Category Archives: Resolutions

A Positive Spin

Date Night was refreshing and, of course entertaining with all of the H-town people watching. I’ll go into that another day. See, our weekend has been pretty much completely consumed with one thing:

Operation Shovel-Out-R’s-Room-to-Find-the-Missing-Rice-Necklace.

In his defense, he gets this from me. He treasures this necklace so much that, last week, he put it away in ‘a very safe place.’ Such a safe place that he can’t remember where it is. Only that it’s somewhere in his room. This has to be genetic. I’ve done this countless times. So many times that I’ve started writing important things down on Post-its. And then promptly forget where I put the Post-its. So yesterday the Spouse took on the supervision of both minions to get the rooms cleaned out and up, with the goal of finding the rice necklace. They worked all day.

And guess what? This has turned into a family project. R just looks at the disaster that is his room with a deer-in-headlights expression. He’s frozen. Give him a direct command and he just stares at you – he’s that shell shocked at this point. I finally got him moving by promising a sweet treat of his choice if the room gets done today. I’ve spent the last hour and a half in there with a shovel.

Now I get why my cousin’s husband made the ‘nothing comes in this house unless something goes out first’ rule when they got married. And to think I was horrified by it at the time…

Moving on… Remember my January resolution? The one to be more positive? I’m focusing on that for the rest of this post. The Spouse pretty much called me to task yesterday when he found me stewing over (and, in his words, ‘ready to start a virtual cat-fight’) over a spew of negativity I read on the web. So what am I going to do about it?

I’m going to put a positive spin on our local H-town news.

Over the last year or so, the Spouse and I have taken to calling the local news the Pep Report. Can’t remember why, but it was funny at the time. And usually it’s free entertainment. It’s honestly so easy to get pessimistic and negative about today’s news, so here is my positive spin on local events.

  1. First and foremost, H-town police finally caught the Naked Prowler. This unidentified guy spent the last couple of weeks terrorizing local residents by knocking on doors at odd hours of the night with his pants around his ankles. Multiple sightings were reported, but the guy evaded capture. (Although how he managed to get away so quickly without falling or pulling up his pants I’ll never know.) Turns out he is a 20 year old college kid with an apparent drug problem. Go figure. And the positive spin? All of the residents who were targeted just happened to be older women who lived alone. I’m sure that added some much-needed spice to their New Year.
  2. Apparently the new crime trend around here is attempted carjackings at gas stations. Targets are loners sitting in their cars texting or talking on the phone while the tank is filling up. One guy – also a college student – managed to avoid getting jacked and was gracious enough to consent to an interview. According to him, ‘It’s just wrong that they would try this on me. I’m just a college kid. I don’t have any money and can’t afford to lose my car. I hope they get these guys soon.’ Good point. And the positive spin? The jackers ran away, so he was able to keep his car and only lost his $500 cell phone. Whew. Thank goodness. I’m so glad that student aid covers top-line cell phones these days – must-haves for any college kid.
  3. A missing toddler was found. Turns out she was picked up from daycare by her grandmother, who didn’t tell her son that she was doing so. The positive spin? The kid’s dad now knows that his mom is prone to violent and unpredictable outbursts.
  4. And finally, apparently there is some kind of big football game today involving the Texans. In Boston. Since I’m a blueblooded Cowboys fan from way back I really didn’t know. But, thanks to our local news team on location, I now know where to get the best cannolis in Beantown. And in case I can’t get a hotel room there, I have a handy list of where to stay in Providence – only 50 miles away.
  5. If you have toddlers, apparently the hot new device is the iPotty. So your 2-year-old can now spend 20 seconds trying to do their business instead of only 15. But hey, the docking station does come with a pee guard.
  6. My personal addition – since the game starts at 3:30, I know exactly when I’ll be doing my grocery shopping for the week in an empty store. Score!!

Catfight avoided, mood lifted, local news update at 10.

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Filed under Crime, Houston, Local News, Moms, Optimism, Resolutions, Texans, Toilet Training

Office Party – and a List

So, I went to my first-ever grownup office party the other night. Quite a change from what I’m used to. See, in the teacher world, Christmas parties mean that at least one person will show up in a tacky Christmas sweater and/or matching jewelery. And usually the conversation centers around school and kids.

This was culture shock. Not only was I able to actually get dressed up (in professionally appropriate attire, of course) and spend an evening with adults, but there was assigned seating at dinner. By income. Now, that’s an entirely different story for a different time – but let’s just say that it was a week of drama trying to figure out the optimal seating arrangement for all involved. I (not-so) jokingly offered to sit in the kitchen.

Why do I bring this up now? Because it relates to my real point. I usually don’t post pictures of myself here because I’d rather you create your own picture based on my writing. BUT, a trusted friend has recently told me that I’ve gotten too thin. And not in a good way. I’ve been telling my friend that they are full of it, but then I saw this picture from Friday’s office party. And dammit, my friend’s right.

It’s something about my eyes. I can tell if I’m too thin by the way they look. Well, that and the creepy-stringy arm. So, in a nutshell, I’m gonna start eating all those Christmas goodies that I’ve been avoiding, thinking that my desk job isn’t giving me enough exercise.

Screw it. I’m gonna gain some Holiday weight and enjoy it. Heck, if my jeans don’t fit I’ll just have to buy new ones, right? Right.

Moving on. R and V have been asking me what I really want for Christmas. They’ve tried to get me to make a list like theirs. Don’t get me started on this. Their lists are carefully-crafted masterpieces that took weeks of effort, carefully folded and sent on their way to the North Pole. What can I say? They’re overachievers.

My list, on the other hand, is a lot harder to write down. Sure, it would be nice to have world peace, happy and healthy kids and the perfect Martha Stewart house. And of course I want my kids to be happy and healthy. But beyond that it gets embarrassing. Because what I really want is impossible. Impossible and embarrassing. Impossible because it’s never going to happen. Ever. Not in a million years. And embarrassing because it’s a selfish thing. Now I fully admit that I’m an only child and capable of all the personality traits that come with that. Including a tendency towards brattiness. To quote Meg Ryan, sometimes ‘I just want it the way I want it.’ And I’m not talking about material things here – at least not this time. So I’ll quit here while I’m still ahead.

On the bright side, my shopping is DONE! So I can focus on enjoying the joy of the season along with secretly laughing at all of the last-minute shoppers with that crazed look in their eyes. Not me. Not this year!

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Filed under Christmas Lists, Office Party, Resolutions, Weight

New Start, New Year – and a surprise via the radio

So it’s been nearly two years since I posted. Yikes. In my own defense, lots of heavy stuff has been happening. Tons. I’m talking War and Peace-length issues. But I’m feeling inspired and a dear friend gave me the idea for a blog dealing with my random thoughts. Musings, if you will. Reflections on what I see, hear and think on a regular basis. That sounds a bit frightening to me, since I’m intimately acquainted with the contents of my brain. It’s my constant companion by default, and I admit I’m a bit afraid of letting it out of it’s cozy, skull-shaped box for some air. But growth and change are uncomfortable processes, albeit necessary ones, so I’m repurposing this blog for a new start.

Sometimes my thoughts are so random that even I can’t explain them. But yesterday, what I thought was a random brain fart was actually real. Here’s the truth. While driving home with both younglings after school, the Justin Bieber-esque music (their choice, not mine) stopped for the rush-hour traffic report (so completely relevant on my suburban drive…) Dazed by the Beebs, I heard something about a barrel in the middle of a major thoroughfare and belatedly tuned in to the newscast just in time to hear – wait for it –

“And just reported running up the side of the North Freeway, a creepy clown without pants.”

WHAT?? I shouted, scaring both of the younglings out of their electronically-induced trance. “What’s wrong?” asked the older of the two.

“What did you just hear on the radio?” I asked. Older Youngling repeated verbatim that a creepy clown without pants was running along the highway. Seriously. Even I can’t make this stuff up.

My first thought was sympathy for the poor deputy who was on call at that moment. Who wants to come home after dealing with that and answer the “How was your day?” question? Then it struck me. The radio announcer specifically described the guy as a ‘creepy’ clown. Hmmmm… I’ve always been creeped out by clowns myself, ever since a traumatic experience with Ringling Brothers at age eight. But I’ve always thought myself in the minority – quirky, if you will – or just plain weird, if you won’t. So I brought it up to my rapt audience of eight-year-olds at my day job.

“Clowns ARE creepy. Everybody knows that.”
“They freak me out.”
“They scare me. It’s something about all that makeup.”
“If I ever see a clown up close I’ll karate-chop it in the face.”

Wow. Kids hate clowns too. I can’t possibly imagine why:


Now, admittedly both of these films have cemented my phobia of clowns, but I kept wondering why kids would hate them too. Not just a few kids. Lots of them. Makeup? Painted-on smiles? The inability to read an honest facial expression? Not being able to classify friend or complete stranger? My Jungian/Piagetian brain started to spin.

OK, now I’m delving too deeply into the chasms of my brain. See what I mean? It can be truly frightening! But then again, there has to be something to my thought pattern if kids are just as creeped-out by clowns as I am. Obviously that radio announcer was too. So, Mr. Creepy-Clown-Without-Pants, I hope you get what you deserve for that stunt. And where the heck did you put your pants??

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Filed under Clowns, Reflections, Resolutions, Traffic