Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Elephant vs. Hippo

These are two little bathtub toys that the Geej loves: Elephant and Hippo. They're little--about 1-1/2" long and squeezable. They come in a fourpack of bathtub toys called "Lil' Squirters," which contains Hippo, Elephant, a duck and a whale/dolphin looking thing.

She began loving Hippo when we were in Russia: She'd chew on him, squeeze him, and sleep with him in her fist. Then when we got home and she realized that there were more toys to the set, she started enjoying the company of Elephant as well. And for some mysterious reason, she's never been that fond of the duck or the whale/dolphin.

Now both Hippo and Elephant live in her crib, and she loves them both. However, every morning when I go in to her room, one or the other of them is on the floor. Sometimes Hippo's waaaaaay across the room. Or Elephant's somehow under the crib. But always one of them has been sent into exile at some point during the night. What the Hell's going on here? What do those little toys do during the night that causes the Geej to toss them over the crib bumper in the dark?

It's something to ponder, people.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

"It's not nice to fool Mother Nature."

Remember that commercial from the 70s? The beatific Mother Nature suddenly gets wicked pissed because her butter got switched with margarine or some such shit. But I don't think that Mother Nature, even in her wildest, margarine-induced fury could've done what Katrina did to coastal Louisiana and Mississippi yesterday. My God in heaven. I just looked at a "slideshow" of images from the storm on, and was sitting there with my mouth open and tears in my eyes.
Sunday afternoon, after a weekend filled with cleaning house and tending to the baby and absolutely zero t.v., I spoke with a friend who said, "Have you heard what's happening with New Orleans?" It was a random question, I thought. "It's about to be blown away by that hurricane." I immediately turned on the t.v. and was bombarded with images of that big, red, swirling monster heading straight toward the coast. It was like watching one of your favorite people about to have the holy hell beat out of them by a gang of thugs, and not being able to do a damn thing about it.
That night, I had nightmares about wind and rain and crying children and darkness. I woke and lay there in my safe, quiet bed thinking about what it must be like for those 10,000 people in that Superdome who didn't have anywhere else to go (or the means to get there). Or a person on life support in a New Orleans hospital. Or a handicapped or elderly person in Gulfport. It just ate at me. Still does.
Now stupid fucking people are looting--some are stealing essentials, but others are grabbing tennis shoes and jewelry. Why the fuck would you devolve like that in a time like this? People are turning primal as they become more desperate. And it will get worse before it gets better. How do cities and people ever come back from something like this? Do they? Can they?
Tonight the Geej was playing with some Mardi Gras beads (and she just happened to be topless, quite appropriately), and I was thinking how in six months, it'll be Mardi Gras. The flood waters will have subsided. The dead will have been buried and mourned. And I bet there will be one hell of a party in New Orleans, with boobs, beads and everything. At least, I hope so.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

God Bless Mama

My mom e-mailed me on Friday morning saying she wanted to come back down this weekend to haul a carload of stuff down to her new house. (She did this last weekend too. Drove 5 hours just to leave a bunch of towels and bathmats and stuff down at her new house.) Her movers come next Thursday, but apparently she had a load of stuff that just wouldn't wait. So down she came yesterday, and left today. That's quite a haul for only one night's visit--270 miles from her driveway to mine. But, whatever. I think she's just so excited about moving, that she can't stand it. Plus, she misses the Geej something fierce when she's not here.

I'd been invited to a gathering of some of my girlfriends last night, but had turned it down because I wasn't going to have childcare, and I didn't want to be the buzzkiller who brought the baby to a gathering whose specific purpose was to get AWAY from the kids. So I told my mom about this event, and she told me to go. But here's how lame I am: I fell asleep in front of the t.v. at 8:45pm. That's right: I had the opportunity to go out, but the idea of sleeping proved more irresistible. So I went to bed and to sleep before 9:30--something that me a year ago would've scoffed at as being devastatingly lame.

This morning, mom let me sleep in until almost 8:00! She handled the Geej while I slumbered for 10+ hours. Heavenly, just heavenly. Then, even though I knew she wanted to get on the road early, I begged her to let me do some housework while she watched the baby, and she said, "Sure, honey." I swept and mopped and vacuumed and did laundry and watered plants and dusted. I was a fucking whirling dervish of housework. And can I just tell you how much better the world looks when you've had a good night's sleep and your floors are clean? My mom left to go home about 2:45 when she'd wanted to leave "before lunch." Man, she rocks.

I know that by Wednesday, it'll be a wreck again, but for right now, the Geej is napping, my house is clean, and life is good.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Best headline I've read in a while...

From time to time, just for grins, I check out what's going on in Vladivostok, Russia, by logging on to the Vladivostok News site. Today while checking it out, I ran across this article, and had to laugh at it's awesome headline: "Typical Russian: Drunk but Kind."

Seriously random.

Hooray! I got the latest "My Twinn" catalogue in the mail today. I'd been waiting for it for months!! Not really, of course. Those dolls creep me out. But it's totally something my mom would get for The Geej. I'm going to have to destroy this catalogue before she comes for another visit.

The Geej's daycare had their annual fundraiser Garage Sale today, and the deal was that, as a parent, you were obligated to either work a 3-hour shift or contribute $50 to the kitty. (Because the $795 a month I'm paying isn't enough, apparently.) On the sign up sheet, it asked "Will you need child care?" and of course I put, "Yes." Well, we show up for my 10am shift and, guess what, no child care. Apparently there wasn't enough interest (I'm the only single parent at this daycare), so they didn't have any. So I had to write them a check for $50 and leave. It would've been nice if they'd thought to tell me (and anyone else who'd put "yes" on the sign up sheet) YESTERDAY that they weren't going to provide child care. I detest shoddy communication and having my time wasted. Grrr...

Speaking of money, I got my long distance bill yesterday, and discovered that a 36 minute call I made to the Texpatriate in Norway cost me ninety fucking dollars. I knew it was going to be expensive, but $90?! I love you Texpatriate, but it's e-mail from now on.

I'm officially sick of summer. I hate August. And unfortunately, September usually isn't any less brutal, so I predict a 90% chance of a very cranky month ahead.

The Geej is really trying to walk, and it's sad because she really sucks at it. Did I say "sad?" I meant hilarious. She gets so excited when she stands up on her own, and then she tries to walk and--BAM--she's on her ass. The most steps she's managed to string together thus far is 3. But every great journey begins with...yadda yadda.

She's also turned into the kissing bandit. If it's not moving, she kisses it. Diapers (clean, of course), the sink, her classmates who can't crawl yet, and my poor old cat Ellen have all been recent victims of attacks by the kissing bandit. Her kisses are very exaggerated and accompanied by a big "myUH!" smacking noise. Pretty funny.

Did you watch the series finale of "Six Feet Under?" I was a big SFU fan, but am glad they ended the series before it seriously started to suck. In the last episode, the scene with Ruth and Brenda on the stairs made me weep. Some of the best writing/acting I've seen in a while. So subtle; so real. And I am totally obsessed with the song they played at the end as they did the flash forward to all the deaths while Claire drove across the desert. It's called "Breathe Me" and it's by a woman named Sia who has also sung with Zero 7 (who I love). I went to iTunes to download it and it was only available if you downloaded the ENTIRE SFU album, which I didn't want. But luckily, I have a friend who had an Astralwerks sampler with the song on it, and she e-mailed it to me. Fuck yeah. I love the Internet. So I've listened to it about 100 times now, and it never fails to make me misty. Good song.

What else...My house is disgusting. Now that I've been back at work for 3+ weeks, things have gotten really nasty around here. I simply have NO time to clean anything. And the time I do have to do it--between about 8:30 and 10:30 at night; after Geej goes to sleep and before I do--I'm always doing other things, like showering, laundry, paying bills, washing dishes, getting her food ready for school the next day, reading mail, etc. I came home from work at lunch time on Wednesday just so I could change the crib sheets, vaccuum, and get some stuff out of the garage for the daycare's garage sale--all things that would've been difficult or impossible to do with the baby in tow. My life is a study in drudgery.

Got to run. I think the baby picked up some cat litter off the nasty ass floor and is eating it.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Yesterday sucked.

I get to work early because I'm scheduled to have an 8:30 call with this gal who was sort of filling in on my team when I was out on leave, but who is no longer with the company. I'd called her out of utter desperation after inheriting this half-baked, shitty work she'd done when I was gone that now I have to have finished by September 5th. And this project is about some pretty complex stuff--the Dietary Supplements and Health Education Act of 1994, to be exact--which I know zilcho about. Well, she was absolutely no help, so I'm fucked.

Then I got sucked into one of our famous "Team Meetings." These things always go waaaaaaaaaaaay long, and this one was no exception. Two hours, fifteen minutes. So there went my morning.

Decided to go to Maudie's with a work friend to have the Maida's salad that I'd been craving since Monday. Had a nice lunch then go out to my car, start it, and it won't go out of park. This "Electronic Panel Control" indicator light is glowing on my dash, and the indicator light that looks like a foot pushing a brake pedal would not go off, no matter how hard I pushed on the pedal. It was as if the fact that I was pushing on the brake wasn't registering with my car's brain, and it wouldn't let me shift into gear. Apparently, my car had gone temporarily retarded. My coworker called someone to come get her and take her back to work while I called VW roadside assistance. No lie: Here's what the chick on the other end of the phone told me to do.
  • Pump the brake 5 times
  • On the 5th time, hold the break down and start the car.
  • Let the car run for 5 seconds.
  • Turn the car all the way off.
  • Then turn the ignition key 1/4 of the way back toward the dash.
  • Move the gear shift to in-between Neutral and Park.
  • Start the car.
  • Jump down
  • Turn around
  • Pick a bail of cotton
Surprise, surprise--this didn't work. So she arranged for a tow truck to come get me "in about an hour-and-a-half," and I called the dealership to let them know a) I was coming and b) I wasn't a happy camper, considering it was a month TO THE DAY since my car was last in there for three days having some major warranty-covered repairs done. Then I sat there. In the August afternoon heat. Waiting. And sweating. It wasn't pretty, people.

The tow truck dude showed up after about only about 45 minutes (thank God), and I rode with him up to the dealer, rocking out to hard-core rap the whole way. When I got there, the in-take guy told me, "Yeah, this is a common problem with this model's a quick fix. We should have you out of here in about half an hour." And indeed, I did get out of there within an hour.

Drove my stinky, sweaty ass back to work, and managed to get about one hour of actual work done before it was time to go get the Geej.

Did I mention that I'm fucked?

"But Karla May," you say. "If you're so busy and stressed about work, then why are you blogging on the clock?"

Well, it's lunchtime, and I'm also shoveling food in my face as I type this. So really, I'm multi-tasking. Also, I needed a break because my head was about to explode due to the influx of knowledge about what you can and can't legally say to customers when you're talking about dietary supplements versus homeopathic versus OTC medicine products.

Envy me. My life is just as glamorous as it sounds.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Geej! She Stands!

This is an actual, un-retouched photo of The Geej standing up all by herself. All you have to do is say, "Stand up," and she stops what she's doing and up she goes. Last Friday night, she even took her first steps. There were only two, and they were remarkably clumsy, but they still count.

Oh, and here's a picture of her being a supermodel.

Now THIS is disturbing.

I had the most jacked-up dream this morning.

I was in some sort of combo version of the house I live in now and the one I lived in from about age 10 to 14. And I don't remember how the dream started, but the overall gist of it was that I was newly, passionately in love with Eminem--who I HATE in real life. But in my dream, he was charming and irresistable. I was the age I am now in my dream, but there was no Geej. And Marshal (as I called him) and I kept getting busted making out on the couch by my mom and stepdad in what was apparently my parents' house. In my dream, we never "sealed the deal" (so to speak), but we kept having these hot and heavy make out sessions that were really intense--the kind you have in high school when you kiss for hours and your face gets raw from his stubble scraping your skin. In my dream, at least, Marshal was an amazing kisser.

Oh yeah, and during the whole dream it was snowing like crazy outside.

I woke up and literally said out loud in the dark, "What the fuck?"

Monday, August 22, 2005

Me vs. The Pine Curtain

I really couldn’t be more “East Texas”: I grew up in Longview. My parents are from Kilgore. My grandmother was a Rangerette. My first memories of going out to eat are inhaling obscene amounts of fried catfish at the original David Beard’s in Ore City. I saw Waylon and Willie at the Black-eyed Pea Jamboree in Athens when I was eight. And I owned a cowboy belt with my name tooled into the back by the time I was six. But for some reason, admitting to others that I grew up “behind the Pine Curtain” has always been a bit of an embarrassment for me. I tried like Hell (with little success) to disguise my substantial drawl. I was jealous of my big-city friends who claimed "cool" places like Houston, Dallas, San Antonio or Austin as the hometowns. And slowly—deliberately—I became very removed from the big-haired, small town girl that I was when I moved away to attend college in 1987.

But last September, I finally got over it.

A group of friends of mine who were longtime campers and then counselors at a small, family run summer camp near Timpson (now THAT’S deep east Texas) decided to gather there for a reunion of sorts. I had spent at least two magical, sweaty weeks at that camp every summer for eleven years, but hadn’t been back there since my last stint as a counselor in 1990. As I drove through the small towns on my way there (Tatum...Carthage...Teneha), I had to catch my breath due to the sheer abundance of natural splendor outside my windows. Somehow, despite my familiarity with them, I had never really seen those hills and trees the way I saw them that early autumn afternoon. Through older eyes, the landscape seemed proud and epic. When I finally turned on to the mile-long red dirt road that leads to the camp’s gates, I was overcome with nostalgia. Just like it’d always been, the narrow road was encased in tall trees—mostly pines—so thick you couldn’t see more than a few feet back into them. It felt like I was traveling down some mystical corridor, transporting me back in time.

By the time I rounded the last long curve and drove through the camp gates, I found myself in a full-on sob: Despite the thirteen years that had passed since the last time I’d gone through those gates, nothing had changed at all. Time had frozen. I thought about how much I had personally been through in those years—college, studying abroad, grad school, two out-of-state moves, a marriage, deaths of my grandparents, a divorce, my father’s death, and a half-dozen different jobs and hair colors—and I was overwhelmed with emotion. The whole time that the world had been changing around me, this place had remained untouched, unspoiled and perfect. This astounding sameness was as comforting to me as a mother’s hug. It was that moment when all the sheepishness I’d ever felt about being from deep east Texas fell away. I finally realized how lucky I am to have grown up in the cradle of that indescribable beauty, so surrounded by it in fact, that I took it completely for granted.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

The 80s sucked, but...

So after posting about the goings on in 1985/1986, I've been really reflective. I'm not missing flag camp or Young Republican meetings or anything like that. I'm just wistfully missing that time in your life when you get to be so irresponsible, and it's okay. I mean, my only "job" as a 17 year old was to be good. I wasn't always, mind you, but I managed to play the odds, always ending up at least 51% good. I'm sure I kept my mom up some nights, worrying about what the hell I was doing. But given how bad I could have been, I was a pretty good kid. But back then, my biggest worries were not wrecking my car, not getting caught drinking wine coolers or doing the few drugs that I did, not getting a bad reputation, not wearing the wrong thing to school, my hair, and keeping my grades up. That was pretty much it. I didn't worry about my weight because I was skinny and could eat anything I wanted to. I didn't worry about money because I had an allowance. I didn't worry about politics and terrorism was an alien concept to me. I was carefree and wore a size 4.

And all of that was TWENTY FREAKIN' YEARS AGO!! Don't you remember looking at people in their late 30s when you were a teen-ager and thinking they were dinosaurs? Because I sure a hell do.

Don't get me wrong: my teen years were not all unicorns and rainbows. I would never want to BE 17 again (especially if I had to do it in thank you). But having a life where you didn't have to worry so much about the shit of the world...and your parents and grandparents are all still alive...and you can eat a Whaterburger Jr. with cheese and small onion rings as a snack every day on your way home from school and still fit into your size 25 Guess acid wash jeans sounds like a pretty good life to me.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Idol of the Dead!!

Please read this:

It was posted in the "missed connections" section of Craig's List. I read it and laughed so hard I nearly peed. This is one of the funniest, most original ideas I've seen in a while. And I love how they differentiate between the two "schools" of Zombie-ism.


Ladies and gentlemen...

Introducing, my new boyfriend. Ain't he dreamy?

Okay. Welcome back. Breathe deeply. It's going to be okay.

Now that you've gotten over the shock of laying eyes on Steve Erhardt, let's talk:

Who is more sick here? The dude who is getting this stuff done to him, or the doctor who is doing it? Can you imagine what it's going to look like once this guy is dead and buried and totally decomposed? There are going to be all of these leftover "parts" lying in his coffin with him. So weird to think about.

Money, money, money.

So after yesterday's post about my pitiful checking account, I got home and had a refund check in the mail from one of my (many) recent medical bills I'd paid. Nearly $200! You think I didn't deposit that sucker on the way to work this morning? Sheeee-ut.

Then I had a dream last night that I was in the desert, and this dude rode up to me on a camel and handed me $50,000 cash. No strings. No taxes. Just mine all mine. I fell to my knees and wept because it was such a relief. I dreamed about all of the things I was going to do with that off my credit card, pay off my car, put a downpayment down on a house that wasn't in the ghetto or Cedar Park, buy some new clothes for myself for the first time in nearly six months. It was such a wonderful sense of peace. Then I woke up.

I guess all of this stress is also tied up in the fact that, just for grins (and because it's been a few years since I've seen it), I ordered a copy of my credit report with my credit score last Friday. I have always been very, VERY careful with my credit. Have never missed a payment on anything, have paid off loans on time, never bounced a check. I've been a little angel. So imagine my utter astonishment when my credit score read: 666--POOR! Um...EXCUSE ME?!! I about fell on the floor. Not only because it's the Number of the Beast, but because it was just inconceivable to me that after all my carefulness that this could be my score. Well, after close inspection, I realized that the fucker is riddled with mistakes:
  • They had that my birthdate was in 1929. I'm old, but I'm not that old.
  • They still had me listed by my married name, which I changed in 2002.
  • They had that my Master Card's credit limit is $0 when it's actually 5-figures. So it made it look as if the balance I owe is WAY out of whack with the credit I'm allowed.
  • There was a $53 bill from last summer's fun trip to the emergency room in an ambulance. I'd paid the bulk of the bill to the ambulance company itself, but this was some sort of left over EMS bullshit that insurance hadn't covered. And they'd tried to send the bill to an address I hadn't lived at since 2001. And phone me at a phone number I hadn't had since 2001. And when they couldn't reach me, they turned it over to a collection agency, who'd been trying to reach me by mail at some address in Crane, Texas. Is that even a real town?

So I've had to spend the last couple of days on the phone with the credit reporting service, my credit card company, the bill collection company, etc. to try and clean up this freakin' mess.

My advice to you? Check your credit report. Now. If a credit angel like myself can be branded with the Number of the Beast, so can you...

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


That is the amount I have in my checking account right now. For real. I just balanced my checkbook (if you can call it that), and the sad reality of just how strapped I am slapped me in the face. I haven't gotten a real paycheck since early April. I did get some measly short-term disability checks for a couple of weeks after my surgery, but they were spent before they even landed in my mailbox. And now, The Geej and I are down to stems and seeds, so to speak.

Oh wait! In my wallet right now I have $33 and some change. So technically, I have over $60 bucks. Break out the Dom, boy-ee!!

I get my first paycheck since going back to work the day after tomorrow. However, I've already been told that I'm going to have a massive one-time chunk taken out of it to account for all of the arrears deductions that I wasn't paying when I was on leave (insurance premiums, 401(k) deductions, health care reimbursement account, etc.). So this check won't be anything to jump up and down about. They never are, really.

So if you see me wandering the streets in my ugly ass pajamas, asking for a handout, please be kind.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


I've never been a good journal keeper. I've started plenty of them, but I peter out after a few weeks or months of somewhat regular writing. I have, however, kept a yearly calendar since I was in junior high. What this is/has been is a small daily calendar, onto which I write significant (and not-so-significant) goings on and events. Recently, I found my calendars from 1985 and 1986. They're those free pocket-sized date books they give away every year at the Hallmark store, and they're quite tattered and frayed. In them are all sorts of code marks for when I had my period, did drugs, got drunk, or made out with boys. (And by "made out," I mean just that: Kissing. Heavy petting. Dry humping. I was a pretty good girl back in those days. It wasn't until college that I became a full blown slut. But that's a different post...)

To put things in perspective, I was 16 at the beginning of 1985--a junior in high school. (I would post a photo of me back then, but my hair was so permed and humongous, that it wouldn't fit on your computer screen. Trust me.) I was an A-student, and although I ran with the popular crowd, I also hung with the band geeks, the vocational (or "VoCo") wing stoners, the theater nerds, and the Honor Society goobs. I was tall, lanky, totally ungraceful, had NO boobs and was known for being goofy and funny. I drove a 1984 Buick Skyhawk coupe with a bitchin' Pioneer stereo complete with an equalizer/power booster and loud ass speakers for rocking my Billy Squier and Def Leppard tapes.

Here are just a few highlights from the calendars, with a tiny bit of editorializing. Enjoy!

10--Rod Stewart concert in Dallas (I didn't get to go, by the way.)
16--Take $4 to band

1--Snow! No school! (I remember that snow storm. We tied sleds to the back of Sammy Roach's Firebird, and he drove us around my neighborhood, slamming us into the curb every time he took a corner.)
9--U.I.L Tournament
16--BAND BANQUET!! Triumph concert (I went to the banquet...)
25--U2 concert (Unforgettable Fire tour. I went. It was awesome.)

19--G.B. (Which means I made out with Greg Butts. He was a senior soccer player with a TOTAL chili bowl haircut. Eww.)
20--Band contest!
22--Funeral (My great grandfather)
22 to 26--Flag workshop (Yes. I was in the flag corps. Don't hate.)

2 to 6--Band trip to Corpus Christi (This was SO lame, but we thought it was so much fun. We took buses down there to march in the Buccaneer Days parade. In wool uniforms. In May. It pretty much sucked.)
8 to 10--Flag Workshops
14--Flag tryouts: YAY!!
16--Spring concert
17--Prom night (I didn't go)
24--Last day of school
25--PARTY!! (Took Ecstasy...noted with a tiny "X" on that day in the calendar.)

6--Made out with Jason Barber. Took X. (Sigh. Jason Barber. He looked like Robert Downey Junior and did almost as many drugs. He and I were good friends, but every now and then, we'd get wasted and make out.)
7--Swimming party
8--Made out with Jason Barber.
14--Cara's birthday. Took X.
16 to 21--Flag Camp at East Texas State University (Does it get any more dorky than FLAG CAMP?!)
23--Made out with Jason Barber; Left for summer camp

5--Huey Lewis's birthday (I must explain: My best friend at the time was OBSESSED with Huey Lewis. And as her best friend, I encouraged her psychosis.)
6--Home from summer camp

12 to 17--Band camp in Oklahoma (Oh wait, it DOES get dorkier than Flag Camp! And in Okla-fucking-homa. All I remember about it was sweating and dodging scorpions.)
18--Took X. (Well what do you expect? I'd just gotten back from a week in Band Camp hell!)

7--Made out with Bud Felker (Yes, that was his real name.)
25--Finish reading Alas, Babylon

6--No BF (which means Bud and I broke up.)
8--Miles Darby (my new crush) came over
10--David Lee Roth's birthday. Made out with Miles.
12--Made out with Miles
13--Made out with Miles
17--Made out with Miles
19--Perm appointment. Made out with Miles.
22--PSAT Test. Made out with Miles.
25--Made out with Miles.
26--Marching contest in Marshall. Made out with Miles.
27--Made out with Miles
28--Camp Huawni pizza party. Made out with Miles.
29--Made out with Miles.
30--Made out with Miles.

2--Marching contest in Mesquite.
10 to 12--State marching contest. Austin.
23--2 month anniversary with Miles.

11--Miles and I broke up. Took X.
26--Miles came over.
30--Made out with Miles.
31--Made out with Miles.

18--T4C (I have no idea what the code "T4C" means. I'm sure it's something I shouldn't have been doing.)
19--T4C (I did it again!! What the hell was it?!)
24--Loverboy concert (I think Zebra opened up for them. I'm sure it totally rocked.)

8--Band Banquet

15--SAT test
27--Van Halen!!!!

11--Took X.
21--Texas Sesquicentenial

26--Clubbin' in Shreveport w/Rod McNew (Oh. My. God. "Clubbin'")

8 to 10--XIT Rodeo in Dalhart
15--Clubbin' at Ferrari's w/Susie (CLUBBIN'?!! At Ferrari's, no less...)
22--10pm to 6am lock-in at Oakland Heights Baptist Church
23--J1B (Which means I "did it" for the first time ever in my whole life with Jason Barber. The night after the church lock-in. Nice.)
28--J2B (I'll let you figure out what that means.)
29--To Austin! (This was the trip when I figured out that I wanted to live in Austin forever and ever...)
30--Laci's Party

10--Orthodontist, 10:45; Young Republicans mtg., 3:45 (WHAT?! Jesus what was wrong with me?! I wasn't even voting age at this point. Must've been all the X I took in '85...)
22--Huey Lewis concert at SFA
23--7:00, Young Republicans (At least I was dedicated...)
26--Huey Lewis concert in College Station
27--Huey Lewis concert in Austin
29--College shirt day at school

7--Young Republicans, 8:30
15--Phone bank (...for the Young Republicans, dontcha know. We were trying to get Bill Clements re-elected as governor.)
16--Young Republicans
22--Phone bank, 6 - 9pm
25--ACT Test

3--Youn Republicans phone bank; Student council
28--Made out with Miles Darby (A blast from the past, no?)

4--Made out with somebody with the initials "MC"
8--Made out with the mysterious MC again
9--Made out with someone with the initials "CM." (Charlie Merriman perhaps? I don't even know. What a little ho-bag!!)
14--Made out with MC
16--Made out with CM
17--Miles Darby home. (He was off at college by this point. But why did I even care that he was coming home with all the MC and CM action I had going on?)

Irrefutable proof that my mom still thinks I'm 11.

Check out these pajamas my mom brought to me during her recent visit.

Um...what? How freakin' fugly are these things? I guess, like me, she's convinced that I will never have sex again.

I know, I know: It's sweet that she bought me a gift. But seriously, these things are ghastly. And yes, I slept in them last night. The only thing uglier than them lying on my unmade bed is them on my unfit bod.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Motherhood + Hangover = 3rd Circle of Hell

I know I only have myself and 6,000 glasses of Pinot Grigio to blame, but man do I ever feel like Hell. Ugh. I seem to recall hitting on a gay man for a while. And I have two mystery injuries on my knees, which means I fell down at some point during the evening. Classy! And I vaguely remember grabbing the mike of one of the cheesy Sweeny Sisters-esque wedding singers and belting out the Jane Wiedlin part in the bridge of "Our Lips Are Sealed" and later, posing for compromising digital photos at the Bar at the Four Seasons. My significant cleavage and pointy tongue will be coming to a website near you soon, I'm sure.

I got some Luby's to Go (praise be to the fried fish/mashed potato combo), have taken a shower, drunk a Dr. Pepper and swallowed a handful of aspirin. I'm praying I begin to feel somewhat human sometime before nightfall. Meanwhile, the Geej just took a momentous dump in her diaper. Oh God. I think I may hurl for real.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Worth a million freakin' bucks.

I swear, a good night's sleep is one of the most wonderful, precious things in the world. I went to sleep at 10:50 last night after reading--READING! Something else I rarely get to do these days--and slept blissfully uninterrupted until nature called at 5:20. And then, knowing that the baby monitor was turned off, I was able to drift right back off to sleep...until 8:30!! Magical. I am a new person today. Yesterday I had literally hit a wall of exhaustion and crankiness that was pretty horrifying. My first full week back at work + The Geej + this high blood pressure medicine I've just started taking that makes you super sleepy (not for my blood pressure, but because its side effects help with the hot flashes/night sweats) + the general psychosis that accompanies menopause = one helluva bitch. One night's good sleep made it all better. God bless my mom...

Tonight I'm going to a wedding. A ton of my friends are going to be there, and I'm really looking forward to it because I know the reception is going to be a blast. Plus, I have a reason to get dressed up--something that doesn't come along very often these days. Should be fun. Maybe I'll even have photos of the debauchery. Tune in tomorrow, kittty cats. We shall see...

Friday, August 12, 2005

Cocktails and conversation.

All yesterday at work I kept bragging to co-workers that I was "going out for drinks" that night. Big fucking deal, right? Well, for me, yes. You see, the Geej has put quite a damper in my after-work cavorting. Or any cavorting, for that matter. So when I do have that rare night out, Geej-free, it's like finding a $50 bill in the dryer. Not that I don't love the Geej. God knows I worship that little imp. But Mommy needs her fun too. Mommy needs to have conversations with adult humans that don't involve me singing "Row, row, row your boat" at some point during it. It's better for both of us when that happens.
So we (Texpatriate, Badger and Bookhart) met on a warm but not hot August evening to enjoy expensive-but-worth-it cocktails, light breezes, and wonderful WONDERFUL girl chatting. I thought I'd be home before 10pm, and I got home past 11:00...on a school night!! What a rebel, eh? Martini olives and vodka for dinner? Why not?! If I could've, I would've stayed out until they kicked us off the balcony of the Stephen F. But the 6:00am reality of my Friday morning was omnipresent.
And now here it is: 9:40 on Friday night, and I'm struggling to keep my eyelids from closing. Last night, and its carefree energy seems a million miles away. But all day today it kept making me smile. I kept thinking how lucky I am to have the friends that I have. And then I thought how cool it is that something as dorky as a blog can bring new friends into your life as well. Badger's a rock star. Texpatriate and Bookhart are limitless bad asses. I am honored to be among them.

My mom is visiting (hence my ability to go out last night...I didn't just leave the Geej at home with a bag of frozen peas and a beer), and she offered a wonderful gift tonight: I get to sleep in MY bed (I've been sleeping on the bed in the baby's room while Mom's here) with the door closed and the baby monitor off. And she even said that I should take an Ambien to make sure I actually get a solid night's sleep (something I haven't had in...well...forever. Thanks menopause!), and I'm totally going to do it. Sandman, here I come!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Who knew?

I stopped at the Shell station at North Loop and Burnet yesterday evening to fill 'er up, and rather than pay at the pump, I actually had to go into the store to pay because Shell, in their infinite goodness, had sent me a coupon in the mail for $2 off gas. I had to wait in line behind a couple of people, which allowed me ample time to peruse the magazine offerings at the check out counter. Of course there were the obligatory hot rod mags, with ridiculously busty women posing on the hoods of some tricked-out something on the cover. Then there were the borderline porn mags--FHM, Maxim, etc.--with ridiculously busty women looking horny as hell on the cover. But here's what really got MY attention: Not only did they have "High Times" available (Willie Nelson is on this month's cover by the way. I want him to be my grand-dad!), but they also had "Weed World" and "Skunk" magazines in the rack, with glorious photos of ridiculously beautiful marijuana on their covers. Wha? Did YOU know these publications existed, because I certainly didn't. And it was just odd to see them at THIS Shell station, right in the middle of a high-dollar neighborhood. If I'd seen this selection in a store near campus, it would've been one thing. I mean, you know how the kids love the mary jane. But in the heart of Allandale? It was just weird.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Ex-Husbands Suck

The following is the text from an e-mail titled "Personal e-mail, difficult subject" that I got from my ex a little over a week ago. (The misspellings are his.):

"I'm really sorry to do this, but I'm in a situation that forces me to contact you about you and me. This is an incredibly difficult email to write because I really hate the reason behind contacting you (especially since we've communicated in a nice way the last few times) Essentially I'm forced to contact you about something. And it might hurt you to read. Please know I fought against not having to do this, but ...

Here's the story: I'm dating a Catholic. Have for some time. A very unfair and mean aspect of the Catholic Church's control over its followers is their view of divorce. Basically they don't recognize a divorce until they, themselves, have recognized it through an anulment process. So for me to have much more to do with this person I've had to enter in an anulment application to them. I have no problem doing this, really, except for one very small part of the application where it mandates you need to be contacted to be told that the anulment is going forward, etc.

This is all ridiculous, because neither you or I are Catholic, nor am I intending to become Catholic (especially with this as an introduction) but I'm dating a Catholic, and this is the way it is with them.

There's no need for you to do anything, actually. They just need to send you a piece of mail saying the anulment process is going on. The priest person even said you can just toss it in the trash. You can also contest the anulment if that's your wish. It all sounds very beurocratic and personally invasive, mean, etc. I've grown to really resent the Catholic Church over this whole thing, and I hate having to contact you over it.

How does this all go over on you? Is there an address I can give them? Again, I really hate having to do this. I'm really sorry."

Ugh. What a pussy. Just another way for him to distance himself from the fact that he walked out on me and our marriage like a 9th grader breaks up with his girlfriend between homeroom and gym. I'm sure since she's such a good Catholic, that they haven't had premarital sex or used any sort of birth control. Because that would be hypocritical. Sort of like saying you want to marry me in front of all of our friends and family and then walking out on me after 9 months.

That's what I should've said in my reply. But it appears I too am a pussy. Here's what I said:

"I assume that if you're at this phase in your relationship, you two are talking marriage. Congratulations and good luck.

Send it to this address:
1234 Anywhere Dr. (I gave him my real address. But I'm not giving it to you suckers.)
Austin, TX 78731

I understand that it must've been weird for you to have to write that e-mail. And yes, I will just toss it in the trash when I get the letter. The Catholic church is a misogynistic, invasive, bullshit organization, not built upon principles of spirituality, but on rules that insure its own self-preservation. The original 'good ol' boys' club. But that's just my pea-pickin' opinion."

How come I let this get to me? I mean, for some reason, this really, really pissed me off. And it's not because he's with someone else. I could give two shits about that. It's just that something about the overly apologetic tone of the e-mail that seriously rubbed me the wrong way.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

I never said he was smart.

Earl is sweet. And funny. And loving. But he's not bright.

Yesterday morning, I got up and started getting The Geej's supplies ready for school. It was about 6:15am. After a while, I realized that I didn't know where Earl was. I looked for him, shook the treat can, called for him, but no dice. So I had to leave for work without knowing where he was.
When I got home at about 5:30, he still was nowhere to be found, and the food hadn't been touched, which is VERY unusual to say the least. Again, I called and looked for him in every possible hiding place where he could have squeezed his fat ass, but he wasn't anywhere.
I started to get worried. Was he sick? Had I actually let him out, but because of my motherhood-induced senility, I couldn't even remember it? It was really beginning to freak me out. And to make matters worse, it was raining outside, which he absolutely hates.
So last night, I'm washing dishes, and getting ready to watch "The Daily Show," when I hear the faint jingle of his collar. I went and looked for him, but didn't see him. I started washing dishes again, and "jingle-jingle." I stopped and looked outside for him. But there was no Earl. I began to think I was really losing my mind. I opened up the lower cabinet to put some Tupperware away and, lo and behold, there he was, purring but blinky from being locked in a dark cabinet for about 16 hours.
The only thing I can figure is that, waaaaaaaay earlier that morning when I'd been putting away dishes I'd washed the night before, he'd slipped into the cabinet without me noticing. That in and of itself is kind of hard to believe because, in addition to being sort of dumb, he's also not stealthy or graceful.
After he emerged, he immediately went to the food bowl and scarfed. Then went to the litter box and did some major damage. The stupidest thing about all of this is if he'd just meowed--just once--while I was in the kitchen (which was a lot, both yesterday morning and last night), I could've let him out. He heard me calling him. He heard me shaking his treat can. He heard me standing there washing dishes. But he just sat there in the dark, waiting for the door to open. My sweet, dumb baby.

Monday, August 08, 2005

The story of the pug painting.

I own very few things that I would say are truly "cool." But one thing I have that never fails to get commented upon is my pug painting. It's been a focal point in the last four places I've lived, and somehow, no matter how different the places were (Victorian brownstone, 80's nightmare, 50's hip), it has fit in perfectly.
I love this painting, and thought I'd share its story:

When my future-ex-husband and I moved into the amazing brownstone on the boulevard in Chicago's Logan Square, we were told that a) the last resident had been an artist, and b) he'd died of AIDS and left the front room filled with some of his old art and supplies. That was it. We didn't get his name or any other information about him. The front room was indeed kind of a mess. Mainly, there were a lot of stretched but never used canvases and cans of paint and thinner and old brushes. We started going through this stuff shortly after we'd moved in, and threw out most of it. But two of the things we found--this painting, and a human tooth (complete with root...we never did figure that one out, but were too creeped out to throw it out). We immediately hung it in the den above an antique, defunct player piano that the previous resident had also left behind. It was perfect.

When we moved to Austin a couple of years later, it was the first thing we unpacked. We hung it above the fireplace in our new house, and it immediately made the mid-80s house with rust-colored carpet feel like home. When my husband walked out on me, I took the painting with me to my bitter bachelorette pad, and again it looked great. Now it hangs above my couch in the living room the fifties-era house I live in now, looking like its always belonged there.

The sleeping pugs have indeed become a permanent part of my life.

I like to think that they were the artist's dogs, captured as they slept on the floor of that beautiful Victorian apartment. Maybe they were litter-mates or mother and daughter. They had people names--like Lucy and Ethel or Liza and Judy. He loved them like they were his children. He walked them a couple of times every day, until he no longer could. They were by his side when he passed away, and are still being lovingly taken care of by a brother, or his mother, or his partner.

And even if none of what I imagine is true, at least I know that this man's art is being lovingly taken care of and admired despite the fact that I never met him and he's no longer here.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

I SAID no paparazzi, damnit!!

Mealtimes just keep getting messier and messier. And the mad scientist hair filthy with food in it is a nice touch.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Grrrr...I'm in a snarly-ass mood... Posted by Picasa

Things that tick me off...

I don't know why exactly, but I'm in a superbly acidic mood. No real reason, I'm just crabby. So I figured a laundry list of things that make my blood boil would be fitting of my current mood. Bear in mind that this list is by no means complete. Grumble grumble grumble...
  • Mosquito bites on my toes/upper feet and/or hands/fingers. Why is it that mosquito bites in these two places itch waaaaaaaaaay the fuck more than they do anywhere else on your body?
  • Picky eaters. It's one thing if you've got allergies, or if there's one or two random things you won't eat because you had a bad experience with them ("Yeah, the last time I ate coconut cream pie, I barfed for three days!"), and it's another to not eat things because of religious or philosophical reasons, but to shun entire categories of food because you think they're yucky? Grow the fuck up.
  • People who don't know the difference between the plural "s" and the apostrophe "s." As in: "He sure did eat a lot of cupcake's." ARRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGH!!
  • People who cannot speak without using the word "like" ever 5 seconds. Like what would you like do if I put like electroshock tazers on like your nipples or nads and like shocked you like every single time you like said like?
  • Peter Overbee's voice. He's a reporter on NPR, and I swear the guy puts 5 starlight mints in his mouth right before he records his reports. Seriously, his voice makes me physically ill.
  • pharmaceutical marketing. There is a difference between marketing your product and educating people (i.e., doctors) about it. When I sit down to watch the evening news and literally every other commercial says, "Ask your doctor if Gleemonex is right for you. Possible side effects include long-term catatonic state, lazy eye, genital bursting, persistent spontaneous urination, narcolepsy, and loose teeth," I can't help but wonder if this marketing bombardment has a little something to do with the fact that a 30-day supply of the Arimidex that I have to take every day for the rest of my life (due to my recent cancer situation) cost $214 motherfucking dollars. Hmmm...
  • My surgery scar. I know every woman who has had a Cesarean section can relate. That big ol' ugly ass scar that divides your gut from your hoo-hah area is just f-ugly. It's like a badly sewn on zipper, and has created a...let's call it a "rift"...between the upper and lower parts of my abdomen. Granted, I wasn't sporting a six pack prior to my hysterectomy, but still. The profile view of my body gives me the willies now. It's just very altered and very foreign looking to me.
  • How easy it is to buy music on iTunes. THIS is going to put me in the god dang poor house. Scary, scary stuff. It's like a heroin addict with online access to a fix. Good shit and bad. For instance, I just downloaded "Hard Out Here for a Pimp" (from Hustle and Flow), "Dust in the Wind" by Kansas, a Verve remix album, and Secret Machines. Boom, Pow. That's like $30+ I just dropped with the click of the mouse. Sweet, sweet music.
  • Car trouble. I hate to feel helpless, and nothing will knock you in to "But I'm just a GIRL" mode like car trouble. Not only is it a monumental inconvenience and expensive as hell, you get to feel like a stupid sucker the entire time.
  • People who give "play by play" narration during a movie. Look asshole. I paid good money to be in this theater and see this flippin' movie. I've already gotten raped at the snack bar by having to spent $8.50 for a small coke and small popcorn, had to sit through 25 goddamned minutes of trailers and commercials, and now I have to listen to your country ass behind me explaining to your apparently hearing-impaired friend that "No...that's the other guy...remember when they was in the store earlier? That's the guy who was asking about the chainsaw...I think he's the one who done it! Oh wait, I need to answer this phone call. It's my meth dealer." SHUT THE FUCK UP YOU RETARD!! I don't know why they don't have bouncers at movie theaters. These people deserve to be physically tossed out to the curb.
  • Feeling old. I must be a glutton for punishment in this arena b/c I've been watching both "The Real World --Austin" and "The 70s House" on MTV this summer, and it makes me want to finalize my will. I mean, I MUST be ready for the glue factory because I simply can NOT relate to these kids.
  • Being poor. Since I was away from work for four months on unpaid leave, I have not received a paycheck since early April. I've been having to dip into my savings (what was one day going to be a downpayment for a house) to live and pay medical bills and buy $214/month prescriptions and pay for car repairs and eat and buy diapers and $20/can formula and pay for daycare. And now that I've gone back to work, I don't get a paycheck for 2 weeks, and it will have a bunch of lapsed deductions taken out of it...for 401(k) and insurance premiums and health-care reimbursement account and the like. So it's not going to be anywhere close to what a "real" paycheck would be. That won't come along until September. Meanwhile, I don't leave the house much (hence all the iTunes downloading).
  • Having a peanut-sized bladder. I've always been that buzz-kill friend that you don't want to take on a road trip because they have to stop and pee every 100 miles. It sucks. I hate having to get up one or two times a night to pee, even if I haven't had a drop of liquid since 7pm.

Okay I think that's plenty for now. Whew. I feel better. I needed a good vent. Now I'm going to go fold laundry and get ready for bed. Did I mention that I hate feeling old?

Thursday, August 04, 2005

I'm back.

Did you even know I was gone? Did you?

My damn computer was broken. Well, actually, I broke my computer. My LCD screen to be exact. It was a very dumb blonde-dyed-red thing I did. But now it's working and I'm back in action.

I'm also back at work. Today is my first day back in Cubeland in 4 FREAKIN' MONTHS! It's weird, to say the least. I've got a mountain of e-mails to wade through, which is all I'll probably be doing for the next couple of days.

While I was without my computer I not only felt helpless and disconnected (how sad is that?), I also thought of 1,000 things I wanted to blog about, but of course now I can't think of a one.

But I'm just letting you know that I will indeed be blogging more frequently now. And they won't all be about the baby. I promise.

But until I feel that rush of inspiration...