Friday, September 30, 2005

Bloggus Interruptus

Sorry, I got cut short. I typed that last post as our building "handyman" was drilling holes in the wall around the window in the master bedroom where the termites have been partying all the time, like it's 1999. Our handyman acts like he knows what he's doing, but quite often we have to get him to repair the same things more than once. I am, therefore, hesitant to declare victory over the termites. He did fill the holes with some sort of anti-termite venom, but again, given his track record, I am skeptical.

Completely off the subject (or "OT" as we say in Internetland): how much do I need this? I love Gregory Maguire, and while I am leery of a sequel (and, God forbid, a musical that might be forthcoming, as with the original), I am totally getting this as soon as I am able.

Speaking of books, here's my LA Public Library Hold status report:

Ready for pickup
The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro
Blonde, Joyce Carol Oates
Bel Canto: A Novel, Ann Patchett
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke
The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold

In Transit
The Fabulous Sylvester, Joshua Gamson
Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro

Please note that I am not too lazy to write all that down, but I am too lazy to go look up all the links. At any rate, these should keep me busy over the weekend. In my head, I can hear the little girl from the Book Channel on the book episode of Elmo's World saying, "I LOVE BOOKS!" That is kind of creepy, because it's not a little girl's voice, it's Andrea Martin, who doesn't sound little girlish at all. Did you know that Andrea Martin played Aunt Voula in My Big Fat Greek Wedding? This is why I love the Internet, because it allows me to make connections between the Sesame Street Fairy Godmother and "What you mean, he don't eat no meat?...Oh, that's okay. I make lamb." She's also Martin Short's sister-in-law. Thanksgiving dinners must be a bit bizarro.

Okay, I'm off to pick up my own little lamb chop and launch our weekend. Opa!

God has a Sense of Humor

I needed to laugh today, and this is hilarious. Especially since I blogged about God earlier.

Upside Down, Inside Out

I can’t do anything today. I have been kidnapped and am being held captive by the twin demons Lethargy and Apathy, who seem to take great pleasure in having me get up, go into another room, and then not remember why I went in the first place.

There are two issues that are immobilizing me these days: my lack of gainful employment, and my relationship with my family.

I had a horrible dream early this morning, involving me having a fight with my mom and my sister. There was much screaming and cursing and hitting on my part. Now, I am not a hitter in real life, but I am clearly very pissed off at my mother. In the dream, I wasn’t angry at my sister per se (and I am not in real life, either), but she was butting into the argument in defense of my mother, which translated into her telling me everything that was wrong with me, which made me completely lose my mind.

I woke up, got up and went to the bathroom, and then lit a candle and sat down to pray for a moment. I am not a churchy person, but I do believe in a higher presence, which most of the time I refer to as God. When I have to visualize Her, God is usually hanging about in overalls with a ‘do rag on Her head, I guess because the God I believe in is a kind of “get your hands dirty/life is messy” kind of God. Anyway, I sat and talked in my head and ultimately asked Her for a sign of what I am supposed to do with all this. Thus far, She has sent me a job posting for another writing job, and a reminder to act out of love. So I will try again. What else can I do?

I admit that I don’t know what the best thing is to do in terms of my mom, and right about now, I’m feeling a little Costanza-ish. Do you remember the episode of Seinfeld where George decides his gut instincts about everything, his entire life, have never worked out for him, so he decides instead to do the opposite of what his instincts would have him do? That’s where I’m at with my mother. What I’m doing now is obviously not working, so I have to come at it from a completely different direction.

If only I could figure out what that might be. And when I figure out the secret workings of the universe, I’ll let you in on that, too.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

You're Invited!

DATE: Today!

TIME: From now until the end of this post!

PLACE: Lisa's Online Pity Party!


I didn't get the online editing/writing job I really, really, REALLY wanted. I am really depressed. I haven't seen any other jobs in which I am even remotely interested.

I hate feeling like this. Oh, crap, I just realized I have to call in on a conference call at 2 PM, which is in like, 2 minutes. Fucking hell.

Love and kisses!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Right Stuff

Earlier today...

Viva: Want to go to Pinky Donuts?

Mama Blah: Sure, where is it?

Viva: We have to go in the spaceship.

MB: Okay –

[We both get into the spaceship, which consists of a blanket stretched across a chair and her bed rail. We both start driving; i.e., pretending to steer a nonexistent steering wheel.]

Viva: NO! I DRIVE!

MB: Oh, all right. So where is Pinky Donuts?

Viva: It’s way up there.

MB: Oh, like on another planet?

Viva: Yes.

MB: That’s far. Is it, like, in the Fourth Galaxy?

Viva: Yeah.

MB: Wow, those must be some good donuts.


MB: They don’t?

Viva: NO!

MB: But they’re Pinky Donuts! What a rip-off! So what do they sell?

Viva: Cheese!

MB: Oh. We’re driving all the way to the Fourth Galaxy for cheese?

Viva [defensively]: Yeah.

MB: This better be some good cheese. What kind of cheese is it?

Viva: Dinky cheese.

MB: Dinky cheese?

Viva: Yeah. Dinky stinky cheese.

MB: Dinky stinky cheese?! So we’re driving across four galaxies for small, smelly pieces of cheese??

Viva: Yeah, Mom.

MB: Hold on – stop the spaceship, I need to get my notebook.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Box of Rain

Our vacuum cleaner is busted. Thanks, termites (TPAFWM Moment#9).

It's raining all of a sudden here in Hollywoodland. Odd, because I can still see some blue sky struggling through the clouds. I am not used to hearing thunder out here. Back in New England, I used to love to sit with the window slightly open in the guest room at my grandparents' house on a rainy summer day. The breeze would blow the sheer curtains gently around, and there was an indefinable smell in the air, which I was about to attempt to describe, but nothing can really encapsulate it. The grass in the back yard bent down against the storm, deep, deep green and waving with the wind. Birds fluttered around anxiously, looking for somewhere to settle. It was humid as humid could be, and the wind from the storm brought a little bit of cool air through, but most often, the storm would peter out pretty quickly, and the sun would start to shine through the clouds, and it was really beautiful to look down over the back yard and watch the leftover rain drip drip dripping off the late-summer trees. The back yard sloped down to the end of the lot line, which was bordered by pine trees, shrubs, and an old-timey stone wall. As a city kid, it was as close to the country as I got most of the time.

I like the rain. It makes me feel all cozy.

But, much like the summer rains past, this storm too has come and gone in the short time it took me to write this. Just a passing shower.
Back to the many pressing matters to which I must attend. Peace out.

Sunday, September 25, 2005


I know there are some typos and formatting issues in my post of yesterday. For some reason, Blogger will not recognize the post. I go back in, edit, hit publish post, and it tells me my blog is not recognizable.

Check out my unrecognizable blog! It's so dramatically different, you could not posibly recognize it!

I don't understand what is going on. I don't even know if this will post. I think the planets must still be aligned against me. I need to burn some sage or sacrifice a goat or something.

Well, I'm off to the halal butcher. Wish me luck!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Muchness of Weirdness

In the past week, it seems that the planets have not been aligned in my favor. To wit:

The Planets Are Fucking With Me Moment #1. I closed the door of the Jeep in such a way that I trapped my leg between the seat and the door, mangling my ankle while at the same time blocking the door handle, so I had to mash my hand behind my leg to open the handle and free my bruised ankle.

TPAFWM Moment #2. I waited over an hour in my gynecologist's office without being examined. I got up and told them I had to leave to pick up my kid from school and I would like my co-payment back. The doctor came out, gave me a free sample of my prescription, wrote me a year's worth of refills and sent me on my way. I didn't get my co-payment back and had no time to bicker about it because I needed to go get Viva. I left the office, and just minutes later experienced:

TPAFWM Moment #3. The elevator did not appear. After waiting a couple of minutes and getting ever more pissed off that I had wasted my time at the doctor's office, and ever more anxious about picking up my sugar cube on time, I decided to take the stairs. I hustled down eight flights of stairs to the parking lot door, only to find the door was locked. I went back up one flight. Door also locked. Ran up a few more flights. Door locked. Panicking now, started hammering on the door. So panicked I couldn't wait, ran up another flight and tried that door. Locked. At that point, someone a couple of floors below opened the door. I screamed, "Wait, wait! I'm locked in the stairwell!" I ran back down practically weeping with gratitude, out of breath but who can tell if it was from panic or because I had been running around like a hamster on an exercise wheel. To add insult to injury, I had to pay for parking.

TPAFWM Moment #4. When I leased my car, I wrote a check for the down payment. I then deposited an out-of-state check to cover it. (Infiniti Finance said they would hold my check - i.e., not deposit it - for a set number of days.) My bank held the out-of-state check longer than I had understood they would, and my check bounced. Infiniti said they could not resubmit a check that had been refused. I drove over to Infiniti to put the down payment on my debit card. Because I had taken $40 out of the ATM earlier that day, my bank would not let me charge that much on the card. The money was there; they just have a limit on how much you can charge per day. I then had to drive through a construction zone at 2 mph during the lunch rush, wait in line, and then get a cashier's check, for which the bank wanted to charge me six bucks. Keep in mind that they have already charged me an insufficient funds fee for the earlier screw-up. People, I am not proud. I explained to the cashier what had happened and that I had basically tricked off my afternoon straightening this out and was there any way she could waive the fee. She did. See what happens when you ask nice?

TPAFWM Moment #5. Oh, I forgot to mention: on the way over to the dealership, I needed gas. I stopped at an ARCO and slid my debit card through the reader. It was refused. Weird, but whatever. I drove further down Santa Monica Blvd. to a 76 station, which was so jammed, I couldn't get off the street. I drove to another ARCO on Sunset Blvd., slid my card through the reader, and again, it was refused. Now I was freaking out because I was wondering if it was just ARCO, who just changed their charge machines due to their merger with BP, or if there was no money in my account, which couldn't possibly be, because I just checked it that morning. Besides which, I was just about to go charge a substantial amount for the car down payment and I didn't want the card to be rejected while I was there, because they would have every reason to say, "You obviously have the money management skills of a gnat. We can't let you have this car. Please remove your car seat, leave your keys at the desk, and wait outside for the Glendale Beeline." People, you are not even going to believe what a big moron I am. I went to a fourth gas station, got out, started to run my card through the reader - and realized I had been trying to use my supermarket club card.


Are you crying yet? Because I was clonking myself in the head with the gasoline nozzle, I was so pissed off at myself. And then! I ended up paying fifty bucks for gas!

TPAFWM Moment #6. CAVEAT: This may be too much information for you. Our current method of birth control is the NuvaRing. You put it in for three weeks, you take it out for a week, you insert a new one. Lather, rinse, repeat. I knew that I was supposed to take mine out on Tuesday, and I was checking the calendar to see when my Aunt Flow was scheduled to arrive. NuvaRing has come up with this earth-shattering way for users to remember when to take the Ring out and insert the new one: you put stickers on your calendar. I was looking at the stickers and something did not look quite right. Suddenly, I realized I should have taken the Ring out one full week earlier. I put the sticker on the wrong damn day, ladies and gentlemen. I was a bit panicked*, because, well, um, there had been some Blah Blah action the night before and I wasn't sure if we were, well, protected. Long story short: it appears we are fine. But what the hell? Where is my goddamn brain?**

* I am noticing that I am panicking quite a bit throughout this post. This is not my usual state. No, seriously.
** I am noticing that I asked that question in my last post. My brain is clearly enjoying some well-deserved rest on a tropical island in the sea. Aloha, Brain! i mish you!

TPAFWM Moment #7. Viva woke up Friday and said she was going back to bed. She said she had no desire to go to school and that if I made her go, she would make me pay for years of expensive therapy many years hence. (I know! She is only 2, and so sophisticated with the language!) Um, so I had to cancel my big-time job interview, which led to a conversation with Sweet Wills in which he basically told me to stop going for jobs I didn't even want. He said he will support me in trying to find a job writing. Creatively. As in, not grant writing. I love him with all my heart, but if anything, I feel even more adrift and (wait for it) panicked (yes!) at the idea of trying to make this happen so quickly.

By the by, I didn't get the short-term freelance grant writing gig, which I didn't really want, but it is still never fun to be rejected.

TPAFWM Moment #8. My grandmother signed the purchase and sales agreement on a new house. She and my mom and my sister and brother-in-law and two nephews will all be moving into a brand new house which is being constructed for them as we speak. They have driven up here, right past my exit on the freeway, several times of late during this process. I haven't seen them since May. If they ask me when I'm coming to visit, lots of smelly brown fecal matter is going to fly.

TPAFWM Moment #9. We have a termite infestation in our building. They seem to be quite fond of the master bedroom, so after a long day at the donut factory, Sweet William has been coming home and vacuuming out our window pretty much every day this week. We need to move. We need to move. My skin is crawling right this second thinking about those damn termites.

In Summary:

Needless to say, I feel I must light a candle to some saint or something, because I clearly need help, and I need it now. Go in peace. May the Force be with you.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The CD player of my life is on "Repeat"

Not much to report. Trying to get a job. Another interview tomorrow. Need shoes. No word back yet from the job I really want.

School board meeting tonight. I have to give a presentation. So not into it. Can only write in fragments.

On the positive tip: Sweet William finally sold his old Jeep, so we no longer have to worry about where it's parked and when the street cleaning days are. Besides which, nice to have some extra cash.

Viva's got a best friend at school. Her best friend hates me and will barely deign to speak to me. I think this is mainly because she only sees me when I come to pick Viva up, and thus I am taking her buddy away. I have tried my damnedest to make friends with her, but she is having none of it. At some point, I will come up with a name for her, but I don't have the energy or inclination at this time.

In other world news, now that I have a CD player in my car, I never listen to the radio. I went out and bought the new White Stripes album yesterday and you know, they really rock. I know some people out there have been disappointed with the album, but I say poop on them. Artists evolve, they innovate - that's what they're supposed to do in order to grow. Get over it!

Dear readers, I apologize for my lack of verve today. I will attempt greater wittiness on the morrow.

Edited to add: I can't believe that I am still referring to musical recordings as "albums." I bought the new White Stripes CD, dammit. God, where is my brain?

Monday, September 19, 2005

Ten Things

1. The big girl bed has landed. Since its arrival a mere week ago, we have more than once resorted to putting Viva in the car in her jammies and driving around for a half an hour playing sleepytime music to get her to go to sleep. It is less taxing than dealing with her getting up endlessly over a period of two hours after she goes to bed because she has to pee, poop, or tell us something crucial about her sippy cup, her CD player ("It's stopped! No music!"), or one of the many stuffed critters she insists on sharing her bed with, but whom she is constantly berating for taking her spot. Hence, it is just past 10 pm and she is still not asleep. [Sweet William is dealing with her right now.] We have agreed not to resort to the car, but I confess it's really just the price of gas that is stopping us. Anyone who wants to criticize our parenting skills right now can either pucker up and plant a big wet one on my ass, or come on over here and try to put her to bed themselves. There is no joy in Blahville.

2. I am working on a second writing assignment for a job that I really, really, really want. Deadline Friday. Send good vibes. Or money. Or microwave popcorn.

3. My latest obsession: Madeleines. How did I go through thirty-some-odd years before learning of their simple buttery cookie charm? Slightly sweet, definitely a cookie, and yet not so full of crap like chocolate chunks and macadamia nuts that one feels guilty for consuming them. What the hell, why not eat five?

4. New shoes! Just discovered that I might as well have gone in for Chinese foot binding. Last week, Viva was complaining that her toe hurt, and I took off her cute little navy T-strap to discover that her foot had red marks on either side of it. The last time I had her feet measured was - oh, easily 6 months ago. Kids do grow awfully fast, don't they? Okay, for those of you who questioned our parenting prowess before, I'll grant you this one. I am an ass.

So: Viva now owns one pair of tiny navy and hot pink New Balance sneakers...

and one pair of plum-colored Primigi Mary Janes.

I am still wearing Old Navy flip flops. Shoe score: Viva 2, Mama Blah 0.

5. Measure of how insane I am about my child: I spent an absurd amount of time Saturday constructing a parrot out of the box her Primigi shoes came in. I think this was envisioned to be a fun activity and a cool way to recycle the box. Primigi provides an envelope in the bottom of the box with brightly colored pieces for the head, wings, feet, and tail, which you then affix to the brightly colored box using unspeakable scads of sticky tape (also provided). The result is predictably flimsy and not designed for use by any child ever known to man. The parrot did not last a full 24 hours before I pitched it into the trash. Damn Italian shoe manufacturers. Sick, sick bastards.

6. Although they constitute the largest number of items on my "to do" list, the amount of time I have spent on pro bono stuff today: 15 minutes. Seriously.

7. Number of loads of laundry I have laundered, folded and put away in the last 24 hours: five.

8. Number of additional loads I could conceivably do if I were so inclined: two.

9. Odds that that will happen: 1 in 1,760,259,302.

10. Nothing. I just wanted an even-numbered list.

Peace out.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

It's a lot funnier than the truth

Have you heard that Halliburton's subsidiary KBR has won a $29.8 million contract from the Pentagon to help with the cleanup of naval bases in Louisiana and Mississippi? And also that the fuel crisis has pushed Halliburton's stock through the roof? Yes, Halliburton, the company through which Vice President Dick Cheney made himself a very rich man. Halliburton, which has received more than half of the $25 billion-plus that the Pentagon has paid out to private contractors in Iraq; Halliburton, investigated in Congressional hearings for having overcharged or presented questionable bills for close on $1.5 billion, almost four times the previous amount disclosed.

If that makes you mad enough to pop a blood vessel, the Onion has a story about Halliburton that is funny and yet almost plausible. Gack.

In which our heroine is rendered speechless

I was recently on the Website of a major department store, which shall remain nameless, and I clicked on the "Women" tab. This opened up a slew of subheadings, among which I saw these:

Athleisure. And: Cosmeceuticals.

Remember to breathe.

Okay. Apparently all previously known laws of language no longer apply.

Athleisure. Gesundheit!

Short and Sweet

Not much to report.

OPERATION GET A JOB 2005: No one has actually offered me a job yet. So I continue trolling the Internet and sending out my resume and meeting with people. Boring. My next interview will be Friday, and it will be a two-parter. I meet with two people in one location from 12:30 to 1:30, and then I meet with three people in another location from 2:30 to 4. This makes me a bit nervous, because the very latest I want to pick up Viva is 4:30, but I guess she'll have to get used to the later time since I may indeed be working full-time. Groan.


I have quite a lovely and blessed life, with not much to complain about, really. Yesterday, I was at my friend-of-a-friend N's house, where we have been having ballet ever since my friend C moved away to Noo Yawk (sniff, sniff). The father of one of the kids had the afternoon off, and so he brought his daughter Dixon instead of having her mom or nanny bring her. The kids had already started their chaotic plies and tendus in the living room, so we retreated to the kitchen, where N was showing me this dandy new gadget she had gotten at Crate and Barrel. Dixon's dad said matter-of-factly, "I just bought an $800 coffeemaker."

"Oh my God!" N shrieked. I pinched myself and then shut down, realizing there was no way in hell I could safely contribute to the conversation. N continued, "Does it do everything?"

Well, for 800 bucks, you would certainly fucking hope so, wouldn't you?

Dixon's dad explained that he had been making trips to Starbucks 2 and 3 times per day, at 4 to 5 bucks a pop, so he added up his coffee tab and rationalized that he would be saving money by buying this coffeemaker. "It's changed my life," he said simply. "The coffee is incredible."

I don't know what to tell you except that this man is associate producer and director of a very long-running soap opera, for which he has won 4 Emmys, and he has more money than I will ever see in my lifetime. It really is like living on a different planet.

I'm going to shuffle back to my happy little planet now. Toodles!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to work I - d'oh!

I made it to the second round of interviews at the radio station. It appears that, in roughly a week, I will have an all-day interview, during which I will drive out to one site, where master control and operations are, and then to another site, where administration is housed. Whee! Sounds like fun.

In the meantime, I haven't heard back yet about the online editing job, but in all fairness, I did just send in my writing samples about 48 hours ago. And I am having a meeting on Friday to determine whether I can do a short-term (two-month) writing project which I am beginning to think I don't want to do. Um...and yesterday, my old job posted a position opening that looks like it was written for me, leading me to stupidly lurch down the road of weighing the pros and cons of returning to my old employer...

Pros: everybody knows me there and I think they would be pretty flexible about my hours - i.e. I could work from home at times. It is fifteen minutes from both Viva's school and our home. It's also a director-level position, so they would have to pay me a decent wage. Oh, yeah, they'd have to give me a regular paycheck, and benefits and shit. Paid vacation and paid sick time. That rocks!

Cons: I visited recently and the atmosphere felt kind of stagnant. I don't know who I'd be reporting to. I don't know if I can go home again. I'd be doing work that is similar to what I've been doing for at least five years, so no new challenges, really.

What's the worst that can happen? Are all office jobs inherently shitty?

And in a related note, I met yesterday with the EVP of the consulting firm I used to work for. She hinted around that they were swamped, having just lost one-third of their three-person staff to an office job, but I did not rise to the bait. The last time I worked for them, they had me put together some marketing materials for presentation to a prospective client, and then balked when I billed them for the hours I'd put in. The president had the nerve to tell me he assumed I would swallow the costs of marketing myself. But I wasn't marketing myself to the client, I was marketing the firm to the client. They used my work! And then they didn't want to give me my cheese! Just thinking about it makes my blood boil.

Having said that, the one really great thing about working for them was that most of the time I could work from home, scratching myself and picking my nose whenever I felt like it, and only occasionally would I have to pull myself together and throw on my geek suit for a client meeting.

Work. What's that all about?

Sharing. Not All It's Cracked up to Be.

Recently, Viva was telling me about her day at school.

Viva: Dior [not her real name] was sad.

Mama Blah: Dior was sad? At school today? Why, honey?

Viva: She didn't want to share her snack.

Mama Blah: Well, sometimes sharing is hard --

Viva: But I told her, "DIOR! YOU HAVE TO SHARE!"

Mama Blah: Oh, um --

Viva (smiling wickedly): And I said, "Here, Pelham [also not her real name], you eat some, too."

My friends, I am sorry to say that I laughed and laughed at this story and did not even bother to try and lecture about the ethical implications of compulsory sharing. Sometimes you just have to let one get by you.

In Closing

No Simpsons today. I went to yoga this morning and believe it or not, I'm feeling more contemplative than this post might indicate. So I leave you with this:
Contemplate the workings of this world, listen to the words of the wise, and take all that is good as your own. With this as your base, open your own door to truth. Do not overlook the truth that is right before you.
- Morihei Ueshiba, The Art of Peace

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

All God's Children Got Shoes

Hello, and welcome to the most trivial post I think I have ever written. I was just thinking that once I get a job, I am going to buy shoes. You may already know of my love of shoes, and you should also know that for nearly THREE YEARS now, if I include my pregnancy, which I do, I have not been able to indulge my shoe jones. This is not to say that I have not purchased shoes. I have bought a couple of pairs for specific occasions. Sweet William every now and then will say to me, "Hey, you need a new pair of shoes." But when I buy shoes, I am generally buying Viva shoes.

Sad to say, it appears I have passed on my shoe issues to my child. This morning, as I was tying the laces on her tiny pair of K-Swiss, Viva said, "Hey, no! I want my pretty shoes!"

"Which pretty shoes, sweetie?"

"The pink ones with the black," she said, referring to the sneakers I just bought the other day from Target. They are cheapie cute pink sneakers with chocolate brown suede tips. I bought them to put in the earthquake bag, since Katrina has made us more aware than ever that at any moment, we could be on the road in our jammies, if we're lucky. Viva won't let me put them in the earthquake bag. She has fallen in love with them.

They didn't match what she was wearing. Thinking fast, I said, "But you know, it's not good for your feet to wear the same shoes every day. We'll wear those tomorrow."

She frowned. I think she thought I was trying to put one over on her. But she acquiesced. Hell, if they were my size, I'd wear them. They're pretty cute.

Instead, I am still knocking about in my Gap flip-flops, even though the weather has turned coolish today. Keep your fingers crossed about my getting a job. All available funds are currently going for stuff like food, rent, car payments, and gas (shrieeek).

More soon - I need to run out to have another of my networking lunches. Think good thoughts. Think deep thoughts. Think.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Comment Spamalot

The second after I posted my previous post, I received a comment spam. Sorry to do this, but I'm now requiring word confirmation on my comments. I don't want to discourage anyone REAL from commenting; I just would prefer not to receive stuff about refinancing my nonexisting mortgage or where to buy AMA tickets to see Cedric the Entertainer [what? because I'm black? not that I'm sensitive or anything]. So for those of you who do read and comment, please continue. I really do love to hear from you.

For the rest of y'all suckas: get to steppin'. Be gone!

Hacky McHack Hack

Yes, I have been sick for nearly three weeks now. I finally went to the doctor this past week and guess what? I have bronchitis. Cheezus! So now I am on Day Three of antibiotics and a heavy-duty expectorant. I really expected to feel better by now, and yet, sadly, no.

To all of my intrepid readers who wrote to say how hilarious my hubby’s prank was: I fear that you have inspired him to top himself. Who knows when, who knows where, but I do have some concern that further hijinks are in the offing. Watch this space for further details.

I have been far, far too busy lately. I’ve been working my tuckus* off, and yet not getting paid, for I, my friends, am the hugest sucker in the land. Aside from preparing business correspondence and grant materials, I’ve also been preparing presentation materials for a board meeting of the charter school that I’m pro bonoing for. I’ve also prepared a writing sample for a freelance short-term grant writing gig and created two writing samples from scratch for an online writer/editor job I’m applying for (yay me! I made it to the second round!). I’m also having lunches/coffee/whatever all over the damn place. And then I go pick up my Viva so she can abuse me horrifically.

What is that about? Well, my theory is that Viva has to behave all day at school, so when she gets home, her inner Saddam Hussein comes out. All I know is that I feel shell-shocked until Sweet Willie gets home, which is when she then vents her spleen upon him. I think we are in for a rough time until she is around 5, at which point things should smooth out a bit until she hits, say, 11 or 12. So at this point, we have to just strap ourselves down and ride it out. [Note: please do not correct me if I am wrong. Let me just splash happily in de waters of Denial.]

In somewhat related news, one of Sweet William’s high school friends, who is raising three children (one not her own), recently said, “I have to decide soon if I’m going to have another one. I mean, I’m running out of time.” And then she had the audacity to ask when we’ll be having another one. Let me say this: when someone invents a time machine allowing me to take the money Will and I have now, go back in time and invest in, say, Google, and magically retain the reproductive system I had when I was 25 – well, yeah, that’s when we’ll have another kid.

* Just out of (pardon the pun) anal-retentiveness, I Googled “tuckus” to make sure I was spelling it correctly. One of the links it spit out was this, which is certainly not for the faint of heart. I am pretty sure that I am glad I had never before heard of the Dirty Sanchez. No offense. But gaw!

In closing, your Simpsons quote of the day from Springfield newscaster Kent Brockman:

Things aren't as happy as they used to be down here at the unemployment office. Joblessness is no longer just for philosophy majors. Useful people are starting to feel the pinch.

End transmission. Over and out.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Crank Yanker

Two posts in one day! I should be getting paid for this. (Reasoning and logic are not my strong points. Neither is a Firm Grasp of Reality. Moving on…)

On Tuesday, Sweet William was not feeling well. You may recall that Viva and I were both sick recently; Viva has bounced back, while I, sad to say, appear to have been reinfected. My cough has never gone away, and now I have a sore throat. So Sweet William has gone and gotten sick, too. He took the day off to rest, but later on, decided he would go out.

Now, as I have mentioned here, I got a new car recently, and since he was going out, I asked him to accompany me to my car and see if he could figure out the gas cap. I am not kidding. I knew I was going to have to get gas soon, if my heart could stand the shock, and so I had tried to unlatch my anti-theft gas cap in the privacy of our garage, so I wouldn’t look a complete ass at the gas station. Because, you know, nothing is more humiliating than looking a total ass in front of people you have never seen before and will probably never see again. I couldn’t get it to open. I am not kidding. Thus, my appeal to Sweet William’s manliness or whatever the hell.

We went down to the garage together. Sweet William figured it out in no time flat. Then he said he had forgotten his hat, so he headed back upstairs via the stairs at the back of the garage. I put some stuff away in the trunk and then shut it. The car alarm beeped and my trunk popped back open. Weird. I opened the trunk all the way, shifted stuff around and closed the trunk, then activated the alarm. All of a sudden, the alarm beeped and the trunk opened again. What the hell? I was getting irritated now, because this was a new car and it appeared there was some sort of electrical short or some shit like that. I deactivated the alarm and went all around the car to make sure everything was closed, I checked the display to see if it would say something was open/unlatched that was not supposed to be, and then I shut the trunk and activated the alarm. Two seconds later, the alarm beeped and the trunk popped open again.

“What the hell--?” I muttered, getting pissed now.

“HONEY!” I heard this breathless scream, and I looked over to the back of the garage to see my husband, doubled over and crying with laughter, his remote in his hand.

“I hate you so much,” I said. I hate him fourscore and dickety.

I can't get anything done

...because every time I log on to continue my job search/do my pro bono work/check my e-mail, I get sucked in by all the Katrina aftermath all over the Internet. Is anyone else having this problem?

More Crap. Literally.

Switching gears completely: today is school picture day at Viva's school. This has caused me no end of anxiety because I felt pressured to do her hair as cute as it could possibly be. I oiled her scalp last night and quickly sectioned off and braided her hair before she went to bed, so I could take it down this morning, re-comb through it, section it into tiny sections, do double-stranded twists on each section and finish it all off with assorted brightly colored butterfly clips. Viva is very patient when it comes to doing her hair, but it's always when I'm braiding or twisting the very last section that she starts to wiggle. People, it is like she knows. It is uncanny.

So I had finished her hair, she was wearing her school T-shirt and I was about to put her skirt on, when I noticed she was standing stock still with a kind of glazed look about her. "What's the matter, baby?" I said.

"I'm going poop," she said. I hustled her into the bathroom and got her onto the toilet (yes, she has graduated from the potty to the grown folks' john) and foolishly left her to her business while I got her socks and shoes and lunchbox ready by the door. In all fairness, even though The Experts will tell you not to leave a child unattended on the potty/toilet, Viva prefers privacy when she does her business, and I am not one to complain. Moments later, she came running out in just her Muckity-Muck School T-shirt, which is basically like a dress. The Muckity-Muck School requires all students to wear school apparel for the pictures, and yet the smallest size they have is a size XS youth, which is made for 6-year-olds. "Did you wipe? Did you wash your hands?" I said, knowing she hadn't, and then seeing a large wet spot on the back of THE ONLY MUCKITY-MUCK T-SHIRT SHE OWNS.

Oh. My. God.

You guessed it. She partially pooped on the inside of the T-shirt, because it was so long that part of it was hanging over her tiny bum. CRAP! This was at about 8:30, and class starts at 9:00. I had no idea what time they were taking her picture.

I grabbed a bunch of toddler wipes, and I wiped and I scrubbed and I sniffed and I scrubbed, and then I grabbed the bottom of the shirt and twisted it up to a knot at the side like they used to do in the 80s, so it fit her better anyway and then you couldn’t see the stain, and then I put her skirt and socks and shoes on, and then, my friends, I proudly took my Viva to school. It is moments like these when I ask myself not, what would Jesus do, but what would Courtney Love do? Because I think I am a slightly better parent than she. What with her narcotics problems and all. No offense.

Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, Get Your Adverbs Here

Viva has lately become especially enamored of one of her dolls, a Groovy Girls-type (I don’t know if it’s a real one) that she likes to drag around and include in all her reindeer games. Recently, I asked her what the doll’s name was. Keep in mind that when I ask a question like this, Viva will usually say something like, “Baby Girl.” Very literal, that Viva. But not this time, no. Viva looked at me thoughtfully and said, “Actually.”

“ACTUALLY?” I shrieked in delight. “That’s her name?!”

“Yeah,” Viva said. “Actually.”

That is the coolest. I have also been informed that Actually’s daddy is named Angry. We haven’t yet come to a conclusive decision on what her mommy’s name is. I will report back.

In closing, I leave you with your Simpsons quote of the day.

Grandpa: My story begins in the year Nineteen Dickety-Two. We had to say "dickety", because the Kaiser had stolen our word "twenty". I chased that rascal to get it back, but gave up after dickety-six miles.

Martin: Dickety! Highly dubious.

Grandpa: What're you cacklin' about, fatty? Too much pie, that's your problem.

Addendum: One more reason I can't get anything done: I hit "publish post" and my screen froze up and I lost half my post and had to reconstruct. I blame it on the terrorists.

Friday, September 02, 2005

My wrath spins up to 175 mph

Taking a break from my hurricane rant to complain about comment spam. I've recently started receiving comment spam and just would like to know: what the hell is the point of it??

Now back to our regularly scheduled program: five days later, the cavalry finally arrives. Muthatruckas!

I Have No Words

I've been quiet this week. Not in real life, but in Blog-o-land, because yes, I have been busy with my little slice of life over here, going to interviews, sending out resumes, calling auto insurance companies, doing laundry, keeping my family fed and the like. And when I'm not doing these things, I am transfixed, and horrified, by the coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the disaster it has wrought. And of course my concerns about, say, why a basket of blueberries at Ralphs costs $7.99, are completely insignificant.

There are people dying in the streets. Pregnant women going into labor with no medical care in sight. Anarchy and despair. Where is the help? Why won't anyone help these poor people? I keep looking at the footage of the Superdome and the Astrodome and there's no medical support anywhere. The images that come back fill me with rage and helplessness.

I don't have anything bitchy or snarky or even mildly funny to say. Here's one way to help: Hurricane Aid.

Edited to add: And here's another: America's Second Harvest - The Nation's Food Bank Network. Thanks to Poppymom for the link.

Edited once more to link to an amazing "compare and contrast" between President Bush and New Orleans Mayor Roy Nagin's points of view on how well this situation is being handled (scroll down just a couple of paragraphs for the comparison, although the whole post is good, so you might as well read it). Oh my God, I just want to SCREAM.