Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Couple of Snorkeling Geeks

I haven't been writing much lately; not every day, not every other day, or hardly every week for that matter either.  I'm normally a bit sarcastic, a wee bit on the negative side; however, my life - as of late - has been a bit of a bummer.  In my opinion, there's no sense in bringin' you, my dear friends and blog readers, down into an ugly chasm with me.  I haven't been in a "deep dark" my term for the gloomy side of my bi-polar moods.  No, on the contrary.  I've been ok; taking my medications - staying consistent and on track with my emotions (thank God for this).  My family life has been Topsy Turvy; out of control so to speak so there it is - the truth of the matter.  I'm falling out of an airplane, pee'ng on myself, and have no parachute to speak of.  If you're a consistent reader of my posts, then you're fully aware of how I'm feeling right now.

I don't feel like going into explicit detail as to what's happening in my life.  Needless to say, if you know my family, than you know the details.  If you don't, please focus some positive Karma my way.  Thanks.  This Colorado Potts' Family can use all the support we can get.

In lieu of this, I will shift the negative forces of my life and write something funny for a change.  I need a good giggle.  I certainly have plenty of memories to draw upon...


A Couple of Snorkeling Geeks

I've mentioned before that during my teenage years, my family spent several summers in a condominium timeshare in Maui, Hawaii.  The Condo was located directly on the beach just north of Lahaina.  We considered these our "endless summers".  My mother, older brother, sisters, and I would fly out and stay there until my dad's two weeks vacation was available and then he would come out and join us. 

Our days would start with breakfast on the veranda.  Later, we'd play cards by the pool, take naps in the afternoon, snorkel in the reef, swim again at the pool, and fall asleep listening to the waves just outside our bedroom windows.  Our skin and hair were golden, we smelled like the island flowers we were surrounded by, and walked through the back roads barefoot.

There's a funny part to this story, there always is.  My older sister, Kathleen, and I, weren't the most proficient snorkelers when we first arrived.  No one taught us how to wear the masks or how to walk into the water with the fins and gear.  In fact, the secret is, you don't - you don't wear fins into the water.  No one told us this the first time around.  How would we know this? 

My mother, Maryellen, has always been a video camera aficionado.  8mm film was the big deal back then.  Mom took video of EVERYTHING!  So, here was my mother, on the bluff video taping Kathleen and I during our first snorkeling experience.  Seriously?  Was it necessary to capture our humiliation?  Of course it was!  Kathy and I assumed that we needed to wear our fins prior to walking into to water.  Wrong.  With masks, snorkels, and fins - looking as idiotic as possible - every time a wave hit, we were taken down and rolled several feet along the shoreline coughing and sputtering until we managed to get up and attempt the process again.  Did we consider taking off our fins and putting them on in the water?  No.  We simply repeated the same process over and over again until our bathing suits started rolling off our asses and we nearly drowned.  My oldest sister, Ellenmary, later applied lovely cartoon music to the video adding to our embarrassment.

Strangely enough, that video has been lost.  Hmmm...wonder what happened to it?


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sisters! Awful, evil, nasty, funny, wonderful women.

The way we choose to lose weight is a very personal thing; however, it's interesting what similar stories many of us "fluffies" - my term of endearment for we non-Twiggy types - share.  One of my favorites is the, I'm-gonna'-trick-myself-into-believing-the-bullshit-magazine-advertisement ploy.  This is the hideous brain fart moment when I stop mid-bite on my king sized Snickers Bar and stare at the full page testimonials of the newest wonder weight loss miracle drug (FDA approval pending).  Somehow I convince my mind that the bad photo shop paste jobs are authentic.  My thoughts start with the following:

"How amazingly happy that skinny lady looks.  Isn't it ironic that she's wearing the same barrett in both pictures?  She must really like that barrett.  I wonder how much this incredible drug costs?  I want to be happy like this skinny lady too.  Hmmm, if I order now I get a free set of knives to cut vegetables with.  I hate vegetables.  I don't care.  I want the knives anyway. They can help me when I'm baking my holiday cakes and pies."

Then there's the special diet plans.  The ones where I pay over a $100 or more a week to have the company ship me their food and I miraculously shed the weight until I attend my first neighborhood party or go out to dinner.  Once this happens, my fluffy ass can kiss the diet salad dressing packets goodbye.  No wonder Eric and I are always broke.

There is a story behind this story, believe it or not, and I'm getting to it.  The very topic of diets starts me ramblin'.  After all, I am the queen bee of all weight loss strategies.  I've experienced just about every one of them.  Fortunately for me, I've learned to say, "I'm Bri and I'm beautiful", regardless of my fluffy butt and fold of fat left over from my gastric bypass surgery seven years ago. We are who we're meant to be.  Yes, I've gone skinny dipping with my husband and with a group of strangers.  Ah well, life moves on.  "I yam what I yam".



When I was in my early twenties, I was fortunate to live right behind - or "next door" - to my oldest sister, Ellenmary.  We both lived on an ancient rental property in Long Beach, California, with our former husbands.  My sister and her ex-husband rented the front house and my ex-husband, Jeff, and I rented half the duplex behind them.  The other half was rented by a dear friend of Jeff's whom eventually I came to love like a brother.  We couldn't have asked for a nicer situation.

Ellen and I were Monday dieters.  I'm certain I don't need to explain this to you, my dear friends and blog readers, but for clarification purposes I will.  Every weekend, we found ourselves gorging on horrible fatty foods and on Sunday evenings we'd make a pact.  My sister and I would promise to meet at some ungodly hour on Monday morning and begin our dieting retinue of "power walking" to the beach and start some new fad diet that day.  This is how it would begin:

5:00am Monday:  Bright eyed, ready and excited; my sister and I would get together on her front porch, dutifully stretch our calf muscles, and start power walking down the quaint streets of our lovely beach city.

5:15am Tuesday:  I'd sit on Ellen's front porch, struggling to tie my shoes in the pre-dawn light, and Ellen would walk out the front door looking a little worse for wear.  We would fore go the stretching,  stop at a coffee shop in Naples (a walkway of eclectic shopping and houses down Ocean Blvd.) for a cinnamon bun, and take a much needed rest before heading back home.

5:20am Wednesday:  I'd wait for Ellen for approximately 10 minutes praying she overslept. Inevitably she would.  I'd go back into my duplex for a doughnut and some coffee.

Two weeks and one pants size larger, I considered my plight:

I can't depend on anyone helping me to lose weight but myself.  Ellen is busy.  I saw an advertisement for a "Richard Simmons' Sweatin' to the Oldies", video on TV.  I can do this!  I can dance in the morning before I shower for work.

Video in.  Richard Simmons sure had energy in his little blue dolphin shorts but if those other big ladies behind him could dance, so could I!  I began the routine.  The old duplex shook.  It sounded literally like the Disney Cartoon, Fantasia, in particular the part when the elephants were on parade.  Thank goodness both Jeff and our neighbor, Dave were sound sleepers.  I would be mortified if they saw me trying to dance.  I was huffing and puffing.  I was awful! 

I heard laughing and it was not coming from my video.  Richard usually cries with empathy for his ladies.  This was hysterical cackling; the kind of laughter that could and would wake entire neighborhoods.  It sounded strangely familiar too.  Jeez, it was loud...who, what, where?

My sister...ELLENMARY!  Apparently with the light behind me, I was casting an enormously larger than life shadow across my drapes.  My fluffy size 24 body lunging across my duplex appeared more like a monster amazon struggling to accomplish the silliest of dance moves which wasn't - in all actuality - far from the truth.  Dammit it all!  Did she have to laugh that loud?  I slammed open my door and there she was, practically rolling on the grass between our houses.  WELL!  I didn't see sweat dripping down her face!  At least I was trying to do something about my fluffy rolls!  Dammit!

Sisters!  Awful, evil, nasty, funny, wonderful women. 


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"I yam what I yam"...an oddball!

I was asked recently to share my toe nail story.  What toe nail story?  You see, my dear friends and blog readers, as perverted as this may sound, I have far too many of these disgusting and silly stories  in my memory bank to draw upon.  Next to flatulence, this is my second favorite gross out topic.  I had to literally ask my friend to remind me which one he wanted me to write about.  Ohhh, thaaaat one.  Ok then, request accepted.

Now before I begin, I will preface that this isn't what prompted my divorce from my ex-husband, Jeff.  No, not at all.  This particular incident occurred before our nuptials.  He was fully aware of my strange sense of humor before we exchanged vows.  In fact, most of my boyfriends have always seemed drawn to my oddball personality for one reason or another.  "I yam what I yam", to quote Popeye the Sailor Man; however, never open a can of spinach anywhere near me or I'll run screaming into the night.

I used to tease Jeff incessantly about his "petrified" toenails; or in other words, his "toe claws" which he never seemed to trim.  Every night, as a gesture of affection (which for me was an excruciating instant of torture), my dear one would slide his big toe up the soft sole of my foot.  This moment of endearment would drive me to distraction and at times, depending on how sharp his nail happened to be, would send me flying out of bed.  No matter how many times I implored that he refrain from doing this, he inevitably would forget and once again the claw would find its prey and send me shooting skywards.

Finally, I had had enough.  There needed to be a serious teaching moment; a claw for a claw - so to speak.  One night, as Jeff settled himself comfortably under the comforter and with the stealth of a Ninja, I gave him the same gesture of affection which he'd been showing me for months.  The shriek which rattled his side of the bed was outstanding.  The light was roughly turned on.  Jeff sat up, reached for his glasses, and then glared at me with his beautiful, steely blue eyes.   Then, he immediately burst into uproarious laughter.  There, in the light - in all its horrifying glory - was my big toe, trimmed to a point and filed into a talon for added sharpness. From that night forward, there were no more claws of affection sliding up the soft sole of my foot.  Lesson learned.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Nothing is stopping me but do I know my Act of Contrition?

Fear is an awful thing isn't it?  I've written about this before but it's been on my mind lately so what the Hell, I'll do a little rambling this morning and make myself feel better.  I apologize if this topic seems redundant.
I hate flying in airplanes; the idea of being out of control and plummeting to the earth doesn't sound appealing to me whatsoever.  The notion that I'd have time to consider what's happening during that fateful plunge, holy crap!  Just thinking about it makes me want to pee my pants.  I suppose I'd have a few seconds to make a good Act of Contrition which is what we Catholics consider a formal apology to God.  With my luck, I'd forget the prayer, cuss like a sailor going down, and have that many more sins on my soul to do Penance in Purgatory (which is sort of like a "clearing house" between Heaven and Hell to wipe out our sins before we're allowed to go through the pearly gates).

I despise going to formal parties especially when I don't know anyone.  I'm expected to be on my best behavior and this always backfires dreadfully.  My nerves get the best of me and I become a naughty monster.  I start talking out of control, if there are straws - inevitably spit wads start flying, and socially acceptable conversations?  Faaaahhhget about it!  I tend to go home dreadfully ashamed of myself.  Eric, my husband, seems proud and loving of my behavior; however, I'm mortified beyond belief.  I relive every conversation and silly lampshade dance move and cringe with horror.  Did I really do that?  Oh my God!  Just shoot me!  I'm such an asshole!!  Amazingly, I survive to laugh and write about it another day.

Trying new things is terrifying; putting myself out there, setting myself up for possible ridicule or failure.  I've attempted new projects this past year and by this I mean big-life-changing-placing-myself-in-front-of-audience ideas.  This is huge for me.  I'm a gal who once shook so terribly in front of her high school drama teacher, I couldn't sing two lines of a song.  Today, years later, I've stood in front of strangers with comedy routines and now I'm ready to approach local venues for one-woman open panel adult humor shows.  I have to do this, because if I don't - I'll always wonder, what if?

So, here I go.  Nothing is stopping me except for the fear of failure.  What if I do fail?  At least I will have tried.  I didn't stay at home and come up with lots of ideas and dreams which I never had the nerve to attempt.  At least I'll say, Did I really do that?  Oh my God!  Just shoot me!  I'm such an asshole!!

Hopefully, I'll survive to laugh and write about it another day. 


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I love you to death.

I have discovered the secret to a strong, healthy marriage; love your spouse to the point of cruelty.  Yes, that's right my dear friends and blog readers, beat your loved one to death.

This revelation occurred to me just a few moments ago while reading the morning news on the Internet - very comfortably might I add - and my husband, Eric, lying beside me felt I needed to be more comfortable.  He believed my neck wasn't resting against the head board correctly and wanted to reposition me with additional pillows.  Despite my repeated protests to the contrary, he was prepared to move me anyway to a very uncomfortable position.

I'm smiling as I type this because my husband is merely trying to please me.  How can I not love him for this?  So, if my neck breaks because of his overly attentive affection, how can I not find it in my heart to forgive him?

There have been many nights, more so than I care to admit, that I have woken up with fat lips or black eyes.  Eric isn't a wife beater.  No.  He's a restless sleeper in a queen sized bed with two small dogs wrapped between his legs.  He doesn't simply roll over, he throws his entire body around which includes his knobby elbows.  My face, unfortunately, has been the recipient of the ends of these body parts.  How can I hold my bruises against him when he brings ice water up to me every night or sweetly swats at invisible spiders during my night terrors?

When I see an offending nose hair while waiting at a traffic light - you know what I'm writing about my friends - A hair that when you look at your loved one's profile you think, "How in God's name did he/she miss that horrifying thing when looking in the mirror today?"  Inevitably, I can't resist the urge, reach over, and rip it out quickly before the light turns green.

"BITCH!  You're killing me!" 

"You know you love me.  Besides, you look presentable now.  You should be thanking me instead of yelling at me for Pete's sake.  I'm hurt.  Apologize, please."


"Well then, I don't forgive you."

"What?!  Ok, I suppose love you."

"That's better.  Maybe I'll talk to you later if you're nicer to me but if I see another one, I can't make any promises..."

Playing, whacking, and yelling bizarre names at one another is all part of what keeps the insanity of our marriage sane.  A few minutes ago, when Eric called me a "Slut Muffin" and pinched me rather unceremoniously, I laughed out loud.  My boys are at school.  When I'm finished writing this blog, I'll wait until he's on a business call and pinch him back.  Naughty?  You betcha.  Do we have a loving, strong, and healthy marriage?  Absolutely.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Potts' Family: We need a religious intervention.

It's been a while since I've felt truly silly.  Silly postings used to drip off my fingertips like honey from a hive.  I have to admit, this does make me a little sad.  I miss laughing out loud while I'm henpecking away at my son's borrowed laptop (Yes, mine is still suffering from a burdensome virus which I can't afford to repair.  I suspect it came from the last boobie page I visited and was too ashamed to admit to my husband.  Oops, I guess it's out of the closet now.  Sorry, Eric.  I was chatting with my cabana boys again, Luis and Carlos.  They just can't get enough of me and let's face it - why would they want to?)

When I have to borrow something from my sixteen year old teenager, this reaaaallly annoys me.  For instance, I have to slink and slither about the house and wait for the scoundrel to leave for school before I can unplug his laptop and bring it into my bedroom.  Sure, I could just do it in front of him but would suffer the consequences of listening to the following:

"Oh, so you're the one using it..?  Please make sure you plug it in correctly when you're done." or "Mom, something is wrong with my computer, what did you do to it?"

OH PLEEEEASE, give me a break!

Here's a good one, my youngest kiddo, Austynn, becomes Satan himself when his autism and anger escalates.  The four-letter words he throws at me when he doesn't get his way are enough to consider calling the Vatican and requesting an Exorcism

Last week, he refused to get out of bed to get dressed to go to school.  Instead of calling the local police and having them sweet talk my 167 pound demon out from under his covers, I took a different route - I treated him like the the toddler he was being.  I used my brute strength, pulled him out by his feet (which didn't land him comfortably on his head - might I add), and undressed him while doing my best to dodge his kicks, bites, and scratches.  I couldn't dodge them all.  I'll admit, he hurt me and while doing so used words I've only heard in the best Halloween horror movies.  While this was going on I explained to him that when and if I did call the police, they would see my battle scars and sweet-talking would not be their next tactic.  His excuse was that he learned all his finest curse words from dad and I. 

Now, I'm sorry - but when was the last time I've used the words, "fucking, fat whore" to describe someone?  This was a bit of a stretch - even for me and I must admit, for the girlfriend of a former marine, my cursing vernacular is pretty darn good.  Nope.  Austy's verbal diarrhea skills are all his own.  The Holy Water will be brought out as soon as possible and the Evil One must be defeated.

I've just re-read my blog and it appears to me that my household is EVIL incarnate.  I visit boobie pages and infect my laptop with hearty viruses.  My children say mean things to me which place me in terrible snits.  I haven't mentioned this yet, but my dogs are very ill-behaved and will bite bare toes and tug on shoelaces of anyone who dares walk through my front door.  And my husband, Eric - he's the worst.  He appears to be a sweet, quiet, mild-mannered, polite, Clark Kent type of guy but these are precisely the ones you have to watch out for.  They're the scariest of all characters.

Any comment made - no matter how innocent - becomes instant fodder for sexual innuendo.  Why is this?  He blames it on his upbringing!  No one is safe and no topic is off limit.  It will go on as the night progresses regardless of how often eyeballs roll or how loud or painful the groans become.  Trust me, my dear friends and blog readers, I have lived with this man for eighteen years; I know how it begins and unfortunately, after four or five beers, how it progresses.  If, by the end of a party, one has not seen the bare, white, hairless skin of my husband's ass, one may consider themselves truly blessed. 

Dear God in Heaven - the entire Colorado Potts' home needs a religious intervention. 


Sunday, October 7, 2012

If Heaven has a kitchen...

It's that wonderful time of the year again when the icy chill in the air inspires me to wake up early and make magic in the kitchen.  The smells of cinnamon, apples, pumpkin, and nutmeg are continually wafting about on early Sunday mornings.  Homemade breads, cookies, and cakes are perpetually being prepared.  In the evenings, while the sounds of football whistles are blowing in the background, pork roasts are stewing in cider on the stove top.  Everything is quiet.  Everything is surreal and lovely.

Food is the essence of comfort in my life.  It always has been.  This morning, in the quiet, silence of the dawn, I woke up early and made apple muffins from scratch.  The fire was going, the dogs were nestled in front of it, and I was alone with my thoughts.  I was focused on one project; making what I call, "magic". 

It's not too often that I can concentrate on something simple.  Usually I have a hundred thoughts running through my mind.  "I have to find Austynn's immunization records for school tomorrow.  Can I take him even though he's started a cold?  I want to put up Halloween decorations before Halloween this year.  I miss Brenda.  I wish I had some money.  Dammit, I forgot to schedule that friggin' appointment again..."  And so on and so forth.  For one short hour this morning, my mind was focused: "three apples, peel, cut, dice.  Now I need the flour, sugar and walnuts."  I was in my own private, silent Heaven.

Everyone has their favorite time of the year.  I've just described why Autumn is mine.  If Heaven has a kitchen filled with apples and cinnamon then I must visit it every year from September through December.      

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Divorce Court. You get the kids, buddy!

During the past month, my oldest son, William has asked several times if my husband and I are going to break up.  The first time he asked I thought he was joking; however, the comments became increasingly more regular.  My sixteen year old believed - and still does to a certain extent - that his dad and I are headed for divorce court.  This is a heart wrenching revelation.

I won't deny that Eric, my husband of 18 years, and I have been going through some difficult times lately.  We're not laughing as much as we used to.  When we're together, we don't reach out and playfully tag or slap one another.  The teasing gestures and words seem to have gone on hiatus.  We're tense, short-tempered, and tend to gravitate towards private rooms when we have the opportunity.  Of course our son would assume the worst.  Why wouldn't he?

At 6 years old, William became our foster son.  He entered a home filled with non-stop giggling and laughter.  Eric and I were solely responsible for teaching our kiddo how to play.  At the time, he was conditioned to be the parent and guardian of his younger siblings or he would suffer severe consequences.  He didn't know how to relax or laugh.  When he became our "forever son", we took the time to teach him how to be a child.  He's never, ever seen Eric and I exchange unkind words or yell at one other.  William has only been exposed to a loving, committed relationship.  Now, something is wrong; mom and dad aren't laughing anymore.

How do I explain that it's the stress of raising two emotionally draining and abusive children that's affecting the marriage?  If Eric and I hadn't been so committed to one another, the union would have been over years ago.  Yes, we receive support but to what end does it serve?  Did it help me this morning when I pulled my 167 pound 14 year old out of bed, physically undressed him, dodged his kicks, and put up with his bites and scratches all the while listening to him screaming at me that I was a "fucking monster"?  This behavior was because he didn't want to go to class today.  Sure, I could have called the police for the 3rd time in two weeks but why?  So he could ride to school in their squad car again?  He loved that.  Hospitalize him?  There aren't any adolescent psychiatric beds available in all of Colorado.

Do I explain to William that his dad and I are miserable because we can't go out to dinner by ourselves without having someone "babysit" our kids?  Or, do I tell him if we take them with us, we have to plan on eating as early as possible so that their behavior doesn't disrupt other diners?  He's a smart kid.  He'll probably understand.  Eric and I can't have a conversation between us without being interrupted, insulted, or corrected by our Aspergian teenagers.  We haven't gone to church for months because instead of praying, I'm plotting revenge on the kiddo hanging off my shoulder and telling his father to "shut-up" while giving the little girl behind him the middle finger.

There's not a lot of sunshine and laughter bouncing off of Eric and myself these days.  Honestly, we're exhausted.  Is the laughter dead?  No.  Our marriage is strong as steel.  In fact, it's stronger than it's ever been.  Not too many relationships could withstand what we've been through together.  What William doesn't realize is that at the end of the day - no matter how awful it's been - his parents' eyes still meet and often times - though my son doesn't hear it because he's asleep - Eric and I are in our bedroom giggling over something absolutely ridiculous.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ouch, my boob hurts!

I find myself talking and answering myself all the time any more.  It's not because I'm lonely, no - not at all.  It's because I make myself laugh.  It seems that too many people are so busy and serious these days.  My dear friends and blog readers, have you noticed this?  I certainly hope that you're not one of these petrified pieces of wood sitting across from me in traffic.  If so, something needs to be done to jump start your heart, get your blood pumping, tickle your funny bone.  Let's get giggling, shall we?

I'm the first to admit there are many days when all I want to do is shut my door from my screaming, cursing, autistic, teenage, mutant, unshaven beasts; however, when I do I have three options: I can either sleep, cry, or laugh.  I love to sleep but often cheat and use aides so when I eventually wake up, I'm a groggy monster and no one appreciates me for days.  When I cry, I hyperventilate and vomit so I seriously dread that choice.  My final option is to make the best of things, find something absolutely ridiculous about the situation, and laugh my ass off.

Before Austynn came to live with my husband and I, while William was still our foster son, we were mandated by the court to have family visits between the birth siblings. There are quite a few biological children within Austynn and William's family and we were always having them meet for birthdays and such when we lived in California. 

Austynn was living within a group home, there was a third brother adopted with a large family, and a baby sister adopted by a young couple.  Everyone was over at our townhouse for a pool party.  Austy, at the time, was five years old and physically combative.  He was in the pool, his supervisor was unfamiliar with his anger management issues, and he refused to get out of the water.  It took two bites (one on Eric's arm, one on his brother's dad's arm) and one extremely hard nipple tug (uh hmm, yours truly) to manage to get him out of the pool.  All we could do was laugh.  One year later, Eric and I signed his adoption paperwork.

Life.  It's all we can do.  Laugh or cry.  We take it on.  God gives us what he thinks we can manage.  Eric and I knew what we were in for.  Sometimes, on those really tough days with Austynn, I swear I think my boob is being tugged on and I find myself laughing.  Motherhood, right?