31 October 2008

And then I played with my camera




So far so good

Another day, another dollar, right?
No disasters to speak of. Yet.

My mom took over Gabriel duties at around noon yesterday so I could go back to work. She said that while he wasn't really eating, he was in a perky mood all day and wasn't a sad miserable sick boy. With Gabey under the expert care of my mother, I went to a coworker's retirement party last night. I had a lot of fun, but I would have had even more fun if it had been a Friday.
I was wearing a fabulous and flattering purple dress that I found on ridiculous $12 super sale from Macy's, but I suck at life and took no pictures.

Gabriel can't go to school today whether he's sick or not, so my plan was to spend the night at my parents' house last night. My brothers don't have school today, so what I actually ended up doing was kidnapping my brother James and taking him back to my apartment, where he's watching Gooberpants until I get off work at noon. My hope is that Gabers will be perky enough to enjoy his first trick-or-treating experience tonight.

AFTER the kiddie part of Halloween, my mom has agreed to watch the Love Dove, which means I have a free evening. My plans are at this point not very....existent? I'll keep ya posted.

30 October 2008

Heartbreak and Headache

Peacefully dead asleep. It is the middle of the night. Gabriel was feeling sort of off last night; he's snuggled down in bed next to me. Suddenly and without warning, I'm jarred awake by the warm, chunky wetness spewing from Gabriel. In my hair. On my pillow. On my ear. On my neck. On my face. All over. Bleary eyed, I rush him to the bathroom. He vomits twice more on the bathroom floor before we get to the toilet. By then he's all puked out.
Sad and bewildered and pale and hot and covered in ick. I strip him down naked. Mop him up as best I can. His skin looks so translucent and delicate, I don't want to scrub him too hard. I put him in a fresh pull-up, sit him on the couch wrapped in a clean blanket and holding an empty bowl, in case something else decides to come up. If you need to throw up make sure you use the bowl. I set about the business of cleaning up so that we can get back to bed. Strip the bed, shove everything into the wash. I don't care about instructions, everything's getting washed on hot. The mattress is wet. It's after 1am and I can't deal with this. After a cursory and undoubtedly inefficient scrubbing of the area, I flip and rotate the mattress so the offending corner is upside-down by my feet. Fresh sheets. Pull out the spare comforter. The pillows are in the wash. Make the bed as best I can. But my hair. My face. My clothes. If I don't need a shower, I'm not sure who does. I tear off my clothes on the way to the shower.
Jesus.
The bathroom.
I'm on my hands and knees scrubbing puke in my chonies at 1:30 on a Thursday morning.
Finally, I shower. I get into fresh clothes.
It has been awhile since I left Gabriel bundled on the couch.
In the living room, he is curled into a ball under his blankie, in nothing but training pants, his face is carefully over the bowl I left him with. He is shivering. He is passed out. He is burning up.
I put him into fresh pajamas. I wake him. Does he need to throw up again? Does he need to use the potty? Absolutely, when he is this sick, he is sleeping with me, so I scoop him up and take him back to my room. Can he have some water?
Yes.
Throughout the rest of the night when he stirs I'm instantly alert.
Do you need to throw-up?
Please don't throw up in bed.
We wake up this morning. He is fine. He's acting fine. He's in a good mood. He has some toast. He looks fine.
I take his temperature. No fever. I ask him how he feels.
"Um. Good?"
Does he want to go to school today?
"Yeah."
Is he sure that he feels okay?
"Yeah."
He doesn't have a fever.
Did I dream last night?
I decide to take him to school. I drop him off at 7:30, as usual. He is fine.
The preschool director calls at 8:15. Just 45 minutes after I last saw him, looking perfectly healthy.
You need to come get Gabriel. He is NOT okay.
By the time I get to my car and get to his school (I don't drive to work), it is 9:30. He is passed out in the corner in the large playroom, obviously suffering. Obviously sick. His fever is high. His cheeks are flushed. His breath hot. His fingers icy.
I wouldn't have left him if I thought he was this sick.
I know. Hopefully we'll see you guys Monday?
We get home.
He is resting.

Did you know that Mr. Halloween is actually Steenky Bee? She's sending me a Spider-Man costume, which will hopefully make this whole day seem like....less.

29 October 2008

I am a Mr. Halloween FAIL

I know I didn't know about Gabriel's Halloween beliefs until less than 24 hours ago, but if he thinks there's a Halloween Fairy, I really want to make that true for him. I'm a big believer in extending the magic of childhood for as long as possible. And, as Literal Dan pointed out, Mr. Halloween is a heck of a lot more interesting than The Great Pumpkin.

Except that they actually really don't have Spider-Man costumes at Costco anymore. My mom checked.

And every Halloween/Party/Costume store in the county doesn't have anything remotely Gabriel's size. I called.

I'm at a loss.

Ideas?

Animal Print Taffeta Dress

I'm not a particularly big fan of animal print OR taffeta, so I'm having a hard time explaining to myself why I'm so in love with this dress, $175 from Banana Republic

Apparently he has opinions. Who knew?

"Mom! Mom! Mom! Mommy! Mommy! MOOOMMEEEEMOMMEEEMOOMMEEEMOMEEMOMmommomomomomomomomomMOM!!"

"Jesus! What?"

"Did you know Halloween is coming??"

"Yup! We're going trick-or-treating in Corralitos with your cousins."

"And school!"

"Yes. You're having special Halloween lunch and party at school."

"Hey mom?"

"Yeah baby?"

"Did you know that when Halloween comes, he's bringing me a Spider-Man costume?"

"Um...."

"He is! Every night I asked, and Mr. Halloween is bringing me Spider-Man to wear."

Crap. I have....nothing. I call my mom to tell her. They have Spider-Man costumes on the cheap at Costco. I don't have a Costco card. Crap. My mom:
"Maybe I'll go to Costco, and Halloween can leave Spider-Man on your doorstep while you're at work."

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE

Last year Gabriel didn't care, and this year I just didn't talk to him about it. I have a dragon costume of adorableness. And a puppy. And a batman. I just didn't know, yknow?

Tiger Dragon

Puppy

28 October 2008

AFL-CIO's Richard Trumka on Racism and Obama

I found this to be very moving. Spread it around.

Weekend Recap

My experiment in blondiness? FAIL. There's some chemically valid explanation, like the developer didn't activate or some such thing, but all I can tell you is that my hair is the exact same color today that it was last week. Which is fine because I'm fine with that hair color. But I was feeling sort of excited about a change. So. Whatever. We could have redone it on Sunday, but I had a pumpkin carving party to go to, so I just left it as is.

Anyways.

I drove up to Chico on Friday with Gabeypants, whose jewel of a father picked him up on Saturday and kept him overnight. I was supposed to see Sheena, who fell off the face of the planet, and my cousin Lisa, who...also fell off the face of the planet. I was also supposed to see Stella and Darci. And I did.

Gabers and Leo got to spend some quality time loving on each other.

IMG_1756

I suspect he had fun.

IMG_1750

Stella and I went out and had an adventure. I was still redheaded, and slightly intoxicated.

IMG_1771

Although Stella may have been moreso.

IMG_1774

We had a great time and somehow ended up out long past closing time, haggling with vague acquaintances about a ride home. I woke up the next morning grumpy and dissatisfyingly hungover. The situation was not improved by K.Dot's wishy washy pickup plan. It was, however greatly improved by this:

People let me tell you 'bout my best friend!

And this:

IMG_1783

My whole family came up to the Davis/Woodland area for my brother's girlfriend's sister's annual pumpkin carving party. My dad taught the littles how to play baseball, Duncan and James helped them carve pumpkins, Daniel took them to the park, I ate a lot of food. I love my family.

27 October 2008

This solves my Monday morning writer's block dilemna

UPDATED I just realized that Sus tagged me as well, and I got this awesome award:

I'm not going to tag extra people, but I did add my 6 favorite things to the bottom of this, and the lucky victims I tortured tagged can pick. 7 random facts or 6 favorite things, you decide!
Oh, and here's the first bit I wrote:
Mommy Melee tagged me in a meme. Seeing as she's really freaking cool and all here are seven magical random things:

1. I only like to drink my coffee when it's what most people describe as "tepid." I describe it as the perfect warmish balance between Scalding My Tastebuds and So Cold That It's Gross. So I wait around for it to cool down enough, and then I have 2.54 minutes to drink it before it's officially Too Cold.

2. I have been to Lesotho. In the dead of winter, we drove open-air Landrovers up the sheer face of a mountain, which was about an hour and a half of biting winds sucking the warmth from every corner of my body. Then we spent about an hour going through a curiously stringent customs process, considering that this is a country completely landlocked and dependent upon South Africa, and we were coming from....South Africa. For the day. Then we went to the enclave of mud huts, where a toothless African woman smiled uncomfortably at us and showed us her chickens. Then we went to a bar. We were all frozen to the core, and so drank some whiskey, drank some whiskey and hot chocolate, drank some whisky and coffee, and then went home. I would not say that I learned very much about htis country. I did learn about whiskey. And cold. And drinking whiskey in the cold.

3. At my freakishly small high school, everyone had to participate in performing arts. The most significant part I ever had was that of Sampati, the wingless vulture.

4. Along with a host of other dental problems, I suffer from TMJ, theoretically because I clench my jaw (I've never caught myself doing it, so I'm a little skeptical). My jaw makes a bizarre popping sound every time I open my mouth. I am not supposed to chew gum. I'm probably not supposed to give blow jobs either.

5. I don't bite my nails. I chew them. Which sort of means that while I don't actually rip them off or anything, my hands spend a disordinate amount of time in my mouth.

6. Sometime between the last time I got measured (when I was 21 or 22) and my physical this year, I grew half an inch. They measured me twice because I argued with them. I am officially 5'5.25" For realsies.

7. Last week a woman seriously answered my question by telling me to leap in front of a moving bus. Seriously. I may have to tell that story.

Favorites:

1. The smell of chlorine. It reminds me of swimming pools in the summer time.
2. Waking up absolutely warm and cozy in bed when it's frosty outside.
3. The ocean.
4. Christmas morning.
5. Creme Brulee.
6. Going out to eat without Gabriel.

I would be honored and thrilled if Literal Dan, Maggie May, Jenboglass, Heather and Moonspun would tell me 7 random facts about themselves. Or not. Whatever. See what I care.

26 October 2008

Hey Dad

Imagine, if you will, that this is your father:


Congratulations!
Your father is officially the most embarrassing man on the planet.
You might be at a funeral, and he'll take your cousin aside to ask him some questions:
"So when your mom was dying, was she coughing up blood or what? Lay it out for me."
OR
"Yeah so you were with Katherine for a longass time, but she went crazy or something? Like what? Schizo, bipolar? Oh man, both! So what's the deal with that she spend any time institutionalized? That must have been sorta hard on you, but you cheated on her! What was up with that? Couldn't take the crazy? The sex was no good? Lay it out."
Despite the fact that my sister and I have had to make a shame-related fastbreak to the door, whomever he's talking to will answer every single one of his questions, looking neither perturbed nor embarrassed.
He has no filter for topics of conversation. He might talk about sex with your mom, or doing drugs, or his opinions on circumcision, or anything really. You really don't want him to, but that doesn't so much seem to matter.
Your father has four older sisters, and you suspect that this is why he is so defensive of your little brother when you put him in your dress and introduce him as your new friend Emily.
He'll have an inexplicable tattoo of a dancing Indian on one forearm. Actually, he has tattoos all over his arms, that's just the one that's inexplicable.
He might be narcoleptic.
That might make driving sort of an adventure.
When you're a little girl, he'll be the only person on the planet who you allow to brush your hair.
He might have been traveling as a teenager, and he might have ended up in Afghanistan. And then say he got Dysentery, ran out of money, and rode to Spain in the back of a truck full of goats, puking and shitting.
He's a Teamster.
He doesn't really like to leave his house. He goes to work, he visits his dad or goes to Giants games or both on the weekends, he goes out to dinner with your mom on their anniversary, and you are consistently shocked when he leaves for any other reason.
He is a sports fanatic. Even when reason tells you there might be nothing on TV, you'll find him watching a South African women's lacrosse tournament and claiming that he's REALLY into it.
He might be the only person you've ever met in your life who has actually never laid hands on a computer.
He might also be the only person you've ever met who doesn't have a checking account by choice.
Your kids will all call him Banta instead of Grandpa.
Once he was rear-ended in what would have been a hit and run, except that he engaged in a high speed car chase.
Thinking about the possibility that his mom might some day pass away will make him cry.
He wakes up at around 5 or 6 am every morning.
Your mom's cousin is a born again Christian. Every time your dad sees him, he might force this man to reminisce about doing drugs in the 70s.
If you're at a party, and the food is gross, your dad might hide it in the yard. A burrito under a rock perhaps, or some chicken wings in the storm drains.
And, if this was your father, he turned 53 on Friday.
Happy Birthday Daddy!

Giants/Padres

25 October 2008

ReBlonding

Little known fact: I am not a natural redhead. Here are some hard-to find pictures of my hair, neither dyed nor straightened:

jendaphjenny
jennygroup
(Of particular note is the fact that I am apparently pouring a screwdriver on my roommate's head in that last shot. More importantly, I have accidentally poured an entire screwdriver on that same roommate's head MORE THAN ONCE)

Anyways, I've been dying my hair read for a little over a year, and apparently it looks natural enough that they forced me to change my physical description on my driver's license (more on that later). I'm trying something new today, which involves going back to my natural color (ish). I also think I'm going to try to do more curly.

Pictures to be posted upon completion.

I have to go rinse chemicals out of my hair now.

Wish me luck.

24 October 2008

Easily Irritated

I hate the fact that recreate and recreate are the same word. Yeah. That's recreate like create again, and recreate like the verb of recreation (which I didn't think was a word, but apparently it is).

My Klean Kanteen makes this really weird noise when I'm drinking out of it. Sort of like a whirring sound.

Pen thieves. I work in an office of very protective pen owners. I happen to have front area-ish desk, where people feel free to rifle through my supplies and take my very precious, expensive, marked out of stock especially for me PEN on extended vacations even though IT HAS MY NAME ON IT.

I hate it when I'm outside on a break and I get approached by a stranger. I extra hate it when said stranger asks me a question, the answer to which I do not know. The conversation usually goes like this:
"STUPID QUESTION"
"I don't know."
Stranger stands there staring at me, clearly both shocked and flummoxed at my lack of knowledge. Blinks a couple times.
"You...don't know?"
"That's right."
They stand there and stare at me for a little bit longer.

Books that are based on movies. Is there a more poorly written genre than "based on the major motion picture"? There is not.

Sometimes I walk on my lunch break. There's this guy who always corrects my form. I'm walking fucktard. Don't tell me that I'm not swinging my arms enough. I'm not trying to go back to work sweaty. Leave me alone.

How when you hate a coworker, you can't just openly despise them, because that's not "appropriate." Whatever. My soul dies a little bit every time I talk to you. Please don't go out of your way to make conversation. Do the daggers shooting out of my eyes have no effect on you? Would that I could just tell you that I think you're vile and move on with my life.

I hate that feeling when you've had too much coffee and you're not particularly more awake or aware or anything, you're just jittery and feel like maybe you're on the brink of a heart attack.

Eating too much when the food's not very good, so you didn't particularly enjoy the process, and then you wind up feeling vaguely shuddery and uck without ever having a reward.

P.S. I'm in Chico right now having an adventure.

23 October 2008

nutterbutterbetterchatter

I love peanut butter. In a very big way. I also love butter butter. Because it is delicious. Here are some other butters I have tried:

Sunflower Seed Butter: They sell this at Trader Joe's. OMG DIE it's unbespeakably delicious. Seriously? This is food? That I can EAT? Are you sure it's not Heaven Candy? Wait, don't they have a word for that? Ambrosia? Manna? Seriously. Oh wow. Okay thanks. So far delicious on toast, with carrot sticks, and by the spoonful.

Pumpkin Butter: Also sold at Trader Joe's. Delicious, but only if you like pumpkins. And butters. I'm suspicioning that this is a seasonal product. So far delightful on toast, but I have a strong feeling that it would also be delicious spread thick on pumpkin spice bread for extra pumpkiny goodness.

Cashew Butter: Curiously not as delicious as cashews. It's okay, but since it doesn't live up to the sum of its ingredients OR other nut butters, I am unlikely to repurchase.

Almond Butter: Curiously gross, considering that I love almonds. It tastes too much like marzipan, which (despite my almond love affair), is the most hated of all foods. I don't know how I can love almonds and hate the things it makes. For what it's worth, I also hate cyanide.

Pistachio Butter: I've never actually seen this anywhere, but it might be delicious. I would definitely buy it if I ever saw it.

Apple Butter: Mmmmm. Delicious on toast, spread over pancakes, stirred into oatmeal. My mom makes it, so she's my chief supplier.

22 October 2008

Baby Carriers

I had a baby that needed to be worn. A lot. And I owned a LOT of different carriers, and I loved them for different reasons at different times. These were my favorites:


The Moby Wrap is the colicky baby lifesaver. This is a local Chico company, which made them widely available to me when I was living there with my newborn. There is a learning curve for use, but once you get it, wearing your baby with a Moby is really simple. I found that this was the best thing for long-term infant holding, walks, soothing, etc., but was not a great choice for a quick trip into the grocery store. I also didn't care for it in hot weather, when all the fabric is too insulating, and for older kids who want a lot of ups and downs, I preferred mei tai style carriers (I'm counting the Ergo in that category).

This is the Ball Baby Overall Mei Tai carrier. The wide, long straps make this a really comfy carrier for both front and back holds. A lot of mei tais have narrower straps, which can dig in to your shoulders over time. Also the fabric choices are really pretty. Personally I love this carrier more than the Ergo (below), but I think the Ergo may be more practical because you can get a screaming child in and soothed more quickly, and you're more likely to get dad to wear it.

This is the Ergo. This thing saved my life. It's not at all dorky looking, which makes it guy-friendly, it's incredibly easy to put on/put baby in, even in back holds, so you don't have to be an experienced hippie to use it, and it's comfy. The only downside of the Ergo versus Overall Mei Tai is that I found it near impossible to nurse in. This was the carrier I used for the longest period of time, although had I gotten the Ball Baby carrier first, that may not have been the case.


This is an Ellaroo ring sling. Ring slings are a baby wearing category wear you'll really find a lot of variety insofar as prints, etc., if you shop around. I like ring slings for newborns (when they're small enough that having the weight distributed over both shoulders isn't such a big deal). I especially like them (over wrap carriers for young infants) for quick trips. Also, they're the best nursing-carrier, both because of positioning, and because of the fact that the extra fabric makes a great cover for a little privacy.

Molly beat me to it, but she's also 3 hours ahead

Word on the street is that Kathy and I met briefly at The Catalyst this one time, or something. I don't remember that. What I DO remember is that after I booked my flight to Molly's bachelorette party (I don't have a good explanation for the fact that I ONLY wrote that about the whole trip, but here are some pictures), Molly told me, "Hey! I think that you and Kathy are on the same flight here. The cab-sharing possibilities are limitless." Then Kathy and I exchanged information via MySpace, and had a vague plan that we would recognize each other in Denver. And then we did. And then I fell in love with Kathy. And she lent me her gold shirt, and now I love her like crazy. Because she's JUST THAT COOL. Happy Birthday Honey!




P.S. Molly also wrote a kickass birthday love story.

P.P.S. This is also Kathy.

P.P.P.S. HAPPY BIRHTDAY!!

P.P.P.P.S. You should totally ask her about working for MySpace, and within that, ask her about the Wolf People. Or just ask me. Whatever.

Internetting that I can't do at work

The internet that I had been stealing got up and walked away about a month ago. I sit in front of a computer for eight hours a day, so this is more or less fine, insofar as checking my email, covert blog reading, etc. But there are some things that I can't do here, and it's making me think I'm going to actually going to convince myself to pay for my internets. Suck. But check it out. Right now I can't:

Download porn.
Page through celebrity gossip sites.
Browse job listings.
Shop for underwear.
Download music.
Look at plastic surgery before and after photos.
Click on links that I think might have the kind of sound that up and starts talking to you without warning.
Sell my baby.

You can see it's been really hard on me.

Here's how I spent last night:


21 October 2008

Once Again, I love the Movie

I grew up during the heyday of excellent Disney movies, before they turned to crap, and then only managed to get better by turning to Pixar. I think Beauty and the Beast is awesome. These aspects are not:
1. I can't stand this song:

I particularly can't stomach the part (which you can view about 42 seconds in) when the Beast says, "And when we touched she didn't shudder at my paw!" Even as a princess-obsessed little girl, I thought this song was INCREDIBLY LAME.

2. Mrs. Potts apparently has all these other teacup children; how come Chip is the only one who's ever allowed to come with her or talk?

3. If all of the servants turned into all of the serving stuff, where are all of the real napkins, etc.?

4. They've been enchanted for "over ten years," and the Beast must find someone to love him by his 21st birthday. What. The. Fuck. He was 11 when he was enchanted? At oldest? The opening scenes clearly show an adult shredding a portrait of an adult, even if you want to assume that the stained glass is using creative license in its depiction.

5. Why doesn't the Beast have a name? I mean, Belle's still calling him Beast with a capital B after he turns into that guy.

6. Which brings me to my last point, which is my least favorite part in the whole movie, which is this tender scene here:

Of particular irritation: The way the light shoots out of his fingers, and the super fay weirdo he turns into.

20 October 2008

Target Shoes

I have freaky Barbie feet. They're weirdly narrow, with weirdly high arches/insteps. This means that I have perfect feet for high heels. As a rule, most pairs I try on fit me well. Unless, y'know, they're designed for normal feet. For my fashionable life, this is good. For my life as a working single mother, this is bad. It is nearly impossible for me to find comfortable flats that fit properly. It actually IS impossible to find tennis shoes. But! I've recently discovered Target shoes. Normally I don't think that they're particularly high quality, but the flats fit me perfectly! Most of these shoes, because they're so inexpensive, I actually own in multiple colors:



Glasses!!

Alternate title: Voluntary Self Humiliation in a Cautionary Tale about Hairbrushes

These are the glasses I ended up choosing:
This is NOT an attempt at an artsy picture; I was trying to show that they are blue on the sides and stuff:


For contrast, these were my "emergency" glasses (you can see I needed a change). You can also see why I often wear my hair up:

As a little something extra, this is what happens to my hair when I sleep on it, then brush it:

17 October 2008

Rememories

19 years ago today, my corner of the earth was rocked by the Loma Prieta Earthquake.
The epicenter of the quake is about half a mile from my parents' house.
I was seven.
We were driving to swim lessons at the YMCA.
At first my mom thought it was wind.
There was maple syrup on the kitchen ceiling. Of all the books on the floor and collapsed foundations and whatever else, that's the thing that struck me as the most strange. How did maple syrup get on the ceiling?
My Playskool radio was the only one that worked, and we spent the whole night listening to the emergency broadcast service through a device that I used to record my musical works of genius.
We slept in the field, terrified that our house would come down in the aftershocks.
Considering the damage, I'm still surprised that it didn't.
Our water tower fell down. I remember weeks of brown water leaking out of our faucets. This was before we had a second bathroom or a shower. Baths lost their appeal for a time.
School was cancelled for a week (or more?). It was the week we were supposed to go to the pumpkin patch, which was the only field trip we were planning in 2nd grade.
My mom, who never spent more than $10 per child on Halloween costumes, bought us nice ones that year.
She also took us to see The Little Mermaid in theaters, twice.
My dad was at work. He drove until there was no road, then he walked, then he borrowed a car until the road was broken again, then he walked, and finally, he came home.
We had all of these weird groceries that they were giving away in Watsonville. Gallons of Sunny Delight.
My mom lost almost all of her china.
At my grandparents' house in Soquel, my Grandpa Irv could drive his tractor straight into his living room through a gaping hole in the wall. That's how they cleared out all of the broken stuff.
For over a decade, downtown Santa Cruz was a wasteland of empty lots and demolished buildings.
Benefit shows at The Catalyst
Suddenly we had earthquake drills at school. They might have helped if we had them before October 17, 1989.

Lilo & Stitch

Cody and I went to see Lilo & Stitch when it came out in theaters back 2002. I really love this movie. But Gabriel also really loves this movie, so I have some things to say now that I've seen it 745 times:

1. All of the kids are, in proportion to the adults, about the height that Gabriel was at 8 months old. Gabriel is not, and has never been, a tall child. I only know that they are creepy midget kids and NOT infants with curious amounts of hair because they walk and talk.

2. Despite Lilo's freaky shortness, I have deduced that she must be approximately 5 years old, based on the fact that she can read and write, yet unabashedly rides a tricycle. Given her age, WHAT. THE. FUCK. Her older sister Nani is Lilo's guardian (their parents are dead), and there's this concept pushed on the viewer that OF COURSE her sister is the best parent for her and BOO on Social Services for trying to intervene. But Nani is terribly irresponsible and frankly frightening. Lilo is regularly unsupervised both at home AND wandering around town by HERSELF. That? Not okay. So you're getting social security for your dead parents, and I know for a fact that orphaned little five-year-olds qualify for all sorts of social services, if you have to go be a waitress, yeah, it's a really really bad idea to leave your preschool aged ward alone in town for several hours. The government would CERTAINLY pay for some sort of supervised care when you were not available. There are tourists swarming your island home. Do you know how easily your little baby sister love could get hurt??? So I'm totally not supportive of that family dynamic. I don't think it's the best situation for Lilo at all.

3. You're struggling, overwhelmed, and never home. You apparently do not have enough time for your baby sister. You are apparently are struggling financially. You get a dog??

16 October 2008

My favorite tights

I am a HUGE believer in tights, mainly because I'm pretty confident of the fact that I look thinnest in dresses. These are my favorites:

B.ella Woolissimo Wool Sweater Tights, $42. I found these online at Lori's Shoes, but locally, I bought mine at the Sockshop (locally, although I can't find them on the site). These are FABULOUSLY WARM for winter. And worth the cost.


E.G. Smith Tights, $24. These are actually at the Sockshop, yee haw. Only tights I've ever encountered that are truly one size without (in my experience) weird sag issues. Plus they come in fun colors.
Spanx Tight-End Tights, $26. These are the best tights I've found insofar as comfortable control top and not sagging around the ankles after a full day of wear.

Your daily media dose

Mom-101 helped to put this ad together, and I think it's magical:

Favorite Google Search Strings

Wow, so I'm thinking of making this my life narrative, it seems pretty accurate, right?:

woke up with black eye

kill myself stretch marks

cry myself to sleep

"boys don't make passes"

free porn movies

hair color benadryl

how do you fix feeling like death?

I feel like death

I have big kid underpants

morning black eye

my body hurts why?

random daymares

random black eye

smelly naked hippies

how to treat a smelly dishwasher

making a public disgrace of myself

Okay! I get it already!!

On Monday I got a package from a college friend, to whom I haven't spoken in over a year. Not just spoken, I haven't even been in email contact with her lately. I absolutely love her, but she drank a little too much Crazy Juice after college, and I have a hard time relating to her these days. But a package! That's fun.

Do you know what she sent me?

Carmen Electra's Aerobic Striptease and Jillian Michael's - 30 Day Shred

No explanation. No note. No accompaniment.

Whoakay. No matter how good your intentions, there is exactly ONE scenario where it is okay to send your friend an exercise DVD:
The package was immediately prefaced by a conversation about said package. That conversation can either be about how she was looking for a great exercise DVD OR about a great exercise DVD that you have, and perhaps she would like you to send it.

We had neither conversation, so there's no way for me to really take this as anything less than mildly insulting and judgmental. Because no matter my friend's intentions, the message I took away went something like this:
Dear Grace,

How are you? I noticed that in the pictures you emailed me a couple of months ago you're....well a little heavy. Are you up to two chins or three these days? And what's the deal with the saddle bags? I know you put on some weight when you were pregnant with Gabriel (give him a kiss for me okay?), but I was just thinking, he'll be three at the end of January. I mean, I know it's normal to put on some baby weight, but what is this? Toddler weight? No. As of today, your jelly rolls are no longer acceptable. Don't even start with how it's only 10 lbs. That, my friend, is a slippery slope. Anyways. I thought you might drum up some excuse about not being able to afford a gym, and not having the hours in the day to take more time away from Gabriel, so I sent you these DVDs. Now you have no excuse, fat ass.

Love for always,

Me.

So, um. I guess I need to lose some weight?

15 October 2008

Napkins

I found this fabulous Etsy Shop, Yunny, which has the most delightful cloth napkins I've ever seen ever. Pictured below are the Walking the Dog napkins ($28 for a set of 4), but I also really love Daddy Tree and Baby Tree, Birds on Leaves, Airplane, and I am a Tree.

Related to adorable napkins, I found these lovely lovely napkin rings, complete with lovely messages at rae dunn's Etsy, $40 for the set.

Last (but never least) a tiny rant on Prop 8

Neveryoumind the fact that I am ideologically 100% okay with gay marriage, and it very much bothers me that in the great state of California we're trying to take away the ALREADY EARNED right to marriage. My least favorite thing: In Yes on 8 ads, their big point is that, if it fails, your second grader may learn that it's okay for boys to marry boys.

Yeah, well, I'm okay with my son being taught reality and truth, thanks.

There is a woeful lack of No on 8 propaganda.

Dad Gone Mad reminded me that this pisses me off.

Blog Action Day 2008

The Bloggess pointed out that today is Blog Action Day 08, which means that I should be doing my part to write about poverty. I didn't know about this until about 45 seconds ago, and in those 45 seconds, I have failed to become inspired. Now I'm sure that while I'm lying in bed tonight thinking about my day I'll think of approximately 27 really touching and moving and awesome things to say and therefore to write, but at this precise second, I've got nothin', and TODAY is Blog Action Day, not tomorrow. So, um.
When I was 20 I went to South Africa for the summer, because traveling to South Africa was extremely related to the years I had spend studying Spanish, Italian and Russian. Except that it wasn't at all. But I went anyways.
On account of South Africa being somewhat VOLATILE and also not always very safe, most of the traveling we did had a lot to do with body guards and guided tours. When we were in Durban, we weren't allowed to leave the hotel without a security guard escort, which was annoying, but we were a bunch of brassy loud white people, so it may also have been warranted.
The most eye-opening, heart-wrenching, life-changing aspects of the whole trip were the days that we spent in the townships, and, particularly for its historical importance, Soweto. I have seen poverty in the United States. I spent 6 months receiving public assistance, and I spent that time interacting with a lot of hard-up people. I suppose I was even one of those hard-up people, despite my wont to make a distinction. But. I have never seen poverty like what I saw in South Africa. Starving people, with their homes made out of boxes, their babes tied on their backs with rags, no job, no hope for a job, no hope at all.
Sometimes I find myself saying all those things I always thought I would never say about how children are starving in Africa so you should finish your dinner because you should be grateful. Only I sort of mean it.

It's okay, *I* don't even know what I'm trying to say

So I totally spaced in when I was doing a Halloween costume review, and forgot the year (between the 1st wearing of the chicken and being a cowgirl) where my roommates and I were letters of the alphabet. More specifically, we were B, H and K. I'm pretty sure I was the letter H, and I'm positive that I painted it purple.

Yesterday my friend Alexis, who has the week off, drove down from the Bay Area for some dinner and a little visiting. For those of you unfamiliar with Lexy Love, I feel that her awesomeness is best illustrated by the following photo:


The last time Lex visited me was over a year ago, plus we've both been all busy and lame and wrapped up in our own lives, so I haven't even TALKED to her in forever, but she's doing really well! And I miss her! And love her! And for fuck's sake, she only lives what, an hour away? I could really get my shit together and visit her once in awhile. I'm feeling newly inspired.

unrelated

Okay I just decided to make it two posts instead of one.

14 October 2008

Halloweenish

I was planning on conducting a photo-review of Halloween costumes that I've worn as a legal adult, but I only have three of these gems online. My freshman year at UCSB I dressed up as Britney Spears, a la Hit Me Baby One More Time. Probably I did not look like this:
I was young and impressionable. Give me a break. The following year I was a skeleton. With an orange plastic pumpkin holding my crap. That's me shotgunning a beer with my roommates. We epitomized class, in every POSSIBLE way:
Then I was a chicken thing. I have no words. Luckily, I have this picture, which is worth a thousand. What I'm unfortunately missing are the even MORE valuable pictures of my mom and brothers wearing this costume.
The next year I was a cowgirl, and I have a picture of that somewhere, but I can't find it.

The year after that I was the chicken creature again. Also I was 6 months pregnant. Also that costume? Greatest thing EVER. But Miss Grace, where did you ever find such a glorious thing as a creepy turquoise chicken costume? And how did it come to be that you also have a matching turquoise rooster purse? My grandma gave me the purse when I was seven. She got it for me in Bali, and I hang on to a lot of random crap. Because who knows, maybe it'll match the chicken costume you decide to wear when you're 20. (I know the purse isn't pictured, but trust me, it exists. AND has red legs) Well my mom found that costume at the thrift center and declared that it MUST BE PURCHASED. Then she put it on in the middle of the afternoon in the middle of the week at The Catalyst. Which is just one more reason why I love my mom. I also love her because she allowed me to humiliate her in three steps this weekend. First by letting me put hair in pigtails, then my letting me take this picture, and finally by the fact that I posted it on the internet.

Last year I was feeling pretty woefully uninspired, but I was going to a specifically Angels and Devils themed event, so I bought some $5 barrettes, donned one of my slightly slinkier dresses, and called it a day. That's me, actualizing my life as a rockstar:


Anywhoodle. This year. What should I do? I was thinking about clipping some cheap-ass devil horns in my hair again, but I'm open to suggestion, as long as said suggestion is (a) reasonably priced, and (b) not the chicken costume, which I've already worn for two Halloweens, and managed to convince people that it was a serious costume BOTH times. I don't think I can pull that off a third time, I'm sorry.

I cried

Gabriel, on the phone with his dad last night:
Hi...Just playing...If you come over to my house to play with me, I have toys to share with you...There's enough toys for both of us...you can have my favorite cars...But if you can come over, I'll share...I have an orange car for you to play with...And I have a bus....Do you want to come to my house?....Are you coming?....Do you want to play with me?....I love you too...I talk to you later too...Bye Bye.

Hopefully, K will come down here to see his son this weekend; they haven't seen each other since I brought Gabey to Sacramento Labor Day Weekend.

13 October 2008

Autumn in Photos

In an unlikely bout of self-motivation, I went on a photo-taking mission with Badass Geek's contest specifically in mind. I could think of no better place to take my camera than my parents' house, and since I'm always talking about it, I figured I'd post the whole set here. I had a lovely childhood. There are three barns at my parents' house. I ask you readers, which one photo is a quintessential Autumn shot? I haven't decided which one I'm going to use just yet.

10 October 2008

The world is ending, but I'm obsessed with glasses

These days the world is sort of a terrifying place, and I'm spending every minute listening to the news like I'm watching a car accident. I can't make myself turn away. And while I'm tired of thinking about it, and I certainly am not in the mood to argue, I'm having a hard time focusing on anything else. Well. Almost anything else. I've spent the past 18 hours thinking, obsessing, and yes even dreaming about my new glasses.

In Octoberish, I got a new pair of glasses, which were totally awesome and cute.
This past May, trying to relocate with a broken foot, I stepped on my glasses while wearing this. Things did not end well. Since then, I've only had my "spare" glasses, which are the pair that Gabriel mangled as an infant. They sit all slanty-like on my face. That's a picture of the cute glasses, not the slanty glasses. Since the DMV told me I have to wear my glasses when I drive, I do, but also? I'm vain, so I don't wear them otherwise because they look funny because of the crookedness. So I've been living in a kinder, gentler, fuzzy world for the past 5 months; one where everyone is vague and vaguely better looking as a result.
Yesterday I had an eye appointment. And then I spent TWO HOURS trying to decide what frames to get. I narrowed it down to three.

There was one that I thought had the cutest shape, but they were purple, and had hearts on the....arms? What do you call the thingies that keep the glasses on your face? They were Betsey Johnson, and very cute, but I was not totally convinced that I'm cool enough to pull off hearts as a part of my every day style. I was afraid that on me they might look dorky. But. I really liked them.
A second Betsey Johnson frame, this one ever so slightly cat-eye shaped, without (I thought) making my face look fat, which is what I think that shape usually does. I thought these ones were REALLY cute, but was afraid maybe they were too edgy for every day. I really liked them.
Third, pair of (I think) Valentinos that were sort of tortoise shell from the front, but turquoise from behind, so they made my eyes look super blue. They were sort of heavier and squarer than the other two options, but again, I really liked them.
In the end (when the opticians totally failed by saying they liked all three equally), I let Gabriel pick, and he picked the blue ones, but now, even though I like those ones, I'm having fantasies about the other two pairs, and how fashionable I would look, and how great they would be. I'm even having insane thoughts about just BUYING a second pair, sans insurance (madness, I assure you). When my insurance rolls over in January, I was going to use my vision plan to buy sunglasses, because I don't like having to choose between sun-glare induced blindness and near-sighted blindness. How about no blindness attall! But now I'm having insane thoughts about buying a second pair of regular glasses instead. Le sigh.
Oh, and while I used to just be near-sighted, I'm developing astygmatism, which is SUPER AWESOME YAY ME. Bah.

Oh, and please please please? Vote.

09 October 2008

My computer, my driver's license, yknow, the essentials

First: I turned my computer on last night. It works. Mostly. I'm missing the use of some keys. What keys, might you ask? Oh, how 'bout c, b, g, d, h, m, t and y? It's been super. I THINK that if I CALL Apple (because there's no Apple Store in the area) I can actually get them to send me the keyboard and replace it myself. Wanna know why I know that? Because two Apple notebooks ago, I spilled a full shot of vodka on my keyboard, which left me without v, b, n, m, comma, period, and (oddly) 6. And because I expressed some hesitation regarding taking it into an authorized Apple repair place, they just sent me the keyboard and instructions and told me that if that didn't work I could mail it into them. Which is also why I have a little bit of faith in my ability to perform this operation. I've done it before you see.

Second: Sometime last week it occurred to me that when I moved here I got a new driver's license. The official reason was that I'd moved, and when my parents' house was potentially on fire, not having a local license turned out to be a giant pain in the ass, because I kept being stopped by the highway patrol as a potential looter, when really I was just going home. The real reason is that when I lost my wallet in January, I got a new license with a new picture, and since I wasn't prepared for that reality, I look like an angry prison dike with a mullet. To the point where bouncers make fun of me.
Well.
I never got that license, and I just realized it. So I called the DMV. "Oh we never sent it to you because your license has been suspended."
"Um. Huh. What?"
"You got in a car accident."
"Um. Yes?"
"Call this number."
....
"Hi-I'm-calling-because-I-just-called-the-DMV-and-they-said-my-license-has-been-suspended-but-I-filled-out-all-the-forms-so-I'm-really-confused-could-you-please-clarify?"
"Your license isn't suspended."
"Um. What?"
So that went on for awhile, but the upshot is I have a fax from SOMEWHERE that I have to take into the DMV and clear my name, as it were. That should be fun.

08 October 2008

Boys. Sigh. UPDATED

I've been meaning to write this post, pretty much since I DECIDED to move here, and still lived in Chico. It was one of the first minuses I thought of when I was listing potential problems with relocating. Then Julia pretty much wrote it for me: There are NO cute boys here. Mainly it's that they're mostly dicks, and being a soulless asshat eliminates all cuteness that you may ever have had. I'm never going to date someone who doesn't at the very least think that I'm really fucking awesome.

I have a reasonably broad definition of cute, which can be captured in attitude, looks or personality.

Nothing.

Which makes being single here really...not...fun...

But. The cute boy (or three?) that I hit in the face with my purse? You have to read Julia's post (yeah I linked to the same thing twice in one post? So what? Shut it) to hear about that, I'm still too embarrassed. Okay well this cute boy sat next to me on the bus and when I stood up to leave I smacked him really hard in the face. With my giant green purse. And I think I've seen him more than once.
So.
I guess you don't HAVE to read her telling of it after all, but it's fair to point out that I don't remember telling anyone about it, because Jennifer + Cold Medicine = Trance-like High. Anyways. I THINK he rode his bike past me when I was at the bus stop on Monday. None of these times have I been wearing my glasses, so while I wouldn't put money on the fact that there aren't four potentially similarish cute guys in this city, I'm just pretty sure it's just one guy who I've seen multiple times.

Also. Where do you meet boys anyways? While I met Gabriel's dad in the men's room, I don't think that's a highly recommended rendezvous. And I think we can all agree that may not have been the healthiest relationship that ever was. Bars are gross. Work is a lifeless desert of nothingness. I have a whole lot of married or practically married friends.

I'm too young and cute to have to go this long without having sex. I'm just saying.

I would fuck me. Oh wait. I do.

Update: Um, yeah, I'm not desperate or unhappy, or anything, I'm just bored with the boy prospects here, and sorta tired of masturbating in the shower. I felt like I had to step in and defend myself from the Alanis accusations, because I'm not on the brink of being a middle aged woman embittered with the state of All Things Men.

07 October 2008

Advice from my mother

Condoms are not an effective means of birth control.

Credit cards are for emergencies, not splurges.

Only stupid people get bored.

Sometimes you should just shut up, even if you're right.

It's not always about sex.

Go to college.

Don't waste your money on nice cars. Waste your money on nice trips.

Real estate is hardly ever the best way to invest your money.

Balance your checkbook.

Everyone likes potatoes.

If you don't feel well, go to bed.

The food at McDonald's is made out of cardboard and chemicals. We don't eat there.

Don't pretend to be something that you're not.

Science has always answered all of my questions.

Read.

You don't have to love working, but you should do something that you don't hate.

You shouldn't use garbage bags.

You should try to buy food in the simplest, most whole form possible.

Calculus explains the world and makes it beautiful.

Study chemistry. It makes sense.

All kids need to play dress-up.

Don't fight with your sister.

It's important to understand the mechanics of how things work.

Drugs destroy human capacity for happiness.

Money doesn't always solve your problems, but being poor often creates them.

Celebrate your birthday on your birthday. That's what it's for.

Work is important.

Be good. But don't be so good that you don't have fun.

Don't call unless you need something.

Toothpaste polishes silver.

Tip generously.

If a movie's bad, leave. You've already wasted the money, don't waste the time.

If you don't want it, get rid of it.

06 October 2008

The first time it didn't have a title and I'm not sure if this title is better than none at all

My computer is still off, propped upside-down teepee style on the arm of my couch, hopefully drying. I shall try the rice of which you speak. I am lame, and not sure if I actually OWN any rice, but I think I might? I also don't own garbage bags, which could probably be a whole 'nother self-righteous hippie post, but essentially I don't believe in buying something that has the express function of being thrown away, so I compost, recycle, and find that my garbage can doesn't get gross once I eliminate food garbage, so I just fill and empty it, without a care in the world for the plastic bags I don't have.
And I just realized that I didn't really explain the garbage bag rant. That would be the bag to fill with rice and my computer you see.

I'm still sick. Either I got over my cold only to catch something even better (!), or my head cold morphed into a something, which features a high fever, nausea, vomiting, and all sorts of other...problems. I'm pretty sure positive that I look all pasty and weird right now. But I'm at work! Why? Why oh sweet Jesus in the name of all that is holy are you at work? Well because I think I have what my nephews had last week, and if that's the case, if Gabriel gets it, I promise he won't be able to go to school. Elliot was having febrile seizures on Friday. If my nephews had this and now I HAVE it, it feels like a guarantee that Gabriel WILL get it, but he doesn't have it now, while I'm sick, and I don't have enough sick time stored up to miss work for him and for me, so I'm choosing to save that time in case he gets it and I have to use it for him. Because I can't afford not to get a full paycheck this month. I think that sentence was long and excessively rambly and for that I apologize.

We spent the weekend at my parents' house, where the power went off, and then on and then off and then on and then off and then, finally, on. There was nothing otherwise eventful, but spending time at my mom's means I can lie around on the couch and read all day, because Gabriel is otherwise occupied with all of the cousins! And fun! And dogs! And sticks! And Legos!

Badass Geek is having a giveaway. I plan on entering said giveaway, except that I wasn't planning on carving pumpkins until the weekend of the 24th, because I want them to be all fresh and pretty on Halloween. So I have to decide if I want to compromise a pumpkin for the sake of winning shit. I think I might. Especially since I ACTUALLY FANTASIZE about having the skills to make my own blog template, and having someone else make one for me is a lot more immediately satisfying.

Now if you'll excuse me I have to go vomit.

03 October 2008

Let's just continuing screwing myself, shall we?

First, yes, I'm still sick, and still COMPLETELY high on cold medicine. I did not trust myself to drive this morning because it took me 15 minutes to put my shoes on. Second, my life is awesome, per my problem below, for which I am soliciting advice from you, internets and friendly folk who live in/on/inside of/with the internets.

Last night in sleep-dazed blear, I knocked a glass of water off of my bedside table. Onto my NEW LAPTOP. Whose coverage, in all of its extendedness, does not cover water damage. I took the hard case off and mopped up as much water as possible and sort of left it open and upside-down-ish to dry. This morning there was all this condensation on the screen, which was a troubling sign. I have it all backed up on my portable harddrive (good news!) so the data itself is not a worry or a factor. As of this moment I haven't turned it on, because I remember hearing somewhere somehow that if you fuck up your electronics with liquids, it's best to leave them off. I don't remember for how long. When should I turn it on to see if I broke it? Probably I did, but I'd like that confirmation, yknow? Also? Does anyone know if computers have those little thingies that cell phones have that turn red when watered? I would assume they do, but if that's so, I'd like to look at it meeself, because sometimes I've damaged my electronics with a full glass of vodka or by dropping them in the toilet or whatever, and that little white dot has miraculously not turned red, even a little bit. And if THAT is the case, I like to pretend that I don't understand why none of the buttons on my cell phone work, and just take it in to be fixed all full of wide-eyed innocence. It works. For me. So these are my questions, Internet:

1. Does my MacBook have a water damage indicator somewhere on its insides?
2. If so, would I be able to take my computer apart enough to check that myself before I start telling the tech guys that I DON'T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED just to look like a jackass for lying when they check the thingie that may or may not exist? I'm fairly competent with tools and the dis- and re-assembling of THINGS, but if it requires a microscope or special apparatus or something, then it's out of my league.
3. If the answer to the first is yes, and the answer to the second is no, is there a supplemental insurance policy I can buy that covers water damage that I can buy and then wait a week or whatever to use and get my computer fixed? AppleCare is not the answer, because it specifically does not cover water damage. I've totally done this with cell phone insurance (why is it SO easy to drop your cell phone into a shot glass coffee cup?), does the same thing exist with computers?
4. If the answer to the third is no, what the fuck do you recommend I do if there is something dramatically wrong with my little computer?

UPDATE To answer some supplemental questions I've received:
The computer was off at the time of the spill, and I took out the battery.

02 October 2008

I ramble for a little bit and then I'm done and then I fall over and die

I woke up this morning with a wicked head cold. I turned off my alarm and told myself that if I looked at my clock again before 630, I would get up and go to work, but if it was after 630, I would call in sick. When I looked at my clock at 628 that seemed like the worst rule ever.

So I'm at work, but I'm only here by the grace of the Dayquil, which does a fairly good job of eradicating symptoms, but leaves me totally high as a kite. It took me like 30 minutes to type that sentence. Maybe longer. Once, when I was in college, I took some Dayquil just because, when I wasn't sick at all, and I kid you not, everything had tracers. That stuff is serious. And probably I'm giving myself cancer.

I want to watch the VP debate tonight, but my lack of TV puts a damper on that. I might drive to my mom's house? I dunno.

Oh I've been playing around on Goodreads, since Lil Sass directed me over there. I'm pretty sure I like it.

Okay.

I'm broken.

I'll try again tomorrow.