Thursday, November 17, 2011

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Yes, this IS a book report.

Last Christmas, Ned's Aunt Irene recommended The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo to me. Ned's Aunt Irene has a very distinct way of speaking that makes me hang on to every word, and kinda wish I was best friends with her. She lives in Chicago and travels a lot, and is awfully busy with Uncle Wes, so I don't think it'll happen, but I do like listening to her talk when she comes to visit.  She's borderline hypnotic, in the sense that when she's gone, her strong influence is gone too. When she was telling me, I desperately wrote the name down on a Post-It note on my fridge. When she left, I glanced at it every few days, and tried to summon the effect Aunt Irene has on me. It took me a few months to get it.
  I had always imagined it to be about some Chinese girl flitting about a garden somewhere with a magical dragon tattoo. Lisbeth Salander is far from Chinese. Or flitting. She is the character I have always wanted to read about. You don't want to be her, exactly, or even friends with her. You just want to read about her. And Mikael reminds me of my dentist (who just fathered a love child), who has become a bizarrely huge part of my life, much thanks to Kiwi H. The characters are brilliant. The only reason I could put the book down is because I am in my 1st trimester (!) and keep falling asleep. When Ned comes home from work, I barely glance up from the couch to ask him how his day was, and pray to God for a one word answer. I hit ignore on the phone yesterday when Kiwi called. Might be a first time thing. (Except for when she was socially depressed in '06). I took my 2 youngest to the Science Museum yesterday, with reading as my sole motivation, and read for 2 glorious hours.
It's safe to say that the transition from not pregnant to pregnant has been made smooth by Lisbeth Salander. It ain't easy bein' queasy. All. The Time. But with Mikael (Dr, Walker?) and Lisbeth, and peppermint tea, all seems fleeting.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Ned might have a substance abuse problem.

So, remember when I said that my blog misrepresents my actual life? That Ned is not Negative, and I am not a booze hound? Well, it may be harder (and more humbling) to prove this theory than I thought.
On Fat Tuesday, I didn't stand a chance against 6 vodka tonics, 4 Sam Adams, a shot of Jameson, and a hand rolled cigarette. (Numbers may or may not be accurate. Who's counting?) I also didn't stand a chance against the awfully respectable Meg McCardle. And it didn't help that Ned was living up to his blog reputation by sitting on the very end with one eye on the Sabres game the entire night.  I'm pretty sure Ned told them he calls me "skank." I'm also pretty sure it wasn't apparent that he was kidding. I'm wondering how distorted or accurate my blog version of my life is.
Kiwi asked me the next day how it went, and I said "Fun. For me, anyway. I may have caught Ian (Meg's husband) off guard on more than one occasion. Overall, a little 'FML' but whatever.'  Kiwi's response? She asked if I had Meg's husband eat a maraschino cherry off of my (nursing) bra. I think she was trying to keep things relative, but the thing is-  I may or may not have. I did threaten to punch him in the face. I was kidding. LMAO?
Anyway, I am enjoying not drinking. And Ned is thoroughly enjoying me not drinking. He said today that beer can be just as expensive as cocaine, if you don't watch it. Ned? Who are you, anyway. He does honk when he blows his nose. Is that a sign of a coke habit? Not drinking has really given me an almost divine ability to discern substance abuse problems.
Maybe someday, Ned won't honk when he blows his nose, I'll wear cleavage-less cardigans (forgot to mention the cleavage part. I'm feeling like a real tranny these days), drink Sprite, and we'll both wake up real respectable-like. Until then, thanks for the sympathetic smiles.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My last (really) hurrah. Plus some taxes.

My version of Fat Tuesday. Plus some good Irish beer.
It's 9 A.M. and I am celebrating Mardi Gras. With a McSorley's Irish Pale Ale. Alone. Ned just left for work, and I am happily guzzling away.
Ned and I have plans tonight for beer and wings with Meg and her gloriously Irish husband at 7:30. He calls her 'darling'. Ned calls me Joe. Just sayin'.
In true Ned fashion, he made an appointment to get our taxes done at 6. On Fat Tuesday. When I've made it all too clear that I'm giving up drinking for Lent, and today is my last (of many) hurrahs. Ned gets me every time. But he was pretty cooperative about it, after me asking him to be, and he left the house texting the tax guy.
Ned's version of Fat Tuesday.
He might have been cooperative because he finally has something to look forward to. Those Buffalo blues strike Ned more than anyone else I know. So I booked us a beach house for 2 weeks at the Jersey Shore. Positively glorious 2 week stretch of sun, sand, and....Kiwi Herman. She's looking into it, folks. And my sister will be an hour and a half away with the cousins and, of course, Mimi is coming with us. Vacation ain't vacation without the little ones' beloved Mimi. And Ned and my beloved escapes. Ned stared at the sky last night, nodding his head, listening distantly to me chattering away about the beach, and said "Yea. should be sweet." If it weren't for him nodding his head the entire time, I wouldn't have caught on to the intensity of his emotions. Ned is looking forward to vacation.
And I am looking forward to tonight. Ned's always been a little more long-term than me.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Ned's losin' me till Lent

Ned came home from a long day at work the other day, looked at me, and said "I'm concerned about you." He meant it. I was at the kitchen table littered with beer bottles and snuff, with Dan the D-bag and my cousin. My cousin is a gambler from Vegas (actually a small town by Vegas, but we tell everyone Vegas), who gets Dan and me addicted to snuff every time he comes to visit. Snuff is pulverized tobacco that you inhale through your nose (in other words,  blow. That's kind of Ned's point.). It makes Ned's sinuses hurt, but Dan and I took to it immediately, and have had one hell of a week. On day 2 of his trip, my cousin said incredulously, "Most people don't take to snuff this fast!", turned slowly to me, "Especially girls." Welcome to Buffalo, Bret. I even overheard Jackie asking for it in a high, clear voice.
     Top my cousin coming to visit with the fact that there was one week left till Lent, and I'm giving up drinking. For 40 days. I wonder if Ned and I will still get along. I wonder if anyone and I will still get along, for that matter.
So, of course, I have been on as much of a bender as I can pull off while still taking care of Ned and the girls. I informed Ned yesterday that, since not only will I not be going out without him, but since I will be his cheerful DD for the entirety of Lent, the next 5 nights are to be spent at my discretion. As amiable and supportive as Ned wants to be, this kind of stuff does not sit well with him. He is the nicest chauvinist you'll ever meet. Last night was the 1st night I had plans to go out. My friend and I were waiting for Ned to come home so we could leave, when he texted me that he was going out. "LOL!!!" I wrote back, trying to keep it light. That was Ned's way of asking if he could watch the last 15 minutes of the hockey game. Sure, Ned. You're being so supportive of my bender, and all. He made it home, asked Jessica all the right questions (Ned's great in social situations) and warily showed us to the door. We drank beer and after my 'mild' periodic suggestions, Jessica agreed to split nachos. They filled a void. Ned better really love me, cuz somehow my unhinged pre-Lent boozin' has come to include unhinged eating as well. Is my Lent Ned's Penance? I'll have to ask Ned tonight, in between him coming and me going.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The truth of my life

At the risk of losing the tone of my blog, there's a few records I have to set straight. First, my mom and I generally get along. While I find her utterly confusing at times, she's a 'nice enough gal' (quick Jackie quote). And she's unusually good with little ones, which I happen to have three of. There tends to be some tension between our parenting techniques, mainly that I think she applies emotions to kids that I don't really think are there. Or at least as strong, with such long lasting effects as she does. But, really, that's small potatoes. Ned and I have a pretty slammin' social life, all thanks to Mimi. Ned knows that he can call on his way home from work, say he wants to go out, and if Mimi's home (and unless she's "baking like a potato" in front of the Blessed Sacrament, she usually is, or will be soon. She flexible as all get out), Ned and I head wherever it is that Ned wants to go. Not a bad setup for being together 10 years, not to mention three kids. We still have a lot of fun together, just the 2 of us. Someone once said that their therapist (or some sort of figure like a therapist) told them that their relationship with their husband should come before the kids. At the time, I was matriarchal and stubborn, and disagreed, thinking the kids should come first. I don't think I really even thought about if Ned was happy. My focus was entirely on the kids and I thought Ned could take care of himself. Somewhere along the line, I was (thankfully) set free of that mindset, and Ned and I are now proud frequents of Charlie O'briens.
Which brings me to my next point. My sister said, entirely inoffensively, that my blog could make me come across, if you don't know me, as "alcohol fueled." Ugh. I thought everyone knew my blog is blank pages for me to pleasantly exaggerate my life. My main focus is Ned, and my kids, etc. etc. But who wants to read that I'm working really hard at not yelling at my kids anymore? Or that at the moment Ned is cooking steak and my oldest daughter is making salad?  For realz, yo, no offense to my life, but it's really not worth writing my daily adventures. I thought I was doing my readers a favor by veering from the monotony of my actual life and taking you for a trip down Lois Lane. (My sisters used to call me Lois, and I think it's this character that illustrates my blog posts.) It's much more fun to turn 4 drinks to 12, and drinking at 7 pm to drinking at noon. And to make Ned constantly grumbling and Kiwi Herman a bit of a Mad Hatter. And Jackie as mentally ill as they come. I can't believe I have to clarify on my own da*n blog, but for the record I don't wake up to a wall of beer cans next to me. And my mom, to those under 21, is a spectacular figure of grace and virtue.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Steubenville Syndrome

Things is lookin' up. For one thing, it's like 50 degrees. And Ned and I went out to dinner last night, to a bring your own wine Thai restaurant, and ate courses for $5.56., baby. And I hung out with Megs McCardle, and remembered why having friends is fun. (I got myself involved in a Mean-Girls circle that ain't making too much sense lately. So Megs McCardle was a breath of fresh air.) Jackie is another breath of fresh air. She's slim-hipped and wise. She sleeps in till 10:30, and is always ready to read my blog and make sure it's post-able. I think my blog truly would be disturbing (quote, unquote) if I didn't await Jackie's groggy affirmation every morning.
Okay, I'm annoyed. I feel like I'm the suspect in a witch trial. And another friend, moreso than me, but since I have anonymous readers, I'll lay low on name dropping. A witch trial in the sense that one ring leader is pointing her (presumably Egyptian) finger and getting everyone all riled up and self-righteously angry and paranoid. I've never really been involved in anything like this. My old friend's behavior, while not entirely surprising, is entirely embarassing. Like, actually EMBARASSING. (For her, not me:)) If I remembered doing this in 2nd grade, I would be beyond humiliating. I can't imagine reflecting on this behavior in my 20's or 30's. The wierdest thing of all is that no one will talk about it. Don't they want to know the truth? No one is addressing any problems. It seems like they just want an excuse to be mad. I can't see people acting like this in a secular group, and it's depressing that we're supposed to be Christian. But in the end it's not all that surprising. I call it the Steubenville Syndrome: Where people are super Catholic, identity wise, but they fall for every trick in the book.
The only other possibility is that I'm being Punk'd. I feel like everyone is planning a surprise party for me, and trying to inflate the surprise by acting like they hate me and think I'm a questionable (to say the least) friend, for the month or so preceding the party. If you guys are trying to keep me in the dark, you're doing a damn good job. I ain't got no clue what I did!
But alls well that ends well. Jackie's groggy voice was extra groggy today, when I called, incredulous about the lowest of the low events that took place last night, (sorry for the vagueness, readers, but there are some things that just shouldn't go public) and Jackie, in true form, gave a charitable read, a simple solution, and a calm response. Good ol' Jackie.