Friday, June 27, 2008

because that's just how he rolls.

oh i have so much to say. revealing what the second lesson learned after darwinism was, a play by play on the road trip we just took including the absolute mind blowing experience of the homies and saints vending machine, and expounding on the joy that is the arrival of summer.


i am experiencing just a touch of depression a smidge really, and that always makes me lazy and anxious and makes adequate and charming recall impossible. but thankfully it's mild and already passing! yea omega-3s!! i love you beautiful flax oil, you elixir of the gods and crazy people! (p.s. my family loves you, too)


i will leave you with the following and be back on monday.

wingman wears socks all the time. pulled up to his knees. all kinds of socks. solids, patterns, white athletic socks. don't know what to get wingman on that special gift giving occasion? a pair of funky socks and he's happy. seriously. and will wear them until they get holes in them, and then wear them just a little bit longer.

he even wears socks with tennis shoes and shorts. in the summer. when it's hot. and he pulls them all the way up.

this sort of evolved because a few years ago we hit a snag in the sandal buying process and started too late and had no choices and so it ended up that we bought a pair of sandals for wingman that just were never comfortable. they had too many straps and some weird pully string thing. so he stopped wearing them.

then last year he was in between sizes and no sandals fit right. they were too long or too strappy or too poky or too black. and so we didn't get any. and he wore shoes with socks pulled all the way up to his knees all summer. happy as a sweaty footed clam.

so when we got home from our trip it was time to gather the necessary items that the duke needed for camp. and while getting the duke new water shoes (he's just hands down refused sandals altogether because he doesn't like them) i saw a pair of sandals just like the ones i knew wingman used to like, on sale, and in his size.

i brought them home and lo and behold he loves them! they're the right color! with the right amount of straps! they aren't too long or too wide or too poky! and they fit perfectly!

and he wears them with socks pulled all the way up to his knees.

new wine blog this weekend! i know i know i still owe you the champagne blog and that's coming. that AND the new wine blog! fun fun fun!


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

the beauty of darwinism.

so this academic year is ending with two very good lessons recently learned and more importantly cemented into the permanent fabric that is the boybarians' brains.

today i will discuss with you lesson #1. darwinism.

last week we went with our home school group specifically to see the largest redwood tree in the state.


i was not impressed and in fact did not realize i was under the largest redwood tree in the state until i tuned back into the guide after futzing with my camera and asked the duke what tree was this we were under.

"um, the largest redwood tree in the state"

"huh. i've seen bigger"

but i'm from california. we're a bit snobby about our redwoods with right to be.

anyhow, so after that we went on an interesting walk and the guide pointed out other trees and in fact pointed out a bear trail that had been in use for thousands of years! amazing, and it's practically in our own back yard!

so we're going by this salmon hatchery that had an electrified wire around it. and the guide points it out to me and the one or two parents at the front of the group with me. other parents are far behind, there are many kids in between.

"that's an electric wire to protect the salmon hatchery from predators. let the kids know not to touch it"

so i let the kids immediately around me know and as kids straggled up i let them know too.

and what do the two other boys the duke's age do?

yep. they immediately touch it. with sticks.

"um, guys don't touch the wire. it's electric"

they pretty much just give me blank looks and wait for my lips to stop moving and then turn around and try touching it again.

at this point i can't figure out if they're stupid or they are an experiment of their parents gone horribly wrong, but i marched over and got right at their level and said


the duke was amazed these boys his age were so clueless. wingman just stood there then said

"who would do that!?!"


so we move on across a bridge to go look at a bear trap. and as we come up on a long concrete open culvert not in use we notice a doe we had seen earlier. she seemed very upset. very agitated.

as we looked into the culvert we noticed why. her baby was trapped in the culvert. the baby had jumped in, but was too little to jump out.

now, our guide was a wildlife expert. this was a situation he knew how to handle. but, he wasn't alone. with upwards of 40 people with him there wasn't much he could do. so he said

"this mama is very upset. let's walk as far around her as possible to get to the other side and head back to the park. and let's be very quiet. if we spook her she could charge at all of us or she could run the other way and abandon her baby. let's just go as quickly and as quietly around, then i'll come back on my own and help the baby"

that seemed clear enough.

except the littler kids and the girls and THE MOTHERS all rushed forward in a collective "ooohhh poor baby" and started talking about it and moving in closer for a better shot at a picture.

"um, yeah, you know what..."

side note here. for those of you who don't already know this, when i start out saying that very phrase it's just the opening of the gates to bitch city. it's me at the end of my rope. it's me not being able to be diplomatic about it or friendly about it or wanting to deal with it for one fucking second longer.

"um, yeah, you know what? i don't think it's really the best idea to do the exact opposite of what he said to do"

and again i got the blank stares and the waiting until my lips stopped moving and i was largely ignored because apparently mothers don't like being told what not to do any more than their horrible ill behaved children do.

especially homeschool mothers who are all used to doing just as they please and have control issues anyway.

somehow the homeschool herd of genius' managed to get back to the park with little incident.

and turns out the guide did go back and he successfully reunited the mama and baby.

and those boys with the sticks and the electric wire?

not 15 minutes later we all heard a crash and looked over. they had found a bottle and a log and put the bottle on the road and dropped the log onto it. who knows why. because they are boys or bored or curious or just little horrible ill behaved shits who are not used to being given structure or rules or consequences.

because at 11 what do you think is going to happen when you drop a log on a bottle on a road?

here's a hint genius, it's going to break. it's going to break on the road. where all of our cars have to drive on to get out. where all the littler kids are walking across to get to the creek. many with no shoes.

the duke again was incredulous.

"that wasn't very safe"

and again wingman just stared with his mouth open

"who would do that!?!"

and did the mothers of these boys get up and do anything?

yeah, not so much.

another mother read them the riot act and i got the plastic bag and the paper towels and saw that they picked up every last piece and threw them away.

all the while the boys' mothers were busy with their littler kids or saw that the situation was taken care of and went back to socializing or whatever it was that they do instead of parenting their children.

meanwhile probably mentally checking off "science experiment" for the day and calling it good.

look, all kids are curious. my kids are curious. but if someone says don't touch this or x, y, z, will happen my kids know enough about the world to know that x, y, z will happen.

and i can understand wanting to poke and destroy. this largely boy thing. i am the mother of boys. i get it.

but just because you can/want to doesn't mean you should.

and at some point that needs to become crystal clear to every child.

but if you haven't gotten it by 11 that a broken bottle plus road plus no shoes isn't a good idea, say EVER, then when do you get it?

i love darwinism in the same way that i love karma. they are the immutable laws of the universe.

you cannot run. you cannot hide.

you can just piss others off while they patiently wait for it all to catch up with you.

and it will.

it always does.

and therein lies the beauty.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

creepy clowns and baseball moms.

so there's this mom on the baseball team and throughout the season i saw her with what was obviously a professional camera taking pictures of her son.

then a week ago she comes to the game with a box full of photos. and then i see her handing a stack to this parent, then that.

obviously she's taken photos of each kid, not just her own. cool.

so i get up into the stands where my friend is sitting and she has a stack of photos of her boy.

"look. this one is great, isn't it?"

"wow, those are good. how many did she give you?"

"there's like ten here"

"that's cool"

"yeah. they're two dollars and i'm trying to decide which ones i like"

"wait, what? two dollars for the stack?"

"no. per picture"

"did you ask her to take pictures?"

"no. i didn't know she took pictures. she just handed me this stack to see if i wanted to buy any"

"what!?! who does that!?!"

perhaps, had i known the woman who actually does that was standing not too far behind me, i could have moderated my voice some.

but it was an honest and authentic reaction and i am finally learning that those are okay to have. and i stand by it. and likely she didn't hear me.

look. she shows up with photos, good photos, of your kid doing various cool things on the baseball field and hands them to you.

a stack of photos of your kid?!? of course you're automatically thrilled. then you see how good they are. then you see how many there are. then she tells you they are two dollars apiece.

this with no prior knowledge of her doing this.

it's a low level amateur form of extortion. plain and simple. sure it's on such a small scale, and sure i'm being pissy about it, but it's STILL some kind of flavor of extortion.

at. the. very. least. it's a violation of the social contract.

how hard is it to send out an e-mail! hey, i've got a great camera and i'll be taking pictures of all the boys. i will offer these professional quality photos for two dollars apiece at the end of the season. your choice to take them or leave them. if you'd rather i didn't take pictures of your son or know you won't want photos then let me know.

there's this movie director turned reality tv show producer named jerry bruckheimer. when you watch any of his "reality" shows, there's always this cruel little twist that "randomly" happens at some point in the show. sometimes it's simple but devastating, sometimes it's actually really cruel. but it's always a set up for a larger fall. and it always changes the course of the episode.

as you can imagine, this makes for good tv. and "random" my ass. in my house we call that being "bruckheimered."

while we don't watch reality tv at all anymore, i have found life bruckheimers you enough you don't have to.

i am all for the artist getting paid for their art. i am all for people trying to make a little money in these hard times. i like pictures of my kid! i would purchase pictures of my kid!

but don't sit down next to me and hand me a stack of photos and tell me that's two dollars apiece, please! when this is the first i know about it.

because it's no better than a creepy clown handing your kid a balloon at the circus and then holding his hand out to you for the dollar. or the guy with the roses who goes up to the couples dining and asks do you want to buy a beautiful flower for the beautiful lady.

do what you need to do, just don't. set. me. up. don't bruckheimer me.

oh, wait. that's right. she didn't. because by the end of the game all the other parents got handed stacks of photos and oddly enough i was the only one who did not.

guess she heard me after all.


Monday, June 09, 2008

rainy days and mondays and big rigs.

so we were at baseball yesterday and the catcher for the other team got a ball to the chest.

right at the part where the chest protector wasn't. poor buddy.

all the parents on our team and understandably the parents on the other team were quiet and anxious to see how he would do.

but a friend was tearing up and actually crying at the injury and the lord of the ring saw her and said

"you're crying. no wonder you guys are friends (pointing to me) she cries at everything, too!"

"it's true. i do. commercials, parades, everything"

to which the lord of the ring said

"i came in the other night and she was watching t.v. and crying at that show trick my truck!"

it's true. i was.

but to be fair, they did a really nice job tricking out that truck.

new wine blog sometime this week. baseball has taken over our lives with the playoffs and the little league has some pesky rule about drinking alcohol in the stands or else i'd just do an in the field review.

and trust me, that would make sitting in those cold and sometimes wet stands a hell of a lot better! we're still waiting for spring and holding no breaths. and by the time we get home it's too damned late for me to try and make any sense. you get the picture.

but it's champagne again so it's well worth the wait!


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

there are those who love to get dirty and those who love to eventually be able to wear a tank top in public.

today i am shoveling dirt.

i am moving dirt from one spot to another.

i am shoveling it into a wheelbarrow and transporting it down part of the driveway into the neighbor's pasture gate through to our pasture and dumping it.

because i don't have anywhere else to put all this dirt and because one day the lord of the ring wants to build a garage and will need to build up the land to put it he said hey dump your dirt right there. it can't hurt.

so, my little bit of dirt starts the process. a process 10 years in the talking and 10 more years in the financial doing.

no matter, with this action i clear the spot we need cleared and i create the spot we need created.

if i were a bit more zen, i would find some kind of meditation in this. some inner peace with the work. my mind would be cleared and my body would be at rest even with the effort.

as it is, i am thinking shit yeah! this will be great for my arms and my ass!

gary snyder i am not.

but as far as i know he didn't gain 75+ pounds with each pregnancy coupled with an unnatural love for wine and cheese and thus can afford to be all zen.

some of us just don't have that luxury.