Monday, May 31, 2010

so you think t.rex can't dance

Behold: t.rex does the Snoopy dance.



The moment he wakes up, t.rex starts shrieking "DANCE!"

So we turn on the radio, and he does the same dance to whatever music or annoying ads happen to be playing.

It's awesome.

p.s. Please excuse the hamper of dirty clothes. I still haven't caught up from that week without a dryer. And that's mostly the Biscuit's dress-up stuff, anyway.

p.p.s. I TOLD YOU I WASN'T TIDY, OKAY? I'M AN ARTIST. LAY OFF.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

blah blah me blah blah rant blah chocolate

1. People who make dishwashers should make a button on the inside of the washer that renders the outside buttons and dials useless, sort of like that button in cars that keeps kids from opening their doors or windows. I really didn't need to wash my dishes three times this morning.

2. If all you do on Facebook is talk about cancer; provide depressing links to the oil spill and further planetary destruction; link religious or political rants; offer dippy quotes about the oneness of all life and what "real moms" do; or share every annoying contest you enter, I'm going to hide you.

3. If I ever open Twitter and you take up an entire screen, I'm probably going to unfollow you, unless you're Wil Wheaton. Out of 300 people, there's no need for you to tweet 29 times in a row, especially when most of the tweets begin with "I". That's what blogs are for.

4. No one should ever have to wake up before 7 without consent.

5. Pursuant to #4, just because you're cutting 4 teeth and getting over a bad case of the trots does not mean I want to wake up at 5:45. That was clever of you, though, catching your fingers in the door hinge and screaming bloody murder to force me awake. Now, please quit crying.

6.a. When I was younger, I didn't believe in evil. Then I grew up and went to Best Buy. Then I opened a Parenting magazine, which they continue to send even though I quit paying over a year ago, and saw that they now make chocolate infant formula. And they have the audacity to say it's "better than cow's milk". Behold the Prince of Lies!

6.b. Is it any big surprise that the anagrams for "Enfamil" include Fail Men and Inflame?

7. In this day and age, I seriously don't understand why the spammers are still sending emails and making bogus blog comments. Does anyone-- ever-- click on these things? They should at least start targeting 5 year olds who are just starting out instead of sticking with scams aimed at older people with prefrontal cortex degradation. "FREE DORA TEH EXPLORA DOLL-- Dear Sirs, My names is SpongeRob of the Squarepants, and I am althorized by my mommy to offer you a Free TOY." Etc.

8. I got new glasses. One of the earpieces fell off my old pair, which were barely a year old. I looked like a total dork. See?


The new ones look mostly the same, except they have *two* earpieces and none of those funky zigzags at the corners that made things blurry. Also, they are maroon and blue.


9. We were going to go to a farmers' market today, but it's rainy, and now I have no idea what to do. Quiet mornings at home aren't the same when your younger child won't sit down to watch a movie and just pulls all of the movies out of the cabinet and throws them around while shrieking. I can't believe I'm saying this, but t.rex needs to get with the program.

10. I tried to make vegan black bean brownies the other night, and it was a total and complete FAIL. They tasted like what would happen if a banana got very old and took a crap. I think you can have either regular + healthy or vegan + unhealthy, if you want something to taste decent.

11. Did you know you can buy crayons shaped like Lego men? It's true.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

too sleepy to title, really

A confession: I'm food-drunk.

Had hibachi with Dr. Krog. Had steak for the first time in 3 months or so. I think. Hard to remember. Brain so muddled. Stuffed my belly. Lots of sauce on things. I distinctly remember sauce. Yum. Need to finish another book soon so we can go back and celebrate some more. Unisom, I hear you calling me, but I promised I'd blog. Shut up, Unisom.

I'm a bit of an idiot right now, but I thought you should see this.




I'm so proud.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

WAHOO!

Did you hear that, friends?

That was the sound of a very sleep-deprived, frazzled woman typing 88,000 words and then typing THE END and then closing her laptop before it singed her thighs.

Okay, so maybe before then, she saved it under a different file name, put it on a thumb drive, saved it on the other computer and emailed it to herself. But that's neither here nor there.

After a desperate push-- and with no epidural-- I have managed to squeeze out the first draft of my next book. It's called BLUD, and it's a cross between Outlander and True Blood with just a tad of Buffy swirled in for laughs.

Next, we let it marinate. Then we revise and add. Then we find beta readers. Then we wait on pins and needles, praying they say kind things but knowing the painful things will help, in the long run.

Then, with tingling fingers and manic giggling, we email it to our agent, who is waiting every so patiently.

Then, we apparently go into creepy Golem mode and startss talking about the book like it'sss our precioussssss.

Oh, and in the next couple of days, there will hopefully be celebratory hibachi and cupcakes, because that's how I roll.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to do a little jig and then attempt to complete at least one freakin' dream cycle before I go insane.

Cheers, y'all!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

crazyperson thought balloons


Yeah, mine are the ones that make no sense. The Biscuit just thinks in cute little pink snippets occasionally interrupted by Ariel's song from The Little Mermaid. Or Vampire Weekend, her new favorite band.

Let me explain my thoughts, now in the form of further unruly confessions.

1. I love buying new crayons for my daughter so I can smell them in the box. And maybe use one first, get that awesome new crayon high. But I try to pick a color she won't care about, like booger green or zombie gray. I'm not *that* selfish.

2. As much as I detest waking up at 5am to change a diaper of liquid sludge, I'm beginning to think I operate better on five hours of sleep. More energy, more creativity, more telekinesis, less appetite. Or I could just be crazy, which seems more likely.

3. When buying glasses today, the worker-girl in cool shoes was helping me choose from three frames. "Do you want to go with the thinner lenses?" she asked, and I said, "No, thick is fine. I kinda aim for the hot librarian thing."

Her answer? "Rock it if you can, girl."

4. I love mailing surprises. Like today, I got to mail off the artwork for the winner of the Do the Write Thing For Nashville auction. She got extra bonus artz, and I can't wait to hear her reaction. Of course, the only thing better than mailing fun things is seeing a box on my own front porch.

5. I really resent it when kids' movies make me tear up and almost cry. Thanks a lot, Ice Age 2. Stupid "having children makes everything seem really fleeting and special" feeling. I must harden my heart. And swallow my tears. And turn, and leeee-eave yoo-oooou beeeeeeee......

6. I fail to understand why some things are so freakin' expensive at Kroger and Publix. Take, for example, almond butter. At Trader Joe's, it's $3.99. At Kroger, it's $8.19. And the jar is the same size, and it's not like Kroger's version includes free gold nuggets. $1 or $2 I could get, but seriously, TWICE the price??

7. I really, really need to clean the aquarium. But you know what? I flat out don't want to. That's why I got a snail. Now the snail is covered in a layer of velvety green algae. So I think I'm going to buy ANOTHER snail to eat the algae off the first snail. Because I am SMART. And possibly lazy.

8. I'm up to 69,000 words on the current project, with a projected estimate of 80-85k. But I can't find a single freakin' moment to write, and it's making me a crazy person. Well, that, and the 5 hours of sleep thing. Writing Scritch for kids was so, so much easier than writing for adults. And, of course, I wrote half that book while Dr. Krog was having surgery. So maybe I just need to break his knee or something. Hmm.

9. I want a dog so I won't have to sweep under the high chair so much. But then I think about the sort of vet bills you have to pay when your dog chokes down a Lego or some Polly Pocket gloves or something. And I sweep again.

10. Chubby dancing nearly naked baby makes my day. After all these years, it's still the little victories.

11. Whenever I drive by Dreamland Barbecue, I get annoyed, because I hate the way they artificially pump the smell of their food into the surrounding air. It's like when a heavily perfumed person sits near you in a crowded movie theater. You leave me no choice but to detest your stink, and it's not like I can just quit smelling stuff. And it messes with my synesthesia and makes me think of medieval battlefields full of dead people roasting in the sun and covered with crows.

So, um, in conclusion, if you were planning to leave a box on my front porch with crayons, aquatic snails, a card catalog, and some Dreamland ribs on the front porch, you can totally keep the ribs and bring a Tofurkey instead.

I defy you to find another blog where someone says something that bizarre and nonsensical today.

And if you do find it, I'll laugh at you for spending the time reading something so silly.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

97 putrid ducklings

I read somewhere that the best way to catch a blink by the Google web crawlers is to craft blog titles involving a number, an adjective, and a noun. So there's my experiment.

Please don't actually expect putrid ducklings.

But you can expect lots of this:



Look, guys! She got my eyebrows!

And exciting updates on our life, including happy assurances that our dryer and vacuum are now working again, thanks to our dear friend and handyman, Mr. Brad. He also put that pesky thingamajigger on my saw and even... I don't know... aimed it? It won't cut all cattywampus now, which will be good. And the new laptop cord arrived today, too.


And you can expect more pictures of my child pretending to be a constipated mime, because everybody loves those.



And here's a blurry photo of the Loch Ness Monster.



My little Nessie is the one on the left. Please don't mention the fact that she has four legs. She finds it so embarrassing.

But boy, can she dance!

HA HA HA. IN SOVIET RUSSIA, CHILD DRIVES YOU... CRAZY!

And now, if you'll excuse me and avoid mentioning the shoddy nature of this blog post, I have to go decide whether or not to watch Time Traveler's Wife, which arrived today from Netflix. Loved the book, not so sure how I feel about Regina King and Jugears McHector messing it all up in my mind.

Or I could go write.

Yeah. I'm gonna go write. And paint. And juggle ducklings.

Monday, May 17, 2010

reader, i married him and blogged for him

If you like books, especially of the science fiction or fantasy bent, be sure to check out Dr. Krog's new blog, aptly titled Dr. Krog's Read Along Blog.

My totally awesome husband is reviewing books from the viewpoint of a writer looking to improve their craft. One of my favorite teachers once said that in any work of art, you can find at least two square inches that you like. Books are the same way-- whether you like 'em or not, there's always some little tidbit to squirrel away for later.

Anyway, I did a guest post today, reviewing Peeps by Scott Westerfeld. This book sucked the literary breath out of me, and I was entirely consumed until the very last page.

If you're feeling neighborly or writerly, check it out and give the Krog a follow.

Oh, and the real post is below, but Dr. Krog doesn't like it when I rant or complain and says you guys don't like it either.

Harumph!

the opposite of king midas

If you value your belongings, particularly your appliances, clothing, and feet, I would suggest you studiously avoid the Unruly house this week. Seriously. Everything I touch turns to sh*t.

1. Laptop cord? Has to be held in with one hand or the screen goes dark.

Cost to replace: At Office Max or my old nemesis Best Buy, $79.99. At Ebay, $8.15. But at Best Buy, I got to waste five minutes listening to two clerks try to pick up the hot emo girl who assured them that their casual interest constituted assault, so that was fun.

2. Camera? Getting very labor intensive.

You now have to hold the battery in with one finger or it dies mid-flash. And if you think a 5-year-old digital camera is old, let me introduce you to my Nokia phone, which is THREE WHOLE YEARS old. I think it's made with dinosaur bones and powered with the soul of Menudo.

Cost to replace: Not gonna happen. This camera was long-term borrowed from my parents. Dr. Krog isn't exactly a shutterbug. I'll probably just develop some sort of deranged pinky callous.

3. Dryer? DEAD.

Clothes? SKUNKED. In a garbage bag, replicating themselves as holey athletic socks, stretched out v-neck t-shirts, and smelly princess underpants.

Um, mom? Mind if we hang out at your house tomorrow long enough to do two loads of laundry? And we may drink half a box of chocolate Silk and unwind all your toilet paper, too. Happy Tuesday!

4. Am I a leper?

While I was writing at J. Christopher's today, the waitresses avoided eye contact and never actually served me, despite the fact that I tip 100% and don't bother anyone once I have a pot of coffee. I suspect they are biased against weirdo writers who use 3 Coffeemates per cup.

Way to be welcoming, guys. It was fun using your electricity, air conditioning, and tranquility for two hours today while you made me feel like a thirsty, undercaffeinated leper.

If Mercury isn't in retrograde, then I AM.

FEAR ME.

And now for tea, which will probably scald me. Huzzah.

rise of the tyrannosaur


We talk a lot about the Biscuit. What she says, what she does, what she draws. Her recitals and classes. I've got to admit: she's pretty cool.

But what about t.rex? You know-- my other kid?

He's getting bigger and more demanding, kinda like a baby rhinoceros. And he's starting to talk, which is fun. It goes like this:

trex: Mama?

me: Yes, son?

trex: Out!

me: No, honey. You can't go through the gate and into my art studio to play with the mitre saw and oil paints.

trex: Mama?

me: Yeah?

trex: Milk!

me: Okay, here's a sippy cup of goat milk. Please don't leave it under a chair where it will fester and stink and become a solid yogurt cube of doom.

trex: Mama? Cracker!

me: Here are some pretzels.

trex: (throws pretzels, grinds them into the floor, and laughs) More!

me: No, you can't have more. You didn't eat those. You just made my life a little harder. You're cut off. No more pretzels, ever again! Now come here and let me change your diaper.

trex: (in voice of Bruce from Family Guy) Oh nooooo!

Okay, so he's not quite as sophisticated as his sister. Still, at almost 18 months, he's a prodigy with a lightsaber, and he does a great victory dance, especially after smacking someone in the face with said lightsaber.

To continue in the dork vein:


Now if I can just get him past this super-dangerous phase when he wants to scale ladders, lick power cords, eat crayons, and wake up at 5am, I think I might return to sanity.

If that doesn't make sense, it's because I woke up at 5am and have spent the last two hours trying to keep my kid from licking a power cord and scaling the bookshelves.

An unruly job is never done. Never.

Now off to the last day of preschool. Most of the moms I know call it "bittersweet", but I'm just bitter. The Biscuit needs what preschool gives her, and I need what it gives me.

RIP, three-year-old class. We hardly knew ye.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

doing the write thing

Not sure if you guys caught this, what with all the volcanoes, earthquakes, and horrible oil spills, but Nashville is flooded. The Grand Ol' Opry is pretty much an aquatic attraction right now, and the ghost of Patsy Cline needs a new snorkel. But because bookish types are so thoughtful and clever, some authors started Do the Write Thing for Nashville, a charity auction to raise funds to help out our Tennessee friends.

And although I'm not particularly important, I wanted to help out, so I donated a custom book character painting. One of these guys:


Which will be up in my Etsy shop soon, too.

If you like signed books or want to bid on a critique or phone conversation with a literary agent or editor, go check out the auctions. There are some outrageous bidding wars going on, and it's all for a good cause.

*

In other news, I feel like a muddle-headed wombat. How can I feel like an idiot on 8 hours of sleep? We missed the Biscuit's last ballet class this morning because I forgot to reset the clocks after last night's storm. Did I check the laptop or cell phone? Of course not.

Sheesh. I would like to call a do-over, plskthxbai.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

10 unruly nothings

1. I wrote a giant squid attack into my WIP. If I could make out with that book, I totally would.

2. I was listening to Airborne Toxic Event recently, which everyone should do because their music is HEARTBREAKINGLY MINDBENDINGLY AWESOME, and the guy was singing about running away and doing mescaline and getting drunk, and I kept thinking, "Oh, how swoony/dark/romantic! Artists are so tortured and deep and passionate!"

And then I remembered what that was actually like in real life. In college, the lead singer of the band was totally cute and all the adjectives listed above, but then you got up close, and he was either a mindless, stylish hotbot or the sort of dude who would go through your purse and take your laundry quarters to buy strawberry daiquiri flavored Boone's Farm and then try to make out with your roommate because his horoscope told him to.

In music? So pretty. In real life? Thank heavens I don't have to date.

3. If you haven't heard of Airborne Toxic Event (song 7), The Hush Sound (Like Vines, song 6 and 8), and Vampire Weekend (anything), please go purchase them. I haven't been this excited about music since I found Brand New.

4. Whenever I shop at Aldi, I get back to my car and feel like I've been assaulted.* It's just such a fast, dirty, violent sort of shopping experience. Does anyone else feel this way? And their generic soymilk is heavy on the soy, low on the milk.

5. If you're writerly or into writing or enjoy signed books, check out the auctions at Do the Write Thing for Nashville, from which all of the proceeds will be donated to helping flood victims of my neighboring state, where I once rode a camel. I offered up a custom piece of book character art, so that will hopefully be up soon.

6. I'm currently reading Peeps by Scott Westerfeld, and it's so freakin' good that I went to the gym for the first time in (uh, way too long) just so that I could read it in peace. Yes, while barreling on the treadmill at 4mph. I even got new sneaks, which I would show you, but I can't find the camera. They're by LA Gear, which warms the 80's cockles of my cold, black heart.

Seriously, though. This is the 5th book I've read by Mr. Westerfeld, and everything he does is solid gold. He compared being run over by a herd of wild rats to receiving an Astroturf massage, which has endeared him to me for life. Quick, incisive, delightful writing.

7. Somehow, I ended up with another blasted box of Peanut Butter Panda Bumpers. But don't worry-- I'm going to get rid of them as quickly as possible. Don't you worry your pretty little head.

8. Have you tried the coconut milk they're now selling alongside soy milk and almond milk? It's good, and it's good for me, but it kinda tastes like somebody dumped a pina colada in my Panda Bumpers.

9. Today, the Biscuit asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. "An artist and a writer," I said. "But Mama, you already ARE a artist and a writer," she said, rolling her eyes. And I was like, "I KNOW. IT'S TOTALLY AWESOME." And then I hugged her, and she asked me to buy her a new magic wand.

10. Mmm. Panda Bumpers.



*In case anybody gets all up in arms, I've actually been assaulted. But they didn't take my sense of humor, dammit.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

an upward spiral

It takes me a while, but I eventually catch on. And I'm doing it again.

I get caught in these cycles, creative and hormonal and seasonal and nutritional. I get caught in a rut, sense a problem, crawl my way out, breathe again.

It especially happens during levels of high creativity. Right now, I'm hellbent on finishing the current book. At 59,000 words out of a projected 85,000, I am barreling downhill like a ball of falafel in a field of couscous.

Did I mention art makes me hungry?

Creativity is great, but it definitely gives me tunnel vision for the rest of the world, mainly because I'm so busy chugging towards the light at the end of said tunnel. The house gets messy. The laundry piles up, gets done and folded but not put away, and we paw through tubs for socks. We start eating more snacks and less whole foods. I don't go outside. I want to shop, buy new shirts, bring home things and stuff. I don't throw things away. I hoard. Just in case.

It's like everything remains in stasis as I hold my breath and push.

And then I realize I'm doing it, and I have the urge to throw everything away, buy shelving at Ikea, and get more zen. I want to blow bubbles again, and slice up a fresh zucchini, and fold the laptop down and occasionally turn the damned thing off.

And I get mad at myself, too, for letting life go by. For not living more mindfully, more meaningfully. For not focusing on the now.

But you know what? Zen is great and all, but there's a reason Picasso had a housekeeper/mistress. When you're enveloped in a vision, everything else is just details.

I'm mainly writing all this out to remind myself of this part of the process, of this part of being who I am. I'm not a neat person. I'm not tidy. I don't like cooking. I get very bored playing card games with children. And when I'm throwing myself into a project, I don't want to smell the fucking roses.

And that's fine.

I'll smell the roses again when the manuscript is finished, and I'll live mindfully while I wait for the next inspiration to strike. I'd rather be in the upward cycle of creativity than bogged down with inertia, and I'm just grateful for a family that puts up with me.

Okay. Now back to life.

Monday, May 10, 2010

that's good, that's bad, that's Twilight

When I was little, I loved this book called That's Good, That's Bad. It's about a boy and a tiger, and every page has a blah happened - that's good, then blah happened - that's bad. So here's my life, in TGTB format.

I'm really full of energy, excitement, and love for my current book. That's good!

But it means I don't really want to do anything else creative. That's bad!

*

I get at least an hour every night where I can write, and the words flow easily. That's good!

They're not flowing towards this blog. That's bad!

*

My kids are happy and healthy and want my attention to help them learn. That's good!

All I want to do is write my book, and it's hard to write a smoochy scene while a preschooler sings the Ariel song and a toddler pulls on your shirt. That's bad!

*

Today was a lovely spring day, cool and rainy and lazy. That's good!

There are only three more days of preschool. That's bad!

*

There are loads of responsible go-getter girls in my neighborhood who will soon be out of school and looking to babysit. That's good!

I have to talk to strangers, choose one, negotiate dollarz, and clean my house before she can come babysit. That's bad!

*

I feel pretty good today and can almost talk again. That's good!

I spent Mother's Day, and the 3 days before, sick as balls and gargling Nyquil. That's bad!

*

Dr. Krog gave me everything I wanted for Mother's Day: time for a bubble bath, time for a four-hour nap, a clean kitchen, a clean den, and a copy of the New Moon DVD. That's good!

But the clean rooms are already dirty again, and he staunchly refuses to watch New Moon with me. Ever. That's bad!

*

Do you see where I'm going with this? I just want to write. I'm up to 57k words out of a projected 85k, and I am utterly obsessed and compelled by this story. I don't really want to do anything else, and that includes blogging, playing Tinkerbell card games, doing dishes, or sleeping.

So I apologize for the sparseness of the blog lately. Once the major push is over and the first draft is out, I'll go into that lazy recover stage and do some way overdue movie reviews for you.

Any requests?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

you're adorable

Not you. Her.

But I'm sure you're cute, too.



Last night was her first recital.

She spent most of her time staring into the audience and biting her lip,
but she did some great jumps and walked on her toes.
They danced to a song called "You're Adorable".

It was awesome.

More later.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

the good, the bad, the jabba gazzz.

I'm sure you've been waiting all day for it.*

Here it is.


me: Biscuit, let's make a book of your artwork for daddy's birthday. What should we call it?

Biscuit: It's called... it's called... Jabba Guzzz**. But it's a grown-up book for Daddy. It's not for kids, Mommy. Just for grown-ups.

me: Awesome. See? I wrote the title around it. What would you like to draw inside?

Biscuit: A tornado.

me: Well, let's draw something real, not just scribble. What would make Daddy happy?

Biscuit: A tornado.

me: What about a picture of Daddy, or a sunshine and flowers, or...

Biscuit: A tornado!

me: Anything besides a tornado.

Biscuit: This is a fish, and he is happy. He has a flower. But he doesn't eat it, because he's a fish.

me: Super cool. Now let's draw some pages for him inside.



Very nice. Looks just like him, including his weird chameleon tongue.

What else?


There were about 12 pages, and on each, I wrote what she said while she was drawing it. We had a fish pretending to be a shark, a starfish with a volcano, and Biscuit and t.rex riding an alligator that was really daddy.

Speaking of which, as promised, here's Biscuit's drawing of me, next to a drawing of an alligator I made for her.


That nasty drawing of fruit in the corner was a coloring sheet from Thanksgiving that we left on the garage floor, and it all bled together, and she decided it was a fancy watercolor painting.

In other news, did I mention that I almost burned down the house today?

It's true.


I set the pot of salted spaghetti water on the back burner.

Then I turned on the front burner.

Oops.

Besides the potholder, one of two in the house, I also lost one of my top 10 possessions.


I received that Pampered Chef stoneware baker as a wedding present at my PC shower, at which there was this totally awesome Unruly Cake with a dark-haired Barbie with a cake for a dress and a cute little apron. After the party, I dumped her into a bowl and ate her.

It was awesome.

But I used that stoneware for everything, and by "everything", I mean making sweet potato fries and brownies. So, like, very frequently. It will be missed.

But I did get a new possession in the mail today, and so there's a new non-living item for me to love with the passion of a thousand fiery suns.


It's that awesome necklace by my dear friend Alice Istanbul of www.istanbuldesigns.etsy.com. It's a letter "D" for "Dummy Who Almost Burns Down the House". And I lurve it.

And I'm very sick.

And that glass of wine just kicked in.

And me and Vampire Diaries are going to go upstairs and snog.***




* Thanks, Mom, for reading.

** Yeah, I misspelled it yesterday all over the blog. Whatever. I do what I want.****

*** Fall asleep snoring.

**** Said in my best Eric Cartman voice, because that episode of South Park totally cracks me up.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

KROG-O-BRATION!



First of all,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY,
DR. KROG!!!

You're the best husband, friend, father, statistician, and arm bar-er I know.
You've got an awesome 2-pack.
You have great taste in movies, TV shows, and books.
You make me laugh all the time.
You're awfully good about putting up with my flighty ways.
You've taught your children how to smack each other with lightsabers.
And we're celebrating your birthday together for the 13th time,
except for that year we skipped it,
which was totally my fault,
and I'm sorry I was such a jerk about that.

Every year since May of 1997, we've celebrated our birthdays by making signs for each other. This year, I'm changing the rules. So here's my message for you, sweetheart:



Where, exactly?

Uh, the castle of the drawer where I keep the aluminum foil.

Because I'm a fancy lady.

Well, go get it. Aren't you curious?

Here's a hint: it involves a shark, several tornadoes, and a snake without eyes.

Friends, stay tuned for tomorrow's post:

WHAT IS JABBA GAZZZ?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

inching towards moonlight

The problem with being a woman is the pesky, pink dance of hormones and brains and heart. There are times when I am perfectly aware of how completely irrational I feel, and I still can't stop it.

When I want to say, "Please stay," what comes out is, "You might as well go."

When I want to say, "I'm the problem, and you're just a child trying to figure out the world", what comes out is, "Leave me alone right now."

When I want to say, "My belly is full of eels and my head is full of screaming and my heart feels like it's being crushed in a fancy peppermill from Olive Garden," what comes out is, "I don't feel so good."

Days like today, I'm inching toward moonlight.* Putting one foot in front of the other, never looking up because I know that the finish line will look so far away that I could crush it with my fingers. Crush, crush, crushing your head. Everything that touches me is abrasive, even loving pats from sticky little hands.

I have deadlines and emails and a book to write and people I love to connect with, and all I want to do is lay in my bed and watch the fan spin and put a pillow over my face and fall asleep. All I want is darkness and dreaming. In this mood, nothing I contribute could possibly be worthwhile, anyway. I'm drained, empty, out of answers to the interminable questions posed by a curious child. It's my job to answer, but I don't wanna.

Days like this, I want to wean my baby. I want to go back to kickboxing and slam my elbows into the pads again and again. I want to open my kitchen window and scream. I want to throw something just to hear it break, to have that satisfying feeling that I won some tiny, inconsequential battle with the atoms of the universe.

And the funny thing?

Nothing bad actually happened today.


No one died. No one was hurt. My house is 100% free of flooding. There were no bombs or rabid dogs, although I wish I had some brain bleach for the trailer of The Human Centipede that I watched yesterday. Ick.

I didn't get any bad news at all. I'm not even sick. I don't even know for sure what my problem is. But I sure as hell can articulate it, huh?

I think we're trained, as mothers, to suck it up on days like today. To believe that if nothing is wrong, then nothing is wrong. Before kids, I would have taken a sick day, stopped at the store for a slice of cake and some Ginger Ale, and crawled into bed for a Bring It On / Twilight / Sense and Sensability movie marathon. Back when I had the privilege of being sick, or even having an off day.

I chose this life. I love this life. But some days, I'm watching the clock, just like anybody sitting behind a desk.

The bad news: My clock never stops.

The good news: Tomorrow will be better. And if it's not, I'll make some damn cupcakes.



* Taken from the phrase "inching towards daylight" from the works of Matthew Woodring Stover. It's not the Donjon, but sometimes it's pretty close.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

kick a$$.

Have you ever seen the really long 1984 version of Dune by David Lynch?* Of course you have, because you love Kyle McLachlan, giant worms, and Sting in a loincloth.

Right now, I feel like Baron Harkonnen. Violent and spherical. Because nothing makes me feel as kick-ass as watching the movie Kick Ass, and nothing makes me feel as spherical as Ted's Montana Grill.

We celebrated Dr. Krog's birthday today with an extra awesome date. New theater, posh seats with un-crushed plush. The floor wasn't even sticky. The previews were as follows:

MacGruber - Because even though I haven't watched SNL in 5 years or so, I still can't stop thinking MACGRUBER! I'm not sure how they're going to spin that one out into 90 minutes of heart-stopping humor, but I dream it's by merging MacGruber with The Falconer and Justin Timberlake's Omeletteville sketch.

Grown-Ups - Because nothing's funnier than a movie featuring David Spade and Rob Schneider doing tinkle jokes.

The Expendables - Surly nod to Stallone for putting together a dream team for this action movie which appears to be about Stallone putting together a dream team of mercenaries, who then rally around Stallone. A very unique idea there. Including such unruly favorites as The Transporter, Jet Li, Ivan Drago, Kill Bill's Brother, The Terminator, Ashton Kutcher's Step-Husband, Randy Couture, and The Guy I Always think Is Goldberg, But He's Really Steve Austin. Many explosions and face kicks are promised. Looks like fun.

Iron Man 2 - I'll admit I liked Iron Man 1. It caught my attention, and I really enjoy the unabashed, playful misogyny of Tony Stark. But Iron Man 2 looks like it might be pulling a Transformers 2. See, to me, Iron Man vs. Huge Guy is interesting. But Iron Man and His Iron Man Friend vs. Fifteen Other Iron Guy Things And Who's Who In This Fight Under the Cherry Blossoms? loses a lot of the appeal. Also, Scarlett Johansson apparently shows up and pouts and kicks someone in the face. I'm not sure if that's good or bad, but it was in the preview.

Oh, but then there was Kick Ass. Not to spoil it for you, but that movie totally lives up to the moniker. I loved the main character, his friends, the music, the fight scenes, the combination of homage and pulp. I actually liked Nicolas Cage for the first time in over a decade, which was a nice surprise. And watching the well-choreographed fight scenes made me long for muay thai, for the delicious feeling of a well-landed punch or a solid kick to the shin.

Kick Ass manages to elegantly walk the thin line between reality and fiction, humor and savagery. The acting is wonderful, the lines are thoughtful, the photography was occasionally genius, and the concept made me think. I even cackled, which is always good. Without spoilers, I'll admit that it was hard for me, as a parent, to just accept certain plot points and make the jump for the sake of the movie experience. But I only get to see, like, one movie every two months, so I told the loving, reasonable parent inside to shut the hell up and enjoy watching an 11-year-old assassin.

And then we went to Ted's, and I ordered a medium rare buffalo burger and sweet potato fries and a glass of mango sangria and channeled two months of part-time veganism into one utterly epicurean gorging experience. That's definitely one thing I've gotten from this diet change-- if I'm going to eat meat, it's got to be truly superior meat. I'm not going to use my cheat meal on fast food or the crap *I* cook. It's got to be aged steak or bloody buffalo or duck, baby.

I followed that up with my first chocolate chip cookie in about fifty days, and now I'm ready for a nap.

Thanks, Nina, for watching the kids. And thanks, Kick Ass, for kicking ass.**



* Sometimes, I post something, and then I think, Great, now everyone will know what a complete and utter dork I am. And then I think, If they're reading this, they already know you're a dork, genius.

** Sorry, guys. I try not to channel my inner sailor on the blog, but I can't help it if the movie's name contains the word "ass". And I can't help it if it does, in fact, kick ass. And I can't help it that donkeys are sometimes called asses, or that assassin has the word "ass" in it twice. Who do I look like FFS, Daniel Webster?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

the villabouts of the wherein kelly

Vignettes:

me: (approaching Dr. Krog and the Biscuit as they watch Guns 'n Roses videos on my laptop): It's time to write. Party's over, m'nerds!

the next day:

the biscuit: (having just used the restroom): PARTY'S OVER, M'TOILET!

*

me: See? Here's a picture of me when I was in my first recital.

biscuit: You were a rabbit?

me: Yeah. In a pink suit. It made sense at the time.

biscuit: But you didn't have a tutu.

me: No. But I had a fluffy tail. Life was cruel to me. But here's a picture of me riding an elephant.

biscuit: Was it a real elephant? Or was it a toy?

me: No, it was real. Totally real. It smelled like elephant.

biscuit: Naw, it was really not a elephant.

me: You're right. It was a cardboard cut-out.

biscuit: No, it was a house tomato!!

me: Yeah, that makes more sense. And here's me when I went to freshman homecoming.

biscuit: You didn't have much hair.

me: No, it was pretty sad.

biscuit: Do you still have that beautiful, beautiful dress?

me: Yeah. I think so.

biscuit: Can I wear it when I get married?

me: I thought you were going to wear my wedding dress?

biscuit: Yeah, I'm a princess.

me: And here's a picture of my old dog and parakeet.

biscuit: What happened to them?

me: The dog went blind and deaf and we had to put her to sleep, and the parakeet died while I was in college.

biscuit: What happens to animals when they die?

me: We bury them in the back yard. Although we actually had that dog cremated, and I have her ashes in the basement.

biscuit: Can you show me? What do they look like? Was there lava? Can we bury them in the backyard with Puddy? What happens if he gets up and walks around?

me: Then I'll have to kill the zombie cat, because (in crazy old man voice) the soil of a man's heart is stonier, and you've got to bury your own.

biscuit: Mommy, you're weird. Can I have more watermelon?

*

Blog's over, m'nerds! Time to sleep.