Monday, October 31, 2005


You must read this or it will be the death of you. Oh yes.



Misfit's Meme

Thanks to Suburban Misfit for the 7 questions meme. I've seen these around, but I've never felt the urge to participate until now. Fall motivates me.

I'm supposed to tag 7 people with these questions. I won't be all chain-lettery about it, but you know who you are.

7 things I want to do before I die:
1) play the harp 2) travel to India 3) publish a book 4) have a honeymoon with Andy in Europe 5) see my kids self-sufficient and happy 6) tell my uncle what I think of him 7) get my master's degree

7 things I cannot do:
1) forgive certain people 2) ignore my mother's passive-aggression 3) drive 55 4) stop buying books 5) eat broccoli/lima beans/oysters 6) enjoy exercise 7) let someone else have the last word

7 things I can do:
1) cook 2) play piano 3) sing 4) teach 5) use big words properly 6) type 90 words a minute 7) plan a killer kids' party

7 things I find attractive in a partner:
1) good hair 2) chivalry 3) protective instincts 4) funny-ness 5) intelligence 6) well-read 7) emotional maturity

7 things I say most often:
1) You hate me. (It's our-Andy's and my- special little way of forcing each other to say I love you. Aww.) 2) What up, yo? (I'm urban, yo.) 3) En Francais! 4) Charlotte! No No! 5) *YAWN* 6) What makes you think I won't CUT you? 7) Everyone just be quiet for 5 minutes... just 5 minutes, please. PLEASE.

7 celebrity crushes: (well, 10. I couldn't stop with 7)
1) Alan Rickman 2) Ralph Fiennes 3) Robert Downey Jr. 4) John Cusack 5) Hugh Grant 6) Colin Firth 7) Nicole Kidman/Vivien Leigh/Sherilyn Fenn (I just grouped the girls together, there.) 8) Harry Connick Jr. 9) The lead singer of My Chemical Romance 10) Gene Kelly

7 famous people I'd like to kick:(this one is my own addition)
1) George Bush 2) Barbara Bush 3) Ann Coulter 4) Britney Spears/Kevin Federline 5) Jessica Simpson 6) Jim Carey 7) Dakota Fanning (she's a robot, people!)


Last night at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre, working job #3 as Assistant House Manager, I FELL in front of an entire theatre full of 390 people. I know there were that many people there, because I counted them.

It's funny for many reasons, not the least of which is that I've been thinking about my many falling humiliations lately, as evidenced by my little "About Me" epigraph over there to the right.

I wrote that while remembering last year, when I was hugely pregnant with Charlotte, and I had just purchased some Hostess Donut Gems (delicious, waxy-chocolate variety) at the gas station, and couldn't wait until I got in the car to dig in, so I ripped open the wrapper as I walked to the car, and right as I jammed one in my mouth, another fell out of the package and started rolling across the pavement, and I was so damn desperate not to lose ONE SINGLE DONUT GEM that I lunged after it, and my off-kilter pregnant center of gravity caused me to lurch foreward and sprawl ridiculously on the ground, and NOT ONE SINGLE GAS-PUMPING ASSHOLE moved a muscle to help the poor, starving-for-doughnuts, pregnant lady.

I also like to remember the time in 6th grade when I was waiting for the school bus in the middle of winter, and when it got there and I stepped up to get on, I instead slipped on the icy curb and slid completely under the bus like I was on the luge.

So last night, I was feeling all confident and full of bravado, as I get when I'm finessing a huge group of amenable Hoosier senior citizens, and I was larking around the theatre, which is constructed in 5 successive tiers of tables, flirting with the old guys and chatting cutely with their wives, and flattering the groups of red-hat women, and cozying up to the grandmas who'd brought their little grand-daughters wearing poodle skirts and ponytails in honor of the show, "Grease," when I received a request from the wonderful quadriplegic guy who's been coming for years to tell his server he wanted another rum & Coke. So I went jauntily frisking up the stairs to give the server a heads up, and I was feeling all adorable in my sassily professional black pants, and black and silver, vertically-striped, nicely-tailored shirt, and my pointy-pointy black high-heeled boots, and then? right at the top of the stairs, in full view of everyone?

I took a dive.

I face-planted specTACularly, to the hearty, appreciative laughter of the rowdy over-50 girls-night-out women, and all the Mexican busser guys in the vicinity.


For the rest of the night, Raoul and Andres and Julio and Lazaro and Francisco and Henry wouldn't stop talking about me in really fast Spanish, and chuckling, and asking me if I was ok.

Sigh. My knee hurts.

I dedicate this entry to my lovely bestest friend in the whole wide world, Jenny, who, since we were in 5th grade, has been LOVING all of my humiliating stumbles, to the extent that, when she's present for these events, which is eerily often, she cannot possibly even consider helping me up, or mitigating my embarrassment in any way, because of the insane laughter that overtakes her, body and soul.

This one's for you, Jenny. Happy birthday!


Yeah, so Andy comes home from the Halloween party and tells me that his friend's wife overtly hit on him all night long. Drunkenly, but overtly.

Two things occur to me:

1) Poor Toby. I feel badly for him. This has been obvious to Andy and me for quite a while, but now she's waving her torch in public, in front of his friends and hers. That's just sad.

2) It's now exponentially harder for me to continue to laugh at this.

It was funny before. It was! But now, that door is open. It may be a door Andy would never walk through, but it's open. And with my history of being cheated on, this just isn't very funny to me anymore. I trust Andy more than I've ever trusted any other person, and I don't think he'd do anything so vile to his friend, let alone to his kids, or, I guess, me. But still.

It's... disconcerting.

Now, in the back of my mind, I'll be thinking things like, "She's skinnier than I am. I'd better lose weight, or else." Ooo, and, "I'd better not make him mad, or else." And of course there's always the old classic, "We'd better have as much sex as he'd like, or else."

Ah. Baggage. And just when I was starting to get all zen.

OK, well, 3 things occur to me:

3) Next time, I'm going with him.

Saturday, October 29, 2005


We have had the Halloweeniest weekend ever!

I LOVE Halloween. And not just because of the chocolate, or the way it has of reconnecting me with my gothy-witchy roots. Although those are very important, of course. Fall is my absolutely-lutely favorite time of the year. The humidity finally drops away, so I can have a few good hair days. Also, sweaters and boots! Yay! My fall/winter wardrobe is SO much better than the spring/summer stuff.

Friday, after helping out with Ethan's Halloween party at the International School (I put gummy worms in cups of apple juice and chatted amiably with the rich, French moms), the whole family went with Andy's mom and BGH to the Headless Horseman festivities at Conner Prairie, the local living history museum. It's just the cutest thing! We go every year, and gorge ourselves on freshly-popped (by pioneers, people!) kettle corn, and hot apple cider, and do the barn dance (Andy and I can bring the barn DOWN, people. We rock it!) and listen to the storyteller tell the Legend of Sleepy Hollow around the fire, and go on the scary scary hayride out in the woods, and get chased by the Headless Horseman on his horse, and screamed at by pioneer witches, and stick our faces in the cut-out photo-op facade thingies, and try to pretend that BGH isn't looming around after us.

It's awesome!

And then, today was the Irvington Halloween Festival! Irvington is a neat little neighborhood on the near East side of Indianapolis that was named for Washington Irving. The settlers who came there thought that the rolling hills in the area reminded them of Washington Irving's Sleepy Hollow! It's a bit tattered around the edges now, but was once a thriving and prestigious area of town, with big old Victorians and pretty gardens and such. It's ripe for urban renewal, and we live right on the northern edge of it.

Every year they close off a section of the street in the shoppy part of the neighborhood, and the vendors set up the elephant ear and gyros booths, and the local church preschools and Catholic schools set up booths with free games for the kiddies, and the jewelry and candle and purse and sketch artist people set up booths, and the face-painters come out in droves, and all the kids wear costumes, and it's just so fun! The library on the main thoroughfare gets into the act with storytelling and crafts, and bands play on the street across from the coffee shop, and at 4:00 p.m. all the children line up in the church parking lot according to age, and then march in a big old parade, to the accompaniment of the bagpipe and drum corps. After the parade, they give out costume awards. I love to go just to see how clever people are with their costumes.

There's this one kid in a morotized wheelchair, and every year he blows me away. I swear he and his dad must work all YEAR on the stuff they build for him. This year, he had this helicopter contraption that was, no lie, as big as a CAR, constructed over his freaking wheelchair, and he was dressed up as, like, an army guy inside the cockpit, piloting the thing with his wheelchair joystick. Now, whether or not I agree with the military stuff, it was a DAMN impressive "costume." I always get tears in my eyes when I see him, because that kid's parents LOVE him, and that's beautiful.

This year, Simon was a Blue Power Ranger (we obviously only love him to a store-bought degree), with ludicrous muscles built into the costume, and during the parade he made friends with a Red Power Ranger, and they were SO hilarious, I was laughing the entire time. They walked together, doing Power-Ranger-hiya!-karate moves in unison, and WORKING the crowd, parade-waving non-stop and high-fiving the spectators on the sidelines. Red Power Ranger's mom and I were practically in tears by the time we got back to the church parking lot.

And I took a few pictures (the camera was malfunctioning, so not as many as I'd have liked), and finally opened a Flickr account, and you can see those pictures over there on the right! Cool, eh!?
(Let me know what you think, or if you have any trouble viewing them. I'm kind of excited about Flickr!)

Then we came home and whipped up some home-made pizza, the dough and everything, and carved all of our fafillion pumpkins. Andy is so multi-talented! He used to work at Noble Romans in high school, so he can twirl the dough circles up in the air. And then, he can carve Cyclops Were-Rabbit pumpkins like nobody's business. I am the luckiest girl alive!

**At this moment, Andy is getting ready to go to his friend Toby's costume party. Toby is the one whose wife LOVES Andy. Remember? At their wedding she totally delivered her vows while looking directly at Andy, who was a groomsman. You can see it in their wedding pictures! See, originally she had liked Andy, oh so many years ago at IU, but Andy didn't like her back, and was annoyed by her, and so he fixed her up with his friend Toby to get rid of her. And now they're married, but she still carries a really obvious torch for Andy.

So Andy comes out of the bedroom just now, where he's supposed to be getting ready, and he's wearing nothing but his Speedo (remember, he was a swimmer/diver), with a towel slung over his shoulder, and asks me how I like his costume.

HA! I told you he was the funny!! It's a good thing for him I'm not jealous! Otherwise I might worry about that Halloweenie!

Apple-Cider Wishes and Candy-Corn Dreams, everyone!

Caution! It's all zen up in here.

So the first step on my path to peace and serenity is to live in the now.

I know that sounds really cheesy. Trust me, I know.

But I think I can see the practical usefulness of that idea.

For instance, sometimes I get frustrated by our teeny tiny house. It's a little 1950s brick bungalow, and it's pretty packed with 5 of us. There's only one bathroom, and the boys share a bedroom, and there's no place for a piano.

But, I got to thinking about how one day, we'll be in a bigger house, and the kids will all be off in their separate bedrooms, and we'll have to yell to hear each other, and we won't be all up in each other's space every moment. And in this future time, we'll look back on where we are now, and we'll remember how these were the good old days, when we were forced to live in REALLY close proximity to each other, and had to get along, and spent all our time together. We'll reminisce about this.

And so I decided I would try to live as much as I can, right now, in full awareness of how great this time together is. And I will try to remember that it won't be like this forever.

I will be cognizant that I am living in the good old days.

I know why Maya Angelou sings

I heard Maya Angelou on NPR the other day, and for the first time in my life, I wanted to be old.

If you look back to my very first post, I described the sort of person I most want to be: pointy, pencil-thin, sarcastic, remotely amused, above-it-all, aloof, and disdainful.

After hearing Maya radiate wisdom and compassion and warmth and love and wise-woman good humor, and after marvelling over the slow and easy, confident way she spoke, I have decided there is another option for the coolest way to be.

I want to be old and wise enough to just take for granted that every word I speak comes from experience, sympathy, knowledge, and deep affection for my fellow human beings.

I want to speak truth with a kind heart.

I think I'm growing up.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


Oh my goodness! The most awesome thing happened this afternoon!

I was able to pass on valuable, ancient lore today.

Noah, this kid in our carpool, is a freaking riot, DEEP in the throes of puberty and first girlfriend PDA, and I just love him. HI-larious, gangly, stick-figure-esque, zitty, shaggy, and adorable. Love. Him.

A smart, relatively innocent private-school kid, but a wisecracker, with HUGE potential to be a total stoner boy some day. Like, in a band.

Get this.

I was able to clue him in that if you watch "The Wizard of Oz" with the sound turned off, and you start Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" cd right at the MGM lion's third roar, they totally match up in the trippiest way, dude!

(If you've never heard of this before, check it out!)

The kid had never heard this before, and I could tell he was aware he was being passed some VERY IMPORTANT TEENAGE KNOWLEDGE right then. It was sort of a sacred moment. Seriously. And now he totally gets to go pass this along to all the International School kids, who may even pass it to their friends and loved ones across the globe! All because of me!

Best of all? He thinks I am the Queen. Of. Cool.


It was seriously awesome. I feel like a tribal elder, a wise woman of sorts. If you will.


Madonna Bonding

The other day, driving Ethan home from his choir practice, I changed the radio from NPR because hello! pledge drive! (I'm a bad bad woman, mooching from the public airwaves year after year without contributing.) and I was caught by surprise by the very exact beginning of a song that sounded extremely promising.

There was a sudden vacuum in the van as Ethan and I simultaneously pricked our ears foreward and sucked in our breath with excitement.

"Is that ABBA?!" I wondered aloud with wonder. "I think that's ABBA!"

(Oh. You don't even know. I wish I could provide you with a verbal montage here, set to the tune of "Waterloo," of all my hilarious, crucial, and heart-warming childhood moments that were soundtracked to ABBA.)

"Wait a second... is that Madonna?"

"I don't know Mom, but it's really good."

"I think that's Madonna. AND ABBA!"

"Shhh, Mom, this is a really good song."

"Oh my god. ABBA! And that IS Madonna! I know it is! She sounds great!"


So we pulled up into the driveway, cranked it up, and just sat there in the van until the song was over. Well, I wasn't ONLY sitting, of course. I was actually dancing while sitting down. Spastically. I'm sure anyone driving by would've had a nice chuckle at the nondescript little mini-van rockin' out in the mild-mannered driveway. And you know what? That song, to me, hearing it for the first time and being all on-the-verge-of-a-heart-attack over the sheer dance-club awesomeness of it? Was just about as good as sex.

No lie.

Back in my single days, I used to go out dancing to the same club every Saturday night, all by myself, just for the euphoria of dancing for hours. Being blissfully trance-dancing to really good dance music has always been akin to spiritual ecstasy for me. And, ridiculous as it may sound to some, the new Madonna single brought that all back to me. I would work out WILLINGLY to this music, and I hate working out with the fire of a fafillion suns.

But best of all? Was Ethan's reaction. He LOVED it, just as much as I did. He ran inside with me, right to the computer without either of us saying a word, and stood by me as I found Madonna's website and then we listened to it again, over the shoddy little computer speakers.

I was an opera major, originally. Have I disclosed this yet? Yes, I am an erstwhile opera diva.

I still do weddings, occasionally, but that's about it. Other than my occasional shower concerts. It's generally okay, but sometimes I miss it. Keenly.

So it's exceedingly cool when I am able to share musical moments with Ethan, who has inherited his vocal talent, and his musical taste, I feel safe in assuming, from me.

This is new, this bonding over shared amazement at new singles; this unspoken understanding of the lure of heavy bass lines, sparkling ABBA samples, and irresistible chug-chugging percussion.

My boy likes dance music! I'm so proud!

I can't wait to take him to his first real concert. Viva Madonna!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Chocolate cream, raspberry cream, HAIR CREAM?!

Proud to have passed on:

1) Ethan, at the age of 10 5/6, still believes in Santa Claus. I'm sure he's heard rumors, but he's not taking any chances. I have fiercely guarded his innocence, and it makes me REALLY happy that he's still essentially a kid. Sadly, these days, so many children at his age are not.

2) Simon, in the car or down time at home, will pick up a book or two or eleventy to pass the time. This makes me insanely joyful! Of course, it doesn't hurt that virtually every horizontal surface in the house is covered with reading material, but still. Yay reading!

Nervous that I might inadvertently pass on:

3) Hair issues. I fear I am already beginning to pass on my hair issues to Charlotte.

I HATE my hair. HATE! LOATHE! DESPISE! My hair is Marcia Brady straight. I know those of you with curly locks out there are like, "Lucky!" No. It's not attractive, Jennifer-Aniston straight. My hair has wispy ends, so it just looks flat and straggly naturally. Plus, I was imprinted in the 80s, as far as coifs go, so my preference would be for BIG! Not mall-hair big, (of course!) but rather: Thick, full, cascading, Renaissance-princess, Venus-on-the-half-shell, mermaid tresses. Big old loose waves. Romance-heroine hair. That's what I want. And not grey.

I can't wait for perms to come back in. I loved my spiral perms. *sigh* Good times.

So consequently I spend a LOT of money on cuts and colors and products, and a lot of time in the bathroom endeavoring to give my straight-straight hair some body and volume. I blow dry with the round brush. I hot roll every day. I spray it like your mother does. And then, I step outside in the Indiana humidity, and it all falls out. Flat again. And I spend the rest of the day cursing about it. Sometimes I come home and do it all over again. More than once. This is one of the many reasons I am miserable all summer.

I have never been, nor will I ever be satisfied with my hair.

So there Charlotte is with me in the bathroom this morning, watching like a hawk everything I'm doing, and when I mousse my hair, she reaches up and puts her wee hands in my hair and fluffs it with me, and then she reaches to her own straight little pigtails and applies the product to her own hair. Cute, right? But also? Scary. I want her to be more satisfied with her own natural attributes than I am.

I feel helpless about this. How can I instill good hair esteem in my daughter, when I hate and stress out about my own so very very much?

Monday, October 24, 2005

Do you have one of these too?

Confronted with Simon's floating head in our doorway, we wondered aloud,
"Where did his body go? We can't see it! It's invisible!"
We've almost got him believing it. This is totally going to be our Christmas card photo.

I'm Jo March

Am I a mommy blogger? At what point did I become a mommy blogger?

I set out to write this blog to exorcise my many personal grudge demons, so that I could escape the endless tape loop in my head, the one filled with the scripts of stuff I wish I'd said, and stuff I will say if ever I have the chance.

I've managed to purge a few. It is now easier to go to sleep at night. Thank you, internets, for contributing to my sanity quotient.

But I've still got a couple of WHOPPERS ricocheting around in my psyche, and threatening to bust out as we near the holiday season. These grudges involve my horrible Uncle Bert, and his daughter, my cousin Sarah. They are very long stories indeed, and pretty soon I might have to lay them down in some installment posts, because they can be crippling. Last year, for example, I single-handedly ruined Christmas. Because I'm so immature. According to my mother.

Just wait.

But one thing that blogging has helped me to realize is that my life is definitely composed of a greater measure of joy than of pain, mostly because of the family I've created with Andy, and the great big ball of hilarity and sleeplessness and annoyance and happiness that that entails.

I mean, in between the grudge catharses, I ended up documenting the random funny and/or freaky elements of my daily life as mom and wife. And these seem to have asserted themselves as foremost in this blog.

And that's... ok.

It is! It's so weird, to have once been this person who didn't even like kids, who felt so completely lame and retarded around them, and to have gradually become this total whizbang pro that I am today. I can multi-task like a supercomputer; nourish my kids' bodies, minds, and souls; and still retain a fairly significant cool factor.

So I have learned, much like everyone's favorite _Little Women_ protagonist, (well, I personally like Amy best, because Meg is boring and Beth- sigh- is insipidly and gag-worthily angelic, but whatEVER. JoJoJo!), to write what I know.

And I know mommy stuff.

I'm more than that, of course. We all are. I'm friend, and wife, and teacher, and artsy-fartsy girl, and bookworm, and black sheep, and geek, and scaredy-cat, and traveler, and fabulous diva, and loyal sister/daughter/sister-in-law, and writer.

I'm a writer.

Blogging has helped me realize that I'm MORE than just a grudge girl. I used to feel like all that emotional baggage and anger defined me. Writing this blog every day has helped me to uncover and discover the truth that I was living in all the time.

Ain't art grand?

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Sunday Morning Dilemma

Relevant Factoid #1: Andy and I, when we were first dating, discovered each other to be sleeping soul-mates. When Ethan was at his dad's for the weekend, and Andy and I were able to bunk together (EUPHEMISM!), we could easily pass 12 hours at a time snoozing in each other's company. It was delicious to find someone else who found the idea of rising and starting the day at 2:oo p.m. perfectly acceptable. Usually, our potential life partners would find such behavior alarmingly slug-like and would flee from the Vortex of Morpheus where Andy and I dwell. What a relief to have found each other!

(Tangent: Do you know what we serve in the Vortex of Morpheus? Brownies. With entire big-block chocolate bars melted over the top in lieu of icing. And that's it. We're fat in the Vortex of Morpheus. Seriously? Andy and I each gained like 10 pounds within our first 2 weeks of dating!)

Relevant Factoid #2: Unlike all the good and attentive parents of the world, who rise to greet their small children's first stirrings and plaintive calls on weekend mornings, and who immediately attend to said children's needs, such as diaper changes and breakfast... Andy and I, loyal denizens of the Vortex of Morpheus, roll over and drowse until the plaintive calls transform into demanding shouts. Then, we merely haul small children into our bed with us, tuck them in between us, and hope that they fall back asleep. This never works. The children crawl all over us, and anoint our heads with drops of milk shaken out of their bottles. They tumble perilously close to the edge of the bed, until finally we let them climb down to roam around our bedroom floor in the dark.

Relevant Factoid #3: Andy has lots and lots of pocket change. Andy's pocket change is probably breeding, there is so much of it. Mostly pennies. Andy's pocket change is strewn about our bedroom because when he changes out of his work clothes, he is in such a hurry to don his lounge pants that he rips the work pants off all Chippendales-break-away-pants style. And the pennies fly free!

Please process all relevant factoids before attempting to comprehend the sheer scope of the hilarity that is to follow.

SCENE: This morning, about 8:30 a.m., dark and chilly bedroom.

CAST: - Two sleepy-sleeperson, lazy-ass parents wrapped up in the bedsheets like mummies.
- One small, wakeful, fearlessly acrobatic one year old girl shaking milk out of her bottle onto her parents' heads, tweaking their noses, pulling their hair, and stomping on their tenderer body parts.

ANDY: Just put her on the floor.

ME: What if she eats a penny?

ANDY: Then she'll poop out 60 cents.

ME: How will she poop out 60 cents if she only eats one penny?

ANDY: The same way she turns raisins into grapes*.

...aaaaaaand - scene.

BWAH! My husband is the funny. Also, we're SO LAZY!!!

O Vortex of Morpheus, will you ever release us from your clutches?

* If you've never witnessed a baby's wondrous ability to rehydrate dried fruit through the miracle of digestion, I highly recommend it. It's magical! It doesn't work with banana chips, though.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The spoils of war

I feel I must preface this post with the I-shouldn't-even-have-to-say-it assertion that I love my kids. All of them, equally. Fierce love.


Simon and, to a lesser extent, Charlotte are driving me INSANE today, and have been for a while now. I'm freaking out to the point that I feel like I want to peel my skin off, if it will only STOP THE CRYING!

There is a war being waged between these two, and I am the prize. I'm Jerusalem. Simon is the Palestinians, and Charlotte is the Israelis, and I'm Jerusalem. I used to belong to Simon. Charlotte invaded. I'm the capital to both peoples. They both have legitimate claims to me. They cannot seem to split or share me. And so? The louder shall win. The one with the more advanced weaponry.

Is this metaphor in poor taste? I'm sorry. My brain is so addled from THE CRYING--DEAR GOD THE CRYING-- that I can no longer discern relevancy or employ tact. You have my sincerest apologies. Please forgive any gaffes I may commit. My brain has been shaken loose from its moorings in my skull by the supersonic and endless wailing.

Charlotte wants me to hold her 100% of the time, apparently. And something else. The old me would've cringed to admit this, please understand. The girl is a screamer, like nothing I've ever experienced from the boys, and I think it's because she's a girl. I don't behave any differently towards her, I promise. I don't snap into action at her every shriek, because that would just encourage this behavior. I only respond to the genuine emergencies, needs, and/or fears. I'm no puppet. She's just LOUD! And she screams ALL THE TIME! God. I really do think it's a girl thing, the piercing, angry-dolphin screams.

And, like any decent mother, biologically programmed to be upset by and respond to these sounds, I CAN'T CONCENTRATE ON ANYTHING when she's in this mode. Which is all the time. I pretend to ignore the blatantly manipulative fit-screams. I respond in a calm, quiet, rational voice.

I'm faking it.

Inside, I'm a giant ear in a chasm filled with fingernails and chalkboards.

And then there's Simon.

Simon, bless his heart, is not adjusting very well to being a middle child. At. All.

He is so desperately needy with both Andy and me that, honestly, no matter how much I empathize and understand where he's coming from, it's... distasteful to me. Like that one pitiful boyfriend you had where he liked you WAY more than you liked him, who made himself so totally your slave that he completely turned you off.

Uh oh. That was another inappropriate comparison, wasn't it? But this one was a simile! I know this because for two hours today I was a poetry teacher, and some residue of those two hours has remained in my consciousness. It won't last.

Simon cries at the drop of a hat, usually when Charlotte is also crying. He physically inserts himself between me and the baby whenever possible. He's incredibly clingy. Sometimes I catch him snatching things away from Charlotte, or, like, poking at her. I often discover him thwarting her movements around the room. And, for about the past 2 weeks, he has been getting out of his bed, in which he's been sleeping without a problem FOREVER, and creeping in between me and Andy at, like, 4:30 a.m. EVERY MORNING.

Most troubling, he's SO desperate for attention that he will act out in ways totally uncharacteristic for him, and you can see in his eyes that he's MISERABLE while he's doing it, but it's like a compulsion and he can't stop himself.

It's hard to watch.

And, trust me, Andy and I have been going out of our way to lavish him with alone time, and special outings, and story-readings, and everything else, but it's not enough to fill this black hole he's got going on where his former youngest-child certainty used to be.

He's got playdates with grandparents, and aunts and uncles, and his best friend, and special art classes at the children's museum, and cuddle sessions, and sometimes I even pick him up and just hold him in my lap like a baby, so desperate is he for that intense attention that babies demand.

And yet it continues. At this moment he is pawing at me and making sad, nonverbal, whiny-puppy sounds.

I don't know what else we can do. I'm so exhauted and spent at this point, so completely addlepated and high from lack of sleep and ministering to other people that I'm vibrating with anxiety and, like, seeing dead people.

But the crying continues.

Jerusalem endures, right?


Or does it get blown to smithereens in some apocalyptic end-of-the-world scenario?

Maybe it's better not to know.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


For those of you who've been wondering about Luka, she's not Luka.

I took your advice (thank you so much for your intelligent replies, by the way), and spoke to the director of the school, just voicing my concerns (luckily she's someone I'm friendly with, and have known for a long time, so I was able to speak with her in an informal sort of way) and what led me to my suspicions.

I was so off.

Luka has breast cancer. She is having a mastectomy this week. It's not common knowledge, and she, for reasons I certainly would never quibble with, didn't share her medical trauma with me. We're only playdate-mom-friendly; not best-friend-friendly, you know?

That's why the dad was weird with me. He wasn't sure what I knew, and (respecting his wife's privacy) didn't want to overshare if I was clueless. It also explains his being around all the time, and preoccupied, and his shepherding hand on her back. And why she's lost a lot of weight recently. And has seemed oddly distracted. And why my something-isn't-right-here radar was bleeping so loudly.

And why the little girl hasn't been in school. She's too freaked out by everything her mom is going through, and wants to be with her all the time.

I'm so glad I was tactful and restrained. Let this be a lesson to all of us to proceed with caution. When you're working a puzzle, the picture doesn't always turn out like you thought, does it?

I am happy to have been wrong, though I am concerned for her on an entirely different level now. I hope everything works out for them. That's serious business.

It's weird to know that someone you only know casually is going through something so upsetting. I don't know them well enough to be of any comfort, or to matter in the slightest. But I will be saying some non-institutionalized-religion prayers anyway. Because, like any English major worth her salt, I believe in the power of the word to affect reality.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

New Style Anti Sag Superhero Pants

Once, I saw a picture of Robert Frost in his twilight years, and his pants were pulled up about 2 inches higher than Andy's pants in this picture.
There's something so... striking... about a man with a 4 inch torso, don't you think?
Witness how we torture our oldest boy.
Okay, I know I said before that my see-through-shirt picture was the funniest picture in the world to me, but I guess I was lying because really, these 2 take the proverbial cake. Of hilarity!
My husband is the MAN!

Barmy Cat and Dust Bunny

Today Spooky lost her marbles.
The. Pat. Mat...
Cannot. Look. Away!
It looks like water, but my paw isn't getting wet!
Heh. About an hour ago, I looked over and noticed that Spooky had poofed up all big and scared, and was twitching at Charlotte's pat mat. Every once in a while, my poor little freaked-out feline would bat at it with a frightened but inevitably curious paw. And then jump back and watch the mesmerizing foam sea creatures float around in the incomprehensibly un-wet water.
An hour later, she's still at it.
There has been no diminishment of her interest or intensity. Simon and I are sitting here watching her. This is hilarious! She's digging under it now, trying to feel the water that she can see, but not touch. She's circling it, and working up the courage to walk on it... I do believe she's learning cause and effect!
You know, Charlotte won't go near it. She's too busy strewing the bathroom trash around the house, and climbing things.
I'm glad it's amusing somebody!
Side note: Charlotte has a compulsion to squeeze herself into the darkest, tightest nooks and crannies. She is like another dust bunny. Wherever we go, she will head immediately for the perimeter of the room, and sequester herself in a dim corner. She tries to crawl back behind the toilet, for goodness' sake! She also has to manically investigate any container of trash she comes across. She just digs right in, and wings things over her shoulder in her quest to reach the bottom of this! No pile of rubbish shall go un-rooted-through! Same thing with full-to-overflowing laundry baskets! What's under there! What's behind that! What are you hiding from me?!
I'm wondering if her fascination for places we don't normally inhabit, and things we throw away, is going to translate into some future career path.
Found Object Artist?
Bag Lady?

Monday, October 17, 2005

A few weekend projects...

Look what I did this weekend:
Family Tree Project Extraordinaire!

La Nourriture de la Chine! En Francais!

Well, of course, these are Ethan's projects. But you know how that goes. They were my projects too. My entire weekend was consumed not only with these two whoppers, but with all they entailed. I feel like noting those particulars here. Shall I? I think I shall.

  • Schedule time on Saturday for Ethan to meet with Becky, his partner on La Nourriture de la Chine project. (Please forgive my lack of accents and proper symbols. I don't know how to make those work here.)
  • Spend Friday night combing French websites for relevant information.
  • Extract and print information.
  • Help Ethan to translate information, so that he can pick and choose what he'd like to include.
  • Work together with Ethan to build text on La Cuisine Chinoise pour les Occasions Speciales, comme les mariages, l'annee nouvelle Chinoise, et les fetes pour les nouveaux-nes.
  • Search Google Images for workable pictures of moon cakes and dragon & phoenix cakes, and red eggs, to embed in the text.
  • Work with Ethan to translate our fried rice recipe into French, and then type it up.
  • Email these documents to my dad, because 1) we are conveniently out of printer paper and 2) we do not have a color printer.
  • Put together a craft sack to take to Becky's house.
  • **On Saturday, Andy spends the morning with the 2 smaller kids, as Simon has a "Spooktacular Science" class at the Children's Museum. (The Indianapolis Children's Museum rocks, people!) He then spends the afternoon with them in the company of his mother at the Hoosier Storytelling Festival. Which Ethan and I would've loved to attend. But such was not to be.**
  • On Saturday, Ethan and I go to the cute little Oriental grocery store by my house, and locate giant sack of chopsticks, good soy sauce, 25 individually-wrapped fortune cookies, and some miscellaneous decorative paper thingies, the actual use for which totally eludes both me and the store owner, but which will look kick-ass on the posters.
  • Drive to my mom & dad's to pick up copies of the text to cut up and use on the poster, and also for Ethan to read in front of the class.
  • Ask mom & dad to find cool old family pictures for use on Family Tree Project, which we will come work on on Sunday.
  • Head to Becky's lovely house 45 minutes away out in rich-people-land, in beautiful rolling foothills, with the meandering creek through the neighborhood, and help the kids sort out who will do what on the project, and how to lay it out.
  • Discover that they have so much information, that they will need one of the other special foam-core project boards that are back in my basement.
  • Leave, run a few errands, return with second project board, go over plans, glue down corners that Ethan has missed, shake off extra rice that has been used as a decorating element.
  • Home, dinner, send Andy to the grocery store for a few necessities, including the ingredients for the fried rice, which Ethan and I are making for the entire class, as a component part of his project, put the kids to bed, work on my freelance project (I'm writing an online speech course for a local textbook publishing company to sell to an online university that's located in Virginia) that's due to the client Monday, until 1:30 am.
  • **Side note: Andy comes home from the grocery store with a gorgeous bunch of flowers for me, just because he knows I'm working my ass off this weekend and every now and then he brings me flowers because I'm a sucker for them and I love them. Nice!**
  • Up early on Sunday, to help get Andy and the kids out the door to Waterman's Farm, for their fall festival including corn maze, various pumpkin and apple-related activities and hijinks, and the pumpkin patch.
  • I work on my freelance stuff until they get home around late-lunch time, at which time I break for a much-needed shower, with hair-washing!
  • Ethan and I revise and correct his two family "stories" he had typed up and turned in a week ago, final copies of which are to go on the family tree poster.
  • Email finished stories to my dad because we're out of printer paper and I forgot to have Andy get some at the store last night.
  • Ethan and I (still wet-headed) go over to my parents', last blank project board and craft supply sack in hand.
  • At my parents', we sort through the millionty-hundred fabulous old pictures my mother has selected, as she tells Ethan who the people are, and shares a bit about them.
  • Give precious pictures to my feverish and ailing father, who dutifully scans them for us, so that we won't be sticking the fragile old photos to a freaking poster board with glue.
  • Cut out the scanned pictures.
  • Type out captions for the photos.
  • Cut out the captions.
  • Create layout.
  • Glue the eleventy-seven pictures and captions painstakingly onto the project board.
  • Glue the stories to the project board.
  • Google-Image some maps of all the countries from which our people hail: Ireland, England, Holland, Germany, Sweden, and Spain. (Dang! I forgot Scotland!)
  • Staple the maps together and glue the packet onto the project board.
  • Spend like an hour using a ruler to measure out the lines for the family tree diagram, trying to space them correctly across a 9 1/2 by 11 inch piece of construction paper so that you have one, centered, 2 1/2 inch line for Ethan's name on the left, and end up with 16 evenly-spaced 2 1/2 inch lines for the great-great grandparents on the right. It's WAY harder than it looks, especially if you're an insane perfectionist type person.
  • Ethan fills in the tree diagram with names and birthdates, and creates a title section, and we're done! And it's 8:00 pm! And we haven't eaten dinner!
  • Hit KFC on the way home. Get home, hug the 2 smaller children I haven't seen all day, eat dinner, make sure Ethan showers, it's now past bed-time and there is still fried rice to be made! I decide not to make Ethan stay up late with me.
  • Send Ethan to bed, put in a load of laundry, ask Andy to iron Ethan's Chinese outfit my brother brought back from Hong Kong for him, so that Ethan can wear it to school in the morning instead of his uniform because Ethan and Becky are presenting first, because they will have hot food to serve to everyone.
  • Make fried rice which, happily, turns out perfectly.
  • Dust off pyrex hot food carrier thingie.
  • Refrigerate rice.
  • Remember to thaw ground beef for a quickie dinner tomorrow for Ethan. (I'm actually flabbergasted that I remembered that!)
  • Remember to fill out the advance paperwork the skin doctor people sent to me a month and a half ago when I made the appointment for tomorrow's date, so that I wouldn't have to sit around for half an hour in the office doing it before I could go get my foot plantar thingie (left over from my pregnancy with Charlotte - ew!) removed.
  • Remember to put this in my purse so I won't forget it in the morning.
  • Take pictures of poster boards so I can remember these touching moments in the future.
  • Get together Ethan's uniform clothes that he will need to change into, the bag with the chopsticks and the fortune cookies, and the ladle for the rice.
  • Telephone my sister-in-law to tell her I will drive Ethan in the morning, because he's got so dang much to bring with him, and I'm hoping I will be able to catch their presentation before I have to jet off to get Simon to preschool on time, and then go to my doctor's appointment.
  • Work on my freelance work until 4:00 am, at which point I zip all the files, attach them to an email to my supervisor lady and my instructional designer, and go to bed.
  • Two hours later... hit snooze alarm a couple of times, get out of bed at 6:22 am.
  • Grab the baby, her milk bottle, her clothes, shoes, diaper and wipes and deposit her with Andy so that he can help by getting her ready.
  • Grab clothes for Simon out of the drier, and steer him into our room with Andy for supervision of the self-dressing process, which would never occur unless someone prods him with a hot poker.
  • Make sure Ethan is up and moving. Ask him to fix his own lunch aujourd'hui.
  • Take shower and get ready.
  • Meanwhile, Andy has helped by making breakfast for the smaller 2 kids, and making coffee. Ethan is eating an apple. Make him also consume granola bar, and take his medicine.
  • Warm up rice and hot pack thingie in the microwave.
  • Jackets! It's suddenly 40 degrees!
  • Get all eye makeup done except mascara.
  • Load all stuff into van.
  • Have all kids locked and loaded into the van by 7:45, which is 15 minutes later than we should be leaving, to get to school by 8:00 am.
  • Apply mascara on the way!

... And this is how I managed to pass an entire weekend without feeling like I experienced a weekend at all. My heart is beating really fast, and I still have work to do! Rushrushrush!

And then I ended up not being able to see the presentation, because the class first had to do their dictee, and corriger le, and by the time that was over I had to go, or I would've been late to get Simon to school, and also, then, to my doctor's appointment!


Man. I'm sorry to have inflicted that ludicrously long list on you all, but I think I had to get it out of me, so that I could think about anything else at all. I was beginning to feel like my mind and soul and inner being was nothing more than a bullet-pointed to-do list.


Thank heavens for blogging!

It's all worth it. I'm losing my mind, but it's all worth it.

Friday, October 14, 2005

10 Days After Her First Birthday...

Charlotte Walks!
(Well, not in these pictures, obviously, but right after this! These pictures were just for gratuitous cuteness' sake. And the frog bootie. Which, incidentally, looks quite hilarious when she's walking. Which she's doing! All by herself! YAY!)
Next Stop, Terrible Twos.


Did you all know that Harriet Miers has a blog?


(My favorite part is the your/you're confusion in the intro material at the top. Heh.)

10 Year Old Boy Gives Mother a Break

My green-eyed good-hearted boy

I was tootootoo busy yesterday to post this, but something happened that was so awesome I have to note it here.

We usually have to get up and going really early, because Ethan's school is about 30 minutes away, and even EARLIER when I drive the carpool, because I've got to dress and feed all 3 of them. So mornings are hard.

Yesterday, I was SO tired, because I'd been at one of my eleventy-hundred jobs until 11:30 pm, and it too is a half an hour away (as is EVERYTHING except downtown Indianapolis, from my house), so I didn't get home until midnight.

So when the alarm went off at 6, and I hauled my sorry self out of bed, imagine my surprise to find Ethan up, dressed, and sitting quietly on the couch playing with his Tamagotchi! He informed me that he had made his own lunch, fed himself breakfast, and was ready to go.


I was able to give him a BIG hug, take a breath, make some coffee, and sit quietly with him for a few minutes before my sister-in-law arrived to take him to school.

What a lovely morning. What a lovely child.

My best friend who's known me since 5th grade likes to remind me that when we were little, and mapping out our imaginary futures, I used to always say that someday when I was 26, I'd have a blonde-haired, green-eyed Scorpio boy child. It's weird to both of us that I was right.

He's so wondrous, so composed and kind, so exactly what I wanted, that sometimes I think I may have imagined him into being.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

File This Under What Was I Thinking

Introducing... PALS! BWAH! Hahahahahahahaha!!!
This is seriously the single-most hilarious picture in the whole freaking wide world to me. It's actually Philbug's photo, but I requested he send it to me, so I could post it here and mock myself. Phil used this as the wallpaper on his computer for the LONGEST time.
Hee hee hee hee hee! Oh. My. God.
Okay, in my defense, the bra TOTALLY DIDN'T SHOW THROUGH when there was no camera flash to illuminate it. I swear. Heh. This was fairly recently after I had had Charlotte last year, and I had gotten my Mrs. Robinson streak freshly updated in my former assymetrical bob, and I was feeling all sassy, and I was out with my very special friends Phil, Ashley, and ErinP, and sometimes I will dress extra sassily around them because they humor me.
I told you I was always overdressed.
The 3D glasses were for Cirque de Soleil's "Journey of Man" at the IMAX. We forced the usher to take this picture. HA! What must he have been thinking?!
I got that jacket at the very same store where Madonna exchanges her pyramid jacket for the sequined boots, and Rosanna Arquette picks up said jacket, in "Desperately Seeking Susan!" It's called Love Saves the Day, and it's in Manhattan. Very cool vintage store.

Even funnier to me at this moment is that I discovered today that my youngest brother (owner of Biskit, spaz-hound extraordinaire) checks in here regularly, and now I have made his eyes bleed!

Made you look!

HA HA HA HA HA!!!! *sigh*

I totally needed that. Thanks, Philbug.

Je Suis Une Dork

Simon and Charlotte are leaning back on her lavender fuzzy pillow. This was her birthday present from both the boys, because every time we go to Meier, and pass the bedding aisles, she goes INSANE for these things, and pats them, and strokes them, and makes cooing noises, and lays her head on them in the sweetest fashion. The thing looks like someone skinned a muppet, but that's okay. It makes her really really happy. And that's a good thing.
Striped Tights!
New Birthday Rug!
Because I had to cheer myself, and not think about Luka for a few minutes.
You know what I do with the carpool kids when I am in a bad mood in the mornings? It started last year one random day, when some muse of dorkitude sat on my shoulder and whispered in my ear. As I whooshed down the highway, I pulled up even with this, like, 24-ish year old guy who looked just as grumpy as I, and, to the shock and awe and utter embarrassment of all the kids (7 including Charlotte - though I guess she was too little to know what was going on) I proceeded to wave spazzily at him until he noticed me, and finally cracked a grin and waved back.
I was in my pyjamas, with my bed head and my glasses on, and I looked like total hell, waving like a loon at this guy. But it was fun!
Salute, my brother!...working for the man! But random joy still reigns!
I talked the youngest kids into doing this with me, and pretty soon they were ALL into it, with the right and the left sides of the van vying to see how many people they could get to wave back at them. Once we were off the highway, and stopping at stoplights, they included pedestrians in their contest. HA! The hilarity of these peoples' surprised faces, and then near-universal delight at the sight of a vanload of kids waving maniacally at them. It was so bitchen!
I have to be in the right mood (sleepy/grumpy but ready to laugh my way out of it), but we still spread the love in this fashion every once in while. It's quite the mood elevator.
I think I'll have to be proposing a game when next I drive. Because I feel like I am living in an after-school special, and it's seriously bumming me out. (See below.)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Her Name is Luka

I am going to put a serious call out for advice right now, because I'm pretty sure I'm having my first encounter with domestic violence and I don't know what to do about it. At all.

There is this mother of one of the children at Simon's preschool who I'm pretty friendly with. She has even watched Charlotte for me a couple of times, last year. Which, oh my GOD, totally gives me the shivers now. I also had lunch with her a couple of times.

Once, last year, as I was entering the church (early) to pick Simon up, she ran in all freaked out. She had a black eye. She was shaking. She told me that she had been returning a book at the library, and a scary homeless guy came up to her in the parking lot, and punched her and stole her wedding ring. !! I remember giving her a hug, and expressing my shock, and offering to do whatever she needed to do, but I also remember wondering why she wasn't still with the police, filing a report, or doing whatever one does when one is beat up and mugged. Also, I remember thinking that she just wasn't acting exactly as I would act if that had happened to me. Like, she wasn't upset enough, if that makes sense. No tears or anything.

But that's as much as I felt. I bring it up now, because it's a piece I am putting into a puzzle.

Last year, I never really saw her husband very much. But when I did, he seemed very quiet and mild, and he is cute, with this very baby face, and soft, clear skin. He also looks REALLY young. Honestly, my sometimes ESP was not pinging, even a tiny bit.

But this year, suddenly he's around a lot, like, shepherding the woman through the halls, with his hand on the small of her back, and when I go to talk to them, he never makes eye contact. Which is HUGE creepiness factor for me. (BGH does it too.) He never says a word. He's just there. I just thought maybe he's got a night job now, or something.

Normally this woman is very very cheery and friendly and happy and she LOVES Charlotte SO much. She brings her 4 year old daughter to Simon's class 3 days a week, and her 2 1/2 year old boy a couple of days a week. A couple of weeks ago, the daughter had been absent from Simon's class like twice in a row, but the mother was there delivering the boy, and I asked her what was up with the girl, and she told me she had woken up screaming and crying, and they don't know what's wrong, yada yada, they're doing tests and think it may be migraines.

In a 4 year old? I asked. Wow. Weird.

And she agrees, and says she has them herself. And the mom seems really... tired? down? introverted when usually she's quite extroverted? I don't know exactly. Just different. Less.

Then, out in the parking lot, we were talking and she was kind of distracted, and said she herself wasn't feeling well, and said goodbye. After I strapped my 2 into the van, as I was driving off, I noticed that she was still there. Her little boy was sitting in his car seat, and she was in the driver's seat, with the seat reclined, and her sunglasses on, and her hands up on her forehead.

And something about that day gave me chills of weirdness. My spidey sense was tinging in a major way.

That was Friday. I haven't seen her, or her son or daughter since.

Today, though, as I was going in to pick up Simon, I saw her husband taking the boy out. I stopped him with a friendly "Hi!" and here's the conversation that ensued:

ME: "How are xyz and abc doing?" (big friendly smile on my face - names changed, obviously)

HIM: "....................with?............" (it was a long, drawn-out 'wiiiiith' that had a questioning tone to it, like he had no idea to what the fuck I was referring.)


HIM: "Uh yeah, well, she's, uh, doing better, yeah."

ME: (knowing I've got an opportunity to watch his reactions here while seeming completely clueless) "And when I saw xyz on Friday, she wasn't feeling well either. "

HIM: "Yeahwellshewenttothedoctorandgotsomemedicinesoshe'sdoingbetter. Come on 123, let's go."

ME: "Tell xyz and abc I said hi, and I hope they feel better soon!"

I think that abc might have a black eye too, and that's why she hasn't been to school in 2 weeks.

All my instincts tell me something is very wrong here. My bullshit detector has been going off since the beginning, but now I have more pieces, and I definitely have a puzzle.

My fears are:

(1) I'm totally off-base.
(2) There is something wrong, but it's not what I think. I suppose they could be in the witness protection program, or something.
(3) If I dig around, or let her know of my concern, or clue him in that I'm aware something is up, mom and daughter and possibly son will bear the brunt of my nosiness/concern.
(4) If there is domestic abuse here, and I suspect it but don't do anything about it, one of those children, or the mom could end up seriously hurt.

Check out #s 3 & 4 there. That's my dilemma. If I do something - they may be hurt. If I don't do something - they may be hurt.

Also, I wouldn't want to blow the whistle on a situation I am TOTALLY misreading. That would be terrible!

I feel like I don't know enough to call it either way. I can't just call the police and be like, "Officers, my womanly intuition tells me there is something amiss here. Would you please disregard probable cause and check it out?"

Ack!! I quite sincerely am at a loss.

Please let me know what you think I should do, if anything.

A Must See and A Vision

This? Completely and utterly rocks.


I don't intend for this to be a political blog, but every once in a while, I might celebrate a searingly-well-said expression of something I'd like to say, but don't have the necessary political vocabulary to do so.

This morning on the news, there was footage of a little 4 year old Pakistani boy being rescued from the rubble. They showed the micro-camera footage from that teensy wire-like thingy that they lowered through the cracks to see if anyone was down there, and there he was. After how many days?

Simon's age.

BIG eyes and beautiful, this little little boy, still alive, and dearmercifulspiritIdon'tevenbelieveinanymore - what that innocent child must've gone through, huddled there for days all alone in the dark, with no food or water, I don't even want to comtemplate.

It really got to me. Thinking about my own small boy, and how I would feel, and how he would feel.

Or if I lost him.

And there are entire schools filled with children who are now gone. Those buildings are just dust. Flattened.

Sometimes, the sadness and the helpless fury over what goes on in this world, whether through natural phenomena or man's inhumanity, they make it difficult to breathe.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

On a lighter note...

Birthday Poncho!

Before Charlotte was born, I completely vetoed pink. I was all phobic, and righteously indignant about how I refused to quarantine her in the rose-colored box labeled "girls." I would have panic attacks every time someone gave me a sleeper with tiny rosebuds, and the word "pretty" scattered all over it like salt in a wound.

Why don't they say "smart?!" I would huffily exclaim to whomever would listen for .07 of a second. "Simon's and Ethan's clothes never said "handsome" all over them!"

Look at her now. She's wearing a big old pink poncho, and I LOVE it.

I'm still leery of the pink, in large doses. I still absolutely veto any article of clothing with the words "Princess," "Angel," "Cute," "Sweet," or, like, "Shopaholic" on it. Etcetera, etcetera.

But that flowered poncho snuck in right under the radar, yesiree.

Merci bien to Ashley, a true Southern lady, make-up artiste, and style maven extraordinaire who knew a Flapdoodles bargain when she saw one. And a miniature fellow fashionista.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Mission Fairy Party - Complete!

Winsome little fairy - I SWEAR I didn't pose her!
Fairy Girls - Charlotte and my niece Annabelle
My artistic youngest brother Chris spends time on the scrapbook
Craft Table! That's my niece Gaelle helping Simon, my nephew Gage saluting someone in the distance, Ethan in turquoise at the end, our neighbor Aaron in the navy, and Simon's best buddy Matt with his dad in the distance. The kids are decorating their masks.
Masks Complete! Hee!
Simon, Charlotte, ErinP, and a BIG bunch of balloons!
Photographatrix extraordinaire and incredibly wonderful person Julie, having HER picture taken for a change, with Charlula the gay pride fairy. (Is that redundant?)
Also: please note BGH (!!) looming in the background on the left. With his brand new big gay mustache! (See my Un! Comfortable! entry in the September archives for explanation of BGH.)
Sometimes she just doesn't even look real to me. I swear. How did that achingly adorable little creature come from me? I am so lucky.
The party was a great success. We are wallowing in an embarrassment of riches. Charlotte passed out at 5 pm on the way home, and hasn't woken up since. We just finished our pizza, and soon we shall be slumbering all. I'm exhausted. I was up until 2 am last night getting everything together, and going over my to-do list, and worrying, and checking out new blogs. Hee! Oh, and watching Saturday Night Live, which was hilarious for a change! (I have a tiny crush on Jon Heder now.) I'll have to provide party particulars tomorrow.
Nighty Night!

Overheard at Breakfast

My husband and Simon were having a conversation this morning. I was listening. Guess what I learned?

Simon has monster friends. Here are their names:

Giant Tarantula
Blue Power Ranger
Really Strong Light
Door That Whacks You
TV That Stings You
First of all, I don't think that the Blue Power Ranger would enjoy being characterized as a monster. Sure, he wears a mask, but he's a crime fighter, and thusly wears the requisite uniform!

Secondly, TV that stings you? Surreal. Creepy. I give it a 9 on the unintentional irony scale.

Door that whacks you? Understandable. Especially when you're 4. That one's a mutha.

But I gotta say... Really Strong Light?

BEWARE the *Really* *Strong* *LIGHT*!!!

I wonder what happened to him to engender the Really Strong Light monster. And then what happened that allowed him to befriend it. In his MIND.

Heh. I love my small boy.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Naked Jakes

My husband has no idea at all how cool I am.

Well, he used to, sort of.

We met initially in film class, when he was like, all of 21, and I was, like, 29, and dating some 19 year old I had met at the coffee shop where I studied late at night and graded papers and stuff. I know... You don't have to say it... LUCKY! Hee. Well, ok, it was sort of lame. But also fun!

Anyway, husband was this shySHYshy Eddie-Vedder-looking long-haired hippy boy who always wore the same brown cords and forest green zip-up sweatshirt jacket, and had little round glasses. He and I and some crazy dude were the only 3 smokers, so we met on smoke breaks. And as it was an evening class, after a bit, he graciously offered to walk me to my car. Sheniqua, I called her. She was my giant, ghetto, white 1986 Mercury Grand Marquis with tan leather interior. Which used to belong to my grandma. Loved that car.

I could sort of tell he had kind of a crush on me. I was all busy being my flamboyantly-sexy-dressing, gothy self. All up in fishnets in the middle of summer. You know. Plus, he was just sooooooo shy, and cute, but in more of a awwww-little-puppy-can-I-pat-you-on-the-head sort of way.

So we went our separate ways.

A year or so later, I saw him again, working in the campus coffee shop, and he had cut his hair, and it was like when Jon BonJovi cut his mop off and suddenly he was cute! It was like that! Andy was rowr! Meow! CUTE! (Which is the total opposite of how it usually works with me, in that boys usually have to grow their hair OUT for me to find them cute. Hmmm.)

So I began flirting with him hardcore, and stopping in all the time, remembering how he had this little shyboy crush on me and thinking I could just snap my fingers and whisk him into my lair or something. But, curiously, he DID NOT FLIRT BACK WITH ME!!!

What is this?

Who is this boy who thinks he can resist me?

I was hooked.

Andy says now that he was totally doing that on purpose, that playing hard to get, but I don't know if I believe him. He might have been just too shy to flirt. Maybe. I still don't know...

See how he still keeps me on my toes? Smart, that.

Anyway, so here was this meek little shyhippyboy who wouldn't flirt back with me, and was now more irresistibly cute than ever, and so I began pulling out all the stops to try to attract his notice. One time, I was outside in the courtyard smoking, and I noticed him come out of the building and sit down right outside it, on the steps, and so I thought for sure he would notice me, as I WAS wearing my totally noticeable blue velvet ensemble, and so I affected a wan and sad pose, and stared sadly at my feet, and the sky, and sighed a lot -- clearly an open invitation for him to come over and ask what was wrong and attempt to comfort me -- but he TOTALLY IGNORED ME, finished smoking and went back in the building!

What EEEZ THEES?! Does. Not. Compute!

And he never gave me free coffee either. Which I found out later was standard practice, the free coffee, amongst the coffee shop employees, for their friends and acquaintances, and potential lovahs. But not me. Harumpf. I'll never let him forget that.

So then later I signed up for a Dickens and Eliot grad seminar, and lo and behold there he was in the class, and I had just broken up with cheater-cheater-pumpkin-eater from my Grad School Grudge entry, and was smarting hard from that whole experience, and so I basically cornered him and forced him to go out with me. And he went home and changed into a big, creamy fair isle fisherman sweater, and was all creamy and chocolatey and delicious and the rest is history. Pretty soon we were rockin' Sheniqua and drinking bottles of wine on late night playgrounds and getting married, and stuff.

So he used to know I was cool.

He says that he signed up for that seminar in the first place because he knew I'd be in it. *blush* *grin* And he was right. The Victorians, they are my peeps.

He did this because I was interesting and attractive.

But lately I'm so freaking domestic and rushed and busy and mom that I don't seem so cool anymore. And most of those old sexy clothes don't fit any more. (For NOW! They WILL AGAIN!!)

So I'm only cool and fun when I go out with my theatre friends (because I met them at the dinner theatre where we all worked - Beef & Boards), Erin P., Ashley, and Philbug.

We are, respectively: Pregnor, Adultor, Lesbor, and the Sodomite. PALS. So christened by Andy, the ever-hilarious. I'm Pregnor. Those names reveal something about us. Can you guess? HEE!!

With these people I am still hilarious, and I feel great about myself. I bask in their good company. So last night, Andy and I went to the opera (Bizet's The Pearl Fishers), in which Phil (the Sodomite) was a chorus member, and then met Ashley (Lesbor) for after-show drinks at the Red Key Tavern. At like 11:30! At night! The Red Key is a delightful little old-skool imbibing establishment where the jukebox only plays 40s standards, and the cranky owner is this WWII buff, who has all these model airplanes hanging from the ceiling, and all these rules about proper behavior on the part of his patrons, and he WILL kick you out if you don't hang up your coat on the coat rack or say thank you to the waitress. He's sort of like the Soup Nazi, but more loveably curmudgonly, and has quite a cult following.

Anyway, sadly ErinP (Adultor) couldn't join us, but 2 out of 3 ain't bad. So I was determined to 1) prove to Andy how cool and funny I still am and 2) have a fantastic date night followed by some good good lovin'. I had gotten my 15 year old niece, who owed me babysitting time because I bought her a black arm band at the Green Day concert, to agree to stay pretty late, and we were set.

SO. MUCH. FUN! From the diva's boob almost popping out on stage; to the boy dancer almost dropping the girl dancer on her head; to Andy's hand on my thigh in the darkness during the performance; to the waitress making fun of me for ordering a slow gin fizz; to the 2 "Naked Jakes" I actually drank; to the happy buzz; to the 2 cigarettes Andy lit for me and I smoked (I KNOW! Shh! I'm not starting up again, I promise); to regaling everyone with stories about how back in the 90s when I was the most. affected. thing. ever. I used to totally and quite seriously use one of those telescoping cigarette holders to smoke, even in the CAR, and I used to use a MUFF instead of gloves or mittens in the winter; to laughing until I cried off half my eyeliner; to the *ahem* *wink,wink, nudge, nudge,* it was PERFECT! Yaaaaaaaaaaayyy!

My husband still loves me, and still sees me! Wahooooooo!!!!!

God I needed that.

Plus: I'm still cool. What a relief!