Thursday, December 29, 2005

Occupy yourselves

Because I'm kinda swamped this week and don't have time to write all the inspirational, kooky stuff in my head, I am going simply going to direct you to a few of my all-time favorite blogger/photographers. These folks are wonderful and on top of that--as if their lives and stories weren't interesting enough, and they are--they take amazing photos. You might have to look for the photo links, but what? It would kill you to do a little work and burn off some of that holiday food?

Mr. Winkerbean (yes, Mark, I am hell with the nicknames)
That Crazy Beth

Monday, December 26, 2005

The Ghost of Christmas Present

Time: 5:30 a.m., December 25, 2005
Place: My bed
The Boy, sitting straight up: Is it Christmas? Has Santa been here? Can we go downstairs?
Me, looking at the clock and knowing the Ex and Monica aren't coming over until 6:00 and I promised to keep the kids from opening gifts until then: No. I don't know. No.
Me: Not until the sun comes up.
TB: [Heavy sigh]
The Girl (on the other side of the bed): [snore]

5:35 a.m.
TB: Why did you make up that rule? That's a horrible rule!
Me: What? It isn't my rule, it's everybody's rule. That's Santa's rule. Ask anyone. Christmas doesn't start until the sun's up.
TB: That's a horrible, horrible rule.
TG: [snore]

5:40 a.m.
TB, wailing: That isn't Santa's rule! That's the DEVIL'S rule! The DEVIL made that rule because it makes people cry, and the devil loves it when people cry! I HATE THE DEVIL!
Me: [snort]
TG: [snore]
TB: Everyone hates the devil! Does anyone love the devil?
Me: Well, a few people, but they're misinformed. Go back to sleep. I'll rub your back.
TG: [mumble, mumble, snore]

5:45 a.m.
TB: The sky! The sky is turning light! I see it!
Me: No it isn't.
TB: Yuh-huh! Can I go look out the window? I won't go downstairs, I'll just stand by the window.
Me: Sure, hon.
TG: [snore]

5:55 a.m.
TB: Why is moon still out? WHY?? The sun can't come up when the moon is still out!
Me: Sure it can, bud. You see the moon out during the day all the time. Don't worry. Want me to come watch with you?
TB: Yes!
TG: [snore]

6:05 a.m.
Text message from the Ex:
We just woke up. We're on our way.
Me: [Thank HEAVENS]
TB: Is that the sun?? Is that the sun?? Is that the sun??
TG, sitting straight up: Waaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Happy holidays, sweetie-darlings, from all of us here chez SBFH to all of you out there!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Mommy's Little Helper Alphabet

Happy Holidays from that Paragon of Parenthood, Orange Tangerine, and me, the one who drinks a lot. Smoochie!

A is for amphetamines, that keep your mommy perky
B is for the Benadryl, that stops her getting jerky
C is for the chocolate, worth its weight in gold
D is for mama’s Demerol, when baby’s one day old
E is for eggnog, spiked with some rum
F is for...oh, don’t even pretend you don't know what F is for, people!
G is for Godiva (see C above)
H is for headache, when Mommy don’t want no love
I is for ice cream that fills the tummy
J is for a jacuzzi to make Mama feel yummy
K is for kisses—the kids’, so gentle; the lover’s, deep
L is for late night, when kids are asleep
M is for Midol, in case you must ask
N is for Nubain, to help labor pass
O is for orgasms—need I say more?
P is for pizza, delivered to the door
Q is for quiet, one minute’s enough
R is for rest (hey, remember that stuff!)
S is for sitters, who cut us some slack
T is for TV getting kids off our back
U is for underwire ‘cause Mama’s boobs are flappy
V is for vibrators that make Mama so happy
W is for whiskey, sipped out of a cup
X is for Xanax, when Mama’s worked up
Y is for “yes, Mama”--better than “no!”
Z is for Zzzzzz, off to bed we all go!

©2005, Psycho Kitty and Orange

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I never knew that!

Did anyone else know that Shirley Jones is the Mother Of All Shopping? I knew she was the mother of all Partridges, but shopping? Who knew?

In other news, I cracked up yesterday when the Girl referred to the carpet-cleaning guys as "those working boys".

Her daycare had its annual Holiday concert, and her class sang "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer". She was belting out that song for weeks. The night finally came. She was dressed up and ready to sing! The curtain opened. She was right in the middle. She looked out upon her adoring fans....and wailed like a friggin' banshee. That's my girl!

Later we got in line for Santa. Earlier in the day, in a fit of pissiness because I wouldn't let him tear open the paper on his presents "just a little to see whether there was more paper underneath" (!), the Boy said, "I am SO mad at you, Mama. I hate you!" "Woooohoh," I shot back, "I sure hope Santa didn't hear that!" "Santa!" he scoffed. "Santa is nothing but a FAIRY TALE!!!" I opened my eyes up wide. "Well now, that's just crazy talk," I told him. That night, during the singing, I leaned over to him and whispered, "Hey. What you said earlier about Santa..." "Oh, that," he shrugged. "I didn't mean that." Whew.

So we're in line for Santa. The Girl has been talking for weeks about how she wants to sit on Santa's lap and have him hug her. You already know what happens when we get up to Santa, don't you? More with the banshee noises. So Monica's holding the Girl, and I'm holding her hand, and we're both telling her that it's okay, she doesn't have to sit on Santa's lap, he'll still know what she wants and bring her a present, no worries. We move out of line and wait for the Boy, eat a cookie, get ready to leave. The whole time, she's still sort of crying but also watching that Santa. And when we start to leave, she bursts into tears again and wails, "But I WANNA see Santa! I DO! I DO!" So I took her back into the line, and this time, she did it. She sat on that fat man's lap and grinned like a maniac.

Santa crises averted. Cards still not sent. Carpets clean. Yep, it's just about that time of year.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The last question

Took me long enough, eh?

The most excellent and True-Blue Semi-Cruncy Mama (what, there are more of us?) asks:

You know I love your blog. So, I was wondering, if you would consider adding mine to your blogroll the next time you update? That is, if you still like to come by mine?

To which I reply: I. Suck. At updating the blogroll, that is. I'm so sorry. You guys are so woderful, stopping by, and I just suck. But it's all better now! Because look! I have tidied up! And added people! And everything! (Did I leave anyone out?)

Thanks for your patience, y'all. Now, you get what I promised you.

(Oh, and Trisha? Yuh-HUNH!!!)

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Ooooohhhhh, fuuuuuudge

Okay. The first thing you need to understand is that the Boy? He looks just like Ralphie in "A Christmas Story". If you put him in those glasses and cut his hair a bit differently, there you'd be. We used to laugh about it when he was younger, because he had a chubbier face and REALLY looked the part.

Second thing is that the Boy loves that movie. For some reason, he always begs to watch it. Okay, fine, I love it, too, and we own it, so last night we decided to watch. The Boy is asking all sorts of questions about things here and there, the bullies, the dad, the school, what's a "theme", so on, so forth. Then comes the infamous "fudge" scene. And as the narrator says, "Only I didn't say 'fudge'...", the Boy looks at me and says,

"What did he say? Fuckin'?"

"Uhhh," I say. "Yeah. Pretty much. But YOU don't say that."

"Don't say what? Fuckin'?"


Do I even need to tell you what he said then? A lot?

So by now, Ralphie is sitting there sucking on the Lifeboy, and I say to my Boy, "See what happens when little boys say rude words like that? You need to stop saying that, now, or I will have to wash out your mouth with soap!"

You should know that 1) I've never washed my kids' mouths out with soap, 2) I am not a corporal punisher in general, but 3) I went and got the soap anyway. This was a good plan in that he stopped saying "Fuckin" but a poor plan in that he stopped saying it because he went into hysterics and locked himself in his room. So then I'm trying to convince him to unlock the door and come talk to me, that I'm NOT actually standing there wielding soap, and all the time, the Girl is behind me, shouting, "Wash MY mouth with soap! I want to eat soap!! ME TOO, MAMA!!!"

This, folks, is why my life is like a very weird comedy directed by a very drunken person who makes strange casting choices.

Saturday, December 17, 2005


Probably, if your son says to you (through his tears as he leans against you because his sister bit him because she didn't want to share her chair during the cookie-baking session), "Mom? Are you getting pregnant?"...'s time to lay off the Baileys. Ah, well.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Help the WASP Girl

Anybody got a killer recipe (and helpful instructions) for potatoe latkes? The Boy wants them. Assist, I beg of you!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Well, that's gotta hurt

The Boy: [seriously] Mom, you know what Tyler sang at me today? He sang, "Bo-oy, Bo-oy, sitting in a tree, K-S-S-S-I-O-P!"

Me: Oh he did, did he?

TB: Yes. He sang that bad song at me. K-S-S-S-I-O-P!!!

Me: Oh my.


Me: Well, if it makes you feel any better, sweetie, he got that song completely wrong. So you know, he didn't really say anything bad about you.

TB: Really?

Me: Really.

[wait for it]

TB:'s that song really go?

Saturday, December 10, 2005

A Day in the Life

Well. That settles the question of whether I could do away with my Internet connection as part of my current budget-crunching crisis. Answer: NO.

As you might have guessed, the Internet left me for a few days. It must've found someone cuter. Probably that Jessica, with her new site and her darling laugh and her wonderful heart and her amazing courage and her BROTHER WHO IS THE VOICE OF SCOOBY DOO?! Jessica, we hardly knew thee. What next, you're going to drop the bomb that oh, Hugh Jackman happens to be your next door neighbor? And then we are coming to live with you forever and ever. Tell the husband now.

But in the meantime, perhaps it's better. I am the sort who needs clear leads from the Divine, in the order of a large neon arrow and a bouncer to point the way. Perhaps I am being directed to simplify my life? Could be. Things have just been...complicated. Okay, totally nutso crazy around here, happy now?

The stuff that keeps me from lying down in the middle of the boxes and drinking straight from the bottle:

The Girl, singing the "Namaste" song from the Yoga Kids ABC DVD, getting it mixed up with the other song she's trying to learn, wandering around the house tunelessly intoning, "Lama Steak! Lama Steak! Lama Steak! Red nose!"

The Boy, when I told him that Miss Jessica's brother was Scooby Doo's voice, his eyes getting huger and huger: "Whoaaaaaano sir. That is so not true. Is it?" (Doubters everywhere, Jess!)

Last but not least, I give you the recipe for the Best Gingersnaps Ever. These are the ones my mom always makes. They are, she says, from the 1979 Southern Living cookbook. If you find them getting hard, put a piece of bread in with them to soften them up, though you shouldn't need to do.

1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 cup shortening (I use melted butter)
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg, slightly beaten
extra sugar

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Combine sugar, flour, salt, baking soda, and spices. Cut in shortening to course crumbs. Stir in molasses and egg.
Shape dough into 1" balls; roll in extra sugar. Place on ungreased baking sheets--don't flatten--and bake 8-10 minutes, watching carefully. Place on racks immediately.

Saturday, December 03, 2005


It's going to be a busy day here chez SBFH. I'm sticking to my "not telling you the whole sordid tale until it's all over" thing, but I can give you this much detail: The new house will be ready in about a month, and arrangements for what to do with the old house have changed. So within that month, I need to pack the house, fix up several dings and whatnots, and sell the thing. Mm-hmm.

I am fortunate enough to have help in these endeavors. Today will be a busy day. Planned as the annual "Chica/Chica Cookie Baking Bonanza", it has morphed into the "Chica/Chica Sorta Cookie Baking But Mostly Thank You God That I Have A Best Friend Who Offers To Help Me Pack Things Oh How I Love Her Bonanza". (What's with the Chica/Chica you ask? Well, see, you all know her as the Chica, and she is the Chica, but so am I the Chica, if you were talking to her. Get it? A conversation between us would go thusly: "Yo, Chica." "Hiya Chica." "Everything groovy, Chica?" "Chicita, you know it is." See?) (And how do I make her my own? you are also probably asking. Ahhh, the luck of the gods is all I can say.)

Anyway. What was my point? Damn.

Oh. It's gonna be crazy! Crazy days ahead! That was it. But I am learning to be zen with it. And on top of that, the Boy has been learning, too. So many things. And I'll tell you all about it, cause I owe you a nice long talk about the Boy, and I owe it for him as well. But it won't be happening today.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Blog Against Racism Day

It's Blog Against Racism Day.

I was born in the South and lived there for the first 8 years of my life. In the absence of my father, my mother's family was the only family I knew. My people, my heritage, then, were that of my maternal grandparents. My grandfather's family came from Georgia; my grandmother's, from Kansas; anglo-saxon protestants, all. And here's what I was taught, those first 8 years:

  • Black people are perfectly nice, but black people and white people should not marry or have any type of intimate relationship.
  • Our ancestors owned slaves, and that was nothing to be particularly ashamed about.
  • There is nothing odd about a grown man calling a little girl "Miss PK" so long as the man is black and girl is white.
  • If you are white and you have black "help", and you are, say, polite to them, you are a pretty big person.
I look back on these "facts of life" and think, "What the fuck?"

It really is true that good can come out of bad. My mother's second marriage was abysmal, but one good thing that came of it was that we moved out of the South and that her husband showed me these lies for what they were, and are. Thank God, is all I can say. B

y the time I was 14, I was sufficiently deprogrammed enough to be absolutely disgusted by my aunt and uncle's determination to move out of their prestigious Mississippi neighborhood because an African-American was moving in, and my God, there goes the neighborhood. Do I think the levies in New Orleans were intentionally breached to eradicate the poor, African-American population of certain areas? No. But do I think those levies were allowed to fall into woeful disrepair because that population was so little valued by the political powers that be as to be off the radar? You bet I do.

I have driven through Mississippi and seen people living in shacks. I have heard my own blood relatives--educated, intelligent, morally upstanding people--argue with me that other human beings differ from me because of the color of their friggin' skin, argue that people are overly sensitive over the use of the word "nigger". There's no hate for them in that word, and that makes it all the more hateful. Ignorance is hateful to me. Blindness and fear and the wall we build that separates us from other human beings is hateful.

I had the privilege a few years ago of hearing Maya Angelou speak. I think that woman is one of those rare human beings that radiates wisdom. To be in a room with her is a spiritual experience. She quoted Terence: "I am a human being; nothing human can be alien to me." What do you do when you hear the vitriol that spews out now against illegal aliens (read: Mexicans), fanatics (read: Muslims), deviants (read: homosexuals)? There is only one argument. I am a human being. Nothing human--nothing--can be alien to me. Don't shake your head. Don't walk away. Don't keep the peace. Speak the truth. Refuse to back down. Refuse to stand by silently while more children are taught to fear and hate. Your silence will never be taken as disagreement, only as acquiescence. Be a human being instead.

Edited to point out--I hope it's clear that the labels in that last paragraph are slurs and bullshit?

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

November is the damnedest month

But I am not going to go into it until I am out the other side. THEN, people, will I have a story for you! For now, I am concentrating on maintaining my metaphysical positive zen attitude thing, and to go into gruesome detail (you thought the PUS was gruesome!) would surely be counterproductive.

In the meantime, I still have two questions to answer, and some pictures to reveal. There also seems to be some interest in 1) whether I have actually seen anyone about my festering stomach (answer: Hell yes! Come on, do y'all think a hypochondriac of my fine caliber would just sit on something like this?), and 2) origin of the Thanksgiving quotes. Although I hate for them to lose their mystique, I will oblige.

The first quote was uttered by the Boy during a viewing of "The Polar Express". There's a moment when a little boy is complaining that he found his present, and it was just stupid underwear. The Ex said to the Boy, "Wow, that kid isn't being very grateful, is he?" And they Boy said, "NO! He's being awful!" "You think?" asked the Ex. "You wouldn't do that?" "Oh, no," said the Boy, "I would never, never, NEVER..." [and this is where we all expected him to say "act that way" or "be that rude" or "be ungrateful for what I have"] "...wish for underwear!"

The second quote had to do with the recipe I chose for Thanksgiving dinner. It's a lovely turkey breast stuffed with a spinach/feta combo. The first and only other time I made it was about 17 years ago, when my family came to visit me for Thanksgiving. It was my last year in college, and all my roommates had gone elsewhere for the holidays, so my mother, stepfather, and grandmother came to stay with me. My stepfather, as has been discussed before, was a My mother was in one of the most profound passive-aggressive phases of her life. And my grandmother was suffering from dimentia and was convinced that we were all simply really good impersonations of her family. Oh! It was a holiday to remember, I'll tell you what. And of course, being the college girl and not at all the masterful (ahem) chef I have become since, I had never dealt with a turkey breast before and had not properly prepared for the recipe, which calls for the breast to be flattened and then rolled. So I found myself in the kitchen with a not-quite-thawed turkey breast and nothing with which to flatten it save a hammer; a stressed-out mother, a senile grandmother who kept asking me who the heck I was, and my stepfather (issues unsaid); and NO CODEINE. I think this puts the second quote in perspective for you.

Last but not least, the third quote was the Girl's attempt to discuss something that happened before she was born...back when she was in utero, when she was "so so little, I was just a yoni!"

And FINALLY, the lovely Krupskaya, chez Edit Barn, asks:
What would be your most perfect ideal day with the kids? And the most perfect ideal day without the kids?

Hmmmm. I think the most perfect day with the kids would simply be a day in which none of our issues came to bite us in the collective ass. One during which the Girl didn't throw a fit, I didn't get stressed out, the Boy didn't get manic, and we all really just appreciated each other and managed to be kind to each other and have fun and enjoy everything around us. A calm day, I guess I'm asking for. We have lots of fun around here, but calm is something we don't get much of. And oh, I do miss the calm now and then. Not that I'd trade these children for a world of calm, but since we're talking Fantasy World here...

And without them? Heck. I guess I would love to just spend a day doing nothing but lovely relaxing selfish things, like watching movies and drinking coffee and wine and getting massages and pedicures and manicures and so forth. Oh, and since we are, as has been mentioned, in Fantasy World, all those things would be performed by an available, functional Hugh Jackman look-alike, who would also (close your eyes, children) fuck my brains out.

Weren't expecting that part? Oh, how you disappoint me.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Awwwwww fuji

Yeah, "wound infection". Shall we just not go there? We shall not.

But. One, this is why I adore you people: You are all hopeless codeine junkies. What a time we would have if you were here. (Oh! And Suzanne wins the cookies!) Two: That dear woman Orange sent me an email of concern regarding said wound, which was really sweet (the email, not the wound, misplaced that modifier but I'm too tired to fix it, cope), and which was also so disgusting that I must present an excerpt:

I'm putting my money on a surgical wound infection, complete with a pocket of pus inside. And if that pocket ruptures, the pus will come oozing out of the incision site, to your lasting horror. So my advice to you is CALL THE SURGEON RIGHT NOW if you're not already on your way to his/her office. If there is pus, get that doctor to work on squeezing it out and please, avert your eyes. I don't know if you'd smell anything, but you might want to have Altoids or gum just in case...
Dr. Orange, signing off
P.S. What do you mean, naked hot French men are what got you into this trouble in the first place?

See? Doesn't that make you want to rush over there and see what more that woman has up her sleeve? You know it does.

What's more entertaining than pus? My 3-year old's running commentary while I write this: "Mommy, I am soooo unhappy. Cause you messed up with my compooter. So, so unhappy. We will not play with this ever again. [heavy breathing] I need this stuff out of the way so I can do yohga. I'm gonna do yoh-ga. Because I just wanna. Do yoh-ga. I need McGonnigal to run OUT OF THE WAAAAAYYYYYY!!!!!"

What's that? What's that I hear? Might it be the sweet, sweet sound of codeine calling me? It might, it might.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

It was....blooood poi-soning!

And if any of you get that reference, you're welcome to come have a cookie.

But anyway, something is up with the general area of one of my oh-lookie-how-nicely-those-healed-up sutures, and it is not a happy something. Doctor tomorrow, Tylenol with codeine tonight. I knew that stuff would come in handy! Plus I had to go to Target and buy some chubby lady pants to avoid aggravating my wound. Good excuse, eh? And while you ruminate over that fun mental image...

Best Thanksgiving quotes:
"I would never, never, NEVER...wish for underwear."
"The last time I saw this turkey, I told it to fuck off."
"When I was so so little, I was just a yoni!"

Here's what I love:
I love it that the Girl thinks that if she kneels down in the middle of the floor, rolling herself up in the fetal position and hiding her head, that she's well hidden. I love that I grew up knowing what it was like to wake up to the sound of tractors working before the sun was up. I love it that my kids have each other. I love it that I have a new soft purple robe. I love being cold at the park, knowing that soon we'll be warm at home. I love my crockpot. I love paper. I love the moon. I love my family. I love my friends. I love Tylenol with codeine. I love that spell check wants me to replace "fuck" with "fuji". Mwaa.

Friday, November 25, 2005


I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. Ours was very low-key and very lovely. We have a lot to be thankful for, and I'll try to fill you in over the next few days. Thanks for all your good thoughts--they helped, they truly did.

But I still owe you some answers. The amazing Jessica asked:
What would you do if you had absolutely no fear in your life?

This is such an important question to me. I've spent a good deal of time over the past few years finding the answer. I used to be so afraid of everything. Afraid of failing people, afraid of succeeding, afraid of leaving, of being left, of what could happen if I made the wrong choice. Afraid of getting old, of being alone, of being poor, of losing people, of being hurt, of hurting others. And then one of those things I was afraid of happened, and guess what? It turned out okay. And then another one happened, and damned if that didn't turn out okay, too.

I've really developed a rather metaphysical belief system over the course of these frightening times. One of my favorite statements is that the opposite of faith is not doubt--it's fear. And fear is like a magnet. What you believe will eventually consume you, you know? You just can't do it. You can't live in fear all the time. Well, you can, of course--plenty of people do--but I choose not to do. When I realize I'm afraid of something, I try to sit with it, and just let it be what it is and listen to what it has to tell me, instead of running headlong in the other direction, as I used to do. And it helps, it really does. So this is the part of the answer where I tell you that my spirituality has helped me a great deal in my life, not because I think, ladida, nothing bad can ever happen to me, but because I know that nothing can ever happen to me that I will allow to crush my spirit. Does that make sense?

So I guess I'm a lot more fearless than one would guess from my surface. Because I'm a somewhat cautious person. I tend to evaluate risk and whether it's worth it, so I won't, for example, be sky-diving anytime soon, even though I'd love to try it. The risk of being hurt and not being there for my kids is not worth it to me. It isn't that I'm afraid, I just don't evaluate it as a worthy deal, if you see what I'm saying.

The big fears I still have tend to be for my kids. I become filled with the fear that they won't be happy. I'm not fighting it, exactly, but I am trying to learn what I need to learn from that fear so I can move past it.

What would I do if I got past all the fear? If I had absolutely no fear? I would be the friggin' Buddha, you know? I think it's a nearly impossible goal to achieve. People think no fear means running around doing crazy things or being oblivious to danger, but I don't think that's it. I think it's realizing exactly what the human spirit is capable of becoming, and realizing that nothing stands in our way of reaching that, unless we give it permission to do so. And that is probably the scariest thing of all.

Friday, November 18, 2005


Sorry about that. Busy week catching up from the past two crazy weeks. Yeesh.

Holly, who is even way cooler than you think she is, asks:
If you had 10 days off from work to do whatever you wanted, what would
you spend the time doing?

Oh, man. I would just stay home, and relax, and pack, and clean, and go to a couple of matinees, and sit around the coffee shop, and go for walks, and sleep in, and hang with the kids. And I know that is a damned boring answer, but ahhhhhh. I would feel so much better after those 10 days. And really, this is the sort of stuff I'm likely to dream about. I'm not so much Activity Girl. I enjoy travel and all that, but more than anything I enjoy a relaxing pace. Not having to be somewhere do something have something be someone get something Right This Minute. But because of my wonderful (and I really mean that, it's wonderful) flex schedule, I spend a lot of time at home working, and when the kids are here, I end up pretty much concentrating on them--their ages and temperaments don't allow for a lot of multitasking, although that's beginning to change a bit. So I always feel continuously behind--behind in cleaning, behind in projects, behind in any sort of cultural/social/aesthetic/community building/political activism/everything but the kitchen sink sort of way.

So that's a long answer for: I'd stay home. :)

Friday, November 11, 2005

Aw, go on...

Jo(e), whom I completely idolize, by the way, asks:
What are the three nicest compliments you've ever gotten?

This is difficult. Not that I get so many compliments, but to pick three as being the nicest...that's tough.

Okay. One, I think, would be when I was 14. I was horribly, horribly shy and had an extremely low opinion of myself in just about every way. I was tall, I thought I was fat (I had been a fat child but had just shot up in height so actually was fairly thin), I was insecure, and I had one of those beautiful early 80s poodle perms. Yay, me. Anyway, I was staying with relatives out in the middle of nowhere in Georgia, and this little girl from down the street came over for some reason one day. She was probably 7, maybe 8? And when I came to the door, she just stared at me, and then she said, "How old are you?" And I told her, and she said, "You're beautiful." Which was totally not what I was expecting to hear. And although it didn't particularly change my self image going forward, for just that one moment, I really believed it. And it meant the world to me. So that's one.

Two. What's two? I guess I can't point out a single incident, but I would say two is when people I respect tell me they think I'm a good mother. That means a great deal to me, because it's such an important part of my life.

And three, I guess would be that there are people in my life who trust me with their friendship. Again, not a single compliment, but one of the greatest I can imagine receiving.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Last supper

Catherine, she of the beautiful children, incredible writing, and completely reasonable neuroses (and I mean that in a pot who loves hanging out with the kettle sorta way, as you surely know), poses the question:

What would your last meal be?

Sounds easy to answer, doesn't it? Probably was easy to answer, when you sent it, hon. But then. Oy, then. My beloved tempe burger has been poisoned for me forever, as it were. This is sad beyond knowing. Believe me. This tempe burger, from a local hippie hangout, is the Holy Grail of Tempe Burgers. And now...ruined. Ruined forever by my friggin' gall bladder episode, which has had one of those Pavlovian effects on me. Sigh. That happened once with gingerbread cookies. Which also sucked. Because my mom taught me how to make gooood gingerbread cookies. They stay kind of nice and chewy instead of getting all hard like most gingerbread cookies do. And they were perfect--PERFECT I TELL YOU--with a nice cup of Earl Grey.

What? Oh. Right. Last meal.

You know, I can't think of any particular type of food that I would want to finish out life with. Don't get me wrong...I am definitely one of those people who really dig food. I love cooking. I love hanging out in the kitchen with the person cooking. I love having people stop by unexpectedly and stay for dinner. I love planning a big get-together with theme food. I love desserts. I love appetizers. I love nearly all cuisines. I love simple. I love complicated. I love eating out. I love ordering in. I love choosing the right beverages to go with the food. I love kitchen stores. I love kitchens.

But here's the thing: the reason I think I love all this stuff so much is that I'm Southern. And meals, in my family, when I was young, were all about love. Now, I'm not going to get into the pros and cons of that; believe me, there are a lot of cons and I have played ball with most of them. But they don't negate the pros: sitting down to eat with the people you love most in the world, gathered around a warm table, talking with each other, laughing, taking their time to enjoy something that involves all the senses in one way or another. Baking cookies with the Chica and our kids every holiday season, enjoying a glass of wine while the kids get their fingers full of dough. Nourishing other human beings. Being warmed by a hot soup, and feeling it make its way to the frostiest parts until you're cozy again. The taste of fresh, homemade lemonade on a blazing day, the way you can feel it go down your throat. Wrapping yourself up in a blanket on an overcast fall day, quiet, with a good book, a pot of tea, a fat cat, and a few perfect gingerbread cookies.

And that's what I would want for my last meal. My family and friends around the table, happy from a long, full day, really hungry, grateful to be nourished, grateful to be fed, grateful to be together. The sky darkening to a heavy blue, the first star coming out, and the sound of laughter coming from the kitchen windows. The children growing sleepy and leaning on their parents shoulders, the coffee brewing. And all the time in the world to finish that meal.

Would you do me a favor?

Whatever good vibes you've got, would you send them to my Uncle Jim in Atlanta? We need healing waves of goodness. Thanks; you know I appreciate it.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Home sweet home

The wonderful What Now--who has a beautiful new site, lookie! It's gorgeous!--asks:
If you were going to build a house out of a food product, which food would you choose and why?

Ah HA!

Well now. Let's presume that I am looking for durability rather than tastiness. Because frankly, I need to lose weight already without having to worry about having a snack attack and eating my house. Looks, probably not such a big priority; if the material is right, I should be able to slap a coat of paint on the sucker, hang a wreath, and be done, non? Therefore, the answer could be none other than...

Twinkies and peeps. I think we can all rest assured that my home will be standing through the chilliest of nuclear winters. Plus, small vermin may very well be discouraged or at least genetically mutated over time to something more manageable. We have durability and stress-resistance under all sorts of extreme conditions, and if I play it right, I can use the creamy filling as mortar.

Moving on

The ever-fabulicious Trisha asks:
Do you have a sock philosophy?

This is my kind of question. Let us move from undergarments to footwear, my friends.

Generally, I am a barefoot sorta gal. I prefer to feel the ground under my feet. Used to drive my poor mother crazy. I have even been known to walk barefoot in the snow because it just seemed simpler that way. When I was little I liked to practice walking like a Jungle Princess over rocks and twigs and stuff without making any noise (not that I ever got the hang of it).

Even when I put on shoes, I'm really awful about not wearing socks. Which is why I love the Crocs. The Crocs, they do not get icky and stinky, and if they do, you just put them in the dishwasher. Bow to the Crocs, oh my people. (I know they're ugly. Don't mess with my happy place.)

Still, there is something to be said for a good thick pair of white socks on a cold day. I do not like mucking about with socks that pretend to be stockings. (And btw, if we count stockings as socks, I prefer stockings to pantyhose any day. Stockings do not end up around the tall girl's knees.) I do not like socks that are ashamed to be socks and want to pretend they don't exist, ending up around the arch of my foot. If I must Sock, give me a sock like this one. I did have those long stripey toe-socks when I was a kid, but we won't talk about that.

Go give T a smooch.
[Edited to add link to Crocs. Because you NEED THE CROCS.]

Monday, November 07, 2005

Most of me is back...

but not my gall bladder. It's gone bye-bye. The doctor was cute, on the plus side. Also on the plus side, HELLO Demerol. Wowee.

So, after that lost weekend, I'm back home and want to thank you all for the kind thoughts. I will get back to questions soon. Promise!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Well, crap.

My birthday was lovely. Until about 7:00, right after dinner. Which is when I started having the lovely gallbladder attack that I am currently still having. Shit.

If you don't hear from me for a few days, don't worry.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

You might want to skip this one...

Orange, that paragon of difficult questions, asks:
What sort of grooming maintenance, if any, do you do in your underpants zone, and why?

Um. Okay. Everyone but Orange, go grab a coffee. Or something.
Truth? Being the single gal, I can afford to give in to my mostly lazy nature. So every now and then, I'll think, Holy crap, the yoni area needs some attention. And I will pull out the electric clipper that the ex left behind, and voila. We here at SBFH go for the Runway look. The Whole Enchilada smacks a bit too much of prepubescence, and who needs to go back there? Not I. Plus, lord, the itching when one of those grows back in. The waxing we have done, but frankly, mother of god, that hurt worse than labor. And since I am, ahem, the only one giving that area any attention at the moment, I feel I can go the cheap and easy route in routine maintenance.
Not pretty, per se, but there you have it. It's sort of a feast or famine of personal care.

Friday, November 04, 2005

...and it continues

The lovely and talented Amy asks:
Where did you go to college? Or, more importantly: why didn't you call me from San Diego??

And the answers are:
I went to Colorado State University, home of the Rams. Yes, the Rams. Which means that at every football game, they trotted out a Bighorn Sheep with the BIGGEST BALLS KNOWN TO MANKIND. You can imagine how that went over with the drunken frat boys. (Any fraternity readers, and I'm sure there are sooo many of you...yes, I WOULD call it that, at this moment in particular.) Also home of the infamous College Days Riots of 1986. A fine institution of learning, indeed.

And secondly: Because someone won't give me her phone number! Ask T, I don't bite on the phone. Sometimes I eat a little bagel, but only if I'm really really starving, and I'm quiet about it. Honest.

Thanks for writing me, Amy!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

And so it begins...

Roxie (Roxie, Roxie, Roxie), thank you, sweetie, for my birthday greeting. And wow. Okay. I stand by my word. People, blame Roxie, not me.

Roxie asks:
If you were being held captive by a weirdo, and that aforementioned weirdo said he would spare your life only if you eat a pair of underwear, and he gives you a choice between eating his underwear or the panties of someone whom you do not know/have never met would you: eat his underwear, the stranger's, or none at all.

And here's my answer:
Do I get to see the undies before making my decision? Because although I realize the bigger issue here is likely the possibility of what' the underwear, my primary concern, rightly or not, would have to be how BIG are these underwear? Because I am not a goat. So, say I have the choice between Psycho Kidnapper Guy's boxers and some stranger's thong, I have to say I'm probably gonna pick the thong. This is assuming, of course, that I can rely on Psycho Kidnapper Guy keeping his word and letting me go. More likely I will wield my Super Psychic Scorpio powers on him and get away before dinner. In fact, I think this scenario is in my Action Heroine's Handbook, right between "How to Run in High Heels" and "How to Use Your Thighs to Strangle a Man".


Hi! Hi guys! Remember me? I used to bl..blouse? No, that isn't it. Blat? Nooo, not quite right, but...something. Bloop? Bloog? Yes. Yes! That sounds right. I used to bloooogggg around here. Blog. So, hi! Hi, blog!

Okay. So. Guess what? I'm in San Diego! And dang. It's nice here. Not that I've actually left the hotel, but such is conference life. Conference high point: Explaining to one of the most intelligent and pre-eminent tech guys in the my field how to make Haloscan work with Blogger. I knew this thing would pay off one day!

Low point: Missing out on getting to meet one of my favorite fellow Blog Mamas. But at least we got to talk on the phone. Hi Beth! (wave, wave) Also low point: Realizing I can't keep up with the Europeans any more. Sigh. My Irish ancestors are rolling in their graves right now. I'm officially getting old.

Or at least officially getting older: 38 on Saturday. So here's where my shamelessness comes in: I've been flogging this blog for a whole year. I never keep up with anything this long. I must like you guys. So email me. Everybody email me and say hi, pretty please, 'cause I'm just feeling like getting mail. It's what I want for my birthday. Which is not nearly a good enough reason, but tell you what, if you email me, you can ask me one question and I promise to post the questions and answers here. Which when I think about it, isn't a particularly compelling reason to take the time to write me, but oh well. Work with me, here. And if I get enough email, I just might post a picture. For a day.


Friday, October 28, 2005


Your Birthdate: November 5
With a birthday on the 5th of the month you are inclined to work well with people and enjoy them. You are talented and versatile, very good at presenting ideas. You may have a tendency to get itchy feet at times and need change and travel.
You tend to be very progressive, imaginative and adaptable. Your mind is quick, clever and analytical. A restlessness in your nature may make you a bit impatient and easily bored with routine. You may have a tendency to shirk responsibility

Um, okay, we get it

I realize I'm being kind of a Betty, but I just think that if you have a big-ass "I stand with President George W. Bush" bumper sticker on the back of your SUV, that kind of says it all right there. But you want to add the Jesus Fish, fine. But THREE Jesus Fishes? Was that really necessary? Was it? I just don't think so.

But of course you do

Me: Hey, B, does Ellen in your class have a little sister?
Boy: Nope. But Janie has a little brother.
Me: Oh, really?
B: Yep. His name's Rico.
Me: Rico?!?
B: Mm-hmm.
Me: Cool.
B: But we call him Laser Head.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Why I love him even though the incessant whining and wailing and moaning has been driving me batshit

So yes, he's been totally spoiled (notice the smooth use of the passive there) during his week of Pain and Suffering (tm). I cleared out Barnes & Noble--and if you have a kid (or a grownup) who likes dinosaurs, you must have this book--and the Ex and Monica came through with these little beauties. One of these comes with an octopus, and the Boy took it with him into the shower last night.

B: This octopus should have a leg here [pointing to a spot between two of the octopus' legs] and here [ditto] and here [ditto] and here....
Me: But octopuses [octopii? Hand me that Tylenol with codeine again] only have eight legs, hon.
B: Nuh-uh! They have 1000 legs!
Me: No, babe, only eight.
B: [staring at me as though I've lost my mind] Then why do they call it "1000 LEGS UNDER THE SEA"?????

Friday, October 21, 2005

Must. Get. Out. Of. House.

Mother's log, day 5
Child, male, age 6, has finally become immune to the promise of ice cream. Throat seems to be improving steadily, but Tylenol with codeine has caused sever nausea yesterday, resulting in the pleasant task of applying anti-nausea suppositories. Child has remained indoors for 5 days. I sense a mutiny brewing. Will need reinforcements, or else will need to begin taking Tylenol with codeine myself.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Tonsils the size of a planet

The Boy is doing fine. His tonsils and adenoids were indeed huge, and after the surgery, while he was still asleep, I heard him breath silently for the first time in his life.

He handled it like a trooper. The doctor said, "When we went to give him the anesthesia, he started to negotiate, but a couple of whiffs and the negotiations ended." He woke up about an hour later and didn't quit eating ALL DAY. They kept him overnight because they wanted to have him on an IV drip, in case he got stubborn about drinking, which I guess a lot of kids that age do, but all the nurses ended up laughing about it. "Sheesh," said one, "the poor kid's gonna be peeing every 5 minutes between that thing and the million popsicles he keeps sucking down."

So now we're home, and other than complaining that his throat feels "all clogged up", you'd never know he had surgery a mere 24 hours ago. It's going to be fun trying to keep this kid quiet all week. I'm so glad!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Stranger than strange

So here's what I did yesterday: Met the Ex and his new girlfriend and the kids for coffee. And here's the strange part: It was fine. I like her; she seems very sweet. And she had excellent shoes. She's quite a bit younger than him (and me), but she didn't seem so young in person. And she was lovely with the kids, and they like her very much. The Girl talks about "my friend Monica" all the time. And no, that isn't her real name.

So she, according to the Ex, was stressed beyond belief to meet me, which amused me no end because I am, like, the least stress-inducing person I know. But I told her that as long as she was good to my kids, she never needed to worry about me.

And it was fine. Really. I was fine. I actually felt happy for him, and happy that this person is kind to my kids. And it's all good. How strange.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Ice cream and jello will only get you so far

Okay, people. The Boy's getting his tonsils out on Monday, and I need to prepare. We're talking a week of soft food, here. Send in your suggestions/recipes NOW, please. Please. I'm begging you. Help. Me.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Who, me?

Okay, that's freakily accurate:

You Are Likely an Only Child

At your darkest moments, you feel frustrated.

At work and school, you do best when you're organizing.

When you love someone, you tend to worry about them.

In friendship, you are emotional and sympathetic.

Your ideal careers are: radio announcer, finance, teaching, ministry, and management.

You will leave your mark on the world with organizational leadership, maybe as the author of self-help books.

As seen at Profgrrrrl's.

The Luck of the Lost

So here's a nice thing: I went to a boundary meeting tonight (remember that nagging school district overcrowding issue that's been hanging around?) and after driving around in circles following some other driver who I hoped knew where he/she was going, I pulled into the parking lot of the building where the meeting was being held. Another car pulled in next to me, and the woman who got out said to me, "I'm so glad you knew where you were going; I just followed you." I laughed and told her we were just lucky the guy in front of me wasn't headed to McDonalds.

Anyway, we ended up walking in together, sitting together, and after talking in the parking lot afterward for 2 hours, I just got home. Turns out she lives in the neighborhood we're moving into. One good thing to come out of the boundary meeting, if nothing else. I do so like people, if you know what I mean.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I'm blogging, and I can't get up

Damn, people. Keep me away from this thing for a week and then I go all nutty and everything with the blogging, blogging, ceaselessly blogging.

But this post is too great not to point out. Beautiful spiritual story--and it ends with poop! So you know, it goes with everything! (And happy New Year, Els dear.)

PK needs to make up for lost time

Seen at Frog's, the Need Meme, from Googling "PK needs"...

PK needs a IRC server or something. [Obviously, I am not editing these.]
PK needs emphasis in Year 2 or 3.
PK needs to respect other keepers.
PK needs to go. [Actually, I'm okay, thanks.]
PK needs a plane renewal.
PK needs to conform. [Good luck with this one!]
PK needs a private key.
PK needs at most ~O( XY + E( XY )) per edge insertion. [Hell if I know what this means, but it sounds promising. And nasty. Yay!]
PK needs to clarify what they mean by “reaching beyond denominational barriers to demonstrate the power of biblical unity.” [Or not.]
PK needs to host a poker tourney. [I think this fits in nicely with the biblical unity.]
PK needs help. [Don't we all, honey.]
PK needs the Power of Oil! [I knew I was gonna have trouble with that edge insertion.]

I could have gone on'd be sooo surprised at what I need, apparently.

What's he watching, Lifetime for First Graders?

The Boy has been saying some things lately. Some strange things. Things that lead me to believe that maybe his Papa is not monitoring his TV intake closely enough.

For example. Witness the scene earlier this evening, while he was getting into his pajamas:
Boy: Mom. You know, you don't need to spend a fortune on sewing materials. There's an easier way. With the Buttoneer, you just hook [strange hand gesture here] and pull, and voila! Buttons.
Me: ... the ... Buttoneer.
Boy: [nodding emphatically] Mmm-hmmm!
Me: Ahhhh-huh.

Ten minutes later, lying beside me in his bed, reading stories:
Boy: Mom. Tomorrow, can you please slice two slices of cucumber and put them in my lunchbag?
Me: Oh, I'm sorry, hon, we don't have any cucumbers right now.
Boy: DARN IT!!
Me: I'll be happy to pick one up at the store next time, if you'd like.
Boy: YES. Pick one up tomorrow, and slice me two slices before bed tomorrow night, and I will put them on my eyes. It's so refreshing!
Me: Oookaaaay.

But you know, he does have a point.

Monday, October 03, 2005

And the angels sang...

Friends, Romans, Countrymen, and so forth, and so on...

We--yes, we chez SBFH--are (tadada) ...


done with diapers!

Done. Finis. Finito. Buh-bye, stinky-ass Pampers. Woot! Yee-haw!

In about 5 minutes I will sit down and cry a little tear that my days of following around those little fat diaper bottoms are now past, but for now, I will revel in the Happy Dance of the Potty Trained Children.


Wednesday, September 28, 2005

About a boy

I've been wondering for a while about posting the story of my Boy, and the wildness of this journey we're on. I will still do it, because of course all our stories take different turns, but in the meantime, go read Flea's post, and you will be a good way down the road to our destination. And of course, the ride with Flea is always a pleasure--even when the road is bumpier than hell.

CRAPtoberfest, indeed

You know, I am a semi-firm believer in metaphysics. (That sounds kinda nasty. Hmm.) So I should know to be careful with what I throw out there into the karmic brew of the universe, right?


Would any of you like to guess what I spent my Saturday doing? I'll give you a hint: Take my determination to talk about bad crapping incidents and my pseudo-shame over the idea of spending an entire day at a scrapbooking orgy. What the hell, toss in a little barfing for good measure (pun completely intended).

On the up side, I lost 8 pounds. In ONE DAY. Wowee!

Friday, September 23, 2005

P is for Penis, that's good enough for me

The Boy's class has been studying the human body. He's learned so many cool things! It's kind of neat to have him lecturing me on the skeletal system, or taking him to the therapist while he's wearing his "brain hat" that he made in school.

On Wednesday, he brought home a project: a book on which each page was a letter, and he had to come up with a part of the human body that starts with that letter, and draw a picture. Need I ask you to guess which human body part begins with the letter P? No, I thought not. Thank the dear Lord that he's more of an abstract artist than a realist.

Oh, and by the way. Everyone stop over at Jessica's and give her some love for her prize-winning BM! Love you, love your poop, Jess! Mwaa!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

And all that crap

I think I've uncovered the secret to getting people to comment. Talk about constipation. Oh, sure, an eloquent post will touch people's hearts, but if you want folks to pipe up, you need to touch their colons.

Go on. Say something about poop now. You know you want to.

Monday, September 19, 2005

For that long-lasting crunch

I'm in my Happy Place, because guess what time of year it is! Canning season! In fact, I will be up much too late tonight waiting for the dehydrator to finish it's job on this year's bumper crop of peaches. Sadly, I missed the Sustainable Living fair this past weekend, but I did briefly consider buying a goat at the farmers' market, and after about 3 glasses of wine yesterday, standing in the midst of a load of pinging jars of peach jam and green tomatoes, the Chica and I had a brief little fantasy involving drop spindles.

Ah yes, it's the time of year when I make my plan to be Ma Ingalls. "Ma Ingalls?" said the Ex. "You can't be Ma Ingalls, you aren't married."

"Hey!" I shot back. "So I'm the liberal, divorcee Ma Ingalls, minus the prejudice against Native Americans and without a man. Don't mess with my Happy Place!"

And this weekend I will make my annual ritual sacrifice to the gods of suburban motherhood and attend (oh god I can't believe I'm actually going to tell you this) ... Croptoberfest. I know, I know. It isn't a habit, I swear! I can stop whenever I want!

Do you think the neighbors would mind if I put a few sheep in the back yard?

Friday, September 16, 2005

Straight from the Chiquita's mouth

This is not my story, but the Chica gave me permission to blog it. Because people, it begs to be blogged.

The Chica's daughter, the Chiquitta, had her first loose tooth. She's been wiggling it and wiggling it, and yearning for it come out so that the Tooth Fairy will come. The Boy, being an old hat toothwise (he's on his fourth loose one), has been assuring her that she will indeed clean up. The Chica and Mr. Chica have bought a darling sparkly Tooth Box, and all is prepared for the Big Day.

Yesterday, during school, it happened. In the middle of her first grade classroom, the Chiquita pulled on the tooth--and it popped out! Aaaaand...she dropped it! Oh no! She fell to her knees searching for it, and found...

a rock.

When Mr. Chica picked her up from school, she proudly held out a small, tooth-sized, tooth-shaped piece of quartz, which (declares the Chica) looked nevertheless nothing at all like a tooth, and said, "Look! My tooth fell out, and here it is!"

Says the Chica: "He looked deep into her eyes and realized that she had absolutely, beyond a doubt, convinced herself that this was her tooth. So. He said, 'That's great, honey!' And he brought her home, and we both oohed and aahed over the rock, and put it in her Tooth Box, and the Tooth Fairy came and took it and left her a dollar and three Pegasus Ponies to guard her Tooth Box in the future. And now the rock is wrapped up and hidden in my dresser, and I will treasure it always, and one day tell her the story of her very first rock."

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Tell me why

Why, why do I watch movies that I know are going to be depressing, even if they're also going to be good? Why, for example, watch "Requiem for a Dream" when I could just hire someone to come pull out my brain by way of my left ear, then squinch it all around and shove it back in through my navel? I mean, great movie, but probably not so good for the psyche at the moment.

To jump on the freaky-ass dream wagon that's been making the rounds, last night I dreamt that James Dobson was actually this psycho pervert and I was trying to expose him, which actually put me in danger of being assassinated. Could I be feeling the need to become more politically active and stand up against all the nasty crap I see happening in this country? Hmmm.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Every, every minute

My next-door neighbor passed away Saturday. It wasn't unexpected, but it seems surreal and sad. The last time I was at Dr. Zen's, she told me, "You know, everything falls into place if we can grasp how short our lives truly are, how little time we have on this earth." And she's right, it really does. Sometimes it hits me at the oddest moments, like in the line at Starbucks or driving down a street at night. All these spirits, burning, flaring up, flickering out, on and on.

Monday, September 12, 2005


The scene: The kitchen, just after dinner. The Girl, who turned up her nose at dinner, wants dessert.

PK: Well, you may have yogurt or a smoothie.
G: Mmmmm ... dat snot uh nopshun. Puddin!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Curse you, curse you Comcast

I could gripe a bit about how my router and cable modem suddenly decided to put an end to their relationship, but what good would it do us? When it's over, it's over.

Needless to say, I spent the entire weekend without Internet access, and what do you know? Wow, did I get a lot done around the house. Coincidence, surely.

Turns out, I can't affectionately call the Girl "my little nugget". I tried, and she immediately began denying that she was a chicken. Yes, I shop almost exclusively at Whole Paycheck or Vitamin Chalet or the organic section at Safeway, yet my child immediately connects the words "chicken" and "nugget". Irony, y'all, it's all about the irony.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

How I learned to stop worrying and love the Bug

Am I the only one who is unreasonably intimidated not by other mothers, necessarily, but by the thought that other mothers are judging me and finding me lacking? I know I've mentioned this before, but it just gets weirder and weirder. Help me out with your pseudo-psychological theories and win a prize. Okay, well, that's a lie. Win nothing, but do it anyway.

Despite having (probably typical) moments of guilt over my less-bright parenting moments, I generally do believe that I'm doing the best job that I can with the kids, and that I'm not doing anything horribly wrong. Not so you'd pass out from horror if you witnessed my parenting in action, you know? And I'm not particularly shy about meeting people, or insecure, or in need of validation--I have good friends, both near and far, and I don't feel the need for everyone to like me or to be the most popular or anything like that. And despite the Boy's behavioral challenges, I think he's a sweet kid. I don't think he comes across as a little monster or anything--he says please and thank you, he often shows kindness, he feeds his cat, he plays with Legos, you know.

So why do I feel the laser beam of Mommy Drive Bys just waiting to fire upon me? Why do I imagine that other mothers are thinking all sorts of nasty thoughts about me and planning ways to avoid me? What is my problem?? Sheesh.

And on a totally different and less self-absorbed note (thank heavens), the Boy's first grade teacher KICKS ASS. This is the teacher that he was switched to at the last minute, sending me into one of my infamous Complete Bitch Breakdowns, but oh, has it ever turned out to be wonderful. Do you know what she did on Friday? He found a cricket in the classroom, and he wanted to keep it, so she helped him catch it and poke holes in a plastic bag so he could take it home. Now, I have always had the icks over crickets, but this was just such a cool thing for his teacher to do, and he was so excited--you should've seen him!--that I was immediately and completely cured. Thirty-seven years of cricket hating, poof!

We looked up crickets on the Internet and built his new pet, Cookie, a nice little cricket home in a jar turned on its side. We put in some sand, rocks to hide under, a nice little twisty stick, a damp sponge, and some bits of bread and apple. I closed the opening with some fine green netting I had lying around (it had been a ribbon on a gift) and screwed on the jar ring. Things to know about crickets:
  • Only the males make noise.
  • Cookie wasn't a male.
  • Cookie was, however, smart enough to figure out how to chew through the netting.

Good thing about that New Love For Crickets I've got goin' on.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Intellectual savant? Idiot savoir?

I have this impression of myself, that I'm pretty much scattered and clueless and obtuse. So why, then, do I get so freaking impatient when people just don't get it? Isn't that sort of the pot calling the kettle black? And there's no particular "it" here, either; just ... so many things.

You can tell it was meeting day, can't you?

Friday, September 02, 2005

I know what I want to say

Are this president and administration to blame for a natural disaster? For the rise of terrorism? For the state of unrest in the world? For global warming? Of course not. These are all problems that are either out of a person or government's control or that have been boiling up for years. Certainly, the appalling poverty and underlying violence in New Orleans that is contributing to so many of the problems now took longer than 6 years to reach these epic proportions. But here's what this administration and so-called commander-in-chief ARE responsible for: Dealing with the problems they inherit in a reasonable and intelligent manner, even if doing so is fucking difficult.

Does anyone remember the Carter administration's reaction to the energy crisis of the 70s?
Does anyone remember Clinton refusing to play the endless budget-extension game?
Does anyone remember presidents who spent their time in office working their asses off to create a stronger national infrastructure? Who tried to promote world peace instead of world war?

I am so angry and sickened by the wasteful, stupid, selfish, arrogant attitude of this president and this administration. Refusing to encourage conservation during times of crisis, and instead encouraging reckless waste and spending to "keep the economy growing". Bullshit. Bullshit!! It's a nice rosy piece of wool that these people keep trying to pull over our eyes. When are we going to notice we're suffocating? How can I even be surprised at the greed and obscenity that keep pouring forth, at the ineptitude and decadence, when we've given over the soul of this country to a leadership that ran and won on an agenda of hate and intolerance? I'm sickened. Just sickened.

2008 is too far away. I want this bastard impeached. NOW.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


I just feel like a heel blah blah blahing about nothing when so many people are suffering down South, so I won't.

Friday, August 26, 2005

What's more

So I'm talking to Trisha today, and I'm telling her about how yesterday the Girl and I and our neighbor picked up the Boy and Neighbor's girl at the bus stop, and walked home, and hung out for a while eating popsicles, and suddenly, out of nowhere, the Boy ran up to me and said, "I want to tongue-kiss Neighbor Girl." A statement which I handled with sophistocated calm. NO. A statement which sent my brain back about 500 years, the result being a freaked-out ramble that included something about ONLY MARRIED GROWNUPS KISSING LIKE THAT! (Uh, yeah. I know. I know!) I also seem to recall putting the kabosh on any type of lip contact with any female face that wasn't related to him. Sigh.

Me: I mean, I sort of went a little crazy, but come on! TONGUE KISSING? Okay, so I'm not squeemish about nudity or body parts or anything, but I do draw the line. Like, when he and the Girl took a bath and she tried to grab his penis. That is just NOT okay.
Trisha (in the trademark totally-calm-yet-wry Trisha voice): Ohhhhhh, no. We are not Flowers in the Attic.

In a nutshell

You've all been so kind with the comments. Which is maybe why I feel the need to write a post about how you've been hoodwinked and I'm really a shitfest of a mother? And yet, I'm not quite ready with that; I can't quite bear to put it down on virtual paper, so instead, I'll just tell you about how the first week of first grade was wonderful. About how the Boy insisted on riding the bus, and how his little face in the window looked like my life flashing before my eyes. About how exhausted and happy he was after his first day. About how his little sister can't quite believe me when I tell her we can leave the preschool without him because he isn't there. About how they've begun to pour the foundation for the new house, which as it turns out is just steps away from the most gorgeous little bike trail. About how I'll be working from home more starting next week, driving less, walking more, and feeling all down with my badass eco-self.

Oh, and by the way. If you get all crazy with the family tree and post a note on some geneology forum, looking for your long-lost ancestors, and then one night, months and months later, you get a reply from some distant cousin, and you've been drinking a little Chardonay and watching "Fearless" and getting all choked up at the end and get a little giddy with love for all mankind and the family of man and blah blah blah--do not, I repeat, do NOT shoot off an email (from your regular account, no less) thanking said distant cousin and admitting kinship until you've looked at said cousin's home page. Because said cousin might be some total gun-toting, narrow-minded, scary-ass wingnut. Yee-haw.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

What a wonderful world it would be

Tomorrow, the Boy starts first grade. Today was an exciting day for him: We went to the school's open house, took in his supplies, and met his teacher. She's wonderful, and has a brother who experienced some of the challenges the Boy faces. She wasn't actually the teacher we'd been told he'd be placed with, which freaked me right out at first, but now I'm thrilled. Chalk one up for divine intervention.

He's having a difficult time getting to bed lately, and tonight especially. So I cuddled with him and sang him some songs. "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", which the Chica got him hooked on one night when she babysat; "Danny Boy", which I've sung to him since he was a baby, swinging him back and forth in his carrier; "Michelle", which I sing to his sister all the time.

"Mama," he blurted out. "Mama. I don't want to grow up. Why do I have to grow up?"

I told him that everyone grows up, but that lots of people choose to stay kids in their hearts.

"But I want to stay a little kid always, until I'm a hundred and five," he said, near tears. "Honey," I whispered, "you won't need to worry about growing up for quite a while. You've got a long time still to be a little kid."

I think we both knew I was lying.

"And," I added, "no matter what, you'll always be my kid."

He hugged me tight. "And you'll always be my mama," he choked out.

"Yes, honey. I'll always be your mama. And you'll always, always be my baby."

And then I sang him the song I used to sing before he was born, while I walked, while I sat, while I worried about my marriage, while he zoomed around inside me like some misplaced comet. I still don't know much, but I know that I love him, that Boy of mine, and that even through all the hard parts, he loves me, too.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

The Cutest Gap Ever

The Boy finally lost that loose top front tooth. And how, you ask? Apple? Doorknob? Au contraire, mes amis.

It was his sister's foot.

This tooth has been loose all summer, but Friday, when I went to pick the kids up from daycare, I saw that it was now hanging on by a thread. I mean, it was like a broken shutter--the thing was all crooked and half fallen out, but the Boy would not hear of us pulling it out. Rats! We got a chewy candy from the next class, but it did nothing but push the tooth to a crazy 90-degree angle. He was staying for the school's "late night", and he'd be eating pizza, so I was sure that would do the trick. Nope. Fortunately, we had an attack of Cute Sister Saturday morning. The Girl was just so darned cute that I declared I was going to have to eat her up.

"Me, too!" shouted the Boy, grabbing her foot. "Give me some meat!" And with that, he play-chomped her toes, and voila. He was so thrilled, he spent the whole day hugging the Girl and calling her his hero. And what a day it was, because just after the Losing of the Tooth we headed out to the town's annual Festival, where we ate brats and snowcones and played cheap carnival games and bought a few trinkets and completely failed to get change. The result being that the Tooth Fairy left a whopping $5 for that tooth. I told the Boy it must have been worth so much more because he'd been doing a better job of brushing. Yeesh.

All went well until the Girl began waking up ever 1/2 hour. A few hours of this and I was getting cranky, but then she turned the tables on me by barfing. Oh, poor little bean! So we were up and down the rest of the night. By about 10:00 this morning she was feeling better, but I collapsed face-down on the bed. The Boy jumped up beside me.

"Mama," he offered, "would you like a massage?"

I'm delirious, I thought. But what the heck. And what do you know? The kid's a natural! He's a little back-rubbing machine! We struck a deal: I pay him a dollar/week for a daily 5-minute massage. Yes, it's slave wages, but come on people, why else did I go through labor? I said, "Now all we need is for your sister to start doing hair, and you kids have paid your dues as far as Mommy's concerned!" And the Boy said, with a slight roll of the eyes, "Mom. I can do your hair, too."

Even Darth Vader loved his mommy, folks.

To the One Who Has Disappeared

I don't know if you will ever read this, but I have no other way to say it.

I just want you to know that you are in my thoughts and prayers, and I hope you find your peace. You often expressed worry about hurting others, and I want you to know that even if I never hear of you or from you again, your presence has definitely not hurt me. Quite the opposite. I feel great sorrow for the pain you've been through and are going through now, yes, but you don't cause that pain. It is my hope that it will become more bearable for you, and that there will be great joy in your life to balance it. Namaste.

Friday, August 19, 2005

I sound like coffee

The humor test, found via APL.

The Wit
(61% dark, 23% spontaneous, 10% vulgar)
your humor style:

You like things edgy, subtle, and smart. I guess that means you're probably an intellectual, but don't take that to mean pretentious. You realize 'dumb' can be witty--after all isn't that the Simpsons' philosophy?--but rudeness for its own sake, 'gross-out' humor and most other things found in a fraternity leave you totally flat.

I guess you just have a more cerebral approach than most. You have the perfect mindset for a joke writer or staff writer.

Your sense of humor takes the most thought to appreciate, but it's also the best, in my opinion.

You probably loved the Office.

PEOPLE LIKE YOU: Jon Stewart - Woody Allen - Ricky Gervais

Thursday, August 18, 2005

All aboard the Zen Train

So I told Dr. Zen that I get frustrated with myself because I know the person I want to be, and somehow I just keep on not being her. I said, "I truly, truly do believe in abundance and things working out for the good and in breathing and peace and all that jazz, but then when it comes down to it I always opt for the easy way out, the fast joke to cover up or the freak out drama queen act that gets all the attention. I annoy the hell out of myself. I want to be that person that just deals with things that come, knowing that it's all going to be what it is and that all will be well in the end so I can be at peace instead of having to be the center of attention." And she said one of the nicest things ever. She said, "But that's the person I see. You're closer to being who you want to be than you realize."

So let's see how I can do with this zen thing. Those niggling little worries that pull at my brain? Money, house, health of those I love, work, worry...I'm not listening to them. Just for tonight, at the very least. Listen to that! It's so quiet...

Friday, August 12, 2005

Just the FACs, maam

Can I tell you how happy I am that I am one of those people who doesn't mow my lawn often enough? I've been meaning to mow it for, oh, several weeks now, but first it was really hot, then it was really rainy, then it was nearly the Boy's backyard birthday party and shouldn't I just wait until the day before so it would be nice and fresh? So I did, and guess what? I started the mower--this high-power industrial crazy mower that the Ex bought--and not a foot away, baby rabbits went zooming every which way. Little furry baby bunnies, oh my god! So I mowed around the nest in a big circle, then retrieved them all and deposited them back in their little bed, then called the Humane Society to make sure that I hadn't ruined their chances of survival by touching them. Too many Disney movies as a kid? Maybe. Maybe.

And then our next-door neighbors, who just sold their house and I have to say it's one of the only things making this move more bearable to me, that many of my neighbors are moving on, because people, I have LOVED my neighbors, anyway, these neighbors were out front and they always give the kids popsicles, so we were standing out front talking, and my neighbor, B, mentioned that she had a big bucket of frozen margaritas, but they were a bit too strong, and what luck, I happen to have a pitcher of limeade. Imagine. And then another neighbor (also moving) stopped by with her girl who is about the Boy's age, and we've spent the past 2 hours sitting around on the driveway, drinking slushy margaritas and watching the kids run around with their limeade and popsicles, taking peeks at the bunnies and riding their scooters and eating chocolate on the sly and my god, my god, I love my life.

And now I'm inside cooking corn, and thanking you all for being part of it, too. Too many slushy margaritas? Maybe, maybe. But I think it's just me.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Choose wisely, young Jedi

We're still in the middle of birthday madness, but I will leave you (briefly) with this quote:
"I asked and asked and asked for an Aniken Skywalker/Darth Vader Color Changing Lightsaber, and Mama kept saying 'Maybe, maybe, we'll talk it over,' and you DID and now I HAVE the Aniken Skywalker/Darth Vader Color Changing Lightsaber, and I am the happiest boy in the WHOLE WORLD!!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!"

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

What do you think?

So, I'm ditching that annoying book list over there, the one I can never access and change. Not that I don't love me some books, but really. I need EASE OF USE, thank you very much. I can barely manage to load the dishwasher, let's get real.

So. What should I replace it with? I'm thinking, I could use it to post links to cool things other people say, cause I like cool things other people say. Or, I could just make a text list of stuff I'm reading and so forth, although I must ask myself, does anyone care? I won't put up pictures, I'm too much of a paranoid freak. So, if all 3 of you who actually read this thing have any opinion about this, now is the time to tell me, here or by email. Maybe by email, because I am sooo lonely and email-deprived. And also because I need something to distract me from all the pre-party house cleaning I need to be doing. I think I will post before and after shots of the house so you can see how I'm really not jesting when I say, "Dear God, my house: the horror, the horror." And also so you can see that I actually can throw a good shindig when motivated to do so. But then again, maybe I won't. Oh, the anticipation, try not to drool on yourselves.

Today is the last day of being 5 for the Boy. Sigh. My little man is growing up so fast. Last night I put the Girl's hair in rags, like my mom used to do, and this morning she spent ages in front of her little mirror: "My curly! Curly, curly hair!" She was quite taken with herself.

Friday, August 05, 2005


I have this post brewing but tonight I am just tired. The Boy's had a few rough weeks, and we don't know if it's the strep, the antibiotics, the season, the weather, the fact that he's going through a rough sleep cycle, the moon, the stars, the radio waves from the planet Zircon, or what. But it's rough right now. Tonight he had a 1/2-hour meltdown over Legos, poor kid. I maintained my zen-like calm, so yay me! But now I'm worn out. Which sounds really effing weak. So many of you have so much more than this to deal with and do it with such grace.

Speaking of grace, if you haven't been reading POW lately, go visit. Amy said one of the most brilliant things the other day, about "people who feel exactly the same way you do, even if they would handle a situation differently than you do." Her writing is increasingly eloquent and plus she has those two little babies with those squeezable cheeks! Go, go on.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Silver Lining

It was raining today. All day. It's been raining since Tuesday, in fact. I wanted to cut the grass: No go. Had to cancel the Boy's swim lessons--twice. Bothersome sinus pain. Dreary. Etc.

From 10 to 10:30 each morning, the Boy's summer class goes to the playground on their side of the building. They shoot baskets, zoom around on bikes, splash in the water tubs, sit at the picnic tables, and above all, play tag and Red Rover and Simon Says on the swath of grass at one end of the playground. They line up against the fence in the shade of the tree that stands outside the gate, and wait for their names to be called or for their next chance to charge across the lawn. Today, at 10:15, a 16-year old girl, driving way too fast, jumped the curb and ran her car through the fence, right up onto the grass where the kids roll around and tackle each other.

They were all inside. It was raining.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

And another thing

For all the money I've got to fork over to the damned imaging center for the pleasure of having them stick a cold metal wand up my yoni, I could buy something that I might actually enjoy having up there. Can't they make the damned things vibrate or something? Anything? I mean really.

I really want to tell you I'm sorry

McGonagall (that's the kitten's name, and not even a pseudonym! I risk all!) keeps trying to catch the mouse pointer on the screen. For some reason, I find this entertaining. Next stop, collectible tea cozies.

No, actually, I could never collect anything knick-knacky, and here's why. My first job. Seventh grade. I was the duster at the House of Enal Yor, or as I fondly think of it now, the House of Anal Yore. I spent HOURS after school, dusting the tea pots, the German green glasses, the little resin figurines of the hippie boy and girl with the big eyes and the low riders, the music boxes, the porcelain bells, the jewelry drawers, the snow globes... To this day, I can't hear the theme from "Summer Lovers" without getting the urge to dust something. Hold me, noooowww...

Brrr. I'm scaring myself.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Things in My Head

  • Why did I let the Boy's strep culture turn into such a torture session? Why do I feel as though I'm continually failing him? Please please please please don't let me fail him.

  • I want to start running again. I would feel so much better with regular exercise.

  • Yay! School supplies! God, I love school supplies. Lunch boxes! I love lunch boxes.

  • I will kill anyone who hurts my children. I mean it.

  • I am not doing enough to stem the tide of pain and suffering in the world.

  • My god. Could my kids be any sweeter or cuter or more damned adorable? I think not.

  • Bush. Effing effing Bush!!!!!

  • Why can't I focus on my work? Focus, focus, where art thou focus?

  • Oh dear lord. Birthday party in 2 weeks. Here. In this house. This house that is a Pit of Despair!!! Must! Clean! Pit! Of! Despair!!!

  • Dangling participles, damn them, damn them.

  • Are my ovaries falling out?

  • The Ex is suspiciously happy. That's good. I am happy that he's happy. So why does it make me worry that he's happy? God, I need more therapy.

  • Accounts! Must balance accounts!

  • I am incredibly fortunate. I am incredibly fortunate. I am incredibly fortunate.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Voila with the humiliation

So. Back in the days when I was married w/out children, we lived in a nice 3-story apartment complex, on the second floor. Below us lived a very nice older woman, Minerva, who was pretty hard of hearing; we didn't see too much of her but had let her know to tell us if she needed anything and had occasionally helped her move things in or out of her place and so forth.

And again, so. One day, this couple moves into the apartment above us. The guy is a big guy--tall and thick. We rarely see him. But we hear him. OH YES. We hear him. With his girlfriend. At 2:00 a.m. I have absolutely nothing against hot monkey sex, you understand, except when it's coming through the ceiling directly above my head at 2:00 in the god-forsaken morning. And this, people, was not just hot monkey sex, it was like hot monkey sex if one of the monkeys is actually a rhino and the other one is practicing for a career in the opera. This was back in the days when I worked two jobs and only got 5 hours of sleep a night. I really liked my sleep.

After one particularly...wakeful...night listening to the Monkey Sex Duet, the (not yet) Ex and I woke up (not so) bright and early, and I--knowing that the Rhino and Carmen the Operatic Monkey couldn't have gone to bed more than a few hours earlier--said to my husband, "I will have my revenge." So I grabbed a broom and began jumping up and down on the bed, slamming the broom into the ceiling and squealing in what I hoped was a completely ear-splitting manner.

Bam! Bam! Bam! OOOOOHHHH GAAAAWWWWWWDDDDD YEEEEEESS! Do it! Dooooo it nooooowwwww! (And so forth, and so on.)

After about 5 minutes of this, I hopped down off the bed, threw on some clothes, and skipped into the kitchen to make some coffee. Nothing makes me so happy in the morning as a little justified vengeance, you know? And I didn't worry about dear Minerva below us, because like I said, she was pretty deaf and I was sure she wouldn't have been disturbed by my gymnastics.

But as I opened the living room curtains, I saw several fire engines and an ambulance parked below. Oh no! I thought, something's happened to Minerva! I ran downstairs and up to the paramedics, explaining who I was and asking whether our downstairs neighbor was all right. The nice man assured me that she was fine, she'd basically had a panic attack and called 911, but she was fine. Relieved, I went back upstairs. It wasn't until I was explaining what had happened to my husband that I realized....I'd just simulated hot monkey sex right on top of a room full of paramedics. And then introduced myself to them.

Thursday, July 28, 2005


OMG. I was going to write something about embarassing moments but then a damned wasp stung me and now I can think only of how much my leg is friggin' KILLING ME! Argh, I hate wasps! Tomorrow, then. Aye-ai-ai....


I've decided we all have Tourrette's. That's all I'm saying. And yes, I know that the majority of people with Tourrette's don't yell out swear words. I know this because WE ALL HAVE IT HERE! You think I'm kidding, but I'm not.

Cats: Getting along splendidly. I'd forgotten what idiots kittens are.
Boy: The Boy is getting over strep, which always throws him (behavior-wise) into the pit of despair. Oy. So it's been...challenging. I miss him when he is like this...I wind up spending so much energy on staying calm and putting out his emotional fires, that at the end of the day I realize how little time I had to just be with him, the sweet him that's in there somewhere underneath all this strep- or medicine-induced shittiness. Sigh.
Girl: Quote of the day--"No matter." She actually told me, "No matter." She's 2 going on 70, seemingly.
Ex: Has some weird mystery pain and is getting tested for Hepatitis. Holy mother.


Friday, July 22, 2005

Careful what you wish for

Jungian archetypes: valid theory or total bull hooey? Discuss. (If you've been paying attention you already know where I stand on this one.)

Ten years ago my neighborhood and the ones surrounding me were just empty fields. And on what was then the edge of town and is now about a 1/2 mile from my house, was an old gas station, disused for years, with a little house next to it. A few years ago, it got a new resident: Psychic May. She was there for a year or so, then left for a while, then I noticed that her palmistry sign was back in all its pink neon glory. I drive by Psychic May nearly every day, and I almost always wonder: Who is she, this Psychic May? Why did she leave? And did she know she'd be back?

Go over to Urban Muse and read about this complete miscarriage of justice. WTF?

The Boy badly wants to live in a palace. I explained the necessity of being royalty. He is not happy. "I guess you'll just have to find some princess to hook up with," I shrugged. (Hey, it's over 100 degrees, my brain is curdling, don't expect a lot out of me.) "What!?" he cried, "I just walk up to some princess and ask her to marry me?!" Uh, yeah. Pretty much. Good luck with that.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Guilty as charged, Miss Trisha

"If, as you live your life, you find yourself mentally composing blog entries about it, post this exact same sentence in your weblog."

Friday, July 15, 2005

Touched by His Noodly Appendage!

Okay, I'm totally stealing this link from Mrs. Kennedy, who stole it from someone else, but hey. Haven't we decided that this is what the Internet is for? Larceny, pure and simple.

My main question is, if I start worshipping the Flying Spaghetti Monster, will I be forbidden to follow a low-carb diet? Cause, score one more for the FSM, I'm thinking.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Psycho Kitty, indeed

Hey, did you ever hear the one about the single mom with two kids and a 12-year old Marshmallow Cat and a house that sorely needed Spring Cleaning even though it was halfway through summer and a million things to do for work and moving and cleaning and children and sanity and so on and so forth, but what she started thinking, for some unknown insane reason, was "Hey! What we really need is a kitten!" And then she thought, "What, am I unknowingly insane? For the dear Lord's sake, woman, you are 37 years old and know better by now than to avoid thinking about everything you need to do and everything you are afraid to do and everything you have already done by finding another creature to come into your house!" And then she went and did it anyway?

Yeah. Well, now you have.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Women

An old friend with whom I've reconnected over the past year told me last week that she's finally come to realize that her family are not the people with whom she's joined by blood, but those with whom she's joined by love. Sometimes, for some of us, those lines cross. But it's a strange country, this thing we call family, and its borders are ever shifting. And who lives there? There are men in my family, certainly, many of them greatly beloved, some of whom I would die for, but tonight I am thinking of the women.

of my mother, who loves me despite our differences, who never asked me to hang back to keep her from her own demons, who might not understand but does her best to accept

of the Chica, my sister in every other way that matters, from whom I've learned so much and from whom I can't imagine being separated

of my daughter, who is so like me and yet so unlike, who hasn't yet learned to hold back her desire or fierceness

of my grandmother, who no longer walks with me on the earth but who still whispers to me in my heart

of my aged cousin, who opened the world up before me like a field of flowers and taught me to love each one, even those that have thorns

of the mothers of my mothers, whose faces flash past me out of brown photographs, crumbling letters, lists of names, dusty gravestones, the eyes of my children

of the myriad women who move past and around and through my life, who stay for a moment or years, who teach me and learn from me and laugh with me and mourn with me, whether I've never even seen their faces or could recall their features from memory, the friends, the soulmates, the writers, the poets, the artists, the students, the teachers, the mothers

of the Bitch, and the Wolf, and Lady of the Lake, and the Fire Walker, and Girl in the Woods, of all the threads in the weave

of the earth, of the moon

I am blessed to live within these borders. I am fortunate in my family.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Beat it good

Now, I wonder. Where is all this motivation when I need to be cleaning my floors or doing laundry? I could be doing laundry now, but am I? No, I'm answering emails and blurbing up more of this stupid stuff that keeps zooming around my brain. Why, egads, why???

Shrug. Oh well.

So my car. A few of you have been...erm...lucky enough? have seen my car. It isn't such a bad car, really, except for one thing. It's slowly turning into a beater. It's sort of like when the family dog starts to get a bit aged, but you still love him, and then he starts peeing on the carpet and getting the mange. And yeah, you still love him, but damn that dog!

So, first, there's the inner door handle that the Boy broke. Not too bad, all things said and done--no one really sees it and I don't want him opening his door anyway. But I think it started the downhill slide. The kids started putting their bank stickers on the windows. The front corner has a ding that knocked out the light. Which means I'm not comfortable taking it through a car wash.

I think the time has come to finally bite the bullet and take it into the shop. Maybe then it'll quit peeing on the rug.

Most peculiar, Mama

I just want you to know that I had brilliant, brilliant posts running through my head all damned day long. And then I actually found the time to sit down and write, and--POOF! Gone, daddy, gone. Oh well.

I haven't really said anything about London. It's upsetting, obviously, and tragic, and awful. And for me, having lived there during the Gulf War and the IRA bombing of Victoria Station, very ... I don't know. Strange, in a way I can't describe. I remember being late to get to Clapham Junction, and then getting there and it being just a mass of people and no train and then hearing what had happened, and trying to get all the way across London by bus. Planting the bomb on that bus, that, I think, was especially horrible. The friends I have there are safe, thankfully, but I'm just so saddened by violence, and by the diatribes against the villainous "them". I can't help but believe that all this "us" and "them" is what puts us all in the middle of this shit in the first place. It's easy to demonize a faceless enemy, a "them" that has no heart. And once people start losing those they love, it becomes harder and harder to break out of the cycle of revenge. All I can do is find kindnesses to put out into the world, I think, and breathe, do tonglen, pray, love as much as I can, try not to live in anger. Try to see people, and not shadows. In some small way, maybe that will help. I don't know.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Why, oh why, does 303 keep calling my cell phone? Who or WHAT the hell is 303? 303. It isn't even a real phone number. And if I answer, there's no one there. So why? WHY? It's TORMENTING me.

I bet it's Tom Cruise. Bastard.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Hosta? Who's hosta?

I'm obsessed with shrubs and trees and chair rails and all the projects I'll be working on in another 6 months. Of course that gives me plenty of distractions from the projects I should be working on now. Funny how that works, eh?

Monday, July 04, 2005

Head like a planet

Happy 4th, everyone. I have to admit that I like the idea of a holiday that celebrates our country's liberation from a lousy administration. Ahem.

Well, here are words I never thought I'd write, but here goes: The reunion was So. Much. Fun. Seriously. I went to the 10th and it was just like what Muse pictured...everyone trying to prove they were no longer the same as in high school or that they were exactly the same as in high school. But this one was just a bunch of people who had, for the most part, figured out a thing or two--enough to know that they hadn't figured out much of anything, really--and just thought it was kind of cool to see people who knew them when they were kids. I talked with people I used to hang out with in junior high, people I'd never said more than two words to in high school, the guy who once tried to beat me up in 3rd grade...and everyone was nice. Everyone was happy. Everyone was actually pretty wonderful, even the people I knew had nothing in common with me. It was as though everyone had given up those chips on their shoulders. And the folks who weren't ready to that--well, I guess they chose not to waste their time on the thing. It was the most relaxed, enjoyable social gathering I've been to in years. Totally surreal, because let me tell you--I hated high school. I mean, I was unbelievably shy and totally neurotic. And I'm certainly not at my best now...or maybe I am. Hmm.

And the Chica and I drove out together with the Chiclette, who was, as usual, a riot. We picked up a copy of the Weekly World News on the way back for entertainment and I'll tell ya. I admire a rag that doesn't even try to hide the fact that it is total BS. "Noah's Second Ark Found" by "Dr. Adam N. Deeve". Ohhhh, that wacky World News. I did some work for my Mom around the house, and we sat around and paged through old "Better Homes & Gardens" for ideas for the new house. It was a great weekend, and I hope things were just as lovely for all of you. And thank you all, btw, for the kind words, as always.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

The (Wo)man Behind the Curtain

Oh, hey! Hi! Hiii...yeah! Yes, I know I said I would be posting a nice long post any...uh...any day now. I did say that, didn't I? Sure. Sure I did. And I meant it. Yep, I sure did. Mmhmm.

Um...yeah. So. Hi!

Wow. I have so neglected you, Blog.

The thing is, the thing is that there have been so many things thinging along out this way. And if I've already told you about them, well, go grab a cup of chai or something because I'm going to be a lame ass and say them all over again. Like your old Gram who keeps forgetting that she already told you the story about how her sister ate the chicken crap that she found out on the front porch back when they were kids, because she thought it was peanut butter.

That example would be much less disturbing if I hadn't had an old Gram who ate chicken crap as a kid because she thought it was peanut butter. But I digress.

So. I put a contract down on the new house, and I went through that whole crazy Design Center thing where you have to pick out tile and carpet and knobs. (I told you I'd talk about knobs. But actually I didn't get knobs, because dear God, do you know what a ripoff knobs are? Holy cow.) So all that's moving forward and I have about 7 months to pack up my house and sell it to the Ex and find someone to buy my Mom's place and rent the Ex's place and okay I'm freaking myself out now. Next.

My neighbor, my great neighbor who makes the kickass Skippies, gave us a piano. A beautiful antique full-sized upright piano. Gave it. To us. For free. Just because she "knew we'd appreciate it." Have I mentioned how friggin fortunate I am to have such lovely people in my life? So now I'm taking piano lessons because people, I have wanted a piano for 35 YEARS. I can't stop looking at the thing. The kids can't keep their hands off it. The cat can't keep away from it. That piano's getting more action than I've seen in years.

The kids and I took the cat to the vet today to get his vaccinations, long overdue (I know, I know. He doesn't go outside, at least. The last time he got out he got in a fight with something and ended up dislocating his jaw and sprouting some sort of abscess and having to wear one of those stupid cone things and oh, did I mention? This happened 2 days before I went into labor with the Girl and cost like $400. Yeah. He doesn't go outside.)

I don't know why I'm telling you about the cat. See? This is what happens when you don't get any nookie and spend all your time fondling the neighbor's piano.

What else? Uh...oh! The Boy! The Boy, my dear lord, you have no idea. That kid is blossoming. He's already gotten his orange belt in Tae Kwon Do, he's learned to read, he's learned to ride his bike without training wheels, and he's this close to being able to swim. All this since Memorial Day. In general, his moods are stable, his meltdowns less frequent and less severe. Although he keeps cutting out my heart with utterances like this one at breakfast: "When I grow up, I'm going to be a builder. And a papa. And I'll always stay married and never get divorced, because I don't ever want my little boy to feel the way I feel." Ohhhhhhkay, and oh, could you pass the marmalade and the razor blades so I can put out my eyes now? Oh, my aching heart.

And did I mention? I'm heading out of town tomorrow for my 20th high school reunion. There's so much I could say about that but I will save it for your birthday.

So that about covers...hello?, uh, have a little drool there in the corner of your mouth. Mmmhmm. Oh, of course not. No, I didn't think you were asleep. Hey, did I ever tell you about the time my Gram...oh. Right. Peanut butter.