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Showing posts from September, 2011

Some phases are more irritating than others

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When my daughter was around two, she started calling her dad "father."  It was just about the cutest thing ever, of course. It all started when she asked me a question and I responded, "Go ask your father." For nearly a year after that, it was "Father, can I have a fruit snack?" and "Wait until I show this to Father!" Eventually, the phase ended. There have been other phases: the orange juice phase, the Dora phase, the "I'm a kitty" phase, and so forth. The newest phase is by far the most trying: the "my mom is a dumb ass" phase.

Lately it seems like my adorable little cherub is hell-bent on proving me wrong about, well, everything. Or at least catching me in a mistake.

"Mom, you forgot to get me something to drink." 

(Through lightly clenched teeth) "I didn't forget, I just didn't DO IT YET."

The examples are plentiful.

"Mom, this isn't the way home from the Y."
"You pick…

On Being Patriotic

The list of adjectives I assign to myself is pretty long: clumsy, organized, competent, uptight, etc. One that might surprise you: patriotic. I fully understand what it means to be an American and am darned happy about living here. But, I have a beef (that part won't surprise you). I've grown tired of certain segments of the population thinking that they've cornered the market on patriotism or that they can dictate precisely how the rest of us express ourselves when it comes to our shared country and flag.

Sometimes it seems like the Toby-Keith-boot-in-yer-ass brand of patriotism drowns out the rest of us. For the record, I don't believe that patriotism requires a love of NASCAR, a disdain for immigrants, a Republican voting record, or a preference for country music. Nor does it require adherence to a specific religion.

I've seen Facebook posts from some of my friends and acquaintances that call for all of us to return to the "Christian principles on which ou…

Brother can you spare a lung?

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I've been horking up a lung for the better part of a week. It's been frustrating, because I haven't had an asthma flare-up in 18 months. For a second there I almost wondered if it had somehow gone away (maybe all those inversions in yoga or something?) but alas, I'm still afflicted.  The kid caught a cold a couple weeks ago. We scarcely knew she had one, to be honest - she sniffled for a day or two and that was it. By the time it got to me and her dad, however, it had evolved into something much, much worse. You'd have thought we were both in the throes of advanced tuberculosis, emphysema, and pneumonia all rolled into one. I pulled my beat-up albuterol inhaler out of my purse and within two days was abusing it so badly that my hands were shaking like an alcoholic enduring the DTs. So, I gave in and called my asthma doctor.

The doctor hooked me up to a machine meant to measure the nitric oxide in my lungs. I had to breathe into an apparatus while trying to follow a…

Claudia's List of Awesomeness

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You know how Oprah makes her list of favorite things? It's mostly stuff like $500 cashmere sweaters and Coach bags, but she throws in the occasional CD. You know, for us po' folk. Although my level of influence does not extend very far (I can't even influence my child to brush her teeth before school), here is my list of stuff I like, in no particular order (note that I am purposely omitting people, however):
Bath bombs from Lush.  If you can find a Lush store near you, check it out. Also, get me a Sex Bomb while you are there! It is also worth noting that the vast majority of the bath bombs are vegan. Hoop earrings. I cannot be convinced that hoop earrings are ever out of style (they may not be perfectly IN style at any given moment, but are seldom out). Keebler Fudge Sticks. I haven't tried the new jumbo ones yet. Maybe I'd better not. Mike's Hard Cranberry Lemonade.  I only drink these in the summertime, but man, do they go down easy! Yoga. I have only been d…

Close Call

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My daughter owns a slew of Barbies and one Ken. She's got at least half a dozen of the standard-issue blond Barbies (ballerina Barbie, some kind of fairy Barbie with wings in her back, etc.) and a bunch of the Disney princess dolls. All of the females are basically interchangeable. It always startles me a little to see Belle wearing Ariel's dress and Snow White wearing Belle's dress and so forth. More often than not, however, everyone is naked. They all hang out in one big obscene jumble inside the plastic bin I bought for storing all of the dolls and their microscopic shoes. Princess Tiana, in particularly, has not bothered to get dressed since last Christmas. Also, I have to wonder how many moms out there are trying to figure out how to (surreptitiously) get rid of the big matted wad of hair that is . . . Rapunzel. I know I am.

When A is playing with her Barbies, I can hear lots of conversations going on, but she clams up when I walk by or even when she can tell I am in …

Summer, where art thou?

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I guess the party is over.  We shut the storm windows, locked the regular windows, and turned on the heat. Blah. It was downright chilly in the house this morning.  The dogs were all snuggled up on the bed in the guest room/office. Well, the boys were all balled up like cats. Gretchen just worked her porn star pose. Like so:


I also caught her humping Gideon in the back yard earlier. Never a dull moment around here.  I made the mistake of taking both knuckleheads for a walk the other day (Kaiser, our foster dog, stayed home because he got to go last time). Now, Gideon and Gretchen are not dog-aggressive. They are both fine with other dogs.  However, they saw a Beagle standing placidly in his yard and they both lost their shit. Since they couldn't get to the Beagle, they decided that they would just kick each other's asses.  Gideon jumped on Gretchen and bit her in the head with his one good tooth.  She, in turn, whipped herself into such a frenzy that when she shook her head, wh…

You can visit her in juvie in a few years

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I think my kid might be . . . kind of a badass.  School started on September 1st.  She made it through the first day without incident.  On the second day, she found herself "in the yellow."  Her school uses a warning system based on a standard traffic light (made out of construction paper). Each kid has a clothespin with his/her name on it. The default is to have one's clothespin clipped to the green light.  When a student talks while the teacher is talking or screws around in the hallway, his/her clothespin is moved to the yellow light and a verbal warning is issued. If things deteriorate from there and more infractions pile up, the clothespin moves to red and a written notice is sent home.

My daughter spent a lot of time in the yellow last year. Her Kindergarten teacher adored her but couldn't overlook the fact that this kid o'mine . . . Cannot. Stop. Talking. She simply cannot. There is a progressive  school here in town that stresses engagement and alternativ…

I Heart Cleveland

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I'm sure you've been on pins and needles wondering how my road trip went. It was fabulous. I did a lot of driving and made several observations:
Some cities in the Midwest have more country radio stations than they should be allotted. Some people think nothing of chit-chatting the day away with a toll taker regardless of how many dozens of cars are piling up behind them. Some people are still very confused about the left lane. The guy driving a Traverse on the tollway yesterday is a colossal douche. Keep an eye out for him.  I drove about 2/3 of the way to Cleveland on Thursday and then stopped for the night. I'd gotten a room on Priceline. I then got up Friday morning and finished the drive, arriving in Cleveland by late morning. I met my friend Rachel at the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame. We ended up spending most of the day there. It had been a few years since I visited the museum and there were lots of new exhibits. We also paid extra to see a U2 concert experience in 3D. I&…

Road Trip

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As I mentioned in my last blog entry, I'm about to embark on another road trip. I'm headed to Cleveland. Why Cleveland, you ask? Well, several reasons. Allow me to start from the beginning.

My friend Rachel and I met on the first day of school in sixth grade. We attended Garfield Elementary School in Springfield, Virginia and were both in Mrs. Crawford's class (the best teacher ever, hands down). As of September 2011, Rachel and I have been friends for thirty years. Holy cow, we are old. Well, she is ten months younger than I am, if you must know. However, she already had boobs when I met her. I'll never forget when she and Sharon advised me, at a sleepover later that year, that I didn't actually need a bra at all and shouldn't bother to wear one.

Rachel and I came to be good friends during sixth grade.  She was friendly and smart and gregarious - the type of person you couldn't help but like.  We hung out at the mall, had sleepovers, all that jazz. Our fri…

The things we do for our children, eh?

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I took the kid to an amusement park today (I should get extra credit for the fact that it's three hours away, too). As you may have surmised (possibly because I have stated it, in vivid detail, in countless blog entries), I am not big on rides these days. I can handle a wooden roller coaster (because, to date, they have not figured out a way to work in spiraling inversions or to force you to stand up while riding) and maybe a carousel, but that's about it. I don't think I'm the only one because at one point today A was on a teacup-type ride and as I was waiting near the exit for her, a lady turned to me and said, "I can't even watch. I'll just look over here until it's over."  She then proceeded to busy herself by poking around in her purse. This particular ride was pretty much my worse nightmare. Each individual cup (they were more like bowls, I guess) spun, each cup was part of a pod of three cups that also spun, and then of course the whole she…