31 October 2006

Gimme Some Candy

Hey, everybody!
Mama Snee is here to poop your party.

Halloween is my second-least favorite holiday, second to Columbus-Brought-Syphillis Day. It's not that I'm opposed to the cutesly Hallmark crap, or the pumpkin-obsessed suburban candy-apple ladies. I'm not even opposed to the actual ancient holiday or the Pagans doing their Pagan thing. Go on and do it, I won't stand in your way.

What I don't like is the interchanging of fear and thrill. Fear as entertainment. Things jumping out to make you scream. Making you feel afraid, just for fun. Fear is at the root of all destructive behavior and thought, and I don't get why we would want to invite fear-- especially for our kiddos-- in the name of good times.

I don't like that scenes of brutal violence have become a symbol for this holiday-- mock-gruesome injuries, predators with masks and sharp weapons looming over children to make them afraid. Even in non-Halloween time, I've self-imposed a ban in our house on all Law and Order-type shows that sell murder as entertainment, because that shit is toxic to your tiny little soul and the tiny little souls of others. And tonight it's walking around my neighborhood.

As someone who has fought a non-medicated battle with anxiety for several years (maybe even longer, when I think about myself as a kid), I can list for you so many scenes from movies and television and being pressured into haunted-house tours that have stuck with me for YEARS. I can list for you several situations I've been in through my years of mental health casework where looking back, I know my shit was definitely on the line. Where it could have gone another way. Where I may not have left the crack house, may have gotten more than a punch in the eye. I don't see the benefit of replicating that kind of feeling of absolute vulnerability and to-the-core fear in the name of a holiday. I don't understand how feeling unsafe is fun. I don't think running around town with fake blood dripping out of your eyes is funny or cute. I think it's kind of fucked up.

And on another note, I also don't like that 5 boys, about 11 years old, just banged on my door in a "bitch-better-have-my-money" kind of way, and held out grocery bags without saying a word, without wearing any kind of costume. That's just begging. Or demanding. Whichever.

Halloween has missed its mark, become diluted into an Excuse-to-wear-lingere-outside-the-home, Treat-demanding, Fear-scarring day that I will be happy to see pass.

Your Curmudgeon,
Mama "Those-Damn-Kids" Snee

Snapshot of a Marriage

A. and I are sitting on the couch, next to each other, watching television. A rare moment indeed.

Me: What's that on your arm?

A: What?

Me: On your arm... are you wearing a sweatband on your wrist?
(sure enough, he is wearing a black Jaegermeister terrycloth elastic wristband on his left wrist.)

A: Oh, yeah. It's a Jaegermeister wristband.

Me: Been working hard? Need to wipe the sweat from your brow so it doesn't get in your eyes while you work your ass off watching television?

A: Yeah. I'm breaking a sweat.

Me: continue to give him shit about the wristband, ha ha, poke poke.

A: I found it in my jacket pocket (why? what? how?) today. It's nice because it keeps my forearm from rubbing up against my keyboard.

Me: Wait. You wore that to work?

A: Yeah.

Me: You wore a black Jaegermeister terrycloth elastic wristband around your office?

A: Yeah.

Me: (laughing uncontrollably) You're thirty!

A: *Blink* *Blink*

Me: And you wore a Jaegermeister terrycloth elastic wristband to work?

A: *Blink* *Blink*

Aaaaand... Scene.
I love him.

Bird Report
Yesterday I got a call from daycare that Birdy was quite upset and had been crying for several hours, taking no naps, refusing to eat. I left work early and picked her up, and sure enough, she was snuggled up to Boy Intern, whine-crying and clinging while he tried to do stuff with the other kids. And in her mouth? Two very threatening bicuspids peeping through the skin of her gums, and two more escalating threats lined up behind them. Poor Bird has a mouthful of sadness awaiting her.

I gave her some Tylenol and we snuggled up on the couch where she pretty quickly fell asleep and headed into a long and fitful three-hour nap. I hate that she felt so rotten, but I have to say I do love it when she's snuggly, when she's so relieved to get up close right under my chin and we hunker down and she sweats herself to sleep.

This morning we tried on the bunny costume again. Pictures to follow, but what a grouchy, grouchy bird.

And, in case you were wondering, I have no candy for trick or treaters and am not looking forward to the mayhem of the wild bumpus hounds every time an unsuspecting little dracula or hobo knocks on the door. Usually moms just stand on our porch in horror and usher their little ones down the steps as I look sheepishly out the storm door and kind of shrug.

30 October 2006

Note to Patients on my Caseload

Dear Patients,

Please stop with the dying. If you die, you will not be eligible for the many programs and services this agency has to offer.


Mama Snee

27 October 2006

Proof That I Should Give Up on Ever Eating Outside of My Home, Ever

Scene: Wendy's Drive Thru, spitting distance from the interstate, on the way back from a patient visit very far from my office. Mama Snee orders a veggie sandwich (regular sandwich-type stuff without meat) with "everything," which apparently meant "without ketchup, mustard, or mayo":

I pulled up to the window and the Wendy's kid says to me, "Are you vegan or just vegetarian?"
Excuse me? JUST Vegetarian? Is there a heirarchy? (Don't answer, I know there is, I ate at the veg/vegan cafeteria in college, where everyone tried to out-vegan each other)

I say, "vegetarian."

And he says. "Guh, I'm a vegan? and the fries are fried in the same oil? as the nuggets? right? You know that, right?"

I said something stupid like "well, I try not to know things like that." But what I MEANT to say was, "That would have been far more helpful if you'd told me as I was ordering, not after I paid, and by the way, bucko, I'm doing my best to eat without getting out of my car in Shitsplat, Tennessee and there are not a whole lot of options, and also by the way, for a vegan you sure do look like YOU'RE WORKING AT FUCKING ALL-BEEF WENDY'S, motherfucker."

26 October 2006

Thursday Post

Three Complaints
With all the hubub these days about privacy and information and medical stuff, people sure as shit want to tell you their entire medical history, outloud, and in a group setting. And my pathology class is full of these people. We almost can't get through the chapters, because everyone wants to pipe up about how they've battled anorexia, their aunt has MS, they might have heard of plantar fascitis because they think their neighbor might have it. And, like, what a coincidence! We're talking about Herpes Zoster, and she has Herpes Zoster! I want to hear about that from the beginning, please, and don't spare any details! Maybe it's just my cold, black, social worker heart, but blech. Over it.

Also, I'd like to go on the record as saying that I really wish my neighbors and their friends would stop pulling up at the apartments across the street with their bass rumbling so loudly that my windows shake. It makes me uncomfortable and it makes me feel threatened, because I consider it to be a fairly aggressive act to create a noise so powerfully loud, like standing in the street with your middle finger extended to everyone within a certain radius. To be the kind of person that doesn't give a fuck about how you might affect the world around you and to flaunt that fact. To roll up my street, essentially shouting, "Make way for ME, I am going to overpower whatever it was you were doing. I'm going to make you NOTICE ME and what a TOUGH, INCONSIDERATE ASSHOLE I AM." It's intrusive and unsolicited and it is a form of bullying with noise. I fucking hate it.

I'd also like to say that when our local NPR station switches to classical format between 9am and 3pm, I switch over to the AM NPR and listen to stuff like Day to Day's Science Fridays, because I am 100% D-O-R-K. I listen to this stuff in the car when I go out on patient visits, in particular, because I cannot, CAN NOT remember the freaking ipod when I leave the house in the mornings. Anywho, even when you're listening to an interview with a guy who made a movie about people who jump off of the Golden Gate Bridge, the AM-ness of it still sounds like conservative christian call-in radio.

It's okay if you do
Would you think I was weird if I told you that I sometimes go to Wild Oats just to smell the Wild Oats smell? Or any natural food store, for that matter? What is that smell? I went in for this, which I love and which they no longer carry, and I left with an eensy bottle of peppermint Dr. Bronner's and a nosefull of natural-food-store-smell. Mmmm. It makes me think I'm healthy. It also makes me want to spend money.

For the attachment parenters
I don't know how you family-bed people do it. Bird was up at 4am this morning, crying, so I put her in the big bed between us. And after A. getting kicked in the nuts and me getting head-butted in the neck, we just decided to get up. Seriously, how does that work?

25 October 2006

I guess I should just get a Flickr account already

This is how I clean up the house:

I put away some dishes, I move some mail around, I put shoes in the giant shoe basket. I open the door to the office. I close it again. I walk into the bathroom and decide that I need to find that gigantic curtain rod that I think is in the garage. Spend 45 minutes looking for the g'dang curtain rod. Give up and study for exam, eat leftovers. Stay up too late and post something dumb on my blog.

SO, I asked all of our family members to write a letter to Bird for her birthday. And everyone (more or less) obliged. I'm thinking others (ahem) are sending theirs in soon. And I waited until tonight to start mine, almost a week late. On a night I should be studying harder for an exam about neuromuscular disorders tomorrow morning. Or doing work for the job I get paid to do, which also deals with neuromuscular disorders. (Why won't these fucking neuromuscular disorders leave me the hell alone?)

...And I'm off track again. I'm trying to write my letter to Bird that I'm hoping we will all be writing every year to let her know who she is and who we are at each point in time. And then we will give them to her for some momentous occasion, like when she has her own children, which blows my mind like a house of mirrors right about now. I am on page three. How does one say the things I'm trying to say about what happens when you grow a human being inside your body and then spend the next year trying to catch up with her on the outside? How do you say all of the powerful and crushingly lovely things you absolutely mean? How do you describe the reorganization of every single tiny cell in your body around the occupation of loving and caring for this one little person that entered your life as an idea, a prediction, a save-the-date card in the form of a little line on a piece of plastic covered in urine as you stood in the bathroom pointing a pee stick at your husband and crying because you were hopeful and terrified?

Gah. Feelings. Maybe I'll post the letter here when it's finished, or maybe it will just be between me and Bird. Either way, my vocabulary has begun to unravel and I'm taking a break. But not going to bed! Because I have had coffee past 7pm! And I do not want to resume the cleaning-up of the wrecked house after the crazy entertaining of in-laws and friends and neighbors and toddlers this weekend! A

For those of you of the giving-a-shit persuasion, here are some photos of the weekend which I may or may not describe in more detail at a later time:
Hat from Camille (and over it with the paparazzi)

Owl Shirty (which is a boy shirt, I know, but I LOVE it)

At the Walk to Raise Funds for the Organization where Mama Works

Mildly creepy birthday baby from Daycare staff

Totally un-creepy sweet birdy bird

Digging the Balloons at the Walk

Not so much digging the birthday balloon on her actual birthday, past bedtime, totally pissed.

The end, good night, I'm pretty sure I'm not going to do so well on this exam.

24 October 2006

Me Again

Oh, hi!

There is this crazy idiot part of my brain that can't seem to let freaking go of the need for linear narrative that follows the timeline of events in my life. Because that is a journal, no? A written documentation of everything you do, including shitting, in a day? So the idiot part of my brain won't let me do a blog entry until I have ample time to sit down and really spell it all out and talk about Birdy's Birthday and her big party and all of the things that I loved and all of the things that made my hair stand on end. Can't possibly communicate until that is out of the way.

Alas, there is no ample time. My poor little gray matter is so fucking fried that this morning as I was fishing for my keys in the gigantoid over-the-shoulder-back-breaker of a bag I've been carrying, A. asked from the kitchen, "What is the salad dressing doing in the tupperware drawer?" Uh. I was making a salad? In a tupperware? For lunch at work? And then I short-circuited?

And later, as I was leaving class, I slung cold coffee all over the floor and the person standing next to me as I gestured in conversation, holding my (lidded, thankfully) insulated coffee mug completely upside down so it could drip coffee all over my pants and the afforementioned floor and classmate. Nothing like an upside-down coffee mug to make you look like one of those "what's wrong with this picture?" pages in a Highlights magazine. I'll tell you what's wrong with this picture, folks: ten pounds of shit in a five pound bag. More commitments than I know what to do with. Rushing everywhere. Forgetting everything. Meditation is no longer a difficult practice as the dismissing of thoughts from my mind has become nearly involuntary.

I think I'm going to participate in the Fussy Challenge of writing a blog a day for November. Because I need the kick in the ass.

12 October 2006

Aw, Hail to the Naw

Was it Whitney Houston that said that? Hell to the No? I'm thinking it was Whitney Houston in that Whitney-Bobby-Barbara-Walters-or-was-it-Diane-Sawyer interview. Hail to the Naw. In any case, it's hailing here in the mid-south. Eeensy weensy hail, but hail all the same. And it's only October, and yesterday it was almost 80 degrees. Today it is 45 degrees. It's as if Mother Nature gave the mid-south over to her fifteen year old daughter to teach her a lesson about responsibility. And being fifteen and fickle, Daughter Nature changes clothes, like, totally, a hundred times a day.

Say it like you mean it
So, yesterday I was a part of a conversation where one person whispered the word "asshole." As in, said, "My husband can be an asshole." And then another person said, "I always just say 'ah-sho-lay' instead of "Asshole." Person one was delighted! And then person two added, "And instead of shithead, just say 'shi-theed." Yay! Cursing without cursing! Joy of Joys! Discovery of discoveries!

As you can imagine, I am opposed to the practice of modifying the pronunciation of curse words to create lighter cursewords. Lighter cursewords are words like "phooey" and "crap," and those words already exist, so there is no need to dumb down a perfectly good curse word. If one means to curse lightly, then one should certainly use words from the "Cursing Lite" approved list (see "phooey", "crap."). However, if one means to say "Asshole," then one should come right out and say "Asshole." This is what words are made for: to express degrees and intensity of feeling. To define nuances and create accurate descriptions. Words--including "naughty" words-- exist so that we don't have to use cheap adjectives like "nice" and "sad" all the time. So use the word you mean to use, even if that word is "asshole." "Ah-sho-lay" is for the timid.

Of course, there is a chance I will look back on these blog entries in several years and find them amusing but unfit for sharing because of all the obscene language, and regret my free-flowing four-letter goodtimes, the same way I now look at nearly every photo of myself from my college years, young and pretty and smiling and suitable for framing except for the obvious cigarette and canned beer in my hand.

I am also opposed to the general practice of modifying pronunciation to be clever, like saying "Tarzshay" instead of "Target," although that one has crept into our cultural vocabulary and I am certainly guilty of using it. Same for "Krozshay" instead of "Kroger." We have a little cutesy nickname for the Kroger in our neighborhood: "Roger." It is "Roger" because the "K" was burned out for a sweet three years.

Shit Talker
My patient visit went well today (Best yet! Kick ass, Mama Snee!) and involved a long and beautiful drive into and then back out of the countryside, before the hail started. On the way back to the interstate I stopped at the Wendy's drivethru, and as expected, currently feel like ass. In fact, I spent the last thirty minutes of my drive back to the office making a conscious effort not to shit my pants. And come to think of it, that's about when the hail started.

And, in case you were wondering, research has concluded on my office bathroom situation. Thanks to a blind study (meaning nobody else in the office knows I'm even paying attention), and the help of an unaware temp, I have concluded that every single thing you do in that bathroom is audible to the person sitting at my desk, and possibly to the entire office. On the bright side, the entire office population is exactly three people, which leaves only two people to hear you ripping ass in the bathroom. On the dark side, people are definitely hearing you rip ass in the bathroom. And, if you are the temp, people are also hearing you trying to plunge the toilet.

06 October 2006

Friday, Friday

My goodness, that last post was quite a bitchy little number, no? I am sometimes amazed by my own ability to be such a jerk. I'm fortunate to have the opportunity to do the freelance work that will pay for A's colonoscopy bill and my 90,000 mile car service, and I know better than to try to eat out. Also, there was apparently some confusion about the cheese: people were coming out from behind food counters and presenting me with single slices of cheese delivered by their gloved hands. That's what happened. Oh, and I'll totally get robbed on the car service. But I'm not bitching! Just predicting! Toodley dee!

It is a gorgeous day out there. Bright and crispy. Making me want to quit my everything and stay home and make delicious stews and sing to sweet, fat babies. The office is empty this afternoon, and I'm outta here.

Oh, and guess who can go down the toddler slide at daycare all by herself? And does that make her a toddler?

03 October 2006

Your Cheese, Madam.

I am really regretting taking on a big, stupid freelance job that I accepted to make a little money. I call it The Big Stupid Freelance Job. And it is now taking more time than will translate into dollahs (I did mean dollahs, as in dollah dollah bill, y'all) and giving me ugly headaches that are triggered by the squirrel-eating accent. In a word: sucks.

And more bitching: the class I finished today was a complete bullshit waste of my time. Wait, let me rephrase that: I felt it was a complete bullshit waste of my time. Because it was. Today was a big snoozer repeat of the last several classes, which included some taking turns reading outloud from the book. And, um, fuck that. So I spent my last hours of that dreadful class fuming about how I could have been doing all of this other work on the Big Stupid Freelance Job instead of sitting in my chair watching the clock and itching and gnashing my teeth.

And the truth is, if I'd had the time today, I probably wouldn't have worked on the BSFJ, just as I am not working on it right now. Just as I didn't work on it today, when I arrived in a small town for a home visit about 30 minutes early, and decided I should definitely go through the drivethru at Wendy's (never a good decision) before I could sit in my car in the parking lot and sip the Diet Coke I so deserved while I made phone calls for the BSFJ. Despite the ample free time, no progress was made on the BSFJ. Because my sandwich was effed up. And for the second time in four days, I was handed a piece of cheese on a latex glove. This means that statistically, I am handed a piece of cheese on a latex glove every other day.

The first time it happened, I was at the Atlanta Bread Company of Assholes, and in a dramatic situation that involved me getting a cash refund for my shitty lunch, I was handed a piece of provalone on a latex glove. And then today, during my efforts to do anything-- anything-- besides interviewing clients for the BSFJ, I marched into the Wendy's, opened my veggie sandwich, and drew attention to the conspicuous lack of cheese. And I think you know the rest.

BSFJ. Gah.

01 October 2006

Sore Back, Sore Ass, Sore.

Well, I finally found the class at massage school that all of the interesting people are taking. The people who sit around and chomp apples with their big, white, healthy teeth on their breaks and talk about their ultra-cool yoga pants and very interesting lives. People who talk about the Work with a capital "W." It's a class about this kind of massage. And I was so stoked to take it.

So that was my weekend... pretty much all of it, in fact. Friday night, all day Saturday, all day Sunday. All of my classes so far have been easy for me. I've been able to master the skills and feel good about my intuition and intention when I practice bodywork, I've been praised and singled out by my teachers and practice partners, and I've slicked through all of the science classes. If I haven't mentioned it before, I certainly have a little (okay, medium-sized) piece of my personality that is most comfortable being good at things. Being the teacher's pet. In fact, If I'm not the star student, there's a decent chance I'll shut off the effort and just coast through under the radar. (see "college"). I know, it's sick. But I got a 101 in Anatomy and Physiology. That's right. Out of a hundred. Fucking Boo-Ya.

Then comes this weekend class. I get it, but I don't get it. I don't feel it. I'm clumsy with my practice partners and feel like I'm bumbling around in the dark. Swimming upstream. Poking and prodding and fucking it up. And the thing is, I really want to get it. And I know that if I do get it, it will seem so simple and peaceful and intuitive. Which makes me try to force it. Which makes it a graceless mess all the more. Meh. There will be much figurative climbing uphill and mind vs. body wrestling, as I have another all-weekend class in a couple of weeks.

Okay Syrah Syrah:
Drank copious amounts of red wine Friday night on a solo mission to see how hungover I could be for my class on Saturday morning. It started out as a glass with A., but then he left to go play a show, and I stayed on the porch and called S. in Spokane and garbled on and on about how we should take a cruise and how I had saved sixty dollars in the past two weeks. Which is true, but not enough to get me on a cruise ship. Or even to a place where I might see a cruise ship from a distance. Fabulously, I was not as hung over as I should have been, which I credit to my ability to wake up at 4am and regret my behavior and chug two glasses of water and three Tylenol and go back to fitful sleep.

No, I am not ready for some Football:
As previously mentioned in this blog, I live in an "urban" neighborhood, which is also described as historic, eclectic and ghetto, sometimes in the same breath, and it just happens to be directly across the river from the downtown of my city. Also directly across the river from the downtown is the giant waste of many types of resources, the Coliseum that houses (hosts?) the Shitty Professional Football Team that plays here. There are two convenient bridges from downtown to my neighborhood, and thanks to the fat-assed, mullet-wearing, hootin'-hollerin', tacky-merchandise-buying, hive mentality jackass fans of the Shitty Professional Football Team, both of those bridges were closed this afternoon as I tried, with my defeated little head down, to make my way home from class.

Bad Company:
The list of restaurants to which I extend my erect middle finger has now grown to include any restaurant containing the words "Bread" or "Company." Any fast-casual restaurant that operates under either word is fast food in disguise and is sure to clean out your wallet while you clear your own damn table.

The Bird Report:
Walking quickly, chattering, arms stretched out straight behind her, chin tucked down. Like she's a cartoon character with somewhere to go in a hurry. And she might be flying there.

Lots of kisses. Lots of silliness. Lots of personality. Lots of indications that she might be a KID soon, and might give up this baby business for a more exciting opportunity to be a bona fide PERSON. Which I guess makes sense, because she'll be one year old in a couple of weeks.
Three hundred sixty five nights of rocking her to sleep. Three hundred sixty five mornings of feeling like the luckiest little family in the world. **sigh**. I won't get all sappy-weepy on you, yet. But oh, get ready. It's brewing.

Go read a sweet entry about someone else's first 365 days.