Friday, February 11, 2011

A Sh** Load of Green Beans

I haven't the energy to do a coherent post. Not that any of my posts are ever coherent. Here are snippets of my week:

--I was going to the grocery store the other day and asked my husband if there is anything he wanted. He thought for a second and then said, and I quote: "Yeah, get a shit load of green beans." This brings up all kinds of questions, none of which I bothered to ask. What constitutes a "shit load" of green beans? Why do we need a "shit load" of green beans and not just several cans? Or are several cans a "shit load?" Doesn't this strike you as something an unemployed man wearing a wife beater with a huge belly would say to his bitch? I mean, isn't there something vaguely demeaning about being asked to get a "shit load" of green beans at the store? In case you're curious, this was on Monday. I bought six cans. He hasn't had any. So I'm waiting to see if he's preparing some green bean extravaganza of a meal this weekend wherein the appetizer, main course and dessert include green beans.

--And I think weird requests before grocery runs must be genetic. I don't buy much at Whole Foods. Not only because of the prices, but also the checkout people think they're so cool and "green." Piercings don't make you an Earth-lover!!  Anyway, I go to buy this Earth's Best stuff Lulu likes that I can't get at Jewel. So when I told the girls where I was going, Moxley says, "Can you get us Walden and Widget costumes while you're there? And make sure the Walden costume comes with glasses!" "Yes," I told them very earnestly. "I'll check if the grocery store carries Wow Wow Wubzy costumes and accessories."

--I'm back into my weird baking / making things from scratch phase. Worry not, it won't last long. This was precipitated by my worry that the girls aren't eating healthy enough. So I'm making our own popsicles and desserts like pumpkin bread cupcakes. I'm doing annoying things like substituting apple sauce for some of the butter and using half whole wheat flour and more brown sugar than white sugar. You know, sort of like what Jessica Seinfeld's chef does when making meals for Jerry's children and then Jessica tells Oprah she does it all herself.  Everything tastes like crap by the way. Speaking of a "shit load" of something, I put a "shit load" of canned vanilla icing on mine when the girls aren't looking...

--So now that I'm back to baking, nothing amuses me more than those recipe sites where people try the recipe (like and then make comments about the recipe and how they changed it. "Well,  instead of adding a teaspoon of nutmeg I used extra cinnamon and I don't like cloves so I skipped that altogether!" Really? You have that much time to find a recipe, not follow it and then post how you altered it online? And isn't it sort of inconsiderate to the person who invented the recipe in the first place? If I was the originator I'd reply, "I said use NUTMEG AND CLOVES dammit!" I substituted some applesauce for butter, but I didn't feel the need to inform the whole recipe-searching community that is in fact what I did. I guess I'm not a true baker at heart or I'd enjoy being regaled with tales of how pumpkin bread tastes minus the nutmeg. (And it's not lost on me that I have the time and inclination to take pictures and post them of the bread I baked and green beans I bought so I'm not one to make fun...)

--I am teaching an online PR course next month. I think I'll enjoy the relative anonymity of it and the fact I don't have to take a shower beforehand like I did when I taught in person. Maybe I'll even do it from bed. I need more opportunities where I can work from bed. That's my motto for 2011: "Willing to work from bed!" I should do a YouTube video of me from bed. Maybe it will get me all kinds of offers like that homeless Golden Voice guy who Dr. Phil made go to rehab.

--Moxley has been a real downer lately. She's like that person who can ruin a good party just by showing up.  I think the potty training thing has hit her hard. She pees in the potty but then basically waits all day until I put on her night diaper to do her other business. This seems to put her in a foul mood every waking moment. She's been throwing temper tantrums about crazy shit, usually clothes. Then later she'll explain it to me very rationally: "Well, you know mama, it hurts my feelings when you don't let me wear purple." She's talking about an outfit consisting of purple pants with an ill-fitting blue-striped top with decorative crystals on it. She wants to wear the same thing every day. An ensemble, frankly, that is as mismatched as it is oversized. Also, mama don't like doing laundry every day, which makes it hard to wear the same thing day after day after day.  I feel like I need to do something extreme about her fashion sense. Send her Priority Fed Ex to Anna Wintour's house for example. I bet Anna's good with kids.  Here is the shirt but you can't see the pants that don't match. Yes, she's eating icing from the container. It was when we were stuck inside for 48 hours in a blizzard and we were making sugar cookies so bite me. (Did I mention I make my own healthy popsicles?)

--The girls have their three-year pediatrics appointment Saturday. If it goes anything like their second-year, I'm in for a really delightful afternoon. The doctor couldn't measure them, weigh them, examine them or even look at them. It was like the Diana Ross of two-year wellness visits.The nurses managed to stab them with the required vaccines while they were held down like wild animals. I had nightmares for weeks. We haven't been back since. My sister, who is a pediatric nurse, told me there is probably a note in our file marking us as "difficult." Difficult is putting it politely so that doesn't remotely bother me.

Anyway, if you know of any jobs where I can work from bed (aside, from you know working from bed -- ain't nobody gonna pay me for that the way I look these days) let me know.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Safe Haven

Guess what my kids WON'T be getting next Christmas...

Here in Illinois, and I'm pretty sure every other state, we have a "safe haven" law which means you can drop a baby off, no questions asked and you won't be prosecuted for baby abandonment and you know the baby will be cared for. It's usually at a hospital or fire / police station. Depending on the law in your state, parents have to do this I think within the first month or so of birth.

I don't mean to make light of a law that has certainly saved the lives of many infants, but isn't it kind of restrictive? Just 30 days? What about when you realize you might not be able to care for a child after the one-month window has closed? Or JUST DON'T WANT TO? Something happened yesterday that makes me question whether I am in fact the right person to be raising my twins. Something I couldn't have possibly known 30 days in. Surely there is another mother out there who can deal with certain aspects of their personality (terrible, gut-wrenching, uncorrectable flaws) better than I. Embrace them even! Let me be clear: I just found out my children love John Mayer music.

When we travel by car, the girls dictate what we listen to on the radio, much like they dictate every other aspect of my life. Normally, we either listen to a country mix and they insist we listen to John Michael Montgomery (does that guy even still make music?) ad nauseam, and will only concede me one or two Keith Urban songs along the way. They are partial to Kenny Chesney's "We Went Out Last Night" and will tolerate "Outta Here" if I really beg. They've been known to request Alan Jackson's "It Must Be Love" 15 times in a row. Their country music taste is fairly sexist although Carrie Underwood is growing on them. I wonder what they would think of SugarLand but I'm pretty sure subjecting youngsters to that woman's god-awful twang is legally classified as felony child abuse.

So yesterday I couldn't get the country mix to work for some reason, and they began demanding LOUDLY while I'm trying to drive in the snow that I play "Grundee County Auction" (not one of John Michael Montgomery's finest) but it wouldn't go on so I turned on the radio and started searching around. I made it into a game where they could tell me to stop and we'd listen to any song they liked.  Suddenly, without warning, they start howling for me to stop.  "I love this song!" one shouted. "I want this song for Christmas!" the other added gleefully. It took me a moment to place it. Then the horror crept in. It was that number where John wants to "run through the halls of his high school" and he wants to "scream at the top of his lungs" and I knew exactly how he felt. Not the running through the high school thing but the screaming really loud thing BECAUSE MY CHILDREN LOVE JOHN MAYER. 

I am about to research Illinois' safe haven law. Perhaps there is language in there specific to my situation. I wouldn't be surprised if it even mentions John Mayer by name. "You may leave an infant who is 30 days or younger or any child above that age with a known liking for John Mayer."

I will simply pin a note on the back of each of their shirts saying, "Likes John Mayer. Sorry, can't raise." I'm pretty sure the state will understand.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Pulling a Boner

The guys in my high school had an expression for when you screwed someone over. "You really pulled a boner!" they would say, for example, if you promised to pick someone up for a party and forgot. I have no clue if that is a crude reference to an erection?  I haven't thought about that saying since the late 80s, but the expression suddenly popped into my mind when the epic Chicago snowstorm hit and my husband was laid up in bed from an ill-timed surgery. "You really pulled a boner this time!" I wanted to scream at him. Who has surgery a few days before a snowstorm hits, making their spouse fully responsible for their children in time of crisis? Oh sure, he didn't know the third-biggest snow fall in history was heading toward Chicago, but still.

He was due at the hospital last Friday around 10:30 am and I was responsible for driving him, waiting for him and then taking his drugged-up ass home. Oh, and picking up his prescriptions and buying some nursing home food such as Jello and vanilla pudding. Notice how sick people always want to inconvenience everyone else? Sheesh, it's not my problem the guy has a bum ear. But anyway, I agreed to do it, because I'm fairly selfless like that. When I woke up that morning, I had a zit on my chin the size of Jennifer Lopez's ass. It wasn't pretty. I don't like to go out of the house when one of those sprouts up, it frightens innocent people.

"Can't you take a cab?" I asked as I delved into my coffee and bagel dripping with butter, offering him a bite. I knew he couldn't have any food or drink before surgery so I thought it'd be fun to rub it in. "You look fine," he said not completely convincingly.  "Plus you won't have to talk to anyone beside the doctor."

Me: Is he hot?
Him: Who?
Me: The doctor!
Him: Is my doctor hot???
Me: Yeah, like am I going to have to have a conversation with a McDreamy or a McSteamy or even a George Clooney circa ER looking like this?
Him: (now slightly exasperated for reasons unbeknownst to me) He's like 60!

There are sad, disheartening times when you realize your mate doesn't really know you. I mean, really know you. This was one of those times. I didn't ask if the guy was OLD, I asked if he was HOT. I know my husband prior to this surgery was half deaf, but even a fully deaf person who lived with me would find it hard to escape the fact I'm in love with Jeff Bridges. And he's pushing 60.

Anyway, fast forward and I'm sitting in the waiting room and they have wireless Internet in the lobby and ginormous donuts dripping with glaze in the dining hall so I'm content. I settle into a comfy seat in the lounge where a bunch of other people are waiting for patients to get out of surgery. Most are yapping to each other. Why do strangers feel the need to make conversation with people they will never see again? It occurred to me that maybe some people are actually interested in what other humans have to say. It's fascinating, really. A harlot of a woman and some guy veer dangerously into flirting territory after debating Illinois politics for a while. "Rahm Emanuel MAILED SOMEONE A DEAD FISH!" the harpie yelled to draw attention to herself. "What kind of a person mails a DEAD FISH to another person*??! I'd slap him if I saw him!" (Rahm, consider yourself warned.) She was a Republican and he was a Democrat and it became evident after a while they wanted to find an abandoned broom closet and conceive an Independent. Or Libertarian. Or whatever offspring would be half-Democrat and half-Republican. Thank God the guy's wife was finally in post-op so they called him away before someone stuck their tongue down the other's throat.

The woman, defeated, set her sights on finding someone else to listen to her yammer on and began chatting up another guy, albeit she seemed to just want to chat, not fornicate. Suddenly on television comes a show that is so preposterously bad you can't believe it even exists. It's like a karaoke show where contestants win money for getting the words right and they put on a big performance like they are American Idol finalists. I'm pretty sure the host was Mark McGrath. I sunk lower and lower into my chair out of extreme embarrassment as one of the contestants began belting out "Don't You Want Me" by the Human League. Then, like out of a horror film, the woman who doesn't want a fish-mailing candidate for mayor BEGINS SINGING ALONG. "You better take me back or we will BOTH BE SORRY!" That was it. I slammed shut my computer and went back to the cafeteria where I ate another absurdly large donut (creme filled with chocolate icing) and began eavesdropping on some disgruntled nurses.

Today is one-week post-op. My  husband is fine if a bit annoyingly gimpy. I'd give details on what he had done but really if he wants a place to whine about various ailments he can start his own damn blog. The good thing about this incident is I learned a few things:

--The Human League sucks.
--A person can gain 5 pounds in one day eating hospital cafeteria food.
--Mark McGrath's music career has evidently stalled.
--It's possible to pick somebody up in a hospital waiting room while both of your spouses are sedated.

*I never mailed a dead fish to anyone, but I almost left one in the jeep of the guy who lives behind me to let it swelter in the hot sun all day. This was the summer after giving birth to the girls -- I can't remember now what he did. It probably involved waking my babies up. I had a very serious conversation where I tried to talk my husband into it (why should I get arrested?) and he somehow convinced me we couldn't do it. Spoilsport! Postpartum manifests itself in various ways, one apparently, involves the desire to stink up a neighbor's car with rotting fillet of sole.