Saturday, April 26, 2008

current blogosphere forecast...

Except of course in Adam's neck of the woods, which looks like this:

Let's get with it people, you do not want to see me mad.

Friday, April 25, 2008


Let there be no ambiguity here, I hate streamers. Hate them. I hate taping their unsightly tattered edges to various moldings around the house, I hate trying to perfect the aesthetic of beautifully, seemingly effortless twists, and I hate the way they taste, since I am so retarded as to still taste them every time, in hopes that the battery acid flavor has suddenly been replaced by strawberry shortcake.

Thanks to the loving dedication of my own mother, there is a certain birthday ritual that I've carried out for each of my children's combined 17 birthdays. Sometimes we have a party and sometimes we don't, but they always wake up to a house full of balloons, a few wrapped gifts, and goddamned streamers. Not just one or two strands mind you, but sometimes as many as six, all coordinated with the wrapping paper and balloons.

Also in the "poor me" category, my kids are nightowls like their mama, so I must outlast them every year in order to decorate. This makes me resent streamers even more. Poor Reilly could not fall asleep last night, and was even crying because she just couldn't get sleepy. So I, along with my elf, Quinn, had to creep around, trying not to crinkle packages or rub balloons, knowing Rei was trying so hard not to hear anything.

At last we got everything wrapped, twisted, taped, and brought the balloons in to fill the living room (my favorite part). I'm happy to report that Reilly was really impressed by the presentation, and adored the wrapping paper, the pattern of which I found equal parts super-cute and pimento loaf.
I have only just granted myself (and Sam) permission not to kill ourselves having parties every year, but I think it will take some serious reconditioning to skip the streamers. They're just so gratifying. So glorious. No true party is complete without them. I'd just rather eat them than hang them.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

it's always rush hour

Okay, I'm dog-tired, so don't expect to laugh. Or to be impressed. I just wanted to make sure I'm not embellishing all the things I did today. (I do that sometimes.)

*Awoke at 7-something to make cheese-less enchilada casserole for Marionette

*Did three loads of laundry

*Cleaned the kitchen

*Got kids ready to play at Grandma's so Mama could spread herself too thin, as per usual

*Showered with Reilly, which meant froze with very little water, and spent 79 minutes drying her gorgeous hair and was left with 9 seconds to do my own

*Accidentally put on the skin-tight, NON-forgiving jeans, before heading out the door

*Dropped kids off with Barbara, begged/threatened them regarding eating ice cream for breakfast

*Screeched into my 11:00 psych appointment with one second to spare, during which time I worked in a brilliant self-deprecating remark to the receptionist, punctuating my need for therapy...then, endured the session.

*Stopped at Safeway to buy some goodies to go with Marionette's dish

*Got a call from B as I was turning the wrong way into traffic coming out of Safeway, asking me to go back in and buy some ingredients for our lunch...I granted her request. One avocado, pepper, and diet Dr. Pepper later, I was back on the road

*Found Marionette's house, and got a call from her as I pulled in, asking if I happened to still be in the store, lol. Visited the new family

*Drove to B's and had the BEST lunch of my life. What that woman can do with a few veggies and some chicken would blow your mind

*Had an MRI and managed not to gouge out my jugular out of claustrophobic reflex...saw some ducklings born just outside the waiting room, noted their cuteness, while also noting that I am not typically an animal person. Even took pics.

*Drove back to B's to await dinner plans and squeeze in an episode of Six Feet Under with B and A.

*7:00, picked up Heather.

*10:00, dropped Heather off, was told by B that A would not likely be up for more episodes. Pouted.

*Drove home in time to kiss my kids and mediate a dispute about bunk bed right-of-way involving one nighttime reader and one picky sleeper who needs dark.

*Noticed my house is still spotless from last night, knew that I will wake up in such a great mood tomorrow.

*Left some messages for friends, tried to parlay my ridiculous day into a blog.

Any questions?

Monday, April 21, 2008

BEEFore and after

As most of you know, B and I have resumed our hard-core starvation and exercise regimen, in hopes of ... LOSING WEIGHT YOU FUCKING IDIOT!!!

Sorry, I'm a little tense.

As I've said before, me no cook, so I am wholly reliant upon the culinary talents/generosity of others, and dining out. Now, I'm a confessed take-out whore, but sometimes, a person has a craving rise up from within for a home-cooked meal. Last night happened to be a free-for-all at my house, which typically means I eat my weight in pasta, followed by a romp in the treat cupboard. Oh how the winds of change have swept through my life, my friends. B and I were at the gym, busting our asses, and all the while I knew I was going home to nothing but Lindt chocolate (which I don't even like, which is why I usually only eat fifteen or so squares) and toast. Neither of which I can have. B, on the other hand, had a beef roast cooking at her house, and I could smell it all through my work out. When she dropped me off, I got tears in my eyes knowing she was going to feast on two succulent ounces of roast, while I was hoping to ignore the cat calls of the ravioli, and the parmesan cheese making eyes at me. At one point I was going to drive to B's and demand some roast, which would have been absurd since I had already been invited. But I couldn't justify the gas. (It's $4.00/gallon, thank you Mr. President. I'm glad I was denied beef, and had to eat flax cereal, so that you could keep lining those neo-con pockets.) I suffered through the night without so much as an Omega-3 Fruit Fish to console me. These are vitamins you see. They are no more special than any others, but when one is significantly restricted in what s/he is able to eat, these Fruity Fish may as well be creme brulee. (Yes Adam, I know you know how to apply the accents.) Last night B challenged me to only eat three fish a day, which is roughly 3/100ths what I was eating. The point is, I suffered all night, and today came my sweet reward. After running some errands downtown, Quinn and I stopped by B's Cafe and she brought me some roast and carrots. I took one bite and screeched out of the driveway so I could get home and heat it up, running down an old lady on the way I think. This picture is multi-faceted. It shows how blessed I was to be spared flax cereal for lunch. It shows B's skill as well as her giving nature. It shows that I stopped at Starbucks for an iced tea. It shows that I really do use the ugly goose-in-a-bonnet dishes I swore I never used in a previous post. And, it shows that ketchup should never, ever, be photographed.

Thanks B. Tres magnifique.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

going coastal

Todd's family has a shabby little bungalow at the beach. And by bungalow I mean rusted out 30-foot trailer held together by duct tape, memories, and scads of useless relics packed into dank corners. As you may have ascertained, this place holds virtually no endearment for me. Except that Todd and the kids love to go there. Ten times a year or so, he rattles off the weather report, at which point I pretty much flat-line, and tries to stir up a "go team go!" attitude about spending the weekend there. Immediately my gears begin whirring in an effort to get me out of it. Obligations? (Generally a series on dvd with B and A) Cramps? Hangnail? I absolutely dread being faced with this proposition. My kids dash into their rooms and pack immediately, and then serenade me with loves songs in hopes that I will drag my misery along. They know I hate it, and they have plenty of fun with just their dad, but you know, it's better when Mom's there. So they slather on the guilt and I dangle in torment until I either assert myself and stay home, or surrender. This past weekend I did the latter because I had skipped the past few trips, and the guilt was eating away my guts.

Suffice it to say, I get very little, well, no, sympathy from friends when I bemoan an impending trip to the beach. I quickly realized it's a bit like grousing about my fillet mignon to the starving man on the street. B offered to smack the scowl off my face, and ordered me to smile and refrain from all swearing and hissing for the entire trip. Talk about tough love.

So we pile in the Jeep, and several of our various familial idiosyncrasies emerge immediately. Reilly got carsick, I forgot my iPod, skipped breakfast, hate the roaring engine of Todd's Jeep, and lament the fact that for him, music while driving is not a given. Then of course, I am further dismayed to discover that our option is a boxed set of Jimi Hendrix. For shame. So roaring engine it was. That is, until Reilly boldly asked Todd to put in her cd, an assortment of music much-maligned by Todd. You know, a little Daft Punk, some Eagle Eye Cherry, Bill Withers, and Shania Twain, for whom Todd has an inexplicable tolerance. In every other capacity, he is the Grinch of music.

We ate at Burgerville, and no sooner did I place my order and B texted to remind me "no soda, no fries...not even one." We're dieting you see, so she was being helpful, but it felt like the kind of help where someone twists the knife once you've jammed it into your heart.

I should mention that in addition to not needing music on a trip, Todd also doesn't speak. Can you see how paradise was unfolding before my eyes? We finally make it to Newport, at which point I will cop to feeling a surge of nostalgia, having grown up there. We hit Starbucks, and I was recognized by the barista from the Obama video, I asked T if we could drive up 101 to see what has changed. He flatly denied my request and we headed south. Destination: rusty lean to. Hoo-fucking-ray!

I must qualify this whole excessive tirade by adding that I have torn the meniscus in my left knee, on top of the arthritis I already have in both knees, and am currently undergoing a battery of testing to determine whether I am candidate guessed it! Another surgery! Anyway, I was in agony, and I should mention the 208 stairs that separate the dungalo from the sand. Just what the doctor ordered. When we first arrived, Todd spent ten minutes trying to get his key to work, worried that his sister may have changed the locks. I fell to my shattered knees and prayed that we'd be forced to go home. (Mother of the Year, I'm telling you.) It might help for you to know that I have a weird form of beach narcolepsy, and the minute my feet hit the sand I fall asleep for two hours. No matter what. Todd and several others theorize that it's because in my real life, the life wherein there is no sand in one's unmentionables, I am always running, always going, always in search of new ways to busy myself. So at the beach, stripped of these diversions, I go into a coma. Anyway, I finally awoke, and gave my Rip Van Winkle beard a good swipe before joining my kids at the shoreline. After frolicking happily, despite the shards of glass that had become my knees, we were ravenous. We favor a particular eatery in Waldport, called Grand Central, and we were all eager to get there. In an effort to win the prize for most qualifications ever in a story, I must interject a bit more back story. My best friend in high school, Zach, still lives at the coast. We had a bitter divorce wherein I abandoned him with no warning. And, he is just petty and malicious enough that he would relish seeing me with sandy wind-swept hair, 100 pounds overweight, with wet jeans rolled up and my mascara running down my face. So I make a point never to venture out unless my clothes are impeccable and my hair is straightened, make-up perfect, etc.

WARNING: Don't read what's next while drinking a beverage. Gail, I'm sorry.

Once at Grand Central, Todd and Rei scurried inside and Quinn waited for me. As I manipulated my knee-like things out of the car, and stood up, I felt a rock hit my head and shatter, like clay. Alarmed, I looked up, only to find a motherfucking seagull swooping past, smirking. That's right, it was not a rock. And it was not a rock running down my head. It was not a rock that I reached up and touched with the very hands I was planning to wrap around a veggie grinder. Quinn was horrified, alternately laughing and crying. Seriously. I ordered him into the restaurant to fetch his dad, who was less than pleased to be pulled out of line for yet another Cheyenne drama. And I was equally jubilant to have to say to him, "Um. A seagull shit on my head." I must confess, that despite wanting to curl up and drown myself in a scalding hot bath full of Ajax, it was satisfying to see him smile. Well, guffaw, actually. Sprinting to the car dodging imaginary birds as though they were torpedoes, we got back in the car so I could go wash my hair before Zach sauntered out from behind from corner all sparklingly, gay-ly clean. We've now reached the 4,085th reason I hate the coast: The microscopic bathtub/shower at the lean to. I swear it was built for a doll house. It is the length of a bread box, the height of a space heater, and as inviting as a fucking cactus. I wasn't about to disrobe and stuff myself into this Houdini chamber, so I bent down on my former knees, and scrubbed my hair until it was nearly gone. I then had to put it up wet, as I'd forgotten my straightener, and resign myself to seeing Zach (though I never did). We sped back to the restaurant and devoured our sublime food, then headed to the store for s'more fixins, snacks for later, and some movies.

Back at the beach, I managed to stay awake, and in spite of my prediction, my knees did not fall out. I read the local paper, watched my kids run, and ate my very first s'more, which I must say was so scrumptious I immediately ate another. I don't like chocolate, nor gooey marshmallow oozing out onto my hand, nor graham cracker crumbs running down my shirt, so I've avoided these absurd things for 30 years. Man was I wrong. The smoky marshmallow flavor, with the thin, cold layer of chocolate snapping in the middle. OMG. I'd have given both knees for a third.

We settled back into the boxcar, watched a movie, and then went to bed. The next day we hit our favorite breakfast place, where I promised B I'd be good, and only ate four bites of French toast, along with my vegetable hash. Onto Starbucks, and then next stop: the outlet mall. With the trip mostly behind us, and the mall around the corner, I was in pretty good spirits, except that we had just learned of the circumstances surrounding the birth Pam had been attending all night. The baby was not doing well at all, and I couldn't shake the gravity of the situation. At the GAP, as I schlepped 75 pounds of clothes around, a text came in saying the parents had opted to let their new baby boy go, and I literally collapsed to the ground sobbing. I didn't know these people, but it really struck a cord. Clothes went flying, people were staring, and I had been under fluorescent lights so long I had lost all concept of time or reason. Not to mention that my knees were the size of watermelons. After a 45-minute debacle at the register, wherein the new girl had been deprived of food for too long to know how to do her job, and with Todd this close to slitting his throat, we left the mall.

The drive home was uneventful, with the one Shania Twain song we could all agree on on continual loop. We pulled into Chez Fitzpatrick, which I hate almost as much as the bungalow (I know I know, I am a wretched, unfathomable ingrate). Got everything unpacked, some laundry going, and met B at the gym for a MUCH-needed swim and soak in the hot tub. As we sat, in our redunkulous matching Fantasia bathing suits, I pleaded with my knees not to ditch me just yet, that I needed them, that I would be more attentive from now on, and say kinder things to them. Suddenly, B pierced the serenity by asking what my worst indulgence was on the trip. A film strip of coffees, s'mores, and various bites of things played in my head. With my head lowered, I confessed that my "bites" of French Toast were the size of footballs.

"Hm." She said. "That's okay. You earned it. I mean, a bird shit on your head."

(I wish I had known she'd be that understanding. I'd have eaten all the French Toast, and the bacon!)

Now can I get a little more understanding next time Todd turns to me and says, "Hey the weather is supposed to be 75 at the coast this weekend?"

Thursday, April 10, 2008

couldn't have said it better

I've just guzzled my 99th ounce of espresso today, and as such, I'm very excited to give you way too much back story for the priceless little anecdote at the end.

Mornings at our house are a roll of the dice. Sometimes everyone does just what s/he is supposed to do, and sometimes I have to threaten to burn their toys in a burn barrel to get some cooperation. I myself am the model of misbehavior, so I certainly don't blame my kids when they stray from the perfectly-straight line I've etched into our lives. Today was just fine. We all got showered, dressed, and fed without incident. (Unless you count me calling my 15th low-cal smoothie in a row a "son of a bitch" as an incident...) Long story short, I get my gas money on Friday mornings, so our tank was bone dry today. Thus, we were house-bound, and I think that's when we began to deteriorate. No sooner had my kids exchanged one too many barbs in that shitty Disney Channel tone of voice, and I lost it. I yelled that they were obviously too immature to have their own computer (the object of their duel), and banished them to their beds for 15 minutes. This gave us all plenty of time to calm down, and when they emerged, we had a clean slate, which lasted all day. I was so encouraged by the sudden about-face in our collective mood, I threw myself into a full-fledged mania, and designed an incredibly ingenious (and horrifyingly stupid) plan. I decided we would get into our sputtering jalopy and seeing just how many errands we could accomplish on the atom of gas we had left.

I was immediately overwhelmed by the dismal schematic of my plan, and ended up taking the LONGEST way possible to Mission street to get a blood draw. (Note: Don't ever wear flip flops to a blood lab. You can literally feel the hepatitis crawl up your feet.) Then we took several wrong turns on a street we drive daily, and finally got to Blockbuster to return a movie. Next up was a two mile double-back to Del Taco, where I treated my kids to a much deserved lunch. (And, because I couldn't have any, I upped the ante and called my earlier smoothie a "mother fucker.") The kids were happily unwrapping their tacos, and oblivious to the fact that I would have slit my own jugular to have one, when my sweet Quinny piped up with, "Hey Mama I'm really glad we turned our morning around, and that you're feeling better." To this I responded, "Me too honey. I'm sorry I got so upset. You guys know I take a lot of medications to prevent that from happening, but every now and then it creeps up on me. Again, I'm really sorry."

"Oh that's okay Mama," said Quinn seriously, "I know you have Random Fireworks Syndrome."

When I stopped laughing three hours later, I wondered if maybe "Dynamite Syndrome" wasn't slightly more accurate. After all, fireworks have a certain aesthetic that my outbursts sorely lack.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

lady of the rings--fellowship of the rings

I was all ready to let Pam stick her 14 gauge needle through my ear cartilage tonight, but when I went to buy the ring yesterday, I was assailed with horror stories about the perils of doing it myself, and how I'd die of infection, but not before going blind, etc. Ultimately I found myself in Addictions, a fab little shop downtown, where my fears were allayed, and this bitchin waif named Megan made me an offer I couldn't resist. I couldn't betray too much fear, as Quinn and Reilly were with me, but they knew I was nervous and Megan spent a long time putting me at ease. At long last, I was in the chair. Giant swells started rolling across the walls, my blood turned into lava, and I became mostly unable to decipher English, but I was brave for my kids. Rei was poised with the camera phone, and Quinn, my priest-in-training, was in the corner, emitting disapproval. By this point I was hoping to get two done, one representing each of my children. This seemed like a peculiar homage, given Quinn's solemnity about the situation, but it made sense to me to honor them that way, just like I incorporated their initials into my tattoo. (Quinn was less than bowled over by that gesture as well.) I was waiting to see how bad the first stab was before I committed to a second, but it was surprisingly tolerable. I immediately told her to do it again. Holy crap the second one hurt so much more! ("You can't sneak up on the body twice in a row," explained Megan.) And so it was done. Rei picked out a black jewel, and Quinn, in spite of major reservations, finally picked out the green one. ("Having your cartilage pierced makes you seem young and unresponsible," he told me that morning.) Sigh. The adrenaline rush was really intense, and I can definitely see why people go back for seconds...and thirds. But for me, two rings is just young and "unresponsible" enough for me.

even better than crepes

Ever since Quinn's glorious haircut, he has had has his dad's turtle cap welded to his head, and I have yet to catch a single glimpse of his freshly shorn locks. I've tried to sneak into his room a couple times to peek, but damn if that hat isn't tightly affixed. When I asserted my motherly right to peel it off last night, he bolted upright and pulled it back on, like a reflex, and then burrowed too far down in his blankets for me to chase after him.

Today I finally figured out what currency will buy me a gander at his head: An extended turn on his video game! I highly recommend this, once you've accepted that the Mother of the Year Award will never adorn your mantle.

I just love this kid so much, and am so happy and proud to be his mama, I have to show him off again, now that we can see all of him.

Is it any wonder why I'm so in love?

no fair!

Reilly's lunch: Crepes. A decadent stretchy, flour-y, BUTTERY masterpiece with sugar on top! (Please note her Obama pin. She wears it every single day.)

Why God?

(Oh, in case you were wondering, I was left to eat a bag o'salad while gazing at her little piece of heaven.)

i crown thee fat

You may have noticed, I am rarely mistaken for Heidi Klum, or any of her uber-glam friends. Despite the euphemisms you've all been so gracious as to extend, the plain and simple and bitter truth is, I am fat. Obese, if you want to be technical. I have only dwelled within the plus-sized realm in the years since Reilly's birth, and I think subconsciously I've been expecting to just shrink back down to my pre-baby size, which was quite thin. To expedite the process, and as a pre-celebration, I've indulged in 500 calorie coffees, and entire boxes of donuts, just knowing my old body was right around the corner, when in fact, my current body reaches around the corner, lol.

B and I lost 30 pounds apiece last spring, just eating with common sense and dancing. (Please, no one conjure up an image of me dancing. I shall be forced to kill us both.) So we know we can do it. We just always cave in situations wherein we are: A) out and about, B) in, C) sad, D) happy, E) deserving. So you can see our dilemma. B has joked, after so many false starts, that "We need a ceremony or something." So this is it. I'm announcing in front of all our friends/enemies/lurkers, that as of now we are 100% committed to dropping some serious weight. No excuses.

In lieu of the gifts lavished upon royalty at a real ceremony such as this, all we ask is that none of you nosh anything sweet/salty/bready/carby/delicious/marginally palatable in our presence. We'll be eating lettuce wrapped in lettuce, and it would really mean a lot to us if you'd do so in solidarity. No seriously, break out the Twinkies if you must. We're going hard-core, and we won't even wince.

(But I might slash your tire...)

Friday, April 4, 2008

do yourself a favor...

...and eat an entire paddle of this chocolate before you die:

Todd, life-long health nut who treats himself to a stalk of wheatgrass for dessert, and is an infuriating size small, has a fascinating weakness for the candy at Grocery Outlet. He doesn't really buy anything else there, save for obscure frozen entrees that I would never touch (braised gluten clumps with mystery sauce). But he comes homes with BAGS of gourmet chocolate in every variety. Now, being that I don't like chocolate, I am fairly immune to the appeal of these bags, but yesterday I discovered the miracle pictured above. First I nibbled one square, and then I plowed through man, woman, and child to get my hands on the rest. It was a smooth, coconutty heaven, and I ate the entire package. T remarked later that there is actually no chocolate in this product, which might explain its intoxicating effect. Nevertheless, I am here to extol its virtues and demand that everyone try it. Just do me a favor and buy it somewhere other than Grocery Outlet, for I've asked T to go buy them out after work.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

yo ho homeschooling

There is always much interest surrounding the various methods of homeschooling practiced by those of us crazy enough to have chosen that path. I have friends who use Sonlight, Abeka, the Charlotte Mason approach, The Well-Trained Mind, and many many others.

The truth is, I can scarcely even say we homeschool with a straight face. So delinquent are we that even the unschoolers are on their way to my house to issue a misspelled demerit. I have a ready supply of disclaimers, depending on the skeptic with whom I am talking, but they're all bullshit. The truth is, I don't particularly relish doing lessons, and I am really lazy about them. We have spurts of shining productivity, and then droughts that resemble the great potato famine. I console myself with various lies, and some cherished truths, like, my kids are learning all kinds of things each day, whether they're doing drills or depositing money into their savings accounts. (They certainly know how to make withdrawals!) They're excellent readers, which is the most important thing to me, and they're right on target (or a little ahead) in math. Those are kind of my fundamentals, and the rest is gravy. I know, I know, I can't wait to polish my Cop-Out of the Year trophy. (Also, mmmm...gravy...)

If pressed to claim one method over the others, I'd have to go with ... the piracy method, I think. For the first two years, Brandy, goddess of all things homeschooling, tailored a curriculum specifically for my kids, and we adhered to that for dear life. That is, on the days we did anything. Her material was mostly aligned with The Well-Trained Mind, as well as her own seasonings mixed in. It suited us beautifully. My kids learned to read quickly, and the math program (Singapore) couldn't be going better. But I've grown complacent.

Hence having resorted to piracy. Since we roam the homeschooling seas with no place to call home, we dabble in a little bit of everything, and lots of nothing. If I find myself in a group of moms chirping about various successes, I make mental notes and see what of their regimen I might steal. When two of my friends happen to be reading The Secret Garden to their kids, I race to Borders to buy it too. When Brandy is tiring of her military-style routine, and wants to become all artsy in her instruction, I declare an indefinite holiday for my kids, and wait to see what the changing tide will bring. Everything intrigues me, and everything overwhelms me, so each day is a roll of the dice. We're still using B's outline as our trusted standard, though it is subject to my vigilantism. Sometimes, our lessons are folding laundry and learning how to bake biscuits, other days find us learning just how many miles we can eke out of $4.55 worth of gas, while other times we do a unit study on all six seasons of Northern Exposure. (It took 6 weeks!) And yes, for the stickler types, my kids know the parts of speech and their times tables. Reilly can count/divide/save/convert money like nobody's business, and Quinn's penmanship and spelling are virtually error-free. (And as a bonus, his hair is short again, which I know is OT but it makes me so happy to report it!)

While our lackluster attitude may seem unschooly to you, I am pretty fiercely opposed to being called an unschooler. We know and love plenty of them, but I am far too controlling, neurotic, and competitive to have a hands-off approach. But we're no beacons for homeschooling either. We're just a roving band of semi-schoolers. Some days kick our asses and some days we're kicking ass, just depends. I usually issue days off for things like rain, sunshine, wind, definitely hail, and those cozy grey days, but we've also been known to stay up until midnight finishing books, correcting math, and preparing displays for the various fairs for which B is constantly signing us up.

(I can just feel all my libra friends grinning and nodding at the dichotomy that is our education process. Except for Gail, who sets her curriculum in a stone tablet and follows it with careful precision, and by the way, was an actual teacher, so we can all feel just a trifle less inferior, lol.)

There is a modicum of guilt and shame that comes with being unaffiliated, as it were. I definitely know what we're not, I just don't know what we are. Some days it's liberating, while others find us searching for any port in the storm, you know? I assume my little buccaneers will embark upon adulthood with at least one or two marketable skills with which to earn enough doubloons, and they'll always have the warm memories of being wanted and home with me everyday. If it doesn't pan out, I guess I'll be walkin' the plank...

Blimey! We all showed up for school wearing the same thing.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

got irony?

So, um, I've been wanting to tell you guys this for a couple days, but have been too nervous. No, I'm not having another nervous breakdown, it's more serious than that.

I'm 99% certain I'm changing my vote to Hillary Clinton. Whew. I said it. There was no one thing that changed my mind, and I still think Barack Obama will make a supreme president, just maybe next time around. This is a gut-thing.

I've read some things recently, and have really given thought to what Bill Clinton had to say yesterday at Chemeketa, and I kind of got a pang of nostalgia, and yearned for the familiarity of the Clintons. She's already been president, for the most part, and I feel I know what we're getting into with her. She has been much maligned, but there's something greatly satisfying about a woman president.

Please don't hate me. I would have kept it under wraps but even a skilled liar such as myself would be hard pressed to keep this a secret, especially since I've started phone banking for Hillary. Anyway, I hope we can all still be friends. I hope you know will happily vote for Obama if he wins the nomination.

And I hope you know I wish you all...




...a happy April Fools Day!




You'd pretty much have to be Helen Keller not to know how unhappy I've been with my son's hair. He has long wanted to grow it out (groan), and I have long asserted my right to veto. But during the tumor episode last August, when I was gorked out on Dilaudid and Todd was manning the ship alone, Quinn's monthly haircut slipped through the cracks. My recovery was long and intense, and by the time I noticed, his hair was over his ears (gasp!). Somehow he had gotten the idea that we had let him grow it, and frankly, I was so delighted not to be dying of ovarian cancer that I went along with it.

It has taken many forms in its growth, all of which have prompted my OCD to careen into a ditch, but recently I reached my threshold. The look he was aiming for, that sort of skater-shag-with-a-rad-flip-thing he wanted never came to fruition. What he got instead was a static clinged-to-his-face wedge with a budding mullet in the back. Kind of Carol Brady-meets-John Denver. Now, I have struggled since that fateful month of August to make peace with, and/or radically accept, the hair, but I can't. I realize he is old enough to deserve some measure of autonomy regarding his appearance. I realize that it is just hair, and that it doesn't reflect on me. I realize that a lot of his security was derived from having long hair. What is a mother to do?

(If only he wanted plates in his lips or a bull ring in his nose.)

Anyway, we made him a sweet deal and set out today to do away with the clingy shag that made going out in public so painful. But, when it was time to go, Quinn freaked out. I won't go into great detail, but 50 years later, he got it cut, fighting tears the whole time. He hates it, and immediately put on this plastibell-looking hat, presumably because it is better than the haircut. When I returned from our Obama meeting, he was still wearing the odd hat (from his dad's collection, naturally), and has vowed to keep it on until roughly the second coming. He is asleep with it on now.

I have mixed feelings about the way this went down. On one hand, I am the mother and I wanted it short. But now that it's short I can't help but wonder why my preference for his hair should supercede his preference. So I slathered myself up with a generous helping of guilt, and am on the brink of tears. (I know, what's new?) It seemed I was sparing him the humiliation of looking like a neglected orphan, but I have traded that for a significant drop in his self-worth. It never ceases to amaze me how we can be so motivated to do right by our kids, only to fall on our faces and bring them down with us. Or does that only happen to me?

So what do you guys think? Do I buy him a wig or defend my right to control my kids' appearances?

I suppose I could always get him a weave...

Before: (You can't see how it is a shelf in the back.)

After, with the penis-y hat:

When I forced him to take it off for 2.5 seconds: