Friday, March 30, 2007

Kate Enters the Blogosphere

With the metaphorical microphone passed to me by Mrs. Chicky earlier this week via an Interview Meme, I am carrying on the tradition with a different spin. In addition to interviewing a few bloggers who posted their answers on their own sites, I opened up the line of questioning to interested parties without blogs. Taking advantage of the opportunity was a regular reader named Kate. I am pleased to introduce her to you now.

Me: You are in a room full of strangers--different sexes, ages, ethnicities, backgrounds, professions, familial statuses, etc., are all represented. They want to know who you are. How do you identify yourself?

Kate: This is a difficult question to answer because I need more context. Why am I in a room full of such a diverse group of strangers? Am I mingling and just introducing myself to individual people along the way, or am I addressing a crowd for some reason as a leader/keynote speaker? Even so, I would need to know the reason everyone is gathered. If I am introducing myself to individuals, mingling, then I suspect I would introduce myself with my name, "Hi, I'm Kate L., nice to meet you." Any identifying info to follow would, as I said, depend on the circumstances at hand.

If I am addressing the group in some way, then I still need to know WHY I am addressing the group. The way I identify myself will depend on what brought everyone together. Essentially, I am a woman with multiple identities (my status as a woman being one of my primary ones) and I generally wear different hats in the appropriate circumstances. Everyone of these identities makes me who I am, but only some of them matter to others in particular contexts. The short answer to this question and what I think you are really getting at is what are my identities and what do I see as my primary identities - here is the list:

I am an over educated, under paid lower middle class white woman with a mild physical disability who is a trained sociologist but not a practicing one. I'm a career oriented person, though it took me a long time to find my career. I'm a feminist and a bleeding heart liberal. I'm a mother and a wife and a deeply saddened motherless daughter.

Whew, long list. That's not all of my identities, but I do believe those are the primary or core identities that inform most of who I am and my thought processes and emotions.

Me: Which quality of yours do you most hope your daughter inherits?

Kate: I can not choose just one. Modest of me, huh? Here are my top three:

1) independence
2) empathy
3) intelligence

Me: What is the ideal distance (in miles) between your home and that of your mother-in-law?

Kate: What is the distance between Earth and Pluto? Sorry, all sarcasm aside, probably 60 miles or so. Approximately within 1-1.5 hours driving distance. Close enough to visit once a week or every 2 weeks during day trips (so my daughter can know her Grandmother and my husband can see his mother), but far enough to prevent unannounced visits and to hopefully cut the cord between my husband and my mother-in-law. Or, at the very least help provide a physical boundary in order to promote other kinds of boundaries.

Me: When was the last time you went skinny dipping?

Kate: Last summer. :blush:

Me: You inherit 5 million dollars the same day aliens land and say they're going to blow up the world in two days... what do you do? (You earn extra points if you can identify the source of this question)

Kate: I have no idea what the source is.

Me: Then you must not have seen the best movie of all times--Heathers. You should probably rectify that soon. But not before you go on with your answer.

Kate: Presuming I really and truly believe that the world is going to get blown up in two days, I would take everyone I love to a lovely tropical island where we can be together and at least have a good time together in a warm, sunny place with cocktails. If the world is going to end anyway, then I'm going to spend my last two days on earth with people I love in a beautiful environment partying like it's the end of the world ;)

Me: Thanks so much for playing, Kate. I hope you had a good time here at 24/7. Please proceed to the comment section for words of welcome and encouragement. And don't forget to check out my Blogroll for a sampling of other blogs--some similar, some different, most both--you just might enjoy.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Welcome To Our Open House

What is wrong with this picture? (Besides the fact that I have no photography skills whatsoever?)

Did you get it? Did you?
If not, here's a bit more of the scene:

No, it was not a freak of nature that caused this. No blustery wind, no driving rain. It was The Boss, the dog and I on the way to the park. Well, actually, it had nothing to do with The Boss, except that she was there and could quite possibly have been killed if the porch ceiling wasn't so capable of remaining suspended practically by its lonesome.
I was walking out the front door, helping The Boss down the steps with one hand and holding Roxie's leash in the other. That's when our pit bull saw the cat in the neighbor's yard and bolted toward it. I lurched forward, struggling to hold on as Roxie put all of her 50 pounds, plus the strength of momentum, into the chase. That's when I did the stupid thing for which The Parnter is currently not speaking to me. I grabbed ahold of one of the porch's rickety supports to steady myself.
It broke loose at top and bottom and I went flying forward as expletives and hysterical screams similarly richocheted out of my mouth. I screamed so loud and for so long that my neighbor came out to see what was wrong. I'm sure she expected to see blood and carnage everywhere. That's what one always expects to see when the magnitude of my hysteria is unleashed. It's a good thing I was completely unconscious when The Boss was born, or there would likely have been a scene.
I know now that it was stupid to grab onto something so unstable. But combine my own mental instability with faulty architecture, and that's what we get. The Partner married into this knowing full well what he was getting. I hide behind that mantra often, wearing it like a shield when my inability to act under pressure wreaks havoc. He should never be surprised and he certainly should not get mad. He should be happy that The Boss, the dog and the cat are still alive.
Okay, maybe not the neighbor's cat. I'm sure that would be a casualty he woudn't mind hearing reported.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

House of Pain

Charming Historic Cape w/Commerical Possibilities
A taste of old and new. Set on 1 acre; offering 1862 sq.ft. of living wiht beautiful, wide board flooring, soapstone kitchen sink and center chimney with newly lined fireplace in the living room & great garage/workshop!
Will somebody tell me what it is about this home that attracts only the rudest, slimiest and most ignorant of prospective buyers? One freak show at my door is not unexpected, but two, three, four...the parade is endless and wholly unproductive. We had one offer that fell through and another that's falling. Our agent held a showing with another gentlemen who spent over an hour on the property before he told her he hated the house, but loved the yard. Then he said he doesn't much like to mow.
Where the hell do they come from? How many more of them are out there?
We have an open house on Saturday, and I have a feeling I just might find out.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

60 Minutes at 24/7

Special correspondent Mrs. Chicky, of Chicky Chicky Baby, is here today with a few hard hitting questions for yours truly. Stay till the end to find out how you can participate in the interviews sweeping the blogosphere.

Mrs. Chicky: Where did you meet your husband?

Me: Funny you should ask. Funny because it's true. I met The Partner via the Instant Messenger function of AOL v. 3.0. As a college sophomore with nothing better to do than send random IMs while I should've been studying for mid-terms, I typed the keywords "Connecticut" (for my home state) and "78" (for the year of my birth) into the member directory search. When his profile popped up, I saw that this 19 year old male, born and bred in Connecticut, attended the same university as a friend of mine. With nothing more to go on than those three apparent commonalities, I fired up the IM. "Do you know so-and-so?" I typed, using my friend's name as a shot-in-the-dark impetus for conversation. "No," he typed back.

The rest is ten years of history.

2. Audrey Hepburn or Katharine Hepburn? Why?

Me: A middle school teacher of mine once told me that Katharine Hepburn was a bitch. I'm sure she didn't use that word, exactly, but the message was clear. Since then, I've heard the same sentiment expressed by many in regard to Connecticut's own famous Hepburn.

In doing a little of my own research, it came to my attention that Ms. Hepburn's mother was a sufragette and birth control advocate who helped found Planned Parenthood along with Margaret Sanger. I read that "the Hepburn children, at their parents' encouragement, were unafraid of expressing frank views on various topics, including sex. 'We were snubbed by everyone, but we grew quite to enjoy that,' Hepburn later said of her unabashedly liberal family, who she credited with giving her a sense of adventure and independence." I find that quite inspiring and am inclined to vote for K-Hep in spite of, or perhaps because of, her bitchiness.

3. Your dream home, the one you would have if money or location was no object, must include one particular feature. What would that feature be?

Me: A dock with a hot tub on a huge, clean body of water that I don't have to maintain.

4. Bad news, you won't ever be a writer (let's suspend disbelief for a minute). But to make up for it you can be anything else that you want. What would you like to be or do instead?

Me: I am quite sure I would fall head-first into the deep end of lunacy if I couldn't write. But so long as there's a cable news outlet looking for an insane correspondent, I'm up for the job. I've been told I have TV-newswoman hair.

5. If you could hop in your car at this very moment without having to worry about anything holding you back, where would you go?

South, with stops in Richmond and Miami to pick up my two best college friends. Then west, to all three of us take the country by storm.

There you have it, my friends. Thanks to Mrs. Chicky for stopping by. I hope the Q & A train won't stop here. If you would like to be interviewed by me, leave a comment below or drop me an email. The offer is open to all my readers, even those without their own blogs on which to post the responses. If you are a reader who would be interested in being spotlighted, I will come up with the questions, take your responses, and put them up in a special post. Blogging, after all, is not just about writing--it's about the community those words inspire.

Monday, March 26, 2007

American Idol, Pre-School Song Writing Edition

My friend's daughter is a pre-schooler who likes to write songs. I think she's got what it takes to go far.

Don't believe me?

You be the judge.

"I ask my mom for a chore,
She says sure, how ‘bout four.
So I do the dishes
And she acts suspicious."

~ Bella, age 4

It's a bit unnerving to feel as if I have to move over for the next generation before I've even taken a seat.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Julie Amero To Be Sentenced Thursday

I've written before about a local court case with international implications. Coast to coast, sea to shining sea, hopping continents and bouncing off satellites in space. Read about it, because it could happen where you are, too. You might think it can't, but it can happen to you.

Here's the meat of the nutshell as I cracked it earlier: "Julie Amero, a substitute teacher, was convicted on four counts of risk of injury to a minor for exposing middle school students to pornography on a school computer. The conviction came after she testified that the sexually explicit material on her computer popped up as a result of adware, not from any prurient searches of her own. She faces up to forty years in prison."

She will be sentenced this Thursday.

There's someone else around these parts who will not face a day of jail time, however. It's a man who sexually assaulted a three year old girl. Under a plea deal, he will get five years' probation. According to the same newspaper that has seen its Web site hits skyrocket due to international interest in the Amero case, the story behind this second travesty of justice is this: "Rockville Superior Court Judge Patricia Swords accepted the plea bargain so the girl would be spared having to face her abuser and recounting the sexual assault...Jones must register as a sex offender for 10 years, but his registration will remain secret to people who visit the state sex offender registry. Information on the list about Jones will be available only to law enforcement officials."

And so, a woman with poor timing and bad reflexes, who allowed middle school students to glimpse sexual images on a screen, will be sentenced, while a man who molested a three year old girl is able to strike a plea deal that guarantees him re-entry into a world where nobody knows about his sick predilections. A world where he can use sex to assault again with nobody, at first, the wiser.

Said the judge in the Jones case to the perp as she let him off the hook: "There is no doubt your behavior … was reprehensible -- perhaps the most reprehensible to come before this court."

But I guess the nature and intent of the crime does not matter. That's all I can deduce from these two cases, similar in nothing but the court system's inability to protect us from harm.

Friday, March 23, 2007

A Girl and Her Binky

When she really wants something, The Boss calls me by my name.

"Bink! Binky! Biiiiiiiiinky!"

She sits in her high chair and bangs on the tray as she imitates her father. I mean, that has to be where she got it from. He's the one who says my name on a regular basis in her presence. As it happens, it's usually when he wants something, too. Or when he's annoyed. Or when he finds it hard to believe that something I said actually came out of my mouth. "In a withering tone" is the best way to describe the most common utterance of my identifier around these parts.

"Binky!" Today The Boss called me out at the supermarket when I strayed too far from her in search of a plastic bag for the chicken. "Bink. Bink. Binky." She stared at me from her perch in the front of the cart, looking all baby blond and munching on a cookie. "Binky!" she repeated, in between bites.

Call me narcissistic, but there is nothing cuter than hearing my daughter say my name. "Mommy" is well and good, but listening to her fledgling spin on the word I've heard every day for my entire life is even better. Emphasizing the "b" and the "k," the word rolls off her tongue like a bubble, then pops. "Biiiin-ky!"

I know I should set clear boundaries. I should discourage her from using non-mom designations. But, really. It's just too damn cute. So I let her get away with it.

Besides, I don't have to worry what other people think. They just assume she wants her pacifier.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Did I Ever Mention How Much I Love Wikipedia?

Today's a lazy day. Gray and cold and dreary in typical New England March-ness. I went to my usual list of bloggers in search of easy inspiration. It came to me from Mary-LUE, who tagged a few specific peeps for a meme, and then opened it up to Everyone. Well, I'm one of the "every," so I'm playing. Here goes:

1. Go to Wikipedia and type in your Birthday Month and day only.
July 30

2. List 3 Events that occurred that day.
1619 - In Jamestown, Virginia, the first representative assembly in the Americas, the House of Burgesses, convenes for the first time. I like the idea of sharing my birth date with this one.

1954 - Elvis Presley makes his debut as a public performer. Any friend of Johnny Cash is a friend of mine.

1975 - Jimmy Hoffa disappears from the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox restaurant in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, at about 2:30 p.m. He is never seen or heard from again. The mysterious 7/30.

3. List 2 important Birth days.
1863 - Henry Ford, American industrialist (d. 1947). You'd think that being born under the same stars would mean I'd share at least some of his efficiency and organization. But, no.

1947 - Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austrian-born American actor, body builder, and Governor of California. Another loveable Leo.

4. List 1 Death.
1898 - Otto von Bismarck, 1st Chancellor of the German Empire (b. 1815) This is the only name I recognized.

5. List a Holiday or Observance.
Vanuatu - Independence Day (formerly Anglo-Frech condominium of the New Hebrides). Vanu-what?

6. Tag 5 other bloggers.
I'm not going to force this on anyone else, but if you share the Wiki-love and are looking for some random facts to disseminate, then by all means, pick this one up. Okay, maybe I will force it on somebody: Linda, it's a meme that seems like a good match for you.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Boss Gets Demanding

After racking up almost two years on the job, The Boss is now comfortable in her position. She no longer feels the need to impress The Partner and I with her even-keeled temperament and sense of humor. Confident that we're not going to hit up for new opportunities, she has taken to ruling with an iron fist. In fact, she throws herself onto the floor and flails the clenched metal of her hands roughly every five minutes. It's tantrum time in the workplace.

I would be better prepared for all this if she hadn't been so darned nice up till now. Consistently pleasant. A joy to be around. As a newborn, she mostly slept and ate. As an infant, she slept, ate, and rolled around a little. Once mobile, she toddled with grace and dignity. Now she is four months removed from the nefarious age of two and suddenly decides she wants a head start on the villiany.

And as her subordinate, I have every reason to believe my performance review is going to suffer. It will look something like this, I imagine:

Ability to retrieve juice and cookies in a timely manner - does not meet expectations
Sensitivity to the unspoken or indecipherable whims of superiors - does not meet expectations
Oral presentations (i.e. reading the same book fifteen times in a row in order to stall bedtime) - does not meet expectations
Manual dexterity (pick up, put down, pick up, put down, pick up, put down) - does not meet expectations

Oh, well. It's not like I was going to get a raise, anyway.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

More About Moms Having Sex

Actually, this post has very little to do with moms and sex. But I am getting addicted to the Statcounter spike I've encountered ever since I employed those two terms in relation to each other a couple days ago in the title of my response to the Real Moms meme.

Yesterday this blog experienced the single largest number of unique hits it has ever known. All because of moms having sex.

What is it that a famous anthropologist once said? "Never doubt that a small group of moms having sex can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

I mean, if that's not the truth.

I'm going to go do my part to change the world.

Monday, March 19, 2007

One For the Books

After many months of secrecy, I can finally release the story of my just-printed book. This past Saturday, I attended the launch party for a new publishing company. Its first line, titled One True Romance, is a series of real life romances about engaged couples. It fits into the wedding planning market alongside photography as videography as a permanent marriage memento. Picture you and your other half on a Harlequin for all your friends and family to read.

I wrote the inaugural tome. Yup, I said it. I wrote a book. It is 120 pages of Boston-based reality, outfitted with all the trappings of a traditional romance novel. My name's right on the cover. My words lay prettily throughout. It is the centerpiece for the publishing venture's marketing campaign.

How 'bout them apples?

The best thing about writing a book is that it proves I can, well...write a book. What was once daunting to the degree of paralysis is now attainable. This particular effort was creative non-fiction, but it shows that my lifetime dream of weaving an imagined series of events into the pages of a novel doesn't have to remain subconscious.
As I try to come up with a plot, a bunch of characters, and a setting for the formless novel I've known I wanted to write since I was five years old, I can hold this little book in my hands and leaf through proof that I know how to tell a story. I know how to make a reader care that I'm telling it. I know how to put experience on a page so that it sticks.

As long as I keep writing fiction and don't hide behind the easy truth of these commissioned stories, this whole experience might be my biggest step yet toward becoming the author I've always wanted to be.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Not Buying It

The sale of our home fell through already. To all of you who told me from the beginning to be positive and upbeat about the whole process, and for those who tried to convince me that negativity does not sell houses, I respond with a hearty I told you so.

Looks like optimism doesn't cut checks, either.

I am just glad I only wasted about two weeks thinking things were actually going well.

On the buying side, we actually put an offer in on another house right before our own sale fell through. There was a Hubbard clause on the bid and we are still waiting to hear if the owners will entertain such an uncertain prospect. I have to keep reminding myself that I don't care anymore. Que sera, sera. We have a roof over our heads and solid walls surrounding. Everything else will eventually fall into place around us.

But there is something I can be upbeat about. Almost a month into the game, I am still managing to keep a clean house. It's all about momentum--that's what a friend/commenter once told me. "Cleaning - and the maintenance thereafter - is a product of momentum, not motivation," he said. "Once you have cleaned, you need to leverage that sense of accomplishment to another chore relatively soon."

And so, I'm off to fold the laundry. Happy St. Patrick's Day.

Friday, March 16, 2007

VisualDNA As I See It

I discovered this VisualDNA thing over at Whirlwind's blog today. I clicked on a picture that most represented me in a bunch of different categories and, voila, there was my personality, deconstructed. According to my VisualDNA, I:

~ Like to think differently, always from another perspective.
~ Have a high sex drive and appetite for "lurve."
~ Love to be in charge of where I'm going--the freedom of choosing my own direction.
~ Like to unwind after a long day--nothing beats relaxing the shoulders, loosening the tongue and letting the day go by.
~ Think of technology when I think of freedom.

Ah, technology. The freedom to bore untold numbers of people with my personality.

You know you want to do it, too.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Buying the Brooklyn Bridge

Now, I'm no control freak by any means. I'm pretty damn go-with-the-flowy. But the process of selling our house is driving even me crazy. Though we accepted our first offer after the house was on the market for just a week, that by no means indicates a smoothness to the proceedings.

I spoke this afternoon to our real estate agent, who informed me that our buyer is having trouble finding financing. As is the case with many home seekers looking in our starter price range, he needs 100% financing. On the heels of recent news in the national media outlets about mortgage lenders going belly up because of so many people defaulting on such loans, it's become more and more difficult to procure them. This buyer has a tiger of a mortgage broker working on his behalf, but it's still extremely uncertain.

Combine that with the fact that the buyer has only been at his current job for two weeks, and it becomes even less likely that a loan will come through. And so, we are in limbo. I guess you always are when you're selling your house, but now it's that much more obvious.

Our agent suggested that we not put in an offer on the house we're currently considering until at least next week, when we have a better idea if our own sale is going to go through or not. Frustrating, much? Yes, I think so.

It all comes down to the importance of not getting my hopes up. I wish this was a concept that didn't have to get reinforced every day. Luckily, there aren't any external factors forcing us to move quickly. The Partner's commute to his new job is perfectly doable. We know our house will sell eventually, even if it doesn't go to the first bidders. There are more houses going on the market each day for us to look at, and more buyers coming out with the spring thaw to melt into ours.

Like so many other big picture things, it's the complete and total not knowing that gets to me.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Can't Think, Brain Dumb, Inspiration Won't Come

How's this for irony? Kristen at Motherhood Uncensored put me on her list of Thinking Blogger awardees just as my last thought left my head.

Now I don't know what to say.*

*Except for "thank you, Kristen," obviously.

Monday, March 12, 2007

A Pit Bull Allergy

Next time I even think of bringing both the dog and The Boss on the trip to the veterinarian's office, I hope someone shoots me with a tranquilizer gun.

This afternoon I brought Roxie in for a skin condition that has rendered her itchy and reeking. We were not even through the door when she went all a-twitter, her paws tapping the linoleum at the sight and smell of the two other dogs in attendance. She was gagging against the pull of her leash as I tried to rein her in. Putting down The Boss, I fell into a chair and ordered my other baby to sit. She ignored me. I waited a few beats and said "sit" again. She continued to tap dance and retch. I pushed down her wiggle butt till a connection was made.

Then one of the other dogs must have moved, or yawned, or twitched a whisker. This set Roxie off again, and she darted to the side, almost decapitating The Boss with the taut line of her leash. Hysterics ensued. The Boss threw herself down on the floor and wailed. The dog opened her jaws in a high pitched, stretched out and sad sounding moan that no self respecting pit bull would dare let loose in public. We were ushered with haste, as we always are, to one of the unused examination rooms to sit out the 25 minute wait. Lobby pariahs, every time.

When the vet finally came in, she proceeded to stick long objects into my dog's ears, causing shrieks of pain that sent The Boss right back to Tantrum Town. I guess hearing her companion in pain is yet another thing that puts The Boss over the edge these days. She leaked tears onto my shoulder as I tried to help control Roxie with my free hand.

There were more tears during the rest of the visit, and loud wailing over which the vet had to scream in order to be heard. It was The Boss wailing, in case you thought I'd succumbed to the urge myself. Oh, how I wanted to. But I didn't.

I left (an hour and a half after I arrived) with steroids, anti-histamines, ear drops, and 18 pounds of $40 dog food. One employee walked the dog out and another carried the kibble. I trudged along with The Boss, who was over the last tantrum and was contentedly drooling on my shirt. My veins were tight with the pressure of my blood. My heart was pissed off. I thanked the vet assistants and sunk into the driver's seat, rummaging through my purse for no other reason than to just sit there for a minute.

Next time I'm getting a babysitter.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Still Looking

My hopes have been dashed. My heart, broken. The house I want so badly doesn't want me.

We submitted a low-ball offer and, though we still haven't gotten a formal response, our Realtor gleaned from a talk with the seller's agent that he is unlikely to come down as low as we'd need him to go. It's no shock, really. Our offer was $100k below asking price. The problem is that my imagination went ahead and moved in anyway, throwing open the shutters and slapping down a dog-paw Welcome mat in the brick entryway.

My imagination is a sucker.

We're going to look at two more houses over the next couple of days, and there's one we've already seen that we may very well bid on. The latter is a perfectly lovely; it's solid and unique and full of amenities. It's just that it doesn't inspire any new feelings in me and it doesn't remind me of old ones.

I think the problem is that I'm spoiled. By The Partner. You see, he was the first person I fell in love with, and I got him. I never had to settle for anything less than the perfect man for me.

He totally skewed my perspective.

But he reminds me, too, that the perfect house for me is not necessarily the perfect house for our family. And what's perfect for us may not be all that evident, either. As a new mother/father/daughter combo, we're collectively clueless.

So we'll continue to do what we've been doing: trying to figure it all out. And hoping that when we fail miserably, we can have fun doing it.

Friday, March 09, 2007

The Boss Out Sick

It's not too bad a cold, as far as those things go, but The Boss is run down. This morning while The Partner was making toast, he asked me if I heard The Boss coughing last night.

In yet another sign of bad mothering, I had to say no. I slept well.

"She was croaking like a frog," he said.

Today she is not croaking so much as mini-hacking. At breakfast, a Cheerio got mired in the booger glue of her upper lip. She didn't seem to notice as she continued to insert individual "o"s into her mouth. Again with the bad mothering, I laughed out loud.

Right now she's resigned herself to the couch, watching her new favorite DVD, Go Potty Go!. I have high hopes for this cartoon. Between that and the potty song I made up (P-O-T-T-Y to the tune of B-I-N-G-O), I'm saying potty prayers that she'll learn her way out of diapers fast.

Please excuse the poor photography. My artistic flair is limited to words.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Roxie's Recommendation

If any of you are not familiar with Ittybits & Pieces, now is the time to visit the blog. Toyfoto's two most recent posts discuss the death of the family dog, Maggie, and the effect of that loss on the rest of the household.

Bring Kleenex, or, at the very least, a highly absorbent shirt sleeve.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Boss Is In

Lately when I look at The Boss, I don't even recognize the little girl staring back at me. She's no longer a novelty in her cute, ill-fitting jeans. Instead, she fills out the denim and runs it ragged. Her face is taking kid-shape. She's sucking up experience and spitting it back out in the form of personality.

The Boss likes to put "back." Blocks are played with and returned to their box. She brings her unfinished cup of milk to the refrigerator when she's done and personally sees to it that the door is shut with a satisfied "closed!" Items she deems unnecessary are relegated to the garbage can. Just now she tried to throw out the newspaper before The Partner got his local fix. She is unlike I ever was: neat and focused. Maybe it's a phase and maybe it's not, but it is wholly unique to my frame of reference.

I suppose it stands to reason that she throws tantrums, too, when life hands her things that aren't easily assigned a proper place behind doors she can shut. Such situations are always exacerbated by the fact that her mind works faster than her tongue, and that my own mind is the furthest behind. She says what she means and means what she says, but I have no idea what she's talking about.

That's okay, though. It's all okay. We'll figure each other out as we go along.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Another Think Coming

Just when I was beginning to think this whole blog was devoid of thought, none other than Redneck Mommy comes around and bestows upon me the Thinking Blogger Award.

I would be flattered to have received this button from anyone

but I am tickled especially pink to have been tagged by T, a favorite blogger of mine and a fellow nose-picker on the playground of life. It's all part of the "5 Blogs That Make Me Think" meme started at The Thinking Blog. Thanks for thinking I think, T. I think you think, too.

Not for nothing, but "think" is one of those words that starts to look really funny when you see it written out more than once.

Anyhoo, it is now my sacred duty to pass the torch to five other bloggers I consider especially adept at running their gray matter through its paces. Thinking bloggers. That means different things to different people, but to me the title signifies writers with unique ways of articulating themselves while remaining addictively relatable. As I haven't been able to give my Bloglines its proper consideration for the past few days, I may not be up to date on those who have already been tagged as thinking bloggers. So, if this is redundant, just scratch another notch into your laptop and go back about your brilliant business. And if passing along memes isn't your style, no worries. Just know I'm thinking about your thinking.

Without further ado, here are 5 Blogs That Make Me Think:

Jocelyn's Stories

(This) Girl's Gone Child

Salad Days Chronicles

Memoir by Lauren

i obsess.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Caligula Contemporary

I fell in love today. I am aflutter with waterfront wonder.

The Partner came out at lunchtime to join my mother, myself and The Boss for a showing of a house that had looked appealing in its online listings. It was every bit as unique and remarkable in real life, I'm happy to report, albeit a bit more...spackled. And somewhat moldier. And shifty.

But don't let my realistic portrayal of this home's flaws give you the wrong impression. I'm seriously in love. Attracted as I am to grandiose imperfections, this place is nirvana. I feel like I did the day I first met The Partner in real life after having made his acquaintance via a random, fateful search of AOL user profiles.

For those wondering about the style of the home, I will tell you that I have coined it Caligula Contemporary. Built in the year of my birth, it's an homage to an expansive, party-loving lifestyle. There's a dock leading into a small pond where the owners of adjacent properties shine spotlights while neighbors ice skate (now) or swim (summer, glorious summer). There's a bar on the dock. There's a bar on the first floor of the house. There's a bar in the basement. There's a lot of pink tile and gusseted vinyl. There are huge windows and sliding glass doors opening to a three story deck overlooking the pond. There are rooms of unique shape and layout. I could go on and on, but I am a paranoid, jealous lover, and I do not want any competition.

We* are going to put in a lowball offer on account of the fact that it needs roughly $100k worth of renovations, and that's if nothing really major is wrong. We'll make the offer contingent upon a two week investigation of the property, which will involve an in-depth home inspection and consultation with a contractor.

I don't know if they'll take a low-ball offer. I don't know how lucky we'll be if they do. But I do know that while we were driving home after the showing, I drifted deeply into thought. I didn't notice our buyer's agent look over at me, but I heard the smile in her voice. "What are you thinking about?" she asked.

I gave her a sideways, sheepish look. I was busted. So I admitted it with a sigh.

"I was designing the party invitations in my head."

*I mean, after "we" discuss it this evening.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

A Celebration, Etc.

The Partner and I attended our close friends' wedding this weekend. Over the course of the three-day festivities, we stayed in contact with our Realtor, counter offering, re-countering, and finally accepting the bid on our house. The final paperwork has yet to be signed.

While I start to detox from the weekend, here's a picture that, while probably not worth a thousand words, will have to suffice for the purposes of this Sunday night blog post.
The Partners

Saturday, March 03, 2007

A Saturday Sell?

In a victory for positive thinkers everywhere, I have been knocked off my pedestal of pessimism.

Yes, you guessed it: we got an offer on our house! And a reasonable one, at that.

We're countering this afternoon with a price that meets them halfway.

Of course, I'm not getting my hopes up. Falling from that pessimistic pedestal just means I'm now more firmly grounded in reality. Feet on the earth, expectations in check.

But I'm not gonna lie to ya. I'm pretty damn excited.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

A Picture of My First Memory

I know this is my earliest memory because grandma died when I was two. Before that, she was frail on a living room recliner. There were plastic prongs in her nose. There was a long tube. She sat attached. I do not remember being unbelievably small, but I was.

I think they told me to give her a hug. I think I cowered. They pushed against my pull-back. I was crying. Grandma was dying.

I was two.