I'm really not that busy

Finding hilarity in the mundane since 2008

Well, there’s this

I’ve never posted a poem before. Not sure why I want to post this one. I wrote it in three minutes and it’s just… meh. But I always throw these away and tonight it seemed dishonest.

Six broken fingers.

That’s how it goes.

Slip in through a side door.

It’s so fucking cold.

Stand on the rocks.

Throw all your stones.

Call me the villain.

Snap one more bone.

 

 

Can you take back a tip?

I’m in Little Rock for a few days while my dad recovers from surgery. Today I spent all day at the hospital. I was exhausted and ravenous by the time I got back to my hotel.

At the hotel, there’s a small bar with limited liquor stock and slightly better than average bar food, so I decided to have a drink and something from the bar menu rather than spend one more minute on my feet.

I ordered a Grey Goose & tonic and a flatbread appetizer with tomatoes and cheese. The bartender asked if I would be having an entree as well, and I told him no. As I knew I wasn’t going to be having more than that, I paid the tab at that time and included a 20% tip.

The drink was not very strong, but perfectly fine. The flatbread was really good.  Approximately 6×8 in size, thin crust that was crispy without being too cracker-like, nice fresh tomato slices, and a very light sprinkle of mozzarella and grated parmesan.

When I finished, the bartender came by to get my plate and said, “Wow, that was a really big portion. I can’t believe you ate it all. Most girls share that.” I was so stunned that he ALMOST got away with it. Almost. As he turned to go, I said, “Excuse me, I need to speak with you.”

Completely clueless, he turned around with a smile and asked if I needed another drink. I replied, “I don’t need a drink, but you need a lesson in math and one in customer service. Which would you like first?”

His eyes got big and he said, “Uh, I guess the math.”

I was hoping that’s what he would say. Here’s how the lesson went:

Me: How many slices of delivery pizza do you think a “girl” should eat.

Idiot: (Turning red.) Two?

Me: Okay, that’s a reasonable amount. Would you say the crust on the flatbread is greater than or less than the crust on two slices of delivery pizza?

Idiot: Less

Me: Would you say the amount of tomatoes on the flatbread is greater than or less than the sauce on two slices of delivery pizza?

Idiot: Less

Me: Would you say the amount of cheese on the flatbread is greater than or less than the cheese on two slices of delivery pizza?

Idiot: Much less.

Me: So, you agree that I just ate an amount of food that is less than two slices of delivery pizza, which by your admission, is a reasonable amount of food for me to consume as a meal?

Idiot: (FInally really getting the lesson, but not smart enough to admit defeat.) Yes, but that was an appetizer, not an entree.

Me: Do you recall me clarifying that one drink and the appetizer would be my entire meal?

Idiot: (Quietly) Yes, ma’am.

Me: Now we’re getting somewhere. Would you like to say anything else?

Idiot: I’m really sorry.

Me: Yes, you are. You’re dismissed

Business man sitting at the bar who watched this whole exchange: You devastated that guy and you never swore or raised your voice. He will never forget that math lesson.

Then he gave me knuckles.

Outlaw Cooper Collins

Today, during lunch, Cooper asked me what’s most important to me. I replied, “You and Jack and Daddy.” Then he asked, “What’s most not important to you?” I told him I didn’t really have an answer for that because the things that are unimportant to me are the things I don’t ever think about.

Then I turned to Jack and asked what was most important to him. He said, “my family.” Then I asked what was unimportant to him and he said, “I don’t know, like, a blade of grass, or something.”

Finally I turned to Cooper and said, “What about you, buddy, what’s important to you?” He hollered, “Harry” so loud that Harry was actually startled enough to raise his head off the couch and blink at us.

Then I asked, “Cooper, what is unimportant to you.” He thought for a moment and said, “I’d have to say… laws.”

 

Finding my way back

I guess by now you’ve noticed my absence. It’s not for lack of material. I’m still raising silly children, initiating random conversations with strangers, and finding the funny in things others tend to overlook. However, I seem to have lost my ability to put it in a written form that anyone would care to read. My confidence in my writing has slipped away.

Lately, I find myself starting a entry then editing it to death and never posting. I’m spending two hours proofing and rewriting a three paragraph post and finally just deleting it. It’s insane and I’m trying to stop.

Tonight, I’m going to allow myself one read through of this post then I’m hitting publish. I’m sure I’ll read it several times after that and will cringe and criticize and find grammatical errors and such. I know my finger will hover over the delete key. I will try very hard to just let it be.

I don’t consider myself a perfectionist. I let people see my flaws, kind of. I’m comfortable leaving the house without makeup. I have a decidedly lumpier body than I did eleven years ago and that’s okay. My house is generally presentable and clean, but not organized in the least. I have more than one junk drawer and an unwary individual could lose a finger in them. I yell at my kids in the yard where neighbors might hear. I grab arms and do the mean mommy whisper in Target. There is grass in my flower beds, but no flowers. My dog is fat. My kids sometimes can’t remember the last time they bathed. I sometimes can’t remember the last time I bathed.

You get the idea. I’m normal and I don’t try to pretend I’m more or less than that.

However, I am a perfectionist when I write and it’s gotten worse.

Lately, when I’m writing something that other people might read, I get all tight inside and worried that it won’t be interesting. When I started blogging, nearly four years ago, I was much more casual in my approach. I typed up some funny event or scenario and sent it out to the internets without a care. Then people started reading and I got more careful. I proofread and did a bit of editing, but nothing too time consuming. For me, blogging is a way to let off steam, not a profession, so I wouldn’t let myself over-invest.

After Tony lost his job, something shifted in me. We had just set some long-term plans in motion that had to be put on hold indefinitely and it really shook me. I can honestly say it was the first time in my life I wasn’t getting what I wanted and could see no way to get it. Not that I’ve never suffered loss or disappointment, but this was different. This was a true step backwards in my life. Not a pause, not a bump in the road, backwards.

I’m not one to share my feelings. I’m a “laugh all the way to hell” kind of girl. I think that’s why my writing has suffered. My appearance, my house, my behavior in public, none of those things get a big emotional investment from me. I don’t care if I’m judged on those things because I rarely judge others on those things. But writing… that’s big for me. I show so much more of myself when I write. Even my texts and facebook updates contain more of the real me than most things I say out loud. My writing speaks much louder than my voice. So when I started having emotional turmoil and true unhappiness, I stopped writing. I didn’t want it to show.

Now I’m writing the words I’ve avoided for two years… I’ve been unhappy and I don’t like to show that side of myself to people. I hope that publishing these words will help me find my way back to writing. Writing makes me happy and I’d like to have it back.

So That’s Why They Call Them the Golden Years

Like most four and a half year olds, Cooper is obessed with no longer being four and a half.  He’s ready to be a big kid and use his entire hand when telling people his age.  Although his fifth birthday is still over three months away, it’s still a daily topic of conversation.

Today, as Cooper and I wheeled through Wal-Mart, he noticed the giant pinatas on the party supply aisle.  After our detour to examine the pinatas, he continued to discuss their various merits for several aisle.  As we were shopping and talking, I noticed we had walked past the same older woman several times. Clearly she had noticed us as well, because on one pass she spoke to Cooper.

With a bright smile she said, “Sounds like you have a birthday coming up. How old will you be.”  Cooper held up his hand and proudly flashed her all five digits.  Then she said, “Oh, five is big, do you have a wife yet?”  He girnned and shook his head no. So she said, “You’re very handsome, you must at least have a girlfriend.”  Again, he shook his head.  Finally she said, “I’ve heard you talking your mom’s ears off, can’t you say anything to me?”  Then she flashes him a big smile.  Cooper gives her a hard look, then grins and says, “Oh my gosh! You have two gold teeth! My grandpa only has one. You must be even older than him if you have two. I’m going to have lots of gold teeth when I’m old!”

Play with me, sucker.

Cooper and Jack have been playing nicely this morning. There have only been two bouts of tears, three incidents of of hitting, and a cumulative 30 minutes of whining. My behavior is significantly improving, huh?

Anyway, I took advantage of the peace to straighten up the house and do a few small chores. Around 10 a.m. I decided to take a break. I had just snuggled up on the couch with my MacBook and started checking email, and facebook, and my favorite blogs, when the peace was broken by the most common phrase in my house,”Mama, tell Jack to play with me.”

Cooper had his plastic food and cash register out.  Jack said he didn’t want to play “food”.  Cooper gave him a handful of coins and said, “Here, you can buy the food with these.”  Jack said, “Can I keep them?”  Cooper said, “Yes. I took them out of your room.”

At this point I logged onto my blog.  I sensed this game was going somewhere good in a very bad way and wanted to capture it immediately.

Jack whined around some more about not wanting to play.  I finally intervened and told him to play with his brother.  I really need some new blog material.

Jack reluctantly picked up the handful of coins and dragged himself over to Cooper’s imaginary grocery store.  He perused the items and made his selection. Then he lined them up on Cooper’s counter and said, “Hello, I’d like to buy these groceries.”  Cooper smiled and said, “Sorry we’re closed.”

Messing with Tony

There’s a “days ’til summer” count down at Cooper’s preschool.  Each day, a different child wrote what they were looking forward to doing this summer.  My favorite is day 5.  Written in a very girlie handwriting is the phrase, “messing with Emma”.  I, too, like to mess with people.

Today I’ve been messing with Tony via text message.  I like to start a bit via text & run with it until the other person changes the subject or deletes me from their contacts.  Tifany plays with me all the time.  Tony has never played with me.  He’s mean like that.

But today, he played along for a little while.  It’s such a momentous occasion that I’d like to share the exchange with you:

T: I’ve got your grocery list…let me know if you need anything else from the store.

J: Laundry detergent & booty wipes   (author’s note, this is what we call the flushable wipes my boys use because I don’t enjoy pre-treating skid marks)

T: K

J: White wine, tampons & tabloid magazines

J: Just kidding

T: No need for explanation…no way it was happening

J: Maybe I should have asked for a six-pack of hard lemonade, panty liners & Cosmo?

T: You can ask, doesn’t mean it will happen

J: Milwaukee’s Best, beef Jerky & Popular Mechanics?

T: I checked… Springdale Wal-Mart is out of all 3

J: Modelo, Gansito snack cakes & Telenova magazines?

J: I KNOW they have those

T: Uncle!!

J: HA!

Can’t wait to get home & crack open an ice-cold Modelo!

Kinky Fun…. with Phonics

Jack and I play word games all the time.  We think up silly acronyms, make up rhymes, and change the beginning consonant sound of words and phrases to make them sound crazy.

Yes we are nerds.

One day Jack will rule the world so go ahead & laugh now.

Earlier today we were listening to “Popcorn” by Barenaked Ladies over & over again.  Cooper gets on song jags and listening to a song on repeat is better than listening to Cooper whine on repeat.  So Jack and I were dealing with our song fatigue by replacing the consonants in the word popcorn.

He yelled “Zop Zorn!”, and I countered with, “Hop Horn!”  He giggled, “Flop Florn!”, and I called out, “Top Shorn!”

Then Cooper hollers, “I got one! Cop Porn!”

Rage against the builder

We bought our current home brand spanking new in March 2004.  It is a piece of shit.  During the housing boom, builders were cheap and greedy.  Our house is shoddily built and every fixture in it was the cheapest available at the time of purchase.  I’d love nothing more than to name the builder and detail every complaint.  However, we share several friends and accquaintences, so I will (for once in my life) hold my tongue.

I am not the only one who is pissed about the poorly built homes from the housing boom.  Bob Villa and that Holmes on Homes guy are hoppin’ mad!  And another Bob is so full of rage, he made a video to express his emotions.  Check it out!

Instant Karma

So I was at Wal-Mart this evening purchasing a new sink sprayer, Tom & Jerry movies and mojito flavorted malt beverages.  

What?  Do you leave discount stores with purchases that make sense.

You do?

You suck.

Anyway, when I was cheking out, I spotted a mom & two kids from Jack’s school, a little girl in 1st and a boy in 3rd or 4th.  I don’t know them by name, but we definitely all recognized each other.  As we said our hellos, the little girl stumbled on her own feet.  Her big brother laughed at her and called her a stupid klutz.  Then he walked into a support column.  Hard.

The mom and I both laughed aloud at him.  I looked at him and said, “Do you have a computer & internet at home?”  He nodded.  So I said, “When you get home, look up karma, cause it just smacked you upside the head.”

Willy Lowman didn’t off himself, the wife did it and made it look like a car accident

Dudes, females remember every detail of every conversation they’ve ever had with their significant other.   Mostly this works to our advantage because few men possess this skill.  When a discussion is not coming out in our favor, we can bring up that one time you inadvertently insulted us (in 1998) and even work up a few tears.  You don’t remember, we cry harder.  You cave.  Match point: female.

We can also claim to remember conversations that never took place (Not that I would ever do this. Uh. Yeah.).  A friend of mine uses this one when she spends too much money.  She insistes they discussed the purchase and even claims she was initally against spending money, but he was adamant about making the purchase.  She gets a bit mad that he can’t remember the conversation and wonders aloud if he ever really listens to her.  He has no leg to stand on because he really does tune her out a lot.  Eventually he gives up and agrees that he was right to insist they replace the _____________ fill in the blank, because he never liked the old one.

I too have a photographic conversational memory, but I ‘ve had a few conversations with Tony that I would rather forget.  On occasion,  I say ridiculous or irrational things.  I know you find this shocking, dear reader, because you have come to see me as a pillar of logic and practicality.  One who always chooses her words carefully and gives measured responses even during the most heated discussion….. Oh, hell who am I kidding?

One such conversation occurred over a year ago, but has been brough to mind recently.   Let’s start with a little exposition to explain why this conversation has been on my mind.

For over six years, Tony had a job that involoved frequent travel.  When Tony came home after a trip, he would leave his suitcase in the laundry room and promptly forget about it.  This created one of two chores for me: either I had to unpack his suitcase for him and wheel it into our bedroom, or I had to scramble to do his laundry on Sunday night because he wanted to re-pack the clothes that were still dirty in his suitcase.  Both of these chores pissed me off, but unpacking his suitcase for him was the lesser of two evils.

Then Tony got laid off.  It sucked, it was stressful, yadda yadda yadda.  But he wasn’t traveling and I didn’t have to unpack someone else’s suitcase or scramble to do laundry for five months.

Tony now has a new job and is back to the heavy travel.  After his first trip, I kindly asked him to unpack his suitcase so I could get his laundry caught up.  He didn’t & I had to do a laundry scramble.  After his second trip, I unpacked it myself.  He is now on his third trip.  I’m thinking of dumping his laundry, suitcase and several other random items in the detention pond by our house if he doesn’t unpack his own damn suitcase before Sunday night.

Now that you are caught up, let’s travel back in time one year ago…

Jennifer is beautifully flushed with anger because she has just unpacked her husband’s suitcase and is stuck doing laundry on a Sunday night.  Despite her irritation, she remains a paragon of domestic serenity and wifely bliss.  She wheels the suitcase into the bedroom where her husband is waiting to begin packing what he can.  He hauls the suitcase onto the bed and fumbles around for the zipper pull.  He locates it at the bottom of the suitcase and says, “It’s considered common curtesy to place zipper pulls at the top of a suitcase.”  Jennifer snaps.  Pictures of bloody axes and shallow graves appear behind her eyes.  She takes a breath and then yells, “NO!  Putting the zipper pulls at the top of the suitcase is common sense.  Common courtesy is a grown man unpacking his own damn suitcase.  And yes I know I just implied I don’t have any common sense, but that’s not the point so just SHUT THE FUCK UP!”

Then I started to cry and brought up that time in 1998 when he told me he didn’t like my hair.  He backed out of the room slowly and slept with a knife under his pillow for a few weeks.

You won’t find that in a Hallmark card

Jack’s class made me thank you cards today.  I won’t get into the why… I’m a mom, I care about kids, enough said. The cards were all pretty special, but I have to share my favorite.  Here’s the front:

I’m not sure why this kid ended Collins with d, but I’m totally willing to overlook that based on the rest of the card.

Here’s the sentiment:

Okay, more spelling issues, but whatever, they’re counting on me.

Wait, what?  They’re counting on me for what?  Oh no!  I’m so not prepared to defend a class full of second graders.  If only I were armed!

Oh, well, okay then.

A ninja star and a sharpened pencil.  Bring it on!

Can you feel the love?

I’ve always used bath time as a “teachable” time for my kids. With Cooper, it’s one of the few times I’m not competing for his attention (sadly, everything except bath water is more interesting than me). Normally he’s tearing through the house, nekkid and screaming. In the tub, he’s just nekkid. So I take advantage of his captivity, and try to cram some kindergarten readiness stuff into his head.

Since Valentine’s Day is coming up, I decided to talk about it during tonight’s tub-time. I told him about giving out cards and being someone’s valentine.  I explained that he and Jack & Daddy are my valentines because I love them best of all.  Then I asked Cooper to tell me what he loves best of all.  Then I got all ready to have my heart melted by his sweet response.  He replied, “I really love Pez.”

Wire hangers, tequila, and boring perfect families

On Friday I had a great post worming around in my head, but no time to write it.  The idea was born very early Friday morning, with this:

Clearly the post title would have been some play on “No Wire Hangers.”  I was leaning toward “Wire Hang-ups.”  It was going to start as a rant then morph into a sweet post about my husband, our marriage, and how our relationship works.

Then I went out with friends Friday night and Mr. Tequila erased most of the post from my brain.  All that’s left is the rant, and I’ve completely lost all perspective on that now that the hangers have been removed from my drawers.

Wait!  It’s coming back to me…

No, just gas.  Sorry for the false hope.

Keep your finger’s crossed that Tony pisses me off again or I may have nothing to write about.  Seriously, Jack has been completely normal.  Cooper has been sweet.  The cat’s not even pooping under the bed anymore.  Damn perfect family, where’s my fodder?

Brace yourself

Jack got braces today.  How is it possible that he is old enough for braces?  Yesterday he looked like this…

Today he looks like this…

If anyone was worried that braces would damage his ego, take heart.  When I walked into the orthodontist office he was grinning into a mirror.  I looked at him and said, “What do you think?”  He replied, “I think I look even cooler than I already did.”

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