One and Done Sunday #16

My friend Michelle keeps giving me a hard time for not writing my 40th birthday post yet. It was in March and she did some fabulous things for me.

This isn’t it, Michelle. My gift back to you is another week to blow me crap about it.

The kids just got back from Sunday school. #4 brought me a flower:

#5 said: You know what would stink? Becoming a zombie after you had died from losing your head. Because then you couldn’t eat brains

I am unclear as to whether this was part of today’s teaching.

#5 has also developed an obsession with Llamas, and my belly fat. CC is trying to teach him that if he wants girls to like him, he probably shouldn’t smack their stomachs and say, “It jiggles!” but so far the lesson hasn’t penetrated.

The Beatles’ You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away just came up on Pandora. #1 asked: Did this song come out in the 80’s?

Here’s your picture (I know, I cheated; two pics today):

Just a dusty pansy in the cemetery before we got all that rain. I like pansies.

And here are five links that are worth your time:

The best marriage advice I’ve ever read: Lydia Netzer 15 Ways to Stay Married

Three pictures of pit bulls that will make you smile: Sadie and Dasie

A simple way to shop the grocery store when you’re looking to eat healthier: Kate Miller on the Healthy Wage blog.

Peg-o-Leg: she’s funny! Don’t get in her line at the store. The Line Slayer

I totally stole this from Piper Bayard: Epic Rap Battles of History: Shakespeare VS. Dr. Seuss. Also, if you click on the Piper link, there are a couple of awesome coffins.

 

 

Happy Sunday.

Reality Check

So I’ve started work on a new show. Right now we’re getting all the gear together at the sound shop during the day. Daytime I’m in the shop, and at night I mix my old show. If I felt ineffective and absent as a parent before, it’s nothing compared to how I feel now, and I’m only three days in.

I take Sundays off from mixing the old show so I can have a day off. I know myself. If I don’t do that when it’s possible, life sucks. I need a day off. Sue me.

We’ve got some budding athletes in our family. It’s a genuine treat (rare and enjoyable) when we can get to one of their games/meets/matches. Because of the extra work right now it’s nearly impossible to get to one. My guilt is directly proportional to my availability.

I started my day today by getting more than five hours of sleep. I followed that with not having to drive over the George Washington Bridge. Made a last minute appointment to get some PT on my shoulder. Hung out with kids and puppies. Ran errands. Went to Bikram Yoga with #1, which was way cool (and she didn’t even make me go on the opposite side of the room from her). Came home and started getting dinner together and pondered the rest of the day. My list of must-do’s was far longer than the hours remaining.

#3 had a basketball game tonight. She’s on the middle school travel team. While I was cooking dinner heating up food she asked me if could come to her game.

Me: I don’t think so, sweetie.

#3: Awww. Pleeeese?

Me: I really don’t mean to blow you off, but I’m working two jobs right now. This is my only day off and I’m trying to do the things I need to do to be okay. There aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything, you know? You know how I can get.

#3: (with a knowing nod and a sigh) Yeah, I do.

Me: I’m trying not to get like that.

#5: You mean fat?

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For the record, I sacked my must-do list and we watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone while having popcorn and milkshakes, thereby negating my one and only workout this week. It was totally worth it.

Why #5 Wants a Fake ID (a Christmas post with pictures)

CC and #1 got up early on Sunday, December 11 and drove up a mountain to a place where you can cut your own Christmas tree.

All around the Christmas tree farm are posted signs that read No pets allowed. We have all kinds of wildlife in New Jersey. This is the only place besides a zoo that I’ve ever seen a bear. Not to mention the Jersey Devil (in fact, I’ve never seen one of those in a zoo. Hey, there’s an X-Files episode about that). One might think ahead about these things and know that when going up a mountain to chainsaw down a tree, it may be a good idea to leave your pets at home.

Or not.

At the Christmas tree farm on top of the mountain, the SUV in front of CC and #1 stops at the caretaker.

Yuppies in SUV: Hey, we have our golden retriever. Is it okay if he comes with us?

Caretaker, rolling his eyes: Keep him on a short leash, look out for animals and don’t let him pee on the trees.

CC stops at the caretaker: So I brought my mountain lion. . .

They came back with a truly perfect Christmas tree and the house smells all good and piney and Christmasy. I bet you thought this was the part where I tell you about how the yuppies with the golden retriever got attacked by bears and carried off by the Jersey Devil. Yeah, that didn’t happen.

We go to work decorating.

#5 (running back from the tree to get another ornament): Hey. Can you get a job decorating Christmas Trees?

Me: You mean me, personally? Or do you mean you?

#5 (runs to tree with ornament): I mean me!

Me: When you’re older.

#5: Awwww. (runs back for another ornament) Hey.

Me: What.

#5: Can you get me a birth certificate that says I’m older so I can get a job decorating Christmas Trees?

Me: Dude. I am not getting you a fake ID so you can get a job decorating Christmas Trees.

#5 (runs to tree, places ornament, runs back for another): Well. When you put it like that, it does sound extremely illegal.

The tree looks fantastic when we’re done. And then, inexplicably, all the white lights go out. Not the colored ones. Just the four strands of white. I have to confess that troubleshooting Christmas lights is not high on my priority list. The reason for this is that I spent the past five Christmases doing exactly that. I kept all the stupid fuses and extra bulbs because I figure, hey, I’m technically an electrician and I should just fix these.

Except that they’re all made in China by little girls who are forced to work on their birthdays and don’t celebrate Christmas anyway and so they have the last laugh by making it, frankly, not that simple. So I don’t troubleshoot lights anymore. I buy new ones.

I was fully prepared to strip all the ornaments and  non-working lights and reload the tree with working lights and redecorate it. But I went to four stores and nobody had any lights left. Well, no lights that I would use: seizure-inducing strobing color LED’s, gold lights on a gold cable, three five-foot strands of blue. I should have known the stores here would be cleaned out. This is suburban New Jersey and in my neighborhood, on Thanksgiving Day people replace their giant inflatable yard turkeys with giant inflatable santa-hatted penguins, and then wrap lights around their roofs, bushes, pillars, lamp posts and bomb shelter doors. All lights were gone by the time December 1 rolled around. Ah well.

I’d like to share some pictures with you.

Secaucus Junction, where I catch my train in to work, is a post unto itself. Suffice it to say for now that it is a great representation of corruption in my fair state, and one of the very unimportant results is that it has no electrical outlets. They decorate and can’t light anything up. They are afraid to pick a side in their decorating too, which is odd, because around here pretty much every town center throws up at bare minimum a Christmas tree and a Menorah. In Secaucus they have these:

Donuts? Spare tires?

Oh.

They’re so. . .festive  green. And red. And unlit. As if somehow by not lighting them, they become non-offensive. Also, they’re fake.

From one extreme to the other, here’s a house in my neighborhood.

Sorry it’s blurry, but there’s a damn lot of blinkity-blink happening here and I was trying not to look like a stalker standing on the street taking pictures. Though really, they’re asking for it.

Here’s the poor tastefully decorated house next to it:

I think you need a closer look.

If you need me, I’ll be in the bathroom, bleaching my eyeballs. Merry Christmas.