Full Meddle Jacket

One of my favorite quotes:

“Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons; for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.”

Words to definitely live by.  Leave the dragons alone, for crying out loud.  They do fine without anyone getting all up in their bidness.  And they sure as hell don’t need advice from me.  What do I know about dragons?  Besides, look at the consequences of dealing with them.  Fricassee and flambé.  With condiments.

I can’t help wanting to meddle though.  I want to save the world and help my friends, heal their pain.  I have opinions on how to raise children and deal with the intricacies of husbands and relationships.  I see the problems my friends are going through and I want to get involved.  I want to shake them and tell them what they are doing wrong.  I want to be like Lucy in a Peanut’s comic strip and hang out my shingle for “Psychiatric Help 5¢.”  The Doctor Is In.

I have absolutely no qualifications to do so, however.  None, except 47 years of life experience.  My life?  That’s not accounting for much experience…

Nothing good comes from meddling in other people’s affairs.  Or dragons.  It takes all my might to bite my tongue and not give advice when I’m told of cheating spouses, misbehaved kids, outrageous spending or tiffs between lovers.  I could get all Dr. Phil on them and tell them what to do, but most of the time I have to sit back, shake my head, cluck my tongue and commiserate with them on how crappy life is.  Wait- I DO have as much qualification as Dr. Phil.  Never mind that analogy- it was  a bad one.

I won’t meddle because my family was meddled with.  And we were torn apart.

See, when your friends are telling you their problems, you’re only hearing one part of the story.  How many times do your friends sit down with you, spouse and spouse, mother and child, boyfriend and girlfriend, to tell you their woes?  Right, practically never.  You don’t go out drinking to complain about your husband while your husband is there!  That’s what marriage counselors and therapists do- single, then couple counseling.

So we only hear one side of the story when complained to.

And that side of the story sounds horrible!  “How could he/she/they do that to you?  Why would he/she/they say that to you?  Let me give you some good advice.  Take my advice- I know what I’m talking about- I’ve lived through stuff like this before.”

Um, no.  The next time you hear someone’s woes and feel the urge to tell them what they should do, stop and think about what that advice would do to the family.  To the couple.  To the parents.  If it’s absolutely unbearable what you feel your friend is going through, suggest counseling or therapy or outside professional help.  If you don’t have MD, PhD, PsyD, MA, EdD or MSW after your name, heed this piece of advice and keep your damn mouth shut.

Because the next person who meddles in my affairs might end up on the dinner table.  I have LOTS of ketchup.

My Time Is Now My Own

I’m done!  We’re finished!  It’s almost over!  This month will soon be a distant yet fond memory.

As a kid, I never liked the month of June.  It was the last month of school before the joys of summer, and therefore it was always the slowest moving month.  It never seemed to end.  Time stretched agonizingly slow toward that last Friday, the last day of school.  We didn’t do anything in class during those last few weeks.  We cleaned out our desks and if you were a teacher’s pet (like I was) you helped clean out the teacher’s desk and closets.  We were allowed to bring in cards, or board games or comic books.  In sixth grade (I think), we were allowed to bring in records to dance to.  Mr. Cohen was the coolest teacher.

As an adult-or more specifically, as a mom- I dread June even more than I did when I was a kid.  June brings end-of-year class parties, teacher appreciation gifts, dinners to celebrate moving up or graduations.  Plus trips and parties for Girl Scouts, Sunday School, soccer…  honestly, these events should be fun times, times to be cherished.  Realistically?  It’s an expensive, exhausting time of year.  Proms, dances, yearbooks, limos, cupcakes, helium tanks, graduation gifts, days off…it all adds up.  Thank goodness it only comes once a year.  Didja notice that the end of the school year is almost EXACTLY six months after Christmas?  I want to kiss the person that planned that.  It gives me six months to save up!

So another school year is over.  Not only did Beena graduate, but Zombiegirl is now a Fifth-Grade Graduate.  Here on Long Island, we go into Middle School (Junior High School) in sixth grade.

To celebrate moving up, her elementary school does a little free-for-all event a week prior to their graduating.  Fifth Grade Fun Day raises money all year to give these kids a cook-out/carnival/dance party on the field behind the school.  The fundraising initiative raised enough dough to provide a catered BBQ, DJ (thanks, Steve!) and games, face painting, balloons, ice cream and swag bags (thanks, Best Yet!)  It’s also the day they get their yearbooks and start the mad flurry of collecting 11-year old witticisms. (Will this generation EVER learn to spell “you’re”?)

MR and I, along with 25+ other parents, decorated the field and ran the games and other events.  I was in charge of the GOLD TEAM- ten kids I led around from event to event to event.  I personally knew only one of those kids- the rest looked at me like I was crazy when I started cheering “Let’s go GOLD TEAM!” (clap, clap, clap-clap-clap) or when I tied myself to the Co-Chair of the PTA to demonstrate the 3-legged race.  They eventually warmed up and got into the spirit.  I AM so a frustrated cheerleader…

It WAS a fun day!  Exhausting, but fun.  We didn’t sit down for seven straight hours so when we got home, we vegged on the couch for the rest of the night.

The following week continued the craziness with Z-girl going in early three days to roam the halls with all the other fifth-graders to collect more autographs from teachers and staff.  She’s practicing the graduation songs that will invariably make me cry.  I’m making and decorating cupcakes to give to the principal, staff and teachers.  The principal likes my cupcakes.  She gets one every time there’s a party.

Finally, it’s graduation day.  The blue-haired little sk8r soccer chick I call my daughter puts on the dress she wore for her Communion.  This will be the first time most of her friends and classmates have seen her in a dress.  She claims she’s a little nervous.  I wonder if it’s because of graduation, or the dress?

Seventy-five kids walking down the aisle to Pomp and Circumstance,singing their songs, getting their diplomas.  I find that if I continue to take pictures, I don’t cry as much as I thought I would.  That theory goes out the window when they announce the recipients for the 2010 Most Outstanding Physical Education Student award.  There were two- a boy and a girl.  Guess who the girl was?  Yeah, she’s not only pretty, she’s a jock.  This award embodies the spirit of sportsmanship and athleticism.  We were shocked.  SHE was shocked!  In retrospect, however, we shouldn’t have been shocked.  This kid has been active in sports since she was three- soccer, tennis, swimming, horseback riding, gymnastics, skateboarding, baseball, and most recently, that ripstick thing.  We really shouldn’t have been surprised. And yes, I cried.

I thought it was over, but then the principal announced that the presenter of the next award got stuck at another school and would be late.  The principal explained that there were a number of candidates sent to the State Comptroller’s office- students that demonstrated leadership, academic excellence and civic commitment, among other things.  Out of all those candidates, three students were chosen to receive this award Stephanie, (the Girl Scout leader’s daughter) Sophia, (the Fifth-Grade Fun Day organizer’s daughter) and Zombiegirl (whose mother didn’t do a blessed thing this year.)  We hooted and hollered while she made her way to the stage, again.  Woo hoo, my kid is Wan Zie!

Ah.  Wan Zie.  The superstar student who ran away with the Valedictorian position and most of the scholarships and awards at Obdurate Daughter’s graduation a few years ago.  Every time an award was announced, it was Wan Zie who won it.  We started pressing Zombiegirl to “Be Wan Zie!”  I want my kid to be Valedictorian.  I want to hear her name being called up for award after award.  What parent doesn’t want their kid to “Be Wan Zie?”  I only hope this one listens to us and heeds our advice…

Anywhoo, we walked two and a half feet above the ground out to the reception tent on the field after the ceremony.  Zombiegirl insisted on changing into her Converse High-tops (which looked very cute with her dress…I should have let her wear them anyway…it was so… HER) and everyone was coming up and congratulating her.  I think she liked the fact that she got these awards, but was embarrassed with the attention.  We’ll have to work on that.

After cake at the reception and a couple of more photo ops, we went home to pick up Dad and Beena and go to Benihana’s for dinner.  Before we left, we gave Zombiegirl her graduation gift- a family trip to Puerto Rico.  It’s really a trip for Beena and Z-girl- something we’ve never done, gone on a “real” vacation.  My in-laws are going as well as Beena’s boyfriend, John.  I bought her a package of those “silly bandz” in beach shapes and a package of beach stickers.  I printed out a small picture of the PR flag, as well as a beach scene with “You are here” typed on it.  This site lets you print up bogus airline tickets (there really IS everything on the Interwebs…) so I input her info and printed it out for her to figure out what all this stuff meant.  The look on her face was priceless!  And worth every penny this graduation gift cost.

So now graduation is over.  The parties are over.  June is almost over and I am glad.  All that lay ahead of me is work, vacation, work, vacation, work and then vacation!  Throw a little bit of soccer training in there, a Baptism (or four), some house repairs and weekends at the beach house and I’m looking at an awesome summer.

Thanks Beena and Zombiegirl for graduating.  You make a mama proud!

 

Thanks For The Memories

I suffer from CRS.  Yes, you know what that stands for.  I leave the house and forget to put on deodorant.  I’ll be speaking to someone and draw a complete blank on a word or a name.  Just today I absolutely forgot to leave cash and a check for a helium tank MR was supposed to pick up for Zombiegirl’s 5th Grade Fun Day.  The only thing I was responsible for and I forgot.  I can’t EVER remember where Beena is- work, school or home for dinner.  I forget my glasses, my shoes and/or my phone at least once a week.

Because of this, I have huge gaping holes in my childhood memories.

Yes, I remember certain instances.  Usually the bad stuff- Mom yelling at me, fights with boyfriends, car accidents.

Do I remember, however, the names of those totally cool Girl Scout leaders I had when I was a Cadette?  No.  Do I remember ANYTHING about Junior High School (Robert H. Goddard, if you care…) No.  Do I remember the names of most of the cats I had growing up?  No.  Can I recall one birthday party I had as a kid?  No.  If it wasn’t for that one picture of me dressed as Batman (and my little brother as Robin) I would think my family didn’t celebrate Halloween because I can’t remember dressing up as ANYTHING.  And no, I did not chose to be Batman…

I kept a diary sporadically growing up.  The one rambling entry in it was typical teenage angst railing at something my mother whispered to my father about me while we were on a camping trip.  Nowhere on those other pages do I write about my interactions with boys, friends or other stuff girls are supposed to write about.  I remember how I felt growing up- scared, anxious, self-conscious and alone.  But names and instances and events escape me.  My family was not one for picture taking, either.  Whatever pictures I have of my childhood travails are now old white-framed squares of yellowed faces as blurry as my memories.

Losing my brother felt like part of my heart was cut out.  Obviously.  But not only my heart was affected.  Losing someone who grew up with me, slept in the same room with me  and hung out with me also felt like part of my memory was cut out.  No one to compare notes with, no one to call up and ask, “What was her name?”, no one to reminisce about vacations with.  My childhood died when Robbie did.

And Mom?  Her steel-trap mind could remember names, dates and shoe sizes of practically everyone she met.  She could remember almost every one of the many Girl Scouts she was a leader to, every one of the kids in Sunday School she taught and almost all of mine and Robbie’s  classmates.  The ones that mattered, anyway.  I never knew how she did it, but I apparently didn’t inherit any of her brain neurons.  Now that she’s gone, too, I’m left with pictures of people I know I should know, snatches of memories I should be able to name.  It’s totally frustrating.

A few years ago, I met up with an old classmate and BFF from school.  We went to P.S. 146 and Goddard together.  I’m pretty sure we went to the same high school, but really, I can’t remember and I’m too lazy to pull out my yearbook.  Anyway, we met back in Howard Beach for lunch.  While we were eating, she rambled off names of people we (supposedly) went to school with and/or hung out with.  For the life of me, I couldn’t remember two-thirds of the names she mentioned.  And we ran in the same circles!  I must have looked like a complete idiot because we never got together after that.  Facebook is torture for me as well.  Names pop up and I know I should know them and probably request them, but I can’t remember if I had any meaningful interaction with them.  That’s why I’m so selective on Facebook and not a “friend collector”.  Everyone I have as a friend I can remember having a friendship with.  And I liked.  I think.  No, just kidding. 

So where was I going with this post?  I don’t remember…

Oh, yeah.  Ha! 

I regret never keeping a diary.  I regret not taking more pictures and actually labelling them.  I regret not listening more closely to my mother and grandmothers and aunts talking about our family.  I regret not going over more things with Mom when she got sick.  (Not that she would probably be in the mood to discuss these things after radiation and surgery…)  This is why I write my blog.  So I can remember.

Do you remember this post?  The one where I accompanied my Dad to our family cemetary plots to place Christmas wreaths on our dearly departed?  After that trip I realized that I didn’t want to lose any more memories, so I posted the whos and wheres on my blog.  I realized that for my children, I had to start documenting stuff about our family or it will be lost forever.  In fact, just recently, Zombiegirl came home with an assignment to trace her family tree back to someone who came through Ellis Island.  She asked her grandmother, my MIL, for names and dates.   Grandma couldn’t remember half of the information related to her own parents and grandparents.  Wonderful.  Pieces of my daughter’s heritage lost unless someone does some digging in some archives somewhere.  I can’t let this happen to my family.  Even if they don’t care now (like I did at their age) my kids might care where they come from when they get older.  And if I can’t remember (snort!) at least we’ll have this blog and Joyce to help.

(Enter Joyce.  Hi Joyce!)

As a result of some Googling of the good Arfmann name, Joyce found my blog through that cemetary post.  She contacted me with tons of information about my great-greats as a result of her research through library archives and the internet.  She had family trees and pictures and dates and newspaper clippings.

We’re related!  I found a family member.  Or, rather, she found me.  How freaking cool is that?

We’ve been emailing pictures and information about ourselves back and forth.  She inspired me to sign up at My Heritage (which Big Brother won’t let me access at work-grrr) and start my family tree.  After pestering Dad for old pictures, we discovered that we have some of the same photos!  Her diligence found a newspaper article mentioning my Mom and the SST debacle at JFK.  She’s cleared up some relative questions.  She’s a vegetarian.  And a grandma.

And she’s going to help me remember who I am and where I come from.

Thanks, Joyce!  Welcome to my family.  Even though you’ve been a member of it longer than I have!  And, um…do you know where I left my keys?

Memorial Day Weekend Was Memorable!

Do you  find it odd that while one is home for two days sick in bed with a stomach virus that one does not update one’s blog?  You would think with all the time spent watching Real Housewives of New York City and You’ve Been Cut Off, one might pull oneself away from the television and actually post something?  You might think that sitting in bed, one might take the laptop and actually do something productive, instead of playing online Sudoku or trolling Facebook for past friends.

Yeah, I thought so too.  But I just couldn’t get up the gumption to actually post something during the last two days.  My stomach was making sickly noises and I felt like I got kicked in the gut by a mule.  At one point, before I got up this morning, my stomach actually growled “ZOOL.”  Zool?  Will I start levitating?  I looked over at MR to see if it woke him up.  Nope.  I’ll have to battle the gatekeeper on my own.

I did take advantage of this down time to go through the 700 plus pictures I took at the soccer tournament we went to over Memorial Day weekend.  One of the reasons I bought my Canon Rebel was the “sports” mode of shooting.  I needed that to catch the action on the field.  I end up taking way too many photos and have to weed them out before posting them to Weplay or Facebook.  So I was doing this for a good part of the afternoon when I was inspired to write about our Memorial Day weekend in Hampden, PA.

One of the advantages of being on the travel team is you get to travel.  Our weekly games don’t go so far out on Long Island, so when the chance of an invitation to play in another state, and be able to go to Hershey Park as part of the package came up, the coach accepted.  I was excited just to watch our girls play soccer and spend a few nights in a hotel bed.  Mmmm.

Of course with everything, there was conflict.  With all organized sports there is backbiting, sniping, complaining and espionage.  “Who picked the hotel?”  When will we go to Hershey park?”  “Why does it cost so much to play?”  “Who are these ‘guest’ players?”  Blah, blah, blah.  And then all the other parents chimed in….

No, only kidding.   My only complaint was that we weren’t given a choice of hotels.  We were told, by the coach, where we were staying.  Some of us are accustomed to 5-star hotels, and some of us (me) are content to go camping.  But after the fact, I’m glad we stayed where we did.  The Hampton Inn in Mechanicsburg was awesome.  Heated pool, patio with tables and umbrellas, lush landscaping, great rooms, wonderful staff, lounge with large screen TV, couch, nice breakfast, computer access and CLEAN!  I’m not sure all Hampton Inns are like this, but this one was very thoughtful -free chips in the lounge and coffee all day.  Chicken soup when it got chilly.  It really felt like I was staying with relatives instead of a chain hotel.

I’ve always liked details.  As an architect, I guess I appreciate them more than most.  The Hampton Inn, which is a Hilton family chain, was full of details.  There were black and white photographs on all the door numbers (we had a tractor).  The clock radio (which you can purchase on their hampton HOME collection) had b & w photos for each of the preset music stations a rock for Rock, soda pop for Pop, etc.  Their coffee urns had old gas pump photographs on each- “High Test” for the robust coffee, “Unleaded” for the decaf.  Just everywhere you looked you saw a lot of thought put into their presentation.  I like that.

We were the first ones to arrive on Friday, so of course Z-girl spent the rest of the afternoon in the pool.  It was a little weird seeing all the parents, grandparents and girls in a setting other than the soccer field.  Soon the whole pool was filled with splashing, shrieking 11-year olds.  All shapes, colors and sizes- all getting along and having a great time.  OFF the soccer field.  I think this epitomized the true meaning of the word TEAM.

And the parents?  I consider myself lucky to be associated with this bunch.  I’ve made some lifelong, strong friendships with most of these people.  How often can you go away with twenty-eight parents, fourteen athletes, a few handfuls of siblings, a sprinkling of grandparents, a smattering of extended family and come out of the weekend exclaiming it was one of the nicest weekends you’ve ever had?  I don’t think the girls realize what they have, but I’ve spoken to the parents afterwards and they all agree- we’ve got something special and unique in our group.

So how did our girls do?  We played two games on Saturday- won one, tied another.  We played the elimination game Sunday morning and won, putting us in the championship, where we lost, finishing up the tournament in second place!  The girls played superbly!  There was a little drama (isn’t there always?) during the last game- a case of mistaken identity.  One of our other town teams, the older girls, pulled out of the tournament in the middle of the game because the other team was being uneccessarily rough and the referee wasn’t calling any fouls.  One of their coaches, in the heat of passion, cursed out the referee.  I think pulling the team is admiral- no trophy is worth the girls getting hurt. Anyway, one of our dads was mistaken for one of their coaches and was asked to leave the field.  Things were said, game was delayed, tempers flared, apologies were made, but I think it hurt our momentum a little and we lost the game.   It was okay- both teams took pictures together on the field and all the parents congratulated each other.  I organized (at the coach’s request) a victory tunnel with the parents (facing each other hands up and touching?) for the kids to go through because we were so proud of them! “2-4-6-8 Who do we appreciate? Panthers, Panthers, go Panthers!”  As the kids came out of the tunnel, they formed their own tunnel and started shouting, “2-4-6-8 Who do we appreciate? Parents! Parents, go Parents”.

Yeah, I’m tearing up as I’m writing it down.

It was my first time through a victory tunnel!  I, of course, cried on exiting.  One of the other town team parents congratulated the coach on winning.  She had walked over to see what all the yelling and celebrating was about.  Our coach said thanks, but we came in second.  It’s this team spirit- and it starts from the coaches on down to us, the parents- that makes it so much fun to be a soccer mom.

Coming in second didn’t put a damper on the weekend because all the girls knew that “We’re going to Hershey Park!”  We visited the park on Sunday night on a twilight pass then again on Monday.  I was a little leary going to an amusement park on a holiday weekend, but either the heat or the fact that it was the last day of the weekend kept the crowds away.  The kids were able to go on the rides over and over without a wait.  They dragged me on some roller coaster rides that freaked me out (The Wild Mouse) and I dragged Zombiegirl on her first looping coaster! (Sidewinder)  I fear she’s hooked!  The little thrill seeker is already planning on riding the Great Bear next year!

Unfortunately, due to the drama with the older girls, I don’t know if our team will be invited back next year.  I’m hoping we are.  Even though it was REALLY hot, we had a great time at the hotel, on the field and in the park with all our soccer peeps!

Quiz: What do your color preferences say about you?

I found this on one of my favorite blogs- How About Orange.  Select colors you like and dislike in this color quiz.  It then analyzes your personality based on what you’ve picked.  I think mine are interesting:  

 “You are 51 % extrovert and 49 % introvert. Independently of any order of importance:You are a leader, you know how to organize the groups of persons and give them your energy. 

 You are also imaginative and creative, you have always new ideas, and you know how to apply them. 

Finally you are dynamic, your actions are only directed by your own will and you know how to lead people. 
 …you are dynamic and active, you are determined in your actions, you know how to communicate your ideals and your energy, and thus, you know how to boost people, you are thoughtful and deep, you think before getting into action and you know how to communicate your knowledge.” 

Yeah, right.  I wish. 

Finally, this disclaimer at the bottom made me laugh: 

The use of this test for lucrative or professional purposes is illegal.    

 

I Don’t Get It

No F*ck You Friday today.  Nothing has really pissed me off since the last installment of FYF.  We had a great Memorial Day weekend at the Hampden Soccer Tournament in Harrisburg, PA then at Hershey Park on Memorial Day itself.   I’ll post about all that shortly.  Work has been, well, work.  Nothing too troublesome there.  I haven’t been on the bus, so I haven’t had to deal with those crazies.  I’ll be PMS’ing next week, so I’m sure something will tick me off eventually.

I have, however, been coming across certain situations that have left me scratching my head in either disbelief or mild confusion.  I Don’t Get It is kind of milder F*ck You Friday, whereas I question the insanity of what I’ve encountered.  If any of you disagree, by all means, clear up my confusion.

Such as:

I Don’t Get breed loyalty.  As in dogs.  I overheard a woman talking (loudly, of course) about her “Mastiff”.  With a capital M.  She didn’t use the dog’s name, or even acknowledge that it was a dog.  She spoke of how her “Mastiff” liked to swim, and every time they went to the beach, they took her “Mastiff” with them.  Her “Mastiff” was going on five years old, and he still acted like a puppy.  The man she was talking to had a dachshund, but he didn’t bring up the fact that the dog was a dachshund every time he mentioned it.  Same thing with an acquaintance of mine.  They constantly talk about “our Boxer”.  It’s obvious that these people love their dogs, but why constantly talk about the breed?  Use the dog’s name- I would much rather hear about “Bootsy” sleeping on the couch than how “our Westie” poops on the rug.  It’s. A. Dog.  Personally, I think anyone spending more than $50 at the local shelter for a dog is insane.  The people who had Spencer before us spent close to $500 for him, and he’s the dumbest thing on the planet.  Cute, but dumb.  I don’t go around saying “My Yellow Lab eats his poop everyday,” do I?  See how silly that sounds? 

I Don’t Get leggings.  When did these come back in style?  I wore leggings back when my older kids were small.  I loved the fit- they were so comfortable and stretchy.  They went so well under tunics and long sweaters (this WAS the ’90’s, remember.)  I was also 30 pounds lighter and in better shape.  Why on God’s green earth would a not-so-in-shape woman wear these things out in public?  With a short shirt?  You have to be in great shape for your butt in leggings to be shown.  I think they are really meant to be worn under short dresses or those flowing long tops.  COVERING YOUR BUTT!  I’ve seen these pants walking the streets of New York stretched so far over fat asses the material has worn thin and has actually lost its color.  Please- save humanity and cover it up?

I Don’t Get why people have to go through all their ringtones on public transportation.  Change your tone at home.  It’s getting to a point where I can predict what the next tone is going to be because I hear this annoying lineup so much.

I Don’t Get flip flops.  Do they still call them flip flops?  Or is the term “thong” used for shoewear as well?  They’re definitely not sandals.  Sandals don’t perform toe segregation.  I know, it’s a personal thing with me- I can’t STAND anything between my toes.  It’s a sensitive area.  I don’t begrudge anyone wearing these things.  But…the sound they make.  Fwap, fwap, fwap on the sidewalk.  Amplify it by 100 when they’re walking in the subway.  How can one stand making that noise?  I have a pair of slip on low heels that make that sound.  I actually try to walk quieter when I’m wearing them.  And support?  Those flip-flop things offer none.  What’s going to happen to your arches when you get older, little fwap fwap girl?

I Don’t Get taking your baby to an amusement park.  We saw all kinds of people this past weekend at Hershey.  Mixed race couples, mixed age couples, same sex couples, Muslims, Amish, Orthodox, Jersey Shore, tattooed.  It was nice to see so many different people enjoying a day at the park.  What confused me, however, were the couples with babies.  No other children- just babies in strollers.  They didn’t have other people with them, either.  When Beena was eight months old, we took a road trip to Disney World with another couple.  We took turns watching the kid and going on the rides.  Why would a couple spend $50 each to take a baby to a park and NOT go on rides?  There isn’t that much more to Hershey Park or Six Flags or Dorney Park than rides.  And riding the rides alone just isn’t fun.  It wasn’t just one or two instances.  I saw a lot of couples with babies enough to question- what are you thinking?

I Don’t Get Lacrosse.  Soccer on a stick?  Hockey on grass?  At least with those games, there is the chance the opposing side can steal the ball/puck.  With lacrosse, it just seems once you get the ball, you keep it safe in the little net-sticky thing and run like hell to the goal and throw it in.  How can anyone get it away from you?  From the Online Guide to Lacrosse rules:

  • A player may gain possession of the ball by dislodging it from an opponent’s crosse with a stick check, which includes the controlled poking and slapping of the stick and gloved hands of the player in possession of the ball.
  • Have you seen the size of these net-sticks?  They’re not very big.  It’s not like a player on the other team can stick their net-stick into yours and steal it.  So you have to try to “slap” it out?  Really?  In soccer, you get the players who think they’re superstars- getting the ball and running up with it and trying to score- not passing to their team mates.  Lacrosse seems to condone that.  Once you have the ball, it’s up to you try to score.  Where’s the teamwork in that?  And then there’s this rule:

  • Body checking is permitted if the opponent has the ball. However, all contact must occur from the front or side, above the waist and below the shoulders. An opponent’s crosse may also be stick checked if it is within five yards of a loose ball or ball in the air.
  • Yeah.  Right.  I would never let my kid play this sport.  I’m finding it hard now watching Zombiegirl play soccer and not lose my mind when someone from the other team is rough with our girls, pushing and shoving and tripping them.  I don’t get the whole lacrosse thing.

    Clue me in.  Tell me different.  Make me see the light.

    Low Chi In City

    Hey.  Psst.  Wake up.  I’m back.  Are you still there?

    Sorry for the lack of posts.  I send you over here so that I can post freely at work, and what do I do?  I slack.  Well, sorry.  It’s been a really busy few weeks/days/hours.  I literally have six posts already drafted in WordPress, as well as another four or five sitting in my email at home.  I have to tweak.  They’ll be ready soon.  Don’t go away, please?

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    Yesterday, I started my first round of acupuncture for my migraines.  I really didn’t want to resort to taking medication daily again, so this idea has been playing around in the back of my head for a year or so.  I’ve heard of a lot of people getting relief for migraines with acupuncture, but I couldn’t find one that a) took my insurance and b) wasn’t a flake.  I finally found Dr. Wang through my insurance carrier and he was confirmed a non-flake and pretty good guy by Dr. E, my chiropractor.

    I was a little worried going into this, but I kept telling myself- I got tattoos, dammit, how bad can this be?  My friends on Facebook also confirmed that it doesn’t really hurt, and I can easily concentrate on other things to take my mind off having needles stuck in my skin in multiple places.  {shudder}

    MR and Zombiegirl dropped me off at the office.  (Z-girl offered to go inside with me and hold my hand.  My little ghoul.  She also offered to sit with Pop-Pop and me as we got our tattoos.  I swear she’s going to grow up to be an action figure…or a doctor.)  I wasn’t too impressed by the looks of the office- Dr. Wang shares an office with a Chiropractor in a pain management center.  I’m used to Dr. E’s office- colorful and playful, yet relaxing and soothing.  This office definitely needed a woman’s touch, so naturally the whole time I was being stuck, I redecorated.

    After answering a ton of questions about my lifestyle and other personal info, Dr. W took my pulse, examined my eyes and looked at my tongue then declared me anemic.  With low blood pressure.  Okay, not really a surprise there- I ALWAYS have low blood pressure and I can’t count how many times I was turned down to give blood due to anemia.  I chalked it up to not enough spinach in my diet.  (Maybe I need a hamburger.  From Happy Cows, of course…) Dr. W claimed it was due to my “Low Chi”.

    Well, I’ve heard about Chi, of course. You can’t read Deepak Chopra and not get the gist of Chi’s and Chakra’s.  So my life energy is low.  No kidding.  I’m tired, I’m stressed, I’m angry, I’m grieving, I have low self-esteem, I work in the city, I have the commute from hell, I work in a closet with no light or air- shit, my Chi should be non-existent, not just low!

    Dr. Wang suggested therefore, in addition to the acupuncture, a course of Chinese herbs to revitalize my Chi.  Five tiny pills twice a day (eight is the recommended course, but American stomachs can’t handle them, supposedly) taken with meals should drastically improve my mood.  I’m sure my family can only hope.

    So, as I lay thinking about curtains, Dr. W places ten tiny needles in my lower legs, the crooks of my arms, the top of my head and in my belly.  Over my belly, he places a heat lamp and leaves me for 15 minutes.  I can feel the slight sting at the needle site where he swabbed me with alcohol, but other than that, I can’t feel a thing.  I drift off to sleep thinking how I can sound-proof this room I’m in.

    Dr. W comes in when time’s up and starts removing the needles.  While he’s doing this he suggests I see an ENT doctor and recommends a sonogram on my neck.  Huh?  Does he know something I don’t know?  He touched the side of my neck specifically where he thinks I need to be looked at.  WTF?  Of course the worst is going through my mind right now.  Talk about bad thoughts leading to bad Chi…

    We’ll explore that doctor’s appointment at a later date.  Right now, I’ll stick to the pins and needles.

    So how do I feel?  Well, the forecast for today and tomorrow is rainy and I woke up this morning feeling fine, even though my barometer’s water level was at the top of the spout.  I know it takes several visits to see some improvement, but maybe it’s all in my head?  A funny side effect (you might want to skip to the next paragraph if you don’t want read this- it might be TMI) was it felt like the needles acted as a colonic- I “emptied out” several times in the half-hour between getting home and eating.  I mean a LOT!  It was as if all my bad energy was leaving via the toilet!  Okay, quite possibly in my head as well.  Whatever- I think I lost three pounds before dinner.

    I will continue seeing Dr. Wang for the next three months.  Officially, he’s treating me for nausea due to migraines since the insurance wouldn’t cover for the migraines themselves.  Stupid insurance.  By the time the twelve weeks are up, Dr. W will have a beautiful oasis of an office in which to stick his clients.  In my mind, at least.

    Update:  I freakin’ spoke too soon.  Ten minutes after I posted this, my vision got all blurry and I started to see my migraine aura.  Damn!  I knew it was too good to be true. 

    I have to go throw up now.