27 June 2007

Two Posts in Two Days, BOO YA

Nearly time I check our bank balance online I have a minor heart attack and possibly near-death experience in the time between clicking "login" and the time my balance actually shows up. It's completely wasted anxiety-- I'm not waiting to see what's going to happen, just waiting to assess what's already happened, but it is no less dramatic.

So that's how things are going in the money department. I can't look at my balance unless my eyes are covered and I'm peeking between two fingers, like I'm in the dark with a jumbo popcorn on my lap and the killer with the ski mask will surely kill the couple making out in the deserted camp cabin AT ANY MINUTE. I know those two lovebirds are going to get hurt, and I know it's definitely coming. That lower-than-low balance and all the records of the shit that's been purchased are coming. The reminders for the shit that's due just around the corner are coming. There's no stopping them and their fucking ski masks and scythes. And I just sit and and ball up in terror until it hits. And then hurts. And sometimes there is dramatic screaming and clumsy running.

Speaking of eating popcorn, A. frequently asks me to "stop Swedish-cheffing it" when we eat popcorn, because I try to pick up too many pieces at one time with just the tips of my fingers and they all go flipping everywhichway on the couch. Durg de durg de Bork! Bork! (and there's your tie-in to the last entry.)

Back on track about money: As it has become necessary to track every single cent that travels with surprising speed in and out of our lives, I've created a seriously bad-ass spreadsheet with many formulas and other high-tech things that any fourth grader could do. But I am so proud of it! And it really cuts down on the severity of my case of the balance checking willies, because I know I'm actually going to be able to baby-step it and make those numbers actually mean something other than crushing fear. I am certainly no genius, but if you would like a copy of my brainy spreadsheet, email me at mamasnee at gmail dot com and I'll fling it your way.

Bird Update
Bird has some kind of major diaper irritation thanks to the super acidic poo she's been pooping. It was recommended that we mix some corn starch with mylanta and spread it on her little booty to help heal it. So I did and I will. She thinks it hilarious for me to fan her naked bum to dry the paste while she says, "clean diaper pweeeeeeese!"

She has also discovered chapstick, which she will uncap and point in the direction of your face, asking, "some?" and you say "of course, I'd love some!" and she smooshes around your lips with the chapstick and swipes once at your nose, just for good measure. There is so much chapstick stuck on my mug that it probably looks like I've been drooling.

26 June 2007

The Pipes, The Pipes are Calling

So Bird has watched this video on YouTube at least once a day for the past couple of weeks.

She's the only twenty-month old obsessed with Danny Boy. She approaches anyone who will listen, saying "Beaker sad. Beaker so sad. Blows a noses. Danny Boy. Sad." She's so empathetic and serious that she made my mom cry over her sincerity and sweetness.

God bless YouTube and God bless the muppets.


Funny massage school story: At the completion of a massage, many instructors will suggest that you end with a peaceful message to your client as you take your leave of the body, something as simple as "thank you" or "namaste."

After being on the receiving end of a massage in class last weekend, my partner leaned over me and whispered, "como estas." I think she meant "namaste."


I'm reading again. I know! Books and everything! I've been off TV for several weeks now, and I settled up with the library months ago on my long-standing fine in order to shake up our board book variety. I'm back on the reading rainbow. Hi LeVar! I'm almost finished with Ayun Halliday's The Big Rumpus, which I highly recommend to any mama tired of hearing about the need for more bedrooms, bigger cars, and expensive, hideous children's clothing.


Yesterday I made a 2+ hour drive to visit a patient. I got lost, again.* And my contact lenses seem to not be fitting so great these days, and I ended up behind a massive semi in the rain that I thought said "Shit Fuck" on the back, but it said "Ship by Truck." How disappointing. I also ended up listening to Dave Ramsey, which has happened on more than one occasion on these drives. Me? Dave Ramsey? I don't know how that happens. How is it that ten years ago I wouldn't have set out for the one-hour drive from college to home without a carefully planned stack of mix tapes, and now I'll gladly hop in the car for a five-hour round trip with nothing more than the new Modest Mouse (which I am loving, but which I have listened into the ground) and the naive hope of finding something on the radio in the middle of fucking nowhere?


I am often so fed up with Southern stereotypes, the idea that we're all crawling out from under rocks and what have you with our ragged clothing, clutching a hit Country tune scrawled on a napkin, flocking to the city to make it big. Or throwing our fanny packs and Brooks and Dunn T-shirts over our big hair and big asses and running out to vote for the GOP. Or maybe sitting on a broken down rocking chair on a broken down porch facing a broken down Ford and talking about Nascar with our old and deaf grandmas drinking dusty lemonade. It isn't always like that down here.


My unbiased research (meaning my trips to visit patients for work) tells me that if you drive anywhere over an hour outside of a metropolitan area in Tennessee-- and for no reason in particular, you will find stronger results traveling East-- and enter any gas station or truck stop or drive-thru and you are sure to see the most fucked up looking bunch of people you've ever encountered. The drive thru girl looks normal until you see the fraction of a stub of a lone tooth and the fingers without fingernails. Or the guy with an honest-to-baby-Jesus pig nose talking a blue streak to the guy of normal weight with sixteen chins and a wonky eye at the gas station-slash-Pizza Hut- slash Dairy Queen-slash-video store- slash- smoky den of smoke. I'm sure they're all lovely people worth knowing, but It's just fucked up out there. The landscape is beautiful, but yeesh. The vibe isn't always pastoral and simple-- sometimes it's just plain spooky and inbred.

*The visit before this one included miles and miles of deserted highway, more miles and miles of no cell phone service, driving through two creek beds and receiving multiple stern warnings to stay on the "main road" so as not to "end up in a baaaaaad holler." It was straight out of a movie. A movie where an old blind witch lives in an abandoned house and an inbred aggressor-- her son, maybe-- stands on a dilapidated front porch shooting a shotgun in the air and shouting, "Friend or Foe?!?" at the man in the business suit who has just pulled up, lost, in a shiny black car. The businessman who will soon end up in some kind of stew cooking over an open fire in the bad holler.

22 June 2007


Dear Bird,

Today you picked up my clipboard with the grocery list on it, and started marching around the living room, shouting, "Emma! Jack! Get over here! Change diapers!" with your brow furrowed and your hand on your hip, just like your daycare teachers must do a hundred times a day with their clipboards full of sign in sheets and daily reports about what you ate, when you pooped, etc.

It astounded me, your ability to soak up your surroundings and then imitate with what I suspect is such accuracy. I'm delighted by your perceptiveness and I'm heartbroken that people are likely speaking to you and your friends so sharply when I'm not around. As my little apology for leaving you most days with someone I hardly even know, we went to Staples and bought you a little clipboard that is more your size, and you love it. You scribble on it for a minute and go back to barking your orders.

Then, while we were eating our lunch, you looked at me and said, "That bitch crazy." While your dad and I are hardly G-rated in our vocabulary, we really do keep it clean around your ears, and you don't watch television outside of Teletubbies about once a month. And besides, we're more likely to say "motherfucker" or "asshole"-- this business about crazy bitches is a phrase that's new in our home. Where did you get it? Somebody with a clipboard?

I wish we could stay home together more days.


15 June 2007

Quick! I have ten minutes.

Oh, hi. Sorry for my absence. I've been doing things, like working.

Because, long story short, I realized that I'm not going to start loving my job until I start really doing it, giving a shit about it, and just because I don't plan on being there forever doesn't mean I can't focus a little bit and take the opportunity I have to do good work in the world. Well, as much as possible anyway. It would be much easier if my patients would stop it with the dying, but we've talked about that.

So I've been working, and that's really cut down on my blogging time. Also, I have (as usual) everything and nothing to say, and sometimes that makes beginning a post seem like starting a twenty-five page research paper. Today, I must keep things brief.

A quick aside: my Bird is in the next room, babbling/ shouting at me from her crib, where she is supposed to be napping. I could go in there, but I'm afraid I'll start the I-only-sleep-on-my-mama-so-don't-even-give-me-this-crib-bullshit game. And normally I wouldn't be so rigid, but my in-laws are on their way and are expected at my doorstep in about twenty minutes, and this kid needs a nap like nobody's business. And if they come busting up in here with the hugging and the cooing and the what have you, we can kiss this nap goodbye for sure.

In the spirit of brevity, which I seem to be losing, here are a few things:

The Father's Day Card people need to branch out a little bit. Not all dads fix things or like to plunk their fat asses down on the couch with the remote control. And not all Dads grill. I was hard pressed to find a card that did not involve tools, some promise of remote controls/ couch time/ beer, or grilling accessories. Oh, or dumb jokes about how Dad pays for everything, but you're still a slacker kid, and thanks for the money, aren't I a bunch of trouble, nudge nudge, right? All dumb.

Also, the downtown public library, in its (I'm for real here) splendor, is really kind of a hobo camp. But the hobos are nice and they sit at the study tables pretending to read, and they always smile kindly at my little banshee as she runs down the long aisle in the fiction section screaming her ass off. But I'm just sayin', it's the sweetest, most marble-laden homeless shelter in town.

I've been having work-free fridays lately, and I don't feel like explaining it, but what I can say is that I now see the SAHM role in a new light-- several new lights, in fact. One of those is that it could really be a potential spend-a-thon. Because getting out of the house usually involves running errands, errands at places where there are things for sale.

Oh, and this week the Bird has been to the doctor for a mysterious come-and-go limp, and now is covered from head to toe in a spooky looking, non-itching, unidentifiable rash.
I'm just shrugging over here.

02 June 2007

Scenes From A Marriage, Again

MS and A. are driving home from the library with Bird. A. played a show last night. And we have been watching a lot of Planet Earth lately. Begin.

A: Oh! I completely forgot to tell you what I saw last night at the show.
MS: mmm?
A: A guy with a mohawk... but with a bald spot in the middle.
MS: Yikes. From where he was going bald?
A: Yep.
MS: So you saw the elusive Split Hawk?
A: It's one of the only ones in existence today.
MS: I've heard it's almost extinct.
A: It is. [long pause] He is the Last of the Mohawkans.

01 June 2007

Proof of End Times/ Proof that I am old and grumpy

As I become older and more crotchety, I become less and less tolerant of television programming. I can't even bear to channel surf all nine channels that come into my home, so tonight I checked the listings online to see what was available for viewing while I ate my egg noodle*/ peas/ carrots/ corn/ sea salt/ chickpeas/ cheese/ bowl. "Surely," I said to myself as I read the schedule, "what I am reading cannot be so."

I turned on the television to ABC and oh my SHITS, tvguide.com does not lie: Bingo on television. Televised fucking BINGO, which, incidentally, looked remarkably like a bizarre foreign game show, with a kooky Indian guy in a referee costume and a lot of shouting and zoomy cameras and contrived excitement, lots of bright colors and maybe some confetti. Sandwiched in between the murder show and the other murder show before the other murder show. Are you sad that you don't live in a retirement community? Or that you don't belong to the Knights of Columbus? Do not fear, ABC has dedicated an entire hour of prime time television to BINGO, right between the indistinguishable, paranoia-inducing crime shows. Just call meals on wheels, order the watery soup and yams, and you'll be all set for your Friday Night good-timin', guaranteed to be in bed by nine.

I'm going to drink beer on the back porch now.

* To the makers of No Yolks Egg Noodles: quit hiding your little promo coupons (Cinderella 9! On DVD!) wrapped in plastic deep in the bag of egg noodles. Every time I use your product, I dump the noodles into boiling water and then jump around in my kitchen trying to find something to fish the little advert packet out before the plastic melts into my noodles and I have to eat them anyway because I am freaking famished.