Dressing with my eyes closed

Hi, me again… just checking in to let you know that Soup Husband Curt returned by dinnertime tonight, and in typical guy fashion, I was grilling him for all the details and he was all, “um, yeah, it was good. Tiring but good…”  He did offer this nugget – he’s quite certain he chose well when he joined this new company recently.  So that makes it all worth it. Those of you who know him in real life know this has been a long time coming.

And by the way, remember how he plays ice hockey? Well, his team’s in the playoffs again this year. In fact, he played last night, and they won, which means they get to play again Wednesday night! Isn’t that awesome? Go Men of Steel!

Remember how I wrote that Sunday night I couldn’t remember if I took a Tylenol PM? Well tonight, I most assuredly remember taking one about 20 minutes ago and I’m about to go niteynite. Because my incoherence is imminent, as is the likelihood that my fingers will soon cease to function, why don’t you pop over to The Well Read Hostess and read about her work wardrobe dilemma? Despite never having met, it seems that she and I have lots in common, what with our work wardrobes consisting of mainly black pants. Mine also includes some – get this! – brown pants… but other than that, it’s pretty idiot-proof in that everything mixes and matches because it’s all variations of the same color.  As in, you can dress in the dark with one eye closed before inserting your contact lenses and/or drinking coffee, and you’re pretty much guaranted to “match.” Go check her out, leave her a comment, tell her Meg at “Soup”  sent you over because she took a Tylenol PM.

Having fun, wish you were here


How’s your business trip going? It’s been a while since you were away from home for work – over two years! I hope you are enjoying the hotel, the uninterrupted sleep, the catered food, the free beer, better breakfasts than we ever have at home, and a respite from all the responsibilities of parenthood.

But I know you, Curt, and I know that you relish being a Dad. You might be starting to miss the minutiae of our daily lives chez Soup. That’s why I thought you might enjoy this little recap of last night and this morning… because, you know, when you get used to a certain amount of chaos, it’s hard to go Cold Turkey.

Sunday, 10:00 p.m. Rolled into bed, exhausted and ready for sleep. Invited the cute, warm, cuddly 4-year-old Peezer to help fill the void your absence leaves in our giant king-size bed.

11:30 p.m.   Was awakened by The Boss and Bubta, who announced their return home from the neighbors’ house, having watched a late movie to celebrate today’s day off school. Grunted an acknowledgement and ordered them to turn off the lights and go to sleep.

1:15 a.m. Awoke and realized that, despite my instructions, lights and the TV are still on. Walked out to the family room. Boss is asleep. Bubta is wide awake and informs me his ears are ringing – again – and he can’t sleep. Suggested he might SLEEP if he would turn the FRACKIN’ TV OFF. Made mental note to worry about the ringing ears.

1:17 – 2:10 a.m. Futile attempt to return to sleep. Tried to remember, did I actually take the Tylenol PM or not, and if I did, wondering how come it wasn’t working.

2:11 a.m. Just as I was finally drifting off, our cute ‘n’ cuddly 4 year old lurched and ended up perpendicular to me, his chubby little feet within kicking distance of my head. Realizing nothing good could possibly come from that, I attempted to reposition him but instead discovered leakage from his overnight Pull-up. Decided there was no longer anything cute about this. Got new Pull-up and jammie pants and wrestled the child’s dead weight into them. Then manhandled him in order to carry him to his own bed, at which point he of course awoke and said, “Why am I going?” Mumbled something about dry sheets. Tucked him into bed.

2:20 a.m. Returned to my bed. While readjusting the blankets, discovered a wet spot where the child’s bottom used to be. Rolled away from it towards my edge of the bed and realized his soaked Pull-up was still on the floor, well within sniffing distance. Resigned myself to inhaling the unmistakable aroma of kiddie pee for the rest of the night. Considered that this might, perhaps, be a new low.

2:21 a.m. Began counting backwards from 100.

2:22 a.m. Scary thoughts and bad memories started creeping into my head. I pushed them aside with happier thoughts of the neighbors’ giant bank of forsythia, just coming into bloom.

2:27 a.m. Lost count. Started over at 100.

2:36 a.m. Lost count again and started over at 100.

2:45 a.m. Started mentally composing this blog post. It was going to start something like this: “When I fantasize about being independently wealthy, one thing I envision is having The Help change the sheets on my bed every other day. My child gave me the opportunity to enjoy clean sheets for the second time in three days – only without the ‘wealthy’ part.”

6:20 a.m. Alarm rang. Realized I must have fallen asleep after all. Hit snooze.

6:25 a.m. A whimpering Peezer marched into the room and said he forgot the car and the book he’d brought into the bed. Gave them to him and told him to go back to sleep. He snitched, “The TV is still on in the family room.” I replied, “Your brothers are out there. Now GO TO BED,” which – amazingly – he did. Attempted to return to sleep for the final 4 minutes of the snooze cycle, because when you’re really tired, it makes complete sense to do that.

6:29 a.m. Hit snooze again, decided that was silly and got out of bed. Immediately stripped bed of sheets and the mattress pad and threw them into the washer. Made coffee.

6:40 – 7:15 a.m. Showered, primped, dressed, packed a lunch for The Boss. Checked email and learned that exactly none of the three escalators were working at the exit of my destination station in DC. Made a note to detrain at the following stop so as to avoid a commuting clusterf**k.

7:19 a.m. Aaaaaah, coffee.

7:30 a.m.  Shook The Boss awake.

7:35 a.m. Walked the big, fat, hairy load of a dog. Fed the cat, who was literally YELLING at me to hurry it up with the Super Supper already!

7:50 a.m.   Issued first (futile) wake-up call to The Peezer.

7:55 a.m. Realized the washer was not spinning the load dry. Reset it to run the drain-and-spin cycle again. Same thing happened. Decided to pretend this wasn’t happening and promised myself to revisit it this evening.

8:15 a.m. Remembered it was Bicycle Monday at extended care at school; frantically loaded The Boss’s bike and helmet into the back of the SUV.  Mentally patted myself on the back for not forgetting.

8:19 a.m. With The Boss’s help, stuffed the dead weight of The Peezer into fresh clothes for the day. Managed a small but crucial victory by waking him in such a way that left him giggling instead of growling.

8:25 a.m. Left a sleeping Bubta on the sofa and loaded Peezer and The Boss into the car to begin the morning delivery route.

8:35 a.m. Pulled into school to drop off The Boss. Noticed exactly zero other bikes parked outside the entrance. “Uh, Mom? I think bike day is NEXT Monday, you know, the first day of Spring Break?” suggested The Boss. “Oh, yeah. D’OH! One week early, ha HA!” I replied. Walked inside and discovered it was actually Luau Day. Decided to file The Boss’s disappointed look in the category of “things better ignored right now”, along with the washing machine. Suppressed feelings of guilt as I returned to the car.

So you see, dear, we are getting along just fine. Don’t you worry about us!  The children are safe and happy. But do hurry home. The bed just… isn’t the same without you.

Bitchy McBitchypants.

Buddy, can you spare a dime?

Originally uploaded by Bob.Fornal

I was listening to classic rock on the radio the other day, and I heard Joan Jett belting out this popular refrain: “I love rock ‘n’ roll, put another dime in the jukebox baby…”


And I thought to myself, now there’s a dated reference if ever there were one, because one, what can you even buy for a dime these days anyway? Certainly not a song on a jukebox… and two, kids? Do you even know what a jukebox is? Here, let me show you:




jukebox1You see, it was a big box that was often located in restaurants, bars, and, in my town, there was one at the public swimming pool.  One could hear the song of one’s choice simply by inserting a coin. The song was stored on something called a “45”, or a “single”, which was a black, sandwich-plate sized vinyl disc, and it had one song “pressed” on each side.  The jukebox did NOT have a USB jack for your iPod.  (Back then, Pods were for peas.) If your money got stuck, you could call your friend “Fonzie” and ask him to bang his fist on it in order to make the music play, and… oh no, wait, that was only on Happy Days.

ANYWAY. I got to thinking, what other popular rock songs reference the lowly dime? I came up with two other ones:

 One is from Kix, that 80s hair band, and their song Cool Kids. It’s about a bunch of teens hangin’ out, all bored and lookin’ for fun, and in the first verse, they say:

kixHey anybody got a cigarette
Anybody here got a dime
I heard that Frankie’s got a blue Corvette
She said to call her any time

I’m assuming the reference to the dime is so someone can use a pay phone to call Frankie, because kids? They didn’t have cell phones then, they had phones out in public – all of which featured a handset that was tethered to the phone base by a cord – that you could activate by inserting a coin. Kind of like a jukebox. Or a gumball machine.

Also? Back in the 80’s? They had to call each other because “txt” hadn’t been invented.  Back then,  TEXT was a noun, not a verb that often omitted its only vowel.

The other one I came up with (thanks, Curt!) was in Rod Stewart’s “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy”, which is, of course, vintage 1978:

rod_stewart_casualHe’s acting shy looking for an answer
Come on, honey, let’s spend the night together
Now hold on a minute before we go much further
Give me a dime so I can phone my mother
They catch a cab to his high rise apartment
At last he can tell her exactly what his heart meant

So then, let’s recap. What we have here is a post chock-full of dated references, including a nearly obsolete coin, a machine that used to play music without the magic of digital files and tiny electronic devices that held massive amounts of music, not one but two references to phones that required the user to insert a coin in order to reach their party, a TV show that was popular in the 1970s but was about life in the 1950s, and finally, three musical artists who, like Rick Springfield, reached maximum popularity in the 1980s, yet, amazingly, continue to attract audiences today by feasting on Generation X’s voracious appetite for nostalgia.

Got that?

If you can come up with other lyrics that reference that sad coin the dime, please leave ’em in the comments.