disclaimer or something

A mummy-hand holding, (former) biker gang affiliating, hippie influenced semi crunchy granola mom's ramblings and reminisings on an off-kilter life

Friday, November 30, 2012


My brain feels fried. Too many things going on at once at work and home and my body and brain. There are times when wine and a hot bath sound so appealing yet are forbidden. Sigh.

I realize this is more like a "tweet" and sucks as a nablopomo post, especially as my last one. Well boo hoo. I wrote something at least, so there.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Yes. I'm barely pregnant and I'm comparing it to my first and other people's experiences. I'm more tired this time and feel things going on in my not-there-yet baby bump. It's like I can feel my placenta forming or whatever is going on in there. It's weird.

So far, knock on wood, no morning sickness or cravings or strong emotions or anything. Except my right eye twitches but that can be non-pregnancy related.

I sometimes forget I'm pregnant. It's like reality hasn't kicked in that I'm having a second child. A second child! Second pregnancy and labor and sleepless nights. Second diapering, breast feeding, fear of SIDS. Second colds and colic and ear infections. Second laughs and second first words.
A second child. Weird. It doesn't seem real.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cats the Musical

My mother in law loves musicals, me not so much. Sure I was an extra nun in The Sound of Music, the too-early for marriage pick for Sprintze in Fiddler on the Roof. But being in a musical is night and day different than watching one.

Everyone told me when I was young to watch Cats. I loved Cats and art and music, I means, it's the perfect thing! But I hadn't any interest.

My mother in law was watching it one day, and so I decided to pay attention to it so I'd be worldly or cultured or something.

Tra la la, music jingled and cat-people danced and my mother in law was enamored. Until I began to giggle uncontrollably.

Why? Well, if there are supposed to be cats, where is their stinky litter? Why aren't they sitting on books and homework the owner is working on? Why doesn't the old cat hack up hairballs and lick his potty parts at inappropriate times?

I'd totally go to see that version of Cats.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Man Who Changed the World

You know, I don’t even remember his name – and I’m okay with that.

Karen missed her dad. He went from stay at home dad to disappearing dad overnight, leaving her mom in tears at the coffee table. Karen was shuttled from friend to friend, caring for her while her mother worked two jobs in the evening. Her mom was too caught up in things to do much, so Karen would practice her cursive and then microwave some canned soup for dinner while her mom stared vacantly at the television. She missed her father terribly, and her mother was more absent than ever. If her mom spoke it was a mumble about "drug abuse", whatever that was, and to ask Karen for marriage advice. Like Karen had a clue! At only 8 years old, boys still had cooties! All she knew was she wanted her family back.

One Saturday, Karen's mom looked mournfully into her eyes, stroked her hair, and said dryly, "grab your sleeping bag. We're visiting your father". Karen leaped at the chance and sat impatiently in the car while her mom nonchalantly packed the car.

They drove in silence for what seemed like hours, deep into the night on a desolate road. While the road seemed lonely and her mother stoic, the mood could not quelch Karen's excitement.

After what seemed like forever, Karen's mom pulled the car to the shoulder. "What's wrong mommy? Where's daddy's house", inquired Karen. Her mother gave an exasperated sigh and snapped, "Here, your damned father lives here like some wild animal, out in the bushes". Karen was confused why daddy would live in the bushes, and was scared of the wild animal her mother spoke of. She opened the door, stepped out, and froze in fear. "Get going, follow my flashlight beam, don't stray, c'mon now" her mom squawked, grabbing her hand. They hiked up a steep hill, nearly slipping on the loose rocky soil, and came upon a plateau where Karen could see a campfire and some shadowy figures roaming around.

A tall silhouette approached her and she jumped, only to feel a warm calloused hand catch her fall, a familiar hand and smell and giggle-her father.

She jumped into his arms and didn't want to let go; she was carried to the campfire and her dad set her die on a log used as a seat. Karen saw her mom pitch the tent, crawl in, and turn off her flashlight, exhausted. Karen missed her once jovial mother, but she brushed away her sadness, basking in the love of her father.

Another dark figure approached and patted her head. "Do you like songs, darlin'? I know a song my daddy taught me, a song that goes back before time. It's in my people's tongue, Apache, but you are smart like your daddy, I bet. You will catch on, wanna try", he suggested, as he broke into a melody. The words were full of whispery sounds and strange utterances that seemed oddly soothing. Karen caught on quickly and began to sing the chorus.

She kept singing the song, as she watched the Milky Way cross the sky and could hear the crackle of the fire die down. The strange lyrics were comforting and addictive and she could not stop.

Next thing she knew, she could feel someone shaking her awake. "Karen, hurry up, we've got to get going, your mom has already packed us up sweetie" whispered her dad. "Daddy, you are coming home?" Karen inquired, rubbing the sleep from her eyes. "Yes", he confirmed, "I had this profound dream. I went to a heavenly place full of music and love and was told to go home. My family needed me. Everything would be okay. Your mother said she had a similar dream. Sure wish I could remember the tune, it was lovely. Now c'mon sleepy head, we've got a long drive." Karen grabbed her dad's hand and they began to walk to the rocky hill leading to the car. "Daddy, do you know the name of the man last night? He sang me a song, it goes like this..." Karen said, beginning to hum the melody and mumble the words. Her dad froze in his tracks and bent down in front of her, tears in his eyes. "Who taught you that song, sweetie? I know it. It was the song from heaven in my dream", he cried, stroking her hand. "Daddy, it was the other dark shadow by the fire. He was there all night and he taught me the song. I sang it all night while watching the stars. You were right there, daddy, he was in your campsite, silly daddy. I don't know his name but that's okay. I hope he finds his way home too" Karen giggled earnestly. Her dad's face had gone pale and he mumbled, "I, I don't understand, I...never mind. I guess some things aren't clear. But I'm going home with you. To be a happy family here on Earth, my strange little sweetheart." And with that, she climbed in the car and off they drove, Karen looking towards the plateau and waving until it vanished into the distance.

Monday, November 26, 2012

My little hobby

One of my hobbies is postcard collecting. My goal is to have one from every country, as well as each US state and Canadian Province. I also like I just plain collect them. They are like little snapshots into another place, with an excerpt from a stranger's life. As a blog writer, the glimpses seem poetic to me, fascinating.

I got my first postcard in fourth grade; to practice letter writing our teacher had us write a postcard to a classmate. My first postcard was pink with a tabby cat. Sadly I have lost that one but have one from 4th grade that I did not write on and kept for myself.

My relatives and one of my mom's friends found out my hobby and sent me cards when on vacation. Then my great Aunt Edna passed and she had a box of postcards that I fought my cousins for, tooth and nail. In the box was a metallic looking card of the cityscape of Russia. I love that card even now.

Then my mom's friend sent me a card from Chile, a Christmas postcard, but the man who sent it to my mom's friend had written it on a boat on his way to Antarctica. Isn't that awesome?

Within the last ten years, I have received among thousands of cards, one black and white card from 1969 of Kabul, Afghanistan, given to me by a news reporter. I also won some contest from a world traveller and got a very propaganda filled card from North Korea.

I'm moving so most of my cards are packed but you can see one from Mauritius and one from Belarus.

A bit over a year ago, I joined a website (for free!); postcrossing.com (sorry dunno how to link from my not so smart phone) and you send a card to a random user and receive one from a different random user. So I might send one to Stanislav of Moscow and get one from Aiko of Kyoto. It is pretty neat, I think. I love the element if surprise as to where I will send a card, and I try and choose one I think the recipient will enjoy. Then I eagerly visit the post office almost daily waiting for a mystery card in my box. Who will it be from? What will they write about? What will the image be of? What wonderment will it spark in my mind?

No wonder my blog is partially named, "wanderlust" for I have it!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Crafty card

I usually do "art" not "crafts", if there is a difference. However, I wanted to get crafty for my son's upcoming birthday.

On sprout tv (a PBS thing for small children) they have daily birthday announcements and you can send in a handmade card with Sprout TV characters and it just might, may e, possibly be awesome enough that thu show it on TV. I really hope they do...

Here's the outside; I still have to do the interior.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Which fork is it?

I have this gorgeous dress that cost$ $160 and I've been dying to wear it and won't be able to for about a year. I took up the rare opportunity of both fitting in the dress and having a babysitter, to go out on a date with my hubby.

We chose some fancy bistro type place, since I looked nice and stuff. The kind of place that is the scene in which to be seen, the place with foie gras confit foam Perdue or whatever. And while I am a foodie so gourmet food is quite enjoyable, the scene is not so enjoyable.

I grew up in a boiled dinner, eat in front of the tv in your sweat pants family. Going "out" to eat meant Jack in the Box. So I get a bit confused at these hoity toity places.

I don't know which forks to use. Of you want me to use different forks for different things, save me the embarrassment and bring me the salad fork with my salad, thank you.

I think linen napkins are pretty and do make great lap protectors, but what do I wipe my greasy hands onto? What if, because I'm a walking allergy, I need to wipe or blow my nose? I don't want to "excuse myself to powder my nose" a dozen times, I mean, that makes the other diners suspicious, like, is she selling drugs,? Does she have explosive diarrhea?

And then there are weird foods. Can you eat truffle pomme frites with your hands like you do with fast food fries? What do you do with an inedible chunk of fat? How do you remove an olive pit with class? (Apparently nibbling and sucking the olive, pinched between our fingers, and hiding the olive pit under your plate is NOT the way. Again, just bring me pitted olives, okay?)

And what do you do if you have a huge chunk of meat and bread in your teeth? Trying to discretely dislodge it with your fingernail is not the answer. Complaining to your hubby about it lacks class (but wins in distinction). Trying to ignore it when all you can think about is the entire animal between your molars doesn't work either.

Which is why, for me, taking me to some hole in the wall taco shop is a much better idea. I can use no forks if I choose, and I can pick my teeth, blowy nose, suck an olive pit, hide inedible a, and have a good meal.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday

I survived Black Friday. I hate Black Friday but hubby had a very rare day off work; we might not get another shopping opportunity before Christmas.

I hate crowds. I hate shopping. I hate the want want want.

I started out okay, with some tea from Starbucks and a sugary treat. We went to Barnes and Nobles, a place I could spend over a grand at. It was fun to dream and browse.

Then my son pooped and I had no bags to put it in. Then I forgot and left the diaper in the car to stew in the 85 degree heat. Eww.

Did I mention it is 85 out and I hate te heat?

I met hubby at Bed Bath and Beyond but it, as always, smelled too strong and I didn't want to go in. And I was thirsty and did I mention it is hot out?

So I went to Cost Plus to avoid the stench and get a drink and their line looked short and the drinks cool and refreshing. Except the line wasn't short. It snaked all around the store. Dammit! I was thirsty and hot and felt like I'd explode in a dry poof!

Defeated, I trudged to Target. The toy and electronic section was BEYOND crowded. Chaos. And I was thirsty.

The Target line looked hellishly long but it was deceiving thank God and we were in and out in a jiffy and I got my drink. I got my drink!

Then we finally made it in the car, after being certain I'd lost my hubby's keys.

We talked about pregnancy brain. It is real folks. I hate having caught stupid. We then got lunch and hubby said, "do you realize the trips to the bathroom you will have after that burrito?" And my response was, "I'm pregnant. I'm stupid and poop a lot. Your point?"

And that my friends was my Black Friday adventure. Off to eat my Mexican food. But guess what? Hubby got me a macho sized cool drink for my farty food. God bless him.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Everyone and their mother is posting, tweeting, blogging about what they are thankful for.

Not me.

I'm not a Scrooge but I refuse to blab on about what I am thankful for, and I am tired of hearing why everyone I thankful for. Big freakin deal.

There are people out there, glad to have scavenged some recyclables from the mall garbage. Others glad to own one pair of clothing. Glad that they have not died of famine or AIDS or cancer, yet. I know, there goes the holiday cheer out the window. But when I hear someone say they are thankful for their XBox or a huge turkey dinner, it infuriates me. When they say thy are thankful for family and friends, it either sounds empty or like they only have to be thankful one day a year.

Besides, the things I am thankful for are my own. For me, it is a private, introspective kind if thankfulness, hat I wish not to share. In fact, some of it can't be put in words, it is just a feeling.

But anyways, off my soap box...have a happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Turkey Day Haiku

I sealed my fate
When I opened the door and
The turkey was burnt

Oh God the dishes
Pile up to the ceiling
Stuck-on cranberry

Not enough liquor
My family funny farm
Grandmas pants are off

Five sticks of butter
Pass me another serving
Coronary please

Grinding metal

Have you ever had an unfounded fear, one that makes you say, "this is how I am going to die?"

Sure, it is a morose thought, a thought I shove down inside and try to ignore.

I am talking about car accidents. I read the Highway Patrol reports and local news about "TCs" or traffic collisions, I notice the burnt rubber marks across lanes and the crosses decorating my winding road. I go through days where I refuse to drive myself anywhere, the fear gripping me and crippling me. I get convinced, especially with my horrid vision problems, that I will meet my demise by a horrifying car accident. When I am okay with driving myself,I am hyper vigilant and notice cars too close behind me, on their cell phone, weaving, or looking tired. It's nerve wracking.

It wasn't so bad many years ago; when I finally got my license and car at age 22, I could not stay put! I once drove over an hour to the ocean just to say I had been to the beach, and I took weekly trips to the ethnic enclaves of Los Angeles, or the bustling clubs of Hollywood just because I could. I would sacrifice my measly food budget, subsiding off of ramen and cereal just to have gas money, to be a college nomad in the concrete jungle of California.

One day, I was on the Ten Freeway and there was a semi truck to my left and one to the right and they both tried to merge into my lane with me in it. I slammed down on the accelerator and watched them nearly hit one another, just inches from my tail lights. I pulled off the freeway and sat there and cried. A panic attack overcame me as I realized I was not invincible, that cars were deadly weapons.

A year later, I went to run errands and then meet my fiancé for coffee. We had taken separate cars, and I had finished my coffee too quickly and was ready to head home and make sure our puppy hadn't eaten the couch or my shoes or the cat. My fiancé stayed to finish his coffee and off I went.

I was driving up the boulevard in my nearly new car when it happened. To my right was a street that bisected the boulevard, a stop sign was there for them to stop since the boulevard was through traffic with a high speed limit. Approaching the stop sign was an older maroon car that sure didn't look like it was going to stop. I didn't know what to do. I was going 45mph and he sure looked to be doing the same, but I couldn't slam on my breaks at 45 with traffic behind me. So I sped up. I remember crossing into the opposing lane, hoping no one would hit me head on, hoping the guy would stop. He didn't.

I didn't hear a sound when he hit me on the passenger side. I don't know if I screamed. All I know is I was propelled far into opposing traffic. I knew that all sound had stopped and time had slowed. I slowly pushed the brakes an nothing happened. I tried to jerk the wheel away from oncoming traffic but noting happened. I slowly spun out of control for what seemed like hours, silently whirling out of control. I was in a panic, my car would not work at all, like that nightmare where your legs won't run but worse. Whatever happened, I could not stop it.

I spun into a driveway where my car's momentum slowed and stopped. I numbly jumped out of the car, the airbag not even deployed but my entire passenger side crumpled. I saw the maroon car and said, "ambulance, call an ambulance that f@cker hit me", except I was crying and shaking furiously, stuttering and pacing in circles. I didn't realize the maroon car was the f@cker for a moment. When I finally did, I wanted to scream, cuss him out, strangle him and kick him in the nuts for not stopping and actually hitting me. But all I could muster were choked sobs and crazy lady muttering. I couldn't even think straight to give him my name and insurance information.

I don't know if an ambulance came or not. I was so shaken up, all I remember is calling my fiancé and sobbing,"accident. Hurry" as my stupid cell lost reception. He supposedly drove well over the speed limit, not sure if I were dead or alive. I don't recall getting in his car. I don't recall speaking to the police. It all went kind of blank.

I ended up un-injured, my car completely totaled. Therefore, it seemed to be a happy ending but it has marred me for life. I now know how quickly things can happen, how if even the slightest thing changed, I could have been killed. How it could happen again. In a split of a second, the last sound you might ever hear would be the grinding of metal or the odd silence of tragedy.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bittersweet baby

I will miss....
• My brand new wardrobe drats
• liquor to survive my overly worried Jewish mother in law over the holidays
• coffee, energy drinks, microbrewery beer, and sushi
• not peeing every two minutes
• snuggling and co-sleeping-big bit bed for my boy!

But I am excited too. I want a nice easy pregnancy like last time. Generally speaking, I enjoyed being pregnant. Although, I dread the attention pregnancy begets as extra attention an cheerfulness bugs me. In ornery like that. And the thought that I am a f|€#ing invalid. I will keep you all updated on the invalid comments I get thus time.

I'm excited to know I am carrying another life, a sibling for my son. I'm excited to know what my baby looks like and his/her personality. I will even find out the gender this time!

I'm annoyed though as my first OB appointment isn't until January. I don't get an estimated due date, chance to. Hear the heartbeat, or see the original ultrasound that looks like the protein squiggle in eggs. I want all that NOW!

So it is bittersweet but mostly sweet!

I will take guesses as to due date, lair hours, and gender. You can get ideas from my post a week or so ago about my labor experience.


I took a test yesterday.

To be more accurate, I took three. When you get the same results from all three, it should be believable. And then I took another.

I was just talking to my husband this weekend about expanding our family, but that we would not purposely try and instead leave it up to God or nature or date or whatever.

So I took a pregnancy test two days ago being that I was late. I spent $12 on the box of two and nervously urinated on one. No pink line or blue plus mark or happy unicorns or anything. Just plain blank. For hours. So I urinated on the second one and same thing. I didn't want to spend $12 for duds again, but sure as hell wasn't going to wait till I could feel kicks to confirm anything. So I dashed over to the 99 cent store and searched and searched. They weren't by tampons or feminine wash. They weren't by pain killers, shampoo, or diapers. Where were they? Then I got into the zen of 99. I envisioned cheap cigarettes an Jerry Springer, malt liquor and knock off stale Cheerios made by enslaved Chinese toddlers. My couch and decency gone, it came to me. Check out stand! I mean, a pregnancy test is totally an impulse buy- gum, candy lighters, stickers, and pregnancy tests. Got it.

So the next morning (morning pee is super concentrated and thus more "valid") I did the potty dance again. And I got a faint result. And more disbelief.

So like the obsessed crazy lady that I am, I did it two more times. They all showed a "yes" but the last was super faint. I didn't believe it. In statistics there are false positives and these lines took longer to appear and were fainter than when I was pregnant with my son. Again, I had disbelief.

But being a mother, I was also excited so I put my news on Facebook and called my parents and the in laws. My parents were doubtful and worried that "this is the wrong time", and my in laws...keep gleaming and asking me if I feel okay like I am a f€%^ing invalid.

So in my confusion, disbelief, and indifference, I went to the hospital for the blood test version, fool proof.

So...? I find out for sure today after 1:395. Or tomorrow, with people of or the holiday. I have from two and a half to twenty six and a half hours to did out and time can't go by any slower. I barely slept and dreamed I was pregnant and didn't know it till I have birth (like that tv show) and I was all panicked about prenatal care. Them they wanted to do a c-section and I had twins with complications. Not a fun dream.

I awoke before dawn and have since been counting down the minutes.

Tick tick.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Ode to a vice

Oh how I will miss your poisonous brew, Mr. energy drink. My nights of insomnia, my before dawn wake up, my long days dealing with hoards of cranky gang banging teens, my long drive down a cliff and into urban sprawl and famously bad traffic, my late nights grading essays, my pregnancy induced lethargy.... You can no longer cure my sleepy ailments and I must go it alone, barely awake, numb to the world, like a big, giant, round zombie.

Today, I decided to savor your syrupy heart racing slurry just one last time. I will miss you but it's for the better.

The Autumn of Indecision

This autumn has been full of stress due to the indecision an back-and-forth games of big life decisions.

I will be kind of brief here cause I've blogged about my indecisions before.

I got a part time job in October. My son was actually harming himself in day care, screaming and biting himself. He got kicked out. My job was stressful, the students completely unruly and disrespectful. I dreaded work. I dreaded having my son harm himself in day care. I was ready to quit. I called HR and found out it takes months to get a replacement and my record gets tarnished. So I decided, why stay 4 months then quit when I can just suffer through the year, my contract ending without repercussion in 6 months?

Then I own two homes. A small suburban home we rent out and a larger home in the boonies. We were prepping suburb house and enjoyed the convenience of civilization. We had to not pay the boonie house mortgage to do a loan mod and then we were all, ooh big house how nice. Then we were all, oh it's remote, we get cabin fever, the commute is dangerous in the winter weather, we hate it, get rid of it. For simplicities sake.... I will say we did this yes no thing well over a dozen times. We even ordered and canceled a u-haul truck. Twice. In one week. And I am still not sure where we are living but....maybe I do know.

I grew up as an only child and hated it. I despise the first few month of newborn sleep deprivation hell so that made me think, no more kids. I grew tired of people asking me why I had just one child. But, either way I decided I wasn't going to try. Just let it be. And then I decided, yes let's have another, but again leave it up to free. And now...

I might be moving to the remote but roomier house as I might be adding to my family. Cause two pee sticks can't be wrong, right?

But I don't believe it yet.

And I still feel full of indecision, house and job wise.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

If I could meet anyone famous...

I'd meet four among the living and two from the past. Sure there might be more, but here goes.

1. The Dalai Lama. He is an amazing man full of such peace, love, and wisdom that I could learn a lot from him.

2. John Taylor Gatto. His writing has inspired me and changed my life. Okay not quite changed it but it has answered many of my questions and his works make me think an exuberant "I knew it, exactly, agree". He loves children and education but not our schooling system and he tells it like it is. I could go on for pages so I will move on to number three...

3. Jenny Lawson aka the bloggess. We had similar childhoods (I mean how many kids grow up with dead animals in the freezer, and I'm not talking hamburger and chicken). She seems to be funny and awesome. Actually she reminds me of my BFF, also named Jenny. And two Jenny's is even more awesome.

4. Rob Zombie. I'm not much into the art of the macabre and all that he is into, but I can tell he is quite a genius and artist, a creative mind that intrigues me.

1. Thomas Jefferson. I read his biography and many founding articles and the like. He had some amazing ideas and I'd love to hear his ideas for the present era.

2. Abe Lincoln. Kinda the same reason as Jefferson.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

I'm no idiot but...

...well, maybe I am.

I love my hubby's Acura for the zoom factor and plush leather seats. But I love my slow as a dog cloth seated Subaru because I can operate it.

I might have a Master's degree and was in the Gifted program in school but this Acura confuses me to no end.

I don't know how to fast forward or change songs on a cd or auxiliary iPod.

I don't know how to display the exterior temp which really sucks because I am a nerd and like to know the temperature on a constant basis.

I apparently don't know how to operate the lights. I drove down a foggy rainy road at dusk for 35 minutes until hubby saw me (we were caravan ing) and flashed his brights at me. Then he kept flashing them and I was like, what?!?! My phone was not connected to Bluetooth but the iPod part was, so when I called him he was as quiet as a whisper an all full of echo but I heard "l l l light ight" and I screamed, "I don't know how!" Being very vision impaired, I was not about to look for the light button so I played with buttons until there was light. I think.

Then it started to rain. I mean, really rain, not the California light drizzle death storm 8000. I have no clue how I work the wipers. I mean, I rarely drive, let alone this car, and I live where we don't see rain from May 1- Nov 15 many years. I never thought to ak my hubby how to use the wipers in a car I never drive in a place that never rains.

So I click the lights and the cd button and then the back window wiper. The back window wiper goes faster and faster and won't stop. I keep pushing, twisting, and pulling things and th front wipers go off, victory! Except that it is to spray water and window cleaner onto my already soaked windshield. I try and remedy it and my blinkers go off and people around me look confused and the back wiper is still on.

I was supposed to rush over I get cat litter and diapers while hubby went home. I am unable to properly see through the sheets of water. I finally find a way to work the damned things, except it is by overextending my middle finger and holding the wiper lever constantly. My finger starts to get sore and I decide screw it. I am going home and admitting defeat and demanding hubby fix the wipers or go to the store himself.

I turn on the blinker to turn into the neighborhood and voila! I get the wipers to work.

I am still not sure how I both turned off the back wiper and turned on the frit wipers. I think I pushed forward and down but I can't be so sure. But I was both laughing, cussing, and crying when they finally worked.

Two pounds of butter

We will likely use two lbs of butter for Thanksgiving. We don't do healthy foods for Thanksgiving...it is all rich foods full of butter and cream.

Our menu thus far? (Subject to change)

Rosemary-garlic buttered turkey
From scratch turkey drippings gravy with rosemary and Chardonnay
Sour cream mashed potatoes
Caldo verde soup
Buttered corn
Cornbread and sage sausage stuffing (which I loath but the rest of the family loves... At least this version beats the family usual of it made with white bread and sausage)
Sourdough stuffing
Butterscotch and walnut whipped yams
Pumpkin pie
Apple streudel

Friday, November 16, 2012

If only....

If only I could show movies all day in class!

If you think giving 38 inner city, at-risk teens a lecture, heavy assignment, or other scholarly task on a Friday before they take a week long holiday is a keen idea, let me save you the trip to the loony asylum and tell you this: show them a movie. Your sanity (and theirs) will thank you.

I chose the Simpsons Treehouse of Horrors V because, hey it has to do with English Literature and Composition, right? It is based loosely on The Time Machine and The Shining. So I gave then 9 questions about climax, exposition, inference, and other things that make people who don't teach English yawn.

Guess what? No one called me a b1tch today, and no one wrote fuc you (or the real spelling of it) on the board. I only found two paper airplanes and four paper wads out of the droves of 200 students. My breakfast muffin got a paper clip shoved in it, sure, and I told one student to not make a shank out of the metal part from his spiral binder. But that is all folks. Some might think, wow, that was a good day? Yes. Yes it was.

I got told by a few students to enjoy my holiday. I got complimented on my pants and appearance even thought I looked like a puffer fish meets Rudolph (thanks, sinusitis). My room was nearly spotless after each class instead if full of enough waste to overflow two waste baskets. No one tried to "bump music". I got more work from my students than ever- probably 75% completed the assignment! I had students tell me how nice the day was. No one talked over me or shoved me to get out the door before the bell. Students who had no interest in working were quiet, cordial, and respectful to those who did. I only used my whistle once, and that's cause my voice didn't want to work for a moment. I only had to threaten "book work and a pop quiz" once.

It was awesome. Just like my students, I wish I could show Simpsons or other fun movies every day and build curriculum around it. I'd have most students passing the course and very few discipline problems. I'd maintain my sanity to boot.

But, alas, we have textbooks and department mandated curriculum and blah blah blah. So much for my sanity.


Guess what... it is Friday! An I have a week off for Thanksgiving due to furloughs.

This post will lack my normal flair. Why?

I have sinusitis, oh joy! I lived off of throat lozenges and tissues at work yesterday.

My son was up until 2:30 am tossing and turning and crying and screaming. He was drinking water like a fiend and refused to let go of his sippy cup all night.

So we are tired and I couldn't take work off because to order a sub you have to use a school login on an employee laptop. Guess what? My laptop is at work since, well, I use it at work. So I have to go to work all day while I feel crappy and while my son is likely ill or in pain. :(

And farewell to Twinkie. Hostess is striking or closing or something and all Hostess products could soon be no more. I don't really like Hostess, but an orange cupcake or snow ball a few times a year is a treat, and twinkles are an edible American icon. My hubby sent me in to 7-11 to get twinkles an try only had one left. He was sad. So, goodbye Hostess.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Irish cream

I have a love-hate with Irish Cream. It is like drinking velvet, and yet, like drinking paint thinner.

My first taste of liquor as at about age eight. My uncle had a trailer and invited me inside; this sounds like some creepy trailer trash "I got candy little girl" situation but I assure you it wasn't. He had a motorhome parked at my grandma's house which he used for hunting game. Anyways, I always loved to play in the motorhome because it was like the ultimate play fort, so I went inside and went into the fridge to get a soda. My family doesn't drink soda, so an ice cold Pepsi was a special treat. He then grabbed a glass and said, "hey, want a sip of Irish Cream? Just a teeny sip?"

I was lactose intolerant, something I didn't quite realize meant "milk hurts your innards" and instead thought of it as "my mean parents won't let me have milk". So when my uncle offered Irish cream, naive me thought, hey Irish cream must be some extra special kind of milk and my parents will never know! I was all excited that I'd get to drink milk, so I put the bottle to my mouth and took a huge gulp.

Ahh the cooling coating tastiness of, what the heck? This "Irish cream" stuff began to burn my throat and I rushed to the sink to spit it out. "I think your milk went bad" I cried, as my uncle broke out into fits of laughter. He explained it was not milk but alcohol and that was why I was supposed to have the tiniest sip. I recall telling him that they shouldn't trick people by naming it after some kind of foreign milk.

And so, even to this day I get a little twinge whenever I have Irish cream.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

When dreams come true

Some say I was lucky as a child. You must be spoiled, they'd say. Everyone was jealous that I was an only child, but all I wanted was a sibling. I had this idealized vision of a Leave it to Beaver type of hunky dory family relations, a sweet and funny sibling would be like a permanent slumber party...awesome!

It seemed like my dream was this close to coming true when my dad told me he had been married before, and had a little boy. I tried to ask him why I'd never met him, why no one spoke about him, how old he was...I was eager for every little detail to paint my dream, but my dad was like a closed book and never mentioned it again.

I would sometimes imagine what it would be like to meet this mysterious half-brother, what he might look like, and what games we might play. I could show him my tree fort and we could build bike ramps together. We'd go camping and hiking and chase after the dogs. I sometimes even had imaginary conversations with him, and imagined his responses and expressions.

When I was a teenager, I still knew not to approach my dad about the subject, so I went to my mom. Maybe she knew something I didn't, I thought. She told me we had me once before, that I was about five or six and he a few years older. She didn't have any real details; just that we'd met briefly and that he looked like my dad somewhat. I racked my brain trying to remember meeting him. I had to remember meeting him, I mean; I yearned for such a thing since I could remember so how could I forget such a thing? I told my mom she was wrong. We either hadn't met, or I was a baby because I didn't remember it. I insisted that she was lying to me.

After I got married, I found a new hobby, genealogy. Well, it wasn't a new hobby but with the advent of Internet, suddenly I didn't have to rely on my senile relatives' confusing falsified stories. I could find the truth about everyone.

I tried to find my half-brother, but how do you find someone when all you know is their first name and mother's first name? It isn't much to go on. I sent out a message to the ancestry threads with what little I knew.

Years passed. And then one day I got an email. It said something like, "Hi I don't have Internet but was using a friend’s and searched my name. Is this for real?"

I got his phone number and sat done at the table and breathed, trying not to panic. I dialed the number and hung up quite a few times. Was it really my brother? What would he be like? Would he be excited to talk to me? Did he know about me? Tons of questions ran through my mind and my hand began to shake as I dialed the number once more. A man picked up.

It was him, but we both didn't believe it, like it was a prank. We knew so little about one another; we couldn't exactly fact-check. I barely even recall the conversation, I was so nervous. We talked maybe all of three minutes. It was exciting, but didn't fit my dreams. It was like talking to some random stranger.

A few years later, I found him on Facebook but his account was blocked, but his wife's was not. I emailed her, thinking she'd think I was some stalker. A few long weeks later (I may or may not have checked my Facebook every hour) she responded, and he friended me and we talked on the phone once again. He had a lot of the same interests as my dad. We again didn't talk much though, guys often don't talk much and my dad hates the phone, so he probably does too. Again, it wasn't some heartwarming talk with "reunited" as the sound track. But then again, what do you say to someone you've never met but dreamed of for thirty years? What does he have to say, being the child dad didn't abandon?

I did find out though, that we may indeed have met, but even he didn't remember it. If we met, he was no older than six and I, no older than two. Take that, mom!

For a few weeks, I obsessed over his photo in Facebook like some tween might obsess over Bieber. What parts of his appearance did he share with my-our- dad? How did we look similar? If we met again, would we instantly "click" and hug and cry like they do on talk shows? I thought of what clothes I'd wear to our reunion, what photos I would take, how our conversation might go. Again, I was back to age five, dreaming about a brother, just this time I could use his real image and voice.

We still have yet to meet and whenever we talk (maybe once a year, very brief) I initiate contact. I feel our sappy reunion may never happen, and I will continue this life with this ghost of a sibling. However, I try and remain positive. I have a lot of joy in a reunion, and he has some pain. He has a wife with a chronic illness and just too much on his plate to accept some unknown sibling into his life.

I can make it just one more day...crap...year

Disclaimer, I wrote this on 11/9 and my computer and internet had a fight and lied to me, claiming it posted.

So first of all, I got called a b!tch today by my sutdents. a lot. I got my name erased from the board. My laptop unplugged. Fuk you written on the board. I HAD to respond to fuk you. Seriously that is what it said, not f u ck but fuk. I said to the class, "seriously/ You're in an English class. Whoever wrote tis cannot even spell the offensive term they're trying to piss me off with." Or something like that.On that note....My big secret thing I was deciding...if to keep my job.It stresses me out.My son has issues at daycare; he was biting himself and covered in bruises.Hubby could not take any more time off work to rescue my son, or he'd lose his job.I love teaching but this job....umm....yeah....it makes me want beer. At lunch. Which I can't do.I struggled all yesterday with the choice- stay or quit? And I knew quitting meant never. teaching. again. But I was ready. My heart was in it. I'd quit. I'd quit for myself, for my family, and be a stay at home mom. I was ready.So I was ready to quit yesterday, went in ready to quit and had to wait till the end of the day with lack of time. I counted the minutes till the dismissal bell. I survived today just barely...just thinking "only tomorrow and its over". You can do it, I told myself. It felt so liberating, to wake before dawn knowing I could sleep in soon. The kids throwing paper wads, cursing, talking over me would soon vanish. To know my son would be okay and I'd never have to worry. I'd miss teaching but it was in the cards...I'd be just a mom. And then I was told the whole process of quitting can take months. Months. Like until March. School gets out at the end of May, so why create drama and hatred and suffer till March when I can leave quietly into the night in May?Ugh. So I'm staying and throwing a flip the switch (replace sw with b). No more Mr. Nice Guy. We will practice enering the class until we have it right. Then if they interrupt my instruction, back to entering the class and guess what? That same lecture. Again. Till then can compose themselves correctly. I even have a yard duty whistle which I am not afraid to use. I will no longer say "be quiet. I'm waiting." Nope. Sure we will ose a day of instruction but I hope to gain a day of sanity and peace.

Epic fail

I wrote (ahem bragged) on Facebook how I had found a Thanksgiving tasting at my lover grocer's. I'm a sucker for Sam's club samples, Trader Joes samples, and any free food in little cups because, well, who doesn't love free food?

So I was super excited to find a gourmet tasting with nearly two dozen samplings of gourmet food and wine. There were arancini, pecan pies, organic turkey.... I listed all I ate on Facebook to make others jealous of my tasting experience.

Yeah...damn you autocorrect. As hubby drove us home alon bumpy windy mountain roads, I wrote my Facebook post and auto correct corrected "duck" into...ummm....dick.

My phone wouldn't let me edit or delete my post where Im bragging about delicious dick at the grocery store. Nope. I am permanently placed I. The cyber space hall of fame for talking about delicious samples of dick.


And I don't even really like duck (as in, quack quack) but I bragged nevertheless because you usually get samples of cheap crappy stuff, not gourmet duck.

And that, my friends, is why it is wrong to brag.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I swear I am packing to move

Hubby will be mad. I have barely packed in two hour's time. The house looks the same. We are moving tonight.

Below are images of why I haven't gotten very far. It's not for lack of trying.

You can see my son ON the kitchen table. This happens every time I turn myself around to pack something.

Then, he decides what to pack in the box. You can't quite see, but he is putting his shoes in the dishes box. And my bra, my shoes, his car, the utensil drawer of the dishwasher, his bottle, and he even tried to pack the dog. No joke. But an ornery 70 lb shepherd is quite immobile so he gave up.

Then, boxes make great toys and seats and stages for dancing, especially the box labeled "danger and fragile" full of wine glasses and knives.

So, my dear readers, back me up when hubby says I got nothing done.

And so I procrastinated

I have to do things in a predetermined un-budge-able order; yeah I'm a bit kooky. Like, when I clean the house I have to do dishes, wipe the counter, vacuum all rooms, and the proceeds to do whatever else needs cleaning.

I'm pretty sure I am moving, and went to get boxes and covertly ran in stores to take handfuls of ads to use for packing fragile things. I want to pack the kitchen dishes first. But I have a bunch in the dishwasher that need to dry first. I can't pack anything else until the dishes are packed. Why? Because; that's why. My brain can't get past "pack dishes". And then I'd pack clothes right now, shoving them into garbage bags, but most of our clothing is in our bedroom/home office and hubby has meetings non stop for 4 more hours.

I can't pack anything else until I can get to the dishes.

I can't clean the house cause our vacuum is where we are moving to; not here.

So I have nothing to do.

Sometimes I hate my brain.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A what's it thingymajig called a liebster because I am awesome and wonit!

I won a liebster award!!! (Thank you a ton, Angela at
http://notappropriate4.blogspot.com/?m=1. Visit her blog she is awesome).

What is a liebster?
Well first, it is German for favorite and other happy words that make me think of rainbows and unicorns and good wine and laughing. Okay, it is an award supposedly from Germany that is part chain letter (without the pyramid scheme gimmick or bad luck for 13 years or a million dollars from Ghana. You don't even get a jelly of the month.) it exists solely to give brownie points of recognition for nifty, snazzy, awesome bloggers

Sunday, November 11, 2012


In honor of Veteran's Day, I want to reflect back to the veterans I know.

http://disorderlywanderlustblog.blogspot.com/2012/10/perspective-exersize-and-what-you.html?m=1. Talks about one veteran.

Another is a friend of my husband's too. He has Purple Hearts (yes, plural) and has been through tough times. After a bad divorce, he came to our place for a bit to get back on his feet.

One morning he needed to get to the vet hospital and it had snowed like mad. The berm was four feet high and full of ice, we were rendered immobile. He and my hubby picked at it as the doctor's appointment neared. The friend went Inside to get a cup of hot coffee and my hubby stood outside, nearly at the point of tears as he struggled against nature, the berm now growing as snow began to fall rapidly. He prayed for help; the strength to power through the berm. To just get his friend to the doctor on time.

Suddenly, our neighbor (a county maintenance guy) drove up in his plow and without even asking, he plowed out our driveway. For free. We tried to give him money, coffee, an offer of dinner and he refused. He drove away to plow the county roads and do his job, off into the snowy abyss. My husband was nearly in tears again.

That night the friend told me he was completing chemotherapy and had to get to his appointments. He is still among us, but he was humble and didn't want us to know his health problems and the severity.

Sometimes you get an answer and a miracle you never expected.

So to veterans, you are heroes to be remembered and honored, every day of the year.

(Why did I show a photo of people gazing at the shimmering Pacific? It was a beautiful moment, captured before I rounded the bend to meet my husband s friend, after his Veteran's bike run. I could hear the bets cheering and saw this image and thought: it says hope, peace, wonder, the past and future all in one. It was a beautiful sight for a beautiful moment, as I thought, wow these veterans are awesome people.) and yeah I wrote this on Nov 11 but since I just write it, my iPhone changed the date to today.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Yeah I am blogging too much today and all of it is kind of blah, but I feel compelled to blog.

I itch. All over. It is like an itch from the inside, like the itch level of extremely itchy hives or a mosquito bite. But it feels like it isn't on the surface of my skin but inside. If I go to scratch it, I end up scratching so hard I bruise myself. I am covered in red marks and bruises from trying to itch my itch.

I take Benadryl but only at bed time because I am an extremely cheap date on the stuff and fall asleep like I am narcoleptic. So maybe I still itch in my sleep but I am nearly comatose so I am not sure. I wake up with bruises but how do I know if they are from the day (and finally showing) or the night?

It is driving me freaking insane.

Oh and my iPhone and blogger are neon weird so I can't make titles :(
So, we own two homes. That makes people hate me l, like I am some über rich jerk wad. But my mom owns 2.5 homes (one is a shared ownership with her mom) and my mom is a retired school teacher. Not exactly über rich.

Anyways, with that off my chest, we have home A a large (well small by a McMansion standpoint, below 2,000 sq foot) custom home in the forest at nearly 5,000 feet up. And all homes are "custom", no tract homes. Even my home-of-childhood, a very rustic ca in from 1926 is "custom built". But again I am getting wordy.

Home B is an "investment" in the Tracy home suburbs at a much lower and desert-like elevation. It is not much larger than 1,000 square feet and on a postage stamp sized lot. Seriously I could hear my husband go pee, and I was in the driveway.

We rent out home B but have crashed here for a few months to refurb it (the lawn was burnt brown desert dead) an to, well, be lazy. We move down some furnishings and have live here a few months.

I dunno where to live.

Home A has its pluses; roomy, feels like home, really pretty, better kitchen and bathroom, bigger yard, super close knit friendly community (even our meth addicts are generally very congenial), it gets all four seasons, has lots of outdoor fun activities, and has rather low crime. No gangs.

Home A sucks though. There are few amenities of civilization. We have fast food, sure, if you like Mc Donald's. we have restaurants if you like food from the grocer's freezer section. We have clothes shops if you like thrift stores. We have anything you need, if you want it used and rusty and overpriced for tourists visiting the "quaint" shops. We have a grocer if you like overpriced expired goods with a white trash style of cuisine. So basically you drove 45-60 minutes to get to stuff like Targer, Trader Joes, Home Depot, JC Penny's, Babies R Us etc. it kinda sucks.

Then add in deep fog. People common of fog and I pshaw them with "back on my day" one-upping stories. You know those yellow dashes on a road? Even been unable to see a dash ahead? The dash in front of you fading into gray?didn't think so. Add in rock slides, mud slides, and a 5,000 foot vertical drop and you almost have our roads in winter. Add in snow (and we don't salt the roads) and inexperienced drivers, 60 mph winds, and hairpin turns and voila, welcome to my commute.

You get cabin fever and if you are as blind as me, the bad weather means you do not drive. You are stuck at home. Suddenly a trip to the post office or crapy grocers is like fri king Disneyland.

Then home B has our favorite gym nearby. Seriously, I hate exercising but I actually want to at this gym. And who doesn't want to be healthy? And there is so much to do, so many places to go. Every day I go to "town" probably 3x a day. It's fun! And we do not get snow, fog, mudslides... And the roads are straight and flat. I don't get cabin fever.

But I hate the 110 degree summer heat and lack of seasons. I want to go outside but it is hot, and a teeny yard sucks. I see gang graffiti and encounter traffic jams. I have guns drawn in my front yard. I can't see the stars. The house isn't built too well, so you can hear the dog fart three rooms away. And with two large dogs, two cats, two adults, and a toddler...with one adult as a p/t SAHM and a hubby who works from home, it gets claustrophobic.

We have to spend a sh1t ton to move to house A and keep putting it off. I mean we stayed in house B for 3 months now for a reason, right? If we move to house A, we take a risk and cannot move again. Ever. No private schools or culture for my son. But yet there is nature and nice people and a nice home. If we stay in house B we have to get rid of house A in a not so kosher cool way.

I just dunno what to do. I do not want to make a mistake because it will be a life long mistake. It could be financially crappy too. But we are running out of time to decide.

Bracelets or gray sweats? This is why I may have taken AP French IV in high school and passed with an A-, a semester of Japanese (A) and two years of Spanish(A grades all semesters) and still cannot understand a spoken word of any damned foreign language. Including, occasionally, my mother tongue of English. Since I can't think of an example in another language, here's an example in English. Gray sweats (as in sweat pants) sounds like bracelets to me.

So in another language, (but using English here in my example) someone could have an entire conversation with me would be about a cute pair of gray sweats and I'd be thinking, wait what did you just say? Oh, bracelets. I like bracelets. Soft fuzzy ones? Bracelets aren't soft and fuzzy. And then the entire conversation about gray sweats is over and I missed the entire talk because I was baffled about gray sweats. And like five sentences of translations behind the conversation.


I hate that my birthday is so close to Christmas. I'm not referring to those people that whine and moan about a birthday so close to Christmas, you know, on December 3rd or January 14th. They don't get my sympathy.

See, I celebrate my birthday when, in other parts of the world it's Christmas. That is too close to Christmas my friends.

Ever opened your birthday gifts under the Christmas tree? Ever had them wrapped in Christmas paper? Ever been told to open them on Christmas to appease family? Ever not had a birthday party cause no one can come?

For a few years as a child, my mom mom gave me a birthday party in June. She called them half birthdays. This gave me the childhood right of passage, a bonafide party with games, streamers, cake, friends, gifts without pine needles and Santa paper.

As an adult I have come to accept my crappy birth date but yeah... I am still a bit bitter, my childhood left a bad taste for birthdays in my mouth.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The day my life changed

Today I make a life altering decision. Okay the decision has been made in my head but must be made in life, acted upon. It's a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. I will be persecuted and ostracized by many. But I am doing what I feel is right, correcting a mistake.

I will let you, my readers, know how it goes and what "it" is. I hate posts where you're like WTF is she talking about, just tell us! But there is a valid reason why I'm keeping you in the dark.

Just know this...family comes first.

(And yippee week two of the nablopomo challenge begins! A post a day!)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The votes are in

I didn't really care about politics until my mid twenties. Before that, I'd vote for who my friends liked or for what hot issue was the topic of conversation on campus. I would never really put thought into it.

2004 came about and, well, I still didn't really care about politics. I had started my first job , a teacher in an inner city school, and I was busy. Who cares about politics when you have three hours of work after the kids leave?

I remember election night well. I had dispassionately sent in my absentee ballot and flopped on the couch to relax. On a school break that had just started, I wanted to just sit there like a bowl of jello and do nothing. No housework, no intellectual stimulation, no politics or anything. Just me and my ice cold beer.

My husband had different thought and was glued to CNN. I tried to find a distraction and came up short. I slowly peeled the label off mybbeer, too lazy to do anything more exciting. I tried to let the tv turn into white noise as I melted into the suede and tried to craft beer-label paper airplanes.

Suddenly, my plane was half made and I was sitting upright. Numbers flashed on the screen, maps turned red, and the real excitement began. It looked like a winner would be announced. In all the hoopla and excitement, I got intrigued. Or maybe i like sparkly things, cheers and jeers, and info graphics complete with musak. Or maybe I had too much beer. Either way, I was drawn in. Who would win? Who did Delaware, a state I knew nothing about, vote for? What is proposition- whatever about and why is everyone cheering? Wait, if he wins, what does that mean? Why didn't I pay attention before, dammit! This moment would determine my future. My future was at stake!

My husband and I watched the results on the screen as the President accepted a second term. We lifted our beers and toasted to the future.

We toasted to OUR future, symbolized by Election Day. Sure we had the same president again (for better or for wprse) but to us, we had new beginnings. We celebrated not a second term, but a second night together as a married couple. On that honeymoon, I really grew up. I became a wife and an adult who cared about politics. I had our future at stake.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


It is almost midnight and I am wide awake. As in, I could go run on the treadmill kind of awake. As in why can't I be this alert in the daytime kind of awake.

When I usually encounter this I take a Benadryl and crash out. We are our I'f Benadryl. I'm screwed.

At least I know the nature of the beast tonight.

We were going to move but now, probably not. We are doing a load mod, or trying to, which is stressful. I just found a great daycare but its where we were going to move and it opens when I'm scheduled to begin work. An hour away. And my overly sensitive son will not do well there, I just know it. And I worry he needs speech therapy because he is about at the level of your average one year old (meaning just turned one) as he is stomaching his second year of life. And my hubby is snoring and I can not and never have been able to sleep if someone's snoring. And I am likely quitting my job. After gas and day care I come out negative so why work? It's stressing my son out. Hubby's job has been threatened- he can no longer miss work to watch or pick up my son early. I feel the grading policy and school culture fosters apathy and cheating, and the kids just refuse to do work and instead disrupt me and throw paper wads cause they can. Nothing can be done to change that. So why work? Add in the elections and ugh. My pick was 3rd party so of course a loss but the winner? Don't like him one bit. You can love him, each to their own and most of my friends love h. That's okay, I just think differently. But four more years depresses me. I got through the 8 Bush years, ugh, but was in my carefree 20s and didn't really care. And I lost an election I ran for; I ran locally and knew I'd lose but it still sucks. Oh and my moms visiting; I love her but she stresses me out more than any other person on Earth.

So yeah. I can't sleep. It's now past midnight, my stomach in knots, a sub called for my class tomorrow ( stress is making me feel crappy) and to boot I am worried they won't get a sub. Gr. stop worrying and start sleeping.

And so ends my stream of consciousness, off to find some website to lull me to sleep. I hope.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The golden apple rule

Most kids learn to hate school some time around middle school; but for me the hatred came as early as kindergarten in which I began to feel like school was a prison.

I was a free-spirited child, quiet and rule-abiding, got good grades and said please and thank you. But inside, I questioned the purpose of a soul-crushing institution called school.
School was like that square hole square peg toy where only certain types of people fit in. What if I wanted to be an awesome, sparkly, star shaped peg? Where did I belong? Certainly not in school.

In kindergarten, I was told I had to choose a hand to write and cut with. I was told I had to sleep at nap time. I was told I had to sit Indian-style and not on my knees. I got sent to the corner for telling the teacher that her threat of "your legs will get stuck that way" meant my knees could get stuck Indian style too. I got told I couldn't put hand-drawn asparagus in our Father's Day tool belt craft, because daddies want tools not vegetables. She wouldn't accept that a dad might prefer the creative asparagus belt best. I got told lots of stuff that hurt. Lots of things were said or directed to try and shape me a certain way.

A few days into school was when my distaste for school officially began. Before being told about asparagus, Indian style, and handedness. It began with apples.

We had to choose our favorite kind of apple to teach us about mathematical graphing. The teacher tallied our votes for red or green on poster board. When it was my turn to choose, I stated I liked yellow apples the best. Both the students and teacher told me that yellow apples simply did not exist and I had to choose red or green. And they laughed at me.

I refused to choose, refused to conform, and went home despondent. Being that the school year bad just began, I was not punished for my refusal but told not to be a know it all, and to get along better with the classmates and teacher. My parents told me sometimes you have to give in to get along, and that school wasn't every moment of my day so I only had to compromise sometimes. I was willing to compromise and get along with others, but not when they were wrong and when they were teasing m. But I didn't say that part, and just decided to shut up and put up. School had become a place where there were only pre-determined correct answers, logic and facts did not always belong, and out of the box thinking was something to poke fun at. An apple, the best piece of symbolism for "school" was quite befitting. School was a place for only two kinds of apples, a narrow world view of humanity defined by red or green. Yellow need not apply. My likes, my knowledge, my ideas were supposedly all wrong.

The yellow apple issue made me become even quieter in school; I just went nearly catatonic with silence, and did just the minimum required to pass the school year. I was told I had potential, that I needed to come out of my shell, and I ignored the advice. I didn't want to attract any attention anymore, so I just made sure to ride with the tide and never stick out. I now think that if i were more adult then, i would not want to engage in intellectual conversation with people that didn't know apples could be yellow? Why be creative and innovative in thought if I'd just get laughed at?

I would trudge through the long school days, yearning to run home and draw pictures with both hands (the teacher forced me to choose one hand), then climb trees and read grown-up books while eating a yellow apple for Christ's sakes. I suffered through twelve years of this, always silently questioning things. Always running home to be free, be my own person. To be that yellow apple in a sea of red and green.

And suddenly, a baby was born

This post is about giving birth so if you are not quite interested, look at the end for the "you might like" and read a different post by me .

I had, in a week's time, done my exit interview, final exam, and thesis for my Master's degree; I had completed my entire Christmas shopping one rainy night, finished working (as in, last day before maternity leave); and baked, frosted, and delivered something like ten dozen cookies. I was stressed about the holidays and my always disappointing birthday coming in the next few days, and I just wanted to give birth, get through the holidays, and be done.

I told my mom to fly down by Dec 21, no later, to be there for the birth. She complained that she'd just be waiting around "forever" because "first babies come late so you will certainly deliver in early January". I kept telling her, I know I am not due till after Christmas and my birthday but be here no later than the 21st.

She didn't listen but after much nagging on my part, in a "okay, fine have it your way" moment, booked her flight for the evening of the 22nd. I told her, mom, make it the 21st, but mothers never listen.

The morning of the 21st came and I was bored stiff. I did the dishes and decide to take a bath (in a crappy but humorous attempt to shave the hairy legs I could not see or reach) and then go to the library, since the county was under a state of emergency (rain, flooding, mud slides) and I needed a book before we lost power/got flooded/Armageddon or whatever.

My mom rang and told me, "one more day till I see you! Now don't have your baby till I get there. And promise that to your father; last night he dreamed you had your baby. You know he never dreams. Do you feel any contractions?" I told her I felt fine, bored, no baby in sight. I hung up, filled the bath, and gave up on shaving without even trying. I yearned for a hot bah on this cold day, but pregnant ladies can't have scalding hot baths. I basked in the lukewarm water, trying to waste time until the library opened at ten. I casually stepped out once I looked like a pink prune, toweled off, and began to put on panties when I realized, crap, my pants were in the laundry room. And then it happened.

Everyone I knew well enough kept warning me about incontinence your third trimester, so I was like, eww I just peed in my panties, but yes! Finally I know what they are talking about! So I waddled over and got new panties and called for my hubby to get my pants. Except it went, "honey? I need my pants. (Dramatic pause). And umm I might have peed myself or umm my water broke? I don't know. Quick. Help."

He dashed in, tripping over the dog who disgustingly was nosing my wet panties. I stood there now naked again, second pair of panties wet, looking confused. I was confused, not the panties but if they were sentient they'd look confused too. That would be creepy.

"I think my water broke?" I queried, as I mean peeing myself or my water breaking were both new experiences. I expected, if it were my water, to have felt contractions. So I put on my pants and my mouth went agape. Again I was wet. I ran around, digging for period pads that were long forgotten, and ended up with a hand towel between my legs. I giggled to myself, remembering how the pads in the nurse's office at school were that thick. And how now I waddled even more.

I called my Bradley Birthing Coach, even though I had dropped out two weeks prior(cause I drop out of everything) because I figured she was the most experienced, being that my mother and mother in law hadn't given birth in decades, and my sis in law had done scheduled c-section. We chatted for a moment, where she asked about contractions (none) and said to delay the hospital as long as possible -a Bradley trademark, and besides, I wasn't eager for the hospital either. Then I called my BFF and left her a message. Then I had one small contraction. Then I noticed my towel-pad was sopping wet and kind of tea-colored. Meconium, meaning baby poop, meaning doctors freak out and induce you or do a c-section or whatever. Crap. Literally. In just a bit over half an hour I had gone from "is it pee?" To "dammit, let's go to the hospital". My contractions came again, and I called my mom as I headed to the car. "Told you, be here today. My water broke. Hospital. Bye."

The contractions worsened on the 15 minute drive to the hospital, quickening, feeling like food poisoning cramps. Hubby dropped me off by the door while he went to find parking. I had a bad contraction right there in the parking lot, in pouring rain, and had no option but to head inside in hope I could find a seat to wait out the pain.

I walked into some not-labor room and for a moment, forgot what I learned on the hospital tour. Then I remembered, and headed towards the elevator.

Another, worst-yet contraction hit in the elevator, and I recalled a seating area right outside the elevator on the second floor. I can do it, I can make it to a seat where I can sit down, the pain so bad I could barely stand.

After an eternity going up just one floor, I dashed to the chair just in time for the contraction to stop. I figured, might as well check myself in, and headed towards the labor area.

There were those hospital double doors, locked so you cannot get in and steal babies or anything, and I remembered there was some admittance button to open the doors. Somewhere. In a panic, I looked everywhere, to no avail. I definitely did not want to give birth outside the elevator and I also didn't want to be the stupid wife who couldn't find the damned button. I was in tears. Where the f**k was the button? Why can't they have some button, big as a steering wheel, bright red and blinking, all Vegas-style, "baby, ouch, open"? Where the f**k was the giant red (or, soon to find out, doorbell sized wall colored button) when I needed it?

Hubby found me pacing the hall, crying, and he asked why I didn't push the button. "I....can't....find....it" I whimpered in defeat. He found it like that and in we went.

I signed an X for my name on the admittance papers. I was in too much pain to even remember how to sign my own name of 30 years. We got ushered into a steel room with a bathroom where I was handed a paper gown and a cup.

Luckily, I was able to pee. I exited and just stood there, in a cold paper gown, with an open cup of urine, biting my lip in pain. Ten painful minutes later, I was directed to a steel table. The same table at the veterinarians. Bark. They hooked me up to crap and left. I watched the contraction monitor make cool Himalayan style graphs and I saw some blood pool on the table, and I chucked my steel water bottle across the room, some weird pain-dealing issue. The contractions were 3 minutes apart and so bad I nearly vomited from the pain. Deer-eyed, I asked hubby to find a damned nurse.

She walked in all casually, slowly gloved up as I writhed in pain, as went to feel my cervix. " hmm, don't feel it" she said', making me expect her to say next, "so you are not in labor, go home" at which point I'd go postal and knock her down. But she felt again and was all, " Oh my! 6 or 7 cm, you are in labor (told you, b1tch, I may have thought out loud) "lets hurry and get you into a labor room" (no sh1t Sherlock). Bloody towels and pants swept away, put in a bag, you know, in case I wanted my bloody panties towel back. Ha.

New less metallic table, and a new set of monitors. It was about 11:30, I had waited in that stupid steel room for an hour. The pain increased and was nearly constant. The nurses kept asking for me to rate my pain, which confused me. Was a 1 no pain or hangnail level pain? Was ten labor, or I was just skinned alive while passing a kidney stone level pain? They were not happy I could not answer, and were unable to provide me with a pain rubric. I may have even told them it was bad data/statistics to not have a pain rubric to accompany their stupid scale. They kept suggesting an epidural which I was vehemently against.

Hubby went at about noon to get my iPod, his laptop, you know, entertainment stuff. The few I had known to give birth naturally had their first labors from 14-55 hours and here it was a bit past hour two, I was here for the long haul.

Hubby told me I was in transition, ready to actually give birth, this was the short lived but most painful part. Apparently he paid attention before we dropped out of birthing class, and apparently I didn't hear him. All I heard was "epidural now? How about now? Stop squirming!" While I thought, animals in pain squirm and scream so f**k you that is what I will do.

Hubby gone, pain constant, I weakly mumbled "yes" to the epidural. I had figured I had what, 12-53 more hours of this pain. Sure it was the worst pain EVER but if it was an hour more, I would live, but ten, twenty, or more? F**k no. Epidural please. As the epidural guy was paged, the nurse tried to get me to do the huh hug Lamaze breathing. I refused and may have said something to the effect of, how the hell is breathing like a freaking idiot going to help? I was unable to breathe like an idiot because I was laughing. Okay no, I was in too much pain to laugh but I was laughing in my head, that a nurse thought breathing like a dragon who chain smoked would magically ease the pain. Let me tell you, it's bullsh1t.

I forgot to remind them to check my dilation before the epidural. Well, really I was in too much pain to properly communicate, and besides it is their job, protocol, to do that. Which they didn't.

The needle went in and ahhhhh the pain diminished. Then the nurse checked my dilation as my hubby came back in. "Umm you're at ten inches and I see the head. There are two ER c-sections, waiting for the doctor to get here, with all these road closures. Don't push. Just wait." My body wanted to push and I did a bit until the epidural made me so damn numb I couldn't even feel my boobs.

At two o'clock, I could actually reach down there and feel the head, but not see it. The doctor rushed in, gloving up while running, and I was relieved. Not only was a doctor here ( I could finally push!) but he was my obgyn. Of all the probably 50 or so L&D doctors, I had. my doctor. He was supposed to start vacation that day but was called in, other doctors were flooded in or whatever. I was so relieved.

No one told me the stupid epidural had an on, off, high, low button so I had been in taking the high dose for two hours. I'm surprised I could feel my face. So by now, I had no clue if I was pushing, pulling, resting, or anything. So the actual birth took a bit, because by now if you looked at me from the view of the doctor, you could see the head. But one has to push to get the bulky shoulders out. So I tried.

At 2:44pm, just 5 hours after my water broke, I gave birth.

I saw a blue-red-yellow slimy baby figure in the nurses arms, and the doctor said with shock, "meconium. Not breathing". The longest three seconds of my life, until the other nurse aspirated him and you heard a sweet cry. Tears began to run down my face as they moved my child over for weight, length, and apgar score which they argued over, "8, no, 9, no, 8...." Then they asked, "what name shall we wrote down?" I let them know,, I need to know the gender first (see, everyone knows nowadays, with modern technology but I went old school, something no one understood but I wanted a surprise!). "It's a boy" they said, handing this wrinkly pink thing of perfection to me. I cried. I snuggled. They stood there waiting to write his name, but I didn't have one yet. Sure, I had a few picked out but. I had to see him first. So on his hospital bracelet and crib it just says "baby boy".

It took the 24 crappy hours of stay in the hospital ( seriously, people like staying here? Wtf? I wanted out at like... 3:00!) to name him, and I did.

But his name here is Baby Boy. Can't give away too much information. But he is the cutest guy in the world.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Travel trevails

I should have known I'd be doomed. Every travel experience of mine has some sort of tragedy. But this time it would be different, I told myself.

Why not get a motor home, I thought, tired of driving into the wee hours of the morning in attempt to find a vacant hotel, during some unknown wine festival or military reunion or whatever else I always happened to magically find. With a motor home, we'd avoid this. We could have home cooked meals. We could use a restroom without graffiti and urine puddles.

I should have know you cannot avoid disaster and ill luck. I should have seen the signs.

We looked at motorhomes and trailers for over a month and settled on a used one with 100,000 miles but in decent shape. We test drove it probably a dozen times before making out decision.

We left for Chicago, a thee day tour, and not even a mile from home, I mentioned the diesel truck smell. From a gas engine. An hour into it, we pull over for lunch and my husband looks like death. He is pale and green and we pin it to the fact we were packing the RV at midnight. We are tired, I tell him. He says he feels faint. Like death. We have to turn back and go home to rest. So we do and he feels okay but it is late afternoon, an old RV in the Mojave Desert in scorching heat could be bad.

We end up taking the RV down to Los Angeles to get fixed, which takes a few days. We thus unpack and days later, re-pack.

So we leave the next morning, bound for Flagstaff. We pack the dogs, two large dogs,and the cat who gets stuck in the bathroom door. As we navigate the switchbacks, I carefully remove the cat, without injury. We end up boarding the animals though, it's much easier.

Things seem ok, even in the 112 degree heat at the Colorado River. We are Flagstaff bound.

We pull into a campground at 10pm and I am confused, the campground person is sleeping so I navigate things on my own- we accidentally end up in the expensive spot but realize that past midnight. But everything will be fine.


We leave at dawn but stop to see the meteor crater, petrified forest, and other attractions, so we spend the night in a hotel near Texas because the nearest campground is too far.

We drive through Texas and get pulled over. We do not have temporary plates because our state does not issue them and Texas mandates them. The patrolman says to get out of Texas quick, and that my husband has a warrant for his arrest. What? So this family of bandits is covertly rushing deep through the heart of Texas.

We call about the warrant and find out it is someone with a very similar name which makes way more sense being that my husband is all law abiding and stuff.

Then, the motorhomes overheats. It shifts weird. We are in the middle of nowheresville Texas on a Sunday. The few cattle ranchers are Bible thumping or whatever. We probably got pulled over in the first place cause we weren't at church. And lacked a gun rack. Although we'd totally have one if they were legal.

We do a detour down a country road o a little car dealership that is open but they are so Podunk they cannot help us. I admire their newspaper, full of junior league news and who got what in the mailbox. No joke, I found out Lila May got a letter from her grandson overseas.

The dealership tells us the next place we can go is Oklahoma City. We cross our fingers and pray we will make it.

We of course find rid construction delays and have to turn of the a/c in nearly 100 degree heat. The RV rattles and groans and threatens catching fire as we count the miles to OKC. It takes forever. I am quite sure we will be spending summer vacation alongside the interstate in Cow Patty, OK. I mean, it is actually a gorgeous state but not my dream vacation.

We make it, barely, and find some he in the wall repair place next to a burnt down motel. We are the talk of the town, out of staters bringing business so the entire shop comes out to inspect the RV like it is a UFO. One guy even calls his friend about it. They say they can just drop the motor right here in the motel parking lot and fix it. They've never fixed one , but they are self proclaimed grease monkeys. We worry about insurance since it doesn't quite look legit so we go elsewhere.

The new place cannot even look at the RV till midweek, being the only Chevy truck-van-RV place for like 300 miles. We decide to spend the night across the street and get a rental car and keep on trucking. Except, or course, there is some huge NBA basketball competition game thingy (I am sports-challenged) and all cars are taken. Except one in the whole city, a gas guzzling jeep Cherokee that they were about to retire. It is filthy dirty, expensive, rickety, and yet it's ours. Of course.

And so, we left. But our adventure was not over.

joining yeahwrite and nablopomo to write every day in this busy month. Sure, I just started a new job, am moving, have relatives visiting, doctor appts, anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays. So I am nuts to be blogging. Join me?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Quiet Voice

I cannot yell. I cannot even raise my voice, it crackles and squeaks at a decibel above speaking and that is it.

I don't need to yell. Where does yelling get you? No where; well, unless up are being kidnapped or need to scare away wild animals in which case I am screwed.

Yesterday, one of my students says to me, "you are too nice. The class won't listen cause you don't get mad and yell". Should I (assuming I were able) need to yell in a classroom and get all vocally violent? No.

But I am silently screaming. I have 33-39 high school students per class. I had 45 yesterday because a few came from another class to use my computers and a few got locked out of class. 45 inner-city at risk youth, taking exams, on a Friday, hooped up on leftover Halloween candy. And they refuse to all shut the bleep up when I give instructions or a lecture. Their rudeness makes me silently scream am then I end up silently scolding myself. If only I could yell to be heard, maybe they would listen. If I could yell and scold them they would listen.

I feel like a little mouse stuck in a wildebeest stampede.

I have engaging lessons I worked hard on that just go to waste.

I feel like they don't care. Most don't and it is in part the education system and in part, their "at risk" home life.

I care about each and every one of them but they won't let me show it. Many pass with a D- at 20% by doing, well, 20% so why give their all? Why listen to me?

I feel like it is a disservice to them, to pass them at 20% because in the real world, that is failing.

I feel like I am giving 120% for them to pay attention to 20%. And it is incredibly exhausting.

Maybe, I tell myself, if I could just yell like every other teacher, they might listen.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Woodland creature

I think of that song, "Little Boxes" by Malvina Reynolds (made recently famous by cover artists on Weeds) and think of it as anything but my life. I especially think of it as anything but my childhood.

I grew up in the 80s and 90s without a video game console. Often, we could not afford cable so we went without. Videos were a luxury. I didn't have a big wheels and didn't know what music was cool. We had a rotary phone until the late 80s and a tv without remote control until the late 90s.

Those young whippersnappers today, and even people my own age, are often aghast, I mean, what did I do all day for fun?

I look into the cities and suburbs with kids in organized playgroups or plugged into media 24/7 and think, what do they do all day for fun? They just are, to loosely quote Little Boxes, "and the people in the houses...they all came out the same."

I had an out of the box childhood and it was awesome.

I climbed up 200 foot tall cedars and built tree forts from scavenged wood and nails, and all at the young age of 9, little me building certainly unsafe structures 30 feet up. I added zip lines and rope swings and hammocks out of old sheets.

I threw handmade atl-atls (google it folks) and bows and arrows, used a dremel tool to carve designs into boulders, and wove sandals out of reeds. I made ineffective Co2 weapons and wooden airplanes that didn't fly.

I made bike jumps and sled jumps and added WD40 to my radio flyer which I sat in and used as a go cart since I had no one to pull me around.

I snacked on miner's lettuce, wild blackberries, and watercress when hungry and away from home.

I built lean-tos and dug snow caves, burnt sticks to make torches and charcoal writing utensils.

I played war and orphan, work camp, and caveman.

I panned for gold, made my own flashlights out of batteries, tape, and lift bulbs. I made doll houses and furniture out of old boxes, bags, paper towels, and scrap items. I hiked for hours unaccompanied and scrambled over rocks, scaled cliffs, and waded in icy cold springs.

On rainy days I would read voraciously, anything I could find, and did crafts and artwork with all forms of media. I might create a model of the solar system, make a blue print for a dream house, make my own one person dramatic play, or see together purses and pillows.

I grew up a woodland creature, a girl without gender role restrictions or too many safety concerns. If I had an idea, I did it without asking for permission or help. If I had a passion, dream, desire, or curiosity, I went for it. The world wa out there for me to embrace, and the trees and rocks in the forest were my playground.

So, I look onto towns of little boxes and see people just the same. Bored. I mean, what do their children do all day?

Thursday, November 1, 2012


I hate weddings.

I hated my own.

I have only attended three in my lifetime.

I don't hate the people whose weddings I don't attend. I don't specially favor those I do attend.

I nearly didn't attend my own.

Why the hate?

To me it is such a private special moment not to be shared. But then too, to me it is some legal moment because marriage is more spiritual and personal.

I do not like dressing up unlike your real self and acting unlike your real self all for show for others.

Add in bridezilla drama and no thank you.

I planned my wedding in one week. No place settings or games or bridal showers or any of that crap. I bought a dress, pinned it in place, did my own hair, did store bought cake and flowers and invited close friends and family that could come. On a Monday. A week's warning given.

Cause if it were up to me? I'd have done justice of the court or whatever, in a nice simple dress, at Inspiration Point with a view of 7,000 feet below.