How We Define Things

So Sunday, Biggy and Garey disappear for a while in the afternoon. When they return, Biggy drags me out to the driveway to SEE.

TR: Off-roading, huh?

Biggy: Yeah! It was great. I'm not gonna wash it either.

TR: A sort of badge of honor?

Biggy: That's right.

TR: Hmmm...no dents or dings...not a single scratch...I'm guessing you just drove through where they're clearing out the new subdivision around the corner.

Biggy: But still.



Friday afternoon, Stella sent a photo of herself to Casper and asked to be his friend. So far, no response. She's been under the bed all morning.


The Long Wait Is Over

I know you've been looking forward to the weekly reports of mullets, momjeans, and drama in the dugout.

So begins Softball Spring '07. Today, our Bullpups (Yeah--that's right) annihilated the Thrashers. Arf!


1930's Viagra

JackMan had the tv on the History Channel this afternoon, and I could hear it while I was on the computer--a show about failed inventions. This caught my ear, so I had to google it up:

Friday Nostalgia

In 1976, Nadia made us believe anything was possible.


Lessons in the Car

I'm riding down the road with Jack, and we pass the dilapidated strip mall home of our local Blockbuster, McDonald's, and TaiKwonDo, headed toward our house, when Jack proceeds to tell me about the time he and Julian walked to the movie store one night while Greg and I were out:

Jack: So we were almost there, right where the sidewalk ends and you have to walk in the grass a little ways, when this carload of asshole teenagers--no doubt drinking and driving--starts yelling shit at us out their window. We think no big deal, but next thing, they're slowing down, and one of 'em yells, "Give me the gun!" So Julian and I have to run like hell into the goddamn forest--

TR: Jack!!!

Jack: What?!

TR: That is not a FOREST! That's what--five trees? It's hardly even WOODS!


sPAIN Update

Lest you missed her comment on the previous post:

Wanted: New Racquetball Coach/Partner


1. Male or female ok
2. Must not keep me waiting while you check to see if "Hitler" is working out in the free weight room
3. Must read and follow the court rules, including the wearing of goggles and no black soles
4. Must know the actual rules of the game, including what the lines on the floor are for
5. Must never eat bean burritos the day of play or purposely engage in biological warfare
6. Must not laugh when I miss the ball and slam my head into the wall
7. Must not scream the F-word while little children are watching through the glass
8. Must not speak to me in condescending tone
9. Must not google while at work: How to Improve Your Racquetball Serve To Massacre Your Wife.
10. Must not call me Flat-Footed Farrah


I Almost Wet My Pants

Last night, I ran Jack and his friend Julian up to Blockbuster. I handed them my returns and waited in the car while they went in to pick out a couple of rentals.

I could see the boys through the window and became wistful, bordering on teary. They looked so grown-up in their man-sized jeans and shoes. And they're good boys. I like Jack's friends, I was thinking.

I would watch as girls passed them in the store. The boys would look over their shoulders casually and appreciatively, but there was none of the nudging and nastiness under the breath to each other that I see so often when boys are together.

I was feeling downright poetic, thinking I might actually try--for the first time in over a year--to write a poem about my son.

And then they were at the counter, Jack and Julian, eyeing the candy, considering the energy drinks, and it hit me: they were unwittingly getting ready to hand over to the older teen guy working the register--my rentals from the weekend:

That's Better

Now I can actually be jealous.



Months of anticipation; weeks of preparation; days of packing; hours of double-checking...

I had to go through 154 flickr photos to find a picture of my daughter--looking miserable in Spain. These kids look like they all lost their iPods.


Brokeback Saturday Night

Miss George and JackMan are both on school trips, and Biggy took Lola to the circus (I'd rather trade hair with Donald Trump than go to the circus), so I had the whole house to myself after 5:00 yesterday. I had big plans to go to Blockbuster to get a couple of movies Greg would never watch with me (even though I saw Jackass I and II) and to eat Publix fried chicken in bed while I watched them.

I never wanted to see Brokeback Mountain in the theatre. I just had a feeling it would be a renter. But I've been meaning to rent it ever since it came out on DVD, especially since I love that one line from the movie, and it seems I have no right to it if I haven't done the time. Well, I earned the right. I hated it too! I remember seeing a spoof--Saturday Night Live, maybe?--where they kept replaying clips of the sheep going up the mountain, and back down the mountain....up the mountain...down the mountain....That about sums it up.

Beautiful scenery does not a beautiful movie make. Hot boys do not an exciting movie make. Risky themes do not a smart movie make. I found it tedious, ponderous, downright dull. I kept thinking, There's a reason this was a SHORT STORY. It reminded me of the 1979 movie Tess, another epic bore that offered nothing but bucolic scenery and pretty faces.

Next time I have the house to myself, I'm renting The Hours, without high hopes.

In the meantime, dear readers, I can't quit you.


Conjugal Dialogue

This morning, while in bed, I accidently rolled over and kneed Biggy in his delicate parts. After he stopped crying, we had this conversation:

TR: Those things really should be detachable. Then you could put it somewhere safe, where it wouldn't get hurt and it couldn't get you into trouble.

Biggy: What if it got lost?

TR: Losing it wouldn't be an option. There'd have to be one special place where it always goes. A place where the dogs couldn't get to it.


And Speaking of Music

I downloaded Rickie Lee Jones's new cd from iTunes this morning, looking forward to playing it during my jog. Everyone on the site was giving it five stars, but I shouldn't have listened to Funoka and Captain Jolly.

It's important to note I've always appreciated Rickie Lee's unique voice and her songwriting, the point being I'm a fan. Of course, who would buy this album anyway except a long-time follower?

I wish I could get my ten bucks back. Listening to the cd, I kept picturing her rolling around on the kitchen floor, making up songs while the hash brownies baked and the meth cooked. I'm not saying she'd ever really do that; it just SOUNDED like it. Only a few songs had actual melodies (something I prefer in music), and even on those, her voice sounded like a kazoo.

Don't listen to me, though. I mean, I love the BeeGees. Besides, looking for validation when I got back home, I discovered quite the opposite--articles in which the Sermon is characterized as "mature, inspired, and confident" and where songs are likened to those of Patti Smith and the Velvet Underground. But I don't get it. I felt like I did when I went to see Maximun Overdrive so many years ago: robbed.

Thank god when I got to school today, Mary had left a copy of the new Lucinda Williams on my desk. No disappointment there.

Friday Nostalgia

This is from 1967. If it weren't for my friend Kathy, who did an intervention in college, I'd still be sitting in a dark room, listening to the BeeGees, and waiting for Barry to call.

Just for fun, here's a crappy bootleg video of my new boyfriend Ray Lamontagne's (Oh Biggy, you know you'd do him too) cover. To Love Somebody--forty years later.


The World is Full of Wonders

Last weekend I discovered two reality shows I hadn't seen yet. I caught up on laundry and a few episodes of Juvies Saturday afternoon. The only way I could justify watching TV for so long was if I was being "productive," so I suddenly felt the need to fold the towels into six-inch squares and everyone's undies into neat little triangles. I watched as a 17-yr-old runaway answered the judge's questions at her hearing:

Judge: You ran away to be with your boyfriend?

Girl: Yeah.

Judge: How old is he?

Girl: 19.

Judge: Does he go to school?

Girl: No.

Judge: Does he have a job?

Girl: Nope.

Judge: And he sells drugs?

Girl: Um, yeah.

Judge: What do you see in him?

Girl: *Shrug*

Judge: He's not in school, he doesn't have a job, he deals drugs... Is he cute?

Girl: Not really, no.

Judge: *Priceless expression*

The judge, a very fair lady as I'd learned in the previous couple of hours, determined the teen could go home under the condition she have no contact whatsoever with Prince Charming. Back in her cell to pack up, the crying girl told one of her new friends, "I can't see him anymore...She said because he doesn't go to school or have a job, and he sells drugs."

Friends response? Utter indignation: "I can't BELIEVE that!"

Around the time I finished rolling socks into perfect cylinders, I saw a commercial for Engaged & Underage and decided everyone's sheets needed to be washed.

And just when I thought I'd seen it all...

What do you think the 19-year-old virgin's future mother-in-law gave her--on the night before her wedding? A strand of pearls? Grandma's silver tea service? The TALK?

Oh no. Viewers got to watch the mom-in-law give the girl her very first bikini wax.

I wouldn't even let my mother-in-law (the first or second) ask me a question through the bathroom door while I shower. Ick.

In the post-show follow-up, "One month later," we learned that Jacob and Chantel were having some money problems, so they invested in an RV and were living in it in his parents' yard. Shocker.

Reality TV is like giant sea worms and furry lobsters; there's always something else out there you never dreamed existed.

Happy Valentine's Day

Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.
-H.L. Mencken

(Image of Lo by Jorge Menes)


This Clip Is Rated R

For the rest of this week, in honor of Valentine's Day, I'm going to share some of my all-time favorite movie scenes of love gone horribly awry.

The first here is from Damage, the 1992 Louis Malle film starring Jeremy Irons, Miranda Richardson, Juliet Binoche, and Julian Graves.

I've never seen a performance that better captures the utter devastation and confusion that occurs when your spouse betrays you--the way you question everything you've ever believed.


Timing is Everything

Every morning, Greg and Lo take Daisy to the bus stop with them to hang out with the 10 or 12 parents and children waiting for Miss Ginger to arrive. Then Greg comes back to repeat some gem of truth one of the kids said that gives us insight into the lives of our neighbors--things like, "Our water got turned off" or "My daddy sleeps on the couch."

Today, though, both Biggy and Daisy returned with looks of shame on their faces, and Biggy told me, "Daisy decided to take care of business down there--right in front of everybody. If that wasn't bad enough, it reeked worse than Uncle Billy after Thanksgiving dinner. And if THAT wasn't bad enough, Lola had to observe--very loudly, 'Look, Dad, it's really BIG.'"


True Athlete

Coach Biggy cleans the playroom.


Friday Nostalgia

When I was ten years old or so--I think it was 5th grade, they separated the boys and girls and took us to different rooms to show us these awesome films about puberty. Here's a sample. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the girls' version of this.


I Can't Believe How Sad I Am

I don't know why, but I always thought she'd turn things around. In any case, the world was more interesting with her in it.

The Joke's On Me

This morning, I laid out a pair of jeans and a blue shirt for Lo, shook her awake, and went downstairs to pack her book bag. When I was finished with that, I went back up to her room to find her still in her pajamas. "I don't want to wear that shirt," she said. I reminded her that Sadie had given her the shirt--with its cute little angel on the front. She thought for a minute and I believed she was going to acquiesce. But then she said, "Well, find my owl shirt. She gave me that one too."

"Owl shirt?" I asked. I didn't recall any owl shirt.

"The brown one with the stars on the sleeves," she replied.

I found the shirt and chuckled to myself, because my smart child had confused an eagle with an owl. I was thinking about how, last week, Lo had asked Mamoo if the gopher had seen his shadow. I helped her put the shirt on and ran downstairs to get the camera, so I could make fun of her today on my blog. I snapped the shot (she never asks why anymore), grabbed her coat, and sent her out the door with Biggy to the bus stop.

Then I fixed my coffee, trying to decide if I should risk the cliche short-bus jokes, and sat down in front of my computer to pull the photo up on my screen.


Just As I Thought

I saved the article below with the plan to write my very own "Translation" of it when I got a few minutes to spare. A little while ago, needing a quick break from speech writing and resume proofing, I got on Google Image and entered "crossdresser" in anticipation of some of the Haggard-blog I intended to pen. Imagine my surprise when the picture on the right came up, squashing the need for written commentary.

Published: February 6, 2007
Filed at 9:59 a.m. ET

DENVER (AP) -- One of four ministers who oversaw three weeks of intensive counseling for the Rev. Ted Haggard said the disgraced minister emerged convinced that he is ''completely heterosexual.''

Haggard also said his sexual contact with men was limited to the former male prostitute who came forward with sexual allegations, the Rev. Tim Ralph of Larkspur told The Denver Post for a story in Tuesday's edition.

''He is completely heterosexual,'' Ralph said. ''That is something he discovered. It was the acting-out situations where things took place. It wasn't a constant thing.''

Ralph said the board spoke with people close to Haggard while investigating his claim that his only extramarital sexual contact happened with Mike Jones. The board found no evidence to the contrary.

''If we're going to be proved wrong, somebody else is going to come forward, and that usually happens really quickly,'' he said. ''We're into this thing over 90 days and it hasn't happened.''

Haggard resigned as president of the National Association of Evangelicals last year after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced. He was also forced out from the 14,000 New Life Church that he founded years ago in his basement after Jones alleged Haggard paid him for sex and sometimes used methamphetamine when they were together. Haggard, who is married, has publicly admitted to ''sexual immorality.''

Haggard said in an e-mail Sunday, his first communication in three months to church members, that he and his wife, Gayle, plan to pursue master's degrees in psychology. The e-mail said the family hasn't decided where to move but that they were considering Missouri and Iowa.

Another oversight board member, the Rev. Mike Ware of Westminster, said the group recommended the move out of town and the Haggards agreed.

''This is a good place for Ted,'' Ware said. ''It's hard to heal in Colorado Springs right now. It's like an open wound. He needs to get somewhere he can get the wound healed.''

It was also the oversight board that strongly urged Haggard to go into secular work.


Why Does Lola Always Wear Safety Goggles?

Today, PyroBiggy had every kid in the neighborhood dragging brush and sticks through the yard. They piled it all on the Christmas tree, which he'd been "aging" for the big bonfire. When Georgia and I saw him heading down the driveway with the gas can, we decided it was a good time to jog. We didn't want to be around when the fire truck arrived. I asked Biggy to get a few shots of whatever transpired.

Notice how he covered his ass, allowing no children in the pictures. They were there, though, within roasting distance, their little faces flushed red with heat, and coughing from the fumes.


And Thanks for That

On the way home from work in separate cars yesterday (I KNOW, Howard!), Biggy and I were talking on the phone. During the course of the conversation, he mentioned a couple of things in the news that I was completely unaware of--the devastating storms in central Florida, for instance. I defended my ignorance of the matters, saying I'd recently re-read an old interview with poet Sharon Olds, who stated she seldom read or watched the news.

The news is depressing, after all, and--thinking here like a true narcissist--the majority of it doesn't affect my own daily life. It usually just makes me feel hopeless or helpless. Or else it makes me mad. There's enough within shouting distance that makes me mad; why should I seek out more?

I get what I need of the news from Jon Stewart and devote my reading time to everything I can get get my hands on regarding design, poetry, creativity, and whatever physics I can comprehend. Still, I was a bit chagrined by the conversation, so I went to CNN this morning to catch up on current events.

I learned about Seattle's E-Gate, the port cops who've been trading racist and pornographic emails on the taxpayers' time and equipment. I imagined being a Seattle woman stopped by a cop who's just watched a video of two women defacating on each other (which was the example CNN chose).

Then I read about the apparently widespread practice in Russia of gagging babies with tape. That made me want to adopt ten Russian babies, because if any baby should have ever been gagged, it was Georgia, and I never resorted to that.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, both stories made me mad.

I got caught up on the weather, etc., and finally, in entertainment, read about Farrah Fawcett's successful cancer treatment. She's beaten the cancer, was given a clean bill of health and, now 60, is looking forward to returning to work in the next couple of months.

Here's the last paragraph of the article, though, the newsiest news yet, the clincher, the kind of information we can always count on from the world's backstabbers. Hey, I gots no love for my former husband, but even I would never...

Fawcett did not disclose the kind of cancer she was treated for. Her ex, Ryan O'Neal, told People magazine she was being treated for anal cancer.


Ask Mary How Cute Stella Is

At work today.

Friday Nostalgia

I wanted to show a clip of Gilda Radner doing Roseanne Roseannadanna, and this was the only video I could find. Consider the rest a bonus.


Car Pool

So this morning, I took Lola to school, because I volunteered for "Travel Day." (They're learning about our neighbors, Canada and Mexico.) Even though it was pouring ass-cold rain, Lo didn't want to use an umbrella. She had her own ideas for keeping dry.

She also took her stuffed dog Racky with her, prompting this exchange:

TR: Are you sure it's ok with your teacher to bring a stuffed animal today?

Lo: As long as it's not carrying a weapon.

Ain't it the Truth

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