Saturday, August 20, 2011

Did we really, like, say "like" quite as often as, like, that?

I happened to catch an episode of My So-Called Life today while flipping through channels in an effort to find something to entertain me as I measured clothing.

I probably haven't watched it since I was in high school... maybe I caught a few episodes of it on MTV or wherever it may have resurfaced when I was in college, but viewing it now as I am quickly approaching my (hold me, I'm about to type it) middle age years, it is a totally different experience.

The main character, Angela, is every confused, white middle class American girl in the mid-90's. She is confused, trying to find herself, bathed in cranberry colored hair dye and swabbed in a flannel shirt. She is artistic and full of angst and in love with a boy that isn't good enough for her.

When I was 17, my heart ached for Angela. I loved her, I identified with her, I felt that she and I could have been best friends. If only she were real.

There's Rayanne, funky and free-loving. Seemingly unafraid of the world or what anyone thinks of her. She was the girl we all wanted to be on the surface. Filled with talent and beauty, yet deeply troubled and misunderstood.

And we can't forget Rickie, oh Rickie. Rickie, who was battling the world's perception of homosexuality in the 90s when being different was only beginning to be embraced.

Back in high school, I couldn't believe how real this show was. Angela, Rayanne, Rickie, Jordan, Sharon, and Brian would have fit right in (or beautifully not fit right in) at my high school. I could have cast the show right from the halls of good old John I Leonard.

It's too bad it was so short-lived. By the time I was out of high school, My So-Called Life was already canceled and future generations of high school students had to make do with shows like Beverly Hills 90210, That's So Raven, and Boy Meets World.

My So-Called Life went the way of River Phoenix, Kurt Cobain, and Sassy magazine... beautiful, amazing, insightful, and taken from us way too soon.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Evidently I'm still a long way from enlightenment...

Today was Back To School shopping day. We dropped Munchkin off at the barn and headed out to do our school shopping with the boys. Munchkin really didn't need to be with us because she has fifteen thousand pair of shoes... and the only reason I really need a kid to ever be with me when purchasing them anything is if the thing I will be purchasing is shoes.

The boys, however, both needed new shoes for the upcoming school year. So we loaded up in the van and headed out to brave the crowds.

Our first stop was Marshall's. We drove a bit to find a parking spot and stepped out of our air conditioned bubble and into the oppressive heat known as August in South Florida. The shoe selection there was a bit of a drag, but we did find a pair of cool jeans and a backpack for Bug, a hat for Goober, and a hug from my Girl Scout co-leader who happened to be shopping in the store with one of my favorite girl scouts. :)

After Marshall's we stopped at Old Navy where we grabbed a belt and some tee shirts for Bug, and a couple of uniform shirts for Munchkin. Next door was Famous Footwear where we found really cool shoes for both Bug and Goober. Goober loved his shoes so much he wore them out of the store. All that was left was the actual school supply list, which we elected to pick up at our local Walmart.

As we were driving to Walmart, the rain started to fall. By the time we reached the Walmart parking lot it was a torrential downpour. We drove around for a while, waited for the rain to slow a bit, and then we all huddled underneath the umbrella and made our way into the store.

Shopping for school supplies at Walmart on a Sunday afternoon may actually be a version of hell. Seriously, when really bad people die, they may have to push a rickety cart through a crowded Walmart on a weekend in August before school starts with 3 different lists for 3 different children and they must find the exact specifications and combinations of supplies for each child. They must find two red, two yellow, one blue, and one purple (purple?!?) folder for one child - all bearing pockets andprongs. They must find marbled composition books. They must find pencil sharpeners with covers for each child and they can't all be pink because two of these children are boys and OMG I CAN'T SHARPEN MY PENCIL WITH A PINK SHARPENER OR I WILL BE THE LAUGHING STOCK OF THE WHOLE SECOND GRADE!!!!

And the Walmart they go to will not be organized and it will already be picked over by ten thousand other people on the same exact mission and glue sticks will be put where the expo markers should be and red pens will be put where the post it notes should be. Oh! And don't forget the gallon ziplocs and baby wipes and boxes of tissues to donate to the class.

So anyway, we made it through our third level of hell with me passing off a pink folder for purple and two black composition books for marbled (I had reached my limit of patience, marbled composition books do not exist in my realm of reality and any teacher who requests purple as one of the colors for a folder is just asking for trouble) and we piled ourselves into a checkout line.  Thankfully the checkout was a quick one, which was something short of a miracle, and we ventured back outside where it was still raining.

I took the umbrella and got the car and forced The Man to stand with the mobs of people waiting for their loved ones to pick them up under the overhang. When I got to the van I noticed that one of the sliding doors had been left open throughout the downpour. I won't say which kid did it... because he feels really, really bad already. And as the parents, The Man and I should have double checked that all the doors were shut. But it had been raining and we were simply in a hurry to get inside so it happened.

The inside of the van was soaked... but all my change was still in the van and I didn't think I had left anything of value in there (no ipods or cell phones or anything) so I just did a big heavy sigh and went to pick them up from under the overhang.

The Man loaded up the back of the van with all our shiny, new school supplies and we headed off to the barn to pick up Munchkin before heading home.

After dinner we unloaded the car and the kids started to load up their backpacks with their new goodies. But Bug had left his new backpack in the car, so he headed out there to grab it.

But it wasn't there.

That's right. It wasn't there.  It had been sitting in the van in it's shopping bag with his new jeans in it, next to the shopping bag with his new shoes in it (and Goober's old flip flops that he originally wore out), next to the shopping bag from Old Navy. All three were gone.

Stolen while our van door had been left open in the Walmart parking lot.

And I am mad. So freaking mad.

The Man asked me how I should view this as a Buddhist, reminding me of a story we had been discussing a while ago about how someone who is free from attachment would view their coat being stolen out of their car.  They would be thankful that someone who obviously needed the coat had a coat.

So I'm trying to be thankful that some kid out there who is Bug's size has new shoes for school and new tee shirts and a new belt and new jeans. I'm trying.

And I'm failing. Right now I'm just so freaking mad.

**Edited the next day** I replaced the shoes (and the other stuff) today and it happened to be the store manager who rang me up. I let her know what happened just so she could keep her eyes open for the same pair if someone tried to return them without a receipt and she felt so bad she gave me 20% off my entire order. So I bought myself some shoes, too. :) I really needed some shoes, too.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Maybe I can just take a nap... till 2012

It's August. August is always that time of year when I feel like I'm gearing up for a sprint to the finish line. I feel like I can pretty much kiss 2011 goodbye at this point because in a few days the madness will begin and before I know it, The Man and I will be eating hot wings and drinking champagne and watching the new year roll in again.

It all starts with Munchkin's birthday. August 9th. This year, her celebration actually started a little early because we went to visit Bubby and Granddaddy in North Carolina. B2 and her family were there and since none of them would be seeing Munchkin on her actual birthday we decided to have a little party for her. Cake, candles, ice cream, and presents... and over 2 weeks before her actual day.

But at that point I wasn't feeling the pressure.

No... it will all start next week. First we'll have her day where we'll do something special just for her. Then there will be a party with a few of her closest friends, and after all that is wrapped up we'll have to start thinking of back to school.

We'll gather up supplies and new clothes and new shoes and we'll sharpen all our pencils and make sure we have the appropriate sized zip loc bags and unscented baby wipes and dry erase markers to donate to our teachers. We'll attend "Meet The Teacher" night and try, once again, to make a good impression and hope this year's teacher hasn't heard too much from last year's teacher.

And just as we're starting to get the hang of school being back in session it will be time to celebrate Goober's birthday.  This year he wants to go to LEGOLAND.  Which is opening in our beautiful state on October 15th. Goober loves Legos like no kid I've ever known. He's playing with Legos right now as I type this. He's a Lego freak. Do you remember those commercials when we were kids?

"Zack, Zack, he's a LEGO maniac!"

Well, Goober's real name isn't Zack.... but they were singing about him.

October will bring (other than a probable trip to LegoLand) Halloween, which is my favorite holiday of the year. We will spend the better portion of the month obsessing over what the kids will be... should they match? Should they be pirates? Should they all do their own thing? Where will we go trick-or-treating? Will it be hot? (yes) Will it rain? (double yes)

And when we wake up the next morning it will be November and I will sit straight up in bed and instantly begin to freak out.

It's November, NOVEMBER!! I haven't even bought ONE Christmas present and OMG Thanksgiving and the kids need to update their Christmas lists and where will I find a Turducken??!? 

So really, I need to start getting prepared. Now. Before the sky begins falling.