Wednesday, November 27, 2002

It's Back!!! And This Time It's...

Isabel? The count now for my little family of five is, Stomach Bug: 2; Head Cold: 3. This is the first time Isabel has ever really had a stomach virus. For this, I am profoundly grateful. Unfortunately, the suffering P-man has been stricken, leaving me to prepare two pies, one apple and one pumpkin; a batch of cookies, snickerdoodles probably since the oatmeal ones came out rather flat and awfully crumbly; pumpkin muffins for breakfast tomorrow, and a partridge in a pear tree. Did I mention it's nearly midnight and I'm only half finished? Or that I have birthday-gift wrapping, kids' overnight bag-packing and a hell of a pile of laundry to do? Four "days off," my ass. Today I had to go purchase insurance for the "Handbasket" (see below; it's the minivan's new name) and the clerk put "housewife" as my occupation. It just sounds so...leisurely. As if.

And all I've really wanted to do all day is work on a scarf for my ex-mother-in-law, Lily. It's a mostly-mohair blend I picked up at ARC in cream, gold, olive, gray and a pretty pale turquoise.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Tomorrow Never Happens

I've just spent more time than I care to consider at Google trying to find a website that will show me how to reweave small holes in sweaters. I'm sure the problem is that I'm not phrasing the question correctly-I have trouble operating the phone book, too. Should I just close my eyes and think of Kitchener? How hard can it be? I mean, I know how to knit, right? Please don't bother referring me to my local library. I owe them a pile of money and soon they will be sending guys to break my kneecaps. (I think they are taking lessons from the Student Loan people.) I have this Freudian thing where subconsciously I feel so guilty about reading all those books for free that I am compelled to return them extremely late and run up astronomical late fees. Seriously, if we had invested all the money I've paid the library, we could retire as millionaires.

Monday, November 25, 2002

Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves...

Isn't it so great when you thought you could never learn something but then, you do? I guess there's life in the old girl yet. Everyone visit holy shenanigans and send white light. This is one sister who needs our mojo.

48. I love to say the word "Dickensian." (Thanks Alison)
49. I hate to go to bed but I loooove to sleep.
50. I still find it very difficult to say no to my mother.

Where are we going and why am I in this handbasket?

I did all this stuff almost by myself. Seriously, with only a tiny bit of help from P-man! I am ridiculously pleased with myself.

Sunday, November 24, 2002

Hail, the Conquering Hero

The long-awaited return of ...

"100 Things You Could Have Lived Your Life Without Knowing About Gwyn"


41. I really, really, really love Christmas carols. Like bordering-on-obsession love. Like the-minute-Halloween-is-over love. My personal favorites are "Silent Night" and "Winter Wonderland." Here are loads of lyrics. And this totally takes the piss out of "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer." Go visit Marilyn and check out her fantabulous knitting version of "Santa Baby."

42. I have a really hard time deciding on a favorite color. I'm a 64-box of Crayolas girl, what can I say. This is more relevant than you might think, because anyone who has spent more than half-an-hour with a 3-year-old knows you are not allowed to say "I don't know" when asked your favorite color. Much drama ensues.

43. I am nothing if not spontaneous.

44. I dream in color. (Why bother dreaming if it isn't in color?)

45. I'm really shy.

46. I wish Anne Lamott and Ariel Gore lived on my street.

47. I have a particularly overactive imagination.

This minivan thing rocks! At just a little under 5 grand, it ranks as the most costly thing I've ever owned. I feel partly invincible, like I could carry all my possessions around with me and perhaps live in the minivan if necessary, and partly terrified, because we sort of shot our wad on the van itself so if it breaks down or I wreck it it will simply be a very expensive fort.

So, Teddy is a rolling stone, he is. We used to joke that Alice would be a really late crawler because she just rolled everywhere she needed to be. Teddy is only rolling around to get a better view of whatever action is happening, but my little man is a mover and a shaker now. He is the one who will be my comfort in my old age, I think. Sometimes he cries just because I've left the room, and that sucks for the patient P-man(who was also puked on persistently by his precious Princess Thursday), but I kinda like it. He's my boy.

Last night Brea and I were picked up by a roving band of United baggage handlers and went midnight bowling with them. I dig spontaneity. I also suck really, really bad at bowling. I like to use the lightest ball I can find, like a 6, and they have such small holes ('cause, doh! they're for kids) that even my tiny hands get stuck. Heavier bowling balls threaten to send me down the lane with them.

I have at least six hats to do for my family for Christmas. I've done four for my own personal tribe, but I really wish I had the time and the money to knit the sort of garments everyone ought to receive for Christmas. My kid sisters would be expecially fun to knit for. No matter how cropped the sweater, how fuzzy the mohair or how loud the color, they are really trendy in a cute way. I could knit stuff for them that I'd never wear. That leafy cardi in the winter Interweave? It totally screams my ex-mother-in-law. Well, maybe not screams, more like states very firmly in a pleasant voice. She has been so lovely to us this year, too, but even if I worked on nothing else until the big day I wouldn't get it done.

I've never really come to terms with the fact that I will not be able to read every book I want to in a normal human lifespan. Now I have to accept that I can't knit every sweater that catches my fancy? This vale of tears we call life...

Thursday, November 21, 2002

I meant to post sooner than this but my cable modem is possessed. I have been invited to a baby shower-Yay! This is the first shower I'll have been to where I'm not pregnant. ( I know the previous sentence isn't precisely grammatical but Teddy is asleep and Alice is watching Teletubbies-I don't have much time!) We are all supposed to bring a story about motherhood or a piece of advice...my first thought was, "Only one?" I could go on all day.

This just in!!!

We pick up our minivan tonight! Hot DAMN! We finally decided it was bashert, or kismat as Mr. Malaprop P-man would say, and so despite some dire warnings about the mileage from my folks, are taking a cautious peek and leaping in. If we get screwed, well, worse things haven't killed us yet. We have done too well by trusting the universe to back out now. It's a great source of amusement around here-last night, sleepy P-man said, "I will buy you a brand-new car if you let me go to bed right now." Or this morning, after getting Bella to school on time twice in a row... "Bob, tell her what's she's won! Gwyn, for getting your daughter to school on time, you've just won...a BRAND-NEW CAR!!!" (much applause and confetti) Keep in mind that brand-new means new-to-us, for I have long maintained that I would never buy a new brand-new car even if I won the lottery. Having a lot of money doesn't justify throwing some away...

My ex-husband is a natural-born cook. He can take a look in the fridge and put together a meal with just what's on hand. You know the type, they never measure? Well, I'm not a wonderful cook, but I'm getting to the point where I can pick up a yarn, find the right needles, and knit what I want just by going until it's big enough. Simple pleasures.

P.S. Alice got out of bed last night after I thought she was sleeping and toddled out into the front yard to look at the Christmas lights, only she said "Cwissma lies," but still, it's the first time she's said Christmas.

Monday, November 18, 2002

Yawn...I hate Mondays. Not original, I'm sure, but there is a reason everyone hates them. Mondays suck. I finished the cranially-gifted P-man's Big Head Hat. (Nothing special, no great pattern, just oversized to keep my sweetie's head warm.) Started a poncho for one of the girls last night in the mystery yarn (peach with little pink, purple and white stringy bobbly things) that haunts me and frogged it for being waaaay too large. Instead, began a sock in the curious synthetic cotton-candy yarn. Too early to tell. Could be dear, could be hideous. But it was fun to work on while watching The Sopranos. Laughed my tuchis off at the whole Mafia Rehab thing. Wise guys using "I"-messages-"Chris, when you do drugs I feel angry..." Incongruity is my life.

My own personal Moment of Zen: "Shut your noise tube, taco dude!" Love that crazy Invader Zim

Friday, November 15, 2002

IT'S PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCE DAY! Yay! One of my most favorite days. I get to hear all about what the teacher thinks of my child, her strengths and weaknesses, and...oooh...kindergartens.(I'd rather talk elementary schools than talk dirty nowadays...) It's like getting your palm read.

Thursday, November 14, 2002

This morning, during our daily struggle to get to ECE on time, Isabel again took off her coat to buckle herself into her booster after I had told her not to, and I sighed and said, "I swear, I don't understand what goes through your head some days." She looked at me and said very matter-of-factly, "Trouble."

I think that about says it.

I want opinions!

Help settle a debate between the traditional P-man and me. I think that by the time we get officially married (probably when the kids are all in grade school...) we should get married in May on the date of my grandmother's birthday, BUT celebrate our anniversary on the day we met, February 11, which has served us well as an anniversary so far. (Close enough to V-day to be convenient, but not on the day-too gooey.) We will already have to adjust for years, as I have no intention of telling people I've been married for two years when the baby is in first grade, for example. P-man thinks we should pick the day we want to celebrate and get married on it, so as not to confuse people. I say that anyone who wants to hear the whole long story probably should. I mean, these details matter only to us. But I suspect only idiots want to get married in February in Denver.

I see now why getting married before you have children is such a good idea. The thought of planning any kind of wedding makes the hair on my neck stand up. We just didn't have time. We met and fell in love in the space of a weekend, and I got pregnant with Alice, well, let's just say I've had two periods since the initial February 11. Two. (Don't be too jealous; Mother Nature evens all things out.)

I think I've been a mama too long. I've been stuck in what we used to call my "hamster-in-search-of-a-wheel" phase for quite a while now.

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

So, Bonne Marie made me famous! I am honored, seriously.

Just for the record: I am ambivalent about Eminem. I have no opinion on his acting ability and no plans to see the movie(until it comes on cable-then, we'll see.) But I am mightily opposed to him allegedly becoming the spokesman of my generation. I know he is very popular, but he does not represent me or for anyone I know, for that matter. Plus, one day his daughter will see the concert footage of him abusing a blow-up doll that is supposed to represent her mother, and then he will have to do some very fast talking.

I'm with Chris Rock. You don't get credit for doing the things you are supposed to do, like taking care of your kids. And that is the ultimate in exposing your child to a bad parental relationship.

Anyway, the woolie car (I should say hairy) is back from the shop, again. This time it was the ignition coil. Two hundred dollars later, (kindly ponied up by my ex-in-laws) I feel like going outside and kicking the tires until my toes bleed. I can again shuttle Bel back and forth from her despised ECE class. I am so proud of her for not adjusting well. No one will ever call her compliant, no one that wants to keep his fingers, anyway. I am proud that she knows when she doesn't like someone and will say it straight out. I am raising a girl who knows her own mind.

I cast on for the frosty P-man's hat yesterday and did about an inch of ribbing while watching "That 70's Show." I do love it! One little bonus is that the characters on the show are the same age my mom was then; she graduated '76. After a drunken conversation about drinking games, (I was playing, not drinking) I looked it up online and through a weird Google chain found the Dharma and Greg Webring.
I think the endtimes are indeed near.

Well, I'm off to Google myself. (Sounds dirty, doesn't it!)

See for yourself. Pat O'Brien, you can see me in hell.

Saturday, November 09, 2002

By the way...on CNN I saw some suck-ass from ET or some such crap telling Aaron Brown that Eminem's acting makes him a cross between James Dean and Elvis Presley(which I would personally not want to see, anyway) and that he is poised to be the John Lennon of our generation. Oh, no. I don't have any particular feelings towards the guy, myself, besides thinking small white boys who are that angry should be avoided, but comparing him to John Lennon?

As Brea said, "He's not even Ringo."

If the best my generation can do for representation is Eminem, I'm ready for the mothership to come and take me away.

Friday Five

1. Did you vote in your last elections? Damn betcha.

2. Do you know who your elected representatives are? I do now.

3. Have you ever contacted an elected representative? If so, what was it about? No.

4. Have you ever participated in a demonstration? Not yet. I never seem to hear about ones I would want to attend until the day of. I was invited to an (anti-) Columbus Day protest this year, but, YAWN. I would rather worry about things that actually affect lives.

5. Have you ever volunteered in an election? What was the result? No.

And that is enough election talk, lest I weep. I may not be a Democrat, but I am sure as hell not a Republican. My mother often votes Republican, and I suspect that many who do are like her: she doesn't pay any attention to the issues, believes the last thing anyone tells her, politically, and uses a smidgen of corrupted Christian ethics to avoid things that make her uncomfortable when convenient. Election night we were discussing a controversial proposal in our area, Amendment 31, that would do away with bilingual education, as well as bar teachers from the classroom if "caught" teaching in Spanish to native Spanish-speaking pupils. My mother voted for this, saying that she agreed all children in Colorado should learn English. Unfortunately, this wasn't the question. I have this image of underground Spanish classes, with secret knocks and codes and meetings in shady back alleys. This world just makes me ill sometimes.

In knitting news...I finished the yummy raspberry hat for a preschool birthday girl, literally, five minutes before the party on Friday. I finished Alice's hat and P-man's mother's hat and will start one for the man himself soon, in a masculine forest green. I am so totally in love with Woolease right now. I want to go out and start a bunch of sweaters in all different colors. Let's ignore the fact that I have about four other projects on the needles that are getting ripe and need to be finished. I am just feeling so losery and incompetent lately, I want to hide under the covers until the feeling passes. I am probably not even remotely responsible enough to have a cat, let alone three children. How did that happen, anyway? Right now it feels like five minutes ago when I was young and bought shoes and went to parties without planning ahead for a hangover. I feel so old. Tonight Brea and I went grocery shopping (since my car broke down again) and found ourselves absent-mindedly humming along to "Forever Your Girl" in the frozen foods aisle. Best not to speak of it again, I think. Not to mention, Brea helped us clean house, for which she deserves a medal or perhaps a lovely plaque to hang on her wall. At least I am loved.

So, it's Chinese Astrology. It's the reason so many of us are struggling so. Our theory, anyway. It's still the Year of the Horse, making things chaotic, impulsive, and causing money to slip through one's fingers. I was born in the Year of the Horse, so I am well acquainted with those characteristics, and this year seems to have turned me into my own worst enemy.

And, that game where you add "...in bed!" to the end of your fortune in the cookie? It's much funnier if you add "...with hookers!" instead. Try it.

I think way too much about antidepressants.

Monday, November 04, 2002

Well, Bel cut her hair again. It seems that her hair was getting in her face and bothering her, so she cut her bangs. Very short. All she needs is black-rimmed glasses and a beret and she would be a fab beatnik. It’s actually sort of a nice effect, not that I’d ever admit it.

I have been a hat-makin’ mama lately, when I haven’t been fending off blows from a heartless universe. I am making a pretty blue hat for Alice and a chunky purple one for my mother-in-law. Many, many people will be getting hats for Christmas in our circle. Please, someone take pity on me and tell me whether or not you can make a pair of size 13 men’s socks from one skein of Opal? My car broke down again, (at the junction of two major interstate highways) and it cost approximately the value of the car to repair. Fortunately, that’s not so much. I broke down and bought another day-planner (there has to be some way to stay organized) after having jettisoned the one my mom bought me for Christmas. (Such a good laugh it gave me! Whatever shall I schedule? I thought. Lactation? Dishes? Birth?) Now that Bel is in two schools concurrently I have an ongoing low-grade terror concerning getting their calendars mixed up, etc.

I used to have a copy of Matt Groening’s Life in Hell comic strip that was a “Childhood Trauma Checklist.” It went through all the horrible things that could happen, like wetting your pants in school or finding out that your parents really did love your brother more, and the last thing on the list was “ongoing nameless dread.”

I wonder where that is.

Friday Five for the Faithless
1. Were you raised in a particular religious faith? Sort of. I went to Catholic school (yes, one of those girls) but my family barely participated in church-type things. My mom said she wanted us to be able to make up our own minds when we were older. Ah, the confusion of being the only kid in your class who doesn’t take Communion.

2. Do you still practice that faith? Why or why not? An emphatic no. Christianity will not be the “default” religion in our house. We do celebrate Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter, but mostly out of tradition and fond memories of our childhoods. We tell the kids that Easter is a celebration of Spring and that Christmas is the day that a baby was born and made a family, so it’s like Family Day. I really dislike organized religion, mostly because I like to make up my own mind about things.

3. What do you think happens after death? Reincarnation, if one chooses. You would only have to have seen Isabel in the hour after her birth to know she had been here before.

4. What is your favorite religious ritual (participating in or just observing)? Birth. But I’ll pass on the observation, thanks.

5. Do you believe people are basically good? Except for the ones who are basically evil.

Friday, November 01, 2002

Crap. Blogger ate my whole post. I'll try again manana. I was so busy today I put on my underwear inside out but didn't realize it until 9 o'clock and then, of course, it's too late to do anything about it.