Funny, God

7 02 2011

My mother is amazing.  Really.

She is incredibly smart, humble, gorgeous and totally naive about the world.  That makes her adorable.

The scene in my head that plays when I think of describing Mom is from Leverage Season 1 where Parker meets Nate’s ex-wife.  Parker says she’s adorable, pats her on the head, then sniffs her and somehow it’s not overly creepy.   And yes, Mom and I did discuss me writing this post so it’s not like I’m blabbing family secrets or anything.  We collaborated on this and decided you should be a part of our phone call.

I don’t know how Mom made it to me being 30 years old and not realizing that apocalyptic stories and prophecies scare me.  I shit my pants at severe thunderstorms and the apocalypse.  I’ve ALWAYS been this way.

It’s no surprise (to me, anyways) that I subscribe heavily to the Joss Whedon and Terry Goodkind school of thought when it comes to prophecy vs. free will.  I figure we’re all going to die anyways so I should CHOOSE to act in a humane and intelligent way because it helps me and those around me RIGHT NOW.  I don’t act right because of the fear of demons from hell shooting through volcano cracks to eat my brains.

My brain can’t comprehend or accept mass destruction so I live in a way I can wrap my thoughts around.  I also believe that so much emphasis is put on how the world ends that we’re busy bringing the very thing we fear to actuality.  If we hadn’t been working so hard trying to outwit it, it may not need to be outwitted.  And if it is true and inescapable then my part is to live my right here and now life decently.  If it all ends in chaos and despair, then the only reasonable thing to do is to live for joy right now.

Mom really leans towards the end of the world stuff and obviously the 2nd seal has broken and we’re all going to die in a blaze of glory or something here soon.  She also really likes to call and tell me about why and how this is coming about.  I want to know how prophets picked out accurate words when they described their vision because they don’t have a lot of room to write down details.  It’s like making life and death decisions based on a Twitter feed.  If a picture is worth 1,000 words and the prophet is so flooded with imagery that they clutch their heads and fall over, then it’s going to take a hell of a lot of paper and ink to write it out.

My eventual response, after fighting down the panic attack, is “Mom, the world’s been ending for a long damn time.”

I told her I’d write this thesis she’s assigned me when she reads The Sword of Truth novels.  If we both did our part, we’d come away knowing quite a bit about how the other one’s brain works.  At that point of the conversation, we just agreed to think about it and talk to God and see how it went.

We also talked about current events, the state of my brain and all the drama that makes up life.  IRL hasn’t been so steady lately and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking and agonizing about how this good ship Dollins Family should make enough money to stay afloat for another year.  The whole his job/my job/my health/health insurance/education requirements dilemma.  When a day to day routine exists, there is comfort and safety.  When there’s no routine, there’s anxiety and insecurity.  I’m not so secure or carefree at the moment so a lot of our conversation was tinged with my IRL worries.

This is where God gets funny.

I laid down in bed that night and thought really hard “God, I just need a single direction.  Just a feeling that one way or the other is right.  I feel like I need a compass.”

Then I couldn’t sleep and decided to start on the next book in my reading list.

The Psychology of Joss Whedon: An Unauthorized Exploration of Buffy, Angel, and Firefly

Huh, this entire book is about the characters in the Whedonverse who are contemplating this very issue.

First, I laughed at myself for finding theological truths in science fiction and fantasy novels (but then again – have you ever actually READ the Bible as a work of literature?  It’s as good a sci-fi primer as anything.)  Then I laughed some more because just this year I’ve found and become a total Firefly geek.  Before, I didn’t want anything to do with it – I’d never seen the TV show or the movie, I didn’t have any conversations about it.  I really just thought it was a weird Star Trek vs Battlestar Galactica ripoff.  I had no idea.  Now it’s strangely relevant to life.

I read more today and I learned that I’m more like Mal than Buffy.  I tend towards antisocial behavior but its only after I’ve used up the more mainstream ideas.  If things had gone in a more mainstream manner in my life, I’d be a more mainstream type of person.  I’m not only shaped by events, but I live with a more individualized moral code because of those events.  If mainstream included me and people like me, then I wouldn’t have to be something other than normal and a more generalized world view would be relevant.

(Does anyone else think that the creators of “there’s only one way to God” people are just the theologians with a really good marketing campaign?  I mean, it would be a shitty campaign to say “our product rocks but so does everyone else’s product.” I mean, what would you advertise?  The fact that your god was cross-platform and multi-app compatible?  That’s just a quick way to become irrelevant.  It’s all about branding, people!)

Why don’t I just adapt?  Lots of people who go through weird shit adapt.  Why don’t you?  I ask myself that a lot and the only answer I can come up with is “it’s my personality type.”

I’m not that abnormal in reality.  Most of the people I know and willingly socialize with are unconventional.  They live in unconventional manners and with unconventional world views inside of cultural boundaries.  I speak for myself (which is why there’s a heavy I emphasis in this blog – I don’t like speaking for other people) when I say that I have a well formed, rationalized, and stable morality.  I would make a good space cowboy.  I would not make a good elementary school teacher.  I accept these things about myself and move on.

I think my message was pretty clear: learn about and accept yourself, then move forward.  The only wrong thing to do is nothing.

Besides, if the world ends tomorrow, I won’t have to worry about any of this.

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It’s in my coffee

25 11 2010

This morning I woke up not thankful at all.  I knew the Thanksgiving post needed to be written and while I sat on the toilet, I thought “I’m thankful for the normal things – life, family, toilet paper.  This holiday sucks!”

Thanksgiving is just a remembrance of one race taking advantage of another, peace treaties that end in bloody warfare, and gluttony “in honor of a new world.”  What it means more personally is stress, money trouble with the impending “holiday season” to give that budgetary shit storm some extra spice, feeling left out of one group or another for absolutely NOTHING of my own fault*, and needing pharmaceuticals just to survive smiling at people who dislike me for hours on end.

Yeah, I woke up this morning in bitch mode.

Then Coffee came into my life and the funk started to lift. Every sip I take I find something else that I’m thankful for.  I may be able to write this post!

I’m thankful for our children.  A few years ago, I was sitting in a room at the adoption agency crying because our placement fell through and I didn’t think I could survive another holiday season knowing that I was not yet a mom.  It was the week before Thanksgiving.  We had already bought Christmas presents for the girls that would have been our daughters.  Their rooms were ready.  Their clothes were in the closet.  We were waiting on one court hearing to happen THAT WEEK before they moved in to stay.

It didn’t happen and I was devastated.  The agency didn’t think we would get another shot with that particular placement so I told them I didn’t care if it was a foster placement – I just wanted kids in my house for the holidays.  (Up to that point we were straight adoptive parents.)  Three days later we got the call about A & E needing a placement.  I went to the family party that year with two babies.  8 months later, LJ came to us and now they’ve been legally and forever ours for over a year.

I am thankful for my animal masters.  For the birds singing to me when it’s time to get out of bed.  For the clean, animal scent I get when I bury my nose into Spooks’ tummy.  For how he has developed a habit for needing to be with me at all times.  For Ernie being a much needed comic even though he doesn’t really smell like a clean animal – he always smells like tuna even when he hasn’t had any for a week.  For Abbie who thinks she’s a person, Cali who loves the kids, and Nola with her big ass nose and her inability to be sad.

I am thankful that even though Shaun got laid off, the company didn’t screw him in the severance package.  We may not end up moving to the trailer park because of that.  There’s still a ton of stress associated with it (which is why I haven’t written in a while… how do you be honest and open about something so volatile?) but it could be worse.  I’m thankful that it’s not worse.

I am thankful for a warped sense of humor. The ability to laugh at things forms a tight bond.  It’s a stronger relationship than liking a sport or sharing a hobby.  We laugh at fucked up things and share an esoteric knowledge base.  Anyone who understands why I want a tramp stamp of the number 42 is a good person to know.  Anyone who knows why I fart in your general direction can be my friend.

I am thankful that my head is so small that I can wear kids’ glasses. Most vision insurance plans cover kids’ glasses 100% and adult glasses at a discount.  Last year I got hot pink Guess glasses.  This year I got some black Candie’s that make me look like a sexy librarian.  Also in the small head gift, I can wear kids’ hats that are cheaper and more adorable than the adult selection.

I am thankful for 50% off Halloween candy on the 1st of November.  However, my body doesn’t quite agree with me on that point.

I am thankful that Sprint gave me a new phone when mine died a premature death for the cost of repairing it.  $35 is much better than having to pay full price or having to switch back to my Blackberry.

I am thankful for the Internet.  Every single part of it – including the over-the-top seriousness of some sites and the absolute idiocy of others.  I love that I can pick and choose the sites I visit (because there’s always a choice) and be a part of the hivemind.  It doesn’t matter if I contribute or if I simply read the stuff in my RSS.  The internet goes on without me and when I feel able to, I take part.

I am thankful that Shaun is a good cook.  He also does the dishes and laundry, which makes me a damn lucky woman.

OK, that’s enough sweetness and sap for right now.   I’m halfway through this coffee and I need to do my motherly duties like pick out the kids’ clothes for the visit to the in-laws and make sure the cameras are ready to go.

*my parent’s families didn’t approve of each other while I was growing up.  I’m the spawn of the one they like (their genetic relation) and the one they don’t have anything in common with.  Now that the parents have been married for 31 years and the rest of them HAVEN’T, all I can say is “haters gonna hate.”  I’ve been excluded from other groups for various reasons that ARE my fault.  Those don’t bother me nearly as much.





It’s way too early for my brain to be working

11 10 2010

I woke up at 4 am, back screaming at me and my brain cycling through the things I need to do.  The kids are on fall break so that means today and tomorrow will be spent watching TV and seeing if I can con the g’parents into watching a couple of them.  I may even bathe in sunblock and take them to my family’s communal playground.

Lupus makes me have to be extra cautious but it also does miraculous things with my body.  That bite from last week?  Totally healed.  All that’s left is a small callous – smaller than the sharp end of a pencil.

Yesterday we had my nephew’s 4th birthday party and he’s ADORABLE.  Being a ham runs in the family.  We played at Chuck E. Cheese for a while then he opened his presents.  The one from us ended up being last and when he pulled it out of the bag he yelled “WHAT?? WHAT?!”  It was one of those new Hot Wheels tracks that have the robot obstacle course.  Then he grinned real big and said “ok, we need to go RIGHT NOW.”  LOL  No one even got a hug goodbye – he just escaped with his toys and made Grandpa put them all together.

It was really great to see our family all in one place again.  I miss my family A LOT.  Bob has been working insane amounts of hours and Sister has been getting married and moving.  Grandmommy works overnight.  I have 3 kids and a disease that I have to judge each morning on whether I can handle what I have planned.  The only person I’ve seen with any regularity lately is my Dad who works around the corner from me.

Halloween is coming up and did you know that Ben 10 costumes only go up to a size 8?  What am I supposed to do with THAT BS?  LJ is a size 10/12 at the smallest so it looks like I’ll be making his this year.  All he’s talked about for months is how he wants to be Ben 10, who is his hero.  Alyssa’s going to be a fairy and E-baby is going to be Bumblebee from the Transformers movie.  That means today I’ll be trying to figure out how to make a Ben 10 costume out of a T-Shirt.  I got a 6 pack of white tees, so I have some room for error.  😉

No word yet on if I’m dressing up but I found a slutty Ninja Turtle costume that looked ADORABLE.

Yesterday I went totally OCD and hung shelving, rearranged books, and totally let my crazy take over.  I would be more effective if I weren’t so crazy but I’m in the middle of stepping down on the dose of Effexor again.  It’s the only thing that has ever controlled the OCD so I may just have to get used to this new normal.  Oh well, it’s an asset when I have a job because I don’t screw up.  Screwing up is the most terrible thing ever to a person with OCD because that means the universe is about to dissolve into oblivion.

Cyndi Dollins:  Using mental illness as a tool since 1986.

On that note, I’m working on perfecting my resume so I can get it online.  I don’t know if I can handle a full time job but I’m going nuts not having a challenge.  My self-worth is definitely tied to what I can do and I HATE feeling like I reached the peak of my career at 26.  I also don’t want to be left behind by the industry during this whole get myself better/get the kids raised thing I’m doing now.

In the meantime, I’m going to work on learning everything I can about computer networking on a larger scale and I may even get my Microsoft Office certifications.  I’ve toyed with the idea of going back to school – my choice would be Breneau – but I’m not sure if I can get financial aid.  We’re in that weird middle ground where we’re not rich enough to pay for schooling but not poor enough to get them to pay for it.  I wonder if there are any grants out there for SAHMs with Lupus.

I have more of my sketchbook project to photograph and get online.  I think it’s coming along rather nicely and I hope I can finish by the deadline.  My current page is an interlude from ways to get revenge and it’s on things I hate with a passion.

Then I need to update our family calendar… and get Ernesto to the vet because he’s been limping on his front leg… I need to finish printing and putting together my sister’s wedding album… photograph and list stuff on Etsy… talk to my dad about getting a couple of computers from him… work on altering a couple of Alyssa’s uniforms… go through all the kids clothing and get rid of stuff that doesn’t fit…

And you know how it is:  when your brain is that full, it’s impossible to sleep.  So I took my meds, I’m sipping on some coffee and I think I’ll work on my sketchbook until I feel like I can rest a little more.  Later today, hopefully I’ll write a much less boring post, but no promises!





I has smart

9 09 2010

It’s been a very suburban week and for most of it I had a dumb.

Today was much better.  I worked on my sister’s wedding photos, caught up on my email, listened to New York Hero, and finished TWO crossword puzzles while I waited to pick up the kids.

Speaking of kids, the youngest caught a smart and got a smiley face at school today.  He’d been grounded since Tuesday for pushing a girl, not listening to the teacher AND squeezing ketchup all over his head and body.  No one ever said my kids were normal… or boring.  We’re going to have him evaluated at the therapy group next week for ADHD.  He’s having a lot of trouble at school and can’t seem to block out the constant stimuli.

LJ is done being grounded tomorrow.  He’s had a rough couple of weeks and he seems to be coming out of the funk.  Thank. Goodness.

The girl child has caught a bad case of the dumbs though.  The psychiatrist did change her meds this week so hopefully we’ll see a difference soon.  None of us can go through this much longer and it throws off the entire family dynamic when she’s acting up.

In other news, in a random sort of fashion:

  • I got a ThinkGeek catalog, a Fredericks’ catalog and an Orvis catalog.  I can now order everything I need for a really fucked up Halloween costume!
  • The guys broke the windshield on my Durango while playing baseball.  Now we’re waiting to get paid so I can get a new one.
  • The back of the Durango has a brand new Star Trek fish emblem!  It’s made of win and awesome.  The Durango is a happy place.
  • Yes, the reflection is an oddfun house mirror reflection of me in my sweats and Dr. Seuss shirt.  I hope I’m not that lumpy in real life!
  • The existence of nerd rock makes me happy in places I didn’t know could be happy.
  • The clutter on my desk is breeding.  I clean it up every night but when I wake up in the morning it has multiplied.  It’s like I have a tribble farm over here!
  • My server got a virus that infected the ANTI-VIRUS software!  I took out the extra drives and now I need to work on the OS itself to eject the parasite.  I just haven’t worked up the energy or the amount of liquor it would take to do it and keep my sanity.
  • The birds have 11 eggs in their nest right now.  I think they were infected by my bad egg karma and we may never get hatchlings.
  • Chickpea needs a haircut really, really badly but I don’t want her to think it’s a punishment.  I also don’t want to take her to a salon and for her to think it’s a reward when she’s managed to get in trouble with every single adult in her life and quite a few of the children.
  • Silly bands are banned at one of the schools now!  I lied and told the kids that they were banned in both schools because I’m tired of that crap.  Kids are little monsters when it comes to who has what toy.
  • My bath fetish is temporarily on hold.  I have a bad sunburn on my back (damn you, medicine!) and it hurts A TON worse than a tattoo.  I’m not going to tell people tattoos feel like a sunburn anymore.  It’s not fair to the tattoo.

I’m so ready for life to be easier!  We’re heading into my favorite season and I’m hoping to have a lot of the bs that’s on my plate done with.  Then I need a date with my husband and a good, long nap.





this is my MSMMJOABH face

24 05 2010

This is my “My Sister Made Me Jump On A Bouncy House” face.  I look pretty damn good, actually!

My siblings are disturbingly crazy.  They do shit like run miles and ride bicycles and do flips in bouncy houses.  Crazy!

Needless to say, I’m not the athletic sibling.  I’m the adorable sibling who reads books and is a quiet nerd girl.  These genetically similar idiots were chasing each other through the Jump Zone play place at the mall and throwing each other off the big slide.  THEN they started doing barrel rolls down the giant slide attached to the blow up pirate ship. Even my MOTHER was jumping around in the Super Mario themed house and rolling down the slides.

My sister finally talked me into going down the super-slide which shoots you down like a greased pig at the redneck games.  We did that a couple of times with various kids (mine and my nephews) in different chain combinations.  Then, THEN, she got me in the big bouncy house.

The first difficulty of bouncy houses is standing up for any length of time.

The second is that when a 60 lb child is bouncing towards your prone form, the only thing to do is duck and cover.  I took a heel to my ear and then I was done playing.

I wasn’t upset or anything, I just have this overwhelming sense of self-preservation. It said “if you don’t stop now, you’re gonna end up needing a stiff drink and a doctor.”

In our ridiculously mixed-race genetics, a few particular ones pop out at times.  My brother got the hipster/nerd gene.  He wears shorts, flip flops and a long sleeve shirt and his vehicle of choice is a kayak.  He drives a Honda Civic.  He builds nerf sniper rifles for fun.

My sister got the built for speed gene.  She’s an athletic girl through and through.  She’s strong as hell and smart as a whip.  The girl once did so many sit-ups that she sprained her diaphragm.  Yes, my sister once sprained her lung muscle. She doesn’t prefer a vehicle because she’d rather run or jump or do cartwheels.

I got the homegirl gene.  I’ve got a big bootie, a nice rack and an overwhelming sense of “no, that shit sounds stupid.” I like clean clothes, soft sheets, baths and not being in pain.  I don’t like heights and I don’t like bugs or wild animals.  I’ve got to be in or near a city because no one should live more than 15 minutes away from a grocery store.

My “nuh-uh” list includes:

  • climbing trees
  • going over a waterfall
  • anything to do with wild animals
  • camping anywhere without air conditioning or a coffee pot or where one could meet a wild animal
  • riding a mountain bike
  • bungee jumping
  • sky diving
  • most roller-coasters
  • hiking somewhere that isn’t paved
  • running for no damn reason, especially if cars are around
  • sleeping on the ground
  • exploring caves

It did include jumping in bouncy houses but I was peer-pressured into it!  I have pictures of my relatives acting like little kids, but I need to download them and photoshop them first.

Anyways, I look cute, don’t I?  I need a haircut – that’s for sure – because it took an hour just to tame the volume.  I look like a dirty q-tip if I let it go.  My sister bought me that top and suggested my eye make-up when we talked earlier that day.  It held up really well, too!  This whole “try not to look like an exhausted mom of 3 project” is going fairly well!





concentric circles

25 01 2010

With everything that’s been going on, lately I’ve been feeling like my world is getting smaller.  I know January is a tough month on a lot of people – it’s too cold, no one has their tax return yet, it’s post-holiday stress, etc…

Basically, it sucks balls.

For a while, I’ve felt like these 4 walls in my bedroom were not only my comfort but my prison.  I really only leave the house to drop off or pick up the kids and sometimes on Saturdays I go to the store.  Emerging into the chaos that is outside this room and outside this house is terrifying.

But lately, there’s been chaos in here too.

I’ve never been one to be able to sit in the house all day even if I did have stuff to do in the house.  It’s only been the past year that I’ve even considered myself a homebody.  It used to be that staying in one place too long made me crazy – that even sitting in a restaurant after dinner was finished made me antsy.

Now I go for days with coming out of the bedroom for a few minutes at a time.  This is so unlike me and I don’t like this new “sits down all day” person at all.

I know how it happened – within 6 months, we adopted our children then I had surgery then the pain still wasn’t gone and this winter has been crazy with sickness, weather changes, terrible migraines and body pain, and basically trying to relearn how to be a family under the “new rules.”

What happened is that my tree got too top heavy and fell over in the storm.  Now, I’ve had to prune it quite a bit so that it’s basically sticks and replant it and give it time to form new roots.

I probably won’t bloom this year and that’s ok.  No loving gardener would expect me to.  I’ll grow some leaves but I probably won’t flower or fruit.  I’ve got to get myself stable so that I can stand up.

Here’s my plan to stability:

1.  Stop expecting myself to make fruit right away.  Sure, I’ve born fruit in the past but this has been a hell of a storm.  If I pop right out like TA-DA! and try and be the person I was before everything happened, I’m just going to fall over again.

2.  Keep reminding myself that weakness is not a sin.  Sure, it’s inconvenient and maybe shit won’t get done but that’s ok.  Nothing serious is going to happen because I’ve got to be propped up for a while.

3.  Start with my inner circle – the room I spend most of my time in.  It’s not a prison, it’s my sanctuary.  Besides, it’s little so even if I can’t conquer the world right now, I can conquer my own little room.

4.  Next, the family home.  Once my sanctuary is right, I can start rebuilding the way the home functions.  I’m an organizer – it’s what I do naturally.  Not just material things, but personal things too.  This will be fixing my relationships with my family and relearning how to make it work.  This is going to be the hardest step.

5.  Start reforming the sphere of influence – basically, re-bond with the people who influence the lives of my family.  Friends, teachers, therapists, doctors, the internet, etc…

6.  ?????

7.  PROFIT!

I’m not going to do anything drastic like leave the internet or stop with my hobbies because that would just make the steps harder.  I’ve got to do this gradually – the little bits that add up to a whole lot.  I’ve got to make sure version 2.9 is stable before 3.0 is released with much fanfare.  Right?

Anyways, this will probably take just around a year.  I turned 29 13 days ago so my goal is to have green roots at least extended into the ground by the time I’m 30.

What do you think?





what was plan b again?

4 01 2010

I could have SWORN the kids went back to school today.  I got them all ready, meds and breakfast done, warmed up the car, bundled up against the 18 degree weather and took off.

What did I find?  The schools were EMPTY.  It’s a teacher work day today.

Dammit!

I was going to work on cleaning house today but no.  There’s no point in cleaning house when all the kids are home.  30 seconds after putting away the vacuum, a toy box explodes and dirt somehow finds its way into corners I didn’t even knew existed.

So… plan B.  I guess I’ll clean my bathroom (since it’s kid free) and wash my make-up brushes.  I may even photograph my antique books to post on here.  I already wrote an About TABLP page and changed my colors to post-holiday coolness.  Then I guess I can set up my gaming machine that has a brand new video card, an LED fan, and THREE 320G hard drives in it.  Then maybe I’ll write about my Best Buy experience on Saturday and going to Dad’s to work on the computer.  If I’m not exhausted by then, I may crochet for a while or work on the computer “art” I got from my dad.  I could also hang up the hooks I got on Saturday for our hats (because our hats are awesome and make great decorations while they aren’t being worn.)

Yes, I am ignoring the kids.  I want them to be so damn bored that they are ecstatic about going back to school.  It’s my super-genius plan to make them enjoy school. 😉