Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I'll Make My Own Silver Lining, Damn It

I suppose one of the advantages, if any, to being up at this hour of the night/morning is that when one hears the dog's tags jingle, then hears a small, canine coughing noise downstairs, one can investigate and immediately set about cleaning up the puddle of dog barf on the wall-to-wall carpet, inches away from a crummy throw rug.

Going back to bed now...

Monday, June 26, 2006

How to Drive Yourself Nuts in Five Seconds or Less

You know, you'd think I'd have learned my lesson after the last time I looked up some symptoms online. Tonight I Googled "swollen ankles" and "healthy lymphatic system." Lymphedema, anyone? Not one of my smarter moments. I think I need an Ativan. Or a drink.



Friday, June 23, 2006

It Irks Me When...

It irks me when I go to the trouble of responding in (requested) detail to an email from a potential client, only to have said potential client vanish into the ether without telling me why. Was the quote too high? Did the potential client get cold feet and fail to finish writing the project? Did the potential client not receive my email?

This has happened several times. Why?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Sole Food (Ew!)

I had my feet up for a few minutes as I chatted with my son, and the dog licked the sole of my foot. I asked the dog what my foot tasted like, and the kiddo said, "Probably like gunk." When I laughingly asked him what the heck that was supposed to mean, he quickly changed his answer: "I mean, like perfume! Perfume!"

So I guess he gets to eat for one more day. ;^)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Wakey Birds and Wayward Dogs

I've been up since 4:00 a.m., listening to ducks quacking as they fly to the lake, mourning doves sorrowfully calling, and mockingbirds claiming their perches atop the telephone poles. I hear a couple of other birdsongs in the distance, but I don't know what they are. One, though, starts every morning around 5:00 or so; I think of this as the "wakey bird" song, since it usually means I've either been up too late, or I'm up too early, and the day has started. Depending on which side of sleep I'm still on, the song signifies failure (to stay asleep) or a new beginning. Ah, yes.


The night before last, I put my son to bed around 8:00 and unexpectedly fell asleep with him until about 3:00 a.m., when I realized that the last time the doggie (who had barfed on the carpet earlier that day) had gone outside was about 6:30 p.m. I knew he wouldn't pee in the house, but I imagined it wouldn't be comfortable for him to hold it until morning, so I decided to let him out for a quick potty break. I peeked outside to make sure the boogeyman wasn't waiting by the front door, then I let the dog out. Usually he runs downstairs to a clump of bushes under the stairs, pees, and runs right back up. Unless you're letting him out in the dead of night, with inadequate lighting and a big fear of the boogeyman. Yes, then he pees, sniffs around, and runs away. Fabulous. My only hope was that he'd run away to poop, as my sister said he's taken to doing at times. I don't know why he couldn't poop where the lights were on, but I digress.

So there I was, hissing and whistling at the top of the stairs for the dog while trying not to wake up my neighbors, whose window was open. I didn't even hear the dog's tags jingling any more. Great. I walked halfway downstairs and jingled my keys, thinking the dog would think we were going somewhere and come back. Nope. I was starting to panic at the thought of having to walk through utter darkness to find the wayward pooch. Then my son woke up, looked out the patio door, didn't see me, and started to wail. I could hear him with the doors and windows closed. I went back inside to tell my son what was going on, turned on the Conan O'Brien encore that airs in the middle of the night (I thought Conan was a friendly face for the kiddo to watch for a minute), and looked for a flashlight. Back outside, I waited another minute or two, dreading the search, when I heard...tags jingling. Thank goodness. Oh, the doggie still wanted to sniff around and play downstairs, but at least he came when I hissed at him again. He looked completely happy, unconcerned with the panic of the past few minutes. I let him in, locked the doors, took the kiddo back to bed...and stayed up for another hour or two while my heart continued to flutter.

Needless to say, last night I made sure not to fall asleep with my son, and to take the dog out at a more reasonable hour...and to use the leash. And right now the dog and the kiddo are asleep together, while I play endless rounds of Tetris and post to my blog while blowing my hayfevered nose. Ugh. What's wrong with this picture??

Monday, June 19, 2006

Catching the Gems When They Fleetingly Appear,
Which Is Really All You Can Do

Currently there's a dog curled up asleep on the floor next to my desk, the air is still cool and cloudy, the mockingbirds are singing outside and someone who isn't me is doing yard work in the distance. What a perfect moment.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Random Thoughts on Not Enough Caffeine

It's a slow day around here.

Today I learned that two avocados make enough guacamole to completely cure a single person of the desire to ever eat guacamole again. I still want to have an avocado tree someday, though. Hey, I'd be the most popular person on my street. Free guacamole for everyone!


A couple of days ago, my next-door neighbor told me he'd come home at 2:30 a.m. the other night (he's a limo driver with his own company), and seen a strange man sitting on the steps outside our complex. He threatened the stranger and chased him away, but now I'm completely creeped out and feel less safe here. But are we really safe anywhere? I must admit I'm pretty bothered by this latest development. We already have the prisoners out in the field next door, mowing down the dry brush and probably casing the place, and now weirdos hanging around in the middle of the night. That's what we get for living near a lake -- a lot of people try to camp out there illegally throughout the year. Don't even get me started on the folks who park their mobile homes on our street and live there until the police show up.


Today my son learned to kick his own behind. Also, because this wasn't quite funny enough in itself (although it's pretty funny to watch), I taught him the word "heinie," which was the word that the mother of a childhood friend always used, and which I always thought sounded funny.* So now he's throwing himself backward on the bed and kicking his own heinie with his heels. (I'm waiting for some interesting Google searches to show up on my site meter thingy.) I think this is an important life skill, the ability to kick oneself in the butt. Speaking of which...I'm off. ;^)

* She always warned us, when she was cleaning the bathroom, not to use the toilet when the bowl cleaner was in there, because it would "jump up and bite your heinie." I know. What ridiculous things I remember from childhood and pass along to the kiddo for my own amusement. I never said I was proud.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A Kiss Is Just a Kiss

It's a bit warm here today, and my long-legged kiddo has chosen to run around the house in his underpants and nothing else. I may be biased, but I think there's nothing cuter than a skinny little boy in baggy briefs. As I finish up a very technical dissertation, the kiddo is running in and out of the room to update me on his really! fascinating! activities! and to hug my arm and score free mommy kisses. On his latest pass-through, I grabbed him and planted one on his temple; he ran away and promptly washed it off in the bathroom.

Dabbing his face with a towel, he earnestly told me, "I didn't want that kiss to plop right into my eye!"

Guess I'll have to work on my aim. ;^)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Trying to Live in the Moment

Last night I emailed my friend, who has a brain tumor, between periodic checks on the kiddo, so he wouldn't throw up again from coughing. (Now I'm the one coughing; better this way.) It had taken me soooo long to just contact her after she'd chewed me out via one long email right after her diagnosis. To recap: She was diagnosed last year and my response had included the c-word, which she was highly pissed off about. Last night I basically took a deep breath and sent her an imperfect email (because I wasn't brave enough to call), saying that I'd been meaning to contact her for, like, forever, and have just felt very awkward and clumsy and haven't known how to un-awkward myself, but that I do want to be part of her life, and she mine, and is it okay if I come over and chat and whatnot and perhaps piss her off occasionally?

She said yes. She said she'd actually been feeling awkward about it all, too, although she said she doesn't remember much about her angry diatribe except that she knows she was extremely upset that I was the first person to say the c-word to her, and brain tumors aren't called the c-word because they don't behave like the c-word, and her doctors have, in fact, never used that word with her. So I stand corrected. But she said yes, and she was friendly, and that's good. And I for damn sure won't say c_____ ever again to anybody unless they say it first.

Her son is graduating from high school this month, and the family is having an open house for him in two weeks. This is partly what had prompted me to contact my friend -- I want to attend the open house, but I felt we had some residual stuff to address, however delicately. Now the air is cleared, and I will go to the open house with the kiddo, and we will bring folding chairs/table and/or food and/or anything else that ain't nailed down.

My friend was my college roommate, and she got pregnant with her first child when we were seniors in college. When we were freshmen, we hung out in the guys' dorm together. She had an enormous Alice-in-Wonderland-type alarm clock that I was forever hiding under her pillow because it ticked so loudly all night, and I hated that she slammed her closet doors when I was trying to sleep. She was a chemistry major, and those science classes started early; my liberal arts curriculum allowed me to sleep in. We once had a terrible fight as sophomores, in which we left each other nasty notes taped to our door -- room 246. She'd impulsively scribbled plus and equals signs in the appropriate places. I don't remember what that fight was about, exactly. But yes, we fight in writing, it would seem, and about every nineteen years or so. I was at her parents' house on the day of her son's baptism. We returned to school at the same time after our separate hiatuses; she wrote chemistry equations on her son's cloth diapers with a Sharpie. Now the baby I once tended while my friend was in class is graduating from high school and heading for college.

Where did the time go?

She has two other children who came along much later; I was present at the birthing center about one minute after she'd delivered her daughter almost two years ago. The kiddo saw the placenta on the bed and was mildly grossed out, but curious. I fed my friend's middle child some food I'd impulsively picked up in case either of the older kids was hungry. We all sat around the little room and watched the baby, and we had no idea then that my friend would later lose her sight while letting her middle child play at McDonald's, and, within a day or so, be diagnosed with a brain tumor. We'd gone there together once; I wish I'd been with her that day so she didn't have to call for help herself and worry about what to do with her kids, and...

Things change fast. I hate change. There, I said it.

But my friend's tumor has since shrunk, due to surgery and chemotherapy and perhaps all the Reiki the lacrosse moms (from her son's team) have been doing on her, from the size of a large egg to the size of "half a walnut without the shell," as she describes it. Hallelujah. I saw the films from the scan last year; the thing scared me then. I'm glad it's much smaller now. I wish it was gone entirely. My uncle passed away due to a brain tumor a couple of years ago; he was only 52 years old. I can't go too close to this topic, yet I must if I want to be there for my friend. It's about doing the hard stuff; if it were all easy, maybe it wouldn't be as valuable. Something like that.

Recently my friend participated in a survivor walk-a-thon. Since the time she introduced herself to me on our college move-in day, she's always been a go-getter (her second sentence to me at age eighteen was something about wanting to set a blood donation record), and also kinda goofy and eccentric and forgetful in some ways. It's hard to tell if the tumor has made her more so, or if she's just being herself, but I don't plan to ask or even wonder about this (much), because what would the point of that be, after all?

I just plan to go to her house (after I get done with my cold -- don't want to give that to anyone) and hang out and maybe wipe down the kitchen counters (because they always need it, don't they, and it gives me something to do), and see how the kids have grown, and just listen.

Oh, and piss her off occasionally. Just like old times.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Although...Can We Really Call It "Food" at That Point?

If, by some chance, you're ever happily watching TV on the couch and you hear your wee one call to you with some gibberish about how "Mommy needs to clean the food off the bed," you may, in the precious few seconds before registering his statement and getting your tush off the couch, want to consider that he is, in fact, not hallucinating, but rather, may actually have barfed on the last clean set of sheets in the house, in case this makes you move any faster.

I'm just sayin'.