Am I Really This Excited About Sunburns and Mosquito Bites?

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It’s already happening. All I want to do is sit around and well….sit. I want to drink a cold margarita on a hot day and get a tan. When three o’clock hits, I have to slap myself so I don’t ditch everything and go read a book on the couch. Or better yet, take a nap. And dear God, the new movie releases? Somebody hold me. They look so fantastic I might move into our local AMC Theater. That and they have a full bar.

Oh yeah, it’s summertime.

Doing nothing is not in my nature. The thought of sitting and relaxing seems like some type of CIA torture tactic.  I have recently come off a number of months of non-stop movement. They have included three moves (one out of state), a few personal tragedies, re-entering the workforce, changing schools, taking a class, volunteering, and well, just living.

I am not sharing this so someone will send me a Cookie Bouquet for my efforts (but I do love a large cookie). Every one of us has a lot on our plates nowadays. I only mention the above near-coke induced type of stress to illustrate why my body is naturally craving a sit-on-the-front-porch-and-drink-sweet-tea-all-afternoon relaxation.

Most people feel some form of the summer lazies around this time of year. The weather is warm and the sun strong, naturally sapping our energy. Cookouts become abundant, aiding to the sitting and eating way of life. Longer daylight hours allow us to enjoy the outdoors and lounge around.

I say bring it on.

We spend so much of our lives running around. Sometimes I go so fast that a week goes by and I can’t even recall what happened. I want to put that crazy b*tch in a box and enjoy the season.

Since summer is naturally a sensory time, below are some of the things I look forward to experiencing. Good and bad:

  • Licking the melting Popsicle juice running down my arm.
  • Smelling like bug spray and citronella everywhere I go.
  • Hair always in ponytail formation, or frizz so intense resembling the “before” in a Garnier commercial.
  • At the beach – every PB&J sandwich and food item tasting like sand.
  • Burning my rear end when sitting down in my car.
  • Taking my burnt bum to the movies every week.
  • Sand everywhere. Even in my wallet come late October.
  • Running away from bees looking like a cartoon character.
  • Listening to my daughter complain about the heat. Then watching her walk achingly slow to the car while my flesh starts to spontaneously combust.
  • My feet sliding around in my flip flops due to overactive sweating.
  • Reading all the Facebook posts about how hot it is, accompanied by pictures of the dashboard temperature gauge.
  • Watching the fireflies and fireworks.
  • Screaming like all those no-name actors from Nightmare on Elm Street when I find a gecko in the house. Then trying to catch it. Then giving up. Then finding it in the washer (why do they go in there???).
  • COLD BEER.

So start your slow down now. Sit on your porch, grab a cold one, and just look at the happenings outside.

Then go spray yourself with OFF, Silkwood style, because the bugs are insane this year.

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Am I Really Telling Batman to Take a Hike?

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When I was a little girl, I used to pretend I had magic powers. I could make things disappear, or make water move. I used to run around the house in my Wonder Woman Underoos and bend precious “metals” with my bare hands.

I also used to ride around on my big wheel while wearing my mother’s lip gloss and pretend I was a Charlie’s Angel, but that’s a story for another time.

Now, a grown woman, I go to the movies, watch The Avengers and know that it is fun fiction. Superheroes do not walk the earth in capes while flying around in the dark. They cannot swoop in and blow out a raging fire with their magic breath, nor can they swing from building to building by a thread.

Heroes walk the earth with us and complain about gas prices too. They teach us our ABCs and shop for supplies at Target. Some are old, some are young, but they are all very human. They are our teachers, doctors, first responders, and next door neighbors. Recent tragedies have proven this very fact.

We have heard the stories of the teachers lying on top of their students to protect them during the two hundred mile per hour winds. We watched the interview of the young teacher in Newtown, Connecticut who hid with her students in the bathroom and kept telling them she loved them, because she wanted their last thought to be of love, not fear.

It is the knowledge of fear that is paralyzing. Thinking of how scared those children must have been, not fully understanding what was going on, I can’t even process. Could I be as brave as many of the teachers and random passerbyers who jumped to the aid our youth? I don’t know.

These courageous people did; without thought of their own safety or needs.

There is so much disaster, it is overwhelming. But it is comforting to know that heroes really do exist. That mankind (focus on the word kind) is not only alive, it is flourishing.

Especially if you are a helping someone out in your Spiderman Underoos.

** You can be a Hero too. Donate to one of the below organizations. They are gathering supplies for the most recent tragedy in Moore, Oklahoma, as well as preparing for the future:

American Red Cross

www.redcross.org

Phone: 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767); for Spanish speakers, 1-800-257-7575; for TDD, 1-800-220-4095.

You can send a $10 donation to the Disaster Relief fund via text message, by texting the word REDCROSS to 90999. The donation will show up on your wireless bill.

 

OK Strong Disaster Relief Fund

Donations can be made online at UnitedWayOKC.org.

Phone: 1-405-236-8441.

 

Salvation Army

www.salvationarmyusa.org

Phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).

You can donate $10 by texting the word STORM to 80888.

You can also send a check to: The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 12600, Oklahoma City, OK., 73157. Put “Oklahoma Tornado Relief” in the notes portion of the check.

 

Humane Society and Central Oklahoma Humane Society
www.humanesociety.org/

www.okhumane.org/

Phone: 1-405-607-8991

You can make donations online toward the “OK Humane Disaster Relief Fund.”

They are also in need to towels, paper towels, bleach, gloves and crates.

 

Save the Children

www.savethechildren.org

Phone: 1-800-728-3843

You can give a $10 donation by texting the word TWISTER to 20222.

 

 

Am I Really Clark Griswold in a Room Full of Gisele Bündchens?

Me

Me

I recently attended an outdoor concert. If was full of trendy twenty and thirty-somethings. They all actually sat and listened to the music. They nodded to the lyrics as if to say, “I hear you. I get that you are comparing your first kiss to Lybia.” They wore funky hats, no shoes, ate fruit, and all looked like they took yoga.

They were super hipster cool.

I am not in this demographic.

            In fact, I am rather nerdy.

No, not the I can quote all the lines from the Hobbit movies type of nerdy. I’m just not cool.

I read books, yes. But I don’t look cool doing it at my local fair trade coffee shop. I am usually at home, in bed, with my glasses on (not the large dark-framed celebrity kind), wearing an over-sized t-shirt with a bleach stain on it.

All the cool people.

All the cool people.

I too listen to music. Once again, I definitely do not look cool doing it.  At concerts, my hair is usually sweat-plastered to my face from dancing around, and I am hoarse from screaming, not singing, the lyrics. Apparently I do not listen to hip music.            Who the hell are these too-cool-for-school people and how did they get so funky fresh?

Of late, people have become ultra-hip. They recycle everything. They grow their own vegetables.  They try to locally sustain their communities. They drink microbrews from other countries. They name their children Meadow Lark and Blue Rain, and their dogs George. And they do it all with righteous beards that say, “I’m not ZZ Top, nor am I Five O’Clock Shadow. I’m in between.”

Man, I wish I was with it. At that concert, I wanted to go up to the floppy-hatted yoga guy and say something like, “Whales man. What are we going to do about the sperm whales?”

Instead, all I kept thinking was, “Put your shoes back on Bob Marley! Do you know how dirty that asphalt is? You could cut your feet.”

Yes, it’s true. I am getting older. But I was not cool when I was in my twenties. While I followed some fashion trends of the time, my clothes were always a bit “off.” I had to use a belt for over-sized pants that I was too lazy to hem or take in, or duct tape the bottom of shoe I was not quite ready to throw away.

Today this would be called “re-purposing.” Back then it was called “I don’t have enough money to buy real clothes, so I am borrowing my dad’s pants.”

Okay, so maybe I am a little trendy when it comes to “going green.” I recycle and I try to get as many uses out of a zip-loc bag as possible.

But I will never grow a beard.

 

 

Am I Really Chomping on my Meatball Sub Like Shaquille O’Neal?

Looks like my dinner from last night.

Looks like my dinner from last night.

Sometimes I forget I am two feet tall. I really don’t need that much food to keep this body going. I am active – yes. I exercise – yes again. But do I really need six tacos for lunch?

            No.

            Dare I say it? I get hungry and I like to see what culinary wonders I can enjoy.

            Here’s the caveat: If a meal is skipped, hang onto your hats people, because it’s like the Detroit Red Wings have stepped into my stomach, viewed the buffet at Shoney’s and shouted, “Let’s do this.”

            I would like to learn how to be a dainty eater.

            Last week, my family when out to dinner to really great Mexican restaurant. As I inhaled some queso fundido, I noticed a well put-together woman at the table next to us. She must have been in her sixties, a sharp dresser, slender, and lovely nails. She sat relaxed in her chair and chatted with her family.

            She did not eat the chips.

            Who does not eat the chips?

            In between gulps of gooey cheese, I noticed something else; the woman (let’s call her Kate) was looking at the bowl of tortilla chips as if it was Bradley Cooper with his shirt off. Her family was going to town on the bowl, but she just sat there, eyeballing that dish and slightly quivering.

            Aha! She wanted those chips. Big time. Yet she would not eat them.

            I was so fascinated by this display, or lack thereof. It was like watching the condors at the zoo. I wanted to chant, “Eat the chips! Eat the chips!” then take her out to Schlotzky’s for a Muffalatza.

            Jeeez, she was at least sixty, live a little.

            It was then that I realized I will never be Kate. I could never be the properly restrained eater. The person who ingests just enough to be satisfied. Oh sure, I go through phases when I don’t eat like a coyote with mange, but not often enough.

            I get hungry damn it.

            This affliction runs in the family. My mother has it, and she has bequeathed it to my sister and me.  When my sister and I are hungry we could chew through concrete to get to the salad bar.

Our husbands have learned to compensate accordingly. My sweet brother in law will say things to my sister like, “Maybe you should have a snack.” Taking a more direct approach, my husband likes to throw a bologna sandwich at me until I am able to form complete sentences.

            My sister and I call it hypoglycemia. Others call is the Run for your life, the beasts are famished!

            My maternal grandmother has a hybrid of this type of gobbling. She is a lithe woman who eats slowly, yet with purpose. I have seen that lady put away an entire lobster, all its fixings without, then dessert so much as a gulp of air. We like to say creative things like, “Gee Grammie, I guess you weren’t hungry.” To which she just smiles and says, “Yes, it was very tasty.”

            While Grammie can eat, she is also disciplined and will not snack between meals. She has this gig down.

            I would like to send Kate to the engulfing school of Grammie.

            Life is too short. There is a lot of delicious food out there. We should enjoy it without giving ourselves indigestion.

            While I do intend on “taking it down a notch” in the eating like the hunchback of Notre Dame over my plate of ravioli, I still intend to enjoy my food with verve.

            The next time you go out to dine, don’t be like Kate; be like Grammie. Take your time and enjoy it.

            I am sure the buffet at Shoney’s would agree.

Am I Really Organizing the Pantry To Avoid Writing Assignments/Scrubbing the Tub/Looking for Lost Socks?

Marky Mark did NOT want me to write my essay. His biceps told me so.

  Marky Mark did NOT want me to write my essay. His biceps told me so.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aaaah, procrastination…you know it means “Googling Ugly Baby Names” in Latin.  It’s funny how when there is a certain task at hand how other must dos just pop up.

Allow me to demonstrate.

I have a stack of papers sitting on my desk. I call it the Go Through This Pile of Sh*t so You Can Get to Your Computer To Do pile. Bills, receipts, magazines, kid art, school notices, and summer camp forms make up this pile. One time I found an earring and a gummie vitamin. Here’s what I like to do with that pile: shove it onto the floor. When I am done using my desk, I dutifully pile it back onto my laptop and chair.

Instead of cleaning up my pile-o-crap and writing an article, today I accomplished the below:

–          Watched five new movie trailers on IMDB.

–          Read Facebook posts and “Liked” most of them.

–          Cleaned the patio then lined up the shoes in my closet.

–          Played with the Cat Paint! App / looked at Pain and Gain photos (well, that actually was not a waste of time, pretty hilarious and I don’t even like cats).

–          Stared.

–          Checked email, then re-checked five minutes later to see if I received anything new.

Why don’t I just go through it, get it over with?  It makes me wonder, why do we put things off when we eventually have to do them anyway?

I think it has to do with the lack of exchange of goods for services.

I have yet to meet a person who has said, “God I love digging hair out of the tub drain so I don’t have to shower in two feet of water. And I did it all for free!” Or, “I can’t wait to dig into this thesis paper about the multiple personality disorders of the tsi tsi fly! Maybe I will offer to write all of my classmates’ papers – pro bono!”

Newsflash – we don’t get paid for doing the have tos in our lives. We just have to do them. Mortgages need to be paid, dishes need to be washed, and old Goldfish crackers need to be dug out of couch cushions. It’s the American way.

So I have come up with a few ways to aid ourselves into getting it done, now:

1)      Pay/Reward yourself.  Seriously, promise yourself that after you finish scooping up the dog doo doo in the back yard you can sit back there and crack open a beer. Or after you scrub the ring off the bathtub, you will get your nails done. If you want to leave yourself a couple of bucks on the counter as a tip I’m not telling.

2)      Give yourself a deadline.  Put it on the calendar. Schedule an activity immediately after the “to do.”  Looking forward to an outing might help you plow through the task. Unless the outing is to wait in line get your oil changed.

3)      Get your Sirius XM on. Loud music makes everything better, but that’s just me. A little boogie might make lint-rolling the dog hair off your pillows more interesting.

4)      If all else fails, ground yourself. You heard me. Tell yourself you simply cannot go to the movies unless you go to the store and buy more dog food. Your canine is done eating your left over sandwiches.

The above may work, or they may not. I haven’t tried them out…yet. But I do know that I like when things are done. I feel better when I can check a task off my list. I can breathe a satisfied sigh knowing that I have a somewhat clean slate to do what I want.

Until my daughter tells me she has to create a Three Little Pigs costume for tomorrow morning.  Then I will most likely need to clean all the hairbrushes in the house first.