Friday, May 29, 2009

Brain Dump and a Video

I've been avoiding the blog lately, for several reasons.

1. I've got some heavy stuff on my mind (heavy, like spiritual seeking and meaning-of-life questions, nothing bad), and to write about these thing require time and brain power, both of which I am sadly lacking lately.

2. 24 hours is quite simply not enough time in a day. Bad planning on someone's part. I refuse to bow down to the dominant paradigm and am therefore declaring that my own personal days are now 32 hours long.

3. Greg, in another bit of bad planning, was born in the month of June. That means his birthday and Father's Day are less than two weeks apart. He does such a good job planning my birthday and Mother's Day weekends (which are conveniently placed five months apart) that the pressure is tremendous.

4. One of the things he wants for his birthday is for our hours and hours of videotape to be transferred to DVD. I had a video service do this with about half of our videos a few years ago, and it cost an arm and a leg and part of a torso. So this time I'm doing it myself which takes FOREVER. You have to transfer it from the video camera to the computer in real time, then you gotta put in menu markers, then it takes twice as long to burn the DVD. Forget editing. You took 30 hours of video of people opening Christmas gifts, you get 30 hours of people opening Christmas gifts.

Occasionally, though, we find a treasure, which is the reason we videotape all those hours to begin with, isn't it? A. was just three and he thought he could read. He's reading David Sedaris' "Me Talk Pretty One Day" here, but he turns it into something about Disneyland and "Sowf Amewica" which is amazing, as he'll tell you. Then he finds info on how to sell your child. Unfortunately, he was making it up and Irving Yalom doesn't actually write anything on that subject.

(I wish the quality was better, but I haven't figured out how to do that. It's amazing I'm even able to get this up here, frankly).

Monday, May 25, 2009


Ah, Mommy guilt. I'm not talking about the kind where you aren't feeding your child all-organic produce or actually try him on solids before one year, or don't breastfeed every hour, or park him in front of Sesame Street every day because goddamn it you have to get SOMETHING done.

I'm talking about the guilt because my beautiful 4-year-old has been away from me for almost 3 days and how much do I miss him? Not at all.

It's been so EASY this weekend. A. pretty much does what I ask him to, when I ask him to do it. I haven't snapped at him once in the last 3 days because he doesn't have to jockey for position, defend himself against his younger brother's attacks, nor is he tempted to annoy his younger brother and make him scream. He has no audience for his poop and pee jokes, so I haven't heard them.

There's been remarkably little whining. I'm burning all the old home movies to DVD for G's birthday, and what do I hear in the background of almost all the videos? Benjamin whining.

Don't get me wrong - he's a beautiful star in my life. But, he's also very, very social and wants attention 24/7. G. and I joke that the perfect present for him would be a full-time aide.

I'll pick him up tomorrow and kiss his dimples and get some snuggle time when we get home, and I'll love on him as much as I can. But I'm afraid that tomorrow between 5pm and 8pm, when the boys are at their sibling-rivalry worst, I'll wish he was back in OR.

No pithy conclusions, no insight. Just guilt.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


So the husband and the four-year-old are safely in Oregon, while A. and I stick around here. A. had saved up his money for a large pack of Pokemon cards at this one tiny store in San Francisco that neither he nor G. could remember the name of, but it's purple and has Pikachu painted on the side.

G. said, "It's on not the main cable car line, but one of the other ones, and it's about a block from the cable car museum, and it's on the left elbow."

Usually his directions involve the word "hypotenuse." The "left elbow" is a new one. Being the super-internet-sleuth that I am, I found it on Yelp. And, we found parking right across the street:

And, we walked around and found another store that actually had a rolling Pokemon backpack. You don't see those every day, so I consented to buy it as long as A. promises to use it for the next 5 years.

Then it was off to Pier 39 because I was determined to show A. the sea lions despite his not really caring about them. Once he got there, he liked them:

He kindly shared his pretzel with the pigeons, making sure the smaller birds got their share:

And we found parking right across the street again! It only cost me $3 at the meter, while cars were lined up down 3 blocks to enter the parking garage and pay $20. It was our lucky day.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Adios, Buckaroo

G. is taking Ben to Portland for a quick 3-day visit with the grandparents. I'm really looking forward to time alone with A., but I'm also gonna miss the little rascal. And his dad.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Diminutive Mom Has Great Mother's Day

I am giving up iGoogle as my home page because I put local headlines on the top center of the page. The headline for the last week has been Diminutive Teacher Earns Mountains of Respect. Besides being an unbelievably bad headline, it pisses me off because this diminutive teacher is "a few inches over five feet." That makes her a few inches taller than me. Anyone refers to me as a diminutive anything is getting my diminutive foot in their ass. I realize that's not iGoogle's fault, but it annoys me.


Mother's Day Riddles by A.:
Q: What is the gudust thing in the world?
A: Mom.

Q: What is the diferens betewing Mom and Dad?
A: Mom is much preteer.

Q: Whats a Moms faverit thing?
A: Her kids.

Then on the inside of the card he wrote an old A. blessing: "May the sun shine brite on your Mothers Day."

I can't show you pictures because I forgot to put the damn CF card back in the camera after uploading all the pics from the day before. So we bought a disposable camera, and I had to figure out how people develop film these days. Our drug store still does it, but the counter has shrunk from about 1/4 of the store in the old days to now a tiny tiny little shelf. And it takes 5 days.

The boys made me a Tokepi pancake, then set out little easter eggs with coupons inside for me to find. I got coupons for free hugs and kisses (I guess they won't charge me anymore), free cheez sticks (meaning A. will go get one for me out of the refrigerator if I desire one, but I still have to buy them in the first place), and one for a free dime.

Then they blindfolded me and G drove all around in crazy loops to disorient me, until I didn't know where we were headed. He took off the blindfold when I guessed our destination correctly - the California Academy of Sciences. Very cool, a bit crowded, but overall a very cool place.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Happy Mother's Day, Early (now with photo!)

Ben in the car on the way home from school: Mama, I have a surprise for you. But I'm not going to show you what it is.

Me: Great. I can't wait to see it.

Ben: Teacher said we can't never never show it to our mommies until Mother's Day.

Me: OK.

Ben: But I'm going to take it out of the bag. Don't look!

Me: OK, I won't. I'm driving.

Ben: I'm going to keep it behind my back. Don't look behind my back.

Me: OK. I won't.

Ben: I can't put it behind my back in the car seat, so I'm going to hold it here. Do you know it has candy in it and buttons on it?

Me: Don't tell me.

Ben: But did you know that?

Me: No, but now I do. I thought it was a surprise.

Ben: OK. How 'bout you forget I told you that?

Me: OK.

Ben: Do you want to see it?

Me: No, why don't you keep it for Mother's Day?

Ben: But I want to show you now.

(Keep in mind, this is maybe a 7-minute drive home)

Me: Well, I'm driving now. Didn't you want to keep it for Mother's Day?

Ben: Yeah. Yeah, it's a surprise and I'm not going to show you.

Me: Terrific.

Ben: But what day is Mother's Day?

Me: Sunday.

Ben: Is today Sunday?

Me: No, today's Thursday.

Ben: Weeellll, I'm going to show you on Thursday.

Me: Don't you want to keep it for Mother's Day, like Teacher said?

Ben: No, I just want to show you today.

Me: OK, how 'bout we wait until we get home?

Ben: OK. I'll hide it until we get in the house.

Me: OK. Here we are. (pulling into the driveway)


Me: OK, Ben, let me get your seatbelt off.

It was a little Altoids tin covered with felt and buttons and had two miniature Hershey's bar inside, which Ben thought were rightfully his, but I ate them before he had a chance to steal them.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The Beginning of the End

For a few days now, it seems like every freakin' building's air/heat system has been wonky. First it's hot, then it's cold, then they turned off the air, then they blasted the air conditioning.....Then I realized that if it's happening in every building I am in, including my own home and the supermarket and the car, it's probably me. FABULOUS. I'm starting to get hot flashes?!

Last night, after medicating my monthly migraine and trying to fall asleep, I got out of bed, tore off my long-sleeve t-shirt, and dug through my drawers for my extra-light pajamas that I wear during heat waves. Then I tore the covers off the bed and wrapped the sheet around half of me (I can't sleep just with nothing - have to have at least a sheet, no matter how hot it is). The sweats aren't as bad as they were in the weeks after I gave birth, when G. christened me "The Swamp Thing," but they're still annoying.

Then this morning, everything was going along fine, but all of a sudden the boys turned into small devil-monsters who were put on this earth to torment me. They were always such needy, whiny little leeches and why did I want children anyway? I had to bite my tongue because what wanted to come out of my mouth was not intended for children under 30 years old.

Then we're driving to school, "Feels Like Home" comes on the CD, and I start singing along, Benjamin starts in with the chorus and we're singing together, "Feels like home to me...feels like I'm all the way back where I belong," and I begin sobbing. It's just so...sweet and tender and I love my little boys sooooo much.

WTH???? I'm only 43 and if this is peri-menopause, just shoot me now because there is no way I (or my family) will survive the next 10 years. Aaaaauuuugggghhh!

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