Saturday, February 28, 2009

How Times Have Changed

I guess my evening preparations for a night out on the town
have altered considerably over the years.

Tonight before leaving to meet girlfriends,
I dashed off an e-mail, glanced at the clock
and called out to the kids as I jogged up the stairs,

"Hey guys, I'm leaving as soon as I change my shirt and wash my armpits!"


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I'll Be Quiet Now

I've been walking around threatening everybody who lives here
with loss of computer and television privileges
until they find that CD soundtrack of High School Musical 3
that they checked out weeks ago
and I just found it in a laundry basket in my bedroom
in a paper bag neatly marked "Library".

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Due

Our computer crashed so I darted into the library
to check e-mail, order some software, and get the contact number for Verizon support.

Imagine my dismay when I was denied computer access because of my overdue fines.

I couldn't be mad, I was guilty as usual.
The librarian was nice about it.
He offered the use of the Express Computer - no good library standing required.

The Express Computer is at the end of the long bank of computers,
(the ones in little carrels, where you can sit and surf for as long as you like.)

The Express Computer has no carrel, and no chair.
As soon as you begin your session, the countdown begins at the top of the screen.
Fifteen minutes.

I grabbed the chance and started typing away, as fast as I could.

Then the library began filling up, and the regular people,
the ones with no library fines,
started seating themselves at the regular computers.

Suddenly I had a little complex.
Here I was, sweating my way through the sites,
speed-typing and jotting info on those little slips of paper they provide,
(with the stubby no-eraser library pencils)
while the Others, the good people, sat in unhurried ease in their carrels.

I kept looking over at the tops of their heads,
bent in concentration and oblivious to my embarassment,
standing there awkardly,
exposed, at the Express Computer,
the one everybody knows is reserved for the likes of me.



Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Stranger and I

I was standing in line to rent a movie on Friday night
behind this couple who were laughing and talking,
when suddenly the man let an exclamatory toot out of his rear end.

He paused in his conversation, but his girlfriend hadn't noticed.

The thing is, I noticed, and he knew I noticed.

When the line moved up, I moved up also,
because even though he knew I knew,
I didn't want to embarass him further by standing back
and leaving a wide space between us.

So there I stood,
right in the middle of the invisible green cloud,
in order to spare the feelings
of a man who was a complete stranger,
and yet,
with whom I shared a terrible secret.

I finished paying for my movie
and stepped to the doorway where
I watched him drive off,
with the girl who was clueless
of the connection that had formed between us
in those few seconds of darkness.

The silence I kept for him.
The placid smile that hadn't wavered on my face.

And I let him go.

Wishing him well,
wishing him...less magical fruit,

I let him go.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

New Job

Yes, I do have a new job!
This is one of those...
must-wear-shoes and comb-your-hair and leave-the-house
kind of jobs.

The guitar studio where middle child and twin boy take lessons,
asked me to join the staff and last Saturday was my first day!
Today is my second day - I only work Saturdays
and so far have three students.

I have two cute little sisters with purple guitars,
and a fifteen year old boy who wants to learn the bass
so that he can be in his friends' band.
He looks like one of the Jonas brothers,
with curly black hair all in his eyes.

I teach keyboard, guitar and electric bass.

Off to work!


Friday, February 20, 2009

The Nerve

Last night I was in a horrible mood
and the husband kept giving me valid solutions for my problems
instead of just letting me wallow in them.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Teenager

"I just have one thing for you to do while I'm gone. It's very important that you do this - it will take about 10 minutes - before I am home. Do it first, before you do anything else so you don't forget. I'll be gone for two hours, and this 10 minute job is the only thing I want you to do for me. The rest of the time is yours."

These were my instructions to the teenager. He loves being home alone just like me,
but I really needed him to begin supper.

I had the recipe card and all the ingredients set out on the counter.
The measuring cups and spoons, the pan, the wooden spoon, all arranged neatly.
I gave him detailed verbal instructions, as well as the written ones.

Cut vegetables, put them into the pan, turn heat to medium, stir for five minutes.
Add flour and spices, stir for another minute.
Turn off the heat, put the cover on, and leave it until I get home.

So I get a frantic phone call just as I am leaving the store to come home.

"Mom? can't remember what I'm supposed to do."

"It's all on the recipe card, just--"

"I can't...I don't know....I think I lost the recipe card."

So I come home to find the vegetables chopped (but not peeled), two bowls setting out on the counter with various ingredients in them, nothing in the pot, the entire length of the counter covered in flour and the agitated teenager standing amidst it all with a small black comb stuck into the top of his head.

It was a scene every mother dreams of.

"How long has that comb been in your hair?"

"Huh?" (feeling atop his head)
"Oh, man, I must have stuck it in there this morning...."

I can't really get mad.
Twin boy reminded me again this morning, kindly, that sometimes I drive past his school and could I please not forget to drop him off this time because he didn't want to be late.



Wednesday, February 18, 2009

First Real Haircut

Twin girl visited the "beauty salon" for the first time in her life at ten years old.
She loved the idea that it was a professional's job to make her look beautiful.
Isn't this why we all pay good money to sit in the chair???

Twin Girl: Before Haircut

Twin Girl: After Haircut

Twin Boy: Needs A Haircut


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cheap Thrills

We're all sitting in the kitchen waiting for someone to call us,
because we just got a new phone and the ringer is set to
Beethoveen's Fifth.

Life is really going to change around here when we get cable.


Sunday, February 15, 2009


I don't really worry about the fact that my aging car is
making a grinding noise when I turn corners,
or that you have to turn the key around three times before the ignition "catches",
but this morning when I pressed the warm-butt-seat button
I realized with a sudden jolt of anxiety
that one day it was just not going to heat up anymore.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Speeding down the snow-slick road on the way to my new job this morning,
I glanced down and saw the tiny cellophane strip from a feminine product
wrapped around the ring finger of my left hand.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

On God and His Reasons

We sat in the chair together, last night, twin boy and I.
Our bodies overlapping slightly, with a blanket,
warm, comfortable,
and we talked of God.

I asked him questions and he answered them fluidly, with confidence.

I asked him how he knew there was a God and he said one reason was
that God had made every person to be so unique,
so different from every other person on earth.

I asked him why he thought God did that.

He said - the main reason that God made us all so different,
is because if we were all the same, we would be lonely.

He said - if we were all the same, then the world would be filled
with all of these people,
but there would still only be one person, really.
And that would be lonely.

I think we should ask children more questions.


Saturday, February 07, 2009

On Hold

Several things on hold for me in life right now...

but yesterday was a new one.

Jerry Seinfeld on hold!

I'm serious!

I had to call the Academic Superstore to find out where in the heck my Multimedia Fusion 2 is, and I sat on hold for 15 minutes.

I was traveling in the car, multi-tasking (tsk) and remarkably, I was having fun.
Jerry had me laughing aloud!
It got so that I sort of didn't want his jokes to be interrupted by the boring representative who was sure to come on any second and make me miss the next joke.

So I listened happily, thinking, "Now THIS is being on hold!"

And then it happened.
The jokes started looping.
My smile froze and then my teeth clenched together.
The dark cloud descended.

It was terrible. It was worse than Muzak.
Hearing jokes repeated - the same 14 jokes played over and over and over
can really grind on you.
You feel sort of tricked, because you remember laughing naively the first time.
Little did you know, the whole loop was a sort of evil mockery.
Got your hopes up? DASHED!!!

On the upside, I did find a really cool outfit at Goodwill yesterday.
$8.52!!! Shirt, pants, belt.


Friday, February 06, 2009


Hey all, check out this link and see the world's stiffest woman!
I always thought I moved around when I played, but apparently I am stiff as a board.

Just wait: next time,

Solid Gold Dancer on bass.

Creole gig


Thursday, February 05, 2009


Hey I got tagged by Beth, a fellow blogger who writes about life as the principal of an elementary school - I love reading from "the other side of the wall" and wondering how similar her experiences are to my own children's dear principal.

And now I'm concerned that I may have placed the apostrophe in the wrong place in the sentence above. Anyone?

Thanks for the good news in the last post! Makes me realize that I have way more good news than I remember most of the time.

Six random things....

#1 Last night I played in a cool little venue called The Creole Gallery, and it was SOLD OUT! I did not think we'd have a crowd on a Wednesday night, especially with the cold - that was fun! That's me with the electric bass, and my cousin is also in the band - he is on your left, and plays all sorts of really interesting percussion instruments.

Wow that was a long first random thing. I could have just said, "I'm in a band."

#2 My favorite candies of all time are Whoppers and Strawberry Twizzlers.

#3 I am a vegetarian but I've fallen off the wagon in the past year. I don't eat it often, but every once in a while...bring on the beef.

#4 My secret wish has always been to be a Solid Gold Dancer.

#5 I can't figure out my hair.

#6 I have a mysterious talent for interpreting dreams, determining dog breed mixes, and writing out imaginary conversations for people who are not sure what to say in most any situation.

I think I kind of cheated and put three in one there at the end. Oh well.

I'm tagging Kelle, Molly, KEK, Kristy, Carin and Diane.


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Good News

Anybody ready for good news?

I'm just ready to hear something good for a change.

For anyone who leaves a comment here with Good News of ANY kind -
personal news,
local news,
national or world news...

I will put your name into a hat, pick one,
and send the lucky winner a refrigerator magnet from my good friend
Evan G. Vanderwey,
the home loan represenative who is lurking around my mailbox,
hoping to help me take out a second mortgage
when the Teenager begins college.

Go AWAY Evan!


But he has a nice face, he looks young and hopeful.
He'd look good on your fridge.


Monday, February 02, 2009


Sometimes you just need a good cry.

And sometimes, you need a knock-down drag-out, full-blown sob session.
Where you can't catch your breath,
where you can't see any positive light at the end of the tunnel,
where there seems no way out,
in the middle of the night, in the dark, all alone.

Where you hope somebody hears you and comes downstairs to pat you on the back.
But you hold to the secrecy of your tears
just as much as to your need to share them.

I had a night like that, just two nights ago,
and it's no secret that it was the end of a long day,
where I had been away from the children for so many hours,
and had come home to their funny little beautiful hand-wrapped gifts.

And that the very next day, they were all loading into their grandparents' car,
to travel three hours away for fun and swimming.
They were going away and it just came at a bad time for me.
I needed them home but I didn't have any right to keep them there.
They had a great offer elsewhere, you know?

The thought just came to me in the middle of the night:

They're all I got.

All four of them, in one car, on one slippery highway,
in the middle of winter, on Super Bowl Sunday...
it suddenly felt...
tempting fate.

So I cried.

Wishing they could stay home.
Wishing I could go with them.
Feeling like I was dealing way way too casually
with these precious little people.

The husband came down, eventually, to pat me on the back
and listen, and soothe.
I understood his words, they all made sense, but honestly,
I just wasn't through getting it all out.
I was on a roll, spouting this injustice and that one,
crumpling tissue after tissue and throwing them passionately to the floor
with each new fear that surfaced.

Finally, when he thought it was over, I said,

"And I have to tell you something."

There was a pause, and then a serious,
"Go ahead."

I let it all out then,

"I (gasp)
Twizzlers." (sob)

"I hate them.
They taste like plastic.
I like the Strawberry ones.
I have never liked Cherry.
And every year you give them to me for my birthday
and I didn't want to hurt your feelings so I didn't say anything
but if I don't say something now you will just keep getting them for me
for the rest of my life and I just don't want anyMO-HO-HORE!" sobsobsob.

He tried not to laugh, bless him.
He patted me on the back and promised new Twizzlers tomorrow. know?

You just need a good cry.


Sunday, February 01, 2009


On my way home from the solo and ensemble event yesterday,
I had to stop at Meijer.
I was soooooo tired after playing piano for nearly 9 hours straight...
and I just wanted to get home.

I was starved too, and, it was my Birthday!

So I perused the deli area, looking for something quick to grab -
something that I normally would never buy for myself (as a birthday treat)
but I was in too much of a hurry and couldn't find anything that looked good.

I grabbed the ear-plugs that I came for from Sporting Goods (long story),
and veered toward the check-out lane.
I was on Empty, big-time - tired, sort of depressed
and just wanting to be Home with my feet up.

Standing in the check-out aisle, I absently looked at the stuff there,
mentally reminding myself not to fall sucker to all of those impulse items.
Nail clippers, dog bones, mints, gum,
and weird things like black combs, lint brushes and light-up keychains.

Suddenly I perked up. I NEVER buy impulse items in the check-out lane,
but today was my Birthday,
and I was going to be impulsive.

Yeah, that's right.

I made the decision instantly and started throwing things onto the belt.
It wasn't really much to speak of, just a bag of licorice Snaps,
a three-pack of some kind of dark chocolate truffle and,
(this is wear it gets good),
a Slim Jim.

Not one of those shorty Slim Jims, oh no, this was the big long Slim Jim.
The real McCoy.
My mood changed instantly, from dragging to alert.
I could not WAIT to get into the car.

As soon as I was on the road I was unwrapping those truffles and I ate two of them in a row.
They were SO good.
The kind of good that you experience when you're starving, you know what I mean.
Then I eyed Jim.
I was actually giving myself a little talk, "You really going to eat that?"

I ripped it open and took a bite.

And it was everything I remember from the last time I had one,
which is when I was about 9 years old on a camping trip.

The thing about a Slim Jim is that there is no subtlety involved.
The whole experience is one of major, in-your-face sensation.

First of all, you can't nibble delicately on a Slim Jim.
You have to grab it with your back molars and yank off a hunk.
Then as you chew, you wonder if you were supposed to peel the thing or something -
it has a kind of "skin" that you just have to commit to or quit.
The flavor is smoky, firey, spicey and intense.
The after-taste is greasy, salty, and stings your throat.
You don't really want any more after two bites, but you go back for the buzz.

I made myself eat the whole thing, feeling dangerous and irresponsible.
Afterwards, I ate the last truffle, but it's flavor was reduced.
I could barely taste it at all, actually.
I couldn't face the Snaps.

But after that, I felt pretty good.
I didn't get sick, and I wasn't hungry anymore.
My mouth was numb, but I was awake.

I got home and stuffed the grocery bag into the garbage before anyone could see.
I had this delicious sense of having got away with something.

p.s. I just searched "Slim Jim" and found this site:
where reside people who like Slim Jims.
Their names, I'm not kidding, are:
Freaky Keith, Insane Kim and Twisted Paul.

yeah that's right.