Saturday, January 22, 2011

Call me Grace

Remember how I posted recently about being nominated for a Major Award - an SPD Blogger Award in the Humorous Blog category?  (If not, welcome to my world, and I'm glad to have company that probably, like me, gets in the car and drives directly to the grocery store for three things you need and then, upon entering the store, forgets at least two of those things.  And yet, can still sing *every last word* of any number of pop songs from the 80s.... Also, check out the post preceding this one, 'cause that's the one I'm talking about.)

Well, I have tried to be, as Jane Lynch put it while accepting her own Major Award (that one being a mere Golden Globe, since she's not an SPD Blogger as far as I know), falsely humble, but as the clock winds down to the end of the voting period and I see my fellow nominees campaigning on Twitter and the like for their own blogs, I find myself reverting to true form.

That form being Grace.  Of Will & Grace fame.  Yes, I admit it.  I have a teeny-tiny bit of a competitive streak in me.  (It is also true that I once aspired to have a huge head of red, curly hair a la Debra Messing in W&G or, more accurately, a la Julia Roberts circa Mystic Pizza.  But that is neither here nor there, as my painful, Wolverine Van Beethoven recent history and present "the heck with it, I give up"ish Mom 'do can attest.)  (Also, that "teeny-tiny" qualifier is the same as saying I have a "teeny-tiny" crush on George Clooney and/or Hugh Jackman, or that I have a "teeny-tiny" love of popcorn and naps.  And as longtime readers may recall, I once made a video of myself singing an ode to George in order to win a contest for an autographed picture of the man.  Which, by the way, I won.)

I have always been competitive.  It's not that I'm not a good loser, because I can be gracious in defeat.  Really.  I just hate to lose.  Ever since I was a small child, I relished the opportunity to beat anyone, anytime, at any game.  It started out with Candyland, Chutes & Ladders and my favorite - Missing Match-Ups.  I particularly adored Missing Match-Ups.  It was a "Memory" style game, with several different combinations available of several different boards.  I, with the freakishly good memory powers of my youth, memorized all the possible combos of each board and became unbeatable.  My parents (and any other grown-up unfortunate enough to cross my path or face me over a game board) quickly gave up the pretense of "letting the kid win" and would play all-out in an attempt to keep the game close.  Didn't usually happen.  (In fact, I was often admonished by my parents to let my younger siblings win sometimes, because I was that competitive.  Didn't matter that my competition was still in Pampers, though I preferred to beat grown-ups over a drooling toddler....)  By the age of 5, I had graduated from the kiddie games and was playing cribbage against my Dad.  It had been one of his favorite games and he was happy to teach it to me.  At first, anyhow.  MWAH HA HA HA HA.  Once I began playing crossword games like Scrabble, it was Good night, Irene for the vast majority of my opponents.  Trivial Pursuit?  Pictionary?  Taboo?  Scattergories?  I killed in 'em.  Games that revolved around words, like Balderdash?  Oh yeah, right up my alley.  When computers became commonplace in the home and the first, majorly pixelated Jeopardy* home game became available, I'd disappear for hours on Christmas day, parked at the PC up in my dad's office and waiting for new victims - erm, opponents - to take on.  At work, we started a lunchtime Scrabble thing, where we'd play a round of 9-tile "speed" Scrabble (4 players using 9 tiles each can knock a game out pretty quickly - plenty of time to finish a game in one lunch break).  For over a decade now, my own beloved Hubby refuses to play Scrabble with me except on my birthday, because I always win. 

So, yeah, I'm competitive.  And, as I feel the end of this Awards voting period drawing to a close, I'm starting to twitch.  To panic.  I didn't want to be one of those bloggers who begs and pleads for votes, really I didn't.  But, now I am.  Begging and pleading.  Pretty, pretty, pretty please, wontcha hop on over and cast a vote or two (really, you can vote twice according to the rules - I like to win but I don't like to cheat) for me?  Please?

Pretty please?

Okay, I'll stop begging now....

(That one's a vintage Kiddo shot)

So, for the last time, please click the conveeeeenient link below and vote for me!

Vote For Me!

I might even be convinced, should I win, to repost my Clooney song video for your entertainment.....

* PS - I once, back in the early '00s, appeared on the actual TV show.... My coworkers, they of the "we lose at Scrabble to Heather on a daily basis" variety, signed me up to try out for the show.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sure, it really is an honor just to be nominated, et cetera and so forth...

So, the ever-fantabulous Hartley, amazing author and tireless champion of parents with SPD/ASD/special needs kiddos, has a little awards shindig going on over at her blog.  Nominations have been going on for the past few days, and I just received the news that my blog has been nominated for an SPD Blogger Award!!  In the category for "Humorous Blog" no less! (I've checked out the competition and it is fierce, *gulp*!)

This is literally the first good thing to happen to me this year so far.  Yes, I know we're not even 3 weeks into 2011 but so far? It has bitten the big one.  We're in the midst of another major battle with the school district regarding Kiddo's current IEP and have further heard that it is 99.9999999999999% sure that Kiddo will not be granted an aide for next year (or ever again after this year) when her CSE meeting rolls around in March.  Kiddo has now been examined by a pediatric pulmonologist, who confirmed what her pediatrician has been suspecting for several months now - Kiddo has asthma, and with the relatively "late" onset of symptoms, it is likely that she will have asthma for the rest of her life (as opposed to kids who have it as toddlers and then outgrow it).  Have you ever seen a major sensory seeker on not one but two asthma meds simultaneously?  Holy bouncing off the walls, Batman!  We're working out an appropriate med regime that controls the inflammation with the least amount of disruption to her life, but the working out phase involves dealing with issues like difficulty falling asleep/restless sleep and other fun stuff like that.  (If you think a major sensory seeker hopped up on two stimulant asthma meds is a scary enough sight, add to that a lack of adequate rest and we have a new horror movie franchise in the making.)  On top of that, Kiddo has just been more challenging than usual behaviorally.  I won't go into details, but she was Majorly Grounded for almost a week, which effectively killed our wedding anniversary date night out plans (and on top of that, it's never fun to have to be the Grounding Enforcer/Prison Warden anyhow).  Last but not least, she's been sick for more days this January than not, so we're stuck inside with playdates and birthday parties falling by the wayside thanks to those evil, evil germies.  (Side note: someone told me that the odd years are always more challenging than the even years.  Six was pretty dang delightful around here, especially in light of how seven has been.  I'm willing to believe that at this point, especially if it gives us a light at the end of a tunnel that will only go another 5 months... Anyone else ever hear that one?)

So, like I said, 2011? Not the best year so far.  (Isn't this the big Mayan Apocalypse year?  Are all these issues actually harbingers of the impending doom - and if so, where the heck are Dean and Sam and Castiel when I need them?  Will I start dreaming of Phyllis Diller again?  Did I mention that coming up in December, I turn the big 4-0?  Isn't that bad enough for one year in and of itself?)  

But... then I received the news from Hartley that I've been nominated for an SPD Blogger Award - and it's a MAJOR AWARD, you know.  I'm hoping the prize looks something like this:

And yes, it's just an honor just to be nominated, especially since I didn't nominate myself - someone out there likes me!  But then again, if you really do like me, please drop by the voting page starting tomorrow at 6am and help me stuff the ballot box, mmmmkay?  I mean, George Clooney and Hugh Jackman have presented Oscars and Golden Globes before, so what if it's one of them presenting the SPD Blogger Awards?  Do you want to be the one to make me miss out on that?  Let's reverse the trend of craptastictude for 2011 by landing me a Major Award!

I promise I'll mention you in my acceptance speech - maybe even give you a shout-out from the red carpet when Ryan Seacrest stops me to find out who I'm wearing..... "Microfleece yoga pants from Target, Ryan, of course!  Mind the sparks, now..."

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Well, that was a harrowing start to the new year

Only two days into 2011 and I almost didn't make it. I almost went down in flames - and I'm not talking figuratively, here, either - earlier this afternoon.

It all started when I decided to make a quick run to the grocery store.  While I was really quite content to stay all cozy on the couch in my comfy clothes, tucked under a blanket with the copy of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo that I'd been waiting months and months for on the hold list at the library, but it seemed that no matter how powerful my lounging magic was, it wasn't powerful enough to conjure up a bag of tortilla chips, and tortilla chips, in case you didn't know, are a key ingredient to Sunday Night Nachos.  I'm fairly certain that had I attempted to make our Sunday Night Nachos out of the other snack food we had on hand - to wit, organic Cheez Doodles or sourdough pretzel nuggets - things wouldn't have gone well.  So, despite the almost irresistible draw of stay here and read a while longer that was being exerted upon me by the general conditions of the couch in the family room, I dragged myself away from the world of sloth and out into the snow to get some more Tostitos.

Just because I was going out in public didn't mean I'd have to, you know, get dressed for it or anything though, I reasoned to myself.  I mean, I did have a bra on (first time in '11 - woot) and was fully clothed, but I saw no reason to put on a pair of jeans when I was so cozily clad in a pair of these:

(Those, by the way, are not my legs, feet or abdomen.  Have I mentioned Sunday Night Nachos?  I don't think the model above has ever eaten Any Night Nachos.  Nor would I pair microfleece pants with bare feet in kicky ballet flats.  I don't own kicky ballet flats.  Kicky ballet flats make Heather's Hobbity Hooves look particularly ginormous.)

Anyhow, I threw on a fleece jacket, some wool socks and clogs and off I went.  I pulled on a pair of fleece gloves in the car because DANG it is cold again here in western NY.  What I'm trying to say here is, I was Primed for Major Static Happenings, had I paused to think about it for just a second.

This wasn't my first time wearing these delightfully comfy, microfleece yoga pants out in public, by the way.  Nope, I wore them all the way back from NJ to NY last weekend.  They've traveled, is what I'm saying.  Traveled with nary a hint of the horror that was to come my way as I trudged through the parking lot and into the store.

I noticed it first as I was briskly striding towards the entrance.  My pant legs felt a bit... snug.  I reached down and shook them out and kept going.  After all, one of the best features to a pair of yoga pants is their roominess.  Their embodiment of the exact antonymy of skintight.

By the time I'd gotten a cart and gone into the store proper, I realized that this was not just a momentary trouble.  My legs were wrapped in what appeared to be microfleece leggings, not yoga pants.  By the time I'd worked my way through the produce aisle and over to chips, my lower half was snap, crackle and popping as though my skin were made of Rice Krispies. Egads.  I caught another shopper's gaze traveling up and down me as she approached me near the crackers.  I was almost afraid to look down at myself, so I met her gaze with a jaunty "and???" look in response and kept on going.  Once safely past her Judgy McJudgerson glare, I risked a glance downward.  What had been comfy, microfleece yoga pants when I put them on at home were now Stage Five Clingers of highwater proportions.  I'm talking microfleece capris here, y'all.  It was not flattering.  (I'm not sure if I was drawing more ireful looks for the noise of the static electricity or the sight of my shrinkwrapped-in-microfleece legs and rear.  I'm pretty sure I was generating enough sparks to have a halo-effect of glow around me, though.)

There wasn't much I could do, besides shoplift a can of Static Guard from the shelves and make a break for the bathroom, but I was a bit worried that if I moved any more quickly, I'd actually burst into flames.  By this point, my hands were getting shocked every time I moved them the slightest bit on the cart handle.  I sounded as though I was hiding a popcorn popper in my undies.  I quite probably could've powered my neighborhood, if not the whole town, with the amount of electricity I was generating with each and every step.

Finally, I made it to the checkout, through the checkout and back outside.  Hoping that the falling snow would dampen the static, I walked as slowly as I dared back to the car.  I stopped a few times to tug the bottoms of my pantlegs down somewhere closer to my ankles (in retrospect, not having shaved probably didn't help matters - the stubble on my legs was standing straight up and likely contributing to the statickyness of it all).  I was so relieved to finally reach the safety of my vehicle where I could zap myself home in peace.

Can you imagine the headlines?  Stay at home mom dies in New Year's yoga pants conflagration....  Needless to say, I'm not wearing those pants, comfy as they may be, out in public again unless I douse them liberally with Static Guard first.

And how was your opening weekend of 2011?  Equally exciting but less combustible, I hope!