What Can I Say...

That hasn’t been already said on this day? Whether what is said is full of tears, or joy, or hope, or bitter denouncements. We came with baggage, generations in the making. Baggage many of us today would not have chosen and long over due to be left by the side of the road. Even if that means we make the journey ahead with nothing but ourselves; memory, the clothes on our backs, and the hands we build with. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m OK with that.

It is the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fucking fabulous.

Obama Inaguration


"Change is the process by which the future invades our lives, and it is important to look at it closely, not merely from the grand perspectives of history, but also from the vantage point of the living, breathing individuals who experience it."
           -Alvin Toffler, Future Shock

"The art of progress is to preserve order amid change, and to preserve change amid order. Life refuses to be embalmed alive. The more prolonged the halt in some unrelieved system of order, the greater the crash of the dead society."

           -Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality


See You on the Flip Side

"What a distressing contrast there is between the radiant intelligence of the child and feeble mentality of the average adult."   - Sigmund Freud (1856 - 1939)

I find this quote simultaneously amusing and, on some days, very apt!  Especially as I am hip-deep in the "testing one's boundaries" period with Chance.  I can see his little mind working to get around me.  And sometimes he is even so blunt as to simply put his fingers in his ears.  I don't know where he learned that, but it's awfully hard to keep a straight face.  (I know I'll laugh when I bludgeon the person who taught it to him.)  Overall, I think I'm doing OK (I think).  I finished reading "Raising a Happy Unspoiled Child" (see, I told ya I'd get around to it; I'm only partially slacker) and I'm partway through "Touchpoints".  Good discipline tips, people.  Good tips. 

I know I've been a little light on blogging this week, but I'll be back soon.  Though, I'm probably only going to post three times a week for a while.  With school I'm not sure yet what my time will be like, and ironically my work load is picking up right as I go back to school.  (The Universe loves me like that.)  Plus, the less I blog the less chance I will write posts heavily influenced by school... 'cause I'm thinking most people don't come here to hear about genres in American Literature.  (We're starting off with slave narratives, by the way.  Next up, suffragettes and feminism!  But don't worry, guys, this is a "No Man-Bashing" zone.) 

OK, so anyways!  New addition to The Things They Don't Tell You in Lamaze list!  Take a look and I'll be back shortly.  Probably with more explanation than you ever wanted to know.  (Dum dum DUM!  That's called "foreshadowing".  See?  Some education does a slacker good.)             

               - the weirdgirl 


Why is the Word Monkey so Funny*?

Today completely got away from me.  (I’m not even sure how it happened.  Damn runaway days!  Always loitering in front of the 7-11, smart-mouthing honest folks and dressing atrociously.  Get a job, you!  Be productive!)  Therefore I’m going to keep this short and sweet.

It was just brought to my attention that my blog was experiencing problems in Safari.  Mad thanks to Eric who both pointed out AND helped me with the HTML issue. Eric, you rock!  I think I’ve got the problem fixed, but if anyone sees anything strange in Safari (or any other browser) please give me a shout.  Thank you all!

I’m in the middle of doing some redesigns for the site.  Stay tuned and if I don’t post for a couple of days it’s ‘cause I’m playing with colors in typepad.  What?  I like to play too, and they keep taking away my crayons.             – the weirdgirl

*I’m so tired that first I’m finding the word monkey incredibly funny (OK, I think it’s funny all the time), and then second, I started looking up quotes about them.  Obviously my brain just stops functioning after a certain point.  But here’s what I found:

“We've heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true.”   - Robert Wilensky, speech at a 1996 conference

And a bit of sage parenting wisdom (in this typing monkeygirl’s opinion):

“If you raise three children who can knock out and hog tie a perfect stranger, you must be doing something right.”   Marge, The Simpsons


Let’s Stick With the Basics…

“Carob is a brown powder made from the pulverized fruit of a Mediterranean evergreen. Some consider carob an adequate substitute for chocolate because it has some similar nutrients (calcium, phosphorus), and because it can, when combined with vegetable fat and sugar, be made to approximate the color and consistency of chocolate. Of course, the same arguments can as persuasively be made in favor of dirt.”   - Sandra Boynton (a children’s author I can really get behind)

“You go back. You search for what made you happy when you were smaller. We are all grown up children, really... So one should go back and search for what was loved and found to be real.”   - Audrey Hepburn

“The value of marriage is not that adults produce children but that children produce adults.”  - Peter De Vries

“The only truly happy people are children and the creative minority.” 

    - Jean Caldwell

The three C’s: children, chocolate, and creativity – and they laughed at me when I said I was going to keep growing younger.           – the weirdgirl

(Plus, chocolate is an analgesic for, you know, when kids and creativity get you in trouble.)


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


Parental Hearing – The Oxymoron

"Having children is like having a bowling alley installed in your brain."
-- Alan Bleasdale (b. 1946), British playwright, novelist

These are the sounds I’ve become accustomed to:

crash

clank

*Da da da la la… shriek*

ding ding ding

CRASH

smack smack

“I’m Pierre, need some air?” (toy)

*peals of laughter*

clunk clunk clunk

BRRRRING!

quiet…

…tink

And that last, folks, is what makes me run.  Anything that would make such a small, quiet sound hitting the floor can surely be swallowed, jabbed in the eye, or stuck in some orifice it doesn’t need to be.

(You would think with all this running around that I would be in a lot better shape. But I just feel old, I tell you, OLD!)           - the weirdgirl


It’s Raining… (insert favorite cliché here)

So a chunk of our ceiling fell in yesterday. Don’t worry, it’s a small chunk, about a foot square I figure.  But still.  Now we have a moldy, musty, gross-looking hole that is spewing out musty air and mold spores everywhere.  I’m not just being paranoid; my nose starting stuffing up immediately. 

The ironical bit is that we were actually scheduled to put in a new roof this week.  But the rain decided to come in and kick our asses first.  We have another whole section that had leaked a little bit previously in a small containable area, but now has grown into a large swatch of questionable-looking ceiling.  So it looks like a patch job for today and probably no new roof for a couple of weeks.  Blech. 

I thought about trying to come up with a crafty solution to the gaping hole, but I couldn’t think of much besides tacking up a garbage bag and maybe decorating with sequins.  Just to assuage my crafting sensibilities, you understand.

Well, I’m off to DEAL, as they say.  Need a new filter for the air purifier that’s gallantly fighting off the mold.  Just to share, here’s my current favorite quote:   

Ah well, she thought. Being dead is probably just like everything else in life: you pick some of it up as you go along, and you just make up the rest.   - from Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman

-         the weirdgirl


Neither of These Were Covered in Prenatal Class

This would be very convenient; I need someone to do this for me at night.        - the weirdgirl

“Mrs Darling first heard of Peter when she was tidying up her children's minds. It is the nightly custom of every good mother after her children are asleep to rummage through their minds and put things straight for next morning, repacking into their proper places the many articles that have wandered during the day. If you could keep awake (but of course you can't) you would see your own mother doing this, and you would find it very interesting to watch her. It is quite like tidying up drawers. You would see her on her knees, I expect, lingering humourously over some of your contents, wondering where on earth you had picked this thing up, making discoveries sweet and not so sweet, pressing this to her cheek as if it were a kitten, and hurriedly stowing that out of sight. When you wake up in the morning, the naughtiness and evil passions with which you went to bed have been folded up small and placed at the bottom of your mind; and on the top, beautifully aired, are spread out your prettier thoughts, ready for you to put on.” -- J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan

I just thought this one was funny.  Plus, I love the Tick.        - wg

“Everybody was a baby once, Arthur. Oh, sure, maybe not today, or even yesterday. But once. Babies, chum: tiny, dimpled, fleshy mirrors of our us-ness, that we parents hurl into the future, like leathery footballs of hope. And you've got to get a good spiral on that baby, or evil will make an interception.”  -- The Tick

         


"The distinction between children and adults, while probably useful for some purposes, is at bottom a specious one, I feel. There are only individual egos, crazy for love."
-- Don Barthelme (1931-89), American author

My son is so much fun.  (I haven’t written a gushy post in a while.  Forgive a mom’s need to gush.)  He is at the age where his personality is really starting to show.  Chance is turning out to be quite a character.  It’s the little things that get to me (and I suppose, at this age, all their personality is about the little things anyways).  He sucks in his cheeks when he’s really enjoying something he’s eating and he waggles his fingers.  He looks inordinately pleased when I hand him something that he actually wanted, like the cat’s toy (as compared to the bait and switch toys I’m usually feeding him).  Of all the songs I sing to him his favorite is “A Bicycle Built for Two”.  He’ll throw his arms around mine or Keen Dad’s neck and butt foreheads, or do the open mouth slobber-sprawl “kiss” across our faces.  He seems to really love people, even when he’s being shy.  And he already seems to be developing a sense of humor (OK, maybe I’m reaching for that one a bit – who can really tell yet?); he loves games and quickly recognizes when we’re playing or even just smiles when we do something he finds amusing (which is often). 

This is my favorite part of being a parent – watching him be himself.  Watching him learn is wonderful too, each new discovery and milestone.  But it is in the moments when he is just his silly, little character self that I feel my heart do that swollen, happy, heartbreak thing. 

So here is 20 seconds of my son, Chance.  Download MOV00664.MPG

- just another mom crazy for love


Baby Smiles

So I’ve been working, which is nice for a number of reasons.  But one of my favorites is getting to watch Keen and the baby together.  There is just nothing else like baby smiles.

            - the weirdgirl

"If one feels the need of something grand, something infinite, something that makes one feel aware of God, one need not go far to find it. I think that I see something deeper, more infinite, more eternal Dsc00559than the ocean in the expression of the eyes of a little baby when it wakes in the morning and coos or laughs because it sees the sun shining on its cradle."       

        -- Vincent Van Gogh (1853-90)

"The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives."    

        -- Albert Einstein (1875-1955)


The Desperate Search for Money

"Adults are just children who earn money."  -- Kenneth Branaugh

This pretty much sums up two preoccupations on my mind recently.  First, I secretly (OK, probably not much of a secret) feel like a kid most of the time.  Which is fine with me ‘cause I really don’t want to grow up anyway.  After a long day I invariably end up watching cartoons and eating “kid food,” ie. Mac and cheese, PB&J, cereal, etc.  Previous co-workers use to laugh at the types of food I brought in as my emergency stash… until they came around mid-afternoon trying to score Pop Tarts and Lunchables.  See, it’s just too much fun being a kid… even if the other adults think you’re a little off.

The second and more pressing preoccupation… I have been desperately casting about for work.  It’s not like I have any outstanding bills or anything… but Christmas is coming!  I need cash, damnit, and my reserves are tapped.  Here’s the background:  I have a BA in English and have been working as a freelancer in high tech marketing for the last three years.  So although I live in Silicon Valley and the job market here has sucked, project work for me was pretty steady until I got preggers.  Then I had a sudden hiatus. 

(I was also working on a MA in Literature until I got knocked-up (not that it wasn’t planned, I just didn’t expect to get pregnant so quickly).  That’s another whole dynamic, because a lot of English academics think marketing and advertising are four letter words.  Many directly attribute the decline in US literacy to diet food marketing campaigns.   However, usually you have to WORK to pay for SCHOOL!  Long story short, I learned to be quiet about what I did for a living.)   

Naïve me, I really didn’t think it would be that hard to pick up work again, BUT IT HAS!  I pinged all my contacts, been scouring good old craigslist, but nothing came through.  Shit.  I was starting to think about getting a job at Nordstrom’s for the holiday season.  Or selling t-shirts on cafepress (yes, I know everyone’s doing it).  I even saw the “hiring” sign at Toys R US, but I’m not THAT crazy.  I needed something!

Until now.  YES, I finally got a project!  I am inordinately pleased.  I’ve been celebrating by eating Baby Ruths and staring at my computer for way too long.  I feel like a kid in a candy store… making money… by dealing chocolate.

Or, as my fellow students in the English program would say, “Whoring your soul to the corporate machine, eh?”

Yes. Yes I am.            – the weirdgirl