Wacky Wednesday

Orchestral Maneouvres in the Dark
OK, so I know I'm a little late, but raise your hand if you got up at 2:50am on August 28th to view the total lunar eclipse. We did. It was uber cool. We were camping at Mt. Rainier National Park and it was a luminous night. Twas the night before the day after, the stars were blazing like rebel diamonds cut out of the sun, and not a creature was stirring, except us and the nice, unassuming man yon over who wore his kippah even in the wee hours of the morn when bladders tend to feel their most irreligious.

We stayed up from about 2:30 to 3am and watched das moon go from a three quarter moon to a full-on, red moon at night, campers delight. When the moon hits your eye, like a big red pizza pie, that's amore.
The next day we hiked to Snow Lake for a picnic lunch and I tried to stop time immemorially, but succeeded only in screwing up my watch.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Raise your hand if you are a better person for having learned all this. Yeah, I thought not.

Echoes from the Wells of Silence
Silence. That's all mine ears can heareth. Well, dull silence anyways. I can hear a traffic helicopter overhead, and the paving truck on the block behind, and the guinnea pig sucking his water tube, and my fingers on the keyboard. But all this pales in comparison to what I don't hear, which is whining, screaming, bickering, endless questions and, "Mom, Mom! Listen to this. On Animal Planet, there was this dog and yadda yadda yadda...."

My kids are chatter boxes. I have no idea where they get this trait from, she says with deadpan insincerity, an ever so slightly puzzled frown, and a quizzically-framed eyebrow, before returning to the serreptitious sipping of her coffee.

I cherish time alone. Always have. It's why I was home office-based for more than a decade. I'm not antisocial per se but more and more, I'm discovering a certain contentment and at-one-ment in being a-lone. In restless dreams I walked alone.

Minding my p's & q's - peace and quiet. The juxtaposition between my driving life and home life does not escape even me of the oblivious ilk. I prefer not to listen to a radio or TV when I'm by myself at home. In the vehicle though, I have my tunes cranked to the outer limits of decibel measurement. My kids have to mime and lip sync and bounce up and down in hopes a high bounce gets framed for posterity in the rear view mirror, in order to get my attention. This works for me ~ rarely for them.

Confessions of a Cab Driver
So it's back to school time and my Bridgestone four-seasons are in permatread mode. Our mornings now consist of two shifts - the 6:50am departure to get Prodigal Son to his metro transit stop a few blocks down the hill, where he now catches a quasi-express bus to his middle/high school.

And then round two at 7:30am with Darling Daughter, which involves driving past the neighborhood elementary mere blocks away, big fat sigh, and then the next one, before joining the morning commuters in our parts as we make our way to the old neighborhood and school she was most reluctant to part ways with. Yes, day two and this drive is already beginning to feel very old school.

But it's my karmic lot. I'm trying to embody a kind of Buddhist sense and sensibility about it all. Staying mindful and stoic despite feeling like I should be wearing a black patent, checkered-brim cap, and sporting a taxi meter on the dash. The title of this chapter of motherhood might well be called My Life in Circles, as I shift from school pick-up/drop-off to after-school mode with soccer, dance, scouts. And that's fine.

The one nice thing about minivan parenting is how sweet captivity is when it comes to moral pontificating. I save all important conversations, lectures and the like for the vehicle now - sex, drugs, bullying, homework, and even the obligatory, whatdayamean your new 41 year old Humanities teacher who professes to loves Bono more than anyone is cooler than your 41 year old Humanities grad mother, who truly wears the army boots when it comes to Bono adoration. Un.accept.able, do you hear me?

That's what happens when you let your kids loose into the world. They start riding metro buses with gypsies, tramps, thieves, meth dealers, bag ladies, high school mucus snorters/projectile saliva spitting champs, and other assorted pillars of society. And they start learning that the solar system is not parentalcentric after all, except insofar as said solar system relates to transportation.

When it comes to getting to and from Points Eh to Zed, I'm still the space ship superstar with the sinister grin and the Elton John shades ~ a kind of neo-new age Burnt Offerings' chaffeur driver, except my soundtrack is less macabre. Burnt Offerings? Does that not elicit a visceral reaction or what? Scariest all time moment in the history of film bar none, sayeth I- when Anthony James, the hearse driver, pulls up to the spooky shack and grins that horsetoothy, chilling grin of his, it's absasmurfly, positively, eerily Dickensonian.

They say to embrace that which you most fear. So here I am. I am the chauffeur, it becomes me. I rise from the slumbering dead each morn, beckoning to my children from the door of the van with my bony index finger to come hither, get yer assets into the van. It's time to go. Now. Vamos.

It's a thankless job. Thank God I have Bono. And my dancing, dashboard Jesus. And fresh-brewed Starbucks coffee. And all my teeth. And my reclaimed albeit bobbling head.

Not necessarily in that order.

Truth, Lies & YouTube Tape
When I'm not busy being entirely too preoccupied with how stupid people can be, I like to spend my spare time musing about the very human plight of ordinary Joes and Josephines. It's very Jerry Springerish, minus the popcorn-munching voyeurism. Small wonder that the original Rear Window is my second fave flick then. I'm continually amazed by the dramas and between-the-lines subtext that shape daily lives.

Hubby has come home with some doozies from work lately. One lovely co-worker is a slum landlady to not just one, but two deadbeat tenants in Chicago who, collectively, haven't paid rent in about a year, yet are audacious enough to work the court system and file grievances of faulty heating. They'll likely win and earn themselves heaps more time to squat.

On top of that long-distance nightmare, she is dealing with her own landlord-like issues in the form of a condo levvy to the tune of some $113,000. Picture spinning the game of Life dial and drawing the Life card, "Condo Board votes to spend $1.5 million in exterior capital improvements on building in order to compete with new luxury development project next door, prevent owners from being able to sell their condo anytime soon except at a loss, and nearly bankrupt owners in the process - pay Board $113,000." Can you imagine having to fork out several thousand dollars per month over the next year just to keep up with the Jonezes? Can you say class action suit? I like the way you say that. As usual, the only people who profit on all fronts are the lawyers.

And speaking of lawyers, another co-worker of hubs ~ a contractor who hails from Ohio ~ is embroiled in an unwanted menage-a-trois involving a prominent prosecuting attorney turned judge and the guy's geo-estranged girliepal who still lives out east, and has apparently been show & telling more than the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, if you catch my drift. Somehow the truth did come out though and now His not-so-Honorable So & So is trying to sweet talk dudely into coming back to talk things over rationally. Man to Man. Dudely is fearful for his life, on account of knowing a tad too much about the lawyer, his shady past dealings and his clients (many whom could easily ride the metro bus with the motley crew on my son's bus and fit in nicely).

But that's not all, that's not all, two babies drinking alcohol. While said lawyer (pronounced liar or lay-her, your pick) is busy singing soprano in the church choir with his doting wife and kids in the first pew, two-timing girlfriend is busy cleaning long distance, boyfriend dude out of house, home and bank. So not only does he have an achey, breaky heart to deal with, he's now got collection agencies at his door and maybe even Guido and the boys outside his rear window. On account of their connections to Dirty Harry the Judiciary, who can't help but dis his robe, despite a certain codependence with the voting public. Buddy in cubicle S (for scorned) has reputedly not slept a wink in over a week. Paranoia, self-destroyer, five dead in Ohio, and other kinky stories. News at 11.

Hubby confided this latest co-worker plight to me among the bed-clothes and through the hills in the land of counterpane last night. He attracts all manner of confessionals at work, it would seem. Must be his fatherly persona. Or the fact that they work in a cubicle world and the environment lends itself to hushed voices and confessional diatribes near the water cooler.

I also think he attracts such confessions if only because he is a bit, as in the tiniest, smidgeonyist, un petit peu of an analyzing worrywart, such that even though he thinks he's packed up his troubles in his ole kitbag and he's wearing his happy face, he's still carrying some excess baggage. Those pesky, minor worries are actually sitting there on the edge of his psyche, begging for a oneupmanship.

Whatever real and imagined financial & marital troubles he perceives for himself/us/the world dissipate like dust in the wind compared to the lives of these certain others. The old adage that a wife is both cheaper and easier certainly holds true here. If I act quick, I may even be able to get away with a Nordstrom spree this week without the usual hide it in the closet and pretend as though I've owned said expensive frock for years. This old thing?! - Gawd, it's sooo out of fashion, it's practically in again!

Everything is in again. It's as wacky as Wednesday. Those plastic jelly shoes I used to wear as accoutrement to my black robe, when I led upstanding, honourable judges into the court room back in the day? In like flint. And burgundy goucho pants. My daughter now struts her stuff in them. Some are even trimmed with tartan cuffs like Derek's so handsomely did, once upon a bygone time. Derek who? Why Derek the drummer from the Bay City Rollers, of course. I've moved beyond Wednesday, keep up with me - I'm now on S-a-t-u-r-d-a-y night. Ssss-ssss-ssss-Saturday night.

Ah yes, the good ole rock 'n roll, road show that is time, fashion and the random synapses of this blog. Now just to give you a small glimpse of my coronary evolution, (because lurking minds wanna know), I loved Derek in the years before Bono was up in arms about blimey Sundays. Derek and others (like Leif Garrett), were to us in the era of the mid-70s, what Troy of High School Musical fame has become to my daughter's bunch these days ~ the stuff of notebook covers, Tigerbeat sales and merchandiser dreams.

And where are they now? According to Wikipedia, the Smoking Gun, TSG and other altogether, reliable media sources, these 70s superstars are either downloading child porn and/or doing heroin. Lovely. That means they can ride the metro bus with my son, too.

Great big sigh. And I think to myself, what a wonderful world...


Becca said...

I will never, ever, complain about my life. My life is simple, by comparison to that of your husband's coworker. Simple is good.

Great entry today!

Natalie said...

hahahahaha... oh, the thought of those awful parachute/balloon pants coming back frightens me. Have you walked through department stores lately? It's all "retro" '80's and psuedo '70's crap. It was bad enough when those stupid bell bottoms came back but then they had to make capri's have little bell bottoms, too. Awful!
I never really liked the Bay City Rollers. I was more of an "Alarm" kinda gal... Modern English... Bob Marley... Mutabaruka... Siouxsie... OMD... Ministry... you know, those "dark" but poppy bands. I will also admit to liking Michael Jackson and well, that would now get me thrown out of any club. And Madonna? Loved her... still do...
Remember how she dressed in "Desperately Seeking Susan"? I was in love with that look.
Cap'n Jack... you know, some people just have that aura about them that says, "Give me your tired..." and, unfortunately, it gets interpreted as a reason to unload on the nice guy 'cause he's willing to listen.

Hey, wanna have a roller skating party? Get into the groove?


Natalie said...

Oh, and I've been a fan of U2's since "Boy", loved "War", and one of my favorite early songs was/is, "Two Hearts Beat as One."

I had the extended, twelve inch, vinyl version and played it in the club when I was a DJ.

Yes, I'm old... but I can still dance!

Jorge said...

Have I told you lately how much I enoy your writing? That's just my shameless way of encouraging you to do more :-) Like your hubby, I hear all sorts of confessionals at work, both from patients and co-workers. Sadly, confidentiality issues prevent me from blogging about them, even in a disguised fashion, as anonymity on the Internet is almost impossible to achieve if someone is interested in tracking you down. So I get my vicarious pleasure reading of your world through your unique, humorous, and thoughtful perspective. Be well,

The Beast Mom said...

Your tag list alone is fascinating reading. ;)

My kids are chatterboxy too - it sure doesn't come from me.


HOLY said...

I know - we all think we have problems (and we do!) but often they are like dust specks compared to the lives of others.....

you butt crack me up...yes I heart music too...I was a rock then pop then disco queen, then underground punk rocker - Buzzcocks, Furs, Iggy, etc...and then I went mainstream again - I hate to pinned to any one demographic but here's my deep dark confession - Jack FM totally has me pegged...isn't that awful.

That Desperately Seeking look is in again - it's kindof a cross between Madonna and Rosie the Riveter. I can't wait to grow my hair long again and start wearing my sideways pony tail like I used to back in the holy 80s.....with my big plastic polka dot hoop earrings. I really thought I had it going on. And you know, compared to my throw anything on and go look I have happening these days....I did.

Ditto, mon amie. And yes, I try to disguise what I write - I don't get as many of the psycho word string searches now as I used to on Live Spaces - you name the freaky fetish and people would search it and somehow end up on my blog - ewwhhh....but I still try to watch my language and word usage...just in case.

Well I know they don't come by their chatterboxiness on account of yellow 5, red 40 and blue 2....nor because of spending too much time at Fred Meyer....Between mom's writing and dad's oratory skills, their collective inheritance of "voice" was inevitable, was is not?
But the egg kissing....I dunno. If I were you, I'd blame it on a distant psycho aunt gene or something.

hatrock said...

Ironically, while this alumnus trotted through the ol' fraternity house, what does he see but a "Bay City Rollers" album, Derek and all.

I only wanna be with you.

hatrock said...

Oh, and we were both looking at the same moon that night. Luckily for me, I just sat up in my bed and looked out the window, gazing ... gazing at the orange-toned cheese ball. Mmmm ... cheeseballs...

ventl8r said...

BTW - LOVE the Cosby quote. Had to try it out, and it's true!

cas said...

Wow, a full measure of all things great and small in Schmidtland. Wise and wonderful, too.

That's all I have to say about that.

Lynn said...

Ah, to come back to Schmidt land and find THIS...thank you, Holy.
*Big Beaming Grin*

c said...

Haven't been by in awhile and decided to say hi. As always, enjoyed your incredible story weaving. Hope all is well.