Saturday, September 27, 2008


This morning I smashed my left pinky finger in the folding door of the laundry closet.

It was one of those injuries that hurts so much you're afraid to look at it in case something has been severed.

In fact, nothing was severed, but my fingertip is bruised and swollen and it hurts like hell.

Did you know you need your pinky finger to do all sorts of things that you would never think you use it for?

Like driving?

And helping a child into a fencing jacket?

It reminds me of when I had a C-section and discovered to my amazement that your abdominal muscles are somehow involved when you pee, which is a bit of a problem if they've just been cut in two.

And now I'm going to stop typing, because every time I hit an "a," which is often, it makes my whole hand throb like the coyote's paw just after the roadrunner drives a steamroller over it.

There may be real content here later.

Or perhaps not.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

If Carrie Nation wrote children's books

G: Would you like to hear about the story I wrote at school today?
Me: Sure, I'd love to.
G: It's about a pig called Piggy Le Pig.
Me: Sounds good.
G: He got married to a beautiful pig called Penny.
Me: Uh huh.
G: But then she killed him.
Me: Oh dear.
G: She was drunk.
Me (starting to laugh against my will): That's terrible.
G: She thought she was at a juice bar and the juice tasted weird. But she drank a lot of it anyway and went crazy.
Me (holding in laughter): Mmmph!
G: The moral of the story is, don't drink beer or you might kill your husband.
Me: *nearly loses it*
G: Do you think it could win a Newbery Award?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

These kids and their slang

G: Look, Mom, my math book is self-opening.
Me: That's because the cover you put on it is tight.
G: When you say something is tight, that can also mean it's awesome. Did you know that, Mom?
Me: Yes, G, I did.

I wonder how long it's going to be before she comes home with one I don't know. Probably not as long as I think!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Clearing out the cobwebs

After surviving the vagaries of last week, which ranged from the mildly annoying (cooking burns, child coming down with a rotten cold) to the intensely stressful (soaked hall ceiling, unexpected exterminator visit that required emergency cat boarding), I found myself in a housecleaning mood. Not the sweeping-and-mopping sort of housecleaning, although I did do some of that too*, but the invisible sort where you just want to get rid of things that are cluttering up your brain.

So this weekend, I left an online forum that had been frustrating and disappointing me. I recategorized some old relationships I'd been hanging onto -- not by making big dramatic announcements, but by acknowledging to myself that the people in question hadn't been close friends for a while, and that it wasn't fair of me to keep expecting them to behave as if they were. And I finally, after two years and almost three months, returned P's last shipment of Netflix DVDs. I had gotten it in my head somehow that before I could send them back, I had to watch them because P had never had a chance to, but time kept passing and I kept not watching them, and feeling guilty about it. Then on Saturday, as I was gathering up my own DVDs to return, I looked at P's DVDs (still in their wrappers and covered with dust) and it suddenly became very clear to me that I was never going to sit down and watch the second season of a TV show that I had only incidentally seen because P liked it. And when I went to the post office, I dropped his DVDs in the slot along with mine.

I don't know how long this mood will last, but while it's here, it's pretty refreshing.

*It had been so long since I last mopped the kitchen floor that I couldn't remember what sort of mop I owned and bought the wrong pads for it by mistake. Whoops.

Kid Art, Part II: Crossover Edition

Mallory Grace from The Spiderwick Chronicles as one of the penguins from Club Penguin.

(Yes, she is huge into anthropomorphic animals.)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Future fashion designer

G's drawing of her cocker spaniel Webkinz as a high-fashion super-spy:

I dunno, I'd wear it!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Week of the leak

The maintenance crew finally came to look at my waterlogged hall ceiling.

They came while I was at work and entered without permission.

They left me a note to tell me they'd been here, but I would have figured it out anyway, because they also left a gaping three-foot by four-foot hole overhead.

It looks like this:

The note said they'll be back to fix it tomorrow.

Or Friday.


Oh, and they also left my patio door unlocked (I guess they must have gone out there to look at the A/C compressor), a fact I only discovered because I remembered at 10:30 p.m. that I needed to water the plants on the patio.

Even in a "luxury" complex, apartment living sucks.

Monday, September 15, 2008


On Saturday morning, the air-conditioner drip pan overflowed and flooded the ceiling space in my upstairs hallway. I've been waiting for a repair person to come and assess the damage ever since then, and despite assurances this morning that someone would be over as soon as possible, there is still no one in sight. Meanwhile, I've missed most of a workday, the middle ceiling panel is sagging like an overfull water balloon from the weight of the collected water behind it, the whole place smells of damp, and if I turn the air on even for a minute, it starts leaking onto the hall carpet. Shouldn't the $1,800 a month I pay in rent buy me a little more service than this? I think so!

Also, while I was making lunch, I reached for a pan handle without looking and grabbed the blazing hot underside of the pan instead. I have the makings of a big, fat blister on one finger, but it's the red-but-unblistered finger next to it that hurts more. At least it's my left hand and not my right. I'll need my right hand when I have to climb up into the crawl space and repair the damn water damage myself.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Some weeks are like that

This is how I have felt all week:

Maybe next week will be better.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Dreams, part 2034029

Last night I dreamed that I lived in a different house and had three children -- a girl with long, curly brown hair, and two dark-haired boys, all around six or seven years old.

In this dream, I got up in the morning and asked the kids what they wanted for breakfast, and the girl said "Nothing." One of the boys said "I want pizza" and I said "That's fine, because I'm already baking one," and pointed to the oven where it was baking away. The second boy said he wanted cheese, so I opened the fridge and started looking through a lot of half-empty cheese packets, but they were all expired. Finally I found a bag of shredded cheese, said "Here, see if you like this kind," and handed it to him to try.

While he was nibbling at cheese shreds, P appeared from another room, apparently just having woken up for the day. He said good morning and asked me what I was doing, and I said I was getting breakfast for the kids and did he want some too? As I said this, I opened the freezer and discovered that a big bag of frozen vegetables had burst open and spilled all over the inside. P said, "Wow, it's a mess in there, we'd better clean it out," so I started taking out boxes and packages and handing them to him, saying "Here, this can go, and this and this."

Then I reached back farther into the freezer, and instead of food, I started taking out crumpled-up bed sheets like a magician pulling out scarves. (They were all sheets I own in real life -- dark blue ones that go on my bed, and dusty lavender ones that go on G's bed.) I pulled out four or five arm-loads of frosty cold sheets, and then the alarm went off and I woke up.

There's got to be some sort of heavy-duty symbolism in there.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Childish things

Every Labor Day weekend, we (for "we," read "mostly I") give G's bedroom a massive cleaning so she can start the new school year in a tidy environment. Usually, the cleaning involves a lot of me saying "Let's get rid of this," and G protesting that she needs whatever it is, even though she hasn't touched it in six months.

Not this year, though. This year, barely glancing up from her American Girl magazine, she said I could take her My Little Ponies, her Polly Pockets, her Barbies and all their assorted paraphernalia down to storage because she doesn't play with them anymore. And even though I've been itching to clear all those things out for ages, this made me strangely sad, because I know it's the beginning of the end of an era. She did choose to keep her Littlest Pet Shop collection, her stuffed animals and a few of her superhero action figures, but some of those will go when we do this again next year, and some more the year after that, and eventually all the toys will be gone, and along with them will go the 4- and 5- and 6-year-old G who spent hours playing Barbies and Pollies with her dad. (Among his other talents, P was the undisputed champion at inventing adventures for little plastic dolls. Strange but true.)

Of course this is all totally natural, and I did the same thing when I was around her age, although I think I might have been almost 11 rather than almost 10. It's just one of those transitions that are harder on mothers than they are on children. Children are eager to shake the dust of an earlier phase off their feet; mothers want to catch that dust in a box and preserve it forever. If P were here, though, he'd shake his head, as he often did, and say "She's not a little kid anymore; you've got to let her grow up." He didn't believe in babying kids or holding them back when they were ready to move on, and he was probably right. I'll just have to do my best to follow his advice.