Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Master Bathroom today.....

Oh...hello interwebs. Long time no see. S'up?

Me?  Oh nothing. Same ole, same ole.

Oh wait, there was that thing on Saturday, where I inadvertantly seared my eyeballs with a caustic substance known to cause permanent blindness.

Good Lord...wouldn't you think the Antagonist family has met their quota of crises this year? would be wrong.

Saturday, after waking early to walk at the park with a friend, and anticipating an afternoon of baseball followed by a yummy dinner off the grill and some good red wine, for which I had been banking points all week....

I ended up in the Emergency room with severe chemical burns to my right eye.

It was a stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid accident.

Aren't they all? In fact, I prefer to call them "stupidents".

Baseball got rained out, so I decided to put the time to good use and do some of the much needed cleaning around my house while husband bought groceries for our meticulously planned, point conscious but hopefully still really delicous and soul satisfying dinner.

I was reaching for a jug of Ammonia...

(okay, here's why I keep Ammonia in the house. Did you know that many household cleaners are simply ammonia and water? So then they charge you like four bucks for one bottle. But, you can get a bottle of ammonia for .99 and mix it with water yourself. You can make like....sixteen batches of household cleaner with one bottle of ammonia!! Until Saturday, I thought myself  very clever indeed for sniffing out and then circumventing THAT little ruse.)

....which I keep on the top shelf of my bathroom closet; a habit left over from the days of having small, inquisitive children.

Alas...the top was not screwed on tightly.

I grabbed the bottle around the middle instead of by the handle, as the handle was turned away from me. Because the shelf was above my head, I had to tilt the bottle downward to get ahold of it. At that moment, it slipped just a bit and when I tightened my grasp to avoid dropping it, the liquid shot out of the top, directly into my face and eyes.

I spent the next ten minutes frantically flushing my eyes with water while my eldest son called my husband to tell him he needed to come home RIGHT NOW.

My eyesight was worsening by the moment, and I knew it was bad. I could scarcely see out of my right eye at all. I could see a white haze with very indistinct areas of light and dark. That was all.

Now, usually, I'm pretty calm in the face of a crisis. But blindness has always been one of my greatest fears; perhaps because I have had such bad vision my entire life. Honestly, I would rather lose a limb than lose my eyesight. I would rather be deaf, dumb....ANYTHING....than be blind. Which, of course, is why letting someone put me under a laser and slice through my corneas was such an incredible leap of faith for me.

And besides that? It hurt like a motherfucker. (I'm sorry...really, I am. I try to keep the profanity here to a minimum, but there's just no other way to describe the sensation of your cornea being slowly seared away)

So, in a nutshell, when my husband arrive home, I completely lost my cool. As soon as I realized he was standing in the bathroom doorway, I broke down into hysterical sobs and threw myself into his arms. He did his best to calm me, but once that damn breaks....

He gave up trying to calm me down and did his best to simply get me moving. He pulled me out of the bedroom by the wrist, like an adult leading a small child. I was still zipping up my pants and pulling my shirt over my head as he coaxed me down the stairs and out the front door.

I sobbed all the way to the urgent care clinic.

"We spent all the money on my eyes and now they're ROOOOOOOOOOOOOIIIIIIINNNNED."

I was scared to death and sick over the waste and so very, very angry.  I had blinded myself. What a moron. I would have to spend the rest of my life with my hair in a bun telling my story to school children and lobbying for the return of prominently placed Mr. Yuck stickers on every bottle of household Ammonia.

When we arrived at urgent care, the waiting room was absolutely jam packed.

"Oh fuh-fuh-fuhhhhck! I'm going to be waiting fuh-fuh-fovever!!!" I sobbed.

I could feel the hysteria rising again. But it's amazing how quickly hysterical weeping and blazing red sclera will get you seen. No really, I think what did it was the fact that my eyes had gone two distinctly different shades of green. One remained a sedate, but, I think, rather pretty green, while the other had turned a sort of a sickly, limey, nuclear accident green. That's really quite alarming, in case you can't imagine it.

Whatever the case, I was whisked back to an exam room before the "-onia" had left husband's mouth. He said, "She spilled Amm...." and BAM! I was flat on my back with a tube stuck in my eye.

Yes, because when you have a chemical burn to your eyeball, what could be more comfortable than placing a rubber disk the size of a fucking dinner plate upon it?

It's called a Morgan lense and it looks like this:'s every bit as comfortable as it looks.

There is an actual picture of me with the Morgan lense in place, but I will not share it here. Mostly, because it's spectacularly unflattering, but also because it's kind of gruesome. At least, judging from my mother's reaction, it was.

They irrigated my eye with a litre of saline. It was a bizarre feeling. My eyeball was numb, thanks to some truly, truly miraculous stuff they dripped into it (I may or may not have offered an intern at the ER sexual favors in return for a bottle). I screamed just a little when the drops made contact but it only took a moment to quote Roger become comfortably numb. And then I couldn't feel the pain, but I could feel the sensation of cold, and the feeling of pressure against my eyeball as the liquid flowed from the Morgan lense.

After that, they wiped a strip of litmus paper across my raw, abraded eyeball and decided the ph. was still not what it should be. Then they looked at my cornea under a fluoroscope. The doctor, the nurse and husband all gazed down upon me with brows furrowed in concern, but also with unmistakable interest. I sort of felt like a caterpillar in a jelly jar as the doctor pointed out the large starburst shaped occlusion directly over my pupil. The question was, how deep did it go?

The doctor decided I needed to go to the actual ER where they would have eye people on hand.

I had calmed somewhat once the pain was brought down to a dull ache, but that caused me to freak out all over again. She wouldn't have been sending me to the ER if it was good news, now would she? .

Again, we were given expedited service and I soon found myself  on a hard gurney in a curtained off little stall. On the other side of the partition, a small child coughed a horrible, tearing cough while his mother crooned to him in Spanish. By that time, my drops had worn off and I was once again in agony.

People, I have given birth. Twice. The second time, I gave birth to a baby so big it caused all my friends to unconsciously cross their legs whenever his birthweight was mentioned. And that didn't even come close to hurting as much as my eyeball hurt.

Later, I got some really good drugs; injected so they would work fast. The downside of that? Puking my guts out for three hours. Some of you may recall that I have something of an emetiphobia. I absolutely loathe throwing up. And I especially loathe doing so in front of other people. I will employ any and all means necessary to avoid doing so, usually with success.

But I was helpless. I puked in front of husband. I puked in front of the doctor. I puked in front of the nurse. I puked in front of the guy mopping the floor in front of the women's lavatory. I puked in front of the lady next to me who, owing to the ventilator, was mostly oblivous, but it was humiliating nonetheless. I puked in front of the homeless guy panhandling in the ambulance bay while I waited for husband to get the van. And, I puked in front of both of my children, who, heretofore, had never seen such a horrifying spectacle. Not only was I hurking uncontrollably, but I was high as a kite, incoherent, scarlet-eyed, dishevelled and soaking wet from the repeated irrigations.

I've had finer moments.

The doctor told me that eyes are the most resilient organ in the body and that these kinds of injuries usually heal quickly and completely (while fully acknowledging that they are unimaginably painful.) but I was dubious.

How could something that HURT so badly and so thoroughly ravaged my vision possibly heal with no lasting damage? I mean....I spilled a chemical in my eyes! (not an acid, I'm told, but a base, which is still pretty bad) And here I am three days later, none the worse for the wear.

Un. Believable.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Face It

I've written a couple times about the evils of Social Media. And I meant everything I said.  But I find that being employed full time seriously infringes upon my freedom to waste time, as I simply have no time to waste. I find that blogging is a time suck that I just don't have time to indulge the way I used to; reading or writing.

And I miss everyone, yannow? I feel disconnected and out of the loop.

So I'm forced to admit that it's easier and quicker to jot a quick little status update on the much maligned Facebook, than to sit down and write something meaningful here. I hate eating crow man. I really, really do. But I can choke it down when I have to.

So here goes:

I understand now why Facebook and Twitter have become indispensable to many people. I still think it's evil, mind you, but I'm obliged to concede that it has its uses.

I'm still not interested in having every Tom, Dick and Harry privvy to the particulars of my private life, or having 600 people on my friend list. I couldn't keep up with that many friends in real life any more than I can online. And I don't want to wade through pages of inanity from people I barely know to get to the meaningful stuff from people I actually do know and want to hear about. I roll my eyes any time I see a friend list longer than 100 people or so.

No offense if you have one. I just don't need my kids' dental hygeinist to know that I had a terrible bout of gas yesterday from the drastically increased amount of fiber I am now taking in and accidentally and completely involuntarily cut the cheese while I was working out.

I wouldn't really post anything like that anyway, but you get my point.

So anyway...I get it now. I still don't love it, but I get it.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I try really hard to keep the lines of communication open with my kids. I want them to know that they can come to me with any problem, dilemma, or decision. I want them to know I will always give them the truth,  no matter how difficult that might be.

I had great parents, but there wasn't a lot of real nitty gritty discussion going on between parents and kids in those days. I wouldn't have dreamed of asking my parents about sex, and they wouldn't have dreamed of telling me. Same goes for drugs, alchohol, birth control, religion, politics...that's just not the way  parents related to their children in those days.

So I talk to my kids. A lot. Truth be told, I probably talk too much.

Boys are different from girls when it comes to communication. They don't feel the need to verbally disect every thought, emotion or impulse. They don't examine things too closely. If they do, they keep the findings to themselves.  I have had to learn to wait for those little gifts of information that they dispense far too slowly for my taste. When I try to rush them into divulging the details that I prize, they simply clam up, batten down, and beat a hasty retreat.

So when I talk, I wonder if at some point, my voice doesn't just become the wah-wah-wah-wah-wah of the Charlie Brown adults.

I know they hear. But I wonder if they really listen.

We don't often get to see the fruits of our parenting labors until the hard part is over with. We don't often get to know if we did it right until it's too late to do it differently. So on those rare occasions that we do get to know....its very sweet indeed.

I savor those moments. Then, after I have wrung every drop of gratification from them, I file them away in one of the many drawers in my mental filing cabinet; the one labelled "good Mommy moments". I pull them out when I need them, to remind me that I do get it right sometimes.

I got one of those moments the other day, courtesy of my teenager.

He and I sat facing one another at a local pizza place where Diminutive One's team had gone to celebrate a three game winning streak. Some of the team parents at an adjacent table began discussing a situation that has the entire Metro area up in arms. A transgendered teenager at one of the local high schools has petitioned the school board to be able to attend school in girl's clothing and make-up.

You can imagine how well that has gone over here in the Bible Belt.

The comments I have heard regarding this young man have ranged from mildly distasteful to downright hateful. I have not encountered one person who supports his right to dress as he pleases.

One of the parents turned to ask me what high school Pubescent One attends. I told her (it's not his school, but one that many of his friends attend) and in reply she said, "You must be really glad he doesn't go to that school!"

I am, glad. DAMN glad. But not because of Jonathan Escobar. I'm glad because I have no respect for a Principal who tells a student that he must man up or withrdaw and I do not want such a person to be an authority figure to my sons.

Through all of this discussion, Pubescent One listened quietly with a look of disgust on his face.

When the woman turned back to her table mates, Pubescent One said, "Geez what's the big deal??" 

"I don't know, but it is a big deal to some people. They want him expelled...or worse."

"WHY???" he asked, clearly incredulous. "Oh, oh, wait, because he's DIFFERENT, right?" his voice was dripping with scorn. He rolled his eyes, shook his head and said under his breath...."God...he's not hurting anyone."

I was so proud of him at that moment.

I've talked to my kids time and again about tolerance, acceptance, embracing diversity and reveling in our differences rather than fearing them. But here in the South, beliefs are handed down like family heirlooms. They are accepted and perpetuated, even if they are antiquated and offensive within the scope of modern thinking. Those who are different or unusual in any way are scorned, if not persecuted outright. There is no room for them in the comfortable little construct of Southern acceptability.

Thus, a panty wearing faggot at the high school is just the kind of thing that would incite an uproar of unparalleled magnitude. And has.

But my son has not fallen prey to the prejudices around him. He sees them for what they are...useless artifacts from an intolerant era. He is learning the way of things, my man child.  And he is learning to be his own person, think for himself...lead instead of follow. And even more importantly, he is learning to judge people for who....not what they are.

I'm sure before his teenage years are over, there will be plenty of things I do all wrong.

So I'm thankful I got to know that I did this one thing right.


Monday, October 12, 2009

No Wait....This One Is Even Better....

My  Mom was like..."I don't even remember the circumstances behind this picture. But why in the world wouldn't I have waited until my hair was dry and combed out?

Personally, I think there's a larger question at issue here, Mom.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Those of you who have been reading me for any period of time, know that I am a girly girl. I love make-up, nail polish, hair doo-dads, shoes, clothes, jewelry. And you also know that my proclivity towards hyper feminism, is due to the fact that my mother was a hairdresser during my formative years.

She tells of how, even as a young child, I would sit quite happily and let her put my hair in rollers or pin curls.

Recently, she posted this photo on Facebook.

See? I told you! It's not my fault I'm such a girl.

My sister is the one under the dryer. I'm the one leaning on my mothers knee as she reads us a story. The pants my Mom is wearing? We had outifts to match, that consisted of a shirt and vest, with orange tops underneath, just like Mom's. She sewed them herself, along with many other such seventies type atrocities. But then...they were cute and stylish and people often stopped to comment on three little girls dressed in matching outfits.

Did I have an awesome Mom or what?

I didn't really appreciate her (especially during my teenaged years) until I became a Mom myself. How she did all that she did is completely beyond me. She worked, kept the house and cooked, sewed us clothes, did crafts and made a staggering amount of holiday goodies every single year.

She was the Enjoli woman.

Because of her, our childhood was idyllic in many ways. Because of her, I am a good Mom too. Different, but the same in all the ways that count. I know it's not Mother's Day or anything, but if you still have a Mom, let her know much you love her and how thankful you are to have had such a strong, positive female role model in your life.

Thanks Mom.

Monday, October 05, 2009

I Give Up

I can't do it people.

I can't keep up with everything in my life and update this blog regularly too. I try. I have good intentions. But somehow it doesn't get done. And I have to admit, where once this blog was a lifeline for me...a way to keep my mind from atrophying into a superfluous, it's just one more thing on a list too long for me to ever get to the bottom of.

(Edited to add: I didn't mean I was closing down the blog, just that I was going to give up trying to post every day, or twice weekly or whatever, and just accept that posting will happen when time and motivation happen to be present at the same time.)

But that's a good thing. Because, as you know if you've been reading any length of time....I have been bored out of my mind the last few years of my life. I have been depressed by the drudgery and sameness of every day. The rut I was in was more like a bottomless trench.

So. Life is chugging along and that is good. But I really don't have the time or the mental energy to write anything astounding. So I'll give you a quick little update on my life.

Husband got a job.

WHEW. In the beginning, we worried that our resources would not last until Husband could find a job. We just didn't know if it would take a month, or a year. If it was the latter, well....not only would we still be unemployed, but every penny of our savings would be gone. There would be no eating in retirement, much less the travel and adventure we'd envisionsed. We would lose the house, the was a really terrifying thought. We realized we were luckier than most, in that we had any resources at all.  But they were definitely finite, and we knew it all too well.

Luckily, due to a slight upturn in the economy that allowed us to recover some of what we used in those jobless months, we really ended up just about where we started.  That was a big relief. We won't have to rely on tinned beef from the dollar store when we're 80.

Also...I have joined Weight Watchers. I never did update all of you on my health situation, but it became very apparent that I had to get control of my health.  My blood pressure was a staggering 130/120 and the neurologist promptly put me on medication to bring it down. That was very sobering.

Because I suffered from pre-eclampsia during my last pregnancy, I will always be at increased risk of high blood pressure and stroke. But I compounded that risk by allowing my weight to creep up once again and letting old habits return.

In 2005 I lost around 60 lbs through diet and exercise, but I didn't keep it off because there was no accountability. And I didn't learn how to change my lifestyle permanently. I looked at the meaures I had taken to lose the weight as a temporary inconvenience to get from point A to point B. Once I arrived at point B, I allowed myself to slip back into unhealthy behaviors.

I realized I needed a concrete plan to follow, meetings to help keep me focused, and other people to inspire me. I've only been to one meeting, but I can already tell that this is what I need. 

Normally, the thought of making the kind of profound and permanent changes I needed to make would send me into a maelstrom of self-pity and negativity. I knew my attitude had reached a turning point when I left there not thinking about how awful the coming months would be, but how much better I would feel both physically and mentally, when I started seeing results. I felt like I could meet this challenge head on. I felt empowered and inspired rather than defeated and resentful.

My first weigh in day is tomorrow. I'm hoping for good news. But if I don't get it, I'm not going to give up. I'm going to figure out what went wrong and then fix it and go on.

In other news, the flood waters have receded, the recovery has begun, and life is slowly returning to normal.

As normal as it gets at Chez Antagonist, anyway.

Oh, one tiny little word of advice....1 eleven year old boy + 1 zombie movie = 2 many people in the bed.

Yes, Zombieland is funny, yes, it's more of a spoof than a real horror movie. Yes, the protagonists make mincemeat out of the zombies. But it's very, very, very, very gruesome and the zombies are extremely realistic. I even turned away once or twice.

But that's what happens when you have a teenager and a pre-teenager. The teenager is way too cool to watch anything that is appropriate for the pre-teenager. The pre-teenager wants to watch all the stuff the teenager is watching. He wants to be hip and cool, and not a baby. He's still smarting from the ridicule that he got for asking to see G-Force on his birthday. So I indulge him sometimes.

But on that one? Let's just say I'm a dumbass.

Not only did I have Diminutive One in my bed all weekend, but he has been lighting up this house like a.... something really bright. This morning before he left for school, I sent him upstairs on some errand. Later that morning when I went up, every single light  in every single room was on. Not only that, but all the closet doors were open.

Yessir. I'm going to be paying for that little piece of dumbassery for a while.

I'm going to make a list of survival rules like for Zombies, but for parenting. At the top of that list....

#1. A little imagination can be a dangerous thing. Don't encourage it.