Wednesday, January 30, 2008

aye, sorr, womitin' bad

Well, i've been punished for complaining about yesterday.

I woke up nauseated and ended up puking in a trash can, on my feet, on my pants, on my jacket, you name it. It was totally like that one night I got drunk in college! Except it went on all day. And it was totally gross. Like, I saw my stomach acid. I felt like the queen Alien or something. My sweet husband came home to help take care of me and Cleo, and I have no idea what we would have done without his tender care, since I spent most of the day balled up on the floor, mouth-breathing and staring into space.

I have now downed my 2nd glass of Gatorade without puking, so i'm going to bed to hug my husband.

Also, if you have touched me, my child, or my stuff in the past 4 days, BEWARE. Bathe in Clorox if you must. This plague is awful, and I hear we're still germy for 4 more days.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

follow your instincts...?

That's what the wrapper of my daily Dove dark chocolate said, but I think i'm going to listen to my instinct do the opposite. I'm having one of those days in which you wonder if you're being recorded for a blooper show, in which every tiny particular goes wrong just enough to make you feel crazy, but not enough to make you cry. Here's a rundown:

1. Called the dentist to make an appointment. They don't have my records. Old dentist says the sent the records, new dentist says they never received them, now I have no records. So they won't schedule me.

2. Called to make a hair appointment. My stylist left. Craig's stylist left. I have to make an appointment with someone i've never heard of.

3. Go out to the car to meet someone at 10:20 and sell her a baby thingie. Realized i've locked Cleo and myself in the garage, but no worries, since I keep a house key in the car.

4. Realize Cleo has used the key to lock my car from the living room. So we have no keys, no phone, no diapers, no nothing.

5. Realize none of our "buddy" neighbors are home. Go next door to folks we've only met once to use their phone to call my mom and get her to bring the spare key.

6. Cleo takes a massively enormous dump in her only diaper and starts screaming for a new boppy, which I can't provide. She smells like a port-o-potty as she plays with a deflated ball in the garage.

7. Mom brings the keys, we get in the house and hightail it to the meeting, 20 minutes late. The other mom has given up and left. I change Cleo's horrid diaper on a fleece jacket in the front seat of my car, since the baby thingie for sale is taking up the trunk. Nasty bits of doo get everywhere. We use our last diaper and last 2 wipes. Cleo screams at being returned to captivity in the carseat.

8. Needing diapers and 30 minutes early for lunch with mom, we go to Kroger. Cleo is so upset that I decide to use one of those enormous car carts, the ones that are double long and have a steering wheel. Cleo has fun screaming BEEP BEEP at the poor passerby i'm trying not to hit, as these gigantic carts are so back-heavy that their front wheels don't work.

9. I try to put my mail in a mailbox outside Kroger, but it's really a Foreign Legion flag drop off or something, and I barely am able to squeeze my letters out before they drop into the belly of the box, lost forever. Netflix almost charges me $1000 for an unwatched disc 1 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

10. As we get in the car and Cleo goes from BEEP BEEP to NOOOOOOOO, MOMMY!, the Kroger cart guy, who is a few buttons short of a barrel, attempts to play with Cleo in her car seat, freaking out my mommy instinct. My cell phone starts ringing, and the cart starts rolling away, and he luckily withdraws before I have to rabbit punch him. I am as frantic as I get.

And I guess it goes back to normal. We had a lovely and delicious lunch at Oak Street Cafe, Cleo ate a piece of cheese, drank some milk, and acted very beguiling. We have more boppies. I have a full tummy. We have 2 hours to kill until our next appointment. I am not following my instincts, except the one about having a spare key made an hiding it somewhere.

Wish us luck.

Monday, January 28, 2008

et tu, Men's Health?

A long time ago, in a college town far, far away, I would find a discarded copy of Men's Health on top of the communal mail box once a month. Apparently, someone disdained the magazine so much that they just tossed it, still in the shiny wrapper, without opening it. So I opened one and found out why. It was so obviously written to appeal to gay men. The clothes and sex advice were awful, and the whole magazine had a "not for you, breeder" feel about it.

Then, a few years ago, Craig picked one up on a business trip (because an MMA fighter was on the cover, I believe), and we were both surprised at how far it had come. Better layout, interesting stories, great food and health advice, decent clothes, cover stories about celebrities we actually wanted to read. And we thought, Good for you, Men's Health!

Sadly, I can no longer vouch for Men's Health. They canceled our subscription when we moved, signed us up for the less interesting Best Life, and then canceled that subscription, too. They are hard to get on the phone, and the CSR I spoke to was rude, annoying, and without answers.

And, most recently, I learned that their recipes SUCK. As Maggie Simpson would say, suck-suck-suck. I tried 3 recipes in one magazine, and they were all awful. The asparagus au gratin was bad. The pasta with veggies was dull. And don't even get me started on the Chinese black rice. If I wanted to eat a greasy bowl of tasteless black beetles, I would by god purchase a greasy bowl of tasteless black beetles. Or start a mealworm colony, or something. Blech. And do they mention anywhere that black rice stains EVERYTHING? Cleo looks like she's been playing in an oil spill because she spit out the nasty black rice. Yeah, she's spitting out everything these days, but most of it doesn't look quite as nasty coming back out, like Baby Exorcist.

I'm trying to incorporate more vegetables into my life, because I know it's always been a sore spot for me. I'm trying to eat a sweet potato every day, plus a squash or packet of mushrooms or something new. And it's so tough. I'm just not big into veggies. I tried salad, but it never tastes good at home like it does at restaurants, which is annoying. I tried baking parsnips, but they just tasted like angry carrots, as mentioned in the previous emails. So I need to try more vegetables, find more things that I like.

Oh, but back to the point. Men's health can suck it. Goodnight and good luck.

Friday, January 25, 2008

the quiet things that no one ever knows

I hate coathangers. They're just so damned uppity.

I also hate artists who list prints as "originals" on because the print is a print of an original work of art. No, idiot, it refers to a print vs. the original, not the fact that you made a piece of artwork *all by yourself* and are now selling color copies of it!

I used to hate sweet potatoes, but now I don't. I like them fried or sliced thin and baked with cinnamon.

I do not, however, like parsnips, which taste like angry carrots.

I think Daniel Craig is the best James Bond of them all, even Sean Connery and Roger Moore.

I like Jason Statham movies and Clive Cussler's Dirk Pitt novels.

I prefer painting at night, especially in the 8 - 11pm range.

I generally go 3 - 4 days between washing my hair.

I enjoy dressing my daughter like Punky Brewster in purple, magenta, pink, and blue.

I don't like Jack Johnson because he wears flip flops with jeans and looks like a date rapist.

I like scanning the Missed Connections on craigslist because I think it gives hope to all the quiet people in the world who don't have the guts to talk to people that pique their interest. I like to imagine nerds finding each other there, meeting at the bookstore, and curling up at night to watch High Fidelity and eat those BonBon candies that we used to sell in French Club while they fall in nerdy love. I lead a rich inner life, you know.

I like that BBC TV show "You Are What You Eat" in which that freaky little Jillian woman with no credentials calls out fat people and makes them drink liquified celery. I only get to watch it at my parents' house if Cleo is napping between 4 and 5, but that makes it all the sweeter when Jillian puts a raw pig's ear on a hot dog bun and the guest pukes offscreen.

Ever since I heard Garfield mention it in 5th grade, I think of grated coconut as tiny albino spiders. And I think of orange juice pulp as the discarded legs of processed shrimp.

There. You learn something every day, don't you?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

No more Ledger-de-main

Heath Ledger is dead, and now I have to find a new #3 for my favorite actors list and try even harder not to think about death while i'm nursing Cleo to sleep in a dark room. It's been so long since a young, talented actor died. He's right up there with River Phoenix and James Dean now. And, seriously, next to flaming idiots with a built-in death wish like Brittney Spears and Paris Hilton, he was definitely a long shot for the next to go. I've been following his progress as The Joker in The Dark Knight, and I was certainly set to enjoy his career for years to come.

Heath, i've adored you since 10 Things I Hate About You. I was there for The Patriot and A Knight's Tale. And now i'm never going to want to watch those stupid movies again because I abhor mortality salience.

So, Ryan Reynolds and Johnathan Rhys-Meyers, it's up to you now. Keep the spark alive and don't do sleeping pills, because I need you.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Tights: they're like socks that go over your butt!

I should, like, totally go into marketing. The quote above was my pithy contribution to an intelligent, adult, child-free conversation last night at The Fabulous Fox while waiting for CATS to begin.

So here is a rundown of the wacky results of peoplewatching while everyone took their seats:
* dwarf in high heels
* woman with so much botox, boobage, and collagen that she looked like a terrified goldfish wearing a hideous mink coat
* Project Runway wannabe wearing a blue pillowcase, fishnet tights, army boots, asymmetrical hair and a boofy white coat that looked like Cruella DeVille's second best umbrella
* little boy with slicked-back hair and a bow tie at his first Broadway show with his grandfather
* skeletal Asian woman wearing a black snake-print top, white fur vest, herringbone skirt, and brown cowboy boots who looked like she was wearing 3 animals and the trumpet player for a ska band, but somehow, lord help me, it worked!

And if that wasn't good enough, there was a SHOW, too!

I liked it. I caromed between "ooh-magic-cats-dancing-glitter-excitement!" and "oh, wow, grown men in spandex grooming their fake ears". It's amazing to me the difference between the song for, say, Old Gus or Jennyanydots (LAME AND BORING) vs. when Grizzabella and Mistoffelees take the stage (GOOSEBUMPS). I'm floored that the same guy wrote the music for the whole show, as well as Phantom and Evita. He's got to be mad as a hatter, or at least very, very interesting to talk to.

Whenever I got bored or weirded out, I just watched the dancers and thought about how for each of these people, this job is a life's dream. They study, dance until their toes curl under and bleed, sing and swizzle honey until they're hoarse, go through grueling try-outs and call-backs where people say horrible things about their talents and bodies, forego any hobby that could injure or stain their body or throat. Then, if they're very lucky, they win a spot as a random cat and spend their entire life riding buses around the country and doing the exact same thing every night on a hot stage for a bunch of strangers they'll never meet.

That's dedication.

In conclusion, I like my life, and i'm glad my cat can't sing.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Meh. Melt. Magic!

No snow angels, no snow day. It dripped away all night, and there's barely anything left, certainly nothing magical.

But here is some magic:

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

We laughed, we cried, it was better than CATS!

As in, we all laughed while playing in the snow, Cleo cried when we took her inside, and we are assuming that a child's first snowfall is better than CATS, but we're not sure, because we didn't get to see it. The Fox will allow us to exchange tickets for another showing, though, so that'll be nice.

IT'S SNOWING! IN GEORGIA!!! We haven't seen snow since 2003, so it's quite a treat. Our neighborhood is so fabulous-- the kids next door were sledding down their driveway in their pajamas in the dark while their mom's car's headlights illuminated the way. It was so charming. And when we took Cleo out to play in the snow around 5, all the neighbors and their kids were out enjoying the big, fat, fluffy flakes. None of the kids had ever seen snow before, so it's pretty special. Cleo loved it. I hope the snow will stick and stay overnight so we can teach her how to make snow angels tomorrow. Or at least snow splats.

Query: We have a section of roof outside the master bath that is about 12 feet deep over the sunroom, and it is covered with a lovely blanket of snow. Which would be scarier: to see that creepy goblin from the Twilight Zone out there, or to wake up and find a perfect snow angel out there?

Lastly, in the painting zone, i'm still doing one painting a day. I've got 16 now in the new year. I had one little 6x6 on which I painted two ducks and named the painting "Bad Duck". Craig was very concerned about which duck was Bad Duck and why. He is now learning why she's a bad duck through a series of 6x12 paintings in which each strange landscape features one of Bad Duck's lost eggs. She's always losing her eggs! Bad Duck! Yesterday, a black rabbit came across the egg at midnight. Today, a nice rhinoceros named Phillipa found the egg in a patch of grass. Thank goodness these good Samaritans keep saving Bad Duck's eggs! I wonder who will find Bad Duck's egg tomorrow?

Hey, everybody, let's go punk!

Lately, I feel that i'm being haunted by Green Day. Their mainstream punkness makes them attractive to 4 out of the 6 stations programmed into my car, so there's a bit of a Groundhog Day effect as I flip through the radio. That's always cracked me up-- how bands built on anarchy, rebellion, bucking the system, hating the man and general punkitude can be beloved by the masses and media and shoved down everyone's throat constantly. Oh, sweet irony!

Speaking of irony, why is it supposed to sleet and snow tonight? Because we bought tickets for CATS at the Fox Theatre, of course! And because i'd planned on going to Lush at Lenox tomorrow morning to satiate my craving for natural beauty products that smell of something besides lavender. I needs me my Jungle and Retread, baby! I've never seen CATS in any form, outside of the Women's Choir performance back in high school, so i'm pretty excited. I keep getting images of Marge Simpson sitting in the aisle with her little mouth turned down, breathing, "Don't interact with me, don't interact with me...", and then the cat comes up and grabs her and makes her dance, and she makes that lovely little "mhmmmhmhmhhff" sound of resignation.

So i'm off to the car. I'm sure it'll be 3 stations of various Green Day and at least one commercial where a Cheez-E Burrito Supreme tries to get a job as an astronaut, which is the sort of commercial that really, really gets me craving Cheez made out of propylene glycol and red #12. Seriously, who actually responds to these commercials? The same people who click on emails from Nigeria and forward public service announcements about Penny Brown and orange toilet spiders? The same people who pay $40 for socks at Banana Republic when they're made by the same Malaysian 6-year olds making the $4 socks for Target? The same people who have "How to Save a Life" as their ringtone, bopping along like it's not a really sad song about attempted suicide?

I do not appear to be the target demographic for my generation, is all i'm saying.

Monday, January 14, 2008

In for a penny, in for a pound.

As a former fat kid, I constantly ride my mother about her lifestyle of inactivity and chocolate. I want her to be able to run after Cleo and future children for years to come, and I know she's not happy with what she currently sees in the mirror.

So today, when I was craving Justix, I figured she would be able to enjoy healthful grilled meats, brown rice, and steamed veggies galore. Then Cleo fell asleep in the car, and we had to reset our dining plans. She said she would bring Chik-fil-A home while Cleo snoozed, and I was looking forward to the most healthful grease the fast food world can provide.

And she brought grilled chicken wraps with fat free honey mustard.

Have you tasted these things? They're like wet, cold cardboard tossed with slightly crunchy cardboard, wrapped in toilet paper. For $4. Seriously. No fries, no lemonade, no nuggets. Just two grilled cardboard supremes with corn syrup sauce.

And that's what's wrong with the world. Fast food restaurants attempting to make healthy food always fail. Always. So when fat people go to fast food restaurants and purchase healthy food, they find that it tastes horrible, and they go back to unhealthy eating and get fatter. In for a penny, in for a pound, I always say. If you're going to be good, be very good. If you're going to be bad, be awful.

And whatever you are, never ever eat grilled chicken wraps at Chik-fil-A.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

This is why we can't have nice things. Oh, wait. We can.

Left to my own devices, i'm pretty tidy. Aside from small piles of clothes, I keep things organized and orderly, and I can crawl into and out of a made bed without a wrinkle. I'm that good. But add a husband, a baby, and an annoying, leaky cat into the mix, and my cleaning skills grow dim. Outside of dishes and laundry, I just can't keep up with them. The piles of socks, cheesestick wrappers, glasses full of protein shake residue with spoons caught in them like prehistoric insects in amber. The constant upending of boxes and baskets, the ripped magazines and hidden socks, not to mention the 4-day old sippy cups of milk she hides and then retrieves when they've formed independent, solid yogurt colonies. And the cat. Don't get me started on the cat.

So i've been disappointed in myself since I become a mother, because every other home i've been into for a playdate has been immaculate. Vacuumed, dusted, tidy, museumesque, like the ads in that godforsaken Cookie magazine. And I assumed that I was the problem, that I was simply incapable of keeping a tidy house, despite the fact that I am constantly in the presence of a small, messy person who screeches like a banshee whenever I try to do the dishes or vacuum. And sweet lord knows I try. I try!

And then I found out a marvelous secret-- all these women are not, in fact, Joan Cleaver wundermutters dancing around with dusters while their perfect children take perfect naps.

They all have cleaning services that come in once-- or even twice-- a week!

They are probably saddled with families just as messy as mine, but they pay someone to come clean their crap while they go to the mall for two hours and suck down a latte while their children stick boogers on the plastic panda at the soft play area. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I accepted that I wasn't a failure as a homemaker, just a normal chick who's quite frugal and never thought of hiring Mini Maids.

Of course, now that I *have* thought of it, I am quite intrigued. I don't usually feel the need to keep up with the Joneses, but I would like to clean up like the Joneses, I suppose. The point of the whole thing is that there is a huge conspiracy on the part of TV, movies, magazines, and even other families to make every family seem clean and tidy, and they just have someone else behind the scenes doing the dirty work for them. Or the clean work. And it's considered normal, just what people in our area do. Or, in the immortal words of Bender Bending Rodriguez, "We ALL feel that way ALL the time!"

So, yes, Virginia, we can have nice things We just have to pay for them.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Semper Fidelis Tyrannosaurus!!

Got my new license plate for my new car with my new license plate frame, courtesy of Cafe Press. Huzzah!

Also, I've been thinking about music, since some good buddies gave me an iPod and a gift card to iTunes (THANK YOU THANK YOU), and i've been trying to think of songs that will get me excited to work out. So far, the Cypress Hill that was preloaded onto the iPod is the biggest hit, as it makes me want to run, jump, destroy, and maim. I also got Timbaland, which is fabulous. But I can't think of other songs. So tough!

I do have a list of songs that I like as a song, but not enough for an album, and they are so eclectic as to make me seem schizoid. Seriously. Will Smith's "Switch" to Shakira to The Pilfers to Faith No More to The Darkness to Sublime to Dan Wilson. And I can have them all! Muahaha!

21st century life rules, even if we can't get all food in pill form.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Can two mail trucks make a baby truck?

Or does it take a mail truck and a fee mail truck, like UPS or DHL, to make a baby truck? And, if two mail trucks can, in fact, produce a baby truck, when does the milk truck enter into the picture?

I saw two mail trucks having a clandestine lunchtime tryst and am just curious about the logistics.

Monday, January 7, 2008

To the Liberty Bell!

In light of the caucuses going around and much confusion over which would be the least evil in the upcoming elections, Craig and I have been discussing politics more than usual. Which for me, is more than two words, because i've never been one for yapping on and on about things that can't be changed. According to Craig, i'm a Libertarian, as I believe in paying taxes and being protected by the police, but I don't want the government to tell me what to do with my body from abortion to prostitution, although i'm not interested in either at the moment. According to Wikipedia, i'm a minarchist libertarian, defined as:

Some who self-identify as libertarians are minarchists, i.e., supportive of minimal taxation as a "necessary evil" for the limited purpose of funding public institutions that would protect civil liberties and property rights, including police, volunteer armed forces without conscription, and judicial courts.

But, hey, so was Thomas Jefferson! So i'm not *too* much of a loon. And I suppose I can continue to use "To the Liberty Bell!" as my catchphrase of the day, hereby replacing "It's a Christmas miracle!" I've checked out the Libertarian frontrunner, Wayne Allyn Root, and I must admit I agree with his posted opinions. Weird. I have a political philosophy other than pro-choice, anti-welfare, no-Bush.

I must be growing up.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

The natives call her "Two Biscuits"

I spent 14 hours last week painting a southwestern mural for my mom, so i've been connecting with my people. My Native American people. To whom, according to the family tree I found yesterday, we may not actually be related. This 1/32 and 1/64 business i've heard all my life while my mom wanders around with her long hair, tanned skin, and seed beed amulets is all "unverified". We may not even be Cherokee! I could be just another Anglo-Germanic Black Irish American mutt! My daughter cannot, in good conscious, proudly tell people she's 1/128 Native American, and she will never be named "Two Biscuits" in a mysterious fire ceremony, and none of us will ever own casinos. It's just depressing. Now I can't even nod knowingly when watching Dances with Wolves.

Anyway, here's the mural. Mama begged me to do it for 10 years, and I finally gave in, possibly for the 14 hours of free childcare and 5 grilled cheese sandwic
hes that went into the bargain. Ignore the gooby eagle and muffin top. Or i'll come after you with a genuine bow and arrow. And not the ceremonial one hanging over my mom's kitchen table-- my compound bow.