Monday, October 24, 2011

I would like to take this opportunity to publically apologize to my parents

When Marne and I were growing up we wanted a dog.  We swore we would take care of it, clean up after it, etc.  So after enough convincing on our part *ahem* we got a puppy named Mazie.  All the promises we made lasted about, oh, a week.  Mazie soon became our Dad's dog.  He fed her, took her to the groomer, cleaned up the yard after her.  Pretty much we shirked all responsibility of caring for the dog.  We just loved her.

I bring this up because the boys in my house wanted to get another pet.  Tommy's friend, Jack, recently got a guinea pig.  I should rephrase that to say that Jack's mom, Susan, got a guinea pig.  She takes care of it, cuts up it's food, etc.  Jack does help out cleaning the cage and such, but pretty much Astro belongs to Susan.  Adrian thought Tommy should have a guinea pig.  Because I have seen what happened at Jack's house, I put my foot down.  I take care of the dog, and I fully admit she is MY dog, but I'm not taking on another pet.

Tommy and Adrian came home with a fish aquarium.  When I got home it was in pieces on his bedroom floor.  Here's how the conversation went:

Me:  I told you I am not in charge of this project.  Why is the tank in pieces?
Adrian:  Because!  It's a mess, I can't figure it out!!
Me:  It amazes me that you are a writer by trade, yet you cannot follow directions.
Adrian:  It's too confusing, they make it too hard!

Ugh.  So the next morning Tommy asked me if I would put it together (and who can resist that little cutie?) so I told him I would work on it later.  I asked why Daddy didn't put it together...his response, and I quote:

"Daddy was reading the directions and then he yelled My Eyes! and threw it all down on the floor".

Basically they bought a tank and some rocks.  In the process of putting it together I realize you need something special for the water, which they didn't buy.  Also, they didn't buy anything fun like plants or rocks for the bottom of the tank.  So Friday after school Tommy and I head back to the pet store to get such items.  We get it home, put everything in place, and we are ready for fish in 24 hours.

Saturday, back to the pet store for fish.  Fish are picked out (Irving, Max and Jimmy), yay....but wait, we need other goo for the water.  OK, got that.  Oh wait, we need food for the that, and it REEKS!    Oh wait, do we know how to clean the tank?  Of course we don't, so we get the hose water sucker outer thingy.  Ca-ching, more money spent.  Here is the finished product.

Jimmy is the striped one, the black one is Irving, and Max is usually hiding somewhere, he's shy.

I very pointedly show Adrian the tank cleaner and tell him I'll figure it out, but HE is responsible for the weekly cleaning of the tank.  I can see it now, Ginger Boy is going to get a glazed look on his face, say he can't do it, and you know who will be responsible for cleaning that tank.

Pretty much this is another payback from my childhood.  Sorry Dad, but I'm getting mine now with the fish pooper scooper.  Just like I bred my own little bathroom inspector.  What karma lies in wait for me next?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I now truly understand the meaning of the phrase "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas"

For the past couple of years I have been making an annual trip in the Spring to Vegas with Joan and Kristel.  The first year Lori went as well and the 4 of us had a fabulous time.  Something seems to always happen that just makes the trip.

That first year we were drinking at the bar in the Flamingo casino and met some very young college boys.  Somehow by the end of the night I ended up with a booty text from one of those young men.  THAT is the moment that pretty much defined that trip.

Earlier this year we went and sadly Lori couldn't join us, so it was the three of us.  We found part of a latex glove in the bottom of our pile of nachos...hence our term "latex nachos".   Since there were three of us we had a roll away bed that we nicknamed the snapping taco.  Both things were mentioned several times over this past weekend when we converged upon Sin City once again.

When Kristel and Jim decided to elope to Vegas I was thrilled to be one of the very very few people who knew about it.

Here is how our trips start out.  I arrive hours before Joan so I can play black jack.  Generally I am a leetle bit tipsy and have several of strings of mardi gras beads around my neck.  I did not disappoint.  Joan and I checked in and had lunch and wandered around a bit.

We met up with Kristel and Joan at Margaritaville which is a traditional stop for us.  Jim, whom we met for the first time on Saturday, didn't miss a beat.  He ordered up some non-latex nachos and off we went from there! 

Joan and I decided that since Jim didn't have any guys along for the wedding the three ladies took him to a strip club for a bachelor party.  Because my husband thinks I'm going to get fired because of some of the things I write in my blog, I'll just leave it at that. 

On Saturday, the newbie cab driver that got lost driving me from the airport to the hotel, picked us up at the outlets.  What are the chances of THAT?  Nine zillion cabbies in Vegas and I get the newbie with the map and GPS twice in two days!!!!

On Monday while waiting for Jim & Kristel to come downstairs for the limo, my celebrity crush, Anderson Cooper walked by.  From that point on we were on a mission.  After a beautiful wedding we pretty much tracked AC down at his broadcast booth where Kristel and Jim got warm wishes, a kiss and a handshake, from AC himself.  *swoon*

We had a fabulous dinner at Craftsteak, where apparently people willingly pay over $100 for steak.  Really?  A slab of meat?  I could buy half of a Coach for that!!!  It was delish and Kristel had always wanted to eat there, so it was perfect.

So this year's recurring topics:  strippers and Anderson Cooper.  I'm not sure we can top that next year!!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Bullying sucks

As much as this topic is in the news these days, I can't believe how much it goes on.  For the last month or so Tommy has come home from one of the houses on the street saying he's been bullied.  This is such a hot topic these days and I know it's discussed in school.  However sometimes when he says he's been bullied, I feel like he's exaggerating and maybe it should be "bullied" in air quotes.

Today was different, he came home crying, elbow bleeding a bit and said he got a dodgeball thrown into his back, a football thrown into his face, and pushed onto the concrete.  Then he realized he had left his phone down at this kid's house and got hysterical at the thought of going back to get it.  I wasn't sure what to do and I was pissed.  I wanted to go down there and knock their heads together (I am a GREAT role model for anti-bullying) but I didn't.  I marched down there instead of flying on my broom, and I confronted them. 

The bully was actually a stranger kid, one I had never seen before.  But he looked like a typical bully.  Crew cut hair, freckles, square shaped (twice as big as Tommy, apparently a 4th grader), almost a charicature.  He looked like his name should be Butch or Buster.

He said they were playing dodgeball.  OK, 3 kids on 1 isn't dodgeball, and what a stupid game, it practically promotes bullying.  I asked what game they were playing that constituted throwing a football in Tommy's face.  No answer.  I asked what game they were playing that constituted knocking him to the cement and he said he didn't do it.  I KNOW when kids are lying, he kept denying it.  So I played a trick on him and said "what if I told you I saw you do it?"

Dead.  Silence.  I'll say right now that I did NOT see him do it and I'm not condoning lying to a child, but once he thought I did boy did he back off, apologizing all over himself.  Anyway, long story short, he lives in the neighborhood and I told him I would involve his parents if it ever happened again.  I also told Tommy to stay the EFF away from that house.  It's bad news.  The kids do whatever they want, the whole time I was yelling in their garage the dad never came out.  I speak in a shout, imagine how loud I am when I yell.

So how does this keep happening to kids?  Adults have to go to diversity training in some occupations so that they don't get in trouble for offending someone of the opposite sex, or someone of a different minority, etc.  The schools should be more involved but where are they going to get the money?  Already our school is down to a part-time librarian, they get P.E. one week out of the month (it's no wonder obesity is a problem), same with music, art and computers. 

I wish I had the answers, it's just amazing to me that it's discussed everywhere you look, but it still happens down the street on a regular basis.  Sometimes being a parent stinks.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Things that keep me up at night, Volume 1

Our son's given name is Thomas Alan Michael Dater.  Yes, he has 2 middle names.  My husband doesn't have a middle name so I thought if Tommy had two, it would bring the universe back into balance.

Lately I've been wondering if I have scarred him for life by calling him "Tommy".  Tommy was very appropriate for a new born.  Even though he was all wrinkley like an old man, calling an infant "Thomas" or "Tom" didn't feel right.  Quite honestly I don't think I was the first one to call him Tommy once he was born.  I was pretty disheveled after the whole experience and I don't think I called him anything but "Pumpkin" for a couple of days.  Once we got home he was being fussy and I remember my mom saying something like "Oh Tommy, what's the matter" and from then on that's what we called him. I guess I needed to hear someone else call him that first or something, I don't know.

So getting to my point.  He's 7 and Tommy is still appropriate.  I know my dad had all of these little old lady aunts who called him Tommy until they died.  So even as a fully grown man, he was still called Tommy.   My Grandma doesn't call him Tommy though, I wonder if she ever did?

What if Tommy doesn't want to be called Tommy when he gets older?  He has all of these friends at school and none of them have names like Mikey or Jackie or Benny.  They are all Michael and Jack and Ben.  Even his friends in the neighborhood have names like Zachary (NOT Zach), Pablo and Raphael.  When I was a kid we had kids named Billy and Scotty and Jimmy. 

Growing up my friend Julie had two brothers, Tom and Bobby.  Tom was never referred to as Tommy in my recollection, but Bobby was always Bobby.  Maybe because he was the youngest, or the baby of the family, I'm not sure.  I wonder what he's called today?  I know she reads my blog so maybe she'll let me know.

What if Tommy comes comes home one day and says "don't call me Tommy anymore, call me Tom"?  I'll tell you now that my heart will break.  But I can also understand if he doesn't want to go through high school, college and beyond as Tommy.  I just don't see him as a Tom or Thomas.  My only hope is that it doesn't happen any time soon!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Today's blog is brought to you by Lake Avenue Inn

Thursday night is my night out with the girls.  "The Girls" are a group of women from the salon I frequent, and there just so happens to be a bar next door.  Now, this isn't the type of bar you would think a bunch of salon workers would frequent, but it's convenient, so that's where we go.  Here are some pictures of some of the other people who go to Lake Avenue Inn:

Yes, these gents really ARE wearing overalls

I really have no words for this guy

One night, some guys rode their horses over, tied them to the big tree across the street, and strolled in for some drinks.  The cook, Butch (yep, didn't make that up either), makes a mean spaghetti and meatballs, or pretty much anything Italian, so there is another draw to the place.  So now you have an idea of my Thursday night hang-out.

Every Thursday the ladies gather, and we stroll in with our high heels, designer purses, big hair, and proceed to hash out the previous week or whatever else is on our minds.  Topics have included:

Boy Scouts--There are some ladies who drop their daughters off at Girl Scouts and swing by the bar to have some drinks while their girls learn how to walk old ladies across the street.  One night after being a leetle bit over-served, I proceeded to announce to the entire place that I won't let Tommy be in the Boy Scouts because they disparage "The Gays".  I went on and on about how some old white den leader (no offense to my scout friends Eric, Russ, etc.) is more likely to do damage to your son than a gay man.  Blah blah blah.  These chicks are looking at me like, WTF, as I went on and on about "The Gays".  Come to find out, these chicks are a couple.  The one with the mullet should have tipped me off, but my gaydar sucks.

Spouses--We get a lot of mileage out of this topic.  My spouse doesn't love that I go to Happy Hour.  He thinks there is something nefarious going on, like that's where I meet up with my secret boyfriend or something.  Obviously he's never been to this place, because the NRA guys aren't my style.  One night, the stalker Ex of one of the ladies showed up and I had already gone home.  DAMN the People Hater would have loved to have gotten involved in THAT. 

Kids--The group's kids range from Tommy, who is 7, to adults with kids of their own.  This is where I pick up some of my best parenting advice.  The one thing I have learned is that as soon as Tommy's out of college he is off our payroll other wise he may drain us into bankruptcy. 

Gossip--Hanging out with a bunch of salon gals always provides tons of fodder.  I don't know why but so many of those people (not ALL!!!) are just drama.  There used to be this guy who was always at the bar, named Paul.  He was known to buy the ladies a round if he was there.  Well, he got involved with one of the salon chicks, and she literally bled the man dry, and then moved out of town with her hair extensions, puffed up lips and new wardrobe.  So ladies, if you are reading this, you better not miss a Thursday or we'll talk about you!! 

That hour and a half I spend on Thursday nights with the girls is something I really look forward to each week.  We laugh, we cry, and we support each other.  I kind of feel like we are that group of women from Steel Magnolia's and I'm Weezy!