Sunday, April 28, 2013

Shoeless Wonder

My hubby ran a triathlon this past weekend.

You know, just a refreshing 500 meter swim, followed by a leisurely 15 mile bike ride, ending with a simple 5k run.  Yes, that's what he wanted to do on a perfectly beautiful EARLY Saturday morning while I slept.

He trained for this event. He swam. He ran. He biked.  He even practiced the transitions between each event.

It turns out my hubby can run fast, swim fast, and bike fast, but he is painfully slow in terms of changing out of wet clothes to dry clothes and from taking off bike shoes to putting on running shoes.  I helped time his transition times.  I encouraged him by mocking his slow transition pace.  Honestly, there are preschoolers who can put on shoes faster.

The morning of the race arrives.  Perfect race conditions.  I wait anxiously at the finish line.  Eight runners cross the finish line, and then I see my hubby.

He looks great. He looks fit.  He looks...shoeless?

He crosses the finish line in socks.

Apparently, someone accidentally took his shoes.  Driven by foolishness his competitive spirit, he decided to run the 5k and finish the race in his socks.

After the race, he and his fellow wacky running buddies talk about Abebe Bikila, Bruce Tulloh, and Herb James Elliot.  Of course, I have no idea who these people are, but they must have all accomplished great things without appropriate footwear.

I hate to brag, but I once went to the mailbox in just socks.

Now who's impressive?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Boston, You're Our Home

The Stendells sang it so well...

"Yeah, down by the river
Down by the banks of the river, Charles.
Aw, that's what's happenin' baby
That's where you'll find me
Along with lovers, buggers and thieves.
Well, I love that dirty water
Oh, Boston you're my home."

Today Boston is America's home.

On a sunny Monday while our East Coast brothers celebrated the 117th Boston Marathon, terror erupted.  Individuals went from cheering for runners to caring for the injured.  Lives were changed in a heartbeat.

On Monday our nation was left shocked, scared, stunned, and heartbroken.

The week was young.

As the week progressed, law enforcement in and around Boston worked tirelessly while Bostonians heeded requests to stay indoors.  The media nearly talked themselves into a babbling tizzy.

It culminated with an arrest on Friday.  Ironically enough Friday is Patriot's Day.  Yes, April 19th is Patriot's Day.  Patriot's Day, for those of you not in the know, celebrates the first battles of the American Revolution (the battles of Lexington and Concord).  The night before this first battle was Paul Revere's ride to warn the minutemen.

Boston, we love you.

I first met Boston when I was a high school teenager.  My parents took my sister and I on a vacation to Boston so we could "learn some American history." My mother insisted we walk the Freedom Trail. All of it.

We walked in and out of over fifteen historical places while my parents seemingly read ever placard they encountered.  It was the longest walk of my life.  I complained loudly during the entire walk.

As a surly teenager, I have almost no memory of the actual historical sites, but I do remember seeing one cute Bostonian boy after another.  My sister and I were convinced Boston was the hub of all beautiful young men.  I'm now 39-ish, and I still think this may be true.
Case in point: Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Edward Norton, Matthew Perry, Steve Carell, and my hubby.

The point is I was a boy-crazy teenager I fell in love with Boston.  It was beautiful and full of life.  I'm not sure how you can visit Boston and not fall in love with it.  I suppose it only makes sense, in some cosmic way, that I would go off to college in Ohio, find the only young man from Boston on the college campus, and later marry him.

Boston, you made America proud this week.
You are wicked pissah!

Go Sox!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Dancing with the Stars Athens-Style

Anything you can do, Athens can do better.  
It's not our town motto, but it should be.  It would be, too, if we weren't such modest, affable people.  As it is, we just keep our awesomeness to ourselves. Yeah, it's just how we roll.

Saturday night is a perfect example of how Athens brings it in a big way.

What does a school nurse, military man, small business owner, and an insurance agent all have in common?

They sure can dance!

Saturday night in Athens, Ohio was the annual Dancing with the Stars event to raise money for the American Red Cross.

Much like the popular television show, local celebrities compete for votes.  They practice, practice, practice their dancing skills with the help of professional dancers for the hope of being crowned victorious.  It's all in the name of charity.

Several hundred people gathered on Saturday night to cheer on the dancers, support a good cause, and be entertained.

Oh, the moves!

Who knew the guy who makes my delicious sandwiches at Brenen's Coffee Cafe could shake his thang??  The local insurance agent is no clown when it comes to his dance moves.  My children's school nurse has an ass any 21 year old would covet, and a retired army officer can dance with or without his beautiful wife by his side.  On top of all that, yellow suspenders have never looked better, and the ladies who were there know exactly what I'm talking about!

The talent of these regular joes turned dance aficionados was amazing. Kudos to them for donating their time and talent in an effort to raise money for the American Red Cross.

The Masters of Ceremonies kept the audience engaged, and the performances moved along flawlessly.  The female MC really rocked it in a gold dress.  In my next life, I'm going to ask for her figure. And the ability to walk in heels let alone dance in them, but I digress....

Best of all, of course, was the opportunity to donate to a great cause while spending  quality time with two of the most hilarious ladies I know.  I mean, really,  it feels so great to laugh oneself to tears. Sure, one of them was a little gassy, but that's what happens when you eat a lot of cheese at dinner. No judgment.

Kudos to everyone involved in organizing and pulling off the event.  It was an amazing evening!

At the end of the night, the true winner is the American Red Cross.  They deserve not only our financial support, but our blood, too.

You can't see me blessedly, but I'm doing a little happy jig as I write this.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

It's a Roll of Toilet Paper Not the Holy Grail

Call me Indian Jones.

It's as if toilet paper is as difficult to find as the Holy Grail. I am seemingly the only crusader fearless enough to track down toilet paper rolls when an old roll is empty.

Yes, this talent is completely under appreciated.

We have three toilets in our home. I am 98% positive two of the toilets are sitting by their lonesome wondering where their friend, Mr. T. Paper, is hiding.   The third toilet is hanging out with an actual roll of toilet paper.    I know this because I usually only tinkle in one of the bathrooms, and I am 100% sure that bathroom is well stocked.

Where to begin?

For starters, I only tinkle in one bathroom because my two disgusting children use the other ones.  I've seen what they refer to as "washing hands" and I would rather not touch any bathroom surface after they've been in there.

Let's just say soap is optional and water is only required occasionally.

Yes, folks, waving your hands magically a good ten inches above the bathroom sink is "washing hands" to my children.  If you don't have time to wave them magically, then just skip the whole wiping and flushing tasks, too, and bolt for the door.

There's just so much fun stuff going on here! Who has time to wipe, flush, and wash?

As we all know, when a roll of toilet paper runs its course, it can be nearly impossible to find a new roll. After all, you're in a bathroom.  The hiding places are endless.

Toilet paper could be in the closet or under the sink or in the ... Nope. Pretty much in the closet or under the sink, people. Take your best guess. There are only so many "hiding" places in a bathroom, right?

I am the only one who can find the toilet paper in my home.

When I walk into the kids' bathroom and find empty toilet paper rolls, I am disgusted. Not so much by their inability to find a fresh roll, but by the fact I never know how long they've gone without toilet paper.  Without wiping. Ick.

This is gross.  I know.  As I've said, they are disgusting children.

Now, however, I've seemingly become the only person who can find the toilet paper at work, too.

I mean really, people?  It's a bathroom. There is NO SHAME in using the last of the toilet paper, but there is a special place in hell for adults who don't replace the empty roll with a fresh one.

Again, it's a role of toilet paper not a lost treasure!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

An Open Apology Letter to My Digestive Tract

Dear Digestive Tract,

I want to apologize for my behavior on Friday night.

In fairness to me, I had a really rough week.  Monday was Monday (need I say more?); Tuesday I had a flat tire; Wednesday was my annual exam where a nice gynecologist shoved her fist up and into my hoo-ha; Thursday I started PMS-ing like it was my job; and by Friday I was pretty sure everyone was out to get me.

After all of that stress, I met friends after work and decided to eat as if I were representing an entire college fraternity.

Why I thought eating fried pickles, fried mushrooms, potatoes skins, french fries, and something called "nachos from hell" in one sitting was a good idea, I may never know.  I can only say it was stress eating terribly, terribly out of control.

Incidentally, nachos from hell features not one, but two pork related toppings.  Imagine a plate of nachos covered in melted cheese, onions, bacon, ham, and more cheese.  Yeah, I ate that and then ordered fries.  I'm a health nut coronary heart disease waiting to happen.  Blessedly, the nachos did have a thin layer of tomatoes and lettuce on top so I'm counting that as a serving of vegetables.

I'd like to say I washed it down with water or some healthy beverage that wasn't full of empty calories, but who would I be kidding?  You absolutely know with what I washed it down.

Again, I seemingly forgot you are not the digestive tract of my twenties.  You are more sensitive, and you deserve demand my respect.  Although I would prefer you not wake me with severe gas pains at 2 o'clock on Saturday morning, I understand the difficulty I caused you earlier that evening.

I want to tell you I won't do it again.  I want to say I will never eat like a pack of starving college men again.  We both know I am weak.  Just writing about nachos from hell makes me suddenly crave bacon and cheese.

You've been a good digestive tract for the past 39-ish years, and I hope our friendship can continue. I'm sorry I made you work so hard this past weekend. I'll try to eat more thoughtfully this week today.

Yours Truly,

Emotional Eater

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Georgia on My Mind

Remember when schools were segregated?  

Me neither. I'm just such a young, vivacious thing that I wasn't even a twinkle in my mother's eye when the Supreme Court ruled in 1954 that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional.

I read about it in history books.  I know the transition from a segregated society to an integrated one didn't happen smoothly nor expediently.

BUT I did kind of think it already happened.

"We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself; a society that can live with its conscience."*

I'm a clueless white lady so I thought overt, organized racial segregation was a thing of the past.

Yes, I know racism exists. Yes, I know racism is alive and well in the hearts of some very narrow-minded, ignorant people. BUT I thought the days of organized, overt racism were over.

That all changed when I read "Georgia High School Students Fight Against Segregated Prom."

According to the article, "The segregated prom has been a tradition at Wilcox County High School, with separate dances for each race for as long as people can remember."

Now some students are trying to change that. Yes, now as in 2013.  A mere 59 years AFTER the United States Supreme Court ruled segregation in public schools as unconstitutional.

The article continues, "The idea hasn’t gone over too well with some people. Some students ripped down signs for the Integrated Prom. Last year, when a biracial student tried to attend the whites only prom, police came to turn the student away."

Georgia, what are you thinking?

I read this article and I actually thought I was reading one of those fake new stories from The Onion.  Please tell me this is just part of some really bad joke.  Please.

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."*

To the students planning the integrated prom in Georgia, you are making your community a better place. Do not be discouraged by the heartless acts of a few.  You are on the side of justice.

"True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice."*

* Quotes are from Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. They are also some of the quotes etched in stone at the MLK Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Monday, April 1, 2013

My Little Runaway

If you are one of those perfect parents with perfect children, please stop reading.  Stop reading. I hate you. Really.

If you are one of those parents who just hope you're not scarring your children too badly, then this is a feel good story you'll enjoy.

Today was the first day back to school after a lovely week off. There were tears, stomping of feet, and unabashed sorrow. And that was just me! The kids were sluggish and grumpy, too.

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work we go!

After a loooooong day at work, I return home to my kiddos.  My son is clearly annoyed with his day, cranky, and basically a total pill to be around.  His attitude, inability to listen, and overall lack of follow-through requires that I do a little something referred to as "parenting."  He hates that. He absolutely hates having me tell him obvious things like:

"You're room is a mess so clean it."
"Your homework isn't done so finish it."
"The toilet isn't flushed so flush it."

After a round of consequences which included him cleaning the toilet (honestly, one more unflushed toilet and I will come completely unglued), he decided he had had enough.

"You won't be talking to me for some time," he said as headed towards the back door while clutching his favorite stuffed animal.

"Where are you going?" I asked this calmly while handing him his jacket.

"Canada," he responded with a twinkle in his eye and a slight smirk surfacing on his young face.


"Canada or Washington, D.C. I'm not sure which."

"Hmmmm.  Well, you better decide soon because they are in completely different directions."


"Well, be sure to call me when you get there."

"Can I have a cell phone to take with me?"

"Oh, no.  You'll have to borrow a phone when you get there, but you can have a piece of fruit for your trip.  Do you want to take an apple?"

"No thanks."

And just like that, he was gone.  He got on his scooter and scooted down the driveway and out of sight.

I figured if he was going to Canada by scooter, I wouldn't get a phone call for a week.  If he decided to venture to Washington, DC, I figured I'd hear something within the week.

I continued reheating leftovers making dinner.

Imagine my surprise when my sweet son scooted back up the driveway three minutes later. Into the kitchen he walked with his stuffed animal.

"I'm still not happy about cleaning the toilet for free."

I ignore this statement because I am against child abuse and I couldn't think of an appropriate response at that moment.

Later he brought me a piece of paper with a graph on it.  The graph was clearly displaying a negative slope.

"Mom, your polling numbers aren't very good," he said with a twinkle in his eye.  "You should ask dad how to raise your polling numbers."

Funny boy.

Funny boy may just have the pleasure of cleaning another toilet tomorrow.
I'm a mom not a politician. I could give a hoot about my polling numbers!