10 April 2007

Holy Effing Eff

Did you think I had run off and left? Set my house on fire and run screaming into the street? Did you mistakenly think I am a person capable of keeping a blog afloat?

Well, I am here, just quiet lately and unable to breathe through all the layers and layers of shit going on. Are things out of control? Yes. Always. Am I okay with that? Yes. Because it has kind of always been this way, hasn't it?

So here are six things I felt like talking about tonight. And one more bonus thing right here in the beginning: our smoke detector battery has started its slow, chirping death this evening, and I don't have the right sized batteries or the right sized arms and legs to reach up to replace it, so it chirps about every four minutes or so, which is making my dogs act like a bunch of weenies and try to crowd under the desk together where they absolutely do not fit. They are driving me nuts. And the cat? The cat shits in the house, in a box, because I not only said it was okay to shit in the house, I invited him to shit right there in that box. It is awesome.

First of all, if the collective world keeps setting out Easter candy, I'm going to keep eating it, and I will be a big fat slug that waddles around holding her belly and whining about how she feels so siiiiiiiiick. Eat your own candy, everybody. I am here to help you, but do not make me help you eat that shit.

Second of all, living with a toddler is like sharing your home with a severely bipolar midget with bowel and bladder control problems, who talks with her mouth full and throws things from time to time. And sleeps in a big, open-topped cage.
Seriously. She gets funnier and more clever, sweeter and more herself every hour. But with that growth comes independence, opinions, the word "no," and periodic short-circuiting that usually ends in mild to moderate bodily injury for one or more parties and, ultimately, a sweaty, teary little exhausted person.
Daycare was closed yesterday and I had the privilege of spending the whole day with Bird, just me and her, playing and running errands and making lunch and flopping around in the big bed. It made this morning's drop-off 300% harder on both of us.

Next item: School. I think the last I spoke of it, I was getting sort of fucked over by the new schedule at school. The update is that I met with the director and she did not receive my carefully crafted email with the zinger at the end, of which I was so proud. There were reasons for the schedule shift and I get that now, but I still think it was handled shittily. She was willing to wheel and deal a little bit with me, and now I will start intern clinic in May (!!) and graduate in September, which is about 8 months earlier than I'd projected. So yay to that.

And to the person that landed here by Google-searching "Massage School rip-off No Jobs," thanks a bunch for bringing up that encouraging scenario.

Removed. It wasn't very nice. Sorry.

I tried to do our taxes on Turbotax, but when it told me we owed $1500 I was certain I had made a mistake. (We had, in fact, made a mistake-- walking around for 12 months with our heads squarely up our asses not having enough tax withheld and not realizing how much contract income was coming in that is now being taxed). So I went to HR Block for the miracle experts to fix it and get us that fat refund they're always talking about on television.

I started just now to write out the whole moment-by-moment encounter, but I'm tired and I've told the story a hundred times already because I needed to hear myself tell it, because the whole time I was sitting there I was pretty sure nobody would believe me when I tried to explain. Like the time I went to the psycho mad-scientist dentist and wondered for years (still do) if I dreamed the whole ordeal, with the goggles and the spelunker's headlamp and the shredding of my gums.

The short version (do I ever do a short version?) is that my tax preparer was blind, for the most part-- definitely not drivable and definitely shopping in the audiobook section-- with one eye looking one direction and one eye not really looking anywhere but definitely not the same direction as the other eye. And he spoke in a barely-audible whisper. And he ignored my questions, or maybe he answered them, who knows? Because his voice was the teensiest, mousiest whisper.

I'm all for people with disabilities getting jobs just like anyone else, and when this guy greeted me at the front desk of HR Block, I got all psychosocial rehabby and was really impressed that they'd hired a disabled guy to be the greeter. Until I realized he was going to do my taxes. That he would be there to read the fine print, literally. And I had dashed in to HR Block on my way back to the office after a patient visit, so it wasn't like I had all damn day.

Collectively, A and I had four W-2's between us, two mortgage interest statements, four 1099s and a shitload of daycare and school receipts. And he read each one with a magnifying glass, less than an inch away from his face, and punched the keys on the keyboard one by one, looked back through the magnifying glass, hovered over the keyboard, punched a key, squinted at the screen. Looked through the magnifying glass, hovered over the keyboard, punched a key, squinted at the screen. Lather, rinse, repeat. All of those forms. I nearly jumped out of my skin.

And at the end? After the blind guy read the teensy numbers off of the complicated forms and performed a barely interactive reading of TurboTax? It was going to cost me TWO HUNDRED SIXTY-EIGHT DOLLARS for the whispering and magnifying and the pecking out of the letters and numbers. On top of the $1500 we do, in fact, owe. The $1500 we don't have immediately available, as we are the definition of paycheck-to-paycheck living.

A blind guy. Did my taxes.

Five and a Half
Visited my in-laws for Easter. Ate yellow foods and brown foods, no green foods. Some small, hard pink and blue foods, also.

Bird hunted Easter eggs in the freezing-ass cold during the day, ate sugary treats in the afternoon, and violently fought sleep Saturday night, forcing us to employ the "cry it out" method which I have used less than five times in the entire almost eighteen months I've been a parent. I just can't see the point in forcing her to fall asleep so lonely and out of control that she collapses in an exhausted heap. That does not feel like a parenting success to me.

While in Indianapolis, I slept in a bed so Downy fresh that I woke up feeling like I'd rubbed a dryer sheet all over the inside of my mouth. Please, if you are having guests, don't double-up on the freshness. Some people just don't like it.

Of course, the only Downy fresh bed I ever sleep in is there at my in-laws' house, and usually we are there for a celebratory occasion and I might be associating waking up in a Downy-fresh bed with waking up with a fierce hangover. In any case, I had little to drink this trip and I can say with certainty that the bed was over-Downied and I stand by my dryer-sheet-in-the-mouth description.

I've been checking Bloglines here and there, though I have not updated my own little corner, thanks to my barely flickering personal life. I find myself getting really jealous of all the crafty blogs- -the women who just decide on a whim to stitch up a sundress or a this or a that or bake homemade bread and take the time to get delighted by this pattern or this thing or this thrift store find or whatever. All with beautiful photos and a true appreciation for little satisfying details. I'm not talking about jealousy like "oh, that's so well done! I love that! Omigah! I'm so jealous!" I'm talking about actual, poisonous jealousy of these bloggers and their fucking awesome crafts. I covet their time and their productive use of it. I have a traffic jam of shit to crank through before I can even speak the words "sewing machine" or even "photoshop" outloud.

But I can say "Fuck!" outloud! Also "Fuck this!" and "Fuck that!" and "For fuck's sake, cat, get out of the fucking sink!" Because I am prim and sweet and I dream of stitching up some aprons.

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