Monday, March 19, 2007

Something to Think About

Never, never, never in a million years would I have guessed then that I would be where I am now. Which seems pretty obvious. I mean, really, how many of us end up in any way where we thought we would? And then it dawned on me that maybe I'm the strange one (yes, it still can come as a surprise after all these years). After all, I know lots of people who are where I imagined they would be, where they always talked about being.

Perhaps it's just a failure of imagination. I don't really remember having any clear vision of where I was headed in the first place. Oh there were vague notions of traveling and being on stage, but nothing specific. I knew I wanted to leave Colorado and move far away from my parents and the stifling small-town environment, and, well, that's about it.

There's a line from the play, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, by Jane Wagner, that's haunted me ever since I first read it in college: I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.*

Are you where you thought you would be? Is it a good thing or a bad thing? Did you get what you wanted only to realize you didn't want it at all? Or did you just drift like I did with no clear vision? Has that worked out for you or not?

*A quick search on the fancy Internet turns up lots of attributions of this quote to Lily Tomlin. Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner write together (as well as being life partners), and Lily Tomlin starred in the original Broadway production of this play. Which is a meandering way of saying, my attribution may be wrong. Please don't sue me.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

I've Got a Little Secret

Oh dear lord am I tired. You know that bone deep weariness that tugs at you constantly? On the upside, it turns out that I have a very good reason for feeling this way...

I'm pregnant!

Yes, it's incredibly early to be sharing this sort of information, but since like 5 of you read this, I figured it was safe to announce it here. We've told our parents, but we're keeping mum to everyone else (expect you of course) until a bit later on. One never knows how these things will go for the first few months.

So far the fatigue is the only symptom. Although I swear my pants feel tighter already. I wonder if I can get away with jumping into my maternity clothes now and just telling people I'm already 4 months along. When they start making noises about it being any day now in August, I can look at them like they're crazy and claim I don't remember telling them I was 4 months in March. Maybe they'll chalk it up to me being a crazy pregnant woman?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Great Books That Don't Suck

Since I gave a list of "great" novels that I hate earlier this week, I thought it might be nice to share some titles of books that I actually liked. But these aren't just books that I enjoyed reading. These are books that changed the way I saw the world. They are also a few of the very small group of books that I've read more than once.

  • Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank The most realistic and probabilistic of any post-apocalyptic novel I've read (and there are quite a few - it's a sickness).
  • The Passion by Jeanette Winterson A poem in book form. So sublimely beautiful that it leaves me speechless. But that's just me.
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley To me the most horrifying of the near future novels (not quite the same as post-apocalyptic but probably part of the same sickness) because it seems so plausible. Originally published in 1932, recent advances in genetic manipulation make Huxley seem almost prophetic.
  • Defiance by Carole Maso I went looking for the Maso book Ava because someone I greatly admired loved it. This was all the bookstore had by Maso. I was utterly unprepared for what greeted me in these pages.
  • The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood Most likely my first exposure to a feminist text and one that still lingers in the back of my mind. Also another great example of prophetic literature - rise of the conservative right, anyone?

Attack of the Killer Scorpions!

More excitement at our house today! We had one of these lovely buggers on the tile between the living room and kitchen this afternoon. We've had a few scorpions in the house in the past year, but this one was a little different. This one stung my toddler! (And by "this one" I don't mean the actual photo - that was taken from an educational website - because despite the fleeting thought of taking his/her picture for posterity, I opted instead to beat it to a mushy insecty pulp while screaming at it, "That will show you to mess with my baby!")
Since Q has not gotten frothy at the mouth, or started twitching, or grown a huge swollen patch on his foot, I'm assuming our scorpion was a stripe tail and not the much more dangerous bark scorpion. I now know that stripe tails have, well, stripes. On their tails. And bigger, more lobster like pinchers. Unfortunately I didn't bother to look that closely at the evil thing. A picture might have been helpful, but seeing as I can't even tell the difference between the two when their photos are side by side on a website, maybe not so much.

Monday, March 12, 2007

One of Those Days

Ug. It's not that things went poorly (with the possible exception of the toddler squeezing juice all over the couch while I was cooking dinner), I just haven't been able to stop all day. And I'm tired. And I still have more that I could be doing.

Soon I will have one less thing to vie for my attention. I'm calling this week to cancel all but our basic cable. We got a smoking deal when we signed up that included all the premium channels with our DVR. Now, not so much. Ahhhhh, DVR. I really thought it would make my life so much better, being able to record and watch when I wanted to, being able to fast forward through the commercials. Mostly it means that I watch way more TV than I ever have before.

"Hey, that show looks interesting! Let's record it." "I haven't seen that movie in a decade! Let's record it." "The toddler looks at the TV more when that show's on! Let's record it."

I'm still not sure I can give up the DVR. Even if I only use it for a few shows a week, it will probably be worth it. I hope we still get Comedy Central; without the Daily Show I'm not sure how I'll manage to keep up on the news.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Great Novels That Suck

As I'm paging through the "Classics" pages at, it dawns on me that there are gaping holes in my education. And whoever decides if something is "classic" over there is applying the term quite liberally. Anyway, on to my list of great novels that suck...

  • Anything by John Steinbeck. Sadly I blame my distaste for Steinbeck on my schooling. We were required to read at least one of his novels every year from 7th grade on. Hey, I know! Let's force brooding, melodramatic teens girls to read stories filled the with soul crushing disappointments of marginal lives! By the time I got to Grapes of Wrath my senior year, I could no longer be objective.

  • The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway. The first Hemingway I read. But unlike with Steinbeck, I was not ruined. I went on to read just about every other terse, well chosen word Hemingway wrote and loved it all.

  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I read this one summer well after college as an attempt to fill some of those aforementioned holes in my education. The only thing that kept me turning pages was the hope that it would somehow get better. It didn't.

  • Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. I know, I know, this is practically anti-American. I wanted to love this novel because it's supposed to be the defining novel of social outcasts and critics of social norms every where. And I tried. I've probably started the thing 4 or 5 times. Could never finish it. I find Holden Caulfield as annoying as the phonies.

  • The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams. Ok, not technically a novel, but it's my list so I can make the rules. Why are so many "classics" just so damn depressing? If I ever have to sit through a production of this play again, I may need major therapy to recover.

  • All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren. I was supposed to read this book in a senior year English course. I only got a few chapters into it before declaring it boring beyond belief and refusing to read it. My teacher knew this (because I just can't keep these things to myself - you're shocked, I know) and still had to give me a C on my paper because of my decent writing skills.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Car Trouble

Yesterday on his way to work, the hub called to tell me he thought his alternator was going out. Then he called from the coffee shop to tell me that his truck wouldn't start. He walked to work (it wasn't far) and said he'd find someone to give him a jump on their way home.

Fast forward many hours...

The hub gets a jump and starts driving home. About 5 miles from said home, the truck quits. I give him the number of a tow truck company, but after an hour, he asks me to come pick him up. It's now after 7.

I load up a reluctant toddler ("Just leave me here," ummmm, tempting) and head out. The first auto shop we stop at is already closed. We make it to another before they close, and the hub buys a new alternator. We run home to get the tools. The switching of the alternators goes pretty smoothly, but it's now after 9:30, the toddler is still awake, and my poor hub has not eaten dinner.

Thankfully the truck is still running; the dead alternator didn't completely trash the battery. And despite going to bed after me last night, the toddler is surprisingly not a brat today. And I have another excuse to write.

The funny thing is that I believed we had a really uneventful life...until I started this blog. Now it seems like there are small dramas happening left and right. Was it always like this and I just failed to notice?

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Just When You Think It's Over

I had assumed that my illness was food poisoning. It was fast and violent. And I had eaten one meal away from my family, explaining why I was the only one who was sick. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

The boy had a super short nap yesterday, and still being tired myself, I was a little short with him. He was whiny when he got up and kept saying he had to cough. I was on the computer so I told him to come sit in my lap while I worked. Then he vomited. All. Over. Me.

I know I mentioned how much I hate to vomit. I failed to mention how much I just hate vomit.

Poop I can handle. Vomit is my husband's job. Too bad he was in San Diego for the day. Which turned out bad for him too since he was vomiting also. At least they they were both spared the attack at the other end of the system. Now that I think about it, thank god I was spared a second round by proxy. It's the little things.

At least with the man gone and the boy in bed early I could indulge my most shameful guilty pleasure...
America's Next Top Model.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

My New Best Friend

I hate to throw up. Really, truly hate it. I've been known to fight the urge for upwards of 5 hours. Sure I feel better after I vomit, but how I feel during the vomiting is so bad that I can't even make myself do it. Obviously bulemia is not something that holds much interest for me.

Sunday night my hub wanted to go to bed at 9 (we had a very busy weekend), but I begged him to rub my back for a few minutes. I burped a few times, told him my tummy didn't feel good, then jumped up and ran to the bathroom to toss up my dinner salad. Things only got worse from there.

It was almost 3 before my system was cleaned out. I got up a few times yesterday to suck on ice cubes but pretty much slept the whole day. The hub was supposed to be in CT, but he cancelled at the last minute to take care of me (which was mostly taking care of the boy so I could sleep).

I've managed to keep down two cups of tea (mmmmmm, caffeine) and a slice of toast this morning. And I don't feel comatose. But I'm all woozy and icky. And I'm not looking forward to cleaning out the bathroom trashcan...

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Faith in Humanity - Case 1138

The hub, the boy, and I drove about 2 hours early Friday afternoon to visit the hub's brother and his wife for the weekend. While we waited for them to get home, we all played in the greenbelt in front of their house and in the park down the street (where I met a pure bred Shar-pei, but that's a different story). Not long after my brother- and sister-in-law got home from work, my hub and his brother decided to head off to the grocery store to pick up food for dinner. Except my hub's wallet was no where to be found.

We searched the greenbelt. We searched the park. We tore through the car. My man was quite depressed. My sister-in-law and I both told him to start calling his credit card companies, but he wanted to wait until morning. I called a friend at home to ask her to search our house Saturday morning before we drove back early.

At about 9:30, my hub's cell phone rings. It's his State Farm insurance agent with the name and number of a local police officer that has his wallet. A man walking through the park found the wallet and took it to the police. The first thing they found with a phone number was my hub's insurance card. My hub and his brother go pick up the wallet.

The best part...not one thing was missing.

To everyone out there who has ever played the part of the Good Samaritan, we thank you.