Posted in Family, Home, Personal, Relationships, Television

Gaslights & Stringlights

When my husband and I first started living together, I moved into his house. That was fine, but even after all my belongings were there, it still felt like his. I was more like a long-term guest with closet space. It took about 3 months for us to realize we needed a new place; something that was ours.
We found this fantastic 1938 shotgun-shack style house in the neighborhood we were hoping for and the price range we needed. He hung skateboards on the walls, I hung curtains on the windows. I was so enamored with the high ceilings, wood floors, plank walls, and sun room that I didn’t take into account how difficult having one bathroom would be for all us. That’s when it started happening.
At first I just thought it was one of the kids haphazardly throwing it on there, but after several weeks I began to questions things. The toilet paper roll. I’m not talking about someone being lazy and leaving the empty roll on the holder while setting the new roll on top. No, I’m talking about replacing the empty one and putting the new one on backwards – the wrong way. It’s usually just a minor pet peeve of mine. It takes me only seconds to correct it. At first I didn’t mind, but then it kept happening. Every 2 or 3 days I would sit down to find someone had changed it back. So I, in turn, would make it right. But then a couple of days later, it would be flowing under again.
After a few months of this toilet paper over/under game, I became certain it was being done to me on purpose. I knew the people I lived with were intelligent enough to know how to properly insert toilet paper. They were trying to make me crazy. (And it was working.)
One morning over coffee, I confided in my mother that I thought someone in the house was trying to gaslight me. She explained that in the film, the only person that believed Paula was Inspector Cameron. She told me that if I was Ingrid Bergman, she would be my Inspector. That year for Christmas, Mom sent me a box with a nightgown, a bag of microwave popcorn, and the 1944 Gaslight DVD. It was one of the best gifts I have ever received.
I’ve never spoken to my husband about the “Incredible Ongoing Toilet Paper Roll” situation. I’ve come to accept it. This has been happening for more than four years and will probably continue for the rest of our lives without a word being said.

gaslight
We spent about a year and half in our fantastic tiny house before Olive was born and we knew we needed bigger digs. I was going to miss the old-fashioned charm our house had, but was already in love with the modern amenities the new house had to offer. The dishwasher, garbage disposal, and automatic garage door opener were awesome, but the second bathroom was what sold me! I’ve found that the toilet-paper-flowing-under culprit likes to visit BOTH bathrooms regularly. Sometimes I fix it, sometimes I just sigh and let it go.

About a month ago, we moved Olive’s crib to our bedroom. It took some minor rearranging that resulted in moving the bed closer to the wall on my side to allow enough walkway to the bathroom on his side. You may remember my blog post, The Princess and the Sea  where I told the real-life fairy tale of redoing my bedroom. This was the final layout:

enchanting

I sleep near the window (we don’t have a specific side of the bed, he always takes the side that puts him between me and the door because he is a natural protector.) The stringlights behind my homemade headboard plug into the outlet on my side. The bed is now slightly off-center from the headboard and that only gives me a minor headache. I know this is a temporary situation. Now, here’s the thing…
…about every two days, I walk in my room to find that the bed has been moved about four inches to the left. I immediately start twitching. Four inches doesn’t seem like much, but that’s the difference between me walking on my side of the bed in a straight line or doing the awkward sideways shimmy. It also means I have to move the bed back to where it was so I can plug in the stringlights. (We use them in lieu of a nightlight.) Plus, my brain just can’t handle that much off-centeredness.
The SuperBed Shuffle has happened at least fifteen times (maybe more) without discussion. I move it where it belongs, some rascal moves it back.

We picked Momma up from the airport last night and on the way home I explained that I’m no longer convinced I’m being gaslighted. We all know I can be overly dramatic at times. (I’m not going to stop correcting the TP and bed placement, though.)
Tonight after dinner, I’m going to put on my Christmas gift nightgown, pop some popcorn, and we are all going to watch the Gaslight movie she sent me.
Afterwards, we probably all will marvel at Ingid Bergman’s beauty and laugh at my silliness until I go to my room to get in bed, only to find that it’s been moved four inches to the left.

momma

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Posted in Community, Culture, Home, Personal, Relationships, Television

The Pursuit of Happiness

The Presidential debates are tonight. For the third time in a row, I do not plan to watch. Like many other Americans humans, I’ve had enough of all of it. Nothing either candidate says or does will influence me at this point. There will be chatter about our Forefathers, our Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence. And being Independent is exactly what I plan on doing. (Maybe I’m referring to my vote, maybe I’m referring to my plans for tonight – take it as you like.)

“We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The pursuit of Happiness – a God given unalienable right.

While many people are busy arguing Gun Control vs The Right to Bear Arms, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” vs extreme vetting, telling your Facebook adversary to “shut up” vs The Freedom of Speech, Banning Sharia Law vs Freedom of Religion, media censorship vs Freedom of the Press, yada yada yada, they seem to be overlooking the pursuit of Happiness. I find it notable that the words Rights, Creator, Life, Liberty, and Happiness are all capitalized in the Declaration of Independence. (It’s not like Jefferson had the option to use “bold” or “italics” to emphasize importance.)

There are certainly things in life we MUST do that we aren’t exactly happy about (washing the dishes, for example) the idea is – happiness is a choice. You can be miserable that you’re getting dish-pan hands, touching the slobber on your Corelle Livingware Mosaic Red dinner plate after your 5 year-old son licked the ketchup clean off of it, or you can CHOOSE to be happy that your kitchen will be clean when you are done. You simply make a choice. Start with the little things. Find joy in the scent that follows you after you’ve brushed by a rosemary bush, delight in the hidden soundtrack on the new CD you bought, be pleased in finding the rogue onion ring that turned up in your order of fries. Once you’ve made the decision to find the upside, bright side, and silver linings in the simple things, finding it in the bigger picture becomes habit. Do you hear me?
Happiness will become a habit.

Donald Trump does not make me happy. Hillary Clinton does not make me happy. You know what does make me happy?
– Getting my butt kicked at wii-golf by my grandson.
– Playing patty-cake with Olive for the zillionth time today.
– Watching my 44 year-old husband and his friends have an “old man skate session” at the skate park.
– Taking a hot shower, shaving my legs, putting on my favorite nightgown, and getting in a bed with freshly laundered sheets whilst reading a novel from my favorite author.
– Literally anything that doesn’t have e-mail scandals, pussy grabbing, or is associated with Trump or Clinton.

These are some of the many things I will be doing during the debates tonight. Whether you watch the debates or not, that is your choice, but for the love of God, please practice your unalienable right to pursue Happiness.

happy

 

Posted in Home, Personal, Television

Ticked Off

When I was about 8 years old my older sister checked out a book from the school library. She read it, loved it, and insisted I read it too, so naturally, I did. It had witches, warlocks, black magic, and an eponymous clock somewhere inside the walls of the house where it eternally ticks, attempting to pull the world into magical alignment and eventually destroy it. This book wasn’t like anything else I had ever read. Sure, all the Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary books lined my shelf, the spines worn from having read them over and over, but this book was different.  It was called, “The House With A Clock In Its Walls.” I think about this book from time to time and how it affected me. In fact, I still check it out from the library and re-read it every 5 years or so just for kicks.

A few weeks ago I was awakened to the sounds of Baby Olive whimpering in her crib. I got up, fed her, and got back in bed. Usually I can go right back to sleep, but this time I was wide awake. The house was dark and quiet, even my husband was sleeping silently next to me, and it occurred to me that I heard a clock ticking somewhere…
…tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock…

I tried to drown out the sound with my thoughts, but I swear it got louder and louder…
…tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock…

Finally, unable to take it anymore, I threw the blanket off my legs and sat up in bed. I have a cute, little white alarm clock I keep on my nightstand. I was sure I had never heard it ticking before, but grabbed it anyway to power it down. Holding the clock to my ear like a seashell, I heard nothing. How strange. I crept down the hallway, hoping to not disturb Olive and made my way to the living room. I have an old-fashioned avocado green school house clock near my front door. It had to be the culprit! Do you remember sitting in class, taking a test in near pure silence, and all you could hear was the kid next to you deeply sighing with every click of the second-hand from the big clock on the wall? That is what this sounded like. I took it off the wall to remove the AA battery, but weirdly, the battery was dead. The clock was stuck at 11:13 and wasn’t making a sound. Frustrated, I got back in bed and turned on the tv, eventually falling asleep.

That Sunday, we got up and headed to church (AKA The Flea Market.) Within minutes of our arrival, I found a fantastic square shaped bright yellow plastic clock with a large round face. It was $2 and I had to have it. Later that evening, Jose put a battery in it and hung it above the sink in the kitchen. It was lovely. A few nights later, Baby Olive woke me up for her usual 3:00 am feeding. We did our thing and I got back in bed. After laying there for a few minutes I heard the sound again…
…tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock…

One thing I have learned in life is that of you try to ignore something, there more apparent it will become. I swear, with each passing second, the louder the click became. Exasperated, I once again crept down the hallway in search of the nefarious clock. I turned on the little light above the stove and heaved myself up, my bare feet tip-toeing across the counter so I could reach my yellow clock. With one foot in the sink and the other on the drainboard, I reached up to silence. The clock read 3:35 am, the second hand was moving, and not a peep was heard. The Flea Market clock was not the culprit. Ugghhhh. Not knowing what else it could be, I got back in bed, but not before turning on the tv. I fell asleep to an infomercial about a nearly indestructible copper pan and if you ordered in the next 15 minutes you would get the most amazing potato peeler ever created as a bonus gift! (Just pay additional shipping and handling.)

Last night, right on cue, Baby Olive woke up for her middle-of-the-night feeding. After getting her taken care of, I climbed back in bed and cuddled up next to my sleeping husband, me being the big spoon and him being the little spoon. Just as I got myself comfy, I heard it again…
…tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock…

Not knowing where any other clock in the house was, I grabbed my phone to light the way. I searched the whole house, even inspecting the digital clocks on the oven, microwave, and coffee pot to no avail. Where could this be coming from? After an exhaustive effort, I gave up, put my phone on the charger, got back in bed, and squeezed my eyes shut. Gradually, I began to hear it again and as the time passed, it got louder and louder…
…tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock…

Suddenly, it occurred to me that I was living the book! Was there a mysterious clock hidden somewhere in the walls of my house, counting down to the end of times? Was I a good witch tasked with the burden of finding the clock and destroying it before mankind ceases to exist? Or was I just going insane, hearing something that was never there in the first place? Maybe I was just an exhausted 41 year-old mother of an 8 month baby, but yet, the clock kept clicking…
…tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock…

I woke up earlier than usual this morning, just before 6:00 am. Luckily, last night me prepped the coffee so that today me could just press the start button. Once the sugar was added and stirred, I grabbed my mug and snuck into the master bathroom to survey my closet. I stood there trying to match a skirt to my new blouse (another awesome Flea Market find) and I heard it again!
…tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock…

Now, I know there are no clocks in my bathroom and I had the door closed. Looking around, I tried to figure out where it was coming from and there, right in front of my face was the answer I had been searching for for weeks! It turned out, the clock I was hearing wasn’t a clock at all and the tick-tock wasn’t a second hand ticking. There wasn’t a clock hidden in the walls of my house, the end of the world wasn’t nigh, and I wasn’t a good witch tasked with facing the forces of evil trying to end the world…

…It was a drip… From my shower… Little droplets of water coming down in perfect one second intervals, hitting the plastic top of my Oil of Olay body wash just right so that it sounded like a clock.
…drip-drop, drip-drop, drip-drop, drip-drop…

I am, in fact, an exhausted 41 year old mother of an 8 month baby that also happens to have a very active imagination. Plus, I need my shower looked at.

dali-clock-500x500

 

Posted in Culture, Music, Personal, Television

39 Days

It occurred to me today that I have 39 days left of being 39. I was born March 30, 1975, the Year of the Rabbit, and coincendtally, I was born on Easter Sunday. I started thinking about how cool it is that I was born in 1975. The Vietnam War ended and SNL began. We were the graduating class of 1993 along with ‘Beverly Hills 90210’ and ‘Saved by the Bell.’ We were latch-key kids with moms in power suits and shoulder pads. We wanted our MTV and we fought for our right to party (sort of.) If you read the birth certificate of our cabbage patch kids, you’d see they’ve been of legal drinking age for years. We grew up during the Cold War when the USSR was our enemy, Red Dawn was a possibility, and Ronald Reagan was a god among men. We perfected ridiculous hairstyles and ruined the ozone layer with our hairspray. When we were tweens, we were mall rats and roller skaters. Boys on a BMX bikes were “fine” and boys on skateboards were finer (nod to my dude.) When we were teens, we embraced new wave and shoe gaze. Much like The Jesus and Mary Chain, we tried so hard, we looked so good, and we lived our lives in black. (Okay, maybe we didn’t look THAT good, but we thought we did.) We got a little older and suddenly we were punk rock, stage diving and crowd surfing. (Maybe that was just me and my gang, whatever.) Generation X wore many hats and our ever changing personas (and styles) molded us into the eclectic yet confident people we are today. I’m ready to face my 40’s head-on, but happy to remember the glory days from bubble gum pop, to hair metal and heavy metal, and everything that is now played on the “classic” radio stations. And I’m not only content, but thrilled to be what Jane’s Addiction calls a “classic girl.”

IMG_3721

Posted in Culture, Family, Home, Personal, Relationships, Television

Demons Run

A trait I inherited from my father is niceness. I’m a gal that knows no strangers. I’ve never understood the thought process of being a jerk first, then becoming nice as you get to know someone. It has nothing to do with karma, though I do believe niceness comes back to you. It has nothing to do with my faith, though I am a true believer. It has nothing to do with my southern upbringing, though I do believe in southern hospitality. It’s not something that was consciously taught to me, though I do believe we are for the most part a product of our environment. That being said, seeing my Dad always nice, even in subtle ways instilled in me to be the same. Always the kind of guy that relished in positivity, didn’t like for other people to dislike him, certainly didn’t want his children mad at him or my mom for that matter. He was the life of the party and everyone rejoiced when he walked in the room. I remember wanting to be that person. He was a terrible disciplinarian, though. Usually leaving that task up to Mother, and in retrospect I know why. He never wanted to be the bad guy. My dad was a lover, not a fighter.

….but, when you pushed him over the edge, you better run. Fast. It took a lot to push him over that edge and by “a lot” I mean shit ton. My brother and sister will both agree that if Dad was mad at us, we had really, really fucked up. I was the same way with my children. After the smoke clears, they like to come back and make fun of me. It’s basically, “Aw shit, Mom let her crazy out and that sucks. At least we know it’ll be a long damn before we see the crazy again!”

In the same turn, when pushed over the edge by anyone or anything that isn’t your children, the wrath is more than any mere mortal can bear.

Image

I saw this on Tumblr yesterday and found myself nodding in agreement. Then I noticed this comment immediately underneath it:

“Demons run when a good man goes to war.”

I thought, at that very moment, truer words had never been spoken.
I had never read that before. I do realize this is from Dr. Who (after Googling it) so don’t chastise me for not being as big of a Whovian fan as you are… I don’t watch that much television. It’s just that this is so relateable.
I can take it. I can a lot. In fact, I can usually take a shit ton. I’m one of the nicest gals you’ll ever meet and chances are, you’ll never EVER meet my crazy. But don’t push me too far because much like my dad, when I’m over the edge,

even Demons run.

Posted in Music, Personal, Television

Ode to the Jingle

jingles

When Kodak started using “Pictures of You” by The Cure for their commercials, I wasn’t so much offended as I was annoyed. I love that song. I have a history and memories with that song. But now it’s ruined. I’m not overcome with nostalgia when that song pops up on my iPod now, I’m overcome with nausea. Why? Because, I want to think of days gone by in a good way when I hear it, not think of Kodak. Then came that laundry detergent commercial using “Pop Goes the World” by Men Without Hats and I was borderline angry. I mean, sure, I’m glad that these songs are getting exposure and if that means a whole new generation of people will have an appreciation for awesome music, then that’s a win, but really, what happened to advertising execs actually using their brains & education to come up with something original to sell a product? Personally, I think it’s a cop-out to use a song that will pull at the heart strings of your target demographic in order to sell more product. DO YOUR DAMN JOB and create an advert on your own without piggy-backing off of others successes!
…And on that note, I’ve created a little poem in honor of the jingle (an antiquated notion)

Ode to the Jingle

From artists like Lennon, Joplin, and Jason Mraz
to bands like the Stones, Erasure, and Yaz.
The Target commercial with a tune from the Go-Go’s
is insulting at best, and so full of no-no’s.
To the makers of the ad for auto insurance,
You must accept my hearty assurance,
That song is about cheating
Not dexterity fleeting.
So leave the Human League
on classic radio for repeating.
Sailor Jerry rum
is only ho-hum,
Using the Misfits,
is undeniably dumb.
I don’t blame the artists,
I don’t blame the band.
I blame the marketing jerks.
That took this all out of hand.
I don’t want to associate crappy products
with my favorite tunes.
So I offer a solid “FUCK YOU”
to those advertising buffoons.

Posted in Family, Home, Personal, Relationships, Television, Work

The Curious Case of Phone E Cates

Diary of a Mad Woman

Friday November 9, 2012 11:11pm (Make a Wish!)
I wish I knew where my phone was. I have retraced my steps since I remember having it last. We were at Spring Loaded Indoor Trampoline Park at the Texas Ski Ranch and I checked in on Yelp. I remember regretting that I hadn’t taken a picture of my delicious fish tacos from Wahoo’s. God, I’m so glad they opened a location here. Their tacos are the bees knees! Anyway, we had a great time, jumped around like Kris Kross, (except we didn’t have our clothes on backwards) ate tacos, and headed back to the casa. I’ve been home for about half an hour now, and spent 28 of those minutes searching for my phone. Her name is Phone E Cates (a play on Phoebe Cates, but all my dirty friends think it’s because it sounds like “fornicates.” Pervs.) All the trampolining got me sweaty. I’m going to jump in the shower and resume my search once I’m clean.

 

Friday 11:48 November 9, 2012
Still no sign of my phone. I have dumped the entire contents of my purse out on my bed. I found half a pack of gum, a ring I thought was lost, countless receipts, $2.21 in coins, an old wristband from I show I can’t remember, but no Phone E Cates. That totally sucks too, because I just thought of something brilliant that is less than 140 characters so it’s perfect Twitter material. (I’ll just add that to the Twitter-bank for future use.) I’m down, but not out. I shall resume the search tomorrow. Tonight I will rest up, (my legs are still wobbly from the trampoline) sleep like a baby without the constant interruption of my phone alerts, and wake up ready to take on the world. Good night.

 

Saturday 2:03 am November 10, 2012
Woke up and reached for Phone E Cates to check the time; she wasn’t there. Oh yeah, now I remember… I wandered into the kitchen to check the time on the microwave. It’s 2:03 am, or maybe not. Could be 2 minutes, 3 seconds left that nobody bothered to clear. Truth is, you can’t trust microwave time. Nobody ever bothers to set that shit correctly anymore. I am reminded that it drives my family crazy when I leave leftover minutes on the microwave instead of just clearing it out. I guess some people are OCD that way. I decide to go back to bed but now the wheels are spinning and I can’t stop thinking about microwaves. It was probably me that left the 2:03 when I popped that bag of kettle corn. Mmmmm, kettle corn. *yawn*

 

Saturday 10:00am November 10, 2012
Woke up tired. I had strange dreams of kettle corn popping up and down on trampolines with the sound of a microwave incessantly beeping in the background. Weird. I’m feeling a little shaky and the butterflies are swirling a bit in my belly. Maybe I should take the kayak out on the lake and just forget the world? That sounds relaxing and it is a gorgeous day outside. Bet we won’t have too many more of those. Yep, that sounds just like what the doctor ordered!

 

Saturday 11:11am November 10, 2012 (Make a Wish!)
I wish I had never gone out on the lake! The sun was shining, Lake Dunlap was calm, the water glistening like glass. There I was alone in my thoughts on the open water, feeling free and trapped at the same time. I wanted to take a picture for Instagram of the sereneness in front of me, I wanted to check in on Yelp, I wanted to tweet and Facebook, but alas, no phone. Is it possible for me to stay unplugged and just enjoy God’s gifts and the beauty in nature that surrounds me? That remains to be seen.

 

Saturday 1:44pm November 10, 2012
Just got home from HEB grocery store. I had a list with me, but wanted to call the kids to make sure I didn’t forget anything. I did. Turns out, we need garbage bags. Fuck. I refuse to leave the house the rest of the day. I can feel my emotions spiraling into a really dark place. I’m feeling a little lightheaded and maybe even a bit nauseous. Is it possible to suffer from phone withdrawals? I think I’m going to lie down for now.

 

Saturday 5:23pm November 10, 2012
Wowzers! Woke up in a cold sweat, head throbbing and really out of it. I couldn’t tell if it was the middle of the day or the middle of the night. I still feel loopy, but the kids were promised a fish fry and I won’t let them down! On the menu: catfish nuggets, fried shrimp, boiled shrimp, hush puppies, stuffed clams, steak fries, cole slaw, and homemade tarter. Yes! This should improve my outlook. Off the computer and on with the apron!

 

Saturday 10:05pm November 10, 2012
Dinner was a smashing success, my kitchen is destroyed, the house has a faint fishy smell, the kids are lazying around on the sofa, and I’m going to curl up in bed and watch Saturday Night Live. I can’t shake this feeling of being emotionally wrecked. I haven’t felt this roller coaster since I was pregnant with my youngest child, Mikayla 15 years ago. What’s happening to me?

 

Sunday 12:07am November 11, 2012
SNL wasn’t as funny as it usually is. Color me disappointed. I kept hearing noises outside my window and seeing strange shadows. I went out to the living room and asked the kids, but they all laughed at me. I think they are plotting against me. Mutiny in the cottage! I’ve walked circled around my house in the midnight air and can’t shake this feeling of imminent disaster. Every fiber of my being tells me something is amiss. I swear I can hear wolves howling from the other side of the lake. My heart won’t stop pounding and I feel like it’s 100 degrees in the house. When I went to adjust the thermostat the kids stopped me. Dallas calmly placed her hand over mine as I reached to turn the dial down to 64. “Mom, we are freezing! You’ve got to stop.” I found her calmness frightening.  That’s not like her at all. The other two are sharing a comforter on the couch staring blankly at the tv. They resemble zombies. I’m beginning to wonder if their bodies have been taken over. Paranoia has definitely set in.

 

Sunday 1:56am November 11, 2012
Unable to take it anymore, I went to Mikayla’s room and fetched her iPad. I must log in to my social networking sites. I turned it on and saw her photo gallery. It made me think of my photo gallery. Was there someone out there right now sifting through my pictures, invading my privacy? I felt guilty and put the iPad on my nightstand. That’s when I heard it again. Something is going on outside, I just know it! I’m really scared. Is there an alien invasion? Is someone stalking me? What are those shadows? I feel sick to my stomach and the term “uneasy” in quite the understatement. There is no way I’ll be able to sleep tonight. How will I go on like this?

 

Sunday 11:11am November 11, 2012
Woke up exhausted. Again. This constant feeling of paranoia is beginning to overwhelm me. The house is eerily quiet, I’m almost afraid to leave my bedroom. By now I will have heard the pitter-patter of my grandson running around on the laminate wood floors. The tv is usually blaring Disney channel and my kids fighting over cereal or pop tarts. There is nothing coming from the rest of my house, but quiet. It’s Sunday morning and football will kick-off soon. Maybe that will ease my nerves. Yes, I think a nice relaxing day in my pj’s watching football is just what I need. Going to check my fantasy league. Will resume the search for Phone E Cates tonight.

 

Sunday 11:44am November 11, 2012
All my fear, all my paranoia, all my feeling of uneasiness was not for nothing! It really IS the end of the world! I tried to log in to Yahoo Fantasy Football and their servers are down! That can only mean one thing: Armageddon. I ran into Mikayla’s room to check on her and she was gone. I went into Brandon’s room and he wasn’t there, either. The same thing with my daughter Dallas and my grandson Lyric. Thank God! They had all been taken in The Rapture. Now I am here all alone, without a phone. I ran outside to see if Earth was destroyed, to see if I was the last one standing in Riverbend Subdivision. (On any given Sunday morning you’ll find kids playing in the cul-de-sac, Dads working on lawns, and Moms sitting on porch rockers sipping iced tea (or whiskey.) The only person I saw was the weird lady that wears a nightgown when she walks her dog, no matter the time of day. Also, I’m pretty sure she purposely antagonizes my boxer, Bailey. All my fears have been substantiated. This is it. The End of Times as written in Revelations. I am preparing for “Red Dawn.” I found a set of camo’s in my closet from some long ago Halloween. I smeared make-up all over my face and packed a back pack. Guns, ammo, food, can opener, knives, toilet paper… I’m getting prepared for this. I just hope I can find other survivors and help repopulate the Earth. There is still so much to be done. This might be my last entry. Only God knows what’s in store for me now. To the person that finds this, I hope I died a hero. I hope I saved peoples lives, I hope I had more children, I hope that mankind pulled through. (Also, I hope you don’t find my phone. That shit is more private than this diary.)

 

Sunday 12:36pm November 11, 2011
It’s possible I overreacted to Yahoo’s servers being down. While in the midst of packing my Apocalypse Box, the kids walked through the door. Turns out, Dallas had taken them all out to eat and didn’t want to disturb me. Apparently, it’s not the End of Times just yet. What a relief! Now I’m tasked with explaining to the kids why I’m decked out in Battle Dress Uniform, grease paint across my face, and wielding a serrated hunting knife. “I’m going to a costume party later,” I tell them. I don’t think they bought it. I can tell they are talking about me. They’re laughing, too. They think I’ve finally lost my mind. Well, maybe I have. I want to call my best friend so bad, but I can’t. I really hate not having a phone.

 

Sunday 11:11pm (Make a Wish!) November 11, 2012
I wish that when I wake up tomorrow, this will all have been a terrible, no good, very bad dream. I wish that my phone will be sitting there on my nightstand like she usually is, ready to greet me with time, date, temperature, and notifications. Only I know this is not a dream. It is real and my phone is lost forever. Tomorrow after work, I will replace her. Good bye Phone E Cates. You were good to me and you will forever be missed.

 

Monday 10:49am November 12, 2012
It nearly took an Act of Congress to get my ass out of bed today. I’m so depressed, I don’t want to do anything, especially go to work. Yet, here I am, back at my desk, answering emails and voice-mails, wishing I was home in bed. Dallas just called to check on me. I guess all the kids are concerned about my physical and mental well being. Can you blame them? She asked if I was hungry and said she was going to stop by and bring me a surprise. I hope it’s a double patty melt with sauerkraut from Freddy’s Frozen Custard. My bestie Hannah says Freddy’s is the devil and she might be right.

 

Monday 12:01pm November 12, 2012
All is right in the world and order has been restored! My stomach ache is gone, the uneasy feeling I couldn’t shake has been shaken, and that 800 pound gorilla is no longer a monkey on my back. Turns out, the “surprise” she had for me came out of Lyric’s toy box and often goes by the name “Phone E Cates.” Apparently, Lyric had picked it up Friday and put it away in his toy box when he was getting ready for bed that night. I feel relief. Relief that I have my phone back, relief that it’s not the end of the world, relief that my kids no longer question my sanity, and relief that the paranoia & withdrawals are gone. The only thing that could make me feel any better than I already feel would be if someone brought me that patty melt from Freddy’s. Someone? Anyone?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Family, Home, Personal, Relationships, Television

Post Election Hangover

Monday night, the night before the Presidential Elections, I was consumed with pre-election coverage. I flipped back and forth between every news channel, completely absorbed. Fox News ran a segment regarding the blue laws in some states, including South Carolina (where my sister lives.) I was shocked to learn the liquor stores would not be selling in addition to bars and restaurants.

I decided to send the Sis a text to let her know to stock up supplies. She would either be celebrating or drowning her sorrows, either way, she needed some booze!

True to her word, my sister Kat embarked on a journey to purchase some booze from various places including bars, package stores, restaurants, and bars & grills. These are her results:

Juniors Sports Bar – serving
Local Liquor Store – liquor side closed, beer & wine side open
Ruby Tuesdays Restaurant – serving
Chiefs Bar & Grill – serving
My Sister Kat – slurring (all in the name of research!)

I felt like a jerk sending her on a seemingly fruitless quest, but she didn’t seem to mind at all! I guess I misunderstood the rules, the establishments don’t know/care about the rules, or the rules simply aren’t enforced in her area of South Carolina.

The lesson here? I can always count on my sister to come through for me, no matter how large or small the favor is!

Me & Kat – I don’t know what year this picture was taken, but my perm is almost as glorious as her hickey. Almost.

 

Posted in Culture, Personal, Television

The Evolution of Words in Politics

With the 2012 Presidential race at almost a dead heat and all the news organizations and social networking sites focusing on anything and everything race related, a comment deemed “offensive” will most certainly set the opinionists on either side of the aisle on fire. After the final debate on Monday, with the exception of the horses and bayonets comment, one of the most reported observations regarding the otherwise boring debate was in reference to Ann Coulter and her tweet,

“I highly approve of Romney’s decision to be kind and gentle to the retard.”

Almost immediately, I was seeing it being re-tweeted all over my feed. Some in agreement, some in disgust. In a lengthy CNN article by Emanuella Grinberg posted on their website today, many people who are related to or work with special needs people reacted unfavorably to the tweet. There are currently over 4600 comments and counting, mostly negative in response to Ann.
(Note: Grinberg states in her column, “Still, the comment was favorited 1,215 times and earned 2,993 re-tweets as of this writing, presumably by a number of people who didn’t find it offensive.” I think instead of being so presumptuous, she should have eliminated this from her post altogether or at least looked at the re-tweets, the majority of which were not from people who didn’t find it offensive, but mostly from people that quoted Coulter, and responded to it harshly.)

The truth of the matter is this: definitions of words evolve with the changing times. I think the episode of ‘South Park’ tackling the word “gay” and how it’s used in a different context in today’s society was brilliant and exactly the point I’m trying to make today. The words “retard” and “retarded” were once the preferred clinical and medical words used to describe people with intellectual disabilities.

It was 49 years ago yesterday that Bob Dylan recorded, “The Times, They are A-Changin” and those words couldn’t be truer today. The times are most certainly changing and with those changes comes different definitions of words. I’m not jumping to Coulter’s defense here, but I am saying that her, like most people (typically the younger crowd) use the word “retard” to describe someone they feel is stupid or acting stupid. But that’s no surprise here. You all already knew that, just like the people that got so hot about it in the first place. People are going to be offended by certain things, that’s just a simple fact, but to assume that it was meant to mean anything other than “stupid” is just, well… stupid.

Let’s jump to today’s other hotly debated use of words. When Sarah Palin took to Facebook to call out Obama regarding the way the administration handled the attack on the US Embassy in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 in a note titled, “Obama’s Shuck and Jive Ends With Benghazi Lies” people everywhere were pointing at her furiously calling her a ‘racist’ among other graphic and colorful things, including (ironically) ‘retarded!’ (At the time of this posting, her note has 5,600+ “likes”)
To be fair, had Palin used the term “shuck and jive” in say, the 1850’s in reference to African-Americans, namely slaves , yes, that would most certainly be considered racist, but the context used today simply means to avoid criticism by not using the whole truth and being manipulative. Someone of any race can be guilty of “shucking and jiving.” Once again, the definition of the word or phrase has changed with the times. I thought progressives wanted people to move forward?

How can we forget the Eva Longoria re-tweet heard ’round the world? Repubs were up in arms over a tweet originally posted by @imnotyuri saying,

“I have no idea why any woman/minority can vote for Romney. You have to be stupid to vote for such a racist/misogynistic twat.”

An article posted by the notoriously left-leaning Huffington Post in the ‘Latino Politics’ section written by Roque Planas has the full story including updates. (A very well-written column, imho.) Personally, I think it’s funny the title of the story eludes that the stir was caused by referring to Romney as racist and misogynistic instead of what people were really reacting to and that is the word “twat.” While I am no Eva Longoria fan, I think the ridicule she faced for re-tweeting a silly message from an irrelevant person using words she may not even know the definition of  is just as wrong as the backlash Palin and Coulter are facing. While the term “twat” was almost always exclusively used as a slang word for “vagina” in recent times it has come to reference an inept person.

So, this is what it has come to. I suppose it comes down to intent vs perception. People in this politically correct world being offended over words that once meant one thing and now mean something else. So much for sticks and stones…

Also, my vagina is seriously offended.

Posted in Family, Home, Personal, Television

Rude Awakening

Everybody remembers what they were doing that morning. This is my story:

Mikayla wasn’t in school yet and Brandon was scheduled for a blood transfusion in San Antonio, so I let everyone sleep in while I got Dallas off to school. I stopped to fill up the tank just as the news was breaking over the gas station radio. The clerk got a phone call to raise the price to $5/gallon. I was already sick to my stomach. Rushing home, I raced in the house and turned on the television just before the 2nd plane hit. There were all of these wild reports and so much speculation, each station reporting something different. My mom was in North Carolina visiting my sister and was supposed to fly back to Minnesota that morning. I was afraid to call, I didn’t want to hear any more bad news. I ran in my room, jumped on the bed and starting shaking Eric, “Baby, baby, wake up! We’re under attack!” He shot up in bed, confused, and reached for the mini-blinds, tearing them down in the process thinking our home was under attack. What a rude awakening. Everything after that was a blur. I called the school to see if I should pick up Dallas. The secretary hadn’t heard yet and I had to fill her in. My mom and sister got through to me on the phone line. Mom made me promise not to drive to San Antonio and I made her promise not to get on a plane. We were positive there were more attacks coming and we all said our good-byes in case they were our last. Me, Eric, and the kids all cuddled up and glued ourselves to the TV, horrified, terrified, crying, absorbing everything trying to understand. We never did and we never will.

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