September 24, 2010

Friday Brain Sludge

September 24, 2010

My mom's dobermans are absolutely convinced my house is surrounded by bad guys and we must be protected at all costs.

When teenage boys ask to go to the grocery store with you, please don't labor under the false ideal that they just want to spend time with you.  In reality, all they want is to try and con you out of piles of junk food, soda, sketch pads, gigantic plastic rats from the Halloween department, and video games. 

If you have a family where one parent frequently has to be gone for weeks or months at a time, it is infinitely helpful to remind your children that yes, he/she is your dad/mom and you understand they miss him/her terribly, but he/she is also the love of your life and you also miss him/her terribly.  The level of mutual understanding that results from that conversation is immeasurable.

Telling your kids "in a second" when they ask you to do something for them buys you exactly 2 hours and 37 minutes before they attempt to slice the watermelon by themselves.

My mom's dobermans enjoy eating each other's faces.

When Daddy is gone, watermelon and mini Babybel cheese is a perfectly acceptable dinner. 

Every Friday and Saturday, my internal dialogue goes something like this, "Yay! It's Friday! I don't have to work out for the next 2 days!"........"But I really want to work out....."........."Shut up you dirty whore! I don't ever wanna hear you say that crazy shit again!"......."Yes ma'am."

Dear church guy walking around the neighborhood handing out pamphlets,
If you approach me while I'm working in my garden and I don't see you coming, I am going to scream.  You are incredibly lucky that I didn't throw my hedge clippers at you.

Spending a week watching movies and reading books about extreme survival situations doesn't make me grateful for my cushy suburban lifestyle.  It just makes me wonder whether the people in the stories ever peed or crapped their pants. 

I make fun of my oldest kid for listening to the Jonas Brothers and watching the Disney channel one minute and then rocking out to Marilyn Manson the next minute, but secretly I'm proud of him for keeping it real and not giving a shit what I think. 

It takes every fiber of my being to look into my youngest child's beautiful hazel eyes and baby face and say "no." And the only reason I'm able to overcome my maternal instinct to cradle his 13-year-old self in my arms, kiss his precious little face and give him everything he ever wanted is thinking about my future daughter-in-law and the absolute HELL I will create for her when she marries a momma's boy. 

The End.

September 21, 2010

Hearts And Flowers And Junk

September 21, 2010
You know when you have one of those days when you truly think everyone else in the world is fucking retarded except you, you want to put your foot down and poke out your bottom lip and say "I REALLY TRULY don't give a fuck what anyone else on this planet thinks and they can all suck my fucking dick," and all you wanna do is eat tater tots for dinner and break into wherever the Disney Channel is broadcast from with a bomb strapped to your chest? Well, this one's for you.

September 18, 2010

21 Days

September 17, 2010
For the next 21 days, I will be playing the role of lonely Army wife pining away for her scruffy, broad-shouldered soldier. First of all, let's be clear.  Twenty-one days ain't shit.  It's like a long weekend for us.  After 4 deployments, I laugh in the face of a 21-day TDY.  I always have mixed feelings about separations, though.  We're  clearly not teenagers anymore, so I suppose a touch of emotional maturity gives me the ability to see the positive aspects of these situations.  I haven't the time nor the motivation to sit around and feel sorry for myself, cry in a pillow, and sniff his dirty shirt.  Life goes on, especially when it's only 3 weeks.  The best part about separations, hands down, is the coming home part.  Not very many couples get to experience seeing each other for the first time over and over and over again.  It's fun.  It's exciting.  You get to stress over finding the perfect outfit to wear when you pick him up from the airport.  You get to remember what it feels like to have butterflies in your tummy, sweaty palms, and raunchy homecoming sex.  That's pretty sweet.

There are other things.  Things like getting projects done that have been sitting at the bottom of the priority list for months because you're too busy doing fun stuff to really care that you have an embarrassing amount of laundry you've allowed to accumulate, weeds in the garden, walls that desperately need some repainting, and vinyl siding that is screaming for a good pressure washing.  Oh, and during the course of all that "fun stuff" and enabling each other's piss-poor habits, you've also managed to pack on an extra 5 pounds.

Now, this particular TDY is going to be interesting.  Sarge will probably be coming home a little bruised up, exhausted, and at least 15 pounds lighter.  Without saying too much, this is going to be one of those Army experiences that rip his manhood out of his body, stomp on it, chew it up, spit it out, toss it in a pit of rabid Saint Bernards, and demand he dive in to get it back.  All in the name of being a better soldier.  Or some such nonsense.  All it means to me is that I'm going to spend the next 3 weeks feeling guilty about everything I put in my mouth, every extra 5 minutes of sleep I get, luxuries like food, toilet paper, personal hygiene, and freedom.  Oh, and I will not have any communication with him at all between now and October 11.  This is going to get weird, folks.

All this means is that (1) I need to keep myself busy and (2) I REALLY need to get shit done because if I don't, it just will not get done- EVER. 

So, in no particular order, these are the things that need to get done by October 11:

1.  The living room and stairwell need to be repainted.  I'm crossing my fingers that Lowe's can match the paint so I can just do touch-ups and not really have to repaint the whole thing.  I really really hate house decorating crap.
2.  Gardens need to get weeded, new pine straw put down, and Turf Builder for the grass.
3.  Shutters need to be repainted and siding pressure washed.
4.  Learn how to play Dungeons and Dragons because I promised Jake I would play with him.  
5.  Lose 10 5...grrr....okay, 7 pounds.  That's a good, random number.
6.  Straighten that one crooked light on the house next to the garage door that's been crooked for weeks but I've been too lazy to reach up and straighten it.
7.  Sweep the spider webs and leaves off the front porch because, evidently, people don't like my pet spiders I'm keeping on the front porch.  Stupid people.
8.  Get a haircut because, if I don't, I'll wind up letting it grow out to some ridiculously unkempt length again.
9.  Finish reading my book about Laura Ling and Euna Lee's captivity in North Korea.
10.  Get the boys' CAT-5 tests ordered at the very least, completed and sent for grading would be totally hardcore.

So, there we go.  Goals.  I have goals.  Hmmm.....goals are fine.  As long as they're not obligations.  I don't do well with obligations.  Goals is a better word, so I'll stick with that.  Now if I can just wrap my brain around the concept of having absolutely no contact with the Sarge for the next 3 weeks.....I have a lot of trouble with sensory deprivation.  A LOT of trouble.....

September 6, 2010


September 6, 2010
Making Korean galbi and kimchi for my parents today reminded me of something.  Something you should probably know about me.

I have eaten gaegogi. 

Look it up.

It was made in a dish called bosintang by my landlady when we lived in Korea back in 2002-2003.  We happened to be living there when Korea hosted the FIFA World Cup back in 2002, which is sort of a huge deal over there.  It was kinda like when Atlanta hosted the Olympics.

We didn't live in an area of town where a lot of Americans lived.  We sort of didn't want to.  We chose to live like the Romans, so to speak, so most of our neighbors were Korean.  We got to know them pretty well.  We hung out with them; our kids played together; we had barbecues together and went to parties, all that stuff.

During one of the World Cup games, when Korea was playing somebody important (I don't remember), there was a HUGE block party in our neighborhood.  Sorta like the equivalent of tailgaiting at a football game.  Somebody pulled one of those big ass 52" big screen TVs out into the street.  They literally blocked off our whole street to have this party.  Kids out playing, soju flying, folks screamin' and hollerin' at the TV, ribs on the BBQ......and gaegogi in a big black pot simmering down on the street.  I knew exactly what it was.  You can't miss the legs stickin' out.

I hear the jokes all the time.  The jokes about Chinese food restaurants.  The jokes people like to tell when they've found out I've lived in Korea.  What most people don't understand is that gaegogi is a delicacy.  And it is EXPENSIVE.  You are not going to *accidentally* or *secretly* be fed this.....EVER.  Even in Korea, you have to know someone who knows someone to find a restaurant willing to serve this to a foreigner.  And to be invited to a party where this is being served and offered a plate?  You better be somebody special!

So, Ms. Ana, my landlady, gave me a little advance notice of what was going on so that I could make up my mind privately as to whether or not I wanted to try it.  She even brought a bowl to our house so that we could have an opportunity to try it without being stared at by 50 Koreans all waiting with bated breath for our reaction.  Needless to say, I felt incredibly honored.  Incredibly honored. 

Basically, it's nothing more than a stew with Korean seasonings and vegetables.  Sarge, the boys, and I all passed the bowl around.  All four of us ate it.  My kids were 5 and 7 at the time.  We told them exactly what it was and let them make up their own minds.

Ms. Ana's only request was if we didn't finish it or didn't like it, that we return the leftovers to her.  Like I said, it's not easily come by regardless of what ignorant foreigners like to think. 

So, we ate it.  We didn't just taste it like a kid touching a piece of Brussels sprout with the tip of his tongue.  We ATE it.  For real.  The kids just kinda shrugged their shoulders in a "big deal" kind of way and ran off to play some more.  Chris and I were really surprised at how NORMAL it tasted.  It was a bit greasy.  It's MUCH more tender than venison.  Actually, if I had the choice between the two, I'd take the gaegogi in a heartbeat. 

But here's the shameful part.  Being the twisted mother fuckers that we are, we couldn't resist the urge to see what our precious little Basset hound thought of the whole affair.  Yes.  We tried to feed it to our dog.  I mean, COME ON!  She sitting there salivating at our feet, whining like a rusty washing machine.  What were we supposed to do?  I am, however, pleased to say that Sammie retained her dignity.  She took one whiff of the big chunk of compadre dangling from the fork and bolted.

Good for you, Sammie.  Good for you.

September 2, 2010

Airing Some Grievances

September 2, 2010

- Dear Wal-Mart- Why must you always put the fat free Cool Whip on the top shelf?  You really think you've outsmarted me? I learned how to climb shelves at a very young age, my friend.

- Dear beefed up mantards-  Why must you wear those fugly super-tight shirts that show all your muscles?  I really hope you don't think it's attractive.  Whoever told you that needs to be sucker punched in the nads.  Sociology has a term for that.  It's called "peacocking."  And it makes you a tool.  TOOL.  You are a tool.  Stop it.

- Dear boys that came from my uterus-  There is a difference between messy and destructive.  I'm cool with messy.  I can handle that.  Destructive is NOT FUCKING COOL.  Seriously.  Do you think I enjoy giving you that "Me and your Dad work our asses off to pay the mortgage while you fucktards run around *accidentally* knocking holes in the wall" speech?  I don't.  It's not fun.  I hate being mean.  But I don't want holes or dirty hand prints on my walls, either.  You guys are just a blink away from being old enough to vote and drive.  Get your shit together.

-  Dear little neighborhood boy whom I will not name-  The same goes for you.  I understand your mother is pretty strict, but please stop coming over to my house just because you think it's okay to completely cut loose and run through the house like the Tasmanian devil.  Yeah, I will let you cut up and act a fool and all that, but you need to calm the fuck down.  Seriously.

- Dear doctors-  You are paying for this service.  If you continue to eat while dictating, you will continue to get blanks on your reports.  I cannot make it any more clear.  If you continue to say "apparently" in every single sentence, I will type "apparently" in every single sentence.  You will look like a fucking idiot, not me.  If you accidentally switch from English to Spanish halfway through your dictation, you will have a huge, gigantic blank.  Three years of high school Spanish did nothing for me.  Sorry.  

-  Dear mouse who has set up residence in my fireplace-  I'm giving you fair warning.  If you don't leave now, you will die.  I tried to intervene on your behalf, but Sarge will have none of it.  He insists you might carry diseases or have babies.  You have approximately 45 minutes, give or take, until he comes home from work.  Run now!  (psssstt....PLEASE don't fall for the old "cheese on the mouse trap" bit.  IT'S A TRAP!!)

September 1, 2010

I Am Your Nosey Neighbor

September 1, 2010
You and your husband have been hashing it out now for a good 6 months.  Seriously, 6 months?  Why don't you just say your sorry, have makeup sex, and get over it for cryin' out loud!

I just can't see how you would expect me not to look when you're having your little "conversations" on your back porch....and you live right behind me.  C'mon now.  You think I'm not going to constantly find reasons to walk into the kitchen and sneak a look?  I understand you probably don't want your daughter to hear mommy and daddy having a knock-down/drag-out, and you're probably smart in that respect.  But, as the mother of one of your daughter's friends, I'm here to tell you that precious little Keelie ain't dumb...and she ain't too secretive about it, either.  While I'm getting the visual out of my kitchen window, I'm getting the details from my kid.

As much fun as I'm having peeking out my kitchen window every time one of you jumps up and flails your arms around, or stomps off back into the house, or slams your hand down on the table, or gets loud enough where I can hear you say "I REFUSE to deal with this shit anymore!" from inside my house, it's really getting old.  If you guys aren't going to bust out with some choke holds or round kicks to the gut, then at least do something worth peeking at!  You know, ravenous makeup sex on the picnic table would be a good start.  I swear I won't run and grab my video camera.  Cross my heart and hope to die.