Sunday, October 29, 2006

Longest day EVER

So far today, G and I have gone out to breakfast, visited a pumpkin patch, gone to two stores on a fruitless search for a copy of Nightmare Before Christmas on DVD, drawn pictures, carved a pumpkin, watched a movie (her), taken a nap (me) and done the grocery shopping, and it's still not even five o'clock yet. I'm cooking dinner now in hopes of filling up half an hour or so, and then we're going to bake Halloween cookies, and then I guess we'll just sit here and stare at each other till bedtime.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

So I was wondering

I know a lot of the people who read this blog, either in real life or through comments/other blogs. And I know that there are bound to be a few lurkers hanging around also, and that's totally okay -- I lurk on plenty of blogs myself, and if I didn't want people reading what I write, well, I wouldn't be posting it on the Internet.

However, I'm really curious about who's out there, so would you do me a favor? If you read -- even if you don't know me at all, even if you've never commented, even if you only read occasionally or this is the first time you've passed by, heck, even if you know that I know you're out there -- leave a comment and say hello. Enquiring minds want to know. :)

Pop quiz

If you find yourself thirsty at two o'clock in the morning, your best option is:

A. Get a drink of water from the bathroom.
B. Decide you want orange juice, go downstairs, and pour yourself some in a plastic cup.
C. Decide you want orange juice, go downstairs, reach for a glass, change your mind about the size you want, attempt to put the glass back, fumble it, and watch it smash all over the kitchen counter, stovetop and tiles. Spend the next half-hour cleaning up 3084593982 tiny glass shards while trying to chase off a cat who thinks you cannot possibly accomplish the job without her help. Go back to bed still thirsty.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Not fade away

Seven totally selfish reasons I miss P:

1. There's no one here to distract G for 20 minutes while I take a shower.

2. There's no one to back me up when I tell her she has to do something, or alternatively, when I tell her she can't do something.

3. If I want a soda at 11 p.m., I can neither go out and get it myself nor send someone else to get it.

4. There's no one to remind me of things, like when school conference day is or the fact that we desperately need more toilet paper.

5. On a related note, half of my collective memory is gone; I can't ask anyone, for example, "Did we go to San Francisco in 1997 or 1998?" or "Who the heck gave us these plates?"

6. There's no one else to answer when G says "Hey, guess what?" or "Look at this!"

7. I can't tell someone a story about my day without first having to spend 10 minutes explaining who everyone is and how they know each other.

Of all these, no. 5 is easily the worst. Now that P is gone, none of our past -- everything we did together, all the conversations we had, all the inside jokes and shorthand and things that only we two knew about -- exists anyplace outside my own memory. I've got no backup copy, no witness for the defense, no one who can say "Yes, that's how it happened" or "No, you've got it wrong." Who else remembers the night G was born, or the grumpy old people who lived upstairs at our first apartment, or how P wrote his initials on his pillow with a Sharpie so I'd stop taking it by accident? No one. If I want to reminisce about those things, I have to do it alone, and when I die, they'll all go with me, as if none of them ever happened. As if we never happened.

G will forget what it was like when we were all a family together, and that's probably for the best; she can't miss what she doesn't remember. But God, I wish it weren't all on me to remember everything myself, to be the sole repository of our history. It's a job better shared, if there's someone to share it with, and a lonely task to shoulder on your own.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Oh. Em. Gee.

Yesterday I spent half the morning cleaning and doing laundry, from the time I got up at 8 until we left to meet P's brother for breakfast at 10:45. I'd washed almost everything and was just finishing up the sheets and towels when G came downstairs and said "There's a problem with the toilet."

"What?" I asked.

"I kind of made a big thing of toilet paper and it got stuck," she said.

We had to go out and buy a plunger because ours somehow disappeared while we were moving. Then, in the process of unsticking the clog, the toilet overflowed like Niagara Falls. And what did I have to use to stop the flood? Right. All of my freshly washed and dried bath towels.

Weep with me.

Anyway, aside from the endless washing -- or as my grandmother would say, "warshing" -- we had a pretty good weekend. On Friday night, I took G to get her hair cut, thinking that this might help with our ongoing battle over hair maintenance. She was a little leery of having it done, but she loves my hairstylist and thinks she's the coolest person ever (true that), so I correctly guessed that she would go along with whatever Liz thought was best. She had at least two inches cut off the bottom, plus a lot of thinning with a razor, and it does make a huge difference: I shampooed her hair today with very little fuss, and brushed it before bed without a single scream. Plus, she looks so much neater -- we'd been trying to grow her bangs out, and between that and the long, unbrushed mass hanging down in back, she looked like a vagabond child most of the time.

Perhaps because her head felt lighter, she was in a much better mood for the rest of the weekend than she has been lately. She accompanied me on all the errands we had to do without complaining, and was generally pleasant and cooperative. In fact, she was so good that this afternoon, after grocery shopping, I offered to take her to Disneyland for a few hours but she chose to stay home and have a Care Bears movie marathon instead. I sat on the couch with the laptop during The Care Bears Movie and Care Bears II: The Next Generation, but I'm afraid I could not tell you the plot or title of the third movie, because I slept all the way through it. I woke up just as it was ending, and then it was time for dinner, one last quick errand, and bed for G.

And now the place is quiet and it's Mommy time. The cat has just made sweet, sweet love to her favorite fuzzy blanket (kneading it, purring, and then lying down on top of it and going to sleep), and I've downed a glass of extremely cheap wine and am contemplating whether I want to clean the bathrooms and fold the still-unfolded laundry, or watch a DVD. Something tells me the DVD is going to win.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Days pass

Today, for the first time this year, it felt like autumn outside. It was subtle, just a coolness in the air, a lower slant to the sun, but it was there.

It doesn't seem fair for the seasons to be changing without P, but they are changing regardless. Time doesn't care how you feel about its passage. It just keeps on rushing forward and sweeping you along with it, like a dead dry leaf in a gutter full of rain, carrying you away from the people you've lost.

I've been told that time and space are really the same thing, but I never believed it until now. It's not like P went away, more like he stopped somewhere and I kept going. He's still back there in summer, and I'm moving on into autumn, and every day takes me farther and farther from where he is. And there are so many thousands of days, so many changes of seasons, that I have to live through until I can get back to him. I feel tired just thinking about it.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Slow on the uptake

Half an hour ago, I walked past G's bathroom and saw the cat standing with her front paws on the toilet seat and her head in the bowl.

"That's disgusting, Catherine!" I said, chasing her out and shutting the lid.

Ten minutes later, I found her in the tub in my bathroom, licking up the leftover drips from my shower.

"Yuck, stop it. There's soap in there. You'll get sick," I told her. She just looked up at me with her big green eyes, then went back to licking.

Five minutes after that, I walked through the kitchen and discovered that her water dish was empty. And it still took a few seconds of the hamsters running on their little wheel inside my head before I figured out that this might have something to do with her sudden obsession with alternative water sources.

Maybe I'm not as over that blow to the head as I thought I was.

Anyway, I have to take G grocery shopping now. Pray that I don't get lost somewhere in the pasta aisle!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Accidents will happen

Yesterday afternoon I was stopped in traffic on the freeway, waiting for my lane to start moving again, when I glanced in my rearview mirror and saw what looked like my imminent demise bearing down on me in the form of a big, black SUV. I had just enough time to scream before the other driver hit me from behind -- hard -- and shoved me into the car in front of me. (Also an SUV.) For whatever reason, the shoulder part of my seatbelt failed to lock, and as a result, my head bounced right off the steering wheel, the same way the crash-test dummies' heads do in those slow-motion videos, except in this case it all happened in about .000025 seconds.

All three of us pulled over onto the shoulder and looked at the cars, which were in remarkably good shape for how hard the impact was. My rear bumper was hardly scratched, and even the woman who hit me only had minor damage. My head, however, was another story. We all exchanged information and took off, and the farther I drove, the more it hurt. It wasn't aching (yet); it stung, like I'd been hit with a baseball. But, it wasn't cut or bleeding, so I went on home, called my doctor's office, and asked what I ought to do. They sent me to urgent care, where a nice young doctor looked in my eyes with a pen light, tsk-tsked about the failure of my seatbelt, and told me to take Advil for the headache I was going to have. And boy, did I end up having one. It didn't kick in until around 9:00, almost seven hours after the accident, but when it arrived it was a doozy.

Today, the external injury doesn't look bad at all -- I have a bump about the size of a quarter with a nice red imprint of the steering-wheel cover in the center -- but my head feels as delicate as an eggshell, and it still aches when I have to bend over or turn abruptly. My neck is all sore, too. Still, I count myself lucky: if the lap part of my seatbelt hadn't worked, I would have been thrown right into the dashboard, and that would have been bad. I didn't have G with me either, which is a very good thing. It could have been a lot worse.

Weirdly, I had a sort of premonition the day before that I was going to be in a car crash. I'd been thinking about this long drive I was going to make, and out of nowhere, the idea that I might get into an accident popped into my head. I never worry about car accidents -- God knows why, since they're more likely to get you than most of the stuff I do worry about -- so it's strange that the thought would even cross my mind. Maybe I should set up as a psychic.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Cats and kids

Cats are like furry toddlers. You buy them all sorts of colorful and stimulating toys, and what do they want to play with? Some old thing they find around the house, that's what.

Here is Catherine attacking her nemesis/favorite plaything, Black Shoelace:

Just now I made the mistake of thinking that Catherine and I could play with Black Shoelace for a few minutes and then call it a night. When we'd finished (I thought), I patted her on the head and went upstairs. After 15 minutes of pathetic mewing, I came back down to discover her waiting next to the shelf where Black Shoelace lives when she's not stalking trying to eat playing with him. Ooooookay. I got Black Shoelace down and we did a few more rounds. Went upstairs again, heard the same pathetic mewing, and came down to find her waiting by the shelf again. Look, Catherine, I know you love Black Shoelace, but I can't play until dawn. I've got to sleep sometime.

In non-cat-related news, G and I went to a children's book fair this weekend. It was on the campus of a community college where I took classes way back in the day, which made me feel hideously old. G's favorite part was the Wild Animal Arena, where she got to see a show with a red-tailed hawk, a serval cat, and a few other unusual creatures. My favorite part was the moment when G while watching one of the animal handlers syringe-feed a baby ground squirrel, asked, "It has rabies, doesn't it?" I see all my warnings about not playing with squirrels at the park have taken root.

In addition to the wild animals, we watched some dance performances, ate churros, visited the bounce house; oh, yes, and bought two books: A Squirrel's Tale and The Great History Search. I cannot listen to G read the squirrel book out loud without snickering because it's full of lines like "Mr. Owl, have you seen my nuts?" and "I can't find my nuts anywhere!"

Secretly, I am still twelve. But then aren't we all?

Today we went to see Open Season, which I was not expecting to like very much. First, I've seen my fill of animated movies about clueless animals in and out of the wild over the last couple of years (Madagascar, The Wild, Over the Hedge, etc.). Also, we were seeing it at the movie theater where we saw Superman Returns the day before P died, and I still get upset every time I go there. But, this movie was surprisingly funny, and I ended up enjoying myself after all. Yay for that.