Thursday, April 29, 2010

Reasons why people do (and do not) invite us to parties

Reason 1:
I show up with my own road soda, already half in the bag. At 5pm.

Reason 2:
I show up half an hour late. Half in the bag. With a road soda.

Reason 3:
I wear obnoxious turquoise shoes covered in glitter, when everyone else is in basic black. Or jeans and a tank top.

Reason 4:
I specify which piece of cake I want. And stick my finger in it just to be sure no one else tries to take it.

Reason 5:
I dance the macarena on top of the table, in glitter heels, clutching aforementioned road soda.

Reason 6:
I taught my kids everything I know, and they can bump and grind like professionals.

Reason 7:
I take pictures of everyone. Constantly. With a flash.

Reason 8:
I eat all the avocado.

Reason 9:
I take over the present opening, and keep all the envelopes with cash. "For safekeeping".

Reason 10:
I hog all the babies.

Happy 5th birthday, Ava. Thanks for inviting us to your party - We had a great time !

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hurty Feelings

You know those days when you try to call friends and no one answers the phone? Or you have a day to yourself but no one to spend it with? Or when you send an email asking a question - a question who's response means more then you or the recipient might realize - and you get no response?

You know those days?

I have been experiencing them lately - more then I am comfortable admitting. It is as though sometime, recently, everyone learned that I was a ASSHOLE and they are trying to politely distance themselves.

People who were all texting/emailing/calling/planning are now strangely silent.

I am hoping that it is all in my head (it's crowded in there, I would imagine).
After all, people are busy and I am suddenly Much Less Busy - which leaves me more time for earnest emails and voicemails, and more time to think about how people are not responding.

And to get all paranoid and angst-y. Much ado about nothing, I hope.
Plus, I just found 3 emails and a text I never responded to. So it turns out, I'm the asshole - Just As I SUSPECTED..

Would you like to have lunch?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I get to referee at home AND on the track, and p.s. Croup Crap

I was at practice Sunday, and I managed not to actually hurt myself. I can't believe it either.

I don't think ANYONE ELSE was surprised, however - because in order to achieve this I opted out of most of the drills. Especially the scary/dangerous ones. Like, for instance, the tomahawk stop. The tomahawk stop is notable for it's potential to cause me to fall forward OR backward depending on which way the wind is blowing.

Since I already have a very-well developed ability to bond with the concrete, I chose not to increase my odds by attempting this technique. IN brief: the tomahawk drill involved skating fast as I could along the track, suddenly reversing direction and then going up onto my toe stops to come to a halt. The entire concept involves 3 different ways to hurt myself - when really, I don't need to do anything more then walk through the grocery store with a stretched out flip-flop to cause a major crash and burn. I am not the most graceful girl on the planet. So I certainly wasn't going to be taunting the gods by spinning around like a lunatic. If I had any sort of control I would be more inclined to give it a try, but honestly, just staying upright and moving forward is a notable achievement.

After they had finished with drills and I was asked if I wanted to scrimmage, I am not sure if the look in my eye said "SHEER TERROR" or "Are you out of your fucking mind?".

All of this is leading up to learning at practice that I am going to be one of the team members refereeing the bout on May 22nd. I am relieved and (in an unanticipated twist) vaguely humiliated. First of all, I am so glad I am not going to have to be involved in getting my ass kicked in front of an audience, that I almost burst into tears when they told me. But then, slowly slowly slowly (it takes me a while) I realized that I was perhaps chosen to referee because I was a liability on the track. Not good enough to, you know, actually skate.

I brushed that thought aside. OF COURSE I'm not good enough to skate. Who gives a shit. Refereeing means CUTE REFEREEING OUTFIT

I just couldn't be more honored. Really. Did you know I get to carry my own whistle? *Squeee* indeed.

So, flying high on my newly assigned role within the team, it stands to reason that life would get in the way. Nothing brings a roller girl who is skating at top speed away from mid-life to a crashing halt faster then a 5 year old with a nasty cough. (Or that damned tomahawk stop. That maneuver is SUCH a bitch.)

Thigh highs with police badges and vaguely obscene referee phrases on hotpants be damned, my girl needs her mama. Wicked Skatewear I'll be back.........

Yesterday her little cough had turned into a big, barking, extravaganza by the end of the school day. Last night, she spent most of the night coughing. At first, I thought it was her allergies - she's not asthmatic, per se, but she has an inhaler because she does tend towards respiratory inflammation. Which we had in spades last night. So we fired up the cool mist humidifier, rubbed some vapor cream on her chest, gave her water to sip, and lay awake all night listening to her struggle.

I'm keeping her home today. I looked online and it said croup is contagious.
Her teachers didn't seem concerned yesterday and she doesn't have a fever, but I am going to play it safe.
I'm good at that.
Even a referee doesn't know all the rules.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I don't care if you don't care, I'm telling you anyway

Yesterday I had a hankering for some cake. (I love that phrase: "hankering for") Specifically, chocolate cupcakes.

So I went right to Costco, because I had a Costco-sized hankering.

Sadly, in what was clearly an effort to ruin my life, Costco did not have any cupcakes.

So we made do with red velvet cake. And now I am in the throes of  what I am almost positive is a red dye/corn syrup fueled headache. Not a migraine, just a headache. It's cramping my style. I'm blaming this on Costco too - no chocolate cupcakes, and an attempt to poison me with food coloring and refined sugars.
Dirty Bastards.

And I am right back where I started, craving a fucking chocolate cupcake. Is it SO HARD? It seems like a simple request. But no. No cupcakes.

My husband has come to the rescue - he is the one who feeds my food cravings. As I type this, he is out wandering the aisles of the grocery store in search of ice cream "that has good stuff in it." He is a very sweet man, but this is also self-preservation. Life will be much nicer in Casa Daffodil if he brings me back a pint of something yummy that will help me forget my lack of cupcakes.

When I was pregnant, he would arrive home every evening with 2 donuts. Once, he forgot....and when he walked in the door I threw my arm over the back of the sofa - not bothering to get up, mind you - and wiggled my fingers in anticipation of that waxed paper bag of goodness. All he said in response to my outstretched arm was "Fuck." and he turned and walked back out the door. He knew that showing up without donuts in the third trimester was like showing up for work in your pajamas. Nice that you made it in, but completely unacceptable.

(Incidentally, this is why I gained 80 pounds during my pregnancy. I lay on the sofa waiting for him to bring me Dunkin Donuts and McDonalds. My son gestated in a soup of Happy Meals and sprinkles.)

So while he is out trying to get my fix, I am going to lie here and think about all of the ways that Costco has failed me this weekend. Bastards.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

For those of you that couldn't care less about the obligations of parenthood

I hear ya.

So, for all of you out there who have never had to wake up in the middle of the night to wipe someone else's ass (and KUDOS to you for avoiding it thus far)......Let's talk about something else, shall we?

Like my recent desperate attempts to hang on to my youth. Roller Derby. Tattoos. Piercings. Small fast cars with 6 speeds, 2 doors and no trunk space. Drinking and smoking and eating things that are bad for me.

When, exactly, do I have to stop entertaining these whims? Because I enjoy all of the above, and yet......I worry that perhaps I need to rein it in a bit.

I mean, I have, don't get me wrong. Trust me, I have. I even got rid of all of the dresses and shirts that would require going bra-less. Because, well, THAT was no longer an option. I was mature enough to recognize the effects of gravity. I'm not BLIND.

But a little bad is good. Just a little. A tattoo peeking out of the tank top. An occasional rocking of the hot pants. A teeny "Is that glitter or a nose stud?" piercing. A discrete flask for occasions when alcohol is needed but perhaps not provided. Maybe an ultra-light American Spirit from time to time. Perhaps a few Funyuns to get you through a rough day.

Is that so wrong? I hope not. I have a pair of sequined hotpants on under this robe, and pint of Ben and Jerry's hidden in the freezer, and that suits me just fine.

(This? Is me at my daughter's birthday party - no flask required.
It was a princess party, so there was plenty of champagne.)

I'll do it, but don't ask me to be happy about it

I'm just going to say it. A lot of parenting involves obligation.

When you have a baby, you are suddenly obliged to respond to every need, physical and emotional, in order to ensure their well-being.

To encourage every dream, allowing them to learn and grow and experience in an effort to raise a human being that is simultaneously educated, compassionate, and a contributing member of society.

To support every effort, whether it be trying out for a team, or pooping. (And the amount of time I spend dealing with constipation is just unreal. Seriously.)

So tonight, when my daughter came into our room crying because she had leg cramps (an experience that I remember all too well from my own childhood) I got up out of bed, and dragged myself to her room, and rubbed the mentholated cream on her legs, and tucked her into bed.

By the time I got back to my room, I was wide awake and my hands reeked. The skin between my fingers was burning slightly, despite washing my hands. Neighborhood dogs (thankfully not MINE) were barking, and the light from my laptop was blinking, and I lay there aggravated as my husband snored beside me. I was glad to be the one she wanted, the one she came to when she needed comfort, but I was pretty sick and tired of being the one who's sleep was interrupted. Because my husband can literally wake up, and take a crisis phone call or soothe a sobbing child or chase a strange dog out of the yard, and then climb back into bed and be asleep in about 30 seconds. I, on the other hand, could be woken up by the slightest noise and then lie there for hours, frustrated and wide awake, while the world slumbers on around me.

So here I am. It's 12:40am. I have been awake since midnight. I started to doze off, but Lucy came BACK into our room after about 10 minutes to let me know that her legs still hurt. And I have to admit, I was less supportive in my response the second time. I got back out of bed, and went down the hall to see what, exactly, she wanted me to do to solve this problem, short of amputation.

She didn't have any ideas, so I suggested that perhaps she should just lie there for a while and try to fall back asleep. My husband had already taken my advice and was snoring loudly. For the second time, he had not only avoided getting out of bed, but in fact had barely registered that there was any issue at all with our child's comfort and well-being. I find it remarkable that a man who slept in this morning while I got up with the kids and made lunches and fed and walked the dogs, the same man who then woke me from a much needed afternoon nap, was now going to lay there and let me (and my sleep-deprived self) take the bullet once again.

I find it remarkable because this man, my darling husband, knows that my capacity for retribution - especially when it relates to interrupted sleep - knows no bounds. Tomorrow, he will reap what he has sowed. The children will wake up chipper, and I will entertain them as a good mother would. And during the course of the day I will make sure to drop several references to "when daddy gets home" as in "Sure sweetie, you can make cupcakes with DADDY when he gets home." and "When DADDY gets home he will help you clean up that pile of dog shit in the yard" and "I am not sure what's for dinner - LET'S ASK DADDY."

Because really, I just want him to feel involved. And obligated. It's only fair.
I don't want to be a glory hog - though clearly, judging by this note, I am the favorite.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The wheels on the bus go round and round and LOOK OUT FOR THAT TRUCK

We are going on a field trip today.

I have to ride on a bus with 45 pre-schoolers. Again.

Hold me.

It's not just being on a bus with ALL OF THOSE KIDS for almost 2 hours.

It's being ON A BUS.

Were you with me last January when I did this?

And also this ?

So let's just say I HAVE SOME ISSUES that may or may not (hah ! of course they are) be some variety of PTSD. And as a result, I have a very difficult time being a passenger. I flinch and twitch and clutch my seat and try not to look and basically just wait for the impending crash. Because of course, it's gonna happen. Someday.

In an effort to get through this, to confront my very real fears about riding in a vehicle that I am not in control of, and especially one in which I cannot see the road ahead of me, I am going to ride on that bus this morning. I am going to smile and be totally pleasant. I am not going to cry - not even a whimper. I promise to be calm, cool, and collected.

I will not promise that there will only be coffee in my coffee cup.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

In which I do not post a picture of my butt, and in which I proclaim "you can't fire me - I WORK FOR FREE."

So, you're welcome. Don't even bother hoping, I'm not gonna do it. For a number of reasons.

But the biggest reason is the lemon-sized bruise on my right ass cheek. Hawt.

I look like I have been flogged. Like I have been a very naughty girl. Like someone took a paddle to me - fraternity style.

Dude. Not cool. I think I caused permanent emotional scarring to my 5 year old, who was so horrified that she stood there frozen, in suspended animation, stunned into silence, with her mouth hanging open and one limp finger pointed in the general direction of my ass as I stepped out of the shower and reached for a towel.

"Oh MOMMY" she finally breathed. "You have an OWIE."


But not just on my rear end. Gentle reader, I have an owie on my heart. Because yesterday I received a terse, one paragraph email essentially firing me from a weekly writing gig - an assignment for which I received no compensation. They're changing direction, refocusing, relaunching, they appreciated my contributions and wished me the best. Seriously. They didn't want me to write (reminder: for free) anymore.

Listen universe. It's bad enough I am unemployed and feeling kind of defeated. Did you really need to take away the one thing - the one meaningful thing - I had going on? Apparently so.

And you know what? Fuck that noise. I did not go quietly into that good night. I did not accept defeat. I would not be ushered off the stage and handed a condolence prize. Hell to the no. I dug my heels in, and hung onto the curtain, and grabbed for the microphone like this crazy chick:

That's right, I got all Kanye on their ass. I was having none of it. I replied to that email with a (lengthy) request to be allowed to make the transition with the company. To change topic, to redirect and refocus, to write in a different style, using a new format. All for free.

And they said yes.

I danced around the living room in my underpants, victorious. (Because really, who needs to wear pants when you are unemployed and home alone all day? NOT ME.)

And while I was celebrating my hard-fought victory, I received another email, letting me know that one of my favorite mommy blogger websites would ALSO like me to contribute regularly. Momversation, I love you. On a day when I was feeling totally defeated and unwanted and unappreciated, you came and swept me off my feet. *mwah* It's a much nicer sensation then when I get swept off my feet at derby practice, and there is less bruising involved, too.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Abuse me, baby

Today, against my better judgement, I returned to roller derby practice.

I have a confession to make.

As much as I love roller derby (and oh, roller derby, how I love you) it is kicking my ass. On Sunday, I got completely hammered. And not in a good way - no alcohol was involved. During Sunday's practice, I went down so hard, and so often, that by the 4th time I just weakly held up one hand and made the "OK" sign when they asked if I was all right. The derby girls, who have seen their share of crash landings and ass whoopings, made a collective "GASP" when I went flying/careening/sliding along the pavement on my left side. It was not cool, it was not graceful, it was not pretty. There were murmers from the assembled crowd of "ouch" and "oh MAN" and "that's gotta hurt" as I lay very very still on the pavement and listened to my skate wheels still spinning somewhere over my left shoulder.

Eventually I got up. I did. I got up, and I even skated some more. And by this afternoon I was able to sit down without wincing and moaning - which is a MARKED IMPROVEMENT.

So of course, I got my gear on and went right to practice.

About an hour in, I was practicing some new technique when - once again - I went flying. And once again, landed hard on my left hand and skidded along on my left side. When I came to a stop, my left arm was waaaaaay over there, at a funny angle. And once again, I was breathless and cursing Drew Barrymore and her damned "Whip It" for getting me into this mess. Bitch. (No, really, I adore her. But still. It's all her fault.)

I made it through the rest of the practice, though I sullenly refused to do the 75 pushups because I literally couldn't put any weight on my hand or shoulder without wanting to vomit and simultaneously falling facefirst on the concrete.

I had spent just about enough time bonding with concrete for one day, thankyouverymuch.

On my way home, I had to stop for lunch stuff for the kids. So of course, I went to my beloved Whole Foods. And as I perused the meat cases, looking all gross and holding my left arm close to my side, carefully not using it because I was afraid it might just Fall Off, two of the butchers came up behind the counter. They were big guys, local, joking to each other in pidgin as they cleaned up for the night.
"Can we get you anything?" they asked.
"No, I think I'm all set, I'll come back tomorrow."
"OK. Hey, can we ask you a question?"
"Sure." I said, thinking "oh shit, where is this going...."
"Do you skate that derby thing - the roller derby?"
"Yeah" I said, feeling kind of embarrassed because honestly, I do less skating and more sliding around on my ass but whatever. Details.
"Yah !" said one. "I TOLD YOU" said the other. "Awesome" they both said. "Those socks gave you away" one explained. And they had all kinds of questions. About practice, and our track, and who we played against. I answered as best I could, and made sure to clarify that I was the new girl, and really not a member of the actual team yet. "You must be a pretty tough girl, though, to skate with the team." one of the butchers said. "No, really, I'm not." I assured him. "I get my ass handed to me every time I go to practice." "Nah," he said "I can tell. Only a brave girl would get out there and take the hits like that."

And I have to admit.......I smiled.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The 5 Stages of Unemployment

Hello from the land of Staying In My Pajamas All Day and Nap Time is Anytime.

I love it here.

No, that's not true. But I am trying to stay positive.

I believe I have reached the next-to-last stage of unemployment: Sulking

The first stage was Catching Up. That is, making to-do lists of all of the shit you couldn't get done when you were busy working (and doing someone else's shit all the time). It lasted for about a week. I made a bunch of appointments, did the taxes, got the oil changed, blah blah blah. I still had money from my last week of tips. I had chores to keep me busy. The week blew by, and then when the next Monday dawned I hit a new stage:

My Boss Was An Asshole. That was actually a pretty fun week too. Lots of bitching about what a dick he was, and how I had every right to quit, and how he has a reputation for being a dick and I was too good for him and he was lucky I stayed as long as I did. Remarkably, that stage kept me pretty busy too. But we needed to move on, and stop dwelling on the same lame asshole.

So we got to the Moving On Up stage: This is where you follow up on all of the recommendations friends have made - businesses that are hiring, things that people have suggested you do instead ("Your blog is great, you should put ads on there and make some money !" or another popular suggestion: "WRITE A BOOK!" hahahahahahaha I love you guys. Maybe I will. MAYBE I WILL.) The moving on up stage is uplifting for about 3 days, which is when you quickly realize that you are suddenly unemployed without a definite backup plan. You have seen what is out there, and it sucks. You will have to start at the bottom and work your way up, or wait and hope something good comes along on Craigslist. There might be a little panic. There will definitely be some smoking and drinking (or yoga and meditation, whatever works for you.)

And then you get to this stage, the stage I am in right now. Sulking. Sulking with intermittent napping. Sulking because you have no money and your ex-boss is an asshole with a job. I am going to revel in this stage before I get to the final stage which is Dusting Yourself Off and Getting Serious.

I am not there yet, sadly. I will need at least another week of napping and sulking. I'll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Building A Mystery - construction and relationships

I mentioned last week that I was helping a friend get her new store ready to open. I have been there a few times, late at night, to try to be of some assistance. I probably haven't been much help, but I hope I brought some humor to the situation. Because as anyone who has remodeled a home or business need a lot of humor to get through construction.

They have been busting ass, getting a lot done, and everyone has remained remarkably civil, if I do say so myself. But as the deadline approaches, and days until the opening turn to mere hours, the stress level is rising over there, I do believe. When I arrived last week, after an hour-long drive and an extra large iced tea, I had to pee desperately. I threw a bag of groceries on the floor and raced off to the bathroom. As I rounded the corner, I was met with a huge, quickly widening puddle. I had a very bad feeling. I stuck my head into the bathroom and watched as the toilet gurgled and bubbled and overflowed all over the floor. I turned around and ran back through the store. "Hey" I called "do you guys have a toilet that isn't overflowing?"

As I jumped into the car and zipped off to the closest McDonalds, they were searching for a plunger and throwing old towels and sweatshirts on the floor to contain the mess. That night, when i lay in bed thinking of how much they had accomplished, and how much they had left to do, I was reminded of my own toilet-related catastrophe, which also occured under the pressure of a deadline.

And so, from the other side of the island, safely ensconced in my kitchen with no drywall dust to cloud my thoughts, and not one but TWO fully-functioning (not to rub it in or anything) toilets, I am going to tell a little story of our very own remodeling nightmare. To lighten the mood.

On the occasion of my 9th wedding anniversary, my husband and I were at an impasse. It was the day of our annual anniversary party, where we traditionally wait until the last minute to get ready and then have a massive fight followed by a cooling off period, concluded with a raucous alcohol-soaked bash with all of our friends. Our anniversary party really sums up our marriage. It encapsulates the good, bad and ugly. That night, we had about 50 people coming over for dinner and dancing. We had hired a band. We had hired a babysitter. We were committed. For the past year, we had been slowly remodeling the house, and we had one major project to complete.

The bathroom.

The only bathroom.

For one reason or another, the project had been pushed back time and again, and now there was no putting it off any longer. The old toilet and sink were in really bad shape, and had been removed the day before. We had the new toilet and the new sink all ready to go, sitting in the bathtub. The night before, we had retiled the bathroom floor in a panic, and now that the grout was (mostly) dry, the new toilet and sink were going to have to be installed that day - there were exactly 8 hours to get the bathroom put back together, before people started to arrive. If we didn't meet our deadline, people would be peeing in the bushes. My husband was feeling a little bit of pressure, mostly because I was freaking the fuck out. He is, by all accounts, a very laid-back dude. He rarely gets ruffled or loses his temper. Instead of getting nasty (*ahem* like me some people) he responds to pressure by becoming a complete and total goofball. He breaks things, he forgets stuff, things go wrong. He gets nervous, I get increasingly agitated, and then finally, I lose my shit and yell, and then he yells back (which has happened maybe 5 times in our entire marriage) and then, hopefully, we get back to work and get things done.

The day began with me standing on the porch screaming, while my husband ran around shouting over his shoulder and doing more things that were infuriating me. Our neighbor, who was trying to lead a yoga class in her studio a few houses away, interrupted meditation to tell them that they should use this as an opportunity to practice focusing within themselves in chaotic surroundings. Usually, that is probably a skill that one could use in a public place, or on public transportation or something. In this case, it was to distract yourself from a neighbor screaming FUCK YOU at the top of her lungs while trying to get a stroller in the back of her minivan.

I dragged the children out of the house and into the car and left in a cloud of exhaust with my middle finger clearly and proudly displayed. Yoga class resumed, and my husband managed to get the toilet and sink installed, with a practice flush as our first guests arrived.

Through home remodeling projects, we have learned that there are several important features to a long-lasting relationship:

Honesty ("You are acting like a total idiot and I cant stand it anymore stop being such an asshole you prick")
Compromise ("How about I finish this project, and you kiss my ass?")
Patience ("If we do not have a functioning bathroom by 4pm I am leaving you.")

Love ("It's a good thing I love you so much otherwise I would NEVER SPEAK TO YOU AGAIN.")

So here's to my good friends, who have exactly 43 hours and 28 minutes (at the time of this writing) to get their new location completed, in time for their scheduled opening on Monday morning.
No pressure, or anything.

What doesn't kill you (or cause you to kill him) will make you stronger. I promise.

Friday, April 16, 2010

I'm just not that into me

Well, this is certainly a low point.

I am sitting here listening to my neighbors choke and cough on what I can only assume is mediocre pot they are smoking, amid outbursts of laughter and boisterous conversation. They are having quite a little party over there, but I am definitively not in a partying mood.


I am sitting here feeling sorry for myself. I am not exactly clear on why, this morning, everything was just fine in the land of Daffodils, and now it is gray and gloomy. But it is. Gray and gloomy and damp. (Better then moist, but not much. God I hate that word.)

This afternoon I went skipping off to another restaurant for yet another "try out". And here is where I started to feel things slipping. Everything felt wrong.
And awkward.

I could go through a whole laundry list of reasons why, examples of the weird wrongness of it all - but I won't bore you with the details, except to say that my simple goal of finding a job that doesn't make me feel bad about myself has not been met. Again. I appreciate that so many of my friends have been quick to pass on news of job opportunities, or to offer moral support when said opportunities didn't pan out, but at this point I think I have to just sit, and wait, and I have to figure out what I want to do first, before I can look for a job. I just haven't had the time yet - I've been too busy following up on leads from friends to actually stop and think about what it is I really want to do.

I am not sure how "unemployed" translated as "desperate" but clearly, I am sending out a "desperate" vibe that is absolutely unintentional.

I am unemployed. I am *not* desperate.

I have food. I have a home. I have health insurance. I have a car.

I do not need to apply for any and every job that comes along. When a friend recommends me for a job, I feel shitty saying no. So I go down there with my resume and feel all awkward and speak to whomever I was told to speak to and they are very nice, and ask me to come in and try it out. And then when the job I didn't really want (but was considering anyway because a friend recommended me) doesn't work out, I feel EVEN SHITTIER. Did I let my friend down? Have I embarrassed them? Do their employers think I am incompetent? Can I not even get hired at a shitty job, with a referral? Is this the best job my friends think I can get? And I can't even get it????

Oh My Fucking God I cannot believe I don't live in a box by now if this is the best I can do.

I would lke a job, yes. Absolutely. And I will find one. I will. I absolutely will.
But not today. Which is why I am sending the kids to bed and having a stiff drink and a smoke.

After all, I don't have to work in the morning.

It's Aloha Friday - take off your pants.

Today is the first Friday of the rest of my life Fridays.

Today, my husband and I had the entire morning to ourselves.

"We'll lie in bed" we said dreamily "and eat Doritos and that orange cheese dip, and split a pint of Ben and Jerry's. Just like the old days."

"We'll nap" I enthused. "We could watch a movie" my husband suggested.

"No pants" we both agreed.

So needless to say, we had big plans.

They did not come anywhere close to fruition.

First of all, my pants stayed on the whole day. Well, I wore a skirt, but you know what I'm getting at here.

Second of all, our son was reading a poem he wrote during morning meeting at school. So the first hour of No Pants Friday was spent in a classroom. With our pants on.

When we finally got home, we realized that we had forgotten to buy the snacks. We had to go to 2 grocery stores to find my desired flavor of Ben and Jerry's (Vanilla Heath Bar Crunch, if you must know.) And yes, we did go to 2 grocery stores and still forget to buy Doritos. Sad but true.

By the time we got back to the house, both of our phones were ringing and beeping, voicemails, emails, texts. We went to go see a car that is for sale. (LOVED IT, btw. It needs a little work, like reattaching the steering wheel, but you know, that's just a DETAIL.) We came back to the house and ate some lunch. And when we looked at the clock, we had exactly 30 minutes left before we had to pick up the kids at school. And my trial shift at the restaurant started in an hour. So basically, the entire day was a bust, except for the last 15 minutes that we spent lying on the couch fully dressed trying to nap but afraid to fall asleep and be late to get the kids.

"Next week" my husband declared "I am buying the doritos and ice cream on Thursday night".
"Yes" I agreed, nodding solemnly. "And next week we won't hang out at the school for an hour."
"Great" he said, heading out the door to get the kids. "Next week is going to be great."

And then I looked over at the calendar and saw that next Friday we are going on a field trip with 40 pre-schoolers at 8:45am.

But the Friday AFTER THAT is going to be epic.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I might as well just pierce my nose while I'm at it

Today has been one of those days that was just filled with obligations and comitments and responsibilities - none of which I was the least bit interested in.

Which is why instead of going to the chiropractors in my sweatpants and then spending the day sleeping and drinking lots of water and hoping my headache would go away, I was all dolled up in a little cardigan and jeans and cowboy boots, trudging through town running errands, driving back and forth down some seriously rutted country roads, dragging the dogs out of the front yard that they are bound and determined to destroy, babysitting making dinner, paying bills, and oh yeah - remembering to actually eat something at about 2pm. I thought I had a little tummy ache but it turns out I just hadn't eaten since last night. Huh. Go figure.

So now I am in bed getting ready to crash. The cellphone is firmly in the "off" position. Derby practice is out, muscle relaxers are innnnnnnn.

Today I hated being a grown up. I just wanted to lie around and have a fucking day to myself. I guess those days are over, and I am trying to accept that but SWEET JEEBUS I would love to just tune out for a day and eat doritos and ice cream and watch TV and nap.

So next week, when I sell the fancy grown up car and buy the beater Suburban we have been dreaming of, when I skate derby and sit at the bar drinking after my shift instead of rushing to the grocery store, and when I don't have to babysit or be anywhere between 9 and 1, I am going to break out ye olde  Doc Martens, pull on one of Sami's undershirts and a flannel, and lie around like it's 1999. When I used to do that sort of thing.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

REJOICE ! New beginnings and derby names.

This is what might be referred to as a "follow up post".
Answers to all of your burning questions. (I can't do anything about any other random burning/itching issues you might have, however. Sorry.)

"How's Max liking the new school" you ask?
Well thanks for asking !  He looooooves it. In fact, I don't think I can adequately explain how much he loves it, except to say that this morning - a full two hours before school starts - he was standing in the hallway having an absolute fit because Lucy and I were cuddling in bed waking up slowly, instead of getting up and eating breakfast and getting dressed and GOING TO SCHOOL ALREADY WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR MOM AN ENGRAVED INVITATION?

So yeah. He likes it. You know how else I can tell?

He stopped acting like a miserable asshole.

It's been awesome. Truly. You can't really tell how completely unhappy someone is, until you see them suddenly HAPPY again. Because then, suddenly, you realize that for the longest time, for as long as you can remember, they haven't been happy like that.

And now they are happy, and so you are happy. Happy for them. Happy to be with them. Just happy.

The biggest change is that he is writing.

Let me just repeat that statement. He Is Writing. We have spent the past 3 years battling over homework - writing assignments in particular - because he didn't want to do them. Didn't want to do them, and made our lives miserable trying to get through even the most basic worksheet. "Summarize pages 21-30 in 3-5 sentences." Well, he would write three sentences, maybe 20 words altogether. And then, because he had the 3 required sentences - despite the fact that they may not have made any sense, and that he may not have finished summarizing, in his mind he was done. And that would be that. And no manner of begging, insisting, encouraging or helping was going to get him to write one more word.

Last week, he wrote a poem. A full page. A poem that is actually pretty good. A poem that makes sense, that expresses feeling, that has a coherent beginning,  middle and end.

So yay for Max. He is thriving and loving every minute of it.

"How's the job search going?" you might be wondering.  Well, I have a "trial shift" at the end of the week, where the manager will meet with me, and watch me work, and see if I can follow directions and figure out what needs to be done without being told. "It's a foot in the door" the girls who work there have told me. So I am jamming my foot RIGHT IN THAT DOOR and hanging on for dear life. It is a very entry level opportunity, so I need to see if they are actually planning on promoting me at some point, or if they just need someone to do this entry level job indefinitely. I am happy to work my way up, but only if they will ALLOW me to move up. So, we'll see how that goes.

"And what about derby, woman? How's that going? Do you have a derby name yet?" I love derby. Today I went out and spent $30 on thigh high socks and hotpants. EXCELLENT. The skating - and the stamina I need to skate - are coming along. I am getting more comfortable in my skates, and on them as well. And yes, I do have a name. Several, actually. But I am not officially registered, so I worry about sharing it before I have had the name confirmed and listed. Not to worry, its not THAT exciting, so enjoy the suspense and anticipate THE BIG REVEAL that will probably involve a saucy photo of me in the aforementioned thigh highs and hot pants. It will be a big day on the internets, that's for sure.  I need to give Blogger enough notice so they can prepare for the traffic that is sure to come streaming onto this very site.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Adoption as an option

The first and most important thing I want to say is: This is not a pro-life v.s. pro-choice conversation. For the record. OK. 'Nuff said.

There has been a lot of debate and discussion about abortion with the passage of the health care bill - and I am not going to touch on it except to acknowledge that it has been part of the narrative. At the same time, there has been a lot of debate and discussion about adoption, based on the story that exploded last week wherein a woman sent her adopted son back to Russia with a one-way ticket and a note of "explaination". I am not going to share my opinion about that, either (but it will be much more difficult, because BOY do I have something to say).

I will say this: while these two seemingly unrelated issues are being debated and discussed and dragged through news cycle after news cycle, I thought to myself "we are focusing on the wrong things here."

I want to talk about domestic adoption - something that shouldn't be so difficult, and hopefully isn't too much of a hot-button issue, because the last thing I want to do is offend anyone. I just want to tentatively raise my hand and ask "Why can't we have more of this ?" I am not against international adoption in the least, I just want to promote domestic adoption as something that is also wonderful and (I think) should be more prevalent, and easier to accomplish.

I am an adoptive parent. It was a domestic adoption - I adopted a child that was born in my local hospital. And I am going to have to be honest here: I am ANGRY about the treatment domestic adoption gets in the public forum. Or rather, the lack of treatment. It so rarely gets floated as an option - as a viable alternative to abortion, as a choice that seems to benefit everyone involved. And that is because enough Americans are not considering adoption as a solution to unplanned (but otherwise uncomplicated) pregnancies. While American families are flying around the world trying to adopt a child, I am frustrated that they are not focusing on children available for adoption right here in the United States. Why adopt a 7 year old from Russia, when the foster care system here in the US is overwhelmed with children looking for a home? I don't want to over-simplify, I know that this has been discussed before, and I also know that people adopt for many reasons, and choose to adopt internationally for many reasons. And there is quite an uproar these days over the threat that Russia is making, to stop allowing Americans to adopt their children. But maybe we DO need to pause, finish up the adoptions that are in process (this is important - there have already been connections made and bonds formed) and hold off on processing new applications for international adoptions.

Maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing.
Maybe it would allow us to look more closely within our own country for a child to love and care for - without the expense of cutting through red tape and traveling halfway around the world. Maybe it would encourage more American birth parents who find themselves unexpectedly pregnant to consider adoption, and look within their own community for an adoptive family to raise their child.

Adoption does not - and frankly, it SHOULD NOT  - need to cost a lot of money. Our adoption cost about $1300. Total. I didn't drop a zero, there. Thirteen Hundred Dollars. We didn't use an agency. We heard about a couple looking for an adoptive family, we hired a lawyer, and we adopted our newborn daughter. And yes, we WERE lucky. And yes, it DOESN'T usually happen that way.

But it can. And it should.

Adoption allows the birth parents an exceptional amount of control to make a choice that is right for them and their child. And not just the right decision right now - this is about their future, about the child's future, and about the future of another family, out there somewhere, waiting for the amazing gift of adoption to be bestowed upon them (and there are MANY OF US). Recently, adoption has been discussed more often, and is featured in the "16 and Pregnant" series on MTV, which followed a young couple through the successful adoption of their infant by a family that they chose. And that was wonderful to see.


That MTV show notwithstanding, adoption is not raised as an option often enough. When I was a teenager, and going to Planned Parenthood for birth control, adoption was not a featured choice. It may have been mentioned briefly, but it was not discussed in depth when a pregnancy test came back positive. There were no posters of adoptive families, or listings on a bulletin board of families hoping to adopt. And trust me when I tell you, adoption is pretty much the MOST planned kind of parenthood there is.

So while we debate and discuss abortion, and international adoption law, could we also please shine some of the spotlight on domestic adoption? On making it easier? Less intimidating? Less expensive? Rather then worrying about whether the public option would cover abortion, why not have it cover adoption? There are many MANY parents-to-be out there waiting for a child to call their own through adoption - they are already parents in spirit, parents in their dreams - but without a child.
They have purchased the family car, and saved for a college education, and bought a house with a room that would be perfect for a nursery.

They have been fingerprinted and photographed, their homes have been inspected, they have met with counselors and had blood tests and proved they are citizens and provided references and shown steady employment and reliable income and a savings account.

They have had their driving history checked, their finances analyzed, their eductional history scrutinized and verified.

They have trained their pets and cleaned their carpets and childproofed their homes.

They have gone through far more then any birth parent needs to when bringing a child home. And all they need is a child to love and care for.

Instead of declaring yourself pro choice, or pro life, and plastering your car with all manner of incendiary stickers, and waving signs with a passion and zeal but without offering a solution, consider declaring yourself Pro Adoption, which is conveniently both Pro Life AND Pro Choice - choose adoption. It is, in essence, a compromise.

No one should be forced to parent. And there is an alternative to terminating an unplanned but otherwise (and once again, I want to stress these parameters) uncomplicated pregnancy.

There is a middle ground here - and I am planting my feet and waving my signs and waiting for someone to join me.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Dusting off that resume

Last night, I wrote my resume.

It's been a while since I needed one of these, so I am both reticent and at the same time thrilled.

Reticent because it is weird to analyze what, exactly, you have done with your life, when one of your major accomplishments is remembering to defrost something for dinner. My resume is not what is thrilling. I have great references, but I have not lived an extraordinary life, to be sure. Honest and hardworking, yes. Over-achieving? Um, notsomuch.

But I AM thrilled, because I actually needed a resume yesterday.

You know what that means, right ?

A prospect. An opportunity. A chance.

I have a job interview this afternoon. I am hopeful that this position will be one where I am able to make some money while retaining my dignity. It's amazing how hard it is to find a job that allows you to feel good about yourself. I mean, even thinking back to elementary school, there was always some asshole making my life miserable because I was a better reader then they were or something stupid like that. If I tried hard, and accomplished something, sooner or later someone was going to give me grief. I didn't stop trying, and I didn't play dumb - but it wasn't much fun, is all I'm saying.

Now that I am a real, honest-to-goodness grownup, I am not willing to sit around and let people make me feel like less of a person for working hard and having goals and ambition. It doesn't matter if you have your GED or a PhD, finding the right job is hard, and since you spend so much of your time at work, you have to - at the very least - not hate being there.

So while the opportunity at the last place sounded great, as soon as I realized that it might not be exactly what I had been expecting, and that perhaps there was some sort of underlying narrative that I wasn't privvy to, I got the heck out of there. The last thing I need is more drama and misunderstandings - and when they started popping up during the first week, I took that "trial period" stipulation that they threw at me as THEIR out, and I used it to facilitate a fast escape.

And almost as soon as I had gotten home and written it off as a life experience, my phone rang. And it was one of those KICK ASS ROLLER DERBY GIRLS (as if there is any other kind!) letting me know that there was a position available with their employer.

Dude. Seriously. I love these girls. I love them from the tops of their grafittied helmets to the tips of their fishnetted toes. I love my life these days. I have been standing up for myself, and trusting my gut, and doing things that felt right and NOT doing things that felt wrong, and I have worked hard and been honest and helped my friends and raised my kids and loved my husband and No Job can change the way I choose to live my life.

(but I would still really like a job. I'll let you know how it goes.)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Five Years On

It's the anniversary of the day that I was given the greatest, most selfless, generous gift.

5 years ago tonight, I was almost catatonic with Xanax, waiting for the phone to ring. The due date was the 9th, I believe, and we were so full of hope, wondering if the phone would ACTUALLY ring, or if this whole situation was some sort of weird, cruel tease. It seemed so unlikely.

I couldn't eat. I couldn't sleep. I could barely talk. I cleaned a friend's bathroom, I was led to a restaurant for dinner, I sat on the couch and at the table and in the car and stared blankly into space. I had my cellphone clutched in one hand with a sweaty, trembling, white-knuckled grip. I had a warm bottle of water in the other hand, and occasionally I would take a swig and try to keep it down.

5 years ago, my daughter was born to another woman, one I had never met, and someone who still, to this day, remains a stranger. 5 years ago I was buzzed into a maternity ward and handed a baby, and I still can't believe it.

I can't fucking believe it.

So the next time you give me a gift, and my reaction is muted, you have to understand - the gift giving bar is VERY HIGH around here. I mean, someone gave me a BABY.
So that bathrobe I got for my birthday? Um.....thanks. It's really nice. It's not as nice as the time I GOT THAT BABY, though.

She's starting to ask questions, about WHY I can't grow babies in my tummy. WHY someone else had to grow her for me. WHO that person is and WHERE she is and WHAT is her name and even though I answer each question honestly, the truth is I don't have a lot of answers. And my patented "Mommy's belly is broken so someone else grew you for me" is just not going to fly much longer. This was not a surrogate. This was a gift. We're going to have to figure something out. A better version of a story that is pretty unbelievable.

My big issue, of course, is that I don't want her to ever feel that someone gave her away, or gave her up, or chose not to keep her, or anything along those lines. I far prefer the sweeter tone of someone growing her specifically for our family. That she was meant for us, that she is ours, that it was supposed to be this way and there was never any chance she wasn't our child.

The truth is, just like in any adoption, we could barely bring ourselves to hope that we might be able to adopt a newborn baby, never mind a healthy girl born at the local hospital who looked so startlingly like her brother that when people learn she is adopted, they immediately respond with "But she looks just like you !" When the adoption was completed (and it all happened so easily) it seemed like it was the natural order of things. We couldn't have a baby, ergo someone else had a baby for us.
There was no technology involved. Medical or otherwise. No background checks, no emails, no photos. We sent one letter to the birthparents letting them know who we were, and how we would love and care for a child. We spoke on the phone to an intermediary, briefly.
There was no agreement or agency or lawyer involved (until the adoption decree - this is a completely legal, finalized, permanent adoption). We were connected through friends of friends that we met through our state's foster care training program.
No names or other pieces of information were exchanged.
We never met or spoke to or even caught a glimpse of the birthparents. We know who they are, and we know where they live, and we have mutual friends - but they wanted this to be a closed adoption and we are honoring that (and in truth, we prefer it that way as well).
No money changed hands (except, again, during the actual filing of the adoption paperwork, to cover court costs).

If you believe in karma, I have one thing to say. Sami and I must have been SAINTS in another life, to be blessed with these two children - one through some seriously advanced reproductive medicine, and one through what can only be described as a miracle.

Friday, April 9, 2010

See you on the other side

Tonight I cooked Thanksgiving dinner.

I cooked Thanksgiving dinner because I needed to feel that I was a part of something, something familiar and familial. And Thanksgiving is a bond that we share with another family here on island. Well, here for now, but not for long.

Our friends, our surrogate family, our co-conspirators and commiserators, they are leaving the island.

It happens.

That sort of thing happens more often on islands, places where many people are from somewhere else. You can't very well go around quizzing people about how long they have been here and how long they intend to stay and what their intentions are.......first of all, it doens't mean a damn thing - people who are born and raised here move away. People who moved here as adults spend the rest of their lives here.

You just never know.

This weekend is The Big Birthday Weekend where our girl and our best friends' girl celebrate their birthday on the very same day. Thanksgiving, this shared birthdate.....these are just two of a series of unlikely coincidences that have bonded us. Life and death and beginnings and endings, every time we sit down to dinner, we discover a new connection, another silvery thread that ties us together.

As the departure looms, and reality starts to set in, and we start slowly, gingerly seperating, as though it is the end of a marriage........celebrating Easter seperately. Seperate birthday parties for the girls. Stepping back slowly, slowly, trying not to panic because it's not a crisis, and we will still be connected in many ways - some that have yet to be discovered I would imagine.

But I am not ready to break the bond of Thanksgiving dinner.

I needed to do it one more time.

So we gathered in my kitchen, and we drank and laughed and talked and the kids ran around - outside and inside, inside and outside. We shared a meal. There was a dance party. There were marshmallows dipped in chocolate. And in the end, as they walked out the door, I realized that they would probably only be at our house another time or two.......

One of our strongest connections is that we all grew up in the same area of New England.  But we met here on Maui. Strange, how things work. We had to move to Hawaii to meet these friends that share a history, memories, seperate but startlingly similar. Growing up, we had friends in common. We went to the same clubs, the same parties. And because of our hometown connection, we will be seeing each other again. And again. Every time we visit our hometown, we will see them. But I wonder if we will still talk every day. I wonder if the kids will remember how close they are right now. I wonder if we will ever share Thankgiving dinner again. I wonder if it will ever be the same as it is.

We'll see.
We'll see you.
We'll see you at home.
Not here but there.
Where everything is the same, but now will be different - because we will be there together. Where we all came from. Before we knew each other. Before we knew a lot of things.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sometimes, you gotta know when to roll em. Oh, wait, that's not right......

My friend is opening a second location for her business. I am so excited for her - who the hell gets to expand their business in this climate of layoffs and shut-downs and going-out-of-business sales?

MY girl, that's who.

Last week, I left derby practice early and arrived at her new store all sweaty and sore and grabbed a roller and a foam brush and tried to paint - but I was completely unhelpful and fairly unproductive. Plus, my ARMS HURT. Like, a lot.

Today I think I am going to forgo practice altogether, considering the fact that I still can't sit down without wincing and when I tried to lift my arms to apply deodorant I experienced a jolt that went all the way down my arm and halfway to my ass.

I am in terrible shape, and it's gonna take a while for me to be able to really do this thing, and still lead a normal life. Hopefully not too long. But I'm not there yet, that's for sure. Two hours of solid exercise, 75 pushups and 150 crunches, plus more if you fuck up or slow down? Has left me, um,'s not good now. But the payoff? The payoff is going to be fucking magnificent. "I am going to have the tightest ass on the playground", I kept announcing as I skated around the track in a squatting position. "My arms are going to be amazing" I muttered as I grunted through another set of pushups. "I hate this" I moaned as I tried to get into the car after practice.

So tonight, I am going to grab a roller and get to work, because I can skate all weekend (and I will be). But my friend will only open her second location ONE TIME. And that time is now. And the paint job is going to be spectacular.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Best Day of My Life

I have, in the past few months, really agonized over my son's place in the world. School, friends, family - it seemed like everything has been such a struggle for him. I kept telling myself that it was going to be OK. That he just hadn't found his spot. That eventually, he would find more people who knew and understood and loved him and recognized him for the great, amazing, generous and loving soul that he is. Have I mentioned his eyes?

When people describe eyes as "the windows to the soul" they are talking about these eyes.

And over the past few months, these eyes were sad. The whole boy was sad. He was lonesome and confused and frustrated and sad. And I have been trying to hold him up, to help him find his way, find his place in this big crazy world, because I am his mama, and that is my most important job.

And then this week, three things happened. First we got another rejection letter from a local private school - one we had hoped he would be attending next year. One that, in retrospect, clearly, definitely, absolutely wasn't the right place for him. (Because how could you say no to those eyes? Are you made of stone????)

But really, that letter was the best thing that could have happened to me. It was as though someone had taken me by the shoulders and looked me square in the eyes and said what my friends had been murmuring for a few months but which I had refused to hear until now. "This is not the right place for your boy. Find a place that is right for HIM - not one that looks right on paper, not a school that is right for you, find the one that is right for HIM." And that voice - my little mama voice in the back of my head, that had heard the whispered gentle coaxing of my friends - that little voice put her hands on her hips and hauled up her big girl panties and said at the top of her very powerful lungs "Stop fiddling around. Get serious. This is YOUR BOY and he NEEDS YOU TO HELP HIM."

So I listened to the voices - the ones both real and imagined, and that mama voice I really should listen to more carefully anyway.

And I pulled up MY big girl panties and put my hands on my hips and I said "I know just the place." And I took my sad, brokenhearted little boy and I put him in the car and I drove him out to the far reaches of the island where the wild ocean meets the cliffs and the grasses blow in the breeze and the trees whisper and the birds sing and the children play in the garden and I said "Here. This is your place. It may not be my place, but I know in my heart it is yours." And he looked at me with such hope, such trust, and he hugged me hard and he took his little sister's hand - the one who seems like she could just float along happily anywhere we set her but who really only wants to be with her brother - and they walked into a big sunny room filled with children and sat down on the rug at the feet of a teacher with golden hair and a sweet voice.

And I left them there, with these children and these people who had greeted them with open arms and big smiles and bare feet and a warm welcome. And I turned and walked away.

Six hours later I returned, to find them disheveled and muddy and grinning from ear to ear, clutching papers and tumbling over each other to tell me stories about their day and Max ran right at me across the yard and swept me up in a huge hug and looked me right in the eyes and said "Mom, it was the best day of my life." And I have to say, that this was more important, more thrilling, more affirming then any acceptance letter would have been.

So that was the second thing.

And then that night, I read something on The Bloggess that just......explained it all. Explained my broken little boy who was so sad and now was miraculously so full of joy that it was spilling out of every pore.

A special note to every single person reading this who thinks that they are alone or different or forever broken…you are not. You are part of a special tribe that you just haven’t found yet and we need you. All the best people are broken. Keep fighting until you find your place. It does exist. I promise.

My boy, he found his tribe yesterday. And this morning, with a trembling hand, I emptied my savings account to pay the tuition to ensure that my beautiful wonderful lovely boy will be loved and cared for and nurtured and encouraged and protected from some things in this world that I am just not ready to accept myownself, and certainly don't want for him. He may not be a baby anymore, but he is still my baby, and he is still a little boy, and he deserves to hang on to that for just a little longer. Starting now. Max is officially enrolled, and attended his first day today. The second best day of his life, he says. Homeschooling is over, he has found a place - his place - in the world.

And next year, when she is old enough, my sweet baby girl will join her beloved brother, my great big boy, at the school in the field by the ocean, with the gardens and the barefooted children and the jungle all around.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I like big buts and I cannot lie

I have a habit of sharing some long-winded opinion about this, that, or the other thing, and when you are fairly certain that you understand what I am trying to say, and continue'll come across a big "BUT".

For example, yesterday I was all bent out of shape about coal mining and the coal industry, and how bad they are and how we should use other forms of energy and blah blah blah sorry can't talk I'm busy humping this tree over here yay Sierra Club and the EPA and then in the very next breath I'm all "BUT there is really no way to avoid using products and power that comes from coal."


The same can be said for my employment status. I walked the walk, left the job and found another one and was all "I'm so grateful and I'll work the lousy hours and do the crappy work because I am lucky to have a job as long as people are nice to me, sunshine, rainbows, pretty flowers, bunnies are soft blah blah blah" and then (are you ready for it?) I come back with this BUT:

BUT I tried my best and still didn't get put on the schedule. I know. How embarrassing, I should try to put a cooler spin on it, and I don't know exactly WHY I didn't get offered the bartending job but there you have it. I thought I had a job, and it turns out......well, notsomuch. I was offered another position, but it was still being developed and was not a good fit for me in pretty much every way from the hours to the responsibilities to the pay (it shouldn't be about the money, but oh man it was kind of about the money). And when I wrote the owner a nice note thanking him for the opportunity to try for a bartending gig, and letting him know that it seemed like maybe they just didn't really need me, and definitely did not want me as a bartender, and I tried to be all reserved and polite and avoided naming names or getting defensive and I was hanging on to my pride with two white-knuckled fists and I got what can only be described as a whole load of WTF in return. Right now, I am sitting on my hands, trying to keep myself from dialing or typing. The silence is literally killing me. It is not my natural state, to think before speaking. I am all about the debate, the discussion, the negotiation and the conversation. But it boils down to this. I don't want to step on toes. I don't want to go over someone's head. I don't want to shoehorn my way into a job.

Because the only way to a sure-fire nasty work environment is to tattle and whine and get all self-righteous.
In other words, I just......let it go. I'm going to visit the folks in June, spend some time with the fam, and then come back and get the kids ready for school, and then, finally, I'll take a deep breath and fucking get my shit together.

So yeah. I suck, basically. I'm a quitter, baby. Natalie Dee, take it away.......

Monday, April 5, 2010

Another day in the mines

I have spent the evening reading about the latest mining tragedy. Sorry, I had a whole list of things ot bitch about......and I'll get to it eventually. And the last thing I want to do is get political but WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?

This is horrible. It makes my stomach hurt, to think about it. Part of my distress is that I am not exactly clear why, in this day and age, we still HAVE mines. Do we really need coal? Can't we use solar and wind and water in the place of coal? Coal just seems to be such a crappy product. Coal itself is a pollutant in pretty much every way, and the land where they mine it is a complete wasteland when they are done. With the water sources containated, the trees cut down, the wildlife gone...........there is just nothing left. And for what?

But it's not just that - though that is certainly enough.

My concern tonight is the miners who are dead, and injured, and the ones still missing in some godforsaken hole in the ground with no air or light. If we DO have mines, why are they still so dangerous? With the advances in building materials, safety equipment and the cumulative experiences of past catastrophes........why are people still dying in mines?

The coal industry is insidious. It has worked it's way into manufacturing, so that everything we buy has some connection to coal and coal is frequently used to power energy plants that produce our electricity. So while the very last thing I want to do is support the mining and dependence upon coal, I can't figure out how to eliminate it from my life. I would have to sit around naked under a palm tree drinking coconut water and eating free-range chicken eggs in order to eliminate all paper, power and production touched by coal.

I just can't continue to accept mining as a reasonable industry. I cannot think of one single positive thing connected to coal mining. I can't. Not one thing.

Here is an article I read about coal mining and it's aftermath. I read it several years ago, and it still haunts me.
And here is an information sheet about coal.


I have just driven home from work. The roads were empty, just me and Henny the Super Cooper zooming up the hill towards home. At 2am, everyone is asleep, and the roadway was shiny with rain under the streetlights. When you work the late night/early morning shift, it's hard to fall asleep right when you get home - even though you should be exhausted, and you should sleep while you can......because tomorrow is just that much closer then it was before you left for work (at the time most people are heading to bed for the night).

I can't sleep, so I sit her in my darkened living room, the wind is gusting and the rain is still coming down - as it has been for weeks and weeks now. It will stop, here and there, for a few hours, or an hour. or maybe just for a couple of minutes - brief respites from the heavy misting rain.

But not tonight, it's not stopping, or slowing, or misting - it's pouring. And in the quiet of my house I can hear the roof leaking.

I should go up in the attic and investigate. But it's raining so hard, and has been raining for so long, that whatever is dripping has been dripping for a while, I'd wager. And I'll wake up the whole house trying to get the attic stairs down from their trapdoor. So I am just sitting here, listening to the drip drip drop above my head, and wishing it would just stop raining for a bit, so I could go to bed without worrying about the ceiling falling down overnight.


We were going to rip this ceiling out anyway. Perhaps it is just the universe's way of helping things along. My life seems to go that way fairly often. I think about something - an idea, a brief flicker of a dream or a plan or a wish and then, before you know it, it's happening. It's almost too easy.

So yes, the rain is gathering over my house, coming down in great sheets of windy wet, to help me decide to rip down this ceiling once and for all, cut in that skylight, and let the sun shine on our little reading nook. Because the sun will shine. Eventually. When it stops raining. Which it will.

Any time now.

But probably not tonight.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The most depressing Easter ever except for the first one - did you know some guy died? And my sausage is missing.

2010 is going down in history as The Worst Easter Ever (except maybe the original day, the one from which all Easters are descended, because I guess some guy died? Or something? And then came back to life? Sort of? I don't know, I'm not the one who goes to Catholic School. Is it just me, or does this sound like a holiday that may or may not involve The Living Dead? Or zombies maybe. "I see dead people. Oh never mind, it's Jesus. Right on, man, welcome back. That was pretty harsh, huh?" So in retrospect, I guess looking at "the big picture" that first Easter would have been the worst. Or at least, kind of scary for a kid. It sounds like  it was a pretty grim situation all around. THIS is why I don't go to church, I am scared of dead people.)

But all of that zombie Easter stuff aside, THIS year is the worst Easter, personally, for myownself. Partly because I am so exhausted I can't see straight and I slept through the Easter Egg hunt. And partly because my soupy didn't arrive. In contrast to last year, which totally kicked ass, this year is just awful.

The missing soupy has left me despondent. Adrift in a sea of peeps and sweet rolls, crying into the mug of coffee that I am clutching with shaking, sleep-deprived hands. My sausage has gone missing, and there is nothing I can do about it.

I blame it on the flood.

And it makes sense, that a holiday I am trying to celebrate here in Hawaii, one that is basically about zombies and enormous talking bunnies that shit colored chicken eggs and give you candy, would be ruined by a flood of epic, Noah's Ark Rhode Island.
Aerial photos: Interstate 95, Warwick Mall swamped

My soupy is in there somewhere.

My stepdad mailed it to us, with the return address "The Soupy Bunny" and SURPRISE SURPRISE it didn't arrive. You don't mail a package marked Soupy at the Westerly Rhode Island post office, and expect it to make it out of the state. Soupy is a precious commodity, recipes are closely guarded secrets, and your soupy stash is hidden in the darkest recesses of your basement until the holiest of days, or until you have to mail it to relatives that don't HAVE a basement and live in th tropics and therefore cannot MAKE THEIR OWN FUCKING SOUPY and depend on you to provide, dammit, stupid soupy bunny.

So I had to go in search of an acceptable placeholder.

I went to Whole Foods of course. Because Whole Foods is my chosen religion, and going to the store is like visiting mecca and even the produce guys know to expect me every day. Especially this day. The holiest of all days. I needed soupy. If anyone was gonna have soupy on Easter, and maybe a nice Easter Bread, it was going to be my beloved Whole Foods.

But no.

So we drove home with a $10 bag of rhubarb (after being warned that the tops were poisonous and not to eat them. HAPPY EASTER!) a pound of roast beef, some crusty bread, and an attitude problem. I wept softly in the front seat ("I'm just so fucking tired. I can't work until 2am and then get up with the kids at 5:30am to hunt for eggs. I just can't do it. I am the worst parent ever.") and the kids sat in the back seat, happily blowing the assortment of whistles, harmonicas and shofar horns that the stupid easter bunny brought them. Obviously, I was drinking when I bought the stuff for the baskets the Easter Bunny didn't think about mommy's late nights when he filled the easter baskets.

Happy Fucking Easter. Send soupy. I can live without the easter bread.......but not my sausage. I love my sausage. I wish I had one of my own.

Aunt Becky, please don't let the Daver read this one.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Grateful to be so tired

I am not religious. Does that surprise you? Wow, really? You don't come here much, do you........

But my stark lack of organized religion (I'm not losing it - I never had it to begin with) does not mean that I live a life of wanton carelessness. Karma is a bitch, and I firmly believe that one must follow the golden rule like it's an extreme sport. Seriously. The golden rule IS my religion.

And so far my life has been pretty amazing. I'll be the first to say it. So while I sit here bitching about how my house is worth far less then I owe on it, and how stressful it is to get the kids accepted into a private school (oh, by the way, it's official, they didn't accept Max) and all of the other "good problems to have", I am well aware that I am blessed.

Which is why I was relived and grateful and ecstatic to only be unemployed for about 24 hours, before I started training at a new job. I don't take it for granted, the opportunity to work. I appreciate every paycheck, every tip, every chance I get to do something to contribute to our household expenses, especially when it doesn't interfere with my time as a parent.

Life is good.

Someday, my life will be a little more reasonable, and a lot less stressful - by design. That time is not now. Right now I am doing the hustle, and working till 3am, and then getting up in the morning to see those sweet little smiles and kiss those warm little faces and feed those big dumb dogs, and hopefully grabbing a nap at some point. I am hanging on, and making do, and hoping for the best, and dreaming of something better.

But I am, first and foremost, grateful.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Well, I guess that's one way to make money in this economy

Max has his eye on a new Lego set. I told him he was going to have to save his money.

So in an effort to make some quick money, he pulled 3 teeth out of his mouth in two days.

You gotta admire his drive, man. That kid really wants those fucking Legos.

When he pulled out the first tooth, the tooth fairy didn't arrive for a few days - he was delayed. He was in Hana, mamping* for the weekend.

(*mamping = man camping, which is what my husband was doing when the first extraction occured. Mamping involves men and beer and fishing and setting fire to things including the grill and the surrounding area, and some jumping from impossibly dangerous vantage points into some very questionable swimming conditions, usually involving jagged rock and riptides.)

Max was very understanding, he knew that at some point, the tooth fairy would arrive and pay up. In the meantime, he even helped me collect all of the post-extraction bloody tissues that were in the wastebasket and on his bedside table. That extraction went down like the Little Shop of Horrors, evidently.

But this time, two teeth came out, with significantly less trauma. And we were on it, since the tooth fairy was present and accounted for. We snuck in and stuffed 2 wadded up dollar bills in his tooth box, and took the two teeth. When I got to the kitchen, I opened my hand to examine these last vestiges of his babyhood. One pearly white tooth, and one.......small black lego. That little bastard.

So I went back into the room with my flashlight, trying to locate the other tooth. I found it, eventually, just as beautifully pearly white as the other one, and I have to admit, as I stood there in his bedroom clutching his tiny baby tooth and looking at the very un-baby-like kid in the bed, I felt a little sad.

My first baby is growing up so fast. And extracting his own teeth for financial gain is just the beginning.
Soon, he'll be extracting his little sister's teeth too. I caught him pinning her down on the sofa yesterday, wiggling her very first loose tooth with a gleam in his eye.

So are we just supposed to sit here and stare at each other all day? Or what?

This is the last week of working with a tutor. Max and I are bored. We need friends who aren't in school during the day.

This morning, while he built ever-more-exquisite Lego creations - including the mothership, which apparently has nothing to do with ME (humph !) I was reading my blogroll per-usual.

And on one the blogs there was this piece about homeschooling and looking for other homeschooling families - and I looked across the living room at my boy, who has been home alone for months on end......and I thought AHA !

So we joined Hive Moms. Which is exciting. Except there is no one on that site in our area.

This is a great idea. I hope we get some buddies in our hive soon :) Do it for the children. Think of how great it would be to trade free childcare or carpooling to town or petsitting or housesitting or gardening or whatever the heck you can think of that you would be willing to trade. Cross-trading is totally allowed. If you hate to drive but love to garden, I will happily take you to town in exchange for helping me to tame our yard.

See? Isn't that loverly ?

Join ! BzzBzzBzz !
(p.s. no one asked me to write this nor am I compensated in any way or employed by or related to anyone employed by Hivemoms. I just saw the link and thought it was cool.)