Friday, September 5, 2008


Consider this an attachment to today's post, below.

Excess, indeed.

Politics, Protest and Palin

On Monday, the Matron and her family hopped on their bikes and joined approximately 9,995 other people in this peaceful protest against the war in Iraq, and Republican politics, generally. Even Merrick waved a sign, provided to him by the ever helpful members of the Internationalist Socialist Movement.

Yes, it is going to be that kind of blog post. Apologies in advance to Republican friends and readers, but the Matron has made no secret of the fact that she leans left, hard.

Before the march, there was a rally with all kinds of theater, fervor and fun! She saw elephants on bikes.

Faux lobbyists.

And bunches of banners with slogans that make a left-leaning girl's heart, well, just happy!

Now, here's where things get tricky. Because after the march, the Matron and her family got back on their bikes and headed home, through the city streets. Here they are! Don't they look threatening?

Since last Saturday, the Matron and her family -- and an entire city--have been living in lock down. State troopers and police from the entire state have been sitting at every major intersection throughout the entire city, not just the convention downtown.

And if that damn helicopter noise hadn't ended this morning, the Matron's head was going to pop!

So on Monday, the Matron and her children saw plenty of this:

Funny, she just heard on the formerly reliable Minnesota Public Radio that a few windows got broken on Monday because the police decided to rely ONLY on bike patrols. In retrospect, they wish they would've gotten out the militia sooner. Say it ain't so, Tim Nelson! How could you be so wrong!

Indeed, the entire downtown was packed with swat teams and police in full riot gear. She knows, because Merrick waved to every single machine-gun toting policemen he could see. His arm nearly fell off, there were that many!

This is what the marchers saw at every intersection:

Anyway, while her family was headed home, the renegade protests started breaking out all around them! The children were captivated and terrified as young people linked arms, blocked streets and started singing songs about peace. They baited police officers. People yelled and geneal mayhem ensued. The tension!!! Scarlett screamed, wept and begged to go home. Stryker begged to follow the action and chase behind every last mini-riot.

Logically, they did. Just what the police wanted, she's sure, a family of five and a burley hot on their heels.

Here's a shot the Matron took of one of the very first confrontations. Yes, there were lots of bikes! The protesters are walking behind them, in the background.

Here's about the ratio of police to protester. See that one guy in the middle? He's the threat. Good thing there are fifty police officers watching him!

Here's back-up!

The police arrested nearly 800 people, including the incredible Amy Goodman. Her crime? She asked a question. Journalists are so pesky that way! You can watch her arrest, here.

Many journalists were arrested, but the one that made the Matron angry was a 17-year old junior in high school, who was in and out of jail without a single call to his parents. That's right! The minor with the bruise in the shape of a boot on his back got kicked from jail and sent into the street without a single call to Mom and Dad.

Now, the Matron is critical, but she also gets it. Nobody got seriously hurt and the worst trouble seemed to be traffic jams and some broken windows. She's had her fair share of beer and argument with the Mayor (they fly in some of the same social circles and once, the Matron ran a Green Party campaign, opposing him!) and the Chief of Police is a member of their Zen Center. Good guys. But the police presence just seemed, well, excessive.

Speaking of excessive! Isn't it great how Sarah Palin is a big fan of the environment! The Matron is wildly relieved that somebody is finally going to get creationism in the public schools and end all this ridiculous nonsense about global warming! Thank goodness Sarah can shoot a moose from a helicopter. Finally, a gun-slinging VP with better aim than Dick Cheney!

But sexism annoys the Matron, right or left of the spectrum. And when she googled "Sarah Palin humor?" One of the first links claimed to have nude photos. She did the same for the men in the game and guess what! No such expanse of skin to be found, anywhere.

And please. When was the last time anybody asked Barack Obama who was watching his children? And don't say Michelle, because she has a high-power job AND is on the campaign trail herself. If you run for, or serve as, President, Vice or spouse, your children get less of your attention! A lot less. Maybe only a very little, in organized time slots.

That's okay, thinks the Matron. It's a different life than most people lead and those children? They'll get lots and lots and lots of other benefits that probably outweigh or counterbalance the fact that their parents have to hire out so much help to raise them.

Why pretend otherwise?

The Matron is also so happy to see how well that whole Abstinence Only sex education thing is currently working for the Republican Party! She feels very sorry for Bristol and boyfriend, gussied up and paraded out, sorta like forensic evidence. "See!? Here are my prolife politics, in action!"

Gloria Steinem never disappoints and she sums up the entire situation, here, much better than the Matron. Because Sarah Palin stands for just about everything that the Matron, doesn't.

Farewell, Republicans! She's happy to wave good-bye. . .

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Matron, Gripped

The real post will be coming later tonight but she wants to let everyone know that she has stood down from the command post and is letting her son find his way through junior high school.

Thank God this era lasted two days instead of the two years ( or so) of the neurotic new parent phase.

Whew, goes the Matron!

Next post: politics!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Somebody Stop Her!

Now, the Matron has made frequent reference to her own intensity, even apologizing for the first entire two years of Stryker's life, an era in which the Matron felt it her duty to sanitize hand rails EVERYWHERE and let everyone know that her child was in the house--and was special. And could possibly fall ill. Or die. Or experience discomfort and/or unpleasant emotion. "Is that fan blowing on the baby? He blinked! Is that normal?"

You get the picture.

Reader, can you come right over lock her up for about two weeks?

Her first child has left the womb again, ejected from a secure, warm and unchanging environment into the fetid waters of secondary school!!

Stryker has had ONE full day of Junior High School.

The Matron has felt the need to email and phone several people at said institution. Her trouble? She has jumped on that need like a magic flying carpet, following that need wherever and as far as she can! She has scratched that itch and sent that email.

Uh, plural.

Because after just ONE day of Junior High School, the Matron has emailed the principal, the counselor (twice), the algebra teacher and Spanish teahcer.

She has phoned the receptionist and the school nurse.

She has faxed, twice.

She has dutifully created her account in the Parent Portal--and checked it, every 15 minutes.

She has been to the website for the algebra textbook, insuring her son can access the tutorials and free assistance.

She sent a copy of Stryker's schedule to a dear friend whose own children went to this Junior High for several years, asking friend if she, and her children, could go over the schedule and teachers with a fine tooth comb and complete a small report on the quality of instruction Stryker was lined up to receive.

She has yet to call the bus company but looked up that number, just in case.

Heaven help Murray Junior High School. Hell, let's toss in the whole school district.

Here comes the Matron. She's just going to apologize in advance.

Wednesday Fat Ass Update
! The Matron has eliminated whole hunks of her novel and is now on page 28. She's working on her writing instead of her body because the former is in greater need!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Stumbling in the Dark

Remember last Wednesday? Well, the Matron does! That was Scarlett's 10th birthday and the Miracle Worker auditions. The birthday party, which started at noon and was supposed to end at 4:00, turned into a two-day Birthday Festival at about 3:49 when five little girls wrapped their sweet selves around the Matron and BEGGED for one last sip of summer spontaneity--the spur of the moment sleepover!

The Matron, whose house looked exactly like a house in the midst of a two day Birthday Festivial and whose job had been sort of sitting on a shelf, unattended, did the entirely reasonable thing and said, yes.

Matron: "But are you sure? You have an 8:00 audition."

Scarlett: "I'm SURE!"

Of course, when the time rolled around for the 8 pm audition, Scarlett decided she was too busy and that she really didn't care about that play, anyway. An audition might DETRACT from the fluidity of the Birthday Festival, which could include a fire with marshmallow roasting, if only there were no pesky auditon. There was moaning and wailing.

Whatever, said the Matron, who has learned her lesson. She is staying out of it.

Matron: "You don't have to go. I'll call Famous Local Actress X and tell her you're not coming. It's okay, really."

Scarlett (who loves Famous Local Actress X dearly): "Fine. I'll do it."

So the pack of girls hopped in the van, singing inappropriate songs about sex (thanks, Rent) at the top of their lungs. Scarlett was in hour 9 of a sun-drenched, outdoor, swimming, singing, dancing, playing very long day. She sighed and moaned and groused the whole way there.

But once the van pulled up to the theater, she said: "Hurry up! I don't want to be late!"

When they got inside and those other little girls giggled and talked and swirled around with a shared iPod? Scarlett sat by the door and listened. Because inside the closed auditorium, her dear friend Emma was auditioning--a potential Helen that Scarlett had invited and trained. The Matron and Emma's mom smiled with pride as noise burst from that auditorium! Emma grunted and groaned and screamed as if she were in the original film! There was the sound of chair, crashing!

Emma's mom greeted Scarlett and asked if she was nervous.

Scarlett (darkly): "No. I don't really care if I audition."

When Emma came out, Actress X said this to Emma's Mom: "Now, you said there's a conflict in February. Is that negotiable?" Emma appeared in the running. And the Matron had a little internal laugh at how she and Scarlett bring in competition while Scarlett and Emma hugged and chattered.

So Scarlett went in and the Matron got to hear more grunts, crashes and groans. At one point, the Matron got confused: was this The Exorcist or The Miracle Worker?

When it was all over, the children hopped back in the van and Scarlett said: "Can we go home and watch The Miracle Worker again? I hope I get the role!"

Matron: "I thought you didn't want to do it?

Scarlett: "I didn't know it would be so fun! That audition was FUN! That was the most FUN I've had in my life!"

Good thing she enjoyed herself, because the cell phone rang before they were out of the van. Scarlett? She nailed it! She was hands-down, no discussion, Helen Keller.

FUN to be had by all for the next six months as the Matron has an official third full-time job, driving her daughter.

So Sound of Music in November:

Rent in December:

The Miracle Worker opens January 10:

But Scarlett screamed with JOY when she got the best birthday present ever, Actress X on the cell, asking her if Scarlett if she wanted the role. That child huggied her friends and they all screamed and cheered! They were Michael Phelps.

And the next night when the Matron finally had her daughter alone and was tucking her in, Scarlett said this:

"Mama? I didn't know it was possible for a person to be this happy! It's such a good feeling!"

Matron: "Is it because of The Miracle Worker?"

Scarlett: "Not really. It's Rent, The Sound of Music AND The Miracle Worker all wrapped up together. Now I'm in shows for six months straight and I don't have to worry."

Matron: "You worry?"

Scarlett: "Uh-huh. If I don't have a show, I worry about getting one. I always have to have a show. It's really all I think about, you know."

And sometimes people ask the Matron why she signs her kid up for so much and how she can spare the time to drive her all over, as if she were the one actually steering or had any real choice. She's not going to say no to her child's dreams.

Break a leg, Marta, Maureen, Helen!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Educating the Matron

Quite conveniently, one of her children required medical . . . inquiry . . . well on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Now, this was a middling issue, but an issue nonetheless and not quite right for the blog (too private!).

Oh, and thanks for the terrific post on just that, Mrs. G!

The Matron calls the after hours nurse line with her recent five-hour ER visit freshly in her system, sort of like fetid mu shu pork, still swimming in the intestines.

She gets the "we're busy with people sicker than you, so hang on" message and waits for a full 19 minutes before the nurse gets on the line.

Next, the Matron gets a play-by-play of what's appearing on the Nurse's computer screen. A mature voice, Nurse also sounded too disengaged to be monkeying around with decisions of any sort, and like she needed a nap.

Nurse: "Uh. . . this screen is the insurance. Hold on. I need to go to another one for the name."

Please insert JEOPARDY music, here. Tick-tock goes the clock and all that. . .

Nurse: "Okay. Well, here's the symptom screen. Wait a minute till I can pull this up. . . "

Da-da-DAH. .. da dah da

Nurse: "Uh. . is this your address?"

Matron: "YES"

dada da DA dadada da da (the Matron doesn't know the son very well)

Nurse: "Okay. . gotta get there. . . . okay. Got this screen going."

Several screens later, the Matron is allowed to describe the symptoms.

Nurse: "In addition to the symptoms, does X have inflamed eyelids?"

Matron: "No."

Nurse: "Spots?"

Matron: "No."

Nurse: "Shooting leg pain?"

Matron: "No."

Nurse (sigh of failure): "Headache?"

Matron: "No."

Nurse: "Excessive nose bleeds."

Matron: "No."

Nurse: "Tummy ache?"

Matron: "A little."

Nurse (big sigh of relief, having finally found the symptom): "Well, you'll have to take X to the Emergency Room. Symptom X AND a tummy ache together are real serious."

Here, one of those huge sirens went off in the Matron's head as her blood pressure shot right back to its peak performance and her eyes popped out of her head. Really. Satan's Familiar witnessed the whole thing.

Matron --- while pounding the kitchen table like the starving Scarlett O'Hara : "No, No, No!! I will NOT go to the Emergency Room. I refuse! Connect me to the After Hours Clinic RIGHT NOW! RIGHT NOW! THE CLINIC!"

Nurse: "Okay, then."

And she transfered the Matron to the clinic, to which the Matron drove with Child X and was in and out in 15 minutes.

As God is her witness, she will never make an unnecessary trip to the ER again!