Saturday, July 31, 2010

Welcome to the Carnival!

Welcome to the Carnival de Vertigo. Please, step. . okay . . stumble on in.
You get a ticket even if you didn't want one. No, you get to come in even if it is the last place on earth you want to go. Fact is, you don't get a choice here. You're coming in here and you can't leave until the great Karma King says you can go back home. Had other plans? Ha. Doesn't matter. Deadlines? Family events? Places to go, people to see? Doesn't matter. Your plans have been pre-empted.
Settle back and enjoy the ride. The first one is the rollercoaster. Not only does it go up and down at this Carnival, but also left and right, forwards and backwards and upside down. All without warning. What you think is solid ground, isn't. Hang onto the walls and railings, folks, or you may just forget which way is up. Don't look up or down. Don't turn your head. In fact, don't tip it. If you do, you trigger a sudden dip, turn or plunge.
The next ride . . . well, it's a quick trip to the nearest bathroom. Yea, the rollercoaster has that affect on people. You may not be sure whether to sit down or bend over so experts advise you sit down and grab a bucket. That way you're covered either way.
You might as well strip too. Yea, this is a nudist Carnival. It's not for fun but because you are sweating like you're in a sauna and you can't get cool, no matter what you do.
Tired? Well, don't close your eyes for goodness' sake. Everything you're feeling just gets worse. Now you don't have a focal point to stare at and use for stabilizing. Keep those eyes open. Don't blink if possible.
You're shaking? Don't worry about it. Comes free with admittance. Your hands shake. If you get the bonus ticket, your eyes will also dart uncontrollably left to right in ways that remind you of the worst drinking night of your life or the drugs you never took but might have wondered about.
Yes, Carnival de Vertigo is an exciting place. You go there without warning. You go to bed at night, fall asleep and then, when you roll over in bed during the night or first thing in the morning, you're THERE. Welcome, come right in. What? You don't want to? I must not have explained this one right. It's not an invitation. It's mandatory attendance.
If your ride is an exceptionally bad one, however, don't despair. There's a bonus round at the end. When you think you can't take another moment, your brain reboots. This means you fall asleep. . . no, you pass out mid-sentence, unable to maintain consciousness another moment. You sleep like you've run a marathon (and let's admit it, folks, it feels like you did!) and when you wake, you're back home. The rides are over and your trip to the Carnival is done. For now. You might return later today. Tomorrow. Next week. In six months. Who knows? Never being able to predict you're going is part of its charm.
Thanks for taking the journey with me. I'm going to go and revisit the bathroom part of the trip now. Who ever said I liked Carnivals anyway?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Who's With Me!?!?!?!

I have made a decision that I think could change American culture as we all know it. I think we should enforce an afternoon siesta period. I think it should be federally mandated that from 1 to 3 p.m., every weekday afternoon, all work should shut down so we can all take naps.

If you're under 18 and a nap sounds more like punishment, you could spend the time reading, listening to your mp3 player or something else restful.

If you have a small child in the house, you can coordinate your naps with his/hers.

If you're over 30 or so, and have matured enough to realize that naps belong under the heading of "Precious Life Gifts We Rarely Appreciate Enough at the Time", you can use this time to SLEEP. (Or, if you're really lucky, have a sexual encounter with someone you love and THEN nap.)

Just think what better moods we would all be in? Our efficiency would go up, our impatience would go down. Our efforts would be dedicated to doing our jobs well instead of trying to keep our eyes open. We would be more tolerant and less grumpy. We would smile more and complain less. Sure, we might have to work a little later in the evenings to make up for it, but it would be worth it. And, since we were more rested, we wouldn't mind nearly as much.

The only people I see suffering from this new rule is coffee companies. They thrive on the fact that none of us get enough sleep anymore so we turn to caffeine in utter desperation (it isn't just me, right?). However, they could branch out a little. Offer more cookies and less espresso. More juices and less shots.

So, who's with me? Ready to start campaigning to get this on the next ballot? I would lead you into battle, but frankly . . . I can't keep my eyes open long enough.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


I'd love to report that many exciting things have been happening, but it's not true. Life has been happening, which means a blend of good, bad and routine. So, for those of you who stop by to see what's new in Tami's life, here is a quick overview:

*We took Caspian to the year end Habitat for Humanity volunteer picnic where he had a great time and earned a free t-shirt for his hours of volunteering. This past week, he had a friend of the female persuasion over for a couple of days and although they are just friends, it made me keenly aware that this boy of mine is a young MAN.
*Nicole's play has opened and is doing well. The crowds are small because it is a summer play mostly starring teens, but she is doing well in the lead role. It has been a really good experience for her. She also took a three day firefighting camp and LOVED it. While part of me is happy for her, the other part is gasping in horror at the thought of blending one of my children and fires. Not a happy match. (HA. Pun not intended but appreciated.) This week Jon is in California taking another martial arts training course. We took him to the airport and will pick him up when he returns. It seems strange not to have him around but it is nice to be able to wear what I want or wander down the hall in bra and panties or hang out one on one with Nicole without worrying about it.
*Coryn, after months of being in limbo, found out yesterday that he DID get into Not Back to School Camp. He is 80 percent thrilled and 20 percent angsting, although those percentages are apt to change depending on the time of day. He is the fourth of my children to go to this camp. It has been an ENTIRELY different experience for each one of them and I am eager/apprehensive/excited to see how it affects him. He leaves in one month and I promise I won't let him see me cry when we drop him off and I begin one of those, "But he is the BABY" mother moments.
*Joseph's internship at the local VW repair shop is going well. He is really enjoying it and I think he is learning a great deal. I miss him (a lot) every morning and it has altered our lives in some ways, but I am happy for him.
*As for me . . I'm pretty good. I did two school presentations this week about being an author. I enjoy talking to the kids but it was a somewhat frustrating experience for a variety of other reasons. Coryn went with me on the first trip and Nicole on the second. Both of them spent at least half an hour thanking me for never sending them to school. :) Work is keeping me hopping and I am constantly wishing for more time, but it also beats being broke, right?

So that's what's new on the Orr Front. If you stop by, say hi. Love knowing you were here.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Menopause, Where Fore Art Thou, Menopause?

I had high hopes, I really did.
8 weeks.
No period.
Could it be? Had I finally reached that magic age?
9 weeks.
Maybe, just maybe.
Guess what?
Naturally, it was waiting for the perfect time . . . . the night I put on our new $300 (got for $50) mattress topper. Karma loves me.
Now I suspect I may bleed to death so I wanted to stop by and say goodbye to all of you before I go. I appreciate those of you have stopped by, read entries and even left comments. It has been fun.
I have lost so much that the world is gray every time I get up or down and I am running out of black clothing, not to mention underwear. I am starting to look at Depends with an entirely different attitude. I wish I could convince one of the local vets to make me a project on spay/neuter day. $25,000 for a hysterectomy just ain't in the cards. I am sure menopause has to be happen soon, RIGHT? Right, please, right?
Oh well. It's not like I have a dozen deadlines on my plate right now. (Yea, I do.)
It's not like I have a daughter whose opening night for her play is tomorrow night. (Yea, I do.)
It's not like I had two birthdays to prepare for this week. (Yea, I did.)
I can just sit around, gush and nap.
Yea, right.
I ran an errand today and by the time I had been on my feet for 30 minutes, I was ready to go in a corner and pass out for a couple of hours. My wonderful husband forced me to come home and get on the couch for a bit. Now, I'm back at it.
So, wish me luck or send a huge cork. One of the two?

(And thanks for the reminder to count my blessings, Ami.)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Vice President Schmice President

It has been a long couple of weeks in my life. I have had computer glitches. I have had extremely challenging writing projects. I have had limited sleep. I have had health issues. And now it's hot. No, not hot. H O T. As in triple digits.

So, today was to be a treat. A moment I had been looking forward since mid-February. I was going to get to see "The Lion King" on stage. I was beyond excited. I had heard about how amazing it was. Nicole and Coryn were just as excited as I was. We left in plenty of time and headed for I-84 West. We were on the on ramp. We came to a halt. Why? Was there an accident up ahead? No. Was there heavy traffic? No. Cars came to a total stop. People were getting out. They were sitting on the side in the grass. No one knew what was going on. The guy next to us in the spiffy convertible (the extremely tan, shirtless, muscled guy that I took absolutely no notice of at all) went up and asked. We waited. Time passed. The time for the play got closer and closer. I was up from worried to frantic. Next would be depression and tears.

The hot-guy-I-didn't-see-at-all told us why we were at a halt. "Look at the highway," he said. "It's empty." He was right. I-84, the busiest highway in our state, was EMPTY. (I could hear the theme music from some disaster movie starting to play and I figured doom was imminent. How sad that I was more upset about missing the play than the utter end of human life on the planet.) We were halted because Joe Biden, the VP, was in town, taking the highway and there is some security rule in place that states the highway has to be cleared 15 minutes and 15 minutes behind his entourage.

How long did we sit there? 40 minutes.
What was the temperature? 100 degrees.
How upset was I? Priceless.

Did we make it? We actually did. We missed 10 minutes in the beginning but there were about 60 people late, so they had delayed it a few.

Was it wonderful? Beyond wonderful. Most amazing play of my entire life. Cried all the way through it because that is what I do when I am emotional. Sad? Cry. Happy? Cry. Amazed and thrilled? Cry. My friend Susan says it is endearing. I find it exasperating. And wet.

So VP Joe Biden, I am not a happy American. I think shutting down an entire highway on a triple digit day without any warning stinks. I think you owe us all an apology. My kids were sweltering in the back and it was miserable out there. There was just no regard for where people were going--I kept wondering if there was some poor baby in a back seat of one of the non-air-conditioned cars or an elderly person. And they would die because Biden needed a secure highway. May I suggest that next time he pick a different time or take one of the many helicoptors that were circling the skies the entire time. You're not getting my vote if you run.

So there.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Passage of Time

In the last 24 hours, I have had the opportunity to be reminded three times of the passage of time. Although it is a fact of life, I don't have to like it, right?

The first one was lighting fireworks last night. Our typical tradition is to put chairs at the end of the driveway (we live in a very quiet neighborhood with little traffic by the house) and the kids do all kind of fireworks. For the past two years, Jon, Nicole's boyfriend, has been in charge of the pyrotechnics and does a wonderful job. Joseph holds onto the shivering dog (fireworks terrify her but she wants to be with us) and cuddles and reassures her and I sit in a chair ooohing, ahhhing and reminding my children to be careful. Last nite, the boys were as involved in lighting and shooting off fireworks as I would let them and Jon would show them and I marveled at the growth and size of these young men. Nicole and Coryn snapped pictures and took videos and then we came in and watched all of them on the tv, thanks to the marvelous electronics that still amaze me but the kids take for total granted. The skies were filled with lights and pops, bangs, whistles and booms and although I know, on the logical side, that it was adding to air pollution and making some people miserable, I selfishly grinned through all of it and soaked it up like a sponge. We all ate Oreos--a silly tradition that started more than 15 years ago when we lived in Indiana when we would go to the fireworks at the county fairgrounds and sit on the hood of the car or in chairs. It was a good family time.

My second reminder was the two naps I took this weekend--one yesterday and one today. Remember when you had to be forced to take a nap as a child? It was often what you needed but never what you wanted. I remember luring my chidlren to naps by nursing them, rocking them, playing the "lie still for 2 minutes and if you're still awake by the time I say 'done', you can get back up" game. As a teenager, the only time I took a nap was if I was sick or had pulled an allnighter the night before. I clearly remember seeing my mom and dad taking naps and swearing that, no matter what, I would NEVER get that old. Ha. Yes, I hear you laughing at me now parents.

As a mother, I loved napping with babies, but once I had more than one, I never could time their schedules so that I could do it. I do have precious memories of turning on "Scrooge McDuck" cartoons in the afternoon and lying down on the couch with sleeping Nicole, while Jasmine curled up in the crook of my knees. It was her hour of watching cartoons each afternoon and my chance to snooze.

Today, naps are GIFTS. I spend most days longing for one but not getting one. When I actually give into one and fall over on the couch, I am always astonished at great it feels. Today, my children all conspired to make sure I got a nap. One brought a blanket, another a pillow. One took my glasses and the other one sternly warned me that I was NOT to get up for at least an hour. Heck, they are all bigger than I am now, so I didn't fight it. And you know what? It was a GREAT nap. Woke up energized and at peace with the world. Maybe all the people at war need is just a few extra hours of sleep . . . . Ha.

So, the third reminder of time passing (you didn't think I would forget to add a third, did you?!) is that today is Jasmine's 26th birthday. How that is possible when I stopped at 39, I don't know. But I am wishing her a wonderful day full of her friends and unexpected delights and heartfelt hugs and forever memories. I hope that is what she was given this year and every year.

So, yes, time is passing too fast. Some days last forever and ever and ever but the weeks fly, the months soar and the years are a blur. When I look back, there are so many wonderful memories and I know that even though the kids are growing up, the memories will just keep being made and I will hang onto them as hard as I can. Happy 4th of July to all.