You Serious Clark?

I hate watching the news. HATE it.

It’s not that I don’t want to be informed or aware, it just makes me mad or depressed. I’ll read about it all eventually. Since the perv purge started, I’m terrified I’ll see one of my childhood heroes or crushes implode my happy memories. If someone comes forward about Tom Hanks, I’m losing all faith in humanity.

But, I digress. I love reading weird and funny news. In today’s weird news, we find someone a little too full of Holiday joy.

Police in Sudbury, MA found themselves traveling behind a car transporting a Christmas Tree much larger than the car, and it wasn’t driven by the Griswold’s.

Picture from the Sudbury PD before pulling the car over

You serious Clark?

It may not be Clark, but I’m sure, whoever they are, their family has stories. And though the police handled the situation, I have questions…

How big is the house they plan on putting that monstrosity? That enormous tree is hanging a few feet off of the back of this car, who knows what the front view looks like. This is a Christmas Tree for Andre the Giant, not Susan down the street. I mean can you imagine how many strands of lights that sucker requires?

Where did they acquire it? I can only assume the forest, because surely no Christmas Tree farm employee would help someone tie Goliath on David’s back. OR was it from a farm and the employees just wanted to watch how it all played out? Both are legitimate possibilities I believe.

What do you think is living in it? Come on, a tree that massive has to have a few unwanted occupants. You can’t tell me you don’t think there is at least one concerning living creature in that tree.

How did this seem like the most logical and sound way of transportation? Do they not have one single friend that has a truck and/or trailer? Or thought maybe we should get a more realistic tree? Did they lose some sort of bet?

Could they even tell they were being pulled over? There is only a small portion of the back of the car that isn’t engulfed by the mammoth tree. There’s no way they can see out of any windows or mirrors. Loudspeaker? Smoke signals? And did the officers think they were hallucinating? I would have loved to be sitting on my front porch when that spectacle drove by!

Where is the tree now? I feel like I need closure. Did the police take the tree? Did they help them get it home? Did they get arrested for stealing the tree from a National Forest? All I have are questions.

I may or may not have sent the Sudbury Police Department a message asking for answers to the trees back story and current whereabouts.

Hope this gave you a good giggle for your Thursday! And remember to transport your trees responsibly!

Fury Road

To get to and from work everyday I have to travel on the Birmingham equivalent to the 405 in Los Angeles. It’s basically Mad Max Fury Road. Some days, I beat the road. Reading the lanes, finding breaks in traffic, and getting home before my bladder bursts. Other days, such as today, the road beats me.

I try to be optimistic about my travels home, if I haven’t heard of any incidents by the time I’m walking to my car. I get in my car, and get some music going to pump myself up for Fury Road. So far so good. I’m casually driving the speed limit towards the interstate, no one is driving like a moron, we might actually do this!

It takes a total of 2 miles and 5 minutes for all of that to go to hell in a hand basket.

Now I’m surrounded by idiot drivers, I’m excited if I go above 15 mph, and I’m pretty sure I just saw a toddler flip off an old lady. And so this fresh hell begins.

It only gets worse. At this point, I’m 30 minutes into my drive and have witnessed two wrecks, 5 birds being flipped, about 8 people texting, 4 cars bail out, and a car full of teenagers cutting people off with centimeters to spare. I also have to pee.

Here’s the thing, I’m a happy person, I like doing nice things for people, I want everyone to get along and be happy. I’m a peaceful person. BUT, for whatever reason, traffic makes me hate people indiscriminately. Why can’t people just follow the rules of the road and drive like a semi-sane individual?

Annnnnnnnddd now the mouth breathing teenagers almost take off the entire front end of my car.

I still have to pee.

I’ve made it over half way. I can do this. I’m not going to cry, or be on the news….I repeat to myself chanting.

I was actually sitting in park at one point. IN PARK. On the interstate. With a full bladder and needing a snack and a hug. The guy next to me was devouring a glorious burger. Bastard.

After about 10 minutes, we start crawling again. Then we stop. Then we crawl. Then we stop. Luckily, Stella had already been picked up from school and wasn’t hearing any of mommy’s traffic words.

I’m still at least 5 miles from an exit that will get me home. Still have to pee. Still trying not to cry. Oh and did I mention a rock cracked my windshield, and I ran over something loud and suspicious from the car in front of me?

I honestly don’t know if the tears I was holding back were from traffic or the feeling of my bladder trying to rupture.

I’ve finally made it to my exit 73 minutes later. I see the bright beautiful lights of the Jack’s. I can save my bladder from self destruction. I park and start to run inside, without unbuckling my seat belt. There were witnesses…

They also watched me run across the parking lot. I don’t run, ever, so I’m sure it was a sight to see. Especially the part where I tripped over the curb and almost face planted the door.

I walked back to my car and decided to go through the drive-thru for a milkshake. I deserved it for not having a psychotic break or a news worthy road rage moment. Fury Road bested me, but I just restocked my purse with snacks and Xanax, today I’ll be ready!

 

 

 

 

The Snackside Down

The wonderfully retro world of Stranger Things. I highly doubt the genius minds at Netflix can make me happier with any other show. It quickly became a fan favorite. Season 2 dropped last month, and let’s face it, we all binge watched it before the weekend was over.

Now we’re stuck waiting a year to see what other shenanigans the kids in Hawkins will get in to.

However, in the meantime, I found this little jewel to ease the pain of waiting. Sesame Street also knows how wonderful Stranger Things is. There is a parody on Sesame Street of Stranger Things. AND IT’S FANTASTIC!!!!

It even has Barb!!

The Sesame Street version, “Sharing Things” is about Cookie Monster becoming a Cookiegorgon and needing more snacks after he ate everything in the Snackside Down.

There’s also a literal 11 and 8.

Thank you Sesame Street for making a pretty Mondayish Tuesday, a little brighter!

 

Follow the Leader

As your kids grow and learn, you start seeing their individual personality traits. The parts of themselves that is so uniquely them. You sit back and start imagining all of the wonderful things they can accomplish with those traits, and what careers they would best be suited for. I’ve joked about Stella becoming some type of cutthroat executive or leader of a small unknowing country. My most recent future career match for Stella, was leader of a small cult.

Gasp! What? You want your kid to be a cult leader?

No. I’m jut saying she has some qualities and traits that make her a good candidate for any followers looking for a leader. Let me tell you why.

My mother and I recently took Stella and my nieces to ride the Polar Express. While we were waiting, Stella decided to perform a musical ensemble, that no one wanted to participate in besides her. No one. All of the girls participated within 5 minutes.

Several minutes later, two kids from another group joined the girls platform performance. These kids were following her around like she had the secret of life. They didn’t even know her name.

Once the singing was complete, I hear, “Hey guys follow me”.

No explanation of why, or where to, just the simple request to her followers. She didn’t even have to ask again, and had everyone lined up following her, plus a few other kids that appeared out of nowhere. I have to repeat myself more than twice just to get her to put socks on.

This kid has half of the Polar Express passengers on her time at this point. People who have never met her, have literally zero information from her, and no destination, are just merrily doing her bidding.

She had me deleting apps to make more room on my phone so I could video her singing. Yeah she got to me too. I think I’m mostly baffled at her ability to just yank away your desire to ask questions. I need reasons, explanations, but apparently if she just smiles and gives that shoulder shrug she tells my subconscious it’s a good idea.

This tiny person has the ability to boss you around and make you say thank you. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. She could have said “Forget Santa and the Polar Express, let’s go to Wal-Mart” and every single one of us would have gone.

She shouts out orders, but it’s so cute and sweet and she gives that innocent grin, then suddenly it’s the only thing you want to do. You don’t know where you’re going, or why, or what you’ll do when you get there, but dammit you must.

She’s hilarious, and I’m sure she will only get funnier. I hope she decides to use her powers for good instead of being Jim Jones Jr. Until then, if she offers you Kool-Aid, avoid eye contact and run as fast as you can.

A Name.

A name.

We all have one.

It’s what identifies us to the world. Usually, it’s a name you were given at birth. A name that was picked out because of its sound or passing a family members name down. In extremely rare cases, like this, you get to name the personality.

Sassy was born with a name. There wasn’t anything wrong with the name, but a little over a year ago, she asked me for a new one. Knowing her case was headed for adoption, I asked her what she wanted her name to be. At that time, her best idea for a name was “Princess”. I thought about the proposition for a while and came up with three names that I thought best suited her and her personality. She picked her first name without hesitation and has never looked back. Her new first name is as sassy and boisterous as she is. Stella.

Her middle name was no question. I knew I wanted her to have a family name. Once her little personality started to really shine, there was no doubt which grandmother’s namesake she was. Frances Alma Blackwell was one of those women that could cut you down and bless your heart in the same sentence.

She had more spunk in her 90’s than I’ve had in my entire life. She drove everywhere like she was a getaway driver for some sort of terrible crime. I actually saw her hub cap  roll across someone’s front yard from her hitting a speed bump. She told me I was hallucinating.

She was as stubborn as the day is long, and as mean as a snake if she needed to be. She survived losing her husband and son. I’m telling you this woman was as tough as cast iron. As strong as she was, she loved like it was her mission on this Earth. All of us knew how much she loved us.

Nanny was not my biological grandmother. Her son that she lost, was my brother’s dad. When my mother remarried, and found out she was pregnant with me, Nanny was the first person she called. Nanny was more excited about my arrival, than a millennial on Iphone release day. We always had a very special bond, her and I. She would have loved Stella to the ends of the Earth and back.

Nanny was one of those homemade candy making southern grandmothers. Her fudge is making me salivate right now just writing about it. You’re not supposed to make divinity when it rains, she didn’t care. It always turned out perfect. She was like a candy wizard. I loved visiting her on candy making days, when you hugged her she just smelled like butter and sugar. It was glorious. That’s still the memory I go back to anytime I melt butter.

I think the first time I compared Stella to Nanny, was one of the first few months she was with me. Stella was eating, so very slow. So very very slow. The one joke you could always count on being made at Christmas, was something about Nanny’s eating. That woman was the slowest eater on God’s green Earth. When I was about 10 or 11, I called her the day before and asked her to start eating at breakfast. To this day, when Stella takes 4 hours to eat a meal, I start calling her Frances. Stella has several times a day, that I will just stop and laugh and say “Ok Frances” because whatever she just did was 100% Nanny.

There is no other name I could imagine my baby girl having. She is named after the toughest, sassiest, funniest, woman I’ve ever known. That is saying a lot since our family seems to produce extraordinary women. But what’s even more than that, Nanny and I had a bond that was never based on blood or biology, just indomitable love.

Pretty perfect naming story if you ask me, or Stella Frances.

 

 

Sweet November

November is the one month of the year when people purposely sit and contemplate about the things in their lives they are truly thankful for. Most days, being gracious isn’t at the top of my list. In all honesty, most weekdays I’m just trying to make it home after work, through rush hour traffic, without Sassy repeating any of my “traffic words”. We, as a collective whole, don’t take time in our busy day-to-day to stop and be thankful.

This November, is different. This one is special. This month gave me the greatest blessing I’ve ever received in my 32 years of living. This sweet November, I am officially adopting Sassy. On the 17th, I signed the towering stack of paperwork, filled out her new name, and exhaled the biggest sigh of relief imaginable. I think most importantly, Sassy got to go to school with her new name she has been longing to go by for a year. Talk about one happy and thankful little girl.

I’m thankful for amazing friends that recommended the best attorney for the job. Our attorney jumped into action, and miraculously reserved us the last available court date of 2017. I was already told it would be January, and I was fine with that. Yesterday, I received the best early Christmas gift possible. We will go before the judge on December 5th. That’s also my late grandfather’s birthday. My grandfather that adopted my dad. Pretty beautiful if you ask me.

Actual representation of my reaction to everything!

This November, I am thankful for the heartbreak and torment infertility caused me. That’s right, I’m thankful my uterus can’t do it’s one and only job. I’m thankful for every single negative test, for the pain, for the doctors being wrong. I’m thankful for most types of adoptions costing astronomical prices. For God finding a strength in me I didn’t know I had, and sending me to the foster system.

It’s not easy being a foster parent, I don’t sugar coat things. It’s stressful, terrifying, maddening, but yet the greatest thing you will ever do. I’ve spent the past two and a half years on pins and needles, fearing that she would leave me. Knowing I am her mother, but not knowing if that’s what I’ll remain. When they brought her in the room to me all those months ago, I knew right then, she was my kid. Sometimes you just know.

This year, I am thankful for 2 and 1/2 years of labor pains, coming to an end. I’m thankful Sassy has her new name, and that we’re stuck with each other now. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this is National Adoption Month, or that we signed on the same day of the month I took her home. It’s serendipitous to us.

Today, I’m thankful for every single bit of the bad, because I wouldn’t be here with Sassy without it. Sometimes the journey you keep trying to force yourself on, isn’t the one for you. Surviving the storm, makes you find beauty in the rainbow not everyone can see. I can see the beauty in my pain and tragedies now, her name is Stella.

 

 

Jerry Garcia’s Elf

It’s almost that stressful terrifying time again! We are a few short days away from Thanksgiving, which means it’s almost time for that damn elf that can’t just sit on a shelf. I’ve been a parent for 2 and a half years. I’ve bought two different elves. I’ll probably finish the North Poles Three’s Company cast this year, because I highly doubt I will remember where I put the last one.

Once I get said replacement elf #3, I’ll have to come up with something clever to have him do every night. Every. Single. Night. We have evil cats, so most of the cute little Pintrest ideas are a no go at our house. The cats leave me having to be original and creative instead of lazy, stress free, and copying. I’m not sure I have many believable excuses left as to why “Jerry” didn’t move (Sassy named our elf Jerry).

Last year I used:

  • Elf flu
  • Broken leg
  • He really liked the view
  • We forgot to leave a light on for him
  • I’m pretty sure you touched him, his magic is recharging.

The smarter and older your kids get, you can’t just give them the excuse and expect them to accept it. You better have back story.

Jerry also tends to do the same activities more than once on occasion. She notices that too. Again, back story.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas, but I never dreamed one little elf would be so much work. This is what happens when people with big ideas take it a few steps too far. I have a full-time job, an awful commute, a house to take care of, a human to keep alive, Jerry’s plans for the night just don’t fall on my radar.

What’s even better is now she’s at the gossip and compare age, and she doesn’t even know it. She’ll go to school and talk to her friends about what their elves did, and then come home and tell Jerry about it, like that’s going to make him step up his game. This is where I’m smarter than her.

I told you she named our Elf Jerry, she wanted to name him Dead. Dead as in The Grateful Dead, not just dead. Luckily, we compromised at Jerry Garcia. We love our music in this house. Little did she know, this gave me an out. When she tries pep talking Jerry in to some ridiculously elaborate ordeal, I remind her that Jerry likes things very chill and peaceful, and those outlandish things just aren’t in his wheelhouse but we love him anyway.

I’m sure in a few years, she’ll be drawing up name change paperwork. Until then, I can continue to slide through Elf season by the skin of my teeth, thanks to Jerry Garcia.

 

 

Friendship As We Age

As we grow older, many aspects of our lives change. We start to dress a little different, sleep patterns vary, and joints to start to make weird noises. One thing that I recently realized that also changes, is the types of friends you have compared to your age. Of course, certain friends, you have no matter what stage of life you’re in. But, if you really sit back and think about it, you can see a trail of friends that you only associated with, because of your phase in life at that time.

Your first friends are just about having someone to play with that you don’t hate. Pre-school kids aren’t very picky and decently tolerant. Sassy’s “best friend” changes daily, based on mood. Her friends are probably based on who follows her orders with the most enthusiasm and skill. I only have a couple of people I have remained friends with after this stage. We just don’t have standards as toddlers. Otherwise, I would have never hung out with the weird kid that glued a crayon inside his mouth. Yes, that really happened in my kindergarten class.

In middle school, your friends like the same people you do, are involved in the same activities, share the same classes. Your mortal enemy is anyone that has a crush on the same person as you. You can’t drive, still have to ask permission, and cooties are just now becoming a thing of the past. Middle school is where you start figuring out what it really means to be and have a friend.

As a teenager, you want your friends to be as excited to get out and see the world as you are. You want friends that are always wanting to go out and do something, meet new people, have an adventure. You also look for friends with similar curfews as you. Friends as a teenager are all about whoever you can have the most fun with, and not much else. It is highly unlikely you will remain friends with the guy who bought everyone beer, or the girl that lets you use her fake I.D., but you never know.

Once you enter your early twenties, it’s time to find your bar friends. You want the friends that you can go out and have a great time with. The friends that are “fun” drunk. Life, at this point, is all about being legal to drink and going to all of the places that involves. It’s also important to have at least one friend that is the nurturer. The one that takes of all the drunks and treats your hangover. This may be your most valuable friend at this stage in life. In my group of friends, I was the hangover fairy. I would leave bottled water, crackers, and B12 for everyone. This is also where you befriend some of your most questionable acquaintances like…

  • The guy who let random people tattoo him.
  • The girl who cried. EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.
  • The guy that only spoke in Greek when he drinks.
  • The guy that thought it was funny to pop out his fake teeth when you weren’t looking.
  • The guy that made a party trick out of his scrotum.

Your mid to late twenties, you start looking for friends that want to “go out” a similar amount to you. The new has worn off of being legal and getting older and  having a full-time job doesn’t mix as well with hangover as it used to. This stage is do or die for several friendships that survived the bar phase. Some friendships were born simply out of love for the same tequila, take that away and there’s not much else to talk about. This is the time you also start learning excuses as to why you can’t go out, that doesn’t involve the truth. The true excuse is being too comfortable to change out of your pajamas at 8 pm. Plus it’s not the day I wash my hair, rain check?

Sometime between our barfly days and our “somewhat” mature responsible adult days, something happens. We start to figure out who we really are. What we like as individuals, not as someone trying to fit in a group. You start to care less about fitting in, and more about loving yourself. That is the moment where lifelong friendships transform into being solid as a rock, and the convenient ones flicker out.

In your 30’s, and a parent, you want other parent friends. Parents have less than no time to go out. I’m canceling plans I haven’t even made yet, because I already know I’m going to be too tired. This is also the time in life when you’re starting to understand that there is a sudden realization of aging in your 30’s. All of these weird things like joint pain, fatigue, and adult responsibility. If anyone can honestly tell me they can still go out and drink all night like they did in their 20’s, they are either a dirty liar or Keith Richards. My friends now, are the people who I can have a fun dinner with, or enjoy hanging out at their house, because I don’t want to deal with the general public. I want tired, yet fun and entertaining friends now.

I’m not sure what sort of friends I’ll be looking for in my late 30’s or beyond, but I’m pretty certain the last level of friendship will be the best. What do I think the last level is? Matching old lady track suits and fanny-packs, and it’s going to be fantastic.

Share the Love

Ok, so in order to share the love, I’m going to share of the blogs and posts that I love. Any post that can make me actually laugh out loud or become emotionally involved in the story, has my attention.

This first blog is one I always look forward to reading. It’s not often you get to hear from the view-point of an excited father to be. Jose’s writing is raw, hysterical, and endearing. You won’t regret giving Fatherhood Confidential a look.

https://fatherhoodconfidential.com/

The next blog post is from Jonathan at Strange Codex. His writing is brilliant, covering a little bit of everything. He writes in a way that lets you relate,  and just draws you in. Plus, this post is about wine, do I really need to say anything else?

https://strangecodex.wordpress.com/2017/11/17/the-sweet-spot/

This last blog is from Village Thirty One. This blog gives a glimpse into mental health, day-to-day life, and beautiful random thoughts. He has a fantastic writing style and use of vocabulary. Definitely give this blog a view!

https://villagethirtyone.wordpress.com/

Happy Reading!

 

All About YOU!

This is where I’m making things about you. If you have a new blog or a new post you would like to share, leave it in the comments. Over the weekend, I will write a new post getting your posts out there for  more people to explore!

I also want to hear from you!

If you have any public figure suggestions for my Fictional Friday, that you would like me to compare to a fictional character, tell me about it in the comments.

Do you have something you want me to write about?

I can’t wait to hear from you!