Archive for the ‘Tucker’ Category

Of Tears, Trains, and the Spirit of the Radio

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

I went to bed in a cloud of melancholy. I woke up the same. I cried my way to work. (40 minutes is sometimes just the right amount of time to think. Sometimes it is way too much time.) I usually am really good at compartmentalizing, but today I did a terrible job. I ended up crying in the grassy area behind my building, choking sobs back, rubbing at my eyes with my sleeve, pacing, giving myself the pull-it-together talk. I am really good at pulling it together; I was not able to do so this morning.

I somehow made it through the day. I sat in an hour and a half of traffic. I called two friends and two cousins. I left messages for them. I thought of people I desperately wished I could talk to about everything. I didn’t call them. Part of me thought I should. I called my Mama instead. She picked up, just like always.

I came home and I ran 2+ miles. It was my fastest pace in a long time. I must be running from something. It is like a soothing drug. Squats and crunches and planks are not soothing, but I did those too, because I don’t know what else to do with myself.

It was my turn to do kid duty. I took T. and her friend, M., to eat. It was about 8 pm. They were excited to tell me about their day. They gushed about Cars 3, which evidently has a female protagonist. I guess I will have to see it now, despite the fact that I wanted to shoot myself over all the Lightning McQueen stuff R. loved as a little boy. I miss that age now. I miss Mater, that old goofball.

The girls talked about how to pick a college. (My take was go in state, try to get some scholarships, and avoid loans, if possible, but mostly to just learn everything they can now, and make the best grades they can, and seek out the things that interest them. That would give them options, and the rest would fall into place, and that not everyone decides to college and that is okay too, but it is important to give yourself the option.)

Then we talked about financial security, and about how money isn’t about new shoes or how big your house is. It’s about freedom. Money sometimes = freedom. I also had this talk with my first love’s mother, right after we broke up, in maybe 1993. She liked me, I guess. She invited me to lunch. She gave me Gloria Steinem’s “Revolution From Within.” I may have frightened the girls when I told them that being financially stable was important for women, so that they never had to stay with an *abusive man. That they could always take care of themselves. Sorry, Megan and Andy – #notaprofessionalguidancecounselor

I talked to the waiter about his breakup with his boyfriend. He is maybe 21? I told him he’d live, but it might hurt like hell and feel like death.

We paid the check and walked out into the near-dark. It was cool for June, and we sat and listened to the quiet on main street for a minute. Tiller ran around and up and down the ramp and stairs with her arms out like an airplane. She laughed as she ran. She snorts when she laughs.

The train track signal lights started flashing and the crossing bars went down. The girls yelled, “Train!” and we walked to our car, next to the tracks. I gave both a leg up onto the hood of the car, and they sat on top under the quarter moon and we waited for the engine. It parked and we sat. (I stood. I am too old to jump onto a hood and not fall immediately back off and the whole patio of the restaurant was watching; I only made one attempt. I am going to practice that, though.)

And then it started. Just a single engine, alone, pulling no cars behind it. The girls waved. The driver waved back, not 15 feet away. He blew the whistle. Twice. We all clapped and cheered. The crossing opened back up and the bells went off. We got back in the car, now in the dark. We rolled the windows down.

Rush’s “Spirit of the Radio” was on. I’m not a big Rush fan, but I talked to them about Neal Peart and we rolled the windows down and opened the sunroof and they both put their faces out the windows as I turned onto the main road, as we drove past each streetlight, in and out of alternating darkness and light.

And somehow, at that moment, I realized the day had turned out alright. We would be alright.

* Hypothetical. My husband is not, nor has he ever been, abusive. He is the person I respect most in the world.

Of Tears, Trains, and the Spirit of the Radio

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Wholesome and Old School Quality Family Time (NSFW)

Sunday, March 26th, 2017

So, tonight’s dinner discussion with my teenager and tween was so horrific, it gets it’s own NSFW blog post. (Mom, that means, “Not Safe for Work.” As in, don’t click on or read it on your work computer. So you’re fine.) For anyone with delicate sensibilities, or who thinks maybe their children are perfect and/or living in a bubble, you should stop here.

First of all, in my head, when I was driving to eat at our local restaurant/bar, I realized I was wearing the shirt I was lounging around in today. My Chunklet Trump Sucks shirt.

Maybe not the best shirt to wear in a very purple neighborhood. So, in my head, we might get looks because I had the word “dick” on my shirt. Some drunk redneck might want to discuss it. I have had this happen one time before and have a prepared rebuttal sure to make angry white men more angry.

But we got to dinner and the UNC/KY game was on (sorry Jason, congrats Dana), so it was unusually crowded and we got seated pretty quickly, but our food took awhile, so you know, that means Quality Family Time.

We discussed upcoming spring break plans, going to the beach, packing lists, games to take, R. going to Disney for his band trip, etc. It was super all-american and white bread. And then. Then, R. started pushing buttons.

Things like, “you don’t get to tell me whether I can take my phone to Disney or not, because Dad paid for it.”

[Needle scratches across record.]

Todd and I both work. Todd did indeed write the check and deliver it to the band teacher. But my head seriously exploded.

I said, “Buddy, you realize that your father and I both work long hours and what we make is both of ours. Daddy did not pay for your trip. Your father and I both paid for your trip.”

So, then I turn to Tiller, in a classic example of attempting to ignore bad behavior, while educating, and say,

“Tiller, did you now that in America, when a man and a woman do the same EXACT job, on average, the woman makes 75% of what the man makes?”

Tiller: “What?”

Me: “For every dollar a man makes, a woman, doing the same exact job, possibly as well, and likely, better, will make 75 cents for her work, while a man will make a dollar.”

And bless his heart, the boy child, he doubled down.

“Mom, why do you have to take everything so seriously? You’re so uptight. I was just joking, and you had to turn it into some kind of Feminist rant, like you always do.”

This was the point where I said, in the exorcist mom voice,

“Rollie, you need to leave the table now and go to the bathroom, because if you stay here, I will make a scene. When you come back, you better have dropped it, because you are treading on seriously thin ice.”

He goes to the bathroom, and Tiller and I discuss wage equality a bit more, and he comes back to the table. He seems to realize he has stepped over the line and is actually able to be quiet for about five minutes.

Then, i think he realizes by my stone cold stare and cold shoulder that I am actually very angry with him. So, he starts trying to make me laugh.

He begins by saying,

“I’m gonna go play something on the jukebox.”

Me: “Okay, no dubstep.”

Him: “Okay, I will play one of your favorites.”

Yeah, I’m not dumb, my guard is up.

He proceeds to play a song that he knows I loathe: Europe’s “The Final Countdown.”

Waiter comes by and smirks at me.

And I don’t let R. completely get to me. I point out that the song was not a terrible choice in light of the ending of the basketball game, but everyone probably thinks he’s a Tarheel now.

So, he again pushes the envelope, coming up with terrible-sounding music choices, that i didn’t recognize. And for every one, I said,

“Oh, that one is so good. I love that one.”

And he seemed to become frustrated, but at the same time, saw right through me.

And Tiller says,

“Can I play one?”

And I say,

“Honestly, if there is any song one might play in here that would baffle, astound, or annoy the clientele, it is most certainly from the Hamilton soundtrack. What song is most popular and recognizable from Hamilton, Tills?”

And she ponders it for a split second, then says,

“‘Alexander Hamilton,’ of course.”

And so that is how it came to be that my son ended up playing a track from Hamilton to a bar full of oblivious basketball fans in Tucker, Georgia. It must be noted that Tiller sang along, proudly, word for word.

And then, we were all laughing at the absurdity and seemingly getting along. But my teenager? He could not stop there. And so he drops the bomb.

Mom, what’s a ‘rim job?’

I am pretty sure I both turned red and spluttered. I don’t know that I have ever spluttered at any other time in my entire life. The waiter came by, took one look at my face, and asked if I’d like another glass of wine? (They are good people there, at Local 7 in Tucker.)

I compose myself and say,

“Where on earth did you hear that?”

R: “Why? What is it?”

Me: We’ll talk about it when we get home, okay?”
R: “Why? I want to know now.”

Me: “It’s like the blowjob discussion; You do not want to discuss this with your sister here, and I don’t think it’s polite dinner table discussion.”
R: [smirking] “That’s okay. It was in a movie Dad and I watched, and he already explained it to me.”
Me: [violent, bloody murder in my head, knowing I had been played, because he just knew it would get a reaction out of me.]

And then I did the only thing i could do. I laughed so hard I almost cried, because he absolutely had me on the ropes.

The waiter comes by to stand at the table:

“Check please,” I say.

R: “Also, what is a dildo?”

Waiter: “That last glass is on me.”

We finally get to the car and they are both jabbering and I say,

“Please, can we leave this conversation be until tomorrow? I really need a break and then I will be glad to answer any and all questions, just as I always do.”

And my sweet firstborn says,

R: “Okay. but I have one more question: What are anal beads?”

Me: “Where in the hell did you hear that!? I’m looking at your history on the computer tonight when we get home.”

And he actually seemed shocked that I might think he had googled it.

“Mom, I heard most of that in the locker room.”

Oh, well, that seems. . . wholesome and old school, I guess.
On another note, what songs would be the absolute worst to play in a bar full of people? Also, I am setting up a GoFundMe to cover my wine costs for the next five years.

Thankful

Monday, December 19th, 2011

So, damn. That last post was a real downer. Sorry about that. I am pretty good at the ostrich thing, though. I do lots of fun stuff, and I am lucky to have a healthy family, and I still have both parents, and my husband is the best one in the whole wide world ever (for me.) So, here are some things I’m thankful for . . . Think of it as one whole post about shit I’m thankful for, rather than an annoying “I’m Thankful” facebook post every damn day of November. See how good I am to you? So thoughtful . . . .

My friends Shannon and Matt had a baby and we finally visited him.

Tills and DannyBoy

Tills and DannyBoy


We have beer on Main Street now.

We have beer on Main Street now.


I got to spend an afternoon with my sister and our kids. Sadly, that almost never happens anymore.

I got to spend an afternoon with my sister and our kids. Sadly, that almost never happens anymore.

Tills broke her arm, but I still got to go to NYC with Todd.

Tills broke her arm, but I still got to go to NYC with Todd.

I had breakfast that i bought at Union Square Greenmarket. I ate it on a bench and watched schoolchildren.

I had breakfast that i bought at Union Square Greenmarket. I ate it on a bench and watched schoolchildren.

I drank coffee and rode the Staten Island Ferry just for the view. I didn't care that it was cloudy and was repaid with some sunny patches.

I drank coffee and rode the Staten Island Ferry just for the view. I didn't care that it was cloudy and was repaid with some sunny patches.

I ate a pear in Trinity Church Cemetery, where my 5G grandfather was buried in 1786. Or at least records say he is. His grave is lost to time now. I thought about that while I ate my pear.

I ate a pear in Trinity Church Cemetery, where my 5G grandfather was buried in 1786. Or at least records say he is. His grave is lost to time now. I thought about that while I ate my pear.

Todd and I had dinner with my friend Harris and his girlfriend Anne. I am still always surprised that Harris wears button-downs to work. In my mind, he is always wearing a navy blue hoodie.

Todd and I had dinner with my friend Harris and his girlfriend Anne. I am still always surprised that Harris wears button-downs to work. In my mind, he is always wearing a navy blue hoodie.

And then we all went to a bar and played shuffleboard.

And then we all went to a bar and played shuffleboard.

We also stayed at the Gramercy Park Hotel. Tres fancy.

We stayed at the Gramercy Park Hotel. Tres fancy.

Posting these so that Harris can see what the rooms were like (he was curious):

The room had FOUR windows. And a beautiful rug. And original hardwoods.

The room had three, count'em three, windows. And a beautiful rug. And original hardwoods.

And here's the bed. Nice linens, velvety headboard, good lighting.

And here's the bed. Nice linens, velvety headboard, good lighting.

Pretty sure the bathroom was bigger than most NYC apartments. However, for the cost, i think they could have worked in a tub. (My only problem with the room.)

Pretty sure the bathroom was bigger than most NYC apartments. However, for the cost, i think they could have worked in a tub. (My only problem with the room.)

Even the closet was fancy.

Even the closet was fancy.

And here is a view of the sitting area from the front door. We had a SETTEE, y'all!

And here is a view of the sitting area from the front door. We had a SETTEE, y'all!

The rooms also come with access to the park. It is a private park that you have to have a key to get into. That’s pretty cool. And snobby and elitist. . . but cool.

So, the next day it was cold and pouring down rain. I made plans to meet Anne at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was so god-awful crowded, and wet and damp, but we had a lovely afternoon. I forgot to each lunch I was enjoying myself so much. We mostly wandered, took in the current exhibitions. (Romare Bearden was one Anne really wanted to see and I thought it was great, and was also surprised I had not heard of him in my Harlem Renaissance class in college).

Anne and I both checked out my favorite part – Arms and Armor. I think when she suggested it to me, she must have realized how much I would love it. She probably didn’t realize that I would take so long that she would get hungry and have to leave me there. (Sorry, Anne!) I could have spent all day there looking at the amazing things people have killed other people with over the years! They even had a helm that was (probably erroneously) said to have been worn by Joan of Arc – I have had a preoccupation with Joan since i first read about her as a child. (I also have a weird interest in Marie Curie, Belle Star, Annie Oakley, and Bonnie Parker, among others. I know. I am a freak.)

Joan of Arc Helm

Joan of Arc Helm

There was an interesting Stieglitz exhibition, about him and his artists (O’Keefe, Matisse, etc.) While I enjoyed it, i was way more interested in this tiny little exhibit of his early art photography collection. I could have looked at it all day.

And best of all, I found some new (to me) artists to adore: Like Francis Bacon; Like a painting entitled, “End of the Hunt” by Dale Nichols (Anne, that is the one that you loved!);

The photo doesn't do it justice. The light is so amazing in it in person.

The photo doesn't do it justice. The light is so amazing in it in person.

Or these two huge pieces by Stephen Hannock. You totally can’t see it online, but he put all this writing and mixed media collage stuff in these two works. I almost wanted to cry it was so cool. Oooh, actually, if you go to this link then click on the photo, then zoom in, you can see the writing. Awesome.

Like this one by Paul Cadmus.

His Seven Deadly Sins were awesome! This is Lust.

His Seven Deadly Sins were awesome! This is Lust.

Looks like a really cool graphic novel, right? He made it in 1945. Mind-blowing.

When i left the museum, I was starving, and it was raining cats and dogs, and todd wanted me to meet him for a beer at some place near his conference in Times Square, and i was all like, “Ugh, Times Square.” But the bar was actually pretty awesome, with cheap beer, and seemingly no tourists other than myself. It was warm and the barmaid was kind of bitchy, which I can respect, and I sat next to a guy who makes full-length concert DVDs for a ton of bands, some of whom i thought were crappy. But he also worked with Chrissy Hinde, and so I was all interested in hearing about that, because I heart The Pretenders.

Then we left and had to make it back to the hotel to change for drinks with work people, and it was raining and i felt kind of sorry for all the working sad sack new yorkers just trying to get home, but there is something very romantic about a rainy evening with my husband, and taking cover in Grand Central Station to get away from the rain, and just watching the people.

Blurry, rainy evening at Grand Central Station.

Blurry, rainy evening at Grand Central Station.

And then i put on my nice stuff, and we went to The Standard Hotel for drinks, and damn, they have a really nice view from their rooftop bar, which, i kid you not, is called The Boom Boom Room. Sometimes I think New York comes up with stupid shit like that just to make me laugh at them. The bathrooms in the bar were rooms with no lights and no window coverings, where you could look out over the skyline while you are taking a shit. Ridiculous, but fun. I was luckily warned first, or I would have thought I was trippin’ in some crazy house of mirrors.

I had my jeans down around my ankles and I was peeing while I took this.

I had my jeans down around my ankles and I was peeing while I took this.


After that? Yummy burgers and home to bed because we were both wet, cold, and exhausted.

A lovely trip. I’ll end here for now, as I have gone on and on, and will never click publish at this rate. It shall be a two parter.

Crazy Shirts Alive and Well

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

“Crazy Shirts are Alive and Well,” says a distracted Tech Writer Attempting to work on projects at coffee shop on Sunday afternoon.

There are a plethora of Crazy Shirts available for my viewing pleasure today at the coffee shop. For the uninitiated, Crazy shirts are any bold and colorful patterned button down shirts worn by aging men trying to look interesting or cool despite beer guts and receding hairlines. Most commonly-seen are the hawaiian shirt variety, but lucky crazy shirt sightings might include geometric Max Headroom-style shirts, and other CRAZY patterns. Todd and i first identified the crazy shirt phenomenon a few years ago when given free tickets to see The Church at the Variety Playhouse. Crazy shirts abounded at that show.

Crazy shirts are alive and well at Alcove Coffee this beautiful Sunday afternoon. Thank God the hippie chick isn’t working and some punk rock kid with pink hair and piercings is controlling the music, or i would be in compete and utter hell.

p.s. Wife of most recent crazy shirt sighting had on a female version, involving palm trees on a sea blue background bordered by rum and tequila bottles. This will need further research.

Tiller at Music Program

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Tiller had her music program today. I was on the verge of tears the whole time. I sat over on the side, but about three rows back from the altar, and she ended up standing on the very end, closest to me, and she knew exactly where I was, because i happened to sit right by the area reserved for her class.

She towers over all the other kids in her class, like a Bowie-haired, silk-purse-out-of-a-sow’s-ear little tomboy. Her hair is growing out, but it is taking it’s sweet time, and as my own friend and hairdresser put it so succinctly, she is “looking like a little lesbian.” So, we actually stuck a bow in her hair this morning (we even brushed it!) and stuck her in her pretty Shank hand-me-down dress, and she picked out her little sandals, and she looked half girlie.

They sang three songs. One was about being a pizza (?), one about a dog named “Rag.” But one, it was called, “I love my home” or something like that? The verses included I love my dad, I love my mom, I love my dog, and I love my cat.

It absolutely fucking tore me up.

She can’t say “L”s very well, so she makes the “W” sound instead. “Love” sounds like “Wuv.” I could hear it over the other kids. She sang with this sweet little smile on her face, “I wuv my Mom,” watching her teacher do the hand signs for cues, and then ever five seconds, she would look straight over at me, and her smile would get just a little bigger when she saw me looking back at her, and she would sing, looking me right in the eyes, and then turn back to her teacher to stay on track, and then turn back to me to light up when she realized i was still watching her.

It was one of those priceless parenting moments that you know you will never forget, no matter how old she gets.

And in an odd twist, I would never have gotten to have the moment if I had remembered my camera or my video camera, and had one of them stuck in my face the whole time.

So, all i have is these couple of iPhone pics, and my sweet memory.

Full House

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Not sure how this happened, but I have six kids this afternoon. They just crack me up, with all the sibling, gender, age, and birth order dynamics. Also all the funny faces.

Single Parent Saturday

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Todd went to Tybee with the boys for the weekend. No comment on Mother’s Day. He’s working off the misdemeanor.

Saturday, I had quite a time with the kiddos. T-ball game at 9:30 a.m. Lunch with Lisa and Dash afterwards. Went to buy a birthday gift for Rollie’s friend Emily. Left there. Came home to check on the neighbor’s since the alarm company called and their alarm was going off. Let dog out. Went back out to Tucker Day. That’s our annual small-town festival. The kids love it. I like it. Would be better with beer. (Isn’t everything?) Left there. Went home for an hour. Dropped Tiller off at neighbors’ for dinner and a playdate (thanks, Shanks!) and then took Rollie to HELL, a.k.a. Stevie B’s Pizza. You might be thinking, how can this be worse than Chuck E. Cheese’s? It doesn’t have alcohol. The mouse? He has beer.

Rollie had a blast, and I actually enjoyed talking to parents of kids in his class and getting to know them better.

Much fun had by all and boy did we sleep well that night.

I Don’t Understand How Dekalb is Even Running

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

Also, I would just like to say, on behalf of Dekalb citizens and taxpayers, parents, students, and teachers, WHAT THE FUCK?

You can’t even get it together and make a decision? What a waste of everyone’s time!

Good Day Sunshine

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Woke up yesterday with a slight headache, but once I had lunch I felt fine. Spent the whole day outside with the family. Todd (finally) put up my Bulldog bird feeder. I moved Eddie Rabbit back to the edge of the treeline in the backyard, so that he will peek out at us on the patio. We cleaned the patio off, and I moved my new planters where I wanted them. We put out more birdfeed. Checked on the hydrangea I put in (it was one of my birthday gifts). Hung some wind chimes. Todd cleared out a huge section of our ivy and some ugly bushes (no idea what they are, but neither of us particularly like them). Talked about ideas for bed plantings in the future. Looked at bulbs starting to poke up through the ground. Oohed and aahhhed over the yellow crocus popping up around my Redbud. Picked up sticks. Poured pea gravel in the walk near the garage where we get a lot of runoff.

All the while, the kiddos ran around doing a “scavenger hunt” in the yard that I set up before we started. Then, Todd showered and we took the kids to St. Bede’s for some bike riding. One thing I hate about my house is that my street is a cut-through and jerks drive over the hill two houses up from me so fast that the kids wouldn’t have time to get out of the way of a car speeding. Our driveway is too steep to really ride. So, we take them to the park, or to the cul-de-sac up the street to ride. St. Bede’s is the best, though. A large, flat, shaded parking lot where the kids can ride in big sweeping circles. Rollie has gotten great at riding without the training wheels and Tiller is a daredevil with her training wheels. She almost flips that bike over three or four times whenever we take her out. It is gut-wrenching and thrilling to watch them.

Came back home, had a beer while grilling chicken and asparagus, and then ate that with scalloped potatoes. Yum.

Good day. My kids watched ZERO television yesterday. I LOVE warm weather.