i’m a big kid now

21 Mar

Walking out the front door into full-on spring weather this morning, I just had a good feeling about the day… Like 35 might really be the year I have it all together, you know?

Then I arrived at the office, changed my shoes, and was quickly disabused of that notion:

do i at least get half credit for the same color *family*?

Good job dressing yourself this morning, Ang. You’ve obviously been using the Dressy Bessy doll, like we practiced — gold star!

Looks like someone will be ready for shoelaces and buttons before you know it… Four-year-olds and allegedly color-blind brothers everywhere are so very, very proud.

cinderelly, cinderelly

19 Mar

We were somewhere right around the Illinois/Wisconsin border when I turned 35 early this morning. A weird between-states limbo that somehow seemed rather perfect.

After a long week and a miserably migraine-riddled Friday, the clouds finally parted and I began to feel human again somewhere along the impromptu evening road trip…

Piling into the car with three of the best friends a girl ever had will do that for you.

As the iPod struck midnight on a night that included margaritas, monster jams, the “hullo, sis!” flash of Trucker Dan’s four-ways at 140 mph, and an unexpected birthday gift from the fine city of Milwaukee, the four of us rocked out to the only song I wanted to usher me into a new year:

born and raised near south detroit

Laugh if you like; I’m fully aware that this song is pure cheese. But it’s cheese in the best possible way — comfort food in the form of a power ballad. (Surely by now you must know that I appreciate comfort food.) And, more than that, it’s home. And it’s the Red Wings and nostalgia and the whirling blur of drunk karaoke and driving with the windows rolled down on a summer night, singing at the top of our lungs.

This song and these friends helped see me through some of the darkest days of my life over the past 12 months. And remembering all of that tonight… Honestly, it took everything I had not to play the damn thing twice.

So consider yourself on notice, 35: If you have any intentions of turning me into a pumpkin, I intend to fight back with air guitar and rock horns every step of the way.

Don’t stop believing, bitches.

Note: Cirque Management’s mother would tell you that, technically, the official birthday won’t happen until 12:16pm.  (This fact would likely be shared right after she told you how her daughter’s giant head caused 36 hours of labor. Oops. Sorry, Mom!)

If Cirque Management has anything to say about it, Journey will be playing an encore this afternoon… and possibly on a jukebox later this evening. You can’t blame a small-town girl for that, right?

of champions

15 Mar

Tonight I had a really nice conversation with both my parents. I shared some mature, insightful and self-aware thoughts and, in turn, they said lots of equally intriguing and meaningful things. I reflected on their words at length between bites of my long-overdue dinner after a late night at the office. For more than an hour, Mom, Dad & I discussed our jobs and politics and family and my mother’s recent foray into Facebook and — in what may be a phone-home first — no one even mentioned the weather. It was all so content-rich and grown-up, I almost had to pinch myself.

…Did I mention that dinner was 2 glasses of wine and a handful of Cadbury mini-eggs?

Shut the fuck up, I’m totally an adult.

welcome to facebook, mom! …now please read the fine print

15 Mar

Dear Mom,

How’s the weather there? It was nice & sunny here today. How’s Dad? And the cat? Good, good. Glad to hear it.

Down to business: I see you’ve taken the interwebs by the horns and rustled yourself up a shiny, new Facebook account. Congratulations! Although, you won’t mind my asking how that’s possible, since you’ve previously decried Facebook as the downfall of humanity no fewer than 7,213 times… will you?

No? Good. Didn’t think so.

Now that you’re here, your head is no doubt spinning from all the excitement. Bells, whistles, new toys… It’s like Vegas! On your laptop! And I’m honestly flattered that sending me a friend request (we kids call it “friending,” by the way) was among the very first things you did after establishing your account. It warmed my heart to see your name — of all people’s! — on my screen. Banishing your long-time Facebook fears and tracking down your daughter, all in one day?

They grow up so fast…

Before I can click “accept” on that request, though, there are a few ground rules we need to set. You understand, right? I just need to make sure we’re on the same page & you know what lies ahead. So just read & initial each of the following, and then sign on the dotted line. We’ll be swapping “OMG!”s in no time!

I, Ang’s Mom, do solemnly attest that by “friending” my daughter, I agree to abide by the following:

1. I will not comment on my daughter’s language. Let’s face it, Mom. Your daughter swears like a goddamn sailor and everyone knows it — including you. This is the point in life where you just need to accept that fact. No, it doesn’t make people think you’re a bad parent. And your daughter doesn’t particularly care what it makes other people think about her. The ones who matter simply know that two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and your daughter — well, she took the one with the most F-bombs.

2. I will not fret — online or off — about my daughter’s Facebook etiquette. Your daughter lives in the digital age. She knows all about the Big Bad Bogeyman of Big Brother watching her every online move. She knows that Facebook is a bottomless pit of data-mining and she’s made peace with it. So if she sometimes posts during work or uses a Diet Coke bong illustration as her profile pic, you just have to live and let live.

3. I understand that, upon learning I have a Facebook page, my daughter’s friends may randomly try to friend me. If they are successful, they may subsequently tag me in photos or posts or “poke” me.

3a. I promise not to call my daughter at work and ask her what it means every time one of the aforementioned things happens.

4. I will not yell at my daughter for photos of me she may have previously posted on Facebook. Even if they’re photos involving Guitar Hero. Strictly hypothetically, of course.

5. I will not post things on my daughter’s Facebook if they actually merit a phone or email discussion… Once I figure out how to post on walls, that is. There’s obviously a time and a place for different types of discussion. And if the question is “Have you had a chance to dump the bodies yet?” or “How’s that rash doing?” — let’s be honest, Facebook probably isn’t the right forum for such details. Besides, your daughter enjoys the unique tone & cadence of your emails, and she’d genuinely hate to stop receiving those.

6. I will not play FarmVille. I mean it, young lady. If one of your fellow teachers asks you to try FarmVille, you just politely say “No, thank you” and walk away. It doesn’t matter if all of your friends are doing it. If all of your Facebook friends told you to jump off a cliff, would you do it? (If so, we need to have a serious chat about the definition of “hypocrisy.”) If you’re worried that saying “no” will make your peers think you’re uncool, you can just blame it on me. I’ve got big shoulders.

And last, but — sweet Jesus! — not least:

7. I will remember not to take my daughter’s humor too seriously. The awesome part about Facebook is the ability to stay more up-to-date on the lives of your friends and non-ponytailed children. (Until he breaks down and joins the social network, Trucker Dan will have to remain an enigma.) The sometimes less awesome part about Facebook is… the ability to stay more up-to-date on the lives of your friends and non-ponytailed children. Facebook statuses — not unlike blog posts — offer snapshots of what’s on a person’s mind in a given moment. Sometimes those snapshots are happy and light and fluffy and hilarious. Other times they’re sad, or upsetting, or bizarre, or nonsensical, or confusing, or irresponsible, or idiotic (see: FarmVille). It stands to reason that any of those emotions could be driven by any of the people we know — including our families.

It also stands to reason that your “all the world’s a stage” daughter will amuse herself by finding words to ramble about all of it. You can hardly blame her for that, right? God knows you all give her enough fodder.

In summary: Increased communication = good. Personal boundaries = also good. Sense of humor = mandatory. If it helps, just think of this as conditioning for when the times comes to write the memoir… You know, the one in which you want your name changed…

…And there you have it. Bases? Covered. See how easy that was?

Welcome to the social network, Mom. I love you. I’m excited to watch you get your online legs under you. And I promise not to reveal the locations of any of your dead bodies… Just as long as you play by the rules.

Now put on a helmet and go challenge your son to a game of WordTwist, will you? He’s been killing me at that damn game for years.

the power of christ compells you

10 Mar

Welcome to the March 10 version of “sounds to lunch by,” featuring the dulcet tones of rigorous vomiting.

Yeah, you’re right. I didn’t give you much warning there, did I? My bad… But honestly? I didn’t get one either. All’s fair in love and blogs.

Unfortunately, just as most of us in Evanston Cube Farmville were unwrapping our sandwiches around noon today (hey, what do you know — I have peanut butter again today!) the girl who sits in the cube kitty-corner from mine began puking. Into her garbage can. For three solid minutes.

But, Ang! Three minutes? Really? Everyone knows that you’re given to exaggeration… That can’t possibly be true…

People, we’re talking Exorcist-level yarfing, six feet from my chair. Trust me when I say it was three minutes. It lasted long enough for damn near every coworker in our wing to finally meander over to check on her, or to bring her water, or to gawk awkwardly, or — my personal favorite — to comment that at least she had a “bag of vomit” to deal with instead of a messy workstation.

What the fucking fuck? Who says that? And hey — more soup, anyone?

Don’t get me wrong, I feel *terrible* for her. There is nothing more miserable in this world than throwing up. It’s absolutely unholy. And to have to do it in public, AT WORK… Yes, please, pile some public embarrassment onto my moment(s) of otherwise feeling like total crap!

Poor girl. I’m genuinely mortified on her behalf.

Of course, that didn’t stop the rest of us from quickly crossing ourselves, slathering on the hand sanitizer so frequently we acquired a collective contact high, meeting in the kitchen for shots of Airborne, and audibly muttering, “Sweet Jesus, thank you for not seating me near any social pukers.”

(Okay, that last one was just me.)

Excerpted IM exchange, two hours later:

Dude who sits next to Linda Blair: do you think we’d be hurling right now if we caught the bug?

Me: doubt it. dunno how long flu takes to incubate, but probs longer than 2 hrs.

DWSNTLB: uggggggh. i don’t want to be here now. i’m scared.

Me: i can’t get the sound out of my head.

DWSNTLB: right? it sounded like she was dying.

Me: i feel bad saying this, but… i know. it sounded like she was being turned inside out. or birthing an alien. one of those.

DWSNTLB: airborne?

Me: airborne.

I am working inside a Petri dish. Send hazmat suits. And priests. Priests wearing hazmat suits!

Note: Invoking Linda Blair & The Exorcist represents the most terrifying imagery Cirque Management can fathom, thanks to a babysitter-forced viewing around age 7. In fact, the film so thoroughly scarred Management that locating any link more visceral than IMDB was impossible, due to violent shaking. Now stop reading this post and go take your vitamins. With a priest.

living under june

9 Mar

I am. So done. With the. Clomp-clomp. Of the. Upstairs. Treadmill. Each god. Damn night. When it’s. Past ten. And I. Would like. To have. Some Peace.

It goes. On for. So blood. Dy long. That I. Think I. Might snap. And lose. My fuck. King mind…

And if. This comes. To Pass. Then I. Will have. No choice. But to. Storm up. This flight. Of stairs. And beat. The live. Ing snot. Out of. That girl. Using. An old. School thigh. Master.

She seems. So nice. Why can’t. She just. Do the. Normal. Upstairs. Neighbor. Thing and. Have cray. Zy Mon. Key sex. With strange. And cree. Py dudes?

My friends. If you. Love me. Please bring. Some cash. For bail. Because. There is. No way. That I. Will last. One hot. Buttered. Minute. Inside. A jail.

Thanks in. Advance.

seasonally affected

5 Mar

The flowers and I reject you, yet-another-Chicago-snowfall.

We choose to create a tropical, (mostly) alive, indoor oasis to offset your cold & slushy ass:

saturday afternoon view

Just stop soon, okay? My studio apartment is too small to install any palm trees. Kthx.