Monday, December 19, 2011

choosing my words

week in review.


trembling fingers clasped in a mother's loving fist peel away one by one until only an invisible thread which forever connects keeps his heart from pounding through his chest. resolve melting and resignation to the realization that she is gone but will be waiting for him to clasp him to her chest and smooch his school smell soaked head until he cries stop! can I go play? the mind plays games with us and is a lying cheater. always one sneaky step ahead.


eyes open wide with disbelief at words sent when eyes were dreaming. brain doesn't react as quickly as the eyes and tears flood through folds of the fibers knotted together with memories and lists and plans and inconsequentialness before forcing outward through eyes now throughly awake. imagining the worst but hearing the best. it's ok. for now. Thank you for NOW.


three little words good, starving, and what was that last one? bored? who cares? 3 hours spent driving, waiting, and listening to those 3 words was all worth each and every second, worth the pain. pain that really isn't pain that hurts. one and one half years of miscommunication and misunderstanding and quite honestly, denial. dial back 3 weeks with words of curl up in a ball and die and thoughts of cutting tearing at the ears and a face with sunken eyes only seen with a tip of a finger forcing a heavy head upwards. a head that was beginning the curl on its way to meet the knees of the sweetest lil boy in the world. a hint. he often has smelly school hair.

There are those who disagree with medicating children. When it is my child, when it is your child, I will come out fighting. Did you hear those words?


Wednesday was the day I posted Random Tuesday Thoughts. No one got it. I did though. Made perfect sense to me.

No one reads this anymore anyway so anything I say is sensible. To my mind and eyes. Eyes Ear and Nose. Throw in the shoulders and the knees, heck thrown in the whole of me.

Hi, I'm RICH. Why did I want to laugh, so much so that I bit my tongue, when he introduced himself. Plaid shirt and red tie adding to his clownish introduction. Not his fault. I'm just too aware, too ready to analyze every second I'm given. Rich being the guy that's going to help work out some words. Get some words out. Make words make sense. I have no faith that Rich could ever help me with my state of mind, but immense faith that his words will be absorbed by smelly head. ah. I must check my cynicism at the door because I will do anything, ANYTHING, to keep those fingers from trembling. Not my fingers silly. I do the holding; the wrapping sealing coating. Always using protection. oh, to have that much control. what is my life isn't really.

I know enough to know that it doesn't matter how tight the grasp time will change the shape of the fingers and keeping up will mean letting go.

For now 'I'm Rich' will be my our hope.

by the way weirdo who comes out of nowhere with his boomish voice like hey listen to me and after yak yak yakking disturbing my thoughts and wanting a phone book, who uses a phone book anymore? And then he is talking to me. TO ME! Is that a Nook? Nope. Oh, I'm thinking of getting a Nook for my wife.

frankly, I don't care.


movie day!! "how do you know". hahahaha. if that isn't ironic I don't know ironic. Cute movie, but I knew long before she did.

I wish I'd known what he did. What he thought he knew. What he was thinking. GOSH DARN IT. I did know. I saw the signs. I didn't try hard enough, I didn't push hard enough. You remember, don't you? Sometimes when they drive you crazy, stop and ask yourself, why?


Good day. Watched "Easy A" with my girls before lil dub came home from school. DIRTY FUNNY. ohmy...thought I was gonna stop breathing for a moment.

I've had several of those moments this week. Several moments, some that lasted for more than a simple moment, of deep breaths. 12345678910

People. If there are any people out there besides chicagosexpertmovers, (check YOUR stats), I don't know any other way to write. I want to write well and get all my facts straight and be entertaining... but I've got to be me. Although I try quite often to be anything but me. I find myself looking at that follower thingamajig and daydreaming of being the one you can't wait to see. I also find myself looking at my blog list and realizing I've got some editing to do. I want to make it simple and be straight up and honest and admit I want to do this blog thing. So bad I think about it far too much. How do you know when to loosen a hopeless grip and let go?

Three words.

I don't know.

okay, three more.

what to do.

reading rainbow

The following are book reviews. I realize that while reading is as necessary for me as the air I breathe,  this does not make me qualified to or even the least bit capable of writing a serious book review. These are just a few of poorly written thoughts about a few greatly written books. Consider these more book opinions than book reviews. 

I loves me a good book. But for quite a while I was stuck in the quicksand of literary mediocrity. 

I read pretty much anything and pretty much everywhere. I will go to pick up a child and arrive 1/2 hour early just to sit alone for uninterrupted reading time.  I read cereal boxes, ads for stores I never shop in, and even the millions of notes sent home by well-meaning yet misguided first year teachers. I AM that weird. I will be reading several books at any given time. 

So, yeah,  for a while I was reading lot of 'meh' books. I read them cuz I gotta have something to read but I was just passing time; waiting for 'that' book to come along. And then...and some miraculous miracle I happened to read several good books in a row. Yippity Skippity. Only you who are of my same ilk understand what I mean. A good book is the pot at the end of the rainbow. It's a book you savor. That you can't wait to get back to. A book that you can't stop thinking about when you aren't reading it. You develop an intense emotional attachment. You need that book. You can't keep your hands off that book. And when you are finished reading that book you are left feeling empty and alone. 

It's remarkably a lot like love.

And once you are finished with a good book, you want another.

That sounds a lot like an addiction. But let's not go there.

So, if you care about my opinion...and why the heck you would I have no are some thoughts I have about some books I have recently read. My usual pithy review of a book consists of "I love it" or "I hate it", so don't expect much.  I figure that if I tell a tiny bit about the book and you really want an in depth description you can check them out on Amazon or Goodreads. Are we good? Good. 

Haha. Me? Pithy? I feel this intense need to add the words bloody hell right about now. I do not know why. 

Let me point out the obvious first. Something I didn't notice until I made the list of books. All of these book's titles begin with THE.

Important? NO.

Now, in no particular order: 

1. The Lacuna - Barbara Kingsolver. Okay, I will read anything by Ms. Kingsolver, so I am somewhat prejudiced in my review. She is brilliant with the written word. So, I picked up, no, downloaded onto my Kindle, (cue chorus of angels), "The Lacuna" without knowing anything about it other than it was written by Ms. Kingsolver.

I was not disappointed. This book weaves fiction with real life events before WWII. "The Lacuna is a poignant story of a man pulled between two nations as they invent their modern identities".* What I found interesting for myself was that it wasn't the main character who I really cared about; it wasn't him that I empathized with the most. I tell you what, after reading this book,  I will never put much stock in "fair and unbiased news reports" again. Not that I ever really did in the first place. I consider this a must read for some-especially if you are a Barbara Kingsolver fan. 

2. The Help - Kathryn Stockett. If you haven't heard of this book than you've been blogging too much. No, even then you will have noticed it out there. (A curious trend I have noticed on Amazon is that 9 times out of 10, "The Help" was purchased along with any other book I was checking on. Which is why I am sure a high percentage of you have already read "The Help").

It could have been trite. It wasn't. It could have been syrupy and sappy. It wasn't. It could have left you wanting for more. It didn't. Unless you count never wanting it to end. The characters were so real and raw. Nobody was perfect. The story was captivating and interesting. And remarkably for me was that it didn't fall into the "if everyone else loves it I will automatically hate it" category. I say this book is a must read for everyone. 

3. The Little Giant of Aberdeen County-Tiffany Baker. What a gem of a book. And I'm not just saying that because it was given to me by someone who seems to know my soul without ever having met me in person.

There are so many interesting facets to this book I don't know where to begin. This would be a fabulous book club choice; so many issues to discuss. (Much like the previous 2 books). 

"Truly Plaice [don't you just love that name?], an overly large and ungainly girl...finds her the reckoning with her demons...and the possibility of love...".* 

Truly a must read for most.

4. The Hunger Games-Suzanne Collins. This is one of those books I could have easily hated. I'm not into the futuristic genre. It falls into the 'everybody's reading it' category. The characters are a bit one-dimensional. It's predictable. (I'm really selling this book, aren't I?)

Yet much to the surprise of some people close to me and even to myself, I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the next 2 books in the series.

The story involves a 16 year old protagonist, (Katniss-what a great name), who makes a decision and becomes involved in a futuristic reality television show, which involves killing your opponents in order to win. (A reality show which isn't really all that difficult to imagine at the rate things in our real world are going). 

A must read? Could be. A light read? Definitely-but it does fall under the category of YA fiction; so I will cut it some slack on its 'lightness'.

5. The Road-Cormac McCarthy  Yet another futuristic, yet infinitely more dark and sobering, book. A boy and his dad are traveling across North America after some sort of apocalyptic event has occurred. This author has a very sparse writing style- which lends itself to its subject. I started this book and could not put it down. It is mesmerizing in a hold your breath, what's going to happen next, sort of way. To be honest, when I finished the book I was less than impressed than I thought I would be while I was reading it. And if that isn't confusing, well, then, I don't know what is.

A must read for some. 

6. The Mysterious Benedict Society-Trenton Lee Stuart, Carson Ellis, Illustrator. This is the first book of what is currently a children's 3 book series. I picked this book up at a locally owned independent bookstore, (and aren't we lucky there are still a few of those around?), at the recommendation of a clerk. The "4 children-two girls and two boys are selected to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and inventive children could complete".*  I've been reading it to lil dub...we shall probably finish it up tonight and I must say it is one of the most enjoyable books I've ever read aloud to a child. lil dub remarked that he thinks he might like these books better than the H.P. series. *gasp* He can't wait to finish this one up and get going on the next one. I feel the same.

And now I am on the hunt for the next round of books to read as an escape from reality. (Something a therapist told me I do-read to escape reality. Clearly this is a man who reads psychology books and doesn't enjoy the pleasure of good fiction).

Any suggestions? I have a few ideas...but I'd love to hear yours. I want to load up the kindle before we leave for our Mexico Vacation next week. Woot WOOT. 

*descriptions from Goodreads.

an attempt at articulating

So, how have y'all been? How was you Valentime's* Day? Mine was terrible cuz I hate Valentimes Day; I think it has something to do with my mother combining my birthday with Valentimes Day although they are 10 freaking days apart and for some inexplicable reason having a heart shaped cake  insulted me, (stupid me for one reason, because in reality she probably made a heart shaped cake one year); and decorating with red and pink, a color combo I hate to this day, (stupid me twice, cuz here I had a super creative and talented Mom and I didn't appreciate it). And then there's the pressure. juhknow what I mean.

This year I was in such a Valentime's Day schlump, (hecktors, I am in a general sclump that has nothing to do with Valentimes; as evidenced by my lack of good bloggerly friendship lately. I'm sorry.), that the hubs took care of it all. Even though we had agreed to not buy anything for each other, a rule I followed and he didn't, and although I am ALWAYS the one who puts together a little sumpin for the kids, he did. More evidence of why I love this man.

So, last Friday I was in the car with lil dub, driving to the mall for the express reason to get him a prize which he had earned for piano practice. (Bribery is a parents best motivational tool). I know what you're thinking. You're thinking this story will have something to do with Valentime's Day. It doesn't.

So, we are like two traffic lights away from said Mall when from the back seat I hear these words, "It must really hurt when a baby has to come out a girl's 'anatomical part euphemism for penis'."

Okay, I can't just let this go. (That's what she said). All this time lil clueless lil dub has been under the impression that girls and boys have with the same private parts. 

So, I asked him, "Do you think girls have the same private parts as boys?"

So, he says, "Yeah, only their's are on the inside."

Okay, I can't argue with him there. Technically this is true. Equally as techically though, a girls baby making parts are not called whatever euphemism for penis he was using at this point.

So, after his original 'where do babies come from' talk, must have lil dub left with the impression that girls have, you know, an euphemism. 

Okay, when I was a lil girl I was positive that boys had periods. Cuz God would never be that cruel as to only stick us girls with this curse. But that's a decades worth of other posts.

Because, I can't let him keep on thinking this...I have just 2 stoplights to straighten out this misconception. Because, when I suggested that we talk about this when we got home, he strongly objected to the idea. 

So, it was time to bring out the correct words for the boy parts and the girls counterparts. 

So, I did. And as with most kids, he took it all in stride. He's matter of fact about it but I'm just a little more hesitant to use words like penis and vagina. When I use those words in a sentence they always seem to echo in my head; PENIS penis penis VAGINA vagina vagina. (Of course he already knew penis; boys are born with a fascination with their reproductive organ. They know what that thing is called from the get go). The second word he's heard and knew it had something to do with girls, just not what. 

So, basically I told him that girl's have a vagina and babies come out 'down there', at which he point he began giggling and found it hysterical that a baby came outta the butt where you poo. (Which is not what I had said; he just drew this conclusion).

So,  I had to tell them about the 3 different anatomical areas located in close proximity on a girl's body. I told him that a boy's reproductive organ is on the outside; a girl's is on the inside. That what's inside a boy's gets into a girl's and that's how a baby is made. I told him how miraculous our bodies are. I explained in the most simplest way I could think of that something magical happens to make you know where big enough for the baby to come out cuz he was obviously puzzled by this. How could something the size of a baby come out of such a small hole? (The whole time I am flinching everytime he says the word "hole").

Well, after this 5 minute updated version of the BIG TALK, (thank you hubs for not making certain things clear), I am fairly certain he has things straightened out in his mind. For now. Right after I say "Hey, let's not talk about his in the mall", he says, "So, why did God have to make a boy's private parts hurt soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much whenever they get hit but not a girl's? Mom, do you KNOW howmuch that hurts?". I must say I really don't.  (Thank you "America's Funniest Home Videos" for teaching lil dub he is not alone). 

Clearly, he's just as delusional as his mother. And clearly my mothering skills are improving after all these years. I don't remember ever having this discussion with my other children. They must've learned about girl and boy parts on the playground, where really, all kids should.

So, then we get into the mall and some clerk insinuates that I am lil dub's grandmother. Yeah, it was a terrific day.

And, what is is with people thinking they're the only person on the planet who needs to peruse the Valentime's Day Cards? 

*Valentimes: euphemism for Valentine's. Once you hear your preschooler say "Happy Valentime's Day"you never go back. 

misadventures with the Average Family

The A's, [as I am mostly going to call them from now on because I am sick of typing AVERAGE every two words], have noticed these 2 signs every time they've passed through this small city; (other than Albuquerque all the cities they pass through are small). Most are blink your eyes and you'd miss 'em type towns. [Do you ever wonder how and why anyone would want to live in one of those tiny spots in the road? I always want to know what on earth these people do for a living.]

Ah, well, that has nothing to do with anything.

You'll have to look close at the photo to get its full effect and I know it is made somewhat more difficult by the filthy windshield...that blue sky you see is the first they had seen in 7 hours. The A's were driving through rain and snow storms up til then. Actually stopping to take the photo would have made a whole lot more sense...but Mrs A. certainly would never want to appear like an idiot in front of people she will neversee again.

There are just a few more stories from The Average's and their latest trips. All involving hotel rooms. ugh.

There isn't a lot to choose from in the little cities they stayed in. All but one night The A's stayed in the same chain of hotels. Well, "same chain" does not equate "same quality" that's for sure. Or price. In the city Mr A. is from the family stayed in its nicest hotel. This hotel was from the same chain as all the other hotels, but charged $50 more a night. What a gambit they've got going.

In one the other cities they stayed in, as they entered their "suite" they knew right away is was a garbage dump. Although they walked through a super spiffy lobby; the rooms at this place were a step below a pay by the hour motel. [Not that I would have a clue about that]. The bathroom was in the middle section of the room; they had to essentially take care of bidness with the rest of the fam sitting right next to them. They held actual conversations with each other while one was sitting on the pot and the rest of them were lounging on beds made of stone. Mrs A. was constantly grumbling at lil A. to keep everything but his feet off the floor. (Mrs A. is kinda anal). Luckily this kid wears his socks everywhere but in the shower.

So, Mrs A. starts to pull out the sofa bed and she finds a shoe. A tacky white wedding pump. Mr A. took it down to the front desk. Then, as she was making the bed, lil A. finds another shoe. Another trip to the front desk.

Then, as the rest of the Average's are attempting find something to watch on the circa 1990 television, lil A. popped up from his bed with an orange bottle of liquid in his hand. Mrs A. became the bionic woman at this point; everyone else freezing into place and her legs turning in slow motion...across the room screaming at Mr A. to get the bottle from lil A. just as he begins to read the label. lil A. got so far as the words "warming liquid" before it was snatched from his hand.

Blech. In a primeval act of survival it was time to dial down the possible scenarios running through Mrs A's. mind one more notch. She put mental blinders on and attempted to go to a happy place in her mind. As if.

One night, in a different hotel, (the exclusive expensive one, i.e., the only halfway decent hotel within 250 miles), an exhausted lil A. was asleep in his bed while Mrs A. watched T.V.. She was alone with him while Mr A. was still with his family at the hospital with his mother. Mrs A. was watching the T.V. show, "Snapped". Have you seen this? It is like watching a train wreck full of crazy women. Each episode is about women who dream up some completely psycho ways of killing their husband. In this particular episode this nutso to the nth degree woman set her husband's bed on fire, as he was sleeping of course, before she went to work. Nice. A real feel good show. Have these women not heard of DEEEEEVORCE? the middle of the night the hotel smoke alarm went off. OMGEE. Mrs A. popped off that bed before she was even awake. Her first thought was to reach over with her right arm and scoop up her 65 lb baby off his bed and race for the door. [I'm rather proud of her mamabear moment right there]. Her second thought was that she had to pee real bad. Okay, this ear splitting sound is approximately five feet directly over his head and lil A. is still asleep. The alarm is still blaring. Mr A., being the man of the hotel room, feels the door for heat. Then he opens the door and looks down the hallway. They could not smell smoke at all. (Although at one point Mrs. A. imagined she could). No one was running down the hallway screaming. In fact there was no one in the hall at all. Mr and Mrs A. figured it was a false alarm. The screeching alarm was still going strong and lil A. was still snoozing away. Mrs A. called the front desk but the line was busy. They were going deaf, their voices raised in order to be heard...and lil A. is still in the land of nod. Finallythe alarm stopped. Then lil A. woke up. Mr and Mrs A. told lil A. there was nothing to worry about; but lil A. wasn't the least bit concerned cuz lil A. never heard the alarm. After Mrs A. told him the story, lil A. is the one who remembered the "Snapped" episode. So.........lil A. was awake enough to hear the T.V. turned down low but he slept through 5 minutes of a deafening smoke alarm. The older Average children in the room next door didn't even wake up right away. Reassuring, no?

The next night, after a raucous time spent eating and talking with a huge group of family members; with all the cousins working up a sweat running around all over the place, The A's. went back to their hotel room. lil A. was asleep before his head hit the pillow. Mrs A. was just about to go to bed when lil A. pops up off his bed and begins spewing EVERYWHERE. He may have thrown up some internal organs along with his entire dinner. lil A. was totally freaking out, partially because he was only half awake and partially because he had vomit all over himself, the bed, and his precious stuffed animals. (Thankfully only one of 'em had any real damage and Mrs A. came to the rescue and cleaned it up right away.) OMGEE it was gross. They had to take everything off the bed and take it downstairs for a complete change of bedding. Mrs A. filled up the bathtub and threw all of what lil A. had been wearing into it. [gah...why does throw up make you want to throw up?]

The sweet Mr A. could not stand the thought of the innocent hotel staff having to wash out the bedding, so he went back downstairs and rinsed it out the mess the best he could. Over Mrs A's strong protestations that he really didn't need to be so nice. If Mr A. had known they were paying $50 bucks more a night for that hotel room he would not have been so gallant. Mrs A. knows this because Mr A. told her so after she mentioned the extra $50.

Just a few of The Average Family's hotel adventures.

The Average Bunch

Who amongst you does not recognize this iconic image? The Brady's and their beloved maid, aka, Alice, (gotta love how she comes before the children in the line-up. And her uniform...did she wear the same dress everyday; laundering it every night? Or did she really have 7 6, (Sundays were for Sam), duplicate uniforms? I must say dressing in the morning must have been a piece of cake for her. Which is ironically appropriate.

That staircase...the planter of plastic foliage...the glowing geometric wall...those white pants...the modern staircase, (which btw I hear is making a comeback), Bobby breaking into dance or just clowning around, (he must be 9 years old in that picture).

Sigh. I could go on and on, (per usual), about my love affair with the Brady Bunch. Greg and Marcia scorching up the television screen with their sexual tension, just look at her sidling up to Greg... (and innocent little me too young to think anything of it). Peter, who was really the cute one, yet upstaged by the supposed cooler older brother. Bobbie, the jester. Marcia; the girl we loved to hate, or was it hated to love? Her hair. Oh, her hair. Jan-the picked on one; whom I most identified with. I knew she understood my insecurities. Although I never did know why she felt so insecure--she was a Brady after all. And pouty little Cindy, with her cute little lisp and that cute little doll like face. Even her hair was like shiny doll hair. Maybe I just had a Cindy doll and my memories are messing with me. Oh, how I wanted to be a Brady child.

[What were they taking to make them so darn happy 99% of the time? I want me some of dat].

Okay...My point here is this: What was up with the Brady's and their house? Granted, It was a nice house. Although did you ever notice that the outside facade did not match the interior? (A psychological model of the Brady family themselves?) I have always had an eye for these things. I am oddly observant over such trivial matters.

They loved their house with a peculiar passion. I never understood their attachment to this rather average house. Every chance they had to move, and they had many of those, while they seriously considered the situation, they struggled with their emotional attachment. They had flashbacks of their memories of their the good times and the bad times, (a tried and true way to make an episode out of old clips), and invariably they chose to stay in their beloved home. Sheesh, what was up with this damn house? Mike was an architect for shiz sake...why didn't they just build a new one if bigger is what they needed?!! His forte did seem to be office design however. (Did I ever consider that the producers of the show would not want to go the expense of a new set? No, this show was far too real for me in an incomprehensible sort of way.)

Why bring this up? Other than to allow myself to reminisce over my all time favorite childhood fantasy?

Because the Average's are considering moving. Mr Average's office is relocating, changing his 5 minute commute to a 45 minute one, (in non rush hour time). (I realize that for some of you 45 minutes might be a short commute; but for us out here in the wild west it is significant). Mr Average works long days as it is...leaving around 7 am and usually not home until 6 pm. He sets his own hours; he just has a busy job. (Mrs Average is truly grateful Mr Average has a job). This new commute would add about 1 1/2 hours to his workday.

Then there is the $500 a month in gas.

Mr and Mrs Average have also have been wanting a bigger lot for quite a while...they have the standard 1/4 acre lot now...they would really like 3/4 to an acre.

Mrs Average is so not in love with her neighborhood.

The shopping sucks.

But they LOVE their house. There is hardly a thing Mrs Average would change about the house itself. She loves the floor plan and the outside elevation. (Which is a match). She loves its symmetry. Mr and Mrs Average live in a somewhat secluded location. There is a beautiful canyon minutes from their door.

The Average's think they've found a nice lot much closer to his new office. They can have another house built. If it came right down to it I suppose they could have the same floor plan if they really wanted. But, The Average's would do some things differently...face it, they're getting really really old so a main floor master bedroom would be a definite must.

The Average's are also pretty certain we will move at some point. It's probably better to move baby Average while he's still in elementary school as opposed to Jr High or High School. (Am I right, youngest Average girl child?)

It's a pretty spot there as well, though not as secluded. There is a beautiful canyon nearby. (What is it with The Average's and their canyons?) Much faster time to the airport. Closer to family. Great shopping and access to the state Capital; which translates into concerts and plays, you know, culture, etc. (Cuz The Average's are nothing if not cultured. bwahaha).

There you have it. The Brady Bunch and The Average Bunch have so much in common. Mrs Average is living her wildest dream; she feels like she is Carol Brady, (although she will never be as hip and cool as Carol; so above average). The Average's have found themselves in the very predicament the Brady's so often did. They are channeling Mike and Carol as best they can; making pro and con lists, thinking of the kids, Mrs Average fretting, Mr Average in his office doing who knows what.

What will The Averages do? Will Mrs Average ever go to bed with full makeup? Will Mr Average ever wear a pair of white pants? Will the Average children ever cooperate long enough for a staircase photo? (No sexual tension with the Average children. Blech. Double blech. Triple blech. yeah yeah, I get it...they weren't really related. The Brady Bunch kids I mean.)

What should they do?

Stay tuned.


*We are so taking a family staircase picture the next time we are all together*

note to self: MUST GET ME AN ALICE.
another note to self: that picture gets creepier by the minute.