Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I Know I Live in a Cookie-Cutter Kind of Neighborhood, but Really?

After the bus swallowed up the Boy and carted the neighborhood kids off to school, the Girl and I turned to go in the house to grab our stuff and climb in the car to head off to Pre-K.  That's when I noticed a rolled up piece of paper stuck in our door handle.

"Flyer," I thought to myself, and snatched it up as we entered the house. But lo, there was handwriting on it, which is kind of unusual.  It actually looked like the lawn care notes we used to get after a weed-killer spraying.  It was a double-pain in the ass to get that service canceled back in the Fall, so I thought, "Oh no...  I hope we didn't chuck some 'call us to cancel or we will spray your lawn with weed killer for the rest of your life!' junk mail."

That is not what happened, you'll be happy to know.

Nope. The service report I held in my hands was for a house around the corner from us.  Same street number, wildly differently named street.

"What the hell?" I said.

"You said 'What the hell'" the Girl said.

"I sure did," I answered.

Now, I've gotten this neighbor's mail before, but not pest control services.  I mean, what'd the guy do, just stop when he saw the street number and decide we must be the place?  Although, I was happy to see, the report indicated that we have no evidence of pest activity.  Which is good, I guess.  Validates the fact that we, you know, didn't actually order any pest control services.

I could only imagine the irritation of my neighbor, though, if she called this company and was all, "We're infested!  Where you at?" [Disclaimer: I have no idea if my neighbor speaks this way, but in my head she does.]  So, I did the neighborly thing and called the pest service company and informed them that I think they hosed down my house instead of the one that contracted their services.  To which they responded, "Oh boy."

Then, I left a message at my neighbor's house to let them know what happened. 

Watch.  I'll get a bill from the company for services rendered, and the neighbor will give me the cold shoulder because they are embarrassed that I know they have bugs.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Vampire Heaven

I gave blood today for the first time since my senior year of high school. This time was different, in that I wasn't trying to get out of a French quiz.

Anyway, my health questionnaire was just as hilariously vanilla as it was in 1993.  Have you lived in Europe for 5 years?  Nope.  Have you visited any of these [mostly developing] countries?  Nyet.  Have you shared needles?  Knitting needles?  Oh, those needles.  Again, no.

The only question that gave me pause was, "Have you been around people who have received a smallpox vaccine?"  No. Wait. Did my kids get the smallpox vaccine?  If they did, the last batch of vaccinations would've been Little Guy's in January... But if they got it, wouldn't we all have been vaccinated?  And they wouldn't ask me this if it's a vaccine that everyone gets. So... No. 

Behold the power of my deductive reasoning!

Upon concluding my questionnaire, determining that my iron count is good (13.5, yo!), and that my vitals were fine, they took me over to a gurney.  After I laid down, they poked around for a good vein (apparently I have a Y-shaped vein on my left inner elbow), and jabbed me.  Not to brag, but they told me I had good flow.  So, I've got that going for me.

It took all of eight minutes for me to fire hose the pint bag.  'Cause I'm awesome. It was at minute seven, though, that I started feeling faint.  I didn't actually faint.  That'd be weak sauce, and I am made of sterner stuff.  Stuff like Jell-O.

Instead, as everything faded to black, I announced calmly, "I'm starting to feel a little faint."  The attendants very helpfully plastered cold, sopping paper towels on my forehead and neck, handed me the most delicious five ounces of cranberry juice that I've ever drunk, and told me to tent my knees.  The fadeout reversed itself, and I thought, "Ooh, so that must have been what a vampire's victim feels. Huh."


I felt better after a minute or so, which, I am guessing, is largely due to the fact that they stopped taking my blood.  I moved over to the 'canteen,' a.k.a a table laden with snacky-type foods.  After I munched some pretzels, I felt far from woozy, an wobbled back to my office for a staff meeting.

We don't have blood drives at work every day. This one was put together in the name of the wife of one of my co-workers; she was recently diagnosed with a particularly vicious kind of cancer.  Much as I empathize with their situation, my contribution was in honor of my mother. While she was undergoing chemo, she had to have a few transfusions. Her body wasn't oxygenating blood properly, which made breathing a problem. The transfusions didn't save her or anything, but they made her more comfortable. How can I not offer that, or other lifesaving juice, to other people? 

It's something I'd been thinking about doing for awhile, and when the opportunity to do so opened up twenty feet away from my desk, well, it was time.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Remembering Grandmom

I didn't really have any firm Mother's Day plans today. I didn't want to visit my mother's "filing cabinet," as she called it, at the mausoleum.  I mean, when I think of her spirit, it's not at Woodlawn Cemetary. If anything, it's at the beach, or at my parents' house, or anywhere there is a pile of steamed crabs and beer.

As for my mother-in-law, the chocoloate-covered strawberries had alread been sent and received, and a lovely chat was had. 

So, for today, we really had no obligations beyond being lazy.  But, I don't really know how to be lazy, so I thought we could use the open schedule to return the car that we'd borrowed from my father for my parents-in-law to use during their recently concluded visit.

On the way home from said journey, my daughter piped up from the back seat, "Mom? I'm sorry that your mother died."

"Me too, sweetie. Thank you for saying so."

"On the night that Grandmom died," my older son chimed in, "I remember it because that was the night that I learned about 'Angry Birds.'"

I laughed so hard at that.  The idea that he was enthralled with this newfangled iPad game his cousins introduced to him while I was grieving over my mother's dying...  Well, it's just really funny.  And reassuring that whle I was a numb-bot for a couple of months, they mostly just noticed things like 'Angry Birds.'

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I Should Write a Parenting Guide

The Boy and the Girl were upstairs getting dressed, brushing their teeth, trying to stuff each other's heads in the toilet (you know, normal stuff) while a finished my morning coffee.  All of the sudden, the Girl yells, "MOM! The Boy said I was FAT!"

Egads.  We will have none of that in this house because (a) the Girl is not in any way fat, (b) at five years old, she shouldn't waste any brain space on fat, or thin, or any of that nonsense, and (c) I suspect that they'll get enough teasing in school, and I don't want them to have to hear it at home as well.

Also:  if he considers her fat, then he must think I look like Jabba the Hutt or something.

"Boy!" I bellowed. "Get down here, NOW!"

He peeped his head around the corner of the stair railing, fidgeting with his tube socks.

"Come here, please."

He sidled up next to me until our faces were pretty close.  I asked very quietly (as I did not want the Girl to overhear a Very Serious Discussion about her body weight), "Did you call your sister fat?"

"Well, she asked me if..."

"Honey," I interrupted, "let me tell you something.  If a girl ever, ever, ever, ever, ever asks you if she looks fat, the only right way to answer that is, 'No, you look beautiful.'"

"But what if..."


"She asked if her shirt..."


He looked at me for a second, then shrugged and ran off to slip into his socks and shoes.

Did I give him permission to lie? Nah, not really. 'Cause here's the thing:  a woman wants an honest answer to that question about one out of a thousand times.  The other nine hundred ninety-nine times, she wants affirmation that she's pretty. So, what I really did was prevent a few clashes in the future when a girlfriend asks him how her butt looks in her new jeans.

You're welcome, future girlfriend.

Monday, May 07, 2012

My Parents-in-Law Just Left

And the DVR is chock full of television programs that were unwatchable while my mother-in-law shared our square footage. Ask any of her children -- if there's even a single inappropriate minute in the show, that will be the moment she enters the room.

My husband is still working through some post-traumatic stress over these occasions from his childhood.  

Anway, we are beginning to work our way through our recordings. This is the conversation selecting this evening's entertainment:

Super Ninja: So, what'll it be? Parks & Rec? Sherlock Holmes?

Me: Nah, not Sherlock Holmes. Let's go with Parks & Rec.

Super Ninja: Okay. But, just so you know, it's not the nerdy Sherlock Holmes.

Me: Honey, it's Sherlock Holmes. It's always nerdy.