Life as a reformed Zookeeper. Now living a life as a working mother who dabbles in karate, scrapbooking, and Coors Light!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Dante Couldn't Have Written It Better Himself....

Tales of Byers Drama and Exploring the Various Levels of Hell....

So last night was the karate dojo's Halloween party. In lieu of any other party at any other time of year, this is the main party that the dojo throws. So if you're working on your fifth year there, you go. No big deal. We buy costumes for all the kids. I even, with the help of another karate girl, come up with a costume for myself. It's a pitch-in, so I give Collin the option of either bringing a queso dip or chili. He opts for chili, so I get all the ingredients and, the morning of the party, get up extra early to get it into the crock-pot so we can just grab it, change into costumes and go. Everything is good to go, right? Wrong.

I get a call yesterday around 4:00. "We're not going to this party tonight!" Aaron says. Apparently, Collin forgot/didn't do all the assignments given to him before Fall Break (last week), so he has a ton of homework. Level 1 of my trip into Hell. OK, I'm frustrated and pissed at my kid, but I'll survive. I'm taking the twins (who have been told they're going to this party) by myself to the party, leaving Aaron at home to deal with the boy. He goes by the store to get bowls and spoons for my chili while I bust a move home to change and grab the twins (oh, by the way, party starts at 6:00). I bust a move home, get in the house and am greeted with the oh-so-wonderful aroma of burnt chili. I go to Target to buy two bags of chips. Level 2 into the depths. We get to the party, and have to stand in line for 45 minutes for food. We get to the food line and the plates that the sensei had bought were the flimsiest, cheapest plates ever. I'm trying to load up for three, here, folks! The girl I was standing with dumped her plates. Level 3. We can't find a good seat, so we wind up on a separate level and Griffin winds up sitting on the floor (because there just aren't enough seats). Someone steps in his food. Level 4. There wasn't enough candy for the games the kids could have played, and they wanted candy. Level 5.

And since the dojo is closed today my gin won't be happening for over a week. *sobs*

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Congrats, Collin!

Here is Collin, getting his second-degree black belt. I had previously asked Sensei whether he was going to get it this year, and he said yes. He said that he would pull them aside one night and give it to the boys who were ready. Well, good thing I didn't dump and run last night, because he did it without warning! Good job my friend Jill had her phone with her....

I'm very proud of Collin for this accomplishment. There have been times where he's wanted to quit, but we encouraged (and forced, at times) him to keep going. Recently, I told him that if he ever wanted to quit karate, that it was fine with me, but that he needed to come up with some other sport or physical activity. He promptly told me that he wanted to stay at karate.

For a little history on the karate style, you can get your black belt when you're a kid (under sixteen in the karate world), and even progress to getting higher up the black belt ladder (there is such a thing as a 10th degree black belt, but I think that's where it stops). But when you turn sixteen, you have to start over from 1st degree black belt. I told Collin this last night, but he still wasn't dissuaded from continuing. For all the nuttiness that being 10-almost-11 entails, I think that shows a bit of maturity. Because if someone told me I basically had to start over after years of progressing through the ranks, I might be a little upset!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

How to Turn Your Car Into a Fishbowl....

...there are so many things I could name this post... but that seems to be most apt.

  1. Go to karate class (or any sport practice or workout of choice).
  2. Try to drum up as much support for going out as possible, though everyone has more of a life than you and declines invitation for standing date at bar where everyone knows your name and how many limes you like in your gin and sprite.
  3. Console yourself by basking in your favorite fall scenario...a warm fall day where the leaves have started to change colors. It's about to rain, so there is that perfect smell in the air of dried leaves and all that autumnal goodness that drives your allergies crazy. To fully appreciate this, you must roll down all the windows and open the sunroof, turn up the radio loud and sing to the top of your lungs with your favorite artists (Ben Folds, in my case).
  4. Get home, roll up the windows and turn in for the night.

How, you ask, does this turn your car into a fishbowl? You tell me.....

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


...been a long blogging break! Things have been a bit nutty in the Land of Byers. Not as nutty as when I was working at the scrapbook store.

...I've been on an exercise kick. It largely has to do with karate. I'm getting a bit slimmer, too, and am inching my way to single digit sizes! Haven't seen those in about 7 or 8 years now.... And I'm looking into doing a bit more with strength training. I don't want Madonna arms or anything, but I would like to be able to be stronger than a sixth grader. Where the hell is this coming from, you ask? Well, Friday we had a black belt club class at the dojo, and we did something called grappeling. You pretty much face eachother on your knees and try to get your opponent on your back. Well, the girl I was paired up with beat me. Later, I find out that she's a sixth grader. "Yeah, Mom, she's a sixth grader...I've seen her at school," Collin says. *sigh* Needless to say, I've been doing push-ups every day in order to gain some strength! I do them on my knees right now, but I want to get to the point where I progress to being in full-out plank stance for them.

...Not much else happening Chez Byers. We're in a good routine at the moment, and rarely deviate from it.....
  • Monday: work, dinner, Collin has Boy Scouts
  • Tuesday: work, dinner, Collin has karate class (he will be a second degree black belt this Fall!)
  • Wednesday: work, dinner, I have karate class and then go to a local bar for gin and Sprite with my karate classmates.
  • Thursday: work, dinner..... NOTHING!
  • Friday: work, black belt club karate class, dinner.
  • The weekend: various miscellaneous stuff that keeps us out of the house.

Keeps us on our toes!

Saturday, October 06, 2007


.... to the blogging world, Judy!