Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Move Over Dante! This is my Tenth Circle.

I would say I am basically a good person, although I am pretty noisy with the spiteful hate I spit at slow, stupid drivers.

So...not to get into a theological debate about this, but I hope St. Peter will be stepping aside for me to stumble through those pearly gates when I kick the can. If not, well...there is the other place.

The other place of which I am certain I experienced a little bit of this afternoon. I attended my son's junior high band concert. I did so in a foul mood because my pants were tight and I believe my stomach is now the same size as it was when I was five months pregnant. I very meanly took this foulness out on my poor, unsuspecting and startled husband.

My observation du jour was this: my own version of hell will be me, chained to a bench that provides no back support and I will be forced to listen to "The Final Countdown," "20 Christmas Carols in 2 minutes," and "Aria and Arietta" played by uninspired, jaded 8th graders.

Satan will add a little more salt to my bleeding ears by having the band teacher, who is conducting this malfeasance, stop between every song and give the background on the song, why he chose the song for this particular group of children, and other little nuggets of information he deems useful for our benefit in attaining the full appreciation for each of these pieces.

I will smile as my child comes towards me and, although I could not locate him in the greasy mass of preteen angst, tell him (with a smile plastered on my pained face) that he did a wonderful job and will ask him polite and appropriate questions.

My feet will be asleep and my back will ache to the point I am **this** close to feeling a tad bit crippled.

Then, the whole scene will reverse and I will be sitting on the bench again and the concert will start to replay.

Over and over and over and over. Throughout all eternity.

I have learned my lesson. My next child will play a string, not a brass, instrument. The sound will be pleasing to my ears and he will play only Handel and Vivaldi.

Publish Post

Monday, December 15, 2008

Pickles, the Color Pink, and Iran

On the way to church the other week, my seven-year-old informed me that one of their assignments that week was to write a list of things that they were afraid of.

"What did you write on your list, honey?" (I'm trying to add "honey" and "sweetie" to questions and orders lately because Chris tells me I sound too irascible when I speak to the children.)

He gazes out the window, deep in thought.

"I wrote pickles," he said.

"Oh, okay," I said. "What else?"

"The color pink," he continued.

"And Iran," he said matter-of-factly.

"Iran?" I asked, truly flabbergasted and honestly, pretty darn amused. "What did your teacher say when you told her you were afraid of Iran?"

"She didn't say anything," he said. That was surprising to me because I would surely have a lot of questions for a 7 year old who said he was afraid of Iran.

"She asked why I was afraid of pickles."

What a hell of a missed opportunity on her part. I guess that discussions about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Middle Eastern country's strained relationship with the United States might be a little over the heads of second graders.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Martha Stewart Show Exacerbates My Sense of Inadequacy

Every morning, I wake up, make a pot of decaf coffee, turn on Good Morning America and check my e-mail.

I watch GMA and the local news updates. I muse at how cheery Diane, Robin, Sam and Chris are and wonder if they go home and kick their dogs and verbally abuse their spouses. If I had to put in that much effort to be happy in the morning, I think I might be guilty of those offenses at a MINIMUM.

After the two hours is up, I participate in the phenomenon that network television stations have probably spent countless hours and money researching: I am too lazy to turn the channel so I get sucked into the next television show ~ The Martha Stewart Show.

Instead of turning the channel, I watch her mad skills of the likes I could never aspire to. Today she made a Menorah out of some driftwood. She makes cookies that would probably make me weep out of frustration if I tried to make them myself. She decorates cupcakes which reminds me that it has been 1 hour since I had breakfast and I am suddenly starving and would love a cupcake. I might add a boxed cake mix and canned frosting to my grocery list.

While talking to Emeril as they were brining the turkey for Thanksgiving, she mentioned that she used to be a chemist...and from what I know of her, she used to be a stock broker, too. Here is a woman who can presumably butcher her own turkeys; yet can speak intelligently about the molecular modulation as it pertains to the brining of a turkey and can also tell us, probably with a bit of authority and a lot of arrogance, more than a little about economics and the stock market.

Yes, I suck.

I still make my family Hamburger Helper. Once, as a side dish, I made ramen noodles with cheese (which was actually quite tasty). Wesley had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner the other night. My coffee pot overflowed this morning and there are coffee grounds on the counter. My decorations are minimalist and unoriginal. My cookies are undecorated lumps. I'm not Jewish, but even if I was, I would go out and buy a Menorah rather than forage for the perfect stick to put the little candles on and spray paint silver. I don't know anything about economics, or turkeys, and honestly? From what I remember, I just about killed myself to get out of taking a chemistry class. I chose journalism because it required the least amount of math.

Maybe I am just going through a phase and a creativity bug will hit me. Maybe I will become more well rounded and informed as I become older and wiser. The only part of Martha Stewart I can identify with at this point in my life is that she is supposedly a raging bitch. If you ask my family they would probably tell you the same thing about me on any given weekday morning.

At least it is something...