Thursday, December 27, 2007

So, the date was blah. Shouldn't have gotten in a lather about it. Nice enough guy, no chemistry. Good food - I had the Ma Po Tofu. And I'm never dating again.

Chinese again tonight. One of my previous coworkers is moving out of the area, and we are having a little party in her honor. Potluck without the cooking. Each person brings their two fave dishes from a Chinese restaurant. I'm bringing Dry-Braised Chicken and Deep-fried Tofu with Spicy Ginger Garlic Sauce. Think about this - the restaurant is at the airport. How many towns have a popular, and good, Chinese restaurant? Called the Skyroom? I'll call it in, pick it up, and hopefully won't forget to get my parking ticket validated this time!

Had an awful nightmare about my ex-husband last night. Remarried him, only to have him run off with a 22-year-old blonde between the ceremony and the reception.

I think my blogs are more interesting when my kids are home.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

As long as he doesn't try to blindfold me.

So. I have a blind date at noon today. I don't even know what he looks like, but he shouldn't be hard to find. We're meeting at one of my favorite restaurants. I'm scared. I'm nervous. I don't want to do it, but I don't want to back out now. The last time I had a blind date, it worked out very well. For a while. And then I got very hurt. And I don't want it to happen again.

I'd just decided I wasn't going to date ever again. But, Michelle talked me into this. She met him at the gym, and says that she would go out with him if she wasn't married. Of course, the thing I didn't remember at the time was that I wouldn't have gone out with any of the guys she has. Not a good sign.

I wasn't thinking much about the date when I dressed for work this morning. I got to work, and a coworker asked if I was going to a funeral. I'm in black. What does that tell you?

My stomach hurts. I want to be alone.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Coolest store ever

They have a stapler that doesn't use staples. They have "Free Hugs" t-shirts. They have rubber duckies, and Chinese "Good Morning" towels, and...well, see for yourself.


I like it.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

It's the holidays, and you better damn well enjoy them.

So, I'm on the phone with someone this morning - she's trying to sell me a service that we ALREADY HAVE. She sold it to us, but effectively has the mind of a pea. Needless to say, I'm already thinking she's wasting my time.. Then she asks if I'm ready for Christmas....I told her that I'm done shopping, except for stocking stuffers. She then tells me SHE CAN'T WAIT FOR CHRISTMAS TO BE OVER! What kind of a sick sentiment is that? It's the one time of the year that even grouches are nice, people are humming under their breath, holding doors open for you, and generally sharing good cheer. Why would anyone want that to end? Sure, there's a bit more traffic. Okay, it's overly commercialized. For years even I had trouble facing Christmas - my mom died right before Christmas when I was 10 - but I never disliked it.

We had a potluck today at work. We met at 7:00 a.m. Unbelievable how much food I ate. I just kept eating and eating and eating. Bacon and sausage and eggs, oh, my. I've been watching what I eat for two weeks now, and it's all gone to hell in half a day. But I love could you not love pork? It would be like not loving Christmas? Just wrong.

Monday, December 17, 2007

it's been a while.

I promised myself I'd write every day, and I haven't. I did write a couple insignificant blogs on MySpace, but that doesn't count.

I was trying to remind myself this morning, early this morning, ok - 4:00 this morning if you want to be precise - why I've decided not to date. I ran though some of the high points of my dating life inside my head......

Yes, the names have been changed to protect the idiotic.

Sue. I call him this, because he had a girl's name. Ok, the baby name book said it could be an either/or name, but - it's a girl's name. He's 51. Never been married. Brought his yorkie on the date, which he was 10 minutes late for. I was just getting ready to leave. He talked a lot about his mother. She's dead. He loves ballroom dancing and wine collecting. He's a very popular bachelor in town - I see him out at every event with a hot little blonde on his arm. I don't get it. Against my better judgment, I agreed to a second date - shoot me, I thought ballroom dancing might be fun. He. stood. me. up.

Bruce. I walked in to Starbucks to meet him - he was in the corner. Very tall and skinny, weird haircut - like he hadn't changed it since high school. He had a fanny pack - not just any fanny pack, it was patchwork leather. Overstuffed. He was searching for his Starbucks card. Impressive. He'd told me on the phone that he was into some kind of martial arts...I asked for was that Ultimate Fighting! That's not a martial art - it's assault with intent to sell advertising. He became quite angry when I told him I just didn't feel the connection. Surprise, surprise.

More to come - believe me, there is more to come.

Monday, November 12, 2007


I took the munchkins to see the Bee Movie tonight. I would definitely give it a mixed review, Emme almost fell asleep, but Jake loved it. Take it for what you will.

I'm sad again tonight. I guess the missing part is okay. If I didn't miss him, it would mean I didn't care. And I did. That's a good thing. Learning to trust again, learning to open up. And, after all, if I can get over the ex-husband, I can get over anyone.

Emme is so fixated on hair - this from a child who managed to get food in her own hair nearly every day. She now will not eat jam - because it seems to attract hair. She might accidentally eat one!

I still haven't heard from my brother and his wife about Thanksgiving. We are such a close family. I have no idea what I'm going to do if we don't get together. I don't see the point in making a traditional dinner, when Jake would only eat the rolls and pumpkin pie...Emme might eat it all, but would enjoy it no more than mac 'n' cheese. And I certainly don't need the calories. I read the other day that the average American consumes nearly 7,000 calories on Thanksgiving Day!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Post Halloweenies

We survived Halloween. For the second year running, Jake changed his mind about his costume a mere hour before the festivities were to begin. Instead of the Ghostbuster costume that I had diligently searched for, finally finding one at reasonable cost online, he wanted to wear the tiger costume he'd worn last year in the production of "Captain Noah" at church. The pants were a bit short, but he didn't care. I'm actually extraordinarily proud of that costume, as I not only sewed it, but I designed it.....and I haven't normally a creative bone in my body.

Last night we were making a valiant attempt to finish off the last of the candy. My kids were amazed that I bought so many Dum-dums - my secret obsession. Now they are addicted, too. Where else can you find cotton candy flavor, coconut-pineapple, green apple, chocolate, and of course - mystery flavor, all for only 20 calories.....anyway, all of a sudden Emme started spitting and crying and stomping her feet. "OH, MY, GOD! I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!" What is it, Emme? A bug, a broken tooth? "I HAVE DOG HAIR IN MY MOUTH! I AM HAVING THE WORST DAY OF MY LIFE!"

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Of (big) mice and (fat wo)men

Yesterday, we celebrated Doctor Fairy Princess' 5th birthday with a party at the local Chuck E. Cheese. I was hoping that something else would tickle her fancy this year, but that didn't happen.

One mom called shortly before the party - Isa was sick. Jade never showed up, but her mom had warned me that might happen. That left us with two attendees, both dropped off by their parents...did they really peel out of the parking lot, laughing hysterically, or was that my imagination? Thankfully, two sisters, who are friends with my two were already there, and joined in our party. Still, I was the only adult. So that left me to sit at the table by myself, distributing tokens as necessary, and devour salad and pizza.

For those of you who have ever been to big Chuck's - no explanation is necessary. For those who haven't - no explanation is possible.

This was the first year that Emme wasn't afraid of the big mouse. For some reason, she refuses to call him by name.

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Sunday, September 30, 2007

He's wiser than I

We were making cookies tonight, the King and I. I couldn't find my reading glasses, so he had to help me decipher the recipe (I think the print is shrinking). We took turns measuring and adding ingredients (cooking makes for great science, math, and reading). I would plop the dough onto the cookie sheet, and he would arrange the cookies neatly in rows. That was the plan.

I told him that he needed to make sure they were in even rows, spaced two inches apart, or they just wouldn't turn out. "But, know it doesn't matter what they look like - these have so much love in them they are going to be great!"

Excuse me, I know the tissue is here somewhere.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Crisis in my mind

I love to read. I always have. I don't remember learning to read - I remember sitting on my mother's lap while she read to me, and ours was the kind of house with books everywhere (just as mine is today). "They" said I learned to read on my own at 3 1/2. I do know that I was the only kindergartner at our small school who read fluently the first day, and was allowed to check out far more library books than the other children. By the end of third grade, the school decided they'd taught me all they could about reading and literature, and I got to tutor the younger kids each day during literature class, right through sixth grade.

I didn't just read - I absorbed books. Especially after my mother died when I was 10 - there was no one to tell me that something might not be appropriate. I read "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" when I was 11. I still have nightmares about it.

Some books stand out more than others. When I was 11 or 12 (that part of my life is awfully fuzzy) my step-father's sister (step-aunt? Is there such a thing?) gave me a book on....ahem.... reproduction. All that I remember is that the man lies above the woman. This confounded me - did they have to do it on stairs? Was there a special structure designed for this? Now, if the book would have said lies on top of, or next to, or knelt behind and slammed her like a greyhound, I might have gotten a clue.

So the point of today's missive (if there is one) is this: I read. I read a lot. Unless a particular book is spectacularly riveting, I'll generally have two going at a time. There was a brief period in my life when my kids were under the age of about 2 that I couldn't read - I'd fall asleep if I sat down and tried to read....but thank God, I got through that.

I read when I'm cooking, I read while blow-drying my hair. I read while I'm brushing my teeth. Not flossing, unless it's a large, hard-cover book that stays open by itself. I read to my kids. I read while my dogs are taking a dump in the back yard.

And, of course, some books are better than others. I never read any books about any type of sport. Or those mechanical technical engineery thingies. Some I will read and re-read forever, I love them so (The Handmaid's Tale comes to mind). Some disappoint, though I will almost always finish a book I've started, just to find out the end. These people are real, damn it, even if just in the author's mind, and I have to know what happens to them!

I just read a book that pissed me off. I don't think I've ever said or written those words before. I was so angry when I finished it that I couldn't go to sleep until 3 a.m. I wanted to find the author and throttle him.

It started with great promise. I've read Robin Cook's novels before, and have found them interesting. Granted, it's been some years since Coma, but I remembered it well. A medical mystery - something I can really wrap my mind around and try to unravel myself.

The end of the first chapter had me worried. Too many exclamation points. If your damn story doesn't tell me on it's own when something is supposed to be exciting, do you really think that a punctuation mark is going to help? A chapter or two in and I found the one thing I look for in paperbacks. A typo. A major typo. This was not a good sign. Affect for effect. This is third grade stuff, folks.

Anyway, I won't spoil it for you. I hate spoilers, even though I'm telling you now - don't waste your money on this piece of garbage!!!!! The denouement left me feeling just like I did when I found out my ex-husband was cheating on me with a 21-year old.

Oh, but I can't forget the epilogue, where the good author rails about the downfall of the practice of medicine in the 21st century. Actually, I agree with him, but I didn't need this ridiculous piece of crap to support his thesis.

Ok, maybe I was a bit cranky to start with. The King had invited his oldest friend to stay the night. I know, I know. Never let kids spend the night on a school night. But her mom had let him (ok, so his name is Jake) spend the night at her house once so that he could experience the life-altering attainment of his greatest goal - to walk to school. The short, five-minute walk that gave him such a sense of accomplishment, such joy, and a near-life-threatening exposure to poison oak.

So, now it was my turn. Jake's friend wanted to be driven to school - why, it would be almost like riding the bus!

A word to the wise - set your clocks back one hour. That way, you can lie to the children and tell them it really is 8:00 and time for bed, and they might just be asleep by 10:00.

So, it was in this frame of mind (or loss of same) that I approached the last few chapters of "Crisis." And was reminded why it's a good thing I sleep alone.

I threw it across the room.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Mini consumers

It's a 20-minute drive from my home to my children's school. Yes, there is one closer - in fact, the bus stops at the end of our street. But the King started at a wonderful school in the next town, and we've chosen to keep him there, and start his sister there, as well.

As we're driving the King pops up, "Mom, what are minions?" First I spelled it for him, then I spelled it out. "But do they get paid for doing that?" "No, I don't think so, honey. They got a spot to sleep, and some food, but I don't think that an evil one's minions actually took home a paycheck." "Why not? Oh, wait, I know....they didn't have malls then, so they didn't need money!"


He walked with me to drop his younger sister off at her kindergarten class. As usual, she didn't want me to leave. Mrs. A is great at redirection - "Guess what we're going to do today? We're having a party, since everyone has been so good, and we're having gummy worms."

"But you won't let me have as many as I want!"

I've done my job as a dutiful American - I'm raising two little consumers!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

It's Saturday night, and I ain't got no (just fill in the blank)

It's been an interesting week. Interesting, as in the old proverb....

Last Saturday, I picked the kids up from their dad's house. His way of catching me up on the last three days was to laugh maniacally and race away in his big silver truck. It was later than usual, as I'd spent three hours standing in the sun, attaching wristbands to those who were over 21 and ready to party in the streets at the beer and wine festival. Trying not to offend those who were quite obviously over the legal age to imbibe, but were in total denial about those silly crow's feet and leathered skin.

I had had the fortune of winning free tickets to the local drag strip - what a fun way to spend an evening with my lovely children and handsome man. I will never think that again.

I hadn't realized that bleachers were not invented merely to sit on, with each row higher than the next so that all could have a good view. No, they are to jump on, pound on, run up and down on, and generally give anyone over the age of 20 a screaming headache and the urge to scream, "Sit down NOW or I'll beat you so hard you will never sit down again!"

The highlight of the evening for the munchkins was the child's version of the roulette wheel...only a dollar, folks, and you can possibly win a sticker worth 1/5 of that! Oh, and the snow cones. They advertised 20 flavors, and actually had two of them in stock.

Finally, it was time to go. Home. I used my terrific Love & Logic parenting skills. "Kids, would you like to go home now, or in five minutes?"

The Prince of all decided he did not want to go. Not for any reason, at any time. Now, I know better. After all, I've been mothering this small angel for nearly all of his 7 1/2 years. I should have picked him up and carried him to the car. But, no - we ended up practically dragging him, with his heels dug into the dirt, the whole way. Screaming. Screaming the phrase that every parent loves to hear in public, "You're hurting me!!!"

He cried all the way home. He cried when I put him to bed. I cried later.

We spent Sunday in boot camp. My cabinets are gleaming, thanks to his housekeeping skills.

Tuesday, during his 6-month checkup by his ENT, the doctor says, "Hey, you want to see something?" I peer into the otoscope (that's what it's called, folks - aren't you impressed?). I never knew that anything that fluorescently green could actually be inside someone's body...even the ear. My psycho son was not acting up all weekend because of my parenting skills, or lack of them. He was not showing that he did not want me to date. He was not having a hard time adjusting to the much more difficult 2nd grade.

He had a screaming ear infection.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

And then it spits at you....

Less than a month has passed since my last blog. How life has changed. A month ago I was enjoying a vacation, this month - I'm unemployed. I've been laid-off, discharged, severed, canned, axed, kicked to the curb.

Now looking for a job is my job.

My kids love it. My blood pressure rises daily. I'm no longer June Cleaver, the SAHM. Who am I? I don't have a job - I need a new definition.

I'm tired.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

It's my last day of freedom - er, vacation

Two weeks vacation are winding down. It's the first time I've taken two consecutive weeks since I went back to work, almost three years ago.

Felton, as always, was wonderful. Even better, since I found it was my father's favorite spot. Standing on the covered bridge was amazing. I felt such a strong connection to my parents.

The munchkins started school. Doctor Fairy Princess is in kindergarten. King of All he Surveys is in 2nd. I was the epitome of the SAHM this week. Thursday, I had a fabulous idea. It was hot, I was tired, McDonalds is cheap! We would go to the one in town with a large play structure. Excitement was in the air. We pulled into the parking lot - wrong McDonalds.....

Quickly assessing the fact, and reassuring the munchkins that I WOULD find the right one, I darted back into traffic and through the heart of Redding's very large shopping district to the huge McDonalds that housed the tallest play structure around. We walked in the door - there were hardly any patrons....King said, "Mom, this is weird. Where is everybody?" We looked into the play room - the structure was gone! No worries. We could always go to Burger - my own king decided that we absolutely had to go to the McDonalds in Anderson with an !outside! play structure.

The weather was mild for late August - it couldn't have been over 105. Posted prominently on the fence was a sign that said, "Play surfaces may become hot in hot weather." That's amazing! Dutiful mother that I am, I tried it on my tender skin - it actually was tolerable, though the air inside was stifling. Fun was had by all....