30 March 2008

If You Cut Me, Do I Not Bleed Chee-tos?

Me: *ugh.* You are such a music snob.

A: I think you mean "expert."


I put a video of Bird in my sidebar. Two and a half is the best age ever. She's like a little foreign game show host, so excited and innocently trying to learn this language. You joking me around!

The in-laws were in town over the weekend. My pantry now closely resembles aisle 4 at Kroger, with every conceivable packaged, cheese-flavored, artificially colored dry snack shoved into six square inches of counter space. I must publicly pat myself on the back for harvesting all of the cold canned diet cokes from the fridge and putting them back in their cardboard case to send back to Indiana when the in-laws departed this morning, saving me the temptation to drink one with every meal until they're gone and feel like over-caffeinated, chemical shit for a solid week. Yay, me!

Bird invited the grandparents to the library's kick-ass puppet theater, giving A. and I a chance to poke around the CDs and fiction for 45 childless minutes. (currently reading this). We went out to eat at a new neighborhood restaurant, A. and his dad played golf, I made a fabulous vegetable strata for breakfast and made everyone eat lentils for dinner Friday night, and everyone was happy to be in each other's company for a few days regardless of our limited space.

I even got to get away for a few hours late Saturday night to play Spinner with three of my favorite wine-soaked, trash-talkin' ladies. They play for blood. And chocolate.

All in all, a good weekend, even if there was some stirring-up of religious compost Sunday morning that released some stinky emotional gas. I'll be private about the details but I will say that I am so very proud of my husband for the choices he's made, the respect he's shown me when it comes to my own beliefs, the compromises he's made for our family and his willingness to defend those decisions, and the commitment he's made to finding what's right for our little group of three, regardless of what the Pope or any other interested party thinks about it. A, you are a helluva guy.

We had a delightful Sunday dinner tonight with the regular cast of characters, I ate pie AND brownies, I snuggled a smooshy baby, and Bird dropped her dress-up shoe in the toilet without escalating to crisis. Sweet progress.

I also got a job offer late Friday afternoon, the details of which I plan to negotiate but am 99% certain I will take. It's a job -- get this-- writing. And it's full time, which changes some things but not others, and which weighs on my mama-heart and at the same time really doesn't, and all kinds of other complicated, layered chatter. Which I may post here sometime. The bottom line is that it's more money, more stability and nobody dies (at least not as a routine part of the job-- a welcome change), and, um, I have a ten-year-old degree in creative writing degree sitting around somewhere that I've been itching to dust off. So there you have it. Thanks for your good thoughts, I got the slob. And now I must find a way to gracefully extract myself from a four-seat nonprofit staff that is already one man down and struggling. *gulp*

25 March 2008


I am the best at
procrastinating until
I'm more like the worst.

Slob minterview no. 2 scheduled for Thursday a.m.
Major deadline on freelance project is same exact time.
And, um, I've read a lot of blogs tonight.

24 March 2008

Easter Fever

First, this:

Humorous Pictures
see more crazy cat pics

Now that we have that out of the way
So. This house is like my house on the inside in a lot of ways-- built in the same-ish time period, same-ish room size, same-ish layout, same-ish details, woodwork, arches, same teensy bathroom, etc. I love this rehab and feel like my house could learn a thing or two from this one-- after all, our bathroom is only SLIGHTLY less grimy than the one in the "before" pic. But what happens when I get the home improvement itch is that I stand in one room making a mental list of the projects large and small that need to be organized, funded and begun and I end up making myself nauseous and just walking away to eat cheerios by the handful. But damn, I do love the color of that living room.

Things About Bird
Bird came down with a gnarly Easter fever, beginning at church where she hunted Easter eggs like a champ and wilted in A's arms during the sermon, red and hot as a biscuit. It lasted all day and through the (very restless) night. Note to parents out there: throw away your ear thermometer. That little piece of advice would have saved us a call to the on-call doctor late last night when the damned thing gave us a false reading of 106 and my heart nearly exploded.

Bird got some flip flops (which she pronounces "thlip thlops") in her Easter basket. Also, the "I wish I could, but..." stuff from the last post is now a commonly used phrase in our house. As in, "Hey Bird, let's clean up this gigantic mess of toys and shredded paper" and she says, "I wish I could, but I'm really kind of doing something right now."*

Reading Rainbow

I'm reading this book and you should read it too. And oh my goodness, when I searched that title I learned that she also has a blog.

Ah, Employment
Still waiting on scheduling information for the second slob minterview. I'm controlling myself but only barely as I have not called or emailed a "what gives?" to anybody just yet.

Here at the job I already have, last week was a bruiser. I negotiated a tense peace between three staff people and in doing so lost my will to give any more than a quarter of a shit at any given time. That, and I had to watch a poodle dance around in a cheerleader costume for twenty minutes and feign interest. So, yeah. Somebody from the slob minterview place, please make contact. I am sweating.

*You know, something important like putting a size 5 toddler diaper on a tiny plastic dog.

22 March 2008


Two things a mama doesn't love to hear when she's contemplating trading a part-time work schedule for a full-time one:

A: Birdy, come up here and snuggle me!

Bird: I wish I could, but I have to go to work now.

(I hear this regularly, when she's feeling willful, which, hello she is TWO)

Mama: Please stop banging that spoon on the dishwasher.


That one makes my blood boil and my insides turn inside out.

Oh, and Slob Minterview went all kinds of real nice. Slob Minterview Part Deux happens next week.

20 March 2008

On Being Productive and Not Wasting a Bunch of Time, You Big Time Waster

Best thing to do when you're facing a tight freelance deadline? Noodle around on the internet, looking at sewing blogs. At midnight. When you don't really sew.

Tomorrow could be a big day. I'm keeping my mouth shut, but we're talking about two words, and they rhyme with Slob Minterview.

And really, I don't know anything about anything. What I do know is that it's good to have options. And clean pants. I'm working on the clean pants part.

11 March 2008

You Make Up a Title, I'm Over It

First, a Question:
Why is Mary-Kashley Olsen famous?

Next, a Quote:
I swooped Bird up on the playground yesterday at daycare and she yanked the neck of my shirt open, looked in, and said:

"Hey Mama, you got a baby sister in your tummy for me?"

Sigh. I could have replied, "You got an extra eight hundred a month lying around somewhere that would pay for a baby sister's daycare?"

But I replied, "No, not yet. Maybe someday."

When what I kind of wished I could say was Yes.*

Now, a Puzzler:
When we bought our house almost six years ago, my mom bought us a set of sheets with an insanely high thread count as a housewarming gift. They are soft and heavy and smooth. They are (were) perfect. They cost a fortune, as sheets go.

I mentioned once to my mom that I never used any other sheets, as we had become so spoiled by the luxury of the perfect ones. I told her how I just strip the bed in the morning to wash them and put them right back on at night.

That year, for Christmas, we got another set of sheets with an only slightly-less-insanely high thread count, though they were also soft and heavy and smooth. They also cost a pretty penny.

For the next 3 or 4 years I alternated between these two sets of sheets.

This week, we noticed a hole in the fitted sheet of the first perfect set. It was a small hole that turned in a matter of nights into a gaping, ripped slash in the fabric and was the official death of that perfect sheet. I mourned.

No, seriously. I grieved that sheet.

Last night I put our OTHER set of sheets on the bed and noticed four (FOUR! MAYBE FIVE!) smallish holes in the fitted sheet, holes just like the ones that killed my first darling sheet. I know it is only a matter of nights before we will be dragging out the green sheets with their regular thread count and bitching about how it is just like sleeping under sheets of newspaper as we grieve these two hard losses. And in such a small amount of time! It's heartwrenching.

What do you think is happening? Did they have a contagious sheet disease? Could these holes be a result of sleeping on the same sheets for six years? (though the fabric was certainly worn it did not show thin spots or major signs of wear.) What the holy eff is going on in there that took two of the most wonderful fitted sheets in the whole entire world to an early grave in just a week?

And, a Non-Story.
Tuesday during my mediocre lunch at Fazoli's in Clarksville, Tennessee (when will I learn?), I couldn't help but notice the group of middle-aged, NASCAR-moms in the booth next to me. The kind of lady who will wear a Dale Earnhardt sweatshirt with a silk-screened autograph across the back, drive a Chevy Suburban and carry two keys and nine keychain doo-dads with pictures of her kids and her sister's kids and her cat and her husband back when they were in high school, and use seven gallons of hairspray each morning to support a weird hairdo only found in the South. The kind of woman who meets her best gal pals at Fazoli's for lunch.

Please note that I'm not judging. I'm observing.

And what I observed that day was that the loudest hen of the group had a cell phone that just would not stop ringing (which she answered every time), interrupting the conversation four or five times during the meal.

Her ring tone was the theme song from "Friends." And I observed in a strictly observational way what a strange thing it was that this early forties, over-sized NASCAR mom in a medium-sized town in the mid-south SO LOVED this show about fashionable, carefree twentysomethings living in New York City, so much so in fact that her love has continued in the many years since the show went off the air, so much so that she would make sure she heard the theme song at least six thousand times a day, each time envisioning those kooky Friends splooshing around in the fountain and walking into each other's apartments unannounced.

Maybe you don't think that's interesting. I think it's interesting.

*Just to make it unmistakably clear, I am not pregnant.

05 March 2008

Spring Forward

The part of my job that makes my stomach sink is when I'm standing on a patient's front porch, poised to ring a doorbell. About to enter someone else's life to talk about terminal illness and death, even though in my personal world no one has died but the very, very old. So what do I even have to say here? What can I tell you about this? About coping? About tragedy? About preparing to lose your spouse? About care giving? About sacrifice? Grief?

On my way to visit a patient last week, I realize I might starve to death if I don't eat before I arrive. I drive through at McDonald's. I order two cheeseburger-hold-the-burger sandwiches and a diet coke. The kid hands me my drink through the window. The lid is not snapped on. He lets go to soon, I squeeze the cup, diet coke explosion. Everywhere. All over my car. Mostly in the driver's seat. All over my ass. I curse. I am kind to the kid, though, it was an accident. He offers me a replacement beverage. I park the car. He brings me a Dr. Pepper. I hate Dr. Pepper. I drag towels from my trunk, blot and dab at my ass in the parking lot and eventually give up and resume the drive, soaking in aspartame and caramel coloring from the top of my ass to the bend of my knee, stuffing bread and cheese sandwiches in my face as fast as I can.

Ten minutes later I stand on the patient's doorstep having the aforementioned sinking stomach moment. I introduce myself and explain that I have brought this old blue sheet covered in dog hair, and I'm going to sit on it to protect his furniture, due to my ass being saturated with soda. I invite myself into his living room and proceed to talk with him about how he's going to die.

Aaaaaaand... .. scene.

I haven't been posting regularly for whatever reason, but I have been keeping a short scrawled list of the things I should be writing about, and it looks like this:

Broken window
Mutual Funds
speeding ticket
Window repair
Cat f*cking up window repair
coke ass

Clearly, I chose to tell you the story about coke ass. It was the best one.

I also have, in another place, a second list of things I've been meaning to share here:

1. Uncle Daves.
My brother-in-law and his girlfriend visited last weekend from Indiana. We did the touristy honky-tonk adventure downtown, and a lot of hanging out around the house. Birdy finally warmed up to her uncle, and though she knows other people named Dave, she reserves the plural only for him. It's awfully sweet.

2. It snowed here.
About 4 inches Friday night, so pretty, so rare. We received an invitation from dear friends Saturday morning to turn the toddlers loose in their giant, snow-covered yard, which we happily accepted. And as the kids were running and falling and just generally causing a big joyful ruckus, a snowball sailed over the privacy fence and hit my brother-in-law's girlfriend in the leg, sent by the ten-year-old next door.

One snowball over the fence turned quickly into four men in their thirties winging snowballs at two ten-year-olds, and the younger boys responding with war-like intensity. Okay, maybe not war-like. But they were totally into it. And on our side of the fence, the thirtysomethings ducked and crouched and used the deck to their advantage, whining about their sore, aging shoulders, eventually continuing the battle into the driveway and leaving in a hail of snowballs thudding against the cars. We were all on our way out anyway, but I'm pretty sure those kids think they ran us off, which is a victory I hope they hold onto for a long, long time.

3. Bird had a horrible nap on Sunday. Losing an hour will turn a toddler's life upside down, and having your uncle Daves in town plus going to parents' night out in your jammies the night before can turn a once-peaceful and welcome nap into a battle of wills. Quotes from that nap include:

Mama, stop touching my head. It makes me nervous.
I don't want this baby! I WANT MY REGULAR BABY!
Bird: Stop talking to me!
Me: I'm not talking to you.
Bird: STOP IT!

4. Bird's new YouTube favorites: gold pants and Herman's Hermits.

5. Why I laughed until I cried at work: Garfield. Except without Garfield.

6. What I saw today: Frozen Grand Central.

The end.