Thursday, March 01, 2007

Koko The Don

Two weeks ago the kids messed with the TV settings. Ever since then the picture on our TV has been slightly distorted. The faces are a bit wider - like the image was being forced into being widescreen. We worked off and on for a week to try to change it. I have no idea what they did, but they did it good!

We finally reached a point where we couldn't take it anymore. Hubby had the universal remote and the TV remote and was alternately pushing buttons - on both remotes and on ME. He would get to a screen that looked promising and then he would press the wrong button. Over and over. I was intently staring at the screen when I realized that nothing was happening. I looked over at Hubby in his big chair and he had the remote in his left hand and had his right index finger resting on his bottom lip, a puzzled look on his face. I had HAD it by this point and said, 'Okay Koko, give me the remote!" His puzzled look deepened.

Hubby: "What did you just call me?"

Me: "Koko. You know, the gorilla that uses sign language to communicate? You had the look of a puzzled gorilla. It just came out. Sorry."

Hubby: "Don't call me that. It's not nice." And then he stuck his tongue under his bottom lip and proceeded to try to push the buttons of the remote with his knuckles.

(We eventually fixed the TV AND the DVR (for some reason the DVR thought that we were continually recording ESPN - even when we asked it very nicely to stop) by just unplugging everything and then turning it back on.)

Sunday night he had the remote again. During the Oscars. That's not acceptable. I control the remote during Hollywood events, thank you very much. Once again, he was trying to figure something out with the remote (I have no idea what he was trying to do because he knew that if he changed the channel at all that evening he was going to lose a hand) so, once again, I took control.

Me: "I am going to have to start calling you Koko when you use that thing. Give it here."

Hubby: "Why do you want to call me Koko?"

Me: "Because you look just like she does when she's trying to figure something out."

Hubby: "SHE? You're not even calling me a boy gorilla, I'm a girl?!? Now I really don't like it!"

Me: "Okay, okay. It's not very nice. I won't call you Koko." Then I took the remote and started watching again.

A few minutes later I looked over and he was sitting slumped over, his tongue back behind his bottom lip again, hands curled, running his knuckles over the top of his head. Then he pointed at the remote in my hand and started grunting.

I was just getting used to the idea that I had married a female gorilla when he got it into his head that he wanted to be a mob boss.

Monday night Hubby decided that he wanted to check out The Black Donnellys - the show that replaced our beloved Studio 60. I had a hard time with that because I'm still mad that they cancelled Studio 60 so I went in the office to play on the computer and pout. About halfway through the show Hubby convinced me to come in and watch with him. He said that it was very good and he was getting into it. He caught me up on what the warring families were up to. He was very excited at how the story was unfolding. There were beatings, murders, professions of forbidden love. The works.

When it was over he leaned back.

Hubby: "I want to be in the mob!"

Me: "What?"

Hubby: "Yeah! It would be fun! I could come home and say . . . " At this point he got up and walked over to where I was sitting, leaned over, put his finger in my face and said, forcefully, "Don't ask me about my business!" Then he shot the mood by standing up straight and grinning.

Me: Deadpan. Still pouting over not watching Studio 60. "Yeah. That would be fun."

Hubby: Trying it again. "Don't ask me about my business! You don't know anything about it! Tutoring kids is a hard business! You don't need to know anything about it!" Then he practiced storming out of the room.

I know he wanted to be tough. I know he envisioned having a gun hidden in his waistband. But all I could see was a confused gorilla beating her chest and then signing "toilet dirty devil".

Can't help loving that man of mine!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Leprosy in the Video Game Age

Pinkeye is the equivalent of leprosy in today's society. At least in the segment of the population that I find myself in:  the stay-at-home-moms, preschool and grade school teachers, or anyone who works with young kids. Yesterday, at my worst, I was shunned. I was asked to step outside a classroom. I was thanked for staying a playground's length away from a baby. My husband's co-worker followed HIM around with a can of Lysol. I found myself waiting for the horse and cart to come get me and take me away to my pinkeye colony.

Yes, pinkeye is highly contagious. But it is not airborne. I would have to touch my eye and then touch something and then have someone else touch that thing and then touch their eye to spread it. I, however, am wearing my glasses which provide a natural barrier for when my hand wants, of its own volition, goes to my eye. With said glasses, I have to make a conscious effort to touch my eye. Trust me, I'm not touching my eye. It freaks me out just as much as it freaks others out! If I want to wipe it, I use a cotton ball and then dispose of the hazardous waste right then. I have sprayed down doorknobs just in case. I am using hand sanitizer like it's aloe vera and my hands are sunburned. You ain't gettin' this stuff from me!

I can understand how people in my demographic would be scared. Pinkeye can go through a classroom like wildfire. If an infected kid comes to class of COURSE they are going to be rubbing their eye and then handling everything within a 40 yard radius. And I believe that it is a documented fact that as soon as a kid is contagious with something, that is the time that he/she is going to start practicing how to share their toys. I think it's the survival instinct of the bacteria/virus taking over the brain of the host organism in order to help them spread, spread, SPREAD!!!

The worst part about this whole pinkeye thing, though, isn't being a social outcast for 3 to 5 days. Nope. It's having to throw out all of my eye make-up and assorted make-up tools. Sigh. There goes my new mascara. Out with the eyeliner. Bye-bye eyeshadow duo. S'long eyelash curler. Au revoir eyeshadow brushes. I think I'll miss you the most. Luckily the only NEW thing in my drawer was the mascara - and I got that 40% off. And Clinique bonus time is in a couple of weeks! So, okay maybe throwing out my eye make-up isn't the worst thing. But it is annoying!

During this whole thing I remembered a pinkeye scare from when I was a kid. Someone from my school called Mom and warned her that pinkeye was going around the school. I remember Mom getting off of the phone and coming and checking my eyes. I asked what was wrong and what I remember her saying was, "Pinkeye is going around." This immediately conjured up an image of a ghostly eye of a pinkish cast floating down the street looking for some unsuspecting kid to land on while all the parents were locking their doors and shutting their blinds to the outside. When my doctor diagnosed me on Monday I felt like a target on a video game - my eye flashed yellow then white then a glowing pink while the Ghostly Pink Eye playing the video game laughed and collected its bonus points.

Hopefully my kids won't end up giving the GPE the high score.

Friday, February 09, 2007

The Lesson of the Lexus

Two years ago our wonderful neighbors - the ones with kids the same age as ours - sold their house to a young bartender named Tony. It's a five bedroom house. And yes, Tony took in roommates. I braced myself for sleepless nights of long parties, of beer cans in the yard and a steady flow of girls. But I've been very pleasantly surprised. They are quiet. Sometimes we go for weeks without seeing anyone. The cars (all new, flashy sportscars) come and go, but I never see anyone. For the most part, he's a great neighbor. There are only two things with which I have a problem.

First of all, Tony didn't mow the lawn all summer. Every week as I mowed our lawn I would grumble to myself. (And I always made sure that I mowed around 9:00 a.m. on a Saturday! A little passive aggression. Sorry.) Oh, our kids loved it! They would run to his yard and flop down and laugh as I called out, "Where's Buddy? I don't see Buddy! Is Princess in the house or did Tony's lawn eat her?" (The giggling always gave them away.) It was from one of these flops that I'm sure Princess picked up the tick. Tony finally mowed TWICE in one week during October. Just before the grass stopped growing. At least I know that he CAN mow now. He has no excuse this summer.

Another gripe lately has been the wrecked Lexus parked in the street in front of his house. He must have had it towed here. The passenger door is caved in and the window busted out (there is a big sheet of cardboard stuck in the door to shield it from the rain). The windshield has a huge spiderweb crack starting from the passenger side and looks like it could collapse any minute. The back two tires are almost completely shredded. It is embarrassing.

Princess and Buddy are fascinated by the car. At least once a week they ask to go look at "the wreck". For some reason, their fascination centers on the fact that it is so nice on the inside. They peer in and say, "Look at that! It's so pretty! Nothing's wrong on the inside!" I would mumble something about how Tony should get it fixed so that it would look nicer on the street and then we'd go back to our yard.

Tuesday brought such a wonderful day! After school the kids and I spent time in the front yard. I trimmed back my rose bushes and the kids ran up and down the street. Princess came spinning up to me. "Kate and I decided that we know why God let Tony keep his car like that."

"Oh?" I asked, wondering what God had to do with a beat-up Lexus.

"Yeah!" she chirped. "It's perfect on the inside, but it's yucky on the outside. God did that to remind us that it doesn't matter what we look like on the outside. He wants us to be pretty on the inside." And she danced away.

So often I look for God to send me messages written in calligraphy, wrapped in fine linen paper and sealed with a wax seal. Or, more often than not, I think that God only speaks to me directly through His words in the Bible. Princess found a message wrapped in crumpled steel and soggy cardboard. I am humbled. I am delighted. Once again, God has taught me a beautiful lesson through one of my children.

Thank you, God, for the broken down Lexus. And for the little eyes who saw the pristine leather interior.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Looking to 2007

One of the definitions of "resolution" in my dictionary is "A course of action determined or decided on." Since this is the season for resolutions, I started thinking about what courses of action I would like to decide upon in 2007. I rarely, if ever, write down any resolutions because I have historically failed to keep them and I don't like to have a record of my failures. So, this year, I'm am setting myself up for success. Every resolution will begin with "I WILL TRY MY BEST". I can do that. I can put my best foot forward and really set my mind on the effort and not the result. Most of the time if I concentrate on DOING, I will wind up DOING. If I concentrate on FINISHING, I will only see what I haven't done and get discouraged. I also have a goal of making my resolutions POSITIVE ( I will . . . and not I won't). So, with that said, here are some of my resolutions for 2007:

I WILL TRY MY BEST to spend more time getting to know God.
I WILL TRY MY BEST to think of how I can serve my family better - then I WILL TRY MY BEST to do it.
I WILL TRY MY BEST to be supportive to Hubby in his new business.
I WILL TRY MY BEST to focus on being healthy and making healthy choices - for myself as well as my family.
I WILL TRY MY BEST to drink more water.
I WILL TRY MY BEST to see each day as a clean slate.
I WILL TRY MY BEST to use my time to my advantage.
I WILL TRY MY BEST to make sure that the people who mean a lot to me know it.
I WILL TRY MY BEST to come up with a realistic budget and stick to it.
I WILL TRY MY BEST to periodically take stock of where I am and how I'm doing to see where I can improve and where I can pat myself on the back.
I WILL TRY MY BEST to pat myself on the back now and again! And make it a point to do the same to others (especially my family).
I WILL TRY MY BEST to read more.
I WILL TRY MY BEST to write more.

I also have some goals that seem a bit out of my control, but I want to keep my eye out for them.

GOAL: to find my voice in my writing.
GOAL: to find a way for me to contribute financially to the family.
GOAL: to win the World Series of Pop Culture!

So there you have it. Posted here for all to see. And you know, the great thing about a blog where you lay it all out is that every one of you reading this will be able to check up on me to see if I really am trying my best. My every day entries should be indicators of whether or not I'm trying my best. Have I set the bar too high? No, I don't think so. Have I not set it high enough? Hmmm. Only time will tell (cop out!).

We had a very interesting and blessed 2006. I'm really looking forward to what God is going to do in 2007.