Month: December 2013

I RALLY.

Fly on the Wall Today I’m a part of the Fly on the Wall group post with 14 other wonderbloggers where we show you a glimpse of what it would be like to be a fly on the wall in our home. It won’t surprise you that I’m a “writes at the last minute” type person. This works for me. Unless I come down with a stomach flu. I tried. I really did. I kept my laptop by my bed all night hoping I’d feel better and come up with something. Alas, I’m struggling to even sit up and type this. I’m not going to back down, though!

I’m going to rally!

Well, sort of. I’m going to recycle a Fly on the Wall from a few months ago. It’s still totally relevant and enjoyable. A lot of you haven’t seen it so it won’t make a hair’s difference. Some of you have. If you’re shaking your fist and saying, “dammit, I wanted something clever from Beth today! Something new and funny!” I can only pet your head and offer you this Lollipop. << go on. Press it. All your cares will fall away and we’ll be besties again. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a porcelain throne to hug.

Don’t forget to check out my fellow Fly-ers and read their greatness. Their links are at the bottom of this post.

*A FLY ON THE WALL – TELIHO STYLE*

mating-flies-15885625

Yes. They’re humping.

The actual conversation (if it indeed qualifies as such) that occurred on the way to school. Myself and my two boys. To makes things easier (and protect the obnoxious), I’ll use their nicknames, D-man (9yo) and Cheesy (6yo):

D-Man: I HATE school. I can’t believe I have to go back to that awful place. I HATE third grade.

ME: I know it’s tough, buddy, but you can do it. Just hang in there. Things will seem bet–

D-Man: –I talked to this older kid and he said he hated third grade the most. He said it sucked out of all the grades.

ME: What older kid?

Cheesy: Do rabbits have penises?

ME: What? Wait, D, what older kid did you talk to? How old?

D-Man: Thirteen.

ME: Where on Earth are you talking to thirteen year olds?

Cheesy: MOM! Do rabbits have penises?

D-man: On Xbox. Hey, did I tell you my dream about the robot?

ME: Yes!

D-man: I already told you about my dream?

ME: No. Rabbits have penises.

Cheesy: And balls? *lots of giggles from the back seat*

ME: *sigh* Yes, if they are boys.

D-Man: So this giant robot made of Minecraft brick comes crashing out of the ocean….

Cheesy: Does Milo have balls? (our dog)

ME: Well, uh, he did. I mean, yeah. But he’s neutered. *immediate regret* rewind rewind rewind

D-Man: ….and then he twirls this snowman monster thing over his head….

Cheesy: He’s noonered! What does THAT mean?!

ME: It’s an operation dogs have so they can’t make puppies. please Lord get me out of this

D-Man: …..smashes this grey pile of ash that sprays up and blows the robot’s head off……

Cheesy: I thought only girls made babies?

ME: Cheesy, I can’t do the birds and the bees right now. Let’s tal—

Cheesy: BEES HAVE PENISES TOO?!?!

mating-flies-15885625

I’m home alone about 10AM. Kids are in school. Hubs calls.

ME: Yes? How may I help you?

HIM: Whatareyoudoing?

ME: On the computer. Whatareyoudoing?

HIM: I called to give you a couple reminders.

ME: Great. You know how much I like that.

HIM: I thought you might. I need you to be sure and take the ipad mini back today and see if they can replace it. The boys can’t be playing on it with that crack in the screen.

ME: Uh-huh.

HIM: And it would be great if you returned that hat to the party store before someone ruins it.

ME: Yep. That would be great.

HIM: And while you’re out, you should take your car to that place I told you about and get the oil changed because they’ll also wash it for you and your car is disgusting.

ME: My car is fine.

HIM: Your car is awful, Beth. Are you going to do any of those things?

ME: I will only commit to putting them on my list.

HIM: Your list.

ME: Yup.

HIM: And you’re going to put oil change on your list?

ME: Probably not.

HIM: Why? I don’t understand what the problem is…

ME: You know I hate going to the oil change place. I designated that a man job long ago.

HIM:

ME: I find it very sexy when you do man jobs.

HIM: Reeeealllly. Well, now we’re talkin’. (I can actually hear him smiling)

ME: *eye roll* it’s so damn easy

mating-flies-15885625

It’s past bedtime. The 6yo comes downstairs with what appears to be glitter and a piece of paper and approaches me at the couch. I’m limp with fatigue, and no longer care if anyone is in jammies or has brushed their teeth. I have deferred to daddy and am attempting to escape reality by engrossing myself in Twitter and Facebook a book on orbital mechanics. Yet here is a child in my face with craft supplies.

6yo: Mommy. Mommy. You know that thing where you put glitter on the paper and shake it off and it makes dots?

ME: Uh-huh.

6yo: Can we do that?

ME: Absolutely not.

6yo: Whhhhhhyyyyyyyyyy?????

ME: What do you mean why? You’re supposed to be in bed, young man. It’s late. And we don’t even have glue.

6yo: Yes we do. *disappears around corner*

He’s out of sight, therefore, officially out of my mind. This is a bad thing, because approximately 11 minutes later, Dad calls from upstairs wondering where the 6yo is. It’s about this time that I realize glitter boy is sweeping the kitchen.

You’re smart people. You know my child spilled glitter everywhere. But what I need to explain to you is this was not ordinary glitter. This was *special* fine-as-powder-fairy-dust glitter that I bought for a specific teacher craft last year, WHICH IS WHY IT WAS HIDDEN UPSTAIRS IN MY OFFICE WHERE HE GOT IT, THE LITTLE BURGLAR. You can’t even tell any is missing from the vial, yet it is every-fricken-where. No, really. You don’t understand. I can’t envision a scenario where this glitter will not be a part of our house for the rest of our lives.

*******

Check out these other awesome posts!

  Baking In A Tornado

Just a Little Nutty

  Follow me home . . .

 The Sadder But Wiser Girl

 Menopausal Mother

 The Momisodes

 Spatulas on Parade

 The Rowdy Baker

 Sorry kid, Your Mom Doesn’t Play Well With Others

Juicebox Confession

  Dates 2 Diapers

Kiss My List

 Moms Don’t Say That

Adventure into Domesticland

The Phone Call

kids

I press number three to play the message. His voice jumps through the phone and squeezes my heart so hard I have to sit down. He’s singing to me.

Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday, dear Bethie. Happy birthday to you.

I close my eyes and press play again. His voice sounds so pure. So…absolutely him it takes my breath away. I can reach out and touch the memories it’s conjuring. Us climbing trees. Exploring creeks. Getting in trouble for eating all the Debbie Snack Cakes Mom just bought for our school lunches. Dissolving in laughter at his dark wit and ridiculously awful impressions. The time he needed stitches after using the weed eater for the first time. And of course the fights. There’s nothing quite as vicious as a sibling fight.

Play.

Happy birthday to you….

Heart Squeeze.

The voice I’m hearing is just him. True him. At the core. Not the him I will get if I call him back. Oh, at first I’ll get true him. But soon the sickness will take over, and the lies will tumble out of his mouth. The pathological lies. They bore a hole in my stomach and make my head spin. I have to remind myself:

He can’t help it. It’s the disease.

Or he’ll bait me with a seemingly innocuous question, which I’ll answer because I’m hoping we’re having a real conversation. Like normal people. But the agenda soon rears its ugly head, and I’m suddenly being evangelized on his latest conspiracy theory. So much anger. So much paranoia.

He can’t help it. It’s the disease.

Play.

….Happy birthday, dear Bethie…..

Heart Squeeze.

The guilt is an anchor in my gut. I carry it always, dragging its toxic weight. It turns me inside out when I see his name on my caller ID…and I don’t pick up. You’re an asshole, I say to myself. What kind of sister doesn’t answer when her brother calls?

It’s not your fault. It’s the disease.

I used to pick up. For twenty years I picked up. The cyclical, inane conversations that went on for hours were torture. Especially the ones that came in the middle of the night. When the distress calls happened, I invested, physically and emotionally. “I’m here for you,” I would say. “Let’s get you help,” I would plea. Others have tried to help, too. But that’s the thing. Once he’s got your attention. Your time. Once you’re on the hook…

He swims away.

And we’re left dangling, feeling like asses for trying. Lost. Scared for him. Awaiting the next call.

Until it becomes too much to take on anymore. If someone won’t help themselves, isn’t it time to stop enabling? Doesn’t there come a time when I have to show him I’m not that person anymore? That person his disease can toy with? Doesn’t there come a time when I have to draw boundaries?

It’s not his fault. It’s the disease.

I see him once every year to two, when he decides to resurface at a family event. He acts as if no time has passed. As if he’s been at every get-together. We hang out. We talk. He inevitably makes me laugh. But his eyes…my god his eyes. They kill me. The sadness behind them scours my soul.

Even after years of me holding him at arms length, he still calls for my birthday.  Why isn’t he angry with me? Why doesn’t he hate me?

Play.

Happy birthday to you….

Heart squeeze. Hot tears of sadness. Anger at him for not getting help. Guilt for the anger. His voice is flooding me with memories but I can’t stop listening. Like the lure of the deeper waters even though you know there’s an undertow.

I miss my brother. I fucking hate mental illness.

Play.

Play.

Play.

Play.

Play.

mental illness photo: Mental Illness Poster MentalIllnessPoster.jpg

Do you have someone in your life who won’t get help for mental illness, or won’t stay on their medication? How do you cope with them? How do you cope, period? Did/do you keep them at arms length?

Disorderly Conduct in Portland

Secret Subject Swap.

This week 12 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

Secret Subject Swap

My subject is: pick an entry from the police beat section of a newspaper (print or online) and write the backstory leading up to the actual event. This prompt was submitted to me by Alicia of Moms Don’t Say That. Thanks for the great prompt, girl!

*******

12/4 at 4 p.m. John Chukoda, 32, was arrested on Riverside Street by Officer Charlie Ried on a charge of disorderly conduct.

It’s an arrest that happens thousands of times a day all over the country. But not like this. Because on this day John Chukoda was arrested in Portland, Oregon. This is how it went down:

2:29 p.m. Officer Charlie receives stress call that a male customer in GRASS restaurant on Riverside Street is causing a disturbance. The officer begins to pedal his bike to the scene.

2:34 p.m. Officer Charlie stops to let chickens cross the road. To get to the other side.

2:43 p.m. Officer Charlie arrives at the scene and speaks to the manager of GRASS. Manager explains the suspect has upset his waitperson and surrounding customers by getting increasingly belligerent about the menu options. The suspect seemed distracted by the androgyny of his waitperson, and his/her many tattoos and piercings.

2:50 p.m. Officer Charlie speaks to the man in question. Suspect’s appearance:  bewildered, no visible body adornment, wearing restrictive clothing, clean shaven, clean-cut short hair, and not wearing ear phones with constant stream of Indie music. Obviously a foreigner. The following conversation takes place:

Officer: Not from around here, are you?

John: No, I flew in from Dallas this morning. Sir, can ask why I seem to be in trouble?

Officer: You’ve apparently offended some people with your unruly behavior.

John: Unruly behavior? All I did was ask about the menu! I mean, I understand the sustainable/grain-fed/organic meat, but how is vegan beef even possible?!

Officer:  ****

John:   *****

Officer:  ****

John: EXACTLY!

Officer: There’s no need to shout. Shouting kills birds.

John: And what’s up with the water? Can’t a guy just get a glass of water? Why do I have to get spring-fed-by-lesbian-water-nymphs-oxygenated-vitamin-fortified water? I JUST WANTED WATER!

Officer: Sir, it’s yoga hour. I warned you about shouting. Step outside, please.

John: What? Are you serious? *grabs briefcase* *follows officer outside*

Officer: What’s that awful smell *sniffs air* Is that….is that leather?

John: *holds up briefcase* Of course.

Officer: ACK! *covers nose* *recoils in disgust*

John: Where am I? *gets keys out of pocket* I’m leaving! *points keys at SUV to remotely unlock*

Officer: I suppose that Earth murderer is your rental?

John: *shakes arms in anger* (briefcase pops open, books and a granola bar spill out)

Officer: OH MY BUDDAH.

John: What?!

Officer: Those aren’t even used books. And that granola bar has high fructose corn syrup. That’s IT. You’re under arrest. Come with me to the station, please.

John: For what? I can’t belie –

Officer: Your conduct is unacceptable. Please sit on the back of the bike. Mind your pants don’t get caught in the gears. *GASP* Those pants aren’t even organic cotton, I can smell the pesticide. And they’re…new!?!?

John: Whaaa? Wait…you’re taking me in…on your bike?

Officer: Of course. Will you hold my mandolin? Oh, and on the way we have to stop at the park. My sister’s in an art show benefitting animals without education…..

*******

DO NOT forget to visit the other awesome bloggers and see what they did with their secret subjects!

 Baking In A Tornado

Home on Deranged

Evil Joy Speaks

Writer B is Me

Discovering Me

Confessions of a part-time working mom

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

Moms Don’t Say That

Spinster Snacks

Black Sheep Mom

Spatulas on Parade

Just A Little Nutty

Secret Subject Swap

A Striptease For You

strippers photo: strippers strippers-3.jpg

I’m in a bit of a rut. You see, the writer part of me wants needs to create things that the blogger part of me doesn’t. Writing is a way of exorcising demons. A cathartic cleansing. An artistic pest control for the brain. Typically, I mold my toxins into little analogies that take on lives of their own, a.k.a. my fiction stories. The problem? I haven’t been writing any new stuff lately. I’ve been busy with the novel and, oh, I don’t know…blogging.

The blog for me is a playground. A very necessary one. I want to keep it that way. I’m honest as shit, self-deprecating, silly, sometimes naughty (okay, a lot naughty),  sarcastic… but I also conveniently hop around the heavy stuff. And that’s okay. I have to look too many of my real-life readers in the eye. That’s a vulnerability I’m not comfortable with. But when I don’t write the heavy shit out, I get stuck.

Beth stuck =  a  f*cked up Beth

I scour other blogs whose innards are displayed for all to see, and I admire the shit outta them. Their bravery astounds me. But I don’t work that way. I’ve tried. Doesn’t mean I won’t try again. But I have to feel it. If I’m going to give you the Full Monty, it had better matter.

Part of what makes my fiction so complex and dynamic (and yes, twisted at times) is that it’s the conduit for everything I’m not able to express any other way.

It’s the metaphorical me. Stripped. Bleeding my soul onto the pages.

Naked.

My blog may be a tease, but I bare it all in my stories.

I like poetry for this purpose. I can be naked, yet shrouded in mist and mirrors. Inference and innuendo. Here is one where I am fully exposed. Can you see me?

Dwellings
Murky basements, web covered nooks hide
forbidden yearnings, mummified.
Music wakes them, songs siren.
They crawl and beg to be
heard again. Breathless
trepidation,
I unfurl.
Set me
free.

You probably can’t. Not totally. But that was the goal.

I’ve got to get the novel put to bed. So you can read it. And so I can move on.

I need to get back to writing. Characters await.

Is writing cathartic for you? Do you write “naked”? How do you see your blog? Do you dance around certain subjects? Your comments MATTER.

**Related Post: I’d like to thank My Inner Chick for her post on blogging without boundaries, which led me to deconstruct and evaluate the struggle I was having, and ultimately help me understand how I write.

I’m Aggressively Competitive. But Also Covered In Glitter. So There’s That.

*TToT BECAUSE I’M COMPETITIVE*

Dyanne is tweeting shit already about winning this thing, so now I have to “do stuff” and “make an effort”. GAH. If YOU want your chance to actually WIN something, an actual concrete, tangible gift sent from English England by Lizzi herself, press THIS and enter the contest.

But SUCKIT cuz I’m winning that shiny package!

I knew ALL the answers! maybe.

I never get computer time on the weekends, but everyone is out of the house for like ten minutes so I got lucky! I’ve got to do this quick – like quickie style!

I’m thankful for:

* This week was my Birfday and I’m grateful for my family who goes so far out of their way to make me feel like the most special person in the world. I got coffee in bed, flowers, cake, dinner, hugs, cards, phonecalls, texts, e-cards, emails, and thoughtful gifts. I didn’t even announce it was my birthday in the blogosphere except in one location for a specific reason, but word got out and then I received a ton of SWEET WONDERFUL birthday wishes from my bloggy family too, which absolutely melted my heart and put a cherry on my sundae. I even got this handmade card from Lizzi on Facebook! I couldn’t stop smiling.

lizzis card

* ICE ICE BABY! No, not the rap song. Although I hear Vanilla Ice can re-do a house like a mofo. Real ice! We have cold weather and the kids got a snow day! I know this is usually a terrible thing with the roads being dangerous, travel plans being ruined, power outages and the like. And those things are AWFUL, but I’m talking about the sledding my kids have been doing for two days. They are so damn HAPPY and CUTE all bundled up with rosy cheeks and smiley faces. We are blessed to be in a warm, safe home. I’m so very thankful for that.

*GLITTER! And the English bloggy friends that come with it. I got a beautiful, sparkly card in the mail yesterday, but didn’t see it till this morning. As soon as I eyed some glitter my gut yelled, “Get that over the sink – it’s from LIZZI!!!” Thank goodness I listened as it exploded with bits of confetti stars and glittery goodness! A handmade Lizzi card filled with funny Christmas wishes (that only she and I could understand, of course!) for me and my family.   She.Won. Mail. Forever.

*Keurig coffee makers. Because they also make hot chocolate cups, and this is infinitely easier to make for the increasing number of children that have come in/out of my house since the ice storm hit. I happen to be “that” house on our block. You know, the one where ALL the kids end up, which I adore, but I also need to be ready with snacks and drinks when they come in thirsty and hungry! It takes forever to heat up four + hot chocolates (with marshmallows of course) in the microwave! Thank you Keurig for making my life so much easier!

*Birthday money. Cuz momma needed new running shoes. Cuz life is full of 2nd, 3rd, and 4th chances, which I’m also thankful for (hey, this one counts as two!) And maybe I will need those runnin’ shoes soon. *Chants: I will get outta this funk, I will get outta this funk*

*Wine

*Wine

*Wine (shut up. I’m really thankful for wine)

*Movies and Books. Because I love to escape. I love stories. Did I ever tell you all that I thought of that as a name for a kid – “Story”? I remember telling my husband I thought it would be the coolest name, maybe for a girl. I was afraid it was too feminine to be a boy’s name. THEN, Jenna Elfman (Dharma of Dharma and Greg) named her son Story like 2 years later! I know! I’m so money and I don’t even know it!

That’s it peeps! If you wanna be part of THE MOST supportive and fun blog community, RUN to link up with Ten Thing of Thankful!! RIGHT HERE. You will never, ever regret it!

Ten Things of Thankful

The Truth Will Set Me Free!

*LIAR, LIAR, PANTS ON FIRE*

It’s time to announce the lie that would burst my pants into flames!

As a  reminder, here were your choices:

1. I once won $1,000 with a scratch off lottery ticket
2. I’ve been sky diving
3. I was expelled from high school my senior year
4. I graduated college cum laude
5. I smoked my first cigarette at the age of eight
6. I once had my tongue pierced

A Summary Of Your Guesses

Only one person thought the lie was that I graduated college with honors. The most guesses goes to the lie being me expelled from high school. Thanks for the votes of confidence! The second highest number of guesses went to the lie being me sky diving. Do I look chicken to you people? The remaining three were literally tied with four guesses each for the lie being me winning the money, smoking a cig at eight, or my tongue being pierced.

********

AND NOW FOR THE TRUTH

*********

DRUMROLL PLEASE

*********

For those of you who thought me winning the money was a lie…. WRONG. I did actually win a $1000 on a measly little scratch off! For as long as I can remember, my dad has put lottery tickets in our birthday and Christmas cards. One Christmas I scratched mine off and YOWZA! Talk about surprised! We had to drive to some office and get the money because it was too much for the little mart where he’d bought them to pay out. After taxes I still got around $900. I gave my brother $100 cuz I’m kick-ass. I tried to give my dad some but he wouldn’t take it, although he let me buy him dinner with some coaxing. But my brother took the cash. He’s no dummy.

For those of you who thought me having my tongue pierced was the lie…NOPE. When I was about 24 years old I went (during the day, sober) and got my tongue pierced. At that time (this was…ahem…quite some time ago) this was not as prevalent a piercing for women as it was for men, and certainly not with anyone I knew so I shocked some people for sure. I waitressed at the time so it was a conversation starter to say the least! I wore it for several years. In fact, I had it when I met Jim! I honestly can’t remember what made me finally take it out. I guess I got tired of it.

For the one person (elleroy!) who hoped the lie was that I graduated cum laude (her logic being the truth was I actually graduated magna cum laude…sneaky!), this one was actually TRUE. It didn’t come easy, and I believe it was the result of my major being something I truly loved, but I actually did manage honors in Environmental Science. Proof that no matter how effed-up someone is when they’re a kid…there’s always hope. Woop!

Alyson…I’m sorry in advance…but the one about me smoking a cigarette at eight years old? Totally FACTUAL. I know. Awful. Both my parents smoked. My brother and I were left alone a lot. These were the latch-key days. We were little hoodlums. What will the mice do when the cat’s away? Smoke their parents’ cigarettes, that’s what. And this was when my parents were still together. After the divorce, we were really alone a lot. That’s when the trouble doubled….

Which brings me to the one about being expelled my senior year of high school. YEP. Totally true. I was expelled because I never came back after my out-of-school suspension, which I received for never completing several back-to-back in-school suspensions, which I received for skipping class. Incidentally, Jim and I went to the same HS and I remember him from suspension our junior year! (I was a frequent flyer) We were soul-troublemaker-mates! ANYway, I obviously was going through some tough times at home and otherwise. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right?

*sidenote: That summer I got a job, borrowed a little money from my grandma and got some sweet wheels (Sweet is relative. It was a used VW Rabbit), enrolled in an alternative school, and worked my ass off to graduate only three months after my friends. LIKE A BOSS.

So that leaves only one thing! The BIG FAT HAIRY LIE! I have never, ever been sky diving! This was second highest in guesses so kudos to you all! I have no desire to sky dive; however, I would choose it over bungee jumping every single time. WILL NOT bungee. No way. Could vomit just thinking about it. I can actually see the appeal in sky diving. I don’t think I’ll ever do it, but I’d also never say never. Except about bungee jumping. Never.

Thanks for playing along everyone! I hope that was as much fun for you as it was for me! #ThatsWhatSheSaidLastNight #Sorry #HadTo

Are any of these your truths? Do you have things in your life that are stranger than fiction? Have you ever had to tell a white lie that snowballed into a big one? I heart your comments BIG!

Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire!

Truth is stranger than fiction!

I’d call it stealing if I hadn’t received permission, but would’ve done it regardless because it’s brilliant and ridiculous fun! In honor of Aussa over at Hacker, Ninja, Hooker, Spy, I bring you my own truth/lie post:

Five of the following facts about me are the truth. One is NOT. Can you guess which one is the lie? (Friends of mine who read my blog….no cheating!)

1. I once won $1,000 with a scratch off lottery ticket.
money photo: MONEY MONEY.gif

2. I’ve been sky diving.

skydiving photo: Skydive 509414141eaa4_skydive01_zpsc1a2060f.jpg

Like this. But with screaming and vomit

3. I was expelled from High School my Senior year.

strippers photo: StrippersCluba1 StrippersCluba1.jpg

I was probably headed here

4. I graduated college Cum Laude.

congratulations graduate photo: Graduate CongratsGraduationMan.jpg

Turns out I DO have a brain!

5. I had my first cigarette at the age of eight.

little-girl-isolated-white-18656265

got a light?

6. I once had my tongue pierced

piercing photo: Tongue tumblr_mk4ihsTdtJ1s4wv7po1_500_zps93238975.jpg

cuz I always make awesome decisions

That’s it, folks! Can you guess the fib? Do you have any truths that are stranger than fiction? Can’t wait to hear your guesses!