Saturday, October 31, 2009

happy halloween from the weirdos


Happy Halloween!

from Dr. Krog

(a scary skeleton-ghoul-witch king with a Freddy Krueger glove and a jiujitsu gi)

and the Biscuit

(a pinky punky witch who spent all day begging to be a ballerina instead)


Oh, yeah. And also from
me
(a very goofy witch)
and
t.rex
(a boy whose nap almost made the entire family late for Halloween, so instead of wearing his ninja suit, he just wore his normal outfit, because he looks RAD in orange)


And, lastly, from this guy.


Mmm. Moldy blemishes.
You don't want to see the other side. I tried to carve a skull.
Even had a guide, and a marker, and a special knife.
It looks like the Punisher threw up.
But the Biscuit planned this side.
She insisted on the rectangle mouth.

"Mommy, a rectangle has two short sides and two long sides,
and it is his mouth. Isn't that so, so funny?"

More Halloween tales tomorrow.
Now I've got to go scrub off all of this sparkly black eyeshadow
and drink some pumpkin spice Silk.

groundhog breakfast haiku


Every morning, it's the exact same thing.

Two eggs, mushrooms, cheese, mini whole wheat bagel, coffee.

That, my friends, is my recipe for sanity.

But I'll admit it's pretty ugly. I hesitate to call it an 'omelet', because I imagine that somewhere a French chef has a nightmare that looks like my breakfast.

And the coffee.

If you can call it that.

Look at this stuff. It's the blind cave fish of coffee.


Not even the monkey wants it.

Somewhere, possibly down the street, a coffee aficionado is having a nightmare that looks like my coffee.

"But it's so... white. And sugary," she says, shivering. "And coffee is supposed to taste like roasted coffee beans, not hot peppermint mocha creamer. What a horrible nightmare. Jim, hold me."

Sorry, guys. It's how I roll. I still remember my first cup of coffee on vacation on the houseboat with my mom and Aunt Sunny when I was 5, sitting at the table and watching the fog on the water and the paunchy, half-naked guy next door scratch his armpit. That was good coffee. It was probably actually a little darker than the coffee I drink today. But I knew at first sip that I adored the stuff, and if loving your bastardized coffee is wrong, I don't wanna be right.

*

So here's a haiku about my breakfast:

eggs, shrooms, bagels, cheese
health with a cup of creamer
sacrosanct OR ELSE.

Anybody else want to tell me about your breakfast in haiku form? Because, much like my albino coffee, haiku makes everything better.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

you wanna see crappy writing?

I'll show you crappy writing!!!



Written by me in 1993... by candlelight, by an open window, while crying.

So that much is true.

***

Cinderella

Cinderella
draped in grey
all your hope has flown away
tears adrip
like bleeding skies
wash the sadness from your eyes
dark night falls
upon your face
a silken rose
in a broken vase

the rose...
petals whisper apologies
her head on your shoulder
instead of mine
her joy in your company
as i stand alone
her smile makes my heart cry
because i cannot share it
i know you smile, too,
so i must not weep

hide behind my laugh, my eyes...
no! you must not see
your happiness is precious more
than anything to me
and so i sit at home forlorn
my gown of sorrow tear adorned

i dance
with the velvet night
i smile
at the flickering candle bright
i wish
i was with you...

(grammar, spacing, misspellings, and rampant use of ellipses preserved to highlight my teenage ineptitude and melodrama)


***

Today I received an impersonal rejection email from my dream agent. I spent hours crafting that query letter, trying to succinctly and charmingly communicate how much I admire this literary agent, her agency, and her blog. And I got the same ol' form letter as everyone else.

And I'm embarrassed to say that, at the ripe old age of 32 and on my 7th query letter, even understanding the arbitrary and cruel nature of the publishing world, I'm heartbroken.

And it made me think of that poem.

See, I wrote that poem when the guy that I was already dating did the chivalrous thing and kept his promise to take his best female friend to homecoming, even though I wanted to go with him. My tears were dripping "like bleeding skies" because he was a nice guy who lived up to his word.

Yes, Amity, if you're reading, it was James.

But good gravy, all this desolate imagery and tears and sadness and my heart beating alone... and I already had the guy. I was just pissed that I didn't get to put on my Jessica McClintock dress, eat at TJ Applebees, and dance to MC Hammer in the high school cafeteria.

To me, today, as a married woman with years of love and loss and misunderstanding under my belt, it's the most ridiculous thing ever. It's mortifying, to think that I once thought that such a trivial, stupid problem was worth sitting in the freezing cold of an open window and scrawling into Dear Diary the most maudlin, cliched similes my teenaged soul could describe. I knew nothing of boys, men, love, rejection, and hopelessness.

So I'm hoping that one day, I'll look back at today's rejection email and think, "Oh, I was so naive, and it all turned out for the best, anyway." I'm hoping that I'll find an even better agent who will love my work as much as I do. And I'm going to do it without writing bad poetry, too.

Although I did write a blog entry. Does that count?

I'm not sure. We're getting too meta here. Maybe one day I'll write a holographic-cyberdiary post about the blog post about the crappy poem, and then we can all get on our hoverscooters and go down to McGore's for an energy pill.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

magical biscuit bedlam


Forgive me if I'm a little Biscuit-heavy lately. She just says the most funny, magical, ridiculous stuff, and I want to remember it forever. Especially today's discussion on male genitalia, which I can't share with you, because Dr. Krog would blush.

*

me: Biscuit, why is your doll cradle sitting upside-down on the bathroom floor?

Biscuit: It bonked me on the head when I was rolling around. It's in Time Out.

me: Do you think it will have better behavior now?

Biscuit: Probably not.

*

me: Biscuit, do we need to wipe your nose?

Biscuit: Nope. I got rid of all my yucky green boogers.

me: Really? What did you do with them?

Biscuit: I picked them out with this finger. But I don't know where they went.

*

Biscuit: Look, mommy! I wrote my name!

me: Well, you have the correct letters, but they're in the wrong order.

Biscuit: It's okay. *I* know where they go.

*

In non-Biscuit news:

* Dr. Krog is sick. Fever, chills, sore throat, no appetite. But not flu. Again.
* t.rex is about to walk and refuses to eat solid food that isn't made of Cheerio.
* I have started sending out query letters for my book.
* I got my first rejection today.
* Ouchie.

Monday, October 26, 2009

my 3 wishes


Yes, my unruly friends. It's our old friend, Farbie, from what is possibly my most popular post of all time.

And I have come to ask the Queen of the Barbie Fairies for my three wishes.

My first wish is.... I WISH FOR A MILLION BAJILLION WISHES!!!

Because no one has ever thought of that before. I am tremendously clever. Ha! Suck it, Farbie! Now I get as many wishes as I want. Let's see...

1. Help me land a literary agent and a publisher for my book. And Dr. Krog's book.

2. For the love of all that's holy, improve the immune systems of my family members so that I can get some sleep and remember how to brush my hair.

3. Segue my awesome literary agent (see #1) into a job where I browse through the slush piles and pick out interesting query letters to pursue. I would love to do that. Love it. The process reminds me of when I ran galleries and dearly enjoyed sifting through the applications to exhibit. I love beautiful, inspiring artwork almost as much as I like laughing at the heinous monstrosities. In private, of course.

4. Let me eat all the brownies, wild mushroom ravioli, chips and salsa, birthday cake, sweet potato fries, fried tofu, and iced sugar cookies that I want to without ever gaining an ounce. But in a "magical wish" way, not a "wasting disease" way.

5. Let International Foods offer their Pumpkin Spice creamer year-round. Or, at the very least, until I am sick of it and have grown freckles made of cinnamon from overconsumption.

6. Let Diana Gabaldon finish the next Outlander book in 3 days so that I can be reading it by the weekend and find out what happened to Roger, for Pete's sake.

7. Fit 9 more hours in the day so that I can find time to do all the painting, reading, and writing that I desperately wish to do. And maybe my kids can go into some sort of suspended animation at that time, too.

8. Create a dog that doesn't poop. I would love to have a dog, but I just can't deal with any more bodily functions right now.

9. Put Firefly back on the air.

10. That whole "end world hunger and let all the children hold hands and sing of freedom" thing. If you have time.

11. I'd like a hot Krispy Kreme donut RIGHT THIS SECOND.

I'll save the other kajillion for another night, but I think that should be enough to get you started.

Thanks, Farbie. If you grant wishes half as well as you taste, this is going to be a beautiful relationship.*


* Don't worry-- there's still half a slice of her in the freezer, so I'm sure she still has all her powers. Fairies are like worms, right? They regenerate? Farbie?
Hello?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

are you a good witch, or a bad witch?


I've got witches on the brain, and not just because of the Biscuit's interest in being a witch-fairy-Stormtrooper-ballerina for Halloween.

See, today I sent out the first two query letters for my book. I researched, reresearched, wrote, rewrote, polished, repolished, agonized, and reagonized, and then I hit SEND.

And now I wait. And bite my lip.

The process reminds me of the Wizard of Oz, because it's a whole new world, and I have no way of telling the difference between good witches and bad witches. Not to say that literary agents rejecting my book are bad witches, or even bad. But it's going to hurt when the form letter rejections start rolling in. Harry Potter was reportedly rejected by 37 agents, and Twilight was rejected by 14 publishers. When I send a query letter, it's definitely a shot in the dark, and there's no way of knowing what will float the boat of the agent in question.

Scary, huh?

Publishing is a very cruel world. Of the queries agents accept, less than 5% are from unpublished authors like me. Because this blog, at nearly 600 posts, doesn't count as "publishing", sadly. And even if my query gets a positive response, I still have to send my manuscript, and if *that* gets accepted, that means more work and worry before the agent submits it to publishers, and then more waiting for possible rejection. And more lip biting.

So agents, I challenge you: Be my good witch.

I won't make you wear a giant, poofy pink ball gown, I promise. I'm a hard worker with a quick turn-around time, and I am not scared of flying monkeys.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

gigglebiscuits


me: So did you go to Chapel at school today?

Biscuit: Yeah, we did.

me: What did you do there?

Biscuit: We talked about God.

me: What did you learn about God?

Biscuit: I don't know, but I can tell you the three rules of the Mogwai.

*

Biscuit: One day, when I am kinduva big kid, I will go to the Fairy Ball with daddy.

me: That sounds great, buddy.

Biscuit: And I will wear your princess dress.

me: Cool. You're totally welcome to wear my wedding dress.

Biscuit: And I will marry daddy.

me: Nope. He's mine.

Biscuit: Then I will marry t.rex.

me: Even if it's Georgia, you can't marry your brother, dude.

Biscuit: Then I will marry Big Ben?

me: Try again. He's your grandfather.

Biscuit: (dramatic sigh and eye rolling) Then I guess I'll marry Uncle Bill.

me: Sorry, sweetie, he's still part of the family. And he's 65. And married to Aunt Sunny. Choose someone that's not a relative.

Biscuit: FINE. I guess I'll have to marry Joey from my class.

me: Oh, do you like Joey?

Biscuit: No, not really.

*

Biscuit: That man on the sidewalk is a FAT MAN! He's a big ol', big ol' FAT MAN!

me: We don't generally talk about people being fat. It's not nice.

Biscuit: AND HIS NAME IS OSTRICH MAN!!!

*

Biscuit: Can I have some of your birthday cake?

me: Nope. You already had enough treats today.

Biscuit: Can I have some tomorrow?

me: Maybe.

Biscuit: What about now? Is now tomorrow?

me: No.

Biscuit: What about now?

me: Still no.

Biscuit: When I'm a big kid, will it be tomorrow?

me: Well, tomorrow is always the next day. So you never really get to tomorrow, because then tomorrow is the day after that. So after a lot of tomorrows, I guess you *will* be a big kid. It's a bit confusing, I know.

Biscuit: Can I have some of your birthday cake yesterday, then?

me: You did.

Biscuit: Can it be yesterday again?

me: Today will be yesterday tomorrow.

Biscuit: I think I just really like to dance ballet.

Friday, October 23, 2009

fail metal racket


I had a wonderful conversation today with a fabulous and talented artisan. Every time we talk, I come away energized and inspired, anxious to create things and generally brimming with ideas. Since my mentor died and I quit the gallery in 2007, I have deeply missed being among artists and the frantic creativity and possibility that surrounds them. I am grateful to have found a friend and peer who elevates me back onto that level.

She is a genius with metal, from etching to soldering to bevels. And I'm totally jealous, because I spent a year in college taking jewelry, metalwork, and 3-D sculpture, only to learn that I totally suck at it. At all of it. I simply do not think in three dimensions. Nor am I very good at following directions or doing anything that involves specific steps. Fat over lean? We into dry? 1/4t of salt?

Pshaw! I'll just wing it!

In fact, this is the very best piece that I turned out in that year of saw cuts, hammer thunks, and pickle stings.


And whaddya know? It's basically a line drawing. And it was meant to be a brooch, but the pin on the back fell off, because I suck at soldering.

So I thought I would show you guys how bad my jewelry and metalwork was. It's embarrassing, but hopefully you'll get a good laugh.

First there's this necklace, which I call:

It was made by the lost wax casting method, which means I spent hours with a ball of wax, a flame, and some dentist's tools, smoothing the wax into those three ridiculously hideous, contorted shapes. Then I laboriously cast them in sterling silver, set the two stones, hammered the links of the chain, put it all together, and did the patina.

Hours and hours. Days and weeks. All-nighters.

And it's fugly. And I was mad when I got a B.

Looking at it now, I think the teacher must have wanted in my britches, because that thing's a C- at best. Bad design. Bad execution. And it wears like a choke chain.

Then there's this monstrosity:


I made it for my friend, who had tiny fingers and took care of the mice at the pet shop where I worked. So I made her a Mouse Queen ring. And it's the lumpiest, ugliest little waste of metal. And the tube-set bezel looks like Jughead squashed a Coke can. And then she quit being my friend, because I was a sucky friend back then, so I was stuck with it.

Eek.

And then the ring in the first picture. So hard to make. So poorly designed. So badly executed.


I fell in love with that opal and wanted to do something special. Something monumental.

And it is-- like one of those huge skyscrapers that are a blight on the landscape. It's the concrete block of jewelry. Don't even get me started on the bezel. If that bezel were a person, I would slap it and walk out the door.

See, I don't mind making mistakes. But I don't want to look at them forever. And with jewelry, if you make a mistake, most of the time, you're stuck with it forever.

Oh, unless it's a cup or a spoon, and then you can spend 9 hours a week hammering on it over an open forge until you have face blisters and it's a foot long and looks like a balloon on a tongue depressor.


Up up and away!


For the cups, you had to keep making them in copper until you were good enough, then you made one in silver, then you took it to the professor's house at the end of the semester and celebrated by drinking his famous mint juleps out of it, since they are historically served in silver cups.

I never got that far. My cups did not improve. I drank my julep out of a plastic UGA cup, and I was so disgruntled that my antler-knife-making redneck friend took pity on me and dragged me out to the shooting range afterwards so that I could take out my rage and shame on unsuspecting soda bottles with his .45.

*

I know some of you, kind souls that you are, are going, What's wrong with that stuff? It's fine! Kinda ugly, but sturdy.

But the thing is, ugly jewelry is not successful jewelry. I did this for a year, people. Every day. I thought it was my calling. And I worked for a well-known local artist and gallery owner, and I told her that I wanted to learn from her and follow in her footsteps. And she looked at my work and told me kindly that it was a tough business, and I should work harder and learn more and develop "my own style", and then talk to her in a few years if I was still sure of my career dreams.

And then I realized that jewelry-making was simply not one of my gifts. Whatever the spark is, I don't got it. I wish I'd figured that out before a year of frustration, pain, and money spent on precious metals and stones. But I'm okay with it.

So here's the checklist so far.

Things At Which I Suck:
*jewelry
*metalsmithing
*figure sculpture
*baking
*navigating
*driving on highways
*following a sewing pattern
*eating veal
*seeing without my contacts/glasses
*jiujitsu

So if you were planning to stomp on my glasses and put me in a chokehold while attacking me with a crockpot full of pickle, you now know all my weaknesses.

***

Postscriptum

Over my post-birthday dinner date tonight:

Dr. Krog: Dude, it looks like you're fishing for compliments on your blog today.

Me: I'm not, though. I just wanted to share my lame jewelry so we could all have a good laugh.

Dr. Krog: It's not as bad as you think it is. It looks like something a steampunk dwarf made, actually. Like, you're supposed to see the seams on purpose, like it's lumpy on purpose.

Me: Uh. Yeah. That's why it sucks. You're never supposed to see that.

Dr. Krog: But if you were a steampunk dwarf, that could work.

Thanks, Dr. Krog. You have a way of making everything better.

unruly lunchtime poll

See that little poll over to the right? If you have a moment, would you mind sharing your habits?

I'm thinking about doing a giveaway, maybe partnering with some of the artisans that I love and love to link. But I don't want to waste anyone's time or my money.

And if you'd like to say more about it, please feel free to comment.

Have you ever gone to any of the shops or artisans to which I link?
Did you like what you saw? Or was it meh?
Did you buy, save, bookmark, or "favorite" an Etsy shop?
Do I have horrid taste, and you're disgusted with the things I link?
Would you enjoy seeing more links, Etsy treasuries, that sort of thing?

I don't want to start a review blog or a giveaway blog, but I'm not sure what folks like to see best on the ol' blog. But I love supporting unique artisans.

Back to your regularly scheduled munching. Shoo!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

pre-halloweenie haikus


like a hummingbird
she moves, talks, swings, in motion
as I watch, dazed. tired.

*



got my big punkin
got my spoon, wearing no pants
i make air soup rock

*


"this hat hurts," she says
suddenly she's not a witch
she's wednesday addams

*


*

mommy has great pics
of biscuit's costume. so cute!
but no spoilerz. yet.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

okay, so pretend you're me.


Okay, so you're me, and you slept pretty badly, because your baby slept badly. You wake up and learn why: he has some mad-crazy diaper rash on his peeper. And then he takes a ten pound crap. So you get a firehose and mop the lad off and apply a tube of ointment.

Isn't that word just ridiculous? Ointment.

Anyway. While that's going on, you go up to your daughter's room to get her super-special outfit for school pictures, and you note that it's 8:50. Plenty of time! And then you find the super-special outfit in the dirty clothes hamper under daddy's stinky gi. So you beg/cajole your child into wearing something else, try to hack a shape into her bangs, and check the clock in your bedroom, which says 9:22, even though only 3 minutes have passed.

Then you remember daddy reset the Biscuit's alarm clock so she would sleep later.

Sh*t.

You belt the kids into the car. You press the garage door button, and nothing happens. So you push it some more, from different directions. You kick the door a few times. You stamp on various bits of it. You google "open garage door". You finally get the door open and get to school 30 minutes late. On picture day.

LUCKILY, the rest of the day is awesome.

There's this:


Because my Dr. Krog takes care of my cake-o-licious needs. See Unruly Junior going for a little snick-snack of icing? She's a bold little critter, to touch my cake. One could easily lose a finger doing that.

Followed by a meal at Benihana, because my favorite hibachi restaurant, Nagoya, didn't have a hibachi chef for lunch. At a hibachi restaurant. For lunch. At a hibachi restaurant.

But the Biscuit is pretty smooth with the chopsticks.


Mmmmm. Hibachi.

And then Dr. Krog took both kids for an hour and a half so that I could go to Starbucks and sip a pumpkin latte and implement the suggestions of my wonderful, lovely, talented, helpful critics. My first chapter is now 100% better. Thanks, guys! You were totally right!

And then I took the kids over to my folks' house to play. t.rex had his longest walking trip so far-- about 6 steps! And all five of us-- Nina, Big Ben, the Biscuit, t.rex, and me-- played ball. It was such a sweet way to end the day.


Sorry, Big Ben. You're making kinduva funny face there, but it was the best picture of me and the only one in which the Biscuit wasn't doing her "cheese" smile.

And, of course, this is what I saw every time I stood up today:


It was a good day. It was a good birthday. I have a good life.

And a delicious, moss-colored cake, and some awfully cute kids, and a sweet husband, and a wonderful family, and some rockin' boots, and a stomach still swollen from hibachi.

Oh, and I just finished my third piece of cake, but you didn't hear that from me, cuz I ain't one to talk.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

bienvenue, 32


32 isn't the prettiest color, according to my synesthesia.

And I don't want to get old. I don't want mortality salience. I will be young and beautiful forever, dammit.

But I want my cake. And a big, delicious dinner featuring either really good steak or duck.

Mainly, I want my cheerful little son to quit playing with a wrapping paper tube, take the ginormous crap heralded by his stanky dead-dog-farts, and go back to sleep.

So that I can go back to sleep, so that it will be my birthday already, so that I can have my cake and a big delicious dinner featuring either really good steak or duck.

I'm having some sort of weird, pre-birthday downer. Besides the fact that I'm downstairs on the laptop instead of upstairs in my cozy, perfect bed with my sweet, sleepy Dr. Krog. I think it has something to do with finishing the latest Diana Gabaldon book and knowing there won't be another one for four years. How can I wait four years to find out what happens? It leaves me feeling bereft in a very ridiculous way.

I guess that's how you know you've got a good life-- the worst thing happening is that you can't have your favorite meal until Friday and you just finished a really good book.

Thanks, 31. You were a pretty awesome year.

Monday, October 19, 2009

purple to brown

Query: What turns from purple to brown?

A dying violet. A rotting plum. A bruise on a tan person.

And Dr. Krog.

(He's the cute but lethal one in the middle.)*


Because I am very proud to announce that tonight my darling Dr. Krog got his brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. So long, purple belt! He has over 1000 hours of classes, 200+ hours of sparring, 200 to 300 hours of academic study, rabid seminar attendance, and he also teaches 5 classes a week.

Dr. Krog means business.

The whole family went to Tiger Academy of Martial Arts to make annoying squeaky noises and run around holding chess pieces during daddy's serious ceremony. Well, the kids did those things. I mainly admonished under my breath, snapped my fingers a lot, and turned the baby upside down when he got all yappy-like.

Sifu faked us all out, though, and pretended like the ceremony was over, so I wasn't recording when he called Dr. Krog's name. But I got the speech about his hard work and dedication to the academy and to training, and I also captured his turn through the gauntlet, when the other 30 students took off their belts and beat him silly. I was very sorry not to be wearing a belt at that time.

I have to say, I totally washed out of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu when he convinced me to train. He likes it because it's like chess combined with the hardest workout of your life. I HATED IT because it's like chess combined with the hardest workout of your life. After getting choked 20 times in a row, I felt pretty much done.

But Dr. Krog has an indomitable spirit, and now he's on the road to black belt, and I'll be feeding him pot roasts and pumpkin cookies to keep us his strength. Because now everybody's gonna be gunnin' for the skinny brown belt called Dr. Krog.

And I leave you with a quote from a more senior instructor:
"Dr. Krog, you got two speeds: I am asleep, and KILL. They hate you, man."

* He says he doesn't look cute in that picture, that his hair is "all messed up". Yeah, Dr. Krog. You just got beat by 30 guys with belts. You're gonna be a little froofy. Anyway, anybody who says he's not cute should know that I may suck at BJJ, but I can still choke you unconscious.**


**If you hold still long enough and don't fight much.***

***Also, please do this when I don't have the baby strapped to me, because that would be awkward, choking someone while wearing a baby.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

bean and biscuit's excellent journey


We had another awesome day.

It doesn't seem fair, does it? To have both days of the weekend be 100% awesome?

But they were.

Today was the birthday of one of the Biscuit's very best friends. Oddly, the Biscuit's two favorite buddies also have food nicknames, and she calls them "MY Bean" and "MY Peanut-y". And today was Bean's birthday, and we were swept away on a magic carpet ride to Phillips Arena for Disney on Ice, aka The Ice Capades, aka MOMMY, IT'S SNOW WHITE! AND TINKERBELL!


Seriously, Snow White is like some sort of freaky pagan god to these kids. They don't care about Ariel, Beauty, Jasmine, Mulan, or New Princess That I Don't Know About Yet Because I Don't Pay Attention To Toys, But She Has Something To Do With New Orleans And Frogs.

I don't think that's her real name, but girlfriend can SKATE.

Anyway, we had the most wonderful time. The children were absolutely dreamy. Not a single tear. Bean's mom packed fabulous favor bags with complete meals, treats, and games, and she even drove us, which meant I didn't even have to have a panic attack. And they LOVED the show. Check out this rapt expression:


Oh, wait. Check it out with the flash:


Birthday girl's other nickname is Seconda. Just like the Biscuit's other nicknames are Buddy, Monkey, Monkeydoodleface, Goose, Goofy Goose, and Snooky Penguin. We occasionally call her by her real name, too, but I assure you that we never call her Chloe.

I brought $20 and had a serious discussion with the Biscuit about Dollarz and How To Maximize Happiness with a Paltry $20 Bill. Spinny-electric-whirligig for $20? Bad choice. $12 Official Cinderella High Heeled Slippers, plus popcorn and a water? An excellent choice. I don't like 'em, but at least my little shoe hog is consistent, and she'll get a lot of use out of the hideous things.


And after THAT, we still had the party to enjoy. Amazing cake, fun times with good friends, and a baby VERY thankful to see his portable milking machine.

Many thanks to Dr. Krog for watching t.rex for nearly 5 hours. And many, many thanks to the Bean and her family for making us such a special part of the Bean's special day.

Yes, I used "special" twice, because it was really, really special.

And I'll say it as many times as I want to, because it's my blog. Special, special, SPECIAL.

What can I say? It was a special day.

Happy Birthday, Bean!

p.s. SO CUTE I'M GOING TO PEE MYSELF, THEN CRY.


Hysterical cuteness courtesy of the parents of the Bean, our wonderful friends.

You guys will not be surprised to learn that shortly after this picture, Biscuit drove Bean into the ground with her love, and they got all tangled up, and then Bean cried while Biscuit ran upstairs and actually did pee herself, because she'd had an entire juice box and then got all excited and forgot to potty. And then Bean lent her some undies, and every time she's used the potty today, she's said, "My Bean-a is nice to let me borrow her big girl panties, isn't she?"

TMI? Probably. But think of how much her prom date will squirm when we tell him about it one day.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

godzilla 2009


What do you think when your parents show up at your house unexpectedly at 9am?

I assume someone is dead, because I'm southern, and that's the way we roll.

Luckily, today, I was wrong.

My parents chose a really cool birthday gift for me this year: they bought all the bushes I wanted for the front yard, and my dad dug all the holes for them and designed the lawn, and then after we planted everything and he weed-eated-ate everything, mom watched the kids while I painted the mural I have longed to create for t.rex's room.

And THEN, at 4pm, we ate a huge smorgasbord of my and my dad's favorite foods, including ribs, creamed corn, fried okra, black-eyed peas, cornbread, macaroni and cheese, and red velvet cake. How cool is that?

And the Biscuit got to help me with the mural, just like I got to help my mom with the mural in my room when I was 3. See?


You're probably wondering why she never had a mural in her room. And I don't have a good answer for that. She has a lot of custom artwork, but the more girly topics just don't appeal to me for the long haul. I'm more "Where the Wild Things Are", while she's more "Beauty and the Beast VII: Revenge of the Glittery Purple Anthropomorphised Tiara".

But she had fun in her brother's room today.


She also got to bake pumpkin cookies with her Nina. And she forced her Nina to read 932 books to her today. And I got to listen to every one of them. Including Barbie and the Three Idiotic Musketeers, aka. The Worst "Book" Ever Written. Twice.

But the kids had a great time, and I had a great time, and my yard looks amazing, and t.rex's room is cool. For the last 3 weeks or so, as I've been rocking him to sleep, I've looked at his curtains and thought, "I want to decorate more, but baby blue zoo animals aren't going to last". And then I found those awesome curtains at Target on the Clearance rack for $4.98 each, and I knew that it was meant to be. I just love orange and blue and brown for boys. So I tried to think of a mural I could do, but everything was so blah. I mean... cars?

And then I thought, "What about Godzilla eating a plane full of screaming people while the Nissan G-cars and Harley motorcycles from the curtains drove by?



And since then, I've just dreamed of getting the four child-free hours needed to do it.

And now it's done. Thank you, Nina and Big Ben! It was a great day and a great birthday, and my gifts will keep on giving for a long, long time.

p.s. Yes, I know Godzilla needs another coat of navy. I only had 4 hours, people!

Friday, October 16, 2009

my hobbled hobby

Hugging my Chantilly


Query:
Are hobbies things you do regularly,
or things you long to do every single day but never can?

Believe it or not, a Facebook Meme threw me into deep contemplation.

Yes. A Facebook Meme. That's possibly a sign of the apocalypse.

The first question was: What is your favorite hobby?

And I think that can be a very tough question.

My first answer, the answer of my heart, is horseback riding. There is nothing I love to do so much as ride horses. I like to go on trail rides, preferably on my horse, which takes a lot of empty land, which is rare here. I don't really like to ride in rings or go about in circles. I never feel as close to myself or God or nature or the Great Beyond as I do alone, on horseback, in the woods. Or galloping through the woods with other people who are too busy galloping to yap about piddly crap. I love to go on hunter paces on the weekends, driving into the mountains and riding through new places and seeing interesting things and never knowing what's going to be around the next corner.

My entire youth, I loved horses and longed to ride them. I got to go to one week of horse camp a year, and that was the best week of the year, every year, hands down. When I got too old for that, I just tried to forget. Pshawed the "horsey set" at school and didn't look at horse calendars and generally tried to forget that horses existed because I couldn't be near them. I tried to get involved with a barn in college, but they fired me because I couldn't take care of their horses on Christmas eve from 2 hours away in a snowstorm.

And then Dr. Krog and I moved to Pendleton, South Carolina, and I started riding lessons. And then I started teaching the lessons. And then I gave some fool $800 for my little mare, Chantilly, as seen in the picture above. See my face? Have you ever seen me so full of joy? Probably not, because no one reading this blog has ever seen me on horseback. I had two blissful years of horse ownership. And then we moved to Alabama, and the closest place I could afford to keep her was an hour from the city.

And then we moved here, and the closest I could keep her was Alabama, and a friend helped me sell her, and since then, I have tried as hard as possible to forget about horses. Even if there were woods and trails here, and even if I had money to burn, you can't take an 11 month old baby on back of a horse.

But I can't forget. I can't. When it rains, I can smell my saddles in the garage, getting ruined. When I went to Horsetown for my boots, my daughter asked me what bells and brushes and hoof picks and leathers were, and I told her, touching each thing lovingly like an old friend. And then, of course, there are the three beautiful horses I pass to and from my house every day, one of whom is a gorgeous, caramel-colored draft horse with the most lovely, bristle-brush mane. How I long to pat his big, rippy butt. Le sigh.

Anyway, my point is this: horseback riding is my hobby, and I haven't been on a horse in over a year. I paint, mainly because I don't have a choice. It's an imperative. When I have to paint, I paint. I write, mainly because it's a free, easy creative outlet. And sometimes I get paid for it. But it's also imperative-- if I don't blog, the day feels incomplete. And I read, because it's still the most cheap, relaxing and entertaining activity around.

So what's my hobby? What I do because I want to, or what I do because I have to? Something I do every day, or something that I never get to do, which makes me want to cry when I actually think about it? And then I get onto the subject of snorkeling, and I can't do that either, and BLAH.

What keeps me going, besides my convenient ability to purposefully forget things, is that I know with all my heart that one day, I'll have horses again. I'll have my own horse, and maybe a trailer, too. I'll have a place to ride, logs to jump over, creeks to ford. I'll take Dr. Krog and my kids out on rides and show 'em where the turkeys roost. I'll get to spend my Sunday mornings in the closest thing I've ever felt to church, riding alone through dappled shade with only the crunch of barefoot hooves and birdsong for company. One day, if all goes according to Dr. Krog's plans, I'll have horses in the front yard and get to eat my cereal on my front porch with a long, pinto face peeking over the railing with a mouthful of hay.

For now, dreaming of horses, or forgetting about horses, is my favorite hobby.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

nobody puts baby's pumpkin in the corner


I'm probably going to hell for that.

Sorry. I'm feeling perverse today. And not "the code word is foliage" perverse.

The kind of perverse you feel when you suffer through an hour of the following:

a) infant decides to nap at 6:20 when bedtime is at 7:30
b) toddler cries 5 times over things as ridiculous as Play-Doh color and difficulty of sitting in a chair
c) chicken gets burned
d) fire alarm goes off
e) potatoes taste funny
f) you discover 10000 maggots having a maggot party in the driveway
g) you discover fruit fly Xanadu in your Diaper Dekor
h) you decide you must be some sort of secret Nasty Insect Princess

In fact, you guys are lucky I didn't make a hat out of toilet paper and run down the street in my wedding dress screaming "The British are coming!"

It was that kind of afternoon.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

dookyday haikus - join me!


today sucked. it rained.
things went wrong, kids annoy, but
chunky legs soothe me.

***

Anybody else want to share a haiku about your day?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

new boot goofin'


Did you know it's almost my birthday?

Seriously, though.

It's a game that Dr. Krog and I play. It's "almost my birthday" starting on May 6, and it's "almost Dr. Krog's birthday" staring on October 22. Our kids aren't old enough to, like, matter yet, as far as this game is concerned. We're still really big into our own special days.

Which is why I have these:


And why I'm new boot goofin'.

If you like Reno 911, you're probably familiar with those 14 seconds of hilarity, but it cracks me up every time. New boots make me goofy, too.

See?


I told Dr. Krog I wanted some nice new boots, and he told me to have fun with the selection process. He hoped that I would spend a week delectably choosing the perfect boots online, then order them in time for my birthday. Which it is almost. So I started a bookmark club of awesome boots. And then, in typical unruly-helpmeet-is-so-freakin'-impatient fashion, I went to Horsetown today and tried on the top three contenders, and I decided on the Ariat Daisy, which was $40 less at Horsetown. So it's both awesome *and* frugal!

And now I got some hott new sh*tkickers. And the Biscuit got to enjoy some down home country fun, from learning about "a nelk" on the wall to trying on some tiny pink cowgirl boots.

Thanks, Dr. Krog. I love those boots so much I'm almost afraid to wear them.

Almost.

*

p.s. Thanks for the help with the unChloe. I think we're all sorted out. =)


*

p.p.s. I have two copies of my book out to unruly readers. I haven't heard anything back yet, so I'm a little terrified. If major rewrites are required, I may need some new readers, but we'll cross that insecure boat when we come to it, eh? Thanks so much for the enthusiasm! You guys make my day, like, all the time.

*

p.p.s. Still new boot goofin'!

Monday, October 12, 2009

unruly conundrum: who's chloe?


I don't know who Chloe is, but it's not my child.

When she's scripting, playing with her toys and practicing different phrases, one that has come up a lot recently is "Don't call me Chloe". When she says it, her eyebrows come down, and there's a quiet, serious ferocity in her voice. And I finally found out why.

Her teacher calls her Chloe.

She did it twice in front of Dr. Krog and I tonight at Preschool Open House. And the poor little dude was wearing a name tag!

I know our child's name is unusual, but it's not a difficult name. There aren't even any hyphens or umlauts. It's four letters, two syllables. And her teacher sees her for 9 hours a week. That's over 45 hours so far, and she apparently still calls my poor daughter by the wrong name most of the time.

And I'm not sure what to do about it. The teacher is obviously not doing it on purpose, she just knows someone named Chloe, and that name overrides my child's name. But it is affecting my poor little Biscuit, who doesn't like it a bit. Now that she's learning the terror of Time Out at school, she is scared to speak up and/or sass the teacher. And we're not the sort of parents to make a fuss, email the director, or send the child to school in a shirt with her name stitched on it in huge, capital letters. And we love the school, and we love the teachers.

And yet.

It's such a fragile, special time for a little dude. She's learning that she's her own person, developing her sense of self. She's a girl who likes skirts, hair bands (the accessory, not the White Snake), Care Bears, and pizza. And she deserves to be called by her own name, not constantly hearing someone else's name and an apology.

What can I say? It's a conundrum.

But I'm not changing her name to Chloe, because I used to live next to an insane Jack Russell Terrier named Chloe, and she barked all the time, and she had dogtitties that dragged the ground, and I just can't do that to my child. So I guess the t-shirt is our next best option, really.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

the goobers of punkin ranch


On a beautiful, sunny fall day, there's nothing suburban goobers like so much as to drive to a farm in the country and take pictures of each other with pumpkins.

Don't ask me why.

I don't understand it myself. I suspect it's similar to the instinct that makes lemmings commit mass suicide.

Of course, it could be the utter-OMG-so-so-cuteness of bebbehs with punkins.


Seriously, it's so cute that I couldn't bring myself to write on it. I have another one where he's manhandling the pumpkin's stem, and it looks like that scene from Ghost. You know, the one that made all the middle-aged women cut their hair short and take pottery classes? Like that, but with a baby, and no Patrick Swayze, although I am awfully tempted to Photoshop his ghost into the background.

I suspect it's too soon for that joke.

RIP, Patrick. I loved you in Point Break.

Anyway, here's another gratuitous pumpkin shot:


Ta da! The Biscuit found this little gem lying in a field. An empty, muddy field. Where they apparently sprinkle baby pumpkins like so many Easter Eggs so that children can "hunt" them, and then mommies can dig through the leftover Certs and Cheerios in the bottoms of their purses for these bizarre green things called "dollars" to pay for the baby pumpkins.

And then there's this lady. Don't get me started. She lives 100000 miles away, and I miss her all the time.


She married my best friend from high school at a really cool wedding with saris and toads and a chapel in the woods and a bunch of totally awesome cakes. And the red velvet one wished Dr. Krog and I a happy congratulations on successful babymaking, as Rex was bunning in my oven at the time.

And here's what they look like when they're sucking face.


OH, GROSS. GET A ROOM, YOU TWO!!

And speaking of public displays of affection, have I mentioned lately that Dr. Krog is a very handsome fellow?


I mean, if you like the front, you should totally check out the back.

Just not when I can see it, because I'll totally punch your lights out for looking at my man.

So what have we learned today?

* We are total goobers.
* t.rex looks great in/near orange and likes to manhandle pumpkins.
* The Biscuit is very effective at finding small pumpkins in empty fields.
* Urfa has luscious gourds.
* Ryan and Urfa suck.
* But what they suck is face.
* Dr. Krog is hott. With an extra "t".

Be prepared for a pop quiz.

*

Also, is there anyone I trust implicitly who enjoys reading chick lit and would like to offer criticism on my book before I start sending out queries? I need a reader. Who will be kind, but firm. I mean, I don't need "This entire book sucks and you should go back to making babies, you flaming moron". I need "Chapter 4 needs work, and you left out a comma here and put in too many spaces over there, but you're still a good person". Quick turn-around would help, and I can send you a PDF.

Interested parties can email me at delilahpaints[at]yahoo[dot]com.