December 31, 2008

Auld Land Syne in 2009

I know 8 years, 8 wild years have passed, since Kenny G's Millennium Mix of Auld Lang Dyne was released. In case you've never heard it or have somehow forgotten this little piece of historical awesome, as the brilliant musician flawlessly plays, audio bits from the last century lays out over it. From the first recorded sound to Ellen, from both World Wars to Columbine, the Beatles and Woodstock, the embarrassing gutters some of our politicians like Nixon found themselves in to unpredicted strides for the betterment of all mankind such as the civil rights movement, this sound and this video will put a tear in any history buff's eyes.
Listening to it, I wonder just what will be remembered the most from the past 8 years. Will our great-great grandchildren understand the chaos of the 2000 election? Will they know how we rallied around each other and the American flag after 9/11? Will the last season of Friends be in their time capsules? Will Barack Obama's inaugration speech mark them as John Kennedy's does in this song? It's hard to say, we won't be around anyways.
So, I guess in the here and the now, I should say Happy New Year!
Let's Shine in 2009!

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December 29, 2008

I Screwed Up And Let Both My Kids Become Obsessed with Thomas

As I sat down to write this post, the wise words of the big hair band of the 80s, Great White, are humming through my mind, "My, my, my, You're Once Bitten, Twice Shy, Babe."
I wish they would have been a few months ago when I rather ignorantly introduced my youngest son Rolan to Thomas the Train. Now, as I'm sure you already know, my oldest boy Ridge has taken his fascination with Thomas into obsession. I'm sure if he was old enough to have his own means of transportation and actually realized that The Day Out with Thomas that comes annually to Oklahoma City's Railway Museum traveled from city to city, he'd drop out of Rainbow Lane and follow it around like some stoned Dead Head. He knows each little train by heart, even the ones that are the exact same color and look virtually identical to one another except for their length of funnels or some such shit. The Thomas bug bit Ridge when he was about 2 and that cheeky train has been ruining my life ever since.
Because of that, you would think I would have had the fucking foresight not to introduce this Jedi mind-controlling hogwash to the little one. Clearly, I'm like kid who repeatedly sticks her hand in fire or poor dog who runs smack dab into the glass door over and over and over. I just never learn.
So now, just when Ridge's junkie addiction to Thomas finally appeared on the verge of being overcome, Rolan is waking up each morning, demanding Thomas be turned on through the magical genius of the DVR, thus giving Ridge a daily fucking reminder of just how much he still really, really loves Thomas. Instead of one boy making forceful requests as though I'm some hostage negotiator and he's got 10 kidnapped bystanders who can only be saved if the ransom of a Thomas showing is met, I have two.
For a while, I thought I had solved the Thomas crisis through the miraculous hands of YouTube. With Ridge old enough to run a mean mouse pad, I would put the boys in front of the computer, pull up YouTube, type in Thomas the Train and let them go to town. With the similar videos listed on the bottom right of the screen, Ridge just click away, buying me much needed house cleaning time while they watched an endless sea of Thomas videos. But then one day the title of one caught my eye as I walked by, picking up toys that were no doubt Thomas related. It was, "Gordon Kills Thomas," or something along those line. Yeah, apparently some asshole has made a whole collection of videos based on the series with a twist of The Shining or some other sadistic nightmare that 4-year-olds and 2-year-olds don't need to be watching, unless of course you are just wanting them to never sleep again, in which case, bombs away. I wanted to write this dude a nasty note along the lines of, "Thanks for screwing up my sweet thing, you sick bastard," but then I remembered that he's some nut job who apparently thinks turning beloved childhood icons into serial killers is hilarious. In an attempt to not end up as some sickos skin dress or cooked in their fat lady stew, I decided to withhold from the letter and just bitch about him here for the whole Internet to read. I think that's a much safer plan, don't you?
So, after the YouTube solution turned out not to be a solution after all, I had to let the boys start watching Thomas the old-fashioned way again, on the television. And as if my plight of Thomas mania wasn't bad enough, those assholes behind the PBS series have introduced a whole new handful of trains in this season's episodes. That means each time Ridge sees one of these new pricks during his daily Thomas fix, he immediately starts chanting, "Walmart! Walmart!" at the top of his lungs. He's not going to rest until we have each and every member of the Thomas fleet, which not only includes about a million rather similar trains, but also a bus, a traction engine (that's a tractor to us Americans), a helicopter and now a freakin' jet plane named Jeremy. Ridge's new partner in his bloody rebel coup, the formerly darling Rolan, is right beside him, pounding his tiny fists to the table, as he follows his brother's call to arms.
So, I just wish I would have heard The Great White song two months ago. Perhaps it would have sparked my one remaining brain cell into having a thought, which might have then lead to preventing this catastrophe. We already go through $20 a month in batteries just keeping the Thomas and Friends buzzing around the tracks scattered through our house. Will it be $40 this time next year? Perhaps $80? Who knows. Just heed my warnings, Readers, do NOT let your children watch this devilish nightmare or you, too, will be fighting this losing battle .

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December 27, 2008

Shine in 2009

Well, Christmas is over, thank goodness, for 11 more glorious months. I realize that math may not add up to those of you who don't co-inhabit with small children. Those of you who do know exactly what I am talking about, how the network television channels start playing The Polar Express and long list of other Christmas themed movies the day after Thanksgiving, naturally with Santa and the elves and this season's hottest new gadgets in each and every commercial during the presentation.
Oh, but alas, I can pause the Yuletide bitching for almost a year. And since I haven't found something new to bellyache endlessly about yet, I've kinda had blogger's block, Readers. I've stared at the blank screen, the flashing cursor taunting me into just one more beer for inspiration.
Thank goodness I stumbled upon Sprite's Keepers subject for this week's Spin Cycle, New Year's Resolutions. I know this is going to shock most of you, but I am a woman of many flaws. This was just in the nick of time, too. I was about to bust out the beer funnel. So, without further ado, here's my fix it list:

1. Like every New Year's since I was 13, I'm gonna have to put lose weight at the top of this bitch. I mean, unless the government starts giving my sizable ass its own vote, which I think is only fair considering it takes up as much space as some whole people, I guess I should consider getting rid of the uselessness. And, if I should manage to stay dedicated to the goal long enough to have some success, I might as well put keeping the lost weight off for good measure on here. I've lost weight before, but it comes back like a boom-a-rang.

2. Even though I don't get to eat sushi near as much as I would like, which would be every single day if I had my way, I guess I should want to eat less of it. I mean, Jeremy Piven's doctor says that his frequent sushi consumption lead to high levels of mercy in this system, thus making it impossible for old Jeremy to keep this contractual duties in the Broadway play Speed-the-Plow. He was contracted to play the part for 10 more weeks, but he was just too spoiled and douchey ill to uphold those obligations. Of course, he did feel good enough to hop a plan to Bangkok. So, maybe I shouldn't stop eating sushi, but rather become rich enough and famous enough to find some quack awesomely qualified physician like Jeremy's Dr. Carlon Coker to supply me with any wildly unbelievable excuse I might need to get out of something I just don't want to do.
Since Jeremy's plight forced him from the stage, the David Mamet play has lost money and sushi restaurateurs all over the country have called bullshit on his claim. If I were Jeremy, I wouldn't worry about the mercury in my sushi from here on out, but I would keep an eye open for spit.
"I understand Jeremy is leaving show business," Mamet told Variety, "to pursue a career as a thermometer."

3. Teach my children to never trust a fart, at least when they are ill. To add to the misery of Christmas, my children both came down with a stomach bug. But, since they had yet to learn this important life fable, poor Momma has had to wash many an extra pair of undies because of the wrath of stealthy sharts. If you don't know what a shart is, just think really hard. It's one of those two words put together jobs. Yeah.... that's right.

4. Organize, well, my life. I have this uncanny knack of turning everything I touch into chaos. My mentor Mary Fern has always told me that this is just a trait of artistically genius people. I think that may be code talk for crazy, quirky artsy types, but she stands by it. My friend Chelsea, who just happens to be the most talented artist I know, agrees. Truthfully, my mind seems to work best when surrounded by clutter, particularly if I am lucky enough to have it with a looming deadline. Of course, this could all be bullshit, but I'm sticking with creative licensing until I get rich enough to hire a live-in maid.

5. See my friends more often. Since the boys have come into our lives, Rowdy and I have both morphed into these old hermits. Going out and doing things just takes so much effort, not to mention just how much I've grown to love sweat pants. Still, I do have great friends, friends I miss all the time, and I need to pry my lazy, old ass from the comfort of my couch and snuggling kids to see them. Also, they might remind me that I am just 28.

6. Be more positive. Wait, scratch that. I don't mean that at all! I like being a snarky pessimist. In fact, I don't even like to call it that. I think those of us who think that things are probably going to be shitty should just be referred to as realists. You optimists are constantly running around just knowing things are going to fall perfectly into place and, when the certainty of disaster strikes, you are dumbfounded and disappointed by how such a (predictable) thing could happen. All the while we realists shake our heads and say, "Well, I knew that shit was going to happen." And then, every great now and again, when something does work out or run smoothly, we get to be surprised. Really, is there anything better than surprises?
Plus, if I shucked all my negative bitchiness, I would probably have to shut down this blog. I doubt any of you are coming here to read about chirping birds and rainbows and long walks on the beach.

7. Read more. Naturally, I'm not referring to blogs as they've already taken over my life like some unstoppable rebel coup. No, I mean like those ancient contraptions called books. You know, the ones your high school English teacher tried to ram down your thought. Well, I think she was right. Perhaps some of our country's latest conundrums could have been prevented if any one of us still read history books.

8. Be nicer to Rowdy. It's true, he provokes me like a snot-nosed boy rattling a rabid dog's cage. But, I know it's all out of loving orneriness. He is sweet to me like 96% of the time. Plus, he puts up with all my quirkiness, such as wailing on and on about the Bush Administration and teaching our boys to proclaim that Prop 8 is hate and blogging about all our bickering for all the world to read and serving the boys peanut butter sushi for breakfast. Of course, as I type this, he has cuddled up with our two children and flipped the tube to Steven Seagal's On Deadly Ground. I don't want our babies watching some greasy haired ninja. It's like he enjoys ass chewings.
Be nice, Shonda, be nice.

9. Ban Steven Seagal from our household. That is all.

10. Scrapbook more. It is kind of like the crack cocaine of the hobby world, but I have been slacking recently. How else are my children going to know to resent me for all the shenanigan outfits I put them in if they aren't all well-documented?

11. Give to more charities. With retail stores actually closing at Christmas, which is like saying, "With strip clubs in New York City closing right before the entire horny U.S. Navy descends upon it for Fleet Week," I think it clear that the Bush presidency has finally culminated into widespread hard times. Not long ago, I cried when GoodFather shared this story of being laid off. So, while I am worried that we might have a hard time making money raising beef when the entire country is too damn broke to buy a steak, I also think this might be a good time for me to realized how blessed we truly are. We have a warm house and full bellies. So, if you have any ideas on charities, send them to me.

12. Be more environmentally friendly and energy efficient. I've already started using hemp grocery sacks and those funny looking light bulbs. Noble Peace Prize, please! But, I really think the family Little should take it one further. I try to keep the lights we aren't using out and if my family wasn't such pusses about cold weather, I'd shut the heater off. Of course, I could start recycling my beer cans. That in itself might shut down an aluminum mine. Wait, are their aluminum mines? Anyways, I could save a small fortune, too. My Explorer is paid off, so I plan on driving it until its wheels fall off, but the next car is definitely doing to be one of those 50 miles a gallon golf carts. I bet Osama bin Laden hates those cars. So, that's one I am going to focus on, being less wasteful.

13. Shine in 2009. We're all in this thing together.

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December 25, 2008

Revenge is Best Served Cold, with 300 Parts and Instructions Written Half in Chinese

I often spend a lot of time thinking how much easier parenting would be if I happened to be the parent lucky enough to stuff a penis in my pants. Those bitter thoughts have ran through my mind more than usual on this miserable run up to Christmas. While I was in some packed shopping center pushing my way through crazed parents swarming some random toy like a herd of the zombie undead on fresh brains prime for the suckling, Rowdy would be napping in the recliner with our rambunctious children pawned off on his mom. I stayed up until 3 am wrapping presents while he stayed up just as late playing cards with the fellas. Last Saturday he took care of the boys while I photographed a wedding. Because we were leaving the next morning as soon as he finished feeding cattle for our Christmas celebration at Rowdy's dad in Oklahoma City, I knew the next morning I'd be rushing around like crackheads in the middle of a drug sting. My lone request for Rowdy in preparation for this trip to see his family (who I adore, by the way) was to bath the boys before they went to sleep. The next morning when I asked him if he had completed this task, he replied that he had fully intended to do this, especially in light of all the dirt fights they had, but that he simply got too busy with the super exciting football game he was watching. I wanted to kill him, I did, but I knew that would frankly take time that I just didn't have. I would have bitched at him, but Rowdy was also blessed with his uncanny ability to complete ignore all negative input from any and all females and absorbing all the positive ones. It's bullshit, really.
I spent that last few days with an admitted case of penis envy, thank you very much, Dr. Freud. That is, until the bounty of Christmas presents were unwrapped, shredded paper flung from here to yonder, and a small army of unassembled toys stared Rowdy stone cold in the face. It was like they were taunting him. A couple were constructed within a few moments, a couple appeared to require an engineering degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to conquer.
Rowdy sat leg-crossed and baffled on the living room floor, nuts and bolts and springs and aluminum bars scattered around him in a semi-circle. Periodically, words that are typically frowned upon on Christmas were muttered under his breath, the four letter kind that with a tendency in starting with "F" or "S" or "D," the words I hold most dear.
And it was in this snowfall of toy parts that I realized maybe I shouldn't have been so rough on Rowdy while I was in the middle of my Christmas fury. I'm sure if Rowdy read this post, he'd swear I bought all those difficult-to-assemble toys on purpose, not because the boys would love them, but just to share some of my Christmas misery with him. But, that's really not the case. Now I see that maybe being the Daddy isn't so easy after all.

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December 23, 2008

Festivus For The Rest Of Us

I'll never forget the first time I heard George Constanza nervously ramble to his boss about his father Frank's personal holiday, Festivus, a special observation set aside to protest all the mind-numbing, ridicules bullshit that surrounds Hanukkah and Christmas and every other sacred day recognized by the masses. It's not that I mind the days themselves, just the opposite really. What I do mind, though, is the way the entire population goes apeshit crazy as the day approaches. A man was killed this year at an early bird special, for Christsake.
Now, I know Frank Constanza is technically a fictional character, but Festivus is pure genius. And, as a matter of fact, it was actually inspired by a Seinfeld writer Dan O'Keefe's father's spin on the celebration of, well, not freakin' celebrating.
I'm sure all you Christmas lovers are going berserk as you read this. Well, hold on, friends, it's gonna get bumpier. My beef with Christmas has nothing to do with the holiday itself, in its rawest form, that is. But, really, the nuts-and-bolts of Christmas really wouldn't make much of a holiday, would it? Since the Bible gives no real guidelines outside of birthing in a pile of hay and then receiving some shit called frankincense and Mir from three wise men, which could be anyone I guess, we really don't know how God wants us to commemorate the birth of His son. Should we stuff a pinata and cheer Jesus on as he puffs out his candles, all 3,000 of 'em? I'm not sure what we are suppose to do, but I'm certain God's plan isn't for us to staple enough fucking Christmas lights to our house to single-handily melt the polar ice caps and make the old spinster woman go certifiably insane from all the blinking light reminders that she and her 7 cats are all alone at Christmas. I'm no Biblical scholar, but I gather from the whole feeding a crowd with a loaf of bread and three fish thing that Jesus dug conservation. I'm just not sure he'd want us to mark his birthday by packing three fucking landfills with useless Christmas paper that briefly covered a bunch of gifts we don't really need.
Not to mention that, Jesus seemed to shun both the prideful lust of worldly possessions and really all violence. Well, putting a bunch of genetically related people who can't freakin' stand each other and only manage to restrain from socking each other in the eye with a turkey drumstick because it would break poor ole Grammy's heart in the same room to trade notes over who's pulling down the biggest paycheck according the size of their wastefully wrapped gifts under the tree just makes perfect sense. As soon as the ribbons are untied and punches are flying, I'm sure Jesus is happy as a bride on her wedding day. Honestly, I don't know why we just don't start a new Christmas tradition of gouging out each other's eyes rather than turning the other cheek. That's the only thing missing.
In light of my obvious Bah Humbug spirit, Festivus clearly resonated with me. Festivus is packed full with much more reasonable customs and my favorite of them all is the "Airing of the Grievances." Just in case you somehow missed Frank Constanza's explanation of this practice to Cosmo Kramer, which would be like overlooking Hailey's Comet flying into Earth, this is the time-honored tradition of basically telling everyone that's disappointed you or pissed you off throughout the year just how they did so. Just imagine how the escalated depression and violence of the holiday season would decrease if we all embraced this rather than Christmas caroling.
So, in honor of Festivus, I want to share with you a small excerpt from my Grievances:

Not only are those horseshit knock-off Lego's that you gave Ridge for his birthday constantly sprinkled around my house like Mardi Gras confetti without the beer and flying chi chis, but when I stumbled haphazardly to the bathroom in the middle of the night, my unsuspecting foot struck one of those bastards and the skin on the bottom of my foot was cut. I woke up the next morning with a bleeding and aching foot and was forced to wear two mismatched Crocs to work at the Hog Trough the next morning because every other shoe hurt too freakin' badly to wear. On the account of that, several people continue to make fun of my fashion sense, which is obviously as dead on as that Calvin Klein person.
Also, you gave Ridge those prescription-less glasses so that he would stop pestering your son Carson for his, but I know it was really so he would love you more than he loves me. You were almost successful in that, but no cigar, biznotch. Thanks to you, Ridge is now that Sampson without his long, locks of hair if he doesn't have those damn glasses -- simply useless. A slow poke to begin with, he now takes more time to get dressed because he's looking for those damn glasses than it took me to grow him in my stomach. Freakin' thanks! I guess I should be comforted in knowing that my kids spend the entire time they are at your house being pampered into love since you want to be their favorite, but you are ruining my life with your quest. I'm currently searching for the most ridicules gifts imaginable to give your kids. Just wait.

Since you have acquired the small, local chain of cell phone providers, the suckage of my coverage has increased dramatically. What's up with that? The old guys had the budget to advertise on the local radio, you guys have the cash flow to make your bidding on every national station. Hell, if you can pull the strings to let Dick Cheney listen to my random phone calls about my man and kids without a warrant surely to hell you can make the motherfuckers work without dropping every five minutes.

Mother in Law,
My sons aren't instantly and magically going to be stricken with pneumonia or frostbit or some other terrible affliction if they thermometer dips below 65 and they aren't wrapped up like that poor bundled up kid in The Christmas Story. Seriously, a band of Cheyenne managed to keep their kids alive for decades 1/4 of a mile from here on the banks of a river with the scant help of a leather tepee. Had that asshole Custer not rode along and massacred them, I'm sure they'd have all died old and withered of old age. I know your concern is because you do so dearly love the boys and I am less annoyed when I realize if something ever happened to me that you would mother them into submission, but I promise not to let them freeze to death.

Kentucky Fried Chicken Man,
I'm not being a bitch for wanting my money back. The chicken was simply raw. I don't eat raw chicken. That's not because I'm a snob, it's because I don't like puking water through my nose for three days. I realize my ass could use the downsizing, but I want my money back nonetheless.

If you happen to go a week without seeing the boys, all memories of you aren't going to be mysteriously whisked from their brain. I can't help that you work 20 hours a day and, for some damn reason, want to sleep those other 4. I'm not a miracle worker. You can either commission God for 4 more hours in a day or stop with the damn overachieving. I understand that this nagging is just because you love them 5 times as much as you love me, which I am actually cool with because I love that my boys are loved, but I can't produce more daylight.

Satellite Repair Man,
When we call you for a repair and then fork over that ridicules surcharge to get you out here, actually fix our shit. Don't strip some wires and then put together some technical house of cards that we'd have to be skilled magicians or, in the very least, engineers to make work after you leave in 5 minutes. I mean, seriously, if I wanted some solution that required some flimsy coat hanger to rest at an almost impossible angle while Rowdy and I jump up and down and pat our heads, we'd have saved our money and done it ourselves.

Oh, this could be five posts in itself. In fact, I am not going to write anything here since, well, bitching about you is pretty well the premise of this blog. I will say that it kinda pisses me off that four years into parenting, you have yet to wash one pair of underwear and you still get to be John Wayne wrapped up in Super Man to the boys every time you walk in the door, which I think is total bullshit since you didn't let the boys live inside your belly for 75% of year, gaining untold discomfort, then to turn around and let them thrive off your breast milk for a year. I do all that and you still get to be the super hero. Fucking bullshit.

Seriously, openly laughing at someone who accidentally rubs peppermint oil in their eye and then agonizing through relentless pain because of it. Seriously. I don't know if I'm peeved or excited that you get my humor. It's one of the two.

Ridge and Rolan,
Along with your dad, you two are the loves of my life. If it weren't for you two, I wouldn't even begrudgingly drag myself through this holiday. Damn you two for lighting up my life through the wonder in your eyes. If you two didn't radiate joy and excitement with even the slightest whisper of the magic of Christmas, I'd be a peaceful woman with abundant rest. I'd use all the money I've spent on gifts and what not to buy a plane ticket to some sunny paradise stocked with hot men and cold beer. Instead I'm running on fumes to wrap all the gifts you don't need and to prepare the food for our celebrations just to see the two of you hold your breath as your rip through wrapping paper to discover your next surprise, to see your mouths drop with glee when you realize what lies beneath it. So, you two darling little shits get my ultimate grievance and I wouldn't have it any other way.

HAPPY FESTIVUS! Watch the Festivus video. It's your heritage.

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December 22, 2008

Have A Corporate, Corporate Christmas

When I was a little girl, we didn't have The Tosito Bowl. The Orange Bowl was just the Orange Bowl. I don't know what in the hell the super fast shipping of FedEx has to do with football and, for the life of me, I can't figure what the damn Brut Sun Bowl is.
Either way, it is clear that marketing and consumerism have become as deeply ingrained in our society as the unbriddled lust some middle aged women have for the hottest, newest Coach purse. I'm friends with a few of those Coach purse junkies. You know I love them, but when the conversation turns to these must-have accessories, theirs eyes glaze over and their mouths water like frat boys at a titty bar at the mere thought and, I swear to God, you could buy their first borns if you run a hard bargain.
We've been being screwed by the long dick of multi-national corporations for a while now. So long that we don't even seem to notice it anymore. The spidering effect of this endless marketing was particularly apparent in a conversation I had with my four-year-old son yesterday morning. His mind is so consumed with all things Thomas the Train that his obsession tops even those ladies who are searching eBay for Coach purses as I type this.
"Momma," he said, "You need to call Santa Claus to go to Wal-Mart and get me two more trains. I need Duncan and Molly."
(In case you are wondering why he demanded that I call Santa, he "hears" me on the phone with Ole Saint Nick at least three times per day making a report on the latest Christmas-busting shenanigans he and his brother have pulled. Now I realize doing this, I'm just another link in the chain of the corporate Christmas. What can I say, it works!)

I tried to explain to Ridge that Santa wasn't at Wal-Mart, that he was at the North Pole building toys with the elves.

"I don't want him to build my trains," Ridge huffed. "Just tell Santa to go buy them at Wal-Mart."
That little wise ass, I have no idea where he gets that.

Anyways, as we left town yesterday, we drove passed the local Wal-Mart, last minute shoppers crawling through the parking lot like fleas on a mangy coyote.
Ridge pointed out his window, excited by the mere sight of his Holy Land, and declared, "Look, Momma, that's where Santa is going to buy my toys!"

That's right, Readers, you aren't fooling my kid. He knows there's no damn elves diligently assembling his toys at the top of the world. He may be four, but he's no fool. Hell, the only reason he still believes in Santa is because he knows his mother's and father's asses are too damn tight to be footing the bill for all this bullshit.

Merry Christmas.

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December 21, 2008

If You Have An Iritant on your Hands, Don't Rub Your Eyes. Unless Of Course You Want Your Entire Face to Fall Off, and Then Do.

A few months ago, I read in the newspaper that the scent of peppermint oil sends pesky little mice running away from the source and, therefore, into the outdoors. Now, like most country dwellers, I'm constantly looking for ways to outsmart for little bastards. You have to get up early and stay up late, my friends.
So I swung by the local drug store and picked up a tee tiny bottle, which, by the way, was like $20 per freakin' ounce. I also got some cotton balls to douse it on. Then I jumped in the car, tossed the bank-busting bottle of peppermint oil into the backseat of my car with about 45 other items I've been searching for the last six months and went on about my merry way.
As I did my bi-annual car cleaning this morning, I spotted the supposed mouse repellent. Holy shit, I had forgotten all about that stuff! Rushing in the house, my excitement woke my husband from his semi-nap as I soaked a handful of cotton balls and stuffed them under furniture and by the front door.
And then, with absolutely no awareness of the torture I was about to inflict upon myself, I rubbed my left eye. I'm sure you probably already figured this, but it turns about that highly concentrated peppermint oil burns when you touch it to your vulnerable eyeball. It burns with the fire of 10,000 chlamydia infections, as though you've just used a heaping bowl of onion salsa to wash a splinter of your eye. It was pure misery.
With my eyelid squeezed tightly, I hustled to the sink and washed my hands. After all, I didn't want to further this brutal assault. I grabbed a paper towel, ran water onto it and then attempted to wash this rain of hell out of it. Turns out, either I didn't get all the peppermint oil off of my hand or I still had some lingering upon my eyeball. Whatever happened, the swiping of my left eye drew the unbearable pain to the other eye. Not only that, my cheeks were set ablaze. My skin was splotchy red.
My husband, who was sitting in his lazy boy enjoying the spectacle, proved to be less useful than a lump on a particularly useless log. Basically, he was like George Bush in the middle of this financial crisis. As I handed him two wet wipes, he shrugged his shoulders and told me he just didn't know what he should do. And I was all, Seriously, Dude, Rub that sweet relief on my eyeballs. Rowdy maintained that he didn't think that would help as he spouted of other suggestions without taking his attention from whatever bullshit sporting event he was watching.
After I realized my husband would be absolutely no assistance, I ran to our bedroom, flipped on the fan by my bed and pushed my face against it. The gentle breeze was almost instant relief, like an epidural after 6 hours of hard labor. Yes, that's right, I'm comparing the peppermint oil incident to child birth. Yes, I've been through child birth. It's totally the same. Let it go.
After 20 minutes of bellyaching, the hurt finally faded away. That damn peppermint oil better pay off. If I see one mouse in this house this winter, I might freak out and pour peppermint oil in his beady little eyes. Bastards.

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December 19, 2008

The Cowboy Chronicles, Apparent Home of Naughty Nuns

As I'm sure you already know, I'm not super techy. This blog's mere existence is a profound miracles. As far as miracles are concerned, it goes that time Jesus awoke from the dead, that time Moses parted the Red Sea, a never-ending pool of hood rats willing to make themselves national laughing stocks for a shot at Bret Michael's old bandanna-clad ass and then The Cowboy Chronicles being halfway navigational. That's right, I put the conception of this site above the conception of my kids on the miracle list. That doesn't mean I don't love my boys more, I do, but making them only entailed a little loving and then a bunch of laying around and bitching because everybody else could drink beer while I sweltered into a sweaty, pregnant blob in the Oklahoma heat. I may have done a lot of bellyaching about the swollen feet and heartburn, but truthfully, my pregnancies were a cakewalk in comparison to the early days of my blog.
As I've stumbled through my journey of the World Wide Web, I've periodically learned new things that are apparently as second nature to most bloggers as breathing and backtracks. The first was Twitter. Mollie had to explain it to me like 17 times before I understood what the hell she was talking about. I'm still learning my way around it, though I think I've figured it out. I could go on and on, Technorati, BlogHer, layouts. It was like a completely undiscovered, unexplored village existing and thriving within the Internet.
Most recently I found Google Analytics. I know all you geeky, HTML whiz kids are laughing your techy asses off as you read this. Yes, I have been living under a rock. It's called Oklahoma.
Anyways, Google Analytics may sounding boring and, mostly it is. However, it does give us some big steaming pile of awesome and that would be a full list of what random key words folks type into search engines that somehow brings them to me. Looking over this list, you would probably think I'm running some sort of porn site for the devoutly religious. Of course, I did halfway blog about these subject, so I will link that posts that I think are driving these folks to my blog. If you are a new reader, I guess you should read these and see for yourself if you are on a blog about some quirky, bitchy Oklahoma ranchwife or if you are really on a covert smug site. You tell me.
So, without further ado, I give the shinning stars of my keywords list:

3. sexting examples

4. spongebob conspiracy

16. booby duty

17. catlic girls gone wild

18. charlie sheen (as a cowboy)

19. charlie sheen has hairplugs

23. how schools should handle sexting

28. jason biggs douchenozzle
I really have no idea how my blog came up this, but I did write about Dane Cook being a total asshat.

33. mozel tov hat

37. nuns gone bad

**38. nuns who eat snatch

45. sarah palin hooters

47. bill clinton hummer

Now, if you just happen to be one of the folks who found me from the above-mentioned searches, don't be ashamed. Come on out and announce yourself. Clearly a Greater Power is pulling the two of us together. Maybe it's God, maybe it's your apparent love for naughty nuns and their eating habits and Charlie Sheen's bizarre hair patterns. I don't know, I'm just glad you are here.

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December 17, 2008

Ridge and The He Man Woman Haters Club

So, it turns out that my oldest son is a rampant sexist. Ridge only recently showed me this brutally macho side of himself, but once he let that bulky beast out of the bag, there was just not stuffing it back in.
It all started about four days ago. Just like most Sunday nights, Rowdy had blanketed our television set with an eternity of football. As one game was finally ending, he switched to another and I belted, "OH, bullshit!"
Out of the corner of the room, Ridge, the sudden cuss word cop, came flying toward his naughty mother. Naturally, I thought his scolding was because his ears were too delicate for such profanity. I turned out to be quite wrong about that. After he punished me for saying that bad word, he declared, "Only Me and Dad came say bullshit."

I said, "Oh really? You and Dad can say bullshit, but Momma can't?"

"That's right, Momma, my bullshit is better than your bullshit."

I did my best to strangle the wild laughter trying to burst out of my mouth as I corrected my son. It was definitely one of my prouder moments as a mother. I mean, not even I would have thought one of my kids would be such a successful potty mouth at such a young age. Truly an accomplishment, I say! But, not only that, I wondered if my boy was already becoming a card-carrying member of the He-Man Woman Haters Club. He's more than willing to lavish his momma with kisses most of the time, but he also seemed quite natural and at ease when he puffed out his chest and declared that only he and his dad were clearly premium, platinum gold bullshitters.
I continued to laugh about this incident, but I didn't think much more about my son's sudden flare for sexism until this morning. As he sat on my lap and stole sips from my coffee, a commercial with two women playing football came on television. Apparently this offended Ridge's masculine sensibilities.

He said, "Mom, why are those girls playing football? Girls can't play football."

I tried to explain that, while it is generally a boys only sport, girls were allowed to play if they wanted to. This rationale only sent Ridge further into his chest-pounding rant.

"No, No, No, Momma! Girls can't play football. Only boys can play football!" He insisted.

While my husband may still sport a cowboy hat, this is far from an old-fashioned home. Rowdy and I were both puzzled by this, wondering where he could have picked this up. Trust me, I've tried to play the whole "Girls Can't Do That" card when Rowdy's been dragging me off into some horrible ranch activity like dragging off dead calves or building fence. Thus far, it hasn't worked yet. One time he made me work like 400 head of cattle with him and one lone hired hand when I was like 8 months pregnant. There was certainly no chick leniency that day. So, we have no idea just where Ridge's new "No Girls Allowed" attitude has spawned and we don't know just how far his new found sexism will run.
But, we don't know this: Ridge apparently has world-class bullshit and he doesn't want any ladies touching the pigskin.

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Momma's Boys

Just as I tucked the boys into bed, I got to enjoy the rare pleasure of a television to myself. Rowdy was watching CNBC or The Terminator or some other atrocious bologna that I have no desire to see on the bedroom television, so the living room tube was mine, all mine.
I skimmed through the channels when a brand new show jumped out at me -- Momma's Boys. Although I'm not normally one for reality television, I'm totally down for a train wreck, which is evident in my unfettered affection for Rock of Love.
No more than five minutes into the show, Rowdy comes through the living room to go outside for a smoke.

ROWDY: What are you watching? Is this that new show Momma's Boys?

ME: Ummmm.....why?

ROWDY: Is it?

ME: Yes, why?


ROWDY: Well, I don't really want you to get started watching that show.

ME: Why not?


: I just can't help but think that a show with momma's boys with noisy mothers is going to somehow bite me in the ass.

Immediately, I was overcome with laughter. And, just in case you haven't been as well, perhaps I should tell you that I live approximately 1,000 feet from my mother-in-law. While she is very good to me and my children, I can't help but think that maybe my darling husband feels periodically squeezed between the never-ending nut vault that is constant interaction with both your mother and your wife. I know all you fellas out there are shaking your heads, wondering if Rowdy is on a steady stream of drugs or just likes female nagging.

Then, it turned out, Rowdy's words were almost prophetic. I paused the show while he told me of this con man Madoff and his swindling. I wasn't recording it, it was just paused during this brief conversation when Rowdy's daily crack, Mad Money, kicked my new beloved show off. It was lost forever in DVR outerspace. Naturally, this caused me to start sniping at Rowdy's feet like one of those yappy lap dogs.
What can I say, when he's right, he's right!

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December 11, 2008

As Good As It Gets

I don't really remember meeting Audrey Suzanne Trevino. Likewise, I don't remember not knowing her. She was just always there, down the hallway or down the road, playing the softball game scheduled right after mine or throwing me the last beer from the ice chest. I was born three years before she was, so logic lets me know that there must have been a time in my life that I didn't know she existed, yet still, I can't recall it. That's both the beauty and the beast of growing up in a small town. Our lives are interconnected and interchanging, weaving in and out of one another like the ebbs and tides of the unpredictable ocean. It's a loop that never ends.
With probably a thousand different sporting events drawing our lives together, be it softball or football or our parents' bowling, Audrey was always on my radar. And, truthfully, she was the shits from top to bottom, from the beginning to the end. That I've always known. I could ramble into a few stories from the bowling ally or fitness center of shenanigans pulled by Audrey or my sister or my cousin Stephanie or Britne, but that post in itself could go on forever.
But somewhere along the time I turned 21 or 22 and Audrey turned 19 or 20, she grew from the brat pack of my little sister into my peer. I worked at the Pizza Hut and she worked at the Subway, which just happened to do be directly across with the street from one another. With the bulk of our friends off chasing grandeur at some distant university or running down the aisle and into the birthing rooms, Audrey and I found the common bond of being the rare and illusive breed of small town young girls that happened to be single and, well, out of high school. For somewhere near 9 months, she spent several nights a week at my house, the both of use swaddled in the magic fabric of sweat pants, watching movies and drinking beer out of straws that, by the way, had tiny penises on the the end. We laughed over tacky jokes, the kind that would make sailors blush, and cried over the uncertainties we both felt about our childhoods. Somehow or another, she got me.
But, just as life always seemed to do, we both moved toward different phases in our lives. For one thing, I met Rowdy, my cowboy romeo, and he swept me off my feet and onto the vast prairies of Roger Mills County. For you non-Okies, that's only, like, 25 miles away from my hometown, but sometimes it feels a world away. Marriage and babies fell upon me like a swift snowfall and my days were quickly consumed with the ins and outs of daily life. Like most of the people of my childhood and early adulthood, I didn't get to see Audrey nearly as often as I would've liked. But, when I did, she always had an uncanny knack for making me feel like she'd been there all along, like we'd never missed a beat.
And as time went along, I heard Audrey's name mentioned by my other friends, from people who she might not have known while we drank beer into the twilight on a frequent basis. It became clear to me that, in my absence, so many others had discovered the treasure I myself had found in Audrey. She had this uncanny ability to make you feel special, no matter who you happened to be. And that was no facade, my friends, she was a lover of people. She just put herself out there, she was totally fearless in that way. She was as good as they make 'em. She had a heart of gold and a tongue of steel, if you know what I mean. She both loved and fought wholeheartedly.
When Audrey died this Tuesday, December 9, I really knew it wouldn't be a right if the only thoughts posted here were mine. As I said, Audrey never met a stranger. And if you ever felt like she loved you, trust me, she did. Her heart was just that big. So, I posted a bulletin on myspace asking for others, folks from all walks of life, to send me thoughts or memories on our beloved girl.
As the threads of a great quilt laced between one another, members of different families mold together in a small town, from birth to death. This is reflective in what Britne (formerly Rainey) wrote:
My mom and Anne (Audrey's Mom) have been good friends for years, so Audrey and I kinda grew up together. I remember she always fixing my hair (bangs especially). Oh, by the "wings" you know the feathered back style and then apply tons of hair spray!! I remember one time our parents had gone out for New Years and Audrey and I got bored so we decided to make a cake. It was a chocolate cake, but we only a few half eaten cans of icing. So, needless to say, the cake had 3 or 4 different types of icing but, you know, it was pretty darn good !! I have a lot of other memories of her that were wonderful and I will always remember her and the awesome person that she was!!! My heart really hurts right now, not just for her family, but for her as well. She was so young and never had a chance to really experience the great things in life !! God Bless her and her family !

Naturally Britne's post warmed my heart and my tear ducts, particularly the last part. Now I know Audrey and she had a zest for living. She tasted life's sweetness often. But, I think what Britne was referring to directly was the fruits of longevity. Just this afternoon, I sat with Audrey's mother and grandmother. The pride they so clearly feel for her is as recognizable as the sun in June's heat. I think Britne knows, just as I know, that Audrey would've been the ultimate momma bear.

The next post from little Katie Farrel. Now I call her little because she's even younger than my little sister, who is, by the way, very grown. You know how some people stand still in time. Well, my sister and all her friends do to me. I don't care how grown up you guys get. The reason I mention just how long I've know Miss Katie is because I have known her through different means than how I knew Audrey, though they knew each other just as long. Do you see the theme of the intertwining lives of small town folks? I think Katie's small passage really speaks volumes for the many dimensions lifelong friendships can have. She wrote:

Audrey was the first person to hit me with a softball and the first person to serve me a beer on my 21st birthday. She was the reasoning in me going to The Long Horn, where she bartended and was a better bouncer than any big man. But most of all. I am gonna miss that laugh that she had and how she was always herself, no matter what. And the penis water gun she gave me on my 22nd birthday. Oh we had a blast with it! I am gonna miss that girl.

But, lastly, I think I will end with a little blurb from my darling friend Josh Bailey. He and I worked together for many years, through many sweat soaked nights at a pizza parlor. Honestly, I had never thought of him and Audrey being friends. For a passage in my life, he and I were around each other more than we were around much of anyone else. But, time moves like sand in the wind and our lives take a different form. However, knowing both him and Audrey, it was no surprise to me that these two great souls had also struck up a friendship. I'm better for knowing them both and I really think Josh's words sum up the whole of Audrey's spirit, the way she seized all moments and loved all people. Her smile lit up a room and she felt just a comfortable around bankers as she did around beggars. She was as good as it gets. Don't take my words for it, take Josh's:

I can't really think of one time with Audrey that stood out above the rest, because every time was a blast. She always went out of her way to make sure everybody was having a good time.There was never a dull moment and never a frown on her face. The short, few years I knew her was certainly not enough and that breaks my heart. You will seriously be missed, Audrey, by so many people. God bless you. - Josh

I want to write this post forever, to let my mumbling words drag on and prevent my sleep. I want to push tomorrow back into the midnight because, with the dawn of day, this nightmare is really real. Tomorrow we lay her to rest. As I close this post, I am leaving you with a Jackson Browne song, For A Dancer, performed by James Dupre. Whether you knew Audrey or not, I want you to listen to the words. However, if you did hit the awesome lottery of actually meeting this beautiful spirit, the words will really resonate with you. To me, the words give explanation to the way I feel not only about Audrey, but all my darling friends I rarely see because of all these adult responsibilities. Even if I don't see you often enough, you are with me and me with you. Here's just a excerpt of the song, I hope it entices you to click on the video and listen to the whole song. I put the sentence in bold that SCREAMS Audrey to me. Enjoy:

I don't remember losing track of you
You were always dancing in and out of view
I must have thought you'd always be around
Always keeping things real by playing the clown
Now you're nowhere to be found

I don't know what happens when people die
Can't seem to grasp it as hard as I try
Its like a song I can hear playing right in my ear
That I can't sing
I can't help listening
And I can't help feeling stupid standing round
Crying as they ease you down
cause I know that you'd rather we were dancing
Dancing our sorrow away
Right on dancing
There's nothing you can do about it anyway

Just do the steps that you've been shown
By everyone you've ever known
Until the dance becomes your very own
No matter how close to yours
Another's steps have grown
In the end there is one dance you'll do alone

Here's one more for the road from Jacy:
Audry was a bubbly person! We had this thing going between us with, "Your hair looks nice!" One day i had went into the bar and had a bad day and Audry said, "Your hair looks nice!"
I was like, "Are you kidding?!?"
After the day I had, I just knew it looked like shit 'cause I had felt like I had been pulling my hair out. So the next time I went in, her hair looked awesome! So I said, "Audry, your hair looks nice!"
She just gave me this evil eye, but it made her laugh!! You know the laugh, that sounds evil, but you know is innocent. That laugh of Audrey's made me always wanna laugh!!! It was a laugh no one else has!!
I saw her last Thursday night and she had her hair slicked back. I said, "Are you trying to pull off some Chinese bun or what?"
Her famous words came out with, "Shut the f*@ck up!!! I was running late for work!!!"
I am going to miss her serving the drinks. She knew what to say and how to make you laugh. I don't think I have ever heard of anyone not really liking her! She will be truly missed by me!

And in keeping with their inside joke greeting ritual, my friend Aaron wants to send Audrey off in style with two simple words, "Fuck Yea!"

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December 10, 2008

Ridge the Train Hunter

The other night I watched this Law and Order re-run. In this particular episode, this Go Go Gadget, Super Sleuth police dogs rapidly hunted down this dude simply from a brief whiff off some shredded clothes this guy had worn once upon a time. While I do know law enforcement agencies have pretty amazing canine units, I thought this scene was a bit far-fetched, that is, until my four-year-old son did a real life reenactment of this shit in front of my very eyes. Well, maybe not an EXACT reenactment. He wasn't sniffing out suspect or dead bodies. No, it was far worse. He freakin' magically sniffed out the Thomas the Train toys stuffed under a mountain of clothes at the bottom of my closet, trains intended to be delivered by Santa Claus in a little over two weeks.
I don't know if I've mentioned this to you before, but Ridge is kind of obsessed with all things Thomas. And when I saw kind of, what I'm really trying to say is if this cheeky English train was a real life celebrity and Ridge was a bit older, I fear we might have one of those super bizarre fan stalkings to worry about. And because Ridge has been utterly consumed with the cartoon and all the toys quite cleverly marketed to kids like him for about 2 years now, little Rolan was never lived in a house not blanketed with Thomas, Gordon, Henry, Purcy and the freakin' 200 other trains that shunt around Tidmouth Sheds and, somehow, Toys 'R Us. Rolan's far from the Thomas freak his big brother is, but he kinda digs him, too.
So, as you can imagine, when Ridge found these buried Thomas toys as though the actual voice of God had somehow directed him to them, a riot no smaller than the chaos that ensued after the Rodney King riot broke out in my closet.
He screamed until his face blistered out like a hothouse tomato and each word that left his mouth sprayed the spit of a rather pissed off little boy. Of course, I couldn't let him open them. First of all, at this point we have nearly acquired each and every accessory related to Thomas. I have to give him something on Christmas morning. Secondly, while he is a darling boy, the whole Santa guidelines are clearly based on a naughty-to-nice scale. Ridge minds and randomly picks hims momma wildflowers but, let's face it, he hasn't been near good enough for two rounds of Santa gifts.
Eventually I pulled the trains from his steel death grip and hid them in a new and improved location, one that (fingers crossed) should take him at least another three days to hunt down. Until then, I will be in a constant state of pointless reasoning with a four-year-old who just wants his damn Thomas trains. He doesn't give a shit about Santa's broken heart or waiting until Christmas or any other reason I gave him to put the trains down. After all, he's been demanding a Christmas celebration each night for three days and now this. I just don't know if his heart can take it.

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December 09, 2008

Meet My Demands -- Give Me Christmas NOW!

With Christmas lights sparkling into the darkness all over town and Christmas trees and an army of other holiday decor going up in each and every house Ridge visits, the pending arrival of Santa Claus is consuming his mind. And when I say consume, I mean freakin' absorbing every molecule of his little 4-year-old brain. Let me tell you, Friends, this is leading to a little DRA-MA at the Little Household.
After watching The Polar Express for the second time last night, now a nightly ritual, he emerged from his television haze demanding that we have Christmas then, RIGHT THEN! Not tomorrow, not in 17 days when Christmas was actually marked on the calender, but at that exact moment.
I tried to rationalize with the boy, a feat proven virtually impossible. Man, he's hard-headed. I have NO idea just where he inherited that.
After a solid 30 minutes of what could best be described as a shit fit, Rowdy and I decided to call in the big guns -- SANTA! Of course, Santa just happened to be discussing the naughty or nice list from the my dad's phone. Ridge backed off the "Christmas better happen right effin' now" ledge, although he did mention that he hoped Santa would make a surprise visit during the night.
So, it is with great angst that I report that Christmas is still 16 days away, 16 different potentials for another full-blown protest for the trains Ridge has begged Santa for.
Ohhhhhh.......parenting. Thank God for spiked egg nog.

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December 07, 2008

The Slammy Awards?

So, I was scanning through the old television the night before last when I saw perhaps the greatest thing ever bestowed upon my eyes. Apparently, the WWE or the WWF or some other ridicules wrestling programming now has an awards ceremony. Hold it gets better.....wait for it......wait it for it......It is also called the "Slammy" Awards.
As I pondered this, I wondered what possible categories this particular awards show might boost. Perhaps best 'roided out rage freak? Or wildly disproportionate muscles while magically maintaining less body hair than my 2-year-old?
Seriously, who needs the Oscars when we now have this little piece of awesome?

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December 04, 2008

Five Years

The date on the calender was December 4, 2003. Rowdy and I had spent the previous afternoon in Oklahoma City selling cattle and shopping for wedding bands. I know what you're thinking, well those two freakin' things go hand-and-hand. The cattle sold, but we found no luck in finding the ring that tickled my fancy. As we drove west, back toward the open prairies of our Western Oklahoma home, we made the impromptu decision to pull into Weatherford, a cozy town halfway between the big city and the vast openness that was ours. Lyndi lived there and her spare bedroom had hosted us more than one night. My in laws had bought their wedding set at a jewelry store there, so we wanted to give it a gander. I woke up early the following morning and did something I rarely did -- I called in sick. My boss, who doubles as my mother's big sister, didn't question the validity of my ailments. I think she knew I was trying to snap that ole' ball-and-chain on poor Rowdy's ankle. And since she'd be convinced for the better part of my life that I was a lesbian or would morph into some old spinster, I think she was honestly relieved that he was gonna make an honest woman of me at the ripe old age of 22.
We weren't in the jewelry store long before THE one jumped out at me, there from the corner. She was a three-stoned princess-cut beauty atop a platinum band. The never-ending quest had somehow ended. We returned to Lyndi's empty house while the Paige Jewelers sized the rings and celebrated in way only appropriate to do in your friend's house if you just officially became engaged.
As we picked up the treasure and pulled back onto the interstate, I knew in my heart this would be a day I would never forget. I just didn't know why. No more than three minutes into our drive, my cell phone rang. It was my mother and she was frantic. Just 2 short months prior to this, her father had suffered a stroke. His condition had improved and we had reasons to be optimistic, but he had yet to return to vibrant, order-obsessed, loving Mr.Fix-It he had been my entire life. With a blink of an eye, it seemed, he had grown old and frail.
When I answered my mother's call, her voice was soft, but her words were quick. Her father, my Grandpa Don, had died at a hospital in Clinton, a town we had happened to be driving towards, a town only 5 minutes from where we were. An aneurysm in his heart had taken his life in a brief and savage instant. He was gone.
As I walked into the room, a collection of my closest relatives, my mother and her siblings and a few of their children, were gathered around him and his wife, my widowed grandmother. I touched his warm body as my shivering tears landed, drop by drop, upon his lifeless chest. It was absolutely the most unreal thing I have ever lived through, as though I was living in some parallel universe and everything around me was merely a dream.
My Uncle Kent, the oldest of my mother's two brothers, lives an hour away, but somehow had beat us there. I suppose time can be cosmic in that way. On several occasions, I have tried to think of a time before that day that I saw him weep. And I don't mean eyes watering a bit, I mean struggling for air sobs. But, on that day, five years ago today, I did. Overcome with emotion, he sat in the adjoining bathroom while his mournful wails bounced off the hospital walls.
Sometimes it seems almost foreign to me that he's been gone five years, that in his absence I have become a wife and a mother. My cousins and my sister have as well. And then at other times, it feels like a dream, that he's been there all along. Sometimes I wonder if he was ever real at all. His life ended before either of my sons' lives started and that in itself constricts my heart.
But mostly, when I think of his passing, I mourn for my mother and my aunt and my uncles. While I don't see my mom's brothers too often, I do see her and her sister frequently. As time as passed, I've witnessed their pain evolve from a sharp hurt that seemed to almost stop many of their days into a dull and constant acceptances. And in many ways, I think the latter may even be worse. At least when his death still took their breath away, he seemed within their reach. Now he is just gone.
He was my mother's confidant, her greatest adviser. I can see that, when she faces a great obstacle, she longs for his opinion. As I've watched my mother struggle to accept his death, I have learned that she never will accept it, at least not in the way we typically view the word "accept." It is there, it is real and that is all it ever can be for her. Alas, she has stopped trying to make sense of it and I think she healthier for that. No matter how many years pass between her and the last time she touched his skin, she will never stop missing him. He is always there, in the low hum of radiators he worked on all his life or in the gentle breeze that blows over the wheat fields of his youth.

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December 02, 2008

Christmas Must've Come Early....More Nixon Tapes Released

I promised my homeboy over at that I would fulfill my bloggy obligations to receive the award he's so graciously laid at my feet. There's a whole list of shenanigans I have to pull to get the badge of honor, apparently including saying something nice to my husband with absolutely no motives of my own which is about as foreign to me as turning down a beer at 2 in the afternoon. I really, really intended on doing it today. That is, until I logged onto msn and saw that the National Archives decided today to release another batch of those fucking fabulous Nixon tapes.
Now, if you have been following this blog at all, you already know that I freakin' live for all things Nixon. Not because I think he was a good president, that's not it at all. Richard Nixon was one of the worst, most fantastically corrupt assholes ever to call that desk in the Oval Office his.
No, the reason I love Richard Nixon is no one, I mean fucking no one, does crazy like he did. Of course, his corrupt crown jewel was that list, The Nixon's Enemy List, he scribbled down on a piece of paper and then carried around in his coat pocket just in case he forgot for a second just who he wanted to "use the available federal machinery to screw." Now I'm sure you are thinking he at least put folks on the list like McGovern who ran against him in 1972. Well, you would be wrong. Let me tell you who did make the list, the late, great Paul Newman. On many occasions, Paul would say that, of all the blockbusters and success in his dressing business, he considers making the original Enemy List as the biggest success and his proudest moment of his life. He said it made him feel like he was doing something right.
I know you are probably dying of suspense. Come on with it, Shonda, whip out the new Nixon batshit crazy gems the National Archives gave us today. Oh, and by the way, in the off chance that you have gotten me a Christmas present, take it back. There is absolutely no way your gift will warm my quirky little heart like this shit did. Okay here goes:
-- On July 1, 1971, Nixon instructs Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman to have someone break into the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.:

"I can't have a high-minded lawyer ... I want a son-of-a-bitch. I want someone just as tough as I am. ... We're up against an enemy, a conspiracy that will use any means. We are going to use any means... . Get it done. I want it done. I want the Brookings Institution cleaned out and have it cleaned out in a way that has somebody else take the blame.

-- On April 4, 1972, Nixon discusses the press with Haldeman:

NIXON: “Return the calls to those poor dumb bastards ... who I know are our friends. Now do it ... We made the same mistake [Dwight] Eisenhower made, but not as bad as Eisenhower made, because he sucked the Times too much ... Goddamn it, don't talk to them for a while. Will you enforce that now?'
HALDEMAN: "I'll try."

Or this little pearl:

-- On May 18, 1972, Nixon talks to Henry Kissinger about the National Security Adviser's meeting with Ivy League college presidents regarding the war in Vietnam:

NIXON: "The Ivy League presidents? Why, I'll never let those sons-of-bitches in the White House again. Never, never, never. They're finished. The Ivy League schools are finished ... Henry, I would never have had them in. Don't do that again ... They came out against us when it was tough ... Don't ever go to an Ivy League school again, ever. Never, never, never."

And one more for the road:

-- On Nov. 14, 1972, Nixon talks with his aide Charles Colson about his landslide re-election victory over Democrat George McGovern:

NIXON: "What in the hell did you think of McGovern's statement on the election? Wasn't that the sour grapes crap again?”
COLSON: “Well, it's unbelievable, the arrogance of the guy ... God, what a bad man. Just awfully glad we got him buried and put away for good. I think he is.”
NIXON: “Oh, he's buried. He's buried."

Jesus, I am getting misty-eyed nostalgic, so much so that I looked up the obituary, if you will, that one of my favorite writers, the late, great Hunter S. Thompson, penned after Nixon finally went the way of all evil Bond villains when he died in 1994. Hunter always said not making Nixon's Enemy List was his life's biggest disappointment. And as you read this, I want you to remember that not long before he died, Hunter said that George W. Bush makes Nixon look fun.

As a farewell to his old adversary, Hunter wrote this:

Richard Nixon is gone now and I am poorer for it. He was the real thing--a political monster straight out of Grendel and a very dangerous enemy. He could shake your hand and stab you in the back at the same time. He lied to his friends and betrayed the trust of his family. Not even Gerald Ford, the unhappy ex-president who pardoned Nixon and kept him out of prison, was immune to the evil fallout. Ford, who believes strongly in Heaven and Hell, has told more than one of his celebrity golf partners that "I know I will go to hell, because I pardoned Richard Nixon."

I have had my own bloody relationship with Nixon for many years, but I am not worried about it landing me in hell with him. I have already been there with that bastard, and I am a better person for it. Nixon had the unique ability to make his enemies seem honorable, and we developed a keen sense of fraternity. Some of my best friends have hated Nixon all their lives. My mother hates Nixon, my son hates Nixon, I hate Nixon, and this hatred has brought us together.

Nixon laughed when I told him this. "Don't worry," he said. "I, too, am a family man, and we feel the same way about you."

It was Richard Nixon who got me into politics, and now that he's gone, I feel lonely. He was a giant in his way. As long as Nixon was politically alive--and he was, all the way to the end--we could always be sure of finding the enemy on the Low Road. There was no need to look anywhere else for the evil bastard. He had the fighting instincts of a badger trapped by hounds. The badger will roll over on its back and emit a smell of death, which confuses the dogs and lures them in for the traditional ripping and tearing action. But it is usually the badger who does the ripping and tearing. It is a beast that fights best on its back: rolling under the throat of the enemy and seizing it by the head with all four claws.

That was Nixon's style--and if you forgot, he would kill you as a lesson to the others. Badgers don't fight fair, bubba. That's why God made dachshunds.

And as I read this, I also realize that someday, some spectacular day, the National Archives will start leaking the Dubya tapes. Will they be as good as Nixon's? Will they be better? I guess only time will tell. In fact, I am going to use this, living long enough to hear the Bush II tapes, as my New Years motivation to take better care of myself. I know, I know, it should be living to see my boys all prosperous and successful. Don't get me wrong, that's a big perk. But, I must admit, I'll be pissed if I miss out on this, I will be pissed. Until then, on this fantastic day, I miss Richard and Hunter and all the devils and angels from a different era.
If you want to read more of Hunter's obit, read here.

PS-- I promise not to write about politics again for a long, long while.

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