Friday, May 27, 2005

Can it be that it was all so simple then?

I'm having a nostalgic moment. I ordered some stuff for Viva online from Old Navy a few days ago, and via the e-mail confirmation, looked up the current status to see where my stuff is. Well, not only can I see my current orders, but I can see orders that previously shipped. The last online order I made through O.N. was in March of 2003, when I was on bedrest due to preterm labor and panicking because it seemed likely Viva would arrive, very inconveniently for me, at any second. (Of course, she breezed on through and was born on her due date.) My baby shower had been cancelled, I didn't know what I might need, and in my anxiety mixed with cabin fever, shaken and stirred with hormonal overload, I powered up my laptop and ordered a slew of newborn items like socks and onesies and tiny, tiny little slacks.*

And today, Viva is wearing "my first Hard Rock Cafe T-shirt" and Hello Kitty underpants. Underpants! What, are you kidding me? Where the hell did my baby go?

* I love the word slacks. It's so...old-timey to me. Do you not just love it? All right, already.

(Viva Says) Hell, No, I Won't Go

"...unless I am (a) standing on my step stool washing my hands, having just gotten up from the potty without peeing in it; (b) standing on the bath mat in the other bathroom (the one without the potty in it) or (c) standing in the laundry room, helping Mama put clothes in the dryer. And by the way, I want a smoothie."

Damn, this toilet training is frickin' exhausting. You do not realize the myriad mundane steps in your day that you never think about until you have to train someone how to do them for the first time. And you have to tell them over, and over, and over. How much toilet paper to use, how to rip off the toilet paper without pulling all the paper off the roll, how you can't flush the toilet over and over but have to wait until it stops making noise and then flush. Oy vey.

We are making progress, but I want to flush my potty training book down the toilet, because one of the things it says is, "In most parents' minds, potty training is a monumental task to undertake." Well, it is. There's no way around it. And that's all I'm saying.

Follow Your Bliss

So I'm actually going to a yoga class now in a real yoga studio, with a yoga teacher and everything. Prior to this, I had been practicing yoga sporadically with some tapes at home, and had seen improvement, but man alive, going to an actual class is the kicker. The kicker-in-the-ass.

Last night, prior to class, we (Sweet Willie, our friend Kareena, and other classmates) were hanging out in the little garden area outside the studio, drinking tea and waiting for class to start, when a Really Bad Driver tried to back her car around a corner of the building. She scraped the side of the car against a pole, and then just stopped. She got out of the car, looked at the pole, looked at the car, got back in the car and got on her cell phone. She basically refused to move for fear of damaging the car more. Meanwhile, there was someone in a car behind her, waiting for her to get out of the way. Sweet William went over to see what he could do, and it was then that we determined that the car wasn't even hers. Ouch.

There was also no way for her to move the car without scraping it more, whether she went backwards or forwards, and Sweet W told her so. She refused to accept this, screamed something in Armenian, and returned to the phone. We all kept wondering what she was waiting for: a helicopter? A band of weightlifters-for-hire? A time machine, so she could go back 10 minutes and not scrape the hell out someone else's car? The person in the car behind her was patient for several minutes, but finally told her she would have to suck it up and move. At that point, Really Bad Driver exclaimed, "It's your fault this happened, so you're just going to have to wait!"

Eeeee! Cat fight! We all started laughing, I'm sorry to say. Not loudly, but we were not a sympathetic audience anymore. I love when people blame their own incompetence on other people, don't you?

The Driver Behind would not be baited, so the two of them stood there, glowering at each other on and off, until some guy arrived, got in the car, and backed it up s l o o o o w l y around the corner. Entertainment over, time for serenity and all that crap.

Namaste, my peeps.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

I have hit a new low

I am so tired today that I can't write. This is bad, because this is my second day in a row of feeling this wiped out. I still have a sore throat, which I've had since recovering from my cold a couple of weeks ago, and I can't tell if I'm getting sick again or what fresh hell this is.

So, since I am completely useless, I ended up actually reading my spam mail on my Yahoo! account. If you read my spam, you would conclude that:

(a) I really need to LOSE WEIGHT FAST!

(b) I have an online gambling problem.

(c) I am in desperate need of Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra.

(d) I am missing out on LOW LOW RATES by not refinancing my nonexistent house.

(e) I need to see Julie and her girlfriends doing things they've never done before...naughty, naughty Julie.

Hmm. What's it all about, Alfie?

To show you how mundane (and completely inane) my life has become: I drove to Target today in search of this. I would like to purchase it, bring it home, put it together and make Viva's room instantly neat as a pin. You will notice that there is no mention of this being a "Web-only" item. I don't particularly want to pay shipping for it, as it is a heavy item. Tax and shipping add almost thirty dollars to the price of this thing. Do I look like a sucka??

However, neither the Target nearest my home nor the Target Greatland (considerably more of a trek) carry this item. This is mighty irritating to me. The trip was thus a big old bust -- except that, as I was driving, I came across a shiny black Honda Accord with the following bumper sticker:


I felt as if I had been tapped on the shoulder by a giant hand of indeterminate gender and color! I felt as if this message were meant expressly for me! Here, on this day, at this time and place, I was reminded by divine intervention that I am the mistress of my fate!

And if I can ever get off my ass, well, maybe I'll do something about it.

(By the way, for your own virtual fortune cookie fortune, click here.)

I've gotta go lie down. Smell ya later.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Don't Crap Yourself!

...will be the theme of this Memorial Day weekend. Yes, ladies and germs, I have decided to step up the intensity of our toilet learning efforts and begin an all-out, sit-on-the-potty-every-hour-on-the-hour training regimen in an effort to ensure that Viva is pretty much trained for daytime dryness by the beginning of August. This is when she will start preschool full-time, 5 days a week.

Viva woke up at 4 this morning, which I was disappointed about, since I went to sleep around midnight and she was kind of cramping my style. But I staggered into her room, realized I had to go to the toilet, and dragged her out of her crib and into the bathroom with me, where we both sat on our respective thrones. And we both peed! I was not so excited about my pee, because I have been going to the toilet on my own for quite some time now, and the novelty has worn off just a smidge. But I was thrilled that my daughter actually released about a pint of urine into her potty, and that the diaper she was wearing was dry. I wanted to put it on a billboard or something, it was so damn cool (not the diaper itself, just the news of several hours of night dryness). I also realized this is probably why she wakes up a few times a week at this time. Time to limit the fluids partaken before bedtime...especially the beer.

I know, I don't get out much anymore. Stay tuned for the next exciting dispatch when I discuss my toenail clippings! You won't want to miss it!!

Friday, May 20, 2005

Lemme Holla Atcha

Holla holla holla, holla holla. If you've ever seen Chappelle's Show, you know I'm talkin' about the Holla Man. That is one of my favorite things ever in the history of the universe.

Today, I took Viva to the beach. We had a blast, running into the ocean, running back, eating Pirate's Booty and chasing off predatory seagulls. About halfway into our beach visit, as I was sitting on our blanket snuggling a towel-swaddled Viva, a man walked by, a few feet in front of our towel. I noticed he was looking at us intently, so I said hello.

Now, the beach we were at is a public beach in a predominantly white section of Los Angeles (in the South Bay, for those of you familiar with the area). The man walking by was black. Although it is not apparent to an estimated 95% (margin of error +/-3) of the general population, so am I. (I hail from a long line of what we used to call "high yalla/bright, light, and practically white" folks. I believe they call us multiracial now. Who the hell knows, I can't keep track.) Viva, of course, is more noticeably so, since her daddy is black as hell (direct quote from Big Willie himself). In my circle, if you are out and about and run into another black person, particularly if there are mainly non-black people around, you say hello or what's up or how you doin' or whatever. It's just a thing we do.

Well, Mr. Man said hello and kept going. He wasn't dressed for the beach (jeans, blue polo shirt, sneakers), so he kind of stuck out. A little while later he crossed back in front of us, a little further away this time. I was busy feeding Viva, so I didn't feel it was necessary to shout him out again. He must have come by to get a second look, because don't you know, some time later, after we had gone back in the water and come out and I was drying Viva off, here he comes --shirtless, with some sort of mat which he quickly unrolled and lay down on just a few feet away.

People! He came back with his shirt off. To holla at me. Can you believe this?

And he commenced to talking to me. Started asking about my baby, then moved on to the weather. Just talking and smiling as suave as could be.

I am 36 years old. I am not grotesquely hideous, so I have had men hit on me before. But this took me by surprise. Here I was, drying my baby off and thinking about what I was going to feed her for lunch, and I got sideswiped by A Rather Awkward Situation. What Would Jasmine* Do?

I'll tell you what I did. I bounced. Packed up all our stuff, wished him a good day, and shlepped back off to the car. How you like me now?

* As in "multiracial actress" Jasmine Guy, who played Whitley on A Different World. "DaWAYNE!!"

Edited to clarify:

1. The man was (a) out of shape and should have left his shirt on; (b) I would guess in his 40s; and (c) not handsome. Not ugly, but not handsome.

2. I did not flirt with him, I merely said hello. Apparently, I am such a gorgeous knockout of a creature that that's all it takes.

3. I was not wearing my wedding ring. Oh, come on, don't tell me you've ever forgotten to put yours back on.

4. The best time to tell this type of story to your husband is not on a Friday evening, when he's had a bad afternoon at work, is not feeling well, and is waiting for a phone call to tell him if the problem that fucked up his afternoon has been fixed. (The phone call came at 8:00 pm. The problem was not fixed. All was not bueno. Sweet Willie was steamed beyond the beyond.)

5. Sweet Willie's abs would kick this guy's abs' ass.

6. I think Sweet Willie would kick this guy's ass in a heartbeat -- when I first started telling him the story, he got all testosteroney until he heard more of the details -- except that he believes I prompted the mackdown by even acknowledging the guy in the first place. Whatever. I am simultaneously flattered and exasperated by his response to this event.

Let's hope this is the end of all discussion of a matter that I foolishly thought was kind of funny. Gawd!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Gun Control. I'm Friggin' Serious!

I guess I shouldn't be shocked by this, but with my own sweet dumpling in preschool, these kind of stories freak me out to no end. Sometimes I feel like I should send Viva out into the world wearing a full suit of armor, complete with helmet. She could be all fashionable in a Joan of Arc (not Joan of Arcadia, which has been cancelled*) kind of way. You laugh, but just you watch. Old Navy will jump on the bandwagon and you'll be able to get a whole set for just $19.99. And they'll put together some ridiculous ad using a catchy late-'80's tune to market it. And if you don't think so, well, you can just bust a tunic!

* An ironic aside: if you actually click on the Joan of Arcadia link above, you'll notice that the episode which is to air next is titled "No Future." Kind of prescient, don'tcha think? Also, if you read the news item about this, which is easily Google-able (ugh, okay, here it is, you lazy bastards), you'll find that among CBS' plans for next season is a series in which Jennifer Love Hewitt talks to dead people. God, I hate TV sometimes.

P.S. I am not a Joan of Arcadia fan. I have never watched the show. I just happened across the news item while reading other crappy news items. Thank you and good day.

Six of One, Half Dozen of the Other

Here in Los Angeles, we had our mayoral election yesterday, and Antonio Villaraigosa emerged victorious. I am sort of happy that he won, because for one thing, he is the first Latino mayor of Los Angeles since hell-and-gone, which is kind of ironic considering the huge Latino population here. Our last Latino mayor left office in 1872, when the population of Los Angeles was about 6,000 people (according to the Los Angeles Times). Things have changed just a teeny bit since then -- I believe the current population is close to 4 million, give or take a few, and the city itself has grown just a tad.

Aside from being Latino -- and I hate that I bought into all the media bullshit and actualy mentioned that first. Hello, I am a lemming -- Mr. Villaraigosa is also alleged to be a progressive Democrat, though I'm not sure what that could possibly mean in Los Angeles, in which even if you are a Republican, you are more liberal than many (most?) Dems elsewhere. If I had to characterize myself (and which you must know, I hate doing -- I reject labels of any kind), I would describe myself as a reform Democrat. That would be as opposed to a same-old-shit Democrat. In the interest of full disclosure, I will also say that I have flirted with the idea of changing parties, since the National Democratic Party is floundering around in a way that I find deeply embarrassing. But I do hope that this is a step in the right direction for my dear adopted city.

The reason I say I am only sort of happy that Mr. Villaraigosa won is that I have developed a deep distruct of politicos of any stripe, and it seems to me to all be bullshit. The hype, the gladhanding, the pandering to special interests -- oh, you know. At any rate, I hope Mr. Villaraigosa can live up to his promises. I don't think this job is going to be a walk in the park. No sir, no how!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Reason #82 why we don't need another kid

I just did four loads of laundry today, and I could easily do three to four loads more. Now that Viva is in preschool, she is soiling her clothes with spaghetti sauce, Los Angeles-area dirt, and God knows what else at an alarming rate. We also seem to be breezing through washcloths like there's no tomorrow.

This morning, as I was loading up the washing machine and feeling a bit like this was a futile exercise, I had the thought, "This could be worse. What if you had two kids?"

Thank God for birth control. Props to my homegirl Margaret Sanger!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Can't Get to It

I am pissed about losing part of my last post, but now I don't have time to reconstruct it and in the wider scheme of things, it's not very important. I am heading down to see my mom and grandma today. My grandma's oncologist has summoned her for a bunch of tests and we are all nervous. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers, if you do that kind of thing.

Will try to post more over the weekend.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Ah, the joy of spring cleaning! Yesterday, I went through one drawer of my four-drawer filing cabinet, and removed any files that were either (a) completed projects or (2) work done for clients that I haven't worked with in over a year. I ended up with a towering pile that weighed 11.5 pounds, according to my bathroom scale.

Now, I might be skeptical of this weight, since a few days ago the scale seemed to think I weighed 82.5 pounds, while Viva weighed 0.0. However, the scale seems to have had a change of heart and now registers a much more reasonable weight, which I won't share with you, because that would be totally obnoxious. But I feel confident that this pile of paper can be reasonably represented as weighing nearly twelve pounds.

It's now sitting on my bedroom floor, threatening to topple over the next time one of my neighbors slams their apartment door. I have to shred most of it, and if I take the time to do that, I won't have time to blog or work on my other writing, so there you go. I feel certain that I will add to it next week when I continue the purging process. Maybe I will use it to make some sort of fabulous papier mache project which we can store with all the other ridiculous stuff we can't bear to part with, thus rendering this entire clean-up project completely oxymoronic. Or maybe just moronic. You be the judge.

Starry Eyed...

When I was a teenager living in Boston, I used to listen to WBCN-FM sometimes in the morning. WBCN started out as a progressive rock station which did a lot to break out Boston groups like Aerosmith, the Cars, and the J. Geils Band. Anyhoo, in the mornings, they used to feature The Cosmic Muffin (aka Darryl Martini, now retired), who would give the horoscopes for the day. At the end of this segment, the Cosmic Muffin would intone, "And remember, it's a wise person who rules the's a fool who's ruled by them." And then I would put on my coat and grab my book bag and haul ass out into the dark Boston morning to catch the first of two busses to get to school by 7:30 AM. Damn, it was cold.

At any rate, I am apparently not ruled by the stars, as during my clean-up, I cam

Oh my God, this has been truncated by some fuck-up with Blogger again. I have to end here but will try and edit this tomorrow. Color me pissed. To No END!

What happens to a rage deferred?

It kind of shrivels up into disgust, that's what.

Yesterday, I composed a most amazing post. It was lengthy! It had links! It had subheadings! I was totally out of control! And then I went to post it and got an error page and a message that Blogger was down for maintenance. I was clinging to some small shred of hope that I would be able to recover my post today -- it's a new! Blogger! feature! -- but upon looking it up, I found this little tidbit:

"You'll need to be logged in to the same blog that lost the post, on the same browser and within 30 minutes of losing your post in order for this to work."

Arrrrrrgggggggggggggggggh. Fuckity fuck fuck fuck.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Still sick. Still!

Yes, it's been almost two weeks since Viva and I got sick, and we are just barely coming out of it. Sickness sucks.

I say this as an explanation for why I haven't posted anything for lo these many days.

Sorry. (As if you care. Cue self-pitying violin music.)

Sunny Day, Sweepin' the Clouds Away

So despite our lingering coughs, we went to see this with friends Nick and Carla and their little munchkin Jolie, who is just a few months younger than Viva. Have I mentioned that Sweet Willie and I are not big fans of the musical? The things we do for our child. Anyway, the girls were thrilled, and it was all heart-warming to see how into it they got. Since there always has to be some drama wherever we go, I am happy to report that this time, the drama did not involve us. But Sweet William pointed out to me in the row in front of us, near the aisle, a little girl had gotten one of the sparkly twizzly lighty things that they were selling at the souvenir booth stuck in her hair. It kind of swirled around in there and got ensnared. Her [presumed-to-be] mom had to remove her from the auditorium to go off somewhere mysterious and extricate it. I laughed because it wasn't happening to me. (Apologies to The Simpsons, and I can't seem to find the original quote.)

Afterward, we got food here, which in my opinion was not all it was cracked up to be. I think they make their greens without pork. How can that be good? I will give them props for their black-eyed peas, but still, when I want fried chicken, I will stick with Roscoe's. And gimme a waffle on the side, dammit.

Anyway, whenever we see them, I always wish Nick and Carla lived closer to us. And then I also wish that Ericka and Aron and their little pookums Isabella lived closer, too. Then we could all hang out and our kids could play together all skippy skippy skippy. Sadly, Nick and Carla live in the Deep Valley (practically in Ventura County, so not exactly a ten-minute drive), and Ericka and Aron live even farther away, in the Bay Area up nawth. It is a damn shame. Sweet Willie, Nick and Ericka all went to law school together, and then our daughters were all born within four months of each other, so it would be a cool little sisterhood.

Since apparently none of us are having a second kid, I'm all for the siblings-by-association thang, but it looks like it's not going to happen. Ericka claims she would move back down here if only I would write a bestseller and build us a compound in Malibu. Okay.

Mother's Day is Among Us...Be Very Afraid.

And I wish I had something more witty to say, but you know something? I hate Mother's Day. It seems to me to have become almost as commercial, crass and weighted with expectations as Christmas.

Don't get me wrong, I love my mother, despite all her zaniness. But in all honesty, I hate the obligation Mother's Day imposes on me. I visit my mother and grandma regularly on non-holiday occasions. Both of them say not to spend any money on Mother's Day. They just want us to spend time together. I will show up with cards and some potted orchids and make them some cake or Sunday brunch. My sister, on the other hand, will buy gifts as well as flowers and agonize over what to cook and call me about it to find out what I am doing and then it turns into an unwieldy, anxiety-spewing thing.

My friends, I hate a thing. I just can't abide it.

Now, my mom's birthday is just a couple of weeks after Mother's Day, and my grandma's birthday is just a couple of weeks after that. So I know I am going to go see them on those occasions. And you know, we really still are sick...

Okay, okay, I know you think I am hateful for wanting to avoid Mother's Day. Every day is Mother's Day for me with Viva, so it's not that I feel I'm missing out on our Special Day if we go visit my family. I just don't want to get dragged into a thing.

Do you know what I'm saying? Do you? Ugh.

Shower the people you love with LOVE. Love, dammit, not all kinds of crap they don't need.

Clearly, Madame Blah Blah is in a foul mood. This transmission will end here, with our apologies for the peevishness of it all.