The Husband Dilemma

On the one hand, Michael did take the kids for most of yesterday so I could sneak off to the library for work.

But on the other hand, the house was destroyed when I got home.

But on the one hand, I did get some much needed work done, and he had the kids for four hours while I was gone and another three after I got back.

But on the other hand, it’s really, really hard to get ground in Play-doh out of the carpet.

But on the one hand, he also fixed dinner.

But on the other hand, he destroyed my kitchen in the process.

But on the one hand, it only took twenty minutes to clean up.

But on the other hand, I had already cleaned it twice yesterday, both times thanks to him and the kids.

But on the one hand, he made this really delicious Puerto Rican dish that I loved but can’t pronounce.

But on the other hand, he deep fried that dish… in a shallow pan. No matter how much I mop the kitchen, it still looks like the Exxon Valdez ran aground on our linoleum.

But on the one hand, he didn’t even complain that I came down to dinner an hour late.

But on the other hand, that dish was so deep fried I think I may drop dead of a heart attack at any moment. Does he want to kill me?!

But on the one hand, he did set up my BowFlex in the garage, so I can work out and be healthy.

But on the other hand, maybe he’s trying to tell me I’m fat and flabby…

But on the one hand, he did buy the first season of Heroes on DVD so we could watch it together.

But on the other hand, he KNOWS I need to get up at 5:30 AM, so why did he buy something that was so damned addicting to watch and yet can’t be viewed while the kiddies are up? I’m dragging today!

I dunno. Should I kill him, or jump his bones for joy? Both maybe? But in what order?

Husbands… Feh!

A Non-fan’s Review of a Bruce Springsteen Concert

I went to see Bruce Springsteen in concert last night at the Richmond Coliseum in Virginia. Let me state up front that I am not a raging Bruce Springsteen fan. That would be my darling husband, he who bought the tickets and still has the t-shirt he got from a Bruce Springsteen concert TWENTY YEARS AGO. Oy. Anyway, here are my reviews of ‘the Boss’ in concert.

First, the short review:


Now the long review:

Okay, so we had just gotten back from a trip to Pennsylvania to see my cousin’s daughter get married. Honestly, I need to get up there more often, and it’s a shame I don’t because my aunt Adele is like the sweetest person in the world and she always has something ready for folks to eat whenever they come over, although we stayed in a hotel, not at her house, so we didn’t get to gnosh like we would have had we actually been the–

What? Oh right, the concert. So anyway, we got back from Pennsylvania the night before, and that was a nine-hour drive with two screaming kids in the back seat, and both Michael and I were sick with some sort of weird flu bug (yes, I know, you want to hear about the concert. Hold your horses, I’m telling a story here!) that had us hacking up our lungs like a couple of old geezers, and we didn’t get home until after 10 PM. So we were not in the best shape the next morning when we got up, and we just draaaaaaaaagged through the day until the babysitter showed up and it was time for us to leave. Now, the Richmond Coliseum is about an hour away from where we live, so that meant another road trip (joy) after the one we’d done the day before. Fortunately, we had a babysitter for the evening, which meant NO SCREAMING KIDS in the back seat. Even more fortunately, this was only an hour drive, which was good because Michael wanted to play Bruce Springsteen all the way to the concert and I did not because hey, weren’t we going to be hearing this guy in a few hours anyway? But Michael insisted so I pulled out my iPod and listened to Phil Rossi’s “Notes from the Vault” which is an awesome collection of horror stories and quite frankly Phil Rossi could read a grocery list and I’d get goose bumps. Seriously!

So where was I? Oh yeah, the Bruce Springsteen concert. Anyway, we got to Richmond and found a place to park that didn’t cost us an arm and a leg and yet still looked like we would find our car with all four wheels still attached when the concert was over. We parked and walked over the Richmond Coliseum and saw lots of people with wrist bands on milling around the place. The wrist bands apparently meant you had bought a seat on the floor. Only there were no seats on the floor. I know this for a hard cold fact, because that’s what Michael bought us — two not-seats on the floor, for the bargain price of $99 a ticket, not including those ridiculous fees that darling hubby got charged for the **convenience** of buying our tickets online. The **convenience** of buying online? What kind of assbackward idea is that? Of course it’s more convenient to buy online! Who the hell would want to stand inline for hours on end to buy a ticket from some snot-nosed rude little punk at the cashier’s window when they could simply buy the damn thing online? And yet, because we’re smart enough to buy online, we’re going to be charged **extra**? Have these people not heard of Amazon or iTunes or the rest of the frikkin’ digital age? Sheesh!

So anyway, if you had a grey armband, you paid for the privilege of standing for three hours on a hard cement floor while listening to ‘the Boss’ and his band play. And if you had a pink armband, that meant you were dumb enough to show up five or six hours earlier to stand in line so you could stand for another three hours even closer to ‘the Boss’ on the same hard cement floor. Thank god the babysitter couldn’t show up until 4PM at our place, ’cause if Michael had insisted on showing up that early to get a pink band, you’d be reading his obituary instead of this really cool review.

Which has not even gotten to the actual concert yet. I know. But I want you to fully understand what I went through last night, and if I had to suffer through all that crap, so do you. Okay, where were we?

Oh yeah, the concert. So anyway, even though we had floor non-seats, we had apparently arrived too late to get our grey wristbands, so we just sashayed over to the nearest door that did not have a line a mile long in front of it and there we waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. And then a couple of people who were definitely not anybody important showed up and pushed their way to the front of the line that had formed behind us and tapped on the door and some jack-ass inside let them in, and man, you could feel the air conditioning coming out of that place, but WE who were also not important but apparently didn’t know the secret knock on the door, could not get in so we just had to stand outside and make faces at the jerks who got in ahead of us and stood there ignoring us while they enjoyed the AC.

And then one of those jerks, a woman, came in and out a few times to smoke a cigarette right in front of us and oh that was precious. Look, a bottled blonde who’s so addicted to nicotine she has to come outside every fifteen minutes to blow smoke in our faces. Or up our asses. Or whichever direction the wind blew.

And this went on for half an hour until some of the event staff came out and everybody cheered. Only the event staff didn’t come out to let us in. No, they came out to hand out grey wristbands to those poor fools who had paid $99 for a non-seat on the floor. Oh wait, that was us. Yea, I got a wristband. It was grey. How lovely. And then the event staff went back inside and locked the doors again, except to keep letting out that stupid bottled blonde who just had to have another half a cigarette every five minutes. Geez! Not even a whole cigarette, just half a cigarette and she left the rest of it smeared on the pavement!

After another half hour of waiting, just about the time when the mob behind us started getting really ugly and talking about things like breaking down the doors and crushing everybody in front of them (like me and Michael), the event staff opened up the doors and let everybody come screaming in. Michael and I hurried inside and found our way to the non-seats on the floor and discovered that we would be spending the rest of the evening lined up behind enough people to fill a small country in Eastern Europe. And all these people were taller than us. And that meant we couldn’t even see the frikkin’ stage. So it was a good thing that there were these HUMONGOUS TV screens overhead, because otherwise we would never have seen the concert.

And Michael paid $99 a person for those tickets.


So anyway. We found an unoccupied spot on the floor and Michael claimed it and I went back out to find a potty (and yes, I call it a **potty** — I have two kids five and under and we’re still dealing with potty training so that’s what we call it, now go soak your head) and something to eat because we left for the concert at 4 PMish and it was now going on 7 PM and I was hungry. And while getting into the potty was no big deal — the Richmond Coliseum actually has enough stalls to deal with a mob of women all doing the potty dance — finding food was not so easy. Everything offered for consumption had a huge line going out the doors, except for…

Pretzels and Dippin’ Dots. And since I cannot eat Dippin’ Dots for religious reasons (and no, I will not explain that because if I did, we’d never get around to talking about the actual concert) I bought two pretzels and two bottles of water. The price was actually half-way decent, but for some odd reason (religious perhaps) the cashier would not let me have the tops to the water bottles. So I had to veeeeeery carefully pick my way back down to our spot on the floor without spilling two open bottles of water, which made me realize that it was not for religious reasons that they had kept the bottle tops; it was a marketing plan. Because if I dropped my water bottles, I had to go back and buy new ones. Very sneaky.

Anyway, I got back to our spot and Michael took off for the potty (yeah, he calls it a potty too), and then he came back and we ate our pretzels and drank our water and we…


And waited.

And waited some more.

Apparently the concert was supposed to start at 7:30 PM. Not. 7:30 came and went and there was no sign of life on the stage, or at least I think there wasn’t any, because you know we couldn’t actually see the stage from our non-seats. So we kept waiting and the floor kept filling up and slooooooooowly the actual seats started to fill up. Then around 8PM I heard a guitar riff and a wild roar went up from the audience and I jumped up and down with everybody else struggling to see the stage and guess what?

I saw a roadie tuning a guitar.

And this happened about eight or nine million times. Some guy would come out, fiddle with one of the guitars, the crowd would go into a feeding frenzy, and then the guy would leave the stage.

After about two million years of waiting, I decided to make another break for the potty. I got in and out in under five minutes, which made me think that if I could move that quickly, why couldn’t Bruce? But just as I was thinking that, guess what happened?

Yep. Another roadie tuned a guitar.

Eventually, the crowd got so big I could pick up both my feet and not fall down. We were wedged that tight. And wouldn’t you know it, some jackass still found a way to shove himself through the crowd to stand right in front of us. Not “right at the very front of the part of the pit where if you only got a grey wristband but not a special pink one that was as close as you were allowed to get to Bruce,” but right there in front of us. He was big, and he was religious, and he kept making jokes about “wouldn’t it be great if he held up a sign about some weird Bible verse,” and wouldn’t you know it he brought his PARENTS with him and so he shoved around some more until he made enough room for them to stand in front of us too! Wasn’t that special. Oh, but what really made it all special was that he ended up standing right next to me and that was when I discovered that I had a new, least favorite smell and it was…

Big guy who shoves people around and smells like rotting baloney.

Oh. My. God. The odor was just strong enough that if I turned my head in this guy’s direction, I could catch a nasty whiff, but not strong enough to make me vomit on the spot which actually would have been good because maybe then this jackass would have moved someplace else! But no, the best I could do was turn my head away and ask Michael (who has NO sense of smell) to switch places with me So I turned my head turned away from him, only just as I was about to do that someone cut the lights, and I thought, “Oh my god!! We’re all gonna die, packed like rats in this place!”

And yep, there was a bit of crowd surge as finally, FINALLY, the Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band, FINALLY showed up on stage.

And I would love to describe what the music was like at this point, but after the first opening chord, I was stone deaf and bleeding from both ears.

My GOD it was loud. Bruce came in and he hit hard. I mean, that music just felt like a fist to the face, and it drove me right back into Rotting Baloney Guy. Eeeeeew. And this went on for about 20 minutes straight. I can’t decide if it was just one really long song or a bunch of songs run together. The Boss just kept hammering at that guitar, and then Clarence Clemmens (or was it Clarence Thomas? I always get those two confused) kept screeching on his saxophone and some chick with big blonde hair kept shaking her maracas like there was no tomorrow, and Bruce had not one but TWO skinny bald guys on either end of the stage playing piano and keyboard, and those guys sort of reminded me of George Hrab, who is an excellent musician and songwriter and has never made my ears bleed, and you know what? I’d pay $99 for a seat, or maybe even for a non-seat, to see George Hrab (and Phil Rossi too for that matter) because I know I’d enjoy that show. But then just as I was thinking about how awesome a combined George Hrab/Phil Rossi concert would be, Bruce started doing high kicks!

Oh my god, no Bruce, don’t do it! Don’t kick! It was terrible! It was like watching my dad trying to stomp on a possum that got into his barn and ate all the horse feed. It was like watching George Bush trying to be funny! It was painful, it was agony, he’ll never make it into the Rockettes so my god why does he keep kicking, and oh my lord did the Rotting Baloney Guy just FART?! Oh! It’s disgusting, my eyes! My nose! My ears!! Why is Bruce Springsteen trying to beat the audience to death with his music?! Oh the humanity…

But. BUT! After the first twenty minutes of all of this torture, Mr. Springsteen actually did something that I thought was rather cool.

He stopped.

And took requests.

Yep. He waded into the audience (well not actually into them, more like above them on a catwalk, and I don’t blame him because quite frankly I think those people would have eaten him alive) and picked signs from people, and each sign had a request for a song on it, usually accompanied either by the reason why that person wanted to hear that song or some weird freaky decoration to get the Boss-man’s attention. And after picking up a bunch of signs and chatting with the audience (and he really was kind of funny when he was chatting, I have to admit), he picked the first song from the pile of signs he collected, set it up in front of his mic stand, and he and his band played that song.

And it was the first song I heard that night that I actually liked, and I will probably go out and buy it if my Springsteen-obsessed husband doesn’t already own it. It was called Stand On It, and it was a really good rock-a-billy song that I could have danced to if I had had room to dance. As it was, I was still squashed up against Rotting Baloney Guy and I didn’t even have room to breath.

And so the concert went. It was a lively show, and I heard some stuff I liked and the Boss did give a very enthusiastic performance (but my god, those flat-footed high kicks! **shudder**) and the crowd absolutely loved him, and I did manage to save some of my hearing by pressing my left ear against Michael’s shoulder. I would have taken turns with my ears, putting the left one down for a song and then the right one, but anytime I put the right one down on Michael’s shoulder, I caught another whiff of Rotting Baloney Guy and that sort of killed that idea so now you know why I’m completely deaf in my right ear.

Oh, and Rotting Baloney Guy farted at least six times during the concert and I think it’s a wonder that you aren’t all reading about how everyone who attended the Bruce Springsteen concert in Richmond last night died from asphyxiation or carbon monoxide poisoning or something. Really, something crawled up inside this guy’s ass and died. But not before making a nest under his armpits, which I saw every time he raised his arms as he sang along with Bruce. Ugh.

The show lasted three hours, and by the time it was over, including the encore which was a really rollicking version of “Twist and Shout”, it was closing in on midnight. We got out of the coliseum pretty quickly, found our car with all four tires still attached, and headed home. Miracle of miracles, we did not spend hours in traffic waiting to get onto the interstate. Someone was smart enough to bring out the traffic cops to direct the exodus and so we managed to make it home by 1:30AM to wake up the babysitter and send her home.

So, in conclusion, I spent a lot of time on my feet in overpriced non-seats standing next to a guy who smelled like rotting baloney and farted a lot. And if you see me yelling at my kids this week, it’s because I AM STILL DEAF from the horrendously loud but otherwise enjoyable music. It was a good show, even for a non-fan in a non-seat, and I would do it again but only if my husband pays for real seats and I have ear plugs and nose plugs for the concert.

The End.

Fried But Not Tasty

I’m going on five nights of insomnia now, and it’s just about killing me. And I caught the creeping crud from Sam! How does that kid manage to get sick in the summer?!

I’m trying to function normally during the day, but it’s damn hard. In addition to taking care of the kids and the house, I’m trying like crazy to get some promotional work done. It’s not been easy. The 50th episode of my podcast, Heat Flash, goes up on Friday, and I have yet to toot my horn about that. Will start on that tomorrow, which is the last chance I have before I leave for a wedding in Pennsylvania. Very inconvenient time for someone to get married, right before my big podcasting milestone (grumble, bitch, moan).

Anyway, just letting folks know I’m not dead, just dead tired.

It’s That Time Of The Month!

For those of you who have never experienced the joys of having a menstrual cycle (and you know who you are GUYS!), allow me to describe what it’s like.

Imagine your uterus has decided to claw it’s way out of your body, through your cervix, down your vagina and between your legs, turning you inside out in the process so it can drag your sorry butt down 75 miles of baaaaaaaad highway as it goes for a long, messy stroll.

No, wait. I forget. Those of you who have never experienced the joys of a menstrual cycle (MEN!) don’t understand terms like ‘uterus’ or ‘cervix’ or ‘vagina.’ So let me rephrase that in terminology that you will understand…

Imagine that your testicles have decided to crawl up into your body and claw their way out through your urethra and out the tip of your penis, turning your sorry carcass inside out in the process and dragging you behind it down 75 miles of baaaaaaaad highway while your wife nags at you for forgetting to put out the garbage before you went out on this little stroll. That’s kind of what it’s like. Only it’s actually worse. Much, much worse.

God I feel lousy.

What I Learned On My 39th Birthday

I learned that…

If you agree to let your five-year-old help you bake her birthday cake and yours, you will end up waiting until the last minute to do it because of scheduling conflicts.

If you wait until the last minute to bake the cakes, you will have to kill yourself to get them done in time for the party. And you will still have to let the five-year-old help.

If you agree to let your husband go to VIRTUS training at the church instead of staying home to help with the party, you’re not going to have enough adults on hand to handle the upcoming disaster… er, party.

If you get the cakes backed, but then you leave the cake in the pan too long or too little, one layer will split right across the middle when you try to get it out. And your five-year-old will have a heart attack over this.

If you call often enough and frantically enough, and if you leave a really big note on the door, your husband will get home from VIRTUS training in time to fix that stupid cake.

If you look like you’re still pulling your hair out, your best friend will come to the rescue by picking up the sodas, chips, and dips that you forgot to get for the party. Never underestimate the miracle of a best friend.

If you put all thirty-nine candles on your birthday cake and light them, you will set off the fire alarm.

Why I Didn’t Get My Lazy Ass Out Of Bed At 5AM

Here are my top five reasons for why I did not get my lazy ass out of bed at 5AM like I was supposed to every morning last week. Okay, I know some of you are going, “Why the hell is she getting out of bed at 5AM?” The answer is, “So I can get some work done before the kids wake up and start screaming!” And you probably still don’t get it, so never mind. Here are my reasons.

1 – I stayed up way too late the night before, and needed more than four hours of sleep to function properly that day.

2 – I went back to evening karate classes, so I’m dead tired and I hurt like hell the next morning. Not getting up if I don’t feel good. Plus I stayed up too late the night before.

3 – For once, I got to bed on time, but then my oldest daughter came running into the room at midnight screaming that there was a storm in her room. “Honey, there’s a storm outside. It’s not in your room.” It took fifteen minutes to get her back to bed, just long enough to totally screw up a good night’s sleep.

4 – Oldest daughter came running back into my bedroom a second time, three hours later, screaming that the cats were under her bed. “Are they our cats?” I ask. “Uh-huh!” she says, nodding. “Then why are you scared?” I ask. “I’m not. They just woke me up.” Grooooooan.

5 – Top reason why I did not get out of bed at 5AM. I dreamt that my husband was a young, naked Antonio Banderas, and he offered to take me bowling. When the alarm went off at 5AM, I turned the damned thing off, curled up to my husband and went back to sleep. Hell, do you know how long it’s been since we’ve had a date? No way was I missing that one.

And there you have it. My excuses for sleeping until 7AM. Ta-taa!

I Want To Blog…

I really, really do, but stuff keeps coming up. You know, it was so easy to blog when Sam was an infant. She nursed 12 times a day, so all I did was sit in the glider and type away on my laptop. Now when I nurse Sam, I spend all my time trying to keep her fingers out of my hair, my ears, my nose, my eyes… That little fart keeps thrashing and twisting in my arms, and then she’ll roll over and thump me in the chest, as if to say, “More milk, lady! These boobies aren’t working fast enough!” And the chewing! My god, I’ll be lucky if I have any nipples left by the time this kid weans.

What were we originally talking about? Oh yeah, blogging, or my lack there of. It’s kind of difficult these days…

Still Kicking

So I’m still sort of hanging onto the blogosphere by my fingernails. It’s calmed down a bit around here, but I’m still juggling a few things, which is why I don’t post so often. It occurs to me that it was much easier to post when Sam nursed twelve times a day, because then I was spending a lot more time sitting the glider with the laptop pulled up to me while I fed her. Sam only nurses 2-3 times a day now, though, so I no longer have that mandatory sit-in-front-of-the-computer-so-I-don’t-go-crazy-while-nursing-the-baby-time anymore.

Both Michael and Sam are sick. I’m fighting to keep Cassie and me from getting whatever creeping crud they have. I’m so tired of trying to work around someone being sick. On Wednesday I had to take Cassie to the doctor for a check up. Every time I go, I have to initial a privacy statement. They give me the same paper each time, with a new date stamped on the bottom where I’m supposed to initial. I took a look at how many times I’d been in the doctor’s office with Cassie since August and I nearly fell over. Since June I’ve brought Cassie in seven times. And that’s just Cassie. I’ve also had quite a few appointments for Sam as well. And I’ve been to see my own doctor on two occasions during that time period. Why the hell can’t we stay out of the doctor’s office?

Every time one of the kids gets sick, it kills my exercise schedule. I’ve been trying to go to the day time classes at the karate dojo. Normally, I pack up some toys and a snack for Sam and I let her play on the side in a play pen while I take class. But I can’t go if either she or Cassie are sick, and I won’t go if I’m sick, so I’ve missed a lot of classes over the last few months. I’m feeling the effects too. We had a test Thursday night, and even though I wasn’t testing, I was reviewing, and man did I feel shaky on a lot of things. I’m having the same problem just getting into the gym. I can’t go if I’ve got a sick kid. The nursery won’t take ’em. Yet it seems to me that Sam always, ALWAYS gets sick within a week of me returning to the gym. I suspect it’s because someone else is bringing in their sick kid and just infecting the rest of the population. I’d like to catch the parents that do that sort of thing and slap the crap out of them. Really I would.

But anyway, I took this review Thursday night, and I was dragging. Michael was sick, Sam was sick, I haven’t been in class or to the gym much, and my interest in karate has been pretty low. I had to force myself to go to the test, and when I got there I wasn’t happy. Usually Michael and I get a sitter for the kids and we go together so it’s like a date (yeah, I know, a really weird date where we beat each other up), but he was sick so I had to go alone. Whine, whine, whine. And I went through the test, wondering what I was doing there. I just didn’t feel like I could hang, you know? I did not have my act together, and I hate feeling like that. There’s nothing that annoys me more than to see a black belt who can’t do their katas properly or keep up with the rest of the class. That’s a lazy black belt, and I realized that’s what I had become. Lazy.

I can’t just blame everything on the kids being sick. If I wanted to, I could have found a way to fit in the practice time and the class time. In fact, I have. After hearing my instructor complain about having the play pen in the dojo, I got kind of pissed. It’s a lot of work for me to show up to that day time class, what with having to feed Sam right before we go, and then packing toys and a snack and some juice, and then having to set up that damned play pen (it’s a bear to unfold), and then I get to go through class gritting my teeth every time she makes a noise because I know the instructor expects her to be quiet, but she’s only 18 months old, for pete’s sake. And so after his complaining, I kind of went on a tear about how hard it is for me to even get there and how I’m sick of missing classes and I realized that the afternoon classes weren’t even all that challenging anymore anyway so why was I going? I mean, I don’t even break a sweat when I’m there and that’s not good.

At some point, in the middle of this rant (which my poor husband had to listen to), I realized that if I wanted to change things, I was going to have to CHANGE things. In other words, I was going to have to drop the afternoon classes and start going to the evening classes instead. It’s the perfect solution. Michael stays home in the evenings, so I don’t have to take bring in Sam. If he’s watching the kids, I don’t have to worry about missing class because one of them is sick (although if I’m sick, forget it – I’m still not going). I can still take the same amount of classes if I double up one of the evenings I go and take a regular class along with that evening’s specialty class (black belt training or weapons training). Yeah, it would be perfect.

Except that my lazy ass didn’t want to do it.

Why? The evening classes are harder, for starters. The daytime classes are filled with older students who have various injuries (like me with my bum knees). The evening classes are mostly younger students. They’re also run by some really tough instructors, one of whom used to run the daytime class (back when it was a kick-ass class to take). And they spar a lot more in the evening classes. Sparring is hard work, let me tell you. It’s not only potentially painful if you get hit (and I know because I’ve had some ribs broken, plus both knees, plus my nose), but it’s also very aerobically demanding. In fact, an evening of sparring is just plain frickin’ exhausting.

But that’s what I want, right? Tougher classes, more time in class, a chance to feel like I’m worth my black belt?

My lazy ass started making excuses right away. “I have two bad knees — what if I get injured while sparring?” “I haven’t taken classes regularly in ages — what if I can’t keep up?” And my favorite… “But if Michael and I both take evening classes, we’ll never get to see each other any more!”

Whine, whine, whine. All this was sitting at the forefront of my little pea-brain during the review Thursday night. Then the instructor called me out on the floor with a group of brown belts to do some kata. Except I didn’t get to line up with them. Instead, he told me, “Sensei Helen, you stand back there, a little separate from the group. You’re going to do something different.”

And that’s when it hit me. Yeah, I get to do something different. I was the only black belt there that night, the only one who knew the black belt katas, the only one who was going to look killer doing the higher level stuff. And man, did that turn me on.

And I did do well. Fortunately, I have managed to squeeze in some practice time, and I looked good, doing MY kata while everyone else did something else. And it was a long kata too, which meant long after everyone else had finished up, I was still going, with everyone watching me.

I’m such a frikkin’ show off.

But it worked. I suddenly found my motivation to go back to evening classes. I like doing karate. I like that I do something different from most of my friends, that I do something HARD. I worked to earn my black belt, and I remember how Michael and I just about tore each other up during our black belt test, and how people to this day still come up to us and say, “Man, I remember that test. I thought you two were going to kill each other. That was so cool!”

So next week, I start evening classes again. I already told my instructor, and he’s very happy about that. He wants me back on a regular schedule, and I want that to.
Speaking of which, my blogging time is up. Time to go wake up the rest of the family. See ya later.

So I Fell Off The Blogosphere…

I’m not even sure if I’ll get this entry written and posted, but I’ve been gone for more than two months, and I thought I should explain.
Hell with that. Explaining takes too long. Let me sum up.
My folks visited for the week of Halloween. Cassie refused to wear the Hermione Granger costume Grandma bought. Sam refused to wear anything.

I’ve been working like crazy on my podcast, Heat Flash. Several of the stories have shown up on the ERWA’s story galleries, so I know the writing is good. I wonder if the podcast is good too.
Sam, Cassie and I keep giving each other some sort of near-lethal upper-respiratory infection. I’m on antibiotics right now, and am so fed up with being sick I’m just blowing off the whole week. I’m doing the work I have to do, but have opted to skip going to karate and the gym and doing anything else. Did I mention that I have a pinched nerve in my neck as well?

I’ve decided getting up at 4AM in the morning is not feasible at this time. Yeah, I get a lot of work done, but it’s almost like being in an entirely different time zone from the rest of the family. Nobody else wakes up that early, and nobody else goes to bed as early as I need to in order to get up the next morning. So I haven’t been seeing Michael at all. Plus, with being sick so much, I’ve gotten out of the habit. I’m resetting my clock for a more reasonable time, still letting me get up early enough to work on the podcast before the kids wake up, but not so early that I might as well be in Englad, you know?

Michael cleaned the office over the garage, which means there’s now room enough for both of us in there. It looks very nice, and I am actually considering moving back in. The biggest problem I have with it though is that my computer in there runs on Windows 2000, and some of my software doesn’t work on an OS that old. So I need to update my OS. Plus, that computer doesn’t have a DVD drive, which means it can’t read any of the disks I’ve stored all my old files on. Michael is toying with the idea of building me a new computer. He bought a $100 case for $10 the other night. I only hope he doesn’t junk up the office again in the process. That would kind of defeat the purpose, you see.

Sam is running, playing, laughing, giggling, and dancing all the time. She climbs on everything, including the coffee table, and gets into everything, like Michael’s papers in the roll top desk. The roll top broke, with the top half disappearing into the back of the desk. We keep the bottom half down, but Sam has figured out how to pull out the chair, climb onto it, and reach over the remaining roll top to get Michael’s papers. Not good. Kid’s too damn clever for her own good.

Cassie is growing like a weed. In fact, I’d almost say she’s freakishly tall. She’s doing pretty good in preschool, and in karate class too. She keeps begging me to get her sparring gear so she can join the Power Kids class. So guess what she’s getting for Christmas? Don’t tell her though. I’m having a hard time imagining my freakishly tall four-year-old sparring with the older kids. My baby’s growing up so fast!

John turned 40 the other day. Ha ha! You’re older than dirt John! I just had to say that.

And I’ve got a ton of work to do. E-book covers, podcasting, stories to write, a book to outline, an image to finish up for a contest. Baby is screaming right now, so I’ll wrap this up.

Hope I don’t fall off the blogosphere again.

The Litany of Things Gone Wrong

It would not be life if things didn’t go wrong. Here’s the skinny on what’s up – or rather, down – at the Madden household.

Two weeks prior to Fantasci 6, the entire family came down with the creeping crud (actual scientific name for unknown upper respiratory infection we all had).

The day after Fantasci 6, the entire family came down with the cousin of the creeping crud, an all new yet strangely familiar upper respiratory disease with bonus symptoms (i.e. Cassie puked at school).

The sedan kept stalling on Michael, forcing him to take it in to be serviced. The diagnosis? A fried alternator that needed to be replaced to the tune of a couple hundred dollars.

Our oven died, and was replaced to the tune of $500.

A sensor in the front driver’s side wheel of our SUV went wonky (again, another actual scientific term) and had to be replaced. To the tune of $440. As an added bonus, Sam and I got to spend two whole hours in the Saturn dealership waiting for this to be fixed. Yea!

Yesterday, everyone but me came down sick with the mother of the cousin of the creeping crud (and yes, that really is its scientific disease name). Sam can barely breathe, which makes breastfeeding fun. She’s also been using my shirt as a hanky. Eeeew. Michael is so congested, he’s walking around in a daze. Cassie hasn’t succumbed to it yet, but she’s coughing and wheezing, so it’s only a matter of time. Me? I’m disinfecting the crap out of everything, including my nipples once Sam’s done breastfeeding. And I may just burn my shirt from today…

So how are things in your neck of the woods?