Wednesday, August 30, 2006

It's just 4 laps.

Quinn's still sleeping. And Madeleine too. So this is it. This is the time I get to myself today, but it doesn't feel luxurious. In fact, the feeling is reminiscent of those moments before a race, when I ran track in 8th grade. The nauseating, anxious feeling that I'm about to embark on something that will be exhausting, and ultimately rewarding, but will have me wishing I could quit at every step. I could just fake a hammy pull - nobody would know! Or I could just step off the track and say fuck it. Walk away forever...

I ran the mile in 8th grade, and I set the junior high school record, but I hate running and I don't have the physique for it. However above everything else, I'm competitive. I had to finish, to get the best time, to kill all those little wispy girls that trailed so far behind me... So I put one foot in front of the other, chanting my mile-mantra "fuck this fuck this fuck this" for 4 consecutive laps. And that's how parenting feels sometimes.

Clearly, I love my children. I love my husband. I even love the damn dog. But this? This life where I follow tiny bodies around, cleaning the detritus of their good times? This life where every sickness, developmental stage, sleep and food deficiency causes these little people to go violently fucking crazy? My life revolves around the mood swings of a 4 and 1-year-old, and all the parts in between involve me wiping something down with a sour rag. Cleaning and catering, cleaning and catering, cleaning and catering.

I don't take showers unless I can get two other people in the stall with me. I don't go to the bathroom with the door closed. I don't eat adult food, or any food for that matter, that can't be prepared in less than 2 minutes. And I don't get to read a book or the newspaper or write words that form complete sentences unless it's 11 pm. Those other posts from the last few weeks? They resulted in all of the CDs being pulled from the 300-disc changer or babies crawling on top of dining room tables and eating orange peels. Or me just completely ignoring Madeleine while she's trying to learn to read. And then I feel guilty. I am guilty. Some things I can let slide, like orange peels. But that last one? Bad mommy.

So here's where I am now: I think I'm on the third lap, which is the hardest. My chest hurts and each breath feels like a sob. With the lack of oxygen, I'm not thinking clearly, and my thighs and calves are burning, but my coach just called out my time and I'm off by 10 seconds. So I've got to kick it up a notch, I've got to devastate that little blonde bitch in the pink that thinks she can keep up. But what if I just pretended to trip and fall? Then I could stop. I could get out of this race if I just rolled an ankle and keeled over into the thick, soft grass. But I'm kidding myself. I just keep putting one foot in front of the other... fuck this fuck this fuck this....

Monday, August 28, 2006

Dear John

Portland, Portland, Portland. What am I going to do with you? I've made it clear in no uncertain terms that it's over, honey. I've moved on, and Missoula and I are happy, so why now? Why are you trying to win me back after so much time, so much water under your four or five or nine bridges? Yes, I love what you've done with the place. You've clearly cleaned up your act (in OldTown, which is now only called The Pearl District because if you own a 5 million dollar condo you can't tell your friends that are up visiting from Malibu, to come up and shop for their weekend get-away in OldTown) and you've put in Jamison Fountain where there used to be an empty lot full of needles and discarded Blazers season tickets. You're getting out more - seeing the world (by way of the trolley which stopped right in front of our hotel!), but I'm telling you, you've got issues and I can see with all the prettyfying they're just getting shuffled around like always. In fact, try to do something about those dirty homeless kids with the safety pins in their faces and their hungry puppies tethered with hemp leashes - Saturday Market should not be their living room. In fact a real live living room should be their living room.

And although the old haunts brought back memories (Dim Sum at Fong Chongs), I'm just not in that place anymore. It's not you, it's me. (And tell that wench that moved into the cute Craftsman house on 47th, around the corner from Stumptown coffee, that the backyard looked much better when Jim and Mignon were living there and that she shouldn't have ripped out the Japanese maple in favor of broken down, unkempt raised beds. I can see she's taken advantage of our huge dahlia garden, but it looked much better with the Daphnia as a back-drop than that nasty-ass mess of grasses she put in there. Criminal.) Portland, I love you so much, but Missoula has a much bigger, um, well, let's just say Missoula completes me. Missoula may not be as metropolitan, sophisticated, or convenient as you, Portland, but I'm beyond that now. And I never thought I'd say this, but it's what's on the inside (of my husband's wallet, meaning cash, instead of his Portland State University student ID) and and not about how easy it is to find a decent plate of sashimi.

(But you know, call me sometime if you want, because I'm totally still hot for your body and Missoula is fine with me seeing other people on occasion. Is that strange? Well it works for us, and if you can't see past that than you're clearly subscribing to the oppressive patriarchy.)

Song of the Day: She's Got a Way, Billy Joel

Friday, August 25, 2006

Friday Concoction

It's Friday, and I'm sipping a hot - oh shit. The in-laws are here with their yappy biting dogs to welcome the weekend with me. Wonderful! I guess this can wait...

Song of the day: Tear-Stained Eye, Son Volt

Update: One small dog nipped at Pooey and still is not being forced to be outside. Pooey can't go outside because of the enormous, whippy tails of the two big dogs and the other biting small dog. So he's confined to my lap or the kitchen. Speak up! you say? No, this is not my way. I will steam quietly and rant to my mom and friends about it later. Madeleing just said, "Mommy, look! Rudy Dog is on top of Ali. Isn't that a funny kind of fighting?" Yes, honey. We call it prison wrestling...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Function over form here...

We just got back from a 5-day trip to Portland, replete with some quality time with my brother and his family, touristy stuff, a sweet afternoon with Debbie and a drunken garden party. I'll fill in some more details later, but right now I need to take care of some bidness. Proceed...

- I bought a 25-pack of Sony DVD-R discs because I'm impatient and they were pretty. Now they're open on my desk, the receipt is gone and they're incapable of recording music, unless it's only to be played on a computer. So? Useless. Well, useless unless I'm looking for something to make the baby scream and beat at me and bite my leg. But I've got lots of stuff that'll do that. Q-tips, for one. Anyway, does anyone want these? I'll trade 'em for something cool if you've got it...

- I want to clean up my Blogroll a little. I'll probably make a Gone But Why? section, so before I move people to that category, does anyone have any info on the following: Gradual Gardener, Esereth, Ditsy Chicks, or Shrinking Violet?

- Did y'all know Wal-Mart bought Netflix? I told Debbie on Monday and she was appalled, which, if truth be told, I really try NOT to appall people when I first meet them. But, still, if you're so inclined to detest Wal-Mart, as some do, just thought you should know...

- Okay, now I'm off to rescue the decapitated remnants of a family of Q-tips.

- Congratulations to Tammie! Arabella (squared)! and Someone Else to Be Named Soon Hopefully!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Happy Birthday to me

Thirty-four today, the anniversary of Elvis', Babe Ruth's, and Bela Lugosis' death. Coincidence??!! I think not! (Whatever the hell that means.) In addition we will commemorate the following - info courtesy of The History Channel:

- 1920, Birth of Charles Bukowski, leader of the "Meat School" poetry movement (get it? Mignon, MEAT, coincidence??? I think - aw fuck it...)

- 1967 Tonkin Gulf Resolution challenged : President Johnson's broad interpretation of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution is attacked in the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee by the Chairman, Senator William Fulbright of Arkansas, who feels that Johnson has no mandate to conduct the war on the present scale. (hmmmm....)

- 1972 (the day I was born) Heavy air attacks on North Vietnam - U.S. fighter-bombers fly 370 air strikes against North Vietnam, the highest daily total of the year; additionally, there are eight B-52 strikes in the North. Meanwhile, U.S. warplanes flew 321 missions (including 27 B-52 strikes) in South Vietnam, mostly in Quang Tri province. Despite this heavy air activity, hopes for an agreement to end the war rise as Henry Kissinger leaves Paris to confer with President Thieu and his advisers.

- and last but not least, 1985, Last episode of Dukes of Hazzard airs

This morning I woke to Quinn snuggling up close and demanding milk, which would've been bliss if it weren't 1:15 this morning. And then 1:27, 2:20, 3:11, 3:40 and so on (and so on and so on and so on). Jerk. Then, when we finally did get up, everyone was cheerful and fully vimmed and vigored, while I had a dead animal in my mouth and a headache right above my left ear, perhaps where the dead animal dug it's little cave before it crawled into my mouth to die.

Anyway, not to worry! That all died down for almost a full half hour, between 9:30 and 9:55... until we went to Barnes and Noble where a rude salesperson basically evicted us from the childrens' book section (no worries, I complained rationally and articulately to two people who may or may not have been her best friends and then let Quinn pull all the books off of the artfully arranged Computer Science display table), and then Madeleine had a loud, sobbing meltdown when I wouldn't let her buy a stuffed lamb. An admittedly cute snuggly lamb, but still! No! Because for some reason I said NO when she initially took it off the shelf and then couldn't change my mind, because I learned from The Art of War that one must "be stern in the council-chamber, so that you may control the situation." And if you think parenting two kids under 5 isn't a type of warfare, then you're not my friend. Seriously? I'm almost positive Sun Tzu was a woman and the original title was misinterpreted from The Art of Parenting. And I'm also positive this wasn't an original thought, but what really is?

And on that uplifting note...

I've decided to add a song of the day to my posts. Then again, this may be the only one, if I forget (or "forget"). SO! Today's song is Gorillaz, Feel Good Inc. Did you Bounce Bounce a little? I do.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Too Cool for School

Remeber how I figured out Cee-Lo was Gnarls Barkley? Remember that? And how cool that made me?

Well listen to THIS!

I was watching Layer Cake the other day while Madeleine was at a friend's house and Pooey was given carte blanche access to one of our (8 or 9) junk drawers and mid-way through the movie I actually had to pause it to check out Daniel Craig's ensemble. Because DAMN he looked fine in his jeans and biker jacket. I actually sat for several moments, checking out the threads thinking "he is just snappy!"

And yep yep. Look at this:

And, to fulfill my fashionista quota for the day, are these the most ill-fitting and unflattering pants you've seen today? Probably not ever, because, well, this is America, the land of fatties and super-low-rise jeans. Recipe for disaster, that. But still, she's loaded, right? She pays someone a billion dollars to tell her which way the ball's gonna break, for god's sake. Someone throw her a bone, here! Anyone? Okay, here's a start. (check it out - good advice on jeans, except all the ones that fit me are $150+ and I just don't swing that way - shit! that'd get me these and these and one of these!)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

2453 Red Balloons

My mom just sent me an e-mail in which she asked if I wanted any of the CDs she'd already downloaded onto her iPod. She attached a list of every single song, sorted into a spreadsheet by track, artist, album and music type. The file is 1.3 MB. Meeeegggggaaaaa biiiiiiitsssss. That's big, yo. I'm guessing you can transfer your iTunes song list into a Word spreadsheet, so don't go thinking she's some kind of obsessive shut-in, at least on account of the spreadsheet. But the shear girth of the list was so very impressive! Classical, country, jazz, New Age (gag), rock, world, folk, pop, electronica/dance (what the hell? Mom, are you doing x?). Everything. Two thousand, four hundred and fifty-three songs. And she makes awesome lasagna and is a killer tennis player.

Anyway, here's my favorite:

You're All I Need To Get By / Aretha Franklin / Potterybarn Divas / Jazz

The fact that my off-the-charts, anti-establishment, Buy Blue, liberal mom has a song off of an album entitled Pottery Barn Divas makes me bellly laugh. It's like catching Dick Cheney sipping a soy chai latte while trying on some old Birkenstocks at a garage sale.

(Just teasin, Mom. I really want that new Pink Martini album!)

Friday, August 04, 2006

Friday Concoction

Yesterday Jim and I signed the cancellation papers on our contract for the pretty green house. Bye bye frosted glass cupboards and cute recyclable storage area. Washer and dryer on the same floor as the bedroom, there will be someone else. I'm not sure if she'll love you the way I would have, but fear not, yard so small I can spit across you, people will come. They will come and use you up and throw you away like thin Asian potty paper, and then, maybe, we can start anew. Let's say mid-September, mkay?

Nobody's buying shit in this burning town, there are more houses for sale than there are fleeing Californians these days, so we'll just sit here, waiting.... waaaaiiiiiitttinngg.... for someone who thinks our yard is charming rather than a 95 pound albatross with herpes strung around their neck. Someone like us, two and a half years ago. Then those people that don't realize that living out here is quieter than the library at Gallaudet, those people'll buy it and we'll take our money and run across town to where the water tastes like wine (and we can get drunk at the UofM tailgates and then walk home instead of having to sober up in the second half so we can drive home, which sucks donkey dick - sobering up in the middle of a football game, that is). That day will come, and instead of having this god-awful deadline hanging over us, we can just chill and let what happens happen. Hey! It's August? When did that happen? I've been on my hands and knees (scrubbing you sickos) for the last two months and dammit, I hate it when I miss the British Open. Kidding. Golf on tv? Worse than the Tony Danza show.

Now onto some other stuff...

Links and Asundry

- Did anyone listen to the show on NPR the other night about this girl, Sarah Something I think, who went to visit Gen. Noriega in Panama at his request, after they had exchanged letters for several months? It was a kind of peace-mission, but so bizarre and naive. I'd like to read more about it, but I think I forgot how to read sometime in June.

- Madeleine has a huge crush on the 9-year-old boy down the street, and last night she went to talk to him while he was practicing hitting golf balls in the yard. He's always very sweet to her, but last night he was either tired of humoring a 4-yr-old or really into golf, but he pretty much ignored her the whole time. She came home near tears because of it, and I admit I cried a little when she wasn't looking. One, because how sad is that? And two, because it gave me terrible flashbacks to 8th grade when, well, fill in the blank with your own sad crush story, right? I was trying to help her forget about it, but she said, "Mommy, it's just so sad when someone you like is nice and then they're not so nice." Shit.

- I know I'm not alone when I say I am completely confused by the Israel/Hezbollah conflict. Confused and deeply saddened and angered, though. My mom was right, when I spoke to her last night, when she said it's a crime that with the enormous influence our nation can wield (and does wield, financially, over Israel) we're not even stepping in to facilitate negotiations. Here's a brief background that helped me catch up a little, at least. And Mom, who was that author that wrote a primer on the Middle East? I forgot his name...

- On a lighter note, I like the idea of this, but the bag is kind of ugly, and they couldn't have found any more boring ties, could they?

- Now that our house is virtually empty and impersonal, I made a trip to Target yesterday and bought only what was on my list (plus popsicles and tweezers). It was an unprecedented trip, and to keep in the spirit of not buying stuff I don't need, the pretty, pretty link item for the next few weeks is going to be only that which can be made from junk. Or something to that effect. Behold.

Then and Now (in solidarity with Arabella's black and blue belly, here's my Ode to Injury)

Then (9 years ago I dislocated my left index finger by falling on it when it was bent backwards. The cute but stupid ER doc tried to pull it back into place, causing all the ligaments to run around crazy, then a surgeon had to cut my hand open, rearrange my hand guts, and put the finger back on its perch.)

Now (from a soccer game the other night - wounds also include a knot on my head and a UTI, both being difficult to photograph)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

We now interrupt nothing for...

A big damn shout out to Arabella!!!!

Most of you know the big slut was doing her best to get felt up by every 'gina doc in the greater New York area, and look what she's done now! The Lady-Part's surgery and the itsy-bitsy scar she fretted about so earnestly has resulted in, hmmmm, let's call them, ummm... Peaches and Cream. Double baby love! Yes, Mr. Arabella's swimmers tied! Or wait, Arabella's eggs tied! I guess we won't know for a while. I'm betting the little smarty-pants overachiever in Arabella has filtered down to her uterus and all those eggs are now wrestling and fighting over who gets to be the first to hog the bathroom and borrow the car keys.

In the meantime, let's have a little naming game, shall we? Peaches and Cream is dumb, so what shall we call the peanuts? And while you're thinking, go on over and give her some extra !!! for me.