9.29.2006

Holy Fucking CRAP!

Do you know what just happened in my house?

Do you KNOW

what just HAPPENED

in my HOUSE???

I was getting Julia ready for bed. Fuzzy, footie pajamas. Lots and lots of kisses. No need for a bottle, she finished one on the way home from Dinner with the Dean (of Kristin's SW school). I turn the waves CD on. I pull the curtains. I turn the light off. I settle in with Julia in the rocker, thinking I'm going to be there for the usual 20 to 30 minutes, with the usual two false starts laying down in the crib.

But she's tossing. She's turning. She's grunting. She's giving me kisses and then pushing my head away. She's twisting, she's kicking. She just cannot get comfortable. I'm rocking, rocking, rocking, she's getting ornerier and ornerier.

So I get up. I put her in her crib. She sighs. I put the side of the crib up. She does not cry. She does not cry for me. She sighs again. I walk out the door. She does not cry.

Holy shit! She just went to sleep completely on her own. She didn't need me. She didn't WANT me to rock her to sleep.

You know how the other day I was wishing Kristin could be a sleepy mommie too so I didn't have to put Julia to bed with the rocking, rocking, rocking every night? I take that back.

This is a good thing, right? It'll make things so much easier, right? It's what happens when they grow up, right? It was bound to happen sooner or later, right?

So why do I feel so bereft?

Goodbye, Kwynne

She's deleted her blog. In her final post before deleting she mentioned that she just doesn't have time to keep the blog up anymore.

She and I had a very memorable butting of heads a year ago, and I've approached her with some temerity since. But I always found her observations to be keen and informed -- even when they stung and made me bleed.

I wish her well.

I wish you well, Kwynne.

Women with Spiders on their eyes

Today I've got a real humdinger of a question for y'all.

What's with those women who use too much mascara?

I know, I know, the question's been asked before. But still...

I mean, do they look in the mirror when applying?

How do you go past Ordinary Mascarad Lashes

to A Bit Clumpy But Still Acceptable

then through that to:

My God! How Do You Keep Your Eyes Open?
and then on to

Tarantuala Lashes of DEATH?

I mean, don't you think you would stop BEFORE your lashes were thicker than the brush you're applying the paste with? Do they actually think it looks attractive? Enhances their beauty? Do they not realize that people aren't looking deep into their eyes -- but are transfixed by horror at the sight of what appears to be spiders sucking on the eyeball juices of their host?

Or could it be that they're using waterproof mascara and never actually removing it at night. Just getting up in the morning and applying a new coat out of habit. If that's the case do you think their lashes would have rings like trees? Could, if one of those lashes managed to free themselves from their sticky prison, we place it under a microscope and take a cross section and count the years back to when Mascara first touched innocent lash? Could we date things by the change of formulary compostion of rings from Wet'n Wild to Covergirl to Maybelline to L'Oreal?

Please, I don't mean to mock. I seek to understand. Do any of you have any insights to share? Do you, perhaps, apply copious amounts of mascara? Is there a benefit that I'm missing here? Perhaps the thicker and stickier the lashes the better protection against airborn dust and UV waves? Anything?

9.28.2006

RAWR!

Nothing like a good rawr in the morning to get ones blood going, no?

Julia has been back in her own bed for the last two nights and sleeping all the way through! The last two nights I've put her down in her crib when she was sleepy but not asleep and she cried for a short time and then went to sleep. I stood, two feet from the door, listening to her cry, waiting for it to turn from "how obnoxious is it that you expect me to sit here in the dark, all alone, without anything to get into and destroy" to a hysterical "get me out of here right now or I swear to god at my earliest convenience I will knock over a 7-11 and kill the clerk just to watch him die!" and it never did. I think that's a huge step forward, don't you? Now if only we could turn Kristin into a "sleepy mommy" too so that I don't have the be the one to put Julia down every night and my life will be complete.

I spent yesterday evening with Merr and Summer watching Jericho. Kristin and I don't have TV, and Merr and Summer allowed me to talk them into getting hooked on the show so that I can come over and watch it, too. They're good people. If you've got a moment, can you go give them some love? Merr's brother-in-law is in the hospital, they've hit their one-year anniversary of unsuccessfully TTC a second child, and they recently got fired from a job that was to provide some much-needed additional income.

After that, I went home and made up our bed with the new satin sheets I got for only $20 on SALE! I've never slept on satin sheets before. They're shiny! And slippery! Which, if you've seen the pictures of my bedroom, you might understand why the slipperyness is a bit alarming to me. The important thing is, though, that they were ONLY $20!!! and they're a pretty color. But you know what kind of sheets I would like? What kind of sheets I dream about? Velvet sheets. I've never seen velvet sheets, I don't think anyone makes any. Velvet trimmed, sure. But all velvet? How luxurious would that be? Soft and fuzzy, warmer than satin, and without the worry about rough callouses and ragged toenails that silk sheets engender. Can you imagine the sensation of wrapping your nude body in luxurious dark-blue velvet sheets? I think I need to make myself some... or get someone else to make some for me. I like that second plan better...

Thank you everyone who participated in my little ego-boosting contest yesterday. It bears repeating that Plimco was the winner. But it made my little heart go pitter pat that so many people tried to puzzle through my sheer, unadulterated, not-0f-this-world genious. I feel so much better now.

Finally, some of you have seen this, some of you haven't. I'd like to draw your attention to:

A girl and her dog

9.27.2006

Head Clearing

Well, it's been weeks since I took 150 mg of Clomid for 5 days straight. Weeks of scary mood swings, crying jags, anxiety, bad dreams, and fearfearfearfearfear. But I finally feel like I'm coming out of it. I am, if not excited to be taking this month off from TTC, still looking forward to getting myself back.

I read back over my archives for the last several months and holy crap on a cracker people! I can't believe I have any readers left after the unrelenting self-pity-party I've been throwing over here. The weeks upon weeks of depression and anger and depression and frustration and depression. I think I'm finally coming out of it though, I look back over this week and I'm beginning to recognize myself, my sense of humor. I've been gone for a long time. Not only from here, but from my family and my home and my friends and my life. Between the TTC and the fucked-up hormones and a too-strong empathic/psychic connection to the person in this post, I have been feeling lost. And now I am found. So where are my bagpipes?

The worst part of this whole thing is that I have felt unable to think coherently about anything. And by anything, what I really mean is what I want to do in my quest for a second child. In the good tarot reading I got after the crappy reading, the reader said I needed to examine my committment to adding a second child to our family. She said that often times we'll feel that we're very committed to something, but in reality we're committed in only a very narrow way. And I realized that I was committed to bringing a second child into our lives in just such a very narrow way. Kristin has been mentioning that she would be willing to get pregnant again if I can't. And I've been so opposed to that. I won't even discuss it. Not just because of the health problems that plagued her while pregnant. Not just because of that.

But because I am a selfish bitch. It was hard for me to watch her be pregnant, not only because it was hard for me to watch her exhausted and scared and hurting. But also because I wanted to be the one who was pregnant. We decided that she should get pregnant first because she was the one with health insurance, and neither of us could stomach the thought of planning to go on public assistance to have a child. And I wanted us to have a baby. And I wanted her to be pregnant, too. But once she was these jealousies rose up within me. I hated myself for the way I felt. When there were problems a vicious little part of me would say silently, "if I were the one who was pregnant we wouldn't be dealing with this." When we were TTC and it was taking a while that same little demon would say, "If you were trying to get pregnant you'd be pregnant by now." And then a part of me would die -- poisoned by my own nastiness and soul rot. And I've been wondering if my infertility is due to this. If it's cosmic retribution for being such a bad person. When I think of Kristin getting pregnant again, I shudder. Not because I don't want a second child, and not because I don't want her to get pregnant if that's what she wants, but because I don't want to be that mean, petty, horrible person again.

Recognizing that I am not committed fully to bringing a second child into this family has cleared the way for me to become fully committed. Or to become more fully committed.

The boundaries of that "more fully committed" are still hazy. And I'm looking forward to a month with no external hormonal influences in order to clarify those boundaries. I mean, how far am I willing to go with my own body? Am I willing to mortgage our home for an IVF cycle or two? And if we do IVF will I be ok if it turns out we need to use Kristin's eggs because my own are bad? How long am I willing to shoot myself up if injectibles are recommended? And what will it take for me to be able to let go of the dream of being pregnant? Do I still think that pregnancy and birth would be the defining moment of my life, or is it just an old vision of myself that I haven't let go of yet?

For some of these questions I've got time. Kristin says that she wouldn't want to start to try to get pregnant for at least a year. She'd like to be done with school before birthing a child from her body. For some of these questions I'd like to have answers before my appointment with the RE on Oct 20th. Like the IVF question. If I really am not willing to spend so much money on a pregnancy, I need to have that figured out so we can plan accordingly.

But don't worry, I'll try to not weigh this blog down with too many of these dark soul-searchings. No need to drive EVERYONE insane!

A contest! A contest! Updated

When I was a newbie blogger I used to put a lot of thought into my posts. As opposed to now when I just spew off whatever is on the top of my head. But then, I would plot my posts, chortling over their cleverness. One of the posts that I was most tickled by my own cleverness was this one.

I didn't have many readers then, and those who did read either didn't get the joke, or weren't impressed enough with it to let me know. I was (and still am) bitterly disappointed.

So. I now have a prize. To the first person who clicks that link up there and can tell me the reference behind the joke (hint, it's a literary reference)will receive in the mail...

a coupon for a free bottle of L'Oreal H.I.P. foundation! How cool is that! Totally free. Worth $13! All you have to do is pay sales tax! I got this coupon thinking I would try it, but unfortunately I have the kind of skin that is so pale that it glows in the dark. My skin, under all the rosacea ruddiness, makes milk look dingy. Even though I'm flushed all the time because of the rosacea, I still have to use the palest foundation or I look like I'm wearing a mask. And the lightest shade of H.I.P. is still too dark for me.

If you don't want the free (after taxes) make-up, I'll come up with some other suitable prize. Like one of these.

ok... GO!

UPDATE: As of noon Mountain Daylight Time, Plimco had won the contest. But she didn't want the prize. She just wanted everyone to know that she's the smartest blogger out there. I promised I wouldn't mention that I had to give her hella hints. So, there is still a prize to be claimed. The additional hint I'll give to level the playing field is that the title of the post is very similar to the title of a poem somewhere...

9.26.2006

What does it say about our parenting and housecleaning skills that...

  1. Towards the top of the Top Ten Words Julia is Most Likely To Say In a Given Moment is the word "dirty"
  2. One of her most clearly articulated phrases is "Oh Shit." And yet we still swear like donkey-fucking sailors around here.
  3. We didn't get around to baby-proofing the kitchen cabinets until AFTER Julia had discovered the singular joy of stacking up and knocking over the canisters upon canisters upon containers upon bottles (all of which are partially open, or ripped open, or lids lost or whatever) of dangerous, skin-dissolving, blind-making, dipilatory-like toxic chemicals we keep under the sink cabinet in the hopes that one day we'll be inspired to clean. And even then we waited until my dad came over because after all, if she wasn't dead, blind, maimed, scarred yet what were the chances?
  4. When I discovered her playing in the dog bowls, again (we just can't seem to train the dogs not to need to eat or drink), I firmly told her "No" like I'd been trained to do in such circumstances. She looked at me and uttered something that sounded very similar to, "But Mother, I am conducting an experiment to determine exactly how many kernels of dog food it takes to soak up the precisely 1.2 liters of water contained in the water dish. I have a theory that the absorbancy of the dog food is affected by whether or not I have sucked on it first." And I went ahead and let her continue because it sounded like a good enough reason to me.
  5. I've given up mopping and sweeping every day because it's easier just to lint roll the baby when she needs it than keep the floors clean to begin with.
  6. Our first response when someone informs us that Julia is eating something she picked up off the ground/floor/restaurant high chair is to say, "eh, it's good for her immune system."
  7. The baby that we intended only to eat organic, whole-grain, no-processed-sugar, transfat-free, cooked using only solar and geo-thermal energy foods has become so familiar with costco churros that she begins squealing in delight when we pass the Costco food court, knowing that if she acts cute enough I'll break down and buy her one.
  8. My 13 month old laughs at off-color jokes. The incriminating thing isn't that she laughs, she laughs at everything, but it's the fact that we are still telling (and enjoying) off-color jokes in her vicinity.
  9. When she poops in the bathtub we don't bother scouring the tub and sterilizing the bath toys. We just rinse it and them off. Because, you know, shit happens.
  10. The dogs have occassionally gotten a hold of and eaten dirty diapers, and the only thing that bothers me about this is that they don't manage to ingest all the pieces and so there's always something left over for me to clean up.

It pains me to tell you this

I woke up at about 4:30 AM with an excruciating pain in my lower abdomen. God, I thought I was about to die. I was certain CERTAIN that both my ovaries had simultaneously exploded and were filling up my abdomen with blood. I was positive that I was about to die in a puddle of blood in my own bed -- victim of my (at that moment seemingly) insane desire to birth a child. I had perverted nature (by trying to force my body to ovulate) and now I was going to pay the price!

I decided that if I were about to messily expire (from exploding and coating my immediate surroundings with my life blood and bazillion unfertilized eggs) the most considerate thing to do would be to do so in some other room, some other bed, so that Kristin and Julia (yes, Julia is back in our bed) could continue sleeping uninterrupted. I mean, dead was dead, and beyond help. No need to disturb hard-won and precious sleep with the small matter of my gruesome demise.

As I rolled out of bed, clutching my abdomen and suppressing a shriek of extreme pain, I wondered if I was capable of driving myself to the hospital in this condition, or if I would die mid-drive, causing a terrible accident and killing innocent people. I thought briefly of writing a letter to my soon-to-be-half-orphaned daughter. I thought about creeping back into the bedroom to give my immanent-widow one last kiss. I thought of shaking my fists at the sky and railing at God for the cruelness of fate...

And then I realized that it was just gas. And after a suitable amount to time I went back to the family bed and fell back asleep.

I do think it stretched something out, though, cause I still feel a little achey down there.

9.25.2006

A funny story to start the week out right

Once upon a time, about 5 years or so ago actually, Kristin used to work for the SLC police as a crime scene tech and forensic photographer. I thought this was super cool. In fact, I thought this was so cool, it got her laid. (shh, don’t tell her I told you that!) I mean, between that and her scrabble proficiency I was goner, you know?

Anyway. The scheduling there sucked. SUCKED ASS. They used to only have one crime scene tech on duty on Sundays. Hello? A weekend full of drinking generally culminates in a Sunday full of dumb crimes. She dreaded Sundays. I dreaded Sundays for her. She always came home late, bedraggled, exhausted, filthy.

One Sunday she got permission to take me on a ride-along. It helps (in these circumstances) to have a degree in Anthropology. We were able to lie and say that I was considering going into forensic anthropology and wanted to see what a career in that could look like. The powers that be bought it, and soon I was sitting in Kristin’s car, frantically writing down addresses as they came across the radio.

It was an exciting night. I had wanted to see a body, but I didn’t want anyone to kill themselves, or overdose, or get murdered just because of my gruesome delight. So I wished that someone would die naturally, in their sleep. Kristin told me we wouldn’t get called to a scene like that… but some rookie cop made a mistake and called us, so I got to see someone’s grandma dead in her bed. Don’t worry, I was all properly saddened and stuff. No one from the family knew that their lives were part of my tourism.

I also saw the results of a vicious knife fight (um, in a word, ick) and there was an armed robbery leading to a car-jacking and a high-speed chase first by car and then by foot. By the time we got to the scene, he’s been pepper-sprayed and there was green snot running down his face and his hands were cuffed behind his back so he couldn’t wipe. He tried to spit at Kristin, so a cop jerked a spit-hood over his head. If you haven’t been spit-at by someone dripping long strings of green and yellow snot and high as a kite on some sort of illegal substance, then you haven’t lived.

I can’t tell you HOW many times we arrived at a crime scene only to have the victims follow Kristin around with commentary about CSI and how she was doing her job wrong, because that’s not how they do it on the show? And she forgot to dust the upholstered couch for prints! And why wasn’t she gathering fiber evidence from the scene? This random window-breaker needed to be stopped, and how was he going to be stopped if she didn’t gather as much evidence as possible?!

But the funniest encounter is one that STILL cracks us up. We’d been called to a burglary on a street by the University. It was a street where the houses were set back quite a ways from the road, and up a wooded hill. Perfect for burglaries as no one could see anyone’s front door. The cop was showing Kristin around the scene, telling her what he wanted pictures of, and where he wanted her to dust for prints. When suddenly this woman starts screaming, “Help! Help! Help!” She runs from the neighboring yard and sees the officer. “You’re a cop right? Well, WHY AREN’T YOU HELPING ME? GET YOUR GUN OUT AND FOLLOW ME!” So the officer (gun securely holstered) leaves Kristin to her job and goes to find out what the woman needs. Within a few minutes he comes over the radio saying that there’s been another burglary next door and could Kristin come over there when she was done.

After about 20 minutes, we were done with the first crime scene, and walked over to the second. The first cop had called in back up. It was that bad. Not the scene, the woman. Ho. Lee. CRAP! This woman was something else! The officer, and the woman, and the backup officer met us outside the front door. Officer 1 started to explain the crime scene to Kristin. Seems that this was the woman’s parents’ house and she was just checking on it while they were out of town. So, when she walked up to the door, she noticed that it was ajar.

“No. It was a door.” She said. We all looked at her, then looked away. The officer went on. “So, when she arrived the door was ajar.”

“No, it was NEVER a JAR. It was ALWAYS a door, and it was slightly open!”

She seriously thought the cop was telling Kristin that the door had been a jar. Not ajar, a jar. I am not making this up. It gets worse (or funnier, depending on how you look at it.) So the officer reframed... "Ok, the door, which was NEVER a JAR, was slightly open when the woman arrived at the scene"

Ooooookay, we enter the house. The first room is a living room with built-in bookcases. Many of the books were pulled out and thrown on the floor. The officer continued narrating, “as you can see, there’s been some rifling in here –“

“OH MY GOD! SOMEONE WAS SHOOTING GUNS IN MY PARENTS’ HOUSE!!! WHY DON’T YOU HAVE YOUR GUNS OUT? AREN’T YOU SUPPOSED TO BE PROTECTING ME?” We all jumed clear out of our skins and turned to look at the woman.

“Ma’am. Ma’am. Calm down. I am not drawing my weapon. What do you mean someone was shooting guns in the house?”

“You just said so!”

“Ma’am, I did not say that someone had discharged a firearm in here.”

“Yes, you did! You just said there was rifling in here”

Ba dum bum. I kid you not. She actually said these things.

At this point the woman decided that she should call her parents and let them know that their house had been burglarized. The only problem was that her parents were at their cabin – with no phone, no way to get hold of them. She called the sheriff’s office in the county that her parents were in, and started harassing (in a shrieking, crying, high-pitched, many-decibled, wail) the dispatcher to dispatch someone out to go look for her parents and get them to call her. No, no one was dead. No, the house was still whole. No, it didn't appear that much was missing. She was getting put on hold a lot.

Kristin went to work. The woman trailed us around the house, alternately shrieking into her cell phone and whining that no one was helping her or taking her seriously. The back-up cop was being hard-put to explain exactly WHY they weren’t waving their guns around, “well, ma’am, the burglar has obviously already left, and we’re in no danger now…”

Kristin moved into the kitchen where Officer 1 pointed out to her where it looked like the burglar had gained entry to the house. The kitchen door had a pane of plexi-glass that had been pushed out. The sheet of plexi-glass was lying on the floor. The woman was sitting on a kitchen stool. Still screaming into her phone at the poor dispatcher god-knows-where. She got put on hold again and decided to use her free time to tell Kristin how to do her job, and to speculate on the fantastic powers of the burglar.

“Now what I don’t understand, what I think is strange, is why didn’t the glass break when it hit the floor?”

“Ma’am, that’s a piece of plexi-glass. Plexi-glass doesn’t break like that.”

The woman sighed and rolled her eyes, obviously at the stupidity of Officer 1. “Officer, it’s glass. Glass is very fragile. So obviously something strange is going on here, otherwise, why isn’t the glass broken?”

“Well ma’am, I don’t know. I’m not an engineer or a physicist; I’m just a dumb cop. I can’t tell you why exactly the unbreakable plexi-glass didn’t break when it hit the kitchen rug.”

The woman took no notice of him as she had someone else to scream and cry at on her phone. After a while she got put on hold again. And that’s when she said the funniest thing of the whole night. She looked at Kristin (dusting the mysteriously un-broken plexi-glass for prints) and said… wait for it… she said…




“You know I’m going to school right now so I can get a job doing what you’re doing.”

And she was serious.

We waited (somehow, miraculously) until we got back out to the car to collapse with uncontrollable laughter.

The end.

9.24.2006

Ohmygod!

Thehousecouldhavetotallyburneddown!

We were ahead of the game, people. It was only Saturday morning and we were down to 2 loads of laundry. One load to go in the dryer and one load to go in the washer. This was a frickin miracle. And the other loads were already folded and put away!

So, Kristin goes downstairs and puts the load in the dryer and the last load in the washer. Then she pushes the start button on the dryer. Everything goes dark. Whole basement, lights out.

This happens a lot. We blow the breaker. The entire basement is on one breaker. But it's been happening more and more often. I'll be downstairs, washer running, dryer running (it's a gas dryer, so it's not on a 220, just a regular 110) TV on, dvd running, and the iron going as I watch TV and iron while the laundry finishes. If the big chest freezer kicks on while all this is going on the breaker'll blow. Sigh. Go upstairs and flip the breaker again... go downstairs and try again.

Yes. I was worried. I've been worried about this house's wiring since we bought it. The house was built in the 20's and remodeled in the 50's and the wiring is a mixture of original 1920's era knob and tube patched (often with a ton of ancient electrical tape) to the green (no diferentiation between hot and neutral, no ground) wires from the 50's. Scary, yeah. Every room we've redone we've redone the wiring on.

Except we only half did the laundry room. See the house had never had a washer or dryer before. The old woman who lived there used a crank washing tub and lines, until she got too old and then her kids sent her laundry out (we assume). So when we moved in and bought a new washer and dryer (we hadn't noticed that there were no hook-ups before we bought) my dad had to come out and wire us some plugs and rig us some plumbing... that was right at the same time that we built the bathroom downstairs, and we ran a new circuit and breaker for the downstairs bathroom, but for some reason, instead of hooking the washer/dryer to the new circuit, we just added it to the basement circuit. Dumb? Maybe. Maybe not. If we hadn't done that then we wouldn't have just found this recent problem. But if we hadn't done that maybe this recent problem wouldn't have been a problem? Eh. My head hurts. Back to the story.

So, the power goes out on Kristin and she comes up and checks the breaker. Breaker's not flipped. So she calls to me and tells me what's up and I go downstairs to check the ground fault circuit interruptor on the outlet that the washer and dryer are plugged into. There's just no power to the thing, it hasn't been tripped either, there's just no power. But there's power everywhere else in the basement... weird. So I call my dad. He says it sounds like there's a short, but where? He's busy, but he agrees to come out and help me find it.

Last night when he and Mom arrived (after eating and socializing -- remember, we had planned a bbq that night) we went downstairs to check it out. We followed the wires to the junction box where we had originally gotten power. And then looking, looking, looking -- deep into the basement ceiling, we notice that instead of that wire running straight back to the breaker box, it runs to ANOTHER junction box. But to get to that junction box we have to tear down the paneling (cardboard, I tell you, made. of. cardboard) that makes up the basement ceiling. So we do, and reveal...

A RAT'S NEST! Of wires, that is. No real rats. Just scary, scary, SCARY wiring.

Ok, this is what they did. They broke like every wiring law known to man. The 220 to the furnace? There's wires spliced off it like arteries, no wire nuts, no junction boxes there, and who the hell KNOWS where those splices lead to? Just wires going off in weird directions. Then there's an outlet wired into the ceiling. Covered by the panelling, by the way, that's got a cord plugged into it... and we have NO IDEA where that cord runs... But the junction box in question? The current problem we were tracing? A MESS. There're all these wires like snakes. It was a mass of meltie electrical tape. Pull off the electrical tape (all the lights flickering with each tug) and there was a screw and bolt, with two wires strung through it and the bolt clamped down, to make some sort of connection, and then multiple other wires just WRAPPED around the screw and TAPED there! Including the wire that led to the junction box that we got our power from! Sorry for the overuse of exclamation points, but I found the whole thing a little alarming!

Dad said that what had happened is that when Kristin started the dryer, it pulled so much power along that line that the loop finally slipped off the nut and thus the power went out. BUT, that whole box had been getting SO HOT from the friction of the current, that the electical tape and some of the insulating plastic had MELTED. This, just millimeters away from our cardboard paneling, in our HOUSE that we've spent so much money and time fixing up!

We should have had the fucking house rewired. Anyway, Dad's coming back this afternoon and we're rewiring that junction box and diverting the power from the laundry room to the new circuit we ran for the bathroom. We probably should have done that in the first place, but if we did, then the power wouldn't have gone out, but that box would have still been there, smoldering, unnoticed. We're going to make it safe, but how many other little wiring "surprises" are waiting for us? And where do all those splices go? And what about that outlet and cord?

I want the house rewired. The whole thing. But we don't have the money for that right now. Especially since we have a dinosaur of a furnace from the 50's (really, the thing is HUGE and GREEN) that's going to need to be replaced soon, and we're up to our eyeballs in debt, and my job is shaky and Kristin's in school...

Just repeat with me...
The House will not burn down
The house will not burn down
the house will not burn down
the house will not burn down

9.22.2006

One last thing and then I'm done talking about it

2-3 years ago, when Kristin and I were searching for someone to be our known sperm donor, Wilma offered up her husband's stuff.

She said they'd talked about it and since they were familiar with the pain of infertility (she'd had an ectopic and it took her a year of active trying before she concieved again) they wanted to help us start our family.

We politely declined. We just weren't sure that it was such a good idea.

Thank God we did so.

Panting for the Weekend

Well, after being home with a sick and cranky baby for two days, I was almost looking forward to coming into work where I could blog in peace.

But no. It's crappy here right now. I can't go into details, but suffice it to say that I am having a situation with a person and it's pissing me off. I think this person is acting pretty childishly and so I feel completely justified in squeezing this person's tiny little head between my fingers (held up close to my eyes) whenever I look across the elevator lobby and the two sets of bulletproof doors that separate our workstations.

Anybody need to hire a poet? I'm pretty crafty, and I don't blog about my employers. Well, at least, not much.

In other news Kristin and I spent last night researching the Watch Tower and the J-dubs. Holy crap, those people are SCARY! Apologies to any of my readers who may just happen to belong to that cult religion, but you scare the bejesus out of me! And that's saying something! We're still not sure what we're going to do wrt her presence in our lives, but I really want to print up some of the articles about what the Watch Tower does to children -- its reaction to accusations of child abuse by members, the phobias it teaches, the negative psychological indications, the denial of certain medical procedures -- and give copies of them to both her and her husband. But that may be going too far. I don't know. The stage I am at right now is that she can do what she likes with her life, but I'm grieving for her daughters, especially her oldest, just turned 3, whom I consider to be like a niece.

Oh, does anyone know how to get something from a camcorder to the computer to a blog? Our camcorder is one of those with the teeny tiny little tapes and it says it's digital. But it only has cords to go to the TV. And there is just the cutest clip that we want to put on The Speckled Frog. And I don't know how to do it. Is it even possible?

Oy, I miss my camera. I MISS IT. And there's a scathing post about Nikon and Ritz cameras coming...

Final thing, I finally got around to updating my links. There's some cool people there so go check it out. And if you read me and have a blog and would like a link, drop me a line and I'll stick you up there...

Tomorrow we're having an end-of-season bbq... I just hope it stops raining long enough for us to have it outside. And I hope it stops raining long enough so that Kristin doesn't have to pick up dog crap alone in the rain. Don't get me wrong, she always picks it up alone, but in rain just makes it that much worse...

9.21.2006

One of God's Witnesses

Two years ago, Kristin's oldest friend announced that she was studying with the J-dubs. Actually, she more like ambushed Kristin with the news. Set her up. Had her new J-dub friend (teacher) over so she could talk to Kristin about it, too. The talk did not go well.

This friend, let's call her Wilma, had been depressed and seeking solace for a while. So if this was going to make her happier, Kristin would have been happy for her. But it's been hard. Very hard. And you know what? Wilma's just been getting more and more depressed. But when we try to talk to her about it she just starts quoting the bible and J-dub philosophy at us. A distance has been growing. I've been finding it hard to listen to her trash pagans and false idols and such what with being Wiccan and all. Kristin's been having a hard time with the fact that her oldest friend, the one she bonded with because they were both non-mormons in very mormon neighborhood, has become a fundamentalist. We both wonder at what her husband REALLY thinks of all this. He doesn't talk about it much, but he agreed to the no holidays and birthdays thing because he feels that our culture is too materialistic anyway.

We haven't talked to them since March. But they have some of our baby clothes, and we've got some of theirs, and we'd like our stuff back. Plus we miss the them they used to be. So Kristin called Wilma and we agreed to go out to dinner tonight. Then yesterday we got an invitation to Wilma's baptism as one of the JWs. I guess not terribly surprising. But still. And to invite us. Of all people.

Well, actually, she really only wanted Kristin there. But we found that out later.

So last night Kristin called her because Wilma has a 6 month old who was born premature, and Julia has a cold (actually, today we discovered it's a sinus infection) and we wanted to give them that information so they could choose to cancel dinner if they'd like.

After talking with Wilma, re-scheduling dinner for next week, conversation turned to Wilma's baptism.

This call happened on a cell phone as Kristin was driving home. I was home, making dinner, talking to my mom on the phone when Kristin walked in. She was on her cell phone, very upset, using her "social worker dealing with an impossible client" voice. I thought she was talking to a client. But she was more upset than she normally is when talking to a client.

No. She was talking to Wilma. Wilma was telling her about her new role, and how she has been ordained by God to teach as many people as she can about God's word. About how the Bible was written by God, it couldn't possibly have been written by man. About how everything in the Bible is literally true. Adam and Eve, true. Creationism, true. And the rest of it. All true. All really happened just exactly like that. Science be damned (Wilma is a nurse...) So Kristin did it, she asked her what she believed about homosexuality now. And Wilma started quoting the texts in the bible that say gays should be put to death. The lines about abomination, and rejection, and hatred, and violence.

This is Kristin's oldest friend. This is the second person Kristin introduced me to when we got together. Up until 2 years ago we had thought that we would leave any child(ren) we had to her care if something should happen to us. Saying now that while she may not necessarily believe those things, they WERE written by God and she has a duty to teach them. It wouldn't be her intention to teach hatred and discrimination, but if that was a consequence, then so be it. It is God's work.

Julia and I weren't really invited to the baptism, even though Wilma really wants Kristin to be there. It would mean so much to her if Kristin would come, Julia and I, though, markers of Kristin's sin...

Kristin is not going. We're debating whether or not we will still do dinner next week. We really want our baby clothes back.

The sense of betrayal hit me hard last night and I've only been her friend for 5 years.

I just don't get it. She was our friend. She still claims to be Kristin's friend. She's been in our home, part of our family. How can she believe, how can she teach, this kind of hatred toward us, our family, toward Kristin, her oldest friend, the one who has stood by her through so many changes, so much grief? I just don't understand. I know it's not personal, but still... how could she just start believing those things, and be willing to spread hatred?

9.20.2006

My britches are burning!

Last Saturday Kristin and Julia and I found myself at my parent's house for a barbeque. And then everyone else left. And it was only 6 o'clock. Well, 6:30. So we asked my parents if they wouldn't mind watching Julia for a few hours while we went to a movie. (sidenote: we saw The Black Dahlia because I am obscenely fascinated by that murder (yes, I know, sick sick sick) but it was terrible. Horrible. Just BAD. Not even the vision of Jenny from The L W*rd being horribly murdered was enough to save it. Trust me, if you MUST watch it, rent it. It'll be on video SOON, anyway)

It was at the theater that they got me. The Tr*ndwest vacation time-share people. See there was a sign. Not that kind of sign, but the kind of sign that reads "Ask me how you can see get into this movie with popcorn and drinks for FREE!!!" Well, we're poor, so how could we resist? And THEN they said that in addition to getting a $25 gift card to the theater that we could use right then, we would also get a FREE trip (package includes airfare and 2 nights stay; must be booked 6 weeks in advance; weekends, holidays, and any day that you might actually be able to go on a vacation not eligible) to one of 5 FANTASTIC VACATION GETAWAYS just for attending their little presentation. Now, I cannot tell you how many times I have successfully avoided going to a time-share sales pitch. I know I would be miserable, I know I would make the sales people miserable, and the free trip (or TV, or camera, or whatever) would just not be worth it. Plus there was always the possibility that I would end up actually CAVING to the pressure and BUYING a time-share that I would then never use. But this time they were waving a movie (technically, a movie and a half since Kristin and I didn't use the extra money on the gift card to get popcorn and a drink) right in my face. And they promised that it wouldn't be a hard sales pitch, and they said there would be cookies there.

So I agreed to go.

Now. I'm a softie. I usually say no (now, now I say no, now that Kristin has taught me to be tougher, I cannot tell you how much crap I bought off people when I had no spine) but I feel so bad doing it that it just totally ruins my day. So I was not looking forward to this sales presentation. Not at all. But I said I would go. So I went. Before we I left Kristin said I should practice my refusal. Her suggestion was to say "wow, this looks great, but it just doesn't fit my lifestyle. I prefer to go to foreign countries and stay in small hotels that the locals run. That way you get to experience more of the culture, and it's much cheaper than this." But I could think of ways that someone could argue and pressure around that, and plus I prefer to be a good guy, seem sympathetic and stuff, give a reason that no one can argue around and end discussion quickly. So this is how my sales pitch went:

Saleswoman (SW): So, now that you've seen how our plan works, let's talk about your lifestyle and how we can tailor this to fit you.
Me: Look, I'm really sorry. I signed up for this on Saturday and I was really interested in going. But yesterday I was told that my contract for my job is not going to be renewed and I'm out of work as of the end of October (NOTE: this is NOT TRUE! Don't email me thinking I'm out of work. I may be out work at the end of October, but most likely not and I don't know anything yet, so don't worry) and I just can't justify purchasing something like this right now. Do you have a brochure or something I can take with me so that when I get a stable job I'll still have the information?
SW: Oh that's too bad! What was your job?
Me: I was a secretary. Well, am a secretary. I actually have a Master's Degree in writing, but that's not very practical, so that's why I'm working as a secretary. Well, at least for another 6 weeks I'm working.
SW: Is it hard to find a job in your field?
Me: Well yes, actually, I'm a bit worried about it. It's not hard finding secretary jobs, but finding one that will pay the mortgage and put food on the table and support my family is very difficult. It took me 6 months to find this job and then it was only a year contract. They'd said they would most likely renew, but it's a government job and then the budget was cut and you know the story. I'm so sorry. If I had known that this was really going to happen I wouldn't have come tonight. I feel so bad for wasting your time. But they said that they would charge the $25 for the theater gift card to my debit account, and now I'm really going to need that money for groceries.
SW: Oh, so you used it already?
Me: Well, yeah, that night.
SW: So what movie did you see?
Me: The Black Dahlia. It wasn't very good. I wouldn't see it if I were you.
SW: Oh, it was bad? That's too bad.
Me: Yeah. So, anyway, again, I'm so sorry to waste your time like this. I should probably get heading out, the babysitter will be upset if I'm late.
note: the presentation was only supposed to be 90 minutes. At this point it had been nearly that
SW: Oh, you have kids?
ok, this is the part of the sales pitch where they keep you talking trying to find a way in through your objections -- find a weak spot. I knew that she was going to play the "vacations are great for bonding with kids salvo," I needed to show a strong defense. Unfortunately, this is where my "strong defense" got a little, um, creative...
Me: Yeah, actually, I do.
SW: How many?
Me: Two. I have two kids. A boy and a girl.
SW: Oh, wow! What are their names.
Me: Well, Caleb's three and a real handful. Julia just turned one and is getting ready to walk. I'm sure any day now she'll take off and I'll be chasing two hyperactive kids around.
SW: And you're a single parent...
note: if we were married we were required to bring our spouse to the presentation. I'm sure that's to forestall any "I can't agree to purchase this expensive timeshare without talking to my spouse first" arguments. Since Kristin and I AREN'T married and she didn't want to come (actually, she couldn't come because she had just done one of these a month ago and the rules are you can only attend and get a gift once a year. Things like this it works out to our advantage not to be allowed to be married) I had put "single" on my registration form, so that's why she assumed I am a single parent. Since it worked to complete my picture of pathetic, abject poverty, I went with it
Me: Yeah, yeah I guess I am...
SW: Oh, is this pretty recent?
Me: Well, you know, you just think you can work things out. You think you can just try harder and make it work. And then sometimes it just doesn't. He just finished moving out a few weeks ago, leaving me the house to try to keep up the mortgage on. And now this news about my job, I just don't know what I'm going to do...
now, something you should know about me: I have very sensitive eyes. I'm not certain what I'm allergic to, but often my eyes will just start burning and watering in a reaction to something in the air. During the whole presentation my eyes had been burning, so they looked pretty blood-shot, perfect for a single mother on the edge just found out she's got no stable future. But at this moment, this perfect, perfect moment, just as I said "I just don't know what I'm going to do" my eyes throbbed and began watering and as I finished that sentence A TEAR CAME STREAKING DOWN MY FACE! I dug in my purse for a tissue as she looked appalled and stammered an apology
SW: Oh I'm so sorry to bring up something so painful!
ME: It's ok. It's really ok. I'll be fine.
SW: (changing the subject) Well, let me show you our smallest and most affordable package (begins writing on a piece of paper)
oh my god! She was actually going to keep trying to sell me this vacation package! How evil is that? Here I am, a just-unemployed, recently separated, mother of two small children and she's going to continue to try to sell me a vacation time-share!!!!! Apparently I needed to up the ante
SW: So with our smallest package you get 6000 points instead of 16000, for a one-time investment of $1062 and $152 a month for the next 10 years and you can upgrade when your situation changes and you have more money in your budget. Now we can finance that $1062, but you'll have to pay the $152 a month (and, I'm sure, the payments and interest on the $1062).
I looked down at the paper. I looked hard. I started whispering bills (Mortgage, electricity, phone - no, I could turn off the phone, gas...) while tapping my fingers on the table as if counting up my monthly budget. Finally:
Me: I'm sorry, I just can't do that. My budget is so tight as it is, and I just can't justify dipping into savings to buy this right now. I can't even count on him for childsupport at this point, and this monthly payment is almost as much as my monthly grocery allowance. Besides, I'm thinking I'm going to have to go on public assistance at least until my job situation gets settled, and I'm not about to be accepting welfare while paying for a vacation time-share. No matter how much I want it. Can I at least keep this brochure with all the locations and amenities on it so if my situation changes I have the information?
SW: No, I'm sorry. We only let owners take the book home. It wouldn't do you any good anyway. (She very firmly pulls the brochure out of my firm grip, it leaves my hands with an audible snap)
Me: I understand. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry to have wasted your time, but I really need to get to the babysitter's now. Are we through here?
SW: (blowing her air out in a very frustrated/irritated fashion) Fine. Why don't you just follow me over to Paul and he'll set you up with your free trip.
Me: Thank you. Do you mind if I take a couple of the cookies home for Caleb and Julia?
SW: (rolling her eyes) Go ahead.

And she walked quickly away. After a few minutes Paul arrived. He was holding my folder.
Written across the top in spiky (angry?) letters was "UNEMPLOYED".

P: Why don't you follow me and we'll get the information for your free trip to Anaheim.
Me: Do you think you could add "recently and unexpectedly" to the unemployed on my folder, that just sounds so pathetic and final.
P: Sure we can, that's not a problem. So, I hear you have kids...

I kept up my charade, adding details about my life as a newly single parent to two young children -- one of which was a boy who may or may not have ADHD -- till I had my hands on my tickets to Anaheim. And then I walked out of the building and drove home.

Once home I told Kristin the story of what had happened. And we laughed until we cried. And then Kristin told me that I'm going to hell.

Have you ever seen Mad About You? I loved that show. There's an episode where Jamie and Paul go on vacation using someone else's identities (those people gave them permission, they couldn't go and didn't want the vacation wasted) and over the course of the trip they tell everyone they meet different outrageous stories about their lives -- weaving more and more fantastical tales, and having a blast, until people put the pieces together and Paul and Jamie have to make an abrupt escape. I never understood why someone would do something like that.

Until now.

PS - Even if I hadn't lied I would have gotten the free vacation. So it's not like I lied to get the trip. The only think I got out of lying was a good story, a good laugh, my bank account intact, and two cookies to take home.

9.19.2006

Avast Ye Mateys!!!

I nearly lost me head in forgettin' to tell ye that it be Talk Like a Pirate Day today!

Shiver me timbers!

Arrr. I be pleased beyond measure that this day has finally arrived. And such a fine day it be, too. A fine day indeed to be talking like a pirate. And if any of you scurvey dogs be wanting a share in the treasure you'd best be talking like a pirate in my ken or I'll scuttle your skippers and you'll be wishin I had keelhauled your arse and made ye walk the plank to Davy Jones' locker.

Now, arrr, bring me a fine serving wench to bid me me pleasures ARRRRRR!

Your Pirate Name Is...

Pegleg Ladyfingers
What's Your Pirate Name?

Crazy Mixed-up

For the last 6 months all the cool kids have been swapping mixed cd's around and having a grand old time getting to see what's playing in each other's mp3 players. It's been so much fun, that we've decided to do it again, and since some people in the group have decided to opt out of this round, that means we have space for new members!

We have room for 7 more people. I'm sorry, but any more new members will make the thing too unweildy for practicalities. If you're interested, click the button below and when a little dialogue box opens where you can say something about yourself, don't forget to put your name, that you saw the announcement on this blog, and why you'd like to join. Your reason doesn't have to be compelling, I'm just nosy. And if you're a lurker who wants to join, say that, too, so I don't just dismiss you as a stranger; although, to be honest, we're going to be giving preference to people whom we know in some fashion -- people's real names and addresses are at stake and I need to respect their privacy. I'm not saying that just because you're a lurker I'm NOT going to let you in, I'm just saying I'm going to be looking at you a little harder if I don't know who you are... oh, on that note, if you've got a blog, and you're not sure if I know you, leave your blog url in the dialogue box with your name and why you want to join...

Do I sound cliquey? I don't want to sound like I'm running a clique. It's just that there are practicalities and other people to consider...

Click here to join crazymixedup
Click to join crazymixedup

See Trista

See Trista. See Trista in her hot new charcoal gray slacks (that are just the right length and just the right fit through the thighs, and have just the right amount of looseness at the ankle) and her dark peacock blue sweater. See how hot she thinks she is. Trista thinks she's pretty damn hot in this outfit and it shows in the way her hips are swaying and her hair is bouncing, in the way her black heeled loafers click so merrily on the floor.

See Trista stalk around in her sexy fierceness. Look! There is a flight of stairs. Trista ascends those stairs like she owns them. Like she's stepping up to be crowned Queen of Sheba. All are impressed by her tiger-like grace. Her peacock blue sweater may as well have been made out of real peacock feathers her bearing was so regal. Rawr!

Remember Trista's pretty heeled shoes. Hear them clicking on the marble of the stairs. See Trista's ankle in the pretty heeled shoes twist three steps from the top. See Trista wobble, twist, buckle and start to fall. Oh no, Trista! Don't fall! But then, yay! Trista magically catchs herself! She catches herself and continues on fiercely. She meant to do that! That's how she climbs all staircases! That was a dance, that was a little sexy shoe dance! And if you don't get it, and you laugh because you thought it was "clumbsy" or "clutzy" or "so totally unsexy it's unbelievable that anyone would ever want to fuck someone who could manage to trip over her own foot while thinking that she was hotter than shit on a tin roof" then you're a stupid-head and I'm going to tell my mommy on you!

(sigh) damn

9.18.2006

My weekend in pictures


Julia's weekend
Originally uploaded by Temmerling.
















The life cycle of a grape

9.17.2006

Good News!!!

According to the psychic I saw today, not only am I going to get a traffic ticket soon, but I will also be meeting a man (most likely a Cancer or some other water sign, but she really got a feeling he would be a Cancer) who will sweep me off my feet, propose in a very romantic way, and we'll end up having a big wedding before the year is out.

Kristin says Julia can't be the flower girl, though. I think she needs to realize that this wedding is about me, not her. What do you think?

9.15.2006

What the fuck am I doing?

Here, I mean. What the fuck am I doing here? I paid (still paying, actually) 24k for a Master's Degree to sit here and do data entry? To answer phones? To buzz people through a bullet-proof glass door? To watch the other people in the office go to lunch without me while I sit here, lonely, eating my granola bar?

Not that data entry isn't a valuable job. But I didn't study for 2 years to do it. And, frankly, it shows in my speed and error ratio.

I was given a data entry task yesterday that, if I do nothing else but this task (NOT, btw, the job that I applied for and accepted. This position was not supposed to be a data entry position) will still take me about 2 YEARS to complete.

I need to find another job. I don't know how much longer I can do this.

And how stupid is it anyway that I'm sitting here crying because they didn't ask me to go to lunch with them. It's stupid. I should stop it right now. Instead of answering the phones with a wavery, high-pitched, squeaky, crying voice.

9.14.2006

SPOOOOOOOOOOOORK!

Ok people. My MOM has ordered a copy of Spork. My Mom.

If my mom could do it, certainly YOU can.

Just follow this link and click on another link that says Pre-order your copy, and then select issue 5.1 (and, if you like, the comic book and CD, because they're guaranteed to be cool, even though they don't have anything to do with me). Then let me know that you did it so I can give you a big, wet, smack on the cheek (tongue included for free, just because I'm nice like that). And do it today, because today is the last day to get free shipping. I mean, I did it, and I get a contributor's copy. I just can't resist such a great bargain.

Just to titillate you even further, here is a little preview of one of my poems in the book:

Katine is dressing
slowly, her hands and arms
still weak in a way that promises
soreness to come. Her lover lies
slack-limbed and sloe-
eyed – occasionally twitching
along the lithe lines of inner thigh
ass, spine. Katine is
pleased the woman is still
shuddering. She struggles with the laces
of her bodice (some of the grommets
are lost) as her slick tail
moves from under a hiked-up petticoat
to rub its still-wet tip
along the curves of waist and hip. The
woman shivers and moans and licks
her lips and starts to say please
but does not.


I mean, HELLO? That is hot, if I do say so myself. Certainly worth a second look. Go on, take a second look. And then realize that you can buy the WHOLE THING for only $10. Plus a lot of other people's work. And just think about what other works would be included in a magazine that will print the adventures and exploits of Katine, The Quarter-Spider Monkey Seducer of Virgin Pirates (Who May or May Not be Her Wholly Human Half-Sister)?

If you refuse to be titillated, then there's just no helping you.

Just How Mean Is It Anyway To Have A Dog's Voicebox Removed?

How to put Julia asleep when she's teething:

  1. When she starts screaming at inanimate objects, you know it's time to begin.
  2. Hopefully she's already eaten dinner, if not, expect a lot of food to end up on the floor.
  3. After letting the dogs in to clean up the mess on the floor, place her in the kitchen sink.
  4. Turn on sprayer and spray her down.
  5. Carry wet toddler into nursery and dry off, put overnight diaper on, trip over dog who has come into the nursery hoping the toddler will have more food to throw, find some sort of clothing-like item to dress her in.
  6. Locate infant tylenol among the rumpled sheets on the master bed (where you dropped it from sleepy fingers last night after shoving a dose down a screaming toddler's gullet) and squirt appropriate dose into screaming toddler's gullet.
  7. Make a bottle. Not that she'll drink it. To drink it would be to admit defeat.
  8. Turn out all lights in the house. Any crack of light anywhere, no matter how dim, will let her think that you don't really mean business.
  9. Turn on cd of ocean waves to trick her into thinking that we've abandoned her on a beach.
  10. Sit down in rocking chair and commence rocking. Do your best to hold on to the wildly struggling child.
  11. After wildly struggling child has smacked bottle to the floor twice, realize that said wildly struggling child really doesn't want the bottle at this point.
  12. Continue rocking.
  13. Continue shifting your grip so she doesn't manage to slip out of your arms and escape.
  14. Continue rocking.
  15. Realize that the crying she's engaging in now is an admission that she really would like her bottle now.
  16. Stick bottle in toddler's ear because it's pitch black in the room and she's so twisted in your arms you can't figure out where her mouth is.
  17. Do not be fooled into thinking that suddenly quiet and still means "finally asleep". Continue rocking.
  18. Stop rocking and test the waters. If teething toddler starts screaming, resume rocking quickly.
  19. If no screaming has started, slowly stand up from the rocking chair. Approach the crib with the stealth of a Ninja Warrior.
  20. S.L.O.W.L.Y. place the sleeping child in the crib. Leave at least on hand on the child. Hold Breath and pray.
  21. Remove hand and quietly lift side of crib to locked position. Put hand back on the child's back.
  22. Wait another minute or 20.
  23. Cautiously lift hand up.
  24. If crying commences, pick child up, go back to step 12 and work your way through. If silence ensues proceed to step 25.
  25. Somehow make your way out of the nursery without moving a muscle or making a sound, or creating a breeze.
  26. Close the door on the nursery, keeping the handle turned so there isn't a click from the door latching.
  27. Lean against the door and sigh.
  28. Jump 20 feet in the air when oldest dog starts a holy din of BAYING (the kind of baying that's meant to bring hunters from MILES away) in the dining room at a leaf invading the yard.
  29. Start sobbing when teething and cranky toddler starts screaming in the nursery.
  30. Go back to step 10 and repeat ad nauseum throughout the night.


9.13.2006

All Spork All The Time

So, the big release of my partial epic poem No Normal Love (a Sci-Fi, Lesbian, Pirate Bodice-Ripper) is speeding up to us. The lovely people at Spork have locked themselves in a club in order to get all the binding of the issues completed in time for the big release party on Friday. The big release party that I can't go to. Damn I hate being poor and not having my own private plane so I can jet off to such events. I should plan my own release party. Maybe I will do that. When I get my contributor's copy. I sure hope I get a contributor's copy. Crap, what if I don't? What if I'm supposed to buy my own copy?

See, it's important to know this because if you order RIGHT NOW as in, this week, BEFORE the 15th (in other words, while they're crazy with exhaustion and high on glue) they'll ship your copy for free! So you get pages and pages of amazing work for only $10!!!! And if you mention to them that you're buying it because of me they might even kiss your copy lovingly before placing it in your free envelope! How's that for customer care?

So. Go to Spork Press and order your copy (you know you want to read about my lesbian pirate and her monkey-tailed siren, never mind all the other cool people who were good enough to be included next to my breathtaking saga). Plus, they're blogging binding bondage travails and who doesn't want to read about that?

9.12.2006

Because I'll be Done

for The Scheherazade Project's latest theme. You know, that thing I do where everyone's supposed to write stories? Yeah, that thing. Criticism and comments welcome. I'd really like this thing to shine when I'm finished.

The dress. See, I bought the dress because it looked just like I always thought the dress in that old urban legend would look. I guess I have a different take on that legend than most. I guess I always saw it differently. Because it never made sense to me that a woman would be placed in her coffin in a club dress. A dancing dress. Never made sense to me. And why would a hot young thing buy a dress that looked like it could have participated in a funeral to dance herself to death in? See the two just don’t line up. Unless it’s the kind of dress that wasn’t really appropriate to either activity and the two women in question were stretching the suitable boundaries of the dress. The two women are stretchy like that. They’d have to be. Because unless they both have stretchiness then all they’ve got in common is an inappropriate dress and some toxic fluids. And that's just not enough to have in common to justify sharing a fate. It's just not enough to justify. But the stretchiness is big enough. I have faith that it's big enough.

So there it was, the dress. In the Good Will. $10. A bit expensive for the Good Will. Well, a bit more than I like to pay at the Good Will. I specialize in the things that everyone else puts back on the shelf. Over and over and over rejected because of stains, rips, bleach spots, worn spots. I like to rescue those clothes. Patch them, love them, marry them together in strange combinations – the (perfectly good) arms of this sweater sewn to the (perfectly good) body of that jacket or that blouse. But damn. It was a damn fine dress. And I decided to buy it for the full $10 even though when I picked it up I could smell something musky and metallic woven in with the 70% rayon and 30% silk fibers. It was not the smell I objected to. The smell was perfect. My overcome qualm was that I paid for the dress knowing, knowing that if I waited a few more weeks it would get tossed to the floor again and again, discarded, maybe taken home for a few days and then re-donated, until in a few weeks I could have picked up the smelly, unwanted dress for fifty cents or a dollar.

But I didn’t want to wait a few weeks for this dress. It would have killed me, to have this little bit of fate fall into my hands and put it back on the shelf so I could get it on a bargain. Especially since the dress makes those few dollars irrelevant anyway. So I didn’t. And now it’s sitting here. Hanging on the wall, really. I’ll walk into my kitchen-slash-dining-slash-living room in the half-light cast by my 40 watt bulbs and I’ll think (every time) that someone’s come to visit. That someone’s standing there in the dingy darkness waiting for tea. It feels nice. I put the tea in a pot and get out the sugar and cream bowls. I put it all on a tray and wish I had scones to impress my dress-visitor. And we sit down and have tea together. Well, I have tea. She doesn’t have any. She’s on a diet.

Ok. Now I sound crazy. I’m not. I’m not crazy. I know I’m not really having tea with a dress. But I kind of am having tea with a dress. Just me and the dress and the smell and the tea tray and no scones. I never seem to have any scones. Probably because I don’t think of them until I see the dress. That’s the kind of dress it is. It appreciates a good scone. It’s a scone kind of dress.

It’s the kind of dress that some housewife would have worn in the 60’s to run her errands, do her shopping in. A housewife who had been raised by rather strict parents and who still wasn’t entirely comfortable with the thought of wearing pants out in public. In fact, the only pants she owned were a tasteful pair of silk wide-legged slacks, so wide they might be thought a skirt. Something she could wear if she were having an evening-casual party in her home one dark winter night. But no grubby pants, no fitted pants, not even for cleaning, because you never knew when someone might drop by and you wouldn’t want them to catch you wearing something so unfeminine as a pair of pants even to clean out the refrigerator. Wearing pants would be seen as a sign of weakness – an admission that your home occasionally got too dirty to clean in a house dress. Lord knows, a good housewife should never have to scrub. The house should never get dirty enough in the first place to need a scrubbing.

So this dress, this weekly-grocery-shopping, post-office-stopping, PTA meeting dress, Ladies'- Auxilliary-Club-vice-presidenting dress. Belted, just longer than the knee. Buttons down the front and an open collar like a man’s shirt once he’s gotten somewhere private and opened his tie. A little risqué, those buttons. So easy to imagine them popping open or off. Right now it’s chaste, matronly. But open a few buttons at the top, open a few buttons at the bottom, and there’s the woman beneath the wife. The dress gaping above and below a belt so easily pulled off. And that’s why it fits the legend for me. Because the dress morphs. It shifts like that. There the dress is. It’s all buttoned up and respectable. It drives through the bank’s drive-thru. It goes shopping. It uses coupons. It buys hamburger and tomato sauce and bread and eggs and milk. It stops at the library and turns in some books. It fills the car up with gas (this is not the source of the smell, however). It goes home. It puts the groceries away. It makes little notations in the book that holds the household accounts. It makes a few calls for the Ladies' Auxilliary Club. It moves the laundry from the washer to the drier and from the drier to folded little stacks sprigged with lavender and placed carefully in closets and cupboards and dressers. It dusts with a little brown feather duster. It vacuums. It pays the paper boy. It moves the sprinklers from one space on the grass to another. It starts dinner. It puts the hamburger and eggs and breadcrumbs and shredded carrots and spices and mustard in a bowl and mixes the cold stuff around and around until the arms that fill its sleeves are warm and damp. Then it plops the mush into a pan and pours tomato sauce on it and puts it in the oven.

And then maybe it's the motion of the arms. Maybe it's the rhythm of the squelching of the meat. Maybe it's the fact that this is the sweatiest that the body in the dress has ever gotten all by herself. But then suddenly the dress starts moving faster than it has all day. And it leaves the meatloaf in the oven to burn or (less likely) for someone else to finish and serve and clean up. And the dress leaves the house and gets into the big boat of car and shifts over the thighs that fill its skirt, strains tight until a button works itself free and there’s more room and light where light shouldn’t be. And the dress drives until it stops at a bar. And another couple buttons give on each end and the dress slides onto a torn vinyl stool and the new slit-like opening frames the dark space betwen two no-longer-so matronly thighs.

This is an old, old story. This is the story of my mother. This is the story she would have told herself. The story she would have told me if I had been interested in her stories. The story of her liberation. There are no surprises here. It’s a comforting story. How a woman and a dress free themselves from suburban domesticity. How the woman and the dress have a secret. The dress wasn’t bought at a department store, but at a consignment store to save money. How the woman is tired of counting every penny distributed from her husband’s wallet and every pump distributed between her thighs at night (some nights it only takes seven, some nights twenty or more). How the dress is tired of the endless repetition of days and meatloaves. How after slugging a few drinks down the woman and the dress move again, to a juke joint or what they would have called a juke joint in the late 60’s. How this place is hopping. How this place is alive. How this place is free of meatloaves and no one minds if the dress was bought on consignment. Because the only people who are in a position to notice just want the dress emptied and tossed away. And who cares if it lands near the thumping mattress, or if it lands in blue toilet water, so long as it's no longer sheathing?

All anyone cares about is how many buttons can be undone, how the thigh looks the way it’s pushed through the boundary of the dress beneath an ever-reducing number of buttoned buttons. How in the heat and the press and the music and the alcohol and the dancing the dress is getting soaked in sweat and clinging to the body beneath. And (here’s how the legend comes in) how in the heat and the press and the music and the alcohol and the dancing the metallic musk scent that the woman had mostly eradicated through lavender sprigs and cedar balls has begun rising again. Rising with her heavy breathing and sinking down inside her. How the thing that caused the musky metallic smell is creeping in through the dilated pores and infiltrating her blood stream. How in the heat and the press and the music and the alcohol and the dancing the woman drops, her unbuttoned dress flared out around her, and dies happy and flushed.

Well, I added that last part. That’s probably not how it happened. The woman and the dress were probably sent to a holding tank or some other dingy, tawdry place to sleep it off and the person who was faced with an empty house and a burned meatloaf probably forgave her and took her back and they did this little scenario again and again, year after year, like Christmas or Thanksgiving. And the woman probably threw the dress aside finally because of the smell and bought another consignment dress, and maybe even a pair of pants and if she was going to go so far as to buy a pair of pants, she might even have made that pair a pair of petal pushers and show some skin. And the dress is sent off to good will or another consignment shop. And another. And another. Until it’s sitting here in my house, inviting me to run errands and run away.

It’s perfect for what I plan to do in it. And afterwards they can send it back to the Good Will.

9.11.2006

Going Forward

If any of you receive unwanted emails because of a comment you've made here I want to know about it. Forward them to me, please, at anaccidentofhope at inbox.com.
Not that I know what to do with the information, but if it becomes enough of a problem I might figure something out...

I just hate to think that maybe people don't want to comment because someone used what they said to attack them via email.

And as for all you lurkers (and reconnoiters -- my new term for people who have blogs but don't comment with their blogname because they want to keep their blogs private for some very good reason) I love you. I can see that you come here and read my little scrawlings and that's enough. I am never again going to try and flush lurkers out. But if you ever do feel compelled to say something, I'm committed to leaving the option for anonymous comments up. No matter how many anonymous haters there are out there.

Thanks

Drowning Dreaming

You know how I told you I was having bad dreams? Over and over and over. The same bad dreams over and over? 2 nights I had these dreams, they were making me crazy. They all featured the same person, a person I am very close to, a person I love. Used to be that when I would have dreams like this I would call the person they featured to find out what was up. Too many instances of the person thinking I was crazy to think that a night of bad dreams was a cosmic message, though. So I stopped the check-up calls. And eventually I stopped having dreams that seemed to require them.

Anyway, I ignored these latest dreams. Tried to shake them off. Chalked them up to TTC stress and disappointment (guess who hasn't ovulated and isn't likely to this month). But Saturday I made a call to someone for something unrelated to the dreams. And was hit with the bombshell that the person I was dreaming about is drowning. Really drowning. Swirling down the drain. It's bad and I can't really talk about it. Yesterday the dream actor was looking at hospitals. And I really hope that the tentative plan to go to a hospital for a short time turns into a reality. The problem is that you can force an adult into a hospital against their will, under certain circumstances, but you can't make them do what they need to do to get well. This person needs to decide that it's time to get well. It'll kill me if this person chooses another way out.

9.09.2006

Feeling Better

Though still irritable and edgy. I think I'll leave my RFB avatar up for the weekend, though if something happens to make me all gooey and happy and crap, I might change her.

In the meantime... you can pre-order copies of the coolest lit mag around featuring (coincidentally enough) ME! Click here to read all about it and go to the front of the class!

9.08.2006

I am a royal fucking bitch

edited to remove offensive and insensitive and very-poorly-thought-out language. To anyone I offended, I am deeply sorry.

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. Well, actually, several times this morning. All night long, nightmares. I woke up over and over and over from bad dreams. It has totally soured my day. I snarled at Kristin this morning. I didn't smile at Julia (though I did give her lots of kisses). I screamed at people who dared to drive the speed limit right in front of me (acting as holier-than-thou Keepers of the Speed), and I threatened to run over an old man if he didn't get out of the god damned crosswalk before I got to it. My radio station has been playing all the songs that I find MOST annoying. And my bangs look like a dead cat's fur.

I really don't want to be at work today. I think I might skip out for a few hours and try to drown my miserable existence in a taco salad. I love me some taco salad.

What I really want is a reading. Tarot, runes, I don't care. I just need some fucking insight already.

I have, though, decided to enter my manuscript in a book prize. I doubt I'll win. Complete waste of the $25 entry fee. But what the hell, my life is down the crapper anyway (see what people are having to deal with here?)

Query:

Would you work for a company that made a urine drug test part of their hiring process? Wait. I've never taken one before, so I don't know if this is standard operating practice, but a UA where the people watch you while you pee. And not just, you know, watch from a respectful distance, but one where they make you open your legs so they can SEE the pee leaving your body. Basically treating you like a drug-addicted criminal. Would you agree to that? Or would you tell them to shove it up their collective ass and refuse to allow your body privacy to be violated like that with no reasonable cause? Just curious. Someone (not naming names here) seems to think that my outrage over what was done to them is overreacting. (or I'm projecting that onto them and they don't really think that but I THINK that they think that, which is most likely what is really going on here, projections on top of projections.) True, the fact that I feel violated just hearing what was done to them is probably an overreaction. But the fact that I would refuse to take a test like that doesn't seem to me to be an overreaction. It seems a rather reasonable reaction. What do you think? (I'll try not to squash your heads like a grape between my thighs)

9.07.2006

My experience with a well-known site who pays their bloggers

Liza, at LesbianFamily.org posted today about her experience with Clubmom. Basically, she's disappointed that Clubmom is uninterested in welcoming lesbian moms or including their voices in the dialogues that occur in clubmomdom. After extraordinarily flattering me, she asked me to speak more about my experiences with them, so because I am extraordinarily flattered, I am obliging. Here's what happened to me.

Now you all know about when Clubmom put out their call for bloggers, right? A ripple, a veritible ripple of excitement shimmered through the momblogger community. Well, I missed that ripple. Or mostly. I didn't hear about the excitement until Kik (Kik, where oh where are you?) sent me an email with a link to the announcement and a suggestion that I apply.

So I thought about it. And I thought some more. And Kristin and I talked about it. It was exciting to think about getting PAID for what I do anyway. And it was exciting to think about reaching a larger audience. But mostly it was exciting to think about bringing the voice of a lesbian mother to a group of people who had probably never heard of a lesbian mom outside of sensationalized newspaper accounts of tragic legal proceedings.

But mostly I was scared. I tend to self-sabotage things like this. The thought of am I smart enough, funny enough, entertaining enough, sensitive enough, thick-skinned enough, lesbian enough, mainstream enough, insightful enough, GOOD ENOUGH to do something like this? To put myself and my family out there. So I read the description of what they were looking for. And I reread it. And I had Kristin read it. And we talked some more. And then I decided to go for it. I decided that I was tired of shortchanging myself.

In my proposal, I offered all of myself. I told them that "I am a mother who has not given birth, who is not allowed to adopt. I am mother whom a great many people would not think of as a mother. I offer my family, my experiences, my love, my pain, my joy to the Clubmom women as a way to add to the diversity of motherhood and to let previously unheard voices and visions of family take a place in the dialogue fostered by Clubmom." Or something like that. In addition, I pointed out to them that I filled many of their desired categories: I was TTC, we were in the middle of a large remodel, we were planning a cross-country move. All of these things were suggested blog topics. I included links to three of the posts that friends and readers of this blog had suggested were among my best. I wrote a new post as an example of what I would write for them. (Later I posted that essay here, so you didn't miss out on anything). One post that people had enthusiastically suggested that I submit I did not include. Kristin and I decided that, though once I got started I would not shy away from the harder emotional realities of life as queers, in the beginning I would show them a less politicized version of myself. I regret that decision now.

Anyway, I sent off my little email-application, and sat back to wait for my rejection (I have never been considered an optimist). It was a long time in coming. See, they DIDN'T reject me. At least, not right away. I got an email stating that they were very impressed by my writing, but they had been overwhelmed and pleased by the overall quality of the responses to their call. They had more wonderful writers than they knew what to do with. They told me that though they didn't have room for me in their first wave of bloggers, they very much wanted to work with me. Perhaps in a more limited fashion, with a smaller reimbursement offer. They asked me to be patient while they got the first blogs set up and started, and they would contact me in May with an offer. They asked me to keep the contents of that email secret.

So I did. I felt really good at the time. I felt wanted. I felt vindicated! But as time passed and they didn't communicate with me again, that feeling of vindication eased away. I watched more and more clubmom blogs start up. I started paying attention to the voices that had been chosen. And I noticed that there seemed to be an overwhelming Christian bias to the blogs. Out of the 4 blogs that speak of spirituality, as Liza pointed out, 2 are Christian, one uses the word "spirit" and derivitives thereof, and one is ambiguous. That's not a very diverse spiritual representation there. As if Moms are either Christian, or some mysterious other, or not interested in religion/spirituality at all. And though I try really hard not to categorically dismiss "Christians" as homophobic hate-mongers (no, really, I DO try not to! I have plenty of Christian friends, I do! And they're not ALL bad! Honest!) being stuck in limbo-land and watching as Clubmom paid women to blog about being Christian started to give me a bad feeling.

Perhaps if there were other alternative-type families being represented I wouldn't have felt so funny. But as far as I could see (and remember, this was back in June when it was just getting started, though it doesn't seem much better now) the types of families represented seemed pretty homogenous. They had different trials, different circumstances, but none of them seemed really to challenge prevailing main-stream beliefs about what it means to be a family, what it means to be a mom. I mean, if queers are 10% of the population (to pull that old statistic out of my ass) then shouldn't 10% of the clubmom blogs reflect that? If they really were trying to reach out to all moms?

So, I wasn't surprised when I finally got a rejection. A short little email informing me that clubmom wanted to focus their efforts on their current crop of blogs and that they couldn't work with me at all, but would keep me in mind if they ever found themselves having more room for bloggers. I understood that, this was a big endeavor they were attempting and I am nothing if not sympathetic to overextension. I replied very politely that I was still interested and hoped to work with them sometime in the future. And have watched with more and more disgust as clubmom added more blogs, none of which have done much to increase the diversity of families represented.

Now, some of those blogs I LOVE. And I am certainly NOT picking on the clubmom bloggers. Those women are doing what they want to do and what they (hopefully) love. I wish we could ALL get paid for blogging. I don't think any of them SHOULDN'T be blogging and SHOULDN'T be getting paid. My beef is with the administration for choosing to exclude an entire demographic of mothers. And they did choose to do that. I have no doubt that I am not the only lesbian mom to apply for a blogging position with them. If it were just that they didn't like me, or didn't think I was clubmom material, I'm sure there were others to choose from. In fact, Liza says that she offered to write for them, too. No. As far as I'm concerned it's a deliberate choice. And one I am deeply disappointed in.

So there you have it. I have written clubmom another email pointing out what I think is an egregious oversight and suggesting myself (as well as other bloggers I know and love) as ways they could correct that oversight. But haven't heard anything back. I don't expect to.

More Julia Than You Can Shake A Stick At

This post should probably go over on The Speckled Frog. But so few of you read The Speckled Frog, and besides, I am boring myself lately. She's where all the action is at...

Sleep
Julia has slept in her own bed for over a week now. Let me repeat that. The girl who spent the first 6 months of her life sleeping only in our arms, and then the next 6 months of her life alternately sleeping in her swing or our arms, has finally, finally, made a permanent transition to her own crib. At first I was sure it was merely a fluke. But no. It wasn't. She was sleeping through the night about every other night (strangely, ususally on Kristin's nights) but would go back to sleep in her crib quickly after only a few cuddles on the nights that she did wake up. And then I remembered that we have a CD of ocean waves tucked away some where (ok, to be honest, it was Kristin who remembered) and so I dug it out and put it in her CD player on repeat. And since then (except for Monday night when she cut 2 teeth) she has slept through the night. It has been marvelous.

Last night Julia and I ate dinner. I then gave her her bath, put her in her jammies, and brought her back out to the living room to play. "We have a half hour before bedtime." I told her. "You can play for a little bit." She started playing with her balls. I started surfing the internet. After about 15 minutes I felt a little hand on my thigh. Julia asking to be picked up. I picked her up and immediately she sighed and laid her head on my chest. Then she started giving me kisses and then laid her head back down on my chest and sighed. "Are you ready to go to bed now?" I asked. "Yeah," she replied. So I gave her her bedtime bottle and put her in her crib (um, I gave her her bottle while I rocked her, I didn't give her the bottle while she was in her crib like it sounds). She slept for over 10 hours.

Bad Habits Julia Has Picked Up at Daycare

  1. Die Die Die! For several weeks it seemed like our beautiful little girl was wishing that things would die horrible deaths to please her. Die Die Die! She'd scream while looking at us. Die Die Die! She'd holler while throwing a ball. Die Die Die! she'd shriek at the dogs. We thought we must be mishearing. It must be a coincidence that she was saying that particular sound three times in a row with such a blood-thirsty tone to her voice. Then one day a few weeks ago, she did it right after she and I arrived at daycare. "Ooops," our daycare provider said. "I'm afraid that came from us. See, there's a little boy that says that to his action figures and Julia's started to copy him..."
  2. Head Banger Also a recent development, Julia has begun crawling up to people and animals and banging them on the heads with her own head. She's got a pretty big head for her size, and the bone is hard, so it really hurts! We've been at a loss as to why she's doing it, but we try not to encourage it. Again, yesterday, she did it to me when I picked her up from daycare. "Oh," said our daycare provider. "One of the little boys has taught her that as a greeting and a way to say I love you. That's how he says hi to her every morning." Lovely. Apparently a headache is the same as that warm, fuzzy feeling you get from a kiss. And yes. It is the same little boy. He's a sweetheart and he loves Julia to pieces. He just has some strange ideas about how to show it.
  3. Ok, not all of her new habits are bad They've taught her how to say thank you. Whenever you give Julia something -- food, a toy, whatever -- she says thank you. She's got the intonation and the rhythm right, but she doesn't enunciate the noises very well. She makes the words deep in her throat. But still recognizable, all the same. It's interesting to me how much our language is based on voice tone and rhythm rather than correct sounds.

Julia's New Favorite Game

is copying alphabet sounds. She's not so interested in copying sounds that aren't routinely used in English. But she'll make "t" and "g" and "f" and "w" and "s" back and forth with you for hours. She just got the "s" down and she's so pleased with herself. But she can't yet figure out how to make a "sh" sound. It comes out just like her s and she gets very frustrated. Last night I was breathing on my glasses to clean them, making a big, breathy "h" sound, when from across the room (she was playing with something else) came a little "h" sound. And then a couple more followed by a big belly laugh.

Ok, that's it. I was going to talk about the play group we were invited to participate in, and how that's going, but this post is long enough. That's a story for later.

9.06.2006

No More Baby Aspirin for Me

I am covered in bruises that I don't remember getting. And some of them are bad enough that they've bled down through the pores. I think my blood is thin enough.

***

I have to create a bio for the magazine that is publishing my partial epic poem. I can't decide which to send them:

Trista Petra [last name] received an MFA from the University of Utah in 2005. Her poetry has appeared in The West Wind Review, Prairie Poetry, and Shades. She lives and works in Salt Lake City, UT.

or

Trista Petra [last name] paid a great deal of money and read a great many pages of bad theory and poetry to get a piece of paper with a shiny seal from the University of Utah. And, true to form, when the paper finally arrived (a year late) it was wrinkled and mud stained. She ironed it flat and tacked it to the wall anyway. After all, she’s got 29 years left to pay on the damn thing; she might as well enjoy it. Her poetry has appeared in such places as trash cans and other people’s refrigerators and once, even, in The West Wind Review. Currently, she works in an office in the second tallest building in Downtown Salt Lake City where she charges the government a great deal of money to answer phone calls and be as unhelpful to taxpayers as possible. She enjoys living in proximity to the Great Salt Lake because, in her own words, “It’s just like my own little stagnant ocean -- only smellier, and with sand made out of fossilized brine shrimp poop.”

which one would you send?

PS -- when it comes out, if you buy a copy and mail it to me I'll autograph it for you for free. And that's money in the bank, there. That thing'll pay for your grandchildren's college, guaranteed!

***

Even though I'm going to have to take Julia with me, I am keeping my appointment with the person who manages my anti-depresant/anxiety meds. I made the appointment before I realized that Wednesday Kristin would be in school all day, but I'm so depressed that I decided not to reschedule. I think my meds need tweaking because of the clomid and instead of just tweaking them myself I decided I should get an expert's opinion.

***

Today's* Tiny Triumph

I tackled my mail pile.

And then I got to read for pleasure.
For two whole hours.

*for "today" read: last night

9.05.2006

The Myth of the Well-Oiled Machine

I think it's fair to say that since Kristin got into grad school I've been freaking out.

I'm so happy and excited for her I can't even begin to describe it. She's tired and stressed, but she's glowing. This is exactly what she needed and I am thrilled for her. So please don't take what I say next to be an indication that I wish she weren't going to school. Because no matter what I am so proud of her for getting into school and for succeeding (there's no doubt in my mind that she will be a huge success). But I'm freaking out.

Kristin has to work a full 40 hours at her job. They won't let her drop to part time and we can't afford for her to quit her job. On top of work, she's in class 12 hours a week and she is working 13 hours at the homeless shelter for her practicum. That's 65 hours not counting travel and study time. Then comes being a mother. And then comes being a partner. And somewhere in there she needs time for herself.

So, I decided that I should take over all the housework and shopping and cooking and such. I want her to be able to concentrate on school and work without having to stress about the housework. I want her to be able to spend quality time with Julia. I want her to be able to do what she needs to do without the pull of guilt or necessity distracting her.
I want to give her as stress-free a time as I can.

But. I am not the organized one. I am not the one who remembers to start the laundry on Friday so that it's all done by Sunday evening. I am not the one who remembers to write grocery lists so we don't buy all sorts of unnecessary things. I am not the one who remembers to gas up at Costco because it's cheaper. I am not even the one who can manage to keep track of the costco card. Or the check book. Hell, I can't even manage to go through my stack of mail. It just keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger. I sure hope there aren't any bills in there.

My method of organizing involves losing everything at least twice. It involves never really knowing where anything is.

So you can see that I'm having problems. Because running a household and working full-time requires a great deal of organization. I keep thinking that if only I could get organized well enough then the house would become a well-oiled machine. It would always be clean. It would always smell good. The laundry would never form giant glaciers that threaten to evict my untidy pile of shoes from the closet. I would be able to sail effortlessly through the grocery store confident that everything on my list is really everything that we need. And I'd use coupons to save my family hundreds of dollars. Julia, Kristin, and I would move in a stress-free, clutter-free, lemon-scented, completely organic, off-gassing plastic-free, well-within-budget world. Everyone would envy our grace. "How do you do it all?" People would ask Kristin. "My wife," she'd reply. "She's got our house set up like a well-oiled machine." "Oooooh," her co-workers would say, awe in their voices. "Ahhhh," her co-workers would sigh, their faces betraying how lucky they think Kristin is. Hell, we'd even have a savings account. It would, of course, maintain itself once I got it set up correctly.

That's the catch: getting these things set up correctly. Forming a schedule. Organizing. This is a problem for me.

I just keep thinking that if only I could get the house completely cleaned and organized then everything would fall into place. But it never gets all the way clean. I spend too much time doing maintenance work to do the deep cleaning/organizing that needs to be done. And when I do try to organize, then the maintenance work starts to get overwhelming. I just can't win.

And it doesn't help that I am so unbelievably, intolerably, unbearably emotionally needy right now. I should be a rock from which Kristin could launch herself. Instead I am a muddy quagmire that bogs her down. I dissolve the firm landscape around me and spread my muck around. I pretend to be solid, but the moment she thinks she has her footing I collapse in on myself. This weekend she spent valuable homework or Julia-bonding time helping me do laundry and clean. And still our house is clunky and rusty. Un-oiled. Bone dry, in fact.

I think that in order to create a well-oiled machine one needs first to be a well-oiled machine. They forget to mention that. I still have hopes. But they're on a par with our hopes for the lottery ticket we buy each month. It will be lovely if it ever happens, but it would need an act of god to make it come about.

(I should point out that it's only this first year which will be incredibly time-consuming and hard. Next year Kristin's job will count as her practicum.)

Today's Tiny Triumph:
Two hours of sleep.
Three hours of a night-waking, teething, cranky baby.
Still, I got up and went to work.
And was only an hour and a half late.

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