Staring Down the Barrel of a (Hot Glue) Gun

Sometimes your mind can be so open that your brain falls out.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Circle the wagons

We've been having problems with theft at our place, and its been ramping up for months now. At first, occasionally we'd come out to our car in the morning and find that someone had rifled through our glove box looking for whatever. We didn't get too worked up, as our policy was to never leave *anything* of value in the car. Shortly after BM, the backpack of a friend was stolen out of our car, which we did not know held his digital camera. We felt really bad. Later this fall, Husband's backpack was stolen, which held my wallet, his cell phone, and our digi camera (we left it in the truck believing we had locked up, which we had - but we did neglect to notice one window was slightly rolled down enough to reach your hand inside. Fuck.)

Since then, we've not left anything of value in the vehicles AND started locking them. Obviously someone had started to peg us as easy targets and we wanted to let them know we were onto them as well. Things had been fairly quiet fora few months when one day Whizz came up to me and said someone had stolen some mail out of our box. Apparently, she'd received a package in her box, but had left it there because she was running an errand, and when she came back, it was gone. So, as a household, we started bringing in the mail, at least as far as the inside of the gated courtyard so it wouldn't happen again. About a week later, someone stole the DVD out of our outgoing netflix return mail right off our mailbox, and left the empty envelope just lying on the ground. So now we don't put outgoing mail there either. And this past weekend, someone opened our gate, strolled into our courtyard and stole Husband's bike -- at 10 in the morning!

Needless to say, everyone here is angry, and not a little bit creeped out. Doors are being locked, and suspicious eyes are being cast about the neighborhood. Our house is full of unlockable sliding glass doors, so we've gone out to get wooden dowels to lay in the tracks to prevent them from being opened when we don't want them to be. I feel fairly secure being in the back house; the back gate locks, and the wooden walls against the alley are at least 8 feet tall. Our front door - the one that leads into the main courtyard - locks, and is not very obvious if you're not looking for it (and sometimes even when you are.) And even if someone *did* come into our house (god forbid,) at least having a really messy house might finally come in handy. :)

The general consensus is that this thief is pretty casual and is getting the low-hanging fruit, but still. Creepy. Husband bought an infra-red video camera and will be installing iin front of the house near the gate soon. We're going to hide it in a mailbox so its not really obvious. He's super pissed off about the whole thing. Rightfully so, too. Hopefully this will all blow over soon. I'd really hate to have to get a locking mailbox, or get a lock for the courtyard gate. Or just live in fear in general. :(


I go to the new doc today to tell him my tales of woe about PMS, hormones, thyroid, weight, and migraines. As I've literally been PMSing for 10 days now, and I slept crappy again last night, right now I'm feeling like it's just not gonna do any good, he won't be able to help me, and this will be a huge waste of time, big bucks, and my sanity. I'm hoping for the $$ this guy charges, I can at least get a lobotomy and just not care anymore. I hear they're really good about hiding the scar -- oh, except that I won't care anymore. A spoon'll work fine, thanks.

Must not electrocute myself by weeping onto keyboard.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Just a little something

...I hammered out at 2 in the morning. I'm pretty pleased with it, m'self.

Now, it's totally not obvious as to where I'm going with this drawing, I'll admit. Here's the backstory: Husband and I were discussing bees at one point yesterday. Paddling down some meandering stream of consciousness later that night, my brain latched onto the idea of Queen Bee. A literal bee costume made me roll my eyes, so I tried to think of how I could humanize it a bit. The big, traditional queen gown thingy also did not appeal, nor did it remotely look like a bee, unless that bee had stuck a bike pump up its rear end and inflated itsself. Hop back in the mental canoe, and I started to imagine a sort of rakish, dandy-type queen. The kind of queen who didn't have to deal with a male counterpart, so she could pick up some of those attributes herself. But, she still needed to obviously be a girl. For some reason the whole Louis the Sun God/Marie Antoinette look felt very right. Easy enough to slide from fop to fem too. That, and the gown/jacket has a much more bee thorax look to it (trust me.)

So, right, most people would not look at this and go 'Aha! She's obviously dressed like a bee!' A lot of that is deliberate, as I'm not trying to send this poor woman off to a furry convention. Blah theater, blah creative license, blah. I think it'll be much more obvious once the drawing gets colored in, though. Yes, I'm gonna do almost entirely black and an amber color, all in varying types and texures of fabrics. The knickers, stockings and shoes are all gonna be done in blacks, as are her gloves. The top part of the jacket is going to be done in an amber velvet, or possibly something with a little more pile (shag.) The lower, gown-part is gonna be done in an amber moire. The vest -- eh, probably a mix of both; I'm not so sure about the specifics of that yet. The lace bits in the cravat and around the arms is going to be done in an aged, soft yellow lace, to give it a nice antique-y feel, I think. It may be too contrast-y with the gold/black thing, but we'll see. Oh, and you can't see it so well in this small picture, but the cravat is actually going to be sewn so that there are hexagonal shapes in between the layers of lace, not just a random fall. My one real obvious nod to the whole bee thing.

One last detail that you can't see (I still need to draw the back) are the wings, or at least how I'm planning on suggesting at them. The back of the jacket is not going to have an obvious waist like the front; the skirt portion is actually going to fall from the collar. There will be two pleats that will have the fabric drape in roughly a triangular fall which gets gathered up into the bustles shown in the front view. Trust me here. What I'm planning on doing is to embroider the 'veins' from inside the wing down the triangular-ish fall in the back which possibly dissolves into more traditional embroidery at the bottom/sides; the idea being that the triangle mimics the shape of wings folded across the back, and the embroidery hints at wings without there being two coat hangers covered with sequins stuck to her back. Again, I need that second drawing and some crayons.

The wig: probably all black, but possibly the same faded, yellow-y color as the lace? Not sure about headdress yet. I've already got the throne worked through; very Rococo-style, ornate, with gold and gilding, yet with an ovious hexagonal shape to it. It's all figured out -- now all I need is a script that involves a queen bee ruling from her hive, with late 18th century style!

Piece of cake, if only someone would eat it.

Oh, sweet muse of inspiration!

Why can't you come during normal business hours?

Why is it that every night as I lay my head down on the pillow, regardless of how tired I am, that is when you decide to grace me with your gifts? Not unlike a child safe in his mother's womb, you slumber all day and wake when the sun's fiery chariot completes its journey across the sky. Is that a vision in flowing robes and a laurel wreath I see when my lids grow heavy? Does the sound of sweet harps reach my ears to carry me to inspiration? Oh no NO - what I get is Kira from 'Xanadu', rollerskating through my head in her shiny hot pants and knee-high tube socks, schmearing her lip gloss all over everything as she sings that damned catchy song! ARG!! I need a can of muse repellant!

I'm not kidding. For about a week now, every time I go to bed, regardless of the hour or how exhausted I am, my brain spools up. I start designing clothes and costumes. I have no idea why. Sure, I've come up with some great ideas (I think,) but it's wreaking havoc with my sleep. Last night, I could not fall asleep until 5AM! WTF?!? I laid in bed, creating not only a costume (for a story that doesn't even exist, thank you very much,) but stage design and some character traits to go with it! I finally gave up at 2am and went downstairs to put it all on paper with the hopes that if I captured it on paper, my mind would relax. So, I researched online and in some of my books (I know, fucking nuts!) and got it fairly well represented on paper. I crawled back into bed expecting to pass out, but no, another hour of thinking about it. Kill me. Please.

I'm not complaining; not really. Well, except for the part about the song. Normally, I'm not so strong in the design department - my brain kind of freezes up. So this creative flow is great from that perspective. But really, does it really really really have to be on the graveyard shift? Really?

....You have to believe we are maaaagic, nothing can stand in our way....

Baked gingerbread toddler, anyone?

Oh. My. God. Mags was such a nightmare yesterday. Woke up whiny and bossy, and really did not let up all day. Combined with my PMS yesterday, things were ugly in our neighborhood. Husband was a real trooper, fielding Mags when I really was ready to do bodily harm, and I think he really did get that none of it was directed at him. Which is a good thing, 'cause I try to keep my body count down to one a day, thank you so much.

And no (sigh), there was no bodily harm performed yesterday, as much as I wanted to. We've got the whole 'no spanking' household, which I'm glad of, but there are some days where your hand just starts to involuntarily twitch and you seriously start to doubt that decision, especially when all the talking and reasoning in the world is not working and your daughter's legs seem to be broken and she can't walk to the end of the driveway without bursting into tears 4 times and you really just want to go to the restaurant and no really I'm not going to carry you and does it really have to take 30 minutes to walk 4 blocks and hey I think our daughter will fit in this mailbox! Seriously. I was walking down the sidewalk, snarling and spitting with the hair down my neck and back was standing on end, and all I could think of was that I suddenly had my own Gretl (that Hansel, he's so hot right now...) and I was the evil witch except this time the story was going to end differently and I was going to beat Gretl to the punch and push her into the oven instead, mwahahahahaha! Eat your heart out, Grimm Brothers!

Which I didn't do. Meh. But I did eat a cookie when we got home, which was nice.

Can't put my finger on it

Mags is doing a bang up job with potty training so far. We've got our big girl panties, which she wears all day, except for naps and bedtime. We've been having a really high sucess rate - with the occasional accident, of course - but over all, smooth sailing.

But it feels so ... weird.

I bounced it around in my head for a while, trying to figure out what was so odd feeling about the whole thing and then I figured it out. Mags has been in diapers since, since....well, since I 'met' her. It's a bit disorienting to not have the diaper association. And while training is going well, I do have to force myself at times to not just stick her in a diaper for convenience sake - my convenience.

She really is turning into a little person. So bizarre.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Wherein I Let Mags Dress Herself for Daycare

Wrinkly dinosaur pajama top? Check.
Hot pink sequined skirt with feather sporran? Check.
Red and orange bunny shoes? Check.
Striped hoodie (at feet)? Check.
Accessorize with a sippy cup and a ratty doll? Check.
Non-colorblind outfit in diaper bag? Check.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

If my life was a soap opera

On this week's episode of "As the Washing Machine Turns"....

Voiceover: "When last we left our fearless heroine, she had been attempting to do a load of laundry in her new combination washer/dryer.

(cut to shot of Susan Lucci in laundry room, pushing buttons on smoking machine)

Susan: Well, why won't this thing work?

(close up of frustrated face. Smacks machine with her hand. Machine bursts into flames.)

Susan: Aiiiiiieeee! (Falls to floor, passes out. Close up shot of soot artfully smudging face, a small yet dramatic cut on forehead.)

Voiceover: "After recovering from her coma in the hospital, Susan returns again home to deal with the repairman, Wrench Bignut. "

Susan: (draped over top of machine, wearing nothing but a negligee) Oh, Wrench, do you think you can fix it? (bats eyelashes)

Wrench: (upper body shot, topless, chest streaked with soap bubbles. Throws tool in hand to floor) Susan, it's no good. This won't work. I've tried and tried, but I think that's it'll be best for both of us if we stop lying about how serious this is.

(music swells. Cut to Susan's face. She is crying and mascara is dripping off her chin.)

Susan: Oh, Wrench, say it isn't so!

Wrench: No, I - I must go. I just don't have what it takes to fix this mess. I'm sorry. I must do this. But I promise, no matter what, I'll be back. (Grabs Susan, they kiss passionately. Wrench breaks the kiss, thrusts her aside, and storms out, leaving parts littering the ground.)

Voiceover: "Abandoned by her repairman, Susan finds solace in the agitator of a new washing machine."

(sitting propped against the side of new machine, bottle of booze in one hand, parts still lying on the floor from the previous machine. Obviously on a bender.)

Susan: Well, I guess its you and me now, isn't it? He's never going to come back. (kisses machine. Smears lipstick on white enamel.)

Voiceover: "Susan's life gradually returns to normal. But one day, out of the blue..."

(Susan is happily folding laundry on top of her new machine. Smiling, she has recovered back to her usual self. Wrench appears in doorway.)

Wrench: (topless, still covered in streaky bubbles) Susan, I....what is this?

Susan: (spins around, shock on her face) Wrench! It's you! But, you never came back! Its been three months, Wrench! I never heard from you again!

Wrench: Yes, well, I was busy. The dog ate my cellphone. The bus lines were down. (frowns) got a new machine?

Susan: (drawing herself up straight and tall) Yes, Wrench. You left us. Pieces were scattered everywhere. I couldn't put my life or the machine back together without you. Don't you see? I had no choice! I HAD NO CHOICE!

If only.

Humorously enough (and I mean humorously in the I'm-going-to-hunt-down-your-children's-children-ha-ha kind of way,) this actually happened to me. To us. No lie.

Husband and I purchased a combo washer/dryer. Out of the blue it blew up. We called for a repair. It took them 2 weeks to even show up. He disassembled the machine, told us he didn't have the parts, and left without cleaning anything up, never to be heard from again. Contatcting the manufacturer, who also supplies the repair guys, resulted in months of unreturned calls, until we gave up and bought a whole new set. Then lo, after three months, they call to see if its working yet. Oh yeah. These people were a-maz-ing (and I mean that in an I'm-going-to-slash-my-wrists-if-they-lie-to-me-one-more-time kind of way.) Refunds were asked for. Customers were laughed at.

I'll just fast forward through the rest of the footage: there's the dramatic scene in which said heroine storms into the BBB and vows revenge; there are many scenes in which extras from India pass the buck on call after call; accusations are thrown, drinks are had, tempers flare, and more lies are told. There is one particularly tender and heartbreaking moment where the heroine receives a message from an angel and is promised a refund, but it turns out it was just a dream sequence after all.

If you're really bored, the deets are here:

So, why pull all this old footage out of the celluloid closet today? Because out of the blue, I received something in the mail from my agent, the BBB. Seems that their people finally got around to talking to my people, and still managed to lie even more! But, I now have something in writing - a fax sent to the BBB by the angel; it wasn't a dream after all! - that said we were promised a refund. Oh my gosh! Do you know what this means?!? We're probably going to end up with our own spin-off drama! I know, isn't it the best?!? I mean, sure, this first storyline has dragged on for nearly THREE YEARS now -- the people want something new and fresh! There's going to have to be some big courtroom scene, I think, and maybe a car wreck -- someone will either get pregnant or decapitated, I can't decide which. I'll share the script when I have it in my hot little hands.

Until then, the award goes to ..(envelope please)....ME! For having to put up with this bullshit for so long!

(cheers, applause. Screen fades to black.)

Mashed potatoes of STEEL!

Ok, I lie. They were scalloped.

Last night Husband, Mags and I were sitting at the table, eating what seemed to be an unchallenging meal of steamed salmon and scalloped potatoes. I took a scoop of spuds and *crunch*, I bite into what feels like a pretty hefty-sized pebble. I gracefully spat out the mush in my mouth and felt around for the offending item when - aauagh! A tooth fell into my palm.

Ok, I lie. It was a crown.

But still. My tongue immediately shot over to the part of my mouth where the crown normally resides and sure enough, there was a big gaping hole there, with just a hint of tooth stub poking out of the gum. To my tongue, the hole was the size of the Grand Canyon, dripping blood, open nerves swaying in my shuddering breath. For a brief moment I thought I was going to pass out. I tried to drink a swig of water to get the last of the potatoes out of my mouth-- not my best idea. This was followed by yet another bad idea - breathing with my mouth open. While there might not have been an entire forest of exposed nerves in there, there was enough sensitive stuff airing out to have to be reaaaaly careful. To avoid any other issues, I ran to the bathroom and superglued the crown back into place.

Ok, I lie. I got an actual repair kit from the pharmacy.

I'm not terribly suprised this happened, honestly. I do try to avoid flossing that area because when i try and pull the floss out, I can *feel* the crown being tugged on. However, after recently having the fear of god (or at least the tooth fairy) put into me this fall, I have been flossing like mad. Not quite sure why the catalyst was last night's dinner, though...

I've got an appointment to see my dentist this afternoon and have it re-cemented into my mouth. It looked undamaged, so I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that they don't need to recreate the crown or anything. I'm sure it will be a super pleasant experience, without any stress, fear or pain.

Ok, I lie.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Actually, she's got a point...

Mags and I went for a walk to Sequoia Station last night (it's our neighborhood strip mall slash train station.) We checked out the trains for a while, split a pretzel from Jamba Juice, and basically strolled around to see what there was to see.

At one point, Mags stopped walking and scrunched up her face as she read one particular store's illuminated sign. She read each letter aloud as she pointed at it (genius!) and when she was done, she turned to me. "What does that say, mama?" she asked me. "That says 'Dress Barn'" I answered.

A frown appeared on her forhead. She turned back to the sign, stared at it briefly, looked back at me with a total WTF? look on her face and incredulously said,"Huh?!?"

Like life isn't already confusing to a two-year old. Then they come up with names like 'Dress Barn', and leave me hanging out in the cold to try and explain it (seriously -- a grown-up came up with this name?!?) So, I did my best: well Mags, when a man and woman love each other very much....then the earth goes around the sun, see...pulled by eight tiny reindeer.....but I don't think it helped. So I gave up and we went home to have some hot cholcolate. That didn't require any explaining.

I have a headache

And no, this is not some public announcement letting Husband know that we're not going to be taking the skin canoe to beaver town tonight. Although we're probably not.

I've been having some real issues with headaches recently; or more correctly, with migraines. They started the Tuesday after turkey day - mayhaps some sort of a delayed allergic reaction to the midwest? - and have manifested themselves basically every day since then. Not only do I get really sensitive to noise and become unable to accomplish anything useful, I often get mild nausea with it as well. Extra not helpy. I called my doctor, who told me to take Excedrin migraine, which I was already doing. So, then she got me a prescription for Imaltrex, or something like that. That works most of the time, but not always, which is frustrating. Now, if I was the heroine of some trashy romance novel, I would be skilled in the healing arts, know how to go out and harvest the bark of some tree (willow, I believe,) to make some heinous-tasting-yet-very-effective brew, drink it out of a tall trencher, aaaaaand then have mad, passionate sex with some unpolished-yet-tender warrior (which is in fact completely unrelated, but fun so I'll throw it in anyhow.) Similarly, if I was said heroine, I would also be slender, beautiful beyond belief, know how to speak Gaelic, kind and generous, pious, skilled at bare-back horse riding, archery and knife-throwing, wily, know how to set bones, and also how to break them. You see what my chances of getting that willow-bark are.

But I digress.

I never had migraines until after Mags was born, and then really only as a precursor to Aunt Flo. No, that's not true. I would get them when I'd switch my meds or the dosages, and had quite a run when I tried some hormonal birth control (whoooeeee!) I guess it's better to say that I only get them when there is some obvious trigger, and then when that trigger stops, so do the migraines. So what the fuck is going on this time? No new meds, no period -- nothing! In addition to often being in pain, I'm incredibly frustrated. Sure, I've been given something to help with the pain, but I'm not actually fixing the reason why I'm getting them. Arg! So, I've got an appointment to see the doctor (of course not until a week from now) to see what she can find out.

If it is the meds, I think I'm gonna rip my hair out. I started them in February. If this is still my body adjusting, I...I just....I....I dunno what I'm going to to. Really, should it take this long to work out the kinks?

Even more frustrating is the fact that I have an appointment to see a different doctor the following week about my thyroid. I had really, really hoped to go in there on an even keel so that he could correctly assess what might be going on, but it'll probably be difficult if everything else in my body is sloshing around like dirty, headache-making water in a bucket! Arg!

This is one reason why I do not like to go see doctors. True, I like immediate gratification, and most times you are not going to get that with a doctor's visit. But especially with meds, this tendancy for one thing to get changed, which knocks something else off-balance. It's like a string on a sweater. You pull one part, and a bunch of it starts to unravel. Frankly, I already wasn't looking forward to seeing doctor #2 for this exact reason. It took 10 months (or so I thought) to work out this first round of meds. My god - what if he starts me on some entirely different program?!? Augh - can't think about that right now!

*ring, ring* Hello? Oh, hi, doc. What's that? You have something else for me to try? ... Uh huh. I see. Cheap historical romance novels. I see. ... Twice a day, okay.... Does it have to be with Fabio, or can I go for a generic hunk? Mmmm... Will insurance cover the cost of the batteries, or do I....ah. Right. Out of pocket for pocket rocket. Got it. Well, ok, I'll get right on it then. Thanks! *click*

Gotta go. Doctor's orders.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Offspring Story of the Day

me (carrying Mags upstairs): Ok, time to go upstairs and go to bed now!
Mags (hands inside my shirt): Ok, mama, you carry me and I'll carry the nipple and the breast.