Ode to the internet

It’s been an exciting, exhausting, interesting, one of a kind summer culminating in one off schedule blog, so I’m calling it a win.

Better late than never.

 

Ode to the internet

 

When I’m lost, you find,

When I forget, you remind.

You’re order when I’m behind

My tasks you keep outlined

And who is best in this world at helping me unwind?

(It’s you, internet)

It breaks you help me fix,

How to? You know the tricks.

You’ve all the hottest flicks,

And news and politics!

Are any needs unmet, with just a few mouse clicks?

(Not a one, internet)

In peaceful quiet solitude,

You trained me in gourmet food,

Your unassuming attitude,

Keeps me grounded, keeps me glued

You, an arrogant know it all? This I will not conclude.

(because you, internet, are perfect)

Genius I used to lack.

Panic used to attack!

But then the whip went crack!

And now I am on track!

Where would I be, I shudder to think, if you’d not had my back?

(In a bad way, internet. In a bad bad way)

Stay cool, keep fit,

You must not quit!

However you sit,

Don’t cease to transmit.

For if you fail, if you die, I’ll probably lose my….

mind.

 

 

Paranoia

 

Ever get the feeling the universe is out to get you? Really out for you, like the universe has a team dedicated to making your life hell?

Meet Bob and Stan…

 

Bob: Morning Stan.

Stan: Morning Bob.  

B: So what kind of chaos is on the docket for our girl today?

S: You’re in luck my friend. We’re slotted for a Total Mental Breakdown!

B: No kidding? That’s awesome! When do we start?

S: I’m way ahead of you Bob. She’s fell into the toilet at 6 am (I had her husband leave the seat up). Then about 20 minutes ago she scalded the roof of her mouth with coffee.

B: Nice.

S: She’s in the shower now. I was just about to cut the hot water. You want the honors?

B: Wow, thanks man! Hmmm, that’s odd. That maneuver usually pisses her off but her vitals didn’t even move.

S: Huh. Maybe she’s still waking up. She’s going for more coffee. Quick, fill the refrigerator with empty milk cartons.

B: Wow. She doesn’t even look irritated. What now?

S: Don’t worry. I’m going have one kid call her name repeatedly from another room while the other spills orange juice all over the floor. Add a ringing phone in the background and cue the crazy dog…

B: You are the master Stan.

S: It’s all in the wrists….Dang it! Nothing? She’s a rock today.

B: She has been hitting the gym a lot.

S: Clearly it’s affecting her. Hang on, I’ve got this….

B: Rain storm. Brilliant. It was supposed to be a beautiful day and she did her hair already…hey, wait a minute…did she just shrug?

S: Grrrr…That’s it. Make her go outside.

B: How?

S: Trip the car alarm.

B: OK she’s moving. What the…where did that umbrella come from? Is she singing and dancing? She looks like she’s enjoying herself.

S: Unbelievable!! She’s wants fun? I’ll show her fun…

B: Ouch. That’s going to sting. How did you get her to trip over her own feet anyway?

S: This button, but don’t tell. We’re not supposed to use it. A gust of wind should take care of that umbrella. Now, hit that lever over there.

B: What does it do?

S: Locks her out of the house.

B: Brutal.

S: Hey, I have a job to do just like everybody else.

B: OK, her smile is gone, but I’ve got no indicators of mental instability.

S: One of the kids is letting her back in. I’m going to have him make a snide comment then laugh at her. That always works.

B: Uh oh Stan. You’re perfect day destroyer just became a memorable mother son moment. They’re laughing together. She’s in too good a mood.

S: Oh yeah? Wait till her little boy starts screaming profanities and lights a joint….

B: Whoa buddy…isn’t that taking things a bit too far?

S: I won’t be beaten.

B: Um, hey Stan buddy? When was the last time you got out of here and had a good nights sleep?

S: Sleep?? With all this work piling up? She used to be so paranoid! Now look at her! It’s disgusting.

B: Ok pal, step away from the control panel. Maybe we should call it a day. I’m sure we can convince the boys upstairs to bump her meltdown to tomorrow.

S: I don’t know…

B: Aw come on. Let’s get a beer and make it an early night. Tomorrow we’ll hit it first thing and really give it a go, poor sleep, power outage, maybe give her…

S: …an infectious disease??

B: I was going to say computer virus.

S: Are you kidding me?

B: A really bad computer virus. Lost data and everything.

S: Promise? Really bad? Like that one from last year that made her cry?

B: You bet.

S: Alright…I am kind of tired.

B: That’s the spirit. Remember, tomorrow is a new day!

S: You’re right. Thanks Bob. You really know how to cheer a guy up.

B:  Anytime pal, anytime.

 

 

 

Game of Life

This is a reprint of a previously published post because summer still has me in a choke hold…

 

Start. Roll a 2.

Graduate and land employment!

Move ahead 4 spaces. Draw a card from “Bright future” pile.

Vacation home!

Move ahead 4 more spaces. Buy a new car.

Roll a 7.

Career’s on track, money in the bank. Plan for early retirement.

Move ahead 6 spaces. Draw a card from “income/output” pile.

Ask for a raise, get shot down. Discover you hate your boss and your job. Accidentally announce your feelings at the Christmas party.

Move back two spaces. Open credit line at the closest bar.

Roll a 9

Babies! Congratulations.

Move back 10 spaces. Begin perpetual grovelling to your employer. Give blank check to the hospital. Decrease income by 1/3. Increase credit line at the bar. Loose a turn.

Roll a 3.

Youngest child starts kindergarten. Take a breath.

Roll a 2

Send spouse back to work

Move ahead 3 spaces. Dig retirement dreams out of the rubble. Sneak a peak at the light at the end of the tunnel.

Move ahead 5 spaces. Draw a card from the “Things you least expected” pile.  

Youngest takes up extreme sports. Oldest accepted to student exchange program in Iran.

Move ahead no spaces. Subtract 12 years from your life expectancy.

Roll an 8.

Parents move in with you

Move back 1 space. Sell vacation home. Maximize credit line at bar.

Roll a 4.

Distant dead relative leaves you money!

Move ahead 2 spaces. Answer phone call from the IRS and draw a card from “Murphy’s Law” pile.

With remaining inheritance pay off: bar, youngest child’s medical bills and Taliban so that oldest child can leave Iran. Have enough money left over to buy wine.

Roll a 1.

Illegitimate Iranian Grandchildren. Draw a card from the “no one said it would be easy” pile.

Roll again.

Unintentionally knock die off the game board. Watch it tumble under the table.  

Follow it.

Bring the wine.  

life interrupted

It’s summer in Ireland which, it turns out, is remarkably similar to summer in Alaska which, is to say, things are busy.  

Really busy. Moments become history before I’m done experiencing them and the days swirl with such energy that I go to bed dizzy each night.

(or maybe that was the wine?)

Anyway, one would think, with all the experience I have navigating busy Alaska summers, I would be well prepared for my first Irish one, but this is not so.

(Unless, of course, “well prepared” has suddenly become a synonym for “horribly blindsided” in which case, I am a rock star)

Due to this, for the next few weeks (hopefully no more than that, but I am not optimistic) instead of fresh fun, I will be imitating network TV and filling the blog-sphere with re runs.

don’t hate me.

Anyway, to get things started here’s one from a few years ago that one or two people thought was kind of funny… 

Barbie and Superman walk into a bar

Hope you enjoy it.

and happy summer everyone 🙂 

 

Wrong, wrong, wrong

table

There are few things in life that I consider sacrilegious and almost all of them have to do with food.

For example, I will not tolerate overcooking fish and steak. Furthermore I believe those who claim to not like fish or steak while at the same time refusing to eat either unless overcooked, should be burned at the stake…perhaps with me broiling a filet to perfection on the same fire…

I also have no patience for people who’ve not learned proper foods identification. Last Saturday my son ordered “pancakes”. What arrived, however, was very clearly “crepes”. What?? Understandably, I nearly lost my mind. Though he insisted they were in fact delicious, I would not be tamed. Culinary anarchy it was! And resulted in a restaurant boycott. The world will not descend into madness on my dime, no sir!

Speaking of madness, everyone needs to sit at the table as soon as a meal is served (better yet, before) and stay until the end, no excuses. (Dear family, I love you but…legs will be broken…) Seriously, a tree died so you could park it while breaking bread! Shall you not honor that sacrifice??

Ahem…

Anyway, this list goes on. But rather than bore you with every tenet of my Foodology, Gastronomicism, Culinaranity…

I ask only for conversion, utter devotion and strict adherence to my belief system

tolerance.

There is room for all types of foodies in this world.

Except people who don’t know how to set a table, they have to go…and anyone who’s never opened a cookbook…or thinks cheese in a can is real…or eats spam on a regular basis…

I mean….Namaste

 

 

Getting it out there

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Though marriage and kids were never a certainty for me, one thing was: if I did go that route I would be as open as possible with my children. My family would talk about everything. Our house would be a temple of discussion and my children would not for one second think that any subject was taboo.

Then, reality. I married a quiet man who gave me three quiet boys. Faster than you can say bob-is-your-uncle (not that anyone in my house was ever saying that or anything else for that matter) my dream evaporated. Instead of a house of congress, ours was a monastery (sans the singing) and instead of stimulating banter, our days were filled with hours and hours of mom-ologue.

Well, I pacified myself, it worked for Hamlet.

(I forgot, of course, that Hamlet’s audience paid to hear him babble on.)

“Mom, stop talking” wasn’t any of my son’s first words but it was definitely in the top ten. Once it hit the airwaves it became a popular tune too, losing favor only when my offspring figured out they had Olympic sized tuning-out skills.  

Still, I was undaunted believing it my parental duty to pave the path between us with sensitive subject matter. Over and over and over again.

If only I’d remembered about puberty.

Welcome back to hormone hour on adolescent radio! Up next, “Mom you’re so embarrassing.” by The Tween’s, “Talk to the hand” by Attitude City and everybody’s favorite “Watch me slam the door” by Bob Rocker and the Parents Are Lame singers!

OK, OK, I was a teenager once. I know how important privacy is. I was hip to their desire that I shut-my-pie-hole and I would give them space. But there was still stuff they needed to learn and it was still my job to make sure they learnt it.

So I downloaded one of “those” books (you know the kind I’m talking about) and, in a modern day equivalent to wrapping it in a brown paper bag, I discretely delivered it to their online devices.

Later, in darkness, I waited.

“Hey.” I whispered, starting at my shoes, the sky, the inside of my eyelid, anywhere but at my son because the only way to talk to a teen is with ambiguity.

Conversation? What conversation? I’m just standing here…breathing loudly… To the casual onlooker this wasn’t a mother and son talk this was a drug deal – far safer territory.

I spat out what I’d done adding quickly, “If you read it I promise to never bring up this subject again.” Then I held my breath.

 “Alright.” He replied.

Was that sarcasm? Did I see an eye roll? Was it possible we were good? Since I’d just sworn to never bring it up with him again, would I ever know?

“Mom stop.” He said, turning to leave. “I said I’d read it, let it go. And quit talking to yourself. It’s embarrassing.”

Only time will tell, but I’m calling it a win.

 

 

 

 

 

 

*sigh*

 

It’s Memorial Day. Today in America we pause to remember everyone who left to fight and never came home.

Every year on this day the longing to express gratitude to all those who did the unthinkable – giving the greatest sacrifice so that people like my-insignificant-self may live free – becomes almost painful. 

Because it can’t be done. When you give up everything for someone else, you give up everything. You are not even allowed the meager reward of hearing from us how thankful we are.

And we are. Ever so much so.

*sigh*

This holiday weekend was especially poignant for me as it was also my son’s thirteenth birthday.

On Saturday, under the wary eye of his younger brother, “He better not start acting like a teenager…” my middle son entered young adulthood.

There are now two teens living in our home and I am no more ready than I was when the first one arrived two years ago.

*sigh*

At least the weather was nice. Ireland (in what I decided to take as a sign of solidarity) lightened my load by pretending to be Hawaii for three straight days.

20160528_153639

Stunning, isn’t it?

Of course when I shared that very thought my freshly minted 13 year old corrected me.

“No you’re wrong. Not Hawaii, more like California. This feels like Oceanside.”

Because he’s 13 now and does stuff like that.

*sigh*

Hope your Memorial day is special. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crime Scene

Guilty pleasure: that weird thing you shouldn’t like, but do anyway.

Everyone has them and generally they’re harmless. In fact I can think of only two occasions when that isn’t so. First, when your guilty pleasure is an actual crime (and if this is the case – EW, get help) and second when the thing you shamelessly enjoy is also shamelessly enjoyed by the people you love but when the opportunity arises to enjoy it – you hog all of it for yourself.

Which, just a few days ago, is exactly what I did.

We’re a family of mechanics. We like to repair and build and get more joy out of a new tool than a new puppy. But if you think this is perfectly reasonable you’re either similarly afflicted or do not understand what this type passion leads to: 

1
little project for the weekend

However, there is a particular type of build that rises above all others to become our guilty pleasure: the clean, painless, situation improving, job.

This is the kind of job that requires minimal effort and grime yet makes life infinitely better. Think: installing a garage door opener, changing out old ugly light figures, replacing fuses …tidy, simple, life altering. Get the picture? Well last Thursday, while Mowgli was away, a clean, painless, situation improving job landed in my lap.

The roof bars we ordered for our car arrived.

(FYI if that line didn’t make your heart leap just now then you haven’t a mechanical bone in your body and should probably just schedule a manicure.)

Roof bars. Our car has never had them before. They would open up a world of cargo carrying possibility.

When installed.

Cleanly and simply and life changing-ly installed.

While Mowgli was gone…

because waiting seemed silly…

I mean, I’m here…

Long story short, my marriage has seen better days, but the bars look awesome.

Road trip.

 

 

 

 

 

Minding my head

20160430_105310 

Yes, this is why we camp. It’s good for the head. Though they probably meant something else here…

 

When it comes to camping the way I see it there are two ways a trip can go down: 1 as a restorative retreat and 2 as a surprising misadventure.

Type 1 weekends leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. This is good, very good.

Type 2, on the other hand, send you home a little shaken and a lot wiser (what does not kill me makes me stronger) but with one heck of a great story. And that, in it’s own way, is kind of good too. 

Can  you guess which type of outdoor experience this family is a magnet for? Here’s a clue: 

 

Good times for sure but not exactly relaxing and certainly events I always thought we could do with less of.

In fact, some summers I found myself thinking that a lot.

And out loud. 

Well, it took a massive move but it looks as though I’ve gotten my wish. Last weekend we went camping and it was completely *gasp* uneventful. It was even restful. In fact I think I would go as far as to call it peaceful. This trip was a quintessential type 1 outing. Possibly our first type 1 ever.

 

Everything went according to plan, the weather cooperated and all activities were tame and safe.

There was not one heart stopping moment the entire weekend.

Unless of course we count the night we went out for dinner. At a fancy little restaurant in the town nearest our campsite we discovered that our son, who trips over his tongue ordering fast food, turns into a foodie Cyrano de Bergerac if the restaurant has linen napkins and a maitre d’.

The chicken appetizer, if you please, and the special is intriguing would you tell me more about it?

I may ask him to order for me next time. Oh and yes, you read that correctly, we went out for dinner. Every night. I told you it was relaxing. 

And therein lies the problem, my weekend was very… nice.

Wild accidents are funny, shenanigans make good press. What am I to share with you this week? A contented sigh?

I’m sorry. Give me time. I’m sure all this normalcy is just a phase we’re going through… it will pass. Chaos will return…   

Until then….ahhhhh…

 

The Anarchist twitch

So, here’s a side effect of leaving Alaska that I did not see coming, I am suffering ordnance withdrawals.

That’s right, I’m desperate to blow something up.

Calm down. I can say things like this. Thanks to previous employment I’m already in a government database somewhere. Homeland security knows I’m not a terrorist, just an Alaskan feeling a little homesick.

(Now there’s a fine line…).

What’s brought this on? Who knows but I’m inclined to say the weather. It’s wet, I want fire and making one here isn’t easy without a serious catalyst.

(No matter what the fire department would have you believe. Funny story, on last week’s hike we found a CAUTION FIRE DANGER sign in what – after weeks of relentless rain – was less “trail” and more “raging river”. Honestly someone should design such posts to be invisible until the weather’s sufficiently dry enough for the danger to be believable. Otherwise it’s just one more reason for people like me to distrust authority.)

(Again, not a terrorist, just a girl from Eagle River.)

But, back to my need for pyrotechnics, it would be unfair to place all the blame on rain. Without a doubt, living with boys, creatures who are functionally deaf unless the conversation turns to explosives, is not helping me. Check our computer’s search history and you’ll find “C4” popping up with alarming regularity. Also, “Nuclear reaction” is mentioned so often around here I’m thinking of turning it into a drinking game.

(Dear NSA, CIA, SIS… lighten up…)

Anyway, it doesn’t matter how I got to this mental place, the point is to get out. How? There are no fireworks here and Mowgli, God bless him, is only a fraction of the way through this countries legal maze to gun ownership. What are our options after that? Fertilizer? Molotov cocktail? Call me chicken, but the risk to entertainment ratio with both those is beyond even my unorthodox senses…so far.

Maybe I just need to relax and this will pass. Yeah that’s it, maybe I just need to drink a beer, put on some Ted Nugent and eat a cow. Maybe then I’ll be sated…

Until that time though, to the bottle rocket!

Lightening the mood one day at a time