Tuesday, May 30, 2006

For Better or For Worse: The Preschool Version

Yesterday, while we were making oatmeal chocolate chip cookies together, Viva said (apropos of absolutely nothing), "You really are a very good mommy."

And then, when I was putting her to bed last night, she asked if she could marry me when she grows up. Yup, she is delightful. She is raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. I think she is even schnitzel with noodles. I want to kiss her and snuggle her and dunk her in my coffee and eat her up.


Dearest Viva has brought home some life-force-draining-bug from preschool with her, and it has felled us all. By this I mean that despite having loads of plans for the Memorial Day weekend, at which we would celebrate birthdays and housewarmings and barbecues with a variety of delightful friends we haven't seen in ages, we spent the entire weekend in the apartment, sniffling, coughing, sometimes getting along, and sometimes making each other miserable. I kept Viva home from school today (in this! My last week of non-employment, which was to be a Me-Fest for the ages! A 4-day week of reflection, and shopping, and getting a facial!), and since she got up at 6:45 AM, by 10 AM I was hustling her out of the house. My favorite libraries open at 10 AM...on Wednesdays. Today, they open at 12:30. We actually drove to THREE LIBRARIES that were closed. At the second one, Viva burst into tears in the parking lot, but by the third, she was stoic. She just looked at me with resignation from the back seat.

"Don't worry," I said, buckling myself back in. "I know the library closest to our house [i.e., the one with the worst selection of books to choose from] is open early on Tuesdays," and it was, and even if it hadn't been, I think it might have opened as we were driving toward it, purely from the irresistible strength of my will.

We found books, old favorites and new, and we read for a little while there in the kids' room at the library, and then I suggested we go home and have lunch, and we got back to the car at 12:08 and I realized I was parked in a "NO PARKING TUESDAYS NOON TO 2 PM STREET CLEANING" zone, and yet miraculously managed to avoid getting a ticket. I have had really good parking karma lately, praise all that is holy.

So we went home and I made lunch and tried not to bother Sweet William, who was sealed in the bedroom taking a nap on his lunch hour, and Viva and I read books sitting on the floor and eating a picnic lunch of salami sandwiches and tortilla chips and blueberries and strawberries, and then I read some of her books to her a second time, and gave her a smoothie with some Children's Tylenol Cough and Cold in it, and surprise, surprise: she won't nap.

I fell asleep on her bed, waiting for her to fall asleep, and I was rudely awakened by her crawling on top of me, hitting me several times with a pillow (which I ignored), and then jamming her pointy little elbow in my ribs with all of her 29.5 pounds behind it (which I couldn't ignore, because, hello? OUCH.).

"I'm not tired!" she said. "I don't want to take a nap!"

I don't want to marry her so much today.

P.S. She has interrupted me at least 512 times in the creation of this post. No exaggeration.

P.P.S. Wanted to write part of my post today about this entry on Girl Bomb, but don't have time. "Is your work done yet?" Viva says. Must go, but here is an excerpt, because it encapsulates a lot of what has been going on in my head lately:

When I was young, I wanted to write so brilliantly, so originally; I wanted to find words that had never been combined, wanted to fit them to ideas so beautiful and profound that your life would change just reading them -- the world would be illuminated from within by possibility and hope, and you would be awash in feelings of triumph and peace. I wanted to write in undiscovered colors, beyond blue and orange and pink; I wanted to create something that had never existed before, something necessary, something lacking.

Lately I've had trouble composing an email, writing a blog post, opening the pages I've been working on. None of it is good enough, it's all just noise, just me wanting to hear my own voice. Say something smart, I beg myself. Say something meaningful. Say something that will help other people live their lives, and be happy.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I Am Not the Answer Lady!

Wow. Despite the fact that I am not yet working, I seem to have a lot going on. I spent all day Tuesday doing stuff related to my new job. Since I will be working in an agency that has direct contact with children, I had to fill out a stack of paperwork, which I then returned to the agency. They then arranged for a physical exam (to ensure I have no communicable diseases), fingerprinting (which is now done with a hi-res scanner -- no ink!), and background check (to make sure I haven't been convicted of anything nasty). I then had to return to the agency to turn in additional forms generated by said activities, and I have to go back to the hospital today to confirm the results of the tuberculosis test. Jesus!

I am glad that they are so cautious -- I guess by law, they have to be -- but I am lucky I don't have an office job where I'm trying to wrap everything up during my two weeks' notice.


Moving on, the other day Sweet William and I were talking again about my last post, about being poorer than my cousins and how awed I was at the stuff they had in their homes. Since Sweet William comes from a similar background, he could totally relate. He remembers being amazed when visiting his stepbrother's cousin's house and realizing, "They have three kinds of cereal!" Because at his house, there was one box and that was it. You had to finish off the first box before someone would buy a different flavor. His stepbrother's cousin would actually mix three cereals together, for example, Honeycombs, corn flakes, and oh, I don't know, Froot Loops.

Now I can put two and two together, and I can tell you that when Sweet William buys cereal, he always buys three boxes. And he always mixes them, usually adding some sliced fresh fruit, and he eats it without milk.

That got me started thinking about what I felt deprived of as a kid, and the answer is (predictably) odd. Whenever we would go to holiday dinners, I always went crazy for the olive and pickle dish. When I was a kid, I imagined that when I grew up I would buy olives whenever I felt like it. And now, I am never without a jar of Spanish olives in the fridge, and rarely without a jar of black or Kalamata olives. It's the Spanish olives that were the big deal for me, and even still, it's not like I pig out on olives every day. It's just nice to know that they're there.

The fact that I can walk into any 7-Eleven and buy a bottle of Pepsi whenever I want is a big deal to the 8-year-old who lives in the back of my brain. She does a little ecstatic dance while she waits for me to plunk down my money at the cash register. When I was a kid, I was only allowed soda on very special occasions at other people's houses, and then only half a glass -- and even then, only ginger ale. I wasn't allowed to have cola at these occasions until I was about 9 or so, and my mom strictly regulated it due to the sugar and caffeine. We never even had soda in our own refrigerator until I was a teenager -- and it was such a huge deal that it sticks in my mind. One day, I was helping my mom put the groceries away, and I opened one of the bags and found a gargantuan 2-liter bottle of Pepsi leering out at me.

"Oh my GOD!" I shrieked. I couldn't have been more shocked if my mom had taken up smoking. (And since my grandmother's sister had died recently of lung cancer, and my grandmother was subsequently trying hard to quit smoking, that is saying something, indeed.) "Why did you buy this?!"

My mom shrugged, as if all the habits of my lifetime to date were just a silly fleeting nothingness, and said, "I needed a boost."


My mom has been on my mind a bit these days, because Mother's Day just passed, and her birthday was yesterday, and we are estranged. I feel I am working very slowly through the five stages of grief for this relationship. And still, every time I think of her, I think, "I really miss my grandpa [her father]," who it would make more sense for me to be grieving for, although he died two years ago. It is all very complicated and tied up together.

My mom is largely responsible for instilling in me a fascination with human behavior and a love of words, music, art, and humor -- all of which are huge pieces of my life, and all of which have shaped the woman I have become. She was also and always incredibly supportive of pretty much everything I tried to do. So it is odd now not to have her in my cheering section, and for me not to be in hers.

It's a weird thing, this being a grownup. I'm still waiting to have all the answers.


The title of this post is attributable to my mom -- it's what she would say when we asked her innumerable questions she couldn't answer. Hear it in your mind's ear, said with a slight laugh, in an exasperated slight Boston accent. There you have it.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Welcome to the Desert of the Real


Lo, these past few days I have had a canker sore, and great and terrible has been my annoyance. I have tried a couple of home remedies -- swishing with warm salt water, putting soy sauce directly on it, and eating salty potato chips -- but the damn thing will not be cowed. Last night it was throbbing in a dastardly way as I was trying to sleep, and thus, this morning I went to Target and bought Orajel Protective Mouth Sore Discs. The package says it "relieves pain immediately on application," which it should, since the active ingredient is benzocaine. But it also says that the discs form a dissolvable oral bandage to block irritation for hours so the sore can heal. What it doesn't say is that this dissolvable bandage takes far, far too long to dissolve, so even fifteen minutes later you're left looking like you've got a lipful of snuff or something. I am so sexy right now, I know you wish you were me.


"Wouldn't it be great if I had a baby and you had a baby and we could take care of them together and then our babies would have TWO MOMMIES?!"


Two of Viva's cousins -- let's call them simply C and T* -- were here over the weekend. By this, I mean that they came to visit their grandparents, my in-laws, who live just two doors down from us in the same apartment building. You can see what comes next, can't you? Every time they visit, they make a beeline for our door to play with Viva and enjoy the Land of Enchantment that is her room.

This is fine, because they are pretty well-behaved little girls, for the most part, and if we aren't doing anything anyway, I can just sit around and read while they play. It's win-win, because Viva is In Heaven the entire time they are here. T is 6, and C is 10, and the 10-year-old bosses the younger two around and keeps them in line. But inevitably they arrive without warning, play for an hour or so, and then tell me that they're hungry. Since I have no warning, and since this generally happens on a Saturday after we have gone through all of our food for the week, I generally don't have a lot to offer. This time, we went through all the fruit I had on hand, along with all the cheese, crackers, and juice boxes, while waiting for Papa (their grandpa) to bring some pizza. Ultimately, despite pleading from both of them to sleep over (!!), they went back to their grandparents' in the evening, and then -- you guessed it -- called us at about 10 Sunday morning. I invited them back over, but this time I had ulterior motives: free babysitting while we did some spring cleaning of our balcony.

I washed the sliding glass doors, Sweet William cleaned the patio furniture and washed the floor, and I brought in all the random crap that's been sitting out there all winter and cleaned it off. While we worked: (a) eventually, C got tired of hanging with the little kids and decided to read a book on the couch, meaning that (b) Viva and cousin T were left to feed on each other's hyperactivity, leading to (c) a huge amount of shrieking laughter, playing of kazoos, tambourines and harmonicas, hitting each other with punch balls, and just general mayhem, and (d) T came across Viva's camera, picked it up and asked if she could take pictures with it. I told her there wasn't any film in it, which was a little white lie because there was still film in it but you can only take pictures with it outside because it doesn't have a flash and I didn't want to have them all stampede out onto the balcony while we were still cleaning it. And THEN! T opened up the back of the camera! Thus exposing all the film! So all the pictures I had taken (mainly of Viva and friends on the school playground) are gone forever!

Sweet William said I looked like I was ready to kill her. Don't get me wrong, I love them and all, but after two days of having them over, my patience was wearing thin. I really enjoyed C this visit, but T was working my nerves, because she is a little button-pusher. She demands a lot of attention. (This, from the mother of a three-year-old!) But Viva loves her cousins so much that she bursts into tears when they leave, screaming and crying like her heart is breaking. Then they start getting weepy, and it's all a big mess. Lawd, help me, Jesus, it is operatic in scale. Once they left, I put Viva down for a late nap, and sat luxuriating in the silence.

Their visits are almost always followed by a discussion between Sweet William and myself about how relatively well-off we are. I grew up with not a lot of money in a family in which mostly everybody was better off than we were. I remember visiting cousins and being awed by how much stuff they had, how big their rooms were, how clean their homes looked. I was at various points jealous and contemptuous of them, depending on my mood, and it wasn't until I grew older that I got more philosophical about it. Now, I understand that what your family makes (or doesn't) does not reflect on you and your worth as a human being, but back then, I remember feeling shamed and small when confronted with the sometimes huge disparities between our lives and those of our cousins.

I mention this because C and T's mom (Sweet William's stepsister) is a single mom, head of household, who doesn't work. They live in a one-bedroom apartment and neither of the girls' fathers is involved in their lives. Money is tight. Their mom can't get them everything she wants to. Things are stressful. At one point, a few years ago, C and T's mom left the girls with her aunt, ostensibly just to babysit for a few hours, and took off for a week without anyone knowing where she had gone. At that point, Sweet William's sister, Diva, and I began discussing what to do about the children. We didn't want to break them up, but Diva already has two teenaged boys, and we were living in the same apartment we do now, so we didn't think we had enough space for two kids. Sweet William and I were still newlyweds who ultimately wanted to have kids of our own. We talked about each of us taking one of the girls and raising them ourselves. Ultimately, of course, their mom came back, but I think now about how different our lives would be, all of us.

Right now, we see the girls every month or so. When they are here, they always exclaim over everything in Viva's room. They're amazed that she has her own room (their mom sleeps in their living room), not to mention her own bathroom. They pull out every toy and game she owns and play with everything. They are eager to please and very well-mannered, and every single time they come over, C asks to borrow something, sometimes indirectly, sometimes not. This time, she wanted to borrow the Winnie the Pooh books that I've had since I was about 3 or 4. They are old paperbacks that cost 95 cents each, and they are yellowed, and some of the pages are a bit raggedy. Some of my most cherished memories are of my mom reading the stories to me and my sister as we all snuggled together in a big chair after bathtime, drinking what my mom called "Winnie the Pooh" drink.** I couldn't do it. I'd saved these books for years, long after other childhood favorites got sorted through and given away.

"How come Viva has these?" C asked me. "They're chapter books, she can't read them."

"They used to be mine when I was a little girl," I said. "I've been saving them for her for a long time. You can read them if you want."

"Can I take them home with me?" C asked.

"Oh, sweetie, they're so old," I said. "They're kind of falling apart already, I don't know how well they'd do in a book bag or something. Can you just read them here when you come?"

"Okay," said C, but I know if it were me and I were 10 and my little 3-year-old cousin seemed to have everything, I'd be pissed off or at least hurt that my auntie wouldn't let me borrow something the 3-year-old can't even use.

So of course, I'm guilt-ridden and thinking about buying her copies of the books for herself, which leads me to think about other books I liked at that age, and how much she would like them, and wondering if that is enough. I am glad she likes books so much, and I'd like to encourage her, and I don't want her to feel bad when she comes over. I can see so much of myself in her these days.


Hey, if you, like me, grew up listening to a lot of soul and R&B, and if you haven't discovered this site already, check out one of my latest obsessions: Soul Sides. Very cool blog wherein DJ O-Dub posts his discoveries in soul, funk, jazz, and hip-hop, sometimes posting several versions of the same song, or hipping you to old school stuff you may have missed. Also check out his blog roll -- I could spend hours there.
* I tried, oh how I tried, to find pseudonyms for them that were sort of similar to their real names (because otherwise I am sure I would mix them up), but I kept coming up with names like Chinara and Tanisha -- and even in fictional Internetland, I just couldn't do that to them. And before you get all like, "What makes Viva's name any better? You all so bougie, you need to check yourself," let me just say that, in case you haven't figured it out, Viva is a pseudonym based on her own early mispronunciation of her name, so if you're judging me, you're judging me on the wrong damn name, anyway.

** Which seems to me, as much as I can approximate it in my memory, to be warm milk with honey and cinnamon in it.

*** Shout out to The Matrix!

Friday, May 19, 2006

A Little Peace...and Quiet

There is a helicopter circling overhead, flying so low that my seat, not to mention the rest of my apartment, is shuddering. Since I am going to have to leave fairly soon to go pick up Viva, I would prefer it if whatever police chase/news story is going on would oh-so-nicely move itself just a few blocks north and west. Just a wee little bit. Just a smidge. Thanks!

I haven't seen anything on this next tidbit in the mainstream news, but perhaps that's because I haven't been looking. Evidently our esteemed president has issued a proclamation declaring May 29 as "a day of prayer for permanent peace." WHAT?! Isn't this also the joker who proudly labeled himself our "War President"?? Alternet's Bob Geiger says it better than I can: Irony alert: Bush asks people to pray for peace. Favorite quote: "Isn't this just a bit like Charles Manson declaring a mental-health day?"

Permanent peace, indeed. I've got his permanent peace right here!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Down the Drain

I just wrote a post -- pretty lengthy -- and my computer froze up. Well, no problem, I thought, I'll just close the program, relaunch the browser, go back in and recover my post with Blogger's handy (and aptly named) "Recover Post" function. Well, it didn't work -- it froze my computer up again. And now my post is gone forever.


At any rate, take a look at this article about the Vito "Live Free or Die" Spatafore storyline on The Sopranos. The actor who plays Vito, Joe Gannascoli, has led a pretty made-for-TV life. Interesting.

I am severely sleep-deprived (Viva had innumerable bad dreams last night), and my brainwaves are not what they should be, so I'm going to end here. I promise to write something utterly scintillating tomorrow.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Operation Get A Job 2006: Mission Accomplished

Holy fuckin crap! My prospective employer just called and offered me substantially more than I expected! I am totally floored.

I guess I really am the bomb. Respect!

Operation Get A Job 2006: Results Pending

I have two posts in mind and I hope I get to put both of them on here. I am a little jittery this morning because (a) I just drank one of these and I haven't eaten anything yet today; and (b) my mother-in-law called me to tell me that my prospective employer called one of my referrals (who my MIL works with), got a glowing reference, and told her that she'd be making me an offer today. I did a salary survey online for similar jobs in the LA area and realized I've been underestimating how much this job is worth, so I'm ready for any salary negotiations. My prospective employer called and left a message while I was out at the supermarket this morning; I called back but didn't reach her, so we are caught up in phone tag and my stomach lining appears to be eating itself.

Deep breaths. Everything will be fine.

I am also waiting for an assignment from my freelance client. Oops, I forgot I need to invoice him today. I am wondering if I should just continue freelancing for him a couple of times a week for a while even if I accept this job -- it's not hard work, and I can usually finish a project in a few hours' time, so I could technically do this on weekends. I dunno. We will have to discuss.

God, I'm nervous. How weird. Further bulletins as events warrant.

Friday, May 12, 2006


I spent all day at Kidspace Museum today, helping to shepherd 9 three-year-olds hither and yon. Inevitably, I had a power struggle with Best Friend, during which she screamed at me, grabbed my arm, hit at me (didn't connect), and threw paint at me. All because I told her she had to share.

She is seriously from Hell.

More when I get a moment.

P.S. If that moment doesn't come before Sunday, Happy Mother's Day, all! Take a look at this video:

Thursday, May 11, 2006


The interview went really well. The President/CEO wants to marry me and have like ten thousand of my babies. And, despite leaving my car in a one-hour parking space for one hour and twenty minutes, I did not get a ticket.


A Quickie, But Not the Way I Like

I'm off to my job interview in about an hour -- second interview, this time with the President & CEO, the VP of Development & ER, and the HR rep. It struck me as odd that I would be meeting with the President, when this is not a VP position -- it's not even a management position -- and after some thought, I realized they must be scoping me out for something else. I am really overqualified for the position that I am applying for, but I do actually want the job, because it combines stuff I'm really experienced in with stuff I'm not and want to gain more experience in. Sorry for that awkward sentence construction.

But I also want this job, and not a director-level position -- which is actually where I should be, career-wise -- because this is my first foray back into any kind of office job since 2001. I don't want a 60-hour-a-week, manage-5-people kind of job at this point. I'm not serious about climbing the corporate ladder right now. But I'm wondering how to phrase that without sounding like, "This is just a fluffy little job that I'm going to slack off at," because I really don't see it that way.

Well, we'll see how today goes. I have my suit all pressed and waiting and I have my writing samples all together in tidy packets like the good little dorkette that I am. I guess I should have lunch and shine my shoes.


How weird and sad yet cool is this? Last month a hunter shot what turned out to be a polar bear-grizzly hybrid in Canada's Northwest Territory. It's not cool that the bear is dead, but cool that he existed in the first place. Except that the reason he existed is because his father probably couldn't find food in his own natural habitat. And what with the global warming and the ice melting, it's possible his mother was moving farther south looking for food.

Heavy sigh.


My friend Splooey e-mailed me this morning:

The New York Times has proclaimed "Beloved" as the best in American fiction in the past 25 years!
You can go here to read the story and the 1987 book review (by Margaret Atwood, no less). It is, no doubt, an incredible book, but I'd forgotten how truly heavy it is. The excerpt makes me a little queasy with remembrance.

All right, chickadees, I must fly. Cheerio!


* George Carlin.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Can't We All Just Get Along?

Don't you hate when you've been running around all day doing various things and then once you get home, you've decided to do laundry and clean your bathroom and the fumes from the cleaners start making you feel lightheaded and you realize all you've had to eat all day is a handful of Fritos?

I am on a little bit of a health kick these days, so the Fritos simply don't make sense. Speaking of which, I got this organic microwave popcorn from Whole Foods because I was feeling all like, "I know I'll need a snack at some point, but I don't want to eat something BAAAD for me," and let me tell you, this organic microwave popcorn sucks ass. It is a grave disappointment, my friends.


I hate to drag you into this, but Viva is having some trouble at school, and this, well, troubles me.

Well, first the good news. The Spring Show was hilarious. Viva was center stage, absolutely adorable, and she didn't miss a beat during their whole firefighter song. Here she is, just before the show, as they were getting ready to process out of the classroom to the staging area:

See that little girl to the left? The one who is looking at the camera warily? That is Best Friend. Best Friend has, for some time, been a thorn in my side, because Viva has picked up some unpleasant behavior from her. I've spent a lot of time working on Best Friend, because Viva likes her and if Viva likes her, I need to find out how to like her too. But it's been hard, because she is just mean.

Viva's teacher, Miss Jean*, actually broached the subject of Best Friend with me a few weeks ago. She said, "We had a long talk today about Viva and Best Friend's friendship, and how it's not nice to call names, and how if you're friends, you need to be nice to each other."

"Oh," I said. "Were they fighting?"

"Well, Best Friend tends to...um, well, sometimes she'll be Viva's friend, and sometimes not, and there never seems to be a clear reason --"

"Yes," I said. "Best Friend can be very moody --"

"YES," said Miss Jean. "That is a good way, a much nicer way, of describing it. But Viva is very sensitive, and she gets SO upset, Best Friend makes her cry."

"It's so strange," I said. "They're so little, and I never thought that I'd be dealing with not liking her friends this early! I mean, of all the kids in the class, Viva had to end up with her --"

"Maybe she likes a challenge," Miss Jean said. "But seriously, Viva is friends with everybody, and she plays with all the kids in the class, and I think Best Friend gets jealous."

We agreed that the best move in this case was to redirect Viva toward playing with the other kids and to spend less time with Best Friend. This seemed logical to me, in the sense of "if you misbehave, you [Best Friend] don't get what you want [Viva]." Miss Jean has since put Best Friend in time out when she catches her misbehaving, and has tried to teach Viva to stick up for herself verbally.

However, it seems that this has only escalated the problem, and now Best Friend is scratching, spitting on, and stepping on Viva. Viva apparently does not hit back, but just bursts into tears. Sweet William has concluded the only thing to do is to teach her how to hit back in self-defense: "I think you're going to have to slug her," he says. I am really against this -- we have consistently told her that it is wrong to hit, that that is not how you solve your problems.** Viva seems to agree, at least for the moment.

This morning, I talked to Miss Jean again, and she agreed to speak with Best Friend's mom to let her know what was going on and to try to get to the bottom of it. Hopefully, the ugly behavior will stop. If not, is it time for a smackdown? I can't stand it.

* Not her real name.

** I have also seriously begun to question spanking, even though we do it pretty rarely. How can we tell her to use her words when there's a problem, if we don't do the same? But that is an issue for another post.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Yearning for Freedom

Last night, Sweet William and I were settled on the couch, voluntarily having our blood pressures spiked by yet another nailbiter Lakers-Suns game, when the phone rang. Now, we have Caller ID, and there is a very short list of people we allow to interrupt us when we are watching the playoffs. Or at any time, really. The short list includes very select family and friends.

It does not include anyone calling from jail, but that, my friends, is who was calling us. The Caller ID said, succinctly, "PRISON (213) XXX-XXXX."

"PRISON?!" We both said. "Who would call us from prison?" Soon after that, the phone started blinking to let us know someone had left us a voicemail. The voicemail said that this was a collect call from a correctional facility and that the cost for the call would be $3.32 for the first minute and then $0.06 per minute for subsequent minutes, but it never did say who was calling us.

"Hello? Who's this? Prison? Oh, PRISON! Yeah, Prison, great to hear from you, how've you been? Overcrowded? I'm so sorry to hear that, that's -- rioting? Aw, no. Right, right -- excessive force, right, I know. Yeah, yeah -- oh, it sounds like our time is almost up, Prison. I'll have to holla atcha later, but you be good, hear?"

What the hell? Am I living in Bizarro World?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Exceeding Every Expectation


So, remember my interview yesterday? This morning, I hadn't even finished typing out the text of the notes I was going to then rewrite by hand (because yes, I am just that anal) when I received a message from the place I interviewed with yesterday afternoon. They want to set up a meeting with me and the President & CEO of this place.

I wonder if it's because I took my bottled water with me after the interview? I mean, they offered it, and I drank part of it. Was I supposed to return it? Am I in trouble?

Or must I meet with this woman because they do, in fact, want to offer me a million dollars, a corner office, a masseuse and personal chef? Oh, and dental. Don't forget dental.

The next interview isn't until next week, so we'll all have to suffer until then.


Speaking of suffering: damn Lakers lost, so on to Game 6. And what fresh hell is this? Kwame Brown is finally a factor on this team and he gets charged with sexual assault. He is either (a) a dumbass, not to mention a sorry excuse for a human being, if this is true; or (b) still not very bright, if the charges are false. I know that only he and his accuser know what truly happened. But why put yourself into a situation where there might be any doubt?

Innocent until proven guilty. I really hope this is not true.


Viva's Preschool/Pre-K Spring Show is scheduled for this Friday, May 5th. She will be dressed as a firefighter, singing "Hurry, hurry, drive the firetruck," and it promises to be The Most Adorable Thing Ever Seen. Ever. Except. It looks like there's a slight possibility it might rain, and this being Southern California, and it being MAY, the show is supposed to take place outside. Lawd, Jesus.

Keep your fingers crossed.


In my online reading about the rising gas prices here in the U.S., I came across this article about "Little women in big SUVs," a surprise hit on NPR's Cartalk, which has propelled it to iTunes. Here's a link to the lyrics and a link to video with the song on CNN.

What is funny about this is the women who watch it and seem to think it's not about them, because they're not 90 pounds. It is so, so hard to hear anything with one's head in the sand, though -- so I understand the confusion. Honestly, I do.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Our Feel-Good Pick of the Week


Well, my interview this afternoon went well. They love love loved me and offered me a million dollars to come and work for them, 25 hours a week, and they said they'd send a limo to pick me up every morning. Oh, and dental. They have dental.

We'll see.


Viva: Yuck, yuck! Aaaaaahhh!
Sweet W: What's the matter?
Viva: Yuck, there's something in my mouth. It's yucky!
Sweet W: What did you put in there?
Mama Blah [drawn by the screaming]: Is it something you ate?
Viva: Aaaah, yuck! Phtheh! Phtheh! [trying to spit it out]
Mama Blah: What IS it? Is it from something that you ate?
Viva: No, it's from when I threw up in my mouth a little bit.


My Lakers have really pulled it together in the last month or so, particularly in the postseason, and while I don't want to jinx them, it looks like they may actually beat the Suns in their best-of-7 playoff series. Sunday's game practically gave me heart failure, and I'm hoping tonight will be a little easier on me. If the Lakers do pull this off, they will next have to go head-to-head with the Clippers, which will be frickin' fantastic. It ain't over 'til it's over, but here's hoping.

Oh, and since I am sure Kobe reads this blog: congrats on the new baby! The Blah Blahs' silver rattle from Tiffany's is on its way! And let me just add, how weird is this? Kobe's wife and Shaq's wife each gave birth only six minutes apart. On different coasts. Stranger than strange.


So, the place where I interviewed today? Is a non-profit agency that provides assistance to low-income families and the like? And among the many many services they offer is parenting education?

So I arrive today for my interview, walking up briskly in my totally conservative conform-to-all-they-tell-you-about-job-interviews suit, and as I approach the building, I can't help but notice a small (maybe fifteen-month-old?) toddler lying with his face pressed against the filthy sidewalk, screaming his head off. His mother (presumably) was standing with a stroller under a tree, a couple of yards away, watching him expressionlessly as he screamed and threw the Giantest Tantrum in the World, Ever, and the sidewalk (filthy!) underneath his face was wet with tears. And I know people who lives in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, but my house is not actually glass, you see, it's acrylic. And while I have read that you should basically let your kid have his/her tantrum and not intervene, I have to say that if a matter of hygiene is involved, I don't think it's a bad idea to pick your kid up off the filthy (filthy!) sidewalk, regardless of how much more pissed off it makes your kid.

At any rate, I went inside, had the receptionist page my interviewer, was welcomed and taken upstairs to a meeting room, and sat and waited for the interview to commence -- and I could still hear the kid screaming. Maybe, as with me, the mailman's jerkin' him 'round and put his million dollar check in someone else's box. Or maybe he just wants something deep fried and covered in chocolate. Life's hard out there for a toddler. But I do hope his (presumed) mother was able to find some measure of assistance on this trip.

As for me, I'm off to go pick up my own little armload of joy. Peace out.

Monday, May 01, 2006

A Day Without Immigrants

There are two major demonstrations planned for today in the Los Angeles area -- one, at 10 AM, which will be confined mainly to downtown, and the second, starting at 4 PM and beginning at MacArthur Park and moving down Wilshire Boulevard to La Brea Avenue. The second demonstration is expected to be the biggest, and Wilshire will be closed from 2 PM to 8 PM.

For those who aren't familiar with Los Angeles, the Wilshire corridor is a main thoroughfare in the city, running from downtown all the way to the ocean. It is probably one of the most traveled east-west streets in the metropolitan area. Closing it off basically cuts off a major traffic artery.

Viva's school has elected to close at 12:30 today due to all the street closures. Lena, the woman who cleans our apartment building, was here yesterday, on a Sunday, sweeping floors and taking out trash, because while she has permanent resident status, she is an immigrant and lives in a building with other immigrants who are threatening their neighbors to comply with Immigration Day boycotts. She says if she goes anywhere today, these neighbors have threatened to smash the windows of her car. Kind of goes against the whole spirit of the thing, as far as I'm concerned, but maybe that's just me. I'm interested to hear what she has to say when I see her tomorrow.

I'll stop here because I have to work now since I must leave to pick up Viva in a couple of hours. So much more to say and no time to say it!

Edited after lunch to add: Viva claims she is going to take a nap right now. After spending some time reading a variety of hateful messages on various discussion boards about the immigration rallies, I am completely drained. Went looking for something -- anything -- a bit more positive, and I just had to include this quote from LA Voice:
...in case you worried that President Bush had somehow managed to ignore the multiple significance of the date, he actually proclaimed today "National Loyalty Day."
Whew. That helps. I didn't realize it was all so simple!