Perfect photographic demonstration of Apple’s main demographic for iPad sales. Toddlers & grannies.
I’ll preface this post with two caveats – 1. I will share way too much information; 2. Said information might be pertain to barfing and lady business.
Monday wasn’t any more rushed than usual: wake up to small child yelling, “Mommy. Mommy. Mommy;” go get kid, take him downstairs, make coffee as quickly as possible while simultaneously emptying the dishwasher, packing his snack bag and fending off four hungry golden retrievers and a Snoot dog.
Wife comes downstairs with kid #2, start making scrambled eggs for kid #2 and set up high chair while wife feeds starving animals. After we get through the business of breakfast and coffee, my wife walks dogs, feeds chickens, and checks horses, while I change poopy diapers (bathing if necessary), get small children dressed, get myself dressed, and make sure my gym bag is packed with bra, panties, clothing, brush, etc. You will recall from my Bra-less at the Gym post that I often forget such things.
So, now I’ve remembered the kid’s backpack, we’re in the car, we’re on time and we’re headed out of the farm gates. Courtland is really into going fast now that he has discovered the four wheeler (and yes, please, go ahead and judge me for letting him ride on it already – he’s a kid who lives on a farm. He will likely also drive a vehicle by the time he’s 10. Whatever.). So, I move a little quick around a few turns to give the illusion of going fast, but we’re stuck behind a worky looking van (ladder on top) so we’re not moving very quickly. Our morning drive to school takes anywhere from 25 minutes on a really, really awesome no traffic day to 45 minutes on a really really suck ass traffic day. We only live 17 miles from town but our roads are loopy, one-laned and often filled with tractors and other slow moving farm accoutrement.
Finally we arrive at the highway and we are making great time. We go past two construction sites that he LOVES because they’re filled with “diggers!” and “dump trucks!” and “ment mixers!” We are still talking about the diggers and dump trucks and ment mixers as we head into the really loopy part of this road which is, by the way, not more than 3 miles from school. As we round the last bend, halfway through saying, “Mommy,” he just lets the puke rip, right over the pacifier and onto the car seat, the middle seat, and the Tiger Woobie. Faaaaaaaaantastic.
Of course, he is completely distraught and I immediately pull over into a gravel lot just before you come to the main stoplight before you turn towards the high school. You can imagine that this little stop is a busy one. So I get out, get him out of his carseat, place him on the ground next to it and begin the search for paper towels, tissues, dog towels, whatever I can find to start cleaning him up. I find a skiphop bag from when he was probably 6 months old and thankfully it has an old pack of wipes in it. How did I manage to remove every single towel and his change of clothes from my car? How? Oh right, I was cleaning it out and those were deemed non-essentials. Right.
The ‘older then Jesus’ wipes actually have some moisture left in them and I proceed to clean the kid up all the while reassuring him that it’s ok – “we’ll change your clothes at school, we have an extra carseat, Tiger Woobie is all clean”, etc. Luckily we did have an extra carseat (facing the opposite way, but that’s not important) and he could easily be deposited there after cleaning him up while I cleaned the rest of the car and his stuff. Here’s the f*****g awesome part though. As I lean over the extra carseat while unlatching it to turn it to face forward, I realize that I forgot to put in a tampon before I left home. F*****G GREAT.
Well, here I am with just a few wipes left (please, please, please say I have had the foresight to put a tampon in my gym bag. Please.). I quickly relatch the seat and get him in it, buckled, and ready to go. He’s finally stopped crying – miraculously I have remained calm and just continued to reassure him so apparently those mushy parenting books are sort of right. Who knew?
“It’s OK, honey, Mommy’s just going to use a few wipes to clean herself up and then we’re going to get moving again. Hang in there.” I move to the front of the car after closing the other back door and get in. I score a tampon from my gym bag
HOOF*****GRAY! It’s probably from 5 periods ago, but who gives a rat’s ass? And, YES, I do what I have to do and ignore the traffic and the open blinds in the townhouses next to me. I DO NOT CARE.
Though we are making a left turn out of the lot into the busy street, we somehow manage to get out super fast and we’re on our way to school again, having lost only about 10 minutes. Wow, Mommy. Not bad. Considering.
Change of clothes at school and I’m off to the gym. Yay, Monday.
Oh hey there, new Texan neighbor. Welcome to the hood boonies. Thanks for making the ultra-cool decision to burn massive debris piles of newly felled trees (from all your lovely meadow making) on this super dry and windy morning. As I looped back toward home and turned into the breeze, it made my morning run extra special. Even more so than the already ridiculous hotness and carcass-littered backroad already had.
Signed, Your coughing gagging snotty-nosed slow-running sissy pants neighbor.
Pigs Gone Wild
So the other day as Christie and I were en route to a luncheon at a friend’s house we passed by a field where some new owners had decided to create a pig wallow. They’ve ingeniously re-used old shipping containers (turned upside down with large openings cut through) as covered homes for the little piggies. I thought they were all adorable. Christie notices entirely different things than I do. Her reaction: “What a complete mess those pigs have made of that beautiful field. Note to self.” OK, so I guess a couple weeks ago when we asked Courtland if he wanted pigs and he was all “Yes, please,” and big grins – we can scratch that. Hopefully the two-year-old won’t remember whether we said pigs or chickens. We already have chickens, so we’re covered.
At any rate, this whole pig observation triggered my recall of an article I’d read a few weeks back in our recent issue of the Oxford American. So, this is my recap of the piece on wild boar hunting in Texas. And I want you to know that I’m doing this without even so much as glancing at the article before I write this because I didn’t have that luxury in the car during my recap for Christie and I want to see how ridiculous my memory truly is.
So, this guy, a hunter who has learned to hunt with Native American attitude (thank the Great Spirit, only kill when necessary, use everything), is invited to go to Texas and “hunt wild boar,” but basically the invitation is more like “Come on down, grab an automatic weapon and kill you some wild hogs, son.” At first it sounds really off-putting, right? But he gets down there and the local yokel is talking about the crazy Russian Boars who were introduced to the area years ago and how they’ve intermingled with the local pig population to create some super-charged neo-hybrid freaky-deaky pigs. These said interbred pigs are apparently running amok, tearing up crops and fields, eating livestock and stealing small children in the night (OK, I made that bit up). Basically, they’re wreaking all sorts of havoc in this large rural area. All in a day’s boaring – hee hee.
So, after hearing all this and seeing some damage these psycho pigs are doing, this writer guy is all, “Lemme at ‘em!” So he takes this automatic assault gun thingy (though I do read Garden & Gun, I know very little about actual guns, but I’m quite certain that this one was big, scary, and should probably be used only by trained military) and hauls off with this local yokel in his truck into the woods. They do some hunting, but mainly they are shooting and killing – even taking out sows and piglets. I know we’re not supposed to feel sad about it because of all the aforementioned havoc, but here I am a month later still thinking about this little piglet running and squealing with delight one moment and then riddled with AK-47 bullets the next. Doesn’t seem fair.
Christie asks me what the point of my story is and I have to admit, other than it really sticking with me, I don’t have a clue where I was headed in vomiting my interpretation of the piece.
But I’ll share it with you. Here’s the link to the story because I am 100% sure that my recap is completely riddled with musings based on incorrect facts that my crap memory generated. And, the bottom line is, it was a good piece because I’m still thinking about it.
So this morning as I swam laps at the gym I had so many things floating around in my head. For example: Why does the pool heater break on my morning to swim? If you don’t have wifi where does one go for Skype interviews? Why do my dogs always always always shake in the downstairs hallway that is filled with white wainscoting? Why can’t I fool my nine month old with pretend remotes? And then as I focused a little more through my anti-fog goggles, I realized that I actually had many things floating around my head. Well, maybe closer to the bottom, but still, I mean a lap pool is only four feet deep, right? So there I am, staring at the bottom as I swim along, investigating the depths for unidentifiable flotsam and jetsam (Jackie Cousteau, look out). I began with the discovery of an ace bandage clip. How does an ace bandage clip get into the gym swimming pool? Who the hell wears an ace bandage in the pool – THE LAP POOL, not the old lady water aerobics pool or the little person pee pee pool, or even the hot tub (which is allegedly the cool tub today). No. No. This little gem of a treasure was just lying there on the bottom, tossed to the side of the lane marker, lonely, probably wishing it was still attached to the complete moron who wore the ace bandage in the lap pool. I will say this – at least it was a component of an ace bandage and not a fluttering plastic band-aid with someone’s DNA imprinted into the gauze bit.
The rest of what I came across was mostly commonplace in club pools, but that doesn’t really make the experience any more the pleasant. There was the dark lint ball, likely an amalgamation of many different items that had been swirling around in there for some time. Also, this morning was a white lint ball, not so much a lint ball I guess, more of a tumbleweed/sea anemone looking thing. It sat at the end of the pool, on the bottom of course, and just swished gently each time I kick-turned to head back to the other end. After about 500 meters it seemed to float away toward the other lane. I wrote this down in my imaginary dive log.
I have saved my most favorite gym item found floating in a pool for last. Perhaps the most commonly found object, but definitely the one most likely to make me vomit, is the lone hair. Typically dark in color (easier to see), it lobs along, this way and that, moving like a snake without purpose, without intent. Though I am certain that its intent is to get as close as possible to me. I’m the person you see swimming laps who all of a sudden stops in mid-stride and makes a commotion to try to move quickly away from a certain spot in the lane. I am battling the lone hair. I’ll do anything to make sure it doesn’t graze me. If I may digress for just a moment…the only thing worse than the lone hair is a cluster or group of hairs, either in the pool or out of the pool. You can usually find a cluster right where you have to walk, either after you’ve taken your deck shoes off or just before you are able to put them on. Although, I suppose the worst place for me to find the cluster is in the shower area. GAG. GAG. GAG. You have no idea how hard I have to work to keep from vomiting. If only people would grab an extra crappy gym towel and take it into the shower and clean up their hair after they finish, my life would be SO much cleaner and less vomity.
But I digress.
I finished out my 1800 meters, shook the icky off as I climbed out of the pool, grabbed my gear, went to put on my deck shoes (no hair here, thankfully) and walked toward the locker room where I glided quickly over the tile and drain on my way to the shower area. There were a few stray hairs here and there, but more importantly, only one or two in the actual shower. I gagged my way through, cleaned up after myself and thanked heaven that I had another whole week between me and the lap pool again.
Today I dropped out of my comfort zone for a minute. I left the gym and knew I wanted to run a few errands that would include the organic butcher and I was trying really hard to find a way to get to the butcher without having to drive through the University. I told myself that it was because of the masses of students, assorted academic-y nerds, and medical facility people that crowd crosswalks and the corner, but then as I started to pull up University Avenue, I realized it was more than that. I felt completely inadequate, like I had entered a foreign world, like I was on the other side of the planet. I drove by the President’s office remembering several meetings I had been to there with the Dean and the Provost. For a brief moment I flashbacked to watch myself walk across the crosswalk to Bodo’s to pick up lunch, stopping by the Orientation office to say hi to colleagues. I wore a suit and heels, carried a high end bag full of miscellaneous self-important crap. I remembered that once upon a time, I had big plans and I pretended that I had some tiny bit of power.
I looked down at my hands, my shorts, my shoes, over at my gym bag, in the rearview mirror at the two baby seats in the back of my car. I took a breath and my mind wandered and I didn’t even realize how tense I had become. I let it go and moved forward through the crosswalk. The biggest decision of my day doesn’t affect 5000 undergrads anymore, just two little people. What am I doing? Where am I going? Will I ever get back to some semblance of that life or have I moved beyond it to someplace new and different that might allow me to be more than I ever imagined I could be? I KNOW I’m not the only one that feels like this – it’s just that today was the first day in a long time I’ve been confronted with my own fears of inadequacy. It’s funny. I’ve never felt afraid to be a mother, to face my children everyday, to make decisions for them. But one simple drive through my alma mater, a place where I earned two degrees, including a doctorate, and I shake in my trail running shoes. You know I used to bash those women who earned the degree and then fell into a stay-at-home trap and disappeared from the village of “Making a Difference.” What the hell did those women do I wondered. How did they let themselves become invisible? Now maybe I understand where some of them are coming from, because I doubt a single person on Grounds even so much as glanced over to notice me shaking in my shoes. It feels really tough to get back in the game and perhaps that’s why some of us decide to change the course and remake the rules by which we used to define ourselves.