Tuesday, November 28, 2006

This And That

Thing One:
It was a GREAT day in football land on Sunday! How about my Titans?!! Coming back from a three TD shut out to win by making three TD's and a field goal in the last nine minutes!! And my Redskins won and my Colts won. AND we got to see it all on a brand new, bee-yu-tee-full, huge HDTV! AND we learned very important information about ourselves! To wit, VBGF, Lilymane, and Sweet Hubby should not discuss their idea of a dream television over lunch margaritas and Circuit City commercials. (Don't you love margarita logic? Ours went like this: we (meaning 'Sweet Hubby') would like (meaning 'is dying for') a PS3; they're impossible to get right now; our current tv isn't compatible anyway; we've been sorta, kinda saving up; remember daddy gave us that money last year; and Circuit City has 1080p, V8, LCD, EFG, surround woofer, beryllium crystal tv's on super duper, oh-my-gosh-we'd-be-fools-to-pass-up-this-once-in-a-lifetime sale. And VOILA! We have a new tv!)

Thing Two:
I don't blog much when the weather is gorgeous. (And I think that upper 60's and sunny in post-Thanksgiving November is bordering on the miraculous side of gorgeous.) We have been playing in, I mean raking, the leaves.

Thing Doesn't Have A Number Because I'm Trying Not To Freak Out About It:
I hate the word "biopsy". I hate doctors who say things like, "It's tiny. Nothing to worry about. It's fine. Really. We just want to biopsy it to be sure." I think the word biopsy should not be allowed to be said without saying the word "valium" first. Just my opinion.

Thing Last But Not Least:
(Okay - actually - it is, in fact, the very least.) I think fart jokes must have been illegal to put in movies when I was a kid. Either that or I conveniently blocked them out. I liked it better that way. My poor children. I think every movie they have ever seen in their whole little lives has had fart jokes. I don't know when the laws changed or why or even how to query google about it all. But I know that I must be approaching geezerhood because I'm longing for the good ole days in children's cinema. Sigh.

Peace Out.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


I won't talk about my ex. Or about how many different variations of plague one family can catch. Or about the squajillions of ants I have killed now that the boys are away. Or about my intense, yet ridiculous struggles with perfectionism (and abject failure) in the NaNo arena.

Today it's all about the thanks. Today I give thanks for
-Divorce (hip, hip, hooray!)
-Doctors (and insurance and antibiotics and rest and chicken soup - Yay!)
-True Loves (you know who you are!)
-Bug (who is going to get to be with us over Christmas - Rejoice!)
-Chaos (even though he thinks the word "phlegm" is pronounced so that it rhymes with "Belgium".)
-Mayhem (who got his hair cut in a cool, soccer boy kind of way and then parted it down the middle, slicked it back in curliecues and talked like Forrest Gump for the rest of the day)
-the Ninja Princessa (from whom we learn many, many things - all of them having to do with Jeremy Sumpter)
-Havoc (who wants to open his own restaurant so he can eat peanut butter and onion sandwiches if he wants to)
-Wasabi (who is most often called "Sir Leafy Butt" these days because who knew that many leaves could get tangled in that much fur that quickly?)
-Fantastic Friends (of which I have many and they all rock the house but today I give thanks most especially for C is for Coffee - who scared the crap out of me with her high blood pressure/heart murmur thing but who is going to be FINE! and also for my wonder twin St. Ann and her soon-to-be expanding (by only one, right?) crew!)
-the Blogoshpere (without which I wouldn't have "met" some of my newest fantastic friends and because of which I feel daily pulled out of myself and connected with a world I wouldn't know otherwise)

Peace and Happiest of Thanksgivings.

Friday, November 17, 2006

This One Has A Little Star

The sun is out.
The leaves are gold.

I have a book
I like to hold.

My bag is packed.
My plan is bold.

My bag is packed.
My plan is bold.

I have a book
I like to hold.

The sun is out.
The leaves are gold.

And now my* story is all told.

*Well, mine a la Theodor. Hey, guess who's going away for the weekend?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A Case Of The Drearies (With Jumping Spiders Thrown In For Extra Fun)

The past five days the weather has been as dismal as everyone in my household has felt: gray, rain, cold, and yucky. I usually don't get sick with the germies the kids bring home but this time I was down for the count. About the only positive energy I've been able to muster has been to be grateful that it's warm and dry inside our house. I've been bundled up in bed fighting off fever and aches, glad for the blankets and for not having to be outside. Apparently I'm not the only one who decided warm and dry was better than cold and wet.

We have been invaded. There were ants all over the bathtub. Little, tiny ants. All over the tub. Now, because of my son's historical attachment to ants, I have to watch my step here. There were thousands of them so it's not a matter of catch and release. I snuck in the Comet and a bottle of 409, locked the door, and wiped down everything. Tub, floor, potty, counter, faucets, grout. I hate cleaning when I'm sick but I hate bathing in a tub full of ants worse. I was feeling pretty sorry for myself for having to deal with tiny little bugs. I so deserved a nice, long bath. And I would have enjoyed it too. Except that the minute I got in the (now very clean) tub a spider jumped in the tub with me. Arrrrrhhhhhhhh! And THEN as I was sloshing around getting out and trying not to let it touch me another one jumped up on the ledge of the tub (and missed) and then dissappeared somewhere behind the potty.

I am so not okay at this point in the story. It's bad enough when spiders scuttle, but jumping spiders give me the heebeejeebees. And jumping spiders (PLURAL -->spiderS) when I'm naked and defenseless? Oh no no. I was clutching the towel and looking for my clogs. "I will smush them, yes I will," I said to myself. I wrapped up, put my glasses on and went into revenge mode. One problem. Turns out they were not spiders. They were crickets. Aww man! I can't kill crickets. This is why. Dammit. I rescued the sopping wet one (I think he was still alive) and I chased the one from behind the potty into a cup. (I still hate it when they hop - even if they're not spiders. It startles me.) I flung them out into the back yard. Did I mention it's cold and dreary here? And bug infested. I'm trying not to be grumpy but I think I'm going to get back in bed with my amocxicillin and 409 and Raid.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Plague Report

Strep. Throat.
Tummy. Aches.
Head. Hurts.
Teeth. Extracted. (Guess that's not so much related to plague but since the only one who hasn't had the plague had to have THREE teeth pulled on a day when everyone else was sick in bed - she gets to be listed here too. So give it up for Princessa, the toothless wonder. Yaaaaaay!)
Oh! And Itchy. Skin. (Kibbles-only plan? Not working.)

We are the House of Fun. We'd invite you over, but we've run out of chicken soup. There are, however, plenty of potato-rabbit kibbles.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

At Least Butter Is Yummy

Note to self: Don't leave the lid off the butter dish and the butter dish on the counter.
Turns out Wasabi likes butter. A lot. Enough to eat a whole stick of it. Who knew he could even reach up on the counter?
I'm not sure what to do with my dog right now. He's supposed to be on a kibbles only diet for his itchy skin. These are not just any kibbles - they are insanely expensive, hypoallergenic, potato and rabbit kibbles. (I know. Ick.) We'd been a little bit wishy-washy about starting him on this strict regimen. (And by 'we', I totally mean me.) We've never fed him from the table or even fed him much 'people' food at all. But he loves his rawhide and his marrow bones. It is very hard to refrain from giving him treats. He loves treats. I love to give him treats. We blew it once or twice with the treats. Then I discovered a whole 20 pound bag of the old food that I'd forgotten I'd bought for him. Well, I do want what is best for my dog, but I'm not about to let a $30 bag of dog food go to waste! (Especially as the vet warned us that it was no quick fix to change food. She said it could take 10 more weeks of itching to begin to see a change with the new food!)

So finally after using up the old stuff, yesterday was the first day of our new and improved, "nothing is going to stand in our way this time" approach to the allergy-buster, kibbles only diet. What did my dog do? He left the kibbles in his bowl. Apparently, he ate lunch in the courtyard (where I haven't raked) instead. I didn't notice this while he was doing it, but that is the only explanation I can come up with for the fact that my dog barfed leaves all over the carpet in the middle of the night. Then? He gnawed on the rubber end of one of my dumbbells. So nutritious. And today? He ate an entire stick of butter. I don't think he's so down with the kibbles only plan. I think Wasabi has embarked on his own plan: an "Anything Except Kibbles" plan. What am I supposed to do with my leaf barfing, dumbbell chewing, butter dish licking dog? I ask you.

No Mo NaNo?

Y'all may be sick of NaNoWriMo. I know I am. I'm interested in my writing process but not my novel. I'm suddenly feeling an urge to clean my house. I seriously considered signing up for this. (<--How cool is that? Thanks St. Ann!) I've been tempted to Christmas shop. And decorate. Which should convince you to search behind my house for the pod because I hate Christmas decorations - even at Christmas. So. What to do? I was pretty sure I was going to give up on NaNo. Let the real writers continue on without me. And then this email (or part of it anyway) from the head dude at NaNo:

But this email is not for those doing exceptionally well. It's for the rest of us---authors with underdeveloped word counts, overdeveloped novel-guilt complexes, and sensational procrastinating abilities. Because we are the ones who are going to begin having serious misgivings about this whole escapade in the next seven days.


Because it turns out we are too busy to do this.

Or because a crisis has brought some novel-eating turmoil into our lives.

Or because our stories are really, really bad, and we're wondering why we're sacrificing so much of our time to produce a consistently crappy book.

It all adds up to the fabled Week Two Wall---a low-point of energy, enthusiasm, and joie de novel that strikes most NaNoWriMo participants between days 7 and 14. This is when our inner editors, who largely turned a blind eye to our novel flailings in Week One, return to see how things are going. And their assessments are never kind.

The plot is draggy. The characters are boring. The dialogue is pointless, and the prose has all the panache of something dashed off by a distracted kindergartner.

If you're feeling any of these things---or find yourself starting to feel them this week---know that nothing is wrong. In fact, you're likely on track for a great NaNoWriMo. Just lower your head, pick up your pace, and write straight into the maw of your misgivings. If you are thinking about quitting, DO NOT DO IT IN WEEK TWO.

If you have to quit, do it in Week Three.

I'm serious.

Gah. Now I CAN'T quit! It's just a wall. If I stick in there I'll get something amazing out of this process! Like...um, well the Municipal Liason promised me a temporary tattoo. I don't know. I'll have to see when I get past this wall. So. Even though I thought seriously about killing my main character yesterday, I will give her a one week reprieve. She sure better do something interesting this week. If not, then it won't matter how on target Mr. Head of NaNo's letter is next week, she'll get the axe.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Post Election Blues

Goodbye Rumsfeld! About damn time! (I think Gates is a great replacement. I like his reputation for consensus building and reservist spook that I was lo' those many years ago, I'm totally comfortable with his CIA background. He worked his way up from total peon to director - he knows how to listen.)

And? We have the House and maybe (oh, don't jinx it Lilymane!) even the Senate.

I am sad the ban on gay marriage passed here. (What the HELL are people afraid of here - oh right! HELL! They're afraid of hell - because you know, people loving each other is what gets other people sent to hell. The right wingers are brain damaged. That's my only explanation.) I'm also sad that Harold Ford Jr lost. I'm a blue, blue girl in a red, red state. But I'm so glad to see the beginnings of change. Here's to a bluer future!

NaNo Implosion

My main character? I don't like her. She won't do a thing I want her too. I am like seven thousand words behind schedule because she's a pain in the potatoes. I keep thinking, "It doesn't matter. Just write." It doesn't have to be a GOOD story - just one that takes circa 50,000 words to tell. But I don't want to tell her story anymore. This is fascinating to me. I've been thinking about her story every day for months and I've been waiting to see what's going to happen and a measley 2,000 words in - her story is boring. Yawn. Sigh. Go clean the toilet bowl instead.

Worse? Sweet Hubby thoughtfully (without realizing that I'm not allowing myself to read fiction this month while I'm supposed to be writing it) brought home Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. It is torture to see it sitting there beside my bed, unread.

I'm not sure you'll hear from me for a day or two (yeah, yeah, yeah - she's said that before) while I trick my boring saint into doing remotely interesting.
Peace Out.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I Voted! (You'll Just Have To Imagine The Flag)

You know how usually after you cast your ballot they give out stickers that say "I Voted!" and have a flag on them? Well - I Voted! And? My lame-o precinct gave out no stickers. I guess our fancy ballot machines cut into the sticker budget this election. You should see these machines! Beee-yoo-tifull! Easy peasy to operate. Very clear. Anyone who messes up their ballot on these puppies is beyond hope. Still, I'm stickerless. Sad Lilymane. One of the reasons that I like to vote first thing is because I'm a big nerd and I love to wear my sticker all day. I like to think of the possibility that, at least once, my personal "I Voted!" sticker inspired or reminded or guilted somebody into the voting booth who wouldn't have gone otherwise. But not today. I have no sticker. And also? I have no car. Mine's in the shop. I'll be spending the rest of this cold, rainy, stickerless election day inside with my herd of children. (<--Children who, by the way, stayed up waaay too late last night and yet still managed to leap out of bed, wide awake earlier today than on school days, and who all four managed to ask in unison, "Can I have the first turn on computer?")

I pondered my lack of both sticker and viewing public of voting age and realized that what I needed was a sticker for my blog! Best I can tell - there are about six of you lovely internetters reading my blog. If you are cranky, sleep-deprived kids who found my blog while looking for a video game to play on the computer, then there's not much I can do. However, since I think it more likely you are adults AND since I know at least three of you and can make a guess as to the way you will vote - I'm going to wear my virtual blog sticker. "I VOTED!" (<--Imagine the flag! Be reminded! Feel the inspiration! Or the guilt! Go vote!)
Happy Election Day!

Monday, November 06, 2006

That Novel You're Working On?

I don't actually know who these guys are but it made me laugh anyway. Why is the dog drinking a martini? Why does the baby have that accent? I have lots of questions about tv. So very, very much of it makes absolutely no sense to me.

VBGF called the other night because she was deeply disturbed by a reality show (in Australia??). The show has gay folks doing insane things like riding bicycles on the edge of skyscrapers or walking on ladders suspended between moving trucks in order to cure them of their homosexual tendencies. WTF?? We are both hoping (somehow, somewhere) there is a mix-up in what the show is about. If it is what it appears to be - it's crushing to think that someone WROTE something like that, pitched it to someone else who said, "Yep. That's the ticket, " and then convinced folks to fund it and worst of all, found folks to be in it.

On the bright side (if there can be said to be a bright side of something so asinine) if there is a market for that crap, then maybe (just maybe) my cheesy, sci-fi story with giant jellyfish and a short, red-headed saint could find an audience. (Of course that would require me being able to 1) finish it and 2) let anyone else read it - so we'll have to see!)


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Just A Link, Not A Post

Thanks Ororo for getting the word out about this cartoon! I've written one paragraph - woo hoo! - in the four and half hours I've been awake. That's 66 words, baby! Only 1,601 to go for the day.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Pretend This Is Monday's Post

I know I said I wouldn't post for a couple of days to make up for yesterday's insanely long post - but I'm wiley! I didn't say when the not posting for a couple of days would commence now, did I? And so now? I'm posting when what I should be doing is NaNo'ing. Yay procrastination! But I'm getting closer because today I'm posting about NaNo'ing. (Almost there, almost there...)

So Chaos came in to my studio this morning to ask me
a) Can I make pasta for breakfast? (Answer - Sure!) and
b) What are you writing about?

I told him about my NaNo story - with a poisoned woman waking up after a thousand years to find she's been sainted and somehow there are giant jelly-fish-like aliens that appear. (Maybe I should have warned you that my novel has a very, very high literary quotient?) Chaos says, "COOL!! Can I be in it? Please?! Please?! Can I be the Commander of the Jellyfish? I could be the most vicious, bloodthirsty Jellyfish Commander ever!" I explained to him that the Jellyfish are the good guys; all the bad guys turn out to be human. He looked at me for a second, hung his head, said, "Crap" and then shuffled back to the kitchen to make pasta.

There goes one potential audience member - disillusioned before the first page. Ahh. The writer's life. Peace.

Friday, November 03, 2006

This Is The Post That Never Ends, It Goes On And On My Friends...

Yesterday? Sucked.
But here are Some Things That Helped (A Lot):
-My pal Caity's suggestion for comfort food? A deep-fried Mars bar! I have no idea how one would go about frying a chocolate bar - but the thought was yummy in my brain. Thanks Caity!!
-My pal Nurse Nice gave me a shot on my knee at the coffee shop the day before and I could still feel it when I was in court. It totally protected me.
-My pal C is for Coffee sent me a lovely prayer with words in it like "triumphant", "glorious", and "splendid". I heart her. You would too. I promise.
-My pal DebR assured me that she doesn't like my ex either (even though she's never met him.) Aren't friends the bomb diggity?
-My pal VBGF sent me email AND telephonically pulled me out of my late afternoon, bad-mommy meltdown. (Ooooh - foreshadowing. Did you notice the "afternoon" part? Did you remember that court began at 8 am? It's like a cliff hanger and now you have to read all the way down to the part where I talk about Things That Didn't Help.)
-My pal Sweet Hubby kept his arm around my shoulders in just the right way - not too oppressive, not too protective - for the whole year (=one hour and fifteen minutes) we were in court.
-My lawyer, who drives me batshit before hearings to the point that I contemplate selling one of my organs to come up with enough money to pay the retainer for a whole new lawyer, was (once again) exactly, perfectly right for me in the courthouse. She was professional and still warm and pleasant. She was calm and confident and reassuring. The judge recognized her outside the courtroom before the proceedings, chatted with her, and smiled. THAT can't hurt.

Here are some Things That You'd Think Would've Helped (And Didn't):
-Listening to the cases before ours. One case involved the parents' dispute about child support for a child who is a) 21 years old now and b) in jail! Sad. Sad. Sad. In the next case the dad was so nervous (or mentally challenged) that he messed up stating his child's birthday FIVE different times - once stating the wrong decade and the next four times messing up the month. The next case was a contempt of court case against a woman who had not paid her child support (to the tune of $11,000!) I thought she was remarkably well dressed for someone who couldn't pay a penny for her child's upkeep - until I realized that that was her mother sitting beside her and they were the exact same size and wearing the exact same style of clothes. I'd raid my mom's wardrobe too if I could. The rest of that case falls into the same sad, sad, sad category as the first case. The woman (who in spite of her nice clothes had a sour expression about her whole being) tearfully pleaded (she had no lawyer) with the judge to honor her petition to have her child support terminated or at least suspended because she couldn't work. Her father is terminally ill with pancreatic and liver cancer and she takes care of him full-time while her mother tries to salvage the family business. The judge started flipping pages in the very fat folder of this case and the Assistant DA started asking her unpleasant questions about how long her dad had been sick (3 months), how long she'd lived with her parents (since she got out of jail this summer), why she hadn't paid her child support for the three years before her daddy got sick and how had she managed to pay for the drugs she'd been arrested for, etc...(The judge found her in willful contempt and she is getting a couple more days jail time! Yikes and more and more yikes!) I already knew and those cases reconfirmed for me that what I'm going through with my ex isn't (in the grand scheme) as icky as it could be. Why doesn't knowing that make it feel less icky to me? Why?

-Aside from the folks in uniforms, the druggie mom, and the two preppy couples sitting in front of us who were staring daggers at each other - the wardrobe selections made by the rest of the people in the courtroom were inexplicable and in some cases outrageous. I spent the two days before court in a complete dither about what was appropriate to wear to the hearing (ultimately deciding on brown slacks, short black boots, black mock turtle, brown jacket, and simple silver jewelry - if you are at all interested.) I then spent the 25 minute car ride to the court house having mild fits upon noticing (too late to do anything about it) my husband's very blue socks. ("Are you sure they're not gray?" he asks. I had to remind myself he's colorblind to keep myself from snarling. I am sooo pleasant when I'm stressed! Don't you wish you could have come with us?) Apparently I need not have worried about SH's blue socks much less my boring brown and black ensemble because it turns out you can wear anything - including (but not limited to) one or more of the following items: jeans with holes and scary stains, muffin top revealing sweatshirts, red shirts with thousands of sequins, and greasy sweatpants. You'd think this would have had a calming effect on me ("I'm ok, I look plain and clean") and yet...it was really quite frightening to look around the benches and think these people must have looked in a mirror somewhere and said, "Yep. That's the ticket." ***I don't actually remember what my ex was wearing. I am not objective about his looks anymore. Apparently my brain has given up processing appearance data on him in any trustworthy (or normal) way. I think this is genetic because I remember my mother telling me that once when she was really, really angry with my father during their divorce, she looked at him and saw, not a person, but a giant, slimy frog. I'm pretty sure my ex was wearing a blue blazer but I can't be sure because his warts were too distracting.***

-My ex was nervous. Really nervous. I overheard him talking to a security guard who apparently had given him a look when he tried to take some slow, deep breaths before we all went into the court room. I was weirdly glad that she reassured him and told him not to worry. For the record - I still don't like him. I was civil and even pleasant, but distant. He was there by his own choice without anyone representing him and without any friends. (<--I struggle not to use the word "fault" instead of "choice".) But I was glad that a random stranger was nice to him. When they called us up and we had our five minutes - all of which were taken up with my lawyer and the State's lawyer asking for continuances, my ex looked completely confused. He said he had brought the documents with him and got shushed.

(Ha ha ha - I have to interject here and point out that upon re-reading I noticed I had inadvertently(?) typed "smushed" instead of "shushed." How did people learn about their funny (yet not-so-kind) inner selves before they had word processors?)

Anyway, Mr. Tapioca then drops a piece of paper, knocks into the podium while bending over to get it, and almost but not quite, slips and falls on his ass. The look the judge gave him would have thrilled me if it had been for say, any one of the asshole manuvers he's pulled in the last little while, instead of for doing something I SO TOTALLY could have done (and may still in the future do). Grrrr. I don't want my ex humiliating himself; I don't want him there alone and unsupported. I don't want bad things for him ("smushed" vs. "shushed" notwithstanding.)

But THEN just about the time I start feeling compassionate - the man totally and completely pisses me the fuck off.

Here are some Things That Didn't Help (At All):
-My lawyer was herding my husband and me off towards the side door when I heard Mr. Tapioca Head (who was still over by the podium wrapping up some details presumably about the exact documents he must provide before the next court hearing) say, "Oh. Some of this information will change as I'm starting a new job on November 13th." WHAT???

This will make at least the SEVENTH job change since our divorce five years ago. And it will be the third job this year! I care less about the fact that his salary seems to remain exactly the same (although it does beg the question of why all the lateral moves from company to company) than I do about the fact that the insurance changing all the freaking time with three boys (who have asthma and who need couseling for all this parental crap) is extraordinarily difficult to keep up with. **Lucky for you - I have erased the four paragraphs of ranting, historical details, and nightmare insurance wrangles that came pouring out of me. Suffice it to say that had it not been for court yesterday, I have to wonder when I would have found out this important information. When there was a lag in the child support the week of Thanksgiving? When I got yet another bill for services denied due to lack of coverage? (Not that they've been uncovered. He'd sue me for even appearing to suggest that he would do THAT to his children - just that there is no way to keep up with where or by which company they're covered before the deadlinefor filing is up and I have to pay the whole thing out of pocket!) Did I mention that I really, really don't like my ex?

-After court, you'd think the day would get better, right? Well, I came home, listened to my voice mail and wrote the following email:

Dear Ms. Concerned Teacher –
Thank you for your message about Chaos' third write-up. He has gone to one write-up work-off day and he will attend as many as he is eligible for. I believe he can go to one of the two sessions offered next week, but not both? Is that correct?
I will say that his father and I were in court this morning (which is why I just now got your message.) I have said very little to Chaos about today’s proceedings, but I have no way of knowing what his father says to him. I try to emphasize that the legal wrangling is just between the adults – and that he is loved and supported by both of his parents even when we, as adults in conflict with each other, have to turn to the court for resolution of our differences. But there is no way of getting around the fact that the process is stressful and Chaos has been sensitive to family stress to a very significant degree since he was a tiny baby – much more noticeably so than any of his siblings. Please, I want you to be sure that I am in NO WAY excusing his disruptive behavior and I’m working with him to find positive, acceptable outlets for stress – but I also think it’s important that you know what else is going on for him. Also, just so you know, today’s proceedings have been continued and we will be back in court on December 14. I hope very much to have Chaos working with a counselor before then. I will do everything I can to stop this pattern and help him start a new one.
Thank you for your call. I really appreciate it.
Sincerely, Lilymane

-After that, you'd think the day would get better, right? Well, then I got another call. This time from Mayhem's teacher. Apparently Mayhem has been more scattered than usual. Apparently his disorganization is reaching alarming proportions. Apparently if he does not change something soon, it will catch up to him. Apparently if it does catch up to him, it will shake him viciously back and forth and possibly snap his spine because that is what Ms. Very Worried Teacher's tone of voice would indicate. Now, I have to say that I did not initially share her conviction of imminent doom for Mayhem. After all, I have heard a lot about my son's disorganization over the years. It is cyclical and we do have to someday find something that works for more than a week and a half - but really? Yesterday afternoon? I was about at the end of my cope-with-more-shit-ability. Then Ms. Very Worried Teacher asked if I had seen the Wednesday folder. Yes. "Well then," she said, "you can see by the many papers with reduced-for-lateness grades how this situation is affecting his averages. And that doesn't even take into account the grades you don't see, because he turned NOTHING in and so I have nothing to return to you. I just wanted to make sure you were aware of this problem." I then had to admit to her that I couldn't find the "reduced-for-lateness grades" she was talking about. I had about four papers from his folder in my hand and ominously - NOT A SINGLE ONE was from Ms. Very Worried Teacher's class - a fact I had not even sort of noticed the day before when apparently all I was good for was dithering about what to wear to court. I thanked her for taking the time to call me. I really appreciated it. I would be sure to talk to Mayhem not only about the fact that he was editing what I was seeing, but also about organizational systems to help him complete and turn in his work on time. And? Just between you and me - Mayhem's imminent doom? MUCH closer after that phone call.

-After that? Well, I made supper on auto-pilot and then pretty much had a meltdown about what a bad mommy I must be. Look how stressed out my kids are when I thought I was doing a pretty good job this week! Think about how if it was this bad on a day I was pretty sure was only going to be a continuance, then how bad is it going to be on December 14th, the week before middle school semester exams and oh, by the way, right before Christmas when everyone in the country (not just in my house) is going to be stressed to the gills?!!

And blah, blah, bad mommy-ness, blah, blah, didn't notice, blah, blah, can't afford, blah, blah, BLAH!

When I say meltdown - that's exactly what it felt like. I felt melted and down. Soggy and low. I cried and cried. I ate all those guilt cookies and swished them down with a final chaser of bad mommy-ness because I was simply waaaay too worn out to go to the Princessa's chorus concert last night.

Worn out? Overwhelmed? Shut down? Whatever the word is - I absolutely could not even think about going out in public, driving in the dark, listening to loud singing and clapping, and I especially dreaded chit chatting with all the other parents. When Sweet Hubby said he thought taking the kids for ice cream afterwards would be nice, I thought, "I'd rather die." Plan A is always to do kid events as an entire family. Last night we had to go with Plan B. Sweet Hubby went to the concert and out for ice cream with the Princessa and Havoc (who appears to be more immune to empathic stress than his brothers and who managed not to do anything resulting in a phone call to mom yesterday.) Chaos, Mayhem, and I stayed home. We each took a bath. We each read quietly. Thankfully VGBF talked me out of my puddle. I got to have some quiet time for myself and with both of my boys separately. (<--That sounds weird - both, separately - but you know what I mean, right??) The others got home from a grand time and I think my whole household had hit the hayfeathers by 8:30. It's hard to remember in the middle of a day that sucks so bad - but days finally do end. (And so do blog posts - I promise!) One last thing - and then I won't even post for a few days to make up for this, the world's most ridiculously long post: Yesterday while I was miserable, shaky, and nervously getting ready for the day, I read the wonderful news that Mir is engaged! She's someone I know of (as opposed to someone I actually know) but I was so tremendously happy for her and I was so grateful for this thing called the blogosphere for having the chance to share in her happy news - that it renewed my faith and wonder in the power of our shared stories. And I wanted to say thanks to you, for sharing in my story.
Peace, peace, peace.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

In Which Mr. Tapioca Makes Lilymane Throw Up

Mr. Tapioca Head (my ex) filed a petition, had me served papers*, and is the reason we're due in court this morning at 8 a.m. From what I can tell, he is 'representing' himself. My lawyer and I are going to be there, but really, the District Attorney's office is representing my kids in this. My lawyer spoke to the Assistant DA yesterday and discovered that my ex has not furninshed the information required. Get that? HE filed the petition (six weeks ago) and then failed (refused? forgot?) to send the court the information needed to make a decision!!!! We still have to go to court today but the State is going to ask for a continuance to have my ex appear in court on December 8 for the sole purpose of presenting the documents he was supposed to have presented before today. Then, if I understand the procedure correctly, the State will ask that both his petition and mine be heard on December 14. Gah. And bleck. Another month of dread.

My stomach is churning, my head is throbbing, my hands are shaking and there are hours and hours before court - and likely nothing will actually happen today! On top of that? Guess how much this morning is going to cost me. You guessed it - LOTS. My ex? He is a pain in the potatoes. And? I don't like him. Anyone with extra mojo, feel free to send it my way.

*Have you ever been served papers? For me, it was an awful experience. The Sheriff's Deputy walked up to my door and rang the bell. Now, my kids weren't home from school quite yet - and for a second I had a panicked thought that he was there to tell me something horrific had happened to my kids. The dog, of course, was going crazy - barking at the bell, charging the door, probably feeding off of my adrenalin spike. I had to lock him up before I could even find out what was up. The Deputy (who was nice as he could be, considering the circumstances) explained why he was there, handed me the papers, chatted pleasantly with me about the sunny day and the ivy in my courtyard, said "God Bless" and left. Left me standing there shaking. When my kids came home? I was still shaky. I'm ridiculously glad that the Deputy didn't show up while my kids were home. I'm trying to keep as much of this away from them as possible but there are days when it is hard to do. And there are even more days when it takes a whole lot of energy not to say bad things about their dad. I really, really, really think that somewhere along the way I should get a butt load of good behavior stickers for all this restraint. I am so due.
More Peace.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Dogs Are Weird

My dog? Just chewed a hole in the wall. A hole. In the wall. In the middle of the wall. Not like on a corner or anything - just in the middle of the hallway.
I have NO explanation for that - or for why, when I said, "No, no. Bad dog!" he began licking the electrical outlet. He's a weirdo.

Fun And Not So Fun

Fun: the Princessa (as Peter Pan), Havoc (as a Gladiator), and Wasabi wearing a glow necklace and bat wings
Not So Fun: cold rain on Halloween

Fun: the idea of NaNoWriMo (a novel - Yay!)
Not So Fun: 1667 words today - and every day this month (you mean it won't write itself?)

Fun: tomorrow afternoon, margarita, my house
Not So Fun: tomorrow morning, court hearing with my ex