Wednesday, December 30, 2009

krogstory


Have I ever told you guys why we call him "Dr. Krog"?

After he finished his dissertation and started his job here in Atlanta, we had to drive back to Clemson for graduation day. There he stood, in his blueberry-colored robe and cap, waiting to check in. His name was on the list, and the nice lady handed us a packet of stuff that we soon lost.

Sitting in the stands, I looked through my program and saw his correctly spelled name next to "Ph.D". I exhaled in relief and pride. All his hard work was rewarded.

They called his name and gave him his fake diploma, and I cheered for him.

On the way home, he sheepishly explained that he hadn't kept up with his paperwork, still had missing library books, and had driven to his own graduation with only a 60% chance of graduating, according to his statistical mind.

"Was my name right in the program?" he asked. "I figured they would mess that up, too."

"Yeah, it says right here, 'Krog Doodler, Bachelor of Arts in Library Sciences'," I said.

And since then, we've called him Dr. Krog.

It reminds us of hard work, young foolishness, the errors inherent in the system, and the blueberry-colored robe that's still in the trunk of his car, a fond reminder of our time in South Carolina.

It also reminds me that I only went to college to marry me a hawt doctor and get my M-R-S degree. But I'm okay with that.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

hurray for painkillers


I don't know why I did that, up there. I suspect it's the Tramodol talking. Or Photoshopping. Or maybe it's the half-pan of accidentally jumbo multi-grain non-Rice Krispies that I already regret scarfing. Or something.

I'm not sure. Painkillers do weird things to me.

But look! I looked at my toe bones and found boobs, llamas, and Smurf hats. At least something good came from this travesty.

I think I need to go lie down.

Monday, December 28, 2009

somebody call the toe truck!

You were right, internetz.


I have a spiral fracture of my 4th hobbit toe. The doctor is amazed I can walk. They gave me a prescription for Tramodal.

Well, actually, they gave an Indian gentleman who lives down the street a prescription for Tramodol, because my last name is not, in fact, Sinh. Good thing I didn't try to fill that Rx, huh?

My doc-in-the-box is way sharp.

But I saw the X-ray, and it don't lie. My toe is ker-SNAP.

So I have to buddy tape my toes for three weeks and wear an attractive orthopedic moonboot. They recommended crutches, but honestly, what sort of whiner-baby uses crutches??

Ha, ha. Joke is on Dr. Krog!

But seriously. It went like this:

Colonel Doctor: (because he looks like Colonel Sanders, a la Scrubs) Well, you have a very nice broken toe there.

me: I figured.

Kernel Dokter: So here's a prescription for Tramodal, crutches, and a post-op boot.

me: (laughing loudly, maniacally, uncontrollably) HA HA HA HA HA

Cornell Doctor: Is that funny?

me: HA HA HA HA HA HO HO HO HO HEE HEE HEE HA.

Doctor. Colonel.: Are you okay?

me: (gasping for air) It's just so funny. My husband is on crutches for hip surgery. We can't BOTH be on crutches. We have a BABY. Somebody has to be able to DRIVE. This is hilarious! The irony is delicious!

Chicken Doc: (just stares at me)

me: And I can't take Tramodal, because I'm still nursing. I can't have any sort of fun painkillers at ALL!

Dr. Chicken: Well, call your pediatrician and see what they recommend. And when you go to bed at night, put the covers over a high-back chair so the blanket doesn't put undue pressure on your toe.

me: HA HA HA HA. Dude, I either sleep on a pull-out sofa with my husband or on my baby's floor. I don't have the leisure to be setting up comfortable chairs by my own bed! HA HA HA.

Dr. Robot Chicken: Ah, yes, well. Do the best you can, I suppose. Come back in three weeks for another x-ray.

me: FUNNIEST. INJURY. EVER.

I suspect I am not the easiest patient.

out of curiosity


Does this look broken to you?
The fourth one that's all swollen and purple. Dr. Krog says I'm trying to steal his limpy thunder, but my toe really, really hurts.

Just wondering.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

sugarplums still dancing


Christmas was two days ago, and now you will be forced to look at photographs of my children doing jolly holiday crap.

But I'll try to make it as un-Christmasy and bizarre as possible, if that's any comfort.

Nothing about peace on earth or familial love or "we all sipped cocoa by the crackling fire and thought about our blessings". Because we didn't have a fire, and I quit making cocoa for Dr. Krog because he never eats his marshmallows and I have to dig crustymallows out of our nice mugs and it makes a huge mess.

But I digress.

Unconventional Holiday Pic #1: Girlchild loves her one-eyed vampire cat while wearing her gothy black leotard.



Unconventional Holiday Pic #2: Baby decides to leave the gift-opening extravaganza to hightail it upstairs while everyone is too overcome with Christmas spirit to notice. Oops.


Oh, you want to know more about that moose? I can't blame you.

Unconventional Holiday Pic #3: An infant's ode to Monty Python. Will he be a band or drama geek one day and fully appreciate this image? A mother can dream.



Unconventional Holiday Pic #4: She ain't *that* kind of fairy.



Unconventional Holiday Pic #5: Another movie redux. Alicia Silverstone, eat your heart out. Except you're vegan, so you won't eat that, anyway.


Yeah, I let my kid dress herself when it's not important. T-shirt under a dress with leggings and a skirt? Eh, sure.

And you want to know where *I* was during all the festivities?

Unconventional Holiday Pic #6: Early morning mommy does all the work.


Glasses, hair in a bun, pajamas, oozing wounds. I was going for hawtness.

So that was our Christmas, pretty much. It was good.

And I'll make a confession:

I already miss the All-Holiday-Music station on the radio.

I am officially OLD.

Friday, December 25, 2009

a very unruly xmas


The Biscuit's favorites: a black leotard, a purple yo-yo, and a toy vacuum.

The mehs that surprised the heck out of mommy: Ariel pajamas and a special princess carriage featuring the Party Princess. Like, no parties today, dude.

t.rex's favorite: the trash from the Biscuit's toys.

Dr. Krog's favorite: the cane he found in a UPS box on the porch on December 2. And socks without holes.

Delilah's favorites: International Delights Mint Truffle coffee creamer and the surety that tomorrow, the holy Poang chair from Ikea will be HERS.

Santa's favorites: the awesome sugar cookies on the mantel.

Rudolph's favorite: Delilah's aloe plant, which was knocked over and mostly dead on the back porch next to the uneaten "reindeer food", which looked like oatmeal with glittery rabbit turds.

Best outfit of the day: sunglasses, fake eyeshadow and lipstick, a Snow White purse, purple glitter penguin socks, a black leotard, and a new blue lightsaber. Tres chic.

Best name of the day: Santa snagged the last "Give a Cat a Cupcake" cat from Kohl's in a flurry of shopping, and when he artfully arranged said cat in front of the tree, Santa noticed why he was the only cat left. His face is like the cat version of the vampires on Buffy.

The cat's an uggo.

But Santa assumed this would give the cat character. The Biscuit named him "Ol' One-Eye Cat". She is currently running around, looking for the cat and the yo-yo, calling, "One Eye Yo Yo! One Eye Yo Yo! Where are you guys hiding?"

Best thing that happened last night: I dreamed a new book. Because I need more to do. Thus far, it involves two orphans, a confused house, and a magical catalog.

Worst thing that happened last night: I woke up at the exact moment that "The Book of Love" was playing on Scrubs season 8, and now I feel all melancholic and mortality salient and heart-squeezy-in-the-chesty. I do not wish to be reminded of how fleeting and special this period of my life is, thankyouverymuch, Zach Braff.

The latest Buffy revelation that is totally unrelated to Christmas: Angel? He's cute, whatever. But I'm on Team Oz.

Merry Christmas
and Happy Holidays,
everybody!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

simplify, simplify, simplify


Sometimes, life gets too complicated.

And then we simplify.

When i look at the Etsy sellers who do major business, I see that they do a small painting of an alligator in the middle of a big sheet of paper. Maybe he's carrying a salt cellar or something equally random, but he's quite understated.

Then I look at my alligator, who is wearing a party hat amid palm trees and yodeling about a cupcake, and I think that I need to get out the gesso and white out 85% of the painting.

Back in art school, they told us that the hardest part of being an artist was knowing when a piece of artwork is done.

Well, maybe the hardest part is actually getting a paying job, but they neglected to mention that in college.

You have to know the exact moment to put down the brush. You have to kill your darlings, go back and remove even more of the meat. I've got a chapter in the new book that I have to kill tonight, and I'm not looking forward to it. I'm going to miss that chapter.

Because as much as I like taking action, I find it very difficult to simplify my life further. A trip to Ikea and a paper shredder might be key, but I think I need to accept that it's just in my nature to always have slightly more on my plate than I need.

I should be relaxing, enjoying the holidays. But my mind won't stop spinning.

My new mantra will be simplify, simplify, simplify.

And my next mantra will be get the book published, paint that painting, and do more crap.

See the problem?

*Yes, even after hitting PUBLISH POST, I still went back and cut out some more.
As an object lesson.
For myself.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

things that go scritch in the night

I'm looking for beta readers for my second book, working title Scritch.

It's a work of fantasy/magical realism of around 50,000 words in the genre of Middle Grade fiction, which means targeted at 8 to 12 year olds. However, I'm hoping to hit that "classic" feel of Harry Potter, The Borrowers, and the works of Roald Dahl. I like to think it's the kind of magical, timeless world that draws you in no matter your age. Dr. Krog found it intriguing, and he's very critical, so it's certainly not a story just for kids.

If you'd like to halp, here are the requirements:

* You are a quick reader who reads a lot and is familiar with similar books.

* You are willing to offer helpful criticism of any sort.

* But you're not cruel and/or soul-crushing.

* You are willing to read via a PDF file emailed to you.

* You understand that there is no compensation other than my gratitude, your name on the Acknowledgments page of the book when published, and the chance to read what I hope is a pretty entertaining book for free.


Here's the hook:

Lena Blackstone's baby brother screams all night, but no one knows why.

That is, until Lena finds a rat in his crib-- a rat that bites her with unexpected fangs. The next morning, she hears a noise in the attic and discovers a four-inch-tall teenager named Selwyn stealing socks from her dryer. He tells her two astonishing truths: tiny people live in her attic and cellar, and she herself is in mortal peril.


*

If you're interested, email me at delilahpaints(at)yahoo(dot)com. I'm hoping to find 3 folks I can trust who are willing to share their opinion. Also, if you know a kid in that age range who loves books, I'd love to hear their opinion, too.

Thanks in advance, dear friends! This book is better than the first one. I promise.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

crackin' nuts



Hey, Biscuit?




Are you ready to see your first ballet?



Yes, I know. I just bought them for you at Target, along with that snazzy dress. I wanted your first ballet to be exciting and memorable, full of magic and glitter and beauty.

What do you think so far?



I know, buddy. And they're great, and I'm excited for you. But I want to talk about seeing the Nutcracker with you. I remember the first time I saw it, when my whole class got on a big, yellow school bus and drove downtown to the Fox Theater. It was amazing. Act One was a little slow, but Act Two was phenomenal.

But this local production is pretty fabulous,
don't you think?




Tell me about it.

But what about the ballet? You spend all day in a leotard and ballet shoes, dancing and waving your "stretchy legs", forcing me to read books about ballerinas, making me promise you can reallyreally take ballet classes in January, putting different magnetic ballet costumes on your stand-up wooden Tina Ballerina doll, and generally drenching my life with the color pink.

So are you having fun?



Yeah, you're not really supposed to do that, especially since we're in the front row. But, whatever, I want you to enjoy yourself, and no one can really see you because you're only three feet tall. Just don't sing along, okay?

Anyway, now that it's over,
what did you think about your first ballet?



That's about what I expected.

Jokes aside, she was totally rapt throughout the entire show and has been asking me questions about the story and dances ever since. She's still dead-set on taking ballet lessons in January, and she has three leotards under the tree. Our first trip to the ballet was a complete success, and I hope it's the start of a new tradition. Thanks, Axelssons, for inviting us!

As for my tiny dancer, I can only hope she has inherited Dr. Krog's ballet-friendly metabolism.

Although she's also asked about cheerleading.

Monday, December 21, 2009

holiday havoc


Holidays at the Goober household include lots of leotards, dancing, footie pajamas, lightsaber battles, pancakes, oogling of the Christmas tree, early present opening, and snacking on peppermint bark.


Mine didn't turn out pretty like the pictures on the recipe website because I didn't wait until the dark chocolate was fully frozen, and it melted in with the white chocolate, so it looked more like dirty snow than the photo on the Trader Joe's box. But you know what? It's still delicious and cost 70% less to make than the boxed stuff.

Then there's our tree.


My camera can't quite capture the nighttime magic of a child-decorated tree. The Biscuit wanted EVERYTHING we had on the tree-- every bit of tinsel, beading, ornamentry. It's like a bagel with sesame, garlic, onion, cinnamon, chocolate, Walpurgisnacht, bananas, bees, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu on it. That's what I mean by "everything".

It kinda looks like the mouth of hell, though, doesn't it?


Also, did I mention that Santa is stalking my child?

First he called on the phone. It went like this:

phone: RING RING RING F'ING RINGING ALL AFTERNOON
me: SO MUCH NO.
phone: I SAID RING, DAMMIT!
me: WHAT?
phone: Uh... hello... this is Santa Claus calling from the North Pole.
me: I'm getting coal this year, aren't I?
phone: I'm calling for the Biscuit. (passes to Biscuit) Hello, Biscuit. What would you like for Christmas?
biscuit: A vacuum and an Ariel dress with a tail and some toys... and... (looks around the room) a couch... and a fridge....
me: Honey, you're just naming things in the house. Santa, we don't need a couch.
Santa: What would your brother like for Christmas?
biscuit: I don't know. Like, maybe, a car.
Santa: I hear you've been a very good girl.
biscuit: Yeah, kinda.

Then he wrote a letter, all the way from the North Pole!

Santa's rhyming skills are sub-par, I'm afraid to say.

And then he showed up to visit us in a fire truck. Here's the Biscuit running out to meet him:


And then she got to sit in his lap, and he gave her Princess jewelry and an Ariel Polly Pocket.

See?


Yeah, my camera's batteries ran out the second the Biscuit sat in Santa's lap. That girl is actually the Biscuit's childhood idol, a big girl of six years. But you get the picture.

What's up next?

Pictures from our family reunion and our trip to the Nutcracker. If Captain Preparedness can remember to recharge the camera batteries, that is.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

the goobers of etsy place

If I had the mad bank to splash around Etsy, here is what I would purchase for the Goobers of Etsy Place, who are visiting from Punkin Ranch.



I love handmade stuff.

p.s. Can you guys see all 3 columns, or is the last one cut off? Silly old laptop, with your narrowness.

p.p.s. Nevermind. I switched it down to 2x5 so I wouldn't have to worry.

p.p.p.s. Because I would worry.

Friday, December 18, 2009

everything's shiny, captain


Focus on the shiny, people.

The mesmerizing object in that first photo, besides the photobomb by t.rex, is a gorgeous ring by my oft-lauded friend Alice of Istanbul Designs. See, long ago, when we were but wee babes in the suburban woods, I gave Dr. Krog a promise ring on top of a ferris wheel. I mean, we were on top of the ferris wheel when I gave it to him, not that I gave him some sort of miniature ferris wheel trophy with a ring... but you know what I mean.

They were cheap, machine-made sterling bands that read "amicus et pietas", which supposedly meant "friendship and devotion", but actually means "friend and devotion", because apparently the old lady catalog was too busy writing pithy comments about cat sweatshirts to ask a high school kid to double check the Latin.

I had to cut it off Dr. Krog a few years ago after he got in a bar fight with Kimbo Slice*, and we've felt naked ever since without our Wondertwin rings. But Alice made amazingly beautiful new rings for us. Mine says "amicus . pietas . boosh", while Dr. Krog's says "amicus . pietas . kakow". Because we don't take anything seriously, not even our love.


She also made this.



It's a combination good luck/tenacity/ambition pendant. And you can't see it very well in that photo. Let's try that again.


Oh, yeah, that helped.

I do not have a future in advertising photography.


So that's what it really looks like, thanks to Alice's amazing eye and magnificent new camera. It says, "no power in the 'verse can stop me," which is something Mal said in Firefly that was taken up by Kaylee and River. I aim to get my books published and become a working writer with a whole shelf full of books, and I like a solid reminder around my neck.

It's been a shiny day. I have now shown you my special new shinies. And now I will pack my special family up in my shiny car and drive around to see shiny Christmas lights to continue the shining SHINY SHININESS.


* No, not really. Kimbo Slice was too busy berating caterpillars. Dr. Krog just did something jiu-jitsu-ey to his finger that made it swell up like a sausage. Like one of my fingers. But, as always, you should have seen the other guy.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

random picture day

Can't think. Can't blog. I'm cleaning.

I hate cleaning.

But here are some random pictures.

So enjoy that.


Images from last art show. Preggo bellies.



Teeny tiny baby t.rex. Squish. Just be lucky I didn't show you my placenta.

Is it weird to threaten to show you my placenta? I seem to do that a lot.




The Biscuit in Fall of 2008, givin' a thumb's up to cookies. Who doesn't like cookies?

Seriously, who? Because I will go to their house and beat them up with a sock full of chocolate chips.


This is a picture I drew according to what the Biscuit described. I'm not sure why Dr. Krog has a book for a head or whether that bird is throwing up or what. But when you agree to do what a toddler says, you freakin' do it.

Gah. For an "I am too busy to blog" sort of post, that took forever.

Sometimes, I'm a bit of an idiot.

Back to cleaning.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

WINNER!


The winner of this adorable ceramic set by notNeutral
courtesy of www.CSNStores.com
is

#3

EMILE!!!

Thanks, www.random.org, and thanks www.CSNStores.com.

Emile, get me your address, and I'll get it to them,
and then you will make chocolate pudding
and I will come to your house and eat it, mmmkay?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

unruly review: buffy the vampire slayer



I guess having vampires on the brain is considered normal now, right? I mean, I have my dogeared Anne Rice and I'm the only person in the world besides Dr. Krog and Stewart Townsend's mum who saw Queen of the Damned in the theater five times.

But, for some odd reason, I'm just now getting around to watching the hit TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which was created by Firefly genius Joss Whedon.

You see, it's about this unusually pretty high school girl who kills vampires and generally runs into any supernatural nasties in the tri-state area. And she has friends who help her with the demon-smacking and praying-mantis-stabbing hijinks.


And there's a requisite eternal hottie. As of the first disc of Season 1, it's Angel, played by David Boreanaz. He's mysterious, unapproachable, moody, and dangerous-- a guy to which any high school girl can relate.


Oh so familiar, yes.

But then Angel developed a power that Edward can't obtain:


Yes, friends. Death ray nipples.

"Oh, my name's Edward, and I'm the perfect man and I'm good at everything I try and I have, like, five doctorates and can play the piano and read people's thoughts and run at superhuman speed and eat deer."

Super, but can you boil your own bathwater, Mr. Fancypants? Angel can.

I don't mean to draw so many comparisons between Twilight and Buffy, but I can't help it. The themes and images are so familiar.


But you know why?

Because vampires are a freakin' archetype, and every lonely high school girl wants to be the shiny new popular girl who nabs the perfect boy, and people adore an impossible love story and want to live forever and be super pretty and glittery. It seems familiar because it's been done 1000 times before, and we still love it.

Oh.

Yeah.

My review of Buffy. You probably didn't want my thesis on The Vampire in Popular Literature, 1800 - 2010, Subtitle: Rock Me, Lestangedwardula.

Buffy is awesome. The effects aren't nearly as sharp as today's TV, and lots of the technology is hilariously archaic by now. The vampires look ridiculous when they're bloodlusty, instead of the usual smoldering gorgeousness we've come to expect from our teen bloodsuckers.

Exhibit A(ck):


Every aspect of Buffy is unrealistic and somewhat ridiculous. But Dr. Krog and I love it, because it's fun and can be purchased at Target in a Season 1 + Season 2 pack for $26.99, which is still less than you'd pay for the DVD of Bruno.

Thanks for the early Christmas present, mom!

Monday, December 14, 2009

hey, you! enter this giveaway!


All you have to do is click on the picture or this text and leave a comment on that blog entry (not this one) and you are entered to win that adorable child's ceramic set by notNeutral courtesy of www.CSNStores.com.

But I wouldn't let my kids have it-- I'd keep it for myself.

Just sayin'.

Contest ends tomorrow at midnight.

That's all.

But there was another post before this one, so you can just arrow down a bit and hear about bad days, epiphanies, and the pang of rejection, if you're into that sort of thing.

criss-cross-scritch-scratch

(I've never done this before, and Dr. Krog will be disappointed, but I'm crossposting from my writing blog, where I record little epiphanies about the writing journey. Sorry, Dr. Krog.)

***

Whether Mercury is in retrograde or I'm being punished for accidentally carting that unscanned 12-pack of Cherry Seven-Up out of Target*, I've had a bad day.

My first e-mail this morning was a notification that my favorite restaurant is closing next week. Soon, I may be reduced to actually cooking.

Next, my husband insulted my food. I barely let him live. He then spilled concentrated red energy drink on my car mat, and since it's probably made of alien polymers, the stain will be with me forever.

Then I had to go get an oil change in the rain with a baby strapped to my chest.

And I won't even tell you what happened in the TJ Maxx bathroom.

At this point, I joked to myself, "With a day like this, I'm sure to get a rejection."

And I did. Not just a query rejection-- an agent that I really admire and like (thanks to Twitter and blogging) rejected a partial manuscript because part of the story didn't work for her.

Sigh.

But you know what? I'm okay.

Why? Because tonight, I get to write on my new book.

It's better than my old book. Deeper, richer, both more simple and more intricate. I like the new book so much that I care less that the first book is getting rejected, because I can now see its flaws from an outside perspective.

I'm so busy with the new book that the old book doesn't feel like "my" book anymore. It's like a child that has grown up and left the nest, and I don't really care as much whether it's successful or turns to stripping, as long as it doesn't sleep on my couch, because that would be a bad influence for the new book.

In short, it was a bad day, but it's going to be a good night, because I get to write.


*I forgot it was in the bottom of my cart and didn't realize that I hadn't paid for it until I got home and looked at the receipt. I still feel bad about it. Maybe not bad enough to give Target $3 and explain it to Customer Service. But bad.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

excuses, excuses

I don't wanna blog tonight because:

* The Krog ate my homework

* I wanna watch Harry Potter and Yet Another Awesome Movie

* I'm still too full from my Mexican margarita and gorge-fest celebration for reaching page 100 of the new book and my sausage fingers are too fat to type, thank you MSG

* I'm sick of talking about my personal issues with skinny jeans and boots, and now I need a coat and a scarf to go with the impossible outfit that I dream will somehow magically transform me into a sultry, 6'2'' version of early Prince-but-Amazonian beauty

* Most of the things I want to talk about right now are controversial and would spark the sort of debate that I don't enjoy

* I only got 5 hours of sleep last night and ZZZZZZZ

* I don't understand why there are only 9 entries for my awesome giveaway, which I wish to good gravy I could win myself, because I seriously long to eat instant chocolate pudding out of that little chicken cup, and I just want to say WHY, PEOPLE? WHY? DON'T YOU WANT THE CERAMIC CUTENESS? WHO'S IT GONNA HURT, TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY?

* I want to go pick up page 131 of the new book

* Are we there yet, mom?

So that's why. I hope there's not a pop quiz tomorrow.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

mask-o-raid

Today, I tried to wear a new costume: skinny jeans tucked into boots.

It was a major FAIL. In Dr. Krog's words, "That looks ridiculous". And don't jump all over him, valiant friends. His blunt honesty is one of the reasons I married him. It did look a little ridiculous.

I don't want to be one of those women who tap into the fashions of their heyday and carry it bravely into the sunset. I don't want to be frozen in the fashion hourglass, going back again and again to clothes that date and age me. I don't want to be today's equivalent of claw bangs and scrunchies. But, dammit, I just so happen to look ridiculous in the current fashions.

It's always going to be tummy camouflaging shirts and bootcut jeans for me. Which is handy, because I often wear boots. Still, it can be disappointing to try a youthful trend and feel oddly shaped and old.

As I returned the dreaded skinny jeans at Target at 4pm on a Saturday in December, I realized that I had made two fatal mistakes: trying to do anything at Target on a Saturday in December, and attempting to wear a trend that was obviously not meant for a curvy broad like me.

It's just dandy if Kristen Stewart and the emo boys want to wear skin-tight pants and plaid tunics, but it's never going to work on me. And I'm coming to terms with that.

But you know what? Today's fashions are not the costume I long to wear, anyway.

If I had loads of money and time, I would build an elaborate and beautiful wardrobe of steampunk fashion. Corsets, bustled skirts, flared jackets, top hats, boots, leather and brass. I would cultivate a costume marrying Victorian silhouettes with Western and Asian touches. I would carry a cane and wear lots of black eye makeup. I would be eccentric in the most delightful fashion.

So here's my guarantee: If I ever become rich and/or famous, I'm going steampunk. I will also have half-draft horses with big, feathery feet and possibly a hot air balloon.

And that's a promise.

Friday, December 11, 2009

minding my peace and Q's


1. Can a 32-year-old woman with two kids and a permanent pot-belly pull off skinny jeans tucked into boots? Does she have any business trying?

Dr. Krog says: "Um, that looks... different".

I can't tell if I'm being ridiculous or sassy. I may be okay with either.


***




2a. When you address a letter to Santa at the North Pole, where does it go? Do you put a stamp on it? Does it go somewhere different if you do or don't put a stamp on it?

I mean, do I have to waste a stamp if I know Santa is going to show up anyway? Hmm.

2b. Does Santa bring Mommy special presents when she exhibits extra cleavage while writing letters to him?


***


3. Will someone please give that poor boy a cup of sugar?

He's offering a crab, for goodness' sake.

***

4. What are they teaching kids in school these days?

My daughter sings the following Christmas songs:

* Jingle Jingle Jingle Jingle Jingle Jingle Jingle (ad nauseum)

* SANTA SANTA SANTA SANTA and Santa is his name-O!

* A Fish in a Manger

* Rudolph the Reno Reindeer

* Run run run, fast as you can, you can't catch me, I'm THE GINGERBREAD!!!!
(Yes, I know it's not a song. She still sings it.)

***

The zenification is working, in case you wondered.

Thanks for the virtual hugs, guys!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

digital fingerstring


I'm going to admit it: I'm having a hard time.

I'm not going to go on and on about why, because that's boring. But I'll tell you what I'm going to do about it.

I'm going to go all zen. Well, as zen as I can. So I'm going to use this blog to remind myself of certain things, like wearing a string around one's finger helped folks to remember to feed the goat back before iPhone apps and index cards.

I must remember:

1. That when people are most unloveable, they need the most love. Me included.

2. That when I'm at my angriest and close to lashing out at my loved ones, I'm going to step back, breathe deep, and duck underwater into calmness. Like an alligator.

3. That this, too, shall pass. That the days of interminable mess and loud noises and bad sleep and unendurable colds and child-bottom-wiping and car seat struggles only last for a few years, just a brief, magical time as fast and sticky and transient as warm honey.

4. That life requires maintenance. That things break on every house and must be fixed. That cars require work. That such irritations should be expected and planned for. That every house, no matter how big or small or fancy, has the same problems. Or worse problems.

5. That laughing makes me feel a lot better. I don't need antibiotics; I need Eddie Izzard.

6. That my creative urge won't go away just because I can't immediately satiate it. That this book is going to force its way out of me whether I lose sleep and time with loved ones or just put it off for a while. That publishing takes time. And there is plenty of time in the world.

7. That I don't have to be perfect. That sometimes, you're a total flake for a while, and true friends understand and forgive. That everyone has periods of weakness or insecurity or illness or can't-get-my-sh*t-together-ness, or maybe all of them at once. And it's perfectly normal.

8. That food doesn't make me feel better. That sleep *does*.

9. That going out and making memories for my children is better than wallowing in my house in annoyance and inertia, and that I feel better afterwards, too.

10. That I have enough of everything I need, if I just remember where to find it.

Breathe in, friends. The air is crisp and the day is fine.

Breathe out.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

giveaway!


I don't know if you guys have figured this out yet, but I'm a hideously frugal girl. I love to shop, but only if I'm getting great bargains.

At the same time, I dream of a day when my book deals come through and a mysterious uncle in Switzerland leaves me a cool $3.2 million, and I can just go to Ikea and LAUGH, and then go to a fancy furniture store and buy things that have already been screwed together by other people.

So when I was ready to buy Christmas presents for t.rex and the Biscuit, I went to Kohl's on Black Friday and got everything for 60% off, which is actually more like 20% off reasonable pricing, which is still a great deal. But I do my dream shopping for online toys at CSN's Toys and Games Online.com.

I reserve my biggest SQUEEs for the delicious wooden kitchens, especially this baking set by Le Toy Van. The Biscuit isn't nearly suave or kitchen-oriented enough to merit such an adorable set... so I maybe I could... help her out... pretending to bake cupcakes.

For t.rex, I would love to have a good, old-fashioned set of cardboard blocks like I had as a kid. He would have so much fun knocking them down, and the Biscuit and I would enjoy building things for him to knock down and then pretending he was Godzilla.

But I've prattled on enough.

On to the giveaway!

The lovely folks at www.CSNStores.com have offered to provide a giveaway for you, dear readers, and I have chosen that gorgeous kids' ceramic set by notNeutral pictured above. Mainly because it's the cutest thing I've seen all week that wasn't drooling and attached to my knee. If I won it, which I can't, I would keep it for myself, because my children and husband would just destroy it like the monsters they are. I would eat chocolate pudding out of that adorable cup.

But you guys are probably a lot more giving than I am.

***

To enter the giveaway:

1. For one entry, visit www.toysandgamesonline.com and share your most coveted toy in the comments.

2. For another entry, mention this giveaway and my blog on Facebook, Twitter, or your blog, and drop a link to that mention in the comments. Well, you'd get an entry for each of those, respectively. And they must be flattering, such that you cannot say "that unrepetant hobag with the chin hair is making me do this, so BLAH".

3. New followers will get another entry.

4. Anyone who is friends with a literary agent or publisher and will pass along my... no, nevermind. That's just too blatant, even for me.

The Random Number Generator will choose the winner one week from today on Tuesday, December 15. I'll announce the winner here and contact you via email, or whatever I can find. Then the nice folks at CSNStores will ship that adorable little set to you, and you will do the happy dance.

So... who wants the cuteness?

Monday, December 7, 2009

save me, candy cane lane

I will now write a host of horrible similes for how I feel:

* like a bird shat in my head.

* like electric-green-radioactive-acid slugs are playing Chinese Fire Drill with my nose.

* like someone make pea soup, then pureed it, then let it sit in my fridge for three weeks, then warmed it up on the stove and scorched it a little, then poured it into my sinus cavities with one of those long, metal cones that monks use when making sand mandalas.

* like the people who make Nyquil have got a lot of nerve.

* like somebody took the pink underground river from Ghostbusters II and injected it behind my eyes, but when it hears music, it doesn't dance. It does that twitchy, jumpy thing that mongooses do when they see cobras. It's like Rikki Tikki Tavi is trying to fight my brain.

* like if I could just sneeze 5 more times this hour, I could break the sound barrier.

* like karma is paying me back for that 12-pack of diet Cherry Seven-Up that I accidentally stole from Target over the summer because it was under my cart and I totally forgot about it and then I was unloading the groceries into my car and it started raining and I said to myself, "Karma is going to pay me back for this, I know, MMMM this non-drink tastes DELICIOUS".

* like if I don't quit blogging and go attend to Dr. Krog, he is going to punish me.

Goodnight, dear friends. May the most poetic Asian spammers leave droplets of gossamer perve in your dreams.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

->keke<-

Every day, I get an exciting new comment on my blog. It goes like this:

スタービーチ has left a new comment on your post "me and chef kool kat":

復活、スタービーチ!日本最大の友達探しサイトがついに復活、進化を遂げた新生スタビをやってみませんか?理想のパートナー探しの手助け、合コンパーティー等も随時開催しています。楽しかった頃のスタビを体験しよう

According to the free online translator, here is the message:

Revival, star beach! It doesn't try doing new life stubby the Japanese largest friend searching sight finally accomplishes revival and evolution? It holds also help and combination etc of the partner searching of ideal on occasion.You will experience stubby of pleasant time.

I keep rejecting it, but it keeps coming back.

I have this private hope that it is a secret message from underground Japanese scientists who are anxious to reincarnate/reanimate my cat, Puddy, because he was the stubbiest large friend I've every had. He was an ideal partner on occasion, and he could be revived as a zombie and/or vampire cat to give me a pleasant time. And the comment only appears for my post about "me and chef kool kat", and Puddy was a totally cool cat.

See? It all fits.

So I toy with thoughts of publishing the comment and thereby possibly setting the plans in motion for the illegal creation of my new/old zombie cat.

Catalyst for the zombie catpocalypse or annoying spam for Japanese peeper enlarging device?

You decide.




Saturday, December 5, 2009

a guest post by Dr. Krog: carved



I got carved on pretty good Thursday. Torn labrum repaired, eviscerated cartilage being regrown, a shaved down femur bone, four arthroscopic cameras inserted into my hip. Rock and roll, baby.

I’d say you should see the other guy, but he is in the mirror.

My brother broke his leg when he was 17, twenty plus years ago. He used it to tear the bumper off of the car of an idiot who did an unannounced u-turn. Bro was riding a Yamaha motorcycle – not a crotch rocket. A cruiser. He was out cruisin’, just a kid having a good time, being young and in love. He was cool even then.

He was in the hospital for 6 months. It is brave for a young man to face something like that. Aside from the more obvious fact that he faced death (I remember blood, oil, and scattered, twisted metal strewn across the darkened highway), I’m referring to more psychologically nuanced fears: maybe never running again. Or never walking without a limp. Maybe never hiking, maybe never climbing a mountain. As much as the next family we had our share of drama. So a lot of bullsh*t iced his unlucky cake.

He was stuck there for 6 months hearing it day in and out. But I don’t remember any melancholy from him. We watched Star Wars together in his hospital room. What could be more appropriate? The meaning of Star Wars is family after all. And when he was healed I remember him taking me to the mall (he always let me tag along), walking with a cane, and him scoring phone numbers from attractive women. He’s charismatic that way.

Me, I was just in the hospital for two days. What is that to 6 months? What is that next to being 17 and having all your dreams flash before your eyes? I was fortunate not to have to face such an awesomely life changing event. But it made me think of him. So bro gave me strength today. I don’t say it a lot, but I really love my brother.

He gave me my first pocket knife.

He also gave me my first pistol and taught me to use it. A Colt.357. He taught me a lot of other things too: how to use my imagination, appreciation for cinema and video games and Krystal burgers respectively...even aspects of science. I still remember his lesson on liquid displacement from when I was 8.

As a boy, my brother physically saved my life… more than once.

He even gave me (or let me long term borrow) this kryptonite rock:


It is a flaw in my character that when I first laid hands on it, at the age of 6 or so I thought silently to myself, “Now I’ve got Superman right where I want him.”

Apropos, the other day the Biscuit said, “I wish I knew how to fly.”

And I said, “Me too, buddy.”

And then I remembered something that brightened her eyes. She calls him Pirate Uncle Robber (private joke) and I said “But your uncle Robber knows how to fly.”

And he does. He flies a powered parasail. It’s wild. It’s a parachute with a fan attached to it. He takes it out on the coast and soars through the air. I showed her pictures online.

And Biscuit said “When I am older, maybe Uncle Robber will teach me how to fly!”

And I said “I hope so, kiddo.”

And I think now about him taking off on his power parasail. It’s not the flying that I think of. It’s that before every take off, to make the speed for launch, he runs…