Re-launched, but still slightly under construction. :-)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

My Husband, The Pied Piper

When we went in to speak to the prominent attorney and investigators about the bad thing, I went in a suit and heels, with planned factual statements and what I thought was a very calm, professional presentation that focused on what I knew and excluded personal and personnel issues.

Midway through, Scott – in torn jeans, a t-shirt, and ballcap – breaks into the conversation with, “Fellas, let me break this down for you. These people are criminals,” and gave a speech that made me look around the room for Jesse Jackson. I thought, “Shut up! You are making us look like crazy people!

When he left to go pick up Emerson, I thought they would turn to me and want to get back down to business. “My husband is a little emotional,” I imagined apologizing. “Your husband is a very eloquent man,” the attorney said.


He asked what Scott planned to do when he graduated. “Well, WGAC called him a couple of weeks ago,” I said. “He’s an honors student in the top two percent of his class, so he has a lot of options.”

Prominent Attorney shook his head. “He wants to work for Danny, not Austin. Tell him to give me a call when he’s closer to graduation.”

How does Scott do that? He hadn’t even had a shower!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Proof That the Universe Hates Me

So today, we met with a prominent attorney in regards to the bad thing that happened. I don't want to say much about it, except that it is neither personal nor personnel in nature.

His agency decided to investigate. So it's looking like a good day. Then Scott leaves the meeting and Godzilla steps on the car... or at least that's what it looks like. The wind caught the hood and it flew up, smashed into the windshield, knocked the sunroof askew, shattered the windshield, and bent the hood up.

Scott limped it home and I got a ride from an investigator. Pop quiz, which is less safe: No visibility, or no way to stop? I dunno. But when I got home, he had gone in the car with no brakes to get the baby. They made it home safe.

But then we had to put brake shoes on the car that Godzilla skipped over on his way to Tokyo. An hour after he began, Scott was back inside calling a mechanic. Eventually, we finished the brake job. It took three hours and we were both tired, dirty, oily, smelly, and pissed.

Into the shower we went. Being parents of a toddler and a rat terrorist with two jobs and five classes between us, sex has not been our priority. But the toddler was with grandma and while the shower began as a practical measure, it became a prurient one. Just as the theme from "Shaft" was firing up in my mind, I heard it: the world's most erection-killing sound...

... "Scawett?"

Seriously, that's how his mother pronounces Scott's name. And there she was, in the apartment, in the middle of our shower sex, with our toddler in her arms.

But, lo! The toddler was asleep. If I could just get her into her crib without her waking up, the ghost of Barry White might come back to visit. And maybe he would bring Marvin Gaye with him.

Slowly I crept back into the nursery. Just as I put her down, she sprung to life. "Hey, dog-dog!" she waved merrily at Scrabble.


Friday, April 21, 2006

Why I Love Penny

Only Penny would use a sentence like: "Well, more yodelly than I can yodel," and only I would be right there with her.

Birth Control is For Sissies

If you are the parent of a child under 2 years old, never ever at all not even once:
  1. Think your child cannot understand you. I said "outside" in the bedroom this morning, and Emerson, who was three rooms away, came racing into the bedroom yelling "nahnahnahnahnahnahnahnahnahnahnahnah" at the top of her lungs. That means she heard me say something she wanted.
  2. Think your child cannot hear you. Listen closely to whatever your child is saying while he or she concentrates on their play activities. I guarantee it will closely model whatever you say when you are frustrated.
  3. Squirt canned whipped cream into his or her mouth. Apparently, this is a frightening sensation completely not improved by the creamy goodness that follows. Emerson screamed for a solid ten minutes and then (once she had calmed down and reasoned through what had happened) hit me in the face.
  4. Put your toddler on a ride-on toy and push it forward - no matter how gently - with your foot. Inevitably, he or she will topple over backwards. Instant head injury!
  5. Convince yourself that you have child-proofed every room in the house. There are cabinets you have not even thought about since before you were pregnant, and your little pooper will sniff them out, test the doors, find it open and climb right in. Oh, there's the missing bottle of wine!
  6. Think you can understand toddler brains. His or her burgeoning ability to communicate does not give you an insight into what goes on in your child's mind. Emerson says "neh" (no) to everything. "Do you want a bottle?" "neh." "Do you want a snack?" "neh." "Do we need to change your diaper?" "neh." "Do you want to go outside?" "neh." The actual answers are: only if it's chocolate, yeah I want some cheesy poofs, don't freaking touch the diaper, and I want to play in traffic.
  7. Think the grandparents give even one care about your house rules. My mother has fed Emerson chocolate cake while sitting right in beside me and swearing the whole time that she was not feeding my child sweets at 10 p.m. at night how dare I suggest such a thing. Emerson's grandmothers will raise her to believe that cake-and-ice-cream is a perfect, nutritionally balanced combination that is good for any meal.
  8. Think that there is any way to keep your child's bodily fluids off of you. I have found baby poo under a fingernail, experienced the joy of being peed upon, wiped spit up out of my bra, and picked a booger out of Emmie's nose with my finger. Sound gross? My brother once had his son, Jackon, throw up all over his face. I saw it happen.
  9. Think you are ever getting a good night's sleep again. Emerson is 15-months-old and still wakes up in the middle of the night. If she doesn't, I panic and have to run in and check on her.
  10. Let your child out of your uterus. This is just asking for trouble. Install a stereo, a Playstation, and a window and call it a day.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Just... no.

So Scott and I are flying high because we both have promising job leads that we are thisclose to snagging. They are good jobs, and we both want them like crazy. We may not get either one of them, but in our heads we're already spending our windfall of extra salary. I have a six-month plan that involves debt reduction, a certified pre-owned car, and furniture that does not require glue at the corners. Scott is apparently thinking about something different.

"Honey," he said, while we are reading on the back porch. "What do you think about, if we both get these jobs, maybe having another baby sometime next year?"

I stare at him, aghast. "Why you gotta impregnate me all the time?!"

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Do You Think Marx Cares?

I was making conversation with a lady while we were waiting in line at the grocery store. Both of us had our children with us, and we were cooing at them while they made friends. "Hey der dada," Emerson said, as she does to everyone. I will hold the woman's name because she is a teacher in Columbia County.

"And what does your husband do?" I asked. Now, I am aware that this question is sometimes used as a measure of social worth, but this was - rather obviously, I thought - not how I meant it.

She laughed derisively: "I think it's bourgeoisie of you to assume that I have a husband," she said.

Blink. blinkblink. blink.

"Well, would you rather I were proletariat about it?" I asked, and turned my back to her as I waited for the cashier to finish with the customer in front of me.

It was obvious that she meant it as an insult, but the term "bourgeoisie" is most often used by upper crusters looking down their noses at the middle class. She is middle class. The term is less frequently used by Communists and Socialists as an insult against middle class members whom they do not respect because they are of the opinion that they don't work for a living. Yet, again, she is middle class. Between the two of us, I am the proletariat.

Perhaps she was attacking middle class values. Maybe she has an alternative superhero hiding under those ubiquitous khakis and pastel button-down. It is possible that she has secret tattoos, and facial piercings to remove before she goes to work. She might tell people her child's name is Jennifer, when she was actually named Joyous Thunder by the charismatic head of the matriarchal polygamous cult of which they are a member.

All that would be fine... if she hadn't been wearing a wedding ring.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Mad Crazy Dreams

April 8, 2005

I had a terribly realistic and yet completely implausible nightmare last night. It creeped me out like no other dream.

In the dream, Scott and I were going to Utica, Ecuador (is there even such a place) to visit Natalya because she was getting married. We packed a simple red Eddie Bauer travelcase with a black handle and wheels (we don't own such a thing), packed up Emerson (who was standing, but not yet walking), and loaded up the car. We were driving to the airport in Atlanta, and debating whether or not it would be more likely to catch a direct flight to Utica from upstate New York. Along the way, we drove past a lovely old salmon-colored Spanish-style house surrounded by oak trees dripping with Spanish moss. It was such a lovely house that I asked Scott to stop to speak to the owners. He huffed and puffed but pulled over, and we crossed the quiet two-lane road to the house. The door closest to us was under a carport of sorts, designed to allow cars to pull up and let passengers out without bothering with weather conditions. It was a storm door, black, and Emerson stood with her hands braced against the bottom half, babbling to herseld. The lady who lived there was obviously not expecting visitors, and we saw her stop at her kitchen utensil holder and grab a giant metal whisk for protection. When she saw Emerson, she smiled, lowered the whisk, and said, "Yes?"

I smiled in what I hoped was an appeasing way, and said, "We're so sorry to bother you, but we were driving by and saw your beautiful home. It must be historic. Would you mind too much if we peeked inside?" (I would never do that)

The lady, petite and elderly with short but chic grey hair, smiled and said, "We get that question all the time. Come on in and I'll give you a quick tour."

We followed her around the aging but still beautiful house, which we learned was three stories not including the finished basement. Dark wood accented the doorways and windows, and a man who was obviously her husband sat at a large rectangular dining room table, puttering over some documents. She led us up to the second floor - bedrooms, etc. and then said, "There's nothing on the third floor but books." I was very excited to see what their library looked like, and said, "We're readers," which she responded to with a smile and, "Well, come on!"

On the third floor, we were surrounded by huge mahogany bookcases stuffed with books and papers. A man in a colonial costume and brown curly long wig met us. "Well, hello!" I don't remember the conversation, but I recall he seemed warm, friendly, and funny, but that Emerson hid behind me. I turned back to look at Scott, and he whispered in my ear, "That man is a ghost." I frowned at him and said, "Stop it!" But the man laughed and said, "No, he's right. ____________'s my name," (I didn't catch it) and held out his hand. I reached out to shake it - and my hand passed right through his. I was kind of freaked out, but the lady shook her head, smiled indulgently, and chastised him. We thanked him for the information, and followed her back downstairs, where she invited us to join her and her husband for dinner. We thanked her, declined, and explained our trip. As we were leaving, a lovely black couple was crossing the street to the house. "Is this your house?" the lady asked. "No, we just couldn't resist asking for a tour," I replied. "That's exactly what we're coming to do," she said. We wished them well, and made our way to the car. A train was passing on the nearby tracks. When we got to the car, Scott's face turned grey. "What's the matter?" I asked. In a deadly voice he said, "They have the baby." "What?" I said, and looked at the car seat he was lifting. It was empty. "Where is she?" "I'm telling you that they have her," he said. We ran across the street towards the house. As we did, the air crackled with static electricity, the landscape shimmered, and the house changed from a majestic monument to bygone architecture to a delapidated and broken-down old house. We burst into the front door. The nice elderly couple we thought we had met were ghosts flying around the room, screaming like banshees, daggers for teeth and trailing inky black smoke. The colonial man, eyes now glowing red, stood nearby and laughed maniacally. I whirled around, looking for any sign of Emerson, and saw the black couple lying dead in a heap on the floor near the front door, bloody and broken.

That's when I woke up, terrified.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

I Always Owe Someone An Apology

A -

I hope you had a great time on your trip, and that you ate a ton of cheese in France. I hope you ate so much that you don't poop for a long time 'cause I just bet when you finally do poop you will think: "Whatever. French cheese is totally worth it."

Scott informed me that I owe you an apology, because I was unforgivably rude. At first I thought, “Apology? No way!” But when he put it like that I thought, “Oh,” and then, “God! Why do people let me be an asshole and then continue to speak to me?” So I am very, very sorry.

When I opened the envelope and found money – which you totally knew I would not accept and thus the ruse about the note embarrassing you – it was like the money sucked the goodness out of me. On the other hand, I would also like to compliment you and Will for not falling for my trick that you should drop back by my apt. to get the movie, because I was totally going to slip the money into the DVD case. So, well played, Bryant family. Well played, indeed.

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Hi dear Stacey -

You shouldn't feel so bad. I knew you wouldn't take the money if I gave it to you
outright. Anyway, regardless of the money, you guys are doing us
such a huge favor. You still have your goodness!

I'd like to come by sometime to give back your camera and tell you all
about my trip. Thanks so much for letting me use that camera - I really loved it. Maybe I'll hang out at [restaurant name deleted] and see if I can snag one.

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A -

Okay, I stole the camera from [completely different restaurant name deleted] and I was very, very (very) drunk. Apparently, Scott and I made out fabulously in this very public place. I am not sure, but I think at one point I ended up ON the bar. Even more for shame, it was not the first time I had ended up on top of the bar at this place. Whats-his-name in the [college class I T.A.'d] allegedly came in one night and witnessed my antics the very day before class started. I carried so much credibility that semester after he told everybody what a drunk hoochie I am.

Mom was giving us props for encouraging each other to go out with friends and to have “me” time: “It shows that you have trust in each other,” she said. I was like, “Please, it's not even possible for one of us to cheat. There’s no one in Augusta that either Scott or I have not dated. We’ve exhausted all of our options.”