Who Would Do Such A Thing?

Today I heard an abomination on the radio. I was in the car on my way to grocery store, and I changed the station, and there was a song on that was immediately familiar, yet somehow so very wrong. Some band, I don’t know who, has covered a Pink Floyd song. Why, oh why, would any impudent young narcissist think they had the cajones or the chops or the whatever, to cover Floyd??

Oh, there are many, many bands over the years that tinker with the idea- that may jam and play around with the sound, but to actually put it to tape and release it as a single?? I don’t even know where to begin with how many reasons that is just wrong! You don’t rewrite a Mozart aria, or a Shakespeare sonnet, or re-blow a Chiluly glass… you just don’t do it! Some art achieves perfection on its own, it stands alone, as a glorious masterpiece of the human soul and of human creativity. For one thing, all Pink Floyd albums are complete works. You cannot pick out a “song”! There aren’t any! They all roll into one another, meant to be taken as a master whole, and listening to one track only to have it end, leaves the mind trailing off into the melody, looking for more, waiting for the next part. Why do you think they have gotten so little radio play over the years, other than The Wall ?? Would you listen to only the 2nd movement from the Jupiter symphony then call it a day? @&*% NO!

I am flabbergasted, and I don’t even know what to say. I am totally disturbed. I even called DFM at work from the car to tell him what I heard, and he laughed, said he heard it too. (He agrees with me, by the way) The sick thing is, DFM said, some people think it’s cool, since it’s more radio-friendly Floyd. I am cringing as I even type the words. Oh hell. This really must be the end times.

Everyone Needs a Prada Diaper Bag!

Why? why, oh why? And whose bright idea was this anyway? Our local NBC station has opted not to carry Martha Stewart’s new daytime show. They had a slot, at 11 a.m. weekdays, but they opted instead for…Tyra Banks’ Talkshow. Yes folks, you read that right. Just who every stay-at-home mom wants to see and can relate to, Tyra Banks. Yes, talking about boyfriends and clothes and fashion and modeling is just what every tired, weary housewife needs to feel good about herself. So while I wipe my kids noses and get ready for preschool, I can see the hot new designer is whose clothes cost more than my mortgage. Whose brilliant idea was this atrocity?

I actually called the station to ask who had rectal-cranial inversion, and the young, snotty guy who I spoke to told me that Martha does not fit with the image and demographic the station is aiming for. What? Who, exactly, is their target audience anyway? Where I live, trust me, is not a hot bed of fashion forward people. It’t the northwest for heaven’s sake, and while we are over our flannel thing, we are still not the cusp of haute-couture. And the morning spot? Who is home at 11 a.m. besides moms, the unemployed and people who work graveyard and are alseep anyway? The young, fashionable career girls are all at work, so what gives? No one at the local station would listen to me, (even though I was very polite)- evidentially, I don’t fit their demographic. Big ol’ raspberry to NBC.

Batting 1000…

Ok, I tried three different times to get a picture of a design up, and no bananas. Computers and I have a tenuous relationship, at best. Businesses are starting to ask me about my website now too. Website? What website? I have no idea what to do or how to even begin to make one, other than this blog thing, and I fell into that by accident. Anyone with any suggestions (cheap suggestions) would be most welcome!

I thought we would be going to California for the holidays this year, but I found out from a friend that we are not coming down. How did that go, you wonder? Well, when we left my mom’s last month, I kept saying to everyone that I would see them in December, but it turns out, my mom told her friend who told her daughter, who is my friend, that she is not bringing us down. No biggie, but I wish I had heard it from her instead of through the interminable grapevine.

This afternoon I played renegade mama, and let the kids make a big mud-bog in the backyard flower beds. They wanted to fill the kiddie pool up so badly, and while it’s still warm here, I hardly think 68 degrees warrants a swim. The compromise was the hose. They each had their own hose, and they made sticky, ooey mud for about an hour and a half, while I read the paper in the sun at the picnic table. They were a wet, muddy mess when DFM got home, but they were happy. Jeffrey’s shoes may not recover from this one, or at least it may be easier to just get a new pair.

I had a lovely, humiliating experience at the natural-foods market downtown this week too. My favorite auntie called on my birthday to say that there was a gift certificate waiting for me there, and to go enjoy myself on her and my cousin’s behalf. Cool! It’s a store I love, but really cannot afford to do much shopping at, so I was excited. DFM and I even got a baby-sitter so we could dawdle and enjoy ourselves while we shopped (how depraved is that?). So we are in the store, with our cart, and I ask at the service desk about the gift certificate waiting for me. They don’t know what I am talking about. OK, so what do I do? I am concerned that my aunt paid for this quite generous gift certificate, and they do not have it for me. Plus, we are in the store, cart of food and goodies…so I call my cousin, who is the only one reachable. I catch her at work (where she has to be very professional) and explain the situation. She tells me she never ordered it. I feel like the biggest ass in the universe, not only for trying to convince the store manager that there really is a gift certificate for me, but for essentially calling my cousin at work and asking her for my birthday present. And now my cousin has not returned my phone call. How cool am I? I’m feeling super cool right about now!

Ho-Hum

Someone once said that if there had been antidepressants 150 years ago, some of the best art the world knows would never have gotten made. It certainly does seem easier to be creative in times of upheaval and strife than in times of placidness and ease.

In no way am I a master artist, and I also have no first hand experience with antidepressants (other than always laughing at the Welbutrin smiling-blob thing and guy who smiles and talks about the low risk of sexual side-effects), but I can relate to having my creativity sapped by a plain and boring life. I am not complaining, mind you! I just find myself with not much to say, since the business is doing well, my designs are out, I don’t have any deadlines, my kids are happy and healthy, DFM is doing great at work, and other than my barfing problem, I am pretty boring. (And I am sick and tired of thinking about my barf problem, so I assume you are tired of reading about it, too)

Fall is settling in, and the yard is beautiful; the leaves are almost thick enough for the kids to jump in, and they can’t wait. I know the season is changing, because I got my knitting out. How is that for exciting? The cooler months are the only time I knit. I can’t stand the thought of knitting when it’s warm out, but it’s totally therapeutic when it’s cold. Tonite I finished a pair of socks for myself, and I have them on right now. Few things make me happier than freshly knitted socks. What can I say? I’m pretty simple. My mom teases me about making socks and makes fun of them, but they are soooo cool, she just wishes I would give her a pair. Hey, this year maybe everyone will get a pair of socks! You should all be so lucky- wish on, family! Wish on!

Dumber and the Poop-Balls

After having been on a heavy-subject bender this week, I thought this update from my brother was worth sharing. He made me laugh really hard when he told me, and I had a similar experience with my kids too, when they were smaller.

Dumber’s son CJ is almost nine months old, and cute a button (and as my only nephew, I am entitled to think so). Dumber is a totally involved dad, and even if he wasn’t my brother, I would think he is doing a really good job. So he shares all of the childcare and household responsibilities with my sister-in-law since they both work. They have actually managed a good setup with flexibility of their hours and CJ only has to be in daycare two or three days a week.

The other day, Dumber went to change CJ’s stinky diaper, and when he opened it up, he was surprised to find it full of little individual balls of poop. (I think every baby goes through a poop-ball period- my kids sure did) Anyway, like any normal 8 1/2 month old, CJ thinks it’s fun to play and kick and roll around on the changing table. The diaper was unfastened, and Dumber was trying to restrain him when baby’s foot caught on the diaper and sent it flying. Poop-balls everywhere, baby laughing, totally stunned brother. Nice! Now, if you know how totally fastidious and neat Dumber is, this would be even funnier to you. We have caught him rolling his extra shoelaces and storing them in his desk so they would stay neat and clean; his closet is color-coded, and he alphabetizes things. So to imagine him crawling around on the floor of his son’s room looking for poop-balls is just too much fun. Of course, CJ thought it was hilarious, and was laughing on the changing table while dad looked for his scattered…scat!

Dumber calls me to tell me this story, then says a day later, he was in the bedroom, and he found another poop-ball that he missed… His nose led the way. Ah, parenting. Nothing like it!

Rant: People

I don’t understand people. I just don’t.

Confrontation is a yucky thing, I don’t think many people like it, myself included. However, when the situation or circumstance warrants it, confrontation is sometimes necessary. What is the deal with people who freely make comments about something or someone, but when the subject is present and accounted for, they curl up in the corner pretending to be innocuous? If you are going to express yourself about something or someone, have the backbone to stand by your opinion. You don’t have to be callous or cruel to express yourself, and I beleive it is possible to have a contrary opinion without being a contrary person. Just because we have differences of opinion doesn’t mean we cannot be friends and even learn from one another.

One of the things I love the absolute best about my husband is that he is always the same man. In the 16 years I have known him, I have never seen him alter who he is or was due to circumstance or person present. He is kind, he is diplomatic when need be, but he does not ever abandon himself to please others. He never talks about people behind their backs; you always know where you stand with him. Now, he is not some moral superhero, he had many faults like the rest of us, however his lack of artifice and pretense is one of his biggest graces.

Perhaps being married to him and being friends for so long has made me intollerant of people who hide their feelings. Or perhaps my point of view is mitigated by the twelve-step programs I have both seen and taken part in. If there is an elephant in the middle of the room, I know how bad it is to pretend it’s not there, and you better beleive I am going to talk about it! I just don’t get it. The amount of energy required to be two-faced is just way too draining and damaging of an investment. So there. That’s my rant.

Hypothetically…

I have caught some flak through the grapevine about posting a picture of my kids on my site. What’s the deal, folks? How is posting a pic of my kids any more irresponsible than having a family website? The internet is public domain, and anyone can access any site anytime; I don’t understand how my column is worse or more dangerous than baby pictures on any other domain. I welcome feedback or comments on this subject… Am I missing something here?

I’m Not Mad, Really.

Editors Note: It has been…requested…by a member of my family that I no longer write about that particular member. At all. Evidentially, what I thought was a tasteful, fairly handled, loving and appropriate commentary on that particular member of my family, was not. So, there are two columns from the last ten posts that have been permanently deleted, per familial request and my desire to ensure domestic tranquility and peace for the commonwealth. I will leave it to the rest of you to juxtapose and infer the who-what-why-where-and-when.

It is time once again for Enrichment Night, and this morning I have a meeting with a bunch of other ladies where we will sit around while our kids wreak havoc on the room and discuss the service auction we are having tonite. I keep hoping for another calling, but maybe that is exactly why I still have this one. The good thing is my kids wont be the only wild ones at this meeting, but I will be stressed out and haggard by the time we leave anyway.

Two meetings ago, there were eleven kids running around the Relief Society room while we tried to talk about committee things. Jeffrey had to pee and decided that he had to take off all his clothes to do so, including his shoes. So my just-four year old is running down the church halls naked, and Eric ran into the men’s room. After hollering to make sure there were no unsuspecting men in there, I went in and Eric was in the urinal, holding the pink disinfectant cake thing. Never have I been so grossed out in my life; even writing about it makes my skin crawl… I gathered my naked and gross kids up, grabbed my stuff, and yelled down the hall that I was leaving, sorry. The thought of what Eric had on his body just required that I leave and get the child home to a bath immediately. The woman who is in charge of the committee is older, and had ten (yes, egad, ten) children, and I can see the disdain with which she looks at those of us who cannot handle our two kids. Oh well!

Slave to Whimsey

Lately, it seems like DFM and I are not even barely in control of the bedlam that is our home. Ever since Jeffrey started school, we have a new, strange and alien child on our hands. All of the sudden, there are powerful influences in his life that don’t come from home or carefully chosen exposure by us, and this has certainly thrown our house into chaos. To be fair, we were far, far from regimented and organized before, and even when I try very very hard, sticking to a routine is supremely difficult for me, so I seldom expected my kids to stick to one.

Several things have changed now. Namely, I now have to be aware of routine, lest I forget to get him to school on time, or forget to pick him up (I never forget about him, just the clock). I have just never been very aware of the time, I do not wear a watch, and tend to do things as inspiration strikes. That is just irresponsible now. As I look back I see what a luxury the last four years have been, having no schedules and no children that were required to be anywhere at any time. As long as we had fun, they were fed and warm and loved, we could do whatever we wanted. So this new time-watching thing has been hard for me, definitely harder for me than for the kids.

The next new and exciting thing is the sassy and impudent mouth Jeffrey has brought home from school. Again, not that things were perfect before- he has always been a strong-willed kid with a temper and a mind of his own, but the mouth? Holy cow! He is so full of backtalk and smartness, DFM actually had to threaten him with a bar of Ivory last night. It doesn’t matter what we say or ask him to do, he smarts off. He is four! Frankly, I wasn’t expecting this for at least a few more years; am I naive?

So, my job is to tame my whimsey gene, and to get my son’s mouth back in the neighborhood of civility. Wish me luck, and any tidbits of advice would be appreciated!

Miserable, Terrible, Horrible Sunday Morning

I totally bailed on going to church this morning. Completely gave up, threw in the towel, put the kids back in their jammies, and turned on Connie the Cow. Church is so important to me, but this morning I just couldn’t hack it. Anyone who has ever gone to church with little kids has had a morning like I am having, and while all my reasons are good for not going, I wish things had gone differently.

Jeffrey was up last night (a lot) complaining his ear hurt, and ended up in bed with DFM and I around 5 this morning. That was the end of my sleep; he is a flippy, floppy, alligator in bed, and another human cannot fall asleep next to him. By 6:30 Eric was up too, because Jeffrey was making so much noise about a toy he saw at Walmart yesterday that he cannot go on living unless he gets it today. (Not going to happen!) Within fifteen minutes they were fighting over an empty laundry basket (why?) and DFM was in the bathroom hacking and making gross noises that did not help a morning-sick mama. Sweet husband comes back in the bedroom where I am pretending it is possible to get a few more minutes of sleep, and tells me that he has an ear infection. (probably true- he gets them easily, and we have all had colds). Great. I know he is not going to church now.

In the kitchen, my head wars with my body over who is going to win the barf battle this morning and I fix breakfast for the kids while I chew dry saltine crackers. The kids both turn their noses up at the food, Eric flat doesn’t eat anything, and Jeffrey picks at the eggs and complains, even though he gobbled the same meal yesterday and said it was his favorite. I win the barf battle for now, and get Jeffreys church clothes out, but cannot find any clean underwear for him. There are three laundry baskets of clean clothes in the family room, but of course, his undies are in the bottom of the third basket; now there is laundry all over the room, and the kids decide now is a good time to play “laundry-wars”. First loss of composure on my part ensued. Poor kids. Eric goes to his room, and I get Jeffrey dressed, accompanied by much complaining about the socks I chose for him. I ask DFM if he is going, and he says he doesn’t know (that means no). Ok, so do I go with both kids and my barf-bag, or just Jeffrey and my barf-bag? I never actually got to the point of making that decision…

Every mom know that as soon as she goes in the bathroom, chaos breaks loose. Not only was there kid chaos, but when went to get my hairbrush out of my drawer, the whole drawer came out, and the bottom fell off of it. Hair stuff everywhere, broken drawer, and I will not talk about how I asked DFM to fix the drawer two weeks ago. When I went to clean up the floor, the stray snarls of hair and stuff made me start gagging, and my body won the battle over my mind. Ok, so I clean myself up and look in the mirror for the first time today. Oh, lovely! Swollen face, big pregnancy zit on my chin, watery eyes from barfing, and I went to bed with wet hair last night. Indescribable. At this point I begin to question my sanity, and wonder if its worth it. I actually got as far as trying to comb my hair, but when the brush kept snagging on snarls and making my eyes water even more, I threw the brush in the tub, and it broke into three pieces. The kids are banging on the bathroom door, and Eric has both hands shoved under it so I can see his little wiggly fingers, while he hollers for me to come out.

I give. I am done. When I fling open the bathroom door, I am sure I look like a crazy woman. Big, wild fuzzy hair, red teary eyes and disheveled jammies. Second loss of composure of the morning (not even 8:00 yet- good for me!) Jeffrey looks confused when I tell him to go put his jammies back on, and I announce that I am finished, done, not going, giving up, caput. Everyone have a nice day, mom is done.

It’s quiet here now. I am hiding downstairs, and except for DFM coming down to put his arm gingerly around my shoulders, then leave without a word, no one has come near me….I think the kids are scared of me! Big, wild, crazy-eyed, crazy-haired mama? Who can blame them? Maybe next week will be better… It can’t get worse; can it?