Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Checked out or Plugged in?

I may be stating the obvious but I haven’t felt much like blogging lately. In all honesty, I didn’t expect the weeks since school let out to be so positively blissful. In years past the summer has been something I approached with short, deliberate breaths and clenched fists as if preparing to open a Tupperware dish with unidentifiable and long overdue contents. Imagine, if you will, that instead of opening that Tupperware dish and discovering ricotta cheese that looked like Spanish moss you happened upon a bottomless container of sparkly whipped cream and dancing fairies.

That has been my last two weeks.

I have largely disengaged from the internet, trading my Google reader for excursions to the pool, trips to the library, afternoons planned around Sonic happy hour and mornings that don’t start until 9am. Or 10. Whatever, you probably stopped reading back at the dancing fairies part.

The stark reality for me is noticing the profound difference in how I feel.
It is profound.
It is very different.
We’re talking clouds lifted, seas parted, veil withdrawn, I am HAPPY.

I’ve been trying to figure out why, and I suppose the answer is rooted in the conversations I have forced ad nauseum upon my husband and friends for a while now, pertaining to this: What am I supposed to do with my life? My time?

I have no problem filling up the calendar on a daily basis, the problem is it doesn’t seem to be full of things that satisfy, elevate, or excite me. Here I am, stay at home mother of 2. It’s a path I chose and a path I’m grateful for, but the fact is this full time job of mine is to take care of children who are largely not around. Once they leave for school I have to figure out the next 8 hours on my own. Sounds dreamy, right? I won’t lie, it often is. When my kids were little I fantasized about the day I could grocery shop ALL BY MYSELF, work out ANY TIME I WANTED, or ponder the Home Depot paint samples for HOURS ON END without little hands groping from the cart for all the colors of the rainbow. I’d be considering the right shade of taupe, flashing samples under natural AND fluorescent lighting to be sure I had the right look for the right room and when the little one in the cart would grow impatient I’d toss some goldfish their way for good measure. It’s okay that I’m not wiping faces, fetching snacks or tossing aside my “nantucket buff” or “Chestertown linen” paint chips to address a potty training emergency, but there’s a flip side. A flip side that reveals that instead of craving ADULT conversation in the midst of kid chaos I’m at a point in my life where I will settle for ANY conversation just to break the silence.

There’s an easier way to say this, I was just hoping to make it sound more fascinating and less like a tired country song. Bottom line: I think I’ve been lonely, and I’ve been bored out of my mind. There, I said it. I’ve been bored. B-O-R-E-D. Which is not to say I haven’t been busy, but busy is just doing everything on your list. Happy is being able to do it with fun people, and right now that means Samantha and Drew. I’ve missed them the last 9 months - I didn’t even realize how much until they got out of school, I got off the computer and we all put on our swimsuits. I’m going to milk it for all it’s worth so when you see that I’m not posting, it’s probably because we just woke up. Soon we’ll be eating mangoes in our underwear, watching “Psych” on Netflix and testing every new frozen yogurt establishment so we can declare a winner by August.

H-A-P-P-Y.

Friday, June 10, 2011

My Not Bummer Summer

The universe seems to be sending me messages of hope lately.  I'm not exactly sure what I'm hoping for - lawns that mow themselves, flowers that bite bunnies back, or a journal study on how the consumption of pie adds years to your life wouldn't be so bad, but I'm still waiting on that.  Still, the world is leaving me clues.


Clue #1:  There is a new movie out called "Judy Moody And The Not Bummer Summer".   If you think that sounds stupid wait until you read the plot summary:  "...third grader Judy Moody is planning the most super-duper summer vacation ever with best friends Rocky and Amy. Except that it turns out Rocky is going to circus camp to learn to tame lions, and Amy is headed off to Borneo with her mom to save a lost tribe while Judy stays home with her pesky little brother Stink...."  First of all, I have a few words for Judy Moody; honey, stay close to Rocky.  Boys who go to circus camp have a hard time hanging on to their friends.  Also, if you secretly have a crush on him let me save you some time - he's playing for the other team.  Secondly, is Amy's mom Susan Sarandon?  Finally, were you in the delivery room when your brother "Stink" was born?  And if so, what did he do to deserve THAT?  Anyway, the point is there might be hope for my screenplay after all.

Clue #2:  Andrew Weiner.  Because you can't make that stuff up, and no matter what happens to me his self inflicted humiliation will always, always be worse.  I had a friend throughout college whose last name was "Virgin".  (true)  He recently twittered a picture of himself wearing acid wash jeans and a Members Only jacket.  (not true)  Come to find out that wasn't the worst of it - the latest photo to leak was of him in his bedroom wearing a Klingon mask and working out to a Richard Simmons video. (also not true)

Clue #3:  I lost 4 pounds this week on Weight Watchers.  It's not enough to motivate me into a bikini but it'll do.  So far what I like about Weight Watchers is that I'm losing weight and still eating ice cream.  What I don't like is when we have to clap for people and give stickers when somebody accomplishes something.  It's called getting a "Bravo", and it's very awkward.  It is brought on by events such as walking your dog instead of eating a cookie.  I think it's supposed to motivate you, but all it does is convince me even more that I never want a dog, but would very much enjoy a cookie.  Something WW tries to promote is healthier eating so you can have MORE of it.  But what I like is knowing I can have what I want and then just wait to eat again until lunch.  Specifically, if given the option between a full fat yogurt with cream on the top or two NON-fat yogurts that taste like baby spit up splashed with honey, I choose option A.  Every time.

Clue #4:   Uhhhh...I guess it's just three clues.

Monday, June 6, 2011

If He Were In Charge Of The World

Mama's feeling kind of sick today.  Not the nighttime-sniffling-sneezing-coughing-aching-stuffy head-fever kind of sick, but the kind that still manages to flip my stomach into small, achy knots and my heart to crawl into the fetal position.  My head is telling me to knock it off but my heart is having a hard time listening.  Sometimes it's the opposite and my heart is the voice of reason while my head gets all freaked out.  I think it would be nice if the two could just get along every once in a while - is that too much to ask?  In the meantime I have to work out the dissonance, as no signs of cooperation seem to be present at the moment.

My head knows I'm just being a baby.  It's only the last day of elementary school not the freakin' Apocalypse.  But see, it's not just the last day of elementary school this year, it's the last day of elementary school at my house...FOREVER.  As it turns out, forever is actually a really long time.  Even Vannah White is eventually going to get arthritis and be unable to turn those letters and when she does, I will STILL not have a kid in elementary school.  At some point Days of Our Lives will go off the air leaving single women in their 80's with nothing more to do but stay prompt at their weekly hair appointments and keep their cats alive and even then, I will still not have any children in elementary school.  As sure as Justin Bieber will soon grace the Enquirer as a menace to society I am officially done with grades K-5.

I don't mind that Drew is getting older.  (lies)  I don't mind that he is getting taller and smarter and going to puberty class.  (lies lies lies)  More than anything I'm just not ready for the world to take my boy away.  It's like preparing to send an Amish 3-year-old onto the set of Toddlers and Tiaras.  Why?  How?  And why  again?

As he emptied out his backpack today and seemed to be unloading our nation's tax code on the counter, I found this poem he had written among the wreckage:

If I were in charge of the world,
I'd cancel homework,
School on Tuesdays and Fridays,
Mean teachers, and also
Miley Cyrus.

If I were in charge of the world
There'd be donuts two times bigger,
An island made of cheese,
And pizza places who sell bigger pizzas.

If I were in charge of the world,
You wouldn't have vegetables,
You wouldn't have cigarettes,
You wouldn't have gas powered cars.
Or "Don't forget to brush."
You wouldn't even have dirty teeth.

If I were in charge of the world,
Ice cream would be a vegetable.
All PG movies would be "G".
And a person who didn't brush
And sometimes forgets to empty the dishwasher
Would still be allowed to be
In charge of the world.

I don't want him to grow up but I have to hand it to him; bigger donuts?  No Miley?  An island made of cheese?  It's definitely intriguing.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Senior Pictures

There seems to be a lot of graduation chitter chatter in my social circle lately that has caused me to reflect.  I remember when I was a senior in high school and I thought the whole world revolved around me.  We were top dog at that point, everyone fussing around us wondering what we were going to do next as if there were any way to top such scintillating memories such as barely getting asked to Prom and learning to drive from a guy who looked like a cross between Neil Diamond and a porn star.  I couldn't figure out what everyone was so excited about but it still went a little to my head.  I'm not anxious to illustrate how bad it got but suffice it to say that one night I went to the movies with my friends and when I saw there was a senior discount, I thought they were talking about ME.  True story.  See how smart I was by the time I graduated?

The graduation / senior chatter continued the other day when I heard some radio personalities talking about senior portraits and a website that is dedicated to the worst ones of all time.  You know I had to look them up, right?  And you know I have to post some here so you could see them too, right?  Naturally. 
Pictures:  courtesy of collegehumor.com and ebaumsworld.com 
Captions containing post high school predictions: courtesy of Moi. 

Pedro got a little cocky after he was voted President.  He did, however, make all of their dreams come true:


Once Tristan's audition for Clash of the Titans went awry he passed his time waiting tables at Chili's:


In a couple more years he'll be singing backup for Menudo:


Jeffrey Dahmer?  Is that you?


Hang Hunan became a regular contributor to the Fans of Pokemon website and holds weekly anime rallies in his basement:


Ring In His Nose's mother promised him this wouldn't end up in the yearbook.  It did.  We're pretty sure he went back to the reservation after that.


Rick never made it to the NFL.  He still attends the high school football games.


Ronnie is now 42.  He has never had a girlfriend but he has seen "Sixteen Candles" so he's halfway there.  He's hoping to find his soul mate at the next Comic-Con convention.


Eric drowned in the Caribbean.  He forgot to shut his mouth and take off the tux.  His parents were devastated.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Batman Ran For His Grandpa

As I've mentioned before, running is hard.  What I forgot to mention is that running in Boulder is not the same thing as running the same loop, day after day through my neighborhood.  Boulder, see, has a tendency to bring out the crazies and ups the entertainment factor by a mile (or SIX POINT TWO MILES as the case may be).  Don't get me wrong, running still sucks, but there's something about an Elvis impersonator singing "I'm All Shook Up" along the sidelines that encourages one to press on.

Monday was the day - our family set the alarm for 5am, caught the bus at 6am, pulled over on the freeway 1/2 hour later so a woman who took her pre-race hydrating routine very seriously could relieve a little pressure on her bladder, then arrived about an hour later at the starting line.  After a little stretching and a potty break we joined our heat and headed off.  Yay us!  That was the last time I saw my family until we reached the finish.  Samantha ran ahead, Drew and Cory stayed together, and I pulled up the rear.  I had to, so I could take pictures of Elvis - while he was asking me to love him tender I asked him to "say cheese!"