Archive for the ‘World’ Category

Day Out: Nemo…

Friday, August 6th, 2010

I flow with an attitude of serendipity through all kinds of experiences.
—Louise Hay

Seals! Or Sea Lions! Couldn’t read the placard. Too much going on!

Today being a prime example of attempting to make “flowing” a reality at the overcrowded Long Beach Aquarium Of The Pacific and its magnificent, child-endearing cases and cases of fish, coral, anemones, jellyfish, weedy sea dragons, super weird s*** with mouths and tails you can touch and even a bull shark with restless twitches in a tank big enough for a convention of hermit crabs, maybe, but—a tank big enough to house that many sharks? (Turn Mind Off After $20-something admission fee, just: Turn. Mind. Off…).

So many fish, so little a guy to view it all…

Having been on a serious Nemo kick since Catalina Island and the charming rentable house we stayed in with The Movie he had never seen before because Nemo’s mother is wiped out in the first two minutes and I hate that—

Ah, the mighty sea turtle! He can never hang around long enough…

Having been on a serious Nemo kick (we own the movie now, oh yeah—but I fast forward through mom’s fatal chomping by a barracuda), and not having been to the aquarium since October, 2009, when the giant water squirting squid was all he wanted and we ate next to some kids atrocious to birds

Fish! Fish! Fish!

Having been on a serious Nemo kick due to worry that my son watches too many DVD’s while mama stares blank-eyed into her 6am cup of coffee—I am on a serious outings kick. Because of T’s current Nemo fascination, where to go BUT the aquarium and its sweetly caged aqua-beasts and (don’t know why it’s there, but it’s nice) Lorikeet Forest?

Birds and fish! Birds and fish!

I knew I wouldn’t be getting a nap and I was prepared for that, prepared to go a few thousand extra miles this day, but I wasn’t prepared for my son’s enthusiasm. He told anyone and everyone standing at every case HI!!! FISH!!! WOOK!!! FISH!!! And, when we found the Nemo case, HI!!! NEMO!!! WOOK!!! DURY!!! (i.e., Dory—many, many Nemos and Dorys swimming together beautifully, making kids BALLISTIC with excitement—they must have planned it that way, right? Those diabolical-aquarium-planner types? Or—Disney?).

Nemo! Dory! OMG!

Enthusiasm that, several times, accelerated into chaotic emotion preceding (as I know from experience in Target and malls) tantrums, during which my son shouts STOP IT STOP IT STOP, as though I’m beating him in public (instead of just standing there with a slump in my shoulders and a glance at my wristwatch as he enters serious turmoil). Arrrrgh! I felt bi-polarish the entire fish-viewing: Utterly elated by his elation, then sunk (pun intended) by his own tot-bi-polarish angst. Little guy!

OMG. TG for fake ones.

However (and I’m not patting myself on the back with big whoops or woots or however we spell shizzzz—I’m simply stating my own experience): Despite my frustration at my son’s frustration with Listening-To-Mama, I was pleased with my TONE when dealing with his—well, with his tone. True, I did use the, “We’ll have to go back to the car, then, won’t we?”, but I did not raise my voice, did not accuse him of grievous wrong-doing, did not beg or plead or argue or lie on the darkish aquarium carpet in the fetal position, sucking my thumb before a gathering crowd. I did what I’ve been practicing since he turned 2 and startled me with his first tantrum–only this time, today, it was easier for me—my parenting method was easier—it flowed: I talked to him. And talked to him some more, whatever his reaction—until he calmed and the angst receded from his eyes like (yes, I’m writing it and sticking by it!) a minus tide…

Way up there, fish. And more fish. Way up there…

And then I bought him a Nemo.

Just love you so much!

www.pbrippey.com

Blog Break #17,000,002: Catalina

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

What’s not to like?

Ah, island, sea, sun, breezes…

Much stimulating fun for the toddler—

Must kayak!

and his parents.

Hi Dadda! Come back soon! Mama needs a Mango Margarita Slushy!

Ocean breezes.

Ahhhhhhhhhh………..

Fascinating California history, such as Zane Grey’s Pueblo Hotel (haunted by the author, I was informed—I can see why he wants to stay—he never missed a dawn if he could help it, watched the sea come alive).

Zane! Go to the light!!!

Views everywhere.

Ocean front walk. Lovely.

Clear water.

Just missed snapping a photo of a Garibaldi. Dang it!

Put the toddler to bed? No, no, no. Put him in his pajamas, then put him in his stroller and meander the waterfront to the pavilion, to watch the night divers and the bonfires on Descanso Beach. Once the toddler is lulled to sleep by the stroll, snoozing peacefully, covered by his favorite blankie, stop for ice cream, sit, watch boat lights twinkle, relax, holds hands, be happy.

Return to wonderful Catalina house and drink champagne with good friends (on Catalina, the toddler can be transferred from stroller to bed with no wake-ups whatsoever)—champagne so smooth and Cadillac it doesn’t give you a hangover and you can rent those several golf carts in the morning with your bloody-mary’s-in-plastic-cups-toting-friends and utterly enjoy your last hours on the island.

Who knew golf carts could be such fun!

That’s Catalina.

www.pbrippey.com

Really? Zzz…

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

Two and a half years later:

T sleeps until 7:00a.m. (vs. 4:30/5:00a.m. Maybe even a 3:40a.m. something or other frisky number that goes like this: MAMAMAMAMAMAMAMAMAMA!!!—followed by a tip-toe-tap-dance only toddlers can execute that early—or ever)…

Then, for several consecutive days, our son sleeps until 6:20 a.m. S and I are agape, totally disoriented, muttering bits like: “Rabbit hole? Us? Down it? Quantam Physics? Da Vinci Code! Miracle? What is going on!”

Then (gasp!) 7:40a.m.—a new record! I kept peeking in T’s room to see if he was breathing, if the cat was on his head, if if if. He looked happy, utterly content in sleep, in his all-nighter-well-into-the-morning snooze. I closed his bedroom door and raced (quietly) to the kitchen, where my husband had the morning pancakes on hold. We covered our mouths, jumped up and down (quietly), obviously expressing joy, hope. “I can—maybe, of course, just maybe, if this keeps up—work out in the morning again!” my husband whispered. “And you–you can GET MORE SLEEP and? And, pb, and??? You can write!” “Shh!” I responded with clearly spastic gestures. “For the love of Diego’s baby jaguar, don’t say anything else! Shh!”

There are some around here who get sleep…

There is a reason sleep deprivation is used as a method of torture.

There is a reason poems are not written, novels not edited, words are dolloped on pages vs. forming sentences entire cultures might comprehend. There are no words, or there is one word typed on a blank Word document and it’s all wrong; I can’t read my own handwriting; my hard drive burns out without my backing it up first; I use dictionary.com when I never needed to before (before becoming a mother).

There is a reason why my cell phone has dents, we have 3 loaves of bread in the fridge, the sprinkler was left on for 2 hours, the dashboard of the minivan is so coated in dust I sneeze as I drive T around, I can’t remember names of people I’ve just met or my house numbers. There’s a reason why when 3:00p.m. arrives and I haven’t napped because T hasn’t napped someone might as well have frozen me in carbon like Harrison Ford in not “Star Wars” but that other one and thrown me into a bottomless lake. There is a reason why I am not Louise Hay most days, or—any day(s), except weekends (when co-parenting explodes beautifully and we are a magic trio—and I can sleep in). There is a reason why Dora, or Shrek or Curious George DVD’s can make me cry, or that one toilet paper commercial featuring human and animal babies.

Yet—some clarification: Each second of sleep lost these past two and a half years? Better than a lifetime of eight hours of sleep a night. Or rather: BETTER THAN A LIFETIME OF EIGHT HOURS OF SLEEP A NIGHT. Yes, I shout it out, and I mean it. Because even at my tiredest, my most thereisarhinocerosridingonmyback, I have dug deep, then deeper and grasped dregs of energy that got my a** off the couch, T in the car and us on our way to an outdoor adventure—or maybe the Disney Store. So that one day, when my son is 18 and I am staring at him in awe, wondering when he grew up, wondering how it is he can be telling me he’s entering NASA’s revamped Space Program, or going to try his hand at growing pinot noir grapes, or declaring he is leaving the nest to devote his life to the fine tuning of deep sea submersibles that will one day link to deep sea state-of-the-art aqua stations where he will study deep sea extreme environments, like those deep sea smoking chimneys that amaze the world and hatch freaky, squirmy otherwordly life forms obviously related to the Tasmanian Blobster, when my son is 18 and in the polling booth next to mine, I can flash on these early years and feel good about myself, know that I tried my best to be present in our family, no matter how hard it is to keep going sometimes. nomatterhowhard…

Does he look sleepy to you? I think he might be sleepy…

I wonder if one’s memory returns in force after one gets more sleep—like a flock of homing pigeons, a parade of boomerangs, gas…

WWW.PBRIPPEY.COM

LodylodylodyROCKINTHEWATER…

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Last week I sat deep in a canyon next to a rushing creek. I was amazed by the emotion this busy bit of nature created in me. All was concurrently canyon-serene and utterly riotous. The creek was thunder and Zen, a zealot’s feverish telling and a whisper softer than bee-speak. Mind-tweaking. Very.

rock1.jpg

I sat on the flat, sun-infused boulder, watching T toss pebbles into thunder-bubbles, into the catchy, incessant water-laugh, water-rage. LodylodylodyROCKINTHEWATER, shouted my son. I glanced downstream: more boulders, domed as lazing turtles, pond-greens, canyon shadow so Chumash, so cave and tearing, water precious, dappled skin stretching into slap and roil and rage.

rock.jpg

What were my feelings? Loss and bounty. What were my thoughts? Knots and gold beach. Focused, anyway—funneled. What was my name? My son held it in his little hands, felt it, shook it like dice, tossed it to eternity. His eyes found mine and he laughed.

rock2.jpg

We held hands and climbed up the trail, back into the sun and poppy fields. When he said, Dadda, I knew we’d both been on the same wavelength. Where else would my mind rush to after experiencing such a roughing up? Home. 75 miles South. T was checking in. I nodded at him.

And we moved amicably on to the beach. Low tide. Sweet shush, shush, shush.

rock3.jpg

WWW.PBRIPPEY.COM

Relief For Haiti

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

If you can:

http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2007/impact/

Happy New Year! 2010201020102010 etc….

Monday, January 4th, 2010

1st morning. Swell, gulls, surfers, boogie boarders. 72 degrees. O Southern California!

Dana Point, CA Jan 1st 2010

And while I continue working on my next blog post, here is an archive from last year when we were barfing like maniacs and wondering how on earth to handle it with a 1 yr. old, also barfing. That was a time indeed.

LAST JANUARY BARF FEST

And don’t forget to read my poems on Chaparral —because of course you have time to read poetry in your busy day, who doesn’t? Ha ha (uttered with more than a tinge of hysteria).

CHAPARRAL

www.pbrippey.com

Zoo Parenting 101…

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

When you make an excursion to the zoo on a saturday and the weather is gorgeous and it’s the San Diego Zoo so in addition to locals you are in the company of a gazzilion off-season tourists taking advantage of cheap off-season vacation packages—when you are all (tourists, locals, families, random human herds) packed together in a zoo that won’t allow you to walk your kids or strollers on the wide streetways because of the double-decker tour buses constantly motoring by—when you’re forced to walk on narrow sidewalks past the animal exhibits, each exhibit creating instant gridlock, the sun increasingly hotter than the weatherpeople predicted and then there are those gnarly hills, there, at the SD Zoo, red-cheek-creating hills—let’s face it: there are going to be scenes.

O Elephants!

My husband and I witnessed many variations on the parenting of uber-hyped-out, tantrum-throwing children of all ages. We paid most attention to toddlers acting out, many by toddling deliberately away from their parents, goofy, gleeful smiles on their faces. Some parents controlled toddler-wanderlust by attaching them to leashes resembling tails of monkeys or elephants. Others had cleverly brought along extended family assigned to race after escapees. The biggest fear at the zoo for parents with small children was not the pacing lion and whether its cage bars were sturdy enough, not the elephant lolling its massive, child-attracting weight against fencing, not whether the foamy-mouthed camels lurched within spitting distance of babies, but whether a toddler was going to dart under the wheels of one of those on-coming tour buses, or vanish forever into the hot-tempered crowds. Many times we heard the following:

GET BACK HERE!

or

GET BACK HERE NOW!

or

WE’RE NOT GOING THERE! WE’RE GOING HERE! HERE! HERE!

or the more frustrated version,

NO! NO! NO! NO!

And, eventually, as the heat bore down, as the hills grew steeper, we heard:

GET BACK HERE OR (plus a threat)

or

GET THE HELL BACK HERE OR (plus a threat)

or

ONE, TWO, THREE—(with the threat of counting to 5—and then what?)

or

IF YOU DON’T LISTEN TO ME, I’LL (plus a threat or stuttered gibberish as the parent melted down inconsolably, irrevocably, before God and Man)

The most disturbing meltdown occurred in the Lost Forest, a shady pathway winding past the slumbering hippos in their fantastic 3D pool, up to the tigers (though we couldn’t see them because of the gridlock) in their shady-rocky abode, past the turtles in their glassed-in-pond—hundreds of thousands of swimming turtles—past amazing, colorful birds you’d never see in my backyard (despite the two popular feeders). A woman approached us as we threaded through the crowds. A child was vice-gripped in her arms, a boy (3 years old?) curled to fetal, who knew he was in the vice, had ceased struggling because he recognized struggle was pointless. His mother’s face was bent over his. She was going downhill, we up and somehow this created an eerie time-slow effect so that I heard, clearly, every single word she imparted to her son. As the mother passed me with her large, slow-motion steps, my head turned in slow-motion, my mouth dropped in slow-motion and I watched her land on a bench and keeeeep ooooooon taaaaaalking to that boy as my brain screamed nooooooooooooo in deep, scary, slowed-down-speak. Nooooooooooooooooo.

If you don’t f***ing shut the f*** up you’re gonna f***ing make me f***ing crazy and do you know what the f*** that means?
Like at Granny’s? (responded the offending son)
Oh, you remember Granny’s, huh? YEAH like at F***ING Granny’s, that’s EXACTLY what the f*** I’m F***ING TALKING ABOUT—

And there was more, but I couldn’t listen. I fell back into real-time and sped after my husband and son.

What’s up? asked my husband when, after I made sure T was rapt before the gazzillion turtles, I turned and hugged him—hard. Did you hear that? I stage-whispered into his neck. Did you hear that woman? Hear what? my husband asked and I let it go, told him later, at the hotel, when T was into his pasta and DVD. Oh wow, my husband said and we were quiet, munching our dinner in a shared moment of sadness—and self-reflection.

O Turtles!

Because no matter what you witness in other parents, or what horrifying stories you read concerning other parents, stories centered around some type of baby-neglect (like the guy who left his 3 month old in its carrier beside the treadmill in his gym when he was done with his workout and drove on home like he was a single guy and had never been a parent, la dee da, until a phone call from the gym had him screeching the car into a U-turn)—being a parent and therefore experiencing challenges you couldn’t possibly have dreamt of prior to having children precisely because you didn’t have children and couldn’t know, but now that you do know, you totally “get” how a breaking point such as the one I witnessed in Cursing Mama can been reached. You know what it’s like to approach the precipice of a mental-break, to teeter on the complicated cliff’s edge of your sanity, and then scrabble for an alternative—because that’s what you do—you scrabble for the alternative, find it, use it even if it is VERY, VERY HARD to do so, even if it means you CUSS AT A SLOTH instead of your child. I admit that at that awful zoo-moment I wanted Cursing Mama fenced, fenced in, securely, with electrified bars, away from her child—I wanted the zoo’s on-call Parent Meltdown Psychotherapist to whoosh in with her bag of sanity-restoring tips and a zoo margarita sold throughout the grounds. At that moment, I hoped Cursing Mama’s child would make it to 18 yrs. unscarred, because the power struggle occurring between mother and child was too intense and apparently a close second to Granny’s house and whatever the heck went on there. O Cursing Mama! How you scared me, angered me, left me feeling wasted and shaky and grateful for my parenting books—and desperate for a zoo margarita…

We headed for the exit and miniature train ride instead.

And now——this bit more:

Connection Parenting, by Pam Leo
Playful Parenting, by Lawrence Cohen
Parenting Without Power Struggles: Raising Joyful, Resilient Kids While Staying Cool, Calm And Connected, by Susan Stiffelman

Books. They don’t hurt. They can’t help but help, MOST LIKELY.

Tattling Mama over-and-out.

O giant fake tortoise!
www.pbrippey.com

Poetry…

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Chaparral took a couple of my poems for the current Autumn/Winter issue. I am so pleased to be included. Gail Wronsky is in a previous issue. Also Patty Seyburn. Amy Gerstler. Dorothy Barresi. Love them.

http://www.chaparralpoetry.net/

Bedtime reading

www.pbrippey.com

Zuma Procrastinator…

Monday, September 21st, 2009

Zuma again. No man with the seagull on his head—too early in the day for him. But the dolphins are here, poking their heads out of the Fresca ocean (remember Fresca?), taking a quick peek at the loungers on the beach, then moving on. T and S kicked the beachball, filled the toy truck with sand, pulled the wagon around and tested the surf’s temperature all in the first five minutes of making camp.

Gull!

Since it’s post Labor Day, my husband was convinced tourist and schoolkid traffic would be minimal at Zuma. Wrong. It’s Sunday! Everyone is here. Tourists, schoolkids and Valley Escapees like us as the weather again reaches for the 90′s, stubborn as some old-ish family member who refuses to turn the oven down to a reasonable temperature when cooking the Sunday London Broil, burning it every time.

Toddler!

Yes. A definite desperate attempt at metaphor as I sit in a creaky beach chair in Malibu overcast, trying to jump-start my creativity.

Gull!

And what is the nagging wariness I feel here on the beach? Why do my eyes shy from those friendly rollers, that mildly churned surf?

Toddler!

I like Zuma—at least, I like Zuma down by lifeguard stand #13. I don’t like Zuma enough to name my next child Zuma—just like I don’t like fruit enough to name a child Apple. Or Kiwi. Or Papaya Banana Jr. But it’s beautiful here. I like it here. Very much. Still…

Calm before the storm!

Truthfully, I’d like a house with a Widow’s Walk for daily private meandering—a quaintly gated widow’s walk—an open-aired, partial-turret of peace. The fins and spouts I’d monitor! The storms I’d predict and await. I’d haul a desk up there, visit it when the moment struck, then back to pacing before an ocean moodier than sky, than anything.

Which is all to say that even though Part I of my children’s novel has yet to be published, I need to start writing Part II. Even though Part I has come maddeningly, gray-hair-inducing close to acceptance, I can’t use its not being accepted (yet) as an excuse for avoiding Part II, which is packed with even more ocean than Part I, with all manner of beasts on land and sea, includes the return of Architeuthis Dux and the emergence of the Tasmanian Blobster (in pre-blob form, of course). I have begun the research, but not the writing. When I look at the ocean, I am reminded of this. And I feel nervous.

Huh…

More dolphins. The Fresca has transferred from ocean to sky. The ocean, blueing deeply, flips a surfer as a pelican executes a perfect dive. When my son laughs, so do I. And the Mama-in-me kisses the procrastinator goodbye.

Togetherness is best.

www.pbrippey.com

On Wildlife On Human Heads…

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Saturday, late afternoon, feeling my stream of NO-NO’s weaken from the continuous “Thomas” DVD requests, I suggested the 25 mile drive North—away from the smoke and ash of the fires currently raging—to Zuma Beach. My fatigued husband, who had battled his own personal firestorms all week as a worker back in the corporate world, surprised me with a quick, decisive, “Let’s f*%#*%# do it!”

He didn’t really say that, but that’s how my startled mind interpreted sudden enthusiasm from someone who actually needed a nap worse than me.

So we cooked up the Trader Joe’s cheese pizza, filled sippy cups, stuffed Infant Tylenol, Desitin, matches, scissors, sewing kit, packets of astronaut food, flannels (in case the next Ice Age hit while we were out) and everything else we could think of into the diaper bag, grabbed the “Thomas” obsessed little guy and took off, me thinking the entire drive up and over the baking mountain, Crap, what about vegetables, he’s not getting any vegetables tonight, he’s not—oh shut up!

Because sometimes you just have to go to the beach for dinner, even if you have no vegetables to take along. Because when it’s 105 degrees outside and the blow-up kiddie pool is shriveling and it’s late afternoon and grandma’s gone home and you and your husband slept for 5 minutes on your Saturday because that’s how long your son’s nap lasted and the little guy is moving on to the next thing and that’s going to include you getting up off the living room couch and following him from one end of the house to the other, you start thinking about where the coolest place with room to run a 21 month old is within driving distance that is NOT a crowded mall—and that would be: the beach, the one that everyone is leaving for the day just as you arrive.

Of course the toddler napped blissfully on the way there.

But that meant my husband and I could visit uninhibitedly and if we happened to utter an expletive, our little parrot would not repeat it. (Freedom!)

And when we arrived at Zuma, not only did we choose a lovely, sparsely populated bit of beach with a view of several pods of dolphins frolicking, but we happened to be sitting right where the man with the seagull on his head walks by every single dusk.

You really feel like you’ve seen it all when you watch your amazed toddler watch the man with the seagull on his head watch zany dolphins surfing Zuma waves. And then you talk to the man with the seagull on his head and you find out right away that he is not, in fact, crazy. His eyes are lucid and he tells endearing stories about the gulls—birds most people treat like pesky flies, or worse. I encourage every parent of a toddler to go to Zuma Beach near dusk, to Lifeguard station #12 and wait for the man with the seagull on his head to come along. He’s good at talking to children—all calm and happy-docent-ish, fielding goofy questions with a patient smile. When he said goodbye to us (and the rest of the amazed little crowd that had gathered), we waved as he strolled off up the beach into the sunset, kept waving even though he couldn’t see us waving—a man and a wild gull (occasionally unfurling her wings to keep her balance on his cranium) connecting. They made quite the catchy silhouette.

I glanced at the ocean as my husband and our son moved on to kicking the beachball around. The dolphins were still there, throwing up tails and flippers and making the water froth. I love dolphins. I wondered if I swam out to them, would they include me in their games? Would we connect?

I walked to the surfline, stuck my toe in the water, yelped. F’ing freezing!!! I hastily withdrew my feet from the tide’s reach, pretty sure the dolphins would try to sit on my head, anyway, and I’d drown, or they’d swim away from me and a shark would take their place and bite off my foot like that one bull shark did to that unlucky dude fishing in shallow water and then how effective a mother would I be, hobbling after my son because I was stupid enough to go dolphin seeking at dusk, when, as everyone knows, sharks feed…I breathed in delicious sea air and joined in the beachball kicking still going on, glad to have both of my feet. High above us, seagulls shrieked delightedly, circling our picnic dinner.

www.pbrippey.com

Fire…Again…

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Fire Santa Barbara May 2009

Gallerina Sister took this on her iphone. The power was out everywhere this afternoon, including her gallery, so they shut down and she fled to the Mesa, to Blood Sister’s house: aka Fire Central. What should have been a 10 minute drive turned into an avoidance of city gridlock and deposited Gallerina Sister over 20 minutes later (outrageous for our small town) on a street right above Blood Sister’s. She got out of the car and walked up the precious rise of a view-ridden park—a tranquil, greeny place resembling a little piece of the top of the world. Her legs were still shaky: From her downtown gallery she’d seen flames on the nearby Riviera, enough of the fire to give her a sense of its ferocity—enough to put the shake in her legs. She’d been evacuated from her home the day before, to her surprise. She’d tried to drive up her street and was told “no,” even though official mandatory evacuations hadn’t been made public, yet. Luckily a neighbor was able to grab some clothes and things for her and for her daughter. Luckily she doesn’t have any pets to worry about. Hopefully her house isn’t burning. Blood Sister joined her at the park and they watched the drama for a bit, then retired to Fire Central and watched the Jesusita rage on TV with Blood Sister’s family, Blood Sister’s ex-husband and his dog (also displaced), comfort food and the kind of libations you choose when shock is testing your norms. They’re still watching. This fire, both of my sisters assured me, makes the Tea Fire tiny.

Tomorrow will be interesting. The winds are supposed to abate for the day and the smoke clear until the next sundowner. No one seems to know exactly how many acres and houses have burned. Talk about a reveal…

jesusita fire from downtown

UPDATE: 5/7/09 Still no word on whether Gallerina Sister and her daughter have a house to live in. The winds will most likely kick up again later today. I can’t watch the news anymore after the reporting on horror stories about animals.
UPDATE: 5/7/09 (still!) Gallerina Sister’s house is standing. She viewed it through a friend’s birding binocs. Her daughter’s boyfriend’s family home, however, gone. Winds aren’t kicking up like yesterday, yet fire rages at the top of the mountain. There is scant local reporting and much confusion. Heartening stories of some animals being beautifully saved.
UPDATE: 5/8/09 The fire has launched in two different directions. People are being evacuated who never, ever thought they would be. If the winds come up again today as expected—-
UDPATE: Click here

Early One Morning…

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

(the i heart pasta face)
tomatoface1.jpg

Wake up. He barfed in his crib.

What???

Barfed. In crib.

How???

Diaper’s leaking diarrhea.

What???

On my arm.

I’ll change him. Oof. I’m okay! Fell from bed.

What color is it?

Is what?

The diarrhea. What color is it? I can’t tell from my arm.

Orange.

Hm. So is the barf.

Maybe it’s the baked yam from lunch?

I don’t see any of his dinner in the barf or the diarrhea.

What did he have for dinner?

Whole wheat pasta wheels in organic tomato sauce!!! Remember???

Oh yeah. No, I don’t see any of that in his poop–only yammy shi—I mean, crap. That’s weird, isn’t it? How could the barf completely bypass dinner and only expose his lunch? How—phew. Must gag…

He doesn’t have a fever.

He’s singing.

Do you think it’s a reaction to the—(gulp) MMR?

No! Absolutely not! No way! Do you?

So I guess we don’t need to call the 24/7 nurse?

Oh, hee, hee—wet go of my nose, silly bunny!

Or take him to the ER.

Unless he does it again pretty quick?

Right. I’ll change his sheet.

I’ll see if he wants some apple juice.

NO! NO! NO!

Why???

Dr. Sears says BRATY: banana, breast milk, rice cereal, APPLESAUCE, not apple juice, toast and yogurt for when baby has barfing and the squirts!

Hmmm? Ho! Hee, hee. Look how cute he is. What does the doggy say? WOOF. WOOF. WOOF.

I’m gonna put him down now.

See you in bed. Oh, hey—what’s your name again?

(Sighhhh.) Mud.

You know, Mud, you’re pretty sexy all diarrhea-splotched. My wittle walking Jackson Pollock, my wittle exploded can of organic pumpkin, my wittle—

(Growl)

Night.

www.pbrippey.com
Other conversations with my husband (zoo perils, Queen Mary escape plan, more poop, etc.): CLICK HERE

Smile…

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

carrot.jpg

THE NEW NEWS: We’re at long last house hunting.

WHAT WE SEE IN OUR PURCHASE BRACKET: Squatter’s digs. The creepy dark, the uber-dank. The “Oh my goodness, I can see through that wall and right into the kitchen!”

THE ONE FIXER-UPPER WE PUT A BID ON: We didn’t get. O my sweet cottage-type 3 bedroom house with an enormous back yard candle-stuck in a huge interesting tree! I miss you. Despite having to replace floors, fix holes in walls, gut and redo the kitchen before moving in, I misssssssssss you.

THE TRULY TORTUROUS BITS WHEN HOUSE HUNTING: Foreclosures. Evicted families. Seeing a kid’s room empty and utterly trashed. Some houses are their own brand of eerie post-war-zone. And the banks want money for them. Lots and lots of money. Contrary to popular hearsay and Internet-speak, many banks are not accepting offers below the purchase price, even though in the coming months that price will be lowered (again) anyway. Sometimes the bank may say whoops, made a mistake, and raise the purchase price even though a happy house-buyer’s offer was accepted, forcing the buyer to withdraw. Banks, in our experience thus far, are not prone to desperation and they have magic cameras that make hovels look like spritzy mansions on the Internet. These are the realities waiting for the naive house hunters as they pull up in their minivan with their bounding toddler and are greeted by exploded middle-America. To speak plainly: it’s a mess out there.

WHAT I DO: As of today—put on a happy face and say “Yes, lovely, oh yes, lovely” to everything, despite my husband calling me a Stepford-Whacko. It’s better than the alternative.

THE TRUTH: It’s stressful, house hunting. It’s appalling what happened to so many families. It can’t just be a matter of not reading the fine print when people purchased their little bit of American Dream. The scheister factor must have played an enormous part. Seriously. Sorry, Suze Orman. But I believe this. Oh, It, It, It. Witnessing “Its” results up close and personal is—lovely, ooo, oh lovely, lovely. Lovely.

Yes, lovely. Oh, yes. Lovely. Lovely. Lovely. Have a beautiful day!

little snoozer!
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Hollywood Called…

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

So I asked a teething-related question of one of the younger Drs. Sears on the CBS hit show “The Doctors”, while T expressed himself. On TV. Here we are in a photo, goofy and giddy in Hollywood.

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You can view the clip here:

The Drs. Clip

Truthfully? I have no idea if “The Doctors” is a hit show, only that it’s lasted long enough for our episode to air. That hunky ex-”The Bachelor” doctor hosts and SAYS MY NAME. T enjoyed the sound boom waving over his head during the taping. And everyone was extra nice to him because the sound boom guy and the camera guy had kids too.

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It’s funny how we’re introduced as “via home video”. That’s not my son’s bed we’re sitting on, not our shelves, our books. We’re deep in a labryinthine Hollywood studio, in one of the rooms of a faux house that was so neat and tidy I wanted to move in. Ah, well. Truthfully? Although the studio was fascinating and decorated in Miami glass and the Green Room was stocked in bottled water, bagels and chocolates and furnished like a better-end hotel room, the location was across the street from unpleasant, typical Hollywood grunge.

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That’s it for Hollywood for us—about two seconds of fame. Perhaps 14 minutes and 58 seconds are still waiting for us somewhere. Perhaps T and I will be the first mother-son team to climb some snowy, formidable mountain, or the first to stamp red Mars dust from our special planet-exploring shoes. Hm. Probably not.

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You, too, can be on the CBS hit show “The Doctors”. They need “real people” to ask questions of Dr. Lisa, the gorgeous OB on the show. Apparently she’s very famous in OB circles. I turned down the opportunity to ask her a question via home video in my faux Hollywood living room. Truthfully? I don’t want my 15 minutes of fame to include asking Dr. Lisa questions about my intimate areas. Nor do I want my son to have tape on me when he’s old enough to know the meaning of the word “blackmail”. Say he wants his buds to come over, but doesn’t want to clean his room before they arrive. Ah, but mom, he’ll tell my stipulating self. I’ve got the clip of you and Dr. Liiiiiiisa on my super-compact- nano-granno-spaceage-computer! he’ll say, brandishing the blackmail. One press of my spaceage button, mom, he’ll say, and you’re all over the In. Ter. Net.

Oh, noooooooooo, Dr. Lisa, noooooooo. I won’t be asking.

So goodbye Hollywood! We’re back in the real world of colds, no lipstick and baby food smeared on the duvet.

But it was fun while it lasted.
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A Little Part Of History

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

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I expected the worst, I did. And I mean: frustrating confusion, no results for 48 hours or more, crucial Country-Welfare decided by courts or—how my mind spiraled. Soul Sister called from Wiltshire, GB, mere hours before Election Day. He’ll be our president, too, she told me. I pondered this statement for a long while after our conversation, during which she asked me what I thought O’s chances were. I babbled that I expected the worst—-Soul Sister’s US-Rep-of-Current-Events, terrified of that responsibility (what if I’m wrong, what if I’m right, what if, what if, what if Tina Fey has to keep it up for 8 years…).

What did I feel the night of? I felt: where is your faith, even though you have every right to be frantic about fair election practices, ET AL, after the last 2 elections? And then—voila: ABC called it with stunning conviction. I emailed Soul Sister immediately with: O WON, O WON, O WON. Then I reclined with my husband on the king sized bed currently dominating our living room and we absorbed the joy emanating from the TV: NYC, Chicago, Los Angeles celebrating, and we appreciated the elated whoops echoing from far across the silly sad vacant lot that sticks around next door, whoops, laughter sailing in through our open windows. How, how interesting it’s going to be. As Blood Sister emailed the next day: Thank you Rosa Parks, thank you JFK, MLK, thank you Hillary Clinton (Hillary, darn!)…Thank you for standing up.

Here’s to faith in all of us.

And an end to Booing.

Boo Break #4

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

The thinking man’s mummy.
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More Podder While I Fodder (politically)

Sunday, October 5th, 2008

Can we PLEASE take back nucular and cut the doggones? Isn’t it time for one to be axed for good because it’s simply INCORRECT spelling and pronunciation and time to never, ever let the other one get a day in, say, the UN? As in: “Now, doggone it President Ahmadinejad, did you just set off a nucular bomb? That was a major no-no!”

And now for something completely different.
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