Where the hampster wheel always turns

About Me

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Middle aged underweight high school graduate
"It is not advisable James to venture unsolicited opinions. You should spare yourself the embarrassing discovery of their exact value to your listener." - Francisco d'Anconia, Atlas Shrugged
"The soundest way to raise revenues in the long run is to cut taxes now." - John F. Kennedy


Monday, August 31, 2009

Everyone needs to have a life-guiding plan. My son has a sign in his room that says "Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and taste good with catsup." I wholeheartedly endorse this philosophy.

This week my hubby, (grrr) approved the idea that our children pool their money to buy a bearded dragon. Normally I don't like bearded anythings. I mean, they're all hairy, and shaggy, and gnarly and ick. Then spending money on a reptilian bearded... ick.

Now don't get me wrong. I love it when the herpetology society brings their boas, gecko's and kimodo dragons to chase the kids around the school yard. Nothing like screaming toddlers as the forked tongues of doom flicker near their little faces. Come on, other people's kids freaking out? I relish the rare occasion that makes mine look like angels. Yay reptiles.

But to bring one home. Set up rocks and heat lamps for the cold-blooded little monsters. Then the fun begins. Feeding. No reptile eats anything a normal person wants to touch. Knowing nothing about dragons, except of course the prerequisite fairy tale dragon primers and a long ago reading of The Hobbit, I was not prepared to undertake this undertaking. (Grrr at hubby again.)

The family comes home from Petsmart with $40,000 worth of dragon supplies. It's the keystone cops of dragon raising. I ask them if we need tools to groom the dragon or if it can share the electric razor with hubby. They, as usual don't think I'm very funny, but I send myself into giggles picturing a little dragon perched on the sink being shaved by my beloved. I think that would only be fair, having to shave an animal because you agreed to allow its purchase. I hope they bite.

Soon the tank is set up, lamps a burning, rocks and fake plants and a hollowed out log... the habitat is prepared. We now await the maturation of the little guy. Every day seems an eternity to the children. Every day that passes dragonless is one more jolt of joy for me.

Finally the day arrives, and "Jimmy" joins the family. Jimmy gets a lot of attention. He needs two daily hydrating spa baths, diced fruit and veggies and of course my favorite - mineral dusted crickets. The deal was this was YOUR pet. I am responsible for keeping four humans, one canine and an orange grove alive. I'm not looking to add to the menagerie.

This morning, amid the wailing and sobbing of an unnamed child, I get coerced into driving to a specialty pet store to purchase specialty crickets. Stepping over the chinchilla and around the rooster I retrieve the 10 dozen crickets for my newly purchased "cricket keeper" I wander over to the store's bearded dragons - I must admit - they are cute. They all look at me, follow what I'm doing - heck, they're more attentive to me than the entire rest of my family combined. I may have to change my dragon soapbox.

Returning home I'm sitting on unnamed child #1's unmade bed trying to figure out how I am going to get 12 - 24 crickets from the keeper to the cage - oh did I forget to mention, they each had to be dusted with mineral powder. Yum.

I open the cage, they're all relatively calm. In what I think is an ingenious move I take a toilet paper tube and coax a couple of crickets into the tube. Then I can empty the tube into the container with mineral powder, shake them around and release them to Jimmy.

Jimmy is extremely interested in what I am doing and has gotten down from his basking rock to stand by woman with crickets. As I'm watching Jimmy try and look cute, I bend to release the two snow white crickets into the cage. One hop and snap, Jimmy got 'em. Jimmy is an outstanding hunter. As I was applauding his little snack I noticed one of the crickets had climbed up high in the keeper. I go to secure the lid and the cricket jumps out. Hmmmm. Conundrum.....

Good mom... would work really hard to find the escaped cricket, return it to the cage and make her daughter's messy bed. Yeah... I know people like that. I know, you know this is not what I did. I spotted the cricket and tried to catch it with my hand. With my clumsy gargantuan efforts I succeeded only in ripping off one of his legs, which I then promptly lost in her bed. I looked and looked and then, true to the kind of mom I really am, just left the limb in there. I will love it when she gets up in the morning after a deep sleep with a cricket leg embedded in her cheek. Puleeeeaze let that happen!

I attempt another dip into the cricket cage. Lifting the tube full of crickets I release the end a little too early and 90% of the crickets made it into the tank. To Jimmy's dismay, three others got out and were living carefree lives of joy behind the bed. Again, conundrum... do I tell the kid there's a plague of pestilence that's taken over her room thanks to mom, or do I say nothing...
For the record I do believe it will be hard to sleep with crickets in your bed. Running over your legs under the covers...getting caught in your hair.
Votes? Anyone?

This week a new coffee shop opened up in our neighborhood. I got a flier in the mail that they were giving free drinks away all day. Since I'm not a coffee drinker I tossed the flier in the trash and went on with my day.

Busy in the glamor that is my daily life, the phone rings.

"Mom! What are you doing?"

Setting down a bon bon I answer, "Why?"

"Such and such a place is giving away free drinks today and I was wondering if you would go get me one."

Of course this makes perfect sense, she's at school and needs her coffee. "What the heck unnamed child #1?"

"Oh, mom, (eye roll) they serve other stuff besides coffee, they serve smoothies too."

I mull the proposition over and somehow find my sorry behind stuck in a long line waiting for smoothies for Unnamed child #1 and a few of her friends that have smarter parents.

As I'm idling I realize I've never been to a coffee house before. Mostly because I don't drink coffee, but also because a number of years ago when $12 coffee became the rage I developed a bona fide pet peeve. It's one that started back in the 80's and has been festering for years. I normally keep it to myself, but now I have a blog.

Back when bottled water came out, the cool people were seen cruising the school halls clutching their Evian bottles. Bottled water became a status symbol, much like designer coffee has today. My peeve is how readily we literally buy into a marketing idea. While I know many a livelihood is founded on our national desire to consume, I have allowed designer drinks to bug me.

As this concept has grown, like the camel's nose in the tent, we're not only clutching water and coffees, kids are now guzzling energy drinks at alarming rates. It's not good for our bodies, our environment or our pocketbooks.

Pulling up to the drive-thru window I order the smoothies and am asked "with whip?" Takes me a few seconds, since I am not versed in the coolness of the coffee house to realize she is referring to my beloved whipped cream. "With of course."

She hands me the magical elixirs and I take a swig. Well, I just waited in line for 45 minutes to receive a free Icee with some whipped cream on it. Tomorrow they will be charging $4.25 for one of these.

Transporting three of these treats over to the local schoolyard, I hand them over to the panting kids. As I watch the pack recede back into the crowd they're holding their special smoothies high.

Whatever get's ya through the day girls.

La Primera Dia - The First Day

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I've started a Spanish class this week. Having wasted away in online classes, I'm a huge fan of the teacher-student interaction. The last Spanish class I took was over 20 years ago. Yes, I got an A, but cerebral atrophy is a powerful force, so I was very nervous the first day of class.

When I registered for classes I had to conduct some business on campus. The loitering student population scared the bijeezuz out of me. (I don't know what bijeezuz are but I could tell when they were gone.) The campus was littered with all sorts of packs of scary looking kids. I understand that I run with a rather protected segment of the population, but I was scared I was going to be knifed on my way to the bookstore.

After checking out, I actually stood at the window planning my route across campus, the long way, back to the safety of my car. I thought there was little chance someone was going to carjack a minivan... then I was scared I had that thought. I placed one key from my key ring between each of my fingers and ran in the 113 degree heat across the parking lot. Scary people and an overactive imagination are not a good mix.

My first day, I arrived early to class. With the business of school underway, there was less loitering. There were still scary people I had to navigate, now they were lost and scary.

One by one students filed into our classroom. Most of them seemed non-threatening. The professor had our class create a giant U formation so we could all converse together. He had a buzzer he had pulled from a Taboo game and when you made a mistake he buzzed you over, and over and over until you got it right. After being buzzed a ridiculous number of times, I was starting to wonder if I could compete in this class.

Then he broke us into pairs. My partner makes his way over from the other side of the room. The beanie cap, black dagger earrings, low-rider pants with plaid underwear showing made for am impressive sight. As we worked through the assignment, this kid was delightful. You mostly can't judge a book by it's cover. But I wonder what people are trying to communicate with their fashion choices.

Well, some people I don't wonder at all. Next to my partner was seated one of the girls in the class. I never looked at her face. Despite the fact that I am completely heterosexual, I could not take my eyes off her cleavage. I'm not sure you could show more cleavage. Who puts that kind of outfit on in the morning and says "This is perfect for school?" Well, obviously this girl. I dared my partner to throw something in... he couldn't quit laughing, and being a boy, he had noticed her wares long before I did.

So I think she must be an anomaly. I was wrong. Three girls in our little class have barely covered their nipples. Good grief ladies. At school? Really?

One girl walks up to turn in a paper. She has less clothes on than off. Micro mini, plunging neckline, spaghetti straps - I've seen more clothing at the beach. As the professor is talking to her he leans on his buzzer.

My side of the room gets the giggles - she deserved to be buzzed. With all the different fashion expressions and statements they're trying to make, I wonder if I should bring a buzzer just to make it safely to my classes each day.

I'd feel like one of the judges on a reality show - buzzing people who didn't make the cut. It could be fun. Too short of skirt - AAAAAAA Ugly baggy pants - AAAAAA Gangsta bandana - AAAAAAA.

Suddenly I hear the real buzzer - AAAAAAA- while daydreaming I had missed the question and I was the one getting buzzed.

Clearly it will be a challenge for me to keep up.

Come On Back Now Y'hear

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I'm not a particularly good housekeeper. I've never had delusions on this subject. There aren't things growing and no one is going to catch the swine flu but beyond that I make no apologies.

We have a Fisher Price/Polly Pocket town in our formal dining room. At any given time there will be a pile of unfolded laundry somewhere in the house. We have various instruments, music stands and sheet music strewn about. Soccer cleats, orthodontic appliances, school books. I get sick of picking it all up so often I just step over it. Usually I'm completely at peace with this fact. I'm not showing off for you, I'm raising kids.

Last week, I start dinner, clear off the kitchen table strewn with backpacks, shoes, and stuffed animals and try to get ready for our nightly meal. Sometimes I go a little overboard on my dinner creations and this one was particularly involved. While boiling and stirring the phone rings. Of course, I can't find a handset so I end up on the other side of the house by the time I completely missed the call.

Walking back to the kitchen I notice an odor coming from the powder room. I quickly poke my head in. Apparently an elephant, while using our toilet, had some digestive problems. I almost passed out from the stench, the toilet was completely swamped. I gag and my eyes well up from the fumes. Now, in all honesty it was not like I wanted to dive in and fix the problem right then, but I had to get back to dinner and I figured this could fester a while longer so I close the door and head down the hall.

As I'm passing the front door, something catches my eye. It looks like a rubber band ball on the entry rug. I walk closer to grab it and put it in the toy pile when I again, gag as I note this is no toy. At least it's not any more. The dog has thrown up all over the entry way, complete with the partially digested remains of who knows what.

Give me a break. Can this get any worse?

I grab a plastic bag, gathering the large chunks of regurgitate, depositing it in the trash. Again, the carpet cleaning can wait until after dinner.

Lathering my hands up to my neck, I wash and return to the fabulous culinary experience I've planned for my little family. Gathered round the table we're having a lovely conversation when the doorbell rings.

I'm sure It's someone selling magazines so I ignore it. Hubby goes to the door and I hear, "Of course you can use our bathroom."

WHAT THE HECK?!!!!!!!!!!!

Really? Right now??

I throw back my chair, leap over a backpack and yell to hubby and whoever it is "NOOOOO!" As I approach the door it's one of my neighbors. Needing the restroom. Who among us hasn't been there, but really? Right now, today, someone actually rings my door and asks to use my restroom? Can't you use another neighbor's restroom? Am I being punked?

It not a good reflection on me when I have to say to the guest, "Come in, please step over the dog barf and use my son's bathroom - he cleans it himself once a week. It's the cleanest in the house right now."

I'm so embarrassed I can't even look them in the eye. Hubby can't believe what's going on, he's even embarrassed.

The visitor emerges from the restroom holding their hands in the air like a freshly washed surgeon. Of course, there were no towels in that restroom. I offer to grab a towel and they say quickly "No, air drying is just fine." I know they were thinking they didn't want to touch anything more than they had to in this house.

"Well, goodbye now. Please step over the dog barf on your way out. Come again."

It takes a lot to embarrass me.

This did it.

A Dog's Life

Monday, August 24, 2009

It's pretty pathetic when one develops an intense jealousy toward their dog. Clearly you know me well enough to know I am speaking of myself. He lies, next to the air conditioner return, panting and having a spectacular doggie dream that includes yipping and fake running. It's more like twitching but I can tell in his dream he's traveling at warp speed after whatever fun his doggie brain has conjured.

I on the other hand am sitting across the room, unable to sleep, so I'm just staring at him. What a gift to sleep like a dog. Of course, I would miss the best parts of my day if I actually slept the 16 sound hours he requires, but still, a good 8 hours culminating with a puppy dream would be pretty sweet.

His day tomorrow includes a trip to the spa "Bark Avenue". He will be bathed, coiffed, primped, preened and polished into the glamor pup you're all used to. (Actually I'm having them shave off half of his hair because he's too hot) When he returns, Sanook will have a lovely hairstyle complementing his face.

I, on the other hand look like Tom Petty because my hairdresser has abandoned me, destining me to a life of bad, limp hairness. She's an awful lot like the Seinfeld Soup Nazi except with hair. She is mean to me, and I was a good tipper. Bark Avenue would not take a tandem dog/owner hair appointment. I tried. Sigh.

While the dog is at the spa I get to start school. I like school. I like sitting in the classroom. I usually anticipate these first day of school days with excitement. When I registered for the class I had to provide proof of residency on campus. Clutching my driver's license and awkwardly weaving my way through an Asian gang, A rapper gang, A Latino gang, the Sharks and the Jets I made it to the office unscathed. A quick xerox of the license and I was cast back out into the general population.

Entering the general population can be frightening for an elderly woman like me. I don't have pants that show my thong or butt crack. I don't have extra piercings denoting my coolness, I don't have any tattoos announcing my toughness; I'm a soccer mom with a book bag and keds. I'll sit in the front of the class, ask too many questions and be angry the day the teacher doesn't show up. I will be The Geek of the class. It's a role I've played since my youth. I do it well. But campus has changed since I was last there.

True there's always been a lot lot of smoking, swearing, glaring, and general adolescent rebellion vibe. I'm just hoping no one is packing heat.

After class, I'll pick up my dog from his day at the spa, he'll have a nap. Yep, I'm jealous of my dog.

Generally I try and stay in shape. My challenge in this area is with motivation.

Today is a running day on my schedule. As I'm waking I feel a hyper-gravitational pull of my bottom to my bed. For a woman who often can't call her children by the correct names and doesn't remember why she entered a room, I have an incredible number of excuses of why I should skip todays session flying through my brain at warp speed.

This battle of wills goes on in virtually every health conscious mind, unless you're weird.

I have a couple of neighbors who are weird. Coming home from a run a few days ago I sputter and gasp my way into the driveway as one of them was leaving for his run. "Morning Neighbor," he bellows, "I can't decide whether to do 20 or 25 this morning." "Minutes?" I ask. He actually laughed in my face and said "No silly rabbit, miles." Oh, yeah, miles. since I barely made it to the mailbox and back I don't think in those measurement terms.

Not wanting to look stupid I start pretending I'm taking my pulse as I say, "Yeah, that's a tough decision." I internally panic as I realize I don't have an actual pulse. My heart is pounding so fast I can't measure the spaces between the beats. I flash a toothy, bug spattered grin and say "Have a great workout." All I want him to do is go away so he doesn't see me collapse in a sweaty heap.

Finally he starts off and I think I'm clear to vomit when around the corner come more weird neighbors on racing bikes. They're dressed in those flashy little jumpsuits only a biker understands. I'm sure there's a valid reason one would don the mini skintight jumpsuit. I've never had the guts to ask, but I think it's so the rest of us drivers distracted by our double cheeseburgers notice them on the road. It's pretty hard to miss a grown man in a mini-jumpsuit, even when being mesmerized by bacony goodness.

I'm trying to hide from them behind a bush, but my bright florescent red heat-stroked face gives me away. "Hi Neighbor," they yell in odd unison. "Hi guys," (in mini-jumpsuits) I reply wondering where I can get a bacon cheeseburger for breakfast. "How'd you do today?" one asks assuming I really worked out. "Not bad," I lie, "and you?" "We had a flat tire just south of Flagstaff that slowed us down so we're getting back a little late, but it was a good ride!"

It's 5:45 in the morning. What do these people do? Do they have jobs? I know they are going back to their homes to consume packages of gel food and sew more padding into the seat of their mini-jumpsuits.

They round the corner and I'm finally safe. Doubled over with my hands on my knees I take deep breaths trying not to pass out. Yeah, this is the life.

And I do it again the next day. Maybe tomorrow I'll make it to the end of the block.

Deafening Silence

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I re-read yesterday's post and chuckled again reliving the event. I know it's a good thing I write these little moments down, I'm confident my tiny brain wouldn't recall them. I do have to admit, knowing some of you who read my blog, I'm surprised at the lack of comments.

There are a few possibilities for this:

1. My life leaves you speechless. This is likely the most rational explanation since when you bump in to me, you have gathered your thoughts and share them freely. I'll see some of you in the grocery store, out to lunch and even at church. Most of the time I get comments on how sorry you are for me. How embarrassed you are for me. How you enjoy laughing at me.

2. You are embarrassed to know me. This is also a rational possibility. I do have a few 'followers' who are entirely made up, anonymous with fake e-mail addresses. Now, I understand not wanting to be seen in public with me. I get that from my kids all the time. What I don't understand is why you don't leave your sassy little comments anonymously. I don't have a magic tracking system to decipher who you are. The government might, but since I'm not in tight with them right now they probably won't grant me access to their technology.

3. You don't know how to type. This possibility is me grasping at straws. Unless you have to have your children help you log in to my blog, which come to think of it, some of you actually do, you should be able to hunt-and-peck out a comment or two.

4. It's not that interesting. There is a likelihood that you return day after day just hoping, praying, that one time I might, like a blind squirrel, post something interesting. Until then you're withholding comment.

Who knows?

So What Did You Do Today?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Somehow I've actually paid to be able to communicate less with my children. These new orthodontic appliances have made it extremely hard to understand anything they say. Quite frankly, I'm sure their teachers aren't calling on them in school.

Sitting around the dinner table hubby and I are conducting the nightly ritual of finding out the happenings of their day. It's going something like this:

"So, Unnamed child #1, what did you do today?"

"I had a fantastic day expanding my growing mind with the wonders of learning and possibility."

"Great. Unnamed child #2, how did your day go?"

"Wrble Grumph farqua harku zeelef!"

"Um, great." Figuring that requesting a repetition was pointless we move on.

"Unnamed child #3, how was your day?'

Fortunately this child's palate has expanded rapidly, and therefore the diction is not as garbled. Not clear mind you, but less garbled than #2.

"Today in science (pronounced thienthe) we pwayed where's my penuth"

I choke on my water. Hubby's eyes bug out and the other unnamed children completely lose composure. (BTW, I'm not explaining this to you if you didn't figure it out. Read it out loud if you're confused).

What are they teaching you at that school? We all realize that what is being explained is not what it sounds like, but Unnamed Child #3 keeps talking despite our gffaws. Apparently the class conducted a science experiment that gathered data on some shell-on roasted peanuts. What was being reported was an escalating series of:

"Then I weighed my penuth." "Then I measured my penuth." and finally "We all put our penuths in a basket."

We had completely lost our composure. Doubled over, the four non-scientists were chortling and snorting like the herd of juveniles we are. What made it more entertaining was Unnamed Child #3's complete oblivion to what was going on.

"What is so funny about my penuth?"

Wiping the tears from my eyes I'm completely unable to explain. There is really nothing funny about a penuth.

My youngest two children have both started their orthodontic treatment. This has been a long time coming as we repeatedly had them assessed over the years only to be told their mouths weren't ready. Both of them have prominent misplacement of teeth that is extremely noticeable and we've been anxious to start some sort of enamel wrangling so we're not mistaken for hillbillies as often.

I know the old adage "be careful what you wish for" but I never thought it would rear it's ugly head in this department.

At the office the doctor called me back to instruct me on the operation of their appliances. OPERATE? Since when do I have to do anything but make sure they put in a headgear or two and drive them to their appointments? Orthodontics that comes with a manual?

Rounding the corner to the row of non-private patient chairs, I come upon Unnamed Child #3. Attempting to smile at me she parts her lips over the contraptions glued into her mouth and resembles a tortured Frankenhorse. I try not to look alarmed.

Then she attempts to speak. It sounds an awful lot like that game where you stuff 45 jumbo marshmallows in your mouth and attempt to sing a Mary Had a Little Lamb. Because I'm a juvenile at heart I burst into laughter. She has a look on her face, well, I can't really tell what it was because her lips were stretched over this thing called a lip bumper that pulls the bottom lip away from the lower jaw. The idea is to remove any counter pressure the lip would assert on the lower teeth. The effect makes one look and sound like the cleric in the Princess Bride.

I think I have everything under control when up comes Unnamed Child #2 speaking animatedly sounds and words I don't even begin to understand. I raise my hand in the Vulcan greeting sign and say "I come in peace." I laugh, the doctor laughs, surrounding patients laugh. Unnamed Children #2 and #3 are not laughing. (I'll make a contribution to their therapy jar later).

The doctor begins to explain how twice a day I need to take a pin on a stick, insert it into a tiny hole located in a contraption spanning the roof of each child's mouth. Then I'm supposed to crank that pin as far as it will go. He demonstrates, both children have the same look of horror on their faces as the contraption, the "expander" pushes outward, expanding their palate.

"Gffrrwtun bleesh weebrt." Unnamed Child number two says earnestly. I nod, hoping I didn't just agree to buy him a pony.

People Said it Would Happen

Friday, August 14, 2009

School started this week. While I was ready for the steady routine, the structure and earlier bedtimes to kick in, I admit I'm a little melancholy as another year begins.

Somehow, overnight, my overwhelming three toddlers became people. Albeit little people, people nonetheless. Everyone dresses themselves, takes care of their own dubious hygiene, makes their own lunch. There were days not too long ago that I longed for the respite from the demands of tiny people. Today, little people don't need me as much. This is the direction I was trying to go with them, but there is a part of me that mourns their toddlerness.

People said it would happen but the bags under my eyes, trash bag of dirty diapers slung over my shoulder like ghetto Santa and Cheerios stuck in my hair led me to disbelieve their promises.

There's nothing like trying to pin down a freshly bathed naked two year old while another freshly bathed naked two year old runs in the opposite direction. People said it was like dressing cats. I had a cat I used to dress up, that was easier.

It was great fun taking three toddlers swimming - especially getting them in swimsuits. That was like taking cats swimming. One would cling to my neck cutting off circulation to my brain while the other two fearlessly tried to get away. I lived in constant panic. Now, all three of those toddlers are great swimmers, one of them is on the high school swim team.

I know it's the circle of life, and there is so much about it that I enjoy. I love our fabulous dinner conversations where they have real thoughts and opinions. I love discussing books we read together, shows we watch together, places we travel together. I love their accomplishments, successes, experiences - everything that's making them who they are.

It's an amazing process. The moments have passed slowly but the years were gone in flash.

Today, as they wave goodbye for the day I'm both deeply sad and amazingly proud.

People said it would happen.

The Soundtrack of My Life

Sunday, August 9, 2009

My marriage was a total shock. Not so much that someone would actually marry me, rather the ease at which I thought I would take to married life was not anything like I had envisioned. Mind you, this was entirely hubby's fault.

During our courtship he was a master of writing witty, on the spot songs that would capture the moments we were enjoying. He would sing them to patrons in a restaurant, leave them on my voicemail at work, sing them to my friends in person. He became quite famous for his spontaneous witty lyrics with melodies. They were endearing, funny, sweet, and had just the right amount of social awkwardness to bring out the little bitty amount of coy I have hidden away.

So, of course, after a magical proposal in the Taco Bell drive thru on 40th street we quickly wed and launched into what was sure to be an eternity of bliss. For him. The first morning of our honeymoon I was awakened at 5:30 a.m. to the blasting of the shower against the plastic curtain and the vocal stylings of a very happy groom. Two lungs blaring he was belting out his newest creation which contained refrains of "I'm maaaaaarried! "She's maaaaaaarried" She can't run, run, awaaaaaaay beeeeecauuuuseee we're maaaaaarrrried!!!" There were actions that went with the lyrics, but he was in the shower so I'll spare you.

Now, his joy was exuding all over our tiny little Banff Springs Hotel room. I, ever the yang to this yin, was sucking all his energy into the black hole of my 'non morningness" All I could barely glean from the torturous situation was there was some evil being in the shower, singing at an ungodly hour and he must be dealt with. It was only by the grace of God that I wasn't on the Banff evening news that night.

Hubby popped out of the shower wrapped in a towel and a smile only to take a frightened stumble back when he saw me. Some sort of Medusa had obviously eaten his bride, 'cause the monster in the bed wasn't the girl he knew famous for her toothy smile. No, the one in the bed was snarling something that sounded like "The- sun- is- not- up. You, - must, - be, - QUIET" The monster didn't yell, but the grave firmness in its voice made the room go cold.

The poor sad little warbler realized that if he ever wanted to see his beloved again, he would have to take his morning singing elsewhere.

I didn't care where it went, it just needed to go elsewhere, far, away. I was completely fine if he buried it in his heart only to have it surface as an ulcer later. Morning singing was a marriage breaker.

So it did and we've lived happily ever after.

As our children have aged they have begun to display the genetic need to create their own personal soundtrack. It's such a joy to hear them working out harmonies, lyrics and witticisms that show a definite talent in the area. If they can't work in fast food as teenagers, they can definitely work in commercial jingles. As long as the appropriate work, usually the subject of the song, is being completed I encourage the creative forays.

We've had songs about unloading the dishwasher, "I've got a knife, fork and spoon they're gonna be in a drawer real soon, Mr. knife, Mrs. fork and little baaby spoon."

Preparing for swimming lessons - "Oh I wish I was a fishy in the sea... I'd be swimmin' in the nuudie with out my swimming suitie, oh I wish I was a fishy in the sea!"

Songs about the dog using the lawn as his personal urinal - "I looked out the window and what did I see? Sanook going to the lawn to pee. Dad came yelling with his arms in the air, Sanook just looked at him and peed right there. There he took a tinkle on the ground, Dad went crazy running all around. It wasn't really so, but it seemed to me, Sanook going to the lawn to pee."

It's amazing Broadway hasn't been calling. So last night I was trying to get ready for bed when my kids nestled on the floor. They were up to no good as usual. Kicking Thing #1 and Thing#2 to bed, Unnamed child #1 began to sing a bluesy little number that, were it not for the subject matter, might actually have been reproducible. "Iiiiii'm going tinkle in my parent's pottie, the pottie that was cleaned just today. IIII'mmm going tinkle in my parent's potty, here's where my pee will stay."

Is it appropriate to say "holy crap"? to this stuff or is that dangerously skirting a pun? The song had four verses. It went through various uses of the parent's pottie, a few key changes and minor chords. While I was wincing through a lot of the content, I did remember that not too long ago I paid $70 a ticket to watch the award wining musical "Urinetown" at Gammage. And, in full disclosure, I did enjoy it and pictured my father in the role of the police officer.

As the kids are going to bed tonight, Unnamed child #2 is singing Pavarottiesque opera, Unnamed child #3 is singing church songs they learned from Unnamed child #1... way off key, and the leader of the pack is belting out a reprisal of last night's toilet tune - this time the spotlighted potty has changed, but the events are the same.

Oh, the soundtrack of my life...coming soon to a WalMart near you.

Summer is Almost Over...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I understand all you kind people who have time to check my blog and then e-mail me wondering why I haven't posted yet. Really there are multiple reasons.

First, My children have sucked all the life out of me. I'm thoroughly enjoying summer. I'm ready for it to be past tense. I've decided that I may have to rethink my parenting strategy 'cause this whole "being involved" thing has worn me out. My parents turned me lose each summer morning and didn't see me for, well, days. I suppose one could argue (If I were totally narcissistic) that this was a good parenting strategy.

I, on the other hand, have been preparing my children for the start of school next week. Reawakening their brains, forcing math drills, typing tutorials and exposure to Chinese. They've had to read a series of books on the Revolutionary War, structure of Government and the National Mall and then pass a test. I know, it's a wonder they haven't moved out.

Second, my days are all the same. OK, except for the dog breath freshener, lesbian greeting cards and body drool I wake up, eat, bother my kids, work out, bother my kids some more, eat again... my routine is a creativity killer.

Third, I have a TV. I've decided today this is a bad thing. I grew up without a TV and see the wisdom in it since the TV I watched today made me yell and throw things. Paula Deen can sure get a rise out of me.

No, really, besides the Food Network, I'm a political junkie. One can't be a political junkie and watch TV. It's not good for the heart. Watching plans for healthcare, Supreme Court nominations... normally I would read about this in the paper and have a more modulated reaction. Not so watching the TV. I've tried pretty hard to refrain from political commentary on my blog. It's hard for me. The reality is, what's going on right now is not funny. Not funny at all.

Fourth, 113 degrees. No commentary necessary.

So thank every one of you who reads my blog, asks why I'm so lazy, wonder if I've checked out...I imagine that once school starts and my routine changes I'll have a flood of new ideas.

What is Wrong With You People?

Monday, August 3, 2009

My husband's company sells all things dental. Being a huge supporter of dental hygiene, I consider this a very noble profession.

Last week he bought home a new product being sold for dogs. Doggie breath freshener. Two drops on each back molar and voila! Fido transforms to an Orbit commercial. My dog definitely needs this product. Usually his breath smells like a cross between a dead animal and body odor. I suppose this makes sense since he is a being that licks all sorts of unmentionable places, but still, who wants to live with such breath.

So next to his dish the sample of Gag-B-Gone sits. (No, that's not the real name). Of course, I'm busy with other important activities, like managing my Facebook farm, and forget to apply it to the putrescence emanating from his face.

Last night, while spending time together as a family, an unnamed child discovers the Gag-B-Gone, becomes fascinated with it's blue glow and starts asking Daddy questions. "What's this made of? What does it taste like? Can I try it? If i use this can I quit brushing my teeth?"

I understand the curiosity, I mean what pet owner, especially the child variety, hasn't tried a nugget of kibble, a pinch of bird seed or a nibble of dog biscuit. Usually, the sampling is less than appetizing and that ends the curiosity. Fine, but hubby absently starts responding. "It's breath freshener for dogs. It's not FDA approved for people. Sure you can try it. I don't know what it tastes like, why don't you tell me."

I'm over in the corner screaming at the two of them. DO NOT EAT DOG BREATH FRESHENER! STOP SAYING IT'S OK TO EAT DOG BREATH FRESHENER!!!

As usual no one is listening. Now, the lack of FDA approval really has no bearing on the aversion I have to this foray. I mean, Twinkies meet FDA approval. I do however have an issue with ingesting something made especially for dogs. Dog breath is completely unlike most human breath. OK, as I write that I realize there are a myriad of exceptions so let me qualify. Our dog's breath is completely unlike any of our family's human breath. We've all had bad breath, but our bad and his bad are polar opposites.

Underscoring my point, to my knowledge, no one in our family has ever licked their bum.

So of course, what happens? Said child samples breath freshener claws at their tongue in revision, and then circles the room making everyone smell their breath. Good grief, someone get us some better Sunday night entertainment. I do not inhale on principle, but everyone else, including the dog concurs, that it wasn't minty fresh. I believe the aroma was more like meat.

The great thing is hubby has convinced this child that they should use this product daily, which will likely prevent any dating for a few years. They will be popular with the puppies. I do believe in our culture, the aroma of raw meat is a turn off. In canine culture, well, that's a different story.