Wednesday, July 27, 2011

JCK gets Jiggy with the DMV

When JCK awoke yesterday to another crystal clear blue sky, the first thing she thought was...What a perfect day to go to the DMV! She was more excited than a High School Pep Rally. She bounced out of bed, showered and even put make-up on. Wow, who is this dark eyed woman? She did a little dance in the mirror, happy to get Jiggy With It before heading over to the DMV.

Just a few days past, JCK had suddenly discovered that her driver's license was missing. She had searched high and low, low and high, and high again. No luck. She then spent a couple of fruitful hours madly tweeting essential news bulletins, and wishing that Sawyer would arrive on her doorstep so he could swear for her. JCK believes there is nothing as good as watching Sawyer say SON of a BITCH.

Then one of those amazing things happened! JCK knows that you will never guess. That very afternoon, JCK received a very personal letter from the DMV - a birthday card! The letter invited her to come to the DMV for her very own birthday delight! A renewal license needed to be done in person. JCK thought...why not? She loved her last visit to the DMV. She was sure it hadn't changed in 8 years. So, she made her appointment! All of this was meant to be. It appeared to be a message from GOD.

In her rush to get there, JCK was running a little late in her camp drop-off routine. She walked her children through the camp gates, topped their heads with kisses, hugged them and then flew back to her minivan. Kind of like Wonder Woman, but without the bountiful boobs and cape.

As JCK raced through the neighborhoods, careful to avoid pets and children, she marveled at the luck of hitting almost every green light. She winked at herself in the rear view mirror. Life was good. Damn good. And, what a treat to get to spend her morning meeting new people at the DMV.

The entrance to the Pasadena DMV appeared unencumbered. Just as she pulled into the small parking lot, a wonderful citizen screaming epithets screeched out of a parking space. JCK waved to the fuming, fun loving man, and took his vacated spot. This was a very good sign!

Once inside the building, JCK only had to ask 3 different people where to find the line for people with appointments. Everyone seemed to know where to direct her. So, she took a lovely detour here and there, finally landing in a short line. There was a panoply of aromas. Coffee, perfume, eau du perspiration - a.k.a, that darling skunk Pepe le Pew. JCK was overwhelmed with affection for her fellow man.

And, then! She was next! She walked up to the window in her comfortable flats, nodding at people who were looking at her warmly from the line labeled "No Appointments." JCK spoke through the bullet proof glass to the DMV employee. And, the lady spoke to her. Everything the lady said sounded so musical and clear...blah, blah, blah, the lady said. JCK smiled and asked her to repeat herself. BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. JCK liked the lady's voice sooooo...much, that she asked her if she could repeat it one more time, and JCK tried to stick her ear in the letter slot to ensure better listening pleasure. Eureka! JCK was given instructions to fill out her form and go wait for her number to be called!

JCK went to a counter and fumbled in her purse for a pen. She took her time filling out the form, as the DMV was such a big, happy party that she just knew there would be plenty of time before they called her number. JCK filled in all the blanks, pausing over "hair color." She knew in her gut that she should put Silver or White. Who in their right mind would use the word, Gray? Soooo pedestrian. Yet, JCK remembered that the DMV might not be right brained thinkers, so she wrote GRAY. And, wiped a couple of tears off of her dewy cheeks. Upper, not lower.

JCK then went and asked two different people where the line was for waiting for your number to be called. She was redirected back to where the first person had told her NO. JCK sat down next to the stylish woman, and thought it was only right to tell her that she had been WRONG to direct JCK adrift. Pffft! JCK doesn't hold grudges.

JCK then looked up at the screen where a large sign said "LISTEN FOR YOUR NUMBER TO BE CALLED!!!!" JCK always appreciates exclaiming with exclamation marks!!! After a few minutes JCK noticed that there was no audio, and that this was a visual screen. You had to use your eyes only. Who knew! What a helpful sign. JCK then saw that the numbers were strangely higher than hers! So, she waited patiently for another five minutes, and then decided that she should interrupt someone else at window #12 to ask if her number had been passed.

The man at window #12 had a booming voice, so it was very easy for JCK to hear...YOUR NUMBER HAS BEEN CALLED, MA'AM. YOU NEED TO GO TO WINDOW #16. Oh, what lovely news! JCK then proceeded to Window #16, and was told she would have to wait. Then, the lady at the Appointments Only window waved JCK over. She recognized her! Her, JCK! From just 20 minutes previous. JCK felt special.

JCK was told to wait at the window and the woman vanished for a few minutes. Then she reappeared and told JCK to go to Window #10. JCK hated to bother this nice lady, but had to ask where Window #10 was. It was on the same side of the building! What luck. JCK then went to Window #10. The woman was talking to a man with her words and hands. And, she wasn't saying BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. She was using actual words.

Then it was JCK's turn. JCK thrust her paperwork through the slot, paid her $31 and was told her license would be mailed in 3 weeks. But, JCK mustn't, mustn't, leave without getting her photo taken. After all , getting your picture taken is all the fun! So, JCK was directed to the photo line.

JCK had no problems finding the photo line. It was easy to spot, and extended outside the building. JCK noticed the lack of signage. Perhaps they had forgotten to post it? This is the photo line. It is for people who have all the time in the world. JCK wasn't worried. What better things could she be doing with her time? Her children were at camp, and she DID have all the time in the world.

While standing in line, JCK realized she had a birds-eye view of the latest fashions. Why look over there! A woman with purple spandex tights with glitter. Under a green dress. And, there! A woman with black lace stockings and a white t-shirt. JCK marveled at the boldness of color, the attention to detail. But, JCK didn't want to be rude and STARE.

It occurred to JCK that her brother, who is single, had obviously been meeting women in the wrong places. Why, what better place to meet single women than the DMV. A virtual dating mecca. JCK texted her brother. He was busy on vacation in Florida. On some island, with sugar white beaches and water the color of aqua. Boring. JCK told him what he was missing. He appeared sad.

Suddenly JCK was almost at the photo booth. The time had zoomed by, because she was having so much fun! She noticed a man staring at her. At her, JCK! This man had warm, angry eyes. They seemed to enter JCK's body like bullets. She knew she looked good in her Target T-shirt, but really...didn't he notice the girl in front of her - with tattoos that said Delicious. Apparently, not. Admittedly, sometimes JCK's silver locks make men want to kill. Just ask JCK's husband.

And then she was there! The final destination. JCK was charmed by the woman just ahead of her getting her photo taken. Blushing, like a school girl. She looked like a coed from Bryn Mawr. Ah...youth. Finally it was JCK's turn. She handed her paper marked PHOTO ONLY to the happy man behind the PHOTO window. He was a jolly little elf. He told JCK to smile pretty. JCK gave her cheeks, (above, not below), a quick pinch for color and smiled BIG. The man said, OH, it's a GOOD one. JCK smiled demurely. The man winked. At, JCK!

JCK put on her sunglasses and walked out into the parking lot. Her heart heavy, she realized she would not be back for 8 more years. She tried valiantly to hold it together, stumbling through the oil soaked concrete in her flip flops to her car. Fumbling for her keys, she waved to the man patiently waiting in his car for her spot. He blasted his horn. He was ready to PAARTY at the DMV. How could JCK be so selfish? She pulled out, dabbing Kleenex on tear stained cheeks, (upper, not lower), giving up her precious parking space. The adventure was over, and she'd have to live with it. Her life would never be the same...

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

that loud family that lives on your street

You know those neighbors on your street? The loud ones? JCK knows that you know just who she is talking about. Everyone has that family on their street. That nice family where everyone screams instead of talks. God, help you if your windows are open. Try enjoying the summer breeze waffling through your house, with those SCREAMS tearing at your very being. Over and over again. Yep, that's what JCK's talking about.

Well, JCK's street is no exception. There is a particularly LOUD family that lives on JCK's block. Let's just call them "The Screamers." You can always tell when the kids are outside, because the noise shoots down the hill like a visit from the dark side. Whether it is the fear of Darth Vader or Voldemort suddenly appearing, the echo of everyone on the street slamming their windows shut reverberates back up the hill. The screamers don't seem to care. Selfish. Selfish. Selfish!!

JCK used to think that the worst thing was being next door to a smoker, because you can't open your windows on that side of the house unless you want to snort some tobacco wind. JCK's ears are reconsidering that previous belief. Not that JCK is completely opposed to smokers. There was that one or two season fun show where JCK dated that guy who smoked and had a tattoo. Back when having a tattoo meant you were a sailor. Now tattoos are are common as runny noses on kids without Kleenex. Except tattoos last longer. But, in the spirit of time constraints, JCK must move on.

The SCREAMERS live very close to JCK. So close it is becoming unbearable. Close enough so that there is no room that JCK can go to without the sound of YELLING penetrating her delicate ears. There is an especially loud screechy GIRL. JCK believes this GIRL inherits this tendency from her father's genetic line, but JCK won't go there for fear of neighborly reprisal or uxoricide. Then there is that BOY who throws in an extra explosive YELL to keep up with the GIRL. The husband? Let's just say he has many years of stage training, and his voice carries. For miles.

Lately JCK has wondered if her life of quiet repose on days in which these children are out of the neighborhood is doomed. Because every opportunity that JCK has for a quieter day, in which she has set aside time to spend time writing, is thwarted by chain saws attacking trees next door or her husband's compressor going ON and off and ON for hours on end. JCK would like to point out that her husband's compressor is not a personal thing, but necessary to energize his tools.

As for the LOUD mom? Rumor has it her ancestry is Scots. As in warrior men with meaty calves, hair glinting in the sun, and kilts stirring on the wild highlands... JCK knows in her soul that the LOUD gene comes from that line. Especially since JCK has apparently lost her driver's license. In which case you will hear her WILD bellows and wails assailing a neighborhood near you. All the way from the DMV line...

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Monday, July 18, 2011

The gift of GAB with BOY & GIRL

JCK is continually uplifted and struck agog with the things her children say. Take this morning, when her BOY approached her in the kitchen...

BOY: I love you mom. But...sometimes things don't work out the way you want them to.

JCK he breaking up with me? ?!!

BOY: You my marble maze. We can't move forward on it because of that part that's in the wrong place.

JCK: Yeah. That blasted Marble MAZE. I was pretty frustrated with that thing, wasn't I?

BOY: Yes, you were. I thought you were going to BLOW. Blow your stack.

JCK: Me, too, BOY. Me, too...


GIRL: You may be older than me, BOY. But, you may not know MUCH about girls.

GIRL, if you only knew....

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Twitter gets last laugh on JCK

An Ode to Twitter

It was a losing proposition,
a fruitless quest,
the idea of avoiding
this Twitter Fest.

All along she took pride
in the written word,
but now she scuttles
and coughs out curds.

When it's all said and done,
and done some more,
it really doesn't matter
what it's all for.

Whether the prose is lilting
or full of wind,
the words go forth
and she has sinned.

She does know better
than to never, say never
So, Aye to Twitter
and best not be bitter.

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Come outside and see two butterflies MATING!

JCK's daughter had a play date the other day with her friend who is a boy. A young lad with impossibly wild curls, a playful smile, and who hangs on her daughter's every word. Which is admirable as JCK's daughter abounds with words. While they were creating an obstacle course in the back yard, JCK was puttering around the house with one eye trained to the rear.

Suddenly, The Young Lad burst into the house yelling...

The Lad: We've found two butterflies mating! We've found two butterflies mating! Come outside and see two butterflies MATING! We want to show YOU.

JCK: You've found what?

The Lad: Two butterflies MATING! GIRL is with them outside so that they won't fly away.

And, so it was... that JCK found herself following a 6 year old boy outside who apparently knows about mating.

JCK and the lad arrived at the mating site. GIRL was squatting down quietly in the grass, keeping quite still, fascinated with the two busy insects.

GIRL: Look, Mommy, it's two butterflies MATING. The Lad nodded earnestly, squatting to join GIRL.

JCK: Wow, they're beautiful! How did you find them?

GIRL: The Lad did!

The Lad: I found them when I was setting up the obstacle course, and saw that they were mating.

JCK: Do you think you could both stay very still and watch them, so I can go get my camera?


JCK ran into the house as if her pants were on fire. She needed the freedom of the house to guffaw. Then she was back with her camera, snapping a few close-ups of the still busy, apparently record breaking, mating butterflies.

JCK: You seem to know a lot about nature.

The Lad: Oh, yes, I'm an expert.

After taking a few shots of the MATING butterflies, JCK rose to her feet, leaving GIRL and The Lad to continue their perusal. This was the first time that the word MATING had entered the Motherscribe compound, and JCK wasn't sure that she was comfortable with her daughter throwing the word around with an expert. Yet, JCK was touched by their mix of solemnity and curiosity.

JCK: Well, I'm going back inside now. Make sure you give the butterflies some space.

We will!

It was at this point that JCK realized how grateful she is not to be a butterfly, that she can do her mating under the cover of darkness, in a bed, not observed by small biologists...

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

summer entices in its slow moving, hazy days

The coolness of kitchen tile under hot bare feet, languid limbs atop cotton sheets, water washing over sun kissed skin, and the clink of ice cubes in tall glasses of cold liquid refreshment. Summer has arrived. Scattered flip-flops and bathing suits scented with sun block, Popsicles on the front porch, sand finding its way throughout the house, water play and mud pies... Summer has arrived. Indeed.

It is as if my children grow more each day. Their skin rosy with camp adventures, and their burgeoning confidence of being on their own, yet part of a whole. They tumble into the car exhausted, yet gleeful, full of stories.

Everyone says to hold on to these times, to treasure my children now... that these days are all too fleeting. I try... I do. Yet, summer entices in its slow moving, hazy days. Hot tendrils putting us to sleep - only to awaken in September with the brush strokes of vibrant color and cooler days...

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