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Mama,

Its 4:40a.m.  I can’t sleep again.  I know that’s not fair to say to you because I’m sure there are plenty of nights when you don’t sleep either.

I woke up just crying.  The tears were streaming down my face.  Then as I lay there in bed, all I could think about is this picture I have of us  in my head.

You are going to be so mad, because you always say that I never remember “the good stuff”.  I do, and I don’t see this as a particularly bad memory.  You and Dad had fought and he’d gone off to the bar, I’m sure.  He’d left, anyway, and I remember that you were sad.  And, I’d gone and sat next to you on the edge of your bed and we just sat there holding one another.  I always have that picture of you in my head.  When I think of you, I see you holding me and me holding you on the edge of your bed when we both were so young, and you had long hair.  You sang You Are My Sunshine to me.

You know that picture of us in my dining room?  The one from my wedding night when we were at the bar?  We were cracking up!  We look so much alike when we are laughing!  We had so much fun that night.  I wouldn’t have changed anything about my wedding.  I could never thank you and Dad enough.  It goes to show that a wedding doesn’t make the Marriage, huh?

I hope we have made you proud when you look at my little family.  I hope you know how much Big Hands and Holden and I love you.  I especially hope you know what an impact you have made on his life.  He makes fun of me all the time, but I know that it amazes him that a family can be so close.  And sober!

I have no regrets about my life, and the life that you and Dad gave me.  I hope you know that I mean it when I say to you that without you and Dad, I would not be the person I am today.  And, I’m pretty proud of the way I turned out.  This life I have is the one I always wanted.  I made some bad decisions, and I made some pretty good ones too.  I think BH and Holden are two choices I made that had a really good outcome.  I guess thats all that matters in the end.

You know how I am…my ignorance is my bliss.  I think this is why I am always in such a good mood!  But, I’m starting to think that you are getting a little scared, and that is making me scared for you.  You can be scared.  I’m not trying to take that away from you.  I just don’t want you to think that you can’t tell me that you are.  I’m a big girl.  I just don’t know how I can help you, or if I even can.  I just never want there to be that “I wish I would have said…” between us.

You are the only person in my entire life you has known me for all of my 32 years.  You know every last inch of me, even when I tried to hide myself from you, you always knew.  Which is so funny to me.  I never understood that kind of knowledge until I had Holden.  You DO just know when you have a kid.  Its so weird.  And, wonderful.

I love you.  In my life I have never loved anyone else with such completion.  I know I never will.

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First, I’m going to start with The Books I’ve Read Recently:

Water For Elephants. Good. Book.  I still remember every plot and subplot, so that means it hasn’t immediately drained from my brain.  This equals good.  The very very end was a little over the top.  But, I could get over it because what happened before the very very end, was excellent!  You’ll be saying, “Hmmmm….I never saw that coming…”  And, I also read it in like two days of after work reading till about 11pm.  Its a quick read.  If you are a quick reader, I guess.  Good Book.  Worth however much I paid for it.

Then, after I finished reading the above, I was still hungry and needed something else to knosh on.  So, I read this.  I don’t really read books like this often because I’m not interested in Victorian Australia.  But, surprisingly, it was pretty good.  (Thanks Fran’s Mom!!) And, I ended up learning a little something about Things That Just Aren’t Really That Important.  Learning did not hurt my brain as I thought it would.  I do not read to learn.  I read to fill the void.  I enjoy pith.

I am now reading Into the Wild, and I just cried a little while reading it as I was waiting for Holden to get out of piano practice.  I wanted to read it before I saw the movie, that my dear Sean Penn has done.  I love him, I do.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I think he’s a big weirdo, but a weirdo I just can’t help but want to give a hug to.  If there is a Hollywood Personality who needs a hug more than he, I don’t know who they may be.  (You can’t say Britney or Lindsay or Paris.  They just need they asses whooped.)

Speaking of asses…I bought the new Kanye West album this past weekend.  I can’t believe you like Kanye West…Oh the horrors!!!  Let’s just get one thing straight here, Ducks:  I don’t like Kanye West per se.  I mean, I kind of appreciate the fact that his mouth is so gigantic, he can’t stop himself.  Plus, I also appreciate a dude doing what a dude gotta do to sell his records.  (I also appreciate Eminem, suckahs.)  So, I guess, yeah.  I like Kanye a smidge.  I appreciate him.  And dude knows how to dress.  I digress, here.  I’m trying to tell you, this album rocks my socks.

Granted, were it not for Big Hands, I would not be listening to hip hop of any kind.  I would be listening to Joni Mitchell all the time.  Or John Denver.  Or Tori Amos.  Stuff that I can sit around and braid my hair and make hemp rope to.  I am easily influenced, Friends.  I listen to whatever anyone turns me on to.  (Kellie?  Backstreet Boys??  Yep.)

Lately Holden and I have been listening to a lot of High School Musical.  I’m sure you are just sick to death of my going on and on about it, but really.  Its awesome.  If you are sick of watching me write about it, just think how sick my family is of hearing Holden and I do dead on numbers from the show.  With dancing and everything.  Holden and I basically rock.

Holden rocks, for sure.  I will tell you that my son wants to be on The Swim Team.  There isn’t one at school yet for tadpoles such as he, but whatever.  I’m going to make this happen for him.  I told him you have to start now, if you want to be on The Team.  So whenever there is opportunity for him to join any kind of community run team or class, that kid is so there.  I want nothing more than to see his skinny little self in a little boy speedo.  I’m so there with my camera in tow.

See, he wants to be on The Team because he thinks he can get a scholarship to the University of Miami.  (Why is my third grader thinking about college?  No really.  Why??) More power to him, I say.  But, he wants to go to the University of Miami so that he can be closer to the only football team that is near to his heart: the Miami Dolphins.  Why?  I dunno.  But he has aspirations of OWNING this team someday, and I have aspirations of being taken care of in my old age, so Go Team.

I went to my little brother’s soccer game tonite.  I say “little”, though this kid is 6’3″.  He’s not so little…

So the game ends and the team is on the other end of the field, and we (the crowd) are all clapping in that Oh, This Was So Fun To Watch You All Kick That Ball Around kind of way and then all of the sudden, the team starts walking TOWARD us in a line.  And, they are clapping for us.

This was new for me.  New and WONDERFUL!!

I’ve made a decision.  And, that is I like people to clap for me.  I think MORE people should clap for me.  It makes me feel Good.  I like to feel good.  And, Happy.  Nothing is better than people clapping for you when you have done very little to deserve applause.

I had to take a test at work the other day.  Nobody clapped for me when I was done.  What a bust.

Yes.  A test.  I told my Dear Boss that this is absurd.  I didn’t further my higher education for this very Test Taking reason.  Tests suck.  Yes.  A test.  At work.  A test, I will tell you, for something that normally, and ritually, a computer does for us.  There is this program that does this Thing when we input the numbers, and it gives us the answers!  Why, then, must you teach us how to do it long hand?  I embrace the technology!!  Seriously, if there was a computer program that would take care of my kid and watch tv for me?  I would sit around with my hands down my pants and slobber.

I am lazy.  I’m not gonna lie.

Okay, so in my heart I am lazy.  In my life I actually DO stuff.  But, I don’t like it.  I may be vaccuming on the outside, but on the inside?  I’m slobbering.

Tests are probably the main reason that I went into Theatre.  After I had completed my core requirements, and realized that I hated teenagers, memorizing lines and saying them out loud to a bunch of people who would eventually clap for me…this just seemed the obvious path for me.  Two roads diverged in a path and I?  I took the one where there were no tests.  Because I hate them.

Not that there were NO tests.  I mean, there were.  But they weren’t hard or anything.  The hardest part about Performing Arts, for me, was that they expected me to paint the sets.  And, I’ll tell you:  I did not get into this to work.  Sheesh.  Painting sets is for people who can’t act.  Der.

Not that I ever wanted to use this gift in the Real World.  I didn’t want to move to New York and light up the big screen.  It was something I was good at.  It allowed me to live the college dream.  I am thankful for that.  It made college fun!  But, then again, so did the Marijuana!

In hindsight, I can see what a waste that was.  I am always telling Holden not to waste his talents (he is gifted with the music).  Which is why we make him take a musicality class, as well as piano lessons.  Make him? You ask.  Yes.  He is eight.  My house my rules.  Suck it.

I tell Holden that we give Glory to God when we use our talents.  And, I really feel that he’s got a gift that just needs to be cultured.  When he is old enough (read: when he no longer lives under my roof) he can decide for himself what he wants to do.  

Sometimes this makes me feel very hypocritical.  But I realize that as we get older, our talents change.  I know now that my talent is for being a Good Mother.  And, and Excellent Wife.  And, I don’t feel bad about that.  Meaning, I don’t really feel like I’ve given up my Old Self for this New Self which is different (but not really so much) than who I’ve always been.

I like who I’ve become, and I’m very comfortable in my skin.  I try not to get hung up on the Coulda Beens.  Because they Aren’t.  And, I’m trying real hard to deal in the Now.

So, its okay that I’m not on the Soaps.
And, its okay that every now and then I have to take a stupid test that I’m not even getting and Effing grade on.

I can smile with delite every day of my life, because in the next room?  My son is laughing his fool head off watching Freaky Friday, and man, if that doesn’t sound like clapping to me.

I can’t believe Dick won.  Holden thinks this is dumb.

I have had exactly three cigarettes since Sunday at 2:30am.  (Thanks Fran…)

Why do I always decide to quit smoking when I’m PMSing?  Somehow this always seems like a great idea to me.  I haven’t killed anyone yet.  Yet.

I have little desire to write anything down.

I might get laid off.  (I’m not entirely certain this would crush my soul.  Its the PRINCIPLE of the matter.  I do not want to be laid off.)

They’ve taken my mom off the Chemo Pill because it isn’t working.  But!  There may be another…there is also the test study!  We will see!  This BA-LOWS.

I suck.  I’m mean.  I hate everybody (except Sarah Silverman.  We are kindred spirits, she and I.)

This is my favorite kind of day.  On the cusp of fall, the weather is grey and windy.  If I close my eyes, I can imagine myself on the beach at Lake Michigan…The white peaks of the waves lapping forcefully against the shore…I am wrapped in a warm wool blanket;  my bare feet buried in the cool sand…the woosh, woosh of the current…the gulls circling,  looking for food in the volatile waters.  I love the beach on days like this.  Far away from danger, but just close enough to be aware of it.  That current could take you under…if you let it.  It calms my nerves; being on the cusp.

They have given her a timeline: six months to a year.  She doesn’t know that we know.  She doesn’t want us to know.  But, now?  Being mother’s ourselves?  We have that power of Knowing.  We have the Eyes in the back of our Heads. 

And, I also know that only God is the Keeper of our time, here on Earth.  Only that gives me little comfort.  Because six months to a year is not a long time.  Six billion years would never be enough time to say goodbye to your mother.

There is an inordinate amount of people looking for the lyrics to the Smoking Cigarettes and Watching Captain Kangaroo song.  Imagine their dismay when they click on me…  On the other hand, I’m starting to think it was pretty ingenious of me to name a post that.  I’m getting heavy traffic, people. 

There is also an inordinate amount of naked young women in Hollywood.  I am no prude, but this sickens me.  I think largely due to the fact that I am a big High School Musical fan and the latest scandal involving Vanessa Hudgens has put a cloud over my beloved movies.  Whether or not Disney has fired her, does not bother me.  Although, I would be so very sad to see some other girl in HSM3. What absolutely DOES bother me is that a 19 year old girl from anywhere would be posing nude for anyone!

Okay.  I guess maybe that makes me a prude, then.

When I was 19?  I was not standing in a fancy hotel with my DOONEY AND BURKE handbag behind me, BUTT ASS NAKED.  Ugh.  I am just sick.

Her mother must be so proud.

I mean really.  I think body image is important. I think people should feel good about the way they look.  I do!  Girls especially.  But you don’t know anything when you are 19.  Or 20, or 25.  And, I think these young ladies of Hollywood are just driving that point home. 

Soon they will find that at 32, they probably know even less.

I didn’t wear a bikini until I was 26.  After I had Holden, and after I had lost all the baby weight, I thought to myself, Jennifer (this is what I call my Self) you are young, you are fit~ish.  Step out there and get that two peice.  And, I didn’t get a TANKINI, either.  I cannot say this enough: Commit, already.  Wear a bikini or wear a one peice.  Why would you want to buy a two peice that LOOKS like a one peice.  You just paid double.

What I’m trying to say here is that I didn’t really come into myself until I was 26.  And, really?  I didn’t really start holding my own until I was 30.  You think you are self actualized before then.  I did, too.  Trust me.  You aren’t even close.  I’m still finding new things about me everyday.

What we seem to have created in young women these days is that THIS is all they are going to be.  Right Now.  I will always be this me who is me today. I can party all the time because I’m rich and young and I deserve it.  You owe it to me.  I can be naked wherever and show my hoo ha to God only knows who, and it won’t matter tomorrow.

Oh, but it will!  Someday (soon I hope) you are going to say, Damn.  Perhaps I shouldn’t have done that because I am a YOUNG LADY and want to be treated like one.

Hey.  Kids who work for Disney?  If you don’t want a clean and wholesome image, do NOT sign the contract.  Oh, boo hoo you.  In a uber popular movie making Wayyyyyy more money than any kid should, and you have a wholesome image.  Somebody call the wahmbulance.

So here’s what I can’t stand: Kids.  Pretty much all of them.

Although, last nite, I was watching Life of Ryan on MTV, and I DID like this kid.  So, I take that back…here’s what I can’t stand: Kids.  Pretty much all of them.  Unless they ride skateboards.

Be honest.  Are you?  Because, I am.  A little.  Its like saturation or something.  What do you think?  Alltheyes?  Or alltheoutthedoor?

So…I may or may not have a second “little” job with Holden’s school co-teaching (I think I really hate hyphens…) 4th and 5th grade Drama Club.  My neighbor is the teacher and she asked if I wanted to.  Talked to my boss, and she said “Seize the Day, my Sister.”  And, so, we will know soon hopefully.  I am so friggin excited.  Friggin is a funny word.  I don’t think I’ll use it again.  “Effing” just seemed a little too harsh when put in the context of teaching 11 year olds how to act…

But I told Big Hands about this and he said, “oh”.  Which was more of an Ugh-ish “oh” than an interested “oh”. (Though I do love my italics, no?! Yes, yes I do.)  Which caused me to be a little chagrinned, I must say.  Because this is what I want to hear: “JEN!  That sounds great!  What a way for you to put some use your God given talent!  I’m so happy you found a way to do what you love so much.  Oh, and here are those tickets to see High School Musical the Musical!!  I love you Dear!” Babe, seriously.  Are you reading this?  I guess you could say I was pretty serious.  Really.

Now.  This isn’t going to turn into a bitch fest about my husband.  Because I like him, and find him incredibly attractive.  So that makes up for a lot.  But c’mon.  He’s in a band.  Did I balk at this?  No.  Because I am a better person than him that. (Ooh.  That was kind of fun…I’m gonna cross some more words out…but later.)

And, also too?  This blog is not about him.  Its about me. So on that note: Yay, me!!  Maybe I’ll have a aNOTHer job ish that I love!

Remember why you are really here, gals.  I know sometimes you get distracted…allthe?  Or not to allthe?

I’m not a great writer.  I’m not even a good writer.  I know that.  I didn’t start doing this so I could show my literary prowess.  Just now I had to look up the word “prowess” to make sure that I was using it correctly.  See?  I’m just this girl.  Who likes to talk about herself. Because I can. 

My husband isn’t exactly Against the Blog.  But, he ain’t exactly For it either.  “Why does the world need another blog?” he asks.  “What if everyone had a blog?”  I told him I’d probably read them all.  I’m a voyeur that way.  Also, I’m narcissistic.

I don’t think he reads my blog.  That’s okay with me.  If he reads it, that’d also be okay.  I’m not doing it for him.  I do it for me.

I am pretty sure that women blog because we want people to know us.  And, we also like to know about other people.  This is a way for us to be able to accomplish both with out simultaneous conversation.  You know the kind?  Where someone is talking and in the middle of their sentence, you think of something you want to say which is, indeed, pertinent, but doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with what they are saying?  We don’t have to worry about that, here.  I’m not going to get offended if half way through reading my blog, you remember something you wanted to say.  You just say it.  Over at your blog, or mine.  Whatever.

Not that this should take the place of dialogue.  No, no.  Not at all.  I work.  I talk to people.  I have “real” friends.  I have Big Hands.  But I know all those people.  I know them know them.  I don’t know  you all.  But, I want to.  I want to know EVERYBODY.  I’m nosey like that.

I also don’t have any intentionn of ever saying anything of Real Value here.  What’s my opinion worth to you, anyway?  Nothing.  And, that also doesn’t bother me.  I don’t care about Influencing people.  I would like to make you laugh.  That would be great.  But, I’m not here for earth shattering revelations.

This is what it is.  That’s how I live my life.  Sometimes I wonder if that’s a cop out…but I really don’t think it is.  I am completely happy Letting It Be.

I was watching those four comics on Comedy Central the other day, and one of them said, and I’m paraphrasing here, If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.  And then find the person whose life made them vodka.

And, I thought, Man, ain’t that the truth.

oh.

i want this SO bad.

My husband and I have “lists”.  You know the ones.  The lists of famous people you’d sleep with if you ever had the chance, and your spouse could never stop you.  Because sleeping with famous people is all you have once you get married.  All. You. Have.  Because you’ll actually never sleep with said Famous Person except for in your dreams.  Which, really, is all you have once you get married.  Dreams.  Ahhhhh.

So, because I know yer chompin’ at the bit, here’s my list (in no particular order except for the first):

1. Ryan Gosling

2. Justin Timberlake (whatever, okay?  He’s DEEEEE lishus.)

3. Adam Brody

4. Zac Efron

5. Johnny Depp (and, really?  Now that I think of it, he is #1.  The dirtier, the better.)

So there’s my list.  This girl I know?  She doesn’t have a list.  She’s never even heard of “the list”.  This girl?  She is divorced.  I think we all know why…

BUT!  What I’m really writing about here today is someone who is NOT on my list.  If I could think of a way to catagorize him in my head, he would be, but I can’t, and I don’t even really think I want to sleep with him…nope, I don’t.  So, really, he’s not even on my list.  I just really like him and want to be friends with him.  Maybe friends with benefits (in a former life), but really, I guess I just want him to write books I can read  so that I feel Validated.  He validates me and my innermost thoughts.

And, he, my friends, is Chuck Klosterman

Oh, I know, I know.  I’ve spoken about him before.  Probably too much.  I’m easily influenced by the people I date.  And, since I’ve been reading a lot of him lately, it kind of feels like he’s my boyfriend.  He’d really dig me as a girlfriend, too.  I agree with almost everything he writes, and I chuckle at his stories.  Plus!  We both love Billy Joel.  And he totally gets me(Edit: go to the excerpt.  Stupid link doesn’t take you all the way there).

Because I think he’s a genius, and agree with so much of what he says, he’s actually making ME feel smarter.  I’m a better person because of Chuck.  Those are the kind of friends you want to have.