Monday, May 31, 2010

As if Memorial Day isn't depressing enough

I spent most of the morning lying on my sofa watching TV. Yes, that's right. Yesterday I went to the movies, today I watched TV. God knows what will come next, I'll probably play a Wii tomorrow or something equally unheard of. But not today. Today I still suck at video games and refuse to play them. Today, I lay on the sofa in front of the television, clutching a mug of chai and a heating pad. (More on that later).

First up, Julie and Julia.

Well, if I wasn't feeling shitty enough already, this just about did me in.

Oh, hello woman who started a blog and immediately found fame and fortune, and then within a year had an agent/ book/movie/future writing deal.

Oh, hello woman who traveled the world before women really did that sort of thing, and then lived in a gorgeous apartment in Paris, and then graduated from the Cordon Bleu, and got an agent/book/tv deal.

Nicely done. Glad I was already on the couch in my bathrobe, so that I could more efficiently assume the position of depressed unemployed underachiever. Excellent.

I needed help - STAT. I needed to lift myself out of the doldrums I had sunk into. I needed to feel better about myself and our little home.

And that is when I turned on the Hoarders marathon.

Nothing makes you feel better about your own shortcomings (especially where housework is concerned) like this train wreck. It was right around the time that they dug the second fossilized cat out of the mound of garbage in some chicks living room, that I started feeling downright celebratory. I practically skipped out to the kitchen, cheerfully surveyed my family lying on the floor playing Legos, and announced that a trip to town was in order. I may not have a book deal, but I do have a life and a family and a trip coming up and friends coming to stay and things to do and people to see and places to go and so I went out and bought a hunk of triple cream brie and a baguette (because you don't have to be in France to enjoy those) and made some meat sauce from scratch (no recipe or food icon required) and decided that cleaning the bathroom actually COULD wait until tomorrow.

It's not like we're missing a cat or anything.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

no sex on an island

I saw Sex in the City 2 today.

That was depressing.

The girls looked old. Like, real old. They weren't having sex. I couldn't afford any of the clothes they were wearing, and I didn't want half of them anyway. Their kids were fucking annoying. Their husbands weren't vaguely appealing. Aidan was there, and hot, and Carrie got all dopey and ruined it. Samantha is a dirty whore. Charlotte needs to spank her daughters. Miranda still has weird front teeth that always distract me, but she was the only one I could even vaguely relate to.

And then came the scene - the best scene in the whole movie if you ask me, where Miranda and Charlotte talk about that feeling that was just so totally famliar to me (and probably to other moms that went through hell to have kids). You want kids. You wait so long for them, and you go through so much - so FUCKING MUCH - to have kids and you are so excited to be a mommy, and turns out that being a mommy is not exactly what you had envisioned. And while I totally understood Charlotte locking herself in the pantry when the kids got to be a little too much........I frankly would have locked the KIDS in the pantry, and taken myself to the closest bar for a refreshing beverage, a cigarette, and some fucking peace and quiet.

Tomorrow is the first official day of our Summer Vacation. Meaning, both kids are out of school. Luckily, Sami is also going to be home so I will have one more day of reprieve from having these kids to myself.

I love my kids. But I hate it when they get bored. It makes me feel like the worst mother in the world. I don't want them to just sit around and watch TV, but god knows I don't have a whole bunch of original ideas lined up to keep them entertained. I have NO IDEA what we are going to do next week.

I guess I can just take them to the forest or the beach or the playground, and let 'em rip. I definitely can't let them use my laptop, because this afternoon while I was at the movies, they somehow removed or disconnected or shut off or uninstalled the wireless driver and now it can't connect ot the internet unless I am attached to the modem with a wire that is about 3 feet long. And the modem is in a dark corner of the house with no furniture. When I left they were lying on the couch  in the sunshine watching netflix - on our wireless internet connection. When I got back my computer was abandoned on the coffee table, and no one had ANY IDEA that it no longer had the ability to connect to the internet. My computer is currently balanced precariously on the printer, tethered to this stupid 3 foot long wire from an old desktop, while I type standing up in the dark, angling the screen to illuminate the keyboard enough so that I can see what the fuck I am doing.

Oh no, nothing happened. No, they didn't touch anything. No, the power didn't go out. No, they didn't have any trouble using it before I got home. Oh no, it worked JUST FINE while I was gone.

And now, it just..........doesn't.
Awesome. Building a fucking mystery over here, people.

So yeah, if you are keeping track, with this added to my electronics graveyard that I have hidden behind the massage chair that also seems to be having electrical problems, that makes 2 broken computers and a broken VCR, a hard drive with a malfunctioning version of iTunes that I am afraid to touch in case I erase all of the music on there, 2 broken cameras (one digital, one video) and a bunch of empty DVD and cd cases whose contents have mysteriously disappeared like my FUCKING WIRELESS CONNECTION......which all adds up to a very long summer vacation. I just couldn't be more excited about this. I'll be here, sweating, wearing clothes I found in a garbage bag of moldy clothes that were left in a garage that got flooded after a garage sale, and a pair of $2 flip flops, and the only place I am jetting off to is my mom's house. (Yes, there will indeed be brief stops in my beloved San Fran and Seattle - but trust me, glamour is not going to have any part in that. It's still going to be hot as fuck, and I'll just have the 3 dresses from the post-yard sale apocalypse and the pair of flip flops) and my husband and I will be seperated for almost a month, so sex either.

It's like I am the exact OPPOSITE of Carrie Bradshaw. Because she even has fucking wireless internet. That bitch.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Embracing the Rainbow School

My friend Trouble calls my kids' school "the rainbow school". And dude, she is right, this place is all pretty and nice and full of sunshine and raindrops. I never knew that a school could be like that.

The school itself is out in "the jungle". Nestled in a rural area right on the ocean, surrounded by fields and streams and winding dirt roads. The school grounds are filled with trees to climb, dirt to dig, palm fronds perfect for building forts, decks to lie out on in the sunshine, lawns to frolic on. Swings and skateboards, animals and art supplies, laughter and some tears - life as it should be for a kid.

And just over yonder, down a path lined with orchids that grow wild, past an old double decker bus, over a narrow bridge and through the a hidden pool, with a waterfall and low cliffs perfect for scrabbling up and jumping off into the water. There are trees hanging low to swing on with your toes dipped in the water. Stones perfect for skipping. Big flat rocks where you can warm up and dry off between swims.

And that is where the school went today on an outing.

We all walked together, the kids laughing and chasing each other, towels slung around their necks and dragging through the grassy fields. We made our way down the trail, over the hill, throught the trees and into the hollow, to celebrate the last day of school. Lucy and I totally crashed the party - she heard about pools and waterfalls and hiking and refused to accept that she was not invited. That she won't even start school there until next fall. She didn't care if this adventure today was for the big kids. She was going, and that was that. The teachers were very sweet to let us tag along and I am so glad we did.

As we sat next to the splashing kids, handing out fresh picked bananas and swapping stories and laughing in the sunshine I realized that as much as the school is right for my kids, in terms of their education, and their needs, and their is also going to help provide them with the childhood I want for them. Great teachers, kind and loving and gentle and firm and inspiring. Great classmates who are compassionate and well-traveled, able to communicate and express emotions and encourage each other all along the way. And the most idyllic location imaginable.

Paradise found, for everyone. It's not a dream, it's the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow Trouble keeps talking about. It's here, and we found it together and I am so, so relieved.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lalalalala I'm not listening

We are getting closer to our date of departure for the mainland, and it cannot come a moment too soon.

I am afraid that this blog, during the summer months, could devolve into an in-depth analysis of the woes of summer vacation. To recap:
1 child is still in school
1 child is just beginning her THIRD DAY of summer vacation.
It is now (checks clock) 7:55 AM and she has already been sent to her room for standing just a few feet away and saying, repeatedly and loudly, "LALALALALALALALA I'M NOT LISTENING."

I am now going to begin testing the limits of my own creativity. I need to come up with some quick and clever ways to distract my children, to redirect my children, to entertain my children, or just to get them to shut the fuck up until at least 8am. I don't think it's too much to ask, that they not scream and poke and fight and throw things about in a most unorganized and anarchaic manner, which I find most distasteful.

I am well stocked for battle:

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I have reached the limits of human endurance

I am so looking forward to summer vacation with my children.
If I say that enough, maybe it will be true.

In the meantime, I am going to have to focus on not punching my son in the head.

Right now, he is standing next to me, in a hooded parka and fuzzy slippers and fleece pants, muttering about Antarctica, and making comments under his (stinky morning) breath like "Why do we have to live up here where it's so cold".

We live in fucking MAUI. HAWAII. It's (checks outdoor thermometer) 6:39am, and it's 66 degrees outside and the sun isn't all the way up yet.

The child has already been sent to his room because seriously? I don't need to listen to that shit. Thank GOD he goes to school in a few hours, so I can get a break from his baloney.

And the other one? Yeah, she's on my list too. Yesterday was Lucy's first day of summer vacation. She spent the entire day begging to watch TV, watching TV, eating me out of house and home, building forts, and whining about being bored. BUT she refused to get dressed or leave the house. So once again, my sympathy level is excruciatingly low. As is my patience.

To summarize. One child has had ONE DAY of summer vacation, the other one is STILL IN SCHOOL, it is (checks clock) 6:43 in the A M and I am already all kinds of pissed off.

I have a new plan. Starting next week, when we don't have to be anywhere, I am going to lock myself in my room with a cooler and leave them to fend for themselves. Maybe I'll finally write that novel I have floating around in my head, or maybe I'll just stay in there practicing tomahawk stops and peeing in a jar. Who cares? I'M ON VACATION.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Charlie is Not a Knot

Two nights ago, post-bout and after the after party, I woke up at about 2am.

I couldn't breathe.

I was gasping and choking and when I tried to sit up, I screamed. More in a silent, horror movie kind of way since I have no idea how long I had been struggling to breathe.....but if I had been able to the scream would have been equivalent to the shower scene in Psycho, or one of the poor women on "Baby Story" who agreed in the glow of pregnancy to have their delivery recorded for posterity. That show scared the crap out of me when I was pregnant, and the screming of some of those mama's still rings in my ears. So that was the sound I heard inside my head when I tried to roll over.

But in reality, Sami didn't even wake up. So if anyone ever breaks into our house, just know that they will totally be able to strangle me first, and then move over to his side and finish the job. I'm just saying.

So I lay there and just swung one arm (with a fist on the end) over in his general direction, and I believe caught his right buttcheek with enough force to at least cause him to let out an "umph". So I swung again.

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" he asked.

"help" I whimpered.

He got me over to my side, I hung my head over the bed and tried to breathe. And not puke. And breathe.


Sami spent about 5 minutes poking around and found what turned out to be the biggest gnarliest knot in my back. All of that pain? Was a fucking Charlie Horse-style back spasm. I have had them in my leg, but never in my back and OH MY GOD IT WAS AWFUL.

I blame it on cheap tequila. I blame all of the ills of the world on cheap tequila. There is no excuse for drinking that shit.

So for the past 24 hours, I have been pounding potassium and water, stretching and lying under my crazy cool Infrared Lamp that I bought from my acupuncturist when we were trying to get pregnant 11 years ago. (I am not promoting that website, and didn't buy from them - but they have a good description of what it is).

Now I am going to pop some more ibuprofin and drive carpool. I am working on a way to power the lamp with my cigarette lighter in the truck. It could happen. Do not under estimate me.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Roar of the Crowd

Yesterday was the bout.

I was one of the referrees.

I wore hotpants, and everybody saw them. EVERYBODY. Everybody at the bout. Everybody at the afterparty. They are pretty kick-ass hotpants. I wanted to show them off.

And the tequila at the afterparty didn't hurt, either.

Here's the weird thing about referreeing - something I hadn't thought about until I was in the ring. I had to be impartial. When one of my girls did something fucking awesome, I had to just grit my teeth and keep skating. When one of them fucked up, I had to call it. And I was so afraid I was playing favorites, it was like I was watching them more, holding them to a higher standard, so I wouldn't be accused of favoritism.

Of course, it would have helped if I had memorized all of the rules. And the hand signals. And could read the numbers. And if anyone had heard a fucking thing I said. Or actually went to the penalty box when I sent them.

I would blow my whistle and no one would blink, they were so engaged in the game. I would shout, and they would keep skating. I would stop and point and yell and then skate after them, pointing and yelling and blowing and trying to keep the spit in my whistle from running down my face (which was one of my biggest challenges). And it was as though I was a cheerleader - they would skate faster and harder, and I would follow, around and around the track.

It was ridiculous. I felt like a rodeo clown.

So next time, I'm breaking out the airhorn, you assholes. You had best be listening. I'll blow your hotpants right off your ass.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

You're just gonna have to take my word on it.

Tonight my daughter - my baby - graduated. From pre-school. She didn't get her bachelors or anything, but that's not the point. The point is, she is quickly ditching her babyhood. She is, as she will tell anyone within earshot "5 year olds". And now she is also a graduate. (Of preschool.) (It's a big fucking deal.)

So tonight was the graduation. I had completely misunderstood what tonight was all about. The school sends home so many damn flyers and notices that it is hard to keep track of all of them, and clearly I missed an important one. Or three. Because I had NO IDEA it was just the preschool graduation tonight. They called it Aloha Night, and I thought it was a school-wide event. I was mistaken. I thought the only real "graduates" would be the kids who were finishing elementary school and moving to middle school. I was totally and completely wrong. I had NO IDEA that it was just the preschool graduates.

So we went bustling down there, dressed up and on time, with a camera even. And I remembered to charge the battery, so I had done SOME preparation (because the number of times I have shown up at events with a dead camera battery are too numerous to mention). But as we walked in the door I realized immediately that I had made a terrible error. Everyone had bags of stuff: flowers, leis, candy, balloons - and I stood there and realized that I was completely and totally empty-handed.

Fuck. fuckfuckfuckfuck.

I panicked. I might have thrown up in my mouth a little bit. My stomach turned and I realized that while I was running around picking up yard sale crap for the derby and yapping on the radio and driving back and forth to school because our carpool was cancelled today, and generating invoices and writing emails and trying to access online accounts for clients...........that I had forgotten to take care of my MOST IMPORTANT RESPONSIBILITY which would be making sure that my kid had a damn lei - or SOMETHING - after her graduation.

I suck.

But my suckage was far out-weighed by the suckage of others.

First of all, they didn't read the kids names in any particular order, and no one had any idea which songs their kids were singing. So you had no idea when it was going to be your kid's turn. Which meant that there was a crowd of parents standing, trying to get a photograph. At the end of the program they called each child up by name, again in no particular order, and gave them a certificate and bag of candy and lei, and then - for some unknown reason - let them walk off the stage and into the crowd to find their family.

Now, when you let a 3 or 4 or 5 year old walk into a crowd, in a gymnasium, there will be a lot of shouting.


So as we got to the last few students, you could barely hear anything over the chaos. And Lucy was one of the last 3 students. She finally walked across the stage, and got her diploma. She walked down the stairs slowly, uncertain of what she was supposed to do next.

I took a picture as she walked up. "Where's my candy lei?" she asked. Everyone around had a candy lei. Kids were racing up and down the aisles bestowing them on their classmates. Mothers held plastic shopping bags full of them. But one after the other, the kids ran by Lulu. She would see a friend approaching with an armload of leis, and she would step forward, smiling and hopeful. And the kid would run right by her. And each time, she looked as though someone had punched her in the gut. Crushed. Confused.

And I felt the same way. I scooped her up and we ran, together with Sam and Max, out of the gymnasium. We raced home through the dark, talking about where we were going that night to celebrate. What she wanted for her special dinner. How she would have a candy lei tomorrow, for the last day of school. And she was awesome. Totally forgot about the candy lei by the time we got to dinner. Her aunties and uncles spoiled her at the restaurant because they love her, and us, and had heard my whispered version of what had just transpired. They were armed with cucumber rolls and chocolate cake and hugs and congratulations.

And thank god. Because baby, you deserved it. I was so proud of you tonight. More proud then I could have expressed with some stupid plastic lei of crappy half melted candy, or an armload of roses.

But that doesn't mean I shouldn't have had that shit. Tonight you have to take my word on it, you are amazing and I am proud and tomorrow I will have candy leis and flowers waiting for you at school. I messed up tonight. I know I shouldn't have to give you material things to show that I love you, and I am so very proud of you and how well you sang and how you got up in front of that entire gymnasium and spoke into the microphone with a strong clear voice and a smile. But I'm going to get those things anyway. You are a fucking rockstar, and I can't wait to see your face when I hand you that candy lei tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Living Large

So the last few days have been kind of a bummer, and before that I was drunk and/or hungover. Which is why tonight I went to both Burger King and Jack in the Box.

I am not ashamed to admit that here.

If you are gasping or shaking your head, you can just stop that RIGHT THIS MINUTE. If you have never done this, then I urge you to try it. It makes you feel like the king shit to splurge and go to different drive thrus only ordering exactly what you want. It feels totally extravagant and indulgent. If you can call anything relating to fast food extravagant or indulgent. Which in this instance you totally can.

If you HAVE done this, then I know you are totally giving me a virtual fist bump. Because FUCK YEAH.

I went to Burger King first. I needed a Whopper Jr in the worst possible way. I know how disgusting it is to eat fast food. I know how terrible those burgers are.  I know how awful it is to be supporting these corporations. I just read Anna's post about being a vegetarian and how much she loved the book "Eating Animals" and even though I think Anna is fucking amazing and her sense of style is impeccable and I honor and respect her reasons for being a vegetarian..........I vowed not to read that book because it will ruin me. The peace of mind I get from sitting in my car on a rainy night with the wipers swooshing back and forth and the radio playing, eating a Whopper Jr., is just not something I am willing to give up. It happens very rarely, and when it does, it makes me really fucking happy.

But that was not enough. I knew - before I even got to Burger King - that I would be making a second stop tonight. I needed to get me some stuffed jalepenos.

I have argued in the past, and stand by my conviction, that Jack in the Box's stuffed jalepenos, are basically the most perfect hangover food that there is. And while my hangover is long gone, I had been jonesing for these since Saturday night. And damnit, I was going to have them. So I did.

And as I sat there in another parking lot, staring out at some ridiculous county road construction/sewer project (I have no idea what the hell they are doing over there but it's been happening for months - let's wrap that shit UP already) and completely mesmerized by the flashing orange lights on the sawhorses indicating the continuing road closure, I thought about my day. My week. My life.

Chaotic doesn't really come close to the way I get through my days. I like to stay busy, and so I do......but it can be hard to keep track of everything. So I was taking some time to think about what needed to be done, and adding some items to the ToDo list. And chewing.

It was peaceful, there, alone in the car. The windows started to fog up in the rain, and I decided to head home. But for just a minute, I felt lucky, and content. Warm, dry, eating comfort foods in my car that has a full tank of gas, after spending an evening trying not to be such a pussy about derby practice (and failing miserably). It was a good day. And I have a good life. And I was very grateful.

And I can thank that Whopper Jr. for helping me to appreciate everything I have. And for that reason alone, I can never become a vegetarian.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The only time my car is on the back of a flatbed is when I run it into something

Today I was driving down the road, and something caught my eye. Maybe it was the flash of green. Maybe it was the shape of the Boston Red Sox "B". Whatever it was, I did a double take. This is a small island. I shouldn't have been so surprised.

It was exactly what I thought it was.

A few cars ahead of me, on the back of a flatbed was a truck. My friend's truck. It was on it's way to the port, to be shipped back to the mainland.

They will follow that truck back to the mainland on Thursday. 3 more days.

I live in a place where it is not at all unusual for people to leave. People move away all the time. People who are born here, who have their entire family here, who have never left the island,  move away all the time. They move because it is too expensive, or too stifling. They move in search of opportunities, bigger houses, better schools, to get off the rock, to get away from someone or to be closer to someone.

They leave. And they don't come back. It's not unusual, but it doesn't make it easier. This is just not easy. Even though I knew it was coming.

So today, when I saw that truck, on the back of that flatbed, headed for the harbor, I hurt. It hurt my heart to see that rear window driving away for the last time. I know we are going to see them again on the mainland, I know it. I do. In just a few weeks, as a matter of fact. We're easing the kids into the idea of being apart. We're easing ourselves into it, too. One last 4th of July birthday explosive-laden celebration.

But god knows when I'll see the back of their truck again, driving away down the road, with my friends family inside, after celebrating a holiday, or just hanging out around the house for a while.
I don't really feel like writing today.
Maybe tomorrow.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Big Day of Fun that Almost Wasn't. But Then Totally Was.

I will say this - the girls love a tit tatt.

Now, they may have used the tattoo as an excuse to grab my boob and/or pull down my bustier, but either way, they at least feigned interest in the ink while they were groping and photographing.

I blame the entire thing on Mr. Jameson.
And Bacon Beer.

Yesterday was planned as A Big Day of Fun. Our schedule was jam-packed, and in order to get everything done, we had to involve the drop-in childcare at the mall, and public transportation.....but dammit, I was gonna make this happen for us. I was determined to begin my day getting all glammed up and sipping cocktails, and finish it drunk in an irish bar, cheering on friends and teaching my son how to hold a lighter aloft in support of his favorite bands. A life lesson, and one he would never forget, I'd wager. Turns out, he learned lots of lessons - but not that particular one.

Things we (and especially DADDY) learned on Saturday:
When mommy makes a plan, showing up dirty and unprepared to follow said plan? Is completely unacceptable.

When mommy makes a plan, and then has been drinking, and then you are not prepared to follow said plan (that was set up in advance of said drinking so that things would not get ugly)? Things get ugly. Ugly indeed.

When said plan involves being gone for the entire afternoon and evening, the dogs MUST be exercised before commencing said plan. When mommy allots 4 hours in said plan for this to be accomplished, mommy expects it to be done.

When you arrive woefully unprepared to follow said plan, and mommy has been drinking, and mommy has to diverge from said plan, mommy does not always have the full use of mommy's coping skills.

Sometimes, mommy forgets to use mommy's nice words, when the plan that was set up in advance of mommy's drinking is not followed after said drinking has commenced.

Diverting from said plan will result in either fun and hiijinks, or a very very angry mommy.

Mommy should never go to a bar dressed in a bustier that is a few sizes too big, to hang out unsupervised with the roller girls, after a day of drinking. THAT was not in the plan.

But it was fucking awesome anyway.

It all started out so smoothly. I spent my morning in a ballroom getting my hair straightened and eating club sandwiches. Lovely. I got some cute little dresses and a coupon for free McDonalds fries, so I considered it a morning well-spent.

Then I raced across the island to meet my family. I got to the mall just as they were disembarking from the bus, and suddenly, all of my plans came to a skidding halt. You could literally hear the brakes squealing. Or maybe that was the flames shooting out of my ears. I really can't be certain, it was hard for me to see or hear anything through the black rage. The three of them got off the bus, not dressed for A Big Day of Fun, but instead looking as though they had just finished four hours of yardwork. Dirty, sweaty, disheveled and clearly exhausted. Now don't get me wrong, I am frequently sweaty and disheveled. It's my natural state. I am not one to judge. I looked desperately for a backpack that I was SURE my darling husband had brought along with changes of clothes. And maybe our camping shower. At the very least, some baby wipes. He was carrying a small totebag. I had hopes that he had extra (clean) clothes in there, which were quickly dashed when he pulled out two rainjackets. I looked at him, perplexed. We had many plans, but none of them involved being outdoors in inclement weather. Honestly, I am surprised he didn't disintegrate in the heat of my burning glare.

Max was standing there, slumped, dirt smeared across his face, clearly in need of a double espresso and some chocolate. Lucy had tired puffy eyes, and her braids were all undone. She sort of swayed as she stood clinging to the railing, probably about to topple over and take a nap on the concrete.

I wasn't far from that myself, let's be honest. But dammit I had to rally, and so did everyone else. There was fun to be had. THIS WAS OUR BIG DAY OF FUN DAMMIT. LET'S HAVE SOME FUCKING FUN.

I turned to my beloved, the one who clearly was woefully unprepared for our big day, and tried not to yell. He had no excuse. He knew it. "What, exactly, were you thinking." It wasn't a question, it was a statement. I really didn't give a shit what he was thinking. Clearly, he was not thinking about much. 

"I fucked up." was the lightening fast response.

Well, yes, yes indeed you did.

I tried, I tried to let it go. We dropped the kids off. We went to the brewfest. I had too much beer. I staggered out. He drove back to get the kids. I went to Hot Topic to pick up some accessories for the evenings festivities. One of the events was 80's themed, and fingerless gloves were required. I was lucky enough to also score a black and red satin bustier that was only 3 cup sizes too big, but at $6, really, there was no leaving it on the rack. Sami looked disgusted. I glared at him.

Then we raced home, where the dogs were literally trying to charge through a solid wood gate.

"What the hell is wrong with them?" I asked. "Didn't they get enough exercise today?"

He looked guilty. "I didn't take them for a walk." he admitted.

Oh dear.

This is where Mr. Jameson followed by 3 hours in the sun at brewfest reared their ugly, ugly heads.

I cut loose with a string of profanities that really, I cannot repeat. Even here. I am not proud, but I was angry, and we were running an hour late for Max's art opening at the tattoo parlor, and then we still had the battle of the bands and WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK DUDE?!

So we all cleaned up, the dogs were walked, the art opening was attended, and because it was already way past bedtime, the kids had to forgo the battle of the bands.

But not mommy.

Oh no, mommy put on her fancy $6, only 3 sizes too big bustier and her black tutu and her Doc Martins, shoved her man hand (seriously, I have the biggest fucking man hands ever) into a red patent leather fingerless glove (with bows! Fancy!), and got back in the Mini.

Even though I had only been drinking water since about 5pm, I was decidedly worse for the wear. 36 hours of fun will do that to even the most hard core. By the time I staggered back into the house at 2am, I was a sad shadow of the glamorous mama who had been primped and pampered just that very morning. As one of the girls said at the bar "I"m not a hooker, I skate roller derby." Sometimes, you need to clarify these things. Appearances can be deceiving. With one of my bustier cups mashed flat, my hair deflated, my lipstick smeared and dizzy with fatigue and a pounding headache, I needed to get in bed and sleep for a few (or many) hours.

My name is Daffodil Campbell, and I'm a roller girl.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

You need to make less noise when you pee

Good morning. I am writing this post with what I would usually call a hangover, but to be honest, I'm pretty sure I'm still drunk. So, yeah. Not at my best.

As you know, either from my blog or from witnessing Daffodil in action on assorted holidays and celebrations, Mr Jameson and I have a very rocky relationship. He is a bad, bad man..........but I love him. I do. So last night, in honor of my Maui Family's imminent departure, I broke out the beloved green bottle and got cozy sloppy plastered.

Now, under normal circumstances in my adult, parent of two, homeowning life, waking up after an evening with Mr. Jameson wouldn't be such a big deal. I have my own bedroom, with a bathroom right across the hall. And I already know not to make plans after we have spent time together, Mr; Jameson and I. With years of practice, I have developed many ways to avoid the walk of shame because dammit, you just can't walk that walk carrying a toddler.

But today, in an interesting twist that harkens back to my high school, post- spring musical days of yore, I woke up with a house full of people, asleep in every room. On any other occasion it would have been such a sweet reminder of good friends and good times. Instead, I lay in bed wondering if I should get up and puke, or try to sleep some more, or just stick my head out the window and let 'er rip. It was a tough call. But I was petrified of waking people up, and didn't want to embarrass myself, so I lay there, suffering, waiting for people to begin stirring.

At the first sign of life, which arrived at the painful hour of 6am, I staggered out of my room to find Trouble and the boys awake and looking for aspirin. (OK, that was just Trouble, but still, I think that pretty much everyone in the house would benefit from some painkillers at this point).

After digging my economy sized bottle of (my anti-inflammatory of choice) out of my purse I was faced with the ultimate conundrum. In addition to really wanting to throw up, I had to pee. But I didn't want to pee because then everyone would be able to hear it in the relative quiet of my house at 6am.

Yes, I have issues. Can we talk about them later? Thanks.

In the meantime, I really have to get ready to go. I have a jam-packed day ahead, and I guess Mr. Jameson will be joining me in spirit. Whatta guy.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I am my skates and my skates are me

The first real piece of advice I got at derby practice was to bend your knees and stay low, to the inside of the track. The second piece of advice was to wear your skates as much as possible. I wanted to - I really wanted to. But the greeter at Walmart told me I couldn't wear skates in the store (yet another reason Walmart sucks - like I needed another reason) and I don't get out much so.....despite my best intentions I don't wear my skates that often outside of practice. And besides, with size 11 feet the damn things are HEAVY. Stupidly, ridiculously heavy. I suppose I could just sit around lifting my feet up and down, over and over, and probably get as much of a workout as actually skating on them, but that would be boring, and weird. Instead, I try to find opportunities to wear them around the house.

Today I made a quiche in skates. I had to wear my son's rollerblades, because my husband took my skates to work (in the trunk - he wasn't skating around his office in them, I don't think.) The quiche turned out just fabulous, and I am sure the skates had everything to do with how light and fluffy it was. Wouldn't you agree?

Tomorrow I plan to clean the house in my skates. At the very least, it will be more challenging. But I am hoping it is also more fun. Because seriously? I hate cleaning the fucking house. If this works out like I hope it does, then I can see plenty more days of rolling happily around the house in my skates with a can of Pledge and a featherduster, dragging a vacuum along behind me. It sounds like much more fun then the way I do it now, which is in my granny underwear with a beer.

And to update you on my asshole dog: He fucking did it AGAIN. I wish I was kidding. But that STUPID FUCKING DOG ate more of the carpet inside my car. I am not going to post a picture because honestly, it makes me nauseous to even think about it - never mind photograph it for posterity. It's like living in that "Marley and Me" movie, as so many of you have SO HELPFULLY POINTED OUT, except I'm no Jennifer Aniston, and I think my husband might be hotter then Owen Wilson. In a Middle Eastern kind of way. That doesn't make any sense at all, does it.

My point is this - this is not a movie, it's my fucking BRAND NEW CAR and if he doesn't knock it off he will never see the inside of it again. If he is very, very lucky I will forget about this before he's dead. I doubt it though - he honestly may never have another car ride - ever. He certainly doesn't deserve one. The little bastard. Okay, I feel better now. I'm going to put on my skates and fold laundry.

P.S. if he eats my skates, hand to God, he is fucking Dead Dog Walking. No Joke.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I should have just stuck with my beta fish.

Remember this dog?

He's an asshole.

I would write more about this, but he is busily digging up the garden and I really need to save my cilantro.
So I have to go.

In summary: Get a fish. Man's best friend MY ASS. Please note that in addition to the cargo area carpet, he also ate the seatbelt. And while he did that? He was SITTING ON A BONE. From fucking WHOLE FOODS. And several other chew toys. And we were on a car ride. And the back window was open. And it was a beautiful sunny day. And instead of hanging his head out the window and enjoying it, HE ATE MY CAR.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

In which party preparations have begun. Otherwise known as That Daffodil is So Fucking Fancy

Oh yes, I am. Thank you for noticing.

Today, I sanded and re-painted a table. Well, if you can call it painting. Really, I just rubbed some paint around on top for a minute and then let it dry. It's called "Shabby Chic", but really it's "I was too lazy to sand it down properly":

And no, I DIDN'T MISS A SPOT. Heathens. All of you.

You will notice the nice, almost centered hole that Sam drilled in there yesterday. It is not for some crazy Amish party trick, whatever you may have heard. It's for an umbrella. YES in the middle of my shabby chic coffee table. Heathens. Again.

I needed a hole for an umbrella in the table, because I got an umbrella on Craigslist. Check this shit out:



That picture, by the way, is taken on my patio, newly fanci-fied by my beloved. MmmMmmm patio.

And then, I had to move around some furniture, so I set up this little tableau:

Yeah, that's a bong. IS THERE A PROBLEM? For your information, it is for smoking TOBACCO. And, it was a wedding gift. No, really. And yes, my wedding WAS super-awesome.


I totally know how to throw a party.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sometimes, going back is harder then choosing to leave in the first place

Okay. I know we weren't going to talk about this any more.
I totally lied to you.

BUT I am almost done talking about this. Because last night was my first night back at the restaurant working with that guy - the asshole. And despite all of my misgivings, and the sleepless nights, and even the nausea in the parking lot that kept me in my car for several minutes while I worked up the courage to go was okay. I got all dolled up and rocked my turquoise sparkly Dorothy shoes, and went in there and did my best and had a great night and after the first hour I was feeling just fine - even though that guy was working and I had to interact with him and it was awkward and uncomfortable. I survived.

But you know what was interesting? It wasn't anger, or disappointment, or conflicting feelings about continuing to work for this guy that kept me all worked up and wide awake for the past week while I debated going back to work for him, and with him.

It was fear.

Old, deep fear. I have been marching around for the last few months thinking I was merely indignant. How dare he! No one talks to me like that!

But someone has. Someone has talked to me like that before and when my boss turned to me and spit those words out, man, it was like the twilight zone In My Head. Some crazy fucked up parallel universe that I wanted no part of and needed to escape for my own sanity. And THAT is why I left.

Of course, you don't talk to people like that, it just took me a lot of time to figure out why I reacted the way that I did: Instead of standing my ground and screaming FUCK YOU which would be my usual, natural response to such nonsense. Instead (and most unlike good old spastic loudmouth me) I was cool, calm, and without a doubt in my mind. No second thoughts. Because I had been practicing in my head all of these many years for what I would do The Next Time something like that happened to me. And I was ready.

I was brave enough now, because I am loved enough today.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

From a pile of dog crap, something beautiful will grow. This is not a euphamism.

So we have these two dogs.

They shit a lot. Really, more then is necessary. In this picture, Owen looks like he's going to take a dump right then and there, for godssake. It's just completely unnecessary to crap that much. It's not healthy. So in an attempt to find the pot of dogshit at the end of the rainbow, I have been putting it in my garden, with spectacular results:

Okay, notsomuch spectacular. But I have high hopes. (Not that kind of high. I'm not high. IT'S MOTHER'S DAY STOP JUDGING.)

So today, I am grinding all of the dogshit into MULCH ! Aren't I clever? It's like taking lemons and making lemonade. But with dogshit. And I'm not going to drink it afterwards. So I guess it's not really like that at all.

All of this is just to say that this Mother's Day I am going to be doing the one thing that I seriously hate more then anything else. Yardwork. (I bet you thought I was going to say cleaning up dogshit. But I already did that part. HAH !)

Happy Mother's Day. Would you like some fresh organic mulch?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Big Reveal

I know you have been waiting Oh So Patiently for the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT wherein I finally let the cat out of the bag and give you my chosen roller derby name.

There is a bout today on another island so lets all take a moment to think good thoughts for the girls who are going against my beloved Maui Roller Girls. They are going to need all of our prayers and good wishes because chances are very VERY good that the other team, poor souls, are going to get their asses beat. I mean, I'm scared to PRACTICE with my team. And I'm ON THEIR TEAM. And it's PRACTICE. But practice or no, no matter who's team you are on, chances are good that at some point, I am going to find myself spread eagled (and not in a good way) on the concrete.

My girls roll some motherfucking derby, is all I am saying. I have never seen anything like the kind of complete domination that they have thrown down, beating their opponents by 100, 200 points at a time. It's just SILLY. And I have no doubt in my mind that they will just be taking names and throwing people clear off the track business AS USUAL and coming home with fresh, bleeding fishnet burn, triumphant and incredibly drunk.

(I hope there are enough airsick bags to handle the in-flight consequences of a bout.)

It's still not official. I am not listed on the BIG ROSTER OF RECORD but you know what? God knows when that is going to actually happen, and in the meantime I have nothing else to talk about today and I just finished putting my name on my helmet and gosh, it's just so damn pretty and pink and sparkly ya go:

Yeah. That's me. Number 420. (ahem).
Daff O'Drill. Drill for short.
You should see my tartan hotpants. They are divine.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Finger lickin good. My meatballs, that is. No, not those. Jesus. Nevermind.

I am so totally unhinged at the prospect of returning to work that I am going back to basics. Cooking is the cheapest form of therapy that I have come up with thusfar. You know, besides prescriptions. Those work too. But cooking is a close second. Unless you buy ingredients at Whole Foods. Then it is no longer cheap, but still therapeutic. Even better if you get a bottle of wine while you are there.

So today I am making meatballs. Which are, in and of themselves, very healing. And I would be drinking wine. Except I have to work tonight.


At the cafe.

I am not even going to bother linking back to the older posts, discussing and debating the decision to return. I am on the schedule. I am going to put on my big girl panties and go earn some fucking money.

However, I wouldn't want to go back without first declaring, in a very public way, that I do not feel good about this. I have a very bad feeling about this. This doesn't feel right to me. So if something goes very terribly wrong, do not let it be said that I went into this blythely. (Not that you would ever say that. I mean, obviously. We've been talking about it for, what, six fucking weeks?)

But if something happens, I will not be happy to hear a chorus of "I told you so" because *I* told *YOU* so. You have been given fair warning. This could be just fine, or this could be really terrible. I am risking it all, putting that cool, calm and collected, totally justified exit strategy I implemented with such grace and dignity, that single shining moment when I did The Right Thing, on the line - in order to make some money.

We can talk about my reasons for choosing to risk my self-respect for a few bucks, but what does it matter. God knows I have given my self-respect a good beating over the years. At least in this situation I'll be able to buy groceries.

Here. Have a meatball. Every little thing is going to be alright. Probably. Maybe not. But don't say I didn't warn you.

And on a positive note - if I ever leave again, it will not be so quietly, in such a dignified manner. Oh no. I will go out in a blaze of glory, with a volley of "Fuck YOU's" and perhaps a nasty letter to the editor. I am not ruling out a picket line. There may be mooning. I could get the roller girls involved. I'm just saying. It could happen.

So treat me right, you asshole. Because you only get one second chance. And you don't even deserve that one. And no, you can't have a meatball. You gotta earn that shit.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Went to the feast, and didn't take a single photo

I know that I said I would post photos of the feast, but I didn't take any. I spent 4 hours in a small booth, under a crowded tent, shilling goldfish to hapless parents and determined youngsters, and hapless youngsters and determined parents. My husband showed up to cover me for that last hour, because I thought I might just lose it completely if I didn't get out of there. Between the smell of the fish and the sense of desperation amongst the contestants, it was pretty grim.

There was the uncle that let the kid try a few times, and then dropped $40 in an incredible effort to win a fish for him - and struggle to hide his embarrassment when he walked away empty-handed.

The boyfriend that jeered at the girl when she missed, and then came back to the booth 5 seperate times - ostensibly to show her how it was done - and never showed her a damn thing except what an asshole he was. He probably spent $25.

I watched one family blow over $30 trying to get their 13 month old to win her own goldfish by throwing a ping pong ball into a small fishbowl.
Even the kid pulled out her pacifier (I swear to god) and looked at me with these eyes that said "These people are batshit crazy, just give me the damn ball so I can get out of here."

I handed out some of the most expensive half-dead goldfish on the planet that day. On first glance, when I was signing up for my volunteer shift, it seemed like it would be a fun gig - we LOVE trying to win a goldfish every year. The kids just can't get enough of it. Maybe that is because we always win with relatively little effort. Based on our past experiences, I thought it would be a nice way to spend my mandatory 5 hours - but I walked out of there jaded and smelling like a fishtank. And I wasn't even the one shoveling fish into bags of fishy water, and then blowing into the bags to inflate them when the oxygen tank ran out an hour into our shift. It seemed counter-productive to be filling the bag with CO2 instead of oxygen, and the idea of pressing my face into a bag wet with fishbowl water made me gag, so I am lucky my booth partner was made of sterner stuff. She was scooping and blowing and I was taking tickets and watching families spend a small fortune in an attempt to take home a 99 cent fish.

"JESUS!" I wanted to say (but I didn't because, HELLO? I was at the Catholic Church Feast) "Just go to the pet store and BUY a fish ! Preferably one that hasn't been traumatized to within an inch of it's life and will probably die before you get home." I also didn't tell them that these little fishies require more then just a little fishbowl to survive. According to the pet store, you need an aquarium. And a pump. And a filter. And special food. And purified water.

I ended up feeling guilty - guilty about the families spending so much money. Guilty about the fish suffocating in the bags filled with CO2. Guilty that I hadn't bought more portuguese bean soup.

I love portuguese bean soup.

Viva La Feast !

Monday, May 3, 2010

When even the guy at the gas station is disgusted

Last night I was lying around, moping and sighing wistfully, alternating between staring at the ceiling and watching Conan talk about leaving the Tonight Show - which sure as hell put my situation in perspective. I'll never be able to grow a cool-ass leprechaun beard, and no one is handing me 30 million dollars to choose unemployment.

Life just isn't fair.

I have been struggling with the decision to go back to work at the cafe. If you take out the emotional aspect, it's the right thing to do. It's a good job. Good people. It suits me. But as soon as I let my subconscious have it's say, things get much harder. I am not sleeping. I have a hard time sleeping as it is, and with this latest turn of events, I spend hours lying in bed debating and explaining and justifying and trying to find peace with it. It's obnoxious. I feel guilty, and I have no idea why. I feel embarrassed, but can't put my finger on the cause. I feel frustrated to have the ball in my court, after I had so neatly left it for someone else. This was a done deal and a closed chapter, and now it's......not.

At about 10pm, I decided that I needed some ice cream. You know, to help me get my head straight.
Sadly, my freezer did not contain any sweet dairy goodness - unless you count frozen tubes of GoGurt, which I absolutely DO NOT. I was in my pajamas, of course, seeing as how it was both bedtime AND I was in a funk. And because my state of mind was such that getting dressed was simply not an option, I grabbed my purse and went marching out the door with the dogs trailing behind.

I made a beeline for the nearest convenience store, and grabbed a pint of Haagen Dazs - because emotional eating deserves only the best that my Minit Stop has to offer. I bypassed the HoHo's (that was tough) and the ICEEs (even though I really wanted one) and marched right past the Heath bars. Okay, that's a lie, I stopped and picked up a Heath bar, but then I put it back. I wanted to drown my sorrows, not binge and purge. A pint of ice cream topped off with a Heath bar would have left me even more miserable then I already was.

Which was pretty fucking miserable.

I walked up to the counter and put down my pint. The guy behind the register - a manager trainee according to his name tag - grinned and said "Someone looks like they are ready for bed." I looked down at my rumpled pajama pants and my ratty t shirt. "Well, almost." I replied. "I just needed this one last thing." He handed me the pint and wished me a good night and sweet dreams, shaking his head at this woman with dark circles under her eyes and a greasy pony tail, driving around at 10 o'clock in her pajamas buying ice cream and studying the Heath Bars wistfully. I met his gaze with an icy stare, because trust me, I am not the only chick to show up in her pajamas around these parts. The only difference is, I had a bra on, and all of my teeth were present and accounted for. I walked back to the car and climbed in, setting the ice cream carefully in my cup holder.

By the time I got back to the house, Sami was in bed. I climbed in next to him, popped the lid off the cookie dough, and dug in.

I have no regrets.
Not going back to work.
Not going out in my pajamas.
Not going to bed with a pint of ice cream.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

But will I still respect myself in the morning

Yesterday, some pretty weird shit went down.

To recap: last month, I quit my job. Yeah, I know, I'm tired of hearing about it too. It's not like I am the first person to have an asshole boss, and walk out.

And it's not like he is the first boss to call an employee and apologize for being an asshole, and ask said employee to come back on whatever terms they need/want.  Which he did, last night. He may be the first boss to wait 6 weeks to make the call...........but you know, Maui time runs differently.

For the past 6 weeks, I have never once second-guessed my decision to leave. I missed working with my friends, I missed the customers, I missed the money A LOT. But I never, not for one minute, thought to myself: "If he would only apologize, I could just go back to the way things were."

Because this was not about an apology. But I got one anyway. I heard what he had to say, and thanked him for taking the time to call and tell me he was sorry. I also told him that it wasn't about an apology, that it was much more then that, and that I didn't quit in some kind of weird power play. I wasn't looking to come back. But he persisted, and finally I said I would talk to the girls at the restaurant. They are my girlfriends after all. And talk to the guys behind the line, and behind the bar, and ask them what they thought. So last night, I drove the famliar route down the mountain to the little town by the sea, for a staff-only, no asshole bosses invited, meeting.

We decided that really, even though it's not about an apology, he needs to make a public one. His brother suggested a letter to the editor. I said I thought an ad in Maui Time would be more apporpriate. A big ad. And a sign in the restaurant window. And a staff meeting where he stood up in front of everyone and not only apologized to me, but to the entire staff for being such a horse's ass to his employees, and promising to do better. To be kinder.

And it was funny. And we had some drinks and smoked some smokes and talked and hugged and laughed and caught up. And they all asked me to come back, in the kindest and sweetest ways. It is a family. (A crazy, fucked up family. So, you know, a real one.) I left saying that they could put me back in the schedule. I mean, I was home. it was familiar and warm, and I knew where everything was and no one was yelling and it was as though I was sitting in my own living room. How could I walk away from my home? And my family?

But then I got in the car and started to drive back up the winding road, to my little paniolo town perched on the side of the sleeping volcano, past fields and horses and there was my real home, with my darling husband and beloved children and silly dogs and horrible landscaping. And I started to remember. Last month. Last year. And then.......15 years. Another house. Another man. Different but equally silly and ill-behaved dogs. A house on the side of another mountain. I have been here before. At this all-to-familiar crossroads. It is at once a wonderful and terrible place to be.

And I don't want to stand at this intersection anymore. Ever again, actually. But this is real life, and there is a good chance that I will have another asshole boss, or an asshole co-worker, and I will hate my job and want to quit. It happens no matter where you are, no matter what you do. You can't avoid the assholes, they are literally everywhere. As they say, everybody has one. In fact, I have interacted with a few since leaving my job. So whether I go back or not, I will still have to deal with assholes. I might as well go somewhere familiar.


All night I have been sitting here thinking about whether I can go back. And more then ever before, I am remembering WHY I made this decision to begin with. It was the only control I had - the only way to ensure it never happened again. I was proud of myself, proud of my decision. It felt right. And now, sitting here lone in the dark, contemplating gong back to work for this man takes away from that feeling.

And frankly, in the face of his apology, this feels even more like an abusive relationship.
"I'm an asshole, you know I'm an asshole. I didn't mean to upset you."
"Whatever you want. All the time you need."
"I'm so sorry, it won't happen again."
"I want you to come back."
"You are a part of the family."
"I need you."
"I miss you."

It was a sincere apology. It was. But I have heard those words before, from different men. And I have returned. To different situations - personal and professional. And it was not different. Things had not changed. And I felt really shitty about myself. Really weak and pathetic. Each and every time. Powerless and humiliated.

Listen. I don't want to be a fucking martyr. I am not trying to make a big, dramatic statement. I am not trying to prove some bullshit point.

I don't know if I can do it. I don't know. It's not about the all-too-familiar apology. It's not about the money.
It's about me.
I liked the me who left.
I don't know if I can live with a me who goes back.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Mayday in Maui is a very big deal.

Break out your aloha wear, and get ready for a celebration !

This year, Lulu's class sang a song - and she did great.

Following the May Day festivities, we headed down to the church feast. Photos of that extravaganza coming tomorrow........

So, here is the opening of the ceremony - the conch blower. Obviously, this is NOT Lucy.