Saturday, May 30, 2009

OoooooKAY! Here I AM!!

Oh my good golly. It's 11:46 pm and I just went to bed, after having written the beginning of a post and then stopping because it was too late, but once I wedged my earplugs in and put the pillow over my head I realized I was--am--totally, wildly, kung-fu-crazily WIRED!!!

Aye caramba, she is wired
Aye caramba, she is weird
Aye caramba, her boobs are huge
Aye caramba, she has a beard

Well okay. Here we are. There are some things I wanted to write about today, but I got caught in the grips of a delicious domestic frenzy, and except for a brief intermission to roast a chicken and eat its entire skin, I didn't stop scrubbing the house with a (Joedy's) toothbrush until just a little while ago. And although I really wanted to write I thought it would be wise to not do the whole late-night-writing thing again. But alas! And alack! I guess tomorrow's eye bags are meant to be.

I wanted to write about the traipse I took with Diablo and Astrid this morning. It was cold and gray out, so heavily foggy it almost felt like it was raining, so I wore two pairs of pants, and my legs were first freezing but then perfectly temperate. That's not really what I wanted to say about the walk, though: what I wanted to say was that I left the house feeling like kicking the dogs because they kept tangling their leashes (and because I'd had too much coffee), but by the time we got to this deserted, rocky, low-tidey, bleak, frigid beach I loved the dogs. We walked along the beach and clambered over rocks and forded a fjord of sewer water and they were my best furry buddies again--the perfect companions for an otherwise lonely and lovely morning walk. People often talk about how great dogs are because they (dogs) are, like, always ecstatic when they (people) come home from work; dogs are always adoring of their masters, no matter what. Diablo and Astrid are no exception--even if I'm a total asshole to them, which I am now and then, they give me kisses with their little noses and look at me with their intelligent brown eyes and I'm touched and humbled.

When I came home I was at first overwhelmed by the huge number of domestic duties that needed to be done, but Joedy and I tackled them together and it became fun. I sort of felt like we were "playing house" (I know that sounds dumb), and in fact while I was scrubbing chocolate stains out of Lula's clothes and she was hanging out with me in the garage, reading Humpty Dumpty aloud in this very messed-up but very cute way, I had a flash of incredulousness about my situation: namely, that I have two children, I'm married, I'm thirty-five, etc. As David Byrne would say, how did I get here? By following the Yellow Brick Road, apparently, and now here I am, scrubbing stains out of laundry while a five-year-old girl reads to me and a two-month-old boy wiggles in his bassinet and bats at the air with plump clammy fists. Here I am roasting a chicken--how bizarrely normal and motherish! Here I am dumping the contents of the bathroom drawers on the rug, then vacuuming the insides of the drawers--how freakishly neat and parental! Here I am unfolding all the laundry my husband folded and folding it again so it's "perfect"--how passive-aggressive and stupid!

Speaking of stupid, I ate a quesadilla and the cheese is making my throat feel all mucousy and stupid. And my feet are cold and kind of stupid. And it's--OMF'gG--1:37 am, and egads! I will be very tired and grumpy and stupid come yonder morn, when I'll demand coffee in bed because hey, I'm providing the milk, after all, and, speaking of milk...holy jesus. They are huge. And stupid.

And on that note, while the house is quiet save for Lapis' snores, and I've said what I wanted to say about most of my day, I'm retiring, by Jove, and by Golly, and Gee.

Tweedle Dum, my friends, but don't Twiddle your Chi!


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

On nights like tonight when the dishes by the sink seem to increase, rather than decrease, as I'm washing them, and the cracker crumbs I vacuumed off the living room rug just twenty-four hours ago have reappeared, and clouds of dog hair infiltrate the entire house whether or not the dogs are confined to the garage, and I keep getting whiffs of barf because SOMEbody barfed on me, and I'm hot and tired and grouchy, I think:

"Well, at least we didn't have octuplets! Because then I'd really have something to complain about."

Today, actually, was a good day. Even though I stayed up till 2 last night writing and drawing, and then couldn't fall asleep because it was cold, and then after turning on the heater couldn't fall asleep because I was certain it was going to malfunction and burn us all to crisps (I actually debated which object lying on the patio would be best for smashing Lula's window in so we could save her), and then woke up horrifically groggy, things righted themselves pretty quickly. I got lots done, distasteful task-wise, and took a long walk downtown with the dogs and Malko.

When Joedy came home we made a delicious dinner: sweet potato fries, omelets, and a green salad with avocado. For dessert we had peaches with vanilla ice cream (ok, I had chocolate ice cream also), which was mildly hypocritical of me since I had just ordained that Lula should never eat sugar again in her life (I think she might have a cavity). While cleaning up the kitchen I got grouchy, as noted above, and made a suggestion to Joedy about his dishwashing habits that he took as evidence of my "attitude," but I explained that it was just so we could operate more successfully as a team.

I keep trying to write more, because ending this entry with that last sentence sounds too abrupt, but fruitcake it--yo soy tired, and yo soy going to bed. Buenos nachos!


Monday, May 25, 2009

On Friday when I picked Lula up from school I noticed that her cheeks were red and that she seemed unusually quiet. When we got in the car she put her fingers in her mouth the way she does when she's very tired and she told me, in a little voice, that she didn't want to have dinner with the neighbors after all (they had invited her that morning).

Warning bells immediately went off in my head. She didn't want to go over to her friend's house? How come? Had something happened at school? Was she upset? Was she sick? I toned down my inner hysteria (WHAT was WRONG with my BABY???) and gently quizzed her. No, nothing had happened at school; no, she hadn't been in the sun too much at recess; no, she wasn't thinking about something sad.

When we got home she went straight to the couch, lay down, and fell asleep. When I touched her forehead it seemed warm, so I opened the living room windows and watched her closely. Joedy was working late in LA, so besides Malko's murmurings and an occassional abbreviated bark from Diablo and Astrid ("Diablo, shut...the...hell...UP!"), it was quiet and peaceful in the house.

After a while it became clear that Lula was not just napping but sleeping heavily, well on her way to dreamland, so I scooped her up in my arms and carried her into Joedy's and my bedroom. Her body felt hot, especially under her knees, and the warning bells went off again, a little louder this time. The three kids across the street had all recently had bad cases of the flu, with fevers of 103 degrees and lots of vomiting, and of course I couldn't help but wonder about swine flu.

I put her on our bed and felt her forehead with the back of my hand; it was definitely warmer. Her cheeks were still red, redder than before, and she had "sick breath." I pulled the sheet up to her shoulders and smoothed the hair away from her face, and then I brought Malko into the room and fed him on the bed. Lula woke up then, and said in a groggy voice that she wanted me to stay with her. Her eyes were glassy and she was sweating, so I knew she really was sick, but I told myself not to worry, that it was just sunstroke or a cold.

As it got later she got worse, sweating and shivering under the blankets; I found the thermometer in the medicine cabinet and put it on the bedside table. Soon her forehead felt warm enough (although I had the thermometer, I knew using it would scare her and possibly make things worse) that I thought she should have some Tylenol, so I poured a good amount in the dosage cup and lifted her overheated body into a sitting position. She didn't want to take the Tylenol, of course, so I had to beg her to drink it, and luckily she finally did.

After about half an hour she felt less hot, but she seemed restless, her limbs twitching and her head tossing from side to side, and when I sat next to her on the bed she stirred and woke up again. In a teary voice she asked me where Joedy was, and when I replied that he was working late she cried harder and said she wanted him to be there with her, which was sweet and sad and almost made me cry, too. She became more upset, her words garbled and hard to understand, and she started talking about colors, asking me if I saw "the blue color" and "the yellow color" over by the wall. A plastic cup of root beer (an unsuccessful attempt to get her to drink fluids) was sitting on the bedside table, and I asked her if that's what she was seeing, but she just cried more and said something else I couldn't understand. It was clear that she was a little delirious, and if her fever hadn't already dropped I would probably have thought about taking her to the emergency room--with Malko in his car seat and all--because seeing her in that state was very disturbing.

The bout of delirium passed, to my relief, and she settled back into sleep. Her forehead had cooled and her limbs had stopped twitching, so I got under the blankets and turned out the light. Gently, so as not to wake her up, I pulled her close to me, nestling her head under my chin and hugging her body with one arm. I kissed her forehead and felt her chest rise and fall steadily, and fell asleep to the sound of her and Malko's peaceful breathing.

When I woke up the next morning, Lula was eating cereal at the kitchen table and laughing with Joedy. She was fine again, her usual happy, healthy self. I poured myself some coffee and felt grateful.


Friday, May 22, 2009

In order to not feel like boiled dog poop it's important to do yucky tasks now and then, preferably daily. To whit: I just cleaned up my email, deleting most of the 480 messages that had been hanging out there since last year.

Other distasteful tasks can include finishing a dog's hair cut. I did this a few days ago and although there's now a carpet of grey fur covering the patio, at least Diablo is not as lopsided-looking as before. I even brushed his teeth, which he celebrated by licking Astrid's ass (apparently, that's where he's been getting his smelly breath).

Unfortunately, writing in this blog has become somewhat of a distasteful task for me, mostly because I feel like I'm losing whatever rhythm I had before Malko was born. I feel like the few entries I've written since he was born (I thought I'd be writing every other day!) aren't that great, and it makes me a little nervous to write more. But I know I should just keep doing it!

I removed the last entry I wrote (about guns, violence, etc.) because I thought it was too serious and too preachy and kind of stupid, but I'm putting it up again because the night before last a couple was murdered here in Ventura (it seems to have been a random attack) and even though my post doesn't say things exactly the way I want to say them, at least it does a little. Ultimately, it's not guns I have a problem with, it's people who hurt other people. I was shaken by the news of the couple's murder, and if I can help counter the tide of seemingly senseless violence in any way--even if it's just by saying "I'm against this"--then great.

I don't think my thoughts are well formulated enough to write much more about violence and all that--I need to take more time if I'm going to write something I want taken seriously--but I can't help wondering/asking again if there actually is more senseless, "random" violence these days. It seems to me there is, but maybe it's just that there are more people, and therefore more crazy people? Or is it that with today's communication we're more aware of things that are going on, so it seems like there's more bad news? Last night these questions were going around in my head, and I realized that in the long run it doesn't really matter (well, yes it does...) if there's more senseless violence than there used to be--there's a problem, and it needs to be fixed.

Hum dee dum, I'm getting all serious-sounding again.

Serious is as serious does,
do not destroy my happy buzz.

Ok, I'm not actually buzzed, but I am a lot happier than I was two days ago, when I sank into a dark lethargic gloom and basically just stared at the computer screen for eight hours. It was not a "good place," as they say! I knew why it had come over me--because I'd neglected some distasteful tasks and felt like a loser--but it was hard to shake anyway. I was SO glad when Joedy and Lula came home and I was forced to be an active participant in the real world!

The sun's coming out now and soon Malko and the dogs and I will go for a long walk. When we get back I'll tackle one of these tasks:

a) plot Joedy's and my finances on an Excel spreadsheet
b) clean and organize the garage
c) drink the beers left over from Lula's birthday party

Before I go, I wanted to share my "salad smoothie" recipe:

6 cherry tomatoes
1 shallot
handful of lettuce
1/2 a green apple
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
1 red bell pepper
1/2 a cup of sunflower seeds
10 small mozzarella balls
1 zucchini
1/2 an avocado
salt and pepper to taste

Coarsely chop all ingredients and place in blender. When thoroughly blended, pour into a chilled plastic bucket (with or without a handle). Drink while congratulating yourself on your culinary experimentality!


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It's horrifically late but I wanted to write a little something to let my legions of readers know I haven't died as a result of breastpumping my foot.

That made no sense, but it sums up pretty well my state of mind, which is "fried," and sets the tone for the new kind of blogging I've decided to start doing.

Since certain things these days are taking away from the time I'd like to be writing (the irony, of course, is that I want to write about those "certain things"!), and a handful of started posts are languishing and not finishing, and it looks like I won't be writing the way I want to here for a while longer, I've decided to lower the standard a bit. From now on, therefore, expect to come across (banal) posts like this:

Today was nice. I took the dogs for two walks: once to pick up Lula's kindergarten registration packet at the local elementary school and once to get a coffee downtown (but the smoke and heat from the Santa Barbara fire were too intense, so we turned around)--and the new jogger is really, really great.

I had gone to Trader Joe's after dropping Lula off at school, and I had a delicious salad for lunch followed by an overly sweet dessert concoction involving an ice cream sandwich and chocolate sauce. There was just too much sugar and it was stupid.

After lunch I fiddled with Illustrator. Malko, who was lying on the couch, kept distracting me with sounds that were very obviously meant to make me come and cuddle with him, which I did a lot. He barfed only a few times today and it was WONderful! As a result of his low barfing frequency, he did not get the bath I thought I'd give him. Tomorrow will be the day for de-linting between his fingers and behind his knees, in the fat crevices.

Joedy and Lula and I had a great dinner--salmon and green beans--and afterwards I went to the store and bought some brown hair dye to cover up the horrible brassy bright blond parts of my hair that had all grown out and looked totally disgusting. Now my hair is dark brown and WONderful! However, some clumps came out just now when I ran my fingers through it.