Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Las Fricking Vegas

There are few things worth getting up early in the morning for: childbirth, Christmas and .... VEGAS BABY!!!!!!!!!

Yes, tomorrow I am going to Vegas with my dear friend.  My husband is scared and my bank account is empty.  But it's VEGAS OR BUST!!!   My friend and I are treating this trip as a trial run for our Amazing Race application - or SNL audition.

Here are a few reasons that I am going to Vegas:

Nasty sink/house, accented with dog hair tumbleweeds on the floor.

A home office that looks like a robbery just occurred - I can't explain the teddy bear in the corner.

A backyard that rivals the Gobi, except has more dog poo and fewer trees.

A closet that looks like the bottom of a clothes-drive bin in the Sears parking lot. And just as an FYI, the Raggedy Ann sheet was draped there so the air conditioner guy wouldn't see how messy I am.

In addition, I was born in 1972, which means I am almost 40.  I absolutely hate my birthday, and dread the day every year.  So, to celebrate early in a far-away, magical place is more than alright with me.

Until next time, keep crowin' and I can't wait to tell you all about it!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

You Want a Piece of Meat?

This has been one of those weeks where everything happens at once - end of the school year events and meetings, work presentations and projects due, deadlines for volunteer jobs - boom, boom, boom.  Plus, I started a new show so it's time to learn lines and pencil in rehearsals.

So, it's daily e-mails and 100's of phone calls and running from place to place.  "When will you finish this?" "Can you bring a fruit tray?"  "How dare your organization not nominate my second cousin for an award?" 

Each one slowly chips away at you.  In my mind I kept hearing a running line from origins unknown ..."You wanna a piece of me?"  That's an empowering phrase, but it also makes me smile, because when my son was little he thought it was, "You want a piece of meat?"  Both apply when you feel like a human buffet.

There was a moment during all this chaos that I hit the wall and made a U-turn.  It was during the middle school conference for my daughter's speech services.  I sat at the table with my daughter's homeroom teacher, the guidance counselor, and the speech therapist.

Here's how it went:

Speech Therapist walks in.  I stand up and extend my hand.
ST:  "I have a cold."
I retract my hand.
Guidance Counselor then smiles really big.

GC:  "Thank you so much for coming today. We are going to get started now and work together to make sure your daughter gets what she needs."
ST:  "Has no one - a pediatrician, orthodontist, or teacher - EVER noticed this issue? I find it hard to believe that NO ONE has noticed this before."
Me:  "My daughter has had speech services before for other issues, but this particular problem hasn't been addressed."
GC:  "Well, we're here now and we're just going to move forward."  Bigger smile.

Homeroom Teacher then shares her observations.
ST:  "I really can't believe that your orthodontist has NEVER noticed or mentioned this.  It is really obvious."
Me:  "It hasn't come up."
GC:  Smile starting to crack. "So let's talk about our plan for your daughter and decide how we are all going to move forward."

Speech Therapist then outlines our summer homework. "You have to do these exercises every day.  It won't work unless you do them every day.  It has to be every day."

Me:  "I. got. it. No. problem."
GC:  "So, let's just everyone sign these meeting minutes and then we'll call your daughter in to show her the exercises.  Where did she get that beautiful hair?"
ST:  "Have you never noticed this at ALL? Have you never SEEN this issue while she's talking or eating?"

And here is where we come to the fork in the road.  You know, the part in the movie where you can choose an alternate ending, depending on your mood and sense of adventure. 

We'll start with the alternate ending for this scene:

ST:  "Have you never noticed this at ALL? Have you never SEEN this issue while she's talking or eating?"
Me:  "I'll be honest with you, I'm usually drunk.  I sobered up just for this meeting, but the minute I walk out of here, I'm headed to Houlihan's.  I didn't even realize the kid was in middle school until the elementary school called me to pick her up because she didn't go there anymore.  Plus I work nights at the club so if I do make it home during the day, I am probably sleeping it off in my car."
ST:  " ........ " (stunned silence.)

Here is the actual ending of the scene:

ST:  "Have you never noticed this at ALL? Have you never SEEN this issue while she's talking or eating?"
Me:  "The structure of my daughter's mouth is from my husband's side of the family, and they have a similar way of talking and speech, so, it's not something I ever noticed as ..."
ST:  "Oh sure, blame it on your husband."

At that point Guidance Counselor quickly wrapped up the meeting and hightailed it out of there.

While I didn't get the satisfaction of shocking Speech Therapist into silence, I do at least have the pride of knowing I took the high road.  But the high road is a lonely, unfun place, and I probably won't take it again unless they have wine kiosks every half mile.  The tide is turning and now I DARE anyone to try and take a piece of meat from me.

Until next time, keep crowin'!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Karma Chameleon

Bugs are a real issue in my life.  Both the insect and human kind.  For instance, I had a lovely theatre friend contact me tonight while I was napping on the deck, and we were texting back and forth, and it was such a great "catch-up" and I was wishing him well, and then ....

A big ass black bug flew directly into my mouth and down my throat.

I didn't have time to hock a lugey or heave it back up.  It set a course for my gizzards and didn't stop until it got there.  I was freaked.

I know that there are a certain amount of bug legs and feet that we consume in canned foods and restaurant meals, but to have that type of direct contact was unnerving.

And it's not even my biggest bug problem.  I have some type of moth/fly thing in my pantry that won't go away, no matter how many times I Dust-Bust them.  Also, tonight, while I was lying in bed, a love bug was zooming around my head like the Red Baron.  Where the hell did a love bug come from?!  I thought they only conducted suicide missions on highways.

I have to wonder if it's all related.  Are the bugs angry because they lost their trees?  I think so.

The trees are gone-ish.  Two were cut down to the bone, and one was just shaved.  It all began about 8:00 a.m. on Monday, when I received this cryptic message:

So, let's break it down.  First of all, I don't speak this language.  Second of all, it was 8:00 a.m., so even if I did speak tree people, I certainly did not have all my faculties about me at that moment.  I hit save and decided my husband could handle it later.

But that was not to be.  At 10:00 a.m., I was sitting at my computer in my pajamas (no upper chest support-wear, if you catch my drift), when my dogs started howling.  Before I knew it, there was a crew of Swamp People-inspired men in my backyard, smoking cigarettes and yelling about trunks and shovelling my dogs' poo.  Hiding under my desk, I grabbed the phone and called my husband's office:

Gina: "PES, can I help you?"
Me: "Hi Gina, it's Alison.  Can I speak to Travis?"
Gina: "He's not in his office, can he call you back?"
Me: "Yes, but it's important."
Gina: "Well, since I only hear from you about once a year, I would assume so."

Gina just gave me the burn!  But she didn't realize there was a homicide occurring in my back yard, so I let it slide.

My husband did come home, and told the men that it wasn't good practice to start chopping stuff down without knocking on the door and letting the lady of the house know.  So, they were extra careful after that, even chasing me down the cul-de-sac in their little bullfrogdozerthingey to make sure I wasn't leaving without paying the bill.

This is the carcass of the tree that was murdered.  

And this is the tree that my husband "saved" but castrated for me.

Karma isn't going to let this one go.  I think the bug ingestion was just the tip of the iceberg.  I don't know what is going to happen next, but I suspect it will involve my hair and katydids. 

Until next time, keep crowin' and start giving out good karma!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Oh No He Didn't .....

I know I'm about to be duped.  I don't even think my husband is trying very hard to hide it.  He's about to do something that he KNOWS I don't like. And I know he reads my blog, so here it is honey ....


Yes, while I am dog sitting downtown, I know that you are keeping a secret - that you have already hired Daniel's Tree Service to cut down the Bradford Pears by the deck.  Your son told me.  So let me tell you a little something about Daniel. He employs CHILDREN at the job site.  I can't take photos of it because they're minors, but there are two 2nd graders, rather solidly built, in the neighbor's yard using the leaf blower and driving the truck.  I'm pretty sure we still have child labor laws in this country.  So, that's on you, and I'm not bailing you out of jail for it.

Innocent trees awaiting execution
There is nothing wrong with those trees.  They provide shade and homes for the woodland creatures and a much needed buffer between us and our neighbor's bathroom window - I only need to see one moon at night. I don't care if they are damaging the roof or may fall on the house soon. They make me happy when I am sitting on the deck taking my naps.

I suppose you want me to take the high road, and admit that I am wrong about the trees. Well, that's not going to happen.  I already took the high road at Kroger when I let the old lady have the last bunch of unripe bananas.  She knew I saw them first, but gave me the "it's Senior Wednesday" look and so I had to silently withdraw my hand in defeat.

By the way, it's MOTHER'S DAY weekend!  That means I get my way on everything. Otherwise, it doesn't count.  It's the weekend when I receive heart-felt messages of thanks for being at home with the kids while earning a paycheck, for occasionally vacuuming and preparing edible meals, for reminding you of your mother's birthday, for keeping my idiosyncrasies to a dull roar, and for making sure the house and its occupants are humming at a healthy buzz.

Better to ask forgiveness than permission, huh?  Not all secrets are bad? Well, fine - two can play at that game. Because I may or may not have gotten a speeding ticket this week. So, go ahead and cut down those trees. We'll just move on and I will forgive you. 

Until next time, keep crowin' .... and did I mention I love you? :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


I've been thinking about Bullsh!t alot lately  (I'm not spelling it out so I won't get censored).  There are so many different kinds, it just depends on the context. Here are the top ten types of Bullsh!t that I came up with:

1.  The stuff that comes out of a bull.

2.  DVR'ing a new movie you've been dying to see, but when you go back to watch it, it's Matt Dillon in "Tex" from 1972.

3. Philosophical ramblings - there is actually a book called "On Bullsh!t" by Harry G. Frankfurt, and I have actually given it to someone as a passive aggressive hint-gift.

4. When salespeople exclaim "You don't look 40 AT ALL!

5. A card game, often accompanied with jello shots.

6. The words that come out of your mouth when you can't think of anything else to say in conversations with people you get stuck standing with at parties because your wingman snuck away.

7. Most fashion magazine covers. 

8. I had something else written here, but I accidentally forwarded the link to my blog to the person I wrote this one about, so I had to change it.  So, this is a bullsh!t post WITHIN a Bullsh!t post.

9. People who post things like this on Pinterest with the caption, "I made this last night for the family dinner - so easy and healthy!!  And now my 6-month-old can speak French!"

10. Getting fired in a busy ladies' room.  Can't wait to tell you about that one.

Identifying sources of Bullsh!t is important, because it is always better to nip things in the bud.  Like, if you know someone who says one thing but then does another, then you can have much more efficient conversations:

Source: "Hey Alison! Did you..."
Me: "Bullsh!t."
Source: "What? I just ...." 
Me: "Bullsh!t.  Don't even play."
Source: "But ..."
Me: "I'm onto your tricky ways. Run away Bullsh!tter!"

How satisfying that would be.  Unless you discover they were trying to tell you your skirt was tucked in your underwear.  It's a tough call sometimes.  Just keep practicing.

So, until next time, keep crowin' and watch out for the caca-doodle doo!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Jiminy Just Gave Me The Finger

One of my weekly DVR pleasures is "Once Upon A Time."  It's a show about storybook characters that have been trapped in the human world by an evil queen, and they are now working as kindergarten teachers, diner waitresses, and curio shop owners while the truth is slowly unravelled by a plucky police woman.  This week, the story line was about Pinocchio and his conscience, a little bug named Jiminy Cricket.

I like Jiminy, even though he is not very good at his job.  I believe that we all have that inner voice steering us along, but some of us have better crickets than others.

As a child, I can imagine JC (ooh, now that's interesting - JC stands for Jiminy Cricket AND JC Penney's  ...... JK! ... you know I meant Jesus)  ... anyway, I can imagine JC talking to me during the really tough times:

JC: "Now Baby Alison, don't eat that - it's a roly poly, not an M&M."
Me:  "Ga ga goo?"

JC: "Sweet Preschool Alison, there's no need to scream that you can't find your orange crayon."
Me: "I'm gonna kick you in the butt!!"

JC:  "Hey 5th Grade Alison, don't pretend Josh Charles from Dead Poet's Society is your boyfriend - everyone knows that's a magazine photo in your Trapper Keeper."
Me: "Sigh. I know, but Michael Pilcher won't "go" with me ... did you know he's from Guam?!"

JC: "Um, 11th Grade Big Al, I'm not so sure that your boyfriend is down with girls ..."
Me: "Well, hell, no one else is asking, so Viva La Birdcage!"

JC, grabbing the bottle of Southern Comfort: "College McFly, you are clearly not listening to me and I have had it. Sucking on a penny does NOT lower your BAL and the Shopping Cart Dance is not hilarious."
Me: "You're pretty."

JC:  "You know, {hiccup} I don't have to be here.  I could have auditioned at Pixar and made it big. {hiccup} But NO ... I tried to save your skinny ass from a path of ill repute.  So fine, {hiccup} take the job at $19K a year without benefits ... May I recommend moonlighting at The Cheetah? {hiccup}"
Me: "But love is all I need to survive."

JC: "If you {hiccup} say yeth to another volunteers {hiccup} position, I am GONE FROM HEEERE.  {Burp} Don't do it  ... I mean this ... I'm at the end of my ropes! {a little barf}"
Me: "Yes, I'll be President of Everything."
JC: "THAT'S IT - Jiminy OUT!"

And that's when he gave me the finger.

Do I miss my conscience?  Sure.  It's nice to be reminded you're a complete fool.  But I have learned how to say no during my 40 years, and I am getting better at it.  I hear he's getting out of rehab soon, and when he does, he is very welcome to come back and sit on my shoulder and help me pick out something fabulous for Vegas.  Because no one puts Baby in a corner.

Until next time, keep crowin' ... and listen to your Jiminy!