Friday, (un)focused.

My 10 year old said last night, as I was serving as his assistant maze-maker for his Science homework (not clear to me why making a maze is a Science deal, but mine is not to question why {at least in this case}), “This week went really fast.” Indeed, it did. It may have something to do with — for me at least — being hopped up on mini-Twix and teeny tiny Mr. Goodbars, or a holdover from the jolt I got from the epinephrine in the novocaine during yesterday’s root canal, but whatever the reason, the first full week of October has flown by. There’s a rumor out there that some of you are done with your Christmas shopping, and to you I say, “Really? Just trying to make the rest of us feel inadequate?”, but for my part I’m pledging to get the children organized this weekend for Halloween. (Why not? They’ve only been planning since late July.)

**There’s a noticeable uptick in my use of “asides” in this post. Might make for tricky reading. Lots of {} () and such. Sorry. I think it’s part of my whole Friday, unFocused attitude. Hopefully I’ll have pulled it together tomorrow.**

So I’m playing catch up today — catching up on emails, the regular mail piling up in the corners in the kitchen, blog reading; staying focused long enough to empty the dishwasher; recalling why I’m standing in my bedroom (to put away the variety of hoodies and raingear that had been brought out by the sudden change in weather here in NJ in the past couple of weeks). You’ll forgive my lack of focus as I share with you the following:

The dog food we feed these two, sometimes three, DingDong DoodleDogs is often more expensive than that which I feed my children. The Guest Doodle has an allergy to poultry, you see, so his food must remain chicken- or turkey-free. This is hard to do in the world of dog food, unless you spend the bigger bucks to ensure no feathers in your hounds’ food. And we must ensure that, because what results from ol’ Murphy’s innards when he gets a taste of poultry could flush Osama Bin Laden out of a cave on the other side of the world. (And here’s something interesting and relatively useless: according to someone who told me this one time {clearly, an expert}, DUCK is not poultry. Why it is not, I have no idea, but it is not. So Murphy enjoys a good crispy Peking duck whenever he can.)

The heat has been turned on here in Princeton, and is currently running on the efficient program that I used last year. However, the morning setting downstairs is set for something like 72°F so that when we come downstairs on a cold February morning we’re not all complain-y and grumpy. (And by “we” I mean “them,” the Offspring.) The stinkbug in this ointment, though, is that we don’t need 72°F yet….so upon leaving the bedroom every. single. morning. this week I’ve thought, “Acccckkkkk. It’s too hot! Too hot! Too hot!” but haven’t had the time — or let’s face it, the recall — to reprogram the thermostat. So the dogs and I struggle downstairs every morning, panting and requiring hydration by the time we crawl to the kitchen.

If someone can tell me how to get it through to my children that “do as I say and not as I do” is the Rule of Law around here, I’ll bake them a pie, or buy them a hat, or do something wonderful for them. My children leave so many things — sweatshirts, books, headphones, garbage and, of course, socks — in my car that I could be a rolling Goodwill deposit truck. When I point out all the crap left in the car, the response from the older child is “well Mom, look at the front seat of your car,” as if my piles of unread NY Times, empty seltzer bottles, and empty gum containers were justification for the slovenly behavior in the back two rows. It is not! As I have explained to them all, my car is my office so they should consider the front seat area my workspace and that sutff is important to me. And needs to be there. Now get your socks out of my back seat.

Speaking of workspace, I spent a half hour this morning shoveling off my desk. And in doing so, it occurred to me that I hadn’t seen a couple of the unpaid bills for the Construction Extravaganza that is underway here (and has been and apparently always will be, but that’s another story for another time). So my mild unease at “losing” the bills prompted a phone call to the Husband, who confirmed that he actually had put them in *his* desk. Which leads me to conclude that cleaning and organizing only leads to mild cases of distress over things that you knew were *right there* until you decided to clean and organize and now you have no idea where you put them. Let chaos reign, at least a quasi-organized sort of chaos where you know which pile something is under.

My jeans are too tight today. I don’t think you’ll notice — they’re not that tight — but they’re just tight enough to be mildly uncomfortable and remind me every 15 seconds or so (maybe it corresponds to each inhalation….I’ll have to see about that) that things would be better for me if I could lose 5 pounds or so. And I’m a realist: by things “being better for me” I mean that I would feel better in these jeans, not that the sun will always shine, or rainbows will follow me around, or we’ll win the Powerball lottery. I would just walk through my day without added pressure from denim on my midsection — on the good/bad scale, a good thing.

The good/bad scale reminds me that I need to start planning for Monday, when my college roommate comes to NYC for business and has invited me over to her hotel for a sleepover. (Roommate M is the developer of the good/bad scale. A useful tool for everyday life to keep things in check.) M promises me a great night of gallivanting in the City — and by gallivanting I mean a civilized dinner somewhere that may or may not involve spirits and/or beer, followed by more civilized conversation with perhaps more spirits and/or beer, followed by what I hope is a lovely night’s sleep in my own Queen bed in one of NYC’s finer hotels. M has lured me out with the promise of my own Queen bed, as she — as do most who know (and love) me — understands that I have reached an age (and soci0-economic status) wherein I don’t share hotel beds (Husband excluded, but if the room has two Q beds, you may find us one in each). I barely share a hotel room, to be honest, but I’m not one to look a gift room in the mouth.

I’m getting ready to wrap this up, and just spellchecked it. The word “Osama” came up as misspelled, and when I asked for suggestions I got “Obama” and “Esma” and “Osaka.” Really? I can’t tell whose spellcheck this is — Safari’s? WordPress’s? Has it been that long that we don’t know this name? Now I’m concerned. Am *I* spelling it wrong?

Ok, this is the end. Really. But having just typed “WordPress’s” and having the computer not like that either, I’m beginning to doubt my literacy. I thought I was following the NYT style rules (they say proper nouns ending in -s get possessed by using -‘s, even though we were all taught that rule about s’….). I will have to go Yahoo! that rule. (Or possibly Bing! that rule. But not G***** it. You know why — dead. to. me.)

I was going to go have a cup of coffee, but perhaps I’ll find something more mellow to imbibe. (Sadly, it’s only 10:25 a.m. here, so that “5 o’clock somewhere rule” seems really premature.) Or go lie down. Having no focus is exhausting.

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12 Responses to “Friday, (un)focused.”

  1. Cecelia Winesap Says:

    Ugh. I’m having a day just like you. Too much work, homework, piles to go through. Too many bills, not enough money and I had to unbutton my jeans button when I got to work this morning. Score. :)
    Cecelia Winesap recently posted..Ultimate Rock Ballads

    Alyson says:

    I really can’t figure out why I’m so scattered. It seriously must be chocolate overload. I’m going to go eat a couple of more kisses and see if that makes things worse.

    Certainly won’t help my jeans….

  2. Lori @ In Pursuit of Martha Points Says:

    In all that…the jeans spoke to me the most.

    I’ve gained a lot of weight in the last year, with the quitting my old job, doing so much more writing, finding the Pioneer Woman website…

    I ache for you.

    Although in my case it’s not just too tight…it’s “can’t wear.”

    Lori @ In Pursuit of Martha Points recently posted..Raccoons- 1- Lori- 0

  3. liz Says:

    HAHAHAHA ‘ “Finding the Pioneer Woman site…”
    liz recently posted..Dear You Guys&82308

  4. liz Says:

    Those damn doodle dogs! You and Joann (Laundry Hurts My Feelings) both seem to have less than stellar things to say about them.

    This was a serious mind dump, Alyson! I hope you are feeling better after your root canal, though!
    liz recently posted..Dear You Guys&82308

    Alyson says:

    Oh, I rant because I love. My dogs are the best. I just sometime wish they’d give me at 4 foot radius of nothing. Not dissimilar to the way I felt about parenting when the children and I spent every.waking.moment together.

    Used to me that I knew where I began and ended. Now I’ve got Doodle appendages that I trip over.

    Like now, for instance. Off to shower and this will result in a parade….

  5. Sheena Says:

    Isn’t it sad how are furbabies can sometimes be babied more than our real babies? I put it down to they don’t back talk, make less messes, and are easier to control. Looking at this list makes me wonder why I didn’t just adopt more dogs.

    Alyson says:

    There are remarkable similarities. But I have to say, I’m not sure about the less mess claim: my canine crew may be less messy (no socks to pick up), they also don’t seem to be affected by my exhortations to clean up after themselves!

  6. Poppy Says:

    A night away in the big city involving spirits and adult conversation? I’d be willing to spoon anyone and/or sleep on the floor, but I’m easy like that.

    Alyson says:

    I paused for a moment and thought about spooning “anyone.” I had a weird dream last night about Tim Robbins — who was never on my radar screen before — so maybe my standards are changing.

  7. Hope Says:

    My fiancé cooks for the dog. From scratch. She gets brown rice and browned beef and chicken roasted with vegetables (all supplemented with fancy dog food that he buys on the internet). This dog eats better than most people. Including me!

    On more than one occasion I have come home, said “mmm, that smells good” and been told that “that” is for the dog and that we are eating leftovers.

    Alyson says:

    I love it when you take a dog to the vet with an upset belly (one of our Doodles is “dietarily indiscriminate” which is vet speak for “eats all kinds of crap he shouldn’t”) and am told to feed him ground lamb and brown rice for several days.

    What, chicken nuggets and pasta isn’t bland enough? Yeesh.

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