:: WHY WE BE ::

Boo to false, self-imposed limits, we say. These champion oracles want to live enthusiastically. Follow our trip through projects that challenge, frustrate, and/or scare us. In the end (which is really the middle) we want to live like big bright free and authentically awesome people.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

buckin' like a big moe boe. (amy)

Project One: 5K/Health Challenge.

The bad news: I twisted my knee on the treadmill the other day. When it happened I thought: NOOOO! I have no time for a knee replacement! This is crap! But I think it’s okay, because it seems to be healing (I say this because I can still walk). And so I don’t think it will stop me from doing the April 30 5K I’m committed to.

The good news: I’m back at the gym regularly, after a 3 week break. And (more importantly) Miss Melissa has decided she’s a big fan of the gym daycare now. Possibly because someone donated them a large pink car she can pedal around the toddler area in, possibly because they now let her out of the toddler area to bang on their kid-friendly computers (just don’t give her a pen—she will write all over your computer screen, and did you know? Pen on computer screen does not come off). Either way, this cuts my driving time and gasoline bill in half. And that’s a win for me, AND for planet Earth.

Speaking of planet Earth, I’ve been researching local farms and farmers’ markets. My Netflix queue just sent me Food, Inc. Have you seen this movie? You will never eat again. And also, I now really wish I had a bigger backyard that got sunlight so I could grow my own garden. Since I didn’t know about evil mass food producers back in 2003 when we made the decision to buy a house with a 2 inch backyard that's shaded 24/7 by massive trees, I will have to make do for now by visiting farmers’ markets and doing things like picking my own strawberries.

I am shaking my fist at YOU, Monsanto!

Project Two: Social Butterfly.

I’ve made an executive decision to lay this project aside indefinitely for now, for the following reasons:

1-Free time. By the time I’ve worked a full day, hit the gym, cooked/cleaned up dinner, been coerced to endure my 4,000th watching of the episode in which Dora rescues the baby starfish, done bath and bedtime, caught up on facebook/email/rolled my eyes at the Negative Nellies on the news blog world, it’s 11 PM and I’m brain fried and energy empty.


2-Hormones. (TMI alert! TMI alert!) While I don’t actually have professional proof that I have bizarre and off kilter hormones, and I still can’t figure out if this is just a lingering side effect of pregnancy hormones (note to Wendy and Patresa: you are officially absolved for the next 2 years of all psychotic, weird, and unpredictable behaviors—40 weeks of growing a human + the down time your body needs to right itself from that crazy state...In fact, whenever someone says something like: “Now, if women just ran the world, there’d be world peace,” I always know I’m dealing with someone who’s never been pregnant. Never underestimate the power of progesterone to turn a nice, down-to-earth Dr. Jekyll gal into a foul-mouthed, rabid Mrs. Hyde), or if it’s this Mirena IUD I have (I can always tell when it’s releasing progesterone because I have brief, blinding urges to kill). But seriously. There are whole weeks I am just a terrible, anti-social, angry wart of a human being.

Certainly not someone who should be in charge of any kind of happy hour or thoughtful and sensitive book club.

Summer is coming, and I thought about maybe starting a group then because I’d have more time…but I have a handful of house improvement projects I need to deal with this summer, and I also don’t want to start something I can’t finish (which is making me so: “Ha!” As I type, because I actually do this all the time—start projects, get bored/distracted/disillusioned and then casually forget them). What I may do over the summer is take Wendy’s and Angie’s thoughtful comments from last time and do a “bring a friend!” barbecue/potluck and if it’s a big success and I get some dinner invitations in return, pat myself on the back and call it a day.

Project Three: Writing Rejection-palooza.

Over Spring Break, I wrote half of half a short story. I think that’s actually called a fourth, but I’m bad at math (one reason I now teach others to speak English real good). The End. (Of this project update.)

Here’s a brief and not scary but still important personal project I'd like to work on ‘til next time:

New Project: Kinder and Gentle Roadways.

Yesterday, I was driving Melissa to school. I was running late, and here in Atlanta you do NOT run late. Like, if you leave your house 3 minutes later than your usual time? This can make you late for work by a whole freakish 30 minutes.

For example, I have to be at work no later than 7:55. If I leave my house at 7:15, I can drop M off at daycare, swing by Starbucks, and STILL walk into my classroom with a good 10 minutes to spare. If I leave at 7:18, I’m already half an hour late and I’m tailgating other people, flipping the bird, and generally spending the entire drive saying things like, “Really, Ford Explorer? REALLY??” and “I know you see me right here, blue Toyota truck. Don’t EVEN try to shove your way in—back of the line!” and “Oh! My! God! Are you KIDDING ME!?”

Pre-Melissa, these moments were just one-sided conversations, their only purpose to let off steam so I didn’t become one of those stories you occasionally see on the 5 o’clock news about normally mild-mannered, sweet people who happen to snap in traffic one day and shoot somebody in the head.

Post-Melissa, I try hard to keep this in check. Except in situations someone does something really crazy and on mornings we leave at 7:18. Under duress, I totally forget she’s back there, and what happens usually sounds something like this:

ME: What the hell! Are you insane?! That’s right, License Plate 2MADSKILZ, I’m talking to you!

MELISSA: (in a very concerned voice) Mommy, what happened? What happened?

ME: Nothing, honey. Mommy’s just frustrated.

MELISSA: What happened Mommy?

ME: Cars are just crazy, sweetie. They’re just crazy.

MELISSA: (yelling) Cars! It! Not! Your! Turn! It! My! Mommy! Turn! You go cars! Get out! Of here!

ME: That’s right, Melissa! (I say, cringing, because (a) I’ve turned my child into a backseat driver and (b) I’ve turned my child into a backseat driver who’s not yet in possession of a real driver’s license and already suffers from road rage.)

Did I mention sometimes I also drop the F-bomb? The F-dash-dash-dash word. It comes out of my mouth and I'm usually under such stress don’t even know it’s being thrown into the atmosphere. Plus, I usually save this word for important moments, like when I ram my big toe into something or I’m in the car and there are clearly psychotic people driving around me.

Yesterday morning was an F-dash-dash-dash day. I only even knew the word had left my mouth a whole bunch of times when this little voice piped up from the back: “Buckin’ mommy? That car buckin’?”

Yes, honey. Buckin’! That car is totally buckin’. Buckin’ like a moe boe.

It’s only a matter of time before a concerned daycare teacher calls me in for a conference and gives me The Disapproving Teacher Look.

Thusly, my newest project is to curb the road rage. Be a more conscientious and considerate driver navigating around and amongst my fellow roadsters. Smile more, assume the best of others. Control the lingering effects of progesterone, something the FDA really ought do something about.


Until next time: Keep on treadmilling, twisted knee be damned. Continue to shake my fist at mass food producers while picking local-grown, organic, sustainable strawberries. Write another fourth to the fourth of the story I’ve begun. Stop being such a buckin’ moe boe towards my fellow humans.


John said...

Sometimes it's ok to be a buckin' moe boe, bt I admire your conviction to show grace to fellow drivers, even the inconsiderate and stupid. THAT takes buckets of grace that most people don't have. Have fun with the 5K! You can do it, and you will! Run, girl! Run!
Also, I have a garden. Want any dried beans? They make great soup! Thanks for supporting local growers! ANd for another fun post. Now get to writing, I'm waiting to read more good stuff!

Katie said...

Amy. Oh, my, I like this very much. You have such a way with words, and you can express perfectly what the human condition makes us do in insane moments of frustration. And you're educational! I had no idea that pregancy stuff took two years! I'll be on the lookout for any Godzilla-like tendencies out of my sister. Although, that's not really helpful as she's kind of Godzilla on a good day. It makes me tremble in fear for what's to come....

Fie, FIE on the knee crapola. But I'm happy to hear you are overcoming such adversity and dragging your gimpy self to the gym anyway. You are a better and more motivated woman than I. On a side note, I walked my dog yesterday for 2 and a half miles and I was horrified, absolutely horrified to detect jiggling where previously there had been none. What the heck, bod? WHAT. THE. HECK.

I'm glad to hear Melissa has adapted to gym life. It also sounds like she's a budding journalist the way she handles a pen. And also the way she asserts herself in traffic.

Picking your own stuff is nice. I'm lucky to have a husband to loves to garden, specifically vegetablly things that you have to wash real good and rub dirt off before you can cook them. But, the next best thing are those farmer's markets, because most of the dirt is already washed off and it tastes just as good, and you can talk to people who are justifiably proud of their produce and could probably locate the exact spot that particular squash grew. It's pretty cool. I bet Atlanta has a fabulous farmers market. I am jealous. In Missouri we seem to have a lot of people who think wreaths made of dried corn qualify as farmers market material. It's hard to wade through the stalks to find some frikkin basil.


Ooooooohhh. Hormones. You have my profoundest sympathy and understanding. I get it. I have never been pregnant, but I have such hormone surges during the month that Axel will discreetly search my face for frown lines while he thinks I'm not looking, and there are days his reflexes are noticeably faster. And also, his ability to screen what he says becomes so much better that I think he's charting my cycles on some calendar I haven't found yet. Poor guy. But then I hulk out and destroy everything in my path. It's amazing he's survived this long without some kind of bodily harm.

The social group thing? With ya totally. By the time I actually am able to meet other people at the end of the day I'm not very good company anyway. I view it as a mercy that I don't seek out other humans very much. I would probably just growl at them and grunt a few times when I wanted the pepper shaker. Not fun for anyone.

I love your goals! And I hope you post your fourth when it gets written, or at least your first fourth until then! I bet it's wonderful. And also, thank you for including Melissa's rant from the backseat at other drivers. She sounds like a girl who knows what's up.

To summarize: Yay for strawberries!!!

Steph said...

Ah, Amy. Amy, Amy, Amy... I want to be business-like about this reply, but I'm laughing so hard. YOU. ARE. ME!!!! You drive the way I do, and you have the same good, motherly thoughts in your head, and then that lame-brained, in-a-hurry, head-up-his-butt driver next to you does something STUPID. Yep. BAD CALL, Dude. And common sense goes out the door, and Ms. Potty Mouth takes over - kids in ear shot or not. I so hear you... I love the buckin' moe boe! May just borrow that one. The best one-liner out of my 4-year-old angel so far is: "Dude, it doesn't get any greener!" :)
I love the Farmer's Market and can't wait til school's out so I can actually make it to our local market, which operates during the daytime only. Yay for you. P.S. Send a mental eraser to eliminate any knowledge of Food, Inc. from my brain. I never want to see this movie. It would do me in for sure. I love food way too much to accept the truth about most of it. Sad, I suppose.
So sorry about the knee.... it sucks to deal with. Do me a favor, though, and listen to it. Don't push it past where it can go. It'll be better in the end that way.
YAY for Melissa loving the gym daycare!!!!!!!!!!!!! Without mine, I'd never get to go. What a relief!!! Especially since now you are saving the environment, your wallet, AND your waistline! YEEHAW, girl! You GO!
I totally dig the potluck bbq idea! I would love to come! Too bad you're all the way down there in Atlanta! I'm sure you'll see the fruits of that labor and get lots of invites! YAY!
I love your writing and can't wait to see this short story when you finish it! If you put yourself into it the same way you do in your blog posts, it's going to be something special. Fact.

patresa said...

buckin' moe boe! oh, that makes me laugh and laugh! hahahaha.

the twisted knee does NOT make me laugh, so i hope that heals quickly and soundly. and congratulations to having a kid who likes the gym nursery!

i fully support your decision to postpone social butterfly projects.

and i fully appreciate any and all absolution for my erratic pregnancy behaviors and any erratic behaviors to come in the next 2 years. thank you.

finally, i hope you soon write another fourth to your half.

thank you for being so witty, amy. you make me laugh.

Tanner May (Tanya) said...

his made me laugh and laugh too! And want to give you all sorts of high fives and a hug of encouragement too.

I love your Melissa conversations, and I am pretty certain I've heard more f-bombs from awesome parents than not. Rock on, awesome mama.

I have never had a baby, but this is FABULOUS information for hopefully when I do. Does adoption count? I want it to count. Potentially.

Nice job on the gym, good thoughts sent your way about the knee, nicely done with the fist shakes (and OMG! Not good!), and YES, keep writing!!! You are buckin' awesome Amy. :)

Angie said...

Amy, this completely cracked me up! Thank you for helping me start my day off with a chuckle or two.

Hooray for Farmer's Markets! There is a much less scary book by Barbara Kingsolver called "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" if you want some more positive inspiration to get local with your foodstuffs. Small farmers need all the support they can get, not to mention the planet!

And just FYI, April 30th is my birthday. I see this as cosmic evidence that you will kick ass on your 5K.

Anonymous said...

I could not possibly drive in a city on a regular basis. Swearing would be the least of my worries.

Good luck on your road race. Am envious.

I will now go back to eating Doritos and mini eggs. xo

Tawni said...

Noooooooo! I hate that you twisted your knee. Grrrrrr. Injuries just super suck. I hope it heals so fast. But I'm so glad you can still hit the gym. And that your beautiful girl is adjusting to the daycare there. That makes it so much easier on a mama, when the kiddo doesn't make you feel guilty, doesn't it? My son has never had even a second of separation anxiety, and I am ridiculously grateful for this quality of his. I don't know what I'd do if he wasn't so confident. It would kill me.

Also: While I'm sorry you're having to watch the baby starfish episode over and over again, I have a special place in my heart for Dora. She was my son's first favorite cartoon character. Dora! :)

Oh, good lordy, the post-pregnancy hormones. I never went back to my pre-pregnancy blend. The recent surgical removal of most of my inner girl junk has made me finally feel like myself again for the first time in five years, since before my son was born. I agree with you completely that post-pregnant women are absolved of all weird behaviors. I also wish it would go ahead and become common knowledge, as in accepted, expected and anticipated, that most women will experience post-partum depression. Nobody seemed to want to talk to me about it when I experienced depression for the first time in my life after my son was born, and it made me feel even more crazy than I already did. It sure would have helped to hear that it was normal from more women, and I vowed to always talk openly about it for the other women out there experiencing it so they wouldn't feel so alone. Hormones are so much more powerful than we seem to want to give them credit for being, aren't they? I hope you figure out the right blend and feel better really soon, and please know that you have my absolute sympathy in the meantime, sister-friend.

I could use the kinder and gentle roadways training you discuss. I often find myself being negative in the car about other drivers when Miles is with me. When I catch myself doing it, I try to downplay it immediately, like I'm just kidding, but I really need to learn to filter it before it comes out of my mouth. I want to set a positive example for my son, as much as possible. I could really relate to that.

Congratulations on all of your successes and good luck with your latest set of goals, COFFEE mate! :)

amy said...

I thank each one of you kind and sweet people for your kind and sweet thoughts and words to this buckin' moe boe. I got side tracked and wayward and did not keep up with my COFFEE reading (typically, I'm checking in here quite frequently just for my own amusement), and so I am just now getting to read your comments.


(And yes, Tanya: Adoption counts.) (Ditto doggy/kitty adoptions. :-)