Boudicca's Voice

Location: Palm Beach County, Florida, United States

Recently have been told I look like Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island. I hadn't heard that in years, but that is a good place to start as to what I look like, although she had a better bod. I have three boys and have been married for 13 years. Born of a Navy family, in Hawaii, one Mom, one Dad, one sister and one brother. The eldest of three children. BS in Applied Mathematics. Consider Pensacola my home town although I moved every 2-3 years of my life growing up. Currently work in the aerospace industry in an engineering position while being a Mom. Of Celtic heritage and very proud of it.

Monday, February 28, 2005

I Want What He's Having...

So Eric at Straight White Guy posted THIS yesterday. I think it may not be deemed worksafe… or rather… there are no pictures, but I’d hate for the boss to walk up behind you while you’re reading it. Wow. The title is “From a Dream…”

Good Lord.

Now folks, whether it is from one dream, a conglomeration of many dreams, or a conglomeration of many dreams with a little fiction thrown in is COMPLETELY irrelevant, because… I don’t dream like this, unfortunately. Let me tell you about last night’s dream… and this is 100% real.

I dreamt last night that the mob was after my husband and also me and it had to do with his car. They were bound and determined that he would not only NOT rebuild his car, but they would take him out and me along the way. They went to every shop where any remnants of his car were being held and blew the place up. It was vivid enough of a dream that I remember being on the phone talking to Mary, our sports car mechanic, and she was saying how her entire garage got blown up… the bomb was placed in his engine. From there, after blowing up the body shop, all the places that sold parts we needed… they came after us…

But see… this is the kicker. My husband had no clue. Only I knew and I knew they were coming to either blow me up or kill me execution style… So I was scrambling to get hold of my husband and get us all hidden until we could plan our next move.

Lovely, huh? All my dreams consist of things such as: I am under water and have a choice, I can come up for air and get exposed to nuclear fallout and die or drown OR something along the lines of the above dream…. The whole chase running for my life scenario. OK, maybe not all of them, but it is safe to say it’s 80-90% of them.

Freud would have a frickin’ field day. Hell, there are some days *I* have a frickin’ field day.

But as I told Tammi today, if I don’t write my dreams down within 48 hours, they’re gone. I can only remember themes and feelings, usually horrifying.

I feel certain if I took a conglomeration of my dreams it would be along the lines of a Mafioso boss coming after me and shooting at me as I fell off a bridge in my husband’s car, landing in the water and not being able to escape, but somehow instead of worrying about dying, I am worried about the fact I had a final exam coming up in a class I forgot to attend all semester long.

Yeah, the school dreams still haunt me. That makes up the other 10-20%... having taken the place of my childhood dream of having gone to school and forgotten to wear underwear while wearing a skirt.

So… what I want to know is… this difference between Eric's and my dreams… if it dietary in nature, as in diet makes your dreams, I will GLADLY change my diet. Yup Yup. I want what he’s having!

Mom of Boys Code Talk

Blog Daughter VW talks about a scare she had with her youngest yesterday. He got into a poisonous plant.

I have to tell you, I have not met one mother of a boy, NOT ONE, that has never had to call Poison Control. This is a very standard conversation between mothers of boys and unfortunately VW was indoctrinated into it today when we went to breakfast with her smoochy boys:

Mom1: My boy ate ‘insert some potentially poisonous thing here’.

Mom2: Did you call Poison Control?

Mom1: Yes.

Mom2: Aren’t they nice?

Sometimes it’s a short version and goes like this:

Mom1: My boy ate ‘insert some potentially poisonous thing here’.

Mom2: Aren’t they nice at Poison Control?

Heh. They’re nice in the ER too, by the way.

Rubbing Salt in a Wound...

I feel kinda bad doing this, but not so bad that I’m NOT doing it. I feel bad because I read THIS post. Blog sister Teresa is sick of winter in The Great White North. Manomanoman, I DO NOT blame her. Not one bit.

Meanwhile, in Florida, as I was driving my elder boys to soccer practice tonight, I popped open my sunroof on my mini-van, the first time I have been happy I had one, cranked up the tunes and felt the cool wind rush in my van.

Happy doesn’t begin to describe it.

I have Spring Fever.

Evidently... I get around...

From blog daughter Sissy I got this:

bold the states you've been to, underline the states you've lived in and italicize the state you're in now...

Alabama / Alaska / Arizona / Arkansas / California / Colorado / Connecticut / Delaware / Florida / Georgia / Hawaii / Idaho / Illinois / Indiana / Iowa / Kansas / Kentucky / Louisiana / Maine / Maryland / Massachusetts / Michigan / Minnesota / Mississippi / Missouri / Montana / Nebraska / Nevada / New Hampshire / New Jersey / New Mexico / New York / North Carolina / North Dakota / Ohio / Oklahoma / Oregon / Pennsylvania / Rhode Island / South Carolina / South Dakota / Tennessee / Texas / Utah / Vermont / Virginia / Washington / West Virginia / Wisconsin / Wyoming / Washington D.C /

Go HERE to have a form generate the HTML for you.

Sissy got 33 states she has either lived in or visited... and I would say... that is courtesy of the United States Marine Corps.

Me? I only got 29. As for mine? Courtesy of the United States Navy, my old job and family living in the South and the Midwest... If I had my druthers... Georgia would be in italics... N. Georgia to be specific.

Update: Make that 30 States for me. My sister reminded me I've been in Kentucky. Heh. Obviously it was not memorable...

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Unable to Return the Fire

Conversations vary in our household. Last night we were going out for pizza and the conversation in the back of the truck started out with Son#3 carrying on about how revolting the kids are in his class that pick their boogers and eat them… and it got very gross and graphic and I finally had to hush him up lest I lose my appetite for dinner.

Blech. I think he damaged me.

Later at dinner there was a great discussion with regard to justified use of force. “Hey Mom, if a bad guy steals something, can a policeman just shoot him?” I promise you, this conversation lasted a draining half hour. Over and over we went on how a policeman can only shoot someone if his life or the life of someone else’s is threatened… and over and over we got scenario after scenario.

It’s enough to make one lose one’s mind. They make me nuts sometimes… this 100 questions, rapid fire, every day on any topic. They make me tired.

Feelin' Spiiiiicey!!!!

I had to go shopping yesterday. Y’all know how much I love that. LOVVVE IT. I have too many events to attend and it was finally time for me to do the inevitable. Blech. I was cursing my girlfriends, my Mom and my sister for not being in town to help me with this crap. I can’t pick anything out. I go to a little boutique where the women have excellent taste and they ACTUALLY help you. I had a new salesperson today and introduced myself as, “Mother of three boys, engineer, and fashion disaster.” That is how she refers to me now.

I had a fashion show to shop for and a cocktail party… the one that I am chairing for a philanthropy in town… the one that is very important that I look nice because I’m chairing it WITH my gorgeous husband, the invitation has my husband’s name written all over it, and it is also expected I will be arm candy... you know, the perfect corporate wife crap. (It pisses me off, but it is what it is.) So there has been some stress in my life… above and beyond the other junk.

Right out of the gate we get the fashion show outfit taken care of. That leaves me to deal with this cocktail party. She pulls this little number out and says, “What about this?” First thought in my head, that fortunately did NOT come out of my mouth was, “I don’t want to look like anyone’s bad acid trip.” Ugh. White outfit with weird multi-colored big dots over it and no shoulders or sleeves… kind of halter toppish. I tactfully said instead, “ooooh, it is nice, but that’s a bit bold for me.”

We have decided I’m wearing black pants (she picked some out that make me look very long and slim… LOVE THOSE!), and so we were on a ‘top’ hunt. She finds this pink little silky number… that looked like I should wear it with a pair of pink panties to sleep in. It had this little choker, bead thing goin’ on with it. I didn’t know what to say.

Finally I said, “Wow. I like the color. Umm. But what kind of bra do I wear with that?” It looked like a frickin’ camisole. There was no way I could go braless without it screaming, “Bright light! Bright light! Turn off the headlights!”

She was collected and replied, “Oh, we have those special boobies to wear.”

Special boobies? Heh. Always the inquisitive one I said, “REeeeeeallly? Can I see a pair?”

As I’m trying on various tops she comes in and brings me these two silicone breast shaped… things. I don’t know what in the hell to call them. They had sticky stuff in the inside and I was supposed to stick them on my breasts. On the center corner of each one was a little hook and latch gizmo so you could hook them together… you know… to create cleavage.

They were basically fake silicone breasts that you paste onto your real breasts. I had to touch them. I looked at her while poking them and said, “Hey, my mammogram radiologist has a pair of these in his office, but they have beads inserted in them so you can feel what a breast lump feels like.”

She looked at me like I had 3 heads. Then she said, “Would you like to try the boobies?”

I wanted to laugh and say, “Hell no!” but instead I said, “You know, I can’t. But thank you. If I wear those, with that pink little top… I’m going to spend all night worrying about a wardrobe malfunction.”

She laughed and put them away. Blech. I wonder how many breasts had been in her boobies. And how many wearings can one get out of these stick on boobies? Inquiring minds want to know…

She brought me this gorgeous black lace long sleeved top… sheer. I fell in love. So much for conservative. She told me to go out and get a black lace bra and that would be that. I have a black lace bra. No camisole, no nothing… I’ll be livin’ on the edge. Lotsa lotsa skin… but I’m OK with it. I felt sexy in it. I felt like my husband would want to be next to me… among other things.

The sales lady said, “Unbutton that top button.” I did and it fell open nicely. I said, “Y’all have to tell me these things. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.”

So she stepped up to the plate and said, “Do you have to wear the glasses?” I told her I did not. I’m not blind, I just like the crispness that glasses provide...and I have this thing about liking to be able to read street signs. She said, “Lose the glasses. Wear your hair down. You have pretty hair. Curl it slightly under. You have a cute figure and should show it off more. You will be to die for.”

Heh. I left in a very very good mood. I’m actually looking forward to our little cocktail party now. And that little boutique? I liked them before, but now… they have a lifetime customer. A little customer service goes a long damn way.

Life with Three Boys

I spent part of my morning blowing up bike tires, fixing scooters, and putting bells and horns on bikes. It’s my Saturday routine… bike and scooter stuff.

As of 7:00 tonight, amongst the three boys we have one skinned knee, one nearly broken finger (verdict is still out, but it is looking good that it’s just really bruised up and not broken), one elbow so skinned that if any more skin comes off we’ll be down to muscle (no kidding, it is starting to make me nauseous looking at it… it looks like it needs a skin graft), and one beat up and skinned forearm… and then we have one boy on massive steroids to keep his upper airways open.

Yeah, it’s been an exciting weekend… and it’s only Saturday. I need a nap. Or drugs. Or both.

Bad Parenting Pisses Me Off

When you start reading this, it isn’t going to seem so bad. It’s the end that was the kicker.

Today was Son#2’s First Holy Communion pictures. Girls wear white dresses, veils and white gloves. Boys can wear all white suits and white shoes, white pants with white shirt and tie and white shoes OR white shirts and ties with dark pants and dress shoes. Thank heavens for the third choice. I couldn’t see myself buying an all white suit for my kid… and making him wear white shoes. He would have just looked like dork. Blech. Besides that, the functionality in an all white suit for a little boy is exactly… zero. So we’re doing the white shirt, white tie, dark pants route.

Last night at SIX O’CLOCK!!!, I get a phone call from a Mom I have never heard of, asking me questions about the pictures. She apologizes and says she got my number from the quilting paper (I’m making the Communion Quilt and each kid made a square for it), but she has some questions. I’m cool with it, but I tell her right off that I’m not Catholic, I don’t know the big answers, and by the way, if she has girl questions, I can’t answer. She pushes on, not hearing me or not caring, or both.

I say to her, “Do your children go to St. Insert-name-of-our-school-here or just attend CCD there?” She replies they go to school there and she has twins… a boy and a girl.

Now I KNOW of every kid in 2nd grade and I had never heard of these people. I was puzzled and then decided that I’ve been so overwhelmed, they must be new and I didn’t meet them.

So I say, “Do they have Mrs. T or Mrs. V?” and she replies.... “Yes.” That was her answer. “Yes”. Well, because of the policy our school has that twins are always separated, I figured “Ok, she is saying that they have each”.

She proceeds to ask me girl questions. I proceed to tell her again I don’t have girls. She asks, I try to answer, I give her the phone number of someone who WOULD know and then… I realize… she has bought NOTHING for her kids to wear yet. Nothing. It is 6:00, pictures are the next day and she hasn’t done jack. I tell her where I bought my son's clothes and tell her I’m going to let her go so she can find out who is still open.

This morning my son and I get there for pictures. There is a Mom dressed in a funky green suit, waiting… waiting because she forgot her money to pay for the pictures and her husband is bringing it. I think nothing of it. When everyone is gone I start talking to the woman who is the head of CCD and Holy Communion. I have gotten to know her well over the years and really like her… in particular because she has NEVER once tried to convert me.

I ask her if a Mom of twins came in and she informs me it was the woman in the funky green suit. She says, “Something is not right there” to which I replied, “You’re telling me…” and I told her the story.

The CCD teacher says, “Mrs. L, that woman’s kids DO NOT go to school here. They are in my CCD. She has NO IDEA what the names of her kids' teachers are. She said ‘Yes’ to you because she DOESN’T KNOW.”

I don’t know why, but that really frickin’ pissed me off. She has two 2nd graders… and she doesn’t know the names of their teachers? There is so much wrong with that on so many fronts. She hadn’t planned for their pictures, she hasn’t shown up to half the CCD meetings, her kids haven’t done their quilt squares… and she doesn’t know the names of their teachers.

I’m sure that is just the tip of the iceberg. She probably isn’t involved in their lives at all and they may be better for it. They’re Kodak moments.

She sucks.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Funny Linky Stuff

From Blog Daughter Sissy we have links to this hysterical page of movies reenacted by bunnies. My fave is THIS one. Heh. (I think TN sent me this once... It made me laugh then too.)

From Blog Father Grau, we have THIS post which completely cracked me up. I know he is currently looking for a job, but I’m thinking maybe he SHOULD go into advertising... for male products, of course. Heh. (Post not for the faint of heart, but funny as hell.)

Girly Post...

Really, you men don’t know how good you've got it in some aspects… OK, not some. Just one.

I just do not see how it is feasibly possible that someone can literally gain 4 lbs in 2 days and then 3 days later it’s gone. I know, I know, it’s that whole water retention thing, but every time it happens I’m stunned by how icky it is. Seriously, you big men are thinking “yeah, yeah, yeah, what’s 4 lbs, who cares. I can gain 4 lbs in my right big toe.”

Yeah, well, to us short woman, 4 lbs is a lot. It’s just… blechy. It’s been going on for 25 years and STILL, I STILL TO THIS DAY, am completely horrified when I step on the scale one morning and it’s up 4 lbs from two days before. I shriek to myself, “Ack! What have I been eating?!!!” and then normalcy comes about and I start doing mental date calculations and I think, “Oh. Water. Blech.”

And let me tell you… it kinda sorta sucks to work around men during those 2 days. You know… THOSE two days. I’m not one to carry a purse around and now that my Mom got me this really big blue flowered and fun purse, if I pick it up to go to the restroom, it’s kinda obvious what is going on. Blech. And I tend to wear short sleeves, so it’s not like I can hide the article in need up my sleeve. What a pain.

I forgot about that little inconvenience of working.

And can you believe that on MSN search, I’m listed as one of the top searches for… tampon m-ishap. (I put the – so I don’t end up #1.) Crap. I know it was because of THIS post, but it’s not like I post on girly stuff very often and it sure as heck wasn't a 'mis-hap'. This is only the 2nd time in 9 months of posting that I posted a true icky girly post. Geez.

If it Walks Like a Duck...

My 2nd son has a project to do… an interview with an immigrant. What a pain in the neck. I called a friend of mine and said, “What does this say about me that I don’t know any immigrants?” She said something about my being insular. Hey, it’s not intentional.

Well, it isn’t that I don’t KNOW any immigrants, it’s just some of them I can’t ask to help or it’s not a good selection. For instance, our two priests, one is from Ireland and one is from Italy. Both get asked by every kid. Pass on that one, thank you.

Then there is of course my sister in law who is from Syria, but doesn’t consider herself from Syria. We’re not interviewing her again because when my first son interviewed her it dredged up all sorts of pain and I can’t do that to her again. But, it was interesting doing the interview… it went something like this:

Me: Hey, Son#1 has to do an interview of an immigrant. Can he interview you?

SiL: I’m not an immigrant.

Me: Yes you are.

SiL: No I’m not.

Me: Hon, listen to me. Where were you born?

SiL: Syria

Me: Where were your parents born?

SiL: Egypt and Syria.

Me: So were you considered a citizen of Syria when you were a child.

SiL (looking at me thoughtfully): Yup.

Me: And where are you a citizen now, since you were 12?

SiL: Here.

Me: Well, by my reasoning and the definition of an immigrant, you, my friend, are an immigrant.

SiL: I have never thought of myself as an immigrant. Wow. I just think of myself as an American.

Then she is in the kitchen cooking and I can here her saying, “*I* am an immigrant” “I AM an immigrant” “I am an IMMIGRANT”, putting the stress on different words. Finally she says to me, “No matter how I say it, it doesn’t fit. I don’t feel like an immigrant.” Made me want to ask what it was supposed to feel like to be an immigrant, but I let is slide, in particular as the interview dredged up bad things of her past she just as soon forget.

So we’ve been thinking and thinking and I almost e-mailed Eric and asked if his Straight White Wife would be receptive to a phone interview with some 2nd grader she doesn’t know, but then I remembered one my of best friends from high school is an immigrant from Viet Nam. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me as I speak to her still once a week or so. Perhaps it is because she doesn’t “Seem” like an immigrant, although I’m not sure what an immigrant is supposed to “Seem” like.

I called her two days ago. She lives in Hawaii right now, so I have to make sure that we get this whole time thing coordinated when I call since she’s 6 hours behind us. I called her and said, “We have to do an immigrant interview and I was wondering if you would do it.” She’s game. But once again, it kind of threw her for a loop. See… all these people I know are fully assimilated Americans. They don’t view themselves as immigrants. They view themselves as Americans. They came over as children, schooled with us, adopted many of our customs, and went to college with us. They married American men, have American children, and… are American.

It’s just interesting, this whole immigrant thing. Her interview is going to be very cool and she’s not emotionally tortured by her past. Her Dad was a Captain in the S. Vietnamese Army and they had to leave or be killed during the Fall of Saigon. They were brought over by a Christian church in what I consider my home town. It was scary, the small boats, leaving their lives behind, the threat of death, but she is very open about her story and I am looking forward to my son hearing it.

How he translates it on paper will be another story.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Ying and Yang

I love it when I make a meal that everyone loves… that the kids ask for seconds and my husband says, ‘Yeah, you need to make this again. This was good.”

I hate it when I’m driving down the street and my low gas indicator light comes on and I look at the indicator that tells me how many miles I have left before I’m SOL and it says… 7. At that point I do the big mental scramble trying to remember where the closest gas station is since I live out in the sticks. I hate it when that happens.


One of the women helping me on this fashion show... she is collecting money while I do seating... she was just diagnosed with Breast Cancer.

When I first found out a few weeks ago, I was a mess. I know too many women who have been afflicted with this disease. My grandmother was an original survivor. Every time a woman I know gets diagnosed, its as if someone has sucker punched me in the stomach. I want to fall over and vomit. Every time.

She and I e-mail every night... we e-mail data back to each other, making sure our numbers jive. I like to tease her, keep it light... and we have a good time e-mailing back and forth. When she told me she had the Big C, I told her about some events I'm involved with that are assisting in finding the cure and I told her some things I had heard she might want to look into for her treatment. I deal with illness a lot... death too much... it is not that it does not phase me, but does it do any good to be a mess about it 24/7 when you have no control? No.

But that is not to say it doesn't have it's own effects upon me... I just try to be rather stoic about it. Tonights e-mail from her... I have yet to reply. She is losing he hair. She said she opened her car window and the hair blew off her head and into the backseat. She's having it shaved on Saturday.

She is keeping it light and making jokes as this is how she is dealing with it, but I'm sitting here... reeling I guess. I have to answer... but find myself incapable... which is NOT what she needs...

The good news is she says this will not kill her... the cancer I mean. I just worry about the poison.

Blunt and Insensitive

Here’s a good example. And yes, I fully expect the Bad Karma Gods to come bite me in the butt for this one.

I’m a consultant on a big fashion show thrown down here every year… benefitting Veterans. I ran the show for 2 years and have been a major consultant since. I think this is the 8th year. I do seating, go with the new chairman (we get a new one every two years) to the caterers, and this year I’m modeling and running the models. So I zip down I-95, running into this meeting late as I had a previous engagement, I blow in, tell them what I need for the models, run through all the rooms telling them what I see could be potential problems, people are scribbling furiously, and when I’m finished I take a deep breath and say, “OK, any questions?”

Now, before I go further, the woman who works for the place we are having the event also works for the Breakers Hotel on Palm Beach... the corporation. Tall, elegant, class… a couple years younger than I, I’ve worked with her in the past. She says she likes working with us because we’re organized and we know what we want. There are no games when you work with me. She also oozes feminine beauty and elegance. I tend to blow in and blow out of places, speaking quickly and efficiently, and although I was dressed in nice slacks today, I would really really prefer to be in jeans.

The first thing the new fashion show chairman from my organization says to me is something like, “Well, do you think we can do ‘this’?”

I said, “Sweetheart, YOU can do ANYTHING you WANT. Nobody is going to stop you are give you hell… because all the women who would have in the past are now… dead. Do what you want.”

The woman from the Breakers looks at me in shock.

I continued, “No really. For years and years, if you changed ANYTHING, ANYTHING AT ALL, they were nasty to you. And they didn’t let it die. They picked at you, sent you nasty notes… it was horrible and demoralizing and they’re all gone now. Dead. And although it’s sad, it has really lightened the burden.” I turned back to the chairman and said, “So you do whatever you want. They’re dead. Nobody is going to say anything.”

And the woman from the Breaker’s… her eyes are wide open and she plugs her ears and says, “Oh my! I shouldn’t be hearing this…”

I rolled my eyes. Whatever. It’s true. That nasty ones are gone. They were a big help, but hey were also nasty. I have no room for that in my life.

Just Stick a Knife in my Heart… And Twist

We were on our way home tonight from a soccer meeting. From the back of the car I hear Son#3 (Bones) say… “Mom… sometimes in my head, I cry for you.”

Me: What? Why do you cry for me?

Bones: Because I love you so much, I don’t want you to ever die.

Me: Oh. So when do you do this crying in your head thing?

Bones: At snack and play. (That would be in school.)

Well the whole conversation went downhill from there. I am just NOT the person they should be coming to when they are having some sort of spiritual crisis. I don’t know the answers. At all. I wing it and I do OK, but its going to come back to haunt me.

There were questions about how my grandmother died 2 years ago. Then questions on how THEIR grandmother died 5 years ago. Then what is a stroke? What is old age? Why doesn’t God protect us from disease? And on and on it went… and I just answered all the questions very matter of factly, but then… but then… I had two little sobbing boys in the back of my car. Son#1 was just listening, but Sons2 and 3 were now melting into two small salty puddles.

I was aghast.

I pulled in the garage and when I got out of the car, Bones hung around my neck, as if I were going to spontaneously combust right then and there and leave this earthly existence. Son#2 wasn’t doing much better. Imagine my husband’s surprise when in we walk and two of them are crying messes.

Blech. Sometimes the questions they ask are too deep for me. What fits right in my head would not fit in theirs. I need to just defer all these questions to their Dad.

And from where did this come? I wasn't thinking about death. Sometimes when I think real hard about something, they'll start asking about the same topic. For instance, one time I was reading and thinking about Judas and whether he was really a bad guy or just doing God's will, and my then 4 year old eldest looks at me and out of the blue says, "Mom, who is Judas?" See, that did NOT happen tonight. No thoughts of death. This just came out of frickin' nowhere.

They are fine now. When I went to kiss Son#2 goodnight his last words to me were, “Mom, I think I decided I want to die of old age. Maybe I could just be sitting there at my plate of syrup at breakfast and fall over.” And he imitated his face hitting a plate of syrup. (He eats waffles for breakfast.)

How did we get from crying mass hysteria “please don’t die and leave us Mom!” to “I want to die and have my face fall in a plate of syrup”?

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Another Post on Marines

Eric, a former Marine, and the mighty fine blogger of Straight White Guy, has this GREAT post on the Marines HERE. (Read it!)

I won't go into how much I love the Marines. I've blogged on it before. I will again. But here are a couple stories, personal stories, to add to his.

One of his quotes is from Lt.Col Oliver North (USMC ret.): 'The only people I like beside my wife and kids are Marines.'

There was this guy I worked with at my old job. He was a former Marine. He did a few tours in 'Nam. He was a tunnel rat at one point. I used to tell people that when the sh-- went down, I wanted to be beside him. When lay offs were going on and the supervisors were raking each other's employees over the coals, behind closed doors, trying to save their own, I wanted to be on his team. He was safe to me. Others thought he was a nut. Not me. I'd go walking or running in the morning at work, and a couple times he met up with me (he used to run at home), and here I'd be in my running clothes, feeling like I was going to vomit... but there was no way in hell I was going to vomit next to this man running shirtless with shrapnel wounds, a couple stab wounds, and healed broken back from a 'Nam chopper crash. Nope. I gladly ran next to him and managed to stay contained.

Now go over to Eric's HERE and read the quote on what a wife thinks of a Marine. This reminded me of my best friend from college. She married a Marine fighter pilot. Great guy. He ends up on shore duty and he's supposed to go to some civilian schooling... I think it was FAA crash investigation now that I think about it. Anyway, he's freaking out because he has to wear civies the entire time. My friend, quite the fashionable girl, looks at the clothes her Marine husband has packed and she yells, 'YOU CANNOT wear your Marine Corps green t-shirts with your white dress shirts! You MUST OWN A WHITE T-SHIRT SOMEWHERE!" Heh. He didn't. She had to run out and buy him some.

Finally she goes through his clothes, mixing and matching ties and pants and shirts and jackets and he is exasperated (they did some heavy duty clothes shopping for this schooling) and she says, "Fine. I will put Geranimal tags on all your clothes so you know what to wear with what."

That cracked me up.

Did I tell you I love the Marines?

The Career Counseling Tests Never Said: Be a Diplomat

Remember when I started my job and a few of you wrote, "Oh Good! Blog fodder!" You know the adage be careful what you wish for? Yeah, well think that one. Blog fodder... full force this week.

My buddy who hired me, my friend who was laughing at me "Off with their heads!" from yesterday's post, is not only a really smart guy, but he is very diplomatic in his approach to just about everything. He could probably look you in the face, "Call you an ass" and you'd feel like it was a compliment. He's just a sincerely really good guy. Not a mean bone in his body.

In the beginning, we used to carpool together... when we were both new engineers at my old company. Then I ended up sitting behind him for about 4 years. He told me I needed diplomacy training and set it out as his mission to 'tone me down'. The words blunt and insensitive have been used more than once to describe me. Someone would be at my desk and I'd be ready to go at it and he would turn around and give me 'the eyebrow raise'. I think I posted once that my then boss thought I must surely have failed the Assertiveness Training he sent me to... I realized later to 'tone me down'... because I was too Aggressive still. Whatever. I've mellowed.

So you can imagine how I felt today when I got to work and I got this e-mail from my buddy and it says, "Hey. Want something else to do? I have another job that might not be so aggravating."

Great. Know what that smacked of to me? That smacked of, "I'm being nice. You suck. Let's try something else."

So... that's what I told him. Heh. I sent him a note back and said, "I suck that bad at this, huh?"

And then I waited. Five minutes...tops. I hear the door to my cube farm open and close and I hear his voice answering questions to others who work for him and then... he's standing in my cube.

No good morning, no nothing. What I got was, "No. You don't suck. I'm just in a bind and I have a deadline and I need someone to help me or I'm going to miss it. Can you help me? I have a family. I have no desire to be here 6 days a week to make this deadline."

How could I refuse? Actually, put like that I felt kind of honored. And to think I thought he was just being diplomatic.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Bow to Me… I Rule… Or so I Thought…

They’re calling me the Queen at work. I know, it sounds ugly, but I started it and it’s become a joke. (It is very fitting, come to think of it, knowing who Boudicca was and all...) When someone disagreed with me today I could hear some cube rat say, “Off with their heads!”

It’s because I hate training. And I hate people making me do things I don’t want to do. I get this attitude where I glare them down, cross my arms, dig my heels in and say, “No. I don’t want to. And YOU can’t MAKE me.” Nice, eh? You’d think I’d grow up. But at some point in time, I just got tired of the proverbial corporate crap I was constantly having to take and developed ‘attitude’.

It happened during the pregnancy of my 3rd child, although it may have been before I just don’t remember it. Perhaps it was a “I’m creating life, dammit, hear me ROAR!” thing. Who the hell knows? All I know, is suddenly I didn’t want to play by anyone’s rules anymore. I had kids, a husband, a house, a job, someone was always wanting something from me and I was sick of giving… giving up, giving in… all of the above. I was sick of not being the Mistress of her own Ship on all aspects of my life… tired of it all.

At my old company, they said we all HAD TO HAVE 40 hours of training a year. I called BS on them. I only worked 20 hours a week and they wanted 2 weeks of my time for training? I had a job to do and quite frankly, I no longer wanted to expand my horizons or anything else, my hips and abs had been expanded enough. I wanted nothing new in my life. Leave me the hell alone, let me do my job. Dammit. So somehow I seemed to fly under the radar, doing just enough training to get by… and not really being noticed as they were in the midst of constant lay offs and preparing to close the plant.

So now, for the last four years, not being monetarily employed, I have been ruling my roost. I make the rules in this house, my husband isn’t home enough to create the structure, and I do it all… doctors appointments, food shopping, cooking, nuturing, tutoring, carpooling, signing them up for extra curricular activities… and… I listen to no one. Nope. Nobody. Sure, major things I talk to my spouse about when he’s at home, like whether or not it is time to buy a car, but for the most part, I just run the house by myself. (Except for the damn social crap he keeps making me attend, but we won’t go there.)

But… but… but… now I am working FOR someone again. And I get an e-mail from my company and it says something about ‘Compliance training software issues’ and I think, ‘I’m part time, forget that’ and… I blow it away. About two hours later, something is nagging me in the back of my mind and I walk down the hall to the freezing cube farm and say to my boss, ‘Uhhh, does that compliance training crap apply to me?’ to which he laughs and says,

“Oh yes it does, my dear. You must have the first 3 completed by 10 March or you lose your job.”

And so it goes:

Me: Me? I have to?

Boss: Yup.

Me: Are you sure because last I looked, I only worked 10 hours a week and that is barely part time. I mean, me?

Boss: Yup. You’ll be terminated if you don’t do it.

My friend who hired me: (laughing)

Boss: there is a password…

Me: A password? Oh crap.

Friend: You blew that e-mail away didn’t you.

Me: Umm. Probably. Me? ARE YOU SURE *I* have to take this training?

Boss and Friend almost simultaneously: YES!

Me: But… I’ve been the Queen for the last 4 years, running my own castle with three kids… Crap. You’re serious. I have to do this, don’t I?

Boss: Yup. If you have to, e-mail HQ and they’ll send you a new password.

Friend: Do that as a last resort. I don’t think it’s cool to call HQ and tell them you blew away the e-mail for mandatory training for all employees because you didn’t think it applied to you.

Me: This sucks. I can’t believe *I'm* being MADE to do something.

Friend: Off with their heads!!!

I found my compliance training password. For some reason I hadn’t blown that e-mail away. Thank you to the Gods of Boudicca’s Universe… I didn’t have to call HQ in shame.

This sucks. I really really want to dig my heels in and say, “You can’t make me!”… but they can. They have the upper hand. This sucks.

It's Not a Glamorous Job

For all you folks out there that have never worked anything classified or top secret and think it sounds cool, think again. It’s a pain in the neck. Fortunately, I’m not doing that in this job. You can’t talk about your job when you work a project like that. It’s best just not to talk at all in case you slip up, so you just.don’t. Not that I ever talked with my spouse about what I did when it wasn't classified. It’s called… compartmentalizing. I may have brought home personnel issues, but never the real meat of my job. Once I got home, I didn’t want to deal anymore. Plus, he couldn’t identify. (He never really knew what I did.) I’d talk about my job more with The Great Omnipotent One than anyone else… he was a pilot. He knew how all this stuff worked. Otherwise, I left it at work.

OK, back to security. I don’t work classified stuff, Thank God, but I do work in a secure facility. Getting in and out of the building, although more of a hassle than my old company, has been NO adjustment to me at all. Others violate security all the time, but for me, it’s a routine and no biggy.

It’s the IT crap that is making me bonkers. All the damn passwords. I have no less than 6 systems... and every damn week I'm introduced to another… and there seems to be this weird crap you have to do when it is time to change your passwords… stand on your head, tap your feet together and yell, “There’s NO Place Like Home!” and the computer Gods then just MIGHT shine upon you granting you a password change without having to call the two DIFFERENT help desks located in two DIFFERENT states. Did I tell you it was a pain in my ass?

First month of work, 30 days pass, I get a notice, time to change my password. But because it took so frickin’ long to cut through all the red tape and get access to ALL the systems, they don’t all come due at the same time. Lovely. I’ve been in the engineering business since 1988. I’ve had more passwords than you can shake a stick at. I was on computers at work when PCs only had those 5” floppies and they held something like ONE spreadsheet. So I think to myself when I see I have to change my password, “No biggy. I can do this.” Little did I know, that inside all that paperwork I got my first day was a BOOK, YES, A BOOK, on how to change your password. Because I am a secured subcontractor working for a secured contractor in the defense industry, we have all these firewalls and there is this sequence of events you MUST do or you get locked out of every system. All of them. Boom, you’re hosed.

Needless to say, I got locked out. Feh.

That was December. I learned my lesson.

Flash forward to last Tuesday. I have a FRICKIN’ keyboard failure and EVERY single system I went into, I got locked out of… OK, it was worse than that. I got in my main system. Once. Then I tried to get in my other systems, one at a time, and you have 2 tries before you get the ‘You’re a big fat loser’ message locking you out and telling you that you’re SOL. I couldn’t figure out what was going on. So I walk away from my desk to see if anyone else is having troubles and my screen goes into lock since I was gone for more than 2 minutes… and I CAN’T GET BACK ON!

Hours… I’m telling you HOURS, I spent with people from every help desk. What a frickin’ waste of my time. Hours. And Hours. And my boss kept telling me, “Don’t sweat it. You’re still getting paid” and I want to scream, “I’m paid to work!!! If I can’t work, I have a life at home I could live!!! Don't make me be idle! I HATE being idle!”

They get me up and running. Today, I walk in, I type the password into the most important system I work in and I forget to hit the shift key, because God forbid should you be able to pick any password, instead it has to be a certain length, and have a certain amount of frickin’ weird characters, and capitals, and all sorts of protective bull shit, that you as tax payers sitting in the safeness of your cozy American home should take comfort in knowing, but me as the employee wants to scream at the top my lungs and say, “I can’t F----ing Take it No MORE!”


So I screw it up first go round and even though I’m SUPPOSED to have TWO tries, I get the “You’re a Big Fat Loser” message and I get locked out.

Four help desk guys and 5 hours later, I’m still a big fat loser, but now I’m a really seriously pissed big fat loser.

Every time they reset it, they would say, “Now you have to wait an hour for the system to reset itself” and every time, it wouldn’t work.

Finally the last guy got on and I said, “Look, be truthful with me. When you look at the coding does it say it hates me?” I get, “Computers have no emotions… it can’t hate you.” I replied, “Yes. Yes, this computer system hates me. You can’t tell me it doesn’t, because after 5 hours I STILL CAN’T get in and NOBODY has been able to figure out why.”

Come to find out, they were resetting the wrong damn system. GRR.

Luckily I had Compliance Training to think about. (Above post.) Unluckily, once you mandatorily reset your password (yes, another frickin' password), you must WAIT 24 hours before you're allowed to take the test. GRRR.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Clown Pants... They Come in Jeans Now...

I had to take the boys shopping today. They’ve hit growth spurts and they need shorts, shirts, and jeans. I hate shopping. Shopping with them was going to prove to be a nightmare, I was sure.

It flat wiped me out. I came home dragging ass. Literally. The problem is that my children are short and thin, yet their torsos are not of a small person. My eldest is going to be 10, and he wears a size 9-10 shirt, but a size 7 pants. He’s going to have a washboard stomach like his Dad. His Dad, at age 45, still has a 30 inch waist, so you can imagine how small my son’s waist is. They do not look disproportioned, as a matter of fact, women are going to love my broad shouldered boys. But forget them… as their Mom, it’s a real pain in the neck to buy them clothes.

The first store we went to, we were able to find a few things for Son#1. We made it to the second store and I’ve had it. There are three of them, one of me, and everything… I mean e-ver-y-th-ing always seems like a battle to me. “Don’t touch your brother” “Inside voice please” “Stay out of his face” “What part of ‘stay with me’ did you not understand?” “We just went to the bathroom… you have to hold it” “Quit stepping on his feet” “I know you’re bored. Trust me. I am too” and on and on it went.

So by the time we go to the last store, I just wanted my personal hell to be over. I had a headache, I was tired and… I needed chocolate. Or something. Anything. But no more shopping.

Son#3 (Bones) finds a pair of jeans he likes. He puts them on, a size 4 (we were living on the edge picking them out as he’s JUST NOW in a size 4 at almost 6 years of age) and he is swimming in them. SWWWWIIIIMMMMINNNGGG in them. And the following is as best I can recollect:

Bones: I like these, Mom.

Me: They’re too big. Look at them. You can look down the waist and see your feet.

Bones: Not if I wear my shirt tucked out. I like these.

Me: You can’t have them. You look like a dork.

Bones, looking at me incredulously: I do not!

Me: You do. Look. I want you to look in the mirror.

He looks in the mirror, staring at himself long and hard, the incredibly vain little man that he is.

Bones: I like these.

Me, getting eye level and looking at him in the mirror: Son, listen to me, they are too big. What do you see:?

Bones: I need a different shirt.

Wha???? He needs a different shirt? I was soo very over this at this point.

Me: Little Buddy, the shirt, is not, the problem. (I grab the crotch which is hanging around his knees) Look, the crotch is around your knees.

Bones: I don’t care. I like them.


Bones: I don’t care. I like them.

Me: Don’t come cryin’ to me when you’re outside running around and you fall over because they are around your ankles.

So we bought them. There must be some radar kids have… “Mom is caving. She’s on the edge. She can’t take no more. Push this button ‘right here’ and I can get what I want.”

As we walk out I hear this little voice behind me, "I like the crotch at my knees. I don't care if the crotch is at my knees. crotch, crotch, crotch" and I tune him out.

And so it went. He looks like a dork. He owns jeans clown pants. It just needs a cool shirt. He’s not allowed to wear them with me. I’ll let him wear them with his fashionable Father. Oh, that’ll go over like a brick.

You say 'Car', I say 'Clifford'

I was out and about yesterday when I noticed an SUV I hadn’t really paid attention to before. It was an FX35. Red. It looked like the head of Clifford the Big Red Dog.

I called my husband from my cell, my husband is THE car guy… he knows every car that has been out there, is out there now, or is prototyped, and said, “Who makes this FX 35?”

Husband: Infiniti. I think it’s a sharp looking SUV.

Me: Oh, I see one here. It’s red. It looks like the head of Clifford the Big Red Dog.

Husband: Well… I wouldn’t get it in red.

Me: Good. It has a big nose.

I’ve never been a car kinda gal. Cars are a functional tool for me. They get me from Point A to Point B and the higher the gas mileage and the bigger the herd of kids I can fit into it the better. I’ve never needed flash although I often tell people if money was no issue, the Lexus convertible looks like it would be fun to drive. Can’t fit car seats in the back of one of those suckers. And yes, my ego did take a bit of a hit when I started to drive my mini-van… nothing screams Asexual Mom more than a damn mini-van. Honestly… I’d rather drive a truck. A pick up truck to be exact. But that’s just me.

He’s always known this. This is something we don’t understand about each other… although it is not an issue. He carries on about the new sports car so-and-so is making and I listen, but don’t file any of the data away. I can honestly say my eyes have never glazed over. I’d personally rather learn how to tear one apart, rebuild an engine, than get into driving any of the cars he talks about. But… that’s just me.

One of the favorite stories highlighting our differences in vehicles happened about 12 years ago. We were at a convention for his profession in Orlando. A bunch of us were going out to dinner and sitting in the parking lot was some new fangled BMW 850ci with some woman just sitting in the driver’s seat.

My husband says, “So what do you think of THAT car?” To which I replied, “What is that? A Saturn?” Dumbfounded he laughed out loud and said, “NO! Babe! That is NOT a Saturn. That’s a BMW 850ci. It goes…” and on and on he went on speed and specs. Finally he said, “Man. I wonder what that woman would think if she knew that someone mistook her $60,000+ vehicle for a Saturn. Geez.”

Heh. And just to let you know what an impression this story made upon him… I can never remember what kind of car it was that I mistook for a Saturn, only remembering it was a BMW. As I was writing this post, I walked into the family room and said, “Hunhead, what was the name of the car I mistook for a Saturn” and without EVEN TURNING from the TV he says, “BMW 850ci”.

Winged Conspiracy

There appears to be some type of vast ‘winged’ conspiracy. Neither right nor left, just a ‘winged’ one. First there was THIS then there was THIS and I just wanna say, “Girls, protect your men!” Perhaps they need to wear one of THESE 24/7. Steel and Kevlar, folks. Steel and Kevlar. (By the way, I'm not sure that last link is work safe.... )

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Smiling Dynamite

Harvey introduced a new blog to us today... Smiling Dynamite. And... this is the blog of Beloved Wife! She was inspired by our Bad Example Family Reunion and has now taken the step towards blogdom... or rather... I think assisting Harvey in his evil plan for Blogosphere domination! Muwahahahaha!

With that, I updated my BE blogroll and added all those I had not gotten to, including _Jon's new off-spring (A Peek Inside My Mind and Ramblings of an Ordinary), and more adoptees (There's One Only! and Oh-Dark-Thirty). Our blog tree is growing, but with the addition of Beloved Wife, our tree ain't forkin' so much no more. Heh. It appears she may have been spawned by an incestuous gang bang, although the verdict is still out on that. (Damn, I hate to see what I'm going to get googled on for that one... Blech.)

So welcome to Smiling Dynamite. If you look at her first posts, you'll see she held the 'mighty quote pen' at the BEFR. Take a look, you won't be disappointed.

The Big O

We went to my husband's bros house for dinner last night. He has a little girl whose name begins with an O. For some reason, I was the person of the day. I was all she wanted. From the time we arrived, the two year old was in my arms or leading me all over her house, "Come. Come", she would say.

We played play-doh. We played outside. I played in her big plastic Barbie house. We sang songs. She insisted on sitting in my lap while she ate dinner, which means she ate my dinner, since my food was better. It was just really funny how I was her big toy. In the middle of dinner, she even insisted I take her potty.


You would think being a woman with the same body parts, this would be no big deal to me. It actually wasn't, as I was being led into the bathroom, "Come. Come." my sister in law is yelling after me, "Are you OK with this?" What am I going to say? I had three boys. I've done the potty training thing. How bad could it be?

Heh. With a boy, it's easy. You sit them down, point it down, and it's over. A girl... Blech. The problem was that I got her on the potty and as she insisted she had to watch herself pee. Well, with a boy, that's easy, they just look between their legs. With a girl, she contorts her spine, twists around, and... pees all over the seat!!! Then there is this whole wiping thing... Geez. What a pain. Boys are so easy.

OK, so now for the title of this post. In my family, when we all get together, we get a plastic cup and a sharpie, and The Great Omnipotent One puts everyone's name on their cup and that's what you use for the day. My youngest has a nickname. We call him 'Bones'. So a skull and crossbones are drawn with 'bones' written under it.

We get to my bro in law's house and there are cups and a sharpie. They've taken on this tradition from my parent's and my houses. It just makes life easier. I pick up the Sharpie and write, "the Big "T"' for Son#2, "The little 'g'" for Son#1 (named for his father), and I write Bones on the third cup with the traditional skull and crossbones.

I look at my bro in law who is carrying on about how proud he is of himself that he didn't teach his daughter to call me by the nickname he gave me "rat" (reference to Fast Times at Ridgemont High) and I said, "Good thing. I'd hate to start writing on her cup, "The Big O"'.

He didn't think it was funny. He best not tempt me.

Telling Tales Outside of Church

My second son's First Reconciliation was Saturday. This translates to First Confession. His First Holy Communion is coming up.

So last week I said to Father, when I saw him in the office as I was picking up bills for the school, "Father, I joke a lot about what a 7 year old can confess. They can't confess the big ticket items, they're too young. It's not like they can say, 'I coveted someone else's wife' or ' I committed adultery'." He said, "Hmm. I wonder what I would say if I had a 7 year old tell me he had committed adultry..." We laughed.

But Son#2's reconciliation has been a big topic. We get to the church and Father says to him in his thick brogue, "Are you nervous?" and my son says, "Yup" and Father says, "Me too." I wonder if he was thinking, "Did his Mom put him up to saying, "Bless me Father for I have sinned... I committed adultry..." Trust me, I was tempted. But I'm on Father's good side, and decided you don't play games with the sacraments and I left well enough alone.

I didn't ask what he confessed. It's not my business. But he did tell me; he just flat out told me. I'm actually not going to blog it, just say that with three boys there is lots of fighting. Anyway, he got off with 1 Our Father. I remember when Son#1 had his, he got off with 1 Our Father too. There was a kid in his class that had to do 5. I often wondered what that kid did.

But I am sure we will find out with time what it is like to have a child that has to recite 5 Our Fathers during his First Reconciliation because... afterall... I do have ONE MORE son. The running joke in the house is that when Son#3 has his reconciliation it is going to be looooonnnngggg. Son#2 told me, "When Son#3 goes, he's gonna have to do 10 Our Fathers, 20 Hail Mary's and 10 Glory Be's". I'm sure it won't be like that, but I'll be really surprised if he gets off with 1 Our Father... unless of course he lies... to a priest... which I wouldn't put past him.

The Birthday

I just have to blog on this, although I think watching/hearing me tell it probably lends more to the story as I get thoroughly pissed off and demonstrative with language, voice inflection, and hands.

My husband’s birthday was on Wednesday and as I stated in the post, my father in law, Pop, invited two strangers to come for dinner at our home. Let me explain… when I say strangers, I mean not only did I NOT know them, but my husband did not either. Having two extra people is not a big deal typically, but it was a day I worked, which meant I was up at 6AM, got the kids to school, worked, picked them up, ran errands, then had to CLEAN my house as strangers were coming, help them with their homework, and fix dinner… and since there were two extra, we could now no longer sit at the kitchen table, but had to eat in the formal dining room.

They were slated to come at 6:30. They showed at 5:45. I had baked the potatoes, but not stuffed them. I had baked the cake, but NOT made the icing. The steaks were on the counter, but were not ready. The salad was not made. The table was not set. Now I have 3 80 year old New York/New Jersey Italians sitting in my family room with the TV blaring (did I say I don’t watch TV?) and I’m freaking out in my kitchen.

My husband strolls in at 6 and is horrified. He immediately sets the table. By this time I have the twice baked potatoes stuffed, the icing is kinda sorta started, but the steaks are still sitting on the counter and the salad is sitting in my refrigerator… unmade. He then makes the salad while I get the steaks started.

Now, let me also tell you that when there is a birthday in this house, I go ALL OUT. All out. I pull out all stops. Cake, special dinner, special gifts, a lot of pictures and love love love… it’s all about the birthday recipient. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it only has to be enjoyable and special. So this dinner was salad, twice baked potatoes, filet mignon, homemade cake with VW’s chocolate icing, and the kids were to decorate the cake. (They created a white sports car on the cake with the decorating icing in honor of his wrecked now being painfully rebuilt Supra.)

Dinner is ready at 6:40. I call the kids in, get them washed up and we go sit in my formal dining room at this enormous spread. Five minutes into dinner, Pop’s cell phone rings. Loudly. I am horrified. I hate the fact that when we are at dinner in a restaurant, he will hold an entire phone conversation. Loudly. It irks the stew out of me. So now he is at his son’s birthday, talking on his cell, at MY table. But oh, it gets so much better, because the phone call was NOT for him, but rather for this woman/stranger/wife that is sitting next to him.

Just to clear the picture here… picture Good Fellas or Sopranos. The older people in the movie. The accents, the loud voices, the way they move… it was in my house. I am a quiet person. The more noise there is, the quieter I get.

She proceeds to have a cell phone conversation at my dinner table. It lasts 2 minutes before she excuses herself into the other room. No, “let me call you back”, she HAD to have this conversation RIGHT THEN. After another 2 minutes, her husband gets up and joins her.

Five minutes go by, I’m staring at my husband incredulously that these two boorish people have come to my home to eat a celebratory dinner with my family, at the invitation of my boorish clod father in law, and they leave my table and take a cell call.

She comes back, apologizing profusely saying it was her daughter; her 48 year old daughter. My husband, always the gentleman says, ‘Oh, it’s your daughter. You know, you’re always a Mom, no matter how old your kids get.’ I say nothing. She continues and the next thing I know, we’re listening to the sob tale of her daughter whose husband is asking for a divorce.

No offense, but I don’t give a shit. I’ve cooked a special dinner for my family to celebrate my husband’s birthday. I don’t give a shit if the husband is leaving her daughter and she is now stuck with 5 kids under the age of 3, 2 dogs and 3 cats. It’s not MY world. My world is here and now with MY family and she was in MY house at the invitation of someone ELSE.

After dinner, and dessert, the kids are going bananas, as kids do, to have their Dad open their gifts. And of course they are more excited than usual since they picked out the gifts. (The new controller so he can play the gamecube with them, a new race car game, and a book to help him with his old race car game. THEY picked this stuff out.)

Meanwhile, the man/stranger/husband proceeds to explain to me why he thinks his son in law is REALLY asking for a divorce… and I look over and my kids are hovering all around my husband and he’s starting to open his gifts and I’m not seeing ANY OF IT! I stop the man, look over at my family and say, “Can y’all move over to the dining room table to do this so I can get pictures?”, to which they all come over and sit across from me, so I have a good vantage point.

This is where I get really pissed.

Pop looks at me and says, “D. You are being rude. He was telling you a story.” I flip out. I said very sternly, “Pop, it is my husband’s birthday. I am watching him open his presents and taking pictures. I CANNOT be everyone to everybody” and I turned away.

After gift opening was finished, I turned to the man and said politely, “Now, as you were saying, your daughter in law has this flat on Park Avenue…” and he proceeded with his story.

I’m still boiling at how f---ing rude everyone was in my home. But why in the hell should I be surprised? Why at dinner, they were all laughing at how were at the beach the day before when Keith Hernandez’s wedding party showed up... and the three of them stayed for the wedding. I finally said to Pop, “Wait, are you telling me you CRASHED Keith Hernandez’s wedding?” to which he replied, “No, it was just there when we were there and we saw Joe Namath, and Frank Gifford.” And I practically yelled, “Pop! If you SAW these people at the wedding, YOU CRASHED their wedding!” I was appalled.

My husband told me later that the woman/stranger/wife, actually went into the reception, walked up to the bar, and got herself a couple drinks. I was speechless. Where in the hell were these people raised? My husband said, “Hey, if they had no problem crashing my birthday and talking on their cell during dinner, what makes you think they would care about crashing Keith Hernandez’ wedding?”

I got a thank you note the other day, which kind of sort of offsets the rudeness. A little. I wonder if they sent one to Keith Hernandez.

Friday, February 18, 2005

A New Blog Daughter... Sissy!

My announcement, while not as big to the blogosphere as FrankJ’s, is big to me. And it’s my blog. So I’m the only one who matters. Meh.

I have a blogdaughter!!! Another! Whooo hooo! Her name is Sissy and her blog is And What’s Next… So how did Sissy become my blogdaughter? She worked for my sister when they worked at the same company and my sister introduced her to Boudicca’s Voice, where she then started to peruse blogs… and got bitten by the Blogger Bug and started her blog two days ago.

She’s written on Kiki her Pootie Pooch (Kiki needs to meet my 2nd Son who is the King of Passing Green Gas), the phenomena of getting better sleep on our couch as opposed to our beds, and Girl Scout Cookies!!

So welcome Sissy. She has a great writing style. She is Marine Brat… gotta love those military brats… and is just a whole lotta fun.

Tammi is adding her to our Bad Example Family tree… which seems like it’s branching out like crazy! Whew... at least our family tree forks... no rednecks here...

He's a GREAT Guy, I Don't Care WHAT He Tells You

Blog Bro _Jon spent the night with us last night. He stopped by VWs and played with her two boys and her horse dog, met Pony, and then traveled even further into the sticks and visited with me and my boys. Actually, my boys and I met _Jon at VW’s first, and then he rejoined us later at our home. The first thing out of my eldest son’s mouth was, “Mom, does _Jon play games? Video games?” Ummm… Yeah. We’re talking about _Jon, the gaming King. *grin*

_Jon gets to our house and all during dinner the boys are saying, “_Jon, come play with us. _Jon, come try our new game. _Jon, we have four controllers now. _Jon…” Finally at 8:10 I said, “_Jon, they go to bed at 8:30, so you have 20 minutes you have to spend with them.” So off he went to play.

OK, here’s the deal. If you are a man and you come to my house, you are a toy. You did not come to see me or my husband… you came to see THEM because THEY are the center of the universe… not the sun. My kids are not introverted, in particular not in their own home. They will get in your space, they will climb on you, they will play with you. Period. I just sorta forgot to tell _Jon that.

So I’m cleaning the kitchen, I look over and _Jon is on the couch with the boys playing the Gamecube. I turn my back, turn back around, and now my two eldest are sitting next to him, but my 3rd son, the imp child, the 5 year old who truly believes the world stops for him, is SITTING ON _JON’S SHOULDERS, controller in hand, playing this game. _Jon hasn’t skipped a beat. He’s sitting there like this is a common occurrence. Sure,he always has a 5 year old on his shoulders when he plays video games.

There the four of them sat, _Jon next to my two eldest and my youngest on his shoulders, all of them with controllers in hand, and my three kids yelling and screaming at the TV and each other… like they normally do.

Did I tell you how much I like _Jon? He’s the best.

Who Are You?

I’ve not been sleeping well the last week. It’s the stress. I’ve been trying to go to bed earlier to get more sleep, but when you are up and disoriented, it is irrelevant what time you went to bed.

Each night I have awakened every couple hours, completely lost. I look at my clock and try to figure out if it is time to get up. My husband was on the computer one night at midnight and I woke up freaking out that I had overslept. I woke him up before his alarm went off the other morning thinking he had overslept. (Oh he loved that one.)

But the one he hates most is what happened last night… this has happened once before.

I woke up in the wee hours… around 3AM, and looked at him… and could.not.figure.out.who.he.was. I was staring at him thinking “Who is this man in my bed?” It’s a very creepy feeling.

He hates it when that happens.

Carnival of the Recipes is UP!

I am such a damn slacker. I haven't posted a recipe or been posting the Carnival. No excuses. I'm a dope.

OK, so this week, the Carnival was hosted by... Allan of Inside Allan's Mind!

And for my blogbro That1Guy... we have THIS recipe. Heh heh heh!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Birthday Wishes

Happy Birthday to my husband!!! He is the big Forty – Five today.

Of course I could strangle my father in law who invited people we DON’T KNOW to come to our home for dinner tonight… forcing me to clean my house after I worked today. Yup, not happy. But what’re you going to do?

Yesterday I took the three boys to the mall to shop for him. I knew I wanted to get him a shirt… my husband has a damn FINE body and with his broad shoulders...just yum… so I wanted to get him something I wanted to see him in. Nothing he’d wear to work. We bought him a nice black shirt… oh it is going to look so good… and then the boys decided they wanted to get him something from EB Games. He’s into race cars, so they wanted to get him a racing game. But more importantly, they wanted to get him his own controller for their Gamecube so he could play all the games they have WITH THEM. (We have three controllers.) Heh. So that’s what the bulk of his birthday gift is, things he can play with the boys. I had to laugh. OH! And they had me buy him the guide for his racing game so he can be better at it.

I think he is going to be very very happy.

So… Happy Birthday, Hunhead! I Love YOU!

On the same note…

A happy late birthday to my sister, Morrigan, who turned Thirty Four. I loved typing that. Heh. (Yes, I called her on her bday and my boys sang to her on her voice mail. I just forgot to post it...)

She is my younger sister by almost 6 years. She was accidentally born in the house, while The Great Omnipotent One was stationed in Mayport, Florida, and he delivered her. We loved to joke with her that he dropped her on her head.

She was of course the brunt of relentless teasing being the youngest. We, my brother and I, blindfolded her once while my folks were out, and played a “Guess what food this is” game. It ended with us feeding her coffee grounds and dog food. She was so trusting…

Now as an adult, she is a beautiful, smart, and vibrant woman. (Remarkably undamaged considering how we teased her.) Men stare when she walks in. Auburn hair, green eyes, and an infectious laugh… she is tiny but big energy. When God was doling out body, personality, and hair, she stepped in line twice. (I got the analytical mind.)

One way or another, we intend to grow old together. That is our plan. The men in our lives have no say… they’ll just come along for the ride.

So Happy Late Birthday, Morrigan. I Love You.

Cold? I Got Your Stinkin’ Cold…

Where I work, there are multiple rooms with cubes in them. It’s a long hallway with doors on either side… the doors taking you into various size rooms with cubes. My room happens to be a large room, housing probably 30 or so cube rats such as myself. (For those of you who think engineers work in private offices… think again. A cube is a step up for us. We’re used to working in what we called ‘bull pens’. Row after row of engineers.) Across the hall from me sits my boss and my buddy who hired me. It is a smaller room and only holds 8 cubes.

The small room is frickin’ freezing! Cold. Holy crap. I walk in there and look for a jacket. One of the guys keeps a little heater under his desk. I like hanging in his cube. Most of the others wear their jackets or have one draped over the corner of their cube just in case they can’t take it anymore.

Yesterday, one of my co-workers who I swear looks like Mr. Magoo, called facilities and complained. He wore his jacket inside, then when he went out for a smoke, he would shed his jacket. Yes, he was jacketless outside to smoke, but wearing it INSIDE to work.

Facilities sent someone down and she opened the box and punched in a code (you have to know the special code to change the thermostat, they don’t let we engineers do stuff like that… it’s probably a union job) and said she raised it.

An hour later we were all still cold. I took to avoiding their room. I looked at the reading on the thermostat and said, “Guys, she lied to you. She looked like she was working some voodoo magic, but it was a psychological trick. She figured if she looked like she was making it warmer, you would think it was warmer.” The thermostat never changed. It stayed the same. Today it was just as damn cold. I hate that room.

They really need to raise it above 73 degrees. That’s just too damn cold. *grin*

Big Announcement…

Coming tomorrow….

(No, I’m not pregnant. Bite your tongue. Well… at least not in THIS world… hint hint!!!)

Monday, February 14, 2005

Best V-day Post

I had no intention of blogging again tonight, but I had to as this is the greatest V-Day post yet. I have a feeling that the top one is going to become a quote of mine... What a damn riot. Those boys need smooches from me.

Visitors from FrankJ and SarahK

Ack! I am looking at my sitemeter and realize I’ve had a combination IMAOalanche and Mountaineer Musingsalanche! Well, loyal readers of The Lovely and Talented FrankJ and Great SarahK, it was a real pleasure in meeting them.

Keep in mind, I did not engage FrankJ in conversation. First, FrankJ was in the limelight. Second, I wasn’t sure what to say to him. And that is not Frank's fault, but rather my own issues. We don’t have much in common except probably a small career thing, but I felt odd and wondered what he had in common with a 39 year old mother of three who has been married for nearly 14 years, who is old enough to be his Mom in a 3rd world country or an American ghetto? Not much. I felt certain I would bore him to tears, in particular because he is very funny and I’m… well, I’m just not.

I will tell you that he is very nice and respectful. He is very much like his blog. In fact, when he had accidentally had too much to drink, he was never boorish or obnoxious. He was louder, which was funny, more extroverted, which was very funny, but not nasty nor mean. What you read in his blog… I don’t get the impression he has to work at being funny. (Sure blogging can be tedious, but he has a natural talent for satire.) Maybe I am wrong, but while he is speaking, stuff just pops into his head. He is spontaneously funny and very demonstrative. That is probably what makes him even funnier… the facial expressions and voice inflection. The guy really has talent. And you can tell he’s smart. It’s not just from his blog. If I were to engage him in conversation on the street, I would know instantly he is intelligent.

And for the readers of the wonderfully delightfully sweet and talented SarahK… read her blog and I promise you, she is every bit as sweet, considerate, and pretty as what she writes and the pictures she posts. She too has much facial expression when speaking with great voice inflection. It makes her even more funny, as it does Frank. She is engaging. When you speak to her, she is speaking only to you.

SarahK had me laughing and I felt so comfortable speaking with her. She is open and honest and what you see is what you get and that is so refreshing in people. It really is. And also like Frank, you can tell she has a lot going on upstairs. She’s a people person and smart.

You can tell they love each other very much. It is not a blog trick. It is real. They are good to each other and they respect one another. They tease and joke like you would expect, but they are good people.

I guess that’s the bottom like. Frank and Sarah are just flat out good people. Their blogs do not lie.


Well, in case you live under a rock or in a cave, today is Valentine’s Day. The kids are excited about it. Son#3 came home wearing some dopey hat with antennae hearts. It was worth it just for the hat.

Of course I have been relentless on the teasing. Today’s car conversation went something like this (Son#3 was in art class making his dopey hat):

Me: Soooooooooo, did you get any Valentines that say ‘smoochy smoochy, I am so in love with you?” *big grin*

Son#1: No. Mom. Blech. Thank God.

Son#2: Grace is in love with me. (rolling his eyes as he does not feel the same way)

Me: She is? How do you know that. You’re 8.

Son#2: Don’t you remember in 1st grade when she had Sidney and Meagan pin me down at recess so she could kiss me on the lips?

Me: Oh yeah. But that was last year and by the way, that wasn’t nice.

Son#2: She’s still in love with me. She wants to marry me.

Me: Marry you? You are 8. She wants to marry you? How do you know this?

Son#2 now rolling his eyes: Because, Mom, she WROTE it on the dumpster.

Me: Wha???

Son#2: Yeah. She had chalk at recess and went behind the dumpster and wrote, “I want to marey Son#2 and I want to kiss him on the lips.” (I asked about the spelling of marry since I know she is not one of the better students in class. Being a Catholic school, I just assumed she would spell it ‘Mary’.)

Me, shaking my finger at him in my rearview mirror, where it appears all our important mother/ child conversations take place: You stay away from that little girl! Do you hear me?

Geezoweez. ‘I want to kiss him on the lips’. That girls going to get to high school and it’s going to get vulgar. Thank God she’s moving. To Missouri. At the end of the school year. I wish it were tomorrow.

What is the Probability?

We needed our screen fixed from the serious hurricane damage. Our original screen installers never call us back. I’ve put word out… nothing. So my husband comes home a week ago and tells me that the son of one of his employees is in the screen/pressure cleaning business and we should try him. I told him if the kid would come out, then he could have the job.

I heard nothing.

I was talking on the phone the other day to a friend of mine, who lives out in Wellington, as in Florida, and she says, “I have the GREATEST screen guys repairing my hurricane damage. Let me give you their number.” And she e-mails me their information.

Today I decide since the thing with my husband’s employee’s son may not work out, he's been just a LITTLE busy resolving this whole car accident issue, I would take the initiative to call this screen company.

I get home and there is a message on my machine from my husband saying the original young man was coming to the house; the son of his employee. Sure enough, he showed up exactly at the time he said he would. And what was there not to like? He was on time, amazingly polite, which scores BIG BIG points with me, and… he’s a former Marine. BINGO! I give him the down payment and he hands me his card. It says “Wellington”. I thought, “HMMMM”.

After he leaves, I check my e-mail and it is THE SAME GUY! Yes, of the hundreds and hundreds of screen company’s this young man was the young man I was going to call anyway… the guy who did my friend’s home last week.

And just for Johnny Oh, since this young man came at lunch time, I tried to feed him. I offered to make him sandwich so he could eat on his way to get his supplies. He politely declined. I was accused this weekend of trying to fatten up certain young men. Heh. It’s a Mom thing.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

BE Reunion

What a weekend. A whirlwind weekend. I’m beat. Going to bed at 2AM, even though you sleep until 9-9:30, still feels like you went to bed soooo late!

So… I’ll give you scoopage on who was there and what they’re like. Let me say up front, that they were truly some of the nicest people I have ever met. All expectations were met and surpassed… respectful, intelligent, and funny people. I can be rather aloof, having to adjust to ‘crowds’, but by Saturday afternoon, I was more relaxed and felt like I could partake without disappointing anyone.

Harvey, our blogfather, and the reason we were all gathered, is so incredibly kind and respectful. I can see how he comes up with the Love Notes to Beloved Wife as he truly loves her and has no problems conveying it. It was such a pleasure to meet him. A gift. Really. It was cool knowing that we were all there BECAUSE OF HIM and meeting him made me happy that I had chosen to blog eight months ago.

Harvey’s wife, Beloved Wife, was in attendance too. She is hysterical. She fit right in with all of us; you would think she was a Blogger, especially with her ‘quote pen’. She is cute and funny and all that Harvey claims her to be. I felt like I knew her when I met her. And if nobody has stated it yet, she’s in awesome shape.

Tammi, hostess extraordinaire, I knew her already as we probably speak once a day on our cells anyway, after she met me during my infamous Sea World adventure with my boys. I had no problems taking over her kitchen! Tammi is like a sister and she made this weekend so comfortable for everyone. Wow, and she’s a damn good cook. We had the BEST prime rib last night. The night before we had pulled pork BBQ sandwiches. And she served us the sweetest corn last night… the sweetest corn I had ever tasted. I think she said it was fresh Indiana corn she had blanched, frozen and saved for us. There are some foods you never forget… that corn is forever burned in my fond food memories.

Teresa of Technicalities, is a smart and funny woman. I’m not sure if she realizes how witty she is. She told us some stories and with her facial expressions and the tone of her voice… the way she phrased things, it cracked me up. The frustrations of being a Mom don’t seem to go away when you kids grow up. She’s a peach. She’s a keeper. I'm hoping to hang with her again.

_Jon of We Swear, I was unsure what to expect, although I had spoken to him on the phone before. He pretty much saved my ass. I left my directions at home. I had put them in my car the night before so I wouldn’t forget, and then in a quick “Gotta clean my car one more time before I leave”, I pulled them out with my Son’s school papers. Lovely. I happened to know what time his flight came in and having his cell plugged in mine, as good fortune would have it, I was driving by the airport right after his flight landed. So I called him, found out what rental car company he was using, and met him there. I followed him in.

I have posted about _Jon’s other blog before. He lost his wife to lung cancer a year ago. It is heartbreaking to me, knowing he is grieving so. I was unsure if he would be sullen, introspective… I just wasn’t sure... because I don’t really know him. I have so much hope for him… for his making it through all he has endured although I know it may take years and years… meeting him renewed my hope and faith that with his family and friends, he will be OK, although I know he must question it. He is a wonderful man. A caring man. And I have the utmost respect for him. It was good to hear him laugh. I was afraid it was a sound I would not hear. I need fear no more.

Johnny Oh of Closet Extremist, who I will now forever tease as the man boy, even though I did assure him I know he’s a man, at the ripe age of 32. I think one of the first things I asked him was, “So, Johnny, exactly how old ARE you?” He looks so young. I told him if he didn’t have a mustache, I would question if he shaved. *Big Grin* If _Jon doesn’t kill him before the next family reunion, I look forward to meeting him again. He is a sweetie. Some girl’s gonna snap that boy up.

Lee Ann of Lee Ann’s view… I love this woman. Her laughter, her being… she is infectious. Kind. It doesn’t even begin to describe her. She is only a few hours away, so I am hoping I get to see her again. Meeting her in person made me laugh even harder at some of her posts… I could picture her facial expressions when she saw all those damn Christmas decorations as the Decoration War was occurring between her neighbors. She’s the kind of girl that you hug… and then you want to turn around and hug her just one more time.

Lee Ann’s non-blogger darling husband. OK, there were two things that made me look at this man twice and think, I really like being around him… 1) he makes his hamburgers with the same ingredients I do and 2) I peeled potatoes with him. I walked in the kitchen two hours before we were going to eat dinner and I said, “We’re having mashed potatoes. That’s a lot of potatoes to peel.” And he replied something like, “OK! Let’s do it!” and with that, he grabbed two big ass bowls of Tammi’s and two potato peelers, and we rejoined the group on the porch and peeled potatoes. It was like being with family and snapping snap beans. I think we had that bag peeled in 5 minutes flat. He has a big heart and I can see how he and Lee Ann fit so well together. They are wonderful people.

Boo-Hahn, Lee Ann’s and non-blogger darling husband’s dog, rocks. My heart NEVER pulls to have another baby, but it does pull to get a big dog. What a sweetie.

The Great SarahK, is as sweet as her blog. Read her blog and you know SarahK. Her laugh is infectious too and she stole my heart when she accidentally called me ‘Bou’. It made me laugh. She keeps FrankJ grounded and the two of them are funny together… how they play off each other like in their blogs. It was nice to hear that a big Blogger like her gets as bummed out about nasty commenters as I do. I thought I was the only one who gets so bothered by it… now I feel like my skin is not so thin.

The Lovely and Talented FrankJ, is a riot, drunk or sober. I have no idea how he thinks of some of the things that come into that man’s brain. I’ve quoted him a couple times already… and yes, it was beyond the “Do I look more sober in a Ninja stance?” quote. I have to say that I was a bit worried about their 2 hour drive home and it was so very late (the very sober SarahK was driving), but that’s the Mom in me and I had to keep saying to myself, “They’re adults… they’ll be fine.”

That wraps it up. I had a wonderful time and on my way home I got that empty feeling I get when I leave a relative’s house after a good family reunion. You don’t want it to end.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Chillin' on a Saturday Night

It's Saturday night, Tammi's prime rib was phenomenal, everyone is either sitting around talking or cleaning the kitchen (LeeAnn and Harvey's Beloved Wife are cleaning) and FrankJ is pretty daggum drunk. Funny stuff. Seriously.

We've hijacked Tammi's site a couple times. Go HERE to see some of the goings on, including a post from me.

Many many quotes will be appearing, but I think one of my favorite's today is "Do I look more sober in a Ninja stance?" Heh.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Bad Example Family Reunion

I'm over here at Tammi's at our Blog Family Reunion. We're having a great time even though it's too damn cold.

I'm taking some serious abuse here, folks. Just remember, there is a reason for everything and don't believe everything you read... even if there is a damn picture.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

A New Kindred Spirit

Do you ever just lose it? I mean really frickin’ lose it. It can appear to be nothing, but it’s just that damn proverbial straw and you just can’t take it anymore. Well… it happened tonight. Those who know me are probably laughing or are horrified. I can get a good rant going. Cussing, hollering, arms flailing, pacing… it’s not pretty.

I get home from karate and I hear Son#1 say, “Mom, we gotta run to the store and buy me some boots. Lace up boots.”


Come to find out, there is a field trip tomorrow to ‘The Little Red School House’ located at Phipps Park it dates back to 1865, and the kids are supposed to dress in period clothing. Sure, they sent home a packet of stuff a couple weeks ago. At the top was the permission slip. I signed it and sent it back in. The next two pages were history of The Little Red School House and at that point, my eyes glazed over and I tossed it aside.

Like I really give a rat’s ass about the history of The Little Red School House (hereby known as TLRSH). Don’t get me wrong. It’s cool. It really is. But I have too much crap going on in my life to sit down and read about stuff that is completely irrelevant to my here and now and TLRSH fits right in there as far as irrelevancy.

Flash forward to now, I call a fellow Mom in a fit. I’ve known her for 5 years. She is sweet. Really sweet. She runs Bible studies for Catholic women. She’s also the Mother of my son’s best friend from school and the mother of two boys. The conversation went something like this… almost exclusively one sided:

Me: Did you know they have to f----ing dress up for this f----ing field trip?

Mom: Yeah, he told me and there was this packet of papers.

Me, wigging out big big big: A packet of papers?! What packet of papers is this? (I am now scrounging around my counters at the piles of school papers we have. Don’t ask. I have a clear mind, but the clutter has to go somewhere. It goes on my counters.)

Mom: It came with the permission slip…

Me: That packet of papers?! There was relevant sh— in there? I tossed it aside. I can’t f---ing believe this. I read the cover and thought, “I don’t have time for this sh—“ and I tossed it.

Mom: This dressing thing is supposed to be kind of important…

Me, cutting her off: If it’s so f---ing important you’d think they’d send a damn note home saying something like, “And remember, period costumes”. And WTF is this about Boots? Boots?! He’s wearing his f---ing tennis shoes.

Mom: He doesn’t own any other shoes that tennis shoes?

Me: Hell No. He’s a BOY! I’m lucky he WEARS SHOES!

Mom: Whew. I thought I was the only one whose kids only wore tennis shoes…

Me: Hell NO. This sucks. You know, this really sucks. I can’t believe this…

And on it went. Heh.

I get off the phone and my husband says, ‘You shouldn’t have talked like that to her. She’s a nice woman.”

Evidently I’m not. Surprise.

My reply was something like, “I’ve known her for 5 years. I’m not changing for anyone. If she can’t handle it, screw it.” And I walked off to put the costume together. We improvised and he is wearing trousers tucked into black soccer socks so they look like knickers. He has a corduroy long sleeved shirt with a collar. And a belt. There you go. He is happy. I’m happ…ier. Still kind of pissed.

An hour later my phone rings. I’m taking home Mom’s son from school tomorrow, just dropping him off. She said to me, “You do not know how you made my day.”

Me: How in the world could I make your day? I completely freaked.

Mom: Because you showed me I’m not the only one who completely loses it. I’m not the only Mom out there who finally can take no more and just f---ing freaks out.

She actually said the F word.

So much for worrying. We then talked for another hour, commiserating about the things that go on in our lives and how sometimes we just want to scream. And… some days we do.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

A Mild Case of Deja Vu

Yesterday in the car, while driving home from Karate, my eldest son says to me, “Mom, what’s a hooker?” I nearly choked on my hamburger. (We did quick take out for dinner. I know, I’m a bad Mom.)

I could tell. It was going to be one of these ‘rear view mirror’ conversations again.

After asking him where he heard it, in what context, etc., etc., I decided it was time to tell him. (I never did get a real straight answer on where he heard it, but I couldn’t very well let him wander around using the word. God only knows if he thought it might deal with helping someone get naked in a restaurant.) We need to start carrying his dictionary in the car. Coincidentally, just 5 minutes before he had asked me what the word solicit meant. I think it was from the drive through… there is a sign that says ‘No soliciting’.

So I finally tell him what a hooker is, a woman who sells her body for sex to a man. Period. Then I started thinking, “Wow. Where do I stop with this? Should I tell him about turning tricks and Johns?” But I used restraint and refrained.

At the end though, I could not help myself. I said, “Hey, remember when you asked me a couple minutes ago what the word solicits meant? Well, if we were going to use that in a sentence we might say, ‘the hooker solicits sex for a living.’.” He was quiet. I may have emotionally scarred him… I don’t know.

Bet I wouldn’t win any big points with his language arts teacher for that one.

By the way, my sister is completely appalled that my son now knows about sex AND hookers… but… still believes in the Easter Bunny. I seem to be OK with that.

Bet You Won’t Hear Your Daughter Say This

On Saturday I had the air pump and wrenches out and I was filling up bicycle tires and making adjustments. With three kids, three bikes, this can take some time. I was on the last bike, leaning down adding air to the tires, I worked on Son#1’s first, and he comes riding up and says to me, “Mom, can you adjust my seat? It’s crushing my balls.”


I looked up at him blank faced. He cocked an eyebrow at me and said, “No. Really. It is.” And I in turn cocked an eyebrow back at him and said, “No. Really. I believe you.”

They just say exactly what is on their mind.

The Aftermath

So we’re feeling enormously blessed still. The insurance adjuster came today and did verify the car is totaled. My husband is to be examined by a doctor in the next week to make sure he’s OK. He’s sore as hell and can really feel it at work.

Me? I’m still a little freaky. Usually come 5:00, I’m cooking dinner in one hand, answering the phone with the other, yelling at some kid to quit jumping on the couch, helping yet another with their homework, and trying to get another kid to quit whining. All at once.

On a typical day, my husband walks in and I give this half wave, while still cooking dinner, pulling down dinner dishes, pulling two kids off each other who seem intent on drawing blood, and convincing yet the 3rd child that he really does need to get his backpack from my car once and for all. And the phone is ringing.

Now, he walks in the door, I put everything down and hang on him.

I suspect that the Aliens will come back and return my natural life force to me shortly. I give it a week. But for now, I can’t quit just being thankful every time he walks in that damn door.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Time Stands Still

I got a call at 12:31 AM. I don’t like calls at that time. They mean something bad has happened and this was no exception. My husband teaches with a group, continuing ed for his profession, and after yesterday’s course got out at 7PM, they all went out for dinner. They ended up not eating until more like 9 and it was a long evening, relaxing I’m sure, all the guys. Some decided to go to another place after to dance and party some more, but he begged out. He doesn’t drink, he doesn’t like keeping late hours and as he put it to me, all he could think about was crawling into bed with his wife.

He was in the middle lane of I-95, going with the flow of traffic, which was probably about 60MPH, when in his rear view mirror, he just saw headlights. Within a fraction of a second, the car had hit him in the back rear right quarter panel and was pushing him down I-95. The kid was doing over 85MPH, the Florida Highway Patrol suspects. As the cars started to slow, the kid’s car disengaged from my husband’s, throwing him into a spin until he slammed into the wall of the bridge.

My husband drives a very well made, but low to the ground sports car. 1994 Twin Turbo Supra, loaded. He has that baby cranked at well over 450 HP on the block. It’s in pristine condition. The leather inside always treated just so. The white paint job looks like it just rolled off the factory floor. People stop to admire his car and he spends hours on it. It is his catharsis. If he is having a bad day, you’ll find him waxing his car or tinkering with it. In my garage I have the old exhaust system, the old wheels (he went bigger) and old stereo. He’s a motor head, which surprises people when they find out what he does for a living. He KNOWS cars and he loves them. But he is careful and doesn’t go all out on dangerous places like I-95. He has no death wish and has a good head on his shoulders. Thankfully.

But for the grace of God the man is still alive. When he called me, I misunderstood. I thought he was on the side of the road having witnessed a wreck. He was so calm. But that is him, Mr. Calm, Cool and Collected. His brother calls him the Iceman. I am his wife. I know better. Even as calm as he was, he was not thinking 100%. I was the first he called after the FHP and when I said, “Wait. YOU were in a wreck? I need to come get you,” his reply was a quiet, “No, I don’t think so. I don’t want you to wake the boys.” Finally I said, “Babe, how are you going to get home? Don’t worry about the boys. We’re on our way” and with that, I managed to get my boys dressed and into the van, with blankets to keep them warm, hoping they would stay asleep.

I got to the accident scene probably about 1:15 AM. The tow trucks were there, the cops, the road rangers had closed off two lanes of I-95. It was cool and windy out and a light rain had started. Cool, dark and rainy, I felt sick inside, not knowing what to expect. When I pulled in front of the lead tow truck, they had loaded his car up already. I don’t know where the punk was that hit him; I gather his family had already taken him away. It was not a hit and run as the punk’s car had a wheel shorn off during the wreck.

I know my husband was numb. I kept trying to give him a jacket as he was standing out in his lecture clothes in the cool rain and the tow truck guys and the cops were all wearing rain slickers and wind breakers. He refused and said he was fine. He went through the motions and the cops listed his car as totaled.

I have to tell you, the FHP were wonderful. I could tell they felt bad for him. As much as he looked unaffected, they would put a hand on his shoulder. The tow truck guy… wow. I was surprised when I saw the kid driving the lead truck. I said to my husband, “Since when did they let 16 year olds drive tow trucks?” He couldn’t have been a day over 21. But his boss… the lead, he was awesome. The windows are blown out of the car and they were towing it to a salvage yard and he promised my husband he would tarp it so as not to ruin the interior. (When we called the salvage yard today, they had my husband’s car inside AND tarped.) He told my husband if he really wants it fixed, he knows the guys who can do it. Luckily, we do too. He gave us great insight on how to deal with the insurance company and how to buy the car back with clear title so we can fix it. He was a plethora of information, obviously garnered from years of experience in his profession. He’s a motorhead too… a Vietnam vet that still has his 1966 GTO he bought right before he went to ‘Nam. He loves his car and knew my husband loved his.

So now goes the hassle of dealing with insurance and the fact the kid may NOT have had insurance. We’ll have it towed to our garage and I think he’s having it rebuilt. His mechanic races at Moroso and wrecked his Supra going 110MPH slamming into a wall. I know if his mech was able to have his car put back, they can surely do something for a car that spun into a wall at 60, although his mech’s car only hit a wall… my husband’s car was hit and THEN spun into the wall.

We just need to save and figure out when to do it. Until then, my husband’s car will sit in our garage, a reminder of how lucky we are. He walked away from this wreck unscathed, just a bit sore. He could be dead. I could be a widow. My children could be fatherless. I am dwelling on how blessed we are, but the alternatives cannot help but creep into my thoughts, the prospects that I could have been doomed to walk this Earth alone without my soul mate, the potential of having to raise our children without their father.

As I was sitting on the side of the interstate, watching my husband pace back and forth, talking to the FHP and the tow truck drivers, deciding on where they were going to take his car and what to do next, all I kept thinking was, “I don’t want to be here. I want my babies in their beds. I want my husband in bed next to me.” I just wanted him lying next to me in our bed. Warm and safe.