Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Cause darling, I'm a nightmare dressed like a daydream

So I am feeling very very weird right now, because it's my first full day alone since the three weeks of pre-delivery maternity leave I took in October/November 2011 -- Danger Toddler is now Danger Preschooler, three days a week. 

I keep checking my rear-view mirror as I drive, having mini-panic attacks to see the carseat empty -- but then, I'm listening to Stern, which I haven't been able to do since he was a pre-verbal baby, so that's cool. I went to get a mammogram this morning after the gym because I am officially An Old (and lol, two hours later, I just realized I still have the stickers on -- they put these stickers around your nipple and any moles, of which I have one, to distinguish them on X-ray from stuff that oughtn't to be there), and only really "got" to do the mammo because I could go to the doc alone. I have not watched a single Paw Patrol, Olivia, or Blaze and the Monster Machines episode today; instead, I have dealt with arranging a trip for my in-laws, sorted out various "estate" stuff with my siblings, made plans for a wedding we're going to in July, done some work on a pediatric cancer fundraiser, eaten a real lunch, and now am writing (without worrying that every time I move my chair an inch, the scraping sound on the tile floor will wake the kid from his nap and Productive Tyme is over). And but I am oddly bereft, verklempt even, and missing his sweet little ol' voice -- nobody's asked me for "gummy beaws" all day today, or told me that the 18-inch-tall plastic dinosaur is his "banana shooter" and is about to shoot bananas at me, so "Wook out, Mommy, or you'll get banana on you!"

So, back to eating more of those cream-cheese-filled cupcakes I made with Kid Gleemonex the other day. And also to more writing. The time has come. 

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Monday, March 02, 2015

I mean, at least Blaze and the Monster Machines teaches about trajectory, and acceleration, and magnets and shit. GOD.

Could you have imagined that there is, in fact, something worse -- far worse -- than Paw Patrol? Even on Nick Jr. -- I'm not talking about those shouty, cunty, thoroughgoingly awful tweener shows on Disney et. al., which will absolutely not be allowed to play on any computer or televising device in my house now or ever, mark my words --  just good ol' inoffensive-if-occasionally-stupid Nick Jr.

And the answer, if you were imagining whether or not there was something worse than Paw Patrol, is: Yes.

You know what it is? It's Little Charmers. These fucking little student witches with their christing "Charm House" and sparkle magic wands and way-too-adult-poppy theme song and constant refrain of "Sparkle up, charmers!" and fake curse words like "Oh, toadstools!" and so on, which you let your first-grader watch because A) you are trying to let her Be Herself so you don't want to imply that girlieness or bestie westie BFFs are bad things even though you yourself get the mini-pukes just from thinking about the type of girly girl who invariably coos "Awwwwwwwwwwww!" in that singsongy widdle voicey-woicey when meeting a kitten, baby, or other Certified Canonical Cute Thing, and B) surely -- SURELY -- she will tire of it soon. Right? Right. Yes. Certainly. She will. She -- she will. Tire of it. PROMISE ME, JESUS!


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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Deep Thoughts, to get a post up technically still in February

You know what from the 90s/aughts just does not hold up? Pearl Jam. I can't really figure out why -- too serious? Takes itself too seriously, more to the point? Kind of plodding, and not very hooky or melodically interesting, especially minus the visual of Earlier Eddie Vedder, which at one time, was rather compelling? All of this and more, no doubt.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Hiatus, disjointed;

I didn't want to write about this, about any of it, because I don't want to think about it and I don't want to have to read it again, and but so I am doing it, and then I'll probably bury this post under the type of silliness I am posting to the Facebooks these days (reason I post there is, the "likes" and comments and stuff remind me that I do have friends, people do know me, people can actually hear me).

***

Five days after my mother died, died in my arms, I am running in the bright cool blue California sunshine, watching my heart rate on my Garmin but mostly jumping my eyes around to all the beautiful things -- the breezes in the palm trees, the bright red blooms of a flower whose name I don't know, the baby shoots of green grass from the first rains we've had in a year, somebody's fluffy new Christmas puppy (little furball!) -- and I can feel the soft air on my arms and the breath in my lungs and the solid way my feet strike pavement and even though I know that my house is full of people who are growing more resentful of my absence by the second, I take another lap around the park and feel alive; not happy, not joyous, not anything really except alive.

***

Four in the morning, again. I am grateful that she got to have some fun these last few years. She lived in a new house instead of the old wreck in town, with its cracks and leaks and heavy ballast of 35 years of family memories. She had a great group of friends -- they had sleepovers! they took art classes! they traveled together and sent back pictures of themselves on barges, in pubs, at historic sites and in front of hilarious road signs! I am desperately sorry I never got to go on any of those trips with her -- the reasons were valid at the time (i.e., I was breastfeeding a newborn, etc.), but I knew she wanted me there.

***

Sunday afternoon. I think of all the times I didn't call. We had a longstanding tradition of talking on the phone on Sundays, but sometimes I didn't call. I would be too busy, or out of the house, or knew she was traveling, or just didn't fucking feel like it, or passive-aggressively testing the theory that she didn't know phones would work both ways and if she wanted to talk to me she could call ME, dammit.

***
She wasn't afraid of dying -- she was sure she was going home to Jesus. I'm glad of that, but I wonder what it feels like to have that certainty, and I further wonder what kind of a god would allow her to be so troubled by my lack of belief. That awful morning after she passed, the home health nurse (who is also a family friend) told me that my mother had said to her that she doesn't want to go to Heaven if her kids aren't going to be there. So I told the nurse that I'd take that under advisement -- I think those are the words I used.

***

We were planning a family trip next summer -- she wanted us (me & my fam, my brother & his wife, my sister) to all go somewhere together. I was looking up various destinations, but primarily Maine, which she had in recent years started really really wanting to visit. Those bookmarks are in my bookmark bar. I keep seeing them when I scroll down to look up my other sites.

***

Sixty-six. That's not old. It's fucking ridiculous, is what it is. It's one huge bad choice (smoking for 30+ years, although she quit in 1996, aka the Worst Summer Ever) and a whole bunch of other un-good ones (no exercise, Texas diet, complete lack of preventive health care of any kind), plus who knows what cards drawn from the genetic deck. Those pictures I have -- her as a bleached-blonde teenage cheerleader, a slim local TV personality, a hip young mama -- how are those the same person who only made it to 66?

***

My last words with her were via text. My kids are young and will not understand for years what has happened. I curse openly on Facebook now, and feel free to hit "like" on pretty much every Planned Parenthood and/or Obama thing I see. My sister, alone in the house we have to clean out and vacate by January 31, keeps sending me boxes of stuff from the house -- handwritten recipes, a ring, yearbooks 1964-67, uncatalogued photos from both sets of grandparents and great-grandparents. I can't wash or get rid of the navy Lands' End turtleneck I was wearing all that awful night and day and night and dawn when I was lying on the bed with her as her breathing gradually slowed, pinged awake from a light doze by the alarm on my iPhone every half hour to administer either atropine or lorazepam via liquid syringe the way I'd dose my babies with Tylenol back in the day, talking to her even though she couldn't hear me, reading aloud "To Kill a Mockingbird" from my phone when I couldn't think of any more ways to say it's OK mom, I love you mommy, I'm here, I'm here, I love you and it's OK. 

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Friday, December 12, 2014

"SO proud to work for a company that values its supply-chain workers!"

You know, one of the greatest things I most deeply appreciate about no longer working for my former employer (the global specialty apparel retailer, founded and headquartered in San Francisco) is that I am no longer obligated -- via the ol' unspoken expectation method -- to post this company's happenings on my own personal social media presences, as if I just thought of doing so myself, out of sheer genuine appreciation for its excellent products, good works and fine deeds. I see former co-workers putting up these posts, and I'm just like ... thank the living Shatner I ain't got to prove my loyalty like that anymore.

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Monday, December 08, 2014

Also in music: Dave Grohl is a NATIONAL GODDAMN TREASURE.

Trying to find a particular artist or song on the multitudinous channels of Sirius Satellite Radio is exactly as frustrating and annoying as it was to attempt the same feat on regular radio (usually in pursuit of the next track on my recorded-from-radio mixtapes) back in junior high, only it's way, way more chagrin-filled now because what I'm looking for is one song each from Taylor Swift and Lorde, both of which songs I've heard exactly once, don't really remember the names of, and find it hard to admit I'm pursuing on purpose.

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Tuesday, December 02, 2014

And a third unrelated thing: It seems like I should be able to sing "Lyin' Eyes," but it's actually at some really strange pitch range for me and the breath control required is beyond my skill as a vocalist, even alone in the car. Weird.

Two Things, Unrelated to Each Other and Both Entirely Apropos of Nothing

1) I remember when I finally saw a twinset in real life. It was during college, early on, like probably freshman year. Some girl was wearing it/them in one of my Core classes. This girl looked like she would've been more at home at, like, SMU or Duke than at Columbia. And as my eye fell upon her, and stayed there -- skirt, sensible low heels, hair neatly arranged in a crisp smooth style, light makeup, subtle jewelry, at nine in the goddamn morning at college -- I realized that on her top half, she was wearing a thing I'd only ever read about: a twinset. It was a ... a sweater, over ... a sweater? It was a lovely blue, very fine gauge, beautiful material -- I have more or less stopped wearing sweaters myself because of the Mamie Van Doren effect and the fact that even the thin ones add about 23 pounds, visually, to my own top half, and for these reasons plus my entire lack of style I would never, ever, layer a sweater upon another sweater, no matter how fine the gauge. So I was impressed, and fascinated, and but almost laughed inappropriately-loudly from the unexpected revelation I had had right there in Lit Hum: THAT'S a twinset! Hot damn! 

2) Mr. Gleemonex and I had a date night a couple of weeks ago (we HAD to go see Dumb and Dumber To, the original is a thing with us), and on the way through the parking garage to the mall where the theater was, I was striding along with my Fast, Purposeful, 360-Degree Visual Awareness Radar, Don't-Rape-Me walk. Which is the way I walk in all such spaces -- parking garages/lots, city streets, endless Las Vegas hotel corridors, etc. This is the way I've done since at least my teenage years, as I suspect most women do, and I never even think about what I'm doing -- if I'm in a space I perceive as any more threatening or dangerous than a Barnes & Noble kids' section, that's how I'm ambulatin', son. And but so Mr. Gleemonex was like dragging on my arm, all "Slow down there, Run Lola Run, we're actually on time for once -- why you gotta be walking so fast?" (not his actual words). I slowed down, suddenly aware of my FP360DVARDRMW, and it was only later that I thought back on it and realized that he, Shatner bless 'im, doesn't walk like I do, because he is a man -- now, he's a GenX lefty feminist man, to be sure, and his walking behavior was as unconscious on his part as my walking behavior is on mine, but if the difference between the two styles doesn't illustrate what rape culture is, then I don't know what would: I perceive the potential for bodily personal threat everywhere (which is unfortunately not unreasonable), and he does not.

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