Thursday, September 8, 2011

My Life Through Email. . .

So recently I've been thinking about how--since the dawn of the cyber-age, anyway--the major happenings in my life can be tracked through my email.  (In that I can go back through and read old emails, if I so choose, NOT in a Big Brother is watching/tin-foil hat kind of way.  I just want to make that clear.)

Even so, this is a big idea for me to get my head around.

From almost as far back as I can remember, I have had a journal of some sort.  Or, more honestly, I've generally had 2 or 3 at any given point.  Some were nothing more than a spiral notebook, kept in my car, and to be used in every emergency from a quickly scrawled grocery list to a 'We are broken down--coming back with money for meter.  Please don't tow!' note left underneath the windshield wiper on the car in precisely such a situation.  (Pleased to report--we weren't towed.)

Then there's always at least one 'pretty' journal. . . the powder-blue suede one with silver on the binding has held a place on my bookcase for years.  As I know that (due to just how completely PRETTY it is) this is a journal that I will have for quite a long time, I keep important things in here.  Journal pages from important times in my life, or perfectly unimportant times when I simply felt the need to write, passwords to different accounts online, and running lists of what would be a good idea to get so-and-so for Christmas. 

It's a very important journal. 

. . .And since I can never remember my password, my Neopets would *literally* die without it.


And then there's the notepad with polka dots and 'Joy' written on the spine that's always kept near the kitchen, generally with a pen sitting on top of it.  This is because the kitchen is usually the first place we go after waking up in the morning, and when Michael and I are on different shifts the kitchen counter is the choice spot to leave a 'Good Morning, I love you' note.

. . .Or sometimes even a 'Good Morning, I love you, I took $10 from your wallet to put gas in the car and I found another spider last night we need to spray' note.

(It's been known to happen.)

All I'm saying is that these are my credentials for being a lover of the written word, and a lover of being the WRITER of those written words.  I like having journals around.  I like their appearance, and I like their physical presence. 

So imagine my surprise when I realized that the most thorough, and most reliable journal of my activities for the last several years was never even written, but typed. . .

(I had mixed feelings, I will admit.  Much like the whole Kindle debate.  In which, I'm happy to report that Logic prevailed, but the romance and beauty of an actual bookcase still remains.  It was a happy compromise.)

But these emails contained the daily minutia that I didn't have the time to record in any of my notebooks, as I can type much faster than I can write.

So I started going through old emails.

And was quickly re-introduced to the fact that I *might* be a slightly warped individual.  =)

But more than that, these emails were perfect journals, and helped me REMEMBER so much more!  So many small events that made up our daily lives that make me so happy just to think about. . .

(Probably NOT surprisingly, the bulk of these emails have been to either my mother or my husband.)

One of the more recent, a short email (which is an anomoly for me, as you'll soon learn) about feeling Nolan kick for the first time:

Subject: IT'S ALIIIIIVE!!!!!!


This is insane!!!  Like I can actually FEEL HIM!!!  Feels like he’s doing flips. . .  I guess he didn’t like that Subway sandwich with jalapenos that we had for lunch. . .


And then there's the email I got while at work one day, that told me we were getting our house:

Subject: - "Clear to Close"

I just wanted to give you the good news…We just heard back from our underwriter..and we have a Clear-to-Close !

Thank you!


Then there's the time the Star Wars exhibit came to the Huntsville Space and Rocket Center and we were taking the boys, and I was trying to find out if anyone else in the family was interested in going with us:

Subject: Evil Outings. . .

Greetings General---

As a recent instance of rebel-sabotage ( . . .VERMIN!!!) has left us incapable of generating our June Storm-Trooper Newsletter, I am sending this communication so that you will be briefed on our dark-doings and grisly goings-on. . .

Well Summer is here and every Storm Trooper on rotation is just pleased-as-punch about the announcement of our yearly Evil Outing.  After MUCH heated debate, and extensive loss-of-life, our meeting ended in the decision to travel north to the ancient city of Hunt’s’Ville to view the ancient rockets there on display.  Currently, plans are in the works to deliver the miniscule padawan (Codename: Eats-His-Boogers) to the Space and Rocket Center in  Hunt’s’Ville on July 2, 2010.  I have obtained data that suggests that tickets to this event are sold in 30-minute increments.  We have obtained our passes for:

                                                Friday, July 2nd
                                                Night Admission
                                                5:00 p.m.

We’re going to tour the normal Space and Rocket Center stuff that morning, and we’re doing Star Wars that night.  I’m not sure how the tiny-jedi is going to fare on this all-day adventure. . . For that matter, I’m not sure how I will fare, either.  (I have some very valid concerns about nap-availabilities. . .)

Any-hoo. . . this is just if ya’ll are interested.  Seriously, though, if you think your child may have some inclinations toward someday ruling the galaxy, that’s REALLY the kind of thing you need to encourage when they’re young. . .  =)

Hus, kisses, and Space-snuggies----

Darth Mater


Or finally, the email sent to my mother in regards to Muscles, our youngest kitty (stripes on top, polka dots on his belly).  Muscles just showed up at my mother's house one day as a kitten and wouldn't leave. . . until Michael, Cana, Devin and I came over for lunch one afternoon and left with him =)  What follows is the email I sent her in jest regarding the adoption of Muscles:

Subject: Madam
Dear Madam:
I am sending this letter in regards to the kitten that my husband and I received from your facility during the month of September 2009.  (UPC #  68C43Y519)
Frankly, ma'am, we are dissatisfied.
I'm not certain what sort of second-rate establishment you're running, ma'am, but when we left your establishment we expected to return home with a FULLY FUNCTIONAL KITTEN.  (Your brochure assured us of as much.)
Sadly, upon a full inspection of the kitten-in-question, my husband and I were SHOCKED ma'am---SHOCKED!---to discover that we had been duped by an establishment of your pedigree.  . . .I'm sure you're feeling very pleased with yourself. . .  Took us for a couple of rubes, did you?  Thought you'd get away with your little racket, and no one would be the wiser, eh? . . .
Well not on MY dime, Madam! 
We are hard-working, common folk, but do not take us for simpletons!!  It was a mere matter of weeks before we discovered that THIS KITTEN had been constructed using INFERIOR PARTS!  Imagine our consternation when we discovered that the KITTEN that our son had been playing with was a LEMON!!  To begin with, it is painfully OBVIOUS that he was constructed using parts from SEVERAL DIFFERENT KITTENS!!  (Stripes AND spots??  Honestly . . .I don't know how you sleep at night.)
However, the FINAL STRAW was when my husband pointed out that this inferior kitten was PERFECTLY UNAWARE of PROPER LITTERBOX PROCEDURE!!  He poops in the box, turns around, places his front paws OUTSIDE THE BOX, and THEN proceeds to 'cover up' his poo---WITH HIS FRONT LEGS SCRATCHING AIR!!!  OUTSIDE THE BOX!!!!
After a discussion with my husband, I am sorry to inform you that we are FULLY prepared to take this issue ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP!  To the highest branches of government!---To the Better Business Bureau!!  ---TO 'CAT FANCIER'S' MAGAZINE!!
----Unless we receive a fully-functional kitten from your establishment within one week's time.
I can assure you, ma'am---We are QUITE serious.  (We do not take kitten-pilfering lightly, ma'am.)
Please ship the 'refund-kitten' to the address shown on our file.  (I will be shipping the 'inferior' product back to your Corporate Office as soon as he is located.)
We also need one (1) replacement 'Friendly-Frog'.
Good day to you.


So. . .feel perfectly justified in judging me now, if you wish.  But keep in mind, when we lost our internet privileges at work several months back (sidenote: something I *almost* very passionately waged a veritable Crusade about. . .and then discovered that I simply lacked the energy. . .), the only thing we were left with was and email.

And I quickly grew weary of being knowledgeable about current events.  Much too beastly.  I'll continue to get my news from Comedy Central, thank-you-very-much.

My point is that even if I'm not feeling very talkative in my daily life, odds are my fingers won't know when to shut up.

And of course, in a forum such as this, I am forced to completely overlook the major category of my old emails: notes sent to my husband---wishing him a good day, bitching to him about how I had inevitably been wronged by someone in one way or another, and reminding him that we are out of toilet paper.

And peanut butter.

As strange as it is to believe, my husband and I actually *met* via email communications sent through Myspace.  . . .And it just so happened that we knew a lot of the same people. . .  And he was really cute. . .  AND he had great taste in music. . . and. . .

Well, SOME things won't be recited here =)

Primarily because I can't get INTO my Myspace account.

Because I lost the notebook that had my log-in information in it. . .

(True story.)


Technology:   1

Notebooks:    0

Monday, September 5, 2011

Letter to my first-born son, written June 15th, 2011

Oh Nolan, My Grey <3 <3 <3

You are both a miracle and an enigma to me.  I sit here at work, scant DAYS away from being 8 months pregnant with you, and AT LAST (!!!) able to expect your arrival within the next 4 or 5 weeks!  Looking down at my overly rounded belly now, I see what might be your hand or your foot travel across the side of my abdomen.  These tiny things help to remind me every day that you are REAL!  You are MINE!  And you are almost HERE!!  And you are just going to be one of the most LOVED, CHERISHED, and ADORED babies to ever live on this planet!!

I have spent more than half my life wanting to be your mother, Nolan Grey.  And I promise that, though I will never be perfect, I will work as hard as I can to be the best mother to YOU---and to make sure you know how much I love you each and every day that you're alive.  . . .To be perfectly honest, even at this late hour, I am STILL awed and AMAZED that the reality of *YOU* has happened to *me*!

One day. . .I will tell you the story of how I wished, and prayed, and WAITED on you for years and years and years and years.  And I will tell you the story of how I *almost* gave up on hoping that I would ever get the chance to see you or to know you. . .  This was the source of a very deep, and very personal, sadness in my heart for more years than I care to count.  . . .


In my deepest heart of hearts, I NEVER stopped carrying the Hope of YOU.  I carried the Hope of You around in my heart, every second, and every millisecond, and every month, and every year for seasons innumerable. . . and from time to time, as the years wore on. . .I DID despair.  But the sweet Hope of You kept me strong---stronger than I think I might've been by myself.  And so I carried on.

Carried on into so MANY uncertain tomorrows. . .  Grey days and bleak avenues, and long seasons of sadness that I feared might never end.  Dark days I faced.  And faced.  And FACED.  And then Dark days I rightfully escaped.  And suddenly I looked up one day to find myself ARMED!  I had spent these years armed with Books (beloveds, and true friends), and Music (which has been my joy and my salvation again and again and again), armed also with Humor (the laughter that kept me sane), and always, always armed with the Locket around my neck that held the Hope of You, my dear Grey =)

And then, on some sunny afternoon in the not-too-distant future, when you are young and strong and brilliant, and carry in your pockets the laughters of a thousand different days, I will sit you down and tell you the story of how I met the love of my life.  Your Father.  And how from the moment we met. . . I *knew*.  I knew it was Him.  The same Him that I had spent my entire life looking for, and the very same Him that I had waited my entire life to finally meet.  His name was "Michael", but to me he was The One, and I knew it as well as I knew my own name.  As well as I knew, from our first meeting, that my place was with Him.  That this man was my family, and my home.  And I would never again in my life want to live without him.

And he chased away my nightmares, and he reminded me how to laugh when I had quite forgotten how. . .  And he gave me FAITH again, in all things good and true.  And he renewed in me my passion for both Life and Laughter. . .a passion that had lain high on a shelf for misty old months on end. 

I had found everything I ever needed or wanted in Him.

. . . .

And STILL I held on to the Hope of You.  Because You were the ONLY thing missing to make all of my dreams---even the ones I thought never had a chance---come true.  =)

So I love you Nolan Grey.  I love you more than I ever dreamed I could love someone I've never seen face to face.  And I will spend every moment, for as long as I walk this good earth, loving you, protecting you, listenening to you, and wishing and dreaming for you.  And hopefully one day I can also find the words to explain to you that you were never ANYTHING so blasphemous as an accident.  You are the Gift that I waited so VERY long to recieve. 

You are my miracle of miracles.  And the hardest thing I have ever had to do is wait. . .until I can hold you.

Love you forever, until the stars cease to shine,
Your Mama

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Why I have no use for football, but LOVE football season. . .

So.  In my corner of the globe the big news today--and facebook will back me up on this-- is that today is the first day of the football season.  (. . .I just came SO close to saying "my neck of the woods".  Hand to God.  But I bit back the urge.  Yay me.  . . .so where was I?)

Oh yes---the Football.  (I have decided that I will capitalize it.  Much like Buster Bluth does with 'Army'.  Because it just looms that large.)  Today. . . (stage whisper) *IT BEGINS!!!*

Allow me to just go on record from the beginning of this little rant by saying that I DO NOT CARE FOR FOOTBALL.  Not at all.  Never have, never will.  I harbor no ill will toward Football, I simply cannot get my head around the fascination with it.  And I am no more in the market for a personal allegiance to a particular Football team than I am in the market for a new and improved brand of Jesus.  So, and I am phrasing this as kindly as I know how: Take your 'Waaaaaar's and your 'Rooooooooll's to the house next door, because I won't *threaten* you with physical harm, but I may just locate the nearest broom and begin pummelling you with it.  For real.  Take it next door.

However, as I have lived my entire life (born and bred, folks, born and bred.  Don't let the extensive vocabulary fool you =) in the South. . .and in Alabama, at that. . . this complete and utter distaste for all things Football has caused me no shortage of personal distress over the years.  As any Alabamian knows, they really like for you to make your allegiance to a certain Football team known and logged by the age of 4.  That gives you one year to acquaint yourself with the team and the traditions before school starts around the age of 5.  Because once you start school, when the inevitable question is posed (and make NO DOUBT you WILL BE ASKED), generally by day 2 or 3:  "Who're you for?"  Well, by God, Billy Wayne, you'd BETTER HAVE A FREAKING ANSWER!!***

***Note:  A quick footnote about this all-important question-- Playing dumb does NOT work.  Don't even try it.  I'm serious.  A completely innocent "Whatever do you mean?" in response to the "Who're-you-for" question, uttered carelessly in first grade---(It was FIRST GRADE!!!  HOW WAS I TO KNOW??!?  WHO *ARE* ALL THESE FOOTBALL-CHILDREN?!?!!)--- will do nothing more than cause your schoolmates to raise their eyebrows, shamelessly mock you, and land you in the Special/Mildly Retarded category for the remainder of your public education.  This is, of course, a middle-ground scenario.  The worst-case scenario does not bear mentioning here.  The best-case scenario, if for some reason you SHOULD decide to go this route, is that your classmates will eternally regard you with mild suspicion.  . . .Kind of like the kid who transferred in from out of state in 2nd grade, dresses like she is from another planet, and has completely different ideas of what is cool and what is not.  Get with the program, New Kid.  Jelly-sandals are where it's at. 

Enough about the Jellies.  Moving on.

And please don't make the mistake of believing that my general lack of interest in the sport stems from a lack of understanding.  Because you would be wrong.

Actually, it's kind of cute to think about, but in the course of my illustrious and oft-troubled love life, I do believe that every SINGLE boyfriend has at some point tried to educate me about the finer points and nuances of the game.  How adorable.  =)  They thought that I didn't *care* about it simply because I didn't *understand* it. . . and they could not have been more wrong.  It's sort of the same way with British comedy.  People tend to assume that if you're not a fan, it's because you don't get it. 

No, no, I can assure you--British comedy is very high-brow.  Very subtle.  Ministry of Silly Walks.  I get it.

I just don't think it's funny.

Same with football.  I get it.  (To a degree.)  But at some point during EVERY ONE of those kind (and informative!) monologues about the intricacies of Football, that one boyfriend or male-friend or another was kind enough to provide me with, in hopes of furthering both my education AND my usefulness, I tend to drift off with the faeries. . .  I believe that this happens at roughly the same point that I drift off whenever someone has been foolish enough to try to explain to me exactly how a carburetor works.  It's not something I do intentionally.  Just, at some point, and for some reason, and let me stress that it is QUITE beyond my control, I stop listening and begin wondering why white chocolate is so much better than dark chocolate, or why Einstein's theory of relativity breaks down when you observe matter on a molecular level and why gravity seems to have no effect on these particles. . .

It's not something I'm proud of, but there you go.

And as a child I remember observing the adults around me AFTER the Football was over.  I found it BEYOND curious that after the Football had happened, it appeared that whatever had taken place on that green field had the power to affect the moods of those around me. 

(---*In my best Spock voice*---)   Fascinating.

Those little men on the screen, should they not perform in a manner pleasing enough, actually had the power to ruin the day of the adults around me.

I just couldn't figure it out. . .  To me, this would be like something that happened on Sesame Street having the power to make or break my day.  But. . . well, I *did* cry when Mr. Hooper died, so maybe that's not the best example. . .

(May angels wing thee to thy rest, Mr Hooper.  Were it not for you, I might never have learned about Friendship, Muppets, and the magic of Cooperation.  =)

After a time, I found that the very best thing I could do when Football was happening was to curl up in an easy chair with a really good book, and let Eli Gold's voice lull me to sleep.  (To this day, when Football is happening on the tv at our house, the announcers' voices always put me in a very relaxed and sleepy mood. . . they're kind of like preachers, that way.)  And I'm not trying to brag, but I believe the entire Auburn football team owes me a debt of thanks, as my mid-game nap last season turned out to be their good luck charm.  (You're welcome, guys.)

So in truth, I suppose it is strange that I actually *enjoy* Football season, but I do.  I love it!

It is generally a marker that means the weather is starting to turn cooler--a sign that the worst heat of the summer is coming to an end.  It is a time during the weekend when I *KNOW* that I can spend a couple of hours curled up on the couch with my husband (even if he is perched anxiously on one end of the couch, while I am embroiled in adventures in the deep forests of Middle Earth on the other). 

And it is a season that is generally accompanied by all varieties of happy, greasy, comfort food:  Sausage balls, little smokies, cheese dips, crockpot treasures, and any other artery-clogging delight your mind can conjure up.

I even like going to the games from time to time. . .  Not so much because I have any emotional investment in the final score, but just because I like the pomp and excitement of the event itself.  (And again---the food.  Let us never forget the food.  A hot dog never tastes as good as it does at a game, eaten on bleachers.)

So yes.  I love football season.  . . . I just don't really care for Football.

So give me a good book and some great snacks, and I'll be curled up with Michael for every game this season, and love every minute of it.

I would even be open to wearing the shirt of a particular team.

I'm not opposed to that. 

So if someone wants to donate one, just let me know.

Just keep in mind---I would be less concerned with what team logo is on the front, and more concerned with how soft the fabric is =)