Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Hairbrush for a Microphone was Just the Beginning...

Anyone who has known me for a quarter of a nanosecond knows how much I love music. I listen to music while working, driving, eating, sleeping...pretty much if I am breathing you can bet there will be music in the background. That's why one of my favorite blogger's post on music got me to thinking about my own obsession with...the Power Ballad.

Folks, just reading some of her favorite tunes transported me back to 1986, Brandon Mississippi, last bedroom on the left--yep, that's me with the big poofy bangs. One note of a gutwrenching love song and I'd kick into video mode. Suddenly, hairbrush (a.k.a. microphone) in hand, I am standing at my window gazing longfully out looking for the love of my life as I sing the tormented lyrics of whatever sappy song happened to be on at the time. It was very Debbie (I mean DEBORAH) Gibson,you know-- only without the record deal or millions of dollars.

Where was I?

Oh yeah, music. If there was one thing at which I was a master...it's The Mix Tape. With two fingers (to press Record and Play at the same time, of course) and my trusty tape recorder, I could transform any ol' cassette into a Torturous Tape of Longing and Heartache. I'd make sure it had the right balance of "I-love-you-but-you-love-her-instead" and "why-don't-you-love-me-anymore-cause-you-know-I'm-gonna-love-ya-forever-or-at-least-until-Prom" songs on there. And, when I was finished, I had a treasure trove of angst right there at my fingertips...ready to be blasted the next time he didn't call. Just think what I coulda' done with iTunes at my disposal y'all. I'm just sayin.

So this got me thinking of my favorite ballads from back in the day. There are simply too many to choose from. But, if you were forcing me by gunpoint to compile some some songs onto the Ultimate "Yank-Young-Katie's-Heart-Out-So-She-Can-Pretend-To-Film-A-Video" Mix Tape, these would have to be some of my picks (in no particular order, mind you):

1)All Outta Love(Air Supply)-- just the words "lyin alone with my head on the phone" qualifies this as one of the great anthems of love and longing. Air Supply was always good for a good cry or moment of lying on my bed, pillow snuggled under my chin staring at HIS photograph. You know the one. The one you put in the perfect frame...the frame just small enough to block the girl he took to Homecoming instead of you. Yeah, that one.

2)Never Gonna Let Ya Go-- (Sergio Mendes) Oh yes. Not only do I know every word of that song to this day, I know it was sung by Sergio Mendes. I so need to go on one of those know-the-lyrics shows! "I was as wrong as I could be, to let ya get away from from me..." Yes. I would of course think that this was being sung about ME...cause the boy was always missing me as much as I was missing him, right? RIGHT? Yeah, I was delusional enough to think so, too.

3)When She Danced--Love Theme to Stealing Home (David Foster/Marilyn Martin)-- This song was not a huge hit on the radio but oh my lands was it one of my favorites. My sister and I could sing this song word for word and identify with its theme of coulda been/shoulda been but not-the-right-time love. This song still gets me..."can you go back in time to a place in your mind to the one knew a part of you that you just couldn't find...?" Uggghhhh.

4)Open Arms (Journey...like I even needed to tell you that)-- need I say more. The first 5 notes of this song take me into the arms of a slow dance like no other song on the planet. Best love song ever. Ever.

5)When I'm With You" (Sherriff)-- I am sure I was always off-key singing this jewel but I didn't care. It was love. I was torn up. It simply didn't matter. What mattered was that he hear me singin it as I drove by his house with the windows down. Did I just put that in print?

6)I'll Be There For You (Bon Jovi)-- how can you not like this song?

7)Makin' Love Outta Nothin' At All (Air Supply)-- one part of this song requires a car window down and belting it out "I can make the runner stumble, I can make the final block, I can MAKE EVERY TACKLE AT THE SOUND OF THE WHISTLE, I CAN MAKE ALL THE STADIUMS ROCK..." Oh, you never belted that part out? Well, I did. :)

8) The Search is Over (Survivor)-- roller skates. my sister. an expertly choreographed performance in our carport captured on video. And no, it will not end up on You Tube...not as long as there is breath in this body.

9) Anything from the Chicago 1982-1989 Album. Hard Habit to Break? You're the Inspiration... classic rip-your-heart-out songs!

10)And how could I get to number ten without some Richard Marx, peoples? Hold Onto the Nights? Right Here Waiting? Any song that opens up with "Oceans apart, day after day..." I mean come on! Course, I was never oceans apart from my crushes but I could easily twist that into "subdivisions" apart...or "Three rows of desks apart in Algebra II..." Hey. You do what it takes. This is heartache we're talkin about.

So...there you have it. Just Volume 1 of 2,200 Mix Tapes I would compile if given the chance. So, what song rips your heart out?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Next Time I'm Hookin' Up the Disco Ball

There was a feeling in the air that was unmistakeable. Electric. Unbridled anticipation. Oh yeah, folks. The excitement was palpable. The boys trudged, I mean RACED out to the HotMommaMobile ready for a day of fun and frolic at school all kicked off with a ride in the sweetest ride in four counties...yeah, you guessed it...Momma's Morning Party Van.

It's the hottest ticket in town.

Once the doors of that Honda Odyssey come to a close, it's on like Donkey Kong. First there is the ritual of finding JUST THE RIGHT SONG to kick things off. Not too peppy, certainly not a ballad...no, it must have just the right beat to set the mood. This morning, folks, we hit the proverbial jackpot of songs. "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" by Michael Jackson. Do you remember that song? Oh my goodness, we were jammin' and singin and butchering lyrics left and right. It was fantastic.

"Wanna be startin' somethin, gotta' be startin' something, say you wanna be startin somethin, gotta be startin' somethin... (insert expertly choreographed hand motions here) too high ta get over (yeah yeah) too low ta get under (yeah yeah) you're stuck in the middle (yeah yeah) and the pain is thunder....."

And just when I thought we had done a fine job butchering the lyrics "you're a vegetable...you're a vegetable...somethin somethin..you're like a buffet...you're a vegetable..." I get home and look up the lyrics and that is EXACTLY what he is saying. What's the fun in that?

I digress.

After the ideal get-ya-in-the-mood kickoff came the next MMPV tune. The Police were singing "De Do, Do, Do, De Da Da da..." Perfect lyrics for Jacob to chime in. He's always saying Da Da Da ANYWAY so...take it Jacob! De do, do,do, de da da da...that's all I want to say to you..." It was a group effort for sure.

As with every good thing, it had to come to an end. The boys securely dropped off at their academic destination of choice, I quietly drove back to the house already missing my singing partners.

It was Momma's Morning Party Van at her finest and no doubt a fun way to start the day.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

From Religious Persecution to the Cosmos...All Between Church and the Taco Place

It's not very far. The drive from church to a local shopping area. Maybe 10 minutes TOPS. But, in that 10-minute span this morning, our seven-year old son managed to ask a litany of questions that spanned from astrophysics to religious persecution. My mind is still reeling. I grabbed a spare scrap of paper and jotted them down as he shot them at us from the back seat. Are you ready? Fasten your seatbelt and hold on. I give you...Daniel's Questions in a Ten-Minute Window of Time:

1. Did some guy in Russia ask you a lot of questions about being parents like they did before you got Jacob?
2. Why do some people attack Jewish people?
3. Can you tell people about God in Russia?
4. If people on the same Army team retreat and go down the wrong road can the bad guys still attack them?
5. Is 60 minutes the same thing as counting to 60 sixty times? (yeah, think hard about that one.)

and now.....ladies and gents....we continue our questioning with an intent focus on all things outer spacey:

6. Can planets move around anyway besides in circles?
7. Are the cold planets the reason we have nighttime? (Do what??)
8. Is it true that there are other living things besides humans in space?
9. Did you know that in space you can die if you get too close to the tip of the sun cause it will melt your ship?
10. Why don't the planets close to the sun just burn up?

need I remind you this is in a TEN-MINUTE SPAN, folks.... I needed ten minutes just to GET STARTED THINKING ABOUT number 5...

11.Why are there some planets with nothing on them, Mom, cause that doesn't make sense.
12. How do meteors hit the Earth when it really doesn't happen that often?

HELP ME. Of course, I am very happy to have a healthy, inquisitive child. But Momma's brain felt like a pile of Jello once we reached our destination. I did my best to answer as many as I could; however, I forgot to brush up on my knowledge of all thing astrological before heading out for services this morning.

I will be prepared next time. I'll fire back with ratios and calculations so precise that he will be struck down with awe at the unexpected intelligence of his Momma. Course, that'll just lead to more questions.

I am so in trouble.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

From Glue Sticks and Meltdowns to Fireballs in the Sky: What a Difference Eight Hours Makes

Yes. I was one of "those." One of the parents that waited until the night before school started to purchase school supplies. Call me crazy but I fed the kiddos, loaded 'em up into the trusty Hot Momma Mobile and headed to Wal-Mart with my lengthy 2nd grade school supplies list in hand. In my defense, I had tried the night before to purchase one of those nifty "we-bought-it-all-for-ya-and-wrapped-it-in-shrink-wrap" box thingies at the school but they only accepted cash. The two dollars in my wallet didn't quite cover it, so off I headed to our Nation's Largest Superstore.

I can tell ya it only goes downhill from here, folks.

You see, Daniel had some Gummi Lifesavers. And he gave one to Jacob. And once you give one of anything to my 20-month old human garbage disposal, he is gonna whine and moan and crawl out of his skin until he gets another...and another...and we were in that mode as we entered the gates of Hell (otherwise known as the front entrance of Wal-Mart).

After successfully negotiating my cart with a monkey climbing half-in, half-out while Daniel thrust every school supply bearing a Transformer in my face, I made it to the rows of blue bins containing the requisite materials common to most area schools. I looked like I was on a timed shopping spree as I moved from bin to bin tossing glue sticks, erasers, markers and crayons in as fast as I could to avoid an impending toddler meltdown. But, alas, I was too late.

"Sit down, Jacob."

"Sit down on your bottom right now. Jacob. Sit. DOWN." I try once again to fasten the black seat belt around his waist but it would not latch.

"Jacob. Momma said SIT DOWN"

SCREEEECH! Whaaaaaaaaaaaaa........... one pack of glue sticks overboard.

The back arches. The screeches continue. But I must get ziplock bags which are clear across the store. They might as well be in Wyoming. I'm just sayin.

My spawn are obviously tired of being in the store and their Momma is about to reach her saturation point. As we take a shortcut through the clothing section to get over to the ziplock bags, the devil disguised as my toddler grabs every piece of clothing we pass and yanks it to the floor.

"No touch, Jacob. Jacob, no touch! Daniel will you pick up that shirt for me?"

Are they going to ban my child from the 2nd grade if he doesn't produce a box of Ziplocks? I weigh my options and decide to forge on. Ziplocks in hand, I trudge up to the backed up checkout lines with Jacob now in the main part of the buggy throwing items overboard as if he is in a rowboat taking on water. We finally check out, make it to the car and proceed home.

I recount that story because, just a short eight hours later, I looked upon that same child...the child I had declared publicly on aisle 14 was the Spawn of Satan...and wondered how I was ever blessed enough to be his mother.

You see, a friend of mine had told me about a meteor shower that would be happening sometime overnight. Always one to try and not miss those type events, I set my alarm for 2:22 (a nice even number) and crawled into bed. I then realized that I indeed need my sleep with it being Daniel's first day of school so I caved, changed the alarm and went to sleep.

"Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa". My child's cries, as always, awoke me with a startle. I looked at the clock "3:07am." The meteor shower! I retrieved my child from his crib and went out on the front lawn. The air was only slightly crisp with a warm breeze as I surveyed the sky full of stars above me.

And then I began to sing. "Delta Dawn, what's that flower you have on? Could it be a faded rose from days gone by?" The song I sang to Daniel and the song that my grandmother used to sing me to sleep slowly lulled my child into a light slumber. Suddenly, a ball of fire shot across the sky and caused me to jump slightly. I had been watching the little streamers of shooting stars but the three fire blazing streaks that I witnessed within minutes of each other were amazing, breathtaking even.

And then it all came full circle for me.

Parenthood is made up of the nerve-bruising, patience-testing, character-building experiences like I had had had in Wal-Mart that evening tempered with the soul-soothing, faith-restoring, mind-easing moments like I was having on my lawn at that moment. Children test our limits and work our nerves and make us wanna pull our hair out at times; however, there are always gonna be those moments when it seems like it's all worth it. Every trial. Every tantrum...all seemed worth it to me as I glimpsed into Jacob's baby blues as he soaked in the wonder of the night sky above him.

It was a magical moment indeed and one this momma will never forget.

Monday, August 10, 2009

It Was All Romantic-Like...Well, Until the Death and Tragedy Part

We are planning a trip for our upcoming 15-year anniversary in January. My inlaws have graciously agreed to keep the kiddos the week after Thanksgiving so that's when we are going to take our trip. Because it is in the dead of winter, our choices for a pleasant temperature locale are somewhat limited. Yes, we can do the whole snowbound thing somewhere but we were thinking more warm weather...so a cruise was something we've been researching.

Researching cruises is just about the most hair-pulling-out thing I have ever undertaken. There are the cruise line websites, then every discount cruise website known to man. Cheapcruises, Discountcruises, Romance at Sea, Sail 'n Rail, Luxury or barefoot, blah blah blah blah blah. (Yes, I understand that using "blah" repeatedly in a sentence would make my college english professor's skin crawl but sometimes you just gotta. Anyhoo...where was I?)

So, we found a ship we really like. It's a Holland America ship called the Eurodam-- and yes, I feel like I'm cursing every time I say it. But the rooms. Which kind of room do we want? There are as many types of rooms as there are types of cruises and Keith was outlining them all to me via Instant Messenger. It went something like this: " what do you think about the Superior vs. the Deluxe room. One is....<> and the other is.... knowing full well unless you tell me it's the size of a football field I have no idea what 350 sq. ft looks like. NONE.

As I have looked--and some of you cruise veterans out there may have a strong opinion about this--I just don't see the value in paying the Average Per Capita Income per Family in some U.S. States to have a balcony on a cruise ship. The entire ship IS a balcony...there is so much to do onboard, I doubt we will be spending much time on a balcony when we could stand anywhere on the boat and look out at the water.

I'm just sayin.

So, now to the romance part. When Keith got home from work today he said, "you know you are right about the whole room type thing."

I said, "I am? Why is that?" Of course, I was thinking he would make some reference about why we wouldn't have much TIME to spend out on a balcony (wink, wink) or...that we would be so busy standing on the bow like Leo and Kate that we wouldn't miss it. Oh no. No, no, no.

"Because," he said, "the first class passengers on the Titanic were still just as dead as the third class passengers."

It just doesn't get more romantic than that, folks.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Big Brother TLC

My youngest loves water of any kind. With that knowledge, I took the spray bottle of water that I was using as I ironed this morning and sprayed a light mist over his head as he walked by. He loved it and giggled as if he were at a high-dollar waterpark. Several more times, he intentionally walked by and paused, looking up at me with an anticipatory, almost sheepish, grin.

:: squirt, squirt ::

:: giggle, giggle ::

Then, he realized the highlight of his morning was about to occur. He heard Daniel's footsteps bounding down the hall. His big brother was awake! Momma's Water Warehouse of Fun was suddenly of no concern. He had to get to his "bubba." In his haste, he took off and proceeded to have both little feet fly straight up in the air as he slipped and fell on the water-sprayed slick tile floor.

THUD! And what a thud it was. That little noggin plunked right down on the floor and out came a scream followed by tears. (yes, Mommy felt horrible)

But suddenly, Daniel rounded the corner. I picked Jacob up and he took off again, a little slower this time but with an eager swagger nonetheless, and bounded into a now-squatting Daniel's arms. He then laid his head on Daniel's shoulder and they embraced for a sweet good morning hug...

...as my heart melted in a puddle on the already wet floor below.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Two Posts in One Day?

I know! It's like a bonus post! Well, I'll let you read it before deciding if it's any kind of bonus at all.

I am lonely, y'all. I am not sure if this working at home thing is for me. No, I cannot believe those words are even coming out of my mouth. This was a dream of mine. Flexibility. Freedom. Well, those I do have but I am also a people person. And working all day with no interaction besides the occassional phone call is next to maddening. I haven't gotten to the point of talking to telemarketers but folks I've come close!

My dream was simple. Manage my day to where I throw in a load of laundry, clean something, check my email, work on important projects and then have a scrumptious meal awaiting my more-than-deserving hubby when he gets home. I'm having a hard time not chuckling as I type that.

It's not that I don't have enough work to keep me busy. That couldn't be further from the truth. It's just that I stare at a computer all day. That is the extent of my interaction. I have been picking about my addiction to Facebook but, y'all, I'm really not kidding. Some days, that is the extent of my contact with the outside world. Just being to say "hi" to someone...even on the web is better than the silence or the iTunes songs I have played over and over for background noise.

OK. Enough pity party. There are plenty people who would kill to work steps from their bedroom. I shall put on my big girl panties and come up with a schedule or something to make it feel more like an office rather than a computer I never get away from...day or night. I will embrace the freedom that I have and make the most of being blessed with employment period.

Right? Right. Now....anyone wanna do lunch? LOL

5 Subscribers, Really?

A friend of mine recently commented that I have 5 subscribers to my blog. WOW. And here I thought I was all alone doing the writing equivalent of talking to myself. Thank you for tying a knot in the end of the rope and hanging on you 5 dedicated people. I am back. I think. Don't hold me to that...but I sure am gonna give it my best.

I have missed using this as an outlet of expression. No, I never really say anything too outlandish and I am not usually one to spark a huge debate on here. But that's fine, too. I just like jotting down my thoughts and having a place like this to do so is comforting.

So I shall try once again to get my "blog on."

Maybe I'll be at 7 subscribers by year end. We can all dream, can't we?

I Did Survive

(sung to the tune of "I Will Survive")

First I was afraid, I was petrified
Kept thinking I could never live without my phone in sight
Then I spent a couple nights that really proved me wrong
And I grew strong
And I learned how to carry on

And now I'm back, in cyber space
I just logged in to see who mighta missed me in this place

I shoulda changed my Facebook status
A better pic for all to see
If I'd known for just one second
Who'd be checking in on me

Oh but I....I did survive
A bunch of hours, no technology
And I managed to stay alive

Now I've got so much work to do
And maybe lots of cookin' too
But I did survive...I can survive....Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh