Thursday, December 30, 2004

Lalalalalalala (I can't hear you)

Ok. I am going totally crunchy. Believe me. I am. No petroleum-based food dyes, preservatives--I'm even buying the soy-based fabric softeners. So I realize--I really do--the type of crap that is probably in Oxyclean. Do you know what's in that stuff? Well, if you do--

Don't tell me. No, I mean it. DON'T TELL ME. Because I love that stuff. It gets out anything. Stop it. Stop it! I can't hear you! I'm not listening!

Lalala laaaaalaaalaaaa, laaa laaa laaa, laaalaaalaaa...

Wednesday, December 29, 2004


How do the Buddhists do it?

How do you maintain the awareness of all you have to be grateful for? Last night, around 1:00 a.m., about the fifth time in an hour that the Girl woke me up, I lost all sense of perspective. I stood there, in the middle of her room, exhausted, knowing that I should be deliriously happy ... because she was healthy enough to keep waking me up, because she was not lost at sea after a horrible disaster, because she doesn't do this every single night like she did when she was a baby ... and all I wanted was to go. to. sleep!*!$!! Such are the limitations of the human heart, I guess. Or else I just suck.


After another political ... "disagreement" ... with my mother, I growled in exasperation, rolled my eyes, and said to the Girl, who was running around under foot, "Honey! Repeat after me: Democrat in 2008!"

The Girl: Blank stare.

"Ok," I said, "How about just 'No more Bush!'?"

The Girl: Blank stare.

"[SB]!" my mother snapped, "Don't go putting words into the child's mouth. She can't even tell you what she thinks."

The Girl: Blank stare.

"Sure she can," I said. "Can't you, sweetie? Tell Grammy what you think."

The Girl: "NO MORE BUSH!"



For someone who used to be the epitome of "shy"--I'm talking glasses-fogging, knee-shaking, nail-biting, whispered-word shy--I'm pretty thick skinned. I really don't care too much what people think of me, I have no problems with speaking up in a crowd, cocktail parties only scare me if they run out of vodka, and even being left for another woman hasn't dampened my confidence in my ability to be ignored by men. (See? I'm not even afraid to make really stupid jokes.) Heck, I figure, I know I'm a dork, and some people like me anyway, so hey--either you will or you won't, but why should I get all in a lather about it? Except when it comes to one social group:

Other mothers.

Dear lord, why do other mothers--specifically the mothers of the Boy's classmates--make me feel like a junior high girl again? I always end up feeling completely inadequate--because I'm divorced, or because of the Boy's behavioral challenges, or because I work, or because I eat stinky cheese--I don't get it. I HATE feeling this way. And it's absolutely ludicrous! And I don't even think it's them, I really don't! I think it's time for my bi-annual return to therapy. I spent 10 minutes today going through the class directory trying to figure out if I was the only single mom in his class! What is WITH that?

Tuesday, December 28, 2004


No funny stories today. Too sad about the disastrous tsunamis. I'm going upstairs to kiss my kids and my mom.

Monday, December 27, 2004


Have you ever had one of those days when you wake up late, throw on yesterday's jeans, rush out the door, run to the train, take the train to another station, switch to the tube, sit there like a sardine for 30 minutes, reading your book and studiously ignoring your fellow stiff-lipped travelers, only to realize, as you pack up your book and get ready for your final stop, that the underwear you wore the day before (and stripped off with the jeans last night) has migrated down the leg and has been hanging out the bottom, stuck to the velcro on your sneaker, for God only knows how long?

No? Oh, neither.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Just for a moment

I have this feeling, this saddish, almost guilt-ridden feeling, and I'm not sure why. I feel like I'm saying goodbye to someone or to something. Is it holiday letdown? Is it because when the kids left with their dad today, my first thought, just for a moment, was "Ahhh, freedom!" Is it because I might finally make the decision to get on with my bloody life?

I'm reading some poetry by Veronica Patterson--it's lovely. My favorite so far is "This House". I love the last few lines:

The funny thing is how the house is situated. A woman is holding it up
on one finger. If she needs to put the house down--just for a moment--

where will she set it?

Friday, December 24, 2004

King of the Bungle

King of the Bungle
Okay, first off, I own a cat, I love my cat, I am a cat person. I would never do this to my cat, so don't anybody go gettin' all Dr. Dolittle on me.
Second...oh dear lord, I am laughing my ass off.

Gentle Reader

Because I could not seem to shut up yesterday, and because I will be busy sending out my holiday cards today (hey, New Year's is a holiday) and schlepping presents over to the Ex's and buying more Bailey's and so forth, and so on, and because I bought new books and will buy more new books next week and have been looking at my bookshelf trying to figure out where to put them all, and because I suddenly have the urge to write the longest, most convuluted sentence ever written anywhere, ever, and because I will fail because (thank you Sweet Jesus) I am not Samuel Beckett, I give to you:

Random Book Samplings Chez SBFH
What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know
Little Earthquakes
Born to Be Wild
Traveling Mercies
Mini Encyclopedie: L'indespensable de la culture generale
The Neverending Story (hardback, thank you very much)
Tess of the d'Urbervilles
Microsoft Exchange 2003 Deployment & Migration
Even the Stars Look Lonesome
La Terre
Start Where You Are
Eats, Shoots and Leaves
Spiritual Divorce
Ahead of All Parting
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Winter's Heart
Anna Karenina

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Getting to Know You

I've been mulling over a discussion at Bad Mother regarding the "blogger/bloggee" relationship. Coincidentally, it's something the Chica and I were discussing the other day. She reads my blog--she's one of only a few people who actually know me and know that this is my blog--but hasn't felt comfortable commenting on it because it feels too public. Of course, she doesn't really need to do: We see each other at work every day and she can tell me whatever she wants, right to my face. Still, we've been discussing the public nature of something that contains so much private information and, at times, so much emotional weight.

I think blogging and reading blogs is a bit like going to a fabulous cocktail party. You have the chance to strike up conversations with new people, and some of them turn out to be rather engaging. Some of them turn out to be odd but interesting, and some of them make you start giving your date the "find a reason to leave here NOW" signal. If you don't feel like talking to anyone, you can always nurse a drink and listen in on other interesting conversations. Sometimes you start talking to someone and think, Holy cow, this is someone I'd love to talk with again. But you aren't about to give out your home number because, hey, you don't know any of these people.

I have friends, and family, and work, and it's all good. But most nights, I have two little humans asleep upstairs, so I don't find myself at as many cocktail parties as I used to. I have friends and acquaintances who are writers, actors, lawyers, mothers, fathers, politicians, entrepreneurs, educators, scientists--but rarely do we have the chance anymore to get together as often as we'd like. And rarely do we get the chance to all hang out together, regardless of location or vocation.

As far as emotional involvement goes...I do have a weird, gate-crashing kind of feeling when commenting on a blog for the first time. As though I am interrupting a conversation that I just happen to have overheard. And it is amazing how sympatica you can end up feeling with people whom you know you don't really know. Still, I once heard a wise woman quote Terence: "I am a human being; nothing human is alien to me." Is getting a glimpse into the emotional or intellectual or professional lives of other humans--and enjoying it--weird? Voyeuristic? Or just something that we humans are wired to do--connect to other humans? It seems that we as a society don't get as much opportunity to do that as we used to do. What do you think?

Excuse me, but do we know each other? No. But thanks for the lovely evening. Maybe we can do it again sometime.

Curse of the Hamtaros

I had never even heard of these little monsters 'til Ayelet over at Bad Mother mentioned them a few days back, and lo, the curse has come upon me. I should know better than to make smart-ass comments about these things. Today was the first day I let the Boy pick out all his own books and movies at the library--not because he isn't capable, but because today was the first day I had my mom around to run interference with the Girl so that I could actually hang out with the boy in the main library without dragging around the Screaming Banshee. And which movie did he pick?

Yeah. Friggin' Hamtaros. Why Lord, why?

Well, worse things could happen. He never like Barney or those god-awful, drug-induced Teletubbies, so I should thank my lucky stars that the dream lasted this long.

But no more smartie comments over at Bad Mother. Just to be on the safe side.

One might look first

After an evening of vodka and conversation with one's girlfriends, one might, as one strolls down the street with one's dearest friend, want to look up before loudly bemoaning the fact that one hasn't gotten laid in AGES and probably won't get laid in AGES and really, really needs to GET LAID RIGHT NOW!! Just in case, for example, one's male coworker might be standing, oh, 2 feet away. Because then one might feel completely mortified, and not just because one used the term "get laid" in polite company.

One is just, you know, saying.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Well, why didn't you tell me?

According to my OB/Gyn, removing your IUD is a sure way to attract a lover. Like the Call of the Uterus or something.

Heck, if I'd known that, I would've done it 6 months ago! Who knew?

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Bah humbug

When the mother of one of your kid's classmates calls you and says, "We're collecting for a group gift for the teacher, so that we can get her something nice instead of 20 smelly candles. Plus it'll be easier for everyone that way. Would you like to contribute?" what do you think that means? Does it mean, "Hey, we're all chipping in and you can, too" or does it mean, "Hey, we're all chipping in but we're also all going to get the teacher a smelly candle." Because if it means the latter, then you might end up feeling kinda like crap when the teacher sat there and opened all of those freakin' candles at the beginning of class and there was nothing. from. your. kid. Right? Or, more accurately, you might end up sitting there thinking, "Why the hell are you opening all your presents in class? And why the hell didn't I spring for a friggin' smelly candle? And why do I feel guilty that I didn't spring for a friggin' smelly candle when I don't even like the way you treat my kid?"
Bah. This is thoroughly testing my resolve to practice a little holiday zen.

Virtual Discord

Ack. My imaginary friends can't even get along. WTF? Next thing you know, Hugh Jackman's gonna start getting a little friendly with Keanu Reeves in Fantasy World. Or, you know, Keanu will talk or something. Not good, people, not good.

Sunday, December 19, 2004


Hayley Thomson
God, this is the most painful experience I can imagine.

Many of us have been hoping for a happy ending for this family, whose baby girl has been sick for a long time. It's so hard to accept this outcome, and yet her parents' incredible courage and faith are an inspiration to me. They're in my thoughts and prayers tonight.

Thursday, December 16, 2004


Let me preface this by saying that 99% of the time, I tend to at least attempt the facade of a mature, independent, 30-(somethinggrumblegrumble) woman. But the other 1% of the time, I say,

My mommy gets here tomorrow! MUMMY!

You see, folks, she gets bored, and she cleans out my cupboards. And my linen closets.

I know, I know. BK (before kids), that kind of thing got on my nerves, rather. After the Boy, it mostly made me feel guilty. After the Girl--heck, I'm saving up a big ol' pile of laundry just to keep Mom happy. Knock yourself out, Mom!

In all seriousness, though, I am soo looking forward to her visit. It will most likely mean spotty posts here, however. So just in case--happy holidays to everyone--and don't forget Winter Solstice next week. It's a perfectly good excuse for a little celebration, in case you aren't getting enough of them as is.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Virtual Defense

When I was a kid, I used to have imaginary friends. But I never made up my own imaginary friends--they were all characters from my favorite stories.

Why do I feel like I'm 5 again?

Each week, I read Catherine Newman's excellent "Ben & Birdy" column. I usually skip the comments, but sometimes I take a peek or drop in a line--and what do I find in one of the recent columns but a huge wacked-out comment thread with people freaking out over the fact that there's a picture of Ben in pink pants and is that okay and why can't we say it isn't and blah blah blah and then we wind up with some discussion of whether the author is married to her "boyfriend" and blah blah blah and all of a sudden I realize that I'm thinking, Hey! You people leave her alone! Those pants are fine, and she's a great mom, and Michael's a great dad, and what business is it of yours, anyway!!? Because I remember reading once that she reads all the comments. And some of those comments would hurt my feelings, I know. And she's a great person, and how dare they say such hurtful things! And then defend themselves because "this is a forum for discussion, blah blah blah..." I'm getting all bitchy and feisty, as though I actually know this woman. As if these people were walking up to her on the street and insulting her choices--my friend's choices! How dare they?!

So apparently Catherine Newman is now my imaginary friend. I figure this means either that she is an extremely talented writer, capable of eliciting great empathy--or I am an extremely pathetic adult who uses the phrase "blah blah blah" more than any one person should be allowed to do. I'm sure it's the first one. Yeah, that's it, the first one.

But if any of my "friends" were ever to read this blog, I'd say...

Honey, those pants are just fine. And what the hell do they know, anyway? Stupid Betties.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Inner Peace

Dr. B's most recent comment reminded me of this oldish joke, which I have taped up to my office bookshelf:

I got inspired by an article in a magazine: "The way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you've started."So I looked around the house to see all the things I started and hadn't finished… and before coming to work this morning I finished off a bottle of red wine, a bottle of white, the Bailey's Irish Cream, Kahlua and the Wild Turkey, the New Year’s bottle of Tequila, my Prozac, some valium, my cigarettes and a box of chocolates. You have no idea how freakin' good I feel...


My big ol' karmatic challenge is to learn to quit making myself Responsible For Everyone. Not only does it make me nuts, it really shortchanges everyone whose problems I take on, because really it's just a neurotic way of me saying "Oh, no no, I really don't think you can handle this; I'll do a much better job; better give me *complete control right now*! I did this to the Ex (which would probably count as one of the Big Contributing Factors from my side of the fence). I'd gotten better, but realized that as he's gone through this period of disintegration, I've started doing it again. And I finally realized the other night that I'm doing it to my son. Ok, he's only 5--but we were in a Situation and I was trying to figure out what to do without doing the wrong thing, blah blah blah, and I had a sudden recollection of myself as a child and what a Truly Horrible Temper I had. I mean--really. REALLY. And I thought, well, hold the phone.

One thing that makes me absolutely batty is my inability to decide where "normal childhood behaviors" meet "slightly odd behaviors but nothing worse than I did, and I turned out mostly functional ('mos-tly')" meet "junior psychopath" behaviors. I am waaaay too analytical for my own good. And I think that there are a number of contributing factors in this situation, which does not help balance out my need to take each and every one into great microscopic account at least 10 times a day. Sheesh.

But anyway, I just want to say--thanks. (Dr B., I do appreciate the advice; I'll look up that book.) And it sooo helps to hear that other kids do have some of the same behaviors. I think the danger of having a "diagnosis" is that you can get a sort of tunnel vision and start taking things too seriously, sometimes. Ah well.

So enough Despair from me for one week. Next post will be shallow and entertaining if I can at all manage it, I swear.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

The Moving Target of Fixated Desire*

When it comes to this crazy whirlpool of emotions in which the Boy seems trapped, one of the most difficult things for me to deal with is his inability to just get over it. Something will happen, something seemingly insignificant--a pencil taken away, a small slight--and he fixates on it. He can't just let it go. Instead, he brings himself to the point of fury or tears because of some moment that can't be changed and that now is long past. He can't just put it down and walk away.

Friday was a hard day. The Fixation (as I like to call it) took its toll at school, where he and a friend got into a disagreement, which disintegrated into a fistfight. As is typical now, after the kids were separated and both were reprimanded, after they made up and shook on it, the other child went on with her day--not so the Boy. He seemed fine, but the slightest upset triggered this underlying muddle of resentment, which continued to snowball until finally the teacher had to send him "up front" out of fear that he would break into another fight. When we talked later, she seemed at a loss to understand. "I told him, 'Honey, sometimes you just need to walk away. You have to learn to walk away!'"

After school, the afternoon was fine--for a while. I hung the outside lights while the kids played. But at some point, the breakdown began, and within a half an hour, The Fixation was in full swing. Usually, I cope pretty well; today, I lost it. This is my baby, the little boy who just 6 months ago would get on our case for saying "stupid", who tells me over the phone in his little-boy voice that I'm his favorite mommy and he loves me, and here he is, his face contorted with rage, shouting that I'm not his real mommy and that he wants to kill me. I know the issues behind this--emotional, mental, behavioral, monumental. Usually, I know how to deal with it, I know how to diffuse the situation. Today, I just burst into tears. I handled it, but not as well as I knew I could, which made me feel even shittier. And in the middle of it, Ex called.

"How're the kids?" he asked, and then, "What's wrong?" I am so tired of carrying this load, so tired of trying not to upset him, of trying to hold this world by myself out of fear that if I ask him to share the burden, he will disappear or be crushed under its weight.

Tonight, I tell him. Crying, I tell him that I don't know how much longer I can take this. I don't know if the things we're doing to help him are the right things, but I can't bear to move ahead with the other options, either. I feel paralyzed and helpless. "He says those things to you?" Ex asks, astounded; the Boy's behavior around him is not necessarily better, but it is different. Ex tells me, reasonably, "We have a good idea what's wrong. And we're doing things that seem to help. And if they don't help enough, well, there's medication out there. And it's okay to use it." "I know," I sob, "but I can't help but feel like he's so unhappy because his world has gone to shit, with everything, with the divorce..." "You know," Ex says, quiet, "I have a lot of issues around that. Around the divorce. Because I'm the one who left. And I...I've been talking with the doctor about it, and I'm really having a hard time. I keep thinking, every day, what if...what if I really..."

"...what if I've really fucked up our kids by leaving?"

And I start breathing again. And I tell him, of course, that he did the right thing. Staying in a marriage with someone you realize you don't love is much, much worse in the long run, for everyone, than walking away. And I believe that. But as I say this to him, in my head, what I say to myself is,

"Oh, honey. Why can't you just learn to put it down and walk away?"

* This is the title of some book that I've never read but damn, it's a good title.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

yeah, yeah, I know

For an editor, I am Crap All for consistency with my title capitalization. Whatever.
And I'm posting spazmodically; again I say: Whatever.

I've been reminiscing of late over the following incident, because it still stands out as one of the most entertaining things that happened during my time in London (which was a Really Long Time Ago, in case anyone wonders). Immature? Sure. But somehow, so satisfying. So, as told to the Manolo:

When my ex and I were first dating/living together, he managed a bar in London. He's a very handsome french guy, btw. At one point, there was this Fugly Hussy that kept hanging out at the bar and hitting on him; her friend was trying to snag one of his friends who also worked there and who lived with his girlfriend. One night, ex and his friend are working; friend's girlfriend was there with some Canadian women friends. Fugly Hussies show up and spend the night hitting on the men IN FRONT OF the girlfriend and company. Tres tacky. End of the night, everyone's waiting for cabs--and everyone's had a bit to drink. Girlfriend is hopping mad. Her friend walks up to Fugly Hussies, looks them up and down, and says what has to be the most super-fantastic putdown in the history of the world:

"You're sluts. And you have bad shoes."

Now, that had to hurt.

Ass Girl Triumphs!

And what bedtime lullabies did my own darling, my behaviorally challenged progeny, request over the phone tonight?

The "Cow Song" (aka Magical Trevor) and the Egg Song.

Also, and I quote: "Papa says you don't sing so good, but I think you sing beautiful."

Yep. He's gifted in all the ways that count, that one is.

Argumentative? Am not!

So, after talking to the teachers, I'm feeling both better and worse. The problem seems to be that he's becoming very defensive and thus becomes argumentative because he thinks he's being attacked even when he isn't. (Hmm, wonder where he gets that from?)

It comes down to this: Is he feeling defensive because that's just one of the behavioral issues he has? Maybe. I've seen him do this, and I agree it's a problem. But I also know that his dad is having a lot of trouble right now with his patience level and is snapping at him a lot and giving him a lot of negative input. Everything is a battle and when it isn't, dad is emotionally removed. (And I also know that dad feels really bad about this and that it's really out of his control. I'm not blaming him, I actually feel for him because I know how much he loves the kids and I know he really is going through a lot of crap right now and he's doing the best he can, but right now he needs to be self absorbed. But this adds a lot of stress for me, and I can't even say that without making the situation worse. How do I diffuse the damage? How do I explain to a 5 year old that his idol is treating him this way because he's under emotional/mental duress of his own?) There's also the breakdown in his diet (because his dad is feeling too overwhelmed to deal with it), which I know makes him more emotionally sensitive. And his teacher, who I'm sure is totally well-intentioned, is on his case all. the. time. Today I asked her if she was finding chances to give him some positive reinforcement when he managed to do the things she had asked him to do, and the answer was not reassuring. Basically, she has to point out a problem to him every day, but I think she feels too busy to point out as many or more positives. Classic trap: you're so busy putting out fires that you don't feel you have the time to build up the structures that would keep the fires from starting. With this kid, though, that just makes the problem worse. I don't want him coddled, but hell--who isn't going to start feeling like crap if all they ever hear is what a screwup they are? And who can keep it together when they think they're crap?

And why do I feel like this is all SO SERIOUS? When I was a kid, kids were just hyper. They grew out of it. They weren't disabled and every move you made wasn't this huge weight hanging over your head, as if one wrong move would scar them for life. It's like the whole issue of weapons and violent play--what boys when I was a kid didn't play cops and robbers or cowboys and indians or some form of war play? And even as a girl--we all made guns and chased each other around with them. Now, everyone fights against that. I finally realized, about a year ago, that I was probably doing him more harm than good by fighting that. Way to give him a neurosis: "Oh, you like that? Well, I don't like it, and it's wrong, wrong, wrong. Don't even talk about it!" God, Carl Jung is rolling in his grave.

And has everyone noticed by now that I'm a completely over-analytical freak? Oh, did I forget to mention that? I remember when I was about 4, I used to bug my mom constantly about--I'm not kidding--the fact that there was no way to tell whether everything that was happening was really happening or whether it was a dream. And if it was a dream, how did we know it was even our dream? What if it was somebody else's dream, in which case we might not even exist at all?


I got spam today from "Ass Girl". That's gonna be my new superhero name. Ass Girl. Me likey.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Ugh, Ugh, and Ugh Again

The discussions over at Flea's and Profgrrrrl's have reminded me that one of the reasons I started this thing was to work through some of the challenges of divorce, new-single-parenthood, and dealing with the Boy's behavioral problems--and maybe get some feedback from other people who might have an inkling of what those things feel like. I intend to write about these things, I really do--but then I get tired and find it more entertaining to research the Egg Song or post photos of my kids (or delete photos of my kids) or just be a smart ass in general. Entertaining to who, I'm not sure... But here it goes, and it's a long one (and kid related), so feel free to bail now.

The SB is out tonight, and she is not happy.

A note came home with the Boy today. His version of the story is that at recess, a friend pushed him onto a snowpile, which they're supposed to stay off of. When a teacher saw him and called him on it, he said it wasn't his fault. She kept saying it was, he kept saying it wasn't. Finally, he yelled that it wasn't. She took him to another teacher, who said, "This wide mouth owes you an apology." This is specifically what this little form note said:

Your child, ____________, broke one of the school's code of conduct rules today. [Check mark next to "Respect"] for [and this part was filled in] arguing with several teachers at recess.

And this is what goes through my mind:

Good for him.

First off, no, I have not gotten the teachers' story yet. I called his teacher but she was on her way out to another appointment; we're going to talk in the morning. I will say right off the bat that I do not dislike this woman, but I do not like her teaching style. I realize that she's overwhelmed (24 kindergarteners and only 1 hour of para assistance per day, plus whatever parent volunteers show up). I also realize that the stupid No Child Left Unscarred requirements mean that she has to tear through material left and right. But from my observations while volunteering in her class, she does not have the emphasis on positive reinforcement that I wish she had, and she comes across as very overwhelmed and hence rigid, which I'm sorry, is the kiss of death when you're dealing with my son (and not the best method of cultivating any child, IMHO). Yeah, I'm not a teacher, so take it with a grain of salt.

Second, if I find out he was calling the teacher names or something like that, of course that's a problem. He needs to be respectful of other people. He needs to follow the school's rules. He needs to follow instructions. But I'm getting this bad feeling that when there's a situation where somebody's going to get into trouble--it's going to be him, and not necessarily because he's a trouble maker. I'm getting the feeling that his teacher expects him to be difficult.

And here's the big thing on my mind. I was a very compliant child. I always did as I was told, and I never talked back. Guess what happened when I turned 12 and my mother's pervert husband decided to get fresh with me?

I was a very compliant child.

I started a discussion with the Boy about the need to do what your teachers ask you to do, the first time they ask, and without talking back. I said, "I know sometimes their decisions might not seem fair. If that's the case, what do you think you should do?" (Talk with the teacher after you've complied, talk to me or your father after school...) His response: "Do whatever they tell me to do anyway, no matter what."

Hell, no. No, no, no. I do not want my kid to join the ranks of human beings who do what they're told, whether or not it's fair, whether or not it's just, because someone in authority has told him to do it. Pardon my french, but fuck. that.

I also know my son. He's going through a lot of challenges. He's probably ADHD; he might be bipolar. (His father has just been diagnosed, and that raises the possibility.) He does things that worry me. I'm not naive, and I'm not in denial. But I will not tell him that he's supposed to take the whipping no matter what. I'm sure he'd end up being a very nice little citizen. What worse thing could I do to him?

Scorpio: Good at beginnings and endings

Notice how the holiday surprise idea has fallen by the wayside?
I just want to take a moment to ask: Who is Elise Looney, and why does she want me to #8!`?X-Mas?

Sunday, December 05, 2004

And still I Love Egg

The more I watch it the more psychotic pleasure I get from it. Like this strange, surreal little explanation (click the ILOVEEG link).

They want to be reborn?? The EGGS want to be reborn?!?

And what's up with the egg bomb? And that spiky egg--what is that? Is that supposed to be a subsurface mine? What in the hell????

I'm teaching the Egg Song to the children, now. I wish I could hook up a recording of the Girl singing the Unhinged Melody... "JINGUH EGG! JINGUH BELLTH! LUUUV EGG! JINGUH! HEY! HEY!"

Damn, Korea must have some goood drugs.

Friday, December 03, 2004


I have got to get a life. I think I've hurt myself laughing at the Egg Song. It's all that damned Trevor's fault.

Transbuddha : Where Stu meets Pid.



Let's hear it for the subconscious!
I had the most therapeutic dream: Among many other Alice-in-Wonderlandish happenings, I hooked up with Young Jimmy Stewart. Could there be a more seasonally appropriate dream for the lonely straight woman?? I think not. Plus, Betty Davis was our buddy and kept saying all sorts of clever bitchy things.
Thank you, subconscious. Ah, I feel refreshed!

So refreshed, that I'm going to do a little practical blogging here, on two fronts. First, does everyone know about the nuns who are serving several years each for sabotage? These women are still in prison. If nothing else showcases the need to step up to the plate and fight the McCarthy-ist nature of this administration, this situation sure does it for me.

Second, for those of you in academia, I'm interested in your thoughts on this story. As an editor, I cringe at the cavalier attitude regarding anonymity, which is one thing that seems to have lit this bonfire...

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Only the Lonely

You'll be happy to hear that no busboys were harmed in the making of this month's set of hormones.

I seem entirely unmotivated this week and am procrastinating like mad. Sure sign that I'm feeling overwhelmed. Looks like there's a chance I'll get to tag along on the next Paris roadshow, if the budget allows, so all those years learning French might not have been for naught. We'll see. Not holding my breath.

I am feeling a bit down on myself tonight because of my complete failure to accomplish anything this week. And I think I'm going through a lonely phase. Most times, I really don't mind being single; I have so many personal and parental challenges to address that frankly, I'm rather glad to be able to focus solely on myself and my kids, without having to take anyone else's thoughts or needs under consideration. But now and then, it gets to me and I just think, how on earth will I ever find a relationship? Having children puts a whole different pile of baggage on the luggage rack, there. Oh, blah blah blah. Anyone got some cheese to go with my whine?

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Free at last

All-day company meetings exhaust me. By the end of the day, I lose all concentration and wind up daydreaming about how great it would be if I could get freaking laid. Or even laid sans freaking. Anything! Sigh. Oh, well.

HS: Sorry, too hard up to think of one of these today. I know. A nice Holiday Surprise would be if I got some Vitamin F. So there.
FFFM: Number of college buddies who have since appeared in a porn film: 4 (that I know of). No, not the same film. And no, not me, thank you very much. And yes, I have sex on the brain. If I had it somewhere else, it would no so much be on the brain.

And I get to go back for day 2 of this Meeting Monstrosity tomorrow. Expect me to lose it and jump a busboy by lunchtime.

Monday, November 29, 2004

[In which I'd posted a picture of the beautiful Girl. I've removed said photo because I'm a paranoid freak, is why. Cope, Sweetie Darlings.]

Unfortunate Cards

Yes, I know, it's completely juvenile, and lord knows I am unamused Yeah.

Every now and then, I need a good laugh, and that's when I turn to the Unfortunate Cards. The Christmas cards are always a good place to start, this time of year. Ooh-new ones!

Egads, I'm Blind

So, it snowed about a foot yesterday (oh, the beautiful sparkling snow! the delighted children! the cursed shoveling! my aching back!) and I'm working from home so that I don't have to drive all the way to the office in neighboring town. And it occurs to me that when you have a basement home-office, and you keep the curtains down so that you don't get the creeps working at night, and then you work all the next morning, and it's a snowy day, and you go upstairs to get lunch...
Put on some sunglasses first, for cryin' outloud.

Holiday Surprise:
Well, it isn't really a surprise, but what do you want, I'm blind here.
"It's a Wonderful Life" is The Best Christmas Movie Ever. And if you disagree, well, naff off, you're wrong. It is absolutely necessary to watch it while drinking Baileys every. single. year.

FFFM: I can write backwards with my left hand.

Maternal musings...

The discussions over at Profgrrrrl's, Geeky Mom's, Dr. B's, and--oh, just about every other blog I read--have got me thinking about family, specifically the parent/child relationship.

I was raised primarily by my Mom; my father left her when he found out she was knocked up. We lived with my grandparents for the first few years; Granddad died just after I turned 2; we stayed with Grandmom until Mom remarried when I was 8 and she stayed in that marriage until just after I graduated college. My mom and I have had a somewhat complicated relationship. We're very different in a lot of ways and frighteningly similar in others. As a child, I was probably closer to my Grandmom than to my Mom, who worked to support us; Grandmom was the one who stayed with me while Mom worked. That changed after Mom remarried, but Mom's second marriage was abusive on a number of levels that I don't want to get into right now, which tainted our relationship for a long time. I did the typical enmeshed-daughter eating disorder routine, and it took me nearly 30 years to figure out and begin to let go of the responsibility complex I'd built up so nicely.

Despite all this, we now have what I consider to be a great relationship. Even when we disagree or when I feel that she doesn't understand me, I feel loved and supported, and I hope Mom feels the same. I think the key is, despite her shortcomings and mistakes, she's always wanted me to be my own person and to be truly happy, on my own terms. She's told me that at several major points in my life (e.g., when I was starting school, when I graduated h.s.) many of her friends said, "Oh, doesn't it just kill you to see her growing up?" And her response was always, "No, I think it's entirely fascinating to watch her grow. It's so neat to get to be here to see all she's learning and to see the woman she's becoming." Now, being a mom, I understand what an amazingly generous and loving sentiment that is. To find such a place, between wanting to hold on to your kids or being so fed up with them you wish they were already in college, is no small thing. I think she's always been a stronger person than I gave her credit for; I especially believe this now that I know what it's like to be a single mom. I hope that I've learned from her mistakes, but I also hope that I've learned from her successes. Sometimes it's so difficult to see both in our parents.

Sometimes--especially during an altercation with the Boy--I look ahead and have this horrible moment of fear that one day he'll be filled with resentment about all the times I screwed up. Then I take a deep breath, and try again to be my mother's daughter--a woman who isn't perfect, but who's still growing and learning, and who loves her kids enough to let them in on her mistakes.

But I'm starting a therapy fund. Just in case.

Sunday, November 28, 2004


I hate it when my procrastination is foiled. Finally, the server is up!

Holiday Surprise: Elf Balls (haha)
If you have kids, this is a good way to keep them occupied on Christmas Eve, or you can put these in the stockings, or whatever. Heard about them from an old college friend, whose parents used these to stop the whining about friends who got to open presents on Xmas eve. The parents would sneak them onto the mantle while they were leaving for Xmas eve service, so the kids would find them when the family returned. The parents said, Oh, the elves must have come by ahead of Santa and left these for you.
You take a roll of crepe streamer, unroll it, and tape little goodies (candy, little toys, whatever) all along it, every foot or so, then wrap it back up into a ball. Cheap, simple, and keeps kids occupied for ages while they unroll it. Plus, the cat gets all worked up over the streamers after they're unstrung.

FF(FM): Once, I was naked in a dressing room a mere 1/2 hour before Harrison Ford. I missed him by a measly 30 minutes, but it's probably better because, although I am not typically impressed by celebrity, it was pre-midlife-crisis Harrison Ford, for cryin' outloud. I would have made an idiot out of myself. In any case, the incident will play a big role in my fantasy life once I hit senility, at which point I'll conveniently forget about that pesky 1/2 hour and add a lot of interesting, non-existent details.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

One thing I love about my daughter

This little prancing walk/march thing she does. When she's feelin' kinda frisky, she starts walking, then kinda starts lifting her feet up really high and sort of almost marching in place but still moving forward. It's the funniest damned thing I ever saw. What, one isn't enough? Okaaay...
The way she says "O-TAY!" or "Ummmm" when she's thinking of an answer.
The way she runs up to us and says, "I whan tiss you!"
The way she sings "Michelle" to herself while she tries to mess with the Christmas tree without me seeing her.

Because I haven't started enough silly projects...

So, just for the heck of it, I thought that from now until Christmas, I'd include some sort of daily Holiday Surprise here. Because I love Christmas, dammit. It'll be like an Advent calendar, only instead of something worthwhile (i.e., chocolate), it'll just have...well...whatever I come up with. Take it or leave it.

Today's Holiday Surprise: The Brandy Alexander Frappe
If your goal is to lose 10 pounds before New Years, don't drink these every day. I can personally attest (going on day 10) that it will not help your cause. But the good news is that after one or two, you won't really care. And if you make a regimen out of it, you can always fill in for Santa. Yippee.

In a blender, put 1 jigger brandy & 1 jigger creme de cacao (note: "1 jigger" is such a stingy phrase. Christmas is the season for giving! Jigger, shmigger. I use at least 2 jiggers each. At least. What?), 1/4 cup milk (or 1/2+1/2, or cream, or soymilk), and 1 quart ice cream. Blend it, baby.

Fun fact for today (well, fun for me): I work with a woman whose cousin is Joe on Blue's Clues. No kidding! If you have a child under the age of 5, this puts me nearly on the level of oh, Simon Peter. Or Simon Peter's coworker, I guess. Whichever.

Friday, November 26, 2004

And now for the Baileys!

My tree is up. My wreath is up. My garlands are up. (Hey, that sounds kinda kinky! I wish.) I am ready to park my heinie in front of "It's a Wonderful Life" and write Holiday cards tonight. I am so down with my bad self.

Oh, did I mention Way #58 to feel really old?
The other day, the Boy was going through a box of stuff that I'd finally cleared out of the Then's nightstand (after only a year, whatdya know). He yells downstairs, "Hey Mama, I found a square disk player and some little square disks!" Confused, I head into the living room and look up to the landing, where he's holding up--
a walkman. And some cassettes. Or, as they are apparently known by the youngins--square disks.
I think I feel the arthritis starting already.

Ignorance does NOT equal bliss

It equals a bunch of knocked-up teenagers. Profgrrrrl's 11/26 post does a lovely job of covering the Mad Cowboy's stupidass idea of funding sex-ed that teaches only abstinence, emphasis on the "only," God help us.
This week, I reviewed our school district's proposed junior high/high school sex ed curriculum. It's been revised to include abstinence as the "most strongly encouraged" method (guess why? Public outcry last year when the district wouldn't agree to teach ONLY abstinence, agh), but it still includes a full discussion of contraception, STDs, and emotional/social aspects of sexual relationships; all in all, it looks pretty good from what I can see. I am fine with encouraging kids to wait if the way you're encouraging them is (as Profgrrrrl described her mom doing) by giving them the facts about what's involved in being sexually active. The whole Puritan Hangover in this country gives me a headache, though. Especially when so many people get so holy about sex and abortion but god forbid we should educate kids about the natural act of reproduction! Or do anything about violence against women--no, let's make a requirement that women's shelters have to RECORD THE WOMEN'S PERSONAL DATA (you know, so that they're abusive husbands can track them down). Fine Janet Jackson's boob but show 50 murders a day as entertainment.
Wow, I'm starting to foam at the mouth. Time for a deep breath, more coffee, putting up the Christmas tree, and making a plan about what I might be able to do this week to work toward the good--maybe volunteer for Planned Parenthood.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Best things I heard this Thanksgiving

"She needs to figure out what she wants to do with her Schlinkhaus."
"Why don't you go pound away at the breast?"
"In the bathroom, I tooted three times!!"
"My shells are not toast, understand?"
"It's a Chinese monkey. [Pause] Menu. [Pause] I need more wine."
"I also have coffee, shuzhu neezhum."

Happy Thanksgiving! Schlinkhaus all around!

Sometimes more than others...

"Scorpio Bitch From Hell"

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Oh, Holy Night

Nothing like having your kid walk into the room asking, "What's this thing?" and holding your vibrator. Ho ho ho-boy.

Thank you, thank you, thank you

Though it might not be apparent from my mouth or my Scorpio Bitch demeanor, I am a Christian (of the Love Thy Neighbor variety, not the You're Going To Hell variety), and I do rely on my spiritual beliefs to a great extent, to get me through weeks like last week, for example. Two of the statements about faith that ring especially true for me are 1) Maya Angelou's comment about being a "practicing Christian", in which she said that anyone who says they're a Christian is full of crap; the best you can hope for is to be practicing the tenants laid out by Christ, because we're all screwing it up all the time and we just have to keep trying; and 2) Anne Lamott's assertion that all prayers can be boiled down either to "Help me, help me, help me" or "Thank you, thank you, thank you."
The ex is out of the facility and sounds incredibly better; today when I spoke with him and asked how he was doing he actually said "Good" instead of "Waiting for death" which is has been the gist of the answer for the past month or so. And over this past week, a person I've never met, a person who has helped me through a lot of crap over the past year, and a person who I haven't seen in months all contacted me to let me know they were thinking of and praying for all of us. Being someone who does believe in a Higher Power and in the divinity inherent in all life, that just meant a hell of a lot to me. And it even kind of helped me to cut myself some slack about my reaction to the whole thing, which I've been beating myself up over.
And tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I am thankful. I'm thankful for my beautiful babies, and the fact that their father is still alive, and my mom (even though she voted for Bush, ach), and the Chica, and my friends, and the Marshmallow Cat who keeps my cold feet warm at night now, and (god help me) Starbucks (oh, leave off), and my job (even though I'm freaking behind again), and just everything. Oh! And Bailey's! It's Bailey's season now.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Saturday, November 20, 2004


So I'm standing in the kitchen, making dinner, enjoying the semi-peaceful end of the first day of snow, when I turn around and ...
There stands the Boy.
Buckass naked.
Wrapped in scotch tape.
B: "I'm a mummy!"
Me: "W-wow."
B: "Did I scare the pants off ya?"
Me: "Mmm. Definitely."

Friday, November 19, 2004

dooce: You be well for me

dooce: You be well for me

This was really hard for me to read.
I know that this is what the Then has been going through. And I am glad and thankful that he's finally getting help. He has suffered from depression for as long as I've known him, and I've begged him to get help for nearly as long, and I am so, so glad that he finally is. I've done the phone calls to friends asking them to call him, to drop by, just to make sure he's ok--because I can't do that anymore.
I think I'm just sad that it couldn't have happened sooner. I don't really think it would have made a difference, but it's difficult not to wonder. And my neurosis is believing that somehow I am responsible for everyone being ok--so when I run up against something like this that I have NO control over, I get very freaked out and angry. But I'm working on it. And the Then called to say he was staying in until next Tuesday, which I think is good.

Jr. Baby Doll T-Shirt > The Kitten that says, "I Love You" | CafePress

Jr. Baby Doll T-Shirt > The Kitten that says, "I Love You" | CafePress

I am so going to buy this.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I have a tryst with Fantasy Boyfriend #1 and a castor oil pack. Ohhhh, aren't I the saucy one? And aren't you jealous?

To fight against the forces of depressing poetry

So here's what I think:
Child out of control
Ex out of control
Work out of control
Life out of control
Blah blah blah blah blah blah
The Whine Tasting is over. The only way to combat this misery is by dredging up funny-assed stories that probably only I will laugh at but hey. I'm a selfish SBFH, whatdaya want?

If you have not taken a gander at Profgrrl's boots--you should.

When I was about 3 months preggers with the Girl, and the Boy was about 2 3/4 and potty training, I went in to get him up from his nap. I'd heard him messing around in his room for about 10 minutes, but he sounded happy, so it was all good. Until I opened the door. At which point, I heard the words that no one (especially no one with morning sickness) wants to hear:
"My poopie is socks!"

Faith, hope, and love

I don't know at what point today it hit me, but there it was:
I am losing it.

I am about to become one of those women that cries in the grocery store. I nearly was one of those women about 6 times so far today, and we aren't even to dinner yet.

I took the day off from work so that I could go to the dentist and volunteer at the Boy's school. After being up for 3 hours in the middle of the night--time spent primarily crying over stupid depressing poetry (ok, it was good, but still stupid and depressing. What the hell? Can we write something happy, people??)--I barely dragged myself out of bed and managed to pull on a sweatshirt and tights and get the kids to school. The School Lady practically had to drag the Boy out of the car, as we chose the dropoff moment to have a complete breakdown because I wouldn't let him take in his "treasures" (3 bobbypins, a paperclip, a nickel, and 2 buttons).

Dropping off the Girl at daycare, I ran into the father of one of the Boy's friends, and ended up getting into a long, slightly hysterical rant against the Evil that is Red Dye 40. It was one of those moments when there's a tiny part of your brain that realizes this person probably thinks you're one movie short of an Oliver Stone, but you just can't stop.

Late to the dentist appointment. Ate crap for lunch. Went to pick up kids and ran straight into the Boy having a total and complete meltdown because a kid at school was having a birthday and passing out Prohibited Cupcakes. Realized I'd sent in special treats for the Boy at kindergarten but not afterschool program. Felt like crap.

Crap, crap, crap.

All is calm--for the moment--we made our own "school snack" when we got home and talked about a solution--I'll track the snacks they're planning at school and send in substitutes. But I sooo need to get a grip. I worry that I am not doing the right thing to help my son. I think this has just been a long freaking week, and I need to take a big breath, say a little prayer... and at about 8:15 tonight, drink a big vodka.

Not Cleaning...Again

But for the Chica (who's like, the only person who ever reads this freaking thing anyway): Lookie!

"You must remember this, a kiss is still a
kiss". Your romance is Casablanca. A
classic story of love in trying times, chock
full of both cynicism and hope. You obviously
believe in true love, but you're also
constantly aware of practicality and societal
expectations. That's not always fun, but at
least it's realistic. Try not to let the Nazis
get you down too much.

What Romance Movie Best Represents Your Love Life?
brought to you by Quizilla

So, does this mean I get to go to Scarborough Fair?



What herb are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I see the moon...

Conversation with the Girl:
G: "Mewn op, Mama!"
Me: "Yep, the moon is up. What does Papa call the moon?"
M: "..."
M: "La lune, sweetie."
G: "La lewn! Sawie, la lewn."

The Boy had a great idea during bedtime snack last night: "Hey Mama! We should write a story about me! And it could be just like "Farmer Boy"! And we could say how I ate my slimy cantelope and it was sooooo good!"

Tonight, he had a meltdown after art class. On the way home, after about 5 minutes of jaggy crying, he suddenly sobs, "And I don't even care that it's almost Christmas! I don't mind if I get a big gigantic chunk of coal! I don't even want Christmas! I won't even open my presents, even if I get them!"


Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Postcards of Grief

Postcards of Grief

Good point made, methinks.

I am pretty damned discouraged today. I have gotten much better over the past few years, I think, at accepting my negative emotions and the more unsavory aspects of my personality, like my long-lived martyr complex and that oh so teeny-tiny (uh-huh) part of me that likes to be the good little victim. But this thing with the Then has really thrown me. I truly, truly, do not want to be this person who loses the ability to empathize or who hardens up to avoid painful or scary situations.

The truth is that I'm very frustrated and just plain tired. But I do hope that he doesn't give up, that he finds a way to heal, because I don't wish him ill. I'm just...tired.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Red Devil Dye from HELL, etc, etc

So first, I'm feeling kinda shitty about being so completely over-the-edge out of sympathy for this person who I used to love and who I still care about. I was talking with the Chica, though, and god bless her, she totally gets it. You have to understand that I played receiving end in the "It's really your fault that I hate my life because you ___" game for 13 years. THIRTEEN. Which, you know, was my choice, so I'm not slinging any blame there--but I'm over it now. Really, REALLY over it. I truly do hope that he deals with his demons so that he can be healthy and happy, but in the meantime, I don't need this drama. I am the Drama Queen, I have drama enough all on my own, thank you very much.

And second--Red Dye #40 is Hell Spit. When we put the Boy on the Feingold diet, he showed improvement pretty much right away, but it's been pretty gradual so I haven't been a real food nazi about it. But ho-ly crap, after a weekend on Red Tylenol and Orange Motrin and Strawberry Keflex (strep throat), the child morphed into Damien overnight. It's that drastic. I just sort of watched him spin completely out of control yesterday, just standing there with my mouth open like a stunned researcher. It was incredible. So...back to the ped's to get a different scrip, back to the store to search for dye-free Motrin, and setting up a little shrine to good old Dr. Feingold, may he rest in dye-free peace.

I shoulda had the vodka

[In which I freak out because I'm totally worried about my ex, who has just called me to tell me he's checking himself into a psychiatric facility because he's suicidal. In which I am very thankful that he's getting help, but not in which I also freak out over the way in which he tells me (i.e., vaguely and angrily).

I decided to delete most of this original post because I feel uncomfortable about how much it might violate the privacy of the other people involved. Perhaps this violates the "honesty" of the blog, but hey. Call me Anais Nin, without the sex. I'll leave the following, which generally could be applied to me at any point.]

I have a staff meeting in 17 minutes. I considered running to the restaurant next door for a vodka but decided to vent here instead. I'm thinking I made a hasty decision. Another vote for hip flasks in desk drawers.


This is bad; it's like I have blog munchies.

Sunday, November 14, 2004


A quote: "Sugar + mail + distracted kid = One Motherfucking Badass of a Mother."
Is there any way I could love this woman more? I think not.

Manolo's Shoe Blog

Manolo's Shoe Blog
Courtesy of a link at Bitch. Phd. Nothing like a little shoe-lust to finish off the weekend (and to provide a diversion from the task of cleaning my office).

Bah. The rat poison issue, also noted by Dr. B., has me all discouraged and worked up. I need to sort it out and write about it, but not now. It's all connected, I think...people's fear, the desire to let someone else be in charge (and thus take the blame when things go wrong), the way our society now encourages people to rely on experts instead of on their own internal compass, the election, the way so many people view others' individual variance from their "moral standards" as a threat ...

Friday, November 12, 2004

"Travels With the Snow Queen"

"Travels With the Snow Queen"
This is an old review of an older story, but god, I love it. Has anyone else read it? The Snow Queen is one of my favorite fairy tales--I grew up watching an old imported animated version that was on every Christmas--and this short story Just Rocks.
The entire collection is interesting, although this story was definitely my fave.

Encouragement and despair

Read this truly encouraging story yesterday, which helped (somewhat) to balance out this truly discouraging story. I like that Bush said that Gonzales has "helped shape" the current administration's policies--"policies designed to protect the security of all Americans while protecting the rights of all Americans." Yeah, right, all Americans. Because we're the only ones to whom that silly old "quaint" Geneva convention should apply, right? Right?


Open letter to our state's senators and representatives (which I also sent, by the way):

I am writing as your constituent to express my absolute opposition to the confirmation of Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General.

Perhaps Mr. Gonzales has many admirable qualities. Unfortunately, respect for human rights does not seem to be among them. His dismissal of the Geneva Convention as "quaint" is extremely disturbing and is grounds, in and of itself, for disqualification from the role of Attorney General.

I am neither naive nor ignorant. I understand the complexities of war and politics. I know that it is possible to rationalize and excuse any action. However, I do not wish to be counted among those who allow their leaders to rationalize torture. Furthermore, how can we, as a nation, condemn those who abuse human life when we ourselves have decided that we have the right to do so?

I am particularly interested in Congressional Resolution 31, in which you and your fellows expressed outrage at Iraq's disregard for the Geneva Convention and its abuse of American soldiers, including Iraq's subjection of "American prisoners of war to humiliation, interrogating them publicly and presenting them as objects of public curiosity and propaganda in clear contravention of international law and custom..." If you support the nomination of Mr. Gonzales, then it would appear that you are hypocrites.

I encourage you to demonstrate honor, resolve, and respect for the rights of all people by opposing the nomination of Mr. Gonzales as Attorney General.

Thursday, November 11, 2004


You know, it's been a ... challenging ... year at our house. Well, you don't know, but trust me, it has been. Long story short:
July 2003: Married nearly 10 years. Bad things happen. Went through the usual routine of desperate attempts at keeping it together. (Maybe fodder for another time, but most likely not. To paraphrase [the now frighteningly realistic] "Handmaid's Tale", this was the part in which I acted badly. You wouldn't like it.)
October 2003: Separated.
May 2004: Divorced--amicably, amazingly.
September 2004: 5-year old son "provisionally" diagnosed ADHD (provisional because I refuse to accept a definite and final diagnosis of a child whose world has, excuse my french, gone to shit over the past few years).


I've read a hell of a lot of parenting books over the past year. Done the parenting classes with the family therapist. Gone to the pediatric psychologist. Had consultations with the pediatrician. It starts when you're pregnant, and it doesn't end--no matter what the issue, everyone tells you something different. And in the end, you've got to go with your gut.

One of my biggest challenges in being a mom (and, more recently, in just being a person) has been learning to trust my instincts and intuition, especially when they meet with contradiction from the current expert opinion. A lot of the books and theories (regarding ADHD and just childrearing in general) I've read have just struck me as right, and some--even the ones I've gotten from doctors I trust and respect--just haven't. I happen to be a praying person, and believe me when I say that "guidance" is number one on the Want List. (Shoes are a close second, but I digress.) And I feel as though that prayer is constantly being answered, in ways both subtle and incredibly blatant. Starting with the book I happened upon while browsing the bookstore (for a completely different book) just before the world fell apart, to the very moving "Scattered", to my lifeline "Spiritual Divorce", up to (most recently) the book I'm reading now, "Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline", it's been as though each bit of information has led to an insight that's led to a new source of information. "Easy to Love..." seems as though it's a collection of all the right stuff from every other book/article/Web site I've found. All the little bits and pieces that just made sense. And lately, whether the day went smoothly or not, I don't lie in bed wondering whether I could have been a better mom today. Tonight I was thinking, "I just wish I'd found this book 5 years ago. I wish I knew then what I know now."

And I just wanted to share that. Because maybe doing so will help somebody else find something when they really need it--just like I did.

Fun with nostalgia

So I'm new to this. Cut me some slack.

The Bandwagon

Yeah, yeah, I know ... everyone's done this already. Is that Gillian Anderson? I used to be in love with David Duchovny, when I was pregnant with the Boy and had plenty of hormones and an embarassing "X Files" habit. I have a long line of Fantasy Boyfriends, all of whom seem to be gay or married. Hmm. Well, as my friend the Fabulous J says, "No one's gay or married in Fantasy World." How true. Granted, I could go find a real boyfriend, but I don't think I'm ready for that barrel of monkeys yet.
Today, I had one of those moments when you miss an old friend, someone you haven't seen or talked with in years and years, one of those high school/college friends you gently parted ways with as you grew older and as your lives diverged. So, like any good stalker, I Googled her. I found an email address and an interview that her SO gave on Fresh Air last summer. It was a hoot to listen to, not least of all because he told some stories that I remember hearing from him in college. It was sort of like catching up via a really one-sided conversation. It would be great to hear from her, but we'll see. She is honestly the most brilliant person I know, and has the ability (which I totally respect) to not respond to an old friend just because they're an old friend, so she might choose to let this one go. But I honestly do miss her.

No Touch Monkey!

Yesterday evening, driving to the grocery store with the Girl...

G: [tuneless singing, chatting, then...] Nooo touch me. Nooooooo touch me!
Me: Are you practising using your words, sweetie darling?
G: Uh-hunh.
Me: You're using your words to say what you want. Good for you.
G: Nooo touch. Noooo touch me. Do nooo touch me. Do nooo touch mah monkey!!
Me: ...
Me: Did you just say, "Do not touch my monkey?"
G: Uh-hunh.
Me: Oooookey dokey.

Let's hope she can remember that one for the next, oh, 16, 17 years. Snort.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Real Live Preacher

Real Live Preacher

Movie Reviews

My work buddy's movie reviews
A nice guy and a good reviewer.


Another blog that makes me happy.
Which reminds me of one of Anne Taintor's hilarious pictures...First one in the second row.

Monday, November 08, 2004

The Same Old Story

The really lousy thing about leaving a relationship is that you lose your stories. You know the ones: The things that pop into your head and leave you snickering in the middle of the staff meeting, that make you go kind of misty in the aisles at the grocery store for no good reason--the ones that you try to share with other people but that no one but those who were there will ever really get.
I was thinking today about the time the bee flew up the Then's shorts.
We had friends over for some beers, so everyone was already a little giddy, and the Then said that that afternoon, while he'd been running errands, he'd stopped at a red light at the major intersection close to our house. A new restaurant had just opened at that corner, and had hired some poor sap to stand out in the mid-summer heat in a full-on armadillo costume, dancing around like an idiot, waving a sign (and probably fighting off heat stroke). The Then had the window down, sunglasses on, fully focused on his destination, looking cool, thinking about what a dork the Armadillo looked like and how glad he was he didn't have that job. Suddenly, something flashed before his face. Without thinking, he swatted at it--and realized that it was a bee and he'd just slapped it down into his lap, where it was even now crawling up his shorts.
He leapt out of the car and began jumping up and down in the middle of the intersection, trying to shake the thing out of his pants. Then he realized the car was beginning to roll forward into oncoming traffic. After leaping back into the car to stop a major traffic accident, he found the bee---squished flat under his fanny. The light had turned green, cars behind him began honking, he started forward and turned the corner. He looked up; the Armadillo was just standing there, staring at him.
Now, this was a story that had me laughing so hard I was crying. Of course, I got to see the full reenactment. And it was one of those things that just made me so happy to be who I was and where I was and with the person I was was a little treasure. And the thing that sucks is, I get to keep the story, but not the stuff I'd bundled up with it. Oh, it's still funny, but for some reason, it sort of makes me want to cry, too.


Spamusement! Poorly-drawn cartoons inspired by actual spam subject lines!

The Little Things

Here's what matters to me, what's important (well, here's a start, at least):
1) My kids. Honestly. The Boy, who's 5, is my darling boy, but he's going through a tough time. He's been "provisionally" diagnosed ADHD, which means "We think he has this problem but he could just be screwed up because his little world has been through emotional hell over the past 2 years". For me, it means learning that being a mom means being your child's advocate in the world. Teaching them that life throws things at you, and sometimes they're hardballs, but you get to choose what you do with them once they're launched at you. Life's a good thing, and you don't have to be perfect for that to be true.
The Girl, who's 2 (TODAY!) is my little monkey, and I worry that she ends up on the short-end of the attention stick because of the time and effort we're putting into her brother. I hope not.
Mama guilt blows.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

And again...

...avoiding the herbs. Damned ovaries better appreciate this.

Hello Kitty, Redux

I saw a calendar today called "Goodbye Kitty"; it was one of those things that makes me laugh in a sort of clandestine way. Every month, a drawing of a cat that sort of looks like the Hello Kitty cat is meeting its end (by toaster, by microwave). Which isn't really funny ... except ... it is. That damned Hello Kitty is everywhere. And I already lived through it once! And the Girl is turning 2 tomorrow, so I wager that Hello Kitty will soon be plastered all over my house because I talk a good game but I know I'll give in sooner or later.
Which reminds me, inexplicably, of the time the original Psycho Kitty (aka Marshmallow Cat, from whence came the screen name) decided that the floor was out to get him. He must have been, oh, about 2 or 3 years old. He was sleeping on a chair; a friend and I were sitting on the couch discussing something in a magazine. The cat awoke and jumped to the floor. I just happened to slap the magazine page with my hand just as he landed. At which point, he puffed up like a blowfish, launched himself back into the air, and wouldn't let his paws touch the carpet for the next 3 days. I had to carry him into the bathroom. Come to think of it, I think that's when he got his moniker.
Oh oh. He's looking at me now.

Saturday, November 06, 2004


I am so obviously avoiding drinking these damned herbs. Yuck. Why couldn't I just have a one-track, Westernized ideal of health and happiness? A few synthetic hormones, Bush as president, and all would be right with my world. But noooo...
Today, on the way to the zoo, the Boy said, "You know, my head is full of ants. They handle all the words. When I say a name like 'stupid' or 'butt-head', they take the word and put it in the cutter-upper, and it comes out another name, like 'sweetie-pie', which is much nicer. Then they put the words in a pile, until they're all used up. Then of course they get some food, and some drink, because that's a lot of hard work."
The mind of a 5-year old. Those ants must be working overtime.

Ask Not

A lot of questions and not many answers floating around out there this week. Dinner last night with the Chica and J. Lots of sake and even more discussion about the election and aftermath. J, after a long absence from politics, dived back into the waters this year; she was exhausted and crushed Wednesday morning. "My initial reaction was, 'That's it. Never again. I am not going through this again.' Then I realized that now, more then ever, I can't give up."
The Chica said she woke up Thursday with JFK's "Ask not what your country can do for you" speech in her head. She said that for the first time, she felt that she truly understood it, and understood the basis for the social unrest of that time.
Ninety-two percent of the eligible student population at the local university turned out to vote last week. That's incredible. More than 6000 students--and believe me, speaking as an alum, this is not the most socially or politically active student body--stood up for Kerry. What a force that would make, if each one's reaction to this loss would be to take action in the university or community.

"A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to its true principles. It is true that in the meantime we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public debt......If the game runs sometimes against us at home we must have patience till luck turns, and then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are at stake."
--Thomas Jefferson, 1798, after the passage of the Sedition Act

Friday, November 05, 2004

Sorry Everybody -- How Can We Make It Up To You?

Sorry Everybody -- How Can We Make It Up To You?

This is good.
Chinese herbs, however, are nasty. Good, hopefully, but naaaaasty. Blech!


It is my birthday, for Pete's sake. For my birthday, I gave myself the gift of telling the Then to freaking quit whining already.
You know, your life is your choice. Do crappy things happen? Yes. Are the choices easy? Hell, no. But I am tired of all this "my life is hell, my life is shit, I'm stuck in this country because of you, I'm tired of having no one," blah blah blah blah blah. Especially on my birthday, dammit. Do not call me on my birthday and moan about how shitty your life is, especially not when I'm on my way to the acupuncturist to try and get some control over the havoc created by the stress hormones that have been partying in my adrenal gland ever since you broke my friggin heart. BAH.
I probably sound like a total bitch, but what do you want from a Scorpio?
I said, "Look. I'm not saying this because I'm a bitch, I'm saying this because I actually care about you. You. Control. Your. Life!!! Crap happens, and you can't stop it, but you get to choose how you deal with it. Go get some therapy, do something, but quit giving control of your life away to me or your boss or the weather or whatever. Do you really think that living somewhere else is going to solve everything in your life? If so, then make that choice and move, but you better really spend some time thinking about whether that's the real problem."
Great, now I sound like a pirate. And on my birthday. (shrug) I can work with that.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Happy SBFH Day ...

... to me. Although I would prefer to be celebrating a new administration on my birthday, starting to plot the resistance over a few large bottles of sake will have to do. Officially it isn't my birthday here yet, but technically, I wasn't born here; might as well take advantage of the fact. Day off from the editing mill, first acupuncture session (I've got such a crink in my qi), afternoon with the kiddos, dinner and sake with C and J. And more obsessive blog reading tossed in for good measure, no doubt. I realize, surprisingly, that I'm actually looking forward to the approach to 40--not quite there yet, but who's counting? For a moment yesterday I couldn't remember how old I was going to be. I would mark that up to my general post-election malaise, but it isn't the first time. A bunch of numbers dreamed up by some dead Roman: bah.

Oye vey

Ugh. Just spoke with the Boy's teacher. What a mess. The Boy started a class yesterday that's supposed to help him learn to recognize and modify his energy level. As part of this, the kids got fanny packs and "fidgets", which they're supposed to get used to and experiment with to find which ones work best when focusing on task. My understanding was that they weren't supposed to take these to school yet. Per usual, the Then and I are not on the same page (why did we get divorced again? Oh, yeah), and his understanding was that the Boy was supposed to take the whole damned fanny pack to school.
So of course, the Boy's been a complete wreck all morning, obsessed with this new thing; the teacher calls me in a complete tizzy because the woman is, oh, how shall we say, high strung? "This is awful, this isn't working, this class is the worst thing that's ever happened to him..." I have some real reservations about whether this woman understands what I'm saying when I talk about positive reinforcement and conscious discipline. Doesn't help that the class is understaffed and overcrowded, I know, I know, but--damn, woman. And of course now the Then is pissed at the teacher ... and I've got that nasty "must deal with all conflicts" knee-jerk reaction that I HATE. Urk. Where's the vodka?
On the up side, the teacher mentioned in passing that this day was so awful because he's actually been making progress over the past few weeks since we went on Feingold. Well, that's great, thanks for noticing. Did I mention the whole "positive reinforcement" problem?
Oh, and the Boy's spent the morning putting his hands down his pants, too. Well, yay, at least someone's having a little fun.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

One Good Thing

One Good Thing
Ahhh, it's been a few days since I checked in at this blog, and the Anais Nin post made me laugh almost hard enough to overcome my depression.
During one of the (many) political discussions I've engaged in this morning, I realized that one of the biggest problems I have with what's been happening in this country is that, you know what? I like God. I think God's a pretty good g(uy/al). And I don't know about you, but (to look at it simply from a Christian perspective) if I'd spent pretty much the whole Old Testament being pegged as angry, sadistic, and impossible to please; ended up showing up in person, more or less, and coming right out and saying "Look, you guys are not getting it" and laying out a whole "love each other" kinda scenario, hanging out with "sinners" to prove my point, and so forth; then getting my name dragged through the mud by a whole bunch of hate-mongering, finger-pointing, narrow-minded, fear-encrusted little humans--I'd be damned disappointed. And I realized this morning that it's gotten so that the word "moral" doesn't seem to have much to do with the words "ethical" or "decent" anymore. When did hatred become moral? When did prejudice become moral? When did "moral" become a dirty word?
So maybe that's the good that can come out of this horribly disappointing and demoralizing (hmm) election, for me at least. Now, more than ever, it's important for me to do my damnedest to pick up morality, brush it off, pull its skirt down, and remind it that it isn't Dick Cheney's whore. Oh, and maybe get it a drink. Cause, dang, I think I could use a drink.

Marry An American -- Take the Pledge

Marry An American -- Take the Pledge

I've always liked Canadians.
I am really, really, REALLY freaking depressed. Excuse me while I go and wallow in misery for a few hours. Oh, God.

Quiet sobbing sound

Jill: Hey ya Joe, lookit that, it's time for George's review already.
Joe: Wow. Well, how's he been on the job? Do we keep him?
Jill: Let's see. Ummm...accounting. Er. Not so good there; we're pretty much in the hole. I think we're going to have to pawn the cats.
Joe: Ouch.
Jill: The neighbors are all pissed at us cause George has been playing his war too loudly..
Joe: Ah, I hate the neighbors anyway. Who needs 'em?
Jill: Ooh, and that Afghanistan project? Got off to a good start, but he's kinda dropped the ball there.
Joe: Yeah.
Jill: Plus, his buddy Dick just gives me the willies.
Joe: Well, can't argue with ya, Jill, but you know...dang. I just like the guy, you know? And his wife--well, she's just a sweetie. And I tell ya what else, he don't hold no truck with those gays and them pesky feminists!
Jill: Well, thank God for that!

Okay. Must be zen. Zen zen zen zen zen zen.
These are the kinds of days when my whole "I am the kind of Christian who doesn't believe that God likes war and prejudice and hatred and bigotry and zealotry but who believes that there's a purpose to all things" kind of ideology really takes a pounding.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Belly Ring. Not.

The Chica wants to get a navel ring and wants me to go with. I am all for it; my navel, however, has buried itself under the covers of my flabby stomach and is showing no interest in coming up for air (or piercing). I told C I'd get it done with her once the navel woke up and smelled the crunches, but she's going in a month and I can say with a good amount of certainty that one month ain't gonna cut it, navel-wise. I said I'd go with for moral support; she said I should get it done anyway. Her point: good motivation to work out. My point: good way to end up with a piercing somewhere under my left boob. I mean, god knows what'll happen to it once I actually lose weight. That's the main reason I haven't gotten a tattoo yet. Remember when you were a kid and you used Silly Putty to pick up a cartoon print, then stretched it 'til it got all wacky? Yeah. You get the picture. Brrr.

Must. Get It. Together.

When you're laying in bed kicking yourself because you spent all evening procrastinating instead of doing what needs to be done...say, working, cleaning up, exercising, or generally getting your crap together...and you hear your cat doing a pretty good impression of "Cat Chasing Mouse Through Filthy House", you really, REALLY tell yourself that tomorrow, you are going to get it together.
But of course in the morning, the Cat is doing that Cozy Cat thing and it's cold outside and 5:00 is sooo early and...
At least I got up. An hour late, but early enough to work out and clean up the kitchen. The Then-Husband will be bringing the Girl over a little after 8, so I have almost 2 hours to establish some semblance of order around here before we head out to vote. Please God please God please God...Last night the Boy promised me that he "isn't going to vote for George Washington." That's my boy! He said he'd vote for the guy on the other side. Which prompted me to ask him if that was the left side or the right side, and he said the right side. Ah well, he's only 5, he can be redeemed.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Bitch. Ph.D.

Bitch. Ph.D.
Love, love, love this woman. Well, plus she scares me a little. But, you know, I can respect that.

Another Day, Another Obsessive Project...

Healthy outlet or self-involved procrastination? I may not be finished with my article, but hey, started another project. Erg.