flightless hag

A chronicle of the adventures of birdwoman: a lonely, talentless freak who wanders the internet in search of entertainment.

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Location: Philly

I'm a 40-something married white female, survivor of weight watchers, avid reader of pulp. Dogs (not cats), extreme right (handed, not politics), ENTJ, alto, wanna-be knitter.

December 18, 2010

Rogers Chronicles 2010 - unedited Web version!

The Rogers Chronicles - 2010.
Oh, not this thing again.

Welcome to the Paperless version of the Rogers Chronicles! Notice, we’re GREEN!! ha ha ha ha ha....

OK, enough jocularity.

2010 certainly ended better than it started. So, we figured we’d share some positive messages of hope with all our loved ones!

The yoke of unemployment came with a beard. Who knew?


The year began with the news that John was out of a job. The ink wasn’t even dry on his severance notice before Betsy saw her chance, using John’s depressing period of idleness to her advantage. She rummaged through his stuff, taking her pick of his possessions one by one: his computer, his Sound Dock, his IPod. Sure, she gave him “replacements:” like the cute purple little nano with the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” logo (it really helps John fit in the guys at the gym). John couldn’t do anything about it: a single peep of protest and she’d cut his allowance for beer.

It wasn’t that John did nothing, but it sure looked like it. He did have a good money-making thing going until McDonald’s started printing “Not For Resale” on its ketchup packets. John spent the summer doing laundry and chores. Betsy gave him $200 so he could take the boys and “get out the house for a while.” He managed to stretch it into a “vacation,” with stopovers for free food at relatives’ houses, and “scenic” camping spots. (Up-side, they boys didn’t need rabies shots after all. Down=side, we should probably invest in the company that makes anti-itch medicine.)

John was endlessly amused by places like “Wilson’s Baby Road” and the fact that “Bryson’s City” didn’t even have a gas station. He felt right at home in some parts of Georgia, but for some reason, they all knew he was a Yankee. (Suck it up, Rogers, you may have spent formative years in North Carolina, but you’re still a Yankee.)

Excited to dine with Mom! Birthdays in NYC.

He had endless hours of fun getting a numb butt from driving Betsy’s car, buying fireworks that are illegal everywhere, and communing with mother nature. But eventually John came back again: the chains of marriage were just too strong.

And besides, he missed the internet.

Betsy, meanwhile, had managed to do absolutely nothing in the time of the boys’ absence. She claimed she was “recovering” from the school year. In reality, she’s just chronically lazy.

In October, John finally got a job that didn’t involve Tilt-A-Whirls and carnivals. Working in New Jersey again: John was again astounded to find that are still people living in New Jersey who do not realize that they are free to leave. But he was able to wear the (wrinkled and moth-eaten) pants again.

He is still waiting for the return of his stuff.

Meanwhile, back at the homestead, Betsy has had to take over The Making Of Supper. This idea is abhorrent to John, who has kept “firestarter” out of the kitchen successfully for 12 years. But his new employment keeps him away until well after suppertime. So. John now cooks supper for all the nights he’s gone, and leaves betsy-proof instructions. Things like “take out the meat that has the aluminum foil on it. Take off the aluminum foil. Put it in the microwave. The meat. Not the aluminum foil. That sparks in the microwave. Heat for 3.5 minutes.” Or, even better, “for spaghetti, use the big pot, put in 1 quart of water, 1tbsp of salt, bring to boil, put in pasta.” Of course, you might think this is funny. He did, too, until Betsy asked if she was supposed to use hand soap or dish soap to “wash” the vegetables.

This was the year Sean figured out how to spend money…at Wawa. He has a Slurpee fix. Unfortunately, his income is limited by the amount of landmines the dogs leave for him in the backyard, and he always forgets to feed the dogs. But he has his diabolical ingenuity: He slipped a small branch into the dog poop bag for weighing; when caught, he claimed it was a “petrified” dog turd. He lost Dad’s trust.

Sean should have an attorney present whenever he speaks in anger: he spent a long afternoon copying the preamble of the Constitution in order to find the “kid’s rights” that he was sure were spelled out there. No luck.

Still, Sean is pretty clever when it comes to tugging at John’s heart strings: one night, after returning home thirty minutes late, he explained that his tardiness was due to his need to care for a diabetic cat. Nothing makes John weep more than the scourge of feline insulin dependency.

He continues to excel at wearing camouflage and playing video games. He has inherited the sarcasm gene from his mother and has perfected the Rogers eye-roll. He uses these to discourage cow-eyes from the girls. He’s still at an age where he thinks girls are “icky”. Thank God.

Timothy. If it has wheels, this boy will figure out a way to go fast on it. And then he will figure out a way to get himself hurt with it. Dad has nightmares of turning on ESPN and hearing “Timothy Hewitt Rogers will now perform a death-defying bike tricks…”

Once he had his bike, he was never seen again. Lord knows what he is up to out on the highway.

He does, however, keep finding things. First it was a pair of roller blades, then a set of golf clubs, then some skis. Each time, he insisted that the items were left by the side of the road for the garbage. But once he did admit that the people were just cleaning out their garage. Some neighbors were angry, but if they had a case, they would have gone to the police.

Timmy has very specific ideas about what is cool and what isn’t. He has a thing for hats, and will wear his bike helmet all day, if we let him. Which is probably good, as we never know when he’s going to start in on the pop-a-wheelies.

Sometimes, his coolness meter runs straight in the way of what Mom wants, though. Mom went on a picture strike with the kids this year. We got the first 10 years on “film”. This year? Not so much. But we were going to get good school pictures. She got their quarterly haircut, made sure the comb was used (“what’s a comb?” Timmy asked that morning as Sean rolled his eyes.) She put them both in t-shirts AND collared shirts. Sean, dutiful heir that he is, smiled for the camera.

Tim? “I don’t like collared shirts, and there ain’t nothin’ you can do about it, Mom,” you can practically hear him smirking in this photo. Hard to believe that all his teachers think this kid is an “angel”, right?

School continues to be a wonderland of delight for the collective Rogers family. John has completed yet another round of boringology, Betsy continues to harangue teenagers with the detritus in her brain. Sean and Tim approach education with the same “whatever” attitude of all their peers.

Bullying has become the new vanguard of the boys’ school. Bullying is bad. Bullying is wrong. The boys’ guidance counselor introduced “I messages,” a new age techniques for entertaining outwitting bullies. The gist of it: the harassed confronts his bully with the phrase “I feel bad when you…(insert infraction here).”

Timmy tried it with Sean: “I feel bad when you hit me in the nuts, Sean.” Curiously, it didn’t work. Sean is still laughing about it.

Timmy is learning to play piano. Well, not piano exactly. A baby grand piano would not look too nice with our TV perched on top of it. So he plays keyboard. Hey, it has over 20 keys! Good enough! And he is already good enough to play for the Flock of Seagulls.

Right now he knows two songs: one is “Jingle Bells;” the other isn’t.

So as we listen to Jingle Bells, AGAIN, we hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and a stress-free new year!

The Rogers Clan of 226
John, Betsy, Sean, Tim, Titus, and Loki

Titus and Loki want to know how they keep getting dragged into this fiasco.


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