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*WWDLRD?

15 Oct

david lee roth blog image

I know it’s wrong to base your life’s philosophy on a Van Halen song but sometimes you just have to jump.

Might as well.

And things turned out okay for David Lee Roth, right?

The thing about jumping is, at some point, you’re going to land.

Now before you yell at me for going to the ER with a broken toe, let me just say that I went to the ER not only because I hurt my toe, but, also, because I have an awesome shoe collection.

And while it is true that I was jumping and demonstrating some old cheerleader moves while wearing someone else’s shoes, it is also true that anyone can walk a mile in a stranger’s shoes.  It takes a warrior to herkey.  (What?  You didn’t know that I was once a cheerleader?  Surely my peppy attitude, unsinkable optimism, and amazing yelling capacity gave it away.)

Go Spouse!  Go!  (I mean it.  Just go.)

So one copay and an X-ray later, here I am.

Getting up while at the same time, having nothing get me down.

And that, my friends, answers the question: *What Would David Lee Roth Do?

 

Dear Spouse: before you met me I was a philosophy major.

5 Jun

blog image rem

A lawnmower that runs for only 10 minutes (or until it catches fire) is actually the universe’s way of  encouraging you to: take small moments for yourself (and spend them with gaskets and sprockets and wrenches and such); to let go of the desire to “fix this once and for all” while knowing that there can be only one once and no other once but sometimes you might have a “one night only, manager’s special” kind of thing, and, also, to enjoy the spectacle that is life’s rich pageant.

That and I spent all the money we saved for a new lawnmower on downloads like R.E.M.’s 1986 album titled “Lifes Rich Pageant,” and some disco-era stuff by the Stones.

(Don’t be mad.)

STOMACH BUG DELAYS POST BY ACCLAIMED WRITER

17 Apr

blog image trebuchet

It’s not me.

It’s Spouse and Boy (and maybe the cat- they’re all so hairy).

As for me, I can sit at the kitchen table and discuss vomit and “The Exorcist” and all things projectile while eating a 12 cut slice of pizza.  (Side note: “All Things Projectile-” a new NPR show about rockets and drones and trebuchets and such?)

Also what is “12 cut” pizza anyway?  Do pizza makers not realize that if they take an average-sized pizza and roll over it twelve times they’ll end up with ribbons of pizza?  Conversely, if a shop makes a pizza large enough to cut even ten times they’ll end up making about one pizza per store and be out of business within a week.  Why must I fix all things linguistic?  (Take note, NPR.)

I’m talking to you upstate NY.

But not really.

I’m mostly wiping.  Counters and floors and handles and such.  It’s so exhausting; I can hardly find time to shop online for shoes.  (And dresses and scarves and hats and such.)

I was able to get out and buy a lottery ticket yesterday so there’s that.

Because nothing cures a stomach bug faster than 2.6 million dollars.

Except maybe a Twix bar.

Because life’s too short to not enjoy food when it’s moving in both directions.

You’re welcome.

Did you ever have a day…?

18 Mar

blog image deepak chopra

Where you woke up early, and it felt like Monday but then you realized that it was actually Sunday and so you went back to sleep ignoring The Boy and his incessant drumming as well as Spouse and his incessant breathing, for two more hours?

When the Deepak Chopra book that you borrowed from the library (“What Are You Hungry For?“) fell off the nightstand and opened to page 143 which clearly states: “who cares whose fault it is?  Assigning blame does no good” at which point you forgot to yell at Spouse for not returning the book to the library on time like he said he would?  (Answer: cheese sub.)

When the superintendent cancelled school because it was too nice to be inside?

When the dentist told you that The Boy is flossing just the right amount?

When the principal called just to say hi.

When the peanut butter jar looked completely empty but, via the rubber spatula, you were able to salvage not only enough peanut butter to make an excellent sandwich for The Boy’s lunch, but also enough to make a small batch of cookies?  (Well, there would have been a small batch of cookies if the dough made it to the oven.  But still.)

Or when your neighbor invited you over to learn about reflexology and she wasn’t having a “Young Living Essential Oils” party?

Where the temperature goes above.  Just above.

When you won the lottery?  When you played the lottery?  When you thought you had eaten the last Girl Scout cookie only to find half a box of Samoas stashed in the freezer inside an empty bag of frozen mango chunks?  Score.

Did you ever have a day like that?

Me neither.

But I can dream.

Which means that I’ll have to take a nap.

I like those days.

No good story ever started with ________

31 Dec

blog image gilleys

“One time I was in Texas and….”

for my east coast friends this ends in either a fight in which beer, Mexican food and a woman is involved or with a police escort to the state line (sometimes both).  If you’re lucky, the fight happens at a place that requires patrons to check their guns upon entering.  While visiting The Lone Star State, you are free to carry all the concealed library cards you want.  Whether folks in Texas use library cards or read is unclear.

“I’m just going to pop into IKEA and…”

never come out.  Or at least never come out empty-handed.  Even if you buy only Svalka and Dryck Julmust (an auto-correct nightmare for sure), there’s no escaping the umlaut.  And if the meatballs don’t lure you in, the öersattlig napkins will.  In any case, there’s no “popping” into IKEA.  If you enter, you will spend both time and money buying items like weirdberry preserves that will sit on the kitchen shelf for a few years until one of you throws them away.  (PS: the shelf is a Fjalkinge and is ready for the trash alsö.)

“Why do you always…”

always what?  If I’m so busy constantly, eternally and perpetually doing whatever (kudos thesauras.com), how am I able to type (and online shop) right now?  Your question just went from defensive to expensive as you know that I can only deal with confrontation when sharply dressed.  Even my limited yoga and meditation practice has taught me that there are no absolutes.  Speaking of which, I positively must sign up for more Ashtanga classes.  And book a facial while I’m in town.  Definitely.

“Canadians have a word for this…”

well Canadians have a word for everything but can they drive?  Even my limited long-distance driving experience has taught me that Quebecers are the worst.  All summer, from New York State to the Jersey shore to the top of Maine, there they are either meandering in the left lane or zooming up all willy-nilly like in the right lane while loosely towing a pop up camper or some other clunky thing behind them and will then pull in front of you with only one working brakelight- like a little red eye winking as if to ask “how’s that affordable care act working out for ya?”  Meanwhile, The Boy (now eligible for his driving permit) is closely observing and asking questions like, “if the left foot works the clutch and the right foot works the other pedals, when am I supposed to shake it all about?”  We Americans have a word for Canadians and it’s not “Canadians.”

“Mom, no one wants to see you twerk.”

an actual sentence spoken by The Boy last week.  (He continued by saying that he felt weird even using the words “Mom” and “twerk” in a sentence but it had to be said.)

and finally,

“Haven’t we all had enough twerking?”

unless, of course, what we’re all really saying is “it’s 2014 already and time we all got back t’ werk.”  In which case, pass me my sledgehammer, I agree.

Back to School

12 Sep

back to school

Here’s why I hate the first day of school:

First: I am not known for being quick.  To move.  To judge, well, who’s to say?  (Actually, I am.)

I revel in all things slow (side note: future NPR show- “All Things Slow”?)  Friends have been known to doze as I search for the exact word whilst in conversation (for example, “whilst”) while others have consumed an entire meal before I have properly plated my green beans opposite my cranberry sauce (Spouse, Thanksgiving 2008).

It takes about a week once school ends for me to fully develop my summertime groove- from switching bed linen to a higher, more luxurious  thread count, to picking berries to add to my morning beet smoothie (side note: future morning music show about ska-influenced music titled “Beat Smoothie”?) and then imagine, if you can, how disruptive deconstructing that groove can be.  You see now how the first day of school is overwhelming, at best, and, at worst, a total Weepfest (September, 2011).

Secondly: the paperwork.  Every year it’s the same.  Science lab rules, gym class rules, homeroom rules.  Where are the Stevie Ray Vaughn Rules rules?  Doctor’s information, emergency contact (where you ferret out true friends and then saddle them with caring for your sick child because the school cannot reach you at any of the contact numbers you provided- oops, did I leave off a digit?) plus an improved code of conduct- NEW for 2013-2014!  The “I will not wear sleepwear to school rule!”  (PS: I didn’t even know that wearing pajamas had been an option.  Oh, the Lifetouch pictures we could have had- complete with airbrushed option and crooked hair.)

Third: lunch.  The Boy has watched enough Food Network to now believe that only fresh basil and hand-hewned croutons are acceptable in a salad.  Who hews?  Of course, a PB&J is fine if you’re rushed (hello, it’s me) as long as the bread is stone ground whole wheat, preferably cold-climate grown.

Fourth: the clutter.  The constant jumble of socks and shoes and backpacks and lunchboxes.  And books and binders and paper and such.  All in front of the kitchen door.  You know, the door that we must fly out of right now if we are to make it “on time.”

Finally, about the quest to arrive “on time.”  I put quotation marks around “on time” because while “time” is more of a “concept” to me, previous employers have adopted a more literal definition of “time” and the “wasting” thereof plus the need to “show up on” it.  But, hey, we’re all different and both schools and workplaces benefit when tolerance is practiced.  Besides, who am I to judge?  Oh, right.  I’m the unemployed one.

Let’s not even discuss the switch to Standard Time where, from November to March, I am 59 minutes late for everything.  Oh sure, I eventually make up a few minutes here and there- mostly at doctor’s appointments because physicians have even broader definitions of “time,” “schedule,” and “appointment” than I do, but it’s not the same.

Plus the reason I am at the doctor’s office is due to some nasty germ that The Boy brought home from school anyway.

Then, from my scratchy-sheeted sick-bed, I will begin counting down the days until summer vacation again.

259 from today.

On Why it’s Raining (Still)

7 Jun

blog image window screen

Why is the weather so horrible?

Because here’s why:

on the last blazing, hot and humid day to date (Saturday, June 1, but who’s keeping score?) I may have been crazy from the heat (bonus points if you noted the reference to David Lee Roth’s 1985 EP titled “Crazy from the Heat.”  And how do I know this?  It’s the EP on which he destroyed The Beach Boys “California Girls.” And when I say “destroyed” I mean “ruined” as in: “trashed,” “mocked” and “it’s no wonder he was busted buying a $5 bag of pot in Washington Square Park shortly thereafter; he stinks”) and I decided right then, on hot and humid Saturday, June 1, to put ALL the window screens in so that when the cool and dry breezes arrived, we would be able to partake of them.

And while I may have decided to install window screens immediately, I didn’t actually get to it until after I had coffee, yelled at The Boy and checked 6pm.com to see if any Kork-Ease sandals were on sale (because when the breezes do come, enjoying them in a lightweight and comfortable wedge is way more pleasant knowing that the shoes were 50% off (or more) with free shipping).

Note: yelling at The Boy is what happens on weekends when morning becomes afternoon and I have gotten nothing done and now it’s even hotter and all the funky, cheap Kork-Ease sandals are not available in size 9 but I have somehow convinced myself that a discounted BØRN or DANSKO sandal will be fine even though I know that they’re not as stylish and why is it so damn hot in here?

Update: it’s been rainy and cold since the screens went in.  It’s too soggy to wear the runner-up shoes, another weekend is upon us and I have a sore throat which means there will be limited yelling at The Boy.

I suppose I could check online to see if there are any snow tires on sale but the last time I bought snow tires and had them mounted, balanced and installed, we didn’t get snow for an entire winter, not even ice.

Also the tick population exploded, the plants all got sunburned and I didn’t wear the fabulous moonboots that I bought at Zappos.com even once.

I suppose if I want to make the sun come out, I just need to buy an umbrella.

Life’s Essential Hardware

8 May

blog image vitamix blender

Because life can be difficult to navigate, make sure you have at least one or two of the following in your survival kit:

earbuds:  they don’t even have to be connected to anything as we have become so used to people saying “what?” we rarely speak anything profound on the first round.  I usually start with a throw-away like “how’s it going?” and then transition into “your foundation doesn’t match the rest of your skin and so your face looks like it’s made of plastic.  You’re welcome.”

Earbuds are also useful while at the gym- as long as there are cords hanging from your ears you don’t have to speak to anyone and, if like me you are determined to learn a new language, you will appear smart and fit as you repeat French phrases aloud while rowing.  Or is it Rueing?  (Ah, my first French pun!  Je suis wicked awesome.)

wristwatch:  I think some people (mostly nurses) use this to tell time if they cannot find their cellphone and a resting pulse is needed.  Also a useful prop when you need to disengage from an in-person conversation because your once mellow resting pulse has been elevated by a close-talker and/or Jehova’s Witness and serenity must be restored now.

cellphone: a camera/music/internet device that also makes phone calls when absolutely necessary.  (Define necessary, then define absolutely.  Then know that I will never call.  Ever.)  Conversely, once you have a cellphone, people can find you.  Any time.  And they will.  Technology is a two-way street, my friend.

computer, laptop, tablet: another music/internet device that, in addition to above, displays bigger pictures of kittens, cute babies and cake box recipes from friends of people who I sort of know.

Vitamix blender: that resting pulse isn’t going to lower itself; a healthy diet is important.  Besides, the Vitamix is the only blender with a motor powerful enough to grind left over chocolate Easter bunnies and ice into a delicious smoothie.  A delicious, nerve-calming, endorphin releasing tonic.  (Fruit is certainly an option but why would you when Bailey’s contains both calcium and whiskey?)

electric car windows: see April 24, 2013 but know that the basic premise is closing the window to avoid conversation while deflecting blame.

hammer, scissors, duct tape and beer: because Spouse says he will fix it and he means to fix it but, next thing you know, three years have passed and living with a busted armrest is a way of life.  The hammer, scissors and duct tape will hold it together.

The beer is for him.

He married a shrew.

A shrew who rarely needs to rest her arms anyway.  What?  I’m Serena Williams now?

And it’s not like I go around waving all friendly-like at people.  Ever.

Why would I do that?

A surefire way to get out of an undesirable conversation (it worked for me)

24 Apr

car window control

Say you find yourself in the school parking lot where you have just complimented a student on his performance in the school musical (“Grease”– sans virginity and pregnancy references (“we go together like censorship and family values”) but anyway…) and that same student comes over to the driver’s side window and begins to tell you how he “didn’t really want to be in the play especially when he saw all those lines in the script, he just thought he would never be able to remember them and the only reason he tried out for the play to begin with was because there was a girl whom he liked who told him that he would be good in this part and…”

and he won’t stop using your oxygen (even though you’re outside) and (oh Christ!) he really looks like he’s settling in now, leaning up against the vehicle, forehead on arm, backpack on the ground and all you really wanted to do was offer a little encouragement…

Should you find yourself in this situation, do what I did: use the electric switch to slowly advance the window up while maintaining eye contact until, suddenly, you notice that the window is closing!  Yell something panicky like “Oh my, the window is going up!  What the?  Why is this happening?”

For added drama- bang on the glass until, finally, acceptance.  Sigh, while using your entire body to indicate that we now live in a world where the occasional electronic malfunction far outweighs manually doing anything, then offer an eye roll that sort of says “can you believe this?”

Shrug goodbye as you drive away- even if your own Boy has not yet gotten in the car; he can fend for himself.

You, however, were facing an ACTOR with loads of time and the desire to discuss his craft.

The end totally justifies the means.  Even if The Boy arrives home dusty, late and hungry.

That he is presently not speaking to you is a bonus.

PS: this method, with slight modifications, also works with invisible ear buds, wristwatches, hearing aids and cell phones (he: “but I didn’t even hear it ring!”  You: “I know, right?”) and doors.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, my computer is… and I can’t …what?…but I was just in the middle of… I’ve never seen that screen before…

Weakly Reader

8 Aug

Our weekly newspaper has a column (“Kountry Kicks,” Butcher’s Block”- some alliterative white-space taker-upper) that occasionally ventures into “writing about what to write about” territory which, to me, is akin to having celebrity chef  Wolfgang Puck personally serve me one of his frozen pizzas- it’s lazy, uncreative and it cheapens us both.

If I was interested in looming deadlines, chasing the muse or burning the midnight oil, I would send out resumes, ace an interview and get my own damn writing job whereupon I would take you out for Happy Hour (because any job that I landed would certainly not enable me to pay full price for booze- especially in the quantities you consume) and complain about it then- over free Grzyby from 4PM-6PM, Ladies Night Every Tuesday.

When I started FA&S I made one promise to readers and, as my only follower, I was in the unique position of keeping it: free ice cream for the first twenty comments.

I gained three and a half pounds in a month but at least I kept my word.  Toward the end I had to single-scoop it, but still.

I also pledged that I would never scrape the bottom of the subject matter barrel by referencing previous spousal affronts (not when so many new ones are created each week!), mining teen angst or deliberately bashing Mom-she suffered enough through the 90’s wearing pleated jeans (with loafers) and sporting a Boys Regular haircut.  Not that there’s anything wrong with it.  It’s just that there’s everything wrong with it.

So this is me NOT writing about how challenging blogging can be and this is you not complaining about ______.

And together we are changing the world one post at a time.  (Or at least avoiding work.)

Of course, “scraping the bottom of the subject matter barrel” is a cliché and while I also committed to avoiding those, I’m out of time and coming up with new material each week is just so hard.

Next week: “Grzyby: Using the Name of a Polish Mushroom to Make Your Blog Post Longer”.

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