Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I rock. I admit it.

Yesterday my daughter got an e-mail from one of her best friends back on the bayou.

This friend was a really nice and polite girl. She was also very smart and athletic. She was the daughter of two of my best friends and she played on the softball team I coached.

Part of her e-mail read (and I quote), "We’re thinking about softball. Your mom was the best coach. I can’t believe you moved. No one was better than your mom."


I have to admit that made me smile. My week so far has had a theme and it is...

I rock!

My husband's been teasing that I'm going to hang the e-mail on the fridge. Heck, I just might. We all need an ego boost every now and then.

And frankly, not enough people realize how much I rock.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It's not evil if I'm good at it.

Last night, right after I finished writing about how much I hate the Wii, I decided to give it a try.

And I kicked ass.

Apparently I am better than the rest of my family at all of these games.

It's funny because I don't think that real life skills really translate into video games, but I did best at sports games that I actually excelled at way back when. I'm good at bowling and baseball.

I'm good at making balls do what I want.

After 25 minutes of dominating these games, I am done. I am content in the knowledge that I rule and I feel no need to prove it over and over again. (Besides, my arms hurt too much to lift them.)

Ah, superiority fees so good.

Monday, December 29, 2008

All I Got for Cristmas...

...was a Coach bag and a new cell phone and new cell service. Oh, and TiVo, oh my!

We had a nice Christmas. I know it kills my mother, but I much prefer spending our holidays in our own home, just the four of us.

Years ago, we had agreed to go "home" for Christmas every other year. But I have zero desire to travel to Boston for the holidays and we've just stopped going back since, oh, about 2004 (I think). I know that's hard for my parents to understand, especially when my husband is deployed. But I'm 35-years-old. My kids are seven and nine. We have our own traditions now.

Besides, we see them for at least a couple of weeks every summer. (Of course I have no desire to do that this summer, but shhhhhh. Don't tell anyone.)

So, Santa brought the Little Tuna Girl an iPod, against mom's better judgement. She's busy filling it up with classical music so what can I say.

Santa brought the Little Tuna Boy a whole mess of Legos. We now have Lego stations all over the house. I definitely need to clean and organize the kids' toys to fit all the new ones in.

Santa *ahem* also brought the kids *ahem* a Wii also very much against mom's better judgment. I seem to remember an agreement with Santa *ahem* years ago that we wouldn't have video games in the house. I guess Santa just couldn't resist bringing it for the kids *ahem*. Yeah. For the kids.

I already hate that damn thing. It's turned me into the bad guy who has to say, "Enough with the Wii. It's time for a bath (or bed or dinner or whatever)." I hate video games. Go read a book. Or play outside. Blah.

I think the Wii might go away in a drawer once the kids go back to school.

It's funny. After just a few days the kids were sick of being off. They miss school. They miss all the stuff they do. They're bored.

I'm counting down the days until school starts again. Seven to go. Then I'll take a couple of days to be blessedly alone.

Maybe I'll play a game of Wii baseball

Saturday, December 27, 2008

All Powerful Tuna Girl

Awww. How sweet is this post from Marc?

You should be aware...I have powers you know not of. I even have the power to make things appear on Christmas.

Better watch yourself.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas. Thumpa Thumpa.

I love this fabulous house. It may be the gayest house ever. I'd marry a man who could decorate my house like that.

Sorry, Tuna Man. You could start working on next year's decorations now.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Little Christmas Cheer

It's amazing how quickly a mood can be turned around. Especially when you're as lucky as I am and your life is filled with such wonderful people.

I walked out of my front door yesterday and found this little bit of Christmas cheer...I mean, deer waiting for me.

He was anonymously left as a gift by one of our neighbors.

I'm almost positive it is the work of the retired Navy man who lives on our cul-de-sac and loves woodworking. He's such a sweet guy.

I love my little deer. These kinds of small acts of generosity touch me more than I can ever say.

Today I got all of my Christmas chores done. The kids and I baked cookies all day. This was the first year where their "help" actually helped me. We had fun and I got twenty dozen cookies baked and packaged to send to our friends and family.

I hope that people accept our cookies as a sweet gift from our hearts. But what our cookies really say is, "We can't afford real presents this year so please accept these cookies which my kids may or may not have coughed all over."

(Just kidding. I was on serious germ patrol.)

We also spent a couple of hours cleaning the house and finally hanging our stockings by the chimney with care, in hopes that St Nicholas would soon be schlepping his or her fat ass back and forth to the gift hiding place to drag out and wrap presents until he or she can barely see straight.

At least this year Santa will have help and she won't have to wrap it all up all alone.

And that makes me the happiest of all.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Could be...

I am in a horrendous mood today.

It could be because our credit card was stolen this weekend and used at Wal-Mart and K-Mart. (My two least favorite marts)

It could be because my kids got their brand new indoor helicopter toy stuck on our roof.

It could be because my house is a mess and I'm a mess and my kids are a mess and I can't get caught up no matter how hard I try.

It could be because I don't want to try anyway.

It could be because my son got caught in a lie by his speech therapist and got in trouble.

It could be because my son has started wetting his bed again after months of being dry.

It could be because my aunt just died and I have to go up North for her funeral and see all of my family.

Or it could just be because I'm a miserable, moody fuck.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Birthday, Little Tuna Boy

Yesterday was the Little Tuna Boy's 7th birthday. That is so, so hard to believe.

Saying my kids are 7 and 9 makes me sound like an old mom. Or at least a mom who should know more and handle things better.

Instead of a party this year, we took the kids to Great Wolf Lodge. For the childless among you, it is a hotel with an indoor water park. It was a huge hit with the kids and we had a great time.

One thing I love about my kids is how much they appreciate the little things. They were thrilled to play miniature golf in the winter and they loved the lame ass trolley ride around the property. When I looked around the water park and saw hundreds of kids pouting and crying, I have to say that I was extremely thankful for my little family.

My son was happy with three gifts and a cupcake in our hotel room for his birthday.

My youngest is seven-years-old now and I am excited about it. I have no regrets about the first nine and a half years of my parenting life (except for choosing their current school) and I am looking forward to the next few years before the teens set in.

Besides, the Little Tuna Boy is just such a great kid. He's uber polite and very happy. He chooses good friends and smiles through life. He's so smart that it would be easy for him to be serious and alone, but he's always reaching out to people.

People always say that he's just like me and that is about the best compliment someone can give me.

Happy, happy birthday, baby boy! You are so loved.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Leave 'Em Crying

I've only made one friend here and she happens to be the kids' violin teacher. But I like her a lot. Except for her doctor husband and her musical talent and her rockin' bod and her beautiful house in a hip neighborhood and her free pre-kids lifestyle, we're just alike.

She should have a name here on the blog, I suppose. "The kids' violin teacher" gets laborious. I think I'll go with VG.

A few weeks ago, VG asked me an innocent question about how I enjoyed a violin workshop and I shocked myself by breaking down and crying for a good twenty minutes. It was mortifying!

She was great. She hugged me and agreed with me. And she has even taking care of my problem, since it was within her power and she's like that. But I'm still embarrassed.

So last night when we gave her a Christmas gift and she started to cry, I laughed at her.

"Ha! It's your turn to cry!" I said with a smile. And she started to laugh.

But I have to say, vindication aside, I was touched that she was so touched.

Since she loves to cook and has a brand new kitchen, we decided to decorate an apron for her. My son made thumbprint bugs and my daughter made flowers with thumbprint centers. We paired it with a cookbook by her husband's favorite hotty.

There is no better feeling in the world than giving someone a gift that is a hit. At least not for me.

For helping us to grow...

...with happy hearts.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Life Under Rocks

I found two cupcakes on top of my refrigerator.

Jackpot! Right?

But I didn't know if my husband had hid them up there for us or if he was saving them for the kids. So I was going to text him.

"I can haz cupcake?"

But I knew he wouldn't get it and I'd get a big WTF back.

Why wouldn't he get it? Because he lives under a freaking rock.

I've always known this about him. I put up with it. But sometimes it's flabbergasting.

Just the other day I was telling him a creepy story I heard about Tom Cruise buying an engagement ring for Katie Holmes after their first date.

And my husband responded, "So, what? Tom Cruise is married now?"

What the hell? Seriously? Seriously? How could he not know about TomKat? Katie even lived in our freaking town while filming Mad Money and took little Suri to our Target, much to the delight of the local entertainment media.

My husband says that he has no reason to pay attention to anything not related to war or hockey. But how could you have ears and eyes and not know about Tom Cruise.

I wonder if he's warm and cozy living under his rock. Or is he cold and alone being the only damn person in the world to be buried that deep.

Monday, December 15, 2008

New York in Three Days and Six Taxis

My trip to New York went by way too quickly but I had a blast seeing my friends.

Thursday's MAK Attack

At the last minute I found a cheap airfare to NYC so I didn't have to drive all that way to the city in my husband's stinky-but-economic car. I arrived at Patrick's apartment pretty early and we were able to grab breakfast together at Jackson Hole before he had to run to work.

I took a little nap at his place (I've been zonked for a month) and woke up raring to go. So, I jumped on the subway and made my way out to MAK's place in Queens. I had the best time hanging out with Matt, just the two of us, which is something we've never really done. I love that boy. I don't think we're all that much alike (except that we're both absolutely fabulous...*ahem*) but I still feel like we're two peas in a pod.

There are a few people in my life who I fervently wished lived closer, and Matt is one of them.

We laughed too much, gossiped too much, ate too much, and drank too much very expensive red wine. Matt put on my own personal, little cooking show. I sat like a princess in his kitchen while he slaved over his grandmother's recipe for risotto with sausage and pork. It was unbelievably good. When his man got home we each had an individual chocolate cake with raspberry filling. It was decadent.

We stayed up talking way too late so I crashed in the guys' guestroom.

Friday's Walk of Shame, Now with Cheese!

I slept in my clothes and rolled out of bed in the morning just before the guys were ready to leave for work. We took the subway together, each getting off at our own stop. And I kept my arms down and my mouth shut so as not to offend any of my fellow passengers.

It was when I was walking through the 42nd street station that I realized I was on a non-sex walk of shame!

I practically ravished my own toothbrush once I made it into Patrick's apartment. I have never brushed my teeth for so long.

After I changed out of my stiff clothes, and I forced Patrick to let me eat, we headed out to run some errands. And I can now tell you that the Target in the Bronx is exactly like the Target in my neighborhood, except for the signs in Spanish and the line in the restroom.

Patrick had the wonderful idea of having a long, leisurely lunch of wine and cheese at Artisanal on Park Avenue. We tried six kinds of cheese and all their accompaniments and I can say that I'd rate them from awesome to horrendous. My favorite was a little bit of heaven and my least favorite tasted like feet. But it was very nice to just sit and nibble and sip and talk about everything and nothing.

We waited in a short line at the TKTS booth in Times Square to get tickets for a show then headed a little uptown for a drink. On the way we ran into a Famous Author who I should have wished a belated happy birthday. (No way that man looks fifty!)

After just one nursed cosmo at Therapy, and one devoured blondie from a bakery I don't remember, we went to see Spring Awakening.

I loved the show. It wasn't at all what I expected. I have since heard that the male lead was...iffy, but we had an understudy (Matt Doyle) who rocked. It was a thoroughly enjoyable time.

Since the next day was all about meeting Patrick's new beau and Byrne's big 40th birthday, we headed right home to bed.

Saturday's Rides in Taxis

I slept in a bit on Saturday. But then rushed to put on a bra when Patrick got the call that his boyfriend (who I will now forever refer to as "The Doctor") was stopping by on his way to a conference to drop off his stuff. Gotta make a good first impression.

After I was fully dressed, Patrick and I went and did a little shopping on the Upper West Side. We had lunch at a little French Bistro where I had the best ham and cheese sandwich ever made. But while walking up to Broadway, I tripped in a crack and hurt my ankle. In order to get back to his apartment in time to meet The Doctor, Patrick let me do something he never does.

He let me take a cab!

We beat The Doctor back by just a few minutes and gathered up our stuff for Byrne's birthday party. The Doctor actually drove us down to SoHo (I think) and dropped Patrick off to set up. Then he drove me back uptown so we could get changed.

We had plans to meet Byrne for happy hour, so after he parked his car, I started talking to The Doctor about which subway stop the bar was nearest. He looked at me like the word "subway" was incomprehensible.

So we took a taxi to The Ritz in Hell's Kitchen.

It was great to see Byrne. And let it be known that I only nursed one delicious vodka and cranberry provided to me by The Doctor. It was fun to talk to an old friend and a new one. And I could totally see why Patrick and The Doctor are a couple. Those guys just match up.

We took another taxi down to Byrne's birthday party (that makes three in one day and counting, a record for me).

Patrick has a friend who is an amazing caterer and the party was held at her amazing apartment. When we walked in the door I was amazed at how Patrick had transformed her apartment for a dinner party. (Wow. I'm getting caught up with the word amazing here...but it was.)

I got to see some of my favorite people in the world. Let's Jase and his boyfriend (one of the best guys I know), our friend Charles, Jess and Marc...I think that's it. I also got to meet some of Byrne's other friends, including her, which was very cool.

The hugs were going around like crazy.

So was the food and wine. I think we had seven courses, each better than the last. It was past midnight before anyone even thought to leave. I seriously think that was the best birthday party, maybe even the best party, I've ever been to.

(Happy Birthday, Byrne!)

Some of us stumbled, some of us walked out to 6th Avenue to catch a taxi home (make that four!). Apparently, The Doctor was drunk (I seriously didn't even realize, not knowing him that well) and he was asleep before I even made it back from brushing my teeth.

Sunday's Home Again, Home Again

Patrick woke me up way early to get to the airport, so I never did get to say goodbye to his boyfriend.

(It was nice to meet you!)

I barely slept the entire time I was in New York, so by the time I got my husband's stinky car home, I was wiped out. My husband and kids were out at a birthday party when I got home, but when I walked in the door I had to exclaim, "Oh. My. God!"

He had cleaned a ton. And unpacked even more.

Does it get any better than that?

I came home from New York with a bunch of fun memories, a Requiem score, some new friends, some seriously dirty laundry, an ankle the size of a grapefruit and (most importantly) even closer relationships with some very special people. And I never got drunk or had a hangover.

You can't beat that.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What's Up With Me

Very early tomorrow morning I am flying out to spend the weekend in New York City. I'm going up for my friend's fortieth birthday party (eek, my friends are getting old). I'm really looking forward to having some fun.

But as always, there is another side to it. I am freaking out trying to get ready to leave. Why is it so hard to get ready to spend three days out of town? It's only three days!

Oh, yeah. That's right. It's because I have two kids with busy schedules. Who need proper outfits to go with those schedules. And who need to practice violin for a duet for a Christmas concert next week. And who have mounds of homework every night.

It's weird. Although he hasn't been deployed and his job is supposed to be "easier" I feel like my husband is actually around so much less since we moved here. I suppose a lot of it is because his daily commute is so much longer. It used to take him two minutes to pop home and help out with something. Now we don't see him until dinner time every night.

But he's also been going TDY every couple of weeks. It seems counterintuitive that being apart for a week or two every month would be harder than being apart for six months at a time, but in a lot of ways, it is.

My husband just isn't up on what we're doing all the time. He's not as involved.

In all honesty, he has been driving me crazy just a little bit. It's funny because I feel closer to him than ever and our marriage is stronger than ever, but on this one point I want to throttle him.

He's had this attitude lately like he "can't" handle the kids' stuff. He says the boy's math is beyond him. He says the girl's language arts are beyond him. He says he struggles too much to help my son with his speech practice. So he sits in the recliner and watches hockey while I struggle with them.

And I want to kill him.

I know, I know. I should be happy he's here to bug me. He could have been killed by rocket attacks in Baghdad or he could be in Afghanistan right now.

I know, I know, I know.

So it is really awesome that he's forcing me to go to New York this weekend. I wasn't going to. I feel too guilty for leaving my family while they're so busy. But my dear husband insisted I go have some fun and celebrate the fortieth birthday of someone we both really like.

And maybe three days alone with the kids will show him again that he can do anything with them that I can do. And he can do some things better. He is so much better at giving praise than me. He isn't such a perfectionist.

I will also be perfectly happy to walk away from the other shit going on in my life. You would not believe the crap that is going on with the room mothers from my daughter's class. We could star in a reality television series and have enough drama to stay on the air for years. It is ridiculous that grown women would act this way. I am done. With that. With this school. With women, frankly. With everything.

In the last year I have developed an amazing ability to just not care.

I can read nasty blog posts by people attacking everything I stand for, and just shrug it off. Whatever. They're the unhappy ones.

I can listen to people rant and rave and just not care. Whatever.

Just yesterday I told my daughter a story from the bible. I know. You can expect the four horsemen of the Apocalypse any time now. I told her about Jesus saying let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

I couldn't believe it was a lesson she needed to learn because that is so unlike her. It is astonishing sometimes, the sheer amount of things you must teach your children.

That first stone thing is something we could all probably stand to learn (she says sanctimoniously from her soapbox having never called anyone a dumb bitch.)

And so I'm off. To Sin City. No wait, that's Vegas, right? I'm off to the Big Apple to see people who used to be "bloggers" but are now just friends and I am going to turn off my guilt and leave it all behind. For three whole days.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

How Boys Drool and Girls Get Famous

My daughter absolutely hates that 9-year-old kid with the dating book. Basically, he beat her to her dream of being a kid writer and he "used girls" to do it. (Her words, not mine.)

She's determined to write a better book and get a better deal, all before she turns ten in July.

When she hears the kid got a movie deal, she's going to flip her freaking lid.

Monday, December 08, 2008

My Dog Has Fleas

Buffy the Wonder Puppy has fleas. And now I can't stop itching. Everywhere.

God, make it stop!

I am seriously more creeped out by little fleas crawling on my dog than just about anything else I can imagine. I'd rather have lizards in the house again. Or cockroaches. Or mice. Oh my.


Luckily the man is on top of the problem. I'm not going near that little ball of fur with a ten foot poll.

I bet you're itching now too. Hands out of your pants, guys.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Stuffed Too Deep

This morning I am baking, oh, about a thousand more cookies. This time for the my husband's division.

So I was preheating the oven just a bit ago and it started to smell like Thanksgiving all up in my place. I figured some turkey juices had dripped on the bottom of the oven, so I opened the door to check.


Not turkey juices.

There was a whole casserole dish full of uncooked stuffing in the oven!

Sure we had the stuffing that actually fit in the bird, but I could have sworn we were missing the rest of it. But I was sick on Thanksgiving day and my mother and husband insisted that we were not, so I went with it.

I was denied a whole week's worth of stuffing leftovers!

Stuffing makes me happier than just about anything in the world! Someone is going to pay!

Do you think I'd get salmonella if I cooked it up and ate it now?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

My Future Civil Engineer

I spent my afternoon in my son's first grade classroom helping him make his own personal little gingerbread estate. Although truth be told, I did very little helping. My boy is one independent kid.

I had fun. It is a really sweet little tradition. Seeing what the different kids came up with was amazing.

Before he took a little tour around the class and saw what his classmates had done, my son's house was pristine. Every little bit had a story like there is a bear family watching for Santa and a sled to carry presents.

But the other kids' were basically huge mounds of candy with arches and steeples. In a last ditch "Oh, I could have done that!" moment he dumped a bunch of candy on his plate.

The whole thing didn't even make it home before he was asking if he could eat it.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Tankless, Baby

Well, so much for that. Nothing much special seemed to happen today. At least not that I know of. Maybe ten years from now I'll look back at this date and be amazed at my foresight for recognizing a life changing moment.

Or not.

It was a weird day though. It was one of those days when I felt like I couldn't get my head out of the clouds.

My husband and I did have a meeting at what we hope will be the kids' new school come next fall. I was so nervous my stomach was in knots. We are in love with that school. I'd sell my soul on eBay to get them in there. But we found out that the first grade is currently full. So unless someone moves...

Fingers crossed.

Why are all the first grades full? What the hell were all those parents getting into seven years ago?

So this Thanksgiving I realized that my daughter is just like my mother. How could I not have realized that before? It all makes sense now.

Other than that my life has been very...uneventful lately. The biggest news I have right now is that we're getting a new water heater tomorrow.

It's tankless.

Woo hoo!

Sunday, November 30, 2008


I'm sort of nervous to go to bed tonight.

I have a feeling that tomorrow is going to be a very important day, but I'm not sure why.

It could be good or it could be bad, but something is in the air.

I had better get to bed so I can face whatever it is without bags under my eyes.

*Written to dissuade any self-fulfilling prophesies. Unless they're good.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Day

A Thanksgiving Joke:

Why did the turkey cross the road?

Because it was the chicken's day off.

My son, who wants to be a movie star when he grows up, tried this joke out in the kitchen today while we were cooking. When he didn't get a big laugh, he decided to try the joke out on Grandpa, but with rewritten lines.

Why did the turkey cross the road?

Because it didn't want to be meat-i-fied.

Maybe he will be a movie star. Directors will hate him anyway.

Let me take a moment to be a little corny today and reflect on the many things I am thankful for.

I am thankful for my husband, who stands by me no matter what. I am thankful for my kids and their good hearts. I am thankful for all those people who love me just for being me. I am thankful for the resources to live a good life while still doing exactly what I want to do on a daily basis.

And I am thankful for this little spot on the web where I get to be just who I want to be, and I am thankful for all of you who care enough to check in from time to time.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Monday, November 24, 2008

My Man

My parents are visiting again. They arrived last night.

My husband is a trooper.

He's also meeting with a lawyer today to discuss this issue.

Can't help loving that man of mine.

Friday, November 21, 2008

If It's Not One Thing...

1) It is freaking snowing here! And to all those folks who naysayed my kids when they were so happy about moving "up North" and having snow, I say...fuck you. It's November.

2) I decided to try really hard to write about non-mom stuff on the blog for a bit. I need a little break from my mom self. It hasn't worked out so well. Without my mom self, I've pretty much got nothing.

3) The boy was Student of the Week for his class this week. That meant he got to bring a show-and-tell everyday. On Tuesday he brought his violin and played for his class. His teacher was so impressed she made him play for his music teacher and a bunch of other classrooms. "I made him play about twenty songs!" she told me.

He was very proud. Last night he told me he overheard someone in the bathroom say that he played better than the fifth graders in orchestra. I'm sure he does.

This morning I told him he had to pick something very special to bring for show-and-tell. He asked, "Can I bring my sister?" How sweet is that?

4) The husband was in San Antonio all week. I seriously cannot wait for him to get home tonight. I've been up to 2 or 3 a.m. every night this week (not by choice). I don't know if I can stay awake until midnight to greet him.

5) My college roommate found me on Facebook. She's still married to the guy she dated through college and they have four daughters. Every one of them looks more like their mom than the last. That is so surreal. I've seen that girl puking up a 2 liter bottle of Purple Passion.

6) I'm trying to plan a trip to New York for a certain blogger's birthday but things keep getting in the way. Including a fourth grade recorder concert. She just played violin at a Bach Festival at the Chrysler Museum of Art but now I have to go watch her squeak through a recorder concert. Eh, I suppose I love the kid. As much as she drives me insane.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Why I'm Up at 2 a.m.

I stayed up late baking for Teacher Appreciation at school tomorrow.

If I never see anther chocolate chip cookie in my entire life, that will be okay with me.

Okay, that's total bullshit. But I'm done baking for a while. By 2 a.m. those platters started looking like a giant pair of boobs to me.

I'll be sleeping in tomorrow (today, actually). Hold my calls, please.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Awakening the Beast

If you've been paying any attention at all in the last few weeks, you've noticed the new energy in the air. Activism seems to be alive and well. I'm loving it!

It's like somebody poked the big gay beast. And they poked him at the perfect time, a time when people are finally starting to feel some hope. The fire is lit and it isn't going out anytime soon.

I've never felt like I could make a difference in any large way. I could only take solace that a lifetime of small but deliberate acts would add up.

I can teach my kids about respect, empathy and equality. I can write the occasional letter to an editor. I can put forth my name and face as a person who loves gay people and strongly believes in their right to be recognized as fully human and fully American.

Now in my small corner of the world, my fire has been fanned. My own inner beast has been poked.

I'm pissed.

We're part of an association that owns and manages the little beach at the end of our street on Cape Cod. The executive committee has put forth an amendment to the group's bylaws for our consideration. It contains a bunch of rules about the renting of our homes. Homes that we own.

I was perturbed enough about the fact that this association was trying to tell me what we could and could not do with a home that we own and that is not a part of a restrictive home owners association. But one of the last proposed rules sent me over the edge.

"Families only."

They might as well have just written, "No gays or single people allowed."

Fuck that shit. If I want to rent my home to my best gay bud for a summer, I will do it. If I want to rent my home to our school-teaching lesbian neighbors for a summer away, I will do it.

Who are these people to define family anyway?

It might be plausible to think that the association is only trying to keep hordes of frat boys off of their beach, but I know better. I've had gay friends spend the summer. I've had gay friends visit. And it pissed these people off.

We are expected to write back to the executive committee to tell them how we feel. Man, are they going to get an earful from me. I'm also going to investigate the legality of such a clause and any legal recourse we might have.

I'm glad to say that my husband is on board with me. But he might not be as willing as I to take drastic measures.

I'll sell that house below value to any gay couple/person willing to buy it just out of spite. The area has become popular with lesbians.

Worse yet, I am willing to sell out. Our extended family owns the property on one entire side of that little neighborhood. There are only two houses there now. But with the property all combined, there could be a whole new development. One of my husband's relatives has been trying to trick us into rezoning our land for years. He'd be more than happy to put in a trailer park.

I love my house on the Cape. But I don't love spending my summer among bigots. I will be there in July at the next board meeting. My husband's beloved grandmother was the heart and soul of that community before she died. She must be rolling in her grave to know what they are trying to do now.

How can I be so sure? She raised her grandson, my husband to be the most honorable of men.

They might not have pissed off a bitchy queen, but they did the next best thing. They pissed of a bitchy queen's best friend. They will regret it.

Are you gay, lesbian, childless or single? Than you're invited to my place next summer. Let's paint the barn like a giant rainbow flag. We'll see what rules they come up with then.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Penalty Box (Three Hours for Roughing)

Tonight the kids and I went to see my husband referee a kids' hockey game.

It was kind of hot.

He's a good ref. But he should be. He has plenty of practice just from being a dad.

Just a couple of days ago he mentioned how the kids were bugging him because they were bickering. We have a zero tolerance policy on bickering, pouting and whining in our house (at least for the kids) so we are especially sensitive to them getting on each other's nerves.

So I told him my strategy for dealing with bickering siblings. I tell them they're not allowed to play together.

This morning I was awoken by sobbing kids and an incredulous husband. My daughter was playing a handheld game (which she's not supposed to because she is grounded) and she wouldn't share with her brother.

So he squeezed her arm.

So she bit his head.

She bit his head! What the hell?

My husband sent them to separate rooms. Then he told them they were not allowed to be near each other.

So they could do anything they wanted anywhere in the house or yard, they just couldn't do it together.

And so we got to endure three hours of crying children. They sobbed. They wailed. They each sat in a bathroom and cried their eyes out. All because they couldn't play together.

Apparently each other. And they are so sorry they hurt each other. And they miss each other so much.

It was freaking hilarious. But effective.

And the girl is in even more trouble than she was when she cut her hair or ate her Easy Bake Oven mixes. I wish I knew of such an easy way to deal with all of her other issues too. I guess I just have to find something to take away from her that she loves as much as her brother.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Long One Off My Chest

Since dear Marc hit the nail on the head in comments on my last post, I thought I'd go ahead and talk some more about this parenting crap.

Marc commented:

Umm...just a thought...but gifted children who aren't challenged enough (read: the school is "easy") are more likely to get into trouble because they are bored and are racing ahead to the next thing. I have a feeling your kids might be in that category and maybe it isn't hard enough for them. Easy is not a good thing for smart children. Maybe this isn't it...but it could be. This may sound like a dumb question, but have they been tested?

Well, Marc, it isn't a dumb question at all.

My son has been tested both academically and psychologically. He actually scored perfectly on the academic part and the summary of his individual testing included the words "extremely intelligent". He is gifted, although not a true genius.

At his old school he was in an accelerated math program where he had math class with a specialist and two other students.

My daughter hasn't performed so extraordinarily in school that we felt the need to have her tested, but she has always scored in the 97 to 99th percentile in language arts on standardized tests. She has been summarized as "very bright" and a "gifted writer". Her third grade teacher told me to make sure she got in an accelerated writing and language arts program when we moved.

Here's the thing, and don't hate me for saying this, but having smart kids does not equal having easier kids. In fact, I think it can be quite the opposite.

So here's the deal. My son is having trouble staying focused in school. They don't have a math specialist so the extent of his math enrichment is to have extra work every day. But while he's suppose to be doing his extra work, the lower level reading groups are meeting feet away.

Apparently, he keeps answering their questions for them.

I really do think that he is bored. The class is still working on math facts to 10. He's doing carrying and borrowing and money related word problems. He's ready to start multiplication, but here's the kicker. He's not learning any of this stuff at school. The teacher gives him math sheets she finds online and I teach him the problem solving process at home.

Basically, I'm home schooling him in the three waking hours he has at home.

Oh, and I have to mention that the homework for first grade is to correct all of the mistakes from that day's work at home. He doesn't have any mistakes.

But my daughter is another story. She got demerits for forgetting homework at home or completing the wrong homework. Her problem is that she is incredibly messy and therefor unorganized. But that is fixable. (and punishable)

The real problem is that she isn't her happy self. She told us she is "nervous all the time". That is a huge red flag for an anxiety disorder.

Except we've known she's an anxious, sensitive kid since she was a newborn. There is a fine line between having a nervous personality and having an anxiety disorder. So her doctor, teachers and I have been watching it carefully. And she never has tripped over that line. She's matured every year.

We could chalk her anxiety up to the fact that she moved to a new school, but I sensed it was more than that.

So I met with her teacher yesterday. In our long talk she revealed a few things to me that I think sum up our problems. She is a veteran teacher but she told me that she has never had such a discipline problem in a class before. She said the kids are out of control. And I told her, "My daughter said that she feels like you're really frustrated and anxious."

An anxious kid can not have an anxious teacher. She needs her teacher to be a rock. A touchstone of sanity. It bothers my daughter a lot when other kids misbehave. When other kids are mean to each other, she can barely handle it.

Her teacher also told me that she has a major gap in the class. This is supposed to be the enrichment level course but she has only a few kids (my daughter included) who can really keep up. So she hasn't been doing the creative, engaging things she usually does.

Her answer is to get the literacy specialist to pull the smart kids out for some more enrichment.

But most of all, my daughter does not feel known. Her teacher asked me to tell her about some of the things my daughter really enjoyed at her old school. When I told her that she loved drama and music and had been the lead in the grade-level plays she was astounded. When I mentioned something about violin, she said that she didn't know my daughter played.

(Never mind how she told me they used to do grade-level plays and they used to do a multicultural celebration--which made me want to say, "and some day we'll used to have gone to your school." We're paying $16,000 a year for used to!)

So, back to my point, we're sending my daughter to talk to a school councilor. I'm just hoping she'll benefit from the adult connection.

Her teacher did say one very interesting thing, though. She said that my daughter is "so mature and just on another level completely". Which is probably why adult connections are so important to her. What we always considered immaturity--not being interested in the High School Musical-type crap, not caring about clothes or hair, not making clique connections---although good immaturity (i.e. innocence) was really a level of maturity that so transcends her peers that she doesn't fit in.


So I have hated this school since the beginning. Not because it is a bad school but because it doesn't fit with our family. And because the level of education doesn't even come close to what we're paying for. But I kept wanting to give it a chance. Just because I'm unhappy doesn't mean the kids are.

But I still knew we'd apply to the other two similar school (where we were wait-listed) for next year. We even looked into public schools which are excellent here.

Then I was leaving our violin practice last week and took a different turn through the teacher's neighborhood than I usually do. And I drove by a school we only paid cursory attention to when we were moving because it was so small.

Then we went to a violin workshop and I found out that one of the families goes to that school. I decided to call.

It turned out they were having an open house the next night.

And I have found a ray of hope.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Who are these children?

No one ever told me that parenting would be easy. But, damn. This kind of sucks.

The kids are both struggling in school.

If they were struggling because this school is harder than their last one, that would be one thing. But, no. In fact they both think that this school is "easy". And, I think, therein lies the problem.

The boy has trouble focusing. The girl got three demerits this semester (two in the last two days).

Who are these children?

Coincidentally, we are going to visit a new school tonight. I don't blame the school we chose for our problems. I place all of the blame squarely at my own feet. (Well, mine and the kids themselves.) But I don't feel like I have any support or understanding at the "easy" school and that is making everything harder.

If it wasn't for the few moments of overwhelming joy, I don't think anyone would want to be parents at all.

At times like this, I feel like a sad kid at summer camp. All I can think is, I want to go home! I truly had no idea just what an excellent education they were getting on the bayou.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Rose by Any Other Name

I'm so embarrassed.

A couple of months ago, Mark sent me a friend request on Facebook. My first thought was I have a Facebook account?
Then I remembered.
Probably about a year ago, a friend told me that I had to check out someone's Facebook profile. I strongly believe that I'm too damn old and out of touch to waste my time on Facebook, but this friend insisted.

So I used my tunagirl e-mail address to sign up.

I saw whatever profile pic I was supposed to see, hit the little X at the top of the window, and never thought about Facebook or how desperately unhip I am again.

Until I started getting friend requests. It turns out a bunch of my blog friends are on Facebook, so I decided to drink the Kool-Aid and dive in. I sent out a bunch of friend requests last night.

But I still didn't even really know what to do on Facebook.

It's weird. It's mostly all...

Bill just got home.

Rose added a picture.

John wants to eat sushi.

Rose edited her profile.

Rose is diddling herself.

It seemed like Rose was awfully damn busy, and I have no idea who Rose is. And it's funny that she went to the same schools as me. But whatever.

And then I realized what I had done.

When I signed up last year, Facebook wouldn't accept Tuna Girl as a real name. Op Sec and anonymity are deeply ingrained in my psyche, so I randomly chose a pseudonym. And completely forgot about it.

I'm Rose. Like I needed another pseudonym. Like I'm not weird enough.

And thus, I have proved, without a doubt that I am too unhip to be a part of Facebook. And my friends aren't going to let me live it down.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Those Damn Cows Made It

I mention here at least once a year how much I appreciate Nicky, Mark, and MAK. Those were the first three blogs I ever read and the first three readers and commenters I had here. Every time I have a blog-o-versary I am a little amazed that the three of them are still blogging.

A couple of months ago Nicky came close to closing his LiveJournal blog. Mark just moved his blog to a new place. And now MAK has finished his journey and closed his blog.

I am lucky enough to consider these three guys friends and I will especially miss following along with MAK's life on his blog. When I see MAK I always have the best time and feel instantly comfortable.

But I think MAK left his blog with the perfect parting words.

I suck at parting words. I look back at how I closed My Other Blog when I was let go and I wish I could write it again. I've even been thinking about how I'll end this blog since I first started writing it! I want to go out on a positive note, just like MAK did.

I write all of this mostly to say goodbye and thank you to my blog inspiration but also to reflect.

I found my yearbooks when I was unpacking the other day. My quote in my college yearbook, my parting words to the place I had loved and lived in for four years were these:

"Off we go into the wild, blue yonder..."


Were you as brilliant as me in your yearbook? Are you any more adept at parting words than I am?

I have the feeling that I'm going to need some help. No blog can go on forever. Every story must have its end.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Military Discounts

Lowe's and Home Depot are currently offering 10% off to military folks. Details are here.

Maybe it's time to get some more work done in the new house. I just wish they sold sofas.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Downward Grind

I didn't write anything at all yesterday because I was afraid of what I might record for all prosperity.

I have always thought that writing was the best way to deal with any powerful emotions. But sometimes what I see on the page when I've finished spewing words makes me feel even worse. I don't like what I see there.

I knew yesterday would be like that. I am so angry. With my family and the people I love. And, I suppose, myself.

My daughter is grounded for a week for being irresponsible. Yet she has managed to be even more irresponsible than ever during her grounding.

My husband is driving me nuts. I won't go more into that.

My son was doing okay until he acted like a sassy, little brat at his violin lesson. I hate it when he's silly. He knows violin class is not the time to be silly.

And scores of other people are driving me nuts.

Why do these things always happen all at once? It makes me think that it must really be me. It must be my reactions and disappointments that drive people to disappoint me.

Once I start yelling at my kids I start feeling guilty. I never used to yell.

Ironically, when I don't yell at some adults who need to be yelled at, I feel guilty too. For avoiding confrontation.

In the midst of a time of great optimism and potential for change in this country I don't feel energized. I feel angry and sad because of the daily grind of being human.

How do you rise above that daily grind?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

As Political as I Get

Little Tuna Girl is on Team Obama at school. Today she will be debating Barack Obama's stance on immigration. She has done her research and she is ready.

She drew a blue slip out of a hat to be placed on Team Obama, but this was a great opportunity to teach her about researching candidates and not relying on advertising or the opinions of others to form her own ideas.

So I asked her, "If you could vote, who would you vote for."

"I'd vote for Obama," she told me. "I don't want Daddy to have to go back to Iraq."

That made me tear up a bit.

I honestly don't think it is so simple. I don't want her thinking that if one president is elected over another her military father won't have to go to war again in her lifetime, because that obviously isn't the case. But still, from her nine-year-old point of view, she did the research and came up with her own opinion. And that is the whole point of parenting.

My son has his own opinion too.

He was standing in the living room getting his soccer cleats on when he suddenly yelled to his sister. "Barack Obama is kind to animals! You have to vote for Barack Obama because he is kind to animals and you love animals! The other one is mean to animals!"

I have no idea where he got that from and can only imagine that his friends might have been bad mouthing Palin's hunting.

But listening to him say "Barack Obama" (and he always uses both names) with his deliberately pronounced "r" is the cutest damn thing ever.

Happy voting.

Monday, November 03, 2008

No Such Thing as Too Big

On Friday night, I opened my door for about the 20th time to a group of trick-or-treaters. But one little boy didn't hold out his candy bag.

He looked up. He looked at me. He shook his head.

"Your house is a mansion," he said in an accusatory tone.

I laughed a bit. My house is far from a mansion.

"It is too big," he added.

Well, thank you for the reality check little ninja boy. I guess it is all in the eye of the beholder. Now take your Whoppers and skadootch.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween 2008

Harry Potter and Hermione Granger

The Case of the Pumpkin Poop

A couple of weekends ago, the kids and I went to a produce stand and picked out the most perfect pumpkins I've ever seen. They were so excited to carve them. So last weekend we dug in.

Of course they think pumpkin guts are disgusting so I spent about an hour scooping and scraping those bad boys.

My son decided to freehand a jack-o-lantern face and some stars and it came out great (once I did all the cutting)

But my daughter really wanted to carve something more elaborate.

She had a book of patterns and she was considering some of the more challenging designs. I kept saying, "Are you sure, Honey? That's going to be pretty hard." But she was determined.

About an hour into her carving she announced, "This is harder than I thought it would be."

"Do you want some help?" I asked.

"No. I want to do it." And she kept plugging away.

I have to admit that once I put the candle in, I was incredibly impressed. How cool is this?

She was so very proud of herself.

I didn't want to put the pumpkins outside because I was afraid they'd get smashed. Or that wild animals would eat them. So I put them on the hearth by the fireplace.

But I made a mistake. When I went to blow out the candle before bed I thought for a second that the design had caved in. Or, I don't know, melted.

It took me a second to realize that the design on the pumpkin has been eaten off by our own little wild animal. Buffy ate my daughter's pumpkin.

It never even occurred to me that a dog would eat a pumpkin. It certainly never occurred to me that a five pound dog would eat about five pounds of pumpkin rind.

In the morning I had to break it to my daughter. She was so upset. I felt so bad for her.

My husband took her to get another pumpkin and the two of them recreated another wolf design. It is now rotting high up away from the dog on my kitchen counter. But Buffy is still in the dog house.

Happy 4th birthday you pain-in-the-ass pumpkin eater. You're not coming out of your room until you stop pooping orange.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fucking Geese

When I pulled into the parking lot at the zoo for my son's field trip, I had a hard time parking. The lot was filled with Canadian geese.

I thought as I drove slowly toward them that they would fly away, but they didn't even waddle. They didn't even shake their tail feathers. They just looked at me.

I managed to weave through the sea of Christmas dinner to pull into a spot, but I was wondering how the kids' school bus was going to get through.

I had to wait for about ten minutes for my son's class to arrive, but the zoo kindly provided entertainment. After just a couple of minutes, two big, working class-type guys came out in green zoo jumpsuits.

They started walking toward the geese, and the geese ignored them as well as they had ignored me in my car. So the guys started waving their arms. The geese deigned to turn their heads and look at them.

The guys started yelling.

The geese started walking. All in different directions. And slowly.

Before long these guys were skipping and jumping and screaming. I think one even managed to turn a cartwheel before the geese were finally annoyed enough to leave.

You may think that geese say honk, honk. But I swear, as they flew away to a nearby pond, those geese called to those guys, "Fuck you. Fuck you."

Listen closely the next time you see geese flying overheard. I know you'll hear it too.

I wouldn't be surprised if their cars were covered in giant goose poo when they left work that night.

Damn, Canadians.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Another Weird Day

It's another weird, out-of-sync day. My daughter is home sick.

Yesterday I was on a field trip to the zoo with my son's first grade class when I missed a call from the school nurse about my daughter. So she stayed in the school clinic for a couple of hours until I checked my messages.

I felt so, so bad.

I also feel like the school nurse must think I send my kids to school sick and then she gets to clean up their puke. But she assured me that they are "the sweetest kids" even when they are vomiting on her, so that's good.

Of course my daughter feels fine today but she's not allowed back at school until tomorrow. It's funny because she doesn't know what to do without her brother around. I told her it was a great chance to watch any movie she wanted and play any computer game she wanted without her brother around, but she wasn't impressed.

Nim's Island, Poptropica, EverydayMath games, and violin practice later, she's bored.

In other news, today my horoscope said to pinch pennies. I wish I had read it before I booked a cruise.

At least gas prices are down. You can all thank my husband for the decline in gas demand. A couple of months ago he bought a little, used, blue Honda Civic for his commute to work.

He had done all the math to support the purchase price. Now it doesn't seem worth it. Yay. Another car payment. Do we get points for being environmentally friendly? (I still have to pay a gas surcharge for the cruise.)

Oh! I haven't talked much more about my nemesis DB (Dumb Bitch room mother) have I? She called me today. Her mere existence is such a rain wreck that it is entertaining to watch. But she's too stupid to get my verbal jabs. Which is just sad.

I feel bad for the teacher she is working with. But the teacher e-mailed me today and asked that I help with a bunch of stuff since there was a "miscommunication" with DB. I think the teacher is in on my "sarcastic quotation marks". It makes me smile. And since I am actually helping, now I can revel guilt-free in the human disaster that is DB.

Did I mention that she owns a "communication" company. (She means "marketing" but she probably doesn't "realize" that.)

Okay, enough sick day blather. Stay tuned tomorrow for a heartwarming story about fucking geese.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Blood Lust

This weekend I cut myself in a place where no women wants to cut herself. Ever. I cut myself in the worst possible place.

Yeah. Don't make me say it.

It hurt. A lot.

Here's the thing.

It's been a long time since I've written about sex here on the ol' blog of uncomfortableness because, well...

You have to be having sex to write about it. The new house hasn't exactly been christened, if you know what I mean.

So while I've been keeping things "clean" enough to not freak out children and small animals when I wear shorts, I haven't been keeping things up in a I-don't-want-him-to-have-to-pick-anything-out-of-his-teeth kind of way.

His teeth haven't been anywhere near there in a while.

But, we made a sex date (you do those things when you've been married 13 years) while he was in Reno last week and I wanted to, you know, make a good reimpression.

But then I gave myself an at-home clitorectomy and I haven't really been in the mood.

So if you're a fan of embarrassing sex stories about middle-aged straight people, you're going to have to wait for things to heal.

I wonder how long it takes for one of those to grow back.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Opposite of Emulate

Once upon a time I read a blog that I thought was really funny. For about two weeks.

It didn't take me long to get so sick of the writer's voice and whiny disposition that I started reading his blog as a complete train wreck. It was a great example of what I didn't want to become.

But this guy had legions of devoted fans. I never understood it.

Reading his blog made me so afraid of my own writing voice that I stopped using it. I really thought that I kind of, sort of had the same voice and vibe. And I worried about how I came off.

Now this guy has published a book. Like, a real fucking book.

I want to slit my wrists.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Alone with the Irrepressible Boy

What a weird day.

My son is home "sick" (Ha! I used sarcastic quotation marks. He is so totally fine. Kids recover so fast.) and the two of us are just sitting around watching television. It's a day out of time.

He's doing school work and I was thinking about blogging. But I noticed something weird while I was looking at my Blogger dashboard.

Lately I've been writing a lot of posts that I don't ever publish for one of three reasons.

1) They suck.

2) They don't cast me in the best light.

3) They might offend people.

What the hell is up with that? Like any of those things have ever stopped me before.

When did I get so afraid of just being me?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Only My Kids

Poor, little Tuna Boy is home from school. The school nurse called at lunch time to tell me that he had thrown up in the cafeteria and I needed to come pick him up.

When I got there he was standing in the doorway with his backpack on his back looking and acting totally normal. So I asked him if he had thrown up a lot or a little and the nurse quickly piped up to say, "A lot!" She also informed me in the kindest way possible that he should stay home tomorrow too.

Little Tuna Boy isn't happy about that. He hates to miss school. Both of my kids have been trying desperately to have perfect attendance at school for the last three years. They're still pissed at me for taking them out of school last year to come house hunting at the beach.

"Well," I told my son. "At least you're not missing soccer or anything. You don't have anything you have to do today."

"No," he answered. "I still have to do my homework."

I asked, "Did your teacher bring you your backpack with your homework?"

"No," he answered again. "When I got to the clinic the nurse wasn't there so I went to my classroom to get all the work I didn't do yet. I didn't want to fall behind if I had to miss school."

Only my kid. Only my son would think that way.

And my daughter? She's weird too.

This weekend we bought a new little CD player. While we were cleaning up the family room I put it on and searched for a radio station to play. Well, I cruised right by the classical music station looking for some pop music when my daughter stopped me.

"Mom! Put it back. I like the orchestra music!"

And the two kids cleaned happily listening to some classical music I couldn't identify if my life depended on it.

But when the orchestra music changed to opera music, I figured they probably had enough and I could find some decent music to listen to. But oh, no.

"Mom! That singing was beautiful. I find it soothing. Put it back!"

What the hell kind of roll reversal is that? All I want is some good Fergie or Maroon 5 and my kids are naming composers. (I couldn't even spell orchestra without the spell checker!)

Only my kid.

If I didn't see with my own eyes that they waste time playing Nintendo and enjoy hours playing pretend I would think they were being raised like little, hot house freaks.

Tuna Boy is currently sitting on the floor playing Lego's and watching Spongebob. And I'm sitting here thinking that maybe I should go back to school and get a degree in music appreciation just to keep up with them.

I guess our tuition money was well spent after all.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Reason I'm a Bad Friend #236

Every year I insist that I am going to get my Christmas shopping done early. Of course I never do. That would be...almost...sacrilgeous. Or unpatriotic. Frenzied late-December shopping is as Christian American as apple pie and church gossip.

But still, this year, I tried again.

The kids' school made it easy with their fall fundraiser. They sold Virginia Diner peanuts, including Hokie Nuts.

Since one of my best friends back in Louisiana is a Virginia native and Virginia Tech alum, I bought her an assortment of Hokie Nuts. Even chocolate-covered peanuts.

They sat in their box on top of my kitchen cabinets until I got PMS.

Then I ate her chocolate-covered nuts.

I figured I'd just order more and complete the set again. But then I got depressed because I ate my best friend's chocolate nuts, and I dug into the other two cans too.

This resulted in a week full of salty nut innuendos around the Tuna house. And a lifetime of guilt for me.

So today I'm going to order more nuts. And hide them better from myself. (And order a whole set of backup nuts because I know myself too well.)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

When did everyone get so tall and skinny?

We were watching the Red Sox the other night when I commented about one of the players to
my husband. "He must have given up the steroids. Look at how skinny he got!"

Then we were watching our favorite sitcoms on Monday night (Monday night is sitcom night on CBS) when I mentioned, "Damn. Raj looks skinny!"

These last couple of nights, I've been noticing how skinny all the guests are on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

Craig Ferguson. Craig Ferguson. Craig Ferguson.

I keep noticing how skinny everyone is on television. Even the men. What happened? I know things are bad but celebrities can still afford food, can't they? Is anorexic still in? Maybe it's just that everything is going high def now.

Speaking of which, we've been lucky enough to have a high def, wide screen television for quite a few years. In fact, we bought the T.V. before anyone was broadcasting in high def. Or in the right ratio for a widescreen.

Huh. Ummm, wait. I think a light bulb is going on here.

For years everyone on my television has been squished and stretched to fit my widescreen format. Everyone has been short and fat. I got used to it. Now that we have a new DirecTV box, everyone looks "normal".

Damn. Celebrities have been this damn skinny this whole time? I've been living in a shorter, fatter world than everyone else since 2000!

I think I liked my short, fat world. I want my old box back.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Craig Ferguson, Craig Ferguson

Speaking of my libido, it's been a while since I've had a grown up crush. Was the last one Raul B-something? Or Joseph Fiennes? I forget. But I digress.

Lately I've been crushing on T.V.'s Craig Ferguson. I record The Late Late Show every night and watch it after I drop the kids off in the morning.

I think Craig Ferguson is dreamy. I guess I have rather eclectic and diverse taste in men, but I think Craig Ferguson is both smart and funny. And Craig Ferguson is classically handsome with enough character to make him interesting. Any guy who can make me laugh with a self deprecating sense of humor can also get my juices flowing.

Craig Ferguson makes me wet.

(Don't worry. We can cut that out.)

So I've heard that Craig Ferguson Google's himself from time to time. I suppose Craig Ferguson surfs the net as much as anyone, researching for his comedy.

In the last couple of days I've gotten daily Google search hits for Craig Ferguson. Could it be that Craig Ferguson has found my blog? And Craig Ferguson finds me funny and entertaining? Do I intrigue Craig Ferguson. Craig Ferguson.

Does Craig Ferguson need some new writers? Does Craig Ferguson want to be my Tuna Man? Does Craig Ferguson need a new, interesting type of guest? Does Craig Ferguson want to get his Tuna Girl on?

Craig Ferguson. Craig Ferguson.

(And for image searches)

Craig Ferguson.

Oh, and I really enjoyed Craig Ferguson's book Between the Bridge and the River. You should buy it. Tell Craig Ferguson that Tuna Girl sent you.

Craig Ferguson.

What did we learn on the blog tonight, Craig?

Update: Craig Ferguson Watch '08


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Waiting Boom

It recently occurred to me that I spend about...oh, say...maybe 80% of my waking hours waiting.

I wait for the dog to get groomed. I wait for my husband to get home. I wait in carpool line. I wait for the kids to finish practice. I wait and wait and wait.

Not that I mind it. Not really. There are always things to distract and entertain me.

At the groomer's I listen to Buffy's "stylist" Myke (with a y) tell me about his wife and kid. While waiting on my husband, I watch TiVo'd Craig Ferguson and try not to develop a crush. In carpool line I read or people watch. The parents at school are especially entertaining.

But my favorite is waiting at my kids' practices.

My kids spend an inordinate amount of time practicing things. In fact, if you think about it, practice really defines childhood. Right now the kids are mostly practicing violin and soccer.

Their violin teacher is one of my favorite people here. She's just like me! Except talented, young, and really pretty. Plus, her cutie doctor husband does yard work while the kids have their lesson.

And their soccer coaches. Yum. Well, I should point out that my husband is my son's soccer coach, but they also both go to soccer clinics once a week.

Those soccer coaches are just too damn yummy to ignore. And they have these moves! Da-yum! They can do the most amazing things with those balls. And they can turn on this incredible speed in a split second.


And, oh hey! Look at that. Ding! Looks like someone's libido is alive again.

Now, I guess I just have to do something about it. And for that I might be waiting a little more. The man's sleeping already.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Are you kidding me?

I walked out of my house at 2:00 to go gas up the car and pick up the kids at 3:20.

When I hit the little unlock button on my car door handle nothing happened. No little beep. I had left my "keyless" key fob in the house. Along with my house key.

As I tried the front door, I mumbled a plea. "Oh, please, oh, please, oh, please." To no avail. It was locked.

No problem, I thought. There are four other entry ways to this house that no one ever remembers to lock.

All locked.

There was a brief moment of hope when I found the garage door opener. But the door from the garage to the house was locked.

More hope when I found a set of keys. To our garge door back in Shreveport and my husband's Chevelle on Cape Cod.

No need to panic yet. My husband has time enough to get to the kids. Thank goodness I have my phone.

Twenty calls, e-mails and texts go unanswered.

Okay. I have a shed and a garage full of tools and glass in my doors. A hammer, crowbar and jumbo hedge trimmers will not shatter that glass. I am weak. Ibriefly consider using the circular saw to cut a hole in the door.

By now, an hour has gone by and I realize that even if I got in now, I could never get to the kids on time. I call the school and ask them to put the kids in after school care.

Finally, FINALLY, my husband calls me back.

"Did you try the back door?"




Is he freaking kidding me!

He is on his way to get the kids. I am on the back porch blogging from my Treo.

At least it's not raining. At least I know it would take a criminal more determined than me to get into my house.

No criminal could be more determined than I was to get to my children today.

Tonight we get a spare key made. My heart can't take this again.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Who's Minding the Store?

My husband did the sweetest thing this weekend.

He surprised me on Saturday by taking me to a piano store. He was going to buy me a piano, probably used, maybe even a used digital, but still. A piano.

He did a bunch of research and found this place online. It was highly rated and they also donate pianos to the kids' music academy which provides music education to underprivileged children.

I expected to be accosted by a sale's person the second we walked in the door. But the bing bong didn't seem to attract anyone.

Then we realized that there was a man snoring at his desk in the back of the store.

We tried to surreptitiously wake him. We cleared throats and spoke to the kids. We bing bonged the door one more time. But he kept on snoring.

We checked out the inventory but the longer we were there the more afraid we became that when we finally woke him up, he'd have a heart attack.

Even in sleep he looked about one juicy steak away from a heart attack anyway.

I was started to get the creeps and decided that we must leave right away.

We did stop at the kitchen design shop right next door, though. We were worried that the guy would get accosted and robbed.

And so I didn't get my piano. But I did pick out some awesome Black Galaxy granite counter tops.

It never pays to sleep on the job.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Speaking of Cartoons

This is what I do while on the phone.

I wonder what a psychologist would make of it.

Good Plan

"It's free and you can't get your hair in a ponytail if you don't."

You said it, Natalie. I'm totally on board.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

I am sad.

I miss my old friends.

I miss sending the kids to a school I felt good about.

I miss having a purpose in my life outside of raising my kids and building my marriage.

I miss who I was back in Louisiana.

Mostly, I miss my friends.

A couple of days ago my husband regrettfully informed me that there is a possibility we will be heading back to the bayou in two or three years.

I wasn't sad about that. Can you believe it? It is quite telling.

So, today, I post myself a sappy reminder of what it is all about.

When I can't give them the world, it hurts so much.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Stupid, Junior High Rant

I got sarcastic quotation marked! (Yes, that's a verb.)

So, I stupidly, stupidly, stupidly volunteered to be a room mom. I thought it would be a good way to get involved at our new school and maybe meet some new friends.

Big mistake. Big fucking mistake. This is no sweet, little, Southern private school. This is a whole 'nother back-stabbing, snobby group of socialites with more time and money than brains or basic manners.

I got along just fine with the other room mother in my daughter's class. And I had already done enough work to get to know her teacher a little.

But when I went to the big meeting for all the room moms, I started wishing for a way to bail out.

Have you ever met a person and were just overwhelmed by her stupidity? Within moments of her opening her mouth you just knew that something wasn't quite right there. One of the room parents in our grade was like that.

But she was also mean. And self important. And desperate to be in charge.

My husband said, "She's a bitch!"

And I said, "No, she's really stupid."

And my husband replied, "So, she's a Dumb Bitch."

And she will forever be known as DB to me now.

Anyway, her participation is going to make everything a hundred times harder than it needs to be. To which I say, "Fine." I'll just put my head down, do my work, and make nice.

Well, then I got my big bale out.

My daughter got moved into the enrichment level at school.

Um, you know, I have to say it. Neener, neener, neener!

So I asked her teacher what this meant for room moms and she said, "Unfortunately, I'm going to lose you."

In the meantime, all hell had broken loose on the room mother front. Our grade apparently had a big fight, both verbally and in e-mail. We were chastised by the heads of the group. And I got pissed off. I held my tongue though.

But, the head lady called me and apologized for the whole thing and said that she knew I wasn't a part of any of it and obviously there are some personality issues. Than she said that she was sorry that they were losing me as a room mom and congratulations to my daughter for making it into the advanced program.

So I asked her how I should go about telling the other room moms, since they were meeting on Thursday and I didn't want to step on any toes.

She told me she would do it.

So she sent an e-mail, and of course included me. DB (who desperately called the meeting and only had me reply) replied all with a snarky response.

DB, check the distribution list before you hit send. (And don't e-mail from your anonymous blog's e-mail address.) And don't you dare sarcastic quotation mark the "QUEEN" of "sarcastic" quotation marks.

She will call me to "include" me. I'm this close to e-mailing her back to say not to "bother".

Stupid, Junior High Rant over.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

At the Symphony

The kids played in the lobby of Chrysler Hall before the symphony tonight.

They were awesome.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Dear Obama Campaign Volunteers,

While I appreciate your support of the democratic process, and even that you've taken the time to call me on the phone, having five volunteers call me in a twelve hour period is a bit much.

It's telemarketing 101, people. Split the list up! Handing out multiple copies of the same list is only going to result in annoyed people screening their calls.

Wait until my husband the Republican answers the phone.

Oh! And p.s. When someone tells you they've received multiple calls, don't continue your spiel. Apologize, thank them for their time and hang up.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Mistake Prone

I have always thought of myself as being mistake prone. Talented, but prone to mistakes. Smart, but prone to mistakes. Athletic, but prone to mistakes. Social, but prone to mistakes.

I remember first having these thoughts in high school when I was playing sports. I could make the most brilliant play one moment, and just give the ball away the next. In basketball, where things move quickly, it's one thing. But in softball, where a big E goes up on the board and everyone stares at you for a while, it is hard.

I've got a lot of big E's in my life.

It was also in high school that I first heard the word ditsy bandied about. As in, "She's so smart, but a bit ditsy."

I did not take that well. I still to this day do not think that I am ditsy. I am just...mistake prone. Prone to making mistakes.

Yesterday's e-mail snafu is a great example. And way too often lately I have found myself saying the wrong thing. Though well-intentioned, the words just don't come out right and I fall on my face. And I hurt people's feelings, or make them jealous, or make them mad. When all I ever wanted to do was make nice. I try too hard.

That sucks. It makes me think mistake prone is really dumb, fucking idiot.

But I got some great advice, by way of some random man, by way of his therapist.

It's called a rainy day letter. At a time when you feel really good about yourself you take a few minutes to sit down and write out all of the things that are best and true about you. You write out all of the compliments you hold close to your heart. You write about why the people who love you love you as much as they do. Go fishing if you have to, but figure out what is so great about you that you have a job, friends, and family.

Then the next time you make a mistake, and you feel like an idiot, and the negative thoughts are crashing over you like white capped waves, you take out your rainy day letter and you remember who you really are.

And you remember that we are all prone to make mistakes. Because we are all human. And maybe you're better off for at least realizing that you've made a mistake in the first place.

I think that is brilliant advice, though it is a little too corny for my normal tastes. Still, I think I'll compose one very soon. My self worth does run quite deep and I know I can fill a letter with plenty of things.

First and foremost on that list would be that I love very deeply.

What would the first thing on your list be?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bad, Bad, Bad

I just sent an e-mail to my son's entire soccer team from my Tuna Girl address.

Oops. I noticed about ten seconds after I sent it and did that shocked inhale thing.

Let's hope no one makes the connection. Or if they do, let's hope they have a sense of humor.

Dang. Dang. Dang!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"Who is this woman?"

Sometimes, simply because I am a parent, I find myself doing things that I never imagined I would.

I had this thought last night as I was working to change the chinrest on a violin.

My life A.D. (After Daughter, as opposed to life B.C. or Before Children) has including a string of out-of-body moments where I look down on myself happily doing something completely out of character.

It started in the very beginning when I changed my daughter's first diaper. I had never handled another human being's poop before. I couldn't even imagine myself doing it until I did.

This blog is full of out-of-body examples. I had profound moments of mom-type realizations while crafting tiny little frames and running a Teddy Bear relay race for three-year-olds.

Now that my children are older I find myself doing even more out-of-character things. Designing costumes, tuning violins, organizing fundraisers, substitute teaching and interacting with other people's children. These may seem like such ordinary things to every one else but when I catch myself doing them, sometimes I step back and say, "Who is this woman? I don't know her at all!"

I think the rate of change is all out of whack. One day you're suddenly a parent and your world is completely different. But over the next few years, you so gradually change from the parent of a baby, to the parent of a toddler, to the parent of a kid, to the parent of a preteen...

It happens so slowly on a daily basis but sometimes you stop and look back, shocked to find that your offspring aren't still in diapers.

What's most amazing to me is that, generally speaking, I am so happy with who I've become. I could never have imagined back in college when I was so into the women's liberation movement that I would one day be this person.

Last week I was seeking some advice from the people who know me best. And without fail, every one of them said the same thing to me, in almost the exact same words.

"You've been doing for others for so long. Isn't it time you did something for yourself?"

I thought and thought about it and I finally came to realize something. It has all been for me. This...thing...this motherhood thing is what makes me the happiest. I've been "doing for myself" all along.

And doesn't that just make me one freaking lucky S.O.B?

Monday, September 22, 2008

On Track

I'm in a weird--no--strike that. I am in a horrible mood.

I'm not sure why but I feel uncomfortable right now. Not only in my own skin, but in my own person. I get like this sometimes and I really don't know why.

But I do know that it makes me short, annoyed and irritated. Which I am sure makes me annoying and irritating to those I love.

I guess my husband is lucky that he is so very far away. He arrived in Hawaii safe and sound and left me a voicemail last night to say, "Aloha!" Cute. He wasn't really looking forward to going to Hawaii (freak) but he sounded really happy when I talked to him last night. It turns out that an old friend of ours is stationed there and will be part of the project my husband is working on.

But my poor kids are stuck here with only me. But I have found a babysitting service here, so I feel like the pressure is off me just a little bit. Now the husband and I can have a few date nights here and there. This service will also drive your kids to activities. So until I get to know some people here, I'll have to depend on a sitter who has been background and driving records checked to occasionally pick up a kid when both kids have to be someplace at the same time. (Like this Thursday.) The kids love having sitters and I have already met one I liked. I can't tell you how much of a load is off me now.

Wow. I'm already feeling a little better.

This morning I went to a room mothers meeting at school. Yes, I am going to be a room mom again. I'm actually sort of excited about it because volunteering is a great way to meet new people and make new friends. A few people have remembered and said hello to me around the school lately. It's a start.

I'm going to take some great advice from a good friend and go make my bed. Then I am going to clean off my dining room table.

I always feel better when my environment is neat and organized. I guess my surroundings need to feel more on track when my heart and brain can't be.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Some Random Hawaiin Reference Here

When I was a kid, my parents went to Hawaii on a credit union trip and left my brother and I home alone. They said the trip was "no kids" and at 16 and 12 we were responsible enough to take care of ourselves.

Then all their credit union cohorts brought their kids. Many of whom were my friends.

We got so screwed.

When I was in high school my mother took my grandmother to Hawaii. And when I was in college my parents went there again in conjunction with a cruise.

I've still never been.

It's been a running joke in my family for years, how I always get left behind.

So kind of as a joke, when my kids asked what we could maybe do as a reward if they practice violin for 365 days in a row, my husband offered, "How about a trip to Hawaii?"

We're on day 91 and the kids are already making Hawaiian plans.

But here's the kicker. My husband told me last week that he's leaving for Hawaii on Saturday.

Fucker. He's killing me. Soon he'll have been to two of the places I want to go to worst in the world (London and Hawaii) without me. *pout*

Oh sure, he's also been to Iraq and Afghanistan. But still.

So the kids and I are rather put out. But I have a feeling we'll be practicing violin every single day for 274 more.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Your Beeswax, Mind It

One thing I like about our new digs is the conveniently located shopping plaza in our neighborhood. I'm not sure I've ever lived anywhere where it was so easy to quickly drop off some dry cleaning or pick up a few groceries.

The downside is that it is easy to pick up that food you're craving but know you shouldn't have. And they sell 100 Grand bars. I love those damn things.

We also love the doughnuts in the bakery there. Well, I love doughnuts in general, just on principle, but theirs are especially yummy.

Yesterday I gave in and went and bought four doughnuts. It's bad enough that the doughnuts are so easily accessible to me. I thought I was doing pretty good to buy just one for each of us.

And then the cashier lady yelled at me!

She was mad that I bought four when I could have a dozen for less money.

At first I laughed it off, "Oh, I know. But I don't want all those doughnuts in the house."

But she scoffed at me. She scoffed! She rolled her eyes and told me I was wasting money.

What the hell, lady? You're not my mother. I don't remember asking for your opinion. If the freaking eight cents I wasted means that much to you, you can have it.

Our friendly neighborhood grocery doesn't feel so friendly anymore.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Freezing Out the Bitch

It's bad enough when the snooty moms leave their SUVs running for forty minutes sitting in car pool line. But, dude! This is ridiculous.

Today, a snooty mom pulled up in her Lexus SUV, threw that puppy in park and jumped out to gossip with her friends.

She left both windows wide open, the engine running, the AC blasting, and her golden retriever sitting in her car.

I could feel the cold air blasting out from her windows in my car! And her poor Fido was shivering.

After twenty minutes, Fido was fed up and leaned on the horn. I swear she shot me a look that said, "Can you believe her? Snooty bitch."

I feel you, Fido. I feel you, girlfriend.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Look who's blogging again.

And he even uses the B word.

Not Old Enough

I busted my husband last night.

I was waiting for him to come home with my daughter after soccer practice so I kept watching out the front window. So I saw his car pull into the cul-de-sac. And I saw my daughter sitting in the front seat.

He beat my daughter into the house so I asked him, "When did your daughter turn twelve?"

Oh, maybe it's important here to note to you non-parenting types that you're not supposed to let a child under twelve sit in the front seat because it is not safe with the passenger side airbags most cars have today.

Well, that interrupts the flow of a mediocre story. Suddenly I feel like a late night talk show host whose story has gone nowhere. Anyway...

He gave me a sheepish look.

Of course it took my daughter forever to get into the house, because she's...well...her, so I both teased him and let him know that I didn't like that at all. He was so busted.

I decided not to say anything to her because I knew she would feel so guilty.

My son wasn't privy to any of this. But this morning as we were pulling though the drop off area at school he loudly pointed out, "Look! That little girl is in the front seat. That's not a good idea!"

My daughter got instantly silent.

But my son went on and on. "That's dangerous. Her daddy should know better."

I swear my son and I aren't in cahoots. We're just two peas in a rule following pod.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Old Enough

Any kid who turns seven-years-old today--or any kid younger than seven--was born into a post-9/11 world.

In fact, I think any kid who will turn seven between today and nine months from today belongs to a special group of 9/11 babies.

There is a whole subset of women out there who were pregnant on that day. The women who were pregnant and lost husbands and lovers on that day will always belong to a group of amazing women who have a special place in the heart of America. But there are American women everywhere who bore babies into a world they hadn't thought they would have to.

I'm one of those women. I was almost seven months pregnant on September 11, 2001. My son was born in December.

Those 9/11 babies are starting first grade now.

Those 9/11 babies are old enough to ask questions.

Those 9/11 babies are old enough to realize that something is...different.

One day this summer I took the kids to a little New York-style pizza place near our house. They have a huge mural on one wall of a pre-9/11 Manhattan skyline.

My son who is fascinated by all things New York-related was naming the buildings. But he didn't know what those two tall, "twin" buildings were.

My daughter, oh-so-sophisticated and educated on the matter, told him that they were the Twin Towers that were knocked down by terrorists. And he started to ask questions.

So I sat there in a little dive pizza place and told my son all about it.

I told him how much had changed in the world. I told him how many people died, how many kids lost parents. He was taking it in and I was doing okay, until I told him about how it had effected us.

I told him that this was why his father has had to go away so much. I told him that this was why Daddy was gone for most of his baby years.

I couldn't help tearing up. Those were the hardest words I had ever had to say. Kids born into the post 9/11 world, especially those born those few months right after, especially New York kids, and especially military kids, are different.

Maybe they are better than they would have been. Maybe they are worse. But they are different.

And now they are old enough to understand, to learn about it in school.

Every year on this day I have one prevailing thought. We were so lucky. Lucky that my husband was here for his son's birth. Lucky that my husband wasn't at the Pentagon that day. Lucky that the chain reaction of political events that eventually sent my husband to Baghdad did not kill him.

Most of all, lucky to have our post-9/11 and our pre-9/11 children in our lives. And lucky that they feel secure enough to talk to us about it.