Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It's 11:07 p.m. on Tuesday night and I'm sitting in my parents' friend's apartment (the friend is in Costa Rica!), right above their apartment, looking out the window at downtown Providence. It's oldcay as uckfay outside and little clouds of smoke are blowing away from the chimney in the house below this one, making me wish we had a fireplace...

I just got off the phone with Joedy. Tomorrow he's leaving Corpus Christi to go to Austin, where he'll stay until January 9th with a friend, then he'll fly to Costa Rica to get our sweet dogs. Phew! Phew, phew, phew. Phuck! We're so glad to phinally be getting our poor canine phriends back! I'm going to spoil them rotten for, like, six months when I see them again. Hopefully I never get annoyed at them again. It will be hard when I catch Diablo licking Astrid's ass, but heck! They deserve some serious spoiling after being separated from their family for so long. Even if they got to bark at monkeys all day and night.

Joedy's applied for a few jobs in Austin and he'll start looking for a place for us to live starting tomorrow, hopefully, so that the kids and I can come join him by the end of the month and we can finally settle into a state other than Limbo, which has been driving not only us but everyone else crazy! Joedy sounded upbeat and happy on the phone and I can tell he's as thrilled as I am that we're moving on. The last month and a half, since we arrived in Texas from Costa Rica, has been filled with so much uncertainty that it's really been hard at times.

I'm looking forward to being able to sit down and think about everything that happened since this summer. I feel like we've been go-go-going nonstop and once we're in our own place we'll be able to look at the Costa Rica adventure with the right perspective. I've kind of not let myself think about Costa Rica since we came back because I thought it would make me sad, and in fact yesterday when I read some entries I wrote there it did make me sad. I haven't talked about it much with anyone but there's lots sort of simmering and sifting inside me--we weren't there for that long, relatively, but it was a period packed with all kinds of stuff and I think I just haven't digested everything yet...

There's a bone-chilling draft coming in from the window and I'm starting to cough and get a headache so I'm going to stop writing now, guzzle some medicine, and hit the ole' hay. In just a couple days 2009 will be over--how weird! What an interesting year it's been: a baby! France! Costa Rica! Limbo! Blogging! Boogers!

Nonsensity is a-settin' in. I did this drawing right before leaving Costa Rica. I thought while we were in Texas I'd use it and some other drawings to make some cards, which I'd try to sell once we returned to Samara. For that and other reasons it means quite a bit to me.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

When Joedy and I talked today, I asked him if he had "anything to tell me." I was thinking along the lines of a plane ticket to go get the dogs, a job or a place to live in Austin, or--heck--the title of the book he was reading this morning on the commode. When he replied that he did have something to tell me, I shushed Lula and pressed the phone closer to my ear: he knows I've always wanted a horse, and Christmas is right around the corner--could it BE???

"What's the date today?" he asked, and I was vaguely annoyed. Could we get to the heart of the matter, please? Was the horse coming via Fedex or parcel post? "Um, I think it's the 19th," I said, not really caring. "Actually, it's the 20th," he said.

Then why did you ask me? Do I need to buy a saddle, or is this a package deal? I hope you got me a pretty one!

"Happy anniversary," he said.

Oh. Oh right--that. "Happy anniversary to you too!" I said, glad it was he who remembered and me who forgot, because if it was the other way around, I'd think he didn't love me anymore.

"How many years is it now?" I asked. "Six, seven, something like that?"

"Nine. We've been married nine years."

"Holy shit! Really?! That's long!"

It's true, it is long, and lots of stuff happened in that time: we had kids, moved, got pets, changed jobs, changed hairstyles, changed in general. There's been a lot of change, in fact, but one thing that hasn't changed is the fact that often, I can look at Joedy and tell what he's thinking. That's a fun and practical trick, especially when I want junk food but don't want to be the instigator.

"Hey," I say, "you look like you want a triple jalapeno bacon cheeseburger, chili cheese con carne fries, and a chocolate shake!"

He looks at me sheepishly. "How'd you guess?"

"I can read your mind, Joedy--don't you know that yet?"

It's true, a lot of the time I can, just like he can read mine. Sometimes the things he guesses right about me are embarrassing, but after all this time together that doesn't matter much. In the end, it's most comforting just to be known--to be known and to be loved, despite my childish horse dreams, my sneaky junk food tactics, and the fact that, well, I don't always thank him for being the sweet, loving husband he is.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

As opposed to, you know, Black Norwegians!

Seriously: just had three of them. And it's SNOWING!!! In fact, it's BLIZZARDING!!!

Woooah, boy. Hello! She is a leetle beet hyper. Could eet bee thee alcohol? Yes, it could. Also, could bee thee company shee keeeps. As in, BenjaminnMika (and Little No Name). And the fact that she KICKED SOME SERIOUS DART BUTT TONIGHT!! Well, not really, but she likes to think she did, kind of.

Seriously. Hello, Providence!! WE are HERE! Please NOTE EMphatiC use OF capS!!! A PLAY ON various bloggING STYLES! NONE OF WHICH I REALLY CARE FOR, BUT WHAT THE.

Ok, made little sense there. Must be serious now.

We (Lula, Malko, and I) arrived Wednesday evening after a right good jolly time aboard our dear friend US Airways, who did NOT charge us $280 fuckimg (note: disguise of certain "swear" "words" might be "apparent" through"out" th"i"s entry")"dollars just for our fuckink luggage. Like, hello--who in their goddam hell right mind charges people for luggage, anyway! I know, but I'm not gonna say! Except that I already did.

So. We got here the other day, and my parents, aka Nanou et Richard, aka CKMOMF, immediately plied us with food. Did I say "plied"? I meant SUPplied! As in, food=love=parents (or it should, anyway). Tonight was fish en papillottes (no, it wasn't wearing underwear), rice, and salad. And it worked: I want to stay another 8 months. Although I have to say, the blizzard had been hugely transcendental in that respect. As in, can you imagine a very depressing landscape, all browns, rusts, and greys, cold and bitter and dull, frankly DEPRESSING, turning, exactly at 9 o'clock pm, when BenjaminnMika (and Little you-know-who, not yet there yet, but kind of) pick you up in their pickup truck, into MAGIC??? I repeat: turning into MAGIC?

White flying flakes, falling fast on the river?

A blizzard. Magic. The Puritans, stuck in the middle of nowhere in all that scratchy clothing, make a little more sense, for some reason.

Anyway. The other night, I had a bad case of insomnia, and lay awake thinking "I'm the Ambassador from the Land of Fuckup," knowing very well it sounded pathos-y and frankly funny, but it wasn't good, I mean, I felt like shit, very horrific terrible fugking shit, like all the decisions I've made in the past 18 years have been bad and dumb and not the decisions I should have made, and if I could have beaten myself with a strop (preferably faux) I would have, but I didn't have one and anyway it would have woken everyone up, so...

Where was I going with that? What I meant to say is that I'm three White Russians deep, a blizzard's falling outside, and Providence is darn delightful. We put up an Xmas (not actually a denigrating term, as Uncle E can tell you) tree yesterday and although the smell made me want to smoke it, I didn't, YAY ME (golly, how obnoxious!), and gosh! There might even be presents under that tree on Xmas day.

Not all is well: I miss Joedy. We all miss Diablo and Astrid. We don't know where we're going to settle. But who, for fock's sake, doesn't have problems? We all do. It's just good, I guess, to look out the window now and then and see snow flakes swirling, to see all the browns and greys covered up. Tomorrow we'll go sledding, and I'll probably concoct a drink involving snow. I wish, I really really wish, all the people I love were here to drink it with me...


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Having just eaten the 28 storm windows and deflated inflatable Santa of the resident gingerbread house, I'm feeling a little topsy-turvy now, and also definitely under the effects of the pressure to not allow motherfruitcaking US Airways to charge me $280 just for my motherfruitcaking luggage. How am I avoiding that? By unpacking all the shit I stress-packed this time last week, sending half that shit back to Corpus, and traveling light, for once, like a normal person.

So, I decided to take with me to Providence:

-metal dog tag collection
-8 (small) spools of wire
-large computer

lots of other shit! Mental faculties suffering breakdown temporarily there, upon finding creation of "entertaining list" too challenging. Am blaming it on the "mud" I ate earlier (see storm window reference). Finding Lula too loud right now. Am thinking about suitcases--they will undoubtedly be over 50 fucking pounds! Fuck!

Dogs staying on in Samara until the beginning of January due to ticket high-ness and Aero Mexicana blackout silliness. Blackout dates are for sissies! Seriously, not happy about the dog situation. Not happy at all. Although our friend, Hilary, who we unintentionally left them with longer than we wanted, has been very unannoyed in her emails, saying they'll be ok with her friend Jonny until Joedy gets there, and they'll stay at the mountain house, where all they're doing wrong is upsetting monkeys, and all will be well...

My god! She's being dangerously unrealistic again! Must monitor intake of deflated Santas in future! All systems aflame and agog!

I'm sorry to be leaving Mormor and Uncle E, whose real name is in fact "Eamon," but who this whole time I thought my mom was calling "E man!" I actually thought it was cute, kind of Rastafarian-sounding, but when I saw his name written somewhere I was like, OH! Anyway, I'm sad to be leaving them, and have been thinking I want to mention that this whole moving-to-Costa-Rica thing has been turning out to be great, family-wise. Would we have spent the night at Joedy's grandmother's house if we hadn't moved to (and away from) Costa Rica? Would we have spent a whole month with his parents? No, definitely not! Nor would we have spent a week here with Mormor and Uncle E, nor would we have spent two weeks at Robert's house pre-Costa Rica, or seen Robert at Thanksgiving...anyhoo, what I mean is, it hasn't been so bad, this whole thing. It's even been pretty motherfruitcaking good!

Tomorrow I depart into Traveling World with Lula and Malko, where after 12 weird and wondrous hours we'll be surrounded by more loved ones. CKMOMF! BenjaminnMika! Bashi Bazouk! Little no-name! CASSIE!!! As Jesse from Toy Story would say: YEEEEEEEEE-HAAAAAAAAW!


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Heavenly horsebrains, it's been a week since I last wrote! Time does fly when you're having fun, which proves a point I've been wanting to make--Limbo does NOT suck, actually! When people take you out to dinner and generally make you feel like you're on vacation after you've been at their house for a whole month, you're experiencing a particularly un-sucky version of Limbo. There's been a lot of uncertainty, some regret, and a little sadness about the Costa Rica denouement, but all in all life is still great--we're healthy, we have loved ones everywhere, and the adventure is still happening! Yippee!

I got into Arizona with Lula and Malko yesterday, after a few hours on a plane run by Ghetto Airways, aka US Airways, which actually had tape holding the toilet down, ridiculously hard small seats, and a disgusting policy of charging small fortunes for overweight checked luggage (this is all I'm going to say, but you can imagine me wanting to kill myself at the ticket counter). Malko charmed all the old ladies sitting around us who were coming back from a Lone Star State tour and that was good, because they offered to hold him while I used the bathroom, which was good, because that way I didn't drop him in the taped-down toilet or expose him to the freakishly strong smell of pee in there. Gross, totally gross! Way to go, US Airways!

Mormor, aka M, aka my mother, picked us up and inoculated us with chocolate as soon as we got into her car. I was feeling a little sad about being away from Joedy and the prospect of not seeing him till the end of January (probably), and I was also weirded out about being one step further away from Samara and all that, but once we got home and saw E (M's boyfriend) everything got cheery and we ate chicken with pot stickers and watched the Jungle Book and all was well again. Today we lingered until 2ish and then we went out to run some errands and I got to go to Trader Joe's! I've missed good ole' TJ--so many of my happy California memories are tied to it.

It's getting late here and I still haven't sampled the Venezuelan chocolate so I'm going to do that now. Not a lot of deep thoughts coming from me, but I'm happy to be here in Scottsdale with M and E, excited about going to Rhode Island next week, and overall not too discontent about the way things are going...I can't complain, really, and so you know what? I'm not!

Coming soon: will Joedy have left for Costa Rica to get the dogs? Will I survive the flight to Providence with Malko on my lap? We can only wait and see!


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Things couldn't get much more bedlam-ish than they are now, with the dogs still in Samara, our financial situation not good, thirty boxes of belongings in California, no home and not much in the way of work (Joedy's still freelancing), and above all the undeniable fact that we failed in our attempt at moving to Costa Rica.

We're still at Joedy's parents' house in Corpus, having decided, at their urging, to stay longer to save the money we'd inevitably have spent in Austin (where, apparently, it is cold enough to wear long socks, with or without high heels), and although we felt like gigantic schmucks coming back, after the night at his grandmother's house, it was also a relief, because it's so comfortable and homey here. On Wednesday I'll fly with the kids to Pheonix, to stay with my mom (M) and her boyfriend, and the following Tuesday we'll fly to Providence, to stay with my other mom (Nanou) and dad. Joedy, meanwhile, will go to Costa Rica to get the dogs, his surfboards, our bikes, and the four suitcases we left behind, flying back into LA, where he'll have some work appointments and get our stuff out of storage. Hopefully, he'll be able to collect the $2400 the new owners of the Volvo and the Toyota still owe us (the Volvo guy hasn't paid a cent, and doesn't answer our calls), but who knows--I certainly don't have my hopes up.

At this point it's clear we need jobs, badly, so I'm going to start looking on Craigslist, focusing on Providence, although I'll also check Austin. Joedy could probably find work in Southern California, and that would be great, of course, but the idea of moving back there doesn't rock our worlds, seeing as we just left, and we'd probably have to pay insanely high rent again, and blah blah blah...

It's hard not seeing the past few months as a phenomenal failure, and already I can tell my memories of Samara are being clouded with bitterness and regret. I'm trying to remember everything will be ok--we'll get jobs, we'll get back on our feet, we'll pay back our parents, who lent us money and bought us plane tickets to Arizona and Rhode Island, and make it up to Nuria and Oliver, who bought tickets to come see us in Samara for New Year's--but I'm ashamed and mad at myself for the way things turned out, and the positive outlook I'm trying to take feels forced and frankly pointless.

I don't have much else to say now, but I do want to officially thank our parents, who've helped us so much: we've added more worries to your plate than we should at our age, and you've been unfailingly supportive and loving. Thanks, guys...