31 December 2008

Resolved: 2009

*Make a THIS TIME IT'S FOR REAL bid to lose that last 10lbs that'll bring me back to pre-prego weight. Specifically, I must give up late night snacking, reinstitute my lunch time walking, and get back on the exercise train.

*Stop expecting Gabriel's father to change/be reliable/be there when I need him/not torture me. I need to let go of all of my expectations, and I think I'll be a lot happier and more peaceful.

*Actually use my reuseable shopping bags.

*Develop Disgraced Shopping. I need to put more energy in there, it's as simple as that.

*Break this damned celibacy thing I have going on. I mean, fuck...literally.

*Do more fun things on the weekends. I mean more as in quantity of things, not quality of fun.

*Pay down debt.

30 December 2008

2008 Recap/Redux/Rewhatever

These aren't necessarily my best moments from 2008, but I think they best illustrate what I did with my year (inspired by Immoral Matriarch)

In January, my job fucked me, and that was the impetus for my decision to move.

In February, I started to experiment with my wardrobe, and I went to Philadelphia for Molly's bachelorette party.

In March, right before I moved bad shit went down at my old job, and I moved and started working here.

April was Molly's wedding.

In May, I totaled my car, broke my foot, and moved out of my parents' house.

In June, I started up Disgraced Shopping.

In July, I went to BlogHer.

In August? Stella's birthday comes to mind. I also started up my CafePress Shop.

September was my birthday (26 ain't so bad).

October....I broke my computer. But it's better now! So that's something. And I got new glasses! Seeing has worked out really well.

November! We made history! Thank God! Or, more accurately, thank American voters!

And December is still technically happening. Christmas was great, K is making me shoot hate rays out my eyes, Gabriel is poxed yet adorable, and I haven't had sex for almost half a year. What happened to you this year?

Trips to Plan/People to Visit: 2009 Edition

I must get to Portland. My lovey dove Sara(h) has been up there seems like FOREVER. She's my crazy hawt linguist/librarian cohort, and I miss her.

I saw Molly a whopping THREE TIMES in 2008, which was heavenly. I'd like to see her at least once in '09. Somewhere, somehow. This could get spun into any number of imaginary trips, I'm not sure how. But she's on the list.

I miss Benjo (of skinny dipping fame) something fierce and serious. Also? He's in Boston. I've never been, and I wanna go.

Paris is getting married in Colorado in September.

I wish to attend BlogHer 09 in Chicago. I've never even BEEN to Chicago!

Still having a giveaway.

29 December 2008

Faux Wrap Dress

I'm seriously loving this as a party dress, and it's on sale! $39.99 at The Gap.

Ever the diplomat

So. On Christmas Eve Gabriel had a weird rash on his knees. I gave him some Benadryl thinking it might be bug bites of some sort, but that didn't improve things. He seemed to otherwise feel fine. On Saturday it was neither better nor worse, but I had definitely been keeping an eye on it, and if I didn't see improvement I was going to take him to the doctor on Monday. Sunday his dad decided to crawl out of whatever hole he was hiding in and visit his kid (he had been apparently avoiding me after he wrote me a bad check and did nothing to fix it). Well that morning Gabriel woke up with the weird rash on his elbows as well, plus one little bump on his butt cheek. I told K that if the rash was still there on Monday he should take Gabriel either to his old pediatrician in Chico, or to urgent care in Sacramento, and made sure that he had all his insurance info.

This morning I talked to K, and Gabriel has Chicken Pox and (unrelated) Bronchitis. The Chicken Pox are localized (in my opinion bizarrely) on his knees because he's had the vaccine. Usefulness of this vaccine? Questionable.

Gabey's had a cough honestly for six weeks or so, but it hasn't been affecting his mood or his energy, he hasn't been acting sick, and it doesn't keep him from sleeping or playing, so I haven't taken him to the doctor.

Well. Do you want to hear K's version of events?
Apparently all urgent care centers in the greater Sacramento area are closed today, and Gabe had to go the hospital. Also? There aren't any pharmacies within a reasonable vicinity of this hospital OR K's house, so he couldn't fill the prescription for Gabriel's antibiotics (because the Dr. felt the bronchitis was bacterial). Oh! And there is no such thing as a note from a doctor that says when a child with Chicken Pox is safe to go back to school. Such a guideline does not exist! These notes have never been written! The notes that other kids get? They're not what I think they are, nor are they what I've seen with my eyes, because those don't exist. Of course I'm a wretchedly bad mother both for (a) not recognizing a rash on the knees of a child vaccinated against Chicken Pox as Chicken Pox and (b) neglecting his bronchitis, which K now feels he has had the entirety of the past six weeks. Let's just nevermind that he had a cold, bronchitis! I had a cold? Bronchitis! I'm a terrible mother. Mind you, I'm also a terrible mother because I've only driven Gabriel to see his dad five times (yes you can do the math and see that it was more than that, particularly with all the drives to San Jose/SF, but who am I to argue?). Oh and when I drive up there, I'm cruelly keeping Gabriel from his father, and only letting them see each other for a minimum of time. Our conversations have never once gone like this:
Me: Do you want Gabriel Friday or Saturday?
Him: I have plans on Friday.
Me: Okay, Saturday then.
Of course I'm a bitch for caring that he doesn't support his son financially. Heinous of me, to inquire as to when he's planning on making up the money he NEVER PAID in September, or the check that bounced and ruined my financial situation just last week. How could I? (I'm of the opinion that I shouldn't be expected to drive Gabriel hundreds of miles to see his father if his father doesn't offer financial support. He can see him whenever he wants on his own time, but if he wants me to drive, he needs to come through with the money. Awful I know.)
Anyhow.
Obviously.
This was all my fault, and I'm a horrid bitch and a negligent mother.

And unrelated to this weekend, but also annoying: K and I were having a fairly amicable conversation regarding Gabriel's ability to recognize letters and numbers, etc. He made a comment about how great his school must be. I said that I went to Gabriel's school when I was a little girl, and he said, "Oh. Never mind then. It couldn't be the school." You know, because I'm so stupid? And none of Gabe's brain came from me? I mean, I'm barely a functioning adult. I don't know how I got through middle school, let alone got a masters degree. I'm so stupid, the PRESCHOOL I went to was tainted by my bad braincells.

Surveying 08

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
I went to BlogHer, thus admitting to myself and the world that this shit is important to me.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?


Not all of them, but I think I did reasonably well.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

I know a couple new babies, but no one in my immediate circle of friends/family.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Not close to me, but I was at a funeral this year.

5. What countries did you visit?

The good old US of A.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?

Consistent child support.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

January 2nd was the awful day that my wallet got stolen out of my car while I was pumping gas, I was without a cell phone, I was stuck in the biggest storm of the season in Chico, and Gabriel was in SC. I think it was honestly one of the worst days of my life.
March 17 was my first day at my new job.
May 15 I broke my foot.
November 5th I could finally breathe that huge sigh of relief.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Moving here and changing jobs.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I don't know about failure, but it still kills me that I can't spend more time at home.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Broke my foot while I broke my car.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My new computer.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Gabriel, who has been SO much happier now that we live close to our family. And this has been a big year for him. He's potty trained, started sleeping in his own big boy bed, and goes to preschool.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?


Gabriel's father, although truthfully, it's such a given that I don't think it should affect me the way it does.

14. Where did most of your money go?


Rent/Paying Down Credit.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Moving.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?

Something by Amy Winehouse I think.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? Happier
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner
c) richer or poorer? Richer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Exercise.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Worrying, late night snacking, dwelling on unchangeables.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Gabriel's father came to my house in the morning to spend some time with Gabe, then he left and we spent the rest of the day at my parents' house with family.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?

Nope.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

This was a year of TV on DVD, and I'm in love with Arrested Development, The Tudors, The Wire and Weeds.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No.

24. What was the best book you read?

Liars and Saints

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Molly's CD Exchange

26. What did you want and get?

A car stereo.

27. What did you want and not get?

Consistency from Gabriel's father.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

I only saw Forgetting Sarah Marshall and The Dark Knight in theaters. I like them both.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 26. I drank with friends.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Financial security.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?


Do I look fat?

32. What kept you sane?


Time with my family, dive bars, Gabriel.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?


Wall-E.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

California choosing to ban gay marriage, as well as our choice to vote no on prison reform.

35. Who did you miss?


I miss my Chico girls terribly, even though I'm happy I moved.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

My coworker Krishna has been a great new friend.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.

Don't count on it.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

“I need money.”

Unrelated to it all, I'm having a giveaway, and I did a review over yonder as well.

27 December 2008

Crystalyn Kae Clutch

I, who never win anything, ever at all? I won something! Can you believe it!?

Way back in June, I blogged about Crystalyn Kae bags. I've been sort of discretely checking in and ogling the goodies since I first stumbled on the site. And then I entered a contest. I never win contests, but if I don't enter, then I'll really never win, so I figured, why not? I should enter!

And I won!

And this morning I got a knock on the door from the UPS man, delivering this clutch ($75). I'm in love. It's a really good size; a little smaller than I was picturing, which I actually prefer. The material is fabulous, and I love the color. I'm not sure how completely I trust myself to actually clutch a clutch all night, but I'm going out tonight, and building my outfit around this, so I'll let you know.

This one is both beautiful and beautifully made.

Morning of Answers

*No, K is not coming to visit Gabriel today on account of writing me a bad check.
*No, he has not called Gabriel to tell him that.
*Yes, I can still beat my 16-year-old brother and my brother-in-law at arm wrestling.
*Why yes, I will be using all of my Christmas money to buy food and pay bills. I guess it's a good thing that K FAILED AT LIFE right around Christmas time.
*Yes, SITS is giving away a Keurig Platinum Brewing System that I want.
*Well OF COURSE Gabriel's wearing his Spider-Man suit.
*Yes, I got roped into lunch with Irv. More on that after the fact.
*What do I have to entertain you? Shoot. Well.....How about this picture from when Gabriel was about 6 months old and I hadn't really lost any baby weight yet? Ignore my arm fat, and focus instead on how freakishly large my breasts are:

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26 December 2008

Frustrations and what not

Christmas morning K did indeed arrive at my house well before Gabriel was ready to wake up and be a human. K ended up waking him up once we ran out of things to say to each other. Gabriel loved having his dad over for Christmas, so in that respect it was worth it.

Gabriel was pretty good the whole day through, which I thought was pretty impressive, since Christmas is often such a difficult holiday for little kids what with the toys! presents! excitement! sugar!

K got him a Geo Trax set. There are cool things about it, and Gabriel really likes it. But it can't be taken apart and put away, and we live in a one-bedroom apartment. Toys that can't be put away just...don't work. I simply can't have a plastic train set whose permanent home is my living room floor. I also don't like the way it only goes together in one configuration. Gabe has wooden train tracks, and those can be added to, built on, configured however he pleases, and at the end of it all, picked up and put back in their basket. I've left this out for the past couple days, but it's going to have to go live at K's house if it wants to live.

K is supposedly coming tomorrow morning to take Gabriel for the rest of the weekend, but the check he wrote me for December bounced, leaving me with approximately zero dollars. I've naturally been calling him all day, and he's apparently been using his amazing people skills to avoid me. Now I need him to set that right, but I also need to know about his plans for taking Gabriel. So if he's not calling me, is he not coming? Time will tell I suppose.

I have some lovely pictures of the boys riding their bikes on Christmas, to be uploaded and posted as soon as I can.

25 December 2008

It's just that I can't sleep

So.

Merry Christmas.

I made the mistake of drinking coffee at 8pm, and now I'm stuck up past midnight on Christmas Eve, a night when any parent needs as much sleep as possible to pull them through the day to come.

Gabriel's red spider-bike is in the living room under the tree, complete with a gold bow that I poached from something else. That's right, my mom found it, and did an exchange, and all is well. The cousins will now have identical bikes.

Of course, Gabriel's also in the living room. He's been sleeping in his bed since last Friday. He hasn't really slept in his own bed since the summer of 2007, so I'm calling this progress in the first degree. I'd normally be concerned that he would wake up at 2am, see his bike, and just...be up, but he's hopped up on Benadryl and likely out till morning. No. I didn't drug my kid so he'd sleep through the night before Christmas and give me a break. Although truthfully that's not a bad idea....
No.
He's got this weird itchy rash on his knees, so he got Miss Grace's official treatment of cortisone cream and Benadryl, with the sincere hope that it's disappeared come morning.

Also, I'm not ready to talk about why Gabriel doesn't have his stocking from last year, but he doesn't. So I got him a new one from Pottery Barn Kids, and it's extra cute and has his name on it, but I didn't get it in the mail until today (don't worry there was a contingency plan) and I didn't realize how big it was going to be, and I don't think that Santa got enough plastic crap/sugar to adequately fill the thing. I don't think this will really matter in light of the awesomely awesome bicycle magic, but it could be...fuller.

K.Dot's torchuring me by coming over at an ungodly early morning hour. He initially wanted to god-knows-why come over at 4am, supposedly to be extra-sure that Gabey wouldn't be up yet, but um? I won't be up either buddy. Ostensibly he's not coming over at 7 with the sole intention of irritating me by being here at 7. I mean, I understand the desire to be there when your kid wakes up Christmas morning, and I also understand that it sucks when that isn't a given. But this is me, being selfish, and I'd rather, I dunno, 9?

Well, I'm off to try to get some sleep.

I hope that everyone has a simply lovely day.

23 December 2008

Overheard, the get-a-clue edition

While Christmas shopping last night, I stopped at Starbucks (I have a gift card). In front of me there was a couple, obviously on a first date.

Him, gesturing at her cross earrings: I didn't know you were religious.

Her, sarcastically: Oh I'm not. I'm just pro-crucifixion, and you know, I'm trying to get the message out.

Him, deadly serious: Oh. You know, you might not realize this, but that was actually a pretty awful way to die. I mean, even for criminals. It wasn't humane. You might want to look into that a little more before you start advocating.

Her, under her breath: Jesus I need a drink.

Him: Don't worry, I think our order's up next.

22 December 2008

Lucky for me, I have THREE weirdo grandpas

Yesterday was the annual awkward lunch with my dad's Freudian psychiatrist father and his frigid third wife. It used to be an awkward dinner, which was a lot worse because then you had to dread it for the whole day. This way it's over and done with no later than four. My mom makes her three adult children drink wine before they come, because we're all a lot nicer when we're drunk.

There's been a major shift in the Mac/Deborah paradigm. He used to be the asshole, and she was just sort of a snarky, (literally) small person, but comparatively? Really not so bad, since she just gave you disapproving looks, while Mac might ask you if you were sure you weren't testing the tensile strength of that chair. In recent years, what with Mac having quadruple bypass surgery and breaking his back (twice), he's mellowed out a lot, and is mostly just pretty genial (and seems to have resigned himself to the fact that he has fat granddaughters), although when he hugs you, it's as a pair of human calipers, evaluating your BMI, fat percentage, weight, muscle mass, and what have you. All that said, it's pretty clear that he actually loves us, and he's related to us by blood, which counts for a little bit of loyalty. In contrast, Deborah's gotten a LOT more persnickety, a lot more unhappy, and has transformed into a significantly (though only figuratively) bigger bitch. Like maybe she'll look at dessert and say something like, "I can't imagine someone who needs to eat that. How can you eat that much? That's disgusting." Just for instance.

Anyhow.

This lunch business happens once a year, on the Sunday before Christmas, unless the Sunday before Christmas is the 23rd or the 24th; then it happens two Sundays before Christmas. The last time I was at this lunch was in 2004. I haven't seen Mac and Deborah for four years. Just to be clear, Gabriel will be three in January.

Gabriel was dressed up in his party best, and I introduced him to his great-grandparents (whom, being as he was born in 2006, he has never met).
Me: And this is my son, Gabriel.
Deborah: Oh we met him last year.
Huh. Not only was I not here last year, Deborah refused to come last year.

AND....Mac asked various people who I was, twice. I pretended that I couldn't hear. My brother-in-law farted, VERY loudly, while we were all at the table. Kate (Duncan's girlfriend) was just wearing regular clothes, which was honestly fine, but we do wear our party clothes for this lunch. Duncan (who was also dressed up) claimed he had told her. Kate: You told me we were having lunch at your parents' house. What about that denotes a dress-up occasion?? She had a very valid point with that.

I got $100, so that was nice.

Side note: Mac and Deborah care about thank you cards. If you don't send one, they will punish you by sending less money for your birthday the following year. True story.

Nothing else of note this weekend; just getting ready for Christmas.

21 December 2008

(Potential) Christmas FAIL

My mom works next door to a fancy bike store, and whenever Gabriel goes to work with her, they check out the bikes. There's a red, Gabriel-sized bike there with spiders on it. THAT is Gabriel's bike. He talks about it all the time. That's his red Spider-Man bike.

My nephews (Gabriel's cousins) are getting bikes from Santa this year. Their grandma (the one who's not my mom) is sponsoring that venture.

Gabriel saw Santa. Gabriel asked for a red Spider-Man bike. My mom and I knew without a doubt that he was asking for that red Spider-Man bike. I don't have a mother-in-law to send me a check to buy a bike from Santa, so my mom very kindly offered to step in for that role. And I'll note here that K.Dot did offer to buy the Santa-Bicycle. It's just that my mom and I knew exactly which one Gabriel was picturing in his head. He was getting that red Spider-Man bike.

That has been the plan.

And been the plan.

And been the plan.

And....not.

My mom went there on Friday to buy the bike, and the bike was gone. There was a neon-green bike with spiders on it, but that's not the same. She ended up buying him a very nice electric blue bike. And she got him the kind that scoots instead of the kind that pedals, because even though Gabriel can spell his name and tell me what time it is, he's sort of uncoordinated and not very good with...athletics. And my mom and I agreed that he'd have a lot more fun on the scootie bike, and the bike shop guy thinks he'll have more fun on it, and if not, it's fully exchangeable. And they're willing to order the red spider bike, but it won't be here for Christmas, and it'll be alright if Santa needs to make an exchange. I could go to Walmart or Target or wherever and get a bike that ACTUALLY had Spider-Man on it, except? These bikes are really nice and high quality and fancy, and I think I'd rather go with high-end than commercially appropriate. And I can put spider stickers on the bike. And all that is fine.

Except.

Turns out?

Mike (my brother-in-law, Laura's husband) went out and bought his kids bikes. And he bought the red bike with spiders on it for Elliot. Which is why it was gone when my mom went to buy it. Same store, same bike. My sister assures me that if she'd gone out for the bikes she would have known which one was Gabey's and not gotten it, but now that they have those bikes, those bikes are theirs. Could Elliot get the green spider bike so Gabriel can have the red one? Elliot asked for a red bike from Santa. He REALLY wants a red bike. I'll grant that Elliot is probably even more stubborn and opinionated than Gabriel.

So.

The plan right now is to keep the bikes at our respective houses for a couple weeks (until each child is nice and attached to their very own) before we bring them up to my mom's house. My mom's house has better bike-riding areas, which is why we'll want to bring them up there in the first place.

20 December 2008

Somethings I forgot

Remember that party I went to last Saturday? While I was a pretty crappy photographer, I do have some gems to share with you.

Our very own Durian (note the alcohol spill on my sister's boobs in the background):

Durian

The man on the left? That scarf was no less than 7' long. Exaggerating by zero percent:

IMG_2364

This man was stumbling around drunk, so Aurora told him she thought he should sit down. AND....he sat on my sister, who had neither met nor laid eyes on him prior to the event (by the way I'm heinously jealous of my sister's coat, especially since our mom bought it for her that morning when they were up to their fancy child-free Saturday shenanigans in which I can never participate on account of never being child-free):

IMG_2358

And, favorite of favorites (though you'll forgive for the less than perfect photo), Bob Cratchet, who did not get the memo about the speakeasy theme:

Bob Cratchet

19 December 2008

Rudolph

Gabriel's Christmas party was last night. It featured 25 children, ages 2.5-5, sprinting through the church parish on a sugar high. It also featured a Christmas concert with those same said children. I don't know if I've mentioned that Gabriel goes to the same preschool that I attended as a child, but he does. And last night I met two other parents and one of his teachers that went there at the same time. I am a parenting FAIL, and didn't have my camera at the party itself, but I did take some pictures when we got home.

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I'm feeling more Christmasy and cheerful already!

18 December 2008

Incredibly Typical

The summer before last, when I went in for my we-give-you-Valium-then-hack-at-the-roof-of-your-mouth surgery, I was asking my mom if she knew where the office was, because it was a specialist that I'd never seen before. I'm sharing this conversation because it's pretty typical; my mom is unbelievably observant of her surroundings, and is consistently surprised that I don't navigate my way through life via vagrant hangouts, yard sculptures, or botanical oddities. Anyways, it went something like this:

Me: Do you know where my gum graft appointment is?

Mom: Yeah, it's in the same complex where Laura got her wisdom teeth out.

Me: ....

Mom: You know that Jetsonian medical complex on Water?

Me: ..... Jetsonian?

Mom: Yeah! You know, it's looks like it was built by someone in the 70s imagining the 21st Century. You've never noticed it?

Me: No.

Mom: Well, you will now. It's across the street from that Monkey Puzzle tree?

Me: Across from the what now?

Mom: You know that really big Monkey Puzzle tree on Water Street? The entrance for that complex is right across from it.

Me: What's a Monkey Puzzle tree?

Mom: You know what they are. There's one downtown, caddy-corner to that pink Victorian with the gingerbread molding?

Me: ...

Mom: (With a tone of disbelief) They're the only conifer native to South America?

Me: ...

Mom: They're called Monkey Puzzle trees because it would be a puzzle for a monkey to climb?

Me: ...

Mom: It's just past Washington Mutual, same side of the street.

Me: OH. Okay.

17 December 2008

Thoughts, disordered.

First of all, I know I live on the California coast, and I know that it is much significantly colder in most other parts of the United States, but still: It was 22°F last night and THAT IS FUCKING COLD. I live in a town where it oscillates within 10° of 60° the whole year round. It doesn't get very cold, and it doesn't get very hot either. I am simply not emotionally prepared, and no number of adorable coats and fuzzy mittens can get me there.

Moving on.

I'm going to a Christmas party tonight, and it's immediately after work, so I actually had to put a tiny bit of thought into my appearance this morning. I'm extra matchy, and wearing makeup! And my hair is combed! And not just in a messy pony! Huzzah!

I'm kind of disappointed that this year my only Christmas party is on a weeknight, and that I only have one. Is this a mark of crashing economic times? No more Christmas parties?

Tomorrow is Gabriel's preschool Christmas concert. His class is singing Jingle Bells. We've been practicing at home, so I know for a fact that it will be adorable. And speaking of adorable, for the past week or so, Gabey's been trying a new tack on staying home from school, where he widens his eyes really big and asks how come we can just stay home together and play and have fun. When it was fussing and whining, yeah, I don't want to go to work either, but suck it up kid, we gotta do what we gotta do. The sweet request to spend the day together? MELTS MY HEART. And helps not at all with my go-to-work resolve.

It's not, by the way, as if Gabriel hates school. But he hates pants and he hates being woken up, and he figures if he got to stay home, he could wake up whenever and spend the whole day pants free. Probably, that's true.

16 December 2008

Organizational Problems

I don't have any bookshelves right now. It's led to this:

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Some unopened boxes of books:

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Gabriel's corner:

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And, the most disturbing of all, my desk:

The Disaster of my Desk

I have some Must-Get-This-Shit-Done-By-Christmas organizational goals. I'll let you know how they turn out.

Arrested Development! Free Shipping in Time for Christmas!


Arrested Development is possibly my favorite show of all time. And it's amazing. And hilarious. And you can watch it over and over and over and over and over again. And right now the Arrested Development Complete Series is on sale at Amazon for only $28.99, plus Super Saver Shipping, which if you order by tomorrow will still get it there in time for Christmas.

You're Welcome.

15 December 2008

Another weekend, another vagina fruit UPDATED (AGAIN)

One of the girls I lived with when I went to UCSB was the adorable Miss Daphne. AND....I haven't seen her since I left Santa Barbara. She planned this Vegas birthday trip last winter, which ended up being a big FAIL on my part. But. She was visiting Monica this weekend (all the way from Phoenix), and they came down here on Saturday! Squee! Daphne and Gabe had the pleasure of meeting, and I'm pretty sure it was love at first sight. We wandered around downtown, went to the park, ate a couple few times. Twas lovely. Daphne let's not wait another 5 years, okay? Because I lovey you. And five years is a long-ass time.

Saturday night I went to a party with my sister and Aurora. A "speakeasy" themed party. Although I feel the need to point out that a few too many people got Prohibition Era United States tragically confused with the London of Charles Dickens, which resulted in a man in a top hat, and another dressed as what my sister and I could only interpret as Bob Cratchet. My favorite (and I felt most accurate) costume was the girl dressed as a bootlegger. We kicked off the night by drinking screw-top miniature bottles of champagne in the car, with Aurora insisting that we gaze at the "hill top view." We tried and failed to play Badminton. It turns out that you probably shouldn't play racket sports when you're too drunk to figure out how to jump on a trampoline. Somehow, someway, we stayed out WAY TOO LATE, and by the time I got home, stumbled drunkenly around my house, and crawled into bed, I think it was 4 am. I DON'T DO THAT. I NEVER stay out that late.

My mom called at nine Sunday morning to let me know that she was bringing Gabriel over soonish. I didn't attempt to leave my bed until she was physically at my door. Gabriel and I napped together, and then K.Dot came to visit Gabe. He brought a Christmas tree, which solved my problems. I don't really have any ornaments, so I decorated it with lights and candy canes. Gabriel and I went to bed at round about 830, and I'm still exhausted this morning. Gabriel asking why we couldn't just stay home and snuggle in bed did not help with my resolve. Not even a little bit. But here I am at work, and after today I only have 6 more days of work before I get 10 off, which will be blissful and lovely.

Is anyone else freezing their a$$ off? I swear to Jesus last week it was pleasant and warm, this week there are icicles on my car.

UPDATE: Okay so it turns out I'm not allowed to mention vagina fruit in my title and then not explain it EVEN A LITTLE in my post. Who'da thunk it? At Bob Cratchet's party on Saturday, at some point beyond the one where I became intoxicated enough to discuss the relative pros and cons of reviewing sex toys online (pros are free sex toys, cons are that this is probably considered sleezy by society in general), someone from somewhere brought in a vagina fruit to eat. Or that's what everyone was calling it; I'm willing to bet good money that it has a more sciency name somewhere out there. I tried Googling it, and do yourself a favor: Don't. Well, unless you want to learn what the peoples of the internet want to refer to as vagina fruit. Anyhow, it smelled like ass and was super hard and spiky on the outside and weirdly soft and pulpy on the inside, and it wasn't delicious, so I sort of feel like it's "party name" was insulting to the vagina. Tragically, I don't have a photo.

The Durian:

14 December 2008

How to lie, as taught by the world's worst liar

When possible, blame the voiceless. Pets, children under the age of two, and in-laws with dementia are all good choices, because they can't defend themselves.

If you know there are going to be questions, preemptively offer the answers. Before your husband asks you where you got all the new stuff, call him up and gush about how your mom took you shopping.

Stay as close to the truth as possible. You hung out with your ex-girlfriend last night and your new girlfriend is asking questions? Flat-out denial will get you caught, fast. So instead of making plans to hang out with her, maybe you ran into her when you were out? And talked for a few minutes? Yeah, that sounds good.

When plausible, straight denial with a dash of ignorance is always a good choice. You don't know what happened to the car bumper. It must have happened when the car was parked on the street. Absolutely not. You didn't hit anything.

Focus-shifting. Before she can ask who ate all the cookies, ask her who ate all the cookies. You were really looking forward to having one when you got home from work, and now they're gone. Does she know what happened. It must have been the kids (see blaming the voiceless).

When accused, make sure to act indignant and a little self-righteous. Counter-accuse, if necessary. Is he sure HE didn't hit something with the car? Why doesn't HE know what happened to the bumper? Well guess what, you don't believe him. You're pretty sure he's lying to you.

This is the MOST IMPORTANT point: Once you've settled on a story, STICK WITH IT. Under no circumstances do you break or come clean. Tell it to yourself enough times that you restructure your memory. Envision the retold incident as you've reported that it happened. You must convince yourself that this is the truth, and the truth it shall become.

Go forth sinners, and enjoy.

12 December 2008

BOOK CLUB FAIL

I was supposed to read a book. This book. I was a gleeful participant in Lil Sass's TJCTR Bookclub. I was the one who suggested the time line/due date of reading the book by today. Plenty of time. Easy Peasy. I'm constantly reading. I can read a couple books a week.

And it's not like I haven't quite finished it, or I never got into it, or whatever.

I haven't even cracked the cover.

Not once.

The slightly redeemable aspect is that I haven't read ANYTHING in the last month, as opposed to times past when I've read all kinds of things, just NOT the book I was supposed to. Although. I haven't read anything this month. The fuck? I haven't been doing anything this month. What have I been doing? I usually read at night, in bed. What have I been doing instead?

I still don't have internet at home, so not that.

I'm still involuntarily celibate, so not that.

I still don't don't have cable, so not that.

I still haven't touched my knitting or my crafts, so not that.

Seriously? Where have I been?

Oh. Right.

For the past month or so I've been going to bed at around 8 o'clock. 9 if I'm really pushing it. Earlier than 8 if I can get Gabe to fall asleep. I haven't been waking up any earlier, if you're wondering. I've just been sleeping for 10 hours a night. And taking naps on the weekends. And sitting at work, totally exhausted, guzzling coffee. Coffee which does nothing for me, as I still drag myself home, aimlessly throw dinner together, commence with getting Gabey ready for bedtime, and fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. Then wake up the next day, just as exhausted.

Yesterday morning I had a dentist appointment, so I got to sleep in an extra hour and a half, and have a more relaxed morning. I went to bed at 9 the night before, slept until 730, and couldn't peel myself out of bed.

Lil Sass, honey, darling, love.

I failed. I suck. I didn't even try to read the book. Let alone on time.

I'm just so tired you see. All the time.

tikoli kitchen towel


I'm having a serious love affair with these kitchen towels. I love changing up my room decor with simple things like this. $8.99 each, in a variety of delightful patterns, at grounded.

11 December 2008

Paying Homage

Have you checked out my new digs?

Have you clicked through from your reader lately?

Have you acquainted yourself with my friend Badass Geek?

Do you remember my deepest, darkest, fantasy wish, wherein I had two columns on my blog?

Did you know that I didn't win his contest, cuz I'm unlucky in contests?

Well. Guess what?

I'm not sure if I killed him with flattery, or if he finally got tired of my bitching and moaning, but Badass Geek has officially stepped in and helped with a redesign.

I. Am. In. Love.

Come over, take a look, stick around.

And for serious, if you need him for any blog-design issues, go to his site and get in touch with him (http://badassgeek.blogspot.com).

HE CAN HELP.

HE IS AWESOME.

I'M IN LOVE.

No not like that, silly. He's married.

10 December 2008

Epiphany

My dad has a host of sleeping troubles. Aside from the fact that he suffers from chronic pain, he is a naturally light sleeper. Also. He suffers from Narcolepsy (I'm about to talk about the symptoms, so if you want to follow the link, it might be easier to follow along). The things, specifically, that plague him are sleep paralysis and excessive daytime sleepiness.
His mom (my grandmother) suffers from Narcolepsy (she has some sort of speed prescribed to her as a treatment option). I think that at least three, if not all four of his sisters suffer from some level of the disorder.
While I'm loathe to draw any comparisons between myself and any Rob Schneider movie, I will say that I have a tendency to maybe fall asleep if I'm bored or understimulated at all, and it's maybe possible that I HAVE to take NoDoz in order to drive on long trips, because I'm afraid that if I don't I'll fall asleep at the wheel and die. And I promise you I'll fall asleep in class. That is a fact. And sleep paralysis? It's the most horrible feeling in the world. The first time it happened, I was in 18 years old, in Spain. I had taken a siesta, and I woke up, only...I couldn't move my body. I couldn't open my eyes, I couldn't scream. I could hear my roommate in bed next to me, on the phone. I was vividly, acutely, awake and conscious and aware of my surroundings. And I couldn't...I just couldn't do anything. I thought I'd had a stroke, or that I was dying, or Jesus was I dead? It was awful. Then, just like that, it was over. Now that I know what it is, it's less alarming, but when it happens (generally in times of high stress), it's never pleasant. Oh, and another listed symptom? Hallucinations. Here's the thing about that. I don't have I'm-awake-and-I-see-little-monsters hallucinations, but on the border between being asleep and being awake, my dream will sometimes sort of, come with me when I wake up. I'll wake up completely still in my dream setting. It's hard to explain, but Paris shared a room with me for 3 years, and she can tell you that sometimes I said some really weird shit.
Laura and Duncan (my two adult siblings) both suffer some range of symptoms as well.

THIS SHIT IS OBVIOUSLY HEREDITARY

That was all foreshadowing.

Gabriel is a crappy sleeper. Sometimes he just wakes up screaming, for no reason. Sometimes he wakes up babbling nonsense, angry with me for not understanding what he's saying. Well. Last night he woke up in tears, babbling about me not giving him a rocket ship and could he please just have it, and I realized something important. The kid's asleep. And I should be a WAY more understanding mother, considering. So I actually got out of bed and held him and helped him wake up and fall back asleep. And he was fine for the rest of the night.

Just like that.

Fold and Go Farm


Only $59 at Land of Nod, plus free shipping! I know a toddler who'd like it (hint, hint).

Knight Dress Up Set

Perfect dress-up for a little boy; sword, shield, hood and tunic from The Wooden Wagon.



09 December 2008

Creepy/weird things in my parents' house

*In their bedroom closet, my parents have a walrus skull. Just sort of...hanging out under the coats. Try snooping through your mom's stuff and finding that.

*They use a pair of coffin tables as end tables. The kind you use to put a coffin on for display, which isn't morbid at all.

*There's a horrifying wooden Balinese harpy hanging from the ceiling at the top of the stairs. You don't see it unless you look directly up, which somehow makes it worse.

*In my old bedroom there are doors into the attic. Doors which are about four feet high, and a foot and half wide. Doors that are the perfect size for the evil zombie elves you think might live in the attic. The demon elves that you can hear skittering around at night. They keep you up, making all of their pitter patter noises. Growing up to discover that you can actually hear rats skittering around at night is not any more comforting.

*Another reason my bedroom used to terrify me: it didn't used to have a wall switch for the light. It had a single dangling light bulb hanging from the ceiling in the middle of the room, and you had to walk blindly into the (demon elf infested) dark, reaching for the string to turn it on. Getting light switches installed was a huge bonus.

*Something else that was wrong with my room: when I was in high school (and my light had a switch plate on the wall, which was nice), my bedroom window had a large crack going through it, and my room was consistently 10-15 degrees colder than the rest of the house.

*My room is the biggest bedroom in the house, which somewhat made up for all the other. However, it's now my 16-year-old brother James' room, and the creepy doors have locks on them, the windows have glass(!), so I think he's getting a better deal. Also, while I was always moved out of my room for guests, my parents currently have more bedrooms than in-home children, so they actually have a guest bedroom.

*This isn't actually in my parents' house, but getting back to things that terrified me as a child, on the (perhaps 3 minute) walk through the woods to my Aunt Rebecca's cabin, there's this tree root that looks exactly like a gnarled old zombie man escaping from the Earth. It even looks like that in the daytime as a grownup. Maybe I need to take a picture of it.

My parents actually have a very lovely house in many other ways. Here is a very nice picture of my mommy's kitchen.

Airport Play Center

$80 at Giggle, and boy, would Gabey LOVE this.

Dog Sketchbook

$7 at Giggle.

08 December 2008

Bernard in Blue monster shirt

Squee! $28.50 from nissalisa.

Horsie Booties

$48 at Garnet Hill.

Santa Issues

My brain hasn't been working lately. At least not for lengthy thoughts. Hence, the bullet style posts of the past couple days. Apologies.

*I believed in Santa Claus, really and truly believed, until I was ten years old. I WAS A FIFTH GRADER! THAT IS OLD! I never questioned the logic of thousands of elves making plastic crap in the arctic tundra. I clung to my belief despite the wise-ass ways of all of my schoolmates because I knew that (a) my mom would never lie to me, and (b) if Santa wasn't real, my sister would have ruined it for me as soon as she found out. Like how she told me about sex when I was three. Thanks for that Laura. Also, Santa used special different wrapping paper that my parents never had. I had asked my mom about it before, and she was all, "Of course there's a Santa." Of course she doesn't lie to me, so of course I believed her. In fifth grade, when I found the stocking stuffers whilst snooping through my parents' closet looking for prezzies, I was shocked. I confronted my mom. She laughed at me. Laughed at me. More importantly, my sister found out there was no Santa in Kindergarten, because she asked my mom, and my mom told her. And neither one ever told me?? Innocence died that day.

*In my family, Santa brought you your stocking. El fin. Everything else was from real live people who were there that day. In K.Dot's family, Santa brought the biggest, most important toy, unwrapped under the tree, and they didn't really do stockings. This is presenting a conflict for Gabriel's Christmas.

*A couple weeks ago, K.Dot took Gabriel to see Santa in the mall. Gabriel asked him for a Spider-Man bike and a cookie. Well. K.Dot says that Gabriel asked for a Spider-Man bike, and Santa asked for a cookie, but that's not how Gabey remembers it. As of today, the cookie is at least as important as the bike.

Also, completely unrelated, I wanted to clarify that I'm not having any impotence issues with my uncompleted life list. It's a life list, and I don't plan on dying anytime soon. Also, I HAVE done cool stuff that I'm proud of, but I made this list since then, and I don't believe in writing something down just so I can cross it off, yknow?

05 December 2008

Christmas List: Mistletoe Ornament


It's on sale for $4 (plus free shipping!) at the Pottery Barn right now, so I'm not really sure how I can do anything BUT buy it, right?

More random snippets

*There is a girl who works in my building, and the only makeup she wears is black liquid eyeliner on her bottom lashes. That's it. I find myself fixating on her face all the time. I mean, really? No mascara? No nothing? What do you see when you look in the mirror?

*Right now Gabriel's favorite song is Lean like a Cholo (follow the link to watch the video, if you must). One day I had my iTunes on shuffle and it came on, and I leaned over to skip it, and Gabriel stopped me, saying, "No mom! This is Elbows Up Side To Side! I LOVE this song!" Then he proceeded to dance the whole time it played. And now whenever I try to listen to anything at all, he asks if he can listen to Elbows Up Side to Side, is it his turn yet, he wants to listen to his song when it's his turn. I'll admit that I have the song on my computer, along with a whole lotta other crap, but I'm positive he did not cultivate this obsession through me. WTF people?

*I hate the c*** word. So much so that I'm not even willing to type it out on my blog (although here's a hint: it might rhyme with runt). I find it repugnant. And in very poor taste.

*This holiday season I've decided to boycott negative posts re: families. I know that I'm very lucky to have a family I adore, and I'm grateful for that. Also? I totally respect that your sister or your nephew or your dad is completely bonkers and ruins your life every time you get together. But I've decided that 'tis the season to love and appreciate the people in our lives, so I'm respectfully choosing not to read stuff about how you got in a fight with your grandma at Thanksgiving and she can eat shit and die. Just cuz. No offense. I'll commiserate with you after the holidays, when I'm feeling less loving and sentimental.

*Every single workday, before I leave the delicious warmth of my bed, I seriously consider calling in sick. And then I think to myself, "If I go to work today, then I can still call in sick tomorrow." The sick time is the carrot, and I am the mule.

*Gabriel knows how to spell his name!

04 December 2008

Tiny Living

My son and I have a one bedroom apartment, I have a lot of stuff. This is all stuff found at Tiny Living, and I'm envious. Beware, as I want many, many things.

Christmas List (But not really cuz it's sold out): Kindle

For the few hours that I actually made it to my CLA Annual Conference & Expo, I spent my time working in the Technology Petting Zoo. That's where I met my friend Kindle, which (when not sold out due to high demand) sells for $359 at Amazon.
Let me say something about this product: Viewing ads for it on a computer screen truly does not do the gizmo justice. I know that I looked at it and thought, "Meh, I don't really like to read on computer screen." Well I know they say it's not like that, but now that I've held it and touched and showed it my boobs, let me just say, IT IS NOT LIKE THAT. It's actually like reading a page. From a book. A book that's connected to the internets so when you finish it you can just up and download a new book from the device. And that's handy. And I want one. The end.

Checking in my resolutions

In a typically disorganized and scatter-brained manner, I laid out my 2008 New Year's resolutions in three separate posts (which can be viewed in entirety here, here and here). If you don't feel like clicking through, here is the gist:
  1. Either live closer to work or work closer to home.
  2. Spend less time worrying about Gabriel and more time enjoying him.
  3. Work out a schedule and routine that allows for time at the gym and time with friends without taking time away from Gabey.
  4. Pay off credit card.
  5. Keep house tidy (tidier?).
  6. Cook real dinner during the week.
  7. Enjoy.
  8. Make morally unambiguous choices.
  9. Have more sex.
  10. Increase job satisfaction, be it by changing jobs, changing my hours, or both (with a Personal Deadline: March 17, 2008).
(Although for items 8 and 9 you may want to read the original post, because there is SOME explanation)
So. How did I do?
  1. Accomplished. I moved to SC, which is "home," and I live about two minutes from work. Check.
  2. I think this is accomplished although difficult to gauge. I think that I'm a generally happier person now that I'm not living in Chico, and I think that makes me less stressed, and therefore more wont to enjoy. Eh, but I'm not sure. I worry a lot.
  3. Living near my parents has allowed for a lot less headache when making time for friends, because I no longer have to depend on Flakey McFlakington Father Figure to step up for me, so that's definitely happened. The gym? Has not. I walk at lunch. Does that count?
  4. I had to spend a lot of unexpected money this year, so my credit cards still exist, but I have substantially reduced how much money I owe, so that's good. I'm hoping to cut them out entirely by the end of 2009.
  5. Eh, this is more or less the same. My house is somewhat tidier because I have dishwasher and washer/dryer, so that stuff doesn't pile up, but it's also somewhat less tidy because I still don't have any bookshelves, which means I have piles and stacks of books in every room.
  6. Nope. Although Gabriel gets a balanced meal every night. Well. Every night that he's in my care.
  7. I tried. And I think I've been pretty successful.
  8. Accomplished. Shades of gray have been eliminated.
  9. Eh. This went well for the first half of the year, but I haven't been dating at all lately, and that...sucks. Oh well.
  10. Okay so I DID change jobs, and this one is NOT soul-sucking, and you know the greatest part? My first day of work at my new job was March 17, 2008.

03 December 2008

Christmas List: Black & Decker DCM18S Brew 'n Go Personal Coffeemaker with Travel Mug


Black & Decker DCM18S Brew 'n Go Personal Coffeemaker with Travel Mug. This is only $15.38 at Amazon, is available for free super saver shipping, and it brews coffee into a travel mug. ZOMG. Please buy, and then ship to me. Address available upon request, of course.

Or buy it for yourself. I guess that's fine too. I'll live. *Sniffle*

Credit where credit's due: I found this over at Milk and Cookies, via Swistle.

Unrelated Snippets

*Seeing as Gabriel's almost three, and seeing as I'm not (very) delusional, there's a lot of pre-pregnancy clothing that I got rid of LONG ago. Never again will I voluntarily don a shirt that requires I spend an entire evening in public with no bra on. My bikinis are gone; the only people who are allowed to see my bare tummy are ones that are REALLY persuasive when extolling on my beauty and begging to see me nekkid. Then there are the clothes that only fit the skinnier version of me BEFORE I had Gabriel. I'm not that optimistic; I'd be thrilled to be the pre-Gabriel, fat me. But there are a lot of clothes that almost fit. And I just can't quite get rid of them. They drive me crazy, especially every six weeks or so when I forget that they don't quite fit and I try to wear them, only to rediscover the muffin top.

*There's this guy who hangs out outside of my work. He's young and normal looking and not obviously insane. But he carries all of his stuff in a USPS plastic tote. Like his lunch and his books and stuff. That's his backpack? I can't believe that's the most efficient means for transporting your possessions.

*One of my coworkers told me to make SURE I'm available after work Wednesday, December 12th. THAT IS NOT A DAY.

*I've been trying to figure out why my family has such an impractical gift giving tradition. We ALL give each other stuff, with a going rate of $15-25 per gift. I'M RELATED TO A LOT OF PEOPLE.

*I really like my new glasses. I do! But I feel like there has been an abundance of strangers complimenting them. Which is fine, except there are times when I would really like to be more incognito. The first two hours after I wake up, for instance. When my face is puffy, my under-eye circles are so dark they look like contusions, and I can't yet form coherent sentences. I would prefer not to be noticed, even if it's for something complimentary. So I haven't been wearing my glasses in the morning. Which makes being bleary eyed and confused EXTRA FUN.

02 December 2008

Kids movies that aren't soul sucking

First of all, there are a lot of kid's movies that I like okay and all, but I've seen WAY too many times, and the little bad parts that are in every kid's movie have just started to wear me down and I can't sit down and watch the whole thing anymore.
These are the ones that feature minimal cheesy/bad/inconsistent parts, which allow me to watch them on repeat with the TODDLER. Y'know if you're looking for movies to give to kids that won't drive their parents bonkers.