Friday, August 26, 2016

who can explain the thunder and rain but there's something in the air

My sisters are going to the pool today, and none of my kids are in the mood to go, especially since I've told them they have to go to the rodeo tonight, which they hate.  I am failing at being a rural parent I guess.  Anyway, I said, "What about if I let you bring a friend?" and Emmett said, "I would rather bring a friend to the National Dumpster Diving Championships.  I would rather bring a friend to the Monsanto slag pour."  As he thought about what he'd just said, he followed up with, "Actually, if it weren't so far away I actually would like to take a friend to the Monsanto slag pour."  He's not wrong--my feelings toward Monsanto are conflicted at best, but flaming crap running down the side of a mountain is high-quality entertainment.

Just thought you'd like to know.

Monday, August 15, 2016

he grew up to be a jerk, just like me

Well, there's nothing to put a shine to your day quite like having an argument with one of your kids in which both parties take turns accusing each other of being too intense about something that really doesn't matter so why are you making such a big deal about it.  The golden years of parenting are now officially coming to an end and I hate it.  I've said that my kids just keep getting better and better, but now we've begun the slide that all parents of teenagers experience eventually, and which never really ends.  I'll never get Grant back.  He'll continue to pull away and be a bigger and bigger brat until he graduates, then he'll go on a mission and it will be almost like he died for two years, then he'll come home and be all preachy for a while, then he'll settle down and we'll have a brief glorious moment in the sun of being a close-knit family again, and then he'll get married and start having kids and so on, and that's the end of it all--it'll never be the same.  Even though all of these things are things I expect and want for him (minus the brattiness and the preachiness), and even though what's up ahead will bring its own kind of joy, I can't help but mourn the death of the part of my life that nobody warned me about.  Everybody said to enjoy the time when my kids were little, which was stupid, because there is nothing I miss about that part of my life.  But this part?  The part where everybody is grown up enough to be fun and interesting and we all love to be together all the time?  This is the best, and it sucks that we only get a couple years of it.  

Calculating conservatively, I figure I've got at least 15 more years of this, because by the time one child returns to normalcy you've already lost the next child.  Looking forward to it, it's going to be super great.  

Friday, May 13, 2016

then your heart will start to jump, in your throat you'll get a lump

Currently reading:  So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson.  Loving it.  Next up, Gumption by Nick Offerman.  High hopes for that one as well.  I feel quite proud of myself for reading nonfiction, even if it is easy reading.  I started out looking for a Dolly Parton biography, but ended up with these other ones.

This morning I'm going through the male sock basket, which is where I put all the socks that John and the boys wear.  I have my own basket and Willa has a drawer.  The boys all share, so it doesn't make sense for me to try to parcel socks out to them in equal amounts or try to remember who has the orange Nike socks and who has the green ones.  For the past few months the leftover socks have been multiplying, so this morning I'm going through them and anything that doesn't have a mate is going to the dust rag pile or the garbage.  No single socks in here, this is a family community!

I've got tomatoes and lettuce and Swiss chard and kale and strawberries planted.  I have to replant the strawberries pretty much every year because they keep getting stomped on.  I want to buy a horse trough to put some peppers and more tomatoes in, because even though building your own raised bed is cheaper, according to some, it's not actually cheaper if you never get it built.  Well, I guess it's cheaper, but it doesn't really accomplish what you want.  And I love John very much, but when he says he will build a raised bed for me he is lying--lying unconsciously, but lying all the same.

Monday, May 2, 2016

music, music, musicland

The choir director at the high school is retiring after a long and illustrious career.  I was in her first year teaching here, and Grant is in this year, so that's a fun little set of bookends.  There is an alumni concert for all her former students, so of course I was like YEAH MUSIC.  They also said that spouses who were up to it could participate, so John was also like YEAH MUSIC.  So John and I and Grant are all going to sing some gorgeous music together, and the songs are really pretty and meaningful and I'm going to be a total mess up there.  But let me get to the point of my story, which is of course a complaint about somebody else:  

We were rehearsing Friday night, and the woman next to me, who is the spouse of a guy who was a year younger than me, made a couple of snotty remarks about the rehearsal director (who was also in the year younger than me) and the sopranos.  How tacky!  Listen to me, ma'am:  you are a guest in our home, essentially.  Nobody asked you to be here, and you can knock it right off with the attitude.  I've been sitting next to you and you're doing fine, but you're making just as many mistakes as everyone else, and no matter how accurate your remarks about fancy vocabularies and inability to read music may be, that's not for you to comment upon.  You don't get to insult a tribe you're not a member of.  UGH.  

Music people are so hateful, and I say this in full awareness of my own hatefulness.  

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

stop hover-peeing

Do you even Neko Atsume?  This is a game a coworker told me about, and I call it the cat hoarding game.  You attract cats to your yard with food and toys, and they bring you fish, which you can use to buy more food and toys.  They never poop, and if you don't feed them it doesn't kill them, they just don't come to your yard.  It's like a giga-pet without the stress!  Highly recommend.

UMMM GUESS WHO WENT TO CHURCH WITH BILL CLINTON ON SUNDAY?  It was me.  Grant's choir was performing at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, and who should walk in and basically commandeer the entire program but Bill Clinton and Charlie Rangel, large as life and twice as natural.  He gave a stump speech for Hillary, which was good but went on and on, and it seemed like the pastor was getting a little miffed about it.  Like, we understand your position Mr. Clinton, but we've got a sermon about the Israelites to deal with here.  But it all worked out and the sermon was great and the music was great and I hope those kids understand what an incredible experience they had.  I cried a ton, which surprised nobody.  MUSIC!

Monday, April 4, 2016

on cheetos

I think we can all agree that Flamin' Hot Cheetos are a treat for a specific type of person.  Like, when Britney Spears was married to Kevin Federline and was being photographed going shoeless into gas station bathrooms?  That kind of person.  And there's a snotty part of me that thinks I'm a better kind of person than the Flamin' Hot Cheetos kind of person.  They seem like a snack from a misanthropic cartoon.

So we were driving home from practice a while ago, mocking Flamin' Hot Cheetos, as one does, and one of my teammates, with whom I am like-minded on societal issues, put in a plug for Cheddar JalapeƱo Cheetos.  WELL.  Roller battle does sometimes give me a hankering for junk food, so I stopped at the store and bought a bag.  They are tiny bags, by the way.  Why are there not "family-size" bags of Cheetos?  Anyway, they were delicious and whatever addictive chemical they contain prevents me from feeling any regret that I tried them.  So that's my recommendation, sorry if I ruin your life.  

Friday, March 11, 2016

pirates are fun

I just finished reading "Primates of Park Avenue" by Wednesday Martin, and I heartily recommend it.  I was certain that I would loathe every person in the book, and take pleasure in doing so, and for the most part I was correct.  I do find the "tribe" being discussed in the book to be an embarrassing, immoral blemish on our purportedly democratic, egalitarian society.  But that doesn't mean that I can't recognize that for them, the manufactured competition for resources is as real and terrifying as the struggle for daily survival was for our ancient ancestors.  And of course, when you really study a culture, you're bound to find at least some traits worthy of admiration.  It gave me new insights into human social behavior, and that's fun.