Friday, April 30, 2010

Is it too much to ask?

This isn't a full-fledged rant or anything - it's really more of a pondering. I had to buy new underwear the other day, because well...I needed them really bad. So here's my question: when selling six packs of undies, is it too much to ask for underwear companies to put in more than two remotely decent colors in a package?

In the six pack I bought there were the following colors:

Pepto Bismol Pink
Mint green
Dull, almost dirty looking peach
Geometric pattern including all of the above mentioned colors

I genuinely like the beige and I'm fine with the white but the others offend my delicate sensibilities. I don't do pastels. They make me uncomfortable - even if nobody sees it but me. I'm guessing that other people feel that way too since I can never find an packages of just white or just beige undies. Clearly, the other women whose delicate sensibilities are offended got there first.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Riding in Cars with Boys - Part Three

Somehow, I've managed to pick up yet another straggler on the afternoon school run. His name is Andrew...but he goes by Kevin. Why? Because Killian and Justin decided that he looked just like their friend Kevin from elementary school (who went to a different high school) and they started calling him Replacement Kevin, which over the course of the last year and a half has been shortened to Kevin. They've also convinced people that Kevin's known for years, that his name really is Kevin and he just went by Andrew during elementary and junior high school. Kevin's hilarious, wickedly smart, irreverent and fits in perfectly with the rest of them. So now I have four, gangly teenage boys crammed into my little Saturn.

This is the conversation that took place last week.

Justin: Oh man, how come Mitchell has to sit in the middle?
Killian: Because I got to the front seat first.
Kevin: This isn't gonna end well. Just sayin'.
Justin: Mitchell get your leg off me. Boundaries! Personal space!!
Kevin: Not cool, dude! So not cool!

I glance into the backseat to see Mitchell sitting with his legs spread and draped over both Justin and Kevin's laps with a big, dopey grin on his face.

Me: Comfy, Mitchell?
Mitchell: Yepper.

The boys all wave at the parking lot attendants who are completely void of anything resembling a sense of humor and off we go to bring Kevin home.

Justin: For fuck's sake, Mitchell! What the hell are you doing?
Me: Problem?
Justin: Mrs. Killian's Mommy, tell Mitchell to quit touching my nipple!
Me: Fwuh?
Kevin: Mrs. Killian's Mommy, I'm uncomfortable with this.
Me: Mitchell...
Justin: I feel violated, Mrs. Killian's Mommy.
Kevin: I feel violated by association, Mrs. Killian's Mommy.
Killian: I feel glad I'm in the front seat.
Me: Mitchell, I can't believe I have to say this, but quit touching Justin's nipple.
Justin: Mitchell, I'm going to break your damn fingers.
Mitchell: These things wouldn't happen if I got to sit in the front.

After we dropped Kevin off, Mitchell retreated to the other side of the back seat. After a while, he leaned forward and started groping Killian.

Killian: Knock it off, Mitchell!
Me: Mitchell, are you touching my son inappropriately?
Mitchell: Yepper. Pretty much.
Killian: Well, quit it!
Mitchell: Next time, let me sit in the front.

I'm guessing Mitchell gets his way today.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Rage Update and Other Stuff

Imagine my surprise when my phone rang and I checked the Caller ID to find it was my insurance company. Maybe they reviewed the phone calls and thought my rants about chemically induced hard-ons being more important than my children's ability to breathe was cancellation worthy. With no small amount of dread, I answered, mentally planning how to tell my husband that we no longer had health benefits because I'm utterly incapable of keeping my mouth shut.

I am shocked (and pleased) to announce that our health care coverage was not canceled. The very nice woman I spoke with told me that I was given "misinformation" by the call center employee because of an outdated website. So the upshot is that is my kids (and my) inhalers covered and they're giving them to us at the generic price rather than the brand price. Then she told me that she listened to my phone calls and wanted to let me know that she thinks I'm hilarious. I'm glad to know that my unmitigated rage is good for something.

In other news, I got a phone call from my stepmom the other day. It went like this.

Stepmom: Hi honey, I need to talk to you about something really important.

Me: horrified silence (The last three times she started conversations like this were to tell me that she had breast cancer and my dad had had a heart attack and my grandmother had died.)

Stepmom: It's okay. Nobody's sick or dying.

Me: You might have wanted to start the conversation that way.

Stepmom: I should start conversations with 'Nobody's sick or dying'?"

Me: Yep. That way, I'll know everything is cool. Besides, it beats 'I need to talk to you about something really important.' That never ends well.

Stepmom: Okay, I'll keep that in mind for next time. (I'm positive she was totally rolling her eyes)

Me: So what's up?

Stepmom: Well, your dad and I had living trusts drawn up.

Me: See! I knew this was going somewhere bad.

Stepmom: No it's not. This is important, now hush up, and let me tell you.

Me: sigh Okay. Bring it.

Stepmom: Like I said, we had living trusts drawn up and we named you to be our medical advocate.

Me: Meaning?

Stepmom: Meaning that if we're in a vegetative state and there's no hope that you'll make sure everyone respects our wishes for no heroic know...that kind of stuff.

Me: deep shaky breath O-okay.

Stepmom: I'm sending you a form. You'll need to sign it and get it notarized.

Me: O-okay.

Stepmom: Now, we're naming Roger (my stepbrother) executor of the state, because, honestly honey, you're really bad at math.

Me: That's cool.

Stepmom: It should be coming in the mail in a few days.

Me: I'll keep an eye out for it.

Stepmom: Okay, good. And thank you. I know you'll do what's best.

Me: I'll try...

Dad (hollering in the background) If you hook me up to life support or give me a feeding tube, I swear I'll haunt yer ass when I finally go.

Yep. That's the one I've got. Thanks for keeping it real, dad.

EDIT: I walked out onto my front porch to get my mail today, and I noticed a bright, screaming pink envelope. I knew the minute I saw it that it had to be from my stepmom. I was right. I called my dad to tell him that I got the papers.

Me: So I noticed the bright pink envelope. I'm guessing mom was worried that I'd misplace it.

Dad: Yeah. She thought that color was a good idea for know, because you lose shit.

Me: Right.

Dad: So are you going to be able to do it?

Me: Lose it? No, I'll take care of it.

Dad: No - pull the plug.

Me: Yeah. I can do it. I mean, I'm not going to dance around and sing Tra-la-la, but I can do it. I wouldn't want anyone to leave me in that condition, so I wouldn't do it to someone else - not if they didn't want it.

Dad: Okay. Good. Now don't go pulling the plug just for fun.

Me: I think we established that with the fact that I'm not going to dance around and sing Tra-la-la.

Dad: Just checking.

Dad, dad, make me laugh.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

How is any of this even remotely okay?

I have the rage. (Yes, again.)

Every year, my husband's workplace signs us up for a new insurance company. We call it insurance company roulette. I spent several hours on the phone yesterday signing up for the new mail order pharmacy and trying to figure out what the cot of meds would be per quarter. (84o.00, if you're wondering. Yes, that's with insurance. Bastards.) Believe it or not, that's not the cause of this rant.

Here's why I'm pissed. In spending quality time with said insurance company, I discovered that my kids' rescue inhalers are not on the list of "approved medications." Thinking that surely there must be some sort of miscommunication, I must have asked the question five different ways. Same answer every time. I pointed out that I had a prescription from my doctor. Didn't that mean that it had to be provided? Apparently not.

So I started asking questions. How about birth control - is that on the list of approved meds? Nope. It's not. But wait! There's more! Wanna know what is on the approved list? Viagra. Yeah. My insurance company feels that hard-ons are more important than breathing.

In other utter rage inducing news, there's this. And also this. Here's the upshot. If you're in a gay relationship in this country, prepare to have your will, your power of attorney privileges and your medical directives ignored. Prepare to be separated from your partner when one of you is gravely ill and/or dying. Prepare to be relegated to the status of roommate or acquaintance by the medical and legal communities and denied all access to your partner.

Land of the free? Not so much.

(There's a link to an important petition at the end of the first article. I urge you to sign it.)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Maassketeers?

My dear friend, Margaret Yang, is a huge fan of the Donald Maass book, Writing the Breakout Novel. If this video doesn't prove it, I can't imagine what would. :D Go Margaret, go!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Not Everyone Loves a Clown

So yesterday, I had lit circle. I've been having some trouble connecting with them. Part of it is very few of them are actually friends so they don't feel as comfortable sharing as the kids in my last group. Also, they all like different genres so trying to engage them all in a single story has been exhausting. But...I finally did it! Inventing Elliot by Graham Gardener was the answer! They're all over this book.

When we met yesterday, we talked about Phoebe Price, the girl who hanged herself because of being tormented by bullies, and bullying in general. We discussed the case and how the worst of her bullies are facing charges and what could have been done to make a difference in Phoebe's life. I told them about the articles I read and how the single most effective action to curtail bullying wasn't parents or teachers, it was the response of peers. Bridget, one of the girls said, "But we don't have any power."

I told her that they had the most power in situations like this. No one wants to be disapproved of by their peers and that by condemning the action of a bully (not the person) they actually help to end the bullying behavior because then the bully experiences the disapproval.
These kids are lucky. Their school really does have a zero tolerance policy regarding bullies, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen. Bridget, who's relatively new to the school says it's way better than her old school, but she still sees it occasionally.

So for the next two weeks, all seven kids are conducting an experiment. If they see someone being bullied, they're going to stand up for the kid in question. The cool thing is, they all seem genuinely excited about trying the experiment. They're going to take notes and we'll be discussing it during our next lit circle session. I talked to the teachers and they're excited too. Will it stop all bullying in the school? I doubt it. Will it show these kids that they do have power to help change things? I sure as hell hope so.

After lit circle, I was feeling pretty good, and I walked back into the office to sign out. Oh what a mistake! After I checked out, I turned around and squealed. Loudly. Because there behind me, talking in a totally normal voice to one of the secretaries was a fucking clown! Green hair, hat with a flower, full-on clown makeup and ginormo red shoes. Apparently his kid had forgotten his lunch at home.

Of course both the secretaries frowned at me and the principal, vice principal and the guidance counselor all stuck their heads out of their doors to see WTF. The clown glowered me. Angry man face underneath eerily happy clown face is beyond creepy. Seriously, the stuff that nightmares are made of. Needless to say, my happy lit circle high dissipated rather quickly.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Who's Gay?

So I'm at the grocery store this morning checking out at one of those little U-scan things. In passing, I noticed that someone had left a copy of one of those tabloid newspapers next to the scanner. The title of the headlining article was something like Who's Gay. Who's Not. I rolled my eyes and finished scanning and bagging my groceries. All of a sudden I hear this big, booming voice behind me say, "Who's gay?"

I whip around and there's this dude that looks like the angry dad from that one motorcycle building show - complete with the giant, gray mustache.

Mustache Guy: (stabs his finger at the title of the article and repeats) "Who's gay?"

Me: (with a smile) "Who cares?"

Mustache Guy: "But look, there's Meredith Baxter Birney, Martha Stewart, Ricky Martin - they're all gay."

Me: (still smiling) "So's my sister. Like I said, who cares?"

Mustache Guy: (turning an unholy shade of maroon) "Oh! Oh! Oh!"

Me: "Sexual orientation doesn't matter."

(Watching him scramble for his mental footing was probably more entertaining than it should have been.)

Mustache Guy: (awkwardly sputtering) "Well, I bet your parents love her just the same, don't they?"

Me: "Why, yes they do." (pushing my cart away from the U-scan.)

Mustache Guy: "Well that's good. I mean they should." (calling after me as I cross the aisle to the Starbucks kiosk for that coffee I now need more than ever) Good for them. No really - good for them. "

Memo to Mustache Guy: Think before speaking. Please.

On a related note - the word needs more kids like this one. I love Colin!

Monday, April 12, 2010


For fuck's sake.

So this morning, after a week off for Spring Break, I'm trying to get ready to drive the kids to school. Everything is fine until I get out of the shower, and I attempt to put the leave-in conditioner in my hair.

Some tiny part of my brain registered that the bottle seemed to be spraying a larger amount than usual and that it smelled funny, but apparently that wasn't enough for me to get a clue. Like normal, I bent at the waist and worked the stuff through my hair only to notice an odd bottle sitting on the counter as I stood. Yes indeed, ladies and gentlemen, I worked a whole handful of Spray and Wash Stain Remover into my hair. Yeah, you read that right. Spray and wash. Stain remover in my hair.

At least it's not as bad as the time when I accidentally shaved part of my head when Corwin was a newborn. I thought I'd picked up the pick to work the conditioner through my hair, only it was the razor and I took off a good chunk of hair off the top of my head. I didn't eve n realize it until I ended up with a handful of hair. There was a lot of barrette wearing for a while after that little incident.

So here's hoping the Spray and Wash doesn't ruin my hair. I clearly wasn't meant to function coherently at the asscrack of dawn.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

New and Exciting

Well, I've contemplated it for years, but yesterday, I took the plunge. I dyed my hair. Granted, I didn't have a ton of gray - but more than this chick was comfortable with. So I went to the local beauty supply store and got help from a lovely young woman who explained everything I'd need to do while stopping two shoplifters and never losing her place in the conversation. I was impressed.

Normally, whenever I do something to my hair, I end up hating it and bitching about it until it grows out again. So Matt was expecting the worst when I disappeared into the bathroom with hair dye and re-emerged with a plastic grocery bag on my head. Willow, the naughtiest kitten in the world, hissed at my head repeatedly while I was waiting for the dye to process. It was ridiculously cute.

After I rinsed it all out, Matt was waiting outside the bathroom door, ready to offer the comfort he thought was going to be necessary - he knows me so well - lol. But guess what? I love it! The dishwater blonde (with silver highlights) is gone and I now have a really pretty shade of dark reddish brown. Thank you to Clairol Ion and the badass store clerk!

Also in the exciting category is my first shiny review for Immortal Curse. It got 5 Divas and a Recommended Read from Dark Diva Reviews! Squeee!!! Here's the awesometastic review if you'd like to take a peek.

Deb said:

First off, before I get to this review, I have to say, “WOW”. This story grabbed me and would not allow me to put it down! Immortal Curse by Bronwyn Green is a fascinating romance that has the main character Emma seeing a ghost. Emma, with her special abilities, has the power that allows her to converse with the ghost. Emma just knew when she set her eyes on Ian that her life would never be the same.

Ian {ghost} trapped forever, hates witches, they cannot be trusted. So when he came up against a stubborn, sassy witch, his interest surprised him. Ian’s story is heart breaking, his love for the children so touching.

I was laughing at the interactions between the characters; so much fun. Meaghan and Rowan are just a hoot! Ms. Green will these two have their own story? Oh I have to say I just love the pink Ouija board. *g*

The story had so many emotional aspects, which in turn made it easier to connect with the characters. There is a point in this book that I felt Emma’s heart bottom out. I truly felt the sadness pour off the pages.

Bronwyn Green is romance at its best! She will dazzle you with her writing wit, and heats your desires and passions, all by the time you turn that last page. If you have not read Bronwyn Green’s work, what are you waiting for?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Weekend Wrap-Up

Saturday, we went to my dad and stepmom's for a delicious, pre-Easter meal of steaks on the grill. They live on a lake, so even though it rained the whole time we were there, it was still gorgeous.

I got a chance to hang out with my favorite sister-in-law as well as one of my brothers and my niece and nephew. We all had a blast, but omg, my niece can be exhausting sometimes. She's a bit of a tornado...a stubborn princess-y tornado. Everything about Lex is "Go Big or Go Home." I think that will likely serve her well in later life, but sometimes, it just makes me a little tired. But the boys had fun hanging with their cousins and visiting with Nana and Grandpa. We're all looking forward to going up to the UP for a family vacation this summer. My stepbrother and his wife and my niece and nephew on that side will be going, too. It's going to be so much fun!

On Sunday, we went to my aunt's and I brought the only dish my family will let me bring - green bean casserole. They're convinced it's the only thing I can make. It's not a big deal - I hate cooking anyway, and it's not like it needs a ton of prep or cook time. Besides, I've tweaked the recipe over the years - roasted garlic cream of mushroom soup instead of regular, shredded cheddar cheese and bacon pieces...mmmmm...bacon.

But I digress. It was a pretty small crowd - only 39 of us. Usually, we're looking at 60-70ish. But we all had a great time and fantastic food (except for the ham and kielbasa - so not a fan of either of those - blech) There was a giant Easter egg hunt for the kids and visiting with my sibs and cousins. The weather was perfect, except for the part where I forgot my SPF Vampire sunscreen - stupid fair skin - but I didn't get too toasted. My sister, on the other hand, got very pink.

My one aunt (who's a teacher) and I had a lovely discussion about Psychological Munchhausen by Proxy. She's got some horrifying parents in her first grade class this year and is so happy to be retiring at the end of the year. And I did end up with another sewing project before I left from another aunt, but hopefully, I'll be able to squeeze it out before the Memorial Day cookout. All in all, it was a great time.

Yesterday, Brynn and her boys came over to hang out with me and my boys. It was wonderful! I love Spring Break. I particularly enjoy not getting up at the ass crack of dawn. I am a little annoyed though. Two of Killian's teachers gave him major projects to do over break. It's break, people. B-R-E-A-K - as in a break from school and homework. Grrrrrrrrr

I'm hoping to get a ton of writing done this week, but mostly, I'm just enjoying hanging with the boys and sleeping in. Isn't it time for summer break, yet?