Saturday, November 28, 2009

things about thanksgiving that were awesome

  • when i told maggie i brought her friend M, she looked up at me and said, "oh, thank you!" after that she pretty much followed her around her all day long, being sweet.
  • my mom agreed to come to D's family thanksgiving on sunday! i was honestly not expecting that. she'll get to meet her future in-laws and i will get to prove i wasn't raised by wolves. win win!
  • the bulldog won the non-sporting group at the national dog show!
  • the kid's and D waved at santa with me at the end of the macy's parade. i know it's terribly hokey, but in my family you have to wave at santa at the end of the parade or else you can count on a horrible holiday season. we are strangely supersitious about that sort of thing.
  • the kid's watched the parade with me! they've never done that before. i'm sure parts of it they didn't dig, but they indulged me.
  • getting new books to read from mom's collection. that's one thing i love about going home, going through the book pile for new things to read.
  • AND at D's family celebration, there were EIGHT kinds of pie. eight! dear diary, i love pie.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

holiday highs and lows

as one can imagine, i am kind of dreading the holiday season, as well as looking forward to it. the fucked up part of all that is how literally one moment i'm excited about cooking stuff and seeing my family and having drinks and delicious nibbles, and the next i'm weeping and worried about how the hell we're going to have thanksgiving without pop. as for christmas, well, i can't even begin to consider how we're going to handle that. i figure i'll start with this holiday and then see how it goes. maybe once you get one under your belt the next is easier? maybe i'll know how much booze to stock up on (or to avoid)? perhaps santa will put some valium in my stocking? i just don't know. happy times just seem extra bittersweet now, which is the best way to explain how i'm feeling. i don't expect to make it through the next few days without some tears, but hopefully i can make it to a quiet corner or bathroom in time, and hopefully i won't bum anyone out.

the way i see it, if it all crashes and burns and i start to fail at all this holiday stuff, then i will just go all scrooge/grinch on everyone's ass and that will be it. i'm so glad pop culture has created and archtype just for me! (sarcasm, of course. a little.)

edited to add:
i called my mom tonight, and had a tiny, itsy-bitsy freak out on her. hearing that i'm not the only one feeling this way, while i knew that in the rational part of my brain, made all the difference. i'll probably still be more emotional than i'd like for the rest of the week, but i'm not nearly as anxious as i was before i called. i had some time, i did some cooking, i had a good talk with mom and my man, and i feel ready to handle the holiday. or rather, more ready. i'll still miss my pop, and have a moment or two of melancholy (or five or six) but i'm a lot less worried about ruining the holiday or freaking anyone out. this holiday will be different, of course, but i'll still be with my family and we'll still eat crazy amounts of fowl and wave at santa at the end of the macy's parade.

parent-teacher conferences;

or one reason it's awesome being a pseudo-parent
the past few weeks i've gotten to go to both kid's parent-teacher conferences. now, we all know i think the kids are smart and funny and interesting people, (and they draw great photos, they tell the best jokes, and you should see them whip up a bowl of ramen!) but going to those conferences was great because their teachers all feel the same way. i got to bask in the accolades without actually having to earn them! i know it's ridiculous, and that D did all the hard work and heavy lifting, but i can't help but feel kind of proud when someone says, "i really enjoy having him/her in class," "as you can see, their grades are excellent" or my favorite, "whatever you're doing, keep it up!" maybe next year i'll feel like i put more time into actual parenting, instead of being mainly a sideline player and cheerleader, but then again, maybe not. the kids are fine, they were doing well before i ever entered the scene, and as far as school goes, both kids appear to enjoy it and do a wonderful job making sure their stuff gets done. whatever D's doing, he should totally keep it up (and i'll still do whatever it is i'm doing, and try to be a less-than-evil stepmother). don't think that means i won't attend the conferences, though; free cookies and coffee and a chance to hear how amazing my future step-kids are is a good time.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

is it just me or does the film "the blindside" look kinda, sorta, maybe a little ridiculous? affluent, white family adopts big black kid, turns him into an awesome football player, they become a "family" and learn "valuable lessons" about each other, and we're all supposed to be heart-warmed? makes me feel funny. also, i used to totally dig sandra bullock, but she married a douchebag and has made more treacle than movies lately.

this all just makes me miss marissa tomei.

strike out!

i love library thing's early reviewer program. by signing up and writing reviews of books i read, i can angle to have books sent to me by publishers, which i then read and review on the site (or anywhere else, for that matter). for the most part, i've recieved books i've enjoyed. one or two kind of missed the mark, but nothing had been terrible until i got my latest book.

damn, it's bad. like seriously, i hate picking it up, awful. some books have clumsy beginnings, or some start out a bit confusing until you get the gist of what's going on, so when i found myself not enjoying the book right away i thought i would give it some time to get better, or to redeem itself in some way. almost 100 pages in, and i still hate it. the writing is choppy and reads like an action movie on speed (always something dramatic is happening!), there hasn't been any real plot laid out except there are three characters we're supposed to care about and that the badness is out to get them. i shit you not, my friends, it is actually referred to as "the badness" or sometimes "the Badness" in the book. i know these three characters are somehow related or connected to each other, but not how. so much time has been spent on crazy action without explantion that i don't know why anything is happening, what exactly is happening, or why i should care. the action at this point is tedious and i find myself just hoping the badness swallows everyone up so i can finish and just review the damn thing.

two hundred pages left to go, and when (or if) i do finish it, i promise to let you know what the book is called, how miserable it was reading it, and why you should steer clear of it. it's so rare that i have this reaction to a book, that i just had to share.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

civic pride

we all know i love my car; while i miss my old school honda civic, the rocket, all the time, my new little civic is a nice car. (before i missed the rocket i missed my dear abby.) we get along well, she doesn't use a ton of gas, she's zippy when she needs to be, and a lovely shade of deepest plum. unlike civics of old, though, she's got all sorts of niggling little things going all wrong, all at once. my weatherstripping seems to be shot and has actually developed a leak (!), and the condensation on the windows in the morning is hellish. i actually had to buy some of those humidity suckers to hang up to make it bearable! both the passenger and driver's side automatic windows are also starting to get fussy. don't try rolling your window down if it's too cold, because it won't roll back up! they've gotten stuck a few times, and i had to gently wiggle them upward with my hand while trying to flip the switch to start the motor. i'm pretty sure if not this year, then soon, i'm going to need a new timing belt. last year i bought two new tires because of the snow and because they were too worn down, but i still have two tires that also need to be replaced. the upholstery over the rear seats is beginning to pull away from the ceiling. i starting thinking today about all the things that need to be done and felt like hyperventilating. i know i just have to work on things one at a time, and in the order of most importance, but damn! i hate to say it, but i feel like hondas were built sturdier back in the day. this is the first car i've ever had that was born after the year 2000, and it has more stupid little things wrong than all my older, trashy cars. or maybe it's just different stuff and while i'm irritated now by the dampness in my car, i do remember my youth and driving around with a flashlight because my dashboard wouldn't light up or the car whose solenoid i constantly had to tap gently or else it wouldn't start. maybe i'm just too old to find potential hazards funny like i used to. either way, i'm going to need to hunt down some weatherstripping because the rainy season has begun and i'm not so sure Moldy Carpet will go well with the Peachy Peach scent.

Monday, November 16, 2009

hey, guess what?

i had a good cry and felt better.

i also drove out to the island today to sneak my mother's birthday present into her house, along with some pretty flowers, had a lunch of mussels with my man and a nice drive. mom was crazy surprised about her present being there when she got home, and sounded honestly pleased when i talked to her tonight.

that also made me feel good. i'm going to go knit and watch the history channel with D now, and eat some goldfish crackers. okay!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

maybe i'm premenstrual, maybe i'm adjusting to the fall gloom, maybe i'm just having a day, but lately i just feel so blah. sad and down around the mouth, missing my dad and the way things were before he died, wondering if i'll ever get a handle on this grief and start doing something beside stagnate ever again. i don't make anything, i could spend all day every day napping, and if it isn't salty or sweet i don't want to eat it. perhaps this irritation at the way things currently are means i'm going to shake myself out of it sooner rather than later, but honestly, right now i'm just annoyed with me and my life. i feel short tempered and then guilty about being snappish, tired and then restless. i want to go out, then i do and i hate it. i want to work when i'm at home, and when i'm at work i want to be home. i'm contrary and even i don't want to hear my bitching. i'm hoping that by just saying it out loud, writing it down, getting it out of my head might help. i know i'm wallowing in it, i know it's self-indulgent to even blog about it (but what is a blog but self-indulgence?), i just feel out of it. i really, honestly, miss my pop. i'm not trying to get sympathy, i'm not trying to milk it, it's just always there. at times more sharply than others. does it still hurt so bad because i hate crying about it and try not to? would it matter at all if i tried to cry it all out? i don't even know that's a possibility.

my relationship with my mom and sister are like entirely new creatures as well. i don't even feel like i have them to fall back on. i have this terrible feeling they don't like me any more than i do. on my birthday my sister didn't even bother calling, and my mother was annoyed with me and ended my phone call with an "okay, i'll talk to you later." never an "i love you" anymore. thanksgiving already feels like it's going to be tense and possibly unpleasant. i don't even know what they're going through, how i've offended, or if i even have; there's always the chance that our own individual griefs are just taking us in different directions. what's hard about that is i always thought i'd have them. i thought i would be able to talk to them and they would know what i was going through, i expected us to band together and face this head on together. like all things i have learned from tv, it's not what i thought it was. pop getting sick didn't mean we had deep talks about life and reconcile before he died. there were very few, if any, hallmark moments. the aftermath of his death is no different. my family isn't the same anymore. i know and understand that's normal, the rational part of my brain can do the math and see how natural this is, but it still hurts me in a way i could have never forseen.

this is all very one-sided, you know. what my mother and sister are going through are unknown to me. there's a good chance i'm so stuck in my own head, my own life, that i'm being a terrible sister and daughter. i know are there are things i could be doing to make this better, i know that not saying some of this out loud to them isn't healthy or constructive; but as much as i hurt now, i'm terrified of doing something that would permanently alter our relationship in a bad way. i don't want to risk losing them altogether, and at this point that feels like a very real possibility. it's just not a risk i'm willing to take. things aren't unbearable, things aren't great, i'm getting chubbier and sadder, but i'm not at rock bottom. for now that's going to have to cheer me up. that and andrew wk's tweets. damn, i love those things.

Monday, November 09, 2009


lately i am all about hanging out at the house. i have pretty much no stories to amuse you with, as all i do is cook and read and hang out. boring! to further my hermitude, i bought these portable mp3 speakers. it's a clever design; the speakers are set on the outside of a little hard-case, you unzip the case, plug your mp3 player in and turn it on, and you can listen to your music wherever. i use mine mainly for podcasts; i've been hooked on pseudopod for quite some time, but i've also fallen victim to the sister podcasts, escape pod and podCastle. wiretap is also a podcast on iTunes now, and we all know how much i love jonathan goldstein. in honor of fall, i'm also re-reading a whole lot of the little house books, and baking too many cookies. i try to pretend that the cookies are trial runs of things i might make for the holidays, but in reality it's just a reaction to the darkening days and rain. a house that's warm and smells of vanilla and cookie is infinitely more cheerful in the dark than one that smells like green salad. true story.