Archive for May, 2007

Tagged again, but this time it’s 8 things about me.

Sara just tagged me for another meme. I’m pretty sure it’s a different meme, but even if it’s the same one I did earlier this week (see 7 Random Things About Me) I don’t mind doing it again. Here’s the instructions she posted on her blog:

Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

1. Up until about 4 days ago, I couldn’t pronounce the word “meme.” But now I can. (Thanks, Katherine!)

2. I ate WAY too many pistashios today, and right before dinner time, too. I’ve been incredibly thirsty ever since.

3. I still haven’t taken down the streamers from my 4-year-old’s birthday party last month. I really should get up and go do that, but instead I’m gonna finish this post, and by the time I’m done, I will have forgotten all about those pink streamers hanging from my dining room window.

4. I’m a Law & Order junkie. If I could just stay away from the USA network, my house would be a lot cleaner and I’d get more writing done.

5. I once memorized all the lyrics to Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant, even the part where the sergeant talks.

6. I used to bite my fingernails so bad that they were practically nonexistent. Then I got some of that nailpolish that tastes TERRIBLE and it worked! I was able to grow my nails long and take good care of them for years. But now that I’ve got little ones, I keep my nails as short as can be.

7. When I was in middle school, my family lived in the same neighborhood as Jaqueline Kennedy O’Nassis. I used to run into her sometimes while walking in the woods, and my sister helped take care of her horses. She was a really nice lady.

8. I still haven’t decided exactly how I’m gonna pre-order Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Amazon? Or Borders?

Okay, so there’s eight more things about me.

I’m gonna tag Katherine, Heather, and Weaver. I’d tag Robinella, too, if it would bring her out of retirement (hint, hint). And thanks to Sara for tagging me. 🙂


The things I worry about

I’m sitting here wondering how to handle my upcoming purchase of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

It’s sort of agonizing to realize that no matter what I do, I will not awaken on the morning of July 21 and magically find a copy of the book sitting on my nightstand (with a steaming hot vanilla latte next to it) just waiting to be read. I’ve got basically two choices:

A) go out to a bookstore and wait in a potentially long line, or
B) wait forlornly for the UPS dude to show up with my box from Amazon.

If I still lived in Colorado, I’d know what to do. I’d wait to buy the book at Target first thing in the morning. There would be no lines and lots of copies. Even the supermarket would have a hundred copies sitting there. But here, I don’t know what the retail scene will be like. What if the lines are really long? What if I ended up having to stand in a line all day instead of sipping my coffee and letting UPS bring my book to my door?

What to do?

When Book 6 came out, I was worried about the same thing, so I ordered from Amazon, and UPS never showed up until that evening! It was awful. I sat there in my house for hours fuming that I was Not Currently Reading The New Harry Potter Book because those fools down at Amazon had gotten it all wrong and then the idiots at UPS messed up the messed-up Amazon order and my copy of Book 6 was stuck in some warehouse instead of in my hands. I complained about it so much that my husband finally went out to a grocery store and bought another copy. So by the end of the day, I had two copies of Book 6, but there was peace in my house, so it was worth the extra money.

Can you believe the things I worry about? There’s a war on, people all over the world are starving or otherwise in need, the environment’s tanked, my sister’s about to have a baby any day now (nope, not yet), and I still haven’t sold my house in Colorado, but all I can think about is how to make this purchase so that I can be reading the book as early as possible on the morning of July 21.

So, here I sit, the Queen of Indecision: Amazon? or Borders? Amazon? or Borders?

You think that’s bad? You ought to see me when I’m ordering curriculum.


Not every day is bliss.


This is a portrait in watercolor of ME done by my 6-year-old yesterday afternoon.

This is, apparently, what I look like after a completely frustrating half-hour in which the girls are cleaning up their room before they are allowed to paint. So much complaining and whining and compromising (and cajoling of the 4-year-old by the 6-year-old who Just Wants To FREEKIN Paint) went on that I just about Lost It Completely and did a little bit ‘o yellin’.

I don’t usually make them clean up before painting, but they’d emptied the entire contents of the closet on top of the usual clutter of stuff that litters the floor in there, and it was SO BAD that I was sure we were breaking all sorts of fire codes, so I made them clean up their room first today.

And after all that, I was so IRRITATED that I didn’t let them paint their Most Supremely Awesome Wooden Model Horses that they REALLY wanted to paint and just let them have plain old boring watercolors and paper. And the masterpiece above was the end result. And the sad thing is, it’s a pretty good painting. Yeah, I’m a bit jaundiced in her representation, but the facial expression was probably dead-on.

There seems to be this growing collection of Angry Mother Artwork in my house.

Here for instance is a picture my 4-year-old drew of me with marker a few months ago:


This was right around the time she reached one of my favorite milestones — starting to draw people. I just love this milestone. It’s such fun! Except for THOSE moments,  like the one above, when my then 3-year-old, approached me with this particular gem and handed it to me and said:

Here, Mom. I drew this for you. It’s a picture of you being mad because the cat got in the house and pooped on the floor.

I took the paper with thanks and later on, scribbled a few clarifying points on the back:

Actually, it was my toddler who LET the cat in even though the cat is NOT ALLOWED in this house. And then, it was the toddler, not the cat, who pooped on the floor.

Notice my thick, free-falling grey tears. And the little angry pink crinkle in my forehead. Again, maybe not everything is the right color, or drawn to scale, but for a toddler, it ain’t bad.

Trust me, if your 3-year-old let the cat in, then pooped on the floor and tried to blame it on the cat, you’d look like that, too.

By the time they’re teenagers, I’ll probably look like this.

And the girls will probably paint it just beautifully.

7 Random Things About Me

Okay…here goes the meme thing.

1. I don’t know how to pronounce meme. Is it “mee-mee”, or is it “mem”?

2. I’m left-handed.

3. I graduated summa cum laude with a degree in History and Political Science. I’m also a member of various honor societies, including Phi Beta Kappa. In fact, I was one of six juniors in my college class invited to join Phi Beta Kappa a year earlier than usual. The first thing I did after the Phi Beta Kappa induction ceremony was to teach my husband (then boyfriend) the secret Phi Beta Kappa handshake even though he was not a member of that organization. But don’t tell anyone okay?

4. I’m currently between favorite ice cream flavors. For years, my favorite ice cream flavor was Breyers Mint Chocolate Chip. And it had to be BREYERS — none of that fake green colored mint chocolate chip, if you know what I mean. But this year Breyers changed their chocolate chips to something that tastes processed and waxy and fake, and it’s JUST RUINED. I’m at a loss now, as to how to handle my mint chocolate chip ice cream needs, and I’m secretly hoping that eventually Breyers will realize their mistake and go back to their original chocolate chip recipe — kind of like when Coke tried to sell that New Coke crap a few decades ago to compete with Pepsi and everyone complained so they went back to their original Coke syrup and that’s how we ended up with Coca-Cola Classic. So, if anyone hears about Breyers Mint Chocolate Chip Classic, please let me know.

5. Lord Voldemort and I share the same birthday. But other than that, we have absolutely nothing in common.

6. I am a published poet. I have one poem published in an anthology and stacks of other poems that need to be sent out for publication. The reason I haven’t sent any poems out is that I suffer from Cover-Letter-Itis — a tragic condition in which every time I try to write a cover letter to accompany some of my poems, I collapse into a catatonic state of fear. But I’m working on it.

7. I quit smoking last summer, and this spring I discovered that none of my summer clothes fit. I had to go up a pant-size. I was a bit depressed about that until I went on my annual writing-retreat last week, where all my fabulous poet friends told me that my weight gain served me well. That I no longer looked so scrawny. That now I look…get ready for this…JUICY! That’s the ultimate beauty of hanging out with poets. You get so much more than the standard “yeah, but it looks good on you” kind of compliment. So, I’ve been wandering around since then, reveling in my apparent JUICY-ness.

Life is good.

So, there you have it, 7 random things about me, right off the top of my head. Thus ends my first “mee-mee” or “mem” or whatever it is. And now I shall tag: Robinella, Ami, and Andie. And a special thanks to Katherine for tagging me. That was fun.

The opposite of reverse-reverse psychology.

Conversation between me and my 4-year-old yesterday morning:

4-year-old: Mom, can I paint?

Me: Sure you can…right after I clear away the breakfast dishes. Wanna help?

4-year-old: Okay.

Me: Thanks. I appreciate it. How about a hug?

4-year-old: Uh…. No.

Me: What? No hug? Why not?

4-year-old (breezily): Well, you’ll just have to wait until bedtime. Sorry!

Me: Oh c’mon. Just one hug.

4-year-old: Nope.

Me: Please? Pretty please?

4-year-old (still breezy and sing-songy): Uh-oh… Sorry, Mom… I can’t hear you… You’re whining…

Welcome to Baby-Watch 2007!

My sister is expecting her second baby within the next week or so.

She’s being really quiet about the whole thing, but I remember being THAT pregnant, and I just know she’s really looking forward to Not Being Pregnant Anymore. She’s very beautiful and gracious about it, though. Unlike me at that time in my life, she glows. She smiles joyfully. Her skin isn’t all blotchy. And you know she’s gonna drop that weight in like 45 minutes flat.

It would all be perfect and idyllic, if not for one tiny little glitch in the whole event: our mother.

Our mother is A BIT self-involved, to put it mildly. And she’s not really fond of GERMS. She loves being the ‘Nana’ in a romantic old-fashioned classical literature kind of way, but I suspect she’s really looking forward to when she’s a Nana to OLDER children. The kind that don’t need diapers, and always flush, and wash their hands, and don’t come at you covered in unidentifiable sticky stuff.

So, she’s really looking forward to seeing the new baby, but I suspect she’d really prefer to see the new baby in a clean-room while wearing a germ-proof suit like Dustin Hoffman wore in that movie about the Ebola virus.

Because our mother is so fussy about GERMS And The Babies That Carry Them, my sister and her husband have WISELY asked me to be the Point Of Contact for this big event. So, pretty soon, I’ll be getting a call and jumping into my minivan with my kids to drive like mad across the Delaware to babysit my little niece while her mom is busy producing her little brother (or sister) and her daddy is busy helping her mom produce said sibling.

This arrangement will work out nicely. It will allow my sister and her husband to concentrate fully on the birth process knowing that the person watching their other child won’t stuff her full of sugar at the drop of a hat, and will actually change a dirty diaper if necessary instead of letting it sit and Pretending The Poop Didn’t Happen.

My sister and my brother-in-law will also rest easy in the knowledge that I will not try to move in with their family (rent free) at any given moment, that I will not lift any spare change I find under the couch cushions (not to mention any tens, twenties or VISA check cards I ‘accidentally’ come across while digging through their desk drawers), and that I will not peruse their personal mail or diaries. Sadly, my mother is prone to these types of behavior.

I’ll probably just order in some pizza, watch a whole lot of Elmo with my niece and my daughters, make some popcorn just because it’s SO HYSTERICAL to watch my little niece actually eat popcorn, and maybe do a little laundry if I come across it. And then at some point, I’ll cry when they bring home their new little baby and take a BAZILLION pictures and post them all here (if they say it’s okay) so you can oooh and ahhh and cry with me.

Welcome to Baby-Watch 2007!

What…is it Tuesday already? Damn!

Well, I’m back!

 What a trip! The best one ever. And I’ve been going on these things for almost 10 years now. Maybe it was because it was all women this year. No men. None. Except for that nicely tanned young man who came on Saturday and gave us all hour-long massages.

No, I’m not joking… we really did have a nicely tanned young man show up on Saturday and give us all massages. It’s the first year we’ve ever done that. And we’re thinking we’ll make it an annual event. Like, why didn’t we think of THAT sooner?!?

Other than that, we wrote poetry. We revised previously written poetry. We ate roasted asparagus and shrimp with peach-cocktail sauce. We ate complicated salads. And stuff with curry in it. Teriyaki salmon and more asparagus. We walked in the desert and watched the sun go down behind the mountains.

And we talked. Deep into the night, we talked in ways only women who know each other well can talk. These are the women I’ve known for years, the women who feed my writing. And what’s funny is, some of them, I’d only see once a year at this retreat, even though we all lived sort of near each other. But we’re all at different places in our lives, and only fully connect at this little 5-day retreat. And when we’re up in the Baca Grande country, we’re totally connected. It’s strange magic. But necessary magic.

This is how I mark my years. With each Baca trip.

So, one year ends and one begins in my strange and utterly cool life. And can I tell you how much I’m looking forward to this next one? Something tells me, it’s gonna be a GREAT one!

What’s that, you ask? Did I miss you? Of course I did! All of you. Did I think of you while away at the Baca? Um, yeah…kind of… for a while on Saturday morning… but then it was time for my massage. Did I mention that this cute little tanned thing showed up and gave us all massages? Oh. I did. Okay. Just making sure.

Well, I guess I should go find some dishes that need doing.

By the way, my mother-in-law was here at my house for the week, so I have this kitchen floor clean enough to perform open heart surgery on now. Maybe after I’m done doing some dishes, I’ll spill something on the floor, get everything back to normal around here.

Going to the Baca is grand, but so is coming home again.

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