Thursday, July 30, 2009

Can I Get a Shot for That?

Flash hasn't been to the doctor for a physical since we moved to MI. Since his docs in PA were the last to see him, I had his dad schedule an appointment while he was out there this summer. Today is apparently the day.

Text message from Flash: "today is doc day. ew."

Mom: "hang in there, you've had much worse things to deal with than simple silly shots." (7 teeth extracted, a frenectomy, laser treatments to his face...)

Mom: "Flash? While you're there, take advantage of the doc and ask any questions you have!"

Flash: "Questions? What questions would I have? You mean like, 'is there a cure for crazy'?"

I call them questions about puberty, you call them questions about insanity. It's all the same thing really, isn't it?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

There Should be a Warning Label

on blue corn tortilla chips. That what goes in blue will come out blue.

That's just a fright no one needs at 6am.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Choice is Yours to Make

An old man is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy. "It is a terrible fight, and it is between two wolves. One wolf is evil. He is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego. The other wolf is good. He is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. This same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old man replied simply, "The one you feed."

Saturday, July 25, 2009

It's Good To Have George Back

At the restaurant - "Hey, Aunt Fred, look over there at that thing on the wall. It looks like a rabbit with horns on it's head!!!" (Do we tell him now that a jackalope really exists or just let him think the restaurant is trying to be funny? On second thought, why are we eating at a restaurant that has a jackalope on the wall to begin with?)



At home, watching a reality TV show - George: "This dude is a Canadian." Mom: "No, George, he's a comedian." George: "What's the difference?" (Yeah, come to think of it, what is the difference, eh?)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I'm Glad I Was Sitting Down

It really wasn't a huge shocker, considering my child, but still, it's not exactly what you expect your teenager to say.

"Mom? I'm really glad we don't have or watch TV. It's all just junk."



I'd sure love to be playing Yahtzee or Rummykub with that boy tonight.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

And To Think He Even Taught Business and Computer Classes

I have been blogging for what, five years now? And in that time, I've been fairly careful about not using my real name, not giving my exact location, not identifying my son, or the relatives in my life. While I realize it wouldn't take an expert detective to figure out who I am, I at least wanted to give some impression that personal security mattered and if, by chance, someone ever took great offense to my review of a book, works for DirectTV, doesn't appreciate my comments about t-shirt slogans on kids or just thought maggots had more rights than my sister demonstrated, I didn't really want to be an easy target to find.

I've used pseudonyms for all of us. I've mentioned my general location but not the specific town, I've never mentioned where I work by name.

For all any of you know, I'm really a 73 year old Asian man, living in Spain, working for a local Italian restaurant. I'm just sayin'.

And then along comes Dad. Dad, who originally refused to read my blog, I think more because he was afraid of the sexual material, parental rage, secret life I lead, personal things he might learn about his daughter than anything else, but has become a follower to the point that there is no need to actually have a phone conversation with him any longer as his replies to my comments about the happenings in my life is, "I know, I read it on the blog." Dad, who has commented twice maybe thrice after he finally came around to reading regularly. Dad. Who, since I changed the comments to require a registered name, had to register yesterday in order to leave his remarkably witty retort about trash in the freezer.

And knowing that blogging is a security risk, knowing what a protector of sacred information he is, knowing how careful he is with his own identity information, my father comes up with the registrated name of "Roger Wilson" and follows up his note by signing it "Dad".

Yep, that'll fool 'em, Dad. I mean Roger, Mr. Wilson, Trash Cryogenics Expert, Protector of the Innocent Bloggers. Sigh.

And they say I have the least of the common sense in the family!!

(By the way, once you make my blog an icon on your iTouch, you're just fair game for blog material. Be forewarned, Jules, Sis, daughter of Roger, Mrs. Jane Doe, you're next.)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Not Related

George and Papa were discussing baseball it would seem. George was sharing his love for playing second base and catching. Papa mentioned that someone closely related to George used to love those same two positions. George tried to guess, "my dad? my sister?"

"No, no," Papa replied.

So George kept guessing. He named off nearly every relative he could think of. But none were the one Papa was talking about.

"She's closely related to you. Very close." Papa nudged, trying to get George to realize he was speaking of his mom, Jules.

When George finally gave up guessing and Papa revealed that he had been speaking about George's mom, George replied, "But she's not related to me!!"

"She's not?!" Papa asked incredulously.

"No! She's a girl, she has long hair and I have short hair AND her last name wasn't even the same as mine before!"

Well, there ya go, Jules. Is there any doubt remaining that this boy could possibly be your son?

I didn't think so.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Oh To Be Retired (Yes, it's about You, Dad!)

I've really been impressed as of late. My dad has come a long (LONG) way. He not only has wireless interent at his house and a LAN so he can print from anywhere, not only does he have a huge plasma TV and satellite to the house, but he recently bought himself an iTouch (after getting one for my second mom and watching her love hers so very much).

He even sent me his very first text message the other day and has my blog as an icon on his iTouch.

I'm impressed beyond words.

But when my sister shares that my dad is FREEZING their food trash so it doesn't "stink up the trash"? Yeah, you may have taken a dozen steps forward into the technological era, Dad, but freezing your trash? Yeah, that just aged you. You are SO like your father. (Love ya!)
It was only an uncle and a godfather at first. Then the occasional friend at school. I've noticed it more and more over the years, but it's almost always his peers, rarely adults. He's not adamant about it either way. Call him this, call him that, it's all good in his book.

But today. Today, printed in the church bulletin as a participant for the mission trip this week was his name. Flash's short name. It seemed like a typo to me. I mean, sure, to his buds he's the short version, but always for me, and certainly for official purposes, he's always going to be the full-fledge FLASH, right?

I was sharing this oddity with my sister at which point she said, "Um, Papa and G'ma call him the short version all the time now." WHAT?!?!

When did this happen?

Apparently when he was in TN a couple weeks ago, the cousin he was down there with asked which he preferred and Flash? said the short version. And so the short version it is.

Mind you, I have no problem with this at all. It's exactly WHY he got the name he got (or a name like it anyway). I don't have a name you can shorten. It's just short. There's nothing more formal about it. And I wanted him to have the option.

Which apparently he's decided to start exercising that option.

No matter what the bulletin read this morning, though, he'll always be full-fledged Flash to me.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I just talked with my boy.

Sigh.

He has a week-long missions trip starting Monday and it's just so hard for me to not be there to prepare him (more mentally than the actually packing part, but that too).

I know he's in good hands; his aunt just went on a missions trip out of country. His grandpa is a minister. His nana will make certain he has every necessity. It's just that I'm his mom.

Sigh.

I still have seven or eight weeks until he's back.

Sigh.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

He Drives Me Nuts

It's been going on forever. Seems like the minute I get home in the evening, he's playing his music loud enough to be annoying, but not loud enough to disturb anyone else but me, his downstairs neighbor. Day in, day out, five hours of his urban music choices, it gets old in a hurry. Sure, I've talked with the boy's mom. Sure, they've both arrived at my door with an apology. Sure, I've complained to management. Sure, they've said they've sent letters. But here it is, another typical night at Chez Liza and I'm going stark raving mad with the noise.

I know he's thirteen year old left alone while his mom works second shift. She used to work third shift, and so it was quiet on the northern front during the evenings and he slept while she was at work (most of the time). But now, with her on seconds, he's left to himself until after 11 and so the music goes. I know from his mother that he's teetering on the edge of the very wrong crowd. A mostly B student in school, his troubles come from hanging out with the kids that make the wrong choices.

Tonight I couldn't take it any longer. I will be the first to realize that my house is pretty quiet compared to most. With no TV, there's little to run interference with the noise coming from upstairs. But when I have to put on headsets for the THIRD time in a week just to hear a movie on my computer? It's gotten to be too much.

So I traipsed upstairs and knocked on the door. The music was still blaring, and there was no answer. I tried louder and louder approaches until the music was finally turned off, but no answer at the door. I was frustrated. I returned back to my apartment irritated once again.

I left another voicemail for management (after just having spoken with them on Monday about this ongoing, continuing issue).

It remained quiet upstairs for quite awhile. That isn't a surprise. This boy is often immediately repentant and compliant, but boredom overtakes him eventually and he's back to his old ways.

About an hour and a half later, my buzzer rang. Since we moved in two years ago, no one has ever rung the buzzer except UPS and the boy upstairs. He would never come to the door to ask if Flash could play, he'd always ring the security buzzer out in the hall. And here it was again. I knew immediately it was him. And I knew even before I clicked the button that he wouldn't reply to my inquiry as to who it was. But I also knew there'd be a note outside my door. It's his trademark apology.

I didn't go get it right away. I waited until quite late, actually. I know he's back and forth between his apartment and mine waiting to see if I'll read it. At one point he went around his apartment bouncing a ball just to be blatantly annoying - I'm sure trying to get me to come out and see his note.

I've been thinking about it all night. I HATE the noise. I hate the lack of respect. I get that he's only thirteen, but dealing with this every.single.day is causing me angst. But then I think of him and how he's left on his own from 2 until after 11 every single day. And during the summer there's not even school to keep him busy for any portion of that. He never has friends over, never seems to go anywhere unless he and his mom go together and so it's easy to see how his days would get long and his time would get dull.

His note begs me not to tell his mom and apologized every which way he can think of. Full of spelling and grammatical errors, it's much more a note of an child half his age. But I read it with a heavy heart.

And so I decided to try something different. I don't have a way of getting ahold of his mom, and I rarely see her any more, so I had to resort to a note back, but I'm hoping it works. In my note, I asked his mom if maybe he would like to come play a game with me in the evening. Maybe come outside and play washers, or there's always my favorite - Yahtzee! Just something to do since Flash is gone for the summer and maybe the two of us would enjoy the company.

I don't know if he'll feel comfortable enough to do so, but outside of our noise altercations, he's always remarkably polite to me, so perhaps it would be okay.

I just worry that with continued time on his hands, this boy is going to let trouble find him. In greater ways than just annoying his rather quiet downstairs neighbor. And since I seem to have the time, maybe investing some of it in him wouldn't be such a bad idea.

Let's hope they go for it.

Monday, July 06, 2009

It Isn't Even Funny At This Point

Some friends tried to convince me to give online dating another try. They pleaded their case - one of them even pointing out that she married someone she met on eHarmony. I shook my head and said, "no dice". There's just no convincing me to spend one.more.dime on trying to meet someone online.

So they said, "It's "free communication weekend!" Just fill out a profile! You don't have to subscribe until someone wonderful catches your eye!"

Yeah. Or never. I might just subscribe NEVER.

But I relented to filling out a profile. I agreed to do only that which was free and nothing more. If for no other reason than to be able, once again to say, "See? This online dating thing? IT BLOWS CHUNKS. And besides, I'm quite happy being single. 99.9% of the time." So I answered the 40 bazillion questions and I uploaded a photo and I refused to subscribe all twenty times that it tried to convince me to.

And this weekend, the dating service sent me some matches. And I read through them, but I'm not impressed. I didn't not take advantage of all this "free communication" hoopla.

And then today, I get a text message from TB. "eHarmony? Really?" And then in my inbox there it is. eHarmony thinks that TB and I would make a great match and has sent me his information.

I would like to send eHarmony a reply. I would like to delineate for them the 1000+ reasons why TB and I are a terrible match. (And for those of you wondering if we really are a horrible match, I'll just say this, I have refrained from publically documenting the ongoing drama with TB. Trust me, we are NOT even close to being a match.) I didn't send a note to eHarmony. I refrained. For now.

But I'll say this, it just goes to prove my point: people can put whatever they want down on paper. They can appear to be whomever they wish to appear to be. Christian, responsible, mature, independent, funny...but there's nothing quite like reality to remind you that the internet allows us to create very false personas of ourselves.

So you'll pardon me if I continue to be a cynic at this online dating nonsense. If I keep my $60 in my pocket and think of a hundred better ways to spend the money other than hoping that the man God has in mind for me is out there on the computer impressed with all I had to say about myself. Egads. It gives me the willies just to think of it.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

It's a Good Thing We Get There By Grace

I babysit five kids everyday to supplement my piddly summer school income. While most of the time is all fun and games, I do make the kids read for half an hour after lunch every day to keep their brains from completely rotting over the summer break.

Leading by example, after the lunch dishes are cleaned up, I hunker right down with the roomful of kids and pick up a book myself. Lately, I've been fascinated by Randy Alcorn's book, Heaven. I was particularly intrigued by the chapter I was reading the other day on Alcorn's take on the question, "Will there be dinosaurs in heaven?" After consulting the Scripture he cites and listening to his reasoning, I admit, I got a little excited at the idea that we might someday ride a Tyrannosaurus Rex (they would be tame and herbivores, of course). I leaned over to George, (sitting nearby reading How to Eat Fried Worms), and whispered, "Wouldn't it be awesome if we could ride dinosaurs in Heaven?"

George replied, "Wouldn't they eat us?"

"No," I said, "no one is going to be mean and kill anybody in Heaven. Besides, we can't die when we're in Heaven."

"So they wouldn't eat us?"

"No, I don't think so."

"Oh," replied George with a smile. "Then I'd kick him in the leg!"

Romans 3:23-24 "...for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came through Jesus Christ."

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Beyond Just a Great Mother's Day Gift

My sister has decided her ipod Touch has an additional quality that she greatly appreciates.

When Bear is impaired enough that Jules has to drive home, the ipod Touch will keep Bear so entertained, he won't tell her how to drive!

Maybe Apple needs to start doing commercials using that as the selling point!