Saturday, December 31, 2011

Page Me 2011

My reads for 2011:

A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry
The Good Husband, Gail Godwin
The Paper Men, William Golding
The Road, Cormac McCarthy
Teacher Man, Frank McCourt
The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman
The Book of Ruth, Jane Hamilton
Crazy Love, Francis Chan
The Wedding, Nicholas Sparks
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, J.K. Rowling
The Lacuna, Barbara Kingsolver
Heaven is For Real, Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent
The Orchid Thief, Susan Orlean
Redeeming Love, Francine Rivers

I loved reading the Harry Potter series.  So much fun.  And now I can participate in all those conversations.  Are you Slytherin or Ravenclaw?  Who wants some butter beer?  
The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver has one of the most unexpected endings EVER. It took me a LONG time to read this book, but that was because my schedule was been crazy. Authentic, lovable characters... some actually real people...  Thank you, Katie, for the recommendation!

My friend Sandi insisted I read Heaven Is For Real and loaned it to me. Thanks, Sandi! I read it in one afternoon. Lots of tears for me.

I thought finishing The Orchid Thief would kill me. Which would have made an interesting obit.  Laborious. Possibly the worst book ever. Yes, there might be some exaggeration in that statement.  The research in the book was thorough...

J.O. loaned me Redeeming Love.  Thank you for providing a fabulous day of reading.  Perfectly coincided with my reading of the account of Hosea and Gomer.  A "bad" woman being pursued by a man of amazing character. What's not to love?

 The Paper Men.  Golding has a way of investigating the nature of man that is both disturbing and accurate.  A different voice than that of Lord of the Flies.  His take on the disintingration of relationships in the absense of societal rules is similar though.    

Looking forward to finishing up the books I'm halfway through... I failed to complete three that I wanted to finish. Here's to good reading in 2012!  

Monday, December 26, 2011

It Was THAT Kind of Christmas

You know the kind where you hear comments like this:

"I don't want to hear anything else about the Holy Grail; I want you to eat your lunch."

Yep, that about sums it up.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

If Forty-One Is As Good As Forty, I'll Take Two

Yes, it's my birthday. I'm 41.

The birthday fun and surprises have already been far more than I was expecting.  I threw a surprise baby shower at my home on Monday night.  Was I ever surprised!  My friends brought party hats, cake, wine, and cards that totally cracked me up for my birthday.  I wish you could read these cards.  My friends know me and my sense of humor so well.  Yes, you can be jealous; I have wonderful friends.
Oh, and I'm currently tucked under the covers! Mr. Incredible got me a fancy, new netbook for my birthday.  He couldn't stand keeping the surprise any longer. He gave it to me on Saturday.

About a month ago Mr.Incredible asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday.  Three words: Laser Hair Removal. Not the ones you were expecting?  Well, I've asked for this for eight years. It's what I really wanted, and I bought myself a package of 6 treatments.  I'm over the moon with just the thought of throwing away that bottle of Nair.  So much hair we have to worry about.   At least it's not growing on my back or in my ears.  But, I did not make an appointment for hair removal for today.  I don't want to be in agony on my birthday.  I'll be sure to give you a review of the process when I do go though.

Instead, we went to Six Flags for Christmas in the Park with one of our favorite families. Fun!  

It was all I could do to shake off this creeper who kept getting in line behind me.

Not afraid to wear girl hats in public.  Most manly.

This trip around the sun has been amazing.  Quite possibly my favorite yet.

The surprise parties!  Both of them! Nothing beats William walking into my kitchen as I sat braless at the table.  Thank you to Mr. Incredible for making my 40th year less about hitting a cetain age and more about having fun and celebrating.

My sister all weekend.

PandaMom and I bravely rode the train into New York City and almost came to fisticuffs in Madison Square Garden. "WE ARE NOT DOING THIS RIGHT NOW." We learned that a pedicab ride was as close to death as we wanted to come.

Oh, Hail! I hailed a cab. Myself. I was irrationally afraid to do this.

The sheer bliss of the Met. Sorry for dragging you around all day, Pandamom.

Derby. Derby. Derby. Where have you been all my life?

RollerCon.  That's all you're getting out of me.

Bonus goes to school and gets smileys almost every day!

NOG gatherings.

Tears and laughter at Starbucks or Corner Bakery or our living rooms or kitchen tables.

Those are just a couple of my favorite things from forty. Too many fantastic memories to list.  Good thing I blog.

Who knew last December 22 what unexpected adventure this year would hold?  Certainly not I.  Forty was a wonderful year.  It's a shame it had to end.  I'd do it all again!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Yeah, Yeah, I'm talking about myself again

Recently, (okay, day before yesterday) I started reading a blog called Musings of a Shiny Penny.  Alana made a list of 25 things she loves about herself and encouraged her readers to do the same. I've made lists of 50 reasons why I love my husband and why I love my dear friend PandaMom, but I haven't made the same type of list about myself.  I've been thinking about the things I love about myself in the days following the writing of my post Mirror, Mirror, and I've decided to take Alana's encouragement and do something about it.

25 Things I Love About Me

1.   I can laugh at myself... most of the time. 
2.   I am genuinely concerned about the people in my life.  I really do want the best for you even if we don't agree on what "best" is. 

3.   I can take my feelings, put them in a poem or a post, and have people say, "That's exactly how I feel." 

4.   I wear sequins to the grocery store because it's Tuesday.  It's fun.  Try it!

5.   I'm always willing to give people a second chance or a third or a fourth or more.  Probably because I need all the chances you can spare.

6.   I consistently rock the high heels.  The higher the better. And when I say rock, I do mean ROCK.  What's not to love about hot pink patent leather peep toes? 

7.   I see my children as real, imperfect, flawed people like myself.  I'm not a "super mom" (banish the very idea), but I am a good parent.

8.   I can find at least one beautiful, attractive, or redeeming thing about anyone.
9.   I can see both sides.  I may not agree with you or believe in it, but I can generally understand how it is possible for you to believe as you do.  At the same time, if you want to know what I really think, ask me.  I will tell you my position.  I'm not afraid to stand up for what I believe in.  I own my opinion.    

10. I will quietly tell you if you have spinach in your teeth, toliet paper on your shoe, or if your fly is unzipped.  I'm protective of the people in my life.     

11. I have nice eyes.  They look golden in the sunlight.  Someone once told me it's because they reflect my heart.  Wasn't that a fantastic thing to say? 

12. I listen.  I love to hear people's stories.  My favorite way to get to know someone is to say something like, "You are 14 years old.  Go!" and then just listen.  Of course, sometimes I HAVE to interject, give a hug, or agree in the middle of the story!

13.  I make people feel safe when they talk to me.  People are not afraid to tell me really personal things about themselves. Sometimes they are complete strangers at Taco Bueno.  Or my doctor.  The doctor thing is a little awkward.    

14. I rarely give up on my dreams.  I finally cashed in on my dream of playing roller derby.  It took me about 32 years to get to a place where it fit into my life, but I'm doing it.  Derby rocks the socks.  And our socks rock, too.  Especially my glow-in-the-dark socks.

15. I have a fabulous memory.  I'm grateful.  It helped me pass many courses. 
16. I give lots of hugs.  I'll touch you when we are talking. 
17. I'm still learning.  Fortunately, I love to learn.  Sometimes I learn that I'm wrong.  I'll come back and tell you later if I learn that I was wrong.  It might be ten or twenty years before I get the chance, but I'll hunt you down to tell you.   

18. At times I laugh so hard that I pee in my pants. In public.  And that's why my nephews lovingly refer to me as Aunt P.P.  And sometimes, I snort, too. It's good to laugh that hard. 

19.  I'm not very squeamish.  In other words, I can do head wounds or splint the bone that is sticking out of your arm.  I'm decent in medical emergencies.  I'm fascinated by the human body and all it's wonderfully, fearfully made parts.  Actually, now that I think about it, I'm just fascinated by people in general.  People intrigue me.

20.  I can still do the splits.  Left and right leg.  It's a great party trick. 

21.  I don't always do, say, or think the right things, but I want to.  I think wanting to is half the battle. 

22.  I want to be alive when I die.  I don't want to be complacent.  I don't want to shift into neutral and coast.  The race counts for just as much as the finish line.   

23.  I'm generous with my time and money.  I will make time for you if you need me.  I love to surprise people with little gifts when it isn't a birthday or a holiday.  I especially love symbolic gifts. 

24.  I show up.

25.  I think words are important.  I can be snarky and sarcastic when we are kidding around and having fun, but when we are truly talking to one another, I want my words to be a gift to you.  I try to be encouraging. 

I'm different from you.  We don't have the same number of hairs on our heads.  No one has irises or fingerprints just like mine.  I am me, and being me is fine.  It's more than fine; it's perfect.         

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

World Premiere

For those of you in far off places who have wanted to see me skating, here's a small chance.  A group of students from a local university made a short documentary about roller derby starring our league.

My interview was after a hard, sweaty practice.  It's hard to make sense or look glamorous after you have been hit for two hours. 

My favorite part is when Little Annie Orphan Maker kisses my helmet.   

Friday, December 9, 2011

Gold Medal!

I recently attended an art reception honoring children whose artwork would continue on to the regional level of the National PTA's annual Reflections Program.  Miss Noteworthy received an Award of Excellence (the highest award at the school level) for her artistic interpretation of the theme "Diversity Means...".   And, yes, I am one proud mama.  Of course, hers was the best!!! 

Miss Noteworthy's piece Two Worlds

I love her piece, and as soon as I walked into the gallery, I knew it was hers (she had completed this piece at school, and I had never seen it.).  It took my breath away to see her interpretation of the theme.  Her mind is a beautiful, creative place, and I am so proud of her. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pardon the Dust

I'm refurbishing (who furbishes?  look it up, it's a word.)  my blog to bring you a whole new look.  Code-diving can wreak some serious havoc, so if things look crazy... well, consider the source.  And then, please stay tuned and be patient because like myself, the blog is a work in progress. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Mirror, Mirror

Last Thursday after derby practice, a most gorgeous and wonderful derby sister (you know who you are) said, "Reckless, I wanted to ask you a question."

Well, I, of course, immediately thought we were about to venture into a conversation about all things derby.  You know--wheels, plates, pads, hits, chips, dips, chains, whips.  Average derby repartee.

Instead, she told me that I'm radiant.  And I was stunned.  She said that she loved me but that she hated me because I glow (I knew what she meant about the hating part.).  She wanted to know what I use on my face to get that look.  She wondered if I use sake' (which I might try now that I know about it...).  I told her that I really don't use anything special.  I occasionally get a facial.

She went on to say that I can pass for someone in my twenties when I get all dolled up.   


I thanked her but told her I thought she must need a new prescription because I'm not kidding myself thinking I might pass for a girl my twenties (I cannot remember the last time I got carded and I do go places where one would be carded, so....). 

She continued insisting that I am radiant.  And each time she paid me a compliment, I killed it.  I'm a compliment killer.  I slaughter them. I'd like to say I graciously accept compliments about my appearance, but I don't.  I appreciate the words, but I don't know how to deal with them from most people.  And in general, it's because I don't agree.  I just don't see it this way.  I don't think I'm especially ugly; I just think I'm extremely average.  So, if people say otherwise, I get an urge to argue with them and get them to restate their words in a way that is more inline with my view of myself.  Usually, I am able to suppress this urge and simply say, "Thank you" (and then do an internal eye roll), but at times I verbally disagree with the praise.   The only compliment she gave me that I readily agreed with was that my husband is smokin' hot.  He's totally eye candy.  I can agree with that because that is really a compliment about him (And, yeah, he gets them all the time.  Ask him about the woman who stalked him and gushed over his eyes in The Krogert yesterday.  In front of the children.).            

This whole exchange with my derby sister caught me completely off guard, and leaving the rink I literally felt off-kilter.  I stumbled through the doorway of the rink, knocked my bag over twice in the parking lot, and about fell over when I hoisted my bag up into the truck. I thought about her comments the whole drive home and then relayed them to Mr. Incredible when I arrived there.

And, of course, Mr. Incredible told me that her words were spot on.  But, he's my husband, and he gets paid piles of cash to say that.  And there I go again.

I continue to work on the impulse to talk my way out of a good word.

So, I've spent the last couple of days pondering about and ruminating on my penchant for murdering kind utterances about my appearance and my abilities and things people like or admire about me.

You see, I still have to try very hard to ignore and turn off all the little tape reels that have constantly played in my head since I was a teenager.  The mixed tapes that say I'm not good enough or pretty enough or smart enough.  Because I'm very quick to agree with anyone who is critical of me (especially me), even if the criticism is only perceived in a tone or a look or is entirely untrue or undeserved.  And if I agree with the mixed tapes, then they were right all along, and that's a lie.

Now, at the same time I'm not going to jump all the way over to the other extreme of overly confident and having an inflated view of myself either.  That's not me.  That's not the answer either. 

I'm trying to pinpoint the balancing point between being proud of one's self and joining the ranks of the ascetics. 

Does anyone know where that location is and how to live there consistently?  Five dollars cash money for the first of you who produces a map.  

Thursday, December 1, 2011

That's One Way To Freeze Your Butt Off

The other morning after the children had been delivered to their schools, I decided to take one of my famous bubble baths. I headed upstairs to start the water and add the bubbles. As the tub was filling, I undressed and then I thought I would like to read in the tub, which is not an uncommon activity for me.

I'm reading A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry, and while it took me several attempts to get past the first chapter, once I did, I'm hooked. I'm loving this story that takes place in India.

At any rate, I checked my nightstand, checked the counters in my bathroom, and then, I remembered that I had taken the book in the car with me the day before to read during a time I would be sitting and waiting.

I grabbed my towel and headed down to the garage.

Now, I have frequently stated that if my neighbors haven't seen me naked, they haven't much tried. I'm just like you. I make dashes to the laundry room to fetch the shirt I want to wear that was hanging up to dry.

Oh yes, I forgot to mention that Mr. Incredible, who would normally be tucked safely away in his office, was sitting at my desk using my computer because of the untimely and most unfortunate demise of his work laptop (his new laptop made it's way from Shanghai to Ankorage to Louisville, KY in the last 24 hours...keep your fingers crossed that it crosses our threshold this very day!).

Heading out the door that leads from my home to the garage, I think nothing about the fact that I have no clothes on. I'd grab my book and be in the deliciously steaming tub in no time.

Enter the funny guy.

When I reached into my van to retrieve my book, I heard the lock turn and the chain being put on the door.


I knocked on the door.

No answer.

I knocked and yelled, "Very funny. Let me in."

Mr. Incredible unlocked the door, opened it as far as the chain would allow, and said, "Who is it?"

"Ha. Ha. Very funny. Let me in. I'm naked out here."

To which Mr. Incredible replied, "I'm not sure it's a good idea to open my door to naked people in my garage."

And shuts the door.

Did I mention that it was below freezing outside? And I was standing in nothing but a towel.

So, I knocked again.

He cautiously opened the door and peeked out from behind it.

"Oh, it's you again. Put your clothes on, and I'll let you in."

"Let me in. I have no clothes on."

"You should have thought about that before you went out into the garage naked."

He looked over toward the garage door opener buttons that are right outside the door. I thought we were about to have a throw-down. Because I wasn't about to allow that door to go up. He must have seen the sheer horror on my face and thought better off it.

The door slid shut. And I heard his feet pad along on the tile floor. He was headed back over to the computer.

You know, it was funny that first two times, but at this point I was freezing my cojones off. Not that I have cojones, but you know what I mean. I was cold. I had no shoes. I wasn't dressed for the wintery morning.

And I had a flashback to an event circa 1987. My sister had just gotten out of the shower, and for some reason, she was downstairs in her towel. We started squabbling, and I opened the front door, shoved her outside, GRABBED her towel, and locked the door. I left her standing naked on the front porch while our neighbor, the beautiful senior in high school Kurt Sine, pumped iron on the balcony across the street. I didn't leave her out there but for a minute. And trust me, I got the crap beat out of me when I did open the door. And I got grounded for the millionth time when my parents heard of the torture I had subjected my little sister to, too.

I knocked a third time. He did not answer.

And I started to think he might really let me stay out there.

Apparently, I deserved to be standing naked in my garage.  I knew that somehow my sister, all the way in southern California, was hearing ringing bells and having people congratulate her that justice was finally served while my feet were turning into popcicles in my garage.

I backed away from the door and started toward the van. I knew that at least one child basically disrobes in it everyday, so I could probably find something warm in there with which to cover myself. I could get in and sit there, and I could read because I had my book in my hand. It was looking like it was going to be a stellar day.

Just as I reached the van, the chain rattled, and the door swung open wide.

Make no mistake about it;  I RAN into that house. Then, I punched Mr. Incredible in the arm and told him he was mean and that his little joke wasn't cute or funny.

And then I started laughing hysterically because it was funny.

I think next time I will remember my robe AND slippers before I venture out into the garage. I make no promises about changing my naked ways when I sprint to the laundry room.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Copycat: "I'm thankful for..."

It's been all over Facebook and the Blogosphere, but I'm always a little slow to hop on the band wagon...

Plus, we went out of town for the week of Thanksgiving, and Mr. Incredible's laptop for work died a most spectacular death the week before Thanksgiving which has meant I have shared my computer with him and will share with him until his fancy new laptop arrives from Shanghai next week.  Just not having the usual uninterrupted time at my desk.

But, I have a small moment now, and instead of doing it just like everyone else, I will do a post-Thanksgiving thankfulness list with my own spin. 

The list of things I'm thankful for could go on and on until this entry would never load, but I'll limit it to thirty because there are that many days in November.

I'm thankful for...

1.  Grace.  Forgiveness.  Sacrifice.  Hope.  Love.  Faith.  The applied impact of salvation on my life.  Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, Bible.  (Yeah, that's the Sunday School answer, but it works.) And now several of the atheists, agnostics, pagans and wiccans who read my blog have tuned me out and won't read on to learn that I am also thankful for nachos.

2.  My family.  Of course, that includes my husband, children, parents, sister, grandmothers, in-laws and other extended family members.  Bringers of joy.  And at times exasperation.  I'll keep all of them.  Ok, if I'm honest there are one or two I would trade in or even give away, but I won't name names.  Now they are all in a tizzy wondering if I'm talking about them...

3. My other "family".  Not related by biology or marriage.  I get to choose these people, and they get to choose me.  Some are in my daily life.  Some I don't get to see.  I have a unique connection to these people for myriad reasons.  You people know who you are.  Or you should.  I don't know why you people who know so much about me still like me.
4.  My derby family.  I pay to belong to this family.  You should, too.  Disgustingly acrid pad stench and all. 

5.  My grandfathers.  They have been gone for more than five years.  Still miss them.

6.  Having everything I need.  If you know me even a little, you know that I make a great distinction between wants and needs.  I'm not preaching at you.  I'm just clarifying.  Maybe you have a medical need for chocolate. 

7.  My friend's clear scans after two rounds of cancer.

8.  A year free from major illness or injury for myself, my husband, and my kids.

9.   Books.  I'm not sure what I would do with myself if we ever got to the place of Fahrenheit 451.  Go to jail, I guess. 

10.  My bed.  Sleep is my dear friend. 

11.  My bathtub.  With loads of bubbles.  And water so hot that Mr. Incredible is afraid I'll be cooked alive like a lobster.  The convenience of indoor plumbing.

12.  Opportunities.  For growth.  For resolution.  For failure.

13.  The color green.  I surround myself with it as much as possible.  It relaxes me and makes me smile. 

14.  Dreams.  Several of my dreams have turned into realities this year.  I've got several others lined up right behind them though.  Don't worry about me having a lack of dreams.

15.  Roller skates.  Awesome roller skates that don't give me blisters.

16.  The smell of clean sheets.  The convenience of washers and dryers.  Tide Febreeze Sport (see number 4...).

17.  Central heat and air.  Gas fireplaces.  Electricity.  A closet full of coats.     

18.  Mr. Incredible's job.

19.  Vacations.  Even vacations to Waco. 

20.  Humor and laughter.

21.  Nachos.  I love nachos.  Hard to pass up nachos or any incarnation of nachos.  Or cheese.  I just love cheese.  It's that item I list when we play "If you were stranded on a desert isle and could bring just one thing..."  You don't play that game?  Moving right along...

22.  Miss Noteworthy's dry sense of humor and the comments which come forth.  On Monday morning, I put her water, drink mix, apple and chips in her lunch sack.  Then, I went to another counter and made her pb&j.  And then I got distracted.  A little bit later she walked past the counter and said, "Were you going to put that sandwich in a baggy or just leave it on the counter?"  We laughed because I was so scatterbrained that morning.  So, I said, "Yeah, but just for that you don't get a baggy.  I'm going to wrap it in foil instead.  You know, when I was a kid, most people's sandwiches were wrapped in foil, Saran Wrap, or wax paper."  She came back with, "Well, by now we have invented the Ziploc."  I should change her name to Miss Smarty Pants, but she would probably have something to say about that, too.

23.  Gorgeous smiles.  When you see one you almost can't help but give one back.  Even if you are in a foul mood.  And then, the foul mood starts to dissipate.

24.  Friends, family members, and strangers who serve our country in the military.  Thank you Melanie, G.I. Joel, Chris, Michael, and Nathan.  Veterans, too.

25.  America.  It's not a utopia, but only heaven is.  We may not have everything right, but I don't think I could find a better place.

26.  My church.  The lot of the imperfect people there who can admit that they don't have it all together and need a savior.

27.  Online pizza ordering.  You have to know me for this one. The thought of having to call a pizza place and speak to live person induces great anxiety for me.  I realize this is a completely irrational fear, but also a completely avoidable one because I can order online and not speak to a soul about my large black olive and mushroom.

28.   Music.  And singing and dancing in the car.  Especially dancing with your hands over your head or the Brady Bunch groove. 

29.  The quietness of the house when everyone else has gone to sleep or after everyone has left for the day. 

30.  The roar of the house before everyone goes to bed and after everyone comes home for the day.

I hope your Thanksgiving was absolutely wonderful and filled with gratitude and love.     

P.S.  I'm also thankful to have this venue to chat away and people who actually show up and read me everyday.  You all rock!

P.P.S.  I'm thankful that Mr. Incredible is not in the hospital after I sent him up in the attic to fetch the Christmas tree and decorations this morning.  The attic ladder fell down on his head.  He is going to have one fierce scar.  Could have been so much worse.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Are You Going to Take Me to the Doctor or What?

A couple of weeks ago as Bonus and I were waiting for RNR to race out of the school building (kindergartners get out a few minutes before the other grades), Bonus was doing something he is not supposed to do.  Yes, I know, you are all shocked.  Bonus was climbing on the concrete planters by the stairs to the school.  I asked him to stop and reminded him that he needs to follow the rules of his school, and he needs to obey me.
Bonus and I have had this talk, well, nearly daily since the first day of school.

I don't think we are going to have to have it again.  

You see, Bonus ignored me when I told him to stop climbing on the planters, and he fell.  Big time.

Don't worry.  He's fine.  No concussions or broken bones.  Just a lot less skin on the back of his knee and the back of his calf.  And like he says, "I lost some of my blood out of my body."  The moaning and wailing was earsplitting.  A copious harvest of tears washed down his sweaty, dirty cheeks, trailed onto his favorite football t-shirt, and eventually, left spots of wet on my shoulders, hands, and blouse.

As the older kids emerged from the school his cries of pain seemed to get louder, and the kids would look at him and then quickly turn their heads as though to preserve his privacy or dignity.  Or maybe they just weren't all that interested in his injury.  Or thought he was a big crybaby.  It's hard to know.

His tears didn't stop until we reached the van and I used the last, odd components in the car first aid kit to fashion a rudimentary bandage, which I promised him would only have to suffice until we reached home (a short mile).  The piercing screams exchanged for soft whimpers, we loaded up and made the short drive successfully.

Piling out of the van and into the kitchen, Bonus seated himself at the kitchen table to await his treatment.  As I removed the gauze square taped to his skin with tiny band-aids one might use on a paper cut and lifted a wet paper towel to his wound, he asked, "Mommy, is it going to hurt?"

I answered, "Yes, son, it is."

"Wait, then."

"No, we need to get this cleaned off and get the bleeding to stop."


I washed the scrapes and blotted blood.  Then, he spied the bottle of antiseptic wash I had pulled out of the cabinet. 

"Mommy, that's going to hurt!"

"Yes, it probably will, but we need to clean it."

He winced.

I hated to make him cry again (makes me sad AND I had a splitting headache), but I poured the blue liquid over his ripped flesh. 

He screamed that it was stinging, so I pressed on it and blew on it.  I applied the bandages hoping that my efforts would help him to feel some small comfort. 

Not so much comfort.

He splayed himself across two of the kitchen chairs and writhed in pain, all the while telling me it was my fault for putting the medicine on the cuts.  And yelling that I needed to take him to the doctor and what kind of a mother was I anyway?  Ahem...  At this point, I'm about to lose my cool.  

I looked him directly in the eyes and told him I was sorry he was hurting but that I was not going to pay a doctor $30 to put a bandaid on his leg, and then I went to tend to his sister for a moment.

From the living room, I almost immediately hear "I'm dying in here.  Are you going to take me to the doctor or what?"


Apparently, I only think I'm speaking in plain English, or I need to clean the wax out of the kid's ears.  Or maybe both.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The "Eff" Word

Yeah, it's the one you think it is.

And I really don't like it.

Yes, I'm expecting a backlash from some of you who use the word liberally.  Bring it.

I think use of the "eff" word shows a lack of creativity.  And vocabulary.  And, sometimes, it just doesn't even make sense.

Like when people say, "Eff that sh**!"  Really?  Let's flesh out that exclamation.  

___(you)  |___"eff"   |   "sh**"

(Forgive the limitations of my keyboard in this diagram.  I can't extend the line between the subject and predicate, and I don't know how to tilt the text "that" in Blogger.)   

This sentence is a command or directive. "Eff" is the verb or the action word in the sentence. The understood subject, "You," is implied in the command.    "Sh**" is a direct object in the predicate of the sentence.  "That" is an adjective.

Okay, now that we know the parts of speech, let's look at definitions.  "Eff", in the most widely used definition, means to copulate or to have intercourse.  "Sh..." is poop, excrement, human waste, crap.

Now, let's put all the information we have gathered together.

"You go have sex with that fecal matter."

Ummm....exsqueeze me?  I think I'd rather not.  Apple pie?  Maybe (kidding!).  Poop?  No.

Or let's look at another common expression.  WTF?

Technically, it's a question and an incomplete one at that.  The missing verb is "is".  And "eff" is used as a direct object.

So the question asks... 

"What the intercourse?"

My answer:  "Huh?  What are you talking about?" 

And I won't even touch "effin' A"... 

It's crazy talk that has become culturally permissible or even lauded as empowering language.

I'm just stating my position on the "eff" word and its preponderant usage in our society.  If you are an adult, I realize you have a right to choose your own way of expressing yourself (when not in the presence of children).   We all make choices, and some of mine have been questionable, to say the least.     

However, I suppose I'm a bit old-fashioned when it comes to this word.  I really don't expect you to use it in my presence the first time I meet you (or the twentieth) or if we haven't seen each other in twenty years or in a business meeting or if I'm standing behind you in line at The Krogert. with. my. kids.   I'm talking about grown men glancing back at me and my children and then still choosing to utter the word with nothing but a plastic bar between our groceries.

Hello!!?!!?  That plastic bar divides our groceries.  It does not provide sound-proofing.

It's as though it has ceased to be an obscenity in their minds.  

Are people really that desensitized?  Have we really lost all semblance of common courtesy in public? 

It's still an obscenity to me.  It still makes me flinch when people say it around me.  I still think there are better and more creative word choices that are equally, if not more, effective in expressing disgust, distaste, or dislike.   

And now, please don't tell me to go have sex with myself.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The View

Walking home from school one day, Bonus tangoed with a patch of cacti.

It wasn't pretty.  His hand was covered in about 100 spines.  Fortunately, I had pulled the wagon up to the school for backpack hauling.  He was able to moan and writhe in the wagon, which allowed us to get home and take care of his impaled hand that much faster.

The needles on this cacti were the furry, red kind that jump right off the plant and into your skin if you even think about approaching the plant.  I know about these needles from my Uncle Steven's apartment.  I was about 8 or 9, and I'm sure I howled like Bonus did. 

When we reached our home, I slowly and carefully pulled the needles out of Bonus' skin one by one over a sink with tweezers so that they wouldn't wind up in anyone else's skin.  It took about fifteen minutes to remove most of the needles.  Fifteen minutes with wailing in my ear.  And his talk about being worried if he would ever be able to play again.  And comparisons of cacti needles to the bullets of a gun.  Mr. Incredible and I don't call him Drama King behind his back for nothin'.

When he was finally as needle-free as he was going to be and the histrionics had appeared to die down, I bandaged him up, cleaned up our little mess and washed my own hands.  Yes, I did manage to get a couple of the needles in my own hand.   
As Bonus started in on his cheer-up lollipop, he tearfully asked RNR, "Now how will I cut my steak?"

And, yes, I turned my back and giggled.  It's me.  Of course, I laughed at my child. 

Isn't it interesting that even though he had been rescued, cleaned, bandaged, and ployed with a cloyingly sweet treat he still found something to grumble about?

And isn't that just like us?

We can get all we ever wanted or needed and still find a reason to complain. 

I realize this is not "rock science" (that's a special joke for someone I love), but isn't it really all about perspective?  Just thinking today about the view from here. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

That's Gonna Hurt...

Ever wondered what I might look like after you kicked me in the face?


You're supposed to say "No!"

No matter.

This is what I look like after I have been kicked in the nose with a skate:

©2011 Thorpe Griner/Thorpeland Photography

You asked for it.  I got it. 
I know.  I know.  I look like I'm about to pass out.  You can see that the swelling was already starting on the bridge of my nose.  Yes, the blood is real, and it didn't stop completely until about midnight.  I vaguely remember the moment caught in the photo.  Doesn't my teammate Brutal Bliss look beautiful and intense?  Her face brings back those slo-mo scenes from Charlie's Angels.  I love that I got knocked in the face, and the two of us are still trying to hold a wall.  The jam got called off seconds later.  Or so I thought.  I'm still trying to figure out how it is at all possible that Dick Diamond, Manicorn, and a little sliver of Kitten Spit are in the picture.  I fell and got kicked between turns two and three.  The jam got called off right before turn four.  The bench for Jack Skellington was at turn one for the first half.  Did I actually skate a whole lap and not know?  Scary!!!!

I contacted photographer Thorpe Griner regarding usage of this shot of my bloody nose, and he graciously gave me permission to post.  For free!  Thanks, Thorpe!  I'm glad someone had a quick shutter handy! 
In an update on the schnoz... miraculously, it was not broken!  Much to the chagrin of my baby sister who thought it would be nice to have a new, improved me by Christmas...  Sisters.  Hmph!
Two weeks out it still feels a little stiff and sore, and I find myself flinching whenever Bonus gets a little too close to my smeller (or anyone else, for that matter... but most people are not wielding light sabers...).  And fortunately, it's not any more crooked than it was before the skate-face incident. After the swelling went down, I still look like me. 

Me on a normal day.  Nose looks pretty straight.  Not sure if that crooked smile can be helped. ;) 

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Rare Domestic Jag

I'm on one.  A domestic jag.  It's kinda like a jig, but you get your house in some semblance of order. 
And it's been a good long while, so my family keeps looking at me like I'm the unabomber or something.  I used to do things like make homemade cream cheese pastries for my Sunday School class or bake dozens of iced sugar cookies for my Death and Dying class (seems weird to me now, too, but made perfect sense in the middle of writing my thesis).  I quilted (what?).  I even crafted (gasp! I know you are shocked.).
The short version of the story is after I had two kids I was exhausted.  I was trying to do too much all the time.  I stopped.  Why did I need to be the one to make braided pastries for my Sunday School class when everyone else bought a dozen doughnuts?  People love doughnuts, right? 
But right now, I'm going the extra mile for these people I live with.  And it's taking some getting used to.

It means I get up while sensible people are still blissfully slumbering earlier than usual to make things like monkey bread for the kids to eat before they leave for school.  This morning when Bonus and RNR came down and asked, "What's for breakfast?" I replied, "It's a suprise."  Bonus was sure to inform me that there could not be a surprise because it was not anyone's birthday, and silly me, I didn't know that one could not surprise one's children with a special baked good on a day other than a day commemorating the birth of a loved one who lives in the same household. 

Who knew? 

I told Bonus to go into his father's office to run that "surprise" theory of his past Mr. Incredible.  However, as he galloped out of the kitchen, I realized that this past year I have only made special breakfasts or meals on birthdays or holidays, so what else is a five year old to believe?  Not that I beat myself up about that or anything.  Cringe.     

Being on a domestic jag also means I have cooked recipes that are new to my children.  When I made gumbo, Bonus thanked me for making foods he had not tried before.  And then he told me he really wasn't hungry.  Gotta give the kid points for figuring out something nice to say when he did not like dinner.  Miss Noteworthy enjoyed it, and her expanding palate surprised me once again.  She didn't even complain about eating the okra.  She liked it!  RNR... well, my once adventurous little eater has traveled to the land of EEEWWW and made herself a new home there.  At least she is still eating asparagus... for the moment.

And last Thursday I pulled out a recipe from my childhood... Sherried Beef.  In the crockpot.  So easy.  Everyone loved it.  Mr. Incredible called us bums because he was getting home that night and, we had eaten up every last drop of it (don't worry he had dinner before he got home).

2 lbs. beef, cubed (brown sides in a skillet if you like)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3/4 c. of dry sherry (this is what makes it delicious, of course)
1/2 packet of onion soup mix (i know.  it has onions in it, and i still eat it.)

Place all ingredients in the crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours.  Serve over egg noodles or rice.

Easy peasy!  I would cook in my crockpot for every meal if I could get away with it.  I love having dinner all prepped and cooking by 9am.  It absolves any guilt I have about that afternoon nap that I still need at nearly forty-one. 

A Breath of Fresh Air

Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.” Isaiah 43:18 – 19

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Roll with the Punchlines

Mr. Incredible to me: "You know I'm still going to love you when you are an old woman."

I look over at him and wait for the punchline.

Mr. Incredible: "What's that... about three years from now?"

Very funny, sir.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Meet George Jetson...

Daughter Judy

Jane his wife...  How fun for me & Miss Noteworthy to be the Jetson girls together.  Unfortunately, we NEVER got a picture together.  Maybe next year.
The spoils of RNR ala Daphne

Save me Obi Wan.  I need Reese's peanut butter cups.

I hope my dad has some better pictures...

Maybe not the world's best combo of orange and green. 

Our Halloween fun.  Mr. Incredible (not pictured) was dressed as a dad or a surfer.  Just like every year.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bout Broken

The Corpse Brides, Monster Mash-Up 2011

The Jam I Could Live Without
Mr. Incredible reminding me that we have insurance for a reason.

Our Halloween bout was last Sunday night.  Four jams in I fell and then I got a skate to the face when I was down.  I got up from the floor and felt something roll down my face.  At first I just thought it was a bunch of snot.  You know, when your eyes fill with those pesky tears, your nose fills with an inordinate amount of snot. I caught up to the pack and asked a teammate if I was bleeding.  When she said yes, I looked to a ref, but the jam had already been called off by the jammer.  I headed back to the bench, took a seat, got some ice, and started assessing the damage.

Of course, no one saw me get a wheel to my nose.  I don't know whose skate, and it really doesn't matter.  It was an accident.

Is my nose broken?  Well, it's leaning a little more to the right than it did before.  And there was blood.  And swelling.  And, oh yes, there is pain.   I wish I could post one of the pictures with blood running down my face, but they are all copyright protected.  Boo. 

I'll find out if it is broken tomorrow at the ENT.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Wisdom of RNR

Said by RNR to Bonus while he was lamenting the fact that he wasn't going to get to bring pizza in his lunch that day...

"Life is full of ups and downs, kid.  You should just know that now."

Giggle.  You would not believe how seriously she said this to him.  Looking in his eyes and shaking her head back and forth.  It was a pretty priceless moment to witness.

You would not believe how many times I have had people telling me the same thing in the past couple of weeks.  And it's true.  There are no promises that life will be easy or smooth.  The promise is that for believers life is eternal through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. 


Friday, October 21, 2011

When It's Difficult to Focus on the Main Things

I had somewhere to be on Tuesday night, and after picking up the children from school, I needed to bathe and get ready.  The need to be somewhere always presents the most unusual roadblocks for me...

I explain to Miss Noteworthy that I needed to get ready for my evening out and could she help me out with RNR and Bonus.  And, of course, she says yes.  Then, she goes up to her room and shuts the door.  I've yet to discover what is so amusing in her room.  Actually, I know she is drawing, writing or reading with intermittent texting to and from friends.  I guess I'm on my own without anyone to run interference.

I tell Bonus I am about to go take a bath and ask him if he needs anything.  Holding the clamshell box in his hand, he tells me that TODAY is THE day that he MUST watch the Barney Halloween video.  And he has it in his precious little hand, so I can't tell him that I don't know where the video is.  Foiled again!  Why didn't I remember to throw out those Barney tapes?  And, of course, the video needs to rewind, so I sit there and wait.  And wait.  And wait.  How long is this video?  But, finally, the numbers on the counter start slow, so I know it is nearly finished.  Bonus will be occupied for the entire time I am bathing and dressing, so his video idea is actually a good thing.  And, yes, thanks for pointing out to me that in this moment I am blissfully happy to be using the television as a babysitter.     

My home phone rings.  When I look at the caller ID, it is a real person and not a telemarketer.  I think about letting it roll to voice mail, but I know this friend is having a hard time right now and probably has a real need.  I answer.  "Reckless, can you please... ?"  "Sure, but can you send me an email with the details because I'm running a little late this afternoon."  In my mind, this literally translates to "Too much talking.  Just let me get off the phone right now because I haven't even figured out what I am wearing tonight yet."  Ugh. 

What am I going to wear?  Because nothing is fitting right now, and I keep recycling the same three outfits.  They have become my uniform  And I haven't done laundry yet this week.  This may be a real problem....

Next obstacle....

Oh my goodness.  I just remembered that I am actually supposed to BRING something to this dinner party.  Food.  I talked about it last night with Mr. Incredible and asked him for suggestions, but then I apparently lost consciousness.  And totally spaced on this most important detail.  And my cupboards are pretty bare.  I have come up with some pretty creative concoctions in the past, but even my friend Julie over at Mommie Cooks probably could not do much with Stove Top, canned mushrooms, and what was once fresh broccoli but now is waving its white flag and begging me to find the time to move it from veggie drawer to the trashcan.  This is just not going to work.

I'll call Pei Wei.  I will buy a huge salad which will mean I need to leave my house fifteen minutes earlier than I had planned.  Hurry, hurry, hurry!

Click, pop, WOW!  Click, pop, WOW!  WOW! WOW!  WOW!  That's the sound of my text box going crazy.  Mr. Incredible picked this text alert sound that at first I thought was obnoxious but has since grown on me.  Again, I think of ignoring the messages.  But, five in a row?  Someone might really be having an emergency.  I go to my purse and pull out the phone, and thankfully, none of these require my immediate attention.    I wonder what is going to hold me up next.

Except for the sounds of a creepy purple dinosaur in the background, everything stays quiet.  It's my chance to make a break for it and jet up to the tub!  I head for my bathroom.

Mr. Incredible left town on Tuesday.  This inevitably means the house and/or my van will decide to revolt. I got undressed and turned on the water to begin my bathing process.  As the water reaches about six inches deep, I stick my toe in.


The day was blustery, so the pilot light on the water heater had gone out.  Air seems to come down the roof vent for the water heater and then blow out the pilot light on exceptionally windy days.  I don't know if this would happen in other parts of the country.  Most other regions seem to understand that if you put your water heater in the attic and then said water heater explodes on you that your house will sustain water damage.  But, not in Texas, buddy.  We put 'em in our attics.  We spit in the face of logic.  Why is this?

Well, the cold water in my tub meant I was going to have to go upstairs in the attic and re-light the pilot light.  And that means pulling down the ten foot wood ladder from the ceiling.  It's an extra heavy duty ladder, which means it weighs extra, too.  And I have to reach up over my head to pull it down.  You can imagine the injury potential.

I really had no desire to combine a lighter, gas, tall ladders, and my naked body.  I had flashes of me trying to cover my singed body while explaining to an EMT why I was up in the attic sans clothing.  Not a pretty picture.  I went to my drawers and fished out an old t-shirt and workout shorts I have owned for more years than I care to share (ok... at least 20) and got dressed.  

I had not had to get up in the attic in quite some time.  And that attic access ladder weight seemed to have multiplied exponentially since the last time I had to pull it down.  I summoned Miss Noteworthy and asked her to pull back as hard as she could on the ceiling access panel while I wrestled with getting the folded ladder down through the space without hitting the woodwork or my head.  I got the first hinge unfolded, and then I got stuck for a minute.  I just plain wasn't tall enough or strong enough to make the darned thing come on down.  So I had to stand there holding a wooden ladder until RNR could get a chair over to me.  Y'all, that ladder was HEAVY.  And I had done Kenpo from p90x for the first time in over a year the day before.  My thighs were on fire.  Why can't Mr. Incredible have a clone who I keep in a closet for such type of emergencies?

Well, RNR brings the chair and I climb up, but it's too close to where I'm pulling the ladder down.  No go.  RNR helps me adjust the chair.  I climb back up, and this time it's too far away.  I have no leverage. Finally, she gets it in just the right spot for me.  I finally wrangled it down, and I start up the ladder with the grill lighter. 

Now, I know how to light the pilot light, but it always makes me nervous.  So, I re-read the instructions printed on the tank a couple of times so that I won't do anything to put myself, my kids, or my home at risk for being blown up.  Turn everything to off.  Check.  Wait five minutes for any residual gas to clear.  

Wait five minutes!  I don't have five minutes.  I'm already twenty minutes deep into this completely unplanned chore, and I have to leave in under forty.  I wanted to straighten my hair and look glamorous for the evening.  I guess I will choose safety and wear curls this evening.

Turn the gas cock to Pilot.  Check.  Follow gas pipe into bottom of water tank and ready lighter over pilot light.  Push gas cock in and click lighter.  Click lighter again.  And again.

Nothing.  No tiny flame.  No hiss of burning gas.

Pull lighter out.  Look it over.  Shake it to make sure it has fuel.  Panic a little because you are now running way behind, and there is still no hot water in the house.  Consider calling a neighbor to ask if you can hop in her shower.  Decide it would take too much time.  Repeat all pilot-light-lighting steps above.  Still nothing.

Third try.  Decide to throw caution to the wind and turn up the gas ever so slighty with the lighter flame clicked to on.  Bingo.  Now, we're cooking with gas. Or bathing.  Or...whatever.

I know that I need a good fifteen minutes before I will have any chance at hot water.  This is a perfect time for figuring out what to wear.  Derby has increased the size of my thighs and my already ample butt.  I really have vey few choices in my closet that are 1) cute, 2) comfortable, & 3) actually will zip.  In the end, I decide that the jeans in the dirty laundry will have to do.  And then I grab a tube top and layer it with a sweater from the bowels of my closet and a gold suede jacket.  I fish out a pair of green suede wedges that had not seen the outside of my closet for years.  Dark green and silver accessories. 

All clothing decided upon and placed on the bed, I test the water and thankfully enough of the icy edge has been taken off that I can actually get in and relax for a short moment.

And in this short moment, it hits me that I have been scurrying around and worrying about all the wrong things.  I mean, sure I needed a bath, I needed to wear something, and I said I would bring food.

But, these are my NOGs I'm going to spend the evening with.  And I desperately need to see these women to take my mind off other things.  Or maybe to help me put my thoughts on the right things.  These are the ladies who remind me that it's not about me.  These are the ladies who know the bulk of my mistakes and still love me.  These are the ladies I would call at four in the morning if I needed them.  And they don't care if I'm dressed in my 20 year old workout shorts.  Or if I throw my dirty hair up in a clip.  Or if I show up empty-handed.  They just want to be with me.

I take a breath and offer a prayer for these women and the place they have in my heart and my life.  I rinse my hair and emerge from the tub knowing that my focus has been shifted.  This hurried, harried, difficult moment will pass if I remember to breathe and allow the Lord and the people He has placed in my life to help me change my focus and change my heart. 

I didn't wear the 20 year old workout shorts, but I know I could have.
The NOGs.  No Other God.  Thank you for your presence and love when I am at my worst, when I am at my best, and all the in-between times.   

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Is it Real Or Is It Memorex?

Texting pictures to Picasa never seems to go quite right... Throw me a bone and tilt your head to the right.

You might have thought you were looking at a famous Renoir.  And you would be right.  However, you are looking at Miss Noteworthy's replication of it.  Her first time to draw with oil pastels.  I'm so impressed by her many talents.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I'm Behind... What Else Is New?

Pandamom & I ala Eighties Throwback Evening.  Our fabulous friend Dave in the background.  Trying to read something that apparently needed his complete attention and two pairs of glasses.  We think we are young, but we fit in just fine with all the other 19,997 forty and fifty years olds in attendance.

I promised I would fill you in on the amazing concert.  Meh...

We had a great time.  Night Ranger was Night Ranger.  Never a favorite of mine, but I was surprised at how many songs I knew. 

Foreigner was the best.  I did know every song and sang along, too.  And the performance was fabulous until Mr. Lead Singer tried to be ultra-sexy during "Dirty White Boy" and rubbed his butt.  I probably could have lived forever without seeing that.  It might have blinded me for life if I had not been able to immediately laugh at the ridiculousness of seeing a sixty year old man projected on a jumbotron rubbing his backside while middle-aged women screamed like teenagers.  People really do this.  Only now there is evidence on YouTube.

Journey was disturbing.  The songs were the same.  They sounded the same.  Only the lead singer is now Asian.  I found the best way to experience this was to rest back on our blanket, close my eyes, and occasionally open them to take sips of the glass of $1.50 merlot that cost me $8 dollars a glass.  It was much more convincing to play Journey videos in my head than to look at the stage.

There was a great deal of laughter and loads of story swapping which you know is my favorite. The weather was absolutely perfect for sitting on the lawn.  The music we knew by heart from our preteen and teenage years brought back memories we relished and some memories of heartache that we would rather let go.  The stars were out.  The wine was fine.  And as much as we all enjoyed the company and the reminiscing, we will not be returning for  the Guns N Roses concert.     

Monday, October 17, 2011

Do You Think the Tooth Fairy Could Draw Unemployment?

Last night as I cuddled with Bonus in his Star Wars bed, he ever so quietly asked me, "Mommy, is the tooth fairy small?"

To this I replied, "Well, I'm not sure.  I've never seen her."

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tired Boys and Girls

The conversation Bonus and I had when I went in his bedroom to wake him up this morning...

Me: Good morning, little boy!  Wakey, wakey!

Bonus:  I can't get up.  I'm absent today.

At which point I left the room to gain my composure in order not to laugh in the face of my child and encourage him any further...  All I can say is that this kid is funny.  He consistently cracks me up.

Eventually, he decided to get up and not be absent.

Next, I went to wake up RNR, and she made a crazy noise.  When I told her that I believed that noise indicated that a small, furry animal had just been killed in her bedroom, she laughed so hard that she had to run to the bathroom. 

Two kids up; one to go.

And when I went into Miss Noteworthy's room to check her progress, she told me she had a nightmare within a dream last night.  In this nightmare, she had nine days of ISS (in-school suspension) for PDA (public display of affection).  I think this nightmare was a direct result of the teenage couple that insisted on mauling one another right in front of Miss Noteworthy and Mr. Incredible as they waited in line to ride Mr. Freeze at Six Flags yesterday.

And that is what a Tuesday that feels like a Monday looks like at our house.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Derby Don'ts

A couple of things I picked up during practice last night...

Don't forget to eat for the most of the day and then go to derby practice.  Especially on a night when you are doing an endless jammer drill followed by nearly an hour and a half of scrimmaging.  A breakfast bar and sushi simply will not suffice.  A calorie deficit for the day means your legs will be in pain before you even get to warm-ups.  And the burn does not go away for the entire practice.  You may feel like you are going to die right there on the track, and then, people will just skate around your cold, dead body.  And you may get a major for tripping if they fall over your corpse.  Hard to get to the penalty box when you are dead.   

Don't take it personally when another girl pushes you out of bounds and then uses excessive force to knock you to the ground when you are already off the track (where you bruise your backside for the nine hundredth time).  You should see the bruise.  This baby is quite a derby injury trophy, and I would totally post pictures if they didn't involve crack.  Crack is whack.  I still wonder what the refs were doing when this was happening and why she did not get a penalty.  A major penalty.  And I still think it was unnecessary roughness which I am not a fan of.  Hold girls off, but don't kill them.  And I may or may not have yelled all the way back to my bench about the whole incident being a problem.  Not that I was bitter or anything.

Don't look away when the bench manager is handing out helmet panties.  It's the same dynamic as avoiding eye contact with the teacher when you don't know the answer.  If you look away, inevitably, you will be handed the panty.  And then you will have to pivot when you completely suck at being the pivot. And then you will get the ever-loving snot unexpectedly knocked out of you by John Wayne Stacy.  When she hit me, I heard something crack.  I still haven't figured out what it was, but, needless to say, EVERYTHING hurts today.  E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.  Well, everything except my feet.  My feet were unscathed.

In the same vein, do not let your captain see you try to pass the star panty (worn by the jammer) off to someone else on your team.  She *might* decide that she needs to keep a closer eye on you, and who wants that, right? And then she might tell you that you are not going to get out of jamming. Even if you tell her that you have no legs that night.  However, when you jam miserably after telling her that you have no legs that night, she will let you off the hook and not ask you to jam anymore.  It's kinda like when you break a dish while doing the dishes, and your mom tells you she will finish up for you.

Don't session skate.  This means you need to remember to skate low and in your derby posture.  I think I may have been "session skating" last night.  I spent an awful lot of time on my butt.  Either that or the other team could tell I was exhausted and not having my best night and decided to pick on me.  Or maybe a little bit of both.

Don't talk to a ref about what your penalty was in the middle of a jam.  I can call victory here because this one wasn't me.  However, it was a good reminder of what I should not do. 

Don't skate past your own penalty box and get in the box for the other team.  Again, not me, but a good reminder.  This lengthens the amount of time your team has to skate without you. 

When you are jamming do not grab on to your teammate without yelling out to her who you are.  She will not skate you through the pack like you want her to if you don't communicate with her.  But, because she is Rosie and has obvious derby super powers, I think she should be able to read my mind.  :)   Rosie Rocks!

Do not threaten a derby wife relationship.  Last night I got a burning spank to my already bruised backside for helping out someone else's derby wife. The skater I was helping was injured, and I was taking off her skates and socks so that she could avoid being in further pain. I got called a home wrecker, and my butt really smarted. For quite a few minutes. And then the derby wife apologized for besmirching my name. I haven't talked about "derby wives" on here yet, but there is such a thing.  Some of them even have derby weddings.  It sounds strange and even a little salacious, but really a derby wife is the girl who always has your back even when you are wrong.  Really, it's basically a derby BFF.  At this point in my derby life, I have decided to not seek out a derby wife.  I may just be a perpetual derby bachelorette.  I'm not sure I'm cut out for derby marriage.  I may just play the field.  Maybe I'm just a big derby flirt and not willing to put all my eggs in one derby girl's basket.  And maybe I just haven't met the "one" yet.  Mr. Incredible is getting very uncomfortable reading this if he is reading it, so I will stop talking about this derby peculiarity now. 

Don't let a bad practice hold you back.  In two weeks when you have a fantastic practice, no one will remember that you skated like Bambi last night unless you remind them.  

Don't remind them! 

Friday, September 23, 2011

That's What HE said...

Part of a conversation I overheard....

Male: "I have a raging headache, but I'll just take a Vagisil and I'll be fine."

Nearly peed my pants.

And be jealous, very jealous... tomorrow night I am going to be rocking the night away to the tunes of Journey, Foreigner, and Night Ranger.  My black eyeliner and crimping iron are all set....

I'll be sure to let you know all about the 80's fun.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

That's How the Cookie Crumbles

If you will recall, in this post from May I was a little bleary, teary-eyed and all over the end of preschool and the end of the baby years in my household.

Well, I've adjusted rather famously after a trying summer with my adorable son.  However, last week Mr. Incredible and I went shopping at Grapevine Mills during the middle of the school day.  And I couldn't remember the last time I had been there without my little Bonus.  Without my shopping buddy (who admittedly drives me straight to crazy in malls). 

Mr. Incredible and I powered through about ten stores looking for a replacement for his TWENTY PLUS year old Rainbow sandals (twenty years... that's some quality... and they are still wearable).  It was nice to be able to move in and out of the stores quickly.   I was able to look at anything I wanted to for as long as I wanted to. 

After shopping for a couple of hours, Mr. Incredible and I stopped by Mrs. Field's for some chocolate milk and cookies.  While it was nice to have a day to spend with my husband,  I couldn't help but miss my little buddy and wish he was there to share my chocolate milk and cookies for just one brief second.  Chocolate milk and cookies just cry out for sweet, sweaty, little boys...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Are you bout it? I'm bout it, bout it.

Well, our first bout was A. Ma. Zing.  I played for the Fighting Unicorns, and we won!  Actually, we creamed them.  It would have been fantastic even if they had won, and those Battling Mermaids played a super game, too.  We just got lucky.

I took a few hard hits, fell a few times, gave a couple hits, made some nice contact, and SCORED A FEW POINTS!!!!  Yeah, we were so far ahead that I actually got to jam.  Our bench manger and coach wanted us to cycle through the positions we don't normally play.   Anyway, I jammed, and after I called it off and skated back to the bench, my bench manager said, "Who knew you could jam?"  Actually, I guess no one knew.  I jammed aqainst a player I really admire, Texsin Grrl, and she hit me right off the line.  But, hey, at least I was expecting it since her coach yelled out to her, "Texsin, hit her right off the line."  I leaned into the hit and chased her into the pack.  She fell.  I got through, skated back around, got through again,  made Lead Jammer, scored some points, and after I finally heard my coach and bench manager yelling at me to call off the jam,  I tapped my hips and called it off. 

To sum up the evening, I think the word of the bout was EXHILARATING.

I have worked hard since February, and it paid off.  This night was more fun and more rewarding than I could have hoped for.  Four of my most special friends came to watch and really made the experience extra-wonderful as I could see their smiling, cheering faces each time I got up to the line.  Thanks for coming, NOGs!   I could go on and on, but you know you really just want to see the pictures...

Happy at halftime

Jam on it... Or something like that... I think this was my initial pass, but who knows really.  It's all a blur thanks to the adrenaline.

I got your block right here.

The fabulous Fighting Unicorns

Me, getting hit right off the line.  I still got Lead Jammer though.

See ya at Lone Star on October 30