Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Buckeye Bound

Yesterday's MRI went fine--no problems at all. In fact, despite the sounds not unlike a construction zone going on all around me, I shoved my ear plugs in a little deeper, tuned everything out, and enjoyed a little nap. For my friends who emailed me about it, it was just a follow-up MRI so they'd have post-surgical images of breast tissue to compare with the mammograms.

The family dinner was fine too. I was the very soul of patience, sweetness, and light. Mom made mango margaritas and I consumed several. Of course, I had to tilt my head to the side to do so to keep the cold off my sore tooth, but it was worth it. Eventually I'll get used to chewing on only one side of my mouth.

I got Mom the first season of Castle on DVD, so we'll have a viewing party when I get back--complete with more mango margaritas. I also got her the Castle book, Heat Wave, which I unwrapped and read first before I gave it to her. Because I'm classy like that. I also dropped off four frogs and a fish for her to babysit. It's a good thing she likes critters.

Last night was fun.
Mom made me a gorgeous scarf with different shades of pink funky yarny stuff and bought matching pink gloves. I was showered with all sorts of other goodies and delicious pasta. Mmmm. My only regret is that we're leaving this morning, heading for the Buckeye State, so I don't have leftovers.

Speaking of leaving...attention all would-be burglars: 75% of my neighbors are nosy retired people who stay home and notice everything that goes on in the neighborhood. They all have family coming into town for Christmas, so there will be extra people around. Don't even think about robbing our place. My neighbor right across the street is a cop. All the senior citizens are NRA-card-carrying, rifle toting, Conservatives who will shoot first and ask questions later. The one tree-hugging Liberal in the area is a single woman who lives alone, so she's packing heat too. She might pray for your rehabilitation while doing it, but she won't hesitate to put a cap in your butt either. Go ahead. Make her day.

So, all threats of violence aside, I hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones. Now I have an eighty pound dog to deliver to her grandmother. Peace out, peeps.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

In Which I Redefine Sucktacular

If only I could get a pimple or a raging case of scabies, that would make this day a perfect storm of suckitude.

I started the morning with dental work, which is never a good thing. I love my dentist--I've been seeing him since I was about five years old--but I've reached the age where more than just a filling is required and I'm not so good with the forced stillness while a team of very-large-handed people invade my mouth with vile-tasting instruments of torture. I've never had a crown or anything (not even braces) until today. Now I can add the experience to the top of the list of Things I Never Want to Repeat--right up there with egg nog, the movie Cars, and Statistical Analysis 201. Except, lucky me, I get to go back in January to replace this temporary crown with a porcelain onlay.

Now this afternoon I get to experience another first that I probably won't want to repeat--an MRI. I've been putting this off since October, so I guess it's obvious that I'm not looking forward to it. Again with the forced stillness and feeling of suffocation. Kind of like sitting through a faculty meeting, except I can't even draw obscene pictures on a legal pad and slide them across the table to my coworkers. Not that I'd ever do that, of course, because I am a mature professional.

Then tonight I get to attend a family dinner. I'm looking forward to seeing my parents and grandparents, and eating my mom's cooking. Unfortunately, we don't get to pick all of our relatives. I will behave, but it will be difficult. Normally I just grit my teeth and get through it, but tonight I have to be careful not to grit my teeth so I don't break my temporary crown. I just hope the numbness wears off by then because otherwise I'll be drooling wine on my mom's nice tablecloth. Because, yes Virginia, there will be wine consumption. Lots of it.

And to continue the craptasticism for another day, tomorrow I get to spend nine hours in a crowded car to travel to the frozen tundra (read: Canton, Ohio) to visit my in-laws. I love my in-laws, but I'm not a big fan of long car rides with loud, giant man cubs or the winter climate of northeast Ohio. Couldn't I have married someone from, say, Maui? No, I'll keep him, even though I need an electric parka to visit his family in December.

At least I'll have books and a new Nano. Dan and Mom plotted together to get me an iPod Nano to replace the iPod that went missing last year (read: stolen by a student). I have about thirty gazillian audio books to listen to, along with 60 megamillion songs. Two students bought me gift cards to Barnes & Noble, so I went crazy and bought six new books last night.

So I'm going to focus on the books and the happy togetherness of tonight and tomorrow, rather than the sore jaw and claustrophobia that is today.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Isn't This Al Gore's Home State?

Why is it so freakin' hard to find a place to recycle household waste in this state? I feel like Kermit the Frog because it's sure not easy being green.

Yesterday we cleaned out one of the garages to make room to store Dad's vintage boat over the winter. The recyclables were starting to form their own independent nation in the attached garage, so I loaded them up in my car to make the long trek to the recycle center in Madison. (I've been saving them up for a time when I need to go to Smyrna, but I couldn't wait another day.) About halfway there I realized that I was directly in the path of all those crazy Saturday Christmas shoppers on their way to Rivergate Mall. Oh well, how bad could it be? I foolishly thought.

It was that bad.

It became even worse when I finally made it to the recycling center, only to find out that it's closed on the weekend. Are you freakin' kidding me?? Who are these people who manage to find time to recycle during the work week? They must be some kind of super green freaks. Sadly, I turned my car back toward my new/old hometown and fought the mall traffic going that way too. There's an hour of my life I'll never get back. Meanwhile, I still had a car full of plastic bottles and steel cans. My school recycles newspaper and the humane shelter takes aluminum cans, but no one takes the rest of my crap.

Oh, and the used plastic grocery bags were still all wadded up in the passenger floorboard. Yes, I realize if I were TRULY being green I'd have those reusable bags. But you know what? I'm not only environmentally challenged, I'm also poor, frugal, and cheap. Those suckers cost a buck apiece, and I NEVER remember to take the few I do own to the store with me. So, baby steps, okay?

Anyway, today I set out to find the recycle center I've heard about in Gallatin. The one that is a twenty minute drive from my house, one way. ARGH! Another hour of my life, gone! Why oh why can't my beloved old/new hometown get a recycle center of its own? I realize they aren't pretty, but isn't there a building somewhere in this town with a parking lot in back where the city could prop a couple of big blue (or green!) dumpsters for plastic, glass, and steel cans? Wouldn't the city make enough in selling the materials to pay for the dumpster space?

Here's the deal--there is a company that offers curbside recycling pick-up but they charge twenty bucks a month for the service. And, as I mentioned above, I'm way too poor/frugal/cheap to pay for it. Plus, as long as I'm willing and able to take these things to a center myself, shouldn't I have that opportunity? Maybe more people in this town would recycle if it were slightly less impossible to do.

That's my mission for 2010--bring a recycle center to Hendersonville. I'm not sure how to go about it, but I'm going to make it happen. If for no other reason than to keep me from driving to BFE Gallatin once a month.

Maybe I'll start by borrowing a karaoke machine and singing "It's Not Easy Being Green" as loud as possible outside City Hall while dumping my recyclables in their parking lot. What do you think?

Sunday, December 6, 2009


...overheard in my family yesterday.

On the way to breakfast with another teacher and her daughter, we passed several runners all bundled up for the cold weather, running down the sidewalk. So I asked, "Is there some kind of marathon today that I didn't hear about?"

Ryan: "Ugh. I hate marathons. They're just so...long.

Me: "Well, that's kind of the point."

Both kids in stereo: "Unless it's a marathon of...

Ryan: cartoons."

Aaron: Captain Planet."

On the way to school each day, we pass a yard with one of those Grinch inflatables. Only, he's DEflated because it's so early in the morning. We started singing this song as we pass that house (to the tune of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch"):

You're a flat one, Mr. Grinch.
You're lying on the lawn.
You are deader than a doornail,
you're flat as a flapjack, Mr. Gri-iiiiinch.
I wouldn't plug you in and blow air back up your butt--even if you were Santa Claus!
And the second verse goes downhill from there--full of potty humor and spiders and other boy-inspired lyrics. Yeah, we're classy like that.

Last night at about quarter 'til ten I told the kids that it was late and they needed to go to bed.

Ryan: Oh, thank goodness you're finally telling us to go to bed. I've been so tired.

Me: You know, if you're tired you can just go on to bed. You don't have to wait for me to tell you to go.

Ryan: (feigning shock) I would never do something without first getting your permission, dear mother.

Then they went upstairs and got ready for bed. Aaron was sleeping in Ryan's room because they like to have "sleepovers" on the weekend. Dan said he was watching football while they got settled. Then Ryan called out, "Oh, if only we had a father who loves us who could come tuck us in and make sure we're warm while we sleep. Oh, if only he cared enough to do that. "

Yep, it's a regular comedy festival here at the castle.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

In Which I Confess to Enjoying Christmas Music

For those of you who have been hanging around the Princess's castle for a while, you know that there are quite a few Christmas songs that I can't stand. Now, to be fair, there are many that I really, really love. I was in choir all through school and at church, so trust me I've sung them all.

Tonight I had the great pleasure of attending my middle school son's Christmas chorus concert. I have to admit that I actually gasp enjoyed that stupid Chipmunk song. It's amazing what a difference it makes when it's sung by someone you adore and cherish, rather than a group of vile, high-pitched, animated rodents. Ryan did a great job, as did the rest of the chorus. It's fun to sit in the audience on the other side hearing the same songs which I used to perform. It was really fun to count the number of eye rolls I witnessed as my son sang such lines as, "when we finally kiss goodnight," and "with holiday greetings and gay happy meetings when friends come to call." Hee hee. He's So Very Twelve.

We listened to Christmas music while putting up the Christmas tree last week. You read that correctly--last week. On FRIDAY, no less. The day after Thanksgiving. Also known as The Earliest Day on Which It's Acceptable to Put Up the Tree. I know, right? Me! With the happy holiday spirit and whatnot! I even sang along with Karen Merry Christmas Darling Carpenter! Of course, it helps that my husband isn't working retail during the holiday season for the first time in the twenty-plus years that I've known him. It makes a huge difference in my attitude to not have to do the single parent thing during the holidays.

My favorite part of the concert tonight was hearing the choir sing Carol of the Bells four-part harmon, a Capella. Oh so pretty. The even cooler part is that my kids also love that song and they want to make sure we have the lyrics so that the whole family can sing along when we visit the Ohio Brewers for Christmas.

It kinda makes me feel like my heart grew three sizes that day.

But nothing and nobody could ever, ever make me like Christmas Shoes. Blech. I kinda threw up in my mouth a little bit, just from typing the name of that horrible, awful, schmaltzy, sappy, crappy, hideous, no good, very bad song. Bah.