Friday, November 28, 2008

Friday Film Fest!

It's been a while since I posted a Friday film. I think today would have been a great day to just lie around watching movies all day. I wouldn't know, because I had to work! Chickenhead and the husband got to lie around and watch Mork and Mindy re-runs all day, the lucky suckers.

Anyway, this movie talk has me remembering that back in my youth, every afternoon one of our local TV stations would have a movie. Every week there was a theme, and my favorite week was always Beatles Movie Week!

So, in honor of the KCMO Channel 5 Afternoon Movie, here's a clip from 'Help', featuring the lads singing "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away". 'Help' is my favorite Beatles movie, and you can tell it got it's inspiration from the James Bond films of the 60's, and was a big influence on the Austin Powers films. Hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well, today is the day! My perfect non-Jerry Springer holiday! The turkey is in the oven (the regular oven, Birdzilla was too big for the roaster oven), the Arbor Mist is chilling in the fridge (I'm classy like that), and the only family member coming to our house is my mother-in-law.

I got the pies baked last night, as well as put together my sweet potato casserole, and the dreaded green-bean casserole. All I have left to do today is the mashed potatoes, the gravy, the fried sweet potatoes and the stuffing.

Chickenhead does not want to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with me, and quite frankly, I'm crushed. Who doesn't like the parade? He's weird, like his dad! We have some Wii time planned for later today to play Guitar Hero or maybe Raving Rabbits. Tonight, we'll watch the Plaza Lights on TV.

I'm thankful for the wonderful family I have, and for all my great friends. I hope your day is filled with great food and fun memories! Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Terrible Memories From My Past

Before I get to my terrible memory (which popped in to my head earlier this morning), just a quick thought about the big holiday tomorrow-



Please, dear Mother In Law, do not tell me again how the Book of Revelations is talking about Barack Obama. He is not a 'man from the East', he's not Muslim (and if he was, would this be a terrible crime?), he's not a communist, a socialist or any other kind of 'ist'. Adjust your tinfoil hat and be nice, or I'll make you go home.

Ok. The terrible memory. About oh, 16 years ago or so, I was living with my mom, only in her home (dear Lord, I'm right back where I started from). It was the weekend after Christmas, and I was helping her take down the tree and put the ornaments away. The next door neighbors had a rumbly, noisy pick up truck, and we heard it pull in to their driveway and screech to a halt. My mom, being the Gladys Kravitz that she is, immediately peeked out the blinds to spy.

The neighbors, who may or may not have been illegal immigrants, had a rather large pig in the back of the pick up. A real live pig. Standing there in the bed of the truck. Hmm. Normally I don't care what any of the neighbors are up to, but when there's livestock in the neighborhood, well, it raises ones curiosity.

The pig seemed fine, with a rope tied around his neck, which was tied to a hook or something on the truck. We watched the neighbors with interest, as three of them stood outside talking animatedly in Spanish. One went to the garage and came back out with a shovel. He began digging a hole in the front yard, while his compadres drank beer and watched. The world over, there is always two that hang around and do nothing for every one that works. That's just the way men do things, I guess.

So they dug and dug and dug, and my mom wonders aloud why on earth they would dig a hole in their front yard. Suddenly, it hit me. They were going to have a pig roast! And if that poor pig was alive, that meant that sometime soon, he was going to meet his maker, right on the other side of our living room window!

I couldn't bear the thought of listening to that poor pig die. So, I called the police. Kansas City Kansas police are a jaded lot, they've seen it and heard it all. So when I called to ask if it was legal to have livestock within the city limits, the guy on the other end of the line didn't seem too surprised at my question. He said, 'well, it depends on what it is.' I said, 'it's a pig, and it's in their driveway, and they're digging a big-ass hole for it'. He decided that yeah, it might be a good idea to send someone out.

The po-po showed up in about 15 minutes, a record by KCKPD standards. They got out, talked with the guys, checked ID and such, and then left. Then, before I could even wonder what was to become of this poor animal, the neighbors piled in to the car and left. And about two hours later, they came back not with the pig, but a big black trash bag, which I think held the poor slaughtered animal. Not long after that, there was smoke wafting up over the privacy fence from their back yard, and later that night, the sounds of drunken revelry and the aroma of pulled pork sandwhiches.

And so that is one of my terrible memories. It's awful, isn't it? I couldn't eat bacon for almost a whole week!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Shout Outs



Just a few observations and comments regarding my day today-

1. To my annoying co-worker:



You are truly your own worst enemy. You've been trying to post out of our department for well over a year, I would think by now you would realize that the rest of the company has heard about your anger management issues. Stomping around the floor giving everyone the stink-eye will not endear you to anyone. Neither will telling our supervisor to go ahead and write you up, because you're leaving early. Get a grip, take a pill, whatever.

2. To my mother:




I'm trying really hard to understand why you spent all day today trying to repair a perfectly functioning shower. You keep saying it's the water pressure, but honestly, I don't have any issues with lack of water pressure when I shower. Do you want it to blast you out of the tub? I said I will have Loony Landlady send someone to look at, but it's not your responsibility or mine to pay for new fixtures. What do you think I pay rent for? Also, is it really a good idea for you to be driving?

3. To the makers and alleged designers of plus size clothing:



What the hell, people? Stacy and Clinton keep telling me I should dress for the body I have now. You are not giving me any incentive to do that. I do not want a wardrobe made up entirely of clingy 'slinky' knits that permanently adhere to the exact body parts I'd like to camouflage. Nor do I want giant, screaming, "LOOK AT ME" print blouses that make me look nine months pregnant. With triplets. Can't we find some middle ground here? I finally did the happy dance in a dressing room recently when I found some Levis in my size. So how about some nice fitting, not polyester in any amount, dress slacks, a skirt that doesn't make my legs look like tree trunks, or a sweater or two made from materials I can pronounce. And make it all affordable, and for the love of all that is holy, have a model that is bigger than a size 12. I realize that in Modelworld, a 12 is plus size, but here on planet Earth, that's the norm. So how about a size 14, or be bold, a size 16 model?

4. To the numerous folks Downtown who refuse to bathe or use deodorant:


The deodorant is on aisle two at CVS. Pick some up. Please. I'm just trying to help you out.

It's Almost Here!



Yes, I've got my turkey and all the fixins'. We've got potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, corn, everything for stuffing, the necessary gravy ingredients, and the pies.

This year's dinner will be a simple affair. As I've said before, we're not having the usual Jerry Springer holiday, because most of the instigators are going out of town. My mother-in-law will be joining us, but about the most damage she'll do is bad mouth the people that aren't there by repeating horrid family tales she's told a million times. She may accidentally drop a stray press-on nail in the ice cube tray, but I've got a dishwasher that does a decent job with sterilization.

Mom is driving very carefully, and was happy to find out that her insurance will repair the garage door at no cost to her, as it will come out of liability. Mom has decided to park on the street in front of our house now, rather than attempt to turn in to the driveway. She has a hard time turning right, she says, and thinks that this contributed to her running into the garage door the other day.

Chickenhead is in a new and much improved Cub Scout pack, and loves it. We went to a Pack meeting last night, and the boys all got on well, and the other parents were very welcoming. The big Pinewood Derby is in a couple of weeks, and there's Christmas caroling and lots of other activities going on. Lots of good things to keep a boy and his father busy!

I'm psyching myself up to put up the Christmas decor this weekend, and get the house ready. I've got a cookie swap with my girlfriends coming up fast, and I want everything to be festive!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Shameful Confessions

Well, I feel like doing a little soul purging here today, so take a big drink of your beverage of choice and hang on!

1. The husband doesn't really know about this blog. It's not like I set out to deceive him or withhold information from him. I simply wanted a place to record my many twisted thoughts and secret dreams without his judgment. And it's not that he's overly judgmental, it's that he's more one of those overly helpful people that have the best intentions, but end up making you nuts. He would start off with a couple of 'helpful' suggestions, and before you know it, he's taken over the place. Not here, buddy! This is my place to rant, rage, vent and gnash my teeth in frustration. Besides, he usually knows everything I'm thinking, although I may edit it slightly so he doesn't think I'm entirely nuts.

2. I find Alton Brown from Food Network's 'Good Eats' very hot in an endearingly geeky kind of way.

3. Once in a while, I find myself wondering what ex-boyfriends are up to. I guess this isn't too terribly shameful, it's not like I'm stalking them or anything. I feel guilty though, because the husband is a pretty decent fellow, and I really shouldn't be wondering if Mr. X is happy or miserable with his current lot in life and how that directly or indirectly relates to me not being in it. I like to think that Mr. X is silently kicking himself in the pants at the thought of losing a hot dish like me. Heh.

4. Two weeks ago, I was getting all antsy for the holidays (did you notice I decorated around here?), but now, I could honestly give a rat's ass less. Probably because it's usually yours truly who drags all the crap up from the basement, untangles all the lights, sets out all the decorations, etc. And I'll just bet you can't guess who gets to put it all away, can you?

That's all the same I feel like getting off my chest for now. I could confess to a lot more, but for now, I won't. My soul feels a little more scrubbed clean now, and that's good enough for me!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Smashing Good Time

My late afternoon drifting in and out of my Nyquil for Sinuses haze was interrupted not by Chickenhead asking me to check out his latest Lincoln Log fort, but by a rather loud THUD. He and I both looked at each other, and I dashed out of bed. I look in my mother's room, but she wasn't there. That's right, she had gone to the grocery store.

Chickenhead and I looked around the house and couldn't figure out where the noise came from. Just as I was about to go downstairs to see what the husband was doing in the Manhole, my mom came in the front door, looking just slightly freaked out. "I hit the garage door!", she exclaimed. I ran downstairs to tell the husband to get his ass up there pronto. I ran back up and made sure Mom was physically OK, which she was.

We went outside to assess the damage. Luckily, it's not anything too serious, but the bottom panel of the door, and possibly the lower hinges will need to be replaced. There is some minor scuffing on the front bumper of Mom's car.

She's not exactly sure what happened, but the husband and I seem to think that she must have stepped on the gas instead of the brake when she went to park in the driveway. She's confused and upset, and keeps saying that she just doesn't know why she would step on the gas.

So I'm now having to make a very serious decision- do I ground my momma from driving? I know that this is a very common accident, it can and does happen to anyone. But considering her recent health issues as well as a couple of terrifying near-death experiences I've had riding in the car when she's driving, I'm wondering if maybe she might need to let someone else take the wheel. I don't want her to feel like I'm stripping her of her independence, that's the last thing I want. But at the same time, I'm concerned about her safety and the safety of everyone else on the road.

My mom is still young, relatively speaking. She'll be 67 next month, an age when many of her peers are still living very active lives. I don't want her to become a shut-in, but I don't want her to endanger herself or anyone else, either.

I'm going to go fix a glass of wine and think about this some more.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Men I Like- Adrien Brody

I first noticed Adrien Brody in Roman Polanski's 'The Pianist'. He gave a mesmerizing performance as a Polish classical pianist surviving the horrors of a Nazi-occupied Poland. His brooding good looks definately caught my eye, but you feel kind of icky lusting after someone in a Holocaust movie.

The next film I saw him in was the dark and moody 'The Jacket'. There's lots of plot twists and turns, and if you like suspense, I'd highly recommend it. 'The Darjeeling Express', in which Brody co-stars with Owen Wilson, is another great movie.

Enough chatter. Let's look at him.



Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mothers And Other Strangers

It's no secret to my close friends that my mother and I have always had a difficult relationship. I was an only child, she a single working mother, and we always had different ideas about what was best for me. I found her smothering and over-protective; she thought I was rebellious and disresepectful. I think she's nuts, she thinks I'm a bitch. That's how it's always been with us.

Over the past few months, something has changed about her. My mother, whom I always regarded as strongwilled and stubborn, has become frail and unsure. Physically, she has aged rapidly, and her health has gotten worse. I'm trying to talk her in to going to the doctor, but I think it's past the point of reasoning or pleading with her to go. No, I'm going to have to make the appointment for her, and take her.

The husband and I suspect that she may have had a mild stroke about a month ago. She said that she stumbled and hit her head on the door of her car as she was getting in to leave work. We tried to get her to go to the doctor for a CAT scan, but she refused. Since that time, she has become weaker, has trouble walking, and has recently begun having hallucinations. She forgets the words she's about to speak, and gets easily confused, especially in the evening. She knows that there's something wrong,but doesn't know what.

Talking with the husband today, we've decided that we're going to make the appointment for her, and take her to the doctor. I'm also going to talk to her about staying in our home. While I was initially excited about the prospect of her moving in to her own apartment, I don't think it would be safe for her to do so. If she were to fall or worse, there wouldn't be anyone there to help her. Until the time comes that she may be in need of constant care, I want her to stay with us.

I'm struggling with the fact that my mother is getting older, and needs my care. Her aging is a sure sign that I'm getting older too. I'm still only 32, right? At any rate, if you could think some positive thoughts for my momma, I sure would appreciate it. She needs some good juju right now!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

What Is...

The delightfully kooky Mrs.G. from Derfwad Manor posted a comment on yesterday's post asking, 'what is Christmas?'

What indeed. Those sneaky Christians chose to celebrate the birth of the sweet baby Jesus (not to be confused with 'sweet baby jeebus', whom I call on in moments of exasperation)on December 25, because it was close to the winter equinox, and that would make it easier to convert all the heathen Pagans over to their side. It's considered one of the holiest days on the Christian calendar. I think it should be the holiest, because let's face it, without Jesus being born, the Christians would just be Jewish. But I'm not a theologist, or a theologian or a religious expert of any sort, so let's move on.

Some two thousand years later, Christmas is big business. We all try to remember the real reason for the holiday, but it gets kind of hard when you're bombarded non-stop from November 1 til December 24 with sale ads from department stores, discount stores and hardware stores. And why is every weekend at Kohl's department store the "biggest sale of the year"? Every weekend? Really? Wait, where I was I? Oh yeah, Christmas.

OK, here at the Casa, Christmas means dragging all your Christmas decorations up from the basement, cursing the entire time. It means an hour sorting all the stupid branches for the tree, and then putting it up. This is followed by another three hours testing all the lights and then putting them on the tree. Chickenhead then helps put on all the ornaments, usually clumping them all together in one spot, which means I'll have to redecorate the tree when he's not around, because my twisted sense of perfection will not allow me to have a clump of ornaments on one spot in the tree.

Christmas usually means Christmas Eve dinner with all of the Husband's family, most of whom can't stand each other. My mother in law will come over, taking over my kitchen like some sort of hurricane of fake fingernails and hairspray. She'll drag 60 boxes of things into the house, all to make 4 food items and put some presents under the tree. My father in law and grandfather in law (I love Gramps dearly), will come over and promptly ignore both myself and Chickenhead the moment my brother in law and his family show up. Yeah, they're the favorites. The holiday meal is inhaled in about 10 minutes time, after 10 days of preparation. By then, Chickenhead and his cousins are practically standing on their heads to open their gifts. There's a blizzard of wrapping paper and gift bags, and just like that, the celebration is over. The old people leave, and the kids have no idea what they got. After everyone is gone, the Husband and I will assemble and install batteries.

Christmas day, it's much more low key. Chickenhead gets up early to see if Santa ate the cookies he sent out for him the night before. I keep telling Chickenhead that Santa really loves a good margarita, but he's not buying it. We look in the stocking hanging from the mantle to see what all Santa (a/k/a crazy MIL) put in there. We then go to the living room and open our presents. Again, the Husband and I spend the rest of the day assembling and installing batteries.

So you see, Christmas is much more than dragging all of your gaudy crap out of the basement and draping it all over your house. It's more than eating candy out of a sock you hung by your fireplace. It's about family and tradition, and most of all, it's about a baby, born a couple of thousand years ago. You know, I bet if Mary knew what her son was really destined for, she would have demanded Joseph find a nice hospital with a birthing suite and a dvd player.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Transitions

First of all, I have to note that I'm failing miserably at this 30 blog posts in 30 days business. I can't even promise to catch up at this point, but who knows, I may become especially inspired before November 30 and manage to pull it off. I'm a world class procrastinator, and often do my best work in the 11th hour.

Well, it looks like my momma will be moving after the first of the year. I confess, I have mixed emotions on this situation. On the one hand, she and I just do not get along under one roof, and it will be a relief to get this pressure off of my chest. I don't know why, but when I'm around her, I feel like I can't breathe. I can't be me, because I know she's judging me, tsk-tsking the little things I do, and the things I don't do. It will be nice to feel like I can be myself in my own home. On the other side of the coin however, I'm worried about how she'll fare on her own. Her health is not good, and I want to know that she'll be able to get ahold of someone if she's sick, I want to know she's eating well, etc. Nothing can ever really prepare you for the shock that yes, your parents do age, and there's nothing you can do about it. Instead of you relying on them, they begin to rely on you.

Also found out this week that my BIL and his wife are on the outs. There's has been a complicated marriage, and while I could say a lot about her, I won't right now. I mostly feel for my BIL and even more for my two nephews, who I'm sure are upset and confused at the turmoil in their lives. I will say this: if you are going to bring children into this world, planned or not, you need to be prepared to put your wants and needs to the side and take care of their needs, especially if they have health issues. Do NOT leave it up to your 8-year old son to be solely responsible for his medication, for his testing supplies, etc. Yes, he should know what he has, but it's up to you as a parent to make sure he follows through, and it's up to you to keep back up supplies at all times. I'ts up to you as a parent to make sure his insulin is fresh, to make sure he has his kit. Too many times I have seen my nephew test with alarmingly low blood sugar, and there seems to be little concern for his well-being. Get over yourselves and take care of this child. OK, said more than I wanted to, but I had to say that.

This weekend is full of promise. I'm going to hang with my girlies tomorrow, addressing Christmas cards and snacking on treats. The holidays are looming right in front of us, and instead of the usual dread, I'm actually looking a little more forward to them this year. I even am starting to get the urge to get the decorations up, already!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Pet Peeves

With the upcoming...HOLIDAYS (insert Psycho shower scene music here), it means I have to go in to various retail establishments a little more than I normally might. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE shopping! But the stress of having to buy for someone else is almost too much. Chickenhead is easy to buy for, we can get him video games or the latest Ninja-Ranger-Power-Funkey-Turtle and he's happy. But shopping for others, and more so, having to shop in the midst of other shoppers makes me nuts!

It never fails, I'm at the Walmarts or Target or wherever, and people stop dead in their tracks in the middle of the g-damned aisle. They stand there slack-jawed like they just had a vision of the Holy Mother when all I can see is a two-fer on beef jerky. Get. The. Hell. Out. Of. My. Way. If you don't know what you want or where it is, step to the side. I'm a pro. I know this store like the back of my hand and I can smell a blue light special a mile away. You can't handle me, buddy. So take your wife encased in stretch knits, and your children of questionable paternity and go hang at the customer service center while you figure out why you're here.

If I can make it to the check out counter without chewing off the insides of my cheeks, half the battle is won! It never fails that I somehow gravitate to the check out line with one or both of the following: the customer who feels it's his patriotic duty to quibble over a two-cent discrepancy on his receipt, and/or the annoying teen punk/goth-chick wannabe clerk who either has to mumble hello to you or loudly try to mack on the clerk running the next lane over. Let's take these on one by one.

If you're receipt is wrong, if you just know in your heart of hearts that the bag of dog food was $4.46 and not $4.47 (note to the Walmarts-you're not fooling anyone, so please just make it $4.50 already), take your argument to customer service. You are not an accountant and this is not April 14, so let's move it along.

Clerk, I am so sorry that your rotten parents are making you work to pay for your car and/or college tuition. Life sucks, doesn't it? But it won't make it any better to try to pick up on the cute girl running Lane 5. No matter how much you tell her that Dungeons and Dragons really is a really cool game (really!), her mono-syllabic answers and casual 'mm-hmms' mean she is not into you. Ever. Really. If you have to pick up on her, do it when the shift is over so she can turn you down properly. Why keep embarrassing yourself in front of me and the guy bitching about his dog food?

So, let's get geared up for the holidays, folks. And remember, if you see me out shopping, stay out of my way!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Night Fever

I was giddy with anticipation of getting home from work to watch the election returns roll in. As I sat on the bus on the way home, I began to feel it creeping over me. The aching, the burning, the chills. Yep, I've caught the creeping crud that has already afflicted both The Husband and my Momma. The back of my eyeballs feel like they're on fire, but that hasn't stopped me from watching election coverage on CBS, MSNBC, and my new favorite, BBC America. The husband will soon bring me some Nyquil, and I will succumb to the comforting fog that only the 'nighttimecoughingachingstuffycoldfeversoyoucanrestmedicine' can bring.

This of course means that I may very well go to bed not knowing who our new President is. Who ever wins, I hope that he's ready for the very big job he's being handed. It's sure not a job I would want!

Send chicken soup, y'all!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Finding Traditions

Now that Halloween is passed, it's time to start thinking about...you know...THE HOLIDAYS (insert shower scene music from Psycho here). Oh dear Lord, I just don't know if I am ready.

For starters, this year Thanksgiving will not be a gathering of all the bitter, unhappy in-laws. While I enjoy all of them on an individual basis, if you put all of them together in the same space, it's just a bad, bad thing. I told my sister in-law, how can anyone possibly enjoy the holidays when we're all miserable at the thought of being around each other? So, the husband's father and grandfather, mother, brother and his family will all be heading down to a little Kansas town to dine with the husband's aunt. We were not invited, as there are 'issues' between the Husband and his aunt. And really, we're OK with it.

By not having to do the big dinner with family members that don't really get along, we can spend a day with Chickenhead, and create some new, and hopefully lasting holiday traditions. But what will they be? I want something more meaningful than a new side dish (although I am eyeballing one). I want something that's our own, unique to our family. Something simple, that really conveys what the holiday is about, and what being thankful means.

I have no idea what the plans are for Christmas yet, and to be honest, I'm not worried about it. If we are not invited anywhere, we still have each other. We can create some new traditons on that day as well. I'm not stressing on it; I'm enjoying the lifting of the holiday burden. I don't have to concern myelf with who's not speaking to whom, I don't have to deal with people who come into my home and ignore my son, I don't have to keep people in separate rooms because they can't act like adults.

So, enough about the holidays for now. Half of us at the Casa are sick, Chickenhead and I have so far been able to escape the creeping crud that has already claimed my Momma and the husband. Chickenhead is going to the dentist tomorrow; he has an adult tooth that has not grown in. The baby tooth fell out in July, and now his gums are all purple where that new tooth should be coming in at. Let's all keep our fingers crossed for Chickenhead that he has a non-traumatic visit tomorrow!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Well, I've Already Jacked This Up

So today I was on Pioneer Woman's site, reading about her life, and found a link to another great blog, Derfwad Manor. My, but Mrs. G. over at Derfwad may be a long lost relative of mine. She's got the same slightly skewed way of looking at the world as I do. And I LOVE skewed!

Anywho, my point is that over at Derfwad, Mrs. G. posted about November being National Blog Posting Month. I did not know this. The goal is to blog 30 posts in 30 days. Great. Here it is, Nov. 2, and I'm just now finding out about this. So I wonder if I should do two posts today to catch up? Or can I tack on another post any other day this month to make up for it? I suppose I may have to read up on this at the 'official' website for this, NaBloPoMo.

Not much going on at the Casa today. Last night, we went to Michael's (Yay me!) so I could get some more materials for my Christmas cards. I think I've got everything I need now, except for an idea design-wise. After Michael's, we went to the dreaded WalMarts. Chickenhead had a $25 gift card burning a hole in his pocket, so he invested in the technology of the future, Funkeys. Has anyone else seen these things? It's a game that runs on your PC and you can buy different Funkeys to play different games and go into different portals in Funkey-land or Funkey-town or where ever they are. I don't know much about Funkeys, but I am hoping that they don't infect my computer with some sort of funkey-virus.

Mercifully, election season is almost over. The husband and I voted by mail in ballot, and I'm glad we did. No waiting in line on Tuesday. Everyone get out there and vote! It doesn't matter who you're voting for, just get out there and be heard! All that being said,I will be very glad when Wednesday, November 5 gets here.