Archive for February, 2010

Pardon Me…

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

O pardon me while I procrastinate Sunday’s blog post by listing books I’ve read so far this year, this 2010 stuff-of-life year, here. Right here:

Parenting Without Stress, Marshall
The Lightning Thief, Riordan
The Informers , Vasquez (yep. for book club. yep…almost didn’t survive that one…)
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Diaz (I survived, I definitely survivied—barely…)
Finding Wisdom , Bleyl (first 4 pages and then I just———————-)
The Help, Kathryn Stockett (just started for book club)
Parenting Without Power Struggles, (powerless to start)
Dearest Creature, Amy Gerstler (the cover of this book is creepy and wild, the first poems especially thrilling in a thrillingly dark manner that gets under your skin and simmers, even if you’re not sure you want to be so affected…too late!)
New Yorker each week (thanks, Pater)
Toddler Bistro , Schmidt (almost every day, despite regularity of cooking many of the recipes—I should know them all by heart by now! But I don’t sleep much—synapses/firing mechanisms on the fritz—how I love this book, it’s baked tofu and baked chicken strips and baked squash and all those other things I can’t remember, but that are so easy to bake…)

Moving on to:

The Pioneer Woman
The Women’s Colony (I like their rooms)

Facebook (doesn’t count, really—like calling The National Enquirer literary canon fodder)

Tea leaves (actually coffee grounds—not that I discern much from them except horrible-tasting-coffee-crunch bulls*** with my morning Joe)

Multiple lists scribbled on torn-from-crap bits: grocery, daily, weekly, life lists, most mildewing in my infernally bottomless purse with the month old goldfish crackers that spilled there and joined the 1/2 eaten and the wadded and the stuff Suze Orman would chastize me for and the simply too, too scary to ever bring to daylight again—better to throw purse away, into a dumpster with ghastly non-plumb-able depths).

The Sunday LA Times, sometimes–and then mostly the Arts and Whatever section and crossword and——inserts…

And then of course I’m always reading, trying to read, hoping to interpret, obsessively returning to this endlessly fascinating subject that I couldn’t, in my wildest dreams, make up on my own. He’s so, so aliiiieeeeeeve! Dancing around the house with thumps and vocals! Concocting hysterical sentences! Experimenting with spitting! Waking up at 5am! HUGGING me spontaneously! I’m part reader, part fan, part interpreter, part author (!!), part plagiarist (this blog), part editor-in-CHIEF, part cheerleader, part extremely important authoritarian figure trying to get it right, a part of his burgeoning novel. Little guy! S*** he’s heavy.

photo by Rachelle Mama, who is about to have her second baby. Taken in Joann Mama’s back yard, where she has trouble with eagles attacking her kiddie pools.


Several Senses Of Late…

Sunday, February 21st, 2010


Obstacle Course Part One

“When my mom was 23, she had 4 kids, a kid with kids, and the second we were 18 she was all, Okay, outta here, you’re on your own, make your own way, don’t expect help from us and if you have kids? Don’t call us or expect us to do anything about it. We’re done! And it bums me out because, you know, I want my kids to have grandparents in their lives…”

A woman in Trader Joe’s who looked to be in her 30’s was calmly saying all this into her cell phone as both of us perused the cereals/cereal bar section. I hate it when people talk on their cell phones indoors in public places. Like the time the guy in front of me in the Albertson’s check-out line shouted into his cell phone (as he handed the checker money, then scrounged his wallet and pockets for more): “You’re going to need your toothbrush and underpants. Do NOT forget underpants. When they show up at the door to cuff you, tell them you KNOW you’re allowed to bring your toothbrush and underpants. I’ll meet you there.”

Obstacle Course Part Two

But this woman’s story struck home. I was glad she was speaking to someone she could even tell it to. A few seconds later I heard her utter catchwords like, ‘therapist’ and ‘self-healing’ as T—ensconced in the shopping cart—demanded another chunk of fresh kalamata olive bread to appease his loathing of going into stores (unless the store is Old Navy with its toddler and big kid mannikins and faithfully-sitting- motionlessly-by-with-a-frozen-grin, dog mannikin—doggikin?). This woman did not shout into her phone. She wasn’t irate, bitter, snarly, or even sad. She seemed to be simply relating what was, as though she’d been working, internally, on this ‘was’ for quite some time. And I just happened to be there to hear it.


Obstacle Course Part Three

T was alone in the front yard—meaning I was watching him from the front doorway, meaning I was unseen from the pavement in front of our house, where a woman jogged by—slooooooowly. She glanced at T playing with my inherited, heavy pewter ash tray I keep on a tree stump for crude decor (where else does one put ashtrays these days?). The woman glanced at T and shook her head as though disgusted by seeing him “alone” in the yard. But instead of coming to my front door and saying, Hey! Parents! WTF!, instead of checking to see if I was dying of a heart attack on the kitchen floor, instead of checking, SHE CROSSED HERSELF and carried on jogging. She. Crossed. Herself. I walked to the pavement and watched her jog down to Lull Street and around the corner, my mouth, I suppose, slightly agape. Part of me wanted to run after her, screaming: YOU SHOULD SEE WHAT I FEED HIM, LADY! BURNT CRAP AND MCDONALD’S! And how silly. How silly is that. Come on. How utterly, cavewoman-ish silly. Although a cavewoman would have been far too busy for a reaction like mine. She would have had a baby on her back and a baby at her breast as she foraged relentlessly for food, dreaming of refrigerators, Trader Joe’s and gods that understand the importance of an occasional pedicure for a busy mother’s psyche. I’m pretty sure stuff that shouldn’t be is growing along the gaps between the left and right sides of my stove and kitchen walls. Weeds threaten the newly pruned rose bushes. A pile of hard cover books need their covers replaced from T’s book-denuding episode two months ago. I, like the cavewoman, do not have time to dwell on the insensitivity of a stranger. But it felt as if she’d thrown poo at my house and I just happened to see it…


Obstacle Course Part Four

T and I came home from Lowe’s today with lavender plants. He “helped” me put them in the earth in the front yard’s confusing jungle-mixed-with-baldness. I have this idea of planting lavender all over the ponderosa and calling our house “Lavender House”. Yes. I am currently utterly hormonal, emotional, teary-eyed over bees in the blossoms or sobbing over Tide commercials and should probably be fenced in like a poor zoo creature…So we planted the lavender and came back inside and T rushed out back to engage with the sand and water table and I took the opportunity of his absence indoors to vacuum, only there was a SMELL, an awful, choke on your bile type of smell dogging my every move and I thought, It’s T’s diaper, but of course he was outside and then it finally dawned on me that the smell was coming from ME, and I broke out in a cold sweat, looked at the sole of my left shoe—and there it was. Cat poop. I glanced over my shoulder and saw I’d tracked it all over the living room as I was vacuuming and wondering about THE SMELL and blaming my son.

Which all goes to say that I should really look to my own person before judging others, before taking the time and energy to send bad juju to a stranger or blame others for things that happent to me or hate people for talking on their cell phones in public—even if I don’t want to hear it. If you need your underpants and toothbrush because they’re coming to cuff you, it’s pretty awful. If you want grandparents in your life and you can’t have them and the only time you can talk about it—because you’re a busy mother—is in Trader Joe’s on your cell phone, okay. I do have time to forgive someone who doesn’t know me or my son for a rude transgression, but I don’t have time to blame the universe when it’s my own foot meeting cat poop.

And I always, should always have time to count my blessings.

Obstacle Course Part–oh I can’t remember…

You know? O Lavender House–you are coming along.


So Sorry…

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

to be so out of touch! Taking a blog break while a nasty computer/hard drive issue is (hopefully) sorted out.

Has the busy face on!

In the not too distant past, a crashed hard drive on my laptop—i.e. my MAIN ARTERY TO EVERYTHING—would have had me weeping and cursing within seconds and for as many hours or days as it might take to fix anything.

Busy, busy, busy…

However, I am learning from Moot Mommy and Daddy and their recent saga, during which they committed to being positive despite extremely uncertain times…

Ah, warm weekday in deepest February…

And anyway, I was able to back up the writing I’m working on to a memory stick before the crash happened. So all of my all is not lost. Yet. iwillbepositive iwillbepositive

Speaking of LOST, I was watching it on my now dead laptop. Weren’t you? Watching it, I mean? Taking your Dharma tee shirt out of the drawer, lovingly unfolding it and wearing it for the premiere? Oh, my. The sets! The lush settings! The acting! Des and Penny and their kid (even though we only saw Des). How I’ve missed it. I’m quite liking the double storyline—but I’m sure there’s more, there’s deeper, there’s all that I will never (as with the other seasons) figure out, especially with a dubiously sleeping toddler messing with the firing of my synapses…Dharma out.

“So sorry about your hard drive, mother darling!”, he’s saying.