Sunday, September 25, 2011

On My Mind Lately....

So I guess this is essentially just going to be another Random Thoughts post but I didn't want to have two of those in a row so I gave it a different name.

*Is it Fall yet where you are? Today was the first day that it really felt like autumn. It's cool and grey and rainy. I want to drink pumpkin beer and eat soups that have been simmering all day. I even stopped at a local farm to buy some apple cider but apparently the apples have been slow to ripen this year and cider production is low. (I am drinking pumpkin beer though so the day isn't a total waste.)

*I have yet to get an Oregon driver's license. My Florida one expires on October 25th, my 35th birthday. So I HAVE GOT to get into the DMV before then or I have to take the whole test again. As it stands right now, I only have to take the written portion, and even that I've managed to successfully avoid doing for the last year and a half. I need to just go and get it over with because the whole thing is just hanging over my head and keeping me from fully enjoying my favorite time of year.

*Do you all remember my fake cat Detective Terri Stivers? Jay and I were at Goodwill a few weeks ago and he found some friends for her:I don't know why he encourages me.

As I was walking around Goodwill with my basket of cats, a couple of older ladies came over and were oohing and aahing and then asked if they could hold them. I told them they could but if they tried to run off with my kitties, I would chase them down. (I meant it too!) Nervous laughs were had by all.

*I'm trying not to feel anxiety about the holiday season but I feel it creeping up. The family has a couple of big ticket items on the collective list so I've been stashing money away left and right. We really need a new desktop computer. Ours is about 10 years old and we've affectionately named it Old Wheezy because of the wheezing noise it makes when we turn it on. Also, we've given her the persona of a long suffering, old southern woman who refers to herself in the third person. (Example: Old Wheezy don't wanna turn on today. Old Wheezy's tired. Go use the laptop and let Old Wheezy rest. ) The whole family longs for the day when we can let Old Wheezy go to her final resting place.

*I'm finding myself strangely excited for the season premiere of Family Guy tonight. I guess I'm just in the mood to laugh at something stupid and not think about it too hard.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Random Thoughts

Does anyone still read here anymore? I mean, the stats show that there are folks out there, but you're all mostly quiet. I've been blogging for almost five(!!!) years now and the landscape of my own personal blogging community has changed so much within that time. Bloggers have come and gone, some of them have remained in touch through Facebook, email, or in real life through letters and phone calls. Others have just disappeared. It's odd because sometimes some random thing will happen over the course of my day and it will remind me of one of my blogging friends, and it makes me realize how much this little space on the interwebs means to me and how much I'll fight tooth and nail to keep posting here, even if sporadically. I just don't have as much time anymore, and when I do have time I find myself with nothing interesting to say. But I suppose that's nothing new. This blog has never really been known for excitement, just my thoughts, which are only moderately intriguing at best.

Anyway.....random thoughts:

*As is the usual for me around this time of year, I'm totally ready for fall. Cooler weather, sweaters, pumpkin everything, bring it on. I'm even finding myself anxious for new Fall TV. I haven't been really excited about TV in a while. True Blood was a total bust this year, 30 Rock was kinda off and it was moved to 10 which doesn't always work for me, so yeah I'm hoping to find a new show I love.

*Right now I'm reading Empire Falls. It took a while for me to get into it but now I'm sucked in. Have any of you read it? After that I have stacks of books to get through. By the way, I wanted to thank all of you who read Kevin and then commented or dropped me a line telling me your thoughts. I was shocked that so many people read a book at my suggestion. It made me feel like Oprah. Well, a whiter, significantly poorer Oprah.

*There has been teen drama around my house lately. My son had a girlfriend all summer long and she recently dumped him because she wanted to hang out with a guy who was into some (ahem) unsavory behaviour. My son objected and that was the end of that. I was sad for him because they were together all summer and in teen time that's a long term relationship, but I'm totally proud that he stuck to his guns and didn't allow himself to get taken advantage of. Now he's back to hanging out with all his nerdy guy friends, which also pleases me because for the last three months he's had a "ho before bros" attitude that worried me. The bro's are back. They're dorky and annoying but it's good to have them back.

*School seems to be going well for both of the kids. The girl is adjusting well to being in full day classes and the boy seems happy with his teachers. I didn't talk about it much here but last year was a rough time for the boy. He didn't like a lot of his teachers and his math instructor was especially difficult. My son complained that she wasn't a good teacher and the teacher complained that my son just "didn't understand" what was being taught. (Note: I spoke to a few other parents regarding this teacher and it didn't appear to be just my son having problems. So, as lazy as I know my son can be, I couldn't make him shoulder 100% of the blame.) The frustration from that class spilled over into his other classes and he began to have a why bother? attitude. But, that teacher retired at the end of last year and so far this year things have been smooth sailing. I've offered my son a large (by my standards) monetary reward if he brings home straight A's on his first report card. It's not something I would normally do but I want to keep him motivated long enough to get back on track. For what it's worth, I doubt I'll be paying out. I may be wrong though. We'll see.

*Now that the weather is a bit cooler I'm feeling inspired again in regards to sewing and crocheting. I've discovered that when the temperature climbs above 75 degrees, I'm completely uninspired. I had started crocheting a blanket for the girl last winter, but the project's been shelved for the last few months. Who wants to sit around crocheting and sweating? It will be nice to finish some of these projects.

*Finally, earlier in the week Peggy sent me a text reminding me that the rerun of Alec on Letterman would be airing on Wednesday. I set the dvr but haven't watched it yet. Break-ups are hard.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday September 11

I've never been one to heavily dwell on negative things from my past. I deal with hardships as they arise and then I move on. I certainly don't forget about them. I conjure up those memories and emotions from time to time but I do it in a personal way. I never judge anyone by the way they grieve. Some people need the more outward display of grief and while that isn't my way, I totally get that it works for a lot of people.

Which brings me to September 11th. Everyone has a story about where they were that day and what they were doing and today is the day to share those stories. The sharing of those stories is one of the ways we are brought together as a nation. As for me personally, I won't be sharing my story. For one thing, it isn't that interesting, but the more important reason is that September 11th didn't directly effect me the way that it did so many people, so for me to talk specifics about that day.........well, there is just something about it that makes me feel icky, as if I'm piggy backing on someone's pain, someone with a real reason to grieve.

The events of September 11th frightened me and left me feeling vulnerable in ways I never had before. There were all these horrible, violent things taking place and the people in charge seemed powerless to stop it. It was an incredibly confusing, scary time. But, for as awful as I felt, I was lucky. I had my people with me. I didn't lose a parent, a child, a spouse, or a best friend, and I knew that I wasn't in immediate danger of losing them. All of my people were safe. Everything I know about September 11th, I learned from TV and newspapers. For that reason, I feel as if September 11th isn't my story to tell.

Moving on..........

Here in the Portland area, this September 11th was a hot one. I suppose our time had to come sooner or later. While just about everyone else in the country was dealing with a heat wave and record high temperatures, we here in the Pacific NW were quietly enjoying our 70 degree weather. Until this past week when the days grew hotter and brighter, with temps in the high nineties. I keep telling myself that fall will be here soon enough. But in order to make the here and now more bearable, we took the girl to one of the many city fountains. (Portland loves its fountains.)As the girl splashed around, Jay and I found a shady spot to sit in. We were chatting with a dog walker when a woman came by and handed us a card announcing a 9/11 candlelight vigil to be held at that park this evening.
For a brief moment I considered returning to the park this evening with the kids but ultimately decided against it. It's a school night and the event doesn't even begin until 8. Plus, the boy is like me and handles things in a more inward fashion and the girl is far too young to get the seriousness of the evening.

In this instance, a candlelight vigil just isn't our way. And I'm okay with that.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

About the Teenage Boy

You may have noticed that my son doesn't pop up too often on the blog anymore. This is mainly because now that he is a wise adult man of 13, he doesn't want to participate in something so silly as "Mom's Blog." It all works out though, because his negative feelings towards my blog coincide nicely with my negative feelings towards him. See? There is a reason for everything.

Okay, I may be exaggerating a little bit. My son is basically a good kid and when it comes to the big things, he mostly aims to please and tries his best to stay out of trouble. Out of both of my children, he's the one most like me, we have a fairly easy relationship and he's always open with me, which I love. But sometimes lately I have a hard time thinking of anything nice to say about him. Being a teenager apparently means that if given the opportunity to piss me off, he's gonna piss me off. I spend a large portion of my time getting on to him for the same things over and over again. I hate repeating myself but yet it seems that me repeating myself is an integral part of our relationship. And I don't like that.

It's mostly just the usual kid stuff: Don't fight with your sister. Do your chores without me having to ask 10 times. Turn off the video games. Read more books. And so on and so forth and blah blah blah. As irritating as all that is, I can deal with it. What really bugs me though is that my son is incredibly lazy and mostly unmotivated. Not only does this piss me off, but it worries me as well. I don't want to raise a bum but it seems as if I am. Honest to god, it amazes me how little this child can do on a daily basis. Is this typical teenage boy behaviour? Will something just 'click' in his brain one day and he'll realize that all my nagging was done for the sole purpose of turning him into a respectable, responsible individual?

For his part, he doesn't think he's lazy and it's not as if he plans to live with us forever. He has this grand delusion that he'll find 'a job' where he has to work very little but yet gets paid very much. Jay and I have tried to explain to him that those jobs are quite rare and everyone in the world wants one. He's eyeing an intensely competitive job market.

I suppose a lot of what I'm feeling is frustration. And maybe a little disappointment. I'm frustrated because when it comes to teenage boys, I don't know what is normal and what is not. And if this isn't normal, I don't know how to fix it. I'm disappointed that I don't feel proud of my son on a daily basis. I don't know if I'm disappointed in him or myself. Maybe a little of both.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Break Up Letter

Dear Alec,

After much thought, I feel as if I must write the following, but please know that it is with a heavy heart.

It's come to my attention that you are dating someone else. You and I were never seeing each other exclusively (or at all), I've watched many of your girlfriends come and go, and I've mostly approved of your choices in lady friends. But with this latest one, a 27 year old yoga instructor, I feel I can't just sit idly by. In the back of my mind I always considered myself a bit young for you, so the fact that you are now with someone almost 10 years my junior, well......it skeeves me out a bit.

You and I have been together (in my head) for over a decade and while we've had many good times, I'd be lying if I said it's always been easy being your (pretend) girlfriend. You're an opinionated guy and although this is one of the qualities I love about you, there have been times I've found myself having to clarify or justify things you've said so as to make you sound less crazy. ("Alec didn't really mean he'd leave the country if Bush won the election. He's just passionate about his political beliefs." "Alec didn't mean to rant at his daughter that way. It's been a tough custody battle. He loves his daughter." ) Not to mention the fact that I've seen all your movies, even the questionable ones. I saw The Cat in the Hat, Alec. IN.THE.THEATRE. I've done all this because I cared and I believed in us.

But back to the 27 year old yoga instructor. We all know why you're with her. It's because she's young and flexible and you're middle aged, not so flexible, and feel you have something to prove. This is all very typical, predictable male behaviour and it makes you look silly. Do you want to be the next Larry King? DO YOU???? Ick.

Of course, I'm not totally blameless when it comes to the break in our (fake) relationship. I'll admit I've had a wandering eye lately. (Enter Vincent D'Onofrio. Or that African American fellow on The Weather Channel.) So maybe I haven't been as attentive to your needs as I once was.

As this chapter of our lives comes to a close, I want to focus on the positive things. You look great in a suit, you'll always make me laugh, and I can't thank you enough for introducing me to Tina Fey. She and I are besties now. (In my head.)

I wish you nothing but continued success and happiness. (But if yoga instructor gets pregnant, I swear to god I will THROW UP.) And best of luck on any political career you have planned.

Oh, and one more thing. Your brother, Daniel, and I shop at the same grocery store so if he comes to you with some story about a slightly crazy, short haired lady attempting to flirt with him in the wine section of Trader Joe's, please remember that he is an unstable liar and know that his story is utter bullshit. And that I was thinking of you the whole time.

Love always,

Tammie