Monday, December 15, 2014

Perfectly good answers... to completely different questions.

He:  Do you want to go to lunch?
She:  Are you all alone?
He:  No, Todd and Gary left.

(Dude, if they left, then yes, you are alone.)

She:  Taste this.
Me:  What is it?
She:  It's Dianna's.

(Okay, that's whose is it.  Try again.)

With friends, waiting in line for show tickets, I think I see one of Elder Son's buddies closer to the door.
Me:  (to my friend next to me) I think that's Jim Jones up there. Do you know the Jones brothers?
She:  (points to teenage girl in front of us) Yeah! This is Jennifer right here!

(I... just... I... What?)

Monday, December 08, 2014


I wanna know why the same males who can arrange different sized and shaped LEGOs to build elaborate brick creations cannot figure out how to stack nesting Tupperware in the cupboard.


Friday, December 05, 2014

Girlfriend Jokes

Elder Son is about to leave the house with his clothes covered with light blonde cat fur. 

Me: Tell everyone your girlfriend has really short hair. 
He: I tell people my girlfriend is like my Xbox. I don't have an Xbox. 
Me: Tell them your girlfriend is like your Xbox. You have to go to your buddy's house to use it. 
He: I learned I shouldn't tell your jokes in front of other people. 
Me: *I* shouldn't tell my jokes in front of other people. 
He: You shouldn't tell your jokes in front of *me*!

He's got a point. :-)

Thursday, December 04, 2014

"I wish that I could be like the cool kids." - Echosmith

When I applied for college about a year ago, I thought, "I'm old, and I'm gonna be different."
At the same time, I thought being old and different made me special.  So I continued on.

On orientation day, I felt very old and different.
And then I got out of my car.
The young man in the car next to mine asked, "Are you here for transfer orientation?  Do you know which building we're supposed to be in?"
Like I knew anything.  But he saw me as a fellow transfer student, not an old, different lady.

With that one exchange, my mind began to change.

Just a few hours later, I found myself in a whole room full of different people known as "non-trads", the non-traditional students.  Adults and commuters mostly.  Older students.  People who kinda looked like me.  So, maybe I wasn't so different.  Or special.

And that was okay.

The first class I took was a junior-level class.  Out of the entire class of 30 students, I was one of three students older than age 25.  On the second day of class, one of them chose a seat closer to me and said, "It's nice to see another non-trad here."  Her name was Aimee, and she and I took turns answering the professor's questions because none of the other students had learned to be brave enough to speak up in class yet.
On the other side of me was a "traditional" junior.  She asked me things like when tests were scheduled and had I started my term paper yet.  Like a classmate would. 
It was nice.

I had just that one class this past spring.  Most of the semester was spent meeting with counselors and other university staff trying to get as many of my 30-year-old credits transferred as possible.  I also picked a lot of brains to find out how to test out of some classes and get credit for real life work experiences.
That was a lot of stuff to accomplish.
I was rewarded with several extra transferred credits that had originally been declined.  And I managed to test out of speech class this semester because I had talked to the right people last semester.

This fall, I walked into my night class fully expecting a room full of non-trads, people who work all day like me who "have to" take classes at night.  I'd been looking forward to maybe making a friend or two.
Not. One. Non-trad.
On top of that, as the instructor took attendance, he called out the name of one of Elder Son's high school classmates.

That should have been it for me.  It couldn't get much clearer that I was old enough to be the mom of any of my classmates.
But I was good with it.  Surprisingly good.

I also have this self-defense class.  This grueling, physical, hard class.
And I'm keeping up with all the 20-year-olds.
(Elder Son's classmate is in this class with me too.  She said to me, "Hey! You're in all my evening classes!"  I replied, "Hey, you're in all of my classes.")

I sometimes forget I'm old and different.
I look around, and I see college students.  I'm doing what they're doing.
They all look the same to me.  And I forget that when they look around, they see a bunch of the same people... and me.

But they don't seem to treat me any different.  The self-defense gals throw me on the floor just as hard as anyone else.
Last night in the self-defense class, I was teamed up with another non-trad.
She felt old and different.  She spent time telling me just how old she felt.  She told me all the reasons why she couldn't do all the self defense things everyone else was doing.  

I thought, "Wow. That sounds like me last year."
I'd guess she was 10 years younger than me, but I felt like I was the younger one of us.

I expected something so much different going back to college at this age.
I thought I'd feel really old being shoved up next to a crowd of younger people.
But I don't.
I find that very surprising.

And just when I start thinking I'm really cool, I'll catch a reflection of myself next to a classmate and realize, "Ah.  There it is.  I'm someone's mom."

I guess the secret is to avoid reflecting too much.  ;-)

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Auto correct

The Husband and I had plans to meet for lunch at our usual restaurant.

I attempted to text him "I'm walking over now."

I don't know which buttons I hit, but the message autocorrect sent was, "I'm leaning over now."

How'd it know I'd be drinking my lunch?

Monday, December 01, 2014

The Annual Gift Exchange

Historically, The Husband's family has given us unusual Christmas gifts.  I have blogged about them in the past.
But I actually feel bad making fun of The Husband's family this year.

You see, since the mother-in-law moved out of our house, I have developed a healthy tolerance for her behavior.  It's amazing how the little things are less bothersome when you don't have to deal with them days on end without rest.
Also, The Husband's siblings have started sharing their thoughts and feelings more since the mother-in-law is no longer a resident in my home.  So, I now have a deeper understanding of their motivations.

That being said, I can tell you about the gift The Husband's sister gave me at the annual family Thanksgiving gathering.

She asked, "You're the one who likes Stephen King, right?"

Yes, and yes.

I was very excited as she dug through her bag.  She triumphantly pulled out a paperback book and declared, "So, you like Daniel King, then!"

My first thought was, "Uh, Daniel King (whoever that is) is not Stephen King. But I'll be open minded."  I look at the paperback she is holding up for me.  The author is not Daniel King.
It is Danielle... Steele.

No disrespect to Ms. Steele, but pretty much the only thing her stories have in common with those written by my favorite author is that they both come in books.

Not Stephen King.
Not even Daniel King.
Danielle Steele.



I think what the sister-in-law originally meant to ask me was, "You like to read, right?"
She should have just left Stephen King out of the equation.
Still, I showed enthusiasm and graciously accepted her kind gift.

So, I get where she was coming from.
But that's not near as funny.  ;-)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Whole lotta random update

Every once in a while something cool will happen, and I think, "Hey, I know who would understand what this means to me."
And it's you.

So, thank you for being a good audience.  :-)


That being said, I think a few of you might wonder whatever happened to me after I quit working in radio.  The posts got kinda sparse after that.

So, this is not necessarily the funny today.
You are welcome to skip it if you're not a vested reader.  It's cool.  I get it.

Warning if you stay:  There is rampant rambling ahead.


Quick review:
I used to work in radio.  It was my life's dream.  I lived it, breathed it, ate it, did it in my sleep, with my eyes shut, with one hand tied behind my back.  Every thing I did in it was second nature, a habit, a comfortable rut.  It was so familiar, it was easy.  Radio is what I was, inside and out.

Maybe I grew smart, or maybe I grew old, but after a while I realized I was putting way more into radio than radio was giving back.  When I stood up for myself and stated that I deserved more, I was told there isn't any more, and I should be happy I was getting anything.

What I got after that... was out.

I left radio for an internet television station where they taught me social media and SEO (search engine optimization).  Fascinating stuff!  NEW stuff!
After a year, the company ran out of money and folded.

I was lucky enough to get picked up by a website design company that had an SEO department.
This was an odd hire.  I was originally supposed to be a part-time, five-week temp for a specific project.  But the owner, on my first day, said he'd like to see if he could keep me on permanently.
That... was... great... but...
He barely knew me.  Why would he want... me?

I was in a very low place at the time.  I had divorced radio.  My new affair had fizzled.
I really had a hard time believing anyone would want me.

When the opportunity came and the permanent job was offered, I took it.
That was a year ago.  I have since learned oh so much about SEO.  I know stuff you don't even know exists.  I speak a language my own husband doesn't understand... and he's the guy who finishes my sentences with me.
More NEW stuff!  Fascinating!


Now, this all sounds like old Roses landed on her feet pretty good.  Perhaps leaving radio was the best thing she ever did, and maybe she should've done it a lot sooner.

I'm still not sure it was what I was supposed to do.
Leaving wasn't a wrong thing, but I think there might have still been some more things I was supposed to do there.  In a the-universe-works-in-mysterious-ways kind of way.
I feel I was a pathway between two things that were supposed to come together, but I shifted, and now that path can't be traveled.

Hm.  That's a little deep.

Let's just say I feel there's something good I'm supposed to do, and sitting in an office making clients' websites rank higher on Google just isn't it.


I went back to school last spring.  I think the job I am supposed to have is at the end of a 4-year degree.  I don't know what it is.
Currently, I'm a college junior.  At the rate I am taking classes (while working full-time), it will take me 6 years to finish the second half of my four year degree.  This amuses me.


This semester was supposed to be an easy one.
I signed up for 1.5 classes.  An Intro to Public Relations class, and a half credit Phy Ed class.
But because this semester seemed so easy, I also signed up to test out of a required speech class.
AND I auditioned for a news anchor spot at the campus television station.

So, during this "easy" semester, I have after-work activities four nights a week.
I am surviving only because I tell myself it's only temporary.  It's only until Christmas.
After Thanksgiving break, there's only three weeks of madness left.

I can do it.


Oh, that Phy Ed class?
It's self defense basics.
I can use that, right?  Smart choice, I'd say.  Better than, oh, Archery (which I really wanted but it wasn't offered at a convenient time of day) or Bowling (which I can practice any day for a couple of bucks rather than pay a university half a grand).


The punching.  The kicking.  The falling.  The getting up.
Each week has been brutal!

I've never worked so hard for half a credit.
At least I'm learning stuff I can use.


I passed that speech waiver, btw.

I might have been a little cocky being someone who's talked in front of people for a living for 25 years.  At one point I joked to friends that even if I wrote a crappy speech, I'd deliver it so well they wouldn't notice the speech was missing anything, and they'd pass me anyway.

Well, that's almost what happened.
My speech lacked a couple important elements, but the professors to whom I presented had enjoyed hearing me speak so very much they did not want to fail me.
They should have.
But they didn't.

Instead, they hoped I would rewrite my speech and present it to them again.
Would I please, they asked.

Would I?
They had every right to kick my butt out of their department and laugh as they did it.
But, would I please come back?

I humbly tucked my tail between my legs and thanked them for the opportunity.

When I passed the second presentation, they applauded.  They told me glowing, wonderful things.  They said they were moved by my words.

I walked to my car and thought about who I would call first to share the good news.
But I didn't feel like calling anyone.
I was not proud of myself.
I did not rejoice.
I was only relieved to be done.


So, stuff has been hard.

My brain had not had a diet of anything new for decades.  It was refreshing at first.

But at times, I crave familiar and easy.
And none of this has been easy.

I'm tired.
And I ache.
And I'm never home.
I'm alone a lot.

I fight depression.


Interesting thing about that depression.
My medical doctor prescribed a couple drugs somewhere between me saying "de" and "pression".
I accepted those drugs somewhere between me saying "depres" and "sion".  The drugs had worked years ago, and my doctor reached for the same bottle this time.  What could go wrong?

The meds were not good for me this time.  I don't know why.  I stopped taking them after two days because the regular depression was better than the state the meds put me in.  It was that bad, that quick.  It took me three days to unfold from the fetal position, and the depression felt almost happy by comparison.

Instead I focused on my sleep.  Which had sucked.  Eggs. Royally.

Know what works?  Bologna.
Two slices of bologna before bed, and I sleep like a rock.
Nutty, but true.

My chiropractor told me that if you have trouble falling asleep, it's because of hormones.  If you have trouble staying asleep, it's your sugar levels.
I stopped eating ice cream and breakfast cereal for bedtime snacks.  Believe me, the last thing I want to eat at night is lunch meat.
But, it works.
It works so well that the weekend I drove to Michigan to be with my dad in the hospital, I carried a Ziploc of bologna in my purse so I could sleep.

True story.


I still have bad days.  When they come, I feel as if I've never felt good.
But I work hard to get sleep and sunshine, and it helps.

It helps to remember how bad those drugs made me feel.


There have been many changes in my family's dynamic, too.
Each member of the family is adapting to new "normal"s.

More change.  More adjusting.
Also not easy.

Nonetheless, "not easy" is not the same as "bad".
I can see where this is all good.  It's just... not easy.

It's the "not easy" that is so distracting from the funny.
I keep looking for it, though.

When I find it, you'll be the first to know.
Because you "get" me so much better than anyone else does.

And I humbly thank you.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Two Word Movie Review - Mockingjay Part 1

Here are your two words:

Smoldering Embers

In the interest of full disclosure, I wasn't feeling great when I caught the early matinee with The Husband today.  I was kinda tired.  And if we'd been planning to go to any other movie, I would have chosen to stay home.  That's how great I wasn't feeling.
But I'd been looking forward to The MockingJay, so we went.

Also, you should know that I've read the trilogy, and I know how it ends.

And I probably should mention that the third book was my least favorite of the three.

These three things probably play into how I felt pretty blah about a movie I'd been looking forward to seeing.
As The Husband and I left the theater, I said, "All the really good stuff was in the trailers."
Yeah.  It kinda was.

But again, this is from someone who has read the books and knew at every turn what was coming next.
(There was one scene where I leaned over to The Husband and whispered Katniss' next line, word for word, a split second before she said it on the screen.  "Was that in the book?" he whispered back.  I replied, "I don't know.")

When LionsGate announced they were splitting the third Hunger Games book into two movies, a friend of mine predicted where the book would be split.
He was right.
So, even that part wasn't a real surprise for me.

At least twice during the show, I thought to myself, "Geez, this movie is long."
That's never a good thing.

That all being said, the movie was every bit as good as the book.
Considering most of Katniss' angst throughout the series is expressed internally, the scriptwriters and Jennifer Lawrence do a beautiful job of letting us know what Katniss is thinking and feeling.  That's a real trick, and I think they pulled it off spectacularly.

I think if you have not read the books, you will find this movie intriguing.  You may get much more out of it than I did.  It may surprise you more... especially if you didn't spend the last few months watching every movie trailer and clip posted on YouTube.

One more thing...
You need to have seen the previous movies or have read the first two books to understand anything in The Mockingjay Part One.  There is no review.  No one explains to you why Katniss starts out in a hospital. You get no background story at all.
(But here's a quick 3 minute review you can watch ahead of time.)

I think the fourth movie will offer more excitement than this one does.
This one introduces District 13 and sets us up for Part Two.

So, "smoldering embers" it is from me on this one.
Once those embers ignite, then it'll get hot.


P.S. On the way home from the movie, the subject of Katniss' love life came up.  I imagined outloud the exchange between Gail and Katniss after the first (technically the 74th) Hunger Games.

Gail:  Geez, Katniss.  I saw you kissing another guy on TV!
Katniss:  Yeah?  How about seeing 22 other kids trying to kill me?  Didn't that bother you just a little?

Friday, November 14, 2014

Chaplain Jane and the Rose Garden Yarn

It had been two years, but the moment I stepped into the hospital lobby, I felt as if I had just been here yesterday.

Dad was in the hospital again.
I walked the familiar halls.  Remembered sitting on that bench before hours waiting for someone to happen by and let me past the locked doors to his room.  Wondered if the cafeteria hamburger would taste as dry today as I remembered it tasting when I ate it alone with a heavy heart two years ago.

I thought about sitting with my brother for eight hours in the family surgery waiting area as Dad had cancer removed from his kidney back then.  It had been expected to be a six-hour operation, and we had received updates from the doctors every two hours right up until the surgery was supposed to have been done.  And then we stopped getting updates.  But no one came to tell us it was over, either.  That was a long wait.
My brother spent the time catching up on some of his paper work; I crocheted a hat. I had purchased the yarn special for this purpose because I suspected I'd have a lot of time to play with it.  I had walked the yarn aisle with my hand outstretched, waiting to find the one that wanted to come with me.  The yarn that called me was named "Rose Garden".  Of course it was.

As my brother and I had sat there wondering why there was no news, a woman approached us and introduced herself as Chaplain Jane, the Lutheran chaplain at the hospital.  She asked how our loved one was doing, offered to pray with us... which we welcomed.
As she stood to leave us, I asked her, "Do you have cancer patients that you minister to here?"
"Oh, I can't talk about other patients."
"The reason I ask..." and I pulled out the hat I had crocheted during Dad's surgery.  I explained that the yarn speaks to me, and that I had no need for a hat myself because this one belonged to someone else.  "I think you will find someone who needs this," I said.
Chaplain Jane tucked the hat into her bag and promised me she would do her best.  I had the impression that she didn't quite understand what was going on, but that she was being polite for my benefit.

 That was the last I saw of the Rose Garden hat.

Dad came out of that surgery with one less kidney, but free of cancer.  He recovered quickly, and went home to a mostly normal life.

This past Monday morning I sat in my Dad's hospital room, relieved that the worst of this most recent ordeal was also working out in his favor.  There was a knock at the door, and a vaguely familiar looking woman let herself in.
She introduced herself as Chaplain Jane.  She told Dad that his pastor had called her and asked her to look in on him.
I said, "I think we met in 2012 when Dad had kidney surgery."
"I might remember you," she said.  "What is your name?"
"I'm Roses."
"Yes, I think so..."
"I gave you a hat."

Chaplain Jane's face lit up.
"Yes, you did!  You asked me to find a recipient.  And I did!"
Again, she regretfully told me she could not discuss other patients with me or tell me anything about the person to whom she gave the Rose Garden hat.  But she spoke with wonder and amazement about presenting the hat and explaining how she had come to have it.
She said, "It was very warmly accepted... to near tears."

Thank you, Chaplain Jane.
More than one person believes you to be an angel.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Bug + Shoe = Funny

Me:  Elder Son, I'm a girl.  Can you come kill a bug for me?
He:  Sure.

Moments later he arrives carrying a shoe.
He:  Where is it?
Me:  ::points over there::
He:  Wow, it's a big one.

After a couple thuds of the shoe, he is dumping the carcass into the trash bin.
Me:  Thank you.  I could have done it if I had to, I just didn't want to.
He:  You notice I used Younger Son's shoe.

Me:  ::falls on floor laughing::