I cannot believe I started this blog two weeks ago, and already missed a weekly entry, though last week I was kindof out of it (story to follow)…I’m such a loser! Ugh! But hopefully this week’s blog will make amends, it figures to be longish, to get all the stuff in from the past couple weeks.
Okay, I need a big breath. Writing a personal blog, even once a week forces me to concentrate on me. The whole thing is I, I, I, and that has always been a difficult thing for me…to the extent where I became a fiction writer so I could express my problems, large and small, through my characters. And believe me, it’s no coincidence I chose dark fiction—which, incidentally has saved lives. The Owl Sentries have punished a lot of villains in fictitious Owl’s Nest that I would be in jail for if I’d punished the real life villains in my world.
Okay more on that in another blog, because of course, I’m digressing.
I try very hard not to be my mother. Not that she’s a bad person, because she’s not, but I think it’s natural for children to want to handle things differently than their parents, especially concentrating on the things that bug them. Like the whole ‘what will people think?!’ thing. Yeah. That’s bullshit. I don’t give a rat’s ass what people think. I do the best I can, try to help where I can, and am frequently overwhelmed (more so since my accident) and stressed. People need to deal with my circumstances before they judge me. And I’m digressing again—I have a lot of shit on my blog agenda, and being me, I want to blurt it all out in one blog, when there are decades worth of stuff I should probably address. What’s that you say, what are you, my fucking therapist? Well of course you are, gentle reader! And I appreciate you being there.
That’s another thing—this blog is not subject to the language police. I live with my two grandchildren, 7 and 4 (as of this writing) and my son has become the original language Nazi. (Though I haven’t censored his language since he was ten years old, except to tell him that he should tone it down in front of his grandparents or other adults who found swearing offensive; he knew who they were. I was not among them. There will be no such constraints in my fucking blog. Damn that felt good! Hahahaha!
More digression…jeez…talk about ADD (which incidentally I’m not altogether sure I believe in…there will be essays about that).
I sat crying in my room last Saturday, feeling like my head was going to explode and realized I need a release. I need to express my feelings—good and bad, because it’s certainly not all bad!—on an adult level without censorship. I need to get things off my chest—literally—before I have a damned stroke holding everything in. Not that all my blogs are going to be out and out bitch sessions, because there’s a lot I’m happy about, but the craziness of being a Broken Old Broad in a young frenetic household is often overwhelming. The good side is that my kids and their friends keep me connected to their generation, I have conversations and exchange ideas with people much younger than myself which keeps me in touch with younger perspectives. But physically I really am a broken old dame, and my body simply can’t keep up with the demands I place upon it trying to function in a house with two kids, two dogs, and a daughter-in-law who is herself physically limited and often needs more help than I can provide.
I think if I look back over my entire life, my single regret would be snacking on high carb foods which made me drowsy while driving from Georgia to Delaware in 2009. I didn’t realize why I nodded off at first. I actually discovered the reason over a year later when Googling hints for helping an insomniac get to sleep. (My mother being the insomniac in question.) One of the things they recommend is having a high carb (preferably corn product) snack about an hour before retiring. I cracked the Cheetos about 7:30 in the morning, having been on the road since a little before four. I was in the center lane around 8:15, looking for an exit to top off my gas tank and stretch my legs when my eyes slammed shut, and my car zigged across two lanes of traffic into an abutment on I85 North. I was the only one injured, thankfully. But it sure did a number on my body—and the rest of my life.
Regrets are a waste of time and energy, I know that, but I could be so much more help to Cait and Joe and my grandchildren—and in much better spirits living in their home if I was just a normal fifty five year old woman, instead of the Broken Old Broad that I am. Ahhh well, shit happens.
Okay. Brighter topics.
Some ROJO funnies:
The kids describe the three spots at the base of Kato’s back as a “stoplight on his butt.” And that is amazingly descriptive…gotta give credit where credit is due.
Joey thinks girls have ‘chinas’ and boys have ‘peanuts.’
The other day Rosie and Joey (who bicker a lot, mind you) were making up a game on the sofa, and Joey said to his sister, “Pretend that you’re nice.”
Brie, who is kindof cautious when dealing with me, I think she senses that I have ‘boo-boos inside my feet’ as the kids put it. But the other day I was goofing off, messing with the kids faking sleep, doing the Three Stooges snore, and Brie, who was across the room snoozing on the sofa jumped down, charged across the living room and up onto the stool of my medical recliner to sniff my face and see where the noise was coming from.
Back to a serious.
Part of the reason I didn’t write a blog last week was because I was pretty much out of it emotionally. The previous Thursday’s intensity dwarfed every other day for the past week like I barely remember what the fuck I did on that Monday or Wednesday.
Rosie’s last day of school—she bounced all over the house like a super charged ping pong ball—ping! Ping-ping! Ping ping!
Cait was deciding whether to brave the severe thunderstorm alert and hit Target to get a gift card for Rosie’s teacher on the way to last day celebrations at school, or wait and send it to her later.
I went downstairs with Joey (thunderstorms were wicked, and we have trees bordering our property, so it’s safer in the finished basement). Joey came into my room a little hinked out at the violence of the storm, and I gave him a little dish of cashews (his favorite) and was putting ‘The Incredibles’ into my personal DVD player when Cait called down the stairs, “Can you come up here—quickly?”
Something bad—Cait never rushes me—Broken Old Broad that I am.
Joey stayed downstairs in the playroom.
I hobbled up the steps with my cane.
Cait turned to me with terror-stricken eyes, and verbally gut punched me as she had been verbally gut punched by her friend Trina moments before on the phone. “There’s been a shooting at Rosie’s school. They are in lockdown. I’ve gotta go. I called Joe, he’s on his way. It’s on the news.” And with that she disappeared out the door into raging wind and torrential downpours that only a terrorized parent would brave.
Agony gripping my heart I dropped into my chair with the remote and flipped through morning news shows in desperate need for any morsel of information—nothing on the school, just storm and flood news. Fox had reported lockdowns for the three schools in the district, and possibly one man having been shot—which was inaccurate, by the way—but now they and every other station was obsessed with the storm—which my daughter-in-law and son were both out in along with hundreds of hysterical parents running red lights and hydroplaning on their way to the schools, their minds filled with grisly scenes of school shootings of late.
At first I was pissed at the news programs, and whispered angrily ‘what the fuck happened to if it bleeds it leads,’ and then I thought it through a little and said to myself—‘right—so if it’s not leading maybe it’s not bleeding’—and forced myself to hold that thought.
About half an hour after the verbal gut punch Cait called and said “It’s okay. Nobody’s hurt, seems to be a hoax but school is locked down. I’m waiting to take Rosie and leave.”
I am grateful that Rosie’s teacher is calm and cool in a crisis—her class thought the whole thing was a drill for the most part, like ones they’ve had in the past, which had desensitized them to the emergency procedures that have become routine for them. However few first graders watched the news about Sandy Hook and have those images indelibly printed on their minds.
So rather than year-end celebrations, three school full of kids braced themselves in their emergency positions, just waiting…
While big, burly, tough police officer in full body armor and weapons drawn, thoroughly combed the schools on a monster hunt.
Mercifully, Thursday was a hoax. A cruel and dangerous hoax.
Cait waiting with other terrified, stunned, crying, relieved parents, gathered up Rosie and got the fuck out of there.
While I wish she had a better, fun-filled memory of her last day of first grade, I am grateful that her memories are not worse. I am grateful that she’s alive to have memories.
With that said…
It infuriates me that every day we all live our lives at the mercy of psychopathic monsters who are capable of violence at the drop of a hat.
It’s not just about getting mugged or even raped or murdered anymore.
Now we are terrorized en masse. There is no safe haven—office buildings, mass transportation, malls, theaters, and worst, schools—have all been targeted and bloodied.
It infuriates me that one monster picked up a phone and terrorized the hearts of hundreds of parents who sped through violent storms, speeding on flooded roads, punching red lights, with their hearts in their throats, grisly images of recent child slaughters flashing through their minds. And it infuriates me that by the time the monster is caught, (if they are caught at all) all of this will have blown over to the point that he or she will probably get off with a slap in the wrist. Exasperating.
Later in the week Cait and I were talking about the lack of security in schools. We both agree that there should be armed security guards in every school, and that there should be only one way in and out: past the guard.
It baffles me why schools don’t have at least as much security as a bank—security guards at the main desk, and swipe card devices on every door. Reporting to the office to sign in is a joke. If you were a murdering psychopath, would you sign in?
The call at the middle school in Rosie’s district came from INSIDE the school. If that jerk had had a gun that day, the story would have bee very different.
Unless the police are present beforehand, they are never going to respond fast enough.
Suppose the caller is casing the schools to gauge response time. Again—that call was made from inside the school. Suppose it was made by a whack job who just didn’t go all the way off—this time.
I do not envy the police their job. Too many creatures out there in the ‘crazy not stupid’ category. And because of budget cuts and politicians who are more concerned with their own vacations and retirement plans, schools will be the only government buildings without posted security guards and our children will continue to be sitting ducks.
Back to lighter stuff…
Rosie and Joey (ROJO) are enjoying the summer, but still learning every day. Joey is learning to read and write the alphabet and sound out words, and Rosie is keeping me busy making up math problems (addition/subtraction/little bit of multiplication) for her. She loves math. And I read to them every day, which they love. And of course there is still plenty of time for painting, bickering, playing outside, bickering, romping with the dogs, bickering, playing with the trains in the playroom, bickering, and playing rock star. Oh, and throw in a healthy portion of bickering. Gotta love ‘em!
I put this up on Facebook the other day: I was watching “The Abyss” a few nights ago. When they were all kneeling around Lindsay on a wet metal deck and used the defibrillator on her, wouldn’t it have fried them all?
Line I liked: “That woman’s nothing but a spoon…always stirring up shit.” I liked it because I had an aunt like that. I wish I’d heard that line while she was still alive I would indeed have had some fun.
Oh, I finally got a memory card and adapter for my phone so I can download my pictures onto my laptop. Wahoo! So prepare yourselves, there may be visuals to accompany my text—think you can stand it?
I’m going to wrap it up tonight, but tomorrow I think I’ll sift through some of my completed essays, whittle them down a little and start entering them here on my blog site…being the opinionated bitch that I am.
Hope you have an interesting week. If it’s not ooky enough for you, drop by Owl’s Nest, via Owl’s Eye View Magazine and stock up! www.owlseyeviewmagazine.com
Catcha next week!