I almost forgot to post something! Hey there!

(This is the perfect time for you to go somewhere else. May I suggest a trip over here?)

My mom came over, we went to Starbucks, and then we cleaned the girls’ room and decorated it for the holidays. Winter comforters, flannel sheets, snowman rugs, spotless floor… It looked really nice.

We picked Harper up from school and when she saw her room, she lost her mind in a really crappy way. The tantrum that was kicked off at the sight of a blue snowman rug lasted nearly two hours and included kicking, screaming, and (my personal favorite) spitting. Tiresome. Disappointing.

Meredith came home from school and ate soup. I found this to be completely delightful. (Especially after spending two hours with a Tasmanian devil.)

I put together a pesto pizza.

We headed to school for Harper’s parent/teacher conference. And because of her tantrums (I’ll spare you the details.), we are going to be teaming up with a developmental pediatrician and a social worker. This, aside from the soup thing, was The Greatest Thing to Come Out of This Day. (Wait. Coffee with my mom was good, too. Nonfat chai!)

We returned home where Harper played soccer in the kitchen and Meredith wrote the following:

“I pledge my honor to serve God and help people get their Kleenex if they don’t have any. 24 times to 24 sneezes to 24 Kleenex. And if you don’t mind, we will help you. We will serve your students to live by the friendly scouting wishes and to live. To live by the live.”

As you read this (if you read it immediately after I hit the Publish button), I’m either washing my face, jumping into pajamas, or sitting in bed reading until I drift.

May you all have 24 Kleenex for your next 24 sneezes. To live by the live. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Part of me hopes she suffered a tiny ketchup stain.

Oh, my aching head.
I forgot my PIN, in the
White Castle drive-thru.

So, yeah. They’re like, “Pay.”
And me, with migraine, cannot.
“My brain? Infarcted.”

Four cars behind me.
Drive-thru guy losing patience.
I’m almost crying.

Two eight two one? No!
Eight two one two?! That’s not it!
“I am so sorry.”

“I take credit cards.
You won’t need your PIN for that.”
(I am ninety four.)

I grabbed my Visa
And charged a Chicken Ring Meal.
Sunk to a new low.

And while my mood is still floating foul, let me just say this: When you walk in front of my car to enter White Castle all dressed up in heels and a fancy pants pashmina wrap, you’re just the same as the guy entering White Castle in paint-stained bib overalls and the frazzled woman entering White Castle with the three toddlers—two of whom are crying. In other words, you can stop with the loud “Do they give best-dressed awards at White Castles?! Is THIS what IRONY is?!?!” attempts at humor. That kind of crap will NEVER get a smile from me.

We’re all in this White Castle thing together, lady.

And I have forgotten my PIN number.

So, please hush your “Can people in my tax bracket enter White Castle without exploding?!” talk so I can think. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

NaBloPoMo Day 8: Now you can see it, too!

This is what I see every other Saturday morning when I step out of my car before crossing the parking lot to work at the yarn store.

St. Charles

Someday soon I’m going to see if I can hurdle that fence.
(I’m not planning on having any more babies.)
((Wait. Have I ever told you that Jeff owns a pair of vertical strength shoes? What with the toe for a thumb and the vertical enhancement footwear, sometimes I feel like I married an episode of Seinfeld.)) ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

NaBloPoMo Day 7: Back to Bibliophagery!

One of the best compliments I ever received came in December of 1996 while I was in Los Angeles visiting my friend Doug. It was the day after Christmas, we were sitting in a bar, and my navel piercing had just been reworked with a dangling sun. As we finished our first pitcher of beer, Doug looked at me and said, “You’re one of the most well-read people I know.” I’ll never forget that, because those words are So Much Better than, “Nice chest.” or “Good work with the liquid eyeliner, Cleopatra!”

It has been a few years since I read a book that made me feel smart. And I realize that feeling smart while reading isn’t necessarily a goal shared by many. BUT, to me, feeling smart while reading is sort of like drinking the perfect salted caramel hot chocolate while strolling around after dark wearing my favorite shoes and coat and heading toward an old movie theater with Jeff to watch AmĂ©lie. And, what was that? Oh! It’s just starting to snow!

(Side story: I just reached up to scratch my neck and found that it had been bleeding. So now I’m sort of living a Flaming Lips song, and that hardly ever happens. (Words begin at 1:18, and although I really love the song, I wouldn’t advise you to watch the video if the sight of blood makes you feel oogey.) )

A few months back, Jeff and I attended a wedding where I bonded with a woman over tattoos and vodka. Last month, we serendipitously ran into each other again as I was working in the yarn store. As strange as it sounds, we sort of knew that our friendship was meant to be, so we traded information and have now formed a book club. And I’m feeling very enthusiastic. And if you know me at all, you know that I’m rarely turned up to Enthusiastic.

Yesterday I took an hour out of my day to fill up my Facebook “Books I Have Read” page. As I filled it out, I started feeling sparked to free up some time for reading. This morning I read this article, and now I’m roasting. Broiling, even. In fact, tonight just might find me putting the vampire books aside and diving into something more gristly. And I think this phase will be kicked off with more David Foster Wallace. Because, seriously. Read the article.

Today: Cleaned the family room a bit, took Harper to The Little Gym, shared a bowl of lima beans, type type type type type for Day 7, will clean some more, perhaps knit a bit, get Meredith from the bus stop, go to Target to search for chocolate brown sheets, celebrate Meredith’s month of reading with a free pizza at Pizza Hut, knit a bit more (I’m really focusing on this and this right now.), and then in bed by 9:30 to read!

I’ll be back tomorrow. In the meantime, spark me. Let me know what you’re reading! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

NaBloPoMo Day 6: But enough about these tranquil parts.

NaBloPoMo is tricky when everything is going well and you haven’t really left the house in a few days.

Do you care that a constellation has formed on my neck?

Do you care that a group of people on Facebook really angered me, and I did absolutely nothing about it?

Do you care that I found my journal from 2000? Do you want me to share some lines with you?

Wait. You do?! Well, okay then!

These are not in any type of order, and I refuse to provide context. Here goes.

It’s the equivalent to grabbing a burger with Jesus.

I’m not ready to wipe my rear with a stranger’s discarded Kleenex.

Jeff is moving to Nashville in a little over a week, and I need to remember how important communication is to a healthy gastrointestinal tract.

The drinking of Chardonnay reveals a lack of imagination.

My words are being twisted and molded like a soggy kneecap or a scrambled egg sitting on top of a pancake sausage sandwich.

I am swamped and bewildered.

Parker Posey doesn’t recognize the past tense.

When we got to the house, we found sixteen strangers writing messages to one another on the walls. After reading random messages for nearly an hour, I found a line that someone had written to me about my four kidney infections and how they corresponded with my four failed relationships and how I should look into purchasing a rototiller to prepare my dirt for seed. I left the house feeling confused and immediately headed to 7-11 where I purchased a family-sized bag of Funyons and some chocolate milk. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

NaBloPoMo Day 5: I think we’ll stick around for this one.

When the 2004 election results were announced, Meredith grabbed her hot sauce and started planning her relocation to Canada.

Ready to Roll

Suitcase Around the Neck

This time around she’s quite pleased with the outcome, and she firmly believes the world is about to change in a really great way. (With that said, she would move to India in a heartbeat if she had the chance.)

Harper is happy because Meredith is happy.
AND, she’s been calling me Barack O’Mommy all day.
I’m cool with that.

P.S. I cleaned my room today. Floooooorboards?! Dusted!

P.P.S Um, yeah. Apparently, I have no idea what a floorboard is. What I meant to say was: Baaaaaaseboards?! Dusted! Okay then. Back to work. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

NaBloPoMo Day 4: Memories of Voting

I voted for Michael Dukakis when I was eighteen years old. Shortly after returning to my dorm room that afternoon, the college radio station announced that they were offering three potluck CDs to the first person who could name all three Beastie Boys. Obviously, I won the CDs. (Obviously!) To this day, I associate the 1988 election with the Beastie Boys.

In 1992 I voted for Bill Clinton. After voting, I drove to my part-time job at Olan Mills where one of my co-workers gave me an order of bread sticks from Pizza Hut, a big silly can of Foster’s, and a CD single of “I Will Always Love You.” This set of gifts was unexpected and strange, and I’m still a bit confused about it all.

In 1996 I voted for Bill Clinton. After work that evening, Jeff and I went over to my friend Carole’s house and watched a movie. Before leaving, I called home and was told that a pack of wild dogs had attacked and killed my neighbor’s dog in my parents’ front yard.

In 2000 I voted for Ralph Nader. And I had a migraine. And the production manager where I worked (in Nashville) made fun of the Ralph Nader thing so much that I actually used the migraine to go home early from work simply to avoid the maddening Green Party jokes.

In 2004, my mom came over to watch Meredith so that Jeff and I could go vote for John Kerry. And I’ve never felt so completely positive that my candidate would win. And when he didn’t? I got all lactational and weepy. I don’t want to talk about it.

So, here we are. 2008. I took my place in line at 5:10 this morning, and arrived home just in time to pass the voting baton to Jeff at 6:30. After he voted, he discovered that the battery in the car was dead. A very kind gentleman jumped the car, and Jeff drove it to McDonald’s to grab a coffee. While there, the car died again, and the girls and I were able to rescue him before my biscuit got cold. And by Biscuit, I mean Biscuit. Other noteworthy items of the day? Harper ordered a corn dog for lunch. She didn’t eat it, but she DID order it. (We’ll talk about her resistant eating some other day.) And the car doesn’t matter, and the eating doesn’t matter (today, at least), and the fact that I’m once again feeling the beginning of a migraine doesn’t matter. What matters? Today we’re making history. And I know you’ve heard that at least thirty times already. But, really. Something amazing is about to happen. And I’m feeling sort of giddy and hopeful. And I hope you’re feeling the same way.

Enjoy your evening. Really enjoy it. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

NaBloPoMo Day 3: I despise the phrase Super Fling Boogie, Fly Lady.

Our house is not clean. Seriously. (That’s why you haven’t been invited over for dinner or coffee.)

Our house is very small. We have more stuff than storage space for that stuff. And I know we need to either look inside ourselves for some motivation to release Stuff, or else we need one of those television crews to come over and humiliate us into The Disposing of The Stuff.

We have lived here six years, and we haven’t yet hung anything (except for a few photos here and there) on the walls. Our family room carpet is disgusting, and we haven’t yet been able to find the cash to rework it.

With all of that said, I’m supposed to be making a video of our bedroom sometime in the next seven days. I’ll leave it at that, because the ideas stirred up in your imagination are surely more dazzling (and Marvin Gaye-ish) than what is actually taking place.

I’m feeling surprisingly shamefaced.

I guess I just need you to tell me that your place is a dump, too. Or, better yet, motivate me to step away from the kids, the computer, the knitting, the muffins, the whatever, and Beautify. I dream of entering a fresh-smelling house with zero clutter, clean carpets, and kids who eat anything I put on their plate. Right now I’m 0 for 4. (My mother-in-law just returned my copy of Sink Reflections. That stinkin’ bright pink book has been screaming and following me around the house spiderwalk-style for the past 48 hours.) ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>