Thursday, December 28, 2006

Isn't it ironic; don't you think?

Of course our Wii is faulty. OF COURSE IT IS. Why would we expect to NOT be one of the random people who purchases one of the random faulty consoles? I don't know why were so insolent.

So now we just have to wait four to five days for Nintendo to get back in touch with us, and find out what they shall have us do. There are much worse things in the world than a Wii that freezes up four times in the first hour-and-a-half that it's used and then inumerable times the next day, BUT I JUST CAN'T THINK OF ANY RIGHT NOW, FOR THE LOVE OF MARIO AND LUIGI.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Yeah, you heard right.

Yeah, you heard right.
Originally uploaded by buffpuff.
So, we just accidentally managed to get ahold of a
Wii today.

We were at Target, and we noticed a lot of activity in the electronics section, so we went to check it out. There in all their pristine beauty were two Wiis in the display case. I literally gasped and grabbed Jason's arm and said, "They HAVE some."

One was being taken out and purchased as we walked up. There was one Wii left and two people in front of us. Well, one lady, and three teenage boys who were waiting together. Jason instinctively wanted to leave and check other places to see if there were more. I instinctively wanted to stay and see if we could strangle those three boys, hide the bodies, and buy the Wii.

We waited and watched as the first lady in line led the sales person to a different section and did NOT buy that Wii. While we waited I walked up to the boys and asked if they were waiting to buy it. They said, "Yes ma'am, we are. Well, maybe. We don't know. How much is it?" I was like, "Where the fuck have you shut-ins been, mothafucka? They're $250. If you guys aren't sure that you're buying it, I'm going to wait in line behind you because I want it bad." They were like, "Yes ma'am."

Jason was still anxious to leave, so he went to Best Buy to see if they had any. I dutifully waited to see what would happen.

When the sales person finally got to them, they asked him how much it was and then stood there looking at each other as if they were thinking, "Well, I already HAVE one gold monkey and thirteen Dead Sea scrolls, so MAYBE I need a Wii." So I piped up, "Uh, if these guys don't want that last Wii, I DEFINITELY DO, so I've got dibs if they don't buy it."

At that point, they ALL looked at me like I was senile, and the sales guy said, "There are more in the back." I literally threw my arms up in the air, touchdown-style, and said, "I WANT ONE. I WANT ONE NOW. I WANT TO BUY ONE."

And I swear, it was like I had suddenly entered some alter universe in which no one had heard of or cared anything about the Nintendo Wii, because they acted like me and about a million other people hadn't just spent the last four weeks making 147 phone calls a day to Wal-Mart (the devil), Target (Heaven), Best Buy, Circuit City, and Game Stop and promising we'd never buy a new sweater again if we could just find a Wii.


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

What the HELL are you supposed to do with all those boxes and wrappingpaper?

Originally uploaded by buffpuff.
Reed's answer: eat 'em.

This has been a wonderful Christmas. I got a sweet purse and Friends Scene It from Jason, and lots of other cool stuff from everybody else. The best part is all the time I've gotten to spend with everyone.

Things are going well here at Casa de Agan. It makes me wish even harder that I could stay home with Reed. But, you know, such is life.

We're going out to eat tonight with a bunch of our buddies, and I'm sure it will prove to be a good time. Any restaurant that is commonly known as "Fuckin' Hung's" MUST be good, right?

Monday, December 25, 2006

And many mooooooooooooore!

Originally uploaded by buffpuff.
This sign was in the yard across the street from Jason's brother's house on Christmas Eve. I think it's awfully nice that Jesus wants us to buy EACH OTHER X Boxes and Playstations on HIS birthday; don't you?

Friday, December 22, 2006

We wish you a merry Christmas.

Did y'all notice that it's Christmas time? It is.

For some people, Christmas time means nothing at all. For some, it means lots and lots of presents. For some, it means baby Jesus was born. For some people, it's a time to spend time with your family and friends, and be thankful for all the wonderful times you have in your life.

As for me, I'm just enjoying these many hours I'm able to spend with my very favorite people in the world, and I'm praying that every single person I've ever known is able to slow down and be happy and take some time to enjoy the blessings that they have. No matter how many hardships you've endured, or disappointments you've suffered, there is SOMETHING to be thankful for. For me, it's Reed, and Jason, and all the other people who I love to love.

What are you thankful for this year? I bet there's something.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Twee Agan.

If we ever have another baby, I hope it's a girl, and I'm going to name her Twee. I think it's important for everyone to know that; if we ever have a little girl, she will be Twee Agan. I shall call her Twee, and she shall be mine. She will be my Twee.

It has been really really wonderful being with Reed these past few days. I have always been aware that I'm missing out on a lot when I'm at work for nine-and-a-half hours every day, but these days have made me painfully aware. He talks so much; he sits down with his toys and just plays, plays, plays and talks and laughs. He talks to me, too. He tells me long, drawn-out stories that I'm pretty sure involve me, and he gives me his toys so that I can play with them, too. When Jason gets home from work, he gets the biggest smile on his face and runs to the door and literally just stands and waits for it to open. Jason told me that, the last few days of work before my vacation, Reed would start to ask for me towards the end of the day. This is HUGE for me, to know, to have evidence, that he thinks of me and misses me when I'm not here.

This morning, I decreed that Jason should go to McDonald's and get us biscuits. While he was gone, I was sitting in the rocking chair and Reed was playing with his toys when he sat down in a basket and couldn't get up. It's the classic scenario, sometimes played out with garbage cans, in which Person falls in either head- or butt-first and can't get back out. And what did I do? Did I gently pull him back out and make sure that he was okay? NO, SILLY, I laughed my ass off and got the camera, that's what I did. He cried and fussed for about the first 45 seconds, but then he became strangely resolved to his fate. He got completely calm, and just hung out in the basket. He talked a little, explored his surroundings, and gazed out the window. Ah, that we could ALL have the ability to adapt so quickly.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Bourbon balls and boogers.

You know it's Christmas when some very loud guy from the print shop is running around here giving you his bourbon balls. Well, he didn't actually give me any; he just kept saying to me, "YOU'RE underage." But, how nice everyone I work with is, because two or three people gave me their bourbon balls when they found out I didn't get one. Nothing says "Baby Jesus is born!" like a hunk of whiskey, chocolate, and coconut that you can't eat before driving.

Reed has learned a new trick. Yesterday while I was at work Reed was sitting in his highchair, having some lunch, when Jason felt the urge to wee wee. So, he walked the ten feet from the kitchen to the hall bathroom, closed the door, and started to wee wee. He said after a moment he heard slow, steady footsteps coming down the hallway. He stopped midstream which is so painful and bad for you if you're a guy, and started to freak out because someone was in the house. Suddenly, the bathroom door was FLUNG open, and there stood REED holding a spoon and babbling at Jason. The part about this that is the funniest and most curious is that Reed managed to get out of his highchair, to get up and climb out of it, without making any noise at all. This means that he didn't fall or jump out of it, but that he somehow scaled down the side to the floor.

Also, Reed has learned how to stick his finger in his nose. I wouldn't really call it picking so much as poking; I don't think that he gets yet that there are treasures to be harvested from that cavity. He just likes to stick his finger in there. It's a little freaky sometimes how far up there he can get that thing. I mean, think, honestly, about how far you can stick your finger up your nose- I bet about an inch for most folks, which probably brings you about a third to a quarter of the way down your finger. You can get about a third or a quarter of your finger into your nose successfully. Well, REED CAN KICK YOUR ASS, SUCKERS because he can get his in there about half-way which, relatively speaking, is FREAKY. He is dedicated, too; he will continue sticking it further and further until his eyes actually start to water up from the pain BECAUSE YOUR NOSTRIL IS ONLY SO BIG, PEOPLE.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Feliz Navi- blaaaarrgh!

This is my first Christmas season at this job, so I'm new to all of the traditions here with my coworkers. One of the traditions is to go out to lunch together on the last day of work before Christmas break. They pass around a little sheet where you can write in a suggestion for where we go; my boss said "you know, if you have a favorite place or some place that you really like to go, you can write it in."

So when the list got to me, the only suggestions so far were a place called Bright Star that I'd never heard of, and Highlands Bar and Grill which I have heard of and it intimidates me a little bit, mainly because I could pay for about four months of Kane and Jude's school lunches for the amount it would cost for me to eat there once. With no appetizer. And only water to drink. So, I couldn't decide what the hell to suggest. I mean, MY favorite place to eat is a little place called Moe's, where you can get a burrito the size of Lindsey's niece for about $5 (for real, Ava is teeny tiny, but quite big for a burrito). So I sat there and mulled it over, and for some reason that I can not fathom all I could come up with was Cafe Dupont. I've been there once, many years ago when they were still located in Springville, and it was really delicious. It is also pretty expensive; I guess that's why I thought of it- I felt too embarrassed to pick any place that I would actually regularly go when the last person had suggested Highlands.

So I wrote in my little suggestion and passed it on. A few days later I heard the department secretary saying, "They keep pickin' all these expensive places; why are they pickin' all these expensive places?" And, you know, I get it. I don't generally go to expensive places either. So when the sheet got passed around again so that we could all vote, I voted for the Fish Market because it is really quite tasty and price is midrange- not cheap, but not sell-your-children expensive, either.

Well, Bright Star ended up winning, and while the website looks quite nice and the prices are pretty steep, people outside of work keep telling me how nasty and creepy and not good it is. Jason was like, "Ew, call ahead of time and check the health rating, because I've heard some TERRIBLE stuff about that place!" So now I'm terribly excited about going there and paying them $30 to give me e coli, because THAT STUFF DOES NOT COME CHEAP, no ma'am.

Jason and I were musing over the whole thing a couple of nights ago at the dinner table. I was saying how I felt stupid for suggesting Cafe Dupont, and I said, "I should have just thought of a good Mexican restaurant and suggested that; maybe we'd be going there instead. But, you know, I don't think they like Mexican food the way I do."

At this, Jason choked on his spaghetti. After he regained his composure, he said, "Buffy, MEXICANS do not like Mexican food the way you do."

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

'Tis the season to be bloated and miserable.

The director of the library brought in not one, not two, but THREE different kinds of sweet treats for us today, made by his loving and dedicated wife. There is a sour cream pound cake with some sort of crunchy, nutty, cinnamony topping, three different kinds of fudge, and a large tin of cookies from an old family recipe. He brought them in at 9:30 this morning; let's just say that I'm a little nauseated by now.

I was thinking that I wish that I had the time to make things to send to work with Jason for his coworkers; but what do you send to a bakery? I couldn't really send them cookies and cakes; they'd all just be like, "Yeah, I can do this better." Porterhouse steaks? Chips and joints? Strippers? Porterhouse steaks and chips and joints and strippers? I think I'm on to something.

Reason #962 why I married Jason: He rubs my sock-wrinkles.

Monday, December 11, 2006

You say it's your birthday?

Originally uploaded by buffpuff.
Yesterday was Reed's first birthday party, his first time eating pizza, his first time having "Happy Birthday" sung to him, and his first time sucking on a pair of Nikes.

It was a good day.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

And I feel that time's a wasted go.

This morning on the way to work I heard the unplugged version of Plush by Stone Temple Pilots on the radio. As the audience started to clap and whistle, I was thinking that if I'd been there back then, I would have yelled "I love you, Scott Weiland!!"

Over the years, I've had crushes on quite a few lead singers. I found people like Scott Weiland and Eddie Vedder to be raw, passionate, and dangerous. And when you're right in the middle of some teenage angst, especially girly teenage angst, the idea of someone who might toss you around a bit while he kisses you passionately and talks about starving children in Botswana is really quite divine.

One of the sadder things about growing up is that a lot of these guys have a lot of faults, many of which have been exposed over the years. We all have faults, but as a seventeen-year-old girl, I just didn't think, "Oh, I bet Kurt Cobain's heroin habit and incessant whining about how hard fame is would REALLY wear on my fucking nerves after a while." I held these people in such high regard, and it's hard to think of them as imperfect, or joyless, or boring, or irritating, or dangerous- not dangerous in that sexy way, but in that way that you might go to jail for several years for possession even though you didn't even know that he HAD the damn stuff in his pocket. (This doesn't really apply to Eddie Vedder; he is beautiful and perfect and I will never speak badly of him, even if he CAN manage to fall off of a stool midsong on camera.)

The funniest part about these thoughts that I was having on the way to work was realizing that, after all these years and all these crushes, I married a sexy lead singer.

But I got very lucky, because I have learned his faults over the years and they're beautiful, and warranted, and won't cause me to have to serve hard time. I'm also lucky because he's learned my faults, and he's still here, and he loves me FOR them, not in spite of them. Lastly, I'm lucky because he makes me better all the time.

Oh. And also because he is damn fine when he's makin' love to that microphone.

Friday, December 08, 2006

There's frost on the punkin.

I found this definition, thought you would enjoy:

Catharsis may refer to:
* Catharsis, a term used to describe ritual, punitive and other forms of purification for religious and other uses and is also applied to emotional release
* (medicine) the effect of a cathartic, which is a strong laxative

Sometimes we all need to take a poop, I guess.

I got this in a message from a good friend, and decided I'd like to share it here. Because we DO all need to take a poop sometimes.

I've discovered that I'm much more resilient and sure of myself than I previously thought. I've also figured out that my family is my touchstone, and having them grounds me in a way that I just hadn't realized before. This is a place where I come to make sense, and sometimes comedy, out of my daily life. To be able to get it all out, to get it away from me so I can judge it from further away, is cathartic.

I think it can best be summed up by Cher from Clueless, as I'm sure most things can be:

"It's like a painting, see? From far away, it's OK, but up close, it's a big old mess."

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Overheard in the electronics section at Target.

14-Year-Old Girl: Ah! You'll spend, like, $250 on a purse, but you won't spend $200 on an iPod Nano? THAT IS WACKED.

Chubby Redneck Dad: You've got an iPod already! I don't want to hear anything else about it.

14-Year-Old Girl: Psh. Whatever.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

One year.


Today is your birthday. You've been here with us for 365 days and nights. You were born at 2:52 p.m., so technically, at this time, you were still hanging out in my warm, inviting uterus saying "Ain't no WAY I'm going out there."

There were times in the beginning when I thought that I might not make it. I spent many nights standing over your crib, back aching, praying to God that you might sleep so I might sleep. I just don't think that many women realize what it's like to only be able to sleep for two hours at a time for several weeks straight. I sure didn't. I think I may have held you too much when you were tiny. Sometimes when I'd finally get you to sleep, I would just hold you and rock you and stare at your tiny face; before I knew it, nap time had passed and you were awake again, without my ever having put you down in your crib. There were days when your daddy would come home from work and I wouldn't have peed all day, because I'd just been holding you and talking to you and feeding you and singing to you, and the moment he'd come through the door I'd say, "TAKE HIM BEFORE I WET MYSELF." My point is that I never wanted to take my eyes off of you.

I stayed home with you for eight weeks after you were born. The first day that I went back to work at the library was one of the hardest days I've ever faced. I cried the whole way there, because I felt like leaving you was the most awful thing I could possibly do. I felt like you deserved better; you deserved a mom who could find a way to stay with you and be with you and talk and sing and laugh all day long. I still sometimes feel like my heart is being squeezed and crushed when I think about the fact that I spend so many hours every day away from you. To miss even a single giggle, or a single word, or a single bumped noggin makes me feel like a failure, and I'm sorry for that.

I'm sorry that I'm so far from perfect, that I don't smile all the time, that I can't be happy every single moment we're together. I'm working on that, and I hope that I'll have it fixed by your next birthday. I want you to know a happy childhood, to remember these times in fuzzy snapshots of daddy and me hugging, and laughing, and kissing you over and over again. Having you has also made me much closer to your brothers, and that's something that I'll never be able to thank you enough for.

You have just over the past few weeks started saying "mama" sincerely and often. It makes me feel like the most important, and the most humble, person in the whole wide world every time you say it. I hope that you'll always call me mama. You've also started "asking" me to pick you up; you'll stand next to my legs and lift your arms up and look up at me like you're thinking, "Lift, please." I can't really explain how tiny, how vulnerable you feel in my arms, how fiercely I want to protect you and make you smile. It is a feeling so intense that there are moments when I feel like I have to decompress, take a break and breathe for a minute, because your safety consumes me so completely.

Right now you like to watch Teletubbies and Dawson's Creek. I think a little television is okay, but I don't try to push it on you because I want you to grow up knowing how to use your brain, to be creative and play without having someone else make up all the stories for you. You really love Teletubbies, and your favorite parts involve the actual teletubbies, not the parts with the videos of other children. You mainly just like the intro to Dawson's Creek; with the very first beat of the song you will stop WHATEVER you're doing and listen and smile. This CRACKS ME UP because your aunt Lindsey has been telling me for so long that you are a Gilmore Girls fan and I've never understood it, and now I know that your true love is the Creek. THIS I can understand, because we all need a little high school drama from time to time, a few scenarios in which things happen that would never happen in real life to people who are much too pretty and perfect to be real people and who use run-on sentences filled with words that I don't even know the meaning of.

You started walking around ten months, and you haven't stopped since. You work up such a momentum that I'm always afraid you're going to run into things and hurt yourself. We put foam covers over the corners of the coffee table to protect your huge melon, and your aunt Kristi has tested them thorougly and finds them to be totally acceptable.

When you were born, you were on the large side of average, but since then you've grown so quickly that you've almost been off the growth charts at every doctor visit. Your height, weight, and head circumference have stayed at least in the ninetieth percentile, most times higher, since your first doctor visit at two weeks. At your ten-month visit, Dr. Walley told us that you were the average size of a fifteen month old baby. Daddy and I often joke, when we see other little roly poly babies, that you could totally take any other baby in a cage match. I bet you could.

You exhibit so much of both your daddy and me that it's astonishing. Most recently, you've shown us how much of our own attitudes you've inherited. I can finally see what it must be like for daddy to deal with my smart ass when I deal with your smart ass. Anyone who ever thought that someone who can't form sentences can't be a smart ass is wrong, buddy, because when you hit me in the face with the ball end of your bulb syringe when I'm trying to get you to give me kiss, I GET IT. And I love you even more for it, because I'm so excited about raising someone and spending the rest of my life with someone who is witty and independent.

Over the last couple of months we've really started to let you eat grown-up food, and Reed, you really are your mother's son- you have a real affinity for Mexican food. You eat pinto beans as fast as I can give them to you, and you also really like the beef and bean mixture that we make for nachos. We also discovered, just a couple of weeks ago, that you take after your daddy in your love for olives, because let me tell you, you did not get that from me. But I love you even with your olive breath. I will always love you, baby, no matter what you eat, what kind of music you like, what you like to read, or who you want to be with. My only request is that you never, NEVER, become a republican.

I hope that daddy and I can help you to grow into a smart, kind, compassionate man, and I warn you that any girl you bring home will have to go through a rigorous acceptance process that is only for your own good. While big boobs might get her under daddy's radar, I am going to require a brain akin to my own and the same hatred for yo-boys that I possess. Yes, that's my other request- that you never become a yo-boy.

Reed, I just really want you to know how much you've changed my life and how grateful I am, for that change and for you. You are so beautiful, and so perfect, and so important to me, and I try to show you every day. I think you saved me in a lot of ways that no one else could have, and I will repay you for the rest of my life in hugs and kisses and snuggles. I hope that what I can give you is enough to make your life full and warm and safe and happy, because that is what I want for you every minute of every day. I will never know love with anyone else the way that I know it with you. I can't wait for the beginning of every day, for that moment that you wake up and start telling me how your night was. The way your little head feels against my cheek makes me thank God that I am alive, and that I made it to this place in my life.

I love you,


Thursday, November 30, 2006

The tiny wrench of doom.

Originally uploaded by buffpuff.
This little orange light serves to inform me that LIFE IS SHIT and I shouldn't bother trying to keep my head above water.

Also, I'm just trying out my new Flickr blogging stuff.

The Christmas tree, the Christmas tree.

I'm having trouble making a decision about the Christmas tree this year.

On one hand, a Christmas tree is a lovely decoration; it sets the living room aglow with light perfect for chugging eggnog and resenting yet another load of gift boxes stuffed with socks, underwear, and sweaters with cats on them. It's beautiful and festive and it sets the mood and it looks nice from the street.

On the other hand, I still find needles from LAST YEAR'S tree from time to time. It makes such a mess, and it's such a pain in the ass to haul in, and then haul out, and then clean up after. There are needles on the window sill, under the rug, on top of the rug, on our clothes, under the sofa, everywhere. And this might be fun if the needles I'm referring to were syringes and we were heroin addicts; alas, we're not that lucky. I'm referring to the green variety that will appeal intensely to the superhero who lives in our house and is known as "ILOVETOEATTHINGSOFFTHEFLOOR-MAN". A decorated Christmas tree is lovely and perfect for about one hour after going up and being decorated. After that, it's only a matter of time before Reed is sitting underneath it eating glass ornaments. The cats will knock those balls off of it, the limbs will start to droop, water will inevitably leak or be spilled from the base, and did I mention THE NEEDLES?

So I just don't know. I'm still thinking about it. Maybe we'll hang a nice wreath on the front door and call it a day. But if you are in need of some Christmas cheer, if you need to see the Christmas spirit solidified by a woman who literally spends eight months of the year getting her decorations perfected and lit, check out this lady. She's got the shit you need.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Rudy, the red-beaked reindeer, you'll go down in history!

So, now it's time for Christmas shopping and Christmas music and peppermint mochas and fighting for a parking space even if all you need is tampons and vodka. I LOVE this time of year, just as much as I hate it. I've actually got about half of my Christmas shopping done, which is kind of a relief, and I know what I'm going to get for many of the people whom I haven't bought for yet, so it's not too shabby.

This time is sort of hectic, because there are just so many DAYS in a row, you know? First it's Thanksgiving, then Jason's birthday, then our anniversary (tomorrow!!), then Reed's birthday, then Christmas.

Thanksgiving was nice and pretty relaxed; we ate at my mom's house, and then Jason had to go to work at Terry's, because, jeez, SOMEBODY has to sell Leedsites their liquor on a family holiday, right?

Jason's birthday was fun; we managed to throw him a surprise party at which he was so concerned that someone might be in the house that he made me go inside first. Then we all literally stood in a circle and passed around a bottle of Alize until it was gone.

Tomorrow is our third anniversary as "The Agans". We don't really have anything planned, but I imagine we'll do homework with the kids, cook dinner and then clean up, do some laundry, try and deal with Grumpy Smurf, and then pass out from exhaustion. You cannot handle this much hot sexiness, I tell ya.

Next is Reed's birthday; I have eight days and I haven't bought or sent invitations, or called anyone, or bought any presents. I am RIGHT ON TOP OF THINGS.

Then it's Christmas which usually isn't too hectic, except for trying to get us AND Kane and Jude to my mom's house, then my dad's house, and somewhere that Jason's parents will be, all in the couple of days that we have with them over Christmas vacation since they go and stay with their mom for the holidays. Besides THAT it's smooth sailing.

So, for right now, I'm thinking Christmas Presents. You should all be very excited, because I have some very special things in mind. I hope you've been nice, because if you've been naughty, I don't know what Santa might bring you!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Like strawberry wine.

Last week, an old friend of mine called me on the phone. I hadn't talked to Misty in at least five or six years, and maybe longer than that. I honestly can't remember the last time I talked to her.

Misty got pregnant and had her first baby when we were seventeen. She dropped out of school to raise Madison. I was so intrigued and jealous; I remember thinking that I could get pregnant with my boyfriend Jimmy, and that we could totally handle all the responsibility and PLUS then maybe my mom would let me spend the night with him. THIS proves how book-learnin' doesn't always count for that much, and that young women can be BLIND AND STUPID when it comes to babies, marriage, and boys and their potential as life-partners and fathers. Luckily Misty's situation was much better than mine would have been, had I decided to start a family with a nineteen-year-old boy who drove a Maverick that broke down regularly and lived in a house where we often sat around and listened to gun shots and then tried to guess at which neighboring house someone had just been killed.

Misty married Drue, Madison's daddy, and I was a bridesmaid in her wedding. They went on to have another baby, Clayton, and she got her GED, went back to school, and became a dental hygienist (I think; if I'm wrong, Misty, I'm sorry).

Now she's divorced AND remarried, and is very happy and lives just down the street from us. We talked and Madison and Clayton are, respectively, the same age and at the same school as Kane and Jude. We decided that we really should get together with the kids so they can play and hang out, and without the kids so WE can play and hang out. We laughed about old jokes, and about Misty telling me after she had Madison that the placenta looks like a blue potroast, an observation that Jason has always vehemently agreed with.

When we talked about my family, all my boys, she immediately said, "Oh, Buffy, so you don't have ANY help, do you? You do all the laundry." And I had this momentary, tiny release, just a little spurt of "JESUS thank you." It was just this miniscule sense of commeraderie knowing that I was talking to someone who immediately got that shit is nuts at my house sometimes. Jason helps out plenty, but he is a BOY, folks; he generally, and admittedly, just doesn't really think about laundry and dishes and scrubbing the tub that much on his own.

Just yesterday, I bought a few of those Arm and Hammer fridge and freezer packs that are supposed to suck up odors in your fridge and freezer, and I told Jason that we needed to clean out the fridge and put those in there because some of the stuff, the milk and the water, smelled and tasted funny lately. Jason replied, "I'm glad you think about that stuff, because I just DON'T." And, you know, I get it. I wish that I didn't think about all that stuff so much. But I guess one person in the relationship has to; otherwise we'd be drinking milk that tasted like the floppy carrots that were still in the refridgerator after three weeks.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Could you please pass the "DO WHAT?"

So, we're having dinner with Jason's family tonight for his birthday at Guadalajara in Pelham, which means MARGARITAS and CONFUSION!!!

The margaritas I'm kind of excited about; I don't think I've had a margarita since before I got pregnant with Reed.

The confusion is just a family tradition with the Agans; who's paying the bill, who's ordering what, whose child is trying to break the gumball machine, whose drink is this, who knows? It's all in good fun, and it only takes about two hours to get out of the restaurant once the bill has been paid. And then it only takes about another two hours to figure out where all the children are going and with whom, and then to get everyone to their cars. That's just how they roll.

I'm getting much more used to it, but I've got to tell you, the alcohol helps. When I was pregnant and couldn't drink, I had to remind myself to bring a strap of leather to bite down on during these family get-togethers, if only to keep from grinding my teeth down to the gums during a particularly long game of "Wait, I have some coupons." But the drinking keeps the tooth-grinding down to a minimum- perhaps I grind just a tiny bit when we all start trying to get in touch with Mary to find out if Kane and Jude can spend the night with Jason's mom, and then AFTER we finally do and she says yes, Kane and Jude tell us that they want to go home to their mom's house and we have to try and get back in touch with Mary BEFORE she gets to Tijuana for the evening. But, you know, no big deal.

Who knows? Maybe Jason and I will end up in Tijuana after dinner tonight. I'll have to be sure and pack some disinfectant wipes...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

On husbands.

Jason's birthday is this Friday, and I'm taking him out to eat. I told him he should pick the place, because it's his birthday.

So where are we going?


Saturday, November 18, 2006

It's the most wonderful time of the year.

There's a sad little Christmas tree, a fake one that's three feet tall with no decorations, on a table in between a large paper cutter and a basket of dum-dums in the middle of our office. I find it to be very depressing, and a little comical.

Today is the Iron Bowl, a historic and very serious event for Alabamians. College football is big everywhere, I suppose, but it is religion down here. Auburn University and the University of Alabama sending their football teams to GO AT IT is a big deal, I guess because they're both local to us. Auburn is about two hours away, and Tuscaloosa is about an hour away.

When I was in second grade, I smiled at a cute boy named Dan Baker in P.E. one day. That afternoon in the lunch room, he sent me a note that said, "Check one. Do you like Alabama or Auburn?" I checked Alabama, and by that afternoon we were "going together". THAT is how important this game is; your allegiance can determine the path that your life is going to take.

Today I am wearing a red shirt, a really cute v-neck with three-quarter sleeves. The fact that it is red is the significant part- I am "wearing my color". I have never been a big football fan, but every year, I must admit, I feel a tiny twinge of excitement on game day, the only "game day" that I notice all year long.

My dad has always been an Alabama fan, so that has always been my team, too. I'm pretty sure that, in years past, he and his buddies would watch the game and drink a few beers. One particular year, when I was about ten or eleven, my dad came home after a particularly tense and unpredictable game that had ended in Alabama's defeat wearing an Auburn hat. Let me reiterate that I'm not a big football fan. But for some reason, that moment SCARED THE SHIT out of me. I thought, "Okay, it's the end of the world as I know it, Michael Stipe, and my dad has lost his mind." I kept asking him if he'd changed his mind, and it wasn't until several years later that I realized that he was being sarcastic when he replied, over and over again, "Well, Buffy, I just realized that Auburn is the better team."

Today I'm wearing my color and supporting my team for my dad. I don't know if he'll watch the game, and I don't know if he'll be able to enjoy it, but I'm stepping in to ensure that Alabama won't find themselves one fan short today.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

My dad had his prostate surgery on Monday. I spent several hours with him in the hospital, and it was a scary experience. He was in some pain, and was generally uncomfortable, and was pale and, I think, a little scared.

You know, I've never been close to my dad. I've always wished that we had the kind of relationship that I have with my mom- close, comfortable, honest. But it's just never been that way. I was a disappointment to him in my later teenage years, and that feeling seems to have stuck with him somehow. I partied, and didn't really care about college, and didn't really care about jobs, and I made bad grades and then stopped going to school altogether. I know that he wasn't just trying to be a wet blanket; he was worried about how I would get along once he wasn't here to help me out any more, trying to prepare me to be self-sufficient and all that.

I cleaned up my act a few years ago; I got things together. I held jobs, made money, got my ass back in school and made some good grades. I graduated and got a full time job that pays really well and has some great benefits. I got married and had a baby and added THREE grandchildren to his collection, not just one.

And still he's acted like I disappoint him, like he just doesn't know what to do with me. I've spent a lot of time resenting him for not being able to just say, "Good job." But I think I've finally let it go. Looking at him in his hospital bed, KNOWING that his fears are just like mine, I just let it go. I realize that you might think, "Well, you shoulda let it go a long time ago!" and that I might sound really bitchy. But old habits within families are hard to break; it's not always as easy as all that. I can't explain the way my heart felt, the way my stomach felt, sitting in the room with him. We were quiet, and we both just rested, and I listened closely when nurses or doctors came to talk to him.

He has high cholesterol; I didn't know that. He gets shooting pains in his left arm sometimes; I didn't know that. He bled a lot more than is normal with that surgery. He has some kind of benign heart condition, with a CRAZY name that I can't remember (bigeny something, something that made me think "By jeminy!" every time they said it), that makes every third heart beat come too fast every now and then. They sent four samples off after the surgery, and all four came back negative for cancer.

I am learning new things all the time these days. I learn. I DESERVE a pat on the back for that one, because not everyone can say that.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

You speak any English?

Okay, I'm panicking. I'm reading a great book called Toxic Childhood, and I'm learning how to keep my kids active and healthy and not too engrossed in the computer and t.v.

But there is a list of 34 Life Skills Your Child Should Have By the Age of 12, and one of them is "Clean a cooker hob."



Art Vandalay with black beans, no rice, and some camo.

I went to Moe's for lunch today, and I don't know what's going on, but there were a LOT of army people in there. Seriously, there were probably about fifteen or twenty army people there. I think they may have been recruiters, but I'm not sure. When I got in line, there were about ten army guys in line in front of me. Then, three army women came in behind me and got in line. I have to tell you, this one particular army woman, of course the one who was directly behind me, had absolutely no concept of personal space. First, she got RIGHT behind me. You know how you can just feel when someone is standing too close? And even if I didn't know at first that she was standing too close, I would have figured it out during any one of the FIFTEEN times she bumped in to me while we were in line. Sometimes she'd poke me with her elbow, sometimes she sort of brushed up against me with her whole body. I mean, she was within one foot of me at all times. If I moved, she moved. I'm not exagerrating here; it was creepy.

Before I move on, I'd like to say that I have friends who are or have been in the army. I am not passing judgement on the army as a whole, nor am I saying that I think army folk as a whole are stupid or unsavory or anything else. I am talking just about these particular women who could have avoided this whole thing if they hadn't practically wanted to INSPECT THE SEAMS ON MY CLOTHING or at least they might as well have while they were so close up. I'd like to add that this particular Moe's is the same Moe's where I was felt up by an army woman a few months ago.


What follows are some quotes, some actual bits of the conversation these women were having. Besides the content (some of which I personally find to be QUESTIONABLE, at the least), the sheer variety that these women achieved is mind-boggling. Keep in mind that I got my food to-go; this was all said in the time it took us to order and pay for our food. Keep in mind also that I don't usually eavesdrop, but seeing as how these women were having their conversation from a little porch they built right outside my eardrum, I could hardly tune them out.

"The American people just need to get that World War II back bone out!"

"You know that guy on the O'Reilly Factor? I LOVE him."

"They call MY son 'push-up Dave'!!!"

"The only way to be a decent drill sergeant is to learn how to go around the system."

"What about Black Monday? BLACK MONDAY. We're about to have another one of those. You know why? Because it's time for it to come around again."

"I want to know why Bush doesn't get all the credit he deserves."

"You know that we're being under-cut by the Asian market. Pretty soon, they're going to control the whole world."

"They're talking about going back to Vietnam. I think they should!!"

I think we can all see that the Moe's on Lakeshore in Homewood, Alabama is a HOT BED of political and military thought. Things are movin' and shakin' over there. Just watch out for your behind because somebody might pat it lovingly when you least expect it.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Give me money, give me drugs, slow wet kisses, all your love..

I'm going to see Wyatt tomorrow night at the Nick. It's going to be a good show, and I hope that everybody who reads this can make it out. If you can't, go over to their page and give them a listen, and maybe you can make it to the next show.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

All I wanna do is to thank you, even though I don't know who you are.

Well, Jude doesn't have strep throat, Reed doesn't like Kane and Jude's bitchy doctor who is rude to me (Dr. Judy), and my car MIGHT be ready on Friday.

You know how they say you learn something new every day? These are the things I've learned today. So, you know, it's two steps forward and one step back.

I really am happy to know that Jude doesn't have strep throat, since my throat has been hurting a little too and I was afraid we might both have it. Of course it doesn't have anything to do with Jude's feelings and wellfare! I just don't want to be sick again, when I'm still not really over the sick of last week. Besides, do we know why Jude has been a little under the weather? Because it's mothergrabbin' OCTOBER and they went to "the lake" to catch crawdads, and Jude went into the water WITH HIS SHOES ON. I realize that this isn't the first time I've mentioned this; it's just that I can't get over it. You know what they did a couple of weeks ago? They had cotton candy FOR BREAKFAST. Now, I know that you guys are thinking, "Man, I bet she's a lot of fun. NOT." But it's just that this is the norm. I'll go over there to pick them up in January, and it'll be 33 degrees outside, and Mary will have all the doors in the apartment open so her cigarette smoke won't stay in the apartment, and Kane and Jude will be wandering around with icecycles hanging off of their BARE TOES and frost accumulating beneath the bottoms of their SHORTS.

What's my point? It's like fucking Neverland over there; there's not a TRUE adult in sight, as least not one who isn't on some kind of heavy, mind-altering substance, and they've all decided that they're never growing up! It's all very fun and cool and "look how much better they like us than they like you guys!!" So when Kane and Jude are at our house it's a real drag to have to, you know, eat stuff that isn't composed entirely of sugar and fairy dust, and to have to do really ridiculous, outdated stuff like put on socks and wash your hands. I continue to have to play the role of the demeaning, ornery, enraged, evil bossy bitch on that front.

But that's okay. I've had a lot of practice. So I was totally okay with the hurt, spiteful look on Jude's face this morning when I told him that he can't wear wet sneakers to school in 45 degree weather, and that he might not ever be able to wear those shoes again as they were emersed in lake water- which, in Alabama, equals fish-stink and pollution. HE WILL GET OVER IT. That, or he'll shiv me. But I'm ready for that, too. I've got two long-bows underneath my bed, bitches. Just in case the revolution comes.

Monday, October 23, 2006

L.A. Fashion Week, where L.A. stands for "Leeds, Alabama".

Today Jude wore an entire outfit of new clothes- new clothes that I bought him. Unless you know him, you have no idea what an unnatural feat this is. I mean, I figured when I locked him in the basement and provided him only the clothes that I bought him, he'd break eventually, but I never thought he would just.. wear them.

Now, when I was seven years old FOR PETE'S LOVIN' SAKES I don't even think I looked at what I was wearing. I think I just put stuff on to keep the cold off, you know? Hell, my mom might have still been dressing me, I don't know. I think, once in a while, I might have seen a dress that I liked and showed it to my mom, who would inevitably say, "Oh, we can make that." But besides that, I just didn't give a honk.

Jude, on the other hand, is a SNOB. He is a snob, folks. And it's so completely off-setting, because he's so punk rock, skateboarder, bmx biker, criminal extraordinaire, that you'd sort of assume that he barely thought about what he was wearing, too. But NO. NONONONO. I noticed several years ago that he had favorites in his wardrobe, and would wear dirty clothes over and over again. I finally told him that he had to put on a CLEAN shirt when he got out of the tub, and he had a crying, stomping fit; he then tried to get us to wash the same shirt every night, so he could just put it on again the next morning.

Since Kane and Jude have moved in with us, I often buy them clothes. I mean, you know a boy can put on a new shirt and it will have disintegrated off his body by that evening, so they always need clothes. Anytime I'm at Target or Old Navy I glance through the clearance stuff to see if there is anything in their sizes, and if I find something that (a) is the right size, and (b) looks like something they'd like, I grab it. Kane always thanks me over and over again, and sort of holds it up to himself to show how approving he is. Jude, though, usually looks sort of constipated and then lifts his nose a little higher, shakes his head in the "no" fashion, and walks away. I'm not kidding- that is the routine for "when Buffy brings clothes home". And, people, we like to dress our children in "cool" clothes; it's not like I'm bringing home bonnets and saddle shoes.

So this morning, I went to make sure that Jude was on his way to being ready, and he was wearing a new t-shirt that I bought him last night, new jeans that I bought him a couple of months ago, and new sneakers that he had completely disdained, so much so that I was intending to take them back. And he looked so darned cute, I even told him how darned cute he looked.

Of course, he went on to tell me that the reason he was wearing the new shoes was because his other shoes were "still wet" because they went hunting for crawdads and he went in the lake WITH HIS SHOES ON in 65-degree-weather and, people, 24 hours is just not enough time for Sketchers to dry, okay?

I wonder why his throat was hurting this morning?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Today is a good day, I think. Today is one of those days in which a whole mess o' stuff happens, and you hardly even notice it, but you feel good at the end.

I cleaned the floors. I spent a lot of time with Reed. I did a lot of laundry. I liked Kane and Jude, and I think they liked me. We talked about Halloween, and how much fun it's going to be, and how cute Reed is going to be on his very first Halloween in his monkey costume. I went shopping with my mom, and she reminded me again why she is one of my best friends. I kissed Jason, and meant it.

And through the whole day, I was thinking SO HARD about somebody I love, and somebody else who I'm pretty sure I love and really want to love, and I was worrying so much about them. And even my mom was worrying so much about them. And at one point I even thought, "If I went to church, and at church they did that thing where they ask if anybody needs prayers, I would ask them to pray about this." Because this is one of those moments, you know? Those MOMENTS, where you know several lives are really going to be totally changed, and it's really hard to figure out which decision makes people's live better, and which decision makes people's lives worse. Because you have to try SO HARD to think about the long run, right? It is so difficult to even figure out what the long run would be, with each decision. Suddenly your head is spinning, and it's just so much easier, and so much less painful, and so much more painful, not to think about it at all. And there are times when you just really want things to be easy, but you can't even figure out which thing is easy, you know?

And right now I'm just proud. I feel pride that I had a day in which I just felt good. I didn't feel despair, or loneliness, or isolation, or rage. I didn't want to run away, or break some stuff, or take a big ol' glass o' FUCKSHIT and throw it at anybody.

But I kept having these moments, these MOMENTS, in which I was thinking, "Our lives are about to be changing, because THEIR lives are about to be changing." And it was just so damn scary, and sad, and, sort of, pensive. What's going to happen, you know? What are we going to do? How can I just GET RIGHT IN THERE and wave my magic wand and fix it all up? And, you know, I can't.

And then I made a little phone call, and I was so nervous about making my phone call, because I just didn't KNOW, you know? But I did it, and we talked, and I came away from it thinking that things are really going to be okay. No matter WHAT ends up happening, things are going to be okay. This is why God made ears, beers, and cheese cake brownies, people. BECAUSE THEY HELP YOU. We all need to slow down a little bit, listen to each other, take a minute to figure things out. Conclusions should NEVER, nevernevernever, be jumped to, because you might miss the most important stuff. The bottom line, I think, is that we all deserve happiness, but MOTHERFUCKER it's just so damn hard to locate sometimes. We all have to learn to be patient enough, and hard working enough, and "I'm gon' ignore the fact that I just want to CHOKE A BITCH" enough to allow ourselves to stumble upon it.

I, for one, am excited and anticipatory. Is "anticipatory" a word? WHO CARES?! I am taking a minute to enjoy my happiness, and relief, and my shitting with glee. If I happen to make a couple of grammatical errors along the way, it just doesn't even matter.

I'm going to go get a cheese cake brownie. Okay, a beer.

And my anal ass will probably be back later to remove "anticipatory" from this post, because EW, grammatical errors!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I want to get high, so high.

Eh; I wadda go hoooooooooo-buh!

I'm pretty sick, and it's getting to me a little bit. The medicine that makes me feel the most better has codeine in it, and so I can't take it while I'm at work. I'm all stopped up and coughy and snorty and snotty and whiny and I honestly DON'T CARE how your day is going because I feel really baaaaaaaaaaaad, okay?

You know, a couple of months ago, Kane, Jude, Reed, and Jason all got sick, one by one. They had the runny nose, and the sinus crap, and the wet cough, and all that stuff that kind of gives you the full-body shiver and makes you scrub your body with Clorox wipes. MAN, I cleaned the house and sprayed us all down with Lysol every day, and somehow, I managed to avoid the sickness. I kept waiting for that tell-tale day in which I started to feel really low, but it never came. Eventually, everyone was well, and I still hadn't gotten sick, and I thought, "Hallelujah! I've finally gotten to a place where I can be around sick people and not get sick!"

So when Jude started coughing about three weeks ago, I hardly even thought about it. Then Jason got really sick, sicker than Jude, and I worried a little bit. But I kept thinking that I'd just keep shuckin' and jivin', and I'd give this one the slip as well. Then I started to feel bad around Thursday of last week, and I was so disappointed. I thought that I might as well deal with it, because it was my fault anyway, since I hadn't been Cloroxing our silverware and toothbrushes as usual.

However, it has since come to my attention JASON, that it couldn't have been avoided no matter what I did about it. I mean, if I didn't live with people who scoff at germs as being figments of my imagination and things better left unthought-of, I might have avoided it. But as it is, I live with JASON and JUDE, so I really couldn't have avoided it.

One night last week, Kane and Jude were having sandwiches for supper; it was one of those nights when I was not ABOUT to lift a finger for anyone besides myself, as I was too busy having massages and bon-bons and shit, so they were making the sandwiches themselves. Usually when they do this, Jude puts a modicum of jelly on one piece of bread, folds it in half, and calls it a sandwich. On this particular evening, I had called in from my pedicure and foot rub to tell him to use two pieces of bread for pete's blue-eyed sakes, and put some God damn peanut butter on there too! So I was standing there, and Jude was making his sandwich, and he put a teeny-tiny smear of jelly on the bread, licked the knife, and then DIPPED IT BACK INTO THE JELLY JAR, and then LICKED IT SOME MORE. After I awoke from my simultaneous stroke/coma, I said, "You CANNOT put that knife back in the jelly after you've LICKED IT." And what I actually intended was for him to put that knife in the sink and get a new one. As much as these guys love to clear out our cabinets and fill up the sink with dirty dishes, I know that any other day Jude would have put the knife in the sink and got a new one. But on this day, he ran the knife under the faucet for about .3 nanoseconds, and then stuck it right back into the jelly jar. And then he licked it. And then he stuck it back in there again. And then I had my second stroke/coma for that day, but this time there was also a seizure thrown in for good measure.

In an event which shall now be known as "not at all fucking unrelated", Jason and I were at Target the other night, and he said, "We need batteries." He went on to tell me that the batteries had been out in his toothbrush for some time. Then he dropped the bomb: "Yours will probably go out pretty soon. Because I've been using your toothbrush since my batteries went dead." Now, people, before you get all "God, you're a prude!" on me, I don't necessarily have a problem with the occasional sharing of toothbrushes WHEN YOU ARE BOTH WELL AND HEALTHY AND HAVE NO DEADLY PLAGUES TO CAST UPON THE UNKNOWING VICTIM OF YOUR TOOTHBRUSH-RAPE. In this case, however, I feel like Jason could have SHOVED OFF and used his own germ-infested toothbrush for the duration of his illness.

So, to wrap up, (a) I am sick, and (b) It is not my fault. I might as well have been asking Jason to spit in my mouth and paying Jude to direct all those nice, juicy coughs right into my face.

I do dot like beig sick, ad dow I'b sick, ad I wadda go hobe, suck dowd sub codeed with a bartidi ad proceed to let Calgod take be away.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Hit me with your best shot.

Kane got suspended from school on Thursday.

Apparently some kid thought that Kane was breaking in line, so he pushed Kane, and a few minutes later punched him in the back of the head. Kane pushed him back.

My immediate reaction was to be a little freaked out, a little worried, a little mad. After having some time to think it over, I am just very proud. It takes a frail and delicate balance to raise a kid who can take up for himself. You don't want to get a kid so hyped that he ends up being a bully and a smart-ass, but you also don't want to teach a kid that he should back down when confronted. There's a lot of back-tracking and contradiction in teaching a kid to find the middle of these two things. "Don't ever hit or push anyone else, and don't ever snatch something away from another person. If someone is making you feel bad or threatening you, just walk away; be the grown-up in the situation. If someone ever hits you or pushes you or makes you afraid, you should tell the teacher immediately. But if you think you're about to get beat up, you need to pound on him just a little."

We're trying to raise MEN over here, you know? I want them to grow up to be the kind of men women can trust, can confide in, can depend on, can be proud of. I want them to be the kind of men who are smart and brave enough to ignore shitty assholes, but are confident in the fact that, if need be, they can BEAT THE LIFE OUT of those shitty assholes. I want them to be the kind of men who stand out in a crowd because they are SO honest, and have SO much integrity, and also know how to smile and mean it. Because boys lose that sometimes, and I think that loss in turn causes girls to lose it, too.

There was a time in my life when I was surrounded by boys- friends and lovers who took care of me and knew that I would take care of them. These were people that I would love forever and do love now. But that time passed eventually; I was lonely for a long time and it was hard to grow up and realize that these relationships grow and change and, sometimes, break. But it has occurred to me over the past few months that it's just a new group of boys now. Four boys- Jason, Kane, Jude, and Reed- is plenty. And the fact that our relationships are even more intimate than those I've had with boys before- it takes a special kind of person to scrub the skidmarks out of the underwear of someone who doesn't even call you mom, okay?- just makes it all the more intense. There are fights and disagreements and misconceptions and hurt feelings; we laugh hard and we cry harder.

But it is LIFE, man. There is not a day that passes in which I don't think, "Thank GOD I'm alive, or else these guys would be wearing some NASTY skivvies and eating blow pops for dinner." Really, though, without even realizing it, we are grabbing the grittiest part of life by the balls and sayin', "Bitch, please!" Because, for some of us, just making it through the day alive is an accomplishment. Drugs, and drinking, and partying, and being crazy, that is the easy stuff. Explaining, for the FIFTEENTH TIME, to a seven-year-old why he can't lick the knife and then put it BACK in the peanut butter, while doing laundry, feeding a ten-month-old, and helping a ten-year-old with his homework? These are things that YOU DO NOT LEARN IN SCHOOL; you teach yourself to do these things and you teach yourself not to drag the new kitchen knives across your throat somewhere in the process and that's why it's such an accomplishment. There are always easy ways out. There is always something more fun, more relaxing, less "IF YOU LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT ONE MORE TIME I'M GON' CHOKE A BITCH!" that I could be doing. But I am sticking with it, 'cause it would be a shame to waste these past three years of sheer exhaustion and self-doubt by giving up. And I'm getting pretty good at this whole "multi-tasking" thing. And I think I might be setting a good example for my boys while I'm at it.

There is some one out there right now who needs that last paragraph. I am tearing up and thinking about you right now. I hope that it's not too late, because we can deal with this. YOU can deal with this. But if it is too late, we will deal with that, too. I am finding out that we are more alike than I ever even wished we would be. You are a member of my family, so you will never be alone.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Winning and losing: what's the difference?

When I was a kid, I was best friends with Kristi and we played together all the time. We loved playing outdoors; we'd disappear for hours at a time in the woods and my mom would have to send our dog Poochie to find us. I always knew that when Poochie came running up to us expectantly, it was time to go home.

We played a lot of indoor games as well. We played board games, and we played house with baby dolls, and we played barbies. However, Kristi and I were, how you say, creative children, so sometimes we got bored and had to find other ways to entertain ourselves. [This is not about to get dirty or sexy, so just hang that up at the door.] One of our favorite things was to tear the legs off of barbies and play with them as if they were individual people. Seriously. Each leg was its own person; we would put dresses on them, change their shoes, whatnot. We had great fun, and I'm pretty sure that we came up with some pretty elaborate story lines.

When I think about it now, I realize that my mom had a great deal of patience, as well as the ability to let slide that which is not important. That second one is really a double-whammy, because not only must you be able to let it slide, you must be able to discern that it's not important. This may seem obvious to some of you, but it is not obvious to me. I have a lot of trouble figuring out what is important and what is not. I mean, if Shu Shu goes onto the front porch, I let it slide; I know that it's not important, that she'll come back in when she's ready. But if Jude and Kane were ripping their action figures apart, and making the legs walk around and talk, I can't say that it wouldn't FREAK ME THE FUCK RIGHT OUT. I mean, if they were actually doing that particular thing, I would probably think it's cute since I did it too, and the three of us could revel in the freakoutification that Jason exhibited. But you see what I mean; if they were destroying their toys in some way that I hadn't thought of myself, and doing really weird things with them, I would be crossing myself and saying a few "Hail Mary"'s.

My mom had the balls to just ignore us, and assume that we wouldn't be serial killers, or animal abusers, or Bay City Rollers fans, and just move on with things. That's something that I'm afraid that I haven't acquired.

I think if I came home and Kane and Jude were yanking the arms off of their transformers and playin' with 'em, I would secretly fear for the rest of my life that the next step in their dementia was wearing roller skates and singing "S, A, T-U-R, D-A-Y, NIGHT!"

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Ah, what was that?

Okay, so a woman in Iowa bought a wedding dress from a local street vendor, paid part of the tab, and offered her son to make up the rest of the balance. Davenport, Iowa, police charged 31-year-old Marcy Gant with one felony count of sale of an individual. She is accused of trying to sell her 4-year-old son.

A pitcher for the Yankees flew his plane into a residential building in New York City.

A woman is struck by lightning while brushing her teeth, and the lightning travels through her body and out HER ANUS. She's being treated for severe burns in her mouth and BUTT.

And my freakin' car MIGHT be ready by Friday, but who knows? It might not.

It's been a long day, people. I'm ready to go home.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Smartness of Children, the Dumbness of Everyone Else.

We went to a parent-teacher conference yesterday with Kane's R.L.C. teacher Mrs. Webb. These things are always a little nerve-wracking; you expect that the teacher will say a bunch of really wonderful stuff, but you're afraid she'll tell you a bunch of stuff that you weren't ready for. "Your child likes to beat up other children and then rub feces on them." Having said that, we are always pleased after going to these things; Kane and Jude are the best.

Yesterday was no exception. Mrs. Webb said that Kane is extremely bright. In fact, she said, "This being R.L.C., all of the kids are bright. But Kane is brightest among them." She went on to say, "You know, he doesn't just sit around doing math problems or anything like that. This kid has got ideas; he's got stuff to SAY." And I knew exactly what she was talking about, because I complain regularly about this aspect of Kane's geniusness. If you've ever wanted to eat a meal whilst being told, IN GREAT DETAIL, about every, single, minute movement that is made and word that is said on an episode of "Family Guy"- I mean you can't even say "Pass the butter." because this kid doesn't even stop to BREATHE- then you need to call Kane, because he can take care of you. He can take care of you all day long. If you value ridiculous, petty, outdated ideas like "peace" and "quiet", don't come to our house. We cannot help you.

Anyway, we were so proud to hear her say what a joy he is in class, and how smart he is, and how much he deserves the best schools we can send him to. Jason and I have been concerned for some time about Kane's staying in the Leeds city school system. I love Leeds, folks, but the school system has been on the long, hard road to hell for quite some time. The elementary school is an award-winner; the junior high is in a neighborhood where you can buy drugs from eight-year-olds. Junior high is the barrel we're staring down currently, since Kane is in fifth grade this year. We're working on a couple of ideas, and I'm confident that we'll figure something out. Because he DOES deserve to be challenged, just not in the "Who in my school sells the best crack?" kind of way.

This conference brought up clear memories of Kane's teacher at Vestavia telling us that Kane had ADHD, and needed to be medicated for it. We were also told that, in October of Jude's kindergarten year, after being there for only a little over two months, with seven months left in the school year, Jude needed to repeat kindergarten. We said, "Oh, is he behind the other kids? Is he having trouble keeping up? Are the other kids ahead of him with reading and counting and stuff?" She replied, "No. He's the youngest in his class." (Jude was five at the time. I was five in kindergarten, Jason was five in kindergarten, most people are five in kindergarten.)

I have since read articles that talk about a practice called "red shirting", in which children are held back until they are six to go to kindergarten, because it allows them to test better and it gives them the advantage over younger kids- meaning they'll probably do better than younger kids, and therefore stay at the top of their class all the way through high school. That particular article was saying that parents did this to keep their kids ahead of the rest, but I realized that a school could encourage this in order to have really high test scores. Vestavia is considered one of the best school systems in the state, based on their really high test scores.

Hmmm. Interesting.

Jason and I spent a lot of time freaking out about Kane getting drugged because some TEACHER diagnosed him with ADHD, and Jude being held back for no particular reason. These were the deciding factors in their coming to live with us; we wanted better for them. We wanted them to have teachers who were excited to see them in the morning, and who enjoyed their uniqueness and creativity. It still surprises me that we found that in Leeds, a town that is going broke and can hardly pay its teachers. Thank you, Leeds, for taking care of my kids, if only for a little while.


Friday, October 06, 2006

There is nothing "official" about this place.

If they were going to give the world an enema, they'd stick that lil' tube right here in Leeds!
-Ryan, quoting his father

There are currently two bars in Leeds. There used to be the legendary Fuzzy Mule, but, alas, it was torn down before I turned 21. I heard tell that it had dirt floors, bad smells, and all the rednecks you could eat with a spork and a little gravy. There was a delicious rumor that there was a mechanical bull at the Fuzzy Mule, and I was determined to ride that thing before I died. But, the Mule died before I could get to it.

The Central Club and the Office Lounge have both been there for some time, I think. I heard of people who went to high school with me hanging out at the Central Club, but by that time I was such a Southside kid that I thought, "MY GOD, what would possess them to go to one of those bars?" I'm pretty sure that the clientele was similar to that of the Fuzzy Mule. The Central Club burned down several years ago, and while I have no idea what actually happened, I'm pretty sure foul play was involved. Either that or stupidity. Either one would make for a pretty good story, really.

Anyway, when the Central Club was rebuilt (and I use the term "rebuilt" loosely, as a big metal shed can't really be referred to so much as "built"; a big metal shed is more "moved", or "placed", I think), the clientele changed somewhat. I wasn't really aware of this change until I tried to go there one night not long ago and found that I was surrounded by a lot of young people, younger than me, who all might as well have been hissing, "You don't belong here, weird uncool person!" But that isn't what stopped us. It also wasn't the booming booty music, so loud that it almost knocked me down, so loud that I, once hip and cool, actually thought, "Does it really have to be so loud?" The $10 door charge stopped us. I ain't payin' $10 to get into a metal shed in Leeds, booty music, hip youngsters and all.

When we left the Central Club that night, we moved right along to the Office Lounge, a place that I had never before even considered going. It really just never even occurred to me. There was no door charge, and the beers were $1.50 a piece. I was like, "Hey, I'm actually saving us money by going here!" We stayed for an hour or two, had a couple of beers, and left.

We went back the next weekend for a little karaoke action. I love some karaoke, 'cause when I rock the mike I rock the mike right. See, below, Kristi reacting to my rocking of the mike:

And, yes folks, she really is that cool. But, naw, she likes my rocking the mike. That just happens to be a picture of Kristi at the Office Lounge, so I found it to be appropriate. We rocked the mike, even "singing" a truly inspirational rendition of "Pump Up the Jams" (after which, some lady playing video poker even had to comment at how badly we suck).

That was a good night, and tonight, we're going back. I have a feeling that the scissors will be stuck in my forehead again tomorrow, but I will tough it out for the sake of singing Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'".

Saturday, September 30, 2006

I see you on down on the scene..

I do believe we're having company tonight.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


I have two things to tell you people about today.

First, Reed has got a wonderful new skill! He can now reach into his diaper, pull poop out, and rub it on surrounding items, including himself! Ah, they grow so fast. Jason noticed him this morning making the telltale grunting noises that signal a bowel movement while he was sitting in his playpen. A minute later, Jason noticed something on Reed's neck, and he realized that Reed was leaning oddly to the side, and one of his hands was out of sight. He looked closer to discover that, yes, Reed was indeed reaching into his diaper, pulling out poop, and doing with it as he pleased. And he was VERY pleased. Jason said he was really quite excited about the whole thing, and even a little proud of himself. I tell you, he's a FREAKING GENIUS. I wish I could pull poop out of my pants and rub it on stuff. I'd probably start with my boss' keyboard and phone. But that's another story.

Second, one of the CHILDREN who works up front at the circulation desk just came back here, to my desk, and made me unimaginably uncomfortable. I met him last spring; he's a work study student here in the library. When I worked with him on Saturdays, I always got the impression that he thought HE was in charge of ME, instead of the other way around. He bossed me around, and asked a lot of questions that implied that he was checking to make sure I knew what I was doing. I only actually worked WITH him for a total of about an hour; I stayed in the back at my desk, and he covered the circulation desk. I hadn't seen him in a while, until just a few moments ago.

CHILD: Hey! How's it going?

TOTALLY UNCOMFORTABLE BUFFY (from here on out, referred to as TUB): Ah, fine. How are you?

CHILD: Oh, you know, pretty good. I just had some stir fry for lunch, so I figured I needed a mint. (Here, he shows me his mint.)

(He stands there looking at me, as if we are going to have some kind of conversation. I look away and go about my work, all the while begging God to give me a frickin' break. I can feel the people I work with waiting on pins and needles to try and figure out exactly what's going on here. I'd like to tell them to TAKE A FUCKIN' NUMBER 'cause I'd like to know that myself.)

CHILD: So, then it's the same old same old?

TUB: Uh, yes.

(More moments of uncomfortable silence. My face starts to get red. I continue to work and ignore him.)

CHILD: Hey! (He just remembered something.) Are you going to the show? The band? Do you know about the concert?

TUB: (I'm growing more and more scared.) No. I don't know what you're talking about.

CHILD: Pat Green. Have you ever heard of him?

TUB: No, I haven't. I don't know what you're talking about.

CHILD: He's some country singer. I'm not really a fan of country music. (He just stops talking and looks at me.)

TUB: Hm. No, I haven't heard anything about it.

At this point, the director of the library comes back and starts talking loudly about Reese cups or some shit, and it scares the KID away. I sit there and go THANK YOU GOD THANK YOU JESUS WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?

And those are my thoughts for the day.

Friday, September 22, 2006

And you know what they say about men with big feet- they wear big shoes.

My husband has big feet. Seriously, Jason's feet are huge. Big. Very big feet. And while this has some obvious perks for me, his wife, it is a ROYAL PAIN IN MY ASS to find shoes for him.

Most of my shoes come from two places: Target (i.e., the holy land and my second home) or Payless (i.e., a place I try not to go because there are so many things that make me shit with glee). So, most of my shoes cost under $20. I have many pairs of shoes, and I generally don't have any trouble finding shoes that fit and make me happy. Actually, my problem lies in trying NOT to find shoes that fit and make me happy.

Anyway, we honestly have trouble keeping Jason in a pair of shoes that doesn't either have holes where his toes have finally revolted against the tyranny of the uncomfortable, restrictive, positively FASCIST vinyl or otherwise cheap fabric and escaped, or that aren't so terribly uncomfortable that Jason is FORCED by a will normally unknown to him to talk, at great length, loudly and constantly, about how tired and sore and utterly abused his poor tootsies are.

How's THAT for a run-on sentence?!?

SO, I've been spending a lot of time on eBay lately, checking out shoes in the Men's Size 15 (jealous, ladies?) section, and I have to say, there are some interesting finds on there.

I'm so tempted to just go for it and buy some of these wacky shoes, in hopes that I could talk Jason into wearing them. The whole point is that, while we could go out and pay $75 to $100 in town somewhere on a nice pair of New Balance or Nike or whatever, I just can't surrender the fantasy that maybe I'll stumble onto something FANTASTIC for about $1.47 one day.

So I continue to look. And I am constantly amused at my finds, and even more amused imagining Jason walking around in some of these things.

I went through an odd phase that lasted about 17 years in which I was very worried that my feet looked big. I can't possibly explain it to you if you've never endured these feelings personally, but I was just obsessed with the fear that my feet were big, huge boats, and that people were snickering behind my back about my large, oddly proportioned feet. During this time, I was horrified and repelled by shoes that made my feet look any bigger than they actually were (such as Converse, or those little Sam-n-Libby shoes with the bows on them that were so in for quite some time). I haven't had these feelings in quite some time, but I am reminded of them as I look at some of these shoes.

I am getting ready to give up and just spend the hundred bucks, already, because this process is giving me hives.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


A death in the family is one of the most bizarre, difficult, surreal, humbling experiences that a person can go through, I think.

Candice's goat, Penny, died in our back yard some time Monday night. She stayed with us while Candice and Eric went on vacation. She was the sweetest baby of the three, I think.

I can't imagine how sad, how sad, it must be to come home from a week's vacation to that kind of news, to wake up to a phone call full of "I'm sorry" and "She's gone". There are people who don't own pets, and who just don't understand how fully you come to view them as your children. There are also people who do own pets, but just never seem to get past the it's-just-an-animal, pet/owner kind of relationship. And there's nothing wrong with that. But there is a third breed of person, the pet owner who takes completely seriously her duty to protect, love, and cherish her little friend, who just loves her little beast-child with all her heart, who is totally devastated when that little thing has to go away. I think that Candice and I have in common being that third kind of pet owner, and I am just so completely sorry for what she's having to deal with right now.

After I discovered what had happened, I went inside the house, and I thought, "Okay, we have to sell our goats. And maybe the cats. And probably the kids for good measure." Because how can I do this over and over again? A panic set in that I don't think I can accurately describe, in which I realized that I am no longer the child who comes home from school to bad news; I am the adult now who has to actually deal with the deceased animal, as well as the emotional turmoil of the passing of the loved one. Penny is Candice's child to tend to, but the tragedy made me realize that with Dudley, Pierre, Shu Shu, Ida, and Petey, I will have to bare up and find a box of the appropriate size. And I'm totally not convinced that I am, in any way, prepared to fill that role. As sad as I am over the death of Penny, how will I feel when it's one of my own? How will I take that tiny little body, that innocent little thing that I have fed and cuddled, and bury it away? How will I get rid of this feeling, this ache, these little flashes in my head that read, "Was she scared? I should have been with her. I hope she wasn't scared. I hope she didn't suffer. Even though I know that this is not my fault, I know that this is my fault."

And so, after agonizing over it for most of the night, I have decided to move to Siberia. There's not really anything in Siberia, right? I have to leave everyone that I love behind, because I don't think I can possibly deal with the possibility of losing them in some way. I just really can't be that kind of adult. I am not ready to NOT be the one who hears the news, then throws herself onto her bed and cries the whole afternoon, then lets her momma make her some soup when she manages to get herself under control. Who's going to make my soup? I NEED THE SOUP, PEOPLE!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Can you tie them in a knot? Can you tie them in a bow?

Reed woke up at 2:30 a.m. for a bottle the other night, as he is wont to do. I sat him in his high chair while I got the bottle ready, and gave him a couple of sweet potato puffs to tide him over.

After a couple of minutes, a moth flew into the kitchen and landed on his tray. He stopped cold, looked at it for a second, and then looked at me and said, "EH!!!" And I knew that what he said was, "What the FUCK is that and can I please eat it???"

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A Saturday at the Library.

So, Saturdays are sort of a free day for me here at the library. I'm here to supervise the work-study students, and mainly to act as back-up should one of them call in or not show up. I basically spend the day sitting in the back at my desk, internetting and drinking coffee.

Which brings me to my subject today: coffee. Specifically, how the coffee here at work tastes like motor oil. MOTOR OIL, people. This particular brand of coffee-motor oil is so foul it makes my face spontaneously contort into pretzel twists of utter disgust. At first I figured that the taste was the fault of the person making the coffee; after making it myself a few times, I decided that it must the the 1990's appliance-of-death that brewed the coffee that was making it taste so fiercely grody. After a few months of drinking the motor oil and assuming that my face would never regain its once-cute regularity, I started making a pot of coffee at home, and bringing a to-go cup with me. This, besides being a pain in my ass, was irritating for several reasons. First, I really don't need one more thing to carry in the morning. I'm usually running late anyways, what with the 87 ankle-biters whom I have to take care of in the mornings. Second, the coffee was always luke-warm by the time I got to work. Third, I DON'T NEED A THIRD BECAUSE THE FIRST TWO SUCK BADLY ENOUGH TO RUIN MY DAY.

Well, as we all know, my perfect car was wrecked a couple of weeks ago, and my only two to-go cups are in it. At the tow shop. In Vestavia.

SO, I decided to dedicate my Saturday to figuring out how to make a decent pot of coffee in this crappy, old coffee maker, for the love of buddha on a pogo ball.

I started with the two, old, nasty carafes that my boss insists on putting the coffee in. I had noticed that they were moderately to extremely brown and gross looking on the inside, but the hole in the top was too small to fit my hand in (that IS what he said, after all), so I hadn't figured out how to scrub them out. I filled them with soap and hot water and let them sit for a few minutes. It was only after I had done this that I decided to document this whole endeavor with my trusty camera. Witness, the inside of one of the carafes AFTER it has soaked- still partly nasty and brown:

THEN, I discoverd my trusty tools upstairs in the break room- meet brush and rag:

I went to work on those carafes like they have never been worked. I scrubbed and picked and scraped and rinsed, until, OH MY GOD!! They're SILVER on the inside!!!

Next, I laid my wrath upon the coffee pot itself. I scrubbed it, rinsed it, scrubbed it, scrubbed it and rinsed it again.

Then I proceeded to run EIGHT TWELVE-CUP POTS OF WATER through the coffee maker, one right after the other.

After this was done, I figured I should make a tiny, two-cup pot of coffee to relish in my success. Here is the small cup of coffee I poured myself:

And here I am, cursing the coffee gods for forsaking me so. It still tasted like shit. Er, motor oil.

Oh, well. It passed the time.

EDIT: I am posting this with links to the pictures because, for some reason or another, I can't get the pictures uploaded onto the blog. Sorry for the inconvenience. I'll try and fix it in the meantime.

Friday, September 08, 2006

In which I say bad things about my boss.

My boss has the habit of going, "Hhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!" in this very exasperated way, much like Napoleon Dynamite. She does this about 147 times a day.

"Have you seen that woman who comes up here wearing such a short skirt? HHHHHHHHHHH!!"

"That girl STILL hasn't returned all those inter-library loan books. Hhhhhhhhhhhhhh."

"Our neighbor wants us to water her plants again while she's out of town. Hhhhhhhhhhhh."

I don't know how she doesn't hyperventilate and pass out, bumping her head on the way down on one of the MILLION book trucks surrounding my desk filled with rare books or gift books that I'm NOT SUPPOSED TO WORK ON until I'm done with whatever else she deams to be more important than MY JOB that they pay me to do.