24 April 2011

I'm A Sensitive Moron

My van has died and I want to set it on fire and roll it off a cliff.

I can be positive. I'd do it with a smile. The smile part has you puzzled. I can feel it.

I was lucky enough to have The Anti-Christ lose power in our apartment parking lot. It was only a matter of pushing the van back into a parking space. (read: nearly lose my salvation and try to throw my back out.)

The mechanic says it's electrical and the electrician is out for two weeks. I allowed myself the human emotion of "daaaaamnit" to resonate throughout my brain, took a deep breath, and then took it in stride.

I had a fairly busy week and weekend planned. This week will be busy, too. Movies to be seen. Eggs to hunt. Live music to be heard. Carpool duties. A pregnant mom to coach.

I believe character is birthed from bad days. This is how I manage to be positive about being negative. Positively negative. I usually laugh over stupid stuff like this. Crying comes to mind but what can I do?

I laugh. I laugh and tell myself it could be worse as I nearly strain all the muscles in my right side just pushing my van around the parking lot by myself. Like a moron.

I could have easily strained my left side, too. I could have been 20 miles from home. See? Positive thinking here.

I ended up staying home, reading, spending time with the family, and playing Words With Friends on my phone. It's like online Scrabble. I'm not very good at it. I haven't played Scrabble since I was in my teens. I'm managing an average of 325 points per game which is ironic because that is also my golfing average. So, I guess not all is lost.

In other news, I decided to beef up my bookshelves because the 1500 books I currently own is not enough blatant consumerism. That and I've read just about everything here. Second-hand shops are a goldmine of books on the cheap. 1st editions are also a fairly common discovery. Hand over a $20 bill and leave with 15 to 20 books.

Last week, I found a travel book for my son who has taken a sudden interest in Japan. I thought he would be completely beside himself when I gave it to him. It went something like this:

"Hey, Titus. I haaaave something for you."

Sing-song voices are most necessary when revealing a surprise.

"What is it? What is it?"

I have two boys. I've given them different names and birthed them 18 months apart but they still have not figured out the concept of autonomy yet. They do everything together. Peas in a pod. Like conjoined twins without all the awkward dating and tailored clothes.

Titus shows up first, "Did you get me something?"

I beam with motherly pride and joy. I'm so proud of myself for not only encouraging him to learn but also for finding his book for under a few bucks.

"I got you a book......." I pause for effect, "on...." I whip out the book and grin. At this point, I probably look like a young Jack Nicholson audition for the Joker.

Max shows up as I'm holding the article in question. They both look at me blankly. Max is the first to speak.

"A Honk Kong travel book?" Titus takes it from me slowly and looks at the cover like I've handed him a book on quadratic equations.

"Yes! Isn't that awesome. I thought you'd be excited?" I asked him, puzzled as to why he wasn't hugging me and calling me the "Best Mom Ever".

Titus still hasn't said anything. Max meets my eye and deadpans, "Mom. Titus likes Japan. That's Hong Kong. As in Hong Kong, China........Not Japan." He states the last bit slowly because it has become painfully obvious to him that I've ventured into Dunceland (population 1), and am in dire need of all the help I can get.

Now, before you believe me to be completely geographically challenged, I will say that I am unequivocally, completely geographically challenged.

In my defense, I already know.....believe me, I know....that Hong Kong is in China. If you plow through the travel books at the Goodwill, the smell of dust and lord knows what else will permeate your delicate tissues thus rendering you, the potential book buyer, incapacitated and well, moronic. This, to the point of not knowing what state you are currently living in, let alone remember what cities go with what countries.

China is the big one, right? Japan is the little island-y one, right?

Seriously, though. Geography has never been a strong point for me but my brain apparently went on vacation to one of those tropical islands where they have white sand, blue skies, and cabana boys to fetch yummy drinks that come with little, tiny Barbie umbrellas. I couldn't tell you anything more, as my brain wouldn't be able to identify that island either, nor point it out on a globe.

Online map puzzles help a little but I felt pretty foolish (read: like a really, really big moron) that my boys witnessed what could only be described as a total, epic brain fart of geographical proportions.

Or witness one of those brain vacations that smells like the beach and coconuts. It's lovely there. I would not blame my brain in the slightest for not wanting to come back.

I pride myself in my sensitivity to diversity and other ethnicities. I have traveled the globe. Studied other cultures. Learned about the world beyond my little life bubble and continue to learn a little about a whole lot of things. But when I forget things I know...like wearing deodorant, or eating. Or knowing where Hong Kong is? I have to laugh at myself.

Go ahead. Laugh it up. Mr Coffee did. He kissed my forehead and told me not everyone can be in a completely perfect "state".

Yeah, he totally went there.

~Bee is listening to Your Touch by The Black Keys

02 April 2011

Speed Writing and Ankle Grabbing

I pretty much guarantee this will be a bumpy ride of a post.

I've been writing a lot and an exercise for writing is speed writing. I'm not particularly fond of it. It's not my style, but it's writing exercise to beef up my wordsmith butchery. Speed writing is to write what comes to mind. Scary for me and a nightmare for you. In some cases, this can be an incredibly stretching exercise. In other cases, more like an exorcism. And some cases are Samsonite and are getting their handles broken off at the airport after being re-routed through Nigeria.

You can only guess which category I'm fitting in: exorcism. My head keeps spinning and I'm vomiting green goo as we speak.

I'm sitting here at my desk and admiring my pile of papers I've managed to accumulate. Not papers, like newspapers because we don't get the newspaper, but mail and school papers we have in tree trunk loads.

I should be more diligent in opening mail, as I have in the past. No, it's more fun to smoosh a papery path to my monitor so I can see my screen properly. Not having a surface to dust is just a bonus.

The truth is fairly simple: I haven't been too excited to read that Geico still wants my business and my electric bill is due. Even though I pay it online. The electric bill, not Geico. I know, bad news doesn't change with time. Of course, good news doesn't change either. We've had a live, warm body of an insurance agent that has kept our business since Mr Coffee was 15, growing chest hair, and drooling over Camaros. Let's just say it's been a while. So, we don't switch to Geico to not save a lot on car insurance.

I'm sorry. Double negatives in writing are confusing and a no-no. Just don't not roll with it.

Speaking of rolling, my insurance has gone up a tad in this term, which makes me wonder how it can with a 14 yr old van that is losing value and we haven't claimed anything on the insurance except for three windshields in the last 18 years. It's kind of a funny concept to think that insurance companies are betting that you will get in an accident. You are betting them you won't and show it by paying them to think you will get in an accident. That's almost as fun as double negatives.

I think insurance is taking a page from the gas companies and banks. It's from the chapter, "How To Make Your Customers Turn Around and Grab Their Ankles."

Nothing like a reference to your Hey Now to get your attention. Crude? Perhaps (sorry, Mom) but I don't write the book so I'll let you take that how you will.

Not will, like death and taxes, and Great Auntie popped off years ago blessing you with a ton of money. It's will, like "however you want to take it." kind of will. Because, yes, Great Auntie would have stroked out long ago at the cost of gas prices. She'd also raise a missing eyebrow, thanks to too much plucking in her younger years, at the banks customer service that holds a fee of $5 to talk to someone other than an automated message.

Your business is important to us. Please hold for eight years for the next combative customer service representative.

The only good news about Great Auntie stroking out, because face it - she's your favorite, is that you'd be willed enough money to never worry about money or gas prices. Banks would also treat you differently because you had giant bank accounts. Like, a Starbucks built at the end of your driveway and a swimming pool full of money in your basement.

Still...I'm not changing to Geico.

~Bee says, "Not in a speed-writing minute."

Listening to "You Are A Tourist" by Death Cab for Cutie