Friday, October 29, 2004

Pooh Anyone?

Pardon the look of disgust on my heavily make-upped face (see below) but I just ate an Odwalla Superfood Bar. I bought it a couple of weeks ago for Audrey, but it somehow ended up in my desk at work, where it’s sat undisturbed ever since. Today, I was hungry, and in my rush to get out the door this morning, I neglected to feed myself. I opened the drawer slowly and there it was waiting for me, taunting me to open its carefully designed wrapper and take a bite. Okay, now being a mom, I have had many close encounters with pooh, but I just don’t expect to come across it in my snack bar, which will henceforth be called pooh bar. The thing is the consistency of pooh; believe me, I know (touch, not mouth feel, people!) and it looks like pooh. It is a deep, dark, wet brown color with little flecks of stuff that is oatmeal in my daughter’s pooh, but I really couldn’t tell what it was in this pooh bar. I tentatively broke off a small corner and brought the bit to my hesitant mouth. Yep, pooh, it tastes like I imagine pooh to taste. And the funny thing is, on the wrapper, just above the ingredients it says “wow! Real food for humans!” Hmm, if that is “real food”, pass me the bag of Doritos, because I will take the fake stuff over pooh any day.

Fake Eyelashes and Devil Horns

One year ago was my first Halloween with this company. Halloween just happens to be the Big Boss's birthday, so I learned that everyone goes all out and dresses up and has a grand ole time. I came to work in a cute, black cat outfit. Trite, I know, but it was cheap, simple, and I was adorable. Everyone dressed up - there was a whoopie cushion, a cowboy, a pumpkin, another cowboy, and a rockstar (to name a few), and we made a fun, spooky video for the BB's celebration. It was great.

Silly me to expect the tradition to continue my second year here.

Yesterday, soon before I left work, co-workers began discussing costumes and what to wear and such, so I freaked out, raced to Walgreens and spent minutes pondering which costume to buy. I couldn't decide whether to go all out with the bleeding brain complete with gauze and wig for the low, low price of $2.50, to be a glittery-winged angel, or to don the political mask of my presidential candidate of choice. In the end, I chose none of the above, opting, instead, for the old standby - devil horns. I got myself some fake eyelashes and decided to be a trampy devil.

This morning I woke up late (surprise, surprise) - 20 minutes before I was supposed to leave, which meant no shower, but that worked out better, since dirty hair teases better (I wanted to poof the hair up that would fall behind the horns). I hurriedly piled on the makeup, teased my hair, glued on the eyelashes, stretched on the panty hose (can't tell you the last time I wore nylons) and put on the rest of my black outfit. After readying Audrey and dumping her at daycare (outburst at my leaving wasn't quite as dramatic this morning), I went to the grocery store for the beer and wine we would need for the BB's festivities. I couldn't decide whether or not to wear the horns into the store. I took them off, but I definitely should have left them on. I had on the makeup of hookers and pornstars (definitely more Pamela Anderson and Carmen Electra than, well, just about the majority of womankind) and not the usual poundage for a trip to the grocery store. Though I should have just walked through the store with pride, I found myself avoiding everyone's eyes and wishing that I had worn the damn horns. People really need to make the stop-and-gape thing a little more inconspicuous. So shopping complete, I went back to my car, quickly threw the horns on and was off to work.

Off to work, where, suprise, surprise person after person arrived sans costume. And when I say surprise, surprise, I don't mean that in the typical surprise, surpise it-wasn't-really-a-surprise-at-all fashion. I was really surprised. But after telling my hooker-at-the-grocery-store story, I sat at my desk, horns and all, with pride. At least one of us will earn points with the BB.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Clean Panties and I Don't Wanna Go

Dropping my child at daycare is never a pleasant experience. Since the aforementioned time where Audrey ran into the arms of one of the other children, barely acknowledging my departure, things have returned to the norm gotten a lot worse. She got out of bed on the wrong side of bed this morning, so I knew that I was in for it. She was actually telling me that she didn’t want to get out of bed this morning, though she got out of bed to tell me so. I promptly responded by telling her to go potty and to don some clean panties. She didn’t like this very much. A battle of wills ensued and after a tug-of-war dressing, lots of tears and a big, long hug, we were off to school, which was exactly where she didn’t want to go, because she didn’t want to go anywhere. She wanted to stay in bed or at the very least home – anything to keep from having to go to the new school. I am really growing concerned about her disdain for the place. Upon arrival, Audrey walked beside me pleasantly enough, but the moment the young teacher assistant greeted her, Audrey was crying and scaled me quicker than a logman in a tree-climbing contest. It was so hard to peel her away as she cried “mommy” again and again. The TA took Audrey from me and with a last glance at Audrey’s scrunched up face, tears, cries for me not to leave her, and arms reaching, stretching for me, I started to walk away then Susan, the owner, said, “My, she must come from a happy home. She loves her mommy soooo much,” in the sing-songy voice that daycare providers have. I looked at Susan and just wanted to claw her eyes out. It was just not the right time for it. My heart is so heavy. I feel Audrey’s pain. I don’t want to leave her, especially when she is so affected, but I gotta have that paycheck. Money makes the world go round, right?

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Weather Vane

Now that half my world is in the know about this site, I decided to revamp it (i.e. remove all embarrassing material). I also completely deleted blog #2. So now I am down to my newly boring main blog (have I any right to call it a soap opera now that all soap opera qualities are gone? Prepare for a new header.) and my novel blog. Two blogs is enough for now, though I may some day restart the secret blog thing far, far away from Blogger.

Sometimes heartache is the better fodder for writing material. Others it just means you might have to keep thinking about the pain, and it is just best to leave it alone. And at completely separate times you just want to wait out the source of the pain until it ends happily so you can bring yourself to write about it. It is the last that fits me most accurately. I have written about last weekend, but I didn't post it anywhere -not in any of my three blogs. I just decided to leave it to myself for a while. Sometimes I get the feeling that people read my words and shake their heads at me, wishing me some sense. I don't like that feeling. Writing a personal blog means opening yourself up to the world and inviting criticism, though such criticism may never be revealed to the writer. My life has never been like this before, and I have never met anyone with similar experiences, but I don't want advice and I don't want criticism, so I avoid it. I turned off the comments, and I stopped being quite so open. I don't like that, because that isn't what I wanted from these blogs, but I suppose when events turn as mine did, it is only natural that others will feel as they have. I shouldn't care. It is stupid to care what 5 strangers think of me, but maybe it isn't their thoughts that bother me so much as the people I know that read my blog.

It’s amazing how much easier it used to be to come up with material for the blog, but now with all the changes in my life, things have slowed to a grinding halt. I’m not even mentioning the crazy stuff of the summer. What a summer it was – the strangest of my life. Some day all the posts of yesterday will reappear out of the blue, so some archive digger will be greeted with a few surprises, but for now, I am burying the wackiness and moving on. The things that happened I will never forget, but I don’t want/need them to be out there anymore. I still have pain in my life and struggles, but I am not so willing to splash them across the Internet, for too many people in my life have access to these words.

X thinks I should be more like dooce. He says I am too restrictive and unreal, though he was unable to describe in what ways. But, hey, if Sam wants real, there it is.

I don’t have a life like dooce, or maybe I don’t have the talent/mind/poop of dooce. Whatever the case may be, I do have an up and down life, an eventful life and an uneventful life. I could make humorous so and so about what I did last night – I was all alone, played the piano, got on the computer, and watched tv – but I don’t see anything interesting in it that I want to talk about, though perhaps the doocester in all her splendiferousness could.

At first my goal was to garner as many readers as possible, then it was just to write about the crazy events of my weird life, but now I just don’t care. I just want to write about whatever strikes my fancy. If it doesn’t interest you, go away. I already lost most of my readers when I stopped talking about the other stuff anyway. I feel like I am in a holding tank right now. I am a little uncertain about which direction to turn. Once I figure that out, all will be well. For now, most of my efforts will go into Hoodwink. Perhaps my life will soon normalize such that I feel I can again discuss it for real, but for now, here is this really weird post as my offering.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Separation - Good

I figured out something. People in my life have been confused why I haven't called or kept in touch with X's family and friends. I never knew exactly why, it was just the way I needed it. But last night, X came to get a key to the old apartment, so he could get some of his things out of storage. When I opened my door to give it to him, I saw that he brought his brother Judah, whom I had only seen once since the divorce. X said that he wanted to say “hi.” Judah gave me a hug and the awkward small talk began. I was really uncomfortable, but Judah is so nice. He mentioned that he was graduating from personal trainer school, but that he would be trying construction for the next year. My aunt had been saying that she wants my cousin Stone to move into construction, so I told him he should find my cousin a place. His blank look caused me to ask his feeling concerning my cousin. He said that he was all right. Then X made fun of Stone, imitating his mannerisms and laugh. When I told him not to do it, he said, “What, have you developed some emotional concern for him?”

“Um, he’s family.” I replied, shaking my head that he would ask that. “So I would appreciate it if you not make fun of him in front of me.”

“I used to be family.” He said.

I looked from him to Judah, and then, taking a deep breath to contain the words that I wanted to say, said, “Well, this has been fun. Judah, it was nice to see you again. Have a good evening.” X gave me a hug, which I wanted no part of.

This would be why I don’t see X’s family or friends any more. This is exactly why. X has a way of throwing little comments in there at times when I can't say anything about it. For instance, the night of that party (the one where Mr. Slick and I had "tangible electricity" and also the last time I hung out with X and his friends) X spent much of the night drunkenly building walls between us with his hands or beer bottles or whatever was nearby. It was immature and embarrassing and unnecessary. Last night was a reminder of how I really don't enjoy being subject to passive aggressive attacks on our mutual decision to part ways. So I will continue living my life sans the X clan. They can think ill of me if they like, that's okay. I don't see them, and that's the way it will stay.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Memories Available

Last night I went back to the old apartment. Yes, I moved last weekend, but I am not done moving. The old place is littered with the things that I don’t know what to do with. And I haven’t even begun to empty the hall linen closet. It is stuffed with things that I want, but I don’t want to deal with. I have an old Cinderella popcorn tin (you know the kind, it is huge and comes with three types of popcorn) that I have had for years. Inside I have kept old relics of my youth – my graduation cap and tassel, old report cards touting my excellent record, movie stubs from a decade ago – good for saying “oh yeah, I remember when I went to see Forrest Gump,” the slat on which I engraved the head of a horse with my wood burning kit – all things that I would never actually miss if they disappeared, but the actual act of getting rid of them is near impossible. I keep thinking that I will want to show it all to Audrey some day, but once I do, it is practically guaranteed that she will never want to see or hear of them again, because how exciting can a movie stub be?

The other stuff that was strewn across the living room floor – the telephone cord, the A/C adapter, colored pencils, hair ties, and other far less useful items – annoyed me to no end as I stuffed them into boxes and paper bags. I didn’t want to litter my new place with junk like that – it was so pristine – but I had no idea when I would have need for an A/C adapter, and I may start drawing again, thus necessitating the colored pencils, and I am always tying back my hair – much to the chagrin of men who like long, flowing hair to be down and flowing at all times. But the stuff that was strewn all over the apartment filled my Durango to the brim, and my new apartment was perfectly fine and dandy without it all – I hadn’t once mourned the absence of the A/C adapter. So why I didn’t just drive right on by the new place and on to Goodwill is beyond me. I don’t tolerate pack rat-ness in others, but me – well I keep what I want, though the Lord knows I should get the heck rid of it.

Anyone interested in a report card from 1993? It’s got all A’s – you could pass it off as your own…course, explaining its South Carolina origins may prove difficult if you have never stepped foot outside of Kansas.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Bad Hair Day?

Running late as usual because of an inability to drag myself out of bed (I have decided that I am only a morning person during the summer – when the sun wakes me up…it is impossible for me to get up when it is dark outside), I took my shower and forsook the blow-dryer, instead pulling my hair into two low buns. As I hurried out the door, Audrey (Bubba) in tow, she looked up at me as I dragged her along. Her face squinched, she said, “Why is your hair like that? Did you do that, Mommy?”

I slowed and looked down at her, “Uh, yes, do you like it?”

“No, it’s ugly.”

Great, just great. That is exactly what I want to hear as I am unlocking my car and leaving for the day. I want to hear that my hair looks ugly.

How much stock would you put on the opinion of a three year-old?

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Roxy, Novelist

Yes folks, I am going to join the masses by participating in NaNoWriMo and Blogger's version, Na-No-Blog-Mo.

I have started many novels in my day, and I do mean many, but they have all fallen by the wayside, because I ended up hating my characters and my plots and my lack of direction. I always dreamt, as many writers do, of publishing the next Great American Novel, but I wanted to be among the youngest to do so. Now that I am 25 and have not even come near to completing a novel, I don't think that distinction could go to me, but I no longer yearn to write the Great American Novel. I just want to write a novel to prove to myself that I can do it. I can fiddle and tweak and care later, but in NaNoWriMo, I am not going to fuss. I am going to chug out my 1667 words every night, and I will post it to my newest blog. Look for my novel to begin on Nov 1. It won't be edited and it won't be pretty, but it will be there. Comments will always be welcome and appreciated, and if you are a participant let me know. I would love to follow your progress.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

So What If I'm Skinny

For breakfast I ate four - yes, four - Krispy Kreme doughnuts. For lunch I had two pieces of pizza. After looking at my recently updated photosite, a friend from high school e-mailed me to ask my secret for staying so thin. Really, I have no idea.

My lunches through most of high school consisted of a pack of Mambas, a Coke and a bag of Doritos. I used to eat about a pound of candy a day. Some days I lapse and stuff my face with the sugary goodness, but for the most part I have struggled with ending my addiction to sugar. It just isn't healthy. I always worried that I was going to give myself a good case of diabetes. When I worked at Express, I would buy a Coke, pound of jellybeans and a container of Fat Free Pringles from the mall's Rite Aid. I had the unhealthiest of diets, and obviously it hasn't improved a great deal, but I have never been fat. When I was pregnant my doctor was insanely worried about my size; he watched me like a hawk. He thought I was going to give birth to a small, sickly baby - even with the constant ultrasounds. Imagine his surprise when my 7lb4oz baby girl popped out - 98th percentile in height. My pretty, healthy baby girl. My doctor caused me all that worry for nothing. And then two weeks later I was back in my skinny jeans. I never had that leftover belly that makes people still think you are 8 months pregnant. Lucky me, but I had nothing to do with it. Sure I exercise sometimes (I have ceased my regular walk/jogs) and I would like to eat more vegetables than candy, but for my eating habits, I do wonder why I amn't the size of a cow.

The last time I was at the doctor; it was my first time with her. She spoke to me for at least ten minutes on eating habits and disorders. I was confused by the lecture, because I don't think that I look eating disorder-skinny (have you seen my thighs?) and my weight isn't even too low for my height - I could even stand to lose 10 pounds, if I wanted to go for the movie star look, but everytime I lose weight my clothes drown me and I look dreadful because I can't afford new duds to clothe my skinny self, so I stick with the size 6.

Before I move on from talking about skinniness, there has always been something that bothered me about being thin. People feel like they can comment on it - like being skinny makes it okay to comment on your weight, like you won't mind discussing it, because hey you are skinny. Well, dammit, I just can't stand it. Think about how awkward it is for the skinny person.

"My gawd, yer so skinny. Ya need to eat somethin'." Says the fat lady as she is chawin' on her cracklin' bread. I am just fine the way I am, thank you.

When I gave blood one time, the take-my-blood lady told me that I should gain 25 pounds because the normal weight for my height is 150, not 125. When I told her I had a nice healthy breakfast of raisin bran and milk. She guffawed and proceeded to list the breakfast of fried eggs, bacon, buscuits and gravy I should have eaten instead.

Okay, so you think I am too skinny. You think I need to gain weight. What about that makes it okay for you to tell me so. Do I walk up to you and tell you to put down that cheeseburger because you are too fat and really should lose 25 pounds because the normal weight for your height is far from 200 lbs? No, I don't, tempted though I may be. So don't tell me to pick up the cheeseburger.

"Girl, you are too skinny. Are you eating enough food? Are you eating at all?" - Think about it. How is that okay for someone to say to another person when "gawd, you are so fat, are you eating too much? Do you know what portion control means?" would get you wiped off the planet.

Even if someone doesn't mean it is a critical-you-need-to-gain-weight fashion, just mentioning someone's weight makes the conversation critical. You may mean, "wow, you are so tiny/thin/skinny" to be a compliment, but what am I supposed to say to that? Mostly I just smile or nod - to say thanks just seems so weird. So stick to the hair, stick to the outfit. Weight isn't a compliment.

And I just finished a third piece of pizza, so thhppppppptttttt (that's me sticking out my tongue at you). Oh and just in case you are wondering, no I am not going to go throw up after I am done with this post. I am going to pop some laxatives. Just kidding. Really, there's no secret - it's God and it's genetics.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Need I Buy a Casio?

Sunday morning I woke early in my new bedroom, in my new apartment. After drinking a lovely cup of tea, I could help it no more - my fingers were itching for it, for days had passed without it. I had to play the piano. I began softly, but soon became lost in the piece and play the crescendos as written. It was wonderful to be in my new apartment on a beautiful Sunday morning playing my piano. I couldn't have been happier.

But...why is there always a but...then the knocker on the door went tap, tap, tap. My playing ceased abruptly as I squeezed my eyes shut, lowered my head and shook it, knowing what was coming. I wished I didn't have to go to the door, but there was no way to hide. I stood up from the rickety piano bench and slowly made my way to the door. Peering through the peep hole, I saw a small figure standing before the door, head bowed. I undid the locks and opened the door, revealing the figure to be that of an elderly woman. She lifted her head to look up at me, though before she had a chance to say anything, I began, "Can you hear the piano?"

"I live right downstairs and there is no soundproofing, so the noise just goes shoop right down, " her voice gruff. She wasn't happy, not one little bit.

"Oh, is it too early for you?" I said feeling horrible both for waking her and that I must have made my other neighbors' lives hell, but worse that I actually had a neighbor bother to chastise me for it.

"There are regulations here, you know."

I said that I did, but I thought they were from 8 am onward, but apparently it is 9 am onward. I introduced myself and tried to be as kind an apologetic as possible, but she seemed pretty upset to have a piano player move in above her. With a request that I let her know if she ever played her music too loud, she shuffled back down the hall in her slippers, curlers and magenta robe. I closed the door and slumped back on it, cursing the woman for not being deaf and mourning the loss of my Sunday morning routine.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Owatta Nass Iyam

Tuesday night, X came to collect Bubba. He has been acting very strange lately – nice, but in a forced way – so when I brought the discussion to finances, he asked about the money I made at my mother’s garage sale. I looked at him questioningly. He asked again about the money, this time mentioning an amount – one that I had only mentioned here, in this blog. The realization dawned on me like a crash when I realized he had discovered and had been reading my words here. In my eyes, I have always treated X with kindness and respect for the most part when I speak of him here and I certainly haven’t used it as a forum to trash him. Nevertheless, it has hurt his feelings.

He sat down on my loveseat, the lone piece of furniture left in my living room, and began to talk about the things I had written that had upset him. What seemed to have the most effect on him was that he was barely mentioned, and rather a sideline in my life, “the ex-husband,” and nothing more. It confused me that he was upset that I talked about him as the X. I think that he is more interested in his role in my life as friend, and it hurt him that I have defined our relationship as one of exes. I struggled to understand what he wanted from me, and he was unable to express it.

It is plainly obvious who of us emerged from this split the better person – perhaps we just look at divorce differently. I have seen his mother once since he moved out, and not at all since her debilitating car crash. I have seen his sister twice; the second time she was all weirded out because I was with Mr. Slick and she had no idea I was seeing anyone (don’t know why it was a big deal – X is with his second girlfriend). And that is it. I haven’t been to there house; I never call. I just split with X and his family and friends at all. Since the night Mr. Slick and I connected at the party, I have not seen any of the people that were there. I didn’t return phone calls, and I didn’t make any. It was just the way I had to do it – especially since I was with Mr. Slick.

X on the other hand has helped my aunt numerous times with moving things, plumbing chores and yard stuff. He helped my cousin get a job. He calls my mom often, if only to tell her to back off me, and also calls my sister, because he knows she is going through a tough time – what with being a rebellious teenage girl and all. He calls me just to say hi and see how I am doing. And he does nice things, like bring me McDonald’s, medicine, and a friendly ear when I am sick.

We both have dealt with things differently. I withdrew. He did not. It has never been my intention to hurt any one’s feelings, but this is just the way that I have to do this.

Bubba has a habit of telling stories, but knowing that you haven’t seen a person in a while, she will say, “Mommy, me and Carrie…you member Carrie, Mommy?” And depending on your answer, she will either tell whom the person is or move on with her story.

X called me again to chastise me for not calling his mother, and said, “Your daughter made her cry this morning. Do you know what she said?”

“How could I?” I asked snidely.

“She said, ‘member my mommy, Granny?’ and my mom said, ‘Of course I remember your mommy. Does your mommy remember me?’ and the Bubba said, ‘No, she doesn’t. My mommy doesn’t member you at all.’ So my mom cried and cried about that. Today is her birthday, Roxy. You really should call her.” X’s voice was full of sadness and disappointment.

I couldn’t help the smile that came to my face at how cute Bubba must have been when she said that. I can’t imagine that Granny would believe Bubba’s statement, but I am sure she feels that way since I haven’t called. X said that she tried so hard to make me like her, but nothing she did worked. I suppose that is one of the most terrible things about me. If you do things a way that I can’t abide, then I can’t abide you. I am right. You are wrong. I am good. You are bad. Don’t do things my way, and I will show you the door.
She with her littered living room, her salads that aren’t salads, and the way she always insisted on trying to feed my daughter sweets when I have a strict sweet rule are just a few of the things that got to me. It was a struggle for power. I wanted to be my daughter’s mom, and she wanted to undermine my rules. Sure I feel bad that she is in a wheelchair, but I don’t know what to say to her. So today is her birthday. If I call her, what do I say? Would calling her make things better?

I told X that I would think about it, calling her, but I know that I won’t. It will be an e-mail or nothing. I can control what is said with an e-mail. I don’t have to try to explain not calling. I don’t have to mention it. I can write, “Happy birthday, sorry you got in a car crash” and be done with it.

Hey, back off – I didn’t put narcissistic in the title for nothing, folks.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Sometimes Dead Is Better

Though most of the time I try to pretend that my dad doesn’t exist anymore or that he is dead, sometimes curiosity gets the better of me. The house that I have been helping Mom move from is the last one she and my father lived together in. The address to that house is the only connection that he has to any of his children. Because I have a habit of getting nightmares anytime I get news of my father’s whereabouts and happenings in his life, my siblings, Mom and I made a pact not to discuss our father with each other any more, or at least not with me. But Big and Kiki were working in the front yard of Mom’s house when a truck pulling yard-work equipment drove slowly by. Both of them swore it was my father. Big didn’t mean to tell me. It slipped out. He started to say it, but tried to take it back. And like anyone does when someone tries to hide almost-revealed information, I worked him till he told me, though he warned I would regret it. My reaction was one of dismay, but relief that my mother was moving.

So, though I haven’t thought of him for a while, my father has been at the forefront of my mind. I was surprised that I didn’t get any nightmares after the news of my father, but then I actually talked about the sighting with Cy. Talking about it resulted in a nightmare. I thought that it would help. Guess not.

When I first moved back to Seattle, I visited him and his new wife with hopes of starting a healthy relationship with him. I had a husband and a baby. I thought that it would be great for my daughter to have a grandfather, her other was dead; my father was her only chance. But stream of nightmares hit me after the visit, and I ceased all contact with him. I couldn’t do it. The next thing I heard he moved to Wyoming. Then I heard that he was divorced and back in Seattle. Then my mom spots him working in the bus tunnel in downtown Seattle. Then he disappears and reappears driving by her home.

It is weird knowing I have a parent out there that I choose not to contact, though now I have no choice since I have no idea where he is, which was his intent, as he told me in his last e-mail before he ceased trying. At times I feel bad, but then I realize that he deserves it. He had every opportunity to change, to seek help, but he made this all about him. He turned himself into the victim rather than acknowledging that privilege belongs to the members of the family he had such a profoundly negative effect upon (not that any of us are dwelling on “being the victim;” it is just sickening for us to see him try to be, when he just doesn’t deserve the status). This isn’t even a matter of forgiveness. I forgave my father a long time ago, and I thought that would be enough. But forgiveness doesn’t blur memories.

So yesterday, I couldn’t help wondering about my father. What is he doing? What does he tell people about his missing family? Is he able to garner support and pity? I looked him up, but was only able to find his Issaquah address from before the move to Wyoming.

I have always wished that my father had just died. Things would be so much simpler. There would be closure. He would just be gone, and not just out there, somewhere (beneath the deep blue sky, just kiddin’).

"I Don't Like The New School"

A couple of months ago, the health department, because of PCBs in the light fixtures, suddenly shut down my daughter’s preschool. It was all over the news. The only notice was a call one Tuesday evening to say that they would keep us abreast of any possible reopening. But because the county (evil King County), who owned the building and the property, refused to help financially to fix the issue, the school was closed. I loved her school, and so did she. The closure was a shock to all, and enraged parents at the lack of assistance the county was willing to provide. The scramble to find new employment for the workers and placement for the children was on. The great thing about Bubba’s school was that it was more than reasonably priced, had great staff and large grounds. Replacing that was proving to be a challenge. The only thing we were able to match was pricing. And so far Bubba has not enjoyed her new school.

Every time I pull up in the drive, she takes one look at the building and begins to grumble, not to me, mind you, but even more disturbingly – to herself – “oh no, not my new school, I don’t want to go to my new school. I want to go to my old school. I want to see Miss Tia.” And no matter how many times I explain the situation to her the mornings are the same. She grumbles in the car, then clings to me as we walk in the door. She ignores the teachers’ greetings and invitations to join the other children. I have to ply myself away, and everyday when I look over my shoulder as I walk away, I see her standing alone, head down, face sullen. It breaks my heart, because she used to be so excited about preschool. She loved her “kids” as she called them, and the teachers, and just everything. It was a great shock to her. And while she was always excited to see me when I came to pick her up. She now squeals with a delight I have never seen or heard from her; she runs up to me and hugs me and smothers me with kisses and I love yous and I missed yous. I wonder what goes on during the day to make her so sad to go and so happy to leave, so much so that I have considered looking for a new school, though this one will now be but ½ mile from my new apartment and directly on the way to work.

And then this morning, when I was feeling my worst about the “new school” and trying to figure out what to do now that I wanted to keep her there for location’s sake, we arrived and everything was completely different. When I unbuckled her, she jumped down, ran to the sign-in area, waited patiently while I signed her in, then raced to the room filled with children. Once she entered, she walked up to the closest girl and gave the surprised child a big hug. The teacher and I exchanged looks of shock. I shrugged my shoulders and turned to go without a goodbye hug for fear it would set off the melancholy, but she remembered me. I held my breath while she ran over to hug me, but rather than clinging, she gave me a quick squeeze and ran back into the room. This time as I glanced over my shoulder, I daresay I saw a smile gracing her beautiful face.

P.S. King County is now fixing the PCB problem. Guess they just wanted the school gone. I can't say how wrong that is and worthy of many an argh!

Monday, October 11, 2004

New Means Something To Me

Hey! My sofa sold – no sob story required.
The dining table and chairs sold.
The washer and dryer sold.

Ask me how much of that money I have left to put toward new furniture in my new apartment. Yessiree, spent it all on the Bubbster, I did. Kid needed new bedding for her “big girl bed,” panties, socks, shoes, and stuff. Color my wallet empty. So my new apartment, my beautiful, new apartment, is going to be my half-empty beautiful, new apartment. Bubba’s birthday is Nov. 1, so I am saying “happy birthday, I got you a pillow and panties” and taking my free month rent money and buying me something to sit on. I am going to buy it from a store and everything. I am going to buy a new piece of furniture! Not too many people can grasp what a huge deal this is to the girl who spent the greater portion of her life dressing from the missionary barrel, but I will just say it is HUGE, like humongous huge.

New is a word that referred to schools and places to live when I grew up, seldom shirts or shoes and never furniture. So I am going to get myself a new sofa, brand spankin’ new. And it isn’t going to be one of those cheesy chenille-amajobbies either. I may furnish the rest of the place from garage sales and consignments shops, but the sofa will be NEW. New new new new new. What a word!

So That's How It's Done

Yes friends, this is my role model.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Your Smile Made My Night

Tonight as I drove home from visiting my mother in her new apartment, I got off the freeway, halted at a stoplight and started to turn my head to talk to my daughter as she babbled about red meaning stop, but paused as my eyes came across a guy staring at me from the backseat of the car in the next lane. As quickly as I stopped, I finished my turn and began to entertain my daughter with stoplight thoughts. Moments later I heard a muted honk, as if from someone only barely pushing the horn. I looked over in the honk's direction, and this time took in the four occupants, young, handsome Hispanic males most likely in their late teens, who were all looking at me with cheesy grins on their faces. The driver lifted his arm in a wave and his chin in greeting. The guy from the backseat shook his head and bowed it down. I nodded and smiled at them and went back to talking to Bubba, though I couldn't help the smile that remained on my face as I glowed with that glow that moms get when they are honked at with a nearly three year old child in the back seat of their Durango. It doesn't matter that the hair is tied in a loose bun and the makeup is nonexistent or even that the car is most likely filled with jail bait. The smiles, the honk and the wave are enough to make any mom's day.

Oh yeah and the girls that pulled up between our cars at the next stoplight in time to witness the guys' parting honk and wave were like the icing on the cake as they peered into my car to see who had captured the guys' attention. When I noticed them gulping from beer bottles and following me to my apartment complex, I grew a tad nervous, however they merely paused then roared away.

Perhaps I should have called the cops, but the bottles could have been Thomas Kemper rootbeer, and maybe they meant to go the same way I had.

Anyway, it was an interesting night. And I think that the cute, little guy from the back seat's smile will stay with me for a while. I hope they have fun tonight and don't get into any trouble, which they shouldn't if they avoid the likes of my beer-guzzling stalkers.

Friday, October 08, 2004

It's All In The Marketing

Why won't anyone buy my sofa?

I mean, I know it isn't the most attractive thing in the world, but I bought it used for $350, so $65 is a huge cut. I even lowered it from $100.

I know the text sucks, but I really can't figure out what to say about it. You either want a plaid sleeper sofa or you don't.

I could write a long diatribe on why I want to get rid of it in the first place a la the guy with the pen, who I also think is the same guy to do that with a wedding dress, don't have the link so I can't check.

I would say something like:

Sleeper Sofa for Sale

Just divorced, must get this thing out of my house. It was the first major purchase my husband and I made together as a married couple. It was a mistake. Our being a married couple, I mean, not the sofa. No the sofa was just fine. It was great when we had family come stay. They always glowed about how comfortable the bed was and thanked us for a good night's sleep, which was good because I always feel guilty making guests sleep in the living room instead of being the gracious hostess who gives up the master bed. Yes sir, that is a great sofa. It just has too many bad memories for me. So come get it. Please. Give it a good home. Love it. Love each other. Love me by taking the couch away from this place. Bonus if you live outside of Bellevue.

Think it'd work?

Are You Bored & Tired With Nothing To Say?

I have a growing list of blogs that I read regularly, and it is not that I want the list to keep growing, but that the blogs that I thoroughly enjoy are not updated 9 times a day or even in most cases once a day. Boy do I go mad when my most favorite blogs (there are three) are not updated for days sometimes even (GASP!) the very same days. I miss their stories and their incites into life. Sure, I know that they have to live their lives in order to write their blogs, but can’t they live it on the weekends and evenings and write about it while at work? Doesn’t every one have a practically free 40 hours a week with which to fill with nothing besides surfing the net and writing for the net? Anyway, I get mad at them for forcing me to seek out other blogs.

It is so hard to find good blogs these days…my requirements aren’t even that strenuous – must be older than a teenager, must update regularly, be a quality writer, avoid politics for the most part, as well mass linkage and write about topics that appeal to me but if they don’t, write about them in a way that will make me keep reading. Do that and you will most likely have me hooked. The problem is, while I am sure that there are plenty of blogs like that out there, I am having a hard time discovering them. I try to look at other people’s blog lists, but can’t stand the really colorful websites (hard to make it look like I am actually being constructive at work, though they give me nothing to do, if my screen is pink with purple text) so that narrows it down to the really plain sites with good writing, hard to find. So I try to look at the recently updated blogs on Blogger, but just shake my head.

If your blog has the words blog, rant, rave, ramble, thought, random or any variation of the above, chances are great that I am not going to go there. It is amazing how many blogs use those words in the title, and I am sorry, but if that is the limit to your naming creativity, then it doesn’t bode well for my enjoyment of your ranting, raving, rambling, thoughtful random blog. Especially since the times I have opened such blogs out of curiosity, I never fail to be greeted with an entry about how tired or bored the author is and how little they have to say. Enh, not interested. But hey, don’t knock it till you try it…if you have a blog with such a title and you think it fits my other reqs just shoot me an e-mail. If it’s any good, I might just put it up and read it besides.

I had to call Big this morning. He hasn’t updated in a week…I threatened to pull him down. After all, he isn’t updating, has a colorful site, and has yet to figure out what he really wants to say there. But he is my brother, so I suppose he can stay for now.

Yesterday I found the most interesting blog about a man who moved to France from England in June. He bought himself an old house and has been writing about the work he has been doing to make it liveable. It is a little Under the Tuscan Sun sort of thing. I think his end goal is to be a completely self-sufficient angora goat farmer. I so totally want to be him, though I could never carry out his work on my own.

I read the blog from beginning to end, and bookmarked it, but this morning the link didn't work, and I can't for the life of me figure out how I found him or what is wrong with the link. I have been despairing all day, because I felt like I was in France with him chipping away at the plaster to reveal the ancient stone walls, I felt the daily pain in his right arm, the excitement over the purchase of his "Landy," and the exhaustion from the toils of restoring this neglected property. He shares pictures of the house, his two dogs, two angora goats, the Landy, and various town festivals and standing rocks he seeks out like a tourist. I hope to figure out how to find it again, but for now I am left with this broken url Optmistically I yearn for it to start magically working again. I will be very sad if it doesn't. I'll keep you posted.

Sugar Is Sweet, And So Are You

A girl in the office just received a delivery of the most beautiful red roses I have seen in quite some time, and while I feel that red roses have become a bit of a cliché given by men who don’t know better, the fact that the arrangement contained not a sprig of baby’s breath but rather a Martha Stewart-esque filler spoke to the sender’s discerning taste. As I carried the heavy vase down the hall, I breathed deeply to whelm myself with the flowers’ powerful scent; then, drunk on roses, I returned to my desk filled with desire for my own roses – trite though they may be.

Never have I ever had flowers of any kind delivered to me at school, work, home or anywhere. X used to go to the Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle near closing time and buy beautiful bouquets of exotic flowers, always including a Bird of Paradise, at a discount price, but he never once sent me flowers. Of course I never told him that I had a desire for such a thing, but he could have just once surprised me.

But honestly I do, as much as I love flowers, think that they are a horrific waste. I would much rather have a new pair of shoes for the money, but seeing that vase of gorgeous, deep red roses reminded me of how nice it would be, just once, to have a little testament on my desk of how much someone cares for me.

Thursday, October 07, 2004


A man from a Canadian bookshop just called. He had the most amazing English accent. I found myself falling in love with him as we spoke and was reluctant to end the conversation. I sighed as I hung up the phone, images of a variation of Jude Law/Christian Bale/Hugh Grant dancing in my head.

This Life For A New One

The soap opera really is over - or at least as far as this blog goes. After all that went on with the Mr. Slick/Superman thing, I am reluctant to be as candid about the goings on in my life so far as men are concerned and so far as this blog is concerned…for now anyway. I revealed a lot about the goings on in my life and the emotional responses to those happenings, and people were kind and gave me their advice, but it was difficult to receive. I know that people possess wisdom, and it would be sensible for me to take and implement their suggestions, but every time I read or heard something in the least critical of my decisions, I felt like a teenager bound by paternalism. I yearn to be comforted if my decisions lead me to trouble, but when the comforters lose patience with the blind return to the source of the problem and try to counsel me in a different direction, I find myself rebelling. It is as if I fold my arms firmly across my chest, stomp my foot and cock my head with defiance much like a two year-old told it’s nap time. I have turned off the comments to the blog as you may see. Please feel free to e-mail me anytime you please. I would love to hear from you. But I won’t hold my breath.

The thing is that my life has been so weird. With every month my circumstances seem vastly different. My habits change, the people in my life change, my confidence changes. The only thing that has been steady over the months has been my job. If I had my way I would read, write and play the piano all day. Those are my loves. But I have always been a hard worker; I always strove to be the best in my work, to separate myself from my predecessors, to be noticed, but here in this job, there is no chance to be promoted to a researcher with a PhD, so I have lost all my drive, my purpose, my love for being the best.

What does one do with an English major? I don’t want to be a teacher any more, so I guess possession of an English major means that I go back to school. I have missed school since I left, and if I could, I would be a perpetual student. I love learning and challenging my brain, but unfortunately for me, being a student costs rather than pays. Still the need to go back to school is there. If I can’t live the life of leisure wherein I pursue my homemaker dreams, then I will become a corporate hussy, because nothing would fulfill me more.

Why, at 25, do I already feel like I am on the downward slope of life?

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Going Once, Going Twice, Sold!

Last night I started going through boxes. X cleared out the storage unit for me, so my living room was filled with boxes and boxes. The majority of these boxes contain books that I have collected over the years. I love books, but I finally realized that I will never read the majority of them again. What is the point of keeping them in boxes? Why not give others the chance to enjoy?

So I went through the boxes separating the literary treasures into three piles – keepers, sell to Half Price Books, donate to Goodwill. The keeper pile was the smallest, and I am looking forward to seeing what I can get from HPB. Mr. Slick turned me onto the place. He was always buying and selling, and we bought many CDs there together. Now I have two boxes of great condition hardback books to sell. I am not expecting a goldmine, but a little return would be great.

I have gotten into the selling mode. After helping my mother with her garage sale and making $160 of my own, I have been listing things to Craig’s list…my sleeper sofa, my loveseat, my dining table, curio, and now a bunch of baby stuff that I don’t anticipate needing for a very long time so why not make a little money off of it. I am even putting my dishes up for sale.

To X’s chagrin, I am also selling off the bedroom set that X slaved away for us to afford for little Bubba. I have decided that I don’t like it anymore. It is time for her to have a big girl bed, so I figure why not get rid of the whole set. I already have a nice full size bed for her courtesy of Coco, and I am going to use the fancy, hand painted dresser that has been in my room. I offered the set to X, but he turned it down, while cursing that I ever made him buy it in the first place. We used it for three years. What more could he want?

Now that I am moving to a new place, and away from the home I shared with X, I am going through a sort of cleansing ritual. I am seeking all new everything. I just need to have something that is mine, and was never ours. I know that I will never make enough from selling the majority of my belongings to purchase an apartment full of pretty, designer furniture, but I figure that with the cut in rent, and the upcoming bonus, little by little, I will be able to create my home.

But then again, research pays off. Taking a break from writing this for a few minutes, I logged on to eBay to see if I could get a hint on pricing the Mikasa china set, which was given to me by my mother when she was seeking to exorcise memories of my father from her house. I needed the dishes for my house in SC, so I took them gladly. Ever since then, I have been half-heartedly trying to give them away. My mom didn’t want them back, and my friend Aly’s mother, who owned the same pattern, turned them down because of a desire to be rid of it herself. But it turns out that the pattern is worth something. My original asking price was going to be $20 from some needy Craig’s list consumer, but it turns out that I can get at least that from just one plate on eBay. So I am going to turn myself into an online vendor and begin hawking my mother’s wedding china. I am even stroking my chin at the idea of calling Aly’s mother and seeing if she still has her stuff around for me to purchase and resell. I had no idea that it would be worth anything. And to think I was ready to take it to Goodwill even.

But my conscience nags at me, and I wonder if I should now treat the set as an heirloom and begin collecting pieces I don’t have like the soup bowls, serving pieces, and teapot. They are all very expensive though, and frankly I don’t really care for the set. But it is apparently the nicest thing I own, so do I really want to replace it with the cheap set I had my eye on? And what if I do collect all of the other pieces? I could hold onto the set for longer as it appreciates in value. Decisions, decisions.

I also wonder if I should let my mother in on the set’s value and cut her in on the take, but then she was just going to give it away if I didn’t want it, so it really is mine completely.

Perhaps I will just consult Cy; he is pretty knowledgeable on such things.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

It Could Happen

Yes siree Bob, I got the apartment, yes I did.

There's more, but I will tell you that when I move in, k?

For now I have to finish helping my mom move, pack my own stuff, and get over the latest wave of sickness...I was getting better, really I was, but that darn cold decided to go worse. Now I have neon bodily fluids. YUMMMM.

But who wants to know that?

Could everyone please stop asking me if I am taking my vitamins? I am just as annoyed as you are that I am still sick. Perhaps if I didn't have so much going on right now I could concentrate on getting better.

I guess that means November, I should be right as rain. Yeah right, more birthdays and the holidays to come. A family matriarch's job is never done. But maybe my own mom will take back her crown...yeah right, and my Durango will magically tranform into a Prius.

Monday, October 04, 2004

The Truly Naked Chef

Thursday night after yet another night at Mom’s house slaving away preparing for the garage sale, it was sprung upon me the hostess duties of the Big and Coco birthday bash including dinner preparation. Used to the late notice, I drove home from Mom’s house at 11pm, cleaned the messes that had accumulated since my illness began, and looked for a good lasagna recipe per my brother’s request. Though I begged license to use the frozen variety, Big’s desire for the home cooked version won out, so I was stuck. I woke early the next morning to finish cleaning the apartment, and left the house in a rush – looking terrible. I hadn’t blown my hair dry the night before, so it hang limply until I pulled it back into a severe bun – I think my appearance shocked my coworkers. I spent the rest of the day trying to find the perfect lasagna recipe…they either had no meat, no noodles, or homemade sauce…nothing was exactly as I wanted it. So I took an Emeril Lagasse lasagna recipe, decided to substitute Ragu and forego the Essence, and was set.

After work, I rushed around the grocery store tossing ingredients into the cart as I consulted my hastily scrawled list, ended my trip with the components for Caesar salad, which X always banned me from eating because my stomach would react violently sometime during the night, and he would awaken to my groans (but he is gone now, so I can groan in peace), and the stuff for a nice bruschetta with tomatoes and basil (why I can’t just buy a freezer pack of garlic texas toast is beyond me). With that done, I raced home while calling Mom to let her know that wine and dessert was her duty.

I ran to my storage unit across the complex and began hauling, one by one, the extra dining chairs to the apartment, then set up the table with the three extra leaves, found a sheet to use as a table cloth (classy, I know), then had to race back to get another one, because the queen was just too big…so I got the wrinkled-to-all-get-out twin out of the linen closet, tossed that on, threw the ground beef on the stove to brown and hopped in the shower. Time was ticking away, folks; it was either risk burning the food/apartment or look like a frazzled housewife from (insert Midwest state here). I was obviously choosing to risk the apartment. When I ended my shower, I wrapped the towel on my head and would have headed into the bedroom for my robe had the hissing ground beef not turned me in the other direction. So yes, folks, unbeknownst to my family…I cooked the entire meal in the nude.

If you have any issues with modesty, which I did once upon a time, just have a baby. More people will see you nude than you could ever imagine (barring that you are a stripper, porn artist, or newborn baby). The process of being poked, prodded, sewn, and massaged by strangers in places fully covered by the skimpiest of bikinis will make walking in the nude alone in your apartment nothing. Maybe I wouldn’t recommend cooking for a crowd as such though, if you are hairy, sweaty or ugly – the discovery that you cooked someone’s meal in the nude whilst in any of the above states could provoke future invitation declinations.

So I got the lasagna in the oven in time for the cutoff to cook before the guests arrive. Nothing is worst than getting to someone’s home starving to death and finding that the main course was only just tossed in the oven. It was two seconds after I placed the tightly foiled lasagna in the oven that there was a knock in the door. Luckily it was only Cy. He had to get ready as well; so while I blew my hair dry and painted my face, he shaved and washed away the grime from the workday. I rushed through my routine, because I still had the salad to prepare and the tomatoes and basil to chop and bruschetta to bruschet.

Everything was done on time. I was the champion of timeliness. The lasagna was out for the appropriate time before cutting was allowed. The bread was browned, rubbed with garlic, drizzled with olive oil and ready to be called bruschetta with its tomato/basil topping. Lee Lee, Stone, Big, Coco, and Cy had arrived. It would have been perfect.

Except we had no Mom, Red or Kiki, which also meant that we had no wine. As our stomachs growled louder and louder, we all grumbled about my mother’s notorious tardiness and yearned for the wine while nibbling politely on the bruschetta for the next forty-five minutes. My poor lasagna didn’t look so pretty anymore, but as hungry as we were, we didn’t care.

Once the rest of the party arrived, it was a wonderful evening. We ate, drank, and were merry. And no one ever need know that I am the naked chef.
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