Wednesday, June 27, 2012


The scientist has been a huge Van Halen fan (henceforth referred to as VH) for as long as I've known him.  Way longer, actually.  Not "big fan" as in, remembers hanging out with his buddies listening to "Jump."  Not "big fan" in that he goes to the concerts that come to the town he's in.  Not "big fan" as in, he knows who all the lead singers have been and who's in the band.  Nope.  Big Fan as in capital B and capital F.  Big Fan as in, flies to the opening night location of the last two tours (the only ones he's been old enough fiscally sound enough to fly to.  Big Fan as in, he painted the VH red, white and black stripey pattern thingy on one of our fences in the backyard one night.  Unbeknownst to me of course, until I woke up and let the dogs out.  Good times.  Big Fan, as in he owns the same ampifier Eddie owns and has The Eddie guitar.  If you're wondering who the heck Eddie is, the rest of this post is going to be impossibly confusing.  Stop.  Reading.  Now. 

Me?  I'm sort of an Indigo Girls fan.  Seen them multiple times.  I also like a good many country bands/singers and have been to my fair share of hair band concerts.  I have seen Billy Joel and his compadre, Elton, in concert twice.  Camped out all night to get tickets the first time.  Drove 10 hours, pregnant, to see them the second time. 

Opposites attract.  At least they better.  My whole dang marriage is sort of riding on it. 

VH has been on tour.  If you already knew this, it is probably because you, too, married a rock and roll boy.  We should get together and talk about Lilly Pulitzer patterns and cute shoes while the boys talk about guitars and Diamond Dave (see what I did there?) and wear t-shirts with words on them and pretend to be edgy at 40-something.  It's either that or you knew it because you bought tickets your own self and you're the girl he probably should have married.  In which case, don't expect an invite from me. He's still processing the fact that he married a sorority girl who can't name a single Metallica song.   We don't want to make things any more confusing than they already are. 

The Scientist went to the opening show of the 2012 VH tour and last night, they closed the tour in New Orleans.  I got him tickets for Valentines day.  It was right after he came back from the opening show and was proof that, contrary to what he you might think, I AM the girl he should have married.  Lucky thing.  I sort of saw it as a win-win.  He gets to go to VH (which he would probably have done anyway), I get credit for being Wife Of The Year, and we both get to toss the children off on friends (thanks, Rebecca and Elizabeth!) and have an extended date night.  In a hotel.  With no kitchen or laundry room.  Win-freakin'-win. 

So, we went, they rocked and I peeked between my fingers at the high kicks because I am not accustomed to seeing someone who I bet can get a senior discount at Winn Dixie on Wednesdays, get their foot over their head in a spin kick.  But, who's counting years?  Certainly not The Scientist and his people.  They.  Loved.  It.  It was like being back in the garage all over again.  It was like coming home to these fellas and it was happiness in over-priced, warm cup of beer to watch. 

Oh, there were some women there.  Many of them were my "sisters."  We didn't really know what the heck was going on, but had payed attention over the years to our men and knew to wrinkle our brows and nod solemnly and knowingly when they yelled into our ears that David was being "like 'old Dave'"  and to widen our eyes and mouths with delight and unabashed joy when they recognized the opening strains of "Hot For Teacher." From a wife-of-the-year standpoint, I rocked that concert.  As a reward for my efforts, I got an adult meal out for dinner (crabcakes with mushroom and shrimp creamy sauce on top, if you're wondering) and got to eat breakfast in a bar this morning.  It was New Orleans, after all, which makes that OK.  We also walked down Bourbon Street after the concert.  Since I was finally on the verge of either, 1) calling parents and having them come pick their 20-something year old children up or 2) adopting someone and taking them home for a balanced meal and a soft bed, (Think: The Blind Side), Trey hauled me home on the promise of a trip to Whole Foods the next day. 

I am not a rock-and-roll girl.  I wear a cardigan to just about every event I go to.  The Scientist thinks it's cute and sort of ladylike, and we'll just let him think that.   I have a suspicion that the members of Van Halen aren't that into hard-core rock-and-roll chicks anymore either.  It made me like them all the more to imagine that after a concert like the one we saw, they just want to go home to someone who loves them and knows what shows they want to watch on TV and knows just how to fix their grilled cheese sandwich.  Even rock-and-roll boys have to grow up sometime.

I should know. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Change

Among other topics we will not be entertaining today (such as the upcoming election, the discouraging European economy, and my fondness for chopping all my hair off as soon as the temps rise above 85) , we will also not be discussing my extended (humph) hiatus from the blogging world.  Said haitus may resume, without notification, at any time. 

With the disclaimers out of the way, I can now state that it is PESTO TIME in the Fish Tank.  This is glorious news for The Scientist.  It makes the whole house smell all clean (in an herby, slightly hippy-ish sort of way) and prompts me to come up with all sorts of creative uses for the oily, salty, herby goodness.  Tonight, it's flat bread.  Goodness, happiness and light abound.  Mostly. 

The Fishies used to dig stuff like this:  spicy noodles of all sorts, sushi, roasted red peppers, garlic and all sorts of other food items that aren't fried, breaded or include the word "nugget" or "-ito" in their name or description.  Somewhere between Huggies and homework they underwent The Change.  This appears to be a natural developmental stage that most children go through at some point.   The commencement point of The Change is directly proportional to said child's birth order.  In our limited study (of three test subjects), our research has shown that lower he/she is in birth order (and hence, the more nonesense he/she is exposed to from older siblings with peer pressured palate), the younger the child is when he/she undergoes The Change.  After The Change, my culinarily curious kids preferred chicken nuggets to cordon bleau.  Pizza to pad thai.  Grilled cheese to gumbo.  So, tonight may be an offense.  They love pesto as they believe it was originally intended to be eaten- on pasta with extra cheese, please.  And nothing too aged, if you don't mind. 

I'd say that if they turn their noses up at the flatbread offerings tonight, that you're invited to pinch hit.  But, let's be honest.  The Scientist and I might be hoping a tiny, little, bitty bit that we have to finish it up ourselves.  Don't expect a call. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mission (almost) Completed

Operation Merry Fishtank is nearing completion. Right on schedule. Even ahead by a day or so. My favorite decoration this year is my fireplace- new and improved for those of you who followed along with the fireplace saga earlier in the year. Pictures posted later.

Here was my favorite decoration last year. I am amused to say that it is even more laden this year and is beginning to look a little ridiculous. I give The Scientist a new ornament for it every year in his stocking and last year's was a three-fer. Three matching CU football helmet ornaments. If I weren't so attached to this one, I'd say we were going to need a bigger tree!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Operation Merry Fishtank

'Tis the season. I know this evokes lots of strong opinions. Some of you are horrified. "It's not even Thanksgiving yet, woman!" Others of you are seeing me as a kindred holiday spirit. Among those in the know, it is no secret that I am in the beginning stages of decorating for Christmas. The wreath isn't hung yet and we do a real tree, so that won't go up for awhile, but the groundwork is currently being laid for these things to happen. Here's how this process used to go a few years ago:

I would eagerly await the day after Thanksgiving so that I could start getting my decorations out. However, I am a social lemming, so I would never actually do this on Black Friday. I was at the malls. So, it waited until the day after the day after Thanksgiving. Which is always a huge football day, and we were too busy eating nachos and cheering or cursing, depending on the game(s). Then Sunday was here and nothing can ever get done on Sunday. Monday would come after that and the children were back in school and the official holiday maddness and Christmas countdown would officially begin. Maddness, I tell you. Pajama days at school, presents to buy. Cookie exchanges. Parties. Parties. Parties. Somewhere in there, I would start getting the decorations down from the attic. A big box would come down. I would race to get the stuff into it's appropriate place while the kids were occupied with a game or school. All the stuff that was now displaced in the house would get shoved into a closet or nook or cranny, awaiting the end of the maddness and it's return to rightful place on the mantle (or armoire, or side table or hallway wall). Invariably, this pattern would continue right up until the week of Christmas, at which point, I began hauling boxes down in a frenzy, throwing decorations up left and right and feeling guilty all the time that I hadn't done it sooner and that now we only had a short time to enjoy it and that my family didn't have a calm, cool and together mommy at the holiday helm.

None of this was joyful. It wasn't merry. It wasn't worshipful. It wasn't calm or bright.

It was crazy and frantic and all things that I never wanted my Christmas to be about.

So, Clemsongirl and I developed a plan a few weeks ago that I am eagerly and currently implementing. Here's how it works:

Today (yes, TODAY!)- the garage gets de-cluttered. I'm using this term pretty loosely because we are not un-cluttered garage type people. We are not European or South American. Therefore we don't park our cars in the garage. We store things there. So, really, it's a loose organization of the stuff we intend to be there. That loose collection of stuff has been organized (loosely, of course) and things that have been waiting in the launch-pad area to go up to the attic have been put up there. This is all in preparation for...

Friday- Christmas boxes are brought down from the attic and placed in a now cleared out area of the garage we will refer to as the "staging area." They will not be touched. Just brought down. This must be done this day because I will have the morning to myself with no children except Red Fish.

Sunday- Surface decluttering takes place and fall decorations come down. Anything that must be moved to make room for Christmas decor will be moved. Where? Not sure yet. Probably a big ol' box that will also be put in the "staging area." This is to prepare for...

Monday- The Most Wonderful Woman in the World (AKA- my cleaning lady) arrives. She cleans the now uncluttered surfaces and gives the house it's monthly thorough once over (Yes, monthly. Stop judging).

Tuesday- I teach in the morning (saying that still hasn't gotten old). In the afternoon, while Redfish sleeps and prior to school pick-up, I will begin putting up the decorations onto the clean and neat surfaces.

Wednesday- continue process from Tuesday.

Thurs- put empty-ish boxes back into attic. Boxes will have been re-packed with things that were removed to make room.

Friday- Thanksgiving feasts at both schools. Packing for...

Saturday- We leave for SC and will be gone until the Monday after Thanksgiving at which point...

We return to a schedule that will be wild until Christmas and a house that is ready to handle it! Voila! Now, won't it be fun to see how many excuses I can come up with for why this didn't happen as planned?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Trying to Reason With Hurricane Season

For those of you who have enough sense not to live at the ocean, hurricane season runs from June through November. Technically. Those of us who live here know that on paper it is six months long, but the reality is that as soon as the weather starts to cool, we can breathe a sigh of relief. So, I was breathing easier as of Halloween this year. Hurricanes are "fueled" by warm water and don't do well in cooler conditions. So, the November deadline is just to be on the safe side...or so we thought.

Hurricane Ida is aiming for us and I have my Thanksgiving decorations out. It just doesn't seem right.

I am not a girl to sit around and mope about a weather system I cannot control (although, The Scientist would argue that if a weather system could be controlled, I would be the girl to do it). So, I did what every other red-blooded American does during severe weather (like a mild snow flurry) and got my tail to the grocery store.

The beer was going fast. Thank goodness I needed Woodchuck cider. The ground beef and Bunny bread were flying off the shelves. Lucky for the rednecks behind me in the pre-hurricane supermarket buggy derby, that I didn't need beef or bread. Just Fontina cheese and roasted macadamia nuts for me, thanks. I threw in a few bags of Louisiana satsumas and some organic spinach and then bypassed the battery and bottled water aisles in favor of the aisle containing the all-important pomagranate-apple cider and the feta cheese. One bag of Fritos Scoops later, I was stocked up and prepared for Ida- whatever she may bring.

Wish us luck.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Hello, Long Lost Friend!

You're all right, of course. All of you who have been so kindly harrassing me via e-mail about my failure to blog. What you don't see is that this blog has become a very old friend- the one you know you need to catch up with and desperately WANT to catch up with, but the one you know will take a 3 hour phone conversation to fully catch up to. But, I'm vowing to chip away a bit at that phone conversation right now and reintroduce myself.

So, hello, old friend!

During our lapse in programming, I've been swimming with my head above water, but it hasn't necessarily been pretty. When we left off, I as headed back to work parttime. I dove back into the classroom at the end of August and have, quite frankly, felt like the luckiest girl in the world ever since. It was just like I remembered! The students are just as delightful and different from one another as they used to be. I've always loved the subject area and I think I love it even more now that I haven't been teaching it for so long. The technology has changed a bit (I was excited to have an overhead projector in my classroom the last time I taught!). Now, I lecture from Power Point slides and can post them online for any student who would like to print them. Strangely, you'd think the lazy ones would be the ones doing this. It's not. It's the on-the-ball students. The lazy ones didn't take notes back when I started teaching and they sure as hell don't print Power Point slides ahead of time now.

Here are a few of my observations since I was in the classroom 7 years ago.

1) It pains me to write this, but in the interest of full disclosure, I'll say it: I'm not as cute as I used to be. Not as young either. In a way, this is a benefit as it's easier for a 30-something to listen to me than to a 20-something for several hours a night.

2) With #1 out there, I'll also note that I have enjoyed doing what I can to maintain my street cred. New, cute shoes. Going through make-up a bit faster than I used to. No guilt about picking up some new threads when I see them. When you get right down to it, no one wants to listen to me (or anyone, for that matter) for 5 hours a week. It seems really wrong to have to listen to me if I'm ugly and fashionably challenged on top of it. So, I do what I can.

3) These modern students HUG a bit more than I think they used to and have more boundary issues in general. We've had to work on this as I do not particulary care for the assault on my personal space and have had to come up with repelling methods to avoid this at all costs. Hugs from my babies, immediate family members and friends= great! Hugs from Random Student I see at the park on a Saturday afternoon=weird! I also have had to discourage "text speak" messages being left on the class blog. "FML" is not an appropriate response to the newly posted study guide for the upcoming exam. Thank God for comment moderation.

4) What's up with the laptops in the classroom? I'm going to have to get a bit more savvy next semester. I can't tell when they're taking notes and when they're Facebooking someone. It also begs the question of whether or not I care...

5) I don't think I ever excused a grade on a test by saying I was hungover. This has been a new one for me. Not that this has never been true- I just wouldn't ever have said it out loud for heaven's sake!

6) They let ANYONE into community college. And I'll just leave that there for now.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

You might be a redneck if...

The Fishies are really into fake tattoos. I hate them. They have no sense of positioning and invariably choose to put them in the most conspicuous places on their bodies. Or the least conspicuous but also least appropriate. Like when Two Fish put a general's insignia tattoo on his... well, suffice it to say that The Scientist and I are still joking about the Little General and probably will for a good long while. At least until he becomes a father himself. Maybe longer.

Today, I vowed for the 100th time to banish the dang things from my house. One Fish, Red Fish and I went to a b-day party at a local splash park. It wasn't until I stripped Red Fish down to his swim trunks did I notice that he had been tattooed by his older brother. At least until he wiggled away and Two Fish was evidently forced to abort the mission.

I was the mom with the gleeful two year old with


in big red letters emblazoned across his back. They won't forget us there.