Date Archives January 2010

Totally not worth your time

This blog hiatus brought to you by Sinus Infection™. For those times when a head cold is just snot enough.

I have at least 3 or 4 totally mind-blowing posts in the works. But I can’t blow your minds right now because I’m too busy blowing my nose. And before I was blowing my nose, I was blowing my kids’ noses (walking Petri dishes those kids are…). And before I was blowing my kids’ noses, I was blowing my husband’s… don’t make me say it.

I blame this pathetic post on another post: the nasal-drip kind.

Keep my seat on the sectional warm, blogmuffins. A little Amoxocillin, some squeezy cheese and a Fanta orange are just what the doctor ordered and momma will be good to go.

(Can I deliver on a headline or what?)

Free to be you and me, bitches

I think my blog readers need a nickname. I feel affection toward you so I’m thinking of something sweet and warm and soft like blogmuffins. I considered blogheads but it sounds too much like blackheads and … yuck. Suggestions?
Today I decided to cheat just a bit and not write something totally new. In the professional writing world that I inhabit, we refer to it as slicing and dicing. It’s like taking that ham you had for dinner the other night and cutting it up into iddy-bitty chunks and mixing it with your mac and cheese to get something totally new. Aren’t you excited? Who doesn’t like mac and cheese with meat? What if we mixed in green beans, too? Then you could eat your veggies without tasting them. No? No, green beans? Could you at least try them? For me? Just one? OK, just pick them out and push them to the side of your plate. Really? They gross you out to look at them? My fun little meal is becoming decidedly less fun. Just eat, dammit.
So here’s that 25 Things About Me thingamabob that was going around facebook a while ago. I don’t always like the stuff that goes viral on there (some of it makes me itchy, if you want to know the truth) but I  liked this one — writing and reading it. I loved finding out what people wanted to share with the world. So if you did one, I encourage you to repost it or leave it in the comments after this blog. Or write a totally  new one. Because I want to know about you. For reals.
Mine was from about a year ago. It was one of the first writing projects that I induldged in after Little B was born. Enjoy.
 25 things about me

1. I felt like a fraud as a mother until Megan was 3.
2. I’m happy to say that I picked a good guy to marry. I like him a little more all the time. It took about 10 years for us to get in sync with our visions of the future, but now that we’re there it’s pretty nice.
3. I am tempted to write this entire list in third-person, “facebook status” style. I guess things feel a little less personal that way.
4. Trish is drinking coffee and wearing slippers and trying to write this whole list before Benjamin decides that he has had ENOUGH of lying on the couch and would, again, like to be held.
5. A psychic once said that Trish was a powerful seer in Egypt in a past life and was burnt for speaking out about something. In an odd coincidence, Trish has had a few close calls with fire in this life and it is probably the thing she’s most terrified of. In another odd coincidence, Trish talks too much and often sticks her foot in her mouth.
6. Even though Trish makes her living as a writer, she doesn’t know many basic grammar rules. As Joan Didion says, “Grammar is an instrument I play by ear.”
7. Trish feels like a smartypants because she quoted Joan Didion.
8. Trish has a bunch of books she has bought at used book stores but has yet to read. However, she believes that books come into her life for a reason and each will be read at the appropriate time. This has played out many times before.
9. Trish has been watching a LOT of TV while nursing the baby, especially in the middle of the night. New shows she has become scarily well-versed on: Millionaire Matchmaker, The Real Housewives of Orange County, Jon & Kate + 8, anything to do with flipping houses.
10. Trish’s sister loaned her a fluffy blue nursing shawl that was made specifically for her (the sister) when Trish’s nephew was born. Trish firmly believes that this shawl belongs to her now on some sort of spiritual level since she often cuddles both kids in it at the same and they are all wrapped up like a big blue burrito of love. She believes that she should wrap herself in this shawl when she is an old lady so she can feel the cuddles of her kids again and she really thinks she should die in it (but not for a long time). However, if Trish has to give the shawl back she will do so with the thought that it will carry her and her children’s love vibes on to others.
11. Sometimes when Trish is holding her new baby and he cuddles into her neck she’s almost certain that she and Benjamin are creating their own energy field of love that surely must radiate out into the rest of the world.
12. Trish has the sense of humor of a 5th-grade boy. Megan learned a song at school that goes, “If love is in your heart, sing it out.” It was all Trish could do to refrain from singing, “If love is in your butt, poop it out.” One must remember that one is a role model.
13. Trish also thinks “your mom” jokes are really funny.
14. The best advice Trish will ever give her children is this: Don’t procreate with a jackass. (No bearing on the person Trish procreated with, who is not a jackass.)
15. Trish is really enjoying these new Fiber One pop-tart thingies.
16. Trish looks back on some stupid things she did as a young adult and is really amazed that she’s still alive.
17. Trish thinks that writing in the third-person is getting tiresome and is thinking about switching back to first.
18. I will never lie about my age, unless it’s for a joke or to get a discount somewhere.
19. I think I look pretty good for 37, even though there is baby weight to be attended to.
20. I miss writing my blog and hope that I can get back to it soon.
21. I’m trying to learn to be OK in the moment and not always thinking about what’s next. I think that’s easier if you’re on a beach somewhere or in the woods while snow is falling softly. I need to find those moments when one kid is crying and the other needs help with something and the floor needs vacuumed and the husband is feeling neglected.
22. I have little patience for germaphobes.
23. I took a painting class last year and did some work that I’m actually proud of, considering I was always hopeless in art class in school.
24. I hope I can always remember that my children have their own lives to lead and that their journeys ultimately belong to them. I hope I can see when the most important thing I can do is to get out of the way.
25. Last one. Pressure to make it good. Hmmm. Oh, hell. I don’t know if this is good or not: My ultimate goal, anywhere, anytime, is to find something to laugh about. A shared laugh is even better.

The end.

High adventure: Suburban mom style

A few mornings ago I wasn’t where I said I’d be. Hee hee heee….! I just took off! With no real plans, no real goal other than to be aimless for a bit. There was a bit of danger, a bit of intrigue and a bit of too much coffee and a bit too few bathrooms (there goes my resolution to stop talking about my ass…).

Let me backtrack and tell you a few things you should know about me first:

1. I’m sort of an amateur ghost hunter. There, I admitted it. I like to go to scary places. Always have. I once even went to a ghost hunters convention. I regret that sentence. But I will leave it because I own the fact that I’m a big dork.

2. I don’t watch tons of TV, but what I do watch is nearly all bad. Ghost Adventures on the Travel Channel is a guilty pleasure because the host, Zak Bagans, is hilarious in his steroid-pumped attempts to hunt down and confront the paranormal. He also often turns into a whiney little girl after something takes him up on his offer. Mama like.

3. I love just being aimless and driving around and finding out where all the sides roads and back roads lead to. I’m an instinctual driver.  I don’t worry that I’ll ever get so irretrievably lost that I’ll have to revert to living in the woods if I can’t find my way home. 

My BFF Zak just investigated the Pennhurst State School — huge complex of decaying buildings that used to be an insane asylum — which is in Spring City, PA. Which isn’t so far from where my munchkin goes to school. Naturally, I looked it up online but I couldn’t find directions. So the other day after I dropped her off I had some time. My GPS didn’t have a listing for Pennhurst so I went to Spring City and just started driving.  But I just had a feeling I could find it. And then what did I come across but Pennhurst Road… out there in the middle of a bunch of fields. I followed it until it went into some woods and then past some military buildings. There was a sign that said “not a thru road” but my GPS said otherwise so I kept going — down a hill and into more woods and then VOILA! The whole Pennhurst complex just appeared like it was a mirage. Just as creepy and huge as it was on TV.

A fellow ghost geek friend and I have been looking for a new place to explore. We’ve been to a bunch of places where you can pay to get in (Fort Mifflin, Eastern State Penitentiary) with mixed results (look for my ghost stories in a later blog). We’ve been exploring the idea of going someplace free. i.e., probrably not open to the public and therefore possibly illegal. So I wanted to case out Pennhust and figure out our possibilities.  Would we be able to park without being noticed? Would it be safe to try to get into buildings? Did I have the cajones to try? Someone wrote online that Pennhurst has security patrols at various times and that you could get fined $250 and arrested if you trespass…

Some rumination was in order.

I’m a mom. I pack lunches and give lectures about eating veggies. I apply cream to places that aren’t normally seen in public. Could I risk being arrested? Years ago, I would’ve hestitated for a moment but then I probably would’ve taken my chances. But I fear that the boldness of my youth was waned a bit.

As I was driving around thinking about this, I saw an old narrow road leading off into the woods. Very untraveled-looking. But it wasn’t out of the question…. so I took it. In my 2006 Prius. With the built-in navigation and CD player. Thinking that, wow, things have changed. My first car was a 1977 VW Rabbit — the car that sometimes lacked reverse. It was a junker but it was built like a tank. It was a car that wanted you to make bold choices. It was a car that could handle a pot-holey back road, that could take a few knocks and scratches and I could just laugh it off. Hell, if the car got stuck on the road and couldn’t even come out again, I could probably laugh that off, too (after I got over whining about the $500 I paid for it…). Then my ghost-geek friend and I would hike out of the woods and call parents to come and retrieve us. Ah, the magic time from what — 16 to 22-ish? — where you could still afford to take risks but mom and dad could almost always bail you out. There was danger but most of it later could be chalked up to a funny story to tell your friends.

But growing up means saying goodbye to some of the safety nets of the past. And when you’re a parent, you become the safety net. Can the safety net risk marooning the family car in the woods near an abandoned, haunted mental hospital? How far can the safety net take the scary old road that is much longer than she expected before she has to hang it up and turn around?

I could feel my paranoia amping up as I came to the end of the road, which was blockaded from the street that I drove in on. I had passed this place and hadn’t even noticed it. I turned around carefully and drove out very slowly, even though I wanted to gun it and get the hell out of there. It wasn’t that I scared that some long dead patient would pop out of the woods and yell, “BOOGITY BOOGITY BOO!” It wasn’t that the crumbling buildings gave me the creeps. I was scared that I was going to get a flat tire and be unable to direct Tom to where I was. I was scared that someone might call the cops on me. And I knew that I would never go into one of the abandoned buildings because I’d be afraid that I’d get tetanus from stumbling over an old metal bed rail in the dark. Also, asbestos. I’m scared of that, too.

So the safety net drove out of there, laughing at herself and a little disappointed that this was what now passed for high adventure. By the time I got to my safe, familiar coffee shop I had to pee so bad I could practically taste it. (Really, Trish? Must you be so vulgar???) Did I consider dropping trow at old Pennhurst and watering the plants there? Nope. Not for a minute.

Yes, I am a mom. But I still need my little adventures. I haven’t taken Pennhurst totally off the list, though. I have visions of my ghost-geek friend and I driving around over there and scaring the shit out of ourselves. It could happen. If security stopped us, I think I could talk our way out of a fine or a ticket… but if not, would you be willing to come and bail us out?