Saturday, April 28, 2007

I warned her there would be blogging about this

Okay, I'm back. And I've promised you a story. Of course, I've told a couple of you the story already now...but I'll tell the rest of you anyway. I don't want to be labeled a tease forever, after all.

So where were we...oh right, last Friday. I got a phone call a little after 5pm from one of my best friends, Jody. She asked if I had plans. That usually means she has plans in mind for me, so I answered vaguely. And then she said "Do you want to go to the Hank Williams, Jr. concert with me?!!" Yes, she said it with two exclamation points. And my answer...Uhhh...sure. I mean, Sure! Has anyone ever asked you to go with them to do something when you know they really really want to and probably won't if you don't say yes...well, that's what this was like. I said she's one of my best friends. I wouldn't do this for just anyone. It is Hank. Williams. Junior. Oh. My. Goodness. Really? Seriously? Okay, so we went. And wow. WOW. It was so awesome! The people-watching. Not the concert. I mean, Jody had a GREAT time - she loved the show.

The tickets were free (thanks to connections from her boss' wife) and we were in the 9th row to the side of the stage - VERY close. This is how close:

Yes, I could almost smell Hank. Of course, that could be more of a reflection on Hank than on our tickets. Now, you may know, I used to live in Texas. And there was a lot of country music there. But Hank is the countriest of all the country music and I have never been a big fan. So I wasn't there for the music. But I was so excited by the crowd. I never imagined it to be such a diverse group. You know, not as in diversity of COLOR, but in just about every thing else. There was the party girl, who I tried to take a covert picture of:

The true cowboy:

And this couple:

They had tickets on the floor, but never stood. The gentleman watched the large television screen more than he watched the stage. He could have been at home in his living room. You know, except for the thousands of screaming people. And the smell of Hank Jr.

There was also a guy who was wearing a very unique cowboy hat made from a Milwaukee's Best case. I tried to get a picture for you, but it just didn't come out very well. I am so sorry.
There were "suits" and people who had probably never been in a suit, maybe not even for their wedding. And there were manners. There are a lot of rude people in the world, but not many of them were in attendance at the Hank concert. Except for maybe the woman in line at the t-shirt stand. Or maybe she was just drunk. Drunk and Hank Jr. seem to kind of go together, don't you think?

38 Special also played before we got there to see Hank Jr. and the headliner was Lynrd Skynrd. But my friend Jody was not interested in Lynrd. We watched our Hank, bought a t-shirt, and left. It was a great time. And I even have proof:

Oh, and the hint - That's How They Do It In Oikie. That's the name of the tour. Except it's not really Oikie. It's Dixie. I think I need my eyes checked:

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Y'all come back now, ya hear?

I haven't posted here in EIGHT DAYS! I am suffering withdrawls. I have stuff to tell you, I promise. I just...can't right now. I have to go to work (after I dry my hair and take the kids to day care) and then I have to go to Chicago...but I PROMISE I will post soon. How could I not? I have to tell you what happened to me last Friday night! Oh, I'm such a tease, aren't I? That's spider to you.

Okay, I'll give you one hint...

That's how they do it in Oikie.

Really, that's a hint. If you live in my head, it's a hint. Oh, all right. ONE more hint.

Yup. It's THAT good.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Yes, this is what Steve puts up with every day

I am not a neat freak. I am not fastidiously clean. Never have been, probably never will be. I am perfectly content to allow dirty dishes to accumulate in the sink until my spouse gives in and washes them. I hate doing dishes more than I hate looking at them in the sink. It works out well for me that Steve hates doing the dishes far less than I do. And that I'm spider. Heh heh.

However. I do have a few quirks about keeping things...tidy. I like symmetry and balance. I like things to be even. Honestly, one of the reasons I think I'm (almost) ready to accept that we are done having children is that right now, I have one boy and one girl. Tidy. Unless I were to have boy-girl twins the next time, there will be unevenness. Three means there is no tidy division. There will be a two-one split. I don't like it.

Okay, so maybe some would accuse me of being a little anal retentive. I prefer "detail-orientated."

But seriously. Sometimes it's just wrong. WRONG. When people leave things in an untidy and uneven state. Like this:Do you see the wrongness of this?! No, it's not a trick of the angle of the shot. This weird, pointless structure actually looks like this. Seriously. And I have to drive by it twice a day, on my way to and from work. I think INDOT (that's the Indiana Department of Transportation) might be trying to kill me.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Like dropping acid, but without the fun

So for the last two days, I've been having flashbacks. Flash-way-backs to eight years ago when I was home with my newborn baby - my first baby. I was exhausted, hopped up on haywire hormones, having trouble breastfeeding, alone; and then it got worse. In Colorado, two teenagers walked into their high school in Columbine, and started shooting their classmates.

The news coverage went on and on. It was on every channel, all day long. I tried to turn it off, but I was drawn to it. I was horrified and mesmerized. I cried. I sobbed. I wondered what kind of a world I had brought my new son into. I held him close to me and we cried together. His crying was more related to wet diapers and hungry tummies, and mine was overwhelming grief. I grieved for those kids, but even more, I grieved for our world and what it had come to.

And now here we are. Eight years later, I have an eight year old boy and a three year old girl. And a student walked into his classrooms at Virginia Tech yesterday and started shooting his classmates. It is deja vu, an acid flashback, a recurring nightmare. Luckily, work kept me from watching the coverage all day yesterday, but the news feeds kept me well-informed. I have no more tears. I am astounded at the capacity for evil in this world. I just. don't. understand. Why? God, why? It is heart-wrenching to watch the students and families. I want to hug them and cry with them and somehow tell them it will be okay. But it's not. It's not okay that this young man had no other way to show his frustration, distaste, anger, whatever except by shooting people. And himself.

Events like this remind me of the dangers in this world. Dangers which I am normally able to pretend to ignore. If I couldn't, I'm not sure I would have the courage to live my life, or the strength to allow my children to leave the house. I hate that my children will never be safe anywhere they go. I hate that the world has become a place in which this kind of horror exists. We live in a nice neighborhood in a nice, normal, small Mid-Western town. But it's not enough. Something could happen. And it doesn't have to be at the hands of terrorists who fly planes into buildings. Or even at the hands of a troubled young loner at a college campus.

When I was in high school, my younger brothers played with the boys who lived across the street. We also lived in a nice small Mid-Western town. One summer day, while I was their babysitter, they planned to go over and play video games with Kenny and Jonathan. But our uncle surprised us and stopped by to take us for ice cream instead. When we got home, police sirens and fire trucks followed us. We had just pulled into the driveway when they pulled up across the street at Kenny and Jonathan's house. Other boys had been over playing video games and apparently there had been an argument. Kenny had gone to get his dad's shotgun to scare one of the boys, not knowing it was loaded. He accidentally shot the boy in the face. He died. He was sitting in an easy chair when it happened and the family put the chair out for the trash the next day. It sat there for two days until the trash picked it up. I looked at that blood-stained chair and cried. It could have been one of my brothers.

Something could happen to my kids. Anywhere. I live in terror that something awful will happen to them and I will not be able to save them or go on without them. I want to go back to pretending it will be okay. But I don't think I'll be able to for a while. There are new images burned into my memory. They sit along side others: what happened across the street in 1988, Jonesboro, Columbine, Oklahoma City, 9/11; and countless others, images gathered from stories about horrific crimes committed against children.

My flashbacks go on. Eventually, they will ease. Until then, I pretend I'm not afraid every time my children leave my sight. I pretend. And I lie. I do have more tears.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

In honor of Easter last Sunday, a bunny story

I know I shouldn't, but this story made me laugh.

What? You mean rabbits get EATEN in the wild? By coyotes and hawks and owls? Especially these cute little bite-sized ones? NO! Gosh, I wonder why they are ENDANGERED??? And I love the end where the state pygmy rabbit coordinator (that's a great job title, btw) basically said they are going to keep putting more owl food out there because, you know, it's "valuable learning."

Can you imagine what the little bunnies are thinking?
Oh, thank you, large human people, for rescuing us from the wild where we have no hope of survival.

Wait. What? You mean you're putting us back? What, we aren't cute enough? No! We'll be good little bunnies, we promise!
Poor little bunnies. They can come live in my neighborhood. Based on how many bunnies we see in our backyard, it's a bunny safe haven around here! Maybe I'd better give that pygmy rabbit coordinator a call...for the bunnies' sake!
Updated to add:

And in other news...T. Rex: tastes like chicken!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Maybe we could share clothes, too!

You know, I love my husband. You hear people talk about their spouse being their best friend and all, and I've always thought that was weird. I don't know why, but I don't think I'd call Steve my BFF. That's a title I give to my girlfriends who I get together and chat with and who I have fun with. I've never put Steve in that role, but really, he kind of is my BFF. He is the person who I tell everything to. Every. Thing. Yes, that includes things I don't tell the girls I consider my BFF's (and no, I'm not going to discuss the contradiction that I have multiple BESTs...let's move on). It isn't much, but yes, sometimes, there's stuff I don't tell the girls. But poor Stevie, he knows everything about me (and he's STILL married to me, can you believe it?!). I know some married people and some people who USED to be married who say that you should have separate checking accounts. Take separate vacations. Have multiple televisions so you can each watch your own shows in different rooms (yes, Internet, we only have ONE television in our house - we are THAT old school. Plus, our house is smallish.). But we don't do any of that stuff. And OH MY GAWD we sometimes get on each others' last nerves. But I really like it this way. We talk. We are really good at talking. No, not just me! Steve talks, too, I swear! If something ever happens and we actually divorce, it won't be because we never talked about our problems. No, it will definitely be because of his porn star side job. I just get so jealous when he doesn't include me!

But having said all that mushy gushy I-love-my-porn-star-Sweetie stuff, sometimes I need him to be a girl for a minute. I went shopping last night. Yes, again, it was to the crappy Wal-Mart. Don't judge me - it's all I have. While I was there, I found some clothes on big time sale for Abby. For all the clothes-shopping I feel like I do for that girl, she STILL doesn't have enough clothes for the Spring/Summer. And honestly, why would I spend crazy money to buy the really cute clothes I want from Gymboree and Baby Gap and Lands End when she is just going to get paint/marker/food/snot on them and then grow out of them before I even have time to wash them? So anyway, I ended up with ten items for $30. TEN. For THIRTY. Can you even believe that math?!? I was so excited! And? They are all color coordinated in reds and blues and khakis. NO PINK. OR PURPLE. Not that I have anything against pink or purple, but she really has the market cornered on those colors and it would be nice to have some variety. So I had found these amazing deals and I had no one to tell. It's like hitting a hole in one with no witnesses. Or catching that huge fish and then lose it to a broken line. Or...some other sports analogy that I don't have any actual experience with...with NO WITNESSES. It was a moment when I really missed my mom. She would totally get me on this. But Illinois to Indiana is a heck of a drive just to go to the Wal-Mart (and, by the way, you have to pronounce that Wawl-Maurt and with "the" in front, it's a small town rule, I think).

When I got home and we were getting ready to go to bed, I asked Steve if I could show him the clothes (I had already told him about my awesome buying super-power, but he was unimpressed). He agreed, but was clearly not committed. I showed him anyway. And made him PRETEND to be excited. Sigh. It was really just too much work that way. I needed my husband to be a girl. Seriously. And don't get all excited, I mean that in a very boring, non-sexual kind of way. Although I'm pretty sure if I mentioned this idea to Steve, his thoughts would lead him down a different - and not non-sexual - path...I said I love him, I didn't say he was perfect.

Monday, April 2, 2007

There's a reason why people hate Mondays

After realizing that I was becoming a catty junior high Heather/Mean Girl, I made a Lenten commitment to make less fun of others and more of myself. Weeelllll...have I got a story for you! I should warn you, those of you without children, who are less exposed to various disgusting bodily functions and fluids as a part of your everyday routine - you may want to stop reading right now. Seriously. I've got some new pics over at Flickr. You could go look at those instead.

Today started out fine. It's a gorgeous day in central Indiana - 74 degrees and sunny. I got up on time. Did my push-ups and crunches. Yes! No, darn! The scale gave me the bad news that I now weigh more than I did at the beginning of the year...sigh. But okay. Game is on and I am re-focused! Rah! We got to day care at the right time so I would make it to my meeting on time. Woo hoo! Uh-oh! I forgot today was Spring Picture Day. And of course, my children are not only not dressed like the little cutie pies they are, they certainly are not color-coordinated with each other for their nice sibling shot...sigh. But...okay. We'll make due. And we'll plan on making an appointment with our nearest Sears/JCPenney's for some REAL portraits. You know, since I don't have my rock star paparazzi camera yet.

Morning meeting was fine (I was almost on time). Work was fine. Lunch was fine. I had a salad and some leftover Sausage Skillet Sensation (with broccoli this time - yum!). Healthy! We even walked! Hoo rah!! Life is good. Game on! I am having a generally good day! And it's Monday! And I'm already considering what healthy dish I can prepare for dinner. Maybe we'll grill! Outside! And walk! Yes! Oh, what's this? A little twingle in my belly? Why, I think I'll walk myself to the restroom and...uh, wait.

Ummm....what just happened? I didn't just do what I think I might have just done, did I?! Oh. My. GAWD. I had an accident. Of the number two variety. In my pants. At work. HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN?! I don't feel sick. Well, okay, I kinda feel sick NOW, but that's probably more a result of being absolutely disgusted with my own body. Okay, this can't be salvaged. I have to leave. Immediately. Crap. LITERALLY. Going commando for the rest of the day is not an option. For one, eww. For two, I also have other issues which prevent me from leaving an unprotected barrier between me and my pants. For three, EWW! And OMG, what if it happens AGAIN?! Because now my stomach is not feeling quite right at all.

Okay. Stay calm. Breathe. Clean things up as best you can (and, yes, now we are going to talk to ourselves in third plural person - it distances us from what is going on. Because EWW!). Wait for the other people to leave the bathroom. Let's stay anonymous. Okay. Remember, calm. Don't raise suspicion. Back to our desk. Must tell Stacy. She's on a conference call. Good - because we don't really want to explain this in person. Will send e-mail. Very vague e-mail. Maybe we can come back after we change. We're not sick. Right? Just what? Not potty trained? Don't think about it now. Type e-mail standing up. Because. EWW! Out the door. Okay. Calm. Don't freak. Oh, driving. Requires sitting. Okay. Brace yourself wth your thighs. Limited contact between seat and pants. You can do this. Drive very quickly. Seriously, if we get pulled over, there's no way we're getting a ticket. Drive 90. Because. EWW! Home. Van in garage. Driveway close enough. Run. Not THE runs...we've apparently already done that (EWW!).

Whew. Clean. Still disgusted. Stomach gurggly. We'll wait ten minutes and see if we're going to be okay. Oh! Not okay. NOT OKAY. Staying home. Thank God for wireless and a laptop.