Friday, January 29, 2010

Girl Crush: Juliette Binoche

I can't for the life of me remember when I first became aware of Juliette Binoche. Maybe it was The English Patient. (Was Naveen Andrews not the sexiest thing you've ever seen in that movie? Wowsa.) But I bet it was Damage when I first noticed Juliette. Oh dear god, I watched that movie at a much younger age than Maya will, if I have anything to do with it.

But Chocolat is still my favorite. The way she lights up the screen. And all the chocolate. And Judi Dench. And her being paired with Johnny Depp ain't too bad neither. Chocolat and Juliette's haircut in it was the inspiration for my lastest short-ish cut. Long hair just wasn't an option when Austin was an infant, not when I had to go back to work anyway.

I didn't wear it quite as well as she did, though. (Damn, Austin was a tub even then.)

Dan in Real Life is cute. As is Jet Lag. And I keep trying to watch Bee Season, but I can't seem to get through it for a few reasons, not the least of which is my Dan walking into the room and asking why I'm watching "this boring shit."

I didn't even know she had played George Sand. I definitely need to see that one! Isn't IMDB freaking awesome?!


I feel much better than I did when I wrote my last post. Thank you to everyone who commented.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

the dam done burst

I am swinging wildly between dark and light. Warm and cold. Happy and heartbroken. I am so grateful for the posts I’ve read today. I am so grateful to all the bloggers I read and the people that come here. The world is beautiful and cruel, today and every day. One of my coworkers is pregnant. And I am happy for her, I really am. But also afraid. Not for her and her baby, but for the delicateness of babies, of people. A few months before my friend Lori was arrested, she had quit her job to stay home with her boys. She was crazy in love with her little ones and went on and on about what a good baby the youngest was. I remember her saying that she worried she wasn’t a good enough mother, and I told her that if she wasn’t a good enough mother then there wasn’t a way to be a good enough mother.

I let Austin’s clean laundry pile up now because it reminds me of Lori and Garrison. I used to separate out clothes that Austin had outgrown to give to Lori for Garrison when I was putting laundry away. We gave so many toys and clothes and shoes and playpens and and and back and forth between our boys. Hers were a year older and a year younger than Austin. Bookends. But now I turn around to look behind me and see nothing but an abyss. His brother, Gregory, still asks for him. Still wants to play with his baby brother. I can only imagine that he doesn’t understand where his mother is.

After Lori was arrested I knew two things about myself. I would never quit my job and I would never have another baby. I don’t know why that is. It’s not like those two things add up to a formula for bad things to happen. I’m just so afraid of mental illness. I’m afraid of losing my own grip on reality. Whatever the fuck reality is. I’m so afraid of where she is.

It’s so amazing to me how tragedy can bring life into focus. I am more aware now of singing birds. The majesty of trees. The release that a good laugh brings. But there are moments when I sit alone at the dining table unable to look up. Unable to say words. Unable to even cry. I am becoming an alcoholic. Not a mean one, not a drunk driving one, but one that has to take the edge off in order to have a conversation without babbling like an idiot. I am knowingly and willingly killing myself slowly with food. And I’m just so damn tired the last few days.

But please don’t worry. I am tired because I have been sick with a cold, and Austin has been sick and getting up at night and my defenses are down. But I just started my period, and you know how that works, the upswing that comes after that. The lightness comes back. I still eat healthy food, I just eat too much sugar too. I get paid in a few days and there’s a cycle to that too. The money comes in (once a month), I pay the bills, grocery shop like a madwoman, spend a little on unnecessaries and a couple weeks later I’m broke again. And broke and tired for me is a recipe for being in the dumps and that is exactly where I am right now. But Friday is payday, and Saturday my class starts and I’ll be okay again. Today is a day for crying, and not having money and missing my friend, but it will pass.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tracy Chapman: Say Hallelujah

This is apropos of nothing in particular, I just like the song.

Monday, January 25, 2010

hollowed out of solid matter

I see her on TV. No, that’s just an actress. I see her in my driveway. No, that’s just a memory.

She is haunting me again these last few days. The bottle chases her away, but I’m not sure I want to. I’ve fallen through the rabbit hole. It is dark and dirty, but warm. Comfortable? Familiar.

But unlike her, I get to come back out when I’m ready.


This made me laugh...
Sweet Juniper: Smiling at the Apocalypse

As did the title of this (but not the story)...
Woman lays in street, run over, killed

Coldplay: Lost!

Just because I'm losing
Doesn't mean I'm lost
Doesn't mean I'll stop
Doesn't mean I will cross

Just because I'm hurting
Doesn't mean I'm hurt
Doesn't mean I didn't get what I deserve
No better and no worse

I just got lost
Every river that I've tried to cross
And every door I ever tried was locked
Ooh-Oh, And I'm just waiting till the shine wears off...

You might be a big fish
In a little pond
Doesn't mean you've won
'Cause along may come
A bigger one
And you'll be lost

Every river that you tried to cross
Every gun you ever held went off
Ooh-Oh, And I'm just waiting till the firing starts
Ooh-Oh, And I'm just waiting till the shine wears off
Ooh-Oh, And I'm just waiting till the shine wears off
Ooh-Oh, And I'm just waiting till the shine wears off

Sunday, January 24, 2010

the end of an oven

My oven/stove done did died last night. Its -- no, her -- last meal was homemade mac and cheese. (Just an aside, I have a lot to learn about being a vegetarian. I am so fucking sick of cheese.) I don't know what her first meal/job was because my parents lived here with her for a year before we did. But knowing my mom, it was probably a cake. Or brownies. But my money's on cake. Devil's Food.

That oven wasn't a fancy model, far from it, but she served us as well as she could for the last six and half years. She will be missed. Well, we'll miss her this week since we can't replace her until Friday. When the new one comes we'll probably forget all about her.

Her front right burner hadn't worked in years. You had to set her oven 25° cooler than any given recipe called for. You couldn't turn the burners down low enough to just simmer. I don't know if that was the fault of the oven or the freaking propane. I long for natural gas... I do. And then last night, the oven wouldn't turn off. The knob spun freely and the orange glow of the flame wouldn't dim. We had to pull the plug.

Rest in peace, my dear.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tracy Chapman: Baby Can I Hold You

Just a damn good song.

John Mayer: Vultures

For SB ;)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I do.

And just like that, we were married. I cried through the whole ceremony. My mother wasn’t there, just as I wasn’t at her wedding four years prior. My now late, then future, father-in-law walked me down the aisle. My one year old daughter laughed and kicked.

My mom should be here. This isn’t right. What am I doing?

I was just past 20. Maya was just past one. Dan was sneaking up on 28. I changed out of my $20 “wedding dress” from Ross in the chapel bathroom. Stepped out and fixed Maya a bottle before the wedding party braved the Reno snow to find a place to have dinner.

That first year almost killed us. Then again 2007 almost killed us. I am not easy to live with. Neither is Dan. Which of us is less easy to live with is open to interpretation, I’m sure. But we are a match. A pair. Two of a kind, working on a full house, as the song says.

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times. I don’t know how to be married. I’m learning on the job. Being raised by a single, independent, very intelligent, sometimes angry woman will do that to you. Add to that our seven and a half year age difference and my lack of… experience (I was a virgin when I met him and he... wasn't), well it’s nothing short of a god damn feat that we’ve made it this far.

I don’t know how to be married. After 12 years I have learned A LOT. But I am still learning.

Wish us a happy anniversary (tomorrow).

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

It's like raining

See that red bit there? The middle of it is about to be smack dab over my house. We're doing okay here though, knock on wood. There has been some flooding out toward the coast and there is some concern about landslides in areas that have burned in the last year or so.

A couple minutes ago they were talking to a surfer dude on the news and he was all like "I woke up and went outside and it was raining so much I was all like... WOW."

I *heart* surfer dudes.

Monday, January 18, 2010

I apologize for this post in advance.

I don't have anything to say really, it's just that it's been raining fairly steady since yesterday afternoon, and I'm trying to keep track of the rain here on the blog.

I know I can't just post a post that just says it's raining, so I'll share a joke:

A female police officer stops a man who is driving drunk. She arrests him and says "anything you say can and will be held against you." He says "titties."

I think I heard/read that over at Natalie Tran's youtube channel. She does these vlogs that are actually really good (don't judge based on that joke), if you want to check them out go here.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

three and thirteen, a snapshot

My sweet three year old boy is crushing, hard. Maya went to a school dance on Friday and had a friend stay over night. We'll call the friend A. The whole time A was here, Austin followed her around and ignored everyone else. The girls were getting ready for the dance and Austin kept going into the bedroom where they were getting dressed and made up and I kept going back in and dragging him out. A was really sweet about it, laughing when he put her shoes on and ran away, making her chase him through the kitchen and dining room.

In the morning, after A got dressed and came out to the living room Austin said to her "you look SO pretty." She didn't respond, so he looked at me and said "she is SO pretty." I just smiled and looked at Dan who was laughing under his breath.


The girls had a great time at the dance. They came home suffering from tinnitus, talking so loudly we had to keep shushing them. They laughed and goofed around and ate ice cream (maybe not the wisest choice on my part, letting them have sweets) and took a LONG time to settle down so we put on a DVD before they finally went to bed around 11. I could tell Dan and my MIL weren't too thrilled with me for not keeping them more in line, but shit, you're only 13 once, right?

I will say that I am so glad I only have one girl, my house isn't big enough for any more of that craziness.

Friday, January 15, 2010

where this will lead no one can say

So I was signed up for this class. It’s a class I’ve been meaning to take for some time. It fits into my line of work, and would take me one step closer to finishing a degree. What a thought! A degree! I only started college 14 and a half years ago.

The thought of this class was freaking me the fuck out. I was getting all stressed about it and it hadn’t even started yet. And you know what? I don’t want anything else in my life that freaks me out. I have enough of that. But there was this other class in the back of my mind. This other class sounded like fun, and had absolutely nothing to do with my current (snort) degree path. So, guess what? I dropped the class that was freaking me out and signed up for the fun one. I’m so excited! I bought the book and started reading it already! My usual M.O. is to stop reading all together about a week or so into the term, and somehow I still manage to finish some classes that way. I guess it’s just my stunning intellect. HA! But I’m reading this one before I even have to! Holy crap!

So, what is this fun class, you must be asking. Well, it is Introduction to Viticulture. Viticulture is the cultivation of grapes. This class is the first class of the Viticulture, Enology and Winery program.

Oh, hell, yes.

I mean really, first you have to go outside* and play in the dirt and water and sunshine and then, THEN, you make wine. Sounds like heaven on earth to me.

I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what this class will mean to me in the long run. I’m not planning on quitting my job to go down the road and work at a winery, but WHO KNOWS. You know? And I’m not planning on plowing under the acres of sagebrush between my house and my parent’s house to plant a vineyard, BUT ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.

If nothing else, it should be an interesting class. And if I take the second class, Introduction to Enology, then there’s wine tasting. Not that I can’t do that on my own, but still. How cool is that?

* The going outside bit is just in theory for now. This is a lecture class.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Works

Don't ask me why there's a picture of apples, but it's a good song. Jonatha Brooke did this record a couple years ago (The Works) with lyrics that were written by Woody Guthrie (I think they were songs that were never finished or recorded) and music by Brooke.

This is another from that record, but it's hard to hear:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

eclectic taste in music, heartache, strength and love

These songs are amongst a couple dozen that instantly transport me to a very special time in my childhood. My mother and I had moved in with my grandparents when I was three. Their house was a magical place with treasures to be discovered and a backyard that provided me with countless hours of exploration and make-believe. But my favorite time was when my mom would play her records and I would dance and sing in the living room.

For me it was an almost perfectly happy time in life. I had moments when I questioned where my dad was, but my mom and grandparents were really my whole world.

It's only now that I am the age she was then that I realize what those songs must have meant to her. Her divorce damn near killed her. And I know for a fact that being a mother is what kept her going. She had a kid to take care of. She had to figure out how to support us and get me to the doctor and all those things that single moms have to do.

My mom is without a doubt the biggest influence in my life and I can't imagine my life without her in it.

Earthquake in Haiti: photos from the Red Cross

Climbing back on the wagon

I think I’m finally done with meat. I have to be very careful about how much beef I eat, and always have had to, because for some reason it triggers some serious IBS action in me. Last night I thought I was going to die, so I took my trusty little Imodium AD pills, put a heating pad on my belly and went to bed early.

And as a sometimes yoga practitioner, and occasional Buddhist, I know it’s better not to eat meat at all. But you meat eaters out there know how hard it is to hit that spot without it, right? Your body really does crave it sometimes. Or maybe it’s just conditioning. Anyway, I will have to step back a little and figure out how this will work because Dan is a diehard meat eater and that won’t change until he’s dead. And since we always eat dinner as a family, at the table, dinner will take some adjusting. Mostly on my part as I’ll have to figure out how to make up for the bulk of our dinners being protein based. Maya has never really cared for meat, so maybe I can follow her lead and likewise, adjustments I make can help both her and me.

It did occur to me that I could continue eating poultry and fish (fish only rarely as I don’t actually like it AT ALL) and just stop eating mammals. I don’t know, though.

Have you ever watched Andrew Zimmern’s show Bizarre Foods? He travels all over the world and eats all the little “nasty bits,” as he calls them. You know – the chicken’s feet and pig’s ears and monkey brains and god knows what else. Every time I see that show I know that if I had to decide between eating those bits and not eating meat at all, I would be a vegetarian in about 2 seconds. Not that anyone in this country is going to make me choose between those options, I just mean that I am aware of the fact that the modern western diet lets a lot of “parts” go to waste. Or maybe all those “parts” just go into hotdogs. Yeck.

My parents (and daughter) are Seventh Day Adventists and as such are encouraged to avoid all animal products. They eat some of those fake meat things... the vegetarian sausage and what not. I really just don't get that though. If you aren't supposed to eat meat, why eat a facsimile of it? I guess it's just a means to trick that part of you that wants meat into being satisfied.

And I’m sure some logical person out there will comment that I could try eating smaller portions of meat. To them I would say that one might have to employ physical restraint to get me to eat smaller portions of anything. And that’s why I’m in therapy. Among other reasons.

All or nothing, baby!


And for my own records, it's raining.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

One of the Loves of My Life and My First Giveaway!

I’ve always had a thing for movies. When I was a kid and it was just me and my mom that was our primary form of entertainment. The small town we lived in didn’t have a theater, and there wasn’t much to go and do, so we drove what I know now to be a loooong way from Lake Elsinore into Corona to see movies every week or two. The week I turned 17 I got my first job in the new movie theater that was just opening in Lake Elsinore. Working in a movie theater pretty much rocks. You get to see movies for free and get free popcorn and fountain drinks. Of course, it took me years after quitting to be able to stand the smell of popcorn again.

Anyway, we don’t get to the theater too often now. It costs too much money. Austin is too squirmy. Dan just doesn’t like to (which really chaps my hide since THAT WAS HOW WE MET. Not that I’m bitter.) So, instead of going to the theater, we buy DVDs. Lots of DVDs. Like, I don’t know how many hundreds we must have by now.

There’s the overflowing cabinet in the living room.

The stack on top of the DVD player. Say it with me… UG-LY.

And a stack in the bedroom.

We won’t even get into my mother-in-law’s collection, that doesn’t count here.

Many of them are purchased used. It’s much cheaper, and I suppose in at least a small way it is environmentally friendly. And every once in a while I buy one that I forgot I already had. DOH! Last night, my second used copy of Thelma & Louise was delivered. Maya had to make a point of going over to the DVD cabinet to show me the one I already had. She’s not her mother’s daughter at all.

I thought I would ask my cousin or a friend or something if they wanted it, but honestly, they all just borrow movies from me anyway, so what’s the point, right? Then I had a stroke of genius! I’ll have a giveaway on the blog!

So, my first giveaway is as follows.

Steph’s a Dork and Buys DVDs She Already Has - Round I

To enter, leave a comment and let me know which movie you want. Since this is my first giveaway, please feel free to leave more than one comment if you want more than one of them. If any of them are not claimed, they will be donated as I see fit.

DO NOT leave your address in the comments… I’ll contact you for your mailing address if you win.

Comments/giveaway will close at midnight, the morning of Monday, January 18, MLK day! And winners will be chosen at random. Good luck!

Comments closed. Winners will be notified soon.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Back to Earth from planet Mars

There was I, innocently entering the gas station, when suddenly the clouds parted, holy light shown through and the angels sang in chorus. In short, I saw these:

COCONUT m&m's. Have I died and gone to heaven?

REALITY CHECK! There is not one speck of real coconut in these damn things. REAL chocolate. Artificially flavored like coconut. I mean, don't get me wrong. I still bought some; I had to try them. And they are... okay. But Jesus H Fucking Christ, Mars. Why? How could you screw up something like this? Something that had absolutely perfect potential, like a baby the day it's born. Before he turns three and starts mouthing off.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sending some sun your way

I honestly wish I could send some of this warmth your way if you are somewhere cold right now. Maybe I can will some of this California sunshine through the computer screen to you.

I do believe that says 84° F. I don't think it's right though. It's probably only 78°.

One of last year's tomato plants doesn't know it's supposed to be dead. Shhhh...

The neighbor's trees are the reason we picked this lot. God help me if they ever remove any, it will be years and years before ours get this big.

I think this wall needs another window. How about you? On second thought, I might not think so in August. This is the master bedroom end of the house and it faces south.

Southfacing + Summer = FUCKING HOT

Aprisa says hello. Dusty (my big dog/bear) scared her off pretty quickly though. She belongs to my neighbor and is so sweet.

Hope you are warm and well.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Reuse and Reduce: craigslist patio furniture for the bedroom

A couple days ago, I mentioned some bamboo furniture I found on craigslist. The seller wanted $50 for a loveseat and chair w/out cushions. Sounded pretty good to me, because a new wicker loveseat runs around $300. But when we got there, the pieces looked a little more beat up than I expected. The number 30 popped into my head first thing. Dan was with me and he asked the guy how low he was willing to go... he said $30! I waited a minute so as not to look like a total dufus and said we had a deal while handing him the cash.

The frames of both pieces are really solid, but the parts that held up the (missing) cushions were thrashed. We ripped out the torn and stained canvas fabric (eeeewww) and foam padding. We restrapped the strappy things that were falling apart on the loveseat.

I tried to buy patio furniture cushions at Lowe's, but they didn't have anything deep enough. Then it occurred to me that I've been tripping over a handful of European sized pillows in the kids' room and they are almost the right size. So we're using those until find some more substantial cushions.

The chair is in the living room right now, but may move into the bedroom if/when I get rid of the dusty, unused recumbent bike to make room. The loveseat is meeting my expectations perfectly as a place for the kids (and me, maybe) to sit when we watch movies in the bedroom. Austin had been sitting in his stroller when watching DVDs in our room and that just wasn't going to work forever. And both pieces will work well in the living room (or outside) as we adjust when/if my mother-in-law moves out.

That is the same bedroom shown here with a different quilt/wallhanging combo.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Etsy find: Temux Mayan Artisans

If I were ever to write a master’s thesis, it would be an epic about my love of Etsy. Or maybe craigslist, as both are COMPLETELY FREAKING AWESOME. Right!? Just this last weekend I picked up some second-hand bamboo patio furniture that I am going to refurbish and use in my bedroom. Photos to follow!

Anyway, that’s not what I’m writing about today. TODAY I have an Etsy find that is making me all kinds of happy. First, some background… I have a drink handy AT ALL TIMES. No, not that kind of drink, although I do like my Vodka. I’m thirsty and have either water or iced tea (or Mtn. Dew [shame face]) within arm’s reach AT ALL TIMES. Not kidding. So I have a gorgeous collection of 1 liter Nalgene bottles in teal, red, black, green, blue, purple, and pink… I need an orange one. Now, as a mother of two, one of which is a wiley three year old who likes to run away laughing in public places while I holler at him, I usually need my hands free. To that end I have a purse with a loooong strap that I can wear across one shoulder, bag hanging at the opposite hip. And I have long since wanted a carrier for my Nalgenes that I could wear in a similar fashion. So, look what I found today: Morral (traditional Guatemalan shoulder bag) water bottle size

I ordered two. This is a habit I picked up from my mother. If one is good, six is better. They only had two. You will have to wait til they have more. Course, this shoulder bag is pretty.

They are acrylic, and while I would prefer natural fibers, you can’t beat this:

TemuxMayanArtisans's Bio
We are an artists' cooperative of Mayan women living in the highlands of Guatemala. Begun with the assistance of Peace Corps volunteers in 2009, we make one-of-a-kind morrales (handbags) as a way to gain extra income for our families to provide better healthcare and education. We speak Q'anjob'al (a Mayan dialect) and Spanish, wear traditional dress, and live an agrarian lifestyle.

Yay Etsy! Yay Mayan women!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


My lime tree. Chewed through and left to waste by a gopher.

I think I'm more upset about this damn tree than I've ever been about any pet I've ever lost.

It's not just this tree. How I'm I ever supposed to have the garden of my dreams if those evil little bastards can take down a whole tree in a matter of days. Last spring my first cantaloupe plant had a few nearly full grown melons on it and the fucking squirrels thought it was their own personal salad bar. Thing is, I don't even mind that much if they take the fruit, BUT NOT THE WHOLE MOTHERFUCKING TREE. Hell, I want almond and walnut trees BECAUSE the birds like them. I like birds. Just not the fucking squirrels, rabbits and gophers.

Dan promised to sit outside with his rifle until he kills me a gopher, and that didn't even make me feel better.

I mostly just want to pout, but I guess I have to be open to suggestions. So if you have any tips on how to prevent this from happening in the future, feel free to comment. Meanwhile I'm gonna go cry into my beer.

Shitty shit shit.

Be vewy, vewy qwiet. I'm hunting vawmints.

I want to cry, and it is absolutely the dumbest thing. I have this really great looking little lime tree, we planted it about a year ago and it has already produced, but this goddamn, motherfucking, shit hole of a gopher is destroying it. We tried to drown or at least run off the little rat bastard by sticking a hose in its hole and letting it run. I put chicken wire around the tree trunk. I put big rocks on the ground all around it between the outer ring of chicken wire and the chicken wire directly around the trunk and that little son of a bitch still got half way through what’s left of the trunk. ARRRGH.

It actually started a couple weeks ago when the tree still had 2 trunks, splitting down low like a Y, and that freaking jerk of a gopher chewed completely through one of the two trunks and then, THEN, he just left the freaking half a tree laying there! He didn’t even have the decency to take it home and feed his little rat bastard babies. But at least the tree still had one good, strong half left. Thank god or mother nature or whatever for that. But the little fucker came back for the other half. AAARRRRRRGGGH!



I HATE HATE HATE SQUIRRELS, the cantaloupe stealing buggers.

So we bought a pack of smoke bombs. As much as I HATE it when these little shit heads ruin my plants, I really do try to avoid killing them. I TRY to find plants they don’t like and protect the ones they do like, but god damn it, enough already! I just hope it’s not too late for my tree. And don’t ask me why I’m so attached to this tree. It’s become some kind of freaking crusade at this point. HE CAN’T JUST TAKE MY GORGEOUS LIME TREE. DO YOU HEAR ME? IT’S MINE!!!

"I got to get into this dude's pelt and crawl around for a few days. Who's the gopher's ally. His friends. The harmless squirrel and the friendly rabbit."
-- Carl Spackler

"I'm sowwy, Mr. Wabbit. I hope I didn't hurt you too much when I killed you."
-- Elmer Fudd

Monday, January 4, 2010

Spoiler: everyone dies in these movies

I got on bit of a biopic kick over the last couple weeks. I finally, FINALLY, saw Public Enemies. I liked it! Some people (my mom, for instance) have a hard time sympathizing with a character like that, one that steals and kills, and I get that, but I still enjoyed the movie. I watched La Vie en Rose, also starring Marion Cotillard (she played Billie in Public Enemies and Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose). It was very well made, but very sad. (I felt the same way about Walk the Line. I preferred Ray to Walk the Line.) Another one I watched recently was Sylvia. It’s one of those movies that you know the ending (the suicide of poet Sylvia Plath), but it still gets to you. I definitely sympathized with Sylvia.

I feel like I’m forgetting something, but oh well. Of these I would recommend Public Enemies the most, but it is very violent, so if you don’t like that kind of thing, don’t watch it. La Vie en Rose is subtitled (audio is French), so do with that what you will. Ray before Walk the Line. And Sylvia, well… don’t watch it if you’ve been eyeing the razor blades lately.


In addition, I have always always always loved Sweet Dreams. Although, again, depressing! Oh... and Cross Creek (about author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings). I need to see that one again.


Marvin Gaye kind of day today, you know?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year, Mr. V.

Two-thousand-ten or twenty-ten? Neither one sounds natural yet. How is it possible that we are already ten years into this century, this millennium?

In ten days my grandfather will turn 91. When he was my age, his childhood home still didn't have indoor plumbing. His parents didn't get that until the 1960's. He was a teacher, and later a principal, in the days when schools didn't have any computers in them, not even in the offices. Now at 90 and 89, he and my grandmother are still doing for themselves, driving, shopping, cooking (a little). They have people come to clean their enormous house and mow the lawn. But they are getting old. They are old. Grandpa especially is tired and sore all the time. He has a nerve condition that makes him feel cold even when he is not. Can you imagine feeling cold all the time? Even when your house is too warm to be comfortable to other people? I think I would be grumpy too. He's always been grumpy though, bless him, that's who he is. He says he doesn't know why he's still alive, and I tell him I'm glad that he is. But I do hate for him to hurt.

I have been so blessed to be close to my grandparents for nearly all my life, as long as I can remember -- since my mom and I moved down to California from Oregon when I was three. And now my kids are close to their grandparents and great-grandparents and I am so grateful, so glad, so appreciative of that.

I dreamed once that I was driving to my grandparent's house and suddenly my car lifted up off of the road. Kind of like that last scene in Grease when Danny and Sandy's car takes off flying. But in my dream it wasn't a happy feeling. I felt fearful and lost. It didn't take much for me to realize that the dream was about how lost I will be when they are gone. When they aren't there to go to anymore.

Enough of that... I said he was grumpy, and he is, a lot of the time. But babies make him happy. Babies have always made him happy.

My grandpa holding my mother, circa 1950, Compton, CA.
She is her father's daughter.

My grandpa with my cousin Jen, circa 1985, Brea, CA.
Shit, maybe it's Dave in 1981. I don't know. I think it's Jen.
Update: It is Jen! That's Northridge, CA.

* Mr. V. was grandpa's nickname when he was principal because his last name is Slovenian and damn hard for kids to say.