30 September 2008

Two entries?? One day!! Really I just forgot to say some stuff earlier

*About a month ago, I had a plan in my brain (that's where my plans go to die) where I attended the Sleep is for the Weak Book Signing, in SF on Saturday. I still THINK that plan is SOMEWHERE in my brain, but I can't find it. For one thing, I had been thinking that K could watch his son, but I'm not really so sure about that now, and for another, I haven't seen Gabey too much since I've been working too much, so I'd like to spend the weekend with him. I could of course bring him, but what if he's bad? I don't want to drive all the way to San Francisco and spend all that gas money etc. and have Gabriel throw a tantrum that makes me leave right away. So I'm undecided on the whole thing. I WANT to go...but...also...I dunno.
*Yesterday Simon (5-year-old nephew) developed some horrible stomach flu nightmare illness, and then Gabriel spent a bunch of hours with him, and then he probably shoved his fingers in my mouth or something, because that's one of his talents, and just the THOUGHT of either him or me getting that makes me panic, even though we're both (so far so good) symptom-less.
*Today I work until FOREVER, so my sister is (as an enormous favor to me) picking up Gabey and watching him until I get off. Which is many more hours of potential catching of horrible diseases. But I'm sort of choice-less at the moment.
*I apparently accidentally deleted all of my pictures starting from my birthday last year, and ending just before last weekend off of my computer. I have no idea how this happened. Most of them are on Flickr, luckily, although the process of downloading them ONE AT A TIME ONE AT A TIME ONE AT A TIME makes me want to commit suicide right now to save myself the trouble. And my birthday pictures and the ones from the fair never got uploaded to anywhere, and therefore are gone? Forever? I know I'm LAME and I don't post my pictures, but Gabriel! He was riding a pony! And I lost it. I'm sort of having a mental....something right now, about that.

First I thought she was lame, but then it turned out the lame one was ME

Text from Julia: Pray for C- today, okay?

WTF? Does Julia not know anything about me that she actually thinks I pray?? She's known me for 18 years. Surely she knows that. Oh but she's having a hard time. What's wrong with you Jenny, like it would kill you to just say yes? And you don't even just have to say yes. You COULD, in fact, think some nice thoughts about C- right now, and it would do nothing bad, and possibly good. You suck with your negative thinking. Think some kindness if that's what the girl wants. That's probably what she means.

My reply: Okay honey!

Julia's reply: Thanks, I know you don't pray :)

Oh. I guess she DOES know me. I suck at life.

Today is my last day of ridiculously hateful working until 7/730 at night. There's still SOME overtime the rest of the week, but in the sense of working 8.5 or 9 hours a day, as opposed to 11 or 12. Expect me to be here with bells on tomorrow, ready to catch up on all of your lives.

29 September 2008

Coats in Fun Colors for Molly

Short Peacoat, $198 from Banana Republic


Heavy-Wool Pique Felicia Coat, $285 from J.Crew


Larry Levine Single-Breasted Walker Coat, on sale for $191.25 at Macy's


Tommy Hilfiger Single-Breasted Retro Coat, on sale for $206.25 at Macy's


Tommy Hilfiger Short Single-Breasted Duffle Coat, on sale for $236.25 at Macy's


Donatella Swing Coat with Side Pockets, $220 at Macy's


Guess? Double-Breasted Pleated Peacoat, on sale for $160.60 at Macy's

Weekend at the Beach

I edited out all of the child nudity. You're welcome.

26 September 2008

A glut of birthdays

My mom turns 51 today. I spent this whole year thinking she was already 51, but then I did the math today and realized that I'd just aged her prematurely. She's raising five of us kids, and if I do say so myself, we're all turning out to be pretty kick-ass.
Sometimes when we go to lunch, she saves some of her food to give the chickens. Which is insane.
Also insane? She takes her wheelbarrow down the driveway to shovel dead leaves to use as mulch on her garden. The first time she did it with me, she told me, "This is what I call PSYCHO GARDENING."
She was a really cute baby.

Happy birthday mom!

Dresses from Mod Cloth



Apricot Dress, $124.99




Lucille Dress, $139.99


25 September 2008

Miss Grace and the horrible, terrible, no good, very bad day

This was one of those mornings where every possible little fuckery that probably won't happen? Totally happened.

First I set my alarm wrong. But I didn't realize right away because I had to be at work early today so I thought I set my alarm right and I even hit snooze (I know this goes against what I've previously said about me and alarms, but I'm fucking exhausted). So then I was even later than if I had just been an idiot and miss-set my alarm and been late. Then I couldn't find my stupid geek polo shirt that we're all wearing at work to identify ourselves as People Who Can Help. My stupid polo shirt is, by the way, a men's shirt, because we only order one kind of shirt even though more than half the people who work here are women. So the sleeves come down to my elbows but it comes in all awkwardly at the hips and basically the only good thing about it is that it looks bad on EVERYONE, so I'm not the only dowdy fat girl at work theses days. Then I found my shirt but I spilled my cereal on my pants. And I couldn't remember if I'd put deodorant on or not so I put it on again, but the second time (or maybe first), I got it all over my stupid shirt that I already hate anyways.

I'm wearing my sneakers today because I have to be on my feet for 11 hours, but I keep my sneakers in the car so I was wearing socks with birkenstocks which is totally sexy and I got to Gabriel's school, and I forgot I was wearing my hippy shoes until I was inside signing him in, and then I felt weird about explaining it to his teacher, who hadn't asked, but I also COULD NOT let her believe that I thought this was okay, so instead I just stuttered a little bit before running away abruptly. Then I forgot to leave his carseat which I need to leave there because my sister's picking him up, so I had to go back for that, and that made me even later than I already was, which wasn't even that late, it's just that I was all panicked from the initial thought of lateness. Because I am insane.

And then I was halfway to the bus stop from my house when I realized that I was still wearing birkenstocks.

Then I was at the bus stop finally and two just passed me by because they were full before one finally stopped for me.

I had to sit by a smelly guy who insisted on waving his armpits around and smelling even more. 7:45 is awfully early in the morning to be so ripe.

They were already out of my kind of coffee when I got to work, so I got my second choice, which I try not to get because it's got twice the caffeine of normal coffee. But the other choices are weird hazelnut sissy crap that I can't stand.

I can't find my gold nametag so I have to wear my pink nametag.

All of the people who irritate me at this job are being extra-much irritating.

It's only 10:30.

24 September 2008

A funny story that's really more enraging than funny at all

I'm gonna skip most of the details that led up to this situation, but basically instead of giving me money at the beginning of the month as usual, I told K he could give me money on the 19th, and then he didn't. And then I got home Sunday night and I had a message on my machine that was, in effect, "I sent you money via Western Union, it's there, because I sent it." Or something. I listened to it twice, to make sure that I was properly interpreting the gist, and the gist was indeed that he had sent me money. Which is good.

My sister had picked up Gabey on account of all of the overtime I'm working this week and next. After work, instead of going straight to her house, I stopped downtown at the super skeezy check cashing Western Union pay your bills without a checking account place. I decided not to go to the Safeway Western Union because it's often not working, and I REALLY didn't want to spend the time going somewhere and not definitely leave with cash in hand. So I went to the creepy hole across from the bus station. At 5:30 on a Monday. It was totally awesome and smelled like vomit. I had to interact with these two halfway house drug addicts and one of them was sending money to Ghana in some BLATANT internet scheme and it's like, please, don't send your $100 there. Plus he was talking about how he was doing his mom a favor by living with her because she likes having someone home when she's at work and THAT IS A LIE. You aren't doing your mom any favors. And then he was talking about how his son was embarrassed and asked him to wear a shirt when he picked him up from school and the guy told the story like gee kids say the darndest things and I'm thinking No. Your seven year old needs you to wear a shirt when you pick him up from school. Please.

I FINALLY got to the front of the line and guess what? That's right, no moneys. Fuckery. I called K and left a lengthy angry voicemail that was like WHAT THE FUCK DUDE I WILL ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS BE MORE ANGRY IF YOU STEAL MY TIME THAN IF YOU JUST FAIL ME. Always. Then he called me back and said he forgot some aspect of the process and what the fuck does that mean?? Seriously? So I haven't heard from him since then and I'm generally irritated because he's such a lying liar full of lies and I know that I shouldn't count on his money because it's not a dependable sure thing but I NEED his money so I do count on it, and then I get fucked all over again. And that makes me angry.

Plus today's Keith's birthday and that makes me sad because I miss him.

BUT.

On Wednesdays I sort of get to sleep in because my sister takes Gabriel to school, and this week extra much because he's buying his lunch at school to simplify my life during these complicated times, so I had time to shower in the morning instead of the evening which is a total anomaly. So I actually look pretty cute today, and a lot less scruffy than normal. Which was nice because a cute boy came in and I got to help him find his stuff and he was a grown man not a student so I didn't feel bad about flirting with him and that was just a cheery thing to have happen today because there is a decided lack of cute boys to talk to in this town. So that was nice.

And another one turns 27

Keith,

I met you during my second year at UCSB, but before I ever met you, I met all of your roommates.
"What's with the weird gay bathroom?"
"Talk to Keith about it."
"What the fuck? Who's Keith??"
"Um, he doesn't spend much time at home. He's a really cool guy though, and probably not gay."
"But he has time to hang fake wisteria plants from your bathroom window?"


I do remember meeting you though. We were all playing Asshole in your living room, and you came home; it was probably 1 or 2 in the morning. You were clearly trying to avoid all of the strangers in you house and go straight to your room. I think I used my highly developed social skills to ask something like, "Are you the homo bathroom boy?" Which I'm sure went over really, really well.


Somehow we moved past the fact that you're awkwardly shy and I'm awkwardly loud and you were my very best friend, subject to my unconditional love, support, and adoration.
I'm sorry I called your bathroom gay, and I'm pretty sure you forgive me for it?
You're really fucking cool. You always know how to make me feel better. You get it. You have the same fucked up sense of humor that I do. When I spend too much time with you my schedule gets all fucked up because you stay up till 4am and then you actually can get me to sleep in until the afternoon. Do you know that I can NEVER sleep in at other people's houses? You make the BEST mix CDs. I love your family. Hanging out with you is always easy.
A couple of years ago you fell off the planet, and I got tired of calling you if you didn't want to call me back. And then you did call me back. And then we hung out. And then you didn't. And now we don't. It all just seems so stupid to me.


You're still one of my best friends, and I miss you. Happy birthday honey love.

Always,

Jenny

22 September 2008

Just putting it out there

I save up all of these things inside of myself that I'm constantly wanting to tell all of the people in my life. I'm a wimp and I'm a coward and I can't stand confrontation and really, deep down, I want people to like me. So I often say nothing.

Don't you ever miss talking to me? I think I miss you every single day, but I don't understand how to be your friend. I can't take being the only one who tries, but I also can't believe that you don't miss me and love me and want me in your life the way that I miss and want and love you. Sometimes I think I imagined our friendship. Usually I just think I would be less hurt if I'd imagined our friendship.

I don't understand how you can be so cocky and so unsure of yourself at the same time. I also don't understand how you manage to channel your existence into the worst aspects of both.

I really did like you. Now? I really don't think I care.

You are a coward. I hope that someday you learn how to take a chance and trust someone.

Why do you lie to me? I assume that every word out of your mouth is untrue. I've told you this. Yet the lies? UNNECESSARY lies. They continue. Why?

Eventually you are going to realize that I'm a really selfish friend. I'm best at flaking out on people, but I'm also really good at ignoring them.

You deserve a whole lot better, and I don't think he's ever going to make you happy, no matter how hard you hope for it. I want you to know that, but I also want you to know that I will love you and respect your choices no matter what.

You constantly search out reasons to abandon stability.

You ignore the consequences of your actions. You're a true hedonist, and while I want to resent you for it, I really admire you.

I call you and you call me and I call you and you call me, but have we actually spoken to each other once? It's been years. You're entwined in so many of my memories. We're practically grownups. I miss you. It sucks.

I'm constantly convincing myself that I don't like you, spending time with you, remembering that I love you to pieces, and realizing all over again that it's just that your boyfriend sucks the joy out of living. No offense.

You're maintaining an impossible balance. I think that your life is about to come crashing down around your ears. Thinking about your life sends me into a panic attack.

You're one of the most bossy, judgmental people that I've ever met in my life. Even bossier and more judgmental than ME, and that's saying something. I still love you, but never once have I batted an eyelash when a mutual friend has decided they can't stand you. You're very off-putting.

You probably don't realize that I let you down. Maybe you never will. Regardless, I'm sorry.

I barely know you and I'm infatuated. It's strange, and I don't know what to do with those feelings, or where to put them.

20 September 2008

Saturday at work. Gah.

The free internet that I've been siphoning from one of my neighbors disappeared last week. Probably this has to do with one of the five households that have moved this month, but all of the other wireless networks in my complex had the forethought to be password protected. I am theoretically okay with this, but I've written a couple of lovely posts from the coziness of my bed, and I keep forgetting to make them appear here, on the internet.
Yesterday was Day 1 of Project Mandatory Overtime. It went okay, except this weekend (Friday through Monday), it's my job to shmooze with our vendors and make sure they're thrilled with their lives, and they keep flirting with me and making me really uncomfortable with the Cheesiest Compliments in the World. For instance: "It must be nice getting paid to do what comes naturally to you."
"Huh?"
"Being pretty and sweet."
Barf.
K.dot called me in the middle of the night to tell me that he couldn't watch Gabriel this weekend. I'm at work right now, and I have to work all day tomorrow as well. Gabey's dad was supposed to take him for the weekend. This 2am call disrupted my sleep on many levels. Luckily when I will absolutely need childcare (say because I have to work), K is never my primary plan unless I have a backup. So I have a backup, which is a combination of my brother-in-law, my mom and my sister. Thanks guys!
I was going to make a brief escape tonight to Mira's birthday party, but that was when Gabriel was going to be spending time with his father. Now I think I shall be staying the night at my mom's and taking a bubble bath.
I'm still 90% MIA, I just couldn't go with not posting at all, but I will be back to my regular activities soon enough, ne'er you fear.

16 September 2008

New Moon UPDATED

Isn't it handy how I work in a bookstore? Still coming off the high of Twilight, which I finished Sunday, yesterday afternoon I picked up New Moon. I didn't get started reading it until after 7, and I had SORT OF hoped it would last me a couple days, so I was a little disappointed in myself for staying up till 2am to finish reading it. I have questions.
Spoiler Alert: I am not going to give away any key plot points, but I am going to discuss some general premises. If you don't like that, here are some llamas. Go look at them.

1. They establish in New Moon that it's not just that Edward can't read Bella's mind, no vampires can do any of the "extra" stuff on her. So how come Jasper can affect her moods, make her sleep, blah blah blah? Isn't that some of the extra vampire stuff? And how come Alice can tell the future with her, which I feel should be another thing blocked? Alice cannot foresee anything to do with werewolves, so there clearly ARE blocks, and I feel like the author asserting that no vampires can use their extra gifts on her really SHOULD be across the board.

2. So item one was really my only legitimate complaint with the structure of the book. The rest are just me and my crazy. So you know. Anyways. I know that homegirl who wrote the books is a Mormon, so maybe takes issue to premarital humping. But dammit if I'm not getting any nookie, I really need my fictional heroines to at least be getting some.

3. She needs to make kissing Edward sound more appealing. I mean, I don't want to kiss frozen granite, no matter how much in love with it I am.

4. In the first two books I've stumbled across a couple of blatant typos. I think that the editors of national best sellers should do a better job.

5. I don't know how Bella can have the hots for the vampires and not the clearly sexier, more fun, kinder werewolves, who could even make babies with you and grow old with you and stuff, while just being full of mystical hotness. I don't buy it, true love or otherwise.

Yeah, so, I'm running on three hours of sleep, which is making multitasking exceedingly difficult, in case I'm not "around" much today. It's because I picked work over internet.

UPDATED:

I remembered number six:
6. Okay, so I want to know about the vampire internal organs. They have to drink blood, so where does the blood go? Do they have kidneys? Do they pee? When Edward takes a bite of pizza to prove a point, what happens? Does he later poop it out? Because I mean, if breathing's optional, how does food factor in? Do they themselves have blood circulating in their bodies, be it vampire blood or otherwise? How is the blood they drink absorbed into their systems? Despite my willing suspension of disbelief, I still want the "scientific" explanation. Has the author covered this?

15 September 2008

Vampire books, a not so secret guilty pleasure

Last weekend (no not the one that just happened), my sister was reading a romance novel, and was talking about how since she's in nursing school her brain can only handle fluff right now. I'm not in any school, but for some reason my brain can only handle fluff too. My favorite kind of fluff is the young adult novel, and we were reminiscing about some of our favorites. I love the Jessica Darling series, although there's something unsatisfying about the fact that it's a series, because the love story never manages to be tied up at the end. I'm hoping that with the fifth (and I believe final) book, I'll finally get to see the Happily Ever After that is a fluff requirement for me. Then we moved on to all of the young adult vampire/werewolf books I love. Two of my favorites:

Companions of the Night

Those are mindless vampire romance books that are written well enough that you're not totally ashamed to buy them and read them. In case you're interested. So you know what my sister got me for my birthday right? Oh cmon, can't you guess?
Yeah that's right, she got me Twilight, the first of the series of incredibly best-selling how is it possible that I've gone months and months and months and even years without any awareness whatsoever of these books? And I read it over the weekend, and I'm going to give it a review without any plot spoilage, ne'er you fear. First of all, it's a total page turner, and it's compelling, and in that sense it's good. But you should not be fooled: It's a silly book. I'm okay with that. And I do have one premise issue. I'm not going to give anything away, but I will say that the premise of the book is that these vampires don't prey on humans, only animals, because they're good like that. But they WANT to prey on humans, and the smell of blood drives them totally crazy. There are a couple of scenes in the book where the young heroine gets a paper cut or whatever and the vampire contingent sort of flips right the fuck out even though, honestly, they don't want to eat HER. The smell just drives them crazy. So I want to know: What about menstruating women? Wouldn't that make life in human society a little bit, well, difficult?

12 September 2008

Whenever I tell this, I get angry all over again

Recently Her Bad Mother was told to cover up with a blanket while nursing on a WestJet flight. This would piss me off even if I had never been in that situation, but I totally have. When Gabriel was I'm think 10 months old, I took the Amtrak from Sacramento to San Jose to visit with my family. I didn't have a car at the time, so public transportation was my friend. Also, Gabriel was a...hmmm....fussy child, and cars were not his friend, because in a car? Yeah I wasn't holding him if we were in a car. This nasty harness contraption was confining him backwards and alone, and therefore screaming. So we didn't drive much in those days.
I'm on the train, with Gabriel. The train isn't a super popular method of California transportation, and I'm pretty sure it was the middle of the week or something, because it just so happened that we were the only people in our car. It's nap/snack time, and I settle down to nurse my babe. As I'm feeding him, the female conductor walks by. We make eye contact. I think nothing of it. She comes back through about two minutes later.
"Do you have a blanket or something?"
"Excuse me?"
"A blanket, to cover up?"
"Um..."
And then she rifles through my bag, pulls out Gabriel's blanket, and drapes it over my son's face. Gabriel doesn't like that. He pulls it off his face. I sort of hunker down and focus intently on Gabey and hope she'll go away, which, eventually, she does.
About two minutes later, the male "head" conductor comes up.
"So I heard you're having trouble finding a blanket?"
"No. I'm not."
"You're causing some discomfort on the train, so I'm just going to need you to either cover up, or go to the bathroom to finish that."
"Isn't this illegal?"
"I'm not telling you that you can't breastfeed. I'm just telling you to do it in a more modest way."
"Um. Okay."
So I stop nursing Gabriel. Did you catch that? I stopped feeding my son. Why? Because the female conductor was uncomfortable with me nursing. She was the only person who saw me, it had to be her. Gabriel nursed to sleep most of the time, so this meant that he was hungry AND cranky, so he commenced to doing the thing that he did best, back in those days: Scream. I was totally upset and sort of semi-frustrated crying and not really doing anything at all for Gabey besides holding him.
The female conductor comes back through.
"Can't you do anything for him?"
"He's hungry. I was told I couldn't nurse him."
I think at this point LAWSUIT LAWSUIT LAWSUIT starting screaming from my seat (this is ILLEGAL in the state of California). Somehow both of the conductors were suddenly there, assuring me that I could do whatever I needed to do to take care of my son; where had I gotten this silly notion that I needed a blanket? Ha. That wasn't real. Go back about my day.

I always thought I would be this strong, self-righteous person. Someone who would stand up for my rights, and the rights of my baby. I was pretty disappointed with myself when I found out that really I was just tired and sad and stressed out and overwhelmed and lonely. I told myself that I would write a letter, at least. But I was in my final semester of grad school, trying to hold up a shakily nonexistent relationship with Gabriel's dad, and I was tired and sad and stressed out and overwhelmed and lonely. And I never did. I haven't ridden on Amtrak since then, but I doubt they miss me.

I'm writing a letter to WestJet for Her Bad Mother. She deserves it. I deserve it. Gabriel deserved it. Nursing mothers and their sweet babies deserve it. You should read her story and stand up for her and write to these people because she is brave and I just wish I had been brave. The contact information:

Gillian Bentley, Media Relations, e-mail: gbentley@westjet.com

Thanks guys.

Obama '08!

At the fair on Tuesday, my brother was wearing an Obama/Biden pin on his sweatshirt. That's when Obama's choice in a running mate struck me as an awful mistake. Because Gabriel's on the pony ride, and I'm talking to my mom, and out of the corner of my eye I see James, and his pin, which from that peripheral angle I could have sworn it read "Osama Bin Laden." I whipped my head around to see what in the name of all that is holy my brother was wearing. Oh. Obama Biden. That's good. That's what I want. Phew. My sister wanted to know why I just had an internal freakout, I told her, she looked at it. "Oh yeah, that is kind of....shitty."

So um, yeah, I'm a freak. Obama '08! Vote! Vote for change!

11 September 2008

Misadventures in customer service

The county helps me pay my childcare costs. Let me be very up front about the fact that I am grateful for this help. But let me also tell you this RIDICULOUS story. About a week ago, I get a letter in the mail telling me that my recertification appointment is scheduled for Monday, September 22nd, at 3pm. Monday the 22nd is going to be a VERY busy day for me. I already know that I'll be working from 8am to 7pm, mandatory overtime. I call the organization that funds all of this, I have a conversation that went something like this:
"I CANNOT leave work for appointments any time between September 17th and October 10th. It's a period of mandatory overtime at my job."
"Well if you wait that long, service will be terminated and you'll be put on the waiting list."
"Let me ask you something. You know I HAVE a job, because I need childcare, so is it unreasonable to assume that said job may have scheduling requirements? Because I am telling you that I CANNOT make that appointment, and I'm just not really clear on why you would arbitrarily assume that I could, as opposed to calling me to schedule. Could you explain that for me?"
Then I got an appointment for today, at 8. I got there, at 8. The doors are locked. There are clearly people inside because I can SEE THEM. At 8:05, I knock. A woman motions that they are not open, and turns her back to me. At 8:10, I get a call on my cell phone. Where are you they want to know. I'm standing by your locked front door. Big sigh. THE SAME LADY WHO WAVED ME AWAY IS THE ONE WHO CALLED ME TO ASK WHY I'M NOT THERE.
Did you bring your paperwork?
Yes.
What do you have?
All of the paperwork you asked for.
What did we ask for?
Blank stare. Seriously?
So I go through each form and explain what it is, like this is a fucking oral exam. And I have this lady talking to me like I'm 5, or mildly retarded, or SOMETHING.
About an octave higher than normal, "And do you go to work every day?"
"Well you have my pay stubs, my written schedule, and a signed form from staff HR. I would say all signs point to yes."

I mean, okay, I'm receiving assistance, and for all I know, yeah, you probably deal with a bunch of tardos on a daily basis, and yeah, that's probably frustrating. But at some point can't you figure it out? I OBVIOUSLY have my shit together, stop talking to me like a child.

Then this afternoon I had to go to Staples with my boss. It was a nightmare. So much so that I would have to use WAY too many cuss words to properly convey the experience, plus I had to actually show the lady how to use her cash register, and um......how to run their ordering software? The stuff is designed for idiots; I have NEVER used the system. You're just....not running with a full deck I guess. Afterwards my boss said something racially inappropriate about how he thought maybe they all sucked at life because they didn't speak English very well. I told him that while, yes, they were hispanic, I'm pretty sure they all spoke English pretty well, because they did. No, the problem had nothing to do with race. They were all just a bunch of fucking MORONS WHO WORK AT STAPLES. And those were the ones who GOT the jobs, think of all the people that Staples rejected.

10 September 2008

The good, the bad, and the fair

Best parts of the fair:
  • Tiny nursing, sweet, playful piglets.
  • Cowboys
  • The model railroad system.
  • Letting Gabey play on the tractors.
  • The tractor parade.
  • Peanut butter fudge.
  • When Simon was recruited to participate in the 4-H peewee sheep showmanship competition so they would have enough kids. He got third place. The two kids who were actually entered to compete got first and second.
  • Cinnamon rolls.
  • Gabriel's pony ride lasting almost 15 minutes because they wanted kids on the ponies when other kids walked past.
Worst parts of the fair:
  • Getting trapped in the pig run with a bunch of pigs on the loose, being chased with boards and sticks.
  • Losing Daniel.
  • Losing my mom when she was communing with the goats (it happens every year).
  • Looking a pig in its very human eyes (it makes you not want to eat bacon in a way that looking at a cow will NEVER make you give up steak).
  • Losing my car.
  • The droning sound of that hypnotist that's at the fair EVERY YEAR. What's his name? Michael Mesmer or something. I can't stand that guy.
  • The total absence of good-looking men. I'm not that picky these days boys. Get with the program.

09 September 2008

Nothing but thanks

Today we're having a moment of autumn. It's not raining precisely, but it's doing that signature SC thing where you can't decide if it's fog or actually clouds and everything around you is just decidedly wet. I'm meeting my family (they're taking Gabey so he can go earlier) at the County Fair tonight, so I hope the skies don't decide to make up their mind and rain. You should just continue with the foggy drizzle okay? Or clear up all together?
The fair is one of my favorite things, all year round. Now that I've lived some other places, I can tell you with confidence that the County Fair is the best one I've ever been to, which actually makes relatively little sense. Why would we have a more expansive agricultural section here than in Butte County? I have no idea.
--
When I first moved to Chico, I was very sad and pregnant, and I didn't have any friends, because I had moved there with a baby in my belly and I didn't have a social network and K was all weird and refused to introduce me to any of his friends.
Then it was Labor Day weekend and also my birthday and also I was hormonal and emotional and gloomy and angry with my family and profoundly lonely, and all I wanted to do was go to the state fair in Sacramento because I LOVE the fair, and it was a tame, fun thing I could do in light of the new-found, forced tameness that is a pregnancy.
Then K and I got in a fight about...something.  If I had to guess I would say it was about the fact that I had picked up my life and moved for him in an attempt to make "us" work, and try to work as a family, and he spent all of his time studiously ignoring me and (I later found out) telling all of his friends that I was just his pregnant friend whom he was helping out. Not like his girlfriend and the mother of his child or anything. Not like that precious child I was carrying inside of me was his, was Gabriel, was perfect.
So.  Because of whatever fight it was that day, he didn't get me a birthday present, or even hang out with me on my birthday, and I cried. Then that weekend he drove down to Sacramento and went to the state fair (he never even LIKED the fair!) with his friends, leaving me to cry by myself in Chico.
When people ask me why we didn't work out, and when I feel like being slightly more specific than, "Well we didn't get along, but the lying and cheating didn't help," that's one of the stories that comes to mind. But it's also one of the stories that I never like to tell because mostly (even though he doesn't believe me) I don't tell the very worst stories, because really? They reflect very poorly on me and my choices, and I don't want to BE the pathetic loser who ended up thousands of dollars in debt without a leg to stand on. I want to present myself as a slightly more capable adult.
Anyways.
I'm going to fair tonight, with my family, my beloved, supportive family. As one of the things that I really, genuinely love, it's really made me think about how happy I am to be living here, and how much it means to me that Gabriel gets to grow up around so many people who love him so much. When I look back at the time I spent in Chico, first in an unhealthy relationship afraid to talk to anyone about how bad it really was (because then I would admit that I was WRONG WRONG WRONG), and then as a single mother, on welfare, jumping through hoops, trying to co-parent with an individual who doesn't know HOW to be dependable no matter how he tries (I think hope he tries), I have the hardest time remembering how I made that work, and how I maintained my sanity.
Then I read the posts I wrote when I was stressed about money, child support, disappearing on Christmas, failing at life, K as a role model to my son, trying to do right by my son, and just a lot of general fuckery, and I realize that, oh yeah, I was totally drowning in my own world, and it wasn't working at all.

I just wanted to put the words down: I'm very happy that I moved here, and very grateful to my family. Thank you.

08 September 2008

Branch Shop: Sale

My friend Ashley's store, Branch Shop is having a sale, which makes the pretty, pretty things she sells SIGNIFICANTLY more affordable (although admittedly still not cheap).



How WAS my weekend?

Friday was exactly what I wanted it to be. My mom bought me a car stereo, a new wallet, a frying pan and a dress. She made appetizers for dinner, and strawberry whipped cream roll cakes for dessert.
Saturday I took Gabey to my mom's house. I got back home at around 6ish to get ready. My friend and coworker Krishna got off work at 4, and I told her to just head over to my house even if I wasn't there. So she got there before me and CLEANED MY HOUSE. Like vacuumed and stuff. So we got ready, and I realized when we got to my sister's house that I was wearing virtually the same thing I wore last year (the shoe is in my hand, so you in fact CAN see the whole outfit); same pants and shoes, with a VERY slight variation on the top (it was drapier, and darker gray, but it was indeed a gray tube top). Oh well, I looked good.
At the Palomar we picked up Aurora, and then we continued to the Rush Inn, where we collected Lisa. Since most people have never heard of the Rush, or if they have, they don't go there because it's creepy, let me explain that they have incredibly cheap well drinks, and the bartenders have an oddly good memory (they also, according to that sentence, have a very Jungian collective memory, but whatever). I think I was pretty trashed by the time we decided (of course) to go to Callahan's. On the way there Lisa (who wasn't drunk) fell in this crazy slow motion, arm pinwheeling way, right in the middle of crossing Ocean Street, which, for those not familiar with my town, is one of the most heavily trafficked streets in the county. Which was pretty great. Not as great as Mira knocking my drink out of my hand, having it shatter onto the floor, and the glass cut my toe. I was so busy clarifying to THE WORLD that YES I'M DRUNK BUT THAT WAS NOT MY FAULT IT WAS MIRA OF THE WILD GESTICULATIONS (sorry Mira, it might have been a little bit my fault too) that I didn't notice right away that I was bleeding. And then someone was like why the fuck are there bloody footprints all over the floor? Oh those are mine. And blood was EVERYWHERE but the cut on my toe was actually really tiny, it's just, you know how your hands and feet and head bleed profusely? Well they do. And then Aurora showed us how to be a Mexican mall model (which she was) and reminded us of my new favorite Spanish phrase (which I have no idea how to spell be warned): pena ahena, which means "shame that is not one's own" as in, holy shit you are MAKING A FOOL OF YOURSELF and it's making me feel really embarrassed for you. I'm so happy there's a word for that. My sister then choreographed a dance, which DID NOT make me feel embarrassed for her, because when she does things like choreograph dances, she's actually just awesome. But I did take pictures (I know I know the pictures and the posts never occur together because I suck at life, and also at living it). Fritz bought me a drink, as did "Jack" who was the biker who cleaned up my broken glass and also mopped up my blood. He does not work at Callahan's. Lisa had alcohol stored somewhere in her enormous breasts, which blows my mind because I'm sorry Lisa but I can't NOT look at your boobs, and I saw zero available storage space for 1 oz. bottles of liquor. Then the bar was closing and I was STARVING but the store part of Jack In The Box was closed so we were standing in the drive thru line and considered climbing onto some sort of giant bus thing in order to order our food, and Krishna went to get her car and she called me to see where I was, and apparently my response was (yes in all caps), "WE'RE ON THE HOOD OF SOME GUY'S CAR AND IT'S TOTALLY LEGITIMATE." And apparently we dented his hood, like, actually, DENTED it, and he was not upset by this at all, which completely blew Mira's boyfriend's mind, because how could drunk girls fucking up your car NOT piss you off? What's wrong with you? Then we didn't get anything from Jack In The Box because even though we were "in line" Krishna's car couldn't exactly get to "our spot" and I think it's really fucked up that they won't serve people standing in the drive thru line. I am positive that this policy has induced drunk driving on multiple occasions. So Krishna took me home, where I talked about being a lesbian (um, I'm not, really) and I made some frozen Trader Joe's goodness thing and I went to bed at almost 4am and woke up at 9 and couldn't go back to sleep and Sunday? Was so awesome. Beyond words full of amazing.

05 September 2008

Birthdays

I was going to post a picture from my birthday last year, because haha, my favorite picture is totally where I'm licking Julia and she's horrified, but oops! Molly went and outed me already AND compared me to a carrier monkey, so I can't even pretend that was an isolated incident. On the subject of carrier monkeys, Molly's little brother Zack used to love to count off the different ways in which I was exactly like his dog Vanessa. The main points were that I blink a lot when things get close to my eyes, and I'm blonde. Oh and maybe that I'm an airhead? Anyhow, I was telling Mol about that once, and of course she's one of my best friends, and I'm expecting maybe something like, "Of course you don't resemble one of the world's dumbest dogs honey." What I got was, "Well. Vanessa's a really pretty blonde dog?" But then, she's one of my best friends, so I don't know why I would expect anything less.
Today I'm meeting my mom in town and forcing her to spend the day with me, and then cook me dinner, and also make me cake. She's also remeding my car stereo situation, which should greatly improve my driving happiness.
Tomorrow night is my "going out" night. I'm starting my evening at the Palomar Taco Bar at 8ish, and moving on from there. There aren't really a lot of good choices for going out here: I hate the Red Room (and I'm not a big fan of the Red either), I used to like the Asti but lately it's been WAY too loud, the Catalyst is SUPER skeezy, I don't go to Rosie McCann's because I don't really need to pay a cover to dance with a bunch of cholos from San Jose, and that pretty much leaves me with the really sketchy dive bars: Callahan's, the Rush Inn, and the Avenue. I'm sorry Mira I don't care who's DJ-ing I'm never going "out" to Aqua Bleu again. So let's see where we end up, shall we? I can tell you with complete honesty that Callahan's is actually my favorite bar here, but I know it sort of irks other people with it's seedy biker ways, so it's pretty unlikely that we'll go there (plus it's not actually downtown).
I took today off, and I had every intention of sleeping in a little bit. I felt like this was reasonably realistic, since Gabriel sleeps till around 7:30 on the weekends, and I have to DRAG HIM out of bed during the week. Except this morning when he bounced up all bright eyed and bushy tailed at 6:05. So even though I was planning on having him go to school late this morning, he was right on time, wearing his cape and his rainbow shoes. That kid is a rockstar.
I've been doing this thing where I don't check the internet on the weekends and then, with no guilt at all, I clear my feed reader first thing Monday morning. And I think I'm gonna do that this weekend too. Have fun kiddies!

04 September 2008

Conversations for which I didn't plan

Don't touch your penis while you eat!

Please don't touch your penis while you're talking to me.

No. Don't put food on your penis. That's rude and unsanitary.

You need to keep your hands out of your pants when we're in public.

I do not ever like it when you try to put your hands in my mouth.

No, don't touch your penis while you're eating.

Even if you're not eating but you're at the table.

Even if you're eating but you're not at the table.

Gah! Back your naked little body away from my computer!

Aging Gracefully

My mom asks me what I want to do tomorrow: "Will you take me to Costco?"
"That sounds kind of boring."
"I don't like going on the weekends though. It's too crowded."
"You want to go to Costco on your birthday so you can beat the crowds?"

A coworker asks me if I'm doing anything tonight since I have tomorrow off: "I was thinking of bleaching my bathtub."
"That sounds kinda boring."
"And scrubbing my toilet?"
"Living large I see."

"What do you want for your birthday?"
"Oh whatever. Groceries?"
"Can you not afford groceries?"
"No, I can, I just....I dunno."

"Are you dressing up on Saturday?"
"I'm going to try not to wear mom jeans."

03 September 2008

And then I fell over and died

When Gabriel and I got off the bus by our house this afternoon, he didn't want to walk home. He wanted me to carry him. The child is 2 1/2. He's heavy and he knows how to walk. I had his backpack and my purse. Then he did one of those child-fit collapsy moves in the middle of the crosswalk. So I pulled that parent-marches-obstinate-child-by-hand-so-that-child-must-run/drag-to-keep-up whilst he yelped and hollered and I scolded in low, mean tones. Once we got through the gate of our complex and he could no longer dart into traffic, I let go of his hand and told him he had to walk.
"No!"
"Fine. Stay here."
"No!"
"I'm checking the mail."
I check the mail, about 25 yards from Gabriel, who is squawking like a very angry little baby dinosaur, and then I call for him to come with me into the house. Squawking continues. I walk over to him.
"You left me! You left me here! You left me all alone!"
"No I didn't. C'mon we need to get inside."
"No! You're bad! I'm bad! I want to be bad!"
So I picked him up and took him to my front door, and I told him that if he wanted to stay outside he could, so long as he stayed on the walk in front of our door. He recovered. So did I. He played. Then we had to go to the store. And Gabriel insisted on climbing into his carseat and buckling it himself, even though it is PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE for him to buckle it by himself. And he won't let me do it. But he's all frustrated because he CAN'T do it. And there was some more crying in there. I was already worn thin by the walk home you see. Then I apologized for being impatient with him, and he spent the whole drive to the store reprimanding me for being impatient with him. In a friendly conversational way. And we got to the store, where I had some things that Gabey needed (toothpaste, toothbrush, soap), and I let him pick them out, because then they seemed like marvelous treats! And how kind am I, for buying them? So very kind. Back at the car, Gabriel wants to hold all of these things.
"You can hold one thing."
"Both!" (Gabriel uses 'both' to mean 'all')
"One."
And then he hauls off and hits me in the face.
Which is not okay. So he can hold zero things.
He spends the whole drive back home screaming, "Not zero, I'll hold one, one's okay, not zero!" I just want him to apologize for hitting me, because, really, I want him to have his way, but he just keeps saying, "I'm not bad! I'm not sorry! I hit you again!" So, um, no, he gets zero things.
When we get home I'm willing to call truce again. We have dinner, he's holding his new things. We look at his book order form together to see if he wants anything. He wants the "How Do Dinosaurs" pocket library. I'm on the phone with my sister when he starts driving me totally nutso climbing on me and sticking his hands in my shirt and freaking out. I get off the phone, take both of his hands, get down on his level, and tell him he needs to calm down and use his words. When he spits in my face. Which earns him a timeout. While I'm putting him in timeout, he hits me again. I give myself a timeout.
Finally, it's time for bed/routine/etc. I need a shower. Gabriel do you want a shower? No I'm playing. Okay, so I'm in the shower when Gabriel comes in screaming and yelling and whatnot. He wants his Baby Signs movie (which he still totally loves even though he's owned it and been watching it for like two years and he's pretty much not the target audience at all).
"I'm in the shower."
"I WANT MY BABY! SIGNS! MOVIE!"
"I will not get out of the shower to put a movie on for you. This is my time. You can get in the shower and get clean if you want, but otherwise you need to leave the room."
"BABY! SIGNS! MOVIE! GET! OUT! OF! THE SHOWER!"
Okay so I count to three, he hasn't stopped his screaming, I get out of the shower DRIPPING WET AND NAKED, march him out of the bathroom and lock the door. I finish my shower (quickly mind you because my stress levels and heartbeat are all up from the screaming on the other side of the bathroom door), and when I open the door HE'S naked, with his back against the door, weeping. So I get dressed and we have a snuggle minute and I tell him that when I'm in the shower that's my time and he needs to give me my space and not scream, etc., and we get jamas on, and I put on his movie, and he's asleep in five minutes.
I know that this is because he started new school this week, and because at New School he's not QUITE used to it so he's not napping quite as well, and he has to wake up a little earlier to have breakfast at home, and he's still meeting people and adjusting, and blah blah blah logical reasons and also sometimes? He just has bad days and that's okay because sometimes? I just have bad days too.
But.
Fuck.
That was exhausting.

In dream land, Wednesdays are my day off

Yesterday was Gabriel's first day at big boy preschool. I'm not sure if it's good or not, but the extraordinary amount of unsettling and change that child has experienced in his short little life makes him handle life transitions like a pro. Oh this is my school now? Cool, can I play with the trains? After his brief step into home-daycare, I think he's ready to go back to a structured school setting. When I picked him up yesterday, his teacher said he had a really great day, no trouble taking his nap or anything, and boy, "He's REALLY independent. And he sure talks a lot." Yeah that's about right. Today I left my car at home and took the bus to work, which stands to save me considerable amounts of money. The parking permit alone is $60/month I don't have to pay.
There are so many more toys and activities available, and Gabriel thrives on structure.
I wanted to thank y'all for all of the very good advice I received re: my daycare nightmares, but I haven't actually had a chance to have the conversation yet. I've called twice, and as far as I'm concerned it is now officially her responsibility to get in touch with me if she wants to have this conversation.
I mailed out my mixed CDs today. I felt like it was the 10 hotdogs/8 buns quandary all over again though. Granted I was buying my office supplies through my work, but the CDs come in packs of 30, the envelopes I'm using come in packs of 20, and the CD sleeves in packs of 100. WTF am I supposed to do with that? Oh and I discovered last night that I apparently don't own a Sharpie? In my whole house? That seems so unlikely, but it appears to be the case. So the CDs themselves are unmarked, sorry if that blows your mind and/or ruins your life. And the CD sleeves are all labeled "September" which if you're a part of the regular CD exchange is because it's September, but if you're not, well, it's because it's September. I just realized that I'm devoting way too much space (both in my brain and on this site) the the matter of CD labeling. I am done.
It turns out that my 3-day work week this week is making it a lot harder to dick around at work. I actually have work to do. So...um....That's what I'm gonna go do right now.

02 September 2008

It was either a MeMe or a quarter-life crisis, what can I say?

Sam tagged me in her MeMe. I'm an obliging person. I'm also avoiding my work today. Thanks Sam! Da rules:
1. Link the person who tagged you.
2. Mention the rules on your blog.
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them.
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they've been tagged.

1. Last Friday night I had this terrifying nightmare that woke me up in a sweat at 6am Saturday morning. Except that once I woke up I realized that really, it wasn't actually a bad dream because the villain I was running from? Totally Ursula from The Little Mermaid. Animated and everything. This is not the first animated dream I've had; as a child I had an elaborate dream wherein I was a member of the Thundercats.

2. I'm turning 26 on Friday. I've been okay with every birthday up until this one, but for some reason 26 is totally fucking with my head. Like maybe I'm not supposed to be a grownup by now, but shouldn't I at least have the vaguest inkling of what I'm doing with my life? On an intellectual level I don't ACTUALLY think I'm a failure, but I mean, I sorta do. A little. I'm more freaking-out-ish than I'd really like to be, and also more than I really expected to be.

3. When I was about 7 years old, I got in a fight with my sister, and I was really mad at her, so I wrote "I hate Jenny" in the dust on my uncle's car window, and then she got in trouble for being so hateful. I didn't admit that I did it for YEARS.

4. I've read The Firebrand by Marion Zimmer Bradley no less than 50 times. That is not an exaggeration. And I read it for the first time when I was maybe....9 years old? I would like to clarify that this is neither a life-changing, nor a particularly profound piece of literature. I just used to read it like once a month as a teenager. Because I rock.

5. I haven't slept straight through the night a single time since I was about 7 months pregnant with Gabriel, not counting nights when I have to wake up less than 6 hours after my head hits the pillow. Yeah, he sleeps through the night now. I, apparently, do not. I have to get up to pee, get a drink of water, make sure my front door is locked, check my alarm, etc. etc. It's like during that time when I was physically incapable of sleeping in anything more than 4 hour blocks because of Gabriel squashing my bladder in utero, or needing to be fed and cared for as an infant, or whatever, my body no longer REMEMBERS how to sleep. Which sort of sucks; prospective parents be warned.

6. I hate work social functions. There is nothing to make you feel the pain of being at work quite like being forced to have fun on the clock. If I want to participate, I'll certainly let y'all know.

Tagging: Molly, Julia, Brie, Sus, Bayjb, Badass Geek

Old Navy Halloween Costumes

These are sturdily made, reasonably priced, and oh yeah p.s.? ADORABLE.

Why can't every weekend be long?

I made an informed decision to stay out of all things Blog this weekend, and when I finally looked at my reader this morning I had 130 unread entries.

I spent Saturday night up in Chico, and as some sort of bizarro shift in the universe, it was a perfectly lovely 85 degrees. Meanwhile I hear it was hotter than that in back home, which just blows my mind. How can it be hotter there than in Chico? Not. Possible. Anyways it was really idyllic and gorgeous and I ended up having a lot of fun. I declared it a no-pants weekend, and spent the whole time in some of my favorite sundresses, going out dresses, etc.

I bought Gabey this dragon costume, except in red (which is EVEN cuter, if you can believe it):

Oh and Gabey's dad bought him these shoes, which are the most ridiculous (but also cute) shoes I've EVER seen. I just spent forever about 2 minutes (max) looking for them online, and I can't find them exactly.

Yesterday I went to the beach with Gabey, Megan and Mira. It was super pretty and super fun, and considering that it was Labor Day, it wasn't too crowded. I went boogie boarding for the first time in about 15 years (or, possibly, longer). Let me just tell you that while that's possibly the dorkiest activity in which one can indulge at the beach, I had forgotten how GENUINELY FUN it is. Like, a lot of fun. Unfortunately I was wearing my incredibly adorable Juicy Couture bathing suit (I know, what!?!), which isn't very practical as far as getting squashed by waves is concerned, so some people saw my boobs. Sorry!
When Gabriel pooped in a hole, that's when I knew it was time to go. We went to my parents' house for the rest of the day, except, winner here! I forgot our changes of clothes so we just had our beach stuff. Gabey has tons of stuff at my mom's house so he was fine. I ended up wearing this rejecto skirt, and a giant t-shirt of my dad's. Smokin' hot.
I'm taking Friday off for my birthday, making this just a 3-day workweek, and that COULD NOT be more exciting.