Friday, September 30, 2011

Happy REAL Birthday to me!

I got an email from my dad in response to yesterday's post.  It is the single most shocking piece of information I have ever learned about myself in my life. (What? I'm sheltered)

Here's what I remember about your birthday. In September 1970-do the freaking math will you!........ You were born in a Catholic hospital in St. Cloud with nuns in attendance. Mom was in labor for over 24 hours and she passed out between labor pains. At one point she told the cute little red-headed nurse she wanted to go home. The nurse looked at me and said, "Do you want to take her home Mr. Lindahl?" I didn't.  You finally popped out in your own good time and all was well except we missed some insurance deadline for coverage by an hour or two so the good old nuns changed the dates of your birth to get us the coverage we needed. You ended up costing us not much. Whew! You may have been born on the 30th of September but it was in 1970 NOT 1969. Sometimes you acted like a little bastard but you actually are not one. Happy birthday and legit or not, I love you! Dad

UUUUUUMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!  TODAY is my actual birthday??? I'm sure mom appreciated that you found the red-headed nun to be so attractive while she was busy passing out between contractions while bringing me into the world.  The nuns committed insurance fraud??? (I always knew nuns weren't as saintly as they pretend to be; "I'm married to Jesus, the savior, who are you married to?  I like older men.  I'm so perfect! Tee hee!")

So today is my birthday.  September 30.  OMG.

UPDATE on my birthday forgiveness of the girl who let my bunny out when I was seven; I mean, the day before I turned seven:  Not gonna happen.  I tried.  It was too hard.  I really do enjoy carrying that grudge.  It's a totally legitimate grudge to carry.  I'm gonna keep it.  Sorry, Asshole, you're still on my shit list.  I won't wish you paralyzed or dead, but I will wish you bored and perpetually annoyed. (Oh, and I also will use my magic mind powers to wish that at least once a year you drop (and break) a bottle of oil or a can of paint in your house.  And that it splatters under the fridge.)


Thursday, September 29, 2011

I'm 41! (42)

It's my birthday today!  I am officially 41 years old, but I kind of actually suspect I might be 42 because my parents met in 1969 in January, and got married in June.  I was born in September.  Sounds suspiciously like a "shotgun" type situation, doesn't it?  But they say I was born more than a year after they were married.  Riiiiiiiiiiiight.  And my mom says that empire-waist wedding dresses were all the rage.  Riiiiiiiiiiggggghhht.

Oh well, whatever you say, Mom and Dad!  I'm not going to say any more about it because I know today is pretty special for them, the 41st (or 42nd) year commemorating the greatest day of their lives.

I would have to say the best birthday I ever had was when I was born.  You can't really beat that.  The worst birthday I ever had was when I turned 7 (or 8) and that was because I got the gift of carrying a grudge for the rest of my life.  It's a heavy burden.  Here's what happened.

I was having a small birthday party after school.  I think I invited eight or nine girls to come over and play and have cake and give me presents.  I lived a few blocks from the school so we were going to walk to my house.  One of the girls in my class was not invited to the party because she was a total shithead and she was mean to me.  On the day of the party she cried because she missed her bus and then got the other girls who were coming over to beg me to let her come over and at least use the phone to call home.  Even then in my underdeveloped, seven year-old (or eight year-old) brain I was wondering why the hell couldn't she just call from the school phone and I was about to say just that when she handed me a present.  The manipulative asshole didn't miss the bus, she was crashing my party!  But being seven (eight), I was too sweet to be a hardass, so I let her come to the party.

When we were out in my backyard, playing on my swingset, and pinning tails on donkeys, someone noticed that my pet rabbit's hutch door was open. Just swinging in the breeze and there was no rabbit in there.  We looked and looked for my bunny everywhere but she was gone.  I was so upset.  Totally ruined turning 7! (8!)  Later someone told me that the asshole was the one who opened the cage door.  For that I have hated her with a passion ever since.  She didn't do anything to change my mind in the ensuing years either.  One time in high school I was at a party and when I was leaving I bumped another kid's car.  When I was outside looking to see if there was a dent, this girl happened to be standing there and I asked her to keep it quiet until I could find the kid whose car I clipped.  She literally ran into the party and screamed, "Sarah just crashed into Kale's car!"  I didn't know it was possible, but I hated her even more.

I hated her so much that whenever I needed to imagine an enemy, her face popped into my mind.  One time someone asked me how much I hate her, like, did I wish her dead?  And I was about to say yes, but to be truthful, I can't wish anyone dead.  To be funny (but not really) I said I wished her paralyzed.  Later that year, she got some mysterious, rare disease that left her partially paralyzed. That was when I knew I was magic.  And with great power comes great responsibility.  I immediately felt bad for wishing her paralyzed and tried from then on to use my incredible mind-power for good.  (Turns out it wasn't actually me that made her paralyzed, it was some crazy virus that she probably got from a grimy stripper pole, but nevertheless, I felt bad for wishing that one anyone, even her; the party-crashing, rabbit-losing, accident-blabbing, paralyzed stripper.)

So now, here it is 34 years later, and I'm still thinking about that fateful day when I lost a rabbit and gained an enemy for life.  I need to get over it.  I think it's time.  A 41 year-old (42) woman shouldn't hate anyone, so today, on my birthday, I am going to give myself the gift of forgiving that horrible asshole and shuck the baggage that comes with holding a grudge.  Hear that, Asshole!  I forgive your freaky, red-headed, loudmouthed, paralyzed ass!  Now get out of my head!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

2nd Grade

I've been subbing this week for a second grade teacher.  I love second grade.  I love kids.  I love teaching.  I love school.  The kids are so fantastically weird, and if I let them, they would talk to me all day and tell me crazy stories.  ALL DAY.  I am already too indulgent with them because I crave their crazy stories, so I'm afraid that there is a good chunk of our day spent with me sitting at the teacher's desk and the kids lined up under the pretense of getting individual help with their math or reading, but we actually all know that they are only lined up to tell me something strange that they dreamed about, or that they saw on TV or that their parent's did.

Yesterday I got a scene by scene retelling of a movie about a girl who got her arm bit off by a shark while surfing.  Surely the synopsis was a million times better than the actual movie because the girl that told it to me was so intensely involved in the telling, dramatic gestures and all.  This morning a boy told me all about the show Terra Nova.  Dinosaurs! Blood sucking worms! The jungle! Violence! Terror! (I can't believe what parents let their kids watch.)

This afternoon one boy was tired and had a bit of a meltdown that landed him in the hall.  I got so much secretive, unsolicited advice about how to handle it.  One girl told me she didn't want to see me get my feelings hurt so I should call the principal and let her handle things.  Another kid told me to make him sit in a time-out during afternoon recess by the bee hive.

The only thing I don't like about teaching is the hard schedule.  And the only reason I mind that is because (and forgive my bluntness) when a girl has to poop a girl has to poop.  And a girl can't say to 25 seven-year-olds, "Talk amongst yourselves for ten minutes or so while I drop the kids off at the pool," because it only takes about 90 seconds for them to devolve into a Lord of the Flies type scenario (re: time-outs by the bee hive).  So teaching makes me constipated.

I saw something incredibly strange today.  There is a student teacher working with another teacher and she is young and thin and beautiful, but today she was wearing the strangest thing.  She had on a normal, properly sized, oxford, button down shirt.  No pleats, no puffiness, nothing special.  What was weird was that she was wearing a thin leather braided belt around her rib cage.  Right under her boobs.  It looked so uncomfortable, and so weird!  Is this a new thing?  I've never seen anything like it so I was staring at her under-boobs all day wondering what-the-hell and I'm sure she just thinks I was staring at her boobs, which I kind of was.  So who's the strange one?

Monday, September 26, 2011

E Nun C 8

Tonight at dinner we were all quiet and Sam said, "I got a B on my social studies test," but because he is a teenager and mumbles everything he says, we ALL heard,

"I got a BM in social studies. Huh."

In fact, Mitch, Kira and I could have sworn that's what he said. That is exactly what we all heard. How can three people miss-hear the same exact thing?

Then a few minutes ago Mitch and I heard something on TV about "Cock Robin," which is a poem, but we didn't know it was a poem so Mitch googled it and said kind of quietly to himself, "Oh, it's a poem. I thought it was some kind of pest." As in V.D.  As in, "Dammit woman! I have cock robins, AGAIN!"

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Misanthrope's Guide to Life: Book Review

One of my favorite blogs is 2birds1blog.  It is co-written by Meghan Rowland and Chris Turner-Neal.  They recently published a book called The Misanthrope's Guide to Life.  I got the book yesterday and sat down and read it cover to cover and laughed my head off because if you didn't already know this about me, I'm what some  people might call an introvert, and what other people might call an asshole.  Tomato, tomahto.  Now I know it's not one or the other.  I'm a misanthrope.

The book is a humorous (or is it?) look at how people like myself (and everyone I share genes with) go through life and try to get along with other people who don't know that solitude and quiet equals paradise.  One of my favorite lines of the book is:  "Adam and Eve may have gotten along fine, but Cain beat Abel with a rock for being a show-off."  This quote is the introduction to a section called "Great moments in Misanthrope History," my favorite point being, "1347-1353 - The Black Death kills millions in Europe.  Survivors revel in free clothes and their own rooms."

Rowland and Turner-Neal also give quizzes so you can determine whether or not you are a misanthrope and if so, what kind.  I am an "avoidant misanthrope."  I am the "patron saint of the locked door and the turned-off phone."  The chapters include things like the misanthrope at work, among friends, in transit (Planes, Trains, Automobiles, and Sons of Bitches), at work, in love, as a parent, on vacation, at home and in death.

If you are an introvert you will laugh and laugh when you recognize yourself on every page, and if you are an extrovert this is a good guide to the inner workings of the introvert's mind.

Reading the book reminded me of holidays with my misanthrope-heavy family.   Last Christmas my dad and I were sitting in his cozy TV room, watching How It's Made and eating peanuts in the shell, and some mention was made of the local holiday parade that was about to happen just a few blocks away.  I said, with my voice dripping with sarcasm, "We should go," thinking the very thought would make my dad shudder in an amusing way, but no, he decided to see if he could one-up me and it turned in to a horrible game of social-chicken that had no winners.  Here is the dialogue that led to us standing out in the freezing cold trying to avoid eye-contact with jolly acquaintances chock-full of the holiday spirit (gag):

Me:  We should go to the holiday parade.
Dad:  We should.
Me:  I'm serious.
Dad:  Me too.
Me:  Okay, let's go.
Dad:  Put your jacket on.
Me:  Okay, come on.  Put yours on too.
Dad:  Okay.
(We both go up to the entryway and put on outerwear and then stand there and look at each other waiting for someone to give.)
Me:  Okay, let's go.
Dad:  I'll start the car.
Me:  I'll get in.
Dad:  Good.  Let's go.
Me:  Good. Let's.

Then we actually got in the car together and went.  I couldn't understand what was happening.  Why was this happening? When was he going to give in and go back home?  He didn't.  He parked.  Should I give? No!  I'm way more extroverted than he is!  He'll give!  We walked into the crowd and waited for the parade.  Actually, that's not true.  We stood off by ourselves by a wall where nobody else was because you couldn't see the parade from there.  Then he lured me up to the curb where we could see the parade better.  We spotted a gregarious person from high school that I never liked heading toward me with a big smile on her stupid face and we were both bracing for the inevitable "HIIIIIIII!!!! HOW ARE YOU????!!!!!" bullshit, or at least I thought we both were but when I looked to my side to see how he was going to handle it, he was gone.  Totally disappeared like magic and I was left to handle this obnoxious person all by myself.  After she moved on I panicked and looked for him, sure he went home, but he didn't.  He was standing by the wall by himself.  We endured the parade which made us both a little crabby, and then went home and went to separate rooms to try to regroup.  Misanthropes?  Oh yes.

Friday, September 23, 2011

My daughter has huge cojones

"Mom, you need to step up your parenting a notch.  There's a kid in my class that gets twenty bucks a week for doing NOTHING.  I have to weed and empty the dishwasher just to get five bucks!"

This was said immediately after she showed me she ruined her new pants and then had me sign her grade reports which were nothing to brag about.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

To Do:

It's cold and raining and I think I'm getting a cold, and I have lots of bills to pay so you know, not the best day.  So I made myself a list because I get so much pleasure from crossing things off the list that it helps get me motivated.  Here's my list today:

pay bills
wash dog
wash bird cage
pick up house
wash body
take out garbage
wash hummingbird feeders
watch Modern Family
spray everything with lysol
drop bag off at Good Will
wash hands
wash hands
wash hands
wash hands
wash hands
wash hands
wash hands
wash hands
wash hands
wash hands
wash hands
wash hands
wash hands
wash hands
wash hands
wash hands
wash hands
wash hands
wash hands
wash hands (Thanks a lot, Contagion!)

Now that I look at this list I do a lot of washing of things.  God, I hate washing things.  But I like things clean so I'm between a rock and a hard place.  Kira has a disgusting cold so that (and the fact that I am still having nightmares about the movie Contagion) is why I'm so concerned about germs and hand washing and Lysol.

Mitch took the garbage out this morning and when he saw me crossing it off my list he grabbed the pen and said I couldn't cross it off because I didn't do it.  I crossed it off anyway and had every intention of taking full credit for it in my mind, but then later when I wasn't sitting by the list he signed his initials next to it so now I guess he has officially made it his.

I'm about half way through the day and it doesn't look like the pets are going to get washed, or the hummingbird feeders either, because although the hummingbirds are gone South, the hornets have been gathering around the feeders and I'm afraid of them.  They are very big.  I think they might be Africanized bees.

Looks like I'm only going to get about halfway through the list today but I did the hard stuff!  I paid the bills, ate meals, blogged, washed my body and am keeping up my hand washing pace!  Success!  Tomorrow I will make my list easier.  More eating, less washing.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Proof that Gwyneth Paltrow is Horrible: Contagion (spoiler alert!)

I went to see the movie Contagion today because I'm depressed and I decided that watching Gwyneth Paltrow die, even if it is pretend, would make me feel better.  And it did.  If you don't already know, Contagion is a movie about a flu-like new virus that kills millions of people throughout the world in a matter of a few months.  It starts with Gwyneth in an airport in Chicago and she's coughing a little and gets a phone call from the man she just crawled out of bed with (who was not her husband, Matt Damon!)  The movie is supposed to be realistic and scientifically-based, but right away I had to suspend my disbelief by trying to wrap my head around how anyone in the world would cheat on Matt Damon.  Right!  Like that would ever happen! So anyway, if you can get past that, the movie is pretty good.  Gwyneth dies a horrible death almost right away but thankfully, Matt is immune to the virus so he is okay!  Whew!

The movie solidified my misanthropy and made me happy that I live in the woods and rarely socialize because you know what?  People are really gross.  People touch their face between two and three thousand times a day and in between digging in their noses and rubbing their eyes and licking their gross fingers in order to more easily open plastic produce bags, they are touching absolutely every gross surface in the world that everyone else has touched.  The movie really drove that concept home and as soon as the credits started rolling I went to the bathroom and washed my hands.

The people who work at WHO and the CDC work diligently trying to find where the virus started and to find a vaccine.  Jennifer Ehle, who was in Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth (Mr. Darcy!) played the doctor who comes up with the vaccine.  I really liked watching her.  She's very attractive in the same way that Meryl Streep is attractive, but with none of the weirdness that Meryl Streep has.  Meanwhile a blogger (Jude Law) is throwing a monkey wrench into the mix by writing that the government is hiding the cure so the pharmaceutical companies can make a "vaccine" and get rich when the cure is something called Forsythia which is an ancient Chinese herbal remedy that is cheap and readily available.  What I like most about Jude Law is the crazy hazmat suit he wears that reminded me of Bender from Futurama,

and his giant fake front tooth.  That's how they make handsome movie stars look like regular people.  Giant crooked front teeth.  I wish I had giant front teeth.

The movie is pretty good.  I would recommend it but bring a bottle of hand sanitizer with you because you will be glad you did.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I didn't know until today that I was a dork when I was a kid

I have a bunch of photo albums that I took from my grandma's apartment and as I was looking through them I noticed that during my painfully long "awkward" phase, I not only looked like a little dork, but I chose to accentuate my looks by expressing myself with dorky accessories.  Take for instance, this picture of my sisters and me:

Here we are, Beth on the left with a look on her face that says, "Hurry up, I really have to poop," Amy on the right wearing the exact same dress as me (awkward!), and me in the middle.  Look past the obvious feathered hair (that was in!) and the enormous glasses (also, IN) and look very carefully at what makes my dress different than Amy's.  I dressed mine up with a button.  I saw this and I thought, hm, weird.  Then I saw a few more pictures from this day and the button kept grabbing my attention.  Why was I wearing a button?  What was on it?  Then I looked really closely and I can see that it is a picture of Prince Charles and Lady Diana.  Wha???  You can't really see it in this picture and it wouldn't show up when I scanned it, but believe me, it's Charles and Di.  Specifically, it's this picture of Charles and Di:

On a button.  On my dress.

Fast forward a few years to Beth's eighth birthday (I counted the candles):

There I am on the left.  I'd say that was about 8th grade.  Easily the peak of the awkward phase.  I had gotten rid of the enormous glasses, but I gained a little pudge and turned my cool feathered hair into a permed mullet.   I don't think I have to defend my hair choice by reminding you that mullets were in then.  It was the early eighties.  My cousin Katie who is standing next to me is also rocking an awesome mullet.  Now look a little closer:

Again, I'm wearing a button!  This time it's a picture of Michael Jackson in his red Thriller jacket:

Why?  What was it about Beth's birthday that made my 14 year old brain scream, "Hey! This is the perfect occasion to wear my Michael Jackson button!"  Were buttons in style or something?  Did I wear one every day? I honestly can't remember ever even owning a button with a picture of anything on it except the ones my kids gave me of themselves in their hockey equipment that I was supposed to wear on my winter coat, but never did because I'm a TERRIBLE hockey mom.  When did I decide buttons were stupid?  Why didn't I always know buttons were stupid?  Why was I so in love with Michael Jackson and Prince Charles and Lady Di?  Ugggccchhhhh, I'm disgusted with my adolescent self.  The bully in me feels compelled to be mean to the dork in me.  Holy internal struggle!

My mom has been sending my kids cool clothes from Hollister and Abercrombie and Fitch because she wants them to look cool to their peers, so the fact that kids want to look cool is on her radar yet she let me walk around wearing buttons with people on them???  Mom!  Why???  Do you remember this?

Friday, September 16, 2011


I suppose I should write something since this is my blog and people check it and they are probably sick of seeing  the picture of  my grandma's pills.  FYI, I spilled coffee on them so I never got the opportunity to take any. :(

The truth is, I don't feel like writing anything because nothing funny has been happening. My dog has a disgusting skin condition that requires several baths a week which neither one of us is very happy about.  And of course, I'm grieeeeeeevvvvviiinnnggggggggggg.  There's nothing funny about that.  But I have been thinking about how many incredible females (human and canine) I have in my life and I'm pretty lucky (except when they die or get a mangey hide, of course.)  My family is heavy on the females.  Kind of like a bee hive.  Speaking of bee hives, or rather, hornet nests; here is a picture of one in our yard that Kira can't leave alone:

Yes, those are arrows poking out and I'm pretty sure the bees didn't do that.  And to answer your next question, I have no idea how many times Kira has been stung.  She admits to nothing.  She's had a long and contentious relationship with striped, stinging insects her entire life from the time she was two years old and tried to pet a big, fat, fuzzy bumble bee and got her first sting.  Over the summer she was helping my sister paint her cabin.  She was up on a ladder painting around a window and she called out to Amy, "There's a bee's nest between some boards here!"  Amy said, "How do you know?" and she said, "Because bees are stinging me!"  It's a good thing she's not allergic to bee venom.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Hello Everyone.  It's been a hell of a week.  My grandma passed away so the whole family met in her home town for her service.  I blubbered my way through the service because there is nothing I love more than crying in public.  It was great to see all the relatives because that side of the family is a bit crazy (in the best way possible).  I helped clean out my grandma's apartment, which I was really happy I could do.  She wasn't known for her housekeeping skills so before I vacuumed the carpet I looked it over for paperclips and pins and stuff and I found an amazing amount of pills.

We were trying to figure out what they were because, you know, partay! but I think the brown ones are laxatives, and one of them is a blood thinner.  I don't know what the other ones are but I don't think I'll take them just to see because I don't want to pass out on the toilet from low blood pressure while having bloody diarrhea.  That might just make me feel worse than I already do. Anyway, after I found all the pills and vacuumed I was walking around the hallway of her senior citizen apartment complex and I was finding pills all over the place!  Parents of small children, just so you know, retirement communities are NOT BABY PROOF; but adventurous pill-poppers, make some senior citizen friends!  It's like trick-or-treating but instead of the occasional full-size Snicker bar, you might get a Vicodin!

My sister stopped in Rush City on her trip to the service to pose her baby on this fish because, who wouldn't?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Firsts and Lasts

You know how when you have a baby and you are so excited the first time they do something?  Like when they say their first word (which is always "dada," stupid jerk babies) or when they walk for the first time and you call everyone you know because your baby stood up, took one step and then fell and hit her head on a coffee table?  Not much of an accomplishment really, but at the time it's so exciting!  There are other firsts that aren't so great as well; the first time they get their heart broken, or the first time they get arrested for vandalizing a garage door with sticks of butter on homecoming weekend. (sophomores rule!)

I've been thinking about it from the other side of life lately because my grandma is dying (yeah, I know deja vu.  My other grandma was dying last September.)  What about people's lasts?  How sad it is to think that the last steps a person takes will be their last steps?  My grandma took her last steps last week right before she had a massive stroke.  Now I find myself wondering what her last words were?  I suppose we don't acknowledge those things because we can't look ahead and know when something will be the last.  I've been wondering things like; what is the last thing my grandma ate?  What was the last thing she laughed about?  What was the last outfit she picked out to wear? What was the last thing she wrote?  What was the last thing she read?  I guess I can only look back and remember the good things and be thankful for all the time we had together.

I remember the last time she went swimming.  It was at my parent's lake house and she jumped off the dock ladder into the freezing cold water.  I couldn't believe she did it.  She was about 85 years old.   A couple years later she went to her last movie at the movie theater.  She is a Harry Potter FANATIC and we took her to the one of the movies.  I had already seen it and I remember sitting there with her, knowing that any second an inferius was about to jump out of the dark water and grab Harry's arm and if I didn't warn her she would jump out of her skin.  Did I warn her?  No way!  She jumped, I laughed, she said, "JESUS!" and I laughed some more.

I LOVED to tease her.  In her old age I could get her laughing hard enough to make her wet her pants.  That was always fun.  (Apparently, after 70 a gal's pelvic floor muscles aren't what they used to be.) There's nothing as joyful as an octogenarian who is gasping for breath because she is laughing so hard at your explanation of the book Twilight, and in between gasps is saying, "Stop it... I'm wetting myself... please... stop it!"  In my defense, I still don't see what's so funny about Twilight, Grandma.

When I was a kid I would spend weeks with her and my grandpa in the summer.  They lived in a huge, hundred-year-old house with high ceilings, beautiful decorative molding, and two, count 'em TWO staircases.  It was a grand, unique, shabby palace and she and I both loved it.  It had a wonderful smell of dust, Virginia Slims, Cinnabar, English Lavender, and Ivory soap.  It was a great smell. My Grandpa took over a kitchen pantry closet and turned it into a TV room and spent many evenings in there.  When Mitch and I were dating and he came over to their house one time, he pulled me aside and said, "Why do you guys keep your grandpa in that closet?"  Because he liked it in there!

My grandma loved me and I knew it.  She spoiled me rotten. We dressed alike, we liked the same things (Lee Press On nails, Queen Elizabeth paper dolls, and root beer floats; to name a few), and we have the same sense of humor which is why it is so easy for me to make her laugh.

I have a baby niece who is joyfully experiencing her firsts.  She started laughing lately, and screaming for the sole purpose of screaming (which, if I'm being honest, I could do without).  Soon she will take her first steps and say her first word (dada) and we will cheer for her and celebrate.  Maybe we should celebrate lasts like we celebrate firsts.  My grandma never has to lose another loved one. She never has to worry about money or kids or illness again.  And most importantly, she never has to go to the dentist ever again.  That's pretty sweet.

She was my first best friend.  I'm going to miss her like crazy.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

School starts and I can't tell you how happy I am about it

Sam started high school yesterday and Kira starts middle school tomorrow.  Tonight we went to her open house and got her schedule and learned where all her classrooms are.  God, I hate open house night.  The kids are stressed because nobody can open their locker (that's the overwhelming source of middle school stress before the first day.  Little do they know there are WAY worse things to worry about in middle school! Just wait, kids! You're gonna hate it!) and the building is huge compared to elementary school blah blah blah.  And it was hot.  Really hot.  Like I-think-they-had-the-heaters-on kind of hot.  I had sweat dripping down my spine and I'm not much of a sweat-er.  And every time I get in a crowd of people I am reminded of what a misanthrope I am.  I hate people so much.  Actually, that's not true.  I really like the idea of people (like internet people that probably aren't even real.  Hello, THE MATRIX), but I hate actual people... So I guess it is true.  Never mind about when I said it's not true.  One lady had a pack of kids with her and she was yelling down the crowded hallway for her littlest to catch up and was screeching at the crowd to get out of his way; she said, "God!  Get out of the way!  My poor baby is getting rambushed!"  Which I assume is a blend of  ram and ambush.  Or rambo and ambush.  You know, now that I write it down, I think it's kind of clever and perfectly descriptive but I don't think she knew she was making up a word and it really annoyed me.  Mostly the yelling-down-the-hall-of-a-thousand-people-while-I was-sweating-and-putting-up-with-a-nervous-and-cranky-11-year-old was making me crabby, but still.  Don't make up words and yell them at me when I'm sweating.

Kira saw a lot of her friends and I overheard one conversation where she told her friend that when she was buying her school supplies she chose the wide ruled paper instead of the college ruled because there are less lines on the paper so she won't have to write as much as the idiots who buy college ruled.  Score one for Kira!

Sam is on the fence about whether he likes high school yet or not.  He will.  What's not to like?  Homework, that's what.  He's had homework both nights already.  But he's very conscientious so he will be fine.  He has a few classes with one of the big bullies from middle school and already, the second day, three of the teachers have told that kid to SHUT UP.  In one of the classes his former victims tittered a bit after the teacher said it and then she said to the bully, "Hear that laughing?  That's all the people you've picked on."  Score one for high school!

Ninth grade, nine fingers, get it?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Mother of the Year

I have kind of liked the song "Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster the People for a while but I never listened to the words.  I thought it they were saying, "something something something, la la la, my bucket."  It's such a happy, lighthearted tune, it even has whistling! I just assumed the lyrics were something happy and lighthearted.  Something to do with a guy's bucket.  When I was driving Sam to his first day of school this morning the song came on and I was singing along with it, and telling him how much I love it, and isn't it great to go to school the first day and hear such a happy song on the radio?  Turn it UP!  What a great day!  I decided I liked it so much that I would download it so when I came back home, that's what I did.  While it was loading I looked up the lyrics to see what could be so interesting about that guy's bucket, but they weren't saying bucket, they were saying bullet.  The song is about a kid who gets a hold of a gun (a six shooter!) and goes after all the mean kids with the "pumped up kicks."  The chorus says:

All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you'd better run, better run, outrun my gun.All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you'd better run, better run, faster than my bullet.
I read that and said, "........ oh."  And then I thought about how I sent my ninth grader off to his first day of high school humming a tune about a kid shooting his peers.  Best. Mothering. Ever.
I still love the song, and I might love it even more because I find the duplicity kind of hilarious.  "Run before I shoot you!  Hee hee! Whistle whistle! *skip skip skip* La la la... BTW nice shoes!"

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Snake has been found!

Remember yesterday when I told you that Sam caught a snake for Kira and she put it in a bucket and then it escaped?  Today we found it.  It was curled up at the bottom of the basement stairs.  So cute!  It was kind of cold down there so he was really easy to catch.  I wonder how he spent his 24 hours of freedom in my house?

I imagine that soon after he got out of the bucket he slithered into the kitchen and got in the fridge and slithered through all the food, pooping in the butter and and peeing on top of all the diet coke cans.  I wouldn't be too terribly surprised to find a disgusting shed skin in the left over baked beans.  I bet he got out of the fridge then and took a little tour through the coffee pot and over all the silverware.  Then I suppose he moseyed into the bathroom and coiled around my toothbrush for a while and then snuggled up and took a nap among my maxi-pads.

When we all went to bed and the house was dark and quiet, I imagine he got a little chilly so he was seeking some heat.  I bet he slithered into my bed when I was asleep and took a little rest in my gaping mouth.  Nice and toasty!  I probably accidentally swallowed him and he slithered through my entire digestive tract, grateful to emerge in the morning.  Best sunrise of his life!  Then he probably slithered over every single surface that I clean.  Now I have to clean the snake germs off every single thing in the house.  You never know how much you don't want snakes loose in your house until there is a snake loose in your house.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A day of crisis

Three things have happened that are making for a tough day for me, as it would any mother:

1) We gave away our swing set because my children are no longer children, but adolescents. The little girl across the road gets it now which is good.  She'll got a lot of use out of it.

2) Both to Kira's and my horror we went shopping to buy her her first bra.

3) Sam caught a snake this morning and gave it to Kira who put it in a bucket and put it in her room.  It escaped the bucket and now we have a loose snake in the house.  

To deal with the first two things, Kira and I drowned our sorrows in ice cream at McDonalds.  While she was eating her sundae she said, "This sundae is so good I want to get its autograph but I already ate its hands, so too bad," which I thought was weird.  Why would you want the autograph of anyone, much less a stupid sundae.

Then we went to Animal Allies to pet cats because sometimes that makes us feel better about things.  Cats are kind of gross.  Did you know they shit in a box right in your house?  Yuck.  But they are fun to pet if you can avert your eyes from the constant flashing-of-anus.  I guess a person who has a snake free-shitting in her house shouldn't throw stones at the people who have cats who admirably limit their shitting to a box.

Then we came home and discovered the snake had escaped.  I told her to FIND IT and she looked really hard for about 4 minutes.  Then she went outside and now she's playing on the bare spot in the yard where her swing set used to be.  I DON'T THINK YOU'RE GOING TO FIND THE SNAKE OUT THERE!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Nora Ephron must be a Dwarf

(I posted this at The Chunkerson's blog today as well.)

Did you guys know that Nora Ephron is only four feet and five inches tall?  Actually I don't know that for sure but I am going to assume she must be comically short because in her book I Feel Bad About My Neck she writes this:

"I go off to college. I weigh 106 pounds.  I come back from college three months later.  I weigh 126 pounds. I was once thin and shapeless.  Now I am fat and, ironically, equally shapeless. Nothing fits except for my wool plaid Pendleton pleated skirt, which makes me look even fatter. It's tragic. My father takes one look at me as I get off the plane and says to my mother, 'Well, maybe someone will marry her for her personality.'"

First of all, in what universe is 126 pounds fat on anyone of average height?  I'm five feet and five inches tall and if I weighed 126 pounds I would look like I'd just gone through chemo during a famine, which leads me to assume that Nora Ephron is dwarf-short. I should explain that this paragraph was NOT part of a bigger chapter about what an asshole her dad was.  Maybe her dad was an asshole.  He probably was but I don't know for sure.  She was telling the story as a hilarious anecdote about how good and cold the milk was in her college cafeteria and how she gained twenty pounds in three months and got "fat."  Okay, I'll admit that it's not good to gain twenty pounds in three months, but to be a "famous" "successful" "woman" and say that the twenty pounds she gained in college was "tragic"?  I can see why we are all so obsessed with the scale.  The stupidest part of the whole story is that she is probably lying about the weights!  She probably started at 126 pounds and got up to a whopping 146 (which, btw, I would LOVE to weigh) but could never allow herself to admit those numbers in writing. Women lie about what the scale says all the time because other women lie about it.  It's stupid, and it's kind of sick but when someone famous like her does it, it is tragic.  Thanks for setting women back a few decades, Nora Ephron!

This is part of the diet cycle that is so frustrating to me.  I'm a feminist.  Our culture is toxic to women.  Pick up a Cosmopolitan magazine and see for yourself.  It's not a magazine for women to be better women, it's a magazine that tells how you can drop unsightly pounds, and wear eyeliner to look hot, and how to please your man in bed.  That's tragic.  Even the milder women's magazines are ridiculous.  Have you seen the plus-sized models?  According to women's magazines the average woman in this country is a fat, disgusting mess.  How dare we take up more than our allotted 120 pounds of space!

But on the other hand, I like to be able to breathe when I tie my shoes.  So I think I need to drop a few pounds.  But then I get into an internal struggle about my motivation for losing weight.  Why am I dropping pounds?  Is it really for health, or is it because I want to look a little more like Sofia Vergara and a little less like Ed O'Neill?

I want to look less like Ed O'Neill
I don't know.  I guess at this point I want to feel good.  I'm never going to look like Sofia Vergara.  I don't even really want to because getting ogled at this point in my life would just make me want to throw up.  I'd like to not wake up with a stomach ache and I'd like to not have the squirts and I'd like to have lots of energy.  All that can be fixed with a good diet.  I suppose if I lose pounds in the process that's just gravy, right?  Make tying the shoes a little easier?

If I ever see Nora Ephron in person I am going to (want to) slap her right across her windsock-like turkey neck.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I got professional

Hi!  It's me again, the professional blogger.  Why am I professional now instead of amateur?  Because I changed the domain name from to  See, no more numbers and none of the blogger business. (linda075 was my college password when I took classes a couple of years ago.  Too bad you didn't know that back then!)  Sleek and professional.  So change it in your reader or on your toolbar or whatever.  It should automatically redirect, but I just thought you'd like to know that you are reading the words of a professional, not just some wannabe.  You could also email me at too, but I wouldn't recommend it until I learn how to access it.

New School Year

Sam and I went to his high school orientation last night.  He starts school next Tuesday.  I am so happy and relieved he is out of middle school.  Middle school is the worst place in the world after prison and concentration camps.  I can't believe we send kids there.  Kids that age should not be with other kids that age.  I don't know what the solution to the problem is.  Don't ask me, I just recognize the problem and complain about it.  I don't want to think of solutions.  Why do I have to do everything anyway?  Huh?  Can't you come up with solutions sometimes?  Geez.

So anyway, one of the teachers came up to Sam and said, "And you are?" and he said, "Your worst nightmare."  Yeah, I couldn't believe it either.  Sam is about the mildest, most vanilla person in the world so to hear that come out of his mouth was surprising.  The teacher wasn't even fazed.  She smiled and said, "It's going to be a long year.  For you."

I'm really jealous that Sam is going to high school.  I loved high school.  He gets to take computers in a really nice lab, he gets to take Spanish from a woman who looks incredibly like Peggy Hill, he gets to read Romeo and Juliet in English class.... sigh.  Lucky.

Kira, on the other hand is just starting middle school.  This is the sweet little child who just last week thought "pecker" was a bird's beak and nothing but a bird's beak.  Over the next three years she will learn countless ugly slang words for genitalia; she will either see, experience, (or perpetrate) bullying; she will see, experience (or perpetrate) sexual harassment; she will hear creative swears that she will be compelled to come home and tell me about because one of her favorite things to tell me is, "I have to tell you something but I have to swear for it."  I wish I could just plug information into a Matrix like brain portal on the back of her neck so she would know everything she would need to know to go to high school and then send her to high school instead of subjecting her to middle school.  But I suppose it is a rite of passage?  I have to try to convince myself of that so I don't feel bad for subjecting her to it.