Random & Expensive Stuff

My week has been crazy.  Here are a few snippets….

Mother’s Day was good for me.  My husband always does a stellar job of spoiling me on that day.  He got me my favorite donut for breakfast, took me to brunch and we went shopping with the kids.  He also made dinner and did all the dishes.  The finest moment of the day, however, was his discovery of an app on Facebook that allowed you to generate your own Top Gun call sign.  Did you know Mother’s Day also fell on Top Gun day this year?  I didn’t even know there was a Top Gun day, but I was thrilled to share in it.  And for shits and giggles, I made the decision that for the entire day, we could only address each other by our new Top Gun call signs.  I was “Boom.”  Dan was “B.A. Baracus,” and Bryce was “Hoser.”  That one was my favorite!  Bryn was “Cat,” which she loved because cats are her favorite animal.  We laughed and made fun of each other’s names all day.  It was magnificent.

U2 at The Forum

This past Wednesday, my husband was invited by one of his vendors to attend the U2 show at the Forum, here in Los Angeles.  I have never seen U2 in concert.  To be honest, I’m not a huge U2 fan.  The last time I was actively interested in one of their albums was back in the 90’s.  I’ve always liked U2, they just haven’t been on my bucket list of bands to see live.  I didn’t want to go.  The show was on a school night and I wanted to wear sweat pants, sit on the couch after helping the kids with homework, order sushi for dinner and go to bed super early.  I suggested Dan take a friend and make it a guys night out.  He said, “I like you.  I want to spend time with you.  You are my wife, and I want to take YOU to the show.  You have to see U2 perform live at least once in your life.”  Well, isn’t that sweet?!  So I went to the show.  And I didn’t regret it.  It was amazing.  Even though I only knew about five songs on their set list, it was an incredible night of visual and musical artistry.  I love rock music, and they did not disappoint.  I even almost cried, twice.  Almost.

My refrigerator died slowly this week.  It was fifteen years old and the compressor went out.  The repairman said it would cost around $600-700 to fix it, and even then I would be lucky to get another 3 years out of it as other essential parts started to wear out.  He recommended that for that amount of money and the age of the machine,  I should research and look into purchasing a new unit.  Thankfully, as we are approaching Memorial Day weekend, everything is on sale.  So Dan and I went to Home Depot last night to start looking.  When I told the Home Depot sales guy that I was replacing a unit that was fifteen years old, he looked like he was going to choke on his tongue.  He informed me that the refrigerators today are just not made the same, and I should not expect more than a ten year life span for any new unit we buy.  I wish I could say that surprised me.  Maybe it’s because of the technology, but products just don’t last as long as their older generations.  We keep finding ways to make things cheaper, less durable, more disposable, yet they cost more.   Anyway, an hour later, I left with a receipt for a new refrigerator that cost twice as much as my old one, and will die in half as many years.  Good times.

Minnie

Also this week, my cat had what I believe was a seizure and scared the hell out of us.  We had gone to bed, and as I was laying there half asleep, I hear what sounds like two of my cats wrestling their way across the floor.  I sit up and look around the dark room to see the shadow of one cat rolling around uncontrollably.  Dan jumps up and flips on the light to find our cat Minnie scrambling around like she’s trying to run away, but half her body isn’t working.  By the time I got my hands on her she was panting so hard her tongue was hanging out of her mouth and her pupils were severely dilated.  I was worried she’d had some kind of a stroke and was going into shock.  Dan took her to the emergency vet, and initially the vet suspected she might have had a blood clot.  A few hours later, a round of blood work, two x-rays and a bill for $600, we had no definitive answers.  Dan brought Minnie home and by the next day she was fine.  No coordination issues, no lingering side effects of whatever had caused her body to go hay-wire the night before.  And did I mention it cost $600?  As Dan would say, “Fucking cat.”

I’m looking forward to this next week, and no unexpected surprises.  No emergency vet visits, no last minute late night rock shows, and no appliance apocalypse.  This is Boom, and I’m out.

Beyond the Veil

Hello, world.

It’s been so long since I’ve done this that I feel as if we’re on a first date, again.  Honestly, I’m a little nervous.  It’s been a while since we’ve spent any time together. Will you still like me?  Will I say something funny or interesting, and will you laugh?  Will we be able to regain that sense of mutual interest and connection?  Will you text me later and say you had a nice time?

I promise that if you do, I won’t wait another eight months to respond.  😉

The past eight months has flown by in a whirlwind of activity.   Work, kids, husband, friends, travel, work, kids, husband, work, family, work, PTA, kids and work.  It’s all been good, mostly.

My job, which I started nine months ago, has been going pretty well.  After six years as a stay home mom, I took a part-time position working for a music publishing company as a music coordinator and personal assistant.  It’s been fun.  We create and license orchestral music/sound design for movie trailers. I love music and movies, so it seemed like a good fit, although I have no previous experience in either industry.  As it turns out, my penchant (read OCD) for detail and organization lends itself nicely to the trailer music industry.  A lot of people ask me for examples of what we do.  Did any of you happen to see the debut trailer for The Last Jedi?  The epically moving, raise the hair on your arms music in that trailer just happens to be ours!  Yes, it was a BFD.  We celebrated the next morning after the release of the trailer with mimosas and French omelets.  Just in case you haven’t seen it…

Later, my daughter asked me, “Mom, what did YOU actually do to contribute to that movie trailer?”  I couldn’t tell if she was mocking me because she thinks I’m lame, or if she was looking for proof that I’m really as cool as I tell her I am.  So I was honest with her and said, “Not a damn thing.  My job is to do all the other stuff, so the people I work for can focus their time and talents on creating music for projects like this.”  I’m pretty sure she took that as validation of her initial assessment, which is that I’m lame.

Despite how well my job is going, I will admit that I’m still waiting for my lightening bolt.  For a long time I’ve had this sense that there’s something I’m supposed to be doing, yet I have no idea what it is.  It’s like there’s a thin veil hanging over my life, and I can’t quite see through it, but I know the answers I need are on the other side.  I’ve always envied people who understood their talents. People who have a clear vision of their path in life.  Some people know without hesitation what they are meant to do. Their talent and drive toward that goal manifests itself clearly for them.  For me that has never been the case.  Despite doing well in the career/jobs I’ve chosen, I’ve always struggled to fully grasp my sense of purpose, and after celebrating another birthday this past September, I feel a sense of urgency toward whatever self-discovery needs to take place in order to put myself on the right path.   I’m not afraid of hard work, I just want to realize what I’m supposed to be working toward so I can get on with it.  Is it too much to ask to wake up one morning with a hand written note beside my bed that reads,

Dear Wanda, 

You are destined to become a dolphin trainer.  Please make arrangements for whatever training is necessary to complete this task and file your application for employment at Sea World, as soon as possible.  

Your welcome,

The Universe

I think I would take a clue like that seriously.  I tried asking my kids what they think I’m good at.  Their answers are ridiculous but I love their honesty.  My son says stuff like, “You’re good at snuggles, Mommy.  And you make the best meatloaf.”  He also told me I was good at being a mommy, and he suggested I open up the baby factory and have another one so he could be a big brother.

So that’s where I’m at.  Attempting to support one company on it’s path to greatness while I strive to discover my own.  If any of you can relate, it would be awesome to hear about it.  And by the way, to those of you who reached out to check on me during my little blogging hiatus, I want you to know how much I genuinely appreciated that, so thank you!  🙂

Little Boy Laughs #2

A conversation today with my 6 year old son…

Bryce:  Mom, I’m really sorry.

Me:   For what?

big eyesBryce:  I was reaching into your purse for a tissue, and I accidentally dropped my booger in your purse.  Now I can’t find it.  It was an accident, Mom.  I’m really sorry.

Me:  You dropped a booger in my purse?

Bryce:  Yeah, but hopefully it will be crusty by the time you find it.  Then you know, no surprises.  That’s good, right?

Boys are gross.

Good News, Bad News

It’s been too long since my last post.  I’ve actually started and discarded several posts.  I can’t seem to finish one, either because my thought runs out of steam, or I just feel like I’m rambling about something no one would really be interested in.

So, instead of an organized essay of sorts, here are a few things that have been on my mind lately…

14045999_1168043969905338_3983056748036945361_n1Politics.  (Insert a deep, prolonged sigh, accompanied by an eye-roll).  I know everyone has talked the election of 2016 to death, and I’ll be honest and say that I’ve written and deleted this paragraph at least three times.  I’m over editing myself because this topic is so polarizing and divisive that I hesitate to even discuss it.  Generally, I don’t discuss politics with many people.  And I’m breaking my own rule here, but I feel so strongly about this that it almost hurts to not say something.  To say anything.  It hurts to stay quiet.  So, very carefully, I will say this…for those of you who voted for Donald Trump, well, I hope that works out for you.  For those of you who didn’t vote for Donald Trump, well, hold on to your butts.  In a few days this shit is about to get real.  Time will tell if he has what it takes to be an unconventional yet effective President, or if he is truly a man-baby-twitter-whore who can’t find his ass with both hands unless Kelly Ann Conway draws him a map.  And for all of us, I think this election cycle has been a great reminder of how a democratic society works.  We all have a responsibility to be involved, no matter what side you align yourself with.  We can’t wait for others to do the heavy lifting.   Whether we understand politics or ignore it because we’re intimidated by what we don’t understand, we  all have an obligation to participate.  Congress takes advantage of your willful ignorance, and apathetic people are easily manipulated.   So get involved.  Be the change you want to see in the world.  Whether it’s in your community, local or state government, get involved. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what issues matter the most to me so that I can take steps to participate and do my part.  I hope you will too.

In other news, I got a job.  That’s right!  This girl got a J.O.B.!  After six years of being a stay home mom, I am officially employed again.  And you know you’ve re-entered the workforce when you have to disclose on your job application that you were technically arrested in 1992 for Disturbing the Peace, because that shit is a misdemeanor and stays on your record FOREVER.  It’s ok though, because they hired me anyway.  I’ve been really bored since Bryce started first grade.  I volunteer a lot at the school, but I had a few days a week where I just felt like I was wasting time and brain cells.  And apparently the universe agreed that I was ready to go back to work and just handed me an awesome opportunity.  A friend of mine owns a music publishing company, and they have hired me as a part-time music coordinator and personal assistant.  The company creates and licenses music for movie trailers!  How flipping cool is that?!  It’s unlike anything I’ve ever done before and I’m having a blast learning this whole new industry.  So, thank you universe!

img_0181My dog Mavis, who is now nine months old, won’t stop shitting in the house.  It’s making me crazy.  It’s like she’s decided that she’s too good for grass.   She pee’s outside, no problem.  Then she comes to the door, runs upstairs and poops on my bedroom rug.  I refuse to let this dog believe that she can just drop heat anywhere her little heart desires.  I am the alpha in this house!  She spent the morning in her kennel because she pooped on my rug after she had already gone out this morning.  Mind you, my entire house has wood floors.  When she poops, she always uses the rug.  When I came home I went to let her out.  In defiance of being put in her kennel she refused to come out.  img_0178Fine.  She can just stay there.  So she did.  Then a few hours later I came home again and pulled her out of the kennel and took her outside.  She pee’d, then wanted to come back in.  But I know her game.  I made her stay outside.  She tried to wait me out.  She even sat there shaking and giving me her sweet little sad eyes.  Oh, she is such an actress!  It took about fifteen minutes, and I swear she huffed at me, then walked to the grass and pooped.   Ha Ha!  Today I am the winner!

I miss books.  I’ve been so busy between the holidays, kids and my new job that I haven’t read a new book in months.  I have several in my kindle that need my attention, but if any of you have a good recommendation I am always looking for new books.

That’s about it for me.  My life goals for 2017 are set.  Community service, learning a new industry, becoming a dog whisperer and reading more books.  I think that’s a good list.  What about you?  I missed a lot of New Year’s posts in the past two weeks.  I’d love to hear some of your resolutions and goals for the year.  🙂

Tis’ the Season to Eat Sh*t on the Stairs

What is it about the holidays that seems to accentuate the possibility for bodily injury and harm?  Are we more merry, and therefore less inclined to be wary of potential hazards?  Is it the alcohol?  The parties?  Are we overly distracted by all that needs to be accomplished?  Or is it simply more notable because when you become injured over the holidays it affects the entire season with regard to how you enjoy it?

Two weeks ago I was attending a holiday party at a friend’s house and as I was walking through a gated entryway into a courtyard the entire world tipped itself over and I found myself crashing down onto both of my knees and then face down on the sidewalk.  What the hell just happened?  I sat up, but couldn’t get up.  The pain in my knees and shins was instantaneous,  yet after a few moments I knew nothing was broken.  After a quick assessment of how and why I fell, Dan hoisted me up and I hobbled to the front door.  It turns out there was a very tiny step, about three inches deep right where you entered the courtyard from the gate.  Apparently I missed that step.  My cousin visiting from Michigan was with us and at one point she said, “I’m not gonna lie to you, that wasn’t even a little bit graceful.”

After walking into the party and greeting the hosts, I asked if they had a security camera on their front walkway.  They said they didn’t, but they were curious as to why I would ask.  So I said, “Well, I just ate shit on your front step and I wanted to be sure no one was going to watch that on instant replay or put it on You-tube.”

About thirty minutes later I could feel my heartbeat in my knees.  They were throbbing terribly and stinging like crazy.  I excused myself to the restroom and discovered that I had skinned both knees pretty badly.  I was bleeding under my pants and the skin was already swelling and turning purple and blue with bruises.  I had to mostly sit during the gathering because standing was so painful, and I wasn’t about to draw more attention to myself by asking my hosts for a bag of frozen peas to help with the swelling.  Good times.

After we got home, I grabbed four Advil and two large therapy ice packs from my freezer and got comfortable on the couch.  Dan and my cousin weren’t done having fun yet, so they walked to a local bar to have a few more drinks.  About an hour later I got a text from Dan saying, “I ate shit on a curb in solidarity.  I’m ok.”  It turns out he missed the curb when he was walking home and did a full body yard-sale into the street.  His knees were also skinned and bruised.   We make quite the pair, don’t we?

It’s been two weeks since I fell and the bruising is almost gone.  The skin has healed, mostly, but I still have tenderness in my knees.  The other day I forgot about the injury and tried to kneel down on the wood floor to light the fireplace.  That was a mistake.  I ended up flopping over like I was having a seizure to take the pressure off the injury.  It scared the hell out of my son.

And yesterday, my neighbor texted me that she was at urgent care.  While walking down her stairs she missed a step and took a tumble.  Thankfully, her ankle wasn’t broken but they sent her home in an air cast.  My mother-in-law also recently fell and she did break her knee cap.  Just cracked her patella right in two.  She now has metal screws holding her knee cap together.

So seriously, I think I’m going to start a club.  I need help thinking of a name though, and more members.  A club has to have more than four members.  So if you’ve ever eaten shit on the stairs, we want to hear your story!

Happy Holidays!  🙂

Smoke Detectors Save Lives, Until You Beat Them Off the Wall with a Broom Handle

13133388_1073988239327584_5538104568739403685_n1I had a moment today where I was dangerously close to completely losing my shit.  No, that’s not true because I actually lost my shit for a tad bit at one point.

Around 12:30pm today my smoke detectors started going off all over the house.  There was no fire, but they wouldn’t shut off.  For an hour they were screeching their life saving song without cease.  For an hour my dogs barked, cried and shook involuntarily from the horrible noise that was hurting their ears and scarring the hell out of them.  At one point, my little Mavis just let loose and started pooping everywhere.  The noise literally scared the shit out of her.

It’s amazing what that kind of noise can do to you in an hour.  My heart was racing, my blood pressure was up, and I had this weird anxiety that I couldn’t calm even though I knew my house wasn’t on fire.  The noise was deafening, and grating, and it felt like it scrapped every fucking nerve in my body to the point of absolute insanity.  For an hour.

I googled what to do when your smoke alarms malfunction like that.  The internet said the most likely cause was dust in and around the censors.  Most of the detectors in my house are about 18 feet up the wall because we have vaulted ceilings in the upstairs bedrooms.  The only ladder we have is a ginormous beast of a thing that is difficult for me to carry and maneuver.  I couldn’t get up there to take the detectors down, so I drug a step-ladder and my vacuum cleaner all over the house trying to suck the dust out of the detectors with the attachment wand.  It didn’t work.  I tried to call the non-emergency line for the fire department hoping they could send a guy out with a ladder to take them down for me.  All I got was voicemail.  Can you believe that?  The fire department sends you to flippin’ voice mail if you don’t need to call 911!  When the fire department failed me, I actually resorted to trying to beat the damn things off the wall with a broom handle.  I had reached the breaking point and would have risked putting multiple holes in the walls to make that god-forsaken hell noise stop.

I finally texted my next door neighbor and begged for help.  Thank God he was home.  He was my knight in shining armor, and instead of a horse, he rode in with his bright and shining ladder.  He took all the detectors down for me and we both enjoyed a moment of blissful quiet.   When he left I was so happy I almost cried from the relief of it.  It actually took a few hours before I started to feel the effects of the physical and mental stress dissipating.

So I want to send a world-wide thank you to my neighbor, Mike!  Thanks for being home, thanks for having a ladder, thanks for saving my sanity, and thanks for being such a great neighbor!  🙂

Do you believe in Magic?

16511446 - cartoon fortune teller with her crystal ballI love psychics.  I believe that some people have extra-sensory gifts, and as long as you approach a psychic’s services from a perspective grounded in both entertainment and open-mindedness, then the experience can be fun, enlightening, and depending on the depth of their gift, sometimes very emotional.  I’ve done various readings with different psychics over the years, just for fun,  and the majority of them have absolutely blown me away with their accuracy and insight.  Only one or two were completely off the mark, but all the others left me with a feeling of absolute wonderment and fascination with how well they were able to read me, and also the extent of their gifts.

I haven’t had a reading in years, and there’s a psychic in my neighborhood just a few blocks from my house.  Most of the psychics I’ve known don’t have store fronts.  They mostly operate and advertise their services by word of mouth and through referrals.  But I drive by this building, with it’s neon Open sign always bright and flashing, no matter the time of day or night, at least three or four times a week.  And I always think, they can’t always be open.  And every time I drive by I think about stopping and going inside.  I’ve been meaning to do it for years, ever since we moved to this neighborhood.  So, if I calculate the numbers, I’ve had this thought at least three times a week, 52 weeks a year, for six years.  That’s 936 times I’ve thought about going in to see this psychic!

And then every time I drive by, I imagine that this person is sitting inside this building and thinking, “There she goes again.”  And when I do finally decide to stop in, I imagine this person saying to me, “Yes Wanda, we are always open, and it’s about fucking time.”

That Time I Lost My Sh*t On the Dance Floor

It’s Saturday at midnight in the bar and I’m out with the girls enjoying a 90’s cover band and some ice-cold beer.  The 90’s is my favorite decade, and every song brings back memories of high school and college, in such a good way.  I felt nineteen again, and although I wasn’t drunk on alcohol, I was definitely drunk on memories and music.

You know that feeling, when all your favorite tunes are being played and your body has an almost involuntary reaction.  It becomes this sort of instinct and rhythm combined.  My nineteen year-old self was really into rock music.  Imagine some air guitar, arms in the air, hair being thrown in every direction, and a complete and total disregard for the other bar patrons around me, other than my friends.  It was just me, the band, my girls and the music.

Image result for dance like nobody's watching meme

I don’t do Zumba, but you get my point.

Now picture a middle-aged woman, married with two kids, who drives the weekly car pool and volunteers in the PTA, throwing her long hair and rocking out to Alice In Chains, Metallica and Nirvana.  The dance floor wasn’t overly full, so I stood out.   I think at one point I might have screamed, “I’m with the band!”  Except, I’m not with the band.

Good times.

It was so fun, and in the moment I had no regrets.  It was a great night.  I mean seriously, when anyone plays Enter Sandman by Metallica, you throw your hair to that shit.  It’s just how it’s done.  I think the point where I really peaked and just let my shit go all over the dance floor was when the band played Man in the Box, by Alice In Chains.  One of my favorite songs, and when I became aware of my environment toward the end of the song, there were a few dudes thrashing next to me, so I guess it was good.

Except, in the light of day, when I woke up with a very stiff neck and a screaming headache, I had a moment of thought that said, you-are-too-fucking-old-to-act-like-you-belong-in-a- White-Snake-video-and-oh-my-God-you-are-such-an-asshole!  I woke up embarrassed.  I know we all like to pretend that we don’t care what other people think, but the truth for most of us is that to a small degree, we do.

Image result for dance like nobody's watching memeI’m a person who typically embraces the immediacy of a good time and enjoys being in the moment with my friends.  We’ve been at weddings where Dan and I are the only ones on the dance floor, while the other couples are engaged in far more dignified conversation and interactions.  Not shaking their asses to Baby Got Back.  I always look back later and self-consciously think, damn, did we take that one too far?  Shouldn’t we be past this sort of behavior yet?  So Sunday morning, as I reviewed the events of the previous night, I thought to my self, are you honestly going to be the crazy lady that loses her shit every time someone plays some AC/DC?

Fast forward a few hours, and Dan and I are in attendance at a lovely baby shower/brunch for our dear friends who will soon welcome twin boys into the world.  After a brief cocktail hour, where a few mimosa’s were going a long way to soothe my misplaced embarrassment, the father-to-be takes up the microphone and begins to welcome his family and friends to this celebration of babies, and also discuss some important events of the past nine months.  He said shortly after they discovered they were pregnant, he received a call from his doctor and learned he had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

He said he spoke with one doctor who gave him “good odds” with a 60% chance of survivability.  He decided that wasn’t good enough, so he fired that doctor and got another one who told him with 100% certainty that he would live through this cancer.  That he could beat it.  And he did.  Over the past nine months, he fought his cancer while his beautiful wife managed a complicated pregnancy with unbelievable grace and strength.  They kept the cancer diagnosis to themselves, for the most part, telling only a few people.  Dan and I found out about a week ago, after he finished his last chemo and was able to share the good news with everyone that he was cancer free.  We were all so grateful for his outcome, and we celebrated his health as much as we celebrated the babies!

Image result for dance like nobody's watching memeA short while later there was a moment during the party and the DJ was playing some great dance music.  There wasn’t a dance floor, just good music playing to keep the party lively.  Dan and I were sitting by the bar and the father-to-be, along with another friend began an impromptu dance-off in the space next to us.  Then the grand-father joined in, and these three grown men began taking it to town in front of everyone.  It was crazy and awesome and hilarious and I started to cry a little.  I was actually laughing first, and then found the emotion behind the laughter.

Here he is, grateful to be alive, lucky to have two beautiful babies on the way, and he wasn’t embarrassed by his super sweet dance moves.  He wasn’t concerned about what anyone thought of him, or whether or not he looked silly.  All three men were simply enjoying the moment, making the most of the mood and the occasion and the love.  It was quite simply the most amazing celebration of life I’ve seen in a long time.

Image result for dance like nobody's watching memeI found my perspective and some unnecessary but welcome validation in that moment.   The truth is that I AM the mom and friend who will dance in the bar, or in my living room with my kids.  I AM the person who sings at the top of my lungs when the song is good and the company is better.  I AM the person who isn’t afraid to live in the moment and  doesn’t care what strangers think because my life is not about them or what they may or may not think of my Saturday night amateur rock show performance.  I’m done feeling insecure about this, and as we all know, insecurity is an asshole, and we do not choose to be friends with assholes!

So when I ask myself  if I’m really going to be that middle-aged mom who loses my shit every time my jam comes on?

Well, this isn’t me, but you get the idea!