Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A Great Shirt, With An Exception

This is a great shirt.

It's a comfy, soft shirt, for one.  The kind of shirt that hugs you gently and makes you feel relaxed the second that you put it on.  This sort of shirt is a wonderful stress release at the end of a horrible day.  My son calls these sorts of shirts his "softees", and I think that is an appropriate term.  A shirt like that is indeed a comfort in its soft, cottony goodness.

This shirt has bacon on it.  Not real bacon, of course.  That would make the shirt a greasy mess; not comfortable at all, and probably a bit stinky after hanging in your closet for a couple of days. It's just a picture of bacon, but that is enough.  I have fond memories of visiting my grandparents on their farm, my grandmother cooking bacon and eggs for my grandpa before he went out into the fields.  The smell of the bacon, the sizzle of it in the skillet, would draw me out of bed at the crack of dawn without any complaints or arguments.

This shirt is marvelous because it has a new word on it: snaccident.  This word is what is called a sniglet, 'a word that is not in the dictionary, but should be'.  I remember a few sniglets from the 1980s, such as 'margraine'(the headache you get from drinking a frozen margarita too fast), so seeing this word 'snaccident' brings up some pleasant memories.  Mostly about the times that I did NOT have a 'margraine'. But I have snaccidents all the time, like when I see an open bag of  of those Almond Joy candy bars.  Who can resist that wonderful chocolate covered coconut magnificence? 

However, the words on this shirt imply that a person might eat bacon by mistake.  How can this be?  Bacon is never a mistake, under any circumstances.  Except tofu bacon.  That is a crime against humanity.  But all the other bacon is never a mistake.  Bacon is always delicious, and to think about bacon is a joy for most people, even if they don't eat it.  So this shirt should say that bacon is never a mistake, or come up with another food that someone might eat by accident that is not bacon.

But then the shirt wouldn't be as great.  Not without bacon. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Parenting On The Draw

Larry and I were upstairs relaxing(otherwise known as "adult swim"), when Zane came racing upstairs. He looked nervous. He had his tablet in his hands.

"I feel like I am not alone downstairs," my boy said. I put down my book and sat up. We have been trying to work on Zane being alone on a different floor(hence the "adult swim"), but my child does not like to be alone, period.  I asked the obvious question.

"Who else do you think is down there with you?" 

"A ghost," Zane tried to climb up in my lap, which already contained a large dog. 

"Have you been watching creepy YouTube videos, like you are not supposed to?"  That was the next obvious question. The boy's latest thing was some "3AM challenge" where you post a video of yourself doing stupid things like cleaning the bathroom or something.  Lots of jump scares.  Or something.  I nodded off during the one I saw.  MY generation grew up with The Exorcist, for cryin' out loud.  And that was way before CGI effects.  

"Maybe,"  came the answer. 

Okay, I said. I could have just started yelling at him that this is the 438th time I have told him NOT to watch scary videos, but there would be no point. He gets that behavior from me, the person who likes to watch creepy videos while she is eating lunch.  At work.  During the summer.  When no one else is in the building. 

"There are no ghosts in this house right now, honey," I told him. I have not seen a single one this year."  To distract Zane from a meltdown many moons ago, I had blurted out that I could see ghosts.  I thought that if I said that, and I told him there were no ghosts, he would believe me and not be scared. It seemed okay at the time. It stopped the behavior, but the legend remains. 

Zane started to argue with me. I held up a hand, and he stopped.

"What was Zena doing while you were down there feeling not alone?" 

"Sleeping," came the answer.  I then explained that if there had been a ghost, the cat would have jumped up to chase the ghost off.   Cats are reported to be able to see this sort of thing, according to some book I read or movie that I saw. Zena would not allow any ghosts in the house, 

"There are no ghosts in this house, honey," concluding, I patted his head.  I tried to pick up my book.
My boy would not be soothed, no matter what. Fairy tales did not comfort him. Religious medals did not comfort him. Prayer did not comfort him.  Calling Grandpa did not comfort him. An explanation of the neurological processes involved in seeing ghosts did not zilch. Then I had an idea.

"What do the Winchesters do when the ghosts show up, Zane?"  Supernatural has been on longer than Zane has been alive, and with some gory episode exceptions, we allow him to watch. Usually, Zane just glances at the TV every now and then while he is playing.  But never underestimate a kid.  Despite our impression of inattentiveness, Zane knew the right answer. 

"The Winchesters use salt!"  He and I high-fived.  I told him that there was some salt packets down stairs in the pantry, and Zane ran down stairs.  I picked up my book, and praised myself for quick thinking. Until I heard the boy rumbling up the steps.

"Hey mom, do we have a shotgun?" 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


It had been a horrible business meeting. Lots of anger, accusation, and tears over who knows.  Drama. Territorial disputes over imaginary things.  I could feel the anger coming off of one person like a solar flare. The individual that she was really mad at was sitting right next to her, but there was no eye contact with that person. No, I got to have the fun, because I was sitting on the other side.  I got the evil eye. 

I ended up feeling personally attacked. 

I loathe passive aggressive behavior. It is unproductive in every situation. The real issue is never addressed, but by gosh, we all will suffer.  I am about positivity these days, and speaking up for myself. However, I am not in charge. So I had to listen while all that "stuff" was splattered on me.  When I walked out of the building and into the heat of the midday, I was still angry and tense, and I could hear myself muttering as I got into my car.  A cheeseburger was in order.  I went into the burger place and got in line, still feeling surly.  I realized that I needed to calm down before I went home, but how? 

And then I saw it. Through the window of the beer fridge. Shiner Bohemian Lager.  A wonderful and smooth beer, made in Texas. My favorite.  Should I have one?  I could say that I bought American, and not be lying. Should I have one?  I would have to wait for them to cook my food, anyway.  Should I have one?

Yes.  But I felt guilty about it. 

The teenager at the register was thankfully patient while I paid.  I was still having an inner dialogue about the beer issue. I put the beer down on the table and sat down. I stared at the bottle, a little bead of sweat on the neck. Nobody drinks beer before 5pm on a weeknight unless they are an alcoholic. Was I?  No. Where did this particular guilt come from?  I don't know.  Sometimes random things, a TV show, a movie, a book, becomes associated with an emotion, I suppose.  You carry it in the back of your mind, underneath a few scary childhood memories, and occasionally it jumps out like your garden variety boogeyman.


Live in the moment, I told myself.  I was off work and on my way home. I'd had a hard day, and I needed to sit and contemplate the wonder of things. One single beer was not a big deal. I picked up the bottle and took a sip. And another, just letting the taste roll over my tongue.  Every slow swallow took me one step away from the drama. The world did not looks so scary.

"Do you need anything, ma'am?" The manager asked me.  I took another sip.  She smiled.

"Are you decompressing, by any chance?"  .

I smiled. The idea that I might not be the only person dealing with other people's junk was the last push of distance I needed to break free of the horrible morning. Decompressing felt like the perfect word.  I smiled at her. She smiled back at me.

"Yes, I am decompressing," I replied, raising my bottle in a toast to her word choice.  I smiled at her. She smiled back at me.

"Take your time, then."  The manager walked back behind the counter, and I sat, and contemplated the wonder of things.