Monday, October 27, 2008

Bring Your Pet to School Day

We have three dogs, dauschunds, that we've been given over the years. My kids had two min males, and hubby's son had a full size dauschund. Now I always suspected that my males were not gay, but limited in options. However, having added Rusty (our token female ) to the mix, it's pretty clear....They are in fact gay. Now, a dog's sexual preferences are their own, and I'm all for freedom of your own choices. however, poor Rusty can't figure out why noone wants her! We've tried day at the doggy salon, sweet smelling bath soaps, but all to no avail....poor baby- what's a woman to do....

Nor is this the only time I've been hoodwinked by a pet.

Years ago, we had a big back yard, and at one point my then husband decided to get rid of some old bricks and rocks laying in a corner. What should appear to the delight of a then 5 year old D.J., but a garden snake. Now, it wasn't very large, maybe the length of a ruler, and the width of a pencil....And we had fish tanks and turtles and frogs....but snakes never were on my list of creepy crawly or slithery things I needed to have. Of course try explaining THAT to a 5 year old and my then husband who was by now acting like the suburban version of Steve Irwin. (isn't he gorgeous as he takes me into it's death roll) "It' will be educational "----Oh yeah did I ever learn a few lessons!
Well, this slithery snake ended up in a spare fish tank, and after a quick $60 drop at the pet store(complete with live crickets -this just keeps getting better doesn't it---, this poor thing who had the misfortune to crawl across our yard was now a captive pet. Oh joy. Be still my beating heart. Of course, after two weeks, barely anyone, besides me of course, even knew he was still there.

One time our little hostage managed to squeeze through the ttank and the screen cover....He was MIA for 2 weeks before he reared his ugly little head up through the baseboard heating in my son's room. It wasn't enough to simply find him....I paid my more-scared -of- snakes-than-I-am step daughter $10. to actually throw him back in his dungeon(I mean habitat).

Not enough to have to house the little creep. Nope. Our dear elementary school was presenting for the 1st time ever!!!!!! Bring Your Pet To School Day! (oh, mom, pleasssssse, you just gotta bring hime...pleasssssse) Well, I was thinking (insert expletives here), but I heard me say "of course we'll bring him to Bring Your Pet to School Day. Which, by the way, could only have been created by someone without a five year old, an infant, or pets!!!!!! Oh joy to the world.
How the heck was I going to monitor a snake cage, a stroller, and an infant by myself?!!!!
I tried another tactic..." D.J, maybe you could bring myrtle(our turtle)." I said, mentioning his first pet, who, I could just toss in a shoe box and squeeze it into the baby's diaper bag right next to the formula. "Who?" he inquired....Of course. Silly me...he hadn't glanced at that turtle since he learned there was upkeep involved.... Now, I don't mind myrtle. He doesn't sneak out of the
tank, and the poor dear will probably out live me. And, at his speed, he's not great escape risk...Heck, he can't even fit under the baseboards, no less in to them.

But, alas, on this occassion I was stuck with the snake.
The night before Bring Your Pet To School Day, we set out to scrub the snake's habitat. It wouldn't do to bring in a cage filled with snake doo (is that what it would be?)---so, D.J. and I (interpret I) cleaned the tank---- This was always fun, starting with me wrassling this monster into a sauce pot with a heavy lid tossed on to it. I scraped, washed, rinsed, rebedded, and returned the heat rock (heaven forbid he catch a chill!--It's not like he doesn't know how to get closer to the baseboards) and his little climby stick -a high rise with a view?
Finally, I dumped (yes dumped) that litlle vermin back into his cage- where upon he set to work making a mess of it again..After all, what else did the little bugger have to do...

The next morning, I set out to meet D.J. and the entire kindergarten on the back law courtyard of the school. I loaded snake and tank into the back of my car. I loaded baby Andrew in his car seat, as well as Andrew's luggage, which depending on the journey, could number into several hundreds of pounds of equipment. Today we were traveling lite, simply a strolller, a diaper bag, some bottles, my pocketbook, and of course the snake.
Loaded and ready to go, we head on down to the school.

Upon arrival, I spy some other pet drivers arriving. Oh look, there's Tommy's mom walking that cute little tea cup pup that could fit in her purse! Oh, and there's Judy's mom with their cat in a small little carrier. No sweat.
I got out of the car and put Andrew in his stroller. I slung his luggage over the handles, and nearly tipped the kid head over heels from all that weight. I readjusted my pocketbook to his lap. Now he was squished, but at least it was evenly distributed.
I took the snake tank out of the car. at 10 gallons, it was a handful, and Andrew's lap was already in use. Hmmmmmm. Okay. I took the snake tank five feet closer to the school. Then I walked back five feet and retrieved Andrew, his luggage, and my bag. I walked the stroller that same five feet to the snake tank. I picked up the snake tank and went another five feet. Back to the stroller. Another five feet with the stroller. (Did I mention this animal shindig was at the BACK of the schoolyard?!)---Well, after about seventy five of these 5 foot sprints, with sweat dripping between the blades of my shoulders, wheezing like an iron lunger on worst day.... We (Andrew, his luggage, my bag, and of course the snake) made it to the back of the school.

"Cool" D.J. brought a snake---woo hoo...."Hey Mom," the little bugger asks me, "Can I take him out and hold him?" Now, I've already explained, I don't touch snakes, and if that little vermin decided to make his exit from the jumpy palm of an unsuspecting 5 year old, I wasn't chasing the little bastard down.

D.J.'s friend Thomas had also brought a snake AND his Dad.... Perfect...Let them play snake handler. We were just fine with our lid on. Half an hour later, presentations over, me, Andrew, Andrew's stroller, his luggage, my bag, and of course the snake tank start heading all the way to the parking lot. Five feet snake, five feet stroller, five feet snake, five feet stroller-surely you get the picture by now.

Well, we return home (finally!!!) and I take Andrew out of the car seat and in to the house...I take in Andrew's luggage, my bag, his stroller, and finally I place the snake tank on the kitchen table.

A little while later, I go to put the snake back into my son's room and out of my sight. It occurs to me that the snake is still in the same position he was in when I left the house that morning. I go outside and get a long stick ..Again, I do not touch snakes. I lift the lid, waiting for the snake playing possum to attck, and poke it with said stick. It doesn't even move. I poke it again, this time pushing it.. The whole body, in the exact s shape that it's in slides without changing shapoe whatsoever. The snake, as it turns out, that I had humped bakc and forth, back and forth, had the poor manners to drop dead. That's right, we brought a DEAD pet to bring your pet to school day---Can you imagine if the kids HAD actually held him? I needlessly dragged, toted, and carried the kid and cage and luggage for essentially nothing. I could've put the thing in my pocket and just whipped it out when we got there.

You'd think D.J. would be heartbroken over the demise of the cherished snake. So did I. So I did what every good hearted mom would do....I tossed the snake in the garbage pail and put the cage back in his room. He never noticed.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Storm of the Century

Tonight The kids and hubby and I are going to the movies with some friends...Surprisingly enough (haha), this triggers an early childhood memory for me, dear reader........

It was the sixth grade, and my world of new friendships and territories was growing..... Our sixth grade annex (again, if you are a constant, dear reader, please exscuse the repetition, for I know it is hell---The Storm of the Century) combined many elementary schools and kids from all directions. As is true of all kids at that age, (i think), it was time to spread my wings a little from the local kids and start stretching out a little. Now, I was the third born of three, so my parents had been there, done that some what already.... Anyway, I think because of this what I like to call "Multi-child syndrome (after two the folks lose track of every one!), I was granted permissions my siblings may not have enjoyed.

One such permission, was to go to movies with a friend from a neighboring town. Now, I may not have been that clear on just what town it was or exactly how we would get there, but I was going....

After school one winter's day, Lisa and I headed toward her house in (gasp) THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION from my home territory. Now when I was a kid, we put a lot of mileage on our feet.. (see WALK THIS WAY)...We were familiar with our own area pretty much everywhere, so to walk another mile in an opposite direction didn't bother me in the least.

I remember we went to see Animal House-maybe it was for the first time or for the one hundredth- I don't recall that, but I DO remember all the kids hooting and howling in the theatre---particularlty when Bluto asks "Guess what I am now!"

The movie was great fun, and I remember it was starting to get dark out when we escaped the movie theatre. It was also starting to snow.....

What started out as flurries became a near blinding blizzard, and after an hour (of what should have been a fifteen/twenty minute walk), I was hopelessly lost. For either pride or damnation, it never occurred to me to knock on a door or ask for help....I just kept on walking , and walking, and walking.....

I walked for hours before I finally spotted the local hospital, cut around to the back, and finally found myself just a few blocks from home...I walked through my front door, half frozen, and icicles in my hair. I quickly changed clothes and dried my way I was going to admit to having been lost for hours in a the worst snow storm of the eastern sea board(ok,ok -maybe that's a slight exageration).

After all these years, I still try to figure out what went wrong that day. As near as I can recall, I lost my way at the hospital. What I figured for the front side must have been the back, I guess...

Anyway, that's a Suism I don't think I've EVER shared before....and judging from my following on this blog, I guess I STILL haven' any one out there?

Anyway, just to be on the safe side of the street (and the right side), I checked the weather report......We aren't expecting any 50degree surpirse snow storms tonight!!!! I'm good!!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Soul Sister

We all have our sibling rivalries, it's simply part of the territory, that goes along with sharing/borrowing clothes without permission, fighting over whose turn it is to do the dishes, feed the dog, etc. It is also a great forum for passing along habits good and bad. Eventually, someone ends up getting thrown under the proverbial bus....

Come back with me, if you will, dear reader, to the mid 1970's....Elton John was wearing duck outfits and moon boots, most girls were duplicating David Cassidy's shag hair cut, and some of us were hanging out in cars that didn't even run.

The car in question belonged to a member of the Cleveland Ave crew---As ominous as that sounds, we were really just a bunch of kids from the block without a basement to hang in the winter months. Our most threatening member was G.J, who had all the earmarks of a biker dude, except for the bike and biker friends and hot chicks.....You get the picture...He DID have the mirrored sun glasses AND the required oversized black faux wallet complete with chain...And he insisted on wearing only worn and tried old levis. If his mom dared to buy him new ones, he'd insist they not be washed for the first few weeks, so they could then also be worn and tried old levis.

Anyway, the car that didn't run was currently parked in Pete's driveway. I remember it being a Barracuda of some sort, and when (if) it was ever finished being restored, it would be the hottest car since Greased Lightning....

To digress a moment, before my sister and I and four of our nearest and dearest piled in to that car:
My dear kister, at the ripe old age of about 15 had committed a most cardinal sin that year...She had been sentenced to SUMMER SCHOOL.....Now, apparently, summer school was not just a reflection of my sister's lack of interest in homework or studying, but, as my mother was quick to point out, A REFLECTION ON HER UPBRINGING!!!! We did not DO summer school...That showed a lack of homework and study control on the part of your parents, who not only did NOT have to be the one to suffer through lazy days of summer in a classroom, but who apparently would suffer severe social repercussions due to your (no, not stupidity) but lack of APPLYING yourself.

Now, my kister is VERY applicable, and that year, she was also applying herself to her first tastes of alcoholic beverages. Well, in order to procure a single night out from her summer school house arrest, she swore to my mother, God, Allah, and any one else required that she would a) be home early b) she would take her tag a long sister (always a clincher) and c) she would d0 NO drinking.

Okay, so with trustee sister (that's me!) in tow, we headed down the block. After joining our fellow deliquents in the aforementioned soon to be classic car, it was discovered that someone had acquired beer......(Boy, was IT a different world back then).
Despite peer pressure, my sister stayed true to her word....She would not renege against her word and face the wrath of mother, god, and Allah....."Thanks folks, but none for me." she repeated throughout the evening. I did NOT see the harm in MY having one or two. After all, I had not shamed our family with the forever stimatized summer school...In fact, I was a pretty good student...Shouldn't that be worth something?

Two beers and a buzz later....Kister urged us that we must return to the dungeon of her summer school - home. We walked the block to our house, where upon the warden mother was waiting at the front door, lights ablazing----Now, we weren't late, she just wanted to make sure my do good sister had not been up to no good.

My sister practically skipped in to the house, knowing she had DONE the Right thing..... I remember sheepishly bringing up the rear with a bit of a stagger.... Close on her heels I followed, as kister bounded in to the house.....
No sooner did we enter, than my mother smells the sickly sweet smell of stale beer emainating from her charges (okay, so it was THIS charge emanating)...As my mother yelled at my sister for drinking...(granted she wasn't-but admitting that you LET you baby sister WAS was not going to save anybody)--any how, as long as mom was preoccupied, I scooted through the dining room, down the hall and right in to bed.......The last words I heard before deep slumber took me that night was "You should try to be more like your sister".....

Sorry, sis.....
Oh, and about that brand new pair of maroon high heel boots you told me never to touch.....Sorry about that loose heel....Thirteen year old feet were not made to walk at that angle!!!!!

And the sweater you caught me wearing in the hall way at school which you demanded I "take it off right now!!!!"

And the billion other offenses committed by a kid sisiter.....

Sorry---and most of all Thanks for letting me live by not following though on all thoses threats...Nobody loves ya like me!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Camptown Raceway Sing this Song

When my kisters and I were kids, we had a camper in our back yard. We had it for years. It was just one of those old pop-ups, with all the itchy foam bedding. It wasn't new, and I swear, we never actually camped in it. We had gone camping with my uncle and dad and cousins once, a trip with 5 kids and two adults crammed in an old half station wagon/half jeep wrangler (with the required paneling on the sides ---what was THAT all about?)with my Uncle's camper attached to the back (No, kids, you can't sit in the camper instead of being piled on top of one another---the camper could come loose and then you'd be rolling away from the car at great rates of speed--hmmm, maybe that's not such a bad idea) ...Anyway, half way through the drive TO camping my cousin Laurie decides to do some kind of imitation of something that involved putting those fat little Tootsie Rolls up her nose....In a hot, over crowded car, in one hundred degree heat....THAT was a lot of fun, watching my uncle try to pry the melted little messes out of her nostrils(apparently they only melted at the bottoms!)

Any way, after that wonderful excursion, my father just had to buy one for ourselves, so we could all enjoy the benefits of spending quality time together in the GREAT OUT DOORS. I guess the thought of that alone scared the heck out of my folks, because that little camper never hit the highway! It just sat in the same spot in the back yard, probably longingly looking at all the other campers happily being towed away to exotic places by carfulls of smiling happy families who enjoyed spending quality time together in the GREAT OUT DOORS

That's not to say it didn't have its purpose. That trailer became the after hours hang out for the Cleveland ave crew that summer. My kisters would have cousins over and we would hold sleep overs out there. And after certain cousins finally fell asleep, the neighborhood boys would attempt to leap over our four foot chain link fence (without touching it, thereby waking our dog (a mangy mutt) or worse, waking our mother (a trained attack mom). After several leaps and bounds over the fence, and endless laughing and giggling, we inadvertently woke the sleeping cousin just several feet away, who then proceeded to tell us that BOYS IN THE CAMPER would not be tolerated and that this kind of behaviour was UNACCEPTABLE. Mind you, this cousin was the same age as my kisters, just not as much fun at the time.....
Well, just as she was THREATENING to wake our mother who would surely disapprove, my mother's voice boomed from inside the camper saying "I think you should ALL shut up and go to sleep now!" We all started looking around, to notice that my mother was not even in the trailer, or outside it's flimsy screen door. Now all mothers think they are omnipresent, but this was a stretch even for MY mom.
Well, after a thorough search of the quarters (done ever so quietly as to not raise the savage mom again), we found an intercom that my mom had so thoughtfully placed in the camper earlier....I guess all those times of silent leaping over the fence wasn't quite so silent after all!

Any way, for some unknown reason, just like the camper's sudden arrival in our yard, it was swiftly sold and removed...... If I didn't know better, I'd think my folks were on to something....

Now, we take our kids camping on the beach every Memorial and Labor day weekends...and there's always a mess of other families and kids with us... It makes me think fondly of those old camper days.... It particularly struck home one year when my then 15 year old son and his friend got caught with two girls and a six pack in their tent... I think I sounded just like my mother (shudder) as I ranted about respect and reponsibility-- but these kids have it easy today---they didn't even have to leap over a four foot fence!

MYSUESTORIES: Baby You Can Drive My Car

MYSUESTORIES: Baby You Can Drive My Car

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I Want To Play A Game

This week is fright week at our house. Each night we are watching a different version on the Saw movie series, starting with Saw I last night. My sons, a couple of friends, and my hubby hunkered down to watch the first movie, and each consecutive night we will watch the next so that on release day, Friday 10/24/08, we will be caught up to see Saw 5 at the theatre. It doesn't help that these movies are very loosely connected, but in the fourth, they suddenly claim to all tie together... We don't recall how, hence movie week refresher.
Now, I'm not one for horror movies. As a kid, my oldest kister would make me watch Night of The Living Dead with her, so SHE"D feel better. Forget the fact that I had nightmares for weeks.
As a teen there were a few horror flicks you HAD to see, just to save face with the rest of the gang.....I can remember seeing Friday the 13th (the very first one of what, 98 or so?) with not even a group, but more likely a crowd of kids at the now defunct town movie theatre, where if you were a little short on cash, someone (no, officer, it was NOT Jimmy this time) would pop the back door for you. The movie screen was distorted, and you never could get all the sticky crap off your shoes, but for $2.00 it wasn't a bad deal.
Anyway, we went to meet Michael of the hockey mask fame, and I will admit (only to you, dear reader, never to the crowd) thatI spent most of the show with my head buried behind a dear friend we once swore was destined for the nun hood!
After the show mercifully ended, we did what any other good natured, trouble seeking, marauding gang of hoodlums would: we went out to carouse the town.... Again, where were our well thinking parents?
I had recovered my composure from the movie terrors, and I remember us walking toward the old sixth grade annex of our school, when one of our crowd who had apparently sneaked ahead
and climbed a tree, waited till we were directly under it, and then jumped down at us.....
At which time, I'm pretty sure my friends learned that Sue DOES scare pretty easily....Darned insensitive friends! Where WAS our compassion?

Fast forward twenty six years, and I find myself and my then thirteen year old son sitting in a theatre Halloween weekend sharing a nice little mother/son moment in at a horror movie....Now I was a little concerned about his tender age, and that the apple doesn't always fall far from the tree(in fact, when it comes to work, I'm pretty sure he isn't even from the SAME tree...he might be a pear of maybe a peach, but definitely not an apple). Anyway, I watched him closely the first few minutes of the original Saw movie, and between the darkness of the screen, the ominous music, I snuck a glance in his direction , and saw he was practically laughing....That was the last I saw of him, because I, true to form, spent the next 90 minutes with my head once again buried behind a back...Yep, I must say, I've come a long way over the years.

Jump ahead four years, and three more SAW movies, each visited opening weekend in the theatre, with pretty much the same result...He laughed, I barely saw a thing...So, last night was kind of watching the first movie for the first time for me....With the exception that my husband's back was little larger to hide behind than my teen son's. And of course, our whole audience of 5 was there to poke(not in the Facebook way) fun at me....
There was SOME consolation, though. At one point during a particular scene, (I'd be more descriptive, but I was hiding, remember)...but at one point, I did hear my eleven year old gasp.
Yep, at least some of us ARE apples, even if we are scaredy cat apples.....Can't wait till part 2 tonight. Maybe we'll go for a walk after, and I can sneak ahead of the little bugger......

Monday, October 20, 2008

Baby You Can Drive My Car

My seventeen year old is learning to drive....I just can't tell how well he';s doing since my head is never over the dashboard! For some reason, the very thought of this kid barreling down the road in a metal and fiberglass bucket weighing thousands of pounds scares the bejesus out of me. It can't be that the first thing he does when entering my vehicle is pump up the volume on the radio to distortion levels heard all around the globe...or that the stations he now presets make the car vibrate and jump up and down as if in an old Cheech and Chong movie....I reflect to my own early driving days....I was NEVER like that.......
When your thirteen or fourteen or so, your circle of friends starts to expand with the onset of Junior High...All of a sudden your world gets a whole lot larger with all those buses pouring into one junior high....Friends are no longer limited to walking disatnce only....people you know now know other people who you will now get to know and love....The only question is, how will we get there?

Well, one option (granted, may be not the BEST option, but it seemed like a good idea at the time) well, let's say that someone's brother has a perfectly good car (not a beauty, maybe, but it had tires and ran---what more could you ask for?)...Any way, said brother has a license AND a vehicle.... but being of legitimate driving age, this brother also has friends with those same great attributes...licenses and vehicles, so could WE help it, if this most fortunate brother was a passenger in another vehicle that day, while WE unfortunate underaged (and yes, unlicensed) utes (translate: youths) had a new friend across town and no way to get there.

The plan was simple (aren't they always?) Jimmy (you know, officer, from art class) and I would simply borrow (grand theft auto is SUCH an ugly phrase) the fortunate brother's (hi, Joe) car, take a QUICK spin across town, and return it and the keys to their original spot....No Problem....

Now, this new friend lived in unchartered territory....This was a whole side of town on the opposite side of the high school that we had never frequented before......and us being new?! inexperienced?! completely irresponsible?! teens did the only thing we could be expected to do.....We just winged it.

Some how, by the grace of God, (who by the way must have one hell of a sense of humor when it comes to underage car theieves) we managed to get to new friend on the other side of town's house without a) injuring oursleves, b) injuring any innocent bystanders, and c) not cracking up the fortunate one's car.

Well, after some time of primping and preening and showing off our (ahem) ride, and feeling really really cool about our damn sleves, we decide for the sake of saving our lives by returning that car BEFORE the fortunate one returned home, to hit the highway, you know, cruise on down the road, you know...gotta Hit The Road Jack!
That at least was our intention. Unfortunately, when Jimmy and I were secured in our (again, ahem) vehicle and Jimmy turned the key in the ignition, the do I put this? oh that's right...the car did absolutely NOTHING!!!!!!!! No turning over, no stalling, no puttering, or knocking or whining(that was probably me whining) did nothing.

Well, lucky for us, new friend across town was something of a car jockey....He had cars and played with cars(real one, not just toy ones ) all his short life, and he could LOOK UNDER THE HOOD.....(hey, he DID know how to pop the hood)...He even had a brother who toyed with cars, and together they LOOKED under the hood... they tried lots of things that I probably couldn't even describe, most of the ending with "Try starting it now"... Well, if might could move a mountain......and if praying "PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE START" actually worked, we'd have flown right home......but alas...that flight was deemed cancelled.

The longest walk ever known to all of mankind occurred that evening, with Jimmy and me and the fortunate but soon to be furious one's keys dangling along.... Forget that we were ALL the way across town (apparently the new kid across town and his mechanically inclined brother didn't have a way to drive us home---do ya think THAT told us anything?????) We walked with such heavy steps...dreading actually getting to our destination...
We pondered what would happen when we actually DID get there.....Would he call the police,? Could you ACTUALLY kill someone for not being able to start a car? Would the circus be in town any time soon and could we join it? "I don't know...where would YOU like to run away to?"

Stall and stammer as we did, we finally DID get back to Jimmy's house...That driveway looked so, I don't know....empty.
Worse than the walk, now we had to wait....Why didn't my parents give me an earlier curfew...and why the heck was I even allowed out after dark for pete's sake!!!!!!! Clearly, we were NOT the responsible kids that could be trusted with freedoms.

Well, it seemed like forever, but it wasn't long enough before that front door slammed and the sweet sweet voice of the fortunate one BELLOWED down the stairs where we huddled together like orphans on a transatlantic journey to be sold into slave labor!!!!! Where was his car? What had we done? What were we, stupid?........

The only thing to be done BEFORE he killed us, was for us to take him to his (damned broken down bucket of bolts) car. The fortunate but furious one's equally fortunate friend (well, maybe more fortunate...he had a car that was actually working!) offered to drive us to the scene of the (sigh) crime. There we sat huddled together again, shaking in the back seat of the car, trying not to do anything else to further enrage our dear host.....Jimmy started to give directions back to the new friend across town's house and ultimately to the little car that couldn't. Unfortunately, it WAS our one and only trip to the wild part of town, and we were sooo nervous walking back, and there WERE lots of twisting and turning streets in that area.....

Well, it turns out worse than coming home without the car, was not being able to find where we left it....
After God only knows how long we drove aimlessly,( but unfortunately not silently!), we magically managed to stumble upon the vehicle I had come to loathe.
Now all we had to do was hope oh great fortunate one was a better mechanic than the car jockeys without cars tag team.

The furious one jumps behind the wheel, puts the key in the ignition, turns it, and Jimmy and I prepare for another round of "those damn kids " comments...but, alas, lo and behold...the car starts...that's right...Just. Like. That. Turn key, start car... that easy.
Shit. Talk about feeling like a couple of inexperienced little kids....(well, that IS what we were.)

Thankfully, the fortunate one was gracioius enough to allow us to ride home with him...Upon returning the car back to it's rightful place in the driveway again... he informed us, that death would be too easy...and instead, he decided to GROUND two kids who had never been grounded in their lives. Every day for a whole month, we had to come back to his house and stay inside.....

I guess it wasn't all THAT bad, but poor Jimmy's dad couldn't figure out "why don't you kids ever get out any more? Maybe make some new friends across town??"

No thanks....I don't mind the ones right here within walking distance!!!!!

In the mean time, I guess it's time to climb out from under the dash board when the kid is driving....At least I KNOW when he's driving my car.....don't I? Where did I put those keys.....

Friday, October 17, 2008

Walk This Way

Thirteen years old and we used to walk for miles!!!!When your only transportation was a pair of Lil' Abner workboots, you put in a lot of leg work around town! We didn't mind.....heck, we were young, ambitious, and maybe more than a little unsensible.....
There was Joe T. He was maybe a couple of years older, and Whoo Hoo EMPLOYED. That's right, he had an honest- to- God paying job. Yep....he was the official Supermarket Cart Collector around town!!!!! That's right, in all it's glitz and glory....He was PAID (granted minimum wage was probably around $2.65 and hour---but he was PAID!!!!!!
Of course, just because he was the ONLY one of us from the Cleveland Avenue crew working, didn't mean we were gonna let him go it alone....No sirree...if one of us was going to have to traipse all over creation searching for the elusive FoodTown shopping carts, you were certainly going to have a posse go with you!!!
So, here we would be on a Friday or Saturday night walking up to TSS shopping center, down behind school #2, and always you could find a submerged cart waiting to be drudged from The Creek! Come winter snow or spring rain, we would faithfully walk the perimeters of our fair town collecting and pushing a line of supermarket carts back to their rightful resting place behind the Food Town market.
Granted, there would be some kind of soul warming $2.00 cheap pre mixed beverage involved with a classy name like Night Train or Tango, but we'd have done it sober. Hell, most times we did. Yeah, you can't find good help like that any more....
And every time I go to the super market and notice those cart corrals and signs urging you to please return your cart YOURSELF, I think of the poor unemployed youth of today, not even given the chance to earn their own way, while making life time memories......And then I remember that MY kid is still looking for the perfect $100.00 per day, don't have to do much, attendance optional job. Well, if he ever DOES find it, I'm sure he'll be immediately promoted to management, in which case I can only hope he hires me!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Beauty Is In The Eye of The Beholder

It's seventh grade and I'm in art class....Not one of my favorites subjects.....I was never one of the kids who really shined in this class with newly revealed hidden talents with a lump of clay and a kiln. I also was never the kid who the teacher picked to walk every one through their own project, so that one out of thirty of us had a master piece worthy of an art degree- which upon reflection happen to be COMPLETELY made by someone WITH an art degree! My particular lump of clay had the amazing grace to completely resemble it's former kiln and painted self and looked exactly like.....a lump of clay. Any way, the gods of artistic talent, for one reason or another, did not shine on me in the great junior high world of art....(these same gods did not exactly favor me through home ec., shop, music or gym)---They must have been saving all my true natural talents for my not yet to be followed blog...Yea Me!---
Well, as any one in junior high can clearly tell you, those of us without artistic talent tend to flock together, similar to vultures, who (although we never did), were probably not above bumping (accidentally of course) the teacher's pet model tea pot worthy of any indie shop to a million pieces on the floor! So, it happens I sit at a table with otherwise unartistic types like myself---Of course, this is known simply by a look that is given to a particular tables participants, and based on the fact that they did not look like complete dorks to me, nor I to them, (although would one dork know if he already WAS a dork that He looked like a dork---that sounds like a whole other chapter....)
And there, in seventh grade art class, I have the wonderful good fortune of sitting next to Jimmy. Now, maybe I had seen him before, but age and memory limit me as to this being our first meeting....Any how, what should come up at the table of unartistic art students (not to be confused with the island of misfit toys)....But this new aquaintance introduces himself..and I thought, cool, at least I have someone to talk to when I should be spinning clay or painting Rembrandts, cause clearly I was gonna have time on my hands for THAT class!---Next thing I know, my new unartistic friend asks if I want to go to a "small" party at his house that weekend....slight panic, yea I want to go....what am I crazy? I don't even know this guy....
Mass murderer theory aside (or maybe he likes multiple victims) 'cause then he asks if I have any girlfriends I could bring......
Well, this was the first of many a wild party....and if you lived anywhere near Steven's Street or Long Island for that matter...chances are you heard a few of them....

Suffice it to say....We went, we partied, we laughed...and NOBODY got murdered ever (although there WAS that one time when an oversized drunk showed up all bloodied from a recent fight?!)

And yet out of that art class not one project made it home or under the tree for christmas or wrapped for mother's day.... The closest success in art was a paper machie christmas elf who strongly resembled a lumberjack, and had the unfortunate name of Abby Normal...And yet out of the class was crafted the foundation for friendships of people I stuck with through high school and beyond.....
However, I also remember those parties surprisingly well...I should, some of the best times of our lives were spent in that yard.....And I have to's a wonder we all came out better people for it.....What are the chances of THAT ever happening again...

Now this was all those years ago, and it's funny what triggers a memory, but last christmas my then ten year old presented me with a school made gift...As near as I could make out, it was a lump of clay... Looks like he's not the teacher's pick either....

Now it looks like I can't leave home on the weekends until he graduates college----Great.

Money Can't Buy Me Love---Tell that to Guy Ritchie

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
Winston Churchill

So, he who gives from the heart is far better off than he who has amassed millions....That is probably very true, yet a small part of me still wishes for the chance to be ruined by money...loads of money..... Anyone willing to donate to such an experiment (that in which we study together on- line the effects of oodles of money on Sue ) please do not hesitate to contact me!!!!

It's times like this that I wish for a larger(and wealthier) readership........

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Day The Music Died

Okay, there comes a time in a young man's life: a ritual if you will...A time when traditions are passed from one generation to the next....Now, as with any tradition, you do not simply thow the pastime at tomorrow's youth, and hope for the best... There has to be a proper introduction into this great passage at the threshold of adulthood....

This is how I talked myself into taking my then fourteen year old son (the three toed sloth to his first concert........
My own first show had been at the ripe old age of about 12. A YOUNGER girlfriend's father had connections at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan....Two tickets to see the group YES in The Round (which means they stood on a revolving stage so that even the rear obstructed view seats were worth $$).... Any way, two naive, young, hick, suburbanite preteens some how scammed our folks in to letting us take a 42 minute train ride ALONE into the bowels of NYC all in the name of fun!!!!! We were thrilled not to have gotten lost, (or kidnapped or stabbed!) and who cared if the seats were literally 2nd to last on the highest tier.....We had accomplished our first live show, complete with $5.00 jerseys bought from a Very shady looking guy out of a duffle bag on the train...Hey, he didn't even charge tax, how's that for nice? (grey jerseys with black sleeves and a whole tours worth of dates written on the back-yup, we were their very own walking billboards and happy to be such!)-Any way, we made it home alive and well, even walked the three miles from the train station to home afterward.....More importantly, this was the first of literally hundreds of shows to which we rocked, sang, cheered till we were hoarse, snuck in wine sacks full of tango....well, you know how it goes....Any way, Thanks Trish where ever you are... for being my FIRST.

Any way, at around the onset of musical puberty, my son began begging to see live concerts. For years I begged off (your too young, I'm too old, they're too old, too far away, too costly)---Eventually, I realized, he was going to do this with or without me, and I physically shuddered at the thought of him going it alone.....(I STILL questoin how I talked my parents in to it ? What were THEY thinking?!)

So, finally an opportunity arose that I thought wouldn't be too regrettable on my part....Slash, lead guitarist formerly of Guns'n Roses-one of my favorite bands back when-had teamed up with Scott Weyland -former lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots -another Sue favorite-joined forces to form Velevet Revolver ---Surprise! One of the sloth's favorites!

Okay, so tickets are bought for then venue Jones Beach Theatre.... Dinner for two at the Crab Shack in Freeport----(he had steemers--ew)... Then we were off to the show.... Parking, no problem, wine sack smuggle --not an issue this time! although I did smile at the kids getting frisked at security! Four dollars for a bottle of water (Don't even think of bringing your own from home, it's confiscated and tossed !), THIRTY dollars for the Got To Have T Shirt!!!!!, and we were finally seated.....Better seats this time, Trish....although I'm pretty sure they were over one hundred dollars a piece with surcharges, taxes, and the old if you can afford this kind of entertainment, we'll just charge the hell out of you fees......
So, we both loved the show... When he was up and rocking back and forth to his faves, I was sitting still, 'cause I didn't know those tunes....But there were a few songs from their old days that I (and the other halves of the parent-kid concert tag teams) were up and dancing to.....The highlight was probably one of the encores, Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here, which miracle of miracles.... We Both Knew!!!Yeah Score one for the team!!!!

Anyway, about three quarters through the show, I start to wonder about the parking, and how it's gonna suck sitting in traffic waiting to get out of the parking lot at the same time as Every One else...I even suggested to my son that if we hit the road BEFORE the encores, think of the Time we'd be saving....

Well, that earned me a scowl and a pout and a well deserved "But that's when they play the best songsssssss".. And, you know what...He was right......We stayed... it was LOUD, but it was also great.....

The next time he mentioned going to another rock concert, I remembered fondly the fun we had, the food, the laughs, the music, the traffic......I gave him one hundred dollars and a kiss on the forehead...and told him and his friend to have a great time....At least I gave them a train schedule!!!!

Monday, October 13, 2008


Okay, so yesterday we spent the day with a huge group of friends at the local horse racetrack...
Now this is something we don't do very often, (yeasterday brought our total number of trips up to 2!). Any way, it was a lot of laughs (on the coach bus and at the track!)....and all in all, we ended up wining maybe ninety bucks on the last race, so it had it's high points.....But I was amazed at the number of little kids who were there, (WE LEFT OURS HOME) as if it was just another day in the park/family outting.....I guess while uncle joe and Dad are betting the pink slips to the houses on the ponies, there's no good reason why the wife and kiddies can't enjoy the nice fresh air just minutes off the Cross Island Parkway with all that choking smog and smut of backed up traffic standing still..... Ahhhh I love NEW YORK....

Any how, it WAS a lot of fun.....even if one particular little firefighter spent the better portion of this morning worshipping the porcelain God of Over indulgence...speaking of which, I'm thinking for similar reasons, there is one Officer Friendly nephew who might not be at this time getting his homework done......And does any one really think one adorable neice (no not Taylor) is up to par as well?????

Saturday, October 11, 2008

ATTICA! ATTICA It's a dog day afternoon

Okay, so the door bell rings (alright, it was really just a knock at the door) and there is our across the road neighbor...Not really such an odd sight, but not a common one either....What was odd was the fact that he had our youngest miniature dauschund under his arm......Now Mickey(he used to be McToomey, but the dog was too little to live up to that) was last seen in our dog enclosure in the mudroom off the kitchen, where he was sleeping on top of dauschund number two, Bruno( don't blame that name on me....he came to our family with it). Apparently Mickey saw the open back door as an opportuntiy to explore and ended up playing in our neighbors garage with his labrador for the better part of an hour,. I guess our neighbor figured we were happy with just two dogs, and decided to forsake number three....or more likely he guessed (correctly) that with three dogs it's like having three kids. When there's one everyone watches him. Number two comes along and each person takes charge of one...Number three kid or dog...and everyone falls to the way side!!!!!.. Any way, after thoughtful consideration, (haha) we are safely at dogs numbering three!!! Thanks neighbor!!!

I get by with a little help from my friends

Friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life. And thanks to a benevolent arrangement of things, the greater part of life is sunshine---Thomas Jefferson

Thanks to the wonderful world of technology, the internet, and old friends with as much time on their hands as me, my days just got a lot colour me pink! Life is good....and it's getting better all the time......

Friday, October 10, 2008

When they said sit down...I stood up

Remember how lame you thought your parents were when you were young? I mean, how difficult was it to set up the vcr, or hook up a stereo system with only 2,000 cables and wires....and the brand new micro wave ( not to be used for cooking---only reheating- cause God only knows what those radiation waves will do to us in 40 years) The vcr clock really wasn't all that mysterious, was it? Imagine, folks.... an answering machine with our OWN PERSONALIZED message as opposed to the voice of a disembodied computer chip with NO syntax to his tone!!!!

Ah yes, those years were great... I could fix any thing, set any thing, wire up all the latest electronics.....They looked upon me with the eyes of the envious....of those who could never achieve such superior inteliigence in the high tech world of the eighties.....I was conqueror of all i repaired.......

Oh, did I mention that had to have my 17 year old explain and help me to hook my blog to my facebook???? And if I'm not too imposing (read dorkish), maybe I can get him to tell me where all the photos I've been trying to post on my sites have gone....(I hope those office party snapshots didn't end up on wierd universe again!) And, I know the kid will never speak to me if I managed to send his first day of tequila vollyball in Mexico to my husband's open school email posts again....(Turns out the kid isn't much for vollyball OR tequila!!!)

Well, in my darkest moment of the reality that I have in fact become the lame parent I swore I never would, my Dad just called---he wanted to know if the DVD he mailed us works on our television, or maybe just on his ????!!!!!!

Thanks D.J. for your help in furthering my technological education....and Thanks Dad, for reminding me, I CAN still hook up the VCR (if they still made them that is......)

Old Springsteen lyric......"When they said sit down, I stood up"
Still, true, only now I forgot why I'm standing.......

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Worker bee where are you?

Up at four thirty am---at work before 6. Is it just me, or is it hard to turn off the I've got to earn to support my kids.....With the state of economics on Long Island (and EVERY where else), I guess this is the demise of the one working parent home... I don't mind...and my kids are older now...12 and 17....and to their credit, they are pretty independent. I have yet to find the key to inspire a 17 year old to find even part time employment...Any clues out there? We cut him off from cash over a year ago, and he still gets by without really wanting any.....He works very occassionally, only when he wants to, yet even getting a car isn't motivating him.......??? It isn't as if he grew up with parents who lounged around the house all day...... Where is the worker bee that must sting him in to on the job action???????!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Burning Wood

The wood burning stove has finally been put in to service for fall 2008..... The whole house smells so great with that wood burning (instead of our cash and oil!!!) The house just feels so toasty..... It's a great feeling, knowing we put some direct effort in to taking care of ourselves......

Things to be grateful for.....

health, happiness, people to love who love right back at cha..... not a bad day at all!!!!!

We're not nearly as ill as some of the people's blogs I've read...It's a lot easier to offer a prayer than to walk in some of THOSE shoes......

We're not at all hungry or starved for basic fact, our cup is pretty well full on that line.

We've been on lots of fantastic vacations.....and we have more loving caring wonderful friends than any one has a right to ........

So thank you, God, Friends, Family, Whoever is resposible for the blessings my day is filled with.....

And sorry, if some times I can't see my happiness because my waa waa waa gets in the way....

waa waa waa maybe that last post depressed even me.... No more of that ... It's too draining, even to read it back brings me that's it for whiney blogging....Attitude has to be 90% of th e game of life and how we go around in this life... so... that's it...only positvity (is that a real word?)...from here on in.... If laughter is the best medicine, I want to be Nurse Ratchet........It's medication time.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Stress Relief?

Where does one go to relieve the burden of major work related stress? I work full tine out side my home.....too many reasons why..... I've been at the same job 20 years..,It has seen me through two divorces and a long stretch of single mother hood , of supporting a home (eventually lost), two growing boys, worrying about covering bills, driving long distances to work through nasty weather.......And throug it all, I came through each and every time....
Now, I am at the happiest I have ever been in my personal life....There is no upheaval and worry about food, bills, car payments, etc....
Yet my professional life has become one of hell....I dread the end of the weekends...Suday is no longer a night of rest, but one of insomnia with the nausea of facing another week of stress heaped on by person(s) whose company I used to enjoy.....
My health has been deteriorating rapidly over the last two months.....Blood pressure so high it isn't even responding to medication, panic attacks........ xanax is now par for each work day......and why? All because I stood up (along with 5 other female colleagues) about a a male chauvinistic bully in our prescence.....He' wasn't even a supervisor, yet I (not the other 5, just me!) have been singled out to bear the brunt of management's anger...reduced to tears.... TOLD to drop this lawsuit(?)....... just CUT IT OUT...I am "aggravating " people...... anyone out there have ANY optionable suggestions??? I am unable to just quit.... But I swear I am a timid, nervous bundle of hypertension....set to explode at any time,..........What to do????

Comfort food

Is it really the food itself, or may be just the aroma of the house filled with simmering sauces, delicious scents of what we love...Or is it the time spent side by side preparing the Sunday meal that is most comforting....To have what is so familiar, to embrace the safety and warmth of our own home......