Have I ever told you that I think my husband is one of the funniest people I know? Well, he is. He is very dry and quick witted and sarcastic – my three favorite qualities in a humorist.
My Honey and I were at the grocery store the other day, and as we entered the produce department he commented that he was getting potatoes because he felt creepy every time he walked into the kitchen.
“Huh?” I asked. I couldn’t figure out the corrolation between feeling creepy and potatoes in the kitchen.
“The potatoes, they’re creepy,” he repeated, giving a dramatic shudder. “They keep looking at me. Their eyes follow me around the kitchen.”
That gave me a vision directly from the fruit and vegetable bins in my kitchen. I could see what he was talking about. There were about nine old potatoes in the bin and each was sprouting “eyes.” Long, green stalks protruded from each of the spuds, and they may even be waving gently in the draft from the cooler vent giving them a creepy, crawly sense of being alive.
“I keep thinking that they will join forces with the brown bananas and start a coup,” he told me in his best Walter Cronkite ”and that’s the way it is” voice.
That did it. Now I was cackling away in the Fry’s produce department.
Don’t you think it’s strange how many of my weird, ridiculous stories take place in the produce department of the grocery store.
My last post was about J.R.R. Tolkien. Well and about learning multiple languages, having initiative, Peter Jackson and Aragorn. The only thing you ladies remember is Aragorn, right? Once the picture went up it, you fell right into a Charlie Brown episode, didn’t you? You know what I mean. This is what you read after that….
“blah blah blah Aragorn mwa mwa mwa mwaaaaa.”
Want me to do it again?
You know why I’m fun to have around? I’ve told you this before…it’s because I have no impulse control.
It’s why I have tattoos. And why so many other people have tattoos.
Anyway, the reason I brought this up was because (besides ARAGORN) was because I found another good quote by Tolkien.
“Being a cult figure in one’s own lifetime, I am afraid, is not at all pleasant.”
Quiet and unassuming. And obviously a linguistic genius.
I still can’t get over that list.
The only foreign language I’m fluent in is Pig Latin. However, I don’t think that anyone is looking for a Pig Latin interpreter at the UN.
I don’t have an official desk at my new job yet. I have a place where I sit every day and it is shaped like a desk and it has cubicle walls around it, but it’s not my desk. There is no computer on this “desk” and I know that in a couple of weeks I will have to move to a different desk not far away. Because of all the transition I know is coming, I don’t want to bring all my desk stuff and just have to move it again. So the only thing on “my” desk is my personal pen. I have a trunk full of stuff like my desk calendar, my leather pen holder, my note pad/mouse pad, pictures of the family, etc. So I realized today that I haven’t looked at my daily desk calendar in over two weeks so I went out to the trunk and pulled off the pages I’d missed.
There was some good stuff there. This one in particular I’d like to share because it’s outstanding.
To date, J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy has sold more than one hundred million copies worldwide. It is the best-selling work of fiction of all time and the third best-selling book, behind the Bible and the quotations of Mao Zedung. As a child, Tolkiens’s mother taught him Latin, French, and German. On his own initiative, he picked up Greek, Middle English, Old English, Old Norse, Gothic, modern and medieval Welsh, Finnish, Spanish, and Italian. He could also get by in Russian, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Dutch, andLombardic (whatever that is). When he got bored with existing languages, Tolkien simply invented new ones – fourteen to be precise, with complete alphabets for each. He even took to writing his one diary using made-up letters.
Holy Moly. I love the “On his own initiative” part. I’m there to tell you that my “initiative” and Tolkien’s shouldn’t even be spelled with the same letters. I’ve not even managed to complete all my Spanish requirements and I live a little more than an hour from the Mexican border.
I love the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I’ve read them all multiple times
including The Hobbit. I’ve seen the movies 98,647,285 and not just because of Aragorn. My Honey is starting to get a complex about how many times I’ve seen them (and that is totally because of Aragorn!). I just can’t help myself. I really, really love a sweeping story and Tolkien’s are masterful. Peter Jackson did such a spectacular job bringing the fantasy world to life.
Anyway, the point of this blog was Tolkien’s genius and I’ve devolved into the genius of Peter Jackson’s imagination and the glory that is Aragorn.
Sassy and I went to Peiwei to pick up dinner this evening. The restaurant wasn’t too crowded when we got there, and we had a bit of time to wait until our order was ready, so we plunked ourselves down on tall stools and waited. It was only a minute before the door opened and another woman came in to pick up her take out order as well.
She was really tall – at least six feet, and she wore wedged sandals that made her even taller. Her hair was done in a teased ponytail and her face was made up. Besides the cute shoes on her manicured feet, she wore a cute top and short-shorts so her legs were like seven miles long. And she was skinny. We’re talking runway-model skinny. She was maybe 120 lbs soaking wet. She was so thin that when she walked away to fill up her drink cup, I could actually see where her thigh muscles were attached to her femurs.
She was quite pretty and, to redeem myself for thinking such uncharitable thoughts, I smiled at her when she sat at the stool next to me. I tried to convince myself that perhaps she one of those poor unfortunate women who simply can’t gain weight, whose thyroid malfunctions in such a way to make them near anorexic. Unfortunately, I can’t relate to that in any way so I gave up and just let my pudgy, little self be horrid – dharma be damned.
She had ordered lettuce wraps and I wondered to myself if she would eat any of the protein or just suck on the iceberg lettuce.
Pretty soon the waiting area began to fill up and soon there were about fifteen of us milling about. I looked at skinny girl and said, “Wow! We sure got here at the right time.”
“I know,” she told me. “I work at Merrill Lynch across the street….”
That’s when I stopped listening. Merrill Lynch. Really. I remained skeptical. Whatever charity I had for her flew out the window. While I was sitting there feeling fat and unattractive next to this waif/giant oxymoron, I at least had the one up that while she was beautiful and making a ton of money modeling, at least I had brains. I am a published author, I thought to myself smugly. If she worked for a stock brokerage then I had no nice thoughts for her at all. You don’t get to be beautiful, stupidly skinny and smart. That’s just cruel. And I don’t give a rat’s ass what mental issues you may have that made you this way. The Trifecta of Perfection doesn’t lend
itself to sympathy.
But then the universe got a little stranger.
At the front of the line stood another Amazon. This woman was 6’2″, if not more, and she was wearing flip flops so you couldn’t even attribute any of her height to her shoes. I was dumbfounded. At least she wasn’t skinny, but rather sort of built like a girl linebacker. Not fat, but substantial and athletic. She had an equally tall boyfriend with her.
The Peiwei was making me feel insignificant.
Our order was finally completed and when Sassy and I walked to the door, another giantess held it open for us. My mouth just sort of sagged open which I’m sure is less than attractive on my 5’3″ frame. What the hell? I have no idea what was going on, but I was beginning to get a complex.
Does Peiwei have growth hormones in their food?
So fine, I took me and my tiny little daughter, who will no doubt inherit my mother’s family’s hips and propensity to spread regardless of her petite nature as a child (I was there, I know how it works), and we’re taking our noodles full of gluten home and we’re going to eat them heartily with all the protein and then several fortune cookies to finish us off.
Stupid tall people. Not that I have a complex or anything, you understand.
So for the last eight years or so, I’ve been slowly trying to integrate Buddhist principles into my life. It’s a challenge. I am not wired like most Buddhists. For example, I’m very excitable – in both good ways and bad, I have a tendency to be catty – I’m not proud of it but there it is, and I have a quick temper. These are not characteristics that are normally associated with Buddhist teachings, but tranquility and wisdom are things I aspire to. As I said, I’m practicing and I find myself stopping and making conscious decisions based on the dharma teachings more often than I used to. That’s a huge step for me – seriously. Any of you that know my family, and especially my father who I take after so much, know that this doesn’t come naturally for me.
So why the introspection today?
This is Soccer Practice Thursday. After work I meet My Honey and the kids at the park and I sit on the grass and cheer on my little dude for an hour. The problem is that spring has sprung and all the pesky little bugs are out. They are also biting me. I’m not necessarily talking about the flying ones like bees and mosquitoes. For what ever reason bees, wasps, etc. do not really alarm me and mosquitoes don’t find me tasty. It’s the crawly ones that do me in. Ants and other creepy icky things that crawl into my pant leg and up my arms. I was riddled with ant bites ten minutes into practice and as I was smooshing the third or forth one I found on my arm, I realized what I’d done. CRAP!
It sounds stupid, but now I’ve trod right over a priciple Buddhist Dharma.
I need all the good karma I can get. I will endeavor to do better and that’s all you can really do in Buddhism.
Sometimes I think it would just be easier to believe in the whole Hail Mary nonsense and just repent.
I am more excited than Sassy that her 1st grade school year is coming to an end this week. Sassy will miss her friends and she adores her teacher, but I will be so happy not to fight with her over her homework every night. I realize that I am the grown up and, by extension, should be more mature, but doing homework with her is a constant drain on my psyche.
Math and spelling are the two worst things. Interestingly, they were my worst subjects as well at her age. Now, I’m a great speller and surprisingly good at math, and I keep assuring her that it will happen for her with practice. She just looks at me like I’m completely full of malarkey.
The other day I was going through her backpack. One must do this on a regular basis otherwise the accumulation of junk gets completely out of hand and, before you know it, your 7 year old is walking with a sway back from the 45 pound backpack. I sorted through countless notes and worksheets and other nonsense until I found her math practice sheet. Her teacher has the students practice addition by working on a strip of paper dedicated to a specific number. For example, the one I held in my hand was for the number 5. All the numbers from 1 through 12 were added to the number 5 in random order.
5 + 3=_ 5 + 9=_ 5 +12=_ and so on.
Sassy had completed her worksheet and I didn’t pay much attention to it except the following note was written at the top by the teacher, “What?? Multiplication??” So I looked further and discovered that every single answer was not addition but the correct answer if she had multiplied each number by 5. Even 5×12 was correct. I asked her if she copied the answers from somewhere. She told me no repeatedly. I assure you that, while advanced, her 1st grade class is not studying multiplication yet.
I took the worksheet to her teacher the next morning. I looked at her with a quizzical expression and asked her if Sassy had copied the answers from somewhere and she assured me that she hadn’t. She was just as aghast as I am.
My daughter is a multiplication savant! Of course, so far this is only applicable with the multiplier of 5.
The famous line of Al Paccino’s, “Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in” has been running through my head the last week or so. I’m back to work in my old industry. I really and truly feel like I’m in the mob and can’t get out.
My only consolation is that I’m working with Ava again. It’s been a year since we worked together. I had a really great time working with Kelli and her husband, but unfortunately the money and benefits of the old industry won out. Apparently, my sanity and disposition are not as important as weekends off and cheap insurance.
One good side effect is that I suspect my writing will get back to normal. I’ve been on a three and a half month break from writing anything new. I can’t begin to imagine why that is…I’ve been under less stress and certainly haven’t used my brain as much as I was before. Either way, the page count dropped seriously low and today I wrote four new pages.
Thank goodness, because poor Thomas and Francesca have been waiting impatiently to get to the opera so I could royally screw up their lives.
I have entered the cover of Out of Heaven in a contest. The website is RateMyCover.com Here is the link to my entry. Hopefully it takes you right to my entry. I”m crossing my crossables.
Just a reminder that this is what you’re voting on.
Vote Now! Vote Often.
I am so tired. Really completely exhausted. This weekend was Sassy’s 7th birthday and we had an incredibly full weekend. Friday evening was her Fine Arts night for her school – she was singing and dancing as a firefly and an ant. Saturday The Bandit had a soccer game and then Sassy had a ballet recital – this time she was cotton candy. Sunday we had a dinner with the family at my mom-in-law’s house. But the big event, the one I am still trying to recover from, was Saturday.
Sassy had a slumber party. I really have no one to blame but myself. I came up with the idea. I tracked down the mommy’s and convinced them that My Honey and I are not pedophiles (or even Republicans for that matter) and we can be trusted with their children. I came up with ideas to entertain them through the night: Twister, baking cookies, painting fingernails, and watching kid friendly movies. Sassy and her friends were over-the-moon excited about the party. By Friday, they were vibrating.
Over the course of the night the following occurred:
*Sassy decided everyone should meet Roscoe, the Idiot Dog, and I had forbidden her from letting him in the house. I wasn’t so foolish to believe I could control 5 little girls and the maniac dog too. All of them scurried out of the house and around the side to the gate – barefoot. Then I got to perform minor surgery without the benefit of a scrub nurse, strait jacket, or Lidocaine to get all the stickers out of their feet.
*We had a major, major nose bleed. I was dealing with girls in another room when the issue was brought to my attention. I jogged down the hall to find blood all over the tile floor and an entire roll of bloody toilet paper in the toilet. It took a good 15 minutes of dedicated ice application and nose pinching to make it stop.
*I was nagged incessantly about the fingernail painting before I finally got the stuff gathered to do it. I no longer have varnish on my dining room table thanks to the now empty bottle of polish remover.
*Once the girls found the cat….well, life as he new it ceased to exist. The cat is seeking enrollment in Witness Protection. Let’s just say they loved him very thoroughly. They drove him absolutely crazy before I was able to kitty-nap him and shut him safely away in my bedroom. Even then, I had to shoo the girls out of my room several times and, at one point, out from under the bed that my husband was sleeping in all in an effort to drag the cat out from hiding.
*I found not one but two pieces of gum stuck to my kitchen floor.
*I dried tears when someone was mean to the birthday girl and later broke up a fight over a “crystal” rock that involved separatingthe combatants in different rooms. More than once I channeled Rodney King with the “can’t we all just get along” speech.
*At a quarter after midnight, I finally shut things down and demanded that the 3 girls that were still awake (including my own) go to sleep. I collapsed into the restless sleep of a hunted criminal at 12:30.
*At 5:15 the next morning – less that five hours later – I was awakened with the news that one of the girls threw up. Deep sigh. I then did a load of laundry that included a sleeping bag, pajamas, two pillow cases and a pillow. I also washed the girl and her hair. Then I got the delightful and gag inducing honor of scrubbing the carpet. I felt terrible for the poor thing and managed to smile and assure her that it was all OK.
*I made 346 waffles. Some people informed me that they liked pancakes better and I assured them in no uncertain terms that waffles and pancakes were the exact same thing – only with syrup reservoirs which is infinitely better than just plain pancakes. Besides, short of being deathly allergic to wheat, butter, eggs or maple trees, they were going to eat waffles and they would like them.
*The party ended at 9am. When one kid’s mom showed up, the little darling decided she didn’t want to go home so she hid. It took us 15 minutes of searching to find her. I was just relieved that her mother had actually seen her in my house that morning other wise I’m sure that she would have thought I lost her. Anyway, I did that old bouncer routine – “Last call. You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here!” I finally found her under Sassy’s bed.
*All the girls except one were gone by 8:45. I told My Honey that if that child’s mother wasn’t there by 9:01, said child would be sitting on the curb waiting.
I texted Kelli during the festivities. While she did express sympathy, she also seemed dumbfounded why I would ever have agreed to the whole thing anyway, much less have come up with the notion myself.
The experience was painful but, and I can’t believe I’m actually writing this down, it really wasn’t any worse than I expected. Except for the blood and puke and the lack of varnish on my table – the girls were all well behaved if rambunctious and polite with their pleases and thank yous.
I wonder if a slumber party is like laboring to have a baby. You know how nature allows you to forget how really wretched laboring was so that you’ll be willing to do it again? Do you suppose I’ll be able to forget the trauma of this slumber party and allow my home to be infested with five squealing little girls again?
Not any time soon I assure you. It seems to me it’s time for some other deluded mother to learn her lesson.
My uncle over at Newmexiken.com has been alerting all those that are interested in the concentrated evil over at Facebook. Of course, I have a face book page – 2 actually. Alright 3, but one is abandoned but they won’t let me get rid of it and it only adds to the general confusion. That’s why I hate Facebook. Unfortunately, it’s a necessary evil in this day and age of self promotion, so I have my personal page and a fan page for my author self.
I know that there are all kinds of very serious concerns over security and privacy over there, but that’s not my problem with Facebook. I very rarely do anything with my pages. So much so that people have asked me why I bother. I have so much other writing to do that I can’t possibly waste computer time with that nonsense, except that I know from a marketing standpoint it’s not nonsense so I turn my attention to it every once in a while. And every time I do I get sucked into a black hole of chatting.
I was chatting with two friends while trying to write this post, in fact. It’s damn near impossible to write anything intelligent while having two separate conversations.
Regardless – the pages are there and I am getting much better about updating them. Find my page at Amylynn Bright and of course, Kelli Daymor is there also. Ask to friend us. We’ll say yes. And there’s always a very real opportunity you can get me to chat, too. Apparently, I’m always up for a distraction.