Saturday, October 30, 2010

Jumping In

Historically, I typically feel the need to poll numerous friends and relations before I make a decision about anything. Other times, depending on the topic, I aim for one person who I think will REALLY know what's best for me. It has occurred to me, that I might be leaving a fairly significant person out of the equation, or at least discounting her opinion...ME. I might have wanted to try my hand at solving something simple, like what to have for dinner. Instead, I went and signed up for NaNoWriMo...National Novel Writing Month. Who doesn't register, on a whim, for a month long writing contest in which participants are striving to write a 50,000 word novel?

The contest is targeted for people writing fiction, but there is a group of rebels doing other "non-novel" writings. I am leaning towards a memoir-type of thing. I have thirty-five more hours to decide exactly what it is I'm going to do. One of the suggestions they give is that you tell everyone you know, so consider yourself told! The idea being that the more people aware of your plight, the less likely you will run and hide under your bed (now I'll have to look for a new hiding place!).

I read about this contest earlier this week on a blog of a blog I follow. The crucial coincidence was that I also started jogging this past week. OK, so it was fifteen minutes a day, and I am on day 5 (which is a day off in this program I am sponging info off a dear friend from...thank you!). I NEVER thought I could run/jog/shuffle for fifteen continuous minutes, but I did. As my aching quads and I were rounding out about six minutes on day 2, I started to wonder what other things I could accomplish. Somehow getting back to my house, on two legs, after fifteen minutes became comparable to writing a 50,000 word 30 days! Yikes!

The first person I told was a fellow blogger (, and she did not disappoint with her words of encouragement and promise to supply sugar. The support from those who live in this house has been, well, it's been what those of you who regularly follow this blog might expect. The husband had a blank look and didn't seem familiar with the contest that I had showed him on the computer three days earlier...silence. The son made a grumbling about not getting much computer time next month...touching. The husband pointed out to the son that his comment might have been selfish (I did not point out that his silence was not much better). The daughter at least had questions relevant to what I was telling her: How do you count the words? What do you win? (In case anybody is wondering, you "win" just for doing it. As, I explained to my daughter...more like a "finisher" than a "winner".)

I AM SO EXCITED! (yeah, yeah, yeah...and a little panic stricken too) I might've had it in my head that 5,000 words was 50,000 words. In more lucid times, (like right after I registered) I realized that was over 1,500 words a day! I also walked past the calendar and figured out what time of year we are dealing with lunacy countdown! Oh well! Maybe if I get behind on my shopping, I can just give out copies of my novel for Christmas...ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha slkdjf[09qeut[io' vhejwl;KGV...oops, fell off my chair.

Have a wonderful day, and do something that fascinates you!

p.s. I was just doing some blog design housekeeping, and read the "About Me" part where I reference people's exercise routines getting me down. I just wanted to confirm that I jogged...for fifteen minutes...for four days...I don't even have fancy sneakers! I also hope you realize that my signing up for this contest might also indicate how not "together" I remain!

Monday, October 25, 2010

You might want to filter that

Coffee filters keep all of the nasty grounds out of a decent cup of joe, while light filtering shades can help to keep bright rays from bothering our eyes. I would guess that we all know of at least one human being who could stand to be equipped with some sort of filter to make him/her less harsh. It has occurred to me that my daughter and I might need to develop a filter of our own for the receiving end of some of the thirteen year old boy conversations we find ourselves participating in. I do not anticipate him developing a filter on his own, until there is a female, not wired to love him unconditionally, whom he may not want to offend.

I have been warned about the beast that a teenage boy can be: sight, sound and smell. I just can't let it all happen without adding my two cents though, for fear that he'll come out on the other side (whenever that is) no less of an animal. Today my daughter happily announced, to me, that she made it into the spelling bee. Almost before I could respond, came the "Yeah, I didn't even try when I took that test because I didn't want to do that." Then there was talk of intentionally spelling words wrong (that explains a little). I bit my tongue to keep from saying, "Um, shut up!" Luckily, he did not take the wind out of her sails as she finished her information on the topic and wandered off. I then discussed with the boy what an appropriate response might sound like. This apparently was amusing for him to have his baboon-like tendencies pointed out, and amidst his chuckling, he got out a "congratulations" when the girl came back in the room.

When he came home to announce he had made it into the geography bee last year, there was no more enthusiasm than he showed his sister. "I don't know how I did it, but I somehow got into the geography bee." His view of school seems to be that it is a task to complete. He just goes and does his thing (very well...I am a mom and must add). He doesn't really want to talk or think about it beyond those doors.

Of course, my daughter is far more resilient to his charms. I think this is in part due to the fact that he has always been her brother, and also because she spends every day in the company of a classroom half filled with a starter crop of man beasts. I hear the flip comments in this house and panic over their lasting impact most of the time, Other times, I see that my daughter is more concerned over whether there are homemade cookies available, than she is about what rolled off her brother's tongue. OK, no, I do not want her to run to food to soothe herself.....damn, where are those cookies?

Ugh! The media has me so torqued up about protecting the psyche of my 'tween girl, so I bought some books last week to guide me through. Then I felt like I was neglecting my son, so I grabbed some books about fostering his emotional development. I suppose I should have also looked for a self help book for when I have been buried under too much of this information and can no longer sleep at night! I will be unable to complete a sentence for fear that it will convey some message that eventually lands my children in therapy...talking about me! Yikes, I felt much better about buying those books than I do about actually reading them. I wonder how I'd feel about returning them, and getting myself some new sneakers?!

In my son's defense, or at least the one he most typically offers up, he's just being honest. So, when we tell our young children not to lie, apparently the hope would be for them to tell the truth. It is my opinion that lying is always bad. However, honesty is not always nice...especially without a filter.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


One could assume that I haven't blogged in so long because I've been working on a topic of epic proportions...a veritable tome. In part, the truth is more along the lines of not being amused, or intrigued even, by any one topic in particular, to the extent that I could write a few sentences. Then, there was some question (to myself) as to whether the post even needed to be funny or incredibly insightful. There was the paralyzed by guilt phase...caught up in the delusion that fives of people were unable to function in their daily lives without knowing how I was occupying my time. There was also the full scale rant that carried the potential to offend people if put in writing (and while I was mighty steamed, I wasn't sure that the fire needed gasoline). The last hurdle was how to just jump back in, so...cowabungaaaaaaaa.....(splash) I was at WalMart...this is not an ordinary scene because...I...hate...WalMart. This was no supercenter either, just one of the final stores to go unsuperfied, left in a land time forgot. I know the products I saw there can be found in any of the finer upscale store (um, like Target), but somehow seeing these things on big W's shelves cracked me up more. Check out this carpet cleaner that will "permanently remove" spots! This is good news indeed, as I can treat the whole room and not anticipate ever needing to clean again. How foolish the people who bought any of the surrounding cleaning supplies must feel. Their spots are destined to come right back. I know I'd rather clean a rug and have it stay as such, as opposed to being revisited by the same scummy spots a week or two later. "Boo hiss" to the producers of the "momentarily removes" spots potion! In an unrelated matter, two aisles over, I passed a display of these fashionable nuggets. A case of these and three packages of the tiniest wife-beater t-shirts on the market, and my son would've been one hot ticket baby! I didn't see any khakis for fancier occasions. When the time arises for a parent to want their little one to go pants- (or I guess shorts-) less, is the absence of a cool design really going to hold them back? I didn't check to see what sizes these glamour don'ts came in. Perhaps I should have, considering all of the money I could save by not buying shorts. I hope my husband doesn't think that if he finds boxers that look like denim, he can go without bottoms...even around the house. Had to tear myself away from the cases of these, apparently non-seasonal items (to the sounds of my friend insisting that I would've bought at least one package of these to try when my kids were babies...I LIKE to think not!). Moving on to the land of tiny cheesy plastics molded and painted into the most desirable pieces of crap that every girl from ages three and up has ever laid eyes on. From the great big eyes of the Littlest Pets and Polly Pocket's seemingly uncomfortable rubber clothing to My Little Pony's wild flowing mane...we've loved them all! This year's inductees to the wall of delights include a fabulous array of choking hazards in the likes of: tiny little clear plastic balls that hold tinier plastic wonders to be worn as bracelets or fabulous rings, and little mixed up figures that combine items (like a pretzel and a butterfly) because who doesn't need that creative spark? OK, so we own some of those too, I'm not proud.

Now I love Strawberry Shortcake and all of her delightful baked good friends, BUT...what the hell is this?
Stinkberry Alien? (Can you see the claw on the left closing in on them?) The purple one looks like it spent too much time with Violet in Wonka's factory. Also notice the clip, so that the ugliness of these characters can proudly be displayed on one's coat or backpack!

Well, if this post has accomplished nothing else, it has hopefully gotten me back in a groove, and has kept me from stuffing my face for the past however long. Plus, due to the upright nature of my typing position, I have spent a little more time awake on a very dreary and nap-worthy day...wait, I am not certain that is a good thing...the couch is calling me (it was hard to hear over the muffled conversations of various snack cupboard items!)