Archive for September, 2006

Here We Go Again…

So, those of you on the edge of your seat wondering when and if we are going to finally get a TV - your time has come!  But we are entirely hiding it from the kids.  Does this make me a bad person?  Really, it is all Lost’s fault.  I’m grotesquely obssessed unlike any other series since The Monkees.  It’s no joke.

This weeked I will venture out to Circuit City and other places of fine technological gadgetry and purchase a TV.  Then I will venture out to various furniture shops and antique shops to purchase a peice of furniture that will cleverly disguise my initial purchase from earlier that day.  The cable man should be here sometime around noonish on Tuesday so that I can be set to go Wednesday night, 8pm.  I don’t know that I have looked forward to anything so much in quite sometime. 

Thus ends the life long debate - To TV or not to TV.  I guess I’m a sellout but, it’s for a good cause - which would be my sanity.  Having that one night a week where I allow myself to get sucked into another world might just be the tonic I need to let go of some stress, lighten up and remember how to chill out. 

Posted in TV and Pop Culture, Daily Living, Mental Environment, Technology | 1 Comment »

France Can Wait…

My mom comes into town next week.  I am thrilled by this, of course.  But, like most mothers and daughters, we have a, well, sort of unbalanced relationship.  We are best friends with complicated insights about one another.  Let’s face it, your other best friends never wiped your butt or saw you pick your nose AND your other best friends never came right out and said you were screwing up your life, even when you weren’t.  It’s not bad or good, it’s just complicated.  We can get under each other’s skin unlike anyone else, sometimes. 

My mom’s side of the family is notorious for showing love by, how can I put this nicely, being mean spirited assholes to each other.  My mom and my aunt have moved away from this type of behaviour but, essentially, it is a free for all at family reunions.  If someone has a soft spot, you can bet your last dime that it will be laid out and peed upon before the day is through.  Making fun of each other is what they do.  We’ve all gotten used to it and try our best not to retaliate. 

And, even though my mom has steered away from this terrible family tradition, she still manages to pull out some aces on me when we are together.  Currently, she finds it riotous to call me a yuppie.  I can’t recall I have ever heard her laugh as hard as when I told her I was folding laundry and then I was going to playgroup later that day. “Ooooooh, looks who’s the minivan driving yuppie!  Who would have THOUGHT!”… Yeah.  So, I take a deep breath.  “Mom, it’s not a minivan, it’s a crossover SUV/wagon - there’s a difference.”

My identity is something I am very protective of.  Not my “image” or my “style” - don’t get those things confused.  I have clung to my indentity since I can remember.  My ideals, my strengths, my opinions, my art, books that I love, people that I care about, places I have been - all of these things have created who I am, obviously.  And, I will admit, I had great diffuculty finding my way once I became a mother and, even more so, when I became a stay-at-home one.  But, I feel that - despite the suv/wagon crossover and the fact that I drive through starbucks occassionally and the fact that I only get to work in the studio once a week - I have stayed my course and can honestly say that I am becoming a better person and, yes, a good mother and wife.  I understand that the me of ten years ago would likely wage a protest if she ever heard the me of now say that it was important to be a good wife and mother.  BUT, the me of ten years ago had never met the wonderful people that are my husband and kids, so how could she have known how important it would be? 

So, why should it bother me when my mom prattles on about - “oh, lisa, remember - you were supposed to be living in France right now being an eccentric artist!  Ooooh, how the times have changed!!!”.  Why does it bother me?  It just does.  I guess because I want my family to understand that, sure, I mourn those things.  I feel sad, daily, about the youth that I didn’t have because I had a baby at 21 years old rather than to give it away (or worse). I guess I want to know that at least she thinks I have worked it all out the right way.  And, maybe the chortling is her weird, backwards way of giving it to me.  Hell, I don’t know.  I just know that France isn’t as important as it used to be - but it will be again one day.  And, making a political and philosophical arguement out of everything isn’t something I have to do anymore, not because I’ve gone soft-yuppie, but because I live it rather than talk about it. 

So, I guess I’ll take this as an opportunity to let her in to my world a little bit more.  I know we will have a blast.  And, I know that she really does approve of my life - more so than anyone else.  Maybe I can find a funny thread in her jokey-jokes.  We’ll just have to wait and see, I suppose.. I know she means no harm.. I guess it’s just my achilles heel.  Damn it, I guess this means I have to do more growing and finding my own confidence and crap like that.  Why can’t it be some one else’s turn to learn a lesson for a change???

Posted in Parenting, Communication, Daily Living, Mental Environment | No Comments »

My Britney Spears Moment…

I can honestly say that I, since high school, I haven’t worried much about impressing people.  The parental cliques on the school playground make me nothing more than amused and damned happy that I have better things to do than to gossip about my own friends and complain about my husband.  I am very comfortable with my typical outcast position with these people - I like that they think I am weird and too “different” to get to know.  I like that they stare in disgust at my ten year old puma tennis shoes as if they were covered in elephant dung.  And I adore the ugly, ugly fact that once I bought a car that met their approval and they all wanted to “hang” with me that I took great joy in sincerely showing no interest at all.  My point is that I am far beyond really giving a crap who thinks what about me or my kids, especially from the PTA or PTO or whatever they call themselves these days.  That being said, let me tell you about my most recent Harris Teeter trip.  I may as well have been barefoot, had a cigarette hanging out from between my knocked out teeth and pregnant - because that’s about as classy as I felt.

It was a bad, bad time of the day.  You know, that 430pm time of the day when you just want to crawl under a rock and hide but instead you decide it would be the perfect time to load the kids in the car and go grocery shopping?  I was tired, the kids were tired and I was starting to get that constricted feeling in my throat and that twitchy look on my face.  I decided that, instead of shooting menacing looks to all the women in suits calling their children “dahhhling”, I would bury my face in the newest edition of OK! Magazine while we waited in line.  I had no idea that Anna Nicole’s son died and I was having a quiet moment of reflection while I simultaneously wondered when Katie was going to freak out and murder Tom Cruise in his sleep.  While I am in deep musing over the going ons in Hollywood I hear, “Um, Hi Lisa”..

I look up.  It’s her.  It’s the leader of the cool kids on the playground.  The ex-lawyer, lexus driving Molly Ringwold of Eakin PTO.  And I casually put down my magazine - “Hey, June, just, you know, catching up on Anna Nicole - did you know her SON died”.  note about lisa when she is caught off guard by someone that she knows hates her:  she starts talking about shit she really doesn’t care about.  incessantly.

“Yeah, so I guess it was a car accident”.. and as I am blathering on about it, I notice she is looking at my children with great distaste.  I knew that were covered in dirt - I actually let them play at the playground and only wiped the dirt off their faces, leaving the hands and clothes nicely covered - the HORROR.. Her kids had apparently had several costume changes since school let out because they looked pristine and like they just walked out of a Janie and Jack store.  But, when I looked back at my kids (whom I had been only moderately paying attention to until her sneers prodded me into taking my nose out of OK! Magazine) I saw, to my own malaise, my two year old daughter had apparently swiped a ten foot long beef jerky and was peeling the plastic off with her teeth and devouring it and my son was doing the pee pee dance while singing “should’a gone pee but now I ‘ll have to find a tree to go pee ooooonnn….” with great operetic flare.. I turned back around and she was walking away - “Ummm, ok, well - see you tomorrow!” I beckon - hoping she’ll nod some kind of affirmation that I wasn’t the most disgusting, negligent parent on the face of the Earth.  She just looked over her shoulder, hiked up her Prada bag and said “um, yeah, whatever”. 

To make matters worse, when I got to the car I looked in mirror to give myself a little happy Stuart Smiley affirmation but, found that I couldn’t.  Once I looked in the mirror and saw the really nice piece of basil that was stuck in my teeth from my afternoon snack with Maggie AND my bra strap hanging out from under my tank top (that was, prior to the shot of afternoon heat a mere undershirt), I had to admit that the situation didn’t look good for me and my “image”.  I can honestly say, I was mortified.  I am sure that she will go back and relay this information to all of her PTA pals - but that’s not the part that really bothers me.  The part that really bothers me is that she thinks her world is reality.  I mean, I guess it is her reality.  But it’s not my reality.  Why couldn’t she just leave me alone and let me finish reading my trashy article about whether or not Anna Nicole’s son was on drugs and leave my daughter to her beef jerky?  Why call out my redneck moment like that?  Seriously.  Just get in your SUV and drive lady.  Just get on wit’cha bad botox injected self and let me have a bad afternoon in the privacy of my OK! magazine.

Posted in Daily Living, Mental Health | 1 Comment »

Did You Really Just Say That Outloud?

It’s fair to say that I do my share of sticking my foot in my mouth.  But, there are some people on this earth that do it and don’t even realize that they are being total freakizoids… Yes.  I said freakizoids.

So, my husband’s new schedule has meant that he is gone three nights a week until 10pm.  The other days he is gone from 630am until 3pm.  We have some truly, and our only, romantic time at 3pm when we meet at our son’s school and we walk from our cars (which we parked very romantically next to each other) to our son’s school playground to pick him up at which time I hand off our daughter and the still unfinished to-do list and turn right back around and make my way back to my car at 315pm - which is when I shlepp off to work.  Yeah.  It’s loads of fun.

As I was divulging this information to one of my girlfriends the other day at pickup she said, and I’m not kidding you, “God, aren’t you scared that, with that kind of schedule, your husband might get all lonely and hook up with one of his students?”.

Ok. Um, what?  Yes, my husband is a college professor.  But, no, that does not mean he tries to hook it up with his students.  And it is completely beside the point that I used to be one of his students.  COMPLETELY beside the point.  And, exactly, what was my response supposed to be to that?  “Oh, yeah, we’re totally cool with each other like that - you know, I don’t want to hold him down….” - wait, wait, sorry, I just puked in my own mouth a little just from typing it! 

I dunno.  I just wonder what would have to possess me to say something like that to someone about their husband.  I am completely aware that men think about sex like 75% of the day but I would never, ever, have the audacity to challenge someone’s marriage like that.  The reality is that, even despite our ridiculous schedule right now, our marriage is stronger than ever.  Infidelity is low on my list of concerns.  My husband is more concerned with getting time alone in his studio with his little clay sculptures than he is, any day, of getting in some little tart’s pants.  Of course I trust my husband.  I wouldn’t have married him if I didn’t.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and try to break into his work email - you know, just to see how he’s doing today…

Posted in Infidelity, Jealousy, Marriage, Sex | 3 Comments »

Fun Free Time

If you ever have a few moments to piddle around on the internet check out UrbanDictionary.com. It’s pretty hilarious. Lots of slangy terms that most of us aging gen Xers have cultivated through the last twenty years or so have made their way to this somewhat cultish website.

Another fun site - two actually - are blogs that I have become utterly addicted to reading every day. Two women, both mothers, set the record straight on a day to day basis regarding the fact that it is explicitly hard/hilarious to be an educated and “eclectic” person in the world of parenting and marriage. Right now, Lindsay of Suburban Turmoil, is in a heated discussion with the rather disturbing forces of glitz pageants for young girls. A good read through and through. Seriously. It’s funny stuff.

Enjoy.

Posted in Websites | 1 Comment »

It’s Like Dominos

Something happens with comfort and luxury.  You start becoming self involved and isolated in your experiences as a human being.  Hold on a sec while I explain.

So, I have this new car.  A car that, size wise, makes sense for my family but is counter to my beliefs as a primarily anti-resource exhausting person.  We can fit our kids and our dog in it and travel safely from here to anywhere in the country.  I made an addendum to my ideals just by buying the car and, now, when I hear about the oil crises, global warming and the war I get mad at myself - but not enough to give up my new creature comfort. 

In this car that I drive - despite my stronger, more intelligent inclinations to not drive it - I have XM radio.  XM radio further catapults me into a state of seperation from my normal informed decision making self.  Granted, you can listen to news stations on XM radio, but I have opted for the more entertaining channels that both me and the kids love.  We are entertained but altogether too distracted for my own liking.  My husband made the comment this morning that we should get rid of XM radio because I no longer listen to NPR, which was, prior to XM radio, my staple for news and information and, yes, even entertainment.  Yeah yeah, sure, it’s easy to say that it is not the actual XM radio but my decision to not listen to the news stations or NPR - you’d be right, I guess.  All in all, though, I feel like it is a distraction that I fell for.  My husband made another comment, shortly after the request to pull my mind-numbing-listen-to-old-80’s-songs-all-day-xm-radio, that we have nothing to talk about because of the fact that I am now absorbed in nothing but old pop songs that really weren’t good twenty years ago but that I am, now, completely absorbed with for pure nostalia anyway… Gaw!  How rude.  But, after I got over being completely offended that my husband implied that I have, ideally and intellectually, become a wet noodle - I had to agree. I spend my day driving around in a very comfortable car thinking about nothing more than why Tiffany started to suck in 1986 when she started out so strong only a year earlier.  And, how the Cars could’ve been a great band but in the eighties they really started to sell out and make music for Mtv rather for the greater good of music itself.. I do move on to more intriguing topics like how Micheal Jackson used to be great and how it is so apparent on any of the songs from Thriller - and I wonder, a lot, what went wrong. 

But, I missed Hugo Chavez calling our president the devil.  What else am I missing?????????

Posted in Daily Living, Technology, Mental Health | No Comments »

Does This Make Me a Quitter?

Wait a minute.. Wait a damn minute… I am sitting here in Fido on 21st, the village in Nashville.. And, as I was preparing to write a blog about my nearly definate decision to yank my son out of the psychotic world that is Cub Scouting, I overheard something that made me want to leap over my cheesy grits and coffee to rip a man’s face off. In his infinate self importance, he (a lone man, with no company - most certainly because he is such a crappy human being) decides to take the largest table in the place. It seats eight and he decides that he is important enough to bypass all the two tops for the largest table in the place - I suppose he may need that much room for his grotesquely large ego.. but never mind that.. A gentleman walks up and says “Hey, would it be ok if we took this table? I have twelve people joining me..” and the guy actually stood up and said “really, well, I suppose.. how many kids do you have coming so that I know how far to sit from you?” and gave the guy the slimiest smile I have ever seen.. I think the guy thought that it would be a funny thing and that the guy would laugh - because when you are rich and self important isn’t EVERYBODY supposed to think you’re funny? But the guy replied “actually, we have three kids and they are all well behaved”.. Anyway, the douchebag schlepped off to the other end of the cafe where I can only hope he will spill scalding hot coffee on his five thousand dollar khaki pants and loafers. I hate to use lame computer jargon but, wtf ?!?!

I think we are the only culture in the world that hates children. It reminds me of every time we go out to dinner we have to gaze apologetically at the kidless people around us because our kids are daring to speak and, gasp, be kids.. And, perhaps I am becoming prone to fistfighting, but I almost knocked a woman out at Target when she actually said very loudly so that, undoubtedly, I would hear “That woman’s kids are about to make me crazy”.. Granted they were making ME crazy too but, come on! They weren’t doing anything particularly unsavory, just throwing popcorn and singing the happy birthday song very loudly.. Ok, maybe it was particularly unsavory - but still. They are kids and attached to those kids are parents who could use some sympathy or understanding (or help!) for the love of god.. Or how about just taking kids for what they are instead of expecting them to be little adults and behave as if they are as self-important as the man in the ugly over-priced khakis. I hate to say it, but the times when I encounter people who actually revere children as being beautifully welcomed into a public setting are foreign.. Everyone else (i.e. my fellow americans), including other people with kids, either politely acknowledge their existence or, as I witnessed this morning, have no problem outwardly decreeing that they think children are a plague upon the earth. Seriously, there is something frighteningly wrong with that on so many levels…

And, yes, I am thinking about making the little boy quit cub scouts. I am trying to be part of the adult team but the reality is that they scare the living hell out of me. On the flip side of the weird hate children culture, there is this culture of adults that think that being good to kids is treating them, albeit very dedicatedly, like soldiers who have to conform to some weird pledge and some very outdated and horrifically, uncomfortably tacky uniform. I am not saying that all cub scouts is like this and I do see the good that can come from it. I know lots of people who were in scouts (myself included) and loved the experience. This, however, is not the same. I can’t really put my finger on it - all I can tell you is that when I am there I don’t get a warm fuzzy feeling about the direction my son is taking. And I certainly don’t get a warm fuzzy feeling from the adults - they put out this very perfectionist, rules and doing things by the book are the most important things in the world deal that really really makes me want to run.. Think Heaven’s Gate - just a different uniform.  I know I have a problem with organized groups - I know this about myself and I am facing my demons. But, I don’t think that it is my bias. I think these people are really, truly creepy. They give me the willies. I think we will go to one more meeting tonight just to see if, maybe, things are better.

Posted in Daily Living, Mental Environment | No Comments »

Birfday Beauties…

My daughter’s second birthday is this Sunday.. We have planning on having a big bbq with lots of friends and some family.. It will hopefully be fun - of course I am getting that preparty worry that I won’t have enough food or that the kids (or the adults!) won’t have fun..  Lots of good advice to be found on several websites - I really liked the parents who said to keep it simple and fun. 

I have bought some soft crowns with glitter pens and stickers and markers for everyone to decorate.  We are going to bbq and have a pretty nice spread out with both kid friendly and grown up friendly foods.. A pinata. Some sidewalk chalk.. A little art station… A cooler full of cold drinks for kids and grown ups… Bubbles.. what else???  Ummmm… so far that’s all I’ve worked out.. But it sounds fun to me.. Anyone reading this, feel free to shoot some suggestions my way!

Posted in Activities, Arts and Crafts, Holidays | No Comments »

Children’s Health - Five Easy Steps

I was tipped off about a really good website that give parents trying to maintain a standard of health and wellness for their kids a basic foundation on which to stand.  The Blue Butterfly Campaign, developed by the Children’s Health Environmental Coalition, is working in conjunction with science and government to develope and regulate health standards for kids. 

THE BLUE BUTTERFLY CAMPAIGN is an initiative to help spread the word about the 5 Easy Steps to a Healthier Home that everyone can easily follow to create a cleaner, healthier environment for their children.

The Children’s Health Environmental Coalition (CHEC) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public, specifically parents and caregivers, about environmental toxins that affect children’s health.

Our ultimate goal is to eliminate children’s exposure to man-made toxic substances by ensuring everyone’s right-to-know what is in their air, food, water and commercial products. We are working to achieve this goal through increased scientific research, government policies which are more protective of children, and educating and mobilizing individuals — like you — around the country. Visit the CHEC website: http://www.checnet.org

CHEC’s MISSION is to educate parents and all those concerned with the welfare of children about preventable health and development problems caused by exposures to toxic substances in homes, schools and communities and to empower the public to take action to protect children against these toxic threats.

CHEC’s GOALS are to:

  • Create awareness of preventable, environmental risks to children’s health.
  • Help people learn about safer practices and products.
  • Encourage the public to adopt these safer products and practices.
  • Change government and corporate policies to protect children from environmental hazards.

Some of the information is basic, but at the very least, it gives parents something to stand behind and rely on when it comes to everyday decision making for their homes and families. 

Posted in Health, Healthy Living, Websites | No Comments »

Bogusly Baffling Beyond Their Years…

I am so confused.  Wasn’t Lionel Ritchie middle aged when I was a young girl?  If the answer to this is yes, which it is, then why oh why does he look like THIS still:

As a solo artist, Lionel Richie penned and performed some of the biggest hit tunes of the 1980s.

I don’t think his eyes were that high when he was “dancing on the ceiling” in the eighties.. Maybe my memory deceives me….

And the last time I saw a picture of Kenny Rogers I was just down right scared.. Here’s a before and after shot for you….

kenny.bmp

scarykenny.bmp

I am used to, living in the Little Hollywood that is Nashville, seeing my fair share of plastic surgery… But why can’t our icons leave themselves alone.. Posterity for god’s sake!  Come ON!

Posted in TV and Pop Culture | No Comments »

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