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she’s waiting
Nov 30th, 2011 by wrekehavoc

…because her mama trained her properly, that’s why.

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no, she’s not waiting in that way. or at least, not what you folks might think. this is a pet peeve of mine, and on this last day of NaBloPoMo, i thought i would end on a cranky note. (cos that is what folks expect of me.)

i am a carpool queen. i shuttle kids here, i shuttle them there, mama wreke shuttles kids everywhere. as a stay-at-home mom, i tend to take on rides in the early afternoon, when a lot of my kids’ friends’ parents are still working or quite possibly sitting in traffic somewhere, cooling their heels.

i don’t mind it, really. i get some of my best material listening to the kids talk.  i’ve learned more about which boys are awful, which girls are snooty, which kids are kind, and which people should just be avoided at all costs. i’ve listened to silly-ass knock-knock jokes, i’ve listened to retellings of some pretty nasty pop music lyrics. sure, i make the kids listen to whatever is on my mp3 player, though anything with NSFW lyrics gets the fast-forward treatment. i don’t care whether my kids hear these things, but i suspect the rest of the world would be upset if johnny or janie listened to some of the finer verbage from panic at the disco. like, say, this:

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anyway, my kids are trained from the get-go: when someone is picking you up, you wait at the appointed time by the window and watch for your ride. when they come, you shout out and let me know, and then you proceed directly to the car. people are kind enough to give you a ride, and you need to be kind and not make everyone else late by dallying.

apparently, though, this concept is not common knowledge. i can’t tell you how many times my kids and i have to come to people’s doors and knock and collect them. worse than that, though, are the times when the person isn’t ready, and when i mean not ready, i don’t mean that someone had to suddenly hit the loo before leaving. i get that, and i’m actually okay with that. but i have had situations where the person had to finish homework, finish texting someone, or finish talking to someone on the phone. and, in all of these cases, the people weren’t immediately trying to wrap things up, either; they were taking all the time in the world.

GRRRRRR!

i get that stuff happens, and so when it does, i don’t get annoyed or upset. but i have noticed as of late that there are recurrences of these sorts of events with the same folks. it really burns me up. am i supposed to be teaching the kids that they need to stop what they’re doing and get in the car if they have any intention of getting to point B? then, of course, i will get the rep as the mean-ass mom who scares all her kids’ friends.

then again, maybe that’s not such a bad thing…

steam
Nov 29th, 2011 by wrekehavoc

just give me some steam.

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wow. i have been struggling to write something every day for a whole month, courtesy of NaBloPoMo. i have actually done this bloggy endeavour now for several years, but this year, it has been tough going. this year, i decided to not to use a theme, probably to the dismay of everyone out there who reads this. in previous years, i have spent the month happily skewering 70’s or ’80s music, pet peeves, and all sorts of other things. somehow, it takes less effort to criticize things than it does to create something.

not that i c a n ‘t create something.

but it’s not as easy now for so many reasons. when i started this blog, almost 10 years ago (yes, it’s true), i mostly threw a combination of funny memes up  as well as tales of my one, then two, children. now, memes end up on my FB page when they end up anywhere; and it gets increasingly tough to write about the kids because both they and their friends are old enough to read and surf teh internetz. once they put two and two together, they’ll realize that them there’s some good fodder in here, if you’re willing to dig. (note to all current mommy bloggers — one day, your children will hate you for writing about their toilet training/bed wetting/nose picking/etc. i’m glad i never went down that path.)

so, with my favorite topics somewhat off-limits, i have to either tilt at windmills, review concerts and music, or simply blather about the weather. well, maybe i don’t do the latter, but i suspect some of my navel-gazing may seem that way to some people… in which case, let me share my two most hated (by others) works with you.

here, for your reading displeasure are:

1) my somewhat ignorant  but historic (in that it is the only bit i ever wrote where i had to cut off comments because people were insulting MY MOTHER, A WOMAN THEY HAD NEVER MET) diatribe on homeschooling; and

2) my feelings about the song wildfire, which, i must tell you, i still firmly believe, even if loads of people disagree with me and send me hate mail over (which continues to come on my old site, so if you’d like to see a total stranger call me an anus,  click here.)

anyway, one more day of the bataan death blog march. hoping i have enough steam to cross the finish line.

guilty pleasure monday: wake me up before you go-go (wham)
Nov 28th, 2011 by wrekehavoc

jitterbug!

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does anyone know whatever happened to andrew ridgeley? does anyone know what andrew ridgeley contributed to wham or this song or anything in general? i often imagine he is the character hugh grant played in the movie music and lyrics, although in ridgeley’s case, as a guy who probably had talent but who was overshadowed and then overlooked. i imagine it’s hard to shine when george stay out of public loos michael is your singing partner.

(not this george michael, either.)

ah, but remember them in their fluffy-haired heydey? remember the choose life shirts that were so huge and were also made, at the time, in day-glo, neon colors? i had too much self-respect to wear one (and i, the queen of malaprops, did not want to be confused with an anti-abortion activist by wearing that message, not that i choose death, but still.) oh, they were doe-eyed and adorable. and those teeny-tiny shorts? these guys were too sweet to be real.

and this song. admit it — you hear it start, and you want to dance. you don’t want anyone to know that you want to dance, but it is absolutely infectious, and maybe not in a good way, but there it is. it has a bouncy horn section to go along with it’s bouncy beat, and george’s smooth vocals carry you away into some sort of confectionary moment.

but poor andrew. after racing cars and solo work that didn’t go anywhere, you wonder not whether he has any dart boards with george michael’s face on them, but just how many.

junk
Nov 27th, 2011 by wrekehavoc

planning ahead can be cute.

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i’ve written before about jools and his BFF M, who decided to marry when they were in kindergarten and then decided to be BFFs instead last year.  she is so very sweet to him and seems to understand him in a way that no one else seems to do.

today, M and jools had a playdate. jools thought about changing his shirt before he went; he wanted to look (his) best, he said, though he wouldn’t elaborate. when we were getting into the car, he ran suddenly back into the car. he ran back out about a minute later. when i asked him what he did, he told me that he had taken a piece of candy from his halloween bag for M and one for him.  if he had done that for anyone else, i think i would have wondered about ulterior motives; but when it comes to M, i know he just simply adores her.

anyway, after i picked him up from the playdate, i asked him what they did. we just spun around and around, he said, and we had a snack.

oh, he added, we decided that when we have kids, we are gonna let them eat all the junk food they want as long as they don’t get sick.

ah, yes.  nothing telling in that statement.

laughing
Nov 26th, 2011 by wrekehavoc

lighted in a room, lanky room

lighted lighting laughing in tune

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today, we hit the comedy place in ballston where there was to be a special improv show for kids.  BS got some half-price ticket special, which made it even better. (top that off with a buy-one, get-one-free coupon from cold stone creamery and it was even better.) maybe because it was thanksgiving day weekend, but there were literally two other families there (and they were related to each other), so it wasn’t exactly a packed house. this is a shame, really, as the two people running the show did a great job rassling people and humor and keeping it at a disney-level of appropriateness…

which wasn’t easy considering our family. when they asked for something you talk about at the dinner table, the other family yelled out: turkey! we yelled out: politics! when they asked what’s something in your garage, i yelled out: jimmy hoffa! jools, not to be outdone, yelled out: a crime scene!

it’s moments like these where i am super-glad that no one from the division of youth and family services attends these things.

the other family was overly-hammy, which did get annoying to me after awhile. they apparently have been to these things many, MANY times before, sort of comedy groupies. (we’d been to grown-up comedy nights here before we had kids.) but again, if they hadn’t been there, it would have been all us, all the time. and their spirit was fun, so i shouldn’t gripe much.

as an aside, the boy neglected to eat lunch. and now, as it was 3pm and he was separated from video games, he realized he was hungry. he wanted to hit the concessions stand, but sadly, no one was staffing it. he wanted to check back, and he asked us whether he could go to confessions. that teachable moment alone was worth the price of admission.

anyway, we all ended up on stage at different times. i was an utter failure, playing some sort of charades-type game with julian and two other little boys. we were trying to convince the actor who was not in-the-know that we were running a debate, impersonating people from the big bang theory, with podiums that were actually guillotines. all without uttering a single word. (no, i am not making this up. and i am not on any meds that you might think i would be off at this particular juncture.) jools knew BBT, but the other two? not sure.

speaking of jools, i think he has a future in stand-up. both he and the girl were able to make up jokes on the fly during one exercise, and they both did a great job. but the boy’s delivery?

had me laughing. i’m laughing still.

money
Nov 25th, 2011 by wrekehavoc

it’s not just something you use to get yourself stuff… it’s hours of fun, too!

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today’s theme is money and how it can provide hours of activities for the whole family! (it is, after all, black friday.) BC started me down this thrilling path by deciding that it would be fun to experience black friday! don’t you want to hit tyson’s corner center at ungodly o’clock? sure. i know i did.

i told her that despite the mall opening at midnight, i would not be triapsing there at that time. we settled on waking up at 5:30am and hitting the mall then. and hit it hard we did. girlfriend, you see, needs new clothes. and there were some specials that would be too hard to pass up. two pairs of jeans, one skirt, two camis, three shirts, and one pair of sweats later, we did quite well. (i also did well on two cashmere sweaters at macy’s which i had been stalking for two months. a crazy sale price plus a coupon made it something i could finally do. (yeah, i use coupons. so what?)) also two pairs of dockers for BS, and the only person who got bupkes on this trip was jools. (not for lack of trying: we hit the gamestop, but it didn’t have a lot of there there for him. at least, notthat was on sale, anyway.)

the ladies at vera bradley were a little cuckoo, i would say. they were pretty clueless and the sale items we wanted weren’t there. ladies, step away from the paisley.

so what’s even more fun with money? looking into a piggy bank that i’ve had since i was in high school and seeing which quarters are now collectibles in jools’ book. and that’s what we did. wow, the boy exclaimed, a quarter from 1968! that’s really old, isn’t it??

uhm.

anyway, we found a bicentennial quarter, a coin from greece (also 1968!), a shekel, and all sorts of stuff… including some pretty gnarly-looking pennies. which leads us to fun with money part three: let’s learn about oxidation! i found a little piece called chemistry fun with pennies and mixed up a little vinegar-salt mixture. the boy threw in a bunch of pennies, a quarter, and a dime for good measure. we’re still waiting to see what happens, though the pennies seem to be improving…marginally.

in other news, my fingers have this awful vinegar/old metal smell. i guess i officially smell like money.

it’s called cheating
Nov 24th, 2011 by wrekehavoc

yes, i am cheating by posting a link to last year’s thanksgiving day post.

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but i am thankful to those of you who don’t mind.

here you go.

happy thanksgiving!

alice’s restaurant
Nov 23rd, 2011 by wrekehavoc

excepting alice…

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i realize i’m not exactly supplying any serious blog post here. i am just highly unmotivated. so instead, i provide you the song which i look forward to hearing each year at this time. it always makes me contemplate the importance of disposing of trash properly.

happy thanksgiving!

get up offa that thing
Nov 22nd, 2011 by wrekehavoc

you heard the man.

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tomorrow is thanksgiving, a day in which millions of families across the US experience something pretty similar: women cooking and cleaning while men eat and then leave to watch TV (usually football.) when i was young, it didn’t occur to me that my mom spent hours cooking ahead of time and then cleaning afterwards, with little help from any of us save for my aunt barbara. i just thought it was a wonderful day where i was able to eat one of my favorite meals and then go off and do what i wanted.  (in fact, one of my favorite memories is a post-thanksgiving bike ride i once took with my aunt.)

now that i’m older, it all falls into perspective. i am the grown woman around here. a week or so before the blessed date, supermarkets start getting insane. in fact, i hit trader joe’s yesterday to get milk and such because i know better than to go into a supermarket today. a day or two in advance, i usually start getting some of the sides ready. some sides lend themselves to earlier prep, like cranberry sauce. others, however, are better left for game day.

and then, my bête noire — the turkey.

i hate cooking meat in general. and turkey? i can tell you about the year it was crispy on the outside and raw on the inside. or the year i was pregnant and making turkey was a struggle between cooking and barfing. i hit the point where it was a far, far better thing to buy the turkey pre-cooked than force my family to wonder whether they were going to experience salmonella up close and personal.

but then, after all this work, and after a beautiful meal, everyone leaves me to it.

women — it is time to tell the men that they need to do dishes. it’s about freaking time someone stood up for all that is fair. if people expect you to go through planning and cooking hell, the least they can do is help wash things and put them away. post-dinner football watching is not a Dog-given right. sheesh, even some of the most feministically-minded women i know still let the men off scot-free. not fair, i say. hand them a sponge and tell them to get cracking.

and for you guys who actually help out on thanksgiving day, bless you, one and all. the rest of you lazy shits — it’s time to get over yourselves. your spouses and significant female others do not work for you, this day or any other. give them something to really be thankful for — a guy with manners who actually appreciates all that has been done for him.

this year, i wasn’t feeling the love for cooking. and  BS agreed that this year, we could spend thanksgiving at a restaurant. i am looking forward to no cooking, no dishes. yeah, i won’t have any leftovers, either.

i think i can live with that.

guilty pleasure monday: if you love somebody set them free (sting)
Nov 21st, 2011 by wrekehavoc

if you love something, set it free.

if it comes back to you, it is yours.

if it doesn’t, it never was.

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yeah, yeah. you can start laughing at me now. but when this song came out in 1985, i was completely hooked. it’s rock, it’s jazzy, there’s a marsalis in it. how can you not start tapping your toes when it comes on?

lots of my friends felt betrayed when der stingleheimer started on a different musical path post-police. stingerino seemed to start down a path away from the reggae/ska/punk-lite path and explore new stuff, ultimately destined for lite rock stations everywhere. and yet i love this stuff, at least up through the mid-1990s.

and if you’ve ever carefully watched the video for this song, you’ll notice some cool things happening. one person is slowed down. one is speeded up. one is filmed in black and white.  and beloved branford? he’s a transparent ghost of himself.  i just love it.

and as for the hackneyed cliché that graces the song’s title? it has probably seen it’s way onto many greeting cards and needlepoint samplers. there’s a load of jokes surrounding it including these. but me, i’m a purist. whoever said this said it best:

if you love something, set it free.

if it comes back to you, it is yours.

if it doesn’t, hunt it down and kill it.


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