There were five toothbrushes on the floor of my office this morning.
Two were mine---one from my bathroom and one from my travel bag. One is Scott's, also from the bathroom. One is a free toothbrush that was given to me at the hospital along with a travel tube of something called "Sparklebrite.” One is a mystery toothbrush; like our beloved and much fought over Lawn Fork, it has appeared among us unexplained. Unlike our beloved and much fought over Lawn Fork I have no intention of running it through the dishwasher a couple of times and using it. Both are pointy utensils that go in one of the main face holes, but somehow a fork from the lawn can be cleaned and anthropomorphized and used, and a toothbrush absolutely cannot. Maybe because people commonly share forks---even with strangers when you consider restaurant cutlery---but very seldom share toothbrushes.
Here my husband interrupts: You say that, but every time I look at you, you have my toothbrush poking out of your face.
Me: I know! I am sorry...I forget which one is mine.
Him: *Darkly* The. Hot. Pink. One.
He HATES it when I use his toothbrush. He sees me use it and he brings home two fresh ones and makes me pick which color I LIKE BEST so I won't use his and then I forget. Last time he got me a color that he thought would help me remember. Hot Pink is not a very MANLY color, ergo the pink one must be mine. It failed. It is not so much that I think the hot pink one is HIS. It is just that I forget the dark green one is NOT MINE. You see the distinction?
Because he does not.
ANYWAY, this morning, when I went to brush, BOTH our toothbrushes were gone, so I assumed Scott had pitched them because I had POACHED again and he would bring home fresh ones. I dug the two out of my hospital bag and brushed, and LO, an hour later, I found them along with our original brushes on the floor of the office. Also the mystery FIFTH brush. Only the children's toothbrushes had been spared.
I called Scott: Honey? Why are there all these toothbrushes on my office floor?
Him: No clue. But Schubert was sitting on one of them.
Me: Lying down on, you mean? Or sitting up on? With his butt?
Him: Sitting up on, with his butt.
Me: GAH! WHICH ONE, WHICH ONE?
Him: It was mine. Don't you wish now you knew which one of the five actually WAS mine? So you could maybe...NOT USE THAT ONE?
Except there was static on the line so I did not really hear that last part.
I gathered up the toothbrushes and hurled them all out on the theory that a cat butt had touched ONE at a MINIMUM and I would sooner use a toothbrush from the lawn than from a litterbox.
Luckily I had a new two pack from a recent trip where I forgot a toothbrush altogether and had to buy some, and I went and managed to find those and gave my teeth a nice post lunch brush. Not half an hour later, who do I meet in the den?
Yeah. That’s my latest toothbrush, clutched in the maw of the Boggart-Cat, aka The Seed of All Evil. I suppose the residual mint helps him mask the sulfurous stench of Hell on his breath? Or perhaps it is revenge because I mention Bagel and Schubert by name in the latest version of my bio, but chose to pretend that he does not exist?
I have to admit, watching him GNAW at my personal bristles with the slaver-fangs he keeps in his fetid gob hole... I can FINALLY empathize with Scott.
I want my OWN toothbrush, thanks.
Hello, I have decided to live! I actually bloomed back to life late on Sunday, and I considered writing a mildly blasphemous but sincerely-intentioned Easter post about He is Risen, Hallelujah, and so have I, but freakin’ Mir beat me to it, and what else have I got, really?
I can tell you the obvious: I feel much better and Scott is a treasure. In fact he is THE VERY BEST ONE. And also, you, Oh My Best Beloveds...You are the very best one, too. Thank you all SO MUCH for the emails and comments and kind enquiries. Scott read all your notes and comments aloud to me in the hospital. You guys are so nice. The shriveled black prune-claw I keep in my chest cavity to push the blood around may have pittered in what could have been an emotional response. I can neither confirm nor deny.
To answer you here, but not to be too gory or detail-y, the anemia was masking a host of underlying problems. Medical professionals will blanch to hear my hemo dipped to 5.7 at one point. All very life-threatening and exciting. One quick collapse and an emergency hysterectomy later, I am declared to be on the road to complete recovery. I appreciate that you care enough to worry, but I have no cancer, I had no cancer, just a buncha benign crap and it is all gone now and here, a week after surgery, I feel BETTER than I did in the entire month of March. Seriously. Scott is having to make stern eyebrows at me and say SIT DOWN AND RECOVER, WOMAN.
I went to my doctor for a post surgery exam yesterday and my FIRST question was, WHEN CAN I START WORKING OUT, so, that tells you where my stupid head is. Of course, my second question was, WHEN CAN I HAVE A GLASS OF WINE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY?? She said “As soon as you are off all pain meds, even Motrin.” No one here will so much as blink in surprise to hear that I haven’t had a pain med since. Unless you count a really nice Old Vine Zin.
Sorry for the long silence, but, gah I had nothing to tell you. Sample blog titles from entries I could have posted last week:
Solid food: Friend or Demon?
In Which I Go Down the Stairs! And Sit Up! IN A CHAIR!
The Great Feather v/s Foam Debate
WHY DID NONE OF YOU VOTE FOR SHANNON DOHERTY! GAH! AND KATE IS STILL IN??? (Yes, long title, but good LORD, does no one else who is bedridden and desperately watching Dancing With The Stars own a pair of EYES? Or a PHONE? Or a SOUL?)
Narcotics Are Delicious!
Fun with Soups
New Nicknames We Have Given the Dog
Digression: Although, to immediately re-digress how one can even call this a digression is beyond me. This is hardly a POST, how can I DIGRESS from the topic of having no topic? Oh, well, apparently I can. ANYWAY, last night when I was ready to make the exciting move from sitting up watching TV to lying down sleeping, Bagel had melted into the place on the bed where my feet wanted to go.
Me: Aw look, I hate to move him. He is at that gelid puddle stage of asleep, where except for the faint rise and fall of his chest he might was well be an inanimate object. I wonder what he is dreaming?
Scott: That dog is not dreaming. That dog is not anything-ing.
Me: Not true. He is changing oxygen to carbon dioxide. I can see him doing it.
Scott: You are correct. But he isn’t doing anything else. That dog is currently The Anti-Plant.
I laughed so hard I almost popped a stitch. THE ANTI-PLANT. It is my new favorite name for Dogly. /digression.
I have also abdicated all responsibilities over on Five Full Plates for the duration of the ORGANIZATION challenge; one cannot spring clean from one’s bed. My closets are as clotted and ruined as ever, and I hardly think a post about how I cleaned out and tidied my abdominal cavity is appropriate, considering that REALLY all I did was sleep and let my excellent surgeon clean out and tidy my abdominal cavity.
If only I had a CLOSET surgeon to do THOSE while I sleep. Oh well, I don’t, so I will just say, Lemon Out, the world is tidy enough, Amen. We begin a NEW challenge next week---one that makes my heart excited in a way that Lemon Pledge and clean shelves cannot----next week. I will tell you about it over on the Plates this Friday. Whee. See you then, if not sooner.
OH okay....I did have a HUGELY inappropriate conversation that ABSOLUTELY goes beyond the purview of Things I Feel Comfortable Discussing in Public, so I absolutely should not repeat it. BUT. I am going to----as long as we can ALL immediately pretend I did not, and we all agree to never reference it again. Agreed? Agreed!
I was bewailing LENT to my friend Jill. I’m a liturgical sort, and these things matter to me. Lent, especially, is often a good time for me, focus-wise. Last year it was this really rewarding experience. My church did a thing called The Lenten Challenge where I committed 12 hours a week to community service, fellowship, study, and growing as a person. Being me, I threw myself wholly into the community service, fellowship, and intellectually-based study while completely neglecting to do even a molecule of introspection. Whee!
Me: Oh JILLY, I missed the whole Lent. Not only did I not do the Lenten challenge, but I didn’t do a thing. I mean, at the very least I could have given up dessert to try to focus myself on what matters, but I gave up NOTHING.
Jill: Not true! You gave up your UTERUS! And you liked it a lot more than you like chocolate.
HA! I love her. I am going with it. I gave up my uterus for Lent. Glorious Easter is come, pass the post-holiday discount Cadbury eggs.
Joshilyn is fine. Everyone say it with.... "Joshilyn is fine". Good, now everyone clap your hands and say, "I do believe in novelists".
The Scene: A hospital room in rural Georgia. Banjos play in the background and doctors and nurses square dance in the hall outside.
Mr. Husband: Good day Kudzu-ites.
As most of you know, Joshilyn has been having some ongoing issues with anemia. On Thursday of this week, she was admitted to the hospital and was given several units of blood and was soon resting in a bored and irritated fashion in a hospital bed. By Friday night she was feeling much better, but is still stuck in bed for the duration of the weekend. She says the upside is, hospital food is vile she is bound to drop five pounds, but she is appalled by the scant selection of cable channels and her inability to get wifi.
She will be going in for a surgical procedure on Monday at 11am. It's nothing that isn't considered common and she will be fine. It is still surgery, though, and prayers are always appreciated. If all goes well, she should be home by Wednesday, though she will be confined to her bed for a week or so following the operation.
She says to tell you she is being given "awesome drugs," and that she says, "I love you, man. I really do." Also, her excellent anesthesiologist is named Dr. Swami. I will keep you guys updated, and she should be back blogging in a couple of weeks.
Scene: My house. Foyer.
Enter: Bagel. Feet a’scrabble, he runs to the front door.
Bagel: *on red alert* BARK BARK BARK!
Scott: What? Hey, dog! What?!
Bagel: BARK BARK BARK!
Scott: What is going on?
Me: A tiny, fluffy cat is on the porch.
Bagel: BARK BARK BARK!
Scott: Mister Dog. Unless that cat is coming at the door with a handgun, you need to shut it.
Hee! I love him.
Meanwhile, I have figured out a key component in my mental illness, and I blogged about it on Five Full Plates. If you haven’t been by the plates recently, we are now on a four week SPRING CLEANING Challenge.
Viva la Lemon Pledge.
It is time, once again, for my husband to forget that the animal going CHUP CHUP CHUP CHUP in the yard is a chipmunk. Twice a year, every fall and spring, that chipmunk pops out of his burrow by the front porch to make endless chuppy chup sounds. How long do they live, chipmunks? I would think, based on the early expiration dates God has stamped onto gerbils and mice, that a chipmunk would not STILL be present and living and chupping up the earth more than five years after we bought the house. Perhaps this is son of son of chuppy chipmunk, and we should have nipped his LOUD father in the bud on move-in day before he could spawn his equally LOUD progenies who apparently won’t LEAVE THE HOME BURROW and go GET JOBS chupping elsewhere.
These noises---gahhhhh. He makes them with a maddening regularity and ear-drum piercing pitch and timbre. For several weeks. After the first few days, as he stands just under the office window for hours and hours, chuppitty chup chupping, Scott says, MAY I PLEASE GO SHOOT THAT AWFUL BIRD IN THE FACE? Actually he says the Scottly equivalent of such, which means he cocks one eyebrow to a mildly displeased angle and says, ”That bird is loud.” (But he MEANS he wants to shoot it in the face. Or maybe it is only that I mean he does.)
Then I say, “That is not a bird, that is that SAME CHIPMUNK,”
and he says, “What same chipmunk?”
and I say, “The one you wanted to shoot in the face last spring when he stood there chupping endlessly,”
and Scott says, “I wanted to shoot who in the what? The bird???”
and I say, “IT IS NOT A BIRD IT IS A CHIPMUNK. NOW GO SHOOT IT.”
Then instead of going and shooting it like a sensible person, he argues that the ungodly noise must be from a bird, and I say he always thinks it is a bird and it never is, and finally he goes and looks and there under the office window is the same Chipmunk (or its horrid progeny), standing stiff legged with a rigid spine and a fixed stare, chup chup chupping for all he is worth. Then Scott says, “Hm. It IS a chipmunk,” and nothing gets shot and the chipmunk finishes his chup-cycle and shuts up until the next spring-or-fall, when we will repeat this seasonal passion play, I am certain.
I think I need a change. Hopefully one that does involve firearms and the obliteration of what is actually a rather cute little fellow when he keeps his squeaky pie-hole shut. But yeah – I definitely need a change.
Please go away today. THANKS. I LOVE you guys, you know I do, but this is a lady post for ladies. Love you! Come back tomorrow! I will discuss FISHING! Or Boobs! All that stuff you like. But not today.
Dear Commenting Best Beloveds,
Please, Tread carefully! Speak gently, and strictly in euphemisms. You know, for all I write some ....letâ€™s say, VISCERAL, shall we? VISCERAL books, (and some might say GRAPHIC. Some might even say EXPLICIT. Some might even say GRATUITOUS but I sniff disparagingly at Those Particular Somes and say, â€œI had my reasons...â€) Even so, I am personally quite prudish. I feel this post is borderline, but I am erring on the side of RISK and *cough* PUBLIC SERVICE, so I am ditching propriety.
With pursed mouth and a total willingness to disappear comments,
Sister Mary Evangeline Joshilyn
Dear Little Children,
Go away! Come back in 5 to 15 years, when you are a teenager or a grown up person. If you wandered in by accident, let me suggest you go HERE instead. You will like it.
Miss Joss, Former VBS Recreation Director and Veteran Sunday School Teacher
OKAY SO...I sent the following email to several friends:
Hey Yaâ€™lls, Do you think I can blog this or is it too risquÃ© and maybe oversharing:
You know how I call all doctors The Vet, right? People look at me so funny when I say, â€œMaisy has a tummy ache, I think we have to take her to the vet,â€ but it is habit now. The whole family does this â€“ except Scott. Also, the kids and I call our plumber toilet man. And we call the man who came today to give us the first estimate for replacing the dead AC The Expensive Unswelterator. Scott calls them Dr. Lastname, KEVIN, and PAUL, respectively. And, he says, respectfully. He is trying to get me to STOP with the wiggetty whack job titles in lieu of, you know, actually learning peopleâ€™s names. Today we had this conversation:
Scott: You need to call your doctor about getting the final stitches out of your tongue.
Me: Blerg. I hate going to the tongue vet.
Scott: You mean you hate going to DOCTOR JOHNSTON. You need to go, though, honey. And if you can call about Samâ€™s laser tag night with Youth Group, I will do all the follow-up calls about the AC.
Me: Okay sounds good. OH HEY, you know what? It is summer. I should also call the Cooter Vet to schedule a check-up and a mammogram.
Scott: ...did you just say, THE COOTER VET?
Me: WHOOPS, um ...Maybe? No. Surely not. I deny everything.
Scott: Good LORD, woman. Suddenly, Toilet Man seems like a GREAT job title.
MY FAVORITE RESPONSE to â€œCan I blog thisâ€ was from Anonymous Friend. She said:
Yes, you can blog it. I hate the CV though. I had to see mine last week. I refer to my appointment rather obliquely by quoting "Goosey, goosey gander, whither do you wander" (upstairs, downstairs, in my lady's chamber).
Did you know that Injection Nurse is an actual job title??â€
Holy non sequitur, Batman! But SUCH a welcome subject change. Now I am asking, DID you know Injection Nurse is an actual job title? I am horrified beyond all imaginings.
And now, I justify my tacky blog entry and lack of discretion! Pay no attention to the little man behind the curtain...watch instead my waving hands as I turn what could have been a SERIOUS breach of propriety into a public service announcement:
I only REALLY posted this risquÃ© overshare to, uh, ENCOURAGE all ladies over 40 to call YOUR CV and schedule a mammogram! It is the right thing to do. If you are in your thirties, a baseline mammogram taken NOW can really help a tech spot changes EARLY, and early detection = WIN. CALL TODAY!
1) To answer suh-suh-suh-somethinâ€™ from the comments, OH HELLSYA you may steal my buttons if you are Better Uing and want to pop em up on your own blog.
ALSO, if you are planning to BLOG your progress every week for Better tUesday, send me an EMAIL with your blog link and I will put a â€œBetter Yaâ€™llsâ€ category on my Links page and remind peeps it is there every Tuesday. Below is a stealable button for this site and for GO RED...Steal away:
2) If you missed it, thereâ€™s a 3Q with Michelle Richmond below, and a drawing to win a signed copy of her latest (really super great) book. You have til midnight EST tonight to enter.
3) Scott and I were watching TV last night and a commercial---a not very good commercial --- for some kind of new Banana Nut flavored cereal came on.
Me: That commercial has not been over for thirty seconds and I already canâ€™t remember if it is Cheerios that has Banana Nut flavor now or Mini Wheats.
Him: Me either.
Me: They need a better slogan.
Him: TRY THE NEWEST FLAVOR OF CHEERIOS! BECAUSE IF YOU HAVE A BANANA, YOU PROBABLY HAVE NUTS.
Me: *dies laughing*
Dear Cheerios Ad Men (or possibly Mini Wheats Ad Men),
YOU ARE WELCOME!
Scott will be here waiting for that million dollar check you owe him now.
Neither â€˜Nannered nor Nutted
Toilet Man: Well, the problem here is you have old, bad toilets. You need all new ones. That will fix a lot of the issues you are having right there.
Me: We have to put the low-flows in, huh?
Toilet Man: Yes. A house this old, you have the big old 3.5 gallon flushers. But it isnâ€™t like these big flushers are doing you much good.
Me: Not much good at all. But I hate low flow toilets. I like an AMOCO toilet, you know, the kind of toilet you used to find at gas stations. You could seriously flush a dead possum down an Amoco toilet from 1987.
Toilet Man: Why would you want toâ€¦flushâ€¦aâ€¦
Me: It doesnâ€™t HAVE to be a possum. You could flush any old dead body. Even a person. Well. If they were in six pieces.
Toilet Man: â€¦.
Me; Anyway, Iâ€™m just saying I donâ€™t really care for low flow toilets.
Toilet Man: Get the American Standard ones. You can get a 50 buck rebate per toilet on them now from county because if the drought. And they are great toiletsâ€¦.you can flush a bucket full of golfballs down them.
Me: Flush a bucket full ofâ€¦? Um. Okay. Why is that less weird than flushing a dead possum? I mean, the GOLF BALLS are USEFUL. My husband would KEEP a bucket of golfballs. NO ONE wants to keep a dead possum. If they could flush it away, they WOULD.*
Toilet Man: Um. OKAY! So, anyway, The low flows will do much better than these you have, and lower your water bill, and in this drought, itâ€™s a good thing to do. Also, you know they arenâ€™t like the old kind that you had to flush five times, these ones have a new system of *insert REALLY A LOT OF toilet jargon about joists and gravels and S tubes and gizzards and other toilet pieces I know nothing about. I tune most of this out because I do not understand it.*
Me: SO what you are saying is, the American Standard toilet is kinda like a PORTHOLE? And when it FLUSHES itâ€™s like when Sigourney Weaver opened that hatch and blew the alien out into space?
Toilet Man: Yes! Yes! Just. Like. That.
*Toilet man is correct and I am clearly in the wrong here. Apparently people DO want to flush golf balls. Go to YOU TUBE and type in â€œToilet flushing golf balls,â€ and you will get a metricâ€¦toilet load of videos.
Topical results for â€œtoilet flushing dead possumâ€?
Me: When does Toilet Man come?
Scott: You mean the plumber?
Me: Yes. When is Toilet Man coming to put in the new toilets?
Scott: He has a name you know. It is Kevin.
Me: Po-tay-to, Po-tah-to.
Scott; *in a resigned voice* Toilet Man comes Monday.
*Maisy crawls into my bed to cuddle this morning. Scott brings coffee. Because he is a saint.*
Me: So, Maisy Jane, how do you like the new toilets.
Maisy: They are SUPER!
Me: *darkly to Scott* Not twelve hundred dollars super. *louder* They ARE pretty cool Maisy. Did you know they are from SPACE?
Maisy: Mom. They are not. They are from MEXICO.
Me: Our AMERICAN Standard toilets were made in Mexico?
Maisy: It says so, Mom right on the toilet.
Me: AMERICAN Standard. Made in Mexico. Not Space.
Scott: Space, Mexico. To-may-to, To-MAH-to.
** THIS IS THE KIND WE GOT. The miso disturbs my wah more than the golf balls.
In October of Last year, I sent a letter to my very favorite niece (She is also my ONLY niece, but if I had 100, she would still be my favorite. Secretly.)
Dear Erin Virginia,
Joyful felicitations on reaching your fifteenth year! Scott and I are proud of you and your accomplishments, both artistic and athletic. Sam and Maisy Jane think you hung the moon. You are an awesome human being.
When your brother turned fifteen, we gave your parents our old Honda, so that he could get practice with his own car on his learnerâ€™s permit. Alas, we have no spares cars lying about at this time, but we did something special for Danielâ€™s fifteenth, and therefore I did not think throwing a 20 dollar bill in a card would be fair to you. So, for your fifteenth birthday, I asked BJ what she thought you might like.
I was going to get you a pony, but she assured me that what you REALLY wanted was a book about human Psychology. So here you are! I got it at the used books store, as these are hard economic times, and it only cost a dollar. The knowledge inside is, I am sure, priceless, especially for a budding writer.
Still, itâ€™s not a car is it? Alas. The only thing other than this book I can think that a budding writer TRULY needs is experience---a chance to the see the world. How about you and I fly up to New York together for three or four days and get you some of that? We could see a show on Broadway, maybe drop by my publishing house and let you see how the book industry runs, eat weird food, bum around Central Park, bounce through The Met, etc. NYC is about to become a snowy misery, we should go this spring. Manhattan in spring has its own heartbeat. Iâ€™ve already cleared this with your parents. Sit down with them and look at your plans for spring break or the summer as soon as school lets out, before it gets too hot. Letâ€™s nail down dates and get planning.
We ALL Flat love you, beautiful girl. Happy birthday.
And here it is, Spring Break already! I am headed to New York for the rest of the week. I donâ€™t know if I will have internets because I am staying at my friend Gilbertâ€™s apartment while he is in Florida with his family, and I forgot to ask for his wireless password. OOPS!
I am going to see my editor and hit Broadway HARD and go to Central Park and MAYYYYbe go to MOMA instead of The Met (REBEL!) and teach my niece the fine art of not being murdered by taxis---- ALL that NYC stuff I love. I am VERY excited. But.
My friend Gilbert has a rabbit in his house.
I am disproportionally excited about meeting this rabbit.
Hugely. Disproportionately. Excited.
I am going ON VACATION. To NEW YORK, and what do I keep talking about?
Meeting this rabbit.
LOOK! Here is a picture Gilbert sent me of the rabbit, after I questioned him relentlessly about the animalâ€™s habits and preferences and how I could best court the rabbit to be my friend and what treats it might like and what it does with its spare time and if it likes pina coladas and getting caught in the rain:
I AM COMPLETELY CHARMED BY MANY THINGS ABOUT THIS RABBIT.
1) This is a rabbit who is allowed UP ON THE BED! See in the picture? That looks like SHEETS!
2) His yellow mustache has completely escaped his control and grown up over his nose and cheeks.
3) The rabbit is named Rabbit. Gilbert says we are welcome to call him by some other name, and I DID consider Ferdinand for a bit, but I love the generic goodness of a rabbit named RABBIT. It is so BASIC, and I smell SO many John Updike RABBIT RUN, RABBIT AT REST jokes on the horizon it is not even funny. NOT EVEN THE FIRST TIME. And yet I will do it anyway, relentlessly, until my niece kills me.
4) Gilbert says Rabbit is much stupider than a cat. May I say, speaking as a person who is currently experiencing life with a very clever cat (Boggart), I cannot think this is a bad thing.
5) Gilbert says Rabbit likes to be petted, but not lifted off his feet. SO! How did Rabbit GET on the bed, I wonder. Does Rabbit CLIMB? Does rabbit LEAP? Does he SNEAK up onto beds when you are not looking and no one ever knows how?
Later in the week, Karen is taking us to some sample sales around town for a little shopping, and every time I have called her to co-ordinate, I end up talking more about the RABBIT than HALF PRICE DESIGNER SHOES.
Her: Landâ€™s End is having a sample sale, but I donâ€™t think you like that kind of---
Me: Do you think he will LIKE ME?
Her: I think he is a rabbit. Now, also on this weekâ€™s list of sample sales there is a---
Me: I hope he isnâ€™t scared of me.
Her: I hope you stop talking about Rabbit.
Me: Do you think he likes people in general as OBJECTS? Or individuals? I bet as OBJECTS. Like, I bet his whole life people have ever only been nice to him, and maybe it wonâ€™t occur to him to be scared of me even though I am new.
Her: I will just email you the list of sample sales.
Me: Have you ever met Rabbit?
Her: I was going to take you to dinner for your birthday. But now I am buying you a big old box of therapy instead.
Me: THANKS! Does Therapy come in blue? I look good in BLUE. Do you think rabbits just POO in the house or do they use a litter box?
And so on.
I have talked about this rabbit in relation to the trip so much that last night Scott said, â€œYou know, I think this trip with Erin is a great idea, and I do not begrudge you the plane ride and the theatre tickets, but you ARE aware, are you not, that you could have met a RABBIT in Georgia?â€
Hereâ€™s the thing, though. Remember, how I was lobbying for a new cat that does not SUCK? Boggart is hellâ€™s twinkie and he has DEMONS where the cream filling should go. I was pestering for a GOOD cat and then I found that GREAT deal on a Saturn Vue and I told Scott if he bought me the car I would name it The Good Cat and stop asking for any other cats at all for ten or fifteen years until Boggart mercifully dies of old age and we shook on it and he even got me a personalized license tag that says Good Cat? Remember?
Yeah. Me too. And Scott CERTAINLY remembers. Butâ€¦
I never promised not to get a RABBIT.
I have not bored you with the endless details of my now almost MONTH LONG battle with the consumptionary leprotic necro-death bronchitisaurus that CONTINUES to ravage my sinuses and stomp through my lungs on itâ€™s big, fat scaly dinnerplate feet, but in case you were wondering, YEAH. I AM STILL SICK.
Yesterday, I went to the fellow we like to call the vet---we call all medical professionals The Vet. ANYWAY --- I like my vet, and what happened after was not his fault, K? He agreed that I was egregiously ill, and gave me antibiotics, the antibiotics just about put me in the hospital.
I had a full blown hideous and excitingly life threatening allergic reaction to a school of antibiotics that have never much bothered me before. First I was just nauseous, and I said to Scott, â€œYikes, I canâ€™t toleratethese I am SO sickâ€¦ I will have to call tomorrow and get something different.â€ I havenâ€™t felt those kind of roiling waves of misery since I had a bad reaction to a spinal I got when I was having a c-section.
An hour of that, and then my heart rate shot though the roof, I started laughing and could not stop, my head was soared off my body, colors brightened, I jerked and twitched like I was being electrocuted, and I was so dizzy and soaring that it felt both was extremely pleasant and it scared the HELL out of the small, core me, the driver who sits in the pit of my brain and catalogs things no matter how messed up I am.
My driver has not had to work so hard since I was in college. *cough*
ANYWAY, Scott started to get the kids up to take me to emergency but I refused in between bouts of hysterical, terrified and utterly uncontrollable cackling. I HATE The hospital and I did not want to scare them.
We called the vet on call (not my vet) who said TAKE BENADRYL NOW, if your heart rate does not come down, you must go to emergency for steroids.
I swallowed the phosphorescent and pulsing pink benadryl tablets (EVEN THOUGH THEY LOOKED TO ME LIKE ALIVE DISEMBODIED ELECTRIC SQUIRREL HEARTS---I am very brave) and I said, â€œThe benadryl will knock me out. What if in my sleep I have heart problems or stop breathing because I feel like I could stop breathing and my heart is all thready and freaking me RIGHT THE HELL OUT.â€
â€œYes, thatâ€™s certainly possible with a reaction this extreme,â€ the vet said, â€œThis is why you have a husband. The benadryl SHOULD stop this, and if it does not, steroids at the hospital will, but he will need to watch you carefully in case in your sleep you start breathing a thousand times a minute. Or stop.â€
So. Thatâ€™s what we did.
In fifteen minutes colors calmed down and my heart was fast but not terrifying. In 45 I was only twitchy and having little eyelid and foot spasms. After an hour, I was unconscious.
I woke up this morning mostly myself again, to find him still sitting beside me watching movies on the laptop with one hand on me to make sure my heart was going right. He has not yet been to sleep.
Did I mention today is his birthday? YES. WELL. IT IS! Happy freakinâ€™ birthday, baby. You get an alive wife. Thanks for sitting up all night.
Screw the new bush.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is a MAN.
I have another 12 hours before this is out of my blood and I got symptomatic again (though not NEARLY as severelyâ€¦) I just took Benadryl, so goodbye â€“ I am heading back to blissful, (and hopefully breathing) unconsciousness now.
This stupid drug is WASTING, by the way, one of 15.5 working days I have left before I have to transmit this MS to my editor, and I really thought I would WRITE THE LAST LINE TODAY and go hardcore into read-through revisions. AND MAY I JUST SAY if I die in my sleep with all but about 6 thousand words of this book written? I am going to be SO ticked.
I meant to tell you all about this when it was topically relevant, on Valentines day, but I was sick. I STILL AM SICK, BY THE WAY. This is endless consumption, and YES I am going BACK to the vet on Monday if it does not resolve magically over the weekend.
Anywayâ€¦I always have said that my husband is not Romantical. He is not a grand gesture guy. Not a frequent flower sender nor a secret get-away planner. Not one to peel a girl a grape while gazing deep, deep, deep into her eyes and saying things about limpid pools and darkling waters.
I have never minded that he is not Romantical. In fact it is a plus: I do not like goo.
I hate goo. I am forty years old, and I still make twelve year old boy style Puke-Noises if a movie gets drippy. I like movie men to SHOOT and SEIZE and KISS and be HAIRY and THROW THINGS. I do not like movie men to moon or pine or flop. I am creeped out by the waxed chests of men who wax poetical.
My friend Lydia and I used to watch DAYS OF OUR LIVES while talking on the phone because a main character, Marlena, got INFESTED BY SATAN (really), and weâ€™d yammer all through the slow dancing and strawberry feeding (with frequent pauses to say things like, â€œMust he look at her with such MOISTness, UGH!â€) and weâ€™d only really pay attention to the show when Marlena sprouted her rubber demon head and went galumphing off hunchback style to desecrate the Salem Church.
And yetâ€¦ I present three facts for your perusalâ€¦
1) For Valentines day, he drove 45 minutes to the Godiva store, and bought a puffy box that he could fill himself with all and only the dark chocolates I like VERY VERY VERY best, and he knew what all of them were. I also got COFFEE. And a card that played Sixpence None the Richer singing one of the 15 songs in the world I actually feel a mild emotional response toward.
2) I have named my Saturn Vue the Good Cat because it is orange and I have an orange cat named Boggart who is DEFINITELY the BAD cat. Scott went in to get it a license plate while I was out of town. I had no cell phone signal at the hotel, so we were instant messaging, and I asked if the car was taken care of.
Him: Yes. Your tag will say GUD C4T
Me: HA! Thatâ€™s brilliant. I wish that was true. That would be the first tag in history I would be able to remember when I had to write it down at hotels.
Him: It is true.
Me: Wait, you really got the tag to say that? I thought you were kidding.
Him: No. It really says that.
3) APPARENTLY our azalea bush by the front door died and turned into a dry poinky sticky looking thing. I failed to notice until Scott pointed it out.
Me: Yep thatâ€™s dead alright. I hate lawns. Also nature.
And that, in my head, was the end of it.
At some point or another, Scott dug the ugly stick-dead thing out and put in another bush with dark green waxy leaves. I did not notice. He pointed the new bush out, and I said, â€œOh cool. Thanks. Really the azalea died?â€ He reminded me that it had and we had discussed it and I nodded vaguely and wandered off.
Months later, the bush bloomed.
Scott and I were unlocking the front door with our arms full of groceries when a clean, sweet, pale smell hit me, and I stopped and my eyes closed.
Me: Thatâ€™s a gardenia bush.
Him: I know.
Me: I love them. I love them. We had one by the back door at my childhood house in Pensacola, and I used to stand there by that bush and just sniff and sniff and sniff the blooms.
Him: Baby. I know.
Me: Wait, you know about that Gardenia bush in Pensacola?
Him: Yes. You told me.
Him: Years ago.
And he remembered. He remembered when even I did not remember. He took a dead bush out and he put in gardenias for me, and I didnâ€™t even notice. Weâ€™ve been married almost fifteen years, weâ€™ve been best friends for almost twenty-two, and I am just now realizing that every week and day and month and year, my husband is still wooing me in his own strange, pragmatic, understated way.
My husband? He is a hopeless romantic.
And me? I really, really like it.
I like the commercials where the animated car inflates up into a PUFFER FISH car and scares the BAD car with the fins away. THE FIT IS GO. I like to say things that have only one syllable are GO now. The meal is go, I trumpet, to call my family to the table. The Sam is go, I holler across the cul de sac, as my son heads out on his bike.
Best of allâ€¦The book is go. This is why I am quieter than normal. My head is way down deep in the book and it is hard to unsubmerge and take a breath and see what is actually happening around me here in the parts of the world that I am not making up. I only wish the book had a title. Remember when you and I used to fondly call THE GIRL WHO STOOPED SWIMMING by itâ€™s acro-name? Togwiss? And then we called it Tibbytakem? (TBTAKM---the book that almost killed me.) AH GOOD TIMES!
Well, I have nothing to call this book except the book. WTH can we call this book? I am SO open to suggestions. My original title was TEXAS ROSE RED, but thatâ€™s ANOTHER state name book and eventually I will feel obligated to do the other 47 if I keep on like this. WHAT CAN WE CALL IT HERE, oh best beloveds, just among ourselves?
My eyes have flipped around entirely backwards, so if you and I met for lunch (if our lunch was GO) you would be looking at eye whites and you would come away thinking I am a very bad listener. This is because my eyes are looking into my brain --- SO MUCH is happening in there my cerebral cortex is practically SEETHING. Itâ€™s a great, great feeling, but one does run the risk of walking straight out into traffic like a lemming who is too impatient to truck all the way down to Florida to experience a more traditional oceanic demise.
While Sam was eating with his youth group, Scott and Maisy and I grabbed a bite at one of those Italian restaurants where they cover the table with butcher paper and give kids crayons. Maisy was ENCHANTED with this whole concept that Scott and I had a gorgeous long lovely adult conversation. The girlchild was so pleased with the idea of DRAWING ON FURNITURE â€“ a shooting offense at home---that we had to keep swapping seats so she could have a fresh canvas.
At one point she asked me to flip my eyes around frontwards and peek at her drawings. I did so, and was ESPECIALLY enchanted by this family portrait:
That is SAM AND MAISY holding hands, and next to them, I am the 40 foot tall grinning loon with the beehive, standing next to my squatty husband, who in REAL life has a good 7 or 8 inches on me. Scott---my hair challenged beloved---looks a little bit like he has a giant spider for a head, but at least it is a HAPPY spider.
Everyone looks happy, donâ€™t they? I am glad Maisy sees us this way. I think this MUST be due in great part to the ministrations of Spiderhead Man, my personal superhero, who is keeping the homefires burning while I am living in a mostly made up version of Amarillo.
Viva la Mr. Husband.
My friend Lydia called me on Saturday night, and my son answered the phone.
Lydia: Oh, hi Sam. Is your mom around?
Sam: No, sheâ€™s not.
Lydia: Is she out of town or is she just out?
Sam: Sheâ€™s out dating.
HEE! I donâ€™t think that sounded dirty in his HEAD. I donâ€™t even think it sounded dirty to him once it was spoken, quite frankly. But Lord. I was NOT Out dating. I was out on a date with my husband, which is a small but important distinction, especially if you are the husband in question.
We had the BEST time. It was a for real date where I wore blue satin ballet flats and lip gloss and he wore an ironed shirt and dress pants and we got a sitter and we held hands all through a movie and then had hibachi dinner at our favorite Japanese place.
The movie we chose was BURN AFTER READING because we are huge Coen brothers fans and would basically shell out 10 bucks each to see a series of Toyota Tundra commercials in the theatre if the Coens had written and directed them. This is a true fact, even though I hate THE TOYATO TUNDRA with a violent burning passion, and if you have one, I am sorry, but YOU DO NOT NEED A MCSUPERSIZED TRUCK. You do not. Unless you are a professional LOG HAULER or somesuch and you actually do, in which case, fine, but accept that your truck is ugly and has all the maneuverability of a trash barge AND is so tall one almost ran over my van at Target today.
But back to the movieâ€¦ Itâ€™s very good, as long as you donâ€™t think about it too hard. I think the movie is MOSTLY about marriage, and it has a bleaker view of humanity and the possibilities of connecting than NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. That said, it is SO funny you do not notice it has totally thrown its hands up in despair over the future of humanity until after, when you talk it over during dinner.
Anyway, we sat down in our seats for the 5:05 show and I said, â€œI canâ€™t wait to see Brad Pitt get EATEN BY A HIPPO.â€
I did not actually SAY I couldnâ€™t wait to see Brad Pitt get eaten by a hippo. I said I couldnâ€™t wait to see Brad Pitt â€¦SOMETHING ELSE NOT AT ALL HIPPO RELATED. I do not, however, wish to SPOIL the film for anyone, so we are going to substitute GET EATEN BY A HIPPO for the thing I actually said.
Scott said, â€œBrad Pitt is not going to get eaten by a hippo,â€ in dismissive tones.
I said, â€œOH YES HE WILL TOO. He will be eaten by a hippo and it will be AWESOME.
Scott said, in infuriatingly certain tones, â€œHe will NOT.â€
â€œWanna BET?â€ I said.
He said, â€œIt depends. Do you have insider trading script info? Have you been reading spoilers?â€
I had not. I have been looking forward to this film for a MONTH and was desperately afraid someone would spoil it for me before I could see it. I didnâ€™t even cruise by Rottentomatoes.com because I was scared some quasi-spoiler would be on the front page.
I am one of those people who canâ€™t STAND to be told too much about movies or booksâ€¦I even think being told â€œIt has SUCH an awesome twist at the endâ€ is oversharing, because historically, when I have been told that, I spend the whole movie thinking like a writer and plot dissecting instead of enjoying it, and usually before the movie is half over I have figured out the twist and written it down on a scrap of purse paper to show Scott after. I am right about 75% of the time, and the other 25%, we often think MY twist idea is better, or they cheated and the twist is not possible given some things that came earlier.
Anyway, I said to Scott, â€œI have NO insider info, but I feel in my heart he will be eaten by a hippo. Take the bet?â€
It was agreed that if I was right, he would have to buy me Tropical Vacation Drink after. He said, â€œWhat one,â€ and I said, â€œI do not care as long as it comes in a hollowed out pineapple and has a plastic mermaid on the rim and umbrellas and a live beta fish swimming around under the ice. I want a TRULY FANCY COCKTAIL. Like triple girled out. It should be PINK or PEACH in color, and cherries impailed on plastic dueling swords are MANDATORY.â€ We shook on it.
Anyway, about HALFWAY through the filmâ€¦.Brad Pitt TOTALLY gets eaten by a hippo. (No he doesnâ€™t, obviously, but the un-hippo-related thing I SAID would happen, happened, exactly as I said it would.)
This is what I got:
No plastic mermaid, but there were hula girls on the rim, and see that VOLCANO in the center with the fruit on it? When it came? That was ON FIRE. So.
I love winning.
BEFORE I tell you, I have to remind you, once again, to SIGN UP FOR THE MAILING LIST by clicking this link which allows you to send an EMAIL to â€œMailing List at Joshilyn Jackson dot com.â€. Because there could probably maybe be a mailing list actually formed at some point. IT COULD HAPPEN. Quit looking at me like that. And also because signing up enters you in a prize drawing for many prizes. I am revealing them one by one as August plays out.
HERE IS ONE NOW! If you, like, me want to have the secret decoder ring cereal prize before ANYONE ELSE ON YOUR BLOCKâ€¦ then this next prize is going to intrigue you. It is an Advance Readerâ€™s Copy (signed, natch) of a book that will not release in hardback until JANUARY, but that I think has a good shot of really blowing out and being a huge word of mouth book. Itâ€™s SO good. Itâ€™s about how Truly Plaice, a woman born a giant, navigates her small townâ€™s prejudices, uncovers decades of family secrets, and learns that love doesnâ€™t always come ordered to size.
Itâ€™s such a fantastical story of murder and sisterhood (practically the same thing, in some families) and it has a big heroine with a bigger heart and the biggest brassâ€¦um, vertebrae that I have seen in fiction in a long time. I read it early for a blurb, and I said, and I dern well meant, that this book, â€œread so fresh and unfolded in such surprising ways that I was captivated from start to finish. It's a bracing, bright, masterful debut, and Tiffany Baker is a writer to watch.â€
Appropos of nothing, I love the cover:
PS: Tiffany Baker is going to be blogging starting Septrember first, over at The Debutante Ball.
ANYWAY. I love my husband. Here is why:
1) My little cat is a jerk. SUCH a jerk that for two days my â€œwhat are you doing nowâ€ line over at facebook read â€œJoshilyn Jacksonâ€¦ â€˜s cat is a jerk.â€
It may be that is he still just a teenager, and perhaps he will GROW OUT OF IT, but he may not LIVE to see that glorious day. He is a chair shredder and a foot attacker and a Big Cat tormenter and a Sleeping Dog Sabateur and a Wannabe Gerbil Slaughterer who we often find perched on TOP of the aquarium, staring down at my sweet old aging mice ladies with MURDEROUS INTENT. Also, he has to be in ANY room I am in, but on a SURFACE that is HIGHER than me, so he can stare down at me with a supercilious air.
LATELY he has begun doing this HATEFUL thing--- I go to PET him, he rears his head back out of reach and makes a snakey and suspicious face at the fingers that want to kindly caress him. Fingers that have never ONCE harmed him. Fingers that have offered him ONLY treats and pettings and adoration from the day he was 5 weeks old and I rescued him from a hellishly overcrowded pound, choosing him to save and love and be my own from ALL 36 of the dear, tragic, worthy, tiny, peeping kittens slated to die that day. (Why will people not spay and neuter? It was SO awful!)
I say to him, â€œBOGGART!â€
â€œBOGGART,â€ I say, â€œYou are a PET. You are my little pet and things like you are CALLED pets because PEOPLE like to PET YOU WITH THEIR HAND. It is a friendly gesture, meant to invoke PURRING and shared good feelings. Have you not noticed that I ALWAYS remember to feed you and I make SURE your disgusting carnivorous POOS are removed quickly from your poobox? NOW I AM GOING TO PET YOU AND WE SHALL BE FRIENDS. HERE I COME TO GENTLY PET YOU!â€ Then I reach for him and he slithers JUUUUUST out of reach and walks away with his tail uplifted high to show me the least pleasing part of him. The view he offers feels purposeful and rude.
The other day Scott and I were sitting on the sofa and Boaggrt came TEARING into the room with the mad mad mad mad crazy eyes and RAN STRAIGHT UP THE DRAPES. Then he leapt off them to the floor and galloped in a lathery panic away. I went over and looked at the brand new Boggart-claw-sized set of drape pick-holes and sighed.
I said, â€œDO you think Boggart wants to be an outside cat?
And Scott replied darkly, â€œI think he wants to be an underwater cat.
2) On our church hunt, we have a joined a study that is reading apologetics by a Church of England Bishop named Wright. It looks QUITE interesting and smarty-pantsy. We went to find the book, and tried three local big bookstores to no avail. Other people in the class had CLEANED all copies out. So Scott suggested we try the TEENY Christian bookstore up by Target.
We walk in and there are three little Christian Bookstore Ladies behind the counter nattering to each other in a velvet-voiced cluster. They have kind eyes with prim mouths. These are the EXACT ladies you want teaching your preschoolerâ€™s Sunday School class. They are soft and bosomy looking, but you can tell by the firm little chin-sets that they would brook NO SHENANIGANS. There would be no children whanging other children in the heads with Tonka trucks on THEIR watch. They would teach KINDNESS and SHARING and TABLE MANNERS with loving yet ruthless efficiency.
Scott, being male and therefore not one to ask for HELP or DIRECTIONS, wanders a few feet off into the stacks, but I walk to the counter. They all turn to me, polite and bright eyed.
I say, â€œHi! We are taking a class at our church and we need to get the book. Iâ€™m not sure what sections it would be inâ€¦Are you guys on a system that can look stuff up?â€
Lady One says, â€œCertainly,â€ and poises her fingers over a keyboard.
I say, â€œSuper. The book is byâ€¦â€ The name wonâ€™t come. I have asked for this book at an Indie store and a BandN AND a Borders today, but now all at once the authorâ€™s name is GONE FROM MY HEAD.
I say, â€œI canâ€™t believe this, I just went blank.â€ I press my fingers to my forehead and say, to myself, â€œOh man! What is that guyâ€™s name!â€
From the stacks we ALL hear my husbandâ€™s theatrically loud whisper, uttered in the tones you would use to help a child find a toy that is right in front of him or a moron find his own butt with both hands.
â€œJesus,â€ my husband says.
I woke this morning to the dulcet tones of Big Cat yacking up a hairball, and as I uncoiled my legs to transfer him and his intestinal ablutions OFF THE CARPET to the more easily cleaned bathroom floor, Little Cat bit the CRAP out of my ankle. My ankle was moving, you see, under the blankets in a COVERT and DEVIOUS manner that made him think it was a STEALTHY BED MOLE who was after the important top secret national security documents we file in the sheets. My ankle CLEARLY needed to be stopped---not just stopped, but murderously stopped with deadly force. Shock and awe, people.
During his patriotic whirlwind ninja attack, he sunk one fang down so low into my flesh that I thought I heard it click against my bone. My ungodly howl pierced my OWN BRAIN MATTER, alerting me to the fact that I still HAVE A HEADACHE, LO, THESE LONG THREE DAYS LATER. I also still have a nose full of snot, muscle aches, and a POOR POOR POOR attitude.
I want to be working on my novel. I am FRANTIC to be working on my novel, if a person who has done nothing but sleep and eat oranges for three days can be described as â€œfrantic.â€ I am a new kind---lackadaisically frantic. Itâ€™s the kind of frantic you can do while supine. I am frantic INSIDE! Where it counts! A free floating, off-the-charts, mucus-riddled frantic.
I feel scenes are ESCAPING me as I lie around WHINING at my husbandâ€”sometimes he leaves the room and I lie in a pile, whining in the general direction I saw him go. Scott is the most patient man in the UNIVERSE. He makes JOB look like an unruly little hothead. Any other husband would have put a plastic crock-pot liner bag over my head yesterday and held it tightly until the noises stopped.
Things I repeated more than 9 times each, yesterday:
1) Is it carbon monoxide poisoning? What if it is? A HEADACHE FOR THREE DAYS? I bet it is, and if I go to sleep we will all die. WE CANâ€™T GO TO SLEEP.
2) Do you think I have meningitis? A HEADACHE FOR THREE DAYS it HAS to be. Can you go print out whatever wikipedia and Web MD say about Meningitis?
3) I have brain worms, and Excedrin is not TOUCHING THEM. Get a drill.
4) Can you rub my head? Softer. No, harder. NO! NO! THERE IN THE OTHER PLACE WHERE IT HURTS. Yes! There. But softer. Not that soft. No, do not SCRATCH just RUB. WAH! WAH! MY HEAD HURTS! MY HEAD HURTS!
5) Yes, now that you mention it, it DOES hurt more when I yell. Interesting.
6) Do you want to lie on the sofa with me and pet my head and watch (Monk reruns/ Super Password reruns/ Scrubs reruns/The Office reruns/CELEBRITY FAMILY FEUD)?
7) I hate summer programming! Where are my beautiful off-season shows? Can you go check TV guide on the computer and see when (Burn Notice/Project Runway/The Closer) starts itâ€™s new season?
And your fingers just sympathy twitched, didnâ€™t they! You were reaching for the crock-pot liner bags. WELL TOO BAD, I refuse to be killed now. You should have killed me last night WHILE I was watching Celebrity Family Feud. That show completely sapped my will to live.
I get depressed if I donâ€™t have a little animal or two clotting up the house. Seriously, actually, physically depressed---and I am generally the least Mopey person on the planet. But once, when I was pregnant with Maisy, I somehow had only one pet. Odd situation for me. He was Walley-Cat, an irascible old varmint with a black, shriveled heart like a raisin. He hated EVERYONE on the planet but meand looked at people with cruel LASER EYES, hopeful his blightful gaze would cause them to char and fall into a heap ash.
But his disdain for people was a lemony yellow emotion, gentle and cheery, compared to his black-hole colored world-sucking hatred for all OTHER ANIMALS. He LOATHED them, from worms in the deepest dirt to the highest soaring eagle and all mammals in between. He quite liked fish, as long as they were dead and being fed to him in cream sauce.
Since he was old and evil and had a heart condition, after our dear and ancient Tobey Dog went to "live on a farm," we let Walley have the house to himself. But after he â€œwent to live on a farm, too,â€ (in the rather spectacular and perfectly WALLEY-esque manner described here) I slipped into a FUNK. No one wants to adjust to a new cat and a new baby at the same time, but even LESS do they want a clinically depressed pregnant lady unable to drag her enormous carcass from the bed.
After two sniffly, limp weeks, Scott said FOR THE LOVE OF PETE and dragged me out of the house to a no kill cat shelter where I found the most medically troubled animal I could â€“ a clinically obese Main Coon with one eye already shot out --- and fell in love with him in SPITE of the fact that they had named him, GOD HELP ME THIS IS TRUE, Socks. SOCKS! We rechristened him Franz Schubert and, five years later, he is licking the milk dregs out my cereal bowl as I type this.
We also have four gerbils named Snickers, That Cross-Dressing Poet Tennyson, Alice and Cozy Mole Mouse. At one point, we had 18 gerbils due a slight error in which Pet Smart failed to notice that ONLY ONE of the BROTHER GERBILS they sold us had ENORMOUS DRAGGING TESTICLES. If you have ever bothered to FLIP a gerbil over and LOOK, itâ€™s not like it is HARD to tell who is a what...*sigh* PetSmart did not flip and look, and alas, I trusted them and did not flip and look either.
After litter #2 weaned, we gave everyone we had met a pair of VERY carefully flipped and looked at gerbils.Due to our ability to notice ENORMOUS DRAGGING TESTICLES (we were really quite fantastic at it!) zero of our gerbil-taking friends ended up with MORE inbred gerbils, and in this manner we retained only our four favorite gerbils AND in a bonus retention, we also retained our friends. A litter of 6 or 8 indred rodents can be a sore point for YEARS, but luckily all our friends escaped that fate!
I like to pretend I kept our Mouse-Quad-Squad for the kids, but the truth is, I like the little blighters myself and am the one who plays with them and feeds them and such most often. Iâ€™ve hand fed them treat seeds until they run TO a hand that comes down into their aquarium instead of away, and I have every relation who is sucker enough to help out collecting all their cardboard paper towel and toilet paper rolls for them to chew up.
A few months ago we found Bagel, a beagle-bassett cross and he joined the house. He spends most of his time inside eating my shoes or outside eating the siding off the back deck. GAH!Puppies! And yet he is the light of my life. S we have 6 animals, and I feel this is quite a REASONABLE number of pets. Even LOW, perhaps, since the entire collection of gerbils donâ€™t weigh as much as one of Schubertâ€™s LEGS.
I have long cherished the belief that two dogs is better than one, as detailed below in Wednesday;s blog, and on Thursday my internet crush beagle came out to visit. Bagel and he took to each other and are a good size for each other, though I will say there was a bit more HUMPING that I strictly want to see taking place in a backyard, but whatever, dogs is dogs. I was ready to sign the papoers and make him mine forever.
Scott is WILDLY unenthused about this dog. WILDLY.
I made a grave error -- I had the dog come HERE to meet us so of course he was a TOTAL spaz and never even LOOKED at the people. I was thinking of the BEAGLEâ€™s family and I thought they should come out here so they could see we were not secretly a LAB that wants to get the dog and put lye in his eyes to make sure that shampoo with the same basic formula that my MOTHER used is still safe for AMERICA.
Scott could not get his attention. No one could. He rocketed around in a complete foaming lather. Well, he had a strange cat knocking his block off (Schubert is SO mighty) and a new dog butt to sniff and our house was a wonderland...so we didn't really get any kind of SENSE of him. He MOSTLY belongs to the oldest boy, and when the two of them interacted I could see flashes of this dog, and he has a GOOD heart I really DO think. ALSO, If you say BANG BANG he falls down dead with his feet up. SQUEE!
But Scott is unconvinced.
So we have made no decision and are at an impasse. I canâ€™t decide what to do. Part of me says, JOSHILYN! You must RE-ENGINEER a meet and greet at THE DOGâ€™s house so he will be himself. I caught flashes of this dog, I swear, and he seemed QUITE DELIGHTFUL and good hearted. But another part says, Scott is a still water, and he runs deep.
And there is this: Before we got Bagel, I found a coupla other internet crush dogs I was SURE were my dog.
Scott was wildly unenthused.
Finally, the third crush, I marched him to the adoption day to meet ---remember FOSTER I LOVED that dog on paper, and in person I found him to be soothing and delightful. Scottâ€™s enthusiasm level remained subterranean. â€œHe seems fine,â€ Scott said, shrugging. â€œYou can get him if you want him.â€ And then he wandered off, completely not interested in interacting with Foster anymore.
I found him at the adoption peopleâ€™s other crates, staring in at a long chubby noodle of a stinkinâ€™ dog. Scott said, in a CASUAL voice, â€œMaybe we should ask to meet this dog. He looks nice.â€ And they got him out, and he was Bagel. We walked all around with him and hung out inside and out with him for an hour, and then Scott ----who had said about EVERY OTHER DOG, â€œOh he seems fine. Get him if you want himâ€ *shrug*â€ ---- said â€œThis is a good dog. I like this dog.â€ That, for my low key master of understatement husband is the difference between â€œHoney, I will tolerate this as I tolerate all your other mental spasms and illnesses because I love youâ€ and â€œBOOYAH! YES! YES! WE WIN DOG! WE GOT THE GOOD ONE YAY US GO GO DOG GO.â€ So we brought Bagel home and he fit right into the chaos that is Chez My House, and I love him. We all do.
Of course, while I was writing the above â€œBAGEL ROCKS MASH NOTE,â€ the dog in question crept slyly into the den and ATE Maisyâ€™s pink feather princess crown into CHUNKS, and I just had to hide it in the bottom of the trash so she wonâ€™t find out. HEH. So I am not saying Bagel is perfect. In fact, I may go murder him in a sec. BUT. He is OUR dog and I freakinâ€™ LOVE him and I like how Scottâ€”an understated sort, not a baby talker or a crooner --- will sometimes stop and say to Bagel, WHO IS A GOOD DOG? WHO WHO? And really mean it. He justâ€¦LIKES Bagel. I want him to just LIKE the new dog, too.
SO â€“ Advice is VERY welcome.
I see three paths. Which path would you pick and/or do you see a fourth???
1) Let it go. This dog is just not our dog and our auxiliary dog will come one day and we will just know. We saw three dogs that looked EXCELLENT on paper but none of them swayed Scott like Bagel. Chemistry? Fate? Weird husband? I dunno. But I love the man and want him to be fulfilled as a dog-owner.
2) Re-engineer a meet on the dogâ€™s home turf so Scott can REALLY see him as he is and see if Scottâ€™s tune changes. Of course, I am nervous about this because I feel I have already put the dogâ€™s current family out by making them drag all the way over here possibly for NO REASON. I am leery because if Scott REMAINS unmoved we would have been REALLY huge buttpains to them and they are lovely, lovely nice people trying to get ready for a move out of the country and find the right place for their old family friend.
3) GET the dog and assume the good heart I saw in flashes will win my husband over.
Itâ€™s not me. Sample weekend dialog, Sunday, 8AM:
Me: Morning! â€¦.Aw! Do you hear that? Outside? Itâ€™s the little finches. I love the little finches.
Me: *boggles* Who DOESNâ€™T love the little finches?
Me: Oh shush, you do too.
Him: I do not love the little finches.
Me: But you have to! They are so round and dear, like twirpy little puffballs, and they come hippy-hopping up and put their heads to one side and say, â€˜Might I have a crumb?â€™
Him: And me without my tennis racket.
Very very cantankerous we are, those of us who are in our forties. I am in my thirties, you understand, so the â€œweâ€ is a courtesy. *beatific smile*
MEANWHILE, since I am still so young and fresh--- practically DEWEY---I donâ€™t understand why I am going this AM to get a mammogram. Oh wait, yes I do. Itâ€™s called a baseline mammogram, a good thing to do while you are a nubile thirty-something in the prime of your fertility and vigor (Shut. Up.) When you start your regular mammograms (which should happen the same year you begin to hate perfectly darling little birdies) they will have something to compare, and this can REALLY help with early detection breast cancer. I overshare because I care. Get a mammogram.
I have a severalthings for SHOW AND TELL but I have to go put a delicate portion of my anatomy into a vice now, tra la, so I will get to it as the week progresses. BUT! I did want to show you the REAL TGWSS cover --- footless, as you can see. Also the colors are a little different---she took out the REDDISH bits, which, yay. I heart sparkle diamond this cover. Hereâ€™s the amazon version for compare/contrast.
1) A kitten. The successful candidate will be yellow and possess an enormous puffy tail. Competitive salary and a benefits package including Iams kibble and â€œbeing named Pompymoose.â€
Scott says I donâ€™t want JUST a kitten. A kitten, he says, is not enough pets for me, and TRULY the number of pets I need is a variable, demonstrated via this mathematical formula:
Truly! Happy! Forever! = X+1
Here, X is the number of pets I have NOW.
So FIVE is currently X, as we have Schubert the cat and then four gerbils named Cosy Mole Mouse, Snickers, Alice, and That Cross Dressing Poet Tennyson.
Once Pompymoose is installed, X will become 6 (+1), because, SCOTT SAYS, I will then need a parrot. And then a goat, And then another goat for company for the first goat because otherwise the first goat will be lonely and lonely goats head-butt and eat your wash off the line. Then he says I will need a hedgehog named Pigling Bland because that is the very best name for a hedgehog and it seems a shame to not have an actual hedgehog to pin it on. And then a horse to keep the goats company and a medium-sized houndish sort of dog and a small herd of those vibrantly colored and sleek and adorable house lizards to run up and down the walls and eat any roaches that DARE put one clicky, repulsive, pointy leg-end part into my domain. Also, Sam wants a snake. I am open to the concept, as long it is a small cricket-eating sort who wonâ€™t be eyeing That Cross Dressing Poet Tennyson.
I say, â€œSilly Scott, Thatâ€™s not TRUE! RIGHT NOW, I only need one negligible kitten.â€
And I think thatâ€™s reasonable. Kittens are SMALL and make peeping noises and delight me. Just say yes to kittens, I say! Or a houndy-dog. Or a goat. See, I am SO VERY reasonable.
2) To secede from the union and live here. With X number of goats. Plus one. And a SMOKINâ€™ HOT internet con I would steal from my wealthy neighbor, America.
3) Another beer.
4) A time machine, so I can travel back 48 hours and change, back to those halcyon days of innocence and sugared air, back BEFORE I decided I needed to march around the house for a solid hour listening to GOLDFRAPP to mentally prep to write a sex scene because you KNOW how comfortable I feel staring at my characters delecto-ing their flagrants and such because we southern girls are FAMOUSLY unrepressed, right? Right! SO!
I marched and marched and Goldfrapped and thought about the mechanics of the thing and how to indicate what was going WHERE without baldfaced directly LOOKING at it, you know, and my cheeks were all ablush. SO I am thinking and marching and marching and plotting and thinking with Goldfrappâ€¦.and I did not notice Miss Maisy came up from the basement where she had been playing with the Living Family Happy Non-Gold Unfrapped Dollhouse, and she was marching behind me, one little foot after another, and now I have a four year old who wanders through the kitchen warbling â€œIâ€™m in LOVE! Iâ€™m in LOVE! Iâ€™m in LOOOOVE with a STRICT! MACHINE!â€
â€œNo,â€ I say. â€œYou are NOT.â€
â€œWonderful! Electric!â€ she trills.
â€œWANT A COOKIE?â€ I say. â€œWANT TO PUT A COOKIE IN YOUR MOUTH AND CHEW IT AND NOT SING THAT SONG WHICH SOUNDS SO VERY DIRTY?â€
â€œUma LUB Wibba Stwick Ma-Shee,â€ she yodels, spewing crumbs across my kitchen.
Scott has looked over my list and says I have an EXCELLENT shot at being Truly! Happy! Forever! if I choose just one of my four needs. He suggests I pick number three, and he is going now to the fridge to make all of my dreams come true using a mathematical formula that looks like this:
X = all dreams come true.
And here, you understand, x is defined as â€œmy very best boyfriend is getting me a beer.â€
I think it will work.
There's this thing I have learned to do, a thing that does NOT come naturally to me, and yet it is a necessary thing to learn when one has a husband. One MUST telegraph the import of dates, if they are, indeed, important to one. Especially if. like me, you are a ridiculous creature who won't even realize Valentine's day has passed until your friend says, "TODAY IS THE IDES OF MARCH" in a spooky manner and then makes the Psycho-shower-scene WREE! WREE! WREE! noise, and you think, in rapid succession "Why am I getting fake stabbed? Does this dress make me look like Caesar? Wait, crap, did she say MARCH?"
That really happened I think two years ago. And then, having come to understand that it was indeed March, I noticed I had somehow skipped Valentines Day altogether without clocking that it existed much less that we were hurtling past it along the space time continuum. Scott would argue that this set a precedent. But that's SILLY!
MEN! MEN! Hear me on this! You cannot assume a girl will forget what month it is for THREE solid months every February.
And of course, the very next year, some helpful doink with a calendar mentioned that January was over, and I thought to myself, OH! VALENTINE'S APPROACHETH! and I foolishly assumed SCOTT would also notice it was February, and with NO HINTING or REMINDERS on my part, I FURTHER assumed fabulous pink-themed heart-encrusted Godiva infused surprises with all manner of being whisked off to Venice and ravaged on a gondola etc etc were being planned. On the big day, then, I whipped out the carefully planned surprises I had set up in the dead of night when he lay sleeping like the dead, unaware it was January and then unaware it was February and THEN STILL unaware that it was February 13th....
I will never forget his stricken face as he said, "I forgot it was Valentine's at all, or, not forgot so much as didn't think you cared because last year you didn't even notice we had missed it until March so...."
I checked my girl handbook and it assured me that if I wanted to retain possession of both X chromosomes I was contractually obligated to burst into tears and do the whole YOU DO NOT LOVE ME, HALLMARK SAYS thing, which, really, who needs it.
(And here Mr. Husband chimes in to say, "Not me.")
SO! I have learned to be a hinter. And as you know, my anniversary happened yesterday. I think I get NICE WIFE points because I reminded him in little subtle ways, like saying, FOUR MORE DAYS TIL OUR ANNIVERSARY! I SURE HOPE FABULOUS SURPRISES ARE IN STORE, AND BY "IN STORE" I MEAN SPECIFICALLY "BLOOMINGDALE'S."
Did you know the twelfth anniversary is the SILK anniversary? ME NEITHER! But Scott looked it up on the internet and I now have CHARMING and ELEGANT silk pajamas to take on tour. I am not generally a a PAJAMA sort of girl, but I LOVE to have decent ones on book tour, because I have been known to have to stomp down to the lobby and defeat eyeore while wearing them, and REALLY it's more dignified to stomp down to the lobby AND Eyeore is much easily defeated if one is wearing Katherine Hepburn style black silk PJs with understated silver piping rather than a 400 year old XXL hole-riddled and coffee-stained Road Ponies T shirt and some underpants.
I'm just saying.
Me: I predict you will be killed by wolves.
Him: I feel skeptical about that.
Me: I am completely psychic.
Him: I feel skeptical about THAT, too.
Me: What if I told you that I went down to the courthouse today and changed my name legally to "wolves."
Him: I would say two things. Thing one: The likelihood that you are are psychic just went up, especially since I am about to say thing two.
Me: What is thing two?
Him: Thing two: You changed your name to wolves? So now instead of calling you my bitch, I have to call you my bitches?
...To ye fair Spanish newties
Farewell and adieu
To ye newties of Spain!
The nice thing about pets that you pull out of the yard is that, when you are TIRED of them, you can put them right back out in the yard. No harm no foul to the environment or even the pets. N EWSFLASH: Newts are kinda....boring. Now when they are LARVAE they are educational and interesting. They grow. They change colors. Their little larval legs develop and their tails change from flippery swim tails to long lizardy tails and they develop racing stripes. Alas, once the stripes come in, they spend 23 hours and 57 minutes every day sitting. under. logs. They don't even TWITCH.
Just looking at them sitting under logs with a tail bit sticking out here, a little newtly foot there, completely UNTWITCHING, makes my leg go to sleep in sympathy for THEIR umoving legs that are stuffed under logs. Then the rest of me goes to sleep out of sheer boredom. I like my pets a little more interactive and a little less...plastic-ish. SO.
We took the mini-log and the rocks from the aquarium and put them in the same pattern in the newt pond behind our house and allowed Fig, Spotty and Daisy Flower to roam free and breed or, more likely, sit under that same dern mini-log until old age claims them. (Posey had already and premptively gone to meet her maker for reasons that we could not assess without an autopsy. We couldn't really PERFORM an autopsy because the vast majority of Posey's mortal remains ended up inside Fig and Spotty. Apparently, the three minutes a day not spent log-sitting are squandered on cannibalism.)
The kids were sad for about 30 seconds untril I told them they could have a dog instead. Then they wanted to pitch the Newts down the toilet so we could head to Pet Smart's Saturday Animal Shelter sponsored adoption day FASTER.
Scott: We are not getting a dog.
*everyone looks crestfallen*
Scott: Okay, you can get a dog.
*everyone looks delighted*
Scott: As long as it never, never poops.
*everyone looks crestfallen*
Scott: It shouldn't have a digestive tract at all, really.
His argument was that HE would end up sole pooper scooper, no matter how many protestations of good faith promised pooper-scooping Sam and I faithfully wrote in blood for him PRE-dog. Sam promised anyway but I didn't even try. I was already kinda thinking in my head that dog poo removal, much like grilling meat and hauling furniture back and forth across the den until it "looks right", is a manly art.
So we went to Pet Smart ANYWAY to look at the shelter animals, and they had TWO houndly darlings that REALLY appealed to me, one a Basset-Beagle mix and one a Beagle-no-freaking-idea cross.
Me: *modeling both dogs for Scott* Which one would you like?
Scott: Whichever one has no butt-hole.
Alas, they both came rear-ily equipped with what were, presumably, working butt-holes, although I did try the argument that the one on the Bassett-y looking fellow MIGHT be purely decorative. Scott did not buy it. He did, however, buy everyone under 4 feet tall a GERBIL, so now we have Gerbils in the gaping hole where the newts used to sit. And sit. And sit. And sit.
Hotshot (Sam's) and Snickers (Maisy's) are messy and they run the VERY! LOUD! WHEEL! until I think about lifting my massively obese cat (who is WAY too gravity-bound and enormous to make the leap himself) up 4 feet onto the counter and allowing nature to take it's course in the form of a gerbil abbatoir.
NO, I am kidding. I quite like the little blighters. They have an inordinate affection for toilet paper rolls and whenever I open the top grill and lower one down to them, they stand up on their little back feetses and REEEEEEEEEEEACH up to grab it. Everytime I come around, they run to the hatch see what delightful thing I might have brought them, and respond with equal glee to the first and fortieth toilet paper roll of the day. They can take one out with their mighty front fangs in about 14 minutes. So goodbye amphibians, hello rodents----I am working my way up the pet evolutionary scale, heading toward dog with a bullet.
BY THE WAY, I am ADORING the poetry contest entries! And also By the way, I will post E. Lockhart's pick of B4B winners TOMORROW! HUZZAH!
Last night, late, when Scott and I had turned off all the lights downstairs and headed up to our room, I paused between the doorways to my children's bedrooms and listened to them breathe. I had one of my rare moments when I realize I do have a little piece of soul tucked way down deep under all the glib I throw around.
Me: *tearing up a little* Isn't it amazing? We did that. You and me. We made little people. Out of US. And now here they are, their own little separate selves.
Him: Yeah. (Subtext: I am bored of this conversation already and it just started. PS, are you back on that bad, bad cocaine?)
Me: But we MADE them. Out of GAMETES. Out of essentially NOTHING. You and I made PEOPLE out of biological EFFLUVIUM. How can you not see that this is a miracle?
Him: Cats can do the same thing, honey.
Him: Don't ge me wrong. I'm nuts about our kids, and I am strongly in favor of the process for making them. But I'm not going to get choked up over Biology 101.
Me: But the Hoover Dam, that brings a tear to your jaundiced eye???
Him: Show me a cat who can make the Hoover Dam.
Me: But the planet MARS, that makes your heart go pitterypatpat?
Him: Nah, Mars is just a planet. *perks up* But one day people will GO to Mars! Now THAT will be COOL.
Me: You know, they don't call it THE TRUCK OF LIFE. Like some dirty old truck comes and drops off a pile of babies and you grab the best, fattest one. They call it The MIRACLE of Life.
Him: Well, they don't call it the Hoover Meh. They call it the Hoover....Damn!
And he said Damn like Will Smith always does, you know, with the drawn out A, like he'd just seen something astounding.
Me: SO! THIS is what happens when you let Discovery Channel Geeks Breed, huh?
Him: Pretty much.
See, I am usually the crazy one. He is the sane one. I break things. He understands how to mix up epoxy. I zoom through space, and he provides the gravity that keeps me in an orbit so I don't go plummeting into the sun. I yell my way to resolution, he prefers to use reason. I spaz, he logics. It's how we work, and it works well for us, thanks, in 99 out of 100 cases.
Me: But WHY don't you like spiders?
Him: Too many eyes.
Me: They are pretty, and webs are pretty, and they eat the other bugs that are gross, like roaches.
Him: Too many eyes.
Me: So it's not spiders per se, it's things with too many eyes?
Him: Yes. It's very wrong to have too many eyes.
Me: Well, how many eyes is too many eyes?
Him: More than two eyes is too many eyes.
Me: So you hate anything with more than two eyes?
Me: YOU, Mr. Husband, bastion of of reason in an unreasonable world, YOU fully admit that you violently and unthinkingly from the gut viscerally HATE things with more than two eyes.
Him: *Thinks* It is an unnatural prejudice. But. Yes.
Me: So you hate flies?
Him: Flies are fine.
Me: But flies have about a million eyes!
Him: Can you even FIND the Discovery channel?
Me: Is it near the WB?
Him: Never mind. Flies have two eyes.
Me: I thought they had about a million?
Him: No they have two COMPOUND eyes, so they see many pictures, but the number of eyes is two. Compound eyes are fine.
Me: COMPOUND eyes? Is that like an EYE CLUSTERS? Big gooey CLUSTERS of eye???
Me: That's disgusting.
Him: No, it isn't, as long as there are only two. I don't know anything but spiders that has too many eyes.
Me: Can you have too FEW eyes?
Him: No. I am fine with squids, and squids only have one eye.
Me: So does our cat, for that matter.
Him: Right. But you can't walk around with more than two or you are creepy. That is all. And nothing else on earth has too many eyes. Name one thing other than spiders that lurks around being horrifying with a whole bunch of eyes stuck on all over. You can't.
Me: Even when the spider is so SMALL it is like an adorable little SPECK with LEGS and you can't SEE that it has eight or eleven or five eyes?
Him: It doesn't matter. I know the eyes are there. *shudders*
I write under my maiden name. I always have. But I LIVE under my married name. I KNOW what my name is, okay? I don't know how this fact escaped me. As rams said in comments, you would think I was drafting a book or something, braindead as I have been for every other pursuit. And generally speaking, I have a pretty good idea what SCOTT's name is as well. So. I know my name, I know his name, and yet somehow these facts escaped me when I was telling the co-ordinators of the Mercer Author Dinner that yes, my husband would be attending with me.
SO, when we got there, I saw his nametag and place card said, Scott Jackson. I was so charmed! I stole the place card. And I spent the whole of this elegant evening waiting for conversationally busy moments where I could lean over to him and, all undetected, trill "I'M THE BOSS OF YOU!" in his ear. Then he would wait stealthily for an equally busy moment so he could lean in with one of three stellar comebacks. 1) NUH-UH, 2) NO, I am the boss of YOU, or 3) I'm rubber, you're glue... We would nod and say a pithy something about whatever the topic of more general conversation was, and then we would poke each other under the table.
I swear to the LORD: I am twelve.
It was a lovely dinner though, very charming and chatty bunch at our table, and I got to meet some writers I wanted to meet, and hope I will meet more today at the Author Luncheon and Signing. Scott is not going, and I am not drinking, so therefore The Magic 8-Ball indicates I MIGHT behave. I do my best work with a glass of Shiraz and a co-hort.
In other news, I am making a new friend. It's nice. It's rare, you know, to meet someone and have that odd, immediate, and practicaly audible *click* as the conversation turns into a tennis match, zinging back and forth in a long, unending volley and no one loses and no one wins because no one misses any balls. AND SHE IS A WRITER. And a dern good one. Which makes me happy because we can talk SHOP. AND SHE IS A YANKEE! A dern good one of those, apparently. Which makes me happy because I can make fun of her Yankiness and she quibbles about what a Yankee is and whether or not Philadelphia QUALIFIES as a Yankee town, and um, Karen? Yes. It does. If you aren't southern or western, you are a Yankee, and I say this while squatting in a patch of cotton and shamelessly picking my teeth with a weed. OH YES, I DO.
REMEMBER Blogging for Books is Live and ENDS at midnight your time on MONDAY, so post your entry in the COMMENTS SECTION OF THIS PAGE.
Me: My love for you is like a snowflake.
Him: Melting? Damp and chilled?
Me: No, more like, you know, unique and um, but not cold. Bah, maybe not. Maybe my love for you is like Maisy's faviorite bear?
Him: Pink and abandoned on the floor?
Me: Well, pink anyway.
Him: That's nice.
Me: *makes encouraging eyebrows*
Me: *makes bigger encouraging eyebrows*
Me: And your love for me is like...
Him: Oh. Hrm. A newt.
Me: A big newt?
Him: Yes. A big newt that has crawled up to the top of the tank and is clinging to the screen. ***DIGRESSION: The biggest newt, Fig, DOES THIS NOW. His gills dropped off and now he goes up on the island and breathes AIR and tries to get out the top and clings to the screen with his creepy little newty feet. UGH!***
Me: Clinging desperately?
Him: Yes. Desperately.
Me: That's nice. My love for you is like the pancakes I made this morning out of that mix I got at the wackjob organic food consortium.
Me: Nutrative! And soaked in sweetness!
Him: That's nice.
Me: *makes in encouraging eyebrows*
Me: And your love for me is like?
Him: Still a newt.
Me: A constant newt?
Me: A newt that is tired of similes?
Him: That's the one.
Me: *leaps off his lap* Then let's go clean out the garage!
Me: TO THE GARAGE|!
Him: Wait! Wait but, my love for you is like---
Me: Where are the boxes? Where are the black bags? We must keep a list for taxes because this will all go to the Salvation Army! Get dressed! Rally the children! I'll find a legal pad for the list! Put that Hot Ladies of the 80's perky motivational bebop CD in!
Him: *grumble* Should have stuck with the similes...
A true story about Cover to Cover, the GPR/NPR show I was on last night: I remember several years ago, say, four or five, I went to hear the host speak at a meeting of the Georgia Writer's Association. He was very charming and funny (and I had long liked the program), and I sat in the audience with a couple hundred or so other striving, aspiring, wedded-to-this-crazed-idea-of-a-career-as-a-novelist writers, and we were all glowing and jostling and bouncing slightly in our seats because we all knew we would be next, our books would be bought and published and set the world on fire and etc. He was talking about all the writers he had met, and what made a good guest, and I turned to my friend Jill and whispered, "I'm going to be on his show one day." And she said, "I know you are, Bunny Rabbit." I felt patronized and said, "No, but really. I am. I mean it. Betcha. I WILL BE ON THAT SHOW." And she said, "Bunny Rabbit. I know." And I realized she meant it.
AND...last night I WAS on the show! (If you missed it, they will rebroadcast next week and then still later after that you will be able to listen to the tape over the web--I'll shoot you some linky love when it gets closer) The moral is, obviously, that Jill is nice. And the other moral is, nothing builds confidence like a friend who will call you Bunny Rabbit with deadly earnesty. And the last moral is, if you write good books and never say die and refuse to hear the word NO and keep writing, you will eventually get to be on the radio with St.John Flynn. <---This is probably the moral with the most useful application, but I like the Bunny Rabbit moral best.
EXTRA BONUS MORAL EXTRAPOLATED FROM BUNNY RABBIT MORAL WITH NO RELATIONSHIP TO THE ANECDOTE: I have other friends who call me Beautiful Tulip. I highly recommend this as well. Everyone should be called a beautiful tulip several times a day because it makes you cheerful and cheerful people are generally kinder to others and THE WORLD COULD USE THAT. I am just saying.
And now, here is a poor and blurry image of FIG THE NEWT, because he is now big enough to show up, but not big enough to show up CLEARLY. Spotty and Daisy Flower are still to small to even show up as a blurry log, sorry. Also, there is light behind him, so you can see all his internal organs churning and pulsing away in there, doing their little biological jobs. Yick:
And now, here is a picture of Mr. Kingsley:
Mr. Kingsley is Scott's new computer that he BUILT HIMSELF out of tape and spittle and expensive electronic components while I was in the mountains not having any e-mail service and eating too much. Methinks Mr. Kingsley is a LEETLE CREEPY because Scott put a glass wall in one of his sides so you can see all HIS internal organs churning and pulsing away in there, doing their little technological jobs. Double Yick. Scott named him Mr. Kingsley after Ben Kingsley, because he felt (and quite rightly) that I would object to a computer named SEXY BEAST.
Lastly, and apropos of exactly nothing---people are sending me e-mails asking me writing/publishing/and-even-blogging questions, and more questions of this nature are coming up like that on my MW list. I know very little but of course have loud, ratty opinions anyway. And people are sending me e-mails asking me for reading recs. Want me to answer HERE or continue answering each e-mail as it comes, all SECRETLY? Y'alls calls.
M&M made DARK SIDE OF THE FORCE dark chocolate M&Ms for a little while. Which is just cruel because to me they were a poem, they were a song, they were a swan in flight, but in my mouth. And they were "Limited Edition Movie Promo" which means, you know, they are gone now. Gone like Alderaan. Gone like Anakin's goodness. Gone like my childhood ability to watch episode 6 and not want to commit violence against Ewoks. GONE!
The first time I went into my local drugstore and saw they had sold out, I crumpled my eyebrows and thrust them heavenward JUST like Natalie Portman and cried out, "M and M! You are breaking my heart!" GONE, DO YOU HEAR ME, GONE.
Then the other day, I realized I had ALMOST no gas, so I stopped at a gas station far far away----one I do not normally frequent. LO, when I went in to pay and snag a diet cherry coke-----THEY HAD THREE LITTLE BAGS OF DARK CHOCOLATE M&M's SITTING BY THE REGISTER! I snatched them up, cackling, and took them to Mr. and Mrs. Smith. ONE I gave to my friend Pam (that's just the kind of girl I am *glows with holy light*). One I ate in a rictus of ecstasy. And ONE was purportedly for my friend Pam's husband, Thomas. But Thomas FOREVER endeared himself to me by NOT LIKING DARK CHOCOLATE, so they remained in my loving if carnivorous custody.
The next day, I waited until my children were asleep (because they are M&M HOOVERS) and then I lay on the sofa and ate dark M&Ms and read a book that is SO amazingly good the words TOUR DE FORCE come to mind. (And by Tour de Force I mean the helps-destroy-the-Deathstar-and-battery-that-Yoda-Powers-Is kind of force, not the Darth-Respirator-No-More-Dark-M&Ms-Destroys-Planets force) If you want to read it, and you do, it's called URSULA, UNDER It was excruciatingly pleasurable, slowly melting perfect chocolate in my mouth while reading perfectly crafted sentences. Just the memory...*choke*...I may need to be alone for a minute.
ANYWAY. It was my true and good intention to save a couple of M&Ms for Scott to eat as he NEVER ONCE GOT TO TASTE THEM. But we all know what the road to hell is paved with, right? In short, I ate them all. Oops. It was an accident. I reached into the bag and POOF, there were no more there.
SO the next day I am feeling still bad about this and Maisy runs up to me holding an M&M and she says, "MOMMY! LOOK! A CANDY! I FINDED A CANDY ON THE FLOOR!" I couldn't believe it! One had escaped me!
Now normally, I subscribe to the 8 second rule. If it is on the floor for less than 8 seconds, then you can eat it. This M&M had been on the floor for more than 8 HOURS. I virtuously said to Maisy, "We don't eat things we find on the floor, princess." She handed it over. I WAS carrying it to the trash, I SWEAR I WAS, but then I thought about how they don't MAKE them anymore, and about how this might be Scott's VERY LAST CHANCE to try the darkside M&M. SO. I set it on top of the sugar canister on the kitchen counter and decided to decide later.
The M&M sat there ALL DAY, and then Scott came home from work and we were in the kitchen and he saw it.
Him: Why is there an M&M on the sugar canister?
Me: OH! I forgot about that -- you need to eat it.
Him: Why do I need to eat it.
Me: Don't question! Just eat it, you really NEED TO. *Picks up the M&M and tries to insert it into his mouth*
Him: *Lip-clamping and head-twisting like a cat being pilled*
Me: NO, NO! Really, you HAVE to try it.
Him: *suspiciously* Why?
Me: JUST TRY IT!
Him: I am not eating that until I know where it came from and why I have to eat that M&M particularly.
Me: OH GOOD GRIEF, just eat it. Look, here, I will eat HALF. *Bites off half the candy and then puts the rest in his mouth* Now PAY ATTENTION. It's just half an M&M so really, you know, SUCK IT earnestly and try to really TASTE it---you need to EXPERIENCE THE FLAVOR.
So we stand in the kitchen earnestly sucking and flavor experiencing...and....
Him: It's...it tastes just like...an M&M.
AND IT DID! HE WAS RIGHT!
IT WAS NOT ONE OF THE DARK ONES I HAD EATEN ONLY A DAY AGO, PLUCKED FROM THE FRESHLY VACUUMED CARPET! IT WAS SOME REGULAR M&M FROM GOD ONLY KNOWS WHEN THAT MAISY HAD EXCAVATED ON AN ARCHEOLOGICAL UNDER-THE-SOFA DIG, LYING NO DOUBT UNDER A DRIFT OF FILTH AND BUG HAIR AND THE BONES OF LONG DEAD MICE. GAAAAAAAAHHHHHH! GAAAAAHHHHHHHHH! THIS IS WHY GOD MADE THE 8 SECOND RULE!!!! *shudders*
So, basically, Scott and I are waiting to develop bubonic anthrax and die.
*Salute* I'll miss you.
1) He's tall. I can wear any heel I like and he is still taller.
2) He has big, thick arm bones, so I cannot get my fingers to meet or even yell "Hello" each other if I grab his wrist, and at the end of them, he has giant hants, like oven mitts. They are big, square hands with blunt-tipped fingers, and they are high on my list of "favorite husband pieces." They look like blacksmith's hands.
3) But he can do close magic with them, and finesse a quarter directly from the nostril of a big-eyed six year old.
4) We met because of theatre.
5) I was an actor, but he acted and stage managed and designed lights and ran lights and built mighty sets with his blacksmith's hands.
6) We were just friends for seven years.
7) The first time we really really for really real kissed, we were outside, it was late in the night, and it was cold out. The air had that apple-clean bite to it. Now whenever the air gets crisp like that, I feel happy.
8) He's a good kisser.
9) He can build furniture.
10) When our babies were little-tiny and upset, he would drape them belly-down over his forearm with their heads in his palm and walk them up and down the hall until they stopped being unhappy.
11) He is a pool shark.
12) He has won bar tournaments and has his own cue that screws together.
13) About two years ago he took it into his head to grow a beard.
14) I was against it.
15) Then I decided it was hot.
16) A few months ago he shaved it off and I was against him shaving it off and remained against it.
17) He put it back.
18) He usually lets me have my way.
19) Except when I am clearly wrong. Like when he wanted to grow the beard in the first place.
20) Or when he feels strongly about something. Then I let him have his way.
21) He has never, no never, no never never never, not once, never lost his temper and been genuinely angry with me.
23) He has been exasperated, grumpy, impatient, irritated, and dismissive a few times, but never no never never not even once has he lost his temper with me.
24) In fact, I can count on one had the number of times I have seen him genuinely lose his temper with ANYONE.
25) And I would not need my thumb.
26) Or my pinky.
25) It is scary. He gets very silent, and very still, and all the air around him gets so ice-cold that it could shatter glass, and he speaks in a this very deep, deliberate voice, and little animals for MILES around smell doom in the air and go leaping up trees and down holes.
26) If he ever does actually for really genuinely lose his temper with me, I will probably fall over immediately dead.
27) He claims he doesn't think I am high maintenance.
28) I have met EVERY girlfriend he ever had, except a couple of high school ones.
29) They were ALL high maintenance.
30) I have never seen him sit down and watch an entire sporting event.
31) He has freakishly good hand-eye co-ordination.
32) Once I knocked a glass off the kitchen counter, like REALLY gave it a good whang, and it went hurtling to its doom and he swooped at it in one smooth, long swoop and caught it.
33) Once a mouse was running across the kitchen floor and he picked up a tupperware bowl and threw it like a Frisbee and caught the mouse under it perfectly.
34) Didn't even hurt the mouse.
35) I threw the bowl out though.
36) He often forgets Valentine's day.
37) He doesn't forget my birthday, because it is two days after his.
38) He has never once forgotten Mother's Day.
39) One year, he forgot Valentine's Day, and I cried. The next year, he strung the kitchen with little pink, blinking lights and I got a festival of presents and he made me dinner. It was grilled meat.
40) The man is a wizard with meat and a grill.
41) He also makes the best scrambled eggs.
42) He cannot resist a pun.
43) He thinks I am pretty and says so.
44) I call him Flip or Flippert.
45) He calls me Joss.
46) Our handwriting is freakishly similar.
47) We forge each other's name on checks to deposit them.
48) Unless you work at my bank or for the IRS and this is illegal. Then, ha ha, I was only kidding.
49) I drove six hours to see him perform in Samuel Beckett's End Game.
50) He. Was. Amazing.
52) He doesn't drink.
53) He used to, but now even one glass of wine will often give him a headache.
54) Everyone thinks his eyes are brown, but if you get really, really close and look, they are a deep, clear green. Not a speck of brown in them.
55) Honey, you don't need to get really, really close and look. You can just TRUST me.
56) I meant it, trollop. Back off.
57) He reads Stephen J. Gould.
58) For fun.
59) Once when we were very young and stupid, he helped me steal a toilet.
60) He was not enthusiastic about the project.
61) He said we weren't even STEALING it, that someone had put it out on the curb in the hopes that someone else would haul it away, and that essentially we were not big dangerous international toilet thieves at all. We were more like, trash haulers.
62) I maintain to this day that we stole the toilet.
63) We put the toilet in my back yard, and my parents were singularly unamused.
64) A week or so later, a hurt crow showed up, unable to fly, and I nursed him back to health. Mr. Crow LOVED that toilet. LOVED it. He used it as a perch until his wing healed and he flew away, and every time Scott was over I would drag him to the backyard and point at the crow perched happily on the toilet and say, "SEE!?!?!?! SEE?!?!?!?!|"
65) He gives the best foot rubs in America.
66) His mom taught him how.
67) She told him she was doing his future wife a favor.
68) We need to send her flowers more often.
69) He reads mostly history and biography and philosophy and physics, so it is hard to find a novel he likes.
70) When I find one he can't put down, I feel very happy and satisfied.
71) He loves Bel Canto.
72) He loves gods in Alabama.
73) Once on the interstate, a terrible wreck began to happen just in front of us, and cars smashed into each other and crumpled, and I screamed and Sam was a baby in the backseat, and he drove right off the shoulder and safely into the grass and the car that was behind us even could not stop and ended up in the smashed pile-up.
75) He REALLY likes songs.
76) When he finds something interesting and I think it is hideously dull, like, say, CHAOS THEORY or THE HOOVER DAM, he gets antsy and restless until I let him tell me about it, and then he tries to convert me into being interested.
77) Sometimes, like with chaos theory, it turns out that it IS interesting, and I am glad he told me and I ask questions and end up reading about it, too.
78) Sometimes, like with the Hoover Dam...not so much.
79) He likes movies with Ninjas in them.
80) He has more identity tied up in his family then he does tied up in his career.
81) He can juggle.
82) His favorite color is green.
83) He becomes palpably excited when we get within two miles of a Home Depot.
84) On our honeymoon, we went to New Orleans.
85) We chartered a boat and spent one day fishing.
86) I caught none and he caught one---by which I mean, he accidentally hooked a minnow through the belly as it went past.
87) We saw an island where the baby herons were nesting, and he snuck me into someone's fishing shanty so I could pee.
88) We also went on the Honey Island Swamp Tour. And to the Zoo.
89) He likes to sleep, falls asleep easily, can sleep anywhere in any shape, and needs more sleep than me.
90) He will play computer ganes with me until two in the morning, sometimes.
91) He is very observent.
92) Neither of us can SPELL for crap.
93) When we got married, he pretty much let me have my way about everything re:the wedding, but he had opinions about the flowers. My mother thought it was a little odd. But he did, he had OPINIONS, so he went with us to order the flowers, and he was VERY anti-baby's breath, so I backed him on it, got all bridely and demanding when the florist boggled at the "no baby's breath" edict. They used Queen Anne's Lace instead, and people after could NOT shut up about the flowers. They kept saying how pretty and unusual they were, and no one could put a finger on it. But I knew why.
94) He's not a good dancer.
95) Once we did a play together, he must have been 21 or so, and he played Lenin. He had to wear a bald cap. He looked at himself in the mirror and said, "Behold, my genetic legacy. I will look like this for real before I am thirty."
96) He was right.
97) I thought he was cute in the bald cap, though. So it all worked out.
98) Eleven years ago yesterday, he foolishly, foolishly answered the priest in the affirmative, and got stuck with me for life.
99) I still like him.
100) I like him best.
D-Jay Linkmeister LinkyLink has struck again, sending me this hard hitting hard news story from the hard edged hardniks at the Chicago Sun-Times. THIS IS MY OLD NEIGHBORHOOD! The second year we were married, Scott and I LIVED in Oak Forest. Batman never came to any of MY parties. I’d be irked, but hey., when you think about it…more cake for me.
ADDENDUM or How to Correct Your Wife Correctly
I just got this e-mail from Scott, my husband, who knows I am geographically challenged to the point of mental deficiency and likes me anyway:
Actually, we lived in Oak Park. Prior to that we lived in Forest Park.
Oak Forest is well south of where we lived.
PS - You're hot.
So point the first is that we lived NOWHERE near the cake-hungry BatLoon, and point the second is that I am HOT! *PREEN!*
No no, wait, that's not point the second. Point the second is that I am NOT hot, but SCOTT thinks I am! *PREEN! PREEN!*
No, wait, dernit, that's not it either. It's this: His e-mail is like a TEXTBOOK PERFECT wife correction. He sent it to ME instead of publicly pointing out that I had no idea where in or around Chicago I lived for several years, and then he ends with a compliment that makes me think he is not of the opinion that I am a total doofus, or anyway at least he thinks I am a HOT doofus. So now I feel very cheerful and great and like macking on my husband instead of embarrassed and poopy and like smacking on my husband.
Go thou, husbands of the universe, and do likewise.
Thou art like unto a dampened poodle, whose humid curls amass themselves with extra zest and sproing.
Sing now Beautiful Poodle!
sing of boxes
sing of all my goods and services
sitting in laundry baskets, in piles, in disarray
sitting in the hallway, the garage, the basement.
My cabinets, pristine, await judicious filling.
And yet you, my good good dog, have left me
a maiden most forlorn
and gone to your stupid job and I am very tired of unpacking.
SO TIRED in fact, that I can not make it a metaphor.
I am just really yes indeed exactly that damn tired of unpacking.
PS But I do love this house. And you.
DIGRESSION THE FIRST: Supposedly show dogs can not be neutered, but I have this vague memory ofd reading somewhere that there was a relatively huge (in the show dog world) scandal where someone had their poodle neutered and had FAKE TESTICLES put in. From this I have gleaned two things.
1) There are people in the world with WAY too much free time.
2) Prosthetic Dog Balls would be a good band name, if it was the right sort of junk-punk hybrid garage band. Because there is a way for that not to be dirty if you aren't thinking about the poodle scandal thing. SEE?
DIGRESSION THE SECOND: I think this entry is a pretty good indicator of JUST HOW TIRED I AM. Three days of moving all my goods and services over, plus then today I spent all the day waxing and waning and sprucing and scrubbing my old house for the closing on Tuesday, the great passing of the keys. I was patting it down with bleach and ammonia but not together because of toxic fumes etc etc. If my friend Julie hadn't helped me with the PRE-spruce waxing yesterday I might very well be dead right now.
We have – we had, I should say – We HAD these 2 big bushy Bradford pear trees in our yard. One by the side of the house. One right out in front in the center of the yard by the driveway.
A few days ago, the side yard tree decided to drop about a third of itself right onto our house. HEH. One month before we are ‘sposed to SELL the house, with a buyer and a closing date and everything.
And so now the OTHER 2/3rds of the tree have to be taken out before closing by a man called an "arborist," which is Latin for “very expensive.” According to my arborist, once a Bradford pear begins to drop whole chunks of itself, it continues to do so until it is all gone. It’s how they die. Of old age. When they are about 20. Bradfords are apparently these youth culture trees that were genetically engineered on the set of the Logan’s Run miniseries.
SO then, today the OTHER Bradford pear decided to drop a third of itself. It was at least considerate. It did not drop onto the house. Instead, it chose to plummet its chunk onto my driveway. Where my van was parked.
So I would say it’s been a pretty good week, assuming you are my arborist.
ANOTHER THING just occurred to me: This is clearly my husband's fault. The first spring we lived in this house, he came in and said, DID SOMETHING DIE IN THE YARD?
Me: I haven't noticed any corpses.
Him: Seriously, Somethign Evil is dead out there. Long dead.
So we went outside and I sniffed around. Nothing. Nada. Smelled nice and clean and green and renewed and damp and lovely, like it does every spring.
Him: UGH UGH DO YOU SMELL THAT??? UGH!!!
Me: No...maybe you just have a brain tumor? Does it smell like burned popcorn?
Him: No. It smells like what you would smell if someone made a giant alive monster entirely out of cat pee, and then the cat pee monster died, and three weeks post mortum you came along and gave it a good sniffing.
He tracked it down, following his nose, and what he was smelling was.....the blooms on the Bradford pear. The smell of the little pretty springy fresh flowers was ABHORRENT to him. Every spring he would say, UGH THAT CAT PEE TREE HAS BLOOMED AGAIN, HASN'T IT.
And there I ssat like a dork, WONDERING why these trees were persecuting us! IT WAS HIM! IT WAS HIM! Man, trees are stupid. And they have dreadful aim -- I feel certain that second tree was going for his Honda.
Last night Scott and I took an entire gaggle of small boychildren to see Spiderman II. I am married to one of the nation's foremost comic book geeks, so Scott was almost as excited as the young burgeoning piles of manhood who sat in the back of the van exuding such thick clouds of immature testosterone that I had to ride with my head out the window like a golden retriever to try and get a clean breath.
Scott was almost beside himself with excitement. On the way to the movie theatre we had this conversation:
Scott: Spiderman 2 is the best super hero movie that will ever be made.
Me: How can you say that? You have not even seen it.
Scott: (in the tone one might use to explain to a drooling moron that WATER is WET) Honey... Spiderman 2 has Doctor Octopus.
1)There is one scene where Sam Raimi had an evil dead flashback and forgot he was directing a summer action flick. It was a little....too. Not violent...too INTENSE. In a horror way. The boys seemed unfazed but I worried for their developing brains. Once that scene was over, Raimi kinda got it together and kept the extreme levels of violence ridiculously cartoony and unreal, JUST HOW I LIKE IT.
2) At one point an actor says, VERY SERIOUSLY "You killed my father." And of course IMMEDIATELY, and in PERFECT UNISON, Scott and I called out "PREPARE TO DIE." It was a response so involuntary it was pretty much Pavlovian---That line is OWNED RE-INVENTED and PATENTED by Mandy Patinkin and NO ONE ELSE SHOULD EVER SAY IT.
3) Toby experiences moderate levels of Angst. I think Toby is a very fine actor, and if one must do angst, he does it well, but I prefer not to have any. Just NOT INTERESTED. I want Spiderman to save banks and old ladies while being unable to deliver pizza or make an 8 o'clock curtain. THAT IS WHAT WE LIKE. I don't want him to have a psychosomatic illness. I wanted to say, "OH COME ON, Run along and shoot webs and bounce off cars and stop the city from blowing up and kiss that cute Dunst girl. Leave the mental problems to Batman. KTHANXDRIVETHROUGH."
1)All Sam Raimi's PET ACTORS cameo. HELLO TED/JOXXER! GOOD TA SEE YA! HELLO BRUCE! AGING WELL, BRUCE! STILL HOT, BRUCE! SMOKIN'!
2) EVERYTHING ELSE.
Trivia: The guy who plays Doc Ock was Tevya in Fiddler on Broadway. And a darn good one. How is that for RANGE?
20+ hours of copy editing in the last 4 days has sucked the life out of me, and yet here I am VALIENTLY blogging! Pet my hair! I demand it! I am only blogging because I am getting complaining emails from BUTTHEADS who NEVER COMMENT but who still feel entitled to EMAIL me and fuss if I skip a day. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE, BUTTHEADS! And yet I feel incapable of being even REMOTELY amusing due to EXTREME copy editing brain deadness. If I was a copy editor, if that was my ACTUAL JOB I had to do forever and ever every day world without end amen, I would pull my eyes out and dandle them from their stalks after about 15 minutes. I want to go find my copy editor and KISS HER ON THE LIPS and say THANK YOU THANK YOU MY LORD THANK YOU. She found every comma splice there IS.
My house still has not sold. BAH! Over at my friend Kiras blog, she is yapping today about a real estate agent who is actually out loud named MR. DICK CROOK.
OH, speaking of Mr. Crook, except without the Mr. or the Crook part, IF YOU FOLLOW, maybe I can blog about the marriage enrichment Bible class my husband and I are attending on Thursday nights.
Now you have to understand, my husband is a great big smarty. Double smart. Thinks deep thoughts. He is smarter than me, but I do not mind. Much. Especially since he does not have to back up his smartness by feeling a lot of deep feelings. I do not like men who FEEL things and write poetry about it and experience weldt angst. I like GREAT BIG TALL DARK HAIRED MEN who understand plumbing and like to eat meat and speak mostly in grunts and clicks and never NEVER navel gaze. But SMART is good.
My husband not only READS Stephen Jay Gould, he UNDERDSTANDS him. k? Not only does he understand him, he ENJOYS him, k? So the revelatory tone of most simply-pimply OMG SO PATRONIZING self help books makes him dizzy. HE IS DOING A GOOD JOB IN THIS CLASS. So far he has read the book and avoided going psycho critical reader and eviscerating it in the middle of class.
I said to him very sincerely before we began, "Please baby be NICE, this is for fun because our friends are taking it, so enjoy hanging out and enjoy the VERY GOOD discussions and the very sincere wisdom of the teachers who have been married for like 65 years and do not let the BOOK make you homocidal." And he is doing it. It's very amusing to watch him valiently try to look serious and interested as he reads that he should write down lists of positive AFFIRMATIONS he can read to me at the end of the day.
SAGE ADVICE: Did she cook a good dinner? TELL HER!
His idea is to pair up specific AFFIRMATIONS with specific sexual favors, like "HONEY! FABULOUS CHIPPED BEEF!" ought to earn an under the table grope.
LAST THING: I lost my mind from all the copy editing and wrote 5 page hand written letters to lee smith and michael chabon today -- if I could PICK ONLY 3 people to ask to blurb my book-- oh lord thats hard -- I am a voracious reader and I tell you of the 35 I listed, they all FREAKING ROCK, but if I could ONLY pick three... I would say Smith for sure then Chabon or John Irving or Christina Schwarz ALL OF WHOM make me DIE OF LOVE book by book every time. Or maybe Anne Patchett? ANNE LAMOTT. Alice Seabold. See, too hard. But ANYWAY, even under the pernicious influence of copy-editing I was too intimidated to even query Irving. So. I only managed to write to smith and chabon because I know people who know them so could say "HI remember your dear friend _____? Well (s)he gave me your address SO BY THE WAY HI PLEASE READ MY BOOK I LOVE YOU."
ME = BIG GIANT WEENY.
Ever since Scott came back from Vegas, he has been dying -- I mean DYING --- to tell me about the Hoover Dam.
When I was 22 I realized I would never be able to learn Japanese because I had used up too many brain cells on the lyrics to bad 80's pop tunes. I will never get past "Domo Arrigato" unless it is followed by "Mr. Roboto," and whenever the MUZAK version of Mr. Misters classic hit about learning to fly again, learning to live and love so free comes on while I am riding in an elevator, I am physically unable to stop myself from singing along with it.
Since the NO BRAIN LEFT FOR JAPANESE heartbreak, I have tried assiduously to avoid learning about subjects which do not interest me, so that I have brain cells left to store things that DO interest me, like where my keys are. Therefore I desire to have a big HOOVER DAM talk about as much as I want to read about the secret inner life of the kidney. Read: NOT AT ALL.
And yet he is so excited about this whole SIDE TRIP TOP SEE THE HOOVER DAM he went on that I have been hard pressed to escape having the talk.
He has approached the subject from the front, back and sideways, and The Hoover Dam has been like Conversational Rome---all roads lead to it. But every time he gets me 2 steps down a path toward the HOOVER DAM TALK, I go haring off into the woods or I scream LOOK! SOMETHING SHINY! And when he glances away my puffy tail goes bounding over the hills.
Finally he gave up on finding a segue that would take us there, and Thursday night he pulled up a BIG FAT PICTURE of the Hoover Dam on his Monitor, swivelled around in his office chair to face me, and we had the following talk:
HIM: You know, dams are actually fascinating entities.
ME: No, they aren't.
HIM: No, really, they are,
ME: No, honey. Really not.
He was very crestfallen and I felt dreadful then, so I crept away to watch TV in a dam-free zone. When I got back, my seven-year-old son Sam was sitting on his lap, and they were HIP DEEP in dam talk, and Sam looked up with eyes as round as quarters and said OH MAN, MOM, DAMS ARE SO COOL. So now for the last two days, my motor mouth son has INUNDATED with me with an UNSTOPPABLE HOARD of RELENTLESS DAM FACTS every moment.
Revenge of the Discovery Channel geeks.