Monday, July 30, 2012

One More Thing I Hate

Sometimes I hate Facebook. I hate the political positioning and the religious shit. Hey man, I go to church, if that's what you're thinking. I just don't need to tell the rest of the world how to live their lives in order to be a good Christian.  These days, I cringe when I even hear the words ' a good Christian' because it's almost always followed by some judgemental shit about how other people should live.  These Facebook posts demand that other people to comply with their religious beliefs regardless of what anyone else's religious affiliations are.

Here I sit in my recliner, vaguely listening to drivel on TV, watching my son and my husband laughing as much as anything, and hoping to see something interesting about my friends and their families on Facebook since most of what's on TV bores me.  I like the silly pictures on Facebook the best.  I have one friend, an acquaintance really, and I love her posts because they're almost always of funny animals she takes care of all day.  I mean, these pictures give lolcats a run for their money.   I always want to know where people went, though I'm jealous as hell of my friend who's in Paris right now.  Paris!  And she's posting in French!  I'm not even sure I can like her until she gets back.  I won't tell her that though.  I just need a vacation and then I might be able to be a little nicer afterward.  I mean, really.  Talking about a good vacation we took to Ireland six years ago just gets a little old at dinner parties.

But it just torques my wad when I have to wade through some friend's repost telling me that my son shouldn't eventually get to decide whom he loves and wants to marry. This isn't even a post that my friend wrote!  It's a shit-ass post that she read and then she blithely clicked on the 'like' button and now I'm stuck reading at least a little of its bilge water.  After a while, I get a little nauseated when I even see her name pop up.  I know I will never completely block her though I seldom see anything but this crap on her timeline.  Really, hon, don't you know that I want to see pictures of your kids and those kittens that you're raising and not political and religious crap that makes me feel as though you really are a little on the edge?  Are you on the edge?  Can I do anything to help? 

I don't foist my political or religious opinions on you, do I?  No.  I don't.  I just went back and checked.  When I like a political repost that someone else has liked, it doesn't show up on my timeline.  Most of my posts are photos of my family.  Jack is old enough now that I'm asking his permission to post his image.  I don't want to put up anything that will embarrass him.  That will happen soon enough with his friends.  My other posts are check-ins telling people about the places I visited and liked.  Hell, I don't mind advertising a good restaurant or museum.  Sky High?  Your kid can get some exercise jumping on a trampoline.  The Reptile Zoo?  Who wouldn't want to see a two-headed turtle?  Novhilos Brazilian Steakhouse?  It's a carnivore's dream.

But you, my Facebook friends, do not need to know that I think that homosexual adults deserve a break from our scrutiny.  I would rather not drive my political opinions across the dead carcass of yours on the information highway or vice versa.  And no, I'm not interested in imagining homosexuals having sex in their bedrooms.  I'm also not interested in imagining two heterosexuals having sex in their bedrooms.  Have you seen most people?  Do you really want to imagine that naked and sweaty?  It's not going to look the way they make it look in a movie.  I just think that if two adults love each other, they should be allowed to love each other.  Period.

I've heard people cite the billions of dollars gay marriage would cost our society.  Those statistics are bullshit.  And tell me, what would it save if none of that hate-mongering sputum were ever printed on paper or took up bandwidth on the Internet?  Trillions.  Besides, I've watched your kids.  You don't make them wear their helmets.  There are statistics about how much that costs our society too, so shut it. 

Lately, these reposts are turning words inside out by calling for 'tolerance,' 'democracy,' and 'diversity' when it comes to their opinions.  So vote your according to your stupid opinion and leave me to mine, okay?  That is democracy at its best.  As for tolerance, I have to tolerate your crazy ideas, but you don't have to tolerate mine?  Nope, not the appropriate definition there, hon.  Tolerance has to go both ways to really be tolerance.  And diversity?  Well, I have to live in a world in which  6,973,738,433 crazy people live, people who believe that aliens live on an asteroid hurtling toward Earth, people who believe that gargling Listerine gave their son colon cancer, people who think they have a right to be in everyone's pants politically, and the ones who just want to be left alone to love one another.  Now, that's diversity and you might scream for it as you demand that everyone comply to your will, but there it is and you can't change it, not even by reposting phlegm on Facebook. 

Thank you for listening, jules

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Well, shit, I've been spun around enough times today that I don't know what to do next.  I need about a week in a room by myself to sleep, to think, to eat right, to listen to silence.  Did you ever need to listen to silence? 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Watch It!

The Olympics! 

Watch it.  Just sit and watch.  Don't get up.  That would ruin everything.  During the Olympics, there are a few hundred people in the world who are supposed to be moving around.  The rest of us billions are supposed to be sitting and watching.

Don't forget.  You don't have any training to do on your own.  You couldn't possibly want to walk your dog or go to the lake or, God forbid, take a vacation paddling a canoe.  Just watch.

The sponsors will thank you. 

Oh, don't think I don't like the Olympics.  I do.  I really do.  They inspire me, but do I actually get up more during all of that to begin?  Nope.  Not a chance.

So, work with me here folks!  Let's sit on our lazy asses and watch because that's what we want an excuse to do most days anyway.  Right?

Thank you for listening, jules

Thursday, July 26, 2012

My Anniversary Gift Guide

I've been married for twenty years.  Get a load of that.  I told my husband six months ago that twenty years is the year of the dishwasher.  Then I looked it up.  What the hell?  There really is a year of the dishwasher - year four.  That's the modern version.  The traditional version only has a bunch of junk, then gemstones.  The first year is paper.  'Oh yeah, thanks sweetie, for all this recycled newsprint we can use in the outhouse.  Lovely.'  And this poor woman of yesteryear had to wait six years to even get candy. 

These days, because of divorce and inflation, they amp it up.  It's a little like the way the all kids on a Little League team have to get trophies at the end of a season.  Whereas I was supposed to get china from the traditional list this year, china comes in the second year for the modern woman.  According to the modern list, I'm up for platinum at this point.  Platinum?  What the hell do I want with platinum, maybe to coat some missiles or offer up a dose of chemo?  Don't think so. 

I don't want more stuff, well, except for a new dishwasher.  I have too much stuff as it is.  My house is absolutely full of stuff. 

My grandma died two years ago and my family still rents a storage unit for us all to go through when I come to visit next time.  Here's what I already own from my grandmother's estate: a china cabinet, loads of china, a tin of my dad's toys, love letters in a trunk, a teddy bear, five quilts, marbles, Avon figurines, a pitcher shaped like a strawberry, a porcelain head of an elephant, a box of old pictures of people, many of whom I don't know, a rocking chair that isn't safe to sit in, a donkey bank, a piggy bank, doilies, Ball jars, a butter churn with broken paddles, a railroad lantern, a hog hook, a hog scraper, a hog prod, a TNT box (I like that one), a coronet, a single tree horse yoke, quilt blocks, and some fabric scraps.  I really think I have enough stuff to remember my grandmother by.  When I tried to gently say that, my brother said, "I don't care who it goes to as long as it stays in the family."  In other words, he doesn't want it either.  There are only three of us for God's sake.  We can't keep everything she had in her house no matter how much we loved her. I haven't been too eager to go through that storage shed with him.  The last time we went through stuff, it cost me $385 to ship packages to myself.  That really makes my brother mad, that I don't want to keep it all. 

No, I don't need more stuff.  I'm much more interested in experiences.

So Mike and I have decided to take Jack on a canoe trip next week.  I'm a little nervous.  We haven't been on a canoe trip in eight years.  What I'm worried about is that Jack will bring the bad attitude he's developed lately and ruin it.  He's not even a teenager.  He's not allowed to have that kind of attitude yet.  But he does. 

Today, we hiked for an hour and he managed to get mad at me because he was tired and I wouldn't help him put his shoes back on.  I thought shoes was something the kids learned when they were four or five, laces and all.  Apparently not.  And how is it my fault that he got his butt wet in the process? 

Still, it's a canoe trip.  We'll be on the water, breathing in the lake air.  We'll be sleeping outside on an island.  That might be worth some whining.  That just might feel like the appropriate gift for my twentieth anniversary. 

Now, why isn't that on the modern anniversary gift guide?

Thank you for listening, jules

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Projecting This Vision Into His Future

What are you still doing here?  Were you listening at the door?

I don't have anything to tell you.  Today, I gave up on any kind of future for my son.  He's going to have to be a lonely derelict.  Here's why

  • He won't read unless I nag him.
  • He won't pick up his garbage unless I nag him.
  • He leaves his dirty laundry on the floor until I yell.
  • He leaves his stuff on the floor, on the tables, on the couch until I threaten to throw them away.
  • He watches too much TV until I turn it off.  It will be broken tomorrow, I think. An unplugged cable.
  • He plays too many video games until I stand in front of the TV and make him lose the battle.
  • He won't eat healthy food unless that's all there is.
  • He doesn't want to get off the couch. 
  • He eats his cereal with his head in his bowl, slurping.
  • He has no ambition to actually do what it takes to get what he wants because he expects me to do everything for him.  He gets mad at me when I won't.
  • He can be on the couch and ask me to come in from the kitchen to hand him something that's on the other end of the couch at which point I want to slap him but I don't.  I don't hand it to him either.  I just roll my eyes and walk back into the kitchen.  Sometimes I mutter an expletive, but I don't think that's good for him to hear. 
Sometimes I wonder what kind of a husband he'll make.  Right now, I'm not too impressed. 

Is it universal that twelve year old boys are little crappers or am I just blessed to have this particular one?  Don't answer that. 

I'm done now. 

Thank you for listening, jules

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Eating Among Aliens

Well shit. It's six in the morning and I could have slept three more hours. Maybe I should go out and get myself some decent food. I'll need it.

I'm visiting relatives. I can't believe how hard it's been to try to eat. I have to eat a lot of leaves to get by, you know, the volume. Greens, lettuce, vegetables.

I might as well say I'm diabetic for all I can't eat. I just can't eat many carbs. That's rice, bread, pasta, grains, sugar, sugar, or sugar. What they call it is insulin resistance. If I didn't eat this way, I would be diabetic.

I've been kind of a shit about it, but it's been hard to get enough to eat. Apple pie, pineapple upside down cake, Cool-whip and jello salad. These are the staples! Not to mention that the salad they handed me yesterday was almost completely wilted. It had that sour smell, and when I tried to wash it, the slime didn't want to come off. Oh no, I was not going to eat that salad. It was spoiled. You think?

I tried to make myself eat it. I really did. I put some slimy turkey on it. I brought a fork. I just couldn't make myself do it. I stuck my fork into it. I brought it with me when we got into the car. I surreptitiously put the whole bowl on the floor by my feet and slid it under the seat. Maybe I am spoiled. You think?

Maybe I should have shouted, "I can't eat this shit!"

I don't know what I'm going to eat today. I just don't. I'm already feeling crabby about it. They don't seem to understand that if I don't eat, it's dangerous for me to drive. I'm supposed to drive today too. I can just see me sitting patiently waiting at some green light, not really knowing where I am. Yup, it could happen. It really could.

If you're driving around anywhere in Southern Indiana today, maybe you should watch out for that.

Thank you for listening, jules

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Eight Things I Hate

This post is closed until further notice.  Subject matter is too bad-tempered.

I'm becoming that crabby woman. 

You know that crabby woman.  For me, she is the neat freak who went on the ten day backpacking trip to the Appalachian trail in 1977.  This woman wanted us to sweep out our tents before packing them up every morning.  KP duty was hell because the water was never hot enough, you weren't scrubbing properly, and God forbid a pine needle fall into the rinse water.  Everybody avoided the bitchy lady.  That's hard to do in a group of only 18 people.  Bitchy lady had an awful time.  Dirt was everywhere.  The rest of us had a blast.

I'm not a neat freak, but I am bitchy.   I hate that the grocery store parking lot is littered with tiny green strips from the contest they're running.  Do people actually think the pieces are too small to actually be litter?  Don't they know that somebody has to pick that shit up?

I hate when that car comes racing up my tailpipe as if to get me to move faster on the road.  I don't want to get a fucking ticket asshole and I'm already going above the speed limit.  That person has tried to pass me on the left when I'm turning left into my own driveway on a double yellow line.  Can you say organ donor?  Just don't bring me with you to that party.

I hate that when the guys are playing video games, I can't walk in front of the TV without getting glared at, that I have to pick up dirty socks and Tshirts from the floor, and that there are dirty dishes and empty bags of chips everywhere.  Clean the hell up after yourselves, would you?  I really would like to have a life, one in which I get to play all day and leave my crap lying around for someone else to pick up.  I should drop these kids off in the grocery store parking lot so they can pick up all the little green strips.

Guys, I need to vacuum the damn floor.  Any chance you could pick up the Lego pieces, the Nerf guns, and the camouflage gear that has been laying there for two weeks?  I wish the dog would pick up his toys too.  I came home from the grocery store the other day, game pieces stuck to the wet pavement, and the dog had actually pulled a dozen seriously old toys out of the bin he inherited when he came to live here.  A couple of the things he chewed beyond recognition, leaving splinters and bristle brushes scattered about on my floor.  Bastard.

I'm not allowed to talk like this to their faces, not even to the dog's.  There are too many kids around.  I guess it's the fact that these kids are only eleven.  Well, shit.  Aren't kids who are eleven trying to use a word or two like this?  Maybe a few graceful phrases out of my mouth will bring out the absolute poetry in them. I hate that I have to edit when I'm bitchy.

And while I'm on the subject, why is it that everything out of their mouths has to either be about fighting or about farts?  Can you not tell that I'm in the front seat driving and I can still hear you?  I have turned Led Zeppelin up as high as my ears can stand it, mostly because I like this particular song, but also because I can still hear you pretending to fart. 

And why the hell did my husband tell me that it was a joke that he wanted me to stay up so I could put his laundry into the dryer at midnight?  That wasn't a joke.  You meant it.  You really did!

And why the hell does it have to be ten things I hate?  Why can't it be eight?

Thank you for listening, jules

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I Love You, Man

It's just not kosher to complain about kids.  I know this. 

Yup.  You got it.  I'm sitting her chaffing to bitch and moan about a kid.  So I'm going to suck it up and do it. 

What do you do when a generally nice kid repeatedly wants to talk to your son about how much bigger he is than his own skinny self?  The kid actually tried to wiggle something on him.  Yes, you heard that correctly.  Then, he proceeded to make a bunch of fat jokes.  I banned fat jokes, but he made another fat joke, whispering so loudly that even my sixties-riddled eardrums could hear him.  Did you not hear me correctly?

Here's the thing - fat jokes are just not funny.  They're mean to the recipient and they are insulting to a whole bunch of other people out there as well.  What the hell is with people and fat jokes?  Does this boy hear this stuff at home?  Does he think he's still a friend if he makes my son feel bad about himself?  It's bullying, plain and simple.

Now, I'm in a tough spot.  The boys are old enough that they should and could manage many of their own problems getting along with others.  When do I get a sense of humor and let 'boys be boys?' When do I step in?  I made my point and yet this kid persists.  It's as if he needs to point it out every time the boys get together.  I don't want to complain to his mom, but I'm getting to a point that, despite his friendship with Jack, I'm not willing to let him into my car.  That makes it hard to get him home when it's my turn to carpool.  A catapult might work. 

What is it about boys that turn them into cretins when they are about to become men?  I don't remember boys being this way when I was a kid, not most boys.  But then, I was a doe-eyed tree climber who liked to read.  What I really mean is that I could have been missing a whole raft of fat jokes.  I either had my head buried too deeply in my book or I was too high in the tree to hear them. 

So I talked to Jack.  I basically told him to fling some shit.  That's what boys do, right?  They fling shit at each other and they learn to take it like a man?  Oh, I am so damn glad I'm not a man.  I don't like even being around when shit is flying.  Here's the other thing I told Jack.  If it's all about you, your fat, your farts, your stink, then it's bullying.  If it's a little about your stink, his farts, that other guy's ugly feet, then it's funny.  Just how this all is funny, I'm not sure, but that's what I need to say to him.  I just know you've watched a half a dozen movies like 'Grown Ups' where the men get together, make fun of each other, and generally treat each other like shit, then slap each other on the backs and say, 'I love you, man' at the end.  

Girls getting together movies are very different.  There will be a group of girls being mean to one girl.  They keep it up until said girl gets girl-power, i.e., turns into a princess or some nonsense, then the girl sends the group of mean girls into hell by unpopularizing them all in one fell swoop.  Then the princess will go back to the girls she had dissed, the ones who were her loyal friends all along.  Yes, mean girl movies are really very different than mean guy movies.  If they made a movie about a bunch of girls throwing jabs at each other then ended it all with them hugging each other and saying they loved each other, I'd stomp out of the theater and ask for my money back.  As if I  get to choose to go to girl movies with this household.  Sometimes I really feel the lack of estrogen in this place.  Our movie choices are Action, Action, Comedy, and Action.  Girl movies are things I get from the library and watch surreptitiously when no one else is around.

So, I'm struggling with how these soon-to-be men are supposed to keep from spitting into each other's tea after all this shit-slinging.  Okay, you're right.  They wouldn't be caught dead drinking tea.  They're too young for beer, but they'll be spitting into each other's beer before soon enough and I'm not going to be able to do a thing to stop them, or even remotely civilize them before then.

Letting go really is a bitch when the work doesn't seem to be done.  That's really the problem here, isn't it?  I'm going to have to let my son let his friends treat him like shit.  Maybe it'll work out or maybe it won't, but either way, it'll hurt to watch.  I can only hope they get to the part where they slap each other on the backs and say, 'I love you, man.' before I catapult one of them off the face of Mt. Si.  You have to imagine Seth Rogan and Jay Chou for that scene, okay?

Thanks for listening, jules

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Battle Against Entropy

I have to tell you that I had a more exciting summer in mind.  I did not expect to have two tween boys who just don't want to go anywhere, who just don't want to do anything, whose idea of excitement is a day in front of the TV.  Today, they reluctantly came outside and put their feet in a bucket of cold water.  How's that for exciting, huh? 

Okay, it had a restful quality to it, but really?  Are these the kinds of days these boys planned for themselves? 

In my mind, an eleven year old should be exploring with his friends on his bike, further and further to the edge and just beyond the limits that were set for them.  The neighborhood starts to feel a little small when you're eleven, but not too small.  In my mind, an eleven year old should be paving trails up the slopes or nailing boards to a tree to build his own tree house, the one that a dad may never get around to building.  At least the boards let a kid climb up the tree more easily to that place where a tree house might fit if anyone ever begins the job.  In my mind, an eleven year old might be chaffing against the lack of funds and offering to mow more lawns than the one he has to do every week for free. 

No, those are not the eleven year olds I see here.  I see one boy who was just given a brand new bike and doesn't want to get out on it.  That same boy says that drinking Tang is the same as drinking water.  I see another boy who seems to have the excuse of one ache or another, who just doesn't plan to move off the couch if he can help it.  I told that boy today, my boy Jack, that there are people who spent so much effort never getting off the couch that now they aren't able to get off the couch.  He had moaned and groaned when I made him lean over to get his own book. 

Yes, I made that boy read today too.  Look, when I was eleven, I might read for an hour or two at a time.  Reading was an escape from the hell I had to call my life.  I could go anywhere, do anything, at least in my mind.  I could go further in books than I was allowed to travel on my bike.  I figure that thirty minutes of reading, even side-by-side with me now and then, is the minimum for a boy who will slip further and further behind if he never reads another line.  I don't care what he reads as long as he reads.

To tell you the horrid truth, I made him believe that this was a choice he was making.  You know how people do that to you?  They debate you into a corner, discuss you into believing that you just made your own decision, when they had the reigns the whole time?  Yes, I managed to convince Jack that he needed to read, write, and do a little math every day, six days a week, at least while we aren't on vacation.  I'm not trying to be mean.  I just want him to be using that spaghetti that resides between his ears.  Yes, I talked about one future, the future of a man who has not read, the man who struggles to hold a minimum wage job, the man who fell too far behind to ever see college as an option.  I know that man.  Then, I talked about a bright future, the one in which a boy has given a decent effort and can manage the kind of life he chooses to live.  I know that man too.

Yes, I honestly believe that it's true, that readers are more successful.

So sue me.

Today, I was sad for these boys.  I'm sad for myself too and I nearly threw a rod after the TV had been on for three hours.  I'm getting to a point that I hate the noise of the TV, the way it drags my attention away from what I'm doing over and over until I can't get a coherent thought in. 

Okay, really, the boys were watching Tom and Jerry.  Not bad right?  I agree.  It isn't bad, especially the music.  But then there's one commercial after another.  Do they really need to listen to yet another commercial that's asking, 'Are you having more trouble getting to the bathroom?' in an attempt to sell them a scooter?  That was when the last of the oil drained out of my engine and I blew my head gasket.  The TV goes off.  Now.

But now that I think of it eight hours later, these two are having more trouble getting to the bathroom.  They don't feel they need to get off the couch and someday very soon, the fabric of that couch will begin to be embedded into the flesh of their butts and they won't even be able to use the little scooter they bought.  So maybe I should have left them there, simmering in their own flaccid skins, wishing they had left the scooter a little closer to the couch so that they too could get to the bathroom without so much effort. 

It's a battle, guys.  Every day you choose what kind of life you want to lead.  Every single fucking day.

Thank you for listening, jules

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Making Himself Sick

Here I am being a lousy mom again.  It's after midnight on the fourth night of being up with a boy who's slightly nauseous.  Well crap!  I think he's sick because he has a fructose intolerance and he started the week at Boy Scout camp with an Orange Crush and three bags of Doritos.  Yes, Doritos have sugar in them.  I think he's sick because he's constipated and he proceeded to skip his Miralax and eat no vegetables the first few days of camp.  I've been trying to feed him vegetables, but he's avoiding them in favor of carbohydrates.  I believe he's making himself sick with his craving for sugars.  I had to go pick him up at camp and bring him home. 

I got mad just now.  I'm exhausted.  I can't stay up night after night with him and play with him during the day.  I can't stand watching him do this to himself and I got mad.  It's 12:45am.  He's lying in front of the damn television, trying not to feel sick to his stomach.  At this point he's sick to his stomach because I had given him the maximum amount of Miralax I could give him and I gave him prunes after that.  He's cramping from that. Prunes are high in fructose.  Automatic stomach ache.  Then earlier, he refused to eat more than a very small salad.  He should be eating a small salad at least twice a day.  He should be eating other vegetables, carrots, asparagus, whatever.  Tonight, he ate two short spears of asparagus.  Not enough fiber.

It's mean, but I'm being bluntly honest with him.  I know that most kids can get away with eating junk food for a week.  Jack can't.  He has things going on with his digestion, the fructose intolerance, the insulin resistance, and the slow digestion which causes constipation.  It's just not fair, he told me once.  Life isn't fair, I told him back.  No one gets an even deck.  It's always stacked against you. 

So, he says he's going to try something different tomorrow.  No sugary cereal.  Okay, I know, Multigrain Cheerios sound healthy, but they are sugar-coated.  They are a candy cereal.  It's a ruse, to fake us all out.  It just doesn't work for a boy who's stomach cramps at the sight of sugar.  It should be easy right?  It isn't.  Believe me.  I know.  I went on that no fructose diet with him for four weeks two summers ago.  It was hell, especially since I need to eat like a diabetic and the no fructose diet is fairly high in carbohydrates.  Imagine that.

Can you see that I'm trying to stay awake while my boy sits on the couch feeling sick to his stomach?  Can you see that?  Do I get any points for that?  Probably not. 

Hell, I'm crabby now.  I just want to curl up in my bed and sleep until I'm done sleeping.  I'm sick of the damn television.  I'm just not cut out for this.  I need my husband to come home from Boy Scout camp.  Tomorrow.

Tomorrow can't come soon enough for me.

Thank you for listening, jules

Friday, July 6, 2012

A Crank and Sunny Weather

I have to admit that I'm not crabby today.  How can I deliver a good product if I'm in a good mood?  You're only here because you want to read something inappropriate.  Tell me it isn't true.

Okay, here it is.  I hate sunny days.  I prefer the low clouds and drippy weather.  I suppose it's a good thing I live in the Pacific Northwest.  Other people across the U.S. are currently inundated with sunny weather.   Inundated.  I saw on a Facebook status yesterday a photo of a car's temperature gauge at 111 degrees.  And some idiots think global warming is something the Democrats made up.  Yup, low clouds and misty rain will do me fine.  Today, it was sunny.  When I got home from walking the dog, I my armpits smelled sour.  I'm starting to smell like an old lady.  Yuck. The only smell worse is medicated shampoo and unflossed teeth.  Just a little sun, and I was stuck with two since the dog spent his sunny afternoon rolling in green elk poop at the dog park. 

Everyone else is all cheerful and crap about the sun, but I hate when I have to take off my jacket.  It has pockets that are big enough for what I need to carry.  It wouldn't be so bad with just my phone and my keys, but now I have to carry my wallet too.  See, the parks around here are notorious for having sharks, people who bash in a window, grab a backpack, and run.  I tell you, if I could get my hands on the guy who stole my backpack at Evans Creek at 11:00am on a weekday two months ago, I'd put his testicles in the vice Mike uses to hold his projects while he carves at them.  My mother told me it was unladylike to use the word 'nuts,' so I'm sure 'testicles' will do.  This guy tore my notebook into pieces and ruined my favorite picture of my old dog Indiana.  See, I got my backpack returned to me by this nice lady who found it next to her mail box.  She was sweet, worried about her neighborhood, and rather innocent to the vagaries of the evil classes.  It might have been better if I'd never gotten that backpack back.  It only served to make me angry, smelling like vomit and being filled with my torn notebook, wet photographs, and broken glass.

The other day, someone tried to get into my car while it sat in the driveway.  I was ready to rip the flesh from their bones.  If I'd caught these two, a guy casing my car and a guy in a car in the neighbor's driveway, I'd have taken out all my anger from losing my backpack on them, testicles in the vice, and all that.  Oh, I teeter on the edge when it comes to being ripped off.  I lived twenty minutes away from New York city for ten years.  I tell you, I know, without ever having had a karate lesson, how to defend myself.  Awareness and pure animal viciousness will go a long way on a street in NYC at 3:00 am.  Most of the evil classes are looking for an easy mark, someone who will be afraid or run away.  They can feel the fury.  Except for the crazies and the drug addicts, most of the evils don't want to face an angry old woman who wants to crank their nuts,or rather testicles, in a vice.

Thank you for listening, jules

Thursday, July 5, 2012

This is Not a Pipe

It's a lousy day.  The sun is shining and I'm stuck at home.  At least the television is finally off. 

I was supposed to have time for myself.  Can I be selfish here?  Don't I deserve time to myself once every couple of years or so?  Can't I say that I'm not available to anyone?  Do I always have to be on call?

I was up last night since my son was sick.  I'm tired of being a good mom.  Really, I am.  He wasn't so sick that he actually needed someone right there with him, yet I slept in the recliner with the television on.  The sound was on low, but no one sleeps well with the television on.  So, today, he's doing his usual, whining about me playing with him despite the fact that I have, arguing that he doesn't want to do his reading, working to get my attention despite my nearly polite request that he manage his life by himself for an hour.  Even now, he's working to get me to look at what he's doing.  He didn't do what I asked him to do which was to make his daily list something he could check off.  His original list looked like this:

brush my teeth shower read do IXL write take my medicine and so on

Yeah, how can you tell that you did that on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday?

I need to get out of the house. I become most crabby after sitting in my living room for the first eight hours of the day with a boy who only wants to watch television.  Can I tell you how crazy that makes me?  Absolutely nuts, boinko poppers, ready for those nice men with nice white suit with the long sleeves.

Right now, he's really working to get me to turn around.  Shit.  I will not turn around.  I need to focus.  My focus can't, just can't turn to him, turn back to him, turn back to what he's doing.  I just need one bleeding minute to myself.

Why is bleeding a bad word in Great Brittan?  What does it actually mean? 

So, what I really want to say is that I need one fucking minute to myself.  Does that put me in danger of being labeled as inappropriate? 

I've been cursing around my son too much lately.  I'm telling you.  I am not a good mom.  I know he's heard the words.  The curses seem to get his attention when none of the nice words do.  Is it a good thing for me to do?  I don't think so.  I don't curse in front of other people.  I never used to curse in front of him.  Why now? 

It sort of feels like he can handle it.  Does it encourage him to talk that way?  I imagine it does.  What if I switch to 'bleeding' instead?  Will he still pay attention to me?  Probably not.  That's really what I'm trying to do, get his attention.  I'm not sure it's working.

He's almost twelve.  I have to tell you that living with a twelve year old boy is hell.  Either that or I'm hell and I'm really messing him up.  Do you remember the push-me-pull-you from the book 'Doctor Doolittle?'  I hated that creature.  It had two heads and could never move forward when it was moving forward.  That creature could never agree which way even was forward.  That's what it's like living with a twelve year old boy.  He wants a hug.  He wants some space.  He wants to be independent.  He can't tie his shoes by himself.  It feels as if he's gone backward in time, as if his emotions and reactions are those of a four year old, only he's the size of a small man, well, a very small man.  He is nearly five feet tall.  He's starting to grow hair on his legs.  His voice hasn't changed yet, but there's more authority there.  There's still an utter lack of understanding about the way the world works, though he thinks he knows. 

Oh, why can't I think of an example of that when I want to? 

I love this kid dearly, but he's driving me nuts.  Do the mother birds start getting annoyed by their pushy little squabs when they're nearly overflowing the nest?  I can imagine a bird getting frustrated.  I can see bringing so much food and always hearing the squawking, the incessant squawking.  Just be quiet, just for one bleeding minutes.

The dog is groaning.  I'm not sure it's because he doesn't feel well.  He didn't eat his breakfast until late this afternoon.  Or maybe he's bored and I need to take him for a walk.  A walk would be good.  Can I leave the boy behind so I can take a moment to myself? Probably not, but that means that I'm going to have to coax him along for every little bit of distance I do.  I just want to be able to go walk for three or four miles at a decent pace without having to drag, lure, coax, push anyone to keep up with me. 

How do single mothers do this?  My husband is off at Boy Scout camp.  My son was there until a couple of days ago when he had to come home because he was sick.  He was never really very sick.  I would have made him stick it out except it reached a point that it seemed cruel and I'm not willing to push my agenda to the point of cruelty.  I come close sometimes.  Another boy seems to have the same problem only my husband seems to think it's digestive.  I mean, it's hard to have a good time when things haven't moved in a week.  The boy won't eat any of the prunes my husband is offering.  Oh, that's going to hurt later.  Just how long can a body postpone something like that without absolutely being forced to go? 

TMI again. 

These are issues at camp.  They just are.  I've been on a couple of week long trips during which someone didn't do their business for a week.  It makes a body pretty sick. 

So my boy is home with me when I was going to have three whole days to myself for the first time since he was four.  Is that so much to ask? 

Now, don't go giving me advice or making comments.  This is all fiction.  Even the nice-mom blogs are fiction.  Don't you know that by now?  The ones that always have something sweet to say are lying, or they're not complete human beings.  I do know a few people who are just calmer and quieter than I am.  There are variations in humanity that way, but no mom is without her moments.  No one does it right all of the time, one hundred percent.  No one does it all wrong either.  

So when I say this is fiction, I'm trying to tell you that the truth is only here in my living room.  You are not here.  You can't see anything here.  You can only see through the words I write.  Fiction.  All of it, with a touch of real emotion. 

Can you tell that I've got a problem with what's going on somewhere else?  I'm just sick of always singing 'It's a small world after all' with that Stepford smile on my bleeding face.  I've never been Mary Poppins and I never will be. 

Thank you for listening, jules

Monday, July 2, 2012

Fourth of July Shortcuts

Crabby?  Who me? 

Well this week, someone tried to break into my car.  My cat died.  My husband and son are both having a great time at Boy Scout camp without me.  It's been a crappy week, except for the people who really love me.  I have to admit that I have them.  I'm pretty lucky that way.  Still, I'm crabby about the rest of this stuff. 

I'm almost to a point I don't want to do anything fun.  Almost.  What the hell is with that?  I'd rather hang out at home and sulk instead of going for a walk with my friend? 

I'm glad I went.  I feel much better now.  I get crabby when I don't get enough exercise.  I get crabby when I'm not outside enough.  RunKeeper says that we walked 4.97 miles tonight.  Why is it always just short of some good round number?  Why couldn't it have been 5.03 miles instead? 

I'm having Fourth of July salad.  If you're a lazy shit like me, you put blueberries and strawberries in a bowl and cover them with whipped cream from a can.  If you're a Martha Stewart wannabe with way too much time on your hands, you'll hand whip your cream, add some gelatin, brown sugar and a soupcon of rosewater.  Then you'll spread it out in a rectangular pan over a thin layer of graham cracker crust with crushed walnuts and a layer of cream cheese blended with confectioner's sugar.  And very carefully, you'll add a layer of toasted coconut on top of which you will hand place the blueberries and strawberries in order to depict an American flag waving in the sunshine. 

Yeah.  I'm done eating my redneck Fourth of July salad now.  I might just go eat some cream cheese out of the package.  We're all out of graham crackers or I'd eat some of them too.

Thank you for listening, jules

Sunday, July 1, 2012

That Boy Needs Some Shoes

When my son was born, so many people came up to tell me how I should raise him.  I hated those people.

"That boy needs some shoes.  He's going to freeze to death," from a total stranger in the grocery store who looked like she was about to call social services if she could just find out my name.  The boy she was referring to wasn't yet walking, had a tendency to sweat profusely when I dressed him similar to the way I was dressed, weatherwise, and never kept shoes or socks on his feet for more than ten minutes.  I was tired of having only one of any pair of shoes or socks, so I just left them off.  We were both happier that way.

Back then, the minister at my church kept at me, saying that I should bring my boy to church so he could scream his head off for an hour in the nursery even though my husband preferred to stay at home with him while I sang in the choir.  She nagged me weekly.  I was happy when she left the congregation.  You're not supposed to say that about a minister, but it was true.

When my son got a little older, there was a lull in people trying to force their opinions on me, but now the parenting police are back.  I shouldn't go to fifth-grade camp with my son, this from the staff who were unwilling to make the ten-minute phone call to the cook staff regarding a serious allergy.  Well, crap, I didn't particularly want to go to that camp either.  Who actually wants to spend a week herding 100 kids twenty-four hours a day?  Sleeping in a cabin with nine whiny, catty girls?  No thanks.  I just didn't want my son to stop breathing because some flunky teacher couldn't be bothered to find out about the menu.  Breathing is on that list of essentials I didn't want my son to be without, even at camp. 

Now it's this woman who says that I can't go to Scout camp next week.  Why the hell does she get to decide?  It's not like I was going to chase my son around holding up a pair of underwear to get him to change clothes.  I know he's not going to change clothes all week.  I doubt he'll brush his teeth.  But he was still okay with me going.  I wanted to go, knowing that I'd have the whole week to float around camp doing my own thing.  I loved that time.  He actually liked me when we went to camp because I wasn't in his face about anything.  It was somebody else's job to tell him what to do.

Another person, a friend actually, told me that I can't allow him to tell me he hates me.  What am I supposed to do, duct tape the pie hole shut?  He's making his own decisions here.  He lives with the results.  She wasn't there when it happened.  She didn't see what came next and it wasn't any of her business what he said to me and how I responded. 

I see my son changing.  I see the way he wants me with him, but chaffes at my nearness.  I feel my own response to him, the 'well you do it yourself then' when he won't let me help him or be courteous to me when he asks for help.  I hear myself telling him it's his life and I can't live it for him.  Well, what I actually said was, "If you want to sit there on your butt for the rest of your life, eating, watching television, and playing video games, be my guest, but you should know you won't get anyone to pay you to sit in front of a television."  I see all of this independence happening naturally and in its own time.  I don't need outsiders controlling it for me.  Why can't they just leave me the hell alone?  Mind their own business?  As if it's going to be perfect if I do it their way anyway, huh?

Okay, I'm going to be brave.  Here it is after sitting in a dead-letter bin for a few days.  Here's my real opinion, my own crabby self, shining through.

Thank you for listening, jules


Well, crap!  My guys are leaving for a week. I'm going to have to resist the urge to sulk.  I have a great list of things to do, but I'm not sure I'll want to do them.  I have a list of things I need to do, but I don't know if I'll do them.  I might just read and sleep all week. 

That sounds really lame. 

I'll walk the dog.  He'll give me that special pathetic look of his.  If I ignore that, he might just chew up something I sort of like.  Last week, I didn't feed him breakfast until 10:30 and he chewed up a carving my husband had worked on. 

I just looked behind the laptop for a sticky note I lost and found a bunch of things we never use, things that are defunct.  I found a video camera and some home movies on little cassettes.  I found a GPS.  There's a digital camera back there.  My son has also put his 2G iPhone, and a 3G iTouch there, both with dead batteries.  Do you think we have a technology time warp back there?  Why are we keeping all of this junk? 

The pencil sharpener still works and hasn't been superceded by a 5G iSharp.  We also have a regular pad of paper instead of an iPad.  The papercutter is old fashioned.  I suppose that my husband will eventually want an iCut.

Oh, I am funny, am I not?  You're right.  Not.

I wonder how weird I'll get this week.  I can get pretty strange when I don't sleep right.  Will I sleep?  I won't have to set the alarm.  I won't have to get up to see what junk my son has had for breakfast.  Oh, hold your indignation, Moms.  He usually has Multigrain Cheerios and feeds a handful to the dog.  I won't have to ask him about reading, or where he wants to go in an attempt to get him off the couch and on his feet outside.  He totally sees through my ruse, though an offer to go to Sky High or to the shooting range sometimes gets through to him.

I won't have to think of anybody but me this week.  Well, shit.  I still have to feed the cats and the dog.  I'll still have to go for walks or go stand at an off leash dog area where I'll have to talk to people.  Do I want to talk to anyone this week?  I'm not sure I do.  I'll still have to clean the litter boxes, give the cat his pills, and I have to talk to the cashier at Costco since we're out of paper towels and canned corn. 

I won't have to listen to any episodes of Spongebob, or iCarly, or The Regular Show.  None!  I don't have to turn the TV on at all if I don't feel like it. 

Instead of being creative, am I going to stay up late watching dumb movies on TNT?  Instead of finding solitude, am I going to tag along with my friends to the Fourth of July celebration at Carnation?  Instead of going to galleries, will I shop for basic food and bring it home to sit on the couch? 

We will see.  We will see. 

Thank you for listening, jules