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

*getting Gabriel into his own bed (sort of)
*new gym shoes
*cold weather
*getting a raise
*fixing my car
*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


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.