Monday, October 31, 2011

Well alright then

Mmmkay, differences in politics aside, this is exactly how I would behave at the podium and why I (and Rick Perry) should never EVER run for office. SRSLY. Dude was drunk on life. Er somethin'.

I can't stand here in front of this crowd and not love on you a little bit.

I might have to vote for him just for the comic relief. [I'm kiddding!!!]

Creeps in this petty pace

I find myself in a bad place today. Again? Still? This fall is kicking my ass and I usually like fall.

I sat up in the wee hours this morning thinking very dark thoughts. And now I am tired.

The other day my grandma told me that I am too young to be tired all the time. I told her no, I am exactly the right age to be tired all the time. I am a working mother. I may be tired until I'm dead.

Fuck it. Tomorrow is another day. Even if I sometimes wish it weren't at all. The sun will come up again and my mood will shift and I will clean house and so on and so on.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

time for my happy dance

The Secret World of Arrietty

I am jumping up and down like a little girl over this one (on the inside, at least). A movie about wee-folk by my beloved Miyazaki! One of my favorite daydreams has always been that I am the size of a bug.

Here's the trailer for the English version being released by Disney.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

spreading his wings fully

The youngest of my first cousins is well into his second extended trip to Japan. He has taken literally hundreds of pictures of millions of trees. There are also some photos of samurai and buddha statues. And these incredible stone stairs that seem to go on forever.

But it's the trees that get me. (I was born in Oregon and transplanted to the Southern California chaparral where native trees are few and far between. Trees still whisper to me.)

I think the sound of birds calling must be constant. Oh yes, and the lights...

it's mine

Maybe I don't want to let go of it yet.
It's mine. I earned it.
It's a driving force. Gets me off my ass.
I am angry. No one can make me stop being.
If I don't want to.
Do I want to?


Some Laura Marling...

I'm wounded by dust.

Monday, October 24, 2011

A case of the Mondays

I feel like a pile of dogshit that was scooped into a dirty gym sock and hit with hammer.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Oh, yes please :)

The Descendants. Watch the trailer.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

no wonder I'm tired when I wake up

I have this recurring dream that I'm in the passenger seat of a moving car, but no one is in the driver's seat. I'm trying like crazy to control the car and not kill myself or anyone else. This morning this dream was set on a winding mountain road and my son was in the backseat (I'm usually alone). I couldn't manage get myself into the driver's seat without risk of running the car off the road, so I just tried my damnedest to pull over and stop.

Next thing I knew, we were at a family gathering, only I didn't know half of the people there. I was getting very disgusted with that fact, but for some reason didn't just go introduce myself like a person should. I just sat there getting pissed off and eyeing all these people that were collected in little groups, but not intermingling at all.

Next we were walking down a hallway, on the way to an art gallery, but the gallery was hanging an exhibit and we couldn't go in, so we decided to go to my friend Lori's house, but no one was home and I set off the burglar alarm.


Some years ago I told my mom about my recurring dreams of being in a moving car when no one is in the driver's seat (I've been having them since I was a kid). She thought it was a reflection of her as a single mother, struggling and failing to manage our lives. I really don't think that's it though. I think I just recognized from an early age that you can't control life. You can do your best to be prepared and able to react and cope, but shit is going to happen that you won't see coming.

(I imagine some people would interpret this dream as me needing to surrender control to God. Take the wheel, God. Isn't that a song? Yeah, sorry. I'm much more in the Random Shit Just Happens camp. Sometimes it works out better than others. Sometimes if you're lucky and your eyes are open at the right time, it's actually pretty freaking awesome.)

Monday, October 17, 2011

little things that make a good life

On Saturday I made penne rigate with meat sauce for me and the kids (Dan is still at Hallween camp 4-5 nights a week) and we had quite a bit left so yesterday I tossed the leftovers into a baking dish, covered it in shredded mozzarella and baked it into a melting, crispy batch of warmth. Then I called my grandparents to ask if they had dinner plans; they did not so I said we'd be over shortly.

On the way to their house we stopped and picked up dinner rolls and salad fixin's. We dug in at the table in the kitchen and then indulged in ice cream and off-brand twinkies for dessert (apparently the real twinkies are just too pricey for Grandma, this would be funny to you if you saw their enormous house).

After dinner, Grandma and I got to talking about buying things like bread and milk that we don't use much anymore, but our husbands still expect to find in the house. For example, both of the last two gallons of milk I bought got poured out nearly full because nobody drank it and it spoiled. So I stopped buying it. But now Dan complains that there's no milk in the house... Grandma informed me that drinking curdled milk won't make you sick (that is how they make cottage cheese after all). This woman is 91, so she may be onto something, but still... gag.


Austin, my five-year-old son, is obsessed with the movie Mamma Mia! This tickles me to no end. I have to enjoy it while it lasts. We'll be back to Power Rangers or some such crap soon enough.

I hope this is it

I feel the need to continue (and hopefully wrap up) this series of posts that started here and here.

My dad wrote back. I won't post his whole message here, that would be crossing a line (I think). His mother died a few years ago. His wife (#4 I think) left him. She was the first to do such a thing. His sister died of cancer (she and I had the same birthday by the way). His younger kids (from marriage #4) are grown and living life, with the good and the bad.

He said he has regrets and feelings of guilt about not being the father he should have been* [to me from marriage #2 and my older brother from marriage #1].

I wrote back and told him that you can't change the past. I told him that he will have to deal with his guilt on his own, in his own way. I told him I wished him the best in letting go of it and I meant that. I said the best thing he can do for me now is not call me. I said I was sorry about losing his sister too soon and I'm sorry that his son, my younger brother who I haven't seen in at least 20 years, has serious health issues. I told him I wished him the best and what I tried to get across, but didn't say in so many words was: have a nice life, there's no place for you in mine.

I try to look at myself objectively and wonder if this makes me a cold, harsh person, to brush him off this way. But what I've come to is that it is what it is. It hurts too much to talk to him. All those hurt-little-girl feelings bubble right up and come spilling out of my eyes and my shaking voice. I don't need this. I've worked too hard at letting go of my anger and trying to be gentle with myself and trying to learn that some men *can* be trusted. They don't all let you down. I've been working on all this for so long and the only way I know how to move forward is to turn my back on him. It just hurts too much.

*By the way, this part about guilt and regrets is very nearly the same conversation we had the last time he contacted me around 11 years ago. I shut him down then too (after a few exchanges). My heart is closed to him.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I may have veered too quickly into psycho-bitch territory

This post is a follow-up to Thursday's. I had received a phone message from my dad who I had not heard from in something like 11 years. The message went approximately like this:

Hi Stephanie. This is Jim. Jim [last name omitted]. My work cell phone number is [number omitted]. I usually have that phone with me. My personal cell phone is [number omitted]. I hope I have the right Stephanie.

There was no mention of whether there was some important issue he needed to tell me about, or whether he just wanted to catch up. I had no desire to actually talk to him, but I did wonder what was going on, so I messaged him on facebook. Three days later, he responded. I was a little bit baffled at the brevity of his response and my reply in turn stopped just short of go fuck yourself.



I got your voicemail. I can't talk right now, but I wondered why you called. Is everything okay?



Nice photo. Hope all is well.



Are you kidding me? We haven't talked in years, you call me out of the blue and that's all you have to say? Is your mom still alive? Are you and [name omitted] still married?

I'm fine. My family is fine. Mom's parents are starting to have a hard time doing things on their own.

That's about it really. To be honest, I don't want to talk to you.

Take care.


The honesty of a five-year-old

Maya: Mama's back! Where did you go?
Mama: I told you I had to feed Bo [the cat]. Do you listen when I talk?
Austin: No.
Maya: Austin!
Austin: We don't!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Well that was unexpected, but also not

I wrote sometime back about my so-called father. In my experience the only thing you can count on with him is that you can't count on him. That includes not being able to assume that just because you haven’t heard from him in 10 plus years means he will continue to leave you the hell alone [like I asked him to] and you won’t hear from him out of the blue on a random Wednesday.

This isn’t making any sense, is it?

I got a call from him yesterday. He found me at work of all places. Thankfully, I was out for lunch when he called and didn’t have to talk to him. I don’t want to talk to him. I can only assume that he found me on facebook (Ms. Moon may be right about facebook being evil) then Googled me and found me at work (or facebook may not have been involved at all, maybe it was just Google if he remembered my married name). I’m not really surprised that it happened. I wasn’t hiding. It’s usually just a question of when, not whether I will hear from him. He does this sort of thing.

I had already found him on facebook, but had not “friended” him. I just like to keep tabs on where he is in the world. How close he is living at any given time has a lot to do with whether I may hear from him. He has spent many years in Texas and Oregon. Now he is in back California. About 2 hours from where I live. I am hopeful that that is too far for him to make the trip to show up unannounced. But again, I can’t count on that.

I have no idea whether he has found this blog. I don’t much think so though. Making the connection from here to my page on facebook is much easier than the other way around.

My husband suggested that he was calling because it was my birthday (the day before he called). I told Dan that I doubt very much that he knows when my birthday is. Unless he saw it on facebook.

He didn’t say why he called. He wasn’t completely confident that he had the right person. He said in the message, “I hope this is the right Stephanie.” I briefly considered the fact that I could not respond at all. Let him wonder whether it was the wrong Stephanie he called.

Knowing him the way I do (for what it’s worth) I’d guess the reason he called is one of the following, in this order.

  1. He was “thinking of me and wanted me to know that he loves me.” I’ve heard this one before, and considering how little I have heard from him in my life, the proclamation that he loves me cuts like a knife. He can stick it.
  2. His mother may have died. She must be ancient by now but she was a feisty southern lady. She may outlive us all.
  3. He may be sick and wants to connect before it’s too late. (Okay, this one is wishful thinking on my part. Not that I want him to connect, but I’d be fine if he dropped dead.)

Like I said, I don’t want to talk to him. I was curious why he called though, so I messaged him on facebook. Then I spent the rest of the day checking to see if he had written back. Big surprise (SARCASM!) he has not written back. It could just be that he doesn’t check his email and/or facebook as often as I do. It’s considerably more likely though that the spirit that moved him to contact me has simply vacated, only to reappear in anywhere from two months to 12 years.

I’ll keep you posted.


For anyone who's curious, this is what I wrote to him:

I got your voicemail. I can't talk right now, but I wondered why you called. Is everything okay?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I need some cheese to go with this whine

I'm wearing all black today, to mourn my lost youth.

Not really. I mean, I am wearing black, but it's just what was clean. And most of what I wear is black.

It's my birthday. 34.

My parents are right now on their way to the airport to visit my stepdad's family in Kansas. When she was planning the trip, my mom told me she wanted to wait until after my birthday to leave. But I told her no, do what you have to do, Tuesday is a cheap day to fly. And I meant it, at the time. Now I will confess that my inner child is pouting a bit that my mama is leaving on my birthday. That added to the fact that Dan is so busy all month with all that Halloween bidness means I'm having to work pretty at not having a little pity party over here by myself.

I'm a big girl. I can do it.


Austin's been working on a pretty hairy cold for the last 12 days and last night he did that thing where all the mucus and crud hits your stomache and he threw up his whole dinner all over the dining room. I may never eat another tuna sandwich. So I was cleaning up and trying to keep the stupid dog from eating what Austin had just uneaten. I moved the table and cleaned the floor. Then when I was moving the table back, a water glass fell off the table and broke all to bits (I realized at this point that I should have taken the glass to the kitchen before moving the table, but I'm lazy) and I had to move the table aside again and I swept and swept and swept and still didn't get all the damn glass up. I got a piece in my foot this morning.

Fuck it.


It's not really that bad. I've been sort of happy this week in spite of myself. Probably because I haven't been eating so much crap. I hate to write about that though because I always jinx myself. In fact I'm having to fight the urge to celebrate today with Mtn Dew because as much as I love it, I know it will make me feel like shit.

Somebody at work sent me this Debbie Downer clip from SNL. They know me too well! Hahahaha

Monday, October 10, 2011

Feist - How Come You Never Go There

Dig the 80's flashback jeans on the backup singers. Ms. Feist's voice makes me happy. Metals is a very good record.

I am so full of shit

Yeah, I'm not gonna be able to do it. I don't think I'll be eating wild rabbit from my backyard unless the shit really hits the fan.

If I lose my job, deplete all my resources, then maybe. Last resort.

You know why? It occurred to me that they have paws. The paws gave me pause. (Good Lord, I apologize, that was terrible.)

Scales? You bet.
Feathers? Bring it.
Hooves? Lemme light the grill.*
Paws? Um... I dunno.

Too cuddly I guess. Fuck me.

*Yeah, I'm still lying. I don't care for steak or any meat on the bone. I prefer my beef ground and my chicken shredded. It should look as little like it came from an animal as possible. That should tell me something. I really don't like the idea of eating animals at all. Just not ready to give up my (occasional) hamburger, canned tuna and chicken tacos. Again.


The kids and I were watching Nickelodeon, as we do so often, and they played a sound bite from Victoria Justice about being a Latina and how Latinos/Hispanics "really" like food. Um, doesn't everyone? Is there a culture out there that says no, no food for us. Some religions require fasts for different reasons at different times, but we all like food. Don't we? We just like different foods. Our food.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Less Than Stellar Moments in Parenting #5042

After his swimming lesson tonight, Austin wanted to stay for a few minutes and watch the next, more advanced class. I told him no, I left the lasagna cooking in the oven and I wanted to get home before the house burned down.

Brilliant, right?

He spent the entire ride home (a very long five minutes in this case) freaking out that our house had burned down and we would have to build a new one. I apologized and told him that I never should have said that, I just wanted to get home because the lasagna was in the oven. The house was fine I said over and over again. And of course it was. We got home and he said, "There's our home. Our home is fine."

The house is fine but mama is a dolt.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Gary Clark Jr. - Bright Lights

Tryin' to fill up what's hollow.

Oh mah gawd yes.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Small moments...

that remind me why I like working on a college campus.

Walking from my office to the cafeteria today I passed a PE class doing a military style run (with whistles and the whole bit) and a physics class doing an egg drop. The egg drop scene was pretty emotional. When a team did well, they celebrated. When a device failed, everyone said awww.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ray Lamontagne - Hey Me, Hey Mama

Papa's in the kitchen
Mama's in the field

Some fine pickin and singin for this Monday mornin.