Little Johnny can’t do long division…and it’s all my fault!!

Moist palms…acoustic heart beat…anime forhead sweat in full effect!

What time is it you ask? It’s time for me to rise to the occasion.  It’s time for Ray Charles (R.I.P) to lead Stevie Wonder.  It’s time to act like the Mr. Jessup’s 7th grade math class chalkboard debaucle never happened.

It’s time for me to help my kids with their math homework.

I wonder if their teachers understand how traumatic this is for parents like me.  When new concepts are introduced I can’t be trusted to give that annoyingly short explanation at the top of the worksheet a once over and be ready to helm their boat of understanding.  No, I have to go and Google math tutorial videos that invariably feature a narrator that sounds like Bob Ross.  Only he’s ‘painting’ mathmatic masterpieces with a happy little exponent right over here…  Meanwhile my child is witnessing my look of sheer panic and patiently waiting for me to finish ‘re-acquainting’ myself with whatever the concept is.  My eldest usually figures it out before I arrive at my Eureka! moment and tries (but fails) to conceal her look of ‘Really Mom? Really’? 

My other child, Sensitive Smurf, can’t forge ahead without me.  He really needs me to shake off the nightmare of Dr. Najee-Ullah’s College Algebra triplicate F—thats right folks, I failed College Algebra 3 times—and help him borrow, carry, solve for x, and find out how fast the 8:00 train from Bismark is going while scientifically notating.

At every math homework session I have to ward off visions of my child working at Checker’s or trash collecting (not that there’s anything wrong with that), because I passed the Mathmatically challenged gene on to him.  I really do try my darndest to approach math with an open mind and a can-do spirit, but my history clouds my disposition.  When all else fails and I’ve tried Binary Bob Ross, phoning a friend and whispering a prayer, I resort to the best kept internet secret, www.WolframAlpha.com.

Heaven forbid the teacher issues this panic inducing edict: Show your work.

It's all Mandarin to me.

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The examined life. Through a pop culture lens (of course)

Because I want my life to be worth living, I will get to examining.  I don’t know if this is what Socrates had in mind but I’m pretty certain rigor has set in, so whats he gonna do about it?  No really, I have a lot of respect for Socrates.  He strikes me as brilliant but humble.  If I was alive back then, I’d probably subscribe to his blog.  And you know he’d be blogging.

So as I was saying, his idea of examination might include pouring over volumes written by Plato or Aristotle, visiting a monastery, watching grass grow or something that would require 2 qualities that have become antiquated in this digital/rock and roll/overly stimulated culture of ours—patience and an attention span.

I fancy myself a thinking gal.  Here are a few epiphanies that I arrived at regarding this blessed box-o-chocolates called life.

Sometimes life is like a round of Angry Birds,  you change your trajectory to one that seems like a long shot and that’s when you hit your target.

Sometimes life is like LOST,  you pay close attention and take good notes and in the end you still don’t get it.

Sometimes life is like Edward Cullen, cold and kinda weird looking but everyone else seems to love everything about it so you play along too.  (THE POWER that be knows I love life!  These are part epiphany, part jokey joke 😀  But Edward is funny looking.)

Sometimes life is like Kate Middleton and Price Edward’s wedding,  blah, blah, blah punctuated with bits of sweetness and hilarity.

Sometimes life is like the inevitable direction of the Kardashian/Humphries relationship, predictable.

Sometimes life is like Dancing With the Stars, and the meek (read: underdogs) inherit the earth—or the mirror ball trophy as it were.

Well Socrates, how’d I do? He may not be able to write a blog but maybe,  just maybe he can read one?

Anyone else care to philosophize on what life is like?

life is: sweet, crunchy, colorful, stale, boxed in...

Your small children don’t love you. Don’t worry, mine don’t love me either.

“I love you Daddy!”

“No you don’t, cause you always whinin’!”

Truer words have never been spoken.  I heard this exchange eons before I ever entered the roughest hood you could ever dream of—that is if you get to indulge in REM sleep (AKA that thing you did before you decided to procreate).  That’s right, I’m talking about the parenthood.  Concrete jungle where screams are made.  Yall know.

I was just a girl of 9 or 10 when I heard my cousin whine those words to his father in a voice that would make fingernails on a chalk board say “Hey! get your own turf!”.  His dad aptly replied  “No you don’t”.   I wouldn’t truly appreciate the sagacity of his response until I became the proud owner of 4 of my own crumbmakers.  This might be a good time to introduce my cast of characters.

There’s plucky smurf.  The youngest.  Sample exchange: 

Me:  “So do you wanna help mommy make a cake?”

Plucky: “Why? You don’t know how to make it?”

Then there’s diva smurf.  A typical tidbit:

Diva: “Are you gonna wear that dress? It makes you look pregnant.”

Me: Blank stare.

Next there’s sensitive smurf.  I recognize my child self the most in him.  Classic confab:

Sensitive (pouting):  “The kids at school said my nose looks like a hog’s nose.”

Me:  “That’s not true! They’re just mad because you’re so handsome. ”

Sensitive:  “No I’m not. I’m hog-some.”

And lastly pre-teen smurf.  Standard style:

Pre-teen (as she looks on while Diva is dancing):  “OMG you move like Urkel’s daughter!!!”   (and then this for good measure) “Lemon citrus head!!!”

Diva(on the verge of tears):   Mommy!!!!

*******************************

No matter what they’re doing, doesn’t it always come back to that utterance: ‘mommy/daddy’?  Whether you’re in the middle of cooking, cleaning, splitting atoms or hiding in the bathroom you can expect to hear a child at regular 15 minute intervals calling out ‘mommy/daddy’!!   But take heart! They can switch it up for you so you won’t get bored.  They bellow it, they whine it, whisper it, rapid fire it, heck they might even chop and screw re-mix it for you—but they’re gonna call your name day in and day out with little care for your well being or mood.  Dictionary.com was ambitious enough to try to define love and they offer this:

love (noun)– a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.

Aint nothin’ tender about the way kids hound you.  They are passionate though, passionate about getting what they want!  So do your kids love you? They will one day.  Right now they just need you.  They need you to reassure them they don’t dance like Urkel’s offspring.  They need you to hug them up when an older sibling’s parting shot about their head resembling ovular fruit sends them over the edge.  They’ll really love you when they’re old enough to have a cast of characters of their own.

I'm not a lemon head!

I blog your pardon! Rude much?

If you’re not a blogger you can ignore this scathing indictment.   Oh yeah, its scathing.   But if you are a blogger allow me to bend your ear for a moment. You can bend it back when I’m done.

OK.  I thought I was gonna be able to keep on truckin’ without saying anything but I’m gonna hafta get it off my chest. Yes,  I’ve always looked askance at ‘netiquette’. **If there was a ‘whiny voice’ font I’d be using it here** —>Don’t all caps at me! Your subject line wasn’t descriptive enough! Blah, blah! blah!

Hey! If you’re that sensitive you don’t need to be out here on these interwebs.  You need go hang out with that chick from ‘Mean Girls’ who was all “I wish that I could bake a cake made out of rainbows and smiles and we’d all eat it and be happy” and the two of you need to work on getting tickets to the Oprah show…  Well seeing as that ship has sailed I guess Dr. Phil will hafta suffice.  **Shrug** What are ya gonna do?

Antyway back to my rant.   While I think netiquette is just a tad  much, I do think that fellow bloggers should recognize the plight of our ilk and act accordingly.  We’re all in the same boat.  We’re all writers who pour out bits of our soul in the blogoverse and then pretend to be blasé about whether we have an audience or not.  No not all of us are trying to achieve the blog world domination status that this sista has  managed.  But we do want to know that on occasion a person takes a look at our word craft and says “Hey! I like the cut of his/her jib (or nib if you will)! I like it enough to “like” them!”

I get it.  It takes time and energy to get a blog noticed and it doesn’t happen over night.  But here’s the thing that I’m getting at.  If I exerted the energy to like something you authored, it seems only right you should return the favor.  You’ve already noticed me!  I’m right there liking your stuff.  Take a gander at mine!  I’m sure there’s something there that you can like!  What?  Do you have strict quality control for your likes?  What are you the Anna Wintour of  “likes”?   What  are you on a “likes” budget? Don’t even get me started on not reciprocating subscription requests.

Ok.  I  realize I probably origami-d your ear.  Sorry bout dat.

But about my rant, everybody’s thinking it.  I just said it 😀

Origami Yoda says "Blog respectfully padwan".

Crossing over to the Sunny Side

For the past four years now I’ve considered myself an optimist in training.  Four years is a heckuva long time to be training at something and not be proficient at it so I had to be honest with myself–becoming an optimist, like deactivating my Facebook page and defacing some public property was sitting at the bottom of my to-do list unchecked.   I know what I have to do.  I hafta go cold turkey.  For the next 30 days (30 days to make/break a habit right?) I’m gonna replace a curmudgeonly act with a shiny happy one.  I’m gonna fake it til I make it folks!

Here are just a few examples :

  • I’m carrying a load of clothes from the dryer to the upstairs bedroom and one or two articles just insists on falling from the pile which is gonna mean 2 trips.

I WON’T— Curse the offending sock and unmentionable to burn for eternity in the laundry lower world.

I WILL–Smile and go retrieve the errant articles and exclaim “that extra trip up and down  the steps probably extended my life by .0065 nano seconds!  Yay laundry!”

  • I’m walking down the street when a stranger inserts his presence all up into my personal mind space and says “Smile! Its not that bad!”

I WON’T–Say “You know what I was just waiting for you to show up before  I smiled.  I woke up and didn’t know what was missing from my day and I said ‘Eureka self!  I know what it is.  You haven’t seen random, CD walkman in 2011 having, last-jheri-curl-standing guy yet! When you see him THEN you can smile'”.

I WILL–Smile and say “You know what sir you are absolutely right!”  And then I’ll utter words that will make me question my resolve to be chipper “I’m too blessed to be stressed!” Yes y’all I’m gonna go there.

  • I’m in my apartment when Simon’s maid comes over and asks me to look after the ailing artist from time to time and open his windows “so he can see God’s beautiful creation”.

I WON’T–Say “Where do they teach you to talk like this? In some Panama City “Sailor wanna hump-hump” bar, or is it getaway day and your last shot at his whiskey? Sell crazy someplace else, we’re all stocked up here.”

Oops. That’s  from ‘As Good As it Gets’.  But you get the picture.  I’m gonna join the kill em with kindness crew! You’ll be sorry!

Stay tuned!

NaNo see-saw

This is me rising and cowering, cowering and rising before the challenge that is NaNoWriMo:

UP…I decided to do NaNo.

DOWN…No one can make me do it, theres no ‘F’ wielding teacher or pay check docking boss standing over my shoulder.

UP…If you don’t do it now, when will you do it?

DOWN…Why am I doing this to myself?!

UP…Because I drew the short end of the ‘life’s passion’ stick and got writing.

DOWN…Its not gonna be any good.

UP…Write now. Ask questions later.