Thursday, September 27, 2012

Going Along with the Tides

The thing about your kids growing up is that suddenly, they are off, being grown ups and there isn't a damned thing you can do about it.

I mean, I support my eighteen year old son's decision to join the Navy.  In theory anyhow.  The military takes long haired squishy children and turns them into strong jawed men and women with purpose.  What mother wouldn't want such a transformation in her son?  One day he's debating the particulars of Pokemon battles and the next day he's preserving and defending the Union.

In practice, it's coming at me fast.

Today I dropped off my son at the Navy recruiter's office so that an adorable and crisply ironed Petty Officer can take my boy's innocent childhood and squash it through MEPS.

MEPS.  Military Enlistment Processing Station. 

Transformation tangent, courtesy of my hormone brain, this kind of processing is like turning Velveeta into brie?  Like turning Twinkies into tiramisu?  Like turning crude oil into glittering lip gloss?

Anyhow, the government has put my son up in a fine hotel for tonight only to wake him at 4 in the morning, stuff food in his mouth, barrage him with forms, take his blood, collect his pee, and make him twist about in his underwear and out of it.

At the end of this he'll take an oath which declares he's no longer mine.  He's no longer his Dad's.  He's his own man and he's given himself to Uncle Sam.

I was teary on the drive home.

Not a damned thing I can do about that either.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mr. Magoo's Motorboats

One of the joys of having a thirteen year old son is the realization that the fart jokes of his puppy dog tailed childhood have started to merge with his Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue puberty.

...are fascinating objects and worth thinking about and giggling over.

Breasts are always inserting themselves into daily life. For a thirteen year old boy this provides a smorgasbord of tasty funnies.  At any point, or several points, throughout the day, my boy can be trusted to provide some sort of red faced allusion to knockers.  We used to find  this amusing, like the first time your toddler repeats a particularly raunchy swear word, and now as he's nearing his 14th birthday he's earning eye rolls.

But then, if boobs weren't funny, the enormity of the subject may cause my son to faint dead away.

That can't happen.

 Not if he hopes to actually experience some someday.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Twenty things you come to learn whilst attending your 20th high school reunion.


1.  The hair dye ain't foolin' anyone.

2.  The padded push up bra ain't foolin' anyone.

3.  Comparing stretch marks is a bonding experience for any gender.

4.  That boy you had a crush on back then isn't going to show up.  That boy that had the crush on you isn't going to show up either.

5.  One's expletives are better timed and more to the point than when we were 17.

6.  We all claim to love green salad and broccoli.  There wasn't a ranch Dorito anywhere in sight.  Fiber.

7.  The betting pool for who will get hair plugs or silicone breasts by the 30th reunion is large and competitive.

8.  When asked if you have children, if you include your cats or other pets in that answer, people's eyes just glaze right on over.

9.  How and to whom you lost your virginity?  Still fascinating.

10.  Only discuss politics in whispers, secret handshakes and knowing nods.

11.  Lawyers and dentists and IT professionals, Oh my!

12.  Like on graduation night, the class kegger was not listed on the official invitations or referenced in the town newspaper.

13.  No one will remember your adolescent gaffs, like that one time you walked into gym class wearing just your t-shirt having forgotten to put on your gym shorts.

14.  Turns out, you're the only one going through perimenopause, so your hot flash just looks like nerves.

15.  When that Deee-Lite song comes on over the event speakers, everyone in the reception hall will start jiggling to the beat.  Today's teenybopper music sucks though.

16.  If you are greeting someone you haven't seen for two decades, "Mmm, you smell good!" is sort of an odd compliment to bestow.

17.  There is a tangible tingling sense of relief when you know you're out of the running for the "Octomom Award".

18.  Next time around, one of the raffle baskets has to include an assortment of dishwasher safe marital aids.

19.  Attending with a stack of business cards or repeating the phrase, "I should put you in touch with my financial advisor." makes the dinner tickets tax deductible.

20.  Female classmates still go to the restroom in gaggles to giggle.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Don't pee on my leg part 2 - What goes on under the robe stays under the robe.

Jury Duty Blotter - September 18th 2012, Elko County Nevada

6:00 AM - Utah Time - I wake up an hour before I usually do.  This is a rude thing to do to my body.  Especially since neither my husband or I have felt well, having had sore throats and sinus issues.  Whilst in the shower I clear my head of everything disgusting and unmentionable and squash it down the drain with my toe.

6:10 - My husband heads out the door to drive 120 miles to the VA hospital in Salt Lake City.  I don't think I have to pay back the coworker who lent Justin his truck for the trip as Justin did some errands in SLC for the guy, but some sort of baked goods or over the clothes sexual favor isn't entirely off the table.  He saved us 60 bucks! 

7:10 - Full of coffee and packing an overnight bag, I'm on my way.  Strict instructions were given to my 18 year old manchild on how to get his two younger brothers off to school and where and when to pick up the youngest brother after school.  Otherwise, the manchild has the entire house to himself the whole day which probably has it's own avenues of disgusting and unmentionable.

6:30 - Nevada Time - I'm stuck behind a semi truck hauling two trailers full of hot black top.  Through the ten miles of one lane construction zone the speed limit is 55.  This semi is chuggin' along at a hot 35 mph.  The truck behind me is weaving all over to get a view of when exactly he can gun it and pass us both.  The semi finally pulls off at the end of the road work zone and the truck behind me hits the gas and surprisingly misses his testicles with his foot, as big as he thinks the are.

7:30 - More construction.  Thirty miles of one lane 55mph orange coned idiocy.  I'm not sharing the freeway with anyone close though and I wave back at the friendly orange hat who waved at me first.

8:30 - Hello Elko.  I can either grab some breakfast or go directly to the courthouse and grab one of the few parking spots before the 9:00 AM report time.  Turns out going directly to the courthouse was a smooth move.  I nab the last and furthest spot in the courthouse lot.  Other jurors are parking up to two blocks away.

8:50 - The bailiff announces to the assembling jurors that if they have parked in the bank parking lot next door that the bank will tow their vehicles.  A quarter of them leave.  Then they break out coffee and pastries to improve our moods.  I skip the food.  It looks like cardboard.  The bank parkers don't get first pick at the bear claws.  Across the lobby I spot a neighbor of mine.  Dammit, she could have given me a ride!

9:00 - We file in one by one through a metal detector and the bailiff's handheld.  He looks through my purse and pauses at the sight of my menstrual cup in it's Barney purple wrapper.  The silicon cover on my phone is also barney purple.  Precious ain't it?

10:00 - Finally we've all been scanned and seated.  The seats in the courthouse are 100 years old and my butt can testify to exactly how old that is.  I sit in the front row next to an old woman with thighs bigger around than my entire body.  She tells me the history of geothermic heat in Elko.  It's surprisingly interesting.

10:30 - We've risen for the judge, a tall woman with fluffy hair, and the clerk reads the charges.   We've are greeted by a DA that shares the same name and approximately the same looks as a celebrity I could name but I won't.  I'm smitten.  The court appointed defense lawyer is just as perky, but it's annoying because she's also female and has a giant silk scarf tied around her neck that matches the color coded post-its she's using on her giant jury box seating chart.  The clerk starts pulling names out of a bingo spinner and calls 23, none of them mine.  I have a scare when she calls some guy named Benjamin because she paused at the B sound, but Benjamin is not Becky and for that I am grateful.  My parents were going to name me Brian if I was a boy but that is neither here nor there.

10:50 - Jurors are asked if they know the lawyers, or the defendant, or anyone the defendant or the witnesses know, if they have prior commitments or experiences with the charges.  Turns out many of the women do and one man.  Jurors are being excused left and right and still my name was not pulled out of the bingo spinner.  I consider this the good karma I earned for waving at a construction worker and holding in a fart.

11:30 - Another juror is excuse and another called, but since he went off to the bathroom, the judge takes that as a cue and gives us a fifteen minute recess.  Those dry pastries are looking delicious now so I snag half a blueberry bagel.  The defendant is visibly shaken.  All the folks being dismissed for having experiences with what he was accused of doing isn't sitting well at all with the guy.  Fifteen minutes turns into a half hour and a whispered meeting between lawyers before we are called back in.  The celebrity DA is packing up which got all of our hopes up but the judge tells us to be back at 2:30.  The whole room sighed.

12:00 - Sitting in a filthy Mexican restaurant without walking distance from the courthouse.  Walking distance is important because I'm not giving up that parking space for love, money or the house flies buzzing around the salsa bar.  The refried beans were good, the fish tacos were depressing and the horchata which I had to go behind the counter and halfway into the kitchen to serve myself was delicious.  Next table over were three young male professionals engaging in a loud discussion on the best way to shave your own ass.  I got a couple pointers.

12:15 - Pouring over books for sale for a quarter at the Elko Public Library.  Why didn't I bring anything to read with me?  I have a Kindle.  I put The Hunger Games on it.  Dammit.  While the librarians are chasing someone's overly friendly pit bull out of the building I snap a photo with my phone:

Hmmm.  Appropriate.

12:30 - I availed myself to a big rack of free magazines at the library and brought back fluffy reading to everyone sitting in the courthouse lobby.  Their gratitude up my karma by several experience points. 

1:30 - Managed to poop in a public bathroom.  Didn't have to squash anything with my toe.  When I get back there is a tall woman in a wild skirt and a bright blue tight ruffled top.  This woman is profoundly talented all up in the front of her chest area and the talent shows.  I recognize her but I can't place where I've seen her before.  Even though our subpoenas instruct us to wear court attire I figure that there is a lot of leeway because what are they going to do, send you home?

2:30 -  You know why no one sits in 100 years old chairs anymore?  Because these chairs deny the existence of cheeseburgers and fries.  Again I sit next to Geothermic Thighs.  She's full of Elko history and tells me that she came to my town to see Engelbert Humperdinck in concert. It all goes together I suppose.  Then we rise for the judge and now I can place where I've seen that woman before...she's sitting on the bench with the gavel in her hand.

After a long speech about civic duty the judge tells us that the parties have reached an agreement and we are excused with thanks.  The celebrity DA turns and winks at us.  I'm sure this is a source of geothermic heat...oh yes.  Him and a chair with a cushion and I could be happy for at least an hour.

3:00 - Before going home I make stops at several clothing stores in search of a skirt.  A young clerk at one store offers me a pair of slacks instead so I ask if they stock them in long lengths.  She asks how long and I tell her I need a 36" inseam.  She says, "How long is that exactly?" 

Should have called her for jury duty.  I bet she votes.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining.

I've been called to jury duty.


For the sixth time.

I thought that calling and giving my excuses would mollify the court.


See, my husband and I have one vehicle. On the day I'm called my husband will be taking our one vehicle 120 miles east, to the nearest VA hospital, to enjoy a fun filled day of neurology appointments and ultrasounds. Because of this, it's terribly difficult to drive 120 miles to the west, to the county seat, to fulfill my jury duty obligation.

Not that I mind going at all. I've been before. After that, all the other trials I've been called for have been cancelled.

But, try to tell the court clerk this. Not that she's bent on believing any of the excuses she receives every single working day of her life. If anyone has a crap job, she does and I feel for her.   She must have a wall of fame of bad excuses pinned up behind her desk.

She told me to find a ride with another juror.

I asked her how in the world I'm supposed to find these other jurors, much less get familiar enough with them to beg a ride?

She said she didn't know.

She told me to cancel or reschedule my husband's VA appointments.

I told her that these appointments were made three months ago.  We're talking the VA here.  We're talking neurology here.  We're talking lucky that we could schedule three different doctors for different exams on the same day here.  I did not ask her to reschedule the trial for me though I was tempted. 

She told me to call the day before, see if the jury pool is still large enough and beg off then.  I just grunted.

She told me she has to go by the statutes.  I told her to read me the statute.  She left off the part about being dismissed because of hardship.  I called her on it.  She said it was at the court's discretion.  My hardship is not enough a hardship.

Tomorrow I get to call the one car rental place in town, if they are still in business, and ask for a day rate.  Then I get to research taking a stinking Greyhound bus. 

If all that's prohibitive, I'm calling the court clerk back and I'm bursting into tears.

Seriously, I'd LOVE to serve.  Sign me up.  My schedule is usually so wide open that it's downright slutty...I JUST CAN'T GO ON THE DAY YOU'VE CALLED ME!

Maybe they'll work something out and cancel this one too.



Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Tremors, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, sweating

You might have thought that God had cut off our oxygen the way my family reacted to having the internet down all weekend.

I mean, how can any of us go on from moment to moment without scores of memes like this one in our lives?

It's funny because it's true...and because I pinned this on Pinterest for later reference because I think cat trees are ugly. 

But what use is later reference when you have no connectivity?  Yesterday evening I was so starved for news and discourse that I willingly watched Storage Wars with my husband.  That show drives me up a wall.  I realized in watching those noisy whiny people competing over the stuff people should have yard saled ages ago that this is the closest thing to what my internet use amounts to.

The Democratic National Convention is beginning and I NEED to blast down the rhetoric of friends of friends on Facebook!  They're wrong or right or ignorant or all of the above all at once which is confusing for everyone especially when it's also delivered with big words and sarcasm.

I've been aching for juicy celebrity news on Yahoo.  Tom Cruise and Scientology contracts out wives and girlfriends you say?  Why, what a logical arrangement for everyone!  Work that brand Tom, work it.  Heidi Klum and Seal are all a bicker?  Oooh!  I need to eulogize that sexy Michael Clarke I'll never have a chance to check out his butt in person.

My local police department made a traffic stop and interrupted a roadtrip three people were making from Iowa with their 40 large bags of pot.  I need to share this news with people I do not know! 

Ducks crossing a four lane freeway in Toronto.  Ack!

Check Snopes.  Check Politifact.  Check  Check the Pinocchio Tracker.

How do I decide if this product I see on TV is worth buying until after I've checked the reviews on Amazon?  Is it a ShamWow or a ShamWhy the hell did I buy this?

What if someone challenges me to a game of Words with Friends?

....Netflix streaming is gone.  GONE!

And Skype for my 18 year old manchild in the wee hours of the night.  He was gasping for he had not uttered one "dude" towards his nerdy online friends for three days!

Around noon today the internet blinked back on and hosannas were sung.  In the afternoon, after I'd been fully satiated in scrolling and clicking, I had to go to my storage unit to pick up some of my books on my way to get my kid from school.  It turns out that watching Storage Wars wasn't time wasted after all.  There is no other way I would have come to the realization that I should Ebay off some of my shit.

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