Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I coulda ate a hundred, maybe. Or three, anyway.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I think the time was around 3 pm. I had stolen away to my room for a lunch break, as I am prone to do when I want to eat my Ramen noodles alone in the lap of luxury. The screaming started sometime around the first bite, as it is prone to do. I gave some thought to ignoring it entirely, but let me tell you a couple of rules of parenting: If ONE child is screaming, it's probably okay to eat your lunch. If NO children are screaming, do not eat. Go immediately and find out why. If MANY children are screaming, it has a 50% chance of being a real thing and you can probably snag a bite or two but then run once you get near the children, just in case there are news media in your yard. 

It was the cat. The stupid, stupid cat was stuck in a tree. Now, listen, I'm kind of a cat person, in that cats might be the animal I hate the least. I like their furry aloofness and their comfy rainy-day approach to life. I enjoy seeing a glorified throw pillow stroll casually from one sleeping location to the next. I am not, however, one of you, who love your pet and put her in the Christmas card and care deeply if she lives or dies. 

We are a little more like: 

But we have these dadgum kids, and I love them. So it was my job to get the cat out of the tree, or at least to make a college try. Luckily, I had an enormous amount of moral support from the Man of God, who was late for a wedding and yelled "Good luck!" as he peeled out of the driveway, and also I had almost unlimited advice from the peanut gallery. "Just GET HER DOOOOWWWN," they wailed. "GO UP IN THE TREEEEEEE and GET HERRRR!" 

You guys might not realize this, but I am height challenged. I can't even reach the dishes in my own cupboard. Also I am completely uncoordinated and have not climbed a tree since the first grade, and also I am terrified of heights. Also I don't love this cat. So I hauled ladders around, but none of them were tall enough, and so then I thought, I bet I can get her to jump to the roof. I tried to sneak upstairs but was immediately detected and then 3 of 4 children all watched in fascination as I opened the window from their room to the roof and leaned out. I could FEEL Tristan getting ideas. 

Since I have extremely helpful children, Toby took possession of my phone for documentation and the other children leaned heavily on my back, ensuring that we would plunge to our deaths together. Toby will have video of me falling out the window, I thought to myself. It was a dark place. Plus the stupid, stupid cat would not jump to the roof 2 feet below the branch, so the plan was abandoned. 

Next I went to the alarm panel and set our very loudest and most frightening notification for that window, because, come on. 

Then I went back outside where everyone was gathered, cheering Misa to "JUMP!" which, luckily, she is too stupid to understand. I found another ladder, covered in black widows and brown recluses and terror, but I couldn't get it to open, because I don't speak Home Depot. "Just open it!" the helpful children cried, "Just click that thingy and open it and get up the tree and save the cat RIGHT NOW!!" 

Finally I thought, well, I haven't died yet, so here's one more way, and I leaned the ladder against the tree and climbed the ladder, again, mostly concerned with not dying in front of my children for the sake of a cat. As you will see in Toby's documentary, I saved her, only to be clawed ferociously across my wrist as a thank-you. 

In the end, we still have a cat and Tristan has discovered several interesting possibilities for fun and excitement. Send pills. 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

I'm afraid of plenty of things. "There is no fear in love!" says you, super spiritual guy, and I'm all like "But I don't LOVE birds," and checkmate. I am, in fact, afraid of birds. They are so creepy with their bony little claws and their sharp beaks and beady little eyes, like demons of nature wrapped in soft little feathery jackets. I am also afraid of rodents who appear in MY HOME without warning, and I'm afraid of heights and fish that I cannot see and dogs, except the really dumb slobbery ones because they're not going to eat me.

So, yeah, I have fears. But I think there's a built-in fear buffer when you've faced some hard things, because there is a reality that bad things might happen, so you almost can't plan based on those kind of risks. I feel like I operate on a denial system of sorts, and that is how I happened to be on a committee of two, planning a cruise directly after the Italian cruise disaster. "What could go wrong?" I ask myself. "I've already been through this..."

The cruise was perfect. I went with 21 other women, (with NINETY-ONE children between us, but we did not bring the children). It wasn't until the middle of the first night on the boat that I started thinking about how bad it would be if the boat went down. I was also very concerned about snoring, because I've had the same roommate for 17 years and he says I snore. Ultimately, the boat did not sink and I do snore.

I'll write more about the cruise, because it was deeply refreshing and also an introspective window that I do not normally see through, even though I talk about myself and mine on social media all the time. There's just something about hours without interruption that brings great perspective.

Speaking of perspective, women are much larger up close. I am not talking about my friends, of course.  I am talking about all of the other women, who seem relatively fit when clothed but then when you get face level with the vast majority of their skin, you discover the limits of Lycra. Also the limits of decency.

I ate all the things, sang karaoke, spent hours on a beach and got the most marvelous sunburn. And "I" didn't twerk, but some people did. More about that later, too.

Monday, October 14, 2013

I didn't do a lot of extracurricular activities as a kid. I went to school and I did my time with all the academics and then I did the required amount of time with getting my arms broken in games of Red Rover and trying very, very hard to be invisible during dodgeball. I think I succeeded at being pretty invisible because everybody always forgot to pick me until everyone else was picked. Many a hot Texas afternoon was spent kicking holes in the packed dirt, waiting for everyone to finish sporting so I could go back to class. As a conservative, I am against all this nanny-state business. But if there were some legislation for a waiver out of violent sports for skinny little bookworms, I would halfheartedly sign an online petition for that, in political solidarity.

It's not that my childhood was totally devoid of show business. We did do Psalty plays with alarming regularity, although I was usually cast as a sheep or one of a large group of angels. Piney Woods, I still think you missed it. I could have been a STAR. At home, though, it was all music and theatre. If the NSA had been around back then, they probably would have been even more confused, because we rarely stuck with one character or accent for long, with my favorite being a stern and imperious Russian woman, who did not tolerate fools or meatloaf. Our family Christmases to this day include Cossack dancing and spontaneous stand-up comedy acts...

my first high school role: British maid
So in 10th grade, I went to public school and spent my first 2 days trying not to cry or get punched and then on day 3, I saw a sign for drama auditions and found my tribe, a melting pot of small-town fundamentalists and deviants in varying mixtures. I loved acting. My dad also had a drama troupe at our local church, and we did hilarious corny skits with a message, somewhere. In the end, it came down to college and acting or teen marriage and youth ministry, and (spoiler alert) I picked the latter. I have never regretted that. Well, I have regretted the marriage and the youth ministry at certain emotionally charged moments, but that fades pretty quickly.

This very long self-centered intro was supposed to be about my children being in a play, and somehow it is all about me. Maybe that's just because it's gotta be about me somewhere. I think I'm kidding.

Anyway, Toby and Brynn got to be in a play. They were awesome. What I would like is for all of my children, and I am talking about my children, not the soap opera, is for them to be super creative and musical and artistic and fulfilled, but maybe not actors who move to Hollywood or New York or anything. And also I don't really want them to be actors who only do low-budget Christian movies about the end times. Or even high budget. (Looking at YOU, Nic Cage). I don't know what I want. You guys are stressing me out with all these questions. Now I have to figure out if maybe they should be nice safe accountants or insurance salesmen or something.

Hey! In other news, I'm going on a cruise. I won't be drinking booze, because it tastes like fuel ooze. Sorry, I just got accidentally rhymed and then it got all freestyle up in this hizzouse. That's it, that's all I have to say. More about the cruise tomorrow.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

This might be the longest break I've taken from writing in almost 8 years. I didn't do it on purpose, I just quit talking. I mean, really, I've still been talking on my Facebook an inappropriate amount of times a day. But this is my brain space and it is mysteriously quiet. I'm trying to make money, that's one part of it. I'm working half-days to pay for my vacation and various "extras" for my little people, and that does take brain juice and more importantly, time. But still. I miss writing and I miss the interaction of writing for you. So I'm back.

I'll be 35 here in a week, and that has me thinking a lot about what I'm going to be when I grow up. I'll tell you one thing, I will be a mom. I am SUCH a mom. Interesting thought: the more I ponder everything I want to do with my life, the younger I feel. Somehow I have switched over in the last few months from feeling like I'm having my third-life-crisis to feeling like I'm just getting started.

Stay tuned, this life is going to be interesting. Maybe.

In very, very sad news, the swimsuit that I ordered from China is not going to work. According to the website, I am what is called an Asian Large, and I didn't like the sound of that but I bought it anyway because I still needed a swimsuit. But it doesn't fit right and I could say I'll just sew it but we both know that would go so terribly wrong. So now I need another swimsuit. If you think this is a first world problem, you're right. Maybe since you're so smart you could find me a swimsuit that doesn't make me wonder if my mirror is bent like a funhouse mirror.

It's been an interesting couple of weeks. We saw family, went to CiderFest and on a 2.5 day getaway, and we saw Tristan's birthfamily. And we, the mister and I, talked and talked and tried to get a grip on the future, that slippery future. But all of that's another day. Asian Large, signing off.

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