Observations from a mostly country life

This morning I was set to hold a garage sale at my old house to sell off what we didn’t take with us. Instead of staying at the old house till all hours like I would normally have done, I came home–home–and went to sleep. I set my alarm for 5:45 a.m. to get up and get back over there for an early set up. I never sleep well with looming deadlines. I sat up in the night no less than 4 times, absolutely certain that I had overslept, only to discover it was 4:38, or 5:05, or two other non-5:45 numbers.

When it was actually 5:45, I got up and gathered my stuff. I needed my shoes on the back porch, so I went out there for them. That’s when I discovered a new level of carnage. Small-disgusting-creature-in-the-trash carnage. We’ve had many, many racoons in our trash over the last 3 weeks. We’ve even housed a possum in one of the trash cans.  But today was different. Walking out onto the porch in the dark minutes of pre-dawn, I felt like I had interrupted a profane feast. The trash can was on its side below the deck and pieces of the trash were everywhere. Some of it had been dragged up onto the deck where, if I squinted just right, I could see the slight outline of a furry butt print. Had that bottom been there just moments before? I couldn’t stay to find out. Todd got a rude surprise when he went out on that deck after the sun was up. Sorry, dear. I had to just walk away from that one.

After a long, strange day of very formal occasions and play dates, I picked all of the kids back up and went to pick up Todd for a dinner at Buddy Freddy’s. Yes. Buddy Freddy’s. Because we live in the country now. It’s just what you do. Mama’s Boy ate 63 pounds of food. It’s really astonishing to watch him. How he isn’t 6 feet tall OR wide is amazing. Yet, he is actually quite tiny.

The most interesting sighting of the day came at dusk after the very pleasant dinner at Buddy Freddy’s. We were on our way back home. The light was soft and hemming every leaf and every blade of grass with a deep, blooming green. I was drinking it in.

And that’s when I saw him.
The guy.
Sitting by the side of the road, at the end of his country driveway.
He was in a metal folding chair that was positioned there as if it were the most normal place for a chair in the world. Out there. At the edge of a busy road. On his feet were cowboy boots that came to his hairy bare shins and the rest of him wore jean shorts and a turquoise tank top. At the top of this mysterious figure was a light gray cowboy hat that was pushed down over a whole bunch of white hair.

Todd saw him too at the  precise moment I did. This old timer with the long hair and long, white beard was leaning over a styrofoam cup with the straw in his mouth like he was sucking down the very source of life.
He never looked up.
He just kept drinking.

“Whoa,” Todd commented.
“I know,” I replied. “What do you think that was about?”

I have no answer.

We’re in the country now.

I do have to wonder what was in that cup…

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2nd Annual Missy Wraps up the Oscars

Wow. We’ve passed an anniversary. This time last year, I made fun of the Oscars for the first time on my blog. Here we are again. One year later. Same event. Different movies. Has anything really changed?

No.

Last year I said there was only one way to watch the Oscars. With cynicism and at 11:15 for 15 minutes. Last night I called The Informinator and scolded her for not watching every moment. What has happened to me? I’m escaping the stress of moving and running school fundraisers by watching people who bring their body parts to the Oscars like pets to be admired. Good grief.

So here’s my too-involved take on 2012.

  • Ben Stiller and Billy Crystal standing on each other’s shoulders are still shorter than the average man.
  • Christopher Plummer should stick to white gloves and Julie Andrews.
  • Super Duper Loud and Seriously Close might have won were it not for the Terribly Confusing and Awfully Disconcerting title.
  • Angelina Jolie is actually already dead and they exhumed her body and hologrammed her in for that presentation. There’s no way that skinny ghost was still alive. I was aghast. Really, ask Todd. AGHAST.
  • Robyn Porch made the pie in the opening movie montage. I went to tiny little Florida College with Robyn. How cool is that?
  • The Artist? Really? A SILENT FILM? There’s a reason they did away with silent films. It’s called MICROPHONES. Talkies, people. You don’t step back 100 years just to be cute. I don’t cook over a fire now. Why would I do that? I have a cook top. When I do cook over a fire, my marshmallow ALWAYS catches on fire. I think my point is made.
  • There were only 2 songs up for Best Song. What’s up with that? Muppet or Man vs. the Rio song? Were there no songs written in adult movies this last year? That’s just weird.
  • JLo. I know you got it going on and stuff, but showing half your boobs does not make them more attractive. In fact, they looked kinda smashy and weird and I’m sure you paid $500,000 for that one dress, but I hate to tell you: It wasn’t worth that. Also, put a jacket on.

And the Moscars (that’s Missy’s Oscar) go to:

Best Picture: The Muppet Movie
Best Actor: Walter in the Muppet Movie. He is up and coming, I’m pretty sure.
Best Actress: DEFINITELY Viola Davis. DEFINITELY.
Best Original Score: Mario Galaxy Soundtrack for the Wii. Really perky stuff.

Projects

My entire life I have wanted to be a writer. It is really all I ever wanted to be. I remember being 9, in Miss Upchurch’s 3rd grade class, and being assigned to write a story. It was my favorite assignment ever. I thought about it all the way up the hill from the bus stop to my house on Marston Road. And I announced to my mom that afternoon that I wanted to be a writer.

I never changed my mind.

I did have a stint in late high school where I thought I wanted that writing to be journalism. I took a journalism class. I even did some work on the yearbook. None of that made me happy. Drew Hansen made me happy. Until I figured out how extremely antagonistic and annoying he was. How many times can you start a conversation about genocide with high school students? Really, Drew. You should have been drawing social security in the 11th grade. It declined to the point where there was no bright spot to Journalism I anymore. And following that little train wreck, I planted my feet firmly in the creative writing camp and I am still standing here today.

For this reason, I love my blog. I can yammer on about things that are mostly true, but discuss them in ways that make other people wonder what fumes I might have just walked through.

But I currently have a project I am trying to win that is taking most of my time and all of my creativity. If I pass with the people who matter, I would be a writer for real. And that would be cool.

I will try to keep this baby fed, too. Just not quite as daily as before. Sometimes a baby just has to cry it out at night…right?

The Bathroom Fan

I have two things to share that will not change your life in any way.

I hate bathroom fans. You know, the white noise bathroom fans you turn on to disperse steam or an unpleasant aroma? Hate them. Hate.them.  I can’t explain it. I can’t trace it back to a traumatic childhood event involving bathrooms, fans, or white noise. But I hate this appliance and I turn them off any chance I get. Unfortunately, I am part of an extended network that is practically married to the bathroom fan. And no matter how many times I turn it off myself or announce to the world that I hate bathroom fans, the fan blades keep on turning.

Sigh.

When I rose from my slumber this morning, I found not one, but TWO bathroom fans running in this house. That’s ALL THE FANS WE HAVE. And they ran all night. What in the world? It was like acid poured directly into my ear drums at 6:30 this morning. That’s no way to wake up.

And since nobody in my house actually cares how much I loathe the bathroom fan, I have no other option but to blog about it. It doesn’t take away the pain. But it does give me hope that if the bathroom fan actually causes my untimely death, one of you might stand up and protest in my funeral. I’d like someone to stand up suddenly in a quite moment of reflection on my life and yell out with angry fervor, “IT WAS THE BATHROOM FAN THAT KILLED HER!”

Actually, no matter what kills me and when, I’d like to ensure this happens. Thanks.

Huh?

It is 2:31 a.m. on Wednesday morning after I have not posted in several days. When I did post, it was Easter Bunnies. Lots of them. Demented, evil, child-eating Easter Bunnies. Large, fluffy, pajama-wearing, Easter Bunnies with ears like grain silos. Even I was tired of all of that mundane dunderheadedness. Yeah, spell-check THAT.

What am I doing at 2:34 a.m. (can’t even believe it took 3 minutes to type that first paragraph)?

Well, I’m typing. But you knew that already.
I’m wearing a super fashionable outfit. I can only hope somebody wakes up and wants to hang out, so they can see me like this. Or maybe some night-owl neighbor will stop by.
I’m eating Millet and Flax chips, because when I find myself awake at this hour, sometimes I get ravenous. At least it isn’t Cheetos, right? Baby steps.
I’m thinking. About things that don’t matter. And about things that matter a whole lot. About May, June, July, August, September. I think I even thought of a weekend in November. But I didn’t think of October at all and I am not at all thinking of December. Well, I wasn’t until I typed that. Now that I typed that, I’m thinking about Christmas. I’m going to ask for a MacBook Pro and a St. Bernard.
All of the thinking is why I haven’t been writing. I’m not a person of simultaneous skills. I can run and listen to Robert Randolph and the Funky Bunch. Wait. I’m sure that’s not right. And I can drive and scold my irresponsible children. And I can eat Flax chips and read emails. But that’s about it. I can’t think about things and blog about other things. So I guess I just need to stop thinking. I will do that. On Friday.
Let’s see. I’m scratching a mosquito bite on my leg.
I think that’s it for what I am doing.

What am I not doing at this hour?
I’m obviously not sleeping.
I’m  not eating peanut butter, which totally would have been my choice. As much as I love the Greek-ish people that made these awesome and healthy flax chips, my first choice would have been Peter Pan on a fluffy piece of white bread. But Dr. Loseit.com has told me to lay off a few things. And though she hasn’t specifically chided me for my love of peanut butter, I can hear her voice in my head. She is calling me things I can’t type here. For sure, I can’t eat the peanut butter.
I’m not writing anything worthwhile at all. But maybe useless drivel beats the evils of the Easter Bunny? You decide.
I’m not washing the dishes that are piled up in my sink since dinner. When 7 a.m. rolls around, I’m going to wish I had.
I’m not getting any less hungry. This is going to be a problem if it persists.
I’m not drinking Diet Mtn. Dew, which is a tearful shame no matter what time of day it is.
I’m not talking to anyone. It’d be cool to find someone out there awake at this hour who wants to chat. Someone besides a thief or hooligan. Someone besides SnuggleMonkey. She freaks me out in the middle of the night.

And I’m still not sleeping. But it’s unlikely that I will accidentally fall asleep while sitting up in this chair typing. So I guess I’ll go give this another shot. I will be back, gangbusterly, on Monday, if not before. Until then, just know that people of very little brains just have to use those brains for the most pressing matters.We can’t all be geniuses, I guess. I will try to post a few things from the week before Monday. I did finally get a good Easter shot of the kids. I also got some really, really bad ones. And I managed to ignore the Easter Bunny entirely for one more year.

Happy Spring Break. Hope you are sleeping. If you aren’t, call me. I’m up.

Some Easter Hoppiness

Remember all my whining and sobbing over my car air conditioning? I’ve delayed taking it in because of the $1200 compressor it was going to require. $59.95 later, some might say I suffered needlessly. Or my kids did, anyway. I suffered because I’m a nim-nim. They suffered because I forced them to. But it’s all over now. Thank you, God.

Today I went to Target with the three shortest of my children. With me were: Sister Shopping Cart Disaster, Loose Cannon, and Mr. Meltdown. Mr. Meltdown was great for two reasons: (1) He got to chow down on his favorite hot dogs, (2) I told him there was NO WAY we were buying anything for kids today. That eliminated the stress of choices. Sister Shopping Cart Disaster did not cause an actual disaster, but she about ran me over 24 times trying to push and steer. No. There is a reason 4 year olds don’t drive…anything. The Loose Cannon tried. She really did. But when it came time to throw away the open cup of marinara sauce, she just couldn’t quite get it into the trashcan. She dropped it. It exploded. And Target got a new color scheme. So did Sister Tinklebritches and myself. I have simply got to start shopping at 24 hour establishments at 3 a.m. I think it might be worth sacrificing the shut-eye.

I will leave you with a collection of Easter Bunnies from the Information Superhighway. You’ll like these.

Even the 50s had creepy Easter Bunnies…

WHAT.IN.THE.WORLD?

Something wicked this way comes…

Both of these characters are waiting on the Easter Bus…

Oh good, this one has a knife.

The parent of these children did not love them. Couldn’t have.

The illegitimate bunny child of the Easter Bunny and Chuck E. Cheese.

Paper mache at its absolute worst.

A Night Out on the Nutrition Guide

Every time I type a title for a blog, I think about capitalization. And then I think about the whole world’s view on capitalization. And then I think about what people did not learn in school. And then I shake my head. And then I type the title. Finally I move on. Next post, I will discuss how you are not supposed to begin a sentence with “and”, which I just did 4 times. But seriously. In a title or heading for something, you DO NOT capitalize those tiny little prepositions squashed into the middle of the title. So, for instance, The Sermon on the Mount would be as I just typed it. It would NOT be The Sermon On The Mount. This keeps me up at night, people. It does. Please email me if I need to take this any further. Also, talk to your preachers and power point prep guys in your churches. They could be sending people to the funny farm.

That was a crazy rant. 1000 pardons, please.

So, last night, I was out on the town (as if…) with a couple of strange girls like me.  We went to IKEA to eat and to shop. One of these girls is a wee bit OCD and was watching calories down to the tiniest of calories. She apparently had 611 calories to spare for the night. Not 610. Not 615. 611. It about blew up her Weight Loss app on her droid phone when IKEA didn’t have nutritional information readily available. And what was online was from Canada. Well, we all know you can’t trust a Canadian. If you didn’t know that, now you do. You’re welcome.

So at any rate, after eating and shopping (how many calories does it burn to control an IKEA shopping cart with two sets of swivel wheels???), we ventured to Steak ‘n Shake for dessert. Again, the Calorie Counter asked for a hard copy of a Nutrition Guide. At this question, the waitress squinted and just said, “No.” And though I didn’t say this out loud, I wanted to launch into a 15 minute monologue on why Steak ‘n Shake would never print a nutrition guide. I mean, come on. The restaurant should be called Instant Hospitalization. There was no milkshake under 700 calories. There was no dessert under 500, except for the chocolate chip cookies and the turtle thingie. I don’t eat turtles. I did order chocolate chip cookies and the lady looked at me like I had asked to see her tattoo.

So then it was time for Little Miss PDF to order. She was scrolling and counting. Counting and scrolling. Finally, after talking to herself for a few crazy moments, she said, “Oh, I can have the Small Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Milkshake! OK, I’ll have the Small Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Milkshake.” And she sighed, satisfied and triumphant. The woman met her satisfaction with bafflement and said, “We don’t have anything called that. We have the Double Dutch Chocolate Milkshake in a small…”

“Yeah, that’s not gonna work,” Little Miss PDF said. And she started scrolling again. “I’ll have a small hot fudge sundae.” Finally.

The moral of this dumb little story is:

No moral. Sorry. But IKEA is cool. And you shouldn’t capitalize prepositions. Or start a sentence with ‘and’ or ‘or’.

Or trust Canadians.