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So my friend Chelsea wrote a blog post today that is a list, and it made me laugh because I have always appreciated her bluntness and honesty – even if I am currently wearing what would probably be considered platform flip flops. Plus I love lists, so I’m going to attempt to do the same thing. But since this week is much better than last, I’ll do 20 and 20.

20 Things That Irritate Me Rationally Or Otherwise:

1. People who can’t be bothered to respond to texts or emails where an answer is expected in some form.

2. Cars that have two car lengths in front of them while waiting at a stop light.

3. People who mungle through stores with their carts unaware of their surroundings.

4. Gladiator shoes and/or tight jeans

5. That I have gotten to where I hesitate to even ‘like’ someone’s status if I know I will be bombarded with 50 billion emails from that point on telling me that someone I don’t care about commented. I didn’t comment. I just liked it.

6. How Ford seatbelts tend to ride up and rub my neck raw.

7. People who write unnecessary amounts of !!!!!11!!!! ????? ,,,,  or anything else where one character would suffice.

8. The lose/loose confusion. Boggles me. Truly. They don’t even sound the same.

9. Cliche sayings I’ve found myself saying without realizing it. Holla!

10. Corn in my teeth.

11. Regina Spektor

12. That I like most songs by the singer Pink.

13. Unfiltered thoughts from kids as they stare at you contemplatively.

14. Traits in others that trigger an angry reaction, knowing it’s only that it reflects my insecurity of the same trait.

15. Text dialogues that don’t make linear sense or have use of clarifying punctuation.

16. The fact that most women I know feel compelled to act like they’re OK with strip clubs, when in fact, they’re not.

17. Waking up and being so tired you could cry.

18. Missing patches of hair on my knees when I shave.

19. My cussing

20. The fact that my driveway is slanted enough that the car doors tend to swing shut before you can get fully out.

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And 20 Things That Make Me Happy, Rationally Or Otherwise:

1. My kids’ morning breath.  🙂

2. Heirloom tomatoes

3. Older couples I see out walking.

4. Comfy yogapants

5. Daft Punk

6. Clean eye glasses.

7. The smell of rain.

8. Opposing players who help each other up during games.

9. Good speakers in a car.

10. Jack’s hugs. If sincere they’re epic.

11. Coco Pebbles

12. Most songs by the singer Pink.

13. Unabashed wonderment staring by babies.

14. My cussing

15. Oysters with tabasco sauce.

16. Hyperbole and a Half

17. That burst of joy I get the moment I see a baby born.

18. Sweet coffee with a lot of cream.

19. Spontaneous parties with friends.

20. Ben Folds. In concert on Friday.

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(HOLLA!)

Hmm where to start, where to start.

So I’ve moved back to the neighborhood (more or less) that I used to live back in my other life. And I’m going to the old stores and driving the old streets, and there are times where I’ll zone out for a second and suddenly wake up and immediately think what the hell am I doing here – this isn’t where I live. But then I remember I do again, and that’s just sorta weird. I see people I used to see and it all seems sort of foreign. It’ll be normal again soon, but for now it’s kind of like purgatory, if I’m honest.

And of course, because I moved here for the sole purpose of keeping Jack in his school, ‘discussions’ about switching school districts to Jon’s new neighborhood have been stonewalled, and probably will be for a while. Things on the communication/respect/co-parenting front seem to be getting worse and worse as our lives diverge further. It just fucking blows, to put it simply. But I guess even the best of intentions and relationships can disintegrate when too many priorities conflict, and with each thing that comes up that makes me wonder who in the hell this person is now, it also simplifies my role as mamabear first and foremost within that interaction. It will get better or it will plateau at this point. But so long as it doesn’t get any nastier and involve court, I can deal. C’est la vie and all that.

I’ve been at my job now for about a month I think? It’s well. I like it and I’m good at it. Whodathunk, eh? I think the idea of getting my first full-on full-time job in 8ish years, a week before I was set to move, was in retrospect a very stressful thing for me. But it’s always odd to me to see how I compare stressors in my life, and how even despite not sleeping well because my brain is in high gear trying to just simply remember everything I have to do, I’d still prefer this over the past couple of years. Or even the year surrounding Jack’s dx or Lo’s birth. Things are falling into place, and as one ladder rung begins to stabilize, another builds on that.

All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.

BUT SPEAKING OF LADDERS! Went to the lake this weekend. I could use this as a tangent to rail on the UTTER and TOTAL inadequacy of Lake Jacomo’s campground and marina, but I’ll just say that aggressive raccoons + teenagers giving directions + broken pontoons + smashing fingertips +  boat ladders + emergency room visits in bikinis + pre-dawn thunderstorms and no rain tent cover = surprisingly a lot of fun. Though maybe not for Tami who had to have her sutures put through HER ENTIRE BROKEN AND FLAPPING FINGERTIP TO KEEP IT SEWED ON.

(I’m squeamish about very little, but I heard the doc describe that and I saluted them all and walked out.)

(..And what are you eating for dinner tonight?)

Hmm. Brandon’s mom mentioned taking us all to Disney World in the fall, and though I’m totally itching to tell the kids, I won’t yet, because Jack’s head will straight pop off from excitement and perserveration if I did.  I mention this less because it’s a future vacation I might take with my family and more because my sister and I watched the Harry Potter trailer and I am excited about possibly visiting the amusement park they’ve opened up. Yeah, I said it. I am.

But speaking of my sister, she’s working with me for the summer doing a filing kinda thing, and I’m so happy to have her there. She’s a cool chick and I’m old enough to know that this might be the last time we have concentrated time to hang out before she finishes high school (she’ll be a Senior this year. Truly. My baby sister is a SENIOR in high school. It’s nuts.) and goes to college. She was mentioning an art school in Seattle and I told her to do everything in her power to go as far away from home as she can while she’s young. God, the older I get the more I wish I had had wanderlust when it was more convenient in my life. I could never have been Alex Supertramp, but something closer to it than I was would have sufficed.

So that’s it. Really it’s just been a long day. And as I was driving home and some dumb teenager on her cell phone with white sunglasses pulled across FOUR LANES OF TRAFFIC to decide she needed to go left instead of right – with no blinker, which actually was the cherry for me on the whole thing, – this song came on (‘It’s Thunder and It’s Lightning’ by We Were Promised Jetpacks), and I cranked it. And I know I’ve linked it before, but this really just encapsulates my feelings on my life in the past few years. It doesn’t make me angry or sad or pumped. It is simply a song that I turn up really, really loudly.

Happy Tuesday. I’m opening some wine if you’d like some.

1. Why is it that when I right-click the Mac mouse, I suddenly freeze the computer while a colorful wheel spins for an indeterminate amount of time?

2. What in the HELL is happening that such an innocuous button on a PC can cause such obvious distress to the Apple machine? Why such a friggen disparity in functionality if they utilize the same mice?! This truly chaps my hide. Every single day, when I do it multiple times.

3. Jack’s school district doesn’t have busing for elementary kids. This was learned recently and suddenly… like on the first day of school. It’s a crazy mess with IEPs and funding and in the end Jon and I are literally scrambling to figure out how to get him home from school every day. It totally blows.

4. Why is busing spelled busing and not bussing like I keep trying to spell it? I’ve had the opportunity to type/write out that word over 40 million times in the last week, and I’m still, thanks to the squiggly little red line underneath it, trying to write it incorrectly. I don’t think such a little word has trumped me this stubbornly.. ever.

5. When you see a construction sign that is specific (usually for detour directions) what happens to those signs after the project is over? Is the TURN LEFT ON SWITZER sign made of sticker-like letters? And is there someone who then has to peel that off afterward? Who makes those signs?

6. Why is it that people who answer phones for big companies are either super helpful or unabashedly rude? I realize it’s not a new rant to complain about people in customer service positions, but I got some asshat in trouble this week, because he literally transferred me mid-sentence, and the boss who ended up having to suss out my rambling when he picked up was LESS than pleased to have been put in that position. I was glad to know the guy got chewed out, but I wish he’d just been nice to begin with. Is it THAT HARD TO BE POLITE TO STRANGERS PEOPLE?

7. I legitimately, and without snobbery, don’t get why people on Facebook announce when they’re going to bed… unless it’s 4 in the morning. Or that they’re washing their car… unless it’s new. Or that they’re brushing their teeth… unless they recently got dentures. You get my drift.

8. I watched Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist the other night, and I can’t get it out of my head. It was SO DAMN CUTE. And everyone I’ve told that to is like, duh, you love Michael Cera, why didn’t you see it earlier? I don’t know. But I regret it, because I love that kid, and I now love pretty much everything he’s ever done. Plus I dig the soundtrack, so that helps.

9.  I need to get some insurance (catastrophic at least, but most likely health and dental. Not too worried about vision right now). But I don’t know where to begin. Any suggestions?

10. Saw BRITT4U today on a vanity plate. Sigh. What? WHAT?

I swear I had full intentions to post something coherent today; I even tried to set aside time this week to do it. But I think this will be if not an epic fail, at least a substantial one. I’m sorry. I’ve got myself a tidy little cold, and the only positive thing about it is that being this stuffed up, the acoustics in my head when I sing are uhhmaaazing. Other than that I’m drinking vitamin C-laced hot water like crazy, and walking around in a tired fog.

Let’s see.. Jack and Lorelei started swim lessons last week. The gal who is teaching them is an older Jewish (I’m guessing) ex-New Yawker (pretty sure about this one) who apparently used to run an autism program somewhere. Whatever, she’s hysterical and the best teacher for my particular knuckleheads. She’s very (on par with the above-mentioned stereotypes) no-nonsense, and you could tell she was smitten with Jack’s eagerness, which, if you remember from last year, is a tremendous 180. I’m pretty stoked.

I’m also stoked because I’m headed on over to Colorado next weekend with the kids and my mom and sister for a short trip and SWEET JEEBUS I CAN’T TELL YOU HOW MUCH I NEED THIS.

In exciting news, in a few weeks I’ll be moving into the little blue house that sits next door to the house I work out of! My boss’s brother owns the house (but lives in CA), and is giving me a pretty sweet deal on rent. I’m so excited to do this I am almost unable to verbalize it. Really. That big. So if you’re free any weekend in the next couple months, let me know. Best of all I get my beloved, cantankerous old-man cat, Lucky, back. That grumpy old goat has been with me for almost 12 years, and I miss him something fierce. I might bring that stupid Oscar too, but I think it’s funny hearing the stories Jon tells me about him knocking over the Britta pitcher at night. (Heh. I kid, I’ll see if I can bring them both.)

[So, in an ADD look-a-squirrel sidenote, I’ve been singing this song non-stop for a few weeks now. It’s Band of Horses – “The Funeral”, and I was convinced it was a side/new project from the lead singer of Sunny Day Real Estate, but it’s not. I’m curious if anyone else thinks they sound the same, though.]

Hmm… Took the kids to the movie Up this weekend and it was.. erm.. disjointed. Odd, mostly. Predictably sweet because it was Pixar, with one particularly sad part, but meh overall. Ironic since they opened with a montage of all the cool movies they’ve made <<scratches head>>. Moving on to television, I’m officially kind of embarrassed to admit that I’ve been watching the first and second seasons of Friday Night Lights. It’s so soap operaish, with every conceivable after-school special theme possible. First season alone they dealt with underage drinking, underage sex, parapalegics, steroids, rape, infidelity, deadbeat dads, deadbeat moms, Alzheimers and football in Texas, of course. But like a fool, I keep watching. Shrug.

(I’m also reading the book  The Stone Diaries for my book club, so that renews some brain cells, right?)

And, I think that just about sums up everything I could think to talk about at the moment, my brain now officially hurts. But as a last appeal, if you help me move I’ll give you some of my totally-stolen-from-Hippy-Chick spaghetti sauce, because it’s da bomb.

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Have a great week, everyone.

OK so I know I’m always the last to join the party, but I’ve never really gotten into TV On The Radio, for no discernible reason. But I am super-liking their newish song, “Family Tree”:

And to start your weekend off with a lip-smacker, on the way home just now, I glanced in the rear view mirror (of the loaner car I’m driving, more on that later) at a stoplight and saw a guy – in his forties at least – digging for gold unabashedly. Like, truly weeviling around in there. So yeah, that’s gross, but whatever, it kinda made me giggle. A short distance later at the next light, I see him digging in his ear in the same fashion. Again, gross, but whatever.

Third light, however? Back to the nose, except now it’s the other nostril.

DUDE. DID YOU JUST DISCOVER YOU HAVE HOLES IN YOUR HEAD? MY THREE YEAR-OLD IS LESS FASCINATED WITH THE CONTENTS ON HER FINGERNAIL.

KNOCK IT OFF.

Get over.

Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over Get Over.

In other news, seriously, look at my halflings:

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You know you wish you had the courage to eat ice cream with such abandon.

But this  ‘Feeling Good’, by My Brightest Diamond, is my favoritest.

A real update post is brewing and long overdue.

Hope everyone has a great start of the week.

So, I have the best ruminations while I’m driving, and always have a tentative outline for the thoughtful and amazing philosophical ideas I’d like to talk about… and then by the time I get to the computer I’m reduced to staring at it dumbly and thinking about lolcats. Sigh.

But, OK, here’s a real topic I’d like opinions on. The kids and I have been hanging out with friends who have Xboxes, and Jack has picked up his mad gaming skills remarkably fast. It’s kind of cool to watch him, because historically physical prowess was not on his short list of accomplishments. Unfortunately I’m unsure what I think about it. I know there are many people who think television et al for children is mentally stunting at best and possibly neurologically damaging at worst. (And to be clear, the whole tv=autism theory makes me snarl, so that’s not what I’m validating.) I concede at a basic level why the utopian ideal can include kids running around and free playing their childhood away, but I also know quite a few wickedly smart people who spent their formative years in front of electronic devices, so I’d also concede the argument that technology doesn’t have to be the Bradbury-ian doomsday harbinger.  

Whatever, point is, I’m hesitant. First because he’s only 5, and I just never thought that would be an issue already, the whole video game fascination. His perserverations can be stunning, and this seems like it could be Pandora’s Box. Secondly, and the actual crux of my concern, is whether to shell out the money to buy one of these systems. I’m not too worried about how much time he spends on it (for now), we’ve hashed out roughly 30 minutes each time he has the opportunity to play it, but those babies cost a couple hundred dollars, and I’m conflicted about buying one just because he assumes he’ll get one, or because it gives me a small measure of pride to know he excels at something so… blerg.. normal. 

Does that make sense?  Basically I don’t want to give in to his confident (and increasingly materialistic) entitlement to everything he wants, but man it makes me happy to see him happy and developmentally ahead at something. That poor monkey struggles with so many things kids his age wouldn’t even realize they do intuitively, and maybe this could be an opportunity for some self confidence. Or, it will be the beginning of a long and obnoxious fight with a time-sucking obsession.

So there you go. I’m  not panicked, just thinking about it and wondering what you all think about gaming, kids, parenting and why Sheryl Crow is popular when she’s always off-key and annoyingly screechy in parts of every song she sings. I had quite the phenomenally shitty day yesterday, and I’m jonesing to have a stimulating conversation.

[And if nothing else, everyone should read this and laugh, because it reminds me of the notebooks my girlfriends and I would write in during junior high classes, giving them back to each other during passing periods – though let me be clear we were FAR more innocent than this group. In fact, if you’re lucky, I’ll post a picture I have on my hard drive of me in 7th grade in one of those black and white photo booths. Big bangs? Braces? Making a goofy face that somehow resembles palsy? So hot. Good times.]

Ready.. go.

  • Interesting story postulating that global warming is irreversible. The comments at the bottom are equally as fascinating; I’d love to have a roundtable with some Christians I know..
  • Speaking of, Anne Rice has had a conversion back to her Catholic roots.
  • So Brain Age said I was like.. 78? Yeah, well, suckit, Nintendo. I knew I was smarter than your silly little game.
  • Two very thought-provoking films I’ve seen recently were Milk and Business of Being Born. Would love to have a discussion with anyone about the social issues they encompass.
  • Reading this and digging it; lurve Chuck Klosterman.
  • The song “Count Souvenirs” by Junior Boys has been on repeat lately. It’s awesomely Depeche Mode-y.

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That’s all. Stay warm, friends~ .

1. Jack is ebbing again, in that he’s being a TOTAL PAIN IN MY ASS the last few days. I love him with a ferocity I’ve never known was possible – I know I’ve mentioned that – but he is the single most contrary human I’ve ever had the pleasure of spending every waking moment with. He argues when he wants something. He argues when he doesn’t want something. He argues if he feels something is unjust or unfun or just for fun.

He argues when he agrees with you. I’m really not kidding.

And it’s hard, because I know he’s not even always unhappy when he does it. Sure, he reacts to the stress he senses around him, but I think in part it’s his natural personality from.. erm.. grandparental bloodlines, and also as residual habit from when he first was navigating social interaction altogether. He is not a natural cuddler, but wants attention (as everyone does) so pressing everyone’s buttons around him ensures a modicum of it. I get it.

Regardless, he’s driving me nuts and I’m not in an awesome place with my autism parenting right now. It will pass, like every phase has, but one of us might not make it out unscathed from this one, that’s all I’m sayin’..

2. Lo has discovered the joys of whining. To which I say really, karma? REALLY?

3. I was shown an article today about a local newscaster’s wife being paralyzed by the flu vaccine – and the subsequent trial in vaccine court. This one’s particularly fascinating to me as someone who has such an aversion to the propaganda every year, it’s nauseating.

4.  Here’s a follow-up article telling that the Neo-Nazi family has had their children taken away by social services. I know we all had a nice pat-on-our-back rant about why they probably are d-bags, but I sincerely hope those kids needed to be yanked for legitimate reasons, and not because of the limelight they were in. Three and under. Oy. That’s so very little to be away from their parents, it breaks my heart.

5.  Saw Gran Torino last weekend. Hmm.  It was on many people’s Best Of lists, and my friend Justin really liked it, so I’ll just say I must have missed something. .. Both times I watched it.

6. My back is at about 90% at this point, which is relieving. Now I just need to go back to the gym, because despite herculean efforts to not eat the bagel with cream cheese that’s calling to me, the scale is reflecting my absence.

7.  It’s 2°.  Four hours ago it was 1°.  Toasty!

(As a preamble to this ambling ramble.)

So I have a job interview on Monday for a temp position for a national charity foundation. They have an upcoming fundraiser with those mock jails where people agree to be ‘arrested’ so others donate money for their bail. I call and try to convince people to be arrested at their jobs or homes. No idea if I will be persuasive, but consider yourselves forewarned that I WILL be bringing in my personal address book. I am so not kidding.

Also, I’m bordering on being serious when I wonder if my normally-developing, rarely sick and chubby cheeked daughter has a crazy oral fixation, or, well.. pica.

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Anyone have ideas?

1. My back hurts. I either pulled a muscle that will heal or I herniated a disk and am slowly dying a painful and hunched-over death. Ibuprofen and ice help, so I’ll assume I’ll live.

2. I’m getting very grumpy about finding a job. I don’t know what’s worse: no bites or being strung along and then told the job has been frozen due to the economy.

3. I watched the movie The Wrestler and highly suggest it. I dig Darren Aronofsky and give him (as everyone else has) mad props for eliciting a phenomenal performance from an historically creepy Mickey Rourke.

4. I  finished Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods and also recommend it. Partially because it was a reminder for me of camping as a kid, but mostly because the book is guffaw funny in many parts. Really. Like quietquiet BRUAHAHASNORT quietquiet kind of reading. Plus he sneaks in some history before you’ve even realized it. Clever fella, this guy.

5. My kids crack me up. Recently we started a game that goes as follows:

Me (to kids):  Guess what?

Kids: What?

Me: I love you!

Yeah, I know, it’s a happy loving cheesefest. Well, then one day, unaware that the game had been created, Jon answered ‘chicken butt’ to Jack’s initial question. A totally acceptable instinctive response from a child of the 80s. Unfortunately, the introduction of that kind of out-of-the-box thinking has gotten us to this stage:

Jack: Guess what?

Me: What?

Jack: There are birds flying out the window.

OR,

Lorelei: Guess what?

Me: What?

Lo: CHICKEN FINGERS!

6. Speaking of my kids, I really don’t know which direction this plays out in the ‘What’s Grosser Than Gross’ game. The fact that last week Jack was riotously laughing about being able to continually dig a booger out of his nose, or that every time Lo  – without second thought or awareness that this could be a game – would calmly lean over and slurp it right off.

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Sigh. Future Prom royalty, those two. I just know it.

So this will be quick pictures and a song d’jour (Creature Fear by Bon Iver). Congrats to Brandi on beautiful baby Harper, Shelly on her wedding tomorrow and Mike and Emily on their engagement! Hope everyone had a great holiday!

Pretty nails on chubby fingers, pre-clean up.

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It’s tough to be the redheaded stepchild of the house. He’s so old and cantankerous he can’t even scrounge up the energy to run away, so he just sits and looks grumpy.

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I embarrassed my friend by taking pictures of this lady’s car, but.. wow. This doesn’t do it justice, I swear. I don’t know how she compacted the vast amount of crap in there enough to keep her seat clear. It was.. wow. Really.

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Requisite adorable kid inclusion, of course.

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Every year we host the everyone’s-back-in-town Christmas party, and this one was especially memorable. It meant a lot to see those we did, and we missed those who couldn’t make it.  I’m sorry the quality is poor; I tried to clean it up, but methinks in retrospect our photog possibly wasn’t in a state to do the job successfully, though God love him he tried cheerily enough.

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  • Was introduced to this today. I’d heard about “Prop 8 – The Musical”, but didn’t realize this was out there. 😉
  • Some pictures of my halflings as they continue grow. Hot damn but I make cute kids. Have I ever said that?

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