard experience for me, but I was willing to do it for her. She signed us up for one of those old people tours. We met the bus at a park and ride. As we got on the bus, I was the only, I do mean the ONLY non-silver hair on the trip. No one was even remotely close to my age. Every single person on there was old. As I walked to our seat, I heard a woman say "She's too young to be on this trip. Is that allowed?" As we were seated, the smell of strong floral perfume almost knocked me over. They started the bus ride by offering us a snack. We got a tiny can of juice and our choice of a hard granola bar (in the green package) or a soft granola bar (in the silver package).

We rode the bus north to a Chinese restaurant. Before going in, we had to put on DayTripper stickers. I made a beeline for the bathrooms to beat the old ladies to the toilet. The line was massive. The walkers really made the restroom line even longer. While waiting to use the bathroom, one old lady told me that she would have to go before me because she really had to go to the bathroom. The lady behind me told me that if the handicap stall opened next that I couldn't take it, because she needed more room.

We ate lunch in tables of 10 people. They put the food on a Lazy Susan in the middle. My grandma kept spinning the Lazy Susan while people were serving themselves food. We did have an interesting conversation about living in Alaska. Did you know that in Alaska they don't pay state or sales tax, and they get PAID to live there?

Back on the bus we went, with lots of creaking and groaning as they got on. We arrived at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California. It's a really cute little museum if you're ever in the area. We piled very slowly off of the bus and waited our turn to go into the terracotta warriors exhibit. We went through a gemstone exhibit that was pretty interesting. The "butting" in line and pushing began here. The old folks all want to see what they want to see, when they want to see it. They seem to be incapable of waiting their turn. Suckers like me who tried to wait their turn got gypped out of seeing anything. Soon, it was time to see the warriors. They handed all the old folks those phone-like speakers to listen to the tour. The entire crowd stopped and crashed into one another, with shouts of "HOW does this thing work?" The entrance was completely blocked. It never dawned on any of them to move to the side and figure it out.

When we got in to see the warriors, I found that there were about 5 other DayTripper groups in there, not just us. It was a sea of silver hair and walkers. I was appalled at how rude and inconsiderate they were. They would literally walk right in front of people to see. They would push. It was maddening. My grandma was just as bad as the rest of them. The old folks kept setting off the alarms because they would lean in too closely to the exhibit. It was hot in there, I couldn't see anything, and I was sick of the pushing. They were so inconsiderate. I really thought I might beat an old person to death with my little speaker thingie.

The exhibit was interesting, but disappointing. If you don't know anything about these terracotta warriors, a farmer in China was digging a well when he found a massive cavernous room full of life size Chinese warrior statues, and horses. There were hundreds and hundreds of them. They are all unique. Emperor Ziagoaoogupaiuhiuhsiuhkns made them to protect him in the afterlife (I can't remember his name). The museum made it sound like they had 100 of these warriors. They really had about 5 of the warriors and then other artifacts like roof tiles from China. A little disappointing. But I must say, those statues are VERY interesting, and I'm sure VERY creepy in mass numbers!

I told my grandma that I was appalled with the behavior of the people, and embarrassed (including her - which I didn't say). She said she knew that she was rude, but she wanted to see it. Not good.

We had to wait a long time while the rest of the old folk finished touring the museum. Then it was back on the bus, for water and cookies. I was very, very car sick and had to pee so badly. As we were nearing the end of our tour, the tour guide said "Would you like any hard candy?" I thought to myself "I bet you anything I know what candy it is. It'll be butterscotch candy, and those candies wrapped in strawberry wrappers." Typical old people candy. Guess what? I was correct.

When we got to the car, I told my Grandma how much I needed to use the restroom. We weren't far by freeway from the house so it shouldn't have been a problem. My grandma insisted on taking the long way because it's more scenic. We caught every G.D. red light on the way. I was in misery. It ended up taking us double the time it normally would have. I was writhing in pain when she says to me "Let's stop at the post office and pick up the mail.  I want to see if my Netflix came today." I exploded. "You have GOT to be kidding me!" and I went off. I ended with "And if we stop and pick up the mail for a Netflix movie, I will pee all over that movie, how would you like that??"

It was a long, long, hard day for me. I immediately, after peeing, got back into the car and went to Barnes and Noble for some peace and quiet. I then went to Long's and bought some chocolate.

I never, ever will get old!!!

(Monique, I have another post that I am going to write about that happened to you and I on that same trip.  Just wait!)

Friday, June 11, 2010


When I was a kid, my sister and I did something to make my dad really angry.  I don't recall what we said or did, but I remember vividly his reaction.  He stood there, face getting red, struggling to come up with the correct words, and exploded with "You...knotheads!"  After the moment passed, we all found his reaction hilarious and have joked about it ever since.

Today, I had my own knothead moment.

Before I explain about the day, I want you to know the honest truth.  I want to be married and I want to be a mother.  Badly.  I really do.  It hasn't worked out for me yet, and accepting that it may never happen hasn't been easy, but I absolutely love being with children and look forward to having a family of my own someday.  I also have a completely wonderful nephew.  He's incredible.  He's funny, he's sweet, he's well behaved, and I adore every moment I spend with him.  The former baby has been such a great blessing to my life and has helped my family get through some really tough times this year.

But, he's also two.  And I'm also human and impatient.  Plus, we didn't get to go to the pool today, so that makes me extra cranky!

The day started off normally.  The formal baby was a little bit emotional today and clingy.  We cuddled a lot today.  He ate an early lunch, I put him down for a nap and he only laid in his bed for 15 minutes, singing his three favorite songs ("Twinkle, Twinkle," "Ba Ba Black Sheep" and the alphabet song) Broadway style (I'm so proud!  I taught him that!).  When he woke up we went for a long walk and he stopped at every car and yelled hello.

We came back to the house and I had to scan a bunch of pictures for a project I am working on.  I had to install the printer, and it took a long time, and kind of irritated me.  The scanner is a tad on the slow side.  I could, for example, take the dog hair out of the Dyson and weave the fur into a fabric and make a sweater in the time that it takes to scan one picture.  If you scan them all at once and then transfer them to the computer it is much faster than doing it one picture at a time.  So I scanned, and scanned, and scanned.  I scanned a whole, WHOLE lot of pictures.

In the process, my mother's farty anxious dog came to see me.  You see, my father passed away recently and now that my mother is gone on a trip, the dog is beside herself.  She thinks my mom is not coming back, I believe.  She constantly follows me around panting.  So, here comes the smelly, farty dog and she trips over the cord to the scanner and unplugs the thing.  I lost all the work I had done.  All of it.

I started to lose control.  I started to yell at the dog, who doesn't understand what she did, and I started to use words that rhyme with "buck" and "hit."  I recalled, however, that the former baby is like a myna bird right now, repeating everything.  So, I took a deep breath and kicked that smelly dog outside.  Fart on your own space, smelly dog, and stay away from my scanner!!

I resumed scanning, pulling out the pictures I had already done, and the former baby heard the scanner make a noise.  The former baby is drawn to anything electronic like a moth to a flame.  He came sprinting over as fast as his little chubby legs would take him, and turned off the freaking scanner!!  I lost my work, AGAIN.

I tried to use his swear words.  I yelled "WAFFLE!  VACUUM!"  But it didn't help me feel better.

I aborted the scanning mission and decided that I needed to find something else to do.  Meanwhile, the former baby, who lives, eats and breathes all things "vacuum" managed to get out the vacuum.  I look over and he is plugging the vacuum into the wall socket.  Not only is he NOT allowed to do this, I recalled a conversation I once had with my sister.  I asked her if I could drive the former baby to a party store to pick up supplies for my mother's birthday.  Her response to me was:

Well, I guess you could.  But I want you to understand that the baby is the most important thing in my life.  If something ever happened to him, I would forgive you, but it would forever be a stumbling block in our relationship.

Well, crap.  If she doesn't want me to drive around with him, she most definitely doesn't want me to let him electrocute himself.  So I swiftly corrected the situation.  This made the former baby very, very angry.  He knows he can't hit, so he turned around, found my digital camera, and threw it across the room.  I put him in the corner and listened to him wail as I put the vacuum away.  I was clearly ruining his entire life by putting it in the closet.  When he threw the camera, my memory card fell out and is still MIA.

Soon, my sister would be here to pick up the former baby.  I was rapidly losing patience with the little knothead.  So I took the former baby to a room where he played with a toy school bus.  He secretly put my camera batteries in the bus and was playing with them.  When I took the batteries away from him he was furious.  So then I put him at the piano and he played "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" about 45 times in a row.  I'm not even kidding.

I laid in the middle of the floor, trying to find my zen place, and made up my own words to the song.

Twinkle, twinkle little star
Where is your mother in her car?
You are cranky, and edgy
You're driving your aunt over the ledge-y
Twinkle, twinkle little star
Mommy I wonder where you are?

Thankfully, the child, who I truly do love, left soon after, but NOT before getting angry and head butting me like a goat.

All of this got me thinking.  Why am I happy to be a non-mommy?  What am I missing out on by not being a mother yet?  Here are some of my thoughts.
  • When I am at the pool, the former baby has a certain panache for pulling my swimsuit top off.  He has exposed my white, white boob to the sun more times this summer than it has ever been exposed to in the past.  Perhaps this will help me find Mr. Right?  (Oh, wait.  I'm in a pool full of children, carrying a child that looks just like me, and I am so pigmentally challenged that I look like I'm half-albino.  There is no hope.)
  • Tomorrow morning, I will get to sleep in.  All you mothers out there won't really be able to.  Non-mommyhood rocks!  Well, except for the fart machine dog that I'll have to get up and let out.
  • I don't have to feel guilty if I want to go out for an evening, or have to find a sitter.  But to be honest, since I'm the only single woman left on the planet, I still have to deal with this issue because all of my friends have kids.  Boo.
  • When I shop, I don't have to use the forty foot long carts that are made for children to sit in.  I'm a really bad driver when it comes to those carts!
  • Yesterday I had to sit in a humid, dirty play area at Chick-Fil-A with my nephew.  I could feel the germs multiplying by the second.  Thankfully, I don't have to do this on a regular basis.
  • I can eat cereal for every meal if I want to.  Who cares about nutrition once you hit the "Old Maid" mark?
  • I do have to say, though, that the unconditional love and trust that I get from the former baby is pretty awesome, and it's sad that is not a part of my everyday life.
So, it wasn't a stellar day, but I wouldn't trade all the drama for anything.  The former baby is pretty darn awesome.  My sister asked me if, after a day like today, I had changed my mind about someday wanting to be a stay at home mom.


However, next week I need to make sure that I have plenty of dark chocolate and a bottle of wine ready (for AFTER he leaves!) in case I have another crazy day!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

CNMB Day 3

(Alternate title:  I Know I'm Not Part of the Club)

I am a swimmer.  There is nothing in this world that I love to do more than swim.  There are a few problems with this hobby, however.  First of all, I don't have access to a pool on a regular basis.  Sure, there are local pools.  But have you looked at a community pool?  I mean, really looked?   There are no adults in the pool.  It's full of children.  Children jumping, children fighting, children peeing...but no adults.  I don't want to look like the doof coming to the pool with no child, swimming along in the pool with every other child's urine.  The second problem is that, until recently, I haven't had a kid to drag to the pool.  I do now, but we'll talk more about that in minute.  The final problem is that I don't like being seen in my swimsuit.  At all.  I don't want to wear a mommy swimsuit, but I don't want to wear a bikini, either.  My strategy is that when I swim, I leap into the water as soon as possible, hiding my body from any onlookers.  This works well if you go to the pool with no child, but it does not work well if you are at the ocean.  No one wants to see me run down the beach and then when you finally hit the water, it's like 1 inch deep.

This year, I was so happy.  I finally had an excuse to go to the pool!  Who cares if the former baby likes the water as long as I get to swim??  My joy was short lived, however, upon arrival to the pool.  You see, in case you didn't know, I'm not a mommy.  So I hadn't thought about the logistics of taking a toddler to the pool.  We arrive at the pool and I notice that I am literally the only adult in the water.  All the other moms sit around the edge slathered in oil, reading books, drinking beer (no, really) and in general pay no attention to the kids in the water.  And then here I come, the whitest person in the world.  Usually, I can just leap into the water so that these women don't see me (aside:  when did moms get so hot?!).  However, with the former baby, I can't just jump in.  I have to walk, slowly, across the sidewalk and to the baby pool.

Even this pool has its problems.  You can't hide your body in a baby pool, because it's shallow!  Foiled again!  So not only am I mortified that people can see me in a swim suit, but now I'm blinding the world with my white, white skin.  Then, the former baby wants to go back and forth between the "little cool" and the "big cool," as he calls them.  This requires me to get out of the water.  In front of other people.  As we walk between the pools, I can just imagine what the real mothers are thinking.  In reality, they probably aren't thinking a thing, but I feel like bursting out in my loudest voice "Don't look at my jiggly thighs!  Why do I have a bigger baby gut than you do, when I'm not a mother?  Yes, I know, I look like I'm half albino, ok?  At least I use sunscreen liberally and won't wrinkle like an old suitcase!  When we're 85, I'll look like I'm 80 and you'll look like you're 90!"  Thankfully, I haven't created a scene - yet.

I also can't turn off "teacher mode" when I'm at the pool.  It drives me absolutely crazy how no adults watch their children.  The kids steal from one another constantly.  At this pool, every hour the lifeguards take a 10 minute break and all children have to get out of the pool.  Recently, a family that looked like the Clampetts showed up at the pool.  They came in, found a spot as far away from the pool as possible, opened their cooler of beer, and never looked at their kids.  All of their children jumped in the water with no lifeguard around.  These were little kids!  Were the Clampetts paying attention?  No.  I think maybe they were suffering from lack of oxygen from the tight tight tight swimsuits they were wearing (just because you can, doesn't mean you should).  Shouldn't they notice that no one else was in the water?  Shouldn't they watch their kids since there were no lifeguards?  Pretty soon other kids were slipping into the water and I thought my brain was going to explode.

Since taking over full babysitting duties with the worlds cutest two year old, I've been reminded, repeatedly, that I'm not "in the club."  You know what club I mean.  The "I've Had a Bun in the Oven" club.  I've been taking the former baby to Story Time at the library and to the local pool.  The moment I enter these places, I swear, these women can smell that I'm not a mother.  For real!   They all sit around talking about giving birth and give me weird looks.  I'm not kidding!  Today I heard all kinds of conversations about how dilated they were, how long they pushed, and all about breastfeeding.  I'm pretty sure these women all gave birth in a pool in their bedroom, kept the placenta, planted it under a tree, and they make a pie out of the fruit from that tree each year in honor of their baby.  Their kid is literally the apple of their eye.

Well, guess what? I have never lactated.  I'm closed tight in all the right places.  I can't even get a date at this point.

And, I don't like pie.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

CNMB Day 2

Yesterday when we left our heroine, she was sleepy and dealing with a scared chocolate lab.  The question still remains, did the blonde get a nap?  Did the former baby stay in his bed, or continue his Harry Houdini "Out of Bed" act?  

Yesterday, the blonde got lunch ready for the former baby.  She is determined that she will train this child, possibly a pickier eater than herself, to eat a peanut butter sandwich.  I mean come on, who doesn't like peanut butter??  Weirdo!

So far, the baby seems to survive on fruit, cheese and toast exclusively.  Being a non-mommy, the blonde figures she can get him to add a new food to his diet.  I mean, she was successful at getting him to eat funnel cake this weekend.  I'm sure his mother will add funnel cake to his regular meal rotation.  Score one for the non-mommy!

Anyway, nap time has been a real bear lately for the former baby.  Nighttime too, but nap time is all this non-mommy has to deal with.  The non-mommy feeds him his lunch, knowing that the nap time battle will begin soon.  How many times will the non-mommy have to return him to his bed?  What if he never sleeps?  What if he's crazy and then his night time routine is affected, and the former baby's parents fire the non-mommy from her job?  THE PRESSURE!

The former baby ate well, even eating a little bit of a peanut butter sandwich.  Then it was time for nap time.  Cue the music from "Jaws."

The non-mommy put the child in his bed.  She kissed him, wished him a nice nap and firmly told him that he may not get out of his bed.  He must stay in his bed.

She cracked the door.  She walked just out of sight, listening for the former baby to get up and do his shenanigans.

And then the skies parted, angels sang, and a miracle occurred.  The former baby went to sleep!!!  For the first time in, well, forever.

Only, the blonde isn't a mommy, remember?  So instead of rejoicing and going straight to sleep herself, she found herself riddled with anxiety.  What was that noise?  Is he up?  Is he really asleep?  Is he breathing?  Why did he fall asleep so fast???  She needs to know these things!!!!!

The rest of the day passed rather uneventfully, until the non-mommy heard the news of her friend giving birth.  She gave birth to a kid that was NINE POUNDS and ELEVEN OUNCES.  Now perhaps you have given birth to an even larger baby, and if so, the non-mommy salutes you.  But today the non-mommy was in the grocery store and saw a ten pound bag of potatoes and she imagined shoving that sack of potatoes through something so small...so...delicate.  She hasn't recovered from the horror yet.  Perhaps being a non-mommy is the way it should be.  Or, the non-mommy should take a cue from Angelina Jolie and adopt from all over the world.  I mean, adoption is expensive, but it doesn't cause third degree tears "down there."  Shudder.

So, today the non-mommy and the former baby went to the hospital to see this giant bag of potatoes...I mean the baby.  The mother of the sack of potatoes was rightfully very exhausted and in pain.  She was very emotional and crying, stressing about the baby not taking her breast and how much pain she is in, and that she can't do anything because she's in so much pain.  This conversation took place with the former baby on the non-mommy's hip, alternating between leaning WAY OVER to see the sack of potatoes laying in the bassinet, and crying anytime anyone laughs.  Don't ask me to explain it, I'm not a mother.

As we departed (quickly, I might add, because the non-mommy doesn't know how to handle these situations and she's happy with her girly parts in one piece and not being chewed on!) a group of nurses was oohing and ahhing over the former baby, exclaiming how darn cute he was.  They even noticed him going into the room and waited for him to come out just because he was so cute.  They talked to the former baby and instead of being his shy self, he spoke to them in his sing songy voice.  Then they complimented the non-mommy on her son, saying he looked just like his mommy.

Did the non-mommy correct them?  HECK NO!  She's happy to parade around pretending that adorable children are really hers!

Today, the non-mommy dreams that she'll feed the former baby a meal of all new foods and he'll eat it, be nourished and be satisfied.  Then, because his belly is fully of healthy, organic vegetables and a nice piece of steak, he'll immediately drop into his bed for a nap with no fight, only telling the non-mommy how wonderful she is and how much he loves her.  Then the non-mommy can take a nap herself, pondering as she drifts off to sleep, the purpose of all these baby proofing measures parents take to keep their children from opening doors.  He just opens the door anyway or breaks the locking strap.

Yes, the non-mommy can dream.

Because that will only happen in a dream world!

Monday, June 7, 2010


Today begins our feature installment of "Confessions of a Non-Mommy Blogger."  In this harrowing tale, our resident blonde takes over daycare duties of one adorable nephew (age:  two) for two weeks as the nephew's normal caretaker, his grandmother, goes on a trip to Hawaii.  Join us as we take an interesting journey through quasi-motherhood.

5:40 a.m. - Oh dear God, it cannot possibly be time to get up to take her to the airport.

5:43 a.m. - Hmm.  This house seems awfully dark.  I thought we had to leave by 6 a.m. to go to the airport?

[The blonde enters the dark master bedroom to find a peacefully slumbering mother.]

5:44 a.m. -  Mom.  Mom.  MOM.  MOOOOM.

[The slumbering mother jerks awake.]

5:45 a.m. -  Mom, it's 5:45 and we have to leave in 15 minutes.

[The oversleeper levitates out of her bed and flies to the restroom.  The blonde stumbles back to the living room, still in her pajamas, and plops on the couch.  She may not be fully awake, but she secretly LOVES not being the one oversleeping, for once.  It's a great sense of satisfaction to be the waker, not the wakee.  16 minutes later, the oversleeper makes it to the car and the blonde drops her off at the airport.  She then returns home.]

6:25 a.m. -  You know, being up this early isn't so bad!  I think I'll have a bowl of oats and blueberry cereal and read the news on my laptop!

7:00 a.m. -  I better take a shower.  The baby [editor's note:  FORMER baby] will be here soon.

7:05 a.m. - Oh crap, I have a massage tonight!  I better get out the machete and tame these wild beast legs.

[Following her shower, the blonde puts on a shirt from her uncle's tire shop and her most comfy yoga pants.  She then puts laundry in the washing machine.  The baby arrives.]

7:40 - Hello!  How are you?

7:45 - This is great!  I'm doing laundry and the baby is playing happily.  I totally want to be a stay at home mother!

[The blonde then plays cars with her nephew, making the appropriate crashing noises.  She then begins to feel tired.]

8:05 - Oh man.  I'm soooo tired.  Isn't it time for a nap yet?  Maybe this stay at home thing isn't all that it's cracked up to be.

[The blonde and the former baby then sing songs together and she then follows the former baby into a bedroom.]

8:20 - I'm so sleepy!  This bed looks so comfy.  I think I'll lay down.

8:20:30 - Ug!!  Who is this small creature on my back?

[The blonde then pretends to be a horsey, giving the child a ride.  Unfortunately, he likes this game and requests that she does it over and over, with a shrill cry of "AGAIN!!!"]

8:35 - OK, this horsey is tired, we have to stop.  Hey, let's go read a book!

[The former baby shrieks "NO!"  Then he begins to sing "Dinah won't you blow, Dinah won't you blow, Dinah won't you blow your hoooooorn!"]

8:45 a.m. - No, Former Baby, stop touching my laptop!  This thing was expensive!

Stay tuned to this channel to find out what happens in the afternoon.  Will the former baby nap well?  Will the blonde get to take a nap?  

*THIS JUST IN!  A thunderstorm has just blown in, and instead of a scared baby, the blonde now has to deal with a hugely fat, scared chocolate lab that keeps trying to crawl in her lap.  The excitement never stops!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Keeping me on my toes.

Now that the school year has simmered down, I'm doing a whole lot of nothing.  I have to say, it's just what the doctor ordered.  I'm going to the pool every day, I am going for a walk every day, I am reading like a mad woman, and I am spending tons of time with my cranky nephew.  You know, he's two, so there is a lot of drama.  Lots of flinging himself on the floor and generally being cantankerous.  He also, for some inexplicable reason, has taken to shouting a few words when he's REALLY angry.  I like to think that he's using these as swear words.  When he gets really angry, he SHRIEKS "Waffles!  Vacuum!"  Don't ask me to explain it.  I think I'm going to try it next time my boss really pisses me off.  Today, he tried to unplug the scanner and when I said he couldn't, he screamed "Waffles!  Vacuum!  Airplane!"  I think I got the "F" word on that one.

Remember the dreaded pedicure incident?  Well, get ready for Part Two.  Yesterday I wanted to redeem a gift certificate that I got for a pedicure.  It was time for the toesies to get a bit more attention.  I went to the shop, where I haven't been before, and they sent me a Vietnamese woman who spoke absolutely no English.  Well, she could say random words, but they didn't make sense.  Or I couldn't understand them.  Once I understood "You pick color?" that was the end of the conversation, in my mind.

She was slower than molasses.  Bless her heart, she was trying to talk to me.  But it was kind of like this.

NoEnglish:  You picture flashlight tickle hat mrmrmrmngh hong dong wong song chair?
AllEnglish (Me):  Umm
NoEnglish:  PhongCong radio sunglasses sidewalk fish?
AllEnglish (Me):  Uhhh...uh huh.
And then she uttered one word that froze my blood and kept me awake last night. 
NoEnglish:  Poptart tree songconghonglongdong fungus toe white theme park going mrmrmrmrnrnrmrnrn.
AllEnglish (Me):  WHAT?  Did you say fungus??
NoEnglish:  Muttermuttermuttermuttervietcongwearathong toe
AllEnglish (Me):  HELP ME!  I NEED A TRANSLATOR!  Did she just say I have a fungus?? 

But then, the broad still manages to grin, say things that make NO SENSE, and paint right over my toenail that she did or did not say had a fungus.  So, being the completely rational, non-obsessive person ever, I go home and mull this over quite a bit.  Now, this is the toe that the nail had been cracked and it's not a normal nail at this time.  So was she just making light conversation about the state of my toe?  Did she think the nail was weird because I had a fungus and it made my nail all funky?  Or was she saying I currently had a nail fungus?

At this point, I'm thinking, "Big deal, if it is a fungus, that's easy enough, right?  Who cares?"  Then.  I broke my cardinal rule.

Never Google medical conditions.  Ever.

According to the internet, you can get a nail fungus if you are old, have poor circulation, have an immune system disorder, or have DAMAGED YOUR NAIL.  Oh, and PS, nail polish is like the worst thing you can do if you have one (and my toenails haven't been not polished since like 8th grade).  Apparently nail fungus is really hard to kill and is an ongoing problem, even if your nail falls off.  Apparently, OTC drugs don't work, and the prescription drugs are liver murderers.  So now I have not only the possibility of a societal scarlet letter, but also, a life long condition that forces me to choose between my liver and my big toenail!  Keep in mind that I still have no idea what the lady said or meant.  But I've already diagnosed myself and have doomed my toe to a fiery eternity in Hell, when I can't even see my toenail.

I laid in bed last night, debating.  Do I take off my newly pedicured polish to see if I have a problem, and risk losing the money I just spent YESTERDAY, to see if my toe is rotting off?  Or, do I keep my toes looking pretty, all the while letting a FUNGUS GROW on me which is SICK, SICK, SICK.  And, what if I do have one and I just spread it to all my toes yesterday while soaking my feet?  And what if I go on a date this summer and I have no toenail polish on?  I wear sandals!  I can't wear snow boots on a date!

Yeah.  Not obsessive at all.

In the words of my nephew, "Oh, Waffle.  Vacuum!  My stupid airplane toe!!!"


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