Tuesday, October 23, 2007

prepubescent angst

It sucks to be 11.

I wish I could go to the school and smack around a bunch of 6th grade jackasses, but I don't suppose that would set a very good example.

The Boy had a rough week last week and, bless his heart, there doesn't seem to be any end in sight.

First, he lost his girlfriend. He was okay with that. What got him was the fact that the other kids latched on to the fact and have been teasing him unmercifully about it. Throw in the fact that in his three core classes, where he spends most of his time, he is the only one from his elementary school, surrounded by kids who all went to school together for years, who apparently are not very welcoming of "outsiders."

The Boy has never had a great deal of friends, but who really does? His best friend since kindergarten lives right through the woods from us and the two of them have stayed pretty tight. Thank God, otherwise The Boy would probably be ready to give up on middle school altogether.

This is the worst part of being a parent. The miscellaneous bits of paper, chewing gum and rocks found in the bottom of the washing machine are nothing. The colds, the scrapes, even the seizures — these I can fix, mostly. But to see my child suffering at the hands of a bunch of jackass kids who have nothing better to do than razz him all day — that kills me. I am left helpless.

The Boy is losing his patience, and I'm waiting, with bated breath for the principal to call because I'm pretty sure my boy is going to end up flying hot on one of these little punks. He has one of those dangerously misleading temperaments. The Boy comes across as calm, cool and collected, but inside he is a seething mix of anguish and anger. It all bubbles beneath the surface, waiting to erupt. I just hope he doesn't hurt anyone.

Yesterday The Boy told them he didn't care what they thought of him, because he had plenty of friends outside of school, including a bunch of officers from the Sheriff's Office. The others kids called him a liar of course.

"Am I going to have to send the SWAT team down there," I asked The Boy as he recounted his tell.

His eyes grew wide and he smiled, "You could do that?!"

"Well I probably can't get them to storm the school in their ninja turtle girl, but I'm sure a couple of the guys would swing through to drop something off for you."

At that moment, I was The Boy's hero.

And it beats the hell out of me going and strangling a bunch of shithead little kids!

*yawn*

It is entirely too early!

There is something innately wrong about being up before the sun. I don't even get the joy of seeing a beautiful sunrise when I manage to drag myself from the bed this early. The house is surrounded by trees, so there is no horizon, simply "up". It will be close to noon before the sun makes its way over the trees. Perhaps that is why I prefer to sleep until noon.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

great song

This is such a great song...Zakk Wylde, Way Beyond Empty...(you can scroll to the bottom of the page to pause the normal player.)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Five things

Kate has tagged me to reveal five things...so here we go...

5 things found in my room:

1) A bayonet from an old German rifle that my mom bought The Boy at an auction. It was confiscated immediately under the general, all-purpose "you'll put your eye out with that thing" umbrella.

2) A Red Rider BB shotgun and a seemingly endless supply of BBs (in my room for the same reason as #1)

3) My grandfather's riot stick from his days on patrol in the police department. It is now affectionately known as my "booger bopper" and lives by my bed, should someone make it past the three dogs. (I suppose #1 and #2 could always serve as back-up.)

4) An old Army trunk that has been spray-painted matte black and marbleized silver filled memories of my first husband to pass on to The Boy when he is older.

5) My super comfy bed with it's super soft sheets, a mountain of pillows and a cheap Wal-Trap comforter. (I love my bed!!)


5 things I've always wanted to do:

1) Go to college.

2) Work as a counselor. (which explains #1)

3) Be a stay-at-home mom who cooks supper every night watches the Price is Right on TV every morning.

4) Go skinny-dipping. I don't really know why, it just seems like fun.

5) Make homemade bread. (sheesh, I'm so simple)


5 things in my bag: (yes, I cram a lot of stuff into a pocketbook)

1) A quick reference guide of important "who to call, what to do and what not to do" tips for reporters covering bio-hazard, pandemic and terrorism emergencies.

2) A digital camera, complete with case and back-up battery and a super slim notebook.

3) Various cords, including the charger for my iPod, an adapter for my cell phone charger and a USB cord for God only knows what.

4) Three tubes of chapstick (along with two tubes of barely tinted lip gloss and a compact, none of which I ever use, but as a woman, I have this overwhelming compulsion to keep them in my purse.)

5) A large bottle of ibuprofen because I have a husband, a son and a job.


5 things found in my wallet:

1) Newspaper clippings (one is the obituary of a friend who died nine years ago, the other is my parents' wedding announcement.)

2) A certified copy of my birth certificate (I'm thinking I need to put this somewhere safer, but every time I put something up so I won't lose it, I can't find it.)

3) My checkbook, check register, savings account register, my son's savings account register, and a handful of debit card receipts.

4) A piece of paper with a list of super important numbers in case my cell phone decides to act stupid.

5) A key to police-issue handcuffs (don't even ask!)


5 things I’m currently into:


1) eBay!! My checking account has my mother to thank for that one.

2) Speech and debate. I'm leading a 4-H club on communications trying to fill in the gaps left by the local school system.

3) Word Whomp! This is a highly addictive game at pogo.com that my husband and I play every night and yes, we have both been shouting out words in our sleep!

4) Country music. I was raised on good old rock-n-roll, but find myself listening to mostly country stations now.

5) Baby clothes, baby toys, baby blankets, baby shower decorations and nursing gowns. My best friend is having a baby soon and I'm on a baby kick. After looking at nursing gowns for her, I've decided I need one just because they look so comfortable.

Now according to the rules, I'm supposed to tag five other people for this, but I'm going to break the rules and advise anyone reading this to give us a glimpse into their five things.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

staring you in the face

I love it when things just stare us straight in the face...even my "daily literary quote" is urging me to take action:

"Take rest; a field that has rested gives beautiful crops." — Ovid

mmm-hmmm...I really needed to hear that.

rant

I am trying very hard not to be bitter, or angry, or hurt or just downright bitchy.

But I am consistently disappointed in people. For every kind deed, every glimpse of goodness in folks, there is someone waiting in the wings to remind me just how much people suck.

Currently that person is my overpaid, under-worked staff writer. It's my fault though. I have made the mistake of spoiling my entire staff and they have often mistaken that kindness for weakness, but at the moment, given the circumstances, I'm having a hard time viewing someone else's laziness as a simple character flaw and instead am taking it quite personally.

Although I have been warning my staff in recent months that a leave of absence was virtually eminent, apparently my staff writer never thought I would actually go through with it and now that she knows I fully intend to take some time off, she is angry. She doesn't seem to take into consideration the fact that I have actually offered to give up half my salary to bring another body into the office in my absence, someone who can help catch all the pictures, cover some of the meetings, etc. Nor has she taken into consideration the fact that in spite of being the highest paid staff writer in the entire company, her workload is considerably lighter than that of her counterparts. She has also not taken into account that I have delayed this decision for over a year, against the judgment of my oncologist and my family and why have I delayed? Because I was worried about the effect my extended absence would have on my staff.

She is now in a flat panic, not because she is afraid she can't cover things in my absence, but because she is afraid of the extra effort it will require. Effort, which apparently she is unwilling to put forth.

It's sad really. I learned a long time ago that it is in these types of situations, when it's time to step up to the plate, that you truly discover the best and worst in people.

By company standards, staff writers are expected to churn out 8-10 stories a week ad paginate a minimum of four pages every week. In an effort to make up for the numerous shortcomings of the company itself, I have allowed my staff writer to enjoy a much calmer, less stressful schedule that normally consists of 3-5 stories a week and paginating one page. She has enjoyed a flexible schedule that has allowed her to come in late and leave early and did I mention that she is the highest paid staff writer in the company? She makes more than many of our editors. She is now trying desperately to hurry up and find another job before I can take my absence. Needless to say, she is not at all considerate of the situation that will leave me in.

I have always tried so hard to live the Golden Rule, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you", but every now and then some selfish bitch will crawl out of the woodwork and make me want to smack her.

Monday, October 15, 2007

it may very well be time

It may very well be time for me to take a leave of absence.

It may, in fact, be long overdue.

I started working when I was 16 — slinging burgers in the local drive-thru. When The Boy was a baby, I pulled ten to sixteen hour shifts in a greasy diner, slinging eggs, washing dishes, and wishing my stomach would stop hurting. When he started school I started filing and answering the phones in a doctor's office, and wishing my stomach would stop hurting. A few years, and a hysterectomy, later I landed at the local paper in my hometown. My stomach doesn't hurt at all like it used to, although when I'm tired or stressed, or not feeling well, I can almost feel the old contractions.

I have not been kind to my body — so many sleepless nights, spent worrying, waiting, working, writing. Caffeine, sugar and nicotine getting me through each day. Weeks on end when the simple act of eating seems too much a bother, and a waste of time besides. Did I mention I smoke? And drink heavily on occasion?

And so now I have this whole cancer thing going on. Obviously, the first thing I need to do is make some sweeping changes in my lifestyle — Ugh! I can sense this is going to take a great deal of willpower and that stuff can be so very hard to come by!

In order to prolong, or at least minimize, any sort of further disfiguring surgery, I'm going to have to spend about 12 weeks in absolute misery, my entire crotch in searing flames. I'm really hoping the flu-like symptoms will go away as I get further into the treatment.

Four weeks into the sixteen week course I was done for — too dizzy to focus, my entire body aching, and the ever present flaming twat.

No, I'm sorry, call me a wuss, but I cannot function very well like that and I certainly don't want to be running around town dealing with people.

I've talked to the company's president and the owner's wife about the situation and they agree and are willing to work with me to where I keep most of my salary for the duration while I do a minimal amount of work from home.

It's certainly not as good as sitting off in a cabin in the woods, but at least it can be done now. I suppose it's official, here's my four week (roughly) notice. I will be taking a medical leave of absence and you folks will just have to make sure a paper gets put out each week.

Yes, it may be time indeed.

when you ignore important instructions

When you ignore important instructions, you have to expect some fallout I suppose, but damn!

I use a certain hair removal lotion on my legs to keep from having to shave everyday and last night I had the bright idea to try some on my underarms as well. I completely ignored the "test this product on a small area if you are using it in a new location" warning and liberally applied the lotion to the delicate skin under my arms.

I should add here that I am not a "sensitive skin" kind of girl — I don't usually bother with shaving gels or lotions and have never had any kind of reaction to anything on my skin.

I guess there's a first time for everything and I guess that's why they put those silly warnings on so many products.

My underarms screamed their protest to the hair removal product and yelled at me for my stupidity most of the night. Hmmm...I wonder if the "do not apply to broken skin" warning on deodorant applies to me now.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

puppy love

I had one of the best "aww" moments of motherhood Friday afternoon.

"So, um, there's this girl at school who likes me," The Boy told me after I picked him up from school.

"How do you know she likes you," I asked.

"She wrote me a note, see," he responded, digging the note out of the pocket of his jeans and handing it to me.

So the child who will not bring home letters from the PTA allowed me to read the very first "I like you, do you like me" note from a little girl. I was beyond touched!

The Boy went on to tell me all about the girl — they are in most of the same classes, eat lunch together everyday and she apparently has a way of waving while offering a bright smile and quiet "hi" that my son thinks is extremely cute.

"Uh oh," I responded when he told me about another little boy who hangs out with them.

"What," The Boy demanded.

"Oh nothing," I said quickly, not wanting to ruin The Boy's moment.

"No, if you know something you need to tell me so I'll be prepared," The Boy insisted.

I asked if the other little boy liked her too, mentioning that, if so, the little girl may change her mind often about who she liked.

"No, he likes her best friend, and besides, she's not that kind of girl," The Boy replied confidently.

He grinned and turned bright red when he admitted that yes, he liked her too.

"So does this mean you have a girlfriend," I asked innocently.

"Yes I think so, but I haven't told her I liked her back yet."

"Oh I told her I read the note," he responded to my questioning. "I just said that she didn't have to write it down, she could have just told me, but she said she was scared I wouldn't want to be her friend anymore if I knew she liked me."

And so it begins. I hope she doesn't break his heart any time soon.

ugh!

Maybe I shouldn't bitch about not being able to breathe since I haven't quit smoking.

Between the drastic change in temperature, the dryness of the air, the dust, and the smoke — my airways are clogged. I have discovered Tropicana sugar-free orangeade and will buying some more tomorrow to take in some extra fluids.

I will however bitch about my teeth. Maybe that's why I've been craving ice cream lately. I lost a chunk of the backside of one of my bottom left molars. The tooth doesn't hurt, but the rough edges of the hole are shredding the shit out of the side of my tongue.

Throw in a sore throat, chapped lips and a stuffy nose and it's no wonder I don't feel very attractive.

I so wish I had not always looked at dental care as a frivolous expense. Guess I know what I'll be getting for Christmas.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

fall arrived in the middle of the night

The seasons have officially changed in here in my part of the southeast. Yesterday the temperature soared into the mid to upper eighties and this morning I wake up freezing and learn we are expecting today's high to be in the mid to upper sixties.

My sinuses are pissed, but after an excruciatingly long, hot, dry summer, I'm glad fall has finally decided to drop in.

Monday, October 8, 2007

make the call

I have often wondered if this endless longing isn't simply a driving need to be closer to God.

And I have pleaded for Him to drive the aching loneliness from my soul.

I'm left with only theories...and all the questions that go with them...

Perhaps I have simply not given enough of myself to Him. If so, how do I give more?

Surely He is not just a comforting thought. If I were to no longer doubt His love for me, would this incessant throbbing cease?

Perhaps I do not pray hard enough or often enough. Maybe I'm doing it all wrong, maybe I'm praying for all the wrong things. Is there a "right" way to pray?

Perhaps I am simply too sinful and have been deemed unworthy. Are any of us truly unworthy of His love? Am I simply being punished in this life so I am not in the next? Am I just a spoiled and selfish child?

Sunday, October 7, 2007

hooked

My Momma has me hooked on eBay.

It all began innocently enough as she asked me to look at a few items she was watching for Christmas presents for the family.

Then I discovered they had quilt squares. It didn't take me much longer to discover that they had pretty much anything one could ever want. I've now purchased two sets of quilt squares, a set of Rosary beads, an old photo for my Momma and, at the moment, am closely watching an old twist cookie press for my Granny.

I won't even try to describe all the items currently on my "watch list". No wonder Momma spends so much time on eBay!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

sixth grade hero

The Boy handed out his first black eye today, and yes, I am proud.

The other kid had it coming — little shit is always going around pushing and shoving people, popping them in the back of the head, tearing up their stuff.

It is important to note that The Boy, being rather small compared to most of his peers, has frequently been at the mercy of other, larger jackass little boys who like to push and shove and pop people in the back of the head. He's never really bothered to defend himself, figuring the bigger kid could do some major damage.

Today was the day The Boy decided he was tired of getting pushed around.

Two classes of kids were walking laps around the field in PE class this morning when this kid walks up and punches The Boy in the back. IN THE BACK!! How shitty is it to punch somebody in the back?!

The Boy turns around, tells the kid to "back off" and keeps walking.

The little shit punches him in the back again!

The Boy stopped, turned around, punched the little shit right in the face and kept walking.

"I was aiming for his nose, but I missed and hit him in the eye," The Boy explained sheepishly. "I was waiting to see if his nose would start bleeding, but it didn't. His eyes got real watery though."

Hahaha. I'm sorry, call me barbaric, but I love it!

A lot of the other kids who are always being hassled by the little shit cheered The Boy's stand.

The kid came up to him later in the locker room and just stood there looking at him.

"What," The Boy demanded. The little shit just turned and walked away.

Way to go Boy! No, you should never be the first one to throw a punch and you should never hit a girl, but just because you're one of the good guys doesn't mean you have to take any shit off anybody! I was so proud of him for standing up for himself and even more proud of the fact that he remained in control of his temper, even when hauling off and knocking the shit out of some guy! If it had been me, or his daddy, we would have flown hot and beat the snot out of the little shit. Not my Boy, he just pops him one good time and walks away.

I asked him if his knees were knocking as he did.

The teachers didn't see it so he hasn't gotten in trouble for it yet but everyone was talking about the little shit's black eye for the rest of the day and I figure his mom will certainly want to know what happened. I almost expect a phone call from the principal tomorrow.

I just hope The Boy doesn't get his ass kicked tomorrow.

But, at least he got to be the hero of sixth grade today!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

in case you were wondering

In case you were wondering what I've been doing with my time...

I spent Saturday morning prancing around a street festival in a big, heavy gray squirrel costume. It was hot as hell and I now have a stronger appreciation for the endurance it takes folks to walk around in heavy gear!

After I changed back into the neighborhood editor, I ate some ice cream, took some pictures and talked to folks.

Then I ate some more ice cream, and stepped up to the microphone in front of a huge crowd to name this year's honored farmer.

After that was over, I took some more pictures, talked to some more folks, ate some more ice cream and changed back into the shorts and t-shirt I'd worn under the squirrel costume.

Then, I got into the dunking booth. I'd never been in one before and don't particularly like water going up my nose, but I was quick to pinch my nostrils shut so it was actually pretty fun.

Needless to say, after all that exertion, I needed some more ice cream!

Saturday night was spent nibbling and chatting at my cousin's 40th birthday party.

I spent most of Sunday sleeping, washing clothes, drinking milk and eating cereal.

Apparently I'm on a milk kick. I think it's "sympathy cravings". My best friend is pregnant and has just reached the REALLY pregnant ice cream stage!

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go drink a glass of milk and go to bed. I was up early today, worked late and am supposed to be getting on an "adult" schedule so wil be getting up early tomorrow.

hmmm...

I notice I have been accumulating a lot of "draft" posts — random, often incomplete, almost abrupt, thoughts that have haunted me recently — scraps of paper in electronic format.

Seems I've been shoving most of them in an electronic drawer lately. My apologies.

Monday, October 1, 2007

changes

Why are hair salons never open on Monday? I wanted to get my hair cut, but the one girl around here I trust with scissors is off on Mondays. *sigh* Oh well, I guess I'll have to wait until later in the week.

I wonder if all women chop their hair off when making life-altering decisions.

My hair is currently extremely long, all one length and THICK!! By the end of the week, it will most likely be shoulder length and in layers. It's just time for a change.

I am hoping that since sitting on my butt at home no longer looks like a viable possibility that there will be a change of careers in my near future. I've applied for an executive director position with a local non-profit operated by member churches. The position seems like an answer to a prayer.

Everyone keeps asking me what will happen to the paper if I leave, but honestly, I no longer care. I hate to disappoint my readers, but I refuse to continue compromising my principles by working for such a slimy company.