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Archive for June, 2011

I have a confession to make:  I no longer like french fries.

This is a startling realization for me.  The other day I ordered a burger and instead of fries I ordered a side of cole slaw.  Why?  Because I could not face the thought of eating a french fry.

Perhaps this is the result of too many meals eaten in the car as of late.

Back in the day, I guarded my fries zealously from those who would pinch them from their little cardboard carton.  My mother was the worst offender, and I would get extremely irritated with her for mooching my fries.  “Get your own!” I’d tell her.

Nowadays I find myself doing the same to Spawn.  Oh how the tables have turned.

But is it just me, or have fries become less… tasty than they used to be?

While vacuuming out the car the other day (because the back seat had become rather dumpsteresque), I found some leftover fries in the floor.  Heaven knows how long they had been there, but I’d say it was more than a week.  And you know what?  They looked just as whole and fresh as if they were right out of the carton.

Yeah.  Not the most appetizing thing, come to think of it.

Let me tell you something.  When you are a mom and you are relegated to eating quite a lot of meals in the car, the decomposition rate of french fries tends to take up more brain space than it should.  Because, eww.

Don’t get me wrong, though — I still love a big ol’ plate of cheese fries and a bottle of ice-cold beer.  But only once in a while.

Does this mean I’ve become an adult?

 

 

— Mox

 

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Prelude:  6:45am — A thoroughly unsatisfying bowl of Honey-Nut Cheerios with almond milk.  I know it’s not going to hold me until lunchtime but I eat it anyway.

9-ish am — Working from home.  Stomach begins to gurgle.  Try to stave it off as long as possible.

10-ish am — Oh, what the hell.  Go into kitchen and make a smoothie.  Bananas, strawberries, blueberries, vanilla yogurt, pineapple juice, and flaxseed oil.  All in all not too unhealthy save for all the sugar.  This will hold me for a while.

Noon — headed to the salon for a haircut, I start to think about what I’m going to grab for lunch.  Nothing too heavy, since I am cooking dinner tonight.  Trying a new recipe.  Plus that smoothie I had a couple of hours ago is keeping me from being too ravenous.  Settle on grabbing a chocolate malt from Sonic.

12:35pm — headed back out into the oppressive heat (seriously, is there no spring around here?) with my current plan for said chocolate malt still in place.

12:42pm — Knowing that the chocolate malt is not going to hold me until dinner, I begin to rethink my plan.

12:42:12pm — even though they put malteds back on our local Sonic menu, they don’t have the malt powder yet.  Because whoever runs our local Sonic wishes to deny me the malty goodness I so deserve.  I learned this on Sunday when I tried to order a malt.

12:43pm — maybe I’ll just get mozzarella sticks instead.  And a cherry Dr. Pepper.

12:44pm — or maybe chicken strips.  But just the strips.  If I get the meal it will come with fries and I don’t care for Sonic’s fries.

12:44:30pm — And the cherry Dr. Pepper.

12:44:36pm — could I substitute onion rings for the fries?

12:45pm — the onion rings give me heartburn, though.  Sooo not worth it.

12:46pm — I definitely don’t want a burger.  Hm.  Do I even have any money?

12:48pm — Wait.  I do have some gift cards from Wendy’s.

12:49-12:59pm — (proceeds to drive past the Sonic and make a path for Wendy’s instead)

1pm — Order the new berry almond chicken salad.  Feel virtuous.

1:05pm — Tell the cashier I need the almonds for my salad.  She tries to give me pecans.  I hand them back to her and tell her they’re pecans and she insists to me that’s what goes on the salad.

1:06pm — consider a snarky response — after all, it is the berry ALMOND chicken salad, is it not?

1:06:22pm — but no.  Proper nut topping secured, I head out for home.

1:17pm — enjoy my much healthier lunch.  Try not to wonder if it’s helping me to lose weight.

1:37pm — ponder when Sonic is going to get that damn malt powder in.

 

 

— Mox

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Last week I took Spawn to see Kung Fu Panda 2.  At 2:00 on a Wednesday afternoon, the last thing either one of us expected to see was a gaggle of girls from school.

I know that these tween years are rife with social landmines, and I got a taste of that at the movieplex.

I suppose the good thing is that the girls invited Spawn to sit with them for the movie.  Yours Truly was relegated to sitting a row behind them, left hanging with my bag of popcorn and my coke.

Another classmate was not as welcome in the crowd.  A girl well-known (to me) for being a “mean girl” was also at the theater, and when one of the moms of one of the gaggle suggested they invite her to sit with the group, the answer was a well-restrained “I don’t think so.”  Secretly I was a little pleased, since Spawn has had troubles with this girl in school.  Apparently, Karma knows no age limits.

Which just goes to show you, I can dredge up my ancient ten-year-old girl soul once in a while.

 

— Mox

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Ever since my husband and I arrived at full communion with Rome, I have had to deal with an entity that I did not expect to have to deal with, ever.  That entity is the ghost of my grandmother, who seems to be residing in my father’s body.

Just a few months prior to my husband and I (and my mother) going through the RCIA program, my father participated in a program called Catholics Returning Home.  This program is designed for people who have fallen away from the Church and would like to get back in, but don’t know how exactly to do it.  My father stopped going to church right about the time my grandfather passed away, and thusly I stopped going, too.  My mother then took over and took me to her Protestant church, and for 35 years my father was content to read the Sunday funnies while my mother and I went to her church.

Needless to say, my grandmother was not happy about any of this.  If there were anyone who was ever Catholic with a capital C, it was my grandmother.  Though I was bringing up the rear of a long line of grandchildren (24 of us to be exact), I was the only one not being Raised In The Church, and that didn’t set well with her.  Other than my baptism, which gave me what I jokingly refer to as a Catholic soul, I didn’t participate in any of the other rites of passage that my cousins did.  Of course she dumped all over my mom for this, since dumping all over my dad wasn’t an option, though he was the one who walked away from raising me in The Faith.

This all sounds incredibly quaint and medieval, I know.  The world pre-Vatican II was pretty divisive, from what I gather.

At any rate, fast forward 35-ish years and my father has suddenly been called into action by none other than his darling grandchild, the beloved Spawn, who after three years at Catholic school decided that being Catholic was the way to go.  Both of my grandparents were long gone, and the issues my dad had with the Church seemed to be unimportant in retrospect, and so he went to the Catholics Returning Home program to get his halo polished.

And he has been in church most every Sunday since.  My grandmother would be so proud.

But heaven forbid I don’t go to church once in a while.

Lots of things have changed over the years, but it’s true what they say — raise a child up in the way you want him to go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.  Never mind the fact that every time Mary Helen chides me for not being in church, the number 35 comes to mind.  And it’s not that I miss church all that often.  But once in a while it just ain’t happening.  And when that happens, I catch hell.

I had zero relationship with my grandmother growing up, and to have this sort of attitude flung at me now, as an adult, it’s a little irritating.  Mary Helen was a tough customer on the subject of religion, and not what you’d call a warm and fuzzy lady in all the other areas of life.  The woman’s been gone for nearly 25 years and I damn sure don’t want a relationship with her now.

Mostly I ignore it when Mary Helen comes calling, but every now and again it gets under my skin.

 

 

— Mox

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These are not my people.

Over the Memorial Day weekend, my husband and I had our annual barbecue.  We have been doing it for over 12 years now, and I am of mixed emotions about it.  Mostly, that has to do with the guest list.

They say that you can’t choose your relatives, and that goes for in-laws, too.  Arguably, you do have some choice in the matter, as you get to choose your spouse, and if the affiliated relatives aren’t to your liking you can always decline to choose that particular person as a spouse.  However, I don’t know too many who would throw out the baby with the bathwater, so to speak, and most just decide to tough it out with the assortment that comes along with the deal.  I don’t suppose I am too different from anyone in that matter.

Still, my in-laws are a classless bunch.  I do have some affection for them, don’t get me wrong, but I have to keep my world and theirs completely separate.  It helps that they live over two hours away.  For all the ways that my husband manages to piss me off, I still marvel that he seems to have risen above the level that his immediate family resides at.  Maybe it’s because he’s the only one who went to college.

I dread having these barbecues because the bulk of the attendees are my husband’s family.  We have a few friends who we invite, but they know what they’re getting into every year.  While I’d like to invite others, people whose company I would enjoy, the typical pool of guests keeps me from doing so.  I know that logically it’s not smart to judge people by the company they keep, but that’s what happens, and frankly I don’t want people thinking I am of that ilk.

I know this sounds terribly snobbish.

At the end of the day, my house is trashed.  Chances are something will be broken or missing.  Flies zooming around inside for a week afterward.  I’m picking cigarette butts out of the yard and flowerbeds.  This year I got to clean up fish food smeared all over the walls in Spawn’s room, plus I found a plate of frosting underneath a skirted chair.  Had I not moved that chair to clean there is no telling how many ants would have found it.  Also, red soda all over my living room carpet, and rings from canned drinks sitting on my piano.

Really, these people are wild indians.  Mostly it’s the kids who cause the bulk of destruction, but the adults basically don’t watch their kids.  I don’t know about you, Gentle Reader, but I was raised quite differently.  I wouldn’t dream of treating someone’s home the way these people treat mine.

We used to do two of these barbecues a year.  Thank heavens for getting older, since my husband has decided he’s not up to doing two anymore.

On one hand I feel a little guilty for feeling this way, because these are my husband’s people.  He loves them even if he doesn’t always like them, and I don’t dare run them down to him.  (I save that discussion for my mother and my best friend.)  But they’re just not my people.  I know that my own family tree is rife with loons, but for the most part my bunch is clean and respectful.

At any rate, I can enjoy the rest of my summer now, knowing I won’t have the locusts back for another year.

 

— Mox

 

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