Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Blood Cell - Fiesta Night on the Deathstar

Blood is thicker than water.

That’s supposed to be an analogy for family comes first. Or instructions for janitors. I forget.

I forget a lot these days. It’s the lack of sleep. Or the drinking I do when I’m awake - LOL

Family. Do you ever just wanna shoot yours? But then there’s all that damn blood to clean up. Which is a real pain. Just ask Middle Son, who was selling his bodily fluids (donating plasma) when he began to feel faint, and looked down to see the tube that was supposed to be returning his red cells to him, was instead depositing them onto the floor. He called me with the news that he might be late for dinner since he was essentially bleeding to death and wasn’t sure how long it would take the emergency technicians to bring him back to life.

There’s nothing like having your child call and use the term “emergency technician”. Chalk up another “mommy’s heart stops” moment.

I love my family. I’d do anything for them. But there are days...

I’m still spending a lot of hours on the road and away from home in an effort to take care of my family. The drive is made more unpleasant by exorbitant gasoline prices. The “family of man” seems to be one of the lesser concerns of our Evil Oil Overlords.

Then there’s dealing with the Family Plan. As in telephones, or as I’ve come to know it, Cell Hell.

We have yet to get a bill from the Cell Hellions that is correct. The freshest Hell is Husband’s phone.

Husband is, or rather was, an employee of the provider (an oxymoron if ever there was one). Then the provider decided to fu-, errr...change things in what they considered our too-perfect world.

Husband’s department was aborted by the parent company and tossed into the biological waste bag of a spin-off organization. Some sort of horror movie transformation took place and a monster grew. A monster that is actually making money. This seemed to annoy the Cell Hellions, who have frittered away their small earnings on recording endless-loop voice menus for their “help” lines. They expressed their ire by changing coverage for their demon spawn. All previously-free phone service for employees was killed, in a massacre designed to drive me insane.

I am certain that Satan himself runs the parent company (They both start with the same letter of the alphabet) and he saw that Husband was exceeding performance goals, helping make the demon spawn profitable. Satan said, “There shall be no joy in Mudville!” (or some other rip-off of classic literature) and axed the free phones.

Of course it had to LOOK like a magnanimous gesture, (‘cause that’s how Satan works) so it was cloaked as a “transfer of service”. Ha. Good one, Satan. And of course Husband was too busy exceeding performance goals to deal with Satan, so he assigned me the task. I have more experience, anyway.

The promise of a new and better world was a ruse. Like duh. The “no-cost transfer” memo didn’t get sent to the billing department. They saw the end of the original contract as a termination, worthy of a pound of flesh, and sent an exorbitant automatic debit to the bank. The bank that owns the ATM that ate my debit that lives in the house that Jack built. (You know I'm getting crazy when I start quoting Dickens - LOL)

Suddenly, the bank account is gutted and bleeding. I always keep one eye on the bank account, because ya never know what sort of shenanigans those hoodlums are up to. I saw red - figuratively and literally. WTF is this? Why did the phone company steal our money?

I called. I went through the three hours of endless-loop voice menus. I questioned. Oops, our bad, sorry. Sorry my ass, get the money back in the account and cover the overdraft fees. Well, that’s really between you and your bank. We can only issue you a statement of an erroneous debit. You’ll have to go to Fiesta Night on the Deathstar by yourself.

Fine. I gird my loins, have a stiff drink, and deal with the bank bastards. I have driven ten thousand miles, kept my mother-in-law alive and happy, arbitrated Regulations of Adulthood with a teenage girl, and explained a complicated phone procedure to a man in Calcutta, in the last few weeks.

They didn’t have a chance. The phone charges were reversed, the overdraft fees were annulled, and a fresh bottle of whiskey was purchased.

Middle Son is regenerating bodily fluids and I have sobered up for the next Attack on Sanity.

Jack Daniels and I are ready.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Stick it to me

What a week this has been!

Daughter is now 18 years and one week old, and is convinced she is an adult - LOL

She has become obstinate about bedtime and other rules that I, her darling mother, chose to impose on her for no apparent (to her) reason. She has decided to repeatedly stick it to me with reminders that she is now 18. Gee honey, thanks for that, I forgot since you told me three minutes ago. Since you’re all grown up, be a good girl and go get mommy a bottle of liquor - LOL

It has rained, dear gawd how it rained! Perhaps you’ve seen the news regarding flooding in the Midwest. That’s my house floating down the river - LOL

Just kidding. We’re 15 miles from where houses are washing away, but we did get enough rain to make life miserable. Power and Internet access have been sketchy, because this is an old building and all things mechanical and electronical *snicker* hate me.

I apologize for not visiting and commenting. To those of you who “tagged” me for memes or lists, I haven’t had the time to participate, sorry.

What little time I am able to access the Word Wide Web, I’m working, deleting spam (grrr) or checking the ever-depleting bank balance (grrr to over $3 a gallon gas prices that stick it to those of us who pile up automobile miles faster than those crazy people who stack sports cups, a new fad I totally do not understand, which must be proof that I am getting old and I digress way too much - sorry) and trying to figure out who’s got their fingers in my pie. Literally.

I bought a pie at the grocery store the other day. A lovely cherry pie. When I got home (Digression alert! Getting home was no easy task, as the main thoroughfare to town was flooded so I had to take the go-through-the-country-on-the-winding-washed-out-road-
and unpacked the bags (sinful me, they were made of environmentally-unfriendly, flipping-the-finger-at-Mother-Nature plastic! Sorry, digressing again) my pie had a giant hole in it. Yes, I had a pie hole.

It looked like the cashier or bag boy had poked their thumb (or some other appendage that I don’t even want to consider) smack into the middle of my sweet cherry pie. (Oh great, now I’ve got that song stuck in my ever-digressing head. I’m told the proper term for a song stuck in your head is “earworm,” but that sounds really gross and is too reminiscent of The Wrath of Khan, and dammit I’m digressing in my digressions. Grrrr again.) Gawd knows what other indignities my no-longer-a-virgin pie was subjected to. I didn’t want to think about it, so the entire pie bit the dust in the bottom of the trash can. Bye, bye Miss American pie (another earworm for all of you playing along).

(Dang, this is supposed to be funny and cheerful - don’t worry, be happy, don’t even think about THAT song - LOL) At least the sun is shining today! Hooray for sunshine! Hooray for mothers! Happy Mother’s day to all you mothers! Wait, that doesn’t sound quite right...well you get the drift, or the float, if you live around here.

Peace and joy to all of you!

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Friday, May 04, 2007

Daughter Turns 18

Daughter's 18th birthday

Today is my daughter’s birthday. She turns 18 and I turn into a teary-eyed mess every time I think about it - LOL

This has been an incredibly busy week, and I won’t be home any today, so I’m posting a chapter from Queen Klutz, explaining my excessive sentimentality and tendency to weep at the drop of a hat.

Best wishes to all of you for a beautiful weekend!


High Salt Generator

Hi, my name is Marti, and I am a weeper

Middle Son is now a High School Graduator.

I am now a High Salt Generator.

We gathered the family, (also known as the Tribe of Tribulation) under the midday sun for the commencement. Of course before leaving the house I had to repair my makeup because he looked so adorable in his cap and gown…and I cried.

I looked at all of those shining young faces, marching in unison towards the stage and their destinies, resplendent in their blue and white…and I cried.

The class valedictorian gave a stirring speech, her voice cracking near the end, and naturally…so did I.

As each student’s name was called, and they proudly ascended the stairs to receive their diploma, I was thinking the same thought as every mother there…“Don’t trip going up the steps”.

None did, and I sighed.

When the choir(which included Middle Son) sang, “May You Always Have A Song,” Husband smiled at me and whispered, “May you always have a tissue”.

This, of course, made me cry.

When the fireworks went off following the benediction, Eldest Son (a 1996 graduate...the first class to graduate from the new building) remarked, “Geez, we didn’t even have running water out here for ours,” but I knew he wasn’t really upset, as he gently nudged me, sporting a warm, wide grin. I elbowed him back, and rested my head momentarily on his shoulder.

Then I cried.

When Daughter mentioned that she would be in the 99th graduating class - well, you know.

Of course the Tribe is used to it by now. Eldest Son and Husband took photos for me, knowing mine would all be out of focus. After our first few years together, Husband grew weary of having to remove tear-induced mascara stains from the camera.

I cry at anything even remotely emotional.

I cry at news of births, deaths, weddings, and graduations. I cry at the sight of kittens and puppies.

If anything causes me to say, “Awww,” my eyes are leaking. Baby products and long-distance-calling-plan commercials reduce me to eye-dribble.

Hi, my name is Marti, and I am a weeper.

When the students tossed their mortarboard caps high into the air, sailing skyward with the tassels trailing like rocket exhaust, I followed them upward with my eyes, and the silent prayer in my heart, “Don’t land in the mud”.

When they didn’t, I smiled.

But there were teardrops dribbling into the corners of my mouth.

When the principal said, “I present to you, the graduating class of 2004!” I thought, “Gawd, I’m old”.

And I laughed.

Later, we attended the Grad Night party - and what a party it was! (Kudos to Best Friend!) Fun, food, games, laughter, and Middle Son avoiding his mother like the plague, lest she break out sobbing or try to hug him.

I hobbled from place to place with my cane, and the considerate youngsters moved aside, their politeness speaking volumes about what great parents they have; parents who’d become my friends while I was working on the Grad Night Committee. Just thinking about them…(grabbing for tissues).

I wear my heart on my sleeve. I have embarrassed my children with goodbye kisses in front of their peers. I have mortified them by calling out, “I love you!” as they got out of the car. I have cried at every play, choir and band performance.

I have sobbed at teacher conferences, hearing good news or bad. (It never swayed the grade.) I will probably never overcome the crying, and will be doomed to a lifetime of clutching tissues, sniffling, and dabbing discreetly during sad movies, and all manners of emotional events.

It is a part of who I am.

The blutzy weeper, long may she drain.

The soul would have no rainbow

had the eyes no tears.

John Vance Cheney

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Crazy Says Wha-?

OK, this has been an insane week, and its only Wednesday - LOL

Busy, busy, busy, too much to do. But the craziest thing in my world isn’t me (for once).

Over the weekend here in Kansas City, there was a nut job guy who went off the deep end and shot up a shopping mall, killing people.

I’m sure all of you remember how after the Virginia Tech shooting, the crazy guy showed up all over the news, with his “final messages”. All the news outlets played them. Then they all apologized, and agreed that showing them was wrong, wrong, wrong. Shouldn’t glorify a madman.

So what happens here? The nut job leaves a final message and yup, you guessed it, it is on the news. Even worse, they are telling us that this sick, sorry SOB was living without running water, so he had been (quoting the news) “depositing his bowel movements in a kitty litter box”.

Cats across the land are horrified.

Has our society just lost every brain cell? What in God’s name are they thinking, broadcasting stuff like that? Damn if I know. I’m tired and cranky and have 10,000 things to do today, and the LAST thing I want to hear about when I flip on the TV at 3 AM is where a killer took a dump.

I hope all of you have a better day.

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