Monday, December 22, 2008

Joined at the Hip

So yesterday was Geoffs first day off from work. Was it as bad as I feared. Hell yes. First of all- they had this Dateline Marathon on on TLC, which of course I really wanted to watch. But no. Football was on. So we had to watch that. It was so stupid. Finally football was over. But then what does he do?? He finds the stupidest movie to watch- Jurassic Park 3- and proceeds to watch that- while Christmas Vacation was on! I watch that movie EVERY Christmas, and Christmas just isn't Christmas without those crazy Griswalds. And what does he do for chores?? Nothing- except for to go behind me after I've already loaded the dishwasher and load it back up again- PROPERLY this time and makes a big huff while he's doing it. Like- OK, I know nothing about loading that dishwasher except for the fact that I'm the ONLY person who's ever loaded it during the entire time that we've lived in this house- which is over four years now. He has the nerve. But I decided to let it go. It's Christmas, why get into a big row over something trivial like that??
And Christmas- another bone of contention. Every time the children pick up thier presents and shake them to try to guess what they are-- and they have guessed some of them- he gets all riled up, like "why can't you guys just leave things alone?" Like: Hello, they're kids- it's what they're supposed to do. And he's like 'back in my day we NEVER did that'. And I'm like- ya, back in your day you didn't get your Christmas presents until your Adopt-A-Family donors dropped them off. And then you were in a foster home and probably got a lashing and a bowl of broth on Christmas, so I don't think we want to hold the children to your standards, do we? Like, let's let them be happy. I know it's a novel concept, but do you think you could try it??????
And then this morning I was reading the paper and I saw this Royal Albert China set for sale- Spring Roses- only $1900!! I really wanted it but then he was like "No- two thousand dollars for some bleeping plates, that's bleeping bleep". He doesn't even know that that's like so cheap for Royal Albert and we really, really need it in case we ever have any fancy company over. So then I gave up on that idea. And then I saw on the front page a cat that was really, really cute and needed a home for Christmas and I was like "Oh, Geoff, but we must get this cat!!" and he was again with the bleeping- which isnt' actually beeping but a bad profanity that I won't put on here because it could be seriously offensive to some people. Like- he doesn't even care about the homeless kitties at Christmas. OH, I would just love to get a few and bring them home and put them in the childrens stockings. Imagine the joy on Christmas morning- assuming of course that the cats survive the night. And then I saw that there was a snowboard for sale- mint condition!! I really wanted to get it, because I've always wanted to try snowboarding and with all the snow we've been getting lately it would be the totally perfect thing to beat the winter blues!! But he was like "No- you've never wanted to try snowboarding. You don't even like to go outside to start the car." And I was like "You're calling me a liar?? Well I won't have it!" And then he took the newspaper away from me.
Who knew he woke up in such a grumpy mood??? God.
So then we were watching TV and an infomercial came on for a scooter that you could qualify for a free assessment, and I really wanted to go for it. And then he gets all mad, saying that I dont' need a scooter for Gods sake, but I was like well, I don't really need it but it would sure be nice for like shopping downtown and stuff like that. I took down the number but he ripped it up. Said I should just forget the whole thing.
Men sometimes. They just don't understand.
Anyways, as you can see, things are not going well.
I'll just skip forward onto other matters. The basement is coming OK. We picked the carpet samples- pretty much exactly the same as what we had to begin with- turns out it's pretty low end stuff to begin with and we don't have much choice. I've tentatively picked the paint color- Nature's Mist- it's like a light sage green color. They are working on the drywalling now and will wrap up tomorrow. Then, after Christmas the painting will commmence. Early January the carpet will go in. Things will wrap up soon after that. I'm excited for the new basement. It has also been a good oppurtunity for us to go through the basement and get rid of a lot of the junk that we have down there.
And finally, one more observation of mine. John and Kate plus 8 is a good show. People like John and Kate. That was all well and good. But then they've started up this new show, this 17 kids and counting with this Duggar family. And now I think it's just getting really carried away. Because this family is really crazy and weird and all thier kids names start with J and the mom looks like she's strung out on coke and hasn't had a hair cut since baby number three (which might very well be the case), I mean the whole thing is just weird. Like- since when do we reward people with the semi celebrity of their own TV show because of their own idiocracy?? Like- the mom must be pushing 50 by now. Give it up. Let it go. Go to the freaking mall and pet a kitten if that's what makes you feel good, but your baby days should be over. So, that's how I feel about that.
And petting a kitty at the mall really does work. Makes you feel all happy inside.
I should activate my Petland card again.
I'll talk to Geoff about that later.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


The other day I was sitting before the computer and I noticed that my feet were getting kind of wet. Damn kids was my first thought, as it often is. I thought "yah- they spilled something down there or were wearing their boots down here." Typical of them. Didn't think too much of it. Next day I'm back on the computer and it's still wet. So I get down on my hands and knees and crawl underneath the computer desk. The carpet reeks. Its all wet. I don't know where it's coming from. So I start pulling everything away from the wall and the exact words out of my mouth were "Houston we have a problem". The baseboards were compelely warped and the wall behind it was like buckling- it was all moldy and disgusting.

Merry Freaking Christmas. Here's your gift. Water damage and black mold.

I was really sickened and saddened, but a few phone calls later and I was feeling a bit better. As it turns out, it's covered by our house insurance. So we've had contractors in and out, but basically we're talking a full basement remodel. Ripping walls out, ripping carpet out, new paint job. The bathroom needs to be gutted- so new sink, new lino, new shower. We are excited about the basement remodel- although I think it is going to be a major inconvenience in the short term. Not fun. I am thinking of going really neutral with the colors- a really pale sage green color for all the walls and a beigy kind of carpet. We are hoping to list our house within the next two years, so I will choose the colors bearing that in mind. So that is my life right now. Even as I am typing this there is a heavy duty industrial fan blowing loudly in my ear. Nice.

Everything else is coming along. Christmas is on it's way and I am less stressed now. Just about all done our shopping, the Christmas parties are over with, Gage's birthday is over with. Most of the hustle and bustle is behind us, now we just have Christmas- which should actually be relaxing because we are planning on spending it at the lake this year. I am hoping it is nice outside so that I can take the kids toboganning and ski dooing. And when I say "I can take them' what I mean is that my parents can take them. I don't really want to stand outside in the cold. Not really my thing.

Only a few days left and Geoff will be off for the winter and we will be officially joined at the hip. I am hoping that I will be able to do some writing then, we will see how it goes. He has been off for the last three days, and things have been OK, except for few minor things. For one, he apparently has never heard the words "spray and wash" before. Alex was having bare bum time on the floor on a blanky and did what he always does- decides to take a number two. What I usually do is pick him up and bath him. Once he is bathed, I pick up any affected clothing or blankets, rinse them out in the bathroom sink, spray and wash them and then promply launder them. What Geoff does- wipes Lex with a wet wipe, puts a diaper on him, throws everything in the laundry as usual. Which was not a pleasant surprise when I stuck my hand in there to grab stuff to throw in the laundry. It's just like they say- if you want anything done right you have to do it yourself.

Lowered Expectations

I have heard it said that the best place to meet a man is in the supermarket. I spend a lot of time in the supermarket, not looking for love, but doing far more mundane things like buying diapers and food and such. But whilst doing so, I have often wondered if anyone has ever met their soul mate during a supermarket encounter. Because all of the supermarket encounters that I have ever had have made me really skeptical. Recently, there was a man in front of me at the check out aisle. A hefty man, maybe say in the three to four hundred pound range. And his cart is filled, no overflowed, with 12 Packs of Pepsi (not Diet Pepsi- just Pepsi- rather bold of him I think, but I daresay that he may be rather advanced in his obesity for Diet Pepsi to make any difference at all), Smokies and Doritos. Like, I am not talking about a pack or Smokies and a bag of Doritos. I am talking about a cart overflowing with just these three items. And I'm like- either he's hosting some kind of a children's wiener roast for the neighborhood co op- or he came by his weight problem honestly. And as a nurse, I'm kind of worried about this guy when he gets home. Hello heart attack. It's like- Dude, if that's what you're buying then at least throw in a pack of Aspirin to hold off major heart damage until the paramedics can get to your house. Anyways, he must have seen my quizzical expression, because he offered me an explanation. Poker Night. And he goes on to tell me how he has to stock up on supplies for Poker Night because he lives out of town and yada, yada, yada- the price of gas nowadays (the price of gas- what an original conversation peice there) being what it is you can't drive in and out of town every week because his car only gets x amount of miles per the gallon, which translates to x amount of dollars per trip. And I'm thinking- damn those people who stole my wedding bands. And he's talking and talking and talking and I'm like- you know what, didn't want to hear your life story there Smoky Breath.
And then another time, I was buying lettuce and some guy comes along and he's like "ya, did you see that? The price is up again." And I looked at the sign with the price- because I never look at the sign- I know that lettuce is in around the dollar range and that's good enough for me. $1.38 the sign says. So I was like "well, isn't that usually what it is- around a dollar" And he was like "well, ya, but that's what I mean- it's gone up thirty eight cents." And I was like "oh." I mean, I can do the math, but it's just that it seems to me like such a minuscule amount of money that it's totally inconsequential. But he's like "you have to want a head of lettuce pretty bad to pay that price" and I was like, "I guess", but I didn't really know what to say. It was bizarre. Like, I mean, if thirty eight cents is going to blow your grocery budget then you're in deep shit my pal. I would suggest taking up a paper route or something. Anything. Frick.

So such encounters have led me to an idea for a book- "Shopping for Love" in which a young woman purposely peruses grocery stores to meet men and encounters similarly disapointing results. But then, I thought, realistically, it could be hard to stretch that out into a four hundred page book. So then I decided to write it as a short story. I am working on it now- it is coming slowly as I find it hard to write a frigging word these days that isn't a grocery list, but I am planning on submitting it to magazines and hopefully can be published in that arena first and maybe, maybe that will help me get my novel published. If I can give some kind of credentials that I've been published before. And at first I was thinking of like Cosmo or Vanity Fair, but now I'm like- you know what- who cares? I dont' care if it's published in some obscure Swedish magazine. I'll just change all the names to Sven and Johann. Whatever it takes to get my name in print. So I've lowered my expectations that way. I guess that is the real world. Success won't come all at once but from a series of smaller successes. I hope. I don't know. I just tell myself that to stave off self pity and self loathing and desperation and self mutilation.
Well, either way it probably won't come down to self mutilation.
I am scared of needles and that, need I remind you?
But ya. Those are the plans.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Tale of Two Mouses

Yesterday I took Payton and Alex to see Santa at Midtown. It was pretty cute. They both got little plush christmas mice from Santa (much cuter and less maintenance than actual mice- note to self). Anyways, Payton pretty much discarded hers when we got home. Lex, on the other hand, loves that little mousy. He likes to bite it, slobber on it- basically abuse it every way possible. Paytons mousy is pristine. Lex's is all matted, the whiskers are all askew, the Santa hat is all cock eyed. He looks like a mousy that hit the holiday egg nog too hard at the office Christmas party and then crashed in some flea bag motel with some cheap prostitute. It even smells faintly of vomit. He staggers into work the next day, trying to downplay things, smoothing out his whiskers and straightening out his Santa Hat. He's like "she wasn't actually a prostitute- really more of a dancer" But I love that mousy. When Lex is asleep at night I just look at it and laugh at how tired and worn looking it already is. I love it because he loves it, not because it looks hungover, although looking hungover does add to his charm. I think in the years to come I'm going to hang it on the Christmas Tree.

Lex is doing so good, getting so big. 5 months old today. We are looking forward to his first Christmas. I think he is, too, though it is hard to tell. Lately he has been falling himself to sleep- as we call it in our house when he falls asleep without any intervention on our behalf. You just put him to bed in his crib, and then he falls asleep. Just like that. We brace ourselves for it- that little whimper that eventually becomse a cry and then a whail. OK- I admit it, we have not gotten past the whimper phase. We do not know what happens after the whimper, but we think that it's probably a cry. But the whimper doesn't come. We cannot believe that this is working. We are cautiously optimistic that it will keep up.

Everything else is going well. I am happy to report that we are using the Celeb margerine and it is working out pretty good. It is good value for your money, and to be honest, I really can't tell the difference. The only thing is that I think it is slighty more watery when melted on popcorn, but I don't really eat the popcorn-the kernels get stuck in my teeth so it's not really worth it to me. So. That's that.

25 Days Til D-Day and things are looking good. Geoff doesn't balk at all at the idea of surgery and in fact is like "I can't wait for it"- I guess he really doesn't like the idea of twins. I think he is likely to go through with it.

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Conversation with Mother

I talked to my mother today. This is what we talked about:
1)Her up and coming dental appointment (extraction. Long overdue, believe me)
2)Possible gift ideas for Gage-- very difficult to buy for (looks like an Ipod could be in store for him).
3)Greyson looking cute at Mason's birthday Party
4)Making a Christmas Newsletter
5)Moms upcoming cookie exchange at the lake (she is to bring 9 tins of cookies to exchange. She is going with the Black Forest cookie- an instant classic)
6)My inadequacy as a mother- one of her favorite topic these days- or should I say rants? Rants would be more like it. The flavour du jour- not spending enough time with the children, not cleaning my floors properly and the fact that I don't know a darned thing about darning.
7)My failing writing career and how she saw on the Ellen show a girl who just wrote this book called "Twilight" and was an overnight success and gee, why couldn't I be more like that. Just write something more appealing and then I would get it right. Honestly. It is no wonder that I have been driven to criminal behavior. She just has to be so in your face.
8) Her ongoing struggle with feelings of sexual ambiguity, recent experimentation that she labels "bi curious", but not gay. She is debating about how much to tell my dad, especially in light of the recent events surrounding his "identity crisis"
All right, all right. So I guess number 6, 7 and 8 are kind of not really true, not in the literal sense, at least. But the rest of the conversation was just so bloody mundane. I had to do something to make it more interesting. They say "write about what you know"- but I have to assume that they didn't mean that literally. Because what I know is not exactly overly exciting stuff. Like- I mean- the price of Becel has really gone up- can you believe it?? Nine dollars for a tub. That's the kind of thing that makes news in my house. Boring. Trivial.
Although I am actually quite flabberghasted. Nine dollars?? When did that happen? I remember the days it was four something, and that seemed pricey. So now we are trying "Celeb"- I guess like a cheap knock off of Becel. I will let you know about that....Haven't tried it yet. I feel uneasy. Change doesn't sit well with me.
Anyways, that is all for now.
Thanks for reading.
Sorry mom.

Terminal Velocity

I have renamed the month of December "Terminal Velocity"
I remember once, at a job when things were starting to get crazy, a coworker of mine remarked "I feel like we've just reached terminal velocity and the pieces are starting to fall off." Well that's pretty much how I feel right now. When I was a kid Christmas was this glorious, magical time when everything was sparkly and sugary and sweet. And now it's just expensive and time consuming and maybe still sweet but even that is my enemy now in the grown up world. The hustle and bustle that was once so charming when I was a kid is now just irritating and annoying. This month will be a busy one for me: school concert on the 3rd, work kids christmas party on the 7th, Geoffs work adult party on the 8th, Gages birthday party on the 14th, kids dance christmas party on the 20th. And then of course, there's Christmas. It just seems like there's less and less time every year, and less and less money but a bigger and bigger list of things to do and people to buy for.
The most wonderful day of the year, indeed.
But, it will be OK. Deep down inside, I DO love christmas. Christmas is great- all that family and togetherness and peace and joy and harmony- of course that's what it's all about. That and the presents. Mostly the presents. But the other stuff is nice, too. Makes the presents nicer.
One year, a rather terrible incident happened while I was Christmas shopping. It is something that I don't normally talk about too much, because of it's illicit and illegal nature. I don't want to spend Christmas in The Slammer. Not this year nor the next. Brings a whole new meaning to "jingle bells." OK that makes no sense but I'm not really that great in the whole Christmas/Jailhouse metaphor thing, never really have been so you'll have to learn to deal. Anyways, what happened was I was doing some shopping, and Payton was then a baby and in her car seat. I paid for all of my items and left the store. When I went to put Paytons car seat into the van, and I realized with a heavy heart that a Teething Ring had fallen underneath the car seat. I did not see it there when I was ringing my stuff through, and apparently, neither did the cashier. So now, there I was, hot merchandise in my hands. Quickly I sped away, fearing that a security gaurd could be hot on my tail. You would think that you would get over something like that. But you don't. Every time I hear sirens I think they are coming for me. It is something that I will have to learn to live with. Shoplifting is no joke. At Wal Mart, they have a big sign that says that, and it also says that you could be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I'm not sure what that is, exactly, but I'm thinking at least seven to eleven year. At least. Maybe with good behaviour a little less. But still, that haunts me. I have the gastric ulcers to prove it. It's why I smoke a pack a day. Troubled past. Running from the law, the fuzz, the 5-0.
And I guess, maybe, at the heart of it, that's why Christmas is not as fun as it once was. Once upon a Christmas bleary, I stole a teething ring along with a little piece of my innocence. And maybe that teething ring did soothe my babys gums, but I can't use it now to soothe my guilty conscience. Only Wild Turkey can do that.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.