Wednesday, October 21, 2009

On Your Son's Second Birthday

On your son’s second birthday you wake up when the alarm goes off, too early as always. Your head is still fighting for rapidly diminishing dreams, not enough rest absorbed. You remember being awake at midnight, with your book in your hand, waiting for the melatonin to kick in and knock you out. You hit snooze 1 or 4 times before forcing yourself out of bed, shuffling to the kitchen where you say a silent thank you to your husband for brewing coffee before he went to bed only an hour before.

You sit on the couch and sip, waiting for reality to set in, for your senses to catch up to your motions. Your daughter walks in, crawls onto your lap and falls back asleep. Your son, the birthday boy, soon follows, and by this time you are percolated enough to make breakfast for them and start sing-songy verses about birthdays and all sorts of wonderful things.

It’s time for clothes and makeup. Well, hell, just twist your hair up into a low bun because it really should have been washed this morning, but you didn’t get out of bed early enough, did you?

Off to work, the place you so lovingly named “Dysfunction Junction”. Your boss cries, you awkwardly try to continue doing your work. You light out of there two minutes early without guilt. Buy paper plates, a scented candle, and some lip gloss that turns out to be disappointingly orange.

Then off to see the concrete being poured for your driveway and some strange men as well as relatives working already several hours into hard labor. Look just long enough and then tuck your glossily most pointedly un-sweaty and orange-lipped self back into your vehicle and go to pick up your daughter from pre-school.

They tell you that she was flushed and warm earlier, keep an eye on her. Off to the supermarket because you just spoke to your mother-in-law who told you to pick up some ice cream and a prescription for your husband’s grandmother. Your daughter throws a fit over Oreos, sits down in the middle of the grocery store. Try to maintain proper balance of patience as well as discipline. Go home, wrap presents, change clothes, go next door where the future party waits.

Small talk, laughter, obligatory complaining about jobs-health problems-family members that are not present. Pizza arrives, chow down. Call husband, when will he be home? Wait. Wait. Wait. Son starts throwing self on ground, making highly unpleasant screeching sounds. Call husband, “when will you be here? Cake needs to be cut!”

Husband, weary, “Go ahead without me”.

So you go ahead, wishing your husband were here to see his son blow out the two candles on his birthday cake, to see the smile that can’t stay hidden when all the attention is on him, to see him tear open his presents and greet each one with unrestricted enthusiasm.

But it happens, and you smile, because you can’t restrain it, and everyone is laughing, and everyone is glad to be there on a Wednesday night, eating cake and celebrating life.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pirates and Memes and my obsession revealed

So, I happen to have a soft spot for memes. And books. And characters.

Somewhat recently I found the blog of sweet/salty Kate, and I've sort of become entranced and she happens to have a new book The Dread Crew: Pirates of the Backwoods and has a post up over at her place inviting others to share their answers for a chance at receiving her book as well as a spot in the reviewer's circle. Let the awesomeness commence!





1) You are facing an epic journey. You may choose one companion, one tool and one vehicle from any book or film to accompany you. Or just one of the three. It’s up to you. What do you choose.

AH. I’m going to have to go with the author’s pick of Jamie from the Outlander series as my companion. He could protect me and then we could, ah, rest. And as for vehicle, oh what the hell, let’s go with Donas the horse. Yes, I have obsession problems.

2) You can escape to the insides of any book. Where do you go, and why.

Prince Edward Island. To ANY of Lucy Maude Montgomery’s character’s homes. I still love to read those books every once in awhile to remember what it was I really wanted when I grew up.

3) You can bring one literary character into your current life. Who do you choose, and why?

Augustus from Lonesome Dove. Someone who has lived an adventurous life and is always in good spirits to regale you with lengthy tales about past times and the meaning of life.

4) _______ is my go-to book. I could read that book fifty-seven times in a row without a break for food or a pee and not be remotely bored. In fact I’ve already done that but it wasn’t fifty-seven times. It was sixty-four.

Outlander. All of the series. I read, and re-read them a few times a year. I love it to an obsession (see number 1). It’s the ultimate adventure, pure un-adulterated escapism. LOVE IT.

5) Of all the literary or film characters that made an impression on you as a kid, who was the most enviable?

Anne Shirley. Wholesome, spirited, rising up from being an orphan to a much loved friend and member of society, I love the book, love the movie.

6) Of all the literary or film characters that made an impression on you as a kid, who was the most frightening?

Though I had no business whatsoever seeing this movie as a child, the creepy old man in weird hat in the poltergeist movie. GAH.

7) Every time I read _______________, I see something in it that I haven’t seen before.

I think in the Great Gatsby I see new ways that the book, in the way it’s told, is absolutely timeless.

8) It is imperative that ________ be made into a movie. Now. I am already picketing Hollywood for this – but if they cast _____ as ____, I will not be happy. I will, however, be appeased if they cast _______.

I’m torn on this. I think To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the only movies that does justice to the book. So, when I love a book, I hate the thought of it being made into a movie. But for fun’s sake (and this is where you will roll your eyes) should Outlander be made into a movie, I would be disgusted if they chose anyone but Gerard Butler for Jamie. One can hope.

9) _______ is a book that should never be made (or should have never been made) into a film.

The Other Boleyn Girl. The movie didn’t even really have the same plot, which was, er, odd.

10) After all these years, the _________ scene in the book/movie _______ still manages to give me the queebs.

Clown under the bed. That’s all I can say.

11) After all these years, the __________ scene in the book/movie ____________still manages to give me a thrill.

Jake Ryan leaning on the car when Molly Ringwald walks out of the church at the end of sixteen candles. Sigh.

12) If I could corner the author _______________, here’s what I’d say to them one minute or less about their book, ___________:

Oh gracious. Here I go again. I’d gush to Diana Gabaldon that she has provided me with years of entertainment, thank you, thank you.

13) The coolest non-fiction book I’ve ever read is ______________. Every time I flip through it, it makes me want to ________________.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. It makes me want to grow, preserve, eat homegrown food FOREVER. Also, grow asparagus to see what it looks like in tree form.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What Dreams are Made of

One of the things I find myself constantly repeating stupidly when talking about trailer life is “It’s not that bad,” which, when I think about it, is a really lame comment. Not that bad compared to what exactly? A third world prison? A mansion? The falling down house in town which seems to somehow magically hold an entire family? My point of reference for this comment is somewhat hazy, so it usually just slides by, but for some reason I feel the need to throw that out there. Yes, I am staying in this trailer on my husband’s land, yes it is temporary, yes it sucks, yes most of the doorknobs are plastic. But! It’s not THAT bad!

Well, truth be told, I must have some uppity snob somewhere inside of me because, yeah, sometimes it kind of is that bad. Thankfully, we’ve had a house to look forward to moving into despite the building process inching along. If we didn’t have a light at the end of the tunnel, I would probably be a lot more morose about this whole temporary tub of tin situation.

So that’s a reason I haven’t written too much lately because my mind is on two channels, one being HOUSE HOUSE HOUSE HOUSE and the other being WHY WON’T THE KIDS STOP TALKING/WHINING/FIGHTING FOR FIVE SECONDS SO I CAN READ A BOOK OR EAT A MEAL OR TAKE A SHOWER OR JUST STARE OFF INTO THE DISTANCE AND THINK ABOUT THE HOUSE.

It’s true. I’ve a one track mind lately. The house is so near to completion that I can almost taste the joy of living there, of bounding on my new carpet with bare feet, of being on a whole different floor than the kids, of opening a cabinet without a shower of Tupperware falling on my head.

And, in a completely shocking twist of feeling, I am going to miss this little pile of crap that is currently our home. I’ll miss being next door to my in-laws, of seeing cows and horses meandering up to our fence, of walking down to our garden when I want to make okra for dinner.

Ha! Who am I kidding? There is a mouse family under the cabinet in the kids bathroom and a strange and mysterious odor coming from the access door to the plumbing. I am DONE with this place!

On pins and needles waiting for the house, the house, the house . . .