Friday, October 10, 2014

Minstrel Threat Level

When I was 17 or 18, I used to play Dungeons and Dragons a few times a week with a group of friends.

No, I had my own apartment at the time, so there was no dwelling in my parent's basement. They had a dank cellar anyways.

During one of the more memorable sessions, my friend Mike had enough gold pieces to acquire a minstrel. The purchasing of said minstrel, inspired many minstrel-related jokes. My favorite being that we needed to get the minstrel a bike. It would be a choice between aluminum or iron framed one.

A light or heavy minstrel cycle-get it?

Sadly, the minstrel was killed shortly after purchase by a tribe of Xenophobic elves that our party came across.

It was fun while it lasted, Sir Minstrel.

I was reminded of this today by my choice in tights. I had put on a pair of light grey ones as opposed to my usual black tights.
I never could figure out why light colored tights paired with black boots made me slightly uncomfortable, but it hit me as I was walking into a restaurant to meet Jessica.

"Tell me honestly," I asked, standing very straight. "Do these tights make me look like a minstrel?"

To which she replied, "Well, you do look like you could use a lute."

"I knew it!"

There were several discussions revolving around how I should mince about the restaurant as I made my way to the restroom, singing a ballad and I even had Jess take a picture of me playing air lute.

After Jessica and I parted ways, as I drove along, I remembered Mike's ill fated minstrel. Inspiration hit me.

Ok, I'm going off subject just a bit, but bear with me.

I am under the influence of a special kind of muse, (perhaps it's the 13th muse) the one that governs creative ways in which to poke fun at and embarrass your offspring.

I have a talent for it. It may sound mean, but think of it. You carry them, give birth to them, you nurse them both with your own body and then with your hands when they are sick. You spend all of your hard earned cash on plastic things and an exorbitant amount of extra food.

And for what? For them to be completely and utterly embarrassed by you, just as they start to become a little bit independent.

In addition, they tend to be very vocal about how embarrassing you are.  My kids act so embarrassed if I even open my mouth near them in public, you would think that I had crapped myself, based on their reactions.

But, instead of being hurt a bit or feeling rejected, I go with it.  For the most part, I try to use my special creativity for blackmailing purposes.

I do not threaten to take away toys or privileges. I do not hit my children. I do not put them in time out or ground them.

I tell them that I will chaperone their school dance, bring their father, and slow dance with him to every love song.

I threaten to yell "I love you, be brave!" as they walk into school. (I have followed through with this one)

I threaten to fart loudly while in public with them. (Tried that one didn't work out.)

They are good kids, fairly polite, somewhat responsible and they are good students. Must be working..

This is the one though.
I'm thinking that this is one of the last Halloween's where I can enforce the rule that they have to be accompanied by a family member.
B has to stay home to hand out candy with Lyd, so there is nobody to reign me in this year.

I'm thinking that I have to go as a minstrel. Floppy hat with the feather, big puffy sleeves and the light  colored tight and big boot combo.
I'm going to attempt to get a lute, but even a cardboard one will do.

The songs and ballad's I can sing about my lovely children as we meander down the sidewalks passing every classmate and neighbor.

I could just threaten them with this. I could give them fair warning. Each broken rule, each moment of being disrespectful could be another song about the infraction for the neighborhood's enjoyment.

"Clean your room or it's gonna be another ballad while Trick or Treating!"

Or I could just surprise them on the big night.

I'm going as a minstrel, no doubt. If I have songs or whether I sing them will depend on them.

Next year I'm going as a mime.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Apocalypse Cometh

I am in the parking lot of my orthodontist's office after my appointment. I had my final extra heavy duty wire installed. He also added 3 more months to my sentence. 
After this wiring job I am truly thankful I went with the scrambled eggs/breakfast with dinner option for tonight. The pain should start just as I get out of work. No reprieve for the wicked and whatnot.
It's ok though. I'm used to these things after 2 years. What's 3-4 more months? 
Three to four more months. Judging by this time line, in partner with my fatalistic view on life and my overactive imagination, I am estimating that the Apolcalypse should begin sometime either just before or after Christmas. I am fairly positive that right before I am due to have these damn things removed, a world wide catastrophe of epic proportions will occur, preventing me from ever having these things taken off in a proper manner, so I may have bridges installed and then be able to chew like a normal person once again. 
Perhaps in the zombie infested, post apocalyptic desert of New England, these wires in my mouth could become some sort of weapon, placing me at the top of the food chain. I could be some sort of a warlord in my own right. 
Probably not. That's ok, in the meantime, be sure stock up on canned goods, Poland Spring and axes, because it's coming. I'm loading up on supplies then locating my orthodontist's home. When the end comes, I'm gonna guard that man, and I guess my kids, with my life. 
Orthodontists and children first!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Fireflies Listened

My New Jersey vacation ends tomorrow, but I am content. My phone, which usually rings off the hook with work calls, has been silent. I managed to find a book that V is really enjoying (Odd and The Frost Giants, by Neil Gaiman), I still have 4 days off when I get home tomorrow AND the fireflies came out. 
I was worried. Everything is running late this year. My first night here I was sad not to see them at twilight near my in-laws house. I was sure I was going to miss them but last night at a friends house they began flickering at dusk. 
We went to the field down the street from my in laws after sunset and although there weren't as many as there are at the height of the firefly orgy, there was still enough to satisfy. We also surprised a small herd of deer, which was a bonus. Especially because they were nowhere near my own meager garden.
I took a few crappy videos that didn't come close to showing how wonderful it was. I would share it here only I'm writing from my phone and I haven't figured out how to upload video. Besides, most of you see me over on Facebook and the videos are up over there.
The June fireflies are now officially categorized under holiday magic days along with Christmas and Halloween.
So that's it for now here in the Garden State, Good Night and behave yourselves.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

It's been a long time!

It has been forever since I have been on here.
I do not blame myself and my complete lack of motivation, of course.
I blame my new job, it has been a tough transition. More hours and more responsibility, but I think I have the hang of it now.
And of course I blame the children.
What has happened with the television has happened with the computer as well. In a household of 5, there is only 1 television. 
Since I'm content to read, I simply gave up the fight and let the rest have their Mythbusters, Star Wars and sporting events. 
So now the fight has been brought to the only laptop that we have. 
As soon as I turn the thing on, a small head will pop up in front of the screen and ask, "What are you doing? Can I use it when you're done? When will you be done?"
So I gave up. 
I'm currently saving for my own computer, each week in a honey jar. 
However, that is a poor excuse for not writing. I should be doing it every day in some way. 
 I finally downloaded a Blogger app on my phone, which the hellions can't claim from me. I need it for work. 
So in between work, managing bees who aren't doing what I want them to do, fighting squirrels in defense of my new tiny garden and keeping up with the kids, you may hear from me a bit more. 
In the meantime, I am on the Jersey Shore for our traditional start of the summer vacation.
 I'm really disappointed because the late spring, with all the plants and creatures running late, means that the fireflies, who are out in the millions at my in-laws at this time, have not yet made an appearance.
If you need me, I'll be standing in my in-laws backyard, silently willing a couple of million insects to wake up already and start having sex for my entertainment. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Noro Through the Ages

It's funny. The annual Holt family stomach bug outbreak always seems to coincide with the annual trip to the Providence Performing Art Center.

Every year for Christmas, I get tickets for Lyd and I to see a show.

Every year, right before we go, someone gets struck down with the stomach bug.

I stress and worry because I would hate to have Lyd miss out on the show and I know she would be pissed if someone else took her.

We made it to see Wicked last night.  I breathed a sigh of relief as soon as the show was over. (The assholes who came out in force to join us at the show may be a post for another day)

Bring it on Noro-virus!

It was especially hairy the year that we had a show to go to, after which, I had to drop Lyd off to her Dad's because she was flying to Hawaii the next day.

And V and G had already had the bug.

I dropped Lyd off and nearly collapsed with relief that time.

Then I went home and got sick. Lyd made it through, happily.

It used to be that I feared the stomach flu.

Anyone with really young children can relate.

The kids get sick first, you change their diapers and clean the vomit that they spew all over indiscriminately.

By the time they are feeling better, you are on the floor feeling like you are going to die, unable to move.

The kids take the opportunity to destroy the house.

I had a friend who drove down to Virginia (or somewhere else that was a really long drive) with her family, to stay with a friend's family.

Within a half hour of arrival, the friend's daughter came down with the stomach flu. My friend said, "We gotta go!" packed up her three young daughters and drove back home.

I would have done the same thing.

If you have a child under the age of 7, the stomach bug is the worst thing. To the point where anyone that has it going through their house is considered a pariah. To be avoided at all cost.

I remember a night, during that crazy snowstorm filled winter a few years back.  I spent the evening chipping away at a huge swath of ice in the driveway of the house I worked at, in preparation for a storm that was coming. I made my way home from work in the storm, an hour late because my relief came late, only to have to shovel more in order to get into my driveway.

I walked into the house, tired and glad it was all over. G was standing at the door. She informed me that she had puked "a little" in the bathroom.

It looked like a vomit bomb went off in the bathroom. B and I spent the next hour alternating between cleaning and holding the big green bowl under G's chin.

I spent the rest of the evening on bowl duty. It was definitely one of those dark nights of the soul. You cat nap on the foot of the sick child's bed. You don't want to actually share the bed because, gross. You lay listening for that first sound of retching, praying to God that you get the bowl under their chin before you have to change the fucking sheets again.

It's gotten much better. I knew things were looking up last Mother's Day. You can read about that vomiting incident here.

So far, V had it last week. The lovely boy waited until morning to start, so I got a full nights rest. He made it into the bowl every time. Because he is old enough to stick the bowl under his chin himself (I spasmed with joy as  wrote that last part. It's the little things, ya know?).

G said she felt sick last night. I suspected a school avoidance, but left the big green bowl up on her bed just in case. G sleeps high up in a loft bed. The thought of the splatter range should she puke off the side of that bed was simply terrifying, so I took that precaution.

I jumped out of bed at 3am to the sounds of her retching. Thankfully, in the toilet. I don't know if you can truly understand my happiness and feeling of triumph at this, but it certainly was a wonderful moment.

So here I am, tired from sleeping on the couch, while Gretel lay on the other end with the big green bowl. I am working on tying up any loose ends because I am assuredly the next person to take my place on the couch, with the big green bowl by my head.

Only I am a big girl, so I generally make it to the bathroom.

 I suppose I should apologize. No blog since Christmas and the one I get around to writing speaks only of my family's vomit.

But this is where I am right now, in a holding pattern, waiting to see where the virus strikes next.

Two down, three to go!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I managed to get up early again this year.

I am sitting by the Christmas tree, which is the only light on in the house.

Dawn is just peeping up in the East, I can see it out the window if I turn my head.

I love this time of day, especially on Christmas. The kids are still young enough to believe in Santa and magic.

I am stationed here waiting for the sound from upstairs of feet hitting the floor and running down the stairs.

That for me, is the magical moment, now that I know who Santa really is.

It is very fleeting and I am thankful for it while it lasts.

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas.

If you are a person who loves this day, I hope it is a long wonderful day filled with joy and fun.

If you are a person who hates this day, I hope it is over in a flash for you and that things will be better once it is finished.

Off to buy a hive of bees from Heifer International while I wait for the pitter pat of little feet.

Merry Christmas and as always, thank you for reading my crap

Monday, December 23, 2013

Bechdel Briefs

I logged onto Facebook first thing this morning and saw a post from my friend Heather.

She said that she will no longer be able to watch a movie without checking to see if it passes the Bechdel test.

The Bechdel test, for those of you who don't know, was first introduced in a comic strip by Alison Bechdel called "Dikes to Watch Out For".

A female character said in a strip that she only watches movies if it passes 3 requirements.

1. It has 2 women in it
2. Who talk to each other
3. About something other than men.

Look it up, and my apologies if my explanation seems vague. It is 7am. I have a deadline in 10 minutes at which time, I have to wake B up and begin my very last leg of the X-mas rush.

I am so ahead of the game this year. I finished shopping on Friday.  I wrapped almost everything and I am all finished with baking.

Go Cindy.

So back to this Bechdel test.

It is very interesting. The article I read from Wikipedia also mentioned that one could also apply these rule to one's life/relationships to see if you yourself, as a woman, pass this test.

I am married with oodles of kids. I rarely talk about the opposite sex. Maybe to bitch about B, but not often.
He does Ok most of the time.

I was at a party the other night and the main topics of conversation were "Merkins" and "Vajazzle".

Looks like that party passed the Bechdel test.

You know what I talk about with other women a lot?

Whether or not our children change their underwear.

This is a perfect segway into my idea that I have been thinking about.

My magnum opus as far as embarrassing my children, which, if you read my blog, you know I love to do.

 My friend, who will remain unnamed, has a daughter who does not change her underwear.

I thought it would be so great if I went out and bought said daughter a package of "days of the week" undies for Christmas.

When she opened the package, I would explain to her, that her mother tells me that she never changes her underwear and I thought this would be a perfect gift.

Even better if V gave it to her.

But what would be best?

Arrange a "Secret Santa" party with the neighborhood parents. (most of whom have children who do not change their underwear. It is an epidemic this side of the Parkway, so I hear)

Parents will tell the kids that they will grab the gift for them.

At the party, which would be a group of 8-11 year olds of both genders. (This is VERY important as kids this age are very self conscious about certain things when the other sex is involved.)

The children would open the gifts. All which would be underwear.

All the parents would exclaim in joy and make comments in front of the kids such as, "Oh how wonderful! You never change your underwear and these are so nice! Maybe this will motivate you!"

Your children will hate you. They will probably stick you in the crappiest nursing home when it's time.

But think of those glorious seconds, watching them squirm in sheer embarrassment after the underwear goes round.

And probably totally worth it as children can be so rotten right before X-mas zero hour, that they most likely deserve whatever you can dish out.

Mine do.

It's worth it.

And there is still time...