Thursday, August 31, 2006


So I thought I would share my favorite picture of my daughter at age 6 weeks. She is now over 3, and we just managed to eliminate the majority of baby things from our home. The Diaper Champ, which I have loathed and dispised for 3 years, changing table mattress, the swing, the bouncy seat, the potty chair, and the child-carrying frame backpack. And while it is time for these things to go, since we are likely not having more children and our house is about the size of a large thimble, with them goes a little bit of nostalgia and sadness to see that wonderous phase of our lives conclude. It isn't that the time now is any less wonderful or I wish I could go back. I love right now, and strive to enjoy each moment of this time, too. It's noticing the passage of time, marked by the leaving behind of old things and ways, that makes me a bit misty. The time DOES go so fast, from when they are helpless and dependent to when they are empowered and capable. I think I'll let it sit on my mind, like a piece of dark chocolate on my tongue, until it melts away.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Theory on the Inherent Age of Men

I have this theory. Most people who know me have heard me wax all philosophical about it (generally when drinking). It is simply this.
Women gradually grow more and more mature as they age. Some women experience a sort of second childhood at some point past 40, especially women who were unduly suppressed early on in their adulthood, women who had children extremely early and never got to naturally experience behaving like a juvenile, or those who went to Catholic school. But on the whole, women continue to grow and develop away from childhood as they get older.
But men? Men have a pre-programmed, built-in age. Each man's age is different. It isn't as though I believe all men are 14. Far from it. The world would REALLY SUCK if that were true, because NOBODY but other 14 year olds even LIKE boys when they are 14. And even that's questionable.
My husband is 8. And here is how I know. First, he owns no porn. Second, if given the choice to watch something on television, and one of the choices happens to be anything in space, no matter how HORRIBLY written it is (Andromeda?) or terribly contrived it is (Stargate?) or just plain campy (Star Trek?), he will sit, glued to the television, compelled to watch. Third, he still owns an old toy called an Armatron. You know, the thing with an arm like a crane that can be moved around to pick something up. And he WILL. NOT. GIVE. IT. UP. And finally, he still sleeps with a dilapidated feather pillow and rice-paper-thin sheet that used to be part of the bedding ensemble at his parents' beachhouse in the 70's when he was a child. The pattern has pink, blue, green, orange, yellow, and white stripes of varying widths. Gah, very hideous! This sheet/blanket set is SACRED and he prefers it not even be washed, for fear of losing one of the 4 remaining feathers inside the pillow. This man holds down a very respectable high-tech job and can talk politics or game theory while drinking scotch into the evening. But his core self... child. Each year on his birthday I ask if he's going to enjoy being 9 this year. He tells me I have it wrong. He is turning 8.
BUT, there are other men, and they exemplify other ages. Our friend Ken - he's really 14. Slightly awkward, a little bit goofy. At least USED to keep very soft magazine porn in the bathroom (before getting married, and I'm sssuuuuurrrreeee he doesn't anymore!). He's the kind of guy who would sit on your hand and fart on it, and think it hysterical. He's a computer geek and he plays drums in a band on the side. Also holds down a very important job, but inside, he is 14.
A guy I worked with a long time ago, (I'll call him Mac), he's 39 going on 17. Walks around the house with a pint of beer on his head, proving to everyone how studly he is for his beer balancing capabilities. He once engaged in a beer shooting contest against my dog. We poured a beer into the dog's bowl, and said GO!, and Mac chugged his beer whilst the dog lapped from the bowl to see who would finish first. The dog did, but it was a close race. Mac also really digs mean practical jokes. Like putting tuna fish into the ductwork of an enemy's house/office, replacing someone's hair conditioner with Nair, putting honey in the shampoo bottle. Just mean shit. And if there's an opportunity to ogle women, Mac is first in line.
Test it. Try it out. How old are the men in your life?!

Evidence that a Small Child Lives in My House

If, when you entered my house, you somehow missed the Sesame Street playmat (covered in crayons and water color paints) draped over my rustic Mexican pine coffee table, or the Dora the Explorer plastic figurines on the couch, or the box of wooden blocks strewn in the middle of the living room floor, or the baby-sized hot pink yoga mat laid out neatly across the floor (next to the blocks), or the 872 black and white framed snapshots of my stunningly beautiful child, you might come across the realization as you went to do your business in my bathroom that perhaps, and this is ONLY A GUESS HERE, a small child lives in my house.

This is what you would see, as you were about to sit down on the toilet.

Now many grown adults can pull off keeping a giant rubber duck in their bathroom. It's a water area, people. Ducks love water. Fish love water. Bathrooms and water-motifs go together. And you might be suspicious of the enormous mesh bag full of other squeaky, water-squirting, brightly colored things hanging from the towel bar. But the toilet paper. The toilet paper is the dead give-away. I don't know any adults who have a hard time with the TP.
Trust me, although it's kinda weird the way the TP looks at this juncture, it is VASTLY improved from the situation in which the TP found itself last week. Which was either a) strewn on the floor in a wad, or b) sitting in entire-roll form, inside the toilet bowl. Soaking up ALL THE WATER. Ever pick up a roll of completely drenched TP? That stuff is made to disintigrate in water. Ew. That's all I'm saying.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Getting a Tattoo

I don't know if it is because I live in the liberal oasis of Texas, so filled with alternative lifestyle that NOT having body art and piercings is actually abnormal, but I have always been fascinated with tattoos. I do not have one; I am a blank canvas. But... I am just SICKLY FASCINATED by seeing other people's tattoos. Sometimes I ask about them, what made people decide to have a giant fire breathing dragon emblazoned upon their backs (and did it hurt like a MOTHER having all that done!?). And then I wonder how they selected their desired location. At some point, with some people, it's hard to even find any more blank space upon which to tattoo. But those with one - why do they pick the spot they pick?
When I was about 21, working at an answering service, there was a girl slightly younger than me. I would have described her as very Dallas. Big hair, lots of makeup, the easy sorority type. Not your typical alternative, world-music listening, ring in the nose type. She got a tattoo on her ankle of the Tasmanian Devil. Hello?! When she is 80 years old and her ankle skin is sagging like sharpei flesh, the guy in the wheelchair next to her at the nursing home is going to look over at her ankle and think, "now how the hell do you take a woman seriously with a cartoon on her ankle?" Somehow, for me, it always comes down to how I'll feel about it when I'm 80.
And then there's my husband. Who is, shall we say... "personally conservative" (politically liberal). He's not a jewelry wearer. He has 5 total pairs of shoes, all very sensible and responsible. His clothing is basically a high quality set of Garanimals. Just about any top goes with just about any bottom. His color-blind self can't go wrong and I've saved myself the every-morning wake up question of, "does this go together?!" He is a wonderful man, but stylistically adventurous he is not. I, on the other hand, am especially a shoe whore. And a bit more alternative (evidenced by my 8 holes in my ears).
But I'm going to get a tattoo. I have decided upon my own artistic rendering of The Tree of Life, a symbolic representation of having given birth to my daughter, with her first and middle initial in the tree trunk, and her birthdate in the roots of the tree. Here's a drawing...

And now, the question is.... where to put it? I want to be able to wear a cocktail dress for formal work-oriented occasions, and not have my tattoo visible. Thoughts?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

It's a Book Thing

Well, I read an extremely literary-oriented post by Toasted Suzy this evening and she had this list of booky questions like one of those queer emails you get from people, where you list your answers to banal questions like chocolate or vanilla? What is in your CD player right now? Or, what is your favorite item of clothing? Except Suzy's questions were all very booky, and her answers were even bookier. Leading me to believe she's actually extremely brilliant and well-read. Which I am not. But I'm game for lists of any kind, usually.

So I will repeat the questions, and fill in some answers.

1. One book that changed my life...
An English/German dictionary. At age 14 we had a woman and her son from Berlin come spend a week with us in an exchange program. I decided to try and write letters to them in German, by buying an English/German dictionary. I communicated that way until I realized I really couldn't SPEAK German, I was just faking it. So I taught myself for a year, took German all through high school and college, eventually earning a degree in it, with minors in Russian and French, all because I realized I was really good at learning languages. I have traveled to Europe about 15 times and love it, as well as the study of language itself. Oh where would I be today if I had not done that? Well, I wouldn't be a doctor. The sight of blood makes me want to vomit.

2. One book I have read more than once.
Rarely do I read a book more than one time. I can watch a movie multiple times, but I am not a repeat book reader typically. A few exceptions exist though... One of which is Chocolat. SUCH a touching little story. Makes me want to go to France and find a darling little shopfront and open a chocolate store. Mmmmm. Darrrrkkkk chocolate......

3. One book I would want on a desert island...
Well, it depends on how long I was to be on that desert island. If I am going to be there for eternity, I want a damn long book. If it is just a weekend, I'm game for some homey mags (Real Simple, Country Home, Cottage Living) and a Sudoku puzzle book.

4. One book that made me laugh.
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. That is some FUNNY SHIT.

5. One book that made me cry.
OHMYGOD, that would be Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt. Hands DOWN. Heart wrenchingly sad, pitiful even. I was sobbing so hard I couldn't focus my eyes anymore. Gah.

6. One book I wish had been written.
I do not even know how to answer this question. If I felt like I had something to say that would make some money I'd write one. But I tend to be much more creative with paint or a pen full of India ink.

7. One book I wish had never been written.
I would have to say A Million Little Pieces by James Frey because I read it before all the hubbub about how he made the majority of it up, and I actually believed him, and fell for his MEMOIR (my ASS!), and thought how SUCK it was that Lily died 3 days before he got out of jail, and why couldn't she just hold on? AND THERE WAS NEVER ANY LILY! Any book that makes me feel like a stupid idiot should not have been written.

8. One book I am currently reading.
I am also in between books at the moment. I think the last book I read was maybe The Nanny Diaries and it was alright. Not ever to make my Best Of list, but it was okay. I am on the edge of reading something new soon though. Maybe some C. S. Lewis.

9. One book I have been meaning to read.
My mother in law cannot say enough good things about Thomas Friedman's The World Is Flat. I also caught an interview of Tom Friedman on PBS recently, and the man seems to know his shit. I have been wanting to read something a bit more relevant and non-fictional.

10. Tag Five People.
I'm not a tagger. If you read my blog, which ought to be....oh.... maybe 3 whole people including me.... do the list on your site.

Guilt-motivated Cleaning

So yeah. I just thoroughly cleaned the car. Including waxing. I am vindicated.

Vehicular Hygiene

So now, ON WITH THE RANDOMNESS. Which is what we all really want, isn't it? To be able to write about random things and have other people comment about it? Good. I'm glad we cleared that up.
WTF with my car in the last 3 years?! I used to drive a tidy, spotless, nicely scented car with great music. I washed and vacuumed it weekly, it had no upholstery stains, or stains of any sort, really. I used masking tape to remove the plethora of dog hairs that got into the fabric whenever my animal(s) would ride in it, and sprayed Lysol each time they came out. I waxed it quarterly without FAIL, and the thing was NICE. I kept a tidy bag of emergency items in the trunk. Like my mountain biking helmet, gloves, and bike lock. Jumper cables. Rope, cable ties, bungee cords, a few tools. A tampon. :-) And I most definitely did NOT drive a mommy mobile.
Now, I drive a Subaru Forester, Cayenne Red in color. It is a MINI-SUV, dammit, not a station wagon. And, it is the best rated car in its MINI-SUV class, for safety, reliability, and almost religiously Pacific-Northwest-ubiquitousness (ubiquity?). But, in a sadistic twist of irony, my new license plate letters are KDS. As in KIDS. As in, YES, I DRIVE A MOMMY MOBILE. WHAT OF IT?
I have stains on my upholstery from juicy cups that have leaked (you know, the NON-LEAKING KIND?), crumbs, leaves, dirt, more dog hair than you can possibly remove with one case of masking tape from Costco, at least enough to formulate another full dog, and there’s this slightly weird smell. There are toys, wrappers, sweatshirts, a dog blanket, the bag that we carry D’s dry cleaning in, and former sippy cups that are empty in the floorboards. The thing hasn’t been waxed in probably a full year, and is sticky and dusty and covered in bird shit. I mean, seriously. W…T…F? Have I LOST MY MIND? How can a person’s vehicular hygiene change SO MUCH in the course of 3 years? It’s terribly embarrassing.

One in a zillion

So, I am about number 33316523 or something like this in Blogger's role-call of blogs. Ooooh, the warm fuzzy feeling is coming over me. What a close-knit group we all are! I felt much this way when I first began attending the University of Texas. Feeling like one in a zillion sure has a way of making a person feel insignificant. BUT, as I have recently discovered the fine art of blogging, and I was an OCD journal writer from age 12, I am compelled. COMPELLED, I tell you. And I am certain I will want to post pictures and thoughts and errata for my insanely adorable and brilliant child, Hootie. No, not her real name. Unless you ask her, and she'll tell you she's Hootie. She's actually Alexa. She is 3, going on 13.
Here is where she wrote her name:

So here I am, posting my first official blog post in the great big blogosphere. Hooray.