Friday, July 31, 2009

On my mind

Quick list of stuff:

- I'm absolutely fascinated by the whole Gates-Crowley-Obama gathering at the White House thing. Lots to say, but little time for anything more than: yes, there's a teachable moment here, and it is this: if you're a cop, maybe you could show some restraint; and if you're not a cop, maybe you better show some restraint. But disorderly conduct is definitely a discretionary call.

- Q has a high fever that won't go away, and a throat too sore to talk, so she's whispering "I love you" or signing it with her made-up sign language, usually after whispering, "Is there any pie left?"

- The volume level in the house is greatly reduced (see second point above) and it's really, really nice. So a part of me wonders, how can I make this more commonplace? Not the sore throat part...just the silent part. Can pie be the answer?

- Project at work is keeping me busy, keeping me up late, keeping me focused. Things aren't so bad. I guess. For now. Feeling more empowered, but kinda disinterested, simultaneously.

- No other distractions, for those of you following along. (I wasn't late, so I wasn't super worried. It's just that things change as you age, including the way your body heralds certain events. So, it was different, in a way that reminded me of how things felt when I was pregnant with Q. So, I waited, because I wasn't late. And I waited, but wondered. Then, it was beginning to seem like, maybe I was late. Maybe this was exactly what it was the last time I felt like this. After more than a week of kinda wondering, I finally took myself to the store. I kid you not: an hour after I got home from spending the money (around $15), about half an hour after peeing on the stupid stick (there, I said it), then, I wasn't late anymore. WTH? It's like my system wanted me to blow cash on this question. Talk about annoying. I was like, "Seriously? You decide to show up NOW? Why not two hours ago??! WTH?!!" Such are the joys of womanhood.)

- Leo is completing his first full week of work. He leaves earlier in the morning than I do. He dresses better than I do. He is looking good to me. I like it! He goes to sleep earlier, too. And he doesn't beat me to all the household chores (because he's at work and just as unavailable to do them now as I am), so I get to do more without feeling like I have to race him. I like it! And when we see his first paycheck, I bet you can guess how I'll feel: I will like it!

- We have a second-hand piano and I've been practicing on it, wanting to show my folks that they didn't waste time and money on my childhood lessons. So, I played "Morning Has Broken" from my Adult Piano Lesson Book over the speaker phone for them yesterday, and they sounded truly impressed and really touched (it's a favorite song of theirs). That was fun.

Monday, July 27, 2009

French penpal?

With both of us working again, we are focusing on paying off bills as soon as possible. Once we've managed to get rid of one or two of them, we will be able to increase our contribution to our savings account. Leo even mentioned that we could earmark a certain portion for our vacation.

He was talking to me on the phone when he said this. I was driving. My heart did a little pause, then beat really hard, as I followed his comment with this question:

Me: What vacation?
Him: For next year.
Me: C'mon, I just want to hear you say it. A vacation to where, exactly? (slightly holding my breath)
Him: Paris.
Me: Ooooh, that is so cool (I am still proud that I didn't squeal out loud when he said that word)

Now, does anybody have suggestions for how Q can get an online penpal who lives in France that is not a pedophile?

I think it would be cool for her to start to learn a little French, and cool to have someone to meet should we ever get over there. Another kid, preferably. Am I crazy to even explore this option?

Of course, this is more fantasy than anything else. It could well never happen. I've learned to accept that things often don't play out as you'd hoped. C'est la vie, n'est-ce pas?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Save Me, Pandora!

Music, sweet music, is the only thing that will get me away from blogland and onto my feet. I turn to you, Pandora, as the source of my energy and focus. The network will run better on Monday because of you.

Sometimes I wish I had billable hours. Then I'd not be able to get away with this crap, where I come into the office to get work done, and I waste time reading and commenting hither and yon, like there are thirty-eight hours in a day and I can spend four to five of them on the web without consequence.


Ah, the Pandora, she mocks me. She plays "Back on the Chain Gang" to laugh at me, then she plays "Should I Stay or Should I Go" to mock my pain on so many levels (should I just leave the office now and go home for dinner (Leo has already called for a status check), should I leave this profession, should I quit blogging, etc.). Pandora...she's a cruel mistress.

Friday, July 24, 2009

What was I saying?

I have the mental capacity of a gnat.

And the attention span of, I gotta work this weekend. Hope my brain makes a reappearance before then.

Plus, something weird is going on that makes me wonder do I say this?...if Q will remain an only child, if you know what I'm sayin'. Probably nothing to worry about. But something weird is going on. That's probably why I'm so distracted, eh? That's a pretty distracting thought.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Random Wednesday - Censorship Then and Now

Let the Random References romp freely!

Anybody else out there ever see the full version of the 1976 made-for-televsion movie Sybil, starring Sally Field and Joanne Woodward? I saw it. The whole thing. The original. Complete with kitchen scenes and piano playing moments (and if you saw it, you know what that's about).

I saw it when I was around 8 years old. Nobody saw it with me.

It was on tv. It was like the Saturday Afternoon Matinee movie on tv.

It was on tv again recently. Guess what? They cut the second half. They rolled the credits at the midway point, completely denying today's generation the privilege of the kitchen scenes.

My reaction: why was I allowed to see it back in the '70s? Why did they show the whole thing back then? (I just googled it, and discovered that the original television version was over three hours long. No wonder they didn't show the whole thing this time around!). And where were my parents? How come nobody stopped me from watching it? WTH?

Dad was probably working and Mom was probably doing laundry.

Not that viewing it totally screwed me up. But still. That is some messed up stuff, watching child abuse for free on tv in my parents' living room by myself, my 8-year-old self.

To be clear: as a made-for-tv movie, for what it is, it is excellent. I am a fan. Sally Field was excellent in Sybil. That's not what this post is about.

What this post is (partly) about is summed up by one reviewer's observation: "How these scenes got past broadcast censors in 1976 is a mystery."

It's also (partly) about the fact that I don't think they'd be shown today.

How funny, don't you agree, that tv censorship today blocks stuff like the second half of Sybil, but shows extremely adult-oriented content (sex and violence and horror) in movie previews (for instance) during primetime viewing periods?

Monday, July 20, 2009

I'm Okay, You're Okay

On my way back from the bathroom just now, while passing someone in the hallway, we traded the obligatory, "Hey! How are you?"

I meekly replied, "I'm okay."

To which she replied, "Just 'okay'?" in a nice way, then added "Gee, I hope it gets better." (also in a nice way).

Which made me decide, hey, okay is pretty good! I'm glad to be okay. Okay is good enough (and gudnuff is okay!).

Then I thought, "In fact, I couldn't be better!" Which made me pause. Really?

No, not really. Can any of us truly say we couldn't be doing better? If your answer is yes (or should it be no? confound these negatively-phrased queries of mine!)...the point is...if you couldn't be doing better, then this is your doesn't get any better than this. Really?

Why not?

And that, dear reader, is my point for today. Okay is good enough. But there is always room for improvement. Which you can work on some other time. Today, I'm okay with being okay.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

If I Didn't Have A Kid...

...I'd be at the gym right now. Instead of pacing around, trying to figure out what to do with myself while Q and her little friend enjoy their playdate in the back room with the Wii.

My pacing is more virtual than physical. I spend a lot of time (really, it's a shameful amount of time) reading Magic Cookie's archives and writing draft posts in response to them because comments have been turned off.

Leo is out of town this weekend, which explains both why I have to stay here with Q and why there is a friend of hers on the premises. When Leo is around, it's just the three of us - no little friends interrupt our weekends ordinarily. There's something about Dads and other people's kids. I remember being at my friend's house when I was Q's age, and the dad was never around (even on the weekends), or if he was, everything was sort of hushed and uncomfortable and you kinda knew you should go home soon.

Guess what else happens when Leo is gone? The dishes don't magically reappear in the cupboard! The laundry stays where I left it. In a way, it sucks and reminds me how little I do on a regular basis around here. But, in a way, it's awesome, 'cause things actually stay where I put them, and I remember (mostly) where I put stuff. In places that make sense to me. And it's good practice for me to get back on top of things (like running the dishwasher and emptying it and making the beds, etc.)

Well, I've decided that Q and I will go for a bike ride together after the friend leaves. That's the cool part about her getting bigger. I need to celebrate the good stuff about that.

In the meantime, I can imagine what else I'd be doing if I weren't babysitting. Like, studying. Or at least reading for pleasure (as in, a real book. TMI ALERT: yes, I'm tackling Team of Rivals two-pages-at-a-time during bathroom visits. I expect to be done reading it by this time next year). Or at some event with other grown-ups somewhere. Or at somebody's lake house. Maybe it would be MY lake house, because that's where I might have put the money that went into daycare and day camp and clothes and parties and hair accessories (I swear this house eats ponytail holders. Or else the cats are eating them). Also, I'd probably not have any cats (I got them because Q has no siblings and what is she supposed to say, at 5 years of age, when asked "Do you have any brothers or sisters? Do you have any pets?" No, no, no. It sounded so lonely and made that getting-to-know-you conversation rather bleak. At least she can talk about her cats, right?). Maybe I would be getting back from running a 5K. Because I would have gone to a doctor and had my knee looked at five years ago instead of just ignoring that crunchy sound in my left patella that still creeps me out and must be related to the sharp pain that accompanies running or walking up hill or up stairs. And in this kid-free fantasy I'm currently enjoying, I am also about eight years younger but farther along in my career, AND, I'm a Director on the Board of This and That, AND I have an award or three lauding my Community Service hanging on the wall.

I will close with something from Magic Cookie's archive, a song by Jonathan Coulter, about how kids ruin your life. And how wonderful it is that they did.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I'm Spooked, Are You?

A number of things have me running scared lately, such as: The disappearance of nd (noo duuuuck), which lingers like morning fog in the back of my bloggy brain. (so it's blog fog...the fog-like ghosts of blogs past/passed, whatever). The fact that I have told someone from my Real Life the url to this spot. The fact that I posted an easily googleable thing that might actually be looked for by family members which could lead them straight here. I am spooked. I am wondering how hard it is to start over, and how I would go about it.

And I am missing people. I miss Hyphen, even though she's still around, just not as much. And I miss nd. And I miss ambimb. And I'm questioning this whole blogging endeavor, wondering whether it might actually be a mojo-blocker for me work-wise. I'm momentarily paralyzed. Like, movement will catch "their" attention (and by "their" attention, I mean the people that I don't want to find this blog). So, I've been frozen for the past week. And did y'all read A Lawyer Mom's excellent post about blogger liability and not-so-free speech?

Fear sucks.

(Thanks to Hyphen for unsticking me!!!! Muah!)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Good news, I think

We are a dual-income family again! I'm so happy for Leo. The time off was starting to wear thin for him. I'm sad for me, 'cause now I really can't slack on the housework like I have been with him home all the time and constantly putting things away. Well, we need the money, and he's glad to get out of the house again, so it's for the best.

So Mr. Househusband (Mr. Wife?) is leaving, and I will miss him. It was nice while it lasted. But probably only because our money hadn't fully run out yet. I expect Mr. Grumpy, whom I do not miss, to arrive in about three weeks.

But who will be at the front door to hand me my martini and the evening paper and my pipe and slippers? And take the roast out of the oven ten minutes after that? And ask me about my day?

Monday, July 6, 2009

If you give a host a hug...

I'm compulsive about two things: straightening tangled phone cords and hugging people hello/goodbye.

Most people are not compelled to do either of these. Yes, the hugging thing is especially problematic and often one-sided. No, I'm not in therapy about it. Yes, I've read The Five Love Languages and it's clear that Physical Touch is a big deal for me. But most other people? Not so much, it turns out. So, I'm often hugging people who clearly weren't expecting it. But it's often too quick to deflect and they just go with it out of a sense of polite graciousness.

How do you break someone of a habit like this? How do you get her to think twice next time?

You have her show up for a pool party and compulsively hug the host who just spent 5 hours working on his lawn. And is still "dewy" from the exertion. And hasn't had a shower in two days. And is much taller than her, so that her head gets wrapped in his t-shirt for about two seconds. Which is two seconds longer than either of them were looking for.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Palin is a flake

She's quitting her job as Governor of Alaska. For a laundry list of muddled excuses. What other interpretation is there, other than outright flakiness? I mean, really? What I really want to know is, how many other governors have quit prior to the end of their term? And for what reasons?

Maybe It's The Heat

Just a short post to note some changes. Firstly: New Duck has killed her blog, it seems. This is my first experience with such a devastating loss. I miss her terribly. It makes blogging feel like a looooong layover at a bus station or something, and you get to know the people next to you, but then they have to go their separate way eventually.

Blogging has its painful sides, to be sure.

As for me, I can't seem to gather my mojo for anything fun or interesting on my own blog, and I know it's been rather sucky lately. Luckily, I've found Suburb Sanity to help inspire me. And while I miss New Duck, I'm thanking all the others on my sidebar for still going strong. I love you guys!