08 November 2013

We Are THIS CLOSE to Becoming Known as "That Crazy Family" in Town

This is a warning to all you FaceTime users.  Take note:  it is not a pretty story.

Proceed with caution.
 
It all began yesterday on a drive home from my son, Alex's, doctor's appointment.  Normally I can't get any kind of information out of him, but I had him trapped in my car (another miracle since he got his driver's license).  And so we had a great chat, discussing world news topics, what's going on at school, things he has seen recently that he thinks are hilarious.  And then he came out with this, which I think is damned hilarious:

"Hey--last weekend Fred* wanted me to answer my phone, so he FaceTimed me.  But Dad answered and he was only wearing a towel.  And Dad was making one of those faces like he was some old guy who had no clue what he was doing.  Fred was so freaked out he hung up.  What's up with that?"

I practically had to pull off the road because  my eyes were filled with tears from laughing so hard.  We needed to get to the bottom of this.  Pronto.

When Jay got home, our son was out, but I couldn't wait until he was back to spring this gem on Jay.  The conversation went like this: 

Me:  "Did you know that you answered a FaceTime last weekend from Fred and you were only wearing a towel?!!!"
Jay:  "HARHARHARHAR *SNORT* GUFFAW!  OMIGOD!!  I thought that was a text from Jason!  My phone rang and I was just getting out of the shower when I answered it--I couldn't figure out what was going on!"  [Apparently he did not wear his readers into the shower]

Mind you, no embarrassment whatsoever. 

He explained that he totally screwed up his phone the last time he downloaded an iOS update, and now occasionally gets things obviously not meant for him sent his way. 

Poor Fred.  That kid will never, ever FaceTime Alex again.  And I warn the rest of you:  shield your eyes partially if you ever try to do the same.  You just never know...

*The subject's name has been changed to protect him from...well, you know.

29 October 2013

Who Needs Enemies When You Have a Morning Like This?!

It has been so many, many moons since I have last written. But this morning was a humdinger and after only two events I realized I needed to share, if only to give a laugh to someone or help another realize that life is good...especially if you're not Joanne.

The day started not that badly.  The dogs let me sleep until my alarm went off, which isn't an all-the-time kind of thing.  The kids got off to school without a hitch and Jay left for work without driving me nuts about why the upstairs office is such a mess, why there is only a 1/2 cup of coffee left in the pot, or how much he loves skiing and he wants to do it RIGHT NOW.  THIS VERY INSTANT.  

It was all good.

[Children take heed: The following is what happens when you: 1) Stop going to the dentist regularly once you are out from under your parents' protective wings and into the big, wide world of adulthood; 2) Ignore the dentist (once you do go) when they tell you that you have a cavity that needs to be taken care of.]
 
So after an uneventful early morning, my trip to the dentist happened.  I had a toothache.  In my experience, the less a dentist looks at your teeth, the worse the prognosis.  And so it was.  I heard the ominous words (cue the dramatic music), "This tooth cannot be saved."  I knew the end of my business with regular dentistry, at least for now, was nigh.  Onto the oral surgeon!  Implants and bridgework galore!  GroanI left the office feeling humbled, not because they were mean to me--actually the entire staff at my dentist's office is lovely--but that I was such an idiot to ignore one of the most basic things in life:  Teeth!
(By the way, I know my very best friend of all time, Laleh, who is all about going to the dentist regularly, may actually be comatose right now, simply from the sheer trauma of reading this (that is, if she has read this!). 

After such fun (such FUN), I felt the need for some retail therapy, if you count grocery shopping as such.  I did my trip through the store, completely distracted by the fearful daydream of dentures, paid and left.  As I was walking toward my car, I unlocked the doors, not really paying much attention to what I was doing.  Once at my car, I opened the back door, and there you go, Bob's your uncle:  the alarm went off.  Loudly.

My thought process kicked in...finally:

"WHY IS MY ALARM GOING OFF?"
"WHY ARE ALL OF THESE PEOPLE STARING AT ME LIKE THAT?"
"WHY CAN'T I SHUT IT OFF WITH MY REMOTE?"
"I DIDN'T KNOW MY ALARM SOUNDED LIKE THAT"
"I'LL OPEN THE FRONT DOOR AND START THE CAR TO STOP THIS DAMNED NOISE!"
"HOW DID I GET THAT DENT IN MY FRONT DOOR?!!!!"
"oh.  wait.  this is not my car."
"STOP LOOKING AT ME, ALL OF YOU JERKS.  I'M NOT STEALING THIS CAR.  HAVEN'T YOU EVER BEEN DISTRACTED BY THE FEAR OF LOSING ALL OF YOUR TEETH?"

And then I got my butt out of there before the cops showed up.  This is not the first time I have done something like this, I remind you.  This was me, too:  http://theimperfectionist23.blogspot.com/2012/04/warning-lock-your-car-doors-here-i-come.html

I am now home, waiting for something else just as fun to happen this afternoon.  But in the meantime, even with my morning turning out the way it did, how can I not be happy when today looks like this? 


And so, my long-winded message is this:  find some good in today, even if everything is seemingly awful.  It can help you laugh at the crappy stuff, and who isn't up for that?!


25 April 2013

Yes, I Have Mirrors in My House. What of It?

An old errant habit resurfaced this morning, viz. not checking my look before I leave the house.  After I had dropped the kids off at school, I decided to stop by the grocery store to pick up some noshes to keep book club satisfied tomorrow night, and then on to that Shangri-la we all know as Walmart to get Janie a white t-shirt, which she informed me (last night) she had to have by today. 

Mind you, I am not the type to get all duded-up to drop the kids off at school, so I was less than public-ready when I started my rounds.  This fact only occurred to me as I was walking into Walmart and caught my reflection in the sliding glass door.  My sweater was rumpled and the jeans I was wearing were so baggy that the crotch was hanging out just above my knees, giving my legs a nice, stout, Oompa-loompa look.  The look was finished of by a pair of beat-up Ugg slippers (not even actual shoes/boots), lending a quality of super-sized, gout-ridden feet.  So pretty.

I bee-lined through the store, grabbed what I needed, paid, and booked it the hell out of there.  Back in my car I winced as I caught a glimpse of myself in the rear-view mirror.  No make-up, hair finger-raked at best.  I was (OK, I'll admit it: I still am) rocking an awesome haggard and haggish (i.e. looking like a witch, not to be confused with the Scottish offal delicacy) vibe. 

And to think that as a child I was embarrassed when my mother would wear her around-the-house CVO's in public.  I've got it all over her.

I'll never learn.  It will happen again.  And I bet this makes lots of people feel better about their own look they're rocking today.

24 April 2013

Teeth Brushing Musings

As I was brushing my teeth this morning, I was thinking about lots of things that, for me, have brightened the last couple of weeks.  Even in the darkest moments, it's nice to be able to smile, even if it is for a brief moment.  It helps you realize that there's always a bit of good out there.

Here are a few things that I'm grateful for (to my family and friends--forgive me--you guys are a given):
  • Anything written by P. G. Wodehouse. In addition to every story being light and frivolous, reading his work makes you want to say things like, "Right-ho!" and "Jolly good!"
  • Pansies, forsythia, and anything blooming after such a bleak and snowy winter.

  • How our small community has embraced helping out one of its own, Taylor Sack.  Taylor is a high school student here in our small Massachusetts town and suffered an injury to his spinal cord in a skiing accident back in February.  People here have done everything from organizing fundraisers to helping Taylor's family remodel their house so it will be a better living space for him once he arrives home.  One of Taylor's fellow classmates made a video for him to see how the work is coming along:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1knd-q0Gjw  The outpouring of love is just amazing.  Makes you believe in humanity. [cue me sobbing uncontrollably]  Here's a little more of Taylor's story:  http://www.taylorsack.org/ . 
  • The announcement of a new venture for a great musician, Tim Shiel.  He has begun recording with another talented artist, Ben Abraham, and together they are named Telling.  Here is their first creation made available for our ears:  https://soundcloud.com/#tellingmusic/stella  Love it.  I can't tire of it, and I'm looking forward to hearing lots more. 
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly as the flavor trend of the moment.  Salted caramel is so yesterday.  And what a great excuse to indulge in my all-time favorite combo, while staying in vogue.
Maybe one of these things will bring smiles to others, too.   Maybe not.  I just hope everyone can find something, anything to bring on a little joy.  Good luck to all finding your own bit of sunshine.

16 April 2013

How Sloshed Paint Became My Madeleines (à la Proust)

After getting a dose of today's morning news, I, like so many other people in the Boston area as well as nationwide needed an escape.  I did not want to minimize the horrifying course of events that happened at yesterday's Boston Marathon, but was in dire need of a mental escape if only for a few hours. 

What to do?  Exercise?  Yard work?  Bake?  Binge stress eat?  While the thought of a chimichanga washed down with a pint of Ben & Jerry's at 9:00 AM sounded quite appealing, I turned to the mindless and yet cathartic task of repainting all of the white trim in the main downstairs section of our house. 

Supplies gathered, I began to prep the paint.  As I was stirring it, some sloshed over the side of the can.  Automatically, I grabbed my paintbrush and brushed the excess paint up the side and over the rim back into the can.  And voil√†, a Proustian moment emerged.  I was transported back in time to my early teens, on a bleak Saturday in late winter/early spring.  I was helping my dad paint a room.  I was often dragged into such projects when he was forced to take on menial chores during the winter months that did not permit him to be out in his gardens, puttering endlessly.  My present-day self clearly remembered him showing me how to hold the brush and drag any excess paint back up into the can, just as I had done not a few seconds ago. 

Back in my kitchen as I worked on the trim, my brush strokes brought back different memories of other techniques he had taught me, though now I take them for granted as if they were an innate part of me.  Things like giving the brush a wiggle when the bristles aren't moving where you want them to.  Or how to remove a lone bristle from a wet painted surface with the tip of your brush.  Or how to fan your fingers across the ferrule to get better control.  How to paint with confidence.

And he was suddenly here with me, giving me comfort on a day when we all could use some.

Cleaning up, I mused at how, when teaching me his painting tricks, he probably never thought they'd resurface in my adult mind some thirty-odd years later.  I'm sure to him, they were just ways to make the job easier.  But for me they resulted in a fond and nostalgic memory. 

He's been gone from this life now for twenty-two years, and yet because of a rainy afternoon of painting so long ago, he was here today.  The small, insignificant things we do can touch lives just as much as the eventful, grandiose ones.  Let's hope we all give a warm memory to someone when we don't even realize we're doing it.  You never know.  You may have already done it many times.

And finally, on a lighter note:

Guess who helped paint today?

Speechless

My heart cries for all of those who were affected by yesterday's atrocities. 


You will always be a beautiful city, Boston. No single act will change that. 

10 April 2013

Confessions of a Hair Spaz

I am a hair abuser.  I have subjected myself to more home color treatments and hair "trims" than I'd care to admit.  You'd think I'd learn.  But I committed another no-no just this week.

Turn the clocks back in time:

It all started when I was eight with a full-on epidemic of hair loathing.  My towheaded curls had darkened into a mass of thick, unruly, mouse-brown frizz in the course of a winter.  No amount of sun during the next summer could ever lighten that sad color.  I was fated to have hair of mediocrity for what seemed like the rest of my existence.

Cut to the summer I turned seventeen.  My sister, Sharon, convinced me that it would look awesome if I frosted my hair (this was the early 80's, mind you).  If I remember correctly, she had never tried this on anybody else, not even herself.  I was her maiden voyage into the world of DIY hair alteration.  She was a nurse, after all, so who better to trust?  The result was not quite what either of us expected, as she went kind of heavy on the strands at my temples and I looked like a frosted version of the Bride of Frankenstein:  The Teen Years.  I think the span of time after that debacle has been psychologically buried in a post-traumatic amnesia kind of way, since I can't remember how we dealt with the results.  I think I may have just resorted to looking stripey for a long time. 

Oddly, even with the results of my first hair-altering experience, I kept experimenting.  And through my late teens to early twenties, lots of different colors sprouted from my scalp, none ever close to my natural color.  And all done in the confines of my own bathroom-salon. 

I went through a good, long span of time after that when I would only have my hair colored/highlighted professionally.  That was good.  My follicles needed time to regroup after being abused by ammonia every six weeks.  But then with pregnancy and babies came very little time spent doing anything for myself, and also the definite banning of all hair coloring.  My mouse-brown came back with vengeance.  Oh, the glory of blah-ness.  Eventually I welcomed L'Oreal back into my routine because there was no time to get to the hair salon.  The worst was when our son was only a year old and I decided to give my look a boost.  I was going to go platinum.  As I was rinsing my hair in the shower after keeping the bleach on for what seemed like five hours, images of gorgeous blond locks played in my head.  Jay walked in, caught a glimpse of me and started laughing uncontrollably. 

"WHAT?!!" I bellowed. 
  
"You look like a clown!" he spat out, in between choked-back tears of laughter.

It was true, my hair had turned bright orange.  That was a baseball cap day until I could get to the drugstore for some emergency supplies.  Ironically, that wouldn't be until later, because we were meeting my hair-frosting sister and her husband for brunch in only a couple of hours.

I could go on with tales of mortifying hair blunders, but I will stop for surely the reader has gotten the idea that I would have learned by now that such enterprises should be left to the professionals.  Deep down, I know this.  But there are moments when the anti-social me really needs a root touch-up and has no desire to spend two hours making chit-chat with a person with whom I am only fairly acquainted.  That was me earlier this week.  And so this was guiltily purchased:

When will I learn?

"It's only for a quick touch-up," I reasoned to myself.

As I was applying the stuff to my scalp, I caught myself wondering when the day was going to be when I go to rinse this goop out and all of my hair falls off with it.  Coincidentally, as I was rinsing my hair, a rather large hunk of blond was left in my hand after running it through.  Uh oh.  I am now waiting to see if more keeps coming out.  Hopefully not.  But if you happen to see me looking rather stylish in the latest millinery, you'll know why.  And maybe I will have learned my lesson.  Finally.