I originally started blogging on MySpace, but, well, I really don’t want my meanderings couched in that construct anymore. But if you really want to read my thoughts from the last year or so, feel free.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008
I just dispatched the most monstrous and noisy cricket. I chased it into the kitchen. Once its legs were off the carpet, its crunchy little carcass didn’t stand a chance.

Plus, while stalking it behind the toy kitchen, I found my long-lost guitar tuner. And a pair of Transformers underpants, but that’s not nearly as important.

All in all, a most productive evening.

 

Wednesday, August 6, 2008
It’s a boy’s life

If you know my boy, you know he’s all about playing. He has no agenda, he doesn’t need to be top dog, and in fact he readily forgives the little jerky kids who do feel that need. He just wants to play, play hard, and get incredibly fired up about it. It’s very cute.

We went to a birthday party yesterday evening at Chuck E. Cheese’s (please, folks, it’s not Chuckie. It’s Chuck E., like the Rickie Lee Jones song…but I digress). It wasn’t a freaky Chuck E. birthday party, where the kids have to shout for Chuck E. before some beleagered guy in a mouse suit trudges out to administer a half-hearted wave. Friends just got there early, ordered pizzas, brought a cake, invited some other folks, and let the kids loose.

My boy, armed to the loose teeth with tokens, took off and immediately found a safari game. Okay, cool, I figured it would involve animals in some way, and that would be good for a four-year-old. Oh, yes. The animals. The “animals” turned out to be gigantic mutant insects that swarmed the safari jeep and had to be fought off with automatic machine guns. Despite my attempts at gentle persuasion to find another game, Nicholas and his friend gravitated toward this machine like hot corn to butter. In between rounds, my boy snuck behind me to the fill-your-own soda machine, intent on trying every single variety.

It was a sugar-fueled orgy of blood lust. I tell you what. ; )

I wasn’t crazy about the game, but frankly, if those kinds of bugs start invading my house, a boy trained in sharp-shooting them could come in handy.

 

Tuesday, August 05, 2008
The sky is falling

It’s only 11:00, and I’m going to bed. Scary and unprecedented.

That’s all.

 

Thursday, July 31
Breaking my rule
I’m not so hot on posting photos of my boy. But since it’s a special day, and since this blog isn’t open to the public, I’m going to make an exception. He lost his first tooth today. Sob. Awwwwwww. But sob. He’s only 4

**Photo deleted because, while that blog was private, this one is not. Trust, me, though. He’s adorable.** 

 

Monday, July 28, 2008
So, 15 years later than the rest of the world, I love Green Day.

Carry on.

 

Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Sniff

So.

You may recall that I was desperate for my boy to be admitted to pre-k this fall. And he was. This will be extremely beneficial for my social little creature. He gets structure, I still have time to work, and I will save $300 a month, which ain’t exactly chicken feed.

And yet (you knew it was coming) I get a knot in my stomach every time I think about it. With school but six short weeks away, that knot is becoming a permanent resident. And…there it is again. Is he ready? I know he is. Have I used my time with him well? I hope so, but I’m not sure. I’m not really a crying woman, but I am a dwelling woman, and I am dwelling now, big time. There’s that stupid knot again.

I know this is a glass-half-empty view, but I just can’t shake the feeling that this is the point when we’ll start to lose him. I think back to my own formative years. How long until he calls me a bitch and wishes he were never born? He is a lovely and wonderful boy. But how do I deal with him now? He’s going to start becoming his own person (which is wonderful) and will be exposed to tons of different personalities (which is also wonderful)…but I’m thinking ahead…to when he’s 15 and stays out too late and doesn’t call and worries me sick…to when I’m old and he doesn’t need me anymore and I still have no idea what I want from my life. So that’s it. That’s the issue.

I miss my baby. I love the little person he has become, but man…I miss my baby. I just want to hold him and rock him in the rocking chair and make him promise that he’ll always need me for something. Is that completely psychotic?

Sob.

 

Take it to the stage, folks
So, who among us can live without drama? I’m not talking about any of my MySpace friends, but rather a select few who walk among us bemoaning problems that they create for themselves.

I’m just done with it. Instead of bitching for days on end about something so inconsequential–something you are entirely responsible for, by the way–try channeling your energy to something constructive. Get a fucking hobby. Get an interest. Meet some people. Better yet, meet those people on the set of an amateur production of King Lear or Hamlet, so you can unleash your torrent of melodrama in a constructive way. Learn to pick your battles. Learn that as much as they might truly, deeply care, people can only be so sympathetic if you’re unwilling to help yourself. Having cancer is a problem. Going blind is a problem. Having a slight misunderstanding brought about by your utter unwillingness to change or think YOU might be in the wrong is a problem created BY YOU. Don’t expect someone else to clean up after it.

I’m not being sanctimonious, but come on. Once you hit, say, 25, no one cares about your trifling shit. If you want sympathy, go to confession. If you want to help yourself, then maybe we can talk.

 

Friday, June 27, 2008
Salty bitches
The Pringles people can bite my ass. Which, by the way, is growing more substantial every day from eating things like Pringles. I need help.

Carry on.

 

Wednesday, June 25, 2008
This can’t be good

I’m gearing up, my friends. Yours truly has an onslaught headed her way, which is great for business but not so great for things like clean laundry, tidy house, and a happily fed family.

But despite this, I decided to whip out the copy of Lego Indiana Jones I promised my boy. Because, after all, he is a wonderful boy. He was literally shouting in ecstasy.

It’s addictive. Completely and utterly. I’m thinking about it right now. I’m not really into video games. There is no Wii or x-box or Playstation at my house, and there very likely won’t be one. But every now and again, one comes along that captivates me because it’s challenging and fun, and something we can play togehter. Still, I should have recalled how that nasty little Lego Star Wars game called my name in the long, lonely hours of the night. 😛

This isn’t good. Not for anyone. Dum da-dum dum, dum da dummmmmm.

  

Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Ack
So. It’s edging toward 2:30 in the morning, and this is the norm for me. I have always been a night owl, and ever since I can remember, sleeping from 3 to 11 a.m. has always been more beneficial than sleeping from, say, 10 to 6. I seem to work best at night, so here I am.

I’m thinking, though, that I probably shouldn’t do this much longer. If I could sleep until 11, it would be great, and even though I’m graced with a child who loves sleep as much as I do (once he gets there, which is a story best left for another day), he won’t sleep much past 9. So, yeah, nearly five years of about six hours a night. No wonder I don’t exercise. I’m whipped. But in my defense, I think it’s hereditary. Ask my sister.

One of the reasons I’m praying my boy is admitted to pre-k in the fall is that we would have to make some major changes and have a serious schedule. Finally. I have never in my life been the kind of girl to adhere to a schedule. If we’re hungry, we eat. When we’re finally really tired, we go to bed. The idea of doing something at the same time every day freaks me out a bit and smacks against my liberal-arts core. If you overthink the trivialities you don’t have time to think about bigger things, right? Gah.

Anyway, what to do? Consume large amounts of turkey in the evenings? Take large doses of Benadryl? Gut-load with carbs? Drink heavily?

I read an article a few weeks ago about a couple whose relationship was lacking, so they decided that regardless, they would have sex every day for 101 days. While I would rather not dwell on the logistics and the, um, scheduling of that, they do make a great point about getting in the habit of doing something important.

So…could embracing a habit of getting more sleep be the key that unlocks all the other changes I want to make? I mean, here I am. Another year has gone by. I still have anxiety (though greatly, greatly reduced from its apex a few years ago), I’m still tired, I still feel as though I’m not doing anything superbly, I still have no energy, and I’m STILL carting around these extra pounds. Everything else is lovely, but still. Lather, rinse, repeat. What to do…what to do…

Seriously…tell me what to do.

 

Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Things to ponder

Why is it that someone who works all day long with measurements as small as 1/64 of an inch can’t get all the water into the coffee pot? Or all of yesterday’s filter and grounds into the trash can?

I’m just saying. 😉

 
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Gah!

I don’t know where I find this stuff, but it’s certainly worth sharing.

Why? Just why? 😉

http://www.blingdomofgod.com/thongs-of-praise-from-the-12-days-of-kitschmas.php

 

Saturday, June 07, 2008
It’s 95 degrees

…And I bought a pool membership for the summer. For the fourth time this week, I’m going to cram my ass into a bathing suit and take my boy to the pool to cool down.

I’m making sandwiches, and we’re going to buy a couple beers on the way, hang out, have a picnic, watch the sun go down, and immerse ourselves in cool, cool water. And, um, the beers are for Sean and me…not for the boy.

Neener neener neener. 😉

 

Saturday, June 7, 2008
Your sooooooooo write, KWIM???!!!!!!????

So I have this theory that the human race is slowly de-evolving, that we hit the apogee of evolutionary potential a while back, and now we’re beginning the downward slide. This is a slightly tongue-in-cheek notion, but it really does seem that in a couple hundred years we’ll be sitting around an extremely hot climate, trying to figure out how to break open coconuts with exhumed iPods and cell phones.

It’s the total downturn of language that makes me think this whole scenario is possible. You see, I’m a word girl. I work with words. I can string together a few decent sentences. And I can do it correctly. So it hurts me–physically pains me–big time, when I think about how language is going completely to hell. If there’s enough of a shift, yours truly will be out of a job. And that, my friends, would suck a gigantic hairy ass.

I just don’t get what’s so freaking hard about sticking to the basic rules of language to communicate. You really don’t need to end every sentence with “yo.” (Unless you’re the whitest of white girls making fun of gangsta speak with your sister. :P) “Ain’t got no” and “don’t got none” just don’t fly, folks. And while I realize that abbreviations make texting and instant messaging easier, those abbreviations don’t translate into normal writing and speaking. Is “you” so much harder to write than “u”? Doesn’t it take more thought to pick out an acronym than it does to just type the damn phrase?

I’ve been frequenting a couple message boards lately, and it’s like I blinked and every blessed thing is an acronym, people are making up their own spellings, paragraphs are a thing of the past, and the punctuation. MY GOD the punctuation. Every single sentence doesn’t end in an exclamation point. NO ONE can be that excited all the time. NO ONE. Unless you’re a Muppet. NO ONE. Multiple exclamation points are even worse. Let’s really think about how this looks:

A: I broke my toe.

B: I’m so sorry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That’s too bad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What the hell? Total lack of insincerity. I think people think they’re rewriting a set of stodgy, antiquated rules when they engage in complete linguistic blasphemy, but you really do need to know the rules before you break them. I can decide not to use a series comma, for instance, but it’s only because I’m aware of the rule that I can make a conscious decision not to follow it, and then explain my reason for doing so. I’m just waiting for the generation behind mine to start applying for jobs and writing cover letters that use “U R” and “KWIM?????” and “cuz”…and for the person behind the desk not to realize that those letters need to be passed around and laughed at. It’s scary, I tell you. Just scary.

I’m not sure what the point of all this is. I grew up in a land where bad accents and worse grammar reigned supreme. My mom didn’t tolerate the local patois, thank goodness. Who wants to hear their kids say “What’re yous doin’?” Shudder. But my grandmother was the stickler. Again, thank goodness. I spend a lot of time making sure my own child doesn’t say “where’s it at?” and “I don’t got,” and I cringe when I think of what he will pick up in school. Language is a gateway. If you know how to use it, you can inspire people. You can convey the most abstract ideas in a way people understand. You can put your best foot forward. If you have all the opportunity to use it and throw it away, and then step on it and set it on fire and completely dumb it down until you can barely communicate, others follow suit because, let’s face it, it’s easier just to barely mumble your way through life than it is to learn how auxiliary verbs work. It’s a frightening proposition.

Anyway, let’s have a little tutorial, just in case anyone needs it: 😛

Your is possessive (it’s your turn). You’re is short for “you are.”
It’s means “it is.” Its is possessive.
Two is a number. To is a preposition. Too represents a degree.
Know what I mean? It’s four words. Just type it out.
Utilize is stupid. Use “use.”
There are definitely times that call for profanity. Just not *all* the time.
An exclamation point is used to indicate excitement, urgency, or emphasis. Don’t run into the street! needs an exclamation point, but just one. Your baby has a cute nose!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! is just too much.

Anyway, I’m rambling. I know. But at least I’m doing it correctly. 😛

 

Friday, May 30, 2008
Fusion knows no quarter

My husband gets credit for this blog title, and with good reason. We’ve been talking a lot lately about how boundaries are seriously disintegrating among various forms of media. It’s kind of a neat phenomenon, but on some levels it’s completely disturbing. A few weeks ago, I decided that Country Music Television is absolutely the wrong name for the network. Now, I loves me some old school country music. Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Buck Owens, Tammy Wynette, and all the guys who influenced Elvis and the Beatles and who in turn were influenced by them. But new country music can bite me. It’s just not my thing. It sounds entirely too slick and overproduced to me and in general registers pretty high on the “horrible” end of my scale of music preference.

But I have found myself watching a few things on CMT with interest. In particular, I got hooked on a show called “Gone Country,” which brought together artists from a variety of musical genres and placed them under the wing of megaproducer John Rich, who chose the artist with the most potential to succeed in country music. It was bizarre…Bobby Brown, Dee Snider of Twisted Sister, Carnie Wilson, and the ultimate winner, Julio Iglesias, Jr. Yeah, you read that right. I realized that it’s really not Country Music Television. It’s Country FusionTelevision. The other day, just flipping around (God, I miss the days when we DIDN’T have cable!), I spied a duet between Leann Rimes and Jon Bon Jovi. Odd. The point is, I used to flick by this channel without a passing thought, and lately I find myself lingering to see what unexpected pairing I might find. It’s all because of the fusion.

The real purpose of writing all this, however, is to share what I saw last weekend at the Chestertown Tea Party. We went downtown later in the day than usual, and we happened upon a square dance group performing. Nothing new there…weird neckerchiefs, poufy skirts. But the square dance caller was rapping. Yes. Rapping. To R&B and disco tracks. He was doing all the traditional square dance calls, but he seriously seemed ready to bust a move. It was probably the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen, and I wasn’t alone. All around the circle of people watching, mouths were open and eyes were slightly glazed, as though people couldn’t quite believe what they were seeing.

I know this little oddity is to expand the audience, to make square dancing more accessible to groups of people who might not otherwise consider engaging in it. But…wow. R&B square dancing. I have seen the future, and it confuses the hell out of me. Fusion is scaring me just a bit.

 

Monday, May 19, 2008
Pass the milk
I hardly ever bake. I’m an excellent baker, which is why I hardly ever do it. In this house, if it comes from the oven, it doesn’t stand a chance, and that’s a frightening thought. I’m not quite the great baking shakes my sister is, but she’s just gifted.

Yesterday I baked brownies, and as I pulled them from the oven, warm and slightly underdone to contribute to their overall gooiness, I was talking to my husband about a party we had attended the night before, and about the beautiful lemon-glazed Bundt cake that everyone devoured for dessert. It made me think of my grandmother.

For most of my early life, I called my grandmother “Gee.” I couldn’t quite spit out “Granny,” so Gee it was. She lived with us when we were growing up, and even in her last years I think she had more energy than I do at 34. She has been gone just over 10 years, taken too soon in the most bizarre of ways, and it’s a little scary how sketchy the details are starting to become. But every now and then, with absolutely nothing to prompt it, a memory will pop into my head, clear as day. It’s always something completely inconsequential, but there it is, and I feel sad and nostalgic, yet happy that we were the kids who always had someone to come home to in the very heyday of latchkey kids.

I’d like to be all profound and say that the clearest memories I have of her are things that inspired me. And she did…musically, ethically, just in sheer fortitude. Widowed at 40, with four kids between 2 and 13, she made it work. She was honestly the finest and best-hearted person I have ever met. So it’s all there for me, but honestly, the thing I remember best about her is the baking. The warm lemon Bundt cake with sweet glaze trickling slowly down its sides. The pound cake. The chocolate cake with some sort of frosting. Most of the cakes came from boxes, but something she did made them the best things ever, especially when you were nine and walked home from school on a cold day and opened the door to that smell and knew when you turned the corner, a cake would be cooling on the ancient metal rack, waiting for a touch of frosting, waiting along with a grandmother who actually wanted to hear about your day and let you know, the best way she knew how, that she loved you more than she could ever tell you.

Hmm. Cake = love. No wonder my ass turned out this way. 😉

But the thing that I’ve been thinking of lately is her apple dumplings. People seem to think that sprinking cinnamon on a whole cored apple and wrapping it in pastry is an apple dumpling. Bullshit. They never had my grandmother’s apple dumplings with sliced apples spiced to perfection, wrapped in homemade pie crust pastry to make little pouches that fit three to a loaf pan. They never helped their grandmother dot the apples with butter before she pinched the dough closed. They never watched her mix up the sweet pink syrup that she poured over them before they baked, and they sure as hell never listened to a spoon crunch its way through that syrupy crust as she placed one perfect dumpling, steaming from the oven, in a bowl, poured a little milk on top, and placed it in front of you. The dumplings never lasted beyond a day in our house of six people, and when you saw her slicing apples every couple of months, you knew you were in for the hugest treat.

If you can’t tell, I have been craving these very doughy masterpieces in a big way lately, and I might be willing to try if I could roll a pie crust to save my life, or if four apples hadn’t set me back $3.45 today (seriously). More than that, though, I’m craving that time, those memories, and wanting desperately to make sure they stick so that I can tell my son about her, and make sure he knows that even though he missed out on knowing her, she is very much a part of him.

Maybe there *is* some profundity there, then. Keeping old memories close for the purpose of making new ones that will help me to remember the old. Or maybe I just want some cake. Regardless, when my sister visits me in a few weeks (I hope), I think the two of us are going to drop the equivalent of a tank of gas on apples, flour, and sugar and set to work making dumplings with Nicholas. We can all use a little more love.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Things that confuse

Nicholas is in the tub, everyone else is occupied, and we’re headed home tomorrow to get back into our routine. Being away has been nice, but it’s always great to get home. If only teleportation could spare me those four hours in the car…

I’ve been musing a lot during the past few days. Here are the products.

1. Hair colors not found in nature. I can get behind a blue or pink or green streak here or there…I’m talking about those odd blonde shades that would alert the rest of the animal kingdom that you’re prime pickings for a lion. Just…why?

2. Stretch pants. Seriously, you can buy regular pants that stretch. There’s no reason to leave the house in those things.

3. This is nothing new, but I have spent most of my life trying to avoid letting people see that ridge of fat above my ass. You can buy pants that contain it. For real.

4. Those decals people put in their rear windows in memory of someone who’s no longer with us. It’s a nice gesture, I guess, but what does it imply? That whatever you’re doing in your car, you’re doing in memory of that person? “Hey, Aunt Mary! I’m being an asshole in traffic and cutting off this nice family with a kid in memory of you! Aren’t you proud?” It just doesn’t compute.

5. The mullet. Do I even need to explain?

6. Does everyone in the family need to wear a T-shirt with some sort of message on it? I don’t get it. What’s the collective message the family is sending?

I’m not judging, honestly. These are just things that confuse me. They make life more complicated, though infinitely more amusing. There are so many more, but I just don’t want to overwhelm myself. The mind boggles. It’s fodder for the long drive tomorrow.

 

 Thursday, March 06, 2008
New Lexicon

Isn’t it inevitable? Eventually there will be a lexicon of words that make their way into being strictly because of reference to children’s programming. Right here, for the world to see, I’m coining the first official entry.

Doodleboppery (noun): the state of frenzy induced by watching freakily clad, slightly scary, albeit–damn it all!–somewhat catchy tune-singing characters.

As in “Why, why, why have you rained this Doodleboppery on my house?? WHY????”

 

Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Triple Dog Dare

So, what is the dreaded triple dog dare? It means you have no choice. And that’s me, my friends. No choice. No choice whatsoever.

I got the actual tax returns in the mail today. Not only do I owe the four grand for last year, I have to start making estimated quarterly payments to the tune of $3600. Do I actually have this money? Of course not! I’m triple dog dared. What the hell? Just…what the hell?

I hope there’s peanut butter in the afterlife. That’s how long I’ll be eating those sandwiches….

Crap.

 
Monday, March 03, 2008
Damn

Working for yourself has its advantages. You don’t have to pretend to like the person sitting near you. You can do laundry in the middle of finishing up a project. You can vacuum your entire house while brainstorming about that thing you need to write.

Today I learned the serious downside of working for myself. I took our taxes to the accountant over the weekend. I owe almost $4,000. As in four. THOUSAND. dollars. So, between us, Sean and I will have paid $10,000 in taxes for the past year. What the hell? We have no money. We’re just trying to pay all our bills. What suckage.

And if you think I have $4,000, well, hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Hello, peanut butter sandwiches for the rest of my life.

Fuck.

 

 Friday, February 22, 2008
Give me my props

I really do try not to toot my own horn, but I realized last week that this day was coming. Today, it has been five years since I quit smoking. Five. Years. I never cheated, not once. This is the person who probably smoked more than she breathed clean air. So, yeah, it’s a big deal for me. I signed up on a support site when I quit, just to gain some perspective, and here it is:

Time smoke free: 1826 days, 11 hours, 17 minutes, and 27 seconds

Cigarettes not smoked: 54,794

Lifetime saved: 13 months, 28 days

Money saved: $10,956 (holy shiz)

So, yay me.

 
Friday, February 15, 2008
All of a sudden, I’m 80

Just for the record, I said the exact same thing about this time last year as I was wearing gigantic constraining and supportive underwear over a layer of Ben Gay for my achy back, while teaching a three-year-old to sing “The Way We Were.”

Wow. I can’t believe I actually just admitted that for the free world.

Three weeks of hard-core antibiotics haven’t gotten rid of the sinus infection that involved into infected mastoids. I have to have a CT scan to find out exactly what the hell is going on. I hope they figure it out soon. My ears have been killing me since November.

I have to have the second part of an MRI on Monday. But I learned today that the toes I thought were just ugly are actually deformed. That’s an esteem booster, folks. 🙂 So I have to follow up with an orthopedist so I can fix them somehow and stop hurting myself when I trip over things.

I told the ladies in the doctor’s office that they should seriously consider opening wing named after us. We have been there that much in the past few months. Seriously…getting old must suck much more than I thought. I have rolled my eyes so many times at people who just go to the doctor all the time and bitch about their medical issues. But this bad luck of the past few months has me worn out. I just want to feel energetic again. I will. It will all pass. It could be much worse.

In the meantime, I have a great weapon. Fuck with me and I’ll come for you with my deformed toes. Just try it.

 

 
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
And now for something completely different

No complaints. No sarcasm. No pointing out the obvious.

I have a great friend. I have never met her in person, but she’s part of a longstanding online group that’s near and dear to me. Her name is Tammy. She’s loving, generous, funny, caring, talented, is crazy about her family, and is just a wonderful human being. She’s been in the hospital for a while in pretty bad shape, and has a lot of people fervently hoping that she’ll wake up soon.

Whether you know me or don’t, whether you know Tammy or don’t…whether you pray or chant or send good thoughts…will you please do it for Tammy? I love her. I miss her. And I want her to be well.

Thanks.

 

Seriously

So I have had this rash of bad luck lately. No, not a literal rash (ew), but a rash of bad luck. I am nearly finished a long course of huge powerful antibiotics for mastoiditis, a nearly eradicated disease. Don’t ask. The kicker is that nothing seems to have changed. My ears still really hurt, so I need to go back in. Bummer. About two weeks ago, the essence of grace that is Jodie managed to trip while walking down the front steps and landed on the sidewalk. Somehow I sprained my foot and, during the ensuing doctor’s visit, learned that both of my feet have major structural problems. So I have to see a specialist to figure out what I need to do to avoid problems.All of a sudden, it’s like I’m 80. Sheesh. I’m not in bad health…just having bad luck.But here’s my story today, which of course comes in a roundabout way. Because of this foot thing, my doctor ordered an MRI to make sure there’s nothing seriously wrong and to serve as a baseline for treatment. Joy. I went for this thing last week, rearranged my schedule, and they managed to bump me out of the rotation, necessitating a very early appointment this morning.

Holy mother. Unbeknownst to me, the MRI process basically involves having the part of your body being, well, MRI’d immobilized and then your being warned not to move AT ALL. No toe wiggles. No nothing. So two minutes into it, I realize that I really didn’t lie down straight and comfortably on my back. Too bad! So sad! I’m stuck there for an hour. Gah!

I also didn’t know that the equipment makes a noise rather akin to a jackhammer. You know when you’re in the guitar store, and that one wanker who thinks he’s Tony Iommi hits that badly formed power chord, over and over and over again? It was like that. Only the machine at least had rhythm. They gave me headphones to try to block this out, but…. Oh. The torment. The horror. Strapped to a table with a jackhammer pounding, lights in my eyes, admonitions not to wiggle my toes…and you give me Garth fucking Brooks to listen to? It was like an assault on my senses. I know new country has its devotees, but I am absolutely, positively not among them. In fact, I loathe it with a deep and abiding passion. Whoever the hell Taylor Swift is completely owes me the four minutes I was forced to listen to her fake twang. It was so bad. I tried rolling my eyes, but I was then advised to stay still. 

I have to go back next week to do the other foot, since I couldn’t stay still long enough to do both of them. What can I say…I’m a big bundle of energy. Next time I’m taking a Xanax first. And maybe a beer. Yeah. A beer. Gah. What’s the absolute opposite of new country music? Would P Funk All-Stars count? I need to get that shit out of my head.

Okay, I’m better now

Tuesday, January 29, 2008
There. I’ve said it.

Well, I haven’t exactly said it yet, but I’m about to. 😛

Until about a year ago, I hadn’t had cable for seven or eight years. And I was happy without it. We had an antenna and were able to get a lot of PBS and Fox and stuff like that, and it was fine. But then I slowly began watching the Food Network. Okay, can’t argue with that…I need to feed my boys. And HGTV. Can’t really argue with that, either.

But now…I’m addicted to Rock of Love. I’ve said it. It’s out. Sigh.

What the hell is it about this show? I’m the last person you would ever catch listening to Poison. Anyone who knows me can tell you that hair metal is *not* my thing. But something about watching trashy women vie for this guy’s attention is completely riveting for me. Maybe it’s like standing outside the orangutan house at the zoo. In some ways, it’s like being in a time warp…some of those hairstyles are neither flattering nor remotely current, ladies. But I find myself trying to shoo my son out of the room when it’s on, just so I can see what’s happening.

I discovered Rock of Love when I was on vacation in September. During the ensuing pneumonia-riddled weeks, I watched more TV than I had watched in years because, let’s face it, I didn’t have energy to do anything else, and Rock of Love was on constantly. So when the show ended, I thought, okay, great, he’s found someone to love. My interest in this is over.

But now I’m saddled with Rock of Love II, airing what seems to be every other hour, and my weird addiction is kind of freaking me out. I think I’m worried it will be the gateway drug, and before you know it I’ll be all slack-jawed on the couch, eating Cheetos and rearranging everything to accommodate a schedule of craptastic TV. *That’s* scary.

So, really, if I can keep it to this one show…will I be okay? I won’t watch Flavor of Love. I swear.

You’d think, though, that the guy would figure out that he’s going for the wrong type of girl. Sheesh. 😉

 

 
Monday, January 07, 2008
Just a little 411

Note to neighbor.

Shut it up. Shut it up. Shut up the motherfucking beagle NOW. Bring it inside. Give it away. Do. Whatever. You. Need. To. Do.

This thing barked last night from 11 to 3. It woke me up at 8 this morning. It has barked nonstop from 11 this morning until now, nearly 4:30 in the afternoon. I have called Animal Control and will continue to call Animal Control until you start paying attention to it. There is no way in fucking hell that I’m going to listen to your dog bark all day, every day because you are too much of a moron to realize that you live in a neighborhood full of OTHER PEOPLE.

You have made me want to see every dog within 30 miles come to a grisly end. Thanks, asshole.

 

Thursday, December 27, 2007
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold

So, for lack of a better phrase, I seriously need to get my shit together.

I hate this time of year, this little patch between Christmas and February. I always feel sort of let down…have since I was a kid. There’s this great build-up of anticipation, which is heightened all over again when you have a kid, and all of a sudden it’s over and you have gained eight pounds and you’re wondering where in the hell to store all these new toys, and also beating yourself over the head for buying the Playmobil pirate stuff, which is cool as can be but might as well be titled “Millions and millions of pieces.”

But we had a great Christmas, albeit a hectic and tiring one that involved much driving. Here, though, comes the time that’s wired into my subconscious…the time for reflection. I can’t help but think about the past year. And while I have definitely had some successes, it’s the negatives that keep coming back. I know, I know…focus on the positives, Jodie. Fine. I managed, for the fourth year in a row, to work on my own terms and to make more money than I ever made sitting in someone else’s office. Nicholas is generally polite and well-adjusted and adorable. Sean is doing okay. We’re not starving or unable to pay our bills. So yeah, that’s good.

But it seems that I’m stuck in the same rut I have been in for years and years and years. Here it is, 2:30 in the morning, and I’m blogging instead of sleeping. This means we will either sleep late tomorrow or I will be woken far too early for my own good humor, which will cause me to be a rotten mother for at least part of the day. I’m up this late because I procrastinated and didn’t start a letter I needed to write until tonight, even though I have known about it for weeks. I look like a side of beef and seem completely incapable of fixing that, even though I saw my whole body in a mirror earlier this evening and wanted to cry. I can’t focus. I’m kind of bitchy.

I think most of this stems from a very long period of not enough sleep, and from lack of a routine. I have never been able to get myself into a routine, even when I was a kid. But next year Nicholas will start school (hopefully), and sleeping until 10 won’t really cut it. Could something that simple really be the cure for all these things? More sleep and a routine? It’s kind of scary to think of making a sweeping change, even when it’s for the better. How in the world do I start? What to do, what to do…

If you have an idea that doesn’t involve religious or political conversion, or religion or politics in general, let’s hear it. I’m desperate here. 😉

 
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Pass the eggs…I mean, the gravy

Ahh, Thanksgiving. It’s the blip between Halloween merchandising and Christmas merchandising. Look closely in that one little spot to the left of the gyrating flashing reindeer, and you might see a ragged paper turkey just begging to be hung in your window. It’s probably a nicer view than having to look at Santa’s ass popping out of a plastic chimney while he pantomimes Jailhouse Rock.

Seriously, I love Halloween. I love Christmas. And I really love Thanksgiving, possibly because never once in 33 years have I had to cook Thanksgiving dinner. Sure, I make my contribution. I bring dessert. And I bring fantabulous desserts. This year’s are my fabled pecan pie and a chocolate bread pudding. Yum. If you’re defrosting a pie as we speak, cry bitter tears. These desserts are stupendous. 😉

Thanksgiving makes me think of my mom’s dinners. I have probably had two Thanksgivings at home in the last ten years; the rest have been with Sean’s family, mainly because they’re here. My mom never put the emphasis on Thanksgiving dessert, mainly because she can’t bake a pie to save her life. But the meal. Holy crap, the meal. I’m convinced there’s not a fat girl alive whose mom isn’t a fantastic cook. Anyway, my point is that after all those Thanksgivings of my formative years, I developed a pretty rock-solid notion of what Thanksgiving dinner should comprise. And while Sean’s family makes a wonderful dinner, it’s not my mom’s, you know?

She makes this fantastic broccoli casserole. Sean’s mom makes collard greens. They’re okay, if a bit stinky, but I can think of tastier replacements. My dad makes wonderful stuffing. The “other” stuffing is good, but it always contains oysters and, even more importantly, bits of oyster shell that can be a pain in the ass. I don’t really get the point of oysters, but I digress. But the most serious diverging of approaches is the gravy. My mom’s gravy is a thing to behold. It’s smooth, velvety, perfect for pouring. In-law gravy is all of these…except it contains slices of hard-boiled egg. So when I call Thanksgiving “Eggs in the Gravy Day,” I’m not kidding. The eggs are okay, I guess, if a bit out there. I understand it’s a Southern tradition, but it’s slightly disconcerting to look at your mashed potatoes and see what looks like a slice of disembodied eye staring at you.

But, boy, this makes me seem like a huge bitch, doesn’t it? I’m not. Really. I just like to point out things that seem funny or bizarre or absurd or out of step to me. It’s no tragedy that there will be enough food to feed 20 people comfortably, or that, while both of my families have had their shares of trials in the past year, everyone is present and kicking and well enough to down a plate of turkey.

I’m not going to get all sappy and start listing what I’m thankful for, but I think I’ll make a concerted effort to actually use the day as it’s intended. I’ll ponder the eggs, yet again, tomorrow…

 
Monday, November 12, 2007
Crisis of conscience

We have a mouse.

I’m not one to climb up on my chair and cringe and bitch until someone takes care of it for me. Mice, bugs, and reptiles don’t skeeve me. Unless we’re talking ticks, but we’re not.

It’s bound to happen. Weather turns cold and mice come inside. I know we need to dispatch it and count ourselves lucky if it’s the only one. I know, I know…germ-ridden, bacteria, disease, disaster, blah, blah, blah.

The thing is, I saw it scamper across the hallway the other night, and then it sat outside the office door and looked at me.

And it was freaking adorable. What was I supposed to do? Throw a book at it? It just sat there for a minute and then took off. Sean saw it last night and said he couldn’t help himself. It really has to be the cutest mouse ever.

I had had my suspicions, but since we have actually seen it, I bought some traps and some mouse bait. I know it is coming into this room, so I set the trap in a logical place, but nothing has happened. But the thing is…I don’t want to find it in the trap. I don’t want to feel bad about it. Nicholas loves the book “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” and he keeps talking about how he is going to feed the mouse a cookie when he finds it. If he finds it in the trap, well, I think we can all see a very poignant after-school special happening here.

I think it’s time to set out the bait. I hate to do it. Why couldn’t our mouse be awful and foaming and missing an ear or something? Sigh.

******************

Crap.

Five minutes after I finished pouring my heart out about feeling guilty, the trap snapped. Poor mouse. 😦

 

Thursday, November 08, 2007
Out, damn spot

I had a revelation today.

I don’t mind cleaning my house. I love that feeling when everything is clean and tidy, at least on the surface, and stuff smells like it has been touched by a healing zephyr.

It’s the recleaning that I mind. Seriously. It may have been the bleach talking, but as I stood there in a ratty t-shirt, bent over the tub in an unflattering manner and scrubbing some stupid water spot that will never truly come out, I realized that I hate redundancy, and isn’t that what cleaning really is?

I don’t mind the minor day-to-day stuff…wiping the counters, picking up toys, and so on. Okay, I do mind emptying the damn dishwasher. I know I’m lucky to have one, but emptying the dishwasher can bite me. But that’s beside the point. It’s the bigger stuff that doesn’t need doing daily, but frequently: the windows, the tubs, the floors, the vacuuming, the baseboards, the stuff that makes me say hey, didn’t I just do this? Didn’t I just scrub that toilet two days ago? Why is it looking all weird and yucky? Gahhh! I just vacuumed! Who the hell is shedding? Why is there Play-Doh in the carpet? How the eff-dash-dash-dah did pieces of wicker from a basket four rooms away wind up here? Aggghhh.

So, basically, I want to clean my house from stem to stern and then wrap it in cellophane and go live in a hotel. Either I’m lazy, apathetic, or too busy, or maybe a combination. I’m trying. I’m conscious of it. It’s not like I have to clear a space for you to sit at the table or anything like that…it’s just dusty. And constant. If anyone is REALLY into emptying dishwashers and putting away laundry…well, you’re welcome to it. 😉

 
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Just amazed

So, my baby turned four today. I’m in a bit of a blue funk about it. I know it’s cliche, but I really do feel as though I have blinked and all of a sudden, there he is, a little person with his own opinion on everything. We had a nice birthday party with one set of grandparents on Sunday, and we’re going to see my parents next weekend, so it’s like one big long celebration for him. He deserves it. Even though he drives me batty sometimes, I am grateful for him every minute of every day. It’s so easy to be proud of him and to be thankful for him in my life. I filmed him blowing out his candles on Sunday and asked him if he had any profound words as he turned four. He answered, “I love you, Mama.” Sob.

A friend of mine invited me to go shopping and to lunch today. She said that moms need to be celebrated, too, on their kids’ birthdays. That was much more fun than the 14 hours of back labor culminating in a c-section. Whoo. Good times. Anyway…I’m not going to post a picture of him today, but even though I’m delighted with who he is at age four, I thought I would share what I miss. I wish I could hold him like that just once more…

 

Saturday, November 03, 2007
Just Screw It

Buy your kids all the monster trucks you want. This year, my boy is getting a kitchen for his birthday. He loves to pretend, and if this will A) get him interested in cooking and, thus, self-sufficiency and B) prevent my can opener from disappearing again, I am all for it. The in-laws bought it for him, but since the birthday boy is spending the weekend with them, I couldn’t very well have my father-in-law assemble it. I thought about wrapping it up and letting him open it, but wouldn’t that be torture to give him the gift and then make him wait for three hours while it’s assembled?

Hmm. Jodie, how do you know it would take three hours to assemble a toy kitchen? I’m glad you asked. That’s exactly how long it took me to put the flipping thing together. Yeah, it’s a nice little wooden kitchen, but for 100 bucks, you’d think that SOMETHING would come pre-assembled. Instead, it came in a compact and extremely heavy box. Honestly. Every single handle, every single little shelf, every single hinge and joiner had to be put in place by yours truly. I did a bang-up job, too. I’m handy. And that is a very helpful and admirable trait, n’est-ce pas?

Anyway, the in-laws are coming tomorrow for pizza and birthday cake, and he’ll get his kitchen and the fun accessories I bought to go with it. As my little guy approaches his big day (which is actually Tuesday), I know I should be grateful that he is healthy and well, smart and kind, sweet and the most beautiful child I have ever seen. And I am. But tonight, I’m grateful for the powered screwdriver.

 

Thursday, November 01, 2007
Hmm. That could have been ugly

Or it could have been a scene right out of The Three Stooges. Wanna hear it? You know you do.

Before you hear this, you must know that we Littletons are a thinking people, a dwelling people. This, unfortunately, does not always translate into a “doing” people. Many months ago, the doorknob fell off the door to our “master bath.” Yeah, I know, I hate the equivalent of finger quotes as much as you do, but you have to call it that because it’s even smaller than the hall bath, which is small. Every now and again I say hey, let’s replace that doorknob. And Sean will say yeah, but we’re going to replace the door at some point. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. So the end result is that the bathroom has no doorknob. It’s not really an issue.

I don’t know how I forgot this little fact of everyday life, but I did, earlier, and I closed the door until it latched. Because even though it’s lacking a doorknob, it still had a lock. So when the time came to exit the bathroom, I had no way to open the door. Okay, don’t panic. I had a butter knife in the medicine cabinet that I used for some sort of small-space cleaning task ages ago, so I tried to pop it with that. Which didn’t work. So I called and called until lo! And behold! My dulcet tones were heard over the rumblings of the Speed channel and my boys arrived to help me.

So Sean tried, unsuccessfully, to pop the lock with a screwdriver, a mallet, a credit card, and various combinations of the three. I, meanwhile, was thanking whoever’s in charge that I’m not claustrophobic (see above, the description of the “master bath”). He even tried that thing from the movies where you tell the woman to stand clear and then break the door down. Uh uh. That didn’t work, either.

Finally the combination of a ratchet handle and a hammer did the trick. The lock was popped so fast that Sean banged his finger, hard, with the hammer and fell writhing onto the bedroom floor. Nicholas thought he was hot shit because he helped to free his mom. I took a screwdriver and removed the lock from the door. I said hey, now we REALLY need to replace this lock. Which, of course, was countered with “well, we’re going to replace the whole door at some point.”

Should I just change my name to Larry now and get it over with? 😉

 

Sunday, October 28, 2007
I rock. Literally.

Warning: Portions of this blog may contain references to Self-Actualized Jodie. If you’re not a fan of the SAJ and instead prefer the witty bantering of Two-Drink Jodie, tune in closer to the holidays. 😉

*What a fabulous, grabulous, zip-zoop-zabulous (to quote Mr. Burns) night I had! We played a private costume party, and after a bit of a rocky start (no pun intended) and some technical issues, we rocked the freaking house, played some extra time, and made a $300 bonus. Nice. It was the first time playing as a six-piece, with bass and drums together. Bass and drums go together like chicken and cheese, my friends. I haven’t had that much energy in ages. It was invigorating, fantastic, and so much fun. I worked my ass off and got a lot of compliments, and quite possibly have a great gig lined up for New Year’s Eve. The best part of all was looking at my band and realizing that I like each and every one of them. There’s no ego involved…we just try to bring our best game to the gig and have a good time, and that reflects in our vibe.

Despite the vibe, though, we seriously need a new name. We have been performing as a quartet, and calling yourselves a quartet when there are six of you kind of gives the impression that you’re dumbasses. So if you have any suggestions, let me know…the caveat is that it can’t be completely ridiculous or random or trendy or awful. You wouldn’t believe the number of people who think something like Meat Ass Jockey Shoes is a great name for a band.

 Anyway, I just can’t express how it feels to have people actually cheering for you, making eye contact and getting joy from your groove. We debuted Low Spark of High Heeled Boys and Chuck E’s in Love last night, and they went batshit. Even the trench-coated flasher was wagging his rubber penis at me. That was sort of disturbing, but a definite sign of approval. 😉

So after I got home, much too late but on an adrenaline high, I started thinking about how I have kind of reinvented myself. I was a bit of a weird kid. What? No! Really, Jodie? 😉 My brain was always racing forty steps ahead and I walked a weird line of just being my own person while trying desperately to fit in. I was a great target. I don’t carry it around with me and dwell on it and let it control my life or anything, but every now and again I think back and shudder just a bit, realizing that all I needed to do was keep on marching to my own drum, and eventually I would pick up a band. It seemed like such a huge tragedy at the time, but really, who the hell cares if some asshole who’s going to peak socially at 17 and then fall into a rut for the rest of his life doesn’t like you? I’m happier with my current mindset.

I’m exhausted, my house is a bit of a wreck, but I feel like I’m living a bit of a charmed life. Very few people get to do what I did last night. I forget that sometimes and just look at it as something I do. But it’s something I do fucking well. It’s me, and it’s totally me. I need to reinvent in other ways, and I think it will happen. But this part is so very good.

 

Sunday, October 14, 2007
Random as random can be, but it all makes sense in the end

Maybe it’s the falling leaves or the dwindling evidence of crickets and their cricketing (and I freely confess to stealing that word from another source), but change has been on my mind lately. I find myself in these little lulls of reverie, contemplating how I wound up here, in this space, in this time. Should I be mopping my kitchen floor instead? Sure! But contemplation is so much more fun.

Anyway, at risk of sounding maudlin, my baby will turn four in a few weeks’ time, and I know the upcoming days will fly by, as have the past four years. Even though I know we will be tied together for the duration of our lives, that we have a wonderful and loving and secure bond, every day I see him leaving me behind, just a little bit. We’re contemplating having another, as contemplating seems to be what we Littletons do best, but we have settled into our life together, our “thing,” and rocking that boat may prove tough but would surely be wonderful. I know it’s right, but I can’t bring myself to do it just yet. Having so little time for myself has made me a little selfish. So, yeah, that’s a change. And who knows…perhaps another huge change will come, in time.

Out of the blue, I started thinking the other day about this absolutely mad crush I had in high school. It was one of those “I am so completely and utterly in love with you that I can’t stand it, and I can’t help it, but I know you don’t love me, and I’m sorry” sorts of things. What a pain in the ass. What a completely pathetic, weepy, get-over-yourself indulgence. But I think it was necessary. I was searching, trying to figure things out, and I glommed onto someone I thought was my ideal. Of course, from this end of things it’s sort of hilarious, as the crush was the absolute opposite of my ideal. But ohhhh, it was bad. I wallowed. I was so sad. But I needed to hit that moment, to realize I was being completely ridiculous, to dust myself off, to get some confidence, and to shine my ray of awesomeness upon the universe. Yeah, my ego has changed a bit, too. And I’m no longer a pain in the ass. Trust me. 😉

I know that I’m not covering anything groundbreaking here, but I suppose what it boils down to is that despite the things you have to lay aside to let it happen, I’m happy to be at a point in my life where I see the greatness of embracing change. I know people whose lives would literally come to an end if they put their right shoe on before their left, and how sad is that? I have been stuck in ruts off and on, but it’s nice to see the good in bursting out of your rut and finding something new to do and taking a chance. To pick up that guitar and sing and, holy hell, find yourself fronting a band and wailing your heart out and having people say things to and about you that you never thought you’d be able to hear without cowering in embarrassment. There’s love in my heart. There’s love in my life. I have good friends and good music and a good family and goodness in my soul.

I have been down lately and have a couple of things I need to deal with and solve, but despite bitching about crickets and dogs and bad drivers and stupid neighbors, I’m happy. And that is a fantastic change.

 
Friday, October 12, 2007
W, as the kids would say, TF

Isn’t there a saying that if life throws you a curve ball, you should smack it out of the park? Maybe I’m making that up. Really, though, wouldn’t it be more accurate to say that when life throws you a curve ball, you should duck? Or you should just stand strong and let it smack you in the forehead and then enjoy the half hour of peace you get from being knocked unconscious?

I can’t decide whether to duck or to just stand there and take my welt like a woman. Some peace would be nice. No one could love a child more than I do mine, but sweet mother, this kid never stops talking. It’s pretty cool for most of the day, because I would rather have a talkative and interesting child than a loutish lump with no outward interests at all, but around dinnertime it’s like being trailed by a mosquito. I’m just going to go ahead and say it, bad motherhood be damned: thank you, people who invented children’s programming.Thank you very, very much.

There are other things going on, things that I don’t really want to share but that just aren’t quite right with me. I need to figure out how to fix them. They’re not a huge, huge deal, but they’re there. And I don’t want to harp on the whole hideous illness of some weeks past, but I finally feel like I’ve made it around the bend, am still tired but not horribly so, and I’m now fighting something else. Sore throat, swollen glands, little dab of this, soupcon of that. Whatever. I’m tired of fighting. I have two weeks off and three weeks of gigs, and I just want to be well for them.

Yeah, I know. I’m complaining when there’s really not that much to complain about. Meh.

 
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Might as well be my own PR machine

Come one! Come all! We’re playing this event, and it promises to be rife with snooty cheese, waterfront beauty, incredible ships, and of course, great music. So get off your wallet and come on down. 😉

http://www.schoonersultana.com/cocktailparty.htm

 
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Wow

I’m sitting here procrastinating and reading my old blog posts. Man, I’m melodramatic. I’m always telling my three-year-old that he just needs to get into a production of King Lear and get it all out of his system at once, but I guess I know where he gets it.

I’d like to think that I’m melodramatic in a tongue-in-cheek, reasonably entertaining sort of way, and not in a “my-husband-ate-the-last-Twix-bar-and-I-have-no-life-so-waaaaaahhhhhhhh!” sort of way. Jesus, I hope so.

 

Monday, October 08, 2007
Psychic? Anyone? Going once

I adore my husband.

Truly, I do.

But…

If I hear “Have you seen my wallet?” one more time, I am going to stab him with a dull steak knife and then drown him in a vat of onion juice.

This biweekly ritual seems to be down to a science. He loses his wallet, freaks out just evvvvvver so slightly, and then finds it. Well, more likely, I find it. Invariably, he lays it on a black surface, and since the wallet is black, well, you can draw your own conclusion.

This time seems to be for real, though. He hasn’t seen it in about two weeks, and he can pinpoint the last time he saw it. This does not bode well. We were both in the throes of horrific illness, but he had to go to work. He picked me up afterward so that I could fill my prescriptions for lovely narcotic goodness, and that’s the last time he saw it. That entire week was a haze for both of us, so there’s no telling what happened. But it hasn’t turned up in the usual places–the usual places being somewhere I happen to stick my hand, like between the car seats, or inadvertantly between the couch cushions or behind the dryer.

So if you happen to have a vision of where this stupid black wallet is, by all means let me know. The other day I found directions online for making a duct-tape wallet, and I think I’m going to give it a shot. Yes. Red duct tape. But if you have an idea, I’ll be eternally grateful.

Unless the wallet’s in your hand and you’re using his debit card. If that’s the case, well, that steak knife is waiting for you, my friend. 😛

 

Friday, October 05, 2007
Fifteen cups of coffee, please. And step on it

Okay, those of you who know me also know I’m not one of those people who derives pleasure from complaining constantly about stupid, inconsequential shit. I know those people, and they drive me up the wall. But I digress.

Holy cow, I am TIRED. For those of you not up on the Jodie watch, I came back from vacation with pneumonia, sicker than I have ever been in my life. So that was, what, two weeks ago. I’m done my course of antibiotics, my fever finally broke, but I have no energy at all. Today I worked for a bit, took Nicholas to lunch, and went to the grocery store, and I feel as though I have run six marathons. This does not bode well for the mother of a three-year-old boy who needs to work at home. I never thought I would be this grateful for children’s programming, but there it is. I haven’t cooked, I have barely kept up with the laundry, and I’m actually considering the feasibility of having someone come in to clean my tiny house, because I just can’t do it. I’m whipped. Exhausted. Wiped out. Gahhhhhhhhh. I honestly wasn’t this tired with a newborn baby and an iron deficiency, lol.

This is when working for yourself becomes a ginormous suckfest. When you work for someone else and you’re sick, you can stay home and watch trash TV and not feel guilty about it. If you do it too often, they fire you, but most people don’t walk that line. But when you work for yourself, you hear a lot of “Oh, I’m sorry you have been sick. Now do this. And this. And this. And I need it by Monday.”

So it has all come to a head today. I’m swamped, I’m exhausted, and I’m feeling guilty. So I have a pot roast in the oven, a load of laundry in the dryer, and a spray bottle of some sort of kitchen cleaner at the ready. I have a gig tomorrow and a desperate need to replace all my dying flowers with something more seasonal. It’s time to brew a pot. A big pot. A big honking pot of strong, strong coffee. After all, I need my energy to complain.  

Monday, October 01, 2007
One Nice Dog

We have decided that if we ever win a huge lottery (hey, it happens), we are going to find a really nice, deserving family and give them our house. But they can only have it if they own 15 loud dogs that bark all day and all night.

Seriously…is it possible for an animal lover to completely flip and start resenting all things canine? It shouldn’t. But at last count the guy next door has three rottweilers, a pit bull, and the latest additions…two very vocal, and apparently very miserable, beagles.

Have you ever lived next door to beagles? Holy mother of God. They are howling, day and night. No one checks on them when they do this for an hour at a time. No one seems to care. So why have them? Why in the world would you have six dogs that you never seem to take care of or even let out of their pens? It’s ridiculous, it’s wrong, and it’s cruel. It’s enough to make me start brooding. Thank you, guy next door, for letting me spend several hundred thousand dollars on a house and then getting a bunch of dogs that never shut up…and that you never clean up after. I don’t want to rat out my neighbor, but I think I need to call animal control. Aside from being a monumental pain in the ass, the dogs aren’t happy. I don’t think they are cared for. They would be much better with someone who doesn’t just have dogs because they’re able to have them.

So, if I ever win a ginormous lottery, I’m starting my own little community. I’m calling it One Nice Dog. And that’s what you can have. Or maybe two if they’re small. 😉

 

Saturday, September 22, 2007
I need to take these things more seriously

So while I was on vacation–a well-deserved vacation, I might add–I was working on proofing a book. I didn’t intend for it to happen, but production was delayed and I need the money, so I took the job. Right before I left, the editor warned me that the project is cursed because so many things have gone wrong since the get-go. I said I would do my best and hope that I wouldn’t end up with some sort of pox.

Holy Mother of God. She was right. I have got to start taking these warnings more seriously.

Since Thursday, I have been sicker than I think I have ever been in my life. I rallied yesterday with the help of much ibuprofen to get out with my boys to the Hatteras lighthouse, and Nicholas climbed to the top! But otherwise I have been wracked by chills, running a nice high fever, coughing, and generally feeling like my head is made of lead. Thank goodness Sean did all the driving home today (he’s sick, too, but not in the same way), because a stop at Walgreens to pick up cold medicine rendered me sweaty and barely able to keep myself upright. I walked in the door, fell into bed, and slept for about four hours. Blaaaaahhhhhhhhh.

Ah, well, a vacation that ends in illness is better than no vacation at all. But I feel like I need to find a helmet or something before I stop spinning and get back to work on the book. But at least I was warned.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Don’t make me do it.

We haven’t really done anything exciting this week, other than Sean’s epic 17-hour day of family visitation involving 8 hours on various ferries with his dad today. And his uncle jacks the upstairs TV up so loud that it’s impossible to watch anything anywhere else in the house. But I seriously don’t want to go home on Saturday. Everyone is taking turns cooking and cleaning up, I have nine other people to help entertain Nicholas, and my mother-in-law keeps asking if she can do my laundry. I have yet to go to the beach because there are rip currents and it’s been really windy, but we have been in the pool every day and are just relaxing and being together. And the whole time, my house is staying clean because there’s no one there to dirty it. It would be very easy to stay here for another week, month, year…

It has to come to an end, though. I’m going to gain so much weight if I stick around. Sour beef and potato dumplings, chicken pot pie, scampi, cream cheese pound cake, real iced tea with real sugar…these things don’t exist in my house, for good reason. But man, it’s been nice. Almost nice enough to make me forget my doctor’s going to kill me when I step on the scale next week. Ah, well.

Tomorrow is the aquarium, which Nicholas is dying to do. I have to confess that I’m looking forward to it. It’s a cool aquarium, and I’m a big fish geek. Then we’re going to a Bavarian restaurant and brewery for sampling. To quote Peggy Hill: Ho, yeah! 😀

 
Saturday, September 15, 2007
I’m rubber, you’re glue

When I was a kid, my dad worked at a tire plant. I can’t help but think this somehow affected my tire karma, and not in a great way.

I blew a tire a few months ago and shelled out for four new tires. Sean blew a tire about two weeks ago, and after swapping the blowout for the spare in a Herculean effort that nearly gave him a hernia, he discovered that tires for his car are extremely rare (WTF, as the kids would say) and hence extremely expensive. Luckily, he was able to substitute a different size, and yesterday we shelled out for four new tires. So, $800 in just a few months. It sucks, but it’s a necessity, because a car without tires is pretty useless, unless you subscribe to the “on blocks in the front yard” school of decor.

Anyway, today we embarked on our first vacation in a long, long time. We couldn’t find the DVD player for the car, so after 7 hours in the car with a 3-year-old who never, ever stops talking, we got within half an hour of our destination, our relaxation, our respite from constant chatter.

You guessed it. You totally guessed it. We heard this weird clicking noise and discovered a nail sticking out of one of my tires. We had to unload the luggage, the groceries, everything to get to the spare and then change it while traffic whizzed by. Luckily for us, some creepy but helpful guys at a tire shop patched the tire for us and we arrived unscathed. But come on. That’s a lot of tires to buy, a lot of flats to fix, a lot of tire karma to wear on my shoulders. But still, we keep on rolling.

 
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Take that, muthafucka

It’s still cricket season.

I was moving some things around in Nicholas’s room yesterday. We were getting ready to go out for a bit, so I had brought my purse with me and set it on his bed. I stuck my hand in to dig for my library card and out pounced this enormous cricket. It landed on me and then leapt onto his bed, where it sat for a minute, taking me in and wiggling its antenna in a menacing fashion. I’m not scared of crickets, but they gross me out (see previous blog).

Eww. Just eww. What the hell was a cricket doing in my purse? I can take crawling along a baseboard or, hell, even chirping under the sink. I can even accept that from August to October, I can find a cricket in my house almost every day, and that it will invariably be one of the gigantic ones instead of a little baby one. But going into the purse is the final straw. The crickets need to respect my personal boundaries.

In the time it took me to grab a glass to trap it for Sean to dispose of, it was gone. Crud, I thought, since this would surely mean it would chirp all night and necessitate a good old-fashioned rollicking cricket hunt.

So all this was going through my mind last night as I picked up toys in Nicholas’s room. I picked up a little plastic tiger, and lo! Behold! There it was. The cricket. Slowly, gently, so as not to startle it, I reached for the stinky little Stride Rite to the right of me. And then I smashed that cricket to kingdom come. Nothing like brightly colored lights flashing from the side of a shoe while you’re using it to smash a cricket.

Let this be a lesson to the crickets. Just try it. Haul your hairy haunches into my purse one more time. I’m bigger, I have opposable thumbs, and I can use shoes as tools. You’re toast.

Mwahahaha.

 

Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Music Survey

List 10 musical artists you like (do this before reading the questions below).

1. The Beatles
2. Joni Mitchell
3. Crosby, Stills & Nash (with or without Young)
4. Elvis
5. James Taylor
6. Bob Dylan
7. The Beach Boys
8. Simon & Garfunkel
9. Bruce Springsteen
10. The Rolling Stones

What was the first song you ever heard by 6?
Tangled Up In Blue

What is your favourite album of 8?
Wednesday Morning, 3 a.m.

What is your favorite lyric of 5?
Love is just a word I’ve heard when things are being said

How many times have you seen each of your ten bands live?:
James Taylor once,  Bob Dylan twice, Brian Wilson once, Paul Simon once, and Paul McCartney once. Yeah, it wasn’t the Beatles, but it’s close enough.

What is your favorite song by 7?
It’s a toss-up between Good Vibrations/God Only Knows/In My Room/Until I Die. I’m indecisive, if you haven’t figured that out.

Is there a song of 3 that makes you sad?
Helplessly Hoping

What is your favorite song by 2?
Hmm. Either Big Yellow Taxi, Carey, or Court and Spark

What is your favorite song by 9?
Born to Run

What is your favorite album by 1?
Abbey Road (I think)

How did you get into 3?
I just happened to hear them. I thought, holy shit, these guys are great. Pretty simple.

What is your favorite song by 4?
Why does this survey always make you pick ONE song from the guy or group with 17,000 FANTASTIC songs? Love Me Tender.

Who is your favorite band member in 5?
Umm, James Taylor

Which of the 10 has influenced you the most?:
The Beatles, either alone or together, just for sheer musical enjoyment and inspiration. Joni Mitchell for songwriting (not that I can do it) and singing style. 

What is a good memory concerning 2?:
Just kicking back, listening to her and mellowing out.

Is there a song by 8 that makes you sad?:
Who Will Love a Little Sparrow

What is your favorite song of 1?
Seriously? It can’t be done. No way.

How did you become a fan of 10?
They’re the Stones. How can you not be a fan? 🙂

Thursday, August 16, 2007
Good luck, my ass

So, who else is thinking that the people who decided crickets in the house are good luck were just too panty-waisted to kill the damn things? I’m a huge advocate of the live-and-let-live mentality, but holy mother of God. These things are back, with a vengeance. They’re everywhere. They’re enormous. And they’re showing up in unlikely spots, wiggling their menacing little antennae right at yours truly. It’s honestly enough to make a girl start drinking at the most unexpected times of day.

They’re fine in a chorus, but there is one in this room with me, the most messy and cluttered room in the house, and I’m ready to tear the whole place apart so I can find it and show it what for. I just found one in the bathroom not five minutes ago. I tried to beat it with an issue of Better Homes and Gardens, but it kept jumping away from me and finally fled into the baseboard heater, where it pinged around for a bit. Ugh. They’re just so crunchy. And loud. I’ll bet there’s not a cricket anywhere near the better homes featured in Better Homes and Gardens. Or, for that matter, in the gardens either.

This probably wouldn’t bother me as much, but I’m married to the lightest of light sleepers. So once the crickets are out in full force, here’s how a typical 4 a.m. conversation goes in our house:

S: Jodie. Sorry to wake you up, but there’s a fucking cricket in here.

Me: Urgh. Meh? Drool. Huh? Snore.

S: Can you help me find it? I have to get up at 5:30 and I can’t sleep. It’s here somewhere.

Me: Sigh. Okay.

Lights go on. Shoes go on hands, the better to whack the little shit back to Jesus. The offender is usually at the back of the closet, in a purse that hasn’t been used in six months. We used to catch crickets and put them outside. Well, that was after the lizard died. Prior to that, they were lunch. But now we know that once they go outside, they’re just going to breed and make more crickets. So it’s off to the great dank crawl space in the sky, or down the toilet and into the septic tank if we’re feeling saucy.

Speaking of crawl spaces, Sean got so frustrated last year that he went into the crawl space with an econo can of bug spray and sprayed it all. While he was in the crawl space. This resulted in a very ill Sean for a few hours. This year we need a cricket trap or something that will dispatch them without excessive violence or poisoned spouses. But they need to go. Because unless they’re going to help me win the lottery or magically make me shed 40 pounds, they’re going down.

Chirp.

 

Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Seriously? I rock.

We thought Sean’s mom would be away all week, so we had this very nebulous conversation last night about inviting his dad for dinner one night. Yeah, uh huh, okay, umm, sure tomorrow should be fine. Just let me know.

So the phone rings today, and it’s his mom. She’s home. What time should they be here for dinner?

Say it with me now, kids. Oh, fudddddddgggggggggge.

She offered to take us all out for dinner, but I thought, what the hey. So while I was talking to her, I stuffed things in drawers and put away laundry and made beds and decided to try something new.

When 6:15 rolled around, yours truly had baked a blueberry pie. A truly fantastic blueberry pie. And this most marvelous pasta dish with bacon, bow-tie pasta, cheese, cream cheese, butter. Holy mother. It was good, especially with my own addition of shrimp. I don’t know who the hell I channeled for all this to happen, but it was really yummy, everyone was stuffed and happy, my house was reasonably clean, and the greatest victory was doing all these things that I wouldn’t have thought I had time to do today.

And after three helpings, Nicholas decided that “Mama, you’re the best cooker in the whoooolllllle world.” Domesticity has its upside.

 

 
Saturday, July 07, 2007
Oh, Fuuuuuudddddddgggggggggge

Two points if you get that movie reference.

Did you ever have one of those days when you wonder what the eff-dash-dash-dash you signed up for? I have had two weeks of that, with two more to come.

It seems to be my style to complain about things that in some respect makes me very happy. I’m not sure what that says about me, but I rationalize that it’s okay by realizing that at least I don’t complain all the time.

The freelance deal is either feast or famine, and boy, am I feasting now!! I just got a few deadlines off my back (which went out last week, by the way, causing me to lie in bed for a few days and try to work around loopy medication), but in the next five days I have to finish proofreading a book, write a grant, edit a newsletter, and edit a bunch of lessons for one of my clients. Oh, and try to take care of a three-year-old who wants nothing more than to talk to me about mummies and dinosaurs and volcanoes and the solar system, but who is shunted toward the TV a bit too much these days so that I can try to meet my deadlines. And cook dinner, do laundry, pick some stuff up off the floor here and there, and the list goes on. Sean and I are literally like ships passing in the night right now.

Yeah, I know. I could be the ship on my way to the overnight shift at the convenience store, or working some job I totally hate for nothing more than benefits. But a girl needs a break. Or at least a piece of fudge. 😉

 

Friday, June 15, 2007
Gah

Disclaimer: I know things could be much worse. I’m knocking on wood (okay, simulated wood grain) at this very moment to ward off any shadowy portents. This blog represents only a minor bit of kvetching, which I have been trying to keep to myself of late.

But jeez louise. This has been a small-time rough week for yours truly. Last Friday I bared as much as a girl with thighs like mine should ever bare and took my little guy to a water park. Oh, my. It was like wildebeests at the watering hole, and frankly there should have been an alligator or two around to take down some of them.  But I digress. It was a good time. But guess who ran off just as I was putting on my sunscreen?  And guess who forgot to finish putting on her sunscreen? Oh, man. The crispiness. The absolute bird-left-in-the-oven-far-too-long crispiness of it all. I was in absolute pain for the better part of three days. And now I’m worried about skin cancer. Great.

Monday, the boy and I were driving home from picking up some free plants. Free plants! Yeah! I heard this weird noise just before I turned off the interstate, and thumpity-thump-thump, there I am with a blown tire and a three-year-old who wants to get out and “help,” and absolutely no one to call to help me out. Thankfully, some state highway guys were mowing, and they put the spare on for me (and one of them had the word “Chicken” embroidered on his shirt, so if you’re reading this, Chicken, here’s a shout-out for you). After two hours of entertaining said three-year-old at the tire service place, and after writing a check for $200-odd dollars that I absolutely did not intend to spend this week, we were back on the road.

The little guy was sick this week, and when he coughs a lot, his incredibly sensitive gag reflex kicks in. He’s like his mama. And he pukes. So while I was shopping for a bathing suit, and after having to address loud observations from him on jiggling body parts, I heard the telltale cough start. We just made it to the door of the store, I opened it, and he puked. Right there. Oh, my. And then he puked again while walking down the sidewalk. Is there some sort of etiquette to his? I used my shoe to squish the little pile away from the front of the door, which is more than I think most people would do. 😉

And now we are all sick. We were supposed to have a fun weekend at the beach, but those plans were cancelled since no one wants hacking guests who are feeling a relative dose of misery. My burn is peeling, so I have giant sheets of sandpaper skin falling off (lovely, no?), my head is congested, my throat hurts from coughing, and I am slammed with work. And oh. my. God. If the people who live behind us don’t get struck by lightning soon, I’m going to have to sell my soul and make a deal with someone. 😉

Well, there. That feels better. Kvetching done. Thank you.

 
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Meelyons of time ago

I have the kid who finds something new and gets OBSESSED with it. Sharks, scuba divers, Star Wars, trains, race cars, volcanoes, and now, outer space. He’s still into all those things, so I’m inclined to believe that space will not be a flash in the pan. In fact, he is quite bent on learning all about the, uh, “nooniverse.”

So, Saturday we bought him (for $2.50!) this big hardback book of telescopic space photos. They’re amazing. He learned about how Jupiter is the largest planet, how Mars is red, how “Benus” can often be seen in the night sky, and how Saturn has rings. And how the sun is a gigantic volcano. Yeah, well, you have to give a three-year-old some license, right?

You can imagine my delight yesterday when I heard, from the backseat: “Meelyons and meelyons of TIME AGO! The volcanoes built the asteroids and meteorites.” Grin.

 
Saturday, June 02, 2007
Woof

Disclaimer: I like dogs. I really do. So don’t get your panties in a twist.

But OH. MY. GOD.

Whatever happened to the concept of having one nice dog as a member of your family? Or several nice dogs that are well cared for and given attention? What in the bloody hell is up with the concept of having several dogs that are completely ignored or kept in outdoor kennels, which, c’mon, has to be the canine equivalent of watching paint dry?

I think there are, per capita, more dogs in my neighborhood than there are people. The people behind me, whose uber-yappy chihuahuas met a grisly end when the Rottweiler next door got loose and devoured them (I felt sorry for the poor things, but who could blame him? They barked CONSTANTLY, for days on end), decided to get–ding ding ding!–more chihuahuas. They completely ignore them and leave them outside to bark. Yesterday they barked for three hours straight. That’s a lot of yap to the base of the brain. Ohhhh, so much yap. No one was home, but that really isn’t the point, since they are also left outside to bark when the people *are* home. These aren’t happy dogs, folks. So even though they are beyond irritating, I know they’re neglected, which is even worse.

And along about 2:30 this morning, just when yours truly was finally getting to sleep, someone’s dog was barking. And barking. And barking. Until about 4, when I finally drifted off, though how that happened is anyone’s best guess. Honestly, do you not hear the dog barking? Is that possible? Are you 107 years old? How can you in good conscience allow your dog to bark in a neighborhood for hours on end, in the middle of the night? How can you look your neighbors in the eye the next day? I would be mortified.

Now, lest you think I’m one of those people who aren’t happy unless they are complaining, let me assure you that I’m not. I know those people. Some days I think I was born from those people. So let me set the record straight: complaining gives me no joy (usually ).

But for the love of God, folks. Have some social conscience! Pay your dogs some attention. Give them a little love. Do you really need to have an entire kennel in your backyard? And even if you do…IF YOUR DOG BARKS FOR MORE THAN 15 MINUTES, BRING IT INSIDE! Please. I’m begging. Because otherwise, I’m dropping the nice-girl routine and calling animal control. Mwahaha.

There. That felt better.

 

 
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
It’s the finest art of all

Drawing? Painting? Dance? Sculpture? Pish-tosh! Repeat after me, kids! Procrastination is the finest art of all.

My tongue is firmly in my cheek. I cleaned today. I hemmed curtains. I used the Magic Eraser on my baseboard heaters, for crying out loud. I even made a salt-dough volcano. As a funny aside, my little guy kept a piece of dough for his own purposes, first labeling it a meteorite and then coming at me with it in his hands saying “My evil brain! My evil, evil brain! Mwa-ha-haaaaa!” Umm, don’t know where the hell he got that one, but I’ll take it.

Anyway, back to the procrastination part. I did all the aforementioned things to avoid getting elbow-deep in some work that badly needs doing. I’ll get it done. I always do. But I have spawned this mom-guilt beast that’s gnawing at me. I am very good at what I do. I could be making bank if I wanted to take an actual job. And I might do such a thing if something that didn’t involve a 90-minute commute actually appeared. I’m wondering if I’m unmotivated. A little lazy? I have this very smart, funny, and *different* (in a great way) kid who would probably benefit from a great little private school, with finances being the only stumbling block. Am I a bad mom for not making more money so that I can raise him up a bit? Am I selfish? I can’t quite come up with an answer.

Of course I can’t. I’m procrastinating.

Sigh.

 

Monday, May 28, 2007
Sweet, sweet freedom

Okay, for those of you following my saga (snort), Friday was fine. Everything went well. We got a lot of compliments. Everyone else in the group agreed that the CD made them want to cry as well. I’m over it. I have hitched up my big girl panties and am ready to move on. I guess even I deserve some melodrama once in a while, but I did learn a valuable lesson: I get out of something what I put into it, and I’m not putting enough time into music. Lesson learned…more practice. Got it.

But on to the sweet freedom part. Yesterday was hot and humid. Like, disgustingly so. And yours truly crashed and crashed hard, face down on the leather couch, for a nap while everyone else did the same. Ewwwww. Just ewwwww. I woke up in a pool of sweat and utter bitchiness.

Off to Lowe’s to plunk down nearly $400, but it was worth it. We got a king-sized air conditioner that will hopefully make our habitat a little more habitable this summer. It is supposed to cool the entire square footage of our house, less 18 square feet. I can live with that. Sean’s dad came by today and without meaning to, we put him to work. Thank goodness. Nothing ever works quite the way it is supposed to here. The window was a tad too small, but after some monkeying, we now have cool air. Sweet, sweet cool air. I don’t want to win millions of dollars, but $25K for central air, hardwood for the living room and hallway, and a little bit of new furniture would be awfully nice. Keep wishing, Jodie.

But I’m wondering if people go on more murderous rampages when they’re really hot? I mean, is that just the breaking point? It was pretty hot today as the three of us were working on the air conditioner. I know if it had just been Sean and me, we would have gotten frustrated. We would have yelled and said very bad words. We probably wouldn’t have gone on a murderous rampage, thankfully, but we probably would have felt like it. I’m just curious. We are really lucky to have seasons here. And honestly, summer isn’t as bad as it would be, ohhh, on the equator, but walking outside here in mid-July is like being hit in the face with a panful of hot croutons (well, crushed hot croutons), and it’s like trying to breathe Jell-O. But I can’t deal with simmering in a pool of sweat. I get really irritable and evil. I guess the world can be glad that I have my retreat now…and that I don’t own an ax. 🙂

Yeah, that last paragraph wasn’t altogether logical. Live with it. I can.

 

 Thursday, May 24, 2007
Boo, hiss

Sigh.

I’m just in this blue funk lately. I have so much to do and no motivation to do it. My spare bedroom is a disaster, still, a year after moving in, my house is passable but not *really* clean, my kid is watching too much TV, I have a load of work to do, and I just kind of hang in the background going “eh.” I just feel like I am doing too much, but not doing anything particularly well. WTF, as the kids would say. It will pass. I think we all have waves of funks from time to time. Hmm. There’s an interesting concept. Picture a legion of sports fans doing the wave (ick) to some real funk music…James Brown, Parliament, Funkadelic. Ohhhhhh, the confusion. I would actually pay to see that.

Anyway, I have a gig tomorrow and have no interest in doing it. I’m glad to have it. I think it will be fun, once it gets here. It will be nice to earn most of my car payment in a few hours’ time. But last night, for the first time ever, I got a CD of myself singing.

Oh, holy mother of God. Nuh-uh. I’m really hoping it’s a bad recording. I mean, the “pros” who mixed it down left out my guitar entirely, so I guess I shouldn’t put too much stock in it. But I feel like I weigh 800 pounds, have been crammed into a bikini, and have been shoved onto a stage surrounded by drunk and hooting frat boys during some weird “Girls Gone Wild” frenzy. Honestly. I’m really pissed off about it. At the very least, I want to take some lessons.

I guess I just want to believe that I’m not as ordinary as everyone else. Playing is just something I do. I love it. I have gotten a lot of compliments and have landed some great gigs. I don’t want to suck at it. I think it’s important to me that I be great at something. Yeah, yeah, yeah, there’s the whole “doing-it-because-you-love-it” factor, and that’s there, but come on…I could love working quantum physics theorems, but not doing them well wouldn’t really benefit anyone, now would it? I know that I don’t completely suck, but this CD just shakes that foundation for me. A lot. Let me repeat that: a lot. It’s compounding my funk. So, boo! Hiss!

Ah, well, tomorrow will be best spent practicing.

 

Wednesday, May 23, 2007
James Joyce could have written this blog

But he wouldn’t tell you about my new clothes. I’m a sentence in, and I can tell this will be the most mish-mashy bit of rambling I’ve done lately. Hello, stream of consciousness!

I bought a bunch of new clothes today. I had planned on waiting and trying to lose a bit more weight first, but slightly big clothes 15 pounds from now are better than no clothes at present. I hit the jackpot and spent a bit more than I should, but I got a lot of stuff, on sale and with a coupon, for $150. It’s really funny how you can couch how much you spend in how much you save, as in “Look, honey! I got ALL THIS for only $150,” instead of “I spent $150 on clothes today.” Only an idiot would take the latter route. <

I originally went clothes shopping because I have a gig on Friday. It’s the Chestertown Tea Party (www.chestertownteaparty.com for all you non-Ctownies). Or, rather, it’s the cocktail party that precedes the tea party. It should be a good time, but I don’t think I’m completely prepared for it. I don’t freak out about these things anymore, and there is always so much background noise at parties and weddings that people just listen to the general sound instead of hearing what I perceive as every imperfection. I want to get over it, but I wonder if getting over it will mean ceasing to care. And if that happens, there’s no point in playing and singing anymore. Can I hit that last note in Blue Bayou? Stay tuned…

I bought my child his first wife-beater shirt today. It has Spider-Man on it and has a little matching set of boxer briefs. He is so freaking adorable in it and thinks he is the absolute shit. Seeing pale little arms sticking out of a sleeveless Spider-Man undershirt warms the cockles of my heart.

I need to motivate my sorry ass in many different directions tomorrow. Sigh. Cleaning; playing Operation, which is our newest obsession; pretending to be either Princess Leia or Wonder Woman and hoping for the latter, since the Invisible Jet is so much easier to fake; cleaning; laundry; cleaning; oh, and working on that annual report that, damn it if I haven’t tried, refuses to write itself. Hmm…better go find my Lariat of Truth. 😉

 
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Well, I guess I’m doing something right.

Okay, three-year-old boys have to be the most melodramatic people on the face of the earth. I tell mine pretty regularly that he just needs to star in a production of King Lear and get it all out of his system. Yes, he is a fine example of his genre, as it were. He’s mostly polite, even though he has rotten table manners. The other day, he told me that plants use their roots to take in oysters and barbecue (he meant moisture and food), so he’s funny. He is freaking adorable, seems well-adjusted, and is as loving a little thing as you could ever want to find.

But ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, the whining.

I’m finally taking steps to not let it bother me and to show that I mean business. But some days, every single word out of my mouth is met with resistance, contradiction, shrieking, crying, whining. There’s a line in a Percy Shelley poem that goes “I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!” That’s my boy, through and through. Oh, well, time will take care of it. Before I know it, he’ll be 40 and I’ll be wondering why I didn’t just slow down a bit more and let it go. So I’m trying.

But there he sits, in the tub, having as good a time as any, singing “We all live in a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine…”

Yeah, we’re doing something right here. 🙂

 

Eyes on the road, dammit

I’ve spent the last week or so thinking about this huge accident that happened not so far away, on a bridge, that killed a couple of people and really hurt some others. I’m not freaking out about it or anything, but it kind of drove the point home that anything can happen, any time, any place.

So what? you’re saying. When it’s your time, it’s your time. Ahhh, not necessarily so, my friend. Isn’t it true that a good offense is the best defense? Frankly, I don’t believe that my “time” needs to come via the grille of some gigantic redneck truck because the guy driving it thinks he has something to prove. Yeah, here’s the disclaimer: I know not all trucks, gigantic or otherwise, are driven by mean and inconsiderate people, or even by rednecks. I’m just relating my latest experiences.

I don’t want to be all didactic, but c’mon, people! I have a kid in my car. I happen to be rather fond of him. If you’re behind me in the middle lane and you want to go faster in your ginormous, six-miles-to-the-gallon, fuck-all-of-you-because-I-can-afford-to-drive-this suburban assault vehicle, your best bet is to go around me and not try to pass through. If I have to hit my brakes and you smash into me, you’ll probably hurt my kid, and then the mama bear in me will make me want to rip your head off and kick it into oncoming traffic.

If I’m the only car in sight and you plan on pulling out and driving 15 miles under the speed limit, please wait until I pass. Especially when the roads are wet. That way, I don’t have to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting you, only to slide on the wet pavement. With the kid in the car. See above, about the mama bear thing.

If you’re behind me on a country road at night, and I’m doing the speed limit or above, for God’s sake, pass me instead of riding my ass with your high beams on. You might be in the mood to have a deer come through your windshield and kick you in the head, but I’m not. Usually.

And, you know, an 18-wheeler isn’t a sports car. It’s not designed to weave in and out of traffic. What the hell gives you the right to decide you want to move into my lane, when I know damn well you can see me, and just start inching over? Where the eff am I supposed to go? And don’t tailgate me. Do you have any idea how long it will take you to stop? If you run over me, I will probably die, and that will completely fuck up my day.

Parking lots are not speedways. There’s absolutely no conceivable reason to drive 40 mph in a grocery store parking lot, unless you’re letting your miniscule dick do the driving. If that’s the case, tell him to tone it down.

Really, honestly, I’m not trying to be a bitch here. But I have had way too many close calls lately that weren’t my fault. And I really don’t want someone else’s stupidity to be the cause of my untimely death. M’kay? M’kay. Seriously, please just keep your eyes on the freaking road, at least one hand on the wheel, at least most of your attention on what you’re doing, and things will be a bit more pleasant for all of us. Realize that–GASP!–it’s not all about you. Killing me and my family in a grisly accident is not worth getting to the sale at Nordstrom two seconds ahead of everyone else.

Oh, one last thing. If you’re going to listen to really loud rap, for the LOVE OF GOD, please invest in a decent subwoofer. Just do it. Do it now. Thanks.

 

 
Monday, May 14, 2007
Man, I needed that

You know how there’s nothing like serious manual labor to remind you how out of shape you actually are? It’s so true, my friends, and I have the achy muscles to prove it.

I decided that instead of some hokey Mother’s Day gift, I wanted to dig a new flower bed. After some help from Nicholas last night, which involved spraying the grass with the hose, digging with a trowel, filling the hole with water, and then dropping trou to pee in his “lake,” all in the front yard in plain view of the neighbors…well, the result of that is that I decided to do the digging myself when I was home alone today.

So, in just over two hours, I dug out an 18 x 2 bed, dropped everything and went shopping for plants, planted some shrubs and perennials, hauled two huge bags of potting soil and four 70-pound bags of mulch, and spread mulch almost everywhere it was needed. Then I helped Sean transfer the dirt I dug onto tarps, move it to the backyard, and spread it on some low spots. That’s a hell of a lot of exercise for someone who only runs when chased. I’m as sore as you probably imagine me to be, in all my pathetic weakness. But it feels good.

Anyway, that’s my rambling for the day. Gah, who knew you have those muscles right under your ass?

 

Friday, May 11, 2007
Everything but the B

My husband once told me it’s amazing how someone so self-conscious is such a ham. And he’s right. I’m a ham, through and through. Thanks, genetic makeup.

About five years ago, I decided I wanted to learn to play guitar. Yeah, who hasn’t made that earth-altering decision? But I stuck with it and decided I wanted to sing, too, and then I found myself in a band, and there I have stayed, in one incarnation or another, ever since. It just boggles my mind, still, that I can set up my stuff, take a mic in front of a couple hundred people, and wham! bam! completely reinvent myself. That’s not the only reason I love playing, but it’s up there. I love the music I’m playing, I love being creative, but there is something completely empowering about walking into a room with no one knowing who the hell you are or why you are there, and then you open your mouth in front of the mic and the whole dynamic changes.

And the whole thing works out for me. In a way, it’s almost been too easy. I work at home and I have a three-year-old. This, as I’m sure you can imagine, doesn’t leave a lot of spare time to practice. But what I put into this hobby, devotion, whatever you call it, I get back tenfold. It’s just weird. I’m not a guitar virtuoso, but I hold my own. I practice singing in the shower, and it pays off. I can’t play a B chord to save my life, but I’m trying, and I guess trying is all we can do as we go after things that mean a lot to us.

My grandmother had one of the most amazing voices, or so I’m told. Treatments for–hmm, I’m not sure if it was cancer or something cancer like–anyway, it left her vocal cords in bad shape. She had a raspy voice and had a hard time getting volume. But she took me to church with her almost every Sunday, and every now and then I got a glimpse of what she loved and was missing, whether it was in a harmony or just some sweet note she hit just right. Thinking about that makes me sad, like I’m taking for granted what I can do, or that sometimes my motivation is in the wrong place. Her motivation was pure, the desire was there, but she was limited by something she couldn’t control. It had to have broken her heart. I’m realizing now that there aren’t any limits to what I can do if my motivation is right, if I keep in mind the real reason I first picked up that guitar and got a huge high the first time I hit a good G chord. I’ll keep trying for the B, and when I get it right, I’ll know who to thank.

 

 
Monday, May 07, 2007
I am the woman!

Yeah, so these random snippets of my life aren’t that exciting, but, meh. It is what it is. Minor triumphs are usually the only triumphs we get, right? So I am celebrating my triumph, no matter how minor.

When we bought our house, we were so completely overjoyed to be buying a place of our own that we overlooked a few things…some big (like the fact that the family behind us is completely sociopathic) and some small (like the fact that our bedroom door didn’t close and latch). The door was, to put it bluntly, a humongous pain in the ass, because especially on those days when you want to open the windows and let in a nice breeze, it would bang incessantly. Yeah, yeah, I know. Get a shoe, woman, and show that door how to stay open. Well, let’s just say that it was a minor annoyance, and not a top priority. On top of that, the door to the “master bath” (mentioned with the equivalent of finger quotes because it is a full bath, but teeny like the wee rednecks you see driving ginormous pick-up trucks) didn’t really close, either.

So, in the grand scheme of things, like painting and landscaping and eventually intending to replace all these doors but being vetoed by the budget, the doors stayed as they were. But Friday I decided, quite on the spur of the moment–for isn’t this how Jodie tackles most of her home improvement?–that it was time to show them the way. There I stood, the folks on “Most Haunted” searching for ghosts in  some medieval-type place, with my 15-in-one tool in one hand and a mallet in the other, and pried the pins out of the hinges. And then it occurred to me to swap the bathroom and bedroom doors. And lo! And behold! Oooh! Ahhh! I felt like a freaking genius! The “new” bedroom door needed a tiny bit of sanding, but now it closes. And locks. And with a three-year-old in the house, that is a VERY good thing.

Yeah, it’s a minor victory. But it’s a victory nonetheless.

 

Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Go, me

Jeez, did I love smoking. Wasn’t it Chandler on Friends who said something along the lines of “Oh, sweet mother. Once again I suckle at your smoky teat”? Or something like that. Yep, that was me.

But you have to quit sometime, right? So I did, just over four years ago. When I quit, I signed up on a quit-smoking site and started a counter that I was sure I would have to reset again and again, but I didn’t.

So.

Ahem.

Since I quit, I have NOT smoked nearly 46,000 cigarettes, and I have saved almost $10,000.

Gah. That’s a hell of a lot of cigarettes. And money. Go, me.

 

The things you don’t know

The things you don’t know before you buy a house can be divided into two camps. There’s the pleasant-surprise camp of the “Oh! I didn’t know we would have such a lovely crape myrtle in the spring!” variety…the beautiful landscaping hidden by winter snow, the hardwood floors covered up by carpet, you get my drift.

And then there are the neighboors. No, that’s not a typo. Neighboors. Neighbors so heinously awful you just want to firebomb their house (but you won’t, of course, because you are not a neighboor yourself). They’re the kind of people who practice twenty-acre living on a half-acre plot. The ATVs that they ride around and around their tiny little lot (and illegally in the street). The motorcycles they provide for their 8-year-old to ride (also illegally in the street, with no helmet or, hell, no shirt most of the time). The complete lack of parental supervision. The yelling. Oh, the yelling. The barking dogs. The shooting of another neighbor’s dog. The police record and history of violence so that, good God no, there’s no way you will actually approach them. The construction dump around their house. Gah. Just their general existence. It’s one of those “the kids irk you because they act like they own the world but you feel sorry for them because, jeez, look at their parents” type of things.

I know that eventually this guy will get arrested again for something or other, and will probably default on his mortgage or disappear in the night. And, hoo boy, I hope it’s soon. We’re pretty patient and accepting. And, honestly, we’re trying not to let these people bother us. But they’re just yicky. I just want a little peace. I want dinnertime not to sound like Motocross. I want them to keep their dogs under control. I want them to keep an eye on their kids.

So, let me tell you, folks. If you’re buying a house, buy it in the spring and summer when the neighbors (or neighboors, as the case may be) are out in full force instead of squirreled away inside making you think they are normal. You’ll thank me. 😉

There. That feels better. 

 

Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Finally, a blogworthy subject

I’m the only person I know who writes for a living and doesn’t really write in her free time. What can I say…I’m an enigma. I set up a MySpace account last summer in the hope it would inspire me to blog and, hence, start writing for fun. No dice, but perhaps that’s because I haven’t had a blogworthy subject. I mean, the mundane ins and outs of my day usually aren’t that interesting to me, much less to someone else. But finally, at long last, I have a subject worthy of a blog.

Shorts.

Yep, you read it right. Shorts.

I need shorts in the worst way. My favorite two pairs finally gave up the ghost last year, and all I see this year are those stupid Bermuda shorts. Now, really, can anyone who doesn’t have extremely skinny upper legs actually pull those off? Plus, they look uncomfortable and hot. And clingy. And just not me.

I went online shorts shopping last night in lieu of doing actual work, and every single click produced page upon page of Bermuda shorts. Denim. Plaid. Embellished with everything short of spelling “Porn Star” across the back, though I’m sure they exist. And, I’m sorry if I offend anyone who thinks that the resurgence of Bermudas is lovely, and that the crossover from a garment typically worn by elderly men with black socks and plastic sandals to a garment embraced by women is the best thing since sliced salami. But I see these things, and I immediately get an image of some skanky thing in ersatz capri pants (which, c’mon! That’s what most Bermudas are) tucking her pack of Marlboros under her tank top strap as she hoists her Budweiser bottle aloft and totters on her ill-fitting platform espadrilles. Yeah, I realize that’s a blanket statement. But this is a blanket subject. If I had thin thighs and could pull them off, perhaps I would be standing there right alongside her. But I think part of being a good and effective human is recognizing your weaknesses. And when you’re very tall, on the Rubenesque side, have big thighs and hips, and a long torso in a world where clothes are made for the very short, you are constantly reminded of your weaknesses. 😉

I just want khaki shorts that aren’t too long, aren’t too short. Maybe cargos, something that will take the pockets away from my hips. Not knit. Oh, shudder, not knit. Not polyester. Not some dorky print. Not clingy. Not something made for a 50-year-old. Not something I wouldn’t wear out of my house on even my worst day. And not something that costs $40 a pair. Where is the Shorts Fairy when I need her?