Archive | May, 2012

Some Whining: Let Me Give You It.

I remember taking vacations growing up. I remember the yearly trip somewhere, be it the beach or grandparents or St. Louis or wherever. I remember packing up our conversion van and hitting the road.

Somehow, I didn’t get this gene. I WANT THIS GENE. We have not taken a true “vacation” since 2009, when my parents treated us to a week at the beach. It was AWESOME, and even Tony – who was maybe 18 months at the time – wistfully longs to visit “da beach” again. Before that, it was our honeymoon.

We just cannot travel. We cannot. And it eats me up. I crave fresh air, NEW air, and different food and new textures under my feet. I miss the adventure and my wanderlust just fills me with bitterness and resentment.

But we have a kid in daycare. Another one in private school. We have two car payments. A mortgage. An A/C unit with a deathwish. Crazy, stressful, unrelenting jobs. These things sap most of our resources. And, amazingly, it takes resources to travel.

Summer has hit, apparently. And the travel bug has bitten me. Like, eleventy frillion times, and the itch is constant.

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I have a love/hate relationship with interns every summer. Not with any particular intern, not personally, but just with the theory of them in general. I want to gather them all in a room and then tell them, “STAY IN SCHOOL. GET YOUR DEGREE. AND THEN LIVE A BETTER LIFE THAN I DID.” I want them to see the abundant fluorescent lighting here, and how it accentuates the bags under all of our eyes, and how we all walk with our gaze downward. As R said on Twitter, “Take a good look at the people who have been here a long time, and decide if THAT is the person you want to be.”

Now, the great thing is: it could be worse. I love what we’re working for. I believe in what we do. And I like most of the people I work with. But we are a culture, here. A way of life. And you have to wonder if the way of life is worth it, in the end.

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Okay, seriously, can we TALK about the whole zombie explosion and the guy eating the other guy’s face off and the woman eating her baby and the weirdo sending dismembered body parts to Canadian government officials? Because, y’all. MEMORIAL DAY USED TO MEAN SOMETHING.

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I got up at 4:30 the other morning and met some friends for a sunrise run. It was amazing. Seriously. Since we’re in the throes of summer right now (which, HAHA, is not even the throes of summer, but it feels like a tour through North Hell), running at dawn is about the only time I won’t perish in the heat. And it was lovely.

We weren’t out for time or distance, just wanting to stretch our legs a little. And in not worrying about time or distance, we had a great pace. For over two miles. Which is almost the 5k that I sucked so badly at on Saturday. Which makes me think this running thing is more than just a little mental. Because I could’ve easily finished out another mile yesterday morning for the full 5K course and in WAY better time. Because I didn’t care about time. Or pace. Or distance, even. I just wanted to stretch my legs.

(Thanks, Jennifer and Anita, for the company!)

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As if I needed another Mommy Guilt blow to the gut, the only thing Tony has asked for over the past few months is to get back to swim lessons. For some reason – unseen by his momma, who will not put her head underwater – the child loves swimming. He actually can’t swim, but he had made some HUGE strides through the last round of lessons he took. (In .. February, maybe?)

We finally made it over to the YMCA to sign him up for June’s classes, and WHAM!, the schedule has been adjusted for summer. The latest class starts at 5:00. We cannot reliably get away from work in time to get him to a 5:00 pm class.

And it BREAKS.MY.HEART.

So we’re looking into other options, but MAN. 1) I love the YMCA, and would rather spend my money there. 2) That’s where we’ve always gone, and you can’t beat the price. 3) I DON’T NEED ANOTHER THING TO MAKE ME FEEL GUILTY ABOUT NEVER BEING HOME.

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Silver lining: apparently, I have whined enough on ANOTHER topic to make a difference.

I am posting this from work.

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Can’t Stop at the Finish Line.

For Bryan’s birthday (aka Memorial Day to the uneducated), we spent a day lazily wandering around, napping as we felt like it, and gorging on platters of splendor. OH HAHA JUST KIDDING, BECAUSE WE DON’T KNOW HOW TO BE LAZY.

We got up at 6:30 to start preparing for the race. Tony and I had done some prep work the night before as well:

And Bryan must be Tony’s favorite parent because he gifted Bryan’s sign with a portrait of Beekey:

(You’ll notice Beekey’s “hairs” on top of her head. She looks like a Kewpie doll to me.)

And we met Aunt Gee and Dude at a Starbucks for pre-race child-swapping.

Where Aunt Gee and Dude totally geared Tony up with a breakfast of champions.

And then off we went!

Of course, since there were roughly 2k people running our race, it was a LEEEETLE crowded when we got there, but through determination (and me ditching Bryan), I was able to find my running group. (Said Bryan, before I ditched him, “I’m not walking anymore. I’m staying here.” I was like Yes, Lord forbid you WALK before the 5k you’re about to RUN. ANYWAY.) There had been tales of pace-markers for this race, folks with tall signs that would rise above the throng and tell us where to stay in the pack. Alas, they were indeed only fables, because no mythical pace-markers appeared. So we hoped that staying in the middle would work out for us. I still couldn’t find Bryan. (I had ditched him GOOD.)

The race began and I hung with Alicia and Katie for a good bit, but the heat. OH THE HEAT, Y’ALL. It was easily 90+ when the race began, with not a SINGLE FREAKING CLOUD IN THE SKY, and .. y’all know I now avoid sunscreen like the plague. (Unless you’re reading this, Dr. Tim! Then I swear I SLATHER MYSELF IN IT FROM HEAD TO TOE.) So about 1.5 miles in, I had to walk more than I ran.

But! Before we got to that point, Bryan found us! So, as is our way, we made a point of humiliating the birthday boy through song. The funny thing about “Happy Birthday” is that everyone knows it, so it’s kind of a reflex. You hear someone singing, so you join in. Soon, all the runners around us were joining in AS WE RAN and Bryan blushed and ran faster to get away from us.

BRYAN BLUSHED, Y’ALL. Never ever. This is the guy who let me take a picture of him in women’s show choir dresses.

(I guess he’s getting shy in his old age.)

Anyway, I finally made it across the finish line. (I made this STUPID ASS mantra up as I ran: Run in the sun, delayed in the shade. Because I’m apparently Rainman and need rhymes to remind me to get out of the sun.) My time was crap, but Bryan made a great time, and finished his first 5K AND my whole family turned out to hold signs and cheer him in.

(This was about the time that Tony started telling Dude he needed to pee. Which is awesome. Nothing like a little preschooler urine to cool you off.)(He didn’t ACTUALLY pee.)

After everyone made it in (me being the last, OBVIOUSLY, because why would I finish a race with a decent time, right?), the family headed to brunch while Bryan and I ran home to get the cake and presents.

We had a delicious brunch at Cracker Barrel, and there is no food more delicious than your after race celebratory meal. I’m pretty sure you could be served cold canned dog food and you’d be like YES, THIS IS THE BEST EVER CAN I HAVE SECONDS?

Post cookie-cake – because Bryan really is 12 at heart – we all headed north to pick up Jack for the rest of the day’s festivities. We had a surprise for him for his birthday (next weekend) that we were going to go look at.

See, for years now, I’ve been nudging Bryan into considering a ball python. I LOVE SNAKES and thought that it’d be a cool pet. Way cooler than, say, a STUPID CAT. But instead, we kept getting STUPID CATS. But then! Then we met VooDoo the snake. VooDoo was raised by a family that we know through theatre (he was actually IN a show with Aunt Gee and Dude several years ago), and since all of their kids are in or leaving for college, we asked if VooDoo needed a new home! And he did! So I WON!

We head north to pick up Jack and learn .. oh, they got a new puppy. NAMED VOODOO.

(Y’all, I shit you not. WHAT ARE THE CHANCES.)

So we’re all like, “Okay, yeah! Your puppy is really cool! (.. seriously, SUPER cute puppy.) Huh. Well.. um..” and we didn’t know where to go. Still do the snake thing? Are we stealing thunder? I DON’T KNOW. We debated and headed back to the house for a while. Where Jack promptly fell asleep. Yes, this day was going SWIMMINGLY.

After ten minutes of POKING JACK WITH A STICK TO WAKE UP, we headed to VooDoo’s house. They were having a barbeque, and as is their hospitality-ess (?) ways, the boys were promptly handed a hot dog and pointed to the trampoline. Which was the first hour of silence I’d had in probably five days.

(Tony has hit this mental spurt where – not even exaggerating – he NEVER STOPS TALKING. ALL THE TIME.)

So Jack was excited about VooDoo the snake. And with the blessing of the family, we agreed to rename the snake. And we loaded the snake up. And took the snake home. AND I AM SO THRILLED. Here’s Cain, our new baby:

Then we ate dinner and took Jack home. And .. I noticed it was really quiet in the car. Like, I could hear myself think. Sure enough..

I sighed deeply, happy at the silence, but also happy that it’s so often filled with chatter and laughter and squeals and tales.

Bryan and I held hands the entire drive home.

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Lordy, Lordy, Look Who’s .. Still Young at Heart.

When we first started dating, we wrote each other stories.

They were kind of our way of introducing the vast lives we’d had before we met. And some of the stories were emo, drunken ramblings. Some of them were .. ahem .. adult in nature.

(Sidenote: this is why I feel I can rightly say that this 50 Shades of Grey book is pure bunk. Women, it’s OKAY to like erotica. It’s okay to like 50 Shades of Grey. There is some damn good erotica out there. DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THIS SERIES IS THE PENULTIMATE, BECAUSE IT IS NOT. As a published and award-winning author of erotica, I am angered at this being labeled “mommy porn”, as if we must be dumbed-down or sugar-coated. BITE ME, MEDIA.)

Um. Sorry. This is about Bryan.

Damn, I got all fired up about that erotica bit that I forgot where I was going.

One of the reasons I love being married to Bryan: I have these tangents all the time and he never .. well, maybe, rarely .. gets upset about them.

The biggest reason I love being married to Bryan: HE MAKES ME LAUGH.

You know how you have a night out with your friends and you come home, all woozy and satiated with love and your sides hurt from all the laughing? It’s like living with that. 24/7. It’s pretty amazing, truth be told. It’s a safe bet that at least twice a week, there has been some point where I’ve crammed my knees together to keep from peeing on myself from laughing so hard, or he’s gone into a wheezing fit where he can’t catch his breath for the laughter. It’s commonplace here.

Kids learn what they live. Our kids take Bryan’s good-nature to a new level. Big belly laughs echo through our tiny house. Our tiny house seems at once too small and yet cavernous; filled to the brim with both love and laughter. We all take our ribbings, we give them as well, but we are quick to hug. Slow to anger. Because that’s Bryan.

The hottest men out there are hot because they believe that you cannot be too silly. You may question that, but I give you Jon Hamm as my defense. Also Jake Gyllenhal. My new crush, Ryan Gosling. They all believe that being light-hearted and goofy make you a better person. AND THEY ARE RIGHT.

No one who knows Bryan would honestly believe he’s turning 40 this weekend, because this is a guy who still wants pancakes for breakfast, who hides toys in sexual positions inside your cabinets, who watches anime. He is still SUCH a kid.

And he keeps me young for it.

So here’s to my young old man, who is running his first 5k on his birthday to commemorate aging gracefully – or not at all. I love him more than my luggage, and boy howdy, does he make my parachute yellow. Happy Birthday, Bryan. Good times.

1. All the boys on the couch., 2. He Rocks an Infantile Hat., 3. The Comer Boys, 4. Always Performing, That One., 5. IMG_4592.JPG, 6. IMG_2378, 7. Cooking in the Rain, 8. 2011-01-17 21.03.52, 9. Getting old? HATED IT., 10. Bryan believes 2012 is “the year of the duck lips”. Yeah, cause 2011 was lacking., 11. Dude has to show me up in EVERYTHING., 12. 11/Twenty, 13. IMG_2173, 14. I Wish This was Staged., 15. Multimedia message, 16. 2011-04-29 18.01.48, 17. 12/Twenty Eight, 18. 3/Twenty Two, 19. 3962193105_59cb464b97, 20. 4/Eleven, 21. READY TO GET COLORFUL!, 22. One word: UNLESS., 23. 5/Three, 24. HAPPY VALENTINES DAY! Love, Gonzo Does American Horror Story, 25. He Be So Hott.

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Some Stuff I’ve Watched Lately

This is totally not as fun as buying stuff, but you know? I can’t REMEMBER the last time I stayed still long enough to watch ONE movie, much less several in a row. Even I was impressed.

You know that episode of Friends where they realize they’ve been throwing a ball without stopping, and then it becomes A Thing? Like, they would forgo eating so that the game wouldn’t be stopped? Yes. That’s very much how I was about the ending of the second movie, when I realized that HOLY SHIT, I JUST WATCHED TWO MOVIES IN A ROW. MUST CONTINUE.

So most of these are old and y’all have already seen them, but. Here.

Drive

While this was, hands down, my favorite movie of the day, I do have a caveat about a later movie that makes me wonder if it was actually the best movie I watched. So, full disclosure: I didn’t get the Ryan Gosling thing. I just didn’t. I thought, Okay, pretty face, probably as much fun to watch as Channing Tatum. Which is to say: none at all unless he’s only semi-clothed, and even THAT can get old. But then Dude lent me Crazy Stupid Love and I was like, WHOAAA. THIS KID CAN ACTUALLY ACT.

And he was AMAZING in this movie. I had to text an old friend of mine and tell him that HEY, YOU REMIND ME OF RYAN GOSLING IN DRIVE EXCEPT YOU TALK MORE and he admitted that he had a man crush on him too and that was “high praise”. (I put that in quotes not because he said it, because he didn’t, but because in my house, we say that as an homage to Andy Samburg’s Nicholas Cage impression. We .. are diverse and complicated.) Anyway, I so ADORED Ryan Gosling in this movie and he was totally believable in the beginning and in the middle which is quite the feat because the two are almost disconnected entirely. I just .. the music was great, the cinematography was amazing, IT WAS GORY AS HELL (5 stars!), and my Lord. That boy can ACT. Also, having dated a street racer for a bit of my youth, I thought the racing in this movie was SICK.

(Also, I spent a good chunk of time coveting Carey Mulligan’s hair and debating cutting mine off again.)

(Also, I spent a lot of the movie trying to convince myself that it wasn’t Marlin from Finding Nemo that was a bad guy.)

Melancholia

I am a person who tends to internalize things that touch me, and as such, people tend to warn me about what movies I should and shouldn’t see. Shouldn’t See: Pretty Much Anything Pixar. Because I will fall into a deep depression. I SHIT YOU NOT, I WAS INCONSOLABLE FOR A WEEK AFTER MONSTERS, INC. And that was when it first came out and of COURSE Tony went through a phase where it was all Sully, all the time, and I STILL WEEP AND SOB AT THE END.

Melancholia was never mentioned to me as a Shouldn’t See. So, I figured I was in the clear.

Also, I kind of despise Kirsten Dunst. Like, a lot. So I figured I’d hate the movie because she was in it and then I’d ignore the rest of the movie and maybe hopefully fall asleep.

Not only did I not fall asleep, The Ugly Cry made a grand appearance.

Days later, I’m STILL thinking about this movie. A lot. It’s kind of consuming me, which is WHY SOMEONE SHOULD’VE WARNED ME. Melancholia was written and directed by Lars von Trier, which might mean something to some of you, but all I remembered was his weird Hitler comments at some film festival while promoting this film. He wrote this piece as a tribute to his bouts with depression, and anyone who has ever had any fling with depression .. why I said “fling”, like it’s a happy memory, I don’t know, but go with me here .. should find a strong resonance with this movie.

I hate to go into the plot to entirely much because it’s much better if go in a little blind, but the movie feels long, but not draggy. You feel overwhelmed, but not able to give up. You’ll cry, you’ll smile, and you’ll get distracted. In short, he’s put to film what depression feels like. You’ll see so many echoes of it in there. It’s actually quite astounding.

And it’s gorgeous. A lush setting, with AMAZING, GORGEOUS special effects that are both poetic and dynamic and ultimately tragic based on the plotline. You’ll kind of have no idea what the hell you’re watching, feeling confused and angry that no one is helping you understand, and then it will be over.

I will tell you – AGAIN – that this was a hard movie for a mom to watch. But man. What a mental roller coaster.

Following

I’m not sure how I ended up watching Following; I think it was a kind of Netflixy rabbit hole that I fell into. Christopher Nolan made his full-length debut with this weird mocumentary drama thingie, which takes a strong influence from David Lynch. But I actually really enjoyed it; you can see his early talents for camera angles and shadows taking root.

It follows a writer turned voyeur who stumbles upon a burglar in a cafe, and then accompanies him on several robberies.  Of course, there’s a million plot twists, but it was short and quick and once you got used to the accents (they have heavy, HEAVY english accents), it kind of moved on its own. Clearly not his best work, but very cool to watch.

Young Adult

I was so stoked to see this available on Amazon Prime, because it’s one of those movies that Bryan would never want to watch. HUZZAH TO THE LONE WOLF! Aaaaaaand .. I hated it.

I didn’t hate ALL of it, but it felt very contrived. And self-pitying. And never resolved anything. It’s written by Diablo Cody, which made me hope for snappy dialogue and a sharp glance into the mentality of a Success Story Who Goes Home Again, but it wasn’t sharp or witty or snappy. It just felt .. I don’t know.

Charlize Theron plays a ghost writer who pens a young adult series (very Sweet Valley High-ish), proud that she’s left her small town behind for the big city of Minneapolis. (I got so excited because when they first showed the skyline, I thought, Man, that looks like Minneapolis, but Sarah, that’s the only big city you’ve ever been to, so OF COURSE it does, Country Mouse. Ha, take THAT, self conscious!) She finds out, via email, that her high school boyfriend has had a baby, so she does the next plausible thing and returns home to win him back.

Patton Oswalt was the only thing even SLIGHTLY redeeming about this film and even he is kept at an arm’s length from making something real. Also, I’m not sure that I liked him being played as “the hate crime guy”, although they tried to drive the seriousness home later – to no avail, because like I said, there is no resolution. Overall, I just kind of wish Charlize’s character bit it HARD toward the end. Also, I wish someone would’ve taken away her dog, because that’s ALL I COULD THINK ABOUT. SHE LEFT THAT POOR DOG ALONE 99% OF THE TIME. IN A HOTEL ROOM.

Okay, I still have one night left: what should I watch next?

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Tales of Beekey, Part III

(Parts One and Two)

We were parked in a drug store parking lot. Late at night. Tony asked me to roll down his window.

Tony (SHOUTING): HEY BEEKEY! BEEKEY COME HERE AND GET IN OUR CAR ALREADY! BEEEEEKEEEEEY!

Me: Tony, stop! Tony, seriously, someone may actually come and get in our car.

Tony: Mom, hush, I’m talking to Beekey. BEEEEEEEKEEEEY, COME GET IN OUR CAR SO WE CAN LEAVE. WE WILL TAKE YOU TO WORK IF YOU JUST HURRY.

Me: OH MY GOD, STOP. Seriously, now you’re shouting ENTIRELY PLAUSIBLE STUFF and someone MAY ACTUALLY COME GET IN OUR CAR.

Tony: Is there a person named Beekey out there, Mom?

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Driving home. Late at night. Tony was on a talking jag, so Bryan and I weren’t really listening.

Tony: I think the police have Beekey.

Me: Why .. do they have Beekey?

Tony: They said they were going to take her to the firestation, but.. I don’t knowwwww..

Me: Okay. (cue zone out)

Tony: Momma, do you like jfklsjdf;kdsjkd (I’m sure it meant something to him, but I wasn’t listening.) or not?

Me: Um, no. I don’t.

Tony: Well, now you’ve done it. Now they’re shooting Beekey.

Me: WHAT?

Tony: You did this, Mom.

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