Friday, March 27, 2009

Reality Check

The illusion is dead....

Would you like to know the only problem with the increased accessibility of celebrities via social networks like Facebook or Twitter?

You get to see what they are really like, not what you've built them up in your mind to be.

The other day when I decided to finally invest some time into figuring out the whole Twitter appeal, I decided to see which members of The Road Trip List were regular users. I'm sure there a lot of posers and wannabes that claim to be ___________ (insert Beyonce, Britney Spears, Rob Pattinson or any generic celebrity here), so when I found who appeared to be the "real" Gerard Butler I was seriously stoked. Sadly, there was nothing for Shemar Moore. I was however able to find Colin Firth, who had only one post, a witty word play on his name. He is very classy, just as I hoped he would be.

Gerard Butler (aka. Gerry Butler) is another case entirely. In fact, he may have to be removed from The List (Dun, dun, dun...)

What could he have possibly done to fall from glory so quickly? Here's the problem. He Twits regularly, which would be a good thing except that some of his updates are a little creepy. The dirty old man with a moustache kind of creepy. For example, today he said:

"What kind of women do I like? I like them young, thin, exotic and in multiples...".

I should mention that right after this posting he wrote another that said "just kidding, I like all types" (I'm paraphrasing here), but I looked back and forward through the twits and saw these same standards- young, thin, and "bring a friend"- repeated more than once. Methinks he does not jest.

So what do these standards say about him? Here's how I'd interpret them:

Young: The Phantom- oops, Mr. Butler- is turning 40 this year. Let's assume by "young" he's meaning 18 and up (well, he'd better be referring to girls over 18). That implies that he thrives on their hero worship and obvious daddy complexes. They are more likely to be immature and naive and therefore won't see through manipulation and B.S. Granted, he can't help that he's worshiped by teeny-boppers and grannies alike, but still- hitting on girls 15 to 20 years younger than you???? Just so it's clear, I'm not being sexist here. Huge age gaps in couples are weird regardless if you're a "midlife crisis" or a "cougar".

Thin: Did he realize just how vague he was being by saying simply "thin"? There's a wide chasm between celebrity thin and the rest of the world's perception of thin. Do you think he meant....
"Model" Thin: Diet of ice chips. Wears the same size as my 12 year old.
"Hollywood" Thin: Diet of ice chips and the occasional salad with grilled chicken and no dressing- just squeezed lemon. Wears a size 2 on a normal day and 4 when experiencing PMS bloating.
"Normal" Thin: Diet varies, as does size. The identifying characteristic is the ability to wear your jeans without creating a muffin top.

I've got my fingers crossed that it's the third, but I wouldn't bet my life on it.

Exotic: I'm all good with this requirement. Exotic can mean anything and anyone depending on where you are from. For my hubby, my being 1/4 Puerto Rican and 1/4 Scotch made me the most "exotic" thing he'd ever dated ( I say dated because I know for a fact that he made out with a Guadeloupian woman once but that's not dating, just a n.c.m.o.).

Multiples: I'm not even touching this. My reaction probably screams "simple, innocent Utah girl", but oh well. I'll wear that title proudly any day.

If what these words imply about the "real" Gerard Butler are true, I no longer wish to theoretically run away with him should the opportunity ever present itself (it's a long shot, I know, but it makes for great conversation). I've always taken the image of celebs presented by mags such as People, US Weekly, and "news" shows like Entertainment Tonight with a big old grain of salt. After all, haven't the Hollywood elite always insisted that 99% of what's reported is nonsensical lies? The irony is that the "character" of Gerard Butler created by the media is much more likable than the image he's created for himself.

I'm still going to keep following him on Twitter. I want to see if I'm right and in a few weeks he'll be reporting from Spring Break in Cancun or Key West that he's hit the mother load of really hungry bikini clad coeds.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

You hurt your what????

My all time favorite 80's chick movie is Sixteen Candles. How many girls wanted to experience their first kiss while sitting on a glass top table and didn't mind handing their undies over to a desperate nerdy freshman after watching it?? And don't even get me started on Long Duck Dong. A while back I found a fantastic web site called 80's Tees that sells shirts with classic 80's phrases (yes, I'm stating the obvious here) and they have a whole series on the Donger. My problem is that I'll buy every single one of them, plus everything from the Goonies(such as Sloth's "Hey you guyyyyssss" and Chunk's "Truffle Shuffle"), Dirty Dancing ("No one puts Baby in a Corner")and Top Gun (Iceman, Maverik-puurrrrr. I'll even give a "good job on ER shout out to Goose). The King wants the "Cobra Kai Never Die" and "I Kicked Daniel Larusso's A** Back in '84" shirts from Karate Kid. They also have current shows as well-I'm thinking of getting him a "Slap Bet Commissioner" or "It's going to be - wait for it- Legendary" shirt for Father's Day (if you don't know what these reference, shame on you. But to save you time on goggle, they're from How I Met Your Mother).

As always, I digress. Sixteen Candles taught me valuable principles, but one of the most important is that whenever your grandparents that you haven't seen for years come to town, and in their absence you've "blossomed", wear baggy clothing or strap those girls down. Fortunately I never had a spasmatic grandma say to me "Oh look, she's gotten her boobies", but my mom did accuse me of padding once and a humiliating wrestling match ensued as she tried to pull the very absent tissue from my AAA cup trainer bra.

Having my own daughter in the "blossoming" years has really opened my eyes to just how much mentalities and views have changed towards female development in the last 20years. It was totally taboo to talk about "the P work" in our house and among my group of friends. It was basically a non-subject. We were really proud to finally get training bras in junior high and made a big deal of asking each other if the straps could be seen under our shirts. My daughter and her friends are not inhibited at all. They discuss anything and everything about "blossoming". And I think it's great. For instance, this conversation occurred between the Tween Queen and her BFF at lunch recess yesterday:

(I should probably set this up. The BFF was feeling cramps for the first time and was really worried about having to participate in PE later that afternoon)

BFF: My down under is shaking and hurting!

TQ: Your WHAT????

BFF: You know, my Lady Tubes! I can't run today.

TQ: Well, tell Mrs._____ (the gym teacher).

BFF: What am I supposed to tell Mrs. ___ , "Sorry, I can't run today. My lady parts hurt!"

I almost wet my pants laughing when TQ retold the conversation to me after school. I know they got most of their vocabulary from the movie Syndee White ("lady tubes" are what the single dad calls the fallopian tubes while describing menstruation to a 11/12 year old Sydnee. He makes a great model out of plumbing parts). I am truly glad they can talk so openly and honestly with each other instead of being ashamed or embarrassed. But I guess the lesson we can learn from this is that if you want to teach your child about any of the delicate topics of life, you can always look to Hollywood for the answers. I'm just going to set my two year old up in front of the TV for a few days and let him learn all he needs to know to succeed.

And TQ, I PROMISE you that I'll talk to you about anything and everything you want, even if it makes me curl into the fetal position, and I'll NEVER check your bra for tissue.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

To Twitter or Not?

A few months ago I signed up for a Twitter account because everyone else was, but I haven't really paid attention to it since.

The King keeps insisting that it's right up my alley since it's premise is to spew out whatever random thought is in your head at the moment. I'm not sure if he meant that as a compliment.

So if anyone else is a Twitterer (what the heck are you supposed to call yourself??) and would like to follow/be followed, my twit (I like that MUCH better) name is "notsotrophywife". I haven't figured out how it works yet, but if you start following me I'll start following you (isn't that a nice symbiotic relationship?).

The King goes by "go_utes" and he twits (yeah, I'm liking that more and more) all the time. His even has a picture so you can see what a hottie I married!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Flashback to....thirteen years of road trips.

Inevitably, every time The King and I go on a long car ride the conversation always turns to who we are allowed to marry in the event that the one of us dies. I have convinced TK that I wont ever remarry ( because gals, it's taken 13 years to train and mold him into what I want and there's no way I'm starting over with a new model), but I am all too aware that he will be taking numbers at my funeral. Although I'm resigned to the fact that I'll be replaced within 6 months, I need someone who loves me more than they love him to promise that they'll make sure that the following occurs:

#1: I get a black coffin with a red velvet interior. I'd like both the Diet Coke and U of U emblems embossed all over the lid (hey, Larry H. Miller had racing stripes). Green Day's "Time of My Life" has to be played at the funeral by someone with at least above average guitar skills, and sung by a male with a good voice but no vibrato (envision an 8th grade guitar II student playing while Pavarotti sings and you'll get what I'm saying). I know this is a little creepy and a lot morbid, but these are the only things I demand upon death so the more people that know, the better the chance that they'll actually happen.
#2: The "Replacement Wife" cannot be better looking than I am. I know this is a subjective criteria, dependent on personal tastes and biases and how you'd rate me, but I trust that if you love me you won't allow some little (under 5'5), blonde, busty, size 2 trophy wife to take my place. She is allowed, however, to be a good cook (because I am not and after all this time my hubby deserves a wife that will cook meat for him), a "sweet spirit" (Ha ha- again, so not me) and a great mom (if she's not I'll haunt her and anyone who approved of her).

After we've establish that The King will marry some homely, frumpy little mouse and I will turn to a bitter, lonely old croonie, the road trip talk usually evolves into who I/we (okay, I'll be honest, it's usually just me because the King is too PC and smart to tell me who he thinks is hot) would run away with, if we had the choice of anyone in the world and with each other's blessing. My list has evolved over the years (it used to include a few professional wrestlers and Americal Idol contestants, but I've grown up a little in the last year), but as it stands the candidates are:
*Simon Baker- Newest member of "The List" and has the distinction of replacing Big Sexy from the WWF (when Big Sexy cut off his pony tail the thrill was gone). Check out his eyes, they are beautiful.
*Gerard Butler- One small caveat to this Scottish hottie- he has to look like he did in Phantom, not all roided up like in 300.
*Hugh Jackman- Yummy. Enough said.
* The guy who plays Zach Slater on All My Children- I'm not sure what it says about me that I can't remember his real name, just his Soap character. Hopefully he'll go the way of other great Soapies and find his way to primetime....maybe on 24???
*Antonio Banderas- Yes he's old and not quite what he used to be, but who is? Zorro is still one of those all time great ovary-tickling movies.
*Syler on Heroes- No I am not the kind of girl who falls for and marries serial killers on death row. I just can't remember this actor's real name either. He's going to be Spock on the new Star Trek movie, and for those of you who don't know The King, he looks a lot like him (and Uncle Jesse on Full House).
*Jeremy Northam- His appeal is 90% fantastic accent, 10% everything else. I could probably say the same for Hugh Grant, Colin Firth and Ewan MacGregor. Here's a little trivia. Can you name which Jane Austen movie each of these cuties has starred in????
* My all time favorite and longest standing member of the list is.......
Shemar Moore!!!!!!
He is the epitome of aesthetic perfection. He has made Criminal Minds the one and only show I religiously watch every week. I'll even watch reruns. Over, and over, and over.

I almost forgot to include my list of fictional characters who would be on the list if they suddenly inhabited a cellular and oxygenated form:
* Mr. Darcy
* Colonel Brandon
* Superman
* Jacob Black
* Sirius Black
* Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid (my neice Shelby will fight me tooth and nails for this one)

The King's list is much, much shorter. His one and only is Elizabeth Shue, but as he hasn't seen her in anything since the Karate Kid and that really bad spy movie with Iceman/Mad Mardigan, I'm not sure he'll be happy with what he gets. His fictional list is definitely much longer, and includes the likes of Wonder Woman, Jessica Rabbit and the chick on Thunder Cats. I think that La Femme Nikita would have made it on there if Peta Wilson wasn't a baritone.

Maybe I should just make his list for him. Those girls from Jem and the Holigrams were pretty hot.

Monday, March 23, 2009

How great is it when you can look back on your day and realize that you haven't had to clean up one disasterous mess??

Freaking awesome, that's what it is.

Alright, the MC did take off his pants and diaper some time during his nap before falling asleep and being awaken by Fox's Wii inspired screams. However, the "nose test" did not find evidence of #1 and/or #2, so I'm calling the sheets clean. Under blue light I would probably be proved wrong, but as I'm not planning on needing CSI team any time soon (fingers crossed) I don't think I'll go through the 30 minute ordeal that is taking down Gitmo and changing the bedding.

But overall, and especially in the light of having all three children home all day, things could not have gone better. Teen Queen, Fox and I even had timne to watch the extras on the Twilight dvd that finally arrived this morning (note to Amazon, if you want to compete you really need to deliver on Saturdays. Especially when I paid $11.98 for next day. And yes, I realize that it ended up costing me more to buy it online than draging my lazy butt over to Target.) We loved all the extras and deleted scenes, but the TQ and I both agree that we like the movie a little less each time we watch it. It just gets cheesier and cheesier, and Kristen Stewart is about as lovable as a piece of 2x4. Robert Pattinson and the extremely hot guy that plays Jasper are purrrrrr...... And TQ is developing a serious thing for the little cutie who plays Jacob- ah, her first celeb crush outside of CGI characters and Disney princes. She's growing up so fast.....

Anyone else love/hate the movie more on further inspection?????

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Big Girls Don't Cry

Yesterday I had one of those moments, you know, when you realize that you have really, truly become an adult. Fifteen years, 1 college degree, 1 husband, 3 kids, and 1 dog (miss you Bells)after I legally acquired the rights and responsibilities of that title, I finally feel like I've earned it.

Why, you may ask, did it take so long? Well, although I've gone through all the experiences that are assigned to the "mature" phases of human development- becoming a parent, buying a house and car(s), acquiring furniture that wasn't donated to the DI or should have been given to the DI, corrupting the children through hypocrisy, regretting lots of earlier decisions and realizing just how smart my parents were- it wasn't until about four years ago that I realized what was holding up my mental/emotional progression, and I've been steadily trying to overcome it since.

My Achilles heel has always been that I care way too much about what people think about me. Most of my actions and decisions have been dictated by what I determined would gain me the most approval by family/friends/peers/etc... The same thought process would apply in expressing my opinions and feelings in social situations. I abhor confrontation and shy away from it at all costs. Honestly, I realize that I feel/think/react differently than most of the people I've been surrounded by, and for that reason I've always felt like there was something essential missing from my makeup, something that makes me not quite, but almost, fit in with everyone else. But I've worked hard over the past few years to ignore the little voice in my head that whispers "you're weird- why can't you just be like everyone else??". It's not to say that I have become more vocal and outspoken in this process- in fact, I feel like I've learned to pick my battles and make then count, and that no amount of arguing or debate is going to make people change the way they think. Rather, I've come to care less and less what people think of me and be secure in who I am- flawed, imperfect, slightly left of center me.

Yesterday I was faced with a situation that, by my not allowing it to become a "situation", revealed to both my hubby and I just how far I've been able to come. In the past, when I knew that someone didn't like me or something about me I would react first in anger then wallow in self-pity (the anger part I'm going to blame on genetics- I am Spanish after all and we're not exactly know for being even tempered). Since childhood, I've naively held on to the belief that everyone that I ever met would like me. But that is not and has not been the case. I'm finally okay with that. I can't convince people that I'm a good person, or friend, or mother, or wife. I can just be the best me and let the cards fall where they may after that.

So the person that comes out in this blog- the sarcastic, warped, and borderline insane lady- is the REAL me. Hopefully from reading between the lines you'll also find the woman that lives for her children and thinks they are unique, creative, brilliant and wonderful. That same woman loves her husband and very best friend of 12 years and 11 months more than she can ever express in words. She loves that they have "grown up" together from the early days as struggling students with a baby just trying to finish school to struggling thirty-somethings trying to juggle work/church/preteen dramas/over sized two year old/life. She escapes into the world of 18th and 19th century England through her precious and beloved books, and dreams of making her home look like it was transplanted from Devonshire or Herefordshire. She dreams of traveling through Europe with her sweetie, and though they've good naturedly bickered hundreds of times over where to go first- London, Paris, Rome- they still haven't decided, but she loves that it's not a theoretical "if we go" but "when we go". This lady loves her mom and dad, and brothers and sisters, and lives for the weekends to get here so that she can be with them. She thinks the greatest title outside of Mom is Aunt. This woman is blessed far beyond her deserving.

That's me, take it or leave it. Since it's come up a few time, I thought I'd better take this opportunity to explain the reasoning behind my use of nicknames for my family. There's actually two reasons for this. First, my family has always called each other by our nicknames more than our given names. My parents were not so unkind as to names us Henry, Fancy, Golden Child, Mariesy, and Rella. As the family has expanded we've added Delilah, Wednesday's child, flip-flop, elbow......well, you get the picture. The Tween Queen as gone through many names in her (almost) 12 year old life. One of the cutest home videos I have was recorded when she was almost two and she was listing off all her "names" and who called her by that name. In her little squeaky voice she said she was "Mommy's angel", "Daddy's special girl", "Grandpa's tater bug" and "Grandma's sweetie". I still call her "Bug" most of the time. Before he was born, Fox was dubbed "Hatcher" because we were having such a hard time deciding on a name (we seriously considered this as a "real" name for a time because we were so frustrated. Sad, I know. He'll have to thank us some day). My sister bequeathed the name "Don Miguel" to the Man Child when I was pregnant because she and I were both holding out hope that I'd finally give birth to a child that looked like he was related to me. All these names were and are continued to be given in good fun. They're only given to those I love.

The second reason for nicknames is that while I wanted to keep this blog open to any/all who cared to read it, for safety sake I wanted to keep my family's identity as anonymous as possible. I realize that most who read it are family/friends/friends of family/ friends of friends of friends, so you know who we are anyway, but I LOVE that it is open to everyone, and that people all over the country and world (a big hello to Ireland, Germany, France and Canada!!!!) have visited it as well. Isn't it amazing how small and accessible the Internet has made this world? I invite all to keep reading (well, assuming you want to) and commenting. As long as you do, I'll keep writing about my crazy life and experiences. It'll be raw and uncensored, so if you don't like the person you're coming to know, well, I'm sure there's much better ways to spend your time. I'd recommend reading then re-reading all of Jane Austen's works, but maybe that's just my cup of tea.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Paying My Respects to the Elderly...

Happy birthing day to you,
Happy birthing day to you,
Happy birthing day to the King/Elbow/Haime/Cha-Chee.
Happy birthing day to YOU!!!!!

A few thoughts on this auspicious day:

"We know we're getting old when the only thing we want for our birthday is not to be reminded of it." ~ Anonymous

"A person is always startled when he hears himself seriously called an old man for the first time." ~ Oliver W. Holmes, Sr.

BIRTHDAY BELIEF SYSTEMS Idealism: Happy Birthday. Capitalism: I shopped all day for your birthday. Atheism: I can't believe it's your birthday. Taoism: It's everybody's birthday. Buddhism: If your birthday party was held in the forest and nobody came... would it make a sound? Existentialism: Your birthday means nothing to me. Sarcasm: You don't look half bad for someone twice your age.

Two elderly gentlemen from a retirement center were sitting on a bench under a tree when one turns to the other and says, "Ted, I'm 83 years old now and I'm just full of aches and pains. I know you're about my age. How do you feel?"

Ted says, "I feel like a newborn baby."

"Really? Like a newborn baby?"

"Yep. No hair, no teeth, and I think I just wet my pants."

"From The Moment our heart first beats we are dying . So Birthdays Are just Celebrating another year closer to death."

“Few women admit their age, few men act theirs”

"Inside every older person is a younger person - wondering what the hell happened." ~ Cora Harvey Armstrong

"The best thing about getting old is that all those things you couldn't have when you were young you no longer want." ~ L.S. McCandless

"First you forget names, then you forget faces, then you forget to pull your zipper up, then you forget to pull your zipper down." ~ Leo Rosenberg

Happy 35th Jamie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

So, That Was Wierd

"Eye Stuff"

That's what the principal wrote down on the yellow legal pad under Fox's name. An entire complex disease boiled down to two pathetic words. What does the "stuff" encompass? Light sensitivity, night blindness, loss of peripheral vision, loss of color vision, loss of visual acuity, loss of depth perception, astigmatism, tunnel vision...., and those are just the medical terms. You could also include learning braille as a secondary language with eventual transition to primary language, magnification tools, enlarged computer screens, electronic braille readers.... Oh, and don't forget feelings of alienation, anger, grief, resentment..... But sure, "eye stuff" definitely covers all that.

I'm sure that after we left the principal wondered how he would ever get those 5 minutes of his life back. I know he probably hears parents complains about their child's education and what is wrong, not right, all day long. I feel really bad for him and as well as all educators in our state who are forced to work in the almost impossible situations caused by overcrowding and under financing. I'm sure we are being extremely selfish to ask to add another side dish to his already overflowing plate. But this is MY child, and his welfare may not be important to anyone else but me. I learned an astonishing fact a few weeks ago. Only 30% of blind adults are employed full time. The other 70% cannot work because they cannot read braille or have never been trained to use the tools and resources available to the blind. Knowing this, shouldn't I try everything I can to fight for the best possible life for him?

"Eye stuff"


Monday, March 16, 2009

Scared witless

This Wednesday morning at 9 am I have to do something I’ve only done at one other time in my entire life.

I’m going to the principal’s office.

To be fair, I AM going willingly and I WILL be accompanied by the King, but I am nervous nonetheless.

The principal’s office is scary. Fourteen years after finishing my secondary education, I still remember the time during my senior year when I, along with 3 other appointed representatives, ventured into the lair that was the office of Alta High’s own she-devil high commander, to protest the forced attendance of the pep band at the state 5A basketball championships. I was chosen for this honor because along with being a member of the AP loving, NHS badge toting nerd herd I was also a valued leader of the band geeks. By standing up to the oppressive administration, I was elevated for at least a day to Band Goddess. Fortunately, it didn’t get back to my worshipful minions that I had frozen in her office after 2 or 3 sentences and ended up thanking her profusely for the opportunity to support the jocks that made Alta the fine establishment that it was.

But that was years ago. I’ve grown and matured since then. I can watch sports now without mentally accounting how many brilliant musicians and future nuclear physicists could be educated all the way through grad school on the scholarships that are thrown at even the most mediocre collegiate athletes.

Not bitter at all.

But this Wednesday I’m not going to the principal’s office to stand up for athletically disabled and underappreciated. The King and I are going for our son. The Fox was diagnosed with a degenerative retinal disease 4 years ago called X-Linked Retinitis Pigmentosa. He is doing really well, and we are taking every possible precaution to preserve his sight while preparing him for the future as a blind person. Our school district has a wonderful program for the visually impaired, and Fox has been working with the very best teacher in the program, Mrs. Robinett. She has been working with Fox for 2 years, and last week he took third in spelling in the Utah Braille Challenge. More than teaching him Braille, Mrs. Robinett is teaching Fox that he can and will be able to do anything in life that a person with full vision can do. He does not fear the future. At the Braille Challenge he was able to meet 50 other students with visual impairments, and it was the first time he’s been around kids that are “just like him”- all with various degrees of vision but all accepting the eventuality of life without sight. In particular, we met two other students from our area that are around the same age as Fox but go to a different school. At their school, there are actually 4 kids that work with Mrs. Robinett (it’s actually her home base) and they provide each other a lot of support. The school is brand new, with the best technology -Mrs. Robinett has already had VI programs installed and larger screens- as well as being bright with lots of contrast. Fox’s present school is 30 years old, which is not a sin except that it is a dark claustrophobic brown cave, and not at all conducive to a person with a VI. He is not flourishing there; he is never excited when he leaves for school anymore. In the two years since he started wearing hats and sunglasses full time, he’s never been teased-that is, until he moved to this school 8 months ago. The spark in my Fox’s eyes has dimmed, and I want it back.

So we are venturing into the bright beautiful school to beg for a variance to move Fox over next year. I’m not holding out a lot of hope. Even with an IEP, all schools in Utah are overcrowded and there are only so many openings. The principal has already spoke to Mrs. Robinett and unfortunately it doesn’t appear that he’s too sympathetic. We could try another school such as the one he went to before we moved last year, but then he’ll be going to a different Junior High and High school than the kids he went to Elementary with, and that’s not the best social situation to throw him into as he becomes a teen. As he gets older, Fox will need really good and really supportive friends, the kind you have after investing many years into the friendship.

Fourteen years later, I’m just as nervous to enter back into the principal’s office, but this time it’s not for some petty cause or desire to be a hero to my peers. I go for my son. The nerves come because I know how much of a positive difference this can make in his young life, and frankly, the kid deserves a break. His life will be hard enough . Mrs. Robinett told me the other day that I need to fight every step of the way for him, because that’s how he will learn to fight for himself as a blind man.

I NEED to do this.

I HAVE to do this.


But just in case, send a few prayers our way, okay?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What I Learned at School Today....

Guess what happens when you show thirty 11 and 12 year olds their first animated erection?

Giggling. Lots and lots of giggling.

I should add that the animation also included ejaculation. Um, ewwww. I REALLY hope that in the midst of all that giggling they didn't listen to the part that explained WHY the "stiffy" happened. Girls should not know what power they hold over men until they are married and can use it as a weapon.

Luckily the Tween Queen (formerly the Drama Queen- she has now earned the right to be called a tween as she is exactly 55 days away from turning 12 and has really cut back on the sudden emotional outbursts lately. We learned today that they are a "normal" part of maturation- as if knowing that makes them any easier or funner to be around!)put her face in her hands, assumed an upright fetal position and began rocking back and forth. It's the same position I take in church on Fast Sunday when the ward crazies get up to talk.

I've been watching her all night for signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. So far she's okay, but since she hasn't really talked too much since I think she's internalizing the shock and it will all come out later. Hopefully she's not internalizing the visuals as well.

I don't remember my 6th grade maturation program being that graphic or descriptive. All I remember is getting a flower and a lengthy discussion on how it symbolized our own bodies blossoming; into what, I'm still not clear on but they found a way to describe puberty without every really using the key clinical words. Today they started right in with an informative video that described testicle dropage, semen, and wet dreams- wham, bam, thank you mam! The Man Child was with me and you'd think he'd be delighted to know what wonders awaited him in a decade or so, but instead he was just really ticked that the movie wasn't Cars .

They say that children are maturing so much faster these days, and if that's true and the reasoning behind the elevated graphic nature of the standard maturation program, I'm so glad that I grew up in the generation of the late bloomer and developmentally underachieving. I think my parents were really glad too.

Oh, and by the way hubby dearest-
When it's the Fox and MC's turn, you get to go. I don't care if you have to take work off for it. I'm not going anywhere near that meeting.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Flashback to.......Taco Slime

A comment that my wonderful cousin and fellow Draper Taco Time employee Heather left a while back concerning my fear of mice and it's probable beginnings in the dark corners of our greasy, hole in the wall fast food joint brought my mind back 17 years to those wonderful summers spent in taco hell. That statement is deliberately contradictory, for it was both the very best place to work and the very worst, depending on the day and if the state inspectors were scheduled to visit. But as everyone has to face that right of passage which is their first "real" job, I probably cannot and should not complain too much. At least it wasn't Mc'D's, right???

The Draper Taco Time was practically a historic treasure in our little farm city before it became the now-heavily foreclosed elitist mecca that it is today. It inhabited a dilapidated building of no specific age- everyone just assumed that it had "been there forever". This barely 400 square foot monstrosity of a pseudo-mexican restaurant was painted a bright yellow and honestly, the most valuable part of the property was the oversized and desperately underutilized lot it sat on. Thankfully, someone at some time during it's evolution from one business to another installed two small bathrooms at the back which were kept locked gas station style- the key was only handed out to the worthy (well, anyone who came inside and asked for it). I was hired just after my Sophomore year at Alta, and spent the next 3 summers and some Saturdays during the school year there. I progressed up the corporate structure form mere cashier to food assembler to shift supervisor (that just meant I got to tell everyone else which station they worked at, and I could open and close on my own. Don't worry, I didn't let the power go to my head. Too much). During that time I amassed a treasure trove of memories, but I'll just share a few of my favorite here.

**Working with the greatest and coolest people in all of Draper: To be hired at Taco Time meant 2 things :First, you didn't have to work on Sundays like those poor suckers at the Ice Berg across the street, and Second, that you were initiated into a sorority of the coolest chicks Draper produced. To say say nepotism was alive and well in this establishment is like saying Jane Austen was just a good writer. The ruling family of the Taco Time harem was the Roden family, specifically Heather, LeAnn, and Kim. Getting in is tough, but once you're in, it's like the mafia, you're all family. After I was hired, my cousin Heather came on, then my brother the Golden Boy and Heather's little sister Nicole later on. No matter which shift you worked, you were guaranteed to be surrounded by cool fun people.

**What do you do to pass the time in a restaurant that serves 10 people and hour??? Make up games and dances of course! My personal all time favorite was LeAnn's "Stewart dance", and I believe it still lives in infamy today at family parties and chance employee reunions. Stewart was the proud proprietor of our Taco Time, and he probably could have fit the characterization of a sweet, doting grandfatherly type were it not for the creepy pervertedness that oozed out of him. He had the misfortune of having the worst case of arthritis I've ever seen, causing his fingers to bend back on themselves. We all would have felt pretty sorry for his state, if it weren't for the heebie-jeebies that accompanied the mouth vomit every time he "subtly" rubbed your back with those gnarly hands. Stewie eventually sold the place and retired, but not before LeAnn had choreographed an interpretive dance in homage to his adeptness at flirtation and smooth moves.

***Messing with the customers: Anyone who has ever worked in fast food knows that people really suck. Looking back, I can see why people were constantly complaining about the food/wait/cleanliness/wait....I would too if I went somewhere that was completely run by 15 and 16 years olds who had no concept of time management. But that being said, some customers just came in with attitude and nothing would make them happy. The bane of our existence were the "veggie burgers" who flew hangliders at the point of the mountain. The came in daily to order 6000 veggie burritos, each made a different way with just the slightest of variations. Hippies are supposed to be all nice and peacful, but mess up their burritos, and those tree huggers would get PISSED! To get back at them, we would write naughty words in sour cream in their burritos. (I was such a wimp, I always worried they'd open their burrito and somehow figure out what it said and come beat me up). At least we never did anything gross to them, like spit in their food. I'm pretty sure we smuggled some meat in there a few times though. Take that wanna be vegetarians!

****Making the BEST food: Ever tasted crustos fresh from the fryer and covered on every possible surface with sugar and cinnamon? How about a soft meat burrito as big as your head, or a Diet Coke with maraschino cherry juice in it?? 16 year olds have incredible taste, and no middle-aged fear of their waist lines or metabolism to inhibit lots of creativity and taste tests. I can't believe I didn't gain 50 pounds working there. If I ate that way now I'd be a contestant on the Biggest Loser.

***The gross things: Here lies the down side of working at Taco Slime, and thus how it gained this moniker. The fry grease was changed indiscriminately. The bathrooms were cleaned, well, occasionally, depending on if one of the employees really needed to use it and was willing to enter it. When the haunta virus was discovered to be carried in mice and a huge infestation was ironically found in our crawl space, we were told to spray the mouse poop that could be found under every stationary surface with a bleach mixture. No mouse traps, no exterminators, just "spray the poop". Oh, and wear gloves while you do it. Heather, you're right-It all stems back to this moment.

All in all though, I loved my time at the Draper Taco Time. I can still remember how to make almost everything there. My crowning achievement of all those years has to be that by the time I quit after my freshman year at BYU, I could make 8 crisp tacos in one hand.

I know, I know. It's almost too cool for words. If they hadn't bulldozed the place about 10 years ago I'd prove it to you myself. Those are life skills you just don't lose.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

If Only I had Talent...

Tonight on American Idol they announced a contest sponsored by the purveyors and distributors of holy water (for anyone not in the know, that's the ambrosia known as Diet Coke). Contestants must design a new Coke cup for the fabulous foursome of constructive criticism as they have pretended to guzzle it for what seems like 18 seasons now and are in desperate need of a new marketing ploy. Seriously, if they were REALLY drinking it, Paula/Kara would have some major junk growing in the trunk, and Randy would need another gastric bypass by now. At a minimum they'd be stopping for potty breaks every 10 minutes. Maybe that's why they do all those tacky, mindless montages and Jr. college produced Ford commercials- so the judges can relieve themselves of all the Coke they've been contractually obligated to drink.

But I digress (like always).....

Despite the obvious exploitation and attempt to pander to the sugar addicted 10-18 demographic, this contest is totally up my alley. I live, breath, and will probably one day die by this drink (well, the diet version). Who is better equipped I ask, than I, to design a cup dedicated to it's greatness???

Oh right, some one with actual artistic talent.

Here's why I can't possibly design a holy grail for the greatest of all carbonated beverages, as much as it would complete my existence to do so. I have absolutely NO artistic ability whatsoever. When they were handing out talents in Heaven I skipped right by the art line with all the funky, quirky people wearing tie-dye robes and headed to where the denim clad beefy chicks and 95% of the men were: the power tool line.

Oh well, it probably wasn't meant to be anyway. The PTB would probably realize just how obsessed I am and get a restraining order on me for stalking the Diet Coke production plant.

But in the next life, I'm totally signing up for classes with Monet- or maybe I should try sculpting. I hear sculptors get to use welding tools.......

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Yes, I really DO love my Kids!

Tonight on the way home from my parent's house I had one of THOSE moments- you know, the ones which make you forget how many times you've had to ground your kids in the last month or all the really disrespectful and sassy things they've said to you.

Our family LOVES Coldplay- in fact, the King and I went to the concert last November when they came to SLC. Fox and DQ were really upset that they didn't get to go too, but it was a mom and dad date, and frankly from other concerts in the past I wasn't sure if it would be PG rated or R. It ended up being the perfect end to the perfect day. It began early with the Drama Queen and I seeing Twilight with all the gals (not as great as the book, but overall satisfactory), then we picked up the boys and went to the BYU/Utah game and, well, we all know how fantastic THAT was! Finally, the concert. It was THE BEST concert ever. Chris Martin is magical perfection, and with the exception of one F bomb, the kids could have safely come.

Unanimously, our favorite song from Coldplay's latest album is Viva la Vida. We all scream and cheer every time it comes on the radio, even though it's been out for months and with any other mere mortal song we'd want to drive screw drivers into our brains if we'd heard it that much (it's even better live, btw). It came on tonight as we drove home, and Fox and Drama Queen immediately started singing along. When it got to the chorus, where they sing "oh, oh, oh, oh ooooohhhhhhh,ooooooohhhhh, oh, oh oh, oh, ooooohhhhhh,oooohhhhhh" (or something like that), the King and I both turned and looked at each other in amazement. All 3 kids were singing! Yes, the MC was singing along with his brother and sister at the top of his voice, and for a kid that only has a 20 word vocabulary it was pretty unbelievable. I was so proud of them, you would have thought I was mother to the three tenors instead of 3 rugrats singing in various degrees of harmony, most of them off tune.

It's times like these when all the kids are getting along and things are relatively peaceful, and you're finally able to look at them through eyes unjaded by the daily minutia and quarrels and weariness, that you're able to truly see the wonderful and magnificent gifts from Heavenly Father that children are. Or as I see it, the reward moments that every mom lives and hopes for.

***Addendum: Back to reality. Fox and the Drama Queen are arguing: DQ is being bossy and Fox is doing something he know's he shouldn't do yet consistently does anyway. MC is ticked that he has to go to bed, and is crying "cake, cake".

They are wonderful, they are wonderful, they are wonderful, they are wonderful.............if I say it enough it will sink back in before I ground them for the rest of their lives.