Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Just Another Monday Morning

*The following is a copy of an email that I sent to my husband at work around 8:30am yesterday, in response to his typical GOOD MORNING, HOW ARE YOU? email. Clearly, it was a GREAT morning, and I was FABU-FUCKING-LOUS.
***********************************************************************************

HI, B.

JESUS. I don't want to start the day out by bitching like a crazy shrew, but I need to rant for a minute. Today, thus far, has been a freakin'

*HOLY FUCK. THINGS JUST GOT WORSE. Back in a sec*

Okay. SO, I'll pick up where I left off and get to the "HOLY FUCK" part in due time. Today has been a freakin' disaster. I had to drag Sutt out of bed which upset him because he was still tired. Then he got upset because he ate the last of the oatmeal and I couldn't make more (he had had a ton, I think he was fine). He yelled for twenty minutes that I was "STARVIN' HIM HAFFA DEF." The kids then got in a HUGE fight over the fucking Santa advent calendar hanging on the wall because Sutt wants it to be on the 24th until Dec. 1st when we can actually use it, and Belly does not. It came to pushing and screaming and, I believe, some hair pulling. I broke up the fight and sent Belly off to find shoes and she spent over 15 minutes freaking out because she couldn't find ANY shoes where BOTH shoes were present, except her Sketchers flipflops, which she then asked if she could wear (um, NO, it's NOVEMBER). She ended up crying and being furious at me. I was like, "Look, kid, if you weren't so goddamn messy you'd know where your shoes were. This is YOUR problem and YOUR fault, so don't get mad at me." She finally found the black (too small) flats that Barbara gave her, which (kind of) went with her outfit, but told me she COULD NOT WEAR THEM because they felt sandy inside where dirt had gotten in them when she had worn them outside to play. I pointed out that I do not condone her wearing them out to play, this was her problem (again) and it was time to FUCKING LEAVE SO LET'S GO. Then she proceeded to get angry because I made her wear a jacket over her short-sleeved shirt (it covered up her vest! It wasn't fashionable!). SIGH.

Keep in mind that while all this is going on, I'm trying to order insulin from Express Scripts AND find the number for the vet because Maddie is STILL chewing her damn crotch. During this time I see that I can schedule an online appt. with vet, which I try to do because they do not open until 9 and I don't want to wait that long to call. After all the fucking forms I had to fill out, it turns out you can only schedule exams and shots online, and it must be at least four days in advance. LOT OF FUCKING GOOD THAT DOES ME. THANKS FOR TELLING ME BEFOREHAND, WEBSITE.

I get the kids outside and Sutt refuses to tell me he loves me because he's too busy racing his sister to the bus. I yelled that I loved him THREE FUCKING TIMES and I got nothing back. Punkass. It makes me sad. I come back in and get my computer. I realize Maddie has drank my WHOLE GODDAMN CUP OF COFFEE WHILE I WAS TAKING THE KIDS OUTSIDE. That's exactly what the goddamn spastic-ass dog NEEDS to do since she's already functioning at warp speed ALL THE TIME (including times of crotch chewing).

(HERE IS THE HOLY FUCK PART)

I'm sitting here, pissed at the world, on the loveseat. Mimi is asleep by the end of the sofa. Maddie is sitting in "your spot" on the sofa looking nervously at me because she knows that I know she drank the coffee. AND THEN SHE FUCKING PROJECTILE VOMITS COFFEE EVERYWHERE.

HAVE YOU EVER FUCKING SEEN A DOG PROJECTILE VOMIT? I had not. I have now. It was awful. And it wasn't a little bit, it was like a gallon of sticky, slightly-chunky coffee. All over the couch. All over the loveseat. All over the ottoman. All over the rug and the carpet. It was running EVERYWHERE down in the sofa. OH DEAR HOLY JESUS. FUCK FUCK FUCK.

I chucked Maddie outside, grabbed a towel, and started cleaning. And scrubbing.

I now have puke all over my pants AND my sweatshirt and at this point I don't even fucking care. Belly is pissed at me, Sutt doesn't love me, you are at work likely having some GODDAMN MEETING, Mimi refuses to let me pet her, and Maddie is puking. Also, all the coffee is gone.

Fuck.

Love you.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

No!vember

November ends next week. Sometime. I think. It wasn't all that long ago that I was thinking, "Hmmm. It's August, but before I know it, it will be December." Well, that time has arrived. The halls are decked (due to an ultimatum from the Grief Guru), and the stockings are up (including a newly created "skull stocking" that Sutt wanted to replace his emotionally-outgrown Cars stocking-- as it turns out, one cannot easily find a skull Christmas stocking for purchase, so I had to make one. BEST MOM EVER, that is me.) Hark the Fucking Angels Sing, I'm ready for the goddamn holidays.

*sigh*

Actually, this year isn't bad so far. Thanksgiving wasn't my finest hour, but I have to say I have more Christmas spirit than I've had since Dad was sick. The little things help. For instance, Sutt made me a (construction paper) Thanksgiving Turkey and when I asked why it had X's for eyes, he said, "Because it's DEAD. HAHAHAHAHA!" It was frankly kind of awesome. The kids, for the FIRST YEAR EVER, helped me trim the tree and DIDN'T BREAK ANYTHING. I didn't have to put out all of the millions of decorations (half of them are lodged behind the airplane in the garage and absolutely unreachable) AND all the lights still worked, except for one outdoor set that I somehow managed to blow when I plugged them in (and watched a couple of them explode). All in all, that's pretty good for me.

To ice the cake, my ultrasound did not show anything appearing to resemble cancer, my sister-in-law found a job after being laid off from her former position and I've started wearing foundation and eyeshadow on a semi-regular basis (thanks for the encouragement, E). Life is marching on. Sutt is six. Mimi is eleven. I am thirty-fucking-four.

And for the moment, all is well.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Things I've Learned From Jabba the Sutt

Tomorrow my youngest child (and the only one conceived on purpose) turns six. Holy fuck, where did the time go? I've always thought that it was bullshit, what parents say about time flying by when the kids are little, and frankly, usually it is, but in this case HOLY HELL. Sutt is growing up.

I think what really bothers me about this milestone isn't that he's turning six at all. It's not that he's in kindergarten or can finally pronounce most (but not all) of his r's and l's, or that he has a "big kid" haircut and just had a (very sweet) 10-year-old friend come over for a sleepover. All of that I can handle. What I CAN'T seem to wrap my head around is that the last time my Daddy saw Sutt, he was barely three years old. He had not yet started preschool, he still had sweet baby chub and sweet baby curls, and he didn't even understand that his Papaw passed away that awful January. Daddy knew a baby, but he doesn't know this little boy I have now-- this little creature who smells like lavender, thinks he has to open all the doors for Mommy, and has an imagination that rivals anything I have ever seen. He's amazing.

Dad would be so proud of him.

It kills me that Sutt doesn't have his Papaw. Literally, I get sick sometimes thinking about how Sutt is deprived of all the cool things that my Dad wanted so badly to do with him. Take him fishing, teach him about animals and cars and airplanes. Tell him stories about HIS Dad, my Grandpa Glenn, who was also a pilot and a character if there ever was one. When Dad died, he took so much with him, and that's something I often cannot reconcile with my reality.

So, in honor of my SuperSutt and my Dad, the rest of this post will be a list of THE REALLY AWESOME THINGS I HAVE LEARNED FROM JABBA THE SUTT, BOTH MONUMENTALLY IMPORTANT AND SEEMINGLY IRRELEVANT, ALTHOUGH, REALLY, WHO AM I TO JUDGE WHAT IS OR IS NOT RELEVANT, PARTICULARLY IN THIS CRAZY ASS WORLD THAT WE LIVE IN

1. Life is Weird~ One morning when Sutt was three, I was driving him to preschool and we were singing along to the music (AC/DC was his favorite at the time). All of a sudden, he yelled for me to turn the music down. I flipped the power off and said, "Yeah, buddy? What's up?" He looked at me in the rearview mirror, completely serious, and said, "You know what's weird, Mommy? Toast. Toast is weird." Um. Yeah. Does my kid even EAT toast, or does anyone ever OFFER him toast? No. We are pretty much a toast-free zone at Casa McPhail. So where in the hell did that even COME from? Who the fuck knows. But he has a point-- if you think about it, toast IS kind of weird. Much like lots of other things.

2. Be True To Yourself~ Yoda was the Ultimate Jedi Master, according to my now-extensive (after having a kid OBSESSED with Star Wars for going on three years now) Star Wars knowledge. Dudes are OBSESSED with their junk, and all seem to think it is the Ultimate Man's Best Friend. Sutton, absolutely by himself, chose to name his junk "Yoda" when he was four. At first, I thought, "What the fuck?" But once I considered it, I realized that Sutt was actually probably ahead of his game. He already KNEW that his bits were the bomb, so he might as well name them accordingly. Everyone he told laughed themselves senseless, but he didn't care. Yoda it was, and to this day, Yoda it is.

3. It's Better When Somebody's Got Your Back~ Sutt REFUSES to sleep alone (let's hope that this changes before he hits puberty). Every single night after he is tucked safely into HIS bed in HIS room, he creeps out of bed and down the hall and crawl in bed with Belly. She's used to it, and doesn't care anymore (most of the time). This has gone on since we moved here in '08 and took down his crib so that he was able to roam free. Lately, though, he's taken to getting up in the very early morning and creeping out of bed with his sister and into bed next to me-- I feel him very gently, very slowly crawling in and snuggling up against my back or belly before softly starting to snore within minutes. This morning, I awoke before he did and lay there, watching him sleep (and listening to him snore like a truck driver) for a few minutes before he opened his eyes and gave me a big smile. I gave him a kiss and then asked him, for the first time, why he was always sneaking into my bed and invading my personal space. He said, "Because I WUV you. And I WIKE to feel you next to me." I'm not a cuddler, and I don't WIKE feeling people next to me. But I realized after I thought about it for a minute that I kind of DID like having him there. It felt primal and maternal and, well, what I thought mother/child love would feel like, if I was capable of such a thing with my icy, granite heart and all. This was a revelation.

4. It's All About Perspective~ A few days ago, Sutt came in from playing outside to tell me that he had just seen a GIGANTIC alligator in the woods. It looked at him, came towards him, then saw how big and strong he was (all 36 pounds of him) and ran away. I considered this. I figured it was somewhat unlikely that Sutt had seen an alligator, and even more unlikely that if he had he had scared it away with his wanton manliness, but still, why burst his bubble? My Dad used to have this killer story about an epically large snapping turtle that nearly conquered the town before he sent it back into the lake with an ax in its back. Was it true? I'm sure the STORY was true. Just like I'm sure Sutt was gazing into the woods at some point and saw some underbrush move around. Was there a turtle the size of Rhode Island? Well, it was likely more the size of a breadbox. Just like the "alligator" was more likely a squirrel or a rabbit. Was I going to be the one to squelch those visions of grandeur? Oh, hell no. In their heads, I'm sure the story was absolutely 100% true. And being a great encourager or imagination, and a true visionary regarding storytelling, I would much rather have heard their "truth" than any other. Because their truth was the one worth telling.

5. If You Are Hungry, Keep Eating~ My Dad was known for having the ability to sit down and eat 4 or 5 sandwiches, or 8 or 9 hotdogs, followed by an entire half-gallon of ice cream or a whole pie or every bite of a new cake. That man could eat like you WOULD NOT FUCKING BELIEVE. He was never overweight, he had a metabolism that was incredible and he worked his ass off, but GODDAMN, he could eat. It was insane. On the flipside, if it was lunch time or supper time and he wasn't hungry, he did not want to eat anything. He ate when he wanted, as much as he wanted, and he was happy. Sutt is the same way. Jabba wakes up STARVING every day. His favorite food on the planet has always been, and likely, it seems, will always be, oatmeal. It doesn't matter what you offer him for breakfast--pancakes, donuts, pastry, eggs--he refuses. All he wants is oatmeal, and LOTS OF IT. Most mornings I feed him two of the little individual packets of Quaker Oats Maple and Brown Sugar, mixed with an entire CUP of regular from-the-canister oatmeal, made with 2% milk. He eats EVERY DAMN BITE and often wants a second helping. Now, keep in mind that Sutt is TINY. He is not even on the growth chart at the pediatrician for height or weight. He's skinny and short and still wears clothes from the toddler department, shoes too. But that kid will eat like there is no tomorrow when he's hungry. But if he's not? You can offer him anything-- cake, candy, ANYTHING, and he won't take it. Being a girl who will never say no to cheese or frosting-covered goodness, this boggles my mind. It's like he has his own little inner nutritionist. Likewise, sometimes I'll be starving but if it is not mealtime, I won't eat (I DO NOT snack--unless I'm drunk, in which case I don't know if I snack or not). I realize this is stupid. Sutt is way more advanced than I.

There's so much more. There is. But I'm tired. And I'm hungry. And, to be honest, I want to go hug my kid.

You know, Sutt is still very young. Hell, people say I am still very young too, although I doubt that more every single day. But I'm learning from him, he's learning from me-- we have that special Mommy-Son thing going on that I never wanted or expected to have. But I'm so glad I do. I'm a lucky girl. Lucky to have my happy, healthy Jabba the Sutt.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Giving Oprah the Bird

One of my very dearest friends has recently gotten hooked on some Oprah bullshit called Oprah's Lifeclass. This friend, whom we will call Easy E, is pretty much the same person as me-- if you took me, put makeup on me EVERY GODDAMN DAY EVEN WHEN I HAVE THE FLU OR AM JUST FEELING SO LAZY I DON'T CARE ABOUT LIPSTICK, dressed me in The Loft, gave me a filter, and erased my proclivity for swearing. (You may be thinking, "Dear Lord, what's LEFT?" but there is a lot left. I promise. Oh, yeah, she's ALWAYS sober too. Hmmmmm. Maybe there ISN'T much left, now that I think about it. Anyway.) The point is, she's not one to fall for a bunch of sappy, Go Life! inspirational shit. She's hardcore. She's street. JUST LIKE ME. Well, just like me in dressier clothes and likely voting Republican.

So when Easy E got all caught up in Oprah, my first thought was, "Holy Fuck. I knew moving away from me was a BAD DAMN CHOICE FOR E. Those goddamn other Moms have BRAINWASHED HER. CODE RED! CODE RED!"

Now, don't get me wrong. I have the utmost respect for Oprah-- God knows she's done more with her life than I will likely ever do. I'm not dissing Madame O. However, I, myself, can't watch her on tv or read her magazine or any of that crap. It's just too fucking depressing to witness someone who has their shit together as much as she does. I mean, think about it. IT MAKES ME HATE MYSELF. And frankly, I don't like goody-goodys. And Oprah is nothing if not a goody-goody.

But E swore that this Oprah's Lifeclass was so inspiring and eye-opening and whatnot that this afternoon when I stumbled across it while I was ironing B's bazillion dress shirts (this promotion has him looking pretty sexy these days) I actually decided to watch and see what it was all about. And I did. For nearly an hour I listened to Oprah wax poetic about LIVING IN THE MOMENT and ENJOYING THE PRESENT. Blah blah blah. And it led me to give myself a little test-- tonight I would TRY this LIVING IN THE MOMENT crap and see how it went for me. I'm the world's worst about being off somewhere else in my head while everything else is going on around me, so made the conscious decision that tonight would be different. B was in class, the kids were home for a long weekend, LET THE OPRAH ROLL.

Item 1 on the LIVING IN THE MOMENT LIST: Feed the kids something fun. The kids were in their rooms. I called and ordered pizza. (Note: I NEVER order pizza. Pizza DESTROYS my blood sugar. Pizza isn't the healthiest choice for a kid meal, and we try to feed the minions healthy. I spent an hour on the elliptical today burning calories that pizza will LAUGH AT AND RE-HANG MIGHTILY ON MY HIPS. Me, ordering pizza, is a pretty big fucking deal.) Because I never order pizza, I do not have a "standard" pizza establishment from which I order, so I googled Pizza Hut on my phone, put in the ZIP code and called the number it gave. After placing the order, I ran upstairs and said to the kids, "Put your shoes on, we have to go pick up the PIZZA MOMMY ORDERED!" I waited, expecting applause.

Sutt cheered. (I LOVE that kid.) Bellamy rolled her eyes and said, "Why do we have to go GET it? Can't someone BRING IT TO US?"

*sigh*

I cheerfully tickled her and told her nope, we were going to go get it. Five minutes later we headed out the door. Driving down the street, the kids and I danced in the car. We sang to the radio. It took a lot of fucking energy, but I WAS HAPPY. HIP HIP HOORAY. I'M IN THE FUCKING MOMENT. We got to Pizza Hut and the kids tumbled out of the car. We all hurried in and went to the carryout counter, happy and hungry.

Turns out, it was the WRONG FUCKING PIZZA HUT.

Yep. That's right. When I googled it, I didn't check the address. I just assumed that one was the one I was calling because I thought it was the closest. It wasn't.

The chick working inside directed me to the OTHER Pizza Hut, the one we THOUGHT I had ordered from. It was just down the street. Dashing back to the car, we all climbed in and drove to the Pizza Hut in Portsmouth.

Turns out, it too was the WRONG FUCKING PIZZA HUT.

By this point, I'm pissed. It's dark outside, the kids are starving and fighting and I WANT TO FUCKING TEAR OPRAH'S "EMBRACE THE PRESENT" WEAVE OUT AND STRANGLE HER WITH IT while shouting, "The present SUCKS, Oprah. Why don't you embrace THAT, bitch?"

We get back in the car and drive to the LAST FUCKING PIZZA HUT I KNOW OF, in Chesapeake. Not knowing exactly where it is, I turn one traffic light too early. We end up in a Bank of America parking lot. The kids are complaining. I am swearing. I go through the bank drive-thru backwards (angering an black woman in a BMW who probably fucking LOVES Oprah), jump the curb, drive over the median (go, Xterra!) and park in the damn lot. I drag both kids inside, as I won't let them sit in the car in the GODDAMN 'HOOD, lest they get carjacked and sold into sexual slavery by some crackhead who lives in College Park. Everyone (most of whom happened to witness my stunt-car driving outside moments before) looks nervous when I enter, mascara smudged, ponytail falling, kids in tow. They have our pizza (HALLELUJAH, JESUS!). We pay and leave. It has now been an entire fucking hour since we left the house.

When we got home, we ate, and I gave the finger to embracing the present.

You can take your present and shove it, Oprah. I'm done here.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I'm Thankful for Mermaids

Every time I go onto Facebook, it seems that some fool "friend" of mine is blathering about what he or she is thankful for this month. I suppose that this is due to Thanksgiving rolling around in a couple of weeks, but DEAR JESUS it is GRATITUDE OVERLOAD. I do not fucking care if you are thankful for your new four-wheeler, or your (3rd) wife, or your half a dozen redneck kids who all have different daddies. I DO NOT FUCKING CARE.

Which is why I hate November social networking.

Yeah, okay, so I've had a few blogs over the years near Thanksgiving that listed things for which I was thankful. But you know what? IT'S MY FUCKING BLOG AND I CAN DO WHAT I WANT. Plus, my lists are interesting. They are not full of sweet, cuddly crap like kids and Jesus. We all know that Jesus doesn't like me-- he's just waiting on a killer moment to strike me down (no pun intended) so why would I start spouting religion come November? I WOULDN'T.

So, as the antithesis of all the pansy-assed, bullshit FB statuses my pansy-assed, bullshit "friends" keep throwing up every FUCKING DAY, here is the Thanksgiving Blog, come early this year.

SHIT FOR WHICH I AM THANKFUL:

1. Nutjobs I know: So I have this friend Mia, whom I met when I first moved to Suffolk. She was in this Mom's Group that I toyed with joining, before I realized that I'd rather slit my own throat and bleed out in the desert, letting a pack of wild jackals tear apart my bloody body than join a Mom's group. Mia and I kept up a bit via email and FB for a bit, before she kind of disappeared. And then, last week, she reappeared in my Inbox, to tell me that she was still around and thinking of me, though her family had moved to Newport News. Oh, and one more thing-- She's "no longer a Christian, but became a psychic... lol" WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT EVEN MEAN? AND WHY ARE YOU LOLing? You can't just BECOME a psychic. And are Christians and psychics mutually exclusive (really, I'm asking, because I DO NOT KNOW)? But the important thing is what I gleaned from this whole situation-- I attract awesome (crazy) people.

2. My period. It was late this month. I'm NEVER late-- unless I am knocked the fuck up. And do you know what I would DO if I was knocked up (despite my tubal ligation)? I've covered this with you people before-- I would go to a bridge, slit my damn wrists, chug a gallon of bleach, and shoot myself in the head so that I would fall, backwards, over the bridge. BECAUSE I DO NOT WANT ANOTHER BABY. EVER. Babies are hard and frustrating and cannot discuss literature with me. They projectile vomit and explosively poop and CRY ALL THE DAMN TIME. Sure, they smell okay (sometimes) and are fun to dress, but I've got two, which is MORE THAN ENOUGH. I'm done (Mom, I hope you are reading this-- DONE AS HELL). Thank God I got my period yesterday.

3. Mad Madame Mimipants is my porky Yorkie whom I have had for eleven years. She does not come when called. She usually doesn't remember what "sit" means, and it took her two years to learn to do it in the first place. She is fat and lazy and spends more time snoring or looking at me with disdain than she does anything else. I can't get comfortable at night because she MUST sleep between my legs, which often means that I can't get comfortable. AND I ADORE HER. Maybe it's the excessive bitchiness and total disregard for authority. All I know, is that I am thankful to have my Mims. When B and I lived together but were not yet a couple, every time she got mad at him she would go to his room, climb up in the middle of his bed, and pee in it. I LOVE THE MIMS.

4. Dr. Skansi is a hyperactive, Croatian pediatrician who decided to start dabbling in psychiatrics. Somehow or another, she became my psychiatrist. She is crazy as all hell, and I adore her. We all know that I do not like people to touch me, and Dr. Skansi is well aware of this. Yet every time I visit her she grabs me and hugs me until I tell her to get off me. She tells me tales about Croatia, her children, and how all my problems would be solved if I put my children in daycare and pursued a career for myself, relegating them to second place. She has a valid fucking point. But, alas, I do not take direction well. The point is, Skansi and I have become buddies, and when I found out that she had no plans for Christmas, I invited her to my house for the holiday. WHY WOULD I INVITE MY PSYCHIATRIST TO A HOUSE FULL OF MY CRAZY-AS-FUCK FAMILY? Because I'm awesome. Do you know how FUN that would be? IT WOULD BE AWESOME. I hope she comes. I see institutionalization in the future for at LEAST two family members (myself not included).

5. B and I got a new mattress a few weeks ago. It replaced my twelve year old Serta pillowtop, which had seen better days (and worse husbands). This time we decided to invest in the highly touted memory foam shit in hopes it would help us both to sleep better, although I think we would both sleep better if B would just STAY ON HIS OWN FUCKING SIDE OF THE BED AND STOP SPOONING ME BECAUSE I GET OVERHEATED WHEN SOMEONE WRAPS AROUND ME LIKE AN OCTOPUS AND ANNOYED WHEN THEY ARE CONSTANTLY PUSHING MY HAIR OUT OF THEIR FACE AND I AM TRYING TO SLEEP. But, anyway. So we did our research and found our bed, purchased said bed and had it delivered and IT IS WONDERFUL. It's high and fluffy, and like sleeping on a cloud. I have no idea when he gets up to pee, he has no idea when I get up to wander the house and watch "Dexter" in the middle of the night, and everybody feels good come morning. I love my bed. If I wasn't a neurotic Gemini who can't sit still, I would lie in my bed all day, reading books and learning fluent Italian (not just "get-by" Italian) and eating bon-bons. Additionally, except for Hot Yard Man and that sailor I picked up last weekend in Portsmouth, B and I are the only ones who have ever slept in said bed. It makes it special. High five for new beds.

6. Amazon Prime is a lovely thing. I love books. Amazon has books. With Amazon Prime, you get free expedited shipping, which I also love. With a student account like B's William and Mary account (being a student and all) you are able to get Amazon Prime for a year for free. Our year just ended, but I must say, Amazon Prime and I made some lovely memories during that year. I miss that free expedited shipping. (On the bright side, now I must order at least $25 worth of books to get free shipping, so I often have to find "something else" to add to my order, which is never a bad thing.)

7. In the blink of an eye, we are gone. Gone from earth, from daily interactions in each others' lives, from our jobs, our communities, whatever. I have especially learned this during the past three years-- I lost my Dad when he died, I lost my E when she moved, I lost my friend Wilcox when he made a choice. What I am grateful for is resilience. Since losing Dad I have cried and starved and suffered and railed. Losing E has been more about a forlorn need for the close companionship of someone who isn't within reach. Wilcox was a piece of my heart, broken and gone. But the point is, I'm still here. I'm alive, and breathing, and laughing and dancing and swearing and living every single day. Sometimes it takes work. Sometimes it is fueled by fury or obstinance, but it still moves onward. I still keep going.

So, you see, I AM grateful. I may be complicated and frustrated and an array of other things at any given time, but I am grateful. I love my B. I love my kids. I love my home and my friends and my books and my awesome ability to keep on keepin' on (as my Daddy would have said). I am thankful to still have my Mom and my awesome brother and his wife. I have lost a Mo, but still have a Mims. I have burnt to the ground in grief and risen from the ashes.

I am grateful to be a Phoenix.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Poe-ster child


Last weekend, B and I dashed away for a quick adult weekend in Richmond. We had not been back to the city since we moved to the coastal area, so since we were limited on time (and babysitters), we decided that we would just take the hour and a half jaunt instead of traveling further, mostly to return to our old haunts, eat at our old favorite restaurants (including the best Thai food EVAH at Mom Siam's) and just relax a bit and enjoy the company of one another. (Yes, we are THAT FUCKING FUN.) The weather forecast was a mess, calling for cloudy skies and a wintry mix, which made it sound all the more appealing-- time to snuggle up in a nice hotel, read, and drink lots of good red wine.

Which we did. The hotel was lovely, and on the 15th floor we had an amazing view of the city and the old Train Station and such. We ate our favorite Thai, but also found an AMAZING little upscale, authentic Italian restaurant in Shockoe Bottom for a romantic and delicious dinner. I was able to wander aimlessly through Crate & Barrel for over an hour (one of my favorite stores, and one that we do not have in Hampton Roads) with NO KIDS and no stress. We held hands and drank wine and slept late. It was lovely.

But now we're going to get to the part of the blog that really matters: THE CRAZY SHIT. We all knew that was coming, right? Right.

I'm putting it in list form because I have to go get my teeth cleaned in a little while and don't feel like diverting my energy from stressing over seeing a new dentist at a new office and putting what I have to say into melodious prose. Sorry, bitches.

THE CRAZY SHIT THAT HAPPENED IN RICHMOND AND ALSO SOME CRAZY SHIT THAT HAS HAPPENED SINCE THEN, ALTHOUGH NOT IN RICHMOND, RATHER HAMPTON ROADS, BUT JUST BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE EXORCISING THE CRAZY SHIT FROM MY MENTAL WRITING CACHE ALL AT ONCE AND BECAUSE THIS IS MY GODDAMN BLOG I WILL WRITE ABOUT IT BECAUSE, AS I JUST SAID, THIS IS MY GODDAMN BLOG.

1. Weird Fetish Shit~ So, B and I, while driving around on Broad looking for something interesting to do, decided to stop in at Priscilla's. (For all you holy and naive folk, Priscilla's is a sex shop.) We like to go in and make fun of the adult movie titles, as well as start our Christmas shopping for all the prudes in the family, as fucking with people is pretty much our main source of entertainment. Anyway, there we go into Priscilla's. Of course, being the week before Halloween, there are whore mannequins galore, wearing all forms of glittered, nipple-cut-out, crotchless mesh and whatnot, along with signs emphasizing that customers SHOULD NOT TOUCH! (You can't help but wonder how many times the employees have had to call the police on creepy mannequin-fetish perverts who come in and start humping the faux females. Well, at least I wonder that. Maybe nobody else does.) So we're meandering through the store, marveling at the merchandise when all of a sudden we see something that is STRAIGHT UP SO FUCKING AWESOME IT'S ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO BELIEVE. Seriously. SERIOUSLY. What is it? What, what, what? An old lady, probably 70's, on a motorized scooter, perusing the hardcore porn with her Hispanic midget probably 40-ish-year-old boyfriend.

I swear I am not joking. I swear.

NO FUCKING KIDDING. YOU READ THAT RIGHT. I'll repeat it anyway for you.

A 75 YEAR OLD WOMAN ON A LITTLE JAZZY SCOUTING PORN WITH HER MIDGET MEXICAN.

Enough said.

2. On Saturday morning, after breakfast, B and I decided to walk the seven or eight blocks to one of my favorite places in Richmond-- The Edgar Allan Poe Museum. I love Poe. He was dark and creepy and crazy as all hell, which, if you take away the "dark" part, is pretty much JUST LIKE ME. I've been through the museum a million times, but I just wanted to hit the lobby, which doubles as the gift shop, and see if they had a Poe Wineglass, because I already have a Poe coffee mug, t-shirt, bobble head, and action figure, so what else could possibly make my life complete but a Poe Wineglass? NOTHING, BITCHES. Because, again, it was Halloween weekend and because Richmond is a city packed full of creepy nerds (like myself) the Poe Museum was hopping. The lobby/gift shop is in a teeny tiny brick house that was built in the 1700's, and is roughly the size of my walk-in closet, so with me and B and the eight or nine other people in there, I felt like I was in a musty, highly macabre sardine can. After we had been there for a few minutes, I was smashed against the wall, checking out the Poe finger puppets and wondering how I might incorporate them into my daily life when I heard a woman behind me talking to a cooing baby. I turned around to check out said baby and try to scare it with a bloody, corpse-like Poe puppet, and to high five the woman on starting her kid on Poe early, only to get an eyeful of nipple--two of them to be exact. This twenty-something, velvet-shirted, vintage hat-wearing hippie chick had her (likely hand crocheted by somebody else in her Love Commune) sweater hiked up around her neck, no bra in sight, and both rather large and swingy, leaky, milk-swollen boobs on display for Poe, God, and all the world to see. It was traumatic for me, to say the least. Now, I am not opposed to women breast feeding in public or anywhere else. I think it would actually be extremely convenient to be able to have kid-food on tap, and I'm all about some convenience. Hell, I'd probably be all over that shit if it worked for grown people too as B is ALWAYS hungry. I am also not opposed to seeing boobs, because I think boobs are great and if somebody has pretty boobs, hell, yes, I want to see them. I might even want to touch them. But THESE boobs? FUCK NO. And CLOSE ENOUGH SO THAT I COULD HAVE HAD A SNACK FROM THEM MYSELF? Once again, fuck no. And before any of you earth mommas out there give me any shit, I'd like to remind you yet again that THIS IS MY FUCKING BLOG. DEAL WITH IT, BITCHES. I DO NOT WANT TO BE EXPOSED TO YOUR LARGE SAGGY BREASTS FIVE INCHES FROM MY FACE WHEN I AM IN THE GODDAMN POE MUSEUM. So there.

3. My husband knows everybody. He just does. He's friendly and social and has probably had a beer at some point with your cousin's sister's neighbor's former co-worker's mailman, because, well, that's just B. (Please note how unlike me this is, as I still do not know all the names of my next door neighbors after nearly four years in our current home.) So it shouldn't have surprised me one bit when we were sitting at a nice, romantic, late dinner at La Grotta's on Saturday evening when a waiter brought our wine and when he walked away B said, "Hey. I know him." OF COURSE YOU DO. *sigh* AND OF COURSE YOU WILL REMEMBER HIS NAME, ALTHOUGH YOU MET HIM IN A GODDAMN BAR IN OHIO SEVENTEEN YEARS AGO AFTER YOU WERE ALREADY SIX BEERS IN AND FOUND OUT THAT YOU HAD SCREWED THE SAME LESBIAN AFTER TAKING ECSTASY AT A 311 CONCERT. Okay, so not really. But B DID know him. And he DID remember his name (Zack). Apparently about TWO years ago, B had stopped at a sushi restaurant in Suffolk for takeout and had randomly started talking to one of the guys there who was now waiting tables in a random restaurant in a random city that had nothing to do with where they had met or why we were there. BECAUSE THAT'S THE MAN I MARRIED AND HOW HE FUCKING ROLLS.

4. The hotel that we stayed in in Richmond was beautiful. It was old-Richmond charm with all the modern conveniences (because we all know if the sheets aren't at least 800 thread count, Haley is NOT HAPPY). The one downside was that, in nineteen floors of pampered bliss, we got the CRAZY ASS NEIGHBORS. BOTH NIGHTS. We were staying in the next-to-last room in the hallway, with a room on either side of us. One room was quiet both nights. The other was not. On Friday night, we spent the evening listening to some sort of Asian themed 1940's (ukulele and flute, perhaps?) music. All one could imagine while hearing this music was a Geisha girl, teetering around on tiny little bound feet, serving hot tea to her Johns before she sexed them up, Singapore style. (Yes, I do realize I'm mixing a lot of countries here. Suck it.) While this made for some interesting mental imagery, it also got kind of annoying after a bit. Luckily, large doses of sleeping pills can drown out anything.

OR SO I THOUGHT.

Until Saturday night, when the same room boasted occupants that were hands-down two of the most annoying people I have ever met (even worse than you, Mom). A man and a woman, and their stupid-ass baby, who made more fucking noise than any three human beings should be allowed to make. The woman made moronic baby talk and baby-attention-getting shrieks every ninety seconds or so, and the man was a FUCKING IDIOT (I'm basing this on the very clear conversations I heard between them) who sang "Big Girls Don't Cry" ALL THE WAY THROUGH every goddamn time the baby made a peep. And that baby? She busted through my Trazodone haze at 5am and is lucky I didn't go down the hall, kick the door down, and duct-tape her 10-month-old-mouth shut. (I know how old she was because I saw them the next morning as they were leaving the room, gave them the evil eye, and said, "How old is that baby?") Anyway, after a solid chunk of time listening to all this bullshit, I decided to retaliate in the best way I knew how (being a parent and all). I moaned. I screamed. I thrashed about and made sure the neighbors could hear every second of ecstasy. Because every seasoned parent knows they won't have sex again for approximately the next four years, except for the one 3-minute hookup they'll have to create another noisy mini-monster, and it sure as hell won't involve any ecstasy.

5. At this point, I haven't even gotten to the "Back Home Shit." Guess that will have to wait for another blog. And I can do that because THIS IS MY GODDAMN BLOG.