Friday, December 28, 2007

Part Two.

Part One is here.

Age Six: I spend the night with Kasie. Her parents have a gun cabinet in the playroom where we sleep. We are up late giggling and being girls, when Kasie gets out a pistol and points it at my head and says she's going to shoot me, and it scares me. She says later that she was sleepwalking. My mother has what can only be described as a shit-fit when I tell her, and she calls Kasie's mom and yells and Kasie's mom says that I must have talked her into playing with the gun.

Age Seven: I stay with my grandma a lot when my mom needs to run errands. She plays Scrabble, watches soap operas, and smokes cigarettes. There's always a ham in the refridgerator. She won't play Scrabble with me because I'll "just lose", but we play Sorry and Uno and Parcheesi for hours and hours and hours.

Age Eight: My mom's close friend Phil dies of a heart attack. When she comes home from the hospital crying, I know he's dead. It's the first time I've ever dealt with the death of a human being, and all I can do is sit in my room and try not to throw up. I am relieved when my mom leaves me at my grandma's during Phil's funeral.

Age Nine: My dad doesn't ever take me to play golf with him, but then when his daughter Jennifer comes into town they go together to the golf course and leave me at home. I'm inconsolably upset, and my mom calls my dad and makes him come back to get me. I feel stupid and bratty and defeated.

Age Ten: I read a lot, and fast. My mom takes me to Books-A-Million every week or so to get a new book, usually a Nancy Drew mystery. I will be done reading it by the end of the day. I also read Gone with the Wind, and I love it. Every time I'm sick and stay home from school, I watch the movie.

The idea to write this came from this post in this blog.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Book lights and facial forking- Merry Christmas, fuckers.

Well, we have almost made it through the holiday season. We managed the Christmas cards, the parties (including one of our own), the food, and the presents. Well, some of them. Jason and I didn't get each other presents on account of that whole not-having-money thing. Kane and Jude have been at their mom's house, so we haven't actually done the Christmas thing with them yet. We have them each their very own book light. WOW, right? I'm sure they won't even be able to contain their joy when they open those up. Luckily our families are loving and generous, so they'll get some other presents besides those. But seriously, a book light? They don't need anything else.

Jason and I are gearing up for a quiet evening at home with some $4 champagne and paper cups on New Year's Eve. Perhaps we'll think about going out to see the fireworks in Birmingham, but that sounds like too much trouble.

All in all, I'm totally exhausted. Working in retail during the holidays never fails to make me doubt my faith in the human race, what little I have.

Reed also makes me doubt my faith in humanity, but on a more personal level, as he makes me doubt my ability to go on existing. I honestly think he nearly screeched and screamed and writhed the face right off my head over the past couple of weeks. The terrible two's really ought to be renamed "your terrible life, you stupid parent, it will never end", I think. Last night over some Szechuan chicken he very nearly skewered Kristi in the face with a fork, and I think he would have had I not shrieked in horror when I saw what he meant to do. He wasn't being malicious; you could see that he thought that he was about to do something funny. FACIAL FORKING- NOT FUNNY, REED. We're really going to have to work on your technique.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas.

Originally uploaded by buffpuff
I'm currently full of eggs, oatmeal, and coffee, and I'm feeling pretty good. I'm supposed to be getting showered so we can go eat turkey and dressing at my mom's. It's a good day.

I hope all of you are with your loved ones, toasty and warm, relaxing and feeling good. May the coming year bring you peace, happiness, and fulfillment. And nachos.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Part One.

Age One: I'm laying in bed next to my sister watching her tiny black and white television in the dark, and I'm holding one of my baby bottles by the nipple so that the bottle is upside down. The nipple gives and bends and the bottle hits India in the head. She is really mad about it, and my mom spanks me. India still to this day, at the age of 37, will bring this up and say that my mom never did anything about it, suggesting that I'm the favorite child.

Age Two: I occasionally go to a daycare where there is a little boy named Kenneth who is blonde and cute and a couple of years older than me and I have a fluttery, intense crush on him. When I think of him now, he looks like Ricky Schroder from Silver Spoons.

Age Three: We move from Centerville to Leeds. When I look at the little white house as we're driving away from it, I see cats. Cats, everywhere. We're leaving them behind because they didn't really belong to us, just sort of adopted our house as a place to get food.

Age Four: I live across the street from a boy named Beau. We play together a lot. He smushes lightning bugs on his shirt and it horrifies me. I experience my first kiss with him, and subsequently we both get mono.

Age Five: I despise going to school, because my mother is my best friend and I hate being away from her. On more than one occasion she has to drag me into the school and pry me from her body and walk away as I cry and reach for her and the teacher has to hold me back. That same teacher will send me to get my first paddling from the principal when I get into a fight with another girl over the only bathroom stall with a lock on the door.*

*The idea to write this came from this entry in this blog.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Happy birthday to ME.

"They're having her birthday party at that antique store they own. You know, there'll be food, and alcohol, and Josh's band'll be playing, and-"

"You had me at alcohol."

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A holiday extravaganza!!!

Candied bacon? I'll be making some of this for our Christmas party this weekend.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

This blog is my barf bag.

Yes, so the barbarians are knocking at the gates, so to speak, once again. It seems that we can get caught up financially and then things go to shit all over again, like a never-ending roller coaster. Right now we are more behind on our mortgage payment than we've ever been before, and we're moderately behind on everything else.

At this point I'm at a loss, because Jason and I are both just worn totally out all the time from working and attempting to keep up with the three kids. I've applied for lots and lots of other jobs in hopes of finding something that pays better, or is closer to home, or is just BETTER in some way, but to no avail. The phone rings constantly with 800-numbers and "private name, private number" on the caller i.d., and we just don't answer. We are those people now, screeners. And since Mary has decided quite suddenly that she doesn't have to give us any money any more (to help out with Kane and Jude), we are having trouble paying for their lunch money, field trips, school supplies.

I think that's somewhere in the top three most irritating things, that a woman who is driving a new Miata and whose new husband is driving a new Jeep and who just moved into a new townhouse in Vestavia and who doesn't have to work since the government pays her to stay home and smoke cigarettes and not answer when her kids call says to us, "I will not help you pay for their school supplies." It makes me feel like I'm going to throw up to think about it.

Jude randomly had $25 when he came home from his great aunt's house that his grandmother gave him, and we had to talk him into using it to pay for two of his field trips because the deadline was here and our bank account is in the negative for the second week in a row.

My mom has gotten into the habit of just handing me her check card and letting me keep it for days at a time.

My father won't look me in the eye, and tries to stay off the subject of money or finances or bills when he's around me.

My boss has implied that when my kid is sick, it shouldn't keep me from coming to work because don't I have a HOUSEKEEPER or "some other option" than staying home with him?

NO. FUCK NO. FUCK NO TO EVERYBODY. I love when I'm talking to a collector and they say "Are you aware that your [whatever] account is past due?" I say yes. "Why is it past due?" "Because I don't have any money."

I can hear the blinking and the crickets and the question marks above heads on the other end of the line.

SOME PEOPLE DON'T HAVE MONEY, FUCKERS. I'm a little tense today. I'm on the verge of my lady time of the month, but it's two weeks late so I think the PMS has just built up and built up until I'm marinating in it.

My mother had to buy her 28-year-old daughter a pregnancy test. It was negative. Which doesn't surprise me, because everything is negative these days.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Making a wish.

Making a wish.
Originally uploaded by buffpuff
Reed's birthday party was yesterday. He was very subdued for the first half of it; he had a shorter nap than usual, and there were a lot of people there talking to him and watching him. He had fun though, and got a lot of nice things. He got a vacuum cleaner, since "making the noise" is one of his favorite things. He also got a sweet tricycle and some Spanish-speaking maracas, just to name a couple of things. It was a good day, with good pizza and good cake.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Two years.

Originally uploaded by buffpuff

Today you turn two years old. That's 24 months, 104 weeks, 728 days that I've known you, and I still can't understand most of what you do.

This has been a year of huge, careening leaps in odd directions. Your mother got fired and consequently off the deep end went, and you went along for the ride as pleasant as could be. The months when I was unemployed are marked forever in my mind as some of the loveliest, most cherished months of my life because I spent them with you. Waking up in the morning with no agenda, no plan but to eat breakfast with you and play with you and snuggle up with you for a nap later was refreshing, and only confirmed my life-long wishes that I could stay home with my child instead of sending him to daycare.

Things being as they are, we sent you to daycare in March when I found another job. The first few weeks nearly crushed my bones with their intensity- besides what it felt like to leave my child with a bunch of people who weren't ME, it was AWFUL to walk away from you when you were reaching out to me, sobbing and begging for me to take you back. There is no way to be in that situation and feel justified, no way to feel like you are doing the right thing. I cried a lot then, and you did too.

Since then you've taken to daycare like a duck to water. The activities and the structure and the friendships all suit you. Let's face it- by Friday you're sick of it and ready for Ma's house, but aren't we all?

Shortly after starting daycare you suddenly were very very interested in potty training. We sort of shrugged and said, why not? Because Reed, as you've grown, your poops have grown, and I am starting to feel like I'm in charge of cleaning out the elephants' quarters at the zoo. And just as quickly as you jumped right in to the potty training, you sort of drifted back out into pull-up land. I've been telling your father that he'll have to start having the "pee races" that he used to have with Kane and Jude.

This year, after being introduced to the smorgasboard of germs that daycare has to offer, you got really terribly sick a few times in a row. One of those times, thanks to the wonders of inconsistent and impersonal medical care, I nearly overdosed you on Tylenol. That couple of weeks I'm nearly positive that we had the flu, and we were bumbling around together every day snotting and coughing and fevering and wasting away all over the place. Your fever was constant and steady, and when we took you to the emergency room the people there sort of chuckled and said no wonder you had a fever, your mother wasn't giving you enough medicine. And then I nearly killed you with all the Tylenol. And then I nearly killed every doctor and nurse I had ever laid eyes on, because the idea that I could have been without you, that I almost had to look at the world through the eyes of a person who was no longer your mother, it nearly put me completely over the edge. Luckily I only made it to the sofa, or else those doctors and nurses would have been FOR IT.

These past couple of months you've been in a STAGE, or a PHASE, or some other word that implies that this is only a period of time, that it will end, that the rest of our lives won't be this way. Because Reedy, you buck and writhe and scream and more than a few times a week I say "Dear God, strike me deaf!" because it gets very hard to feel like a failure as a mother for that large a percentage of the day.

But then, something will break away and something else will shift and suddenly you'll be sitting in my lap, telling me what a dog says or singing Jingle Bells or asking me if we can watch the bunnies. And it's in those moments that every Hallmark commercial, silly sitcom, and uplifting chick flick come true, because when you look at me that way I know that I am alive, that I have a purpose, and that I'm doing something good.

This year you learned to converse, and to use the word "yes" quite a bit. It's really lovely to say "Do you want some beans?" and have you reply, simply, "Yes." "Do you want to go outside?" "Yes." "I love you, punkin." "Love you."

I love you,


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Jesus.

The Jesus.
Originally uploaded by buffpuff
We've got most of our pictures up from Rolling on Shabbos, although I think a few more might make their way to the cuttingroom floor, but most of our favorites are posted. It was a great way to celebrate our anniversary, and we had a great time.

Next year, it's Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Start planning your costumes now.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

"Now that's a Thanksgiving, motherfucker."

So I was browsing through the links on, and I stumbled upon Sweet Juniper. I found it to be funny and touching and very nice, and then I got to this Thanksgiving post.

I laughed out loud. So now I'm passing it on to you people.

Monday, December 03, 2007

He's been singing an awful lot of "gingle bell".

So Reed has started asking the question, "Why?" It has totally taken our relationship, the ship of our relations, to the next level. "It's time to put on your pants." "Why?" "Because we have to go." "Why?" "Because I have to go to work and you have to go to school." "Why?" "Because I have to make money so we can live in this house." "Why?" "Because that's the way the world works." "Oh."

And seriously, it goes on and on and on until I feel like I've accidentally wandered into a crappy, cliche movie, and just when I think I might have to start ignoring him, Reed will suddenly just say, "Oh." It's very odd, because he seems so little and young, so it's odd to me to think that he is really understanding me, that he really might be trying to understand what all I'm saying about our lives.

Reed's second birthday is this Thursday, and his party is this Sunday. I haven't done much to prepare besides buying him a couple of presents. I presume it won't take much- some paper plates and napkins and cups and sodas and pizzas and a few phone calls to let people know. And, seriously, half of you know now that you read that first sentence in this paragraph. Consider yourself invited. I'm not doing anything fancy like sending out invitations.

Our bowling party last Saturday night was THE BEST, but not that I'm a great bowler because I'm not. I'm not the WORST bowler either; I'll give that honor to Kristi. I'm either a pretty bad, good bowler, or a pretty good, bad bowler, whichever. I get equal numbers of strikes and gutter balls. I'll have pictures and video of us bowling in our costumes very soon. Why? Because we looked funny in our costumes. Why? Because it's funny to see a bunch of people in costume in a place where no one else is dressed up. Why? BECAUSE I SAID SO. Gah.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Rolling on Shabbos.

In honor of our anniversary, and also to celebrate Jason's birthday, we're rolling on Shabbos at the Superbowl in Tarrant this Saturday night. We're all dressing up as characters from The Big Lebowski, and I think it's going to be a great time. The lanes are officially reserved from 8:00 until 11:00, and I'm AWFULLY excited about it. I hope to see some serious action from The Jesus, The Dude, Walter, and all the heavy hitters. I hope to see you all there.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Four. Or five. Or six, if we're starting with the first time I really thought about you.

I've been thinking a lot about friends and lovers and family and what it all means, what it means to be friends and lovers and family.

I've talked a lot lately about trying, making a concentrated effort to be a good person.

I just think that it's so hard to be sincere and honest AND think about the effect you're having on other people. Not impossible, but hard. It takes a lot of thought and time and attention span to think that way, to think about the future and other people's brains and your own brain and your desires and feelings and other people's desires and feelings. It's easy to say what you want to say, to put your two cents in, to make your opinion heard. It's harder to live the life that you want to live and hold onto everything that you love.

I've had a lot of concerns lately about Kane, his being eleven, his being in sixth grade, his inching towards teenagerhood. We've all either been through it or are heading towards it, so I know it's not an impossible mountain to climb. But I feel very much like I wish it could be easier, or I wish he could just already know the self-aware, stand-up, impossibly smart person that he's going to be in ten years. I wish we could skip this part where people are mean and it hurts him. He told us recently that he can't wear this particular jacket he has, this corduroy jacket with a fleece collar, a jacket that Jason and I both have exact versions of, because "I already get called a nerd enough". It's heartbreaking in a very personal way having been a person who had to start finding ways to endure acne jokes at the age of eight, a person who was "weird", a person who wore clothes from Bargain Town and went to school not knowing that there was anything about her that deserved ridicule. And I know that a lot of us withstood ridicule, that I'm not special in that experience. But that doesn't make it any easier when your eleven-year-old tears up when you ask him how his day was.

Jude is pretty solid right now. He tears up when we make him do his homework, or when sundown is too close to let him wander the neighborhood, or when we won't let him have that thirteenth piece of candy. He is impossibly cool. I wish I was as unapologetic about my coolness.

I feel constant pity for their mother, a woman who tries to find ways to spend less time with them. She is missing out on her children, on actual human beings that her body made, and when I look at Reed and every time my body aches because I have to leave him with people who are not his family I wonder how Mary can seek this out, can actively seek out how to spend less time with them. Every time I hear them talk in their sleep I think how it's a special gift, an inside joke that she's giving away to a crazy person who obsesses about socks.

Reed is a powerhouse, a tiny little person who has his own agenda and his own rules and tells us all about his life at every chance he gets. He tells us that there are boogers in his ears, that the kitty hit him, that he wants wadah and fizzy-fizzy and be-bies (water and coke and french fries, the basis of any healthy diet), and I ache to my core when I look at him because I know that I have an open invitation to totally fuck him up if I make him anything like myself. PLEASE, GOD, LET HIM BE NORMAL, let him be sure of himself and unafraid and steadfast and hardworking, let him be a good man who takes care of his family and loves his wife/husband/significant other/children/whathaveyou, let him be a person who can stay calm and remember himself and let water slide off the duck's back, PLEASE just let him be a rock, a stable person who loves life and sucks it through his teeth at every turn.

And God, while you're at it, please let me be a woman who is constantly thankful for the man in my life, a man who is a rock and is constantly reminding me how to be positive and excited and happy for my life.

Happy anniversary, Jason. I love you.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

All these poses, these beautiful poses.

Know what happens when you go out into the hall to take pictures at two in the morning after a lot of beer-drinking?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Originally uploaded by buffpuff
Well, we had a lovely Thanksgiving. We ate Thanksgiving dinner about four times, I think, and I am feeling good about it.

Jason's birthday was yesterday; he is now not only an old man, he's an older man. We celebrated by going to his brother's house where we drank beer, watched the kids scream, and tested Reed's limits concerning his bedtime. IT WAS INTERESTING. I told Jason that part of what is so disorienting about being with his family is that they MUST have the television turned up to THERE, that level where you can't hear anything but the t.v., and they won't ever let you watch something for more than five minutes. I'm serious. I watched maybe ten minutes of a football game, five minutes of Father of the Bride, five minutes of some kind of special about Garth Brooks, five minutes of country music videos, and five minutes of some movie with Diane Keaton and Mandy Moore. After a while you forget where you are and what you're doing there.

There's a lot coming up, including our fourth wedding anniversary and the party we're throwing in honor of it (and in honor of Jason's birthday). I'm also planning our Christmas party, Reed's birthday party, and working on our Christmas cards. Lately I've been holding it together pretty well, even enjoying moments in which I feel like I can handle all of this. Don't worry; it'll pass.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Now is the time for pie.

Originally uploaded by buffpuff
Wow. My bad. I have been really terrible at getting to the computer lately.

Work has been really, bizarro crazy lately. I work in an industry that really capitalizes on the holidays, on people's desires to have their houses look like the houses in the magazines at Christmas time, and it makes for an interesting work day.

We went to see Captured By Robots on Sunday night, and it was AWESOME. If you haven't seen robots play instruments and sing then you haven't lived.

Reed is right smack-dab in the middle of the terrible two's. He'll turn two in a couple of weeks, but believe me when I say that the terrible part has begun. The last couple of weeks have been filled with tantrums, writhing fits, screaming until he's hoarse, kicking and screaming, crying and screaming- basically all things that make me want to stick my head in the front door and slam it repeatedly. Right now as I type this, he's in the living room screaming and crying because he wants to sit on the desk and poke the caps lock key. I CANNOT TYPE THAT WAY. My caps placement is very specific.

Two of my oldest friends got married last Saturday, and we were fortunate enough to be able to be there and take pictures. It was really lovely and sweet, so sweet that we all had tears in our eyes by the time it was over.

But it's okay; there was beer hidden in the basement. Once we found it, the crying was remedied. Wonder if the same thing would work with Reed?

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Thank you for reading, for being my friends, for caring, for listening. I hope your day is filled with as much screaming and pie-eating as mine will be.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


You know, it's been a long time. A long time that we've been friends, a long time that I've gotten to know you, a long time since I used to get mad every time you and Deanna got the last seat on the bus because that one would bounce you the highest when our clinically insane bus driver would drive us down that back road with all the curves and bumps at about sixty miles an hour. That was fourteen years ago, and if anyone had asked me then if I would be attending your wedding, if I would count you as one my favorite people, I would have said "I don't know but that bitch needs to let me sit in that seat JUST FOR ONE FREAKING DAY, God!"

I was in the midst of a hormonal breakdown back then. LUCKILY THINGS HAVE CHANGED.

Amanda, you are one of the nicest, just sincerely nice people I have ever known. I know that sounds trite and meaningless, but I mean it an the most meaningful way, because no one I know is always nice. I'm not always nice, my kid is not always nice, and you are always nice. You are thoughtful and sweet and when I have a conversation with you I can see that you are not only listening to what I'm saying but also emoting, thinking about how I feel about whatever tripe I'm whining about that week, and it makes me feel immediately close to you.

I'm so glad that we're still friends, and that we can still talk like old friends when we see each other. It can be hard sometimes to hold onto what makes people want to be friends in the first place. When you and John moved away I prayed that we would still be buddies and feared that we wouldn't. Luckily I'm an idiot and besides the fact that we don't see each other as often, it didn't really change anything.

I'm not going to spout off any random marriage advice, because let's face it, I'm lucky that Jason has put up with me this long. You and John have been living together for a while now, so not that much will change. The main thing will be the mentality- knowing that the only way to break up now is an expensive legal procedure.

It's also about knowing that you live with someone who looked at you and thought, "I need to find some way to bind myself to that woman forever, because she is just that awesome." It's a beautiful thing, and I know that some people find marriage altogether unnecessary, and that's understandable. But I find it to be lovely and exciting and awe-inspiring that people are able to think that about each other- able to think that it's not enough to wake up every day looking at each other, not enough to eat most meals together or help each other with chores or go places together. Marriage is, at least some times, for people who want to go one step further, who want to cement that breathless feeling, that wiggle in the tummy with something spiritual and ceremonial that isn't just to let other people know how you feel, but also to let your girlfriend/boyfriend know how you feel.

Plus, if it doesn't work out, you're entitled to half of his shit. GO FOR THE TV, AMANDA.

I'm obviously kidding.

If Jason and I had more money, we would have gotten you guys awesome presents. Possibly a pair of Segways. As it is, we can offer you our friendship, support, and a pair of smiling faces. Oh, and three kids- if you guys are ever in the market for a few kids, call us. We can hook you up.

Some times I get the menstrual cramps REAL HARD.

First, I made myself a plate of heavenly goodness, a crispy, fluffy, cheesy gift from the heavens, a Mexican omelette this morning. I have honestly never had a Mexican omelette before. I was on my way home from dropping Reed at school and I was thinking about making fried eggs, and I OF COURSE started thinking about salsa and sour creams, so I decided to throw some tomato and cheese in an omelette, stick some salsa and sour creams on top and go to town. It was RIGHT, is all I have to say.

Second, Reed stayed in bed until nine o'clock this morning. I cannot tell you how wonderful it was, how much I thought God has finally decided to throw me a bone, how utterly confused I felt when he finally seemed ready to get up. He woke up at his usual time, but when I tried to get him out of bed he laid down and yelled "NOOOOOO! NOOOOOOOOO!", closed his eyes, and covered up. As I was out late playing poker last night, I didn't have the energy to force him out of the bed, so I went back to bed myself. He stayed in bed and sang and counted and dozed until nine, NINE I TELL YOU, when he finally called out "Daddy at work?" which is baby talk for, "I know that my father is at work, so I will just have to deal with the fact that I have to hang out with the lesser half of my parenting team, my mother. Okay."

If my child suddenly turns into one of those kids who stays in bed until nine o'clock, it will be okay if I die because my life won't be able to get any better.

Third, lots of things. Last Saturday I helped two other people put chair covers and sashes on 400 chairs. I was bent over from ten until four that day, and not in the good way, okay? But that night I spent time with some of my best girlfriends and helped celebrate the fact that John and Amanda, two of my oldest friends, are getting married this Saturday. Besides the requisite excitement about this new step, this beautiful moment in their lives, I'M excited because Jason and I are taking pictures. We are slowly but surely building up our wedding portfolios, and it's good. Also, I'm continuing on my path to becoming a good person. I notice little changes, little differences in my thought patterns, and it feels good. My grandfather who I never met always said, "Remember who you are." I'm working on it.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Now is the time for my ass to grow.

Last night was Halloween, and it was another Halloween in which we didn't really get any good pictures of our children in their costumes. Kane was a dementor, Jude was a scary clown, and Reed was a monkey. Again.

You know how when you put clothes on cats, they sort of freeze up and act dead? That's what Reed does when you dress him up in a monkey costume. He would be very still, and wouldn't move his head but instead would look at you out of the corners of his eyes, as if to say, "SHIT THE BED. I'm in a monkey costume and I can't get out."

Jason and I didn't dress up this year for the first time since we started this adventure we call Trying To Deal With Each Other's Shit (except for the Halloween when I was pregnant; nothing counts during pregnancy). I'm going to have to go back and find some old pictures, because we have been some interesting stuff- a professor and a naughty school girl (I was the school girl, surprisingly enough), '70's porn stars, nuns. Good stuff. But we already have a good idea of what we're dressing up as next year. Only 363 days to go!

But at least I can fill these next few hundred days with eating candy. Kane and Jude are really good at replenishing my candy stash- Jude alone brought home 243 pieces of delicious candy last night.

If only one could trick or treat for bigger pants.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez.

Well, New Orleans was wonderful. I always tell everyone that every time I'm there I feel like I'm home, and then I get sad when I have to come back to Alabama. Jason says it's because I was born in Louisiana. I don't know, but I know I love it.

While we were there, I rekindled my love for Talk Soup. I also learned a lot about jelly fish and predators that use the ambush technique to capture their prey. I ate Mexican food, Vietnamese food, Spanish food, and Whole Food. I went to a house party where there was a sweet dj who opened up with early Michael Jackson. The weather was really perfect for being New Orleans- sunny and breezy, perfect temperatures for walking in the Quarter without getting hot and sweaty, cool enough at night to wear a pretty sweater.

Being back home with Reed is fun. This morning after he ate breakfast, I picked him up from the table to find that he had oatmeal underneath both of his arms. The kid can get oatmeal in his armpits. He lets the good times roll, let me tell you.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Well, last week was semi-productive, in that I got some things done that had been on the to-do list for a few months. Yes, MONTHS.

I got my oil changed. Well, I got Jason to get my oil changed while I was at work. It got done, okay? This is good because we're driving to New Orleans this Friday, so now we won't break down in Shit, Mississippi where there are no gas stations and no friendly faces. Look, I know every state has some places that creep foreigners out, but driving across Mississippi is pretty bleak. Especially when you do it late at night. Fortunately, this trip will be made during daylight hours, so no worries.

I also got my license renewed. It expired in June, people, and I've been thinking all these months how bad it would be to get pulled over and have my car impounded because I'm not prompt. But now I don't have to worry about that at all. The problem is that the new picture is awful, really AWFUL. It makes me wish that you could just bring your own picture to the DMV and let them laminate that onto your new license. I've got quite a few that I wouldn't mind whipping out every time an officer says, "Have you been drinking?"

The coolest bitches in town.

"Wait!  Take a picture of us making the eyes!"


Right there is Jason thinking, "I have NOT had enough beer for this."

I'm going to be a dancer in Vegas.

Because once he saw it he'd think, "Well, obviously not THAT much."

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fun with counting.

Oh, man, work is getting me down. Don't you love having someone say "Hey, you!" and snap their fingers at you? It's marvelous. I marvel at it. Really.

The job search is discouraging as well, as I have gotten no phone calls. Except from bill collectors.

Those guys don't do much for my morale either. I have gotten repeated phone calls from not one, not two, but THREE different collectors for bills that I paid already. Yes, the whole telemarketer auto-dial thing has been explained to me. I still fucking hate it. I think that technology ain't as far ahead of its time as it thinks it is when I can pay a bill online, the money can come out of my checking account, and OLD NAVY AND THE GAP still want to call me THE NEXT DAY, and then THE DAY AFTER THAT, and then AGAIN AND AGAIN for DAYS IN A ROW to ask me why I haven't paid my bill. It apparently only took them about two weeks to get caught up; they've finally stopped calling. At least the Target people politely invite me to check out their clearance racks when they call to collect.

In related news, Old Navy has placed a note on my account that says, "She won't hesitate to use the word 'fuck' when you call her." I hope all their people are eighteen and up.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I'd noticed lately that every time I use our computer, there's a folded piece of paper hanging over the top and front of the monitor. I figured that it must have some important password or some other kind of information that Jason didn't want to lose, so he put it there where he could get to it easily.

One day when I sat down to check my email, Jason said, "Oh, yeah, had you noticed my paper?" I nodded. He said, "I hate that fucking webcam being stuck in the top of the monitor. I just know that 'they're' watching me."

It totally cracked me up. And you know, since that day, every time I pick my nose sitting at the computer, I figure "they're" laughing. And then I pick up that piece of paper and hang it over the webcam.

Monday, October 15, 2007

A bunch of girls who sing "Wasted On Your Love" AND cover "Round and Round" by Ratt? They're alright with me.

Originally uploaded by buffpuff
Thanks to the generosity of my good friend Dave, I went to see The Donnas at Bottletree last night. Thanks to the generosity of my good friend Brock, I took some nice pictures of them. Honestly I didn't really know anything about their music; I was pleasantly surprised. I have to admit that, listening to their music on Myspace today, I think the live show is much better than the recordings. They are raw, energetic, tough, and tight. Somehow all that gets lost on the recordings.

The wedding on Saturday went extremely well. The weather was more perfect than I could have asked for- very sunny, a light breeze, warm but not hot. We got a lot of great pictures, and I'll be posting some soon to my Flickr. I figure we should get them to the happy couple before we start posting them to the internets.

The girl who hooked us up with that wedding told Jason that she has two more lined up for us. SCORE. Liz, my first-born child is kind of a pain in the ass, but I'll give you the next one, I promise.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Originally uploaded by buffpuff
Tomorrow morning, Reed will take the last dose of the antibiotic that his doctor prescribed last week. He's finally acting well; the fever has been gone for nearly a week, and the cough has quieted quite a bit in the last few days.

He will probably remember this last week as one of the best in his life- not because of all the love and tenderness he's received from his mommy and daddy, but because of all the suckers. We ceased to be able to get him to take his medicine somewhere around last Friday. He would literally writhe about, scream, and spit the medicine out. After I had offered him everything I could think of, including daddy's car and mommy's credit cards and all of Kane and Jude's toys, I randomly said, "What about candy? Do you want a nice sucker?" The moment those words left my lips he sat up, turned to face us, opened his mouth and swallowed the medicine. As there were quite a few days of antibiotic left, we went out a bought a large bag of Dum Dums. Every morning and evening now, I say "Okay, it's time to take your medicine." He replies, "Candy?" I say, "You have to take your medicine." He replies firmly, "Sucker." Like at first it's an exited question- you mean it's time for candy? But when I let him know that he's definitely going to be swallowing some nasty medicine, he lets me know in no uncertain terms that I'm going to be wearing it unless I'm prepared to buy him off with a tasty treat.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Kane's results from taking the SAT and the ARMT (Alabama Reading and Math Test) at the end of last year finally came in and it's official- he's a genius. Seriously, the kid got a perfect score on several different sections, and is in the 95th to 100th percentile in most subjects. He's smart like Reed is big. He's been invited to join the scholar's bowl which is the team of nerds that travels to other schools to see if they can out-nerd the other school's nerd-team. It's okay; I can say that because I was on the nerd-team in high school. I'm saying it from the inside.

Anyway, he's really freakin' smart. NOW do you see why I start to rip off my own fingernails when he says he can't remember to put his socks in the dirty clothes or put his dishes in the dish washer?

(For any of you who don't see, it's the irritation. That's the answer.)

I know, I KNOW, that there is at least one person right now who is thinking about leaving a comment about how Kane is just SO SMART that he is INCAPABLE of thinking about mundane, every-day things, that he has SO MUCH going through his head at any given moment that I cannot reasonably expect him to think about such tiny details as where his soiled clothing ends up at the end of the day.

To that person I say, you're probably right. You know, for me, dropping my clothes in the hamper or picking up my dishes after I eat is automatic; it's almost an autopilot kind of thing. I don't think about it, I just do it. It's kind of like how people automatically move or duck when someone throws something at them. Kane, on the other hand, gets hit with stuff all the time. Seriously, literally, he never seems to be able to get out of the way. He gets hit in the face with balls, and he doesn't pick up his socks. That's the price he has to pay for being able to recall every second of every episode ever of Naruto.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Bitter pill.

Oh, man, so I almost DIED last night. I mean, I probably didn't almost die, but I had a bad experience. So, same diff.

My doctor prescribed me phenergan last week when I was having this really long, drawn out stomach virus. Last night I was feeling really crappy, so I decided to take one. I had noticed that when I swallowed them they started dissolving really quickly, because I can always taste them a little- they taste pretty bad, too. Anyway, last night I thought, "This will knock me out and make me feel good and make me sleep really well, so why the hell not?" So I pop the little sucker in my mouth and take a swig of water and swallow. Lo and behold, the damn thing sticks to the back of my throat and starts dissolving- I could feel that it stuck right to that little place that opens and closes when you swallow. Let me tell you, IT FUCKING BURNED. I kept swallowing water and finally the majority of it went down, but there was still a nice little hunk stuck there, dissolving and running down my throat and FUCKING BURNING.

The next thing I knew it felt like my throat was closing up because it turns out the lining of my throat was absorbing the phenergan and getting numb. It got pretty hard to swallow, and talking was weird, and I can't say enough about the SON OF A BITCHIN' BURNING, y'all. I was guzzling water and shoving candy and popsicles down my throat as fast as possible to try and wash all of it down.

Anyway, I survived, but God I SO ALMOST DIED LAST NIGHT.

Friday, October 05, 2007


Oh internets, how I love thee.

Reed and I have been sick all week long, and I just haven't walked the eight feet from the living room into the office/rec room/stinky cat litter room to do anything on the computer. Now I am salivating just thinking about all the good stuff I can do; you know how when you check your email and all your favorite websites daily it never takes you long to get caught up? But you know how when it's been a while, there's lots and lots of juicy stuff to read and look at? I love it. Go Fug Yourself, here I come. Dooce? Yes, please.

Reed and I both had a stomach virus, one that has lasted almost two weeks at this point. I think mine has gone away, but Reed is still having orange, squishy poo. HAHA! I bet you didn't wake up this morning thinking, "I'm going to go read about someone else's bowel movements." Gotcha! I've also got some nasty sinus stuff and a cough, and Reed has a pretty nasty ear infection that in turn has caused the awfully runny nose and the wet cough and fever. Our house is SO MUCH FUN right now, what with all the coughing and medicine and tissues and my OBSESSIVE shushing once we finally get Reed to sleep.

I'm hoping the next few weeks will be a little easier. We're photographing a wedding next weekend, and two weeks after that we're headed to New Orleans where I'll hang out with two of our best friends and drink beer and Jason will take pictures at Voodoo Fest JASON IF YOU SEE ZACK DE LA ROCHA YOU BEST PUT HIM IN YOUR POCKET AND BRING HIM HOME.

Plus, one of my best friends got fired this week, which I have chosen to see as a GOOD thing, because that means maybe she'll have to move in with us and then I'll have an automatic drinking/dancing/listening to Hall and Oats partner like, ALL THE TIME.

Monday, October 01, 2007

I have to say that I fear that Jude's teacher this year is unnecessarily hardassed.

Jude is in RLC this year, a gifted class that pulls him out of his regular class one day a week. In a meeting at the beginning of the year, the RLC teacher assured us that the kids would never have to make up work from their regular classes that they missed while in RLC. And still Jude has been bringing home worksheets every week that he says are make-up work from his class. Plus, he says that the class acts up while the RLC kids are gone, and then the whole class- including the RLC group- have to have "silent lunches", no snack, and no recess for several days in a row. Also, regardless of any make-up work, Jude will be doing homework until eight p.m. some nights.

Now I know that teachers have a hard job, and that kids are tough and wild and will act up and take advantage and manipulate and all that. However, I think expecting an eight-year-old to do homework for four hours straight or sit through an entire lunch without talking is severe. I also think that those eight-year-olds who miss an entire evening of fun activities like riding bikes or jumping on the trampoline or playing video games because they've had to do all that homework are going to get a little wound up when they're then told not to talk at the lunch table, and then told that they can't have recess, and then told that they can't have snack. Seems a bit much, don't you think? I'm not a teacher, but there must be some way to isolate and punish the kids who are actually causing the problems (they send home marks every night, so I would know by now if Jude was one of the troublemakers), at least enough that all three of those punishments wouldn't be necessary for every single kid in the class.

Anyway, I just wanted to comment on how teachers can take things overboard sometimes, and to their own detriment I think. I mean, once she's made all these young kids endure all that punishment, who has to deal with them? She does. And I just think punishment that extensive doesn't inspire fear in the kids, it inspires deviousness and skepticism. Before she knows it those kids are going to be clawing at the walls to try and get out of there.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Rootin' tootin'.

Reed and I have been suffering from a mild stomach virus this week, mild because there hasn't been any vomiting, but stomach virus because there has been much loose stool and tooting and cramping and moaning and nausea. For Reed, not for me. Okay, for me too. I TOOT. I am human, after all.

I went out on Monday night, leaving Jason home to contend with Reed, and he said that he was up and crying most of the time until about 1:00 a.m. when, writhing around in our bed with Jason, Reed let out a very long, very painful sounding, VERY STINKY toot, after which he whispered the word "better" and promptly fell asleep.

I felt sentimental upod hearing a toot story. Being a parent is touching in the most bizarre ways.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Peeps got to watch out for one another.

On the job front: No one's calling. It's very reassuring, especially with those $15,000 worth of student loans that I have yet to pay back. But, really, I guess I shouldn't expect that much. That girl from Jersey Girl, Raquel Castro, I saw her on a fucking Pillsbury Cinnabun commercial the other day.

Evidently it's tough out there for everybody.

For the love of Pete, Kevin Smith, TAKE CARE OF YOUR PEOPLE.

Monday, September 24, 2007


I think Kane's favorite word right now is "fuse", because he is CONSTANTLY talking about fusing this and that together. He told me about the whole fusing plants thing, and how they might blow up, to which I replied, "I'm sorry. I don't think that's true." Then the other day he was talking about some Pokemon fusing together, and then he went right in to a story about how "people who specialize in snakes" keep tons of viles of snake venom with them because if you get bitten by a snake he can just give you some more of the venom from that snake and the two will cancel each other out and you'll be fine. He went on to say that the guy in the Simpsons with the "big bald head", Mr. Burns, went to the doctor and was diagnosed with "every disease known to man and three that aren't known to man". But, he said, if that really happened, you'd be fine, because "all those diseases would just cancel each other out." To this I replied, "I'm sorry. I don't think that's true." This time he came back with, "Well, MAYBE not. There's no way to know." I replied, "Kane, if a person had cancer and AIDS and pnemonia and arthritis and Parkinson's, the diseases would NOT cancel each other out. The person would be very, very sick." He was like, "Yeah; good point."

I am freaking EXHAUSTED at the end of every day. I wonder why?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Raising a boy.

A few days ago in the car Reed found his old toy cell phone, picked it up, and decided he liked it again. As we were riding along, he flipped it open, held it against his ear and said, "Hey! [pause] Oh, nothin'. What you doin'?"

It has yet to cease amazing me how Jason and I but mostly I created this PERSON. MY BODY MADE THAT GUY, that little guy who sits in the back seat of my car and has conversations with imaginary frat bros on his cell phone.

Egad, fraternities. One more thing to add to the list of "things I will lock Reed in the basement for if he ever shows interest", along with the Republican party, yo girls, and Nascar.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Getting the feel of things.

So today we went out to the place where we'll be photographing that wedding in October. It's beautiful; I'm really excited about it. It's a really lovely lake house with multiple decks and balconies and a pier. The back yard is is hit perfectly by the sunlight and the ceremony is going to be in front of two tall cedar trees just in front of the water's edge. There's a gorgeous swing underneath an awning covered by muscadine vines that will be perfect for photos.

All in all, I think it's going to be a good experience for us. I think the lighting and location are perfect for our first time, as it's all really conducive to great pictures- you can't beat a sunny place with a lake and vibrant foliage. Add to that the fact that it's a joyous occasion with family, friends, food, and drinking; I think this is going to be fun.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Time to embrace.

Time to embrace.
Originally uploaded by cuttingroomfloor
Okay, so, I drink about fourteen gallons of Natural Light, Lindsey and Dave drink about twenty two gallons of red wine, and what happens?

Slow dancing on the patio to Crowded House. Naturally.

Monday, September 17, 2007

So the other day Kane was telling us how you can fuse two plants together and it's a very delicate process but it's possible but you have to be very very careful because they might EXPLODE so you have to REALLY know what you're doing, when I realized that I might not make it through the next 16 years (the amount of time until Reed graduates high school, meaning Kane and Jude will already be off at college GOD-WILLING, and Reed will be on his way GOD-WILLING.

I guess that's all I have to say.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Finding God. At the age of almost-two.

So one of Reed's favorite passtimes at my mom's house is to play the piano. Sometimes he pokes the keys, and sometimes he bangs the keys with both hands. Recently, though, he's taken to running his hands up and down the keys, from one end of the piano to the other, and he gets so excited when he does it that he ends up screeching, breathing heavily, and stomping his feet.

Last Sunday he was in the midst of it, standing on the piano bench and really getting down on the keys when he suddenly stopped, slapped his knee, and yelled, "OH GOD!" and then went right back to running his hands up and down the keys.

If that's not getting taken up by the spirit, I don't know what is.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

These are the boys I live with.

These are the boys I live with.
Originally uploaded by buffpuff
Jason has decided that he'd rather not transfer to Nashville right now, and I support him in that decision. I had actually started to get more excited and less mournful about moving away, but it doesn't make sense for us right now, as we're eating beans out of the can and all showering at the same time to save money.

Kane seems to be dealing with middle school pretty well so far. He's kind of been keeping to himself lately. Someone very wise recently told me, "He'll find his niche. Don't worry." So I'm trusting that advice for the time being.

Jude is... Jude. He's leaving his homework at school and forgetting EVERYTHING including the rules and doing flips and making friends and suggesting large, expensive pieces of electronics we could buy to make the house a little more entertaining. The word "no" is becoming the soundtrack of my life.

Reed. Today on the way home from daycare I said, "Did you have fun at school today?" "Schoo." "Did you have a good day?" "Day." "Do you want to sing?" "Nope." Do you want to count to ten?" "Nope." "Do you want some juice?" "JUICE!"

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Sexy flute lady.

Sexy flute lady.
Originally uploaded by buffpuff
The party Saturday night was a huge success. You can tell by the fact that we broke out my flute from seventh grade. That's the mark of a good party- several people taking turns on an instrument they can't play. There was also some trampoline action, as well as some righteous karaoke.


Saturday, September 01, 2007

This week has been bone-crushingly hectic at work. The owner's sister passed away last week and the funeral was on Monday, then we had a big event on Wednesday, then the rest of the week has been spent getting back to normal from those two big deals. This job is deceptively high-stress, in that it's one of those things like knitting- you think, "Knitting: low stress." That's what I thought about this job. And now I'm all getting hung up on more than once a day, hauling around heavy, heavy buckets, getting yelled at randomly for nothing every few minutes. I'm SO lukcy to have this job.

I am currently eating a bean burrito and watching It's a Big, Big World with Reed, and learning how fish hearts work. I have to tell you, when I was a kid and I imagined what my life would be like, if someone would have given me 17,000 chances to guess, I never would have guessed that I would live this life that I'm living right now. And I mean that in a good way. And a weird way.

Tonight we're throwing a party for our friend Mason, on account of he eloped and didn't even give us a chance to watch and then get drunk and tell Joy embarrassing stories about him. LOOK OUT, because tonight's the night.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I'm registering a complaint. Here on my blog. Where it will do the most good.

So the stores around here, and I'm assuming in other places too, do that tax-free weekend thing for one weekend in August right before school starts. It's cool, because when you have to go spend $75,426.37 on your kids' school supplies, it saves you that whole $754.26 in tax, as we have 10% sales tax here in Leeds. I'm like, "Woo hoo, that money goes straight to the beans and jalapenos fund that Reed and I have to keep running, to keep our habits in check.

This year we did our shopping at Wal-Mart, which we really hate to do. We went through a fairly long phase in which we didn't shop at Wal-Mart at all, because we don't agree with a lot of the Wal-Mart philosophy. The owners of the company have billions, BILLIONS of dollars, and they sit pretty while a large majority of their employees are paid crappy wages and denied benefits because "full-time" at Wal-Mart is less than 40 hours so they're not required to provide benefits. That's a tricky little practice also used at Starbucks. Anyway, a HUGE percentage of their products are made in China under conditions that are, shall I say, shitty. So by spending my money at Wal-Mart I'm supporting these companies in China that are not too different from sweat shops. That place is NOT a family store, it's NOT about little, hoppy smiley faces, Jorge does NOT love his job there, no matter WHAT they tell you.

Plus, the recent scares with lead paint on toys from Chinese factories and other problems with tainted stuff including food and hygiene products have got me thinking that I might be about to be making all of Reed's toys myself. I hope he enjoys all those sticks with leaves tied to them he's about to be getting at Christmas time.

I realize that a bunch of people are just RARING to give me the "Well, where do you shop now? Do they treat employees any better, or get their stuff from places other than China, because did you know that you actually know nothing at all?" etc., etc., etc. But I'm of the belief that I have the option to choose these things, to do my best to make sure that my hard earned money is going some place good, as good as possible, even if it's not perfect. I'm just trying, here, okay? And it's especially hard right now as the Food World in Leeds has closed down, so of course the closest place to shop is Wal-Mart. We have made many, MANY inconvenient drives to Target and Whole Foods to get our groceries, which just means we're spending more on gas and polluting up the environment.

But I digress. So we gave in and did our school shopping at Wal-Mart. We bought $240 worth of stuff on tax-free weekend- Kane and Jude's school supplies, some food, and some new clothes for Kane, Jude, and Reed. As I was walking to the car, I noticed that we were charged tax. I turned around and walked up to the greeter lady and said, "This is tax-free weekend, right?" She nodded with her mouth hanging open, mouth breathing her ass off. "So then why was I charged tax?" She stood there and mouth breathed for another three seconds, and then took the receipt that I had been holding up in front of her face. She literally said, "Uuuum, ah-ahhhhhh, oh, aoooahahhuhm... Okay, that's the city tax. Tax-free weekend only applies to state tax, but you still might have to pay local tax." It sounded remotely believable to me for about a second as I know nothing of taxes, and then I looked at the receipt again and it showed that I had been charged 10% tax. So I said, "I was charged %10 tax. You're telling me that I normally pay MORE than 10% in sales tax?" She nodded empatically. Since we had at that moment a screaming, writhing toddler in our possession, I just turned around and walked off.

Since then I've found that our friend Nina did the exact same thing, and they told her the same thing they told me. Then I found that our friend Shauna did the exact same thing, but they told her that if you spend over $100 they still charge you tax- something about how they don't want random folks coming in to buy tv's and stereos and iPods and stuff just to get them tax free. And I have to say, for a split second that made sense to me. But why are they being shady about it? Why am I getting smoke blown up my ass about it? Because even though I already knew the answer, I immediately dug through my purse in the car after we left Wal-Mart that day and found several other receipts, NOT from tax-free weekend, on which I'd been charged 10% sales tax.

So, I'm pissed. Big news! I think it SUCKS, and I think Wal-Mart SUCKS, and I'm a MORON for going there to buy our stuff anyway. I really should have gone back in and returned every single thing I bought. The power of the screaming child just overtakes me sometimes. I am going back to my non-Wal-Mart ways, even if it means making a longer drive to shop, and I challenge each and every one of you to do the same. Let's do it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

"I'm sorry; I know that's a strange way to tell you that I know we belong."

So today an older couple died here in Birmingham. They were both in their nineties; the wife had been sick for a while, and she passed away this morning. Her family was in the living room a couple of hours later, crying and being together, and they looked over at the husband, and he had passed away in his chair.

And it's exactly like those Ben Folds lyrics, and it makes me feel like a tiny speck, like the tiniest speck on this earth, and like I might just get washed away in an instant in all the DAMN emotion. Just hearing the story today humbled me, made me feel in awe of this life and what it's made of, or made from, or made by.

And that is all the product of this gigantic wave of hormones that I'm riding at this particular time of the month, if you get me, that's making me question everything in my life- if I'm a good mother, if I'm a good wife, if I deserve any of this, if I'll ever be more, or less.

Anyone looking for a ROLICKING good time right at this moment should call ME, let me tell you.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Love triangle.

Love triangle.
Originally uploaded by buffpuff
We went to Tuscaloosa on Saturday night for Chris' birthday. We had a whole lot of fun surprising him, and I think he had a whole lot of fun being surprised.

And yes, that's his robot that he bought in Birmingham from some guy who makes big, huge robots. I can't really explain to you how much this guy likes robots, LOVES them really, except to say that he has a robot tattooed on his arm. But he also has an otter. Because you can't be all robot, and you can't be all otter.

Happy birthday, Chris.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Them's my boys.

Them's my boys.
Originally uploaded by buffpuff
I haven't had much to say lately; we're all trying to get back into the routine around here.

Kane rides a different bus to the middle school than he did for elementary, and this one picks him up at 6:30. That's really quite a change, as we can usually all get away with sleeping until 6:30 and still being (somewhat) on-time to our respective obligations. Plus, Reed usually wakes up whenever he hears the rest of us wake up, so when I get up to get Kane up at 5:55, Reed gets on up, too.

The best part is how the middle school is about two miles away from our house, and Kane has to meet the bus an hour and a half before school starts. I find it to be an effective way of teaching children how random and pointless and backwards the world is.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

On stealing bikes.

So last Saturday Kane's bike got stolen. We bought Kane and Jude bikes a couple of years ago for Christmas, and about three months later Kane's got stolen. Then we bought them bikes for their birthdays about two months ago, really snazzy ones, and Saturday Kane's got stolen.

We bought them a chain to chain them both to one of the posts out front and told them that we'd ship them off to Siberia if they didn't keep them locked up, but Jude had unchained them to ride his and didn't think to chain Kane's up. Lo and behold, Kane's bike was gone about thirty minutes later, in broad daylight.

As soon as they noticed that it was gone, Jason, Reed, and Kane (a motley crew, indeed) went out in the car riding around, looking for his bike. No sooner had they turned the corner when they saw three kids riding down the street on bikes, one of which was Kane's.

Long story short (too late!), they chased the kid around the neighborhood and Jason scared the shit out him until all three kids ditched their bikes at the high school, Jason got Kane's back, and a policeman took the other two.

Since then, we've gotten two visits from Cusses and Humps Boy's dad, saying that Cuss's and Hump's bike got stolen also, and they think it's by the same kid.

THEN, today THE KID WHO STOLE KANE'S BIKE showed up on our front porch, ringing the door bell and looking all sullen. He asked Jason where the other two bikes were, and when Jason told him that the police took them he proceeded to PISS AND MOAN about it.

When Jason was telling me all this, he said, "That kid has BALLS. Like, grown-up person BALLS." I replied, "Like, STUPID PERSON balls. We have a friend in law school. I'm sure she'll be prosecuting him for something in about five years."

Monday, August 06, 2007

I still rule this roost.

Oh, sweet Moses. Yesterday I yelled at a thirteen-year-old boy.

It was, of course, the same thirteen-year-old who came over here and humped everything with a Wii remote a couple of months ago. He had come into the house with another friend of Jude's, and just as I walked in and thought "I am kicking his ass out of this house", he opened the front door, leaned out towards some other urchin I've never seen before and emphatically said, "FUCK OFF." Then he slammed the door.

Then I pooped my pants and stood there with my mouth hanging open for about 1.3 seconds, and then instinct, i.e. blind stinking rage, set in. I yelled at the top of my lungs, not so much that I was shreiking or squeaking, but enough that my voice was booming through the house and the ground shook and the gods stopped to see what the hell was going on down here, "HEY, HEY, HEY. YOU GET OUT OF HERE RIGHT NOW. DON'T COME BACK TO THIS HOUSE AGAIN. YOU ARE NOT OLD ENOUGH TO TALK LIKE THAT. I KNOW YOU THINK THAT YOU'RE A GROWN UP, BUT I'M HERE TO YELL YA THAT YOU ARE NOT."

And he did the obligatory eye-roll, and huffed a little bit, and he really was just dying to smart off or call me a name or talk back or something, but I was COMPLETELY bowed up on this CHILD in my living room and just WAITING for him to give me an excuse to box his ears, and he could tell, so he did just enough huffing and eye-rolling to not look like a complete poser in front of his friends (the oldest of whom, by the way, was eight years old), and left.

And, hey, I've said before that I get that he's thirteen, that boys will be boys and all that, but my twenty-month-old baby who LOVES to repeat things was in the room, and he's CERTAINLY never heard that word some out of MY mouth before, although I can't speak for his fucking father. Besides Reed, I am not ready for Jude to be hanging out with boys who yell that word in front of other people's parents- Jude who is totally punk rock and rebellious, Jude who toes the line, Jude who has totally THOUGHT about saying that word to me before, I just know it. The point is that it's not the end of the world that a kid said "fuck" in my living room. But my job as the parent is to let my kids know what is acceptable and what is not, when it's acceptable and when it's not.

After that kid left, I turned around and said to Kane and Jude, "I'm sorry if that embarrassed you, but it's NOT okay to talk like that in front of other people's parents. I know that you guys hear your dad and me say bad words some times, but we have been around a LOT more years than you guys, and you're just not old enough to say those words yet. And, I mean, SNEAK AROUND and say them, for pete's sakes! Don't just SPOUT 'EM OFF in front of grown ups!" They laughed and said they got it, and I let it go.

I nearly cuffed around a thirteen-year-old kid. I am SUCH a badass.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

I'm your only friend, I'm not your only friend, but I'm a little glowing friend but maybe I'm not actually your friend, but I am.

Okay then, big news about another friends. I'm not sure if he wants me writing about it on the internet, but maybe he doesn't care, so I'm going to sort of half-ass write about it.

I haven't seen you or talked to you in a long time, so we don't know the ins and outs of each others daily life. I don't know what it's like at your house when y'all wake up, when you sit and eat breakfast with the people you love, when you come home from work and find out how everyone's day was. And you don't know what it's like at my house when I start using the f word and shaking articles of clothing at Jude, or when my eyes roll back into my head so far they get stuck after listening to Kane talk about Naruto for 45 minutes, or when Reed starts pouring Goldfish, also known as "bish", all over the floor of every room in the house and then stepping all over them while I have a seizure in the kitchen floor.

But that's okay. There is plenty of time to learn these things about each other. I'll buy you a case of Milwaukee's Best and we can sit on the front porch and talk about it while we watch our children play in the street. IT'S OKAY, there's not that much traffic where I live. Besides we can put them on leashes that only reach to the end of the driveway and watch them try, TRY to JUST GET A LITTLE FURTHER to the street for a couple of hours.

I am a terrific mom.

Anyway, I have a lot, A LOT of fond memories of you. There was a period of time quite a few years ago when we actually spent a lot of time together, hanging out at my apartment and drinking beer, going to bars and whatnot. I like looking back at that time, partly because we were such good friends and I was so comfortable hanging out with you and partly because it's before I officially decided that I am a crazy person who is not believable as a human being. I'm glad that I had the opportunity to spend time with you and be close with you, especially since now we have these LIVES that don't allow us to sit up until four in the morning, drinking beer and running our mouths. I'm glad I knew you then so that I can still know you now. I love you and I'm glad that good things are happening for you.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

On music.

So that whole "I can even sing in the car without crying except for American Pie because that song touches me in odd places"? I need to add another one to that list.

I haven't used my iPod in ages on account of the batteries were dead in my fm transmitter, and I kept forgitting to replace them. Well, hallelujah, we replaced them yesterday and I've since been enjoying the luxury of choosing what I want to hear besides young blondes singing about how great vandelism against her cheating ex is.

I finally settled on Coldplay's Fix You this morning, which I haven't heard in several months. It makes me weep- that song is so sweet and poignant and there ain't nothing a mustard drop is going to do about that, okay? Unless maybe I had about a liter of it, since it's 27 percent alcohol and then I could just get drunk.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Smooth Operator.

Smooth Operator
Originally uploaded by carmizzle
We went to see the White Stripes last night at Sloss Furnace. I have to say that I'm slightly disappointed, not at all by their performance but by the venue and the conditions and the results.

It was sold out, so I knew that it would be hot and crowded. I didn't know that I would never actually lay eyes on Meg and Jack because I'm too much of a pansy to fight through hundreds of people to the front of the stage, that I would be glad that I'm too much of a pansy because Jason made it up there and said that people were passing out all around him from the heat. He wore a LONG-SLEEVED BUTTON-DOWN shirt OVER a t-shirt and survived up there, while I sat in the very, very back wearing a short-sleeved cotton shirt and a very short mini-skirt and sweated my ass off.

One would think that, even from the very back, one could at least catch glimpses of Jack and Meg's tiny, far-away selves, wouldn't one? But one could not. All this one could see was the backs of peoples headses, rude people who slosh beer all over one and burn one with cigarettes and step on one's feet and bump one repeatedly with their elbows and whatnot. The One I'm now referring to is Lindsey, who nearly got into a fight on more than one occasion, who told me her pin number so that I could get bail money out of her checking account if needed.

We all made it out unscathed, and I'm glad that I at least got to HEAR the White Stripes play live, even if I didn't see them. We went to Bottletree after where Lindsey watched Jason and me get totally blind, running drunk. But I was slurring after the first 16 ounce Miller Light I partook of at the show. I was all, "I need another Millerler Light, please." Lindsey replied, "Good job, mom."

Sunday, July 29, 2007

It's probably good for Dudley; I bet he gets bored.

Right now, right now as I'm writing this, there are two children screaming over our fence in the back yard, baa-ing at the tops of their lungs at our goat.

It scared the shit out of me at first because I thought, "I hear the baa, but THAT is not my goat." At first it made me afraid that Dudley is sick or something's wrong with him because it sounded so off. My next thought was, "Holy moly, is there another one out there?" I kept thinking, where the FUCK did another goat come from? And how did he get inside the fence? I was picturing Dudley having taught himself how to open and close the gate by the time I peered out into the back yard. At first all I noticed was Dudley standing perfectly still, like STILL, staring at the very back corner of the yard. Finally I followed his gaze until I saw the little heathens hanging over the fence. They were franctically and enthusiastically baa-ing, and I have to say that they sounded pretty authentic.

But any good mother knows the sound of her own goat, and they weren't good enough to sound like my goat.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Originally uploaded by buffpuff
On Saturday, Reed peed in the potty for the very first time.

On Sunday, he got his first kiss that wasn't from a girl he's related to.

It's been a big couple of days.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Have you seen this? It's hilarious. And such a good idea. Look out, any of you people I know who might go out of town!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Here's a few things.

So the work thing has calmed down for the moment. Nothing ever really came of my long letter; I suspect that my boss has managed some sort of temporary iron-out for the problem, and it may or may not rear its ugly head again. We'll see.

Jason and I have a gig photographing a wedding in October, and I'm really excited about it. We've never photographed a wedding before, so it'll be a learning experience. Don't worry; the happy couple knows that we're just getting started. They're having a small, intimate affair and they feel confident that we'll be able to handle it. And, actually, so do I.

Something that I've learned over the past couple of years is that it actually takes a lot more energy, thoughtfulness and will power to be nice and to think about other people's feelings and to always try to do the right thing than it does to spout off your opinion all the time. And the phrase "the right thing" can be a tricky one, too. People often think they're being helpful in some way by pointing out other people's problems or weaknesses, but more often than not I think it's just a selfish kind of righteousness that makes a person want to call other people out. I'm following in the footsteps of someone I respect in ways I can't describe when I say that I have been and am still just trying to be a good person- at home, at work, IN THE DAMN CAR, and wherever else I can be.

Monday, July 16, 2007


Originally uploaded by Buford Union Davis
So I'm going to get my drivers' license renewed tomorrow.

I've settled on the face I'm going to make for the photo.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Oh, man. Two frozen margaritas at lunch time will really set the tone for the day. And by "tone" I mean bed, the bed I'm climbing into mid-afternoon for a snooze. Except I can't actually take a nap; it's too late for that. I could have if I had gotten into bed earlier, but I've spent too much time on the internet. Damn!

Have you ever really needed to make your own penis pinata, but not had the know-how? Look no further.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

If it's on the internet, that means it's true, right?

The internet is the BEST.

I just finished reading a long, fairly detailed article on AOL about a monster roaming the Amazon jungle, and this was among the comments that followed:

hey rod we can go almost deep in the ocean and the ladys man ( heheh big foot) none sees them but we can land on the moon that was fake too


I do like this guy, though. This cracks me up:

I've began singing a song already, for whenever I see deh badie putting it's feets in her badie mouf. The song is called "Badie Feets Go In Deh Badie Mouf," it's sung to the tune of "Puff the Magic Dragon," a more sped up version with a Caribbean accent, and I'll have to learn how to play the steel drums.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Originally uploaded by buffpuff
So there went the majority of the day at the emergency room.

Reed went to his doctor yesterday, YESTERDAY, for a well check-up. Jason said when the the doctor listened to his chest he said, "Yeah, his cough sounds wet, but there's nothing in his chest, so it must be mucus in his throat." He also got two immunizations, and that was it.

Last night he was up half the night, and I figured he was feverish and uncomfortable because of the shots. This morning I noticed that he was really having trouble breathing. He was breathing really hard, heaving almost, and his abdomen was jerking in and out like it was really hard. I called the nurse and told her, and she said, "Yeah, I think you need to bring him on in. Don't worry about what you look like; just bring him." She called back about a minute later and said the doctor heard the whole conversation and said that we needed to take him to the emergency room instead of his office.

So to the emergency room we went. After some acetominophen and three half-hour albuterol breathing treatments, we're home with a sick, sleepy baby. They said he's got a viral infection in his lungs, and they almost made us stay in the hospital overnight- something about his blood-oxygen level being low, and if it didn't get over a certain number after three treatments, he had to stay. Luckily the third time did it.

And let me tell you, holding a mask that shoots mist and makes a loud hissing noise over the face of a toddler is not as much fun as it sounds like. For thirty to forty five minutes. Three times.

And really, I know that he very well may have gotten sick over night and there just wasn't anything for his doctor to find yesterday. It's just the shittiness of it- that he was at the doctor just about sixteen hours earlier, and then it had to get all scary and hectic on us. It just sucks.

Also, right when we were about to get out the door, Reed threw up all over my mom and the living room floor. If only I could train him to do that on command. Then I could just pass him around to people I didn't like very much, and say the signal word- "Hot damn!" or "Shabamalama!" or whatever.

That would be nice.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Eating a tomato.

Eating a tomato.
Originally uploaded by buffpuff
Today, Reed pulled his vintage sewing box up to the cabinets in the kitchen, stood on it and grabbed a tomato off of the countertop. As he trotted back to the television for more Sesame Street, or Street Street, he happily told me, "Peach!" Jason and I simultaneously said, "No, buddy, that's not a peach." Before we could do anything about, he started taking ravenous bites. He looked at us and said, "Mm, mm, goot!" We laughed and said, "Reedy, that's a tomato." He replied, "Mm, tuhtuhduhduh!"


Saturday, July 07, 2007

I need a muscle relaxer that relaxes that brain muscle.

Today was an exhausting day. I'm pretty sure that this whole "not blogging about work" thing is going to make my head burst off the top of my body. Since I don't want that to happen, I'm pretty sure that I'll be blogging about work pretty soon. I intended to do it tonight, but I'm just so damn tired, and it's a big, long, specific problem I'm having at work that I'd like to write about, so I think I'll write about it tomorrow or Monday.

Suffice it to say that today I walked out of work after being berated on the phone for twenty minutes straight by a grown woman, and I went and sat in my car and hyperventilated for another twenty minutes. I really really REALLY almost just drove off. Then I thought I would go in and write a long letter, and then leave. I spent an hour writing a five page letter, but I was calm by the time I finished so I stuck around for the rest of the day. I left the letter on my boss' desk, and she's returning from a trip Monday morning, so I figure we'll have a long talk then.

We shall see how this turns out. I'm either going to quit, or get fired, or something else will happen. I'm not being secretive; I'm just not sure what the third option is. But I'm sure there is one.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Where do we go, now?

The Nashville Possibility, as I call it, is a lot closer than I thought. I figured we'd ponder it for about a year, and then move if we decided that's what we wanted to do. But apparently Jason's work would want him there by November 1 of this year, which is about FOUR MONTHS AWAY. So, yeah. Decision time. We spent some time on the internet looking at houses for sale in places like Antioch, Nolensville, Franklin, and Brentwood, or A Whole Bunch of Places I've Never Heard Of and Certainly Never Been To So How Can We Choose A House There? I mean, of course we'll visit and stay with Jason's mom, who lives in Hendersonville, to check out the city and the traffic and the stores and the mood, but still.

IT'S WEIRD. I've never lived anywhere besides Leeds and Birmingham, except for a sixth month stint in Montevallo which I now refer to as That Time I Was Stupid And It Cost A Lot Of Money, which is also another term for Every Day At The Agan House.

I digress.

Anyways, they haven't made Jason an official offer yet, but that really just means we don't know yet what position they want him to fill, or how much they'll pay him. He's had several higher-ups come up to him and start talking about Nashville, and then say, "You're going, right?"

FREAKIN' SCARY. It just is. But I feel compelled to push myself to do it, because really good opportunities like this one don't come around very often; this is the first time in my lifetime that I've had a real, viable chance to securely move away from here. So, it's onward and upward. More soon on This Thing That Might Be Good But Still Kind Of Makes Me Feel Like I Have To Poo.

Every one else is doing it; why can't we?

Yes, yes, yes.

So many gadgets, so little time. No, wait; MONEY. So little money.


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Antibiotics, decongestant, cough syrup, hyrdracortisone cream, mustard, and beech.

So Reed has the hand, foot, and mouth disease, and I have bronchitis. We are some sickly people, I have to tell you. I'm not even sure where the bronchitis came from, but I assume Reed's affliction came from the daycare. He has bumps all over his feet, legs, and hands, and some in his mouth like ulcers. The ones in his mouth hurt; he keeps crying and pointing at his mouth and saying, "Teeth!" We thought it was teething at first, but nope, it's a contagious disease. Jason noticed that he has some bumps on his feet and legs, so we're thinking he has it too. I'm just totally wiped out, and I can't breathe through my mouth or my nose, so I'm a tad bit whiny and ill-tempered.

The mustard essence that I've been using appears to work. All I know is that I added drops of it to my water all last week, and I didn't feel gloomy at all. On Saturday I decided not to use it because I was thinking maybe you're only supposed to use it WHILE you're gloomy. By Saturday evening I was totally heartbroken and weepy. I'm thoroughly aware that it would be coincidental or psychosematic, but really, who cares? I went back to the daily mustard, and Jason bought me some beech essence which is supposed to ease the intolerance one experiences during pms. But I've been thinking that I might use it all the time, not just during pms, because I'm pretty intolerant these days.

Reed is counting now, and it's very much like having a small, smart-assed French guy in the back seat of the car. "Uuuuuuu-EH! Doooooooo-EH! Reeeeeee-EH! Vooooooo-EH! Feeeeee-EH!" And after counting, or at the end of a song, or after he gives me a kiss, he congratulates himself with a very emphatic "YAAAAAAAAY!" while clapping his hands. We should all congratulate ourselves that often; life might be a lot more satisfying if we could say "YAAAAAAAY" and clap for ourselves after every task we accomplished.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Turn and face the change.

Another thing I did, I put on my old uniform, the one with the epaulets and funny lopsided hat. I always hated that fucking hat, it never fit me and always made my face look like it was on crooked. I put it on and rubbed the entire thing with peanut butter, hat, jacket, pants and all. I went to the garage and opened a forty pound bag of bird seed and doused myself liberally. I walked six blocks to the park, laid down, and waited.

This guy is an old friend of mine.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

I'm sure I can catch Jason scratching his butt. He does that for about nine hours a day.

Beware, all ye who travel here.

My mom bought me a flip video for my birthday, so you're all about to experience some interesting stuff. So far I haven't had much of a chance to use it, but it's so small and convenient I'm sure that many a video of Jason tooting, me picking my nose, and Kristi musing about childhood dreams of carrot nipples are to follow.

Hey, potty training is coming soon for Reed; I'll bet a can capture his first toilet poo on film.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Today is my 28th birthday.

Honestly, birthdays have just never freaked me out. I was excited to turn 16 so I could drive. I was excited to turn 18 so I could totally be an adult and say "screw you" to my parents, which actually amounted to staying out late and arguing with my mom on the phone sometimes until two or three in the morning, when I would finally give up and go home. I was excited to turn 21 so I could finally find out what it was like to drink the alchohol.

Because I totally never drank before I turned 21.

Anyway, beyond that, ages have never really meant that much to me. Kristi turned 28 just a couple of weeks ago, and she jokingly said (I hope she was joking) that "we're approaching the age where we won't have anything else to look forward to." After Lindsey and I beat her about the neck and shoulders, she was like, "seriously, it's all downhill from here". Lindsey, whose 28th birthday is in about two weeks, has been saying that 28 is just one year closer to 29 and OH SHIT we're about to be 30 like, any minute now. For some reason it just doesn't bother me.

I mean, in a lot of ways, I still think of myself as, like, 20 or something. I still FEEL like a young person, and when I see old episodes of Friends when they're supposed to be 25 or 26, I still think of them as older than I am. But in a lot of ways it just doesn't occur to me whether I'm old or young or middle-aged or what.

Besides, when Jason turned 30 (which was, like, 20 years ago or something) we had an awesome party. We drank a lot of random stuff, like peppermint schnapps with hershey's syrup, and blew up pies with firecrackers. AWESOME, I said. If we can have a party like that, there's no way 30 will seem scary.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

From a boy to man. A man with a purse.

Reed is really and truly an amazing human being. He's learning all these new words and phrases, and it's like having an alien riding around in the car or following me around the house.

First, the phone is officially the "mong-EE". When it rings, he starts saying "Mong-EE! Mong-EEE!!". He's very emphatic about it. It really cracks me up because I honestly can't see where this pronunciation came from.

Also, he is really very interested in purses. He loves my purse and his grandmommy's purse (grandmommy is now known as "maw", which just goes to show you we really ARE from Leeds), but he would also like to have his own purse. He found a VERY sparkly bedazzled purse at Cracker Barrel the other day and fell in love with it, and I have to tell you it was a battle to get it away from him and get out of the building. I finally found a little one that I bought a while back but never used and gave it to Reed. Whenever it's time to go anywhere, he says "Poose! Poose!" Once he finds his "poose", he hikes it over his shoulder and he's ready to go. I mean, really, once you have your poose and your mong-EE, you're set for the day.

He's also just started saying "I not know!" with so much inflection and sincerity. We ask him where is purse is, and he shrugs his shoulders and says, "I not know!" I sent a video of this to Lindsey and Kristi this morning, seeing as how they often not know either, so I figure they could relate.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Emma Grace.

A trick.
Originally uploaded by buffpuff
Yesterday our friends Amy and Dave had their baby, and we went to see them today. Emma is the prettiest little baby, a little Eskimo thing with chubby cheeks and a whole lot of dark hair. She slept for the first little while, but was smiling and making the funniest little faces in her sleep. Then she woke up and quietly opened her eyes. You've never seen a room full of adults oooing and ahing the way we all were.

I recently told Jason that I wish we could have more babies, and how I wish we could have a girl. Jason replied, "Do you REMEMBER your pregnancy?" And I do. I told him it's just that the good stuff overwhelms the bad stuff. Or maybe I just want a good excuse to lay on the couch for nine months. But whatever.