Welcome to my world.....

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I think I hate cable TV

So maybe those are strong words, but can someone explain to me why my cable company keeps changing the channel numbers? I just got use to the new numbers, and woke up this morning to them all being gone.... and new ones have taken their place.

I mean really? Why does it matter if USA is on 441 or 1201? There were already too many channels of "yuck" to sort through to find the few shows I like to watch and now they've added another 600 or so to the mix?

And that's all I have to say about that.....

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A meaningful anniversary

So, today is J and my 23rd wedding anniversary. It used to be that you only made a big deal about the "even" numbers.... 10, 15, 20, 25, etc. Well, it seems to me that they should all be a big deal. In this day and age of the easy divorce, every year that we have together means something. Some have been good, and some have, frankly, been bad, but we've found a way to stay together for 23 years and that matters. At least it does to us. And I have to say it's kinda cool that our kids are as excited about it as we are.

Last night, we went out to dinner with some friends to "Zocalo," a mexican restaurant in downtown Cleveland and then over to Hilarities 4th Street Theater to see Dom Irrera. It was a great night - very good food at a surprisingly reasonable price ($80 for the four of us, without alcohol, for two appetizers, four dinners, and a shared dessert - and that ain't bad!). Definitely will go back. And Dom Irrera was a scream. We laughed and laughed and just had a great time.

But what sticks out for me the most was our daughter Lafawnduh. She's a freshman at the University of Akron and came home for the weekend because of our anniversary. She was helping me do my hair last night and said "I just thinks it's cool that you and dad still love each other." Almost made me cry. It's memories like this that I think about when I wonder if we've been good parents.

If you are lucky enough to have a wedding anniversary, whether it's a traditionally big one or just a small one, whether it's year 6 or year 26, make sure you celebrate. Make sure you say a little "thank you" to whatever god you believe in. An really, just take a moment to pat YOURSELF on the back. Marriage sure as hell ain't easy, but if you are in a good, one, it's worth the work.

Respectfully Submitted,

Friday, March 5, 2010

Alice in 3D

The Cheese and I like to go to movies. I enjoy any time that I can spend with my ultra-independent 17-year-old. Tonight, we went to see "Alice In Wonderland" in 3D.

Very cool movie - effects were awesome. A little of the "flying in your face" stuff, but not much. Mostly, the glasses added a depth to the screen that was very cool. I think I am the only person left on the planet who has not seen Avatar, but I hear the effects are similar.

Not my favorite Johnny Depp performance, but Helena Bonham Carter and Crispin Glover were amazing. Definitely worth seeing in the theater - don't wait for the DVD and watch it at home. Some movies are best with the big screen experience.

And if you have a teenager at home, take them to the movies. While you may think this is not a "quality time" endeavor because you can't talk during a film, my beautiful daughter talked my ear off in the car the whole way there and home again. I think we talked more tonight than we have in the past month. That, my friends, was worth the price of admission.

Respectfully submitted,

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Nothing much happened today

Nothing much happened today. The same people at work irritated me, but I didn't kill anyone. I made lamb chops, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, buttered noodles and chicken for dinner and everyone ate every bite. The boys came over and worked in the basement some more. Lafawnduh came home from college for an emergency orthodontist appointment. The dog didn't crap anywhere in the house. No one took my van keys and none of the cars broke down. It was a fairly boring day.

Oh, except I found a new way to get the boys to leave before midnight... I just texted my husband and offered him sexual favors if he said good night to the boys right now. He's walking them to the door. Gotta go! Woo Hoo!

Maybe something "much" WILL happen today.

Respectfully Submitted,

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The little things.... that tick me off

It takes a lot to tick me off. I'm not entirely sure why. It could be a lot of things that shaped this particular trait of mine, but I don't think the reasons matter. I tend to roll with it. After all, when a problem arises, I can't fix it if I am busy screaming and yelling. I accept it, roll with it, and move on. Except for today.

This morning, J got up later than he wanted to. Apparently, he had a 7:30 meeting that he forgot to mention which means I was suppose to psychically know that he wasn't suppose to hit the snooze button twice and I was suppose to yell at him to get up and go to work. Ooops. My bad. Who knew? So, while he was in the bathroom getting ready, and muttering to himself, I made sure our daughter The Jew was up and moving because she works for him and they ride together. I could hear D1 (or is he D2? or maybe R2?) moving around so I assumed he got the message about the earlier-than-usual time of departure.

The three grumpy amigos scooted out the door at 6:50, which isn't bad since J wanted to leave by 6:45, and off they went. That just left me and The Cheese at home. At 7:30, as she is asking me (yet again - get a job woman!) for lunch/gas money, I grab my purse. Lunch money? check. Crackberry? check. Van keys? Um, van keys? Hello... van keys? no check. Crap. Who drove my van last? The Jew. The daughter in the car that is already on the turnpike and headed for Akron. I feel a bad sense of foreboding....

I quickly text her thinking to avoid 20 minutes of key-searching by simply asking her where the keys are. "Oh, mom, I'm so sorry" is the text I get in return. The keys are in her purse. She calls me, all "sorry" and "I feel so bad." Eh. Shit happens. She offers to drive her dad's car home when she gets to work and bring me the keys. No worries, I tell her. I'll have The Cheese take me to work. And I meant it. It wasn't a big deal. A little inconvenient, but really, we could work around it. As she hung up the phone I could hear J in the background yelling about the situation. Not sure what he was mad about - HE wasn't going to have a 17 year old drive HIM to work. But that's one of the biggest differences between me and the hubby. He hasn't learned to just say "Eh."

I get to work and share my morning events with the rest of the peeps in the "bullpen." You see, I work in a room with five other people and we call it a "bullpen." We each have our own space, but really no privacy. Everyone sees and hears everything. After five years, I thought I was use to it. Today we would learn otherwise...... dun dun dun insert melodramatic music here... The guys are all like J, outraged at the situation and sharing their righteous anger at the stupid things kids do and they launch into their own "oh, yeah, well my kid once did this" stories. I just shrugged my shoulders and said "Eh."

All good, right? The day went on, work was done, meetings were had. It was typical. Until lunchtime. The guys all go to lunch together almost every day. Today, they decided to grab sandwiches from a deli next door and eat at their desks. And that's when the problem started.

One of the guys bought a bag of potato chips. As I sat at my desk, with my back to him, I could hear the bag rip open and the crinkle of the chips. I heard every crunch he made as he ate, as if it were fingernails on a chalk board. I couldn't hear anything else. For 15 minutes. I thought I would go nuts. And then I started to notice other things, the way he makes this "slurp" noise when he drinks, the way he "heavy" walks across the room so that my monitor sways, the way he breathes through his mouth as if he just got done running a marathon.

What happened? Where did this all come from? Why did I want to walk across the room and choke the life out of him and tell him to just shut up!!!!!!!!! It was like Chinese water torture or something. I couldn't concentrate. I got nothing done all afternoon. It was like every sound from that corner of the room was magnified 1,000x and I was the only one that could hear it. I went to the boss and said, basically, I'd spent five years in the "bullpen" and needed a change. I begged him to consider reorganizing our space and moving me into one of the cubicles outside the "bullpen." He's thinking about it.

For now, I have no answer. PTSD maybe? Last straw on a camel carrying too much hay? I don't know. I shall have to think on this for a while. In the meantime, I had J hide all the guns and ammo in our house. I don't know if that will help, I just know that it's very odd for little things like this to make me as crazed as they did today. But I am a little nervous about the fact that tomorrow is another day, and hopefully there will NOT be a bag of chips waiting there for me.

Respectfully Submitted,

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Remodel.... day 30 of a weekend project

OK, so this is only funny if you can read it and the voice in your head sounds like Jacques Cousteau. If you don't know who he is, just stop now because you won't get it.... or google him and learn a little something about the best TV nature spokesman ever...... oh, and shame on your parents!

As we glide across the cool, smooth, gray cement of the basement floor in the "Calypso," we discover the never before seen world of the American mid-40's Male doing a remodeling project. Watch as the tall one exerts his dominance over the others in the tribe by wielding the power tool. The others move around in a kind of dance, watching, waiting for their turn to use the cordless drill. Alas, their turn will never come. They sweep sawdust from the floor, hand the alpha male more drywall screws, and then dip back again, staying out of his way. It is beautiful to behold and we are privileged to be the first to get this on film.

Wait... what is that short, stocky male doing? He seems to be working his way back to the leader, stalking his every movement. The tall one sets down the drill and reaches for something in a box in his pocket. Oh, it appears to be a cigarette. As the leader leans into his zippo to light the cigarette, the stocky one makes a quick grab for the drill. Success! Ah, but you can see it will be short lived. With a mighty roar, the leader once again must show his ownership of the drill. He grabs for it, but the stocky one will not release it... a tug-o-war ensues with the others in the pack backing up to stay out of harms way. Victoriously, the tall one regains his status and goes back to his work.

The divers on board the "Calypso" want to enter this mysterious world, mingle with these males but I am afraid. They seem completely unconcerned by our presence. And more disturbing, they seem unconcerned about the dust covering the wine rack - 183 bottles of the best vineyards of France. SACRE BLEU! It is a sad state to see how this pack takes care of it's environment. How they fight over what seems meaningless to us, the observer. But perhaps they just need further study. For now, it makes my heart weary and it makes me fear for the future of this species.

"No sooner does man discover intelligence than he tries to involve it in his own stupidity." J. C.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The boys are in the kitchen

If you know that I have four daughters, then the logical conclusion to draw from the title of today's blog is that the boys in my kitchen are teenage friends of my daughters. Wrong. It's my husband and his buddies, D1 and D2. Hubby has known D1 since high school. Hubby and D2 lived together in college. And in the intervening 25 years, they see each other two or three times a year, remain friends, but perhaps are not as close as they once were. And yet "boys" is absolutely the right word for them. They are drinking scotch and laughing - dare I say "giggling" - in the other room and driving me nuts while reliving the glory days of their youth, brought together by "The Remodel."

Today is day 29 of "The Remodel." Most people talk and dream and plan for months or years before undertaking a remodeling project. Not us. Nope. Home Depot crazily approved us for a credit card and the next thing I knew, we decided to put a bathroom in the basement and I was shopping for a man-size toilet, shower, and sink. We have assisted almost all of our friends over the years with projects, so when this bright idea entered hubby's head, he called in a couple of markers and I've had D1 and D2 ever since.

Bathroom was complete in 15 days. Started January 31st, a Sunday, with me renting a cement cutter from H.D. so the boys could start the plumbing. "Don't worry, honey. Five days tops." Famous last words from the hubby. Naturally, boys in their 40's can't quite work as many hours as boys in their 20's.... and I know this because I watched these same boys do a bathroom remodel in one weekend back in their younger days. There was a lot more beer drinking then, but there wasn't as much cracking of bones and creaking of joints and ibuprophen....

Anyway, after being admonished to not "girly up" the bathroom, they sent me off to buy floor tile, paint, etc. I went with a brown/olive green theme that looks very nice and isn't remotely "girly." Day 15 approached and it looked like construction was complete... My husbands "Man Cave" had a "Manly Bathroom." And really it does make a lot of sense. He keeps all of his power tools, etc, down there so it would be very nice for him to have a place to clean up before coming upstairs. And also, it would be very convenient for him if he needed to go potty. Now, he wouldn't have to come all the way up the stairs to go.

But then I made my big mistake. I referred to the new bathroom as his "Office." (smack myself in the forehead) "Hey babe, we could build an office down here too." We can't build a bedroom - he informs me - because we would be required by code to add a second egress so it has to be an office. Gawd. Studs up? Check. Drywall hung? Check. Tape and Mud applied? Check. Tonight he bought the wood flooring. Next step is primer and paint, then floor, and then final little electrical things, and then I think it's done.

Did I mention that this is day 29? All day Saturday, All day Sunday, and Every day after work until at least 11 pm. For the last 29 days. That is the schedule for the boys to work. My job is to be nice and polite to the boys. To keep the coffee pot full. And to stay out of the way unless they need me to go to the store. Basically, I've been pretending to be June Freakin' Cleaver for the last 29 days and I may just explode before this is done.

Oh, and I get to pick out the paint color. Hubby said "run on up to H.D. and get some paint for the walls" yesterday. Really? Are you serious? You can't just walk up to that intimidating wall of paint samples at H.D. and "pick out a color." Have you seen it? There have to be over 1,000 color samples - and at least 500 of them are white! Picking the right color for paint requires a plan, a theme. Oh, sure, you can pick a quick color for a bathroom, but an office? A space that may substitute as a guest room? This is not something to be done lightly or without careful consideration. Kera and Miss Christy kept me sane and talked me through that process yesterday. Thanks and love, ladies! I'll write about all that later. But, if you must know, the office will be peach. :)

And now I end my day the way I've ended the past 29 days. Alone in the living room, watching reruns of Law & Order and surfing the internet. Listening to the boys in the kitchen, clinking glasses, comparing aches and pains, telling stories of their jobs, their kids, their lives. Reconnecting after being apart for too long. They've moved on from "remember when" to "guess what my daughter did yesterday." I guess it's kinda cool like that.

Respectfully submitted,