Thursday, March 24, 2011

All I've Got is a Photograph...

"You've gone straight to my heeeeeeeaad!!"      Ok, sorry, had to finish out the song.

Back to your randomly scheduled post: 


We've never had "family pictures" made.  Of course, we've got a million of the kids, and we've got photos of all of us, but we've never had an actual professional photo shoot of the whole family.  I know some people are beginning to believe that my husband is a made-up person that I just talk about for the sake of having funny stories!  So I need to prove that he really exists---and I know it's torturous for him to sit and smile for the camera, and I'll never pass up an opportunity to torture him! (What are wives for??)  But I have a friend who takes the most AMAZING pictures in the world.  Seriously, she's like a magician.  She's done my kids a couple different times now, and it's baffling to watch.  My kids are going crazy, and I'm thinking that there is no WAY she actually got a normal shot out of these, and then here come the proofs and I'm staring at these going "Where was I when these little angelic creatures were posing so perfectly for the camera??  Did she Photoshop them in or something??"  I wanted to buy 10 of every shot.  A-mazing!

 Anyway, so we're doing family pictures. Now here comes the problem:  Trying to COORDINATE outfits!!  Wow, what a horrid experience this has been!   Trying to find clothes for 5 people who's ages are 10 months, 5 years, 6 years (who's a girl) and then 2 parents, yeah, this is a nightmare!  

We're not like most "normal" families.  We're 5 people with 5 completely different styles.  My idea of dressing up is wearing a fitted black shirt instead of an old Poison shirt and pairing it with skanky boots instead of flip-flops.  Patrick is a polo/cargo shorts guy, Shelby will wear anything that I tell her DOESN'T go together, little Patrick just wants to wear gym shorts and Star Wars shirts and Gibson...well, I'm just happy if he can make it 30 minutes without a giant drool stain down the front of his outfit.   So it's been verrry difficult to find outfits that are "coordinating" without looking like one of those families on the "Awkward Family Photos" website.   I don't really want a giant framed picture that resembles these:





I just have these memories of the dreaded "Olan Mills" sessions for church directory pictures.  I'd post some of those, but Jeff would never speak to me again, so I'll refrain.  So here I go, off to the mall to try to find clothes.  For the little boys, I wanted them to actually match.  Not in some monogrammed one piece jumper with animals on the collar like some of these people put on their poor boys.  Just matching BOY clothes. Just a polo and some shorts.  Apparently, the stores saw me coming and decided to screw with me.  Every single thing I found was always just half a shade different in the big boy/little boy shirts.   Seriously?  It's the exact same brand, why don't you have the exact same shirt in a 5 and an 18 month??  Is that so hard??   Obviously it is.  It's also now a trend to dress your little boy like a total thug.  The shorts come down to their ankles and the shirts have all this bling-bling writing all over it.  I'm sorry, but no, he's not old enough to resemble that inevitable douchebag at every concert who's wearing a skin-tight Ed Hardy shirt and an oversized hat cocked sideways on top of his honky-fro.  Please, just stop.

Then, we have the girl's clothes.  Or should we say the Prositi-Tots section.  Oh...my...gosh.  When did we decide to start dressing our elementary school girls like the hookers that hang out near 201 Poplar??  It's mini-tutu skirts, shorts with "Bootylicious" written across the ass, little strapless dresses covered in sequins (remind me:  What 6 year old has cleavage to fill these dresses out??).   It was ridiculous!   A DRESS.  A little cute, springtime dress that doesn't make her look like a hoochie, but also doesn't make her look like one of the Duggar girls on '19 Kids and Counting'!  Impossible!

And last but not least...and probably the toughest:  Me.  My entire wardrobe consists of black, black, a couple turquoisey blue things (looks good with the red hair) black, grey, a few reds here n there, and black.  While I'm a huge fan of Morticia Addams, I'm not exactly wanting to emanate her in our family picture.  But at the same time, I'm trying to find something light-colored and sort've spring-like without looking like I should be auditioning for a Massengil commercial!  Everything is pink, pink, yellow, pink, orange, and PINK!  I'm not Molly Ringwald.  I can't do the whole "redhead who wears pink" thing.  So I'm in dressing rooms flinging shirts left and right and cursing each and every fashion designer alive.   Trying on clothes is one of my least-favorite pastimes in the first place, but searching for clothes that SO aren't my style is my idea of hell.  Add to that, I think they all wait til I get to the store, just so they can play "Hey, Soul Sister" each and every time I step into that dreaded room.  Probably my most hated song in the history of music (right after "I Can See Clearly Now the Rain is Gone..")  It was horrible. 

So after 4 days, 257 stores, and me using every form of profanity I've ever learned in my lifetime (and a few I just made up because the normal ones weren't working anymore)  I FINALLY have 5 outfits that somewhat go together without taking away from our normal everyday style.   God bless the Happy Heart in Arlington (if you have girls, you'll be in heaven---go see Kim and tell her I told you to go!) and Children's Place at the mall because it was the only store to have actual MATCHING big boy/baby clothes that didn't look like someone's grandma knitted them herself.      So now:  Bring on April 4!   Julie, we're ready for ya!   Now the question is:  Are you ready for us??    If there ever was an appropriate time to use the term "that's a Motley looking crew", it would be now.    So stay tuned for the photographic evidence!










Shout out to Julie Torregrossa at 117 Photography.  If you want the best children/newborn/maternity/family portraits EVER, you don't need to go any further than Julie!  (Check out her website...you'll even see a couple shots of my 2 older monkeys on there.)


**Title excerpt:  Obviously, it's Photograph by Def Leppard.  I realized that I was about to be 3 for 3 in the pop category if I'd said "As far as I'm concerned, you're just another picture to burn" so I figured I'd go with something out of my normal genre.**

Just in case you didn't happen to be listening to 98.1 or Rock 103 for one of the 14, 293 times they play it during the day, here ya go:


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Raise Your Glass If You Are Wrong In All The Right Ways...

As we all know, I'm easily irritated at many "types" of people. Overly political/religious spouting folks usually hang at the top of my list. (Only because complaining about Memphis drivers is pretty much a moot point.)  I'm not a fan of zealots of any kind.  I don't care if I agree with the basis of your argument.  If you're loud and argumentative, hold signs, or post a million Facebook updates about it, you can pretty much guarantee that you're irritating the hell out of me.  I don't discriminate---I'm just as equally aggravated by the obsessive Bible-quoters as I am the Gay&Women's rights screamers.  I guess it's because I hate debate and I'm not big on confrontation.  (Please don't get me started on the school merger debate---that's a whole other blog post and it would most likely get ugly.)  I have my opinion, my opinion is the only one that matters to me, I don't care what your opinion is (especially if it's different from mine, because you're wrong) and I don't want you to try and convince me of why you think you're right.  Because you're not and that's it.  Done, end of discussion, moving on.

But as much as I detest the political and religious nutcases, I've found a new group of people who officially irk me more than anyone else on earth:  

Food and Alcohol Snobs!



Today, I read on someone's Facebook page that there was some woman on TV who was showing some poor guy how to "properly drink wine."   Ok, I'm gonna need you to stop.  Drink it how you like, bathe in in it, stick your nose in it, I don't care.  But do NOT tell me that I'm drinking something incorrectly because I don't wanna sniff it and swirl it around and swish it in my mouth.  I know to your fellow wine snobs, you look enlightened.  In MY world, you look like a tool.   Once again, this goes back to: my opinion is my opinion and my TASTE is my taste.  If I want to grab a $4 bottle of Riunite Lambrusco from the gas station and drink it, why do you have to say something about it??  If you would rather drink a $40 bottle of Chateau De St Morocco Guensfengieher extra-dry chardonnay, then go for it!  I'm not gonna say a word.  I don't know why people always have to comment on what other people choose to eat or drink.   

I'll be the first person to say that I don't know jack shit about wines.  I'm a beer girl (and yes, it's Bud Light, and please don't tell me that I'm drinking water and that it's not real beer if it's not dark and from another country.  Shut your face.) and the only time I really ever drink wine is when I'm at someone else's house who has it.  I have bottles here, but I very rarely just sit and drink it.  No one else in my house drinks, so I feel like a loser boozer if I'm just sitting here gettin' tipsy alone.  (That's what my brother's house is for!)  But on the off-chance that I'm drinking it, it's usually some kind of Riesling, just because it's sweet.  Give me a glass of something "dry" and I'll give you the same face as if I just shot tequila.   But that's my choice.  Is it affecting your life in any way whatsoever??  No, so why do you have to comment on my Zinfandel or whatever I chose to have?  I'm not commenting on your hideously ugly shirt, or the fact that you could REALLY use some makeup.  You know why?  Because that's rude.  I don't like rude people. I don't even like to point out to waiters that they got my order wrong, because I grew up being taught that you eat what someone makes you and you don't complain.  It's rude.  Why is it that you think it's not rude to question what other people choose to eat or drink? 

I mean, I could easily drink an entire case of Dr. Peppers in one day.  Seriously, it's been done many time. I absolutely detest diet drinks...I mean, utterly detest....with a loathing passion that I usually save specifically for Dave Matthews.   Meanwhile, my best friend will blow through Diet Dr. Peppers like they're going out of style.  Is this an issue?  No, because what another person chooses to drink doesn't affect me. (I just make sure to have some in the back of the fridge for when she comes over. lol)  But there are people who just aren't content in life if they're not pushing off their own personal opinions on you and making you feel as if you are inferior to them because of what you choose to satisfy your own appetite.  I just can't wrap my brain around that concept!   If I want to drink watery beer or drink Dr. Peppers with a gourmet meal instead of a specific wine that "complements" the food, how bout you just let me do that and shut up!!  I personally don't like wine with food.  I drink because I'm thirsty and I like VERY spicy foods.  So this whole 'sip your room temperature wine while you eat' doesn't work for me.  I need something cold that I can chug (and then burp really loudly as soon as I get to the parking lot).  But you've always got this one uppity little snot, or some overly-opinionated douchebag who insists on calling attention to it.  Makes me want to cheese-grate their faces down a concrete pavement.

Same goes for food.  I have been been with people who actually seem BOTHERED by the fact that I would eat steak sauce on a steak.  Really??   "You're ruining a good cut of meat by putting that on it."  Last time I checked, I was the one eating it, not you.  And I like the way A1 tastes...I like it on lots of things.  I eat my steaks rare (like still mooing rare) and I like A1 with it.  Get over it, move on, find a new topic of conversation.  It's not that friggin' interesting. 

I do need to point out that I have a serious food insecurity to begin with.  I've always had it, and apparently I get it from my grandfather.  I'm VERY nervous about eating and/or talking about my food in front of people.  My family, yeah, I'll shovel down whatever, but if I'm not around you a lot, I will practically seize up when the question is asked:  "So what are you gonna order?"  I'll blush, stutter, mumble and be like "Oh look, a kitty!!" just to take the focus away from me and my food choice.   I don't know why it is, but there ya go.    And what's weirder than that is that I LOOOOOOVE to cook.  I'm one of those not-so-normal-these-days women who cooks dinner for my family every single night.  We'll do to-go sometimes on weekends, but for the most part, yes, every night, I cook.  But again, here comes the insecurity.  If I have to cook for "outsiders" (meaning, anyone who is outside of the 6 people who are in and out of my house every day....or Kim) I'm a nervous wreck.  I don't handle food criticism well, because once again, the weird insecurity.  Luckily, so far (knock on wood) I've never had a complaint on anything that I've brought to a party, and in 90% of the cases, I've been asked for the recipe, or asked to make it for them again.  But that still doesn't change the fact that I don't like to talk about my food.  (The only reason I can do it here is because none of you are LOOKING at me.)

Ok, I seriously have no idea where I was going with this.  See, this is why I never blogged before.  By the time I'm done with one thought, the point of the story has completely flown out the window.  I have a completely random mind and I'll ramble on forever about nothing!!  Just be glad I'm not on my usual rant about music choices!    Really, I don't even think I had a point, I just felt like bitching, because it got brought up on Facebook and the subject always pisses me off.  So please, for the sake of my sanity, if you're ever out with me (which is probably never going to happen, because I'm so anti-social that I hardly leave my house) PLEASE don't call attention to my food or drink.   Because secretly, you're creating a knot in my stomach and I'm blushing down my chest as we speak.  Thank you and good night. 

And of course, now I'm hungry...





                                                                   
***Title excerpt from the song "Raise Your Glass" by P!nk**  
                                    

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Find one song before the virus takes hold...

**So, of course, Roger was talking about the AIDS virus during that song, and I'm being completely melodramatic, but seriously, I feel like absolute death, and it's the first lyric that popped into my head.**



Our house is a giant cesspool.  Or moreso, should I say, my KIDS are giant cesspools!  No matter what bit of funk is going around those schools, they make sure to share it with all of us.   So I've been laid up for the past 3 days with a 102 fever and all the aches, chills, sore throat and horrid cough that go with it.  My impression of the endangered barking seal is well on its way to perfection!  Meanwhile, the older two just keep passing it back and forth between them, just to guarantee that none of us ever fully recover from it.   


So after being forced by my mother to go to the doctor yesterday, I found out that it's viral.  Yay!  So you take my $25 co-pay then tell me to rest, take Tylenol, and drink fluids.  Thanks, doc.   At least I did get some Codeine cough medicine out of her.  Little did I know that actually obtaining said cough syrup was going to take a National Act of Congress!  As usual, the computers were down, so they were trying to pull up my insurance card, which took FOREVER.  Meanwhile, I can feel the OTC meds I'd taken that morning beginning to wear off.  One glance in those mirrors they have up on the walls in Walgreens, and I almost screamed in shock. How a person's face can be flushed and yet deathly pale at the same time is completely beyond me.  As I said on Facebook, I highly resembled Charlize Theron, playing Aileen Wuornos in Monster. Plus, my sinuses were all swollen, so it became a combination of Aileen and Hitch when Will Smith's character has an allergic reaction to shellfish.   I'm actually quite surprised that Nikki Sixx and Jon Bon Jovi didn't decide to make a pit-stop at that Walgreens at that exact moment, because that's usually my luck.  Never fails, when you look like shit, you WILL see every single person you've ever met, had a crush on, or turned down for a date.  It's karma's way of letting them take one look at you and go "OMG, what the hell was I thinking?"


Anyway, apparently the pharmacists didn't read the look of  panic or discomfort on my face and proceeded to take their own sweet time filling the Rx.  Seriously?!  It's freakin' cough syrup:  Pour it in a bottle, put the little sticker on it, shake it, and hand it to me!!  Oh no, not that simple.  After sitting and waiting for almost an hour (my eyes were beginning to blur and I was shaking uncontrollably with a fever at this point)  I politely ask them if it is ready yet.  The girl looks up from her Taco Bell burrito and says "Aww....naw, hode on, I'll see if it be ready."   I see that they don't require remedial English in Pharmacy school.   She comes back 10 minutes later and said "Aww, they forgot to put it in, it be ready in 10 minutes."  Cut to 10 minutes later, while I watch as they're all just standing around talking, eating, one's talking on her cell, etc.  As this point, the madness has taken over and the delusions started.  In my mind, this is what happened when I walked to the counter:



"GIVE ME MY $4 BOTTLE OF CODEINE!!!"


But in reality, I think I probably just stumbled to the counter, tripping over my own feet and began to jabber incoherently like a deranged mental patient.  Whatever happened, it made them stand up and finally get my medicine.  Oh, and get this!  Here's exactly what they did:  Walked over to a counter, picked up a big bottle, poured it into a little bottle, slapped a sticker on it, and handed it to me!!   What a concept.


So me, my $4 bottle of cough medicine, my TheraFlu, and my hospital mask (yes, I bought one...it's the only way I can get near Gibson) somehow sobered up enough to drive the half-mile back to my house, where I threw on sweats and a t-shirt and literally passed out in my chair and I haven't moved since.  Needless to say, I look (and most likely smell) AWESOME!!  I've seen that commercial for Tresemme's Dry Shampoo about 13 times---I'm thinkin' they're trying to send me a message.    I don't even have the willpower to stand up and change the DVD in the player, which means that I've now watched Rent about 6 times in the past 48 hours.  (Hence the title of the post)   But I'm so out of it that it's now just become background noise in the random mush floating around in my head.  Between the codeine syrup, the nighttime cold medicine and the nasty funk that's living there, needless to say, when I do fall asleep for the night, I could literally choke on my own lung fluid and I would never have any idea.   And right now, that would actually be a welcome relief.  Codeine, take me away...


~Ash


 
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I promise, my blogs will not continue to be a bunch of rambling, pathetic self-loathing.  They say "Write what you know" and right now, that's ALL I know!  My brain is no different than those hamster's who run around in the little clear balls, slamming into every wall they encounter. Don't get me started on how it took 3 adults to help a 1st grader with her homework---and it was on the 4 basic food groups!  Yes, this sickness needs to go away! Now, don't get me wrong, I'll still be bitchin' about something.  Don't think you're getting off that easy.  I just won't be wallowing in self-pity and insulting myself.  I'll be back to insulting others!

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**Blog title is an excerpt from the song "One Song Glory" from the movie/broadway show Rent.