Archive for August, 2008

Eff You, Hurricanes! *Updated Again*

As I type this, Hurricane Gustav is bearing down on the southern United States.  It has increased to a category 4, and that means business.  Being from East Texas, I have seen my share of hurricanes.  I can remember being a small child and waiting out Alicia in ’82.  I lived in Lousiana when Katrina and Rita hit.  Rita hit our area pretty directly, but we were lucky enough to have prepared well, it was just very frightening during the storm and then miserably hot and boring after the storm passed.

Now, with Gustav coming, I am way up north, in Indiana, while most of my loved ones are down there.  My grandparents live near Galveston, most of my family lives near Houston and Beaumont, and my BFF, Honeywine, her family, and other family friends live in west central Louisiana.  Honey’s husband has been called up by the National Guard to go to New Orleans.

I am so worried right now, and I feel helpless being so far away from everyone.  All I can do is wait, wait, wait, and hope everyone makes it through okay.

 

**I got a surprise phone call from Honeywine tonight at 8:45.  She gave up and went over to her mom’s house, and is now there with Mom, Dave, Tina, and Will (and Pascal).  Their electricity went out at about 8 or so, and she said that a piece of her roof had blown off, but she assured me that wasn’t such a big deal.  They are bored, but they’re okay right now.  She said that the worst was supposed to hit them around midnight.  Again, eff you, hurricanes, why do you always gotta come in the middle of the night?  It’s scary.  Honey told me she’d try to call me in the morning and let me know everyone is okay.  That’s if the phones work.  Keep your fingers crossed, kids.

***Talked to Honeywine again last night.  Everyone made it through the night okay, but they don’t know when they will have electricity again.  My family in Texas weren’t really effected by the storm too much.  Thanks for your well wishes for everyone.

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Happy News!!!!

 

 

                                                                 

I found out last week that my little sister, E, is going to have a baby!  I am super duper excited!  I knew she and her husband were trying (they’ve only been married since January), but it still happened really quick.  I love babies and little kiddies, and since my boys are 12 and 8, I don’t get much baby-time.  Although I’m not sure I want anymore of my own, I would be perfectly happy to be surrounded by babies that belong to other people, at least sometimes. 

I have nephews and a niece who is almost 4, but I never get to see them since they live in Texas.  The baby is due at the end of April, so she will be spared being pregnant in the summer time.  I am already worried about what it’s going to be like when it’s icy out.  Worry, worry, worry!  Even my mother seems excited.  (If you knew her, you’d know this is a big deal).  E reminded me that my son is going to be the same age she was when he was born.  Pretty cool.  Also, since the boys won’t get to spend much time with their new sister when she’s small, they will have a little cousin to help out with and have the experience, and they are excited.  E has already asked me if we could try to work my schedule next fall so that I could keep the baby if she decides to go back to work.  What an honor, huh?  Either that, or cheap labor…

Fried Brains

Well, I made it through my first day of classes.  I wasn’t nervous at all, as I have been in the past, which was nice.  The way my schedule is, the I have 3 classes on Monday and Wednesdays, 1 on Tuesday and Friday, and 2 on Thursday.  Weird, huh?  That’s mostly because I had to take an Educational Psychology class and it meets 4 times a week(!), even though it is only 3 credit hours. 

Today I had that class, Sensory and Perception class, and British Literature.  I was on campus from 8:15 until 12:45.  The ed. class was interesting, and I know that I will get a lot out of it, even if it seemed to be a bombardment of information.  I was feeling pretty good after it, but had to rush to the Sensory class since the first prof. went over time. 

When I walked into the next class, there were hardly any desks left.  I had to sit in the front row (yikes!).  The prof. was really awkward and I am pretty sure he hasn’t been “professoring” too long.  He spoke very quietly and actually told us that a lot of the assignments are just “busy work.”  Why the hell do we need busy work?  We are college students, and shouldn’t need someone to hold our hands through the semester to make sure we are keeping up with our reading.  Am I right?  Yes, let’s move on.

The final class of the day was and English class.  I signed up for it last minute because I had to round out my hours and it was required for my degree.  I have always loved English classes, and usually find them pretty easy.  It seems that our entire semester will be spent reading about what happened in England during World Wars I and II.  We have about 6 different books required.  No big deal, since some are poetry books and one is short stories.  I was excited about this class, because I enjoy reading so much.  The professor, however, again left something to be desired.  She spent the whole class today giving the back story of the wars.  I am pretty sure that everyone in there knows the back story, and if not, wouldn’t that be something we could research on our own?  It was so difficult to stay awake, and I noticed at least 5 other people having the same problem.  Grrrr.  Hopefully once we start discussing the material it will get better.

So, the first day has come and gone.  I have tons of reading to do tonight and tomorrow and a couple of paragraphs to write, but luckily tomorrow is my short day.  I’ll be home by 9:45.  The trick is to actually sit down and do it, right?  I have also been inundated by things from my sons’ schools.  Projects and just tons of information to process.  Due dates and reminders.  Story of my life!

Screwed

I told y’all a little while ago that I had tickets to go see Kathy Griffin in Indy next weekend.  I was so excited, because I really love her comedy.  She is mean and insecure and all-around hilarious.  I have wanted to see one of her shows for years, so when I had a chance to buy tickets waaaaay back in May, I jumped.  I bought two tickets, and a friend said she would come along.  She gave me the money for the ticket and I was excited about seeing my beloved Kathy. 

Since I am no longer working, I don’t see this friend every day anymore.  I did happen to see her a couple of weeks ago and reminded her that the show was coming up.  She seemed kind of distant, which wasn’t surprising since we haven’t talked very much lately, but didn’t say anything about not going.

Saturday, I texted and asked if she was ready for next weekend.  She asked me if I thought HotD would want to buy her ticket.  I said, “You don’t want to go anymore?”  She said that she could use the ticket money back more and she had too much going on.  Okay, I told her I was sure I’d be able to find someone who could go along.  And I was pretty sure.  Now, not so much.

I have asked no less than 8 people if they’d like to go.  Either they already have plans they can’t break, or they can’t afford the $50 ticket.  HotD has to work both Saturday and Sunday, so he won’t be able to go.  I can’t ask my mother to go along because she is the one who was going to babysit.  My step-dad is working all weekend.  My step-brother who might have gone just moved 3 hours away to go to college.  If I can’t find anyone to go along, I’m screwed.  I won’t go alone because the show is late at night in downtown Indianapolis.  Plus, it’s a 3-hour drive each way, and that’s no fun alone. 

What was supposed to be a really fun weekend is turning into a nightmare.  I’m frustrated and not just a little pissed of that I am in this predicament.  God, how I wish Honeywine was closer.  So…if any of you live close by and would like to go see Kathy Griffin next Saturday, let me know.

Summer’s Officially Over, Dammit

School started this week for my boys.  New schools for both of them.  This is the fifth year in a row my oldest son has started a new school, and the sixth school he has attended.  It’s the third for my 8-year-old.  This is the first summer in five years that we haven’t moved households.  The Army wasn’t very forgiving in the “not uprooting your family” sense.  When Douche and I got divorced, I saw all of our moves as a blessing.  The boys were adaptable to change, because they’d had to be.  And besides, even when he was home, he usually wasn’t very involved.  When they started school here last year after the split, I thought “well, now they won’t have to change schools every year.”   Ha.

It wasn’t that they HAD to change schools this year, but they were both accepted into magnet schools.  Not knowing what a magnet school really was before we moved here, I’ll kind of explain it to you.  Where we live, the schools don’t offer “honors” or “gifted and talented” classes.  Therefore, they offer magnet schools, which move through the cirriculum at a faster pace, focusing on technology and (in my opinion) preparing them better for college.  It was a huge opportunity for them that I couldn’t pass up.  So now, they get up at 6 a.m. to be on their buses at 7:00 and 7:20, to ride for a half hour to school.  They have more homework, and harder projects, and that kind of scares me.  When I was a kid, my parents never helped me with my projects and they always sucked ass. 

Now, my boys are very different., and my reasons for applying them for admission were different.  Big J didn’t get the greatest grades this year.  It isn’t that he can’t do the work, but he is a “follower.”  If his buddies don’t do their work and goof off, so will he.  He is very smart, but can be kind of ditzy sometimes…hmmm, wonder where that came from?  He has the mind, but he is lazy.  Plus, he is starting to get interesting in girls and one fast little girl in particular.  (I had to put a stop to that one, I don’t want to be a grandma before I’m 35).  I’m hoping that being in this new school, among children who actually WANT to learn will set him straight before it’s too late.  He also had a problem with bullies last year.  I’m sure part of that is that he was the new kid.  Growing up on military bases, everyone was the new kid, but here it’s different.  Everyone knows everyone else and has since birth.  He told me the kids at this school are a lot friendlier and he isn’t worried about bullies anymore. 

Little J is the rule-follower.  He is honest, and loves to learn new things.  He was constantly asking teachers for more work, harder work, something else to do.  He has always done well in school.  It’s funny, because at home, Big J is the one who usually gives me the least trouble, but in school, he gets in trouble for talking, not listening, etc.  Little J is the complete opposite.  He can be a little hellion at home, but as soon as he hits the classroom, he’s a complete angel.  Go figure.  He is excited about his new school because all of the kids there follow the rules.  Well, all except a little girl named Pheobe.  She sits across from him and talks all day.  He told me today that she was bragging because she already knew cursive (most of the other kids don’t).  She annoys the heck out of him!

I’m very grateful that my boys have this opportunity.  Hopefully, it will make it easier for them to go to college after high school.  Hopefully, they will go farther in life than either of their parents.  Isn’t that what everyone wishes for their children?

……

The boys got home on Saturday night (8/09/08 ) and I have never been more happy to see them!  I had worried all day about “the talk” Douche wanted to have with me, but as soon as I saw my babies, I knew it would be all right. 

And it was.  I happened to walk by the front window and caught a glimpse of my oldest out in the driveway, so I ran out like a madwoman to reclaim my children.  While Douche got their suitcases out of the truck, I squeezed my son who is now as tall as I am (he is only 12 and is 5’7″), and then my smaller (but taller than he was) son in turn.  C*nt decided to stay in the truck with sunglasses on her face and WITH THE MOTOR RUNNING again.  You can’t help but laugh at that.  I dare you to try.

While the boys took their things inside, Douche pretty much just said everything that he had said on the phone earlier.  So, I’m really not sure what he made a big fuss about.  I think he must have been really scared that I was going to take him to court, because he kept asking, “Are we cool?”  It was weird.  My mom had prepared enough dinner for Douche and C*nt to eat, too, and was just putting it on the table when they pulled up.  While Douche and I were talking, my mom even came out and stuck her head in the truck to ask C*nt something or other.  Not sure if she answered or said anything back.  They said they had to get back on the road, so they couldn’t stay and eat with us.  (WOOHOO! I sho ’nuff didn’t want them here!)  So they left, and we went inside.

After dinner, they walked around the neighborhood and told all of their friends hi.  They didn’t have long since it was already 8:00.  When they came home, I was talking to Big J and noticed his teeth looked dirty.  I asked him when the last time he brushed his teeth was.  He couldn’t remember!  He said that he had lost his toothbrush after he got there.  So, he was there for a month without brushing his teeth.  Little J said he hadn’t really been brushing, either.  Nice, huh?  I made them go and brush their teeth immediately.  How gross.

The next morning, the boys and I were putting away their clothes and cleaning their rooms.  While they were gone, I switched bedrooms so that they didn’t have to share a room anymore, but there were still things that they needed to help with.  Little J and I were folding and putting clothes in his drawers when he made a comment about only taking “4 or 5 baths the whole time we were there.”  HUH?  He said that his dad had told them that the water bill was really high, so they couldn’t take baths every day.  They are BOYS, one of which is going through puberty.  You can’t not let them take a bath daily!  Nasty!  Now I know why all they ever let them do was play video games and took them to the pool at the apartment so much. 

I could not believe what I was hearing.  I knew that they didn’t have beds for the boys.  I knew they would be sleeping on the (my) couch.  I didn’t know that they weren’t going to practice basic hygiene while they were there.

Douche also told the boys that he probably won’t see them again for a year and a half.  So, every time  they talk about him, they get sad.  They told me they won’t get to meet their little sister until she is almost 2 years old.  Why would you put that on kids?  They shouldn’t have to worry about things like that.

Other than living like Filthy McNasty while they were gone, they seem to have enjoyed their visit, which is good.  There was one more thing, but I don’t feel like I should talk about it here.  They are home now.  They are even CLEAN now!  School starts tomorrow, yippie skippy!  Big J and I have to attend an open house at his school tonight, where we will visit each class on his schedule.  Hopefully he will remember where some of them are when he goes in tomorrow.

The Fun-Filled World of Douchebags

My boys are on their way home right now from Alabama.  I have not seen them since July 5.  I have been looking forward to this day for weeks.  Wonder of wonders, Douche found a way to ruin it.  When I woke up this morning, there was a missed call from his phone number.  When I talked to the boys last night, I asked them to call me at some point today so that I could estimate what time they would be here.  So, I figured one of them had tried to call to let me know they left. 

When I called back, Douche answered the phone.  Usually, he just hands the phone to one of the boys to answer, so it was weird.  In the Douchiest of ways (i.e. pretending to be really nice when, in fact, he is not), he told me they got a later start than expected and had left at 7 a.m.  Okay, no big deal, it will now be between 8-10 tonight before they get here. 

Then, he proceeded to tell me this (of course this isn’t verbatim, because we were talking.  Damn, I wish I had thought to grab my laptop and type everything down.  *Note to self*):

Douche:  Are you going to be home tonight when WE drop off the boys?

Me:  Yeah.  Why wouldn’t I be? 

Douche:  Good, because WE want to sit down and talk to you about some things.

Me:  Okaaaaay….

Douche:  Well, just about the boys and some things that we’ve talked about with them about how they fight all the time.

Me:  Yeah?

Douche:  Yeah, WE tried to tell Big J how he can’t reataliate if Little J hits him, because Big J could really hurt Little J.  WE also talked to Little J about his anger problem.  He gets that from my side of the family (YA THINK?)  and so WE had a lot of heart-to-hearts about how they are brothers and they shouldn’t treat each other like that.

Me:  Yeah, I’ve told them the same things over and over.

Douche:  Well, obviously it hasn’t sunk it.  Maybe this will help.

Me: ……

Douche:  I don’t know if the boys told you or not, but I am supposed to be deployed in February to Afghanistan for a year.

Me:  No, they didn’t tell me.  That really sucks, especially with a new baby.  (He was NEVER deployed ANYWHERE the whole time we were married, which was over 10 years.  Karma, maybe?)

Douche:  And since I have to pay on that debt every month till December, and I’ll be in Alaska by then, I won’t be able to have the boys for Christmas.  (I called this one last year when he told me they were moving).

Me:  So when do you plan on seeing them again?

Douche:  It will be at least a year and a half, when I get back from deployment.

Me:  …….

Douche:  So, WE just want to make sure you’ll be there tonight so we can talk abouth things.

 

What the fuck do you say to THAT?  Right now, all the excitement that had built up about the boys coming home has been deflated.  I am angry that “WE” deem it necessary to sit down and talk to me about ANYTHING that needs to be done regarding the boys.  Yes, he is their father, but he has been around them for five weeks of the past year.  For him to call me and talk to me about how “WE” worked with the boys (doing the same things I have done) and how they have had better manners and attitudes since they’ve been there really pisses me right the fuck off.  If I weren’t writing this, I’d probably be throwing things and slamming doors.  I am especially mad that I can’t tell him that it is none of HER business, because it is.  She is their step-mother. 

I’m also worried about the fact that he is thinking he won’t see the boys for at least a year and a half.  I know that they will be okay, because they have people here who love them, but I can’t imagine what they must feel knowing that they won’t see him for so long.  Add to that the not knowing how often they will get to see his family if he isn’t around.  I’m sure his parents will be able to work something out to see them at least in the summer time, but I won’t be able to afford to travel down to Texas all the time…

Another selfish reason this bothers me is that I won’t ever have a break from being “Mom.”  This past year, I have shown myself that I CAN do it alone, and that we have kind of figured out what works for us (the boys and me), but also that when they were with their dad, I could relax and enjoy myself.  This past month has been wonderful.  I can come and go as I please, I can drink some wine if I want to (I know I can when they are here, but I usually don’t).  I missed them, but I was really having fun just being me.

I don’t have a lot of options as far as child care goes.  When I first came up here, my sister promised to help out, and she really did…for a few months.  She and her husband are always busy, and it seems every time I asked her to babysit, the answer I got was, “I don’t know, let me get back to you…” with an eventual no.  I finally stopped asking.  My parents don’t ever babysit, either.  They are very busy people, and I feel guilty even asking them, since they do so much for us already.  ARGH! 

I feel a lot better than I did when I started this post.  Hopefully, I won’t have to assault anyone tonight.  You’d all have to pull together to bail me out of jail if that happens.