Category Archives: Mom

If I Wrote Mother’s Day Cards…

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I hate buying Mother’s Day cards.  They’re so treacly, so very sweet that spending more than 15 minutes in the Hallmark store will outright kill a diabetic.  This is completely true, I swear.  Sadly, as is common nowadays, I have two moms to celebrate on Mother’s Day.  And neither one of them is really the squishy marshmallow type Hallmark writers write cards for.

MOM: I have a great mom.  I mean she’s kinda batshit crazy sometimes, but overall she’s fantastic and she has a very loving and kind heart.  Besides raising me and my siblings (no mean feat, as we’re all really obnoxious, each in our special unique way), she also used to be considered an expert marksman.  Back in the day, my momma was something else.  She was a female cop in Georgia in the 70s when it was still considered appropriate to sexually harrass female cops.  She was CSI before Gil Grissom made it all broody and sexy. (By the way, crime scene unit techs don’t actually interrogate suspects, also, according to my mom, those actors on CSI have terrible fingerprint examination techniques, and also?  Most CSIs don’t have to carry the maglight everywhere on account of how they turn the lights on when conducting investigations.) There are downsides to a mom so acquainted with the darker side of human nature.  If I was even 20 minutes late getting home from an outting with my friends, my mom would drag out the crime scene photos and remind me that they “didn’t think anything bad would happen to them, either.”  My sister was once pulled over by a cop for speeding-it’s bad enough getting a ticket, but multiply that by ten when the first thing the officer does is call your mom.  We also developed cast iron stomachs.  How could you not when we all discussed crimes scenes over dinner?  There are exceptions to my ability to maintain my composure in the midst of extreme grossness, most notably the people who ruined no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies and thousand island dressing for me forever (you know who you are…) but by and large I’m okay talking about how squishy brains are while eating spaghetti at the same time.  When she quit the police, my mom went and got a masters and Ph.D. in English and Writing respectively.  She parlayed her CSU experience into a fairly successful career as a crime procedure novelist.  She never hit the NYT Bestsellers, but she did manage to amass some very loyal readers, and to this day I get a kick out of seeing any of her 15+ published books at the library.  She is older now, still kind of goofy, and still says and does off-the-wall stuff.  She is anything except conventional but Hallmark doesn’t sell those types of cards.

STEPMOM: And then there’s the monster.  Don’t let the pejorative fool you.  I love this cranky woman to pieces.  She drives me nuts-hyper critical, hyper-judgmental, major control freak, and yet…  You all probably know that one person who acts all mean and cranky, but deep down inside there’s massive bunches of carameley gooey sweet awesomeness.  The monster is that someone for me.  Once she loves you, she loves you for life.  You’re part of her tribe and no matter how much she thinks your outfit is stupid or you’re an idiot for some course of action you just took, she will defend the crap out of you to anyone else who dares try to shut you down.  Better, she will support you when you start to give up.  I mean, it can be exasperating to hear her go on and on about how I should be probably be doing something else other than the thing I am doing, but try to quit and she’s the first person to build me back up.  She’s also funny, like wicked hilarious.  She can laugh at herself better than most people I know.  Just try to tell her she’s awesome, though, and she snarks.  But deep down inside where the goo lives?  She kinda likes that I think she’s kinda awesome.  As for “monster.”  Well, that name came about when I was in high school and she wouldn’t let me do something I wanted to do.  I slammed the door and screamed out that she was a wicked stepmonster.  And then, well, we both just kinda cracked up at that.  She’s been my monster ever since.  The only one I could ever love.

So to my mom, thank you for showing me by example that being true to myself is the coolest, and frankly, the only way to be.  You let your crazy freak flag fly and that makes you mighty.

To my monster, I’ll be sure and reload the Sonic card for mother’s day. Or at least I’ll give you the card back along with $5.00.  Because you are just the kind of odd to think that’s a really cool gift.

Because the truth is that in my family, Mother’s Day is a completely unnecessary holiday.  Every day is Mother’s Day.

Take that, Hallmark.

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Mommy’s Here! Mommy’s Here!!

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I’m told by certain people that I don’t blupdate enough, so I thought I would write a quick post and let everyone know that my mommy is here!!  I’m not at all happy about that as you can clearly see.  Nope, not happy to see her at all.  I did not hug her the moment I saw her, nor have I once thought to myself, “gee, I wish my mom was closer so I could see her more often…”  Nope, not at all happy.  🙂  But I’ll bear with the visit,as it is my sacred duty as daughter. 

The above is all a bunch of lies except for the part about my mommy being in town…that part, happily, is very, very true.

Be good, all.

The Blog That I Wrote

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Before we begin, What Not To Eat.  Is it wrong that I think the kid’s mac and cheese from Macaroni Grill still looks kind of good?  I’m a mac and cheese whore.

So I picked up my now-working laptop from the computer repair guy.  Cost $200.  He put a new hard drive in and it runs so fast and pretty.  I wanted to buy a Mac instead of fixing my little PC laptop, but the frugal beast deep down inside me wouldn’t hear of it.  The frugal beast (FB) is obsessed with New Year’s Resolution #2.  I’m a little worried about FB-she’s begun stalking my credit card bills and every time I see something and go “ooh, neat, I want,” she’s all “fiscal responsibility, you!!!” FB’s a buzzkill. 

I’ve been listening to the Twilight series on CD while driving to and from work.  I was at a pivotal moment last night when I got home, so I was really excited for this morning.  Only, I wound up taking my dad to work so I didn’t play it.  It’s so silly to be disappointed because I’ve already read the book.  I totally know what happens.  But I was involved in the story and bummed I couldn’t play it out this morning.  My dad probably wouldn’t have minded, but if I’d played it, I’d have missed his dorky dad joke.  Are you ready for it?

Dad: So, if a doctor who treats skin rashes on people is called a dermatologist, then what is a doctor who treats skin rashes on elephants called?

Me: Ummmm…don’t know. What?

Dad: (laughing already even though it is truly the dorkiest joke known to mankind) A pachydermatologist. hahahahahahaha!

Me: (not laughing) Yeah, dad, that’s really funny.

Dad-rightly-pointed out that if I’d been up on my game, I could have ruined his joke with the actual correct answer of “veterinarian.”  I clearly wasn’t up on my game.  My dad is really sort of an adorable nerd. 

My mom’s a nerd, too, but she’s a different kind of nerd from my dad.  Mom’s a book nerd.  And Dad’s just a nerd with geekish tendencies.  I understand why they aren’t together anymore-what I don’t get is why they got together in the first place.  Don’t get me wrong-I’m glad they did or there wouldn’t be a me or a chauceriangirl (which would be a CRIME, I tell you, a CRIME!).  Let me just say they’re both better off with their respective spouses.  And I get bonus parentals.

Over the holiday, I talked my dad and my stepmonster (and believe you me, it took some serious pouting to convince her) into watching The Princess Bride DVD with me.  Neither had seen it before, and I knew Dad, at least, would really get a kick out of it.  The Monster has this unreasonable prejudice against technology.  She only embraced the VCR about seven years ago.  She hasn’t really embraced the DVD player yet.  She also will not see a movie in the theatre because she thinks it’s too loud.  I’m not kidding.  I own several movies she likes on DVD.  She will watch them on network TV, all cut and sliced up with commercial breaks, but she won’t watch them on DVD.  Am I the only one who thinks that’s weird?  Because it really is.  Anyway, Dad liked Princess Bride a lot.  And the Monster laughed twice, but stopped short when she realized Dad and I had noticed.  It was good fun watching her trying to not enjoy it, but enjoying it anyway.  She’s finally conceded it’s useful.  Chauceriangirl loaned her a movie she wanted to see over the Christmas holidays and Monster unbent sufficiently to express interest in seeing the extras, too.  It’s still a very tenuous relationship between the Monster and the DVD player, but she’s becoming reconciled.

I didn’t actually mean to blog about my parentals today.  I don’t really know how that happened.  Oh, well.  It’ll do.  My break is over and per Resolution #3, I have to stop blogging now and do this thing I call job.  Have a really good day.  Hey, that includes you with the grumpy face!

Fried Okra is Yucky. Family is Cool.

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I used to like fried okra when I was kid.  We’d go to the cafeteria for dinner sometimes and my parents would insist I have vegetables, so I’d get fried okra.  They tried to convince me it didn’t count as a vegetable, but eventually they gave up.  At least I was eating something green and vegetable-like underneath all the fried breading.  But I got some fried okra from a co-worker today and hoo-boy.  A world of yuck.  I made the same face my sister has been known to make when someone puts a plateful of something-she-hates in front of her and expects her to eat it.  Seriously want to know where I got my drama queen tendencies?  I strongly suspect foi had something to do with it.  Anyway, fried okra is yucky.  So is unfried okra.  In fact, okra in general=yucky.  If you haven’t, don’t.  My helpful tip to you. 

Went out with foi and jehara last night and met foi’s joe-bear for dinner.  I was really grouchy and didn’t want to go, but foi told me I had no choice.  I’m actually glad I went because foi and jehara are two of my favoritest people in the whole entire galaxy and it was really nice to hang with them for a while.  And then hearing about the truly horrific day jehara and amethyst had made me feel all guilty for being a cranky-pants.  I have NO problems.  I’m just saying that right now.  I’m a lucky human-bean with all my spiffy girl-friends and my family I love, love and the cutest two dogs ever in the world.  (Yes, foi, I agree Molly also is adorable-ness personified!!!!  Er.  Dogified.  Whatever.) 

It kind of got me thinking about chosen family vs. the one you’re born with.  Foi and I have certainly had our share of hard times.  Especially in our childhood, we had a really disfunctional family, but over time, things have improved.  There are some traumas you can’t just wipe away with a “that’s okay, water under the bridge,” but the people who hurt us when we were children acknowledged it when we were adults.  That means a lot and it makes the healing easier.  So saying that, I have a lot of affection for my biological family because we’ve gone through hard times together and I truly believe we’ve come out stronger in the end.  And even when things were bad, I always knew my mother and father loved me and cared tremendously about my welfare.  So I recognize I’m lucky.

Other people not so much.  And that’s where chosen family comes in.  I would choose foi even if she wasn’t my actual biological sister.  But I have the privilege of choosing jehara and amethyst and v and l-squared and all these other sisters who are strong and smart and wicked-funny.  Chosen family is just as important as biological at the end of the day.  I love all my families.

I want to cook them a great big tasty meal of comfort food and have thanksgiving every day of the week.  Without okra.  That is all.

TONI GT or the Signs of Aging

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So, yesterday I went with my dad for the daily soda run–really an excuse to give the dogs a ride in the car.  We’re an entire family of suckers, what can I say?  Anyway, there’s a sign on the exterior of the store with the headline of “TONI GT,” which I actually interpreted as “Toni G.T.”  There I was thinking “who is Toni GT?  why do I care?” when it suddenly dawns on me that the creator of the sign meant “TONIGHT,” as in the big party is tonight, come and party with us, ya’ll.  Granted, the creator of the sign left off the all-important ‘H’ when spelling the word, but I felt momentarily stupid.  My dad told me it was a sign I was getting old.  He’s a silly man.  He likes to joke that his hearing was the second thing to go and he can’t remember the first….  Yep.  Hilarious.  I’m starting to make sense to you now, aren’t I?  It’s all hereditary. 

I’m back at work after a week off and you know, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be.  True there were lots and lots of emails to return, but there were only three phone messages and not too much build-up from the week before.  Happiness.  I have some projects to work on and I don’t lack for something to do, but it could have been (and has been in the past) so much worse.

So another mom story.  She sent me an email yesterday.  Now, I knew she got home safely because she very dutifully called me when her plane landed.  I wasn’t worried that I hadn’t heard from her since because I figured she was exhausted and resting.  So in the email she tells me-well instead of paraphrasing, here are the salient points verbatim:

 On arrival, I was the last one out because I was in the farthest-back seat. I asked the remaining members of the flight crew which was the right luggage carousel, and they didn’t know but said the wheel chair person would. She was African and spoke this much English: What number? Slank you.

She left me at the wrong carousel.

I located T, who pointed to the right carousel. Since he doesn’t know my baggage by sight, I told him I’d get it, and left my other stuff with him.

I went to the right carousel.

I reached for my little blue suitcase.

It was jammed. It would not turn loose of me. It dragged me onto the carousel.

Thirty to forty people who didn’t know what to do stared.

Two utter swine reached over me, grabbed their own bags, and strode away.

One middle-aged Chinese gentleman removed me from the carousel. One teen-aged American gentleman removed my suitcase from the carousel.

I got home.

Dude, I can’t believe two people just reached over my little mom sailing around the carousel to grab their luggage without trying to help her.  Seriously.  My mom isn’t skinny, but she’s short.  She’s little.  She has grey hair and looks like someone’s pink-cheeked grandmother.  Or at least their really cool crazy-ass great-aunt.  I’m just saying.  That was wrong and I know karma will get even because karma always does. 

Tonight I’m doing yoga with S.  Getting back into the routine and I haven’t forgotten about the running thing either, so don’t think I have.  I’m really excited though.  I’ve never been great at yoga, but for about a year I did this beginner’s routine from a Rodney Yee DVD and I’m not kidding–I totally slept better. 

‘Kay, breaks over.  Must work.  I return me to my regularly scheduled activit…wait, no I mean YOU-I return you to your regularly scheduled activities.  I hope they involve chocolate.  Have some for me, okay?

Wrap Up (With a Shiny Green Bow)

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I have no idea why I specified a shiny green bow.  Because I like the color green, I suppose.  I’m so strange.  My lovely friend S commented that she’d like me to blog, so I’m blogging ’cause S is so wonderful it’s difficult to ignore a direct request.  Indirect requests I can totally ignore though.  I have mad indirect request ignoring skillz.  Did I really just use a ‘z’ in that context?  Wow.  That was lame.

So the show is over.  This was a really difficult show.  S & V always challenge me, but this time it was the subject matter more than the movement and style.  How do you compact so much grief and loss into a one hour and fifteen minute show without losing something in the end?  I thought we would, but we didn’t.  I felt those women with me especially the last night.  You know, when dealing with such difficult topics, I get through things with this really obscene gallows humor–joking about things that are, in fact, incredibly not funny.  On the last night, though, I allowed myself to feel and I truly believe the women of Juarez were with us.  I’m aware  how hokey that sounds, but they wanted their stories told and they were so happy we were doing it.  I loved being able to share all that with our audience.  It was an unbelievable experience for me. 

It was also amazing to have mom there.  She said the kindest things about the show (that it was real literature), about the cast (so expressive and genuine), and about me (that if she didn’t know it was me, she would never have recognized me, I was so fully immersed in the role).  It meant a lot what she said.  I also appreciated E’s mom telling us we should totally be on Oprah.  A part of me completely cracked up at that and then I looked over at mom, who was solemnly nodding her head in agreement.  Everybody should have a quirky, wonderful, warm mom like mine.  I’m lucky.  I know that.

I drove Mom to San Antonio the very day after the show closed.  I was soooo tired, but she hardly ever asks us for big things like this, so I couldn’t say no.  She’s doing research for a new book (think a Texas Zorro) and wanted to visit the missions and some of the older dwellings there for historical research.  It was a short trip–we saw Casa Navarro, La Villita (for the dwellings, not the shopping) and all four missions at Mission Park.  By far, the missions were the most fascinating, especially Mission Concepcion, which other than basic maintenance and the installation of electricity, has not been renovated.  The structures are made of adobe and the walls are so thick, that even though there was a heat index of 102, the interior was relatively cool–comparatively speaking, of course.  I much prefer central heating and cooling.  You can see traces of the frescoes and the murals inside.  They’re just so beautiful and peaceful. 

Poor mom was exhausted by the time we got to San Jose Mission.  She stopped at the gate just where you enter the compound, looked at me, and said “Never mind.”  I wound up getting her a wheel-chair and pushing her around because there was NO WAY I was letting her miss that.  Mission Park was the biggest reason she wanted to go to San Antonio.

Of course, we made room in our schedule for Mi Tierra, the bestest and yummiest Mexican restaurant I have ever been to, and we also shopped at El Mercado.  I bought a turquoise and silver cross and I also bought one of those embroidered Mexican dresses-black with white embroidery.  It’s so pretty.  It’s funny with the Juarez show how aware I was of all the crosses and religious artwork at the Market Square.  I would see something out of the corner of my eye and have to go examine it further.  There were some truly beautiful pieces of artwork there.  Mom reflected that she was glad she was so broke because she thought she had more fun picking out what she loved most instead of being able to buy every lovely thing she saw.

We got home on Tuesday and mom flew back home on Wednesday.  I tried to talk her into staying another day, but as much as she wanted to, she also wanted to go home.  That is one of the best things about going on trips–getting to return home and sleep in your own bed.  Two nights sleeping on a crappy Microtel Inn mattress has given me a whole new appreciation for my comfy pillowtop. 

I’ve spent the last couple of days doing not much of anything.  My dad wanted me to find a specific type of writing utensil yesterday, so I drove all around the city with no luck.  Office Max?  Nope.  Office Depot?  Nope.  Target?  Nope.  Kroger?  Nope.  Tom Thumb?  Nope.  Finally, I decided to try Wal Mart.  I wasn’t very hopeful, but right when I pulled into the lot, I saw that the very first parking spot right by the entrance was open.  With that kind of karma I knew right away I’d find his pens, and I did. 

Today, I got my hair done.  Last Friday, the audacious Mr. O leaned in very close to me and said, “wow, you have a lot of grey hair.”  Bastard.  So I paid a lot of money for very pretty highlights which totally conceal the grey.  Even my ultra-critical stepmonster thinks they look really good.  They better.  They cost a lot.  Actually, right at first it was way too blonde.  I freaked out a little and my stylist was all, “calm down–we’ll just put a toner in and I bet you’ll love it.”  She did and I did.  With the toner and the lowlights she put in, it’s actually pretty close to my natural shade.  Minus the blonde highlights of course. 

I’m kind of sad my vacation is over, but on the other hand I am ready to go back to work.  I can’t say I’ve missed it, but I felt so lazy this afternoon that I decided to clean the monster’s house.  Made her happy anyway.  Tomorrow I plan on cheating on my dogs–the lab rescue will be at a local pet supply and grooming store tomorrow and I’ll be visiting the puppy dogs.  I am a sucker for the puppy dogs.  And then maybe tomorrow night F and S and I will catch Harry Potter on IMAX.  I hope so-that would be fun.  But overall, I’m glad to get back to a normal schedule.  I have life-stuff things I want to work on now and since I don’t have to go to rehearsal lack of time is no longer a valid excuse.  That’s a good thing, I think.

And that’s the wrap up.  With the shiny green bow.