28 November 2006
Thanksgiving in the Smoky Mountains? Don't mind if we do! Can we just come in here and drop all of our stuff in the middle of the room like it just fell from 600 feet and busted open? Yeah? Great! Can we eat all of this food and go to the grocery with you and just throw the fancy and expensive food in the cart? Really? We're going to change poopy diapers in the middle of the living room, cool? And ask to borrow your toothpaste because we forgot to pack any? Can I get bossy in the kitchen? No kidding? Oh, and we're all sick, and this one's teething, is that going to be a problem? No? Got any tissues? Cold medicine? Mood stabilizers?
That's kind of how it was up in the mountains this Tofurkey day, as my parents were generous and gracious hosts as always and my brother and his almost-wife were great and we showed up totally sick and teething. Bird had literally the worst night of sleep of her teeny life, waking up screeching every twenty minutes between A. and I in the bed and waking the next morning with a new little bit of toothiness poking through her gums, which now look like whole-kernel corn painted bright pink. Bumpy. Those teeth are just busting to get out.
Add to our family fun that as we departed our fair City, A. triumphantly declared, "I just threw away the last of the cigarettes! I quit!" which was fabulous news but also meant that there was a good chance he'd be a teensy bit surly on top of sickly. No further comment.
I say all of this not to bitch about the holiday, but to marvel that despite all of this, despite our tendency to show up at family functions looking like one of our wagon wheels has fallen off, in need of some TLC and toothpaste, it was all a very good time. It feels so nice to be around family, and even better to watch Bird get to know these people and watch them get to know her. And I know it sounds hopelessly corny, but it's overwhelming to have some understanding that I am loved by my parents in the same staggering and huge way that A. and I love Birdy. The food was tasty, the company was top-notch, the blankets were warm, the view was gorgeous, the weather couldn't have been better.
AND we got back to town with two days to spare before we had to get back to the grindstone(s), so we purchased our very first Christmas Tree at the Farmer's Market on Saturday (makes me feel like I'm at a real house, with real food and some sort of standard of cleanliness, just seeing the reflection of the twinkly lights in the television as we watch the first season of LOST and eat a pint of Caramel Sutra on the couch). Bird is enamored with this giant thing plant in the house, and hears daily from her Dad that "Hey Bird, If we take the ornaments off the tree, then it's just a tree!" She doesn't seem to care about the "just a tree" problem. Her desire for ornaments is powerful and unstoppable, even in the face of prickly tree needles.
Sunday, we packed up and went to the Zoo, where I totally became my mother and packed PB & Js for us to eat inside the zoo, because COME ON that zoo-food is expensive. Bird got to hear the Gibbons making a ton of kooky noises, got to TOUCH a GOAT in the petting area-- definitely a highlight-- and yell at the ducks. She marveled at the meerkats and the toucans but was most interested in the bigger kids running around. We topped it all off with a visit to the spectacularly toddler-friendly zoo playground (picture a large hut with a very padded floor, just for the toddlers) and returned to our little Snee house exhausted and dreamy about animals.
Also at the Snee house this weekend, the dishwasher stopped draining, the doorknob fell off the front door for the very last time, and I have a chunk missing from my front tire that I have been informed will inevitably lead to a blow-out. Rear Pinion leak, you will just have to hold your horses until 2007! (please?)
So, I am back to the work now. Buh. I shouldn't complain, as I've done few work-related things this afternoon, but Buh. I miss A. and Bird and the zoo and days like that one.
17 November 2006
If you were on a sitcom, your characters would be:
1. The sedentary, goody-two-shoes older guy
2. The lanky, harmless but paranoid guy who alternates between pushing back the curtains and yelling, "Who the fuck is out there!?!?!?" and cowering in a corner
3. The wierd, anti-social roomate that eats other people's food and shits in a box in the basement.
Bear, I love you. You are nine years old this month-- nine! And I've loved you since the day A. picked you out of a litter in the back of a pickup in the grocery store parking lot in Indiana. We weren't even dating then, and your fluffy, fat body and sweet, sweet nature is the reason I started going to the park with A. and took the time to learn who we could be to and for and with each other. I owe you a lot, my friend.
I hate that your eyes are getting cloudy and that you don't jump up on the furniture anymore. I mean, I LOVE that you don't jump up on the furniture anymore, but I hate that it's because it's hard for you now. I also hate that your butt is so itchy, or... whatever it is that makes you chomp at it obsessively. We've been to the vet, dude. Several times. I'm starting to think it's in your head. You are becoming stinky with age. And that undercoat will not quit. We are surely known as the Family Covered in Blonde Fur, and I expect PBS to contact me any day now to film a documentary about us, not knowing that because we live in the same house, we are not sprouting the hair but are covered in YOU everywhere we go. There are tumbleweeds of hair in our happy home.
I'm sorry you don't get the love and attention you used to get. I'm sorry that your loudness gets under my skin the way it does. (Seriously! the breathing, the stomping, the random barking at naptime, the jingling, the eating, the chomping!)
Dignan, I wish I knew. I wish I knew why you walk backwards through the hallway door and ONLY the hallway door. I wish I knew (or maybe I don't) where your hangups come from. Whether there's a rhyme or reason to it. Wish I knew why it is that you are always underfoot. You are a big guy, and having you attached to my knees is like walking through a kitchen full of track hurdles. Where most dogs will skitter away when you bump them with a knee, you instead freeze every muscle in that gigantic body, and continue to move toward me when I try to move around you. Like you're always playing a desperate and poorly-planned defense.
You were our surprise baby five years ago, showing up all tiny and warm and sleepy and stray. We named you after a character in Bottle Rocket, but I have always wished we'd named you Mister Little Jeans instead. We've made a committment to you to protect and care for you, special needs and all, and I don't take that lightly. I am so grateful for your gentleness and patience with Birdy. You are a sweet and troubled little soul and I want to give you a safe place to live. But for the love of God, please stay out of my direct path, and stop stinking up the chair in the living room. That is the most expensive damn dog bed I've ever purchased.
Thomas, I am allergic to you and I always have been. Seeing you at the vet eight years ago--homeless and in a cast-- melted my broke-ass college heart, and I spent pennies I didn't have completing your surgeries and having your ribs put back together so that you could come live with us. You have always used the litterbox, and I have not always cleaned it out on time, but you do not complain. You have in your heart a love and devotion for A. that rivals any love and devotion on the planet. And you, too, have been so, so gentle with Birdy. I would scratch you under the chin for that, but I would break out in small hives up to my wrist and my left eye would swell and ooze.
I appreciate the relationship we've constructed and the way we try to respect each other's space, and on the occasions that you get your ultimate wish and scurry out the front door, I am sick with worry until you come back. But stop walking around on the countertops. Stop opening Birdy's door when she's sleeping. Stop scratching at Birdy's door when she's sleeping. Stop singing outside Birdy's door when she's sleeping. Stop fucking with Bear and Dignan. And stop fucking with them especially when Birdy is sleeping. You are the Nap's worst enemy, and I believe you are taking this battle to the next level. Stop. You will lose.
It's been a good exercise and all, this posting every day thing, but I think it's making me kind of boring. Kind of like when you take a road trip with somebody and, you know, things get a little stale in the conversation. You start talking about dumb things just to have something to talk about. This blog is on a road trip to Pennsylvania, my lovelies. We'll get there in December and then we'll just talk every few days again, and it will be far more entertaining and meaningful.
Know what's great about my job? The driving. I do love the driving around in the little towns. That, and the decision to give me a fairly generous amount of paid time off beginning in February. Ladies and gents, I'm PART TIME! Have you ever heard of such a thing? I am in shock and awe and, as mimi smartypants suggests in reference to her toddler's nap schedule, I feel like I should spit on the ground or take other preventative measures every time I say "paid time off."
Book Group was last night, and Birdy and O. had a such a fabulous time chasing the kitties around and sharing/ not sharing with each other. Every time we all get together for this non-reading book group, I run around and sweat and put too many things in my arms at once while trying to unlock the car, and make something dumb and unplanned as a food contribution, all in an effort to leave the office, get to the daycare, back home and out the door with toddler and pot luck dish and get our happy asses across town to get to the get-together.
I get stuck in traffic, I curse.
I show up unshowered with mascara rubbed down to my cheekbones, food on my clothes, snot on my kid.
And then I get there and it is so worth it to spend a couple of hours with these friends, even though any conversation I might have is from behind the couch or in the bathroom, wherever the Bird happens to have set her course. I like knowing that we'll all end up with practically identical baby pictures because our kids have all worn the same passed-around clothes. It's just so very nice. (And I'm not just saying this because they read my blog.)
Ready for the weekend? Goodness, me too.
15 November 2006
Plus a sweater and a black Banana Republic shirt with the tags on for me: $8. How did I forget about the Goodwill?
14 November 2006
And, as suspected, all is fine, she'll grow out of it, nothing to worry about. Later, I will complain about the amount we owe for this visit (I'm afraid to speculate), but today I believe that good news is priceless.
Sitting on the exam table with her while the doctor did the echocardiogram, listening to that quick little organ pumping away, I just kept thinking that this is the noise I first heard from Birdy, the thing that confirmed that she was a for-real thing at that first ultrasound. The same little heart making the same quick, little lub-dups. The same heart of the silly and gentle biscuit that was in my belly that now walks around and picks up pieces of lint and kisses them.
It feels like a hundred years ago.
13 November 2006
I don't think posts like this were the point of NaBloPoMo. Go hit the randomizer on my sidebar, meet another blog tonight.
12 November 2006
This afternoon I had such grand plans to unpack the winter sweaters from their tubs and put them on the shelves where they belong, do some laundry, etc-- domestic catch-up stuff, if you will-- while Bird was napping.
Instead, I sat down on the couch to have a bowl of cereal and turned on the television to keep me company for a second. Rollerball was on. Yes, that Rollerball. The old one.
I was asleep within 10 minutes, and slept for an hour and a half, awakening periodically to what I swear was the Balls- Licking Convention of 2006, hosted by the big dog and the medium dog in the middle of the living room rug.
I can't wait to see what kind of google searches show up in my stats for that one.
11 November 2006
But I may have to get off of MySpace. I think my entire high school is coming after me, like slow-moving zombies in a horror movie. (It may not look like they'll catch up to you, but THEY WILL.) Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of people I'd like to have updates on, but there are a lot of people I never, ever thought I'd encounter again. Like the guy who, the last time I saw him, had just taken a bunch of acid and was running laps around the library commons, being chased by the principal.
Can you see me right now? Because this is what it looks like to be making no progress on your freelance project. I just sat with A. for an hour and watched television. I don't hate television, I just hate aimless consumption of television programs-- when I engage in aimless watching, even by accident, like tonight, I tend to snap out of some kind of trance an hour later and realize I'm grinding my teeth and feeling a little nauseous. And seriously, it is all murder. Every channel. Real murder recreated. Fake murder. RED-freaking-RUM, folks. And football. There's also football.
10 November 2006
MS: I was defrosting some vegetables for Birdy, and this WHITE LASER came down and sparked in the dish and totally charred this one little piece of corn, and I think it might have been on fire for a second. The rest of the vegetables were still frozen.
A: **Blink. Blink.**
MS: So I think the microwave is pooping out.
A: What gave you that idea?
I saw the other side, and the grass really is greener
I came to a point where I'd kind of had it with Blogger. Losing my posts and what have you. So I switched over to Wordpress yesterday. See for yourself. I liked that it had its own stat tracking dealie, more interesting templates, easier this, slicker that. But then I realized that when I imported everything, a lot of my pictures didn't make it, and there's not really anything I can do about that now. And the pictures are important to me. And then I realized that when I swapped the template to one I liked better anyway, my photos were back, good as new.
We are in a period of transition, maybe.
09 November 2006
I'm up late. TOOOOOO late. But you know that manic, crazy, evil-genius energy you get when you've been up late working/ creating? Okay, that I get when I've been up late working/ creating? Even if it's just writing the newsletter for the botanical garden? It's like I'm avoiding going to bed because then it will be a for-real thing that I'm up this late. I'm crazed! No rules! No bedtimes! No shit!
Here is what I want to say:
Birdy is rubbing off on me. I was just thinking about all of this madness with her (though she had a MUCH better afternoon today) when I realized I’ve pouted excessively AND thrown a tantrum in the last few days. Read on:
Pouting: When Andy picked up Thai food for our little family Sunday night, my Priaw Wiarn had some suspicious-looking Tofu in it, which some people like to call STRAIGHT-UP-CHICKEN, which I fished out and became so, so sad over. A. kept asking if it was going to be okay, if there was anything he could do to fix it, and I just kept up my big girly pout over the Priaw Wiarn while he offered to “Maybe steam some broccoli for you to put in it,” because he is the type of really good guy who understands the importance of deep-fried tofu and the role it plays in happiness. But I just sat there in my chair, pushing my cucumbers around in the rice, and said , “no, (puhhhhhhhhhh) I’ll be okay.” (The broccoli was actually a pretty good solution and the dinner was about an eight on a scale of one to ten, but I pouted anyway. Puhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. It did not change the chicken to tofu.)
Tantrum: At Kroger, I was desperate to find some butternut squash to make this delish-looking thing in a magazine to take to a dinner gathering. Because I am no good at most domestic entertaining and attending I was really taking this thing seriously because I was going to do it RIGHT and not bring something store-bought from the deli but something I had baked up REAL NICE AND HOT in my own oven, even if I did use a Boboli crust.
In any case, we no longer go to swanky Kroger because now that we’re on a budget and the Starbucks is off limits, the drive across town was deemed “total bullshit” by one husband o’mine, and let’s face it, he’s right, so we made up with Ghetto Kroger and we now shop locally. So the GK—surprise—has no butternut squash. I scooted some other squashes around in the display, nice and dramatic-like, and threw my hands up in the air—feh!—and said to A, through my clenched teeth, “THIS is why I say FUCK THIS KROGER.”* So then A. says, “uh, why don’t you ask the produce guy over there?” Which I did, to appease A, and look like a grownup, and further prove that the GK is shit-tay. And whaddaya know, the produce guy appears with a cart-effing-load of butternut squash.
Putting myself in Birdy’s tantrum-throwing mindset, I’m thinking I can view this two ways: either my tantrum was an embarrassing and irrational slip over nothing and I will learn from this, or my tantrum actually produced the butternut squash in a cosmic-universe-give-and-take-manifesting kind of way.
*When I say I said it "through my teeth", I am serious when I tell you that A. was the only one who heard it, because I kind of seethed it out there. I did not yell "Fuck" in the Kroger. I have a crude vocabulary at times, but I am not a redneck.
08 November 2006
Birdy is wearing me out. I love her deep down to the pit of my everything, but my goodness. Where's my cute little munchkin who pops out from around the corner, pointing at me and giggling? Where's my snuggly smoocher? My at-least-sometimes decent eater?
On a sad note
07 November 2006
I just wrote a very long post and it was deleted by me, all by myself, the copy-and-paste-from-gmail-wizard. Apparently I type on a laptop keyboard as accurately as a gorilla threading a needle.
Okay then, here's a cliff notes version with far less enthusiasm:
I had another awesome lunch. YOU CARE. I had apple slices stuck to wheat thins with globs of peanut butter. Success! And to think, I almost stopped at Sonic for tator tots. Hunger makes you Cray-zay, tator tots are gross AND delicious, and I am too broke for the drive-thru.
I hope you have already voted, because if you're just going now you will be waiting for a long time. Also, I don't care about secret voting, I voted NO on ONE, because I don't want descrimination written into any constitution, mine or yours or ours. Marriage Equality. I have a hard time seeing the other side of this one, really. If you disagree with me, let's not discuss it, because I will end up kind of freaking out and spitting when I talk and raising my voice and interrupting you. That's just how I roll.
Today was Birdy's picture day, and I remembered at the last minute. She is wearing an outfit composed almost entirely of hand-me-downs from Eli the underpants-all-night-big-boy-wonder, plus a shirt with puffy sleeves to identify her as female. Still totally cute, exactly how I wanted her to look in the "Holiday Wonderland Scene." Can't wait to see what that might mean. I'm guessing there will be fake snow.
Home, Jeeves, and don't spare the gas.
06 November 2006
This one is a favorite, on a little yellow sticky note hidden under the phone on my desk, so simple and complete I thought I should share it.
I know that nobody cares what I had for lunch (as evidenced here), but I want to tell you about this amazing meal I am trying to eat quickly so that it does not become buried in lists:
Handful of Spinach
Cut up tomato (grape tomatoes would have been ideal, but I'm doing my best)
Chunks of mozzerella
Drizzle of Balsamic Vinaigrette.
It is spectacular, and that isn't even the magical part! I'm using a plastic fork to eat it, and it's one of the ones with the kind of thin stubby tines on it, so sometimes when I hit a chickpea just the right way it kind of bends the tine back and fwaps the chickpea to the other side of the plate. And just now, I tried to spear a rogue chickpea, and Floink! It shot right up the sleeve of my sweater! Almost made it up to my elbow! Like a pinball flipper into a pinball... something! Like pinball! Chickpea-sleeve pinball. And nobody saw it but me.
05 November 2006
Apparently, Bird has learned to shake her head "no." Which she does everso dramatically, when faced, for example, with a chunk of squash. Or anything that is not toast or cottage cheese.
Just when I'm settling into my little groove of the weekend, I realize tomorrow it's Monday. Then back to the driving and the lunch-packing and the kid-dropping and the interacting with people outside of my little bubble.
It can take a few days, really, to hunker down into my own, real life, free of work and studying, and let my roots extend a little bit, dig in, et cetera, tap in to that quiet and simple rhythm of myself and my home full of creatures. Peeling back the layers so I can really live in my actual life for a few days, be really present for a while. Getting used to and fully appreciating having A. around when I'm around. And then, whoa! Sorry! Back on the crazytrain, your time is up.
Gah. Things are so not terrible, really. I'm just feeling like I might not want to go another lap of this race right now, you know?
04 November 2006
Poor Birdy today. Reeling from that flu shot, feverish, clingy. I hate it when she feels badly (and I know I've already said this), but I do love the snuggliness. It's rare that I get a full hour of child-snuggles on the couch, and today was my day.
On another note, I just spent an hour with A. standing around drinking wine in our garage. There are big visions back there, and that's not just the wine talking. I'm thinking I could actually create a viable workspace for massage out there. Separate building, seprarate parking (alley), separate entrance. Just enough space. Just the brainstorming brings me one step closer to the work-at-home dream.
02 November 2006
01 November 2006
But in my old(er) age, I'm coming back around to the hippie smells and all of that stuff I loved in early college, minus the bong hits. And I figured if I'm going deo-only, might as well be in winter.
So if I hug you and I have pit stains, or smell a little... um... "earthy", it's because I'm only deodorizing. And I think I like it.
Enough already? Thought so.
Now I'm going to study. riiiiiiiight.... now. Wait. Okay. um...NOW.
(The exam is in 40 minutes, by the way. Diseases of the Cardiovascular System. Yeah, Hi. )