Sunday, October 31, 2010

man up, glenn beck and cry some real tears now

If you were one of the seventeen million people who attended The Rally to Restore Sanity like I did, which is to say, in spirit, you will appreciate this re-cap in pictures:

If you haven't seen enough, you can see more pictures here.

Update: I originally spelled Glenn with only one "n." Which made me think, isn't spelling Glenn with two "n's" kind of gay?

Friday, October 29, 2010

friday fill-ins

1. While the cat's away the mice will go on kitchen strike.

2. Voto? fabuloso!

3. Children are the one thing that makes aging worthwhile.

4. I change into sweat pants when I get home from work or shopping or what have you.

5. This may seem odd, but I have not been in the mood to raid the Halloween candy.

6. Fridays are for sipping a cold one with friends and that seems like a fine idea to me!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a little alone time with my man, tomorrow my plans include walking in this beautiful fall weather and Sunday, I want to laugh over Halloween costumes!

Friday, October 22, 2010

motor ann, what's your price for flight?

I heard the song Sister Christian yesterday. By Night Ranger. It's a great song with a catchy tune, but the lyrics. WTF? If your memory sucks like mine, you might need to hit the play button on the video before you remember what song I'm even talking about.

For years and years I've been singing along to this song only to stop at the refrain and think ... what the flip is he saying? Motor head? Motor end? Put your motor in? Or a woman's name? Motor-Ann? Modo-enne?

Thanks to the powerful internets, I was able to google and finally find the answer. Isn't that one of the best forms of mental relief? The just out of reach memory itch that finally gets scratched?

Another one is Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb. My husband laughs at me every time the song comes on because with this song I was confident I knew the lyrics. Not a doubt in my mind. It wasn't until Sam set me straight that I realized I'd been wrong all these years. And I'm embarrassed to say it was only a couple years ago.

Here are the true lyrics:

Now I've got that feeling once again
I can't explain, you would not understand
This is not how I am
I have become comfortably numb

And here is what I was sure they were singing:

After come, comfortably numb

Yes, as a teenager this is what I assumed. And didn't bat an eye, either. Depraved adolescence much?

Here's the tune if you want to listen for yourself.

But the burning question is this: Was I the only one who thought Pink Floyd was come-fortably numb?

How about you, reader? What song lyrics do you remember bungling?

Friday, October 15, 2010

a dream and a determination

I just woke up from a bad dream. Or I guess you could call it a middle-aged-married-woman-with-three-kids version of a nightmare.

In this dream I was driving in an unfamilliar area out in the countryside looking for the house of friends. My husband was there waiting for me and we were meeting for dinner. I remembered his directions, "If you drive into the historic part of downtown, you've gone too far." (Never mind that winding country roads never lead to historic parts of downtown. Our mind's acceptance of dream unreality is a strange phenomenon.)

Sure enough, I approach the historic district with it's four story homes, six feet tall shuttered windows, wrapping front porches adorned with strands of tiny white lights. It's a restaurant district.
I become lost in this downtown area and try to wind my way out when I spot my husband's car. Strange, what is he doing here?

I park my car and wander into the restaurant in search of my errant husband. I find myself
standing on a 2nd story balcony, looking down just in time to see my husband who looks nothing like my current husband but like an amalgamation of my former boyfriend and the actor Edward Norton.

Yes, I have the hots for Edward Norton.

I see husband Norton dart across the landing below, smiling over his shoulder in a flirtatious manner, reaching for the hand of an equally firtatious blonde 20 years my junior and 60 pounds my lighter. Think Naomi Watts. And yes, I am a brunette who carries a natural resentment toward all blondes for all the fun I imagine them having.

Also pertinent, my relationship with the former boyfriend partially starring in my dream ended when he began a real life flirtation with a skinny-ass blonde to whom he introduced me nonchalantly one night as he was bartending and I instantly knew something was up. But that's a digression I will resist at the moment. The point is, there's meaningful emotional memory here and I'm staring at it from my balcony perch in a deja vu of disbelief.

The dream goes on to my finding Norton and Naomi in an even more compromising attitude, on a couch in some back room of the restaurant, with me confronting him/them (because Naomi will not take a hint and leave my dream) only to have him/them give me the equivalent of a shoulder shrug, as if to say, "So?"

And there's hardly a more crushing feeling than to have your shocked, broken hearted, cheated on indignation shrugged off as if it's no more of a biggie, than say, finding a small parking lot ding in the rear of your eight-year-old car.

And then the dream winds it's way to a point where I run away with plans to ignore him, in the vein of, I'll show him! But then I remind myself that this is exactly what husband Norton and Naomi would want. So I turn around and desperately hunt them down. I confront husband Norton a second time, a third time with my tears and my hysteria and my How Could You's, my How Could You Do This to Me? To Us? To US?!? only to find him, once again, looking at me quizzically, as if to say, What is your problem?

And to hear him ask what did I expect, after all I was a sour puss, was no fun, was a downer, was boring, never smiled. (The not smiling thing? Something I have heard all my life.) The only thing he didn't say was, And you're fat. But he didn't need to.

And then I see me turning away, finally. Defeated. Devestated. Resigned.

So this is how it's going to be. Divorced and alone at 50. Overweight, out of shape, and out of a steady sex partner and second income.

My head drops, I walk out into the misty night rain, skulking back to my car, heart heavy. I pass a single friend of mine from graduate school who is enjoying a girls night out, and say, "Don't be surprised if I start joining you." She looks at me with an uncomprehending expression but I don't stop to explain.

I wake up with the same sinking feeling I had many years ago, thinking, No man is trustworthy. No man cherishes the longterm intimacy and attachment that comes with years of companionship. No man can resist the younger, thinner, shapelier temptress.

And then I really wake up. I locate myself in my bedroom, under my sheets and my wedding ring quilt, listening to NPR's Steve Innskeep tell us Liberace's Museum is Closing Its Glittery Gates.

I then hear the comforting sounds of Sam getting our kids ready for school. I hear him shouting at our daughter, Don't tell ME to calm down. I tell YOU to calm down! And her usual refrain, Dad! You are SO MEAN!

I stumble out of bed and walk my bleary-eyed self into the kitchen. I nod my head sleepily as Sam tells me his version of the yelling.

All at once I feel better. I smile. And am determined to smile more often.

Monday, October 11, 2010

beating those kids who think they are so damn smart

I have just found Crystal Jackson's blog, Fight stupidization. Her recent post talks about Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell's campaign commercial.

You know the one: "I am not a witch. I am you."

Jackson rejects the notion that the Average Joe is the best man for the job. But it's a question worth asking: Why do (so many) voters find the Average Joe so appealing when it comes to electing them to high office? Even the office of presidency? When what we need in the White House or in the Senate is someone who is not just smart, but very smart. Someone who, as Jackson says, can "pay attention to intricate, ever-changing details."

Back when Shrub was elected, pundits and pollsters said many voted for him because they'd like to have a beer with him. I don't know about you, but I can think of a lot of people I like having beers with who would make very dangerous Presidents.

But as much as I hate to admit it, the right wing message crafters seem to have nailed it in their persistent way of manipulating the subset of the voting population that holds contempt for intelligence and fact wielders.

I often wonder if this doesn't stem from days in the classroom when deep resentment arose toward that kid who sat front and center, raised her hand for every question and knew the answer every.single.time.

Getting good grades is probably the single most cohesive goal of parents in any community, of any color, of all sides of the political spectrum. Kids who are average, or worse, find themselves semester after semester unable to distinguish themselves with high marks. Find themselves standing in front of disappointed, or worse, punishing and belittling parents. Who eventually trade in their humiliation for a major case of contempt.

So I often assume the appeal of the Average Joes and the Common Folk Christines is more about getting even with those know-it-all over-achievers. Letting the long-ago-but-never-forgotten feelings of inadequacy get the best of their voter sense. Finally taking aim and wielding some control over those kids who think they're so damn smart.

I don't know if this is at all close to what is going on. I just know that recent campaign trends depict the brilliant as suspect. Ivory tower as out of touch. Top of the class as contemptible.

And maybe because in the White House we've had on the Democrat side:

-Carter, top 10% of his class in the Naval Academy.
-Clinton, a Rhodes Scholar.
-Obama, Editor of the Harvard Law Review.

And on the Republican side:

-Reagan, an actor.
-Bush, a yell leader.

'Nuff said.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

dress shopping at the mawl

One thing about motherhood that keeps it exciting: So often the way things play out is completely different from what I pictured.

The first expectation changer: Every moment with my newborn will be soft cuddles, sweet smiles and baby powder smells. You know, like those Johnson & Johnson commercials.

You too?

The latest expectation changer: Dress Shopping at the Mawl.

4I envisioned our first venture to be a joyful bonding experience.

4I thought my twelve year olds would be smiling at my side, happily rushing to show me their fashion picks. Not asking if I'd mind staying twenty feet behind them at all times.

4 I didn't think I'd have to worry about my kids wanting to make their purchases alone until they were driving.

4For their first school dance I pictured a cute little outfit like this:

Instead we are negotiating away from a hot little number like this:

4I thought they would be in high school for their first homecoming* dance. I didn't know college coeds would return home eager to visit their middle school.

Turns out there is one thing I predicted correctly: Sweating while I handed over this:

*Resisting the urge to step on soapbox and rant about the judgement of adults who organize these events and why do we want our kids to grow up so fast and are we really surprised at teen drug abuse because by the time they're in high school they've already done it all so what do they have to look forward to?