20 November 2008


You know that feeling when you're about to sneeze? When you say, "hold on, I'm going to sneeze," and the person you're talking to waits, and you stop whatever you're doing until it happens? That Ah-ah-ah before the CHOO?

That's pretty much my life from 5pm until bedtime, the ah-ah-ah part plus itchy throat and watery eyes. Can't think, eyelids at half mast, bumble and run into things. Plus violent bouts of sneezing that cause uncontrollable Springsteen-leg.

Allergic to the house.

If anyone would like to adopt an aging cat with health problems and a shitty attitude, let me know. I think (okay, I know) he is a major factor. Also, if anyone would like to buy me a house built after 1990 that does not sit on an open dirt cellar and possibly has central heat on both floors, please step forward as well.

16 November 2008

So, a Mama walks into a Gymnastics Birthday Party...

... and joyfully shouts "Happy Birthday, Marshall!"

to the wrong kid.

(It was a party for someone in Bird's class. I get the boys mixed up, you know?)

14 November 2008

Reality-based play

So, my Bird. She is a born caretaker.
If she's not taking someone's temperature, she's putting someone down for a nap, or feeding them, or disciplining the dog, or-- as is most likely the case-- she is changing her baby's diaper.

Bird is also the oldest kid in her daycare class (thanks, October Birthday, for ensuring that we pay for daycare for as much time as mathematically possible before the free public school days begin), and one of the only ones completely potty trained. Sometimes, she pretends to change some of her classmates' diapers.

Do I have to tell you where this is going?

This week, we had a little pow-wow about how we don't take our friends' pants off at school.

Because I needed another thing to keep up with

I have joined facebook. Which is weird and very non-anonymous. Non-onymous? It's like being AT the party, where people can see you from across the room as you're catching up with your co-worker from your very first big girl job at the mental health center million years ago. And then hey! There's that guy that worked the night shift at the group home and he wants to know your daughter's name.

But you know about Facebook. Apparently everyone knew about Facebook except me.

It's overwhelming, the activity level and the live action of facebooking. I feel like I'm playing whack-a-mole, monitoring all this action. I mean, yeah, I had a myspace, and yeah, I started this blog there, but it felt a little more "yearbook" and a little less "Reunion," if that makes sense to you. I'm used to a different level of anonymity when I go about my business here on the internets.

I know, you're all like, "Whatever, not only do I know where you live, I have used your bathroom." And now I'm all like, "oh geez, sorry, was there underwear on the floor?"

13 November 2008

Good Thursday Morning

Had that dream this morning-- the one where you get up, get in the shower, start breakfast. Everything normal, even the laundry is where you left it on the table. And then, you really wake up. And it's been 45 minutes since your alarm went off. And you shout obscenities and throw yourself at the shower, because it's the one day you have an outside meeting, and you have to find some un-embarrasing pants. And that can take a minute or two.

And your daughter, she wants to wear spooky socks. But mom? Not THOSE spooky socks. Those have SPIDERS on them, see? Not spooky. She needs the green ones with TWELVE PUMPKINS on them. TWELVE! She's holding one green sock, and the other? Well, anywhere. Your guess is as good as mine. But miraculously, you find it, in the bottom of the clean laundry. And honestly, if you'd found it in the bottom of the dirty laundry? Same result. Here's your sock. Please put it on. PLEASE. PUT IT-- hand the marker to me, please-- ON. And we have socks.

And then, shit, it's picture day at school. Let's have a look at you... bedhead, weird black and white hoodie and too-big pink cords, and the aforementioned bright green and orange spooky socks with TWELVE PUMPKINS. And you know the photographer brings "fancy clothes" for the kids, but last year the proofs of your simple girl looked like "trailer park pageant princess," dress too big and outdated, ruffly, falling off her shoulder. You know you're not buying photos anyway. But you dig around in the closet and find her pink and brown polka dot dress from your cousin's wedding, shove it in her bag, along with the Morningstar nuggets you'll be sending for lunch for the third day this week.

And we're off.

12 November 2008


Sunday, lovely Sunday:
A. played basketball for a couple of hours, Bird took a long (and necessary) nap, and I spent two and a half hours in my sunny little kitchen making food for the week (bread, paella, lentil casserole, edamame-corn salad) and thinking about nothing in particular. I listened to the end of A Prairie Home Companion (which I find more enjoyable as I grow old and weird), cranked up some Stan Getz for awhile, and finished the dishes with All Things Considered.

Mmmmmm. Content.

And then, by Tuesday:
I started laughing over my dinner and pretty soon, I was crying big clumsy tears, shaking shoulders and the whole bit-- crying from laughing, crying from sadness and worry, crying from grief, crying from anxiety and fear, crying from relief, crying from being completely overwhelmed. Bear's surgery finally over. Midwife appointment today that made me remember. Birdy's bird-ness. Rushing off to an afternoon meeting before dinner. Out of onions. Out of money. Out of clean clothes. Holiday plans and guilt coming from every direction. Suitcase still packed from the funeral in Indiana 2 weeks ago. Staying tired. Staying behind. All of that. Plus the good things, the Bird things, the A. things, the roof-over-my-head and food-on-my-table things. All of it, too much sometimes.

08 November 2008

Title, Schmitle

beautiful. A. played guitar and sang during the service with his cousin and uncle, and the funeral procession took the long way through her small Indiana town, with people standing at the sidewalk outside of their homes in respect as we passed. Side streets were blocked off with banners, and the flag was at half mast. People were kind, others behaved poorly, it was crowded, it was joyful, it was mournful, it was family. And it was good to be in Mary's house, though we'd never been in it without her there.

We slept at Mary's house on an air mattress in the back room in the freezing cold, under quilts we scavenged from the upstairs closet that may not have been unfolded since 1974. And no surprise, slept terribly and battled stabbing sinus pains and cement-quality congestion during the visitation and funeral the next morning. So imagine my relief when I found-- and swallowed-- a friendly Tylenol Allergy Sinus I discovered in the bottom of my purse while standing on the front porch of the funeral home. And imagine my horror when I turned the package over and read "nightime." The rest of the day I was mildly stoned and not too upset about it.

Is a shameful mess, suitcase still loosely packed in the living room (where I've been putting on deodorant by the front door for a week), dishes in the sink, clothes everywhere. We're replacing the kitchen faucet tomorrow if we can muster the energy-- the faucet slowly disconnects from the sink every couple of days, the hot water handle is broken off and the sprayer is stuck at "on." Also, the toilet is running, the back door frame is getting weirder, and I can't even begin to list the other 80-year old elements of this house that could use some love, and yet still get none, as we have spent 8 of the last 12 weekends with one of us on the road to somewhere.

But damn. It is so good to be here. This morning I started and abandoned a grocery list, ended up dumping dried beans from one jar to another in the parlor with Bird. There are still beans all over the floor, and that was over 12 hours ago. And guess what? There they will stay, along with the laundry and the pet hair tumbleweeds, junk mail catalogs and piles of things I intend to read, renegade socks and shoes, all of it. To quote a friend, "I prefer to waller in my squalor." At least for this weekend, while I celebrate what looks like the (at least temporary) end of our two-state commute.

is having surgery on Tuesday. We came home to find him-- my 11 year old Bear Dog-- with a very swollen ear, like some kind of poofy filled pastry attached to one side of his head. Turns out he has a hematoma-- which would be a bruise on any other part of his body but on his little old ear there is no tissue to soak up the blood, causing this big pocket. The vet also pointed out a dangerously infected/ rotting tooth that has to go, so we will be spending our entire Christmas budget times two next week taking care of Sir Rottentooth Puffyears and his stinky old body. That sounds resentful, but I mean it with affection. He is both stinky and old, those are facts. Plus, he is family.

has had the two worst tantrums of her short life -- and I do not exaggerate, I say WORST and I mean WORST-- this past week, a result of 4 days of scanty parenting, absent bedtimes and a steady diet of crackers and bullshit during our trip to Indiana. I think she is back on track, but DUDE. I have seen the dark side, and it is terrifying.

Yes, we did! We came home from Indiana Tuesday afternoon and I went straight to work, then home to the demon-posessed version of my child, then onto the couch with a bottle of nyquil and only the strength to stay up long enough to see Ohio go blue on the map. And then, several hours later in the deep, deep dark of my cold medicine slumber, I received a "YES!" text from my friend Jen, and went back to sleep relieved and hopeful. The next day, my crushing head cold symptoms showed marked improvement. So yeah, things are lookin' up all over the place.

01 November 2008

Haircut: Fixed.

Hello, $30 haircutter lady with the good-smelling shampoo. I have learned my lesson.

Yep, that's a picture of my haircut. I don't usually post photos of my own damn self here. But it's late, A. is out playing loud music in a sketchy neighborhood somewhere, and I thought it might be a good idea to take a photo of myself at 11pm in my raggedy-assed Vandy sweatshirt with no makeup on. And oh, hey, is that a 2006 calendar displaying the month of December hanging on my bathroom door? Yes! Yes it is!