Saturday, July 30, 2005

My Synapses are Short-Circuiting

I Don’t Think I Need to Elaborate

I hate potty training and I’m sick of it. There, I said it.

Gratuitous Cuteness, Followed by a Fortuitous Discovery

One of Viva’s many fixations is birthdays. Tomorrow is her Granny’s birthday, and in less than two weeks, it will be my birthday (don’t mention it). So we bought Granny some gifts from Viva yesterday and that is a ridiculous story in and of itself, in that we actually lost the gifts we picked out, but I can’t bear to relive it in all its heated frustration, so…

This afternoon, we are on our way to pick up some tissue paper at the store so we can wrap Granny’s gifts. Viva starts talking about my birthday.

Viva: Your birthday is coming couple weeks? We have to buy you presents!

Mama Blah [somewhat distracted by traffic]: Well, that would be nice.

Viva: And balloons! And cake!

Mama Blah: Hmm. What kind of cake do you think I should have?

Viva: Some lommy cake!

Mama Blah: Salami cake?

Viva: Yeah!

Mama Blah: That’s a very unusual cake. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of having a salami cake before.

Viva: And mushmallow.

Mama Blah: Salami and marshmallow? Now, that is funny. [thinking, "I better write this down or I will forget it, as I forget so many of the priceless things my sweet dumpling says because I am such a horrible mother." I'm paraphrasing here.]

Viva dissolves into laughter in backseat. I search unsuccessfully for a pen to write down “salami cake” (by this point I have pulled into the parking lot and stopped the car).

Mama Blah: Oh my GAH! How can I be a writer and have no pen in my bag or in my car?!

I lean over and go through the door pocket on the passenger side of the car. While I don’t find a pen, I do find: Sweet William’s wedding ring.

[Cue dramatic violin and horn section: duh-dunh-DUNH!]

Okay, it’s not so dramatic, because we knew it was missing. It’s not like he took it off and threw it into the door pocket so he could run amok and have affairs with nubile cuties who think he is unattached...or so he says. He claims to have lost it when he took it off at the beach a couple of months ago, and he claims he put it in one of the pockets of our beach backpack. We searched the backpack and the car to no avail. How weird is that?

Anyway (back to present tense), I am relieved, and call him at once. A nubile cutie answers the phone – I mean, Sweet William answers the phone and tells me he and his cousin Diggity are watching a movie. Mrs. Diggity and kid are out of town, so I’m sure Sweet Willie and Diggity are up to all kinds of shenanigans. Shenanigans! But I don’t mind, because they haven’t seen each other in it seems like forever, and I think he could use some Diggity time.

No diggity, no doubt.

I Need a Job, I’m Out of Work

Do you remember that song by Gary “U.S.” Bonds?* Neither did I, until I was thinking up a title for this part of the post, and it swam up from some scary netherworld in my brain. I think that was trivia better left to the 1980s. It’s making me shudder just thinking about it.

Anyhoo, in the past two days, I have sent out my resume twice. Ack ack ack! And that’s all I’m saying about my employment update. Further bulletins as events warrant.

* I Googled this lyric and discovered it was a Springsteen tune. Can that be? The more I think about it, I guess so. Where did the Gary "U.S." Bonds reference come from?** It boggles the mind.

** I couldn't leave it alone, so I went back to the Internets and found that yes, indeedy, "Out of Work" was Gary U.S. Bonds' last hit single, waaaaaaay back in 1982. Here's his Website, if you're interested. And now, for God's sweet sake, I'll let this one rest.

Book 'Em, Dan-O, Part Deux

Shout out to my pal Splooey, for pointing out that I am impossibly ignorant: indeed, quite possibly too ignorant to live. After reading my last post, she posted a comment to inform me of the online library hold function at the Los Angeles Public Library. I was flabbergasted, and simultaneously, deeply shamed. It's so obvious that I am not meant for this technologically advanced age. What will they think of next? I immediately went online and put 11 books on hold for delivery to one of my local branches. Sweet! Splooey, you rule! (But you knew that already.)

Friday, July 29, 2005

Book 'em, Dan-O

I am pretty sure that my title up there has a misspelling. It doesn't look quite right. But, moving on...

This week, Viva and I went to the library. Now, one thing I should tell you is that we rarely go to the same library twice in a row. We have three libraries quite close to us, one of which is closed for renovations. Since I am a big book freak, I always like to try one we haven't been to before, or one we haven't been to in quite some time. Since Los Angeles is quite spread out, this is not really all that difficult.

On Monday, we ventured to the Los Feliz branch of the Los Angeles Public Library. It is only a few years old, and it has a heavenly selection of picture books to choose from. After spending an indecent amount of time in the children's section, Viva informed me that she had to go to the bathroom, holding on to the front of her shorts with the universal signal for "I have to go RIGHT NOW." So I stopped at the Information Desk to ask them if (a) they would hold our books for us and (2) they would tell us where in God's name the bathroom was. The librarians seemed to regard our situation with fond amusement, graciously sliding the books away for safe-keeping and directing us to the bathroom. We got to the bathroom, but it was too late, sad to say. Accidents happen. So I got Viva squared away and we went back to the liberry proper, where I told her it was Mama's turn to pick out books for herself.

I keep a running list in my head of contemporary authors and books I want to read, and I was horrified to discover that not a one of the ones on my list was in evidence. So Viva was trying to help me, and I was trying to get her to be sort of quiet while also running through the list in my head. But she kept saying stuff (loudly, in the way that only unself-conscious toddlers can be loud) like: "You want this book, Mommy? You want the pink book? How about this book? You want this book!" As if, by saying it emphatically enough, I would agree that, "Yes, I do indeed want to read Shogun by James Clavell, rather than the contemporary work of fiction I came in for, thanks, sweetie!" You know, I went to Borders the other day looking for a specific book and it, too, was not available. What is that about?

Here are Viva's current favorite liberry books:

(1) Please, Baby, Please by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee
(2) Felix and the Worrier by Rosemary Wells (which they didn't have, but it's still high up there on her list)
(3) Bunny Money by Rosemary Wells
(4) Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats
(5) Angelina Ballerina by Katharine Holabird

Unfortunately, I can't tell you what some of my current favorite liberry books are because, dammit, I left empty-handed. Last night, I picked up Even Cowgirls Get the Blues from our bookshelf and flung myself down on the couch with a sigh.

"What is that?" Sweet Willie asked, and after ascertaining what it was: "Why are you reading that?" and before I could even say anything: "You poor thing. We need to go to the bookstore."

We speak each other's unspoken language.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

You mess with the 'fro, you got to go

So I went and got my hair did this morning. It is short. Like, I don't know, short. Which is what I asked for, but nonetheless, I think I'll like it better in a couple of weeks after it's grown out a little bit. Did I mention that I went to a black salon? I walked in and the receptionist was like, "Can I help you?" and then when he realized I was actually there to get my hair did, he was all like, "Oh. Oh. Um, please have a seat," and I'm wondering if he was thinking "My bad" or "What the hell is she trying to prove?" And either way, whatever. Does nobody know about miscegenation?

Anyway, I did accomplish my stated goal, so one tiny thing can get checked off my never-ending, monstrously unwieldy, ever-pullulating "To Do" list, which I no longer even bother to write down as I would get depressed before I even started.

Don't Go Breaking My Heart

Speaking of depressed, Viva and I spent a lovely late afternoon/evening at my friend C's house yesterday. C is not depressed, but I am, because her husband got a new job and they are moving to Noo Yawk next month. I like C very much. Our girls are about the same age and take ballet together, and when we get together we gab like there is no tomorrow, and I'm bummed that she's not going to be around. She says she wants to move back to L.A. in a couple of years, but I have the feeling once she gets to New York and settles in, she will really like it there...and may never return! Of course, her mom is in California, so they will be coming back to visit, but I am still bummed. I have nothing funny to say about it. Sorry.

Office Space

I'm looking for a job now. Sorry to spring it on you like this, but that's what's happening. In less than two weeks, we will be sending Viva to school full-time, and that means Mama Blah has to get up off her ass and bring home some bacon.

Since I need some fairly steady income, it looks like I will no longer be freelancing. And you know what that means: the dreaded office job. (Cue scary music and terrified screams.)

It's not the end of the world, but it is the end of an era. I will miss spending so much time with Viva. Yesterday, I bought her a little ladybug lunchbox. A lunchbox! What the hell is that! And today someone outside her current preschool screamed across the street to me about how cute my baby was and wanted to know how old she was. She said she looked like she was only about a year old. Like I'm already not freaked out enough about sending my precious lamb to school for 8 hours.

And I'm not looking forward to going back to an office. But hello, welcome to the world. It sucks, but hopefully not this much:

Peter: So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that's on the worst day of my life.
Dr. Swanson: What about today? Is today the worst day of your life?
Peter: Yeah.
Dr. Swanson: Wow, that's messed up.

*This dialogue, of course, is courtesy of the classic "there is no hope" work movie, Office Space.

You Can Take the Man out of Boston...

But you can't take the RAGE out of Dude. My next-door neighbor, Dude, native of Boston (where, as you know, they are filled with rage), former stripper/model/drug procurer, has not worked a "job" job in 10 years. I hope you're sitting down, because he just got a job. As in, someplace where he has to go on a regular basis and spend several hours and get a paycheck. Okay, okay, I can't stand it: he is working in cosmetics. There, I said it. And right now, he is screaming and cussing (and has been for about 30 minutes) on the phone and I'm hoping he hasn't lost his job already. Because I am really rooting for him to work his shit out.

Kind of funny, yet sad (an ongoing theme in my posts, let's analyze that another time): his wife really wants a baby and they've been trying to have one for quite some time. She was actually taking fertility drugs at one point. Sweet William finally pointed out to Dude that perhaps he should get his sperm motility tested, because as I've mentioned before, Dude smokes pot pretty much all day long, and that can mess with your fertility. What's funny/sad about this is that it had not even occurred to Dude that this might be an issue.

Oh bla dee, oh bla dah, life goes on...

I wish I had some microwave popcorn right now. So bad. Gotta go. Muchos smoochos!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Good Hair, Bad Hair

Life is an endless struggle full of frustrations and challenges, but eventually you find a hair stylist you like. ~Author Unknown

So, several months ago, I cut my hair all off. It went from being just-above-the-shoulders short to curly pixie cut short. Think Halle Berry, except that my hair is light brown. And I have green eyes and fair skin. Oh, and I look nothing like her.

So! I loved my new haircut. It was easy to take care of, it was sassy and yet sophisticated, and I felt free and kind of cute. There was just one problem: my hairstylist charged me $60 for the haircut. And it is the type of haircut that needs to be maintained once a month or so. When the time came for me to have a trim, I didn't want to spend $60. I wanted to spend about $20 and perhaps have money to buy an iced mocha and some shorts for Viva or whatever else struck my fancy.

So, my friends, I went to Supercuts. I can hear you groaning already. I know, but come on! Sixty dollars! Well, I explained what I wanted, but I didn't bring a picture with me, and instead the stylist cut my hair nearly the same length all over my head, leaving it slightly longer on top. This has given me, as it has grown out, an almost spacesuit-helmet kind of look, which is not, I repeat, NOT what I was going for.

Since then, my original stylist (The Fabulous Christine) has called and told me that the salon has closed. She is now working out of a salon in the Valley. Now, if I take the freeway, it should take me twenty minutes to get there. But I have discovered a salon near 3rd and Fairfax (either through or, I can't remember which) whereby I can get someone to cut my hair for $45. It is also about twenty minutes away, but on surface streets and I don't have to go over the hill. I hate going to a new stylist, have I mentioned this?

I'm going to be brave. It's just hair, right? And as they always say, you get what you pay for. Errrrghhh...

Haicuts are always agony for me. Maybe I will post pictures when it's over -- but I'm not making any promises!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Dos. Ay, ay, ay!

About this whole blog business: I often don't think about what I will write about before I sit down at my trusty laptop and let loose. Occasionally, I will write myself a note so as not to forget something I want to write about, but even so, sometimes I sit down and just start writing about something completely different. I know, I know, and it shows, right?

Today, I could sit down and blog about Karl Rove or John Roberts, assuming I'd been keeping up with all that, which I haven't, so it wouldn't be very interesting, and I'd just be stumbling along lamely, kind of like this sentence. Or I could snark about Tom Cruise or Jen and Ben or Bradjelina, if I gave a damn about their crazy asses.

But no, my friends (and I do think of you as my friends, or why bother?): today, it's all about my sweet puka shell, Viva.

First, the bad news.

Lately, Viva has embraced being two with gusto. She is not always terrible, but when she is, it is big, as in, "I Am Viva, The Great and Terrible! All must bow before me! The streets shall run red with the blood of the disbelievers! Hear my wrath and tremble!"

Here are some recent situations in which Viva has unleashed her wrath:

1. Out of habit, I pushed the "up" button for the elevator

2. While I was doing her hair this morning, I picked up one.tiny.butterfly.clip from the pile amassed in front of her.

3. After she finished using the potty, emptied the contents into the toilet, flushed and put the potty bowl back into the potty, I made the mistake of closing.the.lid.

In each of these situations, my child has morphed into a screaming meemie due to my arrogance. It is, how shall I say, destroying the enamel of my teeth, as I grind them in frustration and try to refrain from strangling her. I know other people have compared living with a toddler to living with a tiny drunk. Having lived with an alcoholic for many of my formative years, I'd like to say that at least Viva does not reek of vodka, although she does often reel around in only a T-shirt and Pull-up, so there is something vaguely familiar about it.

Still, she is so funny, even when she doesn't mean to be.

Sweet William works only ten minutes from home, and quite often, he comes home for lunch -- usually at least 4 days out of 5. Viva and I are generally out and about in the mornings, and usually get home at lunchtime, before Sweet Wills gets home. When we pull into the garage, Viva will look for Sweet Willie's Jeep, even though 9 times out of 10, he gets back after we do. Lately, when we pull into our parking space and Will's car isn't there, she has started doing this thing from an episode of Dora the Explorer. (Bear with me.) In this episode, Dora and Boots find a little blue bird that is lost, and when she cries because she misses her mama, tears squirt copiously out the sides of her eyes and she whimpers, "Peep peep peep," in a sad little voice.

So now, to indicate the depth of her anguish that her father isn't home, Viva screams, "Peep PEEP PEEP!" and will actually start to cry. It is funny and exasperating at the same time. She knows it is ridiculous, because she will start laughing if I laugh. Yes, I laugh when my child starts to cry. Don't you?

Yesterday, she came into the bathroom while I was peeing and clapped her hands. "What a big girl! I'm so proud of you!" she said, beaming. "Thanks," I said, pulling up my pants.

"Mommy? What you have?" she said, coming forward quickly and grabbing at my pants.

"What do I have on my pants?" I said, looking down, bewildered. "Snaps, and a zipper?"

"No, Mommy, what you have? You have Minnie Mouse?" she said, fingering the snaps.

"Minnie Mouse? No, I -- oh, you mean, these," I said, as she unsnapped my pants and pulled them back down. She is a persistent little critter, and that is why I was stuck in the bathroom showing off my Felix the Cat panties to my 2-year-old.

I guess it's only fair. And I have more to add, but I must now go pick up my sweet coconut at school. Toodles!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Cursed Lack of Melanin!

For those of you in the Great Big Internet Out There (hi!) who have never laid eyes on me, I have to tell you that I am rather fair-complected. This, despite the fact that my birth certificate actually identifies me as "Negro". I could go into a whole long explanation of this, but suffice it to say that despite identifying alternately as African-American and mixed-race (whatever that means), I have pretty pale skin. I do tan to a nice golden color, but there are times when (as now) I have applied sunscreen incompletely and the result is, shall we say, unpleasant.

I refer, my friends, to the dreaded sunburn.

I get some sort of sunburn at least a couple of times per year, mainly because I am an incompetent sunscreen applier. I almost always fry some portion of my back that is unreachable. Well, this one is a doozy. It is so bad that Sweet William was actually moved to go to the store and purchase this. Mmm, Lidocaine! Sweet Lidocaine! I almost want to break into song, by which you can tell I am truly delusional with the pain. (I am also shocked to see that the link to this product indicates a sale price of $5.89. Sweet William paid $10.99 for the same product at our local Ralphs. Ouch! I'm not the only one who got burned!)

Viva has been very concerned about my sunburn, and quick to reassure me that her own back is fine. That's because she has skin that is naturally the color of just-baked gingerbread. Mmm, gingerbread. She also has someone to slather her completely in sunscreen. (That would be me, again. Hi!) Since we were at the beach Friday sans Sweet William (who has skin the color of a freshly-baked brownie. Mmm, brownies), I was out of luck. I thought about asking one of the lifeguards to help me out, but then I didn't want to be responsible if someone started to drown and my lifeguard was all preoccupied with the Hawaiian Tropic.

I have to admit that it has always irritated me that my skin is this light, although no doubt it has worked to my advantage in countless ways throughout my life. I guess I would rather piss and moan about a sunburn than get pulled over for driving while black or, worse, get turned away from Hermes. (Oh, Oprah. I feel your pain! Oh, wait, I feel my own. It's this damn sunburn!)

When I was a kid, I used to think that my melanin lay somehow dormant somewhere, and that it would wake up and protect me from the sun if I were exposed for an extended amount of time -- say, stranded on a desert isle somewhere a la Gilligan's Island, The Blue Lagoon, or Lost. But now I know the truth: I would sizzle like bacon in the sun. And to continue with the pork product analogy, I vow here and now, I will not make my skin like unto Hawaiian jerky! Henceforth, I will spray sunscreen liberally down my back before going into the sun, and I will put on a cute cover-up after 30 minutes of sun exposure! This is my vow and my promise.

That is all. Go now, and may the Sun Gods smile mercifully upon you.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Friday Update

...or, What I've Been Up to Instead of Blogging

1. I've been writing! Yes, writing! And if I keep writing as much as I've been writing for the next month or so, I may actually finish my book. At least a first draft. And that would make me so friggin' happy, you can't even imagine. Because regardless of what happens to it after that, at least I will have done the one damn thing I've been trying to do my whole life. I am also in the midst of creative idea mania, so that once I finish this book, I have a variety of other projects to work on.

Here is a quote for you: "Writing is hard. Not writing is harder."

Strange, but true. As far as attribution, I believe Janet Burroway said it, but I am too lazy (and it is too close to the end of Viva's nap) for me to look it up, so you'll have to take my word for it.

2. I've also been reading a lot. And my problem is that I read so fast, I can't keep my "Bookish Blah" sidebar updated, because I'd have to edit it every couple of days. So sorry...just finished Music for Torching, which was horribly good, dark comedy, which I loved right through to the end, when it took a horrendously tragic turn. So not funny. I'm so mad at the author I could spit. Oh, but I just can't be mad at her because she is so enormously talented. Damn her!

3. I've been playing around and doing Viva's hair in different ways. This has been, in a weird way, a creative outlet of sorts. She actually likes to have her hair done, and she likes it if she gets to choose what I do with it. For example, I will give her the option, once I've parted her hair into sections, whether to leave it in Afro-puffs, or take the extra time to do either double-stranded twists or just mini-plaits. She is such a vain little creature that she hardly ever opts for puffs unless we are trying to get out of the house to do something she wants to do -- and even so, she will often decide it's worth it to take the extra ten minutes or so to wait for further embellishment of her coif. Someday I will take pictures of her various hairstyles and post them, but um, not today, mm-kay?

4. I talked to my mom and Grandma. I don't feel that all that much has been resolved. Their point of view seems to be, "Well, yes, we are treating you differently, but you shouldn't feel bad about it." In actuality, this has been kind of liberating, because at least now I know where I stand. Nobody's knocking themselves out for me, so I don't need to knock myself out for them and I don't need to feel guilty about it.

There's more to say, but I realized that as usual, I've gotten carried away writing and Viva has now been asleep 2.5 hours and I need to go wake her up or she won't go to bed until 9:00. Eeps. See youse!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Cows and Chickens...

...are goin' to the dickens

I love you a bushel and a peck,
You bet your pretty neck I do...

So I bought this CD recently during my trip to Kidspace with Viva, and I know that musical taste is very subjective. Let me state for the record that I hate pretty much almost every kids' CD that has darkened the door of our household.

But this one, I like. Not all the songs, but many. How could you not like a song titled "Bananaphone," particularly when it features a banjo so prominently? So I am listening to this CD a lot, and I like the lyrics to this one particular song, and I actually went ahead and read the liner notes, and I discovered that it's a song from Guys and Dolls. As in, the musical.

Are you aware of my distaste for the musical genre? It's one of those things that I just can't explain to people who love love LOVE musicals, but it's an ongoing problem for me. I find many Disney movies unwatchable for this reason. Well, many Disney movies are unwatchable for a variety of reasons, but the fact that the characters break into song every few minutes? Definitely not a plus for me.

But now, oh my God, I have a showtune stuck in my head. Help! Help!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Reason #88 why we don't need another kid

I was just trying to tidy up in the All Purpose Junk Room -- oh, I mean, the Master Bedroom, and I came across a stack of photos, which I leafed through and quickly put back in their "I'll do something about those later" pile.

Oh, the photos. We have taken scads of pictures and developed them over the past -- oh, I don't know, 6 months or so? And like, they've never made it into the photo album? And um, I haven't scanned any of them or posted them for friends/family to see in -- oh, I don't know, 3 months or so? Add another kid into the equation and just fuhgeddaboutit. It would be a lost cause.

That is all. Over and out.

Time Lost is Brain Lost

So ever since I had my cavities filled last week, I've noticed a lot of sensitivity in my lower left toothal* area. I assumed it was because I had a cavity filled in the molar at the very back of my mouth. But goddamn, it hurt all to hell every time I chewed or ate something cold. So I went back in to see my dentist, Dr. M, today, and he sprayed outrageously cold water into my mouth, in the lower left toothal area, making me cringe and moan (and not in a happy way) and discovered that the tooth in front of the tooth he just filled had a silver filling that was leaking. This filling has been in my mouth for about 500 years and it was my only filling ever until a week ago.

* Yes, I just made that word up. Toothal, adj. "Of or relating to a general area where teeth are found."

Oh my God. So then! He had to remove my existing filling and drill way the hell down into my tooth. He then said, "Hmm. Wow, this is a deep one. Do you want to see?" I indicated that I did, and as he got me a mirror, I said, "Do I have any tooth left?" because that is my way: when things are going badly, I make lame-ass jokes about them.

But upon examination, it looked like he had to practically hollow out my entire tooth. What in hell is happening? Am I 90 years old? Have I never been to the dentist before in my life? Do I not follow a routine of dental hygiene at all? (Okay, so I don't floss after every meal. But how many of us do? Admit it!)

Dr. M then put a temporary filling in and told me to come back in three weeks, because I may have a bigger problem. If all is well in three weeks, he'll just put a permanent filling in. If not (i.e. if the decay is more extensive then he thinks), I'll have to revisit him and possibly have a root canal. A. Root. Canal.

Sounds fun. Isn't that one of those things where, when people are presented with a horrible situation -- like "my girlfriend is pregnant, how am I going to tell my wife?" -- they say "I'd rather have a root canal"? It's unpleasant, is what I'm saying. And painful, is what I'm also saying. And like, I don't frigging want to have one, is what I'm ultimately saying.


So, at any rate, after my emergency dental work, I went and picked up sandwiches and then went and picked up Viva from school and went back home and we watched Little Bill and ate. (Note: Viva does "eat lunch" at school, but since she is such a picky eater, we often have a snack at 12:15 when we get home, before nap.) (One more note: I am starting to develop a ridiculous crush on Little Bill's dad. He's fun, he still has a thing for his wife despite having had three kids, and he makes up goofy songs all the time. I'd hang out with him if he would lose the sweater vest.)

Um, have I mentioned that I just had dental work? Again, the Novocaine had not worn off. So I was sitting there, chewing while Little Bill and Bobby went to meet the new neighbors, and one side of my mouth wouldn't work. I went to the mirror to check myself out as I chewed and it looked like I had had a stroke. Naturally, I decided I must blog about it, and naturally, once Viva went down for her nap, I got online and Googled strokes.

According to the American Stroke Association, you should learn all you can about strokes to decrease your risk of having one: "Learn all you can today, time lost is brain lost."

Did the person writing this copy actually have a stroke? Because it appears that they used a comma when a semi-colon, or even, God forbid, a colon was called for.

Yes, I am that tacky. Hello, nice to meet you! Excuse me while I drool on your pants. Have I mentioned that I just had dental work?

At any rate, I've decided that "time lost is brain lost" is my new motto. I'm having T-shirts made. And mugs. Place your orders now!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Isn't it Ironic? Don'tcha think?

So: I have been avoiding talking to my mom and grandma for a couple of months now. I didn't mean to not talk to them this long, but I was mad at them and then once I got over it*, it had been too long. Do you know what I'm saying?

* I am not completely over it, by the by. I mean, I am not as mad at them as I was, but I still have things we need to discuss. What I believe has happened is that I'm pissed off about a larger pattern of behavior and this was the last straw, so now we need to fight about that larger pattern of behavior. I'm not a fighter, so I've been staying away out of fear.

At any rate, I took a deep breath and dialed their number this morning.

It was busy.

Somewhere, God is laughing and laughing at me.

Ah, Phoenix

I haven't yet written about our trip to Phoenix. In truth, I was kind of taken aback by my first Phoenix experience. Forget the heat (my God, the heat!) -- the areas we saw (except for downtown) had me scratching my head about why in hell people would want to live there. Granted, there's a booming housing market, with lots of development of the scary "every house looks alike" variety, and you can buy a house for substantially less than in other major metropolitan markets. And apparently, there's been explosive employment growth over the past few years. And it is huge and spread out, even more so than Los Angeles, apparently, so I am basing my first impression on what is evidently a smidgen of what Phoenix had to offer. But it seemed kind of desolate, dirty and cow-town-ish to me. There was a brown tinge to everything. And don't forget the heat. My God, the heat!

But one of the things I love about it is that according to the city of Phoenix's official website, the residents of Phoenix are called Phoenicians. Kind of ironic (wait, this is a theme today), since the original Phoenicians were a seagoing people historically associated with maritime trading, and Phoenix is, well, in the middle of the desert. Indeed, one might say land-locked. I am a geek, so I love this type of juxtaposition.

I did see my first ever dust devils during this trip. Keep in mind that I was only in town for about eight hours.

Low points of the trip:

Getting dropped off by the Budget Rental shuttle in front of our car rental, which was supposed to be an SUV (since there were 5 of us). Instead, it was this.

Eating at a restaurant/bar in the Phoenix Airport, where they allow smoking in eating establishments. Oh my God, come on!

Bizarro point of the trip:

A rodent (either a small rat or large mouse, it is debatable) got trapped and died in the electrical panel of our new house. Big Mike donned some rubber gloves, removed the rodent, and then came running into the house, swinging it in a plastic bag, doing an Eddie Murphy: "Doo-doo! Gonna put it on you!"

Cool part of the trip:

Realizing we actually owned this house, even though we are probably just going to fix it up and re-sell it rather than renting it out. We friggin' actually own something besides a Jeep Grand Cherokee and thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Pretty sweet.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Trick Question

Quick! What's more fun than trying to toilet train a 2-year-old?

(a) Toilet training a 2-year-old with diarrhea
(b) Realizing said 2-year-old, due to diarrhea, will not be napping today
(c) Sticking a piece of wire through your hand accidentally (well, one would hope accidentally, wouldn't one?)

Well, you've already realized this is a trick question, so I screwed up already. Story of my life.

Ironically, earlier today, I called Sweet William and told him, "We need to have another baby. This one's getting too big."

Well, sweetie, I take it back.

Sweet William and I are off to Phoenix tomorrow (with Diva and Big Mike) to meet the property manager for our house* and, presumably, write many, many checks for things like paintin' and shingle fixin' and all that fun stuff. I am hopeful that I will have many bloggable stories to share upon our return. I promise in advance not to mention the ungodly heat.

* Oh, yeah, I forgot to tell you, we closed. We are officially homeowners. Too bad we won't actually be living in the house.

Dear God. Viva is now screaming from her crib, where I am insisting she sits and has "quiet time" for at least half an hour, since she's not taking a nap. I fear she may have to visit her friend Senor Potty once more. The prospect is positively cringe-worthy.

Kiss kiss, ta ta and all that. I'm off to deal with shit.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

I can't think of a snazzy title

I am sorry to report that today I went to have two cavities drilled and filled. I have always had very lovely teeth, by which I mean they have always been strong and healthy and I've never had issues with them. I was horrified to learn at my last checkup that I had two cavities and that my dentist, the esteemed Dr M, was also placing a "watch" on one of my upper front teeth! He thinks I may have a cavity developing there but it's hard to tell because it's on the side of one of my front teeth. You know that very small area between your two front teeth? That's where he's been trying to look. I guess he could take an X-ray or something. I am just picturing myself, three years hence, as some toothless old crone gumming my food, while my vibrant, youthful husband eats corn on the cob -- but I guess that's because I have an overactive imagination.

Sweet William hates corn on the cob.

Dr. M also told me that it's common for women to develop cavities after a pregnancy because during the pregnancy (and perhaps due to breastfeeding, post-partum?) you lose calcium. One more thing to hold against my Viva-love.

Anyway, I didn't eat anything before I went to the dentist, because I was preoccupied with getting Viva's hair done (it looks BEYOND cute this morning*) and getting food into her and getting myself dressed and out the door by 8:15. I had two sips of coffee and that's it. Now it's 11:43 and my Novocaine hasn't yet worn off, so I still can't eat. The dental assistant told me to rinse after they finished. Was that some sort of sick joke? I drooled water all down my chin. I am so sexy right now -- who wants a piece of this?

*Viva's hair is parted into small triangles (probably about 10) all over her head, each with a brightly colored ponytailer holding it together, and then twisted into twisties about three inches long. Oh my GOD. For this I need a digital camera. Click here to see a little cutie pie whose hair looks sort of similar (the twists, the twists, people! So cute!)

Friday, July 01, 2005

Revisiting my New Year's, Er, Goals

Hey, remember how I said I don't like to make New's Year's Resolutions, that I prefer to make goals? (I know it all seems just a bunch of semantic bullshit, but if you know me even a little bit, you know I am all about these subtle nuances of language.) I was thinking to myself just now, I need to learn Web design. I am sick of the limitations of other people's templates, etc. and I realized that this is on my list of goals for 2005.

So, here we are, half-way through the year, and I think this is as good a time as any for a self-assessment.

My original goals were:

1. Learn Web design

2. Improve my overall physical, spiritual, and emotional health

3. Have more sex

4. Start freelancing again

5. Overcome my newfound addiction to microwave popcorn

Hmmmm...have not done anything about the first one aside from bookmarking a couple of sites and researching stuff like Typepad and Movable Type. Which means, I guess, that I have actually done something about it, but still have not yet actually taught myself to do it. Seems like I'd better get my ass in gear because no doubt by the time I learn it, it will be outdated.

Health: I have been doing yoga and have seen my doctor to try and take control of my physical well-being. Spiritually, uhh -- I have been praying more and even trying to meditate when I can. These moments are few and far between. I still have not gone to church. Emotionally: I am just as repressed with my family as I always have been. Well, no, I have to give myself some credit and say that I have been a lot more honest with my sister, and a lot more in her face, than previously. Just not doing so well with my mom right now.

Sex: Sweet William was horrified that I wrote that in the first place. "You make it sound like I'm not getting any!" he said. That wasn't my intention at all. Sex is natural, sex is good, we should all have more of it, don't you think? But sadly for you, I am going to respect his privacy and not discuss this here. (But I think I have improved. Tee hee.)

Freelancing: Blech. I did start freelancing again, technically. But I still haven't really gotten off the ground, and I need to.

Popcorn: I've fallen off the wagon a couple of times. It's hard to kick that habit...but at least I haven't replaced it with something worse. I mean, I could be doing heroin, right? Although that's so passe.

So, basically, I have been making small but steady changes in my life, most of which relate to these goals which I had totally forgotten about until I started reading through my blog archives. I have the attention span of a -- wait, what was that?