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.