Archive for December, 2006

I am not a fan of resolutions.  Too much pinky swearing I’ll follow through and three days later I’m smoking crack topless in an el Camino.  I’m kidding of course.  It’s way too cold to smoke crack topless. This hatred of resolutions in no way keeps me from making mini-promises to myself as the year draws to an end, even as I admit that they are more like ‘let this be the year that I…’ than ‘this year I’m going to…’

Without further ado, here is my list of things to work on this year:

  1. Eating less meat.  I love meat, I really do, but I got really lazy over the last year with the non-meat eating and I want to get back to once or twice a week.
  2. Getting into some semblance of shape.  And not like I usually do (last Thursday) with the working on every part of my body and waking up in agony.  Proper-like this time.
  3. Learning the bass.  I like playing around on it, and I want to keep doing it.  I need to not get frustrated when I can’t bust out like John Paul Jones, because really, I’m a 33 year old picking up an instrument for the first time since piano in junior high.
  4. Getting published.  I was doing well with the sending out there for a minute, and now I have a piece sitting around collecting dust.  Not good, Jen.  Send it out again and again and again, and if it doesn’t fit anywhere, write something new.
  5. Finishing the short story I started.  ‘Nuff said.
  6. Find a career path and pursue it.  Whether I stick with the doula idea or go back to the copyediting one, I need to do something.

And then there are the hard and fast, resolution-like deals which I hesitate to mention because I have this jinx-like mentality that makes me feel like I’m screwed as soon as I say them out loud.  The big one is quitting smoking.  I hate that I smoke so much that I haven’t mentioned it very much online.  C and I are quitting for the New Year, and this simply has to be done.  The last time I tried (outside of pregnancy), I had a major breakdown, and I’m really really scared.  The other one is easier, but not really any less important since a fair chunk of last year was pretty hard in my marriage.  I need to remember that C and I are on the same team, no matter how much little things get to me and frustrate me.  I really do love him and I am lucky to have him, even when we’re driving each other crazy.  This last will be especially important as the two of us are cranking up a storm with the quitting smoking, and if I start bitching excessively, I’ll need a bitchslap.

That, my friends, is that.  I wish all of y’all a wonderful end of ’06 and look forward to seeing you in ’07!

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Spent almost all day yesterday in bed with killer headache.  Like makes you puke headache.  Terrible stuff, that.  Am tentatively feeling my way around this morning and so far so good.  I don’t know what the hell that sick crap was, but I’d like to not repeat it again.  Lucy was an angel and ‘read’ me books while I rested and made me pretend soup and cocoa and gave me a stuffed animal to cuddle.  She’s quite a fine little caregiver.   Look, only 2 days til 2007!

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Still recovering from the Xmess hysteria, but making some real progress, finally.  After a mini-panic attack on Tuesday about the state of the apartment (which was actually because of a death in the family but it took me an hour to figure that out because I’m quick like that) I buckled down yesterday and at least got Lucy’s room under control.

Does anyone else have anxiety about the sheer amount of *stuff* they own?  I was boxing up Lucy’s old toys and trying to find a place to store them, and my closet made me want to cry, her closet made me want to cry, our storage closet made me want to cry…I don’t feel like we consume a ton of stuff, but our space tells me different.  Maybe it’s just the season.  I think today I’m going to take apart Lucy’s closet and get the old car seat and strollers out of the way and bag up some old coats and stuff from the hall closet.  We never even go in there so there must be stuff I can donate someplace.  I don’t know if it’s the approaching New Year or if I’ve just reached my peak tolerance for crap, but this stuff has to go.  I’m trying not to let it really get to me, but I’m tired of looking around the apartment and feeling totally overwhelmed.

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It’s been a couple of busy days, so let’s see where to start. Christmas Eve was the jaunt to the MIL’s with the Italian in-laws. Lots of food. Tons of food in fact, most of which is in our fridge since they were leaving on Christmas for Austria. Lucy got a Leapster and an American Girl doll with, among others, an ice skating outfit and teeny skates. As a former skater, this was a definite warm fuzzy. But, of course, not as warm and fuzzy as the alpaca scarf for me from C’s uncle who lives in Chile. Which was sweet, but not as sweet as the box of Godiva truffles from C’s other uncle and aunt. Lucy pulled in an I love Elmo outfit (which is actually cute despite my cringing at the red monster from hell) and an alpaca tam and worry doll pin, and nesting dolls.

We got home, threw Lucy into bed, and dollhouse contruction commenced while Python played in the background. Or foreground as the case may be. After a couple of beers, C and I decided to open our goodies from each other and his sister. I think he liked the Arsenal jacket I got him, and I definitely loved the Maleficent pajamas from my SIL, but the biggest hit by far was me brand…new…cherry…red…Left handed bass guitar! Oh it rocks. Hard. I’ve always wanted to learn bass, and playing around with C’s one night led us both to realize that I play left-handed, bringing the official list of things I do lefty to batting, golfing, jumping/spinning in skating, and playing bass. Go figure.

Yesterday. Lucy woke up at around 8, and urged me out into the living room because she was hungry. She parked at the coffee table and gave her breakfast order. C sat down next to the dollhouse and stocking while I got her food ready, and we both stared at her for a few minutes before I finally asked her if she wanted to see if Santa had come. Chaos ensued.

It was probably for the best that there was little time to play with everything because, while we thought we had kept things pretty light, the pile of kid stuff was incredible. We got dressed, assured Lucy that there would be plenty of time to play with everything, and then headed out to the FIL’s for a lasagne feast. Which was delicious, and yielded another ton of leftovers. Came home, cleaned up a bit, and then had the conference call gift opening with my family. Who are really hard to follow on speaker because everyone is constantly making smart-aleck comments and making everyone else laugh. It was good to hear everyone’s voices, though, and sort of sad to get off the phone after it was over. I go into mute mode on conference calls and so every ten minutes or so someone had to ask if I was still there 🙂

I was in bed by 10 and happy to be so. Today, I’m going to eat. And then eat some more. And then watch Arsenal, and eat some more. Anyone want to come over for leftovers? We have roast beast, ham, lasagne, truffles, green beans, broccoli, and countless other goodies!

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Friday was the great haul out for C’s birthday dinner, and let me tell ya–a restaurant where men bring meat on a stick to your table is heaven on earth.  Plus, buffet!  I’ve never eaten so much in my life.  Collard greens, empanadas, calamari, lamb, kebob, skirt steak, sausage, turkey wrapped in bacon.  Wash it down with a beer, and then top off with flan and a few sips of Cabernet.  It was as much meat as I eat in a month, but boy was it delicious.  Dear God.  All that was missing was a few nubile boys to feed me grapes while I reclined.

Lucy has recovered from her cold, which she thoughtfully passed on to C and I, so we’ve been keeping it pretty low-key around here.  My mom got C a few Monty Python movies for his b-day so we watched The Life of Brian last night which somehow I had never seen before.  We finally own The Holy Grail as well, so I think perhaps we’ll watch that tonight as we assemble the Prodigal Dollhouse.  Instant holiday spirit.

Today is the MIL’s for another meat glut with the Italian in-laws, and then tomorrow out for a low key lasagne glut with the atheist in-laws.  And then, Tuesday, is NOTHING.  I can’t wait for NOTHING.  I’m all about folks feeding me and entertaining my kid, but all I want to do is watch Python and blow my nose.

Whatever you’re celebrating, I hope you all have a glorious holiday with lots of goodies and love and peace.  So many of you have become an important part of my life that it feels kind of funny that I can’t invite you over for drinks and movies.

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Me and my gal

Tagged by Venessa to do a self-portrait post.

Lucy and Mommy Here we are in our unshowered, around the house glory.  It’s been a craft, wrap and clean-up sort of day, and my head is filled with the mucuous.

I’m not tagging anyone this time around–if you want to, feel free to post your own self-portraits.

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I’m not cranky today!

Went to the Guggenheim for the El Greco to Picasso exhibit, which is fabulous by the way.  Hit up the gift store for a few tokens to replace the missing presents for Lucy, and when we got home, lo and behold…

The dollhouse is on the premises!

I’m very relieved.   And tired and hungry, but mostly relieved.  I should’ve known that as soon as I bought more presents it would get here, though.

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‘Look, Mommy, I’m throwing horns.’  She waggles her tongue between her fingers, and then says, ‘Now are you feeling better Mommy?’  Yes, sweetie, I really am.  Even my four year old is more metal than Lars.
After spending the day feeling extraordinarily sorry for myself while trying to get laundry done and slow the coughing child down to a paler blue streak, I pop onto Jonathan Carroll’s blog and find this.   It’s so nice to see that after umpteen beautiful books, he still finds gems about writing.  If you haven’t read anything of his, do so immediately.  I recommend Outside the Dog Museum and The Land of Laughs quite highly.

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I was going to say screaming ball of crank, but that implies more energy than I currently possess.

Last night I got up out of bed to get an extra pillow.  Needless to say, because I neglected to put my glasses on, I slipped on a wooden pulltoy and landed with my elbow, wrist and hip on the parquet floor.  That shit hurts.

I wake up this morning, and check my email to find that the dollhouse family I ordered has been cancelled.  Brilliant.

Then I check my other email to find that my FIL suggests we leave our house at 10AM on Christmas Day to come to his house.  No freaking way, dude.  I am not committing to getting a 4 year old her stocking, breakfast, and dressed for a visit by 10 in the morning. Do I sound a little scrooge-like?

So, here’s the real rundown.  C is in the middle of finals, which has thrown a big ole monkeywrench in the holiday preparations.  I have received in the post a grand total of 2 of the zillion things I ordered for presents.  C’s birthday is Xmas Eve.  What this means, roughly is this:

  • Any presents that don’t arrive on time, folks are going to have to wait for because I can’t get out to shop before Saturday and I am not shopping two days before Xmas, sorry.
  • Over the course of the week, we will have traipsed to a Hanukkah party in Manhattan, C’s birthday dinner in Jersey, Xmas Eve at the MIL’s, Xmas Day at the FIL’s in Jersey.  Which means that my desire to create a holiday tradition for our family at our house?  Sorry Jen.  Nobody cares about that but you.  Have fun with that.
  • Since the computer is centrally located in our living room, the likelihood of getting the place cleaned up enough to take pictures of Lucy while she opens her stocking in the 45 minutes we have set aside to do that is like nil.
  • My dreams of having a beautiful, festive, grown-up holiday wherein I am totally on top of everything and can sit back and enjoy the glories of the season or what-the-fuck-ever are pretty damn funny right now.
  • I spend most of every morning this week wanting to cry because somehow it’s all my fault and I’m being punished for something and nobody cares and oh poor me and I think next comes really bad poetry about how dark and bleak the world is.  Then I crown myself queen of drama and do the dishes.

I feel like the universe has reached out and melvined me and I just want to be jolly for a day, dammit.

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Last week I ordered the dollhouse we’re giving Lucy for Christmas.  It still hasn’t shipped.  I’m checking my account page every hour to see if it’s gone yet, and nothing.  I’m starting to freak out.  Ditto for the dollhouse family I ordered.  And, yes, I’m starting to feel like the worst mommy ever.

We’ve deliberately chosen to go lighter on the presents this year since Lucy usually gets too freaking much and our apartment is filling up rapidly.  This seemed like a great idea last week.  This week I am envisioning my child waking up bright and early on Xmas morning, opening her stocking, and then having to explain to her that Mommy and Daddy really did get her presents, they just aren’t here yet.  How on earth do I do that when freaking Santa can get presents to every kid in the world with no problem?  ‘Sorry sweetie, the US Postal Service is slower than reindeer-drawn sleighs?’  Ugh.

In other shipping woes, the present I got for C, paid for expedited delivery and all, isn’t here yet either.  It’s definitely been more than two days since I got *that* shipping notification.  And the presents for my neice and nephew?  May be late also.  Shipping.  Dude, I fucked up this holiday but good.  And a few days ago?  I was feeling all smug about being done with the shopping so early.  Thank you, Shipping Gods, for the cosmic bitchslap.  Really.  Holidays don’t give me enough angst in and of themselves.

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