Monday, March 31, 2008

Outrage and other Miscellany

1. I had to make make my yearly mammogram appt. It's approximately 2 months before I'm due, and I thought that if I called today, it would be plenty of advance time. Probably any other Average Josephine would think the same.

How wrong I was.

I could not get an appointment until the beginning of AUGUST. Now, granted, this is just a screening mammogram (and I'm assuming, hoping, that if it were a diagnostic mammo, I'd have an appointment pronto), but more than a 4-month wait for the pleasure of having my breast tissue squeezed flatter than road kill under a semi? It's outrageous, ludicrous, and it's really pissing me off. Can you tell? It's not like Cedars is the next hip, hot and happening restaurant, you know. ("Pardon me, may I get a well-placed mammogram machine?" "I'm sorry, we're booked solid--if you want a good mammography machine, the next available appointment is in 2010."). Jeez, are velvet ropes next? I'm sorry, the Mark Taper Building's not all THAT.

And people are scared of socialized medicine?? Oh yeah, we're doing a helluva lot better with our free enterprise-driven system. . .

2. PMS sucks. Especially on days when your car battery eats it and you can't friggin' get a mammogram for more than 4 months. And why is it that PMS seems to get worse the closer to menopause you get? Shouldn't it be the opposite?

Hmmph. I'm cranky.

That should make my trip out of town this weekend--to a family retreat with the kids--great fun, huh? Even more fun? My husband, presumably part of the family, probably will not be making it to this family retreat. (Did I mention it is a FAMILY retreat?), as he is out-of-town for two weeks for work.

3. On the other hand, I'm actually finding life easier without my husband around. Is that bad?

I suck

When I went to drive carpool this morning, I found my battery dead and my car inoperable. I had left the keys in the car, and I assume I hadn't turned the ignition all the way off. My husband is out-of-town (although it wouldn't matter, b/c I wouldn't be able to fit everyone in his car, anyway). I had to call my cohort in carpooling and have her come back to get both her kids and mine. And where was she when I called? Heading to shul to say kaddish for her recently deceased father. I feel like such a heel. And an absent-minded idiot.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Conceptual Art?

So, my kids got a hold of my label maker today. I have to admit they are fun little machines to play with.

Anyhow, I'm now finding labels randomly posted all over the house. My daughter's labels include such predictable gems as "Keep Out of My Room" and "Wash your face and brush your teeth." They also include the rather more cruelly funny, "Hey! You wet your bed!" Twisted little sense of humor that one has.

My son's labels--well some of them made me think that I have a budding conceptual artist on my hands. His labels include: "me is me" (on the computer mouse) and the truly cryptic, but nicely alliterative "print paper in a poop box."

Sure makes you think. . . .I'm not sure about what. . .but it makes you think!

Mother and Son

I can see why people think there's a special bond between mothers and their sons. (And between Dads and their daughters--but today is about the former).

My son, who is almost 6 (5 and 11/12ths according to him), can truly be the sweetest thing ever and a mom's best friend. Or at least best esteem-builder. (He can also be a hellion of epic proportions, but that's a whole 'nuther story).

While my husband wouldn't notice if I glamorized myself up the wazoo--or at least he probably wouldn't say anything about it (I'm not sure which is worse)--I can always count on my wee little son to notice. All I have to do is dress a little more nicely, don some earrings and a little makeup, and he is sure to notice and say something to the effect of "Mama, you look so pretty." This is unbidden, uncoached, and completely unself-conscious--I swear on my life. (Of course, it is also sometimes accompanied by a glare and the question "Are you going out tonight?") The amazing thing is that he started doing this around the age of 3. I thought for sure he'd grow out of it--and he may still, I suppose--without appropriate male modeling--which he most definitely does not get--but he hasn't. He always notices, always comments--a little breathlessly, which is charming in the extreme. And it just makes me feel so good--I have to be honest. What it means to my life that pretty much the only positive male reinforcement I get comes from my son is a matter perhaps best brought up in therapy. In any event--it's a different discussion.

Speaking of positive reinforcement, I make sure to give him plenty for his charming pronouncements. This is not so much in the hope that he will continue to compliment me, but rather in the hope that, one day down the line, he will be equally as aware, equally as free with a compliment with whomever he chooses to be with. There are few things as gratifying as being genuinely appreciated (not just for appearances, of course) by the ones you love.

I finally asked him yesterday, after he again told me how pretty I looked, where he learned how to say such nice things. He looked back at me, clearly puzzled, shrugged his shoulders, and said--"But you do look pretty." As if I were insane to ask. As if it was a patently obvious thing for him to say.

This openness and honest sweetness, free from the fear of baring emotions, is one of the things I love about children in general, and in particular, about my son. There can be a downside to all this emotion-baring, too. But today I prefer to focus on the good.

I'm going to end here. I think there's a little boy out there who could use a big hug.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Tuna Tip

Some of you may already know this, but for those who don't--there is a minimal/low mercury canned tuna option out there. It comes from Wild Planet, and can be ordered from Minimal mercury fish come from super small tuna who haven't had time to ingest a bunch of mercury. The low mercury fish are a little bigger, but still low in mercury. It only comes in cans (I've gotten quite spoiled by those little tear-open packets), but I think it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make in order not to poison my children or myself, for that matter. I have so little brain power left, I need to do whatever I can to preserve it!

Bon Appetit!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Potato Bugs and Happy Accidents

A friend of mine recently started blogging. In one of his first posts he mentioned potato bugs--metaphorically, really, but that's beside the point. I don't know whether I should be embarrassed about this or not, but I had no idea what a potato bug looked like--so, God Bless Google images. I looked them up. (As the Little Duckling said to the Pigeon in the Mo Willem's classic The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog: "Hey, I'm a curious bird.") And potato bugs are huge, and just really gross. (It's always good to learn new things--even icky ones).

So, what was the happy accident? In my research, I found that there is some mighty fine and mighty funny writing and blogging out there about potato bugs. Seriously--there is a whole cadre of funny potato-bug-haters. Who knew? I even ran across a comment on one of the blogs from one of my favorite bloggers from a very different context: Cybele from Candy Blog. However, I don't want to think too much about a connection between candy and potato bugs. I just don't. Although it could prove to be a very effective diet aid.

Serendipity can be a wonderful thing.

Life Without Chocolate?


Saturday, March 22, 2008

And the blogger writes on. . .

I could go on and on about how lame I am and how long it's taken me to post. . .but that gets old really quickly--especially since almost every one of my posts seems to start with something along those lines.

But, as it has been a long time, I will give you a quick update on some things referenced in other posts. . ..

We had to put our old dog to sleep last summer, about a year after I wrote about her declining health. She was in so much pain and so ill, we really had no choice--the only guilt I feel was in perhaps not doing it soon enough. She may have suffered more than she needed to--it was so hard to tell, because she was such a stoic animal. My husband and I got her before we were even married, so her death seemed fraught with so much underlying meaning . . .none of which I have any desire to get into here. I miss her dearly.

My darling daughter, now 9, has now lost some of that magic I wrote about. She no longer believes in the tooth fairy or other related magical stuff. However, she has transferred her allegiance to Harry Potter (or should I say, become obsessed with Harry Potter), and there is still a part of her that believes that maybe, just maybe, some magic is really real. My son is now convinced, by the way, that he is a wizard (he still believes!) and that my daughter and I are witches. Oh, would that it were true. . . Well, I AM a witch sometimes, but I don't think it's exactly what my son had in mind.

Having recently re-read my post on bras, it occurs to me that it is time to buy some new ones...Wonder what raptures the experience will engender this time?

As for, um, body hair trends--thankfully, I have heard nothing more on the matter--and I do so hope that will continue to be the case! At least until I start sprouting those errant old-lady hairs on my chin. (As for you men out there in the blogosphere, don't even try laughing; have you seen what starts to grow out of your ears as YOU age?)

Finally, I mentioned in one of my posts that if you knew who some of my law-school classmates were, you'd be more inclined to agree with my assessment of myself as an underachiever--well, since one of the aforementioned classmates is Barack Obama--you get the picture. . . (By the way--Go Barack!)

Lovely writing again. Hope I'll have something more substantive to say next time. Cheers.