Thursday, May 29, 2008

Tiny thrills

Triumph of the day: Finally breaking 5,000 points while playing Bubble Words on Facebook.

Luckily, I'm way too old to care that this is probably pathetic.

Marching to her own drummer

Tonight was the annual open house at G's school. All the kids in her class had printed out the stories they'd written over the course of the year and stapled them together to make books, and almost without exception, all those books were titled something like My Book or My Stories.

The title of G's book? Stop in the Name of Love, and Other Amazing Tales.

Sometimes that girl just cracks me up!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

As long as we're talking about dreams

Last night I had a dream in which P had come back to life and we were living in a secret apartment at G's school. No one was allowed to know that P was there because you aren't supposed to come back from the dead, so he had to stay inside all the time.

So for some reason -- God knows why -- I had to go out and dispose of what was described in the dream as "elephant stomach bile." I had this stuff inside a metal Wonder Woman lunch box that was about the size of a briefcase, and I was going to take it and throw the whole thing into a dumpster. Before I got there, I accidentally spilled it on the blacktop, and it formed a lake of bright acid-green liquid that looked like toxic waste and was roiling around and smoking and throwing off big, snapping sparks. Everyone at the school came running out to deal with this, but no one knew I was the one who had caused it.

I was trying to slip away when the PTA president (not the actual PTA president, but she was in the dream) stopped me and said "I heard it's your husband's birthday! You should both come over for dinner." I made some excuse to get away from her and went back to my secret apartment, where I told P about the conversation. He said "Well, maybe we should just go," and I said, "We can't go! You're supposed to be dead! [G's kindergarten teachers' names] both know you're dead, and there's going to be trouble if they see you."

That's all I remember, except that when the elephant stomach bile had been neutralized, it left a big scorched black place on the school playground, and I felt very guilty about it, but was still glad that no one realized it was my fault. I thought of trying to look up what the meaning of all this would be, but I didn't even know where to start -- "elephant stomach bile?" "Dead people secretly coming back to life?" I'm pretty sure these things defy your standard dream dictionary.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I have achieved a maximum of five hours of broken sleep every night this week. On Sunday, I had a headache that still hurt while I was sleeping and kept waking me up. On Monday, I had to get up and go to the bathroom every hour. Last night, I woke up at 2:32 and 4:17 a.m. for no damn reason whatsoever.

If I don't do better tonight, I am going to turn into a raving loony.


I mean it.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Because everyone likes to hear about other people's dreams, right?

I keep having dreams that have something to do with dirty cat litter. A couple of weeks ago, I dreamed that I went to clean out a cat box, and when I took off the lid, a lot of possessions of mine were in there amongst the clumps, and I had to pick them out. Last night, I dreamed that my grandmother was visiting me and she threw some things that belonged to me down on a floor that was covered with spilled cat litter (not something my grandmother would ever do, BTW), and I was very angry as I picked each item up, brushed it off, and either kept it or threw it away, depending on how dirty it was.

I'm sensing a sort of "salvage" theme in both these dreams, but what am I salvaging? And why cat litter? I mean, I do deal with it on a daily basis, but it doesn't dominate my life.

Just a regular Sunday

Mother's Day was more or less a non-event. G spent Saturday night at a sleepover for her friend's birthday, and when I picked her up on Sunday morning, she was cranky and sluggish with lack of sleep. She gave me a rose that the mother who was hosting the sleepover had given her to give to me, and a card that she'd drawn the night before, and then she flatly refused to do anything else or leave the house for most of the day.

Around one-thirty in the afternoon, I suggested that we try to take a nap so she'd be in a better mood, but that backfired when I fell asleep on my bed, and she stayed awake and played computer games on my laptop. After I woke up, I finally convinced her to go with me to pick up some takeout -- I hadn't eaten lunch and was starving -- by first snapping at her, then feeling remorseful and promising that we'd stop to see the puppies at the pet store on the way home. It wasn't a Mother's Day that will go down in the record books, that's for sure. Sigh. At least I managed to do my part by sending something to my mother and mother-in-law earlier in the week.

The only high point of the day came when I received an anonymous delivery of flowers, which I still haven't tracked to its source. I have an idea who it might be, since I only know a few people who live in the city where the florist who delivered the flowers is located, and only two or three of those people know my address, and only one of them is someone who is likely to do something like that. I saw her today, but she didn't say anything, and I didn't want to bring it up in case I'm wrong. Very mysterious! (But very much appreciated as well. Thanks, anonymous flower-giver, whoever you really are.)

That's my girl

G: I'd like to be a news reporter when I grow up.


G: Or the lead singer in a Goth rock band.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Maybe I can phone him in the afterlife

I got some good news yesterday, and as I was driving home, I thought, This is kind of a big deal. Maybe I ought to, I don't know, tell someone.

Then I drove on a little further and thought, Who would I tell?

I was stumped.

I could have told G, but it wouldn't have meant anything to her, plus her eyes tend to glaze over whenever I mention work. I could have called my mother, and she would have said, "That's great," but she wouldn't really have gotten it either. I briefly entertained the notion of going into Starbucks and paying one of the baristas to listen to my story, but decided it was a little too much. Better to save that sort of thing for later in life, after I become a crazy cat lady.

Of course, the person I wanted to tell, the person who would have understood and really been pleased, was P, but I couldn't. So in the end, I told no one.

I suppose this was a step up from what usually happens in situations like these, when I see or hear or do something and immediately think I've got to tell Peter -- oh. Yeah. Dammit. At least this time I managed to remember that he's dead, and therefore not available to chat about my day. It's amazing that I can still forget, but after someone's been in your life for as long as he was in mine, it must take more than a couple of years for it to really sink in that you'll never see or talk to that person again. Until you do, though, it feels like running into a brick wall all the time, when you least expect it.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Walking down your street

Thanks to me, G has become quite the Bangles fan lately. (Hey, I didn't only listen to depressing music in the 80s.) I've put all their hits on my iPod for her, and this evening we were watching their old videos on YouTube ...

G: What's this song "Manic Monday" about?
Me: It's about having too much fun over the weekend and then not wanting to get up for work on Monday.
G: That's how I feel about school! I feel their pain!

G: Are any of them (the band) still alive?
Me: Um, they're not that much older than me, so yes, they're all still alive.
G: How old are you again?

G (ecstatically): It would be so cool if the Bangles could e-mail me. I'd totally tell all my friends about it.
Me: I'm pretty sure your friends have never heard of the Bangles.
G: Why not?
Me: Because all your friends are also 9, and these videos are from 20 years ago.
G: Oh.

Friday, May 02, 2008

You want a what?!

So, yesterday evening, as we were coming back from dinner with my father-in-law, G piped up from the back seat:

"Hey, Mom, could we get an adopted brother or sister for me?"

I nearly ran off the road, but I caught myself, kept driving, and said, "An adopted brother or sister, huh?"

"Yes," she said, "and it would be good if they were my age."

"We only have two bedrooms, though," I said. "If there were another kid in our family, you'd have to share your room with him or her."

"That's OK, I don't mind," she said. "Do you think we ought to get a boy or a girl?"

"I don't know," I said, playing along. "I think if it were a girl, you'd fight over clothes, but if it were a boy, you'd probably tease each other a lot."

"Maybe a girl then," she said.

She's always said she loves being an only child, so I'm not sure where that came from. When I asked her later to explain exactly why she wanted a sibling (after I told her that I wasn't going to adopt one), she said, "Well, I already have two pets, so all I need now is a brother or sister." I pointed out that a brother or sister was not the same as a cat or a dog, and she said "Yes, I know."

I'm guessing that this is a passing fantasy about having a built-in buddy for the weekends rather than a sign of some deep psychological need, so I should probably just try to start setting up more play dates for her. Although with school, her afterschool program, and Girl Scouts, you would think she'd be getting her fill of other kids. Hmmm.