Dec 28, 2009

Two Top ten Lists that Only Equal Eight

On the top ten list of absolute crap that happened this year we'll include my husband getting laid off, moving away from my family and friends, my brother getting stabbed, my insurance being complete assholes about my health, and not being able to sell my house. I realize that's only five but really do I need to add to that? I could, but really it's all I care to revisit, so I think that's enough.

On the top ten list of pretty wonderful things I'm going to put Houston, new creative ventures and new friends. I realize I'm short seven items. While I could try to add more I'm not sure they are the same caliber as the first part of the list and I'll not cheapen it.

I haven't decided if it balances out or not. It may be close.

Dec 24, 2009

To the Left

There are things she learns in school that I don't know about until later.

The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of Texas. Yes, they say it every morning, and I don't have a big problem with it, it just surprised me. I didn't grow up here, I didn't know there was such a thing. The amount of pride people in this state have is astonishing. Maybe it's because I'm from a stateline area where we had both Packer fans and Bear fans under the same roof, or because the closest I've come to learning any songs about Illinois when I was young was playing our copy of The Super Bowl Shuffle 45 over and over until my Mother's ears bled.

Line dancing. They are doing it in gym class. Again, I have no objection and in fact when I was a kid we learned square dancing in gym class. I always wished we could've learned some break dancing moves instead. She's actually getting the best of both worlds in that she's learned the Cha Cha Slide which is sort of a hybrid of line dancing and hip hop (sort of.) Regardless, much cooler than a do-see-do.

"Y'all" not only is it used at school but Dan actually encountered it in a memo at work. We don't hear many accents here in the city, but "Y'all" is everywhere.

Dec 21, 2009

The Worst Present Ever

I received a letter from school that says Ella has to get the remainder of her shots before she can return after Christmas break. Her previous pediatrician "dropped the ball" (his words) on the ol' shot schedule and so at the beginning of the school year I was supposed to get her all caught up but wouldn't allow them to pump her full of vaccines all at once. I said we had to spread them out. The doc insisted it would be fine, but I am skeptical of too many vaccines at once as well as not super comfortable trusting the doctor who already jacked it up. So Merry Christmas Kiddo! I'm scheduling needles in your legs today.

Dec 19, 2009

On Strictness

I read this question about how strict you are as a parent and if you give in all the time or not and I will confess that I have no consistency when enforcing rules.

Sometimes all the whining and kicking reinforces my resolve to make Bratty McBraterson sit in the designated make shift jail cell complete with invisible bars, until she can speak like a human again and sometimes her feelings get really hurt and the genuine quiet sobbing melts my warden-like heart into puddles of come over here and let me wrap you up in my arms and hug you until we both feel better. Then there's the third and laziest option in which I haven't had enough sleep or am just worn down by the insaness of housing a kindergartner and can only find the energy to wave my hand in her direction and utter a faint "chill out" while pretending I don't know that she is emptying the bathtub one dolphin spit at a time onto the floor.

I think the desired result is a very confusing dance in which it's hard to tell when I'm serious and when I'm not. I'd like to think I'm aiding in the rearing of a little lawyer who will argue her case every time, exploring any loophole or chink in the defense to finagle her plan into fruition, a child who's spirit is strong and who isn't afraid to challenge authority. I don't know about the future but what is happening in the present is this; when I'm really at my limit I have to get the serious mommy voice out and sometimes throw in a swear word. Thus the following conversation:

Ella: Mom, you could open this present I made for you today if you want to.

Me: No, I'll wait until Christmas.

Ella: I'm sure the other moms opened theirs already.

Me: That may be, but I am no "other mom," I am an extra special mom and I can be patient.

Ella: Please?

Me: Nope, I'll wait until Christmas

Ella: Pleeeeeeaaaaaaaaaase! You will love it.

Me: If we open presents before Christmas Santa will be upset that we didn't wait

Ella: Please?

Me: No

Ella: Please?

Me: No!

Ella: PleeEEeeEEeeeEEEAAAaaaase?

Me: Do you wanna piss Santa off?

Ella: ok. (walks away)

I know I'm setting myself up for the worst teenage years in the history of teenagers, but I prefer to live in denial and tell myself that we'll be best pals and tell each other everything all open and honest and lovingly for our whole lives including when she's 16 and wants to go to Mexico for the weekend with her two wild best friends and why can't I just trust her to do that?!

Dec 18, 2009

new things

I reset my computer. I've been putting everything on an external hard drive for some time and most of the programs I use exist on the internet. So I have a scant few things to reinstall, and of course the million Microsoft updates. Hopefully things will be faster than ever. I'm very excited about it. It's like looking at an empty sketch book.

Ella gets out of school early today. We'll use the afternoon to go to the library.

Carpet cleaning dudes are supposed to be here this afternoon, they are late.

Boxes came in the mail today and one of them contained CHEESE CURDS! Woohooo! Thank you Mom, it was exactly what I wanted, just my size. And and Mrs. Fischer's Potato Chips - Dan opened the bag and inhaled deeply before eating enough chips to coat the roof of his mouth with grease. yumm.

Dec 14, 2009

It's Alway Sunny

Remember when I was talking about giving men's rolls to women? I especially enjoyed this piece today over at BITCH - Sweet Dee Reynolds is a Gender Liberator by Ischmeiser. In comments I read

"In the bonus material in one of the seasons that is currently out on DVD, she talks about auditioning. She talks about not knowing at the time that they were having her read lines that were written for one of the male characters because they hadn't written anything for the female character yet. She convinced them that they needed to write her character like the male characters because that's what was funny about the show." Posted by jordanb

That's what I'm talking about! Why does there need to be special dialogue written for women. Movie makers should cast more women, not because it's written into the script, just because.

The Bubble I Moved to.

Before we moved here I had the idea that Texas was very conservative. I figured the bigger cities were more liberal and so thought Houston would be alright. I didn't really think it was a big deal that Houston elected an openly gay mayor but I've received a few notes congratulating me, so I started thinking about it. First of all, I really didn't have much to do with it, not that I wouldn't have voted for Ms. Parker, she actually was my pick. She's the former city's comptroller and I think that makes her the best qualified to run the city. But I am not a Houstononian. I live quite literally across the street from Houston and couldn't vote in that race. (For those of you in Rockford, I live in the Cherry Valley of Houston. Good schools, smallish place next to the bigger place and lots of sales taxes from the shops and the big mall.)

I do have to admit for the first time in a long time I wasn't enamoured with the local election. It happened in my peripherals. The reasons; both candidates were democrats, I couldn't vote and quite frankly my utter exhaustion with politics after the last 15 years has killed my enthusiasm. So for what little I paid attention, what I can tell you is this - I really didn't think there was much emphasis locally that one of the candidates was gay, or a woman or black for that matter. I didn't get the anti-gay mailer her opponent sent, nor did I get a phone call from any advocate organization reminding me to vote for her. There weren't any yard signs in my neighborhood and I wasn't reading either of their websites. I was a silent and ignorant neighbor, glad to see the person I like move in across the street.

Dec 9, 2009

Ella Speak

"You have to get a license to drive a marriage and it takes a lot of practice."

"If you love something let it go, especially if it's a caveman."

"If people don't have food or enough to get presents, why don't they just write a letter to Santa?"

Shelter in Place Mode

I sat down at the computer this morning determined to get some things done today. It's a crisp cool morning so I opened the windows and out there the gardners were leaf blowing the crumbles off my patio. Out of nowhere I heard a "Kaboom" it sounded just like what an atomic bomb sounds like in the movies. I looked out the window as the gardeners shut off the leaf blowers and looked up. I sat still for a minute longer wondering what it was, looking at the sky.

It's fairly routine for fighter jets to fly over and do loops and twirls so I wondered if it was some sort of sonic boom in the distance. It sounded like it came from the bay. I called Dan and told him about it. I turned the news on and went back to e-mails, Yahoo groups and Facebook. I was lost in thought until about 20 minutes ago when the dog needed to go out and I finally turned my attention to the tv. About 6 miles away, the American Acryl plant had an explosion and plumes of black smoke can be seen for miles.

Ten minutes later I received a phone call from Ella's school, they're in a "Shelter in Place" mode. That means the kids don't leave the building, they turn the a/c and heat off. I closed my window and shut the air system down. I stepped outside to see if I could see the smoke. It smells like burning plastic out there, I went back in and here I sit.

Right this minute I hear BIG rumbling. Could be a plane, but it's going on for a lot of minutes. I'm not going outside to look.


Dec 8, 2009

I'm Crabby

Dan was sick. I slept on the futon for two nights trying not to get what they had. I haven't seem the sun in three days and there is an insane amount of laundry to be done. Also dishes - I hate them. That is all.

Dec 4, 2009

Texas Snow

When I took Ella to school this morning I made her put a hat and mittens on as the forecast for today was snow, I barely believed it. When we drove it was indeed slushing from the sky and just now the slush changed to big heavy clumpy flakes, that technically are snow. I ran outside in my bare feet to take a picture (that's how un-cold it is.)

Dec 2, 2009

Four Awful Words in the Middle of the Night

"Mom I feel barfy" is what she tried to say before she threw up all over the covers. Luckily because we have an overabundance of blankets we got the bed clothes changed and were back to sleep after a quick bath. I was also better prepared to wake up and run to the bathroom with a kid in my arms the next dozen times she uttered the phrase. Finally we are out of bed and having Ramen noodles, but one of us has no noodles, just broth. Now we wait to see if the phrase comes back or if it morphs into the more dreaded "I think I got what she had."

Dec 1, 2009

Getting it all done

I'm still here. We're getting ready to bust out on the Christmas soon. This year we'll get a real tree and I'm going to try and send a real Christmas letter since we had so much happen this year (wish me luck on getting that together) and I took Ella to see Santa already. She got nervous and told him she wanted a basket and when he asked her what she wanted in it she told him eggs of different colors. He let out the most genuine ho ho ho he he haw I ever heard from Santa and said he was gonna write that down it was soo good. Then he added that he knew a bunny that may be able to help him with that order. When we left Ella exclaimed "Santa is Amazing!" Yes kiddo, he certainly is.