30 June 2010

This isn't even really real

(Not a real post)

1.  I want to delete my facebook.

2.  I started actually using tumblr, and it's filling a void I didn't even know I had.

3.  I'm already tired of people bitching about BlogHer.  It doesn't happen till August.

4.  Still can't find my iPod touch.  It's been months.  I could cry, if I thought about it too much. 

5.  I kind of want to write a 'how to inadvertently lose 15-20lbs' post, but to do so would require a lot of....acknowledgment of some OCD behavior I have.  Plus I'd have to talk about the cheese thing again, and I'm not to that stage of grief yet.

6.  Gabriel's starting a new school next week.  We're both excited.

7.  I went to the mall to buy a new strapless bra a couple weeks ago. And came home with a pair of designer jeans instead?  OHMYGOD YOU GUYS I LOVE THEM.  I am converted.  THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO OWN DENIM. My ass looks ah-mazing.

8.  BewbFest 2010. Do it.  I wasn't going to  submit anything because I wanted to be all smug and non-participatory as a member of BEWBFEST HALL OF FAME.  But, I kinda miss our boob site, so I sent something in.  I'll tell you to vote for me when the time comes.

9.  By the way Boob Emancipation has apparently died.  The domain needed to be renewed and only Holly could do it and she lives in Scotland now and....yeah.  Sadface. No more boobs.  Sorry guys.

10.  I really, really, REALLY want to finish my tattoo.  I was supposed to have an appointment on the 10th, but I canceled it when my car died, cuz, y'know, money.  But I'm still sad and jonesing for my tattoo fix and whatnot.

11.  My friend Gwen needs help.  I think the internet can help her.

That's all for today.

29 June 2010

Inspirational? Me?

(I had this post all saved as draft and then I saw that Casey said it first and better.  Oh well, publishing anyhow.)
--
So.  I've been nominated for a BlogLuxe Award.
Category?
Most Inspiring.
You guys?
Seriously?
The list of bloggers in that category is positively mind blowing in its awesomeness.
Writers who make me misty eyed.
Who make me scrunch up my forehead in that way that always made my grandmother warn me about Impending Wrinkles of Doom.
The other bloggers on that list are actually inspiring.
I'm just happy to be included with such a lovely bunch.
--
Now go vote for someone who really does inspire you.
And whoever nominated me?
Get over here, right now.
I need to kick your ass.

28 June 2010

Days Upon Days

I stayed at my mom's house last night, so that she could watch Gabriel for me today.

We're in between preschools at the moment.

She got up to have a cup of tea with me before I left.
She has boxes of papers from my grandpa's house that she's been sorting and organizing for months.  Most of is stuff that my grandmother had saved, that no one's looked at in the 15 years since she passed away.
A Christmas card from her sister-in-law, sent from Paris in 1985.
Five years worth of Corralitos newsletters, full of the kids I grew up with, their 4-H stories, memories of the '89 Earthquake.
Step-by-step instructions on achieving goals, tapped out on a typewriter and filed away.
--
A year ago my grandfather was still fine.  A year ago, he wasn't dying.  We are one month away from the one year marker of his death, and a year ago none of us knew.
It wasn't that he didn't have any health problems.
Because he did.
But we all expected him to slide slowly off a hill, and instead he leapt off of a cliff.

That's what anyone would want;  to live your entire long life fine and capable and with a whole mind.
To go quickly at the end.
That's what I would want for anyone.
But as the family left behind, it's so strange.
It's so strange that someone so whole and present can be gone so quickly from your life.

25 June 2010

My eyes, how they roll.

I like to keep an updated address book.  For most people, I evaluate what I've got at Christmas Card sending time.  If I know you move fairly regularly, I'll check in on your address then, and if I know that you don't or I think that you probably haven't, I'll leave it be unless I hear otherwise or want to mail you some sort of package or something.

Since Gabriel's dad moves at least a couple times a year, and since historical trends have indicated that he's not very good at letting me know about it, I try to ping him every few months to get his updated info.  One of those times is over the summer, when I'm filling out school forms and emergency cards and such.
Like today, for instance.
--
Me: Can you send me all of your updated work/home/mailing contact info?
Thanks.
--
Him: Why?
--
Me: So I can update what I have on file. I don't expect that should be a problem?
--
Him: Nothing has changed since the last time you asked me. If you don't mind letting me know in advance if you decide to return to court and I'd appreciate if I could receive the summons this time at my correct address.
--
Me: We're going to court?
--
You can understand my hesitation when you ask for addresses that you should already have, you haven't been completely forthcoming in the past about such things. Home address is still home, work is still work.
--
--
Okay Crazy McPants.
I'll file that away under.....Indignation?
Self-righteous paranoia?
Last I checked, we weren't going to court.
And since we've only been the once, I'm not TOTALLY clear on the historical basis.
But I'll make a note.
And, uh. So you've been living in the same place for a couple months now, so that's....neat....but you'll have to excuse me for expecting that to change soon, especially since you told me that you plan on moving. I think you told me you want to move as soon as possible?  So...I thought maybe you were moving? And I thought I'd check before I wrote this all down in BALL POINT PEN?
But pardon me for checking on your contact info.
Wait.
But if I'm taking you to court? Then it's allowed?
**headboom**

23 June 2010

Break Ups, A Rant

I have a little rant that's been ranting around my head and out my mouth for at least a couple months and I think my friends are tired of hearing it.
I'm writing it down, meaning that I'm not allowed to bitch about this anymore.
--
So!
When relationships end?
That sucks.
Totally, ridiculously sucks.
Giant sweaty donkey balls.
Especially if you are not the one to end things.

As the dumped person, it completely, honestly, 100% SUCKS.
And I'm sorry.
And I'm here for you, and let's go out to dinner, and talk on the phone, and do some retail therapy, and talk some more, and I'm available for hugs.
Let's split a bottle of wine and bitch about relationships.
Because it sucks.
And I'm sorry.
It's sad, it's disappointing, you feel like an idiot because you didn't see this coming, you feel like OH MY GOD HOW DID I MISREAD THIS ALL SO BADLY AND WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME AND OH MY GOD I'M GOING TO DIE ALONE WITH MY CATS.
It sucks and I'm sorry.
I'm not the Feelings Police.
You're allowed to be sad.
I've been sad, I get it.
Honest.

BUT!
HERE'S THE THING!
If you EVER don't want to be with me?
FUCKING CHRIST BREAK UP WITH ME YESTERDAY.
I never, and I mean NEVER want to be in a relationship where the other person doesn't want to be there with me.  Being with someone who doesn't love me would be so, so much worse than having that person break up with me, no matter how feeling-hurty it is when it's happening.
AT LEAST HE BROKE UP WITH YOU.
Even when I'm SAD because it's SAD, I'm still thinking WELL BETTER TO BREAK UP NOW THAN TO LIE TO ME AND DRAG THIS SHIT OUT. 
Breaking up with me doesn't make you a bad person.
Just like me breaking up with you doesn't make me a bad person.
We're all just people and most of us aren't bad and it's okay to want to move on, even if that hurts someone's feelings.  Even if it hurts my feelings.  Or my friend's feelings.
Even if wanting to move on from the most awesome person I've ever met in my life makes you the biggest fucking idiot in the entire world.
Because when you're done, you're done.
And better that than the alternative.

I hate it, HATE IT, HATE IT when I see guys (or girls) villified for breaking up with their significant others.  Yes, even when the dumped person is my friend, and even when they're very, very sad.
Even though it sucks and I'm sorry.   
Wanting out doesn't make you bad.
You're just a person.
We're all just people.
And breaking up with your girlfriend doesn't make you an asshole.
Even if it sucks.
And even if you're sorry.

22 June 2010

How about this?

What if everyone involved in the parenting and raising up and molding of the unbelievably awesome person otherwise known as Gabriel just set aside their differences, stopped trying to start fights over nothing, set aside their pettiness, and just did their damned best to make sure this kid continues to amaze the world?
I think we can all agree that he's wonderful, can't we?

Sunshine Baby

IMG_2790

Baby Wearer

Park Sacramento 3/14/10

LOUD

IMG_7514

IMG_7495

20 June 2010

Father's Day

Dad,

You taught me how to throw a baseball.

You got me ready for kindergarten every morning.

You were the only person who I would let brush my hair.

You make an awkward point of telling me that you love me on a regular basis.

You won't drive faster than 68mph on any freeway, although you often insist on staying in the fast lane.

You get to Giants games an hour before the gates open so you can be one of the first people in the stadium.

You listen to Dr. Laura purely for the sake of criticizing her and calling her a stupid bitch.

You vote in every election.

You arrive at least 15 minutes early to everything.

You visit your dad in Palo Alto every Saturday.

You want to be an avocado farmer.

You wear your t-shirts two sizes too big.

Happy Father's Day.

I love you,

Jenny

18 June 2010

Doctors and Diseases

My doctor asks me questions in a way that compels me to lie to her.

Two years ago, when I first saw her, having randomly selected a primary care physician based on the loose impression I got from the square little photos on the medical clinic website, I filled out all of my paperwork honestly.
I had just moved to SC from Chico and I was living in my old room at my parents' house while I looked for a place to live in town.
Which meant that when I was filling out my little survey questionnaire thingie I was hardly drinking and I wasn't humping anyone in my childhood bedroom.

And I'm not opposed to updating my profile with my doctor.  I'm REALLY not.  But there's just something about the way she looks at me and asks, "You're still not drinking more than 1-2 drinks per week, right?" that just makes me mutely shake my head.
And when she glances up from her computer to ask me, "No new sexual partners?" with only a half second's pause before asking, "No intravenous drugs?"  I get all flustered and what if she thinks I'm saying yes to heroin when really I'm just saying yes I've managed to have Teh Sex at least once in the past year since we've seen each other and then I'm over-thinking it and then I haven't said anything at all and she's moved on to asking me if I'm still working the same job and how is my son doing and et cetera and OHMYGOD.

Then I get all paranoid that because I haven't given the full reveal on certain aspects of my health, I'm Fucked. I mean I'm always safe and careful and et cetera but YOU CAN NEVER BE TOO SAFE.

So for the past two years, I've gone to my annual exam, sat in my car feeling panicky and insane and COMPLETELY OUT OF MY MIND, and then walked over to Planned Parenthood, where they don't judge you and they wait for answers after they ask a question and yes, you have to sit in a sad waiting room full of frightened teenagers, but they'll test you for everything under the sun without a single judgy eyebrow.

And that's pretty nice, when you think about it.

17 June 2010

Baby Gabey

Just some Gabriel baby pics that I found when I was cleaning up my hard drive.  Presented in roughly chronological order.

Day 4

Day 6

Bath

Baby Smiles

IMG_0591

IMG_0651

IMG_0777

IMG_0875

IMG_0916

IMG_0976

IMG_1044

IMG_1181


Floof

Conceptually Disturbing Brownie Experiment

Yesterday I made these

Go ahead and click through, I'll wait for you.

Caught up?

Good.

Weird, right?

Anyhow, I used an organic brownie box mix, and organic black beans, because I'm a weirdo like that, but I otherwise followed the 'recipe.' 

And they were....okay?

When I make brownies, I make them from scratch, and these were from box.  I thought they were definitively not as good as from-scratch brownies, but they weren't gross.  Probably just SLIGHTLY less good than box brownies. 
And Gabriel LOVES them, so there's that.

Anyhow, not sure if I will make them again, because if I'm going to make brownies, then I want them to be DELICIOUS.  But I've been eating them, so if you're crazy for box brownies, these might be a good sub?
So.
There's that.

15 June 2010

Kitty Kitty Kitty

Oh man lately I have been wanting a cat SO BAD. 

It doesn't help that Gabriel asks me for either a kitty or a baby pretty much every day.  I'm only willing to get him one of those things at this juncture in my life, I'll let you guess which.

There's Pippin, of course, but he is ruler of his outdoor domain at my parents' house, and I don't think he'd cotton to apartment living. 

When I lived in Chico I had Bonnie.  She was the product of one of those JUST TO LOOK trips to the animal shelter.  She was tiny and perfect and adorable.  She was (hopefully is) a wonderful cat.  She liked people, she used her litter box appropriately, she didn't make any weird howly noises, she liked being outside sometimes, she was friendly, and I loved her.

Bonnie & TwoCat

In this photo, Bonnie is the cat closer to my face.  The other cat was a super tame and friendly stray who Bonnie bonded with and constantly snuck into our apartment.  He(?) was obviously someone's pet at some point, he was totally tame and knew about litter boxes and so forth.  For some reason we ended up calling stray kitty TwoCat.

When I moved out of the apartment I shared with Gabriel's dad, we agreed that I would take the child and leave the cat.  Then K got evicted and lost the cat.  Like...literally lost her.  On the streets?  In our neighborhood?  Which sucked.  Because I love that cat.  I have myself shakily convinced that she was SO pretty and SO nice that someone would have taken her in. Right? RIGHT??
If I had known, I would have taken her with me, obviously.
Anyhow.
I don't like to think about it.
(TwoCat, by the way, was hit by a car, and our neighbor found him(?) horribly mangled in the bushes, but she was able to get in touch with an animal rescue/fostering agency who took him(?) in, and last I heard he(?) was doing okay).

ANYWAYS.
The point is that cats are the sort of pet that I like, and I like cats and I don't have a cat and I want a cat.
I WANT A CAT, is what I'm trying to say.

I haven't decided if I REALLY IN REALITY want a cat, because of litter boxes and responsibilities and whatnot.  I'm still going back and forth over that bit.
But if I DID want a cat, I have a fairly good idea of what I'm looking for -
I want either a kitten or a younger cat (younger than 4 years), good with young children, independent enough to be left alone while I'm at work, litter box trained, shorter hair, non-yowly.

I WANT A CAT.


UPDATE:  I've decided that if I still want a kitty when I get back from New York in August, I'm allowed to start looking.  But not before that.
--

I wrote about crackers over here.  There's a coupon.

11 June 2010

New York City

I come from East Coast people.
Established New England people.
Old timey New York people.
My family first came here on the Mayflower, we've been in New York City since the 1600s. 
Okay, okay.
Wasps.
Whatever.
--
Anyhow, my grandmother grew up in Brooklyn.
I've been to the East Coast quite a few times, but specifically to NYC only twice as an adult.
Once was a magical day trip with Molly.  It was perfect and glittery and we swung on swings in Central Park and saw the butterflies at the Natural History Museum and ate Italian food and I remember the entire day through the mystical fog of happiness.
Once was with K.Dot, visiting his parents, and we were having....Domestic Troubles....and I ended up getting pneumonia and it was January and MY GOD IN HEAVEN thinking about that trip makes me POSITIVELY SHUDDER.
Although that said: I did go to the MET and Times Square (ick) and Underwood Park (my great-great-grandfather is John T. Underwood of typewriter fame) and the graveyard where my great-great grandparents are buried and we visited family friends in Breezy Point and that trip....I don't regret it.
--
Anyhow!
With my upcoming BlogHer trip, I'd like to tackle some unfulfilled New York City tourism goals (as mentioned on my Life List, numero siete).
--
For me to be able to say I've SEEN New York City, what do I need to see?  What needs to be on the list, what doesn't, etc.?
Please let me know in the comments so I can start building a plan.

10 June 2010

Children's Books


Oh man is this topic ever close to my heart.

I was a serious reader as a child.
I read to myself.
I read to my younger siblings.
When I thought I wanted to be a librarian, my dream job was working in youth services.
I took a lot of classes swirling around that, which means that I've had the pleasure of reading children's books with the eye of an adult.
I read to my son.

I'm into children's books, is what I'm trying to say.

Here are my favorites for Gabriel's current age/book range (I'll call it 3.5-5.5ish?).  I've managed to get most of my childhood favorites into our collection, so it's for both of us.

LIST TIME!

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak - obviously
Higgelty Piggelty Pop by Maurice Sendak - I have a seriously serious love affair with this book, and not just cuz the dog's name is Jenny.
Eloise by Kay Thompson (and curiously hard to find on Amazon)- I love this book. Like, really LOVE it.  There are all these nuances to Eloise's home life and backstory and stuff.  And Gabriel adores it too.  He has good taste.
Ping by Marjorie Flack - This books is fabulous and everyone should read it and love it.  I'm a big Marjorie Flack fan, you should also check out Angus and the Ducks. GENIUS.
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Just Grandma and Me by Mercer Mayer - My grandma gave me this book, and my mom got it for Gabriel, and it just hits an absolutely perfect soft spot about kids and their grandparents.
Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban - We used to have this one as a read-aloud tape that I kept in my TMNT lunchbox.  Gabey loves it too.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst - sometimes it feels like this is every day every in our house.
I Can Fly by Ruth Krauss - OMG this is the BEST book EVER. I sometimes think.
Humphrey the Lost Whale by Wendy Tokuda - My grandpa got me this book for Christmas one year.  It's the same copy that I read to Gabriel.
A House Is a House for Me by Mary Ann Hoberman - This book is awesome. And it rhymes, but not in an annoying way.  In a fun way.
The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear - There's nothing like falling in love with classic poetry via children's books.
Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges - This book is actually insanely long and complex and I would THINK it would be a little much for Gabey, but it's by far one of his top picks.
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig - Y'know, donkeys and wishing stones, etc.
The Napping House by Audrey Wood - FAVORITE jump up from rest book.
The Little Mermaid and Other Tales by Hans Christian Andersen - I linked to the very specific copy that I grew up with, that I then happened to find in a thrift center as an adult.  The illustrations are gorgeous, and I love it.  It also includes The Emperor's New Clothes, Simple Simon and It's Absolutely True.
Ox-Cart Man by Donald Hall - This book isn't from my childhood, it's from my brothers'.

I really wanted to tell you about my very favorite children's book in the ENTIRE WORLD, which is The Wonderful Tree by Ulf Löfgren.  It was published in 1970ish, and we inherited it from my aunt Rebecca.  And apparently now it's a rare collector's item.  I found a copy on eBay, damaged library copy, for $200, but it sold before I could finish writing this post.  And I found a facebook fanpage. What I can't find?  Any copies of the book itself, or even a picture, so that I might show you the magical illustrations.  Our copy still exists, in tatters, reclaimed by my aunt when she started having kids.  It really is THE BEST book.  SIGH.

Anyhow.

There are many MANY MANY more, but I have to stop somewhere, right?
--
My links are the affiliate kind.

UPDATE:  I found The Wonderful Tree via interlibrary loan, and I am SO TOTALLY checking it out.  I'll share pictures and stuff when I get it.

09 June 2010

08 June 2010

(39) Fly a Kite

(39) on my Life List is fly a kite.
I tackled this on the same afternoon and with the same crew as The Golden Gate Bridge.
We went to that park that's sort of at the base of the bridge on the San Francisco side (don't know what it's called but I'm sure Daniel does).

You guys?

Kites are TOTALLY FUN!

How had I never done this before?

I was deprived!!!!

I need to buy a kite!
What should I get?

Wanna go fly kites with me?

It's SO FUN!

Kite Flying/Bridge Walking

Kite Flying/Bridge Walking

Kite Flying/Bridge Walking

Princess with a Kite

Kite Flying/Bridge Walking

Kite Flying/Bridge Walking

Kite Flying/Bridge Walking

And then Daniel took this video, with the express purpose of contrasting my kite skills with his daughter's.

BlogHer10 Warm-Up

If you're going, you have two months before madness ensues.
If you're not, you have at least the next 3-4 months of pre-, during-, and post-blogher write-ups, angstfests, rants, SQUEEES, and etc.
Sorry about that.

I'm going, as I believe I've mentioned.

This year I'm mic wrangling, so I might trip over you and fall face first into your crotch, or, alternatively, spontaneously lose control of my arms and fling the microphone at your head.  Those are my current what-if-this-all-goes-horribly-wrong anxiety inducing scenarios.
Welcome to my brain.
When I was live blogging the sessions last year, I obsessively imagined a world wherein I developed Typing Tourettes and all of my posts were strings of expletives and then BlogHer got mad at me and took my nametag and made me leave.
(That didn't happen.)
Hopefully the Face-to-Crotch Fall won't happen either.  And hopefully I won't give you a black eye with the microphone.
I am ever hopeful.

Things That I'll Do Differently This Year:
*Wear shoes for at least 30% more time than last year.  I figure that commits me to 3-4 daylight hours where I'm not barefoot.
*At times when I'm not wearing shoes, have a pair in my purse, just in case.  It was super awesome last year when I got to meet interesting, professional people whom I admire, and I wasn't wearing shoes.
*Don't punch a baby.  Or, excuse me, elbow anyone's baby.  Especially not for a swag bag.  Unless it's like, a new car or $1000 cash money or something.  Would I punch a baby for money?  I dunno, I'm not making promises.
*Leave the hotel.  Last year, I left the hotel once on Thursday morning for breakfast, once on Friday night to go to the Nikon party, once on Saturday night to go to the bowling party thingie, and zero times ever to do anything that wasn't BlogHer party related.  This time around, I'd like to....leave? Maybe? Once? Twice?  I'll make it a broad goal, so I don't disappoint myself.
*Don't get completely falling down smashfaced wasted at the Sparklecorn party.  Nope, not making any promises for any of the other social events.  This will have to do.

Things That You Should Know About Me:
(I'll repeat this closer to the date, I promise)
*I'm nearsighted and I don't wear contacts, so if I'm not wearing my glasses, you can trust and believe that I can't really see.  So don't be offended if I don't make eye contact or something.
*That aside, even if I *am* wearing my glasses, I'm horribly bad with recognizing people, especially if I'm used to looking at their twitter icon.
*Say hi to me!  If you want to.
*I'm a blogger.  It should come as absolutely no surprise to you that I'm SOCIALLY AWKWARD.
*I also have the tendency to wander off in the middle of conversations.
*Say hi to me!
*I will be representing Blue Duckling while I'm there (more on that later and over here), and will have some small samples on hand to give out, if you want them.  I promise not to be an infomercial or spammy or obnoxious or rude.  But I'll have some pretty smelling stuff and some discounts for a pretty kickass company run by a good friend of mine.  If you're interested.
*Did I already say the thing about saying hi to me?

Things That You Should Definitely Do:
*Say hi to me!
*Attend the community keynote.
*Bring business cards or equivalent, with your name, blog info, etc.
*Don't be assy or rude.
*Don't be offended.
*Don't be shy.
*If you're representing a company, don't be spammy or obnoxious or do something that will make me want to stab you.
*In general, avoid behavior that will make people want to stab you.
*Don't worry so much.
*Have fun!

07 June 2010

(10) Walk Across the Golden Gate Bridge

I enlisted the help of the Ransomed Off crew for this one.
It was foggy, as San Francisco is wont to be.

Foggy Bridge

On the Bridge

It was also windy and also loud.

Gabriel?
Loved it.
There were boats! And a foghorn!  OMG!

He was also thrilled because he was allowed to ride in a stroller. I've been making him walk on his own two legs since he turned three, but not for a four mile walk.  I'm not that stupid cruel.

On the Bridge
I didn't really think through the part where I'd be in pictures. 
You can witness my favorite lazy hippie-girl comfy weekend outfit, and dismiss any ideas you had about me being fashionable.
On the Marin side there was sunshine.

Kite Flying/Bridge Walking
There's a bridge in there somewhere....

Kite Flying/Bridge Walking

Kite Flying/Bridge Walking

Of course, we got back to the other side, and the fog had lifted. 
Fog does that sometimes.

Golden Gate Bridge

I loved it, Gabriel loved it.
I don't think Magoo loved it quite so very much, but we made it up to her later with frolicking and kites.

(In a later installment, I'll tell you about the kites)

Elliot

Elliot.

Dude.

You're four.

That's rad.

Happy Birthday.

I adore you absolutely to pieces.

Sunglasses

Elliot

Elliot

On the phone

Elliot Run!

Elliot