Archive for February, 2009

Impasto Grizzled Howler Urning

This is the title of an email I received today. It was one of those “we would like to wire you $10 trillion so please give us your bank account number” junk emails.

I must confess that I actually enjoy reading those emails because they are so ludicrous that I can’t imagine anyone falling for them (although at least one fascinating article has explored the games some people play when they receive such emails).

Sometimes I even call one of my parents and read them the email, or forward it to them for their enjoyment. It’s rather sad that it takes so little to amuse me these days. Perhaps this is why I’m suffering from brain rot.

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Don’t Wear A Turtleneck To Get A Haircut

File this under “Weird.” As I’ve noted in this blog before, I have one of those wash-and-go haircuts and therefore refuse to spend a lot on my cuts. (My hair color is a different story, but I’ll save my “mortgage the house for highlights” stories for another day). I go to those walk-in places where you sit in a waiting area full of scruffy, looks-like-they-haven’t-showered-in-days people who disappear into the back area and emerge looking presentable and often downright attractive. Hair salons are MAGIC, I tell you.

This time I was particularly proud of myself because I had a coupon that brought the total cost of my haircut to $6. Six dollars!! I am a true recessionista!

Yesterday, a full four days after getting my hair cut, and feeling pretty good, I decided to be adventurous and wear a shirt with no collar. If you knew how cold it was here, you’d know that I was risking my life by doing this and would greatly admire my courage and ambition. What can I say? I’m wild and crazy like that.

As I’m running around the house doing chores, I decided to be vain for a moment and inspect my awesome and awesomely inexpensive new hair cut in the bathroom mirror. That’s when I noticed the strange clump of hair hanging down the side of my neck. It was much longer than the rest of my hair and it appeared that I was losing a chunk of my hair.

Losing. A. Chunk. Of. My. Hair.

I tugged at it gently, to see if it would come off my head. I hadn’t actually planned a reaction in the event that it did, but my best guess is that it would have involved running around the house waving my arms and screaming.

Thankfully, the hair stayed put. That was when I noticed that I had a stray clump of extra-long hair on the other side of my head as well.

Then it dawned on me: the hairdresser simply missed some areas. But holy cow, did he miss some areas. I’m not talking a stray hair here and there, I’m talking handfuls of hair. I looked like I had huge rat tails, straight out of the 80s. (If you are too young to remember the craptastically awful hair style to which I am referring, I don’t like you).

Had I really spent the past four days walking around with my hair looking like this?

I can only guess that these clumps were hidden in my turtleneck while the hairdresser was cutting away. I whipped out my scissors, snipped off the offending hair, and learned once again that you get what you pay for. But I’m still proud that my hair cut cost only $6. Dammit.

You Know It’s Bad When Your Toddler Is Mocking You

As I fight my way through a miserable sinus infection, my darling Fred has taken great delight in mimicking the various disgusting noises I make when blowing my nose, most of which approximate the sound of a clogged foghorn.

I have spent the week honking my way through box after box of tissus, and have been shadowed by wee Fred, who usually sits a few feet from me, staring as I blow my nose, patiently waiting until I take a moment to breathe, then gurgling his throat in a cat-spitting-up-a-hairball kind of way. He then smiles sweetly, knowing that he, a 17-month-old, has bested his mother.

My Toddler Is On Steroids

Ginger woke from her nap yesterday barking like a dog, which any parent knows means croup. We zipped over to the doctor’s office, and Ginger got a steroid shot to help with her breathing.

The pediatrician warned that the steroid may cause her to be hyper for the next couple of days, and that she may run a gamut of emotions – angry, sad, happy, etc. – in the course of 30 seconds at any given point in time.

Hello, isn’t that typical toddler behavior? Or is my toddler simply bipolar?

The pediatrician also diagnosed me as having croup, which I thought was pretty humorous. First, I didn’t know that adults could get croup, at least not the common form.

Second, his diagnosis counts for nothing since he didn’t give me any steroids or other drugs. Booooo. I’m heading to my own doctor for that today and hoping to escape my misery and my head, which now weighs about 30 pounds.

In the meantime, GrumpyDaddy is sick, too, and my goal in life is to prevent little Fred from getting this illness. The pediatrician put the odds of avoidance at around 20%, given that the rest of us have it.

How long until Spring?

Sick

Hell is having to care for two young, rambunctious children while sick. (Worse hell – is there such a thing?? – is if they get sick, too).

I can’t hide in my office with the door closed and my head on my desk. I can’t take a quick snooze in my car. I can’t lie on the sofa and drift in and out of sleep while watching cheesy 80s movies.

Quite simply, I don’t have any vacation or sick days so I don’t get a day off.

I guess I did a lousy job of negotiating my benefits for this position.

Valentine’s Day Grinch

Guess who was the only mom who didn’t bring valentines to her kid’s class? Yeah, that would be me.

Ginger’s pre-school sent home a notice saying that valentines of any kind were optional. Crazy me, I thought “optional” meant, well, optional. So I opted not to do any.

You see, I can’t stand Valentine’s Day. I hate it with a passion that I suspect rivals what I’m supposed to feel for my Valentine. (Just typing the latter part of that sentence made me wince).

I used to think I loathed V-Day because I didn’t have a boyfriend, and I celebrated in typical teenage fashion by wearing all black. V-Day was the great bonding event in high school. For a day, all of those wearing black finally had something in common: they wanted to vomit all over the people wearing red. So in true ironic fashion, I actually came to look forward to V-Day because the entire social dynamic at school changed for a day in a way that benefitted me.

Then in the years when I had a boyfriend, I realized that I loathed it anyway. Now that I’m married, I still get icky feelings when I see the pink and red hearts hanging in the store windows, although I must confess that my hatred is tempered by Fred and Ginger’s excitement at seeing “hearts! hearts! Look, mommy, hearts!!!” everywhere.

In addition to my irrational hatred of V-Day, the other factor in my decision was that this will be the last year I can get away with not sending in those stupid V-Day cards that kids are supposed to exchange each year. The economy is crap, I told myself, the paper is wasteful and defies the greenie in me, and Ginger isn’t old enough to care and certainly wouldn’t know the difference if we didn’t take any to school. I could bring a marching band to school and it’s entirely possible that she wouldn’t notice because she is just so gosh-darn happy to be at school.

But after we got to school, I slowly realized as the moms and kids trickled into class with their festive bags of goodies that every single other student in class brought something in. Several brought in regular, pint-sized kids’ cards that I remember from school. One brought in mylar balloons, which was the biggest hit of the day (give a toddler a balloon and the next half hour is yours to do as you wish). One brought in a bag of cookies that no one remembered to open at snacktime.

And one brought in the nicest homemade valentines I have ever seen. They were pink and red heart-shaped pockets constructed with strips of construction paper. Inside the pocket was a smaller heart-shaped card with a heart-shaped doily and some stickers and glitter, as well as a heart-shaped Rice Krispie treat with red, pink, and chocolate jimmies sprinkled on top, neatly placed in a Valentine’s Day cellophane bag tied off with a curly red ribbon.

Oh. My. God.

And then it hit me: this is what the next 17 years of my life are going to be. Every holiday throughout the school year, I’m going to be forced to come up with some whiz-bang project for the kids that ranks somewhere above “cheap and last-minute” and hopefully closer to “the other kids really thought it was cool! You’re the best mom EVER!!!”

The problem, of course, is that I don’t have a crafty bone in my body. I can’t cook, and people really ought to keep scissors away from me seeing as I can’t even clip coupons without accidentally snipping a few of them in half. I will never make it as a mom, let alone a SAHM, for whom the expectations of craftiness are even higher. (Why is that, by the way? Is the thinking that we have nothing better to do with our time than create works of art with glitter and glue?)

There are entire websites devoted to the insanity of parents trying to keep up with the Joneses these days. Frankly, I still can’t believe the effort that some of the other moms put into a little pre-school party. Pre-school! Most of these kids aren’t even three years old yet!

The upside was that a couple of the moms let their kids do all the writing on their cards, meaning that no one could read any of it and had no clue who gave those particular valentines. I’m sort of hoping that Ginger (meaning her mom) got credited for one of those cards by default. How’s that for lazy parenting?!?

In any event, I’m just grateful that Ginger was none the wiser. She was too busy enjoying her balloon and studying the pictures on her Valentine’s Day cards to notice or care that in reality, her mommy had just had her first school-related Epic Fail.

Operation Feed My Brain

In an effort to reverse my brain rot, I am reading more of the news and actually paying attention while doing so, rather than letting my mind wander to the 10,000 other things that need to get done. A multi-tasking brain can be difficult to control.

I just ordered some books from Amazon.com on economic issues, to give myself a refresher course on material that was long-ago forgotten, and I’ve become a CNBC junkie, watching in the morning before the kids get up to find out what the latest news is. I’m hopeful I can start to feel more knowledgeable about day-to-day happenings, even if other moms aren’t necessarily interested in discussing such things in the mind-numbing detail that I am seeking.

There was a time when I read the New York Times from front to back every single day. I was in college and the entire point of my existence was to learn. Lord, do I miss that and wish I had appreciated it at the time, but in talking to others, it seems that I’m not the only one who wishes they had spent less time drinking beer and more time taking advantage of a 4-year block of time to simply absorb information.

I suspect that sort of time won’t be available to me again until the kids are grown and we have retired, but until then, I’m going to make an effort. Operation Feed My Brain is in effect.