Thursday, September 18, 2008

Jeren, the worry wort.

You can clearly see by this picture that Jeren was a worry-wort from the very beginning. The picture is of him worrying over the headlines when he is around seven months old.
Anyone who knows Jeren, knows that he can find a point of worry in almost any situation. Case in point:
Mom and I pick him up from work every day. If neither of us is available I let him know when I drop him off in the morning. It's a daily thing. Mom picks him up on the days I work. I pick him up on the days I don't. There have been a few times that he ends up taking the bus home because something comes up. Yet, every day, he phones us to find out if we are picking him up and then phones again to let us know we can go ahead and leave. I never leave when he phones, because if I were to leave then, I would be sitting around for 15 - 20 minutes waiting for him to get off. I know the way, I know how long it takes and I leave accordingly, which I tell him often. It doesn't matter. Every day, two phone calls to "make sure". He's a worry wort. He has a long history of memorable worry moments. Here are a few of them.

I used to take the kids to the library every week. One time on the way home Jeren started crying his eyes out. He was just sobbing. When I asked him what was wrong his answer was:
"What will I do on the first day?"
I answered, "First day of what?"
He replied, "What will I do for food on my first day in my new apartment when I grow up?"
He was six!
I told him he didn't need to worry. If he had the money to get an apartment, he would have the money to buy the necessary food. That seemed to allay his fears for the moment.

I think the following moment of terror in my little worry wort's mind was the precursor to the story above.

He was playing in his room. All of a sudden he came screaming out of his room, bawling his head off and all upset. I figured the older boys had done something and I asked Jeren what was wrong. His reply:

"The boys said I have to go to HEAVEN when I die. They said everyone has to go to heaven. Do I have to go to heaven? I like it here. I don't want to go somewhere else."

That one took a little more effort to figure out how to calm him down.

Turns out that the actual conversation started out like this:
Jeren: "What's going to happen if mom dies while I'm in college?"
Boys: "It will be ok, Jeren, because you will be a grown-up and be able to take care of yourself."
Jeren: "But what will happen? Where will mom go? Who will live here with me?"
Boys: "You will be able to live by yourself. Mom will go to heaven."
Jeren: "But how will I see mom if she is in heaven?"
Boys: "It's ok, Jeren, because someday you will go to heaven, too. We will all go to heaven when we die."
That's when he came screaming out to the kitchen. If I remember right, that conversation took place a few weeks before the panic attack he had in the car about moving into an apartment.

One day my friend Rhonda and I were discussing if she was going to take back her old house. I didn't even realize that Jeren was listening. My daughter, Keri, was renting it from her at that time. A few days later we were in the car when Jeren started crying. I asked him what was wrong. His reply:
"Where will Keri live if Rhonda takes her house back?" He was seven.

When he was in the second grade he had Mrs. Werkhoven for his teacher. Jeren was a model student in grade school, getting student of the month every year for the first four years. Their discipline program was based on pulling cards. (Blue, green, yellow and red, with red being the worst.) Jeren had never pulled a card. Never!

One day he came home from school. He was sitting on the couch watching television when he started crying. Pretty soon he had himself all upset, bawling his eyes out. I, of course, asked him what was wrong.
Me: "What's wrong now?"
Jeren: "Mrs. Werkhoven made a new rule." (at this point he fell apart and started crying hysterically.)
I calmed him down and said, "Oh, so did you get in trouble?"
Jeren: (still crying) "NOOOOO!" (very loud and emphatic)
Me: "Ok, so what is the new rule?"
Jeren: "Mrs. Werkhoven said that if we talk in line we have to pull a card!"
At this point he is sobbing.
I said, "So, you had to pull a card?"
Jeren: "NOOOO!"
I was a little confused by this time because he was obviously quite upset over the new rule. So I said, "So, why are you so upset?"
He replied, "What if someone talks to me in line and I forget and answer?"
I laughed. I couldn't help it.
Me: "Jeren, I really don't think Mrs. Werkhoven is aiming that at you. I think she must have some trouble makers that don't listen and continue to talk in line."
Jeren: "She does!"
Me: "OK, well, I think you will be fine. Even if you "forget" and accidentally answer someone, I am sure you will be fine."

Jeren's student of the month certificate from Mrs. Werkhoven

Monday, July 28, 2008

An interesting side note to the coffee hut post...

(Note: This post was written before I went to work yesterday so I'm time-stamping it for then. I couldn't post it because as I was writing it, my computer lost its connection and I couldn't get it back.)

So, I was telling people at work about the drive-thru coffee experience. Since most of my co-workers in the cage are women, they were all pretty much in agreement with me. It's degrading, in poor taste, some of the coffee shops that do this are near schools (and being protested because of that), there might be kids in cars driving by the place, one is in a parking lot near a Wal-mart, etc. But,one of the biggest issues in the conversation was in the food handling aspect of the job. I can't see how this passes the health codes for food handling and neither could those discussing it with me. I just think to myself, "What if I went to a restaurant?" ...would I really want to be served by someone in their underwear? How is the coffee shop any different? So, we had some pretty interesting discussions revolving around the idea of nearly nude girls serving food and coffee.

I only told two men about the experience.
They each said,
"Oh, really? Where is this place? I might want to go get some coffee."

End of conversation.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Did you forget to put your clothes on?

So, today I called my mom to see if she wanted to run with me on another one of my never-ending Craigslist pursuits. I was going to pick up a cat-tree out in Graham. Yay! The lady was kind enough to hold it for me since she posted the ad just a little while before I went to work yesterday.
Mom was happy to go with me and we decided to get coffee along the way. I knew there would be plenty of coffee drive-thru places on Meridian Ave. We headed out and stopped at the first coffee place we saw. The HOT pink color maybe should have been a tip-off. I really didn't read the name of the place because ALL I wanted was a cup of coffee.
We pulled up and no one was in sight, but the sign said open. Suddenly, the girl appeared, opened the window and said, "May I help you?"
The only thing that I could think to say was "Maybe put on some clothes?"
I was shocked. I'm not really that big of a prude. I didn't think so, anyway. I'm not really fond of dirty jokes. I seldom, if ever, cuss. I don't prefer to look at pictures of half-dressed girls. OK, so maybe I am a prude, but honestly...this girl was about to try and serve me coffee in her UNDERWEAR! Not a bikini. Not a scanty outfit. Her underwear! She was wearing a pair of turquoise panties, a tank style undershirt that was very short and nothing else.
I had my money out. I was trying to think of what to order and honestly, it was making me sick to my stomach to think of her standing there in public, about to serve me coffee, in her underwear.
I did the only thing I could think of to do. I DROVE AWAY!
Now, my mom is known for telling dirty jokes and cussing like a sailor, minus the *F* word, and even she was shocked to see this girl in her underwear.
We drove down the street for a few blocks and found a coffee place near Safeway. It was a wonderful place with a nice young man, fully clothed. He apologized for the long wait we experienced, made a great mocha with excellent coffee, and I made sure to tip him in sheer appreciation of normalcy.
Ahhh yes...the world today.
When I got home I told my son about my experience and he said, "Yeah, mom. The name of the place is "Hot Chicks-a-Latte" or something like that. He knew all about it. This disturbs me on some level. I had no idea. I just bumbled in to the place because it was the first one that appeared on our way.
I just think it's wrong to sell coffee in your underwear. I'm not that comfortable with bikinis in a coffee shop. They are serving something to drink and at times something to eat and I just think clothing makes sense in this type of business if for no other reason than common sense and sanitation.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Weirdness of Boys, Pt. II

For my final voices entry I present another dialogue from one of my boys.
Jeren is not known for his mad cleaning skills. In fact, he is known for the opposite: Mad laziness skills! He reminds me of Pigpen from Charlie Brown, with a cloud of dust following him everywhere. I don't say that in any mean way at all. It's just a fact of life.

Today I got my new washer and dryer. The first dryer was broken (it somehow got smashed in the front) and so they put the washer in the house and fixed it so I could use it and went back for another dryer.

I'm already a little selfish with my chores and when I have a new toy, I become extremely selfish about my chores. I like to be the one to break things in when they are mine. I put a load of laundry in as soon as the guy left to go get the dryer.

Jeren came into the kitchen when he heard the truck leave.

Jeren: "So, how do I use these things?"
(Jeren has never done laundry in his life. Not only am I not good at sharing, but he has never shown any real interest.)
Me: "You aren't going to use these things today. I haven't even figured them out, yet."
Jeren: "But I have a HUGE pile of laundry in my room and it needs to be washed."
(Never mind that EVERY DAY he has a HUGE pile of laundry in his room that he walks over to get to his desk.)
Me: "These are brand new and I'm going to be the one to break them in, figure them out and try the different features, first. They are my toys. After I am used to them, maybe I will show you how to use them, but not today. I have lots of wash to do because I haven't been able to do it for four or five days."
Jeren: "I have a HUGE pile of laundry that needs to be done. I wanted to do it today!"
Me: "Jeren, you are not using these today!"

At this point he got mad and stomped out of the room.

A little later he came back in and I tried to explain to him that I might show him tomorrow or the next day some of the important features. He just said, "I don't want to talk about it anymore!" (using his mad voice)

What a guy!

Friday, May 23, 2008

I am the H.A.L 9000. You may call me Hal.

I think voices is a really hard theme. Of course, due to time constraints, I have been unable to find time to read how anyone else handled this theme, but I am really looking forward to June and a new topic.
On the plus side: I have managed to keep up with the blogging, even while whining and complaining about the theme. Yes, I know the theme is just a suggestion, but I enjoy trying my best to keep my posts on topic. I have been mostly successful with this topic, sometimes quite by accident.

So here are some quotes and they are quoted by some voices from movies:

Hayley Mills: "I've got a scathingly brilliant idea!"

Kevin Pollack: "He does think better with that bat!"

Jack Nicholson: "Don't bark at me! I didn't name you!"

Groucho Marx: "One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don't know."

Al Pacino: "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer." (although I got this quote from "Two Weeks Notice".)

Charlton Heston: "Soylent Green is people!"

HAL: "I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do. "

HAL: "Look Dave, I can see you're really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over."

HAL: "I am completely operational, and all my circuits are functioning perfectly."

Tommy Lee: "A person is smart; people are dumb panicky dangerous animals and you know it."

And that's all I have time to find today. I didn't put the movies, but you can ask if you need to know! haha.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Voice of Boys

David and Jeren in younger days.

So, yeah! Boys are weird, as all we girls already know. Just how weird are they?

Today my sister called to ask if my boys (19 and 24 years old) could help her move a hutch she had just bought up the street. It was a simple request as the hutch was sitting in the truck in the driveway and only had to be moved from the truck to the garage. I decided to make an executive decision and just say yes.
After I hung up the phone, I called out to the boys and let them know my sister was on her way over to pick them up to help. Oh, the whining and complaining that I heard. "I just got off work!" "Pete's on his way back over in a few." "Moving a hutch?" whine, whine, whine. haha.
Now mind you, they were not doing anything important at all. Jeren had bought himself a new air rifle and pistol and they were standing on the front porch with their friend, Jeff, shooting little plastic pellets at random things in the yard. (non-living things).
After their whining session I said, "Oh come on! It won't take any time at all with the three of you! Just deal!"
What an instant change I witnessed. Suddenly they were saying, "Haha, Jeff! You got recruited!" In just a split second they went from whining and complaining to joyfully poking fun at Jeff because I included him in the bargain.
Boys are just weird like that.
My sister showed up a few minutes later. I don't think they were even gone five minutes and she paid them with a box of Dr. Pepper.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Just a little edit because I forgot to put in the part that these are as translated from a phone call.

At my job we often have to write descriptions on customers. We phone the descriptions from one location to the other. If you've ever played that phone game where you have to pass a word or phrase from one person to the other, then you will understand these.

Here are some entertaining versions of what they were wearing.

Ten pans (tan pants)
Gold neckleless (gold necklace)
Silver neckless (silver necklace)
China pants (shiny pants)
Blue fleas (blue fleece)
Brown mousetach (brown mustache)
Go-T (goatee)
Small goat tee (small goatee)
Big goatie (Big goatee)
Black coat, no arms (black vest)
Black coat with striped arms (black coat with striped sleeves)
Floral skirt. (only funny because the skirt had no flowers on it at all. It was plaid.)

There have been more, but these are the ones I can remember without straining my brain.