So Maybe I Failed Another Drug Screen

I’m good at lots of stuff. I take decent photographs. I can cook a decent meal, sometimes I write. There are things I’m good at, see. And then there’s the stuff I’m not so good at. Like passing drug screens, for example.

I blew it once before. It was by accident, of course. Wait. That was a bad choice of words. Allow me to clarify. I didn’t have an accident or anything. I failed the screen because, having been brought up right, I flushed the toilet. And then was close to failing a second time because the sample was a little, er, on the low side.

A few days ago, I had the chance to redeem myself. As part of the pre-employment process of a job I am up for, I had to go and do another drug screen. I promised myself this time would be different. There would be no flush. No flush. Not from me. And there would be no question of volume. I would turn that volume UP!   I knew I could do it! I would pass this screen the first go-round. Sometimes you just need to believe in yourself, you know?

So I went. To the clinic, I mean. Well,  I went, too. Because that’s part of the process. But I’m getting ahead of myself. I showed up at the clinic and registered after drinking enough water and coffee to provide a large enough sample for an elephant. The lobby reeked of cigarette smoke. I looked around to see if they were screening Noah. They weren’t. The closest they had to a Flood of Biblical proportions was a large fish tank with a constantly trickling filter. In the lobby of a place where people go because they’re supposed to pee. Rather dangerous placement if you ask me.

When they called my name, I knew my moment had come. I followed the nice lady back to the Cubicles of Disappointment and got signed in. She gave me the instructions, but she needn’t have bothered. They are burned into my heart. “Pee in the cup, don’t flush.” Like I could ever forget them.

I did what I had to do, and I did it well. After all that water, my cup overfl- oh, nevermind..You get the idea. I walked away from my nemesis feeling a little grossed out without flushing. I had done it! I think I heard an angel sing.

The thrill of success doesn’t last forever – just long enough to remember the poppy-seed bread I had eaten a couple of days before. Poppy seeds. You know the ones. Little black seeds that show up in a drug screen as heroin.  Awesome. Even though my liver problem means I can’t drink OR shoot up heroin, but try explaining that one to Human Resources.

I’m waiting to hear the results. They say no news is good news.  It might also be said that no news means they think you’re strung out on something stronger than dandelions. So now I’m scouring the classifieds for a position with an employer seeking hard-working individuals with a taste for poppy seed baked goods. I’ll let you know what I find.

If I can't get regular employment due to my hygienic and dietary  habits, I could be a kennel girl.

If I can’t get regular employment due to my hygienic and dietary habits, I could be a kennel girl.


You shall submit! Your link, that is!

Channeling Spirit

It’s school spirit week at my son’s elementary school. Woo-hoo and all that. I remember spirit week from my school days. My personal favorite was mismatched shoes day.  I enjoyed it so much that I kept continued the practice. Until my mom refused to go anywhere with me. Correction. Until my mom refused to take me anywhere. I was fourteen and it wasn’t exactly legal for me to drive myself. The bitterness still rankles. I’d have turned out better, I think, had I been allowed to wear one Nike and one Ked.

I will not hinder my son’s self-expression. At least not at the age of nine. And unless it’s a rat-tail. Therefore, I allow, nay, I encourage his participation in Spirit Week. With the new millennium has dawned whole new ways to show your school spirit. We have a list, everything from inside-out day (wear your clothes inside out. If you’re a rebel like my son, that means underwear, too) to hat day. For the latter, he plans to wear his coonskin cap. It’s too small for his over-sized cranium, and it’s the exact color of his real hair, lending the impression he has grown a second head of hair. With a rat tail.

The spirity day I am least comfortable with is Pajama Day. Wearing my pajamas to school is just shy of showing up to school wearing only my underwear. Perhaps that particular nightmare has been retired from the Hall of Dreams, so kids today don’t bat an eye at showing up in their Power Rangers flannels. Or am I the only one that ever had that dream? It makes my son happy that on one day a year he doesn’t have to bother getting dressed, so I let him.

No school will ever hold a spirit week like the one my son used to attend. We waited all year for the announcement of our particular favorite, making plans for how to outdo last year. . And then my son came home and declared “Tomorrow is crazy hair day!” I think I heard an angel sing. And we set to work.

We all got up extra early. My daughter took the lead in decorating her brother that year, and she outdid herself. She gelled and twisted and twirled her brother into the most awesome coiffure ever seen on Crazy Hair Day. A thing of beauty. Edward Scissorhands meets Darth Maul. A prize winner, no doubt. That ‘do defied the laws of gravity.

The best Crazy Hair in the history of the event

It was with great pride that I let my son out of the car and watched him saunter up the walk, taking in all the admiring glances from his pals.  Pride goeth before a fall and stuff. I took a brief look around to check out the ‘dos his classmates were sporting, and I was mildly surprised that the principal wasn’t participating this year. And guess what else? No one else seemed to be participating, either. I felt the blood drain from my face as the realization hit me. I had sent my child to school looking like a pin cushion on Team Jersey Day.

I am still waiting on my Mother of the Year trophy for that particular blunder. I believe they should change the name of the event to “Restless Spirit Week.” It still haunts me.

Nobody’s Perfect

Mocha cupcake. Hands off.

I don’t know why it came as such a surprise to them. It wasn’t new information. I know they haven’t been laboring under the illusion the Mom-is-a-saint illusion. That ship sailed long ago. So when that package of sweets arrived unexpectedly in our mailbox, why did it rock my kids’ world to be reminded of a great truth? Mom doesn’t share.

There, I said it. I don’t share. I never have. Okay, I do share sometimes, but apparently letting them share my body for nine months was soon forgotten. But I don’t share food. Not the good stuff.

Don’t look at me like that. I feed them. Daily. Several times. But when I am presented with a tasty morsel, some treat of which there is limited quantity, I go Cro-Magnon. I hide my kill and come back for it later. Bears don’t share, so why should I?

I don’t know why they thought this package was different. Before management jacked the price up 60%, I routinely bought a vegan brownie at Whole Foods once a week. I savored that tidbit all week long, dividing it into four pieces and treating myself at the end of a long day. The kids would tease me about it, pretending they were going to eat it themselves, but it was all in good fun. They never expected to have any of it for real. And they leave my chocolate cereal alone. It’s my new “brownie-isn’t-worth-the-money-but-I-need-something-sweet” treat. They leave that alone. Only if I have been a slacker and allowed us to run out of regular cereal do they expect to receive a bowlful. It’s my penance.

So why do they seem to think that these delightful little candies are up for grabs? Is it because they are Cadbury? Because they are individually wrapped? Because they are from England? Or is it just because they are mine? And they are. Mine! Mine! Mine!

Upon seeing the contents of the package, daughter threw puppy-dog eyes, middle son hugged me, and Squish, in his Pavlovian response to receiving treats for his dirty business, ran to the bathroom to poop. That’s nice, ya’ll but no. No. No. No. Mine.

I put the treats in a high cabinet as soon as I brought them in the house. Out of sight, but definitely not out of mind. My son said “You might want a surveillance camera just to keep an eye on them.” Does he really think they are staying there? I may be absent-minded, but I am not stupid. I put them in that cabinet to throw them off the trail. I have a series of secret places, and I will simply move my goodies from spot to spot until I have finished them. My dark chocolate and raspberry candies lived in my sock drawer. My brownie lived in the kids’ Halloween buckets. Ironically, they never look there. I have been known to tuck treats in an empty Tampax box, guaranteeing no male in the household will touch it. It’s like hiding Superman’s cookies in a kryptonite cabinet.

So where to put these little morsels? Yeah, right. Like I’m telling. I. Don’t. Share.

The Rudest Awakening

I thought I knew who I was. I built my whole life around and identity I thought was my own, and now I see I have been living a lie. I was shattered this week when the catalog arrived, one I had not ordered but found intriguing. But as I flipped through it, my whole life came tumbling down as the realization hit me. I am not a geek.

I’ve spent years being referred to as a geek. After all, if I dress like this and enter Harry Potter costume contests, what does that make me? Certainly not normal.

Laugh if you want. I won. I AM Trelawney.

But apparently, dressing your baby like this:

Maybe I could get in the club if I had used permanent marker to make the scar.


does not get you in the club. Now I have read the catalog, and I realize the many ways that I am not a geek.

I don’t get the whole bacon thing: Bacon is greasy, high in fat, salty and terrible. Tastes okay and all, but eating that stuff will kill you. I tried cooking with bacon recently. For my husband’s sake. But at the last second, I totally chickened out and bought turkey bacon. Which according to my husband is not even a reasonable substitute.

I am no whiz at chemistry or physics– I like the idea of chemistry, with all that bonding and stuff, but I could never balance an equation. Mine always tilted to one side.

I have never watched Dr. Who– It’s not available at my library, and I don’t have cable. And I won’t just buy a DVD because *gasp* there’s a chance I might not actually like it.

I don’t have cable–  And therefore I cannot watch Dr. Who. It’s a vicious geek-prevention cycle.

I have never participated in a role-playing game– A couple of weeks ago, we thought we had been transported to Middle Earth because the mountain was never-ending. But none of us had powers. And no one thought it was funny but me.

I am not interested in Zombies– I don’t actually get that fascination, either. Why are smart people so fascinated with a creature that wants to eat their brain? It’s like a cow watching McDonald’s commercials.

I have never played Rock Band– I play two online games, but interest in both is fading, and one is going off-line in a few months anyway.

I don’t like the right TV shows– Star Trek (any generation) bores me to tears, I have no idea what a Tardis is, and Star Wars is only mildly appealing. I do only like the original trilogy, though, so that should give me some bonus points, right?

I don’t have gadgets– I don’t have a cell-phone (i- , smart, or otherwise), and I have no idea what Angry Birds actually is. My daughter tried to tell me about it, but I think she may have been kidding. There aren’t actually pigs involved, right?

I am not up on the latest technology– I’m not a techno-phobe, and I’ve taught myself some cool stuff on the computer, but I am not exactly a genius at it, either. I can update my flash and browser, post pictures, figure out blogging sites, but I am still not exactly sure what an RSS feed is and how it can be my friend. And to me, writing code means leaving a note for my husband that the boys can’t read. It’s called “cursive.” Linux is a mystery to me, as well. Wasn’t he the kid with the blanket on Charlie Brown?

So there you have it. I know what I am not. But here’s the good news. I don’t have to be a geek. I came across another epithet that is hurled with the same amount of scorn and derision. I am a “mommy-blogger.” It’s good to know who I am.

Another Rude Awakening

I need five more minutes. Or coffee.

It’s early. Really early. Coffee’s not even finished yet. Please don’t talk to me. I want to go back to bed, but that’s just not in the cards for me today. Ugh.

I’ve not been sleeping well, so I’ve been a little lazy recently. My husband sets his alarm for “before-the-stinkin’-rooster” and goes out for a run, carefully resetting the alarm to give me another half an hour of sleep. 39 minutes, if I decide to hit snooze. And there I was yesterday at the sound of the alarm, stumbling out of bed, tripping over shoes, trying not to brain myself on the dresser because we decided it would be ever-so-smart to put the alarm clock on the other side of the room. There was no question that it was a “snooze” day. I reached out my well-trained alarm-stopper to smack the snooze bar, only to discover IT WASN’T THERE!

I thought I wad having a dream at first, a bad one. Like needing to potty and can’t find a toilet, but noisier. If I don’t get the alarm off in time, the baby is wide awake, and that blessed nine more minutes’ shut eye is out the window. I smacked around on the top of the clock in desperation, thinking that the magic button was playing a trick on me. If I hit it hard enough, it would reappear with a big “SURPRISE!” Where was the frickin’ button? Was it my husband’s new running partner? WHERE DID THAT BUTTON GO?”!

I hit it just right, it seems. Because the radio came out. Loudly. Very, very, very loudly. And it only goes off WHEN YOU PUSH THE SNOOZE BUTTON! Squish snorted and turned over in his crib over in the corner. Even in my sleep deprived state, I realized if I gave in to my deepest desire and pounded the stupid alarm into a pile of dust with a hammer, I would probably wake the baby. So I did what I had to do. I unplugged the whole clock. Standing there with cord in hand, I realized I had just kissed my extra bit of sleep goodbye. As if I could sleep after that trauma anyway.

My husband admitted later that the clock had broken on him that morning. I feel very let down now. Alarm clocks shouldn’t break. And that one was special. It had been his grandmother’s. If a clock can’t handle 25 years of someone beating on it every morning (sometimes 3 or 4 times a morning), they just shouldn’t sell it at Wal-mart. That sucker should have lasted until retirement. I am bitter.

I forgot about the stupid clock until last night before bed. My husband had replaced it with a different model that he had bought for his office. I took an instant dislike to it. No more softly glowing red numbers. These puppies are fluorescent green and are so bright the bedroom looks like a landing strip. And it doesn’t sound like our old alarm. Instead of a gentle “beep-beep-beep” at middle C, I woke thinking someone was stepping on a bag of cats.

I don’t know where any of the buttons are. I can’t turn on the radio or set the time. But I will have to learn it all fast. I’ll have the kids help me run some snooze drills today until I know that clock so well I can work it in my sleep. Because that’s the actual point.

But look at me. It’s just now shower-time, and I am finished writing for the day. Look at me being all productive and stuff! Rather than beat on the new clock this morning, I decided to go ahead and start my day. Rather than hitting snooze, I just turned the thing off. At least, I think that’s what I did. I guess I’ll know in a few minutes!