Monday, August 30, 2010

From Oddity Grows Sincerity

Everyone has a few strange catch phrases and odd cliches that pour out of their mouth from time to time. I had always considered my grandma Jean the Queen of Strange Quotable Nonsense with her perennial favorite:

"I haven't see you since Hector was a Pup!"

And no, I have no idea where that phrase came from, who Hector the Dog is or if he is actually even a dog.

But the other day I was listening to my Dad play with my children and I realized that is actually he who should be crowned as the Royal Strange-One.

"Olive! Get thee behind me Satin Sheets!", he jokingly yells at Olivia, who is playing too rough with him in the gameroom. I immediately recognize this phrase and at first don't think anything of it. Laughing, I leave the room and it hits me.

That's a weird thing to say! I know that it's a play on 'Get thee behind me Satan!' but I also know that it gets weirder than that. The phrase '...satin sheets and pink pillowcases...' is where he gets the last part from and it is from some random song he heard in the late 70's.

Other gems from my family's vernacular:

"Okay, we're off like a turd of hurdles!" Which is a twisted version of my another one of my grandmother's sayings, "We're off like a herd of turtles!".

We all call showers 'shou shou' or 'shou shou shou'.

We sometimes refer to my Daddy as 'Dadda Wuv' courtesy of my sister's childhood name for him.

The nicknames my Dad has for some of us are generally strange, most of which we still use.
My babiest sister Hannah is known as 'Hambone', 'Hambone Legbone' and my favorite 'Han, Shan and Abednego' which is (I guess) a take on 'Shadrach, Mehach and Abednego' from the Bible?
My babiest Brother Benjamin was known as 'Ben's Jammin' ' or 'Log Jammer'.
My brother Joshua was 'Jehosophat' and the shorter 'Fats'.
My sister Kate was "Katelynn Screwloose' or 'Screwloose' because I called her my 'Twisted Sister'.
I had a very boring nickname that barely stuck through adolescence, 'Sweetpea'. As a young couple my parents' favorite movie had been the Robin Williams version of Popeye. My mom would sing me the Olive Oyle songs from that movie all the time and they called me 'Sweetpea' after the baby in the movie.

I'm sure there are a million more to sift through and write out for you, but for the time being I'm done here.

I feel that it is a sort of homage to my Dad to be odd at least 40% of the time. Oddity (within some confines) is something to be loved and embraced. It makes clearer experiences and more unique memories, secret strangeness that knits families and friends together in a tightly wound fabric.

For more of my Dad and our family quirks read Here and Here.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Plastering Photos on The Interwebs

I told myself that I must not rush home from the bus stop and immediately plaster photos of the girls' first day of school all over the interwebs...but I just couldn't help myself!!!

I came home, poured a cup of coffee, went upstairs with Elijah and we made the beds together. I came back downstairs, set him up with coloring books and markers and sat down to work some work that is soon due.

Before I knew it my memory card was plugged in and I was uploading like crazy onto the Book of Faces. Then I realized that there were lots of friends and family not on facebook that just HAD to see these photos!

Elijah usually hates having his photo taken, but this morning he wanted in every photo.
He kept repeating "I say cheese for Poppa!", which is what I say to him when I'm trying to take a photo of him to send to Jeremiah on the phone.

Maxine wasn't nervous, but she did hate me constantly taking photos all morning long.

Olive seems to think she's a supermodel, I tend to agree. I can't believe Max is wearing a backpack and off to school!

Three little girls walking to the bus stop and then finally, my baby girl getting on the bus and going to Kindergarten. I know she'll do fine, but I have this fear in the back of my head that she'll be bullying everyone at school. I guess we'll find out soon enough.

So Jeremiah is off the hook this week. Embarrassing photos of him have been replaced with lovely photos of my lovely children.

Monday, August 23, 2010

For the BirdDogs

As you may well know, I'm not a fan of animals. I respect everyone's ridiculous need to be covered in dog spit, cat vomit and loads and loads of animal hair...

I just don't roll like that. I'm from the school of, 'If I didn't give birth to it, I'm not going to clean up it's shit'.

Of course (because I am Damned), my children adore animals. Olivia writes little essays about how her life is not complete because she does not have a pet. Maxine literally convulses with delight every time we see a dog or cat on a walk. We visited a pet shop the other day and Rose pouted for hours afterward from being denied her request for, 'an animal for her room, any animal'. Elijah is a little more nervous around dogs than the Olivia or Max, but he's constantly pretending to be a puppy, complete with panting, butt shaking, licking and barking.

Jeremiah also loves animals. And because I am Damned, like I mentioned previously, he loves cats in particular.

Which means I am eventually going to have to add 'care for an animal's needs' to my already bursting at the seams list of chores and duties. If I have to take one for the team (There is No 'I' in team, but there is an 'I' in dogshit), I would prefer getting a dog.

I know you're thinking this is a crazy speak, but I grew up with a lovely dog who was in my life for 18 years. I have never liked another animal as much since, and although she was a huge pain in the ass at times, she was really a part of our family.

So here are my criteria for the type of dog I would be kind of sort of okay with.

  1. Big enough to withstand my offsprings' youthful enthusiasm, small enough to pick up, sturdy enough for outside activity.
  2. Little to no shedding. And I know that there is no such thing as a hypo-allergenic dog, but the closer to that impossible status, the better.
  3. A smart, easy to train dog, but not too smart that it's constantly going to get away with sneaky things all the time. Like Max.
  4. Cute. Very cute. It really has to be worth the extra effort and I want to show it off on walks etc...etc... Like Max.
  5. An even temper. My kids will be all over this thing. All over.

Any suggestions? Salutations? Ideas for a more efficient way to make my life a living hell?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Me and Kiefer Down By the School Yard

I'm ashamed to say that I've been ignoring my friend Kiefer's network efforts for many years. About nine years, actually.

I've never seen 24.

I've seen a lot of the movies Kiefer was in since 24 aired on t.v., so I'm not altogether a disloyal bitch.

But mostly, I am.

Sorry bud.

Last night I redeemed myself by staying up to 3 a.m. watching 24 on netflix instant. Now I'm trying to figure out how I can keep Elijah busy so I can watch 24 all day today as well. I'm sure he won't appreciate the awesomeness of Jack Bauer. Especially if it took me, one of Kiefer's biggest fans, almost ten years to watch even one episode.

So instead of bogarting the t.v. all day long I've been trying to come up with reasons I haven't watched 24 before now.

  • I'm a big fan of instant gratification. I kind of wish I would have waited to watch Lost on netflix instant instead of watching it week to week and wincing in pain at the 'Duh-Duh' noise at the end of every aggravatingly vague episode. Then again, I probably would have spent a whole week in front of the t.v.
"Just one more episode, kids...I'll feed you after, I promise..."

  • I saw some commercials for 24 throughout the years and I remember being so pissed off at how much Jack's wife and his 'girlfriend' at work, Nina, look exactly alike. That was such unfortunate casting and as much as I really enjoyed watching hours 12a.m.-5a.m. last night, I was still super pissed at those women and their similar appearances.
  • Jeremiah and I weren't together in 2001 when the show aired. I wasn't all that interested in watching much t.v. before Jeremiah and I were together (except for the X-Files!). Don't get me wrong, I watched t.v., just not loyally or with any great interest. When Jeremiah and I started seeing each other we begun to watch shows together and watching a series seemed so much more worthwhile. Mainly because we could rip apart every episode and talk about it for hours. We've seen Lost, The Wire, True Blood Seasons 1 and 2 Dexter Seasons 1-3, Stargate: SG1, Stargate: Atlantis...etc..etc...
Speaking of is Thursday, which means I must (I must!) post embarrassing photos of him. Hmmm...Let's see.

Last week I posted this lovely photo of my adored lifepartner.

This week's photos:

And my personal favorite, "Shoot-Ah!":

Monday, August 9, 2010


Sometimes words fly freely through my fingers, as messily and inelegantly as they flow through my fat mouth.

Sometimes they lie in weight near the tips, hovering with tingling magnetism and expectant power.

I wish my thought process was up to the obvious need I feel for writing. I'm not blocked my any means, I write for an occupation and do it well and often.

But when I look back on all the fiction I have written over the years and tucked away in folders and forgotten desktop icons, I feel a shameful flush come over my body from the heels of my feet up the back of my legs and rush into my mid-section. The center or my body and my weakest link, my stomach, begins to ebb and fall in waves of emotion. As is usually the case, I begin to feel nauseous.

Disappointed in myself and my inadequacies I sulk. I read contest entries and look at all the packages for magazine submissions I have accumulated over time.

Time to get back to work.

Now I'm even more disappointed. After reading this short post, I have realized what a whiny turd I am.

More sulking will commence forthwith.