1. I am seeing how dirty I can let the bathroom get before I break down and clean it. Though the concept of “dirty” is relative. (And I will most certainly clean it before Wednesday.)
2. Yesterday my mom used her normal tactic of getting off the phone, which is a “Well, I’m sure you have to cook dinner now….” trailing off uncertainly and with plenty of martyrdom.
My response: “I don’t cook anymore. The kids know where the kitchen is.”
Silence. Looooong silence.
“Are you serious?”
(I was, but only sort of and only once in awhile.)
“Okaaaay. Well, I’m sure you have to go now anyway.”
That’ll keep her guessing for awhile.
3. Last night Serena and Eric were running around the house, making a circuit through the livingroom and kitchen. I felt like running so I got up and joined them (Eric is a definite obstacle to making any sort of speed through the circuit).
Serena: “I’ve never see you run in the house before!”
(She doesn’t remember the last house where I played soccer with Nathaniel in the kitchen, which was quite large.)
It’s not easy to move out of the box created by others’ expectations of you, but it’s fun.
I adore you, I really do.Â Especially your “best of” posts.
But I have some issues with your people.
Why is it so hard to give away something for free?Â I have a metal bed frame and box springs.Â They’re in my garage.Â Â I have a moral objection to throwing away something that is perfectly good, but it’s been ten days already and it’s still here.
No, I will not help you get the bed frame and box spring to the Shore.Â Which is like 2 hours away.
It’s free.Â It’s in my garage.Â You need to come and get it.Â Â These are the parameters.Â So please don’t email me and tell me to call you in three days.Â I won’t remember.Â If you want the thing, find a way to contact me.Â Don’t ask me to hold it for a week for you while you figure out your transportation difficulties.
Did I mention this is free?Â A free item.Â Free.
If you tell me you’re going to come and get the item, please don’t keep me waiting all that afternoon and then not show up and not answer emails.Â Yes, you’re doing me a favor by helping me free up valuable garage space, but let’s work together here, shall we?
Free.Â It’s still free, people.
And Tuesday I’m taking it to the curb.Â I give up on you.
Trying Freecycle Next
I am sitting here, dumbfounded: in front of me is James Lipton sitting with his pants rolled up to the knee and his feet in a swimming pool, talking about car insurance. So….why? Oh! Have I mentioned I don’t watch a lot of TV? Here are my current Netflix: Volver (which somehow I could not get into after the alcohol I consumed) and two documentaries, Wordplay (about Scrabble) and Show Business: The Road to Broadway. I guess I was into documentaries that week.
Hey! No laughing! Documentaries RUUUULE!
Why would I schedule, SAME DAY, a meeting with The Ex and also a meeting with She Who Cannot be Named?
Actually, they sort of both went well. The wounds hardly show. And! They both read this blog so my awkwardness talking about this is totally a secret. Shhh!
But I had announcements to make, and there is stuff to resolve. I often think that’s the whole point of life: creating stuff between people that requires resolution, and then resolving it. Or not.
So! I have taken the trash out to the curb, both literally and figuratively, and I feel I have accomplished something. Especially since I had to manifest a whole dream about taking the trash out in order to remind me when I finally crawled out of bed that I hadn’t done it last night and therefore needed to get a move on this morning before the truck came. Except in my dream it was pitch-black outside, being in the middle of the night, and I was wearing a nightgown, which I don’t actually own one of in real life. Whatever. Also a long sweater over the nightgown (it was cold outside in the dream), which I also don’t own.
So obviously, the sweater is a symbol for my unresolved conflict about wool and yarn in general, and the trash is a symbol for, well, trash, and the dark is a symbol for my hidden fear of leprechauns.
But lo and behold, the trash man cometh and I now have a whole empty reservoir to fill with all manner of unwanted items. Surely that is also symbolic.
I have no ideas.
I used to post at that place that shall remain nameless three, sometimes four, times a day. And now? Nothin’. I got nothin’.
Perhaps it is because my brain has been rendered useless by the helpless habit I have haplessly had this week of either 1.) staying up until some ungodly hour, completely unable to sleep, or 2.) waking up at some ungodly hour in the middle of the night and when it is dark out still and when there is a cat insisting on sleeping on my pillow next to my head and I know I have hours to go to still enjoy sweet blissful sleep but alas it never comes until the sun begins to rise and I have given up, which means I get about 15 more minutes to pass out with cat fur covering my face.
(Would any of this change if I began having more godly hours?)
Or perhaps it is due to the recent discovery that apparently I have been walking around missing one earring, causing me to tilt my head slightly in the other direction (and thus for important brain matter to leak out). Serena has promised to look for said earring among her vast collection of Stuff That Appears To Have No Useful Purpose But May One Day Prove Useful In An Unexpected Way, so the earring may turn up amid the acorn caps, pennies, balls of cat fur that the cat is no longer using, and random kleenex bits and Lego pieces that adorn her room.
Or perhaps it is because I am now mentally cataloguing everything in my house, everything that I know I will be divesting myself of over the next few months, wondering a.) if I really have the guts to do this and not just cave and box it all up to look at later, and b.) how much I can get on Craigslist for that almost-full bottle of vitamins, say, or for a selection of little metal skewers that are for making beads from bakeable clay, or for my 4168 books, or for all the other hundreds thousands of items that seemed like a good idea at the time to procure but now weigh heavily upon my brain like thousands of mini anvils waiting to drop unsuspectingly upon me from the sky when I’m not looking.
I adore Craigslist but is it too much to ask for it to resolve my apparent gluttony?
Nathaniel, just last night, asked me why we don’t just sit on mats on the floor instead of furniture and use little bamboo mats instead of plates and I could give him no good reason why not. We have Too Much Stuff. And soon we will just live in a cave and use our cupped hands for plates. And then my brain will overflow with ideas to write about, because it will no longer be cluttered up with unimportant drivel and instead I will write about, um, air. And rocks. And, um, stuff.
True! Bought the last item yesterday. And when I say “bought”, understand that I don’t mean got into my car and drove to a crowded mall or heaven forbid strip mall and
parked looked for parking for twenty minutes and then parked and got out and wandered around aimlessly, slowly losing brain cells to the endless Christmas music blaring everywhere and the sight of every available surface decked out, piled up, or laden with useless crap that people will want like it’s gold or myrrh or maybe frankincense or something and then take it home and tenderly wrap it using many many pieces of tape and colored paper and then place it under a dead tree and then watch indulgently as someone else opens it and then eventually puts it aside.
Nay, I say nay!
I shop online.
Plus I bought three things for each child. Three. Or close to three. Because we are transitioning out of Consumerist Mode into Time is the Gift Mode. And I bought tickets to Cirque du Soleil months ago and that counts as a present.
So I am all done and there are some boxes in my closet.
And now I have to avoid being online or visiting Woot! anymore. Not that I have bought anything at Woot! but, you know, I could. One day the right deal will be there for me at Woot!, if I remember to visit it, which I hardly ever do.
So I will finish your shopping for you if you like, since I of course have all this time on my hands now for the entire month of December. I’m very good at it; just give me your list of whom to buy for and how much you want to spend and, oh, a list of their favorite 100 or so things in the universe and I will find just the right gifts for everyone and they will be amazed at your perfection and all you have to do is sit back and enjoy your eggnog because I will do it all for you.
Really! I can do this.
You know you want to.
Who else do you know who is DONE and it is not even December yet?
Yes, I’ve been phoning it in lately. The posts. Hey, a photo counts as a post! Does too. It does too!!
But see, the thing is, these past few days there’s been what we like to call a sitchooayshun. That’s what we got here. So I bin sorta bizzy.
But oh! My neighbor-across-the-way got a Christmas tree yesterday! And now there’s a wooden painted cutout of Charlie Brown standing amid the bushes in front of their door! With a flag stuck in the grass with a snowman on it! Or maybe a polar bear. A Santa? Who the hell knows.
And! My kitchen sink has been clogged for three days! Yay plumbing!
The dishwasher is full of unwashed dishes, and we can’t use the kitchen sink to wash them, so I am thinking about investing in a supply of paper plates. We may never wash dishes again! Or our hands!
Or…wash dishes in the bathroom sink! But that sounds kind of gross.
It’s all because I thought Serena would be uncomfortable pushing potato peelings (I know! should have composted them!) down the sink with a running garbage disposal, she of the tentative tender fingers. I have learned my lesson and my plunger salutes you for pointing this out.
But it also means I have not had to cook.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: Oh hey, I have just run $43.07 worth of water down the kitchen sink drain and the sink hasn’t filled up with murky water, so I think the clog must have fixed itself! Good manifesting, internet! Way to go! Of course, this could just be an evil trick designed to get me to unsuspectingly run the dishwasher (filled with every dish we own, dirty), thereby causing all the used dishwasher water filled with chopped-up bits of cranberry sauce and Colcannon and bagel crumbs to then fill my sink and overflow all over the countertops and the floors. So maybe I will buy $16 worth of dangerous lye-filled chemical action and pour it down said sink, causing the Environmental Balance-O-Meter to tip from “almost disgustingly dirty” to “ruining the planet for our grandchildren.”
And then nobody would read my blog anymore.
Anyone want to take a dishwasher-load of dirty dishes off my hands, cheap? I wanted new dishes anyway.
What do you get when you cross a selection of vegetables, hazy memories of the 2004 Olympic Games, and a knobbly purple ball?
Why, The Nassy Girls, of course.
Yes, Carley, Elde, and the ever-so-pc Chinesemens (Indy, Chiny, and Fetty, who owns a restaurant) play a variety of volleyball that includes celery throws and spikes.
And it’s played nightly right on my balcony.
I’m not sure what role Eric has in all this but I’m pretty sure it includes a lot of armwaving and chortling. And throwing random things off the balcony from time to time. And heading down for snacks on occasion. It must be snack time now.
Yes, it’s a word if I say it is. It is!
Oh, and don’t mind me. I am learning to touch type, after all this time. It’s going quite well, actually! Here, I’ll show you: thd id where I type tbe worjf “aeseinre”. [translation: this is where I type the word "awesome"] See? Not bad, eh?
It’s raining today. Usually when it rains here where I live, it rains. Like all day. Not the all-day for three or four days straight of northern California where I grew up, but just all day. Real rain that is hard to ignore.
It was raining this morning when I took Eric to his bus. He was poised on the porch, thinking about the three steps down and his role in navigating them, and I offered to carry him to the bus thinking I would get less wet that way. Nope, not a chance, he’d prefer to walk himself, thank you. I was reminded that he practically runs now, while just a year ago he wasn’t even close to walking.
A few minutes later it was time to walk Serena down to her bus stop and wait with her there. We donned rain coats and hats and while we walked the, what is it, 50 yards or so, we talked about how much we like to be out in the rain. I was a little surprised that only one lone kid was there but figured maybe people were waiting till the last minute. Usually we are the last to arrive at the bus stop, and we stand near the edge of the little knot of people, parents socializing while their kids shuffle nervously awaiting the bus.
Just the one kid, holding a lime green umbrella, wearing a light jacket that wasn’t even zipped. Brr. He said he wasn’t cold. Soon we were joined by two other kids: a girl with no rain coat, no hat and no umbrella who said she liked getting wet, and another shorter kid who never spoke and come to think of it never l showed his face. Umbrella kid is fairly gregarious, it turns out. I still don’t know his name but I know a lot of other things about him now. Kids like it when adults talk to them like people.
Standing there, my shoes slowly becoming wetter and wetter (they’re not even close to waterproof, it turns out)(the nondescript leather slipons), I enjoyed the feeling of the rain on me. On my coat, actually.
Eventually the bus came, but no one else ever joined us. I noticed several cars idling nearby and saw no-hat girl’s mother in one. One kid materialized from nowhere, probably one of the cars, when the bus arrived. The other cars seemed to contain the rest of the waiting parents. Who drove to the bus stop 50 feet from their doors and idled there for ten minutes. I was the only parent who waited with the kids in the rain. I wondered where everyone else was. I walked back through the rain after Serena got on the bus and as I opened my door, the neighbor was coming out of their house.
“The bus just left,” stating the obvious, but helpfully. (I’m such a good neighbor.)
“I know, we’re driving,” she replied.
It’s easier to pile two kids into a car and drive ten minutes there and ten minutes waiting to drop off and then ten minutes back again than it is to wait in the rain for a bit?
You should see these people when it snows.
And! Just to recap, I am awesome because I stood out in the rain with four kids while the other parents stayed dry in their cars.
[Fist pump] Yessss!
We’ve been waiting all day, the children and I. It’s often like this. I’ve mentioned before the erratic shared custody schedule, and there’s not much I can do about that. The court views The Ex’s job in all its erratically-scheduled glory as much more important tha anything I could hope to do, and as an extension more important than the children’s well-being.
Bitter I am not.
But still, there’s the waiting. All day, indeed all weekend, we have known that they would be going wth The Ex tonight at 6:15 (so he doesn’t have to give them dinner, even though when they are with him he doesn’t serve dinner until about 9 pm from what I am told), so all day there is that foreboding, that foreknowledge, that they’d be packing up some stuff and heading over there to tonight for a couple of days. Now, no one here views it as a bad thing, simply a thing that will take place, but it does put this weird spin on the day. Joint custody is hard on kids. I have read studies and whatnot that supports this, but short of every set of parents remaining married despite their difficulties and pain, I haven’t a solution. And that isn’t any kind of solution, and itself presents its own set of problems. But at the same time, kids should have a relationship with both parents. In an ideal world, this would be an amicable thing with always an eye toward the best interests of the children.
30 more minutes.
Serena has abandoned the sore throat that has kept her sidelined all day on the couch, and Nathaniel has abandoned his depressed surliness that kept him sidelined all day with pre-teen angst, and they are playing together in these last few minutes, the first time all day. Both have abandoned the Yoda-speak that has dominated their conversation throughout the past week. And Eric sits, beside me, abandoned as usual by his brother and sister, sidelined as a result, but using his time to finish his last few bites of dinner.
2500 words to NaNo tonight to keep on schedule. Bah. I just want to watch a movie over a glass of red wine and have a hot bath. However, I pulled 50,000 words out of my ass last year and I can do it again.
Not sure that came out right.
During the night I noticed that my eyes felt kind of different, kind of grainy, kind of sticky. Like something was in them. Like maybe my contacts were still in. Oops. No, I distinctly remembered having the contact solution out, pouring some into the little wells of the soaking container and then replacing the lids of each side, one for “right” and one for “left”. So I definitely took them out.
Except my eyes still felt odd.
There’s one way to check that: can I see properly?
Well, it’s the middle of the night. Kind of dark, you know.
I can see the clock pretty well, but that’s because I have one with big numbers now. Right? I forget. It’s the middle of the night.
Oh well, too sleepy to think about it…
So when I woke up my eyes were fused together, which definitely meant that I had forgotten to take my contacts out. I dripped toxic liquids in my eyes until I could open them again and stared blankly at the empty wells in my soaking container, empty except for being neatly filled with soaking liquid.
Time for coffee, naturally.
There is an art, a ritual, to making coffee around here. First I fill the electric kettle and set it to boiling, then I
take the clean French press out of the dishwasher rinse the remainder of yesterday’s coffee out of the French press. Next I carefully measure randomly pour some amount of coffee beans into the coffee grinder and grind for exactly eleven seconds until it sounds done or I remember to stop grinding it. I pour the freshly-ground coffee into the French press and scrape the surprisingly large amount of coffee residual out of the bottom of the grinder with a scrupulously clean special scraping utensil finger, and pour that into the French press as well. By this time, the water is boiling, because electric kettles! they rule! and I pour the boiling water into the French press and brew the coffee for exactly 5.5 minutes until I remember it’s there and it’s time to press the plunger down.
Remembering that I still had some pre-ground coffee sitting on the counter left from the Colorado trip last month that I still haven’t written about in any detail (but planning to! with pictures!), I decided to use that instead of grinding whole beans as usual.
When the water was boiling I poured some pre-ground coffee into the grinder. And then poured the boiling water in.
And then looked at it, trying to figure out what was wrong with the picture.
Yep, it’s gonna be a GREAT day. We’ll see what I can do with the remaining 10% of my brain.