27 December 2007

And also some things that I do really really badly

  • Confrontation. Hate it, am horrible with it, 90% of the time I choose avoidance.
  • Crying. You didn't know you could be bad at crying? Not only am I really not good at expressing my emotions, but on the rare occasions that I *DO* cry? I'm one of those ugly, ungraceful criers.
  • Sitting still.
  • Watching a movie all the way through (see above)
  • Listening. I actually DO listen, but I'm fidgety, and too much eye contact makes me uncomfortable, and I'm an interrupter, and all of those things come together to make me seem like a supremely bad listener.
  • Driving. I'm working on this one, but my driving record is....not so great.
  • Honesty. Not like I'm a liar, but like I have a really hard time telling people just exactly what I think. It goes along with the confrontation and the emotional intimacy problems. I tend to be a smile and nod type person.
  • Locking doors, filing cabinets, windows, etc. etc. etc.
  • Patience. Read: I have none. Except with Gabriel, I am generally quite patient with him.
  • Money. I'm not a good budgeter, nor a good saver. I think right now that may have to do with the fact that I have no money to budget or save, but when I did, I just bought more stuff.
  • Gossip. Actually I'm a really good gossip, but consider yourself warned: if you don't tell me "Jen, don't tell anyone" I will find someone to tell. Unless it's boring. Or unless you're my BEST friend (there's only a couple of you), or unless it would reflect negatively on me. If you DO tell me not to tell anyone, then I won't. Unless I don't like you. Then I don't care, and I'll lie to your face. Sorry.
  • Maintaining my household while working a full time job. I KNOW most people do it. I get overwhelmed, and cannot. My apartment is essentially in shambles.
  • Discipline. Unless Gabe's being a danger to himself, or hurting others, or breaking something I really care about, I tend not to do much. I have mom guilt and I don't set stern boundaries.
  • Musical/Artistic talent/creativity. I have none. Zero.
  • Moderation. Having a rough day? How bout a whole BOTTLE of wine? How about a shopping SPREE? How about an entire afternoon of sex? How about eating the whole pizza? Or 27 cookies? Or a whole jar of peanut butter with chocolate chips stirred in.
  • Finishing projects
  • Dieting
  • Maintaining a consistent routine
  • Trying new things
  • Trying things that I don't think I'll do well
  • Swimming. I actually love the water, but I think I have abnormally dense bone structure or something. Because I swear to you, I sink.

Some things that I do really, really well

  • Internet stalking. I essentially have a Master's degree in research/finding things/whatever you want to call it. If I don't know how to find it, I know how to find out how to find it, including requesting public records and all SORTS of fun things. Facebook stalking is a whole 'nother venue of expertise, but one I have mastered all the same. Lucky you if you have a boring name, that makes it a LOT harder.
  • School. I have mastered the minimum input to maximum output ratio. I can take almost any class and do well. It's sort of freaky. That's why I'm 25 with a Master's degree. Because school's so easy, I get paid to do it for other people!
  • Making french toast. I don't like eggs, so 90% of the common breakfast choices are out. And then waffles are a pain in the ass and I don't feel like I have a proper pan for pancakes. So I've perfected french toast.
  • Getting ready, including showering, shaving my legs, and doing my hair and makeup, in 15 minutes or less (without Gabe--30 minutes or less with him)
  • Memorizing song lyrics. Part of the really-good-at-school is that I have a good memory. Unless I'm drinking, then I have NO MEMORY WHATSOEVER.
  • The Scrabble/Boggle/Text Twist game trifecta, both online and off.
  • Wrapping presents. This Christmas Gabriel helped me with all of the presents (hence the crooked cut paper and the coloring) but I'm good at it. Trust me.
  • Math in my head. Not like, nonlinear algebra hypothetical beyond my brain's comprehension math, but like, figuring out the tip, what gas mileage my car gets, how many miles to such and such, what day of the week will my birthday be on next year, what kind of change do I give you to get quarters back, do I have enough money for everything in my shopping cart math.
  • Typing. I type fast. Someone has to.
  • Proofreading. I can spot the grammar/spelling error before you even type it.
  • Resume writing. It goes along with being good at school. I'm good at bullshit.
  • Thrift store shopping. People always ask me where I got my clothes. The answer is at least 60% of the time Thrifty Bargains or the Goodwill or the Salvation Army. It takes patience and persistence (which I generally lack)
  • Keeping plants alive and healthy
  • Mending
  • Remembering your birthday. I love birthdays. I'll remember. I'll usually get you a present. Not because I have to, but because one of my favorite things is finding something for someone else that I KNOW they'll like.
  • Ironing
  • Cupcakes
  • Keeping my own secrets

So I guess God wants me to have a pink phone?

To recap with the saga of my cell phone:

Early October: Miss Grace is on the phone with her mom. She hears a funny crackling noise. She looks at her phone, the screen is blank, white. Then the screen goes black, and a tiny bit of smoke comes out the side, and the whole apartment smells like burning. Miss Grace loses all of her phone numbers, and doesn't feel very good about the amount of time this electronic device spent in frightening proximity to her brain. She calls Sprint, who she hates, to get a new phone, and does not wish to sign a new contract. They send her a RAZR knockoff courtesy of Sanyo, but will not send her the black one or the grey one. They tell her that if she wants her new phone in less than two weeks, then she has to get the pink one. Luckily, she is a girl.

Late October/Early November: Miss Grace gets her cell phone bill, for well over $400. This is a combination of a variety of gross errors on Sprint's part. Her phone bill, if she's being very generous to the Sprint demons, should perhaps be $110. After many hours on the phone as well as some inexplicable tears, she gets her bill down to $365, and she still feels like she is being raped, beaten, and left in the woods to die. She cannot cancel her contract with Sprint, because it would cost $400, plus the $400 they are trying to tell her she owes them. Then she realizes that if she just stops paying her bill, she won't have to pay to cancel her contract. She changes her contact info on Sprint's website, writes "Fuck You" across her statement, and sends it, along with her frighteningly pink cell phone and a check for $110, which, she figures, she DOES legitimately owe them. Is she in collections? Who knows? Miss Grace is willing to make one trip to collections for the evil cell phone gods, and frankly does not care. She gets a new phone through T-Mobile, who in the past has always treated her well. She chooses a tastefully blue phone.

Early November: Tasteful blue T-Mobile phone arrives. Miss Grace gathers all of her missing and errant phone numbers from across the globe, and figures that the few she is missing probably don't deserve to exist in the first place. Blue phone is defective. Blue phone randomly turns off and won't turn back on, regardless of battery charge. Blue phone will not send text messages. She calls. They send her new phone. AGAIN she has to get all of her phone numbers. She is beginning to think that maybe she should keep them somewhere besides her cell phone. Blue phone #2 is friendly and kind, and Miss Grace has found love again.

Late December: Gabriel is in the bathtub. He is adorable. Miss Grace takes a picture of him with her phone. Gabriel is apparently shocked and offended that his mother would dare to photograph him in such a compromising position. He yells at her, and swats the phone out of her hands, into the gaping mouth of the open toilet. Miss Grace shrieks like her soul just died, and quickly rescues Blue phone from its unplanned and ill advised swim. She takes Blue phone apart, lays it out to dry, and hopes for the best. Throughout the next two days she turns her phone on and hopes. Sometimes she thinks things are definitely going to be okay, like when Sheena calls her and she answers, and it works. Other times she realizes that no, not even ONE of her cell phone buttons works. Unfortunately it is Christmas, and people like to send her text messages on Christmas. She can't read any of them. She inspects her phone again. She realizes that the water damage indicator on Blue phone is completely unmarked. She calls. "My phone died over the weekend, and when I plugged it in and turned it back on, none of the buttons worked." She is told to select a new phone to replace her old phone. FOR REASONS THAT REMAIN A TOTAL MYSTERY TO MISS GRACE, she is told that she can have any phone but the one she currently owns (less cost difference, of course). Oh she likes her phone? Well she can have it, but only if she gets it in Rose. Um. Okay.

****

So God is making me get a pink phone for the second time in two months. I don't need quite everyone's phone numbers, because I've managed to save a lot of them over the past replacements. But I can't call you. Well I can, but I don't like using the long distance on my house phone, because I don't wish to pay for it, so I won't unless I need to (like if I think you might be dead because you haven't called me, for instance). And I do have an answering machine at home, but I turn it off at night because I don't like the flashing it does, and sometimes (okay usually) I forget to turn it on in the morning.

26 December 2007

The best thing about Christmas

Christmas Eve I let Gabey sleep in my bed, because it was Christmas Eve and (as I often do) I was feeling indulgent.
While I was reading him stories (Christmas Stories) he kept talking about Santa, and his stocking, and how Santa was going to come to his house. This was the first time in the whole month before Christmas that he had even somewhat started to "get it" or to be really excited about anything other than the fact that Santa gets to wear some pretty awesome red 'jamas.
Then he fell asleep, and I got up and wrapped his presents and cleaned up the house for Christmas.
When I came to bed a couple of hours later, he sort of woke up as I was shifting him around. I told him I loved him.
He leaned over, whispered "I love you too mama" and kissed me on the cheek.
That was the first time Gabriel has ever told me he loved me.

25 December 2007

To my 17 new text messages

  1. Merry Christmas
  2. If it's important, I can't read you, so please contact me by alternate means.
  3. Alternate means include: calling me at home, or at work, or calling my cell phone and leaving a voice message, which I will check. Also, email, myspace, instant messages, you get the idea.
  4. I do not have your phone number.
  5. As I am exchanging my phone AGAIN, I most likely will never be able to read you, nor will I have your phone number.
  6. Yes, I will need to get all of my phone numbers all over again for the fourth time in two months.
  7. I rock.
  8. Cell phones don't like water. Who knew?
  9. I'm not ignoring you.
  10. Happy Holidays :)

24 December 2007

So much to do, so little time

We went to Sheena's for Christmas Eve dinner. She told me to dress up and then when I got there she was wearing jeans. "I was gonna call you and tell you I wasn't dressing up, but then I wanted to see what you would wear." She got Gabe a present of dollar store heaven. Spiderman stickers, Spiderman book, Elmo backpack, Elmo doll, clearly my overly commercialized son needed more tiny things to obsessively carry with him everywhere he goes.

I am potentially going to another Christmas Eve party tonight. Well, I said I would go, but the way things are going, I'm not sure I'll have time. See, I still haven't wrapped any of Gabe's presents, or cleaned my house so that Santa can even find the stockings. For one thing, I don't have tape. And I didn't realize it until oh, about just now. For another wrapping Gabriel's presents IN FRONT OF HIM sort of takes away the magic, and so far that's the only choice I would've had today, because as I noted earlier, I have NO WAY of contacting K. He left me a voice message, but since it didn't include his phone number, I've got nothing. My telepathy hasn't been working properly, so he hasn't managed to just up and show up at my house at the precise moment I need him to so that he can distract our distractable son, and I can get Christmas ready for him. Ah. Whatever.

I have until 3pm. Don't think it's gonna happen....

Yesterday my phone took a swim in the toilet. I keep turning it on and thinking it works, but that keeps not being the case. Now I can receive calls no problem, but none of my buttons work. Which is somewhat problematic.
Also, I need K to take Gabe for a while so I can wrap presents, but his phone number only exists inside of my cell phone, and remember that little bit about the no buttons? Yeah...Christmas is going to rock?
If, out of the kindness in your heart, you decide that you simply must either wrap all of my presents, or clean my house, I won't say no.

23 December 2007

The Pics

I've recovered enough to post some pics...




I'm too hungover to upload pictures

Last night was our Christmas party, which was pretty fun. All the neighbors that I like came, plus Matt and Andrea, the ex-neighbors who I like a lot too.
I drank. WAY too much. I was pretty much wasted at 1230 when we all got a cab downtown because La Salles seemed like the best idea EVER. Then when James bought me a drink, that didn't help. And when Andrea's brother bought me a drink? That was no good either. And when Will bought me two shots of Jack, which for some reason I took? That spelled disaster. At some point (and by some point I mean, after everyone else had GONE HOME) Brett, Andrea's brother who had my phone, my camera, all of my STUFF, disapperated. And at that point the bar was closed and we were the only two of our entourage left. Then I recognized K's current girlfriend, and we spent the next hour or so inside of the closed bar, befriending one another. Which I guess made K really, really mad, cuz when I got home he told me that we're not on speaking terms anymore. Except that he had to talk to me to tell me that.
Seeing as I got driven home by a bouncer at oh, maybe 330 in the morning, when Gabriel woke up at 730? MISERABLE? He's pretty good at choosing my low moments to be sweet and well behaved, so far things have gone okayish. But I feel like death. I just found my phone though, so that's something.

*I have AMAZING pics, but I can't possibly put them up right, way too many steps involved*

21 December 2007

Nothing hurts like nothing at all

I may not have a Christmas present for Gabriel come Tuesday, which is unfortunate, at best. Well I'll have something for him, but not his main, bit I'm SOO excited to give it to him present. Ugh. Luckily his birthday and his Christmas are VERY close. And he's two, so I can give it to him on the 26th and he'll likely not care too much.

I'm really pretty excited about our Christmas party tomorrow. One of the reasons I moved here was the built in social life of already being friends with all of my neighbors, but since I've been working full time in O-RO-VILLE, I haven't even SEEN any of them for months it seems like. Going to bed at 9 every night doesn't exactly help.

Speaking of OROVILLE, I was informed today that my job will be shifting from my current 8-430 to 8-5 starting January 7th. Okay, that's still 8 hours, because I'll take a longer lunch, and it only technically adds .5 hour to my day. But. That. Sucks. That means Gabe's in daycare for almost 11 hours a day. See, if I leave at 430, I can get to his daycare by 5 most days, sometimes 505 or 510, but the drive's never TOO long. Leaving at 5 is a WORLD of difference. It'll take me at least 45 minutes, instead of at most. And I already spend every. single. weekday. feeling guilty about how much time Gabe spends being raised by other people. I know I KNOW that most of America does it every day, but I just want to raise my kid. If I could pick one thing that would make me really, really happy, I would like to have Gabriel raised mostly by me, instead of mostly by underpaid daycare providers who are simultaneously in charge of 11 other children under 2. And I think Gabriel goes to a really good center, don't get me wrong. Okay, daily rant about my never ending guilt and angst and bad feeling in the pit of my stomach about seeing the one person I love the most in the whole world for less than 3 hours a day? Over.
Okay it's not quite over I have this to add: I DO want to do other things and see grownups and have time for myself, and I DO those things, and I'm glad that I do because otherwise I would have to borrow a cordless drill and give myself a frontal lobotomy, but even then, it's like, every evening that I choose to have K watch Gabriel, or I decide to go to the gym, or whatever, that's a WHOLE DAY that I don't see Gabriel, and that sucks. What kind of life is that? Why should any parent have to choose not to see their child just to get any simple thing accomplished? What is wrong with America?

20 December 2007

Ichmas Christmas

So I have at the very least a good percentage of my giftings purchased. I still have my dad, but I'm not too worried because I'm not seeing anyone till after Christmas anyways, and malls, crowded indoor malls, make me extremely claustrophobic and induce mild panic attacks, so I'm choosing to avoid them at this particular time of year. I do have brave Costco on Saturday afternoon in preparation for our apartment complex Christmas party. Ick. But I also have some Costco impulse buys to return, so I spose it's a necessary evil. I don't know why I go to Costco with one thing on my list and come out having spent over $200 and not gotten the ONE THING I CAME TO BUY. Evil Costco demons....

I spent last night in Sacramento, which was nice because so far, it's always been nice. Plus I saw (I know it's a travesty that I hadn't managed to see it yet) Superbad, which is EXACTLY my kind of movie. It's almost like it's specifically designed for someone with Movie ADD. I didn't once feel like getting up to start something else. And have you ever watched a movie with me? That's really saying something.

From what I hear Gabriel has fully recovered to his regular and spunky self, and he's back at daycare. I don't have any idea what we're doing this weekend/into Christmas, beyond Staying In Chico. I think Sheena had mentioned something about doing Christmas Eve at her house, which is a definite possibility, and I'm sure we'll have to figure out just how to feed ourselves, etc. Luckily Gabriel doesn't have any expectations.

Although I do need to get him stocking stuffers still. I mean, Santa has to get them. But I'm going to help.

18 December 2007

Some things I've never done that I really feel like I should have done by now

  • Been to Canada
  • Walked across the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Had someone besides my mom buy me underwear
  • Bought proper grown up furniture
  • I've been to NYC many times and have never seen the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Ellis Island, Staten Island, or the MoMA. Because I'm the worst tourist ever, apparently.
  • Never played a game of poker
  • Learned how to surf
  • Balanced my check book
  • Been to a strip club (I'm not counting the whore house in Rosarito, I'm sorry)
  • Put together a photo album for Gabey
  • Hung pictures on my walls
  • Started a holiday tradition
  • Baked a pie
  • Run naked through a public place
  • Knit a sweater
  • Replaced my heinous couch pillows
  • Lived outside of CA
  • Been in a limo
  • Lived in a real city (funny how the "city of Chico" doesn't count)

17 December 2007

Sicky GabeyPants

I had to leave work early cuz Gabers is sick. Sucks because I hate having a sad, sick baby curled up like a puppy on my floor; because K was supposed to be "in charge" of Gabriel today and was mysteriously MIA, so I had to take paid time off for today; and because I had been planning on spending the night in Sacramento.

Speaking of K.Dot, in my quest to locate my son's father so that he could pick up his child, I discovered that he is now homeless AND jobless. And when I finally did talk to him, he said he starts working in Sacramento next Monday. Christmas Eve? Sacramento? Okay. But what about how you said you were going to take the 26th and 27th off to watch Gabe because I didn't have the days off to take (especially counting today)? Well I guess I'll have to find some other arrangements to make. And what about Gabriel's insurance? He was on your policy, not mine. Health insurance for your small child? Generally important. La dee da.

On the plus side, being home for the better part of the afternoon with Gabriel passed out in a nest of blankets meant that I had time to make meat loaf and pumpkin spice bread.

Someone better take me somewhere someday

I had a Macy's gift card to spend, and yesterday I spent it on the world's cutest and most impractical silver dress. But, c'mon, I already have silver shoes, and I look REALLY cute in it!

Yesterday was a lot of rainy day crafty fun. Gabe was occupied with his sticker book while I finished up a couple of little projects, and did some Christmas wrapping. And he helped me make hot chocolate and dinner.

We're having a Christmas party at my apartment complex on Saturday, feel free to come. I think we're all gonna be there, even the ones that have moved away, so it should be a lot of fun. The Body Shop party was fun--lots of wine and kiddos and good smelling lotions and things, and Jayme booked a couple more parties off of it, so YAY go Jayme! I'm all for stay at home moms getting to stay home.

I think I'm as done as I'm ever going to be with my Christmas shopping. I need to get something for my dad still, since I've been forbidden to overload him with NLC gear. Luckily he's one of the easiest people for whom to by things (I know that was an extraordinarily awkward statement but I have a disorder and I literally CANNOT end a sentence with a preposition, I'm sorry).

Ooh and thank you to Molly-who's-a-genius 2008 is going to be marked by a CD exchange! That means we have 12 people and every month a different person is responsible for sending a mixed CD to the other 11! Have I mentioned how VERY INCREDIBLY much I LOVE mixed CD's? I heart them. And obviously this is not the case for this particular setup, but I especially love it when someone makes me specifically a mixed CD, especially if I love it, because it's such a cheap and easy, yet challenging and loving, personal gift. And when I love them, it's like, of course so-and-so is one of my best friends, look at this CD! Okay, I think y'all already got the memo about my particular brand of crazy, so I'm sure none of that last bit came as a surprise.

I'm in town for Christmas, which should be pretty low key. I'm going down to my parents' house for New Year's weekend because I'm gonna have Gabe, so it's not like I could do anything particularly much in Chico, might as well hang out with my fambly and eat good food and take long hot baths and the like. But if you're around, let's hang out?

15 December 2007

Saturdays are my favorite days

Well we have the world's tiniest Christmas tree up, and it's about to tip over from its single strand of lights and 6 ornaments. But I wanted something potted that would fit on my end table, so there ya go. And Gabriel loves it, and he's the point. My house, meh, reasonably clean. My homework, meh, done enough. I haven't had any sort of grownup time for forever and day, but K wanted to go on a date last night more than he wanted to hang out with Gabriel. I know I know, no one's surprised. Except for me, continuously. Whatever.

I spent last night drinking red wine and watching Zim! by myself. The good news is I got to sleep in until 8:30. Apparently my drunken sleepiness wore off on Gabe, cuz he didn't even try to get up until 8:15. Today's Jayme's Body Shop party. You're still invited!

Jennifer just told me that she could make me bloomers!! And knitting needle cases!!! And she made me very, very, VERY excited just thinking about the possibilities. Very excited.

12 December 2007

Things can't be helped by worrying, but I can't help but worry

  • Will K's consistent inconsistencies throughout Gabriel's childhood permanently damage my son's ability to trust others and engage in meaningful relationships?
  • Could K putting "spend time with son" last on his agenda leave my son with an attachment disorder?
  • Will I somehow be blamed for this?
  • How long can I reasonably be expected to bend over backwards to ensure that my son spends time with his father, when his father doesn't bend at all?
  • At what point do I clearly determine whether it is more damaging to have a flaky, inconsistent, completely non-dependable father figure, or to have no father figure at all?
  • Will K ever realize that loving his son means that Gabriel comes before EVERYTHING else?
  • Will he ever understand that taking Gabriel to school in the morning and spending a few hours with him in the evening is not the same thing as being a full-time engaged parent?
  • Am I wasting my time?
  • Is there something wrong with me, that I have devoted myself so completely to giving my son the time I think he deserves with his father, even when I'm not being met at all, let alone half way?
  • Is it better to include dad in family activities that occur at my home, or to exclude him, and try to make him plan his own activities?
  • How can he ever, EVER take Gabriel for any meaningful amount of time if he doesn't even have a home to take him to?
  • How long can I allow him to spend time with Gabriel at my home before that just gets weird?
  • Isn't it already weird?
  • What do I say when Gabriel asks me, "Where's Dada's house?"
  • What do I say when Gabriel asks me, "Where's Dada?"
  • How can you not see that Gabriel is fantastic and amazing and beautiful and sensitive and loving and funny and curious and bright and open and full of wonder?
  • If you do see it, and I think (hope?) you do, how can you not do more for him? For me?

11 December 2007

My Holiday Gift Guide

In addition to the stuff on Amazon (look right!), here's some other stuff that you can buy me if you love me and want to buy me things:

I can't help it, I think this is cute.

I need a new umbrella, and here are some that apparently don't suck.

I would put this glittery glittery prettyness on my zipper pulls and I would be sparkly.

Various bags: I like this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this

I like these necklaces, most particularly Earth, Joy and Champagne. I wonder what that says about my personal values?

I will not get this by Christmas and I'm okay with that. IF YOU LOVE ME BUY ME THIS
Or this
Or this

Bloomers!!!!

Another necklace (I'm trying to branch out and wear something besides my gold necklace every day, and I like A LOT of the necklaces at this Etsy. A LOT.)

A leetle coin purse, in purple/grass/gold please.

Monstrously Cute


Edited to add:

Clever and hot pink!!
To complete my broken glasswares
Delicate and pretty and OH YEAH CHICO'S COLD!!! (in grey)
Matching (GREEN!!) hat and scarf.

10 December 2007

Knitting it together

The good thing about being stuck in airports for hours on a Friday night when all of your friends have better things to than talk to you and entertain you and listen to your stupefied delirium is this: I finished 3(!!) Christmas presents that I was knitting. And I looked at them on Sunday, because it occurred to me that they were probably NOTgood on account of the lack of firing synapses when I was making them, but they are error free! Well, one has one tiny error, but I think (hope?) I'm the only one to notice it. So that was productive.

You want to know something that's really not productive? Not productive at all? I have 2 (two?!) final projects due on Thursday. No I'm not a student. Yes I have finals. If I have not explained myself to you yet, well, that sucks. My life will remain enshrouded in mystery, and you will worship me. Ha.

But anyways, I have to do that tonight, so, um, sucks balls.

To the mystery Amazon.com shopper who bought me a slow cooker and some cookbooks, Thanks!! I wish you had taken credit, so I could feel properly thankful. I guess this way I can feel generally kindly towards all of my friends? I dunno.

09 December 2007

Okay, I'm ready to talk about Friday

Friday. Friday Friday Friday. I and my dandy coworkers had a flight out of Chico at 545am. Being as I had to leave my house at 415, and I had to shower and the like, I was waking up at 315. Except that I woke up at 2, and it was too close to when I actually had to wake up, so I never really fell back asleep. So. I woke up at 2am. To start my day.
The flights from Chico to SF and from SF to Boise weren't bad. Boise was COLD, but I'd come prepared with my jacket. My company had arranged for us to rent a minivan. Which was pimpin. Obvio.
We got to the Idaho offices, a place that I'd never been. I got to meet all of the people with whom I've spoken on the phone throughout the past three months, and we were fed. And there were cream puffs. And punch. And Christmas prezzies. And bonuses. And hours and hours of presentations about the company and new developments etc., etc., but that was interesting to me, and therefore just fine.
I must now move into the present tense, because I keep reliving the horror behind my eyelids.
It is snowing. 5ish rolls around, and everyone living in/staying in Idaho is readying to leave. Three of us four that came clamber back into our minivan. We get to the airport. We go to check in. Our flight to San Francisco has been canceled because of fog (there, naturally).
"Where can you get us?"
"Well there's a later flight to San Francisco, but it's full. I can get you to LA."
"Can you get us to Sacramento? Sacramento would be okay."
"Yes, I can put you all on a flight to LAX, and then fly from LA to Sacramento, putting you there at 1152pm."
"Okay."
We call Big Bossman, and he tells us to do whatever it takes to get home. Since we've all been up since the night before, this includes cocktails. Our flight to LA is delayed. I call a rental car company to make a reservation in Sacramento so we can get back to Chico. They close at midnight.
We fly to LA. At this point I'm pretty delirious. And when, instead of a single gin and tonic, I get a double vodka tonic, my delirium gets a touch worse. Our flight to Sac is on time. But wait. We have to wait for some passengers who just got in and need to make their connecting flight, pushing our estimated arrival time back to 12:05am. What time does that rental car company close ladies and gentlemen? That's right, midnight. Fantastic.
We fly to Sacramento. As soon as the wheels of the airplane touch the runway, I call the rental car people. Please. Please don't close. They tell me they won't leave until they rent me my car. We get off the airplane. We follow the signs, go down the escalator. Where are we? Seriously, where ARE we? We've all been to the Sacramento Airport, none of us has ever seen this. WHERE are we? Where is the parking garage? Where is the rental car area? Where is the baggage claim? WHERE ARE WE????
Anyone who knew that the Sacramento Airport had two terminals, please raise their hand.
So we inquire. We have to take a bus to the rental car terminal. Getting on the bus, I forget how to climb stairs, and completely fall down, clutching the stranger in front of me for support. I bring him down with me. It is now 12:15am. I have been awake for 22.25 hours.
We get to Enterprise. They ask me if I'd like to upgrade. No, I just want to go home. Are you sure? Yes, I just want to go home. Oh, well this is the only car we have, so we'll upgrade you for free.
You were going to charge me for you not having my car?
I'm the driver, but I cannot drive. Mike drives.
2:30. We're at the Chico Airport. Rental car is in my name. This is the ONE rental car company whose offices are not at the airport. I can't turn in my rental at the same place that my car is parked. I have to turn it in because it's in my name. I drive home. In the rental car. I fall asleep.
7am. Gabriel wakes up.
I have a rental car with no car seat, and a child. Saturday.....awesome?

I have three pictures from my trip, and I think they're magic:


In Idaho, In the SNOW!! (Holding a Christmas Stocking!!)
This is Mike. He has been awake for too long:

This is me. I have been awake for WAY TOO LONG:

Elevensies

I've been trying this new thing where instead of handing my child a variety of kid foods and ready made snacks, I actually make him meals. The elements that I enjoy include arranging his sectioned plates in such a way that all four food groups are represented and nice to look at, and the fact that my house smells nice when I cook. The cons are that he usually chooses exactly one thing on the plate to eat and ignores everything else. I'm not sure how long I can keep this up without becoming stressed out and irritated, but it's working for now.

06 December 2007

This looks about right

Spinning into worse

I went home early yesterday and slept until K brought Gabey home at around 6. Then I stayed up for a whopping two and a half hours before I went back to bed at 8:30. The good news is I feel much, much better. As in, only mildly sick and grouchy. The bad news? I've done NOTHING since I got back in town Tuesday. NOTHING.

Plus, as a sunshiny bonus, I'm going to Idaho(?) tonight (tomorrow morning?) which means I'll likely do NOTHING tonight, I'll be gone all day tomorrow, I'll be grumpy and in no mood on Saturday, and that means...wow. Have you ever seen my house/the inside of my brain when I do nothing for two weeks straight? It's. Not. Good. In fact, it's bad. Very very bad.

So off I go to the Klu Klux Klan capital of the United States, good old Idaho.

05 December 2007

I feel like death

I had coffee at home, and then there were doughnuts at work, and I ate one, naturally. Maple glaze. And I just threw up. Has anyone ever met me? I DO NOT throw up. Not when I'm drunk, not when I'm sick, not even when I'm pregnant. I don't puke. It's unheard of. Even if I have the stomach flu, and everyone else is puking out their internal organs, I just lie around on the couch feeling sick without ever ACTUALLY vomiting. I have puked TWICE in last four years. Once from being sick, once from drinking. In FOUR YEARS. And I don't even feel very sick right now. Someone please explain. Because I'm pissed off. I HATE puking, which is why my body has decided never to do it, because it doesn't want to make me angry.

04 December 2007

Pictures for Molly

Molly, remember when I told you about Callahan's? Well these are the pictures to bring it alive for you.

My sister demonstrating Mary's "tattoos." One is of a cougar biting her nipple, the other is a stick of butter on her nipple.

Mikey, who is 23 and thinks that cameras will steal his soul, yes that's a Texas longhorn skull on the wall

Failing miserably with the What is Desire? face, note the Welcome Bikers sign over the bar

Flipping off the camera, I'm sorry you can't see the Michelle Benson look alike in the background, how do you like Laura's high ponytail?

29 November 2007

Slow on the uptake

I meant to write this on or around Thanksgiving, but I forgot, so, oh well.

These are the 2007 things that I am thankful for:
  1. Remember how I had that job that made we want to give myself a frontal lobotomy? Well I'm really grateful to not have to listen to anyone talk about rectal bleeding ever again.
  2. I'm really, really grateful that I don't have to be on welfare anymore, because those five months constituted the most demeaning and emotionally exhausting ones of my life.
  3. I'm quite pleased with myself for moving out and getting my own apartment, even if it did involve 5-6 months of pure and unadulterated hell.
  4. I'm thankful for Gabriel, who lights up my life and makes everything rosy. Even when I'm sure that I should just crawl into a hole and die, Gabriel always reminds me that life's pretty great.
  5. My friends are great. They have saved my sanity, and been enormously supportive, and not asked too many questions, and listened to me rant about everything that is crazy and stupid and unbelievable, and given me advice, and been okay with me not taking their advice, and I love them. All of them. Thank you.
  6. Fambly is nice too. Especially when your mama pays for you oral surgery because you can't afford dental insurance.

All I want in life's a little bit of love to take the pain away

From the way my brain has been working I would swear it's a Monday. I have so far successfully listed my home address on a work order, created a login ID that is a hybrid of my work and home email addresses, and fucked up the students' grades 3 times before finally getting it right. Yahoo!

Tonight is dinner with Lisa, yay :)

Tomorrow STILL remains to be seen. Either I'm leaving town, or else I'm staying till Saturday.

I'm knitting/crafting many of my Christmas presents this year. So if I give you something that I made, please understand the following:
  1. If you are actually calculating how much I love you based upon how much I've spent on you, fuck you. You don't deserve to have a head, and are representative of everything that's wrong with America.
  2. If you do not understand the amount of care and love I have to have for you to knit you something, please go away and never, ever come back, as I do not wish to care for and love you ANY MORE.
  3. Just in case you're an asshole: Craft supplies are not cheap. This isn't a way to get out of spending money on you.
  4. Knitting is extremely labor intensive, so please remember about the hours and hours of my time and hard work when you're even thinking about bitching about why someone would bother making you a scarf. Asshat.

27 November 2007

The human body mapped by stretch marks

When I was 12, I was 4' 10.5" and weighed around about 120lbs, which, for under 5 feet, is chubby. When I was 13, I was 5'4" and weighed round about exactly the same. Since God hadn't yet told me that I am a fantastically bad athlete, I still played various sports, and had muscle tone, and was therefore quite skinny.

In high school I wore gloriously tiny single digit pants sizes. I reveled in my 4's and was ashamed of my 6's. I told my mom that if I was ever bigger than a size 6, I would kill myself, but not to worry, because that would never happen. Then I went to college.

Let me tell you a little something about college, particularly mine, one University of Casual Sex and Beer. I drank A LOT. I drank anywhere from 4-7 nights a week. I had a lot of fun, and I enjoyed a fabulous metabolism that allowed me to out-drink men twice my size, and a genetic predisposition to alcoholism that allowed me to never puke and never be hung over.
And alcohol was magical. It allowed me self confidence, it made me feel pretty, it made me feel loved, it wrapped its arms around me in a comforting embrace. It also turned the freshman 15 into the freshman 20, then 30, and by the time I graduated I weighed an impossibly shaming 150lbs.

Despite all the drinking and total lack of responsibility, I graduated in three years instead of four, but stayed in Santa Barbara. Not taking 21 units a quarter, I had spare time even when I WASN'T drinking. So I started going to the gym. I didn't really lose any weight, but I gained muscle, and my clothes started fitting me better, and I had more energy, and I felt better about myself. I still drank a lot, but I didn't feel like I was pouring fat directly into my thighs.

When K moved in with me I started drinking a lot more and eating a lot worse and going to the gym a lot less.  Even though I retrospectively like to blame him for things, this really wasn't his fault. We lived upstairs from where I worked, so going to the gym before work didn't quite make sense with my routine anymore, and I was working a second job and going to school on the weekends, so I was back to my 70 hour weeks where I didn't have much spare time. And then to compensate for being stressed, Lexy and I drowned our sorrows in alcohol, because that is a totally normally and healthy way to drown your sorrows. 

Then as all the people in the grade I was supposed to be in started their various grad schools and real lives and moving away I started feeling ever more inadequate and under accomplished, despite my ocean view apartment in downtown Santa Barbara for 1/5 of my monthly income (this is the part where Future Grace kicks Past Grace in the teeth for being a first class moron).

So, for lack of anything better to do, I applied to grad school.

When I started grad school, I moved back in with my parents temporarily, and at the same time K transferred to Chico State. Living with my parents instead of my boyfriend put a halt to all the useless drinking, and living in such close proximity to my sister (AKA the Obsessive Compulsive Insane Jazzercise Nutball) meant that I was exercising a lot. So I lost about 20lbs, and gained a lot of muscle, and looked pretty good, and was pretty happy.

Then I got pregnant. Everyone gains weight when they're pregnant. It's normal and it's healthy and I know that.  But I simultaneously got pregnant, stopped going to the gym, and started working 10 hour days doing data entry.  Oh and I moved away from my friends and stopped speaking to my family.  As if my raging hormones didn't have enough to deal with.  I was lonely, depressed, and stressed out.  I respond to all of these things, by, well, eating. A lot of food. So, in just about 9 months, I gained 65lbs.

Then I had Gabriel, but he only weighed 7.5lbs. Isn't it funny how much weight you gain for that tiny, delicate child who cradles so perfectly into your arms?  

Over the course of the past two years I haven't gained any weight, but losing it has been slow. 

Over the past 3 months I've sort of given up on food, which isn't necessarily a good thing, but I have prepregnancy jeans that fit me?

Anyways, here I am. I'm 25 years old, I weigh 160lbs, am 5'4.5", and sometimes feel like crying.

26 November 2007

I know I've linked to it before, but I love it

Amber is an Artist

From my Thanksgiving Weekend, courtesy of Miss Kaplan







Must Love Emma

Miss Emma lights up my life. I met her when she was spending a year abroad at UCSB. I subsequently visited her in her Limekilns hood, even though she was tired of having people from California visit and couldn't take any more time off work, I still adored her enough to adore the trip. We almost saw each other in Chile, but I had just found out I was pregnant(!) and that sort of lamed up my trip a bit. Luckily, Emma was living my dream life and traveling the world, so she came and visited my pregnant self in Chico, where I introduced her to chocolate peanut butter calzone (how did this go undiscovered through my 5 years in Santa Barbara?!?! How?!?!?!?), and she sang My Humps until I wanted to drill a hole in my temple. Then, like a dream, she was gone. Luckily, Emma's goal in life is making me happy, and just a bit over a year later, she was BACK!! She learned how to break into my house, met my sweet baby, then because, ahem, certain other people are exceedingly lame, I got her to come down to Santa Cruz with me, for more fabulous shopping, and the aquarium(!) where she took an awfully lot of photos that she never sent me (EMMA SEND ME THOSE PHOTOS YOU BITCH). Anyhow, these days Emma is in Australia, which is awfully far from me, and she seems to be WORKING ENDLESSLY, with no CA visit in sight. I would die to go visit her, but something about almost 2-year-olds and $2000 plane tickets make that seem...unlikely at best. So we keep in touch via email, myspace, poorly written surveys, etc, etc.

But I got an email this morning that made me absolutely jittery. Emma Jay has started a blog!!

I'm linking to it far before she would want me to I'm sure, as there's one lonely post and a wonky title bar, but believe me, Emma is the funny, witty, beautiful, endlessly entertaining even if you don't know her, AMAZING person that I could only hope to be. So keep an eye on her, because it's only a matter of time before she parlays this into a book deal and uses it to fly across the globe.

25 November 2007

Favorite Things from the Month of November

*pie
*scrabulous
*getting Gabriel into his own bed (sort of)
*new gym shoes
*cold weather
*getting a raise
*fixing my car
*JULIA! LA! USC! YAY!!
*visiting boy
*Bidwell Park in the fall
*FINALLY replacing the light bulbs in my living room
*actually printing pictures
*ordering Christmas cards
*seeing family

Haiku for Sunday

Gabriel sleeps in
House is tidy laundry clean
Lazy nap heaven


24 November 2007

Thanks, Giving

Gabriel and I drove down to my parents' house on Wednesday. Gabe was fantastically good on the drive, which was amazing, because, as I may have mentioned, Gabriel is often fantastically bad. When we got there Laura was still there with her kids (she went down to her in-laws in Irvine for the holiday). I had forgotten that Simon broke his arm, and seeing him in his cast was really, really sad.
There were too many people there, and I was grumpy and overwhelmed, so I came back to Chico Friday night. I'm going to visit my parents and 'back home' again next weekend, and the people that I really like to see are my parents and siblings, and they'll be there next week.
I hung out with some folk from Elma G. Bradley Elementary School, which was actually quite awesome. And Gabriel was good practically the whole time.
I was supposed to go out Friday night with my cousin Kristen and some other people, and going home early meant I missed out on that, but I really wanted to have some time at my house this weekend.
And I'm glad, because today's been really really nice. My house is basically clean, and my laundry's done, and I'm clean, and I got to hang out with various mom friends that have fallen by the wayside since I started working full time again.

On a side note, I'm going to Idaho on December 7th, and for whatever reasons, K can't watch Gabe. So James (yeah, my 15-year-old brother?) is taking the greyhound up to Chico on the 6th, and watching Gabriel. All. Day. By himself. I'm hoping for the best.

20 November 2007

Big Kid Underpants!





A look at this week's forcast

Today: Work, bank, cleaners, work.
Tonight: Dinner w/K, clean house, pack, clean house, sleep
Tomorrow: Work, work, drive, drive, drive
Thursday: Wine, pie, headaches, brothers, cousins, uncles, TV, stuffing, tears, cleaning, iron, dessert
Friday: Friends, crowded, walking, coffee, bars, downtown
Saturday: Family, pack, drive, drive, drive
Sunday: Hiding

19 November 2007

Over the river and through the woods

I'm going to SC this weekend. Tentatively Wednesday through Saturday. Well the Wednesday part is for sure, but I'm not quite decided on when I'm headed away again. I WOULD like to go out Friday night though, to whomsoever is in town.

This weekend....was okay. K told me that he couldn't see Gabe because he was out of town, and then Stella saw him at the bars. In town. Which was lame of him, but whatever, he hasn't exactly been being a fabulous guy lately, so I'm not particularly surprised. After I got done being grouchy on Saturday I hung out with Sheena on Sunday, and I went to Sac, and both were good. And this morning Gabriel used the potty in exchange for getting to wear his Elmo underoos.

17 November 2007

Sometime even the weekends are lame

My cousin Lisa was going to babysit for me Friday night, but I didn't have anything to do or anyone to see, so I passed up the baby outsourcing and just hung out Lees. Which means we drank two bottles of wine in about 2-3 hours. And then Gabriel. Screamed. From 10-almost 1am. About his FUCKING Spiderman Socks. And then of course he didn't sleep in to make up for it or anything, so neither one of us got enough sleep last night, which means that we're both extremely crabby, which means that we've been feeding off each other and spiralling downwards into worse and worse moods. But he finally took a nap, and I took a nap, and I feel better, and I'm hoping tomorrow works out a bit better for both of us.

I actually got pictures printed, instead of leaving them on my computer forever, which is pretty darned exciting.

16 November 2007

This must be God's way of telling me to get a life

This is the recurring dream I've been having for the past couple weeks:

It must be the weekend, because I'm having lunch with Gabriel. Gabriel is sitting properly at the table, eating all of his food. Then it's nap time, and Gabriel settles down for his nap with absolutely no fight. Just lets me tuck him in and falls asleep. The house is a disaster, and there's a sink full of dishes, but I also haven't showered for at least two days, and the idea of a shower by myself is too tempting.
So I get in the shower, which is magically spotless, and is one of those big tiled showers with frosty glass doors, and a frosted window to the outside and it's all sunny and perfect and there are plants. And the shower head is the right height and dispersing the right amount of water at the right pressure and temperature. I take the world's longest shower, and I actually shave and wash my hair, and just stand there and let the water run over me, which is heavenly, but I feel sort of guilty because the longer I'm in the shower, the less time I'll have to get other stuff done. I get out of the shower, and my bathroom is spotless. No chonies on the floor, no clutter on the counters, Gabriel's toys have vanished, I don't get my hair on my feet when I step on the bath mat. I dry off, lotion, brush my hair, etc., and put on my watch.
Magically, only ten minutes have gone by, which means I still have time to clean and pick up and put my kitchen in order, and this makes me feel happy, because I love for my house to be nice. Except. My house? Spotless. The carpets are clean, the kitchen floor is shining, the dishes are all clean and away. I don't know how I know, but I now realize that my plants are watered, my bills are payed, my checkbook balanced. All of the laundry is clean and away. There are literally no chores to do.
I get a book to read, and there is already a cup of tea on the table, I don't have to make any. It's the perfect warmth for drinking and not burning my tongue. And then I notice that there is also a big bouquet of lilies on the table, in my red pitcher. And right there. At that exact moment, I sigh and think, oh this is just a dream. And I wake up.
The perfect shower, the magically clean house, the perfectness of being alone and truly having nothing to do, no guilt over what I'm not doing, all of those simple things that I long for I can accept as true. I embrace them.
But even my dreaming subconscious simply cannot believe that I would have flowers on my table, because people don't buy me flowers. I can honestly count the times I've gotten flowers on one hand. And twice it was because the person who had bought them had severely, severely fucked up my life, and the flowers didn't help.
This is not a cry for help. I'm perfectly happy without flowers. I don't cry myself to sleep at night because no one wasted their money on me. I just think it's sort of sad that even when I'm dreaming good dreams, I don't buy it. And that is a wonderful dream that I love having, and I'm so glad I've had it more than once because it's gotten better every time, but it makes me sad for two reasons.
1. I wake up and it's not true.
2. The most glorious thing my imagination can come up with is an afternoon alone in a clean apartment with no chores? Well that really makes me feel sort of boring and sad.

15 November 2007

Prose for Thursday

It's 2:12 a.m., and the flood lights from my apartment complex are flooding through the blinds I forgot to close. Gabriel is inexplicably sitting on my chest demanding goldfish. It is not until I am in the kitchen that I realize what an unreasonable request that is, and I come back with a glass of water instead. I settle him back into his bed at the foot of mine. He wants a back scratch. I fall asleep with my head where my feet should be.

3:37 a.m. Gabriel is lying in bed next to me, perfectly curled into my body. I wonder how this happened as I drift more peacefully to sleep.

5:34 a.m. Gabriel has angled himself horizontally in bed, and I am perched on the six inches of mattress between his body and the edge. Shifting him also wakes him. He only falls back asleep when he is lying on his belly, on my chest.

6:10 a.m. My alarm. I have to hit it quickly so that Gabe will sleep while I prepare. I stumble to the living room, turn on the lights, unlock the door. K is taking the babe to school today. In the bathroom washing my face, suddenly he's right next to me, telling me something, I'm too sleepy to care. I close the bathroom door. I go to my room to get dressed, he's sleeping with Gabriel in my bed. How did this happen?

7:00 a.m. I leave my house, my baby and my exboyfriend asleep in my bed. I feel offended, affronted, but it's hard for me to articulate how or why.

7:32 a.m. Work. My desk is a mess of papers and post its and mailings and labels and scantrons and exams and faxes and business cards and coffee from yesterday and paper clips and order forms. I call T-mobile. New phone=defective battery. With a thankful sigh, it is fixed and it is easy.

12:48 p.m. A student walks past the desk. He looks at me. "No lunch today?" I realize what time it is. I get up intending to go to lunch, but actually just pick up paperwork and go back to work. My head feels like smoke and fog.

You make me crazy, please stop.

I'm glad I left you, but whenever Gabriel asks me a question about his dada that I can't answer, the hope in his eyes puts tears in mine.

It turns out that the only thing I hate more than having you at my house when I'm not is having you at my house when I am. Of course, both are better than not having anyone ever to sometimes watch my sweet baby, which is my other choice.

Supporting your son while you're living with your girlfriend is not the same thing as supporting him when you are separated. You need to pay child support. I don't owe you anything.

Seeing as I maintain a home for our son, and you do not, please don't feel the need to make clever and biting remarks about my apartment. It's a mess during the week because as a single working mother, I don't always have time to do everything. Better to have one messy apartment than two cars.

It's not babysitting when it's your own child.

14 November 2007

The last time we anything

Alexis.We exchanged emails about your mailing address, and how busy you are.
Ben.You called me at 3am your time from the cab on the way to a girl's house. And it was perfect.
Chris.You told me to get back to work. Clearly, I did not.
Cody.I listened to your voice mail. You say say you miss me and love me. I miss you and love you too. Eventually, I'll call you back.
Daphne.I messaged you on MySpace, because seriously? WHY did you keep hooking up with Justin?
Darci.I told your daughter to stop looking at porn.
*Emma.Even though you're not in my cell phone, I love you more than most.
James (Stryker).We went to Maile's wedding. You tried and failed to hit on a girl. We had fun.
Jayme.I saw your new house. I was jealous.
Julia.We came to the conclusion that our childhoods were very, very charmed.
Maile.I kissed you at your wedding.
Megan.I invited you to come out in L.A. You stayed in with Ian.
Mira.I played name-that-friend with your online pictures.
Molly.Ongoing Scrabble.
Monica.I called you on your birthday. You didn't know it was me.
Sara.We are making Christmas concert plans.
Sheena.You fed me pizza, washed some of my diapers, listened to my crazy. Our children ran around like ragamuffins, gossip.
Stella.I told you to talk to that man of yours.

The politics of T-Mobile

So I got my new cell phone, which is T-Mobile, which harkens back to my first cell phone ever, which was T-Mobile, and how I never had any problems with them, and how if something was broken they would fix it, and if something was wrong they would make it better, and how they were cheap, and how the service was serviceable.

But. Now T-Mobile has the dangerous "My Faves." What 5 people do I call the most? What 5 people will I call the most because I can call them for free, and wouldn't I rather not use my minutes, so I just won't call you right now, cuz it's not that important anyways, and you're not one of My Faves. Well I also opted for free mobile to mobile, which took out some of the competition, because I didn't have to put anyone on there who was T-Mobile. And because I'm INSANE AND REMEMBER EVERYTHING USELESS AND NOTHING EVER USEFUL, I can actually tell you the cell phone carrier of almost every single one of my friends. I'm not joking.

So there's my parents' house, obviously.

And Julia, obviously.

And then who do I call? I talk to my sister a lot, but only when she's at my parents' house, and hardly EVER when she's at her house.

There's a lot of people that I really LIKE to call, but realistically, I maybe talk to once a month if we're really talking A LOT. And even then, mainly on the weekends or nights.

So I conducted a popularity contest, ballots were cast, and the results are in.

They won't be published though, of course.

13 November 2007

Prepare to be overwhelmed

My family's Thanksgiving guest list:
  • My parents
  • James (15 year old brother)
  • Daniel (10 year old brother)
  • Duncan & Kate (23 year old brother plus live-in girlfriend)
  • Kate's parents and sisters
  • Ben (uncle with rage problem, but if he passes out we can use his hot tub)
  • Brian (uncle who will spend the whole night awkwardly and painfully trying to make small talk with his father)
  • Randy & Lynn (crazy uncle who has replaced alcohol with Jesus and steels other people's recycling in the middle of the night for a living plus crazy wife/exwife/wife who may or may not be bringing her pet squirrel)
  • Jonathan (crazy uncle)
  • Rebecca, Hector, Elijah, Caleb, Camille (aunt plus live-in boyfriend/common law husband plus their three children, ages 8, 4 and 8 months)
  • Rosa (Hector's Spanish speaking mother)
  • Liz, Julia, possibly Nicole (mom's cousin who has replaced alcohol with Jesus, plus her teenaged daughters, but one is not currently residing with her, so she may or may not be coming)
  • Michael and Lisa (mom's cousin who has the biggest head I've ever seen, plus his much older and very unattractive barhag wife who likes to talk about real estate. A lot)
  • Scott, Orn and Dillon (mom's cousin who is INSANE, plus his mail order Thai bride [not kidding] who is 22 years his junior, and their son, who is generally sedated with cough syrup and exposed to very. bad. parenting.)
  • David, Kerri, Rachel, Josh, Kristin, Jillian, possibly others (mom's fundamentalist Christian cousin, second wife Kerri, teenage step children Rachel and Josh, and my second cousins Kristin and Jillian from first wife Erin, plus the possibility of second cousins Jesse and Ryan, plus the possibility of boyfriends brought by Kristin and Jillian)
  • Grandpa
Possible attendees include:
  • Any number of Hector's daughters from first two marriages, plus their children.
  • Any friends, boyfriends, girlfriends or family that any of the above feel like inviting along
My sister Laura, husband Mike, and sons Simon and Elliot will be in Irvine this Thanksgiving, cutting the guest list down by four.

11 November 2007

Weekend

I'm changing my phone number. God told me not to post my new one on the internet, as that would not be classified as a wise choice, but if you want it, lemme know, and I shall give it to you.

Last night was a Stella going out night, and I have pretty mixed feelings about it. For one thing, I feel like a drank half a bottle of gin, and for another, I woke up at 6am in what, as far as I'm concerned, was a pretty compromising position. Then Chris told me that we're all sponges, and that made me feel pretty dirty, not just because I think sponges are the most disgustingly foul things on the planet.

Today K has Gabriel for a couple hours, so they can eat junk food and scam on girls, or whatever it is they do in their fancy sports car. I talked to his mom, which was weird. Especially since K was standing right there (obviously) so when she asked me how things were going between us, I said "Fine," instead of what I really, really wanted to say, and what I've said to everyone who's asked, but what I'm still not going to say here because I'm HOPING that things turn around a little bit, and I know that writing about it on the internet is not going to help.

However I will say this. If things do not get seriously and very much better, I'm seriously thinking about moving away from Chico. The ONLY reason I'm here is because I desperately want to do right by my son, and I feel like a strong relationship with his father would be "doing right" and K has managed to consistantly be FAR more work than help, and I don't have any help here. All of my friends are poor single moms who can't help me, I don't have family here. My cousin lives here, but she's a poor single mother too, and I NEED help. I need a support network. I can't do this by myself.

Anyways, my lease goes through June, and I figure that's plenty of time for things to turn around and become reasonable, but they had better do just that, or else I HAVE to go, because this? This thing that I'm doing right now? It doesn't work.

08 November 2007

I wish I was one of those people who stopped eating when stressed

Monday: Ate reasonably well, went for a walk with Gabriel, moderately successful

Tuesday: Healthy breakfast, then my boss tripled my responsibilities and bought pizza for lunch. But I went to the gym.

Wednesday: Healthy breakfast, healthy lunch, then the Sprint customer service lady made me cry at my desk, in front of my coworkers and students. Darling Keith Darling found me a piece of pink cake, and I ate leftover pizza to recover. But I went to the gym.

Thursday: Healthy breakfast, a coworker brought doughnuts, I abstained. Then I balanced my checkbook and ate three. I went to the gym, but instead of working out, I sat in the hot tub for 40 minutes, and took a 30 minutes shower, so it wasn't really a legitimate trip to the gym.

And Gabriel's running a high fever.

07 November 2007

Indescribably Indescribable.

Last weekend was indescribably ridiculous. Julia and I went out and had A LOT OF FUN.

We also slept in a tiny patch of grass in between sidewalks, and were photographed.

And I met the most annoying person on the planet, he made my eyeballs hurt.

I approved of the boyfriend, he was fun and funny and cute and all that.

USC won, which was important.

I got new jeans. If I tell you what specifically, I may get mocked for being ghetto.

Chris picked me up at the airport and I was cranky and hungover and a total pain in the ass. I could see the veins throbbing on his forehead.

Work has been crazy busy.

That is all for now.

30 October 2007

My apologies

I never wrote anything on here about Friday. Thursday, as you may have gathered, I went out. Well FRIDAY was the day of the first ever graduation that I've put together at my new job. And I was....still VERY much intoxicated. Most of the day is fuzzy. I know that I puked when I arrived at work, immediately before coming on stage, and then again immediately afterwards. And I haven't puked from drinking in like 5 years, it's an extremely rare event.

But I don't think anyone noticed, at least, I hope no one did. I felt like I held myself together pretty well, was wearing enough makeup that you couldn't see the bags under my eyes, although afterwards when I went to Stella's she told me I smelled like a bar. So hopefully the alcohol/cigarettes/vomit smell wasn't too overpowering while I was hosting this event.

I didn't feel better until after the graduation when I had a glass of wine, which was heaven.

Anyhow, I think it went okay, but it's definitely going on my list of Bad Choices to Make at a New Job.

29 October 2007

Thursday was...ADVENTUROUS.



Saturday I went down to Davis to visit my brother, and my mom brought Laura, James, Daniel, Simon and Elliot, so it was our whole family except for my dad, but he doesn't leave his house anyways. We went to the corn maze in Dixon, and to a pumpkin carving party in Woodland.
Duncan tie-dyed a shirt with pomegranate juice, and made a strawberry pie. I went to IKEA. All in all, pretty satisfying weekend.

23 October 2007

Gabriel wearing my belts

Quarter Life Crisis

So yesterday I was going to write about my weekend, cuz, y'know, that's what I do on Mondays. Write about my weekend. Except for yesterday when I was thinking about what I would say about what I did and what I saw and whatever pithy remarks I may have about this and about that, I realized something.

I AM THE MOST BORING HUMAN ON THE PLANET

Seriously. What did you last weekend? Well, I scrubbed out my stove, and I cleaned under the
refrigerator, and I mended a throw pillow. Oh, oh, and I bleached Gabriel's bath toys. That was PROBABLY the highlight, if I'm really honest with myself, bleaching the bath toys. GOD. How did I become this person? This insane, bath toy bleaching person?

Does anyone remember the time that I went skinny dipping in the UCSB pool, and got caught by the cops, and then rescued from the cops by lesbians in the bushes?

Or the time that I was so drunk that I called 9-1-1 to get home? Because it was the only phone number that I could remember?

Or when I went to the running of the bulls in Pamplona?

Or going to Chumash?

Or when I stole that guy's bike?

Or when Molly and I went to the Jury Room at noon the day after Christmas, cuz, gee, THAT'S a good time to go the biggest dive in Santa Cruz?

Or shopping cart races?

Or Vegas when I think I slept in a closet? Or maybe the bathtub? If I slept, because it was my birthday and I'm really not sure?

Or going to the strip club AKA whore house in Mexico?

Or when Ben's resident peed in my closet?

Or when we danced in our chonies on the counters at The Alternative?

I'm only 25, but oh, I feel old.

22 October 2007

If you care about me at all

Dear Red,

Listen, because I need to talk to you.  I feel like up to now I've been very patient and understanding. I've lived with you for almost the entirety of my adult life. The only break I got wasn't really a break at all. I spent almost a year pregnant, swollen and unattractive, and another year with a child attached to my breasts. So if we're calling that a break, I just have to say, I disagree.
But never mind that.  I can get over it.  I really can.  I understand that you have a purpose and a function in nature and all that. And things could be worse. If you never came around I would have to worry about your whereabouts.  Are my hormones out of whack?  Are you getting ready for the pitter patter of little feet?  I'm not in a good place for little feet right now, so I truly and warmly welcome your presence.
But I just have this one question. Why have you decided that you need to come earlier and more often? I think we see each other plenty. I really do. Once a month has been working out great for the past 12 years. So the past 3 times? When you've decided that you need to stop by and see me every 3 weeks? That's totally NOT cool. You should rethink your visiting schedule if you want to stay on good terms with me.

Thanks a lot,

Jen

19 October 2007

An Open Letter to Dr. Bob

Dear Dr. Bob,

I met you yesterday afternoon, at a Toastmasters meeting in Oroville. You, an 85 year old self-ascribed naturopath, gave a speech on glasses. You told us about the various unregulated herbs, special exercises, acupuncture points, and pinhole glasses one can use to eliminate glasses from their lives. As evidence for this impressive feat, you cited yourself, and you haven't been wearing glasses for 20 years now, and the population of China, of which only 1% wear glasses.

Dr. Bob, I have some points I would like to make. First of all, if anyone ever told me that only 1% of the Chinese population wore glasses, my immediate assumption would be that only 1% both need glasses AND CAN AFFORD THEM. China has a lot of poor people you see, and glasses tend to be an extra expense. I feel certain that in Haiti, LESS than 1% of the population wears glasses, and they don't practice Chinese medicine. However they ARE poor. Your argument is flawed.

Secondly, you appeared at this meeting of lonely people trying to fill their days wearing filthy track pants and a a slightly ripped shirt, looking somewhat like a homeless person. The pinhole glasses, I'm afraid, did not help. I think maybe you SHOULD be wearing glasses. It might help you see the fact that you aren't wearing socks. Watching you rub your face vigorously for two minutes and proceed to massage your earlobes made me feel frankly uncomfortable.

Dr. Bob, you worry me.

Sincerely,

Jennifer

10 October 2007

How to lose yourself

So. Last Friday I went over to Stella's. Saturday I spent the night in Sacramento. Sunday I spent hungover. Monday I went over to Lisa's. Tuesday I spent in Sac.

Today I let Gabriel watch Elmo for an hour straight so I could rectify some things in our apartment. The fact that he didn't have any clean sippy cups for one. The fact that you couldn't see my living room floor for two.

Tomorrow I have a work/cocktail function followed by going to Sac AGAIN with Stella. Friday I'm going down to visit my family, I'll probably get back late Sunday night.

If there are any volunteers to sweep, mop and vacuum, I don't have any objections at all. Because it turns out that when you only use your home for a stopping place in between DrivingAllOVer, it starts to get sort of hard to maintain.

Oh and I don't know if I mentioned that the only way I could get Sprint to overnight my phone was by getting the pink one. So now I'm going to be one of those girls-with-the-pink-phone. Ugh. Maybe I can say that it's for breast cancer awareness or something.

I tried to go to the mall with Stella today, and Gabriel threw an all out kicking and screaming tantrum, so that didn't really work out. Still no haircut, but maybe K will take him tomorrow? I feel like my brain got hit by a tornado.

My favorite questions that I've been asked this week

"Hey do we have a copy machine?"

"Yeah in the copy room."

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"Can you copy something for me?"

"You can copy something for you, in the copy room."

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"So how do we copy stuff?"

"Use the copy machine. In the copy room."

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"Where's the copy room?"

"Right there" (Pointing to the door approximately 10 feet from my desk, with the large sign that says 'copy room')

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"So is there a copy machine in there?" (Pointing at the copy room)

"Yes"

"Can we use it?"

"Yes"

"Can you make copies for me?"

"No"

09 October 2007

Sprint Retention Specialist #2

After opening up a $114 cell phone bill, I was a bit angry this morning. Particularly since my phone died last night, an unfortunate coincidence. I realize that $114 may be normal to some people, but I used 450 of my allotted 550 minutes, and 230 of my 300 text messages, AND THAT IS ALL.

So I call. Foreign person #1 hangs up on me.

I call. Foreign person #2 disconnects the call when transferring me to the retention specialist. After telling me that she can't remove the wrongly charged $40 on my bill because of the database she's working on.

I call. Foreign person #3 says he can fix this, but even after he does, my bill will be $84/month. I threaten to cancel my service. He tells me that if I cancel my service then he won't correct my bill. I let him correct my bill, I get off the phone.

I call. Foreign person #4 transfers me to Sprint retention specialist. I tell SRP that I want to cancel my service because (1) I called in August and they were supposed to lower my bill to $50/month, (2) I called in August and my address update never went through (3) I'm getting a horrid deal, and (4) my phone is broken and I do not wish to pay for a new one OR resign my contract. SRP gives me a $20 credit for my August and September bills ($40). She gives me a $5 credit for my August and September text messaging ($10). She changes my bill so that I have 600 minutes, and up to 500 text messages, for a total monthly bill of $44. She says I can get a phone without resigning a contract. She gives me a $150 credit on my bill for a new phone. She also gives me a $50 rebate. I am a much happier person than I was this morning.

But my phone is still dead, so assume that I DON'T have your phone number.

04 October 2007

Timeline

Ages 1-5 months: I scream inconsolably every night from 6pm-10pm. I have colic.  I cry.

Age 2: I get the first of the two operations on my ears that bring me into the world of sound. My mom doesn't protect me from the nurse.  The nurse takes my temperature and prods me and undresses me.  I scream, I reach for my mom.  She is mending my magenta sheep dress.  She doesn't save me.  I cry.

Age 4: My first day of kindergarten, I walk into the room, and stand frozen in the entry way. A boy I already know is in my class, he comes up to me, takes my hand, and has me sit down next to him.  I try to be Very Brave, but I cry.

Age 10: I tell Adrienne how easy it would be to ditch school by crawling under the back fence, she says "Let's do it tomorrow. We'll meet before class" The next day I've completely forgotten. She finds me at first recess, and tells me that we still have to ditch because she didn't bring any of her books to school today. I agree, and we walk about two miles to her house. Adults are frightened and furious. Adrienne and I aren't friends anymore.  I cry.

Age 11: The sixth grade is playing a baseball game versus their parents. My dad hits a boy in my class, Mike in the back of the head with a baseball as he's running to third base. Mike then leads a campaign by the entire class to take the cupcakes my mom made for the event and throw them over the back fence. I cry.

Age 14: A couple of older guys that Jasmine and Nici know are coming to pick us up before school starts.  We're ditching. No one believes I'll come. I insist that I will.  I'm tired of being so impossibly good and boring.  I get in the car. As we're pulling around to leave the school, I tell the driver to stop the car, and I get out, and go to class. I wait till I get home, and I cry.

Age 17: I go to a party after one of our school plays. I drink WAY too much, I puke all over Alicia's bathroom. I don't get invited to any more parties.  I cry.

Age 24: I finish grad school and go on welfare.  I cry.

Thursday is damn close to Friday, which is good

Well my first graduation organization attempt is coming up, which would be fine if I wasn't expected to MC the thing. Organizing, I am very VERY good at. I essentially have my master's degree in organizing. Talking to a couple hundred people, especially when the focus is a career ABOUT WHICH I KNOW NOTHING, not so much.

I've decided NOT to visit my family this weekend. Next weekend perhaps. I'm really just not in the mood to drive lately.

Elmo is killing my brain cells. It's my fault, because I was the one who initially put it on for Gabriel, but I really needed to do the dishes and his baby signs video was just not doing it for him anymore. So I busted out Elmo. And oh how I regret that day. Now he sits in front of the TV (WHEN IT'S OFF) saying, "Elmo mama? Elmo? Please? Elmo please? Mama? Elmo? Elmo please mama? I want Elmo. Elmo? TV? Elmo TV? Elmo? Mama! Mama! Mama! Mama! Elmo? Elmo? Elmo mama?" until I submit, he throws a tantrum, or I do something a good parent should do like take him outside, or set up an art project, or help him with his blocks, or something. That last one is the LEAST likely scenario.

Friday I have no real plans, which means that I'll probably do something incredibly cool like fall asleep when I put Gabriel down to bed. Saturday I committed K to babysitting, but I don't have plans yet, so I'm open to suggestion. Sunday I'm working for Darci.

OH OH and on Saturday Gabriel is getting his hair cut! I've been lobbying for a haircut for at least a month, and it turns out that I just had to stop combing his hair to get things to go my way. Although right now he sort of has dreadlocks on the back of his head. Oh well.