Friday, February 26, 2010

Can I Just Say...

...that for as much as Flash l-o-v-e-s his new trumpet music from "Pirates of the Caribbean" that came complete with a full orchestra accompaniment disc which can only be played at top volume on the surround sound (sorry neighbors; Thanks, God, for the house!) Eli, my poor, howling puppy is not nearly so amused. Every evening I'm entertained by Flash's increasing abilities on his trumpet and Eli's ongoing antics.

Flash is uber-eager to get in the house and get the stereo cranked and his trumpet out and the dog just looks at me like, "Seriously, can't you make him stop?"

As for me, I love it all. It's great to hear Flash playing and working hard to get the notes and rhythyms he doesn't know and I get to watch the puppy lay his head back and howl...and howl....and howl. Even when he's hiding under the coffee table and he hits his head. (And maybe even more so then.)

On The Way Home

On a cold, blustery, winter day, with snow blowing all around and the wind chill, well, chilly...I thought it was prudent to stop and get gas on the way home. Besides, Flash was in the car with me which meant I didn't even have to get out at the pump.

While the boy froze, generously helped his mother, I was in the warm car listening to the radio. I'm a dial flipper, so the fact that the announcer was talking and I hadn't changed stations yet is a miracle in itself. He said something about being down the street handing out Birthday Bash tickets. Nothing I was interested in. But then he added, "We also have Martina McBride tickets for next Thursday night."

When Flash got back in the car and we drove off towards home, I asked if he would have any interest in seeing Martina in concert. He quickly shook his head and gave me one of those teenage looks that said, "If my mom likes the singer, I don't, duh." And so I dropped it.

For a block or two.

Then I picked up my cell and called my sister. "Would you have any interest in seeing Martina McBride in concert and could you be free next Thursday?" I asked. While she flipped her calendar and told me how she had just been talking about what a good concert that would be that morning with George at the bus stop, I turned my car around and headed back to where the man had said he was handing out tickets. Flash made it perfectly clear that not only was he NOT going to this concert with me if I did get tickets, but he was NOT going to be the one to go and ask some dude for tickets.

She said she'd love to go if I got tickets and so I parked the car and left it running while Flash shook he head at his crazy amazing mother. I approached the two men standing outside the restaurant cautiously. "Do you perchance have....um...tickets?" I asked, afraid I was looking like a fool. There was no radio van, no indication that there was anyone there with anything to give away. Just a stretch limosine parked in front. The guys smiled at me and said, "Yep." I said, "Martina tickets?" knowing I wasn't much interested in the Birthday Bash. "Yep!" The first guy answered and headed to the limo. He returned with two tickets to the concert and three cd's, telling me I could also choose a CD if I wanted to.

I wasn't sure what CD. The only artist I knew was Miranda Lambert, and while the guy said he had heard it was a good one, Miranda is always p.o'ed at men, and so I chose a Josh Thompson CD instead.

I returned to my car and sent a text to my sister, "I have two tickets!"

So, tomorrow night, Flash and I are off to see Tim McGraw and Lady Antebellum. Next Thursday my sister and I will head back to see Martina McBride and Trace Atikins - for free! What a great week!!

All this AND a tank of gas I didn't pump!

Friday, February 19, 2010

T-Shirt Slogan of the Day

You all know how much I just love those t-shirts slapped onto our children advertising sibling rivalry, bad manners and behaviors and other ideas I think we ought to reconsider as parents. Today's was equally bad: "If I throw a stick, will you go away?"

Really?

I'm not sure what worries me more: that some parent thought this was funny and bought it, or that there are enough people who think this clever that the shirt was mass produced in the first place.

Sigh.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Spoiled

Tuesday evening I had stroganoff with mushrooms for dinner with asparagus (with hollandaise sauce!) and artichoke dip - all from scratch by Scratch! Last night we had dinner at church with a couple different delicious entree choices. Tonight is KICK'N and Flash is making goulash, spinach salad and bread.

I could really get used to this!

Monday, February 15, 2010

So Now That I've Said That Much

Let me just clarify...

Scratch.

Is nothing at all like the sort of men I usually date and perhaps that's exactly why he's captured my heart in a way no other has in a very long time. He's remarkably hard-working (on active duty and proud of it), he's honest, funny, intelligent (far more so than I would have given a career military man credit for, but trust me, when it comes to WMD, he's your man!) Maybe I can best summarize how I feel about him by sharing this:

The other night, Scratch came over after work to join Flash and I for family pizza night and wii bowling (exciting, I know, but it was). Scratch jumped right in, cutting up peppers and mushrooms as we introduced him to a long-standing tradition of making your own pizza. While I finished preparations, rolling out the individual pizza crusts, Flash and Scratch had an ongoing conversation about Bond movies. What was the best Bond location? (Russia) Who was the best bond actor (Sean Connery, of course) What was the best Bond gadget...car, blah, blah, I admit it, it all went over my head at that point. I do recall the boys, one in camo uniform sipping a Guiness at my table, the other in a t-shirt standing at the counter, eating nibbles of ingredients, had quite the laugh about the time Bond confused Q's sub sandwich with a new gadget. In any case, it was only a matter of time, and yet, my heart skipped a beat when he said it. The boy in camo fatigues and dog tags said with a wink in his voice (if ever that was possible), "Best Bond girl!" and without skipping a beat, Flash jumped right in with his vote.

I'd be lying if I said that was just a typical boy moment. You see, in my lifetime, I don't recall EVER witnessing such a moment with my son. I have never been present when he's had a "typical male conversation" with another man. I don't ever remember anyone so casually, so naturally engaging my boy in a conversation that was appropriate for his age AND gender quite like Scratch had just done.

I know, I know, to those of you who are married with kids, maybe it's just something you take for granted. But, in Flash's life, he doesn't have a male role model who teases about women, who is willing to say things, perhaps inappropriate in some sense and yet, exactly what is going through my teen's mind.

I turned around and looked at Scratch. For a moment, I think he thought I was going to scold him, although it wouldn't have mattered, he just winked and smiled at me, pleased as punch with himself. But if he thought I was upset, he was wrong. I wanted to hug him, I wanted to scream THANK YOU! I wanted to somehow convey to him the significance of what he had just done.

I tried, later, to tell Scratch, and maybe, on some level he understands. But it's just who Scratch is, so he didn't see it as any big deal. Don't get me wrong, he doesn't for a minute think that parenting (even step-parenting) is all about having fun and being a "buddy". When given the opportunity to ask me a "hard question", Scratch wanted to know if I would allow a step-parent to really parent my boy, or if I was just looking for a spouse.

Suffice it to say, Scratch and I are on the same page there.

The difficulty right now is that for all that Scratch has seen of this world, which is to say, a lot, and not many of the good things, he's a little skeptical on the "loving God" theory on life. He was raised in a Christian home and has a mother that keeps praying for him. He's not opposed to the idea, but opposes those that push their faith. We've had many conversations on the topic; he knows it is no small thing to me and that if we take any steps further it will only be if we're on the same page. But for now, for what it is today, Scratch has sure brought some joy into this little family of ours.

Busted

So I've been seeing this boy.

Oh, what. You wanted details before now? Yeah, well, tough.

We haven't really been seeing each other on any official terms, except that we're, well, seeing each other. There's just complications and whatnot that prevent me from declaring it official. But let's just say that for non-daters? We're really good at dating.

So, this boy, Scratch. (my affectionate term for the boy who seems to perfect the art when we shoot pool together), well, he and I have been hanging out and spending time with the boy and all and well, last night he invited me over to watch a movie. I made sure Flash was okay with that and headed over.

Whenever I'm out of the house, Flash likes to check in from time to time. Just to let me know he's doing fine (no alien invasions at the house) and I think, more importantly, to keep tabs on when I'm coming home (so the music gets turned down and off and he appears to be in bed studying upon my arrival).

In any case, while at Scratch's last evening, Flash sent me a text letting me know he was still doing fine. I sent a text back letting him know we had decided upon watching a sci-fi movie, "Blade Runner", one I thought I remembered Flash talking about before.

Shortly after the text I sent, comes a response from Flash, "You'll hate the movie. It's not your type at all."

Now, let me interject with this: do not for one minute think I had lost my senses and was actually going to subject myself to watching some sci-fi movie like "Blade Runner". You all know me far better than that! I simply knew that the choice of movie didn't matter in the least as I was probably going to spend much of the movie-watching time finding out if Scratch was a good kisser or not, and so the actual movie choice didn't matter to me in the slightest. But, I shared it with Flash thinking at least he might enjoy the fact that on some level, his mom had HEARD "Blade Runner", but I digress...ahem...

About a half hour into the kiss-a-thon, I mean, movie-thon, I get another text from Flash. "Did you get to the part where he gives the rooftop soliloquy yet?"

Now, I have objections to this message in particular for some very specific reasons: a) use of the word 'soliloquy' should be outlawed in text messages as a violation of "presumptuous, pompous arrogance misuse of a word"; b) I've already mentioned that I wasn't exactly watching the movie, so now there's that dilemma and c) if my date can't understand the meaning of the text, my child ought not to be permitted to send it.

I held up my phone to Scratch. "Um, have we gotten to this part of the movie yet?" I asked, realizing that he had seen as little as I had on this particular occasion, but hoping his prior knowledge might at least allow me to send a reasonable response back.

"Just say yes," was Scratch's definitive answer. I'm not altogether certain if that was his response to the text, or the overall philosophy for the evening together, but again, digression...

In either case, his answer turned out to be a bad one.

"I thought the soliloquy was at the end, Mom," was the reply a few very short moments later.

Um, yeah. So, few things suck worse than realizing that you're 38 years old and you've been totally busted by your teenager for making out when you were supposedly watching a movie.

I blame it all on Scratch. As it turns out, he is a remarkably good kisser.

So I blame him. That and the complete misuse of big vocabulary words in text messages.