Monday, December 24, 2012

Fan Mail

I'm not good at taking compliments. In fact, I am exceptionally good and at avoiding them, changing the topic of conversation and if all those other deflection techniques fail, stopping-dropping-and-rolling. Yeah, like I'm on fire. This avoidance also goes for blog awards. Which I can't get myself to accept. It's not that I'm not appreciative, it's just that they might penetrate my self depreciating inner core filled with magma. And do you know how messy that would be to clean up? Extremely.

Some flattery is easier to blow off than others. Words printed in a public forum are very near the top of my list. Especially, I must confess, if you're a blogger, I'm way too wary to take your approving comments to heart. No offense, as my daughter Jade says right after she offends. There are of course exceptions to that rule. A few very devout fellow bloggers that read nearly every post and I can't seem to shake even with my anti-social, anti-blogging ways. Not that I want to. Cause they are also some of my favorite writers.

What it comes down to is, I write for me. I write what I want. When I want to. The most important thing to me is to be honest and content with my final product. Most of the time I am. Sometimes I fail myself. I'm a perfectionist. This must be why Meyers-Briggs suggest I work alone. Because I drive myself crazy enough. No one else should be subjected to my constant editing and intense comma conundrums.

The thing is, I get so involved in my writing, sometimes I forget I have readers. Because most of my readers aren't bloggers and most don't comment publicly. But, I get the most amazing compliments from readers privately. People I've never met who send me fan mail. Or stop me in the grocery store. These are people from all walks of life. Cultures. Ages. Politics. Religion. Sex. I have a very diverse and a very funky cool following. It's that quiet allegiance that is most flattering to me. The fact that you take time out of your life to read my words and welcome me and my family into your life. And that you keep coming back for more.

Don't worry, I'm going to get a big head or anything. Because, I've also gotten hate mail. Now, I thought I would hate hate mail. But, honestly, it's the second biggest compliment. No. I'm totally not kidding. After all, something I wrote pissed someone off so bad that they took time out of their lives to look up my e-mail address and to detail how much they detested or disagreed with what I wrote. Usually both. But, they still took time out to read it. And consider it. Maybe it planted a seed. Maybe that seed got intercepted by a bird who ate it and shit it out. Whatever.

What I'm trying to say is...

Love me or hate me. Or love to hate me. Whichever. I want you to know I appreciate you. And, I'm sending a very sincere thank you to each and every one of my readers! Oh, and happy holiday wishes too.

(FYI-I'll be taking two weeks of vacation disconnected from the rest of the world. But, I'll be back in the new year. And I'm sure I'll have lots to write about.)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Battle of the Sexes

Yesterday all of 4 my kids went to rock band camp. At 3 different times. First the girls. You know, ladies first and all. Then, the boys. After that, River had another session with his band. And they all put on rockin' performances at the end. But, my day was spent driving them back and forth. Which is fine, it's just that it was also Sky's 14th birthday.

Normally, on the kids birthdays I cook a special dinner of their choosing. But, with all that to-ing and fro-ing and other priorities I had at home, I didn't have time to go to the grocery store, let alone cook the items I didn't get. Instead, we broke tradition and decided to go to a restaurant. Sky's favorite restaurant.

Ember started the conversation. Her deep probing question to her siblings was "What are you going to change your name to when you're an adult?" Which took me directly to mom guilt. Because we gave our kids unusual names, I instantaneously assumed I completely ruined their lives. Forever. Luckily, Jade likes her name. The thing about my girls names is they clearly define them as girls. I think. At least, there has never been an issue I'm aware of.

The boys are a different story. On paper and over the phone, their ambiguous, gender neutral names have caused confusion. I frequently have to assure them that Sky is in fact a boy. It was much harder to convince the passport office that River is in fact a boy after the US government officially declared his sex female right there in black and white in his passport. To make matters worse, his Russian birth certificate is written in Russian. Second, Russian birth certificates do not state the sex of the baby. The baby's sex is denoted by the baby's name. Mikhail being a boy and Natasha clearly being a girl. Maybe this is why River is considering changing his name to Paul. Which luckily, is his middle name anyway.

But, Sky? He doesn't see himself as a John or Bob. Justin or Bruno. He thinks his name suits him just fine. So, at least we have a 50/50 success rate.

Right before the food arrives, Sky excuses himself to go to the men's room. When he returns to the table, he starts talking about the paintings on the wall in there. He thought they were weird. Then the conversation turned to spies. Immediately, I knew I needed one. I had to see these pictures in the little boys' room for myself.

Before I show you what was in the men's room. I had to see what was on the walls in the ladies room. You know, for comparison's sake.


More leaves.

And a lovely sunset.

I recruited Craig to covertly go into the men's room and take photos of the pictures hanging in there.

A sexy leg.

A sultry back.

And every man's dream, a freaky chick wrapped loosely in a see through bed sheet straight jacket.

Is it just me? Or is there a big disparity in the pictures in the bathrooms? Why the hell don't we have pictures of guys at the beach in gauzy white see through shirts? Better yet, why aren't there pictures of women laying in hammocks with men in gauzy shirts bringing us drinks? And why is the lighting in the mens room so dim? And the womens isn't?

And I think I now know why this restaurant is Sky's favorite. Because he is definitely, unequivocally, a male.

BONUS: If you live in Colorado Springs can you guess which restaurant we ate at?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Gun Control Debate

My sons have always been interested in guns. Even though we've never armed them with any toy guns, they've always found creative substitutions. The toilet brush, hand weights, the vacuum, rulers, the poker for the fireplace and of course there is an endless supply of sticks in our yard. Really big sticks being preferred. One way or another, our boys have been determined to play with guns. I blame genetics. Not that it matters.

When we lived in Morocco none of their friends had guns. Hell, the police don't even have guns in Morocco. They carry whistles. Which made it really easy for me to blow them off when they whistled for me to pull my car over for traffic violations. Yes, plural. It would have been culturally insensitive to have guns there. Even though the boys fashioned their own arsenal out of sticks and duct tape. They were strictly confined to our yard which was surrounded by a 9 foot cement fence for security.

Now that we've returned to Colorado and my boys are teenagers, the gun control debate continues. In fact, it rages in our house. We were right on the precipice of allowing them to buy them with their own money and constructing a contract of responsibilities that would accompany them when the tragedy at Sandy Hook occurred.

The next morning, I was quietly sickened to see my boys innocently perusing the internet for affordable bb guns. Recent events were just too recent and I was much too raw to think about my children and guns at the same time. They didn't know that though. They also don't realize that every little choice parents make for their children isn't little at all. We're hoping we make the right one.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


As a kid I suffered from the holy trinity of an introvert. I was shy, sensitive and serious. Really serious. On the exterior at least. Inside I was always a huge goofball, I was just way too inhibited to share that fact with most people. So, I'd entertain myself this funny running inner dialogue. With myself. Sometimes I'd even mouth the words to what I was thinking in my head. In fact, I still both of those. And I'm embarrassed I just told you that. So are my kids.

While most of the people I knew in my teens and twenties were letting loose having a great time, I wasn't. Cause I wouldn't allow myself to. I don't think I even knew how to back then. I actually had to learn how to have fun. And that it was ok to drop my guard and not be miss perfect. Cause the thing about being miss perfect is you always fail anyway. But, I didn't learn these things until my 30's and 40's.

God, I wasted so much freakin' time!

So this is why:

I'm totally wearing this viking hat all over Colorado Springs that my neighbor crocheted for me. Ok, she crocheted it for my kids, but I love it so much I can't stop wearing it. I don't care who's staring at me. Ok, I do. It makes me totally uncomfortable. But, I'm still going to wear the hat, regardless.

I purchased underwear from Costco because it was less than $2/a pair. Then I put them on and then directly into the Goodwill pile. Then got in the car and went to GAP Body to get the more expensive underwear that is totally freakin' comfortable. There is something really dysfunctional about wearing uncomfortable underwear.

I bought not one, but two shades of blue eye liner and fully intend to wear them.

Oh, yeah. I'm letting loose and getting totally crazy! Want to join me? Then we could be in a whole dys-FUN-ctional relationship together.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Sick Mutha

It's day 6 of being sick. And I'm totally sick of it. The first 4 days were spent mainly on the couch. Resting and watching crap tv. Both of which I'm really crappy at. So while my body is resting, my mind is racing. With the hundreds of other things I should be doing.

I tried to keep myself quarantined. But, when you're a mom shit needs to get done. So, in between my resting. I went to Costco, to the school, did the laundry, cleaned the house, went to the passport agency. Ok, so the normal things I usually do. Except, I didn't work out this week. Well, sorta.

I still had to take the dogs out for their mid-day walk. Now I know that doesn't sound like a work out. But, I assure you, it is. Neither Bonnie, nor Clyde, definitely not Clyde, are good on the leash. Bonnie is just plain stubborn and Clyde likes to pull and bark at other dogs, squirrels, deer, rabbits and men. Of course we have tons of all these things in our neighborhood (in addition to hills). Once Clyde starts, Bonnie just joins in. The thing is, together they outweigh me by a good solid 40 pounds. Walking them on a normal day is a challange. Walking them this week has flippin' sucked.

First there's the Jehovah Witness lady who sees me with the dogs trying to wrangle an untangle myself from the leashes while holding a big ole' bag o'poo who tries to give me a pamphlet. How the crap am I supposed to take the pamphlet with this shit in my hand? But I did, cause I wanted to save the world. Because I knew that while some people would throw it in the trash. I, on the other hand, would recycle it. Wait. Dammit. I think that was last week. Right it was.

This week, some chick with her one little 10 pound dog tries to start a cute little conversation with me about how her dog pulls her too. Equating our dog walking trials and tribulations. Meanwhile, I'm trying to pull Bonnie and Clyde in the opposite direction of her little dog. Let's just call him Milkbone. I've dug my heels into the ground and leaned my entire body backwards to try to counterbalance the weight of my dogs lunging at precious lil' Milkbone. Somehow this eludes her. Now, I've veered off the sidewalk to avoid her and am standing on dry leaves. Which makes the dogs and I waterski leafski directly into Milkbone. Now, I'm usually a happy peace loving person. But this week, I'm a sick mutha and I'm freakin' exhausted and using everything I've got to protect your dog. So, I'm pissed that she's clueless and I want nothing more than to sneeze on her. Cause I'm a sick mutha like that.

I'm totally babbling. And not making sense. But, today, while driving to do errands in the car I discovered the one benefit of being sick. One thing that I can only do with my deep sick voice. Sing this song.

Oh, I know I'm tone deaf and can't sing. I promise not to do it again. Just to clarify, I'm not on drugs. Except the inhaler. Did I mention I get a little loopy when I get sick? Cause I do.

Now accepting well wishes.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Party People

It's that time of year. The time of year where you dust off your very best festive wear buried in your closet. Study the e-vite to make sure you'll know someone other than just the host. And try to remember not to attack the egg nog like you did last year. Especially if you're lactose intolerant. Get ready, cause it's holiday party time!

And you know what that means? Before the season is over, you'll likely to meet most of these party people.

THE DOUCHEBAG: Who invited him anyway? Everyone knows he's a douche. He's only here to prey on vulnerable women with daddy issues.

THE MARTYR: Life just keeps handing her lemons. Don't worry, she'll be fine after she makes the most exquisite lemonade she made from it. It is THE MOST exquisite isn't it?

THE WINDBAG: She doesn't care what the topic is. She's got something to say about it. She's the wind beside the wings at the buffet table.

THE ZEALOT: It may be politics, religion or his exercise regime. But, whatever IT is, there is NO other topic of conversation.

THE SWINGER: She doesn't care you're married. Hell, she's married too. In fact, maybe we could all get together for a private party some time, huh?

THE FOREIGNER: I'm sure he's totally fascinating, but I feel guilty I can't understand a word he's saying with his thick accent. So, I just smile and nod.

COMEDY CENTRAL: He's so hilarious. Maybe. Or maybe he just thinks he is.

THE STARLET: She's the one who pound for pound is wearing more make-up and hair product than sequined dress, which is probably why her boobs are falling out of it.

THE KNOW-IT-ALL: Prepare to be skool'd by this guy. And know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away and know when to run.

THE ONE HIT WONDER: She'll be stuck like glue to you all night long like you're the only person at the party.

THE CLOSE TALKER: You can take a step back, but he'll only take a step forward. Your quest for personal space is futile.

THE CONFIDER: She's a a few weeks pregnant. Shhhh, she hasn't told anyone yet. Nor has she told her husband it might not be his, but she's telling you, a complete stranger.

THE FACEBOOK FRIEND: You don't even know how you got to be facebook friends with him in the first place. You've never talked to him before. So, you avoid him and just "like" a picture of the party on his wall tomorrow.

THE WALLFLOWER: She's the awkward girl alone in the corner fondling the flowers on the wall paper. Things will only get more awk-weird if you start a conversation with her.

And at the end of the night, you wonder why you just didn't stay home in your sweats with a glass of red watching Friends reruns.


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