Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

The kids are tucked in bed with their bellies full of candy and Eric and I are watching The Haunting.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Grown Up?

It's just the two of us tonight. We went to two restaurants and had drinks and appetizers and now we're going to watch Alien Resurrection.

Are we 38 or 13?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Bats and Candy

I grew up in the woods in a log house. The house had been built by a crazy hippie without any real plans, forethought, or aesthetic sense. It was heated with two wood stoves, had bare beam ceilings, and had sharp sand mixed into the paint on the walls, so that if you brushed up against them you would cut yourself. There were buffalo skulls nailed to the front of the house for decoration and there was one room, when we moved in, that had a floor that was set at 20 degree angle. I used to sit in my brother's metal Tonka dump truck and ride down the room. I was pretty upset when my dad eventually leveled it out.

So its not hard to guess that this house wasn't especially air-tight. Or more to the point, animal-tight. Somehow there were always birds, mice, and bats scurrying or flying from room to shag-carpeted room. Plus that one escaped hamster.

For a while, I had bunk beds in my room. I don't know why. I didn't share them with anyone. I think it was because in my mind, bunk beds were the next best thing to a canopy bed, the thing I coveted more than anything but was cruelly denied. Anyway. I liked to sleep on the top bunk because I had a recurring nightmare about a black cat that hid under my bed and would pluck the hairs out of my legs if I touched the floor.

One night after I had been in bed for a couple hours, I woke up to see, a few inches from my face, two little bats hanging from the beam of my ceiling. I don't think I was afraid, but I was aware that if I moved and woke them up, they would fly around my room in that frantic, blind, spastic way that they do and it would take us forever to catch them. So I called out to my mom who was across the hall in her sewing-room-that-used-to-have-an-awesomely-sloped-floor, in a whisper-yell. My mom, never one to panic, assessed the problem, and went downstairs to get her bat removal gear: an empty plastic garbage can and a broom.

And so, I lay there still and quiet, staring at the bats. Willing them not to wake up, or poop, until Mom got back with her broom. She caught them without incident. And that was that. Not one bit scary.

You're disappointed, right? So was I.

I'd like to amp up the fear factor in that story for the season. Make it spooky. Maybe the bats came back night after night. Maybe they disappeared into thin air. Maybe they bit me and I blacked out and in the morning one of our goats was found exsanguinated in the barn. But the way I remember it, true or not, it was a few days before Halloween.

Which would have made it the best Halloween ever to be had up on the frozen tundra of Minnesota. Because even though my mom always made my brother and me the most awesome costumes, it is already winter up there at the end of October. We always had to wear moon boots and winter coats over our costumes. And since it was the middle of nowhere with miles of fields and woods between houses, Mom had to drive us from house to house. And at each house, she would get invited in for a cup of coffee. Which she would usually decline, but she couldn't escape without politely chatting for a few minutes. Which meant that we could only stop at five or six houses before it was time to go home.

So, the moral of this story is that after being cheated out of copious amounts of candy as a child, and never really being terrorized by vampire bats, and living in a house built by a crazy person that wasn't haunted, I am completely justified in stealing half of my kids candy.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fanfaronade

I can't think of anything to write about tonight. But this deal that I've struck with Eric means that I must, or admit defeat. Which is unfathomable.

Have I ever told you that I can recite an entire eleven page poem from memory?

I mean, I'm not going to do it now. I'm just sayin.
I can.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

About Last Night

So, I had a complete assbag of a day at work yesterday. But the kids were at their dad's and Eric was sweet enough to make me dinner, so everything seemed to be looking up.

Until.

As we were sitting down to dinner, there was a crash. A big one. The kind of crash your front window makes when the storm window and part of the divided light window is sucked off of your house and lands in a million pieces in your front yard.

It was already dark out and damned if I was going to go out in the dark and pick giant shards of glass out of the grass while being buffeted by sixty mile an hour winds. So I duct taped some cardboard over the hole and hung a quilt over the window and called my insurance company and left a message. Surreal? yes. Tragedy? no.

So we went back to the table, ate our delicious spaghetti squash and got ready to settle in for a cozy night of TV for me and studying for midterms for Eric. Then there was a bang. The kind of bang you hear when a wind storm knocks out the electricity of several city blocks.

No lights, no TV, no internet, no heat. But you can't break us that easily. We gathered candles and camping lanterns and lit a fire in the fireplace. Eric would study by candlelight and I would watch a DVD on my laptop. Until the battery died. And it started to get really cold in the house. And every thump or bump I heard made me wonder what piece of my house was currently hurling itself across the street and into my neighbors yard.

And the power stayed off. I showered by candlelight this morning. Got dressed in the dark. And hurried out the door to the salvation of Starbucks and a heated office and the warm glow of the internet. The poor dogs are probably still huddled under the comforter, the glass is still spread across the lawn and all the kids are going to be home tonight.

And now it's snowing.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Storm

Disaster. Calamity. Great misfortune. Dictating to Eric on phone. Will tell all when power comes back on.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Girl Talk

There are times when it's difficult to be the only woman in a house full of guys. I mean, there's Merry, but she's three and not much good at girlfriend talk yet. Eric's great but he's just not good at the girly. There's no one to talk to about clothes, or make up or boys. I've always wanted to have that one close girlfriend who I could share everything with. The one who I could call anytime and talk to about last night's Grey's Anatomy. She would always know what I was thinking, she would be the Miranda to my Carrie. Except I think I'm more of a Miranda. Anyway. We would be so in sync that we would start to have our lady times together and we would share a bag of potato chips and commiserate about cramps and bloating.

I don't have that.

I do, however, have Eric's dog Cassie. She's not a fan of Grey's Anatomy, she's not much of a shopper, and she doesn't have much to say on the subject of make up. But. Right now we could be doing a bit of commiserating, if you know what I mean. Although I'm pretty sure if I shared a bag of chips with her she'd shit in my bed.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Untruths told by Children this Weekend

I already brushed my teeth.
I'm allergic to jelly. If I eat it I'll die.
She made me spill my cereal.
All the toys are put away.
I promise I won't pee in your bathwater ever again.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Terror

Six pumpkins. I carved four of them. My hands hurt. Terror - ably.
I'll leave you to imaging the mess this made in the kitchen.
AAAaaaaaahhhh.!

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Confession

I am a terrible shopper and I hate malls. All of my clothes are from the same store. Bought online. On clearance.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Running for my life.

Eric is a marathon runner. I'm not. In fact, I'm not even an errand runner. I'm more of a start out with the best of intentions and lose interest about thirty seconds later-er. But the thing is I'd like to be a runner. Or some kind of cardiovascular exercise getter.

(What extraordinary grammar I'm using.)

Thing is, I find it deadly dull. Running, even out in the beauty of creation is mind-numbing. Even worse than that is our treadmill. Running toward an unfinished sheetrock wall. Once though? I had the portable DVD player propped up in front of the treadmill watching a movie, with cattle stampeding, and cowboys, and Nicole Kidman? And I ran. Like the wind.

So I've decided that that is the secret. I need adrenaline to motivate me.

So... what causes adrenaline? Fear. I need someone to chase me. Eric would do that for me. He's a good guy. But where's the fear? He's a kindhearted soul who wouldn't hurt a fly. There's no adrenaline there.

He needs to threaten me with something terrifying. And what do I find terrifying? Tickling. Sweet Baby Jesus, I hate to be tickled. More than anything.

So here's what we'll do. Eric will give me a thirty second head start and then chase after me with tickle hands. And I will flee, cackling and screaming in terror down the middle of the street. And we will do this every day until I am fit and thin.

I'm sure my neighbors will enjoy the show. And not call the police.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

1-900-LOBSTER

I got caught up in commenting on Elly's blog at Buggin Word today. It got gross, and then it got grosser and I brought up this urban myth that I was creepy-obsessed with ten years ago. So as I waxed nostalgic about lobster tails and sea monkeys I was transported back to a time and place where all but this most repulsive of urban myths paled in comparison to our daily lunch conversations. Heck. Even our work.

I was working at the local free weekly newspaper. You know the type: Some liberal editorial, restaurant reviews, bar ads, and the last fifteen pages of "classified ads" for 1-900 numbers, massage parlors and escorts.

On Tuesdays the escorts' (hookers) managers (pimps) would come in to pay cash for their ads and bring in head shots (full nude photos of coked up barely legals) for us to crop and put in their ads.

FYI, pimps really do wear long fur coats. And too much cologne.

We made the ads, well, my coworkers made them and I said where they went in the paper, so besides listing all the local bands with dirty, double entendre names playing at all the skeezey bars, we had an ongoing peep show of sad naked ladies. Let's just say, not a good working environment for a shrinking violet. I may have been one when I started, but I left there a seasoned, sailor-mouthed hussy.

And we used to pass the time in the office by trying to think up the grossest phrases that brought to mind the most disgusting images. I think it was Jess who came up with the VBF (vaginal blood fart).

The paper also ran Savage Love, back when it was still really raunchy and less politically correct. So every Wednesday when we got the article text, one of us would stand up and read it out loud to the room. We would do the same whenever someone got forwarded one of those email-circulated urban myths which of course provided excellent fodder for our Who Can Say the Most Disgusting Thing game. But this one, about a woman's too intimate relationship with a crustacean had at least one of us huddled in the corner shivering. The thing is, the version we got had been edited some - to not sound so lame and corny. It sounded more real. More nightmarish.

We were no strangers to prostitution, furry porn, and diaper fetishes. But after that fateful day all you had to say to make any one of us throw up in our mouths a little was "lobster."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Prestidigitation

Yet another night with a cold and nothing particular to write about. So I will distract you with slight of hand.

Look! Down there! A cute baby.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Nonblog

Eric and I both came home from New York with colds. The kids are in bed and I'm headed there too.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Posts from Beyond... the Mississippi

At this time I will have already been in New York for two days. And if all goes as planned (and I have entered the dates correctly), I will still have magically posted while away from my computer on Thursday and Friday.

If all does not go well, and I have died in a fiery crash, I will have eerily posted from beyond the grave.  

OOOo00oO0OOooO...... (that's a ghost sound, duh.)

If you check back and I have not posted from home again by tomorrow, Sunday, you may mourn me.

Tell my kids I love them, and don't forget to give Aunt Judy her thyroid medication.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pixie Cut

In case anyone out there is wondering why my pretty little girl's hair is so short, I'll tell ya. It's not that she's emulating any celebrity children by wanting to be a boy, although she is surrounded by them (boys, not celebrity children) and does lean toward tomboy. And it's certainly not me imposing my own fashion sense.

She is her own stubborn little self, and since she was tiny, she's been a hair puller. First mine, and then once she was mobile, her own. She pulls out a few little blond hairs and holds them up to her nose while she sucks her thumb. Her doctor keeps telling me that it's no big deal, and when she stops sucking her thumb, she will stop pulling out her hair. Meanwhile (at least up until a few months ago) half of her head is completely bald. So I keep what's left cut short, to discourage the pulling and simply to even it out.

Here's her last winter with her brother- she looked like a cancer patient, and old ladies in the grocery store were always tsk-tsking and saying, "Oh, bless her poor little heart."


We were at the pharmacy once and she was bouncing around in the cart, begging me for some crap toy, and when I responded with a firm "No", the lady behind us in line gave me the stink eye, and I could hear her thinking, "You heartless bitch, how can you deny your poor dying little girl a simple toy?"

And I hope she could hear me thinking back "Can it, lady, I'm not buying chemo meds here, I'm refilling my birth control pills"

Here's her this summer, looking more punk rock than cancer patient.

    

And here she is with her cousin  Clara, looking all elfin and adorable. 
And I gotta say, I'm going to miss this look when she finally lets her hair grow out.  

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hello, my name is....?

I had a meeting with my lawyer the other day to tie up all the loose ends of my divorce papers, and one of the issues I can't seem to lock down is MY NAME. Do I change it back to my maiden name? Or do I keep the same last name as my children? I'm not really crazy about either option.

When I was a kid, I hated my last name, it's one of those names that is never pronounced correctly on the first try, and even if you do say it right, it sounds a little obscene. I was teased a lot in school and that name just added to the fodder.

My kids' last name is a generic, easily pronounced, common last name. It's what I've been living with for fifteen years. It just seems easier to keep it, although it will always be an ugly reminder of bad days. Besides, I'm super lazy and changing all those little things like driver's licenses, and passports, and credit cards just sounds so haaaaard.

I was explaining this name ambivalence to my lawyer and she said, "You know it's my duty, as your lawyer, to tell you that you can change your name to anything you want." It's just a line on a page, and bam! I'm Elizabeth McMonkeyshines, or Beth Bubblicious.

Anything.

It boggles the mind.

And is so very, very tempting.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What Eminem and I have in common

I try not to swear around the house too much. You know kids, and how they learn this stuff and then say it in front of their entire preschool class and then you get a lecture from the teacher at conference time. (Although I stand by my daughter's right to sing "shake shake shake, shake your booty" and her teacher can suck it.)

But I would lose my mind if I didn't have something appropriately emphatic to yell at Ikea furniture or mutter under my breath at whining children. So I make stuff up. I substitute. Like my mom did. My mother could put so much vehemence into the word Fiddlesticks (with a very hard F) that I used to think it was a really bad word. 

For example? Eric's dad, who lives in England, recently told me that there Fanny = Cunt.

Yay! Fanny! Fanny! Fanny!

But sometimes you get a foul word-image in your head and it just tumbles out of your mouth unbidden during moments of passion or rage. Lately? Ball Sack. And even though the average 5-year-old doesn't know which sack of balls you're referring to, you don't want that repeated at school. So I, being all literate and stuff, classed it up a bit. Honore' de Ball Sack.

But then I started to feel guilty. I mean, I'm a lover of the written word, and I felt bad going around defiling a classic French novelist's name without knowing anything about him. So I did a little research.

Do you see this guy? This guy's name should definitely be invoked when one steps on a dead mouse in the kitchen. And yet? Still that twinge of guilt. So I dug a little deeper. Here are a few choice Balzac quotes:

A husband who submits to his wife's yoke is justly held an object of ridicule. A woman's influence ought to be entirely concealed. 

Children, dear and loving children, can alone console a woman for the loss of her beauty. 

Old maids, having never bent their temper or their lives to other lives and other tempers, as woman's destiny requires, have for the most part a mania for making everything about them bend to them.
No man should marry until he has studied anatomy and dissected at least one woman.

Yeah, sure he lived in France in the first half of the 19th century, so a little poncey chauvinism is to be expected. But dissection? That's just creepy. 

And so, it would not be unusual to hear this on any given morning at my house, "Honore de Balzac, kid, stop being such an asprin and get the fiddlesticks out of bed and get dressed, or I swear to Gump I will come in there and kick you in the fanny."

Cause me? I like to set a good example.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

White Lies

So, I've been going to a chiropractor for a few weeks. My right arm and hand have been feeling like someone backed a truck over me. But before that, for years, I'd been getting these terrible blinding headaches once or twice a week. After eliminating most caffeine, birth control hormones and anything else I could think of that could be the cause (all that glue sniffing?), I finally resorted to going to a chiropractor.

She pokes and prods me and cracks my neck and back. And then I leave feeling all loose and bendy, for about twenty minutes, and then I get another headache.

And when I go back the next week and report to her that I've been getting even more headaches, my arm seems worse, and my lower back feels like I volunteered to be sawed in half by a magician who then got a little distracted while putting me back together, she seems so very disappointed. I feel like I've let her down. She sighs and says that yes, sometimes things get worse before they get better. I feel terrible for her.

Then she tells me that my muscles are very tight, and says she thinks my headaches are tension headaches caused by stress. She tells me this as she holds my head, cradled in her hands, about to whip it to the right, adjusting my neck. But I've seen plenty of action movies in my day and in those movies people are always killing off the extras by whipping their heads to the right and breaking their necks. You'd be tense too, lady, if you were about to die the death of an action movie stunt guy.

She asks me if I'm going through an especially stressful time right now. Is everything OK at home, at work? My family? And being eager to appease her, I try to think of some stress that could be causing the muscle tension and headaches.

(Think think think. Geez, this trying to think of what's stressing me out is really hard. In fact it's kind of stressful.)

"Nope. Can't think of a thing."

(Well, except, you know, trying to finalize my divorce, pay the lawyer, plan two trips with no vacation time, and keep my 3-year-old daughter out of preschool special ed, all while my brain feels like it's oozing out my ears and the room spins around me.)

"No, really. Everything's fine"

The thing is that she, like all doctors, has that studied blank look on her face when she's asking personal questions about my life. It's the same blank, level look I give my kids when I know they're lying to me. So I squirm and stutter, I over-explain. I make excuses. 

In the end, I think going to a chiropractor is adding way too much stress to my life. But I can't tell her that, it might hurt her feelings. So I will have to keep going, and get better at lying.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Ankyloglossia

I was born tongue tied.

They snipped it when I was a baby. I'm fine now.

But I still can't think of anything to say tonight.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Corn

We took the kids to the corn maze today. Which, if you're not from the Midwest, and therefore not familiar with this phenomenon, is kind of like walking around in man-made crop circles.


We don't have pictures of the boys in the maze because we let them navigate it on their own. Eric and I let Merry guide us.




They also have a giant tent full of corn kernels for them to dive into and wade through.



And a giant slide.

You can go and see more of Eric's iphone pictures on his page.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

You can identify me by my rash.

fun fact: I'm wicked allergic to those plastic hospital bracelets.

I was in the hospital for two days when Merry was born and my whole left arm was a giant swollen hive after the first day. So on the second day they moved the ID bracelet to my other arm. Same thing happened to that one. I came home with Percocet for the C-section pain, but I only wanted to take it for the itching.

But this summer when I went to my high school reunion and we all met up at a bar, I didn't think twice when the bouncer put one of those plastic I-am-old-enough-to-drink-alcohol bracelets on me.  I woke up the next day with another nasty arm rash. That was the beginning of August. I still have a strip of pale, suntanless skin there.

No punch line to this story. Just letting you know. If I ever get hit by a bus and I'm in a coma in the hospital, DON'T let them put one of those bracelets on me.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday Night Fun

Eric and I, lying on opposite couches with our matching laptops resting on our chests, trying to out complain each other.

I'm soooo tired.

Ouff. My lower back.

I have a headache.

I'm hungry.

I'm out of vodka.

My dog's breath stinks.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Vocational Concerns

Hmmm. Should I do that annoying blogger thing and say I had a meeting today that could spell big changes here in Nerverthelessland, but I can't tell you about it yet? Should I tiptoe around the truth? Or should I just come out with it?

Let's just say that I went to a place today where I talked to some people about whether or not a certain skill set that I posses would fit a certain need that they have, and that if they decide that my skill set is indeed the optimal skill set, they might invite me to come to an appointed place on a daily basis and contribute said set of skills to their organization, in return for which they would agree to a sort of bartering system in which monetary compensation, along with considerations for the maintenance of my health and provisions for my future would be exchanged.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Kids: the effed up things they say

This morning as we're getting ready for school and work,  I'm scooping up backpacks and granola bars and Lucas steps on a dead mouse on the kitchen floor. (I swear to God, that dead little fucker wasn't there a minute ago.) He's wigging cause he has dead mouse cooties on his shoe and I'm trying to keep my shit together, reduce the drama and whisk the corpse away.

Merry walks in: what's that?

me: it's a dead mouse.

Merry: Huh.... who pooped that out?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Church and State

I am technically a Catholic. At least according to them. They think that once you've been confirmed as a Catholic, they've got you for life. Whether you like it or not. And right now it's not.

I wasn't raised Catholic, or even Christian, but when my former husband and I were planning our wedding I chose to get confirmed so he could have the full mass at a fancy basilica that he wanted. I took the classes and tried hard to understand their tenets. And even though I could just as soon convince myself to believe in Santa Claus as Jesus, I said the words they wanted me to say, and I wanted to believe them. That probably makes me a hypocrite, but I thought I was doing it for the right reasons.

I guess since then I've been what you call a fair weather Catholic. I show up for the occasional Christmas or Easter -- they really pull out all the stops for the high holy days -- incense, organs, choir, candles, magic-vampire-killing water. We even got Lucas baptized there. When he cried as he was sprinkled with holy water the priest made a joke that that was the demons being driven out (har har har). I actually like to go there. It's a beautiful old basilica. Going to church is the closest I've ever come to meditation. But I've always had a hard time with the dogma: the sexism, the exclusion, the whole condoms come from Satan thing.

And now this
Two weeks ago, Minnesota's Roman Catholic bishops launched a campaign against same-sex marriage, mailing a DVD to every Catholic home in the state. Parishioners in the Twin Cities heard a message from Archbishop John Nienstedt.
"The Archdiocese believes that the time has come for voters to be presented directly with an amendment to our state Constitution, to preserve our historic understanding of marriage. In fact, this is the only way to put the one man-one woman definition of marriage beyond the reach of the courts and politicians," Nienstedt said on the video. (MPR.org)

And in an interview on MPR, the Archbishop said  this:
There is no difference between the civil and the religious definition of marriage because marriage comes to us by virtue of creation and our creator. And so the state does not establish marriage. Marriage came long before there was any government.
And so this is a natural reality, and it's defined by the natural law, what we call the natural law. And so it precedes any government. And government is meant to support marriage between a husband and a wife in order to give it a context for the raising of children and the protection of children.

Am I nuts or did he just completely contradict himself there? If the state doesn't establish marriage, why does the state need to define it?

Anyway. I know the church is no stranger to putting their beliefs out there. I know they frown on birth control, abortion, divorce and a long list of other things. Nor are they new to controversy. But this still stinks. I agree with Lucinda Naylor, the church's artist in residence, who was suspended for voicing her opposition, when she said the step of spending $1 million from an anonymous donor to produce and mail the DVDs, six weeks before the November 2 election, was divisive. Most people see this as the church's endorsement of the republican candidate for Governor, Tom Emmer, whose anti-gay, anti-choice agenda fits in nicely with theirs.

And also? This is the thing that gets $1 million dollars thrown at it? Not poverty, not human suffering? Cause I'm pretty sure those are some other pressing issues that the church is against.

But, since they own my soul (and my name on a mailing list), I got the DVD in the mail. I haven't watched it. I haven't even opened it. And I have yet to decide what to do with it. Part of me wants to send it back with a scathing letter, though I'm not very good at scathing letters -- I use the words poo and dude to much. Part of me wants to add mine to the hundreds of other local Catholics' who disagree with the church, in Lucinda Naylor's sculpture.

But that's the thing. I'm not a Catholic, not really. So claiming to be one of their parishioners who disagrees with them would be a misrepresentation. Threatening them with the loss of a soul, or even a tithe, is empty. I'm just a divorced, out-of-wedlock-sex-having, gay marriage supporting, condom using heretic.

So what should I do with my DVD?

Monday, October 4, 2010

My REAL Resume

I have worked at a grocery store in the health food department where I learned how to make fresh-squeezed orange juice and that bleached Barbie-colored undercut 80's hair looks super-pretty with a uniform shirt under fluorescent lights. And then at an art supply store where I stifled my crippling shyness just enough to interact with customers and realized that I kind of dig people. And then as a YMCA gymnastics instructor where I taught kids gymnastics and I learned that it was a good thing I never wanted to be a cheerleader in school. One of the other instructors was a dude cheerleader and he used to try to practice lifts on me. I'd get upside down in the air, balanced on his hand in the small of my back and then spaz out like a cat falling off a book shelf. Then at a stationery store in upscale mall where I learned that what it feels like to be looked through and at a party store where I learned how to make balloon centerpieces. Also at a futon shop where I learned that there are people who believe that you should not listen to rock music while making futons, because the futons will absorb the negative energy from the music and pass it on to the future owners of the bed in their sleep. And that there are jobs out there that it might be better to show up for stoned. And then back at that same art supply store as the assistant manager where I called 911 a lot and fell in love. But said no, because it was the right thing to do. Then a frame shop where I fell in love again, but this time with picture framing. And learned that people collect strippers' underpants and get them framed. And at a garden center where I once set up and decorated thirty artificial Christmas trees in one week. Then I was the manager of a craft store frame shop. It was the first time that I was the boss of people old enough to be my parents. That was weird. Then, briefly, at a fancy shmancy frame shop. Where I learned that it's best to avoid working for a divorced couple that own a business together, no matter how good the art is. And then at a different art supply store where I was the manager and got to move the store from one mall to another and redesign the logo. It was also the first time I had to fire someone. Next there was the major department store buying office where I wore suits and pantyhose and felt like an alien but I learned a crapload about business and computers and databases and people. Then at a local weekly newspaper which was a little bit like being lion tamer, a hostage negotiator, and a preschool teacher all at once. I was good at it and I mostly liked it, but a friend who worked there with me said it made me "pointy." Then I went back to school for a little while and worked at a racing bicycle catalog where I learned that they make those ass-padding bicycle shorts in XXXXL and lost my desire to ever ride a bike again, but those two things weren't really related. And then I was an advertising agency receptionist, and as good of a work experience that was, my husband worked there too, and that made it really hard. And then I got a job at a flower shop, and I discovered that this is the thing that I am awesome at. But I also learned that just because you are awesome at something, it doesn't mean that you can run a successful business. My employer did not, and she could not afford to keep me on. It was the first time I was ever laid off and I was crushed. So then I had a go at self employment. I did flowers for weddings for my friends and friends of my friends. And I guess I still would except that every single one of my friends is already married. I love doing it, but I've never really made any money at it.  Then I got a job at another frame shop, where I met one of the best friends that I have ever had, and loved the job, but left when I adopted my son. And now I work at another advertising agency. And I won't say anything about this, cause I don't want to get in trouble.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

One Month In

I've kept up this blog every day deal for a month. But I'm crabby and I have fuck all to write about right now. I guess maybe it's the lack of feedback that I get, but I'm starting to lose my enthusiasm for this challenge.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Woods

I was a child of the 70s, raised on goats' milk and bad TV. My fantasy family were Hawkeye Pierce, Daisy Duke and Laura Ingalls. But we lived on thirteen acres of land bordered by state forest and cow pastures in Northern Minnesota and not even BJ and the Bear could keep me inside for long.

I don't remember a time when I wasn't allowed to play on my own, wandering aimlessly through the woods for hours.  I followed my imagination as far as my legs would take me, perfected the trick of shimmying through barbed wire and electric fences, hunted for treasure in collapsing old cabins and climbed sap-sticky jack pines.

I even had my own island. Technically, I guess it belonged to my family, but none of the rest of them had any use for it. So I claimed it as mine. It wasn't much more than a marshy clump of mud that sat in the river that bordered our land, covered with waist-deep grass and birch trees. But in my mind it was a special secret place all my own. In the winter I would ice skate around it until I was numb, more often than not, misjudging the thickness of the ice and plunging one leg into freezing water up to my knee.

My mother must have had nerves of steel, trusting that I would come home in one piece at the end of the day.

It makes me sad that my kids won't have that. They pinball back and forth between their dad's suburban townhouse and mine. I do, at least have a yard, but there is no wilderness - no trees to climb, no river to ford. Just a somewhat manicured lawn and a swing set surrounded by a tall, wooden fence. They don't really like to play out there much, and I don't blame them.

Eric and I have been talking lately about the possibility of buying a house together. So this morning on the way to school, I asked Lucas what kind of a house he'd like to live in. He answered that he wanted to live in a big white house out in the country, with birds singing and a train going by. 

So do I, kiddo, so. do. I.