Thursday, December 31, 2009

Just Me Thinks--Sports Injuries

Has anybody else wondered how we developed the very odd but well-established "good sportsmanship" rule of applauding when an injured player leaves a game? I do understand the basic idea of it, that we are applauding the player "giving it their all" and risking their health to play, that it is a form of well-wishing and respect. I know what it is supposed to mean.

BUT.

applause /əpl'ɔːz/ a demonstration of approval by clapping the hands together

So it just strikes me as a bit bizarre that we are applauding an injury. We are approving it? We are happy it happened? We support it? "You are hurt....YAYYYYYY!"

We are weird people. mk

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mental Health Days

This morning when I went to make sure Mark dragged his sorry carcass out of bed, he did his usual whine and whimper thing about being tired, I did my usual go-to-bed-earlier-then response, and then he started muttering that he really needed a mental health day.

My first instinct was to say no. Repeatedly. Even when he begged. I explained that he would get further behind in his homework, he would miss whatever the teacher was *teaching*, he would miss basketball practice and he's got a game tomorrow, and coach would likely not start him if he had missed the previous day's practice. And that it's two days until the weekend. Listed out all the logical reasons for him to get his butt out of bed and get in the damn shower already. And don't steal my towel!

Then I came downstairs and started to really think about it. Went over the pros and cons.

He's been incredibly busy this year in school. He's taking a full courseload of seven classes, three of which are honors. He is playing sports, and since before school started, he has had practice or games five days a week for soccer, and six days a week for basketball. The bus picks him up at 6:30 in the morning, and sometimes he doesn't get home until 7:30pm (or later...tonight's practice is from 7:15 to 8:45). He is working out--to the point of exhaustion--every day for at least 90 minutes and on alternate days (phys ed) 170 minutes. He gets maybe 7.5 hours of sleep a night, and his baseline need is at least 10.

His schedule today: bus picks him up at 6:30, drops him back at home at 2:30, going to watch the busline semifinals after Kira gets out of school, Kira's practice from 6-7 (where he will work out also, playing bball with the older sister and dad of one of Kira's friends), his practice from 7:15-8:45. And somewhere in there he has to do homework and eat dinner.

So yeah, is he run a bit ragged right now? Definitely. Would he benefit from a day where he could just catch up on sleep and homework? Oh yes.

But.

In two days it's the weekend. Besides practice, he has nothing scheduled. Oh yes, Kira has a game, and he usually likes to take that hour to work out in the fitness room at the Y with that older sister of Kira's friend.

So after he got out of the shower (and dammit, he did steal my towel), I laid it out for him. I gave him all of the pros and cons. I told him to seriously look at what effect it would have on his game tomorrow, where coach would likely not start him and also limit his playtime, since playtime was earned by performance in practice. I told him that a mental health day would not include video games, TV, or computer except for homework. He could use the day to catch up on sleep and homework, and he said he had a book he needed to read for English. And I told him that he could make the decision.

He went to school.

What do you think about teens these days and the idea of mental health days? mk

Monday, November 30, 2009

Kira Quote

On Black Friday, Mark picked up a present for his girlfriend. They've been going out for two months now! As everyone ooh-ed and aah-ed over his selection, Kira piped up with:

"Not to be mean or anything, but what if she DUMPS you before Christmas? Can I have it?"

Gotta love that girl. mk

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Run, Baby, Run

Last night I had to go to the high school to pick Mark up after basketball tryouts. Kira, of course, came with. As we were sitting out in the car waiting, Kira asked if she could go in the school to use the bathroom. I checked to make sure she knew where it was (it's a big building), and then said sure.

She got out of the car, and ran to the doors. Her hair (which comes about halfway down her back) was bouncing and flying and glorious, her arms were flailing in that little-girl-run way, and my heart just squeezed with love for her, and a tinge of sadness.

She's almost ten, you see, and growing up so quickly. How much longer will she run from place to place? How much longer before running isn't "cool"? Will she adopt the self-conscious walk that says she thinks everyone is watching her, and judging? How much longer until her running is totally efficient, arms held closer to her side, hands held in a clench? When will she stop grinning when she runs, for the joy of it?

She was running away, from me, to a place where the big kids, the young adults, go. Going out of the reach of my arms, where I could be there and hold her and keep her safe. Going towards independence and self-sufficiency.

When she reached the doors, she slowed to a walk and just looked so grown-up, my heart hurt again. She disappeared inside. I worried, a little. Would she find her way all right? Would she get lost, be scared? I waited.

Soon enough, but not soon enough, she reappeared at the door. Pushed it open, passed through. And ran back to me, hair flying, arms wild, and smiling. Oh, smiling. All was right in her world, she was filled with joy, and secure in being loved.

Run, baby, run. mk

Friday, November 13, 2009

To Write Love On Her Arms

Today is International To Write Love On Her Arms Day. TWLOHA is a non-profit movement to raise awareness and provide hope and support for people struggling with depression, anxiety, addiction, and self-injury.

Being one who fights depression and anxiety on a daily basis, and also one who has self-injured, this is an important issue for me.

Some of the salient points:

* 121 million people in the world struggle with depression; 18 million in the U.S.

* 2/3 of people who suffer with depression will not seek treatment

* an estimated 4% of the population self-injures as a way to cope with emotional pain

People who struggle with these issues are not seeking attention (most will try to hide their symptoms and scars), are not "emo" or crazy or manipulative. They are real people, feeling real pain, and coping the best way they know how.

If someone you know deals with any of these struggles (and at least one does, since you're reading my blog and therefore know me), then show that you care. Show that you support the movement, give hope to millions.

Write "Love" on your arms today. mk

Mark wrote Love on his arms. He's bringing a Sharpie to school so that he can get his friends to do it, too.

If even one person at the high school who has these issues sees this demonstration of support, maybe they will find a scrap of hope.
Hope is there.

Rescue is possible.

To Write Love On Her Arms

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

And I'm Not Even Drunk

* Mark just came in from playing basketball, and I swung around in my computer chair and said, "Hey....go out and grab the freezer from the big pizza."

* This was shortly after I noticed that I was scrolling down through names on an email I was forwarding, in time with the music that was playing ("Grey Street" by Dave Matthews)

* My daughter is playing "butler" to my son. Purely because she feels like it. She stands waiting attentively with her hands neatly crossed in front of her until he asks her to do something, then she says, "Yes, sir" very professionally and heads off to do it (right now she's getting him a drink). A bit ago she was getting his rebounds for him, and clapping when he made a basket. Why the hell don't I have a butler?

* Spoke too soon. She just cheerily asked me: "Do you want me to be your butler too? It's free!" But she doesn't do chores. I just received a glass of cider. Awesome!

* I absolutely love the song "Hunger For the Great Light" by Dave Matthews. I'm really getting into his music. How did I miss out on this for so long?

* My kids are very tolerant of my weirdness. They just go on their merry way.

* I've got a new therapist who is working with me on DBT (Dialectic Behavioural Therapy) for borderline personality disorder. I have a book, he gives me assignments to read certain parts (as well as other general assignments). I'm referring to it as my "Independent Study in Psychology." Makes me feel like I'm doing something cool. Almost like a normal person.

* Kira's fingers click rather quickly on her keyboard. I'm pretty darn impressed that she can type that well in fourth grade. I didn't learn to type until high school. And that was on a TYPEWRITER. I don't think my kids have ever even SEEN one of those. Wow. That just made me feel really, really, REALLY old.

* Mark is unimpressed. He is grounded. He has passed in several assignments late in science, and as a result he currently has an F average. We are 8 days into the new quarter. Per our homework contract, he is grounded from pretty much everything in the world until he pulls the average up to a C or better. Basketball tryouts are on Monday. In addition, he can't watch TV, and because I enjoy having my kids around me as part of a family, the TV is off for all of us. I really like seeing the different ways they choose to spend their time. Mark is reading, Kira is emailing a friend, and I'm, well, here. Not exactly a close family activity, but it beats staring glazedly at the TV.

* I cannot find my glue gun. I brought it over to Brenda's for Halloween, and I'm not sure if it got mixed in with some other of my stuff, or someone else's, but I can't find it. You never realize how much stuff you need to hot-glue until you can't find your glue gun. Even if prior to that it had been sitting on the stairs for months, doing nothing. Can't find it? You will find 500 things that desperately need it, NOW.

* I reeeeeeally need to go to bed early tonight. I finally broke the four-week-long headache I had, but broke it with Excedrin Migraine (and yes, I realize it is EXACTLY the same formula as Excedrin, in different packaging with different dosage instructions, and besides I got the generic, which just calls itself "Headache Relief."), which contains caffeine, and being very sensitive to caffeine, I then was unable to get more than 2.5 hours of sleep last night. So I am very tired, but at the same time kinda wired because I took the Excedrin again this morning just to wipe out the last vestiges of the headache.

* The combination of lack of sleep and caffeine hype is probably why I collapsed in hysterical laughter when I told Mark to get the freezer out of the big pizza. And he just patted me on the head and moved on.

K, think I'm gonna stop with the freeform blogging and go do something else. No idea what, though. Ah well, something will come up. mk

Monday, November 09, 2009

Are We All Insane?

Have you ever really put a lot of thought into what you would do if you found yourself in an insane situation? Something that is completely impossible according to everything you've known your entire life? By this I mean, what do you really, truly, think you would do if in the course of your everyday existence, you saw something that just couldn't be real. Let's say, you woke up and your house was full of little people, about five inches tall. These people talked to you, in rational sentences. Would you immediately tell someone? Or would you try to figure out if this was real, or a hallucination. Would you worry about what people would say or do if it *was* a hallucination? What would you think? What would you *feel*?

If you haven't seen the movie A Beautiful Mind, stop reading here. I hate giving things away, so here's your chance not to have it spoiled for you.

Can you imagine being John Nash? Can you imagine having someone who had been an important part of your life, for YEARS, your *best friend*, be nothing but a hallucination? It's one thing to be faced with something you *know* can't be real, something that could easily be classified as a delusion, such as hearing inanimate objects talk to you, or seeing pterodactyls flying around the park. It's another when you can't trust any of your senses, when each and every one of them could be betraying you at any moment, and you wouldn't know.

Really take some time to think about this. Set several minutes aside to do it.

Have you ever experienced anything that you wonder about, whether it's real? What did you do? Did you ignore it, and hope it went away? Did you tell someone? Or did you just keep it quiet, pretend it didn't happen. lalalalala, I'm not listening, if I cover my eyes you can't see me.

Can you always tell whether something really happened? Have you ever had a dream that was so realistic that you somehow absorbed it into your memories and mixed it in with your true history?

There's no real point to this post, no clear ending. Just something I've been pondering, as I've been reading dozens of Stephen King short stories. Just finished one about a guy who hallucinated a whole other person, who was actually himself. Bizarre stuff. That can happen. Maybe even to me. Or you. mk

Sunday, November 01, 2009

I Love You People

Yep. I do. I love you all. I love my family, I love my blog, I love EVERYTHING.....

and I have been into the Smirnoff.

Tomorrow is a full moon, Halloween was yesterday, and all is right with the world. Well, except my kids having a horrible allergic reaction to the makeup that they wore last night (and Kira wore the night before, too, so her face is all swollen up like the Stay-Puf marshmallow man). Neither one of them wants to go to school looking the way they do. I don't blame them. Especially Kira. She is *bad.* I hope it goes away. :(

My Seasonal Affective Disorder is going to get a really great boost now that we've set the clocks back and sunset is somewhere in the neighborhood of 4:30 in the afternoon (and earlier every day). Awesomeness. Like I need that crap. But my Wellbutrin is on its last renewal, so when I call the office to have them renew it, I'm going to ask if they can double-dose it. Or at least, in my vodkaconfidence, I am going to. Likely, I'll just meekly accept the current dose and continue to feel like crap until December when they might realize that I SHOULD have increased the damn dosage in October.

Tomorrow there is NOT a new episode of House. I freakin' love that show. I do not want to watch baseball. I do not want to watch Dancing With The Stars (get your own freakin' time slot, losers). I want HOUSE. grrrrrr.

When I went out to my car to find my camera to upload the pictures from last night (which I'm not posting yet because I need to edit them and honestly, am not in the best frame of mind to write a well-written post about how awesome the evening was), I had the most amazing idea. Can't remember it now, but it was amazing. Trust me.

Facebook is sucking me in with all of these applications. Now I am a farmer (on TWO different farms), and I am stranded on a desert island. That has a store on it. And where I can island-hop. Honestly, if I can hop from island to island, am I really still stranded? And why would I go back to my island when Michelle and Wendy have MUCH better islands than I do?

I want chocolate, I don't have any in the house, and it is irritating me. I am making do with a "Low Fat" Quaker Chewy oatmeal raisin bar. 90 calories. That's because it's two freakin' bites, people.

I have a new therapist. His name is John and he specializes in DBT, which is a treatment for people with borderline personality disorder. Which apparently my most recent therapist JUST realized I really struggle with. After TWO FUCKING YEARS. She was all, "I think you might be dealing with BPD." I'm like: "Yeahhhhhhh????" (like, this is not news, lady) Yes, I have great faith in the mental health community. Anyway, John seems really good so far, especially since he makes me really nervous and he won't let me side-step questions. He thinks within the next year I will have mastered several skills that will greatly help. Within a year! That's amazing considering how long I have been in therapy, to think that I will have measurable results in such a short time.

My buzz seems to be leveling out. Where's my vodka?

There are 54 days left until Christmas. One of my Facebook friends has a countdown on her profile page. eek! I can't think of what to get for Mark. He's no help. He wants an iPod touch (stand in line, buddy) or a "real" cellphone (right now he has a TracFone and he doesn't want to spend the money on additional minutes....and he thinks I do?). And he can't think of anything else. Great. Christmas Day, he'll open new socks and gift cards for TracFone minutes.

I just put something in my mouth without being entirely certain what it was. I *thought* it was a crumb from my oatmeal raisin bar that somehow dropped on my desk, but I didn't know for sure. Fortunately, that's what it turned out to me. wow. just, wow.

I want to throw a party. At the same time, this idea scares the living hell out of me. What if no one comes? What if they all come and they're bored out of their minds and they never want to have anything to do with me ever again? How do you throw a party, anyway? I know all these people I want to invite, but most of them have spouses or significant others, and, um, I don't? In fact, do I even HAVE any single friends anymore? Wow. Well, Peter, and Kimmie, but they both live in the Boston area. That's not helpful.

My vacuum cleaner has been in my living room for weeks. I have not vacuumed. It's just hanging out there.

Did I mention I love you all?

What do *I* want for Christmas? Kira was asking me awhile ago, and I was having a hard time coming up with things to tell her. Partly because a lot of what I want isn't exactly exciting ("hey, darling, can you give me some new ceiling panels for the dining room? That would be lovely"). Okay, mostly because what I want isn't exciting. Or affordable for a nine-year-old.

Oh fuck. She's got a birthday coming up. What day is it???? It's on a Wednesday. Dang, I need to think of a party. And a present.

Her closet is a friggin hell-hole. She never actually puts her clothes away when I ask her. She just throws them in there, or hides them. Great. And I hear a lot of "all you have to do is" put them away for her and get her all fixed up to start fresh. Yeah. If it was that easy. I'm good if I friggin' SHOWER every day.

I've been trying a new thing of dressing up nicely. I try not to wear jeans. Except on days when I'm going to be doing heavy work that would beat hell out of nice clothes. It's kind of nice. I missed looking good most days. Except I keep getting comments like "Why are you all dressed up?" which just tells me how far I have fallen. Cripe.

I did not wear a costume to the Halloween Carnival. I wore nice black pants and a purple top with silver rings at the neckline and flats. People asked why I didn't dress up and I would either indicate my outfit and say "I did dress up" or "I'm a psychopath. They look like everyone else."

How long is this entry, anyway? Oh well. I'm not done yet.

Just got a text from my very dear friend Shelly. She said "I hate sundays." I said "I'm buzzed. I love sundays. I love you. I love everything." Am waiting for reply.

I need to get laid. I'm sorry, Mom-and-Dad-who-occasionally-read-my-blog, but it's true. It has been entirely too long. Or not long enough. Or, oh shit, someone stop me from blathering penis jokes. Really. Oh my fucking god. Oh wait, that's blasphemy. (and I had to type that 9 times before I spelled it right). hahahhahahahhahahah Oh fuck. good vodka.

Two drinks. I am such a cheap drunk. Or very liberal with the vodka. Your choice.

I wonder how comfortable it would be if I continued to sit here cross-legged in my office chair, with the slide-out keyboard tray out, with my head down on the desk. I bet I could fall asleep. I bet I would NOT be happy when I woke up.

I miss my friend Peter. He was up a couple of weeks ago, made me dinner, the next day we went to Fort Knox....I want him to come back up soon. C' mon Peter.....

Just realized I do, in fact, have chocolate. Had s'mores makings in a bag that has been floating around the kitchen, to camp, back to the kitchen, for quite a while. Snagged a partially eaten Hershey bar from earlier this week. Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

chocolate

Read this fabulous article in Cosmopolitan (boy those women are sluts...why do I want a subscription so badly then?) about how women are dying from drinking, because they are drinking too much too fast and then going to sleep and never waking up. Awesome. Apparently women who drink very rarely are more susceptible to this than regular drinkers, and it's most particularly dangerous to those who drink to the point of throwing up. So I am apparently not at risk here. I'm just rather buzzed, and will sleep well. But the article definitely made an impression.

(and wow, when I googled cosmopolitan to link to that article, the 3rd result was a recipe FOR a Cosmopolitan. Don't drink it!)

oh well. couldn't find a link. Trust me, drink slowly and if you're too wasted, do NOT be alone.

I have "How Much Is That Doggie In The Window" in my head. Wow.

K people. I think I have inflicted enough on you for awhile. Gonna sign off, continue texting with Shelly (dang those little buttons are getting slippery) and check in with you later. xoxox mk

Halloween Carnival 2009

I have pictures! From the Halloween Carnival, which Kira did NOT win a prize at (she was robbed, I tell you! ROBBED!) Several people agreed that she was definitely "scarier" than the girl in her age category who won scariest, but since I really don't care, I had such an incredible rush just looking at the results of nearly two hours of makeup time.....here we go!

In case you can't figure it out (and if you can't, what kind of Halloween person are you? Seriously....) Kira went as a dead prom queen. What's the saying? The best prom queen is a dead prom queen....

Doesn't she look pretty?

Yeah, I would NOT want to be telling her she didn't win....

She even had "scar" tattoos going up her wrists and on her upper arm...she loved them. I didn't tell her what the wrist tattoos meant.

Aren't my children gorgeous? Kira's even got the model poses down.... :)Mark took about 30 seconds to plan out his costume for the evening....and then when he got there, he took off the mask and someone painted his face like a basketball. :)

We had a really good time at the Carnival, of course. The kids went through the haunted house (Mark gloated that it wasn't as scary as his class did last year...which he would have claimed even if they had Hannibal Lecter in there giving cooking lessons), several of Mark's friends also came (and he went to a dance afterwards in the next town over), Kira ran around with her friends happily shrieking. It was great. Very good lead-in to THE BIG DAY. mk

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Musing

Anybody ever think about how what a perfect time Halloween is to go on a mass-murdering spree? Everyone's acting a bit weird, nobody gets suspicious when they see someone covered in blood or carrying a large sharp object....

Hey! Come to the Halloween Carnival tonight! I'll be there! Bwahahahahaaaaa.... mk

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

SAD vs Scary

Everyone knows that Halloween is my favorite holiday. I LOVE all the spooky, scary stuff, and the costumes and decorations and haunted houses and events and everything. It is awesome. AWESOME.

Most of you also know that I struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder. Every year at about the end of September I start really showing it. I get very tired, prone to major depressive episodes, and just generally lacking in energy and drive. I can't get enough sleep, I have a constant craving for carbs, whether I'm actually hungry or not. It's not pleasant.

So the two things battle each other each year. In an ideal (for me) world, I would do up the decorations at my house at the beginning of October, do the jack-o-lantern carving with the kids, maybe throw a party or two. And of course, there would be The Big Night, which would just be joyous and exciting.

Instead, what usually happens is that I keep intending to get out all the decorations, plan to get them set up, but maybe the week before I might actually do something (this year the big activity was slapping some new window clings of bloody hands on the sliding glass door. (that link isn't to a picture of mine....but I have the same kind, and she's got a better view out the window.) I do the costume thing, yes. This year Kira will be a dead prom queen. I'll do the trick-or-treating, but I'm tired the whole time, and I'm just going through the motions.

My psychiatric nurse had been talking to me about increasing my Wellbutrin to combat the Seasonal Affective. We even scheduled a meeting for September to look at doing it then, getting ahead of it. And what ended up happening was that she decided that I seemed to be doing okay right then and we'd get together again in December and take a look. Of course, we met on September 18th. My SAD doesn't get going until Octoberish. Of COURSE I was still doing okay. We were supposed to be trying to get AHEAD OF IT.

Naturally I didn't advocate for myself and insist on doing it, or even meeting sooner than December, when I'll be in full grip. And sure enough, last week I had a blaster of a depressive episode, one of the worst I've had recently. Can't help but wonder if I had doubled up on my Wellbutrin, if I could have avoided that hell.

You'd think the doctors would figure out that my depression is pretty powerful. I'm on THREE DIFFERENT ANTIDEPRESSANTS, plus an antianxiety that's take-as-needed. Hello? There's a problem.

Anyway. Halloween is Saturday. Carnival is Friday. Kira's costume is not completed, and all I had to do for it this year is get her a prom dress from Goodwill (did that, but it needs to be taken in to fit) and make a sash. Then blood that stuff up.

We're doing the Haunted Pirate Ship again this year. I'm pretty excited about that, but at the same time I'm pushing off getting my ass up to the third floor and bringing down the boxes. The thought is just so exhausting. But I'll get it done, and I'll have an EXCELLENT time Halloween night being scary.

Just don't expect much until then. mk

Friday, October 23, 2009

There's Like, Protein & Stuff, Right?

Every year around this time, we get a major bug infestation. They're hibernating, and my light-colored, older house is perfect for their needs. We don't rush for the Raid or anything, in fact, every time I see a dozen or so crawling across the ceiling, or landing on a lamp, or sometimes even me, I smile.

We get ladybugs.

The kids and I love ladybugs. They're the one bug that doesn't freak any of us out. (Kira, especially, spazzes about pretty much anything else...fly, moth, heaven forbid a stinging something) We let the ladybugs do whatever they want, and occasionally Kira will decide to make one a pet. Today after the kids got home, we ran to Goodwill to look for pirate shirts, and I found a little ladybug step-stone, and of course, in light of our current guests, I bought it. 99 cents well spent.

So tonight, I'm making dinner (American chop suey), and get the water all boiling. Go to add the macaroni, and suddenly there's this dark little thing floating in the water. Quick as I can, I scoop it up with the ladle, get it over to the sink to drain off the water, and sure enough, it's a ladybug. I boiled a ladybug. I felt horrible. (immediately thought: must! blog! I boiled a ladybug! I boiled a ladybug! That was very nearly the title.)

Now, as I continued to make dinner, several minutes later it occured to me that I was cooking macaroni in water that had contained a dead bug. Which can't be particulary hygenic. Somehow in my mind I justified it with vague thoughts of the ten-second rule (and really, it was way less than that before I got that sucker scooped out), along with the sanitary aspects of boiling water (kills germs, right?). Then we also had the what-the-kids-don't-know-won't-hurt-them idea, and don't some people eat bugs as a regular part of their diet? And, like, protein & stuff, right? Plus, all the time it would take to start that part over, and the waste of the macaroni, etc etc. That battled it right out with the portion of my brain that had only one response: ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

Of course, I am typing this having just finished my second helping. So guess which part won.

I have not told the kids any of this. My prediction would be: Mark wouldn't really care. And Kira would be totally grossed out, and probably refuse to eat any more (and naturally, because this is what I do when there is pasta involved, I made a ginormous amount of this stuff. we will be eating it for days).

And yet. Being me, I am very very tempted to find out if my predictions are correct. Very. tempted. mk

Friday, September 25, 2009

An Email I Sent Recently (really)

(And yes, to the guy.)

Ways To Let a Girl Know You've Started Seeing Someone, in order of courtesy:

1) in person
2) by phone
3) email
4) text
5) ignoring her and letting her discover it for herself a week later by seeing a picture on Facebook of you kissing another girl

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Slim Goodbody Ruffled My Hair

One of Kira's soccer coaches is Slim Goodbody. Yes. The real, actual Slim Goodbody. (If you don't remember who Slim Goodbody is, check out the links. If you still don't remember, or never liked him, none of the rest of this is going to be nearly as interesting for you. Also, you are dead to me.)

Growing up, I LOVED Slim Goodbody. He was so cool. I like knowing how things work, and to know how the insides of us worked, that was totally awesome. Yeah, it was a bit weird seeing him in the suit, but I so got past it.

I've kinda known in the back of my mind that Slim Goodbody lived around this area, but it wasn't until I got an email from "Coach John", with a return email address at slimgoodbody.com, that I realized that SLIM GOODBODY was one of Kira's coaches!!!!! I seriously geeked out. I was that excited.

Since then I've kinda just watched him from across the field, while my friend Michelle teases me about "my hero." I wanted to talk to him, but couldn't get it together enough to do it.

Until tonight!

During the soccer game, Michelle's older daughter mentioned how she wanted to go look at his hand. Apparently, this summer, John cut off the tip of one finger and part of another, reaching into his lawnmower to clear a clump of grass WHILE IT WAS STILL GOING. (I asked later, "And you did that because...?" and he replied: "I'm an idiot.")

So anyway, being the science geek that I am, and also the Goodbody fan, I took her over to see him, introduced myself (by name and by reference as Kira's mom), and told him she wanted to see his hand. We checked it out, it's healing quite nicely, he says it feels like he has balloons attached to the tips of his fingers. Quite a crowd of the kids gathered to check it out, too. He was awesome about explaining everything to them (he does have a LOT of experience), and it was great for them to have a chance to check out something like this without being scared or worried about asking questions.

After he was done and the kids wandered away, I got my guts up and told him that when I found out that one of Kira's coaches was Slim Goodbody, I was very excited. He was so pleased and touched that I said so. I explained that I just thought he was so cool when I was growing up. He had a big smile and gave me a one-armed hug around my shoulders and ruffled my hair. I felt about six. It was pretty damn awesome, really. I think I giggled.

He said he'd have to bring me something next time, but that may or may not happen, and I don't really care. I'm just thrilled that I got to meet someone like that, who had such a strong positive impact on my childhood. He was also *very* complimentary about Kira and her soccer skills, and how she had been held up to the team as an example of playing her position perfectly in the game tonight. Which of course earned him even bigger points with me, praising my child. :)

SLIM GOODBODY, y'all! Man, now if I can just meet Bill Nye the Science Guy....and Mr. Wizard (yes, I know he died)...and holy cow the Mythbusters! I swear, if I had them all in the same room, I would just freak out. sigh. I am such a mega-geek. mk

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah)

Mark went to his first high school dance last night. It was a "Welcome Back" dance. He was pretty psyched about it, was looking forward to getting to see his friends, asking a few girls to dance, just generally jumping in to the whole high school social scene.

Apparently the dance did not live up to his expectations. There was ONE slow song. ONE. And then he was too intimidated to ask the girl he kinda had an eye on, to dance.

He did do the fast dancing, I guess. He said, "Kinda." Whatever that means in teenspeak.

Well, he'll have another chance next month....it will be HOMECOMING. Seriously, eek. I am freaking that my son (MY SON!!!) is doing all this high school stuff that I clearly remember doing. Bizarre. Or, as Chic would say: YOWSAH, YOWSAH, YOWSAH. mk

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Back When *I* Was In High School....

* They had a straight schedule, five days a week. 42 minute classes, 3 minutes for passing. It changed at the semester. They didn't have all of this color-coded alternating-days, different-schedule-for-each-color, try-to-remember-what-damn-classes-you-have-today crap. And our classes weren't 80 minutes long. One of my high school teachers said that kids maxed out at about 20 minutes of continuous information. That left 22 minutes of goof-off time in his class each day. It was awesome. And you know what? We all learned a lot in his class. This was the same teacher who gave me pointers on how to forge his signature to get me & my friends out of study hall so we could go hang out in his empty classroom. We called it "Advanced Hall-Wandering."

* Each sport did not have its own school jacket that you had to purchase. There was one damn jacket, you bought one of them, and when you "lettered" in a sport, you added the letter and all other associated pins, etc to your jacket. You didn't get a jacket for soccer, another one for basketball, another one for track....each year. At $70 a pop. (and in a MAJOR geek-note...I "lettered" in Academics....did you even know that was possible?)

* Everyone stayed at school all day. There were no early-release programs for juniors and seniors. There was no taking-off during lunch (although kids did sneak off and head over to the corner grocery store). There was a Senior Skip Day (not school-sanctioned, of course), but other than that, your ass stayed at school. Unless you were one of those troublemaker-types.

* Parents were not asked to attend a several-hour long orientation program the first day of school, so that they could meet (only half of) their student's teachers, and "get a feel for a day in the life of their high schooler." Attendance at this is required for the students. So their first day goes from 7:45-2:15, and then again from 5:30-7:50. Long friggin' first day. Wonder if they'll squeeze a soccer practice in there, too?

* There was no "Wellness Room" available to the students, "designed to reduce stress and enhance relaxation." We didn't have these activities available: Massage, Reiki, Reflexology, Jin Shin Jyutsu, Zero Balancing, and Craniosacral Therapy. If you were stressed out, you sucked it up. Try a sport.

* There was not a "Café" where kids got their lunch. It was a cafeteria. That offered one choice for lunch. Eventually they also had what they referred to as a "salad bar." There sure as hell was not a Subway franchise in there. Or a coffee machine. Kids weren't supposed to drink coffee, don't you know it stunts your growth? (a big concern for my 6-foot-tall freshman, but you get the point) I understand that when the bus picks you up at six-freakin-thirty in the morning, you might need a little somethin', but really? That's when you grab a travel mug and sneak some coffee from your parents when they're not looking. Unless they don't drink coffee. Then you were just screwed.

Things shure have changed since Ah was a youngster....you kids have it so easy these days! (ok, not with the scheduling...that's just insane). And we had to WALK to school! Every day! Ten miles! In waist-deep snow! Uphill! Both ways! And we liked it!

Yeah, well, maybe not. mk

Friday, August 21, 2009

Anyone Else Think About This Stuff?

So, I'm on the boat with Brenda last weekend (yet another thing I should blog about...dang it, the list is getting longer and I just keep not blogging...crap. anyway), and I was snapping green beans in a colander I was holding in my lap. Feeling pretty country. And for some reason my mind traveled along in the bizarre little directions that it does and I got thinking about dropping things (it gets a little dropsy in the galley), and how when I drop things into my lap I clap my legs together to (try to) catch it.

So then I thought, as I ALWAYS do at that point, about The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and when Huck was at the old woman's house, and he was cross-dressed and pretending to be Sarah Mary Williams and the old woman tossed something at him and he caught it in his lap by clapping his legs together. And she followed up after a bit by saying:

"And, mind you, when a girl tries to catch anything in her lap she throws her knees apart; she don't clap them together, the way you did when you catched the lump of lead"

Which means that I am apparently a boy.

So, I happened to verbalize this out loud to Brenda, and weirdly, it turns out that she always thinks EXACTLY THE SAME THING when she catches things in her lap. And we marveled at the similar vein of our brains, and wondered how many *other* people do this.

Do you have weird associations like that, that you always think about at certain times? Another one I have is every time I change the sheets on my bed. I think about some game show I saw a million years ago, where a woman versus a man were racing to make up a bed, and the man actually beat the woman, because she was trying to make the bed look nice and he was just jamming the sheets and pillowcases on, and since neatness didn't count in the contest, he won. And I think about this EVERY TIME. And then don't think about it at all....until the very next time I change the sheets. I know, it's weird.

Also weird is why I thought this would turn out to be an interesting post. It was way more interesting when Brenda and I were talking about it in the galley, but that may have also had something to do with the woodstove cranking at over 550 degrees in a small enclosed space and our resulting brain-friedness.

So, peeps, share some weirdness with me. mk

Saturday, August 01, 2009

20

Tonight, in a little less than an hour, I am attending my 20th high school class reunion. eek.

I always swore up and down and sideways that I would NEVER go to a reunion. EVER. No way. Did I mention NEVER?

So here I go.

wtf?

wish me luck! mk

************
update: It was awesome. I saw so many people I hadn't realized I had missed. There was a LOT of laughing, hugging, shrieking of "oh my GOD! you look GREAT!", more laughing...just awesome. I made it through the entire four-hour reunion AND the afterparty, got home somewhere around 1:00.

So glad I went. And interestingly, I think that going may possibly have exorcised a few demons, some of the ones that have kept me feeling inadequate and miserable, like the unpopular geeky kid I was in high school.

Most everyone still looked just like themselves (you know how sometimes that changes?). Two notable exceptions were the quiet art/skater guy who now looks vaguely like a Sasquatch with a massive beard and heavy-framed glasses...once you knew who it was you could see him in there, but no way was he immediately recognizable. The other was the kid who was heavily-bearded starting in middle school with a thick unmanageable mop of hair, who is now bald & clean-shaven. I stared at him off and on all night and never did reconcile him with my mental picture.

A good time was had by all. Tons of pictures were taken (none with my camera), and I'm sure they'll start popping up on Facebook starting any time now.

So. glad. I. went. mk

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mark's Summer

Mark is having a very busy summer. On the 10th he left for a two-week camping trip in New York with his friend Max & Max's dad. They went to Fish Creek Pond, and apparently had a total blast. In addition to two weeks in a tent, fishing and boating and kayaking, the boys also played basketball and soccer and volleyball, biked and started a running program (6 miles a day). Max is awesome that way, he really pushes Mark on his athletics. Max is 16 and going into his junior year, so he also knows the ropes at the high school, which is totally awesome for Mark. Love Max.

They were supposed to come home on the 24th, arriving at about 2:30pm, and indeed started out, but had a breakdown in Vermont, in the TINY little town of Cabot, population about 1200. Mark said the people were very friendly, but it creeped him out a little bit that the entire town seemed to know all about them in about 15 minutes. All day long, every person they saw opened with "oh, you must be the guys with the boat who broke down." Everyone was super-nice to them, though.

After spending several hours waiting to find out what was wrong with the truck, they found out that it wasn't going to be able to be fixed until Monday. Mark called with that information, and I made ready to drive 5 hours to go pick him up. Then he called back and said never mind, they were going to rent a car and come home that way. THEN he called and said that they couldn't do that, the rental places were closed (the nearest one was about an hour away from them also), and that Max's sister was coming to get them. Which ended up being the final plan.

They were expecting to get home about 2am on Saturday, but this-and-that delays made it so he rolled in at 4am. I hadn't slept at all, waiting up for him, so Saturday as a whole was pretty much a blur. He insisted he wasn't tired, and wouldn't even try to get a couple of hours' sleep before his dad picked him up for the day.

Then, at 4pm on Saturday, he went to his cousins' house for a late graduation party. There was a HUGE food fight (planned ahead of time), and everyone got totally disgusting. Kim (the twins' mom) literally hosed everyone down afterwards. I saw the footage (in addition to some video, there were about 1000 photos taken, so it was all captured), and it was really really gross. And looked like a blast. Mark was really happy to be able to hang out with his friends again, they all get along so wonderfully, and I know he's going to miss that when they all drift apart come fall.

I picked him up at 8, we stopped in to say hi to my parents and some out-of-state company (who hadn't seen Mark in several years), and then we got back to the house and I made him go right to bed. Not much argument though.

Sunday morning, up bright and early to pack him up and take him to UMaine for basketball camp! That was really weird, driving Mark and his gear to my alma mater, and bringing him to a dorm and leaving him. A definite taste of bringing him to college. eek I met his roommate for the week, who seemed really nice and someone who would get along famously with Mark. They're going to be busy this week! Daily schedule:

8:00am—Breakfast
8:30 am—Free play in field house
9:00 am —Attendance / Stretching
9:15 am—Team Improvement Drills/Team Practice
9:40 am — Games / Competitions
10:30 am— Games / Competitions
11:30 am —Lunch
1:00 pm —Recreation Time
1:45 pm — Instructional Skill Stations
2:55 pm — Games / Competitions
3:45 pm — Games / Competitions
4:35 pm — Game situations instruction—lecture
5:00 pm — Dinner
6:45 pm — Team competitions —1 on 1/3 on 3
7:25 pm— Games / Competitions
8:15 pm — Games / Competitions
9:05 pm — Commuter pick-up /Return to dorms

Mark is gonna looooooooove it. He's all about the basketball. Got a text from him that night (he got a TracFone for his birthday in June):

* This camp rocks, my team kicks ass, and im having da BEST time!!!

So I guess that's going well. :D

I go pick him up on Thursday, at which time our friends from Florida will be here (they stay with my parents), so we'll be cramming in a lot of fun activities with them.

Then, holy cow, Mark will actually have about a week of no scheduled stuff.

August 13th he has a physical, which will allow him to play sports in high school.

The 14th he will be leaving for the weekend to hike Katahdin with X's in-laws. He did that last year, too, and had a fabulous time, although he was then VERY sore for several days. He's not allowed to be sore this year, because he comes back on the 16th and on the 17th:

Soccer tryouts start. A weeklong thing, twice-daily. Mornings from 7-8 are stretching and running, and evenings from 6-8 are drills and scrimmages. His performance over the week will determine which team he is on (freshman, junior varsity, or --unlikely-- varsity), and practices start the next week.

Then the 31st is his first day of high school.

So much for a relaxing summer, eh??? mk

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Dig It

I got a laptop a couple of weeks ago for my birthday (I'm on it now, in fact). My friend Steve gave it to me. Now, ordinarily there is NO WAY I would accept a gift that extravagant, but there were some extenuating circumstances that made this okay.

First, it's not a brand-new laptop. (although it *is* kick-ass. HP pavilion zd7000, originally sold for $2600!!!) He got it by barter.

The barter is the especially cool part. He got the laptop in exchange for servicing the guy's LBT (loader-tractor-backhoe) and his excavator. WHICH he taught me how to do. And how to operate both.

So, I got to change the oil, the oil and fuel filters, and grease the pivot points on both of those (got totally filthy of course). On the excavator, we also had to check the track tension, which meant that I had to pivot the cab 90 degrees, then lower the bucket to the ground and continue to push it down so that it lifted the entire excavator (with me in it!) off the ground on that side. Lower, then rotate around to the other side and do it again. THEN, I got to drive it up the hill a-ways and play with it for awhile, digging holes.

It was a TOTAL COMPLETE BLAST. I had *so* much fun!!!!! (yes, my idea of fun is odd)

And hey, we have video. My favorite:


video

OK, that's not my favorite. I'll switch it out later. :) mk

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Taking a Brake

Today I replaced the front brake pads and rotors on my parents' van. Meaning, **I** replaced them. My friend Steve (who is an absolute wizard with anything mechanical) taught me how to do it, but I did the labor.

I loosened the lug nuts, jacked the van, took the lug nuts off, took off the tire, compressed the piston, removed the caliper, the brake pads, the rotor, put on the new brake pads & rotor, reinstalled the caliper, put the tire back on, put the lug nuts back on, lowered the van, and torqued the lug nuts.

I get an incredible kick out of learning how to do things like that. Even if I never replace another set of brakes ever, I now *own* this information, this knowledge of how to do it, and that I *can* do it. It's a wicked rush for me.

Wonder what I'm gonna do cool tomorrow. mk

Monday, July 13, 2009

5, 17, 32, Hike!

I haven't done a lot of hiking in my life. I live in arguably the most beautiful state in the country, but I just haven't done a lot of it. The last one I went on was over a year ago (and maybe a mile. maybe). And I've never been on one alone.

There's a very popular hiking trail that I drive past every time I go to Rockland. I had no idea where it went, how long, or anything, but hiking it made it to my 101 list.

And today was the day.

I put together my pack, got my hiking boots on (don't ask why I have hiking boots if I don't really hike...I have no idea), and drove to the parking area. I figured I'd hike an hour out, and then turn around and come back in.

3 minutes in, I wondered how long it had been since I had taken a real breath. My breathing has fallen into a pattern of being very shallow, which does NOT work well when hiking. Do not try it. I had to work (and actively think about it) to take full, deep breaths, which helped a LONG way in convincing my body that it really didn't need to collapse. How embarrassing to have to turn around so quickly. It was *not* going to happen.

A few minutes after I started giving my body real oxygen, hiking got a lot easier. I really started to enjoy myself. The sounds of traffic died away, and I was just surrounded by trees and rocks and birds in the trees. It was gorgeous, and very relaxing.

The trails on Georges Highland Trail are very well marked and easy to follow. A great deal of the hike (the part where you skirt around Mirror Lake) is pretty easy, but there's enough up-and-down to keep it interesting. Once you started up the mountain on the other side, there were some pretty steep sections that were a little more challenging (or in my case, what-the-fuck-were-you-thinking-when-you-decided-to-do-this-oh-my-god-I-think-I'm-going-to-die level). It looked like this:


But it felt like this:



An hour in, I hadn't quite reached the top, but it was tantalizingly close, and I was damned if I'd done all that steep crap and then bug out without having seen any amazing views. So I trudged on.

I had planned to take a quick water break every fifteen minutes. That worked well the first 45 minutes or so. Then I hit that hell-climb, and it was more like two minutes, rest. Two minutes, swear, rest. Finally I got past that part, and shortly after that, I hit this:


I *almost* stopped there, and in fact did take quite a long rest break, relaxed, recharged. Then I pushed on further, and reached the top (or as near as the path gets to it) and was further rewarded with this:


The climb back down went, of course, much faster, although I was forcibly reminded of the bunions on my toes, and also that I had ripped my knee in Alaska hiking *down* the path. Knee gave some twinges, but it held me up, and amazingly I didn't twist my ankle or really injure myself in any way. I only needed one break, and that was about 45 minutes into the trek back.

Altogether, I was gone 3 hours, and hiked about 5 miles. Not too shabby, thinks I. mk

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Reaching Out

Yesterday several bad days in a row cumulated into one terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. I hadn't had a day that bad in a long time, I was very depressed and I could just see myself sliding further and further in.

So I did something different.

I asked for help.

When people (friends, not casual acquaintances or strangers...I can only go so far) asked how I was doing, I told them that I was having a bad day, instead of just putting on a fake cheery mask and saying "Oh, fine, how are you?" And you know what? They didn't gasp in horror and run away. They were caring, and empathetic, and gave good wishes. They were, in other words, true friends. I've been so cautious not to let down my guard with people, and I'm working to overcome that. Yesterday showed me that it won't be nearly as awful as I feared.

Several friends in particular stood out. Shelly, who texted and emailed with me all day, to the wee hours, until we were both doing better (she had a tangibly bad day, including loss of power at her house, getting rear-ended on the way to work, and a doctor's appointment that may end up leading to more surgery). Linda, who made a point of coming up to me at school to see what was wrong. Brenda, who in the midst of her own insanity in getting ready for the season (Sunday!!), took precious moments of time to talk with me, and give me some of her fantastic Brenda-hugs.

And two who absolutely stood out. If I was capable of crying, each of them would have easily had me in tears.

First, Wendy, who came over last night with her three kids and brought me a care basket. She knew I'd been having a rough couple of days, and she and the kids went to the store and put it all together for me, delivered it, then hung out for awhile and gave me some badly needed friend time. The "instruction sheet" said this:

"This is for you, a very special person and friend. I would like to take this time to let you know that I thank you for inviting me to sit with you on the goal line for a soccer game. You made me feel like a part of a community that I had yet to get close to. You are the first friend that I have made in [our town].

"After hearing that you did not have a good day the other day my heart went out for you. The following is what it brought back to me:

"A sleep mask for when you need to block out certain sights,
A bubble bath for when you need to relax,
Some wacky fingernail polish to make yourself feel different,
A stress ball to "squeeze" that someone is making you angry,
A bouquet of flowers to help you remember that someone always cares,
A lilac candle for the scent you like all year round,
A piece of ribbon for that time when you need to remember that baby smooth bottom of your kids when it is them that are making you angry,
A box of Kleenex for when you need to dry the eyes from anger or sadness,
And a wine cooler to help cool the whines.

"I hope that this helps out.
Thanks for being a friend,
Wendy"

And her kids gave me a note that said
"A PEOM [sic] FOR YOU
ROSES ARE RED
VIOLETS ARE BLUE
THE SUN IS BRIGHT
AND SO ARE YOU

FROM: MATTHEW, NIKKI AND DIANNA"


The other incredible thing was an email from someone I went to high school with. I had lost touch with him for nearly 20 years, recently re-connected with him on Facebook. He's always been very special to me, and I am so glad that we have gotten back in touch. Yesterday I sent him an email that said I'd been having a really horrible week, and could he please say something sweet. This is what I got back:

"I remember being an awkward, but friendly boy in 7th grade. I was still trying to find a niche in life. Seemed I always was moving and had to find new friends. Not that it was a problem but because I had a ton of freckles and a huge red afro, I was an exceptional target for someone else's amusement. I was quite down one day and wanted to just go home. It was recess at school and here I was dreading the walk out of class and into the hell of the playground which was an uncomfortable paved area in back of the school that used to be a parking lot. I was looking down trying not to make eye contact with any of the unpleasant kids, also trying not to trip over my ever growing clumsy feet. First step outside I looked up to survey the situation and find a target area where I could hopefully hang with a group of friends that didn't mind me around, when I saw the most wonderful thing. A very cute girl with shoulder length sandy blonde hair looking right at me. I only know she was looking at me because when we made eye contact she wore a wonderful smile and blushed a cool rose coloured cheek. She then turned and walked over to her friends glancing back at me every once and a while to see if I was looking, and I was. That moment carried me through the day and I went home giddy and hopeful that life is full of nice surprises worth hanging around for.
"Thank you [markira], I have that moment to remind me that life can be of worth and I can bring a smile of happiness out of someone who matters."


My god, I am so fortunate in my friends.

I titled this post "Reaching Out." In each of these two cases, I had reached out to these people at a time I didn't even realize they were down. I never knew (in the second friend's case, for 26 years I never knew!) how much of a big impact my little action made.

And when I was in need, when I was down, I was able to reach out to them. And I will never be able to really tell them what their actions have meant to me.

So reach out, people. Smile at a stranger. Say hi. Hold open a door. Pay the toll for the car behind you. Little things, but you'll never know when it could make all the difference. mk

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Heaven Has Maid Service

I think my idea of heaven right now would be an entire week (or, dare I dream, a month) where I did not have to be in charge of anything. Where someone else would do the grocery shopping and the putting away, the planning and preparing of meals, the dishes, the cleaning, the laundry, the scheduling, the ferrying back and forth, the making of beds, the paying of bills, the worrying. Where all I had to do is whatever I wanted. Everywhere I needed to be, someone else would drive, someone else would work out the logistics of how and where and when, would keep an eye on the clock to ensure nobody was late. I would be free to enjoy, and imagine, and be totally in the moment.

Apparently my idea of heaven is childhood. mk

Saturday, May 16, 2009

#9

I am in the process of painting my bathroom, which is item #9 on my list of 101.

I have lived in this house for 11 or 12 years now, and I have hated the bathroom the entire time. The people who built it were insane. Most of the walls are raw knotty pine tongue-and-groove planks, and two narrow walls are blue-and-green flowered fiberglass panels. Even the ceiling is raw knotty pine. The edges of the inside wall on the shower are unfinished, with a two-by-four attached to the visible ends of the tongue-and-groove, both of which still showed the lumberyard stamp. We did change the floor, which was RUG, and put in a cheap roll of flooring, but the floor wasn't prepped correctly and the flooring wasn't cut correctly, so it's broken in places and doesn't quite meet up to some walls, or around the toilet. The bathroom door was put on upside-down, and it was painted slate blue (to match the fiberglass). All in all, it's a horrible, horrible room. And very tiny. And dark. And no windows.

The base cabinet of the sink was homemade and also raw wood, but a few years ago I fixed that...I painted it a black rose to match a wall cabinet I purchased, and added brushed nickel door handles. I also changed out the shelving, which was (you guessed it), plain raw boards on track bracketing. (Kept the track bracketing, but got prettier, finished, matching boards)

I also bought a gorgeous mirror, and some coordinating bronze towel racks.

But the walls. The walls were soooooo ugly. They needed serious prep work before I could paint them. The knots needed to be sealed (and there were hundreds of knots), much of the wood needed filling for gouges and cracks and holes. The fiberglass paneling needed to be treated so it would take paint. It would be a huge pain-in-the-ass project.

Well, I've started. My first step was to paint that godawful blue door. Used the black rose paint. Love it.

Kira came in and said, "You painted the door. Why did you paint it?"
me: "Because I *hated* the color it was."
Kira: "What color was it?"
me (mouth open, speechless)

Yes. She has lived her entire life in this house, some 3400+ days, has been in that bathroom at least once every one of those days, and did not remember what color the door was.

anyway. I have now sealed all the knots on the walls (not the ceiling...I couldn't take on the ceiling), primed the fiberglass walls, filled & sanded holes etc with wood putty, primed *those* walls (except in the shower stall...I've sealed the knots, but still need to fill and prime). I need to put a second coat of primer on two walls, finish around the shower, and put several coats of color on.

I broke down today and painted the first coat of color on the wall behind the sink. On the fiberglass walls I'm using an antique green. The wood walls are going to be a silver/grey called vellum.

I have worked hours and hours so far on this, and I have a bunch of hours left to go. But this will be the longest I will ever have to work on this room, because the walls will be easy to repaint now that they're all prepped.

Except the ceiling. Dammit. mk

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Idiot on the Phone

Just got a call on my cell phone. Call ID said "unavailable." Answered it.

Guy: "Can I speak to...um, wait, yeah, Robert would be better. Is Robert available?"
mk: "I'm sorry, you have the wrong number."
Guy: "Is this xxx-xxxx?"
mk: "Yes, but you have the wrong number."
Guy: "This is xxx-xxx-xxxx?"
mk: "Yes."
Guy: "Then it's the right number."
mk: "No, it isn't. You have the wrong number."
Guy: "Who does it belong to?"
mk: "Me."
Guy: "Who is me?" (like I'm going to answer that one, dumbass)
mk: "This is a private line."
Guy: "How long has this been your number?"
mk: "Years."
Guy: "Years?" (in disbelief. Like I am obviously lying.)
mk: "Yes."
Guy: "Have you gotten any calls recently for Sandra (somebody) or Robert (somebody else)?"
mk: "Yes, but this is a personal line. You have the wrong number."
Guy: "You have? When?"
mk: (finally losing patience) "A bit ago. It was probably you. You have the wrong number. I hung up on you then, and I'm hanging up on you now." {ends call}

Seriously? You are going to argue with me that my phone is not my phone? Guy, you have issues.

This idiot called me a few days ago and also tried to tell me that this is not my number. Um, moron? You called it, you got me. Y-o-u . h-a-v-e. t-h-e. w-r-o-n-g. n-u-m-b-e-r. mk

Thursday, May 07, 2009

The First Girlfriend Story

So, as mentioned recently, Mark has a girlfriend. They have been going out for, oh, let me look...12 days. They have had one "date," which was officially a celebration of Eddie's birthday, so 10 of the kids from the class went to the movies. So, Mark + Rachel + 8 chaperones. About a third of the way through the movie, he put his arm around her. He said that some "older" women (probably my age, brat) behind him giggled in an "awww, isn't that cute" way.

But that is not the story. The First Official Girlfriend Story is this:

Monday at school Rachel was cold, so Mark let her borrow a spare sweatshirt of his (a black Celtics sweatshirt that he got for Christmas, so it was a treasured article of clothing). She ended up wearing it for the rest of the day and asked if she could wear it home and he said yes.

Today she gave it back to him. Midway through the day, he put his hands in the front pocket, as he does often, and felt something. Rachel had put a small crystal heart in his pocket for him to find.

Say it with me, peeps: awwwwwwwwww mk

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Spring Scheduling

Oh, I love being a single mom with two kids who are involved in lots of activities!

Here's this week:

Today: Mark has an away game (if it doesn't get rained out). Leaving at 2:20. I'm going on the bus with the team. [as of 2:15--rained out...rescheduled for tomm, same time]
Kira has a home game. She has to be at the field at 5. Made arrangements for her to go home with the other girl on her team, and get a ride to the game, and hopefully we'll be back in time for me to see most of it. [as of 2:20--kira is now coming home after school. waiting to see if her game is also canceled][as of 3:30--kira's game also canceled. Tentatively rescheduled for Mon. Yay! No conflict]

Tomorrow: Mark has practice. But kids are with X, so I've got nothing to do there.
Oh, but I do have a hair appointment at 9:30 [now also have Mark's game, leaving @ 2:20]

Thursday: Mark's got another away game after school. Kira & I will go with.

Friday aka Hell Day of the Week: I'm chaperoning a day-long field trip for all the 8th graders in our district (five schools). That goes from 8:30-2:30
Mark has practice after school, 3-4:30
Kira has an away game (don't know where...x neglected to give me the schedule) She has to be there by 5, game starts at 5:30. [update 3:30: now know where game is...turns out, nobody was given a schedule. not x's fault. for once.]
I'm chaperoning the middle school dance that starts at 7. Before that, I have to 80's Mark's hair. Also need to figure out what I'm doing with Kira, as she is not in middle school. [as of 1:45--Kira is going home with Dianna after school, spending the night]

Saturday: Kira has a birthday party from 1:30-3:30. Somewhere this week she needs to get a present.

And I need to find some time to go check out Goodwill for 80s accessories. Sigh.

I am looking forward to Sunday. I've got NOTHING I have to do. At least not yet. mk
*****
Ha! It has started sprinkling. If it's raining they might cancel games--Mark's or Kira's or both, depends on the coaches for the different leagues. That's not necessarily a bad thing, except who knows when they're going to reschedule so it could end up being even worse. We'll see. And yes, they *have* been known to play through the rain, so just because there are a few drops out there, it doesn't mean we're in the clear yet. I have packed rain gear.

*****
Also, I find it interesting that I abbreviate tomorrow with "tomm" considering that's not the shortened spelling. But writing "tom" just makes me think of either the name Tom, or Time Of Month, so I just can't do it. Anyone else find themselves doing this?

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Shake Your Booty

Went to a dance last night at a local community center. They have dances fairly regularly, sometimes it's a band, sometimes it's a DJ. Last night it was DJ'ed, and he was spinning 80's music. Yeah! What's particularly funny is that this coming Friday I am chaperoning a dance at the school, and *it* will be 80's also! Very funny. Which reminds me that I need to take Mark and Eddie to Goodwill sometime this week, they want to find clothes to go as Bon Jovi. I have no idea how they think they're going to get 80's rock-band hair. At least not Eddie. His is super-short. Mark, I can work my magic with teasing and hairspray. I am goooooood at 80's hair.

Anyway. MY dance. I almost had decided not to go, because I wasn't sure who was going to be there and if it would be anyone I would be really comfortable with. I had all but talked myself into a nice boring evening at home when Ro called and said she'd go if I would. Hurray! So she met me here and we went over together. I let her borrow a T-shirt I have (that is just a bit too tight for me to have worn myself) that had a Rubik's cube on the front and said "Pure genius." My only real 80's contribution to my own wardrobe was lots of blue eyeshadow. I don't even have a haircut that I could 80's up, and no acid-washed jeans that fit. (sad that I can add "that fit." I shouldn't even have them anywhere at all. Why am I storing them? Probably because they are proof positive that at one point in my life I really did have a tiny little waist and ass. Sigh.)

The dance was funny. There were only about 30 people there total. The last one I went to there was a live band and it was pretty packed. But, about half of the people there were in "our" group. So it was kinda cool that way. And oh, we danced.

Some of the interesting things that I remember:

* waiting outside the bathrooms with Ro for one to open up and having Doug come out and ask where the guy was who had been waiting when he went in. I looked at him in all seriousness and said, "We ate him."

* At the end of the dance, when the music stopped, people started chanting "One more song! One more song!" and the DJ did. And Ro went out and for some reason started stripping shoes from people and making a big pile of them. And when Erin grabbed her boots and went to put them back on, she put them on backwards. So Ro tried to help her and just kept jamming the backwards boot on. And Erin didn't stop her.

* Ro wanted to go out for some air (hot work, dancing), and we were next to the bathrooms/door leading outside, and "Thriller" came on, and I yelled "I love this song!" and took off back to the dance floor. Not realizing that the door that she had just gone out automatically locked itself, and she was in the fenced-in playground. She had to hop the fence and come around the building to get back in.

* Ro loving me enough to tell me that my face and hair looked like shit and I needed to go to the bathroom RIGHT NOW to fix it. Bless her, she was right. I was a wreck. And I repaid her with the event listed above.

* Of the dozen or so people in our group, it happened that one of the people I knew had brought a friend, and it turned out to be a girl I went to high school with. Who is Peter's cousin. Funny!

* The only unattached guy who was there turned out to be married and "separated" from his wife but they are still living together. And several of the women there kept trying to hook me up with this guy. Um, people. HE'S MARRIED.

* The Electric Slide. I still got it, baby.

* Michelle wearing the band shirt from the last event I went to there. It was really hot and crowded that time and I dressed in a cute little outfit that had too many layers and no way to strip any off, so I ended up buying a band shirt so I could wear something cooler.

* Krista and Kristen doing this great line-dance thing that I would not be able to do on my best day because it required too much coordination. But it looked hot.

* Linda and her mini-mini. And hearing that she did a test before leaving the house where she bent over & asked her husband if he could see her underwear. And then she put black leggings on under it anyway.

* The look on Doug's face when he went to call for a cab home and they were closed. Before midnight. On a Saturday night. (I gave them a ride home...I had stopped drinking two hours before that.) Funnier is that he and Erin used to *own* that taxi company.

* Not being the first person to say that my feet hurt! (although mine did too) And not having them hurt today! (although the knees? yeah, a bit creaky)

* The "single" guy and I talking and finding out we knew some mutual people, and one of the mutual friend's brothers were horrible people and when (Mark? was that his name?) said "guess where I ran into Scott" I half-jokingly said, "Prison?" and it was!! (Mark? was not *in* prison, his company hired some of the people who were allowed work-release)

* Knowing all the words to almost every song they played for four hours. That was awesome.

SO. I had a good night, plan to do stuff like this more often. Linda says there's another dance coming up after-hours in this new cafe, on the 23rd, so I'll see about that.

Rock on! mk

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Tipsy

markira is feeling a wee bit tipsy this evening, thanks to four (!) Smirnoff Triple Black and several months of no alcohol. She would like to share with everyone that she loooooooooooooooooves them and would probably give them sappy hugs if they were anywhere near her. And also, men suck and who needs them anyway.

First of all, why the hell am I speaking in third person? wacko. And OK, that last was probably brought on by the fact that Mark actually asked a girl out and she said yes and he now has a girlfriend and his mother (markira) is still freakin' single and what is wrong with the male population anyway?

I had an *excellent* day at camp today with the kids. Each of them brought a friend and I went out in the kayak (first time this year, yay!) and went out to Loon Cove and saw three turtles sunbathing on a log sticking out of the water, back to back to back and it was soooooo cool. Wish I had had a camera with me, but I was in a kayak, and that was just asking for me to flip the thing and drown the camera and kill it. Still, the boys (Mark and Mark S) got to see two of them (the third freaked out and jumped off the log while I was watching, and was still gone when I led the boys back). Also saw a loon. Very awesome.

Slightly sunburned, which is fine because at least I am not blindingly white. Except my shins. What the fuck? They will NOT obtain color unless I put that fake-tan crap on them. It's pretty gross. The rest of my body will at least not be pasty after awhile, but shins? Yeah, still yucko.

OK, so I know it's only like 9:00 but I am definitely heading for bed. I shall collapse in my nice cozy fluffy bed with my comfy covers and the window open, letting in a sweet cool breeze. I will sleep for probably about five hours before I start the wake-up-and-try-to-get-a-little-more-sleep-god-please phase of the night. Maybe six.

BUT. My bed is comfy and the crickets are chirping and I'm wearing awesome silky pj's and I am apparently so relaxed that as I am typing this I have slid down in my office chair and one leg is stretched out below my desk and the other leg has the foot propped up on the edge of the desk so it is next to my fingers as I am typing on my slide-out keyboard drawer. Wow. Weird. I don't think I've ever been sprawled out in this particular way before. It's actually pretty comfy. My god I'm bizarre.

HEY. Who has missed drunk markira? Show of hands? mememe! mk

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Do Not Be Fooled By The Cute

Who would have thought that something so cute and sweet


would be capable of such destruction?


Tried to explode it in the microwave. Was unsuccessful.

Fear the Peeps. mk

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Nitpicking

The school called me yesterday to tell me that they had found 3 nits on Kira. There's quite a thing with lice going around the school; a whole bunch of Kira's classmates have been sent home within the last week or so, many with actual live lice.

Yesterday was X's day with the kids, so I called him to tell him to pick her up. He freaked out. He went on about how he didn't want her at his house "infesting" his kids (um, hello, SHE is your kid) and his dogs (head lice don't live on dogs) and his house. He wanted me to keep her because "we" KNEW my house was infested, and his wasn't (um, hi, nits hatch in 6-10 days--and she's been there within that time at least twice), and he wasn't going to have her.

I told him his day, his kid, he was getting her and I wasn't, end of story, buh-bye. Then I hung up, grabbed my bag & left the house. As I was leaving, the phone was ringing and it was D, calling to "reason with" me. I ignored the call & let her talk to the machine, then I ignored my cell when she called *that.*

I headed to my parents' house, because I hadn't seen or talked to them for a while, and also because Dad was in the school system for 35 years and he was very qualified to check my head to see if I had anything. (I didn't, and Dad also said I had the cleanest hair he had ever seen. Cool.)

Visited & caught up for awhile, then headed home to find seven more messages on my machine. Two were D. One was just repeating again that it didn't make sense for Kira to go to their house and risk exposing all of them and the kids to it, and would I please call her back. The next one was a little more hysterical, she was at the store about to pick up the treatment, and she "won't have it", she won't have Kira at her house and risk the other kids and have chemicals in the house and she was calling X and telling him to pick Kira up and drop her off at my house. (ha-ha! I wasn't home!) The other five were hang-ups from them.

There was also a lovely set of skidmarks in the dirt turnoff into my driveway, where I am assuming X rather forcefully executed a turn when he realized I wasn't home.

I was really pissed that he was getting all bent out of shape on this. I could have taken Kira, I wasn't scared of her or of her "infesting" the house. I didn't, because I didn't like how X was assuming that he could just thrust the problem at me and he wouldn't have to deal with it. When the kids are with him, they are WITH HIM, whether they are sick or irritated or whatever.

I hope to hell he didn't treat her like a leper and make her feel ashamed or embarrassed. Bad enough that he picked her up and then drove to my house to leave her, making her feel unwanted. She'll get extra cuddling from me when she gets home today, to demonstrate that I'm not ashamed or scared of her.

I *have* done quite a bit of washing of bedding etc and vacuuming. I picked up a treatment kit because she'll need a followup in about 7-10 days, along with frequent checking in the meantime.

Too much drama yesterday. I particularly like how they assumed that Kira walking into the house was "dangerous." People. Lice are spread by contact. Kira didn't even HAVE lice, she had nits. Get the nits out, problem solved. Vacuum & wash stuff she'd had contact with in the last several days in case a hair with a nit on it had fallen out. No need to panic and freak out. And believe me, I'm good at the panic-and-freak-out thing, so if *I'm* calm, it's gotta be okay. mk

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Who the Hell Makes These Commercials?

I've thought for a long time that the people in advertising who create commercials are completely convinced that we are all morons. The average commercial treats us all like idiots. grrrr.

Anyway, some of the things on TV that have irritated me recently (like that's hard):

* DNA tests on court-tv shows. We go an entire half-hour or so, listening to every little detail of these people's relationships, hearing the judge's opinion on whether or not it will work out and whether they're decent people, then at the end is the big dramatic reveal of paternity. Seriously, just skip to the end. All the other stuff is irrelevant. There is no "ruling" on paternity. It's a blood test. Really.

* Speaking of, I still haven't seen Mamma Mia! but the premise drives me a little batty. Daughter brings a bunch of guys her mom slept with who *might* be her father to her wedding, and tries to figure out which one is her dad. Two words, people: paternity test. And lest you now be inspired to comment to tell me how much you loooooooved the movie, it's irrelevant. The PREMISE of the movie is idiotic.

* The latest $5 footlong Subway commercial. It's a friggin' cheerleader routine. "5. $5. $5 footlong. ANY. foot.long." I scramble for the remote as soon as I see that starting, singing la-la-la to drown it out.

* ANY of the Hillshire Farms "Go meat" commercials. But especially the one in the airplane. This is another one that gets muted as fast as I possibly can. I can't even LOOK at that one.

* Legal Options. One of them has two "soccer moms" standing by a sports field. Both are in sweatsuits. (because you know, all of us soccer moms only wear sweatsuits when we cheer on our kids) One of them has pant legs that are too short and make her look like an idiot. The other woman, the one who is hanging on her friend's every word hearing about this great business, echoes "Legal Options?" and the last part of 'options' is so high dogs will bark. Then at the end, she's all "I'll call them right now!!!!" all chipper and amazed. She's a moron. And there is wind sound through the microphones, which are all muffled. Really. Fix that.

* The Herbal Essences girls. They all have these long pointy noses and flair their nostrils out at some point during the commercial. (well, all two that I've seen) Wait...is it Herbal Essence? I have no idea, I'm too busy being annoyed by these women's noses.

* The Dixie coffee cup commercial. What the hell is with the shoulder thing they all do at each other? It's stupid. And not in a "Pepsi side-head-bop" catchy-stupid way. It's just flat-out stupid. Then they all end up in the elevator posing with their cups. Ya.

* Cash 4 Gold. The guy with the (incredibly outdated) glasses, the main spokesguy, NEVER BLINKS. Ever! And the individual people are ALL annoying! In BOTH commercials we've seen! My kids even grab for the remote to mute this one, while we all make noise so we don't hear even a millisecond of it.

* The Japanese guy on Heroes. I don't even care what his name is. He is an idiot. One of the reasons I have zero interest in this show is because of him.

I know there are more, but those are the ones that popped into my head first. There. Haven't vented about idiocy in awhile. I feel better. :) mk