guilty pleasure monday: you don't mess around with jim (jim croce)
Mar 30th, 2009 by wrekehavoc

not in this house, you don’t.

i still remember when jim croce died.  school was back in session, and i was a big third grader in a new school. my hometown was growing like topsy; and town fathers struggled to accomodate the gazillion kids flooding the current halls of education while deciding where and how to build new ones. the temporary solution? split sessions. i would go to another school — not my neighborhood school — and come home a full two hours before anyone else would.

this idea didn’t sit well with my mom, who taught at a very new school in a distant part of town. to this day, i’m not sure how she managed it, but she convinced the principal of her school to let me attend her school. and i did. of course, i knew exactly no one at this school; this part of town was nowhere near mine… so it was a slightly daunting undertaking.

but i grit my teeth and i went. i have always been one of those people you can throw into almost anywhere and i usually can end up talking to somebody. (my husband refers to that quality in me as my being friend to the friendless. thanks, hon.) so i figured sooner or later, i’d make a friend. and thanks to a wonderful teacher (who i heard quit teaching not soon after and went into business) and some pretty nice kids, it all worked out eventually.

but back to jim croce. i remember this time period pretty well; what i wore (my brothers’ hand-me-down pants, which were often p l a i d), what i ate (lots of TV dinners), what i played (almost always some dorky mischief with amy or jen-jen), and of course, the music. jim croce was all over the radio with songs like bad bad leroy brown and time in a bottle. being eight, i naturally enjoyed the former a lot more than the latter; anything sentimental made me cringe. and then, of course, just as quickly as he had hit the scene, croce’s  plane hit the ground.

the song i loved the most is a song no one else out there probably knows called rapid roy (the stock car boy). how can you quarrel with a description of a man that tells you:

He got a tattoo on his arm that say “baby”
He got another one that just say “hey”

(i dunno. it just cracks me up whenever i hear it.)

but because maybe only one of you have heard of rapid roy, i figured i’d pick number two, a sentimental favorite if only because of someone i know and love well. (we won’t mention names, BS.)

ah, my Beloved Spouse. one of the calmest people i know. if your head falls off and starts rolling down the street, all bloody and gooey? he’s the one you want to call. he’ll retrieve the head for you without blinking an eye while he’s getting you prepped for the ambulance. speaking in tongues? he’ll probably figure out how to translate the gobbledegook in 5 languages. your parachute isn’t working? call him.

but G-d help you if you’re a misbehaving computer. like our old one yesterday, f’rinstance. yes, old bessie went to the motherboard in the sky, and lord, it was not pretty.  let’s just say something melted (and not because of the heat from my cranky posts, either.) so now i’m typing on a cleaned-up old computer that was once my mother in law’s (thanks, MIL!) while i await something from Dell.

but. before you think we tripped merrily from point A to point B in computer land, step back. because before we admit defeat with a computer, BS  must throttle it to it’s last to make absolutely sure it’s truly, positively dead. he must scowl. he must growl. he must test it within an inch of it’s life. he needs to dissect it. resurrect it. and then try it again. ten times.

(and the rest of the family is trained: stay the hell out of daddy’s way until nice daddy returns.)

but then, the truth:

yes, the computer is morally, ethic’lly, spiritually, physically, positively, absolutely, undeniably and reliably dead.


so you don’t tug on superman’s cape. you don’t spit into the wind. you don’t pull the mask off of old lone ranger.

but if you’re a crappy POS compaq computer, you sure as hell can mess with jim.

(but you won’t live to tell the tale.)

Mar 27th, 2009 by wrekehavoc

just saying a howdy to anyone who might have wandered here thanks to the magic of television. i’m your host, wreke, and i’d love to tell you a little about the place.

i’m a mom. i’m a writer. i’m a webgrrl, too. i’m also the toilet paper fairy and apparently the only person in this house who realizes that bath towels do not jump up and clean themselves. oh, and i’m from NJ; and yes, i can trace the first 24 years of my life based on exits. (for you jerseyan trivia buffs, i grew up at exit 82A (GSP), went to college at exit 9 (Tpke), and have lived off exits 105 (GSP), 8, and 10 (both Tpke) until moving to the Commonwealth. and no, i do not sport big hair but i do sport a big mouth.)

i’ve been blogging since 2002. i tend to write about my kids, daughter Beloved Child (BC) and delightful hellboy Jools (an equally beloved child; he was just born after i had been blogging about BC for awhile.) as a political animal, i often tilt at windmills, large and small, in the political arena.

and i lurve music. every monday, i feature a guilty pleasure song that would make my music snob pals cringe. i’m evil that way. one month, i featured blatantly bad 70s songs, every single day of the month. oh, the humanity!

i don’t capitalize often. i do know how, and it isn’t an e e cummings thing. i’m just l a z y that way. unabashedly opinionated, i’m sort of like a cross between erma bombeck and iggy pop, only i don’t smear food all over my chest when i’m pissed. i simply write. (well, i irritate my Beloved Spouse, aka BS, generally. but the warranty is up, so he can’t throw me back, no matter how annoying i become.)

and occasionally, i’ll talk about CVID, something i wrestle with daily. it stinks, but i intend to live to be a pain in everyone’s collective ass for a very long time.

so welcome. poke your nose around. kick the tires. applaud me. argue with me. whatever floats your boat.

just don’t mind the dust bunnies. my masters isn’t in housekeeping, you know.

roll with it
Mar 26th, 2009 by wrekehavoc

i voted for barack obama. and i’m still okay with him. except for one little thing.

online ticketing for the annual white house egg roll.

the egalitarian in me appreciates the idea that anyone should be able to have a chance to get tickets. i appreciate the sentiment behind this idea. but i wonder whether obama consuted with some pointy-headed wonk when this decision was made and not with someone actually familiar with a) the experience of online tickets and b) the experience of the overnight party campout that has been, for many years, the cornerstone of the white house egg roll experience.

is the white house the only group of people unaware of the scandals in online event ticketing? do they not realize that there are outfits in the world who harness the power of banks and banks of bots whose goal in life is only to call in persistently and in a lightning speed manner to snag tickets? this has been worse than trying to snag springsteen tickets. at least when you do that online, you get a message telling you that tickets are all sold out. this method prolongs the agony — when you can get through. and people who get through have been reporting that they get mucked about and sometimes, after waiting or even getting numbers, the server tells them that the tickets are then gone.

this is not a way to run a circus.

and then, there are the unhappy campers.  there are people who have taken lemons and made lemonade, and now, they’re back to lemons again. these people took spending a night on concrete in the District and have made it into an all-night family party. people take the days off, for crying out loud, to do this. yes, i know – not everyone lives here.

but do i really think that patti in paducah should be compensated for this by having the tickets go online?

hell, no.

you know what? i don’t get to go surfing in san diego. i don’t get to swim with dolphins in key west. i don’t get to rub elbows with celebrities in LA or NY. i don’t get to enjoy all sorts of wonders in this country because i don’t live in those places. there are plenty of exciting events that happen in places and i have no shot of doing them because i am here, not there.

well, guess what. i live here. i put up with all the crap i have to put up with precisely because there are events and experiences i deem important enough to make this wonderland of angst my home.  and by gum, i get so tired of everyone in this bloody country assuming that where i live belongs to them. i know, i know. nation’s capitol. la la la. but you know what? maybe if tourists treated this place and the people with a little more sense, maybe people like me wouldn’t be so bitter about it.

i mean, it has hit the point where locals can’t do certain things at certain times of year because so many blessed people from podunk get on their donkeys and ride the herd in to town. they are obnoxious because, of course, this is THEIR nation’s capitol. nevermind that they throw trash on the ground, behave like drunk morons in the streets and on the metro, and are often plain rude. their bodies crowd out other people’s bodies, people who might have classes in the museums or camps at the zoo or whatever.

and the best part about this? people on a message board in chicago were applauding this new system. now, “normal” families can attend. what? unlike the families who live in the washington metro area? unlike all the families who were sitting out in the cold and in the rain because they wanted to do something together? we’re not normal? our kids play t-ball and attend girl scout meetings, too, people. just because we didn’t vote for Dubya for the past 8 years doesn’t mean we’re aliens from another planet. it just means we’re more educated than you are. (which we are, by the way. go look it up in the surveys.)

anyway, i’m tired. four hours of trying, and i have nothing to show for it. this year, i’m not rolling eggs.

i’m throwing them.

guilty pleasure monday: daisy jane (america)
Mar 23rd, 2009 by wrekehavoc

america. love it or heave it.

get a bunch of military brats together in england and let them name themselves after a homeland they rarely see. voila! you’ve got america. while they don’t have the same pull that they had in the mid-1970s, you gotta give these guys some props, even if their music inspires you to leave the country.

after all, this music was heavy, to use the parlance of the day. lots of people spent hours trying to decipher whether horse with no name was about heroin. (and some even named albums after snippets of the lyrics.) a blogging friend recently mused over whether the band spoke the truth about alligator lizards in the air above ventura highway. and lest we forget their deep cover of muskrat love, a song that makes me hurl, no matter who sings it.

yeah, if you get the sense that i tend to be somewhat ambivalent about this music from my childhood, i suppose you’d be spot-on. i’m not big on songs about dancing rodents or flying reptiles or even anonymous fillys. but there is one song i absolutely have always loved: daisy jane.   there’s something so straightforward and honest about this song, a love song where the singer wavers between certainty of his love being returned and a little uncertainty:

Do you really love me
I hope you do
Like the stars above me
How I love you
When its cold at night
Everythings alright

despite the fact that i have never understood what temperature had to do with the singer’s sureness of love, there’s something so simply plaintive about those words. and the melody is very pretty and fits the simple words well.

okay.  i’ll admit that i like sister golden hair, too, though i’ve always wondered whether sister golden hair surprise is some sort of lunch bargain, like the happy waitress special.

but that’s pretty much it. not saying anything else for fear of being banished from the nation.

Mar 19th, 2009 by wrekehavoc

my right pinky is currently attempting to sever its ties with the rest of my right hand. it is assuming the hitchhiking position, a position that only my thumb should know how to do but generally fails (if only it hadn’t been pulled completely backward in a ninth grade game of kill the guy with the ball.) in short, my pinky — tiny, nearly useless appendage — aches and aches. the little bastard is currently punishing me for doing something i shouldn’t have done.

i went ice skating with the kids on saturday.

ah yes. last weekend, when it was get the kids the hell out of the house while the husband does income taxes weekend. i remember it well. usually, when this weekend in march rolls around, i escape to NJ with the kids. unfortunately, the three-day-weekend prior was chock-a-block filled with plans (mostly abandoned), so i was left with this past two-day weekend. and who really wants to drive 200 miles on saturday and then 200 more sleep-deprived miles on sunday with two kids in tow?


so of course i figured that i might just plan a fun-filled weekend for the three of us. the three of us turned into the four of us when BC’s pal J — a lovely, lovely girl who could move in with us as far as i’m concerned, as i think she’s very sweet, well-mannered, and, most importantly, doesn’t treat jools like he’s something that someone scraped off her shoe  — joined us in our exploits on saturday. my plan: take the kids ice skating. then a movie. drop off BC’s pal. take jools to his first-ever playdate with his pal h, which was going to be at the school playground during h’s older brother’s baseball game. simple, right?

those of you who’ve been here for awhile remember the ice skating debacle of 2007 and know that i get a little gunshy about ice skating. nevermind that preteen wreke went skating most fridays and saturday nights at our town’s ice rink. nevermind that i really DO know how to ice skate, though stopping is still a challenge. but our hero learned that when you fall at age…21 and a half, you don’t necessarily bounce back the way you did at 13.  yes, i did get back in the saddle again after that. but i think that was the last time i was on skates.

until saturday.

so off we went, BC, jools, J, and me.  J and BC are competent skaters; i truthfully don’t have to hover anywhere near them. jools…i wouldn’t call him a skater as much as i call him an ice runner. and damn, he’s fast.  LL Cool j (because deep down, even these two ladies love cool jools)  spent his time chasing the two girls, who had made friends with two other girls and were mostly ignoring him. i pretended i was a speed skater (pretended being the operative word. i’m about as fast as a glacier) and was in hot pursuit of all. not an easy task considering all the potential landmines there.

let’s see:

there’s the middle of the rink, where people are taking private lessons and doing all sorts of advanced tricks. somehow, my kids, as well as others, didn’t grasp the need to stay outside the cones. there were girly figure skaters there; there were burly hockey boys there; and there was a grey-haired, brittle-boned woman who looked to be nearing 60 with knee braces on doing little leaps. every time jools went near those people, he was nearly taken out. that boy is constantly flirtin’ with disaster.

then, there was the idiot father and son tag team who were literally racing around the rink playing — wait for it — tag. the son, who had to be about 15 and who was the size of a burgeoning linebacker, was zipping in and out of clumps of people, chasing his dad, who was doing the same. and when they tagged each other, they actually knocked each other down. oh, the hilarity. i was waiting for someone to skate over the dad .

dorothy hamill and dick button had decided that the middle of the rink was too crowded for their jumping and skating practice; the two, middle aged ice mavens took over the entire goal area of the arena for their training exploits. at one point, mr. button nearly took out my daughter as she actually skated where she was actually supposed to be skating. (silly girl.) and. he. scowled. BC, being 10, was completely oblivious to the situation. i, being 21 and a half (as previously mentioned)  was not. hey kids, i said to the four, let’s leave the kennel to lassie and skate further away. if i had only known that the two grownups who actually owned the ice arena were hard at work, preparing for the olympics, i would been more careful with my children.

and of course, lest we forget the clumps of people who decide to stop dead in their tracks in the middle of the skating path. there was the line of teen girls, stretched almost completely across the entire path, all holding hands and stopped. (i lied. there was one who was texting, right near the sign that said no cameras or phones on the ice.) there was the happy loving couple twenty-something foursome, taking turns taking pictures of themselves on the ice because gee, we’re fun people wearing fun, inappropriately fashionable clothes in a fun skating rink. we’re  just. TOO. FUN!

and, of course, my favorite: the clump of dads just standing and talking about hockey. every time i passed them, slowly manoeuvering myself around and just barely avoiding contact,  i learned a little bit more about the washington capitals and their success while on the road. [note to the men: there’s a snack bar where you can buy BEER and have that conversation. (yes, i said beer. now shoo!)]

in short, for 90 minutes, i lived in utter fear.

every now and again, jools would randomly skate across traffic and smack himself into the glass. i’d say a little prayer as he cut off countless skaters, all of whom were much larger than he and possibly not terribly adept at stopping. he always looked pained, so i would magically skate across traffic as safely as possible and get over to him. usually, he complained his back hurt him (what, are you my age already, little boy?); i’d tell him to come sit down; and he’d skate away.

one of these times, i essentially body checked myself. bashed my pinky. all 98 pounds of me barrelled down on my tiny little finger.

we survived our skating. we went out to lunch. we never made the movie, though we did end up meeting one of BC favorite authors and got her autograph at a local bookstore. it rained and rained and rained, so i couldn’t take the kids to a playground. that rain also doomed jools’ playdate later. oh, i saw my future, and it wasn’t looking very pretty. thus,  i did what any desperate self-respecting mom would do: i took them to dunkin donuts, got them sugared up, and drank myself a cup.

and lucky me. it’s thursday, and i still have a happy little black and blue remembrance of the day.


mamma mia
Mar 17th, 2009 by wrekehavoc

a woman on my favorite list, DC Urban Moms, had the gall to share a well-written article from The Atlantic. (kudos to you, girlfriend.)  she asked not to be flamed, which of course incited some serious flames among the well-thought-out posts. (and i don’t mean well-thought-out in the sense that i agree with all of the posters’ points; i just thought they made some interesting and useful ideas known, as opposed to the ones who think that anyone who isn’t comfortable breastfeeding requires professional help. to which i’d reply, yes: cleaning, cooking, and other domestic professional help.)

anyway, i thought i’d share my response for those of you not lucky enough to be among the group. i got a little upset, to say the least.

as always, your mileage may vary.



this article resonated with me. VERY deeply. i’m not being my usual politic self. apologies in advance.

i was unable to nurse my babies; and Dog knows i tried. with baby#1, i read everything known to humankind about nursing. a week postpartum, my DD was losing more than her normal share of weight (to the point where she may have been in danger) and i was freaking out. i was determined to make nursing work, even though my pediatrician — who is incredibly supportive of nursing, btw — strongly recommended  i supplement my DD with formula for her own sake. i pumped. i tried to feed her (though we were imperfect nursing partners.) i called la leche.

the la leche representative Brought. Me. To. Tears. this woman seemed far more concerned with carrying the torch for nursing than she was for the well-being of my child and myself. hello? yelling at an engorged, wildly-hormonal, first-time mother because she is considering feeding her starving child with formula is not the way to go.this was not the case of the expected one-week weight loss. this was a crisis in the making.

no one wanted to make this work more than i did. i was in an endless cycle: nurse the baby as best as i could, then supplement with formula, then pump. (oh, and i worked full-time and had to pump *in the bathroom* during the day.) for those of you who got the hang of nursing easily, it’s quite simple to turn your noses up at people like me and think we didn’t try hard enough. that we need professional help if we’re stressed because we can’t get the hang of the balance right with work and child and feeding. you simply have no idea of the pressure you feel when you fail. (or, as the author did (after nursing her first two) when you decide that you’re done.)

the AHA! moment came from an unexpected source: my husband. he had seen me in my round-the-clock-dance of nurse-feed-pump one too many times. and there i was, in pump mode, sitting in the middle of my kitchen floor. 3 AM. crying. “honey,” my husband said, “our daughter needs a sane mom more than she needs breastmilk.”

yes. exactly.

i understand that fewer women breastfeed in the US than in other nations. i get that people want to promote nursing. i’m on board with it as being a completely natural thing to do and get equally upset when women are told to hide or leave the premises rather than to nurse babies. i will admit  — and i don’t care if people flame me, btw — that i don’t actually understand why moms still nurse kids who are in kindergarten; but at the end of the day, it is their choice — not mine — to make, and so i respect that choice and stand ready to defend it if necessary.

but what i don’t get, and what i hear in this article, is the pressure that people in the breastfeeding camp have placed upon a whole generation of women. listen, sister la leche: those first five months with my baby? they’re gone, and they’re not. coming. back. Ever. and while they weren’t completely unhappy, they consist greatly of a blur of inadequate feelings Because I Could Not Nurse. And. My. Baby. Suffered. For. It. needlessly, i’d add. the pressure was THAT intense. my baby could have been happy AND HEALTHY with formula — what’s more, her mom could have been happy and healthy *with her*. but the message i received throughout my pregnancy and thereafter was that i was somehow failing my daughter in my very first task as a mom. that message is especially crushing for a first-time mother. i wanted to do what i understood was best for her. thankfully, when i grew mom-balls and started trusting my own judgement on what is best for my child (in this case, by giving her formula), life inched its way toward the quasi-nirvana we enjoy to this very day.

sometimes, i think that breastfeeding advocates, as well as rank-and-file moms on the upper/middle class milieu, often lose sight of the forest for the trees. shouldn’t we be supportive of WOMEN? some women are uncomfortable with the idea of nursing for reasons that might be more personal than you or i can fathom. some women, like me, simply are not able to nurse (and yes, i have receipts somewhere from the lactation consultantS i saw — for both babies, btw — i tried, and failed, again with baby#2.) whatever: it’s not for me or you to decide whether they should or should not be nursing. if they want to nurse, let’s give them information and help them along. if not, let’s support them, too, and not treat them like they are amoral, child-abusing, pariahs. the best thing we can all do for each other is to give each other the courage and support to make the best decisions for our children. and not just about breastmilk, either.

after all, there is so more to being a mother than whether or not you serve up lunch from your mammaries.

guilty pleasure monday: from a whisper to a scream (elvis costello)
Mar 16th, 2009 by wrekehavoc

like a finger running down a seam…

faked you out again, huh? in fact, i was going to feature a completely different song today… until BC started singing this song at bedtime last night. (in the fine tradition of her dad, who usually sings the glenn tilbrook part to my elvis, girlfriend started singing bits of tilbrooks’ part on the car ride home from sunday school.)

when i was growing up, the only person i knew who loved elvis costello more than i did was my friend leifer. (add also pete townshend and the jam to that list.) i mean, the dude had an altar to pete in his room in college. (perhaps he’ll confirm in the comments so you all know i’m not a liarliarpantsonfire kind of girl who hallucinated too much in college.) his lyrics (costello’s, not leifer’s) at times are incredibly pointed and cleverly invective –anyone recall this gem, for just one example:

Some of my friends sit around every evening
And they worry about the times ahead
But everybody else is overwhelmed by indifference
And the promise of an early bed
You either shut up or get cut up, they don’t wanna hear about it
It’s only inches on the reel-to-reel
And the radio is in the hands of such a lot of fools
Tryin’ to anaesthetise the way that you feel

yep. the only thing during that period that came close, in my opinion, to costello’s brilliant songwriting was the stellar team of chris difford and glenn tilbrook of squeeze. in their early days, there was nothing finer than those two… plus i adored the hilarious keyboard player jools holland. (do any regular readers of this space know of anyone else usually referred to as jools? anyone? anyone? bueller?)

i still have fond memories of asking my mother, the original ms. malaprop, to borrow the then-latest squeeze album from my Brother The Doctor  (before he was a doc and was merely my brother) during her visit to his apartment. my brother later called me up, laughing. mom asked for georgie porgy by the crush. i figured out you wanted argybargy by squeeze.

thank Dog he could translate elaineese..

anyway, when elvis costello produced squeeze’s east side story, i nearly went over the edge. (happily, of course.) squeeeee! two, two, TWO mints in one!  i played tempted at least 50,000 times in a row on my little rinky-dink tape recorder every single day during the summer of 1981, smiling dementedly whenever i heard elvis break in singing his little bits and bobs. (later on, i’d lose it every time i heard him squawk no milk and sugar! in black coffee in bed.) and when i wasn’t listening to it on cassette, i was playing it on the damn piano, over and over until i suspect my parents considered having me committed. (don’t worry; i was still working on my old partridge family favorite… in secret, though. the patridges were tres uncool in the early 1980s in my set.)

so, to my delight, elvis and glenn did a little duet on elvis’ classic album, trust. is it either’s best work? hell, no. but their energy, along with the contrast in their voices, makes this song a firm favorite.  (i’m not a belter, but i belt elvis’s part so loud, people probably hear me in west virginia and wonder what the hell is up in them there hollers.)

i remember it coming on one time and i started singing one part… and lo and behold, BS, a man who doesn’t sing a lot, period, suddenly burst into the tilbrook part. maybe it was an early sign of the apocalypse, but hell, it charmed me!

so hell. i’ll sing it anytime, any place, anywhere. thanks to my big, sometimes off-key mouth, the torch has been passed to a new generation. today, elvis. tomorrow, nirvana? now that BC is singing it, my musical hope for her has started to bloom anew.

take that, jonas brothers.

the cage
Mar 11th, 2009 by wrekehavoc

there are days when you get trapped by your stuff.

BC told me today that i’ve been neglecting my blog. (does she read it now?) one of the main reasons i haven’t been writing as much is because i’ve become a facebook junkie of this lovely cage house that needs a bit of work.

don’t get me wrong. i love my home. i’m grateful for my home and the fact that i can be here every day in it. i’m proud of my home. and while i am perhaps the worst housekeeper in the entire universe, i want to do whatever i can to keep it a happy place. a huge portion of my life in the home involves dealing with the kids. in fact, given the choice of the house or the kids, i always err on the side of the kids. the kids can’t usually wait; dirty dishes often can.

so my house generally looks like the land that time forgot. and not in a charming way, either.

but this year, i need to do a variety of things, all of which require money and time. i need to get some new windows. i need to replace the ever-peeling bathroom vanity that fell victim to one too many happy bathtub splashes. i need to look into getting a new air conditioner. i must deal with the basement-formerly-known-as-the-carpeted-room-before-the-hot-water-heater-decided-to-give-up-the-ghost-plus-a couple-gallons-of-water. i need to secretly find new homes for the kids’ old toys. (BC, if you’re reading this: not yours, of course. wink, wink.)

but seriously, there’s too much to do and only so many hours in the day.

imagine if you worked in an office and you also lived there as well. your work would be facing you 24/7. that’s sort of what it’s like to work at home. oh sure, people say to me, if i didn’t have to work, my house would always be clean and i’ll get all sorts of things done.

that’s a laugh.

people who work only think of their home time the way they understand it to be: weekends or maybe a vacation day or so where they have a plan to get. something. accomplished.

but try getting things accomplished when there are tasks staring you down while the phone rings and the recycling needs to get out before the truck comes and guess what — you’ve a sick kid at school can you come pick him up? life happens, evidently.

so if you come to my house, always know that it’s a disaster. but you’re always welcome in it.

guilty pleasure monday: dog and butterfly (heart)
Mar 9th, 2009 by wrekehavoc

it’s my party, and i’ll sing what i want to.

we’re getting older/the world’s getting colder/ for the life of me, i don’t know why.

yes, today actually is my birthday. (i’m 19 in case you were wondering.) and actually, i celebrate my birthday for the entire month of march — i mean, why not? but today is the actual date.

sure, i could put up the beatles (for which i crank the volume up to 11 every year on this date.) i could put up the smiths unhappy birthday (which i also listen to every year on this date.) but neither one captures the guilty pleasure essence; there’s nothing to feel guilty about over either song. methinks.

and then, there’s this chestnut, which has nothing to do with birthdays but everything to do with wanting things you can’t have, keep striving for things anyway, and being happy to be as you are in the meantime. sure, it didn’t chart as well as it’s companion single, straight on, another heart song i, ehem, heart. [in fact, my dream cover band will definitely sing that one. i would kill to have ann wilson’s voice.] but i think it’s a beauty nonetheless.

(i remember a comedian once making fun of dog and butterfly, though i cannot find it anywhere on google. ah well.)

anyway, every year on this date, i try to remember all the good things that have happened to me in my life. there are waaaaay too many to list, and besides, you all didn’t come here to read pollyanna’s sweet guide to the sweetest life ever, right? and of course, people who read this regularly or who know me know that it hasn’t all been wine and roses (in spite of the fact that some spouses, unnamed of course, think i step in shit and up pops a daisy. yes, honey. i’m talking to YOU.)

i haven’t had a birthday party in years; i suspect if i ever want one, i will have to plan it myself. but i do get a lot of love from my entire family; and, if luck holds, they’ll bake me Betty Crocker’s finest cake slathered in Betty Crocker’s finest, er, cake goo (and covered in a zillion pounds of pink and green decorating sugar. my teeth hurt just thinking about it.) we’ll hit a restaurant, perhaps not my favorite one (which doesn’t exist anymore, anyway), but one where the kids will also eat and where it’ll just be fun to be out together (and not have to do dishes!)

yes, sometimes it is important to reach for those slightly-out-of-reach birthday stars; but more often than not, it’s good to appreciate the soft, green grass beneath your feet.

teach your children
Mar 6th, 2009 by wrekehavoc

a meme sent to me from my bud kellygo.

Copy this note, ask your kid the questions and write them down exactly how they respond. Tag me back if you haven’t done this; I’d love to hear the answers.

1. What is something Mommy always says to you?

BC: I love you.
Jools: Behave.

2. What makes Mommy happy?
BC: Purple
Jools: Purple

3. What makes Mommy sad?
BC: Everything.
Jools: When one of your parents die. (GAH!)

4. How does Mommy make you laugh?
BC: Say funny things.
Jools: By tickling me.

5. What was Mommy like as a child?
BC: My brother.
Jools: I dunno.

6. How old is Mommy?
BC: ** (let’s just say she got the answer correct.)
Jools: ** (let’s just say he got it right, too.)

7. How tall is Mommy?
BC: 5-2. (close!)
Jools: About I dunno.

8. What is Mommy’s favorite thing to do?
BC: Be with us.
Jools: Do chores.

9. What does Mommy do when you’re not around?
BC: Go on Facebook.
Jools: I dunno.

10. If Mommy becomes famous, what will it be for?
BC: Writing a book.
Jools: Cos she wants to get a million dollars. (!)

11. What is Mommy really good at?
BC: Writing.
Jools: Wii Tennis.

12. What is Mommy not very good at?
BC: Not crying.
Jools: Wii Boxing

13. What does Mommy do for her job?
BC: What DO you do, mommy?
Jools: Clean the house.

14. What is Mommy’s favorite food?
BC: Indian food
Jools: Fake bacon.

15. What makes you proud of Mommy?
BC: That she wrote a story.
Jools: That she cleans up everything in this whole house. Sometimes.

16. If Mommy were a cartoon character, who would she be?
BC: Minnie Mouse
Jools: Jimmy Neutron.

17. What do you and Mommy do together?
BC: Go to Six Flags.
Jools: Play.

18. How are you and Mommy the same?
BC: We have the same smile. And cheekbones.
Jools: We both like games.

19. How are you and Mommy different?
BC: We have different last names.
Jools: Cos you’re *age deleted* and i’m 5.

20. How do you know Mommy loves you?
BC: Because she says it a million times a day.
Jools: Cos she always says it.

21. Where is Mommy’s favorite place to go?
BC: Grandma and Grandpa’s house.
Jools: Red Hot and Blue. (a local restaurant.)

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