Old People on Ellipticals

I swing back and forth. One day I am paralyzed by the fear of age. I don’t want to get any older I’ve got to much to do, I want to learn to surf. I love rock climbing walls and live bands. I was the baby in the family I can’t get old.

And then there are the days I look at seniors and I’m filled with admiration for old people, especially when they are fearless. 

Last week I watched an older lady climb on the cyborg like elliptical machine at Anytime Fitness.  She was wearing yellow polyester pants and a sweat shirt with a  spotted cat mad out of sequins. Still she climbed onboard as thoughborn to elliptical.  She set the resistance and incline fearlessly and her skinny legs began churning away. Then she plugged her earphones in.and changed the tv channel so she could watch Ellen. |Hell yeah, that’s how you work out at 70.

Last week I ate lunch with a lot of sixty year old men in the Ohio Club, a fantastic historic bar in Hot Springs, AR.  Everybody tells stories and makes fun of each other.Jimmy Young brought his mother, a lovely eighty year old who cheerfully sipped a pint of dark beer while the rest of us drank sweet tea. She was wonderful and witty. Drinking dark beer at noon when you’r eighty, that’s how to roll it right as a senior citizen.

Recently my son worked out with his 25 year old boxing coach. Tony has a full sleeve tattoo, it’s a swirling dragon fish combo that’s actually really pretty.  I took lost of pictures. Latter that afternoon  I pictures of Tony and Sandor working out in tank tops, on Facebook.  Tony called me and said he’d “untagged” himself .  He explained his grand parents are his friends on FB and they don’t know about his giant swirling tattoo. How cute is that? Old people on Facebook, poking around, tagging, lol-ing and thumbs up-ing just like college sophomores.

Honestly, I wish my mother-in- law would get on Facebook, or at least learn to e-mail.  We live 1500 miles apart and if she would just try to get on line she would be so much more connected with her grand kids. She is missing out and so are my kiddos.It almost makes me mad. 

 Hopefully, when I’m 80 and my kids want to visit with me via hologram I will embrace the idea simply to be closer to those youngsters. And I hope in turn, they will be just like Tony the boxing coach and protect me from all the wicked stuff out there. I hope I won’t be afraid to hang out with the boys and have a beer and I hope I’ll have the guts to jump on a treadmill or elliptical and speed off  in my bedazzled kitty cat sweat shirt.

Comment or write to me hampoland@gmail.com.  Thanks, DH

Stupid Cyber-Bully

Finally, I have almost experienced a cyber-bully. I let my youngest son,I’ll call him Bucky, have a Facebook page even though he’s only 9. But I use my e-mail address so I have access to the page and see everything people write.

Bucky doesn’t really care about anything except looking at cool pictures, the silly games and writing “Hi’ on everybody’s wall.

Things have been problem free for more than a year but last month a  kid name Jason that I don’t know sent Bucky a message, something like, “my homie said u r gay for real.”

I didn’t catch this comment until Bucky wrote back “butt face”.

Then Jason, who is three years older than Bucky wrote ‘bring it on dick banger”.  Bucky didn’t know what any of this meant so he came to me to ask what Jason was talking about.

AAAARRRRR. I blocked Jason after going over every message, picture and video on his face book page.

“Who is this kid”,I asked Bucky while he was playing with his Legos.

“I don’t know, I think he rides my bus.”

“You don’t know him?”

“Not really, he’s in like 5th grade.” 

Bucky didnt’ seem bothered so after blocking “bad kid Jason” I let everything drop.  I told big sister to keep an eye on Bucky while they were on the bus.

We haven’t heard from Jason in a month, but today a new message popped up on Bucky’s page. All it said is “F UUUUUUUUU.”

So what am I supposed to do?  Should I send “bad kid Jason” a message and say, “Hey, idiot, this is Bucky’s “Bad-A” mom, and I’m reading all the messages you send.”

Do I ignore it?

Or, do I print the messages out and go tell his mom?  I figured out who she and and were she works while studying his FB page.

One thing I have figured out. Just having access to your child’s FB isn’t enough. You have to actually look at the page. Figure out what’s really going on.

I’ll let you know what happens.  Please, send me ideas if you have any. Please, please please.  hampoland@gmail.com

Working Moms With Lots of Kids Should be Paid Less


That’s right, I just wrote those words and I’m the mother of four children. Throw kitchen implements, like can openers and boxes of Mac and Cheese at me if you need to, but I speak the truth.

Every week I lose hours, lots and lots of hours, of productivity because of my children. There are the phone calls and texts, Facebook messages and IM. They need money, they need love, they need an idea for a paper, they need a copy of their birth certificate, a bunch of boys on the high school football team got caught with a beer bong and are suspended from the team, their best friend just lost her virginity to a super creep. The reasons for the conversations go on and on and I love them because I’m a good mom. The truth is these calls  are the highlight of my day.

Then there are the secret trips for  the kids. The ones I take when I’m supposed to be out working, selling things and making money for my employer, but I’m actually at the doctor’s office because one of them has a funky wart. Or I’m buying sophies or tennis shoes so she can work out with the volleyball team. Or there’s the legendary and desperate message on my cell phone, “Mom, I left my report at the house. If I don’t turn it in I’ll get an F, can you go get it for me? I have to have it by noon”.

There’s time spent on Facebook stalking my children. It’s really important so I can figure out what’s going on and who I need to ban from the house (probably the 14 year old boy with huge swoopy hair who appears to be smoking a joint the size of a cigar).

And when my child wakes up with a 103 degree  fever and needs to stay home, I make that phone call to my boss in a heartbeat. Nothing at work is more important than my child’s health.

And finally, I spend time every day staring at pictures of my kids, thinking about how much I like their faces. Sandor’s buck teeth and freckles, Lexie’s joy filled eyes and dress that’s waaaayyy too short, Mary’s splendid arching eye brows and her funny duck face and  the way Jack puts his arm around me when we take pictures and his porn star mustache. I just stare at their pictures and sigh, all the time. I bet I spend ten minutes everyday doing that, almost an hour a week.

I suspect most good parents are just like me. We have to put our kids first, and do what’s necessary. I think an employer would be totally justified if he decided to pay me less.

But who needs money more than a good parent? We have to buy stuff for our children, we want them to have an instrument so they can march with the band, we want them to go to football camp so they can start next season.   There are prom dresses and crappy cars and insurance. College text books ($300 for biology) and orthodontists.  We have to pay all those doctors to look at their weird warts and moles, we need money, lots and lots of money so we can take care of the children we love so much.

So, maybe good moms are the best employees. Maybe we are the most motivated and driven…maybe moms should actually  be paid more!

I have to go now, my boss is texting me because I’m late getting back from lunch and the nurse just said it’s Lexie’s turn to see the dentist.

*Guys, men, fathers: I did not write about you because I don’t know what you do during the day. Do you Facebook stalk, do you look at pictures and sigh? I’m not so sure. But if you are a good dad and do the “work day run around” for your child…this piece is for you too. Keep up the good work.