Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Sad, sad, sad

Bear with me. I am bummed out today because...

1. My sister and I talked on the phone on Monday. “Talked” isn’t actually the correct terminology, however. It’s more like, “screamed and cursed and cried for an hour.” Needless to say, I don’t feel better after talking to her. I thought we could clear the air. Silly me. Apparently, every thing I have ever done, said, or not done or said offends her and she is thoroughly sick of me. It was quite a laundry list. Since I don’t want to play the game of “Oh, yeah? Well, you did such-and-such and you said so-and-so,” I am really not sure what to do about this situation. I am exhausted just thinking about it.

2. We're still not done painting, although our dining area is just about done. Praise all that is holy. We keep taking breaks from the painting (like a week at a time), which is only prolonging this absurdly drawn-out process.

3. My DSL is not working (or is working only sporadically). I am writing this in Word with hopes of posting it some day. Sorry! I miss you!

4. I still haven’t received either a credit or a duplicate package from UPS. What the hell??

UPDATE: After 35 minutes on the phone with my ISP, I finally fixed the problem. I’m glad I wasted most of Viva’s nap on this, rather than working on my novel. J*^$ck$%!

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

A Fond (if Temporary) Farewell

Once again, I may be without DSL for a while. We are switching the DSL off on one phone line and installing it on our other phone line. This is one of those things which the phone company would have you believe is no big deal, but in my experience, there is always something that gets f--'d up and I end up cussing and being generally irritated for days at a time while I figure it out.

Things to tide you over while I'm away:

1. Viva has pooped in the tub twice this week. Notice I did not say "in the potty," because that would be wrong, although logical and much-hoped-for. When this happened, she screamed as if she had discovered a giant squid in the water, coming up from the depths to drag her down and drown her. It was fruitless to tell her that it was her poop, that it came out of her body, etc. For days now, she has periodically told the story at random moments: "Ezza wazza in da water, eeza enna I POOP!" She tells it with her eyes really wide, and sometimes with sweeping dramatic gestures, as if she cannot possibly convey to you the horror of what she went through.

b. Sweet Willie and I have begun discussing the possibility of throwing Viva a birthday party this year. If you thought reading about preschools was exhausting and made you want to gouge your eyes out, well, hang on, because it's going to be a bumpy ride.

IV(c). Strangely, Sweet Willie and I have also been talking about how little time we have together these days, and how we miss each other, and what can we do about it. Sweet Willie's answer is to wake me up at 5:08 AM with a cup of tea so we can do yoga together before Viva wakes up. This is not as bad as it sounds. And it's also not a euphemism. You pervs!

Okay, I'm disconnecting now. Have a nice year...

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Woe betide me...and UPS

Before I get into my latest riff on modern life in all its angst and sunshine, I just have to mention that despite years of correction, my grandmother still pronounces UPS as “ups,” rather than U.P.S. And while technically she’s right, since there are no periods to indicate that UPS is an acronym rather than just a regular word, it kind of drives me around the bend. Because I am crazy about stuff like grammar and usage (and many, many other things, but we won’t get into that here). People who know this about me will often deliberately misuse the language just to watch my eyes bug out in spectacular fashion. Sweet William, for example, will say things like “Well, her behavior really runs the gambit” or “Break out that dreaded apparati” with a straight face, just to see how long I can stand it before I correct him.

I never said I didn’t have flaws.

At any rate, I am currently irritated with UPS because I am still working on getting them to credit me for a package – a Christmas gift! – purchased for Sweet William and delivered to the front door of our apartment building on December 10. I never saw this package, nor did anyone sign for it. I know things are busy around the holidays, but why would you leave a package sitting outside an 80-unit, 5-story apartment building on a fairly busy side street in a mixed-use commercial-residential area and expect that the rightful owner would (a) even know it was there and (3) be the person who picked it up and brought it inside? I am more than a little ticked about this, but not as ticked as I would be had it been a very expensive present. It’s a paperback novel, one that I thought my sweetie would enjoy, but certainly not an extravagant gift, and not his only Christmas present from me. But still.

And I can’t go buy a replacement, because it still isn’t clear, despite talking with UPS this morning, whether UPS is ordering a duplicate from the shipper (Barnes & Noble) or whether they are just going to issue me a check. They are still waiting for paperwork from B & N to determine which course they choose. Totally ridic.

And I’ll admit it: I wanted to read the book, too. Dad gum it!

Monday, January 10, 2005

I miss you. Do you miss me? Really? That much?

Please note: An alternate title for this entry might be, “Home Improvement Gone Horribly Wrong.” Consequently, there’s a lot of cussing (both real and imagined, but certainly not as much as there was in reality). Please also note that due to our home improvement issues, I am DSL-less and kind of freaked out about it (writing this in Word and hoping to post later).

On New Year’s Eve, having covered everything in plastic and spackled and masked and primed the night before, Sweet William and I rang in the new year by painting our kitchen an outrageous shade of yellow. Contrary to what you might think, we really enjoyed this activity: we got to spend time talking and laughing together, listening to a variety of old CDs as we painted and toasting the new year with a lovely Cabernet when we were done. We were so pleasantly surprised by our positive experience that we enthusiastically agreed to paint the living/dining area the following weekend.

This is where things went bad.

We have a small galley kitchen. The walls are covered mainly by cabinets and large appliances. So the area left for us to paint was relatively small. Painting it was not a huge pain in the ass because it was not a large area. But complete jackasses that we are, this did not occur to us. Did we decide to do something simple for our next project?

If you said yes, you clearly have not been paying attention and you deserve the complimentary smack in the head I’m giving you right now. (I’m sorry, I’m sorry, did that hurt? Do you need an ice pack? Why are you crying?)

If you said of course not, congratulations! You have won a year’s supply of toilet paper.

We decided that for our next project, we wanted two different colors of paint. One neutral, and one as an accent color. Because our kitchen has no door and flows directly into the dining area, we needed the colors not to clash with the yellow-gold color we have in there. After much deliberation in the paint store, we arrived at two colors: Sundown and Southwest Clay or some such shit. I can’t remember the exact names, but one was kind of a yellowy neutral and the other one was more of a red-orange.

After three hours of moving furniture, taking pictures off the wall, spackling, taping off and covering everything in plastic, I took the lid off the first paint can and began applying it to the wall. Oh, wait – did I mention that we had to drive down to South Pluto in a rainstorm to drop off Viva at Diva(my sis-in-law)’s? We had arranged to borrow a ladder from Diva’s hubby for the painting. In all the commotion of dropping Viva off, installing her car seat in Diva’s car, and discussing where to get lunch, we forgot about the ladder until we were already back on the freeway.

“Fuck it,” said Sweet William. “I’ll just go to Home Depot and buy one.”

So we went running around to the paint store and Home Depot in the pouring rain, for which you may not have much sympathy except that (a) this is Southern California and no one here can deal with the rain, making every move treacherous and (5) Home Depot is my worst nightmare. It is the eleventh circle of Hell. I don’t know how many circles of Hell there are, but Home Depot deserves its own special circle. With a parking lot.

So we got home after all this running around and we ordered Chinese food which upset my stomach, but I was determined to make a go of this, so after all the above-mentioned preparation, I opened the paint and started slapping it on the wall in my most authentically interior designy manner. And then I stepped back and looked at it. And it was fucking peach.

“I hate it,” I said. “It’s awful. It’s so…peach.”

“No,” said Sweet William. “It is bad. It is not good.”

“Crap,” I said. And then I poured the paint all over the floor and we wrestled in it and laughed and tickled each other and it was like something out of a movie.

Actually, what I think I did was open the other can of paint to see how bad that was going to be. And one of us started painting one of the other walls, I forget who or what. I think the paint fumes just ate up my brain. The other color…

“It looks like tomato soup,” I said.

“Can we live with this?” said Sweet William. He looked pained. I was really becoming dejected. The project had gone sour.

The good news is that we could live with the tomato soup color. The bad news is that we bought only a quart of it, and we ran out of paint after doing a wall and a half. We concurrently ran out of steam and decided to have a beer and go to bed.

The next morning, we had a crummy breakfast at Café 101 and then went our separate ways: I drove back down to South Jupiter to pick up Viva, while Sweet William got the house ready for her arrival. Later, my darling went to Home Depot and selected a neutral color called Swiss Coffee. After Viva went to bed, he primed one of the walls I had painted the day before (we changed our minds mid-painting). His plan was to paint the ceiling tonight, while I painted one of the living room walls.

Now, we actually thought we’d be able to paint the entire living/dining area in one night over this past weekend. Let me tell you, out of the seven walls in that area (it is of course an odd-shaped area, how could it not be?), only one is fully painted. We have surrendered ourselves to this totally and realize we will be painting after Viva goes to bed all week long.

Oh, and let me just add this: Swiss Coffee = white. Not off-white, not beige, not taupe, not anything with even a hint of brown as one might reasonably expect given that coffee is part of the name.

So now we need to find yet another color. Sweet William valiantly painted part of the ceiling tonight in his underwear. Sadly, I did not get a picture.

And the beat goes on…

Friday, January 07, 2005

The Yin, The Yang

Three Reasons Why Yesterday Sucked

1. My brand-new urban hipster hobo bag, purchased because I am utterly sick of carrying around a diaper bag, busted its zipper right after I finished packing it to go to the playground. I have owned this bag less than a week and have used it a total of: twice.

2. After re-packing my old diaper bag, I put Viva in the car to go to said playground since it was actually nice outside. Chilly, but no rain. We got about five blocks from home and she said, "water, water." What she meant was, "Hey, I thought it would be a really cool thing to tip my sippy straw cup upside down into my lap, but now I'm knee-deep in cran-raspberry watery juice(TM) and I'm not digging it so much." Cursed everything, turned around and went back home.

3. My cousin called and asked me a big favor, because it was a big emergency. She wanted me to lend her precisely $580. Since I have great difficulty saying no to people, especially to family members, this request stimulated great anxiety, heartburn and nausea throughout the day. Especially because I initially said yes, and then when I found out what it was for, revoked my offer. Are you ready?

It's for her car note.

Have I mentioned that I drive a 2002 VW Passat? It's a nice car, right? Sweet William drives a 1994 Jeep. We consider the Passat our luxury vehicle. It's the first new car for both of us and it's got the leather seats, the sunroof, the European styling and handling. But we are not wealthy people by any means. Neither of us grew up with money, and anything we have, pretty much, we've bought ourselves (except for our lovely wedding and baby shower gifts, many thanks all around once again).

My cousin, on the other hand, grew up with well-to-do parents who gave her her first car at 16, as soon as she was licensed to drive. (By way of comparison, I bought my first car [used, really used, like already 11 years old] when I was 28.) Whenever I talk to her, she is always either on her way to vacation or a long weekend in Cabo or Jamaica or Hawaii, or she has just come back from Cabo or Jamaica or Hawaii. She has a full-time job in the entertainment industry, carries designer purses, wears $500 boots, etc. She drives an Audi TT coupe.

My cousin told me she "forgot" to make a payment and that Audi was about to repossess her car*. Sweet William, who would be the one forking over the money since I do not have a paying job (oh, yeah, remember? I'm a stay-at-home mom. I don't have a trust fund. My husband supports the three of us by working hard at his job, coming home for lunch to save money, not buying stuff he doesn't need, and driving a car that is now 11 years old.) -- as I say, Sweet William said, "If she forgot to pay her car note, she could 'forget' to pay my money back. I'm not gonna be chasing her for six months trying to get my money." So there you have it.

* I know two people who have been involved in car repossessions. Both tell me that you need to stop making payments for at least a couple months before the car company will try to repossess your car. One late payment does not mean a big smelly guy named Shmedd shows up with a tow truck and tootles off with your car.

Three Reasons Yesterday Sucked Not So Much

1. I talked to my sister. We didn't talk about the day-after-Christmas blowup (go ahead, laugh at me), but it was comforting to hear her voice and know I can call her when I'm stressed.

2. I talked to Viva about potty training and she is enthusiastically on board. Our conversation ended something like this:

Me: now, when you feel like you have to go pee-pee, all you have to do is tell me, and we'll go straight to the potty and you can sit and go, okay?
Viva: Okay! That is the greatest idea I have ever heard! You are the best mommy ever! How do you come up with this stuff? I am constantly impressed by you and your amazing parenting skills!

Okay, what she actually said was, "Okay! That's great!" and giggled and made circles in the air with her foot. But it was pretty cute, is all I'm saying.

3. I ate microwave popcorn not once, but twice.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Oh, while I'm at it

Here are my goals for 2005 (not, I repeat, NOT RESOLUTIONS):
  • Learn Web design (see previous entry for today)
  • Improve my overall physical, spiritual, and emotional health
  • Have more sex (with my husband, you creeps, so don't send me any lecherous e-mail. I know I am one hot mama with my hair crumpled up into a ponytail, 3.4 zits on my nose, and ultra-sexy dishpan hands. Back off!)
  • Start freelancing again. And make money at it. So, like, not in any kind of half-assed way.
  • Overcome my newfound addiction to microwave popcorn.
Here are Viva's goals:
  • Quit smoking
  • Get some more teeth
  • Kick the bottle

What can I say, we have to start somewhere.

Bloggity Blog Blog Blog!

For the past few days, I have been visiting some of the sites listed at The Best Of Blog Awards 2004 (see and I have to say, after reading some of these and admiring the designs of the sites, I have concluded that:

1. I need to learn Web design. Like yesterday. I feel like a moron.

2. I need to write more.

3. There are some damn funny people out there. Is all.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Hey Nineteen...

So today I go to Nordstrom's at the Grove to return a horrible red sweater that I bought a few weeks ago. I bought said sweater to wear for our family Christmas portrait.

What's that, you say? You never received a copy of our family Christmas portrait?

Well, sweetie, that's because there is no family Christmas portrait. And there ain't no damn Santa Claus, either!

Getting back to my story: so I went to Nordstrom's, where they are so swanky that they have a pianist tickling the ivories every day as part of their store atmosphere. The nubile young thing in the Horrible Sweater department quickly and efficiently processed my return, and then said, half to me and half to her co-worker, "Oh my God, I can't believe the piano player is playing a Gwen Stefani song!"

Stupid me. I said, "What?"

She said, "That Gwen Stefani song, 'If I Was a Wealthy Girl.'"

I said, "Um, well, you know, it's a remake? The original song is from Fiddler on the Roof?"


Oh. My. God.

Hey nineteen, that's 'retha Franklin
She don't remember
The Queen of Soul
Hard times befallen
The sole survivors
She thinks I'm crazy
But I'm just growing old...

She probably doesn't know who Steely Dan is, either.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Is it wrong to eat an entire bag of microwave popcorn in one sitting?

Because I have some popping (I almost wrote "pooping," sheesh) in the microwave right now. I have already told you how much I love having a microwave again, right? This is Whole Foods Whole Kids Organic popcorn, which somehow makes me feel a little better about the prospect of eating an entire bag by myself while my toddler is sleeping and my husband is out having coffee with a friend of ours. We had a lovely late breakfast of steak and bagels and fruit, so I won't be eating lunch, but I needed a crunchy snacky-type item to tide me over until dinner.

I just edited this post because it was originally very long and dealt with bad feelings between me and my sister. Upon reflection and even while I was writing it, I felt it wasn't fair since I haven't discussed this with her yet. She blew up at me the day after Christmas and we have yet to clear the air. But it had a lot to do with why I came out of the Christmas season utterly sick of everyone and needing to stay home for a while.

I have a feeling she wouldn't want the whole mess splayed out across the Internet for all three of my readers to see. So, for those of you that wanted a front-row seat at the Dysfunctional Holiday Rodeo, sorry.

I don't think she reads this, by the way.

More later when I have wittier things to say (perhaps much, much later).