29 February 2008


And damn, it was pretty freaking hard. Just in case you were wondering, the NCETMB is no joke.

To celebrate, A. and Birdy took me to the new Caribbean place that just opened a location in our neighborhood (so now one by my office and one by my house-- I'm surrounded by black bean salad and couldn't be happier about it).

Birdy also made me a special "booger ham" out of blue playdough. (translation: "hamburger", God bless her).

No long post today, just bask in this relief with me. It's been a big week.

26 February 2008

And We Are Now an All-Female Office Again.

He came and got all of his crap last night when our little old office in this little old house was empty. He came here in the dark, his pockets heavy with so much money he was paid but never earned. Too ashamed to even say, "hey, nice working with you, thanks for doing my job for me the last five months," he came to the office after hours and took his framed photos, his diploma, his book about leadership. But before he left, he made sure to

leave the fucking toilet seat up.

25 February 2008

Breathing Easier

Saturday morning, on the way to the library, straight from the bakery, we passed the hotdog stand.

A: Ooooh, it's almost time for a hotdog!

Me: You haven't even finished your breakfast sandwich yet.

A: That's why I said it was ALMOST time for a hotdog.

Sorry for the nothin-but-quotes format lately. Exam is in 3 precious days. After which I will prattle on and on in the style to which you are all accustomed.

But until then, the big news:
Sucky Lazy Executive Director resigned today, one hour after landing in our city following a week-long conference in California (hope you enjoyed your vacation, buttface). He didn't come in today at all. Resignation effective immediately, and he made arrangements to pick up his shit after the staff had left for the day, because he is... well, because that's who he is. I was going to say something mean and name-callish, but I won't, because I already called him a buttface and I never have to see him again. And now that he's gone, I can share with you that my nickname for him has been "Mr. Jacksonifyou'renasty." Which I think it's safe to say was a little joke I created to make myself crack up, because nobody else seems to think that's as funny as I do.

22 February 2008

Can You Believe it's a Free Show?

Me: Where are we going in the morning?

Bird: The library!

Me: What are we going to see?

Bird: The Nazi!

She means Anansi, as in Anansi the spider, as in the free weekend puppet show at the downtown library.

20 February 2008

Recipe Corner and Other Things

My Own Brand of Coping
Today I am organizing my office here at work. It's what I do when I'm ignoring major issues-- I like to take a moment to, say, clean out and organize the bathroom closet when I've been informed that the house is on fire. Just hold on a minute! Let me get all of the band-aids in one box, please, and then I will deal with this pesky heat and smoke!

NCETMB Exam Countdown:
7 days! Shit Fire and save the matches, folks! Last night I fell asleep in Bird's bed at 8:30 ish and did not rise again, thus losing an entire precious night of studying. Oh, my.

I Made Two Delicious Things This Week.

First, simple salad that required no genius (and will include no measurements):

Bag of Dole Classic Romaine Salad (or whatever, organic something something if you so choose, just get some greens together)

Grape Tomatoes

Red Pepper



Chopped peanuts

Dried Apricots

Morningstar Chik Patties, baked and cut up

T. Marzetti's super-fattening but always delicious Honey Dijon dressing.

Note: A. used real chicken breast on his salad, marinated in olive oil and soy sauce and baked. Gross.


Second, I revisited the smoothie I was so keen on making while I was pregnant with Bird:

One cup vanilla soy milk

One cup quick-cook Quaker Oats

One Banana

Frozen fruit (I chose a frozen strawberry-mango-pineapple mix and added frozen blueberries).

Blend, eat for breakfast, stay full until lunchtime.

I use a super-washed-out tall salsa jar (Kroger's Private Selection, I assume?) to drink from because it is tall and straight with no neck (easy washing), and it has a lid for transporting to the office in a hurry.

I Also Discovered a New (to me) Budgeting Tool.


I'm trying the 30 days free, and so far so good. I like that it asks you to assign your money to be spent certain ways BEFORE you spend it, rather than the traditional budget program (or homemade spreadsheet in my case) that tells you where you over-did it and hopes you won't do it again. It's the old-fashioned envelopes (hello, Mr. Ramsey, you are a pompous butthead but your system works) idea, but online and integrated with your online banking instead of cash-only. I like that it's not going to let me cheat, that every dime spent needs to come from somewhere, whether it's the mortgage money set aside for next month or the food budget, whatever. High hopes over here. Try it with me if you want and we can talk about it.

Family Health Crisis Moves from Red to Yellow
Dad doing great after surgery, Grandpa with MRSA infection and other multiple, layered, serious health issues cleared to go home (which, honestly, I did not think was going to happen, but yay). Granddad (other one) still stable, holding on, taking a couple of sips of juice a day. Family and hospice still hovering. Snee family still grocery shopping in three-day blocks, waiting for news and travel plans.

Bird is Still Two, Not Terrible (mostly).
Had a nasty fever over the weekend, but seems all better now.
Tells Thomas "Oh, Thomas! You have such a pretty tail!" Melts heart.
Calls Beardog "sweet boy." Double melts heart.

16 February 2008

Helpful Tips

This afternoon, I found myself standing alone in the pantry eating an entire box of Valentine's Nerds while Bird ate her healthy kid-lunch.

My discovery: If you read the label of something mostly healthy (Oatmeal) while you're eating something that is made of entirely crap ingredients (Nerds), it scrambles your nutritional thought process and you can effectively cut your junk guilt in half. Go on. Try it.

15 February 2008

So Stop Laughing.


"No, Mama. Poop is not funny. It's very sad."

14 February 2008



11 February 2008

I Received an Email Demanding a Blog Post, So

Here we are on the Greenway on Saturday. A truly lovely day, fantastic weather, quality family time.

While we were walking along the greenway, we heard a bicycle whizzing up behind us (a common occurance on this trail), and as he approached, the biker said, "On your left, Ladies!"

And then I said to A. "Huh. He just called you a lady."


So the not smoking thing is going GREAT. Greater than great. A. has made it through situations (drinks, backyard fire pit, bars, band practice) I would never have dreamed he could make it through, and has remained his funny, easygoing self instead of morphing into a six-headed monster throughout the process. And because of that, I have been extra-strong as well. It's been over two weeks and I haven't wanted to hurt anyone or crawl into a corner and die, so that's a plus. And an even bigger plus is that I haven't really wanted to smoke. It's only a taste of success and I realize that, but yum.


This work, this work! There is such bullshit running unchecked! As in, my boss totally did a no-call no-show on Friday and FLAT OUT LIED to me about it. MY BOSS. Hello, we are being led by a tenth-grader.


So, we haven't been sleeping well at our house, for a few reasons. Weather, for one. Tennessee has had some dramatic nights in the sky as of late, with wind and lightning and slapping rain, bright red radar screens on the news and devastating photos the morning after. Even if we could sleep through it, the big dog does not and he's a quivering, drooling, pacing mess before, during, and after the storm. And he totally wants to plant his stinky ass in YOUR bed until the sky gets quiet.

Bird has not been sleeping well, either, and when Bird doesn't sleep well, nobody sleeps well. She's clingy, on the verge of a winter cold and still staving it off, but barely. One of us spends at least half the night mashed into her twin-sized bed with her while she flops and clings and whines and pops up in the middle of the night fully awake and wanting to change her clothes. We've got to make another game plan-- I haven't woken up next to my husband in several days.

I also have not been sleeping well, with a tense body and a zillion things on my mind that keep my wheels whirring in the dark. I'm a champion sleeper, and In my life, not being able to sleep is the equivalent of not being able to enjoy, say, cheesecake. It's absurd.

And the fact that much of my unwelcome wakefulness is related to my work frustration makes me even more angry. I have plenty of important things to worry about, but for some reason I can't let this one go.


Because the big things really are big and they bust open a hole so big in the fence of my brain that all of the smaller worries can slither in after them and there is no stopping it: No money in the bank or in the pocket or anywhere I can see it, Grandpa in intensive care with ilius and a MRSA infection, other Grandfather in his final days with family and hospice hovering close by, dad having prostate surgery to remove stage 2 cancerous spot on Thursday, Mom shouldering all of this worry, child not sleeping, immense job dissatisfaction, looming exam, dog with mystery hairless patch on bum, attic needing insulation, car tags needing renewing, giving up cheese for lent (stupid), clogged sink in upstairs bathroom, out of tomatoes, no clean underwear, and on and on like this until I find myself drilling down to a point of lying in the dark and obsessing about whether or not the dogs are going to ruin the garden I have not yet planted, purchased, or planned.

Welcome, it's scary and disorganized in here. And there aren't any cigarettes, so don't ask.


Me: Ouch, Bird. You're pulling my hair. I don't like that.

Bird: I don't care.


Okay, there's a story behind that. A. was trying to get Bird back down to sleep night before last, and she was trying to lay on his face in the middle of a sleepless vacuum of time, and he was all, "no, Bird, you can't lay on my face." and she was all, "Daddy, I don't like that when you say I can't lay on your face," and he was all, "I don't care, you can't lay on my face."

The next morning they talked about their rough night and hurt feelings. Bird told A. that it hurt her feelings when he said he didn't care. He said he was sorry, and that he was frustrated and tired. They kissed and snuggled made up.

But we're still left with the occasional "I don't care." She throws it out there and looks at you like, "Holy shit, what's going to happen next?" And I look at her like, "Holy shit, what do I say next?" And I have a whiz bang glimpse of the future where I am standing nose to nose with an adolescent Bird and I have to just snap out of it already and enjoy that I have to try not to laugh now because man alive, it is so not going to be funny when she is thirteen, no sir.


Bird: (running laps through the house as we're trying to cook dinner and have some semblance of a conversation) POOPOOPOOPOOPOOPOOPOOPOOPOOOOPOOPOOPOOPOOMOUSE!!!

A: Hey Bird, I think it's time to call your parents and tell them to come get you.


Just kidding.
Just look at her, so cute.


So, A. shaved off his mustache. I think this is the closest he's come to psychosis while taking Chantix. He started out trimming his beard, and I got in the shower, and when I got out he was sporting a mean fu manchu. The fu was quickly removed, but the redneck photo is freaking priceless. I am fortunate to have married a man so weird and lovable.

05 February 2008

Not Today, Thanks

Bird at breakfast this morning:

"I don't want to eat my Life with my fingers. And I don't want to eat my Life with my spoon! I don't want this Life!"

Things are feeling heavy to me today--the details plentiful and tedious and when I type them they sound woe-is-me, so I delete them.

I do think she summed it up nicely for the both of us.

01 February 2008

Friday again, somehow

What is this, just a Friday-posting blog now? Forgiveness, please, my job has me pinned down like a frog in biology class. (now find my duodenum.)

Here is the weekly collection of mostly unrelated mishmash you may have come to expect:


Dear LOST,

Thanks for that. I've missed you.




Me: Your hair is getting really long. How long are you going to grow it out?

A: What do you mean?

Me: I mean, like, do you want shoulder-length long hair, or Fabio-long hair?

A: I want to grow it long enough so that I can wrap it around under my chin and make a beard out of it.


A's Chanitx Update:

Day 5
No smokes
No psychosis
One night of sleepwalking
One very, very proud wife.


I stayed home today to study again. Here's how it went:

7:45: Drop Bird at Daycare.

7: 46: Run into my friend C. dropping off her little one at Daycare.

7:50: Go to breakfast with C. Delightful!

8:45: Return home and gather laundry, start laundry, various household tedium, listen to NPR.

9:00: Receive call from baby brother, with whom I have not chatted leisurely in a coon's age. Catch up on ailing relatives, current job woes, political candidates, cat medicines, LOST.

11:15: Study. Really! I studied a proper long time, even while I ate my lunch. (egg noodles, frozen peas and carrots, shredded cheddar, Bragg's. Yum.
(okay, in my head right now I hear a little Asian woman saying "Oh! You should study! A proper long time!" like in that 2 Live Crew song.)

And now it is time to pay bills and finish the laundry and collect my child from daycare.


And now, a video clip in which:
  1. My homemade highlights are clearly visible (and unimpressive... yipes)
  2. I try my best to blend into the couch with my new green Goodwill skirt
  3. Birdy sings "Cows in the Kitchen" with a spectacular vocal dismount. She's got some flair, that kid.