Archive for October, 2006

God Bless Daylight Savings Time…

Holy Mother of Poindexter… It’s 643am and I have both kids dressed, fed and ready to leave for school.  Since we are 45minutes ahead of schedule I figured I would write to praise this lovely time of year when we all are gifted an hour of time.  It’s a lovely little trick we play on our bodies - we wrangle time, we lasso it, stab it with a steely sword and tell time that it is our bitch.  Yes.  I am feeling like Protagoras was right -  man is the measure of all things this morning - strutting around my kitchen all groomed and ready to face the world before the chime of 7am.

Well, I’m off to be the time bending consort of my universe.. I know for sure that, at least for the next week, I’m bound to be on time for my life. For once.

Posted in Lifestyles, Daily Living | 1 Comment »

Autumnal Bliss and Frolicky Tots

Somehow I scored a weekend off of work and was able to have a much needed date day/night with my son.  Saturday we started the day off right with several very impressive estate sales and yard sales.  I know, that seems like something only mommy might enjoy.  But, you’re wrong.  Dead wrong.  My six year old son has turned into quite a rumamge sale junkie - and he is a much better bargainer than I am.  He has the whole sweet, innocent “how much for this teddy bear - it will be my first teddy bear - sniffle, sniffle” that I can’t pull off and usually manages to get everything for next to nothing.

We then spent the afternoon at a birthday party where we painted pumpkins, drank hot chocolate, painted our faces and played in the most gorgeous weather I have seen in Nashville this year.  We ate chocolate cake and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches like there was no tomorrow.

After our happy gallivanting at the park, we headed home - wind chapped cheeks and rosy nosed - to get cleaned up for our fancy dinner date at Margot (one of the best places to eat in town).  We put on our most comfortable clothes - and still managed to look classy as penguins.  We settled into our cozy, candle lit table - ordered sprite and wine (respectively, for him and me) and enjoyed the best meal and the best company ever.

Originally, I had made the reservations for me and John.  Alas, as is usual, we could not acquire (nor afford) a babysitter - so I figured, why not take a date (an equally romantic date) with my son.  I have to tell you - it was one of the best days in my life.

Then on Sunday the whole crew carved pumpkins on our front porch, took long walks collecting leaves, fed geese and ducks in the park, made french toast, played in the backyard and had an all around beautiful day.  If it sounds idylic and magnificent - it’s because it was…

And, I’m happy to report - the ants have settled in (quite nicely, might I add).. We watched them for some time yesterday getting their new home properly set up.  They are fascinating creatures - they collect the dead, bury them, help each other carry heavy loads.. They each have their place and they each have their task.  They rest when it is time and they work (hard!) when it is time.  Something to be admired in any creature.
God, I love autumn and renewal and work and play and feeling purposeful in life.. There is no time like this time of the year.

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

Mail Order Ants

We got them.. The moment my son has been waiting for for weeks! Uncle Milton’s Ant Farm Company finally sent us our tube of ants. Tube of ants? When I opened the box, I don’t know what I was expecting, but I was certainly a little more than disturbed by the vile that the ants were crammed in, all half frozen from the recent winter weather we have been having. That would explain the note on the outside of the box: “It is perfectly natural for some ants to arrive dead”. Natural? God. I suppose it is natural to die if you have been shoved into a test tube with a hundred other ants to, then, die. But it begs the question, just how natural is it for a hundred ants to be reemed into a test tube together?

So, we read the directions. Apparently, if the ants get in a tizzy, you should just put them in the refrigerator or freezer for some time to calm then down. What? Ok. So, my throw-paint-on-$8000 fur coats- animal right-activist days are behind me but, I was starting to feel more than just sadness for these little guys who were showing great signs of stress and fear. I watched one actually try to bite the head off another who was taking up more room in the little test tube than he should have been - all shoved in there together just to be later shoved into a small ant “community” to pretend they were working for purpose instead of just working so they wouldn’t be killed or die from boredom or starvation.. It was ant holocaust. Horrifying.

I started to plea with Joseph - let’s just free them in the back yard! Let’s have an ant emancipation! Let’s find a home for them out side and let them do the work they were meant to do! Of course, this kind of mentality doesn’t appeal to a six year old. He had waited four weeks for these suckers and, damn it, he was going to shove them in a little ant box and watch them work - come hell or high water.

So, today we awoke to several dead ants and a slew of uninterested ants sitting around this ant “camp” basically just waiting to die. When we picked up the box that they are “living” in, they became quite agitated. My husband suggested we put them in the freezer but I said no. I figure maybe their rage might make them feel alive - and seeing them angry seems more their nature than sitting around like couch potatoes. Humans are weird. We yearn to see the beauty in nature yet, we manage to do a fair job of taking most of the beauty away. Sorry to be on a soapbox but it kind of pissed me off. A lot. Maybe someone should put me in a refrigerator for a few minutes………..

Posted in Daily Living | 1 Comment »

Big Hands, I Know You’re the One

Does the fact the my two year old daughter goes around singing songs about masterbation make me a bad parent? I can’t believe I just opened up that can of worms. But I feel I have a problem. I’m not a prude, I promise. I know she doesn’t understand what the song is about - hell, I didn’t understand what the song was about until I was almost twenty. - and that she likes it for it’s uptempo beat and pop brilliance. But, “Blister in the sun” is her new favorite song - it has taken on a whole new dimension for me and, quite frankly, it is creeping me out.

We have gone through our “Hit the Road Jack” phase. Both my kids were (and on occassion, still are) obsessed with Ray Charles. At the worst, my kids were mimicking his soulful grunts and groans and talking about how he had some serious “lady trouble” (6year olds words, not mine). No harm there.

There were a few durge like Iron and Wine songs that she had gotten attached to - lots of references about the hangman and going home. That was weird - a 2year old singing about the “devil’s tree”. I still wasn’t phased.

I remember my son being infatuated with White Stripes and Bob Dylan when he was two. No real masterbation or sex referencing there. Just seriously great writing and riffs. He still loves them.

I did wonder and worry about him knowing all the words to Modest Mouse’s The Lonesome Crowded West album. There was a part he particularly liked about Cowboy Dan pointing his rifle up to the sky and telling god that if he had to die, so did god. I stopped playing it after I realized that, at three, he was reciting it all, word for word.

I have tried not to play kid’s music - with the exception of Dan Zanes who, in my opinion, is just as talented and un-obnoxious as my music. For the most part, I find kid’s music insulting to my children. It strikes me as the equivilant as someone baby talking to them - makes me feel icky. But, seeing my daughter walk around demanding to hear “bister SUN!” or, as she sometimes likes to call it “stain my sheets” - I start to see the beauty in furry little puppets singing about sunshine and lollipops.

Posted in Child Development | 6 Comments »

Dollar Signs in Their Slimy Little Eyes

It’s funny - when you owe someone money, say a creditor, they are MORE than present in your life.. The phone calls.. The fear-inducing letters from “law firms”.. The mean, bully of a collector on the phone who is doing nothing short of threatening to take your first born if you don’t give him every dime you have (or don’t have) right now…. It is disgusting.  But, the second you request something from them - say, a very important letter stating that you have paid the account in full and the account is close, more importantly, responsibly making note of it on your credit report - you may as well consider yourself screwed.  They won’t want to help.  God, I don’t even want help, I just want them to do their job.

I am thrilled to say that we are no longer in a position where we have to ignore our phone.. And when we get an official looking letter in the mail, I can open it with great confidence that we either won something or that we are receiving some sort of notice that our payment was made through our online banking.. We are out of debt and well on our way to making smart financial decisions. 

So, being a lady that can now answer her phone without trepidation - I started noticing a weird 800-number popping up about two weeks ago.  I can’t explain why, but I avoided it.  It’s like they say about addicts: once a junkie, always a junkie - right?  Except in my case it goes a little something like: Once a single mother ex-college student who can’t pay her bills and can’t answer her phone always a… well, you get the point.  I had this wierd feeling that it was a collection agency - even though, as far as I know I have paid off all my debts (with exception of student loans).  But, still, I nerve-wrackingly couldn’t answer my phone - the same old fear and gut wrenching feeling came over me and I started avoiding unidentified numbers popping up on my caller ID.  It’s nearly in my blood now.  Then I realized how ridiculous I was being.

I answered the phone.

Damn if my instincts weren’t right.  It was a “law office” (I put this in quotations because it is really just a collection agency with one or two paralegals working in house - “Law offices” scares people into paying like you would not believe) telling me that I owed money on an account that I KNOW I paid off last December.  I told them this and he said for me to find proof.  Now, with my hectic life and my typical forgetfulness - I started to doubt myself. Well.  Eight days later and several nasty phone conversations later I am happy to report that it is all cleared up.  And, I am even happier to report that it was not my error but the error of the “system”.  I paid the damn thing off and the slouch of a company that I paid it to had never noted it or closed the account. It has been shuffled around from “law firm” to “law firm” and smeared quite smugly on my credit report for the last eight month.  Turds.

So, I called the mongers who were responsible - and, just for the record, they happened to be just the ones that (probably very illegally) bullied and threatened me beyond reason.  Again, I got a ridiculously rude person who - when I tried to ask why the account was not closed and noted as paid in full since I called four times after I paid it off - hung up on me.  I guess they didn’t need any of my money anymore so why waste their time dealing with me, right?  I called back and, thank god, got her again and went toe to toe with her.  You just don’t hang up a girl. I had to get out my exceptionally professional “if you f#!* with me I will find you and kill your dog” voice.  I finally got some answers.  

So, I spent the morning calling every account I paid off and requested an additional letter stating my closure with them, even if I already received it. Because chances are I lost the letters first time around and, now I know, even though you think you have taken care of something it still might pop back up in your life and you NEED documentation to get your back.  A little advice for all you people out there dealing with credit card people and collection agencies - follow up.  I was foolish enough to think that they did their job and that I would be in the clear.  Not true.  At all.

Posted in Money Management | No Comments »

“Mean Mommy…. Hate Mommy! Hate HER!”

Where my daughter learned the word “hate” I still can’t fathom.. I’m sure it came from me screaming about hating the ridiculous driver in front of me at some point in our day, but I don’t know if I am ready to admit that to myself.

Weren’t these supposed to be the tender years? Wasn’t my daughter supposed to love me unconditionally at least until she was thirteen? I mean, I know she loves me but I never thought my two year old would be screaming “hate” and “mean” at me.. Maybe my unruly teenager ten years from now - but never my sweet two year old.

Me: “Hey Mags, wanna have a snack?”

Mags: (happily and bubbly)”snack.. yes!”

Me: “How about some peanut butter crackers? That sounds kinda yummy, doesn’t it?”

Mags: (with the rage of Joe Pesci’s character in Goodfellas)
“NO!!!!! HATE peb-butter!! HATE MEAN crr-ckers!!!!!!!!!! HATE MOMMY!!!! HATE HER!!!!! HATE HER!!!!!”

And then she rallies around the house building up an army against me.

Mags: (to our dog Jackson) “jack-thon, YOU hate mommy TOOO!”

Mags: (to her My Little Pony doll) “Peeny, YOU hate mommy TOO!”

Mags: (to her brother) “Jo-thep, YOU hate mommy TOO!”

And it goes on and on and on.

For about the last two weeks this has been a typical scene peppered throughout our day. Yeah sure, we have good moments too but they are becoming fewer and far between than the “strong willed” moments. The girl has some serious rage issues……..

I know it will pass and I know it is just a phase and that she is testing boundries and blah blah blah.. It’s good for a little girl to be strong willed, right? It is good that she is displaying independence and strength, right? And if I am good mom I can cultivate this into a balanced human being who, in the future will be able to fend for herself. Knowing all that sure as hell doesn’t make it any easier to swallow at the moment.

Posted in Behavior Issues, Mental Environment | No Comments »

High School Reunions…

Happiness is watching five of the snobbiest girls from your high school shaking their very hefty bottoms to “Hey Macarena” at your ten year reunion.  It was dizzying.  I hate that I got so much gratification from the fact that they were all obesely overwight but then I remembered one of them saying something to me at the grotesquely awkward age of fifteen about how I might one day be pretty enough for someone to marry me.  Yeah.  

Katie and I were the “weird girls” in high school.  We were drama dorks and we listened to a lot of Bob Dylan and Pheobe Snow.  We were far from dark or mysterious though.  We used to do cartwheels down the hall and shove funyuns up our nose just for a good time.  I’m pretty sure people thought we were high all the time - even though we had never seen the stuff yet in our lives.  When we showed up at the “Castle” (the very odd stucco building where the reunion took place) I’m pretty sure people were expecting a show.  But, we strolled in, the quiet adults we have become - and I am happy to say we were greeted with a horde of people who were anxiously awaiting our arrival. OUR arrival?  How bizzarre.  But, we were calm and quiet - two things no one from high school would have expected.  Katie had a two month old strapped to her belly and I had just been in a car with a six year old and a two year old - I’m sure I wasn’t bounding with the kind of energy that they were all used to.  But they missed us.  We were two out of three people there that had actually made homes out of state and it was kind of frightening to see how much people had not changed.  I am so far from that weird girl that I used to be.  Or am I?  As much as they were everything I had expected them to be, maybe I was just as predictable.  And we embraced that about each other.  Even some of the “snobby” girls.  They hugged me as if we were inseperable in ten years ago.  It’s a weird thing to realize that there is a whole group of people who know you so well because they watched you grow up.  And even though you don’t know each other at all, you still own territory in their hearts and minds.  Their faces will never leave my landscape.  That impact is really bizarre.  I thought I was completely seperate from these people but the reality is that we really helped each other become who we are today. For better or for worse.

 

Posted in Relationships | 1 Comment »

Old Friends.. Sat on Their Park Bench Like Bookends

I am going to see my closest friend tomorrow.  She has recently had her second child, a beautiful daughter named Maysa - she plans on calling her May. We haven’t seen each other in over two years..  She hasn’t met my daughter yet.. I am giddy with anticipation and I am also feeling very lucky today. 

I don’t have any sisters - or at least I didn’t know I did until I met Katie.  Something happened the day we met - call it worlds colliding, souls reconnecting.. Whatever you want to call it - that was what happened fifteen years ago when we met at the tender age of fourteen.  I had found a part of my family that I had never known - and that I wasn’t born into.  As women I think we search for parts of ourselves in the people around us.  We define ourselves a little bit by who we love and who loves us back.  We are not entirely isolated - our fulfillness partially comes from how we are, or are not, connected with those around us.  Our inherent aim is to nurture - and to be nurtured back.  It is blessed (and I don’t use that word. ever.) when we find women who see us for our true selves.  There is no feeling like the feeling of two women who can look at each other and see the joy and pain and relate and communicate about it.  This is what I have with Katie.  An almost unexplainable comraderie that began with just being two girls who weren’t sure where they were headed but still felt greatness welling up inside them just the same. 

And now, she and I both have daughters.  Our sons are cherished, of course.  But I would be lying if I said I didn’t get a very deep twinge of happiness to think about her holding my small daughter and passing along all of that wonderous woman to woman love and me holding her daughter doing the same.  We are continuing our passion - our love of this feminine mystique and existence.. And, like thousands of years before us, the wheel keeps turning……

Posted in Relationships | 2 Comments »

Ye of Little Faith…. It Really Works…

So, there was no way (I thought) that a little Tide Stick could do the trick.  I don’t believe in such things.  It’s all marketing, I usually feel.  You know, the more I write these blogs, the more I realize I am quite a pessimist.  Or am I just realistic?

Anyway, my pessimism aside - being a mother and a waitress I get messy and stained.  It just comes with the territory.  I have given up wearing white and lighter colors altogether.. But, now, a revolution.. A Tide revolution!  The other night (yes, the Robert Plant night) I got some weird goo on my sleeve and a coworker was at my side, before I realized what was happening to me, blotting me with a Tide Stick.  Within minutes, the gloob was gone.  I kid you not.  Buy it.  It will save your life.. or, at least your clothes..

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Hey Hey Mama, Said the Way You Move, Gonna Make You Sweat, Gonna Make You Groove

Robert Plant Robert Plant Robert Plant Robert Plant!!!!!!!

Forget Nicole Kidman.. Donna Summer?? Yeah.  Whateve. 

Last night a legend walked into the door of my cafe.. He was stunning.  Even at, what is he?, 65 he had a magnetism about him that reminded me of feelings I haven’t felt since I was a sixteen years old, all alone in my room listening to Cashmere and fantasizing about.. what? wait.. nevermind.. There’s a fair chance my husband will read this.  Let’s just say he was heartstopping (but, honey, he still has nothing on you).  I have been reeling from it all day..

Once I settled down and got “Stairway to Heaven” out of my head, though, I started to think about his disasterous solo career in the 80’s.  Yikes, I thought.  It was enough to mellow my starstruck mood, but not for long.  I am impressed with us, as a culture.  We forgive people their “experimental” phase and see them through, allowing them to reclaim and relive, even, their rock and roll legend status.  We don’t, as a culture, hand it out that easily.  It takes us a lot to push someone up to that standard.  Sure, we play a lot of crap on the radio but, all in all, we are pretty determined and expectant about what we deem “legendary” and worthy of more than two to three minutes of our time.  I am glad we saw Robert Plant through his “Sea of Love” phase and let him reclaim a place in our hearts for all the good that he did before he wore Hawaiian shirts and civil war hats.  That part of our history with him is very minute.  He is much bigger than all that. 

And, if you’re wondering how much interaction I had with him - let me just say there was a point in the evening where he and I were carrying out a birthday cake (together!) to his friend and he looked at me and said “you ready to sing with me?”.  I ain’t lyin.  My heart stopped and before I knew it freakin’ Led Zepplin himself was singing “Happy Birthday” two inches away from my face.  I thought I had died and gone to rock&roll heaven.  In fact, I am pretty sure I haven’t yet come back to earth.

Posted in TV and Pop Culture | No Comments »

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