Saturday, August 28, 2010

As far as I'm concerned, if something is so complicated that you can't explain it in 10 seconds, then it's probably not worth knowing anyway

I went to see Eat, Pray, Love this weekend. Enjoyed it, which surprised me. I wasn't sure what to expect. I had tried several times to read the book, but honestly . . . it was too high brow for me. I kept wondering what everyone was raving about. I couldn't get past Eat.

I found that a little distressing, actually. A book gets rave reviews and I don't get it.

It's not the first time this has happened. I've tried reading titles from a book club my friend belongs to. Doesn't work for me. And Oprah's Book Club picks? No thanks. I even subscribe to her magazine, but I rarely read an article all the way through. It's too much work.

Sometimes it feels like I'm not being invited to the party because I can't follow the conversation. I just want to be entertained. I don't want to think.

I want you to know I read lots of stuff. Fabulous stuff, actually. A bunch of magazines, every Kinsey Milhone and Stephanie Plum book, and lots of books I pick up at Target. And Calvin and Hobbes, every single day. Did you know I own the complete collection, in hardback?

It's hard to believe I passed my college literature class. But I did. Cliff Notes. Don't tell my kids.

UPDATE: I had just posted this when Carly put down the book she was reading and said, "I can't finish this, it's boring." OMG, it's genetic!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I wonder how much Mike and Carol spent on groceries

Remember the good old days when you'd come home from school, have a bottle of Pepsi, some chips, and watch Brady Bunch, Gilligan's Island, Get Smart, and The Beverly Hillbillies? Unless you did something different. Then remember that.

I never realized that a kid could eat a week's worth of groceries from 3 to 5. Hoo boy, I realize it now. Riley has been home 15 minutes and has eaten a muffin, a peach, and is now on his third cereal bar. Carly ate half a bag of Cheetos and drank a can of pop, of course.

Make that his fourth cereal bar.

Oops, took me too long to think about my next sentence. Now it's number five.

Wouldn't you like to have that metabolism? I am so jealous. And totally broke.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mis-steps in doing the right thing

Some of you know I collect cans and bottles from my family and friends. I do it to help Riley and his basketball team, and so far we've been able to avoid the second mortgage. Thanks for your help. Now I need y'all to drink some more. Just kidding. I have Carly, who is going to take the Olympic gold in pop drinking. You heard it here first.

But in the interest of full disclosure, I need to tell you I did something else with your can money last night. A good deed that left me feeling awful and questioning myself.

After returning my eight gazillion cans to Hy-Vee, I went to pick up some groceries before redeeming my receipts. I saw a man headed to the can redemption area. He was obviously down on his luck. Really thin, not the looking good kind, but the looking hungry kind. And his eyes looked so old.

I decided to give him the can receipts, about $15. Enough to buy a few hamburgers or whatever. I approached him and offered him what I had. He accepted and thanked me, adding something about being able to fix his bicycle tire now.

And here is where this story gets intersting. I saw it coming, but it was so fast I couldn't stop it. Before I could step aside, he was hugging me and kissing my forehead. And I was horrified. Partly because I'm not a hugger, but mostly because he was unclean and, I assume, homeless. I immediately went to the bathroom and washed my hands and face. Then I went home and took a shower, and entertained more than one thought about lice and disease.

And then I felt awful, total shame for that reaction. I'm not sure where that leaves me, but I've got some thinking to do.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Add dressing to my list of challenges

I left a massage appointment earlier and ran errands for an hour before I realized I had put my shirt on backward and inside out. I wonder if anyone noticed.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A whole lot of happy

Here are two photos I thought you might enjoy. First is Carly, post-surgery, with flowers she received from a kind and thoughtful friend. Next is Riley with the first-place trophy the Kingdom Hoops team won at a tournament in Kansas City.

Numbers 16-20

Drama queen posting from the comfort of the blue snuggle chair. The appendicitis thing didn't pan out, which is mostly a plus, although I was hoping someone would sneak nachos into my hospital room. But really, it's been 24 hours since I last complained of a real or imaginary ailment. So I'll moan about my shoulder. Still hurts and I couldn't cut out the biscuits tonight. How long do you think I'll let this go?

My friend Tracy reminded me I'm behind on my "Things you don't know about me" list. So here is the next installment.

16. I've been known to procrastinate.

17. My favorite food group is frosted cherry Pop-Tarts.

18. My favorite muppet is Gonzo.

19. I can spot insincerity a mile away.

20. I carry two things in my purse always - a heart Riley made me and a one-sentence note from a friend.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I like visitors and word search puzzles

What is wrong with me? Today I think I have appendicitis. Honest to God. I have had a pain in my side all day. I have become quite the hypochondriac in the last 48 hours.

But here's what tickled me. I asked four people what side the appendix is on. Three said left; the other said not to worry, it's just gas. So I texted my friend Wendi, who happens to have a medical degree. She said right. Oh no, said my impromptu focus group. It's left. Google it. OK, so you believe Google, but not the real-life doctor? It's the right side, by the way. Google says so. Strangely enough, Google lists shoulder pain as a symptom. Hmmmm . . .

My next post will either be from here or my hospital room. Place your bets.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Working hard for the money

I spent my morning at IMMC with Carly. She was getting her ear worked on; I was looking for a shoulder guy. I thought maybe I could sneak in an appointment or quick surgical repair, but no such luck. My shoulder still hurts (and my head, and my leg . . .), but Carly's ear is looking good!

No sign of tumor regrowth. She has a new titanium implant, around a millimeter in size. I'm very hopeful her hearing will improve. We'll know in about eight weeks. Maybe sooner. I'm pretty tuned in to what she hears and what she doesn't.

In true Carly fashion, she made everyone work for their paycheck today. Her stubbornness is one of my favorite traits, except when she's using it on me. But I like a girl who isn't afraid to stand her ground. She reminds me of someone. Don't worry, it'll come to me.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Did you take yesterday's bet?

You should have. A freak fall this morning sent me to urgent care. Now I'm headed to a retina specialist. I wonder what that guy knows about shoulders.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Taking two aspirin and calling you to scoop my ice cream

We have a problem at the Hoop-lah house.

Those of you who love me know that my right shoulder has hurt off and on for a long time. My friend Megan, the world's greatest massage therapist, hears me complain about it a lot. She always tells me to go to the doctor, which I never do. I'm not going to the doctor unless I need my Ambien prescription renewed. And I NEVER EVER mention anything else, because that is just asking for trouble.

But lately I've noticed I'm having trouble opening jars and Gatorade bottles. And tonight? Tonight I couldn't scoop the ice cream without wincing. Folks, this is a problem. A HUGE problem. One that may force me to take action - and by that I mean hitting Dairy Queen a couple times a week. Like I don't have enough to do already.

On another note, who are these kids and when did they get so grown up? Riley looks so tall, but interestingly, Carly at nine is only 1 inch shorter than Riley at the same age. So check back in three years to see if she has hit 6 foot.

Maybe by then I'll have gone to the doctor. But I wouldn't make any bets.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Just call me Veruca Salt

I'm staring to get crabby. And I know some of you are thinking, "Starting?" Sheesh, give a girl a break.

It's really hard to function without my laptop. It's like being a ship without a rudder. Peanut butter without chocolate. Captain without Tennille.

Now I know the truth. I'm just like the people I make fun of. You know who I'm talking about. The ones who check their e-mail and their IMs and their websites every 30 seconds. And carry their laptops into the potty. I've NEVER done that. Oh wait, yes I have. Don't tell anyone.

It's like being back in 1985. My favorite year by the way. People could only reach you by mail or phone. And we had a cool turquoise blue dial phone with a long cord. The more I think about it, maybe that wasn't such a bad system.

Enough nostalgia. I don't want my MTV. I want my laptop and and my Facebook, and my blogs, and my IM, and I WANT IT NOW.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Hoop-lah all wet, on the road edition

My tan was fading, so Hoop-lah took it on the road yesterday. We hit the Lost Island waterpark in Waterloo with our neighbors. Second annual visit. Big Dog even joined us.

For as much time as I spend at waterparky things, I'm not a big fan. I can't see without my glasses, and I really don't enjoy accelerating backwards. Particularly in the dark. Then getting a noseful of bacteria water, which happened twice this week when Carly and I flipped our tube.

So you can understand my hesitancy about going on a new attraction - a roller coaster that Big Dog assured me was much tamer than Adventureland's log ride. Don't worry about the sign that says extreme, he said. Uh-huh. Let's just say I didn't go on that ride twice.

Right after that, he went on a slide that is like a toilet - you swirl around in a big bowl before you get sucked down a hole and pushed out the other end. Spectators can watch from the top. You should have seen the look on his face when he flipped his tube at the hole and flew down head first. He wasn't hurt, which is good. But I have to tell you it was one of the funniest things I have ever seen. And I couldn't help but think it was fate's way of saying, "That's what you get for lying to your wife!"

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Computer with a boo-boo

Hoop-lah is experiencing mechanical difficulties.

Regular programming will resume once my new hard drive arrives and is installed.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Dancing during commercials

Friday night and the lights are low . . .

. . . it's the only way to watch the crime shows.

Yes, I still need a lilfe.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hello doctor? It's an emergency!

I've tried six times to write this post. But all I can think about is mac and cheese. And ice cream. Comfort foods that are soft and won't hurt my teeth. Which are phantom hurting in sympathy. I hope I can sleep tonight.

The braces went on this morning. Top ones only. I have no idea why. Six hours later - KA-POW-OWWWWWWW!!!! Six hours and 30 seconds later, the tears rolled. Riley cried a little, too. His from pain, mine from filling out more paperwork than for any other credit purchase EVER made.

I had planned to post a photo. Guess who said no.

If you have a really great orthodontist, like ours, he'll call and give you his home phone number in case you need him. Hmmmmm. I'm thinking middle of the night mac and cheese run.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Gifts of mac and cheese happily accepted

Tomorrow is the big day. Riley gets braces, and Big Dog and I get to fork over big money. Maybe we should cut him a deal. $500 for no braces, and we head out on a white sand, turquoise blue ocean vacation. I should have thought of that sooner.

As it stands, tomorrow will not be a good day. I will end up in tears even if it goes well. My crazy, menopausal hormones go wild at the slightest thing, and these rite of passage moments are killers. You should have heard me during Toy Story 3 when Andy graduated. A snorting, gasping sound that was just horrifying.

I'll try to keep my composure. But if you're thinking of me tomorrow, think comfort food. Hint, hint!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Would somebody please get me a drink?

There's nothing like a new year, a new job, a new something to make you feel like you've got possibilities, another chance. Something to look forward to. An opportunity to reform your no checkbook balancing, no bathroom cleaning ways.

That works when you're 43. But not when you're nine. Then new is bad. Really, really bad.

Ankeny released its classroom assignments today. And the tears flowed. It's the worst class EVER. (Hey, welcome to my club!)

I pulled out all the stops, all the super dooper parenting tricks I know. Including outright bribery, which, sad to say, usually works. Nothing. Inconsolable.

So I provided the Kleenex, the lap, and the listening ear -- and thought about my own fourth-grade experience. I didn't mention that fourth grade was one of the worst years EVER. My parents separated, kids started teasing me, and I was really glad when it was over.

Why does it have to be so hard? Now I need something to distract me.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Weekend update

What is it about siblings? You separate them for a week, and you know they miss each other. But give them an hour of togetherness and they're right back to where they left off. I'll be going to bed early.

I'm feeling better, thanks for asking. But now the dog is sick. We left her loose inside today when we went to pick up Riley in Williamsburg. She took her doggie explosion downstairs. That is one smart dog. She isn't allowed down there normally, but she knew not to mess up my good carpet.

And I'm still pondering the naughty scenes in yesterday's movie. I may never recover.