Army of Mom

So this is how liberty dies ... with thunderous applause.


Perty in Pank

I figured I should post something pretty after the nasty bloated gallbladder-free belly. So, here we have my gorgeous daughter with the little sundress I bought for her in Mexico on my cruise. She is her mother's Texan daughter. This is her favorite color: pank. That's how a true Texan says it, much to her daddy's chagrin. I miss that little girl, but she is having a ball at her Granny and Papa's. She told me all about it on the phone today.

It's just a little gas

Honestly, I don't think I've tooted like I should because I look like I have a watermelon between my ribs and my bellybutton. It is pretty gross, but I'm feeling ok. Sore, tired, weak, but overall, ok. Check out this bloating. The nurse was trying to ask nicely without being rude, but she asked if I was bloated. Uh, yeah. My tummy is never like this. For those who don't know, the surgeon pumps air in your guts to separate the organs, so he can see what he is doing in there. Subsequently, I'm all bloated and gassy. My nurses were great; both pre-op and post-op. I bled more than they expected post-op and bled through my shirt before I even left the hospital, so they changed the bandage on one of the incisions (there were four) and told Army of Dad what to watch for like the bandage bulging from too much blood. So, I bled through again on two incisions (including the bellybutton one where the gallbladder came out). We called the surgeon's office and were told to change the bandages and do some pressure bandages. So, AoD sought me out some tight undies with a high waistband and he used some gauze and bandages and we managed to do pretty well. You can see the pressure bandages we did with LOTS of tape to make sure we got it on there tightly to put pressure on the incisions. They're only held with steritape and no stitches. The bruising under the bandages looks pretty bad. The worst part of all of this: I think the anthesiologist chipped my front tooth. Yeah, I will really look the part of a Texan now. Yippee. I called the anesthia place and the gal there said to see my dentist and have them set up payment with them and they'll take care of it. Just one more thing.

So, there is my obligatory grody picture to accompany my procedure. I'm up and feeling pretty ok, just like I've been stabbed four times and had my gallbladder ripped out through my bellybutton. Oh wait, that is what happened.

P.S. I knew the picture was gross when my husband cringed while looking at it. I shot that while he was getting my painkillers and picking up the boys from school. I'll take a good one of the wounds after we remove the bandages tomorrow. See what you have to look forward to?


Tick, tick, tick

No, it isn't a timebomb. Ok, maybe it is. What it really is ... the clock ticking till surgery time. I'm starting to get more and more anxious. In less than 12 hours, I'll be having my gallbladder removed in a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. The doc will squeeze the gallbladder out an itty-bitty opening in my belly-button. Sounds fun, no?

So, now I'm good and nervous. I dropped off my baby girl at my folks. That broke my heart. Picked up my son on the way home. Been washing clothes, putting away clothes, making lots of tea (no carbonated drinks for the rest of the week), picking up around the house, emptying the dishwasher, etc. The best part of this night: the Mavs-Warriors game. It is definitely taking my mind off what is coming tomorrow morning.

We had a good weekend. Our baseball team won its game Saturday 6-5. The boys seemed genuinely sad that I wouldn't be pitching any more. The parents, ok, not so much. :) I got lots of "puss in boots" faces from the boys, which was very cute. We also had our baseball pictures taken and I swear Mikey from Orange County Choppers was working with our group. I'll post pictures later this week. I'm anticipating some amusing drug-induced blogging to come. Maybe some pictures, too. I know you guys have missed seeing some mangled bloody bodypart of mine. We're going on almost two years since I had any of those posted. I need to fix that.

And, just a few other observations: my son is even whiter than me despite his love for hip-hop or whatever that music is called. We got some American Idol toys from McDonald's. One is a pretend microphone in which you can hit a button and it "rates" your performance. One rating says: you're the bomb, dawg. My son had the blankest stare on the planet when he read this. I had to explain that it is slang for a really good job. He thought it was weird.

Always on my mind

I had a night of bizarre dreams. It is clear what is "Always on my Mind."

I dreamed about: termites, flooding, the safety of the children, and money.



SPF: Happy second birthday

Stuff Portait Friday history this week. The lovely Kristine at Random and Odd wants to go back to the SPF roots and remember where we came from. Apparently, the very first assignment was the inside of the fridge. So, celebrating its second birthday, Kristine's assignment this week is to "Go open your fridge, stand in front of it and flash me a two finger saluteā€¦take a picture of your fridge with SOMETHING that shows us TWO. Got it? FRIDGE, SELF, TWO. All in one picture. Ok, so my kitchen fridge -the black one shows a picture of me with Little Bit at Chuck E. Cheese, so there is the me component. There is the fridge. The two part is on the left side - there are two team schedules, soccer and baseball. There are also two Alamos there. One in the snapshot of my honey and the kids and the other in the magnet.
The white fridge is the "beer fridge" in the garage. This is the one stuffed full of juiceboxes, beer, sodas and extra jugs of milk. Whenever the holidays roll around, this is awesome because I can pre-make dishes and put them in here until time to cook. As far as me, there is a shot on the far left from pre-Little Bit days, when Hot Rod was a baby. Then, on the right, there is a picture of me in a swimsuit with pre-school Pickle. So, you have my fridge, me and two. :)
So, did you play? Come on, let me know.

A Texas tradition

It was really sad in April 2006, because the drought kept us from having any bluebonnets. This year, we had bluebonnets as far as the eye can see. So, one afternoon, I took the kids out for a photo shoot. My sweet Little Bit is such an angel. She loves to pick flowers for momma and that warms my heart. She picked this little yellow wildflower for me.
But, of course, they are children and to make matters worse - they are MY children. So, no photo shoot is complete without a silly photo displaying just how goofy they really are. I'm particularly fond of Hot Rod's Isaac move from Love Boat.
And, sometimes, my favorite shots are the ones that just happen. There was a flattened down spot where the kids had been sitting and Hot Rod and Little Bit laid down in it, on top of each other. So, I called Pickle over and he plopped down on sister. I just thought it was really cute and spontaneous of them. Usually, Little Bit is sitting in Pickle's lap when they're watching TV. Pretty darn cute stuff, I must say. I have good genes when it comes to looks.
And, the gorgeous bluebonnets. When you're a Texan, there is very little else that can make your heart stir like seeing bluebonnets. I suppose dogwood trees, Indian Paintbrush and yellow roses might do it, too.


I'm not going to miss this

At the coach-pitch games for Hot Rod, I am the pitcher. If one more umpire asks me if I throw like a girl, I may just "accidentally" do a Nuke LaLoosh on him (instead of hitting the Bull, it will be Blue).

Oh yeah ... and we have this:
I believe in the soul, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman's back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.

Why can't anything be easy? or I'm heading for a breakdown

My frustration point has hit an all-time high at this moment and if I can't crawl under a rock soon, I may seriously come unglued. Would you believe I'm still battling insurance for that stupid wreck that occurred exactly a month ago?

So, to sum up my crappy week thus far:
*Allstate still sucks
*Flooding sucks
*Middle school boys tend to suck - I had a bunch of them get hateful with me yesterday after school. What happened to being afraid of adults when they admonished you for poor behavior?
*Volunteering for just about anything sucks to me right now - no one seems to value what you do and they criticize you when you don't do it how they want you to (this is from fellow volunteers to parents)
*Trying to pay medical bills sucks
*Being overextended with everything I do ... that sucks.

*putting away soapbox to crawl into the fetal position in the corner*


Happy Feet

During Spring Break, I managed to persuade the spousal unit to take a day off from work to accompany Hot Rod and I for a tour of the Fox 4 studios and a meeting with meteorologist Maria Sotolongo. Since I have the weather buff son, it seemed like the perfect excursion. Then, I realized we were right across the street from the Dallas World Aquarium and having a son who loves penguins as much as I do, it was the best way to follow up the TV station visit.
So, we ambled on over and checked out all kinds of critters before we were able to go see the penguins and watch their feeding.
They are the cutest little things I've ever seen (even if they are a bit smelly - I suppose they're like men and children in that respect!). They were gorgeous even though they're molting right now. These are black-footed penguins.
These are little blue penguins, AKA fairy penguins. They are the cutest damn things I think I've ever seen. They only weigh about two pounds and are about 16 inches tall. I thought Hot Rod's face would split open from all the smiling he did that day. The news station pictures will get posted eventually. I highly recommend the Dallas World Aquarium. It is pricey, but we had a great time. It is an entire day's worth of adventures.

When it rains, it pours

Post-rain analysis: we got pretty lucky.

You can see the water mark on our patio. I think it is about 3/4 to 1 inch from the top there, so I think our bailing efforts were not in vain. It really felt like it was like bailing water off a sinking boat while we were doing it. We'd see some progress as the rain would lighten, then another downpour would cause it to fill up around us again. The water was above my ankles the entire time we were using the big push broom to get the water out of the backyard. My shoulders and my back hurt in places I didn't know I had muscles, but it is a very relieving pain in the sense that I feel like our efforts weren't misplaced and we saved our property from getting damaged.
We did suffer some damage to the house, but it looks like (best I can tell from a quick once over) that it was all along this one wall on the back of the house, so it should be simple enough to repair. There are four places like this along this one plank of siding - and all of it along the bottom where the water was.

This road, about a half-mile or so from the house, was still blocked off this morning.
The Fox 4 folks were still in town today. I saw them at the local CVS on my way home from dropping off kids. I stopped to snap a photo and talked to two other ladies about the rains. None of us can believe what we saw. One woman lives in Lantana and they didn't get anything like this there.

Little tidbits:
*Hot Rod was so worried, he grabbed towels out of the bathroom and put them by each of the doors.
*I saw lightning strike a chimney on the next street over.
*Our county emergency management officer said on the news this morning that our town got 10 inches of rain yesterday - the worst rains here in more than 20 years.
*Swift water rescues were taking place about two miles from our house.
*I was singing Billy Joel songs last night while sweeping and would chuckle at the line "I've got blisters on my blisters!" I've been using lots of lotion this morning, for sure.
*Some friends did not fare as well as we did. They lost a tree in the front yard, their roof leaked over their bed and ruined the sheet rock/plaster; the water came in their back door (from the bedroom) and seeped about four feet into their carpet. Then, another part of the house got water damage, too. Worst part, this couple is going through shitty times already with the husband diagnosed in January with a rare debilitative condition and he is on short-term disability; the wife homeschools the four youngest of their five children. So, they're already suffering hard times.
*There are more thoughts, but right now, for the life of me, I can't remember them. I'm just grateful we fared as well as we did.


Who'll stop the rain?

Long as I remember
the rain been comin down.
Clouds of mystery pourin confusion on the ground.
Good men through the ages,
tryin to find the sun; And I wonder,
still I wonder, who'll stop the rain?
-- Credence Clearwater Revival
This was the view outside my backdoor.
This is the kids' picnic table. We have some drains in there that we kept digging out. From 2 to 2:50, I was sweeping water out of the back yard. Then, I picked up the kids - including getting Pickle early - and he and I swept the water out of the backyard for a couple of hours solid. It rained and rained and rained all day. Pickle went inside and got warm once Army of Dad was home. Then, AoD took over and we swept out water, dug out drains and emptied the wheelbarrow full of water over and over before I started getting hypothermic and came in. I was hallucinating. It was really pretty scary.

Debris washed down the tiers in our backyard. See the sandbox on the left there? Well, by the end of the storm tonight, it was over to the right by five feet. I thought my husband moved it. He thought I moved it ... it has about 40 pounds of sand in it. Neither one of us moved it. THAT gives you an idea of how powerful the water, just in our backyard, was.

Between our house and the next door neighbor's house was this river of water. This is where the water from the backyard was washing down the hill. We were sweeping the water out the back gate and down this hill. That is my neighbor's driveway in the background. This rain was something to see. Scary, scary stuff. I think just about every muscle in my body is sore after the constant sweeping of water out of the backyard, but all I could think was that we don't have flood insurance. From the news accounts, this is the worst rain in my town in 20-someodd years. Drought, schmout. This ought to bring up the lake levels for us. As for me, I'm exhausted and want to go to sleep. Flooded intersections like the one in the link were on the news. We drive this way several times a week. We watched the high-water rescue on Fox 4 tonight and I cried watching the rescuers grabbing a baby and several little children. One woman said she was sitting at the stoplight when the water just came up around them. There is a little dry creek there. Apparently, tonight, it wasn't too dry. This was all very scary. There is a road that leads out of our neighborhood. If you turned right, you were driving through high water. If you turned left and kept going straight, the road was blocked off with cones (of course, we saw douchebags driving around the roadblock). This was rain like we've never seen in the just about eight years we've lived here. I have aches where I didn't know I had muscles from the hours sweeping the rain out of our tiered back yard. But, thank the Good Lord, we didn't get flooded. Just listening to the news: there are reports of 10 inches of rain from a community just a few miles from us and eight inches from about 15 miles down the road. I believe it.

Where is Blind Melon when you need them?

All I can say is that my life is pretty plain
I like watchin' the puddles gather rain
-- No Rain by Blind Melon

We're going on about six inches of rain so far and it is still raining.

I spent an hour sweeping the water out of my backyard before picking the boys up from school. Then, Pickle spent about two-plus hours with me after that sweeping out more water. Army of Dad relieved him when he got home. I finally had to come in after another hour or so because I was starting to hallucinate from getting hypothermic.

We're still watching the weather.


Put me in, coach!

Oh, put me in, Coach -
I'm ready to play today;
Put me in, Coach -
I'm ready to play today;
Look at me,
I can be Centerfield.
--- John Fogerty, Centerfield

At our game Saturday, I laughed out loud on two occasions. At one point, probably the largest (weight-wise) 8-year-old I've ever seen was on the other team. This child was jolly, if you get my drift. He was a riot, too. I pitch to our boys on the coach-pitch team, so I'm in the field with the opponent's defense. At one point, I had retrieved a ball that went short and turned to return to the pitcher's mound and saw the other team's centerfielder lying in grass with his glove off and one shoe off. I had to stop laughing and turn to the other dugout to yell at the coach that his centerfielder was Shoeless Joe and gloveless Joe, too. The umpire looks at me (dead serious) and says, don't worry about it, he's been like that the whole game. Keep playing.

Then, later, the little guy playing catcher had an enormous shirt on and the ball I pitched actually went into the back of his jersey, entering his shirt through the arm hole under his armpit. This time, I almost couldn't stop laughing. It was just so funny to watch his coach walk over and reach his hand down the kid's shirt to retrieve the ball.

Occasionally, I find joy in coaching. Now, my soccer team of 4- to 6-year-olds may be another story.

3 is a magic number

Three is a Magic Number is one of my favorite songs.

What made me think about that is that the 8 on my favorite cordless phone doesn't work any more. Ok, it does work, but I have to use my fingernail and press really, really hard. It gives me carpal tunnel on those days when I'm calling a story source that has about four 8s in the phone number. Argh.

Is smooshed a real word or is it a Minnesotan thing? I picked it up from Army of Dad and caught myself saying it to the source with four 8s in the phone number.

Sometimes people are really funny. I got off the phone with a big land-man and he referred me to his assistant to call for the art. So, I called her and told her that El Grande Queso gave me her number and before I could finish, she said: Well, that's good. He usually just writes it on the bathroom wall at the bus station. I laughed so hard, I was crying. Then, she says: I would hate for him to hit three buttons and forward that email to you with the artist's renderings. Again, I'm laughing so hard, I'm crying. See, I don't always hate people. Just sometimes.

God is getting me back for my wicked ways. I'm going to coach a co-ed soccer team of 4- 5- and 6-year-olds in a Baptist church league. We have to do a devotional at midway through practices and games. Then, I have a little boy who is legally blind on the team as well as a little boy who has some physical issues. Good thing I'm doing the coaching and not Army of Dad. The league also told me I can't yell - at all. *taking deep breaths* This should be funny, to say the least. I guess I shouldn't wear my "Pure Evil" shirt or my "I club Hippies" shirt or even the "Blondes: the other white meat" shirt, huh? For some reason, I sense some really good blog-fodder coming up.


Do ya think I'm sexy?

Tonight, Pickle is with Uzz and Stinkerbelle is with her Granny and Papa. Army of Dad is reffing soccer games and Hot Rod is sleeping soundly in bed. Now is my chance to do some housecleaning without anyone under my feet. I turn on my 70s music on the Verizon FIOS cable. (I won't tell you how much I like it, even though I watched a soccer match while eating dinner, which was cool).

But, I digress.

While winding down from cleaning, on comes Rod Stewart singing Do Ya Think I'm Sexy? And, immediately, another memory from elementary school pops into my head. My elementary school crush, Glenn Kirk, immediately came to the forefront of my mind.

I'll never forget it. We were in the third grade and he and I were walking down the hallway and he was singing that Rod Stewart song really loudly when a young teacher stepped out into the hallway and replied "What are you going to do if I tell you I think you're sexy?" His face turned about 18 shades of red and he couldn't even speak. She just smiled and winked at me. I think I laughed out loud. *shrug* At the tender age of 9, I was already tormenting boys and laughing at them.


SPF: Knobs

The lovely and funny Kristine at Random and Odd gave us a strange little assignment this week to show her our knobs. Now, she was talking about boobs, which could fit the definition of something that can also be any small, round thing that sticks out. I chose to go with the definition of a "foolish person." For instance, when Army of Dad and I see someone doing something stupid, we will call that person a knob.
So, for my interpretation, we have the knobs from the Busch race this past weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. I don't care if people smoke, as long as they're respectful of the people around them. These knobs - you see him in the black hooded jacket behind Hot Rod - though, would blow their smoke into the wind directly into the faces of my boys. You can see Hot Rod with his Kasey Kahne hat covering his nose. The boys were pretty disgusted. I was grossed out, but not near as badly as by the cigar this knob was smoking in close proximity to some other little boy. I was about three rows up and it was making me sick. I can't imagine what it was like for the kid next to him. And, I couldn't get a good shot of the King Knob next to us who brought a toddler, maybe 2, and didn't have hearing protection for him. Some woman behind us couldn't stand it and gave the baby her hearing protection.
I also had to add a little something about droopy drawers. Dude, if the curve of your ass is just below your belt - not a good look. I always think that you're doing that with your pants so you have room to take a dump or something. I want to see the ass in there. Not just a bunch of lumpy space. Not a good look. In addition to your chain smoking and passing out during the race, you're a knob for wearing your pants like this. Go check out the guys in the last picture on this post to see how guys should wear their pants. My honey and his friend have mighty fine asses in their pants.
Oh yeah, and the dude on the right hand side of the picture with the long braided ponytail, you're a knob, too. That went out of style like 30 years ago, if it was ever close to in style.
So, with all that said, did you play? Did you learn a new definition for knob today? I hope so.

I've said it before

And, I'll probably say it again and again. Coaching youth sports is something we really enjoy. Our kids love having us as their coaches and we feel like we are very organized (which is helpful in a coach). We have a love for sports and teaching children teamwork and responsibility, in addition to teaching the rules of the game and the basics.

But, it is always the parents that seem to make it bad. Don't get me wrong. Sometimes, it is frustrating to see the blank looks on the faces of the kids while they're "playing" (and I use the term loosely.) Tonight we had one of those games. It has been more than a week since they played because of rain. But, we scheduled a practice Wednesday night and of the 11 kids on the team only three showed up and one of those kids is ours! Little wonder the team stunk it up tonight. It seems that Dad Gone Mad can sympathize with that one. One little boy on the team could be decent if he ever came to practice, but his mom and dad seem to think he is the studliest of all baseball players and should be in the major leagues next week. His dad is always coaching from the sidelines on the rare occasion when he shows up. This kid was really off tonight and the other kids just all looked blank to me. It was very frustrating.

Then, you get the over-the-top-dad like Kelly has on the team her husband coaches. I think I've blogged about the dad who told me he is a better pitcher than me, yet when I offered him the job of pitcher (currently my job) he hemmed and hawed that he can't be at all the games, to which I'm thinking at that point that he should just shut the hell up, then. But, I digress. We had to recruit the buttnugget to be our scorekeeper tonight because the mom that usually does it was ill. So, Mr. Better-than-me thought he'd be real smart and make sure to ask me how to score an error for a throwing error Hot Rod made. He didn't ask me about any other error or play for the entire game (and trust me, there were plenty), but he has to walk over and ask me whose error it was when Hot Rod overthrew first. What a dick. He knew how to score that. He just thought he'd be a giant dickweed. I started to go over and make sure he knew to mark an E-6 for each of the grounders his soon booted or didn't even get his glove down on or simply watched roll by. I've heard this guy's other son yell stuff at the batters about my pitching while I'm pitching and I'm sure the kid has heard his dad say all of them already. Tonight, the umpire *who didn't even know the rules of the game* made a really bad call because he didn't know the rules, so we questioned him on it and got out the rulebook to show him how the call was wrong. Well, Mr. Better-than-me was in stands complaining about how we shouldn't dispute the call and argue with the umpire. For one thing, we were right. For another, we never raised our voices, we didn't stomp or kick dirt or anything of the sort. We simply asked the umpire why he made that call when it clearly wasn't within the rules (play stops and the umpire calls time when an infielder has control of the ball and stops trying to make a play - if the runners are not halfway to the next base, they have to go back - however, it has to be infielder to do this. On this call, it was the leftfielder and that isn't the way the rules work). But, anyway Mr. Know It All has to bitch to the parents anyway.

There is more that I could bitch about, but it is really silly of me and I feel guilty for feeling this way. I don't expect a major award (ie a leg lamp, lol) for coaching, but it does get old to hear bitching and complaining and criticism from people who aren't willing to step up and do it themselves. We didn't ask to be coaches this season. The baseball association people asked us to coach and we would rather know what kinds of coaches Hot Rod is getting rather than see him get some folks who could care less. For our time and effort, we get to be criticized and villified. Yippee. Oddly enough, there are other things I could do with this time that don't involve teaching a kid that he needs a glove if he is going to play catcher or where the second-baseman is supposed to go.

Biting my tongue

Occasionally, there are moments when I'm doing stories that I have to completely bite my tongue to keep from laughing. I had one of those moments last night.

AoM: Hi, Randy. Thanks for taking the time to talk with me about the retail market there. Let me make sure I have your name spelled right. It is N-A-M-E, correct?
Source: Yes, that is right.
AoM: And, could you spell your last name for me?
Source: B-E-I-S-W-E-N-G-E-R.
AoM: How do you pronounce that?
Source: Bi-swinger.
AoM: *fighting back the laughter*

Poor guy. That just made me laugh. I'm waiting to interview Sally Hoochiemama.

Greatest dream ever

Last night, I had the best dream I've had in a LOOOOOONG time. I dreamed I had two men fighting over me - Wash from Firefly and Aragorn from LOTR. Best part, is I was the winner in all of this because I had to give both of them time with me to make sure I was making the right choice in who I was going to pick to be my love interest. :)

Looking back

Listening to the 70s music again to try and drown out the baying Bumpus beagle (drowning dog ... sorry, I was daydreaming) and Rockin' Robin by Michael Jackson came on and it made me smile. When I was a kid, I played on a competitive fast-pitch softball tournament team. All the girls would pile in the van of the head coach and listen to old music. It ranged from 50s, 60s and early 70s music, but our favorite was Rockin' Robin.

I miss those days. We'd spend all weekend playing softball. In between games, we'd go jump in someone's swimming pool to cool off. Those were the days.

Thinking about those good memories made me think of other things I miss:
*Drinking Dr Pepper from a new-fangledy two-liter (what the heck was two liters anyway?)
*Sharing a large pizza with a friend
*Burping the alphabet on the phone when boys would call us after drinking a two-liter of Dr Pepper
*Hanging out by the pool all day on a Saturday and playing Barbies while listening to Men Without Hats singing Safety Dance
*Being able to drink a two-liter of soda and eat half a large pizza without pain and still remaining teeny tiny thin
*Hanging out at my Granny's with my cousin and playing in the playhouse down by the train tracks.
*The Indian Paintbrushes that would cover Granny's pasture every spring.
*My Granny singing her own offensive version of the Monkey Wrapped His Tail Around the Flagpole or the Daniel Boone song
*Remember Spuds MacKenzie?
*Fonzie and Happy Days, Three's Company, The Hulk, Fantasy Island, Love Boat, Charlie's Angels, Hart to Hart, Dukes of Hazzard, Vegas (remember Dan Tanna?), CHiPs
*Leif Garrett, Shaun Cassidy and Rick Springfield
*the old Van Halen
*Hall and Oates
*my very cool and state-of-the art vertical turntable to listen to records
*playing Atari on my little black and white TV and talking on the phone to Kenny (the cutest boy in school)
*getting picked for sides for sports before half the boys on the playground at recess (this always pissed off new boys who didn't know I could kick their asses at baseball and basketball)
*Schoolhouse Rock and Saturday morning cartoons
*my Big Wheel
*blue and yellow roller skates that looked like sneakers
*the SuperBowl era Cowboys of the 70s and Tom Landry
*Going places with just my dad and me.

There are a lot of things I don't miss, like my trips to M.D. Anderson for my cancer treatments. I don't miss my parents yelling and screaming all the time and my mom's manic-depressive/bi-polar behavior. But, overall, I had a good childhood. Those were the days.

Looking on the bright side

The one good thing about not feeling well is that I don't want to eat much and I'm losing weight.


Rangers opening day, the final chapter

Look, even the eagle can barely stand to watch the Rangers this season. As I was sitting in the stands, I saw the eagle and his handler just hanging out along the concourse. It caused quite a stir when everyone else noticed, too.

Then, it was great to see "AO from Tokyo" in action. He did a pretty good job.

And, my handsome fella with his friends after the game. I laughed at the tur-duck-en sign on the crawfish trailer.

Rangers opening day, part three or Q: It was so cold on opening day A: how cold was it?

It was so cold on opening day that Army of Dad traded in a beer for a hot Starbucks coffee. It was so cold that this lady was wearing a hat and scarf and the rest of us were jealous instead of making fun of her.

It was so cold that many of us contemplated jumping this gal for her coat or the other lady for her earmuffs. I actually had my headband and my gloves and people were very jealous. It was THAT cold!

Whatcha gonna do with all that junk?

Something I've never been short of - ass.

As a high-schooler, I thought I had a terrible butt because it was a "bubble" butt. The black guys in school (all three of them) used to tell me I had a "black girl's butt." Of course, those guys loved it. I thought I was a cow because all my friends were skinny and had no ass. Later in life, once my ass was a little more rounded (and not in a positive way), I realized I had a nice ass.

The grass is always greener and the ass just keeps getting bigger. Just a thought.

Just a Tuesday

The Virginia Tech shootings are bizarre and I'm interested to find out more as the facts come out. I did wonder if things would have been different had a student been armed with a CHL of some sort and could have taken out this dude before he wiped out so many young lives. Seems that Kim DuToit was thinking the same thing. He found a very interesting quote from a Viriginia Tech spokesman in regard to that. Chris over at Mazurland made wonderful points about similar shooting sprees stopped by a CHL holder and used the same Va. Tech comment. I fear that comment may come back to haunt someone.

I went to bed thinking about the kids and obligations. I had a dream that we turned into WaterWorld (we're supposed to have rain tonight, which will likely rain out a soccer game) and then Pickle told me that he didn't want me for a mother any more. I have a technique that when the kids won't come with me when it is time to go, I usually tell them that I hope they can find another good mom since I'm leaving. In my dream, I tried that on him and he just told me I'm a crummy mom and that he was glad I was leaving. It was pretty bad.

Hat tip to Mazurland for this. Go check out the Black-eyed Peas singing My Humps and then check out the Alannis Morrisette version. Very good stuff there.

My husband is trying to cash in his manufacturer warranty on Wife No. 1. Seems he feels that when he purchased the product, no one disclosed that the product was defective. I'm having my gallbladder removed on April 30. The doctor didn't think it was wise to wait any longer since the symptoms are already pretty fierce. Turns out that the chest and shoulder pain is part of the gallbladder thing and likely not anxiety attacks as I feared. So, I guess that is good.

Chekov and Naked GI Joe

A few weeks back, Pickle and I went to a dorkfest. We always have lots of fun and these events. I always feel like the coolest person in the planet and it allows me and the boy to geek out together. At the Sci-Fi, Comic Con, there was also a GI Joe convention. Pickle did not want to go in there, but once I got him in there, he had a ball. Someone had a remote control tank that he could drive and make shooting noises. He was digging that.

Then, my son me "Lord Slappy." This teenager was too funny. He liked to draw and create his own characters, too, and he and my son really geeked out together as they talked to each other and showed their drawings to one another. This kid created a character he called "Lord Slappy" and it was really funny. One of his characters used cheese as a weapon. I had to laugh. The poor guy couldn't decide if he could stop staring at my boobs long enough to show Pickle the drawings he created.

Then, I had the extreme pleasure of getting to meet and get the autograph of Chekov from the original Star Trek. He was one of my faves from the old series. I loved Walter Koenig and thought he was really cute. He was a very nice man.


Beautiful girls

My pretty little girl loves birthday parties, however, she is very upset that her own birthday is six months away. Recently, she enjoyed the party of her best friend, who, I have to say is rich. This was a party at her house and she has playground equipment that rivals any city park.
She really enjoyed the super nice playground equipment and all the great toys.
The pretty birthday girl.

The brilliant toddler. This cracked me up. I had taken the chalk and wrote the big note and then the baby came up and wanted the chalk, so I gave it to him. Then, it looked like he was writing it out and I cracked up.

This looks like a site I might have to get used to in about 12 years. My daughter loves these motorized cars, but she drives like her mom (running into things going forward and back!)

Rangers opening day, part two

This was our view of the field from the seats we had for opening day. Very nice, I must say. I think they're $32 seats. We won't be sitting in these seats too often, that is for sure. Tim Wakefield was pitching for the Red Sox.

I happened to get Tex doing a cup check or readjustment. I guess I could offer to help him with that task. *wink*
Then, I got Sosa in his warm-up swing.

Styx, howling dogs and Granny

In an effort to drown out the howls of the Bumpus beagle and refrain from throwing rocks at the critter, I turned up the 70s digital music channel on my Verizon FIOS cable (did I mention I love it? Oh yeah, I did) and they are playing Come Sail Away by Styx and this reminded me of one of my fondest, funniest childhood memories.

My Granny was raising two of my cousins after my aunt died and I would spend a lot of time at my Granny's playing with my cousin, who is three years older than me. In the summer, we would crank up the radio in the house, so we could listen to it while playing in the backyard. Come Sail Away was on one day and, if you know the lyrics, there is one point where the chorus of Come Sail Away is repeated over and over and over again.

Radio: A gathering of angels appeared above my head, They sang to me this song of hope, and this is what they said, They said come sail away, come sail away, Come sail away with me, Come sail away, come sail away, Come sail away with me ...
Granny: Oh for God's sakes, go sail away with him, so he'll shut up!!!
Cuz and me: *giggling hysterically*

Hey Cuz, do you remember this as vividly as I do?

The hound from hell

I should have known that the redneck neighbors didn't rebuild the fence their children demolished out of altruism. No, I should have suspected something was up. Last night, I learned what foul new torment they had in store for me: a beagle.

Oh dear God.

I had a beagle once. For about two days. The damn thing howled when the wind blew. He howled when I walked by. He howled if his balls itched. It didn't matter what was going on. The damn thing howled. I figured out why the folks at the animal shelter told me we had a trial period of three days and if we weren't happy with our choice, we could bring it/him/her back and exchange it/him/her for a different critter. I thought that was a great way to do it. It bought the little hellhound more time and allowed me not to be tied down to a dog that made me absolutely batshit insane.

So, now, I get to re-live that torment with the Bumpus hound next door. Swear to God I'm going to remove its little vocal chords before the day is over. He howled for a couple of hours last night and I was able to tolerate that. Then, he started back up this morning about 6:15 a.m. or so. I don't have to be up till 7 a.m. Now, the little demonspawn is back at it.

Don't get me wrong. I am an animal lover, but this pisses me off because I can't do anything about it because the Bumpuses have done it to me. I don't blame the hellhound. I blame the Bumpuses. On a bright note, they did mow their lawn and chop down some of the five-foot weeds in one of their "gardens." Now, where is that shock collar?

We all win with Matt's Monday

This isn't my picture, but we saw the great Busch race Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway. Matt Kenseth won and in case you didn't know, he drives that Arby's car. If you take a clipping or a print-out of an online story about Matt's victory to Arby's on Monday, you'll get free fries. This is only good on the Monday following a Kenseth victory, but I'm off to get my curly fries with the Sunday sports section in hand. That back of his car says "I race for free fries." I love it. He made a great finish.