Okay, it took me a while to recuperate from my journey. My spiritual and cultural journey into the land of red. It was just as I suspected but on a much larger scale of crazy.
The funny started when our limo pulled up in front of our house. We live in an, uh, older neighborhood, by older I mean, less expensive than the average neighborhood where a limo pulls up. Even better was the house across the street that was repo’d and foreclosed on, is now for sale, and a couple was looking at the house, and behold, a limo pulls up and potential neighbors walk out in jeans and sneakers and jump in a limo and drive off. That’s how we roll here in this hood, so you best keep up!
We lucked out with a fabulous group. Senorita and Dr. Husband have a great group of pals and I am grateful she (they) took such great care of us in the school of hard knox of NU Football Tailgating & Game_ness. But seriously, the ride in the limo was brilliant because we could just chit chat and laugh. And we laughed. And laughed. Then laughed at how much we laughed. I’ve skipped my ab workout today because my six_pack is still sore from the workout in the limo. ***Just a sidenote _ I don’t really have an “ab workout”…nor the six_pack. But it’s fun to dream, folks.
I cannot believe these people took a picture with me. But I want it completely documented that SENORITA explained to me that it was a “Blackout Game”. I hated to ask, but, I wanted to fit in as much as I could, “What’s a blackout game?” She very patiently explained that it’s where everyone wears black and how cool it looks in the stadium. See how cool we all look? Yeah, no one else got the memo. But atleast we could all find each other, right?
You would think, when you step out of a limo, people stop and look and ask, “Wow, you’re in a limo!” But with a shirt like this…not so. When Ricardo wears this shirt, no one asks him “How tall ARE you?” It’s just a simple outreach of joy and love for the shirt. Even at the Nebraska game, “DUDE I LOVE YOUR SHIRT” from strangers forty feet away. And then they tossed him a beer. Every time. Not ONE time did anyone ever say, “Dude, your wife is a 6′ bombshell.” NOT ONCE. Geesh.
So, we get to Lincoln, and hit a bar first. Hey, it’s on the way to the tailgate, so might as well. It’s absolutely packed, and that’s when I remember something that may or may not hinder my happiness for the rest of the trip I’ve just locked into 12 hours for: I HATE crowds. Woopsie, probably not a great plan. I don’t mind a good crowd, because I can see over everyone. So, that’s nice. But you know, the shoulder to shoulder crowds? Just not my thing. I go along with it though, because what is before me is a first: a band at a bar. I’m not talking rock band, it’s the effn marching band, pre_game warm up! Fine, it’s not the actual Nebraska Marching Band, it’s the alums from it. Playing all the fight songs and such. A pep rally, in a bar. The town MY college was in a dry county. So, the band, in a bar _ never thought of it. Just perfect! So fun. Maybe it was the acoustics _ maybe it was the beer at a pep rally. It was brilliant and fun. Fo sho.
Aren’t we cute? My girls took good care of me and showed me how to roll at the game and tailgates. These girls rock!
Then we headed out to the tailgates. Plural. I envisioned a gigantic parking lot full of motor homes with grills outside. But Nebraska campus and stadium is downtown. So, it’s really several parking lots. I think _ I don’t know _ but I think they are themed a bit. A pal said she tailgated at the Players Parent’s tailgate. Senorita put careful planning into mapping out our tailgate plan so that we’d move closer and closer to the stadium. I also envisioned at these tailgates that there would be corn _ like a competition _ and that it was like Fair Food. Back in Texas, there’s BBQ. Cookoffs. And one of my favorites at a cookoff is corn. They DIP IT IN BUTTER BEFORE THEY HAND IT TO YOU!!!
So, most of the Husker fans are probably disappointed by the fact that the Huskers lost the game. But I’m more disappointed that there was no fancy corn dishes, no fried corn, no corn dipped in butter. This is the most I could find:
Ahhh, the glistening sun shining behind the Nebraska flag and endless satellite dishes..I also thought that everyone tailgated and then went to the game. It turns out, most tailgaters never go to the games. They watch it on a big screen. I’m amazed at how many tailgates there are, how much food and drink there is, and how welcoming and inviting everyone is. We bounced to about 4 or 5 tailgates and had a great time. Even me, because, again, it was shoulder to shoulder.
Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about the game crazy.
That’s how I roll.
Take note of how small the actual football field looks compared to the size of the stands to accomodate all that crazy known as “fans”.
I have to fess up and tell y’all I’ve been sucked into the vortex of crazy. I run my own show of crazy _ nice and quaint and cozy. And for four years, I’ve protected my kids and family from what I fondly refer to as the freakshow here in Nebraska _ Football. I still sight that I’ve never seen anything like it _ and I’m from Texas, folks. Oddly enough, I’ve only seen the freakshow in all it’s glory here in my safe community of Omaha. I dare not venture to the darkside, on homegame day _ to Lincoln.
It turns out, I have made some really good friends at the gym. And it also turns out that DesignDiva is married to former Husker and New York Giants offensive lineman, Rob Zatechka. I’ll get back to him later, because, as you will see through this blogumentary of freakshow 2008, Nebraska Football has very little to do with the players. VERY little. DesignDiva reads this rockshow of a blog and decided it was time to learn me a lesson, citing that maybe I should go see what it’s all about. In all sincerity, she and a few other pals truly want to defend the great nature of Nebraska Football Tradition. And what kind of writer am I if I don’t check it out for myself?
Tomorrow, thanks to Rob and Designdiva and Senorita and a few others, I will be attending my first Nebraska Football game. Really, it’s my first big football game, at all. I think I went to a few Houston Oiler games back in the 70′s (shut your mouth if you weren’t even born in the 70s), and I went to a Texas Tech game one time but they got annihalated so badly, we left early.
Rob and Designdiva gave us their tickets. Well, we got them at face value, and from what I’ve seen and heard, that’s a gift. Tickets being auctioned off for a fundraiser last week went for $900 _ each. So, thank you very much to Rob and Designdiva for the tickets. From what I’ve heard on your career at Nebraska, it’s an honor to sit in your seats. I hope our neighbors aren’t disappointed… “WHO ARE YOU? WE WANT ZATECHKA!!!” When they realize what an outsider I am, I’m going to get mauled.
I think the reason I am so amazed at what goes on for a Nebraska football game here is because I went to a Division 2 school, West Texas A&M University. Go Buffs. When I came in, they were just restarting the football team. There were barely any scholarships, if any to offer. Some of the best guys in the world played on that team. Like me, they weren’t the best players _ per their suggestions, not mine. Did I mention I don’t know a lick about football? But my alma mater football team, that year, they had hearts of gold, of platinum. They worked their butts off, got pummeled twice a day, all for the glory of simply getting the chance to play ball. From sitting in the training room, getting ankles taped or nursing wounds and bruises, or twisted ankles, we sat and iced and I became great friends with some of those guys. That’s why I went to football games, to cheer my buddies on. Since I played volleyball, I only got to see a football game about once a year. So, being able to go cheer them on was such a treat. And having them cheer me on was absolutely a factor of my success.
The stands were never full. And it was the best fun next to playing my sport there was. So, for the life of me, I can’t figure out why these people here in Nebraska are so crazy for football. Do they each know someone, have a close bond? I doubt it. I’m going to go see what it’s all about.
Perhaps I’ll find the answer at a keg. I’m a little freaked out already. Ricardo and I are joining 3 other couples and going to the game FOUR HOURS prior to kick off, in _ get this _ a LIMO. A part of me is very frightened. My defense will be my camera. I plan to photo essay this entire gig. So, wish me luck, and come back. I’m guessing attending the game, the limo, the tailgates (plural _ back at WTAMU there was A tailgate about 1 hour before kickoff), the bars, the people, I’m guessing it’ll necessitate a four_ or five_part series of blogworthiness.
Wish me luck. And also, those Huskers too, I guess.
That’s how I roll.
Yesterday, the kids and I took Farley the Wonderdog to the vet for his regular exam and shots, you know. That stuff. We take him in,the kids find the kittens the vet is trying to save and sucker up clients to adopt: “Gee Mom, it’s too bad you’re allergic to cats.” Yep. Keep remembering that, Max. So, while they were distracted with all that, I took Farley over to get weighed.
With all the weight loss going on in our house, I thought nothing of it. But Farley the Wonderdog was wiggling and, so I weighted him three times. I finally got him to sit on the scale before and could not believe what I saw. ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY FOUR POUNDS. I’m fairly certain this is the heaviest this dog has ever been. Just like when I went to weigh in for the first time at Weight Watchers, now it’s not just a few extra pounds. It’s a problem. 25 pounds of a problem. I knew while we sat there and waited that I was going to get in trouble. I even changed my posture from bad_ass momma to kid waiting for the principal. Farley the Wonderdog knew he was in for it, too.
For the last three years, Dr. M has been telling me that Farley should lose some weight. And for the past three years, he’s gained weight instead_ a little more everytime we bring him in. So, as soon as Dr. M came in, I started with what I always use in my defense in adverse situations: Jokes.
Dr. M: “Looks like Farley’s still gaining weight.”
Me: “Well, he IS named after Chris Farely, so, we have his namesake to uphold to.” Nervous chuckle….chuckle…..chuckle…. awkward pause.
Dr. M: “Didn’t Chris Farley die in misery and shame and excessive indulgence?”
And proceed with the serious lecture. But this time I tried to defend myself.
“Okay, but when we’ve tried this before, his gas alone was validation to give up and let him gain weight.”
“Uh, how long did you put him on the diet? It only takes a few days for the gas to subside and his stomach to get used to it.”
“Fine, it was two days, but two of the worst days of my life. I had to buy hazmat masks, for God’s sake.”
Later on, I say to the doctor:
“Well, we took him off the Prozac, and so, my big concern is that when we put him on this diet, he’ll uh, well, he’ll eat the house.”
“Ever thought about locking him up?”
“Yeah, we tried that.”
“He ate the house. He ate the wall. Seriously.Come over, I’ll show you. We left it as is for proof.”
Here’s what he did to a WALL when we “locked him up” in the guest room. So, now, guests are greeted by this:
HE ATE THE WALL, folks. THE WALL.
Dr. M didn’t believe me. But promised that if Farley DID have said incident again, that I could call and he’d come over to see it for himself.
Before we left, Dr. M. was petting Farley while Farley was laying down. And he just stared in awe, “He’s huge. He’s way too big. This isn’t fair to him.”
So, now Farley the Wonderdog is on a strict diet. The kids and Ricardo (Gramma _ you too) have been put on complete restriction from feeding this dog any scraps or anything tasty at all. It’s diet dog food baby. I wonder how many points it comes out to?
Day one, Dr. M. DAY ONE, and we came home to his expression of disapproval of such attrocities as this diet bull shit (That’s Farley the Wonderdog’s words, not mine):
Yep, that’s a soiled pullup he snacked on. You showed us Farley, you nasty dog. That’s so gross. I took the picture and left the mess for Ricardo to clean up. And yes, up to this point, that is a Farley proofed garbage pail.
Here’s his “before” picture. He has to lose 20 pounds. He could stand to lose 30, but the doctor said 20 would be okay.
In case you can’t tell what a gigantore this dog is, I took this picture for perception’s sake. I’m 6’3″. This dog weighs only 50 pounds less than me.
When Ricardo was taking these pictures, he looked down at me and Farley the Wonderdog and exclaimed, “Man, now that I look at him in the camera, I see, he’s really really fat.” So, I’ve opted to take more pictures with Farley, seeing as how he makes me look so tiny and all…
Wish us luck!
That’s how I roll.
Today, it hit me that our budget isn’t enough for our needs. I say that, I should probably say something more like “needs”. In quotes and all. I’ve come to the realization that my “needs” probably aren’t really needs at all, and maybe I should readjust my “needs” into needs _ no quotation marks necessary.
It takes me a while to come to these realizations. Even longer to actually act on it. I can’t help but thinking that maybe the economy is getting to me and my family. Surely it can’t be ALL my fault. Are groceries really that much more now? Perhaps.
What we do here at the MOTR Casa is called the Envelope Budget. You set a budget for things like bills, groceries, gas, stupid school odds and ends, etc. You label envelopes and put the allotted money in said envelope. When the envelope is empty, you’re out of your budget for that item. It works for spur_of_the_moment people like me. Sometimes I find myself doing what my mom used to refer to as “robbing Peter to pay Paul” I’ll snag a little out of the medical envelope for a gallon of vodka or something like that. But for the most part, it works. Until today.
Today, I needed to run to the grocery store for diet dog food (I’ll explain later) and a few other things. I was torn between which store to go to, I mean, I’m about to drive by Walmart and they are cheaper. BUT, the kids’ school is doing some fundraiser with Hy_Vee receipts. What to do, what to do? Save gas and a few bucks at WalMart while losing a few dignity points and grimmacing at the apparent required screaming kid. (Ever notice it’s a constant at Walmart?) Or tack on a few cents for the sake of my sanity and contribute to the fundraiser for my children’s education? That’s when I remember, “You hate Walmart. Nothing good is in Walmart. Your therapist said Walmart was unhealthy for your soul.” And so, I pass right on by WalMart and head to HyVee. HyVee is a local grocery store here in the Big O. They have bigger aisles, good produce, and more importantly competent and happy and helpful (gasp!) employees. I feel happy and successful when I leave HyVee. When I leave Walmart, I feel violated.
I get in, shop, and whip out my envelope, it’s Peters _ you know _ to pay Paul. Translation: I left my Groceries envelope at home, but just used my Entertainment envelope money that was in my purse, resolving to put the money back when I get home. I get out. I’m yapping on the phone with my mom, when I get home and go to take the money back to Paul (Follow me with the nice analogy, folks) and I cannot find Peter’s envelope. I panic, then think, and realize I left it at the check out lane. AAAACK!
I get back in the car, and lecture myself all the way back to the store: “Can’t IMAGINE why you can’t keep a budget, Les. I mean, just leaving your budget envelope with MONEY IN IT at the store, can’t see why you can’t get a grip on your budget, LAME ASS!” I’m holding my breath, because it’s 50/50 it’s still there. Yes, anyone could have snagged that money. But it’s HyVee. Good happy and let’s not forget helpful employees.
I get there, walk in, go to my line, the nice and lovely lady is still there, I say, “Did I leave an envelope here?” Holding breath….holding breath….flashing nice trusting smile….holding breath
“You sure did! We figured you’d come back for it! I’ll go get it for you.”
They get it, give it to me, and I go to open it, when I see they’ve taken extra precaution and taped it. Fascinating, taping it shut, a new level of budget discipline. I’ll consider it.
This would have never happened at Walmart. I’m just sayin.
That’s how I roll.
This email was sent to me today. I don’t know who Ron is, but…what he said:
This was sent to me this morning. They are the best Hurricane Ike damage pictures I’ve seen yet. The power of nature is very frightening, the mercy of God is awesome, and will of mankind is inspiring.
You probably know by now, I’m from Texas. I grew up just north of Houston, a little suburb called Spring. It’s about an hour north of Galveston.
My mom and her boyfriend still live in Spring. After Ike, they are ok. “Duh,” Some might say, “She’s an HOUR INLAND, you just said that.” Yes, thank you. But my mom’s okay because they have a generator. They are an HOUR INLAND and still without power! They are north of Houston. North of this:
So, yes, she’s okay, and asked I’d tell my masses. So, there you go. Most everyone I know is as close as that. Except my Will. Will is the brother I never had. Turns out I was enough to drive my mother to permanent birth control. But, whatever.
My Will. I don’t even know where to begin. This kid goes down to Galveston and falls in love…with the island. And on more than one instance, I’ve advised him to leave and move back home. But he’s insisted that he can’t leave Galveston, that it’s a part of him. That his friends ARE his family down there. (Except ME Will, because I’m in OMAHA. Except MEEEEEE, right?) So, when he was threatening to not evacuate prior to Ike coming in, I pulled a Big Ass Sister Smackdown like he’s never seen before. It was an Instant Messenger novel that I’m SURE he was happy to read rather than hear my yapping on a phone call. (He wouldn’t pick up his phone when I called anyways…)
Thankfully, Will got out of Galveston with Jane (the sexy bulldog, if ever there was one). This is Will’s refugee picture:
For Will, this is actually an opportunity to start all over. He could walk away, with minimal loss (his business and his dog are okay, and that’s about it)_ he could start all over. I think that’s probably what I’d do. I’m not proud to say that. But Will, like so many others, is committed to returning and helping not rebuild his life, but help his friends and help rebuild Galveston.
Everytime I talk to Will, I think, “Oh, yeah, Galveston.” Out of sight, out of mind, right? And that’s what I want to try to remind y’all of, please don’t forget Galveston! With amazing people like Will, it cannot be forgotten. Oh sure, there are a few assholes there, I know a few of them too. But I’m hoping with people like Will and his friends, that good will overcome evil whores.
If you’ve noticed, the Emmy’s and Lynne Spears new book have booted stories on Hurricane Ike and it’s devastation.
Will is returning to Galveston to review the damage to his home and to the island. He is sick over the anticipation of what he is about to find. So, please take a look at these pictures. And say a prayer. If you can, contact the Red Cross or the Humane Society and see what you can do to help. Go here to get updates and see what you can do for great people like Will and Galveston.
That’s how I roll.
The other day I was sitting here, websurfing, I’m sure, while the kids had a snack after school. And I heard this:
LUCY: Timmy in my class NEVER practices his spelling words. EVER.
MAX: Is your name Timmy?
MAX: Then don’t worry about it. You just worry about Lucy.
I about peed myself with laughter, but held it in. Lucy looked to me for defense, but I said nothing.
When Ricardo got home, I told him the whole story. He chuckled and said “That’s you. He totally got that from you.”
I say, “Uh, no, that sounds just like my dad.”
To which Ricardo replies, “EXACTLY.”
That’s how I roll.
Some of you may know that song reference. I don’t care how straight I am, I love the Indigo Girls, and have braved being the minority at Lillith Fair every year they had it so I could sing along as loud as possible to that song. That, and I’m a bonafide member of the Sarah McLachlan fan club. You shut up, anyone who writes a song about ICE CREAM is a friend of mine!
Back to the song title. I thought I’d take this opportunity to bring y’all up to date on my heart mending from losing my girl, Carrie. You know, when someone loses a loved one, after the funeral and all the thank you notes are over with, you really don’t know how it’s going after that. How could you? Well, from the blog, ofcourse!
First of all, Carrie’s family is doing ok. Some days are harder than others. Sadly, they’ve dealt with loss before. I wish this made it easier to deal with, but I’m guessing not, it’s probably overwhelmingly worse. The good news is, I don’t leave them alone. (Well, it’s good news on my side, atleast.) I harass them as much as I can without legally being a stalker. (I know my rights.) They are all very open and real about how they are dealing with Carrie being gone. Thank you for your prayers for them, as well. Please continue to pray for them.
Also, thank you to JB, my PILs, J_dawg, Scrapbookdisneydiva, Erica and my MOMMY for your very generous donations. Back in my non_profit working days, the mantra was, “It never hurts to ask.” So, I sent out the ol mass email as well as posted on this blog begging for sponsorship. And it sure doesn’t hurt to ask. It actually melts my heart. It’s so sweet and heartwarming to see not only the donations roll in, but who’s making them. Some of y’all knew Carrie. Some of y’all never met her, but you know my heart, and so you do this for me. Some of y’all, I haven’t even seen in years. Your donations are the greatest hugs to me. Thank you so much. Your actions speak bounds and will not be forgotten!
If you would still like to donate money or your time, it’s not too late! Wink, wink. As a family, Ricardo, Max and Lucy will join me and walk with Carrie’s friends in Texas in November. If you’d like to join us, in the words of Bob Baker: C’mon down!
I am doing better each day. It still takes my breath away to know she’s just not here. I still think to call her and tell her a funny kid story. I know now that she’s my angel. And I think she left this earth knowing that she was leaving me with Yallison. Yallison and I take good care of each other and nurture our precious friendship even more now. MyDaph and Julz(Holla!) take good care of me, and are on the mend too! The both of us just see life’s little perks and celebrate them more now. I thought I was all grown up when I got married and had kids. But I think I’ve got more clarity now, more gratitude for life. Yallison does too, I can hear it in her voice. So, we embrace the slow process of mending our broken hearts, and I think we’re a little bit Closer to Fine each day.
That’s how I roll.
I came up with this while on the phone with a friend the other day. As moms, we need to take care of each other. I think we lose sight of that sometimes. So, here it is the mom_to_mom mantra as far as I’m concerned:
- Never ever question how a friend worships.
- Never ever question how a friend votes.
- Never ever question how a friend parents. Ever. You’re better off telling them how to worship and vote.
That’s how I roll.
Ricardo and I were at the gym the other day. Some people go on dates. We check our kids in at the gym and go workout. We ran into some people we know. They are nice ladies, Julz(HOLLA!) and I have been pals with them for a while. And that’s when I was posed a question that someone had the cahones to actually ask:
“What do you have to do all day, you’re stay_at_home moms?”
Ahhh, yes, the age_old question. I don’t recommend you ask nor suggest any type of question to a SAHM. (SAHM = Stay_At_Home_Mom, or Sexy and hot mom, whatever). It’s like asking when a pregnant mom is due when she hasn’t told you she’s pregnant yet. Don’t do that. Unless the child is coming out of her body, and his little hand is waving at you, never ask.
When she asked, I let it roll. And trust me, Pal, is a great gal. She was joking. But two days later, Ricardo brought it back to my attention. The fact that he remembered, took to my defense, that he acknowleged it, and was upset by it truly conveys to me that he gets me and understands me. And he knows a lot of all that nothing of what I do all day.
Let me take this moment to address that my “job” isn’t really a job to me anymore. Primarily, because I don’t get paid _ except in the weight of dog poo and sticky syrup kisses. But it’s not a job to me because I love it. It’s fun. I’m really enjoying my kids. My kids are six years old now & I haven’t changed a diaper or wiped a butt in a few years. I have it easy (now) because I had my kids at the same time. I’m brilliant like that. I paid my dues time two just in simultaneously potty training, but breastfeeding _ puhleeease _ that was the hardest 3 weeks of my life.
So, in answer to that question _ I do what you do, because you’re a mom too. But you’re a working mom. Still, I do what you do. Take care of my kids and the house. I just have the privilege of doing it all day. That’s what it is, it’s a privilege _ not a job, a privilege. It was a job. It was hard work. But now it’s simply a privilege.
My friends, however, work their asses off, have singletons, get the kid all raised and off to kindergarten, and then go and have another kid. Then another. Then another. We call that “job security” in the SAHM circle when we’re all gathered to watch Oprah and sip martinis. When you have kids at different ages and stages, it’s a lot of work. A SAHM with 3 kids ages: 7, 3, and 1 _ will change diapers AND potty train all day while shuttling to and from school and doing multiplication tables. That is work. Trust me. It’s a job. And you do NOT want to know the details.
Well, we do what all moms do _ working moms, single moms, SAHMs, we just do more of it. We’re at home more, making more messes and then cleaning them up more. So, it’s just at a higher frequency. I do more laundry, more cooking, then more cleaning, more shuttling the kids, more volunteering. Most days, it feels like I’m chasing my tail. Makes me dizzy. I like dizzy. I’m good at it.
Last night, Ricardo got a call at 3:30 in the morning. He’s a programmer, so someone had an error or something. All I heard was things like,
“Well F7 it and run a query on the 51a2b. Then try to enter New Product and try to do Internal 760. Then F4. And that should work.”
I have no idea what he does all day. I know that he’s good at it.
That’s how I roll.