In celebration of this Ween of Hallows, I thought it would be apropos to tell each other stories about the word “Boo!”  [As a side note on the usage of the word ‘apropos’ – French Major is in the maison!  Whoopée whoopée!  And I know JUST what you’re thinking: quel dommage that I haven’t been hired yet, n’est-ce pas?!]

Anyway.  Back to our Boo Stories.  Great idea by the way.  I’ll go first.

When I had a job and no, I still don’t have another.  See comment above about it being a pity that I haven’t been hired yet.  But thanks for asking.  ALWAYS with the asking.  stink eye, stink eye  And huh, that’s weird, because even though I said I was going first, YOU apparently went first with your ‘Boo!’ story.  It was all [sarcastic now, waving hands in the air] BOO-hoo New Stay at Home Mom doesn’t have a job after all this time.  And quite frankly, I found your story boring and repetitive.  And a bit sad-sack for my tastes.  So your turn’s done now.

My turn.

I was standing at the elevator at the end of the work day, waiting to go home.  A man comes around the corner, places his hands on my shoulders suddenly and yells in my ear, “BOO!!!!!”

I could see all of this happening in the relfecto elevator doors, so I wasn’t nearly as surprised as he was when I turned around.  His eyes flew wide and he said, “Oh no!  I TOTALLY thought you were someone else!!!”  Really?  There’s ANOTHER pretty, funny chick who works around here!?? 

The man apologized profusely and I stepped in the elevator and went on with my evening.

The next time I saw him, I yelled “Boo!” at him.  He yelled “Boo!” back.  We laughed and walked away.  And thus began the seven-year saga of “Boo!” 

We would never actually speak to eachother when we would see one another in the hall, on the elevator, in the building lobby.  We would simply exchange two words:  Boo!…BOO!!  And go on our way. 

Sometimes the Boo!…BOO!!  would be outright shout-y.  Sometimes we would channel certain personas like Thug-ee-Dee saying Boo! complete with “Word to your Mother” hand gestures.  And other times?  It would almost be like we were exchanging terms of endearment, “Hey, Boo.”  “Wassup, Boo.”

No matter what the Boo-style was, in all that time, I never really said more to him than Boo!…BOO!!  In fact, I couldn’t even tell you what his name is.  I never knew it.  I referred to him simply as “Boo” to co-workers, friends and family.

That wasn’t for lack of trying on Boo’s part, though.  He would attempt to strike up a conversation, but I would just give him the zip-lip sign.  It just seemed WAY funnier to never actually speak to eachother, to just say Boo!…BOO!! and walk away.

Aaaah, so funny.  Frickin’ hilarious in fact.

Anyway, my story’s done now.  And all I have to say is I miss all the boos I used to have at work.  heh, heh, heh

But before you go, let’s do it one more time for old-time’s sake.  We’ll be English Gents tipping our hats to eachother.  “I say what, what!  Good day and Boo to you!”

And now you say, “Good day and Boo to you TOO!  Cheerio!!”

Wow.  I gotta say that wasn’t nearly as fun as I thought it was gonna be.  But thanks for playing. 

Happy Halloween!

The Phone Call

It was a dark and stormy night…

It was last night.  Hubby’s plane was due to land any minute.  The phone rings.  I look at Caller ID and the display reads County Sheriff.

Really?  Yeah, right.  My first reaction was to dismiss the whole thing as just one more political phone call – this time it’s probably the Police Chief wanting me to vote for him.  Or with him.

So I hesitated to answer. 

The phone rang again.

It was 9:30, which made it a little late for a political call.  Then it occurred to me that maybe Sonny’s biggest-fear-while-Hubby-is-on-a-business-trip (that Hubby’s plane will crash) has maybe come to pass.  Maybe this is it.  Maybe this is how it plays out.  Maybe instead of showing up at my door like olden times, the cops just CALL me with the terrible news.

I quick grab the phone and answer.

The voice at the other end tells me the Emergency Broadcast System has been engaged and to press “1” for the message.

Uhhh…ok, well, I’m intrigued.  Good job on that.  Let’s hear it.  So I press “1” like a boss.

The woman at the other end announces that two escaped juvenile males are thought to be on foot and IN MY HOUSE.

Wait!  WHAAAAAT?!??! 

Shhhhhh!!!  Stop breathing so loud!!  Ok, ok, phew, not in my “house.”  I overreacted.  In my “area.”  But there’s more.

One is wearing shorts, a gray hoodie and handcuffs.  Sucks to be you, dude, ‘cause it’s cold and you’re wearing shorts.  And also handcuffs. 

The woman goes on to say that the other youth is wearing a hockey mask and is carrying a rusty chainsaw.

Totally kidding about the second youth’s description.  Even though that’s not what was actually said, that’s what I may-as-well-have heard.  Because at that point, I’m picturing escapees from the insane asylum closing in on the house with two sleeping children upstairs and a dipstick dog wanting to go outside to pee.  I’m 100% sure that right after I let the dog out, the escapees are gonna plaster their faces up against my sliding glass door and hold the dog hostage until they gain entry.

Well, I’m hanging up now.  But thanks for calling.  This has been a boatload of laughs.

Ding!  Oh, look.  Hubby just texted.  He landed safely and is on his way home.  Drive safe, Sweetie!  And don’t pick up any suspicious youths loitering outside in the driveway, especially not if they’re attempting to hide their handcuffs in their hoodie.  And please let the dog in when you get home.  I’m going to bed.  G’night.

I Heard The Owl Call My Name

Did you ever have to read that book by Margaret Craven for some overachiever, extracurricular bookclub thingie at school?  Well Sissy has to and that’s the only reason I brought it up.

It’s about a missionary who goes to live with an Indigenous tribe in British Columbia (Native Canadians?!).  I won’t tell you anything else about the book other than the missionary bites it, but only after he hears a certain creature do something with this name.

[Since I didn’t ACTUALLY tell you the end of the story, no spoiler alert was necessary!  At least I didn’t go all Murder of Roger Ackroyd on you’re a$$ and tell you that the murderer is the narrator, right?]

Oh.  Actually, there is one OTHER reason I brought the book up.  An owl has been sitting on my roof for the last week or so.  At about 3:30 in the morning he calls out his rapid-fire question, “Whowhowho whoooooooo?  Whoooooo.”

Uhhhh.  Are you asking ME?  In which case, thanks and this has been fun, but you can just SHUT IT with the repetitive questions, Hootie and the Blowfish, ‘cause it’s 3:30 in the ay to the ehm.  The call for nominations closed a good long while ago! 

In the morning, when I quiz everyone about whether or not they heard the owl, everyone acts mystified about what an owl even IS.  Owl?  OWL?!  Nooooo….no owl.  The kids haven’t heard him.  Hubby hasn’t heard him.  And the dog – who hears every noise both real and imagined, especially when Hubby is away on a business trip – acts like he doesn’t even speak English when I question him about the owl.

Ok, crap.  A couple of things here: is the owl noise in my head bothering anyone?  And if by some chance it’s NOT actually all in my head, I hope to High Heaven that Mr. Wise Old doesn’t start in with, “Who?  WHOOO?  New Stay at Home Mom, that’s WHO!” 

‘Cuz if that happens?  I’m screwed.  I read the blog-without-a-spoiler-alert.  I know what happens once you hear the owl call your name.

Fun Fact Part Two

I was remiss in my duties.  For that I am truly sorry.  Because when I was talking about the rest of the family’s “Fun Facts,” I forgot to mention our DOG’S fun fact.  Bad, BAD dog mother!

Teddybear-the-dog’s fun fact is that he has five nipples.  I thought they came in matched sets.  But apparently not.  See?  Super fun, right?!  And how’s THAT for a fun fact GAR-UN-TEEED to get lots of attention at the bar!?! 

But you know what’s MOST interesting about the dog-nipple thing?  Well, yes, dog nipples ARE always filthy for some reason; like they have a belly full of black moles or somethin’.  However, that’s not where I was headed, but thanks for chiming in with the dirty pillows, Stephen King.  

No, what I wanted to say is that our OTHER dog, Buster, ALSO had five nipples.  But he originally came with six………..

As you may know, Homey don’t do ticks.  ‘Tick’ is just a fancy word for blood-sucking spider, and I avoid spiders at all costs – I make it a point never to engage with them, blood-sucking or otherwise.

So when we lived in Pennsylvania, and I found a tick on Buster’s belly one summer morning, I did all of my requisite shuddering and screaming, then shouted to Hubby-in-the-other-room that there was a tick on the dog’s belly which he needed to take off.

I proceeded to breeze out the door to work.  [Geesh.  Does that work thing come in handy sometimes or WHAT?!  And no, still don’t have another job yet.  But thanks for asking.  ALLLLWAYS with the askin’ aren’t ya?  Stink eye, stink eye.]

When I came home that night, I found the tick STILL on the dog’s belly.  And a bloody hole where one of the dog’s filthy-black mole-nipples had been.  Oopsie.

Young and Chipper

When I was a freshman in college, there was a girl who lived on my hallway.  We called her Chippy.  No, not to her face.  That would’ve been mean.  Just behind her back because her front teeth were HUGE Chiclets and made her look like a chipmunk.  Until that one time she got wasted and face planted, teeth first, into the sidewalk on the way home from a frat party.  And chipped her front teeth.  THEN we called her Chippy to her face!

Well I’m Chippy now.  And no, it’s not because of some hilarious drinking incident.  It’s because I sew.

Huh?  Let me explain.

I went to the dentist today because I chipped my front tooth.  I only noticed a few days ago how one front tooth was…shorter…than the other one.  And it was all rough on the bottom part.  These were all clues to me that I had somehow, somewhere, chipped my tooth.  Perhaps recently.  Perhaps not.  My husband-who’s-known-me-for-25+-years insisted that my teeth have ALWAYS looked like this.  Like this?  All jagged and uneven?!  Thanks, Honey.  Give me a smooch.

Anyway, when the hygienist goes to look at my chipped tooth, she SPARKS ME right ON my chipped tooth.  The resultant twitching and jerking on my part proceeds to a ten minute conversation on what “sparking” means.  She’s not familiar with the word.  So I explain how, when I was young, during the winter, I would race around on the fuzzy bathroom rug and spark my little brother and little sister on the front teeth for fun.  And to see that weird blue light leap out of my finger.  Ha, ha, ha!  So fun. 

After that explanation, she realized I was talking about something she calls SHOCKING.  Not SPARKING.  Must be an east coast/west coast thing.  Either way, it turns out that getting sparked on your front teeth isn’t super fun like I thought it was.

So – after all the shocking preliminaries heh-heh-heh I finally get to see the dentist.  He starts asking me about my paranormal activity.  I’m not even kidding.  He actually said the words “paranormal activity” to me. 

I’m picturing aliens entering my bedroom at night to probe me.  He’s picturing something where I do a lot of unnatural or unusual stuff with my front teeth.  Sayyyy for example…SEWING!  “Do you hold pins between your top and bottom front teeth when you sew?” he asks me.

Oh my gosh I DO!!!!  I totally DO!!!  D-A-M-P-Q Christmas pillow sewing project!  What a waste of a good tooth!! 

Turns out, by holding straight pins in my teeth when I sew, I wore down my tooth in a weird PARANORMAL way and made it super chippable.  But Dr. Chew was able to file it down so that it’s even shorter now than the other tooth and even MORE noticeably shorter than my other tooth.  But SHHHHH!  Don’t tell Hubby.  We’ll see if he notices in another 25 years. 

Also?  During the tooth-shortening process, the hygienist mentions how my teeth are “vibrant” (apart from that short, jagged-now-smooth short one, of course).  Yeah, right?  My thoughts exactly!  Who knew we were getting all judge-y with the age of teeth.  But apparently mine are very youthful and completely match my complexion and coloring.  Holy Crap!  That’s awesome!!  I’ll take that. 

Chippy and her cute teeth are in the house.  Whoop, whoop!  

A toast to me!

Just wanted to let you know I’m putting my MBA to good use over here.  Please see the attached picture of my latest performance review.

Of course, the positive feedback may actually have NOTHING to do with my MBA and everything to do with my secret family recipe* for cinnamon sugar toast. 

But don’t hate.  Don’t be a hater.  We ALL have our gifts. 


*The secret family recipe goes something like this…mix some proportionate combination of cinnamon and granulated sugar.  Sprinkle over buttered toast and make sure you get it everywhere: toast, countertop, floor etc.  Place your masterpiece at the table for your best customer.  Know that shortly it will be all over said table (well, and the customer’s face) because that’s the nature of cinnamon sugar.  It dislodges everytime someone breathes in its direction.  At that point, remember how much you hate the clusterbomb that is the cinnamon sugar toast recipe.  Discontinue use.  Huh, I guess none of that’s much of a secret after all.  

Parent Teacher Conferences

By a show of hands…who cried at their latest parent/teacher conference?  Yes, that’s right: CRIED.  Anyone?  Anyone?? 

Can you see ME?  Can you see how my hand is raised high above my head?!?  It’s waving.  WAVING!

Because, yes.  I cried at my daughter’s most recent parent/teacher conference.  All three of them in fact.  Apparently, I am a total embarrassment to Seventh Graders everywhere, including her.

Picture it.  We’re all in the gymnasium together – us and about fifty other parents and students ranging from fifth through eighth grades.  The teachers are seated behind card tables pushed up along the walls.  Looking like they have pay-to-play chess games going on. 

The parents and students sit or stand in some Disneyland waiting line where it’s never quite clear how far, exactly, you are from the front.  So you just shuffle your winding way through until you arrive at the boarding area.

Once seated, we strap in and prepare for the ride.

It all starts with my daughter’s Literature teacher.  He goes through this whole spiel about how she’s a great student and he enjoys having her in his class.  She has great answers and viewpoints.  And he just wants us to know she’s a very kind and kind-hearted young lady. 

Insert waterworks here.  Then AND now.  WHAAAAAAAAAA!

Because it’s really, really easy to be a LOT of things.  But kind?  Kind-HEARTED??  In seventh grade?!  Especially with some of crap rats she goes to school with?!?  That’s really, really hard.  Nigh impossible.  It would be for me at least.  But she’s a waaaaay better person than I.  And I’m so proud of her for staying true to herself and not letting the crap rats unmake her.  And thus I tear up.

By the time we sit down with the Religion/Social Studies teacher, Sissy is looking at me out of the corner of her eye like a frightened colt whose barn is on fire.  She keeps giving me these nervous sideways glances throughout the conversation.  So many  so that I become worried the teacher will become worried that Sissy is worried I’m gonna start shouting obscenities (or some equally horrifying behavior – striptease perhaps?) in front of a gymful of chess players.  So instead of allowing the teacher to speculate about the reason for the nervous looks, I address them outright by telling the teacher that Sissy is worried I’ll start crying.  Hey!  Speaking of crying!!?  I then start CRYING telling the teacher how I CRIED at Back to School night when she mentioned how – out of the 900+ Sundays we have to spend with our children from the day they’re born until they leave for college – we only have 312 left with them by the time they’re in Seventh Grade.  I swear to God, I hope you’re crying now too.  Because otherwise you’re an A$$.  And I’m an A$$ AND the most embarrassing person in the WORLD, not just to Seventh Graders.  Crying at Back to School Night AND at Parent/Teacher Conferences?!?  Good.  Lord.

On the way to the third-and-final teacher, Sissy thoroughly briefs me – via a rushed and furiously whispered diatribe – on what motherly behavior is acceptable at parent/teacher conferences, and what is so, so embarrassing to her.  Oh.  Ok.  Got it, Sweetie.  The CRYING is…how do you say in seventh grade speak?…the most mortifying thing that will ever happen to you in your entire life?!?  Good to know.      

But as we sit down at the Science teacher’s chess table, Hubby passes the box of tissues to Sissy.  Who passes them on to me, shaking her head from side to side. 

I’m not sure WHOM the box of tissues were originally intended for, or WHY they were sitting there in the first place, but they suit me just fine. 

Hey, Boo!  Did you bring your HOO?!? 

Yep, sure did.  But in my own defense, it’s good to know that my wonderful girl, who is so, so beautiful to me, is beautiful to others too. 

Fun Facts

Everyone’s got some special talent, right?  Some fun fact about themselves that was discovered accidentally.  Perhaps while coincidentally spending hours in front of a mirror.  Some totally freakish special talent that no one ever even knew was “a thing.”  

For example, Sissy can make her two front teeth look like American Girl Doll teeth.  Like the little white nubbin teeth that show in between the painted-on lips of the Molly McIntire doll.  Who knew?  Who knew this was even something people could (or wanted) to do?  Not me and not me.  But it’s totally hilarious when you see it.  And?  I could see this talent serving her well in bars once she reaches her early 20’s.  It’s totes adorbs when combined with her freckled nose.  But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.  Gaah!  She’s only in seventh grade, ya creepers.

Sonny?  He can make a Dr. Seuss hand.  I can’t describe it any other way than to say he does this thing with his hand that makes it look like a slightly wonky hand in a drawing from a Dr. Seuss book.

But you see now what I mean when I say: Who knew?!?  Who even KNEW we were DOING slightly wonky hands from rhyming books.

Then there’s Hubby.  He can cross one eye at a time.  It almost makes you slightly queasy to see it and – if truth be told – it makes my head hurt a little watching him.

And me?  The crowning glory of all fun facts?!  And no, it’s not the say-the-Greek-alphabet-before-the-match-burns-your-fingers sort of thing.  And still no to the tie-a-cherry-stem-with-your-tongue thing.  All very popular at bars by the way, thus your weirdo comment about Sissy, I suppose.

I can make my right eye droopy like a broken baby doll’s.  Remember Big Baby in Toy Story 3?  Yep.  Just like that.  I look just like THAT when I do it.  ‘Cept with slightly more hair.  But I did the droopy eye thing first.  Take THAT, Big Baby, ya copy cat!

This all leads me to my final point.  Something I’ve suspected all along.  When it comes to voting on fun facts, the eyes have it.  Heh, heh, heh. 

Now, since it’s just us talking No, no!  Look at me.  Don’t look at any of those people.  Pay no attention to all those people.  Just look at me.  Just look right at me and my DROOPY RIGHT EYE.   Go ahead and tell me what YOUR fun fact is.  Big Baby Number One with luxurious brown hair is waiting…

Cotillion Academy

When Sonny got home from school yesterday, his invitation to Cotillion Academy was waiting.

“Hey Sonny, here’s your invitation to Cotillion Academy!”

Cotillion Academy – or as I call it: Fancy Manners School – must have a camera trained on Sonny.  And they must know that he is the ONE boy in all the kingdom who really SHOULD go to Fancy Manners School.  In particular the “Fifth Grade Program: Minding Your Manners At Home” being offered in the lovely, just-received invitation which seems random and out-of-the-blue, but isn’t.  Because the camera reveals all.

Except when I said that thing all excited-like about “Hey Sonny, here’s your invitation to Cotillion Academy!” his immediate and emphatic response was, “No!  No, no, no, no, no, no, NO!  NO!!!”

And without breaking stride, Sonny moves right into his afterschool routine, getting a snack and telling me all about his day, in particular how he and three of his buddies did parkour during recess.  

When I asked if the whole parkour thing was just a big, huge excuse for jumping over the school fence so they could dare each other to pee once they were on the other side, Sonny’s after-school drink shot out of his nose and all over the floor. 

Ok, two things here: 1) Methinks someone hit the parkour pee scenario right on the nose and 2) Yep.  Yeppy yeppers.  Cotillion Academy, here we come.

Poetry in Motion

Let’s pause on this busy Friday so I can brag on my Homegirl.  Whoop, whoop!  snap snap snap

You ever see something that qualifies as “poetry in motion?”  And I’m not just talking about that running-on-the-beach scene from the movie Chariots of Fire.  I’m talking about LIVE and in COLOR, real-life, poetry in motion??!

First off, there’s Sissy in softball pants.  Chick has the cutest butt EVER.  Well, aside from her father’s butt, but this is a family show, so moving along… It’s like two red delicious apples in a bag.  So biteable and nummy.  And I mean this all in a maternal-yet-jealous-of-my-twelve-year-old’s-butt sort of way so please don’t report me to the authorities.  Because my butt, due to its amorphous nature, is the complete antithesis of hers.  Thank you.  We all have our gifts.

Butt really heh-heh-heh what I actually wanted to say is Sissy playing softball IS poetry in motion.  I have seen it and lived to tell the tale. 

The setting?  The final softball tournament of the season this past weekend.  And trust me when I say thank GOD softball season is over.  That sport just gets way wack at the end.  Especially that part where one of the coach’s wives yells obscenities at the umpire during the final game and is asked by MY husband to keep it under control or leave.  And no, I wasn’t the wife in question.  But thanks for casting aspersions. 

Back to my darling baby girl.  Who is the most amazing baby girl who ever lived.  In fact I’m not sure why people continue to have baby girls when I have the best one in the land. 

Picture it: Final game of the tournament.  Sissy’s team is already mentally beat.  All except for Sissy because my sweet girl is balls-to-the-wall, in-it-to-win-it each and every time.  In softball and life in general.

She’s playing shortstop.  And every time the catcher throws the ball over the pitcher’s head, Sissy meets it at Second Base.  The ball arrives as she’s standing firmly on the bag and in one fluid motion she reaches up as high as her arm will go, catches the ball in her glove and swings the glove down and out and touches the opponent sliding into second.  I can’t even express the sheer poetry-in-motion that this move is. 

She did this at LEAST three times during that game.  And EVERY TIME, the ump called the other team SAFE!!!!  Run, stretch, catch, swoop and tag before the other girl had her foot on the base.  Sissy would turn her sweet freckled face expectantly to the ump standing three feet away.  And he would call the opponent SAFE!  Every.  Time.

Makes you wanna swear too, doesn’t it?!?  And don’t make me say this again, but I SWEAR to you it was NOT ME swearing at the ump.  Even though I had every right.  Gaah, nothing gums up poetry-in-motion more than a bad call.  Also of interest?  The fact that the umps were wearing matching shirts with the opposing team.  Weird, no?!?

Needless to say, Sissy’s team lost that game.  And therefore lost the tournament.  But that ump walked up to Sissy at the end of the game and gave her the one MVP coin awarded. 

And that’s why I have to brag for a sec on the best little girl who ever was.  Moving through life with a winning attitude, even in the face of certain defeat.  Well rounded, good at math, a Straight A student and great at sports too.  In all things, she’s willing to go again and again no matter what the outcome.  And she is the embodiment of physical beauty on the sports field and off.    And yes, if we’re being honest with ourselves, she’s got a super cute butt. 

I hope I grow up to be just like her.  Including that part about the butt.  Well…and the math.