Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mama Mia!

Some of you got the call last Wednesday. Me, hunched over the phone, eyes darting furtively, whispering, "Code Red! Code Red! Sweet Jesus, Mom is here!" as I mixed myself another drink.

Yep, Special Kay is in the 757. (BTW, I just realized that 757 is an airplane. Or wait, is that 737? Anyway, I don't mean my Mom is in an airplane. I mean that she's in my area code. Just for clarification.)

Mom reads my blog, so she's probably perusing this at this very moment (Hi, Mom). Which makes it an excellent vehicle to express myself via the written word. I do not express myself well while talking to others (unless I am screaming like a banshee and throwing breakables--then I have no problem). As we have already established, I don't like hugs, snuggles, or anything remotely emotional and/or mushy. I'm like a dude with a really awesome rack (now that I have "the bra.") Feelings are not my forte'.

Some of you have met my Mom. She's a total spaz, and always has been. As soon as I'm able, I plan to stick her ass in a home and leave her there permanently (with no baby doll, Mom) so somebody else can deal with her crazy. This is if I don't kill her first. You never know. The feeling is mutual, she may try to come after me, but I'm extremely confident that I could take her down. We've discussed this before.

I know what you're thinking, Mom. You're thinking, "This is where she tells me, via her blog, to get my shit and leave." Except you would not have used the word "via," and probably would have thrown a "y'all" or a "over yonder" in there somewhere, potentially while whipping out your dental floss in public (this freaks me out, Mom). Alas, you are incorrect. I have something different to say.

I love you, Mom. For real. You make me bat shit crazy on a totally regular basis. Occasionally, I have to fight the urge to throw myself in front of a fast-moving semi when you are around, or takes swigs of vodka every time I visit the kitchen, but that's just become you're YOU. You've been this way my whole life--you're Fun Sandy. Not so much an adult, but someone who boggles my mind, thus keeping me on my toes. The inventor of sock pants, and how to turn Fritos into a dinner entree'. You are the Queen of Improvisation, and the most carefree person I know. But I still have a problem. You see, I have a lot of frustration and exasperation that comes from the fact that I can't protect you from the world, can't make everything all better, can't assure you a "happily ever after," even though you ask me for none of these things. I know you don't expect me to take care of you, but DAMNIT WOMAN, I feel like it's been kind of left to me. Much like I need to make sure my children are happy and healthy, I feel like I need to do the same for you. And I don't mind this--I really don't--but I haven't a fucking clue how to do it. I'm in over my head. Dad didn't leave me with an instruction manual, and I don't know what the hell I'm supposed to be doing, I just know that he would want me to watch out for you.

And I'm trying. But I think I suck at it. And you're uncooperative, so together we make a sad little package.

So where do we go from here? I haven't a clue. But Mom, know that I love you. Or at least as Bellamy would have said, 'most the time.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Baby Got Stacked

Let's talk about my breasts for a few minutes.

(Oh, come on. This is not a family blog. If you find my breasts offensive, stop reading now. NOW.)

So, most of you are aware that I am not a girl of overly large endowment in the chest region. Translation: I'm a B cup on a good day. While I realize that there is nothing wrong with having small boobs, and that my frame probably wouldn't support enormous, Playboy-esque cleavage anyway without making me look like a severely disproportionate circus freak, I can't help but sigh every time I pull on a tank top, wishing that I had a rack like Scarlet Johansen. (B wishes this as well, but we're not blogging about him, we're blogging about me.) My Mom had giant boobs, followed by breast reduction, and those suckers are still oversized. Both Grandmothers have big boobs. Where the hell are my DDs? One can't help but wonder. Poor, deprived Haley.

But now, after 32 years of wishing I could lose things in my cleavage like my friend Ray (who can actually store things in there for later, if she so chooses, due to the size of her chest), the Cosmos have chosen to answer my prayers, in the form of the Victoria's Secret Bombshell Bra. (*Cue the singing angels and light from the heavens*)

Keep in mind that by nature, I am a skeptic of everything. Where boosting my girls is concerned, my skepticism reaches new heights. They are what they are, and no flirty little push-up bra is going to change reality. I had seen the commercials, I had read the print ads, all promising to increase your bust by two cup sizes, but had not been swayed by the hype. Two cup sizes, my ass. It was sheer boredom that led me into Victoria's Secret Saturday night, scoffing as I scooped up the Bombshell Bra, heading to the dressing room ready to denounce the claims and tell Victoria's Secret to suck it.

I peeled off my shirt, unhooked my bra, and slipped into the new one. I had my back to the mirror as I fastened the clasp and pulled the straps over my shoulders, turning around as I adjusted to see how it looked. Then my jaw dropped, and I nearly passed out on the hot pink push carpeting. Dear, Sweet Jesus. I was stacked. Like, seriously STACKED. Un-fucking-believable.

Nobody would believe me. I KNEW nobody would believe me. I had no witnesses. I could hardly invite the dressing room attendant in and request a letter of reference for my breasts. What to do, what to do......then I remembered my phone, and for the first time, appreciated the foresight of the man who decided to combine the camera and the phone, two things I always secretly thought were a mildly ridiculous compilation. I whipped out my shiny purple Verizon something-or-another (I am not phone savvy--I do not see the point in being so), screwed around until I got the camera on, and snapped a photo of my boobs. BAM. There we go. Documentation.

Slipping out of this satin Miracle of God, I contemplated the sheer joy of staring at my own boosted breasts. This is when I decided that I must purchase said bra. No dollar amount can be placed on total breast admiration (any guy will tell you that). It would be money well spent. And I can assure you it was. As can B, my Mom, and all of the random men I have caught staring down my shirt checking out my cleavage since last Saturday night, plus the ones I have voluntarily flashed just for my own enjoyment. It's my own little way of making the world a better place, two breasts at a time.

Monday, February 15, 2010

This Girl's Life

Have you ever been dumped? You know that feeling, that empty, sad, heart-broken feeling right after somebody dumps you, when all you REALLY want to do is call them because they are what brings you comfort, but you know you can't because the whole point is that they no longer want you in their life? So you feel all weird and hollow and like you don't know what to do with yourself? That's exactly how I feel right now.

Except I haven't been dumped.

Everything is fine. B and I are wonderful, just had a lovely Saturday evening/early Valentine's Day extravaganza. I've been sick, so we went out for drinks and came home early where he made us a very nice dinner. We drank wine, I made chocolate lava cake. We watched "The Time Traveler's Wife." All was, and is, well. My family, as it has been for the past year, is intact, my friends are the same (as best I know--everyone is so busy I haven't talked to some of them that often as of late--CALL ME, RAY). Same old, same old.

Except my heart feels broken.

Why in the hell do I feel like this? What has made this come about? I'm an intuitive girl, I know myself rather well, yet I honestly have no idea what's causing this ache of mine. Let's take a quick review of just how normal life has been lately (minus the unusual amounts of snow, which do make me feel a bit out of sorts):


1. Dental Hygiene is a plus~ Took the kids to the dentist on Friday morning. Turns out, this dentist has a WHOLE FREAKIN' PLAYPLACE in his office. Seriously. Like, one of those things you see at McDonald's with the big, enclosed slide and climbing apparatuses, all in the waiting room. The kids were thrilled. They ran amok, then Sutt came out while Bells stayed in the back and got her permanent teeth sealed. When she came out and it was time to go (nearly 3 hours later, mind you), he completely fell apart. MY SON CRIED BECAUSE HE HAD TO LEAVE THE DENTIST'S OFFICE. It took threats, bribery, and promises to return in six months just to get out of there alive. How sad is that? Pretty damn sad, I say. (Side note: nobody had any cavities.)

2. My in-laws are certifiably nuts~ The kiddos stayed with my in-laws Saturday night so that B and I could have a grown-up evening and the kids could go to church on Sunday morning at Main St. On Sunday we get a call from the FIL, saying he was concerned because Sutt slept in the same bed as Bells. Apparently, that's inappropriate. THEY ARE 4 and 6, FOR GOD'S SAKES. Suck it up and deal, in-laws. They like to snuggle. (And I'm from Tennessee, so they should just be glad that the kids aren't 18 and 20 and sleeping together, while engaged to be married.)

3. I keep getting texts from a cell number one digit off from mine telling me if I will "loan them 200 they will make it worth my while." I am tempted to call said number and say, "just how worth my while?" I mean, are we talking about babysitting my kids here? Because I'll take that deal, yo. Fold my infinite piles of laundry? Sold. Sew the missing buttons back on my favorite coat? Done.

4. I love you, but~ My Yorkie is on strike because I won't let her sleep in my bed. The new bedding came along before Christmas, and the Mims got booted to her bed in the floor. Now she won't have anything to do with me unless I'm crying, at which point she pities me and wants to lay in my lap (where she proceeds to belch and pass doggie gas the entire time--after all, she is 10 years old, so she's geriatric in dog years). Why is it that nobody pays me any attention unless I'm actively weeping? If I call her, she will look at me, turn around, and lie facing the other direction. Little bitch. Story of my life.

5. Rejected~ There is this kid in Bell's class at school and Bell really wants her to come over for a playdate. I sent an invitation via the teacher, who passed it along, then sent back to me the phone number for the kid's parents. I called and introduced myself, we chatted, the Mom wanted to meet me in person. Fine. I met her in person. The Mom wanted to get together and hang out before the kid came over. We email a few times. Schedules and weather always conflict. By now, much communication has ensued. She knows where we live, they live less than two miles away. She has questioned the teacher about me, and been assured that I am neither serial killer nor child molester, and that I passed the Volunteer Background Check the school runs to ensure the safety of the minions when I go to help out. Still, no dice, all because the "hang out time" has not worked out thus far. WHAT'S THE DEAL, DUDE? Should I send in a blood sample and a cheek swab, along with my SSN and a list of all prior addresses? Fingerprints? Copies of my passport? I DO NOT WANT TO KIDNAP OR DO ANYTHING INAPPROPRIATE WITH YOU CHILD. Hell, I don't want my own kids half the time, little hoodlums that they are, so what would I want with somebody else's? Sweet Jesus.

6. I'm sick. Again. That only makes the 337th time in the past year that I've had a cold or respiratory infection. I took so many rounds of antibiotics that I finally reached the point where I figured my GP feared I was addicted, so I just stopped going to the doctor. Nobody wants to go to rehab for Cipro. Now I wait it out, cough, sneeze, blow my nose, lose my voice, run the occasional fever, and try not to die. Airborne doesn't work. Vitamin C doesn't work. All that herbal bullshit doesn't work. Washing my hands a lot, eating healthy, exercising, and avoiding other sick people doesn't work. I'm apparently some sort of breeding ground for minor illness, with no end in sight. On the bright side, I'm probably building up enough immunities that someday I could survive biological warfare. (Gotta look at that silver lining.)

7. Strike or Spare~ My children are obsessed with bowling. Yes, you read that right. Bowling. They have been to a bowling alley to go bowling exactly once in their little lives. It was a painful experience, having to get that special rack so they could roll the ball down it and watch it meander down the lane. The shoes made them mildly nervous, and we could have probably paid the mortgage one month for what it cost to bowl two games. I refused to play (I don't like touching those freaky, germy balls--who knows what lurks in those finger holes) and B ended up doing most of the dirty work. Still, the kids somehow remember the whole experience extremely fondly, and all they ever want to do is go bowling. As a result, they set up bowling all over the house, with anything that will stand in as pins--Barbies, Batmans (Batmen?), cans from the pantry, bottles of shampoo and conditioner. You get the idea. Then they roll a tennis ball or any other rollable object down the "lane" and leap around screaming their heads off whether they knock anything over or not. Until yesterday, when they came home from the in-laws with a plastic bowling set. Now, they can "officially" bowl, which means that every second of my existence is inundated with shrieks of bowling-related mayhem. I can't walk through my kitchen without tripping over a pin (or 5), I have a bruise down the side of my leg from being whacked with an accidentally-launched ball, three glasses have been shattered, one dog has been maimed, and I have spent long minutes contemplating where I can get Xanax on the black market (I'm thinking Portsmouth is my best bet). All in all, it's fun for the whole family.

As you can see, normalcy is in full effect.

Which begs the question, what on earth is wrong with me?

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Things We Keep

It has always been funny to me to think about the memories that we hold onto. There have been times in my life where I purposely said to myself "remember this," and I have, but I think there are many more times I've tried to imprint something within my head that just didn't stick. Some moments are like smoke, even if you try to catch them, they cannot be grasped and held. That scares me a little when I think about it too long. Some things you never want to forget.

On the flipside, so many memories are things that stay with you for reasons you can't even understand, and when you think of them they seem so ordinary and generic that it makes no sense why you remember them at all. Walking to the cafeteria in elementary school, and thinking my kindergarten teacher's red dress was beautiful; sitting awake on the sofa at four in the morning when I had the flu and wondering if Mom was going to make me go to school; curled up next to Dad in his chair and watching Star Wars while he ate Little Debbie Oatmeal Pies. Thousands of insignificant, not-particularly-special memories. I wonder why they stayed with me.

Like most people, I tend to remember the negative vividly--that which scared or defeated me. I remember what I was wearing the first time I had my heart broken in high school (jeans and a blue sweater). I wore that sweater for years after that, and never thought much about it. But the pajamas I was wearing when my Dad called to tell me my Grandpa had died--those I had to throw away. I never wore them again, they sat in my closet, foreboding and untouched for two years before B finally tossed them for me. My Mom was wearing my lucky earrings when she got word that she had cancer. You'd think I would hate them now, but I don't. I wear them all the time. I guess it all depends on how deep the cut reaches, whether we are able to reconcile with our memories and move on, or whether they sit on our mental closet shelf and molder. Two painful moments--Mom got better. My Grandpa didn't. The earrings I kept, the pajamas had to go. Relinquishing ownership of possessions that drag you down is a good feeling, if only that could be done with memories as well. Maybe someday.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Extreme Recycling

Today, Jabba the Sutt and I decided it was time to take the recycling before it overtook the garage and scored us a spot on that new show "Hoarders." In Suffolk, I am told that the City used to pick up the recycling like they do the trash, but stopped a few years ago in order to save ten zillion dollars in the budget. (And we all know that Cities make really intelligent decisions with their funding, so I'm certain that whomever ended the recycling pickup has now allotted those funds for something else VASTLY deserving and important, because that's how they roll.) Now in order to recycle, we must amass our own collections of tin, plastic, and glass (they do not take cardboard, for reasons I have yet to determine) and haul them off to one of the many beautiful and appealing rusty bins that are stationed throughout the city. Which means that most people just chuck everything in the garbage, thus giving the figurative finger to our Mother Earth. But not we McPhails. We recycle.
(The sheer number of our wine and beer bottles alone would fill a landfill, so it seems like the right thing to do.)

After about seven hours of loading every box, bag, and crate of recyclable material into the Xterra (minus the cardboard, of course) we set out to find a bin. In our area, we have two locations with recycling bins that are within a reasonable distance from our house and easily accessible. One is at Sleepy Hole Park, a safe, sweet little park nestled in a lovely forest complete with picnic shelters and a Children's Garden and rangers who maintain it and keep it pretty. It's where you have birthday parties and family reunions. The other is at Pughsville Park, a sketchy little spot right smack in the middle of the 'hood where one can always score some crack or solicit a hooker, depending on one's mood (both, if you're feeling particularly frisky). It's where you dodge bullets and pimp out your baby sister. Sleepy Hole Park is less risky. Pughsville is on the way to the Y, and gives me that extra little shot of adrenalin I need just before I get on the elliptical machine. Which means Pughsville is the bin of choice.

We rolled up to the park around ten a.m. Things seemed pretty standard--dealer sitting on the monkey bars, crackhead curled up beneath the slide, random Hispanic man riding a shiny purple Bratz bicycle cruising the perimeter. Looks safe to me! I jumped out, pocketed my keys (they make an excellent weapon if necessary) and opened the back of the car to remove the first box. Hoisting it up onto my hip, I was distracted by keeping the cans and bottles from falling out and scattering all over the blacktop, so I was right up on the recycling bin before I whacked my foot against the the large wooden item in front of it. That large, wooden item being a coffin, of course.

Yes. You heard me. A coffin.

In my defense, the casket was hidden down near the end of the bin, so it's not like I missed a coffin just laid out in the middle of Pughsville (which, frankly, is probably not that unusual a sight). It was rectangular, medium colored wood, and lined with pink satiny fabric. It had handles on the sides and the top was thankfully askew, easing my mind about the contents (none) because you KNOW I would have peeked inside if the lid had been on tightly.

This is the point where I have to start wondering. Three-quarters of Suffolk don't even both to recycle their soda cans, but someone went so far as to recycle a casket? Is that what they were even doing? I mean, why would you leave a casket at a recycling bin? Hell, they don't even take cardboard, for goodness sakes, so did someone really think they would take a coffin? Or, did the owner perhaps think someone else who dropped off their recycling might think, "Oh, hey, I've been needing a good coffin," and take it home, like when my ex-father-in-law used to pick up people's nasty old furniture when they left it out on the curb for trash day and dumpster dive when the upholstery retailer threw out the old samples so that he could make his own throw-pillows? Was there once a body in it? Did someone already take THAT home? (It IS Pughsville, after all.)

Oh, the possibilities. And to think I could have gone to Sleepy Hole instead, thus living my whole life without ever knowing that I had missed a recycled coffin in Pughsville. What a shame that would have been.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sing it, Bob Dylan

This post is Number 171, which is good, because as many of you know, I only feel comfortable with odd numbers.

StarrTrippin' is going on hiatus, my friends. At the current time, I haven't figured out how to "suspend" my Facebook Account (I don't want to delete it because when/if I come back to it, I don't want to reload the photos, plus lots of the photos are tagged to my Mom and B's accounts), but within a day or two, I don't think I'll be around it much either. There's always email, if anyone needs me. I'm not THAT reclusive.

Part of what makes me comfortable in this world is having my own niche. Within the past two weeks, I've gotten emails from seven different people who have started blogs and want them to go viral. Everyone I know is blogging--recipes, parenting stories, work adventures. More power to everyone, and I wish them all the best of luck. But it's time to dig my way out and find another niche, be someone besides another purposeless writer. The world seems flush with us. Besides, I've found a new adventure to pursue, and it's going to keep me busy. Blog fodder, for sure, but that's not what I'm in it to accomplish.

I've loved this blog, wrapping it up feels a little like an old friend has passed. I won't delete it, and hell, being a Gemini, I may be back to it within a day or two--it wouldn't surprise anybody who knows me well. We shall see. I'm nothing if not a girl who feels entitled to change her mind.

In the meantime, I'll be taking care of some things. These times, they are a' changin'.