Monday, January 27, 2014


As I sit here typing this on my laptop, to my right is my Android smart phone (no not an I-phone, I'm fighting the power), to my left is my I-pad (yeah, so, apparently I suck at fighting the power).  Also on my desk is my daughter's I-pad mini, my digital camera and my wireless printer.  Sometimes I look at this over-abundance of technology beeping and blinking at me and I think okay this is out of hand.  I need to just shut it all off and walk away.

When I was growing up there was a small park just a few blocks from my house.   This park occupied four small lots on a corner in our neighborhood.  The land had been bought and donated to the city in the memory of two brothers from our town that had died while serving their country in World War II.  The park was mostly empty except for a monument in the center which had a large granite cross on top.  I say was.  It still is pretty much the same way today except last time I drove by the city had built a swing set near the monument.

As a kid I spent most of my time with my nose in a book.  And way back then, spending a summer day inside was unheard of.  I remember my grandmother telling me that I needed to go outside to "blow the stink off me."  No, not kidding, that's what she would tell us.  More days than I can count I would ride my bike or walk down to the park and sit on the cool stone monument with my back leaning on the cross, reading.  Or I would draw.  And I would make up stories and write them in down in spiral notebooks.  I spent hours and hours lost in fantasy worlds.  It was wonderful.  

Now we have all this technology available to us and I know, it's great.  Don't get me wrong, I love all my toys and gadgets.  I went without my phone for 24 hours recently and I thought I was going to lose my mind.  I was nervous to leave the house.  What if something happened?  What if someone needed me?  I guess I forgot I lived almost 30 years without having a cellphone and managed to survive unscathed.   But we've gotten so used to being connected, it makes us feel uncomfortable to be out of touch.

I think unplugging every now and then is not just a good idea, it's necessary.  Times change and not always for the better.  Ever see the movie Wall-E?  I don't think it's that far off base that in our future we could all be blobs in chairs letting machines do most of the heavy lifting for us.  Hopefully it won't come to that but I have a great fear of it getting close.

So even though it scares the hell out me to be without my phone for more than 30 minutes, I really feel the need to get away from it at least for one afternoon.  And just because I'm cool like that, I'm going to drag my daughter along with me, kicking and screaming if necessary.  No phones, no technology.  We'll go to a park and get us some nature.  Although it will make me crazy not to have a way to take pictures to commemorate the expidition, it would defeat the purpose to take even a camera.  The point is to take in the world around us with just our senses.  I'm pretty sure my daughter will view this as torture, but oh well.  It's time to get out there and get the stink blown off us.  

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Stop trying to make 'Shindig' happen

So apparently my teen daughter is a mean girl. Or at least she thinks she's Billy Badass with me anyway.  On our way home from an all day volleyball tournament to get ready for the league banquet the other day we were having a chat.

Me:  "So as soon as this shindig tonight is over we are going home to crash."

Her:  (after a few moments of silence). "You know, no one says shindig anymore. "

Me:  "What? " (Feigning surprise). "They don't?  Huh."  Pause while I let this percolate. 
 "So wait are you trying to tell me shindig isn't going to happen?  Like fetch?  And that I should stop trying to make it happen?"

Her:  (giggles)   "Yeah."  [By the way, to go off topic for a minute - does it make everyone else feel like a friggin' champion if you can make your teenager laugh or smile?  When it happens I want to run up a bunch of stairs to the Rocky theme and dance around like a fool at the top!  Okay maybe 'run' is a little ambitious.  Walk up slowly holding the handrail and dance at the top while puffing like a steam engine from the climb is closer to reality.]

Sometime later:

Her:  "Do you remember when Elvis died? (And before I can answer) I don't, because I was no where near being born yet."

Me:  "Uh yeah, I was 7 and I do remember." Where is this going?.

Her:  "And you probably remember when that rocket blew up too." 

Me:  "Shuttle and yes that was 86 and I was like 15."

Okay, is this little shit trying to tell me I'm old and decrepit or something!?!

Her:  "Wow Mom."

Me, defensively:  "I only know the exact year because we were playing an 80's trivia last night at my friend's house and that was one of the questions!"

Her:  (laughing)  "Uh-huh.  Okay."

Oh yeah, she's definitely hinting not so subtly that I am beyond ancient! 

So this is where I have to remind myself that anything over 20 is ancient to a 13 year old.  Besides I do love it when I can make her laugh.  And I love our little chats in the car, even when she is basically insulting me.  I have made the car a free talk zone.  Anything can be discussed with no judgment, or at least if I must judge, I try to do it on the inside.  Since my kiddo is spoiled rotten and has not just a Kindle and a I-pad Mini but an I-phone (Seriously?!  When I was her age I was excited when I got a new set of markers!!) it's hard to compete for her attention sometimes.  Of course, she is always free to talk to me about anything and at any time and place.  I remind her of that constantly, I'm never going to win a mom of the year award or anything but I know the only way we will survive the teenage years is to keep an open dialog between us.  It just seems like we have some of our best talks while driving in the car, maybe because it's just the two of us in an small, enclosed space.  Whatever the reason I try to just enjoy the fact that she's engaged and participating in the conversation.  She's a complete smart ass (no idea where she gets it) and says some pretty hilarious stuff sometimes and unfortunately I tend to forget exactly what it was within 20 minutes.  But I never forget the feeling of enjoying time with the person who means the most to me.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

And then there was NOTHING!!!

So, if you haven't read my first post, go back and read it, I'll wait.  What, no?  Ain't nobody got time for that?  Okay fine, here's the gist.  I got all inspired by a quote a friend sent me and decided I needed to realize my life long dream of becoming a writer.  That this was actually a message from God through my friend. And that the best way to do this was to get my butt writing.  I thought, well, my friends tell my I'm mildly humorous.  Why don't I write a blog?  Doesn't that sound like a great idea?

I follow several bloggers.  These women are hilarious, they are snarky and slightly bent (this is a compliment) and in a word, amazeballs.  First, the one that started it all is People I Want to Punch in the Throat.  The first post I read was the one that went viral where she went on a rant about that creepy little elf on the shelf dude (oh so glad my daughter was too old for that before it became popular).  Please check Jen out.  She's my inspiration.  She has a FAQ about blogging and is one of the main reasons you are reading this today.  There is also Moms Who Drink and Swear, I mean thank God I'm not the only one!  Yes I have a very foul mouth and I likes to drink a bit.  Okay a LOT.  If foul mouths bother you, you might want to fuck off now.  Just kidding, but not really.  I will be swearing occasionally, or depending on my mood you might think I have Tourette's.  And last but not least is the grand dame, The Bloggess.  If you have never read any of these blogs.  Go do it right now!  No wait, scratch that, finish mine first.  But really, you should do yourself a favor and check them out.  They make me cry tears of laughter.  And the other really awesome thing about them, they are all friends and support each other.  And maybe I can get in on the love fest too someday but I'm just a baby blogger, don't want to get ahead of myself. 

So I had this great idea of writing a blog and thanks to PIWTPITT, I had the tools.  So I setup my Blogger account and wrote my first post and bam!  I posted it. Whew!  But that wasn't enough.  I created a Facebook page for it and (insert shameless plug here) if you haven't liked me on Facebook, please do so now.  Sorry, not sure when I got so bossy.  Please, please, please go like my page on Facebook.

Before I could chicken out I invited all my friends to like my page on FB and I watched with amazement and glee as person after person liked it. I got over 100 likes in about 5 hours!!  I was over the moon!  They like me, they really, really like me!  And then, it happened.  Buyer's remorse.  Reality, and probably some of my inner voice, the Evil, set in.  I started to think holy Hell WHAT HAVE I DONE?!  What was I thinking?  People are going to SEE this, they are going READ this! I might as well rip off all my clothes and go running down the street screaming "Look at me!!"  They are going to think I'm stupid and make fun of me!  I'm not funny!  What was I thinking?  I mean I totally panicked. I will never be able to keep up with this! What the hell else am I going to write about?!   AAAAAAACCCCCKKKKKK!  So I drank a very large glass of red wine and went to bed berating myself for my temerity and seriously considering telling everyone it was a very elaborate and early April fool's joke. 

And I woke up the next morning, took a deep breath and sat down to write this post.  I reminded myself I don't have to post every day.  I can post a couple times a week or a couple times a month.  I will write when inspiration strikes me and save them so hopefully I will have a few stored up over time for when I am suffering from writer's block or what have you.  I am going to kick fear's ASS!!  Self doubt, you too! Screw you!  And If you don't like my blog, don't read it.  I mean for reals! I really hope I only get positive comments at least for now.  I know PIWTPITT says I need to get a thick skin and I know that I do, but I can't help it.  If someone berates one of my posts I will probably drink copious amount of alcohol and cry like a baby.  But I will get over it.  Not everyone will like my random thoughts of whatever.  In fact, I'm not sure anyone but my friends, who love me and know I am very slightly bent and random, will ever read this blog but I don't care.  I'm living the dream baby, yeah!  Or at least I'm writing and that's the whole point.

Friday, January 10, 2014

My Message from God

Some of you saw that and said, yup, she's finally gone COMPLETELY off her rocker.  And while that may be, and I won't dispute it, it is completely beside the point. Some of you may have just been turned off, thinking oh good grief not another religious nut!  I know I feel the same way, this is not a preachy post so just bear with me a minute.  I'll get to the point eventually.  It's totally cool too!

So today I received what I totally believe to be a message from God.  And I had to share.  Now some people probably don't even realize I'm a Christian as I'm not one of those bible thumping, scripture spewing folk, but I have a very personal relationship with the big guy upstairs and today He responded to a prayer of mine in a way that is probably about as close to a flashing neon sign as He gets. 

You see, I'm a writer, it's the only thing in my life that I have ever had a real passion for.  When I was 11 years old I realized that I wanted to write.  I had (and still have) a constant dialog in my head of stories and scenes.  I was also an avid reader and I went, I can do that. Plus it was the only thing my little introverted mind could come up with that I could do for a living and not have to talk to people but that is a story for another day.

And so I began to write.  And then, something terrible happened.  I found out this writing gig was a lot harder than it looked.  I mean a LOT harder.  I still to this day, many, many, many, many, many moons later, have never finished a story although I have started a ton. My goal at this point in my life is to just finish one of these damn stories!  Just one!!!  The problem?  A large part is due to the Evil.  That's what I call her.  She is my inner voice/writing critic.  She's a bitch, no nice way to put it.  She's incredibly negative and constantly telling me I suck at writing (and just about everything else).  She's really loud too, but I'm trying to learn to drown her ass out.

Back to the story.  Today started like so many others, after dragging myself out of bed and showering, I meandered into the kitchen and saw a blinking light on my phone.  I had a FB message!  Now I know what you are thinking, God so did not send you a FB message crazy lady!  Well, no, not directly anyway.  But I did receive this message from a very dear friend. 

And do you know what she told me?  That this quote made her think of me and my writing!! My first reaction was, awe, that is so incredibly sweet!  I've got some really awesome friends, no lie.  But the more I thought about this, the more I realized that this was more than just my sweet friend sending me words of encouragement, this was God telling me through her, hey, you, you know how you are always asking me what you are supposed to be doing with your life?  Guess what?  Here is your answer.  You need to be WRITING.  Get off your duff!  No more excuses!  Freaky right?  I mean how often do you get an actual sign!?  Oh and you can argue all you want that this wasn't the big guy upstairs but I choose to believe it is.

So today I sat down and started this blog.  It will be full of randomness and things I find funny or irritating or what have you.  And I will finish a book this year if it kills me, which it might, or at least kill my liver. 

This is a monumental day for me.  I don't know if I will ever be able to express the gratitude I have for my friend who decided this morning that she was going to lift me up give me wings. What do you say to someone that passed along a message from the almighty?  Thanks just doesn't seem to cover it.  I think the best way I can thank her is to write.  She has given me the inspiration to renew my purpose and my mission.  Today is the first step to fulfilling a life long dream.  So here goes, I got the message God!  I heard it loud and clear!!