Sometime after Jake was born, I did the same thing because I was overcome with guilt that I brought a baby into this crazy world. Clearly everything was not getting better and it wasn't jiving with my raging hormones.
I think I might do it now. At least local media. Our headlines today are filled with stories about murder-suicides in front of five children, peeping toms, eight year-olds found hanging in their homes, dead kids and a whole mess of ridiculous law suits related to them, pervy high school teachers working two blocks from my home, public trans shootings, suicidal kiddie rapers. And then there is this.
Who ever knew that sex and death could be so messy? Well, me. But still. Those were all on the front page today. As in, very recent events that happened within ten miles of my door. Sometimes I feel like I'm lucky that I live in an area that has no shame about what gets printed in the press and every one knows what's going on. There is no pressure to make it seem like I'm living in a quiet little town full of butchers and bakers and candlestick makers and anything bad that happens gets pushed under the rug and never spoken about. But sometimes it gets a bit overwhelming. Especially when you put your kid's face on all those stories. It's awful.
Anyway... did you watch the DNC last night? I know this probably comes a bit too late, but PBS has excellent coverage of things like this. They actually show you live footage of the speakers rather than a bunch of well-coiffed douchebags talking about what the speakers behind them are talking about. How about those yokels from middle America? Huh? That was a shock to see. Brilliant! Barney Smith before Smith Barney? Oh. Em. Gee. That was amazing. I'd link you a youtube if I had the power to do so, but the site is blocked.
I think I'm also going to give you guys a rest from whining about the news. Maybe if I didn't have to be so immersed in the bad happenings of this town from 9-5 I wouldn't be so bent out of shape about everything. (I'm two chapters in to What Color is Your Parachute, by the way. It is the corniest book I have ever read and I'm beginning to feel like it was a bad purchase. I'll plow through, maybe I'll learn something).
So, I'll be out of the loop for awhile, probably just checking in with the BBC. If anything big happens, let me know, okay? Thanks.
*Can you believe that I actually teared up when I read those bar reviews? It is 8.30 in the morning and all I want is a beer and a shot of blackberry brandy for old time's sake. What does that say about me? What the hell is my problem? And no, Jake isn't named after the bar but all our college buddies make the crack. I'm still kicking myself for not making it to WC in 2006 to pick up a t-shirt to give to Jake when he turns 21. Maybe I'll scour e-bay and post a Craigslist ad.
She is starting to look like her own little self lately, don't you think? Less Jakesque, proving to the world that we Arrowsmith's may just have a few recessive genes after all. (As if, we totally dominate all things).
Here is Jake at precisely three months (and a few hours but who's counting), just to compare because I love to compare my baby to everyone's baby.
Even more so because I pictured the boy politico doing it in the privacy of his own home wearing a pink bobbed wig and pretending he was ScarJo in Lost in Translation.
And now I'm picturing ScarJo's butt in LiT and now I'm sad because mine looks nothing like hers so I'm going to go downstairs and see if there are any Clark Bars at the coffee shop.
Can anyone tell that I've been avoiding work these past couple days? I have a nasty lot of it piling up and it is all very depressing and bad newsy so I don't want to touch it. Instead I'll just post things making fun of people who aren't here to defend themselves because that's all I seem to be doing lately.
I'm not ready for a change yet, but I'm ready to know what that change may be when the time comes.
I've never used any sort of job hunter resource, so it might be total crap. Who knows.
My pre-read answer is "stripey polkadotter paisley plaid, with lots of wornout denimesque sueded patent leather patches".
That is why I need some help.
The nice thing about being in high school in the early 90's is there was no chance of you dressing like a slut but there was a huge chance of having unkempt blonde hair and giant eyebrows. This is a picture of MeMikaeleandMartha alloneword at a pep rally in 1993. We were thrilled to be there.
I really want to spend Saturday by putting on a big shirt and listen to Black Sheep, Ministry, Cypress Hill, Porno for Pyros, TMBG, Pixies, Breeders, Toad the Wet Sprocket, the Deads Milkmen and Kennedys, the Cure, the Clash, RHCP, and some sort of angsty pre-Lisa Loeb girl singer like Julianna Hatfield all day long while doing homework and writing poetry and stories for my creative writing independent study and go to work at Baskin Robbins. Just for one day, then I would appreciate how nice it is to be a grownup and not in high school anymore.
I try to stay at least ten feet away from Jake when he is playing at the park to give him a bit of space, and I let him by himself for a few minutes at a time in our backyard and our downstairs if I'm showering or pooping or doing chores like laundry, dishes, and vacuuming which are impossible to accomplish if Jake is in the room. He sleeps alone. I have recently been able to allow myself to give him a bath that doesn't involve one hand on him at all times. I know that I am a superneurotic worse-case-scenario-imaginer, and that can lead to some pretty intensive supervision if I'm not careful to keep my insanity in check.
I've been making a concerted effort to trust other (trustworthy, of course) adults to watch Jake. I have 100% faith in the daycare lady, my aunt, my cousins, the grandparents, and a couple of my friends because I know they love him more than they need to. I have never called a caregiver to check up, even when Jake was just a few months old because Jake has never stayed with or been near someone who I don't trust. It's the people who are inside my circle but outside of Jake's circle I worry about. Strangers are off limits, I mean my extended family members and friends. They don't love Jake enough to make him the ultimate priority. That's okay. I most likely don't love their kids that much. I see some of them with their own children and shake my head. But, I recently thought, their kids aren't dead or maimed or somehow scarred by lax parenting so maybe Jake would be okay under their eye too. People can watch two kids at once, right? Non-parents have eyes and common sense too, no?
I figured Saturday afternoon at a family party would be that perfect time to relax. Jake was in one of those giant bouncy houses, and I was assured that Relative X would keep an eye on him. Her baby was in there too so I figured it would be easy for her to watch him. After awhile, Jake wanted to get out and find me (less than 100 feet away) so X pointed him in the right direction. He is really good at going where he is told to go and X knows that, so I have no problem with that. Then Relative Y spotted him and decided he needed a tickle or something and he got a little turned around. It is easy to do in New Jersey, where everything looks the same. It is a development with those cookie cutter houses and huge yards and all. Relative Z saw him and decided he needed to go with her. All these people are parents. One of them is a grandparent. It happened in less than three minutes. I know this because I was looking over at him every three minutes.
When I saw that Jake wasn't jumping around anymore I asked X where he was. "With you". No. Obviously. I asked Dave, I asked Dave's parents, I asked Y. They all had no idea. We searched the side yards, the front, the basement, the deck, the living room, the family room, the cars, the garage, and no one had seen him. One hundred some people there and no one saw anything. The world had never seemed so big and my boy so little. I went in the woods behind the house. I asked the other kids, as Jake has an obsession lately with big kids, and thought maybe he followed some of them. I was sick. I cursed myself for telling him that screaming isn't nice, and to be polite to grownups. I was so angry that I let my guard down as some stupid science experiment of my brain and my sanity. I was mad that no one was paying attention that my baby was missing. People I didn't know laughed about how quick kids are, about how he is probably here somewhere, probably hiding. "Probably" isn't good enough. Someone I've never seen before told me it was my fault, as if I didn't feel that way already.
I have no idea how long he was gone. Ten minutes, maybe? Five? Twenty? I knew he couldn't have gotten far but there is plenty of trouble in a half mile radius. He was upstairs in a bedroom with a cousin. That's not okay with me. What if, what it, what if? What if it wasn't a trusted cousin who took him in a bedroom? What if it was one of the weird ones that we talk about all the time? What if he wandered to a neighbor's house? What if he got hit by a car? What if he got near one of the big dogs people brought? Walked into the fire pit where the disgustor pig was roasting? Into the woods?
It won't happen again, I'm back to square one with the Obsessive Momming.
There is just something so incredibly moving about people taking the time out of their day to stop by to let me know how much they appreciate and love me. It's better than a phone call or a card or anything because it is hard to make time for people these days, when everyone is working a billion jobs so they can keep a healthy flow of water and electricity coming in the house and gas costs eight dollars and seventeen fingers a gallon and work makes us stay late and kids get sick and husbands get hungry and the world is generally falling apart at the seams.
I am without internet at home, save for my new BlackBerry that I barely know how to use and my work internet is so horribly restricted after our last "upgrade" that reading some of your blogs is proving very difficult. When I finally figured out how to get to my Google Reader on my phone, I found a few birthday wishes on the blogosphere:
And from Tavia
And from Rinny
And I did cry a little at the whole thing, three times over. And that was after I got done tearing up at work anytime any of you left me a birthday comment. Don't tell anyone, I work so hard at putting myself out there as a tough girl.
Thank you ladies, so much. There was no way in hell any of you could have made it here to eat cake with me, what with being out-of-towners and 66.66% of you enjoying the critical levels of being knocked up and all. There is no better way to make me feel worthy of the air I breathe than to tell me I make you laugh and that I've inspired you to do something good. It's kind of what I'm trying to accomplish with my eighty-give-or-take-twenty years here. It's nice to hear that I'm doing an okay job at it.
A thirty-two year old monkey.
NOT the kind of monkey with a blue and red butt. Those are gross.
I'll be accepting gifts, cards, well-wishes, and accolades all day.
I woke up the other day and realized that the world at large probably considers me to be a real adult now. I even have a brand new car. Brand brand new. Not just brand new to me. Poor Miss Bruce has gone to the afterhours cagedance mostfabulous discotheque in the sky. Oh don't worry, no major accidents and we are all fine, we just decided to put her down before she started suffering. It was the only humane thing to do.
I don't think I look or act like thirty two, but I think I've established that I'm not familiar with how thirty two is supposed to look or act. Or any age for that matter. I work with some girls who look forty but their driver's license puts them in their mid twenties. I work with some girls who I thought were born in the mid-seventies but they remember Vietnam. I think my friends all look twenty-three years old and one hundred and twenty-three pounds but maybe I just can't see that the numbers have gone up a bit over the years.
I'm starting to understand what "you look just the way you did the day we met" means. I used to think it was a bunch of bull old people say to one another to make their peers feel less decrepit and dried up and repulsive.
It's weird being older but not being old. Since having Jake more than a few people asked me what I think about being a young mother. Check out clerks and other moms and random weirdos on the bus mostly. I've been asked if I was the babysitter a few times. I don't think it has to do with the way I look as much as it does the fact that I dress like an eighteen year-old frat boy and I don't wear a wedding ring and I don't hesitate to run and jump and climb and play and make Indian (feather not dot) whoop whoop whooping noises at the park or crawl around on the sidewalk, chasing after bubbles with a fishmouth and taking toddler orders of what to draw with chalk. A lot (read:most) of the moms in my neighborhood just sit their fat asses on the park benches and front steps and yell bad words at their kids when the kids seem to be getting out of hand. It doesn't matter how old they are, they just sit there and complain among themselves between tinny screams. It makes me want to puke that their children will be Jake's schoolmates and Jake will ask to go to their houses (no). I get some side-glances from the quote-unquote other moms when I play with Jake, but I don't let them bother me. I loved when my mom and dad rough housed with me, and I think Jake deserves the same. Hell, my arthritic grandma got down to play with me on the ground so I think Jake deserves the same. And she was waaayy older than I am now. She was way older than I am now when she had my dad, and I know she was a hardcore player back then too. I've seen pictures. And she wore dresses instead of Old Navy cargo shorts.
What the hell am I talking about right now? Who are you? What day is it? Who is the president? Where am I? Why am I strapped down to this bed? Is it 12.30 am or 12.30 pm? Where are my pants? Where are your pants? What are you doing with that gerbil? What kind of party is this? Is that horse shaved? How did a horse get in here?
Anyway, it's weird and wonderful to get older.
If you see me, wish me happy birthday. And tell your friends I'm turning 35.
I look awesome for 35.
Seriously, Katie. Come over here so we can talk. That is soooo Lora2001. I know you think you look like Molly Ringwald when Molly was at her peak but honestly, you just look like me when I thought I was at my peak but I was actually at a bit of a lowpoint. That haircut did a good job of making me feel like I looked like a boy when it didn't lay right and I overcompensated with a lot of blue eye makeup. A lot. A lot a lot. A lot of blue eye makeup and reddish hair dye. I thought I was so cute and no one did anything to make me think otherwise. I'll see if I can dig up a picture, but I think I did a pretty good job of tossing them out after I got pregnant when I went through my pictures and demolished anything that I would not want my child to see. It wasn't the hair that was the problem, but the lifestyle.
I think I look like a boy. I know you don't see it. You tell me that all the time. I think I look like a boy because I look exactly like my dad.
I make this face when something bothers me enough to notice but not enough to freak (like being transgendered). I make it a lot at work:
Give me candy or whiskey if you see me making that face.
I make a different face after one too many drinks. You know I've been drinking when I make devil horns and stick my tongue out. That is why I can't lie to you when you get to the bar at eleven and I've been there since seven. I can't tell you that I've been drinking club sodas because the next song that comes on might be slightly metal and I'll totally give myself away by doing this:
A lot of my friends in the post-thirty set are worrying about what is happening to their bodies and their faces. Just like them, everything is settling south and going soft from my neck down, but my face seems to be relatively intact. Want to know my secret? I don't wash my face. Maybe once or twice a month with Johnson&Johnson's baby soap. I also only comb my hair once in awhile because I'm convinced I'm slowly going bald. I wash it when it starts to feel like a non-organic cucumber from a cut-rate grocer, all waxy and sticky and slightly yellowish-green. I condition every day and run my fingers through it and hope for the best. And I only use Aveda because I'm obnoxious.
Oh, necks. Have you ever seen my neck? I'm a little worried about its future. It's really long and skinny and sinewy and I'm afraid that it might fail on me one of these days. Especially if all my hair falls out and I have to wear a wig and I get a really heavy one and I part it on the side and the weight of it pulls just a little too hard and my old rotten tendons crumble. You've all seen those elderly ladies with crooked heads so don't tell me it doesn't happen.
Jake hates it when I make this face but he always asks me to do it. Double click on it and check out where my tongue is supposed to be.
Jake loves when I make this face because he can stick his finger in my mouth and giggle about feeding fish. I like my teeth, even though they are giant. I had braces for almost four years and it screwed up one tooth so I had a root canal but other than that I've never had a cavity. I have the most sensitive teeth of any of my dentists' clients, and I've had five dentists. I drink everything through a straw and brush my teeth with lukewarm water. Which is not refreshing. Sometimes I'm jealous of the people on the toothpaste commercials because they look like they are changing their life while brushing their teeth. I can't even use mouthwash in the winter because it is too cold due to the room temperature in my bathroom.I have a very small mouth and I only have 21 or 22 teeth in my mouth. The other ones were pulled so I could have straight teeth. I don't know how many teeth I'm supposed to have.
I also have a giant tongue. Even when I bend it in half it is three times bigger than your mom's. I can do really weird stuff with it that I would show you but I don't want to look slutty.This is the smallest I can make it, with a quarter on it for your measuring pleasure.
Yeah, so I thought I would take a close up to see what almost-32 looks like.
I don't know what it looks like, but it clearly acts like almost-12.