Tag Archives: road trips

Tuesday Morning Press #6: Music at My Funeral, Packing


I don’t have yoga this morning because of the onslaught of holiday mayhem, my instructor knows better. But I’m gonna pretend I do so that I can induce whatever possible anxiety I can into creating a fantastiche post for you.

My kids were bickering this morning, “Mom, he said ‘Every non-negative real number a has a unique non-negative square root, called the principal square root, which is denoted by \scriptstyle \sqrt{a}, where √ is called the radical sign or radix.’ and I say that peanut butter on a sneaker equals six.”

I couldn’t take it anymore. I had just finished a lecture on the current (ongoing) sadness in the Middle East and how we should think positive thoughts and send love and kindness to the region (along with a couple prayers) and then they started in on their peanut butter issue. So I turned on some music. After “Superman” by Five for Fighting, My Song, The Song of My Life, the one I would listen to before every job interview (which I always NAILED!) came on. The song I’ve never said jokingly, “This is the song I want played at the end of my funeral when everyone walks out of the Chuck E. Cheese together,” came on: “Tipitina” by Professor Longhair from The Big Easy soundtrack. I need to add this request mandate to add it to my funeral arrangements to my will. Not kidding. People need to laugh their butts off when I’m gone. I laugh my butt off a lot. That’s what I’m known for.

Indulge me:

Hearing this song, whenever it is played, is sort of like stopping for the National Anthem for me. I have to drop whatever funky bad mood I might happen to be in and get it on with my bad self on the dance floor, wherever that may happen to be. You wanna know what Longhair’a talking about? Look up the lyrics. What planet are you from? Who gives a shit if you don’t know what the what he’s saying? So I cranked it up. My kids watched me with fascination, horror, amusement and then interest and joined me in bad dancing in the kitchen this morning. We were a little later than usual, but that’s ok by me.

I realized, with no shortage of “Excelsior!” that maybe in a past life I was Cajun or from New Orleans or something, because another song I also love, a kid’s song, is this:

It’s been a good week. Uh, Mol, it’s only Tuesday. I signed up last Friday to be a consultant with The Pampered Chef. I’m pretty psyched about it. I came up with my own tag line, “Purveyors of fine pans big enough to hit your husband with and nice enough to cook in.” No? Yeah, that ending-a-sentence / phrase-in-a-preposition thing gets me every time.

Regrettably, I’m not likely going to be able to refer to some of my favorite products with the names I’ve adopted for them at shows. There is no “Bitch-n-Stir” or “Crank-n-Maul” or “Twist-n-Smash” (that tidy moniker was taken by GE for their mammogram equipment) in their product catalog. Trust me, I checked. I haven’t earned money in a while, and we all know what happened the last time I tried to get a job. I am a natural extrovert and as much as I like love writing, it’s a pretty lonely gig. Stephen King didn’t write about Jack Torrence and his psychoses issues for nothing. So I’ve determined that getting out of the house, perhaps running for my life from a deranged unknown client on occasion, might be good for me. My ultimate goal with doing this, is to save enough cash to pay for my own certification so then I can teach yoga. I’ve been practicing yoga for 14 years, so why not generate a little income, eh? We’ll see. The way I figure, the less I think about this, the better. Because once I start thinking about things, I inevitably end up not doing them.

In preparation for the deluge of mail messages I’m likely to get as a Pampered Chef consultant I cleaned out my email inbox of about 1600 mail notes. Most were from subscriptions to the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NY Times and Playgirl Daily OM. I am now proudly seeing above this blog window:

Cheese and rice! 55 already?! fratzikcramin grdniktobin…

>DING!< one more! Trasticbackin rastofbrika…

It was pretty amazing, going through that inbox. I relived an entire year: I saw email messages from people I don’t speak to anymore, and I rediscovered a long-lost pastime which has literally hit. the. skids. since I opened my Grass Oil fan page (link at right if you care to join) on Facebook: I used to KNIT. Not well. But I did and I found it incredibly relaxing and fun.

Speaking of Facebook, I’m really sick of it. The endless swarms of political posts this past presidential campaign drained the shit crap shit out of me and I saw divisiveness I’d never suspected. Then yesterday I had occasion to learn of a new (to me) blogger and I read her post about why she’s dialing back in a major league way on Facebook and I happen to agree with her. The entire premise / under carriage of Facebook is misogyny (if you never saw The Social Network you really need to), as it was created one night during Mark Zuckerberg’s drunken rejection from a girl. To get even, he created a network called “Facesmash” wherein he and his lonely hearts bland would compare female students’ faces with that of livestock and then people could rate them. That. Sorta. Burns. (What bums me out more than misogyny is female:female misogyny.)

So I’m thinking about it. But as I said before, the more I think about things, the more I tend not to do them. And if I truly TRULY listen to my intuition, go with my gut and my spirit, I should be off Facebook by the end of the year. It’s also for me a COMPLETE time vacuum. I am NOT well disciplined when it comes to that stuff. I don’t play any of those games on it, I just read posts and blogs and news articles and stuff. So I’m not on Facebook that much, but I am on it more than I’d like. I removed the app from my phone about two weeks ago and I don’t miss it at all. Plus my phone is super fast now.

I’ve got about 20 minutes more before I have to stop and edit. I have a date with my dog, The Murph; we are going for a trot (he trots, I run jog).

Yesterday was the deadline for my Gratitude in 100 words blog opportunity. I have six submissions. I am grateful for them all. With my submission, it will be seven and seven as you know is a lucky number. I had no expectations: I’m a little blog, I have a modest following and only a few pieces I’ve ever written have been super shared. The most recent, with 82  83(!) shares on Facebook (ok, six were mine) was the post I wrote about my personal experience with PreMenstrual Dysphoric Disorder – PMDD – don’t know what dysphoria is? It’s the opposite of euphoria, which means giddy, uncontrollably happy. So dysphoria means… mmm, yeah. Quick synopsis: if you have a uterus or someone you love does, and she acts like a she-werewolf a few days before her “moon week” as I like to call it, please read. This is real, it’s a serious condition, some women injure themselves or others, it’s unbearable and help and community is available. I wrote about it in my typical fashion, complete with photographs of vampire harpies and straight jackets. You’d expect nothing less, oui?

Another post, which was not shared at all, but was favored by 14 other bloggers here on WordPress (the most ever for me!) was my most recent post about how what we blog or say online can affect our children. I suspect people don’t like being told what to do. I suspect people don’t like that little tug at their gut when they read what I wrote. I suspect that some people don’t know how to write about themselves but want to write, so unwittingly, they put their kids in the cross hairs, of possible cyber weirdness. My motivation for writing that piece was basically out of personal guilt that I’ve done some of the same and I’ve been asked by my kids to not do it so much. Another motivation pertains to parents oversharing about their children’s problems: I think some people are just unaware of their own deep, and craven need for attention, so they write about their kids’ dilemmas and issues, not in a clinical way, but in a “woe is me, I can’t take it anymore” way to garner sympathy. I’ve seen it all over the web. This unawareness can create some pret-ty fubar dynamics between parents and their children, the least of which is codependency.

I’m reading a book (yes!), The Four Agreements, and it’s fantastic. It’s a little woo-woo at times, but the gist is that we create our own hell and heaven on Earth. The agreements themselves are elemental and simple. Adhering to the agreements is quite another proposition, but I think it will be good for me.

With Thanksgiving upon us, we are planning a jaunt out of town for a night and I asked my kids to pack. I gave a list of what to pack and I enumerated how many bed buddies and socks, etc. It was pretty cut and dried. In less than three minutes one of the team came down and said, “All done!” This morning, I double checked, as experience has taught me that I must because I don’t care who you are, but you can’t wear a Lego car and a box of Kudos bars to dinner at a nice restaurant. What I found packed did not disappoint: one shoe, four pairs of socks, a remote control Dodge Viper, fish food and a pair of nice chinos.

Who’s ready for a road trip?!

If not – check this out:

I’ve provided enough links to my own content here to occupy your time and keep you out of minor family bickering over the weekend. Here’s one more if you didn’t see it: my hilarious and cogent post on Peevish Penman about how I’m not writing for NaNoWriMo this month.

Have a wonderful wonderful holiday. The next time you hear from me will be tomorrow night for Thanksgiving when I post the entries for the Gratitude in 100, which I’m about to write and put on a scheduled publish.

Thank you.

ps – man, I’d be late for yoga if I had it today…

Tuesday Morning Press #2: When Things Can Go Wrong…


Welcome to the second installment of Tuesday Morning Press wherein I endeavor to write for one hour during the time when I drop off my kids at school and prepare for yoga.

I thought I’d have nothing to write about today but that thought became completely invalid when I got back to the house to discover that my husband had locked me out. But my neighbor let me back in.

Our oldest son, Thing 1 who is 14, is feeling unwell for the second day in a row. His stomach is bothering him to the point where he has no interest in eating once the food is in front of him. Plenty of appetite, but after that first bite: no thanks and it starts to hurt, so we made an appointment for this morning at 9:30. I didn’t think my husband would be leaving an hour and a half before the appointment to get to it on time. I didn’t take my keys with me to walk the boys to school. I didn’t communicate that, but then again, you can’t miss my keys: they’re preppy with a bright pink ribbon:

These are my keys. As you can see, they are obvious. While they are not on their hook, they were when he left. Now, in this picture: they are on my desk. The desk, you will see in a moment. …I need help.

And they hang right next to the door.

But he did miss them and it’s my fault. This time. Not like on Sunday when He Drove Us to Sugarloaf Mountain and 2/3 up the slope I noticed the fuel light was on. It was glowing, like pulsating hot embers; a lava pit of foreboding: YOU’RE ALMOST OUT OF GAS AND YOU’RE ON A MOUNTAIN IN RURAL* MARYLAND! FOOLS! AT LAST! YOUR SOULS ARE MINE!

When that happened on Sunday I checked every gal’s automotive best friend: the DTE (distance to empty) button and it said, “1” as in “1 mile” as in “YOUR SOUL IS MINE in 1 Mile.”

I started to growl, preparing myself for an existence in the underworld, in Dante’s last rings of the Inferno, in the netherworld’s 9000˚ sulfur-scented waiting room… “We are almost empty and we’re on a mountain.”

His reply, “This isn’t my car.”


I almost died. No, he almost died. But there were witnesses: our children and I couldn’t have that. I’ve watched enough “Law & Order” to know that witnesses are a definite challenge to committing the perfect crime.

I won’t go into what happened next.

Ok, I will: I pouted and raged. You might wonder, dear reader: Can you do that at once? Yes, you can. I said not quietly, “While this might be my car, Dear One, you are the driver. You are the Captain. How is this my fault?” And he said, “This is What You Do. You get in These Moods when we do these trips…”

I decided right then and there that I was going to be Duchess Bitch until he apologized. Internal dialogue: “Hoooo Noooooo…. I did Not have anything to do with this. I was in a Good Mood – in such a good mood in fact that we took This Picture

When I was happy. I’m the one in the hat. That’s our cat, Gandalf. He’s gray and sorta of powerful but underperforming, like Gandalf did until he turned white in LOTR.

Immediately before leaving for the outing. And we even did This Chalk Outline of my body like they do on TV because I supposedly died, no I was slain, while carrying the granola bar wrappers from the car to the trash.

This was just before the wrappers blew away in the breeze. So sad, she was just on her way to throw out her trash and have a fight with her husband in the car about the amount of fuel left in the tank before a trip up a mountain. … She was 45 but looked 22. RIGHT??

Tell me, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, do people in Bad Moods do chalk outlines making fun of themselves? I think not.

Objection! Circumstantial! Defense is tainting the jury…




That’s how good a mood I was in. So Don’t go There, telling me This is What I Do – get in bad moods on outings. It was My Idea to go away for The Day.

All the grabitnitz frakin ditzabrigit Yosemite Sammin’ wasn’t going to solve my issue. I pouted so hard I demanded the keys (that I left hanging inside the house today) and walked back to the car and sat in it. I opened my Kindle and I even Turned It On.

Cue the Husband … in 5 … 4… 3… 2…

Unlock the doors. Growl though, for effect.

“Why are you so mad?” he asked.

“Because you blamed me for this in front of the children. This is NOT my responsibility. YOU are the Driver. We’ve already been through this. And you said I always get like this. I DON’T.” Nyaah. I’m very mature.

Simmer. Huffle puff.

“I am sorry. This is not your fault, you’re absolutely right. I didn’t mean what I said, I was projecting my anger at myself on to you; it’s like blaming you for the weather …” (Which trust me, readers, I used to feel COMPLETELY responsible for — see this post on Guilt and Letting Go)

I said, “Apologize to me in front of the boys. Tell them what you just told me and I will come back and have fun with you all and not plot your mysterious disappearance and death.”

“You bet.”

And so I got out of the car, still grumbly but feeling better. Feeling heard, which is a big deal.

Here is what I saw:

HA! Just kidding. I was still mad, but I was able to get out of my own way to appreciate this view. My phone’s aperture doesn’t do this horizon line justice; it’s absolutely beautiful. This is about 1,000′ above sea level; we still had another twenty minutes to hike up. That view was lovely too but I didn’t bring my camera.

And we joined the team; they were up about 100′ on a 45˚ incline and completely unattended. I let it go. They are boys. Boys are half goat. At least mine are.

When we got to the top of the mountain it was gorgeous. (*Rural: no gas station for 3.82 miles according to my GasBuddy app… and we were surrounded by drivers from oh, everywhere. We weren’t stuck in the middle of nowhere… it’s a state park fer crissakes…I know, I’m a brat.) And the more I recall this entire situation, the more I realize (gasp, as I type this) that I sorta stirred the cauldron the other morning. I mean, as I dial back and see the big picture, I see that I sorta blew it out of proportion: we weren’t lost; we had a phone; we weren’t in danger; we weren’t alone… Ugh. I owe him an a.pol.o.gy.

Ok. I’ll get on it.

But that was the only picture of the outing I took and I took that one when we got back to the car. I didn’t bring my phone / camera with me because I wanted to unplug – which brings me to my next point: I am just not feeling it… the writing thing just isn’t there right now. I am feeling a bit eDrained.

Do you think it’s my desk?

I mean, this should be no problem to work around, right? Einstein’s desk was basically a bunch of papers stacked all around him, right? RIGHT?! My desk is a mess and no, it’s not a symptom of my life other than my total denial that my desk is a mess because the rest of the house is actually pretty much OK. Let’s talk about the Real Housewives of New Jersey… they have real problems.

Let’s see…I’ve still got about twenty minutes…

Nope, I’m out. I definitely don’t want to talk about the desk.

I might make it to yoga on time… now, where’d I put my keys…?

Thank you.