Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Brevity is the Soul of Wit

About this whole Working Full-Time Dealio: I don't remember if you asked me how I feel about it, but quite frankly, it's not all that it's cracked up to be.

I just wrote a whole long post about it and I was boring even myself, so bleep that.

I just wish I had more time.

Farmer in the Dell

Have I mentioned that we at Casa de Blah have become gardeners? The cold winter (cold by Los Angeles standards, that is) killed a whole strip of pretty purple rushes we had going on in our backyard, so we pulled them out and planted food. Okay, maybe that's not quite right. I think what I meant to say was that my next-door neighbor, who is retired and has some time on her hands, volunteered to come over one day while we were at work/school and she not only singlehandedly ripped out all the reeds or rushes or whatever the hell they were, but also planted three tomato plants, a zucchini plant, and some string beans. Inspired, I also planted some strawberries. Through this process, I've learned that I really like gardening. (I know, hardly earth-shattering, but for someone who grew up around a lot of concrete, a pleasant realization.)

Here's the patch:

And now we are inundated with zucchinis. The strawberries are coming in slowly (we eat one at a time), the tomatoes are taking over the yard (though not ripe yet), and the beans? Well, the beans have not been looking so good. We keep debating what to do about them, but not doing anything, because that is our way.

This afternoon, while I was working from home, Sweet Dub came home for lunch. "We might have to pull out these beans," he said, walking around them. And then: "Oh my God, a bean! Hey, another one!"

Hey howdy hey, we have beanage. It's all very timely because I have been reading that Barbara Kingsolver book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle about how she and her family spent a year trying to eat only food that was produced locally. Now, it does help that they were able to move to a farm that they conveniently already owned, so they were able to grow a lot of food themselves. We don't own a farm. We merely rent a little house with a yard. But it's an interesting concept nonetheless, and if I ever finish the book and have the time or inclination to do so, maybe I'll review it fully here! in this very space!

The Cheese Stands Alone

Ever since we got back from Hawaii, Viva has had trouble sleeping by herself. We made the mistake of letting her sleep with us in the king-sized bed in our hotel room. This was perfectly okay because (a) there was plenty of room; and (2) we were in a suite, so if we wanted to get up to any shenanigans while she was asleep, we had a separate room (with a door!) we could go to. Now, at home, Sweet Dub and I sleep in a queen-sized bed. We sleep in a queen-sized bed because we like each other and like to be close to each other. It works for us unless there is a skinny four-year-old draped in between us, kicking her father in the back and poking me in the face with her elbow while sleeping.

The first week we were back, Viva made it known repeatedly and loudly, with much whinage, that everyone else had a brother or sister to sleep in their room with them and why didn’t she and we were horrible parents who were scarring her for life with our insistence that she sleep on what amounts to a splintery plank raised up off the floor with only the rats for company in her drafty attic room where the snow drifts in and her filthy handkerchief-sized blanket doesn’t quite cover her enough, ALONE, ALONE, ah the agony. And so on and so forth.

We finally got her off of this tack by numerous explanations that even if she had a brother or sister, they might not share a room, or even want to, and that if she had a brother or sister, she would definitely have to share us with him or her, and that would mean less time and attention for her, which, as the ultimate drama queen, you know she is not going for. And so we were saved.

And then there was Pee-Wee.

While channel-surfing recently, Sweet Dub came across Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, and knowing of Viva’s love of the dance, he recorded the portion of the movie where Pee-Wee dances in the biker bar in the high-heeled patent white loafers. If you haven’t watched the movie 500 times, you might not remember that after that scene, Pee-Wee takes off on a motorcycle (or should I say hog?) loaned to him by one of the bikers. He immediately crashes through a billboard and gets rushed to the hospital, whereupon he sleeps fitfully, and you see that he is having nightmares of what has happened to his own bike. These are nightmares featuring scary clowns doing unspeakable things to the bike and leering horribly at the camera. I didn’t remember this part of the movie, unfortunately.

Thanks, Pee-Wee! This scene is now seared into Viva’s hefty braincase, where it has marinated in the splendiferous goop of her imagination and now takes over almost every brain function after the sun goes down. What I am saying to you is that Viva is now terrified not just to sleep in her own bed, but to pass by an open closet or even take a bath for fear that scary clowns will come up out of the drain.

Once again, my “Good Parent” badge is hanging a bit askew. And she doesn't want to go to bed.

(I honestly didn’t remember that scene. Why would I deliberately torture my sweet bobblehead so?)

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