Sunday, December 22, 2013

There's too many noodles in my soup....ughhhh........

    Having stomach flu while caring for a small child is a special kind of hell. Bug got it first, then Gage and I got it at the same time a couple days later. Luckily I had some help, my In-Laws came and took Bug for a few hours so I could shit myself in peace. But I still managed to do 3 loads of laundry and get some basic groceries for the next couple days while the virus was still just starting to brew in my guts. I had to. I knew I'd be down for the count for 48 hrs and Husband turns into a dick when we're ill, so supplies and preparations had to happen before the river of vomit blew through the house. How is he a dick? I shall fill you in.

     Husband hates it when we're sick, and the first time the flu went through the house he was actually MAD that we got it. Mad at us. Snapped at us for walking into the kitchen to get water, for sitting on the couch to watch TV, etc. For spreading our germs. He actually lectured me while I was miserable with flu, for getting infected with it, because he "didn't have time to be sick". What an ass, right? But when HE gets sick, he needs a fucking bell to summon me with, has a long list of very specific food and beverage and DVD items he has to have from the store, and complains that there are too many noodles in his chicken soup. Pfffttt....

     This time, though, he wasn't a dick, surprisingly. He totally helped take care of stuff, and me, and apologized for being a dick last time around. But he did complain that going to speech therapy with Bug is probably going to get us sick all the time. He's probably right about that but what can we do? We have to go, so I guess we just need to load up on our vitamins before we head out.

     Speech therapy is going great! Bug likes her therapists and I am learning new ways to help her each time we go. She's learning new signs and I'm trying to be harder on her by requiring her to attempt new sounds and signs to get what she wants instead of just pointing and batting her eyes. She literally gets by on her looks to get what she wants and needs. It's kind of amazing that she's not even two but has already figured out "feminine wiles".

     We are getting closer to when B will be coming to live with us, and I get more excited every day. It just feels right. Like it's supposed to be this way. His Mom goes back and forth between hospital and rehab facility, and is nearly impossible to get ahold of, but a friend is in contact with her so I'm gonna send pictures of our house and B's room, the high school, etc., so his Mom can see that he will be taken care of. I'm really scared for her, but I'm trying to stay positive and hope that she'll heal soon and get back on her feet. That's all I can do.

     I'm the only one in this house who likes Christmas, so I'm making Christmas magic for Bug all by myself. It's a lot of work! I took her to the parade downtown with Princess L and family, it was a lot of fun. Our city has so much to offer for young families, it's really cool.


    Then we took the girls to see Santa at the mall. That did not go as well. Oh well. Maybe next year.....


     I put Christmas music on during the day and sing carols to her, I make cookies and ornaments and gifts for people, special meals for the family, pickled veggies, and basically go Christmas crazy. I don't think I'll get to make Polish food this year, though. Maybe Kruschiki, but that's it. Too much work and not enough time. Plus, with Gage gone each winter break, it's kind of strange going all out without both my kids here. I'm hoping that one year I'll have both boys here with us for Christmas. Even if it takes waiting until they graduate high school, I'll still be happy!

     Mom moved to her new house finally! It's off the mountain and all one level so she can get around easier, and be closer to friends and family in town. But it is a big change and scared her a little. She is depressed again and mad at Dad for leaving her, says she's lonely, but won't make plans with her friends, and generally won't try to help herself feel better. It frustrates me. Her dementia moments get scarier for me each time it happens, and it makes me feel helpless that I can't do anything. My brother takes excellent care of her, but she really needs constant care in my opinion. The problem is that she won't let my brother hire anyone. It's her money and she is still in charge of her affairs, so supposedly we have to wait until something bad happens to her before we take control of her care completely. That is even more frustrating.
     Ugh...I need to get off this subject before I get all depressed.

     Let me show you what I made! These are the gifts for the women in the family:
Bath salt cubes

          The best part is that I made these with stuff I already had in the house! I got the recipe from Martha Stewart, and made the ornaments with a cornstarch and baking soda dough. Easy.

     I should give you the recipe for Kruschiki too. They're these light, delicious and simple Polish cookies that I adore. Perfect to serve with coffee, or for dessert after a huge meal when you want something sweet but not rich. Like after Christmas Eve (Wigilia) dinner!

Kruschiki - Just a Pinch Recipes



Ingredients

5 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 large whole egg, room temperature
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c powdered sugar
1/4 c heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp rum or brandy
2 c all purpose flour
2 tsp corn starch
canola or vegetable oil for frying
powdered sugar for garnish or cinnamon/sugar

 

Directions

1
Combine the egg yolks, whole egg and salt in a bowl of mixer. Beat at high speed about 5 minutes , until thick and lemon colored.
Beat in sugar, cream, vanilla and rum. Add flour and cornstarch and beat until blisters form, about 5 minutes.
2
Turn dough out onto a floured board, divide in half, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for about 20 minutes.
Working with 1/2 the dough at a time, roll out to about 1/16 thickness,(kinda like rolling out homemade noodles). Cut 2-inch wide strips. Cut the strips on the diagonal at 4-inch intervals.(2x4-inch pieces)
3
Heat about 3-inches of oil in a large, deep skillet to 350^. Make a slit in the center of each strip of the cut dough. Then pull one end through the slit to form a bow( sometimes called bow-tie cookies).
4
Fry about 6 at a time for 1 minute or less per side or until golden. These fry quickly, so watch closely. Drain on paper towels.
Dust with powdered sugar or cinnamon/sugar mixture or a combination of all

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Ahhh... the holidays. I love this shit.

     Ahhh... the holidays are upon us. I love this shit. I love it when everyone has a day off at the same time so there's no excuse not to see each other, and we all eat the same gluttonous feast we've been eating for decades, we remember the fun we had in years past and we make new memories for the younger generation. No, really! There's no punch line, I really do love this shit!

     This year I'm preparing to have the family over for a potluck Thanksgiving. It's a good thing too, because there hasn't been much work in the last month and the job we are on now might not pay until next month. We have no idea. The whole thing is kind of stressful because we have to fly Gage across the country to see his Dad for Xmas, and then we have to fly our new kid here with him on the way back. Things will work out, they always do. I'm surprisingly un-alarmed, actually. I must admit it does seem pointless to fly Gage back to California when he will probably only see his father for a few hours. The dude works non-stop, so Gage spends most of his time alone or with his dad's girlfriend. In my mind, that's $400 down the drain, but obligations are obligations, right? Grrr...

     Oh yeah, the new kid. I haven't said anything about it because I wasn't sure, but now I can say that we are very happy to be able to have Gage's best friend from California come and live with us for a semester, as sort of a trial run to see if he would do better here than back home. His Mom is ill and unable to provide for him right now, and for an undetermined amount of time, and he is unhappy where he is currently staying. B and Gage have been friends since they were 10, and he has always been part of the family. He's a great kid and the two of them seem to bring out the best in each other. They are also stupid teenagers and do dumb shit, but the core of who they are is pure gold. We have the room and the means, so it was really a no-brainer when the subject came up. So yay! I get a new kid! I didn't even have to push this one out!

     Back to Holidays. I run shit in these parts, so I arranged my Mom and brother's Thanksgiving dinner with my uncle (my dad's brother), and arranged my Mom to be able to go to Christmas eve dinner at Gage's Dad's, Aunt's house. So Gage's great Aunt on his Dad's side. That sounds weird, but Gage's extended family is very sweet, and I think once you're part of someone's family for 14 years, that shit doesn't just go away after a divorce. My Mom is totally happy.
     Our family here will eat too much and drink too much, maybe play a board game and some pool, and then demolish the leftover hors d'oeuvre's while we watch all of Family Guy's "Blue Harvest". That's our tradition.

     I am thankful for so much this year, I wouldn't even know where to start. Of course there's the health and well-being of my family and all that shit. But this year I am especially grateful for my friends. I have friends all over the country, and no matter how much or little I see of them they are always ALWAYS there for me and my family when I need them. It is truly amazing. I have a whole network of friends in our hometown that have helped my Mom and Brother get by since we moved to Florida. My bar friends... Not JUST bar friends, these people are are more like family. I have a hand made baby blanket from one of those bar friends; His 80 year old mother knitted it for my baby shower gift (which was held in that bar).
     And then my friends from kindergarten, from roller derby and my Mommy group friends, and my Mommy friend I met here in town...all such wonderful people and they keep me feeling connected even when "home" is so far away. Thank goodness for social networking! Husband is so annoyed by it, but it really does keep me sane and not ever feeling alone in this still unfamiliar place. I LOVE my friends, and I will always make the effort to do for them what they have done for me, every chance I get.

    
     Oh! Bug started speech and physical therapy! So far so good, but the funny thing is that the week before her appointments she started talking. 'Bye' 'Hi' 'No' 'More' 'Tickle' 'Two' and her version of Sesame Street, which sounds like, 'S-S-S-T'. Dude, it's like she's been holding it in all this time....I'm not complaining, I want her to talk, but I did kind of want to punch her for making me worry about her so much all this time. Oh well, won't be the first time I'll want to punch her...right? Just kidding, I don't punch babies, that's horrible! I just talk about it so I don't actually have to do it. Works for me!

     Well, I guess I better get going on the rest of the Thanksgiving preparations. I wanna get most of everything done today so that tomorrow I can relax once the family gets here. Yayyyyy turkey!


Saturday, November 2, 2013

The time I poisoned a strip club patron.

     HELLO!!! Yes, I know I haven't written in over a month, and that really sucks, and I will get into the insanity of the reasons why soon enough. First though, I need to get a true story out of me, since one of my friends brought up asshole customers in retail and I was reminded of this little gem.



     This particular story is one from my early strip club days, when I was a bartender. It was a fully nude club in California, which meant that there is no alcohol served there. Only soda, juice, coffee and O'Doul's, a non-alcoholic beer. That did not mean that dudes didn't come in drunk, because they usually did.
     During this time I was a miserable person. My marriage was shit, my apartment was infested with roaches, I felt like an ugly, plain-Jane around all these glamorous looking hookers, and despite the fucking SILVER SUIT VEST and button down white collared shirt I was forced to wear, I was sexually harassed by old, nasty men on an hourly basis.

This was my uniform. Hot, isn't it?


     Okay so, this one night we were slammed, and it was a Wednesday, so we were understaffed and I only had one waitress. My job was to pour drinks,  bar-back, cashier, take orders from the tip rail to ease the pressure from my server, and take food orders from dancers so the door guys could make food runs.
     An old man came in and told me immediately that he intended to spend a lot of money for good service and handed me a $10. I've heard this before, and a $10 bill was just enough for me to wipe my ass with, but I obliged his ego anyway 'cuz you never know.
"Of course Sir. What can I get you?" I asked.
"O'Doul's" he said.

     He sat at the bar and spent the next few hours pissing everybody off. He criticized every dancer that approached him. "You're too fat.", or "You smell like a fruit basket, I'm gonna throw up.", and called one of our Mexican girls a wetback. He only accepted lap dances from women without children because he "only likes tight pussies", or who were in college in their second year or more (which was only three), and would ask dancers to SPELL a random word he thought of to earn the chance to dance for him. Did we kick him out after all that? Hell fucking no! He was buying a few dances, tipping off the rail, and tipping me, so insults like "wetback" fly. STELLAR. He also had a crazy huge appetite for O'Doul's. He drank two or three an hour, and went to pee just as often. It was bizarre. He would also make me re-pour them if there was more or less than a half inch of head on the damn thing. He MEASURED it with his key-chain measuring tape. Because he was a douche.

     At one point it got really, super busy and I was running around like a nut. He watched me for a long time and then complimented me on my work ethic. "Um...Thank you." I said. He asked If I had kids...Uh oh....
"Do you have kids?"
"A son. He's 4."
"Married?"
"Yes."
"Stupid."
"Why is that?"
"Because you shouldn't have kids and work in a place like this. Your husband should keep you home where you belong. Or you should be a dancer. You have no tits, but guys nowadays are so lazy they'll pay for any dumb bitch to sit on their lap, tits or not."

(At this point I turn around, go get my manager, and tell him I need a break so I can stop myself from murdering this guy. He agrees.)

I come back from break and he starts up again:
"You in college?", he says with a sideways grin that meant he didn't think I was educated...
"In graduate school.", I lied.
He laughs hysterically..."No you're not. I went to Pepperdine. Where the fuck do YOU go? San Bernardino?? Hahhahahaaa..."
I searched my mind for the most impressive school nearby I could think of...
"Scripps. I'm a psychology major. Minor in special education." I didn't even know if Scripps offered those majors...
"You go to a dyke college??? Of course you do! You're a man hater because you have no body, you have a kid from a deadbeat, and you aren't pretty enough to be a stripper. Hahahahahaaa!!"

     It took everything in me not to jump over the bar and choke him to death with my soda and near-beer soaked socks. I poked my head around the corner to talk to my manager again, and told him what happened. He said he was sorry but he couldn't do anything and just to ignore him. WTF.
     My server came up and asked for change. I walked to the register and got it for her, with the asshole still laughing at me. Then I asked him if he needed another O'Doul's.

"Not now, dummy, in a few minutes. I still have a few sips. This one was too cold. I have sensitive teeth. I had to let it sit for a little while....You know what? How about you get me one, and when I get back from having a smoke maybe it won't be so damn cold. Can you handle that sweetie?"

Oh yes. I can handle that...

     What happened next I am not proud of, although I do see a sick humor in it. I could have (should have?) been fired and arrested for it, but I'm not entirely sure of the exact legal ramifications...

     I had to pee. And he likes lukewarm beer.

     I took a mug from the shelf, walked into the storage room, and peed in it. About...maybe 2 ounces. Then I brought it out, and proceeded to pour the most perfect O'Doul's ever in the history of fully nude strip clubs. The head was a perfect 1/2 inch, just like he wanted. And it was slightly warmer than 37 degrees. I set it on a fresh napkin, and went about my business. After a few minutes he came back in sat down, inspected the head on his "beer", and took a sip. And stopped.

     He looked at the glass and then at me, and my heart dropped. But then he said, "You finally got it right." and gulped down a few swallows. After he finished that mug he left without saying anything to anyone, strangely enough. And I was shaking with fear that somehow he knew and I'd get caught, but I never did. Nowadays I feel bad, but I also feel great about it. I hope that old shit bag is dead and worms are eating him. Bastard.

     So....I don't care to work the service industry anymore...

















Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My boy's birthday, Mommy guilt and a muthafuckin' pie.

     My first born child, my only son, and a wonderful person was born 15 years ago this month. Gage was 21 inches long, and 7lbs, 4oz, the same weight his sister would be born at 13 years later. What a trip this birthday is for me! I mean, think about YOUR life 15 years ago! It was 1998. While I was still in the hospital after having him, I was watching President Clinton lie to America during his testimony about his relationship with Monica Lewinski. Gas was $1.06 a gallon. I had long, dyed black hair and Betty bangs. I was married to his father. It was a different time.

     Gage is the light of my life, truly. He is empathetic and socially conscious. He has great taste in music. He's smart. He doesn't argue with me about chores or anything else. He is helpful and generous. We crack each other up. We like being together. He's disgusting and funny and I love it. He can tell me when I'm being an ass and I know he's being honest and can take him seriously. We have been through so much together, good and bad, both circumstantial and due to both his parents being idiots at one time or another. We have come out of each event like champions though, because as he told me once when he was 8, "We are a team". And we are. Always have been. Always will be. I will support and love that little shit no matter what ridiculous thing he does, and I know he will do the same for me. It's a funny thing when you have your kids young; you grow up together. Even though I was 21 when I had him, in many ways I was still 16. My Mom has expressed similar things to me about having my brother at 21, and me at 33. Totally different parenting styles.

     Gage was always sweet, and pleasant. He was the easiest baby ever on Earth. His little face was irresistible and precious and hard to see because he was constantly being covered by kisses. Even as he grew older, he was kind, nice and thoughtful. He never misbehaved. If he did something wrong, it was because he didn't know any better. I often wondered if he was real!

     Nowadays he is still cooperative and sweet, although he DOES try to get out of his responsibilities from time to time. That's normal. I don't wanna do the dishes either, so I can't blame him too much.

     He is trying out different ideas. Learning new skills. Looking for his "calling". His school counselors are starting to ask what his after-graduation goals are. So I am trying to give him the opportunity and space to figure that out.. It sucks being the kid who doesn't know what they wanna be when they grow up, so I figure, the more you try, the more you know! At least he'll learn what he DOESN'T want to do, right? I mean, it's his future, he should spend his life doing something he doesn't hate, at the very least!

     The future....HIS FUTURE. What a terrifying thing to give him advice on. I can't possibly give him the perfect armor to protect him from every harmful thing he could run into! Or even half of them, honestly! The advice I give him comes out randomly, as I think of it, or as it comes up. I hope he's listening and heeds my warnings, but I also wonder how it all plays out together. Am I contradicting myself? Is the overall message something I would support? When everything I say is so fragmented...I wonder if I'm doing all the right things. I guess that's when my example comes in.
     But he's seen me smoke, and drink, and work in a strip club... be oblivious for 8 years to the fact that his father didn't even feed him at night and then date a drug addicted idiot after we left him. Did I teach him to be a doormat? To smoke cancer sticks and work too hard and misunderstand his son's pleas for him not to leave him with his other parent? To believe everything a pretty girl tells him and ignore the obvious signs of drug abuse right under his nose?? I really, really hope not. Mommy guilt is a bitch, and as well adjusted and smart as he is, I worry. Of course I worry. He's my baby.

     I hope the example I have given is that when fucked up shit happens in your life, when people turn on you, when you lose your job, when you get evicted, when your parent gets sick or dies unexpectedly, if you get a divorce, lose your friends, make mistakes.. whatever things that can make you feel out of control and desperate and miserable... when those things happen - KEEP GOING. Get your sorry, sad ass up and keep fucking moving because if you don't, the world will roll over right over YOU. And if something isn't working for you, no matter how enmeshed you think you are, be brave enough to try something new. If your job makes you physically ill with stress; quit. Do something else. If your wife is abusive; leave. Find someone else. That's the best example I can give. If Husband can teach him to pay attention to his surroundings, and I can teach him to keep moving, I think that will be a pretty good base. The rest of it...what he should be when he grows up, how he should conduct himself...that's for him to decide. He knows right from wrong. I just want him to THINK. Not just do what he's told. Question authority, question everything, but also know how to play the game. The game is what keeps you from telling your boss to eat shit, because you need the paycheck for the time being. It's understanding that if your college professor tells you the sky is green, then you better damn well mark: C. Green, on that test, just to get you the fuck outta that class and on your way to your goal. It's a balance that took me too long to grasp. I hope he gets it sooner than I did.

*sigh*

     For his birthday we took him to dinner and a movie. We had fun! He tried sushi for the first time, too! I forgot about getting him a California roll and just made him dive right in. He tried tuna, salmon and yellowtail. He liked the first two, but said it was weird because his tongue told him it tasted good, but his brain said it's raw fish and it's disgusting. Hahaha!!! I totally remember that reaction the first time I tried it! I think he'll love it one day. His father doesn't care for fish much, but will eat a butt-load of sushi. Some people are like that.

Candles on his strawberry rhubarb pie. Recipe later ;)

Total awe over his big gift. His own pool stick.


     I must mention that once again, the service we got at the restaurant was sub-par. I think after this many poor service experiences in NW Florida, I've come to accept it as a regional issue. We're at the only upscale Chinese/Japanese restaurant in town, and the server didn't even know the menu. What the fuck?? How do you not know what's in your seaweed salad? His answer was, "It has the same things in it as any other seaweed salad you've ever had." Really? Well thank you, you 20 year old shithead with no work ethic, I'm so glad I asked. I tipped him 15%, which to me is a big fuck you, but he was waving at me on the way out. Then I felt kinda sorry for him, cuz if that was a good tip in his world, he must be eating cat food in his studio apartment at night. Whatever, not MY kid! Hahaha!


Oh! Here's the recipe for the strawberry rhubarb pie. Everyone LOVED IT! (NOTE: I used frozen crusts with rave reviews, just so you know and don't have a panic attack over the idea of making your own crust like I did.)


Grandma's Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

Recipe courtesy Valarie Enters, Sanford, Florida

Prep Time:
15 min
Inactive Prep Time:
--
Cook Time:
1 hr 5 min

Level:
Intermediate

Serves:
1 pie

Ingredients
Crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional flour as needed, up to 1/4 cup
1/2 cup cake flour (recommended: Soft As Silk)
3 teaspoons sifted powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter-flavored shortening (recommended: Crisco)
1/4 cup salted butter
Pinch salt
1 egg
2 teaspoons vinegar
1/4 cup ice cold water

Filling:

2 1/2 cups chopped red rhubarb, fresh
2 1/2 cups de-stemmed, washed and cut strawberries (in larger pieces)
1 1/2 cups sugar (1 1/4 cups for high altitude)
2 tablespoons minute tapioca
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons butter, cubed small
1 egg white beaten with 1 teaspoon water
Large granule sugar

Crust Preparation:
Directions

Using 2 pastry blenders, blend the flours, sugar, shortening, butter and salt. Whisk the egg, vinegar and water in a 2-cup measure and pour over the dry ingredients incorporating all the liquid without overworking the dough. Toss the additional flour over the ball of dough and chill if possible. Divide the dough into 2 disks. Roll out 1 piece of dough to make a bottom crust. Place into a pie dish. Put dish in refrigerator to chill.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Filling Preparation:

Mix the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, tapioca, flour, zest and juice of lemon, dash of cinnamon, and vanilla. Mix well in a large bowl and pour out into chilled crust. Dot the top of the filling with the butter. Brush edges of pie crust with egg white wash. Roll out the other piece of dough and place over filling. Crimp to seal edges. Brush with egg white wash and garnish with large granule sugar. Collar with foil and bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes. Decrease temperature to 375 degrees F and bake for an additional 45 to 50 minutes, or until the filling starts bubbling. Higher altitude will take 450 degrees F and 400 degrees F respectively. Also, you can use a pie bird for extra decor. Let cool before serving.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-challenge/grandmas-strawberry-rhubarb-pie-recipe/index.html


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Yay! You found it!

     We play a game with Bug where we ask her, "Where is Mommy's nose?", "Where are Bug's hands?" and so on down the list of major body parts. We clap and give high fives when she gets them right, which is pretty much all the time. One of her favorite parts of the game is, "Where is your belly button, Bug?". She loves to lift up her shirt and show everybody the teeny little indent on her round, full of mac & cheese belly.  And then, just like if we had asked her about noses, or ears, she wants to find everybody else's belly button after she found her own. That's when I get a little nervous.

     I don't want to show ANYBODY my belly button. Not my kids or my husband, and especially not anyone outside my immediate family. It is also round from too much mac & cheese, or beer, or from being pregnant at 35 and not trying hard enough to recover my pre-pregnancy weight, and I hate it. It makes me too nervous to wear certain shirts or dresses, stops me from wearing a bikini top with my trunks no matter how hot it is outside, and makes me want the lights off during sex. I have never in my life felt that way about myself, until now. It is foreign and uncomfortable. The worst part is that my logical brain tells me I am still beautiful and sexy, my husband is just as into me as he always was, and my son still tells me I'm pretty when I get dressed up, and I'm within the medical guidelines for height and weight at my age, which when added all together, makes me feel ridiculous and silly.

     The "funniest" part is that the women I find most attractive are women who have at least one child, and who are a bit...soft. Women who are natural. They have hips! An ass! Life experience! They are at Least over 28 and have a backstory. So why am I so hard on myself?? Is this one of those "society fed me a cookie cutter ideal of femininity and attractiveness but I am better than that" scenarios? The stuff Dove commercials are made of? UGH. No thanks. I don't want to be an after school special, or a public service announcement. I just want to exist without misery over the body I'm in. But, here I am. I'm...a little lumpy. And unlike my 20's, five sit-ups won't fix the problem anymore. And honestly, I'm so worn out and busy that I can't imagine where I'd fit in an exercise regimen. Even more that that, I DON'T WANT TO. I want to be Mommy all day and most of the night, then eat a shit ton of pasta and drink beer and shoot the shit with my husband until I want to sleep.

     Enter GIRL WORLD. No, it's not just a term used in "Mean Girls", it's real shit. In girl world, if I am sitting in front of a random pretty girl and she is bitching about her looks, I will think that either A) she has no self esteem and is annoying and shallow, or B) She needs attention and is annoying and shallow. The end. Because of this, I am usually very careful about my own behavior. I try hard not to ever complain about myself in public. I operate with the confidence I think I SHOULD have. Because contrary to Husband's belief, I am fully aware that reality and my emotions sometimes exist on different planes. However, when my girlfriends express discontent with their bodies and I disagree with their assessments, I keep it to myself as much as I can stand to, because I want them to know I acknowledge their feelings, but also support their endeavors. It's complicated! Girl world is rough, dude!

     Back to Bug. So, here I am, teaching my sweet baby girl about body parts. Nose, ear, legs, hand, feet, belly button. I feel the panic in me rise up. And in a split second I think about these little memories she will have of me, the brief impressions. I don't want her to think it's okay to hate your body. I remember my mother working out at an anorexic pace before a family vacation. She told me she HAD TO fit into this bathing suit. And in my 6 year old innocence I asked her, "Why don't you just buy a bigger bathing suit, Mommy?" So when Bug wants to find Mommy's belly button, I smile and lift up my shirt for her, and she sticks her WHOLE finger in my belly button, and no matter who is around, I smile, swallow all my pride and say, "Yay, you found it!!! High five!"

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Is she just a bitch?

     For a few days, Bug wasn't sleeping well, waking up every hour or two screaming or just calling out for attention. Nothing calmed her down enough to sleep for very long. Not rocking her, or singing, or even a bottle of milk. I just had to keep getting up and going to her, over and over, until I was mad with sleep deprivation and ready to throw her out a window. This went on for 3 days. The last day I was so fed up that I let her cry it out when she didn't want to nap. It worked, but that night she made me pay. She screamed so loud when she woke up that she woke up the whole house, calling for Daddy, and screeching like a pterodactyl. I tried to let her cry it out. That made it worse. So I went through the motions...Rocked her... Changed her... Fed her.... More screaming, and now Husband is trying to stop her. No luck. Finally I went into her room, asked her in my snottiest voice, "Oh do you want to get out and play?", and she said, "YES". Oh HELL no.

     So I picked her up, plopped her on the floor, and went to sit on the couch, in silence, in the dark. She babbled happily for a minute and tried to give me toys and books, but I sat there with my arms folded and looked away. I was on strike. I'd show her that there isn't a goddamn thing going on at night and bore her back to sleep! And you know what, it worked! That chick got OWNED! Aaaannnd WHAT.

     Oddly enough, Friend called me the next day and the first thing she said was, "I want...to hit...(Princess L)." I laughed. I told her to step away from the baby and go have some alone time for a minute, because that's what you're supposed to say to a mother who has a tyrannical infant screeching and whining and biting her all day and night to the point of insanity. But I knew that was bullshit. There is no taking breaks, or bubble baths, or alone time for Mommies, and if there is, it's only brief enough to get you breathing again, not nearly enough to make you feel normal. It just gets you to the next super adorable thing the kid does so you have a reason to keep going. Like this:
Walking (unsuccessfully) in Gage's shoes

   
Attempting to nap with the cat
Just being stylish

    In fact, Bug is yelling her head off in her crib right now. She is dry, fed, the perfect temperature, has a paci, and is exhausted. She fell asleep during her bedtime story. The girl is pooped. I'm gonna try to let her cry it out. But like Friend reminded me, our baby's cry causes a physical reaction in us. It's a primal reaction we can't help. We feel ill, get defensive, feel sad, get angry...it's all part of our animal instinct to protect our young. Husbands don't really get it. When Bug is whining all day or crying over nothing, he just gets annoyed and walks away. He can address the need she has, or tell her to "calm down right now", and move on with his life. But I feel the need to fix it. Is she okay? Am I a crappy Mother? Does she have a need? Is she just a bitch? These questions turn over in our minds in big circles of self doubt and frustration. Oh....she stopped yelling. Whew! I hope she can sleep, poor thing..

     Friend keeps wondering what's wrong with her, because she is on edge all the time. I don't think it's hormones (the go-to we women have for unpleasant emotions), I think it's Motherhood. Being Mom is like nothing else, and it is enough to make weaker women insane, or into a pill-popping, wine in a sippy-cup mess. We are NOT going down, I say! We will at least save the questionable sippy-cup until AFTER story time at the library, because we are MAMA BEARS. We got this shit, yo.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sketchers. *sigh*

     Last week was PMS week, which just happened to fall on Gage's first week of homeschool and me finally getting accounting software and learning how to run the family business (both of which I have never done before), Bug's early intervention evaluation, and then her deciding to go back to two naps a day, with the last one lasting until dinnertime, which means she then stays up until 9:00pm. Ohmyfuckinggod. I barely remember it. I think it was too traumatic to retain the memory. What I DO know, is that I was so out of my mind that Friend noticed just from the tone of my FB messages, and apparently I was so bad that she had to suggest I drink more. Dude. Pour me another....

     Everything is cool now though. Homeschool is going great so far, and I'm wondering why I never tried it before. It seriously eliminates all of the problems I had with Gage's previous educational issues. He HAS TO be accountable. There is no hiding in the back of the class. There is no, "I didn't know I had to do that assignment", or, "The teacher doesn't have time to help me", or "There aren't enough books for me to take one home to do homework". There are no excuses. I am able to review everything he does. His teachers have our cell numbers and we text each other as needed. If he didn't "get" a lecture, he can watch it over and over again. He can work ahead as far as he wants. We make our own hours. He doesn't have to dodge sleepy drivers on the walk to school in the morning. We can go to the beach in the middle of the day. He doesn't have to eat crap-tastic school food. I could go on forever. The point is, it's awesome, and Bug will be educated the same way.

     Bug is suspected of having Childhood Apraxia of Speech, although it's too early to determine that definitively at her age. Basically that would mean that it is taking her brain longer to learn how to go from knowing the word she wants to say, to executing the muscle movements necessary for actually SAYING the word. Understanding more language than you can speak is a normal part of development, but with CAS, that time period is much longer, and if severe enough, can affect her speech forever. The good news is that early, intensive therapy is VERY effective.
     The early intervention team told me to get her into speech therapy even without the diagnosis, because it can only help her. So we will. They also tested her cognitive, social and motor skills as a standard part of the evaluation. That was interesting...they said she tests as a 2 1/2 - 3 year old in every area except speech. She is 18 months old. For speech she is at the lower percentage of 12 month olds. The psychologist said he's never seen such a huge discrepancy between scores, and that if she COULD talk, she'd be a brilliant orator, and we'd be having full conversations. They also told me not to worry too much, because she won't be 20 and unable to say "Mama". That was reassuring :)

     The other day I was in one of my super fashionable at-home ensembles, and Gage gave me the once over and said, "Oh look. You've got your Mom shoes on." I was wearing these stupid ugly white sneakers that the guys make fun of me constantly for. I try never to wear them, but my feet hurt so bad from the Mardi-Gras bead incident that I needed something comfy to wear! I told Gage to shut it because I stepped on Bug's beads and twisted my ankle and bruised my heel, so I needed something comfortable on my feet. He laughed at me, because he's a jerk. Oh, and days later he walked by and whispered, "A whale's vagina" in my ear and scarred me for life. An hour ago he walked by me again and whispered, "Poopsicles"... WHO DOES THAT??? Why would you do that to your mother?! UGH! Who is raising that thing??

     Oh yeah, my point was about the shoes. Husband got home and heard that Gage was making fun of my shoes, and so he got a few jabs in himself before he offered to get me some new, less dorky sneaks. Awesome!
     We get to the mall, and I quickly discovered that walking/running shoes are retarded. They are so fucking ugly. They are NOT comfortable, and the more expensive the brand, the less comfy they are. WTF. The Nike's and Reebok's were the worst. Who the fuck wears neon orange and electric purple shoes? Why are there rubber bubble looking thingies on the soles? I looked longingly at the Vans and DC's, and contemplated putting two sets of insoles in them instead of one....sigh...But no. I was here to get super comfy sneaks that were good enough to be on my feet all day. That's priority one. I ended up with these:

     They're alright looking, but for comfort, they rock. Gage says they're still Mom shoes because they LOOK comfortable. That when you LOOK comfortable, you look like a Mom. Then he asked me if I was ready for soccer practice... Little.Shit.

     My most recent driver's license picture from California had me pictured with pink hair and a labret piercing. That picture was taken in 2006, and by the time it was 2012, I looked as normal as a Rockwell painting. I had a regular job and had to look professional, and I hated it. I missed my pink hair, and I swore that the second I was able to, I'd start dying my hair again and re-pierce my lip. And then I went through enormous changes in my personal life, finished college, got pregnant, got remarried, and totally didn't give a shit about pink hair, until very recently. I've been feeling kind of dull, kind of...uninteresting. I remembered how much I loved looking different. How COMFORTABLE I was representing myself that way. I thought about doing it. Would I still like it? Would that make me feel attractive? I'm pretty sure the answer is no. It's an answer I'm not ready to fully accept, because I think it means more than I'm willing to admit at the moment, but yeah. I think it's a no.

     So what then? Buy yoga pants and wear my stupid Sketchers to soccer practice? Probably. I thought at 36 I would be more solid in who I am. But that's the thing, I KNOW who I am, I just don't care to represent myself visually the same way other women in my position do. You know, stay at home moms with two kids, who homeschool, run their husband's business and live in the South. THAT is NOT me. So what is me? Fuck if I know. But it's time to start playing with some ideas.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Walmart. Ohhh, Walmart....

     Today was fucking nuts. I have experienced so many different emotions, but due to the PMS that has developed after this last kid, most of it has been a roller coaster of crazy. You know when everything you try to do just doesn't work out right? That's my day. But to my surprise I handled it all with relative grace. Until I got to Walmart.

DUN DUN DUN....Walmart.

     I go to the ghetto-est Walmart because it's the closest to me. I don't give a shit if it's dirty or the patrons barely got dressed to go there, as long as I don't have to drive too far. I used to care about that shit. But now my life is run by this toddler's nap and meal schedule, so my time for shopping and driving is limited. Convenience is key.

     The back-story is: Our month was all tight and planned out as far as moneys go. And then some unexpected shit came up, as it often does but I apparently forgot. Specialized tools had to be purchased to finish jobs. Our truck is old and eats A TON of gas. Product was not ordered when it should have been. Blah blah blah... we ended up broke 3 days before payday. So, I got our change jars and headed to the Coinstar at Walmart to see what we could get. We've been able to pay utility bills with the change jar before, so I was hopeful we'd at least have some gas and dinner money.

     So I find the Coinstar machine and start pouring the change in, and after about $15 it tells me to slow down so it can catch up. Okay....waiting, waiting....and then a big CLUNK and the machine stops. The screen says to get a manager. UGH. I asked the clerk nearby for a manager, who comes over and takes the machine apart and cleans it for about 20 minutes. The nastiest, sickest shit came out of that thing, it was seriously nauseating. But she finally fixed it and I was able to finish pouring in my change, which turned out to be twice as much as I had hoped for. Score!

     During that long 20 minutes, I tried the best I could to entertain Bug and keep her from flipping out. I stood near the Coinstar, but out of the way of the main walkway and the line for customer service. I must remind you that people who are in line at Walmart's customer service desk are generally pissed off people. So I REALLY tried to stay away from them while being as close as possible to my coins.
     Apparently I wasn't far enough away from the line though, because this grumpy bitch kept rolling her fat eyes at me (No really. they were like, Grave's disease fat), and scooting her fat ass closer to us, to the point of hanging her cheeks over the side of my cart! All so I would get the hint and move out of her (perceived) way. Bug was waving at her kids, and even her kids were too grumpy to wave back! At my adorable baby! WTF is wrong with you children?! Bug is all super cute, waving and saying, "babababa.." in her tiny little sweet voice that is normally irresistible, and these little shits were totally unmoved. Clearly they were grumpy bitches like their grumpy bitch Mom. Dude! That pissed me off...
Grave's disease


     So for 20 minutes I had a passive aggressive bitch fight with this woman and her 3 kids, over personal space in a check out line. She puts her ass cheek on my cart, I 'accidentally' run over her foot...First world problems, right? Whenever me or Husband start complaining about something petty, we have a go-to retort to make that person shut the fuck up. The correct response to complaints about first world problems is: "HELEN KELLER". Fuck right off. Please tell me you know who that is? Oh for fucks sake..
     Helen Keller was born in 1880, contracted like, meningitis or something at 19 months old which took her hearing and sight, and in effect prevented her from speaking as well. And as a blind and deaf woman unable to communicate other than through rudimentary signs, she was the first of anyone with her disabilities to earn a bachelor of arts degree. And she was a WOMAN which would have been a feat in itself. She's a fucking badass, and unless you are blind, deaf and dumb, and a member of the most distressed minority...shut up.

     I got off track. Basically, I ran over this bitch's foot and that wasn't classy. I kind of got scared when I did it too, cuz I couldn't have backed myself up in that situation if she has chosen to jump me. But whatever. I knew she was full of shit. I win.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

It looks like a hooker.

"I feel sorry for women who say that being a mother was their life long goal. Like, isn't there anything else you'd like to accomplish? Travel to Italy? Get an education and a career that brings you satisfaction? Learn another language?"

     This post in a Mommy forum set me off this morning. Sigh....I probably already covered this, but WHAT'S WRONG WITH MOTHERHOOD BEING A LIFE LONG GOAL?????? Please sit your feminist ass down and listen for a minute. Being a good Mother is not a "less than" endeavor. Choosing Motherhood does not mean you're too stupid to do something else. Wanting to be good at it, and striving for it, is honorable. Dreaming about being a Mommy when you're just a little girl is as normal as dreaming about being a doctor when you grow up, or a chef, or a truck driver, or anything else! STOP attributing the role of Motherhood to the brainwashed fundamentalist cultures, because those are not the only women who's greatest goal in life was to be a Mom. 

     God this pisses me off so much. I wonder if the women who say this kind of stuff might be the same ones who harbor guilt over their own performance in the role of Mom, and pass off their negative feelings onto other people to take the heat off themselves. That's not to say that I don't feel guilty about my own performance in one instance or another. I do. I have not always done the best, right thing, and I feel terrible over it sometimes. But then I realize that those emotions are not useful, to me or my kids, and so I let them go and try to be better the next day. But yes, it WAS my main goal in life to be a Mom. My other goals changed, but wanting to be a Mom never changed. I think I have gotten better at it as I have grown older and more aware, and I'm really proud of that. THAT is enough for me right now. I am totally fulfilled in my role as Mother, and going to Italy, learning a language or gaining a career wouldn't even TOUCH the satisfaction I get out of being a Mom. If my daughter wants the same thing, good for her! If she would rather spend her life under the hood of a car as a mechanic, that's fucking peachy too! But whatever she is, she better be a good one, because that is what I'm trying to teach these kids above all else. Have integrity.

     Here's the thing. People get so bent over gender roles. As if not buying your daughter dolls will make her more of a powerful woman. Or buying your son a toy tool belt will make him more masculine. That isn't how it works. Kids, especially young ones, try on different gender roles as a means of understanding the world around them. That means they want to push a baby in the stroller just like their Mommy does to them, or twirl the screwdriver because that's what daddy does, or vice-verse. Gage would try on my clothes and shoes, just as often as he would pretend to shave like his dad.
     
     I agree that forcing any gender role on your child is harmful, and encouraging negative gender roles is even worse. It is for this reason that my daughter will never own a Bratz doll. My little cousin LOVED these dolls when she was small, but they always creeped me out.
It looks like a hooker. With a cat.

     But is Motherhood negative? Of course not. Don't discourage your daughters from wanting to be a Mom just because you have some kind of fear that they won't do anything else. Of course she will, she will accomplish all kinds of things, because that's how you will raise her. But don't make her feel stupid or less than for striving to be a Mommy. The same goes for boys that want to be fathers. Gage has always wanted his own kids, and nobody ever discouraged that. I hope if he still wants to be a father as an adult, he is able to do it. 
     Another thing that bears mention is that even if you do everything possible to steer your baby girl away from anything "typically female/male" or your son away from everything "typically male/female", they will still do whatever the fuck they want one day. My Mother never allowed me to play with Barbies, and I ended up working in a strip club for ten years. And now I'm a stay at home Mom. There ya go.

     In the end, you just do the best you can, and whatever you think is right, and you will rarely consider anyone else's opinion when it comes to how you raise your kids. So whatever. I may as well be talking to the wall. I think everyone just needs to calm the fuck down, though. Myself included. A Bratz or a Barbie doll won't turn Bug into a hooker. I just don't like them and don't want them in my house. I also don't allow Dora the Explorer or fucking Barney to ever play on the TV. *shudder* I HATE them. Gage didn't know who Barney was until he was grown. Here's a list of other things my daughter will have to live with:

1. No bikini's or makeup until she's in high school.
2. No slumber parties or sleepovers unless they are at my house, or I am very close with the parents and I am sure the Mom will be up checking on them all night. 
3. No dating until she's old enough to drive herself away from a bad situation.
4. She will learn to drive a stick before an automatic.
5. She will have to be involved in at least one sport, and at least one arts class every year. (This one we are working on for Gage too).
6. She will dress to her age. No off the shoulder shirts bedazzled with "Wild One" or "Bad Kitty" or any other stupid shit.
7. When she does start dating, she will get on the pill immediately. Because hormones are a bitch to ignore when you're young and in love, and I'm not trying to raise another kid when I'm almost 50.
8. She must learn how to fight. Like a man.

     I can't think of anything else right now, but there will be more. Ugh, now I feel stressed worrying about her future self. I'm soooo glad she's only one....

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A legit outfit in the morning became a Down Syndrome camp uniform by 7:00pm

     I've been thinking about humor and how some people prefer it to be mild, and others prefer it to be dark. Some people easily laugh at themselves, and others get bent out of shape at the slightest jab someone takes at them, even in jest. I wonder how that happens? I know that for Gage, he grew up in a very sarcastic group of people with a dark sense of humor, and now he's the same way. I assume that he learned it from us. Does that mean that people who only like puns and knock-knock jokes grew up with really sweet, polite and mild people? I ask because I have this sweet baby girl who is a little sponge, soaking up every little thing around her. I wonder what she's getting from all of this. She's started to do this little thing when she's doing something she shouldn't, like while she's pouring milk on the floor she'll turn her head away, but squint her eyes and look toward us, as if she's trying to trick us into not seeing her. Because if she can't see us, we can't see her. Hm. I'm pretty sure when she finally does talk, it'll be a swear word.

     That reminds me. I have joked with my son about some pretty sick shit, and discussed some very adult themes, but I have never allowed him to swear in front of me. I just felt like it was disrespectful and too non-traditional. I'm not as uptight as I used to be, but I still try to hang onto SOME semblance of a normal family life here and there. But really. We all know we're not normal so who do I think I'm fooling?
     Husband doesn't care what words Gage uses as long as he's respectful to him personally. I don't know what bio-dad allows, but I'd bet there are no rules about language with him either. I thought about this over the summer and have discovered that I actually don't care if Gage swears in front of me or not. I'm not sure why I ever acted like I did care, and it bothers me that I went along with a tradition without questioning it. Why is it important to me what words he uses, when every other word out of MY mouth is foul? I'm certainly not embarrassed about using colorful language, why do I give a shit if my teenage son does? He knows to thank Grandma for the "delicious pie" and not the "best goddamn fucking pie" he's ever had. So what's the big deal? I'm over it. And plus, he's turning 15, so I have bigger fish to fry these days.

     Gage will be home in a week, so I went into nesting mode and cleaned his room, made his bed like it was a hotel, and prepared his study area for virtual school. I'm super excited!! But also really nervous about being his "learning coach" while simultaneously running Husband's business. He is already getting more work than he has time to do, and it's becoming a tad overwhelming since I've never run a business before. And of course, this little toddler thing on my hip that runs every hour of my life. I'm fairly sure it'll all be fine, it's just new so it's scary sometimes.

     Gage asked me to make him a blanket while he was gone, and when I went to buy the materials for it, the fabric store was having a big fleece sale so I got stuff to make Bug a blanket too. I think I'll just use it as the comforter for her "big girl bed", which is a transition I think we'll soon make.
The beginnings of Gage's blanket  
I tried to find a cutesy-er owl print, but whatever. It's cool.
    
     As I was thinking about the plan for my evening tonight, I realized it's Tuesday. That means So You Think You Can Dance and Drunk History are on!!! And then I thought, "I sure am glad I had sex LAST night, so that I can watch my shows tonight!" How sad is that?? I must be 80 years old, for fucks sake, who thinks like that?! It got worse a few minutes later when I looked down and saw this:
Me.  
    
     Yes, I used to be cool, but now I caught myself in a fucking University of Florida T-shirt (Peter on Family Guy mistook UF for a down syndrome camp) and my scrub shoes, the shoes that got soaked in somebody's shoulder juices from a total shoulder replacement and I had to bleach out.  That's what I discovered I'm wearing. I used the word "discovered" because stay at home Mommy-hood is a messy business, and even if I start out with a legitimate outfit in the morning, by the end of the day I'm wearing bits and pieces of the first, second and third things I grabbed after the spaghetti incident, the poop smudge, the sweaty trip to the store and the booger smear she snuck in during cuddle time. UGHHHHH...

     Wait. Did somebody say, "What's Drunk History?" It's the best show ever. I want to make my own but we don't have enough friends to pull off the acting parts.


     Wow. I re-read all that and it's like I just threw up a whole bunch of random thoughts. Whatever. :)

    

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

When your tattoo artist smells like Axe body spray.

     Out of nowhere Husband said he was planning a date for us, he had arranged for an ALL DAY sitter, and it was all a surprise. WHAT??? The reason? Because "You need to get out. You deserve it." Uh, okay! I feel weird about the "deserve it" part, because nobody deserves anything, really. You get what you earn, but mostly in life you just get what you get. But if Husband thinks I am so awesome that I deserve a day of fun and rest, I shall not argue. ;)
     First he took me to get a tattoo I had meant to get before our wedding but never got around to. Our last name on my arm, to match the tattoo he has on the same arm. And then...oh wait I have to get into that. Hahaha. SO. Our wedding tattoos were done by one of my very best friends back in California. I LOVE this chick.
Our wedding tattoos.

Our "rings"
     We have been through roller derby, two divorces, reproductive nightmares, breakups, deaths, babies, political debates, para-psychological journeys, drunken nonsense, etc...in the short period of 7 years. It's intense. So anyway, we're at this studio that Husband made my appointment at, and the guy that's supposed to do my work is the most Bro annoying fuck ever. The dude is all white hat and black socks, if you get me. He talks INCESSANTLY about nothing. About himself. About other people. It was exhausting. And then he starts talking shit about my work! He said my previous artist must have had something against me because they were terrible, and nobody should ever do finger tats, etc. I told him we were aware of the issues finger tattoos come with and still wanted them. He acted like we must have been duped anyway. I kind of wanted to walk out, because if you have to talk shit on other people's work to make yourself look more qualified, then you're an idiot. But I let the first few comments go without acknowledging them.
    
     So he starts my work and he's talking throughout the whole thing, and not to me. Just like, to the air.  About himself. Sooo annoying. I decided to get my "Wife" touched up while I was there, and once he started, Husband went out for a smoke. He looks at the lettering and declares it to be fucked up, and whoever did this to me was a dope. I had had enough. So I informed him that my previous artist was also my best friend, and that she did exactly as I wanted, and that ALL of my tattoos rejected some ink and had to be retouched, not just this one, and that he should probably stop bashing my friend and my other tattoos. He half-ass apologized. It sucks though because Husband put a lot of effort into finding a decent studio, and this guy was just unbearable! Next time I think I'll try the owner of the shop. But even he annoyed me by rolling his eyes and asking why I got an Italian phrase on me when I'm not Italian. Are people not aware that some phrases are inter-changeable between languages? Do you know what "Menage a trois" means? Of course you do! (No, that is NOT what I have tattooed on me)

     In the end, douche-bag did a good job on my new work, and I love it. That's the important thing.

     Next we went to have a couple drinks downtown, and then to dinner on the beach. And I mean right on the beach. The restaurant had tables out back in the sand, so you could eat with your feet in the sand! So nice. I stuffed myself to the point of pain and had to go home and lay down for a couple hours, but whatever. We ended the night by taking the Rhino to a nearby bar, where we had some delightfully strange bar conversations with patrons (one of our favorite things about bars), and then went home to bed. A perfectly perfect day!
At the restaurant



     The women in my family invited me to get a pedicure with them tomorrow. Like a freak, I asked for the name of the joint so I could call and quiz them about autoclave procedures, water filters, and disposable client packs. They answered all my questions correctly, thank goodness, because I haven't had a pedicure in YEARS and I'm really looking forward to getting one again. The last time I went, in California, I ended up with a terrible fungal infection which resulted in the loss of some toenails and a whole bunch of medication. And I got that infection from a salon I had been going to for 3 years with no problems! I swore I'd never do it again. But man, a pedi sure sounds nice!

     Oh I must update on Bug's not talking. I had an initial evaluation done with her to see if she has a speech delay, which she does appear to. So far, the rest of her development is right on track, so that's a relief. The next step is to visit a speech pathologist next month, who will determine if she will benefit from speech therapy. Even if she doesn't, the doctor will be able to tell me how to help her get talking, so I'm really happy about seeing him or her. I feel so bad when she gets frustrated from not being understood. Poor thing. My family thinks I'm crazy and over-reacting, but I am trying not to give a shit. I am the one who's with her all the time, I'm the one who has taken countless child development classes and done endless research on the subject, I will always be Bug's best advocate, and I'm the one with Mommy instincts that tell me something's wrong, so everyone else can kind of just fuck off on this one. I love them, of course, but I have to look out for my Number One first. And that's my Buggie Boo.  :)

    

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I thought for a time that I would be the female Bukowski.- A love letter.

     I love Charles Bukowski for so many reasons. He is... a reluctant anti-hero for the common man. He turns ugly into poetic. Literally. Oh but his words are so truthful. So honest and wise and beautifully packaged in a mess. He is never embarrassed. He sometimes wants you to hate him. Once I start reading his words I can't stop. He was a drunk, and some have called him a womanizer, but when you actually read his stuff, you realize he is a true romantic, but one who has been disillusioned and sold out so many times that he became hardened. In any case, he is hyper-aware, sometimes to his own detriment. He reminds me of Husband on an intellectual level, minus the whores. Well okay...ONE whore. That's good numbers though.

For those who don't know, here is Wikipedia's description of him:

Henry Charles Bukowski (born Heinrich Karl Bukowski; August 16, 1920 – March 9, 1994) was a German-born American poet, novelist and short story writer. His writing was influenced by the social, cultural and economic ambience of his home city of  Los Angeles. It is marked by an emphasis on the ordinary lives of poor Americans, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships with women and the drudgery of work. Bukowski wrote thousands of poems, hundreds of short stories and six novels, eventually publishing over sixty books. In 1986 called Bukowski a "laureate of American lowlife". Regarding Bukowski's enduring popular appeal, of wrote, "the secret of Bukowski's appeal. . . [is that] he combines the confessional poet's promise of intimacy with the larger-than-life aplomb of a pulp-fiction hero."

     I found Bukowski by accident, when I was about 29. Late, I know. I had started writing again after a decade of hiatus. Browsing through the bargain section at Barnes and Noble one day, I came across You Get So Alone At Times That It Just Makes Sense. I thought, wow, whatever this book is, it is exactly my explanation for my whole life right now. It was like finding religion, I imagine. At the time he wrote this book, he was delving into his childhood and how some of those experiences had brought him to the many self-administered adventures in his adult life. Wow. It just couldn't get any more meaningful for me at the time. I bought it, along with a collection of Pablo Neruda, whom I also adore.
     Neruda is Chilean and lived there during the time his country was going through many changes. He was political, serving as a Senator for a while. He was romantic. He wrote these fluid, sweeping accounts of nature and love and corruption. Gorgeous. Pablo makes me want to learn Spanish. One time I had a few too many beers at a BBQ at home (I know, shocker) and my friend (who speaks Spanish) asked what I was currently reading. Of course, I ran inside like my hair was on fire and grabbed my Pablo Neruda collection, and made him read like, 14 poems to me in Spanish. Party foul! Everyone else was falling asleep. I did not give a single fuck, though, I had been waiting for years to hear Neruda's works in his native language, the way they were meant to be heard!
 
Here is a Neruda poem I love, in English then Spanish, and you tell me how much sexier it sounds in Spanish.

"FULL WOMAN, CARNAL APPLE, HOT MOON"

 Full woman, carnal apple, hot moon,
Thick smell of seaweed, mud and light entwined.
What dark clarity opens between your columns?
What ancient night does he touch with your senses?

Oh, love is a journey of water and stars,
Of suffocating air, and brusque storms of flour:
Love is a battle of lightning
And two bodies--lost by a single drop of honey.

Kiss by kiss I travel your little infinity,
Your margins, your rivers, your tiny villages,
And the genital fire transforms, delicious,

Running through the narrow streets of blood,
Until pouring out as a carnation at night,
And being and not being is but a flicker of shade.

The Original - In Spanish

Plena mujer, manzana carnal, luna caliente,
espeso aroma de algas, lodo y luz machacados,
qué oscura claridad se abre entre tus columnas?
Qué antigua noche el hombre toca con sus sentidos?

Ay, amar es un viaje con agua y con estrellas,
con aire ahogado y bruscas tempestades de harina:
amar es un combate de relámpagos
y dos cuerpos por una sola miel derrotados.

Beso a beso recorro tu pequeño infinito,
tus márgenes, tus ríos, tus pueblos diminutos,
y el fuego genital transformado en delicia

corre por los delgados caminos de la sangre
hasta precipitarse como un clavel nocturno,
hasta ser y no ser sino un rayo en la sombra.

Dude. Give me your panties, you know that shit was HOT.

 
 Back to Bukowski. I love him, and I've been thinking about a quote of his:


“For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can't readily accept the God formula, the big answers don't remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command nor faith a dictum. I am my own god. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”
―Charles Bukowski
  
     Isn't that amazing? I feel so sorry for those who "know" all the answers! Their lives are limited, because they are not allowed to learn any more, they are not permitted to consider, or dream, or debate, or even think about all the amazing ideas and discoveries our race of humanity comes upon. It must be terrifying sometimes, for them. They fear for the rest of us. They fear for their younger generations who view everyone as equal and who are excited about science. They fear for themselves. How do they handle a world which is changing so rapidly? They try harder to be "right", and miss the mark, consistently. It hurts people. Because being so rigid when the world is naturally so fluid, is painful. I think they DO know they hurt people with their insistence that everyone be the same, but their fear of hell trumps their love of humanity. But, I see that these people are struggling. They worry. They post hundreds of Facebook statuses about how we are losing America. How God will send us all to hell because we want everyone to be equal. It is so.....hard for them.
     I have to mention the religious folk who embrace learning, and knowledge, and who know for themselves that God loves everyone and isn't stupid enough to create people he hates. Those who believe in a God that did all that amazing scientific shit that created the world, and it wasn't as easy as, "Okay day 6, there's light. Done deal." People like my Mom. She is rad. She raised me to be a thinker, and not to just go along with the stuff other people tell me just because they have "authority". Because, "Everybody puts their pants on one leg at a time."

     I just ordered "Barfly" the movie. 2-4 days shipping plus the extra 3 to 7 days our post office takes because driving to the end of a cul-de-sac is strenuous, apparently. Floridians...

    That's it. Just over here, being smart and shit :)





Thursday, July 11, 2013

Just kidding, I'm not gonna slaughter a damn sheep.

     I've been wondering if I could live in a different country. My first thought about it is no way, since I am such a fucking baby about living only 2500 miles away from my friends and Mom. How would I function in a culture that's so different from mine that the language is different, when I can't even understand a southern drawl?? I bitch about everything Florida related, down to the street lights (that one is hard to explain, but trust me, they're fucked up). Husband lived in Sicily for a while when his Dad was in the Navy. I've heard wonderful and terrifying stories. How would I handle driving down two lane roads on a cliff with no speed limit and the likely reality of having to wait for 150 sheep to cross the road in the middle of my journey? My journey to the ONE store in town, which doesn't even sell loaves of bread. Because people bake their own bread...duh! And the electricity is iffy. Do people have running toilets or outhouses? I can't remember...I'm pretty sure he said the weather is just like California except people don't have air conditioning there. WTF.....I dunno...it seems like I'm too American for all that. Ugh. How gross of me to say that! I want to experience as much as possible in this life, and not limit myself to my small American life, but I know that what is most important to me is family (which to me is the same word as "friends") so what to do??

      And then there's Bug. I'm already sad she can't grow up with my California friend's daughter who is the same age, if I leave the country she will be missing out on growing up with Princess L too! I have a few friends that I have known since kindergarten, and I cherish those friendships so much. I know how hard they are to come by. I wish that for Bug too. I know her life can be just as wonderful without those kinds of relationships, but it still makes me a bit sad to think about. Alright, I am WAY ahead of myself now. Anyway, it is a thought in the back of my mind. Where would I go? We love France, and hope to at least take Gage there for graduation.
Nice, France
      Italy sounds interesting to me, or we both like Spain. Husband likes Portugal and Austria too, but I don't know what the fuck he's talking about there. Gage wants to go to Canada. Hm. That could be cool. There is the little matter of which countries would take us, too. Other countries are smart enough to make sure you're an asset before they let you live there. Unlike the US. As we all know.

     Maybe I watch too much Anthony Bourdain.... I have this admittedly unrealistic view on these places, like when I go to Spain I will help herd 100 sheep and then snack on the soft, sheep's milk cheese and freshly baked bread that someone's ancient old wife made for our trip, and pair it with regional wine from a handmade canteen. Then I'd slaughter a lamb two minutes before I cook it in a delicious stew, and spend the rest of the afternoon getting stuffed and drunk in a meadow full of wildflowers, with handsome native people who all wear the same white flowy shirt and black vests, and who speak in their romantic language that I don't understand but consider mounting my husband while they talk because it is THAT sexy.. Maybe afterwards someone would break out a guitar and sing Italian folk music, and I could nap......sigh....
Anthony (My hero) with the sheep in Spain
    
     In reality, it would probably be me blogging every 40 minutes about how much I miss 7-11 and sliced bread. That is, when my Wi-Fi worked...eek.

     It is a possibility that we could move out of the country, though. We've discussed it before. It is a desire we have both for us and our kids. By that time Gage will be grown, but to have a foreign country be the place he gets to go to visit us would be wonderful for him. I think he'd love that. Of course, if he has kids I'll wanna go live down the street from him, but we'll deal with that when we get there, right?
I dunno. It will take a lot of thought. I'm the hold up in this venture. I know that.

     I wanna be Anthony Bourdain I think. He lives a charmed life. The dude has eaten the best, drank the best, and met the most interesting people in the most interesting of places. He IS the most interesting man in the world.