Thursday, January 31, 2008

E-Postile Dysfunction

An hour and a half ago I put a bagel in the toaster.

It is still sitting in there. I didn't notice it pop. I guess by now it is cold and hard.

I plopped my whole wheat breakfast bagel into the toaster, set out the fake butter and a butter knife and sat down at the computer to check my e-mail. But then I got distracted with e-mails I had to answer, mass e-mails I had to send, things I had to write, and now more than an hour is gone.

And with all that writing, I still haven't managed to manage something for here.

I have news. I have stuff to write about. I have pictures to post. I just can't...get it up.

At least my toaster was able to pop. With as fuzzy as I've been, the kitchen could have burned down around me.

Then maybe I'd have something to...get excited about.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Applying to Harvard will be a Cinch!

I am losing my mind, people. I'm losing my fucking mind.

When I applied to college,I applied to one school. Yup. I knew what I wanted.

I visited Saint Joseph's, VT which was a complete party school. I visited Saint Joseph's, ME which was fine but seemed sort of cold. And I visited my college, which was Catholic and all-women and felt like home.

So I applied early and got in and never had to worry about another application. I even got into Saint Joseph's, VT even though I never applied. They were a bit desperate.

In many, many ways, I regret my decision now. Don't get me wrong. I loved my college while I was there. But in hindsight, I could have really spread my wings during that time in my life. I had the brains. I have no idea why I limited myself. I should have applied to all of the Seven Sisters. I guess I was worried about what my parents could afford.

And I was scared.

But now, I am stuck in the middle of this process for my own kids. They may be years away from college, but it feels just the same.

We're an Independent School* kind of family. Honestly, I won't accept anything but an independent school education for my kids, as long as one is available wherever we move. (Don't ask me what I'm going to do if one isn't available.)

But right now we're not sure where we're going to move. It's all up in the air again. We won't know where we're going until the middle of February if we're lucky. Or the middle of March if we're not.

And when is the application deadline for most independent schools? This Friday.

So like a maniac, I'm sending applications to every school that looks decent in every city we might move to.

That's a lot of applications.

And most of these schools have their own recommendation forms and testing requirements, so unlike the tuitions ($25,000 for one of my top choices!!!) the application process isn't like college. Nothing is standardized.

And my kids' poor teachers are stuck writing out a bunch of different recommendation forms. (They have been AMAZING though. Seriously. A-MAZING!)

And of course each of these schools wants the kids to come spend a day. Have they never had out-of-town applicants before? Even when we know what city we're going to, we're going to have to visit at least three different schools. I can't take my kids out of their own school for a whole week to accomplish this.

Right now I am seriously leaning towards the school with the most understanding admissions director.

This whole process is wreaking havoc on my life. It's all I think about. (That and money.) I cannot wait until the end of March when all of these questions will be answered.

And I'm going to repeat our own admission director's words over and over again until they sink in. "Wherever they end up will be right for them. They are wonderful kids. It will all work out, even if it's not the way you originally thought. You'll use those great-mother instincts, that I know you have, to find the right place for them."

Too bad I'm not as confident as she is.

This not-knowing is killing me!

*An Independent School is a private school who is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools.

Friday, January 25, 2008

It's All in Your Hands

Here is more evidence that I should have been a man.

I found this article at USA Today to be quite interesting. But, well, it is USA Today, so maybe I should say that I find the article kind of fun.

"Recently, scientists in North America and Europe have looked to the
relative lengths of index and ring fingers for clues about a variety of
characteristics, including musical ability, athletic prowess and, in a study
just released, osteoarthritis risk.

The researchers believe that the difference between the two fingers'
lengths signifies the level of testosterone exposure in the womb. The longer the
ring finger compared to the index finger, the thinking goes, the higher the

Interesting. It goes on to say then that in most men, the ring finger is longer than the index finger and in most women the two fingers are about equal. It even said that gay men have ring and index fingers closer in length than straight men. (More proof that mothers do turn their sons the womb.)

Me? My ring finger is quite a bit longer than my index finger. Not to worry, the study tells me. This most likely suggests strong athletic tendencies. (It makes no mention of lesbian tendencies.)

"But, Manning says, one country hopes the tool will help identify future
athletes. He is working with Qatar's Aspire Sports Academy, whose vision,
according to its website, 'is to discover the best young sporting talent … and
transform them into world-renowned champions.'"

I'm going to go measure my kids' fingers right now. I was hoping my son could support me in my old age on his professional baseball salary. Momma wants a beach house!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Adam and Eve lived with dinosaurs.

I thought there might be a day when our son would tell us he was gay. But I never figured he would come out as a creationist!

The horror!

I don't know where he even came up with the idea, but my son is insisting that God created everything. There is no arguing with him.

He also refuses to believe that there are people and religions in the world who don't believe in Jesus even though he has Muslim and Jewish friends. We argued about it for a good fifteen minutes.

Man, we sent this kid to a non-religious school for just this reason. We might have to invest in deprogramming. Or move.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Late Night with Socks and Undies

While sitting here late at night waiting for the clothes drier to buzz, I just had a massive realization. I have realized the main difference between my husband and I. My husband has an ability that I covet.

Every evening at about eight or nine o'clock, my husband turns off. He has his little ritual. He goes upstairs to take a bath and shave. Yes, he actually has to pre-shave in the evening in order to get a clean shave in the morning. He's a manly man like that.

(After a week of leave I practically begged him to shave tonight. He was starting to look like one of the local rednecks. I was getting scared.)

But I digress.

Once he's had his manly shave and manly bath, he is out of service for the rest of the night. Unless it involves sex or sleep, he just isn't interested in anything anymore. All of the things that were on his mind all day are gone. All of the tasks he had to complete are either done or not, but they are far from his mind. To him, night is time to sleep. All of his problems will be there to be worried about in the morning.

But me? My mind is just coming alive at night. I've spent my day dealing with chaos and a thousand little daily emergencies. It isn't until things are dark and quiet that I can even begin to worry about the big things.

All of my unfinished tasks sit there mocking me. All of his unfinished tasks sit there mocking me too. Nighttime is time for me to worry about what kind of mother I am, what kind of school we can afford, what kind of example I set, what kind of friend I am, and what kind of wife sits brooding over every mess her husband has made.

I hate nighttime me.

I'd give anything to be like my husband. God knows, I've tried.

But then again, if I wasn't up past midnight waiting for the laundry, the kids would be wearing dirty clothes to school. Maybe there is some value to having one of us be constantly on call.

Or I could just do the laundry earlier in the day. Yeah. That would work too.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Rule of 2

This post by Steven over at Human Nature reminded me of something.

Over these last three or four years of observing gay male animals in their natural habitat (i.e. bars, clubs, gyms, cute eateries, bathroom stalls and the streets of Provincetown) I have come up with what I think is a fail safe way to judge the appropriateness of a mate.

Using the scale of attractiveness from 1 to 10 on which a 1 is...I don't know...Gilbert Godfrey and a 10 is absolute male perfection, what number would you assign to yourself?

Now add 2. Why? Because everyone underestimates their own appeal. (Unless you think you're a 10. Then subtract 2 for being an ass.)

Now using that number, you can ALWAYS date/mate/fuck with anyone plus or minus 2 from your number on the scale.

So, let's say you think you're a 6. Add 2, you're really an 8. You can successfully bag anyone from a 6 to a 10 given the right attitude and level of confidence.

Genius, right?

I briefly wondered if the rule of 2 applied to straight people too. But experience tells me that given the right amount of alcohol, a straight guy will sleep with anyone with a vagina. And the right amount of alcohol hovers right around 2 beers.

Huh? There you have it. That's the straight version of the Rule of 2.

*Blogger does not guarantee results. Results may vary. Large amounts of money or penis may affect results. (As does large amounts of wonderful personality, but that doesn't make for fun math or poorly-informed, sweeping generalizations.)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Like picking a lock with a wet herring.

Lately, I have been doing a lot of writing for publications, websites and personal business. Unfortunately, that has kind of taken away from what I have to offer here on my blog. I only have so many words.

Words, words, words. I feel like I'm drowning in words. But my blog, as my first real vehicle for personal expression is special to me. I hate to ignore it.

Still, today I wrote an article for a website about our school and I cried all while I wrote it. It was draining. By the time I hit "publish" I felt like I had given birth, albeit to a teeny, tiny baby.

And just now I was interviewed for an article for a newspaper. If I thought writing was hard, being interviewed is even harder. Ack! I had no idea what to say! Although I think the reporter could have phrased her questions better.

As much as words feel like the enemy write now, I am thankful for them. my only means of expression. I don't paint or draw. I don't sing. And I don't dance unless I've had a drink or two. Words are all I really know.

I need to stop giving them away for a pittance and horde them for myself. The thing about words is you never know when they'll dry up.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Who Would Have Thought

For a military wife...well...I couldn't be more blue.

82% Bill Richardson
79% Barack Obama
78% Hillary Clinton
78% Chris Dodd
74% John Edwards
63% Joe Biden
59% Dennis Kucinich
58% Mike Gravel

50% Rudy Giuliani
48% John McCain
42% Mitt Romney
41% Mike Huckabee
34% Tom Tancredo
26% Fred Thompson
21% Ron Paul

2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz

Yellow Snow Day

Today was a day out of time. Like the snow days of my childhood, but not really.

At about mid-morning yesterday, I got a call that the kids' school was closing and I needed to come pick them up. Something about a water main break. So my husband (who was home very early from work) and I headed out.

It wasn't until we were in the car on the way to school that we found out the whole city was on a boil order. We picked the kids up and went out to lunch (not at all concerned about boiled water) and ran a few errands.

By the time we were driving back home, they announced that all of the public schools in the county were dismissing early.

The good news is that we don't live in the same city or county as the kids' school. We had water and flushing toilets aplenty.

By 1:45 in the afternoon the news stations were reporting that the problem was almost fixed.

By 4:00 the county had canceled school for today. All of the private schools and day cares followed suit.

By 3:30 the water problem was fixed.

Hmmmm. Seems there is something a little off in that timeline. I am always amazed at how the county here is so quick to cancel school. Maybe they're jealous of the snow days they get "up north"?

So my husband was on his first day of leave today. The kids were out of school, but the neighborhood kids weren't because of the county line. You've got to love being a private school kid sometimes.

It felt a little weird to have an unexpected day free. Like we were playing hookie or something.

We had our drama today though. We've all been struggling to adjust to having my husband home. The kids are also going through this horrible phase where they can't seem to stop arguing.

My kids have always gotten along so well. This is breaking my heart. I had been blaming it on being together so much over Christmas break, but now my mother's guilt is rearing its ugly head.

When my husband came home from a trip to the playground with them, he announced to me, "The kids are awful!"

He didn't say that the kids were awful or that the kids behaved awfully. He said that they are awful.

I had nothing to say to that but, "Well, thanks."

Of course he quickly backtracked but the words are already stamped on my heart.

Reunions are hard. No doubt about it. I am so happy to have him home. But I should have remembered better that the stress of reintegrating your family is actually worse than the stress of being apart.

Even on a day out of time.

Here's to boring days of routine. Like flushing toilets at closed schools, may they make a quick return.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

What Not to Send

Alternately entitled: I'm Bitchy Times 3

When December 25th came and went without any of those horrific Christmas letters in my mailbox, I thought the practice had finally been put out of its misery.

But, nope. I have received three of them in the days since Christmas, each pathetic and disturbing in its own way.

First arrived a novel from AH. Does anyone remember AH? She's the one who I yelled at for complaining constantly that she wanted her unborn son to be a girl. She's the one whose husband got a vasectomy against her wishes.

The text of her Christmas letter was justified both left and right. It went from about a quarter inch from the top of the paper to within a quarter inch of the bottom of the paper. Without a single paragraph break. It was just a red and green bordered paper completely full of 9 point type words. Single spaced.

I didn't even bother trying to read it. Since her daughter was my daughter's friend, I handed the thing to my kid and said, "Here, you can read this if you want." She didn't read it either.

The next was from a military wife friend I've never blogged about because she moved before I started this waste of cyber space. My friends and I called her family The Dog and Pony Show because she was always showing off her kids' tricks. She would brag and brag about how people always told her that her baby girl should be a model. She even "looked into it."

I always sort of shook my head at that one. I didn't think her kid was especially cute. But what do I know? I tend to look at people sort of differently anyway.

Well, she included a picture in her letter and OH MY GOD! Her kid looks like an alien. Seriously, that's a face only a mother could love. I wonder how her dog and pony show is doing now-a-days.

The last is from my good friend CB. Except I haven't talked to her since she moved away. Their family lives in Hawaii now. (The bitches) So she wrote Mele Kalikimaka (everybody sing it now!) down the side of the paper and started each sentence with the coordinating letter.


But okay, I'll forgive her that. She's a former elementary teacher after all. But all the references to how god helped them do this and Jesus allowed them to do that and how we should all be praying for this and that got really old after just a few lines.

Still, okay. She's really religious. I knew that about her before. Then she wrote something I can't forgive.

"RB ran three marathons this year and CB finished three triathlons and two half marathons..."

What? She's a runner now? What the hell! Doesn't she know that makes me hate her on principle?

Where the hell do I get these friends?

And for all of you blog visitors who find this post every November and December by Googling "How to start a Christmas letter" I have one piece of advice for you.

Don't! Your friends will only making fun of you behind your back. Trust me.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Oh, yeah. My husband got home at 4:30 on Sunday. I've been a bit busy since then.

Is it nice having him home?

Yes. He lifts heavy things.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Last Fucking Day

It seems to me to be quite fucked that the worst day of this 6+ month deployment is the last day.

It started with a phone call from my husband early this morning telling me the plane was broken and he wasn't sure when he'd be getting home.

It progressed with the children sneaking around doing things they know they shouldn't do and torturing each other.

It deteriorated into me shouting, "You father is coming home from Iraq today. Do you even care?!?!"

Not one of my best days. I haven't slept all week. 4:35 can't come soon enough. This plane better not break or I'm fucking getting in the car and driving to pick him up.

Friday, January 04, 2008

And you thought I was done?

Mark asks an interesting question over at his blog.

What was the best and worst part of 2007 for you?

Obviously, the worst part of 2007 for me was having my husband spend half the year in Iraq.

And then I'm stuck. Nothing sticks out in my mind as being especially great about this past year. I can't even claim that his homecoming is the best part of 2007 because he won't be here for a couple more days.

Luckily I have a handy naval-gazing list of how I spent at least the last few months right here on my blog.

I guess the best thing about this past year was finally getting some friends up to stay at our house on Cape Cod. Patrick, Jase, Jase's beau, and our friend C all joined me for a daily drive to Provincetown back in July. The guys seemed to all have fun, but my husband's absence was palpable to me. And whenever I'm in that house I go crazy wishing it were "finished" and didn't still look like a grandma was in residence. Still. It was fun. I hope to have more friends up in the future.

And I must add, that although we were apart for most of it, 2007 was a very good year for my marriage. We love and understand each other more than ever.

All this naval-gazing has given me a crick in the neck and I'm quite sick of myself, thank you very much. So how about you?

What was the best and worst part of 2007 for you?

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

On His Way to 2008

It's funny, really. I had no idea how relieved I would be for my husband to be out of Iraq until he called to tell me that he was.

He flew out (or drove out...I honestly don't know) on New Year's Eve. I can't think of a better way to start the new year.

Except maybe with him actually by my side. But he's on his way and that's what's important. I know how lucky I am that this deployment only stretched through summer and fall and into a bit of winter. It could have been much longer.

He is currently sitting in some "safe" Middle Eastern country being forced manipulated coerced trained reintroduced into polite society. He feels like he's wasting time. But I suppose it must be nice to sleep and eat without mortar and rocket attacks. Even if he is bored.

For my part, well...I hate to admit it, but I should. I am actually more stressed now than I have been this entire deployment. I know that those wives still waiting for their husbands to come home are ready to drop kick me for saying that, but it is the truth.

Every time he goes away, I try to look at it as an opportunity to focus on some of my own goals. But more than six months has passed and I haven't done jack shit.

I didn't lose weight. I gained it.

I didn't run a race. I'm farther away from being a runner than ever before.

I didn't write a book. My writing is crap. Writer's block was worse than ever.

I suck.

I have to give myself credit. I got all three of us through these months relatively unscathed. Both kids are excelling at school, and they never missed a day. We're all happy and healthy, if not a little more insulated.

And I really did accomplish a lot, even if I have little to show for it.

I drove the kids and the dog to Cape Cod for a summer vacation.
I spent another Pride in NYC and volunteered at another Pier Dance.
I had the boys up to Cape Cod and Provincetown for some fun.
I threw my daughter a birthday party.
I watched the kids run the Race for Central Park.
I stumbled into local celebrity and a meager pay check writing my "Other Blog"
I developed a massive crush on David Bromstad.
I survived the kids playing violin solos for our program orientation.
I bought a new camera and fulfilled my promise to take lots more pictures.
I served on the Board of Trustees for the kids' school.
I "came out" to my local friends as a fag hag. Not here, but not long after.
I had Patrick down for his second visit to the bayou. I outed him, worked a fund raiser, and went to a gay bar.
I survived Parent/Teacher conferences. Quite well, in fact.
I successfully chaired a luncheon at school.
I sent my daughter to a Hannah Montana concert.
I took the kids to New York City for Thanksgiving with Uncle Patrick and MAK and K.
I watched the kids run the Race to Deliver and raise money for God's Love We Deliver.
I fixed my husband's truck all by myself!
I attended a School Board retreat and nailed down the most donations in our annual fund phone-a-thon.
I got to see my kids each graduate to the next level in violin and perform Christmas concerts.
I got the kids back in swimming class and saw Mr. Nathan again.
I threw my son a birthday party.
I took the kids on the Polar Express.
And I managed Christmas for just the three of us.

Add in a season of soccer for both kids, countless violin lessons, mounds of homework and daily discipline and it is quite a lot.

I guess the lesson to be learned here is that I need to adjust my expectations.

I'm also worried about my husband adjusting to home life. And I'm worried about the kids and I adjusting to having him around again. The kids have grown up so much since he left.

And I'm obsessing about our possible move and getting the kids into a new school. School admissions is just about the only thing I have on my mind right now and it is keeping me up all night.

So, I started to write this post just to say, "Yay! My husband's coming home. Bring on 2008!" but it morphed away from that.

But that's okay. Because at its heart, and in my heart, the most important thing is...

My husband's on his way home. Yay! 2008 is going to be a great year.