Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gossip

Every day, I wake up hoping to have the pipes and confidence to wail like Beth Ditto.

Every day, I am disappointed.

I don't know where to start.  Let's try 'Your Mangled Heart':

Your Mangled Heart

I don't want the world. I only want what I deserve. 

Got it?

I got on a Gossip kick tonight after hearing 'Heavy Cross' on the Dior/Charlize Theron commercial while my kid was watching a Muppet Christmas Movie. Muppets+Dior+Gossip? Fuck, yeah!

Next up is a pretty produced Gossip song, 'Listen Up'.  I hear a shit-ton of Calvin Harris, and maybe a little Daft Punk, on this, and honestly, I want to take June to the CompuTrainer room and listen to this song, on repeat, for 75 consecutive minutes.

Listen Up

There's some people that you just can't trust.
Cause some people they talk too much.
Don't be a fool like the rest of us.
Now listen up.
On the playground,
we learn so much.

Here is the same song, live at the "Open'er" Festival in 2009. She can work MJ, Lady Gaga, and Lou Reed into anything. And Wham!

Billie Jean/Listen Up

I'm so fuckin' happy, too, Beth.

I have a list of covers -- nothing of course, written down -- that I want Beth Ditto/Gossip to cover.  Willie Nelson's "My Hero's Have Always Been Cowboys" is at the top of that list. She can take stuff I wouldn't be interested in ordinarily, and make it divine.  Aaliyah, for example. Can't say I'm a fan. Until Beth Ditto covered her.

Are You That Somebody?

I've been watching you like a hawk
in the sky
that flies
like you were my prey

And then there is this. It's best live. I think this is the one song Husband really digs, and it's on a few of his running mixes. I wish, that if I couldn't carry an entire tune a la Beth Ditto, that I could minimally scream like her at 0:06.  If I could do that, I'm pretty sure that's how I'd get everyone awake in the morning.  Ignore that tone-deaf jackass around 1:20.

Standing in the Way of Control

Right now, right now.

Husband just gave me a shitty look, because even with the headphones on, I'm loud. Or, Beth is loud. He's trying to screen Delicatessen for a French Club screening tomorrow night. Neither Beth nor I care.

Last one. I see this song. And it's beautiful.

Dark Lines

I can't hide
Underneath dark, drawn-on lines
The circles underneath my eyes

If you aren't familiar, spend some precious, valuable time at work today YouTube-ing Gossip/Beth Ditto.  Then go buy their albums off of iTunes. 'Live in Liverpool' hasn't left my car since I was turned on to it in 2008.

Beth, please don't sue me for copyright infringement or whatever. I think you're the bomb. And I'm not worthy.

Maybe tomorrow...










Snarky

I've been a touch on the snarky side the past three days. I'm not sure if it's the lack of sleep, the lack of food other than the leftover pumpkin pie that  is barely visible under two generous cups of Cool Whip or that I've been listening to "The Queen is Dead" non-stop.

It's probably Morrissey's fault.

Morrissey:  I'm particularly stuck on tracks 2 (Frankly, Mr. Shankly), 6 (Bigmouth Strikes Again) and 9 (There is a Light That Never Goes Out).

That Morrissey is such a sarcastic bastard.  When I was in high school, I thought he was depressed. As an adult, I realize he's not depressed: he's fucking hateful.

Sweetness. 
Sweetness, I was only joking when I said I'd like to
smash every tooth in your head.

Sweetness. 
Sweetness, I was only joking when I said by rights you 
should be bludgeoned in your bed.

If there was a DIY Smash & Bludgeon post on Pinterest, I'd pin that shit on my "Getting Away With It" board in a heartbeat.

Pumpkin Pie Diet:  I need to eat real food again. I suck at eating during the day. It's a cup of coffee in the morning and then usually nothing but 'scraps' (slices of American cheese; a piece of toast if I'm energetic, Halloween candy during the season) until dinner.

It's probably why I'm always so tired, too. Sometimes I fall asleep on the couch before I have to get the kids -- I think my body is desperate for a steady flow of carbs and protein.

Before I quit my 'real' job close to 5 years ago, I had this fantasy that once I became a full-time, stay-at-home Mom, I'd have beautiful, healthy salads -- loaded with chick peas and green olives and hard-boiled eggs and pickled red beets -- every day for lunch. That's happened once in 5 years, and only because I had a friend over for lunch.

Who fantasizes about pickled-beet salads, anyway?

In a weak -- and hungry -- moment today, I took my son to McDonald's for a Happy Meal (one for him, one for me) after school. Not good. Not good at all.

I'm going to try to eat some eggs and a banana tomorrow morning. And get back on the vitamins. I'm better than Cool Whip and McDonald's.

Sleep: If I don't start sleeping soon, I will bludgeon myself to death. It's not fair. I'm tired. I do a TON of stuff during the day. I deserve ... 6 ? ... consecutive hours of sleep, at least ... 5? ... days a week. Is that a normal amount of sleep? I honestly don't know.

I can't rely on pills to put me to sleep. But at this point, it's all I've got to guarantee that I'm unconscious for a few hours in a row.  Lack of sleep is fucking up my desire to be nice and not kill people. It's fucking up my workouts. It's fucking up my ability to think.

Perhaps I'll just hit Husband up for a little lovin' tonight after our port. That usually helps me sleep.


Plan of Action: Sex. Sleep. Eggs & Banana. Buy salad stuff. Then, rule out Morrissey as the main source of my snarkiness. "The Queen is Dead" is a pretty solid album: it shouldn't be unnecessarily shelved because I'm a sleepy, hungry bitch.

Bigmouth Strikes Again, The Smiths, Salford 1986

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Things I Hate

First of all – In addition to some of my standard 'power' words, I also use the c-word in this entry. It’s okay if you want to stop right here. If not, keep reading and feel my rage. Feel it.

1)    Bob Seger. Not a single fucking day passes that I don’t have to turn the radio to escape his throaty wailing. I. Hate. Him.

2)    Shopping for toothbrushes. They’re all soft heads.  What happened to medium? What asshole on earth wants soft head? I’m going to devote the rest of this week to developing a steel wool toothbrush. I’ll post it on Pinterest once I get it professionally photographed. I’ll have bloodied nubs of calcium hanging from my gums by the time I’m done brushing, but I’ll still feel cleaner than I will after brushing with a soft head.

3)    My filter. One, because I’m a fucking riot when I’m angry. Two, because too many people in this world don’t deserve the benefit of my filter.  Some people should be told in clear detail just how much of an asshole I perceive them to be.

4)    Fox News. I watched it accidentally tonight (which is to say, the remote grew legs after 7 pm, so I didn’t have the means to change the channel after Glee) and Robin Robinson (Yes. That is her stupid, stupid name.) went on this rant about how there is no Santa.

What a cunt.

Not only did she go on ‘there’s no such thing’ rant, but she did it while my 8-year old son – who still believes – came running out front to tell us the score of the Blackhawks game. That little turd was supposed to be in his room sleeping; instead he was in ours, watching a hockey game (now we know where the remote went). Technically, I guess we’re bad parents for not getting out the Joan Crawford straps to keep him in his bed, but I still think Robin Robinson, Fox News Chicago, should be fired. Seriously. If I was in charge of the evening news, her ass would be in a sling.

I don’t think my little guy heard her. We were too busy yelling for him to get his ass back in bed (his bed) for him to focus on her nonsense.

5)    Glee. Remember when it first came out and it was dark and there were funny blow job references? I don’t either. It’s been two years of tired plots. I’d like the blow job references again, please.

6)    Having just one remote for two TVs.  My kids drop TV remotes nothing less than 40 times every millisecond. I went to buy a new one at Target today (our third this year, I believe) and they were all $50 and $80. WTF? I’m perfectly content to just scream across the condo until someone finds the remote and brings it to me. Preferably, with a beverage of my choosing.

7)    People that mispronounce bruschetta. Say it with me: brew-skay-tuh. Can’t say it? Shouldn’t order it. Shouldn't eat it.

8)    The douchebag that doesn’t wear shoes on “Dual Survival” so he can strengthen his mitochondria. I bet he’s big fun at a party, throwing around his great big mitochondria in front of all the ladies.

9)    Stupid names. Or the stupid spelling of a normal name. The name Brayleee doesn’t exist in nature. It sounds like a good name for a whore. Oh! Brayleee is a boy? Good god damn luck with that, friend.

10)  Hallmark Channel. They’re playing Christmas movies 24/7 now.  I have NOTHING to turn to when I’m awake from 1 to 4 am.: No Frasier. No Golden Girls. No Cheers. No Frasier again. And likely, someone has taken the remote from the bedroom back to the living room while I was asleep between 11 pm and 1 am. S. O. L.

Again.

Signing off,
Tracy Tracyman

Thanksgiving '11

I love Thanksgiving. It's my favorite holiday of the year. I adore the planning and execution of a good meal. We had a houseful of family and our man-friend and lots of laughter. A quick look at how it turned out:

Saw something on Pinterest about serving crudites vertically in glass vases. Loved the look.

Rosemary Goat Cheese Log w/ Fig Preserves. Heaven.



16 lbs. of uncooked turkey. Brining is the way to go. This is stuffed with rosemary, sage, oranges, apples, onions and cinnamon sticks.

My bird is cooked.
I borrowed a cafe table from our yard and set up a little booze station in the living room.

Protein and carbs table.

Main table with the kids table in the corner. The burlap, altho I did de-stink it, didn't actually look great as a runner on the main table. But I was able to use it on the side table for food service.

My view.  I made the napkin rings.

Here we are, getting ready to eat.
Pumpkin Pie, Madison's Apple Cake (served with Maple Syrup Bacon Ice Cream) and Cranberry-Apple Crisp. I always stick my landing. :)
We had shockingly little leftovers -- a small amount of stuffing, some turkey and cranberry sauce.  For the first time ever, we cooked the carcass and made turkey stock, which I hope to use tonight for turkey/lentil soup.

One of the pleasant surprises was The Husband's purchase of a bottle of port. Everyone enjoyed a cordial of port at the end of the meal and Husband and I have been enjoying a glass every night since.  We feel like Frasier and Niles.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hot for Teacher

Last week, I met one of my daughter's 'resource' teachers at the Q1 Report Card Pick Up. She has straight A's, so technically, all we needed to do was grab her report card and rush back to the car.  But not when the husband is present: as a teacher, he wants to talk teacher with other teachers. He'll deny this and say he wants to talk to teachers so he can hear what they have to say about our daughter, but I can tell by the way he tilts his head and gives his meaningful nods with deliberate pauses before he poses his questions that he really just wants to talk shop with those of his ilk. 

Anyway, I was chatting with another mother in the hallway when it was our turn to meet the resource teacher. Husband went in ahead of me, and within 45 seconds I had finished my conversation and was running into the room and jumping into the chair next to him and across from the resource teacher: "I'm with him,"  I said, as I pointed to my husband.

Mr. Resource Teacher started to laugh at my abrupt entrance and I suddenly realized that Mr. Resource Teacher was kind of smokin' hot. Then Mr. Resource Teacher spoke: he had a voice that wasn't quite as deep as Barry White's voice, but it was pretty deep.  Really, pretty, very deep. 

Let me back up for one second: For several years, I've drug my ass all over that school as a parent, as a PTA board member and as a volunteer in nothing less than 4" heels. No matter what the event, I was dressed up and 4 to 5 inches taller than I actually am.  But on this particular night, I realized there would be a good deal of stairs involved, so stilettos seemed stupid. And if you're not going to put on awesome shoes, why bother showering?

So, I find myself in front of Mr. Resource Teacher without makeup and with hair that may or may have not been a tad bit greasy. I'm wearing a racing shirt from a race I did not run, jeans and sneakers. On any other occasion, his hotness would not have shaken me, but today, he's got the upper hand and because of this, I turned into a giant pile of babbling, snorting, jittery weirdness. I don't know what was coming out of my mouth. I don't know why I wouldn't stop talking. I may have put on a little shadow puppet skit for him. I don't know -- I was a mess. One very un-hot, dirty mess.

The meeting over, we shook Mr. Resource Teacher's hand and made our way to the stairwell. The husband wanted to walk down the stairs, but I thought the best thing for me would be to jump headfirst from the balcony: it would be the proper way to end my smashing debut with Mr. Resource Teacher. As we were moving towards the ground level, the husband looks at me and says, "I like him."

"Yeah," I responded. "Me too."

But here's where it gets funny.  I wasn't the only mom with whom Mr. Resource Teacher left a more-than-favorable impression.  Seems like every pre-menopausal mother in that school must have stopped by his classroom to look at him. I mean, talk to him. We all had different experiences of course. Some have suggested that there was a wind machine in the room, causing his dark, wavy hair to occasionally fall across his dark, dark eyes. Some claim he was shirtless, and glistening, and doing some simple, slow arm curls when they arrived. One mother thought she heard him offer her a martini while he turned down the volume of the smooth jazz so they could enjoy their conversation.

And all of this makes me laugh. It makes me laugh hard. I didn't know this was going on that night -- it wasn't until the next day when I asked one of my friends if she had met Mr. Resource Teacher and then the flood gates of laughter and embarrassing personal accounts opened up.  I can only imagine all of us meeting him one-on-one and feeling overcome with super hot, hotty, hotness.

"Is it hot in here or is it just....oh. Oh. Never mind. It is just me... Silly hormones!"

Should I feel bad about finding Mr. Resource Teacher to be attractive while I'm sitting less than 3 inches away from my husband? Maybe. But I don't. I've watched women flirt with the husband on more than one occasion. And they should flirt with him: Husband is a hottie.   Just a few weeks ago, we walked to our neighborhood market and I had to stand next to Husband while the deli girl seduced him with olives and cheeses.  Watching Husband suck olives off another woman's fingers is a little humbling.

Let's face it: I can't compete with a younger woman who has access to meat and cheeses.

That's it. That's the end of my little story. The daughter has a hot resource teacher. But she gets straight A's so I will most likely not see him ever again, unless I start screwing with her homework while she sleeps and I'm called in for an emergency conference to discuss her plummeting grades. I should probably keep a pair of emergency stilettos in the trunk of the car, just in case.

Also, it is likely that Husband will leave me for the daughter of a deli owner some day.  

The End.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Jute, and Coffee with Jim

Jute is cheap, and it smells kind of ... earthy. Here's something you may not know about jute: it will destroy your fingers.

I'm at the beginning of my Thanksgiving preparation and in addition to a shit-ton of planning, it involves a good deal of crafting.

I almost feel shameful about the crafting I'm doing.  But I can't stop myself. Half of the fun of Thanksgiving, my absolute favorite holiday of all time, is planning the tablescape.

And now I want to hang myself for using the word, 'tablescape'.

At the beginning of the day, I had no intention of tackling the tablescape. My plan was to drop the kids to school and then head back home to rip up some notecards.  This is what the notecard wall looked like this morning by 8:30 am:



Instead, I dropped the kids to school, started to shoot the shit with my friend Jim who happened to be out of coffee and needed to hit Target to restore his supply. I ended up following him to Target for some random shopping and coffee.

He derailed my plan.

After coffee and a quick run through the store to pick up necessities like food coloring, cat food, wide-ruled notebook paper and a tablecloth, I was far calmer than I started out this morning. I got back home by 10 am and instead of tackling the wall...I started searching Pinterest and Home Depot and Ikea.

De. Railed.

My internet research took me back to Target, to a Dollar Tree store where I purchased nothing and feared for my life, Home Depot and Hancock Fabrics. I scored big at Home Depot. Jute is cheap.  So I bought a lot of it.

And here's what I did with it:


I wrapped empty wine bottles in jute cord because I think they'll look pretty on the table and the buffet. Between the snarly cord and the hot glue, my fingers are dead. Typing, in fact, hurts.

After I wrapped the wine bottles (4 in all), I was thinking about napkin rings. To date, I've never had a sit-down dinner for more than 8 people. So, I've got 8 napkin rings, 8 napkins, 8 white plates, etc. This Thanksgiving, I'll have a table for 10, so I need to make sure I've got everything in the right quantities. 

I was getting ready to wrap jute around paper towel rolls, glue the shit out of them, and then cut them down into 2- or 3-inch napkin rings. Then I remembered I knew how to knit. So I tried this:


This isn't the final napkin ring, nor is it the actual napkin I'll be using, but this is the general idea. Now...I've got to make 9 more by Saturday.  Hopefully they won't be covered in my blood.

After the knitting experiment, I thought about placecards, and came up with this:


My cork/placecard idea is clearly not an original one. But I had the corks and I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't be happy to see a footprint in front of them while they're chawing down on crispy turkey skin and whipped sweet potatoes.

All I have to do yet is get some river rocks and finish my burlap table runner and then my tablescape will look awesome. So you know, the woman that cut the burlap for me at Hancock Fabric was a bit of a bitch. She kept going on and on about how smelly the burlap was and how she just didn't want to touch it because it was so rough. I assured her --twice-- that I would defunk the burlap before I put it on my Thanksgiving table. She didn't seem to buy it.

I retracted that whore's non-existent Thanksgiving invitation before I left the fabric cutting station.  I don't understand why some people just can't turn the filter on.

"I'm buying your fucking burlap. Don't worry about how it smells or whether or not it will ruin my Thanksgiving dinner. Cut it, put the sticker on it and let me out of this ghetto shithole. Also, the coworker that manned this station earlier? The one with the kitty cat tapestry vest? I bet he wouldn't have given me shit about my smelly burlap."

Tomorrow: Ignore Jim and head directly to Ikea.  Then back to the Dollar Store for those stupid river rocks.













Sunday, November 20, 2011

Ambien

I gave in and took an Ambien about 30 minutes ago. I don't know why I'm not asleep yet. I've been taking them off and on for a little more than two months now. And despite a really hysterical list of potential side effects, such as sleep walking and sleep talking and sleep driving and sleep screwing, the only thing I've done on Ambien was sleep.

Gene Simmons' wife-like partner was taking a sleep medication and she started preparing meals and freezing them while she slept.  I'll assume she's been sleep screwing Gene Simmons for the past 30 years because there is no way she'd want to consciously do that.  I mean, would you?

If tonight is my night to do shit while I sleep, this is what I'd like to accomplish:

1) Run for 60 minutes, at about a 10 min/mile pace.
2) Photocopy that gingerbread recipe for my friend.
3) Maybe I could combine 1 and 2 and just run the recipe to / from her house. She is about exactly 3 miles from where I live, so that would be an effective use of my sleeping time.
4) Mop the kitchen floor and hallway.
5) Sand, prime and paint Paolo's bedroom. I spent the better half of today sketching out what the finished room should look like; now I need the energy, motivation and the power to stop time so I can get it done.
6) Help a friend out with a story.
7) Help a different friend out with a letter.
8) Finish a long overdue 'going away' gift for a friend who went away 4 months ago.
9) Send out the "Save the Date" thing that I said I'd send out.
10) Write a newsletter.
11) Retreat to my newly acquired "Craft Corner" and craft a CPAP machine for Carlo out of plastic cups, hot glue, twine, some pipe cleaners and glitter. I can't stand it when that jackass breathes and snores when I can't sleep.
12) Vacuum the extra glitter out of the bed.
13) Shave my legs.
14)  Finish the Christmas lists with the kids.
15) Drink another glass of milk.
16) Bake at least 3 kinds of freezable Christmas cookies. That shit won't make itself.
17) Start my sister's wedding gift.
18) Make Thanksgiving dinner grocery list.

That feels like a solid list. A totally, manageable list of things to achieve during an 8-hour period of Ambien-induced rest.

Fingers crossed.  




Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Single, Running Asians

WTF Blogspot? 

The last two ads on my blog were for Asian Singles and now, Running Singles.  

Whaddup?

Click on those weird ads often, friends. I've earned $0.03 with your clicks thus far.  

Aren't you interested in meeting some single Asians? Or runners?

Aren't you? 

Aren't you?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pinterest

Over the past few days, I've bumbled upon the term 'Pinterest'.  At first, I thought it was some dumb Facebook deal where you collect buttons (remember that ?) and post them on a fake corkboard on your wall so everyone knows you like Metallica, you hate Bieber and You'd Rather Be Running. Whatevs.

Pinterest has nothing to do with buttons. Unless you're interested in making a button tree on a piece of framed canvas. Or a Christmas ornament out of buttons. Or if you want to convert an old door into a kitchen island or dining room table by covering it in buttons and then shellacing the shit out of it.

Button ornament.

Pinterest: An online pinboard. Organize and share things you love.


That's it.  

And I'm fucked.

I've been on Pinterest for a solid three hours. I'm still waiting for them to send me the invitation so I can pin shit I love...somewhere. 

Three hours to get an online invitation? Are you kidding me? Are they doing a fucking background check? 

Has she ever been convicted of misusing a hot glue gun before?
Is she old enough to use the oven without adult supervision?
Does she have enough buttons?

I don't know what I just got myself into. But here are some things I'm going to try out. At some point. Once I can pin them to something and then get started.


I could have a baby and try to make it look like Sophia Petrillo by gluing cotton balls to it's head.

I could do my hair with a sock.

I could use my leftover buttons to spruce up bobby pins to pin up my sock hair.

I could make classy-ass jello shots.


I could laugh at this turtle, who is clearly being held hostage.

I don't know what I should do with this. But if I could pin it somewhere, I might have time to figure it out.

I could get a bad ass mani.

I could poison my family.

I could knit cool shit.

20 years later, I could finally learn the moves to "Thriller"






I could take a walk down memory lane.

I could gag (they're vagina cupcakes).
I could...meh. Don't worry about it. I've probably already done that three times since you've seen this post.

Sweet Mother of Christ. More buttons.

I could work harder to get drunk.
I could buy 1,000 of these and hope that's enough to last me a lifetime.





Seriously, this site is crazy neat. I've picked a dozen (ish?) things that are weird... but for reals....there's like 1,000 things I want to get started on.

Send me my fucking invitation, already! 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Plan of Action

The hamster is dead. 

We all knew it was coming. And a few nights ago, I couldn't sleep and I didn't hear the hamster on the wheel all night long. I asked my daughter the next morning if Rizzo was still alive. She checked and he was.

This morning, the husband asked her if the hamster was still alive. She checked and came back to our room and said, "He's laying on his side."

Well, that's a bad sign.

Springing into action, I headed towards my daughter's room, as my husband said, "Wait. What's our plan of action?"

Fortunately, the filter was on this morning so what immediately formed in my brain didn't fly out of my mouth: "Plan of Action? How about if it's dead, we get it the fuck out of the house? How's that for a plan of action?"

The phrase "Plan of Action" immediately triggered a memory of my friend who had a bit of a mouse problem a few years ago. She advised her husband -- a very, very smart guy, despite what I'm about to write -- of the problem and he responded thusly: 

"We'll need a three- to five-year plan of action." 

When she first told me this story, I nearly wet my pants. I can only imagine the incredulous look that must have taken over her face after her husband proposed a Three- to Five-Year Plan of Action to get rid of some mice.  And I had to ask her ... Did the Plan of Action look something like this?

Year One: Get acquainted with the mice 
Year Two: Gain the trust of the mice
Year Three: Lure mice into false sense of security....

I mean, WHAT?  Three- to Five-Year Plan of Action? And I only mock because my friend, who loves her husband very, very much, thought this was as goofy then as I do now. She immediately went to the basement, found some plywood, came back upstairs and nailed boards across the obvious "Points of Access."  Done! Mouse situation solved in three to five minutes.  Funding for the Three- to Five-Year Plan of Action funneled into 6- to 8-month plan to rewire the bedroom closet light. 

The hamster is dead.

He looked like a small, overcooked piece of fried chicken. He was also stinky, so it is doubtful that he died just last night. I'm guessing he passed on Friday. My daughter isn't emotional at all; she had mourned for him a few weeks ago when we thought he had a tumor (altho, he didn't seem to have it when we scooped him from his cage into his coffin today), so I guess she knew it was coming.  Also, the hamster was an asshole. He never warmed up to anyone and was a biter. If you had the luck to get him in your hand, he'd make this really weird shriek and then he'd bite you. He was a shrieker and a biter and an asshole.

So we buried the hamster.

He's in the box.

Daddy dug a hole.  Mag said a few words. She also got dressed up for the service. Really dressed up. I don't think anyone had given this much attention to that hamster since we brought him home from PetSmart two and a half years ago.

And life goes on.

Seven days after we got the hamster, I posted this picture with the following caption: As it turns out, the hamster is an asshole. I think Raoul senses that.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Joe's Got Mail

The media has camped outside of Paterno's house, reporting -- essentially -- nothing before, during and after today's game against Nebraska. We did, however, see a United States Postal Worker walk up to Joe's house, deposit some mail in the box, and then walk off camera.

Joe's got mail. 

I think one of the things that people who aren't from Pennsylvania or who weren't on that campus don't understand is this: Joe Paterno was a God in that town.  And he was a God that got mail. He was an absolutely accessible God to anyone in State College/University Park. 

10,000 students could show up on his doorstep after a successful game and he'd come outside, thank them for their support, tell them he needed some rest and ask them to go back to their homes. And they would.  

He stood behind a friend of mine at The Creamery once and bitched at my friend's indecisiveness at the counter:
     Joe: C'mon, kid. Make a decision already.  
     Friend (later that day, and happily): Paterno yelled at me at The Creamery!!!

To the masses that showed up on his doorstep the night he got fired he said, "Get some sleep. Study. We still have things to do...Pray for those victims."

Joe Paterno gets mail and made some dumb decisions. Or, Joe Paterno gets mail and started making some right decisions, but not enough of them. You pick. 

I won't condone the campus riot: that was a fucking mess. But I will suggest that perhaps, when you live across the street from an accessible God, an accessible God that tells you to study, and get rest and pick a fucking ice cream flavor, already, your emotions might run high when you hear he's been fired by phone.

I can probably count on one hand how many PSU football games I've watched on TV since I graduated from college. But I watched today and cried like a baby during the moment of silence, during the massive on-field prayer (that included the Nebraska team/staff as well) and when I saw the tears streaming down a baton twirler's face during the playing of our alma mater. I clearly couldn't hold it together when Paterno's son burst into tears during the post-game interview.

I haven't made any dumb decisions yet today: it's only 3:30 though, so there is still time. But I do need to go downstairs and grab the mail.













Friday, November 11, 2011

Shark Week

I figured this out today, sometime between my late afternoon shower and baking a bunch of Tollhouse Cookies: Facebook is like Shark Week -- it's new and exciting the first two or three days. And then by mid-week, it's just another asshole getting eaten by a shark.  

Since 'the wean,' I've had a few friends notice that I either wasn't posting as much or that they couldn't post on my wall (unless I accept their post first): it was nice that my absence was noticed.  Generally, I mean no harm, nor am I trying to be a drama queen. I just realized that I was spending too much time worrying about other people's shit -- shit that I wouldn't even KNOW about if it weren't for Facebook. It felt like a bad way to spend time. Or at least, it felt like I could find a better way to spend that time.

My blog activity has picked up significantly.  I'm pretty proud of some of my posts. I can't tell you that "Pussy," a photographic vignette  of my 15-year old cat was genius -- or even worth your click -- but it felt nice to post some silly pictures of my cat at the end of what has been a fairly stressful week in my life. 

I enjoy working on a blog entry that takes more than 3 minutes to write. I love starting a piece and not knowing where it will end. The process is challenging and fun. And it's also just me. Me on a hill. With a megaphone. While I welcome comments -- and I will post them if they aren't stupid or hurtful -- there isn't a ton of conversation going on here. I get to say shit that is on my mind ... and walk away.  Selfish? Maybe. Do I care? Nope.

Shark Week.  I'll get excited about it again. And then I'll need to change the channel and find some Housewives that are up to no damn good.

Pussy

More Boy. Less stress.

Peek-A-Boo Boy.





He's just a boy.



Pensive.

Boy in a box.

Private moments.

Noble and wise.


Napping makes him happy. Look at those splayed toes.

Nose. Toes.

Light and dark Boyish.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Conflicted

As a mom, a Penn State alum and a former public relations professional, I am conflicted with what's happening in Happy Valley. There are dots that remain unconnected, and I have anxiety about what might be uncovered: I'm afraid there is more to this story than the sexual assault of eight young boys.  There is no black or white in this Blue and White scandal: I happen to see a lot of grey. 

Here is where I am not conflicted:
1)  Adults shouldn't fuck children. Seriously, it's that simple. Don't. Fuck. Kids.

2)  Sandusky, the coach that allegedly assaulted at least eight boys, has become the footnote of this story. The spin that this story has taken is mind boggling and I think it's wrong.

3)  Facebook continues to leave a disgusting taste in my mouth. The opinions I saw online this morning showed that in an absolutely difficult situation, one where many questions are still unanswered, big mouths with tiny brains just couldn't shut the fuck up: and Facebook (and Twitter and even blospot) give every idiot a free platform to be publicly stupid.  One of the biggest mouths with one of the tiniest brains on Facebook (and on my list of friends) attempted to turn the scandal into a fundraising opportunity for something completely unrelated.  

The post by Big Mouth/Tiny Brain was comparable to me posting something like this after yesterday's tax increase business:

I know you're all busy with the crap at Penn State. But I went to Penn State. And my taxes just went up 55%.  Can you please send me money to pay for my increased property taxes?

Who does that?  The kind of jackass that has one less Facebook Friend as of about 10 am today. 

My heart breaks for those boys and their families. I am sad that Joe Paterno's career is ending amid an embarrassing scandal.  I will wait to hear more before I go flappin' in the wind. And until then, I am still Penn State.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wine

I'll be honest: The only thing that is keeping me from pouring myself a giant glass of wine at 1:12 pm, just about an hour before I need to pack up and pick the kids up from school, is a wet kitchen floor. I'd take my chances with showing up on the playground with wine breath. I'd deal with the judgment. I just can't handle a footprint in that shitty kitchen floor that I worked so hard to mop 2 minutes ago.

Today has not been great. Not great at all. I've made a compromise that I'd like to feel okay about, but I don't. I'm still pissed off about it. I want to feel like I did something out of generosity and love and that this will be worth it, but I don't. Today, compromise feels like having to choose between drinking razor blades OR bashing in your own head with a sledgehammer: there is no joy in compromise today.

I'm getting increasingly pissed off about the sudden $355 monthly increase in our property taxes, effective on 12/1/11. Yes, you read that correctly: our property taxes are going up $355 per month in less than two weeks. We missed the date to appeal the increase and won't get a chance to do so until February. Which means $355 extra each month for the next three months. Fuckers. Fuckers from the city. They're going to make it impossible to stay here. I wonder how long it'll take until we're murdered in our new home in Cicero.

If, Dear Husband, you've decided to read this blog, unprovoked by me, stop right now, or you'll ruin your birthday gift.

We're making Daddy's birthday gift. It's coming along nicely, but I would have been a lot smarter to have had the idea about two weeks ago. We're going to be up until 12 am finishing this bitch off,  2 am if I start drinking and need to 'shut my eyes' for a few minutes.  I can anticipate the 11-year old will be angry that I did more work on the gift than I said I would. I can anticipate the 8-year old will want to invest 6 minutes into the project and then cry to play Wii.  

Floor is dry. I'm pouring myself a glass of wine.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I'm Being Followed

Last night, we started watching Julie & Julia on TV. I was spent, too much fun over the weekend and too much wine that night, so I headed to bed a little early.  I turned on the TV in the bedroom anyway because it was unlikely that I'd fall asleep immediately, even though I was tired.

I thought it was a little funny that after, what? two years? of people telling me I should see this movie, I end up watching it just as I'm getting more dedicated to my own little blog. Julie's blog purpose, of course, has much more intention and focus (and success) than mine, but whatever. I'm trying to blog every day and if there is time and content, twice daily. 

At one point in the film, Julie learns she has 13 comments and none of them are from people she knows. I don't think that this line could have resonated with me more than it did yesterday, as I woke up that morning to find that a complete and total stranger had started following me on my blog. It's super easy to notice when you get a new follower when you only have a baker's dozen of followers to start with. But as of yesterday morning, I had 14 followers and one of them was a complete and total stranger. From England.

Let me quickly qualify what I mean by complete and total stranger:  I have never had a face-to-face meeting with this person. We have never exchanged witty comments in the blogosphere. I did, however, start following his blog last week. The first post I read was about booze not being good for your pets. He had mentioned that lettuce 'killed the shit' out of his pet hamster.  He had me at 'killed the shit'.  But, he's still a stranger.  

Are we all cool with this?

A total stranger has read at least one of my posts and thought it was minimally tolerable enough to follow me. Or, because I started following his blog last week, the socially acceptable thing to do is to follow my blog in return. Or, he liked my kind of neked profile pic, so he decided to to follow me. Or, he's a bit retarded and accidentally followed me, as I have accidentally followed myself. Yes. I'll admit it: I've got 12 legit followers, and then I'm following myself. I don't know how I did that. And I'm afraid if I stop following myself I'll lose my virtual real estate. Whatever. Where ever I go, there I am. And there I am again.

I fell asleep before the movie ended. But before I drifted off, I remember faintly hearing a familiar bass line: 

       bm bm bm bm bm bm bm buh buh 
       bm bm bm bm bm bm bm buh buh 

Is this? I wondered, rolling over so I could see what I thought I was hearing.

       Can't seem to face up to the facts
       I'm tense and nervous and I
       can't relax
       Can't sleep
       Bed's on fire
       Don't touch me
       I'm a real live wire

What a movie. One new follower with whom I have no relationship and the Talking Heads classic, "Psycho Killer" and I felt like I was on the road to Julie Powell-dom as I eventually fell asleep. 

This morning, I am aware that that is not happening. 

I've gotten some hits on my blog. I seem to be pretty big in Russia, Germany and Singapore. No talk of a tour yet, but I'm patient. We'll see how it goes. 

I have to get up and chaperone a field trip for my daughter's gifted science class now. I'll leave you with two fantastic versions of Psycho Killer. In the first, Tina gets a little time at the end. The second is shot at CBGB in 1975.










Monday, November 7, 2011

The Race Cherry

Weekends are busy. This weekend was really busy.  I went to a bar with my husband and other adults on Friday night, ran a 5k on Saturday morning, went to a wine tasting/clothing swap Saturday afternoon and on Sunday, I hosted a knitting playdate with my knitting, triathlete-type friends. I had a great time, but today, I am exhausted.  Too much fun for this gal. I need recovery.

One of the high points of the weekend was the 5k. I ran it with a friend who has never raced before and in fact, is fairly new to running. When she posted on my wall several months ago that she was running and thinking about a 5k, I suggested the RAM Hot Chocolate event (RAM has GREAT swag) and told her I'd run it with her. It didn't take her long at all to commit (she's ballsy). And Saturday, I met her at her hotel at the crack of dark am so she could cross "5k" off her bucket list.

My friend rocked her run. We chatted the entire time (I don't think I started talking out loud during my running workouts until this spring -- I never had enough oxygen to run and talk at the same time, so props to her for that early milestone in her running career!) and she didn't walk a single step. She didn't even stop for water! My only 'job' on that run (in my mind) was to check our pace and make sure we weren't going faster than either of us could handle (I haven't run more than 20 consecutive minutes in about 8 weeks, so a faster pace could have been devastating!). At one point, my Garmin read that we were at a 7 min/mile pace: I made us slow down. Although the race was a little longer than it should have been due to an emergency reroute (a truck got stuck under a bridge somewhere), she had enough left to sprint through the finish line like a rock star.

The experience brought up two things to me. The first:  I HATE waking up early on race day. I just HATE it. I've never yet woken up on a race day when I didn't think, "Oh God, can I just go back to bed?". The second: running is awesome.  Anyone can run. And everyone, from Desiree Davila to little old me, can run on the same course, in the same race.  I mean, of course Davila is going to be light years ahead of me at the start line ... and crossing the finish line ... but in theory, I could be running in her footsteps. 

We went for a beautiful run on Saturday morning -- in a gorgeous city -- with about 18,000 other runners. Crossing the finish line felt great, and not because I had a new PR (I didn't), but because my friend told me at about 2.85 miles that she was hooked: she needed to find another 5k. I wasn't that surprised when she e-mailed me the next day to ask if I was going to a run a 5k Turkey Trot this Thanksgiving!  

I think experienced/seasoned runners everywhere should partner with a new runner and get them through that first race.  I also understand why my coach is a coach: supporting someone through that process is so rewarding. I'm as happy today as I was back in August when I did PR at a different RAM event. 

Thanks, Kristina, for letting me be a part of your first race. It was among my favorite races of this season!  Now...what's it gonna take for me to get you in a swimming pool?:)

Pre Race. It was brisk.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Predictions

1)  No matter how articulately I dispute my $50 parking ticket from today's adventure downtown, those fuckers from the city aren't going to make it go away.  They owe me $3 for the legitimate time I paid for in metered parking outside of Union Station, even if I neglected to see the "No Parking" signs taped to the trees on the sidewalk which earned me the $50 citation. Crooks. Every last one of 'em.

2)  Someday, the shithead that gave me the sarcastic 'thumbs up' after he and his fat-ass wife crawled inside me while I was trying to parallel park the car in front of the kids' school today will get an emasculating beat-down by his fat-ass wife, an intolerant gang-banger or possibly his biological mother, who feels bad about unleashing such an asshole into this world.  FYI...I gave him the most violent double-fisted finger he's ever seen. I hope I ruined his day.

3) The two Stellas, half-dozen hot wings and bowl of macaroni and cheese I had this evening were not good pre-race decisions. For this, I apologize to Kristina W.  Our run tomorrow could be difficult.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Yes

Hectic day of maid-like, mom-like, wife-like stuff. Stopped at the store at 2 pm to grab some groceries before grabbing the kids at school. STARVING. Only had two cups of coffee, a few fun-sized candy bars and a slice of American cheese all day long.

Got into the store, picked up everything on my list and realized that I could quite possibly die before I hit the playground for kid retrieval. My body was consuming my limited reserves -- death was imminent. So, I went to the pre-made sandwich section and grabbed a store-made egg salad sandwich. And a chocolate milk. I checked out and headed to the car.

It was grey and raining. The dampness cut right through me. I got the groceries into the car as quickly as possible, put the keys in the ignition, turned on the radio and the heat and got to work on the egg salad sandwich. I had 7 minutes of 'me' time, in my car, in the Dominick's parking lot, before I had to be at the school.

That egg salad sandwich was among the worst things I've ever consumed. There was some dried egg salad on the outside of the roll that totally looked like ear wax. I must have been really hungry, because I saw 'ear wax' sandwich, and I just kept eating. And swilling chocolate milk. Really ... why am I not 500 pounds?  But the fun thing was that while I was chawing down on an egg-salad sandwich in my car during what was probably the most un-hot moment of my life, "Leave It," came on the radio and I enjoyed one of my guilty pleasures: Yes.

Yes: the progressive art-rock band of the 70s (and 80s) that actually had oodles of critical acclaim which might be prompting you to ask, "Why a guilty pleasure?". Guilty, I guess because I liked them in college, until I met a guy, whose name may or may not have rhymed with Play SickGurney, who was a big, big, big, creepy fan of Yes and Rush. He killed both for me. Guy Whose Name Rhymes with Play SickGurney not only dressed exclusively in Yes and Rush tour t-shirts, but he'd also answer his phone, "Geddy Lee."  He just ruined Yes and Rush for you, too, didn't he? That fucking Play SickGurney.

Since GWNRWPSG ruined Yes, I've kept my Yes love closeted, even though "90125" continues to be one of my favorite albums ever. My Yes love is so closeted, that "90125" hasn't even made it to my iPhone, although it does happen to be on my "Stranded-On-An-Island-And-You-Have-10-Playlists-To-Play-For-The-Rest-Of-Your-Life" list. 

"Leave It" is four minutes and 14 seconds long. In four minutes and 14 seconds, I finished 6" of an 8"  long egg salad sandwich and a 16 oz chocolate milk. I was reminded of a weird friend from college and made a mental note to get "90125" onto my iPhone: it would probably be good for running.

5 hours later, I'm still burping up that god damn egg salad sandwich.