I’m So Fly – I’m OG Baby Like Grape Koolaid

The sun beat down on the hot pavement as my sandaled feet walked briskly, matching the pace of the other walkers on 5th Avenue.  Sweat beaded on my forehead.  Mind over Matter.  I thought to myself.   I twisted out of my sweater, trying to keep up with my friends and shoved it in my bag, madly searching for my sunglasses to no avail.  After retracing my steps in my mind, I furiously cursed myself for leaving them on the subway.  Who does that in August?  Water like mirages littered the road ahead.  I squinted trying to make out where we were going.   We turned a couple corners and headed down 6th Avenue.  And what did we find?  A street fair.  The smell of Gyro’s mixed with empanadas teased my nose.  Tents lined both sides of the street.  Among them were vendors of all kinds:  food, drinks (even the frozen kind), clothing, shoes, hats, and yes…sunglasses.  I dismissed myself from my entourage and headed straight for the shaded sunglasses booth.

Being my first time in NYC, I didn’t want to look like a dumb blonde from Texas who didn’t know what I was doing and probably road a horse to the airport , so I squared my shoulders and tried to look coy, like  I Ain’t New Ta This.  I walked around the booth, eye shopping until I found a pair of gorgeous light brown Dior knock offs.  I reached down to pick them up at the exact time a tan hand with long red fingernails reached for the same pair.  She giggled.  My eyes travelled from her cherry nails up to her…ahem…to her boobs.  The biggest boobs I had ever seen, and they were out and proud.  Two bronzed melons squished together under a tight, white very deep v-neck  tank.  She giggled again and said, “You have good taste.”  I may have said, “Well, that’s because you’ve got big jugs. I mean your boobs are huge. I mean, I wanna squeeze ’em. Mama!” Or something like that.

Finally, she broke my boob trance and said, “Try them on.  They’ll look great on you.”  So I did, and she was right.  The fake Dior glasses were made for my face.  She said, “You have to buy them.” And I said, “No, you get them.  You saw them first.” I really wanted those glasses, but I’m from the South, and I’m polite, so I did the polite thing and handed them to her. She looked at me.  I shot her my best, “I’m really sweet, and I want these effing glasses” smiles.  She bit her lip for a minute while I checked out the rest of her attire.  Which didn’t take long.  Then she handed them to me and insisted I get them.  My Lethal Weapon, my Texas charm, always works.  Just as I started to leave, she motioned me back and pointed to a duplicate pair and said something about us being sunglasses twins.  I thought to myself that we couldn’t be further from twins, but I humored her, and we both tried on the shades admiring our reflections in the hand mirror that she held out for us.  I watched her go buy her glasses, and then I headed to the same guy to buy mine.

He had  I’m Your Pusher written all over him mainly because he had a huge wad of cash in his hands and was wearing sunglasses and a smile on his face when Boobs Mctits exchanged cash with him.

I started walking over and realized I only had credit, and I was pretty certain this was a cash only kind of place.  By this time, my husband (who was fiancé at the time) and the rest of our crew had purchased drinks and made their way to the sunglasses tent.  I asked him for the money to buy the shades, and he happily obliged.  I walked over to the sunglasses vendor, pulled the cash from my purse and started to hand it to him when I felt fingers grip my bicep and yank me back.  Fiancé  whispered, “What are you doing?” Pulling me away from the pusher.

I whispered back, “Buying sunglasses.  What are you doing?” And pulled my arm from his grip.

He laughed.  Then he said with a big shit eating grin, “From him?” Gesturing with a nod toward the vendor holding the cash.

“Yes,” I said turning back toward the guy with the cash.

He pulled me back again, got super close to my ear, and whispered, “Do you not know who that is?” I furrowed my brow and shook my head.  He bit his lip, stifling a laugh,  “That’s Ice T.”

I stood there, mouth agape, and watched as Ice T and Coco walked to a different tent together, his hand comfortably resting at the top curve of her perfectly round ass.

My fiancé had a good laugh and told everyone for the rest of the trip how I tried to buy sunglasses from Ice T.  I often wonder though what would have happened if he hadn’t yanked my hand back.  I’m pretty sure Ice T would have gotten a kick out of it, or we might have had to Escape From the Killing Fields.

***If you’re not an Ice T fan, you may not have caught my bold italic references to a few of his songs.   Disclaimer:  You may or may not get offended by some of the lyrics.  You also may or may not understand my confusion.

The Cycle

It starts again. The cycle. The never ending punch in the gut, jolt to the heart, baffling cycle.

The first stage:

Denial

“Have you talked to mom?” The question I hate to hear when one of my four brothers calls.

“Yes.” I close my eyes before I ask, “Why?”

“She just seems,” sigh, “Out of it.”

“No. I haven’t noticed.” I lie.

Then I end the call and pretend it never happened. I go about my day. I play with my children. We do homework. I cook dinner for my family, a mediocre, limp mess that we call a meal. I sit in my chair at the kitchen table, fork some food into my mouth, chew, and swallow, all the while trying to push her illness away from my reality. I smile at my son as he tells me something really important about one of his Lego Star Wars characters and nod my head feigning undying interest. I wipe my daughter’s mouth and ask her to use her fork and listen to her hum a song she learned at preschool. We all sit and eat, and I pretend it’s not happening. Again.

It’s not happening again.

It’s not happening again.

And so on until she reaches the next stage … everyone’s favorite.

I’m back!!!

My phone rings. I look at the name. “Mom” lights up. I want so badly to hit the red Decline button, but I can’t. I cannot ignore her call. I long to hear her voice, to feel her, to hold on to just a little bit of her normal, so I answer.

“Hi, mom,” I say and hold my breath.

“You’re coming to see me Spring Break, right?”  She says, rapidly, faster than her usual Southern drawl.

“Um.  I haven’t thought about…”

“I’m cleaning out my closet,” she interrupts, “Do you want that brown suit that I bought with you at Dillard’s? You could use it for work.” Flight of ideas. Keep up. It’s not always easy.

“No, mom. I don’t work anymore.” I haven’t worked in 7 years.

“Oh.” She pauses, trying to make sense of that in her head but only briefly.Onto the next thought. “I’m so alive right now. I’ve never been better. Did I tell you? I’m back. I’m back, and I’m better than I ever was. I have so much energy. I stayed up until 6:00 this morning, organizing my closet. Organizing my cabinets. Organizing the laundry room.”

I picture my childhood home always tidy and neat, immaculate actually, and then I picture her organizing, her new way of organizing.  Her clothes drape over her bed and litter the floor next to her closet. The plates I ate so many meals from stack on top of each other on the kitchen counter next to the silverware and her cast iron skillet, the one that she used to make me fried okra and French fries anytime I requested. Her prized teapot collection no longer collects dust in her antique display cabinet.  Pieces of it scatter all over the house, unmatched. She uncharacteristically went on a catalog shopping spree and spent almost a thousand dollars on junk. My parents’ formal living room couples as an advertisement for the As Seen on TV store. I imagine my dad rubbing his lips together, kneading the soft wrinkled skin on his forehead back and forth with his fingers, trying to ignore the mess … the clutter … the illness.

“I’m glad you’re feeling well.” I lie. She’s not well. We all know it, but she feels great. Some synapse in her brain rapidly fires over and over and sends her on a temporary high. A high that she feeds on, that she enjoys, that makes her look “crazy” to the outside world, but just fragile, porcelain plunging to tile about to shatter in a million pieces, to me. She will break. Soon. So I brace myself. And I hold onto her happy, to her synthetic high with all of my force from behind my phone.

“I love you, mom.” I say, swallowing the huge lump in my throat.

“I love you, too.”

“I know.”

I know.

I know.

And I do, which is why I can handle the next stage:

Anger

Her name lights up on my phone for the eighth time today. I sigh. I can’t do it. I can’t pick up and hear what I know she is going to say. I can’t, but I do. Every time. Because I can’t ignore my mom.

“Hi, mom.”

“I don’t know what your problem is.” She spits at me.

“I don’t have a problem.” I say, grinding my teeth.

“You and your dad are assholes. Do you think I’m a child?” Says the preacher’s wife who rarely uses profanity. Sick Mom has no filter. Sick Mom uses words Well Mom would never, ever say.

She heard a conversation that took place between my dad and me, one where we were trying to decide what to do with her. She’s abused my dad to the point where he can’t stand it anymore. She hates him, hates the way he smells, the way he looks, the way he breathes, the way he walks, the way he sleeps, and she tells him this. Every minute of every day. I fear for him. I know that she would never hurt him, the well she, but the sick she hates him, and the sick she often references things like butcher knives and frying pans, so I speak to my father every morning when I first wake up to make sure that he’s still alive.

That’s what sickness does to a family. It makes it doubt the legs on which it stands. It makes it doubt the heart that makes it beat. It makes us doubt our mom. And it’s terrible.

“No, mom. I don’t think you’re a child.” Even though we sort of treat her like one. My dad unplugged the stove to keep her from catching their house on fire. He disconnected her car battery so that she can’t drive away when he isn’t watching. We whisper behind her back and tiptoe around her, not wanting to strike her ever ready match. We make plans for her without her approval. But we don’t think she is a child.

“Mom.  Please stop being mad at me.”

“You know what?”

“What mom?”

“Your husband should leave you. He should take your kids and leave and never look back. Those kids deserve better than you. And so does your husband. You don’t appreciate him at all.”

“I know, mom.”  Because agreeing makes the conversation shorter, and I’ve heard this at least four times today. She’s also told me that I’m a whore and a piece of shit and the worst mother on the planet.

She’s angry with me because last time this happened, I made the decision to put her in the hospital, the one she calls “the loony bin,” the one she refuses to go back to, the one that did nothing but make her worse. I hate myself for making that decision, but we didn’t have a lot of choices. My brothers weren’t brave enough to do it, and she became too much for my elderly father to control, and frankly, I didn’t want her to kill him in his sleep, but that I don’t tell anyone.

She also does not understand why I cannot visit her, why I won’t allow my children to see her this way. She can’t understand. They need to remember the well Nana. The Nana who always kept candy in her pocket and secretly handed them a piece each time I turned my back, the Nana who sang “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” off key but with joy and giggled every time the song ended, the Nana who would sit and hold them on her lap, rocking in her chair, reading them books, content to have the chatter of children all around her, who played hide and go seek, who threw the baseball in the back yard. The Nana whose laugh was contagious and the best sound on earth.

“I’m sorry that you’re mad at me, mom.”

“Sure you are.  You don’t care about me.”  And with that, she abruptly ends the call.  I put down my phone. And I cry. Because my mom is sick, and nobody can answer the question:  “Why?”

She’ll call me at least twenty more times this day, and I’ll answer every time. And I’ll listen to her assault of words because she’s my mom, and I know she doesn’t mean it.

I know she doesn’t mean it.

I know she doesn’t mean it.

And I brace myself for the next stage. The worst stage of all.

The lights are on but nobody’s home

“Mom” hasn’t flashed on my phone screen in days. Yesterday, on her birthday, I called her, and we spoke.  A simple, “happy birthday, mom,” conversation. I said, “I love you,” and she said, “I love you, too,” and we ended the call. That was yesterday.

Today is my birthday. On normal birthdays, my mom calls me and recounts my birth. She tells me for at least the 35th time that she went into labor with me at her birthday dinner, two days late. They rushed to the hospital where she continued to labor with me over night.   “Everyone from the church was there, and all I wanted was to be left alone,” I hear her voice in my imagination, her normal well voice, tell me, “My room was full of people,” and she goes on to tell me who was there.  She labored all night and then finally, with no aid of medication, she delivered me at 9:35 the next morning. The doctor announced, “It’s a girl,” and the room fell silent. A girl after four boys. “If you would have been another boy, I think I would have told them to put you back in,” her normal well voice tells me with a chuckle, normally.  Normally, on my birthday, my mom and I talk about her going into labor on her birthday with me, “the best birthday gift she ever got.” Normally, but not this year. And not last year. Because my mother forgot my birthday. Again. It’s not her fault. It’s because of the illness. It’s because of the sickness in her brain that we cannot explain.

But it doesn’t hurt any less. Because it’s our thing. Our birthdays … our birthdays are … special.  I’m the best birthday gift she ever got. Remember, mom?

Remember?

Remember?

But she doesn’t. Her brain has checked out. And she doesn’t remember.  She doesn’t even know if she brushed her teeth this morning. She stands at the sink and pours herself a glass of water, forgetting to turn off the faucet as water pours over the side of her glass and splashes her hand …and she doesn’t know it.

I’ll check my phone a thousand times today, and her name won’t appear.  She forgot. It’s okay, I tell myself.

It’s okay.

It’s okay.

She’ll get better. She’ll come back. She always does.

Until then, I’ll ferociously go through my card box and try to find one from my mom. A card with her voice, where I can hear her, the real her, the well her. And I’ll read every card she’s ever given me. And then I’ll find a little gem in the box, a note that she put in a pile of mail she sent me when I first moved to Dallas thirteen years ago. And there she is. Just like that.  Two simple sentences.

“Here’s your mail, sweetie.  Sure do miss you so much. Love, Mom”

I miss you, too, Mom.

So much.

hands -The Cycle

 

Sorry, Thumper…No Lifegaurd on Duty

I couldn’t sleep last night.  At all.  My husband travels for work, and he happened to be out of town, so I spent the night by myself, drinking wine, watching shows he would never watch with me, and looking forward to getting into my nice comfy bed…all by myself.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love my husband, and I enjoy having him around, but he’s a giant man, and he takes up a lot of space, and he practically sleeps on top of me.  Every night.  And I’m claustrophobic.

I went to bed around 12:30 am after watching lots of trash TV.  I totally caught up on the happenings of those classy ladies of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and their stripper poles.  So clearly, I felt enlightened and enriched as I slipped into the nice cool sheets.  As I lay there, eyes covered by my sleep mask, I heard something.  I sat up in my bed and listened closer.  Then I remembered something my husband said as he left town, last Friday.  Almost a week ago.  “Hey, keep your eye on the water level of the pool, and make sure you clean out the skimmer baskets every day.”   To which I said, “Duh.  Of course.”  And he said, “You really have to do it this time.  Seriously.”  And I said, “Ok.  Whatever.  Got it.  Go.”  Or something like that.

As I lay in my bed, listening to the strange gurgling of my pool, I realized that it had been six days, and I had yet to even step foot into the backyard.  So I played every worst case scenario over and over in my head, tossing and turning, and not sleeping.  At all.

Fast forward to this morning.  Before I dropped my son off at school, I stepped into the backyard to take inventory of the task at hand.  Pool level, lower than I’ve ever seen it.  Leaves everywhere.  Strange consistent gurgling sound.  I decided this would take some time, so I took son to school, turned on Doc McStuffins for my daughter, and headed out to “fix” the pool.  First things first…I started the water.  Already, I felt better.  Second, clean skimmer baskets.  I lifted the lid to the first basket, and looked into a sea of leaves.  I reached in, pulled out a handful of soggy leaves, and threw them into the trash.  Then I pulled out the skimmer basket, emptied it, and set it back in its little watery home.  Nice.  I’m taking care of business.  Husband will never know I’m a slacker.   Feeling much more confident, I reached into the second skimmer, also full of limp wet leaves, so full that I couldn’t get to the handle of the basket to pull it out of the water.  So I shoved my hand in further.  I stretched my fingers, reached in and grabbed a huge cluster of ice cold leaves.  Hmmm.  Why are these leaves so heavy?  I thought to myself, but I was in a hurry, so I just squeezed my hand around the leaves and pulled them out further.  Then I felt it.  Fur.  An animal.  A cold furry dead animal.  In my hand.  My bare hand.

I dropped the dead animal and leaves back into the skimmer basket and squealed like a little girl, jumping up and down, in total complete freak out.  My first instinct was to run inside and wash my hands, so I sprinted, full speed to the back door, and turned the handle.  Locked.  Come on!  I banged on the door, hoping my three year old would tear herself away from her fictional doctor cartoon to let me in.  Nope.

This has happened before.  My daughter likes to lock the bottom lock, the one that tricks you when you turn it and it lets you go outside completely ignorant of what’s to come when you try to go back inside.  Thank God for good neighbors.  Crisis averted.  Back in the comfort of my kitchen, I washed my hands for twenty minutes calculating my next move.  I still had a dead rabbit and a bunch of leaves in my pool, which might have been the cause of the strange gurgling sound, so clearly, I had to get them out if for no other reason, I need my sleep.

My rubber gloves were somewhere in a landfill, having been thrown away last time my husband left and I had to fish a dead animal out of the pool, so gloves were not an option.  I cursed myself for forgetting to buy some replacements, but who would have thought I’d be fishing dead animals out of my pool so frequently? I had to come up with a plan.

What would MacGyver do?

I grabbed a wire hanger, twisted it into a hook, and stepped back out to the watery morgue in my backyard, feeling brave and not at all freaked out.  Right.  I hooked my hanger pully thing around the rabbit, and pulled him out.  I tried not to look.  I held it, hooked to the hanger, with my arm stretched out as far as it would go, squealing with every step, and threw it into the field behind my house.  And then I sent my husband an explicit text message that we needed a bunny lifeguard because I’m over fishing dead animals out of my pool.  He responded with this:  When was the last time you checked the skimmers?  Really?  Pfft.

Why is it that the “sh*t hits the fan” when the husband leaves town?  If it’s not a dead animal in the pool, the water heater explodes, the kid needs stitches, the  roof leaks, and every single time there’s a tornado, I’m here by myself with the kids.  I can handle tornadoes, roof leaks, exploding water heaters, and even ER visits for stitches, but I cannot be the undertaker for these foolish animals that can’t swim.

Rabbits  - they're smart.

Rabbits – they’re smart.

Does this happen to anyone else?  What’s the worst thing that’s happened while the husband or wife were away?

Fictional Husbands and Stuff

I have a bit of an obsession.  With Books.  I can’t help it.  I’m a junkie when it comes to written words.  They offer me an escape, a way to fly into the mind of someone else, to journey through a world of black and white that bursts into a kaleidoscope of rich colorful hues in my mind.  They take me from loathing to respect, sorrow to joy, hate to love, angst to calm, and from agony to delight.  The characters come to life, attach themselves to my core, and walk around with me until I see them to the final chapter, the last page…the end. The End.  Gah!   And when the book ends, I’m blue.  I get ridiculous book hangovers and walk around for a few days missing these fictional people, the ones to whom I relate, the ones that I admire, the ones that I *gulp* picture…in my head.  The men…those alpha men…ahem.

I have a few favorites.  It’s grown over the years, my list of fictional boyfriends, but I only have one…just one fictional husband.  Let me introduce you.  Maybe you’ve met him….drum roll please.

James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser

Click on the link below to see a pic of him.  In his kilt.  What’s underneath?  Wouldn’t you like to know?  You see his ginger stubble?  Mmhmm.  Stand back, ladies…he’s all mine.

http://www.dianagabaldon.com/other-projects/outlander-tv-series/first-look-sam-h-as-jamie/

You can find Jamie Fraser in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander, a novel written from Claire Randall’s point of view, an English field nurse in WWII, who finally after the war, takes an opportune honeymoon with husband and history scholar, Frank Randall, to Scotland where together they explore and secretly watch what seems to be a druid ritual around a circle of standing stones called Craigh na Dun.  When Claire goes back to the stones alone the next day, she falls through them and lands in 18th century Scotland where she runs into English Dragoons and Scottish Highlanders and lots and lots of drama.  This to me is where the book gets interesting.  I mean, Frank is nice and all, but in 18th Century Scotland, she meets…dun dun dun…Jamie Fraser, and he constantly comes to Claire’s rescue.  Seriously, this chic can’t walk two feet without finding some kind of trouble, and my fictional hubby comes riding in on his dark horse over fields of plush heather, auburn hair shining in the sunlight, kilt bouncing up and down flowing around his long sexy legs and rescues her.  Every. Single. Time.  And I’ve never even found myself attracted to gingers.  I won’t go into details about the story.  It’s a good one.  If you haven’t read this book, read this book, and the other six. Now, like right now, before the eighth book comes out in March.  You will not be disappointed.  Unless you are, and then you will be, but that’s your fault because even if you hate everything about this series, Diana Gabaldon generously gives you Jamie Fraser.  And that’s enough.

He’s been creeping into the hearts and fantasies of women all over the literary world for years, but since the news came out of the television series on Starz, and Sam Heughan was cast as The Jamie Fraser, women from 20 to 90 are google imaging him and drooling over their computer screens today, right this minute, this very second in the multitudes. Hop over to Twitter, and you’ll see the obsession that is everything Outlander, Jamie Fraser, and Sam Heughan.

Here are a few of my favorite lines he’s said in his sexy Scottish accent throughout this book series.  All written, of course, by the ridiculously talented Diana Gabaldon:

“When the day shall come that we do part…if my last words are not ‘I love you’, ye’ll ken it was because I didna have time.”  The Fiery Cross (Book 5)

“You are my courage, as I am your conscience…You are my heart and I your compassion.  We are neither of us whole, alone.”  Drums of Autumn (Book 4)

“Don’t be afraid.  There’s the two of us now.”  Outlander (Book 1)

“Your face is my heart, Sassenach, and the love of you is my soul.” Drums of Autumn (Book 4)

“…yet when I think of you wi’ my child at your breast…then I feel as though I’ve gone hollow as a soap bubble, and perhaps I shall burst with joy.” Dragonfly in Amber (Book 2)

“I want to hold you like a kitten in my shirt, and still I want to spread your thighs and plow ye like a rutting bull.  I dinna understand myself.”  Dragonfly in Amber (Book 2)

“Oh aye, Sassenach.  I am your master…and you’re mine.  Seems I canna possess your soul without losing my own.”  Outlander (Book 1)

“It has always been forever for me, Sassenach.”  Voyager (Book 3)

“And I mean to hear ye groan like that again.  And to moan and sob, even though you dinna wish to, for ye canna help it.  I mean to make you sigh as though your heart would break and scream with the wanting, and at last to cry out in my arms, and I shall know that I’ve served ye well.” Outlander (Book 1)

Sigh

See what I mean?  Pick up your panties, and go buy this book.  The television series premiers in August on Starz, and I have no doubt…this show will be epic (Geez, I really hate that word.), but for me, the challenge is set.  Will they portray the emotion, the heart, the soul that Diana Gabaldon writes into her novels?  Will they be able to transfer that onto a television screen?

Her words create the most elaborate and beautiful pictures that my mind can construct, and the romance between Claire and Jamie, builds slowly, and passionately, and grows so that my hearts swells in my chest ready to burst with love, and I want to wrap myself in their story over and over and over again and wear it like a cloak, like a kilt, with nothing underneath.  I will watch, and I will love it, but the series will never replace the absolute devotion in my heart for the novels that introduced me to my book husband, Jamie Fraser.

You’re welcome to look all you want, but in my mind, he’s mine.  All mine.

So speak to me…who’s your fictional husband, book boyfriend, major literary crush?  Come on…I’m sure I’ve met him, and if I haven’t, I want to…soon!

And the Winner is…

sunshine award

I hear my name called.  I put a hand over my mouth and make my “what?  I’m shocked” face.  I hug my husband who sits to my right and Adrian Grenier who sits to my left.  He grabs my ass discreetly.  I giggle, and he kisses my cheek.   I make my way down the red carpeted aisle to the marble steps, my red silk dress flowing behind me.  My four inch Valentino heels click click click on each step.  I reach the podium, look out at the crowd and begin.

“Thank you, Beth from www.bethteliho.wordpress.com  for this nomination.  I am truly grateful and humbled that you thought of me.  The Sunshine Award…wow.  And from you?”  (I sigh here for dramatic effect) “I remember sitting across a table at a restaurant with my friend, Beth.” (I point to her where she sits on the first row, smiling and blushing in a green dress that brings out her eyes.)  “We were talking about her book, which is so incredibly awesome, and one day you’ll all read it, and I told her that she needed to get on Twitter and Facebook and maybe even start a blog, and then she did, and wow….she’s one of the best bloggers out there, and then she…that same girl…the one who’s my blog hero…creates an award and nominates me.  I’m speechless.”  Well…not really.

I told her that  I wrote an acceptance speech in jest, and she said I should, so I did.  That’s the best I could come up with, Beth.

I’m supposed to tell you seven things about me.  Seven (funny, funny Beth)…here ya go.  Brace yourself…actually I’m not all that interesting, but I follow the rules:

1. I have FOUR brothers, eight nephews, and no nieces.  My mom had four brothers.  My dad had four brothers, and my husband has two brothers.  Somehow in all of these XY chromosomes, a second X appeared, and my mother birthed a girl, and then weirdly and unexpectedly another XX – my daughter.

2. I  have an unhealthy, slightly obsessive, high school girl crush on Adrian Grenier.  It started 15 years ago and hasn’t stopped.  My friends think I need an intervention.  I know what I need.

3. I hate shopping, and make-up, and most things girly…to the point where my husband gets annoyed and always asks why he married a boy.  See #1.

4. I am extremely competitive in sports, games, and anything that is a competition.  I get really into it, and I really really dislike losing.

5. I once had to have over 50 stitches in my face. Actually it was more, but I never could get past 50 when I counted.  The driver side window of my car decided to go through my head.

6. I play the piano, and I’m not too terrible.  I love to hear a song and then tinker around on my piano until I figure it out, playing it over and over and over until it’s perfect.  Sometimes I break down and buy the music, but I prefer to play most songs by ear.  My kids love playing, “play the song from…” game.  And they get really excited when I play their requested song for them.

7.  I attended the 2007 Emmy awards.  I even got to buy an awesome dress and walk the red carpet with the celebrities.  My husband won a contest at work, and he chose me to be his date.  Highlights of the night:  I sipped champagne with Ali Larter.  She’s even prettier in person.  Keven Bacon winked at me, so next time you play the “Six Degrees of Separation” game, you’re one degree closer.  You’re welcome.  And the best and biggest highlight: I breathed the same air as Adrian Grenier.  I missed him on the red carpet though.  Apparently, punctuality wasn’t important to him that night.  It’s ok.  I forgave him.

Emmy's photo

My Questions from Beth:

1. If you could go back in time ten years and tell yourself one thing, what would it be?
Hmmm…to go back to 25. I would tell myself to wear more sunscreen and to stop smiling all the time that those laugh lines would be permanent. Nah….I think I’d tell myself… “Be still. The best is yet to come, and spend more time with your mother. She won’t always be the same.

2. What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked and not just because I like that feeling…wait…who said that?

3. Beth asked: If you were to take me on a date, where would we go and why?
I think I would take you to Rosa’s on a Tuesday for lunch. It looks something like this: We sit and talk for hours, face to face. You eat a delicious vegan burrito (I called ahead and had them prepare this. I’m awesome and thoughtful.) while I eat my non vegan tacos full of trans fat and cholesterol. We sit and eat and talk, and of course, we notice that every time we look out the window, another giant truck is going through the drive thru, and then about three hours into our lunch, a huge, silver F250 creeps slowly through the drive thru and stops right in front of the window. We turn our eyes to the big silver truck as the driver side window rolls down and this tattooed bearded guy sticks out his finger and points to you and gives you that “come here” sign coaxing you with that teasing index finger of his, and you look at me and say, “really?”, and I say, “well yeah…I know I’m a catch and all, but I knew if you were to have a fantasy date, you should get your fantasy, so here you go. You’re welcome.” He looks at you, smiles and says, “Wow. You’re even prettier than your Avatar photo.” And I watch as you and your almost fiance/sex tape partner walk back to the silver truck and get in. The window rolls up, and there may or may not be rockin’, but I’m not knockin’ because well…I still have a big trans fat cholesterol full taco to eat, and it’s delicious.

4. Above all else, what are you afraid of? Suffocating, literally and figuratively.

5. What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
Adrian Grenier – and publish a book.

6. What has been your favorite age to be and why?
I’m 35 now, and I really thought it was going to be tough, but so far, 35 has been my favorite. I think it’s because every new year with my kids is better than the last. I always say, “I love this age,” talking about my kids’ age, and yet, I like the next age even better.

7. Coffee or tea?
Wine – oh ok. Coffee.

BLOG NOMINATION TIME!

Nominees: do with this what you want. No obligations. If you choose to do an awards post, answer the questions I had to answer, and give 7 facts about yourself. Then nominate any amount of bloggers you choose up to eleven. Because Beth is funny – see:  7:11

  1.  Beth over at http://www.bethteliho.wordpress.com – because she’s Beth.  I read the rules like 14 times, and it doesn’t say that I can’t nominate her even though she created the award.  I mean…she is sunshine, in every way, and she makes my world…brighter.
  2. Clair Duffy at http://www.thegrassisdancing.com/  She always seems to post while I’m sleeping (maybe because she’s in Sweden), but I usually read her words from my phone while I’m trying to make myself get out of bed, and she always wakes me up with a smile.
  3. Kate at:  http://anothercleanslate.com  She’s so cute and fun and makes me smile…and well…brings me sunshine.
  4. Dana with http://www.kissmylist.com  She probably has about a zillion awards, but she’s funny and snarky, and I like her.  She is also very supportive, and that’s great to this baby blogger.
  5. Aussa:  http://aussalorens.com/  another great blogger who always makes me chuckle.  Always!  And she’s hot, too.  I’m sure she has more followers than God, but still, she brings me sunshine, and I love her blog!

I could keep going, but Beth already nominated most of my favorites, and I don’t know if I’m allowed to renominate them, and I’m still not sure I deserve to be nominated in the first place.  I’m going to try to say nominate again.  See, “nominate!”

Don’t Eat That Chicken!!!

Hey!  It’s New Year’s day, so whatever you do, DO NOT EAT THAT CHICKEN!!

Let me introduce you to my husband, Dr. Gellar.  No, not Ross from friends, but Ross from friends.  See where I’m going?  He’s a scientist at heart, a chemistry major (I know!), and he’s brilliant, a sponge who soaks up information and when squeezed, will drench you with his knowledge.  He makes life interesting, and I adore him. And his porous brain.  

Here’s a little glimpse into our life today.   

Dr. Gellar:  “Do you want steak or pork chops for dinner?”  (He’s the cook in the family.  I can make spaghetti and frozen pizza.  And I’m not even Italian.)

Me:  “I thought you were going to make chicken.”

Dr. Gellar:  “I can’t make chicken on New Year’s day,” he says as if I should know this already, his brow furrowing in frustration at my stupidity.

Me:  “Why?”  I really don’t want to know.  He’s probably just watched some show on National Geographic about how chickens contain arson and that people who eat chicken end up losing brain matter with every swallow.  And we eat a lot of chicken.  So that must explain why I’m so stupid.

Dr. Gellar sighs and looks down at me, not because he’s condescending, but he’s 6’3″, and I’m 5’3″, so if he looks at me, he looks down.  I digress.

Dr. Gellar takes a big cleansing breath, one that I am all too familiar with, one that tells me he’s about to lecture, and I’m going to wish I could take back my question.

Dr. Gellar:  “You know how we always eat black eyed peas and cabbage on New Year’s Day?”

Me:  “Uh-huh.”  Where in hell is he going with this, I think to myself.

Dr. Gellar:  “Chickens scratch in the dirt for food, which is symbolic.  We don’t want to be scratching in the dirt for food.  And another thing, as the chicken scratches in the dirt for his food, he moves backward, which is also symbolic.”  He demonstrates, standing in front of me, scratching at he air with his imaginary talons, walking backwards.  Then he looks up all serious and says,  “We want to go forward, dude.”

Me:  “So you want to eat pork?”

Dr. Gellar:  “Yes, pigs route forward when they forage for food.”  See, who talks like that?  This is what I live with, people. 

Me:  “Yeah, but pigs roll around in their own shit.  I don’t want to roll around in my own shit this year.”

Dr. Gellar sighs again.  “You’re missing the point.”

Me: “You want to move forward, but you’re ok with rolling around in shit. Is that your point?”

Dr. Gellar: “Then get steaks.” He resigns. All frustrated and annoyed with me. 

Me:  “Eck.  I can’t eat beef.”  Dr. Gellar made a superb prime rib for Christmas dinner, a huge prime rib, on which we’ve feasted for a week.  Then I got the flu and faced death.  I’m not exaggerating.  The thought of beef turns me green.  I can’t imagine eating any kind of meat really. But beef.  I just can’t.

Dr. Gellar:  “Then get pork.”

Me:  “But I don’t want to get a brain worm.”

Dr. Gellar sighs and starts to lecture me for the 97th time about how I cannot get a brain worm from eating pork that I buy at our grocery store, but I’m not convinced. We’ve danced around this subject so many times.  I argue, but in the end, I get the pork, and he’s currently seasoning said pork, which will probably be delicious, but if I never blog again, well then you’ll know.  I got a brain worm.

What are your New Year’s traditions?  Do you eat black eyed peas and cabbage?  Do you fear that feathery little chicken like my husband does?  Are you superstitious?  Am I missing something?  Dr. Gellar seems to think so…a lot.