31 May 2009

Relapse

Good Morning Bea, (and everyone else too!)

Eminem's new album is GOOD. I listened to it in one setting yesterday and it felt like I'd sat through a movie. It focuses on his addiction and rehab journey a lot and there are a few DARK tracks...3 AM and Kill You, for example. But it's GOOD.

The Fam was all gone yesterday afternoon (I know! what are the odds of that happening) so I could turn it up!

I really liked it. It's not as mainstream as his other albums though. But it's good to have a new album from him.

If you didn't see it, he was on Jimmy Kimmel two weeks ago. Pretty good stuff.

This concludes Firegirls Sunday Morning CD Review. (:-D

30 May 2009

You Can't Teach...

Kevin has some new responsibilities at his work: managing a multi-million dollar composting facility. With this new job, he has had to work with the public more than before.

Know that Kevin is one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. He is usually the smartest & funniest guy in room. He is very giving and kind.

With that....

He has been So Frustrated with the public. No matter what instructions the office gives them or he gives them, there is a frustrating level of babysitting that has to occur.

He was telling his parents about this last night and OMG, he had me laughing so hard. Again.

Kevin: "It doesn't matter that there are SIGNS telling them where to go and what to do. We still have to stop them from dumping in the wrong places."

His Mom: "Well, honey, not everyone knows material like you do..."

Kevin: "They don't have to. They just have to follow directions. There are SIGNS."

M: "But if it were Me driving in there, I would be nervous."

K: "Mom, they're not nervous. That's the problem. They're retarded. You can't make excuses for them. They're just retarded."

Because she's a mom, she has to say: "Honey, not retarded. Say 'stupid' instead."

Kevin raises his voice (he's also known as The Yeller :-):
"MOM, You can TEACH stupid. You can't teach these people. THAT's retarded!"

28 May 2009

Exhilaration

Do you remember what it was like to drive alone for the first time? The excitement, the exhilaration, the fear?

Every once in a while, I remember that feeling. Sometimes it occurs because there is a specific song on the radio or I'm headed out to my parents house. I think there are few milestones as thrilling as driving solo.

Where I grew up was 20 minutes away from everything. So when I drove, it wasn't just a few blocks. It was an actual roadtrip.

I was one of few kids that drove to school. With that, I was often involved in mischief. Skipping out to get doughnuts in the next town. Piling three guys plus me in a Chevy LUV truck cab plus I don't even know how many in the bed of the truck when PE was bowling down the street. (I was leaving for work and the boys were walking the few blocks down to the alley. If I remember it correctly, they stood in my path and commandeered my truck. Sadly, they were all my friends so any romance implied there didn't exist.)

The only source of entertainment when I was a teenager was cruising. This entails traveling Riverside Drive...about a four block lengths endlessly. Everyone did it, everyone had their specific places to park and for the most part it was pretty safe. Fortunately, the only bad thing that happened to me while cruising was I met Michael.

Kids don't cruise anymore, the police put and end to it. It was starting to become a little unsafe as the town grew. I am disappointed that my nieces won't have that experience. Cruising was one of the most fun things I ever did. I made so many friends.

During the aunt and uncle visit, my eldest niece drove out to my parents house. It was a little time warp watching her stroll into the house with her car keys in hand and sister in tow.

When I left, the girls were in the car behind me. Images of cruising and hanging out with my friends blended with my reality. Especially as the girls danced in the car to the music blaring from the stereo and waving crazily through the windshield.

It made me happy and remember what it was like to be young & first have your license.

27 May 2009

Bunny

The other night I couldn't sleep and was watching Definitely Maybe. It was the part where Ryan Reynolds (hello Gorgeous) was trying to tuck Abigail Breslin into bed. As she snuggled into bed, she made sure that her stuffed animals were gathered around her.

It made me think of "Bunny" the beloved stuffed animal that I had as a child. It was the ugliest damn thing you've ever seen. I vaguely remember my mom trying to convince me to "take care of" another bunny instead of that one. To no avail, for some reason, I loved that bunny more.

The scene made me miss Bunny a little. As adults, we tend not to need stuffed animals anymore. They usually get replaced with spouses. Yet, there are times that I think all of us could use the comfort of a silly, childhood toy. Spouses aren't always available...or wanted. Sometimes, despite all we have, we just need something to hold onto.

Perhaps I'll dig him out of the keepsake boxes.

And posted here for your comic relief: a portrait of Bunny & the five year old me, taken by my eldest brother in 1975:

Fidelity

If you disagree with Gay Marriage, move on there's nothing to see here.
If you SUPPORT Marriage Equality, click PLAY
AND:
Go to the website and sign the petition:
http://www.couragecampaign.org/page/s/1million
kthanks!

26 May 2009

Theoretically

The racecar is "street legal" which means it's licensed, insured, and has all the working items required for a car by Washington State. It's loud but probably not louder than a Harley Davidson.

I giggle at new car commercials that arrogantly state the Zero to Sixty speeds and times.
Kevin's car goes from a dead standstill to sixty feet in 1.29 seconds. As he explained it to me:
"I can theoretically sit on the freeway in the fast lane, have someone signal when a car traveling toward me is sixty feet away and hit the accelerator. In theory, the car would be well up to speed and out of danger before the car behind could hit me."

Let's just say that we will never put this theory to test.

Back in the day, we still drove it on short trips: to a cruise in fifteen miles away or so every Friday night.

We were talking about it yesterday afternoon, remembering when we used to take the car everywhere. It's not possible now, as the engine is WAY too expensive & not built for a "drive" longer than a quarter mile.

Then there's fuel. Race fuel is bloody expensive. One would think it was culled from the tears of kittens.

Kevin did the math. To go thirty miles (15 miles one way) it would cost us $500 in fuel.

I don't think we'll be doing that anytime soon.

But it would be SO COOL.



25 May 2009

Summer Sounds

It's considered Summer now that Memorial day has passed. The weather is warm and pleasant and moods improve. Especially here in Washington State where our days are gray and brown for far too long during the Winter months. In fact, Sirius/XM 80's channel featured only fast songs during the holiday weekend. No slow songs.

I've recently become dis-satisfied with the CD selection in my truck. Frustrated and flipping through the catalog and wondering where some CD's had gone. I knew I had them somewhere. Scrolling through my SIRIUS presets, looking for music to match the mood that the sunshine brings.

Then it occurred to me: Much like people switch the clothes in their closets seasonally, I switch my music preferences. Gone are the mellow CD's and the current stuff. Replaced with nostalgia and rock music. A good example of this is Kid Rock's "All Summer Long." Peppy, upbeat tune with sampling of rock classics. It's a time warp to summers in high school summed up in a three minute song.

So, tomorrow will be spent browsing through our CD collection to switch out the Matchbox Twenty with the greatest hit of Duran Duran and The Eagles.

And just how happy am I that Eminem has a new CD out? Perfect timing.

24 May 2009

A Portrait of my Mom

It occurred to me that I don't tell many Mom stories, although I have plenty. This one popped into my mind the other day:

Years ago, my parents went on a trip. Nothing too exciting, an old people trip to Reno.

My mom asked me to look in on the house. I don't remember how I was elected, as my brothers lived closer but I was.

"Just feed the birds and water the plants." she said. "It will only take a few minutes" she said.

They left a key for me....they never lock their house so a key has always been unnecessary for us kids.

But they failed to tell me which door the key went into. So, yes, I did catch the attention of the neighbors. (three doors, one on three sides)

Finally, I gain access to the house to find a long, handwritten note from my mom.

"Punkin..." (shut up, all of you)

"Feed the birds, this seed goes in this feeder, this seed goes into this feeder. etc.

Sweep up the mess off the deck from the feeders.

Don't forget the hummingbirds. The mix is in the refrigerator but let it warm up before putting it out.

Water the plants,

leave the mail on the counter,

another chore
another chore,
another chore,
another chore....

Make yourself a sandwich.

Love,

Mom"

23 May 2009

Overheard in the Kitchen

Between my mother and my aunt as they browsed through family photos:

"Isn't this a nice picture?"

"You know he was gay..."

"Bisexual"

"It's the same"

"He killed himself"

"He was being blackmailed"

*pause*

"I don't think Mom knew that..." (code = "I didn't know that.")

"I know, I never told her."

"That's probably a good thing."

"He was in over his head."

"Always was..."

And then they continued on through other pictures as if this was a NORMAL conversation to have!

22 May 2009

Sixteen Years

Today is Kevin's and my 16th wedding anniversary. 16 years, it sounds like such a long time.

We've reached the point of "Remember when...?" The younger years of our relationship are slowly fading away. It's not a sad thing, it's just the way of life. Looking back through our wedding album, we are simply amazed at how much things have changed. Grown children, friends married...divorced...passed...and even the changes in us, some subtle and some not so much.

Everyone says "We've been through a lot together." Fortunately/unfortunately we actually have been through heaven, hell & high water together.
And I don't think either of us would change a thing.

It was a pretty nice anniversary. It began with a lovely card at 6 in the morning while he ate his cereal. Then I found another card in my truck as I left for work. About two hours later, flowers arrived at work. If I didn't know him better, I would think I was being buttered up for something!

Luckily, I know it's just who he is. He always sends flowers on our anniversary, Valentines Day & my birthday. Not just the standard dozen roses, but flower arrangements with balloons and always a nice note.

Anniversary's are designated as no telephone, no computer, no family days. If you're a blogger friend, you know how important this is to us.

We went to a Japanese steakhouse for dinner, took a scenic drive on the way home then you can use your imagination. Now we're cozy in our house, just the two of us. As it should be.

16 years...

I have a laminated post-it in my wallet from years ago that he wrote:
"I love you, not only for who you are but for who I am when I'm with you."

I know, right?

16 years...

Here's one of our wedding songs...chosen by Kevin. Press play & snuggle with your loved one.
May you be as happy as us...if not today, then soon.


19 May 2009

17 May 2009

Hello Newman

My aunt & uncle are visiting from California this weekend. They are my mother's older sister & her husband. Aunt Juanita is outspoken and doesn't appear to have much of a filter. From everything I've heard I am like her. I had an Aunt Shirley as well, who was full of sass. I never knew her as she passed from Leukemia when I was a baby. But genetics are powerful and I seem to take after the both of them. However, Uncle Dewey is one of the most chill people you've ever met. Being married to Juanita for over 50 years will do that to a person.

Anyway, I adore both of these people and it's always a shame that I don't seem them very often. We're averaging about once every ten years.

They have a little Shih tzu dog who greeted me at the door before anyone else noticed that I'd even arrived. She got up into my arms with wiggles and kisses. Sweet little dog.

I said hello to my mom & aunt who were SO being sisters, talking about family members and going through my grandma's dishes that Juanita brought up for my mom. Dewey was outside on the deck and my dad was watching the Mariners beat my beloved Red Sox.

My dad does NOT NOT NOT like little dogs. Or furry creatures, to be honest.

"Hi Dad"

"That's....Muffin...." he says much like Jerry greets Newman.

Classic Dad.

15 May 2009

His Girls

My mother-in-law shares a birthday with her eldest sister, Susie. As children of an alcoholic & abusive dad, the siblings in her family are tight. You take one, you get them all and there were six of them. There are only three left now.

My m-i-l and Susie were inseparable. When Susie's marriage failed, she moved into the Moody House with my in-laws. It was a split-level and my father-in-law converted the bottom floor into another house. Susie lived with them for nearly thirty years.

Susie even continued to live downstairs when her husband, Uncle Don, returned twenty years later & they remarried. It was perfect for everyone involved. The four of them lived together, traveled together and planned to live together forever.

Unexpectedly, Uncle Don died in 2005 right before Kevin was diagnosed. There was no warning, he was just gone. The family took a hit that we never expected.

About the same time my f-i-l was planning on retiring. This plan went on the back burner for awhile as he now had essentially two wives to take care of. The family was beginning to panic as we'd made plans for the parents to come live with us but we didn't have room for Susie too.

The family waited a year to broach the subject again. It was necessary for my f-i-l to retire but he couldn't do it and stay in the Moody House. It was a stressful time. Susie couldn't bear to leave her home, where she lived for so long and where she lost her husband.

We watched as Susie faded away in front of us. She withdrew further & further from the family, quite a feat when she lived just downstairs. We stood by helplessly. Finally, she wasted away and ended up in the hospital over the Thanksgiving weekend. She never came home. Three days in the hospital and she passed. Not only was she sick beyond anything we'd imagined, she willed herself to die so she could be with Uncle Don.

Now the retirement and the parents moving up here with us took a somber tone. But, as always, they persevered. The house was put up for sale and plans were made. Neither of them could stand to live in the Moody House without Susie.

Remember that they shared a birthday. Every year while they all lived together, my father-in-law bought two bouquets of flowers for "his girls" for their birthday. April came around and my m-i-l didn't acknowledge her upcoming birthday.

The birthday came. My m-i-l woke up to two bouquets of flowers. One for her and one for Susie. My darling father-in-law didn't forget His Girls.

We bought this song for my Mother-in-law's birthday, in honor of Susie:

14 May 2009

"I wouldn't fire him for that..."

The other day a family member did something that I thought only happened on the internet.

Last week I was surfing Facebook, like I do, and came upon a Note posted by my niece's husband. This note was about four paragraphs and the topic was what idiots he worked for and how he knew how to run the job site better than them. (including the owner...of a multi-million dollar publishing company)

I read it, aghast, twice. I couldn't believe that someone would be so stupid. STOOPID. I have to mis-spell the word just because it was so incredibly stupid.

I phoned Kevin and told him what was posted. He was incredulous. He couldn't believe that someone would actually do that.

By the end of the day most of the family knew what he had done and we waited anxiously to see if something would happen.

Well, it did. Within three days he was called into the bosses office and told "Come in Monday and we'll see if you still work here."

Of course my niece called her mother sobbing that he might lose his job. She couldn't put a spin on it because the family already knew what boneheaded thing he'd done.
They didn't come up for Mother's Day as they were too upset.

Monday came and the day passed. We didn't hear anything. Facebook was quiet. We all waited, again, with baited breath.

Tuesday morning came around and there was a status update from my niece. "Glad to be working today because Hubby is unemployed."

Um, no. That's not accurate. He's not unemployed, he got FIRED for being an IDIOT.

I tell this story because it is so incredible that someone would actually do this. But it's interesting how arrogance can mess up people's lives. He has always thought he was the smartest guy in the room and I think Karma just caught up with him, as it usually does.

I relayed this story to my boss, whom I love because she does not mince words. She said:

"I wouldn't have fired him for posting on Facebook. I would have fired him because he's stupid."

13 May 2009

Family Obligations

Sunday was Mother's Day, which meant a trip out to my parents house. Technically I had a Get Out of Jail Free card due to the plague but I figured now is not the time to punk out on my mom.

Also, on Mother's Day, I get a Free Day as well. As I am unable to be a mom, I kind of get to do whatever I want. Sleep in? Sure! Be just a little pissy? Absolutely. Sit on the couch and watch television? Okay. There are no comments from the peanut section.

This has taken years to cultivate. It took a tantrum to get Kevin's family to understand that I am not a mother.

Just. Because. I. OWN. a. DOG. Does NOT. NOT. NOT. make. me. a. Mom.

Because fur bearing creatures and babies are not the same thing.

I'm just saying.

That hits a nerve, did you notice?

Kevin's mom, bless her, just so wanted me not to feel left out or sad that she couldn't bear to give my sister-in-law and eventually niece a gift on Mother's Day. It's a lovely thought but really, really, it just felt like a consolation gift. A "participant" ribbon. "You haven't won the game today Miss Firegirl but you get to go home with this fabulous toaster!"

So, the day does not go acknowledged other than whatever present we give her...which is usually plants or flowers for her. This year, due to unknown cosmic forces, we didn't have any family functions on Kevin's side of the family. BLISS!

So out to my parents we go. Always entertaining.

My eldest brother & the girls were already there...this was timed on purpose. He was happily digging in Mom's flower boxes, replacing all her flowers. Luckily for me, I ran into him at the store the day before & he gave me the idea of flowers for her gift.

As a professional dad of teenagers, my brother has taken to exclaiming "Word!" at the end of conversations. Resulting in frustrated whining of "Daaaaadddd!" each time, which was endlessly entertaining to Kevin and I.

My niece is graduating high school in three weeks and is in full Drama Mode. As I've mentioned before, she's usually an angel so I have to forgive the melodrama but that doesn't mean that I'm not getting tired of it.

Turns out that there was a Mother & Daughter Tea this week for graduates. The Niece invited my mom and me to attend as her mother is a narcissistic psycho bitch from Hell.

A sidenote: I hate things like this. Baby showers, bridal showers, house warmings...just let me give you a gift & don't make me come to the party. Mkay? I'll give a great gift in return for my absence.

I know it's not about me, it's about the bride/mother/homeowner but I just detest them.

So, I went. Whining. Because it was important to the Niece and my mom.

My niece goes to my rival high school. It's a little weird walking on that campus. I've been there quite a bit and actually know my way around now. But weird, all the same.

It's amazing how walking through the cafeteria door, I am transported back to 1987 just like Erica in the "Being Erica" show. It's instantaneous. The noise...OMG the noise...the smell, the kids.

The girls are dressing EXACTLY the same as when I graduated high school. Lace, layers, boots, too many accessories, the hair is getting bigger. I saw espadrilles and candies shoes.
It was CRAZY. It was like being in a episode of LOST. I kept waiting for a blinding lights.

There was food...standard party fare...and pictures were taken of the families. This would have been sweet but the Niece insisted that her advisor be in the picture too. We've never met her advisor. But oh well. I'm thinking I can photoshop her out.

They provided a little quiz for the daughters and mothers to complete. Favorite colors and the such. One of the questions about the daughters was "Who was your daughter's first kiss?"
My mom had to swallow a few times to get past that question.

Mom & I did okay on the quiz about the Niece. My niece and I, however, bombed the mom quiz terribly. We knew nothing. Favorite flower? Nope. Favorite color? Nope. Favorite room in the house? No idea. To our credit, my mom had to think about her answers too.

Then, one of the graduates mom sung a song she wrote when her daughter was born. It was lovely, if you could hear her because cafeterias have such *awesome* acoustics. And, you know, teenagers are all about sentimentality.

Then there was a small Powerpoint presentation that had some, but not all of the graduates pictures. Interlaced was the graduates sending messages to their moms. The odd thing was they included boys in the presentation. And again, not everyone was included.

Because the Niece's mother is not a participant in her life, I was actually a little relieved that she was left out.

(Best moment: One of the boys in the presentation said "Hi Mom. It's been real. Thanks." Priceless.)

And that was it. One hour exactly. Kevin told me "Be glad it was ONLY an hour!" It was such a letdown. But I fall back on the It Makes Them Happy.

In our wedding album there is a picture of The Niece and one of our dearest friends daughters. They happen to be in the same graduating class. We also used to be friends with a couple whose daughter is in her class as well. I think it's even more poignant seeing them graduate together. It's amazing that these babies are now adults.

Three more weeks and I'll be sitting in a hot, crowded auditorium watching her step into adulthood. I am sure I'll have flashbacks of my graduation 22 years past. And I'll make sure I have kleenex.

Picture of the Day


Rainy sunset over Skagit River, northbound I5 Monday night

11 May 2009

Unusual Crushes, again

With my recent bout with the plague, I've spent some quality time with the television.

I did spend some time with our boyfriend John Cusack...Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil...

But I've also added to the list of unusual crushes:

Russell Brand...I know the hair is off-putting but it's the mischief in his eyes that gets me.
Don Lake & Nick the Bandleader on the Bonnie Hunt Show
Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory....Kevin has some of his traits

And the most unusual one of all:
The pizza chef on the new Pizza Hut commercial. Pure artistry, interesting looks AND pizza!?! C'mon!

08 May 2009

System Back Online

Two new developments:

I seem to be alive.
This is, indeed, an improvement. I think by the end of the weekend I'll be back to normal-ish.

One of the things I hate about being sick is the aftermath. My. GOD. Look at that laundry! Ugh and the pile of mail! Let's not even talk about the email inbox.

The boy is healing as well. The cough always sticks with him forever. He's no longer cursing my name or needs a "deconbestant" so that's good.

Five Good Things About Being Sick:
It's an excuse to watch Daytime television all. day. long.
No one questions NAPS
Mid day sex, because we're already in bed anyway
No chores & No guilt
Free Pass from Forced Family Fun

So, there's that. Two weeks of my life gone in one, long, ongoing coughing fit. Coughapolooza 2009 is now coming to a close.

Second Development:
We have a laptop again. I'm sitting in my recliner, watching Frasier (the Fear of Clowns episode)
and actually posting to the long neglected blog.

There goes any/all excuses for no regular posting to the blog. *happy dance* (I think)

Tune again soon friends! thanks for the well wishes & hanging on until I joined the Land of the Living again.

04 May 2009

Love in the Time of Cholera

So, I'm still sick. My update status today was: "I'm amongst the living but wouldn't describe myself as such just yet."

I attempted work today, which really just turned into an exercise in frustration for me. It's difficult to do my job when I'm hacking like an in-utero smoker and speak barely above a whisper. Not to mention the sheer exhaustion of just getting ready to go anywhere. I haven't been anywhere since, oh, last Monday. Did you know it's Spring?

I was so sick that when my father-in-law mowed our yard, he literally had to walk by the bedroom windows while doing so and I couldn't get up. Kevin came home that afternoon and asked who mowed. I had to shrug as I couldn't begin to get out of bed to make sure that it wasn't some confused, dyslexic vandals.

My mom reminded me that usually when I get an illness like this, it takes forever for me to shake it. It happens so seldomly that I forget this. But she doesn't because she's the mom.
Oh, this is the mom that didn't want to give me bad news "because you're so sick." Um, Mom? It's Still Bad News, whether or not I'm sick. But bless her for the effort.

But that's not the best part. This is: Kevin is sick. Now, that's not what it sounds like, bear with me. He's been sick since Thursday. He kicks everything much faster than I do however. Which makes no sense whatsoever because HE's the one with the compromised immune system.

I came home early today and it turns out that Kevin was right behind me. He's miserable with a non-stop runny nose, sneezing, and cough. He hadn't taken any meds today so the cold really settled in. I made him take the Tylenol Sinus-Flu-whatever he's been taking the past three days. Unfortunately, it has only made the symptoms worse. Bad enough that when he sneezes or blows his nose, he finishes with a "I f&*king hate you."

So, D calls to see how I am doing. She called in the middle of one of Kevin's tirades while I'm trying to get him to tell me what he wants/need other than my untimely death.

She's listening in as we're having this "What do you want from me?" conversation that ended in me saying "Call Your Mother." But not before D hears this from him...I have to use my given name because otherwise it's just not as funny...

"Kawhenb, I dobnt neeb a deconbestent"

All I can hear on the phone is hysterical giggling from D. There's no breathing, no words, just that high pitched giggle you get when you can't stop. Which made me laugh and I will admit, did not improve Kevin's attitude.

Now he's watching racing and I'm in here, sitting at my desk for the first time in days and days.
I'm just biding my time until he can take Nyquil and stop cursing my name.