Oh, The Places I’ll Go! Friday, Sep 30 2011 


This week has been one for change. Change isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but for someone like me, it can be a little anxiety ridden. One of my favorite books of all time is, Oh! The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Suess. It’s one of his books that wasn’t published until after his death and that I didn’t read until I was an adult, but perhaps I wouldn’t have related to the text anyway had I read it along with Hop On Pop and One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. I love the video with John Lithgow reading the story, and I have it saved on my phone in the Youtube favorites so that whenever I’m feeling like I’m at some sort of crossroads in my life, the guy from 3rd Rock From The Sun can counsel me.

http://youtu.be/IQRWeZy-S8Q

While sitting on the balcony Monday night reviewing the day and thinking about what was to come the following day, I thought about Dr. Suess’s advice and reminded myself that we all go through phases in our lives and that some of those phases are unpleasant. After 12 years of marriage, I would finally be going to court the next morning to stipulate for the record that my marriage had dissolved and that we would be doing our best to divide “things” appropriately and amicably without having to request the court do that for us.

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own.
And you know what you know.
And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.

For the first time in a long time, I am as independent as I can be. I realize that none of us exist in a vacuum, so everything I do affects others including all of my decisions, actions, and inactions. I’ve always known that being independent can be fun and exhilarating but also anxiety inducing when you actually HAVE to be independent. I can make ANYTHING anxiety ridden and I don’t even have to try. I’m getting much better, but I can What-If things to death if I allow myself the time to do so. The biggest curse to anyone with anxiety issues is creativity and I have an overabundance of both. I can imagine a thousand possible scenarios while waiting for a train to go or a bus to come or a plane to go or the mail to come. I could tell you what’ll happen if the rain doesn’t go or the phone doesn’t ring or the snow doesn’t snow, or even how my life could be ruined if my hair doesn’t grow. And THEN I remember,

If things start to happen,
don’t worry, don’t stew
Just go right along
Y
ou’ll start happening too.

And so I do. And you can too. And it’s all a matter of taking your cue. When I start to hit the point of no return, I simply turn down the meter lest suffer a burn. (OK, sorry! I got carried away.) I’m getting SO much better at recognizing when I’m starting to be irrational and it helps to remove myself from situations where people around me feed the fire and throw out their own whatifs. I think, “Take look at THOSE silly loons! I’ll just throw on my headphones and listen to tunes!” And so Monday night while listening to tunes and pondering Suess, I saw a shooting star and was instantly reminded of that song Airplanes by B.O.B featuring Eminem and Hayley Williams.

Can we pretend that airplanes
In the night sky
Are like shooting stars
I could really use a wish right now (wish right now, wish right now)

MAN, could I use a wish right now! How easy would things be if we were all simply granted our wishes and had things handed to us on a silver platter? I’m a grown adult and STILL have friends that don’t work for much and are handed whatever they want. I hate to say it, but while they are given material things, they are sometimes seriously lacking in character which is NOT to say that all of us aren’t at some time or another. I just think we appreciate things more when then aren’t always handed to us and that’s what I’ve tried to teach my kids. I live near an airport so planes are constantly landing and taking off near me, and I’d be living the dream if I could wish upon every one like a shooting star. I don’t know though… Don’t we as a culture find ANY excuse to make a wish?? I do it all the time; when an eyelash falls, when the clock hits 1:11 or 5:55 or 3:33…, when I blow the fluffy dandelions or birthday candles. It seems like the specific occasions to make wishes are supposed to be few and far between, but aren’t there so many TYPES of wish granting occasions now that we may possibly be taking them for granted? I haven’t really made a true wish in a long time and certainly wouldn’t just sit around WAITING for it to come true like in the pointless waiting room that Suess describes. I do look for signs though and perhaps that shooting star was a sign.

Guess what I caught myself doing… GOOGLING! Yep! I saw the star, caught my breath and then googled the meaning and symbolism of shooting stars. It only dawned on me a few minutes later that what I was doing was looking for someone else to tell me what the significance of THAT star (meteoroid, whatever) at THAT time in THAT place meant for ME. Forget it! I’m in a new place where I decide what has meaning to me and the significance (if any) to my current path in life. I know that I’ve seen them in the past after someone I know has died so maybe I’ll look at that as some sort of honor or recognition for the marriage that has passed on. I know for sure though, that just as shooting stars last but just a fleeting second, so too will this transitional phase of my life. Maybe the sign in the sky was just God’s way of saying, “Hey! I’m here!” Wishes are great, but hard work pays off in the end and noticing my blessings along the way can only make the road more interesting. When I headed off to bed at EXACTLY midnight and began to curse myself for staying up so late AGAIN when I had such an important day ahead, Bob Marley chimed in with HIS heavenly voice through my Pandora station and said,

Don’t worry about a thing,
‘Cause every little thing gonna be all
right.
Singin’: Don’t worry about a thing,
‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right!

Rise up this mornin’,
Smiled with the risin’sun,
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin’ sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true,
Sayin’, This is my message to you-ou-ou

How about that? There you go! Both God AND Bob spoke to me in one night while pondering the rhymes of Dr. Suess and Eminem. I couldn’t have dreamed of a better panel of experts if I’d tried so I headed off to bed with a smile on my face and a comfortable feeling that every little thing was gonna be alright. I know it will.

My Very Own MAJOR AWARD Friday, Sep 23 2011 


Wednesday night I got the most unexpected and giddy-inducing honor that could have been bestowed up me. Another blogger nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award!!! I really felt like screaming from my little balcony and letting all the neighbors who see me constantly typing on my little iPhone know how super important I am now, but I’ve figured that may just draw attention to our little corner here and someone may use that as an opportunity to express their disdain for all of the chalk drawings that I’ve let my kids create on the sidewalks. Who knew that the expensive “rich and vibrant” colors would take weeks to wash away? I’m still considering it though because my building is now CHOCK-FULL of pilots living in corporate apartments, and I have a vision of them gathering together and singing, “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” in their snazzy uniforms like Maverick and Goose after they read MY Mother (and the) Goose Tales. I’m TOTALLY going to print it out, plaster it all over the walls and hang it next to the kids’ fridge art now that we are some crazy printing fools having installed our very own wireless printer after only four months without capabilities.

The super fabulous and Good Humored Paprika Furstenburg nominated me for this award, and anyone who follows my blog will get a kick out of what she has to say. Her husband even wrote a guest blog piece on her love of shoes which is worthy of a mention as well.

This award comes with a couple of rules and this is where I get a little nervous:

1. Publicly thank the blogger who bestowed the honor upon me by putting a link to her blog on mine

2. Share the award with 15 other bloggers whose writing I enjoy so much I am always left waiting for their next post

3. Divulge 7 random facts about myself

I’m good with the first and third, but I’m getting a little sweaty thinking about the second. My friends and readers by now know that my creativity is kind of a curse that goes hand-in-hand with my anxiety. I’m still really new to the blogging world, so OMG! What if I nominate some of these blogs that I’ve discovered who have probably all been nominated already and then I’m like that freshman kid who’s trying to hang out with the seniors? What if I nominate THEM and they’re all like, “Um. OK. I’ve already achieved popular recognition with the masses and received numerous literary awards through my agency and publishing company, but whatever little girl.” But see, I REALLY want this award and so I’m going to spread the love and link to some WordPress blogs that I have recently discovered, and then go back and add to the list later after I sort through the talented masses. See, I haven’t really read a lot of blogs because I’ve gotten worried that reading them will somehow influence what I have to say and then subconsciously I’ll adopt their style and tone as my own and become a PLAGIARIST!! I’m going to suck it up though (actually gulp it down – that little blue and green pill that’s supposed to be keeping these thoughts at bay) and tag them like I’m leaving a nice little gift on their doorstep and then run away before they answer, OK? Here it goes in no particular order:

Ramblings – ALWAYS witty and insightful! I literally laugh out loud. I also think she has the best illustrations and pictures with every post.

The Jackie Blog – This chick can churn out daily posts like nobody’s business and EVERY one is a winner!

The Good Greatsby – This guy is hysterical. He has a Dear Good Greatsby column as well for anyone seeking advice. He has a pretty high following who contribute their own words of wisdom as well.

WHATIMEANT2SAY – A gal after my own heart… She digs bulldogs and her Wonderbutt tales are fun to follow.

H. E. ELLIS – An edgy and entertaining biker chick. She calls it like she sees it and makes no bones about it. (She apparently does like to use the word “boner” a lot in her writing though) πŸ˜‰

I’ve Become My Parents – This guy writes and tweets from Canada with humorous advice on parenting directed at keeping his kid from making some of the same mistakes he did (though probably will inevitably.)

IMONTHEBANDWAGON – I dig the guys here and their banter. They’ll make you laugh out loud on just about every topic imaginable. The blogger is on tour with a popular British band who wants to remain anonymous with lawyers that do their best to keep them from getting sued for saying anything too scandalous. When you read it, be sure and talk to yourself in a British accent because it makes everything even funnier.

Tinkerbelle – This is another blogger from across the pond that I’ve just discovered who’s smart, sassy & witty. I like to read her posts aloud with my best Bridget Jones accent.

THE IDIOT SPEAKETH – I’m new to this guy, but MAN!! I can’t believe what I’ve been missing! He posts lots of 70s & 80s flashbacks, and if you do NOT like the new Facebook format then you WILL like his post, Why The New Facebook Ticker Sucks.

The Brown Road Chronicles – Somehow I stumbled across this guy. Actually, I’m not sure how but I think he may have stuck out a foot or something and virtually tripped me. He likes to do that to unsuspecting gullible visitors like me. He’s like that kid that sits in the back of the class that pulls your hair and teases you, and you REALLY don’t want to laugh but totally can’t help it. Oh yeah – he’s a grown adult that still likes to make prank calls too. You gotta check him out! (Don’t tell him I sent you there though because well, I dunno, I think any attention from him might make me nervous.)

My 7 Randoms

  • My last two years of high school were spent at a public boarding school for the “gifted and talented.” I thought it was going to be like Fame which I believe was one of the greatest television series of all time. I don’t remember the Fame kids having work service duties like washing dishes in the cafeteria or vacuuming the halls of the high school building, but overall I appreciate the experience now more than I did back then.
  • I spent most of my childhood and teen years dancing (hence my love of Fame) however do not expect me to win any notoriety with my smooth moves on the dance floor anymore. Once a few cocktails take over at wedding receptions now, something takes over my body that I can’t control and Spirit Fingers take over.
  • One of my dream jobs would be to sit back and write the names for beauty products like nail polishes and lipsticks. My family has owned a cosmetics store for 50 years now which is fine, but I really think those chicks who dream up the funky sounding names have the cushest job of all.
  • I quote old TV shows and movies all the time. Not new ones – OLD ones. Wait – not OLD ones because that would make ME old which I most certainly am not. I mean AWESOME ones like from the 80’s and 90’s and if I ever throw out something random that you think doesn’t make any sense, then YOU are probably the lame one that doesn’t realize that I’m actually quoting awesomeness.
  • I love bulldogs. And bulldog slobber. And funny bulldog tails. And tales about their tails.
  • I know all the words to Ice, Ice Baby and if you ever say, STOP!, then if I don’t say it out loud you can at least assume that I’ve quietly said, “collaborate and listen” to myself even if we are talking about something very serious.
  • One of my favorite movies of all time is A Christmas Story (which I can quote, of course) and even sent out our own version, Our Christmas Story 2010, last year on the Christmas cards. I was sad to leave behind my real working leg lamp when I left the house this summer, but NOW I have my very own NEW MAJOR AWARD… The Versatile Blogger Award! πŸ™‚

Our Christmas Story 2010

Kickin’ Up Storms & Puttin’ Out Fires Friday, Sep 2 2011 


I didn’t sleep much last night. It’s my own fault though I guess. Actually, it may be my mom’s fault! See, there’s a storm brewing out in the Gulf of Mexico. When this happens, I can always hear my mom’s voice inside my head telling me EXACTLY what I should be doing to prepare. It’s gotten to where I no longer need her present to hear the nagging. There’s anxiety coursing ALL through my veins thanks to my maternal side, and when the weather vanes outside start spinning when the wind kicks up, EVERYTHING kicks up a notch. While pondering whether or not to race out and stock up on Spaghetti O’s and boxed wine for the inclement weather and possible power outage, I realized all of the things that I am used to having back at the house but do NOT have here at the apartment. THAT’S when I remembered the fire escape ladder that my mom purchased for us when we moved into the big two-story house, and I retrieved it when I picked up the kids last night from Dinner with Dad. The shitstorm that came from that was one for the record books. Hmmmm, hurricane preparations with Mom, or Fire Safety Lesson with the kids… I guess I’ll take the latter.

Mom, why do we need a ladder?

It’s just in case there were ever an emergency where we would need to climb out of the window.

The WINDOW?!?! What kind of emergency?

(This is when I remembered that fire phobia he “outgrew.”) Um, you know, just in case the doors didn’t work and we needed to get to our car.

You mean a FIRE don’t you! The box has a picture of a family with their house on fire.

Well, technically that could happen, but it can really be used for any type of emergency and it’s best to have emergency supplies on hand like how we keep candles and flashlights ready for hurricane season.

Why do you think we are going to have a fire?

I DON’T

Then why did you buy it?

I didn’t. Mimi bought it.

Why does she think we are going to have a fire?

She doesn’t. I mean, she KNOWS that we are NOT, but she always worries about everything anyway so she felt better buying this for us back at the house.

Then why did we bring it to the apartment?

Because we live HERE now and so I thought we’d keep it here.

But Daddy’s back at the house and now he doesn’t have anything to escape with. (eyeing me suspiciously like I’m an evil arsonist)

Daddy is like a Boy Scout and he has everything he needs there. He’s totally fine, I PROMISE.

So we’re going to attach it to the window?

No. It stays in its box unless we ever have to use it. I’m going to put it in Sissy’s closet because it’s right next to her window and that window sticks out the farthest. (Smile) So you don’t even have to look at it.

WHAT?!?!?! You are keeping it in HER room?! Why does she get to be saved???!!!

STOP. Nothing’s going to happen, but if there WERE some kind of emergency then we all go to her window and climb out. Period.

Her foot is probably going to get in my way and make me fall down the ladder and get a bodycast again!!!

(Long story short version: Yes, he DID have to wear a body cast for a couple of months when he was 2, but EXACTLY how he tumbled down the stairs isn’t TOTALLY clear. Everybody knows he tripped over Sissy’s foot, but there is no proof it was intentional and doesn’t matter anyway because she was SO WAY SORRY and TOTALLY freaked out that he broke a bone. Won’t EVER happen again. EVER. We’re paranoid people now and in a way like never before. There! Full disclosure.)

You’re not going to fall and you won’t get a body cast because we have a LADDER! (Sigh) Just follow her down and we’ll walk to the parking lot or something.

WHAT!?@!!? SHE gets to go FIRST??? That’s not FAIR!

Fine. If you want to go first, then you can go first. We’ll have our plan now like when you practice fire drills at school.

So you want to climb out now?

NOOOO!!! (God the neighbors would REALLY think we’re weird then. And I’m not going to the hospital with a broken bone on any of us from a PRACTICE RUN. Real deal only.)

Well, who’s going next you or Sissy?

Well, Sissy I guess. That is if ANY of us were able to quit fighting over what’s fair and what’s not fair. That’s why it’s best to decide now otherwise I’m thinking Daddy is the lucky one here. He just has to jump. I would have to convince two screaming kids that my escape route was FAIR before anyone even slung a leg of the ledge!

Well then we’d all die if nobody went, huh.

Nobody’s going to DIE! Go take your bath. (I’m going straight to the burning gallows of Hell for even planting this seed in my child’s head. Actually… TOTALLY my mom’s fault here again. SHE bought the ladder and SHE’S the one that threw that neurotic gene down my tree but never claims it and doesn’t know how any of us can be such ANXIOUS people. She’s like the cute little kitten that gets stuck in the tree and then claims to have been able to climb down herself if mass hysteria were to break out and the fire brigade sent to rescue her… after all she’d be the only cat on the block with her own LADDER!!)

10 Minutes Later… (Scene: Bathtub)

Is it fireproof, Mom?

What?

The ladder. because I’m not going to go down it first if it’s just going to catch fire or something.

The ladder is METAL, and we will never have to use it because there will NEVER be a fire.

So concrete catches fire easily then?

HUH?!?

The stairs. They must be going to catch fire even though they’re made of concrete otherwise we wouldn’t need the ladder and have to go out Sissy’s window.

Seriously. Just forget about the ladder. if there were an emergency, that’s the only time you’d even remember it.

Wait. I’m not gonna jump so we’re all just gonna be hanging there til the firemen come or something because that’s too far and I’ll get hurt, right?

No, sweet boy. The ladder reaches all the way to the ground because it says so on the box. (We both SMILE at each other. πŸ™‚ Case closed!)

What if, when I get off the ladder, I step in fire ants though??? Heh Heh!! Get it, Mom?? FIRE ants!!! I made a joke!! πŸ™‚

HAHAHA!!! Funny boy! I’m so proud of you. You must get that from me!

But what about my stuffed animals??? I love them! We’ll have to carry all of them out with us.

Nah. The firemen would spray the whole place with water from their big hoses and that would keep stuff from burning.

Then they’d get wet and ruined.

Fine. We’ll see.

I KNOW!!! We’ll keep some backpacks by the ladder to carry all our stuff out! I’ll be the one who says, ‘EVERYONE GRAB AS MUCH AS YOU CAN!!!’

No. That’s someone else’s job. Get out of the tub.

Will the firemen say, ‘All clear!’ and then send us back for our stuff?

Yes.

I’m going to show all my friends any time I have a sleep over so they know we can climb out the window if we need to, OK?

Um… Fine. (AWESOME! Mamas are going to think I’m nuts. And if I ever catch him using it when he’s a teenager to sneak out and get a 6 pack or something, he might as well be in a bodycast because he won’t be going anywhere for a long time. Sigh.)

I’ve got the jibbers.

Don’t have the jibbers… whatever those are. It’s fine. Everyone will be safe and everyone has a job for anything unexpected so we’re TOTALLY good. Now get out of the tub. (HOORAY!! He SMILED which means he’s good and I must be good at calming his nerves then. Yay!)

I’m going to have nightmares. Can I sleep with you?

(Sigh) Fine.

HAHAHA!!!! SISSY!!!! I get to sleep with mom and you don’t!

(Sissy runs into the bathroom and starts off with, Moooooom!!! That’s not FAIR!!!!)

Dry off. Brush your teeth. Everyone get in my bed. Go to sleep.

Hey, Mom!

Whaaa-aaaa-aaaaaaa-aaat?!?!

I’ve been eating lots of fiber, SEE! I’m growing THESE!! (Points at his nipples and smiles proudly in the mirror)

Uh… I’m glad you’re eating fiber. Good. That means this conversation is over.

(I realize that he has changed the subject and this is my chance, so I sing the prayers and then threaten to kick them out of my bed if they don’t go to sleep. It’s a freakin’ SCHOOL night and I’m not going to get ANY sleep because they’re in my bed, but I feel so bad now about letting them see the ladder and ponder burning flesh that I must now deserve to be kneed in the back all night without any covers.)

Where does this kid get this from?? ‘MY MOM!!! It’s HER fault,’ I say to myself as I remember to go take my anxiety pill. As I gulp the water and feel the pill sliding down my throat, I get one of those movie-like flashback scenes where I suddenly have Deja’ Vu and realize I just took this pill while standing in this exact spot just a couple of hours ago. Am I going to overdose? Should I try and throw it up?? I throw up my hands instead and settle down to read a book. I mean, I HAVE to be awake now, right? I probably have to stay awake to make sure I don’t start getting woozy or drowsy from the double dosage… but it’s BEDTIME?!?! How will I know if it’s the medicine or just being tired??? BING! I have a margarita in the freezer that would TOTALLY calm me down, but now I’m too scared to drink it because of what it may do to me after taking two idiot pills!!! UUGH!! I think I have a stomach ache now. Finally I decide with the help of some friends on facebook that the heightened anxiety I’m experiencing will counteract the increased medication thereby cancelling out any harmful side effects and leaving a zero net effect. TA-DA!!! I’m a genius AND I’m still a good mom. The kids are sleeping soundly, and I’ll be right next to them on my 3-inch portion of the bed if they need anything. And if I don’t have what they need or an answer to some crazy question, you know what I’ll do??? I’ll call MOM and let them wake HER up. It’s all her fault anyway, and someday I’ll tell them that so they’ll be sure and blame HER and NOT me or blog about all the weird things I do on the internet or whatever it is that their generation will be doing then. Hell, I probably won’t even know what they’re talking about anyway, and I’ll just sit there oblivious like MOM does with MY blog. πŸ˜‰