Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Memories & Margaret Cho

As a kid, my favorite memory of watching Margaret Cho on tv, doing her standup comedy, was the story of her mom standing outside at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning, yelling for the "keeeeeeeds" to get up and get dressed so they could go to "Mongomonery War".
I have absolutely no idea why or how that is my primary and only association of Margaret Cho, but that's just how my brain works sometimes. It's funny stuff, and my cognitive function grabbed THAT snippet and kept it. My brain is weird, and talking to my younger sister, it's a genetic mishap, and I got the lucky end of the weird stick.
Then again, she has had her own challenges, issues, and interactions that have colored her perspective on things. We both will have a different idea of the same event, and we lived in the same house, relegated to the same renovated sleeping porch turned into two 8x10 cells, a bathroom and laundry room. I'll have to tell you about Dad's construction later. This is about something completely different. We spent time at a Catholic school. After my initial culture shock of about the first 3/4 of my first year there for 6th grade, I had a couple AHA! moments and things got better for me. They never got better for my sister from 4th grade till she finally left after 7th grade. I never knew. Or I was just that obtuse and never paid attention. It never occurred to me to ask anything. If I'd known even an inkling of the crap people did to my sister, I would've tried to do something about it. I'm an Aquarius, my sense of justice is resolute. But I was unaware of the things my sister was subjected to till we were adults.
My childhood was not stellar. Dad worked hard, Mom stayed home to raise us. But mom had her own issues that never got resolved. Despite the 20 year age gap, the two of them had enough crap swept under rugs, that there was a LOT of carpet in their lives. So they lacked the tools and means to deal with the crap their kids got from other people. I didn't know my mom was molested until my aunt told me during the week she was here for mom's funeral. That explained a few things. I am thankful my aunt shared her view of my mother, because it truly helped me get in my mom's head enough to understand why she did things the way she had. As a child, I had been molested, and when I told my mother, she literally ran away from me. I had unwittingly shoved a sword into her own festering wound, and she couldn't handle it. Top it with the belief she was born with fetal alcohol syndrome, physically and emotionally abused by her parents (till the day her mother died in 1994 at that) and add in a car accident that toppled her around inside a 15 passenger van in the later 1980s, and you have a mother who honestly was not fully right in the head. So, in the end, we found ourselves learning about life from neighbors, parents of friends, enemies, strangers, and everywhere else those lessons presented themselves to us. The fact that the younger 3 kids (I jokingly call the 2nd litter) are able to cook creatively with flavor, and that we don't just take my very Irish grandmother's approach and just boil everything - is AMAZING. I still have issues with overcooking and scorching though.
All through elementary school, I was called names. I really was weird by their perspective. I honestly was poor. Mom smoked (ugh), and we often came home to find a garbage bag of clothes on the doorstep. But my oblivion prevented me from seeing what I lacked fiscally. It didn't prevent my classmates from trying to make sure I knew what I was missing though. I thankfully was not bullied physically, and I think my oblivion is what spared me a lot of what others tried to inflict on me. I was still hurt by people, and the advice I'd been given never helped me. Looking back, I'm glad to have gotten away from that same circle of kids and that I got to go somewhere new for 6th grade. I was just sucktacularly prepared for any of the culture shock. It did teach me how to adapt to changes. I was around adults almost exclusively as a kid, so I didn't know how to act around other kids. They didn't know how to relate to me either. Even now, most of my friends are older than I am. I finally caught on to the way it worked after several months of struggle. And like most everything I do, once I get the hang of it, I have it, and I flourish (ie: knitting, crocheting, cooking). Then I went back to public school, and my past met me at the door. I'd changed, but no one else wanted to see that. My advantage was that I was stronger because I'd learned how to adapt, and was confident because the academics had become much easier for me after 3 years of Catholic school. I got through the challenges of that year, even begging my mother NOT to intervene and just let me handle it, because she would've just made things worse. I'd learned to read people, and I'd learned how to utilize the grapevine to my advantage. I preferred to hang out with the guys because they were not entirely up to catty BS like 99% of the girls were. Then as high school progressed I still had jerks in my day, but I wasn't as affected by them. Or so I thought. I had no idea of the true extent of my wounds. And I probably still don't, nor do I want to any more.
Over the years I'd been torn down by people trying to make themselves look, feel or sound better. Deep down, I knew I could do more, be more, and take Auntie Mame's advice and LIVE more. I just didn't know how to take a leap of faith.

Friday, January 20, 2012


It's a record, I've posted more than one blog in 8 weeks' time.
Oh. Sorry. I guess that floor came up and smacked you. Stupid chair, why didn't you keep my reader from falling?

In any case, my birthday is this weekend, and since last year demonstrated that I can't be taken out in public, I decided to do a birthday party for myself at home. And in usual fashion, I am making at least a weekend out of it. The kids are out of school Friday for planning day. I worked doggedly Thursday, long into the evening, with multiple interruptions to get all my work done so I can stay in bed longer and enjoy my coffee on Friday. I get to skip having to wake up at the butt crack-o-dawn and zero dark thirty to take people to meet their educational facilities. So, Thursday was my Friday. My Thursday-Friday means, I enjoyed some Irish Cream. My Friday-Friday may be for the Rum & Dr Pepper after the party preparations are done (or during them, who knows). Devildog must go to bed early Friday, because HE must get up at the crack of zero-dark-really-asinine on Saturday morning, to fulfill a commitment he made. I'll have to tell you about the commitment later. That commitment cemented my decision to stay at home to celebrate my birthday.

And there is no theme, no planning of minutiae, no type A anything with any of my gatherings at my awesome-for-entertaining house. Literally, it seems like all my parties here are "show up, put random food on the counter, pour drinks, and visit with people". It's what works for us. Now, for Christmas dinner there was a chow line but that was out of sheer necessity. With that many people and that much food, there was no way formality would have worked AT ALL here. Plus there's nothing formal about us or our house. Which is completely right up our alley because we're not plan to the nth anything people. I announced loose plans for a birthday the week prior, not sure if Friday or Saturday would be the better party day. I finally decided at the crux of Sunday/Monday that Saturday was best because we could start earlier in the day, and I needed Friday to get stuff ready. And seeing as how my husband has to go to bed early Friday, that would put a cramp in the debauchery my friends and I can create for ourselves. Not exactly conducive to birthdaying when you have to shush your friends because "the baby husband is trying to sleep"

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Elusive Solitude

It is 7:10 in the morning, the sun's first rays are crafting themselves behind the trees. As I look out my kitchen window, I see dark tree shadows against a multi-hued sunrise. This is the quietest my house ever is, and even then there is always noise. The refrigerator is humming, and at any random minute the icemaker will drop frozen cubes into its bin with a groan, creak and a crash, then water to refill and repeat. The HVAC unit just stopped. I hear cargo ships a couple miles away on the river. The water heater is doing something. And my husband is snoring. I've joked he snores to the point that the ceiling over our bed is concaved, risking collapse. I've just returned from the high school bus run to take my junior and senior to be collected by some guy they all call Freelove. They hate the bus, because the other kids on it are, to be polite - obnoxious. But it's a given in life that we all have things we disdain and deal with anyway. My Clone is asleep when she should be awake, because she stayed up way too late last night watching tv with Devildog. Blur is, very thankfully, still asleep so Devildog gets to keep snoring a little while longer. And here I sit, when I should be moving about to get the day going. The coffee in my FSU Tervis Tumbler, the appliances going about their business, and the sky behind the trees changing from the pretty colors of sunrise to the ones seen the rest of the day. I have knitting I want to be doing, but that means I'd have to turn on a light and risk waking Blur who sleeps on the couch most nights because we're overly permissive and let this ginger midget run the show more than she should. But like her sister who at that age also slept on the couch and with us for way too long, at least she is asleep. With a toddler, just like during that time affectionately called "baby jail", if that child sleeps ANY where at all, so that parents can sleep, then that child can sleep where ever they cease to fidget. Because when you have children, solitude is ever sought after on a regular basis. When you have 4 who run the gamut of ages and stages, you make a point to seek out any ounce of solace you can when ever you can. And then you get off the computer to go wake that 4th grader who is going to be even crankier the 3rd & 4th time you go in there to wake her because it's now 7:30 and she needs to be ready to walk out the door in 1/10th of the minutes she usually has because she wakes up by 7:00. And you pray her complaints don't wake the toddler, ever thankful she's on the couch so she doesn't pick up her head with that grunt that makes mommy want to curse because you just *know* you better bolster the coffee pot for Devildog because she's not going to go back to sleep.
Ah, there's the icemaker now. And looking around, I better put away the yarn because I know someone will want to "koh-shay" because mommy does too.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


I've been quite busy and when I get home, I just want downtime and I don't want to have to think or do. It's royally catching up to me and it's creating chaos for me. I'm also not getting enough sleep. So, as a result, my usual verbosity is not making its appearance here.
This broad is going to bed in about 2.8 seconds...well 129.9 because I have to click a couple things for you to see it, and then get my tush out of the chair and set up the coffee pot for the morning (or there will be even MORE chaos for me)