Saturday, August 22, 2009

Shut Your Mouth

I made a decision today that I regret.

I allowed my Pack Mule to convince me that taking Butter to fucking McDonald's and letting him play in that breeding ground for all that is nasty filth was an acceptable idea. Note, I did not use any of the following adjectives: good, happy, wonderful, intelligent.

I went because although Butter and I rode bikes together earlier today, the rains commenced for the fucking third day in a row, and I foolishly thought, "This will give him a chance to get some more energy out."

Whatever. I'd rather raise a slovenly, lazy potato of a son than go back to fucking McDonald's. It's that or medicate me. Got it?

What did I eat? A cup of unsweetened iced tea. I do not drink sweetened iced tea. I find it to be a vile soup of sorts. Be mean to me if you will, but I will not change my ways even if you feel it your lot in life to "reeducate" me on the supposed finer art of drinking Southern tea. I am not a Southerner and will never pretend to be one no matter how long I live in Virginia. Don't waste your breath.

I ate the tea because the thought of ingesting anything else actually made me dry heave a little.

I also bought a newspaper thinking I'd be able to distract myself.

No such luck.

I attempted to imagine I was the step-mother in today's Ann Lander's column who sobbed about how her step-daughter betrayed her after years of living in peace. Blah fucking blah, lady.



I also found myself muttering to the woman in the next booth, "Will you PLEASE shut the FUCK up? PLEASE????? You have nothing of value to say. Just. Shut. Up."

I know it was audible because my Pack Mule was staring at me in horror.

I will not go back there. Will. Not.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

25 Years

Seems like yesterday, but 25 years ago today my older sister, Donna, was killed in a car accident. I was 15. She was 18.

She was on the cusp of amazing things - scheduled to head to college in mere weeks.
That's us on the couch - circa 1974. I'm on the left. She's on the right. Wine Girl is in the middle. Lil Sis was likely napping in her crib. This is one of my all-time favorite shots ever.

I have had a migraine for two days now, and I attributed it to weather and stress. Now I think it's related to the anniversary. What a fucking joke. Who "celebrates" the untimely death of someone? Cheated. I definitely feel cheated but also feel selfish admitting that here. If someone was cheated, it was my sister.

I miss her like it was yesterday.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Profanity, Part I

Part I. Who the fuck am I kidding.

I should just say Profanity Infinity.

I have a mouth. I know it. I get it. I know it's not 'acceptable.' Blah blah blah.

I also know that I changed the title of THIS bloggy to NOT include FUCK.

I like fuck. A lot. I do. Really.

But too many people were having to read this in a surreptitious manner both at home and at work - either the kids were around or the boss was looking. And people privately complained that they couldn't link me through THEIR OWN blogs because of the F bomb.

*sigh* I DO love the F bomb.

I digress. As usual.

So. "Damn" is the best I can do here.

The other day I was chatting in YoVille on Facebook. (Do YOU YoVille? Ya gotta. It's a simpleton's game filled with tons of kick-ass stuff to buy.)

So I was chatting in my "house" with a friend, cursed, and looked with horror at the bubble above my head. Instead of it reading, "Oh FUCK that!" It read, "Oh YADDA that!"

Yadda? Are you kidding me here? You censor my cursing in an online fake-ass be a bubble-looking person game? For real?

The good thing about this is that I now have a veritable cache of "acceptable" curses to last me at last the first two months of school. Ya know. Until my ADHD, OCD self gets distracted and needs something new and fresh.

Until further notice, when I am in social situations where I cannot drop that silky F bomb, I will utter the following:

yadda = fuck
yaddaer = fucker
yaddaing = fucking

Great, no? Bordering on genius is what I say!

A tad bit off topic but bearing a mention is the fact that Butter was playing soccer with the Pack Mule recently while I was devouring yet another Greg Iles book. They were kicking the ball back and forth a la soccer drills of some sort when Butter missed the ball. Totally whiffed it.

The Pack Mule was fucking DYING laughing. I merely raised an eyebrow. I couldn't pry my eyes from the delicious book. Pack Mule ambled over and said he overheard Butter grumble the following after he whiffed and then had to retrieve the soccer ball.

"KICK the ball! Jesus Christ! KICK the ball!"

Yeah. Self-talk. Almost coach-like. To himself. At the tender age of four.

*tear* I'm so proud. As long as he doesn't do that on the REAL field and then attribute it to me.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

On Staying Focused

As I ready myself to head back to the trenches of public school in a week, I am both worried and excited about what might be in store this year. Last week, I spent some time in a meeting where there were discussions concerning our focus on getting our kids to pass the almighty standards of NCLB. You know, the ones that say all children are the same and we better well damn get every kid to pass the tests OR ELSE.

Allow me a moment to roll my eyes.
One of the things I have disliked the most about my years in teaching is when leaders think they all know what's best and decide to get a large group of people (They call them stakeholders. For real. Stakeholders. Every time I hear that word I turn it into Steak Holders and imagine people holding bloody pieces of beef. But I digress.) together to "brainstorm" in an effort to "make decisions."

I don't support this idea at all. I believe in representatives dealing with the matter at hand. Said representatives can and SHOULD communicate with others not present at the meeting to harvest thoughts and opinions on whatever's the focus. However, generally speaking, I cannot stomach being in a meeting where there are 50 people who aren't on track, focused, and ready to work.

In my experience, out of those 50, maybe 5 are down and dirty working people. 20 are pissed that they're in a meeting and offer nothing. 15 are socializing and distracting people but will be ready to complain their asses off once the decisions come down the pike. The other 10? They don't want to work together. They just want to push their own close-minded ideas through like a proverbial freight train and get openly hostile when someone questions their offerings.

Leave your ego at the door.
Be ready to work.
Represent the cause. Not YOUR cause. THE cause.
In this case, whatever's best for kids.

Unless you're on of those 5, I honestly don't want to deal with you in a meeting.

Wilma Mankiller was the first woman chief of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. She said it best:

Too many people in leadership try to do too many things, and nothing gets done.

Friday, August 14, 2009


For years and years I was doubtful of myself. Truth be told, I continue to run across that old me from time and time and have to fight her so that I don't become a willing victim of my own history. I'd like to be able to say that I can pinpoint my weaknesses easily. I definitely have a pat answer, easily provided, for interview time when they ask the age-old question, "What is your biggest strength and biggest weakness?"

But in reality, I think mine change from day to day and are greatly dependent on the challenges I face.

A running list: anger, pride, my novice status at forgiveness (I've gotten better with this one.), my penchant for revenge (again, this one has also improved).

Rosalynn Carter is quoted as saying:
Once you accept the fact that you're not perfect, then you develop some confidence.

Too true, Rosalynn. Thank you, dear woman. I doubt she was aware of this insight when she was a fresh-faced 17-year old who'd just met Jimmy, but she's surely stood the test of time and life, learning the toughest lessons while steeling herself in the White House beside her husband and daughter.

For years, I was deluded (mostly by myself) into thinking that I had to be perfect. This started back when I was 15; the day my older sister was killed in a car accident. I blindly told myself that I'd better start being the perfect daughter because I was going to have to make up for the void left behind by my sister's death. I've only told two people about this fact.

As time went on, I realized I couldn't replace the emptiness left by Donna's death. Rather, I realized that I was ok just being me. Am I an overachiever who takes on too much most of the time? Absolutely. But I no longer think that I have to be perfect. I'm not running on the damn hamster wheel killing myself.

I used to walk with false bravado in an effort to "fool" people into thinking I was someone else.

I now walk with courage, conviction, and belief in who I am.

And I'm proud to admit that. It's been a long road.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rise Up!

I'd love to have some insightful verbiage concerning standing up for oneself or speaking out against injustice here, but I'm talking about YEAST. Let it rise!

I think I'm over my fear of baking with yeast.

There's something about not having had a paycheck for three months that makes a chick go into Frugal Mode. This includes baking my own bread.

I have a bread machine that puts out some pretty good loaves of bread, but all summer long, I've been mulling over getting down and dirty in the kitchen again and creating bread with my two plump hands. I'm a good cook and a passable baker. However, last year is sort of a blur with the exception of the knowledge that my family ate out WAY TOO MUCH because I was always so exhausted and spent after working. A great deal of that is related to the health issues I had. Now that I'm finally feeling more like myself again, my ass is cooking.

I found what appeared to be a simple recipe for dough - for use in making foccacia. I'm a bread whore through and through. If I had to go with two foods for the rest of my life they would be good bread and better cheese. You know I don't hold back so I'll soothe your first thought after reading "cheese" and let you know that for whatever reason, I never have a problem with constipation after eating copious amounts of cheese. It's all good in my intestines. (You always get a little more than you bargained for when ya come here!)

I made the foccacia the other night to rave reviews from both Butter and my Pack Mule.

It's around 95 degrees here today and humid. And nasty. And gross. Even Butter doesn't want to venture outside. Heat like this incites riot with his asthma. So. We baked. Take a gander. If anyone wants to come visit, we're here for the duration and will cook until your eyes turn blue and you begin wondering if stretchy pants aren't such a bad fashion invention after all.

Butter was ready to go!

See how proud he is in his red apron? I had to jimmy-rig it so that he wasn't dragging it on the ground. This baby came from an Italian cooking school my Mom attended a few years ago.

We proofed the yeast. See? Is that bowl of puffy, bubbly goodness beautiful or what?
Butter was so excited to be able to mix the flour and yeast mixture once I made certain that I wouldn't have flour all over the place. See that backgound? Yeah. My Pack Mule installed the tumbled marble backsplash as well as the stamped copper stuff behind the stove. I shall keep him around for a while.
Butter helped me knead the dough. He is a PRO.

Ready to rise. Glistening with oil. In one of my very favorite stainless steel bowls.

Ahhh. Yes. Come to mama. This is the first foccacia we made the other night. Sea salt, dried herbs, freshly-grated Parmesan, and lovely olive oil.

Today's foccacia was spartan - sea salt, dried oregano and basil, and a teensy bit of butter on top of the bread after I pulled it from the oven.

This was covered with provolone and dried herbs.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Can be translated into different languages and experiences.

Butter obviously makes me happier than words can express. I wasn't "supposed" to be a mother. I'd been told I wouldn't be able to bear children and had given up on the thought. After the initial happiness and shock of finding I was pregnant with him, I had an ultrasound that showed all of his intestines, stomach, and liver on the OUTSIDE of his body. The picture looked like spaghetti. I was told the follow-up ultrasound would likely show the same picture and that I'd seriously have to consider terminating because if he made it full-term, he would likely die during or soon after childbirth or would live maybe a few years in an almost vegetative state, requiring feeding through a tube and almost certain brain abnormalities.

I lived for weeks between that film and the follow-up praying harder than I ever had in my life. None of the doctors who dealt with my case thought that anything would change. Not one of them. These were widely-known doctors who dealt with high-risk pregnancies. I'd prepared myself the best I could for the next appointment.

And the picture showed a closed belly. Nothing hanging out. Nothing stringing along inside the little sac. A closed, round belly. Nothing wrong with the spinal cord. Nothing. Everything was tightly shut.

And the little (whatever. he is SO NOT) four year old I have today - in all of his happy glory - with giraffe rain boots that he doesn't like to wear in the rain because "they might get WET!"

On Settling

I'm all about settling my debts. I don't like owing anything or anyone. It bears on my soul more than words can say.

But settling, in other terms? Nope. No more.

Maureen Dowd is my hero because she coined the phrase -

The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.

Amen to that, woman.

I'm no longer settling.
People can like it or lump it.
Just like when you have to bear down on shitty preschooler behavior with your kids (read: MY kid), things can get worse before they improve. I'm in this for the long haul.

No more settling for anything less than I deserve.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Keeping the Faith

Betty Reese said it best when she uttered the following words:

If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito.

Amen to that, Betty!

I've been feeling quite like that fucker of a mosquito lately. I'm taking better care of myself. For all my words of saying that I'm "going to put myself first, take better care of myself, blah blah blah" I don't do a very damn good job of it.

I last for a couple of days and then get easily distracted by schedules, work, my kid, husband, and god, taking care of a house, drowning in bills. You get the picture.

Rather than take a breather, focus, make sure I'm eating and sleeping well, and THEN go back to the grind, I just...GRIND.

Like any pedicure-loving woman knows, you grind away at those callouses, and they miraculously disappear. I'm tougher than any callous who's made an appearance on my Barney Rubble feet, yet I tend to find that I've disappeared when I've allowed my well-being to take a back seat to everything else in my life.

So. How am I like a mosquito?

I'm working on being as tenacious with my health as I am with my work.

  • two 45-minute walks a day with the dog. (I try to reserve the evening one for just me and Ranger. I need some ALONE time.)
  • reading like maniac
  • firming up Butter's bedtime routine
  • scheduling meal times and actually having everyone eat them at the table
  • limiting eating out to one meal a week - you people have NO CLUE how many times a week I was eating out during the last month of school. I had no time to breathe. Rather, I didn't take the time to breathe. If people are "disappointed" with the changes they see in me this year, so be it. If people can't see that I'm taking care of myself and understand how THAT will only have a positive effect on my work performance, fuck 'em. Boss Lady and her Partner will not have a problem with this. The people who I've allowed to taketaketake from me in the past? Yeah. They'll be piss-eyed, and I don't particularly care.
  • cooking moremoremore at home. My recipes will be documented at Eating In 356-ish. I linked that sucker in my sidebar the other day and have several recipes fermenting in my files as we speak. I'll throw them up as soon as they're tweaked.
  • teaching myself how to bake bread. I'll use my breadmaker at times, but I'm really interested in the whole dough-between-my-fingers baking thing. Frankly, I'm afraid of yeast. I think it's much more fickle than any bad relationship and will betray my ass quickly when I most need it to RISERISERISE. However, I'm gonna throw my hat in the ring and bake some damn bread/rolls/etc.

So. Keep the faith, people.

As Jac says, "Chin up. Tits out."

(This might be a good time to say that Jac's the only person I know who can say "tits" and not have me frown and grind my teeth. "Tits" coming from any other person's mouth ticks me off. From Jac? Not so much.)

Be the mosquito. Be the fucking mosquito!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


As the beginning of school looms in the oh-so-near future, I wanted to let you in on a gem from Ada Louise Huxtable.

Summer is the time when one sheds one's tensions with one's clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit.

If nothing else, this summer has definitely lived up to Huxtable's definition. If only it could be a bit longer.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


See that stuff? If you are lucky enough to have a fucking Trader Joe's nearby, unlike my sorry ass, GET YOUR ASS THERE, pronto! Purchase some of this stuff and experience the amazing aroma of citrus love as you scrub-a-dub your skin, buffing away dead skin cells that would allow people to confuse you with someone who smokes. I don't. You probably don't. But dead, sallow skin cells lead people to mean judgements, my brothers and sisters.

Avoid the judging fucktards and use this heavenly love.

But watch out when you're done. A few effects post-use?
1. If you don't want it, you'll slip and fall on your newly-buffed tushie. The oils in this stuff have probably been the demise of many a shower-taker out there despite bold warnings on the container.

2. The scent that rolls off your skin will make Edward Cullen lust after you. I had to fight his hotness off of me the last three nights.

3. Your skin will GLOW. Fucking, fucking glow! Mine does. Mine. Yes. Now, I've got pretty good skin, but it was stretched its limit several years ago before I dropped some poundage so it's pretty saggy and drawn in some places. I'm ok with this. You should be too. But I am NOT ok with ashy skin. Ever. And this stuff makes me believe I can obtain baby-smooth skinage again.

I cannot claim bounty on this love bucket scrub. No.

An amazing woman from my past (hello, high school?) was kind enough to bestow this stuff on me. Siouxie knows just what this Not Wishy Washy woman loves. I love you BIG BIG BIG, Siouxie! Just like the Dark Chocolate-Covered Joe-Joe's, I am hoarding this shit. If I find my Pack Mule or my Butter sticking their grimy mitts into the jar, there's gonna be some hell to pay.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Robert Johnson is considered by some to be a godfather of the blues. The tale goes - he sold his soul to the devil in order to be the best blues musician. According to

Deep in the Mississippi delta, in the heart of voodoo and occult practices, on a lonely dirt road, as darkness fell, Mr. Johnson found Hell and changed the sound of music forever.
Why Robert Johnson from THESE lips today?

I recently heard a musician speak on the blues. He's an accomplished musician in his own right and was down in Virginia on a last stop before returning to his home in New York. He mentioned that many people connote the blues with pain and sorrow. He said he believes the blues are the Crossroads of Suffering and Transcendence.

Amen to that.

I may have to slide some Muddy Waters into my CD player later today. Beautiful stuff.

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