Mowing the lawn makes me think of my grandpa. He was the lawnmower man of Middletown, in other words he tinkered with lawnmowers. I remember countless mornings when I would wake up to the drone of a mower. To this day, there is no white noise quite as gratifying. He kept the lawn immaculate; we didn’t realize how much he did around the house until he was gone. I still think, occasionally, I can see him watching me mow the lawn out of the corner of my eye, though I hope not. That is not how I want him to spend his afterlife. But, I can’t help but think of how proud he would be of me for all the work I do around their old house, my mom’s house; he respected hard work.
Night before last, my son and I went to
visit my mom, play on my mom’s I-pad. He talked me into staying the night over at her house, which in only about twenty minutes from mine, but I agreed. The next day, yesterday, we went running around town, groceries and such, and I asked her to take me over to my house so I could let the dogs out. When we got to the house. I didn’t think anything of it. I let the dogs out, puttered around the house, and realized that the animals probably needed their food feeders filled. (try saying that three times fast, “food feeders filled”) I go down into the basement to find a swimming pool. I didn’t think it was a deep as it was, so, I like the genius that I am, wade in it. When I got to the middle of my laundry room the water was up over my ankles. I start freaking out, my mom’s upstairs with my son yelling, “What! What!” I’m just like come down here and effing look! I start grabbing things and sending them up the stairs. I’m pissed at this point because things are getting ruined. I have a chest freezer sitting in about eight inches of water.
I want it to be known that this was not my most shining moment. I know in retrospect, I didn’t handle things as well as I could have.
I rushing around trying to get things up out of the water. My son is insisting on being down there with me. Bless his heart, he was just worried about me. But I was worried, I didn’t want him in the nasty water. So, I’m screaming my head off at my son to get out of the gross water. My mom’s standing there the pillar of calmness. Which was really pissing me off because I wanted help. She went over to Lowes and bought a sump pump.
I’m down in the basement trying to rig this damn sump pump up the way the guy at the store told us to and the water keeps shooting me in the face. I’m beyond pissed at this point because I can’t figure out how to get this thing together. (insert explicitives here) Every time I turn it on it shoots me up in the face and there my son is the thick off things. Now that I think of it, you know calmly, I would have done the same thing at his age, and did. When I was about 6-7 years old my mom’s apartment complex decided to clean the carpets in the apartment. I couldn’t stand not being in the middle of it all. I had one of those pop up tents on my bed and I crawled up in there while the cleaners shuffled the bed and it’s contents around the room to clean it, ultimately I fell asleep in the tent.
At any rate, my mom had bought a sump pump that you stick in a hole. My guess is when she went to the store to get a pump she requested a sump pump and the guy that sold it to her thought she was sticking it in a hole. In reality all we wanted to do was get the water out of my basement. So after a while, after I was frustrated to the point of crying i sat down with the instruction manual and figured out it was the wrong product, so I called Lowes explain exactly what I needed and the guy on the other end, Jeremy, explains that i needed a utility pump (I accidently typed utility pimp, give me a break my fingers are tired form cleaning up the basement). We go back and get the new pump and it takes me five minutes to hook it up and four hours to pump the water out. My mom had taken my son to her house while I waited for the pump to finish, cleaned up the rest of the basement, and polished off a bottle of Sutter Home Moscato, because damn it I deserved it.
I had pulled all the plugs to the appliances in the basement because you know….I didn’t want to get accidently electrocuted. My chest freezer unthawed, but it wasn’t a tragedy, I lost a ton of squash that may or may not have EVER gotten eaten and a chicken that was dated 2012. It probably needed done anyway.
I creeped on the production of “The Old Man and the Gun” every day they filmed downtown. It really is exciting to watch them film a movie. You don’t realize how much goes into a movie until you see them filming it.
We figure it might be five minutes in the whole movie but took three days to shoot.
Now here where it gets funny, I wasn’t the only one. I met more of my neighbors in the three days that I was downtown that I have in the ten years I’ve lived here. For example: day one I met a girl named Taylor and all of sudden we were like BFFs. Not really, but by the time that they were done filming, we were calling to one another, “See ya tomorrow!” And we did, when we met back up we compared the pictures that we both had taken.
Day two: I met back up with Taylor, I also met Lisa and learned about the drug epidemic in the city and cystic fibrosis. On a side note: Lisa didn’t do the drugs, her crazy neighbors did. I also met Miss Denise on day two, she lives in the artist lofts downtown. Which I think is the coolest thing ever and when they have their art show next week, I’m going to try to buy on e of her paintings. Miss Denise rolls around town on her scooter and is so full of life. #livegoals. Oh and on day two I got this picture of Casey Affleck and myself:
Apparently I also made the newspaper:
Day three: I talked to one of the extras and asked him where costuming found those crazy mint green shoes he was wearing. He didn’t know, but agreed they were a crazy green. Then he explained to me that he had a car in the movie to which I agreed was a cool thing. And I met another gentleman who recognized me from the day before, and asked me, “Weren’t you here yesterday.” To which I replied, “Yes, yes I was.” But then I went on a field trip with my son, so I didn’t get to stay long.
They’re filming a movie in my town right now staring Robert Redford, Sissy Spacek, and Casey Affleck. It’s exciting and has the whole town in a buzz. I went downtown this morning to watch the filming and was able to see the extras walk back and forth behind the scenes while they were filming inside a defunct bank. I was fine with that, I’m a behind the scene kinda gal anyway.
I saw it “rain” in broad daylight.
I was yelled at for taking picture. :))
I met more of my neighbors and fellow townspeople than I have in the almost ten years I’ve lived here. I bought local pastries and coffee (which I do on a regular basis, but did it today so I didn’t look so obvious (or is that the what they mean by basic?))
I didn’t see any stars, but there’s always tomorrow. 🙂
Now back to real life.
I’m kinda freaking out, after a dry spell, I have two interviews scheduled for next week. I’m a nervous Nelly anyway AND I have no interviewing skills. I attribute my lack of interviewing skills and all around lack of confidence in myself to my mother who instilled in me a humbleness that borderlines on painful. In other words, I really don’t like to talk about myself and really, really don’t like to explain how I’m a great person and the best person for the job.
I was at the cable company on my mom’s behalf the other day when I over hear the following conversation.
Old man to younger old man: I’m ninety-five years old.
Younger old man: your ninety-years old. Wow.
(I’m standing there grinning like an idiot.)…
Old man: Ninety five years old, yep.
Younger old man turns to wife or girlfriend-y thingy: He’s ninety years old.
Old man begins telling the story of how he was married to his wife for (I think he said 65, I was further back in the line.) sixty-five years. Somewhere along the lines he explains that his wife had already passed.
Younger older man: Sixty five years? So what’s the secret to a long marriage?
Old man: Trust and understanding.
And without missing a beat.
Old man: My wife didn’t trust me and I didn’t understand her.
I laughed, until I about cried.
P.S. The ninety-five year old man walked better than I do. He drove himself to the cable company and had been doing yard work the day before.
I’m feeling like writing today. I have 6 books that I’ve started writing that have been lying in wait in my cloud drive. I felt like working on this one today. I figured I’d post chapter one.
The fantastic adventures of the incredible inventing boy (horrible working title so that I can find it in my cloud drive. AKA writing Experiment No. 1)
Deep in concentration, Liam pushes his dark, blond hair back from his forehead. Hazel eyes behind wire rimmed glasses focused on the task at hand. His nimble fingers turned a small screwdriver until the he heard the bolt fall into the bottom of the machine which he fished out with his mom’s tweezers.
It was early Saturday and his parents weren’t up yet and that was a good thing because he had taken apart the DVD player for parts. He knew they wouldn’t mind; what he was creating was far more useful than the DVD player. Okay, maybe his dad would mind for a little while and his mom would look exasperated at the mess and the fact that they had to buy, yet, another DVD player. Dad would probably yell at him and ground him from his video games for a month, but it would be worth it.
He put the bolt and screw in the cup marked, well, “screws and bolts from lid.” Meticulously the parts were arranged in a row on his work table, AKA the dining room table. Each part was in little cups, the type you use for swishing when brushing your teeth. Each little cup was had a piece of masking tape on the outside that told what the part was and where he got it from the DVD player in case he forgot where it came from.
Having created several fantastic inventions; Liam had been featured on the front page of The Journal at least three times. The fire department bought three of his extinguishing robots. The idea for the robots came to him after a firefighter bravely lost his life in a house fire in their neighborhood two years back. Liam built them when he was only eight. The extinguishing robot went into burning buildings remotely and were equipped with three CO2 canisters on its back which were deployed when the firefighter pressed the button. The CO2 cans were fire extinguishers that he bought with his allowance. The machine also had a camera mounted to the top; it had probably saved two firefighters lives already and several civilians. In The Journal articles, there were pictures of him and his proud parents in which they beamed at him for his accomplishments. This morning, though, that look of swelled up pride for their son would turn into an ugly scowl until mom has her first cup of coffee.
“Wyatt to Liam; Wyatt to Liam. Over.” Liam’s walkie talkie squawked breaking his concentration. The message replayed over and over until he picked up the communication device and pressed the button,”Liam to Wyatt; I read you loud and clear. Over. ” Liam mimicked the war movie that Wyatt’s dad had let the watch while their mothers were out shopping.
“Liam what are you doing? Over.” Wyatt replied.
Liam and Wyatt were cousins, or more confusingly, their mothers were cousins. They looked very little alike, unless you knew they were related you wouldn’t think they were. Wyatt had silky, blonde hair that spiked up all over his head like he had just gotten out of bed and was stockier than Liam. Where Liam was long and lanky, like his father, Wyatt was shaped like a linebacker. Even his head was square-ish. Liam wasn’t sure what relaton that made him and Wyatt, but when people asked he just simply said cousins. “I’m working on an invention. Over.” Liam said a little more forcefully than he meant to. Wyatt knew that when Liam was working, Liam was super intense.
“Dad brought home a new war game for the Xbox. Do you want to come over later?” Wyatt asked.
Liam could imagine Wyatt’s room in his mind. The floor was littered with action figures and matchbox cars. Wyatt’s dad had more video games than Wyatt did, many of which both their mothers has a fit over when they play them because of the graphic nature of war. The boys have lived about six blocks apart since they were born and were now inseparable. If you couldn’t find them at one house they were probably at the other.
When the boys were younger, Liam had trouble playing with Wyatt. Liam would often play by himself in other rooms of the house which would upset Wyatt because he wanted Liam’s attention. Liam had had trouble relating to other children as long as he could remember because they didn’t always want to do what he wanted them to do, or play the way that he wanted to play. Eventually, after lots of practice and their mutual love for violent video games, they became best friends. Even so, Wyatt didn’t understand Liam intenseness when it came to inventing. Wyatt had learned long ago that when Liam was in the middle of a project, it was best to leave him alone until he was finished. So when he didn’t get a reply form Liam on the walkie talkie he knew he had better just go get breakfast from the kitchen because it was going to be a while before Liam answer him back.
Liam’s dad was the first one to amble into the dining room that morning to see Liam working on his newest invention. Liam knew dad would be first to come down because his mom liked to sleep in on the weekends. At first his dad was too sleepy to comprehend what he was looking at, but when it sunk it…. Whoa Nelly! “What the heck were you thinking?” His dad roared, waking his mother up. What neither her husband or son knew, she rolled over and just listened to see how the argument was going to play out and whether it required intervention.
“That DVD player costs us money,” Liam’s dad continued to rail on his son. “What were you thinking, just what were you thinking?”
Liam’s dad was supportive on Liam’s dad’s terms. Lee was very much like his son, concrete and stubborn and fantastic with mechanical things. What Liam’s mother, Rebecca, had realized long ago was that Lee forgets what it was like to be a 10-year-old boy. Rebecca swings her leg over the side of the bed, goes to the bathroom to make a number one, and goes downstairs to remind Lee that when he was Liam’s age, Lee had taken apart his mother hair dryer, “to see how it worked,” and was unable to put it back together. Fortunately, by the time Rebecca hobbled down the stairs, Lee had taken off to the garage to cool off. When she saw the line of little cups on the table and Liam looking up expecting round 2 from his mother, she shook her head and made a beeline to the kitchen to put on the coffee. After all, she couldn’t get too mad, she had bought Liam all his tools to encourage him to build and be creative. If she pitched a fit; she would be telling him to be creative, but not to be creative.
By the time the coffee finished brewing Rebecca figured out in her head how she was going handle both Lee and Liam. She poured her first cup, breathing in the calming coffee aroma. Creamer…Sip… Liam first.
“Sweetheart,” she called to him from the kitchen, “Come here a minute.”
“Liam,” she called again.
he wasn’t ignoring her. When Liam focused on his task it was difficult to pull him away. She looked at the clock, realizing that it was 8:30 and that Liam was 30 minutes past taking the medicine that helped him focus. She took the bottle out of the cabinet, dispensed the little pills in a cup, poured a class of water, and walked into the dining room.
“Liam, look at me,” she knew the key to getting his attention was to have him look her in the eye.
“Good morning, Mom,” Liam replied cheerfully as if noticing her for the first time.
“First of all, it’s time to take your medicine,” she continued calmly, “Secondly, dad’s mad at you for taking the DVD player apart.”
“I can fix it,” Liam replied confidently.
“I know you can, but next time would you be so kind as to ask one of us before you take the appliances apart?” Rebecca explained to Liam, “And, if you ask me a head of time, I can see if they have the parts that you need at the thrift store. Rather, that using our good stuff.”
“Okay, mom,” Liam replied noncommittally.
Rebecca knew this wasn’t the first time and it wasn’t the last. And, she wasn’t always this calm. She had freaked out when he took her vacuum apart to make the firefighting machines. Vacuums are significantly more expensive than DVD players.
Leaving his supplies at the table, Liam grabbed the walkie talkie and made his way upstairs to his bedroom. “Liam to Wyatt, Liam to Wyatt,” he called over the communicator.
Trying again Liam started to get impatient. “Liam to Wyatt,” he repeated, “Where are you?”
“Eating breakfast. Mom fixed pancakes,” he said around a bite of food, “I called over an hour ago; you can’t get mad at me.”
Liam could hear Wyatt’s sister Evie in the background.
“What video game did your dad get?”
So, he had been listening, Wyatt thought to himself. Liam had the uncanny ability to hear every word that was being said, even though he doesn’t appear to be paying a lick of attention.
“Forest Brigade,” he said, “It just came out yesterday, Mom’s pissed because Dad hasn’t been to bed yet.”
Liam wanted go to Wyatt’s house. He knew, though, that even if he went over that he wouldn’t get to play, but he could watch Wyatt’s dad play. Leslie, Wyatt’s moms, would be in a foul mood because Daryl, Wyatt’s dad, would be tired all day long. Liam also knew that he would get bored of that after a while, and ultimately in trouble.
“I’m just going to hang out at home,”
“Cool, talk you later, Liam. Over and out.”
“Over and Out.”
I’m pretty sure that this is a study that every college student has done at some point in their art career. (I know I did). I was a little heavy handed on the color.
My mom bought me a fancy set of markers on HSN for my birthday. When I opened them up, I was like, “What are these?” Slightly confused, I came across a DVD in the box that explained how to use them. After watching the DVD, I felt super-charged to draw. I began experimenting with the markers Not satisfied with adult coloring books, flowers, and limited colors, I maaaaaaayyyyy have gone on to HSN to find a whale of a sale on them and bought the big set. In my defense, though, they were 24 dollars for six at our local art store and I got the big pack for 100 and there were 72 in the box. You do the math.
At any rate here is my first experiment. Did I mention I have a thing for giraffes.
After my cell took the watery plunge in the washing machine, I waited several days to attempt to turn it on. It popped up with the Verizon screen and promptly died, never to turn on again.
So, at the moment I do not have a cell phone and, frankly my dears, I don’t miss it.
My mom has had various cell phones over the years and let their minutes run out without renewing them. She hasn’t had a cell phone in years. She works in customer service and when she explains to her customers that she doesn’t have a cell phone they act like their hearts have been severed in twain. (Thank you Robin Hood Men in Tights for the word play)
My circumstances are a little different, though. I have Liam who has behavior problems at school occasionally due to his ASD. I have to be a connected to my phone. At the moment I’m using a service called YouMail.com, that allows me to listen to my voice mail online. I can actually read my incoming messages out of my e-mail.
I am enjoying distraction free dinners. I am enjoying distraction free shopping. I am enjoying being distraction free.
I’ve already expressed my disdain for cell phone shopping and at some point in the next week I will have to invest in a new cell because I can’t be perpetually glued to my computer while my son is at school.