Monday, February 21, 2011

This is rare.

I hardly ever write a post that is really just to get you to look at someone else's post. But that's what I'm doing today.


Well, the person who wrote the post is near and dear to me (The Texpatriate). And also, she very clearly captures and articulates the lightning-in-a-bottle fury that many of us--including me--are feeling as the Republican leaders in our country, and especially in this state, attempt to ride roughshod over reproductive freedoms (and many other female-centric issues) because, clearly, we poor little gals need their help so badly. The thinly veiled patriarchal sexism in this legislation hiding behind a sheild of "it's for our protection" bullshit is simply staggering. And the women who are complicit in moving these ideas forward? Shame on you. I'm embarrassed to share a gender designation with you.

This is NOT about religion or what's "best for women", and if any arguement couches itself in either of those claims, then it is in hardcore denial or fiendishly shrewd, knowing that this tack will draw more supporters who want the black-and-white, easy way out. No. This is, pure and simple, about women as property. Women as something to be controlled by men. This is about ensuring that women remain second-class citizens in a country that would like to be held up as a bastion of freedom and democracy for all.

You want to read something terrifying? Read Chapter 9 of Susan Faludi's Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women*. It was written TWENTY YEARS AGO, and it reads like Johnny Carson's "Carnac the Magnificent," revealing the punchlines before the joke is read. Except this is no joke. It's terrifyingly, nauseatingly real. The war has not only been declared, it's being won by 7 to 2 votes cast by middle-aged white men.

*After you read the Texpatriate's post, that is.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

And he's back.

Within a couple of hours of writing the post about Doug hauling ass, prison-break style, he was back at home snoozing with a full belly. He'd been spotted in some bushes in front of a house on the street behind us. When he saw us, he skeedaddled into a back yard and got tormented by some bluejays and mockingbirds for a while. Then, once it started steadily drizzling, he decided to scale the fence and come home, meyowling the whole time. Sigh. I'm glad he's back, but we're definitely going to have to take steps to make him an indoor/outdoor creature or we're all going to go insane.

This afternoon, The Geej, Dah and I are going to get all kinds of cultural and go see a performance by the Vienna Boys' Choir. I love choral music (most of it, anyway) and was a big choir nerd back in middle school and junior high, so when I saw they were coming, I quickly bought tickets. Also, because The Geej likes music and likes to sing so much, I'm hoping she'll be inspired by what she sees and hears. But she may just be bored out of her mind. We'll see.

Later this evening, we're going to dinner with my in-laws. Luckily, I actually LIKE my mother-in-law and her husband. A lot. So this is a treat. Also, since they live several hours away, it's a rare treat.

And then? I've got work to do this evening. Work work. I'm worried that I'm never going to dig out of this hole I dug by being out sick for four days. At least, I'm not going to be able to dig out during normal work hours alone. So if I'm silent for a few days, you know why. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011


You wanna know how sick I was this week? Remember a few posts ago when I said it was my 2000th post? was my 1,000th. My feverish brain got way confused. So for those of you keeping score at home, I apologize.

I'm Up!

"But why are you up and blogging at such an early hour on a Saturday, Karla May?"

Well, that's a very good question. The Geej is at Dah's house (yesterday was a school holiday, so she had a sleepover), it quiet and cloudy, and I love to sleep. And yet, I'm awake.

You see, the stupider of our two cats, Doug, has been jonesing for the outdoors. So much so that we experimented with taking him out on a harness/leash type thing, but neither of us liked that situation much. But for the past month, he's become kind of insufferable--meowing and yowling at the top of his lungs almost constantly, pacing back and forth and making it very clear to everyone within earshot that he really, really, REALLY wants to gothefuckoutside. Which would be fine EXCEPT:
  1. He hasn't had his check-up/shots in over a year, so he has no up-to-date tags.
  2. He has no collar on which to hang his up-to-date tags (were he to have some).
  3. We live on a fairly busy corner near an extremely busy road, and he has zero self-preservation instincts.
  4. There are at least 2 cats who patrol this part of the neighborhood--it is their turf. And both of these cats are outdoor veterans who could (and would) whip poor Doug's dumb ass six ways from Sunday.
  5. Heartbreak and vet bills. Don't have 'em. Don't want 'em. (See items 3 and 4, above.)
And yet.

Last night we dared to go to sleep with some of the windows along the back of the house open, and Doug busted out one of the screens and made a break for it. (His more well-behaved and content sister, Diane, stayed behind thankfully.) How did I know he'd escaped? Well, when I got up to pee and take my meds (being 42 is fun!!) at about 6:30, I got back into bed and it was oddly quiet. No annoying and agonized meyowling going on. So I asked BH, "Did you throw Whinebag out into the garage?" (Which is what we sometimes do just to get some peace.) And when he said no, I knew something was up. So I investigated and (cue the dramatic reveal music), there was the evidence of the busted open screen.

I got dressed, grabbed the treat can, and went around the houses immediately around us, calling his name and hoping I'd hear him squeaking. No luck. Then BH got on his scooter and was going to do the slow roll through the neighborhood to see if he saw him, and lo and behold--A SIGHTING!! Doug was crouched in some bushes in front of a house on the cul-de-sac behind our house. But then, he ran and is now (we think) in the back yard of that house, being harassed by bluejays and mockingbirds. Wonder what will happen when those folks let their dog out in the back yard in a little bit...

So, he's alive. But who knows when (if) he'll reappear at our doorstep. And then what? We won't be able to have our windows open during any of the upcoming lovely spring days because of Hairy Houdini?

Pray for us, people. These are trying times over here at Casa de Pine Curtain.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Rainbows! And Giggles!!

Well, not exactly. But I'm in a much better place than I was when I last wrote. Today, I finally went back to work after being out sick for four freakin' days. I am SO unbelievably behind, but it was really good to be back among the living today, however minimal my "To Do" list progress may have been.

Monday and Tuesday sucked donkey balls. I was so miserable and feverish and achy and worn out. It was bad. Wednesday, I started to feel a bit more human, but by that point The Geej was home with a fever. I took her to the doctor, and they tested her for the flu, which was thankfully negative. But that night, she had diarrhea, vomited, and had a fever of 102.7. It was scary. This child rarely gets sick, and this was like the 3rd time she'd ever thrown up in her life, and she was very upset by it all. And I was still operating at way less than 100%, so it just sucked all around. By about 1:00am, her fever had begun to come down, and on Thursday she never got above 99.6. So whatever the Hell it was that knocked her on her ass has come and gone, praise sweet baby Jeebus.

Somehow, BH has managed to escape either of our ailments (knock wood). He's Superman. Or a robot. I'm not sure, but I'm glad he's well.

Next fall, I WILL be getting the flu vaccine.

I've got a lot of stuff on ye olde plate in the immediate future: cleaning the HELL out of The Geej's room and getting rid of a lot of clothes, shoes, and toys she's grown out of and just decluttering her space; Going to see the Vienna Boys' Choir with Dah and The Geej on Sunday; Dinner with BH and my in-laws on Sunday evening; Having The Geej's spring conference with her teacher on Monday. (They allot 20 whole minutes to discuss your child with you! Wow!!); Listening to the new Radiohead and P.J. Harvey albums over and over and over; Getting my summer writing workshop application materials (that are due for 2 workshops on 3/1) completed and in the mail; Getting our tax stuff together and sent off to the CPA; Scheduling our new carpet installation; and so on and so on.

It just never stops, does it? No wonder the black circles under my eyes are just getting darker and more circular.

Monday, February 14, 2011

2000th Post

My mom's getting married this evening. They were going to do it on April 16th (and are still planning on having a big party to celebrate on that date), but decided to go ahead and take the plunge on Valentine's Day. She notified me of this new plan last Friday, and I was planning to attend but...I'VE GOT THE GODDAMNED FLU.

It started on Saturday night--that vague, annoying tickle in the back of the throat that almost always preceedes me getting some kind of sick. But this hit me like a freight train yesterday afternoon, and by last night I was feverish and coughing and battling a horrible headache. Got in to see the doctor this afternoon and she sent me home with a diagnosis, a Tamiflu prescription, and the news that I would be contaigous for at least 3 more days.

So my wonderful husband took The Geej and they went to my mother's wedding in Marble Falls. And here I sit, on Valentine's night, by myself, miserable and blogging. Hey, well at least I'll get to catch up on some of the stuff clogging up my DVR. Wait, that's super depressing. I think I'm gonna go hit the NyQuil and call it a day. Hopefully my next post will be filled with rainbows and giggles.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Overheard today.

Big Sister, Age 5-ish
Little Sister, Sarah: Age 3-ish

The ladies room of Academy Sports and Outdoors.

Big Sister is washing her hands. Little sister is in the stall next to Karla May. The father of both girls is waiting for them outside the restroom.

Big Sister: Hurry up!
Little Sister: I can't! I'm pooooooooooooooping!
Big Sister: I'm done already!
Little Sister: It looks like there's CORN in the potty! (Pause) It's corn! I promise! (Pause) Come look!!
Big Sister: No, I'm leaving. (Walks out; Door closes behind her)
Little Sister: But you HAVE to see it! It's part of my poooooooooooooooooop!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The Gloved One

A few weeks ago, I bought The Geej this little packet of safety equipment to complement the roller skates Santa brought her for Christmas. It came with knee pads, elbow pads, and gloves. Fingerless light blue gloves with pink flowers on them.

That evening, she put the gloves on and commented about how cool they were and how they made her look "at least ten years old".

Well, now she sports one glove every day. It's not because she lost one of the gloves. Oh no. This is some kind of fashion statement.

In fact, right now, she is sleeping while wearing one of these gloves. (I took this photo right before she went to bed.)

One of the reasons this whole thing cracks me up is that The Geej has never been a "wacky" dresser. You know the kids I'm talking about: the ones that you see at the grocery store wearing rain boots (when it's not raining), two different knee-high socks, a sparkly tutu over a camo skirt, a tie dyed tank top, a cape and a crown. She's always been particular about what she wears, but in a conservative (rather than experimental) way. So this one little bit of funk that she's decided to add to her wardrobe is very endearing to me. It will be interesting to see how long it lasts...and if The Glove is a gateway to wackier things in the future.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

My jumbled brain.

Y'all, I cannot focus for shit. I'm sitting here at work, and I have a shit ton of stuff I need to be doing, but I simply can't get my mind to sit still long enough to accomplish anything. I'm blaming this state on several different factors:

1. I'm having holy-shit-I'm-back-from-vacation syndrome. The world didn't stop spinning while I was out of the office. Au contraire: I have a bunch more work than when I left for my long weekend away. Diving back into it head first sort of erases any post-vacation relaxation buzz I might still have, and so I resist.

2. I'm not sleeping well at all. I'm FALLING asleep just fine--it's the STAYING asleep that's the issue. For instance, last night I woke up at about 4:15am to pee, and boom, I was wide awake and never made it back to sleep. Instead, I just lay there in bed, staring into the darkness having my body heat sucked up by the two cats snuggled up next to me.

3. I've got a LOT on my mind. One thing a good bout of relaxation does is fill my head with ideas and "I should be doing X" types of schemes. I feel energized and creative and inspired, and then I come back home to the laundry and the parenting and the work and it all just becomes a big, unproductive and intimidating thoughtwad in my head. Next thing you know, I'm frustrated and stressed, and any and all benefit I got from the aforementioned relaxing and whatnot is completely erased.

My hope is that the next time I check in with you people I'll be better rested, clearer headed, and will have some of the 5 jillion things on my To Do list. But I wouldn't count on it.

In the mean time, here's a picture of some of the javelinas (collard peccary) that came and visited our little desert house.

And now for a zoomed-in shot:
Crazy little creatures, no?

Sunday, February 06, 2011

I promised pictures.

Our little casita. On 20 seculded acres. Heaven.

The sunset as seen off the side porch. We didn't get as much "porch time" as we'd hoped for due to the cold temperatures and brisk winds. Next time...

"The Window" in Big Bend National Park. Perfect weather. Amazing view.

The Rio Grande. What you see across the river is Boquillos, Mexico.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Dispatches from the Desert

Maybe it's because it is so drastically different from all things Pine Curtain in its geography, humidity, and vegetation. Maybe it's because of the utter solitude it can afford. Or maybe it's just because it is, literally, hundreds and hundreds of miles away from what is my normal day-to-day, but man, I love the desert.

As you start driving south and west from Austin, the landscape begins to change from the rolling hills that give the Hill Country its name, to the more distinct jagged limestone mesas, to utter flatness. And then as you start entering the arid and rugged area of Texas that hangs down like a cow's udder into Mexico, it becomes desert, and it becomes a whole new kind of lovely.

When we drove down on Thursday, it started snowing on us just east of Ozona and continued until just sounth of Alpine (place names, that if you're not from Texas, will mean nothing to you). It was gorgeous and, thankfully, didn't impede our driving too much. We arrived at our little cabin right around 5pm and quickly unloaded the car in the bitter cold. That night, I made turkey chili and cornbread. Perfect cold-weather fare.

Yesterday we ventured to Big Bend National Park. It was sunny, but very cold and windy--not ideal for getting out and exploring. The road up into the mountains was closed due to icy road conditions, which was a bummer. We're planning on going back tomorrow so we can explore the park more fully. I told BH that the next time we come down to this part of the state, I want it to be in the spring when all of the desert plants are blooming and the wildlife is abundant. Right now, things are pretty hunkered down for the winter, but it is sunny and pretty, nonetheless.

Tomorrow, I will post photos I've taken on our trip thus far. I've been going kind of crazy with the Hipstamatic and Instagram photo apps on my new phone. They're so COOL!

Around lunchtime, we drove through the odd little ghost town of Terlingua, got some lunch and a six-pack, and headed back to the house where I took one helluva nap. Last night's menu was saffron and chicken risotto (from scratch, bitches!) and a yummy green salad.

Today, while waiting for it to warm up (it's creeping toward the 60s right now, but the wind still has a bit of a bite), we've breakfasted, showered, and read in the utter peace and quiet. I also did some research on the summer writing workshops I'm going to be applying to. This year, unlike last, I'm going to have a damn Plan B in case I don't get accepted into my Plan A. I've created a spreadsheet (I know: DORK) that shows each workshop, its admission requirements, costs, location, collegiate or university affiliation, nearest airport, etc. I need to get my stuff submitted ASAP to my top two choices (there are five potential programs that I've researched). So this afternoon I'm going to take advantage of all this "me" time to look through this laptop and see if I've got any stuff already written that fits the bill (and I feel is worthy) of submission. And if not? Start writing.

Oh, here's a quick fun fact: Brewster county, where we're staying, is the largest in Texas. It covers over 6,900 square miles and is bigger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware, combined.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

I've been up since 4 something a.m.

So please excuse me if I ramble more than usual.

In case you've been ensconced in a climate controlled lair, several miles beneath the surface of the Earth, then you probably know that we're in the midst of a "Weather Event" here in the ol' U. S. of A. I mean, as winter storms go, this one seems pretty epic and insanely widespread.

Yesterday, while more than a thousand cars got stranded on Lakeshore Drive and part of the 103 yr. old roof blew off of Wrigley Field in Chicago, most of the state of Texas had to deal with rolling blackouts caused by our so-cold-we-can't-handle-it temperatures. In fact, the block where my office is located at work was so affected by the power outages, that we actually had to close the office and the store for the day. That, my friends, is a rare event.

It is super chilly again here today, and they're even predicting snow for this afternoon/evening. Not sure about whether or not the rolling blackouts will continue--getting conflicting info on that via the interwebs.

So, enough about that. The big news is: I'm on vacation. WHOOT!! I guess that's why I woke up and was unable to go back to sleep--excitement. Dah is coming to stay with The Geej, and BH and I are embarking on a loooooong roadtrip this morning to far southwest Texas for a few days of R&R in the desert near Big Bend. Yesterday's windfall of time was kind of awesome because we were able to get our shopping done and start prepping for the trip. The house we're renting is going to be about 80 miles from the nearest grocery store, so we had to plan accordingly. I'm taking ye olde laptop with me, so you can expect photos to come.

Remember about a month ago when I posted about how excited I was about my new boss? Well, guess what: Now I have another new boss. That makes my 10th person I've reported to in a little over 11 years. Sigh. I am hopeful about this new reporting situation, but I'm simply sick to death of being tossed around like a hot potato. It just makes you feel unwanted after a while.

Oh, I had a birthday. On Sunday I turned forty fucking two. It was an uneventful day, really. It was gorgeous outside (sunny! 80 degrees!) so we took the convertible out to the lake and had lunch with Dah and her Man at this nice, newish restaurant with incredible views. It was really nice.

And Not to be too whiny, but birthdays have become a serious bummer for me. They just remind me how much of my life has already passed, and how few of my dreams I've actually realized. (Cue the sad trombone.) Again, sigh.

So yeah, VACATION!! Also, I got a new iPHONE 4!! THAT I LOVE!! It's via work, but I still had to kick in $200 for it b/c it was an "out of cycle" upgrade. But I don't care. Totally worth it. BH--who is not a big fan of technology to begin with--gets annoyed with me playing with it all the time. But I just can't help myself!!

Okay, my alarm--the one that was just now supposed to be waking me up--just went off. That means I've got to finish packing and get ready to roll (after I take The Geej to school, that is).

More soon.