Sonny participated in the middle school wrasslin’ championship last week-end.  Side Note: We call wrestling “wrasslin’” because calling wrestling “wrasslin’” funnies things up a bit.  Trust me when I say wrasslin’ desperately needs a little funny-ing up.

But even if it’s not all hardy har har, wrasslin’ is a gentlemanly and brave sport.

Gentlemanly because the opponents shake hands before the match. Then afterwards, they shake hands again and also with their opponent’s coaches.  All the hands wagging in the air must make it easier for everyone to hold back the tears after a loss.

And brave because once you get to be a certain age, you have to wear a singlet. And everyone knows that this is the singlet closest thing to being naked in public while wearing short-like items that you can get.  I wouldn’t do it.

To make matters worse (for me, not Sonny, since he’s the brave wrassler in this story) they then force the wrasslers to walk around with their arms bare and their WEIGHT written on their BICEPS!!

If that doesn’t sound like some awful sorority hazing thing that leaves everyone crying no wonder why there’s so much crying I don’t know what does.  And?  They write the wrassler’s weight in permanent marker so sometimes Sonny will go three, four, five days with his weight proudly proclaimed on his bicep until it finally fades.  The school shirt usually covers it up, but even so.  Nightmare much?  Imagine if you had to go out in public with your weight on your arm?!  If it were me, I’d spend the whole day in a public bathroom stall gnawing on my fingernails or something.

Anyway, Sonny won! Sonny won 1st place in the “experienced” wrasslin’ division.  How cool is that?!  We are super proud of him – not only because some of the kids he wrassles sound like foghorns and have back acne while Sonny still gets mistaken for his sister on the phone – but also because he brings gentlemanly and brave to every match he’s in.  He also brings sweaty-head-that-smells-like-feet-afterwards, but that’s beside the point.

Downton Abbey

Ok, that religious blog thing didn’t work out so well for me. So that’s done.

Going secular again…

I resist watching Downton Abbey the way I resist Pinterest. I’m not gettin’ involved.  I’m not even gonna get involved.  Because if I do, there will be no hope for me.  I’ll be a goner.  Time suck – – – activate!

So I resist. Resistance is futile, Earthling.

Until this past Sunday when I was running on the treadmill, trying to avoid reading a book for ‘hood book club by flipping through t.v. channels when I came across a PBS special about Downton Abbey. I stopped there because it was about time I knew what everyone was talking about.  I was sick of hearing things like, “YOU don’t watch Downton Abbey?!,” all shock and awe.  Or, “I can’t believe you don’t watch Downton Abbey; I figured you for a Downton Abbey watcher.”

Really? How are people figuring me for something like this?  Do I wear a cloche hat overtop my Marcel waves and this is what gives me away as a Downton Abbey watcher?! And are we still saying ‘figured you for’ in casual conversation?!  Isn’t it kindof like saying, “Them there vittles my misses made be real fine.”  Nope, no one’s saying stuff like that anymore.

Anyway, I watched the rest of this particular episode and it was AMAZING! There was a wedding, the butler with a tremor retires in pride, champagne was passed around at midnight on New Year’s Eve and a baby was born in Lady Elaine Everley’s bed.  It reminded me of General Hospital back in the day before Anna Devane fell in love with the Star Man and the whole thing jumped the shark.

GadZOOKS! Downton Abbey is GORGEOUS!  Why are we not all living in that place?  And doing good works at that hospital with what’shername from Racing with the Moon?  And wearing those completely fabulous dresses…and hats…and jewelry…and shoes…and talking like THAT?!?  Even the servants got it goin’ ON below-stairs with their accents and drop waist dresses.  Practically the whole cast of those Marigold Hotel movies is involved somehow too.

I am. IN! I am sooooo in!!!!  Count me in!  COUNT ME IN!!!!  Y’all figured right the whole time.  I’m a Downton Abbey watcher.  Now!  No, now!  NOW!!!

The scene I’m watching ends on a close-up of that man with the cane kissing his wife over the top of their newborn’s head. Fade to external shot of the Abbey with snow falling softly into the night.

Gah, AWESOME!  Num, num, num.  I could eat you Downton Abbey.  Get in my belly!

Suddenly we’re back in the loud PBS studio and the announcer says, “And that’s the last episode of Downton Abbey. We’re sad to see it go.”

Whaaaaa?! Wait, WHAAAAAA?!??  What the WHAT?  That’s the END?  THE END??!  But I just joined.  I’m IN.  How can it be OUT when I’m finally IN?!


Go and Sin No More

Ok, this is where I switch to insightful and inspiring religious blog writer.


Did you go to church this past Sunday and hear the reading about the adulteress who got hauled in to the Pharisees et al in order to be stoned? And how Jesus, dissuading the crowd from this course, bent down and wrote something in the dirt until the stoners (heh, heh) went away?

When the reading was over, I leaned right and asked Sonny what he thought Jesus was writing on the ground. His response?  Smiley faces.  Or maybe emoji’s.

Hmmm, could be. Afterall Jesus is God and God invented emoji’s long before he released the knowledge to the rest of the world last year.

Then I leaned left and asked Sissy the same question. Because she’s amazing in every way, she had her answer thoroughly prepared and vetted by the Vatican prior to her arrival at church: Jesus was writing THEIR sins (the sins of the Pharisees and other would-be-stoners) in the dirt.

Wow. I’ve heard this reading my whole life and never got that interpretation.  Sounds like a really great answer to me, though.

Whereupon Sissy asked what Sonny’s answer was and I said, “Emojis.” At which point she looked across me to him and rolled her eyes and gave *the* look of annoyance and disgust like only a thirteen year old girl can do.

Sonny didn’t dig that, so they got into a face-making, arm-poking situation across my back which I then had to separate. That went as well as can be expected.

And that? That right there?!  Is why my family STILL sits in the cry room.  I cry waaaay too much because of the kids to be out in the church proper with all the regular, non-weeping folks.

And if you ever see me in the cry room bending down to write something on the ground, you can almost be sure I’m writing one of two things: dots and dashes that form the international signal for “send help soonest” or……a frowny face.

Medal Much?

Sissy’s team won the Academic Decathlon.  And now they go to Nationals in California. But first?  They were allowed to wear their medals – each kid on the team earned at least three during the competition – to school the Monday after the big win.

As I say: If you got ’em, wear ’em!  (I actually say: If you got ‘em, drink ‘em.  But not everyone was in the military and would understand the reference.  Also, a comment like that is highly inappropriate for this blog, so you can keep that to yourself.)  As I also say: If you EARNED ’em, wear ’em.  And these kids earned them, diligently preparing for six months straight with study sessions four mornings a week before school, on Sunday nights and even during school breaks!  God bless these kids.  Wear those medals loud and proud, you deserve it!  And I’m not even joking when I say loud.  Because when Sissy went off to school on Medal Monday, she sounded like she was wearing a suit of armor.  Clunk, clankclank.  Clunkety clankclunk.

What did Sissy think about the whole thing? She said she finally understood how the dog felt.  All the medals on her neck reminded her of the tags on the dog’s collar that jingle and jangle at every step.

Speaking of dogs…and tags…

One time when it was our first dog and we had no kids, I came home from work and couldn’t find the dog anywhere.  Usually the dog would spend all day napping in the front hall, but when I looked for him there, all I found was an empty front hall and a gaping hole in the floor where the air conditioning vent grate belonged. Hmmm, weird.

After calling and calling the dog’s name, he finally appeared at the top of the stairs with his tail tucked and the vent grate hanging from his collar. Wha’up, wha’up Thuggy D?! Gangsta in da house!!

Apparently, the dog had been sleeping on the nice cool air coming out of the vent. But when he got up from his nap, the rabies tags on his collar lodged in the grate and it got pulled up too.  I can’t even imagine what crazy squirreling around must have ensued as he tried to ditch his new three pound Def Jam Playaz Circle necklace before he finally called it quits and hid upstairs from the madness, with Mr. T. still going on around his neck.

Yep, I can still picture the dog standing at the top of the stairs with the vent grate hanging from his neck. And if I squint hard enough with my mind’s eye, you know what it looks like?  It looks almost like an Academic Decathlon medal.  Or three.

Congrats, Sissy and Team. California here you come!!

Happiness Is…

It’s Sonny’s birthday today and we got him a remote controlled helicopter thingie with a built-in camera*.  (Yes, it’s a “helicopter thingie” because if we called it a drone, we’d have to register it with the FDA…or is it the NRA?!)

Anyway, what’s a freshly minted twelve-year-old boy gonna do with something like that?! Lots of things, for sure, but his initial thought was, “Wow!  I can use this to spy on all the girls!!”

Yes, Sweetie, that’s exactly why we got it for you. Girls do a lot of stuff that requires spying on, and we’re putting you in charge of that.

He promptly took the helicopter thingie outside, flew it for 3 seconds and got it stuck in the tree.  My response?  “How do the girls look from up there!?!  They doin’ anything we should know about??”

Apart from the early morning birthday hi-jinks, I wanted to share with you this poem Sonny wrote about Happiness.


Happiness looks like a rainbow floating on clouds.

It sounds like an ice cream truck

and tastes like fairy cupcakes with sprinkles and whipped cream.

Happiness smells like freshly baked bread.

It looks like a birthday party with a piñata.

Happiness makes me feel like I have no homework.


Happiness 001

It’s a little heavy on the food analogies, but you get the gist.

And speaking of happiness, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank my son for bringing so much happiness into our lives.  Since the day you were born, Darling Boy, I’ve felt like I had no homework.  I’ve been a little hungrier than usual for some reason…but back to that no homework feeling.  Thank you for all that you are.  And we hope that you get the helicopter out of the tree soon.  We gotta know what’s going on with all the girls.

*I am the eye in the sky, looking at you, I can read your mind.  I am the maker of rules, dealing with fools, I can cheat you blind.  And yes, those are the lyrics to the 1982 song “Eye in the Sky” by the Alan Parsons Project.  But if you think I’m going to turn my son’s helicopter thingie with a built in camera birthday present into a winning entry in the “An 80’s song for every moment in life” game we play, then you’re right.  I just did.  Boom, drop the mike!  And Happy Birthday, Sonny!  Mommy loves you.  And Mommy’s a WINNER!