Saturday, November 3, 2012


I went to get my hair done this morning. I was pleased to see a Town & Country magazine on the shelf by the chair.  The hairdresser said "I knew you would like that. That's my Mom's favorite magazine."

Her mom is 45.

That's just ducky. But I'm over it now that I typed it.

You know what I'm not over? Being personally attacked. Someone out there really thinks I'm evil and surprisingly, it's not one of my children. 

So I talk to myself a lot. "It's OK," I say,"not everyone has to like you."  "It's OK, you're still a good person even though this person apparently wants you dead and fired and living in a van down by the river."

Even worse, you extend an olive branch. You try to be the bigger person and they further attack you and use your goodness as an example of more evilness. It's so twisted you are starting to wonder if you're living inside the Old Testament but without the tents.  Are people really this awful when they're supposed to be all grown up? Yes, yes they are.

You know what else I'm not over? Someone telling me that I look like a soccer mom. My kids don't even play soccer. I don't drink Starbucks and drive around yakking on my phone. Do soccer moms even do that? What is a soccer mom anyway? Seems to me like she might be in better shape because no one's trying to ruin her reputation except for the other evil Moms on the PTA.  That is probably worse- all hail to you Soccer Moms who have people on the PTA attack you. I stand in solidarity.

I show up for work every day in high heels and I even wear seasonally appropriate lip gloss. I say smart stuff (sometimes) so why do you care if I've got grass clippings on my floor mats and mummified french fries in between my seats? By the way, don't blame the kids for those. That and the dried up dripped ice cream is from me. Have you ever tried to drive 75 mph, talk on the phone and eat an ice cream sundae? Not recommended.

I may need to show up at church tomorrow to revel in the whole Jesus loves me this I know stuff otherwise it's going to be another long week. I may also spray myself from head to toe with nonstick cooking spray and let that crap just slide right off (the bad stuff, not the Jesus stuff).

Maybe I'm over it now.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Home Team

This guy puts up with a lot of crap. Coming off of what could be describe as "the week that would not die", there he was to take me to dinner. I got one of those drinks with the champagne floating on top.  Vodka and champagne go together like peas and carrots.
The week that would not die, is still not dead and it's already another week. I hereby put a fork in last week. It's done now and time for an afternoon drink with some champagne on top so I can forget about the week that I just ceremoniously killed with a fork.

Monday, October 22, 2012

For Halloween I'd like to be a shrubbery

It occurred to me today that once, A&P really only cared about cookies.  I found this picture of them from preschool. Interestingly, Andrew is on the left. I guess the preschool teacher obeyed my commands. If you don't count me dressing up as a shrub and standing really close to the playground, I never was much of a stalker and more of a dictator.

I remember putting A&P on the bus for their first day of preschool- they were in the "special program" because they didn't speak much of anything that anyone could understand. The people that gave them the assessment just looked at me like I'd totally screwed them up and they were only 3. A&P knew what they were saying. After a lot on unintelligible stuff, things would happen, like they'd rip the blinds off the windows. So don't tell me they're behind, you persnikety preschool assessment people.  I'll never forget hating on them. Not that I'm bitter.

Anyway, I put them on that big old bus to send them to preschool to learn to talk like everyone else (like that's important), unstrapped, just loose to fly all over the place. They had to go over two sets of railroad tracks to get to the school. Part of the way was a divided highway. Some of it was a two lane road with a ditch next to it. Dang you Wood County and your bus eating ditches. (Back before I was worried about the ditches eating the car, I was pretty convinced they could gulp down a cheese wagon.)

A&P hollered and moaned. I gasped and beat my chest like a tribal medicine woman being attacked by a python. It was horrible. I found out later that the neighbors watched the whole thing. Like we were their own personal Telemundo- all the thrashing and wailing but without the priest or the kidnapping or the subtitles.

A&P finally got on that giant bus. They were the only children on it. I ran to my car and I chased that giant bus. I wanted to make sure that if it ran into the ditch I could fish the boys out through the window. Screw the bus driver, she could save herself.  At a stop light, I actually made the mistake of pulling up next to the right side of the bus.  I peered into the bus for a glimpse and to my horror the bus driver opened the door and gave me the "roll down your window, you psycho" sign.  So I did.  "Go to work,"  she said.  And I did. After I fluffed up my shrub costume so I'd be ready for recess.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Is it a Felony if...

One of the benefits of teaching a kid to drive is the full service fill ups. On Monday, I was heading out of town and it only made sense for me to take advantage.  Lucky for me, as soon as we got in the car, a co-worker called me back. I'd been waiting all day to talk to him, so I had to do it then, and I wasn't the one driving, so no harm no foul.  All was well until the kid pulled into the gas station just as some maniac was circling the lot in a big expensive car (something I'd rather not pay for). My child was oblivious to this meandering menace and continued to approach the pump. Sensing impending doom and another deductible to pay (already 2 so far in October), I scream "BRAKE! NOW! DO IT NOW! BRAKE!"

The unsuspecting and now audibly victimized co-worker says "Hey, I can call you back...." No way, I scream. I've been waiting to talk to you all day. "I don't like how this sounds. It sounds dangerous," he says pensively. What? No way.  How could this be anything less than safe- being driven around town by a 15 year old. I do it all the time!

You're too close to the pump, I say. Do it again. Oh MY GOLLY you're going to rip off the mirror. Do it again. OK, that's better. 

The beleaugered co-worker says sheepishly "Hey I made my wife do all the driving with our kids, now I know why." Did your wife end up in rehab? Did she leave you? Do you hate her? Does she have PTSD?

To the kid I say "Take the credit card, fill up the tank." The kid looks at me like I just fell from a rotating, celestial orb and says "I don't remember how." WHAT? I holler like he's just put my clothing on a wire hanger. Just FILL UP MY TANK.  The coworker is again molested and mumbles something about the building being on fire and needing to hang up.  My Eye, it's sponteously combusting.  I continue with call only to see the kid tapping on the window waving the credit card and mouthing "What do I do with this?" He's filling the car all appears OK, but he should not be waving the card so I get out anyway.  Did you put it in the machine? "Um no. " That's a problem. I'm so distracted that we almost commited a fuel drive off while my coworker is burning up in his office.  Did you know the kid's dad is a prosecutor? I'm already on such thin ice with the fam, Jesus, the CIA, the Southern Conference of Evangelical Baptists.

We survived, the tank got filled, we made it home and I spent the week dashing about.  I'm pretty cranky about the dashing so we'll just leave it at that and say that I'm awfully happy to sleep in my own bed occasionally.  The other thing that totally blows about being gone so much is that the boys visibly grow when I'm not paying attention.  And want to drive cars. They used just want french fries. *Sigh* For anyone that knows us, Andrew is on the left.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Driving has gotten a little easier inasmuch as I don't fear for my life as much as last month. I figured out that drinking first is very helpful and takes the edge off for me as a passenger- like an Ativan before a flight. This was a technique recommended to me by my insurance agent so it's a sanctioned driving lesson strategy.*

Wahoo! Let's get on the expressway to practice lane changes...

Kid: I'm changing lanes and checked the mirror
Me: You'd better look again
Kid: I already looked. You're such a worry wart. Besides, what do you think will happen? Some Fiat will sneak in behind that truck?
Me: Yes and stop swerving when you turn your head because I'll spill this open container.

How does that happen exactly? Turn your head to the left and the car shoots to the right when you rotate the wheel in the same manner as your neck. Problematic for sure when you're speeding along next to a concrete wall. 

Me: *Screaming* You can't do that!
Kid: Do what?
Me: Try to kill us!
Kid: Stop yelling! We're fine! I can explain why I did that!
Me: Explain to me why my drink is in my lap

The other kid has similar issues, but instead of looking over his right shoulder to check before changing lanes- he brilliantly opts to look right and attempt to rotate his head 360 degrees to check the left lane. 

Me: What the hell are you doing?
Kid: You said hell
Me: There's more of that if you don't stop trying to turn your head around backwards. Are you Beetlejuice? An owl?

Me: You just did it again!
Kid: What?
Me: You are not Linda Blair

Me: Turn your head THE OTHER WAY
Kid: Seriously, why do I have to do that. I checked the mirrors
Me: I'm irrational and my drink is on my lap, turn your head
Kid: Holy cow- there's an entire truck with a boat trailer back there
Me: Ta- da!

*Don't send me links to rehab units. Although, on second thought, please do send those, I'll bookmark them for later. Just make sure they're beach front, staffed by Dr Drew and washed up celebrities so I can feel superior in my sickness.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Burning Rubber

The first rule of driving, living, being a mountain climbing sherpa, or bass hand fishingperson is to be defensive. Always plan on someone else doing something so stupid and ridiculous that you find yourself saying "I can't make this shit up."  As it happens, I say that all the time.

Whilst driving home from church to pick up the tent that we were supposed to take on the first trip (Note: you cannot protect yourself from your own stupidity), I witnessed the irritation of a 15 year old temp holding vehicle operator expressing frustration with the "old person driving like she's old and insane." To his credit, she was kind of old- not like 45 old, so even I thought she was old. She drove so slow that the kid (late braker, in this case) was getting a bit antsy.  And then, in the middle of an intersection, in a residential neighborhood this pyschopath did a u-turn and drove on the grass to turn around. Late Braker's eyes were like saucers.  I can't make this shit up.

Every day I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to keep others from enacting cockamamie schemes to do one thing or another. I wish I knew how to karate chop these dumb ideas out of the thinker's skull before it becomes a fully articulated scheme. I'm sure this is justifiable violence.Also, not fabricated horse pucky. Maybe this paragraph should be saved for my inside voice but it's just that defensive mechanism thing.

Anyway, Late  Braker drove the minivan this weekend and managed to squeal the tires, although not spectacularly like Tire Squealer.  I'm starting to feel inadequate that I don't go peeling out of the lot at the grocery store with those 3 gallons of milk and Eggo waffles in a cloud of smoke. That's living that could  be enhanced with some needless road noise. And maybe some high caffeine energy drinks.

I guess this is one of those times when you can learn stuff from your kids- the restorative power of a little noise. Here I am trying to help them aniticipate the u-turning, grass squashing idiots and I could  be venting all sorts of energy on rubber burning off on the pavement and supporting their efforts to do the same.

Can you imagine having to deal with all of this as sherpa?Teaching some teenagers to drive and peeling out my tires on the way to work everyday sure  beats keeping some yokel from plunging into a crevasse.  I can't make this shit up.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Late Braker and Tire Squealer

It's been another fun filled weekend of teen driving in our house.  I'm envisioning my own MTV reality show kind of like "16 and Pregnant" but instead called "15 with Temps." The show would be essentially the same- lots of crying and gnashing of teeth- some yelling- some swearing- some drinking- some hurling. This is all within 5 miles of the house.  I wonder if Adele would sing one of her sad songs for the opening credits.

To protect the innocent, I won't use names. Twin A is Late Braker (LB). Twin B is Tire Squealer (TS).  

LB is a pain in the ass. Try driving along and thinking about how long you could possibly go without braking for the dead stopped traffic in front of you.  Now count to 4. Now brake.  That's a dang Late braker.  To prevent what seems like the inevitable collision, his howling Mom's instructions require him to leave a football field between him and the cars in front of him so we may look strange driving around and stopping at stop lights a 1/4 mile away.  It's self preservation.

Did you know that if you pull really hard on the passenger door and lean to the left, it is still impossible to will a vehicle that you are not in control of back onto the roadway?  Just checking.

I had no idea that the tires could squeal on our boring old family minivan.  That was until TS hopped in the drivers seat and drove us home from Mexican dinner when I was too lazy (read: bone dead tired) to cook dinner.  TS settled himself in and declared that the boat of a minivan was the coolest thing he's ever driven. Interesting for his 2nd vehicle, but I'm not counting.  Then, he floored it and we all hit the back of our seats with tires squealing. There must have  been smoke.  This was pulling out of the parking space.  I've never heard the car make that noise.  TS was thrilled.  TS's father had by this time assumed a crash position in the back seat and was reciting traffic violations from memory from the Ohio Revised Code along with the punishments sure to be dealt out by an unsympathetic magistrate.  TS could have cared less.  

We had the misfortune of allowing TS to drive the minivan again only to have him squeal the tires at a very busy intersection in the middle of town. People were staring at us.  Isn't it supposed to be the kids who don't want to be seen with the parents? I wanted to slap on a wig and change clothes so as to avoid being recognized with this child turned maniacal minivan racer. I'm waiting for him to give up on using the doors and start hopping through the window like it's the General Lee.

A friend of mine told me that she only ever let her kid drive in the cemetery. If only I had been that smart.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

At Least the Bumper Won't Be Itchy

This teen driving thing is pretty intense.  I'm glad I don't have a heart condition and I'm hoping that the crushing chest pain is merely anxiety.  One kid waits entirely too long to brake leaving me with visions of sitting inside the trunk of that Lexus in front of us. The other kid can't stay between the lines, weaving back and forth like he's speeding along in a miniature Shriner car and coming precariously close to the curb, river, ditch, giant tree, whatever.  Meanwhile, I take deep cleansing breaths and watch small snippets of my life flash before my eyes. After a particularly harrowing ride with Son #2 today, and with our entire family at risk in the car, he squealed up the driveway as I gripped the seat with one hand and covered my eyes with the other. "You're supposed to accelerate into the turns, Mom." Sure. He then peeled into the garage while all of us screamed, out loud this time and all I could think about what how the dining room might be redecorated to accentuate the Volkswagon that would now grace the west wall. Alas, he applied the brakes, but not before squishing the heck out what was ever in front of the car and we saw a fountain of clear liquid shoot into the air. I thought this was gas and had visions of the house bursting into flames. Tim shot out of the backseat like a rocket, ran around the car to find that Son #1 had flattened a gallon jug of poison ivy killer. The next time we end up in a ditch, at least the car won't be at risk for a rash. Awesome.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Why Yes, Please Take Me out For Ice Cream

I just came back from teaching Peter how the fill the car with gas. On the way to the gas station he said, "how am I going to pull up next to the pump?" Very carefully. I didn't tell him that I once drove away with the nozzle still in my car- ripping it off of the pump (Dave's Marathon, Elkhart, Indiana c. 1989). Peter asked a lot of questions about paying for gas which causes me some concern. Maybe he was just interested and not planning a drive off.

In Ohio you have to have the kids drive with you for 50 hours (in addition to 24 hours of driving school and 10 hours with an instructor). The 50 hours for 2 kids at the same time is a lot of driving- it's like I need a sabbatical fron work to have the time to teach them to drive. A few weeks ago when we started, they were pretty tentative and I feared for pedestrians and parked cars. I told them they had to drive to the school for the back to school orientation and they flipped out because they would have to park the car in the parking lot at the high school- No way are we driving, they hollered. We'll have to park! I assured them that whenever you drive a car, you eventually have to park it- or crash it into a ditch. The former being the preference They also both still have the tendency to hug the side of the road like they're working for the postal service. I'm surprised we still have the mirror. But, they're getting better and I no longer curl my toes or bash my foot onto the floor trying to make the car stop at every stop light- only occasionally. I do scream and assume the crash position and pray out loud, when the situation warrants it, like when I think we might be going airborne over a bump. Did you know this place used to be a swamp? That means that all of the roads are lined with giant, super deep ditches that eat cars. How fun do you think it is to stare down into one of those things when your kid is pretending to deliver mail that he doesn't have? That's right, you'd scream too. As a matter of fact, you can scream right now on my behalf if you want.

I let Andrew drive through McDonald's to get his caramel frappe thing that he likes and he drove up onto the curb in the drive through. Instead of backing up and before I could talk him off the curb, he floored the gas and the car lurched and tires squealed and we rocketed into the line without killing anyone. After I realized that I was still alive enough to pay for his frappe, I've never laughed so hard in my life. Tonight I let Peter drive us through for ice cream (I figured after the gas experience we deserved a treat). He had a hard time figuring out what window to roll down and hit the windshield wipers a few times. He said that the driving is getting easier, but it's all the gadgets that are a problem.

Anyway, we're all still alive and now I have someone to drive me to the grocery store and get my gas for a 100 or so hours. And to get me ice cream. So I don't starve when we land in the ditch.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

We're Having a Fight

We argue about absolutely everything in our house. The inmates and the management have a series of disagreements as noted below. Management (italicized)

Types of mustard? Dijon? You're a fool.
Politics? Andrew ripped up the note left by a conservative city council member in our front door. I don't like this person. Honestly, it's City Council and they're not trying to put a colony on the moon populated by outcast Perrybsurg residents. On the upside, I have convinced Andrew that Mitt is short for "Mittens."
The Drinking Age? This is a big deal. It's 21, maybe it should be 18. (Um, no, it's not). In Belgium it's 14, are you going to stop me from drinking in Belgium. Um, ya.Or you can drink and then try to get up at 6am to go through a Flemish art exhibit. Your choice.
Laundry There is not a vortex around the laundry basket. Yes there is. No, there's not- you're just a lazy slob. Maybe my arms are broken. Don't you feel sorry for me?
Clean Clothes. Fold your clothes. I washed them, you fold. What? Am I your slave? As a matter of fact, yes, yes you are.
Homework Is it done? Of course, it's mostly done. Mostly done doesn't count. Yes it does, I'll do it later. Why do it later if you can do it now?What if there's an asteroid? As if.
On Leaving early I don't need to leave now. You're evil.  Yes, I'm evil, you need to be early. Being early is for nerds. Are you kidding me? I'm never late. If you're on time, you're late. So leave early. No, I can't be seen early. What?
The couch You're taking up 2/3 of the couch. So what, I'm 6 foot 4.  I don't care, I bought the couch. Move over. No, I can't fit there. Then sit on the floor. That's abuse. So be it.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Weird Stress Dreams

Andrew just told me that I blog when I'm stressed. I've been gritting my teeth all day. My jaw hurts, but I'm pretty sure I could crush marbles.

I know I'm whacked out when I have weird dreams. Last night, I was a volunteer in an orphanage. I went from room to room and picked up babies. (Weirder still is that I do not like babies.  OK, before you send me hate mail, some babies are OK, but they're gooey and smelly and they make funny noises. Yes, I had them, but that wasn't my favorite.) So there I was the baby-phobe manhandling babies. I kind of took a shine to a baby named Derek. Derek suddenly turned into a 3 year old with really broad shoulders and a head that looked like he could smash rocks. But I kind of liked Derek so I picked him up and of course Tim was standing there because anyone can appear at any time in any dream. I said "Hey, I want to adopt Derek." Before Tim could even start to scream, the smart card fell out of Derek and he broke into little lego sized pieced. Poof. Gone.  Wow, I said to the orphanage people, I broke your baby. Incidentally, you might want to warn people that your babies are run off of microchips. Then I woke up.

Strange. Not as strange as the recurring elephant nightmare I used to have as a kid. I was in a large circus tent full of elephants that were multiplying at a rapid clip and I was running out of air. Poof, I'd wake up. I think I had that dream like 400 times and it still gives me the creeps. Hopefully Derek doesn't reappear since I smashed his smart card. Again, that was an accident. I'm not homicidal. Honest.

Monday, January 16, 2012


'Tis interesting that in all the few years that I've been slogging through this blog that I've never titled a blog, "Crazy." Considering that I feel crazy most of the time perhaps there's not generally a need to actually label the girl as actually "crazy." I prefer "sanity challenged."

The "management" continues to have issues with the "tenants" (read teenagers). For one, what gives with the locking yourself in the bathroom whenever there's a request to do something difficult like, get up out of the bed you've been ensconced in for 12 hours or to turn off the light in your room? I have keys to the bathroom so locking yourself in there does nothing but make me see those little stars in my peripheral vision (my own personal Leonid meteor shower). 

However, the management did have one break- through with at least one tenant this week.  I keep saying "You have to have a plan. Have a plan. Make up a plan. Strive for something- for so help me God and as God as my witness and we may be dealing with an angry Old Testament God- if you are living in my basement some day, I will just do something undesirable in your general direction."(I don't know what and I'm not commiting to what thing I might do because I shouldn't be using the energy to think about this.)

You know what? One of them came up with a plan. It's a plan that actually has some potential and it involves cash money and college tuition (not paid by me, although I'll happily pay) and a job and an occupation. Of course, I'm not holding the tenant, I mean kid, to this. But, it's a plan!

The other kid doesn't have a plan and no matter how many conversation hearts I speed eat while I type this, I cannot impose upon him a plan. I suppose he'll come up with something one of these days. I hope it involves cash money and maybe a Winnebago for me and Tim. That would be nice.

Back to the crazy, if I have to explain where the crazy fits into all this, then you don't know me at all. For the record, I feel very sane except for the stars.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Nun and Some Kleenex

I met with my very favorite nun again today despite the fact that the world was conspiring against me. 

At 7:01 am I pushed the button to open the garage so A&P could catch the bus.  Nothing happened. After pounding on the button, still nothing happened. Tim came to the rescue. Thank goodness we can pull the red hanging emergency rope to get out of the garage! It came off in his hand.

By this time, A&P were on the bus and me and Tim were standing in the garage in our robes trying to figure out how to get out-like rats in a one box maze. A few bolts removed here and there and we were free until I couldn't find my keys and I was further delayed. Do you ever wonder if the universe is delaying you so that you don't get wiped out by an asteroid or something while you're waiting at a stop light? No such thing fell in P-burg today, but it could have and I made it to work alive.

After all that, I made it to see the nun too. I asked her if God broke the door and hid my keys. She is so cool and calm. It's probably because she doesn't have children. Although, she does live with other nuns and apparently nuns can be kind of tough to live with. I may have her beat because I'm certain that nuns don't leave underwear in the middle of the bathroom floor for two weeks until the other nuns flip out and demand it be removed or there will be "sanctions" from the "management."

I'm also certain that A&P are funnier than those nuns. We've had a running commentary with A&P for the last week and a half about our trip to the post office to file our passport applications. Next to us at the counter was a lady mailing a very big box. Her parcel was packed into a giant box that had shipped Kleenex at one point in time. She answered appropriately when the postal service representative inquired as to the presence of explosives, liquids or other illegal substances.  Good for her but it got Peter to thinking, why was she shipping all that Kleenex. We roared and laughed and pointed at him and made him feel small whilst we hooted.  "Seriously," we scolded, "it's the shipping box!"

Indignant, Peter replied cooly, "How do you know that? Maybe she bought some Kleenex online from Amazon, doesn't like it and is returning it."

We chortled some more.

"You don't know that there isn't Kleenex in there! Maybe she has a relative with a cold."

I laughed so hard that I snorted. (I hate it when that happens. I think I did that at work today, but not in front of the nun.)

The Kleenex debate is renewed almost daily. Peter's still convinced the lady was shipping Kleenex, but maybe he's right. Regardless, we still whoop and wail it's so funny.

Nuns laugh, but I bet they don't snort.  If the garage doesn't open tomorrow and my keys are misplaced, I'm not going to try so hard to leave. I'll curl up with some Kleenex and call it a day in case the asteroid is coming.