25 January 2007

I'm having a bit of soup for lunch. I've eaten a lot of soup lately.

Mama Snee's Recipe Corner: Zen Bowl
This is my homemade version of a dish offered by a delightful restaurant in my neighborhood. In fact, they call it the Zen Bowl, and I'm making no bones about this being a direct rip-off of that dish.

Sadly, the restaurant is closing, which is a shame because it always seemed packed and the menu was really something. Like a grilled cheese on focaccia with herbed cream cheese, cheddar, and tomato. But I guess when you only serve meals that end in -unch and none that end in -inner, you may not make the money you dreamed of in the beginning. So you might close. I'm just sayin'.

No measurements, as usual. I am a "wing it" cook, for sure.

You need:
  • Whatever veggies you have around. I had:
    • Yellow Pepper
    • Broccoli
    • Onion
    • Carrots
    • corn (highly recommended for this dish)
  • 1/2 can black beans
  • brown rice
  • extra firm tofu (we bought Amaya this time, which is more expensive but firmer than morinu extra firm
  • tamari
  • butter
1. Saute cubed tofu in tamari and butter over med-high heat. Saute until there's not much liquid left in the pan, or until it starts to look like it might burn.
2. Saute veggies in tamari and butter. Add beans. Keep heating.
3. Make rice according to directions
4. Mix up and eat.

I should not have left the house today. So far I have had so many brain misfires (getting turned around in my own neighborhood, driving away from daycare with Bird's lunch in my car, forgot to wear a bra, soup issues) that I'm not sure I should be allowed to drive myself home.

Bird likes tofu! She eats it with her little pinscer fingers like it's going out of damn style.
And this morning, being around my sweet sweet
sweetness was like having my raw nerves run across a cheese grater. The whining. THE WHINING. The clinging, the climbing, the whining. The fact that after 14 hours of labor and an emergency c-section, she wants nothing to do with me this morning. She wants Daddy to snuggle her while he's up to his ears in lunch preparation. Forty long weeks of summertime incubation, fourteen hours of turning my body inside out, and emergency major abdominal surgery just to get her little body out into the air of the earth, and she bats me away so she can hang around the neck of the man who watched the Price is Right and ESPN during the whole ordeal.

Okay, that's not fair to A, at all. He is the MOST wonderful Dad. And he only watched the Price is Right when I begged him to find something on the damn television while I slipped in and out of sleep during the long stretch of the labor, thank-you epidural.*

I let Bird watch American Idol. Because I want to watch American Idol. And usually by 7:00, she's kind of sleepy and ready to lay on the floor and kick her feet up in the air and clap for the "bebehs" (babies) singing their poor, generally untalented hearts out. And I saw a classic case of frontbutt on Tuesday. American Idol Frontbutt.

Parents (mine) coming in tonight to stay for the weekend. I am so ready to see them. There are certainly more than a few times I wish we lived right down the street.

Apparently Bird's daycare needs a note from our pediatrician saying that she can't eat meat. Or doesn't eat meat. Or that it's okay (duh) that she doesn't eat meat. I'm not even sure, all I know is that I got stopped in the parking lot by her caregiver who informed me that being vegetarian must be proven and documented and blessed by a member of the medical community. Is it that weird to have a veggie kid? So weird that we have to treat it like a deadly food allergy?

I wish I could tell you about the conversation I'm overhearing right now. I WISH. It's more interesting than what I'm about to tell you, which is how I like to eat my soup so that the bread:soup ratio is completely equal for every bite, and how I have a system for that. Much more interesting. But I'm at work, and this is the internet. So I will show some restraint and not be dumb about it.

*Actually, I still have questions about that epidural and the long stretch of labor and their relationship. But that's a chat for another day.

22 January 2007

Dull Blah

So, it's been what? like, a week? since we've talked? Or rather, since I talked and you listened? And that last post, the one about A's mustache and his nose and the effort involved in having the two meet-- well, that doesn't really count as a post.

I can't even really tell you what I've been doing, except maybe being a little sad and dulled. Just blah. Nothing serious. I'd like to say it's the result of a little system shut-down, prompted by being overwhelmed with various events and commitments and possibilities and plots and plans, but I don't think that's it. Or maybe it is. It has finally turned cold here, and rainy, and cloudy, and I'm thinking that has something to do with it. Whatever. It's a blah-feeling, like I said, and that makes me not even want to explore it. It's just a case of the Dull Blah. I wore my pajamas from Saturday night straight through until this morning. That's a pretty good explanation.

So, here are some things:

Bird did not sleep at all Saturday night. I mean, she slept from about 9 until midnight, after a super fun dinner at T and D's house, where she wore a fabulous tutu of O's that made her look like a little peacock. A little nineties grunge peacock with her button-up henley and baggy cargo pants and little knit hat. Plus giant tutu. She played hard, ate little (too busy). And crashed as soon as we got home.
Around midnight, she sounded the "alarm" cry, which is different than the "Leave me alone for a second, I can get over this" cry. So I went in. And, sparing you the minute-by-minute details, Bird and I "slept" together on the couch, where she would tolerate no positioning that did not involve full contact with my body at all times. And she kicked me in the stomach. A LOT.

Come to think of it, this night of missed sleep could be contributing substantially to my Dull Blah.


I have a sizable freelance project swirling about at the moment, and I have reverted to late-college mode, where I acknowledge the work to be done but do none of it. I start the project late, and then only do a small portion of the work before seeking distraction. The danger of this mode is that sometimes I have to ask for an extension, or worse --I'm going to whisper the next part: the project just doesn't get done. In my defense, the research involved in my current pile of mess depends on other people fucking calling me back, but still, there's stuff I could be doing. And I'm not doing it. It's like I'm staring it down.

Speaking of writing projects, I had a promising meeting with a company last week that could potentially be a decent pipeline of work for me. And the possibility of steady work leads to other possibilities, lifestyle shifts, giant line items (daycare) leaving the budget, new daily routines, etc. I think you know where I'm going with this. Keep in mind that we're talking about advertising people here, and they certainly spout a fair amount of horseshit. So we'll see. At said meeting, the creative director introduced me to the president as "Mama Snee, Copywriter Extraordinaire," which is exactly how my old boss used to introduce me, which made a cold chill run down my spine. Again, we'll see.


I've been doing a shocking amount of work-related work this past week, which has cut into my general fucking around time. And that is part of the reason you've not heard from me. Last week I had a stellar review with a li'l bump in the money department, and the saddest and most pit-of-your-stomach-try-not-to-weep-until-you-get-to-the-car home visit yet. So there you have it. The yin and the yang.

This evening, I'll attend the Board meeting across town at the Fancy Office, and I noticed upon arrival at the Humble Office this morning that my pants are pretty much covered in cat hair and there is some kind of snot smeared in various locations on my black shirt (that I got at goodwill for $4. TAKE THAT, BANANA REPUBLIC). *

Here's a secret you won't find surprising: we work in a "casual" office, and I push the word "casual" to it's extreme casual end on most every day. I have exactly three costumes for looking professional, and I try to wear them for only the necessary amount of time, removing them promptly upon returning home to avoid any washing or dry cleaning. And apparently, this particular costume could have used some attention after its last go 'round.

There will be fancy hors d'ovures at this meeting, about which I am FUCKING STOKED. Simultaneously fucking stoked and socially apprehensive, as I am fully aware that my fancy manners could use some polishing and am also fully aware that I will arrive at this meeting in a starving state and may not be able to stop myself from sitting at the Fancy Office conference table, shoving artichoke-spread toast points and fancy asparagus in my mouth one after another, smearing brie over the already awesome snot spots on my chest and talking with my mouth full. Oh, and I have a gigantic zit on the tip of my nose that is, I swear, visibly throbbing.

Like I said, Dull Blah.

*Don't get confused here. The snot is either mine or Bird's. I did not buy a snot-covered shirt at Goodwill and just throw it in the rotation.

15 January 2007


"I'm listening to you. I'm just trying to put my mustache in my nose."
- A. Snee, January 14, 2007, after being accused of not listening to his wife in the car.

Seriously. He was sitting over there with his lips all puckered up, trying to stick his mustache hair in his nostril.

11 January 2007

14 months

Marketing to the Sick

I used to work for a company that, when all was said and done, made that their business model. And then it changed to "Give the Sick More Soft Drinks." But I'm not talking about that kind of marketing to the sick.

I don't watch that much television (not because I'm a super person who has better things to do, but because I have trouble staying awake), but I have seen my fair share of commercials lately. And 'tis the season to market your cold and flu products to those lying on the couch suffering with cold and flu.

Who does it right?
Kleenex, with their Let it Out commercials. Bravo, Kleenex. You're working with your Trusted Name recognition and reminding us that we trust you. That you're there for us. You're not talking about being sick. You're making us a little weepy and throw-your-arm-around-the-person-next-to-you over a product designed to catch the infected mucous falling out of my nose. Great work.

Who does it wrong?
Any company that produces television commercials that involve animated versions of germs, mucous, body fluid, or fungus. The slimy yellow sinister guys or the gruff green guys that are some kind of stereotyped blue-collar east coaster loogies. It's just gross. Mucous is not allowed to talk or have facial features. Or have children. Not on television, not ever.

Through some blog or another, I have arrived at the Pioneer Woman's blog, and I highly, highly recommend you hightail it over there when you can.

09 January 2007

If you make it to the end and it still makes sense, you win the prize

Well, I think I can safely say we are over the early 2007 stomach yuck. I hope.

That is, unless I pick up Bird at daycare and her teacher gets all snooty about how she had a runny diaper again today. Because, you know, I knew she was going to have precisely this kind of gross diaper today and I purposely kept that information a secret so that I could drop my kid off and go home and eat bonbons and watch Montel and scratch my butt all day at home by myself while somebody else takes care of my recovering-from-the-yuck child. mwahahahahaha.

Although, I do have to give the daycare lady a little break on her attitude, because somehow my child managed to poop in her face (yeah, read that again) on Friday. Some kind of splattering incident. So I guess she can be a little put out that I'm not stopping life to nurse my kid back to completely solid defecations before returning her to daycare.

And we are off to a wordy start!

Merry Effing Christmas
First off, let me vent in a vague way about Christmas and belated Christmases. We are making another (groan) trip to Indiana this weekend for yet another em-effing Christmas, which was sprung upon us yesterday, the result of poor planning and poor... whatever. Actually, I don't want to vent about this anymore. I just want it to be over.

The Rambling. Oh, the rambling.
So you know when you're getting ready to go out (do you go out? like with friends? really? can I come sometime?) or getting ready for work or something, and you put on a necklace that you really like, and you try on, like, everything you own but nothing looks quite right with the necklace, and after way too many costume changes you think, "Wait a second... I thought the necklace was the best part but everything is fine except for the necklace". So you take the necklace off and go out or to work or whatever without the necklace, wearing something perfectly acceptable and you know then that it was the necklace that was wrong in the first place?

Yeah, I know, not the clearest train of thought but it's the best I can do right now. Maybe I should have said "square peg in a round hole?"

The point is that I was beginning to feel like that about massage school. That school was the necklace. Having a month off made it seem like more of an obstacle than an opportunity. I started thinking about slowing down my classes. I started thinking about how if I could just get a few more freelance clients I could skip everything all together and just write newsletters and dumb articles and have even more flexible time at home with my Bird. That I could write in the middle of the night if I needed to, and save the kajillion dollars a month I spend on childcare. That massage was dumb and a hasty decision and more hassle than it's worth. That I could never grow a practice from scratch. That it would be too hard. Too much overhead. That I should just take off the damn necklace.

Class started today, though, and while this one is going to be a long and hard road, I'm excited about it again. The possibility. The learning. The work, the doing. The soft focus of it, the mindfulness, the connection.

And I realized that the necklace was a grand combination of things, no small part of which is the stalling between the frenzy of November and December and the real kicking-off of the new year-- that no-man's land after Christmas, before people start to look alive again, where you have no idea what day it is or when you last showered. It made me crazy. It made me lose focus and run in a million directions half-assedly in slow motion and spend an entire precious morning scrubbing my kitchen. I got pretty micro.

And in the stalling time, I had those few SAHM days. I got really jealous and entitled. I got sad about my Bird getting bigger and smarter and funnier "without" me. I felt like I didn't have time to waste with this school nonsense. I needed that quick fix, whatever would get me home with Bird. I envisioned how it would look when I quit my job and school and worked from home. The things we'd do. The places we'd go. The new and improved mother I would be. The new and improved craftsperson I would be. The glowing, healthy, happy person I would be.

What did I not envision? Doing the work. Actually working. Trying to find clients. Trying to find the time to work. Trying to find enough clients to pay the bills. I just saw me and Bird in the park morning after morning.

The stalling time made me scrambly to get to those mornings. Scrambly because I don't have a down-to-the-letter plan. Scrambly to know what "it" will look like. Made me really question my path because I can't see exactly where it leads.

So today in class, we had to do the talk-about-yourself thing, introductions, etc. And our instructor started by saying "So, I'll tell you a little about who I am... so far." And that struck me in just the right way. He told his story about how he came to do what he does, the little milestones and events along the way that were "supposed to happen when they did." And I had a little more perspective on my anxiety, my restlessness, my thoughts of scrapping everything because I couldn't see the future, right down to the dollar signs. I think (and you may need to remind me of this later) that I need to appreciate more where I am now, and let my self be surprised by where I'm going, as long as I pay attention to the things that are "supposed to happen" for me to see clearly. Because this is only who I am so far, and so far, I'm wearing this necklace.

ETA: However, I have a maybe-promising meeting with an ad agency to take on some possibly regular freelance projects. Nothing is scrapped, but that's the point. This is all going to fit together nicely, I just don't know how.

06 January 2007

SNL Musical Guest Review II

Tonight, Christina Aguilera looks like a wax figure of a drag queen dressed as Dolly Parton.

And that's being generous.

Morning at SneeCasa

This morning Bird got up a little rosy-cheeked, ate half a banana, was all whiny and meh-meh. Sleepy, clingy. Had a poo diaper literally the color of green finger paint. So green that I looked around for the green crayon, to make sure it was still on the outside of the Bird. (it was). No playing. No silliness. No Birdliness. Snuggled up in the rocker. And whaddaya know within a few minutes, my limp little firehose forcefully gave up an only slightly exaggerated nine or ten gallons of bananas and milk, all over everything. It was pretty scary all around.

We got in the bath, (but NO HAIR WASHING per strict orders from Bird) and she seemed to feel better, then fell right back asleep in the rocker.

Poor, poor Birdy. It's 60+ degrees here in the mid-south today, and I know she'd be pissed if she knew what kind of awesome playtime she was missing. But alas, she is curled up in her bed in only a diaper under a pile of blankets while I have panic flashes about dehydration. I am so, so ready for this to pass.

After putting Bird back down, I got in the shower proper, and managed to find the time to shave my legs. Nothing fancy, nothing above the knee (please! who do you think I am!) but I can assure you it was no small task. It was like the time we shaved Rudy Bear. It had been awhile. And now with my smooth legs I feel like a real girl again. It's the small things, folks.

05 January 2007

I thought I was safe

Well, now I've got it. The funk. It tackled me from behind yesterday afternoon, wrapping me around the toilet bowl in a swiftly passing but uncontrollable puking nightmare. And today, lifeless on the couch sleeping through daytime television. I think I'm getting a bedsore.

I had to pick up Bird early from daycare today, after reports of three diarrhea-bomb diapers. She's puny, for sure. But snuggly. I hate the puny, for her, but I love the snuggling, for me.

The best, though, is when A. gets home and Bird is feeling cuddly, she'll sit on his lap and try to unbutton his shirt to get to the t-shirt underneath, and after he unbuttons for her she lays her head down on his chest and snuggles up tight. It is the sweetest thing. Ever.

04 January 2007

Welcome, 2007! So far, so Barf.

Here's our New Year's story:
Visited my family and grandparents in Southern Indiana, had a lovely time, Bird picked a dilly of a day to practice her "cry it out" techniques at bedtime in a hotel room, went to a bridal shower for my almost-sister in law. Everything lovely. Flying by at rapid pace, but lovely. Got a tour of all of the cheeses in my grandmother's refrigerator. There were many.

On our last Hoosier night, A. became very, violently, run-to-the-bathroom, column-of-barf sick. The barfing portion of the illness was relatively swift, but the lingering soreness and overall puniness lasted a few days, and we spent New Year's eve like this: Stopped in briefly to a gathering, back home and A. in bed by 9:30, me falling asleep on the couch at about 10 watching a taped episode of NOVA. Yep, you read that right.

I'm hoping this week isn't a preview of our new year, because if it is, we're going to be doing a lot of barfing and a lot of wallowing around and showing up to places disheveled and unprepared. Also a lot of nerdy activities, like watching taped episodes of NOVA.

It really is amazing how quickly I slip here at work, as I started out this morning like gangbusters and then checked bloglines and it has been a quick tumble downhill on the productivity scale this afternoon.

The Infirmed

Went out! on Tuesday! to see an old friend/ roommate play her super-great songs at a nice little club near downtown. And I am not kidding you, right as she took the stage, my phone rang, and it was A., and apparently Bird was barfing her guts up all over the place. So I went home, after one song. Poor Birdy. So scared of the barfing. It was heart-wrenching.

Also, it passed quite quickly, much like A's mystery illness, for which I am thankful.

Two Wishes

Another pretending to be a SAHM day yesterday, as school has not started and working part time means I have some time away from work, until it is filled up with school. Met S. and her boys at the park, a party planned due to its limited physical contact due to the recent barfing. I can't stop thinking about how that's what I'm supposed to be doing. (SAHMing, not barfing.) You should've (and would've, if I'd remembered the camera) seen my little Bird running around out there.

Speaking of cameras, I have an aging digital snapshot camera that is a decent machine except for the four-minute delay between the time you push the button and the time the photo is taken, and its tough stance on not taking clear photos of anything that is not lit by bright, clear daylight, save for the flash that makes every subject look like the cops have just busted down the front door and are shining a spotlight in their face and yelling at them to GET DOWN ON THE FLOOR! I know, I bitch a lot. At least I have a camera. But I would really like a nice fancy camera to take some keepers of my Bird. **sigh**

My husband watches a little football, but not in a "hold on don't talk to me I have to see this play" kind of way. And I am fortunate that he is the kind of guy who is not so into his sports that he can't tolerate my babbling and question-asking, like "Why do they do that?" "Did the referee just say that was to legit to quit?" and, from last night, "Did that guy just eat a Cheeto?"
Above all, though, my favorite thing to spot in a football game is the frontbutt. It's an occupational hazard of being a sideline coach guy. Every time I see it, I throw my arms up in the air like it's a touchdown, and I say "Yesssssss! Frontbutt!" And my husband still thinks that's funny. I am a lucky, lucky girl, folks.

So, the fabulous k is a kindhearted lady, and said some nice things about this blog over at hers. Really, that was so kind of her. Go visit. The night I started this blog up, I set all of my settings and controlled all of my controls, and then started hitting the "next blog" button at the top of the page. I landed at Out, Out Damn Spot and I've been a reader ever since, including the two months before I discovered bloglines and literally checked her blog about 59 times every day.

Also go visit the Kim Family Auction. I have added several new crafty blogs to my blogroll after finding the beautiful wares and their creators there. Beautiful little things, really.