Don’t Forget.

Don’t forget.

Where you put the keys.

To get the milk.

To turn off the lights.

 

 

Don’t forget.

To say words that are true.

And kind.

And to say them often.

 

 

Don’t forget.

To focus.

On what’s important.

On who’s important.

 

 

Don’t forget.

That inside, somewhere,

Could be the monster

that will erase the past.

 

 

Know today, that I love you.

Delight in you.

And etched in my brain, right now,

Is every bit of you.

 

 

In case I can’t say it tomorrow,

Or the next day.

It’s important, this.

Please honey, don’t forget.

Alzheimer's takes away the past.  Please honey, don't forget.

Alzheimer’s takes away the past. Please honey, don’t forget.

Underwater Soap Opera

Mr. Grouch has decided to pick up a few hobbies recently. One of these hobbies is maintaining a freshwater fish tank.  This tank has been chock full of drama from the beginning – a replacement for any soap opera on TV, I would argue.  I give you evidence in the following examples:

PRETTY CHARACTERS:  A Platinum Blond Angel, a beautiful Striped Angel, gem colored Blue and Sapphire Rams, striped Barbs, flame red Platys, a colorful Gourami and a boldly spotted Plecko.  All of the characters are well-manicured and an overall attractive cast.

A CHARISMATIC MANIAC:  Originally one of our favorite, most active fish (“oh, look how curious  and active he is!”), the Gourami quickly became a terror.  He would swim back and forth across the entire length of the 5 foot fishtank, very effectively pushing the other 13 fish into the 4 corners of the tank.  Several of the fish cower and move aside every time they see him.  I didn’t realize how creepily still a fish could be, or how it could back up or maneuver itself sideways to get out of the way.

VIOLENCE:  The Gourami used head-butting and fin-nipping to take over the tank.  The Platinum Blond Angel took the brunt of most of this nipping and the once long and pointy elegant dorsal fin became blunt and shredded.

AN ACCOMPLICE TO CRIMES:  The Striped Angel quickly joined forces with the aggressive Gourami and the two would double team the Platinum Angel, following it around, headbutting and nipping.

INCARCERATION:  The Gourami got put into “time out” – a second tank created  solely for his isolation.  The Striped Angel got off with a warning.

VICTIM BECOMES VICTORIOUS: With the Gourami behind bars, the Platinum Angel turned the tables and began fighting back against the Striped Angel, chomping on the Striped Fin until it became the noble victor.

BABY MAKING AND UNKNOWN PATERNITY: We quickly learned that platys give birth to live young when one became a mother.  It is unknown which Platy is the father.  Teensy orange specks with adorable giant globes for eyeballs emerged, only to be very quickly consumed by the other fish in the tank.  I couldn’t watch as one wee cutie trembled in the rocks, post-poning his inevitable demise.

HORRIFIC, UNSOLVED HOMICIDE: Mr. Grouch counts his fish every night at feeding time.  One day he noticed one less in his count, and then a half-eaten Blue Ram gruesomely stuck to the filter.  Who killed him?  The mystery remains unsolved.

A SUICIDE:  Stressed to death or so saddened by the loss of her pal, the second Blue Ram refused to swim around or eat much and quickly kicked the bucket after the death of the first Ram.

What drama will unfold next?  The entire Grouch family watches the show daily, waiting to find out.

fishtank2

fishtank

An Open Valentine to Mr. Grouch

I thought I had already completed my obligatory Valentine’s Day post, when I wrote a love letter to my nasal irrigation system.  But, then I thought there was no reason to disregard my OTHER lovey-dovey.  No need to mention which or whom I love more.

Mr. Grouch, you are a man apart,
You wake me with your Good Morning fart.

We met in the year Nineteen Ninety Seven,
According to you, we’re a match made in Heaven.

It is true that sometimes I want to give your head a punch,
And hear the bones in your nose go crunch.

But I am often reminded of your positive traits,
Your brains, your balls, your beautiful face.

You'll call customer service and be firm, yet nice,
You can get anyone selling to come down to your price.

You're a man! A strong man! You demand lots of power,
(yet I find it endearing, how bats and mice make you cower).

Your handyman projects save us so much dough,
That it’s okay the bathroom trim looks only so-so.

You're an incredible father, at parenting you're top rate,
Good luck with your plan though, to never let her date.

You rub my back and pull out my chair, 
And do not care that I need vats of Nair. 

You put up with me during my times of despair,
And my panic while camping - of attack by black bear. 

If I asked, you’d make me coffee in the morning, 
Except I no longer trust you, you made decaf once, without warning.

You are a manly man, a work of art, 
And I love everything about you, for the most part.
Early 20th century Valentine's Day card, showi...

Early 20th century Valentine’s Day card, showing woman holding heart shaped decoration and flowers, scanned from period card from ca. 1910 with no notice of copyright. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I Stalk My Family When They Sleep. And Take Pictures.

My husband and I met on the soccer field – we were on the same intramural team at MSU in 1997.  We talk about this long ago age in “pounds ago”, instead of “years ago” since we were once both young and spry.  Sometimes we still play on coed teams together, or he plays on his own team and I do other things like yoga or jogging (running a half marathon next weekend – wish me luck!)

Awhile back, he started complaining of a groin injury.  For some time, he had to do some physical therapy and take a soccer break in order for it to heal.  It helped.  At one point though, within the duration of this soccer break, he started to mention that the groin injury seemed to be returning; this confused him since he hadn’t been playing.

It’s old news that I have horrible issues sleeping.  Since I am awake periodically throughout the night I am able to easily spy on observe the other people in my house as they snooze.

My husband sleeps like a rock and awakes refreshed every morning.  For this I alternate between being envious and murderous, depending on how tired I am.  He does have one weird sleeping habit though.  He sleeps with his knees bent, with one leg upright, foot planted on the bed, knee towards the ceiling.  I snuck a picture of him doing it while he was sleeping the other night.  This is what it looks like:

This just looks uncomfortable to me.

This just looks uncomfortable to me.

I have no idea how he is able to hold his leg like this, while sleeping.  If it were me, my leg would topple one way or the other.

When he mentioned the groin injury recurrance, it dawned on me that THIS could be the cause of the injury, not his efforts on the pitch.  It must take some effort to keep that leg up, dontcha think?  He asked that if I see him doing this, I move his leg so it is lying flat.  This means that nightly I’m shoving his leg over to get it down in an effort to help him avoid a sleep-related injury.

So, imagine my giggles when I peeked in on Baby Grouch the other night and saw this:

babyknee

I know she’s in a sleep sack, but you can see her left leg bent up just like his if you look closely! Follow the pink sleeper lines.

Oh, and here's another!  Caught her during nap  time after I originally posted this.
Oh, and here’s another! Caught her during nap time after I originally posted this.

Dream #9: Little Boy and Burning Blimps

DREAM:

We are traveling and part of our caravan involves several blimps.  From where we are we can see out in front of us through a large domed window.  There is an accident – people are screaming and scared.  There is a little boy about 8 years old by himself, crying.  We can tell things are going from bad to worse.  The blimp in front of us explodes, fire and gases are hurl towards us, break the domed glass and sweep over us.  I grab the boy and cover him with myself, hoping we don’t get burned too badly.

ANALYSIS:

BLIMPS: Dream Moods informs me that riding in a blimp could indicate an inflated view of myself.  Alternatively, it could be a metaphor for my weight and issues about my physical appearance.  Hm.  Analysis Option A)  I have an over-inflated view of how much I am able to help my students.  Really, we can’t make that much of an impact, right?  Some days I think so, other days, not so much. 

Example: I teach my 4th hour some yoga breathing exercises to de-stress. One says he feels better, one writes a poem about breathing and de-stressing and one “macho” kid practices his breathing at home.

I made an impact! 

Counter Example:

Me:  You have 2 more class periods to finish this test.

X:  No I don’t.
Me:  You do.

X:  Why are you doing this to me?  You are so mean.  You’re dumb.

Puts test in random file cabinet

Me:  I’m not mean or dumb.  You know that.

X:  Your cat is ugly

Me:  Are you just saying that to be mean?

X:  Yes.  I don’t like you.
Me: That’s ok.  But that should also probably be an inside thought.

X:  PBBBBTTTT!  I can’t work 1st hour!

Me:  You have worked in here before in 1st hour?

X:  Well, I didn’t l…mumble mumble

X:   Opens my desk drawer, and pulls out 10 little laminated pictures of Norm from Cheers (long story).  X uses white out tape to cover Norm’s eyes (all 20 of them) and says “Look!  You can’t tell who he is now!  You can scrape that off, by the way”.

Me:  So, if you’re putting tape on those, you need to scrape it all off.

X:  I will.  YOU can do it too, you know.

Me:  I know.  But I don’t want to.  That’s why I didn’t put it on them.

X:  Scrapes all the white out tape off using a wooden popsicle stick, since it “didn’t feel right” on his fingers to scrape it off with his/her nail.

Me:  It’s 9.08

X:  You’re a 9:08!

X:  Dings bell with wooden popsicle stick.

Class ends.

Clearly, I make no impact.  

Analysis Option B) I’m going to my cousin’s wedding this weekend, where all of my family will be glammed up.  I’m not much for glamor, and anticipate looking somewhat like an awkward, hairy ungulate, clad in a black dress.  In a last ditch effort to not be both chubby AND utterly drab, I have purchased some new, sequined sling backs, and shiny baubles for my neck and ears.  Somehow we must convince my husband that these purchases were absolutely necessary

BURNING:  Dream moods suggest that burning means I need to take time off for myself, and relax, and maybe I am feeling “burned out”.  It adds that dreaming about being burned alive suggests that I am consumed by my own ambition. Ok, WHO doesn’t feel burned out?!  No, really.  I believe stress-free people are on par with unicorns and yetis and krakens.  Stop faking it, those of you who are pretending to be mythical beasts, you’re making the rest of us look bad.

LITTLE BOY: Dream Forth tells me that to dream that I see a boy, as a female dreamer, implies that I am in touch with the male traits of my personality.  Clearly.  This is why I am so good at growing a moustache and so bad at getting “glammed up” for family weddings.

Dream #3: A Spider, A Nautilus and Spontaneous Combustion

Dream:

My husband is trying to kill a spider on the wall.  The spider is peeking out from underneath a curled up piece of wallpaper, so just a leg or two pokes out.  He hits the wall, paper towel in hand, but keeps missing it, as one or more of the “spider legs” keeps moving out of the way.  As he continues trying, the leg keeps growing larger and larger.  He gets frustrated and says to me, “I can’t do this.  You kill this thing!” The leg keeps getting bigger.  We both wince as we think we are about to witness the largest spider ever, emerging from beneath the paper.  But, we are surprised to find that what we are looking at is not, in fact, a spider leg but is actually an enormous tentacle.  A giant nautilus-like creature pops out from underneath the wallpaper, and it is holding a wild boar with one of its arms.  The boar is hanging upside down.  The nautilus has a massive eye, which glares at us.  Both the nautilus and the boar are very wet and shiny, coated in some type of viscous oil. As we watch, our jaws open, the nautilus scurries up into the ceiling.  It disappears and we are left standing there, my husband holding his unused paper towel in his hand.  I am pretty sure the boar was dead.

Meanwhile, we have a fire lit in the living room – but either because of embers popping out from the hearth, or simply due to a (severe?) lack of humidity in the room, parts of the living room keep spontaneously bursting into flames.  A wooden chair.  A stack of records.  The bookshelf.  I try to blow out the small fires each time they spring up.  Our white chair is scorched.  I think that I should keep checking on the room every 20 minutes or so to make sure the whole room doesn’t become engulfed in flames.  The bottoms of the doors leading into the living room are cracked, chipped and peeling at the bottom, allowing a few inches of space where I can see inside, so I think to myself that at least I will be able to see light from a raging fire from the other room, if that were to happen.

Analysis:

SPIDER:  Dream Moods informs me that a spider refers to a powerful force that helps protect me from my own destructive behavior.  In this case, is my husband the protector, since he spotted the spider first?  I like to think so. In real life he certainly reins me in, preventing me from negative excess, whether it be stressing out about trivial things, whining for hours or guzzling gallons of beer.  I mean, don’t get be wrong, I do engage in these activities, frequently, it would just be even more out of control if he weren’t around.   The only thing he doesn’t stop me from is from eating too many nachos.  That we do together, excessively.

NAUTILUS:  No entries for nautilus, but there were entries for squid, which are related, so therefore I figure their interpretations must also be related. Dream Moods tells me that squid could indicate that my judgment is clouded (is it not a good idea to eat an entire tray of nachos, washed down by 5 beers? Is this why I need protection from the spider?)  Dream Force tells me the squid may mean indicate gluttony.  Ah, yes.  My nacho/beerfest.  Guilty.

FIRE:  Way of Tao suggests that fire could be symbolic of transformation and passion, while Dream Force says it could indicate enthusiasm, passion, or anger. Passion appears to be the common theme.  If you know me, you know that if I take on a project, hobby or job, it is because I am passionate about doing it.  I may even become slightly obsessive – restrained only by my husband/protector/spider. This continues to be true until I become fervidly devoted to something new, causing me to drop the old attraction immediately.  This could explain why I haven’t stuck with one job longer than 3 years.  Fickle as I may be when it comes to hobbies or jobs, my devotion has never waivered when it comes to complaining, imbibing beer, or mowing down nachos.


A Special Fart. One I View Lovingly.

This blog is not about farts. If you are a fart-lover, I regret to inform you that this isn’t going to be chock full of anecdotes regarding gaseous emissions.  However.  There is one special fart that does belong here, as it ties in nicely with the topics of sleeping and waking.

While we were dating, I do not recall my husband being much of a farter.  Nothing note-worthy, anyway.  Once we got married, though, it was like someone turned that lever parallel to the pipe and let the natural gas flow. Usually after an emission, especially a nice loud one, my husband will look at me with an impish grin, and I will look back, repulsed, roll my eyes and say, “That’s gross”.  This is our routine.  In fact, sometimes my husband will just say, “That’s gross” for me, in a mocking, high-pitched voice.  At least he knows how I feel.  However, early in the morning, while I am still buried under my piles of blankets, I hear a different kind of fart.  It has a different timbre.  It is longer in duration.  Much longer.  It sounds slightly forced, but nothing painful. It’s like the equivalent of a loud yawn.  And this is the indication that my husband is going to get out of bed.  There is usually about a 5-10 minute window where he checks the news or Facebook on his phone, and then he arises.

I’m not even sure he knows that I know he does this.  Keep in mind, while he bounds out of bed, full of enthusiasm for the day, I am curled up in a fetal position, blankets tucked around me tightly, head buried in my pillow.  I may or may not be groaning a bit, in despair.  Each night, the sheets on my side of the bed become twisted and ripped from the mattress, so I am  laying directly on it (sidebar: this means that my cat, who sleeps at my feet, is also laying directly on the mattress and then my husband gets mad that there will be cat hair on it. Sigh.  I can’t help what I do in my sleep!)  My hand is poised to hit the snooze button so I can avoid the inevitable torture of placing my feet on the floor.  I am so exhausted at this point, that I don’t believe I have ever had the energy to respond to his vaporous alarm clock, I’ve never told him that I named this special little guy.  And I certainly have never told him that even though my face has a scowl, my eyes are squeezed shut, and my garbled response to anything he asks me is completely incomprehensible, that, for some reason, that sound makes me smile.  Well, at least on the inside.  That sound reminds me that he is such a better morning person than I am and I know that it makes him happy to greet the day with his flatulence.  And that makes my heart happy, too.  That’s true love, right there.