I’m Ba-a-a-a-ack! Again.

Posted: May 27, 2014 in Random Crap

Holy crap, it’s been a while and this blog has been sitting here with my “Naked President” post front and center.

Nice.

Anyway, I still have two minions, and lost a Guru. Well, didn’t lose him. He moved out. The critter population is much the same, we still have a loopy cowdog, a half-coyote with a spastic disorder, and now a husky/shepherd that barks at himself in the mirror. Orange Kitty rules the house, and there is always a myriad of barn/yard cats running around.

Mom wants to bring me Guineas…that will be interesting. They kill snakes, therefore are welcome as pets.

I got a promotion of sorts at my job with the paper. I am now a Managing Editor hippie, with my own column! My boss is still KAB (Kick Ass Boss, as she is saved in my contacts).

So there’s the skinny.

I’ll post some of my favorite columns to get the Naked Prez Post a little further down the list. Annndddd, I will try to post a little more often.

My goal for the week is to get the PHH her own Facebook page. Linked, of course, to here and the Courier page. So cross your fingers the smallish minion will cooperate and not tear the house down around me while I do this…

I don’t know if anyone else could possibly be as ready for the whole Election Fiasco to be over as I am!

I remember giggling at a Jeff Foxworthy routine years ago, ”The President’s on…he’s on EVERY CHANNEL. We’re gonna miss Flipper!”

I can sympathize.

137 channels and the only place I can get a moment’s peace from the constant barrage of political drabble is on the shopping networks…which cause me to buy things I don’t need, rack up debt that a new health care bill won’t save me from, and kill more brain cells than I did watching South Park as a teen.

When I watch a political ad, I don’t think “Hey, he’s got a great plan,” or even “I like/despise this guy more than the other one.”

Instead, I’m thinking, “Geez, I could fix my truck and the broken cars of struggling families all over the freaking state with what this guy paid for this crappy commercial.”

There were rumors months ago (maybe more) that New York’s famous (infamous) Central Park Naked Cowboy (a guy known for running around with tightey-whitey’s and a guitar) was planning to someday run for President. Y’know, I could be on board with a President like that…someone who’s apparently not afraid to stir things up, someone with a unique outlook, and someone who would probably spend their money on more worthwhile things than golf and political ads.

Yeah…this could get me into politics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All his campaigning would come free on the internet thanks to social media, and as President he would probably sympathize with the common masses instead of the 5% of millionaires that most political figures know and love.

To be honest, I would vote for the Naked Cowboy, some random wrestler or rock singer, or the Facebook dad that shot the laptop before I would any of the actual candidates I’ve seen since…well, ever.

 

How about you? Anyone else rather vote for someone unknown and “real” than the so-called “leaders” our government seems so fond of producing?

I listened to a radio show that made me livid. My favorite voice-personalities were reading a list of things that The Boss looks for in a job interview that most people don’t think is ever an issue. They apparently polled a few hundred company owners, and these people revealed the things they judge you on that you might not know about.

Potential bosses can be evil, cruel bastards. Don’t get me wrong, most of the interviewers you encounter will be friendly and pleasant…but there are apparently some sadistic ones who don’t have a heart. Those who sounded off in this poll really made me glad I have a very cool boss and a string of freelance projects.

The following “red flags” these people look for were at the top of the list, meaning that approximately 25% of all interviewers are looking for them.

Split Ends.

Turns out they aren’t just checking to make sure you have a decent grasp of what “business casual” means. Many job interviewers are examining your hair for flyaways and split ends…which can apparently indicate a lazy person who doesn’t have enough responsibility to care for themselves.

Seriously!??

Ok, let’s try out a scenario…I am out looking for a job because I’ve been living on Ramen Noodles for a month so that I can use every spare dime to pay for dry cleaning for my one and only nice suit to go to job interviews! Paying for a haircut is probably not high on my Blow Money On List.

Mister Interviewer, shouldn’t your attention be on my job skills, and maybe the fact that I am dressed appropriately and I don’t smell like a gym or a French hooker?

You know, if I came to a job interview wearing a purple and teal Mohawk, I could see the concern…but my dry from the West Texas weather hair shouldn’t be a problem.

Smudged Mascara.

Apparently, mascara and eyeliner smudged underneath your eyes (even a little, according to polls) gives your interviewer a glimpse into a party-girl persona. These interviewers admit to knocking perfectly qualified candidates to the bottom of the list if they can spot an imperfectly lined eye.

Geez…this one is wrong on so many levels. See, I could understand if these people got upset at Goth-worthy streaks of black running down our cheeks. But they’re talking about a bit of smudge under the eye.

What if it’s summer (which meant 104 degrees around here), and the interview is at 2 in the afternoon? No makeup can stand up to that!

What if it’s a person’s third interview of the day, or they had to dash from class/work/dentist straight to the interview? Want them to show up late because they stopped to retouch their eyeliner?

My favorite is my own reason for the constantly “smoky” appearance of my eyeliner…I wear contacts. Which means if a gnat sneezes, my eyes will water, rendering my perfect makeup a bit smeared. Simmer down, most people think that’s sexy!

Another contact issue: the wind. Dry eyes. Little drops you have to put in your eyes to see where you’re going. Again, moisture that destroys makeup.

This bears repeating…shouldn’t you be more worried about a person’s qualifications??

Cheap Suits.

Ummm…

Ok, if I could afford a $400 designer suit and new shoes, would I be here interviewing for an internship that pays peanuts while paying half of what I hope to be making from you to some teenager to keep my kids alive while I sweat it out with you, worried about my makeup and split ends??

 

Geez. I am so grateful for my random writing-for-a-stranger freelance jobs, my photography business that I run all by myself (thankyouverymuch), and my kick-ass editor at the paper…

For a while, I thought it was just me…

I’ve always been picky about details, and I majored in English and Psychology, so I have a lower tolerance for terrible grammar/spelling/punctuation than most. I have OCD, so other little things, like inconsistencies in the news, would bug me.

None of it was really a big deal, until I realized the other day that America is becoming stupid.

Sorry, but it’s true.

Evidentiary Support:

Television: Seriously…Bayou Billionaire?? I don’t think I really need any other examples for this category, but I’ll elaborate.

There are at least 3 reality series currently airing that feature teen parents or parents-to-be. On CMT (where’s the country music, people?), there’s some redneck show in which the preview is a semi-toothless hobo-dressed man on a rock, proclaiming “put ‘yer’ big-girl panties on, I ‘is’ gonna whoop ‘yer’ ass.” I could name a “real police” show that makes Super Troopers look realistic and solemn. American Idol manages to highlight some of our most…um, interesting…individuals regularly.

The News: The news is probably the worst…at least the idiots on TV shows are getting paid to show off their more “colorful” characteristics in the name of entertainment (although the fact that this crap is what gets ratings doesn’t exactly reflect well on the rest of us). The people featured in the news are sacrificing their dogs to deities, biting bystanders after rolling their car into a field for no apparent reason, and chewing on homeless people.

What amazes me is the number of people claiming psychosis was caused by “legal drugs” like “bath salts.”  What scares me is that these products are still on shelves.

Our Schools: I’m sure no teacher ever went to college with a dream of spending their lives training kids to take standardized tests. They went to school to educate children. Sadly, most school-kids now get about 10% fitness, 80% test practice, and maybe 10% of actually learning applicable skills.

I’ve met many, many recent high school graduates who cannot grasp the concepts of basic grammar. I had the pleasure and pain of judging some scholarship entry essays recently and almost cried. I found one out of about 30 that wasn’t grossly incoherent…and it would have still required extensive editing to get more than a C in college.

People, these were seniors at the top of their class, applying for academic scholarships!! Most of them were apparently never taught the differences between there, their, and they’re…and forget about your and you’re.

Social Media: I have no problem with people using “shortcuts” on a tweet or status update. Even I text things like “where r u” and “got 2 go, brb.” Seeing this doesn’t make me worry about the world, it makes me think the person was in a hurry.

This worries me: “I wuz guna goin to tha store fa some stuf an went over their ta you’re hows nsted.”

Probable Cause:

Equality: I am all for equal rights and such, but they’ve taken things too far when they begin to refuse proper education to intelligent kids so that the others don’t take a blow to the ego.

I get it…”No Child Left Behind” is a sweet concept, but it’s not practical to stop teaching and challenging kids so that the most challenged doesn’t feel left out! When I was in school, you did your homework, you learned…or you freaking got left behind! Now apparently, everyone is taught at the level of the lowest-scoring children in class…so that the lowest-scoring child doesn’t feel bad.

In Texas, there is a standardized test that every student MUST PASS to move on to the next grade level. News I read said that 80% of those who FAILED that test were promoted to the next grade anyway.

Problem is, all the hand-holding and coddling means that these kids graduate and go out into the real world expecting more of the same. They cannot function.

What’s the result of the end of actual education? Plenty of Americans who can’t write an essay to save their lives.

The Demise of Natural Selection: Animals (which we are) are supposed to have a built-in way to make sure the species survives. Simply put, the dumb ones are supposed to die.

In the animal world, the slowest, dumbest, and impaired ones are usually the first to go…this ensures that the ones left to breed are smarter, faster, and all-around better. Therefore, their babies are better. So the cycle goes, and the species doesn’t dwindle.

People were the same way for centuries.

Fast-forward to today…where infant chairs get recalled because an idiot sat their three-month-old in the chair, the chair on the kitchen counter, and went to check the mail.

You cannot get medicine without a child-proof lid, and people remodel their entire houses when they have a baby, so they don’t have to remember to close the bathroom door or teach their kids not to drink bleach.

Instead of teaching them to survive, we wrap our kids in bubble wrap and hope for the best. They don’t know NOT to stick a fork in a toaster…the toaster is locked up tight in an 8ft tall cabinet and our kids don’t get to learn to make toast until they graduate. That’s when you get the grown man in the ER because he stuck a fork in a toaster.

A woman in Dallas sat on a hot bench and burned her butt badly enough to require skin grafts. Seriously? Wouldn’t you think STANDING UP might cross your mind when your ass starts feeling warmer than is comfortable???

I am just saying that we’ve put an end to natural selection in humans, and the slowest in our herd are surviving, breeding, and offering up more and more Americans too dumb to stand up when their rear starts burning…

 

Disclaimer: While I disagree with the gone-way-overboard safety standards today that make it impossible to teach kids common sense, I must let you know (before you call CPS) that I DO follow common-sense safety precautions with my kids.

I strap them into the car per DPS standards.

I don’t let them jump off the roof with an umbrella. I keep medicines put away…but I also teach them to stay out of the medicine, and I tell them the reasons the leap off the roof isn’t a good idea.

I try to teach them common sense, since it seems to be a dying art.

Hey Football Fans…Keep it Classy!

Now that football season is finally under way, there are a few things I would like to address. While I am all for school spirit, and own an obscene number of blue shirts myself, I do wonder and worry about a handful of people every season.

You are the Crazy-Fans, the people that get banned from games for stealing the ref’s whistle or distracting the players to such a degree the coaches from both teams actually become allies in removing you from the stadium (or the field).

I am talking to those fans who take spirit to a level bordering on the white-shirt people with giant butterfly nets coming after you…

On your car.

Crazy-Fans, you can be spotted and heard from miles away, and can silence an entire stadium full of people by driving up…this is partially because of your insistence on parking on the track surrounding the field, and your tendency to block the ambulance that is supposed to be there.

It is also in part because your car looks like the school mascot blew up on it.

You have flags (big ones, flying from every protruding surface), color-coordinated cans tied to the rear bumper, and enough shoe polish on the windows to decorate a mall. There are phrases written in shoe polish that your star player wants to kill you for.

I am not saying to skip the window-writing, it is a time-honored tradition found on thousands of Fan-Cars everywhere. I am just saying to have a little decorum.

“#37 So Proud of You,” and “Go Big Blue,” and other various peppy cheerleader phrases are ok.

“#26 Johnny-Bunny, Mommy Loves You Forever” and “I changed the Quarterback’s Diapers,” are NOT ok, and your son will pretend he doesn’t know you.  You might not want to yell these phrases out over the crowd, either.

On your person.

I remember a day in Jr. High (ugh) where everyone wore Big Red cans in their hair…it might have been a Funky Friday theme, and it might have been for a random mid-season game day. But seriously, we had our ponytails sticking out of soda cans on top of our heads! Not a proud moment.

Instead of wearing accessories that make strangers chase you around with video cameras, hoping for a good “People of Wal-Mart” shot, try some team-colored hair ribbons, or even a streak (just a streak) of temporary hair color.

Face-paint is fun for games, or maybe a face sticker or little tattoo on your cheek…but you might avoid real tattoos. What are you going to do when your Blue Patriot moves to college where the colors are *gasp* yellow and black?

Um…I must say this: full-body paint with no clothes might give someone’s Meemaw a heart attack. Please don’t.

Speaking of clothes, go all out on color if you want to, wear the team shirt, team hat, and team jacket. Just remember that you might have to stop at a store or something on the way home, where no one knows you just left a football game…wear things that are acceptable in the general public so you don’t scare a store clerk.

About your Noise.

I went to a football game once and sat on the tailgate of a boyfriend’s pickup right next to a whole group of Crazy-Fans. It took a minute to recognize what was on the flat-bed trailer they backed into the next space…

There was no question when they fired up the SIX (linked-together and attached to an amplifier) TRAIN WHISTLES, and deafened an entire stadium of people at the same time. They didn’t get to stay and watch the end of the game.

So folks, when you are readying your noise-makers, remember that the players need their hearing, and the other fans would appreciate theirs as well. Put some rocks in a soda can, grab a cowbell with some team-colored ribbons, and leave your air-horns and bull-horns at home.

One last thing…if you bring an actual musical instrument (trumpet, saxophone, etc.), please make sure you have some experience and skill in playing said instrument.

This post first published (by me!) in the Briscoe County News.

www.briscoecountynewsonline.com

I wrote this about a year ago, and it turned out to be my most visited and revisited post. Since school is in session again, summer break is over, I thought I’d re-blog this one for some of my new followers….with a few small additions.

If you’re a high school student, have a student, know a student…or are a teacher, have a teacher, or know a teacher…pass this along to them. It’s something that I wish I could have understood when I was stressing about prom, about boys, and about that teacher who just didn’t understand at all…

Enjoy.

 

Hang in there, the real world is actually not as cruel (no matter what they say)…

 

Dear Homecoming Queen,

I understand that you are busy with your cheerleading, sports, parties, and picking out a prom dress that matches your boyfriend’s earlobes or whatever it is that you’re currently obsessed with. I also understand that that prom dress, the boyfriend, and the tiara you won for homecoming are the CENTER of the universe. I even understand that to speak to the quiet girl in the hall with the locker next to yours would be a terrible inconvenience and possibly tarnish your very existence.

However, it doesn’t make you any prettier or more popular to laugh at her. It doesn’t buy you another date with the quarterback to leave her a fake note from a cute boy so that you and your friends can crush her spirits when you announce the prank to the cafeteria. It doesn’t make you somehow better to pat her on the head and tell her you just hate that she’s not you.

Have you ever thought that maybe being her friend wouldn’t take up any time, ruin your precious image, or cost a thing…but might just make you more worthy of that tiara? That maybe you could be someone to look up to for more than the fact that you carried an armful of roses across a football field?

Being a “Mean Girl” isn’t fun, or funny, or cool.

 

Dear Football Star,

I know right now the game is the biggest thing in your world and that being a star makes you a king in your universe. You’re also right that the geeky kid you just stole the clothes from and left naked in the locker room is about as macho as your girlfriend.

Did you know that making him cry doesn’t make you a man? It doesn’t even make you cool except in the eyes of your so-called friends (who would laugh the same way to see someone do the same to you).

Wouldn’t it be better to stand up for the guy and be a hero? It wouldn’t make you less of a star, but would get you a lot closer to the thing that people who are “all grown up” refer to as a real man.

 

Dear Teacher Who Forgot to Grow Up,

It may be fun to giggle and gossip with the popular kids as though you were one of them. It may also get you nominated for the favorite teacher awards at the end of the year.

But to the shy girl who just wants you to notice that she is terrified of the “group projects,” and the quiet boy who needs help understanding your jumbled notes on the board (jotted randomly in between announcements of parties and senior suppers)…it just makes you look sad.

You might not care what those sad little things think of you, but as a teacher shouldn’t you at least pretend to?

 

Dear Football Coach,

There is life beyond Friday night. That is all.

 

Dear Teacher that Gives a Damn,

You are a rare breed. You are the one who notices that the shy kid is considering dropping out of school because the final project is a group effort where the kids are “allowed” to pick their partners. You’re actually aware when there is a kid in class who never gets picked, never has a partner, never gets asked to the prom…and you give a shit.

You’re the teacher that gives that kid a camera and says the yearbook would love some creative pictures. You’re the one who arranges the group projects with a structure in mind to keep it fair to everyone. You’re the one who winks at the shy kid and promises that it will get better one day.

You’re the one that deserves the roses and the tiara and the trophies.

 

Dear Shy Girl in the Corner,

As much as you can, observe those cruel kids with objectivity and pretend they are primates you have to study for four long years. Interact with them, and take notes…and someday teach your daughters and sons compassion.

Four years is a long time, but not so long when compared to decades of leaving these people behind you. There IS a place in the world for you, and you get to go there and stay. These people who are in their element right now only have four short years to enjoy their reign before being tossed out into a cruel world that doesn’t care who they took to Prom.

 

Dear Girl without a Prom Date,

It’s just a gym full of balloons, weak punch, and bad music…with the same gossipy people standing around in the same groups, talking about the same things. You deal with that every day, if you decide not to put up with it in yards of itchy chiffon, it’s not a big loss.

 

Dear Boy who Never gets Picked in Gym,

Don’t worry about it, you have better things ahead of you than a 3 on 3 basketball game and a coach that doesn’t care about anyone but his so-called “stars.” You may not be big, you may not ever make a touchdown, but you will do something very cool…and it will probably be more lasting than these little games.

These days aren’t the best of your life, those are coming…and you can rest assured that those athletes’ days are numbered. Even the FEW of them that make it, that go on to college and pro, will still reach the end of their career in just a few short years. Whatever you choose to do, you can do as long as you want. Those sports freaks will be old and sidelined by the time they’re thirty.

 

Dear Foreign Exchange Student,

I’m sorry…I’m sure we advertized a whole different ball game.

I have been accused of multiple personalities. My husband claims there are seven, and has them named (Roxy, Tuesday, TJ, Willow, Sparky, Oscar, and iAm…someday I’ll write their bios). I’m not sure which personality is the PackRat, but she’s there…and the nemesis of Oscar, the one with OCD.

It makes for an interesting combination.

Oscar vs. The PackRat

See, the laundry HAS to be clean. Absoposilutely, no getting around it, GOTTA be washed…then it can sit in the laundry basket until we wear it again.

Dishes? Must be washed. Then they get used right outta the dishwasher until it’s empty enough to set out the two clean bowls and a spoon (on top of it) and it gets loaded again.

The floors are non-negotiable. They must be swept and mopped every two days…and I still wear shoes and/or socks even to get up at night to pee. The bed is in the same obsessive category. I cannot function with a messy bed, it gets made with military precision every day.

My desk, on the other hand, is a full-scale, war-zone disaster area…and Heaven help the person who moves so much as a pen.

General clutter can stay out in full view, but must be stacked neatly and without flaw. Shopping bags are perfect for storing junk, but cannot – CANNOT – sit on the floor. They are hung. Anywhere, everywhere, but they are hung.

Things We Will Never Use but Must Keep

Those things go in the garage, the spare bedroom (dubbed the eBay room), or in closets. They are usually marked for sales and get occasionally listed on eBay or some random trading site, or traded off for other things that we’ll never use.

Except for that compulsive Oscar-Fit twice a year…

Those are the days the PackRat dies.

The Day the PackRat Dies

I tell myself (or rather, Oscar) that the clutter in the corners in its neat stacks and hiding in its shopping bags can stay. That the “sale stuff” isn’t hurting anything hidden away in the various Outta Sight-Outta Mind areas…

But I’m lying.

I cope, I deal, and I ignore…about 362 days out of the year.

That handful of days happen at complete random, when Oscar becomes homicidal and slays the PackRat in the middle of the night, and I wake with a sole purpose in life, to rid the house of any extraneous item.

Junk gets purged out of all the corners, closets, and hiding spots, clutter gets dumped on the rug in the living room, and the Guru usually gets asked to leave with his own PackRat.

Everything of value over about $25 gets photographed, labeled, and listed somewhere to be sold.

Everything else disappears into black trash-bags never to be seen again. Some are bound for charity, others are bound for the dumpster. My kids look on in horror as stuffies, Happy-Meal trinkets, and clothes they never wear (but suddenly love) go poof.

If I manage to get the Guru out of the house, his things get raided for stuff he never uses and will never miss…but that is happening with less frequency, I think he’s on to me. Lately he stays to “help,” meaning he hangs around on the fringes “rescuing” things from the bags and hiding them when my back is turned.

No, I don’t throw out the Good Stuff!

Meemaw’s jewelry and silverware are forever safe. So are the kids’ baby keepsakes and all their t-shirts with interesting or memorable logos (for a quilt someday, if I ever figure out the sewing machine again…btw, anyone know what to do if it’s breaking strings and/or making loopy/BIG/ugly stitches on the bottom side?)…

The Guru’s collection of thousands of PC CD’s are safe (hey, he IS the Guru…apparently the loss of a single disc means my computer might not get fixed next time I kill it).

The photos and letters are exempt, as well as the wood carvings Pop made.

The rocks can stay.

Rings and necklaces that were gifts will forever remain in the jewelry box.

Guns are safe…but only because I might find myself divorced for selling those.

When it’s all said and done…

…the truckload (I don’t stop until the Chevy is STRUGGLING) of stuff gets cleared out of Oscar’s universe, the house looks great, I am sore and tired but elated, and you know what?

No one misses a damn thing.

Hmmm…weekly writing challenge from WordPress?

Sure, why not?

As I write this, I will thoughtfully provide you with snippets of what I am hearing, in the interest of the theme.

♫♪ …laaaalalalala…c’mon baby, don’t fear the reaper…baby, take my hand… ♪♫

What does sound mean to my blogging capabilities (expertise, unparalleled awesomeness)? How does sound/noise affect my writing? Are sounds important to the writing process, or do they get in the way?

Well, it’s everything. Affects all. And it totally depends on the sound.

The soundtrack of life that happens to be playing in the background while I write has a direct impact on what I write…

♪♫ …she might come home in a tablecloth. Yeah, tequila makes her clothes fall off… ♫♪

How?

In a nutshell, music is productive, children-screeches and trash trucks are not, and Spongebob will cause all creative thinking to come to a crashing halt.

Need more explanation?

Here are a few of the most influential sounds in my personal life soundtrack:

Music.

Ahhh…manna from Heaven. I do my best work, be it house or job, with an actual music background.

♪♫ …I don’t mind spending every day, out on your corner in the pouring rain, look for a girl with a broken smile, ask her if she wants to stay a while…and she will be loved… ♫♪

There’s a little hippie in me that seems to thrive on classic rock. A rebel that thinks straighter on heavy metal. A country chick who carries a Cowboy Gun and thinks Jason Aldean is about the best thing since sliced bacon. A moody poetry-writing girl, with heavy black eyeliner, jamming Nirvana and rocking some scary lyrics. There’s also a scarily upbeat cheerleader type bopping along to LMFAO…we don’t like her very much…

♫♪ …Romeo take me somewhere we can be alone, I’ll be waiting… ♪♫

Children.

Oh the screeches, the squeals, the “Mommy, Mom, Momma, MOOOOOOM” that punctuates the most important things I write. Somehow, they KNOW when there is a deadline…the bigger the better.

The Climber’s latest favorite Mommy-Distraction-Technique is to actually crawl into the chair behind me to play with my hair. Little guy loves my long hair, and cannot tolerate buns and ponytails…Mommy’s mane must be free.

♪♫ …in your sweet love, I’ve suffered and I’ve seen the light. …you’re my angel, come and save me tonight… ♫♪

Good thing is I can type nearly as fast even with him riding my back, literally.

The Diva, on the other hand, is harder to tune out. She insists on participation, and her questions get repeated in an ever-louder (and faster) monologue until I answer her. Repeating “I’m working,” appears to work as a direct challenge, and she loves a good challenge.

So, two-year-old antics? Easier to ignore and “write through” than 6 year old questions.

The “Uh-oh.”

This is a fun one…it’s usually followed by “Mommeeeeeeee!!”  …and accompanied by a crash, a splash, or a wail of pain and terror.

The latest was a quartet of shopping bags, full of books I listed on a garage-sale site in an attempt to de-clutter. There were lots of things listed The Day The Packrat Died…

♪♫ …she says she talks to angels, they call her out by her name… ♫♪

Anyway, the bags were in the floor across the room, and slightly behind me. The Climber had been suspiciously quiet…a fact that I was studiously ignoring in an attempt for “just 5 more minutes” of productivity. That’s when The Diva strolls in wearing a cheerleading costume and lime green cowboy boots.

“Uh-oh, Mom…I think you’re gonna wanna see this.”

No. No, actually I don’t.

But I did. I stood up to survey the sea of paperbacks (237 of them, to be exact) spilling across the floor and into the hall.

At least they weren’t sticky, staining, or hazardous to physical health. And it did give me a cute photo to supplement my story.

Image

He’s cute when he’s running for his very life…

♫♪ …down on our side of the barbed wire, money grows in rows, if it don’t you’ve gone broke… …throwing down in the dirty dirty South down here…

The phone.

How do you people know when I’m working!?!?
I don’t mind pertinent text messages, interesting text messages, even the occasional pointless bad joke. “hey, what’s up?” and “how u?” are even acceptable.

♫♪ …and I don’t want the world to see me, I just don’t think that they’d understand. When everything’s made to be broken, I just want you to know who I am… ♪♫

But what the @#$% are you thinking, interrupting me with “HEY” ???

What are you looking for here? Do you want me to start a conversation, since you apparently can’tthink of an opener? Are you fishing for my mood? Because you just killed it and the answer won’t bepositive.

Are you THAT bored? Seriously, I can think of better things to do than waste time texting people nothing better than “hey.”

♫♪ …the only one who could ever reach me, was the son of a preacher man…

I keep meaning to change my text tone…right now it’s Transformers’ transforming sounds. Metallic clicking, clanging, and screeching, is fun sometimes, but ultimately thought-shattering.

I can be on a heck of a roll, typing along, and that text tone will stop action better than the smell of coffee drifting in unexpectedly.

The husband.

Yeah…he’s not much better than the kids. He can’t be trusted when things are “too quiet,” he interrupts every 5 minutes or so (“but it’ll only take a minute”), and he makes messes.

Him and The Climber both watch Spongebob, but the bigger kid has the ability to up the volume.

Carry on my wayward son, there’ll be peace when you are done. Lay your weary head to rest…don’t you cry no more. ♫♪

…and Spongebob is just not conductive to creative writing.

What noises make up your Personal Life Soundtrack?

My son has a radar…

There is apparently a silent alarm that goes off somewhere in his little head when the following happens:

  • Mommy sits at the computer
  • Mommy has a deadline looming in the very near future
  • Mommy thinks he is asleep and runs a bath
  • Mommy kisses daddy

This alarm sounds and immediately spurs him into action…it is suddenly time to either have a walleyed hissy fit or climb something. If the alarm sounds after bedtime, it is his cue to come running out of his room like a banshee on cocaine, careening across the hardwood driving a popcorn popper machine with an Easter bucket on his head.

This is what I deal with every minute of every day…even “at work.”

…an amazing occurrence, considering that both are hidden at least 5 feet from the floor every night as a part of the bedtime ritual. The bedtime ritual that includes 4 hugs, 3 “I lub you’s”, and 2 kisses on each cheek (ours and his).

The Deadline Radar is the worst, especially considering that my “office” is in the living room. Working from home is great in theory, and to those who argue that I “am so lucky” are right in that I don’t have to pay $45 a day for childcare. However, have you ever tried to complete a college-level essay on dental procedures with a two-year-old IN the chair behind you, drawing on your neck with a Sharpie and playing Angry Birds on your ringing cell phone?

It’s no wonder I’m crazy…

Any of you work from home? What are your coping mechanisms?

There are a few things that They forgot to tell me about having a kid in school. Now that my oldest minion is in first grade, the school supply list is apparently an important thing…and quite specific. They also neglected to mention that as fun as school supply shopping sounds, it’s not for the faint of heart.

By the way, They are the same They who forgot to send home my owner’s manual when I left the hospital with my newborn minions…

A few days ago, I took my daughter shopping for school supplies…realizing too late that I’d arrived at Wal-Mart at 5pm on a Friday, and not just any Friday but the last one of the month a week after school supply lists were released.

So I was in Wally World with a few thousand other people on the same mission I was. I stood in a knot of people vying for the last Batman Backpack, thanking the powers that be for giving me a girl…there was an abundance of Hello Kitty.

She was worried about being the only child in class without all the “right” stuff. It reminded me of a conversation I’d had with her midway through Pre-K, where she informed me that she needed some Sketchers. I’d replied that she had tons of shoes in every style imaginable.

“But MOM,” she wailed, “do you WANT me to have no friends!?”

I was catapulted back in time to somewhere in junior high to the day I realized I was the only one in class without the socially-required shiny new Trapper Keeper. She got the Sketchers, and I’ve wondered since why that particular Tween-angst vice had to start so early.

Couldn’t they wait until junior high or even high school to start worrying about these things??

Thanks to my own sympathy in the situation, we spent two hours in Wal-Mart last week, searching out the perfect supplies. Who knew that something as simple as a spiral notebook would require ten minutes of pondering what might be coolest this year?

I spent a couple minutes explaining to some clueless woman that the “2 8CT Crayons” on her list meant “two boxes of crayons that have 8 in EACH box” and not some special new-age Crayola 2.0 that the stores must have sold out of.

I dodged 6 children under the age of 4 (Where is your mother!?), and one Yorkie (Seriously, in Wal-Mart?).

There’s a bruise on my hip from the third shopping-cart hit-and-run.

Half my paycheck disappeared across a pile of supplies that I can’t imagine are absolutely necessary. I mean, come on…zip-lock bags have been on the list since Pre-K, and my child has come home with something in a baggie maybe twice. 20 or so kids in class, the boxes all contain around 20 bags, so what are these teachers doing with the 400 zip-lock bags each year???

I also learned an important lesson. When it was all over, and I was scrubbing my hands with Germ-X in the parking lot and wishing I had bought some aspirin, I looked over at my daughter’s beaming face and realized something…it was totally worth it.

 

Originally printed (by me!!!) in the Briscoe County News.

www.briscoecountynewsonline.com