Friday, April 30, 2010

full of beans. and ants. fire ants.



So I said something today that I never thought I would say. *

It was this:

Dammit, we're out of falafel!




It just struck me as a very odd thing to say. I mean.... it's falafel. Delicious, crispy, oily falafel. Which kind of starts to sound like FAIL AWFUL, if you say it too many times. I actually wasted a piece on t.rex, who spit it out with a look that harbored suspicions of poison. And then he threw the rest on the floor. **

Children have no taste. Seriously.

Except for when they specifically request "those things on Princess Leia's head" as the day's hairdo. I was happy to oblige.



But she was disappointed.

"They're not big enough!" she hollered. "You did it wrong!"

When I explained that it would take her either 5 years or half a llama's worth of hair to have Leia buns, she decided that her little nubbins would suffice.

Oh, and we saw an emu today by the side of the road.

I love emus. They're just so versatile. Wacky *and* tasty.

Why the bit about the ants? Because I love Jefferson Twilight, and because the Biscuit spends approximately half her time at home shrieking about ants. It's spring in Georgia, honey. You're the only one who's surprised. Now quit dropping bits of granola bar around, please.

In conclusion:
I need falafel, I like emus, I hate ants, and my kid has little buns.


Also, I am very good at segues.




* Please comment to tell me what you thought it might be. Please?

** Yeah, I ate it. Jealous?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

nothin' says lovin' like pointy teeth

me: Biscuit, what should we get Mimi for her birthday?

biscuit: It's Mimi's BIRTHDAY? Is she going to be a big kid? Will she be 5?

me: No, buddy. I think she's going to be 78 or 79. Luckily, she's never used a computer, so she'll never know that I'm telling the world how old she is, or that one time, she fed me moldy cornbread, but I didn't want to hurt her feelings, so I ate it anyway and was sick for two days.

*
(Pause while t.rex knocks over my laptop while trying to put on his sister's flower shoes, and then biscuit tries to punish him by sitting on him and screaming, NO LITTLE BRUDDER! NO!)
*


biscuit: Will we go to her birthday party and eat cake?

me: No, dude. She's diabetic. She hasn't had cake in ten years.

biscuit: Will she wear a funny hat?

me: Probably not. But that doesn't mean that we can't. The world needs more funny hats.

biscuit: Will she have a birthday party at Monkey Joe's?

me: Definitely not. People with osteoporosis don't get to go on jump-jumps.

biscuit: (sadly deflated) Oh.

me: But we can get her a present. What do you think she'd like?

biscuit: Ooh! Maybe a goat!

me: That's thoughtful, but Mimi hates animals and noise.

biscuit: But then she would have goat milk.

me: I don't think Mimi's that big into goat milk. Or goat smell.

biscuit: What about a panda bear?

me: Like, a stuffed panda bear, or a drawing, or...

biscuit: Like.... like.... like, a panda bear.

me: We can't get her a real panda bear, dude. They live in China and eat nothing but bamboo and are very heavy and expensive.

biscuit: Maybe a little one?

me: What's your next idea?

biscuit: Um... maybe... a camel?

me: Oh, I see. You're getting your ideas from the refrigerator magnets. Stop looking at the fridge, and think about your sweet Mimi and what would make her happy.

biscuit: A picture?

me: That's a good idea, but you're still looking at the fridge. Maybe you could draw her a picture?
A picture of a flower, or you hugging her, something that will tell her how much we love her?

biscuit: Like an alligator?

me: Yes, nothing says "I love you, great-grandma" like a carnivorous, swamp-dwelling reptile.

biscuit: Or maybe Boba Fett.

*

My vote is still for flowers, though.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

fox and chicken and other things i'm not eating

For the love of all that's holy, Blogger. Let me upload the photo of the chicken!!!


There. That's better.

I was seriously about to start Twittering about how annoying the "new" version of Blogger is, because it wanted me to import photos from Picasa, which je refuse, merci. In any case, chickity check the chickity chicken. Dr. Krog ate every bite. I was proud. And I owe it all to Aviva Goldfarb, whose recipe book I reviewed for Cool Mom Picks.

No, I didn't even taste it. Didn't even eat the crispy skin. Part of me whimpered inside.

And here's the bit about the fox. It's a sketch I did for a mural I'd love to do for a local indie bookstore called Foxtale. I walked into their kids' section, and I was overcome with a vision of paintings on the wall. Portraits, really. Like Jane Austen for the forest.

Fox in cravat. Goose in bonnet. Grandma Bear in pince nez.


I left a little album of mural photos and a card, along with the sketch, so I hope they call. And then I hope they offer to trade painting for books, because if there's one thing I always need, it's more books.

As for other things I'm not eating, the vegan thing is still going well. My favorite places to eat are Moe's (Moo Moo Mr. Cow with tofu, black beans, rice, lettuce, salsa, mushrooms, and onions, can I get a holla?) and Hot Bowl, the local "make your own stir-fry but your kids' food won't be ready until you're halfway home" place. I nosh on Morningstar Farms Buffalo Wings throughout the day for protein. And I gulp vanilla almond milk at regular intervals.

Going vegan is like anything else-- once you resign yourself, it's pretty easy. Just remember to take calcium and B vitamin supplements so your hair won't fall out, mmmkay? My roommate in college, codename: The Pasty Vegan, was the poster child for vegan fearmongering. You still have to get protein, honey. And you should occasionally leave the house and get some sunlight. Life is more than a neverending pasta bowl with a side of rice milk.

That's your PSA for the day. Vegans: Please don't turn into a shelf fungus.

Monday, April 26, 2010

a parking lot of dreams


"I saw something today," my dad said, his eyes all shifty-like. "You won't like it."

"Try me," I said.

"It's the C-I-R-C-U-S," he said. "In the parking lot in front of my gym."

"Why wouldn't I like it?"

"Because you're all fancy, and your children only enjoy highbrow pursuits, like cricket and calligraphy."

Okay, that's not quite what he said. But it's close.

He was wrong, though. We love a good parking lot carnival. So we met my folks there yesterday and had an extremely enjoyable time.


t.rex and I rode this one, too. We were in the elephant behind the dragon. We were held in by a bungee cord, and the animals no longer go up and down. At least that meant nothing horrible happened when t.rex grabbed the joystick and yanked.



There he is with his grandpa, Big Ben. We tried to give the boy a mohawk, but it just looked like a mullet, so we buzzed him. He looks sharp. And he feels like a baby duck.




There's Dr. Krog, with the Biscuit by his side. You didn't think he rode this one alone, did you? He's not a clown or a Shriner, you know.


Boy, did she love riding the Bitty Bug ride. It lasted approximately 17 minutes. So long that the kids actually started to get bored, and the parents started to wonder if we would get our kids back before Christmas. We really got our (read: grandpa's) money's worth for that one.

Thanks, Big Ben!


Doesn't she look just like a squid in this one? With, like, tentacles?

Or is that just wishful thinking on my part?

In any case, the entire family had a great time. Thanks, Nina and Big Ben, for a wonderful trip to the parking lot circus. We've been talking about it all day.

As in, "Can we go to the circus again? Can we go now? Can I have another turtle? What was that thing I rode? Can I do that again? I went up so, SO high! And there was a car. And a bug thingy. And a coffee cup. Remember the bug thingy? Can I go to the circus now?"

Like that. But times 10.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

SAVE FERRIS!!


I think that mostly says it all.

More tomorrow,
after Dr. Krog is done
crackin' the book whip.
Whuppow!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

faq u?

So I'm working on my author website, which consists of agonizing over every word and obsessively checking out the links of real writers, agents, and editors on Twitter for inspiration. The biggest hindrances so far are that, a) I'm not published yet, and b) I want to walk the fine line between charmingly eccentric and cuckoo-bird while exhibiting my innate professionalism.

The result? A pretty bland website.

But I read today that I need a FAQ section, or Frequently Asked Questions. And no one has yet asked me a question, so I don't even have a Once Asked Question section.

Does anyone have any questions they'd like to ask me? Or can you tell me the websites of authors/books you admire? Or what you think would be interesting in the FAQ section of someone about whom you wanted to get all nosy-like, assuming it ain't me?

I checked out the website of YA author Scott Westerfeld, utterly rad writer of the Uglies series, and his FAQ has nearly 5000 comments. I'd be pretty happy with 5. What can I say? I like to dream small, then act really surprised later when things go well.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

itsy bitsy teeny weeny EAT SOMETHING.

I was going to do a hi-larious post making fun of the current women's swimsuit trends at www.neimanmarcus.com, but I kept getting angry and shouting at the models.

First, go here, and scroll down.

Do you see what I'm talking about? And no, not the fact that most of the suits look like something from an Olivia Newton John vs. Denise Richards cage match.

The problem is that most of the models look like this:


In my mind, that girl is starving. My 3-year-old is looking over my shoulder as I type, and she asked, "Mommy, what's wrong with that lady?"

And one day, she's going to be in the dressing room of SuperTarget, trying on the popular, holographic, antigravity bathing suits of 2018, and she's going to grab a handful of pudge and look in the mirror and think, "I'm not thin enough."

Because "fashion", whatever that is, tells us that thin is beautiful.

Thin.

Skeletally thin. Not muscular. Not svelte. But so thin I can count her ribs. So thin that her thighs swoop in off the bone. So thin that in this bathing suit, she makes me think of Ghandi's loincloth.

Let me find the curviest, softest, most rounded model on the page.


What is she? A size 4, maybe, after eating at a Mexican buffet and while retaining water?

And, of course, that swimsuit is by Spanx, meaning that it was constructed specifically to smooth out all those pesky trouble spots, like breasts and hips.

I'm not saying thin is bad. I'm not saying fat is good. I'm not saying thin or fat is good or bad. I'm saying that healthy is good and extremes are bad and THAT GIRL LOOKS LIKE A SKELETON AND I WANT TO GIVE HER A SANDWICH WITH EXTRA GUACAMOLE.*

I could rant for days on this topic, but I'm going to sum it all up in one sentence to The Man:

ZOMG-please-celebrate-realistic-women-and-stop-supporting-unhealthy-lifestyles!

Off to eat an apple and relish the way my bum looks in jeans.

*I'm also saying, for the record, that season 2 of True Blood needs to come out, like, yesterday.**


**Although I'm not happy at how they slimmed Sookie down. She was a size 10 in the books, and in the show, she's teeny little size 2 Anna Paquin. Vampire Bill wants some meat on them thar bones, y'all!

Monday, April 19, 2010

i swear to god i don't have a mustache


I want to blog, but I don't really have much to say right now, aside from the fact that I DO NOT HAVE A FREAKIN' MUSTACHE, STUPID CAMERA THAT MAKES MUSTACHES APPEAR FOR NO REASON. THAT IS A TRICK OF THE LIGHT.

That's the problem with going through a manic stage-- it's a lot like my brain throwing up. Once I'm done, there's nothing left. 

I've been reading some great books. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Killer, which made me like history for the first time since Dr. Terry's AP US History class. The Percy Jackson series, which Dr. Krog loves to ridicule. The Mysterious Benedict Society. 13 Little Blue Envelopes. And I'm trying to get through Carrie Fischer's memoir, Wishful Drinking, but her prose style seems forced. Just like she was forced to wear her hair in cinnamon buns or lose the role of Princess Leia to a thinner actress. Hey-o!

The problem is that after reading so much middle grade and YA, books written for adults seem so stilted and overdone. I mean, Margaret Atwood is skillfully weaving together three heartbreaking stories into a work of poetic genius, and I'm like, CAN WE GO ON A MAGICAL QUEST NOW, PLEASE?

My daughter has decided she wants to be a cheerleader. Yay.

My son is stuck on six words: mama, dada, dog, bath, ball, CKCKCK. He busted his lip today when he threw my camera at the coffee table and it bounced back into his face. Karma's a b*tch, kid! Luckily, he was wearing his black KISS shirt, so the blood didn't stain.

Dr. Krog is currently playing Mass Effect 2 in my art studio surrounded by apple cores, banana peels, and the wrappers from post-Easter-sale Reese's eggs. He's wearing his black gi jacket and is crouching on an office chair like some sort of lurid golem. We watched the final episode of Venture Bros. season 3 last night, and I woke him up 3 times laughing.

I'm really lucky I found someone who will put up with me on a regular basis.

That's all I've got, really.

Oh, and if you're looking for the best recipe for vegan cupcakes evar, go here.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

in which i go manic again

Manic. Manik. Mannick?

Manic is one of those words that never looks right to me. I mean, I know it's not "manick", unless you're playing "Manick: The Gathering", in which D&D nerds overdo the Mello Yello and get all wiggy.

Ahem.

See the problem?

I went manic this week. Here's what I've been up to.


Gave in and bought the gorgeous black and white Liberty of London bedding at Target, along with the most luscious, crisp-but-soft white sheets. Decided that our usual painting wasn't working with the springtime feel, so took down Goodnight Horses and painted this new brushed ink 24x24. Ate an apple at the same time. Multi-tasking!



Wanted the kids to leave me alone long enough to finish said painting, so I cleaned off the back porch and brought out the sand table. Kids went crazy, got soaked, dragged sand all over the house. t.rex officially became a Georgia resident by perpetrating his first act of redneckhood-- mowing the porch topless and barefoot while turning over as much lawn furniture as possible.

But it's okay. Because I finished and hung the painting, and that's all that mattered.



Opened our outdoor grill and found a perfect little wren nest with 4 delightful little eggis. I've decided it's part of a mass conspiracy by George Foreman to make people buy his grills. Because nobody would ever nest in a Foreman Grill. Flat birdies. Very flat.




Received a very fun surprise package-- the delightful book Doug-Dennis and the Flyaway Fib by Darren Farrell, which I won via a Twitter contest by Mr. Farrell and his literary agent, the rockin' Elana Roth. The Halloween-Cinderella-Fairy swooped in and tried to YOINK it, but I foiled her.

Take that, fairy! It's my book! I'm the big fibber!



Of course, most of my waking hours are spent chasing this little nutgoblin. Sweet bejesus, he's fast. His favorite pastimes are trying on various shoes, climbing to the top of dangerous furniture, and indulging in the following conversation 4,700 times a day.

t.rex: MAMA?

me: Yes, son?

t.rex: DEE-DOO.

me: Really? Awesome.

t.rex: MAMA!

me: Can I help you?

t.rex: DEE-DOO!

me: What is that? Doggy? Daddy? Sister? You want food? You want to get down? I know when you want crackers, baths, or balls, but outside of that, I have NO FREAKIN' IDEA WHAT DEE-DOO MEANS!

t.rex: Mama?

Yeah.



There's a lot going on in this one. I just finished Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, thanks to my amazing husband, who knows just the sort of book I dig. I picked up The Mysterious Benedict Society at TJ Maxxx for $4.99 and am already enthralled.

The glove means I spent most of today in the front yard, moving Fall leaves around and planting green stuff-- another of the compulsions. I lost my right glove. So I was a one-handed weeder.

The thermometer is new, after that night I spent 7 minutes trying to take a sick t.rex's temperature rectally before realizing the thermometer was broken. Oops.

The flower is from my art students, who had an amazing gallery reception next Monday. We went back today to see the show again, and I wish it could be up forever. Those girls rock.



Another compulsion. Ink and watercolor.

In any case, it's been a pretty full week. A mostly happy week. I always enjoy the manic times, when there's so much to do that I can never stop thinking and painting and doing things.

I like being me.*




*Especially when I'm listening to Shame and Scandal by Madness.**

** I like being me even more when I'm eating a cupcake while listening to ska. At least, I assume so. It's never actually happened before. But a girl can dream, right?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

boo (hoo)


The other day, we went to a certain adorable local bookstore for the first time. I had a strange, near-religious vision of a mural I want to paint there involving foxes and cravats, and the Biscuit chose a special wipe-off coloring placemat with traceable letters that has already paid for itself in quiet time.

Her friend, however, bought Little Miss Scary, one of those Mr./Miss books recently unearthed from the 1980's graveyard. We read it peacefully in a small town gazebo, and then the girls spent the rest of the day randomly and un-scarily screaming BOO! And then laughing.

Mommy?

Yes, sweetheart?

BOO!!!

Don't BOO while I'm driving, honey. It's dangerous.

But mama?

Yes?

BOO!

*sigh*

Reminds me of one of the few moments of my life I regret. I was about 8 and loved practical jokes. Thank heavens for my mother, who knew very well that I saved one egg from the boiling pot at Easter. With the benign smile of the true martyr, she cracked that egg on her forehead every year as I tried unsuccessfully to stifle my giggles.

Anyway, our family was going on our weekly pilgrimage to the Wendy's Buffet-- you know, back when you paid $7 for a poorly lit salad bar with garlicky Wendy's buns, taco fixings, and institutional-style chocolate pudding? We loved it. And I had a great idea for a prank to pull on my mom, because I was an idiot.

Right as she sat down holding her tray, I kicked her chair out from under her, and she fell. I don't remember exactly what happened, just that I went from cackling hilarity to thoroughly embarrassed in a heartbeat. My parents weren't amused. I hadn't noticed the brick wall right behind her or thought about how she could have busted her head open.

I remember that everyone stared at us. But not in the "Dude, that was hilarious!" way that I had dreamed of. More of a "Boy, that's a stupid kid; those poor parents" sort of way.

That incident was one of those defining moments on the road to adulthood where you say, "Crap. I wish I hadn't done that. Nothing good could possibly come from that sort of shenanigans." It wasn't the end of my practical jokes; it was just the point at which I started to consider consequences and other peoples' feelings.

I guess that's just part of becoming an adult-- that, and realizing that farts, Jim Carrey, and Homey the Clown aren't actually funny. The Biscuit is only 3. There are many more BOOs and HOOs to come.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

unruly quiz #1


0. What is the title of the picture I've just added to this blog post because it makes me so freakin' happy?

a. Guernica
b. Darth Artista vs. Ahsoka Tano: Please Don't Mess Up My Hair
c. Project Runway: Giraffe Boots and Underwear Challenge
d. I just wanted to show off my size 6 jeans for the first time since 2005.


1. Who's the most annoying spam commenter this week?

a. Urfa and my mom, with their "always believing in me".
b. Everyone who agrees going veg is the way to go.
c. BUY GUCCI BUY FAKE, UGLY, SMELLY GUCCI GUCCI!!!!!!
d. Me, commenting under my other Google profile just to make things confusing.


2. When I shook people's hands at the gallery exhibition last night, what story had I secretly concocted to explain the hideous wound on my hand-shaking thumb had anyone asked, which they didn't?

a. Mauled by polar bear.
b. Mauled by vampire polar bear.
c. Street fight. YOU SHOULD SEE THE OTHER GUY!
d. It's a busted blister from using my Swiffer too rigorously.


3. What did I really, really wish I could have watched last night?

a. Season 1 of Chappelle Show, which we lent to someone and forgot to retrieve.

b. Season 1 of Frisky Dingo, which we just found under a block of wood in my studio.
c. Something by Nicholas Sparks.
d. Mega Shark vs. Giganto-Octopus-with-Lasers.


4. What did we really watch last night?

a. Reno 911, the one where Terry gets busted on roller skates at Tacos Tacos Tacos.
b. the fifth episode of Season 1 of Dollhouse
c. Did you notice that Eliza Dushku is actually a pretty decent actress?
d. I know. We were surprised, too. After Buffy and Bring It On, I thought the only character she could play was Slim-Hipped-Streetwise-Rebel-with-a-Heart-of-Gold.
e. reruns of Robot Chicken.


5. What was the original working title of Scritch?

a. Lena and the Little People
b. Holy Crap, There's Venomous Munchkins in the Basement!
c. The Sock Thief
d. Labyrinth 2: Gobbling Bugaloo


6. What's the best chai latte on earth:

a. Trick question. It was only available for a brief time when Roy at The Coffee Park bought the wrong soy milk and added too much chai sauce. RIP, Coffee Park!
b. Vanilla soy milk, decaf Celestial Seasonings India Spice chai.
c. Vanilla almond milk, Celestial Seasonings Honey Chai.
d. Just drive on down to Starbucks and get a Venti, dahling.


7. What unfortunate condition keeps t.rex from becoming a child model?

a. Polydactyly.
b. Jerk parents who won't get him a better agent.
c. That weird wart/thingy in the middle of his forehead. That I just want to PINCH.
d. His weird hairline, cankles, and man hands.


8. Where did Dr. Krog and I meet?

a. In a bar.
b. In a bookstore.
c. In a bookstore with a bar.
d. In a bar with a bookstore with a tiny bar in the corner.
e. On the quad of our dorm at UGA.


9. What's my worst internet obsession?

a. Finding the perfect boots on www.zappos.com.
b. Watching literary agents, editors, and fav authors on Twitter.
c. Stalking ex-boyfriends on Facebook and drawing X's over their eyes with Sharpies on my laptop screen, which doesn't work as well as you think it does.
d. Participating in the TwiMom forums for moms who LOOOOOVE Twilight.
e. Staring at the Recently Listed feed on Etsy and clicking on weird crap.



10. What is the Biscuit currently singing as she beats my couch with a fairy wand?

a. Old MacDonald had a farm, EIEIO. And on that farm he had a MAN, EIEIO. With a man-man here and a MAN-MAN there, here a man, here a Six Flags here and makin' up my leg, there a goat, there a chicken, there went a pig, there a ready-set-go SNORT SNORT SNORT MAN MAN what sound does a goat make, mama?
b. O Fortuna from Carl Orff's Carmina Burana.
c. Fergielicious by Fergie Ferg.
d. The theme song to Silver Spoons.


11. What's your favorite non-human book character?

First person to get all 11-- and yet, you can get #11 wrong-- gets a painting in the mail when I do the ones for jarvenpa and biblophiliac later this week. You know, when t.rex's pneumonia calms down.

Monday, April 12, 2010

letters from the vegan trenches

It's been... what? A month of lackadaisical, part-time vegan city?

Here's the tally.

Pounds lost: 10

Skin: Glowing. Less acne. Keratosis pilaris gone.

Jeans: In the skinniest ones. Need new ones.

Appetite: Reasonable. I no longer spend all day craving sugary crap. But I do crave those gigantic white beans in sauce from Trader Joe's.

Digestion: HOLY CRAP AWESOME. But seriously. The weirdo stomach problems that have plagued me my entire life are GONE.

Allergies: Nonexistent, even though it's the worst allergy season in Georgia ever recorded. Is it because of eating vegan, possibly reducing my body's overall inflammation response? Or is it the 2T local honey + 1t cinnamon trick my grandfather passed on? I have no idea, but I'm not going to change a thing or complain.

Groceries: Maybe a little more expensive, only because I buy different things for Dr. Krog, the munchkins, and myself. Those Morningstar Farms Faux Buffalo Chicken Wings ain't gonna buy themselves. And we're also eating loads of fruit right now, which is pricey.

I'm also buying more Schick Intuition razors, because I feel so good about my body that I'm wearing more skirts and capris. Those things are, like, $3 a piece, but totally worth it.

Productivity: So high. Energy and creativity are good.

Overall: I feel clean, unencumbered, and awesome. I'm one pound away from my prepregnancy weight-- with the Biscuit, in 2005.

Thus far, I seem to have one "cheat" day a week, which has ranged from allowing myself brie on my French Twist at Roly Poly and half a cupcake to a complete smorgasborg of medium rare cheeburger at The Counter.

I can't believe it's working. I feel like I'm getting away with something. I hope it stays this easy.

Viva la part-time veganism!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

paging the Goblin King

You might consider this a rant, but I've got to say it.

Kids?

They're a pain in the ass.

I have a scene to write, edits to plunge into, a list of titles to imagine, a painting to finish, and a studio that could really use a good cleaning. But instead, I'm trapped in momland, where I am the sole source of sustenance and entertainment for two very needy children.

I feel like a revolving door for crackers and sippy cups and diapers. I'm so accustomed to barking at my daughter when she jumps on the furniture that I don't even look up when I hear her tiny body smack into the leather. "To your room," I say. And she just goes.

Days like this, when I really, really want to do things for myself, are the hardest. I feel like they're taking something from me, like I'm fighting to stay afloat. And they sense my frustration, they feel me pushing them away, so they just surge closer, arms scrabbling and mouths open, desperate for my love and attention.

I want to give my children the gift of a mother with passion and accomplishments. I want them to see me as a role model, a happy and OH MY GOD. QUIT TALKING TO ME. QUIT IT. LET ME WRITE THIS BLOG ABOUT HOW YOU WON'T LET ME WRITE. WHAT ON EARTH IS WRONG WITH YOU? DON'T YOU GET THAT I'M A HUMAN BEING WITH FEELINGS AND NEEDS? I HAVE FED YOU BOTH WITH MY BODY. I HAVE MOVED THROUGH LIFE AS A ZOMBIE ON 4 HOURS OF SLEEP. I SACRIFICED THE SKIN OF MY ONCE-CUTE STOMACH FOR YOU. I SPEND EVERY WAKING HOUR MAKING SURE THAT YOU'RE HEALTHY AND RELATIVELY HAPPY.

Just let me have this. Please.

I know you're young. I know that it's hard to balance my needs with yours. I know that I need to cherish every moment, because you'll be on your way to college in the blink of an eye. Seriously, every person over the age of 60 who sees your sweet smile in the check-out line of Target tells me so.

But right now?

Right now, I just want you to go to bed and let me be myself.

Being pregnant was hard. Giving birth was hard. Learning to care for a helpless infant 24 hours a day was hard. But having two children under 4 while being a complete and mentally healthy human being with creative pursuits is damn near impossible. The more I want it, the harder it is to get where I want to be. They feel me pull away, and they pull back with greedy hands.

But it's quiet now. Even their bedtime music has played out. And I can finally hear myself think again. I can put my feet up in my favorite chair and have a cup of scalding hot tea.

And all I can think about is that I was a bad mother today. That I should have spent more time making them laugh, teaching them, exploring the world with them instead of sitting here, trying to think, being resentful. I don't feel guilty until they're asleep.

In the quiet I've wanted all day, I'm suddenly not sure what it was that I wanted so much.

No. Just kidding. I know exactly what I wanted, and I'm really glad to have it.

All of it.

Friday, April 9, 2010

a completely innocent post

Or:
I Can't Help But Giggle
When Conversations with Children Go Bad

subtitle: This Is Horrible, and I Am Probably Going to Hell When Dr. Krog Finds Out.

biscuit: I want almond milk.

me: You can't have almond milk.

biscuit: Why?

me: Because it's expensive, doesn't have the fat and protein you need, and has too much sugar.

biscuit: I just want some almond milk. I want to be like you.

me: Look, what if you put one of your almonds in this glass of cow's milk? Then it will be almond milk.

biscuit: YEAH! I can have almond milk! I will put my nuts in my milk and then drink them! That will be yummy for me!

me: No, drink the milk, but don't drink the nuts.

biscuit: Why? Daddy lets me have nuts in my mouth.

me: (spewsnarflewhah!?!) You can eat nuts, but you have to be careful, because they can make you choke if you don't chew them first.

biscuit: But after I drink my nut milk, then can I eat my nuts? My nice, salty, yummy, milky nuts?

me: (shooting almond milk out my nose and sure Dr. Krog will kill me for this post) Sure, buddy. You can eat your nuts. Just chew 'em up real good before you swallow.


*

Isn't that awful? I'm a horrible person. It just reminds me so much of Alec Baldwin's delicious Schweddy Balls. (It gets really good around 2:45, but it's all good. Good times. His balls are here for your pleasure.)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

hello, princess sparklepants.

I'm a rebel.

Always have been.

The sort of rebel who holds doors open for old ladies and tries to give herself a blond streak with Sun-In, but hidden in back. The kind of rebel who does her homework and won't let anybody copy it and gets upset when she gets an A-. The sort who loves Robert Smith of the Cure and expresses her dark devotion by occasionally wearing a black shirt and some heavy eyeliner.

Okay, so I'm not as rebellious as I used to think. But today I discovered that my college-era second ear piercing was still open*. So now I have FOUR piercings!



Yeah, I'm totes wacky.

Anyway, I always thought my kids would be punkified with skulls and black clothes and tiny little army boots. I thought they'd grow up playing Pirates vs. Ninjas, and I expected my daughter to write "I <3 the Goblin King" in her black leather journal.

Alas.


I have birthed the Queen Poobah of the Girly Girls.

Her Royal Pinkaliciousness.


She who requires jewels and glitter as part of her daily wardrobe.

She who spends her Easter money on a collection of clip-on Little Mermaid jewelry.

She who refuses to wear jeans.

Did you hear that?

She won't wear jeans.


"I'm being her," she says, pointing to her DVD of Barbie Swan Lake.

"I'm the princess fairy, the one with the toe shoes. But I'm a cheerleader, too."

And I say, "Do you want to watch Wallace and Gromit, buddy?"

And she says, "No, thanks. I'm just a princess."



Those are the shoes she chose yesterday. Her Summer Sandals.

I wanted Keens. No. I wanted Crocs. No. I wanted something durable and comfortable and ergonomic that would allow her to play and run and jump. No, mom!

She wanted glitter and jewels.

"Jewels, mama," she breathed. "Those shoes have JEWELS!"

Most kids rebel by... uh... being rebellious. My kid rebels by being mainstream, the dream consumer of the Disney corporation. A pink-and-purple princess with leanings towards ballet, gymnastics, and cheerleading.

She isn't sure if she'd rather be a mermaid or a fairy, and when she puts on her Ahsoka Tano costume to have a lightsaber fight with her brother, she wears dainty white gloves and a flowered skirt.

And know what?

I'm okay with it.

I'm going to love her and celebrate her for exactly who she is, even if it's nothing close to who I am.

Well, as long as it doesn't involve soccer or clogging.**




* Wow, body. Those are some mad healing powers. Way to definitely not heal yourself there.

** Everyone has their limits. My limits involve a lot of kicking.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

WHO DA (UNRULY WO)MAN?

Sorry to go all-capsy on you, but I have news.

Two very important things happened today.

1. I accepted an offer of literary representation by the totally awesome Kate McKean of Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. She loves Scritch, and we've already begun revisions to start the submission process with editors.

2. One of my all-time favorite authors-- and I read an awful lot-- mentioned this occurrence on his blog. I've admired Matthew Woodring Stover since the first sentence of Heroes Die, and I've been lurking on his blog ever since Dr. Krog found it. Mr. Stover is represented by Howard Morhaim himself, which made Dr. Krog and I drool a little bit when my offer came in.

It feels real now, people. And so I looked like this:




And then this.



And then I realized I looked like a frickin' idiot, so I did this instead.



And then Dr. Krog came home, and we all did this.


And now I'm going to go watch the first disc of Dollhouse and try to sleep.

I had this dream last night where the world ran out of fossil fuel, and no one had any better ideas, and we were on the countdown to zero, and the government herded us all into churches and divided us up by age and gender and tried to keep everyone equal and safe. But then all the old people kept trying to steal our stuff and have these huge yard sales.

There could actually be another book there-- Yard Sales of the Damned.

Monday, April 5, 2010

my funny honey bunnies

Oh, dude.

That title's so sweet it hurts my teeth.

Which reminds me of these.


Seriously. Best vegan cupcakes ever. And, yeah, the only vegan cupcakes I've ever had.

But still.

Hard as it may be to believe, the cupcakes weren't the best part of my Easter. We went to a great party, celebrated with family and food, and got to watch The Princess and the Frog six times with a sugared up little froggy, by which I mean a toddler who believes a frog costume equals bare-betonk nekkid.

Luckily, we were much more impressed with her hand-made Ahsoka Tano costume from Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Search For More Cash.

First of all, here's the actual character, a female teenage Jedi:


Got that?

Now, I hereby present you with the Biscuit's interpretation:



Yeah.

She is so rocking that.

And in the interest of keeping my son out of future therapy because I didn't embarrass him equally in my blog when he was a baby, here he is on Easter.

Doing something. I don't know. Being happy.


I'm sorry, Big Hoss, but nothing can follow that vicious karate kick by Ahsoka Tano.

Nothing.

But we had a nice Easter.

I think there were also eggs involved.

But may I remind you again of this?


Because that's the true meaning of celebration right there.

They drive me crazy, exhaust me, keep me from sleep, nag me, pester me, claw me, paw me, and leave me covered in a constant rain of crumbs. But you know what?

Totally worth it.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

that thing with eggs.

This is very odd.

Blogger won't let me delete or move the photos, so they're all in the wrong order, and I'm so tired and sweaty that I'm not making any sense. So I'm just going to intersperse some completely random thoughts in between these images of my kids dyeing Easter eggs.

Yeah. That's the ticket.


I don't usually like mustard, except at Roly Poly.



Sometimes, when Dr. Krog is asleep and I have insomnia, I watch Mean Girls.
I never make it past the part where LiLo goes evil.
When he's out of town, I watch Twilight.
I always fall asleep before Bella and Edward get together.
When it's after 4am, I watch Blazing Saddles.
I rarely get past the train thingy in the quicksand.



One time, in 8th grade, I was staying after school to work on something for French Club, because I'm a total dork, and I caught my teacher using a paper towel to swipe out her underarms.

Which wasn't so horrible, until she huffed it.

Whenever I see a portable classroom,
I shiver a little, remembering that day.



Near Greenville, SC, there's this fabulous place where you go and ride hollowed-out school buses out into a field full of giraffes and zebras and wildebai, and you feed them stale bread from a plastic tub. It's so redneck, but so wonderful.



So that was an interesting post, right?

I need to go to sleep.

Happy Easter, people. We're going to celebrate with a vegetarian brunch at our friends' house. I'm making vegan cupcakes and my famous crispy tofu. And then we'll go to my parents' house and feed Dr. Krog some steak to make up for all the earlier veggie hijinx.

And now my favorite part: secretly stuffing the Easter baskets.

Hop. Hop. Hop.

Friday, April 2, 2010

i see saw


This is my pinkie.

This is my pinkie after two hours of battling the instructions for my new table saw and then resorting to forced husband mitre-boxing so I could make a surprise art present for someone as related to that whole "good fortune" post a few days ago and then burn myself with the woodburner while threatening to evict my husband from my studio because I can be kind of a jerk when I'm arting.

It went like this.

Dr. Krog bought me a new table saw because he is the most awesome, supportive husband ever. I had no idea one needed a PhD in advanced robotics to put together a simple machine.

The main problem is this guy:


Whatever that is, I'm stymied.

I accidentally typed Stimpied there, but that seemed apropos. I feel about as stupid as Stimpy tonight. Like a complete eeeediot.

Like I'm plagued by Stymphalian birds, too.


You guys remember Ren & Stimpy, right? I used to love that show. Nowadays, I find it sophomoric. In the words of Mr. Horse: No, sir, I don't like it.

Robot Chicken, Frisky Dingo, and Venture Bros., on the other hand, show my highly sophisticated sense of humor. And irony.

In any case, aside from that thingy right up there, the saw is mostly together.

Mostly.


But "mostly" doesn't cut it (ha ha!) when you're talking about a freakin' saw.

If I can ever get all the pieces together, it's going to totally revolutionize my art. See, I love painting on boards, and Home Depot/Lowe's won't cut anything under 12". That means that someone has to saw all of my boards in half for the lovely little 6x6 squares I love so much.

That means this guy has to stop playing Mass Effect and get angry at a saw.



But hopefully, if we can just find some sort of Sanskrit expert with a minor in quantum physics, I'll be able to slice and dice my own boards with this fancy new gadget:


The missing piece, the one that is baffling me, holds the guard on so that I don't slice off my fingers. Pretty important. Saws aren't like Ikea chairs-- you really don't want to have any screws left over.

So until tomorrow morning when Dr. Krog takes a stab at it, it's relaxing bath and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter for me and this for Dr. Krog:


Aside from that half-hour where I cursed a power tool, went insane, snapped at my family, burned myself, and made very bad jokes about being a jerk, it was a pretty good day.