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

Cultured We Are

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

We are a very cosmopolitan family. My children have travelled quite extensively for their age. They study Spanish AND Mandarin Chinese starting in fifth grade. They will eat almost anything - spinach, octopus, escargot - they eat it all. I remember standing in Pompeii while a tour guide explained some of the history, and my seventh grader leaned over and added even more depth and context from what she had learned at school. Since it's important to me that we experience people, experiences and cultures different than our own, I often pat their little heads with approbation.

This week we were having a wonderful family discussion. As my kids have matured these have gotten more and more interesting. They have insights and opinions I admire.

During the discussion Unnamed Child #2 asked, "Don't the Haunnikins do that?" Referencing a discussion about animal sacrifice.

What? Suddenly I'm unsure of myself. With all the changes in political boundaries, particularly in the Balkan states I was aghast I didn't know about the Haunnikins.

We all were unfamiliar with the exotic animal-slaying Haunnikin culture. Emphatically #2 continued: "You know, The Haunnikins - the wandered around living in tents while that guy... what's his name... was their leader?"

I'm stumped. I can think of no current nomadic tribe called the Haunnikins. "Are they African?" I query.

"No!" He says, "You know, The Haunnikins, the escaped from Egypt and that guy... what's his name... oh, Moses! was their leader and they sacrificed animals."

I can't contain my laughter as hubby calmly corrects him... "Dude, those aren't the Haunnikins they are the Jews."

"Oh, yeah, I thought it was something like that."

Upon reflection I figure it makes a little sense - Christmas/Christians - Hannakauh/Haunnikins... which leads to Ramadan/Ramadans... Halloween/Halloweenies.

Three cheers for the Haunnikins!

Feminine Wiles

Friday, August 13, 2010

I've never been accused of being a "girlie girl" although I do think the characterization is like a point on a continuum. Standing next to Rosanne Barr, I seem like Swan Lake Barbie. Standing next to Glinda the Good Witch, I look like I do my hair with an immersion blender and brush my teeth with a pitchfork. It's all relative.

My name throws people off too. Telemarketers never know how to pronounce my name and usually ask for Mr. A-see-line, to which I reply, "That dirtbag moved out months ago" and hang up.

But usually, people who know me have me safely placed on the continuum of "feminine enough". This means I shower at least twice a week and own a pair of high heels over 2 inches.

Sooo, imagine my delight when my hubby reports he received a call this morning. Then he starts silent laughing so hard he can't tell me the story. Of course, I'm excited to hear a story that makes him gasp for breath... I should know better.

Apparently we got a call from a neighbor that went like this:

Riiiing Riiiing

Neighbor: "Good morning! Did I wake you up?"

Hubby "Nope"

Neighbor: "You are breathing hard"

Hubby who just ran 16 miles: "I just finished working out"

Neighbor: "Well, I was wondering if you would teach my class this Sunday?"

Hubby: Pause..."Do you mean ME or Aselin?"

Neigbor: "Uh, this isn't Aselin?" Awkward moment... "Well her voice is kinda deep."

Fast forward an hour or so when I come in after petting bunnies and unicorns and singing to a rainbow, I see my chortling companion doubled over, trying to catch his breath from laughing.

Hubby is cracking up relaying the information to me that apparently I sound like Bruce Vilanch. Or at least I sound like a guy who just ran 16 miles in compression shorts. Neither option is very appealing to me.

Crud. Now I have to curl or wax or bleach something today just to prove my femininity....or my metrosexuality... ugh! I'm wearing a tiara and pumps to the grocery store.

Skill Sets

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I have great kids. They, for the most part are obedient, kind and helpful. That being said, they struggle with a few things - one of them going to bed.

I suppose it's a great thing to enjoy life so much you don't want to check out of it for a while. I, on the other hand, fantasize about becoming a bear and hibernating for six or more months. (Ok, not really, but you can't tell me you haven't had days where that sounds appealing)

Today is the first day of school, so of course, last night everyone was very excited. So excited that they couldn't stay in bed. So excited that they couldn't quit singing Coldplay's Viva la Vida at the top of their lungs and then breaking out in a Broadway medley that would have made Andrew Lloyd Webber proud.

I've learned that I can't beat them, but I do enjoy giving the stink-eye whenever I get the chance.

So last night, an hour after bedtime I'm skulking along the hallway, moving like a lynx after her prey when I get to their room.

Unnamed Child #2 is, of course, not in bed. Leaning up against Unnamed Child #3's bed they are deep in discussion. I started to make a move to get noticed, so I could intimidate them with the dagger glare of motherhood when I started to catch the conversation. I won't get it verbatim, but it went something like this: "If we can harvest the eggs I think we could make a lot of money." "Yeah, but caviar is pretty expensive, I don't think we'd make more than caviar." "Yeah, but we could have a whole snail farm and it would be easier than harvesting fish eggs."

OK readers, let's regroup here. My kids are avoiding their proscribed bed time so they can make plans to open a snail farm and harvest the eggs for sale, competing with the existing caviar market.

Anyone else a little disturbed by this?

Creeped out?


Good grief, what have I spawned???

Suddenly, Unnamed Child #2 notices that I've been standing there and jumps into bed, trying to play innocent.

I'm just sayin', if you're making plans to enter the snail caviar market, you're innocence is LONG gone.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My in-laws have recently published an amazing 491 page life history. It's very inspirational to read their adventures, challenges and wisdom all bound neatly in a lovely leather volume. It has made me reflect on our church's request that we each assemble our life histories, keep journals - things that our posterity will want to know.

In theory, for me, this is a lovely idea. My reality is quite different. I don't think I would or should tell the complete version of my life history. I've stumbled, rather ungracefully, through the last 40 years and the next 40 doesn't promise to be much different. I am not one of those people who has lived an inspirational life you would want your children modeling themselves after. I have more of the "horrible warning" sort of life. Much of my life history would have to be redacted, like a J. Edgar Hoover file, without the cross dressing.

For the record, I have not committed a felony, been incarcerated in a Mexican prison or kidnapped a small child and made them live in a shed in my backyard - I don't have that sort of embarrassing life. Rather, I just wish I did most everything better the first time. I can look back and reframe the moments of my life with a Kodak sort of wisdom, but I rarely display it in the moment.

I have a knack for doing the exact opposite of what I should have done, or said, or more importantly: not said. While vignettes of such social carnage might be good fodder for people who don't know me, I am trying VERY hard to keep the therapy bill as low as possible for my own children.

For instance, I had an experience this past week I have tried and tried to frame in such a way I can share it with you. I am sure a kinder, gentler soul could do it justice, keep it light and even heartwarming. Instead, I just fantasize about ninja kicking the principle player. Patience is not one of my stronger... OK, I have NONE.

So, sadly, much of my life has to be edited. For the record, I have not ninja kicked anyone...recently, and I do hold my tongue...most of the time. Which makes for infrequent blogging, but does give my children a better, albeit scant, legacy.