Thursday, December 30, 2004
I am also flabbergasted at the number of tea parties she has thrown since receiving this from her grandma for Christmas. She is really the hostess with the mostest, running back and forth and asking genteelly, "More tea?" I admit that there is a part of me that is disturbed by this: is it genetic or is it something that I have already taught her by example? Full disclosure here: I love the idea of having people over much much more than I love actually having people over, and any kind of situation where I have to serve food really turns me into a spaz. I am a good cook, or so I'm told, so this is not where my anxiety lies. I just hate feeling responsible for other people having a good time.
Marriage to Sweet William is helping to cure me of this. His response to pretty much any situation involving guilt trips or undue obligation is this: "Are they paying my bills?" And you know, he's right. We are grown folks, are we not? (Well, some of us are.) Hopefully, Viva will (as I have) reject the "please everyone but yourself" mentality that I grew up with and be an assertive little number.
And thus ends my last pop-psych analysis of the year, I swear.
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
In fact, I am very "bah, humbug" about my entire Christmas experience this year, except where it really counts: our Christmas morning with Viva was practically Norman Rockwell-esque. Never mind that we stayed up until 12:30 assembling all her toys, wrapping gifts, and stuffing her stocking, and that she woke up at 6:30. We had Christmas music going, great coffee a-brewing, and a little munchkin who was wide-eyed and awestruck about the entire affair. She was thrilled with everything, and we were thrilled with her. It was all very huggy and smoochy and make-me-almost-cryable, to such an extent that it almost made me rethink my boycott of Santa Claus.
Friday, December 24, 2004
"How is it that we can be eating the exact same thing and you still have to eat off my plate?" I asked, mildly indignant.
Without missing a beat, he said, "It tastes sweeter off yours."
He is exasperatingly cute.
Friday, December 17, 2004
She is very supportive of my resistance to surgery. While there is little she can do about my fibroids, she has suggested that I try a lower-estrogen birth control pill and use Ibuprofen for the pain (evidently, I can take up to three Advil at a sitting, if need be – see what handy knowledge she dispenses?). The lower estrogen will probably not shrink the fibroids but may stop them from growing larger. She also suggested acupuncture, saying that it has helped some of her patients. She wants to see me in three months to see how things go with this course of treatment.
This is all well and good, but the beauty of our whole encounter is that when doctors measure your fibroids, they like to describe them as the size of food. My largest fibroid measures 5 cm across. “That’s about the size of a large plum,” Dr. A said, showing me with a tape measure.
“How’s your fruit salad?” my friend M likes to say. He knows I have several fibroids of various sizes.
Now, have you ever seen the book “Once Upon a Potty”? It is a modern classic, of which there are two versions: one for boys and one for girls. I can’t speak to the boy version, but in the one we own, cute little girl Prudence receives a potty from her grandmother. At first she doesn’t know what it is, so there is this sequence:
“Was it a hat? No, it wasn’t a hat.” (next page)
“Was it a milk bowl for the cat? No, it wasn’t a milk bowl for the cat.” (next page)
“Was it a flowerpot? No, it wasn’t a flowerpot.” (next page)
“Was it a birdbath? No, it wasn’t a birdbath.” (next page)
Finally: “It was a potty, for making poo-poo and pee-pee into, instead of a diaper.”
You see the sorts of excruciating experiences you have to live through, over and over again, when you become a parent? Anyway, since that is my current frame of reference, I find myself thinking of different kinds of fruit, like so:
“Was it a plum? No, it wasn’t a plum.” (next page)
“Was it a tangerine? No, it wasn’t a tangerine.” (next page)
“Was it a kiwi fruit? No, it wasn’t a kiwi fruit.” (next page)
Finally: “It was a fibroid, for poking your tummy out and making sex really uncomfortable in certain positions.”
Whee, thanks, I’ll be here all week. Don’t forget to tip your waiter.
(By the way, the fibroids have nothing to do with the blood in my urine, just as I suspected.)
Thursday, December 09, 2004
Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy and peace and all that. Deep breath!
As the year draws to a close, I have been making loose plans for the coming year. I say loose because things never work out exactly as we plan them, and yet I feel the need for some kind of structure, no doubt to allow myself the illusion that I am in some small way the master or mistress of my own fate. Well, for one thing, chirren, I am considering moving this blog* – perhaps to Blogspot**, which is a more logical place for it to be, and I think will be less of a hassle to maintain. Not sure yet what I am going to do about all the lovely photos I will want to post in the coming year, howsomever. Do I have to maintain two Websites, then? One more open to the public, and the other (with identifying photos) for friends and fam? Sounds like kind of a drag.
As for my other plans for the coming year, they are loosely this: enjoy the remainder of my time at home; get my multitude of health issues under control; enroll Viva in not-so-expensive summer school and then outrageously expensive regular preschool; begin working in some capacity to pay for said summer school and preschool. The question is: what to do?
Apparently, there is no easy answer to this. I know, I know, you think: how can this be? I have done my damnedest, looking it up all kinds of ways on the Internet, and it appears that there is no clear next step on my career path (if you can even call it that). So what I am saying to you, in plain English, is this: I need to figure it out for myself. Crap.
* Which I did, on Dec. 22nd. Get me, I'm some kind of 21st century gal.
** Hello and welcome to it. Now I'm archiving all my old blogs from the previous site. I know, it doesn't get more exciting than this!
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
Do you think I retained even one thing from any of that? The answer would be: of course not.
I can’t decide on a color. I have pretty much everything else I need but the paint – which is kind of the whole purpose of this project. I am making things more difficult by trying to find non-toxic paint without any off-gassing/VOCs (thanks to dwell magazine [Oct/Nov ’04] for making an already thorny decision more complicated).
I am going to rip and burn CDs right now while searching websites for design ideas. Repeat after me: “Uno! Dos! Tres! Catorce!” (What the flip is Bono talking about? Does anyone know?) Edit: why yes, here are some theories. Thanks, freaky Internet geeks!
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
We haven’t even gotten a tree yet. Is 20 months too young to fake a heart attack? I guess we’ll see, although I know her daddy will be mighty irritated if he goes to the expense and hassle of getting a tree and she screams bloody murder at the sight of it. I’m hoping it won’t be the same experience as with the slippers: she allegedly loved them at the store and hugged them to her chest, but refused to put them on once they were paid for.
Viva does like: A Charlie Brown Christmas and gingerbread. That’s about it.
On a completely unrelated topic: I am thoroughly enjoying the resurrection of KDAY-FM in Los Angeles. Old school, new school (well, you know I prefer the music from back in the day, but that is because I am old as the hizzills). What could be wrong with that?
Speaking of age and trends passing you by, this past weekend, Sweet William and I were driving up La Brea, just north of the 10 freeway, when we saw a billboard advertising Crunk Juice. “What the hell is that?” said my honey. We burst out laughing, but he seriously did not know what crunk was. I barely knew what it was – I said it’s Southern ghetto hip-hop, which wasn’t completely off-base, but wasn’t completely accurate either. What is crunk? Read here on this apparently not-so-new phenomenon.
Crunk. Word to your mother.
Monday, December 06, 2004
In September, Sweet William went to Wal-Mart while we were visiting family (we don’t have a Wal-Mart near us, which seems impossible these days, but I am here to tell you it does happen, and by the way, I am aware that you can buy microwaves at other places but this is just how it happened, so there you are) and purchased a new microwave. I mention this because I have just rediscovered the joys of microwave popcorn, on which I am now happily crunching away. And now I can buy and freeze things and defrost and cook them when it’s 6:03 pm and I realize there is nothing to eat in the fridge. It’s a win-win situation, and I know, you couldn’t be happier, right?
Well, hang on to your hats, because just this past week, I was at Target, and I saw this. It followed me home, and the Blah Blah family has since thoroughly enjoyed perfectly toasted bagels, English muffins, and French toaster sticks. Now we have gone totally appliance happy and my Sweet William is saying we should replace our stove (which also came with the apartment). His rationale, which is not bad, is that we should buy major appliances now and take them with us once the bottom falls out of the real estate market and we can actually afford a house. Hey, do I hear snickering there in the back? It could happen. Don't tinkle on my parade of delusion...
In other news, still don’t know what’s going on with my health. Am considering radically changing diet after the holidays in perhaps misguided belief that this may be a factor; have been reading a lot on the Internet about the links between sugar/dairy/caffeine/meat and fibroids. Wondering: if I can’t consume any of these things, what the hell kind of life is that? Further bulletins as events warrant.
Friday, December 03, 2004
So the mysterious health thing continues, with the added annoyance of a common cold, the most bothersome symptom of which is a sore throat which I have now had for a week. Oh, and the coughing, which wakes me up in the middle of the night.
So the CT urogram showed that nothing is wrong with my urinary tract, but that I have multiple uterine fibroids (which I knew already). Although the scan says nothing is wrong, I still have blood in my urine, and palpation of my abdomen by my urologist, Dr. G, indicates tenderness in both ovaries. An internal exam revealed urethral stenosis, presumably brought on by the trauma of delivering Viva. Dr. G wants me to come in for a probe of my bladder in two weeks. Um, yuck. Sounds delightful. The troubling thing is that it appears I may have two problems converging at the same time: the bladder thing and the fibroids.
Generally not too happy about any of this. Sorry I can’t be all sweetness and light.
I feel like an old woman. And guess what? I have finally caved in to advertising and my own observations of what I see in the mirror, and I’m using night cream. Night cream!
I also recently discovered that I have dishpan hands. What the hell is happening?
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
The problem is that I have a mysterious health issue that is kicking my not-very-large ass. I have blood in my urine. The doctor thought it might be a simple urinary tract infection. It wasn’t. I’ve been prescribed three different courses of antibiotics, two of which made me sick with crushing headaches. I have developed pain in my urethra – not a good sign, and an indication that the course of treatment was not working. Now I have to go in and have a dingy-dang scan of my urinary tract next week, and then see a urologist after that. I asked my primary care physician yesterday what could be causing the blood in my urine, and she said “Well, it could be a number of things – a tumor, kidney stone, we just don’t know. So we’ll get you the CT urogram and find out.”
Hold the phone. WHAT?!
You don’t want to say tumor to me. Last time I heard that, I had to have surgery and it was not a trip to Disneyland, let me tell you. I don’t want to go through another cancer scare, especially when two close family members have passed away of cancer in the last year. I just so much did not want to hear that. So today, I Googled “CT urogram” and this is what I found out: you don’t want to have kidney stones. And you sure as hell don’t want bladder cancer. Just to see the word “chemotherapy” made me click the window closed. Realistically speaking, it seems more likely that I have a kidney stone (or stones), which does suck, but given the alternative, I’d feel like an ass for complaining about it.
Nonetheless, I still feel crummy.
Hey, on a lighter note, my photos should be ready today, so after Viva “Sleeping Cutie” wakes up, maybe we’ll stroll on over there and pick them up. And then maybe I can scan them and post them later. I’m not making any promises, though.
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
(Here is where it becomes obvious that I am a first-time mom/mom of only one.) After lunch, I took the socks, got out the stain remover, and started scrubbing the socks in the bathroom sink. Viva stood on her step-stool next to me, swishing one and then the other of the socks in the water. Every time I would pick up a sock to scrub it, she would yell, “My turn!” and grab it from me.
Someday when she is fourteen, I am going to tell her this story and she is going to roll her eyes in disgust. “You were actually fighting for the right to wash socks!” I’ll say. “God, Mom, that is so not interesting,” she will say, inspecting her nails and glancing at the clock.
I just love her so.
Saturday, November 06, 2004
I may be going on hiatus for a bit. A hiatus from this blog, not from my job, which as we all know is being a full-time mom, and there is no hiatus or break or vacation from that. Ever. It’s 24-7, 365 days a year (366 in Leap Year). For the Rest of My Life. Because let’s face it, even when Viva turns 18, which she will in the blink of an eye, I will still have to worry about her in the back of my mind. I will, in fact, probably worry more when she moves out of the house. It’s an exhausting prospect.
But as to my hiatus from my blog: I am hoping to use the time when Viva naps to exercise, rather than sit on my little ass and type on my laptop. Yes, my ass is little. I would have liked to say “big fat ass” but that would be inaccurate, as I don’t seem to store my fat there. I wouldn’t mind if I had a bigger ass, if it made my waist look smaller. Is all! I’ve got to get rid of this pudge. By the way, I am still a size 2, so I know you think I am being ridiculous, but I just want to tighten up the area where I grew the baby. It’s loose there. Do you know what I’m saying? It is slightly horrifying.
So over the next couple of weeks (pre-Thanksgiving), I may blog and I may not. But right now, I do want to report that we went shopping today and I bought new bras, which I desperately needed, and two new pairs of sneakers. I am so cool, I know you wish you were me.
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
But you know, the solution is not to flee to Canada (or whatever foreign country you might choose). People, my people! Stay and fight. I admit I am confounded by the 51% of the American electorate who voted for W. I do not understand how this country can be so polarized. I do not understand how anyone with an ounce of sense can think that George and his cronies are doing a good job of running this country. I am deeply disheartened.
And I am, quite frankly, scared shitless that not only are we stuck with GW for four more years, but that the Republicans are now the majority in the House and Senate. And to paraphrase Dear Husband (who, in addition to being damn cute and funny, is also politically astute), I don’t even want to imagine what a George Bush who is not worried about re-election will do over the next four years.
I was in Mayfair Market in Hollywood yesterday, wearing my Kerry/Edwards T-shirt, and an old fart walked by wearing a God Bless America T-shirt and said disgustedly, “I would never vote for that guy.” You know what? Fuck you, and God bless America. Somebody has to.
That’s pretty much how I feel today, and I apologize for the potty mouth. But harsh times call for harsh measures.
We’ll get through this and turn it around, I know. I am just having a bad freakin' day.
Monday, November 01, 2004
Woo-hoo, Red Sox! You kick ass!
And on a completely different subject, this afternoon, I said to Viva, “I can tell you’re really tired. Don’t you want to take a nap?” And she said, shaking her head, “No, I don’t.” And then, reaching into my cleavage, she said, “This is war.” I swear to God that’s what she said. Maybe she was trying to say something like, “It’s a bra,” but that’s not what it came out sounding like. And it was in context, too!
Well, I’ll have you know that within ten minutes of that statement, we were in the car and listening to the smooth jazz station. She passed out before we had driven even a mile. Now some might call this child abuse. I call it self-preservation.
Thursday, October 21, 2004
Cute Viva Moment #1,324: Yesterday, I was sitting with Viva in the rocking chair before her nap. She was snuggled into her blankie and talking up a storm. I could catch a word here and there, so I would respond, which almost made it feel like we were having a conversation. It was like having a conversation with someone from another country who is just picking up the language, so you smile and nod encouragingly while remaining relatively clueless about what’s actually being said; e.g., “Oh, potato! Uh-huh, yes, potatoes are nice, you can eat them many ways – oh, tree! Trees are very tall, aren’t they? Are the trees tall in your country?” Except there’s not the attendant anxiety where you’re wondering if you’ve just unknowingly committed to having them and their 14 children move in with you.
At any rate, Viva was so enthusiastic about our talk, that it made me quite happy and warm and fuzzy, so I said to her, “You know, I really like this, talking with you. I really have a good time when we talk to each other.” Viva beamed, threw her head back so I could see her bumpy gums, and said, “I luh you.” And then we hugged like there was no tomorrow.
I know, it’s disgustingly sweet and I don’t care!
But on to more worldly matters. I haven’t said this yet, and I think I should, although pretty much everyone who reads this (among my vast, vast readership) is a registered voter. But PLEASE!! Do not fail us. Vote on November 2. It’s the right thing to do.
Hey, how about those Red Sox? Was that ALCS the bomb or what? What a battle! I have not followed baseball really for at least ten years, but I had to watch this series. Watching it brought back all my irrational childhood “everything-is-black-and-white” rage toward the Yankees. There, I said it. I started out the series really hating the Yankees. But then, as I watched the drama unfold, I gained some perspective and developed a more mature (I hope) attitude toward the rivalry. I don’t hate the Yankees. I’m just sick of them winning, and I’m sick of the ongoing rivalry between Bostonian and New York fans. The Red Sox needed to put the “redheaded stepchild” feeling to rest for the fans and show that they are every bit as good as the Yankees. And they did, quite spectacularly, which was even better and contributes to the overall legend quite neatly.
I am sad that the celebrations in Boston got ugly and, in one case, fatal. But you better believe I am going to be watching the World Series and rooting for Boston. Oh, yes. And I’ll be drinking a Sam Adams (brewed in Boston) while I’m doing it!
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
What am I to do? I turn off the computer and go play with her. Which means I don’t write here.
So as I said, I’ve been researching stuff on the Internet. What, you may ask, have I been looking for?
I’ve been looking at cars. My lease runs out next year and I’m trying to decide what to do. Since we now have one car and one SUV, we have decided to do a switch. I am going to buy a small SUV and once it is paid off, Honey is going to sell his SUV and buy a car. New cars are yummy. But I will probably buy pre-owned/certified this time. Of course, since you are so smart, you are asking, why don’t they just switch cars?
1. Because Honey’s SUV is 10 years old and doesn’t have all the safety features we would like in a car for our Smooch-Head to ride in.
2. Because my car is leased (for tax purposes) and we don’t want to buy the car at the end of the lease. Don’t get me wrong, I have loved my Passat. But I keep saying to myself: “This would be the ideal car, if only…” Once you find yourself doing that, it’s time to move on. It’s a car, not a person, after all.
3. It’s really none of your damn business, now is it?
I am leaning toward this, although it seems doubtful that we can afford it. I also like this, and this. Oh, and this. Hee hee. Honey is dying to buy this (for himself, not for me). Maybe a boatload of money will drop from the sky and make this all possible.
Don’t laugh, it could happen. It could!
I’ve been looking at shoes. I love shoes. Have I mentioned lately that I’d like a complete wardrobe overhaul and at least 3 new pairs of shoes? Especially since the weather here in Los Angeles has actually turned somewhat fallish? I like these. And these. I’m pretty sure there are more; I’m just too lazy to look up more links at the moment (and remember, I only have limited time as it is. I’m just saying.)
I’ve been looking at preschools for Smooch-Head. I think I have found The One. You have no idea how happy this makes me. I have talked to 9 schools, done “drive-bys” of 15 just to see what they looked like from the outside, and Viva and I have visited 4. Since I am an incurable worry-wart, this whole process has really been torturous. But finally, finally! I have found the place. That’s it. I’m done.
And so is this blog. Until next time…
Monday, October 04, 2004
But hold the phone! I haven’t yet described our Saturday night, which was yet another reason we were tired. Through the Diva (my sister-in-law), we got free tickets to a John Kerry fundraiser at the Avalon, where we saw Lisa Loeb and the Black Eyed Peas. I want to like Lisa Loeb, but I was actually kind of bored during her set. The Peas were phenomenal, a great live band. What a lot of fun! We had a great time, but since we are old fogies, Sunday was pretty tough with a toddler. Especially because she only napped for about half an hour all day.
So today on our anniversary, we went to breakfast at Highland Grounds, where we first met and where our wedding reception was held. Honey had French toast and I had the breakfast combo #1. Then he took Viva to visit his dad, and I went off and had a mani/pedicure and did the grocery shopping. Whee! Now he is off having his private time and we will go to the park later with our little progeny, who appears to be something of a prodigy (I am about to bust from actually using those two words in the same sentence). I say prodigy because Viva is only 18 months old, but is talking in sentences and can already count to 5. It is freaking me out a little bit.
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Anyway, my hair looks close to its natural color once again. That Christine, what would I do without her? I will never trust my hair to another.
In other world news, I have been having trouble with my e-mail, so apologies to everyone who I haven’t written to while I’m trying to fix it. I am not the most techno-savvy chick on the planet, is all I’m saying.
Oh, and I have to add to my list of the Worst Baby Names of all time: Magnes. This is the actual name of an actual kid who was playing in the sandbox at the park last week. The name was printed on the kid’s sand toys, so it is no mistake. Dear God! Doesn’t anybody have any compassion?
Friday, September 10, 2004
Anyhoo, she said she really liked PS#3, where she was somehow able to get a tour. She just went today. That makes me want to scream. I do want Lovey to have the best start in life possible, but I could really work myself into a state of crazed anxiety about it all, which is clearly not healthy for any of us.
In other world news, if you ask Lovey what her own name is, she says, “Viva.” I like it. I think I’m keeping it.
Wednesday, September 08, 2004
After that, we are going to disconnect the box and try to go without cable/satellite for as long as we can stand it. That’s right, you heard it here first! The Blah Blahs are giving TV the finger!
Until we go crawling back and pay some outrageous amount for a dish or something. Dang these modern contraptions!
Perhaps while we are TV-less, I will read Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television. (For those of you that click on the link, be sure to scroll down for some of the reviews of the book. It’s interesting to see what some people who actually don’t watch TV have to say about it.) Maybe that will strengthen my resolve!
I actually don’t think this is a bad thing. Theoretically, I will be able to spend more time talking my husband’s head off in the evenings, and how can that be wrong?
Tuesday, September 07, 2004
Here (in no particular order) are the updates with what’s been going on with moi:
1. I went to the doctor last week for my annual comprehensive physical. Everything was fine and dandy until this weekend, when I received notice that one of my tests came back abnormal and I should come back and re-do the tests at my earliest convenience. Not what one wants to hear. I’m sure it’s nothing. You think it’s nothing, right?
2. On Saturday, I went at long last to have my hair color touched up. Because I’m vain like that, okay? My regular colorist, Christine (long may she reign), is on tour with an undisclosed extreme makeover reality show, so they booked me with Roger of the Two-Toned Hair. Part of Roger’s hair was platinum blond and the other part was a very dark brown and it was all spiked with gel. That should have been a red flag, but what was I to say?
So anyway, my hair was light brown when I went in. When Roger of the Two-Toned Hair rinsed my hair and brought me back to the styling station to style it, I said: “Oh! It’s RED.” “Yeah, it is a little red,” he said. “Oh my God,” I said, trying not to panic. Since I am not confrontational in the least, it was pretty much up to him to infer that I was not happy. But I think I got my point across, because then he decided to put a toner in it to get the red out. He was only partly successful. I then looked at my head and said to myself, “Well, it’s wet, so it may look different when it’s dry.” I paid up (too much for something I wasn’t happy with) and skedaddled back home. I had already been there for almost two hours and I was thoroughly sick of it.
Well, guess what? My hair is still red. I called the salon today to tell them how much I hate them and they agreed to schedule me with my regular colorist, who will be back on the 22nd. So I have to live with my hair like this until then, but that is fine, because I will trust no one else with my hair. But the salon receptionist, Marlene, and I are waiting to find out what the manager says because I told her I am not paying to have this corrected. Nor should I! And man, if they try to pull some b.s. with me, it will be on! Did I mention that my husband is a lawyer?
3. I am still fighting with Embassy Suites Hotel over $160.92, which they overcharged me in December of 2003. I left yet another message with them today. Do not ever use Embassy Suites or Hilton (their evil parent company). There, that’ll fix ‘em.
4. I am still (still!) researching preschools for my beloved cocoa puff for Summer/Fall 2005. We are visiting another one this Thursday and I am hoping to get in touch with the director of a third tomorrow. I had stopped thinking about it until I ran into a mom and baby on the playground a couple of weeks ago. They looked eerily familiar, and then I realized I had seen them on the tour of the first preschool we looked at. We talked (the moms, that is – the baby girls just swung on swings next to each other and did their girl thang) and exchanged info and now I have a co-conspirator in this whole preschool admissions evil disaster thing. She seems pretty cool. I need to call her today.
5. I still haven’t replaced our stolen sheets and towels. Nor have I purchased a new microwave. BUT! We rearranged our bedroom this weekend and moved our office area to a more sensible, easier-to-keep-BabyGirl-out-of area of the room, with a gate in front of it. AND! AND! We are finally wireless! My Genius Husband figured out how to fix it so that I can take my laptop anywhere in the apartment and not have to plug in to get on the Internet. That is pretty damn sweet, is all.
6. I had a facial today for the first time in…hmm, I honestly can’t remember when the last time was that I had a facial. It might have been when I was pregnant. No, seriously. My skin is practically vibrating with gratitude.
7. I have somehow managed to turn down two out of the three potential clients I was whining about in my last post, and the only reason I’m not three-for-three is that the third one and I keep missing each other (phone tag, you know the drill).
And that’s that. Happy September!
Monday, August 30, 2004
Suddenly, last week, three separate people contacted me to do some freelance grant writing work. Eerrrrrrrrhhhh…and somehow, despite the fact that I have a babysitter only once a week, I almost said yes to all three. It would be good to earn some extra money, yes. But what the hell?! I actually did say yes to one very short-term assignment, agreed to a meeting with an old client, and talked to a prospective client about possibly working 20 hours a week.
The problem is this: I am really interested in working with that last one. The client is an independent producer who needs to raise money to fund a new public TV series, which I think is right up my alley. But I don’t really have 20 hours a week to give her, and I know that. The producer is one of those types who works evenings, weekends, etc. She is not sure about what she needs – whether they should bring someone on staff, into the office, full-time, or whether they can even do their fundraising with an off-site person on a part-time basis. They are already in production and need to raise nearly a half-million dollars, under the gun. She needs someone to jump right in and work quickly and be focused. I don’t think I’m in a position to do this type of job right now. Clearly, this is a case of the right project at the wrong time. So what the bleep am I doing?
The real problem is this: I just can’t say no.
And I’m doing all this (taking meetings, reviewing proposals, and fielding phone calls) despite the fact that my Dear Husband told me to take this year off from the grant writing, concentrate on Lovey, and write my book. I should really just call my old client, who I am to meet tomorrow, and call it all off. Sweetie Pie Husband, who is really quite practical, says I should take the old client business since I know them, know their programs, and can write things fairly quickly for them. On one level he is right, because there is some sense in keeping my hand in so that when Lovey goes to school, I can get back into the grant writing thing. However, this client is slow to pay due to cash flow problems, and since they are a small non-profit, they only write a few grants at a time. Is it worth it to bring our babysitter in more than once a week for some projects that aren’t going to pay off?
Sorry to inflict my petty First World problems upon you, but that is where I am at the moment.
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Well, tonight as I was putting Lovey to bed, I had a bunch of ideas for essays and that’s what pulled me away from working on my novel. I should mention that when I put Lovey to bed, I stay in the room until I am sure that she is asleep. After the bedtime stories, the rocking, the singing, the rubbing of her tiny hot little back, I pray. And when I pray, I always get ideas. I don’t ask for them, per se. When I pray, I basically have a little talk with God, during which I thank Him/Her for all the good things in my life, and ask Him/Her to help me in areas where I’m having trouble. Since I am not very direct, this generally comes out as the all-purpose “help me to be a better person” prayer. I feel God already knows the specifics anyway. He/She is All-Knowing, right? I also pray for God to keep my baby safe and healthy and to give strength to various people who I know are having a rough time.
I find that prayer calms my mind. And as soon as my mind is free of all the busyness and craziness that is usually zinging around in there (what Zen calls monkey mind), all these great ideas come floating through.
Tonight, I sat down to write about my grandfather. I started at 7:45 PM. I have written a page and a half. It is 9:42 PM. It has taken me nearly two hours to write a page and a half because every couple or sentences or so, I start crying and I can’t stop. I miss him so much. I keep trying to make sense of a world without him in it and it’s just not make-sensible. And if you try and tell me that make-sensible is not a word, I may just hit you (I am already emotionally fragile). Language is a living thing; it is constantly evolving. Are we not adding new words to our everyday lexicon, well, everyday? Ten years ago, would you have any idea what “blog” meant?
And see! Again I am not facing what I really meant to write about. I decided to blog to give myself a break from the emotional juggernaut that awaits if I go back to my essay. You see, how I am blogging as a break from my essay, which I am writing because I didn’t have the energy to get back into my book tonight? So many evasive tactics! I might convince myself that it is too soon to write about this. But that would be wrong. I think it is high time to write about it, and cry, and work through it.
One more thing: that stupid Microsoft Office help icon, Clippit, is questioning my use of the word "awaits" in the third sentence of the last paragraph. Clippit seems to think that "awaits" must have a direct object to complete its action. I think any idiot will realize that [me] is implied and may be inferred following "awaits." I hate that damn Clippit. By the way, a synonym for juggernaut is steamroller; compare "That smug Clippit doesn't realize the juggernaut of my wrath awaits to crush him into an even more useless piece of metal!"
Friday, August 20, 2004
So this morning, tra la la, I go into the bathroom to put my brand spankin’ new contact lenses in. Open the right-eye vial, shake it out, insert right lens. Ah! Beautiful! I can see that my bathroom sink needs cleaning. Open the left – ergh, ugh – open the – what the – ergh – what the bleeping blank is wrong with this thing? Although I am a reasonably healthy adult, I can’t for the life of me get the top off the left-eye vial. My left contact lens floats benignly in its solution, oblivious to my frustrated attempts to free it from its soggy prison.
Now, remember, I threw the old ones away. And – of course – these are the last contact lenses in the box. And because I have toric lenses and such a strong prescription, they have to be special-ordered from the Contact Lens Distribution Center for the Nearly Blind, where no doubt they are manufactured by hand by specially trained rhesus monkeys. Who are on strike.
So at this moment, I am wearing one new lens and one really old lens which I scavenged from a contact lens case I haven’t opened in nearly a year. Thank God I had the presence of mind to decide to keep these in case of emergency. Hopefully, my Big Strong Husband can open the left vial when he comes home for lunch. Of course, if this were a Seinfeld episode, he’d break his glasses at work and call me to come and pick him up, and while I was driving to get him I’d notice a homeless person walking down the street swaddled in my purloined sheets (see August 18 entry). And as I whipped my neck around to scream out the window, my left contact lens would pop out and roll down the street.
To add to the Murphy’s Law mix of today, the beloved fruit of our loins has not been sleeping well (again). Last night, she went to bed at Nine. O’Clock. Two hours later than usual. And woke up at Five. Ay-em. An hour and a half earlier than usual. And fell asleep in her high chair in the bathroom while I was taking a shower. At 9:15, instead of at 12, which is when she usually naps. This has totally screwed up my day, but that is life with a little one. Che será, and all that. She looks very sweet, all snuggled up with Mao, her little white stuffed cat, under her green gingham fleecy blankie. So I have decided to seize the moment and work on my book and stuff. Toodles!
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Well, ladies and germs, I have two things I wish to discuss today:
1. I am sick of myself.
2. And (I can barely stand to write this because, dear Reader, you are going to think “They must live in the ‘hood – they’re just frontin’ or something,” because) we had yet another unpleasant episode in our apartment building.
First, I am sick of myself, and I know you must be sick of me too. I am tired of my same basic uniform of T-shirt, cropped pants and flip-flops. I look in vain in my closet for some cute yet functional outfit; I pull out various items and reject them; I gnash my teeth and rend my garments. All of my former work clothes are just taking up space. And after one week of being on vacation, my mid-section, which was starting to trim down, has pudged back out. God, I am sick of myself.
In a similar vein, I am sick of our allegedly secure “luxury” apartment building. Yesterday, our babysitter Maria was here so I could go out and run some errands and then have some quiet time to work on my book (ratio of time spent on errands vs. time spent on book: easily 10 to 1). She was doing laundry, and she wasn’t finished when it came time for her to leave. She told me there was one load in the dryer, and she left the laundry basket in the laundry room, which is literally right next door to our apartment. An hour later, I went down the hall to get the laundry. It. Was. Gone. Desaparecidos! Like those unfortunate people in Argentina, whose plight was popularized and arguably exploited for commercial gain by Sting. So now I dance alone, with images of my best sheets and towels in my head (not to mention my laundry basket). If Sting is to be believed, one day we'll dance on their graves, one day we'll sing our freedom, one day we'll laugh in our joy, and we'll dance… Mutha truckas! If I catch whoever took my stuff…well, I just hope they know who they’re dealing with, is all. (Said in my most menacing, “I am five-one on a good day and a wind could blow me over” kind of voice.)
Saturday, August 14, 2004
1. Had meals at Mimi’s Café (chain, but not bad), La Belle Epoque (lovely French food, croissants that must have each had a pound of butter in them), and Highland Grounds (our old standby; had to check in and say hello).
2. Went to the Lake Shrine (Pacific Palisades, serene, full of love, unity and gigantic koi), the beach (Santa Monica, beautiful, gorgeous, fantastic) and the L.A. Zoo (hot as hell; we gazed enviously at the sea lions gliding gracefully about in what appeared to be the coolest and most refreshing water on the planet).
3. Visited the Hustler store sans Viva (unspecified purchases totaling $58.41). Oh, come on, people, we’re all adults here.
4. Processed six rolls of film, necessitating activity #5.
5. Poked around at Aaron Brothers and bought picture frames to beautify our bodacious pad.
6. Made approximately 28 separate trips to the supermarket for stuff we needed/forgot (see activities #8, 9, and 10).
7. Had a family caricature done. This need never be done again, because I really don’t need to know what I would look like as a cartoon character. Viva, on the other hand, would make a fabulous cartoon. I’ll get to work on that project, soon, believe me.
8. Ate more steak than a family of mountain lions (barbecued and pan-grilled -- both were scrumptious).
9. Ate cookies and/or ice cream pretty much every night of our vacation.
10. Lay around feeling bloated and sick.
And there you have it. I hope you have enjoyed your virtual vacation along with us, thanks to the miraculous powers of this newfangled thing they call the Internet. Ahoy hoy!
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
I am thirty-six.
“Middle age” doesn’t scare me.
I am still the bomb!
A good strong number.
Years enough to know some things
And still have some fun.
My advice to you:
Keep brain and body active.
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
What? Thirty-six years?!
Glad to be on this planet,
Though it moves so fast.
“Don’t deny your age.
Defy it.” And yet you’ve had
Thirty-six years been
Very, very good to me.
Sweet Lord, I am blessed.
Be in the moment.
Practice true self-acceptance.
We all have a gift.
I am still a hot momma.
Monday, August 02, 2004
In other news, I’ve been having some trouble connecting to the Internet today. I am not sure what the problem is. I have checked all the connections and everything is plugged in and on. So what the?? I am writing this offline and hope to post at a later time.
In even other news, let’s talk about this movie Open Water. I haven’t seen it, of course (I don’t really get to see much of anything in the theater, and the only reason I know about this is I saw the trailer for it when I want to see Fahrenheit 9/11). But I am so freaked out about it that I have spent hours looking up info related to it. It’s “based on true events”! What could be more compelling?? Here’s the basic plotline: a couple goes on a chartered boat expedition to go deep-sea scuba diving during their vacation in the Caribbean. Due to a bungled headcount by the charter people, when they surface from the dive, the boat is gone. They are stranded in the middle of the ocean, and nobody realizes they are gone. Bad enough, right? Well, they are in shark-infested waters, and they start to see fins slipping past them.
Errrrrr!!! This is the kind of movie that makes me freak out about getting into a pool, never mind the ocean. Why do sharks freak us all out so much? I think it has something to do with (a) the fear of being hunted and (b) well, yes, the sheer horror of being eaten alive. I guess that would bug you. There is a bit of controversy over this film, because most people assume it is based on one real-life story (the disappearance of the Lonergans in the Great Barrier Reef in 1998) in particular. But in researching this, I have discovered that this is not an isolated incident. Not. An. Isolated. Incident. That is to say, it has happened before. More than once. So, kids, for those of you who really love the ocean and might consider being dropped off by a boat in the middle of the ocean to go scuba diving – well, consider yourselves warned, is all I’m saying.
I don’t plan on seeing the movie, by the way. Because I am not the bad ass “sharks don’t scare me” kind of gal that can handle this kind of movie. Oh, and I should mention that I do have a fear of being in water over my head, which stems back to my early trauma in the shallow end of the pool at the Allston-Brighton YMCA…but that is a story for another time.
Thursday, July 29, 2004
Now, the most important things for you to know about the Democratic National Convention as it relates to my life (and yes, it is all about me, because, well, this is my blog) are that (1) my sister-in-law, the Diva, (holla atcha girl!) is a California delegate and is currently in Boston at the convention; and (b) Barack Obama is my new virtual boyfriend.
Let me explain a few things for those of you that are new. To be my serious virtual boyfriend, you must be (a) intelligent, (b) attractive, (c) funny and (d) completely inaccessible to me in real life. Mr. Obama meets at least three of these criteria; however, I don’t know if he is funny. And that is crucial. Because the thing is, other people might find him funny, but in my little corner of the universe, you need to have a quirky, unusual sense of humor to make me laugh. This is why my Darling Husband and I are so suited to each other, because we both find the same random things inexplicably and uproariously funny.
I have the usual not-so-serious virtual boyfriends like Taye Diggs and Blair Underwood. My affection for them is based pretty much on their physical attributes and their charm. But then there are the more serious contenders, like Owen Wilson (ironically, the “dark horse” in this race due to his lack of melanin), and Chris Rock. I am a sucker for a man who is both smart and funny. Well, no one can compete with my husband, because he is the funniest and smartest and sweetest guy around. But I do now have a thing for Sen. Obama, although I am quite sure that any actual conversation I might have with him would go something like this:
SEN. OBAMA: So what’s your take on the 9/11 report? Do you agree with the commission’s recommendations on governmental reorganization?
ME: Duh-uhhhh…I drank a lot of beer in college. Can you pass the chips?
Anyhoo, as for the actual convention: from all reports, my sister-in-law is having the time of her life. She even got to have lunch with President Clinton (not one-on-one. DUH). I have to admit, we were all a bit worried about security issues at the convention, but so far, so good. I am really looking forward to hearing all her stories when she gets back.
Once again, I have to end. Lovey is waking up. Sahr!
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
I want to address two issues today: (1) historical ethnic dolls; and (2) the Democratic National Convention (yes, I am still a Democrat).
On the first issue, I don’t even know that I’m describing it correctly, but here we go. I have a grandmother who makes dolls, many of which are “ethnic.” When Lovey was born, my grandmother sent us a pick-a-ninny [sic] doll, with its own stand and a little tag stating that it was #46 in a series. The attached tag states:
“The dictionary defines the word pick-a-ninny as a ‘small Negro child.’ West Indian slaves used the word ‘pequeno’ referring to small children. In America, before Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin, the small slave children’s task was to sort through the cotton bolls and pick out any bits of bark, [sic] or trash. A ‘clean’ bale would bring a higher price when sold by the plantation owner. In America, the slaves referred to these children as Pick-a-ninny [sic].”
The doll itself is about six inches high, wears a gingham red dress and several plaits sticking straight up off her head. She carries a basket and has a cheerful little grin. Ah, slavery. Them was good times, suh!
Anyway, Lovey has just discovered this doll and is quite happy with it. She doesn’t know the significance of it yet, of course. My problem with it is that the word pickaninny has such a derogatory connotation. Ignorant people use it as a racist slur. My larger problem has to do with “black memorabilia” in general. You know, the weird racist shit that people pay money now to collect? What black person in his/her right mind would want something like this? It just seems so sick and self-loathingful to me (yes, I just made that word up). I really don’t understand that mentality.
An ex-boyfriend of mine, who was biracial (half-black, half-Italian-American), had the diagram of the inside of a slave ship tattooed on his arm. It showed these tiny little figures all crammed closely together, like so. I asked him why he would want something like that permanently etched into his skin. He said because we should never forget the horrors of slavery, and he wanted it there as a reminder. (In hindsight, I think he was really into the shock value.) I likened it to a Jewish person having the diagram of a concentration camp on their arm. It made no sense to me then, and, with the benefit of years of accumulated wisdom since, it makes no sense to me now.
The argument I always hear is about re-appropriating these words and images, that “owning” them takes back their power. I’m sorry, but I don’t want to validate something I see as racist. So my concern with the pick-a-ninny doll is that the doll itself is not offensive, but what it represents is.
Am I making sense? I know that I often don’t. And I’m going to have to leave you with that because my sweet cherub just woke up from her nap. More on this next time…
Tuesday, July 20, 2004
It was really a beautiful day. We stopped and had breakfast at Broadway Deli, and then traipsed down to the beach. We spent a lot of time knee-deep in the water with Lovey (her knees, not ours). She was unsure about this, crying at first from Daddy’s arms and twisting around and screaming for me. Daddy wants her to face her fears and learn that he will never put her in harm’s way, so they remained in the water. I admit that I was too tired at first to get up and try to rescue her, so I just waved half-heartedly from the blanket and drank up our water supply to soothe my throat. When I did get down to the water’s edge, she was happily screaming at the waves as they came rushing at her and even trying to get to deeper water. Score one for Daddy.
Here is the coolest part of the day: we were not far from a couple of surfers trying to catch some waves, and some dolphins came in close to shore to play with them. This is not the first time I’ve seen this, but this is the closest I’ve gotten to them. I could see them flipping around and slapping their tails in the water. How cool is that?!
Later on, after we came home, I lost whatever energy I might have been able to muster and could not even begin to think about making dinner. From my semi-conscious state on the couch, I couldn’t even think of what to order from the takeout menus. This led to us holding hands in the middle of the living room, chanting: “We are the Blah Blahs. We are hungry. Please send us some food.”
I ended up with a cup of tortilla soup and My Darling Husband had a burger with fries. It was truly a Monday Night Miracle!
Saturday, July 17, 2004
Will says, “She is her father’s child. She’ll say, ‘And you’re a honky!’”
In all honesty, I do not think the guy meant anything bad by it. It is just one of those random encounters that take one by surprise. I guess I am generally not thinking about how people perceive us as I go about the mundane rituals of my day-to-day life.
Friday, July 16, 2004
Lovey resents any time I spend on the computer because she can’t understand why I will not (a) let her push all the keyboard buttons to her heart’s content and (2) failing that, at least set the computer to “slide show,” so she can watch all the pictures of herself that I have stored here. Oh, yes, she is incredibly vain. Whenever she sees photos of herself, she crows, “I am the most gorgeous and entertaining creature in the land!” squealing and clapping her hands. At least I think that’s what she’s saying. So my moments alone at the computer are few and far between, which is why it is 5:48 a.m. and instead of lounging around in bed, I am blogging to warm up before getting back to writing my book. Lovey is in the living room doing “goga” with her daddy. She can do downward facing dog pose better than anyone you have ever seen!
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Until a few months ago, I could put Lovey in the stroller and go for a brisk walk for 45 minutes to an hour every day or so. Well, now that she can walk on her own, she will no longer tolerate that, so I am sad to report that my waist is starting to pudge. No one believes this (except of course, for My Darling Husband who has seen me en deshabille but says he likes me anyway). This is because I am still reasonably slim except in that one traitorous area. So I have resorted to putting on music and dancing around the apartment to work up a sweat. Lovey and I like to pretend we are in a music video. In fact, I think we should make a music video because I think she could teach those video hoochies a thing or three.