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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Running

It is well established that I am crazy.  If you don't know that by now, I strongly encourage you to go back to this post and just read from the beginning.  Seriously, take the time.  I'd lay money on the fact that by the time you get to January 2011 you won't have to keep on keepin' on.  You'd be a believer.  A converted crazy cognizant, for those alliterative types out there.

Runners are also crazy people.  I mean seriously, who wants to engage in a sport where you could possibly literally shit yourself?  Seriously, google "runner trots".  Avoid the images.

I have been running more lately.  Now, don't think that I am about to go to any kind of race and win.  Or even finish in the bottom 10%.  More like dead last. (Though I suppose technically that is in the bottom 10%, so...) But it  has been good for me to have that outlet for myself.  That alone time, of just listening to music and focusing on not dying.  Because you feel that way sometimes while running.  Then you get the runner's high and can't wait to go back at it.  Hell, I probably would struggle to finish a 5K in under 35 minutes, to be perfectly honest.  Way above my times in high school...hell, way above my time in high school 7 months pregnant running cross country (true story).  I'm not doing it for any kind of award. Or even to get into shape, really.

I'm doing it for my sanity.  Which, if you followed my instructions above, is clearly questionable at best.

That is why it was so disheartening the other day when I had a really shitty run.  Like, almost literally shitty.  It was the kind of run where my limbs felt leaden, like they all had an extra 20 lb weight strapped to all of them.  Where I could not get into a rhythm of any sort.  Where my knees vaguely ached as did my muscles, but no amount of warming up or stretching would alleviate the pain.  Where I seriously thought I might actually poop while running.  And it was only 4 miles I ran.

"Only four miles".  Who the fuck even talks like that?  Crazy people, that's who.  Crazy people who run.  Which them makes them even crazier.  And thus starts the endless loop of craziness.

From now on, that is totally where I am blaming my crazy on.  Forget that I will never run a marathon.  Forget that there are people twice my age lapping me.  Forget that I have been crazy for way more years than I have run.  I am crazy, therefore I run.  I run, therefore I am crazy.  There's a nice symmetry to it.  A limitless loop of lunacy, with no clear beginning or end.  Again, with the alliteration.

On second thought, don't bother going back and re-reading.  If this post alone hasn't convinced you, just stop reading.  Forever.  I don't need that kind of negativity in my life.  And by negativity, I mean complete and total denial.


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Bubbles

Because I like to be all Tiger mom and shit, I decided that I was going to do something fun with the kids this weekend.  Alexis had a friend spend the night, so I looked up some tutorials and decided we were going to make some ginormous bubbles.  As I was putting this shit together for the kids, I realized that I could certainly make my own tutorial for this craft as I was not following one exactly.  So that is exactly what I am setting out to do here, for the reading enjoyment of my 9 followers.  I mean, it's not like I am using this blog to generate income or anything (mostly because I am too lazy to figure out  how the ads work, plus the whole 32 cents I could potentially generate from my 9 followers seems to not be worth the effort involved).  I am going to walk you through how I made ginormous bubbles for the kids.  But minus any actual pictures of how I did it, because you all aren't fucking idiots and I imagine that you could figure out how to screw eye hooks into a dowel rod and tie some string to it, as well as how to mix shit together for bubbles.  Anyways...Welcome to my mind.  May the odds be ever in your favor. It's not too late to turn back, you know....


Still here?  Great.  Let's begin.

So the original tutorial I found gave some basic directions on how to make the wands for these huge ass bubbles.  It seemed fun, and if it was an epic fail it was summer and I could potentially hose the children down and/or burn the evidence of this craft, so I gathered up the shit I needed.  Some dowel rods.  Some eye hooks and washers.  Cotton string.  I measured the children up and cut the string.  Then I needed to insert the eye hooks into the ends of the dowel rods.

Now the lady at that link said something about just screwing them in without drilling first.  Fuck.  That.  Shit.  It was hurting my little fingies, and I need those to unscrew the top of the margarita mix and my Xanax bottle once  Alexis's friend headed home, amirite?  So I grabbed my husband's drill and a teeny drill bit, but the drill already had a screwdriver head on it so I had to find him to get it off and put the new bit on.  For some reason I can't fucking figure out how to do that on a drill.  I hand the drill and the bit to him, and he looks at me with the wariness of a man who is married to a crazy lady who likes to do crazy things.  Like this one time, when I was like 7 months pregnant, I started to dig up what I thought was a small rock in our yard, and it ended up being one that required two men to lift and a wheelbarrow to transport to what I was told had to be its forever home because he wasn't ever fucking moving that fucking huge ass thing again.  (In my husband's defense, he doesn't swear that much at all, so I may have added some extra emphasis there with the cussing.  His tone totally said all that though.)

Anyways, I get the wands all set up and then realize...these are fucking nunchucks.  With an extra added bonus of a washer to add some extra knockout power.  What made me think that giving Charlie these was a good idea?

Sure, give three children under the age of 10 these potential weapons.  What could possibly go wrong?

At this point, I start to question my (remaining, because let's be honest, there wasn't much there) sanity and really wish it would be ok to just start pounding the wine.  Since I am a semi-responsible adult, I refrain and move on to creating the bubble mixture.

Now, in that original tutorial, the video shows the bubbles not lasting very long.  Of course, I am all like fuck that shit, our bubbles are going to last longer.  Tiger mom, remember?  So I hit Google up, go to a second tutorial, and mix some magic bubble potion up.

That is baking power on the floor next to the bubbles.  I promise.  Semi-responsible, remember?

We were supposed to let the mixture sit for an hour at least, but of course I can't be arsed to follow the directions so we head out after 20 minutes.  I mentally prepare myself for the possibility of this being as big a failure as Sean Spicer's spins on his boss's rhetoric while attempting to hide in shrubbery, and gather up the children to head outside to try this out.

And you know what?  Holy fucking shitballs, it works.

No spin needed here, Spicey!  These are tremendous bubbles!

A twofer, even!

So there you have it folks, my first very lazy tutorial on how to make big ass bubbles.  On a ranking scale of being able to be sober to necessitating speed-balling to get through, this one is one I can handle without the aid of pharmaceuticals.  


Sunday, July 2, 2017

Rainbows III

By now, you should know the significance of rainbows and my son for me.  If not, you can find it here, here, and here.  Most people also don't know this, but a baby born after a loss is called a rainbow baby.  Technically, I have two of those, Alexis and Charlie, though not many people know that either.

If you would have told me after my son died that I would soon become obsessed with the white light of the sun being refracted through raindrops into something colorful in the sky, I would have looked at you askew.  Of course, if you would have told me that I would be willing to get twice daily injections of heparin into my pregnant stomach to keep my body from killing a baby after that, I would have looked at you the same way...point is, it has become a pretty significant thing for me to see a rainbow.

I always loved storms.  As a child, I would sit in our front room and look out the window as they came rolling in from the west.  I used to freak my sister out by jokingly running into the middle of our lawn and licking my finger and holding it up in the air for the lightning to come strike me.  (I am strangely confused as to why it did not, but perhaps it was because I was still an innocent child?  I don't tempt fate now, I tell you what...)  Of course, I always came in before the rain started, because ew.  Water.  But even the torrential downpours that accompanied a thunderstorm were fascinating to me, from the dry safety of our house, of course.

I honestly don't remember seeing that many rainbows as a child.  Most likely explanation is that I simply wasn't looking for them.  I didn't run outside when the sun started shining in the west and it was still dark in the east to look for them.  They were no where near as meaningful at that time as they are now for me.  I've said it before, I am fully aware that the times in my life with rainbows are probably just as much a coincidence as the times with fire (and I haven't even talked about all the fire alarm drama, either...).  I like to think that the rainbows aren't, that my son is still with me even as his ashes sit on my dead people's shelf in my living room.  (For the record, he is the only literal dead person on this shelf.  It's not like I am collecting corpses to pose on this shelf in a variety of positions.   It has other mementos from our passed on loved ones, as well as his urn.   I strangely feel the need to clarify this for you people.)

I'm really hoping that the fire shit isn't like a sign from hell, though.  That would not strike me in the feels nearly as much as the whole rainbow thing.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Water

My hatred of water has been well documented.  Here, here, here , here, and here, to be exact.  I'm not a fan.  May have something to do with some sort of early trauma in my life, wherein I almost drowned with a lifeguard watching me and my sister pulled me to safety, or maybe I'm bitter about all the times we went swimming in Lake Erie and came out with sediment and God knows what else all up in my crack (like, literally.  Ohio is the state where a river caught on fire; of course our lake is full of rusted pieces of metal and communicable diseases.).  Or perhaps it has to do with 9th grade when a guy picked me up and threw me into the pool during free swim and I was able to get to the edge of the pool in the deep end, thereby nullifying my excuse of "I can't swim" to the gym teacher and my free pass to have grossly modified expectations for swim class. Fucker.

Anywho, I'm not a fan of water as I said before.  I generally don't go in past my waist, and it usually involves much wailing and gnashing of the teeth for me to get into the water with the children, along with some pretty serious negotiations that simultaneously makes me teary eyed with pride and frustrated as hell at their tenacity. Bathing suits aren't exactly my friend, too. I have body image issues anyways, and plus I am a 36 year old woman who's been pregnant more times than most and who nursed three children.  Shit only stays where it is supposed to because of a lot of Spanx and a solid underwire bra, plus a lot of strategic placement of body parts.

(And yes, I know I am supposed to be a feminist and all that shit, and that worrying about how my body looks in a bathing suit is a function of societal pressures to look perfect, and that my children don't care how I look.  I know all of this.  But I still feel it and by God, I'm honest if nothing more than super crazy.)

So what the fuck made me think that it would be a good idea to get the kids a fucking swimming pool for Christmas last year?  Not like the little 24 inch pools that we used to splash in with our dad when we were little.  No, a fucking 14 ft wide, 42 inches high pool with a real filter and ladder and everything.  And what made me think that my children would be ok with me NOT getting into it with them?  Seriously, if I didn't know that eggs are the devil food and I never eat them, I would question if I got into a whole gallon of egg nog the day I decided to get this thing.

(Though not gonna lie, we got one hell of a deal on it.)

I have been swimming more this summer than I have the last two, possibly three, combined.  Not even hyperbole there.  And the pool has only been up since Saturday.  My children know that I am a sucker for them, and they tend to exploit this to get me to do things that I wouldn't normally.  Like willingly put a bathing suit on and get into water.  Luckily for me, their willingness to exploit me has not extended to things like buying them meth or hacking the school's computers to change their grades.

I suppose that it is part of being a parent though...this willingness to do shit for your kids that takes you out of your comfort zone.  Whether it is learning to use a booger sucker to becoming a dance mom to educating your children about the importance of locking doors to avoid murder,  my kids are constantly making me grow as a person and to expand my thinking in new ways.  Even if it means getting over my hatred of water.  And my fear of stabby murderers coming into our house while waiting up for the teenager to get home from "working a late shift".

Mama may have been born in the morning, but it wasn't yesterday.  I may be willing to allow my children to talk me into believing that water is fun, but I sure as hell ain't gonna get talked into believing that my kid always headed straight home from work after her shift.  Remember, this is the lady who had her gym teacher believing for almost an entire semester that she could not swim.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Bedtime

My two younger children have decided that they are going to do a reprisal of the toddler years with regards to avoidance of going to bed, and have recently begun doing all that they can to postpone the actual event of going to bed itself, let alone actually falling asleep.  They like to whip out all of the classics, such as I need a drink of water or to go to the bathroom, as well as some creative new ones such as I just realized at the exact moment I am supposed to get into bed that I may have potentially possibly broken my pinkie toe earlier this week and it now needs immediate medical attention (Alexis) or I just realized that I don't have every single stuffed animal in my room on my bed and we must bust out a search party for said missing stuffed animal and tear apart my whole room RIGHT NOW (Charlie.)  They have also taken to begging me to lie down with them for a while, and since I'm pretty much a sucker for them I will do this as long as it does not involve TOO long of a conversation on their part to avoid going to sleep.

I might be a fucking sucker for those girls, but I'm not a dumb sucker.  I KNOW their sudden desire for Mama cuddles has nothing to do with the actual cuddling itself and more to do with getting an extra 3-5 minutes of awake time so they can see...what?  What their father and I do in the mysterious hours between 8:30-9 PM and 7-8 AM?

It's a whole lotta not-exciting, that's what.  It usually involves some sort of lunch packing, cleaning, and prepping for the next day.  The excitement comes when we are able to eat or drink whatever crap we want without having to inhale it so the children don't see us making poor food choices and therefore irreversibly scarring them for life with food issues.  I also will get on the laptop at that time uninterrupted to binge on the news online, Facebook, and to pin things that I will likely never make/do, and Charles will go watch shit on the iPad because I am a bad wife and can't/won't watch TV or movies with him.  We are ANIMALS, I tell you.  Don't be jealous.

Today's conversation with Charlie, though, takes the cake.  She started off by asking if they could get a mini fridge for the upstairs.  She tried to sell me on the idea by saying "We won't keep pop in it.  Maybe cheese sticks.  Or stuff you keep in the fridge downstairs.  Like healthy stuff."  Uh, OK, playa.

She then also asked for a "small kitchen area" for their bedrooms as well.  Apparently the new thing for kindergardeners is to have your own apartment.  Nothing like starting independent living fresh outta preschool, amirite?

So I'm lying next to her in bed, grateful for the dark to hide my silent laughing, when she then makes her last request.

She wants a fucking underground bunker.

I shit you not.

She wants it to be equipped with a kitchen, bathroom, bed, and a lot of pajamas.  Plus there needs to be an underground tunnel going from her current bedroom (which is upstairs, so not quite sure how that will work, but I guess all the details have not been hammered out yet...) to the bunker.  For what, I'm not sure.  Is this going to be like a situation room for when her attempts at world domination fail?  Is she privy to some intelligence regarding nuclear warfare that I am not?  Or perhaps she is just terrified of the idea of a Trump Presidency during her grade school years and is just planning accordingly?

I'm trying to avoid thinking that perhaps it is to hide bodies.  I mean, I am pretty sure there's NOT a body count yet so this is what we are working to maintain here.  But perhaps she is just trying to be proactive here.  A preemptive plan for hiding bodies and fugitives, if you will.  Contingencies.

I am not sure if I should be slightly terrified of that idea, or proud as hell of her foresight and planning and organizational skills.  With the added bonus, of course, of putting off falling asleep for another six and a half minutes.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Changes

As I was driving the little girls to school today, a bird came out of nowhere and suicide bombed my car.  It was all like "Cash me ousside" and I was all like "Go home, Robin Redbreast.  We ARE outside.  You're drunk."  I managed to not hit the stupid thing, but it made me think of other encounters I have had with birds.

Once, when I was a lowly undergrad intern at a chemical dependency treatment center for women, I had to get out to a 5K fundraiser to work at like 5 AM, somewhere on the east side of Cleveland.  Now, I am not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination, and I have the navigational capabilities of a deaf drunk bat.  T his was also circa 1999, way before GPS's, smart phones, hell, even cell phones weren't so much a thing then.

Naturally I got lost.  I am a very definite West Side girl here (and people from Cleveland will probably be the only ones who appreciate this...) so I was firmly convinced that I was going to die because that is what happens on the East Side.  In fact, when I stopped at the gas station to get directions, the clerk looked at this young little white girl and gave me very clear directions as to how to get the hell outta dodge and instructions to not stop again.  Later found out after the fact that I was in one of the worst sections of Cleveland.  Alone.  At 5 AM.  Yeah.

Anyways, I finally get to the 5K and there is a dead bird inside the grill of my car.  Just casually hanging there from it's wing, like "Heeeeyyy, wazzup?", all waiting for the par-tay to get started.  Except for the whole being dead thing.  And being a bird.  I don't think birds party all that much, to be honest.  They seem kinda lame.

Fast forward about 8 years...very different life.  I'm married, two kids, and in grad school.  I make the god awful 90 minute drive to the University of Akron several times a week.  I do now have a cell phone, so I am talking to my husband on the phone when a bird literally drops out of the sky on my windshield.  Dead as a door nail.  For some reason, my first thought was to turn on the windshield wipers, but before I could even do that, it got blown off my car as I was going 60 MPH.  I was left there like, "Uhhhhh...."

Again,a bout another 5 years...I'm at work in a mental health agency.  There is a cardinal that keeps running into my window.  Over and over again.  I name it Insanity because it seemed fitting and I like to think I am a clever lass.  I tried everything to get that stupid thing to stop...partially out of concern that it would hurt itself, partially because I was afraid I would have a paranoid person in my office (well, besides myself, of course) and they would lose it.

Different times in my life.  Different circumstances.  The nebulous "they" say that the only constant is change, and I can certainly believe that.  I've had a lot change in the last 6 months or so, and I am about to have even more change.  I'm going to be stepping outside of my comfort zone in a big way, a way that will impact my family.  It is simultaneously terrifying and exciting and anxiety provoking in a way I have not had anxiety provoked in a long time.

Yes, change is coming whether I like it or not.  I certainly could do without the birds though.  They are kinda creepy and I am not convinced they do not have dubious intent of some sort.


Friday, March 24, 2017

Murdering

So today we went into BFE (like more than we already live in...) to purchase a new to us table and chair from someone.  I refuse to buy any brand new furniture until my children are past the asshole "let's destroy all the nice things" stage so this was the next best thing as our current chairs had a habit of falling apart when one sat on them and the table is almost older than Charles and I combined.  On the way home, we were discussing with the children living out in BFE (especially after we went through a particularly creepy town where literally every business was already closed at 7 PM and it looked abandoned and meth lab-ish).   The following conversation ensued:

Me: I would not want to live out here.  All there is is farm land.  No neighbors anywhere in the distance.

Charles:  I would love it.

Me:  Nope.  No one would hear you when you get murdered.

Charles:  What are you talking about?  There's no one around here!

Me: Exactly.  The murderer can waltz right in your house and off you and no one will hear you scream.

Charles: Are you even serious right now?  Look at all the open ground...all kill shots are open.  No one will get to the house.  All vitals are exposed, even in an army crawl.

Me:  Duh.  They come to murder you at night!  While you are sleeping!


Later that evening, after my sister texted me about a police standoff around the block:

Charles:  Well, that is why you need to live in the country.

Me: NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU SCREAM!!!

Charles:  You go to bed late and I wake up early.  They would never have a chance to get to us!  You are in bed at like 2 AM and I wake up at like 4 AM...

Me:  That's a 2 hour window!  It does not take that long to murder someone!

Charles:  We have the dogs.  Maximus would just have to start sleeping in our room.  And anyways, you are so wrapped up with the three blankets and your blankie (yes, I am 36 years old and have a blankie.  Fucking judge away, Judgy McJudgerson.) no one will be able to get to you.

Me: Well, I don't really want to wake up and find you dead!  Out in the country you could be dead for three days and having cats eat your body before someone find you!

Charles:  Well, you would not have to buy any dog food for a while then...

Me: (after a long minute just staring at him): That would be the one time our bedroom door actually stayed closed and the dogs couldn't get in. (We've been having problems with the door popping open even after we shut them...the joys of living in a house built in 1928...)

Charles:  Well, we will just put a dog on a chain outside every 20 feet around the house.  Or have your brother set up a perimeter for us with bombs and landmines and we can give the girls a map.

Me:  That would be educational and shit, right?

Charles: Yep.  We'd have to get more dogs though.  Charlie would get behind that.

Me: No.  More. Dogs.

Charles:  Well, what about an attack goat?  Or a fighting chicken?

Me: I'd rather have the dogs in the house to defend us.

Charles: Well, we could have the goat or the chicken in the house...

Me: No goats in the house.  Or chickens.  Remember people complaining about how they stink?

Charles:  Well, this would be a special fighting cock.  An angry one, with special 3 inch metal spurs on his feet.

Me:  We already have one angry cock in this house, thankyouverymuch.  We don't need another one.


I like to think I won this argument.