Just In Case We Are All Red Dust Tomorrow

In about 45 minutes or three hours from now, according to scientists, the Earth will pass through a dust cloud left behind by a comet for the last couple of centuries. The actual scientific explanation can be found here.

In the 1980s, according to man of the house, there was a very bad movie,made about this very scenario. Turns out that the comet cloud was radioactive or whatever, so all of the people on Earth turned into red dust.

I’m of the mindset that the meteor shower that the scientific community is hoping to experience as we travel through this cloud will probably be a bust, just like the time that NASA tried to bomb the moon a few years ago. However, because I am the type of person who likes to be open to all possibilities, here are a few things that I’d like to go on the record before I am red dust:

1.) I do not want to survive any sort of apocalypse. I have watched enough Walking Dead and other doomsday-type sci-fi to know that if the end is coming, I will be first in line for the zombie bait volunteer squad. Maybe I’m a snob, but I don’t want to struggle in some shit day to day existence, constantly running for my life, if human extinction is the inevitable end. I’m sure there were a few hardcore dinosaurs who were like “this mysterious thing that caused our extinction isn’t gonna get me down, man”. But guess what? Those dinosaurs are extinct now too. Just sayin.

2.) If it is the end, I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished. I think I’ve done a decent job of keeping my karma clean. I try to be a good person and treat others with respect. I’ve worked hard to become well-educated and to share knowledge with those around me. I give back to my community when I can. I try to be a bright spot in humanity. Beyond that, the little humans I’ve raised to this point know they are loved, are full of integrity, and are the reason I live to see each new day. I’m hoping that whatever species studies the planet millions of years ago will look at the anthropological evidence I leave behind and be like, “You know what, she had her own way of doing it, but that red dust speck kind of had her shit together.”

3.) If this is not the end, I am ready to keep on keepin on. I would hope that no one reads this post and thinks that I am hoping to become zombie dust. Believe me, I still have a long list of stuff I need to get done over the long weekend and I haven’t cancelled any appointments on account of the world ending. I mean, really, I’ve survived Y2K and 12-12-12. Comet clouds ain’t got nothing on that.

So, thanks to my non-existent attention span, I’ve got about five minutes before I’m headed outside to see what will or will not happen tonight. See you on the other side, bitches!

Update:  If you haven’t heard, we made it through seemingly unscathed. I saw more meteors last night than I’ve ever seen before and they were pretty awesome. I’m glad humanity still exists, but it would have been nice to not have to do so much drywalling today. First world problems, right?

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There’s Gonna Be a Weddin!

So, my dad and step-mom have finally picked a date to officially tie the knot and on Labor Day weekend, I will roll my ass out of bed for a sunrise wedding (because they hate me). Their only request: that all guests wear a thrift-store purchased Hawaiian shirt to the ceremony. Also, Stepmom asked if I would pick up some tiki torches and lanterns on a string. Is this another drug induced matrimony, or am I being paranoid?

The Kindness of Strangers

Twice in my life I’ve been a single parent. This post from Bob and Emily very accurately relates how people will treat you when they observe that you are on your own. They sniff out my crackhead prostitute self with my ankle-biters from hell faster than they can notice a ring missing from my all-important digit. NOT ONCE has anyone “assumed” that I took my kids and left an abusive marriage for the safety of all of us. But… fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke, right?

Except this one time. There was one moment where someone either didn’t assumed or didn’t care about my lifestyle as a welfare-reaping gutter slut. 

It was one of those days where I had to work later than planned and then had to rush around town with tired, hungry children to get errands done in the evening. Truth be told, I was equally as cranky as they were. So, for simplicity sake, I stopped by a diner near our home. We were able to order food, take three different trips to the bathroom (because they never have to pee at the same time), and get through the meal with more or less success. The only real issue was that The Boy was being super squirrely and climbing around the empty booth behind us and sometimes he was louder than most would consider restaurant-appropriate. I smiled apologetically at the tables even though I didn’t really care that they were annoyed. We have just as much right to be here as anyone else I thought to myself. As I finished that thought, the manager of the restaurant approached our table. Well shit… “Excuse me,” he said. “I’m so sorry, we are all just really tired. We’ll get out of here so we don’t bother people.” I quickly interjected. “Actually, he said, as another customer was leaving, they purchased ice cream sundaes for your family. I just came to ask what kind you guys wanted.”

Because I was over tired, and more because I’m a baby, I cried a bit. The kids FINALLY settled down out of shock and confusion. It was so refreshing that somebody wanted to do something nice for us. As we ate our ice cream, the girls kept asking me why someone would just buy us dessert. I decided to use the opportunity to teach them about “paying it forward.” I told them that I really didn’t know, but that we needed to be on the lookout for people who we might be able to help sometime. We finally decided one day that we would buy breakfast for the car behind us in the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru. 

The moral of this story is this: when you see a mom who is on her last nerve trying to wrangle unruly children, instead of trying to figure out her relationship status or critiquing her parenting skills, smile and be nice. It will make you stand out in her mind as one in a million and can really turn around a crappy day.

When Superwoman Eats a Fistful of Kryptonite

Yes DC fanboys and fangirls, I understand that I am not appropriately referencing Superwoman as she’s been used in any of the 9 billion upheavals since the 1960s, but as you’ll come to find out, my brain hurts, and that’s the best I can do, so bug off…

In my house, I am the Ringmaster. I get everyone where they need to be. Most of the time they’re even dressed and more or less on time when they get there. I do all of the grocery shopping and food preparation and make sure that everyone has at least a chance at proper nutrition. I do the laundry and the cleaning, and throughout the remodel, I’m doing the painting and the decorating. More or less, I kick ass. Furthermore, I kick ass while holding down a 40 hour/week job and winning the family bread. I love every minute of it and wouldn’t have it any other way.

Then there’s this whole issue of my brain. The beast inside my head that is supposed to be my greatest ally in all of the singing and dancing that is life, has turned on me. It takes over my motor function and gives me the tremors. It takes the words in my mouth and spews them out as garble. It makes me so dizzy that I get motion sick just from keeping my eyes open. But you know what, not even that can stop me. Through a fine balance of pharmaceuticals and adaptive strategies, I can have my fucked up brain and ringlead too- for about 360 days/year.

This week the bastard got me. It started with a migraine. Not my typical down-a-few-pills-and-it-will-go-away migraine, but the come-and-get-me-I-can’t-drive-home variety. After 14 hours of restless sleep and a steady diet of ibuprofen, electrolytes, and caffeine, I made it to zombiehood and that’s pretty much where I’ve stayed ever since. I’m back to the daily grind, but it’s a very half-assed grind. I feel myself working back up to full speed, but I’m pissed.

I’m pissed that I have to do this, even if it is for one week or so a year. I’m pissed that my kids are old enough to notice and comment on my shutting down. I’m pissed that Man of the House finally witnessed it (although he’s always been warned that it’s a possibility). I’m pissed that when I try to explain to the rest of the world that I don’t feel well, they look at me like I need to buck up.

So, next week, I will be better and back to myself. Next week this will be nothing more than a bad memory. Let’s just hope that it stays away for another year…

Don’t be such a dick, Asshole!

My biggest pet peeve in all the world is mean people. Whether it’s blatant and in your face mean (i.e. Baby Daddy changing meeting times and places intentionally to make me miss another engagement) or the more passive-aggressive type of mean (i.e. Boss Lady sending the following text: “oh, so sorry you’re sick, I will rearrange my whole schedule to cover for you,”) Mean people suck.

But… but… you’re the mean lady who tells people to fuck off at the tip of the hat. Kind of, but it’s usually because those people are being mean. A comment left on a previous post of mine really inspired me tonight. What if we all just told others how we felt about them? So long as we can make a convincing argument as to why their behavior is offensive, perhaps it would do the world some good if we told each other about it.

If that doesn’t work, there’s always Plan B:

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The Brady Bunch Ain’t Got Shit on Us

For anyone to truly understand who I am and what I’m about, you probably need to know a bit about those closest to me. My family is my everything and for better or worse, they define who I am and what I believe. Without further ado…

The House: The house is not technically a family member, but it is where most of the family events take place, so it is important to understand it’s role. The house is a triplex that is owned by Man of the House. We live in the basement and are currently in that special place of hell that people refer to as remodeling and expanding. Once it’s finished, it will be amazing. While under construction, we’ve got a little more than 700 feet for 7 humans and 2 dogs. Sometimes, I run errands to get some personal space. (My old strategy was to sit on the toilet endlessly, but as we only have one bathroom at the moment, that one fails me more often than it helps.)

In the garage, which is now a remodeled studio apartment, live Man of the House’s best friend from the Army and Man of the House’s best friend from the Army’s girlfriend. They’re cool, we hang out sometimes, but for the most part, they do their thing and we do ours.

Upstairs is where shit gets shady. The Upstairs is inhabited by Man of the House’s ex-wife. Yes. It blows. For every single reason that is flitting through your mind at this very moment, it is heinous. I knew what I was getting into when I moved in though. Here’s why I did it: their kids get to see BOTH of their parents every single day. I would give anything to be able to provide my kids with that kind of security. I even asked their dad to move into the apartment complex next door. So yes, it is awkward. Yes, it makes for some interesting power struggles. No, we aren’t best friends, but we share a common goal: we want the kids to be happy.

Man of the House:

Oh my sweet, sweet, Man of the House, where do I begin? I guess you should know that he is 9 years older than me, which doesn’t really get in the way of anything except for when we listen to music together. We have a lot of the same musical preferences, but once in awhile he will throw in something that was written before I was even born. Starting this summer, Man of the House will be a stay-at-home dad to all five of our combined children. I expect a bit of spilled blood and am trying to rearrange my work schedule to limit the amount of time that he is left so helplessly out numbered, but I think that they are all going to do great. A season pass to the pool and a weekly trip to the Mickey-Donald’s with a playland, and I think it will be the kind of summer that kids’ dreams are made of.

Man of the House is also a retired military service member. Like full on, served 21 years, retired. He joined when he was still in high school and doesn’t know much about life outside of government agencies. From stories I hear from his colleagues (because he is far too humble to tell them), at the peak of his career he was a very important dude and an real life American Hero. At the moment, he’s tired, defeated, and working through some serious PTSD. If anyone tries to downplay it or tell you that PTSD is not a real thing, please punch them in the face on my behalf. It is a real, scary, debilitating illness that affects not only the soldier, but everyone that soldier loves, hates, talks to, thinks about, or looks at in the grocery store. He’s well-treated and recovering, but believe me when I say we’ve been through some shit.

Mini Me Extreme:

Why do I have to add the extreme? Because Mini Me just isn’t sufficient. Not only does she look like me and share my mannerisms, but she’s got my attitude. Cute, right? NO! Have you ever gotten into an argument with yourself about why you can’t wear shorts to school on the first of March??? Too many of our discussion have ended with, “because I’m your mom.” That’s it. I have no better reason. I have lost all of my wits trying to negotiate. Respect your elders, damn it.

MME is also a very sweet kid. She’s a bit socially awkward, but has a sense of humor that is far beyond her years. (Gee, wonder where she got that from?)  She’s reached that darling upper-elementary girl age where she knows just enough to get herself into trouble. I think they call them “Tweens” these days. I call it Ohmyfreakinghellhowwillthischildeversurviveherteenageyears.

The Shortest One:

The Shortest One is not the youngest, just the smallest. So small that we had to have dwarfism ruled out, in fact. What she lacks in size she makes up for in sass. She is brilliant and knows how to ask all the right questions (to make a situation ridiculously awkward, that is). She is a social butterfly and the center of attention in any group she’s in. The best descriptor that I’ve ever hear of her is “spicy,” to reflect the fact that the little lady has a temper. Her token phrases are: “I’m not tired!” at bedtime and “but it’s gonna take for-ev-eh!” when anything she is waiting for is more than a millisecond into the future. She’s the kid who has given me the most gray hairs, just because she’s the kid who is constantly requiring insta-care visits for head injuries and asthma attacks. She’s also a kid who knows how to make her Momma proud.

The Boy:

A year and a half ago, I would have told you that the boy was the tiniest terrorist known to man (even though he is anything but tiny). This was the kid who, at 11 months old, took the baby gate off of the top of the stairs and turned it into a sled. The kid who was power-washing my kitchen with the sink sprayer and then waterboarded me as I tried to stop him. The kid who has locked himself in and/or me out of so many different places that I think I could be a professional locksmith. He has mellowed out a lot though. I still remember the first time I went looking for him because it had become too quiet and he was kicked back looking at a book. He HATES change but is willing to go with the flow if given enough warning. He is an incredibly sweet boy who helps me make dinner every single night. He’s a little Romeo who has all of the ladies at daycare cooing over him day in and day out. Before you worry that my boy may have been abducted by a pod person, rest assured, he maintains his slightly naughty reputation by torturing his sisters.

The Stepkids:

I’m keeping info on Stepkid #1 and Stepkid #2 short and sweet only because I don’t feel at liberty to share too much information without consulting their parents. The important part is that they are really, really sweet kids who have stolen my heart. I can’t imagine life without them (except for those rare moments when all of the kids are out of the house and I remember what having a complete thought feels like).

Bitch and Puppy:

So, what should you do when your house is a construction clusterfuck and there are already five kids and a dog running all over the place? Why, you should get a puppy! That’s how they finalize your diagnosis of being REALLY mentally ill. Bitch and Puppy are slowly, ever so slowly learning how to live under the same roof. All at the cost of shoes and carpets.

So, there you have it. Our little crew. Sure I could tell you all about Mother Dearest and Baby Brother and Baby Sister, (ooh and Judgey McJudgeypants Dad and Stepmom) but I think I should keep it to the nuclear for now. If ever, you are reading my blog and think I might be insane, well, this post should just justify those thoughts.

I Am So Many Things and I Come Here By Request

I took this pic from the balcony of a cruise ship. If I had a happy place, this would be it.

I took this pic from the balcony of a cruise ship. If I had a happy place, this would be it.

This post is a direct response to the Zero to Hero writing challenge.  I really do want to get good at this.

At this point, I don’t think that I will ever use my real name in a post and I haven’t come up with the perfect pseudonym yet. I am in my thirties and have a Master’s degree. I have one of the craziest (literally) jobs you have ever heard of. I have an unspecified disorder of the nervous system which may or may not turn into multiple sclerosis and it has made me approach life differently. I live with Man of the House. We are not married, and don’t plan on being married anytime soon. I have three children: Mini Me Extreme, The Shortest One, and The Boy. I consider Man of the House’s kids to be my step-children. I will refer to them as Step Kid 1 and Step Kid 2. I love them as if I have lived with them their whole lives. They are super cool little people and I am lucky that they allow me to hang out with them. Despite some extreme circumstances, I live a really great life. I am happier than I have ever been, so either things are going really great, or I’m delusional (the jury is still out). I could give so many more details, but want to save them all for future posts. I don’t think I can describe any single person or element in my world in just a few words.

I am here, literally, by request. When I share stories of my extraordinary days (all of them), people often comment that I should write a book. My rebuttal to them is that my autobiography will be shelved in the Fiction section, in response to some of my day-to-day ridiculousness (truly, check out my spiritual enlightenment a la Mouse Jesus). I think I have a pretty good story though and I am narcissistic enough to think that a lot of people can relate to elements of my story. I want the rest of the world to laugh with (or at) me. I want to tell a story of optimism and making the best out of each day. Hell, maybe this blog will be my legacy. (Please know that I am laughing at myself for being lame right now).

In all seriousness, welcome to my world. Feel free to comment or spark a discussion. Just be nice when you do so.