Friday, November 8, 2013

The Piano Guys Made My Daughter Cry and It. Was. Magical.


Shortly after Cyra started taking violin lessons last year (her school offers a Strings Alive program so for a nominal $10 fee she gets weekly lessons and a violin to borrow) she was searching for violin videos on YouTube and she discovered The Piano Guys. If you have never heard of them, please stop reading right now and go check out a couple of their videos. This one is Cyra’s favorite or this one or maybe this one…heck pretty much any and all of their videos could qualify as her favorite! It just depends on her mood that day. Anyway, go click some links, I’ll be here when you get back.

We good? Did you check them out? Amazing, right?

Anyway, for months Cyra would watch theses videos daily. She began to talk about learning to play the cello.

“I bet I could learn cello easily now that I know violin,” she’d tell us.

She talked about cello so much it broke my heart because at the time I was still unemployed and we couldn’t afford lessons much less a $600+ beginner’s cello. Nonstop all through the winter, through the holidays, and well into spring we heard about cellos and The Piano Guys.

In early spring, The Piano Guys announced their upcoming US tour and Cyra nearly jumped out of her skin when she saw that they would be playing the Florida Theater in Jacksonville, a mere 40 minutes away. Still unemployed, I told Cyra that we really couldn’t afford the tickets, but really, I knew that I would save every penny I could to get her there even if it meant doing without Internet, power, or skimping on groceries for a few weeks.

But with gainful employment comes financial wiggle room and after I’d gotten a few paychecks into the bank, I told Scott I was buying tickets. That was in May. Coincidentally, the scheduled stop in Jacksonville fell just a few days before Cyra’s birthday.

Perfect timing. She’d be thrilled with her birthday gift.

All that spring and summer Cyra talked about cello lessons. And the more she talked the more Scott and I really started playing with the budget to see if it was possible. I priced cellos online, I looked around town for a music store that offered cello lessons.

This wasn’t a passing fancy for her. Cello was her dream.

When school started in August, her music teacher told Cyra that she might not have returning students join the Strings Alive program. Cyra came home devastated. Violin, you see, was her gateway to cello. She knew that if she couldn’t take cello lessons then at least she would still get the practice with a string instrument.

That same day, I emailed the one store in town that offered cello lessons. A few phone calls later, Cyra had a meeting with the instructor, an older gentleman whose preferred instrument was the cello. He was thrilled that such a young girl would be interested in cello.

When we went to meet him, he measured her to see what size cello she would need and watching her touch and hold a cello for the first time cinched the deal for me. Her smile just about engulfed her face and she couldn’t stop trembling.

“If I made a down payment, would you be able to let me make payments?” I asked the instructor softly as I stared at Cyra pulling the bow across the strings.

“Absolutely,” he said.

“Done. Let’s do it,” I said.

Cyra looked up at me, tears welling in her eyes. “Really?”

I nodded. “For really.”

I came home with a cello that barely fit in my car, weekly lessons that worked with my work schedule, and a little girl in complete shock.

(And now I do something that I don't often do: post photos of the girls. But today I feel it is important for the story.)

Cyra and her cello, first day home. Possessive doesn't even cover it.

First time practicing before lessons had even started. By the end of the first evening home, she had a reasonable sounding Twinkle Twinkle going. All that violin work really helped!

Let’s return the The Piano Guys.

Around the end of September, Cyra once again asked me if we could go to the concert. I looked her dead in the eye and I lied to my child. Lied through my teeth knowing that what I was about to tell her would sadden her.

“I’m so sorry sweetie,” I said softly, “With Ashleigh’s wisdom teeth and buying the cello…we just don’t have the money for it.”

Her face fell a little, “I understand, Mommy. It’s okay.”

And not another word was mentioned. Until yesterday.

Yesterday, the day of the concert, Cyra came home, scuffing her feet, frowning, and irritated.

“What’s wrong sweetheart?” I asked as she sat on my lap and wrapped her arms around me.

“I had a rough day, Mom,” she sighed.

I nodded sympathetically as she told me about her day. “Sounds like you could use something to cheer you up.”

She nodded. “Maybe a nap too.”

I laughed, “You’re that tired?”

Another nod.

“Well, maybe this will help.” I grabbed the envelope that held the tickets for over 6 months.

She raised her eyebrow at me.

“Open it up.”

She pulled out the printed tickets and scanned over it without really seeing it.

I pointed to the top, a small gray rectangle with the concert information. "Read in here,” I told her.

She read.

She looked at me.

She read it again.

“Mommy, I think you better cover your ears because I am about to squee like I have never squeed before.”

She jumped off my lap, jumped around the living, the walls echoing her squees of joy.

At the Florida Theater, after buying $70+ of merchandise, including a book of sheet music, Cyra, Ashleigh, and I sat quietly as the house lights fell dark. Cyra took a deep, calming breath as The Piano Guys walked onto the stage.

It. Was. Magical.

The first three songs, Cyra cried. Tears of happiness and joy streamed down her face and her quiet snuffles made me wish I had brought some tissues. Ashleigh and I couldn’t stop smiling.

These guys put on a great show! Aside from the music, which is phenomenal, they were personable, humorous, and humble. Sprinkled throughout the show the guys talked about their background together and the piano player, Jon Schmidt kept telling the audience that Steven Sharpe Nelson was the number one cellist in the world. And while I absolutely loved the show, the best part was watching Cyra’s reactions: amazement, admiration, hero worship.

Afterward, I told Cyra we could hang out in the lobby to see if they’d come out for autographs. She about fell over.

We waited in the lobby for a good 45 minutes. After most of the crowd cleared out and there were only about 30 people left in the lobby, the security guys had us line up.

And then, there they were. Cyra, who had been containing her excitement as best she could earlier, broke into a jittery dance and tears welled up again. As the line moved forward, Ashleigh and I tried to keep her calm.

“Can’t blame her,” Ashleigh said, “I would totally be fangirling as hard if I was meeting someone I really liked,”

Then it was her turn. And surprisingly she stayed put together.

“You’re going to need the table,” she told them as she handed over her items for signing.

The guys were gracious, polite, and asked her all sorts of questions.

“Do you play an instrument?” Jon, the piano player, asked.

“Yes,” she replied, “The cello.”

“You are my favorite person so far tonight,” Steven, the cellist, replied. Apparently, everyone they had met had claimed the piano as the instrument of choice. “How long have you been playing.”

“I just started this year,” she paused. “Because of you.”

“Wow. That’s fantastic!”

I swear he was flabbergasted.

“Did you name your cello?” he asked.

She nodded.

“Did you name it Steve?” Jon Schmidt asked.

“No, Agent Romanoff.”

“Whoa. That’s a serious name.” The guys laughed.

Cyra nodded.

“When I grow up,” Cyra said shyly, “I’m going to be right up there with you,” she looked at Steven, “I’ll be the second best cellist.”

Steven looked down at her with a smile, “No. You be the number one cellist. I’ll be second.”

Oh. My. Heart. It pretty much exploded.

Pictures all around and then our turn was over and once again Cyra could not keep the joy contained and she burst into tears again. She was floating as we walked back to the car.

“Best day?” I asked her.

“Best. Day. Ever,” she said through her tears.

From left to right: Al Van Der Beek, Steven Sharp Nelson, Cyra, Jon Schmidt, Paul Anderson


Friday, November 1, 2013

Committing to Commitment

I work better, I’ve found, when I have multiple deadlines looming over my head—even if they are self-imposed deadlines. So, I know I said back in October I was back in the blogging game, but then I fell off the edge of the planet again. Go figure. I blame my BFF Sara for that, although she doesn’t know it (then again, maybe she does, she is scary perceptive like a ninja). Sara is in her third trimester and I have gone crafting crazy trying to get my BIG plans completed before Baby arrives! So October passed in a blur of yarn and fabric and emergency poodle skirts. And I’m still not done!

So what does that mean for me? Well, November is going to be busy. As always. I don’t even try to pretend to be surprised. In addition to the crafting and NaNoWriMo, I am going to commit to getting at least two posts a week. They might be short, maybe just be a photo or two. But the more I have to accomplish, the more willing I am to manage my time appropriately and not procrastinate.

And Friends, I am a big procrastinator. If I started a list of all my faults, procrastination would be at the top. I totally blame my family for that one. As the baby of the family, I learned very early on that if I waited long enough, someone else would do my task for me. Heck! My mom and sister still do it! Remember that whole painting my house thing?

(Another fault, since I’m listing them, apparently I don’t like to take responsibility for myself. But I blame my birth order for that.)

But no one is going to craft for me. And no one is going to NaNo for me. And clearly, no one is blogging for me. So I’ve got to pick up the slack. And by pick up the slack, I really mean, actually do the stuff that I want to do: crafting, blogging, writing.

Of course, there is one teensy flaw in my plan. Work. Yup. Me working, as much as I love my job (and a post is coming out soon about that) it really is putting a kink in my whole time management plan. Although to be fair, there are a few things I can do while I am at work that doesn’t interfere with actually working especially during the slow period, but don’t tell anyone I said so!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Free Advertising

Ashleigh had her first SAT today and as chance would have it we were short on #2 pencils, water bottles, and snacks - all things recommended for students taking the SAT. I don’t recall being told I could bring a snack or drink when I took the SAT but times, they do change. With a grocery store on the way, a quick stop to grab the required items was no problem.

Knowing that I was going to spend the morning cleaning, I threw on an old pair of shorts and the first winner’s t-shirt I ever bought from NaNoWriMo. It’s my favorite simply because it was the first one I was ever qualified to buy. Soft grey cotton, bold orange block lettering, and a squirrel saying “Whoa!” What’s not to love?
Image source
Ashleigh and I were walking down aisle 8 looking for #2 pencils when a man - probably about my age or maybe just a touch older - came striding down the aisle, a basket in his hand. He was a ginger, so of course I noticed him. And he had a beautiful, rugged full beard. But what struck me the most about him was his deliciously bright hot pink shirt, shorts, and socks. He had on black running shoes and a number pinned to his shirt so I can only assume he was doing some sort of run, probably for breast cancer (because that’s all October is about now-a-days).

As he approached, he slowed down, hesitated, his stride broke and he looked me up and down. He regained his footing and continued on. Curious, I kept my eye on him because - well, he’s a ginger! And I never get perusals. He got about ten feet beyond me and then turned and looked me up and down. Again!

Folks, I was floored. Dumbstruck. Flabbergasted. Getting one glance almost never happens and a second one is unheard of. 

He walked a few more feet, stopped, turned fully around, and caught my eye.

“I love your shirt,” he says. “I’ve thought about giving it a try and just haven’t .”

Of course, my shirt, my walking billboard to NaNoWriMo. I laugh.

“You should give it a try. It’s a lot of fun.” I tell him. By this time, Ashleigh and I have successfully acquired #2 pencils and were heading back up the aisle towards the guy.

We start walking together.

“My friend does it and keeps trying to get me to do it too,” he says.

“That’s how I got started.” I reply, “You know there’s a small group that tries to meet at Barnes and Noble, usually in the mornings-”

“Oh. I teach,” he interrupts.

“Well, the time is flexible.” I tell him as his pace quickens. Am I being too outgoing? Too pushy? “The website is NaNoWriMo.org,” I tell him and slow down a little.

He strides on ahead of me. “Thanks, maybe I’ll look into it.”

He continues walking. I continue walking. Following right behind him. Crap. He’s going to the same aisle that I need to go down.

“Now I feel like I’m stalking you,” I laugh.

He turns around and smiles. “No problem.”

Is he creeped out? Was that a forced smile? Am I reading too much into it?

Social awkwardness at it’s best.

He beelined down the personal care aisle and I made for the cheese and dairy aisle. We parted ways, but jeesh, wouldn’t you know it, back at the register, who am I behind?

So, I’ll take a second and throw out an apology to the guys over at NaNoWriMo. I tried advertising and recruiting for you. I don’t think it worked. Maybe next time I’ll leave it at, “Gee thanks. You should give it a go,” and walk away.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Write Way to November

Last year, between a whole bunch of crazy, I decided to forgo my usual November pastime: NaNoWriMo or as I like to call it, No Sleep November. At the time it was the best thing for me to do. Honestly, last year, a month of bizarre writing schedules was just not something I could handle nor commit to. But it was like a punch in the gut when I dropped out. I felt like a tool, disappointed in myself for allowing myself to contrive a nicely wrapped gift package of excuses.

I told myself I hadn’t prepped my story enough. Then I decided I hated the story I was telling. Then I spun into a cycle of “who am kidding,” and found myself staring at a blank screen on my netbook and empty lines in my NaNo notebook - I get a new one every year and all those pages made my head spin, my heart pound. Was this real? I asked myself. Am I having an anxiety attack over something that is supposed to be fun?

So I stopped. Cold. Dead. In the middle of a sentence, I closed the document, did not save, turned off the computer, and walked away from the table.

I was done.

I’m not sure what I regret the most: dropping out or trying to start in the first place knowing I wasn’t feeling it.

Truth be told, I had actually put NaNo out of my mind until yesterday when I got the first official updates from the NaNo people in my inbox. And I panicked!

I’ve got nothing planned! I’ve got too much on my plate! I’m working now - crazy work hours with an even crazier sleep schedule!

After my moment of sheer and utter panic, I stopped and shook my head in disbelief. What am I doing, I thought? I’m already making excuses and I‘ve got a month. I’ll never get anything done unless, you know, I actually go and do it. I love NaNo. I love the crazy, the fast-pace, the insane daily word counts, the weaving and crafting of a story (no matter how much I might think it sucks). I love my few hours at Barnes and Noble typing furiously and drinking buckets of coffee.

I know that I’ve got a good half dozen story ideas that I can plan out this month and be ready to commit to writing in November. So here I am making a public commitment. Call me out on it if you think I’m slacking. Demand that I post my word count in prominent locations. Throw crazy ideas my way and challenge me to make something out of them. I’m game.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October Revolution



It would be great to say I was so entirely busy with my life that I just didn’t have time for blogging, but I try to be honest here so I can’t claim busy as an excuse. In all honesty, there really isn’t one single excuse.

I lost interest.
It became a chore.
I had nothing good to say.
I was doing other things (not too busy mind you, just pursuing different creative outlets).

All sound pretty…excusey.

I could throw this one out there: My eldest got obsessed with interneting and because of that my interest diminished.

And that almost comes to the point. In fact, if I’m going with excuses that one is the only one I would lay claim to. As her interest developed, I started paying attention to my internet habits and realized how much time I actually spent online. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, spending time online, but I saw how much time I could reclaim for other activities.

The time spent at work, much of it while the girls were at school, limited our family time and interneting sucked even more time away.

I stopped writing blog posts, I stopped reading blogs, I stopped clicking on links. I checked my email and Facebook a few times a day, the weather and the news, and then I walked away from the computer. I crafted, played, cleaned, worked.

But even that is an excuse.

There were plenty of times that I thought to myself: Ooo! I should blog this! But didn’t. I didn’t feel like sitting down at the computer. So I made notes to myself and moved on with my day.

So yeah, maybe I just needed a break.

Let’s go with that: needing a break. You saw other blogs and that’s okay. We were on a break. But I want back in.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Burn Barrel Romance

Scott is an early-to-bed-early-to-rise person out of necessity. He has a very physical job and while he isn’t old, he isn’t young anymore either (neither am I for that matter, being a year older than he is). By eight o’clock most nights he is in jammies and ready for bed. So when we came home after Cyra’s concert last week and Scott put his yard work clothes back on I was more than surprised.

“What are you up to,” I asked him as he slipped he shoes on.

“I’m going go burn things and drink a beer…or maybe two. Want to join me?”

“Sure. Sounds fun.”

There’s something about sitting in front of a fire with Scott that makes my insides woozy. Normally when we sit around in front of a fire it’s when we are off camping and marshmallows are involved. Not romantic, per se, but nice enough. And making a big fire in the burn barrel, while it might not involve s’mores, is fun nevertheless.

The moon and stars peeked through a mostly overcast sky and I dragged our two Adirondack chairs into the yard while Scott began building the fire. By the time I brought our drinks out – a nice IPA for Scott and a good cup of Earl Grey for me (ironically although the selling and drinking of beer is our main source of income, I don’t particularly care for the taste) Scott had a good size blaze going.

We turned off the flood lights and sat in the glow of the barrel, quietly sipping our drinks. Cyra, her bundle of nerves exhausted from the concert, had collapsed into bed soon after we arrived home and Ashleigh was glued to the internet, giggling over The Meta Picture and fan-girling to manga. The neighborhood was quiet except for the billions of frogs in the pond out front and the occasionally barking of a dog.

I’m not sure how it happened, but somehow Scott and I ended up having a date night: out of the house, in front of a roaring fire, sharing a drink, and no kids around? Sounds like a date to me. So what that it was in the backyard and mosquitoes the size of Cessnas buzzed around us despite the heavy dose of bug spray and citronella candles.

And somehow, magically, we ended up breaking one of our cardinal rules: never, ever, talk religion or politics.

Our views are so vastly different that we don’t even try to come to a common ground anymore. We just accept that we will never see eye to eye on certain things and so those subjects are not permitted. But on this magical, burn barrel date we talked religion. And, even more surprising, it didn’t end in a fight.

I must be maturing.

I don't know exactly how the subject came up, but it all came down to the way we met. Scott claims fate: some force led us to make the choices that led us to meet – he draws the line at calling predestination (even though it certainly sounded like that to me) claiming that just because we were fated to meet didn’t mean, necessarily, that we were fated to be together.

It reminded me of my days back at Flagler when I took a Milton class (you know, Paradise Lost, that guy). Oh the debates that I demanded we have in class (remember, Sara?) all the arguments I brought up about free will versus predestination to the point where the professor had to tell me to give it a rest.

But I couldn’t. It bugs me even today. If the god you believe in is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving then you cannot have free will because he already knows what you are going to do and you can’t prove an omnipotent being false so therefore you have no choice but to do what has already been seen. That, my friends, is predestination.

Whoops!

I’m breaking my no religion, no politics rule here too! Yikes!

Back to the story! My argument is that if we were destined to meet, then all of our choices along the way are trivialized because it wouldn’t matter what choice we made, we’d still have ended up meeting. Scott argues that my view only works if our meeting is the be all end all of those choices. It got more convoluted as the evening wore on. We teased and laughed, joked and smiled. There may have been some kissing too - but I don't kiss and tell!

Regardless of the conversation, I am more than happy with the choices that led me to Scott. Whether it was predestination, fate handing us a road map, or just simple coincidence, without Scott I wouldn't have my girls, my BFF Sara, or a million wonderful memories and moments with a man I can't imagine my life without.

And that, my Friends, I wouldn't change for the world!

Monday, May 20, 2013

I Made It Monday (Or We Now Return To Our Regularly Scheduled Program)

For those of you who have recently joined my legion of minions...um...followers...I had been doing a regular Monday post called, "I Made It Monday." I'm a crafter and a professional chef (at least in my mind and according to my kids) but that isn't the only thing I am. That being the case, I do like to occasionally display with pride my creations. Most people refer to this as bragging and I do that too. But I'm totally modest about it.

Before I show off my accomplishments for the week, let's talk for a second or two about Pinterest. How many of you have a Pinterest account? I bet it's a bunch. Pinterest is the coolest thing since hot glue. Would it astound you to know that I do not have a Pinterest account? Well I don't because I already spend too much time lurking about on the internet wasting time that I should be spending in productive activity.

But every once and a while, I'll scroll through the Pinterest front page just taking a gander at what's there. I mean I am a crafter and a would-be chef so I should always look to expand my horizons and talent, right? The only problem is that each time I visit Pinterest I find myself feeling more and more inadequate. Interestingly enough, I am not alone in this feeling. A recent news article talks about how moms are feeling stressed out by the amazing things they see on Pinterest and like me feel bad about how perfect everyone else's life seems.

So last week I was perusing Pinterest and low and behold I found two recipes that looked really fantastic. The first was for a zesty shrimp and avocado salad and the second for something called "magic cake."

Now I won't print the recipes here because of copyright and all that but I think this is the original site for the salad. With the salad I was a bit hesitant to try it because it called for a bunch of things that I just don't like all that much like red onion and cilantro. And to be honest, I'm not the biggest fan of avocado but I have had it and enjoyed it in sushi and on a sandwich. But the photo looked so amazing and I really love lime and I'm on a low carb diet (which is working nicely, thank you) and this salad seemed just the thing to change up what I had been eating.

Not pictured: the avocado lurking just beneath the cucumbers.
So I replaced the onion with cucumber and the jalapeno with bell pepper (in the hopes the kids would be more willing to try it) and left out the cilantro. Looks pretty, right?

I hated it. It made me want to puke. I brought a small one cup serving with me to work the other night and as I ate it, I hated it more and more. I didn't even finish half of it. I'm not sure why. Maybe all of the replacements I made turned it into a disaster, but all of the ingredients separately I like just fine. Together? UGH!

After that fiasco I was really, really nervous to try the magic cake. Magic cake is all over Pinterest like glitter and there are so many rave reviews about it. What could be the harm here? A cake that magically separates into three different layers as it cooks, sounds pretty neat to me. I got the recipe from JoCooks but you can Google it and about 14 quadrillion recipes for it will pop up. It was a simple recipe with ingredients that I had - so no special trip to the store on a non-shopping day - and it looked pretty sprinkled with powdered sugar.

First of all the batter is so thin it might as well be instant pudding. As I was mixing it during the last stage, it started separating in the bowl and there were chunky bits floating around. I had my doubts, let me tell you. But I was making it for my gaming group and only had an hour before they arrived, so I knew it was too late to bail on a new recipe in favor for a more familiar one.

I wish I had taken photos of the process, because it was a seriously creepy batter. It smelled good as it was baking and when I took it out, it looked...done.


From this angle it's hard to tell, but it did indeed separate into three layers: a bottom rubbery crust, a middle custardy filling, and top cake-like consistency. Instead of just powdered sugar I opted to dust it with a bit of cocoa powder which actually helped cut down the intense sweetness of it. The guys liked it and honestly, it wasn't a bad cake it just wasn't magical enough for me, it was just kind of...meh. I will say though, that on a second try, after it had sat in the fridge overnight and didn't have anything sprinkled on it, I liked it a bit better. I think it would benefit from a sauce and more vanilla.

One of the guys suggested a sprinkle of vanilla sugar and I would have to agree that vanilla sugar would make a nice addition to the cake and to my kitchen!

In fact, I be there's a recipe on Pinterest somewhere for it.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Frustrated is an Understatement

I wish this was a sexy post. Something sweet about me and Scott. But I'm not talking about that kind of frustration. I'm not even talking about computer frustration (which, on a side note, has all been taken care of at a very minimal cost). So you might be saying to yourself: Crap, she's gonna post a ranty post.

And you'd be right. I am. I am full of rant. 

Rantful. 

How come that isn't a word yet?

Cyra, my 10 year old, had an amazing opportunity this year to learn how to play the violin. I'm not sure if I've mentioned it or not, but for a one time ten dollar materials fee, her school provided her with a student violin and weekly lessons. Seriously awesome. So awesome in fact that she not only wants to continue to play, but wants to "upgrade" to the cello, ASAP!

Last night was her first official concert - although really it wasn't "her" concert, it was the local middle school's spring concert that Cyra and her violin class were invited to perform at. She was excited, nervous, fidgety, and anxious. She did marvelously. 

She is not my rant.

The violin group was scheduled to play first followed by the beginner band and then the advanced band. The middle school bands were great. I didn't know a single kid on that stage and I was crazy proud of them. To get up in front of your family, friends, and peers and perform is one of the hardest things to do as a kid - I know, I was in choir! Kids know how judgmental people can be. They know that being in the band is often considered geeky and uncool. And they do it anyway because they love it.

The band is not my rant. They were amazing and it was clear that the band instructor did a fantastic job with these kids.

My rant? The audience!

Throughout the entire performance the audience: parents, grandparents, and siblings, were amazingly rude and inconsiderate twats!

I will never say that another person's parenting style is wrong, but what the Hell is wrong with parents who let their children run up and down the aisle, talk - loudly - though a performance, scream, and play with electronics - in my row alone there were three kids each with an ereader/tablet/smart phone playing games with the flipping sound on!

The woman in front of me actively encouraged her daughter to talk during the selections, leaning over and talking to her. The mother and grandmother behind me made no effort to keep another little girl in her seat and quiet.

And Friends, I am not talking toddlers or babies. These children were at least five and older. During the intermission, Ashleigh leaned over to me and whispered, "I am so glad you raised me properly."

My girls weren't angels. I will never, ever make that claim. But they knew from a very early age my expectations for behavior when we were out. And if they didn't behave? Guess what. We left so as not to disturb those around us. End of story.It only took once or twice for the lesson to sink in and they realized that behaving meant getting to see a movie in the movie theater, getting to go to a concert or a play, getting to go out to dinner.

But then again, how can you blame the child when the parents were just as bad? Talking, texting, answering their phones, getting up in the middle of a selection and leaving the auditorium, door slamming behind them. 

Remember folks, the kids we were watching at that point we not even mine and I was furious for them. Your child is performing so you'll update your facebook or tweet about it that bloody second?

Unbelievable. 

Maybe this makes me old. Or old-fashioned. Or anti-technology. Or maybe, like every generation before me, I will find something that bothers me about the new generation and complain about it. 

But here's where I draw my line in the sand:

Manners Matter. Being polite matters. Engaging with people face to face matters. Giving your full attention to what is before you matters. Teaching our children manners and demanding that they use their manners, that isn't a parenting lifestyle choice. That's just plain common sense.





Saturday, May 11, 2013

Plight of the Computerless (UPDATED)

Remember that time a few weeks ago when I said I'd keep blogging because I wasn't burnt out or anything like that after the A to Z challenge?

Yeah. I didn't lie, but all of a sudden I became slightly more computerless than I was before. You know back when I had a computer to use and all.

Long story short, I finally got around to installing the new cd/dvd drive my sister got me for Christmas (yes, it took me nearly five months to do it. I'm lazy, remember?) and wouldn't you know it, that even though it only took me about ten minutes to install, I apparently screwed up something somewhere, because the second I turned it on, I got the blue screen of death.

Twice.

So off to the Computer ER I rushed with my ancient tower. And, well...I confiscated my daughter's laptop in the meantime, but I'm taking this time to go a little unplugged. It's nice. And some projects around the house are actually getting done. Amazing what one can accomplish without the Internet to entertain me!

Hopefully, the computer techs will be able to fix whatever I screwed up and I'll be up and running again sometime next week. Until then, My Friends, I'll be putzing around the house and garden - have I mentioned my garden yet? No? Well, just wait!

Cheers!

UPDATE:

Seriously, folks, I got my computer back and they techs were all like..."Um it's $40 bucks and we couldn't find anything wrong anywhere. We had it running all day. No blue screen. No weird noises. Nothing."

Okey Dokey.

So , YAY! Computer! Although they did mention that it was a rather old computer. Old? It's barely five...but I guess in computer years that's about 4,724 years old. Guess that will need to get budgeted in sooner or later.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Plumb Tuckered Out

April, much like November and NaNoWriMo, is tiring. Different reasons for being tiring, but tiring nonetheless. NaNo is a hectic and fast paced but it's a me against me thing. April brings a different level to the writing. It's me writing, but also making the rounds, reading, commenting, responding. More giving of my time to outside influences, maybe.

And that's a good thing. NaNo is all about removing myself from reality and focusing on my novels. Blogging A to Z is all about making connections. And really, who doesn't like connections. Introverts maybe, but then introverts probably wouldn't be participating in such a challenge. Though I could be wrong. Heck! for all I know I was the only extrovert participating this year. I'm tired but in a good way. I feel accomplished and dedicated. And that's saying a lot right now. So no worries, Pickleope, I'm still going to be blogging. I miss my "I Made It Mondays" and my "Friday Photos."

Two things before I go. First, I hit a blog milestone during the A to Z Challenge: 300 posts! Yay! But even more awesome? All my new peeps! I'd like to give a great big welcome to all the newcomers to my blog. You found me through A to Z and stuck around and that's a major ego boost! Glad to have you around for my journey!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Z is for Zooted and Zozzled


Way back in my early college days I had two over indulgences with alcohol. And yes, only two because that’s all it took for me to learn that while I could hold my liquor fairly well (as in there was never any puking afterward and I always remembered everything that happened) I disliked the feeling of being out of control.

The first time I was inebriated isn’t a fun story – nothing overly exciting happened, there were no lampshades, no strip poker, no naughtiness at all. Just me being silly.

The second time, however, that’s one of my favorite stories.

I was working at a tourist trap and one of the guys that worked there invited Scott and me to a housewarming party. I didn’t get off work until after ten so by the time Scott and I got there, the party was in full swing. The guy hosting apologized that there wasn’t much left in way of drinks…unless of course we wanted to do some shots. Of course I agreed that this would be a great thing to do. Scott, the designated driver, chuckled and muttered something about me not being able to do shots.

What I heard was a challenge.

We’d only been dating a few months at that point and I was out to make an impression. And boy did I!

Ten to fifteen shots of varying alcohol later – I’ll admit, I lost count – I felt pretty good. Except for the fact that I hadn’t had dinner and my stomach was now grumbling everything was peachy. The party kicked into high gear, but within a few minutes, it became clear that Scott and I only knew a handful of people and so we decided to book out to the beach. A few others joined us and with Scott behind the wheel, we backed out of the driveway.

I was fine.

Scott drove down the street.

I was fine.

Scott stopped at the stop sign.

I was drunk.

I went from slightly hungry and fine to holy crap why is the car spinning in the span of three seconds.

Long story short (because really, let’s get to the good part) I decided that going swimming in the middle of the night in January was the best idea ever. Thankfully, I had some very sober shoulder angels who convinced me that getting in the car and heading back to the dorm was a better idea – although they had to lock me in the car to convince me of that!

Now Flagler has a tough policy regarding alcohol and drug use. As in if you are caught drinking, drunk or high on campus you get kicked off of the campus and put on academic probation. So now, imagine if you will, a very drunk me with a few friends trying to quietly sneak up to my dorm room while avoiding security and the RA.

It was beyond hilarious and amazingly we didn’t get caught (or people chose to look the other way). Once I got back into my very tilty dorm room, I went to my wardrobe to get my pajamas on. Did I mention the tilt-a-whirl way the room was spinning? I required more stability at that point than my own feet and went to lean up against the closed door of the wardrobe. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that door that I always kept closed was wide open! I fell into to wardrobe with a loud crash, upended my laundry basket all over the place and managed to crawl out sporting a bruise that ran from my butt to my hip to my knee.

The next morning Scott came to drop off my car and shook his head in amazement when I demanded a huge breakfast at Shoney’s. He was also slightly irritated at how zooted and out of control I had been. 

But I had learned my own lesson: Never do mixed shots on an empty stomach.

Zooted and Zozzled are both adjectives from the 1990s and 1920s respectively that mean drunk or intoxicated. 

Example: Zinia stumbled and tripped along the sidewalk. A bicycle cop watching her laughed, "That woman is so zozzled right now, it's amazing she can even stand!"


This post has been brought to you by the Letter Z and the fine folks at Blogging A to Z. Check out more A to Z blogs here

Monday, April 29, 2013

Y is for Yokel

I'm trying to keep my choices for the A to Z words as non-mainstream as possible. My whole plan was to try to renew interest in unused and archaic words so when it came time to pick out a Y word I was kind-of stuck. Many of the slang I found that started with Y is still in use: Yo!, You know?, Yikes!, Yeah, and Yahoo! And, well...those are boring. But I also wanted to be able to relate the word I chose to some story or experience.

And I really can't with this one. Mostly.

You see way back when I taught, there was a teacher I worked with who would call the kids yokels. I always felt uncomfortable with it. Not because the person said it but because they said it to the students. Now, I'm fairly certain that the kids didn't know the exact meaning, but an insult is an insult and they understood that.

I've also heard it refer to locals in a college town, like the one I grew up in and the one I live in now, but there the term was a local yokel.

Although I'm certain that yokel has a place in our vocabulary it is probably the most insulty of the slang words I've picked out and as much as I am a fan for bringing back out of date words, this is one I think I'll pass on.

Yokel is a noun from the early 1800s which means a clumsy, unsophisticated person from the country.

Example: When Luke landed on Degobah, he thought Yoda was a yokel at first.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

X is for X-tremely Naughty Slang

Okay, Friends, this is a little bit of a cheat but, there really isn't any slang for X that I felt comfortable using. Most had to do with drugs or sex neither of which I'm going to talk about here.

So instead let's talk about the use of the letter X as an unknown factor. And by "let's" I mean "Hey! I found this funny video on Ted Talks the other day that explains the whole thing." Of course, it's really no surprise I found this video since I am currently obsessed with watching Ted videos. I must have gone through about a hundred of them in the past two weeks.





No example today. Please tune in Monday for more!

This post has been brought to you by the Letter X and the fine folks at Blogging A to Z. Check out more A to Z blogs here

Friday, April 26, 2013

W is for Wicked

Although I grew up in upstate New York, my family is originally from New England - just outside of Boston to be a bit more specific. Aside from a few Midwestern hiccups (and I have no idea where those came from), my accent is almost neutral. 

And I hated it. 

During the summers we'd gather with my grandparents in Maine for a few glorious weeks of fun and freedom playing capture the flag in the street, swimming in the frigid Atlantic, crabbing, and hunting salamanders in the woods. The best of all times was when my cousins trips coincided with ours. I loved listening to them talk. The dropped Rs, the long drawn out vowels. It was a beautiful thing, perhaps even the start of my love affair with accents (although as I got older I grew more and more fascinated with European accents over American ones). 

I idolized my cousin Mike. Out of all my cousins he was my favorite growing up. He never ignored me, never talked down to me, and he always made time to play with me even though he was six years older. Of course, rosy glasses being what they are, I'm sure my siblings and Mike could list hundreds of times when he joined in teasing me or, you know, locking me and his other female cousins in the bunkhouse.

I loved the Muppet Show - I still do actually - and when Mike would visit he would have be practice my Miss Piggy karate chops of rolls of paper towels and he'd sing, "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" while I hi-yah'd away at the paper towels. Best of all, he'd tell me I was wicked cool in that awesome accent.

Is it any wonder why I adored him so much?

Wicked, from the 1980s, can be used as both and adjective and a adverb. As an adjective it means excellent or outstanding, when used as an adverb it means very.

Example: Wilson wandered down a wide woody path, "Wow! Those weeping willows are wicked!"

This post has been brought to you by the Letter W and the fine folks at Blogging A to Z. Check out more A to Z blogs here

Thursday, April 25, 2013

V is for Vamoose

So we’re getting to the letters that are somewhat limited in slang selections. I feel bad for the last five letters of the alphabet sometimes. You know, they don’t get the the lion’s share of words like S and T. Y gets some vowel love occasionally, but nowhere close to the amount E gets. I scoured through the sites I bookmarked for American slang. Heck! I even looked at British and Australian slang and I was still hard pressed to find words or phrases that I really loved.

So once again, I settled. But the words I settled for work for me.

I can’t tell you how many times this month I’ve gone through the slang list and found words that I use all the time. Today’s word falls under that coincidence. When I was in high school my mom ran a daycare out of our house. So many little feet pitter-pattering up and down the hall, through the kitchen, around the dining room, back to the kitchen and then with a loud voice (to be heard over the rugrats) my mom would tell them all to, “Vamoose-a-boose!” as she was making their lunches.

When my daughter was born, vamoose-a-boose became part of my regular lingo. It’s shortened a bit over the years to just vamoose. More specifically, “Come on, let’s vamoose!” is my regular cry in the morning as I’m trying to get the girls out of the house for school.

Vamoose is a verb from the 1830s that means to leave. In an interesting side note, how cool is it that slang from the 1800s is still part of my normal everyday vocabulary? Pretty cool, right?

Example: Victoria vented violently to Vincent, “We’ve got to vamoose, Vincent, we’re late for our Voyeurs Anonymous meeting!”

This post has been brought to you by the Letter V and the fine folks at Blogging A to Z. Check out more A to Z blogs here

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

U is for Unmentionables

I’ve seen a number of bloggers around the block in the past year post about hated words and the one that comes up the most is, are you ready for this? Panties.

What do all these people have against panties, I wonder. Sure, it’s kind of an awkward phrase. It makes some people uncomfortable to think about a woman’s undergarments. Private parts, are well, private and therefore the coverings of said private parts should be private as well. Except, we don’t get a squinchy, uncomfortable, awkward silence when we mention boxers, briefs, or long johns. So what is it about panties?

I’m going to go out on a limb here and make some assumptions because I totally don’t feel like doing any research right now and say that the reason we don’t like panties is because women are supposed to be modest.

Okay, so guess what happened? In my quest to refuse to research, I had to go and research because I’m geeky and nerdy and slightly OCD about things like that. So, the original use of “panties” comes from 1845, in which is was a derogatory slur against a man as a diminutive form of pants. The first use of “panties“ being used to refer to a woman‘s undergarments comes from 1908.

And OMG people! The amount of history regarding underwear out there is astonishing!! I’ll leave it at this video and this article and heck! I’ll even throw in a Wikipedia article too because I don’t think I can handle all the panty talk anymore!

Unmentionables is a noun from the 1940s that means women’s underwear.

Example: Ursula undulated in her unique unitard. “At least I don’t have any unmentionables ruining the line,” she said.

This post has been brought to you by the Letter U and the fine folks at Blogging A to Z. Check out more A to Z blogs here

T is for Thingamabob and Thingamajig

Sometimes my brain works far faster then my mouth does. I think a lot of people have this problem. There is actually a word for it…a condition so to speak…that essentially means that your brain searches for a word so quickly that it lands on an incorrect on. Often call Freudian Slips, these mishaps often end in hilarity.

Once, talking to Sara about one of my kittens, I made the statement, “Wouldn’t it be cool if cats had reprehensible tails?”

Clearly, I meant prehensile. Like monkeys. My brain, though, landed upon the first word that sounded like the word I wanted. Sara still gets a good chuckle out of that.

Once, way back when I first started playing D&D with my best friend’s little brother, I made a comment about fighting a Cthulhu-like creature, “I hate all those testicles.”

I really meant tentacles.

So you see my problem. My existential words often get me into trouble or at the very least an awkward, albeit humorous, situation.

I have since utilized a variety of replacement filler words that allow my mouth to catch up to my brain. I use the word “thingy” a lot. As in, “Scott, I need that thingy in the fridge.” Scott, to his credit has gotten to the point of being able to quickly decipher my filler word with a real, tangible object. I use “thingy” like the Smurfs use “smurf.”

Thingamabob and Thingamajig from the 1940s and 1930s, respectively, are both nouns used to name an object for which the name is unavailable or forgotten. Thingy, my go to word, is a derivative of either or both of these old words.

Example: Trudy dug around in the toolbox, becoming more and more troubled. Tristan, trapped under the the Toyota, tried to explain what tool he needed again. “It’s the thingamabob on the tray to the left of that tri-colored thingamajig!” Trudy slammed the toolbox shut. “You’ll need to get it your self if you won’t tell me what you need!”

This post has been brought to you by the Letter T and the fine folks at Blogging A to Z. Check out more A to Z blogs here

Monday, April 22, 2013

S is for Scadoodle



This whole month has been a learning process for me: learning at work, learning time management again, learning to let go (as in letting the girls and Scott get chores done in their way not mine), learning new words, and even more than that learning the original definitions of words that I’ve used for as long as I can remember.

Today’s delay in posting sprung out of exhaustion, as did the post for R. Sleeping is not working out well for me and I find that I am up at odd hours, tired when I should be up, and incomprehensible far more than I like to be.

During the summer when I was little, unless it was raining, I was outside. If I lingered too long in the house I was told to scadoodle. I tell the girls to scadoodle all the time. In the kitchen while I’m trying to cook dinner? Scadoodle! Running up and down the hallway while I’m trying to get laundry done? Scadoodle! Shooting me with their water guns or the hose? I scadoodle as fast as I can!

Scadoodle, aside from being a mega-fun word to say is a noun from the 1860s that originally meant a heap or a large amount, today though, I’ve only heard it used as a verb meaning to move or to get lost.

Example: Samuel scampered straight out the side door when his mom screamed, “Scadoodle!” and threw a soda cap at him when he dropped the salad.

This post has been brought to you by the Letter S and the fine folks at Blogging A to Z. Check out more A to Z blogs here

R is for Rugrat


So, I’m a bum or I was exceedingly busy this weekend. Either way, I’m late with my R and I might be late with my S.

Way back when I was a teenager we all doted on my nephew. He was the first grandchild, the first (and only boy), the first nephew. I loved that kid like crazy mad. Still do. He’s a great kid…young man…crap! Seriously, he’s an adult now, but I still see him as a kid. I can’t help it.

The 90s was the decade of Nickelodeon. All the very best shows from that network are firmly placed in the 90s (Double Dare and You Can’t Do That On Television excluded). The 90s saw Clarissa Explains It All, Blue’s Clues, Doug and of course, Rugrats.

Kyle and I loved Rugrats and made a big event each week watching the new episodes. I couldn’t tell you who was more excited about Tommy’s antics or Chuckie’s OCD. Rugrats was our thing. Sure Kirsten and Mom would watch occasionally, but they didn’t understand the appeal and wonder that was Rugrats.

For Kyle, I image the appeal might have been a sense of independence, taking charge of his childhood like Tommy and escaping the nursery. For me, Rugrats reminded me of the wonderful way children view the world, they way I still wanted to view the world…Heck! I still view the world like that sometimes where a sandy playground becomes a desert; a staircase becomes a Mount Everest waiting to be scaled.

Rugrats, at its heart, should remind us that adventure is always waiting sometimes it’s just a matter of how we see things.

Rugrat is a noun from the 1970s that means small child.

Example: Roger ran through the rain to the rodeo hoping that the rugrats would still be riding the sheep, easily the creepiest and entertaining portion of the rodeo. 

This post has been brought to you by the Letter R and the fine folks at Blogging A to Z. Check out more A to Z blogs here

Friday, April 19, 2013

Q is for Quack

I’ve had a hard time this week with my theme. I struggled with N, settled for an O, went with P, and now, I’ve searched for a Q slang that wasn’t a derogatory slam against a group of people.

I found one in an 19th century term. From a time when medicine was progressing and people looking for the miracle cures that science could provide, a class of con men erupted into society. Nobby men with carpet bags selling vials full of snake oil to an uneducated lower class desperate for quick and easy fixes to common problems.

Actually, I made most of that up. I think. I have a vague recollection from history about something like the above happening. Maybe I saw it in a movie…

I like calling people quacks. Of course, I don’t use it the way it originated. I use quack to mean a crazy person. Ashleigh, in an interesting turn of phrase, calls me a goose when I’m being silly and I wonder if she got that from me calling crazy people quacks. You know, geese quackquacks are crazy…geese then are crazy…goose=quack. There might be some kind of mathematical logical proof going on there.

Quack is a noun from the 1880s that describes a person who cheats people by claiming to have some kind of knowledge, especially medical knowledge.

Example: Quint quietly crept into the back of the crowd and listened Doc. Quillston praise the small bottle of clear liquid he held in his hand. What a quack, thought Quint, I bet it’s just flavored water he’s got!

This post has been brought to you by the Letter Q and the fine folks at Blogging A to Z. Check out more A to Z blogs here!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

P is for Put a Bee in your Bonnet


When I was little I can remember running to my grandmother in conniptions of excitement, jumping up and down by her side, tugging on her hand or sleeve until I got her devoted attention. With 15+ grandchildren gaining undivided attention especially during summer vacations was tricky. I may have even used manners in interrupting, but I somehow doubt that. Impulsiveness and a serious lack of patience has always plagued me.

Inevitably, once attention was gained, I was scolded for interrupting.

“Who put a bee in your bonnet?” my grandmother would ask with a soft smile.

I would laugh because the thought of wearing a bonnet was absurd enough without having a bee shoved in one. But I never really much thought about the saying beyond it was something that my grandmother said. In the years since her death I’ve often spent time recalling my memories of her and wished that I had more. I wonder sometimes what she might think of my life now and my children. As much as I’d love to have my children know her, I know that in fact they do, a little because I see so much of my grandmother in my mom. Her smile and the twinkle in her eyes when she talks to her grandchildren are so very much my grandmother.

I know many women never want to hear that they have turned into their mothers but our mothers are our very first teachers, our cheerleaders, our greatest supporters and I can think of no higher compliment to my mom to tell her the million little ways she reminds me of grandma.

Put a bee in your bonnet is a phrase from the 1930s that means you have something interesting to tell; however, I think my grandmother used it more to mean “what the heck has gotten into you, Heather!”

Example: “Please, Penelope, stop jumping and tell us who put a bee in your bonnet?” Pansy asked. Penelope preened with pride, “I’ve practiced piccolo pretty much all day and now have Puccini’s Madame Butterfly practically perfect!”

This post has been brought to you by the Letter P and the fine folks at Blogging A to Z. Check out more A to Z blogs here!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

O is for Out to Lunch

Much like yesterday’s term, I had a hard time with O. I’m making the deliberate choice to stay away from offensive or suggestive slang. I run a cleanish blog and I’d like to try to keep it that way.

Although I had heard this phrase growing up, it wasn’t something that I used. I’ve known quite a few people, at some time or another, who could be considered “out to lunch.”

I don’t really have a story to go with today’s post, so I’m going to leave it as is, the middle of the challenge and all. I think those of us who haven’t preplanned our posts are, you know, out to lunch! I know I am!

Out to lunch
is a prepositional phrase from the 1970s that means a person has no idea what is going on.

Example: Olivia laughed as a woman across walked into a mailbox. “She’s really out to lunch,” Olivia announced.

This post has been brought to you by the Letter O and the fine folks at Blogging A to Z. Check out more A to Z blogs here!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

N is for Nobby



I had a tough time with a slang term for N. I was unimpressed with some of the words and phrases I found and so I settled for nobby. It’s one of the few words on the list so far that I have never used personally and can’t recall ever having heard it used before either.

I am not a fashionable person. My sister threatens me all the time about submitting my name to that make-over show. I wear things that are comfortable, clean, maybe wrinkled, but decent. I wore professional style clothes when I taught but I was able to keep it to a business casual level: khakis, polos, and a few skirts and blouses.

Since I’ve been unemployed, my wardrobe shrank quite a bit and I tended towards my comfort clothes: jeans and tee shirts. Looking decent is different to me than looking fashionable and for as long as I can remember decent won over fashion any day of the week.

When I was hired a few weeks back, I had a quite the panic attack because I really didn’t have anything left in my closet that could pass muster for professional. The polos and khakis I wore in my last years of teacher are what I wore to run around town in, to pick up bags of potting soil at Home Depot, to bake in – do I need to even say how grungy they have become?

Dragging Ashleigh and Cyra with me to the mall to pick out a few outfits to get me through the first few months of the new job was critical. I know what I am comfortable in, but I have no clue as to what might go together – and have you seen the spring colors? Neon pink and orange, lime greens and Caribbean blues. And what happened to just plain solids? Everything is patterned; everything has doo-dads and froo-froo on them. I can’t stand the stuff!! I wanted to find plain things that would easily mix and match. Ashleigh and Cyra insisted on pops of color and no khakis!

An hour later, with Ashleigh and Cyra by my side, I managed to pick out a number of interchangeable outfits. And I kept within my limited budget. I won’t claim to be nobby yet.

Now if only I could find out where Ashleigh hid my khakis.

Nobby is an adjective from the 1850s that means fashionable.

Example: Nora wasn’t especially nobby, but nearly everyone noticed when she started wearing shoes from Nine West.
  
This post has been brought to you by the Letter N and the fine folks at Blogging A to Z. Check out more A to Z blogs here!

Monday, April 15, 2013

M is for Malarkey

I tell stories. Frivolous stories full of unapologetic malarkey and hyperbole. I have been doing this all my life.

When I was little, as my family would sit down to dinner, I would be asked one simple, almost insignificant question: What did you do today, Heather.

Without a second of hesitation I would launch into a detailed description about my day interspersing actual occurrence with snippets of malarkey just to see how far I could take the tale. Nine times out of ten, I was encouraged to spin the tale out further beyond what I could have readily imagined. 

Oh how I wish I had a record of the stories I told. Looking back, I’m sure not a single one of them made sense and my siblings only tolerated my shenanigans because I was the baby of the family.  My childhood was fantasy wrapped in delusion filled to the brim with malarkey.

Today, I still tell wild stories full of malarkey. Just ask the girls about the orangutans that I blame for everything. Or Scott. Poor Scott. Last night while we sat at dinner, a thunderstorm rolled overhead with flashes of lightening and great booms of thunder that shook the windows in their frames. As we ate, I bemoaned the fact that we left my newly purchased bags of soil – the ones for the raised garden bed I’m building – out on the lawn. Unprotected. Scott and the girls looked at me incredulously.

“It’s dirt,” Scott said.

“Yeah,” I sighed, “But it’s my dirt now and I should take better care of it.”

“What are you going to do once you put it in the garden?” He asked.

I looked at him like he was the crazy one, “Put umbrellas over it, obviously.”

Like I said. Malarkey.

Malarkey is a noun from the 1930s that means nonsense.

Example: Marty the Magnificent managed to mumble the magic word making Melvin the Mouse move. “What malarkey!” Marcus moaned at the meager maneuver. 

This post has been brought to you by the Letter M and the fine folks at Blogging A to Z. And by the number 566. Check out more A to Z blogs here!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

L is for Louse

Back in my day, one of the worst things to call someone on the playground was a louse. To kids, there is a stigma attached to having lice. A stigma, that to this day has not been broken. Dirty kids, poor kids, kids that were different always had a better chance of being infested than you did.

Until the day, you actually came home, digging and scratching in your hair and suddenly, you were ashamed.

I've had lice twice in my life. Once as a child and I don't really remember much about it except I insisted on looking at one through a magnifying glass. And once a few years ago when the girls and I bought some beach hats. Ashleigh noticed them first on her head and I asked her if there was a notice from her school - because the schools will do that - and sure enough, there wasn't. We racked our brains trying to figure out where she could have picked them up, when Cyra came to me complaining that her head was itchy. 

We traced the outbreak to the hats and by then, I was starting to itch.

Everyone and everything got treated: all the stuffed animals, bedding, clothes. I put chemicals on the carpet, sprayed so much Rid everywhere, I might as well have called pest control.

Just writing about it makes my head itch!!

Louse has been around for ages as the singular name for lice. As a slang though, it can be traced to the early 1900s where it was a noun used to describe a mean person. Today, I think we use it to mean a jerk or a low-life.

Example: Larry lurked low in the lilacs lying in wait for Lenny the Louse to leave Leona's love nest. Larry laughed thinking about how he was going to lob a loogie at Lenny.

This post has been brought to you by the Letter L and the fine folks at Blogging A to Z. And by the number 744. Check out more A to Z blogs here!

Friday, April 12, 2013

K is for Kibosh and Kosher


I have discovered something about my new work schedule: Thursdays are rough. The work itself isn’t difficult, but my hours? Those are killers. I work a third shift on Wednesday, get home around 7:20 am Thursday morning and have to be back at work by 3pm. This is called the turn around shift and it’s working me over something fierce.

I don’t sleep well during the day when I work graveyard. The phone rings and I have to get it because what if it’s the girls calling? The dog barks and I need to figure out why since she only really barks if a stranger approaches the house. The amount of caffeine I consume during the night works it way out of my system while I’m trying to sleep and I end up getting up two and three times to use the bathroom. The eastern sunlight cascades through my window and though I have blinds, it probably wouldn’t hurt to throw up some light blocking curtains.

So, Thursdays? Yeah. They’ve got it out for me. Something about the T days, I guess, because Tuesday always throws me too.

That said, I haven’t got a story for today’s words. And I feel like a complete heel because of it. Not because I’m disappointing my admiring fans (you guys are admiring, right?) but because I really wanted to have a story to share and I just…can’t today.

It’s 10 am Friday as I’m writing this and I’m ready for a nap. I want to crawl back into bed and pull the covers up over my head.

Jeesh. I’m surely pitiful! But I’m gonna put the kibosh on that right now! That kosher with you guys?

Kibosh is a noun from the 1940s meaning to put a stop to something and kosher an adjective from the 1920s meaning fair (or a term that describes food prepared according to Jewish dietary law found in the Torah). 

Example: Kelly was keen to kibosh Kevin’s kidney knickknack collection. But Kevin’s counselor claimed that the whole thing was kosher.   

This post has been brought to you by the Letter K and the fine folks at Blogging A to Z. And by the number 1418. Check out more A to Z blogs here