Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Oh woe. I'm drowning in kin.

The open house was swell, as reported back by the realtor. Although her definition of swell is that nobody bought the house. So we've been having many many swell days. Swell. And sweltering. It's 95 today and my head feels sooooo heavy. What is this sensation? Heavy head? It just keeps bobbing around like it's going to roll off my neck and into my Honey Bunches of Oats. I'm okay with the hot. I like the bakey feeling of oppressive heat. But children are not like this. They start to do bad things to their moms and then sass us and then draw on the leather couch with black markers. Then they won't go to sleep and wake up too early and then they go to swim lessons and Summer Camp School and leave their mommies alone with their heavy heads hanging in their breakfast cereal. Kids! Come back and pull my head from my cereal please?

I had a soccer game last night and everyone was out of synch and I was grouchy and angry at Lisa for not being able to pass the ball properly and then I left early from the game in a huff for no good reason. I drank my entire purple Nalgene bottle of water in the car as I fumed about my fading soccer skills then when I got home I found a thick layer of black mold around the bottom of the bottle. Then I had a dream last night that I was back in college, in pre-season soccer practice. My coach pulled me aside and told me that I had lost my strength and speed and might not make the team, so I went back to my dorm room to stew and cry and Richard Crenna was there, trying to find some porn on my laptop. He was an old family friend but thought that maybe we should have sex. I told him I didn't have time and that I needed to go lift weights. I have a pretty good guess about the first half, but the second half stumps me.

I apologize to all my best B-list buddies for not being able to come see you, but family visits are overwhelming, as is the heat, as is the stress of (not) selling a house, as is trying to keep said (unsold) house sparkling clean with said family and said heat so that at any moment some sucker can come and take a peek and buy this rat trap. At least I'm not smelling the piss any more. I got that going for me, which is nice. (If you can name the reference, you get a prize.)

Love and snuggles,

Friday, June 23, 2006

I'm here but I'm occupied...

...by my nephews and sister-in-law and mom. It's a mini-reunion and we're just trying to keep the kids from pushing each other off of the beds. Oops, there goes another...

We're having an open house on Sunday. Please come and make a generous offer on our house. Thank you. (Oh, and please bring us a lovely baguette with some brie or artichoke dip. Either would be fine. And wine. Thanks.)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Writin Wednesday

Thank you all for the very kind words after my last manipulative post. I admit I will be reading your comments repeatedly whenever I'm feeling down on myself - maybe this will keep me from posting any more pity parties? Let's hope so. I felt so Anthony-Michael-Hall-in-Sixteen-Candles desperate (remember the part when he mounted Molly Ringwald in the broken-down car in the shop room?).

I've been squeaking in a few minutes here and there to freshen up a story I wrote a couple years ago, so here's the revised first bit of Cherry.

Cherry, Part I

I tell Ron I need my purse, my nail file. He waves at me to be quiet, I am interrupting Matlock. I walk out into the rain and around the back of the motel to where he’d parked an hour ago. From across the parking lot, I can see our big white pickup, alone – by itself. The cable that provided power to the trailer rests on the ground below the hitch, and the silver ball shines in the street light. My stomach knots. Now I have to go tell Ron the car is gone, but first I unlock the passenger door and retrieve my bulging purse. The rain blows into the side of the truck, slamming the door shut after I step down.

I tell him, when I get back in the room, and I try to sound sad, but he doesn’t notice if my voice shakes or I don’t look suitably shocked. He just rushes out the door in his underwear, pushing me out of the way. When he comes back he’s irate and immediately calls the police, shouting at them. Demanding. Then we wait.

He is sitting on the bed, his head in is hands, talking to himself about how to get it back. He tells me to refill his water and fetch his cigarettes. He looks at me as I hand him his lighter and he’s been crying. He asks me why this happened, what he can do to get it back, but I just shake my head. My suitcase is still packed, sitting on the little table by the door. I’m set to go. To leave him. For the last 25 of our 33 years together I’ve been just another spare part. Like those ugly little tires you’re forced to use when you get a flat. My son has a family of his own, my mom’s gone, and Ron is Ron. But maybe I should start over with this thing. I don’t want to give the wrong impression about what I’ve done. I’m not a cruel person, but I was deceived. I had to do something. That’s what it was, an act of self-preservation. Who can argue with that? I won’t let Ron take all the blame, but I will explain why I had to hire a man to steal my husband’s one true love.

Some other stuff...
Have you ever seen a movie that disturbs you so much you never want to see it again, but realize deep down it is a truly amazing work? (Somehow Sixteen Candles made me think of this, although I can't say I was particularly disturbed by Anthony Michael Hall - maybe it was his headgear?) Here are my few:

Requiem for a Dream - The climactic scene is over-the-top amazing, but something I never want to see or think of again.
Chuck and Buck - Whoa. How nasty is Mike White? Nasty and smart, I guess. Kinda like all the boys that used to ask me to dance in high school.
Trainspotting - Some HaHa parts, but really just mostly stomach-turning.
Thirteen - SO scared of 8th graders, all of a sudden.
River's Edge - Is this disturbing because of the dead-faced appearance of Keanu Reeves or the mere fact that it featured both Dennis Hopper AND Crispin Glover. I remember looking in my lap at some point in the movie, saying, Whoa, what in the HELL is in this popcorn?

What are yours?

Monday, June 19, 2006

Weekend recap, degenerating into a pity party.

You know how you meet someone, be it male, female, feline, wax, whatever, and you have an instant connection? (I'm sorry if this comes out a little discombobulated - Madeleine is telling me the trevails of her friends Frankie and Dylan. Dylan is a brown bunny, not to be confused with a rabbit, which stands on four feet instead of two, and Madeleine's best friend, while Frankie is Dylan's human brother. They're always fighting and right now they're pouring cereal on each other and spitting - I think?) Okay, so whuuuuuuhhhhht - oh! Instant connections. So mine is Emily. She's the spouse of one of Jim's employees (also a very nice human and smart and funny). She has a two-month-old ball of fury/baby and she and I have only really seen each other twice at work-type functions, but easily and readily hit it off both times. Once even without alcohol! She was in town this weekend for Fathers' Day and called to see if I wanted to go out for dinner and drinks with her and her sister. Yes....

At my suggestions, we were going to browse the Taste of Missoula (you know what this is right - I think every town has one), but as is my M.O., I screwed up the time/place/planning step and all the bbq and gigantic vegan burrito stands were all gone by the time we got there. So we strolled up the street to The Old Post, my favorite restaurant-slash-bar. No Smoking! I love this Draconian rule, that which bans smoking in public places. Keeps out the riff-raff, like me at the age of 23, and I smell like fresh deep-fat-fried things when I leave, instead of that lady from Night Court that was friends with Bull. (I used to have a little crush on John Larroquette - I think it was his voice and the fact that he was a perfect foil for that dweeby judge who did bad magic tricks.) Plus they have an old, pretty bar, awesome food and beer.

So we get there early, like moms who have left their babies at home always do, and we get a booth. Emily and I on one side, her sister Mary on the other. (Mary is beautiful like Zooey Deschanel and smart and clever. I had a little crush on her, which, take note, is kind of foreshadowing...) Soon the waitress comes, bearing two cups of water. She was walking toward us, down the aisle, facing Emily and me. She put the water on the table, glanced at Mary, and said, "Oh! There are three of you - I'll go get another water."

Do you see what happened there? She was walking toward Emily and me, sitting in the booth together, thinking we were alone. On a date? Why else would two people sit together on one side of a booth? So, Emily being cute and flowery and fresh-faced clearly wasn't the issue. It was me. I was the dyke. I laughed. Hahahaha! We all laughed! Isn't that hilarious how she thought we were on a date?! Hahahahaha! Then Mary told a story about how Shane in 4th grade had a crush on her and called her Mary-With-Two-Arms because there was another Mary in her class with only 1.5 arms, and all the girls-on-a-date stuff was forgotten. Until later, we were having a drink at Sean Kelleys and the subject of lesbian stereotypes came up. Apparently Mary thinks the requisite car is an Outback. My car. Hahahaha AGAIN! Because look at me in my lesbian car! But now, I mean right now, as I write this, I'm not laughing anymore because I'm not with those two cute fun people. I'm just here all by myself with my un-feminine-y-ness-ist-ication-ful. And I'm not feeling particularly pretty. Or pretty at all. Just, well, insert your favorite negative descriptive word here, and that's how I feel. (And by the way, aren't periods fun?)

So? Can I come up with any more ways to get down on me today? Well, hopefully I'll get to put on a bathing suit later - maybe that will amp up the self-flagellation. I can only hope.

Changing the subject (I know, you're welcome)....

Scratching an Itch in the Cup:

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Friday Concoction

I'm writing this Thursday night - is that cheating? Yes? Fuck you. That's how I feel today. It's been raining for two days and in the past three we've only had one person look at our house. Do you think I'm being impatient? Fuck you again. These are hypothetical questions, can't you tell? There - that's better. Just smile and nod. I really am in some kind of mood. With all our stuff gone it's like being stuck in a hotel room that Must Be Kept Clean At All Times. Like a hotel room owned by your elderly great aunt with an empty wet bar and her crystal knick-knacks placed in inconvenient places around the room. Pooey is not cooperating and Madeleine is 4. She's occupied by Rugrats right now (thankyouthankyouthankyou).

I forgot to mention in Wednesday's post about the middle-of-the-night shenanigans that I also broke down and bawled at one point. Quinn thought it was funny and tried to draw pictures in the pool of snot and tears on my face. Ha-ha, Mommy's spewing spit and laughing? Is that laughing? I don't know, but I'll laugh because it's 4:47 in the morning and isn't that just hilarious in and of itself? It was the kind of good, old-fashioned bawlin where you hiccup and sob and try to think of more things to be sad about just so you won't have to quit and go back to reality wherein your face, instead of being tear soaked and contorted is just red and blotchy and ugly and you're really thirsty. That's what I woke up to. Ugly faced, thirsty girl. But the tears bags were all empty, so we just got dressed and went to swimming lessons. It was 55 degrees. Madeleine's lips may be permanently purple, which is good for her if she turns into a goth chick, but by the time she's in high school goth will be lame, so she'll be permanently scarred and have to join the 4H quilters club because those people are so inbred they don't know who to salute and who to breed with.

Okay, on with the...

Links and Such

  • Two people I love sent me this, and I'm guessing it's because it reminds them of me. Dance FEEEEEVAAHHHH!
  • I'm sure there's sign language slang, but are there sign language accents?
  • Youtube is my new favorite hangout. Please watch Ronaldinho and tell me how amazing he is. Also, have you heard of the seal dribble?
  • Fathers' Day is coming. I suggest this. Okay, not really, but my brother let me listen to his Billy Joel tape on this thing in the backseat of our van on a trip to Astoria. Until I puked on my beach towel. (Did you notice it features Volume Control!?!?)
  • I was looking for a book the other day and this site gave me a list of maybe 15 sites and the cost of that book at each store. Cool.
  • Token pretty thing. (found by googling 'token pretty thing') Also, token cute thing (although no self-respectin mom ever buys bibs - just take the damn shirt off).

Then 'n' Now

Then - Mrs. Harridan (hubba hubba), wowing us at Blogfest with her bawdy nostrilesque art.

Now - In order to up the ante, Mrs. H (in diguise from her fans) improvises on her talent.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Is there an IMDB for my friend from 4th grade? Would it be the IFGDB?

To make our room look larger in preparation for selling our house we decided to scrap the mammoth king bed for a smaller, sleeker queen on a platform frame. We are part owners of and Jim is a GM for a chain of bed stores, so this change is akin to changing socks for us. Except that in this case we brought home socks that were size 6-12 months and filled with sharp-cornered Legos, but had cute and fancy stripes. You see, the bed is uncomfy and does not provide adequate space for two normal-sized adults and one toddler that somehow grows and stretches to epic proportions as soon as he falls asleep. But he doesn't really fall asleep. He just has various stages of awake and they all include slapping me on the belly, pulling my hair and sticking his fingers up my nose. And grunting and pointing at things in the dark. Awwwww how UN-cute!

Last night, after we all rolled around like empty beer bottles in the back of a pickup for a couple hours, Quinn finally gave up and just started walking around the bed in circles and periodically stepping on my boobs and shaking the bed frame. This went on for 2 hours. I finally moved to the floor, thinking that the monster would run around the room instead of running over me. Then Jim started snoring. After I'd thrown several magazines and a old sippy cup I found under my nightstand at him he finally got up and went to snore in another part of the house, and I settled into my cozy spot on the bur-bur for a good hour's rest. Then it started.

An image popped into my mind of a mid-morning bike ride through Goldendale after swim practice when I was 9. I was with two friends and we had just bought fudgesicles and Watchamacallits at Sentry Market and we were on our way back to Meredith's house to bother her little brother. It turned out her mom was vacuuming, so instead we decided to go to.... uh.... ummm... you know.... that girl who uh.... it started with a, uh.... UUUUHHHHHHMMMMM!!! What the hell was my other friend's name? I played with her every day for 60 straight days. She had a yellow house on East Main Street and an older sister and a younger brother and she was a year older than me and we always played Operation then watched reruns of Three's Company in her basement. Need I tell you this consumed me for the remaining hour of my non-sleep? Typically it's trying to remember the name of an actor or whether or not I fed the dog, but those are pretty easy to figure out (IMDB and how many times Ali crapped in the day lillies).

But how do I figure this out???

Here's your homework... can you please tell me what her name was? It's a boy's name, and possible something you'd name a dog. Here's what's come to mind so far that are not it: Frankie, Freddy, Alfie, Sandy, Benny, Ricky. Nope.

Please help. I'll send the person who thinks of it somethin special - I promise!

and hey - at least something good came of the US's ugly loss to the Czechs in the World Cup... thanks guys

Monday, June 12, 2006

Is there a piss line of furniture at IKEA?

I've always been comfortable in chaotic situations. I had a pretty big family and noise, activity, acrimony, all that comes with too many people related to each other in too small of a space - I was okay with it. But now we've gone and made a quiet little life for ourselves here. Both kids protest when the TV/radio/teapot are too loud. I found myself dreading taking a shower this past weekend because the shower head makes a grating whine when the water is turned up all the way. I feel like we move around our home, arms pressed to our sides lest the scrape of skin against cloth irritate our sensitive eardrums.

The last three or four days were pretty hellish as we purged our belongings to put our house on the market today. The kids were pissed half the time. Quinn, because nobody was holding him at the appointed time, and Madeleine because she's 4. But finally, now that we've completely emptied our house of all unnecessary furniture and cleaned out the closets and put away the bookshelves and rolled up the rugs I'm enjoying this false monastic setting. It's peaceful and clean. The way I picture people living in fancy Scandanavian countries. It certainly doesn't look American, without the magazines spilling off of the coffee table and glamour shots of our children plastered all over the walls. In fact, I think I'm just pretty goddamn cool to be sitting at this plain white table with a pretty blue lamp and a laptop. It's as if Ikea pimped my office.

BUT! Did you think there would be a but? There is and it's a big fucking BUTTTTT! What smells like piss??? The house looks like it just rolled off the truck. The carpets are spotless, the hardwoods may still be oozing sap, they look so new. BUT WHAT SMELLS LIKE PISS???? I think Teebs had this same problem during her home prep-for-sale time. She's even more OCD than me about the whole cleaning thing and she smelled something dead - didn't you T?? Tell me it's psychosematic and I'll flip you off, I swear to god, because even if it is, it's making me insane. I just poured Fantastik down all the heater vents, which may actually asphixiate the next owner, but at least the piss is drowned out by dangerous cleaning chemicals right now. I probably should light some candles too, but I'm afraid the place might explode. My first thought was to dump baking soda down the vent, but, um, the air actually blows out, right? I wonder what a home inspector would say when he turns on the heater and a white cloud bursts out of all the vents. I'm guessing that wouldn't be good...

Friday, June 09, 2006

Friday Concoction, minus a little coc

Not a barrel of fun concoction today, but things are a little stressful around here. I made fun of Jim last night when he was expressing a certain kind of frustration at me. It was childish and I'm a little sorry, but mostly I'm just distracted. What was I just talking about?

Three incidents of note yesterday:

  • Al-Zarqawi was killed. Is this good? Will acts of terrorism increase as a backlash? I can't believe this happened after an election day.

  • I listened to a report on the US's involvement in Somalia immediately before during and after the Blackhawk Down incident. Apparently we used to feed weapons to the warlords, who then shot down the Blackhawk helicopter during a humanitarian aid period in George senior's lame duck period, and now we're feeding weapons to those battling the warlords as a way to help the government maintain some sort of order. Is there anyone in Washington who knows what the fuck's going on in Africa any more? No. That's why they're in Washington.

  • And, not to be flip, but I'm a little absorbed in preparing our house to be put on the market on Monday, the Yeti family down the street babysat the kids for a couple hours and I was actually able to box up all the books in the upstairs. 15 boxes of books. I felt like I was putting a loved one in a rest home.

I'm feeling a little conflicted about this move; I think it's the packing process that's doing it. Our accumulation of stuff has me questioning our lifestyle. Why is it that I can't spend less than $20 at Target? Why do the kids have so many toys that Jim and I had a serious conversation last night about where it would all go in the big new house. Why did we need such a big house anyway? I look at the picture of the house and get a warm fuzzy and think back at the smaller, cheaper places with disdain. I think maybe I've veered off course somewhere, into a realm of consumerism at which I used to turn my nose up. I'm looking forward to moving into this place, as it will mean a crackdown on unnecessary spending. I want someone to tell me, "Holy shit Mignon! Do you really need 2 snowboarding coats?" Did I really need this pretty, shiny laptop?

I hope when we're done with this whole process I can simplify, but I may have forgotten how. Do you keep it simple? If so, how?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

I've got good news, so why am I reading about dead people?

I'm still in a little funk/euphoric daze from last weekend's trip, so I'm not sure if this happened or not, but I think we bought a house. Yes, I'm pretty sure, but, well, you know, there's something dreamlike about it... It's this one:

Can you see why I'm hesitant to confirm? Because it's straight up dreamy! Here's how it went down: I looked at this house a couple weeks ago during an open house. I was on my own and ran through it, almost covering my eyes because of the glaring awesomeness. I came home, sobbing at the injustice that we wouldn't be able to afford this beauty. I felt like Tom Green when Drew Barrymore walked out. Jim and I didn't even discuss it, beyond a few luscious details and we continued looking at our affordable sucky meth labs situated along freeways. (Oh look, honey, there's no dry rot in this one, at least! Hey Mommy, the cat pee smell isn't quite as strong in this one!) So Monday, after another quick walk-though of a moldy 1-bedroom hut carpeted in Astro-turf, our realtor asked us if we'd like to look through a house a little out of our range, for comparison purposes. We shrugged and said sure, shaking the bat dung out of our hair from the last place. Jim said he'd have to call his brother and his wife because he was supposed to meet with them at the time. I suggested they come and take a look at the house, because they like home shopping as much as I do, so we all converged upon Her. I'm calling it Her because the Venus de Milo was a woman and also perfect. I shuddered a home-hunters orgasm when we pulled up front, but also felt the sinking, starving feeling of a panhandler without a clever signboard.

I'm getting a little bored with this drawn out explanation, so here's the gist: we looked through Her, in-laws gushed and said we should step up and do it, I said HA HA - huh? that doesn't make sense because we can't afford this and it would be like stepping up into quicksand, Jim went back to work with his brother (who is also his employer), Jim called me 5 minutes later and says his brother gave him a raise for the amount we needed to be able to afford the house. Thirty minutes later we're signing the offer and one day later it's under contract. To us. To US!

And today, after I post this, I'll be running around this hell-hole (remember? Jim was home with the kids for nearly four days? the garbage disposal hasn't been run in a week and something reached out of it and stole my toast this morning), trying to prepare to put it up for sale on Monday. I have absolutely no right to say anything negative about my current situation (look again up at that picture - I know, right?), but WAAAAAAAA. There's so much to do that I spent this morning reading the obituaries to cheer myself up. Do you want to poke a sharp stick in my eye? I do. Then maybe I wouldn't have to box up the standing army of ugly vases that have collected above our cabinets...

Monday, June 05, 2006

Love, American Blogger Style

A weekend in Savannah just isn't complete without Cockroach, Lizard, Sphinctree and Angry Fowl. No, those aren't nicknames. They're just a sampling of the local flora and fauna. Our first annual B-List Blogfest has come and past, and I sit here in my quiet dirty dining room, reflecting on a weekend hard to characterize by my tired mind. Meeting Wordgirl, Arabella, Mrs. Harridan and Teebs was an event I'll never forget. I remember thinking (and probably saying too many times as a result of my nervous, excited chatter), that it was like being on a first date that was going really well. I just knew I was gonna get lucky at the end of the night. Well, maybe I shouldn't take that analogy too far, considering I was sharing a bed with Teebs. She keeps insisting she's shy, but that girl has no problems hugging, entertaining, or otherwise ingratiating herself to people she's only known in the flesh for less than an hour. Why do these weird innuendos keep coming up. Ack! Coming up! Make it stop. We just slept!

I'd like to do a blow-by-blow (I just can't quit with these, just pretend you don't notice, please) of the weekend so that you can understand how fulfilling it was for me to meet these women that I've admired from afar for the last year, but I think it'd be like dissecting a joke. It just wouldn't do it justice. So let me give you some tactile impressions: Mrs. H has gorgeous thick hair that I wanted to stick stuff in and see if she would notice; TB's skin is incredible - Buffalo Bill would have killed and skinned her first and foremost in Silence of the Lambs; Arabella smells delicious and I wanted to cup her in my hands and whisper secrets into her perfect little head; Wordgirl's striking beauty left me speechless and Teebs and I giggled about it behind her back because she made us feel like pre-pubescent 7th graders who hadn't got their boobies yet. Now do you see? No? Okay, here are some pics...

Reservoir Dogs? America's Next Top Model? You decide.

Get your hot fresh dead hee-yer!

Look, kids! A tree gnome!

Can someone get this girl a goddam pedicure?

I'd like to thank the four of them (you, if you're one of them), for making this trip everything I could have hoped for. As I told T before I left, I didn't want to have any expectations, lest they be not met, but if I had any they would have been met/surpassed/put to shame. Thank you all - can't wait to do it again next week! Or next year, really, but I think I'm ready for another vacation already...

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Getting nothin but ecstatic... ecstatic in my attic

This morning I read this headline: Michael Moore Sued by Iraq War Vet. I couldn't imagine why an Iraq war veteran would have such a huge beef with Mandy Moore, and even if he/she did, why that would be front page news?

Clearly it's time to get out of my house before my mind turns to rotten potato salad. On the remote chance that you haven't read Arabella's, Teebs', Mrs. H's or Wordgirl's posts, our much-anticipated B-List Lovefest is this weekend, and of course, today is gorgeous in Missoula, the kids are happy and entertaining themselves and my favorite radio station is playing an endless stream of songs I like. Oh well, maybe it'll all go to hell before the day is over. I can only hope.

*15 minutes later*

Okay! Now we're rolling... a couple wheels just fell off the wagon. Kids are crying, a shoe is lost and the radio station started playing Joe Jackson. Blech! And NOW I'm ready to go...

See you Monday.

PS - Wanna see how excited I am?