Tuesday, July 15, 2008

adventures in domesticity

Normally I am pro-chemical; even a perfunctory look at my hair-dyeing escapades of the past twenty years confirms this stance. I am pro-chemical, pro-modern conveniences, and a dirty whore for Western medicine.

However these days I am also poor and bored, hence my big fun over the weekend: I made my own laundry detergent. It was fairly easy and produced an ass load of pleasant-smelling and cheap detergent; the only drawbacks are the Flubber-like consistency and the unsavory sounds it makes as you scoop out a portion.

Sadly, that was only one of the events of the weekend that confirmed I need more hobbies, more friends, or better drugs; the other involved the intimate hygiene of rubber ducks.

Our bathroom has a subdued and tasteful theme of rubber duckies, so I decided to use Crash's armada of ducks for decorative purposes. Alas, given the damp nature of their natural habitat, some of his ducks were suffering from mildew, so I ran a sink of warm water and added a little bleach to it. I put the ducks in and began squeezing them so they would take in the bleach solution, then squirting out the ick. After about ten minutes of this it occurred to me that I was spending more time than anyone ever should administering enemas to artificial waterfowl.

Like I said: more hobbies, more friends, better drugs -- not necessarily in that order.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

May 11, 2008

I've been watching WKRP in Cinncinnati on Hulu and thinking about how much Johnny (DOCTOR Johnny Fever, babies!) reminds me of my first boss, Bill. Wait. Bill was not actually my first boss; I am confused here in this the latter half of my thirties. Damn all that cocaine I snorted in junior-high. I worked in the county library system for a summer at one branch before transferring to the main branch the next summer and working for Bill.

Anyway, Bill was not a burned out dee-jay in tinted aviators; he was a librarian. I remember my interview with him was more like hanging out talking to a friend about books and movies and bands we liked. He hired me even though at the time I was in a hardcore classic rock phase and had not yet figured out why Lynyrd Skynyrd deserved the plane crash. Howard Hesseman reminds me a little of him physically a bit about the eyes, but more kinesthetically: the way he would go from a very laid-back, deadpan demeanor to lighting up with some enthusiasm and getting really animated. Bill was a good friend; I miss him.

And yes, my first job was in a library and my second job was in a university dining hall and my third was as a stripper. I've made a lot of zig-zags in my checkered careeer; at this point I think my next move should be as a short stop for the Braves, or maybe a toll collector.

The other thing going on with me today is Crash. This afternoon, I told him I loved him, and he said he loved me too. Then he said "Happy Movver's Day! Can I give you a kiss?"

I gave him a kiss, and he asked if he could give me some flowers, which he did. I have a clump of pansies pulled roots and all from our yard. I couldn't be more content.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

animal brides and whatnot

I went to my undergrad research conference and read my paper on animal brides in fairy tales. It was a lot of build-up for a quick fifteen minutes -- twelve hour bus rides there and back, plus multiple hour-long bus rides every day back and forth from the hotel to the university. Riding on the bus is one of my least favorite activities, possibly down there with getting a pap smear, except that the pap smear is quick. Riding the bus is actually more like a bladder infection : irritating, tedious, and seeming to last longer than it actually does. No, I don't know why all my similes involve my ladyparts today.

However, bus rides notwithstanding, I received some nice feedback on my paper from people who didn't even know me; also, I got to attend some awesome presentations. I listened to one on feminine sexuality & the Wife of Bath; Japanese horror movies and American remakes; Hamlet; and Neo-Paganism on the internet, to name a few. Another positive is that my randomly assigned roommate was very cool and has potential of being a friend.

I rode up with about 30 other undergraduates, and was one of 5 people over 25 on the bus. It was mostly a nice crowd, with the exception of one girl whom I desperately wished to lure into a dark spot in a remote rest area and leave for dingoes to eat. Besides looking like a live-action Bratz doll, she had the most annoying laugh I've ever been cooped up with for 24 hours.

"Ha ha ha ha. "


"Ha ha ha ha!"

Obviously she does not realize that the arguable charm of the pig-snort-laugh is its spontanaety, its suggestion that one is so overwhelmed with hilarity that all decorum has been lost, that one is just *snooooooort* overcome. One should never deliberately pig-snort; it's just gauche. Obviously she also does not realize that the woman one seat back and across the aisle is inventorying her backpack for a stabbing utensil.

This girl also got on my shit list, as if the affected pig-snort isn't enough, by copious spritzing of perfume while on the enclosed space of the bus. Subjecting others to your collection of cucumber-basil-jasmine-vanilla-chai-cruller body sprays should be a capital offense, and the executions should be swift, cruel, and public -- preferably in the open air so the fumes can dissipate.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Crash in the world

Crash's first-grade year has been a roller coaster. I have written about my issues with his teacher (by issues meaning "can't stand her; want to punch her.")

I think I stopped writing shortly after our cycle of disease started. Since November we have had two cases of stomach upset, two cases of flu, two cases of pinkeye, and two instances of Crash falling off a chair at school and developing a large and gaudy pump knot on his forehead. I have shared all of these episodes with Crash except the pump knots; although I'm clumsy I don't often fall off my chair unless tequila is involved, which it rarely is these days. I have learned a few lessons.

The repeat episodes of the flu were particularly offensive. We got flu shots in November, then the first round of flu in December. The doctor explained our shot was probably not fully engaged; okay. The second time, in late February, I was sitting in the exam room, feverish and dizzy, with a feverish, lethargic child huddled against me, protesting the doctor's attempts to test us.

"We CAN'T have the flu again. We already had it, and we got the shot. Nobody is that unlucky, right?"

Wrong! When the doctor broke the news, I croaked, "This is like winning the really shitty lottery ticket."

The big lesson to retain from all of this: first-graders carry more diseases than wharf rats.

So it's been up and down. Crash's teacher and I started e-mailing recently, which has eased the friction in our relationship. She has a personality that benefits from distance -- and I understand she probably feels the same way about me.

However first grade gave me some gifts recently to buoy me on an otherwise suckalicious day. Friday, Crash had a bad day. Alexander's terrible, horrible, no-good day? Petty shit compared to Crash's Friday.

However Friday night I was going through Crash's backpack and I found a note tucked into a pocket: Dear Crash you are my BEST frend LOVE ALEXIS.

Since I am very mature I asked, "Who is Alexis? Is she your giiiiiirrrrllllfriend?"

Crash: *sigh* "Alexis is a BOY."

me: "Is he your boooooooyfriend?"

Crash: *DEEP SIGH* "I do not want to talk to you about it."

Alexis is apparently a boy. One hopes for his sake he is a White Russian princeling with a cadre of bodyguards because in our backwoods town a male named Alexis might have it hard. Whatever -- Alexis is a mensch in training and I love him. I could do worse for a son-in-law.

In addition to the mash note from Alexis, I noticed some choice tidbits from Crash's vocabulary sentences. The students write sentences to demonstrate various vocabulary words. Gotta wonder what the teacher thought of this as a demonstration of dust.

I also noticed Crash had a new Calvin and Hobbes book, so I asked about it this morning. It was a gift from another classmate, who thought it might help Crash have a better day.

Dude, these are six-year-olds, and they are demonstrating compassion that makes me want to cry. There is hope.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

10. Bury the shovel; 11. Rub hands together; cackle maniacally.

Ever have a day when the people you live with cause you to make idle plans of how you will kill them and bury them somewhere on the edge of the yard under the sycamores, slightly to the left of the big rock?

I am home with Crash, who has the flu. I may or may not have the flu; it's hard to tell because I'm so tired I'm delirious. I have been dealing with a child spewing vomit like Linda Blair all morning, and that is not even the thing making me homicidally cranky. My mom is decorating the house, and all morning long I have heard:




Drag myself to foot of stairs. "Mom, what is it?"

"Nora mrgh lsh bribble grr. Nerf lister?"

Grit teeth, close lips tightly on a stream of profanity, plod up the stairs. "I couldn't hear you; what's up?"

"Is the tree leaning?"

Repeat 751 times with different punchlines:

a) "Do the nutcrackers overpower this little tree?"

b) "Do I need to fluff the branches?"

c) "Do you remember this little mouse in the walnut shell cradle Jess made in the first grade?"

d) "Look, I found the little Nativity set!"


a) Don't care.

b) Why does the tree need to be erect?

c) Vaguely; still don't care.

d) Mom, I don't give a flying fuck unless Mary is weeping real tears, Joseph and the shepherd are doing the hand jive, and Baby Jesus is speaking from the cradle telling you to LEAVE YOUR DAUGHTER ALONE AND LET HER DIE IN PEACE, WOMAN.

In that case, I will say rock on and thank you, Baby Jesus.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

just like Scarlett O'Hara, with one foot tangled in a hoopskirt

In my last entry, which I forgot to portal (giving you an idea of how wildly scintillating it was) I mentioned that Crash and I were in a small car accident.

In addition to that, in the last two weeks my dad broke two fingers in a fall from his horse; my mom fell and hurt her elbow; Nehi 2 died under mysterious fishly circumstances; and I fell down the stairs.

I wasn't drinking, or wearing heels, or drinking while wearing heels; even sadder, I wasn't having a raging quarrel with the man I don't know I love about how he knocked me up after carrying me up said stairs and doing me six ways to Sunday. I just missed the first step and then hit every other step on the way down. My wrists, elbows, one knee, and back are bruised as fuck-all but I'm okay otherwise. Okay as in ambulatory--obviously not okay as in "right in the head."

I got an awesomely snotty comment several weeks ago about my "nice blog title" with an eye-roll helpfully spelled out for me to alert me there was sarcasm afoot because otherwise I might have cross-stitched "nice blog title" on a cushion in a mistaken sense of accomplishment and then been chagrined; obviously this person did not realize that ass over teakettle is simply an accurate portrayal of my usual state of falling on, over, under, or down something. I am the alpha and the omega, I am the fallee and the fallen on, I am the ass and the teakettle, yea, verily.

I had written that much and was prepared to go into a rant about how I grew up in Scarlett O'Hara's very own hometown and yet I have no man telling me I need to be kissed hard, and often, and by someone who knows how; however, I was interupted by the school calling me to come inspect Crash's forehead because he fell on it and immediately produced an enormous purple knot. You want to know how Amateur Stuntman did this? He was sitting in his desk and fell out of his chair.

I went and inspected and the knot is huge, purple, and hideous, but he was nonchalant and had scored an extra chocolate milk out of the deal. I think he inheirited my freakish ability to bruise at the drop of a hat as well as my complete lack of coordination.

I expect to go home and find Nehi's replacement Flip impaled in some kind of freak fish-castle accident. What is going on? Do I need to smudge something?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

holi - what? daily?

I fell off that track promptly, no?

Since December 1 I have

  • written my abstract;
  • given tech support for the stupid end-of-semester project for work that is devouring my soul;
  • worked on my take-home exam;
  • flushed Nehi 2, who died under mysterious circumstances one night;
  • adopted Flip, who seems much livelier than Nehi 2;
  • got rear-ended.

Sadly, "rear-ended" is not what the kids are calling it these days: someone hit my car from behind. Crash and I were headed down to WalMart last Friday to do a little shopping, then indulge in dinner out. We were stopped several cars back at the light when two teenaged yahoos slammed into the car behind us, which slammed into us.

The good news is we are both fine and the car is driveable. Crash was a brave little toaster; in fact, he found the entire thing exciting. Fire trucks, police cars, people running around in the road? AWESOME. Let's do this every day, Mom.

I was a lot more uptight since I went through the sheer panic of OMG we're hit Crash is in the backseat!!!; then the drawn-out tension of OMG, we're stuck in the left-hand lane with no way to get over and it's dark and some other yahoo will just mow us down willy-nilly; then a emotional meltdown of OMG I can't get in touch with Mom and Dad and we could have DIED and we are all alone in the world.

My inner voice says OMG a lot and I think it watches The Hills.