Monday, March 31, 2008

Drip. Drip. Drip.

As soon as I wake up, it starts.

The whining.

The crying.

The shrieking at me or her sister or the cat or the fucking dust bunnies.

Doesn't matter.

She's going to yell.

After the yelling comes the tears and tantrums.

Again and again and again.

Whatever I ask her to do, she refuses.

And generally stomps her feet while doing so.

Whatever she's given to eat is, 9 times out of 10, refused.

And then thrown on the floor.

She asks for a drink and as I'm getting up to get it, starts screaming because it's not instantaneously in front of her.

She hits me. She hits her little sister. She hits the cat. She hits the fucking dust bunnies.

I find myself clenching my teeth and hissing thru them, at her, quite often.

I also find my shoulders up around my ears.

By the end of the day, I've usually cried, at least once.

By the end of the day, she's cried countless times. And spent quite a bit of time in her room.

Where she screams some more.

And cries a lot.

That Canadian Boy I Married tries to help but he works.

A lot.

Often into the evening.

It's the nature of his job and there's nothing he, or I, can do about it.

I don't know how much more of this I can take before I completely lose my fucking mind.

I try to talk to friends about it.

The ones with kids get it, but have no advice; most of them are going thru similar things.

The ones without kids laugh at me.

Which makes me want to rip their heads off, boil their skulls and use them for drinking vessels.

You think I'm joking.

Not so much.

This may very well be the death of me.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Swiped from Lara.

1. What is your name?

2. How old will you be on your next birthday?

3. What is your occupation?
4. What is your relationship status?

5. What do you want to be when you grow up?

6. What do you love most in life?
(Adding the obligatory: Besides my family, of course.)

7. What do you like to do in your spare time?

8. Who is your celebrity crush?
(Just one of several I have at the moment.)

9. Favorite animal:

10. Favorite color:(Aubergine. Even the name is cool.)

11. Favorite book:(It's the dictionary. Dead useful.)

12. Favorite type of shoe:

13. Favorite Disney character:

14. Favorite place to be:(Alone. All alone. Or with him, up there.)

15. Biggest annoyance:(This is NOT my kitchen. I'm not the neatest,
but even I don't let it get this bad.)

16. Biggest fear:

17. Bad habit:
(but only on Friday nights.)

18. What is your mood right now?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Day In The Life...

...of a toddler.

Today, I went to the post office to get my hair cut.

I went in looking like this:

And I came out looking like this:

The lady who cut my hair gave me a pollylop.

And then I came home and ate a permater.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Bullets. And Memes.

  • I got my hair cut a la Dawn French. It looks good, but I think the fringe needs some work.
  • I've been going to the gym 5 days a week for the last three weeks. I'm gobsmacked that a. I haven't injured myself and b. that I actually enjoy it.
  • I am in love with these guys. They're like kamikaze Strunk & White. Fantastic.
  • Bruce Springsteen tickets go on sale on Saturday. I. Want. Some. I love me some Bruce.
  • If this winter doesn't end soon, I'm going to go to bed and stay there. I'm SICK of being cold.

And now, the memes.

Shannon tagged me for the Six Words meme. This is based on the Not Quite What I Had Planned memoir, put out by Smith Magazine.

Here are the rules:

1) Write your own six word memoir;
2) Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like;
3) Link to the person that tagged you in your post, and to the original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere;
4) Tag at least five more blogs with links; and
5) Don’t forget to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!

Mostly happy, with bouts of blue.

Tagging: Sarah, daysgoby, eliza'smom, Andrea, Ree, and Josie.

And Tracey, at Green-Eyed Mama tagged me for a Seven Weird Things meme. I'm not tagging anyone for this, but if you want to play, feel free and let me know in the comments.

1. I cannot stand top sheets on a bed. If I'm sleeping in a hotel, I untuck them as soon as I get in bed. At home, I don't use them - just a duvet cover that gets washed with the bottom sheet and pillow cases.
It makes me nuts to have my feet and legs confined.

2. Since I was a child, I've had a recurring nightmare that features my old Catholic elementary school, on fire, me in a tower at said school with the bust of Shakespeare going back and forth between me and the firefighters who are waiting, with the trampoline thingy, for me to jump. It used to scare the crap out of me, now I just find it vaguely amusing. I have no idea what it means, though.

3. When I hone my chef's knife, I have to do 30 strokes on each side. It's pretty much the only thing I'm OCD about.

4. Except for maybe shutting off the lights. It infuriates me when lights are left on. I spend a lot of time muttering about it as I stalk thru rooms, snapping off switches.

5. I noticed, and pointed it out to people, when the local market changed their signs from 15 Items Or Less to 15 Items or Fewer. I am a grammar geek extraordinaire.

6. I own about 50 books about or to do with the Tudor period, including one on Lady Jane Grey that I spent $75 on. Happily.

7. I have an inordinate fondness for Rube Golberg, Heath Robinson and Edward Gorey. It might be considered a little odd, but if I ever had a separate bathroom for the children, I would get tiles with The Gashlycrumb Tinies on them. Just to keep the little twerpettes on their toes.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Moral Dilemmas

Well, I didn't mean to leave that lovely prom picture post up there for so long, but my life seems to be getting in the way of blogging. And there's not even anything interesting to report on.

That Canadian Boy I Married and I had a discussion last night about religion. We go weeks and weeks without having conversations of any substance and then all of a sudden, we spend an intense hour debating something big. Are we weird or is this how other people do it, too?

The topic arose after we discussed the Obama race speech from Tuesday, but it quickly turned to church and what should or would drive a person away from a parish/church. We specifically discussed the pedophile issues that have been dogging the Catholic church over the last few years.

If a parishioner knows that a priest is molesting a child in the parish, but doesn't leave the parish or mention the abuse to anyone in the church, is that condoning the abuse? What is enough to drive a person to leave their church? What line do you draw and say "Over that, I will not go?"

I understand the involvement people have with their church. My family was very active in our church when I was a child. A lot of our social life revolved around church activities and many of my friends were from church.

But when does ones social life have to be set aside for the greater good? Is it really that difficult to disassociate yourself from your church/parish? I can't help but think that plenty of people had to have known that priests were abusing boys in the church. Some of the boys had to have said something to their parents or teachers about it - they can't all have kept quiet. What would drive a parent to ignore information like that from their child? And what would keep a family in a parish, knowing the abuse was going on?

It's difficult for me, now, to see how a person can turn a blind eye to such things, just because they're reluctant to give up their church. I am not religious now and I don't have that type of community, but I have other communities I belong to and I'm pretty secure in saying that if I knew that was going on, I would do something, say something and remove myself from that group of people.

I grew up next door to a woman who abused her children. She was a raging alcoholic and would scream at them, throw things at them, beat them and occasionally kick one of them out of the house and make them sleep under the pine tree in the front yard. Every single time it happened, my parents would call the police about it. Nothing ever happened. The kids were never taken away, she was never arrested, nothing. It was very discouraging, but my parents kept calling because it was the right thing to do. Even though she started haranguing us, screaming out the windows about us and threatening my sister and I if we set foot in her yard, my parents continued to report her, in the hopes that eventually, something would be done. It wasn't an easy way to live for a couple of years, but it was the right thing to do.

It saddens me that too often, people take the easy way out. That people would rather shut their eyes to these atrocities than disturb their little social and/or spiritual community by speaking out. When something is so patently wrong, the right thing, the Christian thing to do, is to say something, do something, help that child, stand up and say "Enough!" I don't know how you can, in all good conscience, sleep at night, knowing that your silence helps perpetuate these things.

Just one more thing that baffles me.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

No One Reads Blogs On The Weekends

I'm hoping this slides under the radar. What are the odds? A long while back, Deb, over at I Obsess, dared me to post my prom picture. It took me this long to find it. Actually, I didn't find it. My thirteen year-old daughter did. There's a particular kind of humiliation in having your daughter come shrieking up the stairs yelling "Oh my GAWD, mum, I can't believe you WORE that!"

I thought I rocked that Scarlett O'Hara look.

Hopefully I've blocked out enough of the guy's face that he's not recognizable. Never mind that this was 20-odd years ago and I'm sure he looks different now. But if anyone does recognize him (my friend K excepted), let me know and I'll go black out even more of his smug cheating abusive face.

Apologies for all the white space. I suck at editing photos.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Pi Day

Today is Pi Day.
And all you're getting is pieces.

The Red Sox released Doug Mirabelli today. I understand why - he's not batting as well as he did last season and last season he only batted a .202 - but it still sucks. I love Doug Mirabelli.

I turned the TV on for Boo this afternoon, while I washed some dishes. I had been watching MSNBC earlier and when I turned the TV on, Bush was giving a press conference. I thought I'd changed the channel, but I walked into the kitchen without checking. A few minutes later, I hear Boo yelling, "Mama! Mama, come change da channel. Dis big guy in on de tee-bee and he won't stop talking." Welcome to my nightmare, Boo. It'll be over soon.

And finally, in news that makes my liberal, lefty heart swell with maternal pride, The Bug now says "Keef" every time she sees this man on the TV screen. Ahhhhhh....

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Overheard In The Backseat

"Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the street

Merdely, merdely, merdely, merdely

Life is but a dream. Yo. "

"Heeeeeey, Bug! You didn't puke this morning. You're my best friend."

"Mama, mama! Look at da birds!"
"Yes, Boo, I see the birds."
"Where dey go, mama?"
"I guess they flew away."
"No, mama, they missappeared."

"Hey, Bug, when LaLa was a baby, mama went to the doctor and got a cantelope in a baby bag."

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Big D, Little d, What Begins With D?

Two dLife posts and a dog update. (Sorry, my rhyming abilities suck.)

First, the two dLife posts in question. You have to read the comments on the first to understand my ire in the second post.

And now on to the dog.

I spoke with the landlady on Monday. She said the neighbours have told her that they bring the dog out of the cellar at night, that it's only down there during the day, while they're at work. I know this is bullshit because I've been down in the cellar at all hours of the evening and night and the dog is always down there. They did go down there last night and clean the floor. I haven't looked thru the space in the wall recently because every time I go downstairs, someone from next door goes down, too.

Frankly, these people make me a little nervous. I have no reason for it, but they do go to extraordinary lengths to avoid us and I don't even know their names. I have to share a building with them and I don't want to create issues. I'm not going to make so many problems with the neighbours so that I feel uncomfortable in my own house. Also, when I spoke with the landlady, she sounded less than thrilled to hear from me.

I talked to the MSPCA again and they said there really is nothing they can do. The officer said that she could knock on their door and offer to re-home the dog, but the neighbours would know it was me complaining.

I don't know what to do. I'm sure some of you will be angry, but I can't disrupt my family's life over a dog. I can't piss off my landlady to the point that she asks us to move. I just can't. I can and will keep an eye on the dog and if I see that the dog is losing weight or that the floor is not kept clean or it appears that anything at all is wrong, I will report it again.

I don't like this situation one bit.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Dog In The Cellar

I called the MSPCA tonight about the dog. That Canadian Boy I Married had called the landlady last week about it and when I went downstairs on Friday, I couldn't see the dog. I just went down to do laundry and he's still there. I went over to the wall dividing our cellars and he came over but started to bark loudly when I spoke to him. So, obviously not a friendly dog - and who can blame him after being in a cellar for 2-1/2 months?

I came upstairs and called the MSPCA. I had to leave a message. I hope I hear back tomorrow. I should have checked yesterday but when I didn't see the dog on Friday, I thought maybe the neighbours had re-homed it. No such luck.

This is really fucking depressing. I hate seeing animals neglected. I had to stop watching those Animal Cop shows on Animal Planet - I'd wind up in floods of tears over each and every episode. I used to take my mother to task for leaving her Chesapeake Bay Retriever out in a kennel all the time. It was a big kennel - 30 ft long by about 10 ft wide, but still. The dog was desperate for human interaction and would jump on you when you came into her enclosure. That was the excuse my mother used for not bringing her in. Well then take the dog to some training lessons and then practice with her at home. Jesus. She's a DOG. She's not a programmable toy. She needs training and reinforcement and attention. God, that used to burn my butt.

Christ, I feel bad when I leave Sadie (the wonder mutt) home alone for the bulk of a day. I can't even fathom leaving her tied up in the cellar for 2-1/2 months.

People suck.

Friday, March 07, 2008

My (Not So) Redneck Past Is Nipping At My Heels

It's probably getting monotonous to read (and probably why my readership has dropped off precipitously), but it's monotonous for me, so I'm sharing the wealth. My brain is mush. I don't know if it's this interminable winter or if I need more happy pills or if this is just how I'm going to be for the rest of my life. It better not be the last or I will do myself in.



The dog situation has been reported to the landlady. And it's not a lab mix, it's a fucking Bull Mastiff. Do you know how big those dogs are? Fucking huge.

I was downstairs doing laundry yesterday and he (she?) was still down there, along with a massive pile of dog shit. The poor dog. He's tied up down there, too. It's just so sad. The landlady was very upset to hear about it - not only because of the floor damage but because she doesn't like the idea of having a dog and treating it that way. I'm thankful she thinks that way. Many landlords just wouldn't care.

That Canadian Boy I Married has started his new job and seems to like it, although he's even busier than he was before. It makes for some very lonely weeks. He's working until 7 every night, usually, and will be working most Saturdays, too. When he does finally get home, he crashes - which, by the way, can't possibly be normal. I mean, he gets up at 6:30, which is on the early side, but not the ass crack of dawn, by any means. And he's almost always asleep by 8 every night. That's a buttload of sleep. I don't understand how a guy his age (which is considerably younger than me) can be that tired all the time. It baffles me.

My mother was over yesterday. She is a demon knitter. She's made some adorable sweaters for my girls. Including this piece, which I love.

If the Bug would ever stop moving, I could get a better shot of it. It's adorable. It has matching socks. I can't even knit a straight line, so stuff like this impresses the hell out of me.

But this isn't about the sweater, even though it is too cute for words. It's about the knitting group she started at the library near her house. One of the women who joined is the mother of my high school boyfriend. Apparently she still has our junior prom picture hanging on her living room wall. I don't think I have a copy of my junior prom picture. It's a little weird knowing that my 16 year-old face is hanging on someone else's wall. It was also really, really strange to hear that Old Boyfriend's older brother was disappointed that Old Boyfriend and I didn't stay together. Apparently he really liked me and thought we would have been a great couple. Ummmm...ok. I don't even know what to say about that one. I was 16. We went out for a year or so and yes, he was a nice kid. But he was a kid. I was a kid. I can't even fathom marrying my high school boyfriend. I know people do it, I just can't imagine myself doing it.

There have been a rash of old boyfriend sightings and hearing abouts going on lately. It's kind of freaking me out. I literally ran into my old college boyfriend Dave one day, coming around the corner at a grocery store and bam, there he was. I stuttered and stammered and we talked for a few minutes and that was that. I was freaked out about that one for days. Dave was the one who got away and I still sometimes wonder "What if...?" about him. We had run into each other once before, when I was going thru my divorce in 1998. We stayed in touch and even hung out together a few times. I was kind of pining for him at the time, but he didn't seem interested, so I was content to stay just friends. When I met That Canadian Boy I Married, though, Dave got very upset with me and told me he didn't want to stay in touch any more because he couldn't stand to see me with someone else. Uh, ok. Maybe you could have said something earlier? *sigh* Men. Can't live with 'em, can't sell 'em for science experiments.

I think it's all the Old Boyfriend things that have me so bummed. I'm kind of feeling my age, I guess. And parts of my life haven't turned out the way I'd imagined they would when I was younger. I'm such a cliché.

Monday, March 03, 2008

If you can look at a dog and not feel vicarious excitement and affection, you must be a cat.*

I am not a Dog Person. I like dogs in the abstract. I like the idea of dogs, the picture of them lounging at your feet, warming them on cold nights, of taking them on long walks and watching them frolic with the children. But that's the idealized picture of dogs.

The reality of dogs is that are a lot of work and good grief, are they needy. They need to go out, they need to come in, they need to be fed, walked, petted, played with. And I already have two toddlers and a teen-ager with a chronic illness (and let's not discuss That Canadian Boy I Married - he's the neediest of them all). I've got needy coming out of my ears.

But we do have a dog and I do like her.

Yeah, maybe you could leave off the party hat
time, ok? A little dignity would be nice, lady.

I don't feel overwhelmingly in love with the dog, although I did go thru paroxysms of worry when she bolted two years ago. So, yes, I like her. I feed her. I put flea goop on her. I vacuum up the metric ton of hair she sheds every day. I take her for walks and I rub her belly. And when she dies, as she inevitably will, I will be sad but not devastated. Like I said, I like dogs, I'm just not a Dog Person.

All that said, we have new neighbours and the neighbours have two dogs. One is one of those itty bitty things that looks like a football with fur. A handle-less dust mop. More of a toy than a dog. And their other dog seems to be some sort of golden lab mix. The toy mop dog gets walked and kept in the house. The other dog? Is in the cellar. By himself. With a water and food bowl, yes, but still. He's down there all day, all night, alone. Peeing and pooping on the floor. Sleeping on the floor. The cold concrete floor. Every time I go downstairs I can hear him dragging his bowl around. I can smell the pee and poop. It's disgusting, but more than that, it's wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Because while I am not a Dog Person, I am an animal person and I believe if you adopt a pet, you need to treat it as a pet, not as something you store in your cellar or in a chain link enclosure outside.

Do I complain to the landlord and have the neighbours become even weirder than they are already? (They have yet to say hello to us, even when we run into them in the drive way. They just look at us and go in the house. Very weird.) Is it considered abuse if he's being fed and given water? He looks healthy - doesn't look matted, doesn't look malnourished - from what I can see thru the slats that divide the cellar. But he must be lonely. And bored, if he's dragging around his water dish.

Why would you have a dog if you aren't going to have it living with you? As nuts as my dog can make me at times, she's still in the house with us, sleeping on her bed or trying to mooch food while I'm making meals, letting the babies crawl on her and giving them sloppy, smelly face washes which they love and I try not to think about. (because, ew, the dog eats her own vomit. And cat shit. And, just ew. Ew, ew, ew.) I would never leave her in the cellar by herself. I hated even leaving her on a run outside for more than a couple of hours at a time. I made a commitment when I adopted my dog and I am not one to go back on that, just because my life is busy.

I feel bad for this dog. I feel bad that he doesn't have an owner who cares for him, even in the half-assed way I care for my dog. I want to go over there and ask if they need another home for the dog, but given their weirdness, I'm a little afraid to do that.

I just know that every time I go into that cellar, my heart aches a little more for that dog. And pretty soon, I'm going to have to do something, because I can't take much more.

*Author Unknown