Thursday, August 31, 2006

Your tax dollars at work

My BFF Melissa called me last night with the true tale of obnoxious and discriminatory marketing to impressionable children via the PUBLIC SCHOOLS:

Her 1st grader came home all excited because, instead of art class, he got to go the cafeteria with all the other boys and learn all about The Frickin Boy Scouts. "They go camping, Mom, and teach you how to make stuff!" He got a "free ticket" to a scouts meeting with an instruction to "tell your mom and dad to bring you!"

Great. Only if you're hetero though! And Christian!

So now her son is all excited and she gets to tell him no, sorry, you can't go.


Melissa rocks though. She has already called the principal and mobilized a bunch of other parents to protest.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

10 years and now

10 years ago...

How old were you?:
Where did you go to school?
was finishing up my last semester at UMBC with Social Work Research and American Studies Senior Seminar, in which I wrote a short book on the cultural impact of Three Mile Island
Where did you work?
Had just started working at Chase Brexton as a case manager, released from the hell that was Bill's Music
Where did you live?
an apt in Mt Washington with Hubby (then boyfriend)
Where did you hang out?
Was starting to hang out with Patricia & Patrick, Warren & Jeff and Ken & Chuck
How was your hair styled?
a modified "Rachel" I believe
Did you wear braces?:
nope, finished those when I was 17, but Hubby had them!
Did you wear glasses?:
Who was your regular-person crush?
How many tattoos did you have?:
How many piercings did you have?:
What kind of car did you drive?
my new 94 blue Honda civic hatchback
What was your favorite band/group?
Pearl Jam
What was your worst fear?:
being burned and sexual assault/torture
Had you smoked a cigarette yet?:
Had you driven yet?
since I was 16
Had you been arrested?
Had you been to a real party yet?
most partying was done between 18 and 23
Had your heart broke?
wickedly painfully
divorced from Joe, with Hubby for 2 years

How old are you?
Where do you go to school?
Got the Master's degree and am DONE
Where do you work?
Senior CAse Manager at Chase Brexton
Where do you live?:
Charles Village baby!
Where do you hang out?
home with Sammy Sam and my friends with kids
Do you have braces?:
Do you wear glasses?
Who are your best friends?
Melissa, Julie, Hannah, Warren, Chel
Still talk to any of your old friends?
Melissa, Julie, Hannah, Warren...I can't believe Warren is an "old friend"!!! Very seldom in touch with Patricia :(
Who is your celebrity crush?
Hugh Laurie as Dr House; still Eddie Vedder
How many piercings do you have:
How many tattoos?
What kind of car do you have?
same 94 Honda, plus a 97 Honda wagon
What is your favorite band/group?
Nellie McKay--she's not a group but whatever
What is your biggest fear?
something bad happening to Sam
Has your heart been broken?
not since that last survey

**adapted from Sharon's...had to make it 10 years since I'm so old!!!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Man No Pants

I have decided Sam's Indian name is Man No Pants. The boy takes off his pants, and preferably the underwear too, at every opportunity. This morning, as I was rushing out the door to work, late again because I overslept AGAIN, Sam was chattering away, wearing a lizards pajama shirt guessed it, no pants!

So I tell him his new name is Man No Pants, and without skipping a beat, he says "Limbo's my middle name!" and starts to faux-limbo. Wha???

The other night in the kitchen he was dancing around in his undies, and pulling down first the front, then the back of the undies. I said "What's this pulling the pants down thing?" He struck a pose...think Vogueing....and said, with what can only be described as a FLOURISH, "It's the latest FASHION! Sometimes you show the butt (shows butt) and sometimes you show the PEE-nus! (shows penis)"

What can I say.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Rehashing the worst years

SO I just read this book examining the "therapeutic boarding school" industry, which was quite disturbing in that it is very cultish and not at all therapeutic, not to mention a number of teens have died in these places. There is one story about a kid whose parents sent him to one in Mexico I think, even though he didn't have appear to have any actual problems (besides crazy parents that is)--he was there about two years before some other relatives and a neighbor busted him out. What really struck me about the story was how much his parents sounded like my dad and stepmother---absolute control freaks, for whom nothing you ever do is good enough or correct. Oh, the memories that came flooding back! Like:

1. Being told I never contributed anything to the household (where I visited every other weekend) when I was about 10, though I could easily compile a list of chores I did--like wrapping presents, helping to cook, loading dishwasher, etc.

2. When I was 16 or 17--if something was wrong with my car and I didn't bring it to my dad (like the time my uncle fixed something small for me), I would get in trouble. But if I did bring it, I was accused of only coming over to have my car fixed.

3. Being accused of only coming over to pick up gifts from my extended family, like little Easter baskets. But the time I didn't take back the gifts (specifically to avoid the accusation), I was sent a long, nasty letter about how ungrateful and selfish I was, and that the gifts were returned, and the relatives told I didn't want the gifts and that they should never get me anything again.

4. When I was 14, my German class helped to host an international dinner, where people brought in international dishes for a buffet. Parents bought tickets in advance that were $2 each. My mom, dad and stepmom all bought tickets. My mom came and we had a great time. But my dad and stepmom came late (it was something like 5 to 7, and they came at 630) and of course there wasn't much food they made a big scene, threw a fit, insisted on getting their money back, etc. It was a friggin high school fundraiser! It was $4---these are middle class people who took vacations in Hawaii! All my friends, my mom, and my teacher were super nice to me about it. They recognized the craziness.

5. Then there was the time when I was 18 and living with them for a while, and we were arguing about some thing they hated about me (I think it was that my two closest friends at the time were black) and I just needed a break. I was trying REALLY hard to be reasonable, and said I wanted to go out for a drive just to clear my head. So they got in my face and said no, you're upset, you can't drive.
OK, I can see that, I'll just take a walk. No, we don't want you to leave the house.
Alright. I'll just go downstairs for a little while. No, you're running away from your responsibilities.
They FOLLOWED ME, into the basement, past my room, back into the laundry area, where my dad ultimately threw me on the concrete floor, sat on top of me and began punching me in the face.
I was later chastisted for scratching him during this encounter (I don't remember doing that, but it sounds plausible because generally if someone tries to beat me, I expect to try to fight back) and made to APOLOGIZE to him FOR MAKING HIM SO UPSET THAT HE HAD TO HIT ME, in order to continue living there. I should have just slept on the street (though at that point I had already had that experience and didn't want to repeat it--that was the time when I was homeless and my dad told me not to call my maternal grandparents because I was ruining their lives. My wonderful grandparents soon located me through friends, and desperately wanted me to come stay with them, which I did. My grandmother was pretty pissed off that my dad said that to me. I suppose I should have known better than to believe anything he said.)

I could go on all night! No wonder I have a friggin phobia about being tricked! (When I graduated from college, Hubby (then boyfriend) bought me a TV/VCR for my bedroom--and my first response was "Is this a trick?" Isn't that sad?)

All I can say is, thank God I made it through all that shit. If I try to restart a relationship with these people, please talk some sense into me! (I can always rely on Wa for that--he's my reality checker!)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Back to work

Well, back to the salt mine I went today....I got my regular iced coffee & muffin for breakfast, plugged into my electronic medical record to plow through a bazillion documents and flags, not to mention my emails...No major catastrophes seem to have occured while I was out.

Tomorrow, Sam has a playdate with a kid from his new preschool class. We have never met the parents, though I did talk to the child briefly at the playground meet-up the Parents' Association had last week. (Hubby is truly delighted to be going to the home of people he's never even met...but this is what happens, my dear. when you don't plan anything and your wife happens to have a career COORDINATING PEOPLE'S LIVES. And if I can case manage 60 adults with multiple chronic diseases and many psychosocial ills, I sure can set up a lively schedule for my men at home!!) Anyway...the mom called to set up something, which was very proactive of her. When her son got wind of the impending playdate, he, in 4 year old fashion, wanted it to occur IMMEDIATELY. Being a good Mommy, she called me back to see if we wanted to come over same day. I explained that we could not due to a number of errands we had scheduled, and she suggested that.....I drop him off.

Anyone knowing me and Hubby well can stop yer laughing now.

When I laughingly told this to Sam, he said "But I want my Mommy to come!" Oh Sam, you will probably be 16 before we "drop you off" somewhere.

A formula:
take 1 former middle child, sometimes neglected and left to his own devices frequently, leading to many dangerous and chancy encounters and adventures....
add 1 former mostly-only child, sometimes neglected and almost always given extraordinarily inappropriate amounts of freedom, leading to many dangerous and chancy encounters and adventures...
combine to make an only child with a stay at home dad and a social worker (!) mom
to get:
one wickedly overprotected child.

Sam is still going to sleep in his own bed! Amazing. He actually has ramped up his bedtime and morning nursing, I suppose to compensate. Speaking of nursing, my friend Cole has suggested I give Ike, the Cat with Cancer, some breast milk. (Expressed breast milk, people.) While that may seem wacky, it's actually a great idea that I'm bummed never previously occured to me. And Iky will really love it, being the Dairy King (in his quest for creamy deliciousities, he once carried a spatula with pancake batter around in his mouth).

Oh, my prizesfor going back to work?
a cold which hit me in the afternoon with a KILLER back ache

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Growing Up

Sam is currently sleeping in his own room for the 2nd night in a row. THIS IS A BRAND NEW THING! He came into our bed at about 3 a.m. last night, which was excellent for me since I don't really sleep well without him there. I love having him in bed with us, but I do enjoy having my own bed in my waking hours. I got to read in bed last night! Wow!!

He also seems to be winding down from nursing. He doesn't nurse every single night anymore, and since I've been on vacation he has stopped most morning nursing. We'll see what happens when I go back to work.

At the pool tonight, Sam was trying to play with some older kids (boys about 7 or 8 maybe?), and they were pretty much ignoring him. But the "leader," who had that cool kid/snobby bully vibe, said in this mean and condescending voice "You can't play with us!" with a an evil scowl. Sam immediately burst into tears and turned to me and screamed "They hate me!!" I had to pick him up out of the pool he was so upset. I watched Mean Kid all night and it took over an hour before I had any clue who his parent was. I so wanted to say something to her but decided that really would be more for me than for Sam. When I told Hubby about it when we got home, he gave me shit for not bitching at the kid. But I was a little busy focusing on SAM and frankly, it's not my fucking job to be Mean Kid's parent. His parents should have been close enough to observe a problem and intervene themselves.

Monday, August 07, 2006

My clever boy

Saturday I spent the day at the pool with Sam and my mom. The funniest thing happened:

Two 10 year old boys were wrestling and chatting in the water near my mom and Sam. This was the conversation overheard:

Boy 1: She doesn't really love you. You need to break up with her. If you don't break up with her by Monday morning, you aren't my friend. You can't come to my house or anything.
Boy 2: **whine/groan**

Boys swim away.
Sam: "That was stupid, stupid, stupid."

A clever boy I have!

These same boys later told me that they own a "company" that will find girlfriends for guys. I told them I was pretty sure that might be illegal.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Busiest day ever!

Sam and I are recovering from our Super Busy Day yesterday, in which we:

1. Got up early and were out the house at 8 a.m. I don't even do that for work!!
2. Picked up my mom in Catonsville & drove her to Greenspring Station for her colonoscopy & endoscopy. (fun!)
3. Went to Bob Evans for a lovely breakfast. Sam had ...drumroll....pancakes! (He asks for pancakes nearly every day, I think a consequence of me having lived off chocolate chip pancakes for the first few weeks of his life---seriously, the only foods I ate for weeks were pancakes, ice cream, Special K, milk, and apple juice. And some lasagna that Christine made me.) We made a trek to the Women's Room, where Sam became disturbed by the lack of urinals. (He evidently used one for the first time last week to his great delight.)
4. Went to consignment shop #1, where I finally found a raincoat for Sam, plus some winter feety pjs (that he wanted to wear tonight--in 100 degree weather!!). I gave Sam $2 to spend. After much hand-wrenching, he chose some roller skates on sale for $1.25--what a bargain hunter!
5. Back to get Mom, who was not at all sick or sleepy, just hungry.
6. To Giant for Mom to drop off a prescription and buy some pastry.
7. Swung by my old house in Kensington, where I lived with Joe. Whoever lives there now has decorated the yard to within an inch of its life. "Busy" is the word of the day.
8. Took Mom home & hung out for a while. Sam came away from this trip to Grammy's with: a new beach towel, 2 bathings suits, 3 outfits, 1/2 case of ginger ale, 1/2 bag of tortilla chips & a Rice Krispie treat.
9. Consignment shop #2, where we bought nothing. There were a few books I would have considered, but they were wickedly the Curious George book that retails for $6--but was priced used at $7!!!
10. CVS to hunt for goggles for Sam, which we actually found (they are very cute, decorated with starfish and crabs), as well as more sunscreen and a bag of Ring Pops, which were purchased with Sam's remaining 75 cents, which were selected after EXTENSIVE deliberation. I was rooting for the Franklin stickers, which were really cute, but Ring Pops won.
11. To my BFF Melissa's house. Sam had a blast playing with Luke and Ethan. At one point, Luke pulled out a little dimestore handheld video-type game, and Sam was instantly glued to his side. (I will have to get him a Gameboy for Christmas; he will seriously LOSE IT. He is soooo into these types of games. I will probably live to regret it however.) Luke got it when directed to pick a prize from the "treasure box" in his kindergarten after being good for a whole week. However, he revealed to me that he didn't like anything in the treasure box, so he snuck into the "confiscated items" drawer and spirited it away from there...I don't think he has shared this with Melissa yet.
12. McDonald's for a Happy Meal--I know, terrible. He had a choice between a Hummer toy and Polly Pocket, and my boy emphatically selected Polly. It is a cool toy--Polly, a spare evening gown, and a car/changing room thingy. I put the stickers on for him last night.
13. Final stop: the pool for the last 45 minutes it was open. Sam spent the bulk of his time floating on his Dora the Explorer floaty in the deep end, feet propped on a kickboard, and watching the divers and judging who would be on "his team" and who on "the worst team."
14. Back home and quickly to bed.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

All About Me

Thanks to Sharon for these...I love this stuff. I do every survey, etc I can get my little hands on.
You do it too!!!

Can you name 13 people you can think of right off the top of your head? Don't read the questions underneath until you write the names of all 13 people...This is a lot funnier if you actually randomly list the names first...No Cheating!!!

1) Sam
2) Hubby
3) Sharon
4) Lauren
5) Cole
6) Jackie
7) Melissa
8) Shae
9) Chel
10) Hannah
11) Julie
12) Wa
13) Jeff

How did you meet ..10? She sat next to me in History of Political Thought in 12 th grade

What would you do if 6 and 2 dated? Get divorced!

Have you ever seen 4 cry? Yes

Do you think 1 is cute? The cutest ever!

Tell me something about number 11: She's quite an amazing teacher, seen firsthand by me when she taught Sam how to make cookies

How do you know 8? our kids were in Music Together, and Sam LOVED Zoe so I tracked the whole family down on the internet

Would you ever go on a date with number 1? We go on dates all the time!

What's 7's favorite color? She is unlikely to be able to select one color. All decisions with Mel are HIGHLY planned and thought about for a long, long time...never try to sell her a sofa....

What would you do if 6 confessed they liked you? Be very flattered cause she's wicked smart

Who is 4 going out with? Nobody right now, but she has a Life Partner in Waiting, obvious to anyone who has ever seen them together

What's the best thing about number 3? She's unpredictable in her tastes, like me! (Not "inconsistent" as Hubby calls me) And she is my Number One at work (Star Trek reference)

What does 5 do for a living? Takes care of her kiddies and studies nursing

Would you ever live with 13? He would make an excellent roommate, or husband, except for the gay part

Is 2 single?? No he's not!

Where does 7 live? Academy Heights in Catonsville

What do you think about 9? She needs to move back to Baltimore b/c I miss her

What's your favorite thing about 10? She's kind and loving

Favorite Memory with 1? that's impossible to pick....but snuggling up and nursing is high on the list.

Name: Gina
Current Location: Baltimore
Eye Color: green
Hair Color: dark blonde
Righty or Lefty: right
Zodiac Sign: Gemini

Your heritage: Irish, English & German, but given the olive tone to my dad's complexion and my tanning ability, there's got to be something else too
Your fears: Sam being hurt, bees, sexual assault/torture
Your weakness: food
Your perfect pizza: from that place in Jersey!
Like to achieve: thinness and being in shape

Your thoughts when you wake up: why did I stay up so late?
Your best physical feature: hands
Your bedtime: I try to force myself in bed by midnight on work nights
Your most missed memory: Big Chill weekends at Hannah's

Pepsi or Coke: diet Coke
McDonalds or Burger King: either but McDonald's is cheaper
Adidas or Nike: Nike
Lipton Tea or Nestea: tea sucks
Chocolate or vanilla: Chocolate
Cappuccino or coffee: iced Coffee

Cuss: yup
Take a shower: well yeah
Have a crush: usually
Think you've been in love: yes
Want to get married: am now!
Believe in yourself: yes
Think you're a health freak: oh my no, i get worse as the years go by

Drank alcohol: no! i need a beer!
Gone to the mall: no again
Eaten Sushi: no, never
Been dumped: No
Gone skating: No, i really should
Dyed your hair: no

Played a stripping game: no
Gotten beaten up: sorta

Age you're hoping to be married: that's already done

Best eye color: don't care
Best hair color: don't care
Best style: fem for both genders, though I do like girls with a butchy edge

1 minute ago: this
1 HOUR AGO: reading blogs
1 YEAR AGO: I might have been in New York visiting Hannah et al

I LOVE: Sammy
I FEEL: fine (Beatles in my head)
I HATE: homophobia/racism/sexism etc
I HIDE: as much of my fat as I can
I MISS: Chel and Hannah and Eve and Emily and Shannon and Kendra and Jen and Jenn and Jesse and Anne-Marie, and HCP
I NEED: someone to cure Hubby's illness

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Ch ch ch changes

First, a shout out to the folks of whom the above title reminds me: high school friend Jenny, who was always a huge Bowie fan and could be counted upon to recite any Bowie lyric you might need...and Wa, who on occasion uses that to title an email announcing some change or other. at the office

But back to those changes...

At age 24, I changed my life.

I broke off contact with my dad, to save my sanity. I have many many fond memories of times with Dad--we are a lot alike in many ways--but the strong overlay of racism/homophobia/sarcasm/judgement/narcissism was just too much to continue taking. And there was no way I would ever heal from childhood wounds without the distance and separation.

I left my husband. Joe was a good friend and I loved him so, so much. We were a bit enmeshed. But he couldn't handle anything emotionally messy and boy howdy, that's what I was.

I moved back to the city.

I went back to therapy. Dr H, you rock. And you saved my life.

I began making preparations to return to school, though I didn't actually get there full time for another two years.

And in the midst of all this, started a relationship with (now) Hubby. Not the best timing but probably couldn't have done it all without his support.

Where I found the courage to do all this, I don't know. But thank God I did, or who knows where/who I would be.

I am ever grateful to who and where I am now. Great friends, Hubby and Sam, the most phenomenol job ever, a great house in the city, no depression!, eating disorder in remission, faith and my own personal angel Emily, it goes on and on. I am truly fortunate and blessed.

Just feeling fine!

- Crazy/Hip Blog-Mamas+
(Random Site)