Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Left to their own devices, they're somewhat resourceful.

If I have learned anything in the past twelve years, it is when someone shorter than I am says, "MOM? Do we have any string?" to simply ignore it.

Same goes for duct tape, gun powder or extension cords. This morning, the little dudes were in their rooms for an inordinate amount of time considering they're both scared of being more than four feet from one of us at any given time, so I was growing suspicious. I asked what was up, they claimed to be feeding pet turtles, so I tiptoed away before they remembered they might possibly need me for something.

Moments later, a breathless blonde child appeared behind me at my desk. "MOM? Do we have any string?"

Me: Nope.
Kid: Are you sure? Because we need some.
Me: Sorry, buddy, you used it all up when you whittled the bow that shoots chicken skewers, remember?
Kid: Hmm. How about in your sewing stuff? Do you have yarn or something?
Me: Feeling like knitting?
Kid: Ma-ohm! Just tell me!
Kid #2 from upstairs: MILES! HURRY UP!
Kid: Oh - Gotta go.

At this point, I could've stopped earning a living to go check on them, but since there were no smoke detectors or other immediate sounds of danger, I forgot about it.

Thirty minutes later, I hear giggling and follow it to find the very first TURTLEVATOR, created from paper clips, mardi gras beads and a pipe cleaner. No string required.

Meet Howie, Turtle Astronaut. Safely returned to terra firma and super grateful to have not been sent down the laundry chute.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Respondez sil vous plait. Just not respondez TOUT sil vous plait.

You know how when you try to delete something Windows pulls all this crap and says, "Really? You really wanna delete that? You sure?" And you're like, "Dude. I pushed delete for a reason."

I contend we need exactly the same function whenever some a-hole pushes REPLY ALL on a group email. For example, when a delightfully enthusiastic mommy tries to let the entire baseball league of 158 players know that her child can, indeed attend the end-of-season BBQ, this little program could pop up and say, "Really, Dumbass? Really? Do you think the other 157 families on this email give a mother-lovin piece of hell that your sweet little Kailey/Kiley/Keifer/Keenly/Whatever is going to attend?"

And then the delightfully enthusiastic mommy could stop to think. And she might think, "Yup. Everyone should know that." And she'll click "Yes."

And then the program could pop up another window that says, "ARE YOU SURE? Because you're totally going to look redorkulous and people will totally make fun of you, possibly on their blog that fives of people read?"

And then the delightfully enthusiastic mommy could say, "Why so many questions? OF COURSE! We're delightfully enthusiastic! People love that about us!"

And then the program could sigh really loudly and let the delightfully enthusiastic mommy type "BARRING INJURY OR BAD WEATHER...WE'LL BE THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!" in all caps. With fifteen exclamation points.

And then, sadly, a lone blogger will recreate the fifteen exclamation points. And the false enthusiasm. And pour herself another lemonade vodka. And she will sigh too.

PS - You should probably know that I did not really pay that much attention in French class, so there is a very likely chance that I did not say what I meant to in the title, but oh fricking well, it's a pretty good guess for someone who took French like 25 years ago, so deal with it. I'm German.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Gas up the DeLorean Marty, it was our density.

You know how in Back to the Future Alex P. Keaton (yes, I know he’s Marty McFly then, but I will always think of him as Alex P. Keaton) has a picture of his present day family, and as he goes back in time and starts messing everything up his family starts disappearing because he is changing the past, thus effectively changing the future? Yeah. That part. Anyway, this weekend I was flipping through an old photo album of stuff from high school and college and saw a picture of me in 1989 with a friend that I did not meet until 2004. I’ll wait while you go back and read that again.

Done? Did you get goosebumps?

Seems I was at a party on February 10, 1989 with my room-mate, we’ll call her “Puddin,” when the party pic guy goes by . Puddin sees her old friend from the dorms, yells, “Shelby Shoeshine, get yo’ ass in this picture!” pulls her and her friend into the picture and there’s a photo of me, Puddin, Shelby Shoeshine and a random chick. A few weeks go by, and one of the fraternity guys that doesn’t even really hang out with us that much and when he does is pretty much an a-hole (Hi Rich!) says he paid for a picture of us all at their last meeting and gives it to us. Random to be sure.

Fast forward 15 years. It’s February 23, 2007. I’m a respectible-ish mommy who hardly ever goes to frat parties anymore. I have two little boys and the younger one goes to school with a nice little girl we’ll call “Bella” because, well, it’s her name. Bella and Miles become really great friends and Bella invites him to her birthday party. The day of the party, I wake up in horrible pain with a burst eardrum. There is goo leaking from my head. Through my ear. It hurts. A lot. The Big Dude is recovering from hernia surgery the day before and cannot stand up except to shuffle to find pain medication and the 11 year old is throwing up. INTO A DRAWER. Filled with Legos, Pokemon cards and now, PUKE. The child has never puked into anywhere reasonable to clean in his life and that day was no exception.

So I take Miles to school with a heat pack stuck to the side of my head to dull the pain of my ear and after medicating the Big Dude and administering a television remote and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition to him, drag the Drawer Puker-inner and myself to the doctor. We sat in the waiting room for approximately two minutes before the freaking SWAT team rushes in announces the building is under lockdown because…are you following along? Because there is a SNIPER IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD. Need more time to review that?


Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Yeah. A sniper. In a neighborhood that clever magazine writers like to call “tony.” Tony like the adjective, not the Italian guy. Anyway, we were LOCKED IN THE DOCTOR’S OFFICE FOR THREE HOURS WITH NO FOOD AND MY EAR IS KILLING ME AND
THERE ARE NO PAIN KILLERS STRONG ENOUGH AND THE KID WAS STILL PUKING AND WE CANNOT LEAVE BECAUSE WE MIGHT GET SHOT. And I type that in all caps because that is exactly how it felt, that day was in ALL CAPS. And a very bossy 4’10” nurse would not let me look out the window or even move because, well, there was a sniper in all caps out there somewhere. OH, and the battery on my phone died so I couldn’t call work, the husband, no one.

You are kind of wondering about the picture aren’t you? Or did you forget?


I eventually escaped the building (serpentine!) drove the car around, went back in for the puker, used myself as a human shield to get him out (serpentine!) picked up the prescriptions (finally) and made it back home…just in time to pick up the little kid from school where he reminded me that “Mom! Today is Bella’s birthday party!”

Oh yeah. The birthday party. That we haven’t purchased a present for because Mommy was bleeding from her eardrums and being held under lockdown by a SWAT team. That party. I grabbed the kid, swung into a Hallmark, handed him $40 and looked longingly at the unopened vicodin prescription. He returned with a gift bag of goodies and I drove him to the party. I considered kissing him goodbye at the curb but decided against it since I’d never really met Bella’s parents. I entered a peaceful room of three very lovely women chatting who introduced themselves and then made the very big mistake of asking me “How are you?”

And I made the even bigger mistake of truthfully telling them how I was. I told them every detail of my DAY IN ALL CAPS and then I told them that I was sure they all were very nice but I’d really like to leave now because there was a bottle of vicodin and a Jack and Pepsi waiting for me back at the house. And they all looked at each other knowingly, and then my child
sympathetically.

All I can say is that it’s a good thing that kid is cool, or they’d probably all have hidden from me for the next few years. More than they did.

Fast forward two more years to me entering a lingerie store where Bella’s mother got to second base with me in a dressing room, I MEAN - expertly fitted me for bras.

Fast forward to this post where I talk about her awesome store and proclaim her Lingerie Barbie even though she’s totally not because she’s a hot tomboy which means she’s actually Barbie’s little sister Skipper.

Fast forward to this week when I found a picture of her and me together in 1989. Twenty frigging years ago, can you believe that shit?

See? Just like Back to the Future. Only backwards. Or something. Everything is the same except for (and, dude - this is creepy) somehow the flux capacitor caused a wrinkle in the space-time continuum, Skipper’s beer has disappeared right out of her hand! Wha? (Or she's preparing for the future by guessing Shelby Shoeshine's cupsize. Not sure.)

-click to embiggen-


“Yes'm, old friends is always best,
‘less you can catch a new one that’s fit to make an old one out of.”

SARAH ORNE JEWETT
(1849-1909)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Imagine how long 100 posts would be if I double spaced them.

In the past couple of weeks, while I’ve busied myself with youth baseball, house guests, middle school football camp, general chauffering and oh yeah, WORK; a very important anniversary has come and gone. A year and several days ago, I got a wild hair, Googled “free blog hosting” and started typing. With this brilliant witticism I was officially a blogger.

I was not someone who really read blogs. For one thing, it’s a horrible sounding word and I wanted no part of it. Blog. Blogh. Bluh-og. Sounds like a belch after you throw up. But my friend Kara said, “sometimes things you say remind me of Dooce. Don’t you love Dooce?” And I said, “Doo-what HUH?”

For the record, I am not comparing myself to the 26th most influential woman in media, and neither was Kara. I think that it was more that I tend to curse when discussing my children or something. In any case, I sat down one afternoon to see what this Dooce person was all about and thought, “Hey, instead of driving my friends and my family away with my constant rambling – I could write something everyday on the Internet.”

Um yeah. Apparently, I so can NOT write everyday. Not even every week. But that is why fives of people read this and why Blogher emails me every ten days or so to pull their ads that they don’t pay me for anyway, right? If I wrote something pithy everyday then the entire economy would fall apart because everyone would be sitting on their computers laughing instead of working hard and paying their mortgages. Or something like that.

I wasn’t really sure what my blog was going to be in the beginning – a Little Girl with Big Glasses is just how I saw myself most of my life. I've always been more a spectator than a participant. I was a fly on the wall that could make people laugh when I told them how they appeared through my eyes. Or, I could really piss them off. Either way, I amused myself. Also, the name was available, and none of the other things I thought of were. At the time I wasn’t thinking at all of what search engines might think of the name and it never occurred to me at all that I might have a whole legion of visitors who stumble upon me while searching for “little girls” or “hot girls with glasses” and my personal favorite: “little girls with big asses.”. I have to admit, it’s really those folks I write for. As I sit down at my sleek MacBook Pro, I think to myself, “Now. If I was a lonely middle school custodian with repressed issues about my mother and I was in the mood for illegal pictures of underage girls and I found little essays by a plain-looking 42 year old woman INSTEAD, what would capture my attention and keep me reading?” And then I type what I was going to type anyway. Or more often, I just open an excel spreadsheet, and forget the whole thing.

The thing has kind of stayed relatively true to my original intent of observations, essays, rantings, et al. I follow very few, like NONE, of the suggestions for creating a successful blog. I hardly ever have interesting pictures, I don’t let the reader into my personal life all that much, hell - I have an avitar where my picture belongs, I use bad words and made up words. But I entertain myself, Spanxy, a couple of friends from high school and at least two people in Cheyenne, Wyoming, so I guess it’s all good. I probably should have started when my children were toddlers and still smelled so nice that you didn’t want to beat them for waking you up in the middle of the night. They said adorable little things and took nice long naps which would have made for a lot of good material. They were extremely photogenic so I could have had days where I just posted their edible cuteness when I was lacking for words. Alas, it wasn’t to be.

So here I sit, one year later after diving in, and I’m kinda proud that I’ve kept it up this long. I am flattered when someone I didn’t know reads LGBG tells me they do and that they like it. I love the feeling of clicking ‘PUBLISH’ and watching my rambling go live. I hate when two days go by, then five, then eight with no words. It feels like I’m letting myself down.

My friend KC asked me a couple days ago how many posts I’d written. I guessed, Oh, about a hundred? And he said, “Huh. You could’ve written a book by now.”

Hmm.

My high school English teacher once wrote on the side of a paper I’d turned in, “HA! You’re an amusing writer! You may be the next Erma Bombeck!” And then a nice big fat “D- Try to stay on topic. Antigone really shouldn’t be reviewed by Erma Bombeck.” (I took it as a compliment, but would’ve preferred she call me Dave Barry.) I wonder if Erma Bombeck would’ve been writing now if she’d have even bothered to try to write a book? Or would she be another Mommy Blogger, content to post here and there about beans in noses in between loads of laundry? I also wonder if a book of unrelated essays about shit that bothers me is worth the paper it’d be printed on and I realized, that eh, probably not. Also, screw you, English Teacher. I personally would be fascinated by what Erma thinks about Antigone and her beyotchy sister.

I’m considering trying harder, making something more permanent than this. When I read back to this and this and this I can remember what I was doing and thinking and listening to when I wrote it. Well, actually first I think, "Cripes, I am a genius!" THEN I think that other stuff. But I wonder if it lost forever? After Blogger moves it to page two, is it done? Is it even worth saving? What if aliens or pirates or ninjas attack the Internet and delete all my words? If a blogger deletes in the forest did she ever really blog?

So – here’s to a year ahead. I’m not sure what it will be. I'll probably just keep driving people to baseball and football and golf, doing the laundry, buying the groceries, oh yeah going to work, and sneaking in a post or two when I can.

We’ll see. Thanks to the fives of you who’ve been along for the ride. Except for the time that the Ace Young fans attacked me, I for one, have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

No longer content to blog about blogging, I am now posting about posters.

So I realize this happened awhile ago, so I’m coming to this party rather late – but Farrah and MJ dying on the same day was weird, huh? Two huge entertainment icons to be sure, but more importantly, two huge POSTER icons.

Remember posters? Not like reproductions or framed art prints. Posters. Like stupid cheap pictures you plastered on your walls to decorate along with fishnets with those glass balls and Greg Brady beads. Do kids even have posters now? My kids have framed stuff on their walls that I put there, because if I hadn’t put stuff there, there would be nothing there but flicked boogers and thrown shoe marks. Pottery Barn Teen and Restoration Hardware have pretty much ruined it for modern parents who can no longer just ignore children’s living spaces – we’re forced to make every room look like either Martha Stewart or Vern Yip just got done with them.

When I was in junior high and high school, EVERYONE had posters. Loads of ‘em. The more you had, the cooler you were. My friend Sheila had posters overlapping posters overlapping TigerBeat pages of Shaun Cassidy and Parker Stevinson and (gag) Scot Baio. I never really understood the Scot Baio thing. He was like a shorter version of Henry Winkler, and seriously? Henry Winkler as a teenage dreamboat? Uh, not working for me.

My friends Dorothy and Tracy had the most anal-y hung posters you would ever see. Whereas I slapped tape across the corners, these guys carefully reinforced the corners with invisible tape, then, after double-checking with a level, measured with a micrometer to exactly insert a pushpin in the precise corner of the tape reinforcement. I skirted the leveling issue by placing all my posters at jaunty angles, as if to say, “Screw authority, man! I hang my posters all crookedy on purpose! Mob rules!”

My best pal Pam had the quintessential poster of the 70s: A kitty hanging helpless by its front legs from a tree branch, her fuzzy little pink belly exposed to the whole world for the whole world’s amusement. What better relaxing sentiment for sleeping quarters? A young animal, inches from death. CUTE! Of course reading the caption “Hang on – Friday’s coming’” only reinforced the outright damned adorability. Decades later, I’d learn that my husband had the exact same poster in his room as a child. Only Pam’s was the nice rolled version, probably from Spencer Gifts, whereas my husband’s was the Scholastic Book Club version, which meant it had fold lines. Okay for kitty posters, not so good for Lynda Carter, which is who my high school boyfriend had on his wall, all decked out in her bitchin’ Wonder Woman costume. He also had Farrah, because every male child born from 1965 to 1983 had Farrah.

My poster inventory, circa 1983, consisted of this gem… preppy Michael, pre-extreme-plastic surgery and wearing Mom-jeans...


Also, a Rocky Horror picture show poster with this image and the caption “Don’t dream it, be it.” I totally had no idea what they meant by that.


I was also the proud owner of a Walter Payton poster made specially for the Post Office to encourage 18 year old boys to register for the draft…I got it at, well, um…the Post Office. Oh hey - is it a federal offense to steal a poster from the Post Office? Because if it is, Pam did it.

Lastly, I had a Prince poster whereon he sprawled across a pile of purple satin sheets, his diminutive bare ass crawling towards the edge as if to say, “Hey! Buy this poster or I’ll stand up!” If I had a daughter who hung it in her room I’d probably accidentally use it as a drop cloth.

So my “artwork” was three black guys (one butt naked) and a transvestite movie. It is so hard to be a rebel in a small town. Without, actually, you know…being rebellious.

I always wanted the poster of the guy sitting in a chair being blown away by his own speakers but never got it. Now THAT is art, man. Seriously, even the lamp was at an angle. So how about you fives of people who read this? What adorned the walls of your teenaged lair? What did you want but never get? Yearning for a "If life hands you lemons..." or an autographed Joni loves Chachi? Still hanging on to a Nagel in your storage unit hopin’ they’ll become popular again? P.S. They won't.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Summertime.

Apparently, I get one ounce of recognition and then never post again. I always knew that deep down, I was shallow. Heh.

The past few weeks have been filled with little league baseball games, rainouts, playdates, parties, golf tournaments, sleepovers, swim meets and more. I'd like to say it's been SO FUN but none of these activities actually involved me at any level other than chauffeur, so...not so much.

When the boys were very small, I used to expound the virtues of extra curricular activity. I'd say, "We must put them in many sports when they are young! This way, they will be good athletes! They will make their high school teams and I will know that after school they are at practice and not smoking behind a dumpster somewhere!"

At this point, I'm considering purchasing them some Marlboro Lights and dropping them off behind the 7-11. Because really? I know a lot of successful people who were total losers in high school. Okay, more like two people, but that's actually really good odds I'm thinking. Right?

I'm kind of one of them. I wasn't exactly a stoner in elementary school, but I was not in organized sports at age 9. I wasn't on tournament teams that practiced ohmygawd TWICE A DAY. Not because I couldn't make a team...there just wasn't any such damned thing then. In the bustling metropolis (not) where I grew up, summer time activities included:
1. swimming lessons in the morning, Tuesday-Friday mornings.
2. swimming at the pool in the afternoon, Tuesday - Sundays, 1pm to 6pm.
3. riding your bike in circles in between swimming lessons and 1pm.

Mondays sucked.

There was a summer reading program at the aqua metal barn we called a "library," but that was fairly lame since you had to read 8 books to earn one point, and all five points got you was a ticket to storytime, read by the bewigged librarian who didn't ever believe me that I read 8 books a day, oh and it was also closed on Mondays. You'd think in a town of 900 people, they could coordinate to have the stupid library open on the day the pool was closed, but whatever. Maybe the librarian was the pool cleaner.

Actually, there was one other option for little girls. Softball. But I wasn't on the softball team. I remember getting the flyer and running it home, completely psyched to get to play, to get a uniform, to be on a team. My parents didn't agree. For some reason, they didn't want me wearing a tshirt that one of the moms handpainted with the team name: Kuntry Kittens.

Boring summers led me to look forward to school starting - almost as much as I do now. Then it was to have something, ANYTHING, to do. Now, it's just so I can let my kids sleep in. I love seeing them succeed - I love seeing them grinning with big trophies and cute uniforms and All Star caps with their names embroidered on them. I love home runs and double plays and sliding in for the winning run. But just once, I'd like to hear them whine that they're bored. I'd like them stay out past dark finding worms or playing tag with the neighbor kids without worrying they have to be up early the next day. I'd like them to have time to get in trouble. I'd like to let them be kids.

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