Thursday, February 24, 2011

tums, tum-tum-tum, tums!

Nothing very funny or interesting has been happening lately.  Just the same ole thing -- driving 50 places a day, wanting to move to Italy, not being able to swallow because there seems to be a rock in my esophagus  -- yep, pretty much standard events.

I have another funeral to supervise, but I have no direction this time so it should be interesting.  Another woman died of cancer this morning, but this time I was really so relieved more than anything because she has had cancer on and off for years and I saw her two weeks ago and she just seemed miserable.  I'm sorry, but sometimes euthanasia seems so humane.  Sorry God.  When I saw her she didn't seem that close to death so fortunately things went somewhat quickly and smoothly.  Downer.  I found out last week that my dad has cancer and it has made me super emotional.  It should be fine.  It is just a reminder of our mortality that I didn't really want.  I can't really talk about it.

Speaking of death (always a wonderful segue), Phin walked in about an hour ago with his mouth chock full of what I thought was some more Valentines candy he had scavenged from the girls' cupboard, but later I found an open bottle of Tums on the kitchen counter and realized that that was what he had hunted down instead.  He has some kind of homing device in his brain for candy and Tums are brightly colored and fruity flavored -- fits the description pretty well.  I tried to google its dangers, but besides kidney failure possibilities I couldn't really find any information.  How worried should I be?  I have had heartburn so badly that I honestly thought I was having a heart attack the other day, but the tums aren't working anyway so I should probably put them away, wouldn't you say?

Since I'm being a little morbid and depressing I will end with a little joke:

Her husband had been slipping in and out of a coma for several months yet she stayed by his bedside every single day. When he came to, he motioned for her to come nearer. As she sat by him, he said, "You know what? You have been with me all through the bad times. When I got fired, you were there to support me. When my business fell, you were there. When I got shot, you were by my side. When we lost the house, you gave me support. When my health started failing, you were still by my side. Well, now that I think about it, I think you bring me bad luck!

Friday, February 18, 2011

la, la, la - what were the words to that song?

The next astonishing occurrence was that I couldn't remember the name of a song.  Yes, despite what you may think, this is blog worthy because you will soon see that it is imperative that I put this information on the internet somewhere.  This sort of thing has happened to me before.  Last March (in France) we heard a song on the radio that I couldn't get out of my head and it took me three long and grueling months to find the artist, (it was Dimie Cat -- and if I ever sang professionally, I would love to have a similar sound) fortunately this latest mind bender only lasted one night.  We were watching LCD Soundsystem on the Colbert show and they sang "I Can Change."  I had listened to their music before, Matthew and the kids had seen them perform at Pitchfork in the summer, so it wasn't completely new, but for some reason when he sang the chorus I thought, "This is exactly like a song from the 80's!"  I could vaguely hear it in my head, but I couldn't quite grasp it.  I asked Matthew if he knew what I was thinking of, and he said he could only hear the song we were actually listening to.  What?  Thinking of only one thing at a time sounds like pure craziness.  So afterward I started searching the internet because surely someone else had heard what I did!  I spent an hour and I kept yelling to Matthew to help me, but I couldn't think of any words and he claimed that he had no idea what was going on in my head -- right, I've heard that before.  I knew that it was best to forget about it, but my mind kept going back to this fragment of melody all night like a dog with a bone, chewing on it for awhile, walking around it in circles, then settling back down to gnaw on it some more -- through helping with homework, putting kids to bed, an episode of Mad Men (a guilty pleasure), hours of infernal heartburn torture, Phin crawling into our bed and scratching my legs with his toenails (they need a trim), and then finally at 5:00 a.m. when my nice husband went to wake up the kids for seminary, I was blessed with a few more lines of the song -- still no words -- and I tried to stay in that half awake state to see it through.  It was so fragile, like trying to remember a dream or contain a handful of smoke, but I had more of the rhythm and then -- hallelujah -- some words and I had it!  I sang it to Matthew and he totally knew, but neither of us could think of the band and surmised that it must have been a one-hit wonder.  I obviously couldn't go back to sleep so I ran downstairs to find out and it was When in Rome.  What a relief!  Most people probably didn't listen to that song in high school, but we had a great radio station, KJQ out of Orem, Utah that played all sorts of cool stuff -- probably to counteract all of the horrible music coming out at the same time (Bon Jovi).  I saw that the song was featured in Napoleon Dynamite and Matthew said that figured, because for some reason that unique brand of alternative music really resonated with Mormons and is now being sent out into the world through film.  So I am going to say it here now so that no one else will have to endure the suffering that I have: when someone googles "LCD soundsystem I can change sounds like" it will come here to my blog to tell them that it is very similar to When in Rome, The Promise -- not Echo and the Bunnymen, not New Order, not Eurythmics -- three claims that others had made.  I don't know if I would've ever figured out who the band was without the internet.  How did humans survive so long without google?
Another funny thing, while I was suffering through my headache yesterday and forgetting important rendezvous, I tried to find some episodes of "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant" (because what would be better for someone who actually has a baby that needs to come out of her body than watching people screaming in childbirth agony) and came across a movie called Birth of a Golem starring none other than Annie Lennox and then not 12 hours later being guided to the video of Love is a Stranger.  Two completely random Annie Lennox incidents in one day when I have had no reason to think of her for over 20 years -- what a remarkable universe.  I am quite, quite certain you are shaking your head in awe and wonder.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

oops, there goes another notch in the mommy pedestal

Yesterday, two completely amazing things happened.  I'm just kidding, actually two very mundane things happened -- two of the many unremarkable things that added together comprise my full and, dare I say, intoxicating life.  I've often thought of what it would be like if my life was on t.v. like a season of '24.'  Now she's ironing; putting in a load of laundry; ooh, now she's starting dinner -- what will it be?  The suspense!  It would be very compelling I'm sure.

So the first thing was that I forgot to go somewhere.  I know!  I never do things like that because my mind is like a steel trap and I remember everything.  I don't even have to write things down on my calendar -- the one I especially bought to keep everyone's schedule in order, with special color coded labels for each person, the usually completely empty one -- because my most very special talent is keeping track of time.  Oh, except for last week when I forgot to take Charles to the orthodontist, to make up an appointment from January (which we also missed, but in my defense, I didn't forget that one -- I called the school and his #$@! teacher didn't give him the hall pass and let him out so I was waiting helplessly in the parking lot for way too long) and now they can't see him until March 17th (they're obviously way overbooked!) so his teeth aren't reaching their ultimate straight conclusion for at least two months longer than might have been necessary.  The orthodontist office even e-mailed and called me with reminders and I still didn't make it.  What do they have to do?  Or like Thursday evening dance class which I forget every single week, but then remember at the very last minute (if it counts as remembering that little girls yell "Mom, don't we have dance right now?" and we rush over and fortunately Miss Janet consistently starts class 15 minutes late -- like clockwork).  Let's not dwell on what I have forgotten in the past and just talk about the latest faux pas.  So I knew going in that my schedule would be a little different because my friend asked me to watch her son and then go to her house afterward for lunch and the thing I needed to remember was to go to Lulu's school and help conduct a reading group at 12:50 -- which I have done for the last few weeks.  I was so worried about the change in my routine that I even told my friend a few days ago and she very kindly put it on her own calendar to help remind me, which I thought was going a little overboard, actually writing it down and everything.  As Lucy left for school, she called, "Mom, don't forget to come!"  Hah.  Why is she telling me that?  Did I forget the other weeks?  No.  I reassured her that I would never do such a thing and sent her off.  Well, I had woken up with a terrible headache and my friend said she would find another babysitter, but not before saying, "And don't forget to go to the school at 12:50."  Ha, ha -- thanks, I won't forget.  My day had suddenly changed course so Phin and I puttered around, did some yoga, had lunch with my husband, checked my e-mail -- and the phone rang.  I looked at the number and didn't recognize it, but decided to bite the bullet and just answer it.   This is a new thing for me.  In the past, I only liked to answer the phone if I knew who it was, but since I got my new calling so many people call me, and if I don't answer I have to actually call them back, so I have now limited the calls I don't answer to unrecognized numbers with different area codes.  Just think, when we were young we never knew who was going to be on the end of the line and we just answered the phone cold -- so bold, so brave -- like pioneers heading into unchartered territory!  So I picked up the phone and I hear this sweet little voice, "Mom?  Are you coming?"  Ack!  It was 1:00 already and I.had.forgotten.  I was wearing funny yoga clothes so I ripped them off and pulled on something more suitable, grabbed the boy, and ran to the school to arrive at 1:08.  We still had 20 minutes to scramble and  try to repair my tarnished reputation in the eyes of a 10 year old.  I'm so lame.

Well, that riveting tale took up so much space that I will have to save the other thing for tomorrow.  That way you can give it the attention it deserves.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

slip sliding away

It's warming up around here -- I think it is up to 35˚ already -- ooh, balmy!  Outside it is all drip, drip, dripping with the occasional CRASH! as it avalanches off of the roof.  Warning of the day:  Don't stand too close to the house.  It has been above freezing for a few days so it is quite amazing how much snow there still is.  Our alley is an exciting place for a two year old boy as he jumps from puddle, to ice chunk, to raging rivulet, then back for a few more stomps in the puddle for good measure.  My main worry at this point is that the ice and snow being contained on our patio like a swimming pool will decide to drain itself right into our basement since the ground is probably too frozen to be very accommodating and absorbing.  I feel good times ahead.

So a fun result of all the melting is the ice that subsists in the early morning.  Ella drove to seminary this morning, but then came home and asked me to take them to school.  I said no, because then I would also have to pick her up.  I'm efficient and forward thinking like that.  She said it was slippery and she didn't want to.  No, I said again.  Finally, she slowly admitted that she had hit another car on her way home from the church.  They were stopped at a stop light and she just slid right into them.  Well, of course she now had my full attention and I could totally understand why she didn't feel like driving anywhere else.  Fortunately the guy she had hit got out of his car and said he couldn't see anything so it will end there.  She also hit a car in a parking lot on Saturday, but it was not scraped or dented, merely scuffed so I think we'll be okay.  She left my phone number, but I haven't heard from anyone.  The worst part, since our already lofty priced insurance won't be increasing, is that she is now even more freaked out about driving than she already was.  She hates to drive!  How weird is that?  When I turned 16 I couldn't wait to be out on the open road and rushed to the DMV on my birthday.  Ella just hmmmed and hawed and finally six months after her birthday I announced, "I'm taking you to get your license this afternoon."  She screamed and claimed I hadn't given her enough warning, so two hours later I suggested we go then.  "No way!  I have to be prepared for this."  "Okay," I calmly replied, "Let's go next Friday right after school."  Well, that turned out to be not very smart since apparently Friday is the busiest day at the place that, at the best of times, seems to be a lacking in the efficiency department.  So we waited.  Got called up to talk to people who are trained to be disinterested and unfriendly (no smiling!  focus on your face having as little expression as possible!).  Wait some more.  Take a little test.  Finally it is time to have the driving test and the most grumpy looking woman I have ever in my long life encountered walks from the back room.  This is her last test of the day and she looks ready for it all to be over.  "Good luck!"  I call and then add, "To both of you!  ha, ha, hmmm."  Okay, not even a crack at a smile.  I wait.  Ella comes back and says, "Let's go now."  "Did you pass?"  I ask as we rush out the door.  "No, I told you I would fail." Oops, I had assured her that she was a good driver and there was no way she wouldn't pass, but given the traffic around the DMV and the state of the tester, I wasn't really surprised.  I didn't know how I was going to get her to try again, but then someone suggested I take her out to a little town about 35 miles away where the small town folk are friendly and there is no traffic to speak of.  I whisked her up from school the next day and we had a nice journey out into the corn fields.  We had virtually no wait, a perfectly agreeable woman took her out for the driving test, and it was all over in less than twenty minutes.  When I asked how the test went Ella said, "There were no other cars, no people, and not even one stop light."  Perfect.  So now we have another driver, but she doesn't like to, purposely doesn't bring her license with her so she won't have to, and is now a little spooked.  

Phin has been very quiet while I write and then just brought down some of Ibby's Valentine candy so I had better go investigate.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

baby it's cold outside!

Ooowhee, it is cold here!  Brrrrrrr!  But it has been very sunny so that is something.   As long as you don't ever have to get out of your cozy bed.  Hmmm, wouldn't that be loverly!  And completely unrealistic for those of us who don't have a permanent staff to do all of the things that must be done.  

So the blizzard did hit us last week and we had three snow days in a row.  I cannot help it, and you can call me crazy, but I love snow days!  I love having the kids home; I love making comforting, warm food; I love having everything cancelled so that we can pretend that the outside world has come to a standstill for a little while; I love looking outside and seeing only animal tracks -- even down the middle of our road; I love having the wind howling and the snowflakes actually covering our second story windows, as we sit inside and stream too many things off of netflix (is that even possible); I love that our electricity didn't go out so we stayed warm and snug in our little haven; I love that my kids got along the whole time and didn't even turn on a video game until the afternoon of the third day, and even then it was only one stir crazy boy who, understandably, really wasn't all that interested in making up plays with the stuffed animals, being 14 and all; I even loved shoveling the snow... wait, no, that was the very, very bad part.

::my driveway is incredibly long -- can you see Lulu down there?  I suppose there is a price to pay for being able to drive in one way and out the other...
::but the kids helped

 ::and our neighbors eventually took pity on us and brought over their snow plow -- not when Matthew was out there, only when the pregnant lady decided to have a go
::Phin couldn't stop eating the snow, but it looked pretty clean and fresh
 ::and they had such a great time creating forts and other magical places

But now I'm ready for spring; 
Or for it to be at least 22˚, that would work, too.

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