Shiny Happy Non Compos Mentis Mama

September 17, 2009

It’s pretty obvious I don’t post to this blog anymore…here’s my active blog, please stop by!



Shiny newness–let’s try this again

January 23, 2008

Apparently, there hasn’t been anything to say in the past, oh, year or so.

You would think that, anyway, considering the stark silence around these parts. 2007 was pretty much the antithesis of shiny happiness for me. I felt like I was Lamaze breathing for an entire year, desperate for a birth but finding nothing more than interminable, sweaty hyperventilation. There was also that little problem of writer’s block, that translated to everything involving the application of words to any sort of tangible existence. Even checks. It’s like my hand went on strike for an entire year, refusing to form symbols that anyone could read.

Now, January has rolled around again. I laugh at the “Good Reads for July” sidebar. I wish it were July, or at least that warm. I’ve been freezing to my very bones, trying to ride out another winter with a semblance of a smile on my face. I have decided that 2008 will be a good year. A year of growth, change, evolution. I’ve already started off on the right foot–I landed a new and better job that started on the 8th of the year. I can now proudly call myself  Art Director, which is what I am for a new newspaper here in the City Different. What a long strange trip it’s been, to this point. I’m still teaching, which is something I wasn’t doing last time I posted so, really, it’s new news, isn’t it? But that’s it. No more admissions. No more headless chickening it through my unending workday. Not that this new gig doesn’t have the potential for similar madness–it does. I can see the possibilities, especially as we get closer to deadline with the inaugural issue.

But for now, it’s shiny happy newness. 2008 style.

Bring it on.



February 28, 2007

I am sitting up way past bedtime, my head abuzz, sleep impossible. My doc upped my dose of Wellbutrin today, perhaps that’s it. I’m Generation RX I am, Generation RX I am I am….

Pink Floyd serenades me right now and indeed I do feel like I’m on the dark side of the moon. There’s someone in my head but it’s not me….

My whole shiny happiness has been upended. I am recently separated from my husband (see cast of characters for a still-relevant description of him) and on my own with the kids most nights while we both reassess our lives as individuals, as a couple, as parents. The whole dynamic that created stasis and chaos in our family (you thought it was all shiny happy??) has got to stop. STOP. We both know and accept this, but, of course, changing old patterns, habits….easier said than done. I’m clinically depressed, and convinced as well that he is too (though he hasn’t been diagnosed), and we both pretty much hate our jobs. Our house is too small, the backyard is laced with landmines of dog shit, and we can’t seem to overcome the living paycheck to paycheck disease that admittedly afflicts many many people.

I want a bigger house and chickens. I want horses and a proper vegetable garden. Dammit.

And though I am, by nature, a diehard idealist, I’m not looking for perfection. I’m not under any delusion that separation and working on our own shit will mean that he and I never fight. Never fighting isn’t even the goal, although I used to believe it was. My former husband and I pretty much never fought past the first couple of years of our marriage. Of course, he was an alcoholic who couldn’t hold a decent job, so I guess we had our problems. But I digress.

I just want to spend my time creating. I want to find and explore something bigger than myself. A desk job followed by the mundane evening ritual (homeworkdinnerbathbed…) is positively demolishing my soul. I want to see that edge…you know, the EDGE. This is all too safe and suburban. A good friend of mine is helping put an end to FGM in Africa thanks to a job I helped her get at the place where I USED to work. And me? My job got phased out and I landed up using a business loan to buy groceries until my current employer finally got around to hiring me. $5000 later, we made it, but I’m still paying off last summer. Bitter? Me?

No, just tired of the static, the uninspiring.



February 22, 2007

I’m straddling the boundary of healthy and sick. Fortunately, I am losing my voice. That will likely prove helpful at work tomorrow since I’m second in line to answer the phones. Unfortunately, my throat hurts. I’m not a big fan of pain, although by the measure I use when something hurts (labor) it’s practically nothing. Fortunately, I don’t have a fever. Fever slays me, muddies my thoughts, lands me flat in bed.

Unfortunately, I can still hear every little goddamn noise that reverberates on the walls of this house. This teensy tiny house is a veritable conductor of sound. I live in nearly constant noise pollution. Long ago, we got rid of the old fridge that sounded like it was getting ready to blast off every time the motor kicked in. Then I went and birthed a kid who now who has an affinity for putting every nerve in my body on absolute edge all the time. When he’s angry, he likes to scream. I’m not talking a crying scream, but a red-in-the-face-fuck-you-world sort of scream that makes your head throb. I’m pretty sure he can be heard in at least four states.

Tonight I caught myself muttering something about selling him to the gypsies…and about gagged. So old fashioned, that remark. I’d rather set him out back and see how he fares in the cold dark of our rural environs. Go live with the coyotes! I want to scream back at him. Alternately, I want to quietly put on my coat, step into my vintage Sorels, and start walking. Walk until my legs give out from beneath me.

Anything but face a raging two-year old in our house that echoes with absolute psychosis tonight.

And tonight wasn’t as insane as some.


Small things

February 1, 2007

The world is iced over after yet another snowstorm and I am struggling with a head cold. For the past month I have felt unmoored and scattered. Too much happening all at once, too much noise, too much responsibility. I called in sick to work today and if the phone had not kept interrupting me I would likely be asleep right now instead of marking this first day of February with a post (finally) in my happy chaotic and sparse blog.

Yesterday, Chiara was upset by the fact that she forgot her Neopet for “Share,” which is her class’s version of show and tell. I watched in the rearview mirror as her face crumpled and her eyes darted around in search of something else to share with the class. She cried, for just a moment, then began rustling around in her backpack. When I dropped her off at school she told me, with relief in her voice, that she had found something. She held it up for me to inspect, a big smile spreading across her face. She had decided to share an oversized bobby pin.

Moments like that remind me of why I signed up for this parenting gig in the first place.


From the Vault: Experiment log, June 17th, 2005

January 7, 2007

Deep thoughts, by Graysen Riedel

By Graysen Riedel
Age 12 months, 13 days

1. If you dip your sister’s Powerpuff Girls sock in the toilet and then suck on it, Mommy will tell you that this is socially unacceptable behavior and remove you from the bathroom.

2. If you suck on a piece of dog food and then put the piece of dog food in the empty dryer, Mommy will tell you no and remove it from said appliance.

3. If you try to remove clothing from the dryer while Mommy is loading it, Mommy will again tell you no but this time insist that said items remain in said appliance.
Conclusion: some wet items are acceptable for insertion into dryer, some are not. More tests are necessary to ascertain appropriateness of a range of items for drying.

4. If you yank on wire of unknown (even to Mommy) usefulness attached diagonally across inside of front screen door so that end of wire snaps away from fastener, Mommy will tell you that you are a “destructo boy” and remove sharp end of wire from your grasp.
Conclusion: research about the grammatical accuracy of “destructo” is necessary, as is further study of functionality of wire (which, it is important to note, Daddy reattached upon his return home in the evening).

5. If you try to nurse and suck on your index finger at the same time, Mommy will announce that you have made her nipples “mincemeat.”
Conclusion: must ascertain definition of “mincemeat.”

6. Due to diminutive size, it is acceptable to pair “cute cute Uncle Cletus” shirt with orange kaleidoscope diaper cover, eschewing pants. If you decide, however, to sport such attire for any length of time, you can expect the following:
a. For Mommy to grab her “camera” and begin acting insanely happy. The focus of her happiness, when the “camera” is in her hands, will appear to be directed at you and have something to do with aforementioned ensemble. Acceptable reaction to Mommy’s insanity is to smile and look “cute cute” (as in cute cute Uncle Cletus shirt). Due to diminished attention span (which correlates with age—further testing on this connection is desirable), turning your butt to the camera and crawling away to seek out more stimulating experiences (like the fun game called “How Close Can We Get To Mommy’s Flowers Before She Reacts!”) is acceptable (and desirable, as well).

7. If Mommy makes a barricade with the dining chairs, in the hopes that you will no longer be able to eat handfuls of the delectable potting soil found in the pot with the curiously waxy plant growing by the front window, your goal should be to slip beneath the rungs of said chairs to further research the necessity of aforementioned barricade. This is a primarily psychological experiment. Closely observe Mommy’s reaction when she notices you on the other side of her carefully constructed barrier. Note: her reaction will be more striking if you do the following after infiltrating the forbidden zone:
a. pull a smallish handful of dirt out of the pot and spread it liberally on the floor (particularly the rug beneath the dining table).
b. eat enough of the soil to develop a brown beard (refer to Daddy for details on this peculiarity) at least below your lower lip, if not all the way down your chin. A sheen of saliva on your skin prior to application of soil is helpful in enhancing the appearance of the “beard.”
c. if you are lucky enough to locate another forbidden object on the floor near the plant, make haste in getting it to your mouth. An old dryer sheet works nicely here, ensuring the dramatic quality of Mommy’s initial reaction.
d. When you are noticed, smile and giggle. These two behavioral elements will ensure that Mommy cannot get “mad” about your experiment. Second reason Mommy is unlikely to react to experiments with anger: see above description reading “age 12 months, 13 days.” Conclusion about this: Mommy is an ageist and a pushover. Further experiments are needed to test this conclusion over time. Say…the next 17 years.


Uberlist, 2007

January 7, 2007

The year is nearly a week old and we’re still frozen beneath the weight of a storm that dumped about 30 inches on us.

Our roof has protested, and the sound of water dripping in the dining room pervades the entire house. It feels like Chinese water torture but we try to remember that we did always want a fountain.

As is tradition, I have been thinking about what 2007 will hold for us. 2006 pretty much sucked so we’re hoping for better. I resist, however, making resolutions. Perhaps it’s because they’re so cliche or perhaps it’s because I never keep them anyway so why not save myself the personal disappointment. But then I read about the idea of an Uberlist at Mama Says Om: http://www.mamasaysom.com/

And, of course, I couldn’t resist.

Here, then, is mine, though perhaps not as uber as it could be. I anticipate many interruptions from his grumpiness, Sir Gray-Gray, who has been positively fractious today due to cabin fever.

Without further ado:

1. I will assess my career goals and figure out how to fit in the following: full-time work at Desert Academy as assistant to admissions and the business office (also, international student point person, standardized testing coordinator, and “Desert Wear” store operator); photography for various clients and my own self; writing (since I’m in a writing group again, and thus should really be writing stuff to share); my aspirations toward jewelry making that distract me greatly, particularly while driving home from work; finishing my BA someday before I die. Or turn 40.

2. I will make sure I get all the paperwork done so that Soren can start 7th grade at Desert in the fall. I already shudder to think of the countless hours this will take.

3. Well, I mentioned writing but would like to expound on that. I would like to actually make headway on my story. That I cannot discuss further, at least until I make some headway on it.

4. Learn to love cooking (I consider this goal to be highly unattainable).

5. Learn Spanish beyond my poquito grasp of various ways to tell people off.

6. Take horseback riding lessons to make the whole f’ing saddle debacle over Xmas worth my while after all (more on that at a later date).

7. Read read read. Don’t foresee any problem keeping this one.

8. I don’t know.

9. Try to overcome my writer’s block that has become chronic.

10. Assimilate the truth: that writer’s block is a myth and I’m just an f’ing procrastinator.

11. Learn how to actually save money.

12. Learn how to not spend the money I actually learn how to save (assuming I make good on goal number 11).

13. I don’t know.

14. Turn 35 gracefully.

15. Get a new camera.

Okay, no interruptions of my time here aside from my own brain farts. My mind is drifting off in several directions at once–a chronic problem with me. I could, in fact, call it an uber problem.

There’s my list. For now.