Friday, August 31, 2007

No Tie Dye For You!

Last Friday, Boot had football practice until 6, so his dad brought him late. We just had a quiet evening in. I had a horrible time cooking, just wasn't at all on my game. The weird thing is that I made 2 beautiful loaves of Cuban bread and a gorgeous quartet of chocolate espresso souffl├ęs with no problem whatsoever. But, when it came to the no-brainer things, foods I either make all the time or should be able to make with ease, it was a complete disaster! Thank goodness I bought pre-seasoned Cuban-style black beans from Trader Joe's because I probably would have screwed those up, too. I make them all the time, but I know I would have blown it. The dinner I attempted to make was bistec empanizado (but I bought the steak too thick and couldn't pound it as thin as it needed to be...we ended up with this mutant breaded sirloin that was revoltingly chewy), black beans (yay for cans), rice (which I never, ever screw up but I managed to space out & put equal parts rice and water the first time and burned it all to shit, then made it all soupy and half-done the second time...yuck!) and maduros (the plantains weren't as ripe as I like them, so I skipped that).

Saturday morning, J had to get up & go to work. When she got home around noon, we headed out for a tie dye party, our first outing with the couples' group we've joined. We drove up & down the street 4 times & never found the correct address, so we scrapped that plan and took Boot to the mall instead. It was new to us & we had a good time exploring all the stores, especially guy stores like Hollister and FootLocker. I ended up getting a new pair of running shoes for $30. They're nice and light and easy to slip into. They're also really pretty, light blue with yellow-green accents. We'd stopped on the way for lunch at Longhorn. I made the mistake of trying to order soup in a steak joint. J & Boot were very happy with their choices, boneless wings for him, steak salad (with watermelon in it!) for her. My salad was terrific, but the chili I was really looking forward to turned out to be super sweet, almost a dessert chili. Gross! So, I tried the loaded baked potato soup, which tasted of flour through and through. No way would I eat it. So, I was happy to stop at Johnny Rockets in the mall for malts. Boot chose a strawberry shake and an orange soda with lemon flavoring added, J had a peanut butter shake and I had a hot fudge malt. Not as good as Dick & Tom's, whose passing I still mourn, and not as good as Foy's Grill in Fairborn, but a damn sight better than Steak & Shake or McDonald's. After our shopping trip was complete, we went home and Boot & J watched t.v. for awhile while I read. Then, we had tacos and Pie actually emerged from his room. He'd slept the day away and then immersed himself in X-Box, sucking the last few days of summer for all they were worth. I remember when I was a little kid, summer meant long days at the pool followed by chasing fireflies, playing tunnel tag and hanging out downtown with my friends. To my kids, summer means the freedom to sleep and watch t.v. or play video games for hours. It makes me really sad.

Sunday morning, J gamely got up & went to church with me, even though I know she wanted some extra sleep since it was her first full day off since the 12th. I was really sorry, then, when they made the announcement that the ONA committee (which is supposed to be educating people on what declaring themselves an "Open and Affirming" church would mean...publicly declaring that the church is welcoming of people of all sexual orientations into the full life & ministry of the church) will be hosting a speaker on mental illness & the church. Now, I know that the ONA committee has been under pressure from people in the congregation to broaden the scope of its inquiry. That's the reason they chose to do this. They will also be hosting speakers on alcoholism and Alzheimer's. Perhaps you see the problem? I can only assume that they didn't. J was infuriated and her feelings were hurt badly. If you look carefully, you will see that one of these things is not like the others. Generally speaking, people suffering from mental illness would choose not to, if they could. It is largely considered a medical issue. Again generally speaking, people suffering from alcoholism would choose not to, if they could. It is largely considered a medical issue. Further, people suffering from Alzheimer's would choose not to, given the choice. It is definitely regarded as a medical issue. Treatments are prescribed for all three issues, we hope to find cures. Now, take homosexuality. Would I choose to be in love with a man, if I could? Well, no. Being in love with J was brought me more joy than any other love relationship I've been in, with men or women. Being gay does not cause suffering in my life, although prejudice against it certainly has. For someone suffering from mental illness, alcoholism or Alzheimer's, the condition itself causes suffering. It is not the prejudice in society (although that certainly doesn't help at all) that makes mental illness, alcoholism or Alzheimer's painful. Putting homosexuality in the same category as these is a major problem and the ONA committee just cannot see it. So, I am going to be forced to write a letter. Ugh.

After church, J was in a very down mood. We took Boot to Crocker Park and had coneys for lunch, then shopped around with him some more. I tell you, I will be thrilled when the day comes when I never have to step foot into any kind of sports store again. At least Dick's has kayaks and tents and other cool stuff like that to look at. Still, it gets tiresome to stand around in athletic shoe stores and jersey stores while Boot ogles every shoe and shirt for at least 10 minutes. I am not cut out for parenting a jock enthusiastically. I love him dearly, I want him to be who he is and I am waiting anxiously for the day that he no longer wants us to shop with him! J says it ain't gonna happen. Ai yi yi. After our long shopping trip, I was ready for a nap. I tried valiantly to watch t.v. with them, but ended up having to grab a nap. When I woke up, Boot had gone back to his dad's and it was time to go to the grocery. While we were there, we decided Marie Callender's pot pies sounded better than the ham & cheese stuffed French toast I had planned, so that's what we had.

I spent Monday shopping for back to school clothes and supplies for Pie. He started Tuesday and really likes it so far. It helps that his homework load is still light, which means plenty of play time. When the homework gets hot & heavy, I imagine his outlook may change. He seems to be doing really well without his meds, which just thrills me. I think he is still fidgety, but not to the extent that he can't function. Hurrah! May it continue. He likes all but one of his teachers, a long-term sub who is apparently very strict. Smart survival technique on her part! His other teachers, especially Mr. S, his Social Studies teacher, he says are funny. This is very good. Usually when Pie really likes someone, he tries to do well for them. I was impressed with the longitude and latitude homework he brought home yesterday. It is so much neater and more complete than his work last year. Not only that, but it was already done when he got home! I peeked at his spelling sentences, too. For "haughty," he had 2 sentences. One was something about the haughty kid who beat him on XBox Live. The second one was so cool. "The haughty chef stormed into the dining room to talk to the customer who complained about his world-famous Coquilles St. Jacques," he wrote. How the heck does my 12 year old know about Coquilles St. Jacques? In this sentence, he has really captured the essence of haughty. I love it!

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