19 January 2017

Assortment of Episodes

Sitting at my desk this afternoon, I picked up my bottle of juice, and gave it a shake before I took a sip. Except the cap wasn't screwed on, so I just covered myself and all of my work surfaces in juice. It was a nice, vigorous shake.

Last night, I had Everett on my lap, and I noticed that his ear was red. A few minutes later, I thought, I'd better check and make sure there's not a bug in there or something. THERE WAS A TICK IN HIS EAR. It was burrowed right into the fold. We had to hold him down and hold him still and dig in there with tweezers and it was very traumatic for all involved. We soothed him with cheese. THERE MIGHT BE A BUG IN YOUR EAR. 

Last week I bought myself lunch and then I needed to go to Target so I drove over there and was sitting in the parking lot, eating alone in my car before I went in for errands. My mouth was full of Thai Chicken Wrap when a lady opened up my trunk and started loading her bags into the car. I was still trying to swallow when she opened up the back door and flung her purse on the seat. I was just getting ready to say something when she opened up the driver's side door and got ready to sit down on me. It was just then, and not a moment before, that this woman (on her cell phone) saw me. Her eyes got big, she ended her call, she backed away sputtering. I think we both wanted to disappear into the ground. Except, she had to regather her things, so our interaction went on a bit longer than preferred. After she was fully extracted from my vehicle and into her own, wherever that may have been, I looked around the parking lot. There were ZERO other cars of my make and model in the lot. NONE.

13 January 2017

Gifts for 11-year-old boy

Gabriel's birthday is at the end of this month, so I'm going to tell you about his birthday party and gifts.

First, his party: We are doing it at the indoor climbing gym. He's inviting 6 friends (mix of cousins and school friends). The party is formatted with an hour in party room, and two hours climbing. My plan is to order pizzas to be delivered there, and additionally have drinks, cake, fruit and chips.
No party favors, because I feel uninspired about favors.
I will probably buy some balloons. Maybe some other decorations (tablecloth? party napkins?) but Gabriel is at an age where thematic 'kid' stuff is no longer cool. So y'know, no minecraft table runners or anything.

Next, presents! Here is what I bought my own particular brand of nearly-11-year-old, whose interests include fiddling with things, reading, and things that will get him killed.

A subscription to Tinker Crate ($20/mo). I will give him his first box on his birthday (it shipped today). We used to get Kiwi Crate, and Gabriel was a fan, but then I canceled for the summer while he was at his dad's and then I never re-subscribed, and then he was a bit old for Kiwi Crate. Mail is very exciting, so I was looking for a subscription box that he'd like. I also considered an art box, and a survival box. Ultimately I decided that we are up to our eyeballs in art supplies, and while I think he would be SUPER INTO a weird prepper survival box, maybe I don't want to get my 11yo fire starters (for instance). He likes building things, and he likes following directions/a plan, so I am hopeful about Tinker Crate. If he hates it, I can cancel! I can also cancel if I get tired of junk in my house.

Miscellaneous clothes that he needs masquerading as gifts. He needs new pants, new socks, new underwear, a sweatshirt. I am calling these items gifts!

Pogo Stick, $40.

Slingshot, $7
I also got him this ammo, which is also around $7. It says all over the description that this is not a toy, and I know it is not a toy, but I also know that Gabriel will love it. Will I regret getting my son weaponry? Probably. I can always confiscate it if he is being too dumb.
The Chronicles of Prydain, $21 for 5 book set
These are The Book of Three, The Black Cauldron, etc. I don't know if you read these when you were a kid, but I did, and I have been meaning to get them for Gabriel. They're right up his alley, and I think he's a good age for them.
The Ruins of Gorlan, $7
So one of my coworkers reads similar books to Gabriel, and he recommended this series to him the last time Gabe visited me at work. So, I'm getting him the first book!

There were many, MANY other books that I wanted to get him, but I had to cut it off somewhere.

For Christmas he got tickets to a Warriors game (and a day at Warriors basketball camp), a Kindle Fire, a manga drawing book, colored pencils, paper, an obnoxious flying thing, and a couple pairs of pants.

03 January 2017

2016 in Review

1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?
Voted for a woman for president of the United States.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Not really, and I don't think so. I've been pretty meh on resolutions the past couple years. I resolve to stay alive.

 3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Mira! Julia! They both had super adorable baby boys and their babies are the best.
Many lovely internet ladies.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
A family friend passed away.

5. What countries did you visit?
Copying prior year answer:
None. The last time I left the country was when I visited my brother Duncan in Chile in 2005. I got my passport renewed the year a dear high school friend got married in Mexico (2008? 2009 maybe?) because I really WANTED to go to her wedding, but I was just too poor. I hope I need it at least once before it expires.
And adding this: I am getting the boys passports this year. We don't have imminent travel plans, but with the Current State of the World, I feel it would be wise to have our documents in order. 

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
I would like Quentin's worker's comp case to be resolved and settled in 2017 (it has been ongoing since 2014).

7. What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
3/23/16 - Quentin got his guts put back together.
11/7/16 - the last good day.
11/8/16 -  the start of a scary new chapter in our shared history.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I did my job well, with two kids at home, and one of those kids is a baby.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I feel like I did not do enough politically. Maybe if I had phone banked? MAYBE I SHOULD HAVE WORRIED MORE??

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
My year was not personally injurious.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Vacations.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
It seems like my answer every year is Gabriel, but he's seriously a great kid who handles some STUFF pretty well.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Gabriel's dad, which is as usual/same old/same old. Although some of it was extra bad this year. Whatever, nothing surprising I guess.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Debt.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Julia's baby! Mira's baby! Getting out of town! Gabriel getting to spend time with his big sister!

16. What song will always remind you of 2016?
That mannequin challenge song (I don't actually know what it's called)

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier.
b) thinner or fatter? Slightly thinner, but on a fatness trajectory (because I'm pregnant!).
c) richer or poorer? About the same.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Sleeping. I'm running on a permanent sleep deficit.
I always wish I had done more socializing, but in the moment I never want to leave my house.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
On the one hand I hate pumping with the power of a one thousand burning suns, but on the other, I'm glad that I pumped until Everett was 11mos old. That seems pretty good. So IDK. I hated it, but now that it's over, I'm glad I did it.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Gabriel was at his dad's house this year. Christmas Eve Gabriel got to open all of his presents, and then he went to the movies and roller skating and arcade with this cousins and uncle. We had dinner at my grandma's which is as usual. She's still doing great (she turned 90 on 12/27!). Gabe got picked up from there.
Christmas day my brothers were all in town. Visited my parents' house briefly in the morning, then went to my MIL's house for a few hours, then back home, then to my parents' house for dinner.
All in all, it was all very pleasant. Everett was a satisfying Christmas baby. I wish Gabriel had been here, but I wish that every other year.

21. Did you fall in love in 2016?
No.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Luke Cage

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I don't know if hate is correct, but I have a lot of Big Feelings of hopelessness and disgust towards....a sizeable portion of the US population. I'm tired of hearing about how a bunch of people who voted for white supremacy aren't racists. Okay.....I know you don't like being TOLD that, but you are though.

24. What was the best book you read?
I just read several books. Reread Uprooted, which I got for Christmas in 2015. I LOVE it. It's a fantasy/fairy tale book, in case those things aren't your bag. If they ARE your bag, it's excellent.
Just read The Fifth Season, which I got for Christmas this year. It's very entertaining, I definitely want to read the next book in the series.
I am reading Underground Railroad (also a Christmas gift). It's....really good, but really just....upsetting to the core, also, because, y'know, the realities of slavery are extremely fucked up and terrible. The fabric this story is embroidered on is fundamentally depressing.
But it's good. And I don't feel like we learn enough about slavery as a stand alone historical THING. We learn about Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War, sure, but we don't learn about SLAVERY, really.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I came late to the Hamilton train, but I am happily aboard.

26. What did you want and get?
I dunno. Oh, a raise, which I successfully negotiated when I got back from maternity leave.

27. What did you want and not get?
I wish we had fewer ongoing house projects.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
I took Gabriel to see Fantastic Beasts and where to Find Them and I just LOVED it.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 34. I was in San Diego with the family, on a quasi-vacation (a work conference that I dragged my family on). It was labor day! 

30. What is one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
More time at home.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
What can I wear to work that I can also pump in without getting naked?

32. What kept you sane?
My babies.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Eddie Redmayne! He might be his most attractive as The Dutch Girl. I dunno.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
This shitshow of an election, combined with motherfucking Russia, Turkey, the Middle East, North Korea, whatever the fuck China thinks it's doing, countries leaving the EU, the fragility of NATO, Operation Impending Doom 2.

35. Who did you miss?
I'm really sad that I haven't met my friend Molly's baby (who is Everett's age).

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Baby Clover!

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.
People don't care about doing the right thing. People would rather usher in nationalistic white supremacy than elect a woman as president.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Immigrants, they get the job done.

2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009 - Apparently I didn't do it in 2009
2008