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Mommy Mish Mash

It was a late night last night.  Obviously, since I’m only getting my shit together now, I’ve been a little slow today.  And it’s past 11:00pm.  Here’s a conglomeration of several mini-posts. 

The Bon Jovi concert last night rocked!  It was really, really good.  Great energy.  Even though it was dumping rain so there were many a concert-goer soaking wet.  I hadn’t seen them before but Keen Dad saw them back in the Slippery When Wet days.  That Axl, he knows how to put on a show (and he looks so much better not being all skinny anymore).  Funny thing, remember back in the day when you’d see clips of their concerts and there would always be ten million hot chicks in bustiers trying to get Axl’s attention?  Well, it’s all the same girls, in the same tops, but we’re all looking a little more matronly now, if ya know what I’m saying.  (Some people even brought their kids.  And, I swear to god, I saw a text message from a concert goer on the big screen (they do that now) that read, “Shout out to blah blah blah. Wish you were here. Love GRANDMA.”)  Nothing like rocking it out to make you feel young.  But, you know, props to all the moms who got out of the house.  At least it wasn’t a sea of black clothing, like at the Depeche Mode concert.   

Is it just me or do the Wiggles’ outfits look a little like Star Trek uniforms?  I think it’s also they way they walk jauntily around, or something.  I keep waiting for a green chick to pop out from behind a rock.  It kind of ups the nerd factor, and not in a good way.  (Come on, you all know, I’m pro-nerd, as the “green chick” sentence just proved.)  I know kids love these guys but I’m having a bit of trouble taking them seriously.  Why was I watching the Wiggles then, you ask?  Because on the other channel was Miffy and for some reason Miffy, that damn bunny, really gets on Mommy’s nerves.  I find myself thinking dark, dangerous, rabbit-unfriendly thoughts when I watch Miffy.  There is just something about that show that irks me.

Dora kind of gets on my nerves, too, but as bad.  I’ll be really happy when the kid is old enough to watch anime.  What?  That’s not a goal of motherhood?

I have yet to finish the second round of Roomba tests.  Mainly because I haven’t reloaded my closet from the drywall repair.  I’ll get around to it.  However, if anyone wants me to try any particular tests with the Roomba – you know, dump some dirt, make it go up walls – drop me a line.

What’s up with this whole “renter” thing?  I’ve been seeing that a lot on blogs lately.  It has something to do with “credits” and… well, I find it all very confusing.  Can someone explain it to me?  Would I get to shop?  Even though I’ve been doing this blog thing for a while now, there are still days where I feel hopelessly out of the loop.  Sometimes, while I’m spooning mush into poor Chance’s mouth, I get the sneaking suspicion I’m missing some major going-ons.  Out there.  Somewhere.  Or is that just a perpetual mom thing?            - the weirdgirl


Where Did All the Kitsch Go?

Monday night I will be going to a Bon Jovi concert.  That’s right.  BON JOVI!  I’m thinking about teasing/feathering my hair, wearing tapered jeans, and maybe an oversized sweat shirt with a metal belt.  In turquoise.  With black zebra stripes.  Sadly almost all of these things can be found again in stores. (Oh, you say, but we are doing them SO much better now! Yeah right.) 

Honestly, I had a certain fondness for the styles of the 80s for a very long time.  I’d ooh and ah when I stumbled across vintage 80s-wear at thrift stores.  I have an 80s costume for Halloween that I wore out in public.  I have a certain love for kitsch, of things so over-the-top there is an inherent fabulousness to them.  I just find the ballsy-ness of it all entertaining.  In my mind’s eye I picture all those (old thirty-something) Bon Jovi fans wearing the latest “vintage” black rock t-shirts and distressed jeans that can be found (not at the rock clothing shop) but at GAP and Lucky Jeans, and then me floating through them in true 80s clothing – the hot pink tights, grommetted mini-skirt, and leather jacket with HUGE shoulder pads (yes, I’ve still got one) a homage, if you will, to all things 80s – I think that would be HILARIOUS!

But see, nobody ever gets the humor but me.  I would be lucky if ONE person came up to me laughing.  And it would be a chick, probably wearing her satin bomber jacket from high school.

Now when I see the 80s clothing rehashed in the stores I find I’m not so enamored of it anymore.  It seems to have lost its sparkle, its fabulous moxie is not the same.  *sigh*  Or maybe I’m just growing up.  (Though I DO love all the punk clothing coming back!  Oh, those little punk boys… so cute!)

We just really need some fabulousness back in the world again.       – the weirdgirl

Plugging Away

Mother Uncensored, as well as being a really cool mom with some fun memes and contests going on at her site right now, has just started a new site, Cool Mom Sh*t - a blog that reviews and promotes cool mom blogs, products, tunes, and books.  She already has some good items up and she’s also looking for blog and item submissions to review, so please mosey on over and check it out. 

And not to forget the dads, there is a new site in town, The Blogfathers, featuring an array of really cool fathers getting their writing groove on.  I love sites like these ‘cause I can read so many dads at one time. Give The Blogfathers a visit!            

Damn!  So many good blogs, so little time!       - wg

Fuck, the Dilemna

Funny thing has been weighing on my mind lately.  It’s the issue of swearing.  OK, wait, that’s not the funny part.  The funny part is that I have been struggling with the dilemna of swearing in my posts and had been considering writing about it and then good ol’ Fuzzbox happened to mention it, too.  See, back in the day when I started this blog I was all excited to have a medium where I could swear like a fucking son of a bitch.  Because it really is my natural inclination to swear more than not.  I may be one of those chicks who goes to afternoon tea, and always has a purse, and have been told I have an “innocent” face (whatever that fucking means) but I can extensively and enthusiastically curse.  One of my girlfriends once called me her “potty-mouth tea friend”.  However, through the years of academic interviews, dinners with in-laws, and professional employment, not to mention the fact that many of my friends started having kids before I did, I had learned to curb the naughty mouth until it almost didn’t exist anymore.  I figure it’s just something you don’t want to do around the kids.  My own included.

(Now don’t get me wrong.  I’m not so crass as to be someone who uses shit, fuck, or damn every other word, just for the sake of saying shit, fuck, or damn.  But I do think there is a proper time for everything and that includes cuss words.  Such as… when a strong emphasis is needed or just for the pure enjoyment of swearing.  Life is short, damnit.)

So when I started this blog I thought, “Cool shit, sailor, you get to whip open the fucking pants and let them fly!!”  I thought this is the place I can swear again.  The kid doesn’t have to hear it, the in-laws don’t have to hear it, no one I work with has to hear it (except for the Sales department – I think it’s required in there), I am good to GO!  But another funny thing happened.  Once I started typing swear words, they started creeping back into my everyday speech. 

See it seems my brain only has two modes, swear like a sailor or good mommy, and these two modes affect all functions (writing, talking, conversing with strangers).  I couldn’t swear in one place without swearing in another.  If you notice I kind of go back and forth on this blog.  Some days I swear a lot, then comes a dry spell, and then the cycle renews.   I still WANT to curse, I just don’t want to do it around my son.  Once I start catching myself doing it around my son, i.e. “Man, that Dora is a fucking tool,” then I cut out writing the curse words, too. 

Poor Fuzzbox was under the impression that I don’t swear at all.  So sadly untrue.  And especially if I get worked up I have a hard time holding back.  But I rarely swear on other people’s blog’s comments.  ‘Cause even though you are all more than welcome to swear in my comments if you’d like (go ahead, I DON’T mind), I just think it’s kind of rude to do it in other people’s houses.  Ya know?           - the weirdgirl

P.S. One of my favorite curse-able expressions (not that I ever got to work it into conversation):  If the streets were lined with dicks your mother would be walking on her ass.

Roomba, Baby!

Performance Review – Part I

It’s finally here!  My sweet, sweet Roomba.  So for all of you interested in how well it worked I spent yesterday and today running extensive performance tests.  (I’m all mechanically-minded like that.  Hee hee!)  My model is the Roomba Discovery SE and this is the first set of data; I covered the living room, dining room, kitchen and pantry.  I have yet to run the Roomba in either of the bedrooms or the bathroom, due to the fact that I had to clean out my closet to repair the drywall and I have shoes everywhere… but that will be shortly remedied as the drywall is now all finished.  In fact, the roof is new, the drywall and paint are done, I got my Roomba… life is fucking SWEET!  (Oh, leave me alone, it’s been a rough couple of weeks; I can get excited about this shit if I want to.)

(You can always tell when I’m excited because I start swearing. What’s up with that?)

Back to the Roomba.  OK.  Here’s a little background on the way it works.  There are three settings: Clean, Spot, and Max.  The Clean mode will calculate how big a room is and keep cleaning until the room is “done”, i.e. it can’t find anymore dirt, then it will automatically stop.  The Spot mode makes the Roomba spiral three feet outward from the place it started, intensely cleaning a specific area; this is perfect for if you want to spot clean the middle of the floor – say right after a major Cheerio spill and before company drops by.  The Max mode will just clean until the battery almost runs out, about 120 minutes, it then goes back to the home base to recharge.  You have to pick up all loose objects, such as papers, power cords, or toys, off the floor.  The Roomba also comes with “virtual walls” that cordon off a room via an infrared beam that the Roomba will not cross.

For the purposes of testing I ran the Roomba on the Clean mode for each of the rooms. I’ve also listed the floor space, how heavily furnished the room is or other obstacles, and the time it took for the Roomba to finish.  (All measurements are approximate simply because my math sucks. I had to round down in some cases because I couldn’t remember how to calculate in inches when you’re trying to get square feet. If anyone knows how to do this, please feel free to enlighten me.)

Kitchen – floor space = 15’6” x 8’ or 120 sq. ft.    Run Time = 30 min.

I started with this room as one of the least furnished.  The Roomba performed excellently cleaning the kitchen and the adjacent laundry room.  Both of these rooms are linoleum floor.

Pantry – floor space = 7’6” x 6’ or 35 sq. ft.    Run Time = 15 min.

This was a key test area because we keep our litter box in there.  It’s also hardwood floor.  There was a small glitch in the beginning because the Roomba worked so good it actually swallowed up a nugget. (I didn’t know it was there!)  I had to call the help desk who said, “something big probably got sucked up,” and for them to walk me through retrieving the said nugget.  It was actually a very simple process.  I didn’t tell the help guy what got sucked up.  Once that was fixed, the Roomba happily went back to sucking up all that loose litter.  Bravo, Roomba!

Living Room – floor space = 16’6” x 11’ and 6’6” x 6’6” (front entry)  or 211 sq. ft.


Run Time = 55 min.

This was  the most heavily furnished room with the most toys.  It also has both hardwood floors and rugs, so I was interested to see how it did.  I picked up all the loose items and let the Roomba go to town.  I actually ended up moving one piece of furniture, our coffee table, because it was just high enough for the Roomba to go under it and then get stuck. Though if the coffee table hadn’t had been on a rug I don’t think there would have been an issue.  The Roomba performed really well.  It occasionally got stuck on the rug tassle but it would just try different maneuvers until it freed itself.  It never once abandoned its mission. 

Dining Room – floor space = 13’ x 10’ or 130 sq. ft.    Run Time = 55 min.

This was another room that had both wood flooring and a rug.  It also had chairs and a dining table, but the other furnishing was straight forward, i.e. everything is set against walls except for the dining set (unlike the living room where we have some furniture set at angles).  The Roomba did well, though it couldn’t fit under the chairs like I thought it would (my judgement error), so about halfway through I pulled the chairs out so it could go under the table. 

All in all, I was very, very pleased.  The Roomba did well in both heavy dirt areas and around a lot of furnishings.  It really does get into the nooks and crannies of a room.  The only exceptions were spaces too small for the robot to fit.  The Roomba actually picked up more stuff off our rugs than my vacuum cleaner does, due to the cool dual brushes – one rubber brush and one with regular bristles.  I cleaned all of the brushes after the first three rooms, which was very easy to do.  (The manual suggests cleaning the brushes every five times, but… *cough*… our rooms had gone for a while without a vacuum.)  The Roomba certainly fit under the furniture better than either of the two hand vacuums I currently have.  The Roomba was also very easy to use and set up; no complicated settings or buttons, and all the components (brushes, etc.) were just like a regular vacuum, so if you’ve ever cleaned one of those, you can clean this.  I was a little amazed at how well it worked for its simplicity. 

I do think some of the cleaning cycles run a little long, however, that is only because the Roomba cleans until it’s sure (in its robotic estimation) that it’s gotten all the dirt – which I think amounts to a few extra circuits around the room.  You can manually stop the Roomba if you are satisfied with the cleaning it’s done, which is probably what I’ll do in the future.  I’m also excited to try the Max mode because I think it will be perfect for when I’m running out of the house on errands.  Simply set up a couple virtual walls, hit run on the Roomba, and go.  It cleans while I’m out.  Yay!

Sure, I could vacuum faster myself, but I think the Roomba did a better job and got more dirt out of more places than either of my two hand vacuums.  Plus (and this is a big plus), I didn’t have to get all sweaty.  Score!           - the weirdgirl 

Somebody Stop Me

I’m feeling a might peckish.  I go on the prowl.  I open up my cupboard and… there are about a million types of cookies staring at me.  I am not kidding.  A bajillion-gillion.  I think my cookie fondness has probably reached ridiculous proportions.  Here is a sampling of what’s currently in my cupboard.  The cupboard, by the way, that one friend affectionately refers to as The Cookie Cupboard (hey, he’s an engineer, he doesn’t have to be creative) and is the reason he says he always likes coming to my house.  It’s pretty sad when the draw of your company is supplanted by the food available; and not even the home-made food but the store-bought crap.

Cookies on Display:

Chocolate-covered Nutter Butters

Keebler Soft-batch Chocolate Chip cookies (three bags, because I found them at Big Lots for $1.50 a bag, score! - for store-bought these are only surpassed by Entenman’s chocolate chip)

Dove Chocolate Chip cookies (I bought these because I couldn’t find any of the Soft-batch for awhile and thought I’d give ‘em a try)

Almond Joy cookies

Mother’s Iced Lemonade cookies

Mother’s Soft Lemon cookies

Trader Joe’s Oatmeal Cranberry dunkers

Chocolate-covered pretzels (these are almost a cookie)

Ritz Bits peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches (ditto)

Please understand that this list is only what is currently in The Cookie Cupboard and is by no means indicative of the full rotation roster of cookies.  This list also does not include other categories of snacks.  (And I wonder why it’s so hard to lose five pounds. Hmmm.)  Please also understand that, regardless of the title of this post, I am quite comfortable with my addictions (caffeine, chocolate) and really need no assistance in breaking the cookie habit.  However, considering the fact that there are nine plus bags of cookies in my kitchen I did feel like I should… um… acknowledge the issue… or something.  Because admitting the problem… probably won’t help me at all.  Perhaps I will just work out a little more in the brand new athletic shoes (hey Chag, they’re Skechers!) that I just bought.

Or maybe not.  What's in your cupboard?              - the weirdgirl

Tonight’s Episode

Have you ever seen a bigger group of putzes than on this season of 24?  The only non-putz people are Martha (who rocks), Chloe (poor, little weasel girl), and of course Jack.  Jack, our hero.  Jack, the king cowboy.  Jack, who makes the worst decisions and somehow, regardless of the million phones that seem to be in his possession, can’t pick one of them up and communicate.  I’m just saying.

(Though I do have to say they all have the coolest functioning phones/PDAs/ear gizmos EVER!)         - wg

The TV Burned Out My Eyes

I don’t know about the rest of you but when I was growing up I was constantly getting yelled at by my parents and grandparents to not sit so close to the TV, because it, in their words, “will ruin your eyes”. It occurred to me, as I was watching my son stand inches away from the TV screen in order to really see Grover dancing with Cookie Monster, that I don’t hear parents say this anymore.  It honestly didn’t occur to me to say it either, but watching Chance wriggle up on the TV like a puppy stalking a ball brought back the memory of the many times I felt a hand grab me by the shoulder and yank me back from the set with the old parental mantra ringing in my ears.  “Don’t sit so close! You’ll ruin your eyes!”

Why did they say this?  Did TVs, back in the day of vacuum tubes, really have the potential to rot out your eyes?  Were they potentially cancerous weapons of entertainment?  Or was it an old-wives-tale born out of a fear of the “new” technology?  My grandfather actually repaired TVs (as well as having worked in the labs when they were developing nuclear weapons) so you’d think that he would know, right?  Except I seem to recall it was always my grandmother who told me not to sit in front of the TV.

I kind of assumed that it just wasn’t true, that they were overreacting, but now I wonder.  Anyway, did any of you hear this too?  Are you letting your kids sit close to the TV? 

              - the weirdgirl 

A Long Bloody Rant

First I must premise this post by relaying some background on the house I grew up in.  I grew up in a household where adventurous eating was often practiced.  My parents were experimental in sampling any number of unusual cuisine, plus my dad grew up in Panama so he had been exposed to non-mainstream-America-foodstuffs.  Things that many Americans, especially those that don’t live in California, would find disgusting.  I’ve personally eaten chocolate-covered bees and ants (the ants were bitter).  Dried octopus, yummy.  My dad frequently prepared fish with the head intact (I’ve found a lot of people get really freaked out by this).  Not only would the fish be staring at us the entire meal, then about halfway through my dad would typically take a fork, gouge out an eye and eat it.  He said they were good.  Therefore, I don’t normally get grossed out by the things people eat. (I mean, it was several seasons into Fear Factor before they started downing shit that grossed me out.  And btw, eating live African cave spiders is just bad karma!) 

I am now officially grossed out.

Thanks to Girls Gone Child I have just now learned about the practice of placenta-eating.  I had never heard of this before, but since reading her post I can’t get it out of my mind!!  GGC wrote a nice, non-judgmental, but funny post about this practice.  I’m not going to manage that.  Because I AM GROSSED OUT!  If anyone would like to eat their placenta I say, you go for it.  However, I will not be partaking, thanks.  To me it seems awfully close to licking your period (tampon, anyone?).  And I’m having a hard time understanding the nutritional value of chowing placenta.  I can understand the spiritual significance, it nourished and sustained your baby; apparently many people take their placentas home and bury them as a point of honor and there are other placental ceremonies that people practice.  BUT!  I don’t get the eating.  First of all, you would just be eating your own blood and mucus (that doesn’t sound so appetizing now, does it?).  OK, it might be full of vitamins (?) (actually, I don’t really know that’s just what I read on the internet; to be honest I’ve only done a little research (because it’s freaking me out) so I’m speculating here) but aren’t they the vitamins that are already in your body?  The ones you got from prenatal vitamins or One-A-Days?  I don’t normally gnaw on my own arm when I’m feeling a bit of malaise.  The only thing I can imagine might be additional would be that it was hormone-laden blood and mucus.  However, I just got rid of my pregnancy hormones and I don’t want them back yet. 

Having been the child of hippies* I can sorta, kinda (OK, not really) understand where this en vogue practice might have come from.  There is a lot of back-to-nature philosophies around childbirth that stress that the way animals give birth and the way women (being also animals) gave birth for thousands of years is, perhaps, the way we are truly meant to give birth.  I.e. natural, no pain medication, no hospitals, etc. – the ideas range from mild to extreme.  I’m sure one of these philosophies evolved into the eating your placenta because animals do it, too.  Regardless of the fact that animals do it so predators can’t track them down by the scent of the birthing blood.  I’m pretty sure people haven’t had to worry about predators for a very long time or anyone who owns a butcher shop would be in trouble.   

Quite honestly, and remember speaking from the role of hippie-offspring, I get a little tired of the “if it came from nature it must be good” mentality.  I get a little tired of seeing “All Natural” plastered all over whatever foodstuff is being pushed at the moment.  And I get really tired of people telling me, “Well it’s good for you, it’s all natural.”  You know what?  EVERYTHING is natural!  We have not yet mastered the technology to whip brand new shit out of the frickin’ air.  We have no replicators; we cannot make compounds, chemicals, or elements that do not exist from something already existing in nature.  We just can’t do it.  What they really mean nowadays when they say “natural” is “not processed”.  That is a big difference, and I’m not sure that the America public always understands this difference.  Because guess what?  Arsenic is also “all natural” and I don’t know anyone who is sprinkling it on their granola.  Or on their prepared placenta either.           – the weirdgirl

*And by the way, I may live in Northern California, you know, home of the fruits and nuts, but no one in the entire process of my birth ever asked me if I wanted to eat my placenta.  I have to go ask my hippie mom now if she ever heard of this ‘cause is she hasn’t I bet it’s gonna gross her out.

Murphy’s Capriciousness

I can’t get my act together today. Except that I DID get my act together. I got up early, took my shower before Chance woke up, took care of Chance, got him dressed early, yadda yadda yadda.  Last night I also moved all my clothes out of a closet into another room (not into another closet because we only have two and the other one is full), packed up the latest batch of Chance’s outgrown clothes, and Keen moved furniture for me.  What brought on this surge of industriousness?  Well, our ceiling and drywall damage is supposed to be repaired this week.  They were supposed to be here between 8:30 and 9:00am this morning.  It is now several hours after 9:00 and… THEY. ARE. NOT. HERE!  Neither have they returned my phone calls to see if they are coming today. Grrrrr.

I’m in a bit of a rut. Or maybe an anti-rut.  I swear I’ve started writing ten times and I just can’t get it together. My mind, she is befuddled.  And waiting.  Waiting for drywallers!  I’m making that a new word.  Drywaller.  Or maybe a name.  Maybe I’ll write a novel rife with angst and existential dilemmas all set against the backdrop of mundane, endless suburbia; a tragicomedy in one act.  You’d buy that, right? 

OK, I’ll stop whining now.           - wg

Happy Valentine’s Day

I know I’ve posted these pictures (or at least one of them) before but they seemed appropriate today.  Especially since we know who Chance’s valentines are!  To everyone out there I hope you are spending the day cuddled up on the couch with those you love.

       - Happy Valentine’s from the weirdgirl, Keen and Chance




Who’s Baby’s Favorite?

My son has picked up my cold after all, poor kid.  It’s back to wrestling with snotmonsters.  Since he didn’t come down with it as quickly as I did, I’m kinda hoping his bout won’t be that bad.  I had a horrible sore throat the entire cold.  He doesn’t seem to be in pain so I hope he doesn’t get that part of it.

In other news, I think I’ve got a good idea what Chance’s first word is going to be.  I don’t think it’ll be “Dada” though he is starting to do the series of D sounds when he sees Keen.  And I know it won’t be “Mama” since he’s not even close to doing the mamama sound, much less when he sees me.  And I don’t think it’ll be “baba”, or “ball”, or any of the other usual baby words.  What I think he’s going to utter first is “Kitty Cat”.  Like a lot of kids he loves the cats, loves animals in general.  I think his main motivation for crawling was to chase the cats.  Or at least keep up. 

I wouldn’t have thought that this would be his first word (it sounds a bit complicated for babies, doesn’t it?), but it’s hard to argue with the evidence.  We don’t just have the squealing delightedly at the sight of and the frantic crawling towards the cats anymore.  Now we also have, “juh juh juh Kee Ca!”  Which I think is Chance’s approximation of “Jake the Kitty Cat” (Jake is the cat most willing to play with him, being of the maturity level of a toddler himself).  Or even just, “Kee Ca, Kee Ca!” when he sees either of our kitties, along with pointed staring. 

I could be crazy, but that sounds pretty close to Kitty Cat to me.  Anyone have a Baby to English dictionary on hand?           - the weirdgirl

Should this one be a large worry or small?

I worry that I spend too much time in my own head.  I’m one of those who thinks, reads, writes a lot, watches people, questions things; I have a lot of trouble turning off my brain (makes getting to sleep a bit hard).  It’s not that I don’t talk to Chance, because I do.  Especially when he is interacting back then I talk quite a bit – smiling, playing games together, encouraging him.  I try to make it a point that when he’s in his most interactive moods to get down on the floor and play with him.  Most of the parenting books say to talk to your baby, when you’re feeding him, changing him, going through the day, etc.  But there are certain moments when I catch myself drifting off mid-sentence.  I start thinking about something else while I’m talking to him and five minutes later realize I’ve been completely silent with my own thoughts.  My only excuse is that usually these are times when he is not engaged with me either, i.e. I’m babbling to him as he eats and he’s staring intently out the window or playing with a toy.  Sometimes he is just doing his own thing.   

These conversations with my son are pretty one-sided right now and that may be part of the problem, the reason my mind wanders.  Most people would tell you that I’m a very social person and I’m usually blathering along if I’m with a group (or even by myself, I often talk to complete strangers, much to their surprise, – I can’t seem to help it; I tend to view the world as a shared experience).  I’m sure things will be different when Chance is talking more himself. 

Still, it bothers me.  Because I know the other part of the equation is that I just spend a lot of time in my head.  I always have.  And I don’t want to be one of those preoccupied parents, one who is so caught up in her own stuff/thoughts that she’s not paying as much attention as she should.  I want to be present.  And I want my kids to feel that I’m available, and that means my mental presence, too.  So I am trying really hard to catch myself when I’m pondering too much (you know, quantum mechanics, the state of the union, shoes,) and for too long.  To remind myself where I am and who’s around me.  It’s another parenting goal to add to the long list.  I worry, because I know myself well enough to know I will continue to get caught up in my thoughts at times (like when I’m doing any kind of writing); it’s an integral part of who I am.  But I hope that being aware of the problem will alleviate enough of it that I can still do a good job by Chance.      

           - the weirdgirl      

Viral Hubris

Well, it’s official.  I’ve got a cold.  It’s my own fault; I got cocky.  See, so far I’ve managed to fight off all bouts of the sniffles, headaches, and preliminary aches and pains; got a little extra rest and fluids each time and that killed it.  I had one sinus infection but you know those, once you get the antibiotics you’re good to go.  And the kid also has only been officially sick two times since he was born.  So I was overconfident.  I was brash.  I’ve been around all sorts of sickies thinking, “Hey I’m invincible, I’ve got the best immune system in the world ‘cause I haven’t gotten sick once, woo hoo!” 

See how karma bites you in the ass for being smug?  (dorkgirl)  Now my face feels like a swarm of imps are kicking me from the inside out.  Luckily, Chance seems to be doing fine.  I’d really like to be sleeping but I’ve also got a work deadline.  So meet my new best friends: heavy medication.            - wg

Walking the Line

I’ve made it to ONE of the local playgroup’s walks so far.  (I only started my “preview month” two weeks ago, but you know, with the roof and everything.)  The two ladies I met were really nice so I’m hoping to make it to at least two walks a week.  However, at this initial walk one thing did become blindingly clear… I have NO athletic footwear.  It’s not even that I don’t have suitable athletic footwear for true walkers, because yes, these ladies DO walk (and they book it, too).  No.  I have no athletic footwear!  As I was digging through my closet I realized I have very little footwear that does not involve some sort of heel.  I was a little stumped.  Believe it or not, I actually do work out.  It just so happens that a lot of the workouts I do (such as squats, lunges, my elliptic trainer, and of course, the good ol’ hoola hoop) can be done in cheapo Target ked-like shoes (what we used to call “tennies”) or in bare feet.  (Please, no heart attacks from all of you jocks out there.)

I AM aware that most of the population lives and dies by their athletic shoes; people love them, they scrounge money to buy a stylish pair, they are emotionally caught up in the brand, the construction, the “specially designed for their sport of choice” uniqueness of each athletic shoe.  But not me.  (In fact, I even remember being in a cultural diversity class in college and the instructor pointing out that the American uniform tends to be jeans, t-shirts, and athletic shoes. He said, “Hey, how often do you see a pair of hard-soled shoes on an American?”  I looked around the class and there WAS one person… oh wait, that was me.)  I went from hard-soled loafer-esque shoes and boots (can you say Doc Martins?) to various high-heeled beauties and basically skipped the whole “American” love affair with athletic gear.  I owned my last pair of athletic shoes in high school (maybe I was traumatized from gym?).  Anything physical up to a few years ago I accomplished in cheap tennies or hiking boots.   

Sadly now, I don’t even have a good pair of hiking boots.  (And I’ve always loved hiking so I don’t know how that happened.)  You would think that at some point I would have bought a pair of athletic shoes and stashed them in the back of the closet for just-in-case athletic events, but then I remembered… oh yeah!… I don’t like athletic shoes!  I think that many of them are ugly, and not only ugly but big and white and heavy and PLASTIC ugly!  That’s why I stopped  buying athletic shoes!  (Actually, come to think of it, that’s why I stopped wearing Doc Martins too… the heavy factor, the bulky shoe.  Basically once you start seeing yourself in the sexy, makes-your-butt-higher-and-your-legs-longer effect of heels, especially comfy heels (yes, they do exist) I think it’s hard to go back.)

But I suppose if I’m going to do a couple of walks a week with the power moms I need to suck it up and buy a pair before I permanently cripple my feet.  Plus, it IS awfully hard to trot along a trail for any length of time in 3 inch (but oh so stylish, and have you seen how good my butt looks?) boots.  I can’t promise that I’ll buy a matching track suit to go with the shoes, however.  It was just in this last year that I bought the first “hoodie” I had worn since, you got it, high school.  Baby steps, people. 

Though make no mistake oh ye who would criticize my choice in parenting footwear, I CAN run in heels!            - the weirdgirl

And this is where you put the extra bits

Sorry for the delay between posts, folks.  Last week was a very long week, and yesterday was another long day.  Didn’t someone once say that weekends are supposed to be restful?  (Liars!)  I was too incoherent last night to string anything together.  A few things from last’s very long week (both summary and cause):

The new roof is finished!  Now I only need to get the interior drywall repairs done.  However, I am counting this project as ¾ complete.  Hopefully the drywall people won’t be showing up so damn early as the roof people.

My Roomba vacuum is on backorder! D’oh!

Friday, Keen and I celebrated the anniversary of our first date, 16 years ago.  My mind seems caught on the “16” part.  Can it really have been so long ago?  Wow.  Sure doesn’t feel like it.  Must be love a-working.  (There’s a surreal quality that occurs when you start thinking about lengths of time that have passed, you know?  Thinking about 16 years is almost as strange as those moments right after we brought Chance home from the hospital – when I would catch myself thinking, “How did this little person get into my kitchen?”)  Anyway, here’s to you babe!  I love ya!

And yesterday… yesterday we took Chance to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  So far, he has been fascinated with fish tanks.  So we went to the largest one around.  He loved it, of course, leaning against the glass staring at fish bigger than him (he could have been bait!).  This is the fun part, truly.  The “getting to see things through their eyes” part.  I’m getting excited about going back to all the old pastimes, amusement parks, plays and musicals, the beach, horseback riding.  I better get my ass back in shape, though.  I’ll need to be able to keep up (I already know horseback riding is gonna be tough). 

                  - wg

“Children hallow small things. A child is a priest of the ordinary, fulfilling a sacred office that absolutely no one else can fill. The simplest gesture, the ephemeral movement, the commonest object all become precious beyond words when touched, noticed, lived by one's own dear child.” — Mike Mason, The Mystery of Children (Colorado Springs: Waterbrook Press, 2001), p. 27

Baby Palmistry and the Story Behind the Psychic Publisher

That last post was a good segue because I’ve been meaning to relate my misadventures with baby palm-reading.  The nutty things us adults do, I tell ya.

The Story: After graduating college I had been working a series of crappy admin jobs but I really wanted to get into publishing because… well, have you ever worked admin?  You need to be highly computer literate and fairly bright to do it and yet everyone treats you like you must be stupid.  I’ve never figured that out.  Plus, it just wasn’t my life-long goal to work admin. There’s nothing wrong with it in itself but any job where potential employers tell you “we need someone who can be a ‘mom’ for the office” (i.e. clean up their shit and listen to whining) is just not my cup of tea.  So.  I was working admin during the day when I took a very part-time for very-little-money job with a local small publisher where I worked evenings and weekends.  I basically wanted to expand my editing experience so I could jump into publishing full-time.  This was before I discovered that 1) publishing pays worse than admin and 2) I could use the exact same skill sets (editing and writing) in marketing for a lot more money and faster promotion opportunities.  (Yes, I am a money-whore.  I had to pay off those school loans somehow.)  The publisher I worked for was not only a psychic but also African-American, an educator, and a lesbian.  Therefore her press specialized in New Age topics, gay and lesbian themes, and books that promoted diversity and spirituality.  She not only published books but also a magazine, as well.

The psychic aspect didn’t bother me too much.  Not because I lean that way, but because I’m pretty open about religion and beliefs in general.  A lot of that has to do with my parents.  I was raised Episcopalian and did lots of church activities growing up and I was an altar girl.  My dad had been raised Catholic but had a lot of Buddhist leanings.  And my mom is very Christian, she plays the organ and is very involved at church and she even attended seminary for a while, but she also taught yoga for years and she’s a little psychic herself (which I think conflicts sometimes with her faith).  So they were both open-minded, too.  I’ve also studied a lot of mythology  which kind of opens up religion in a way.  Anyways, this is all just background.  In general, I think that different religions are all different aspects of faith, and they all tend to explore the mystery that is inherent in the human condition.  (That’s my lofty, philosophical sentiment for the day. You don’t see many of those here.)  Some of the New Age / psychic stuff freaks me out, some of it I find funny, but other aspects are just another religion of faith and to each his own, so I wasn’t really disturbed by the New Age going-ons.

HOWEVER because the term “New Age” draws a lot of unusual people and the press’ specialty was a little broad we got some VERY interesting submission queries.  This was my favorite part; reading the submissions and submission queries.  On any given day I would get descriptions for books about channeling, gay erotica short stories, spiritual guides, and poetry and art submissions.  One of my favorite book descriptions was a lady who claimed to be channeling Elvis through her computer and was writing down all her insightful conversations with Elvis and other “angel friends”.  See?  Even though the publisher would occasionally hold psychic consultations in the back room (and yes, they gave me stomach aches and I don’t know why since it’s obviously not a mental block – I think the energies get weird or something) you just can’t beat experience like that.  I could sit at one sucky admin job answering the phone, or I could sit in a New Age storefront listening to a séance while I proofread a lesbian erotica science fiction story.  Seriously, fellow bloggers, what would you choose?  In any case, it was, to say the least, an interesting experience and I learned a lot.

One of the things I picked up while I was there was this great book on palm-reading.  Now palm-reading (according to the book I read and it’s particular method) has a lot more to do with personality traits than predicting the future. I’m a little fascinated by those methods from antiquity that try to map out people, such as phrenology (studying the bumps on the head) or palm-reading.  I’ve got a lot of questions: how does it work, is it accurate, how did people come up with this system, what part is mysticism and what part psuedo-science?  Etc. etc. I am both a skeptic and a willing participant, so to speak.  So with this book I learned how to palm-read – albeit not very well; my palm has a shitload of lines so it’s kind of hard to read and I have to consult the book when I read anyone else’s palm ‘cause I can only remember parts.  Obviously I didn’t learn this as a means to a psychic career; I just thought it was interesting and would be fun to do at a party.  Strangely enough, every time I “read” someone’s palm (with book at my side) it gave a fairly accurate description of that person’s personality.  And these were people I knew, like my brother, so it was little hard for them to fake their personality and humor me!  (Weird, huh?)  All this fueled the fire and every once in a while I have to dig the book out and study my palm intently (yes, I know I look like a weirdo).   

Then I had a kid and I got the bright idea to read his palm.  How cool! I thought.  I could check it out now while he’s a baby and see if there is anything interesting and then look at it through the years as he is growing up.  (Oh, my son, my little experiment).  Part of the  thing about palm-reading is that lines will come and go with experience; it is not “set” and that’s why it doesn’t predict the future.  A lot of the marks relate directly to things that have happened in that person’s life, i.e. “poison lines” are marks that indicate addictions (chocolate chocolate chocolate!).  But there are certain marks that relate to aspects of personality or indicate an aptitude of that person.  For example, an “X” mark on the hand means good luck and charisma; if you have an X on your love line that means good luck in love, X’s in general are indications of hidden strength, the ability to apply mind over matter.  Another mark called the “teacher’s block” indicates that person has an aptitude for teaching or has communication abilities.  These are the marks I wanted to see; would there be anything there on a baby?  Would his palm be smooth, a clean slate, except for the heart and life lines?  Once the idea got hold I couldn’t shake it.

Reading Chance’s palm just occurred to me recently.  Since then I have been basically stalking my own son.  Have you ever tried to look at the hand of a 10-11 month old?  It goes along like this: Squirm squirm, pry open the fingers, try to hold child still, squirming becomes more outraged, try to see something on tiny twisting hand, and…give up.  (This would have been much easier if I had thought of it when Chance was a newborn.)  I then decided to sneak up on him while he was sleeping and take a picture of his hand to study and/or post.  I haven’t gotten ONE picture where you can see anything!  I also realized that hunching over a sleeping child for any length of time is a little creepy and probably not very healthy.  I decided to try him when he’s distracted by something else, like eating.  That went along like this: slurp slurp, happy baby, slurp, try to get a sneak look at his palm, he pulls away, sneak a look, he pulls away, sneak a look… at this point Chance stops drinking and looks up at me like WTF, mom?  I’m trying to eat here.  This little dance has gone on and off for the last couple of weeks.

So what is the final result of my misadventure?  I have seen… some lines and two or three X’s (yay, luck!).  That’s it.  I’ve also come away with the (deep, spiritual) realization that this was folly and I’m a dork.  I’m bettin’ there’s a line on my palm somewhere that indicates such.  I still think it would be interesting to look at his palm, but I’m not holding my breath it’s gonna happen anytime soon.         - the dorkgirl

P.S. If anyone else attempts to read their child’s palm I would love to hear how it turns out!

Fits the Theme

Cynical Dad Chag tagged me (I love that that rhymes) with this weird and random facts meme (which was fun but hard… you know, the sort of meme where you can’t think of anything until after you’ve posted and gone to bed).  And ala CCG, I am doing 10 for me (the MeMe) and 10 for Chance (the HeHe). 

MeMe: 10 Weird and Random Facts

1. I talk in my sleep and (half) sleepwalk (usually I wake myself up as I’m getting out of bed).  It is not unusual for me to sit bolt upright in bed and begin talking.  I’ve scared the shit out of Keen several times doing this.

2. I once worked as an editor for a publisher who was also a psychic. While I was reading submissions in the front office, she used to hold séances / “psychic consultations” in the back room.

3. Séances give me stomach aches.

4. Permanent hair dye will not stay in my hair.  (I have to use semi-permanent.)

5. I dye my hair burgundy/auburn red.  My real hair is actually honey-colored.  (Though ironically, the drapes now match the carpet.  Is that TMI?)

6. Even though I studied literature (with a capital L), I love pulp fiction and would love to write paperbacks/comic books. 

7. I like to spread peanut butter (or jelly or whatever) evenly to the edges of the bread when I’m making a sandwich.  Keen seems to think that this is incredibly weird for some reason and made me include it here.

8. Halloween is my favorite holiday.  When I was a little girl I never wanted to dress as a princess, I always wanted to be the witch.

9. I like to watch TV shows aimed at teenagers.

10. I like boxing, but don’t get to watch it much.

HeHe: 10 Weird and Random Facts about Chance

1. Chance is named after a character from a TV show called Strange Luck.  It wasn’t that we really loved the character; we just thought the name was cool.    

2. He sucks in the sides of his cheeks when he’s thinking.

3. When he really likes his food he also loves to suck in the sides of his cheeks or lips until he makes a fishy face and a “smack” sound.  He’ll do this several times in a row.

4. “Hotel California” was playing, loudly, in the operating room when he was delivered.   

5. He loves to be naked and makes for the hills as soon as his diaper is off.

6. Sometimes he’ll stick his tongue out when he smiles (like I do).

7. He’s starting to “dance” when he hears songs he likes.

8. He likes to tackle the cats and rubs his face in their bellies.  He’s only managed to catch one of the cats to do this. 

9. Chance is already fascinated by cars. 

10. I’ve seen him manage to get the lid off a childproof container twice. That’s gotta be a defect, right?   

I cannot remember who may have done this one so… I’m tagging Adventure Dad, Growing Up Too Fast, JW at I Was Asked, and  Metro Dad because I wanna hear what they say.  Smiles!             – the weirdgirl