Thursday, September 30, 2010

Nook Out

Well, Tangerine has not come back. little kid and I canvassed the neighborhood, interviewing neighbors and putting up missing posters. He also built several cat traps around the community by collecting small twigs and placing them upright in different patterns. He built a master cat trap in my room out of a tv tray, a small flag, a small fishing net, some string and the top of a wooden decorative box. Pretty MacGyverish of him.

(But ineffective and unsightly.)

little kid was angry and then sad about her disappearance. He holds out hope that she's just out on an adventure and he wants to get a new cat. Big Kid was unaffected until he saw one of the signs on the way to school this morning; that made him cry. Mr. Ashley and I miss her and hardly know what to do with ourselves without all of the howling and cursing and faucet wrangling.

Maybe she was just finally sick of our shit and found a new source of running water.

I got a Nook for my birthday and I love love love it. I was one of those "I like books too much!" people but I already love it and I'm already reading a lot more, just for the novelty (pun intended). It turns out that I like words more than books.

Right now I'm reading "The Art of Racing in the Rain." My hairdresser recommended it and I was uninterested at first. It is written from a dog's perspective and I could tell she was all emotional about it; her and I have similar reading tastes but sometimes she likes cheesy feel-good stuff about angels and things. Also, anything relating to dogs always ends up being sad and I hate setting myself up for sadness. She admitted it was sad but said I had to read it anyway. This carried on for two appointments in a row, so when I saw it in the e-book section of the library, I downloaded it. I'm only a few chapters in but I'm already completely in love with this book. It's a challenge to even talk to you all right now because I want to get back to reading. I'm still near the beginning but it is clever and beautifully written; I have already cried happy and sad tears over it. I look forward to the rest of it.

I'm also reading Zeitoun by Dave Eggers (just because I can carry around 2 books at once now) but it's based on a true story from Hurricane Katrina and I know it's going to make me sad and mad, so I'm reluctant to jump right in. I know it will be wonderful because everything by Eggers is, but I hate sad stuff that happened in real life.

Big Kid bought me Animal Crossing: City Life for my birthday. I've been wanting Animal Crossing for the Wii and he was very excited about buying it for me, so that was really sweet. I saved up a bunch of money in the game so that I could pay off the mortgage on my little house after I got everything decorated just so--and then little kid played on my account and sold everything I owned for a ninja sword. But he still didn't have enough money for the ninja sword, so he just bought a bunch of hats and sunglasses instead. Pretty annoying. I could see this happening in real still living together when we're 70 and 42 and him using the mortgage payment for a ninja sword.

Not much else to report here; I'm really only checking in because I feel guilty neglecting you all for my new Nook.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


You know how I have one good cat and one bad cat? Pearl and Tangerine? The love of my life and the bad roommate?

Well, Tangerine, who I was just jokingly trying to get rid of on Facebook hours earlier and who I've fantasized about tossing over the back fence on particularly bad days, has gone missing today.

She's a total pain in the ass and always has been. We were once engaged in a 2 year battle with her over her unacceptable behavior, which resulted in a lot of clothes getting peed on out of spite. We finally called a truce, but in reality, she totally won. She runs the show around here and drives us crazy. She demands that we use the exact same brand of litter she's always used and put it in the exact same box and keep it in quality condition. She will howl for fresh running tap water, sometimes at 3am if she's thirsty--there's no drinking from a bowl, just louder and longer howling until you give in. If she wants in or out, she starts the howling up again--and yeah, you think you could ignore the howling but you're totally wrong, she is relentless. She loves us grudgingly and only occasionally, if she's in the mood for us to touch her.

She's a total bitch kitty but she's our bitch kitty and now I'm upset that she's gone. I've had her for 10 years. She's always been super tiny and used to fit in the pocket of Mr. Ashley's jeans. We've always joked that her and Pearl are twins even though that's quite obviously not true. Her and little kid are good buddies; they share a bond in their obnoxiousness.

She's a part of our crazy, annoying little family and now I've got to print up missing posters and hope I can bring her dumb ass home.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Put it Back

little kid is wearing a metal colander on his head and is screaming that I don't love him and that I need to say sorry to him for not loving him but he'll never forgive me for this.

(I don't love him because I asked him to put my colander and cookie sheet back in the kitchen.)

Monday is my birthday and all I want is 1 one way ticket away. Anywhere. I don't even need a place to stay, a park bench will work just fine as long as no one is standing in front of me screaming or wanting something.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bear and Emma

little kid has been watching a lot of Man vs. Wild lately. It's a show where they drop some guy off in some horrible location without any supplies and he lives like he's going to die at any second, even though we all know there's a camera crew and probably a medi-vac helicopter on hand at all times.

I wasn't sure about the appropriateness at first since I don't watch this sort of thing myself, but he loves nature shows and after watching him mimic making a camp fire and listening to his plans to collect fresh water next time we go on a weekend camping trip, I decided it appeared to be okay.

He wanted to continue watching it through lunch so I set up a lunch tray in front of him. I walked back by a moment later to witness him eating a turkey sandwich while watching Bear Grylls scoop the brains out of a crispy dead rat. Hmmm, I thought as I wondered about lasting damage from this.

"'at's a dead rat, mumum," he told me. He seemed fine. People hunt and stuff. One day he'll probably be one of those people. It still seemed alright for him to watch, plus I wasn't up for the fight of trying to change it to Diego.

The next time I walk by, Bear Grylls is floating around on some homemade raft. He's moaning about how dehydrated he is and how urgent it is that he gets water. He has a leaf and some sort of hose set up and I thought, "I should watch how he gets water, just in case we ever get lost at sea in the boat." (This is something I worry about sometimes. Too much Shark Week.)

"This water is rancid," Bear informs us, "It's full of bird droppings, it has a terrible odor..."

"You should ask your cameraman for some of his water," I thought. "We all know you're not about to die out there on that raft, you freak."

As I mentally tune back in, I realize Bear is pulling down his pants. And he's talking about enemas. And how the colon is able to absorb water and that it's one way around the gag reflex (not around my gag reflex! I'm gagging just thinking about it again!) and I realize that dude is about to give himself an enema with rancid bird turd water. It's all blurred out but still.

I was frozen, waiting for little kid to comment, knowing if I leapt for the remote that I'd call even more attention to how bizarre and wrong this was.

"Mumum? Why's he got his pants down?"

"Who? Him?"


"I think he's peeing. He probably had to pee and didn't want to get his pants wet."

"What's a emmana?"

"An Emma? That's a girl's name."

"What? What girl?"

"Yes, he was talking about a girl who had been ship wrecked and lost at sea. Named Emma."

He looked confused and I was relieved when I realized Bear's pants were back up, that he wasn't going to die of dehydration and that this conversation was over.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Master Pastor

little kid had chapel at school today and church days are his favorite.  "That guy 'at talks a lot was there. We call him Master."

"You mean Mister?"

"No, he's our Master. We call him Master."


"Wait, do you mean Pastor?"


He's been wanting me to read him "The Living Bible Story Book" which was my Bible as a child (according to the inscription on the inside from my grandparents). I don't remember the child's version of the Old Testament being so violent and scary. Holy doom and gloom, Batman!

He loves it of course, all of the killing and vengeance and smiting.

Big Kid hung around for the chapters about Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel and Noah's Ark before he was completely ticked off at what he believes is God's long history of majorly overreacting.

"God kicked them out of the Garden of Eden forever for eatin' an apple? And made it so we all had to turn to dust when we die and have no food and stuff? It's too much. If God forgives once the Saver comes, how come he's drownin' people and kickin' 'em out of their homes and ruinin' the whole wide world that HE made instead of forgiving in the first place?? I think they should've been allowed back in the garden; maybe just a long time out or somethin'. It's not right."

little kid desperately wants to build an altar so we can sacrifice a lamb and then set it on fire for God.

So, I'd say home Bible study isn't going so well around here.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Oh Noes

My laptop keyboard keyss are randomly not working or pressing twice. Sometimes it's ok but i I'm trying to o nything fun or important, it strts going hywire. I don't know if ssome may have spie wter on the eys n not to me or if the computer itseff is ust rey to expoe but this is very sad and fruutrating for me.

Pease send hep.

Monday, September 20, 2010


I've been trying to deep clean the house and purge some things and I would like to thank the show Hoarders for motivating me and encouraging me to keep on track. My thought process usually goes like this:

What should I do with this? Throw it out?
That's still kind of useful! We can't throw that out, we might need that.
That's what those people on Hoarders say. Is that what we want? If keeping this item means that one day strangers may be sifting dead cats out of the crap piled up around our house, will that be worth it?
No. We can throw that out.

And it feels good to get rid of stuff. I also have a garage sale pile because I live in Garage Sale Central, but some things aren't even worth saving until then. I do feel bad for the landfill, but not bad enough to potentially end up on that show one day.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Chicken Apple Frog Piece Pie

little kid still works a lot and often complains about scheduling conflicts between work and school. He found an old phone handset today and said he needed to make calls to his boss, a work friend and a work friend's mother.

"My boss is Moe. I gots to call him 'cuz he's never at wook," he said, while waiting for Moe to answer.

"Sounds like my boss," Mr. Ashley answered.

"Well, he's at my wook sometimes but he's like walkin' around and stuff. I can't talk to him, so I gots to call him on a phone."

"That's a manager for you," we commiserated with him, laughing. Moe never did answer.

I almost arranged a meeting with these elusive work friends one day when little kid tentatively mentioned that I had never seen or heard any of his friends from work and I must be sad not to have met them.

"Yeah. Why haven't I met them?"

"Uh, 'cuz they's busy a lot. Wookin' and stuff."

"Maybe we could have them over for dinner one night." He laughed and then looked a little nervous when I smiled back, waiting for an answer.

"Oh, yeah. Hmmmm. Maybe we could do 'at." He studied the ceiling and then began picking at the carpet near his feet.

"When? What night is best for them?"

"Ah. Uh. Here's a thing--" He looked up from his carpet picking. "They only eat chicken and apple pies." He scrunched his nose, like this disgusting entree was obviously a deal breaker.

"Hmm. Well, I can cook chicken pies! I could just add some apples. That might be good actu--"

"...with frogs. Chopped up pieces of frogs. Like all bloody and gooey and stuff? It's all they eat. But you's don't got to chop up any frogs, mine mumum."


"Yeah, so maybe no dinner. You can meet 'em maybe later."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Goodbye Kiss

Today I walked Big Kid to school and the kids were all waiting outside of the classroom for the teacher to open the door. I sat him down next to a group of boys and went to kiss his temple before leaving. My lips smacked the air near his ear and as I leaned in further to complete the kiss, I saw a quick flash of embarrassment and annoyance. It was then that I realized he had moved away on purpose.


We are officially at the point where looking cool in front of a bunch of punks is more important than one last snuggle from mom.

I understand. Really, I do.

But I still sniffled about it a bit on the walk home.

Monday, September 13, 2010

That Job

Okay, so I obviously didn't get That Job.

And I had truly decided that I did not want That Job. During the 2 week waiting period, I would wake Mr. Ashley up in the middle of the night and ask, "What are we going to do if I get that job?" and he would groan and say, "I really hope you don't get that job." This was a common refrain. That Job's hours were insane, the duties heavy and the salary was mediocre. It would have been difficult to turn down because it was a great opportunity, but actually doing it wouldn't have been enjoyable.

As much as I hated the idea of being a non-working, stay at home mom...the actual gig is pretty sweet. Especially in my new neighborhood, which is the Kingdom of SAHMs. Everyone walks their kids to school and chats with the crossing guard and goes to the volunteer meetings at the school. It makes me want to gag to even admit this, but I really like all of that. The kids love it too. We bake cookies after school and stuff. I'm not even kidding.

I also don't mind laying by the pool by myself while little kid's in school. I clean the house in the mornings just so that I can justify doing that in the afternoons. My 2 hours and 40 minutes of alone time each week day isn't much, but damn it's good.

I'm probably going to return to my old real estate-related job because I can make good money and work from home and because I'm good at it--but admitting that makes me want to gag even worse than confessing to my PTA mom-like tendencies. I feel completely traumatized by everything real estate related but it's the most obvious solution, and throwing away a decade of experience and training and good earning potential over a couple years of trauma seems foolish. I guess.

It's just not what I wanted to be when I grew up.

But anyway, even though I didn't want That Job, I'm now completely offended that I didn't get that job. Which is crazy! I also no longer want to be Facebook friends with the boss of That Job. Which is silly! And I'm still over-analyzing the whole interview. Which is annoying!

So I'm still unemployed and crazy. And I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


...and Most Depressing Book of the Year award goes to....The Road!

I see how this is a "good" book because it used words well and in interesting ways but damn that was a huge buzz kill after my The Help high.

I'm glad I read it in a "Can check that off the list now" and "Something different" sort of way but I probably wouldn't lend it to a friend. When my hairdresser saw it in my lap and asked how it was, I told her it was sad and that I didn't really know what to say about it. I mentioned that they didn't use apostrophes in contractions and she said, "That is sad."

It's just a depressing book, even down to the punctuation.

I didn't love it, or hate it, or even really care that much. It was short and that was the best part.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I just finished reading "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett last night and I'm still blown away by how good it was. I also can't believe this is the author's first book--this was a seriously well-crafted, beautifully written, meaningful, important and enjoyable story. It might even be on my Top 10 best books list (but I don't know because I'm not about to sit and make a list right now, sorry.)

I got it from the new section of the library without realizing they wanted it back in 1 week. It's pretty long and I've been pretty picky with books lately, so I thought I'd be returning it unread. At first I was kind of bored with the whole idea and was wondering if it was only so popular because of the way it's partially written in the old southern dialect of a black housekeeper. I thought it was okay and kept reading because I had nothing else to read by the pool.

It all came together so well though and I'm so glad I stuck it out and read the whole thing. It was one of those books where once I finished, I wished I had read the last few chapters a little slower because now it's over forever and I enjoyed the characters so much that I'll miss them. I'm okay with owing a late fee on it. (Sorry, library.)

I also want to thank whoever suggested Molokai and Honolulu--those were great books. Especially Molokai, which was about a 5-year-old girl in old Hawaii who gets diagnosed with leprosy and quarantined to a leper colony on an island. It was really interesting and written well.

Now I'm trying to get into The Road with Cormac McCarthy but it's too soon to tell if I like it or hate it. I will be surprised if I love it but sometimes I'm wrong.

I'm sick right now but no one here cares. People are punching each other and crying and using my nasal spray as a water gun and breaking stuff and asking for things and talking about video games way too often. Actually, little kid is the one doing almost all of those things. He's playing zoo, which means he's got about 9 zillion toys out, and he's narrating the whole thing musically so it's pretty loud. And not as interesting as you'd think. Just loud. Now he's lying on the floor crying because he can't have pudding. Such a hard life!

I'd rather be reading.

Friday, September 3, 2010


Since little kid was always lamenting that last year's 1 hour a week "school" was far too long and because he says inappropriate things on a near constant basis, I was fairly certain that he was not ready for pre-k. I feared for the Lutherans and for the potential embarrassment that would come when they would need to confront me about his behavior.

But (so far) I was wrong! Not only is little kid mature and respectful at school, he loves it. Every day he asks me if he's going to school and every single day while I'm tying his shoes he tells me, "You's a good mumum for gettin' me to a school." He usually thanks me on the way there for taking him, too. He has a zillion nameless "best friends" and I can tell by the way the teachers smile when they see me that they love him.

(And no, it's not a "Ha! Do I know things about you..." sort of smile, it's always a "You and I both know this is one cool little dude" type of smile.)

It's really nice.

He's also becoming a devout little Christian. He loves when they go to church and shows me how quietly they talk and how he sits with his hands on his lap. I asked if they talk to God there and he says they haven't met him yet, so far it's just some other guy who talks a lot.

He brings home Bible verses and insists that his favorite book is "God's Book for Childrens" (aka the Bible). I really thought it was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It is very sweet that he enjoys it so much though and it makes me smile to hear him talking about God's greatest love. He recently asked me what God's son's name is again and why he had to die for us. I've never understood that part of the story, so I told him to ask his teachers.

The other day he came home and very solemnly told me that the devil smiles when you lie. I've got to admit, I felt really uncomfortable when he said this. It made me get goosebumps and I felt momentarily speechless. I just said "Lying is bad" and left it at that. It seems like a bizarre thing to tell a group of preschoolers to me.

I knew that with him attending a Christian preschool that some awkward (for us) stuff may come up and I was okay with it. Hell, Big Kid attended a Jewish Temple preschool and we loved the entire experience, including all of the holidays. I like my kids being able to try different things and make their own choices down the line, or at least gain a greater sense of acceptance of others.

But the devil thing creeped me out. I want my children to be good for goodness' sake, not for fear of some evil, gnarled, horned being slinking around in the shadows waiting to snatch them up over a lie. I want my kids to become good people so their lives will be satisfying, without heaven or the fear of hell being the carrot on a stick that motivates them.

Eventually little kid became preoccupied with the devil, asking what he looked like, if you could talk to him like you could talk to God, if he was a nocturnal animal, what would happen if you wrote him a note to tell him that you didn't want to ever be his friend, and how we know that God is the good guy and the devil is the bad guy. What if God is the bad guy and part of his plan is to make the devil look bad?

It was becoming a freaking philosophical nightmare around here.

He came home from school on Friday and asked me if the devil talks to animals. "Why?" I asked, feeling very alarmed.

"I'm 'fraid the devil's gonna take Murphy for peein' in a house," he answered, looking worried.

"I don't believe in the devil." I answered (while kind of wishing that the devil would come take Murphy for peeing in the house), feeling fed up with this topic of conversation.


"I don't think there is a devil. There's not some big bad guy out there in charge of all of the bad things in the world just waiting to make people be bad."

"How comes my teatsers say there is?"

"Different people believe different things. You know how there is good in the world and how there is evil in the world? Kind of like Batman and Joker, one is good and one is evil, right? Well, the people that want to be on God's team work together to try to make good things happen. The devil is just a pretend character that represents the bad things in the world and the bad feelings that make you want to do bad things. You have to fight against those bad things so that good always wins. Know what I mean? There's not some bad guy you're going to punch, you're just going to do your best to always do the right thing and to be kind to others and to not lie because you want to be on the good guys' team, making good things happen so the world can be a good place for everyone. You can believe whatever you want, but that's what I think."

"I wanna believe in no devil, too."

He looked so relieved. I'm sure he'll disrupt the class with his new found belief, but it's better than me having to talk about the devil all of the damn time.

So, other than our brief Satan infestation, school is going surprisingly well and is bringing little kid even closer to the "God, guns and the good ol' U.S. of A" kind of guy I'm pretty sure he'll grow up to be.

Plus, it gets him out of the house for 3 hours a day and that's a true blessing.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Nice Try

"Can I have my men back?" little kid asked.

"I don't think so. Not today."

"But I don't hardly gots any man toys! Why?"

"Because you threw a deck of Skip-bo cards around the family room and then fought with me when I asked you to pick them up. Remember how you said I didn't love you? That I had never loved you? That I was a mean mom? That you were running away? That you were going to find a new family? And you got a time-out but you were still all mouthy so I took away your box of toys? Remember that now?"

He looked regretful; like he wished he hadn't brought it up. "Hmmmmmm," he said, leaning his forehead against my knee to avoid eye contact. "I think...." he looked up at me "'re beautiful."

The Master Manipulator strikes again. He looked confused when I laughed out loud.

"So I's not gettin' no mens back today?"

"No. No, you're not. But thanks."

Other Entertainment

Life goes
Gay phase
Your bitch
Hedgehogs --I hung out with Reggie the other night and despite his nightly marathon running...he is morbidly obese. I'm talking big hoss dog fatty fatty bobaladdie big. He's more like a Hedgeheifer. So, he's on a diet. Sucks to be him.