Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Why sometimes it is better to have someone pamper you, or Yuck, what is that?

So, the other night I was noticing some very glaring gray roots. I have been noticing them MORE, both more of them and within a shorter time after dying. (Please bear with me, this is going to be such a vanity post.)

So, I have a LOT of gray, that has been established, I also am a non-paid working woman, i.e. a mom and so "for the team" I have decided to forgo visiting my dear Gloria and I attempt to beautify alone. This hasn't really been that large of an issue. I don't really feel like I have been deprived, but this month I think that I may have learned my lesson.

For those of you who also are chemically dependant (to Clairol....take your pick) you know that there is the "coloring" step and then the "conditioning" step. Long story short, during the "conditioning" step, I dropped the lid to the conditioner and it went down the drain.
Lost.... gone.... forever....

I was so upset about the plumbing ramifications that I stuck my finger down there too,
Slime....yuck, what is that?

I told my dear husband about our plight and he looked at me with probably the most irritation that I think I have seen our whole marriage and said,

"Why don't you use the screen thing to cover the drain?"

"Well, it was full of hair, which is so gross and my scalp was burning!"

It now seems like a pretty weak reply.

It was decided that I would call a plumber.

The first plumber arrived the next morning and "worked" on the pipe for what seemed an eternity....I say worked because I didn't actually see him do anything, but there was noise coming from the bathroom??? So work? He emerged about an hour later, head hung low and informed me that he could be of no more service to me. He said that he would have to call a guy that could go under the house. At this point, all I can see are dollar signs, but this is our only bathtub...and we need to bathe, right?

So, he calls the "super" plumber (why he couldn't go under the house and fix it is a mystery to me?) and Mr. S.P. can't come until the next day. I couldn't handle it, my bathroom now smelled like machine oil and ground metal, and my tub was full of black-sludgy water. I was supposed to wait longer?

NO, no, no, I don't care if this was supposed to be my punishment for moving the hair screen, I had to think fast....YES, I will call another plumber.....what is another bill? I need to bathe!

Finally at about 3:45 in the afternoon a lone Plumber arrived on a gleaming white steed. (OK, it was a van, a large van, and just white.) He not only could talk to me in a kind voice about my pipes, but he assured me that the problem would not involving going under the house and then I knew we might still be able to afford summer camp for the kiddies.

He was done in 20 minutes, just like that. There was a hair ball the size of our dog now on the side of the tub, but water was flowing. He was a wonderful man, our plumber.

After I thanked him profusely, he handed me the bill. I looked at it and thought....
This is exactly what I pay Gloria and she even blows my hair dry and fixes it real pretty.

So, to end (FINALLY) thank you lone Plumber, you were good to my family. Gloria, I will be seeing you next month!

Monday, December 04, 2006

"Wordplay" or "Nerds on Parade"

I love documentaries about people and their obsessions. I think that if you dig deep enough you can uncover the inner nerd in anyone, truly. Someone might look totally "put together" and "hip" and then you might mention something like "Hello Kitty". Then that formerly cool and collected individual might start mouth-breathing and telling you that the latest incarnation of Hello Kitty is far inferior to the collection circa 1982, but I digress.....

I just love that. People are nerds, I, myself, am a nerd. (I also like to use commas improperly.)

So, my latest indulgence was a wonderful movie called "Wordplay". I am a S.A.H.M, so of course I watched it last night in the comfort of my own nerdom on DVD. (JMB and MPB, formerly "a cute couple" do not see first-run movies anymore.) It was wonderful. Sometimes documentaries of obsessed people are a bit slow, but this flick had wonderful pacing and people that you just fell in love with. By the end of the movie you were cheering them on as they competed in their "crossword puzzle-off". Wait, I am getting ahead of myself.

This movie is about people and their obsession with crossword puzzles, more specifically The New York Times puzzle. It has interviews with all sorts of celebrity types and how they fell in love with the puzzle, and then more importantly it follows the highs and lows of being a Crossword Puzzle Celebrity. To give away anymore would be a crime, everyone needs a bit of crossword puzzle drama in their lives.

I bet you thought that I wasn't going to mention the most exciting celebrity featured in this movie.....Puzzlemaster Will Shortz (Google does NOT capitalize this title, but I think that it is appropriate.) He is better to see in person (ok, on DVD) and WAY nerdier than he is on the radio.

I am, right now, speechless, I loved this movie so much.

See it people!

Other Grrrrreat ones are:
Fast, Cheap and Out of control
Mad Hot Ballroom
Supersize Me
---I know of more, but can I bring them up from the useless info recesses of my brain?
We will see....more to follow

Thursday, November 30, 2006

"This American Life", or "Ira Glass rocks!"

So, I received this tiny little ipod for my birthday. You know, so I could listen to things when I go and do all of my "exercise". (notify me when I have time for that!) Well, I have fallen in love with podcasts!!!

Hooray for them!

I really like Ira Glass and "This American Life". It is just so real, so surreal for that very same reason. To be really nerdy, I like the pacing of the stories, the added musical parts and the flow of the stories told by regular people, in their own way. Different people's stories are brought together in a "theme", but in ways that I don't find immediately obvious, but that is what makes it so good.

I used to be very intent on how each person is so "unique". I guess people really are literally "unique", but the experience of "being a person" is so much the same between individuals. We all have love, loss, struggle and heartache. I like hearing stories about people and what they do.

The most recent installment talked about "Babysitting". This broad theme encompassed stories of fun, divorce, freedom, and people trying to do the best that they can, even if that is not very good. (Looking back on that list all I can think is--- JMB, you are some kind of weird and need more sleep.)

(That said, you should check out an episode...It is through NPR.)


On Halloween, listeners sent in their scariest true stories. There was one about a rabid raccoon that still gives me chills!


David Sedaris is a regular contributor....I just love him, can't get enough....but that is another blog....

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Center of Gravity....

I bet this doesn't happen to anyone else....only me.

I am finally able to leave the house alone, maybe for something as exciting as grocery shopping(??), maybe something like swimming (wow!). Anyway, the point is, I have only been gone for possibly 2 hours and when I return it is as though the world has stopped in my absence. Instantly, I am accosted by an army of hands and mouths, the room is full of the sounds of "Mom" and "Honey, you wouldn't believe..."


I can't believe that in the past few hours I have been so missed and so needed. And after the first uncomfortable moment of "RETREAT!" passes, I am so, so happy to be home.

A hug for everyone!

....That is until the next water aerobics class.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Names have been changed to protect....

I woke up the other day in a life that I never dreamed I would own. Has this ever happened to you?

I mean most of my life, I thought, was going to go a certain way. I was going to excell in High School. Rock right on through college and then go on to many, many prestigious letters following my Ph.D and M.D., or D.V.M. The last ones I ever thought I would be happy to have are S.A.H.M. (Stay At Home Mom).

I was raised by the usual overachiever parents...MSW and PhD, and in our house it was just assumed that each of us would go on to higher education and achieve/produce, and achieve/produce some more. It was also assumed that eventually each of us would marry and have kids who would attend daycare, thus giving us, the parents, ample time to achieve/produce more and more. (Because what does America need more than many, many people all intent on achieving and producing?) I was hot on the trail of all of that achieving and producing and then a funny thing happened.... a small, helpless, beautiful baby boy came from my body and entered the "square box" life that my husband and I were living.

I have to say that this took me by surprise.... not the "how?", but the feelings and the instinctual urge to place this little fellow's needs above my own. Now, let's get something straight, I am an older sister to 3. I have taken care of children since before I could think of saying "they're not MY responsiblity", but this "having one of my own" took me by suprise. I extended my maternity leave until he was 4 months old and leaving him at daycare that first day was a pain unlike any I had ever experienced. After a few weeks the pain dulled to a steady ache, but it wasn't until I almost had a nervous breakdown that I realized that my life was not as it was supposed to be.

I think that my therapist said to me,
"What if you just quit your job?"

"Whoa, lady, are you high?" was all that I could think.

I think what I actually came back with was something like,
"I could never do that, we couldn't afford it."

And not missing a beat she said,
"Can you afford to be angry at your self, and your husband, and your baby?"

This lady really knew how to hit below the belt, she was just one cruel, cruel nasty woman.
Why would she dangle the one thing that I wanted in front of me....the one thing that I didn't think that I could ever have.

I left her office that day thinking this was one hour I wasn't ever going to get back.

Looking back on it now (I have since had another baby so the finer details are blurry) she saved my life, saved my marriage and probably saved my kids a few years of therapy down the road.

I think that I was caught on a path to something....making money, having a house, a nice car, achieving, producing, really living the heck out of the "American Dream". I was really unhappy because I wasn't getting to do what I loved doing, being a mom. I was really confused because it never was an option for me growing up, I was raised to want "more" and a career in "motherhood" doesn't pay the rent. Yet, while I was out achieving and producing, someone else was seeing my son every morning growing and laughing. What price can you put on that?

So, I got out.

I guess I really owe that crusty therapist a box of chocolates or something....thanks to her for helping kick me out of my extremely uncomfortable "comfort zone".

Now, I need to work on knowing that staying at home is the right thing for me and my family, independent of American societal "norms". I need to stop justifying my S.A.H.M. degree to people who look at me weird (maybe step 1. is not calling it a degree....) I am producing the next generation and that is a hard achievment to beat.

Monday, October 23, 2006

CD/video review 4U

"Here Come the ABCs"
They Might Be Giants

Disclaimer: While no one would say that I have ever been "hip", back in "the day" I did enjoy music more on the alternative side, including many of They Might Be Giants' songs for the older set. Now, I mostly listen to Raffi.

As a mom of a preschooler, I can now say that I have logged some serious hours of listening to trite, predictable, irritating kid's music. After listening to this CD and watching this video, I was overjoyed that I had found something that both my three-year-old AND I could enjoy. "Here Come the ABCs" is a refreshing and inventive take on learning the ABCs. It contains funny, non-sensical songs that are enjoyable for kids as well as parents.

Both the songs and the video are reminiscent of the early Sesame Street years, silly voices and for the "Q U" song, silly people dressed up as letters and appearing around, what I think, is New York City. Some people may think that the lyrics are too weird and bizarre, but young kids love that stuff. They are so mystified by how things work in the adult world that a song about how "E Eats Everything" is just strange enough to make sense or at least amuse. So give it a try, at least it is not another rendition of "Wheels on the Bus".

Friday, June 02, 2006

my, my, the technophobe ventures forth

so this is what it has come to..... a central place to post the pics and the goings on....we'll see if we like is so.......modern.....