11.24.2005

I'm dreaming of a white Thanks-giv-ing...

Sometimes it's all too easy to bash the state of Alabama: rednecks, homophobes, possum, horrendous schools, no lotteries and not being able to buy alcohol on Sunday. BUT, one thing I have loved about this state since moving here three years ago is the scenic cotton fields blooming this time of year – it looks like miles and miles of snow when you squint just right. (No snow tires required).

11.23.2005

About last night

I watched the American Music Awards last night while getting my neck licked by a sandpaper kitten tongue. Best moment: Cyndi Lauper and Sarah McLachlan performing Time after Time (in black and white). Flawless.

My son redeemed himself slightly: "Look at Lindsay Lohan - that's disgusting. Her arms are only this big...she has to wear a big dress to cover up how skinny she is. Why would she do that to herself - that's just gross."

Bless him.


11.22.2005

Home boy don't roll like that

My son was grounded this weekend. It started with his attitude as I walked through the door Friday after a long, alcohol-free week at work. "There's no food in the house and you're so mean and you're starving me..why won't you drive me across town to McDonald's?" (I gave him a 5.0 for technique, 4.5 for timing). Then he kicked the dog. Sure, he SAID he was playing, but that’s obviously unacceptable.

Imagine two entire days and three WHOLE nights spent with an angry fifteen year old boy - listening to loud rap, watching crap tv shows and nagging for him to pick up after himself.

Next time I ground him, I’m sending him to someone else’s house.

11.20.2005

Take one placebo and call me in the morning

We have a family tradition: avoid health care, medical professionals and medication at all costs (except beer, of course, which falls under the category of holistic numbing). This aversion isn't rational, but I suppose it's considered a weakness if thy body cannot heal thyself. Like any other ridiculous trait, I've inherited it.

My son was four when we were living on Ft. Campbell base housing. The playground was behind our house so I'd fill his little canteen with water, give him some chewy fruit snacks and send him out for the afternoon so I could study/play Minesweeper on the computer. There were huge concrete pipes - probably leftover bunkers from WWII or something - and the kids played on them, hiding inside or trying to knock one another off. One evening he came running in the house screaming, tears running down his dirt-streaked face. He had fallen off the pipe and hurt his arm, so I made him dinner, gave him a bath, and tucked him into bed.

His dad came home later and checked on him as he was sleeping. He asked me why I didn't take him to the emergency room - his arm was still discolored - what kind of idiot was I? (how many different types are there, and is it possible to fall under multiple categories?). A few hours later, they returned from the hospital with my son's full arm cast. I DID feel horrible. And I had been a medic? Thank goodness I never saw combat: "Oh, that's just a sucking chest wound - get your ass back out there!"

Oddly, this "suck it up" mentality doesn't extend to my kittens. Crackhead's (whose real name is Kennedy) fur fell out this week, and the other three's whiskers broke. I researched it on the internet and came to the conclusion that they had a rare and contagious fungus from the Amazon. I bundled up the kittens in the cat carrier, and off to the vet we went.

He checked for fungus, parasites, leukemia, aids, etc. and gave them a clean bill of health. He said they were very healthy, well-socialized and the fur must have fallen out from the stress of being abandoned or switching to solid food, since he could find no other medical explanation.

Combined total weight of my four kittens: 5 pounds.

quinn.jpg

11.16.2005

Capital (One) Punishment - Death by Interest

I've always had a love-hate relationship with credit cards: I love the way they allow me to impulsively buy whatever my heart desires. I hate the way my heart desires forty pairs of shoes and the same shirt in five different colors!

My mother used to loan me her mastercard when I was sixteen years old since we had the same first intial and last name (I had to pay for it - she wasn't that generous). I was using it to charge a pair of jeans when the saleslady asked if I would like my own store credit card - with a driver's license and a master card, I'd have my own name stamped on a Hudson's card. The subsequent power trip was wonderful.

As a newlywed private in the Army four years later, my then husband told me that I'd have to cut ALL my credit cards...we would never get them paid off...then handed me scissors. Oh, sure, I fought and tried to cry my way out of it, as any decent drama queen will, but eventually they were cut and stuffed back in my wallet (you can still use the cards for phone orders with the account number - if you're a tad sneaky like that).

My credit has been fantastic for the past ten years or so, but moving three times this year meant sometimes there was a delay getting my mail and I made a few late payments (we're talking a DAY!). I bitched about the $35 fee each time, but paid it, thinking I had been duly punished. Au contraire. Capital One recently jacked up my interest rate to 27.9% .

I was livid...furious at this blatant robbery. I transferred the balance to a new credit card at 5.9% and feel like the best bargain shopper ever - I believe I will be buying myself a new digital camera - surprise! Credit card season is upon us - don't go to Capital One, even if they do have really great faux leather credit cards and their commercials are cute.

11.15.2005

Formation at 1300

My dog Skylar has taken over stepmother duties for my four new kittens. When she comes into the house, the first thing she does is count heads (preferably with tongue): okay, two kittens wrestling in the kitty litter, one hanging precariously on the curtains and one in the food bowl. Yep, all play toys present and accounted for.

When I took them all outside to enjoy the beautiful weather on Sunday, I know they wanted to run and frolic through the leaves. Nope. That overprotective stepmom wouldn't even let them wander.

11.11.2005

Pugilist

From private high school to a geeky college, I was as wholesome as they come. I was young, idealistic, and determined to put myself through college, one student loan at a time. Enter one Army recruiter who promised me the world. And I, young naive thing, believed him when he said I could choose where I'd like to be stationed. Lying bastard.

We all have defining moments in life, a specific incident or event that changes our perspectives forever. There I was, in Basic training, with my well-behaved self and stylish asymetrical haircut...completely out of my element. Reserved and quiet means I usually come across as arrogant, but a big female oaf from the Projects in Chicago was determined to put me in my place.

This particular day of training was spent with pugil sticks (from the latin meaning, "to fight, rock 'em, sock 'em, robot style, while bopping your opponent in the head"). I've seen a similar set up on Survivor: two opponents face each other on a beam, then try to pummel one other using a long pole, with two padded ends, until one falls off. This was also the day we learned how to gore a potential enemy with a bayonet attached to an M-16. How many times have I needed that particular skill?

My opponent, Ms. Badass Chicago street fighter thought being street savvy meant she was going to wipe me all over Ft. Jackson, South Carolina and I'd run back to the barracks snivelling, begging her in the future to help polish her boots. She was a gangly 5'10", I was a slight 5'7", which I think actually helped me in the end (lower center of gravity). What she didn't know is that I had been captain of the lacrosse team - I was well-versed in the handling of sticks. So I played her like a weekend tournament, pushed her ass off the beam, and emerged victorious. HA! I learned that I'm not intimidated by anyone and she learned not to judge OR trust the quiet ones in BDU's. Win-win.

My two years as a medic was child's play compared to the sacrifices soldiers and their families make daily for our freedom. Give thanks for them today and every day - I do.

11.10.2005

Beware of couch potato

I accidentally locked myself out of the house, popped out the screen in the living room and crawled through the window - while my dog casually watched from the couch.


No, no, honey, don't get up...here, let me fetch some of your toys for you (my smart ass dog enjoys sarcasm).

11.08.2005

Audience of One

2:45

This is my new record for a monologue cleverly disguised as a phone conversation.

Bill & I have been friends for over twenty years. We don't see each other often because we both move regularly and frequently, but I'm starting to think our "friendship" should be redefined...he probably couldn't tell you what I do, where I live or if I'm single. Our phone calls, you see, consist entirely of BILL.

This summer, he:

  • quit his job of seventeen years in order to enjoy life and travel
  • took second in a Mr. Speedo contest (why would someone admit to owning a Speedo?).
  • learned how to sail on Martha's Vineyard with James Taylor
  • went to the Emmy Awards, where he sat behind and talked to the cast of Desperate Housewives
  • talked to Donald Trump
  • met and discarded 72 soulmates (fortunately, I had the sense to lie about picking up my son somewhere before he could carry on about his love life)
Hmmmm. No wonder we never talk about me.

11.05.2005

Stop the Cheesecake!

Pet peeve for the day: Sarah Lee's slogan "Nobody doesn't like Sarah Lee".

Since when are double negatives catchy? HUH? Good grief. I will be boycotting her frozen cheesecake until something less grammatically awkward comes around.

11.04.2005

Uh-oh...better get Geico

Ever been standing in your bathroom, freshly showered and wrapped in a towel, when you look up and notice a lizard curiously watching you? Okay, so maybe he wasn't curious - maybe he was just as FREAKED out as I was.


It's closing time, pal - I don't care where you go, but you can't stay here.

I grabbed last month’s Cosmo, put it near the lizard, and gingerly had him crawl onto…Scarlett Johansson. So far, so good. I started walking towards the door, when the lizard decided to take a FLYING leap for freedom…and havoc ensued.

I’m a cult leader of my house – a dog, two cats and four kittens are usually no further than 5 ft away from me at any given moment (under my feet is preferable). As the lizard dropped (semi-flew) and scrambled towards my closet, I screeched, the dog bolted, the cats pounced, and my sleeping son yelled ("MOM! I'm trying to sleep!"...concerned about me, per usual).

Sometimes I seriously believe my life is a series of Animal Kingdom episodes.

11.03.2005

It takes a raise to get a raise...

Recently, a new company took over our contract at work and hired most of us to stay - oh, sure, there were skillful negotiations and tears, but I managed to keep my job and even got promoted. One condition: all employees MUST complete 40 hours worth of online training courses, ranging from the fascinating subject of bloodborne pathogens to the hot topic of sexual harassment by noon on May 4th or face termination. Uh....guess what? I still have a few to finish. Damn, sometimes I HATE being such a procrastinator - but I'm so good at it...seems a shame to waste a gift.

I've always worked in predominantly male fields and apparently it's warped me (if you want to know what hell is like...try Basic Training with 39 other women...UGH! Never again!)

I know it's hard to believe, but lo and behold, I FAILED the sexual harassment course. I am never going to live this down! Guess I'll have to try bribing them all with beer again this week...

UPDATE...11:46. I finished my training AND I'm going to keep my hands to myself for the rest of the day. Probably. Unless someone else starts it...

Embarrassing moment #1,037

Arriving at the McDonald's drive-thru pay window just as you remember your son taking your last bit of cash the night before.

Payback's a biatch, I hear.

11.02.2005

Solitary Confinement

I’m a bit of a loner, I suppose. Being an only child for fifteen years, never having to share a bathroom, and always winning my monopoly tournaments (my banker persona won every time!). I’m self sufficient.

In fact, if I were to ever marry again, the perfect scenario would be a duplex, with a Holiday Inn-like adjoining door so we could just visit. And I would never have to watch Fox news. Or listen to AC/DC. EVAH!

Some days, though, when I'm hormonal and overly sensitive, what I really want, more than anything, is a nice strong pair of arms…to put my clothes in the dryer for me (and could you bring me a beer, while you’re up?)