November 27, 2010

A Tangled Day

Well I just got back from our family's traditional black Friday movie.  The parents and the girls were going to see Tangled and the boys had their sights set on the new Harry Potter movie.  It didn't turn out to be so traditional this year since we were late, and the movie we wanted to take the girls to was sold out.  We were worried during the drive over that Harry Potter would be the movie we'd have to do the ticket pre-order thing for, but Disney's Tangled was the most popular I guess.  Or maybe it was just that I  took too long at the self-ticket-purchase computer, deciding how to get it to work.  I get super muddled and sloppy when it comes to doing technical stuff in front of a hurried audience.  I could just feel the irritation behind me.  Although the lady over my shoulder was very nice actually and she pointed out my silly problem of not swiping my card in the right direction.  Why for the love of all that is holy can they not just make those things universal?!  Some face up some face down.  Some want the strip West, some like it to the East.  They should just get together have a meeting and get universal-swiping worked out already.  I mean they can put a man on the moon but they can't make credit card swiping the same everywhere...   Sheesh!  (I think I might have me some PMS).

Anyways we had to go to a later showing of Tangled and T took over the roll of driver for both groups of people.  That's what T gets for making us late with his running.  I did offer to drive and let him see the movie with the girls but he wouldn't hear of it.  We accidentally paid for the 3D version and I thought I would regret that since my 3 year old doesn't usually like the glasses so it's a waste of the extra money.  Not this time!  It was so dang beautiful she couldn't stop talking to me about it during the film.  Her funniest thing said was at the beginning of the movie when we first put on the glasses.  She said "let's cheer our glasses together" (like a toast).  We often clink things together when we have two of the same thing.  Don't ask me why.  We also make a sound effect that sounds like "sha-shingah."  Yes, we are bizarre. You gotta problem?  So we clinked our faces together and said the words.  We had a bit of a moment there, and I was so grateful for her.  Then the movie started and I proceeded to have my socks blown off by Disney and their magical story telling skills.  The animation was amazing, the music was wonderful.  They are some seriously talented people at Disney, and the movie made me cry... twice.  Maybe something is up with me (see PMS comment above), but I was so moved by the tale of an kidnapped, abused, abandoned girl who doubts herself but still moves forward hesitantly pursuing her dreams.

I think we all have self doubt sometimes.  I know I do.  I have also felt the load of family members with hurt feelings venting them on me all last week.  I hate being in the middle of family disputes.  Why can't we all just hold hands and sing?  I tried calling the other party and telling them my feelings on the matter and of course it went in one ear and out the other.  I need to get to a happier place.  Not in the middle... A place where there are more leftovers in the fridge and the door handle is not sticky.  Where my kids leave me more than just a sliver of the french chocolate silk pie.  Maybe next Thanksgiving?  Maybe I need more perspective.  Maybe I just got up too early to shop today and by 9:02pm, I am cranky.  Maybe I will go and snuggle with T now.  Hope your black Friday was happy and gay.

For me, "tomorrow is another day"
                                     -Scarlett O.

November 23, 2010

DC Trip

It's been a while.  I know.  I have had an out of town guest and that has taken priority over blogging.  I missed it though.  Every time something funny or interesting would happen I would have an impulse to go and write it down for the blog.  But even that didn't get done.  And now as I sit down to write I have that feeling that I am blocked, with no idea what to say.  That's what happens when I don't flex my writing muscles for a while I guess.  It's either that or the pressure of Thanksgiving that I haven't done anything to prepare for looming in the back of my mind.  I've only bought drinks- HELP!

My sister came from Utah for a week and we did lots of sight seeing.  It was wonderful, but exhausting.  Then at the end of her visit she offered (as a birthday gift to me) to stay overnight with my kids so that T and I could get away and be alone for a  day and a night.  That was super awesome!  We stayed at the Grand Hyatt with about 400 teenagers in their Sunday best probably attending a FBLA meeting or debate tournament or some such thing.  They were annoying and I kept thinking "I came here to get away from my teenager and here they are at every turn!"  Oh well...  At least the chocolate cake was delicious.

This will mark the 3rd time we have been alone away from our kids in almost 19 years of marriage.  So it was a very rare treat indeed.  We are already trying to figure out a way we can get away again.  Maybe for our 20th anniversary.  Any takers for the babysitting job?  DC is beautiful in the spring!  I hear it's especially nice when you take 5 kids with you everywhere you go... Anyone?  Anyone?  ... (crickets chirping....)  Anyways, after much thought, here is what T and I decided to do with our day off: We decided to hit the Newseum.  It's a new museum down town that was absolutely amazing.  It's focus is the media.  It's one of the few museums that actually charges an entrance fee.  The ticket is good for two days though and well worth it.  I didn't think I would be so moved but I think I cried as much in this museum as I did in the holocaust museum.  So much bad news, so much of cruelty and pain.  Poverty, injustice, hunger, etc.  I loved it because I am weird that way.  It was a bit weird to see the videos of the photographers talking about how they felt when they took the photos.  Like the guy who took the famous picture of some Vietnamese children running naked down the streets crying after being bombed with napalm.  He says that he knew he had taken some really good pictures that day.  Something inside me boiled and I turned to my husband and said "something much more important that picture being took was happening that day!"  Then it dawned on me a bit more.  If no one were there to take those photos we could just go on pretending it didn't happen.  Photographers risk their lives all the time to record the facts for the public so that we can stand up, be informed, and say "NO!"

Still I had to say that the reporters who kept sneaking into dangerous situations on the day of 911 to get those perfect shots were in need of a good slap.  I didn't see the heroism there, just stupidity.  Call me callous.  Anyways here are some of the shots we took with our Nikon D90 that day.  The only risk we put ourselves in was the risk of putting off our lunch for the day.  It was greuling let me tell ya!

Just outside the museum.
West Berlin side of the Berlin wall.
The King's eagle jumpsuit... quite newsworthy.
A diagram planning the first internet connection.  T used to work and SRI (the top circle) and we are from Utah (the circle on the far right).  So like Al Gore, I think T pretty much invented the internet.
A bullet proof truck used to go where no man should have to go and take photos.  

One of the radio towers from the world trade center.

A creative drummer entertained us on our walk back to the metro station.

Me with chips.... or is it my chips and I?

November 15, 2010

Behold: The Gypsy Song

It's actually called Czardas by some guy named Monti, but I prefer Gypsy Song.  
Big Boy is the red head in red.  Look at him go!

November 10, 2010


So my tooth (#17) is bothering me.  I know you dental types out there are wondering why I still even have that wisdom tooth in my head at the age of 41 (still 41 for 24 more hours).  It's because back in... let me do the math... I hate math so this may take a second.... back in 1982 I believe it was, my crazy progressive orthodontist thought it would be wise to have my Father extract my second molars *don't worry my Dad was a dentist* and let the wisdom teeth come in to take their place.  I know, crazy right? For years I would see people with my same mouth, missing those molars, rolling the dice with the wisdom teeth and losing that bet.  All I would have to say to them after cleaning their teeth *don't worry I am a dental hygienist* was "good luck, sorry you had my same orthodontist."

You see, wisdom teeth, despite their name are not wise.  They are crazy unpredictable teeth not to be relied upon.  Mine caused me to have to repeat a year of braces and they still tip. Witch, we all know, can lead to food traps and recession.  In my case interproximal decay.... repeated, and a nagging tooth ache that lingers for over a couple of months.  I am a dental hygienist... so having a tooth ache is somewhat embarrassing.  Also the repeated decay.  I was hanging my head pretty low after that diagnosis let me tell you.  Then I had some chocolate and I was okay again.

When my tooth starts to really act up I can't really talk without pain.  I have to stop yelling at the kids which is all I really feel like doing in my current state of crank, but I can't.  So it's a win/lose situation.  The kids win and I lose.  I go into my bedroom and moan for a while until the pain lessens.  My husband is getting tired of seeing me like this.  Poor him.

I've seen my local dentist several times and he repeatedly concludes that my bite is off and he adjusts it.  But somehow my tooth shifts and finds it's way back into occlusion and I'm in trouble again.  I am ready to try something more drastic and I have another appointment.  But until then I called a couple of dentists I happen to have in the family.  First my Dad.  Dad told me that because the tooth is reacting to my hot meal that it's gone south and I will definitely need a root canal.  He also suggests (as always) that I should start some antibiotics right away.  He was surprised to hear that we don't keep a stash of penicillin in the cupboard at home for these types of emergencies.  He always did.   My husband, the doctor, should really be taking better care of us.   Oh, btw, thanks for all those childhood rashes and yeast infections Dad.... ah the memories!  Then I called my more currently trained dentist brother who said that it has been proven that antibiotics don't actually help with abscessed teeth.  He also said that based on my symptoms I could possibly avoid endodontics (a root canal).  Nice to have a second opinion.

Then my brother invited me to Utah for Thanksgiving and I of coarse responded by inviting him to Maryland as well.  It's a funny tradition we have since my Dad and his wife used to make it a habit of calling everyone in the family and inviting them, even at the last minute, even if you lived in Asia at the time, and inviting you to their feast.  It was just to let you know that they were wishing you could be there with them.  Either that or to be able to come back years later to say "I invited you 10 years in a row and you never came!  What kind of kid are you?!"

So I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  You are all invited to my house.  I hope to have my tooth under control by then for sure.  Because I love my pie ala mode!

November 04, 2010

Button Pushing

The other day I called my Dad in Utah.  He is recently widowed so I like to call every few days and check on him.  Now, I love my father, but there are a few things he does to push my buttons.  One of them is talk about politics.  He is so far right he's tipped over.  Also, he's never wrong about anything which adds to the problem.  So I should have known better then to call him on the day before elections.  I let him go on a bit about the falseness of global warming, and Al Gore's plan to take over people's minds, because I think he likes to get those things off his chest.  It makes him feel good, and I am a giver (of sorts).  However, when he told me that Utahns are too smart to recycle I had to ask where do they think all those empty water bottles are going when they put them in the trash can?  His reply was so funny I had to post it here.  "Were making our own new mountains.... mountains of trash!"  Now that's an intelligent response!  Do you think I should email that one to AG?

Next, he pushed that other button about how I am spending too much money on things like music lessons when I could be making more babies instead.  This time he suggested two more.  Have you seen my sidebar?  I have 5 kids!  FIVE!  He seems to think we should all have kids until we're 45 yrs old and the Santa in the mall thinks you are the grandpa instead of the parent.  I don't get it.  I told him that my decisions were my own and that money had nothing to do with it.  I know what I can and cannot handle.  Great job to anyone who wants more, my plate is full.  Then I asked him if he could name all the names of his many grandkids. That was just me, pushing his buttons.  I just wanted to make the point that if you are going to do a job well, you shouldn't overload yourself.  Then, just like when I was a teenager, he told me my mouth was getting me in trouble.  We said our usual "I love you anyway" good-byes and I hung up and thought the same thing about his troublesome mouth.  It gets him into trouble too.

So this has me thinking about my relationships with others and more specifically my own children.  I have a son who likes to push my buttons.  I think I do my fair share of pushing back.  I think I may have learned this behavior from my button-pushing father and I think it's time to make that change.  Starting with the woman in the mirror.  (Thanks Michael).

Here's an example:  The other morning we were on our way to early morning seminary and my eldest son was the last one into the garage.  In his haste to get to the car, he left the door to the garage open.  It's a repeated problem. Since our dog could run out and get hit by the car when you are trying to park, it's a big problem.  I noticed his mistake from the car where I'd been waiting.  I had my mouth full and my window up and needed to get his attention and tell him to close it, so I did a flashy thing with the lights and motioned to the door.  He was highly offended emotionally (and visually) and fussed about it with me in the car.

"How can you be so rude?!"
"How can you be so forgetful about the door?"
"That hurt my eyes!"
"Sorry, remember the door next time"
"You just want the last word always!"
"No I don't, you do"
"Yes you do!"
"Uh UH"
"Uh HUH"

And so on and so forth until I was taking my hand off the steering wheel to zip my mouth shut.  Then when he got out of the car he said his goodbye but I still wasn't talking because the mouth was zipped. I just shrugged and pointed to my mouth.  He rolled his eyes and walked in front of the car to the building.  Then I couldn't help myself... I flashed the lights good-bye at him.

Yes.... I think I have a problem.