28 April 2006

And A Bonus Picture of Bear Being So Sweet

Help Yourself
So, I don't remember where it was, but it was another mama's blog, and she said something totally obvious about those selfy yummy neat-and-clean lifestyle magazines about how you can transform your life by making sure you treat yourself to a pedicure! and make time for yourself- block out an hour each day! Meditate! and all of that. Something about those magazines all having the same articles cut-rearrange-pasted with the same tips and unreasonable ideas. I'm not sure how I didn't see it before, but I'm realizing that I have purchased and read the same magazine and read the same nonsense fluff things a lot of times. Duh. Simplify your life by buying Five Great Pieces You Can Wear All Spring, starting at $350 for this handbag. How to clean your bathroom from top to bottom in just 6 hours. Excellent. Very practical advice for today's modern woman.

Job Search Update
Still No Job! Two of the possibilities on my list are now closed, which is probably a good thing in the long run-- both had some red-flag issues that I really would have had to bend around. Really hoping for the call on Monday from the Holistic Center-- I think that would be a really good fit. Fingers crossed.

Feelings-Hurting Update

An update on Bird's daycare situation: The director of the daycare center told the sleeping woman (who I learned is also her sister-in-law) that I had complained about the snoozing, and that made her cry. A lot. SHIT! I know what it feels like to cry at work, and now I feel terrible even though I shouldn't. Urgh.

And more
Heading into a weekend with no plans, no travel. No plans except attending C's baby shower. And I'm going to watch several episodes of six feet under. And snuggle with the Bird. (Oh, that Bird! She's going to crawl any day now. And the thigh-slapping/ screeching/ flapping thing has become its own show, where she does a freestyle rundown of all the sounds she knows while manaically flapping those big squishy arms. I might eat her.)

27 April 2006

Please Press or Say Mama Snee

It is like packing for a two-week vacation to get me and Bird out the door in the mornings these days. It is a good thing she's not big enough to start repeating words, because I dropped more than my share F-bombs this morning trying to get us up and off the homestead. And I will continue to do so throughout this post, so be fucking ready.

My Bag:
Moleskin notebook for planner spillover
List-sized notebook for other notebook spillover
Makeup bag
Hair goo-paste from two hairdos ago
Book: Your Money or your Life
Latest issue of People (shut up)
Latest issue of Brain, Child (there, that cancels out the People)
Chap Stick
Hand balm
Mini first-aid kit
Business Card holder filled with business cards from last job
Borders Frequent Purchase card
Various Trash (not including the People Magazine)

Bird’s Bag:
Diapers, one ton of diapers
Three pre-made bottles
Carrots/ spoon
Change of clothes
Diaper change pad
Wipes holder thing
My cell phone charger (probably, as that’s the only other place it could be because it’s not in my other two bags)
Menu from fancy sandwich place (no good reason)
Burp Cloths
Teething thing
Socks- hers
Socks- mine

My other bag:
Walking shoes
Socks (yes, more socks)
Large container of chili
Ziplock full of shredded cheese
Two cornbread muffins

Series of Events:
Trip one to the car: three bags.
Trip two to the car: Coffee with no lid. Fuck! Spilled.
Trip three to the car: Bird. Crying.
Trip one back into the house: Fuck! Cell phone.
Trip two back into the house: Fuck! Job Application.
Trip three back into the house: Fuck Fuck! Wedding ring left on the sink.
Circle the block and back to the house for trip four back in the house: Did I turn the coffeemaker off? Fuck Fuck FUCK!?

And I still forgot to put on my watch and bring a change of clothes for my lunch walk with Birdy, and I was 20 minutes late getting to the office. Fuck.

You know that job I was going to apply for that said “Punctuality a MUST” in the description? Yeah, I might want to go ahead and rule that one out.

Added Inconveniences
My car is like a bad intern, being “helpful” and “doing things for me”, like locking all of my doors when I put it in drive, but when I hop out of the car and run around to Bird’s side to drop her off at daycare, the damn doors are still locked and I have to go back around and unlock them from the inside. This feature is freaking awesome when it’s raining, too. “Hey Betsy, I locked your car doors for you, just in case you wanted them locked.” “Thanks, car, but it would be easier if you would just stay out of my way and I’ll still give you the semester credit.”

The Return of BO-BA
Birdy started saying BO and BA a couple of months ago, and then mysteriously stopped as suddenly as she’d started. We’d try to get her to say BO BA along with her standard THA THA THA DA, but she’d just laugh like the joke was on us. (Birdy: “BO BA. Ha! If only they knew what they were saying.”) But, in the last week, BO BA has returned, and I am so grateful. I love it, because the BO BA sound encourages more of that weird baby growling. And I really love it when she gives us the BO BA when she’s sleepy—it sounds like if you say BO BA slowly and with your bottom lip sticking out. BO BAAaaaa.

And the arm flapping! Geez! She’s a crazy screeching arm flapper. It’s like watching the All Blacks rugby team do the Haka, except with more screeching and more baby girl, less rugby players chanting and looking scary. And she’s so close to crawling, for which I am not exactly ready. For now, she just does a lot of nose-dives into the floor, banging her face on the one piece of carpet we have, coming up grinning and spitting with her fists full and face covered in dog and cat hair. Soon enough the pediatrician will refer us to a specialist to look at the layer of coarse brown and gray hair all over the her little biscuit body, which will embarrassingly be cured by a bath and a rubdown to remove the layer of pet hair that we don’t even notice anymore.

Please, Don’t Let My Baby Disturb You

So, the daycare staff person in the infant room was ASLEEP AGAIN when I went to drop off Birdy this morning, leaving the not-quite-competent and not-exactly-ambulatory Ms. J to do all of the work with the babies. WHAT?! I expressed my * ahem* concern re: this situation, and was told that her medications have been adjusted and that it will take a couple of days for her to get used to it. So if we could all just be patient.

Now, in the Work to Get Well vs Get Well To Work debate, I am always on the Work to Get Well side. It is none of my beeswax what she’s taking and for what reason, but I’m going to guess from previous work experience that we’re talking about psych drugs here, maybe seizure meds. But it doesn’t matter. The fact is, when she’s asleep, that leaves only one person in the infant room for 8 babies, am I wrong?

Also of note when I dropped Birdy off this morning: Little Manny in the bouncy seat wailing his little head off. I went over to him, coo-cooed at his level, and popped the pacifier back in. Problem solved, quiet Manny. Evil Ms J says “There’s nothing wrong with him. He just wants attention.”

Like this six-month-old child was making an unreasonable demand.

Are you with me here? What the fuck? Welcome to the infant room, Ms. J, THEY ALL NEED ATTENTION, which I realize you probably can’t give him because you can hardly walk across the room, let alone pick a baby up from the floor, and M. is out like a light and unable to help, which brings me to my previous complaint. I can’t sleep at my job, and I sure as shit am not paying anyone to sleep at theirs.

You May Not Have Fries With That Anymore
Apparently French Fries has moved out. He rented a room upstairs in this office to do some kind of marketing consulting, but he left a couple of weeks ago without saying much, which is weird, because he was known for saying things. He used to walk through our office to get to his and comment on SOMETHING, EVERY TIME HE WALKED BY. The kind of small talk for which there is no response, used in the kind of passing-by that requires the speaker be in the “passing by” state for an unusually long time, increasing awkwardness and irritation of other parties exponentially.

“Workin’ hard or Hardly workin’?
“Wow, Apples!”
“Why do you drive on a parkway and park on a driveway?”
“Hey, a Diet coke!”

And my favorite, when he’d pass by my desk headed for the stairwell: “Don’t get up.”
Don’t worry! Ha ha! I won’t get up! Ha ha ha this is so much funnier the hundredth time!

So he earned the name French Fries by having his behavior/ comment spot-on predicted by my office-mate (as in “here he comes. He’s going to say “French Fries!” and he said… okay you get it.)

So, French fries is gone, and he left literally 8 yogurt cups in the community fridge, half full, (howdaya like that optimism!) with the foil peeled back half way. Which I removed yesterday.

That's so gross, French Fries.

26 April 2006

Beware of your neighbors and all other humans

Yes, the listserv again. I really need to stop checking it, but how else will I know about the yard sales and lost cats to look out for? How else would I have learned about the Mother’s Day Peace Parade?

So, there is more on the “BREAK-ins” and the resulting “LOCK DOWN.” Apparently the deal was that this scruffy white guy would knock on your door, offer to wash your windows for $20, do the work, ask to use your bathroom, and then unlatch the bathroom window while he’s in there, only to return later and take things. And apparently he was ballsy (“DOGS DO NOT DETER THIS CRIMINAL”), operating in the daytime. And he also has apparently been caught. But the posts continue, letting the drama live on.

Actual quote: “I just think that we need to raise the level of aggression with these people. Attack dogs, pepper spray, tazers, and other weapons should be readily available and subject to liberal use.” WTF, man!? When did this turn into the “Start your own freaky militia” bulletin board? Attack dogs? Seriously?

The reason I’m writing about it here is so I don’t write about it there. The listserv may get bad, but picking fights will always make it worse. And apparently this guy is armed with pepper spray and maybe an “Attack Dog.”

I heard one of my favorite episodes from This American Life replayed a couple of weeks ago. I tried to get a link to it, but the TAL site doesn’t work that way—it’s an episode about Neighbors from 5/11/2001 that you can find here. Give it a listen, and I promise it will be an hour well spent.

In it, Davy Rothbart of Found Magazine talks with Fred Rogers (yes, as in Mister Rogers himself) about neighbors and the trouble he has with his. As you would expect, Mr. Rogers is so serene and so wise, and at one point, says something like “I would hope you could be brave enough to find another human being in your neighbor.” Those aren’t the exact words, but it’s profound to me without being dumb and preachy. And I’ve thought about it a lot since I heard it 5 years ago and more since I heard it recently.

My home, built in 1930 with all the charm you’d expect from a classic and all the weird quirks you wouldn’t expect as a homebuyer, faces a row of rental duplexes. And they are ugly. There is no off-street parking, and the front doors actually sit below street level, since there is a sharp drop-off from the street. Does that make sense? They’re in a ditch, basically. And I’ve always wanted them to go the hell away and make my street look better and feel safer. Call it what you will—revitalized, gentrified, urban, historic—we live in a neighborhood that, at one time, was pretty crappy. And it is much, much better now, but naturally, there are still patches of crappy.

We’ve had several shitty neighbors over there: Vernon The Creep (“I did eight years in prison for murder and I’ll do another eight standing on my head”), the Pod Children, The Young Totally Shady Gangsters, The Man-Child. I’ve heard for-real gunshots, and the police helicopters have lingered closer to my house than I’m comfortable with. So when I got a notice about a Zoning hearing to dramatically change the look and feel of my block, I was excited. It doesn’t address the duplexes specifically, but the 7-or-so acres of drainage ditch and weeds behind them will now be mixed-use residential and retail/ restaurant space. And that will undoubtedly lead to change, if not razing, of the duplexes. I met with the developer yesterday to get a better sense of what was up—“I want it to be like Portland”, he says. I freaking love Portland.

So when I drive into our little street yesterday after work, I see the couple with 3 big trucks that has been there since before we moved in 4 years ago planting two evergreen trees (bushes? Trees.) in front of their unit. They rent! But they still feel like it’s their own and they want to make it better. I saw the Rasta guy cross the street to talk to N. and L. next door to me about their beautiful irises. I saw Mrs. M. and the Rasta Lady looking at the abandoned car shoved up in the grass in front of N. and L’s house. I had just called codes yesterday morning for the 8th time to have it removed, so I went to talk to them about it.

And it was lovely. Mrs. M. cooed and giggled at Birdy, Rasta Lady and I talked about kids (she has many, the youngest is 1), and Wife of the Skinny Cadillac Guy came over and said he’s had that car since he was 16, and she laughed wished he would quit working on his old car and just get rid of it. They were all so kind, and I felt both proud of myself for being “Brave enough” (Thanks Mr. Rogers) and ashamed for not being friendlier sooner, and double ashamed of what I’d said about the shitty duplexes when I met with the developer.

Yeah, there’s still a bunch of totally shady guys hanging around every so often, and I DID hear gunshots that one time, and Vernon The Creep was mighty creepy, but at the same time, these are people’s homes and these people are a part of my community. And they would probably kick the alleged/ possible window-washer’s thieving ass if he tried anything in broad daylight.

I’ll still bitch about the activity over there, and the number of times I have to call Codes to get abandoned cars towed, but I needed the reality check. You can't really be a part of your community if you're always defending your family against it. And I sure as shit am not buying a fucking taser.

Sleep Tight

So when I went to get Birdy this afternoon for a walk it was "nap time", which, apparently included naps for two of the staff, one of which was the director and the other a staff person in Bird's room. Afuckingsleep.

$160 a week well spent!

And the gravel pile remains! Making the parking shitty! And the director's father continues to park right in front of the building and take a feet-on-the-steering-wheel-open-mouthed nap between 5:00 and 6:00! Making the parking even shittier!


25 April 2006

Okay, time to get off the listerv again.

I have a strange relationship with our neighborhood's listserv. I live in an urban area that is going through a "revitalization." There are a lot of community-minded people in my 'hood, and I'm proud of that. I like that people share ideas and weed whackers and lost-pet notices, and sell cars and furniture or trade a jog stroller for a vanity mirror. I don't even mind the "be on the lookout" (BOLO in listserv world) for certain things-- this thing that's happened to more than one person, prostitution by the Kroger, etc. What I do NOT like is what I just saw on the listserv, with the sensational title, "BREAK-ins: WE ARE ON LOCK DOWN!!" The post was peppered with all-caps words, scary phrases like "It is NOT SAFE to..." and descriptions of how our neighborhood "hoodlums" are getting more aggressive, as well as almost certainly inaccurate accounts of other, unrelated crime, like "Did you hear about the guy at Citgo that got car-jacked, even his wedding ring, and PISTOL-WHIPPED?!?!?."

I love the listserv-- I sold my box springs on it, and it led me to the pre-pre-pre-discussion of starting a montessori school in the 'hood last night which was informative and exciting and I left feeling hopeful. But I hate this shit. It makes me feel paranoid and trapped in the middle of a terrible place. It's over-the-top. "LOCK-DOWN?" Please. Why not just say 'MASSACRE COLUMBINE MURDER INVADER KILLER" while you're at it. It's great to be vigilant, but it's obnoxious to create additional drama and fear. Which we obviously don't need, since we're all walking around our neighborhood, fending off the wedding-ring-stealing-pistol-whippers.

24 April 2006

Cheese and Parenting

The serving size for Kraft Cheese Cracker Cuts is 3 slices, so am having about 9 servings for lunch. Blargh.

When it comes to parenting, sometimes I feel like a two-year-old, standing five hours away from my parents, A’s parents, and all other free babysitters and unconditional support-givers, stomping my feet and screaming about how I want to do it myself. And then I go about doing it ALL BY MYSELF, but it’s more labor-intensive and difficult than it needs to be, and I stumble a lot, get pee on myself and get hurt a little, and get myself into some mighty uncomfortable situations, and am eventually rescued.

That said, I am still proud of my decision to stick it out down here, 300-ish miles away, doing it however I feel like doing it. I am confident I would not be the person/ parent/ wife/ sister/ daughter/ friend that I am—whether that’s good or bad—that I am had we not moved south and dug our heels in. It is difficult to stick by that decision when Birdy’s loving grandparents are visiting, but we still do it. Mostly, I think, because we don’t want to pack up all of our shit.

23 April 2006

Weekend Part 2 Footnote: A place to lay our heads

* Ahhhh, the Executive Inn. My parents had their wedding reception in the Atrium there, which is the smack-center of the hotel, with rooms overlooking it for 4 floors. The marquee out front said “CONGRAGULATIONS MARY AND DOUG” and on the next line, “TRY OUR NEW POOL”, like they were inviting my newlywed folks in for a cool dip on a June day, and I’m pretty sure the pool has not been renovated—maybe not even cleaned—since that weekend in 1972. Dad says people used to travel TO the Exec for the restaurant and “big name entertainment,” but sadly, those days are no more. A couple of Christmases ago, my brother, his fiancĂ©e, and A. and I stayed there for a night, as it is ridiculously close to the retirement village where all of my grandparents now live. It was deserted, we had drinks in the bar, and there was some incident at check-in where we couldn’t open the door to our room because the deadbolt was flipped from the inside, and we could hear the TV on, like someone was in there. A maintenance guy came up to check on it and wondered aloud if someone had died in there. (they hadn’t.) I don’t remember it being great, but I don’t remember it being horrible. But, as I mentioned, I’d had a drink or two that year. The reality is that it has gone from Premier Destination to Super Shithole without me taking much notice, apparently, boasting two bars and catering to truck drivers and floozies. I, of course, made a reservation there for Saturday night.

So A. pulls up to the door with a sleeping bird in the car at about 8:00, and drops me off to check in. On my way to the front desk, I pass a very young woman in a formal-ish dress, smoking a skinny cigarette, with a house arrest bracelet strapped to her ankle. (I do have to give her mad props, though, because she had it kinda covered with heels that laced up her calf.) I walked in and talked to the skeleton-lady clerk, reminded her of my crib request, and told her my parents were on their way to meet us with a pizza, and could she please direct them to our room. During this whole conversation I’m thinking the music is very loud, and I turn to face into the Atrium and lo and behold, IT IS THE FUCKING LINCOLN HIGH FUCKING PROM. At first, I am jazzed about this. I love to gawk at people, especially people in formal wear, and especially young people in tacky formal wear on what they are sure will be the biggest and most important night in their young lives. I had a fleeting vision of Andy and I leaning over the balcony watching the prom below, drinking beer and laughing at the promminess, slipping into the king-sized bed, warmly drunk and giggly. I skipped to the car, and announced to A. that it was Promalicious in there. “I know.” He said. “I’d noticed.” And just as he said that a big ole truck rips into the Executive Inn Parking lot pulling a flat-bed trailer with hay bales and about 20 kids on it, one of the boys standing up and pretending to unzip his tux pants. All fabulous until I remembered we had a sleeping six-month-old to care for.

We get on the elevator (which has a sign on it that says “no more than 6 people on the elevator at one time”—yikes), and head up to our non-smoking room, which smells like 20 years of smoke and other bar and/or whorehouse activity. There is a knock at the door and it’s the maintenance dude, BJ, wearing a nametag that says “BJ the Beautiful” and he has an un-sheeted, rickety crib on wheels. I would have preferred a laundry basket with a pillow in the bottom, and BJ looks and smells like he’s been sleeping under an overpass for the last 6 months, and he’s wearing a filthy Donald Duck shirt that says “I’m the boss.” That Usher song is still bumping through the door, and this is looking more like an opportunity to contract some disease and experience sleep deprivation than a comfortable place to rest for the night, so we head back down to the front desk and promptly cancel our reservation. You would think, if someone called the day before the prom to reserve a room with a crib, that you might mention the prom. Unless you are the big sweaty dude and the skeleton lady, and in that case you don’t say a damn word.

We rendezvous with my parents at the Comfort Inn, where they do not have any non-smoking rooms available, but they do have “smoking optional” rooms, meaning, I guess, that they do not force you to smoke in room 132 overlooking the Arby’s drive-thru. My Dad is present for this check-in, and he makes a big deal about whether or not the room smells like smoke, and the Chinese man behind the desk is having a tough time communicating with him and with me, because Dad is making a fuss over whether the room smells like smoke and I’m talking over him to say that it doesn’t matter, we’ll take it. I just want a piece of damn pizza. So Chinese guy passes us to Chinese Lady, whose English is worse than his (my grandparents do not live in a big city. These are undisputably the only Chinese people around), and she finishes checking us in, charging us ten extra bucks for the crib despite the objections of the youngish girl behind the counter with them who actually speaks English.

When we arrive at our room overlooking the scenic Arby’s Drive-Thru, we pass the original Chinese man in the hallway carrying a large can of air freshener, which had to have been empty by that point, because our room was cloudy and damp with smells. Citrus smells that did not originate in citrus fruits. The same citrus spray-smell that we used to use in the bathroom at the mental health drop-in center, where good hygiene was a rare surprise and bonus, but never a requirement.

So we spent the night in our little cavern of smells at the Comfort Inn, eating a cold-ish pizza, watching Birdy slowly roll around and play herself to sleep in the ACTUAL, CLEAN CRIB WITH A SHEET PROVIDED BY THE HOTEL (Thank you, Comfort Inn), praying that she was actually putting herself to sleep and not experiencing some strange and slow failure of her nervous system due to inhaling the mushroom cloud of citrus we were trying to push out the open window and into the Arby’s parking lot. Good night, little family Snee.

Weekend Part 2: Roots

My grandparents were surprised to see us. Very. Surprised. Which was a sweet thing, and the overwhelming emotion of it is almost too much for me, because it means SO MUCH to them for us to bring that little biscuit-birdy anywhere near them. It’s so sweet and exhausting, just the general being-around. Holding the Bird is the only thing that makes my Gran sit still and stop offering people cookies and cokes and casseroles (is it any wonder my Gramps is diabetic?), although she’ll direct the forcing of starches and sugar from her chair. They are getting so old, and their town is so sad, with almost no industry to speak of and so many scary-slash-dangerous-looking rednecks. I remember King’s restaurant, now empty, the Pizza hut, now empty, the KohlHaus Video, now empty, the Executive Inn*, were I used to have cloth-napkin brunch in the Atrium with my grandmothers, Gregg Park… the list could go on. Most of it is either deserted or should be. Steel Mills have closed, Textile plants have closed, everything has closed. Not a pretty sight, as I am picturing meth labs popping up everywhere on the farm my grandparents used to own. Am I being dramatic? Yes, but these are my sweet little grandparents we’re talking about.

In any case, visiting with them is always painfully wonderful, exhausting, and I leave swearing to do it more often and being so glad it’s over. My grandmother told the story for the zillionth time about when my parents went to Hawaii and left my chicken-pocked brother with she and my granddad,, and she had soothed and loved him all morning, and set him in a chair to start lunch for my Grandad, and he said “Grandma, I don’t like the way you’re treating me.” (My family is chock full of stories about my brother and I being weird feeling-talkers, oddly diplomatic and fair kids. You’d think we were home-schooled or something. We weren’t.) We started talking about Birdy and her features, and who she looks like or doesn’t look like. Grandma showed us a picture of herself in a baby carriage. She had a very round head, like our bird. She said, “My mother told me I had auburn hair as a baby. “ And I thought how strange it would be to have no one on this earth who remembers what you looked like as a child. I mean, sure, there are probably some cousins somewhere who remember playing with her, but she’s the oldest of 9, and there aren’t many pictures of her as a little girl. I’m not saying this to be the gloom-and-doom, “everybody, like, dies, you guys” emo girl. It just hit me that there is no one in this world who remembers my grandmother as a child, her little-kid personality, the way she looked, moved, smelled. It seems heavier to me now, since so many of my conversations with family revolve around comparing memories of other family members as babies to our Bird. This thought, and accidentally walking in on my grandfather having his diaper changed (Whoa! Hey Granddad!) left me with that totally unsettling group of thoughts about age and getting old enough to outlive, and none of them are very uplifting thoughts. They make me want to scoop all of my grandparents up in my arms and put them somewhere that they will all be safe and well and loved forever, but in reality, I guess that’s where their next stop will be.

Weekend Part 1: Rock

A dear old college friend of ours plays in a Rock Band That Is Kind Of A Big Deal. They get mentioned by famous people, they go on tour, they have a song on a beer commercial. Rolling Stone knows who they are. You probably know who they are. I’m not saying this to make a big deal, but just to identify what separates them from our other musician-friends. I also live in a town where there is a Prestigious Private University, and Friday night, under the threat of rain, the Rock Band That Is Kind Of A Big Deal played a big outdoor thing at the Prestigious Private University. And we were given free tickets by the dear old college friend, and really really wanted to go.

So the plan was hatched that my fabulous parents would drive 300-ish miles to be with our Bird on Friday night while we went to see the RBTIKOABD at the PPU, and then we’d all pack it up and drive 4 hours north to surprise my grandparents (there are 4 of them, no kidding, and I’m almost thirty and nobody had babies when they were, like 15, making my grandparents remarkably old and remarkably alive), and then we’d all part company Sunday morning.

The RBTIKOABD show was so much fun, mostly because we had “backstage” passes, which meant standing to the side of the big outdoor stage on the quad and NOT being blown away by sound but still getting to face the crowd, and that was most of the fun. I had three wristbands for this show: Paid, Over 21, and Backstage. I am so fucking important.

Let me tell you something about PPU kids: They do this crazy thing when they are a little buzzed and there is loud music playing, where they stick their butts out and kind of crouch down a little bit and rub their own butts on to the waists and/ or general genital area of members of the opposite sex. I’m guessing it’s some modified, white-bread, watered-down version of some serious drrrty club dancing that I’d know little about, but it’s like an episode of Wild Kingdom—some sort of exposed mating ritual. Like when your dog gets that weird red boner and you’re embarrassed for him but it’s just nature and that’s the way it is. So that’s what it’s like to watch the O.C generation do this butt-thing. It’s like seeing a dog with a boner.

These PPU kids are different than State University kids like me, for a million reasons, (I would never have worn hundred-dollar heels to an outdoor concert, for example) but I still recognized so many kids in that crowd of popped-collars and espadrilles. Like the kid in the front row who knows every drum part and LETS YOU KNOW IT WITH HIS FLAILING ARMS, the kid who doesn’t really know the band but wants to act like he does, the kid that kind of knows the band and tries to sing along but doesn’t know the words, the girlfriend who is just along for the ride and pretending to enjoy herself. There was one girl I loved in that crowd, and she was the Girl Who Was Committed to the Tomahawk Chop. I never noticed it in my mad show-going days (probably because I was always in dive bars listening my friends), but apparently the thing to do, the way to show extra support when you REALLY like a song the band is playing, is to do this sort of modified Tomahawk Chop thing. It’s like two parts tomahawk chop and one part standard hip-hop move, the thing with your arm up in the air, wrist kind of bent, pumping it up and down with the music. But the girls’ version is more tomahawk chop than hip-hop move, and involves the arm straight out in front of you, like you’re reaching for a beer in the fridge, and then bending it at the elbow, fist up, to the beat of the song. Most of the girls, I noticed, did this some of the time. This girl did it all the time. By this I mean she did it the entire show. Arm forward, arm back. And not on the beat, either, but totally blissed out and young, not thinking about her baby at home with her parents or how she was going to get home or whether or not one cigarette was failure, or whether four cigarettes was failure, and with the cutest blonde hairdo and whitest white teeth. Right up there in the front row the whole time. She was truly flying the flag for Rock and Roll, and for RBTIKOABD, and I loved her.

In other news from the show, my friend R. stole some kid’s cooler, then lost his flask (Karma?), and another friend’s laugh set off A’s keyfinder (just whistle and this device on your keychain will beep and you will find your keys!) that we have never been able to activate with actual whsitling. I drank a coupla Miller lights, and oh yeah, smoked a couple of cigs. (Shame) It was like when you smell something that sort of reminds you of a time in your life, but you only get the full memory for a fleeting couple of seconds, and you spend the next 5 minutes trying to figure out exactly what that smell reminds you of. Well, Friday night smelled like college to me. Or maybe that was just the Pot Smoke For Which We Could Not Find The Source.

20 April 2006


Well, here I am with a real-life blog. I've been keeping a myspace blog for some time now, but this seemed like the thing to do at the moment. Less MySpacey. Blogs kind of freak me out because I feel the need to censor myself (by this I mean Not Shit-Talk), but I can't keep a journal knowing I'm the only one that will read it. I'm not that good to myself that I can just complete an activity because I enjoy it. I'm a Leo, and I suppose that means I have a need for some kind of attention in exchange for my efforts. Or not. The point is that if I know someone is reading-- or just think someone is reading, I'll write better and make more sense, explain more, and use fewer abbreviations. And that means that when I go back and read these things or when Clara reads them way way in the future they will make more sense and function as the historic (historic? historical?) accounts I'd like them to be. What sign is it that dissects everything a hundred ways and finally comes up gasping for air? Because I think that's my real sign.

So I am at work, doing this non-work, when I could be looking for another job. Should be looking for another job. But instead I clumsily try to blog around. I've been reading a couple of other blogs and they are so great-- this seems like boring crap comparatively.

There was drama in the workplace yesterday. I don't want to go into it (so why do I have a blog, anyway?) but I cried in the office, twice, and felt like A COMPLETE IDIOT about the whole thing. Not just like tears while I was speaking. I'm talking about the kind of crying you do when you try to tell your mom that you're best friend in the second grade is moving away. The kind of gaspy crying that makes your voice sound like a child's and your mouth do weird and tense things. Not a Hollywood cry. My feelings got hurt.

I won't explain it all, but I will tell you that today, the partners are meeting with a VIP in the conference room all day. Every time they emerge from the conference room (which my back faces, so it is immediately apparent what is up on my screen), I silently curse them and under my breath I tell them to go back into their little room. This is a four-person company. When the VIP showed up, I was not introduced. Not until I interrupted the Very Important Man Work to take a lunch order. Taa Daa! Women in the workplace. Cute, isn't it? The unfortunate reality of the situation that I can see crystal-clearly is that this VIP is not so "VI"... I mean, he is, in the way of what he could do for the company, but he's in a spot where he needs us just as much as we need him. Despite this, the folks in the Very Important Meeting don't see it, and they dance around and act like idiots trying to impress. It's painful to watch, so I prefer the doors stay closed. That way I can fuck around and tack an extra sandwich on the lunch order for myself.

Bird is so funny right now. Six months is a perfect age, and I would be okay with her staying this little forever. She's nearly edible, she's so cute and squishy. And the way she holds her arms over her head, screeches, and then jerks them down and stares at her hands like "hey, these things ARE ATTACHED TO MY ARMS!!"... she's just the bees' knees as far as I'm concerned.

OH DAMN- I just remembered that I have book club tonight and as usual I have forgotten to cook/ pick up anything to bring. And double-damn, Bird's carrier is in the laundry so I have to hip-juggle her around the Harris Teeter For Which There Is No Parking while I look for some hummus or other thoughtless, last-minute food. I do like the Book Club, though. We've been together about a year and have completely stopped reading books. Now it's just comfortable. My mom has a group of friends called "The Breakfast Club" (and they don't get that it's funny because of the movie, just like my mom's "chat room" that is actually our old dining room with overstuffed chairs and end tables instead of a regular eating table) and they've been getting together for 27 years or something. Now they're a bunch of cute, sassy grandmas and near-grandmas.

My boss refers to going to the bathroom as "taking a 'bio break'". Not even sure what that's supposed to mean, but nobody likes it, and someone should tell him. Not It.