Friday, August 31, 2007

Ellen and Madonna dancing

OK, now really...just because you CAN wear something, does it mean you should?? I am so flashing back to 1978 band color guard baton twirlers meets Sparkles roller rink backward skating with Shane and Raymond.

And here is proof! Exhibit one: the purple sparkly 9th grade majorette uniform, with the unfortunate flesh-colored strap LOL. Madonna has ripped this woman off. Outrageous!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Buddies and the Brouhaha

Here's something fun to do. Gather up all your best buds and cart yourselves up to the lake for a need-free, demand-less, apple pie-laden brouhaha. Stay up until all hours. For fun, not because one of your kids is throwing up. Watch a show called Intervention together so you can psychoanalyze strangers. When that gets too sad, flip to the Miss Teen USA pageant and psychoanalyze hairdo choices and the mindset of the runners-up as they come to grips with the inevitable fact that their lives are ending. Talk about Everything. With a capital E. Eat Anything. With a capital A. Make sure nutritional value is minimal while fat and carbs are maximal. (I know. It's not a word, but it's descriptive.) Create a new drink. Name it the Lake Runner. Declare it medicinal and healthy because that splash of Pomegranate juice really does outweigh the 8 ounces of rum it's mixed with. Swim around on floats for six hours straight, getting out of the water only to have a snack, a cocktail, or because you fear the pruning may be permanent. Meet a dog and invite her to join your merry band of Beeches. Call her Buddy. Because she is. Until she starts eating your pistachios and smelling like a dog that has been swimming in lake water and chewing on fish heads. Be forgiving. Even when Buddy's family leaves her with you while they go on a boat ride, happily waving at her from afar as if they know quite well that she's a big ole pain in the rear. One of us is meant to be a vet or an old lady with 12 cats, and we love that about her. Learn to play Gin Rummy. Even though strategic thinking is not the easiest kind of thinking to do through a Lake Runner haze. Wave at boys on the lake and pretend that they find you remotely interesting. Sit on a dock under an almost-full moon for hours. And talk. And talk. And talk. There is nothing at all better than this. There is a certain kind of therapy that takes place when you learn that a bunch of people you love and admire are going through the same things you are. Good stuff. Bad stuff. Even the really bad stuff that you wouldn't admit to most people. The book I'm reading at the lake calls it L'ho provato sulla mia pelle, which means in Italian "I have experienced that on my own skin." The author explains that it means- I have also been burned or scarred in this way, and I know exactly what you're going through. Somehow there is nothing more comforting than L'ho provato sulla mia pelle. Being understood... it just makes everything better. And then you get to go home to a little family, who is happy to see you. Who, really and for true, missed your presence. And you feel needed. In a good way. Amazing what a little brouhahaing can do for you.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Because I Couldn't Have Said it Better Myself

This is what I wanted to say.

If a Tree Falls, and Everyone Hears the Cursing....

We had some trees taken down at our house recently. If you haven't had the opportunity to witness such an event, it really is the bomb. I wish I could have gotten some better pictures, but I felt a little strange snapping photos of my shirtless guests, like some crazy suburban mother papparazzo. But let me tell you, it's pure, riveting entertainment for 8 straight hours. The passion, the drama, the blood, sweat and tears, the firings and rehirings all before lunch, the massive consumption of Gatorade, cigarettes and hose water...And for the low, low price of thousands of dollars you too can get the show to make a stop in your very own backyard! I was a little disappointed that the girls didn't find it quite as thrilling as I did. Boys would have been more fascinated by the process, perhaps. The girls instead were in all their bossy, nosy glory. First things first...Big Stuff comes to tell me (in case I was unaware) that there are some strange men in the backyard, and I should tell them to not even THINK of cutting down her friends, the small Christmas trees. Or there would be TROUBLE. Maybe she thought I would have the guts to put 6 grown men in timeout? Then Small Fry pipes up with her loud cautions and warnings directly to the crew, through the windows: "Be careful! Don't fall! That's too high! Stop yelling!" I don't know where she got that litany of bossy phrases. Finally, it was the colorful language that drove us away from the windows. Although I was riveted for longer than prudent I imagine. After 6 years of constantly stifling various curses, it was quite a shocking something to hear them flying freely and unrestrained throughout my backyard. I thought, this is the most excitement we've had around here in weeks! But, being the Mama and everything, I tore myself away from the show and hightailed it to Target, where the curses are muffled and the living is easy. We shopped in the usual boring fashion for school supplies, with nary a What The? Except in my head, of course.

See What The Heat Has Reduced Us To?

Sunday afternoon, overcome by heatstroke and too many episodes of Looney Tunes. And if you think a very similar version of this picture was not being staged in an upstairs bedroom amongst the adults, you are sadly mistaken.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

It's Hot, and I'm Not Kidding

Houston, we have survived Week One of first grade. I say we, because naturally I've been as nervous and anxious as Big Stuff has. Or I guess more accurately, I've been nervous and anxious. She's been fine. Cutie Pie had to point out to me last week that I was not the one going back to school. Like I don't know that. Sheesh. (Maybe I should change his name to Smarty Pants...) Something about the Times They Are A Changin' just gets me all tied up in knots! Can't help it. Maybe I'm just going stir-crazy. Because it's like ONE THOUSAND degrees outside, and you don't even want to think about going outside, even to travel a mile or two in your swamp of a van so you can run as fast as you can to the door of your destination and collapse inside in the AC. I mean, are we living on the SUN or what? Yes, I'm a total wimp. Yes, I should be able to handle the heat better. I'm from Florida, the Sunshine State, for Pete's sake, where it is hotter than your wildest nightmares of Hell for most of the year. Which is why I MOVED, hello? But at least in my current state, you have the hope of cooler temperatures just around the corner. And I am all about hope. In the meantime, I will be hibernating indoors and talking myself down from the proverbial ledge, called Changes I Didn't Ask for Nor Want. Especially those involving little girls growing up.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Welcome Home, Hurry Back

My cousin's husband came home from Iraq recently for an 18-day R&R. We didn't get to see the homecoming in person, but luckily Channel 4 covered the whole thing just for us!! Wasn't that thoughtful of them? My other cousin covered the family angle, in all its (almost) indescribable joy. Hey, if you have a minute or two...would you send up a prayer for Our Soldier and all the others like him? Love ya for that!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Remember When

So, while I was on child-vacation I actually did more than redo the playroom. I remembered. Tried it lately? It's fab. I remembered what it was like when I was just ME, and when we were just US. Seeing as how the kiddies make such a dramatic impact on one's life, this was quite a feat in itself and an interesting jolt to the psyche. But FUN! Oh, really fun. Even though I kept looking for where I set down my right arm, we made the most of it. Cutie Pie and I started the week by meeting like undercover agents at a downtown hotel. One of the many great features of this hotel is a spinning-loungey thing on the top of it where smartly dressed young urbanites have drinks and watch the sunset. (Confession: We smiled chummily at the urbanites, while looking dismissively and disdainfully upon the haggard parent-tourists dragging children around up there. I mean, really, the bring children to OUR place. Then we giggled at each other, knowing full well that would be us if not for Camp Grandma). We spent an hour or so there, fancy cocktails in hand, spinning around and reminiscing about this or that building, this or that experience. We had 6 years in Atlanta B.C., so we had plenty to talk about. And it was amazing! Hear this, friends: You can actually have a conversation with your beloved without interruption. It's true!! Such a thing exists! And contrary to your worst fears, you actually still have stuff to talk about that does not involve potty training, 529 plans or back-talking. After our sunset spin, we ate our favorite grown-up food - sushi - and finished the night with huge desserts, liquoured-up coffees and jazz music. It was heavenly. I didn't want to leave the next day. Because leaving meant Home, with all its accompanying responsibilities. And home is the best place on earth, right? It's every dream I ever had, come true, and yet...I think there are a couple of people who are missing each other when that Mama and Daddy thing takes over. So, how can we have our chocolate cappuccino cake and eat it too? How can Mama and Daddy co-exist with the undercover agents? It's a compartmentalization vs. integration problem really. At least, that's probably what all those GA. Tech-educated, young urbanites would say. It's a stumper. Let's think about it over another glass of wine and a sunset spin.