Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday's Foto Finish Fiesta

I haven't played Friday's Foto Finish Fiesta in a long time! Long time. I ran across this pic a couple days ago. This pic is of my O, from around 5 years ago--when she was little...and easy to control. Hahahahahahahahaha...Yeah. (Big long, exasperated siiiiigh). Not really. I *never* had control. I pretend though. Enjoy!

To participate in Friday's Foto Finish Fiesta (and you must, you must), go to:

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Bit of Dribble

**A bit of a spoiler alert for the book, Revolutionary Road.

It's been a while since I hated a book. "Hate" is a strong word. I don't like using it. I should say...It's been a while since I didn't care for a book. Just because I don't care for a book, doesn't mean I won't read it though. I can't not read a book, once I've started it. My training in college, as an English major, probably did this to me. Also, the fact that I paid for this book.

I'm reading, Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. Let me first say, that the writing is very well done. It is good, creative writing. I've never read Yates before, but I can tell that he is...was a good writer. Just the fact that his writing has actually caused me to blog about this think about it, react, says it is good writing.

I can put it down though. I can walk away. And let me tell you why. Only pages in, I felt this overwhelming feeling of dread, a sort of depression settling in. I could hear the condescending voices of the main characters, I could see them just as well as if they were sitting right across from me, smell the brandy on their breath (again, kudos to Yates). I know I could not be around the main characters long. I know this is fiction, that these are characters, but there are people out there that think and act like these people. I avoid them.

There are certain kinds of people I have learned do not work well in my life...people that think they are better than I am, and people that are negative. I generally love people. I will smile at you. I will give you the benefit of the doubt, as I hope you would for me. I will listen. I will try to help. I will not sit there and let you make me feel bad about myself, bad about whatever you feel my situation is. I will not get sucked into negativity.

It's not like I don't appreciate the theme of this book. It's actually one of my favorites. The human condition. The real life grit, imperfect people in imperfect situations, and mostly imperfect relationships. One of my favorite writer's is Raymond Carver. His writing was what inspired me to actually write. To want to write. To love to write. If you haven't read or seen, Shortcuts, do.

I'm trying to work out why this book has gotten under my skin. I think it's because it really talks down my life. It sticks it's nose up to me. It is comparing me to "cattle". That doesn't sit well.

The story is based in the fifties, but a lot of it rings true for today. The main characters are selfish people, living the "American Dream". The characters live in suburbia, and despise it. Loathe everything about it. Mock their jobs, their "cookie cutter home", their tree lined street, their "best friends", the "ho hum" lives, the "dribble" of suburbia. They are "this close" to regretting their children. They are "too good", ashamed how they could get sucked into the mind numbing "ride" of the dream that is America. They fantasize of "a more exciting life"...Paris, the city (but only the "cultured" parts). As if "ho hum" and "dribble" doesn't happen in Paris or "the city".

I don't care about these characters. Which is not my normal reaction when reading these kinds of stories. I usually find myself rooting for the main characters, regardless. Even for people in the deepest, darkest places. And I feel let down for them when things don't work out in the end. I wanted more for them. What you find in this story is the main characters are "flawed", just like the rest of us. Predictable, just like the rest of us. The usual outcome of this kind of story. What is new for me, is that I want them to fail, to fall apart. Or just disappear. Which is probably exactly the point (again, well done, Yates).

It reminded me, that there really are people out there that think that way about me, about my life, without even knowing me, or stepping foot into my world. Like I said, I will not get sucked into negativity. You can put your nose up to me all you want. I choose happiness. Laughter. I like the fact that my streets are lined with trees and that my house looks the same as my neighbor's. I love the fact that my kids can ride their bikes up and down the sidewalk, play basketball with the boys across the street and that I recognize my neighbors all over town.

I can see why people love a different kind of life than mine. I admire all kinds of people and situations. Someday I yearn for something else...a cottage, on a hill lined w/wildflowers, or nestled in a cove on a windy beach. I yearn for simplicity. I yearn for something else, once in a while. It doesn't mean I don't see the blessing in where I am right now though. And I truly think I could find fulfillment anywhere. The city, the country, a 500 sq. ft. apartment...the moon. Regardless, I'd still be imperfect, flawed, occasionally "ho hum", but mostly laughing, me. That's the point.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I Got The Feeeevah!

I think I have a fever, so this could be an interesting post. Now I usually blog in the shower, but I guess the fever brings it on as well. I went to bed early last night, fighting a cold, aching body and a fever. I woke up around 2:30 a.m. drenched in sweat, apparently my fever had broken. I found myself blogging for the next hour (in my head) as I lay there, waiting for sleep to come back. It took a while.

Now, I think the fever's coming back. I am counting down the minutes until I take my little one to school and I can take a nap. Sleep has become increasingly important to me in the last 24 hours. I do have some catching up to do over here in blogland, so I think I'll give it a go. Maybe it will make the time go by faster.

Funny story. I'd like to start with this--it kept me up until 3:30 a.m. anyway. Last Friday, I went in to get a physical for an insurance company I am trying not to get denied coverage from. My heart is causing some issues for no good reason (in my opinion). So this is the second insurance company I've had a physical for. I had to go almost downtown to this little office in the middle of not a very pretty part of Portland. I go in and I kid you not, I thought for sure I had walked onto the set of TV's Bloopers & Practical Jokes (Remember that show?). I was just waiting to hear Ed McMahon narrating in the background..."Now Sunshine has no idea that a clown is about to come around the corner and dump a bucket of water on her!"

The office was about as big as my living room. There were three receptionists, all perfectly nice, each about 103 years old, working at three separate desks. They were all on their phones and talking ((loud)). I honestly don't know how any of them could work like that in such close proximity. Their desks were so close to one another, they could reach out and high five each other (if they did such things). I mentioned how loud each of them talked, right? How rude, though they were perfectly nice.

One of the Great Grandma's that showed me to the "sign in" sheet (which was funny in itself, because I was the only "patient" there the entire time I was there) said, "Very good" a lot. A lot. And they all wore eyeglasses that covered their entire face. Huge, round, magnifying glasses. They were perfectly nice though. Great Grandma's usually are.

I had to laugh as I was sitting in the waiting corner, reading an article about Rhianna in People, when one of the perfectly nice Great Grandma's hung up her phone and in her gravely smoker's voice said, "Shit." Professional. When you're 103, I guess it's okay though.

It was very brown in the office too. Old brown, like 1970's brown. If "old" was a color, it would be this color brown. The office could seriously use a window too--one that opened.

Then I was called into the exam room by one of the perfectly nice Great Grandma's--who must have been a nurse too, because she changed into a white coat on her way from her desk to the exam room. She asked me 1003 questions that I had just spent two days answering at home in the application that they had mailed to me. Forever later, she took my blood pressure, weight and blood. She was nice enough to comment, as she was taking my weight, that I "hid it well". Um...Thank you??? And when she took my blood, she didn't wear gloves. I had to admit, that is really when I thought Ed McMahon was going to walk in. I started to get a little freak out going. I wanted to remind her, as the gloves were sitting right on the table next to her, but I struggled with having perfectly nice Great Grandma yell at me in her smoker's, man voice. I glared at the gloves, trying to give her the hint. Even with the gargantuan eyeglasses, she missed my hint and the gloves. Unheard of. Again, I guess when you're 103...

What a relief to see the sun and breathe fresh (let me emphasize--fresh) air again. I think I don't care if I get denied.

Other than that, we've been busy. The other day, a friend of mine commented, "It looks like your life is one long party." Lately it kind of has been. And frankly, I need a nap. Like a good, solid, you're-still-in-college-so-you-can-sleep-all-day-long nap. Unfortunately, I can't do that as motherhood and grown-uphood have gotten in the way.

In the last two weeks, we've flown from Portland to D.C. and back again for a wedding, danced all night with the big girls for an 80's Nite, went to another wedding and danced all night again. It kind of has been a party. But I think we're done now. Back to Ed McMahon narrating your insurance physicals, colds, body aches and feeevah inducing blog entries.

My girl's were the flower girl's at my cousin's wedding on Valentine's Day

80's Nite!

My sister, Rachael & I at another wedding, last Saturday (A-girl & my Dad are in there too)

Rachael and I dancing with Dad!

My girl's dancing!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Butterflies In A Bottle

At some point I will get my life back. At some point my toilets will sparkle again, my girls' clothes will match, they will have clean socks. At some point, my hubby won't have to go to work and "scrounge for food" (his words), since the fridge is empty. I will be able to recognize myself in the mirror, the dark circles under my eyes vanished, because sleep is a priority again. At some point I will finish Breaking Dawn. I only have two hundred pages to go.

I'm not even getting the freak out that I usually get when I'm drawing to the close of a good book. And let me tell you, this has been a good book. A good four books. I think I'm not getting the freak out, because I actually need a break. I'm actually starting to resemble a vampire.

I can't even remember the last time I've been sucked into a book (or four) like this. Consumed. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I'm late jumping on the Twilight bandwagon and haven't had to wait for the next book to come out. I've had the next one just waiting for me (thanks to my Twilight consumed sister), so that I can just continue on. And thank goodness for that. I don't know how y'all actually waited for the next book to come out, back when all of the Twilight madness began. I would be pulling my hair out. I would not be fun.

I went to the doctor on Monday and when I walked into the exam room, the nurse said, "Oh, you're one of those Twilight people too." She noticed that I was carrying (cradling) Breaking Dawn. These books go everywhere with me. They are like my third child. I'm afraid to leave them alone. Someone might take them. And I don't want to waste any precious minutes of free time I may suddenly come across. Sometimes those red lights are long.

I find out the nurse is into them too. She's on her second go around of reading them. What is up with these books? You cannot read them once. My sister has read them like four times. All of them. She was starting to get the shakes when I held on to them a little too long. She even mentioned something about how her lending them to me is just like the library. There's a time limit. A due date. She was sending me text messages...little reminders to get them back to her. Now.

I'm not even into vampires! I didn't do the whole Anne Rice bit. Back when I thought Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt were The Bomb, I didn't get into Interview with a Vampire. Seeing them all pasty and fangy and long hair-ed did absolutely nothing for me. So I don't know what has come over with me with these books. But I've been thinking about it.

I think it's the love story. The whole love conquers all bit. The idea that you become so wrapped up in one person that not only does the room fall away when you see them, but the world. That absolutely nothing could keep you apart. Not even if one of you is a vampire. I mean, that's some huge stuff to get past.

I am truly a romantic--in my head. Sixteen years together with the same mortal (like how I snuck that in?), I miss how the earth would jolt when he walked in the room. The butterflies. That intense not only want, but need to be with that person. You know, the counting down the seconds until you see them again. Everything is so exciting--it truly is like the world revolves around just the two of you. I miss that feeling.

I have to remind myself of things now, after a mortgage, two busy kiddos, the routine that settles in. Make an effort and all. Holding hands. Weekend getaways. Deployments. We have our moments. And I still count down seconds until I see him again--see him walk in the door and relieve me of the kiddos for ten minutes. It's different. Not bad, just different. I loves my mortal. I'm kind of, sort of, yes, yes I am, used to him and he can handle me, but I have really thought how they should really try to invent that feeling. Butterflies in a bottle. Make them into pretty little pink pills. I'd buy that.

And this love in Twilight is something. A century in the making. He waited for her. (siiigh). Kind of like in The Notebook (another favorite) where he builds a house for her. He builds a house for her! That is so, so, so romantic (I'm gonna have to watch that today now). Years go by and he is still waiting for her. (siiigh)

And I don't know if I'd want to be immortal just to be with the man (vampire) I love. I don't want to live forever (despite how cute my hubbs is) I've got bigger and better plans. But it's a nice thought. Again, romantic. Good fiction. Good writing, Stephenie Meyer. I pretend I have some sort of connection with her, because she went to BYU (I know people that went there) and she lives in Arizona (I grew up there). Because she based the book in Washington (which might as well be Oregon) and in the movie shows places I've been to before, or could drive to in three hours. And I'm a writer (i joke)--we have a certain kinship, Stephenie and I. I like to live in my imagination too. Maybe that's why that love story is so dang's not real. Most of us don't have that. We have something good. Something close. We yearn for someone to look at us like that. To count our heartbeats.

Maybe you do have this. Really? You look at each other like that every single time after ten years, twenty? You'd become a vampire? You should write a book. Tell me more about it. I'm a sucker for these things, if you haven't noticed.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Lot, A Lot, A Lot...

TGISunday! It's been busy, y'all. Like so busy that when Friday came, there was no relief. Just that whole--it t'aint over yet. And I don't even care that tomorrow is Monday. Just so blissfully happy that it's Sunday and there's nothing to do (or I'm pretending there isn't anyway), but church and the couch.

I just remembered O's math homework and (another) speech tomorrow. Flip.

Lemme back track and share the week. I've still got some deep thoughts going on, but again, in an effort to keep it light and fluffy in blogland, I'll just share the fun stuff. Enter, taking the kiddos snowboarding.

We did that last Monday. The kiddos had an in-service day at school, so after hubbs finally convinced me to go up to the mountain (snow = very cold Momma) and I took care of *everything* to make this day trip happen, we headed up. It's a quick drive. With the hubbs driving, about an hour. He's been wanting to take the girls snowboarding, since the moment we found out I was pregnant. He's been chomping at the bit for a good eight years now.

So we get there, and in true, true Chevy Chase fashion, it's closed. Yes, the mountain is closed. Ha, not really. Mountains don't close. But the skiing/snowboarding and more importantly, the ROPE TOW was not open yet, due to it being Monday. Who knew? Not hubbs. But I'll stop there.

It actually worked out better, cuz we broke the rules and snowboarded anyway. We had it all to ourselves for about 45 minutes, until other people pulled up, in true Chevy Chase fashion. So that was a plus--plenty of room for the girls to get to know their snowboards and what falling feels like. The only minus--no rope tow. We were the rope tow. Well, I quit being the rope tow after three tows up that hill. Are you kidding me? So hubbs pushed the girls up and I pushed hubbs up. We work...together. Ha.

The girls rocked the snowboards. Teach your kids young, y'all. They were naturals. Hubbs was in his own personal Heaven watching his girls be awesome and absolutely *love* something he does. They are all about the dance (tutus/tap shoes/hip hop and recitals are my own personal Heaven), so it was good to see them do something *else*. And rock it.

Speaking of dance (my turn), we got to go watch some dancing yesterday. My kiddos didn't perform, but my sister did an alumni dance,with all the dance team alumni from her old high school. The Pony Prancers is what they are called. They had Pony Prancers dancing out there from 1982, or something. They were the entertainment for a dance competition. It is the second time I've seen my sister dance. She is *awesome*. And I just found out she wants to try out to be a Blazer dancer. She's even got the hair flip down. She's been practicing (smiiiile).

That's my sis making the funny face...

She's second row from the back, second one in from the left (the blonde w/one hand on her hip)

We loved watching all the different routines. The costumes. The spirit (it's in the rule book). The hair extensions. I found my favorite were the hip hop routines. I just loooove dancing to the hip hop. Or I used to, when I did such things. My absolute fave of the entire competition were these kiddos doing a hip hop routine. They were little. But they had skiiiills. I really think they stole the show. Them, and of course, my awesome sister. You know, we are a lot alike. I do need to work on my hair flip though.

I'm not finished yet either. Long weekend. We also had the sleepover. My oldest went to a birthday party sleepover and my little one had a friend over here. The kiddos finally passed out over here at like 10:30 or something. My oldest...I think she finally passed out at like 3 a.m. She looked like it too. I'm just gonna pretend like her staying up until 3 a.m., in second grade doesn't bother me. Hmmm...I may have to blog about this.

It took them a while, but they finally passed out...almost in the same sleeping bag...

There's more stuff to say( there always is), but I'm sure you've got things to do. Despite my absolute need to do nothing at all today, I know I've got things to do too--math homework.

Thanks for playing!