Staring Down the Barrel of a (Hot Glue) Gun

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

Monday, March 30, 2009

Offspring Story of the Day

Ahh, unclear on the concept... :)

Me: Knock, knock.
Mags: Who's there?
Me: Boo.
Mags: Boo who?
Me: Its ok, don't cry!
Mags: Hahahaha! Ok, my turn! Knock, knock!
Me: Who's there?
Mags: Grape!
Me: Grape who?
Mags: Boo hoo! Hahahahaha!
Me: (laughs)
Mags: Ok, here's another one! Knock, knock!
Me: Who's there?
Mags: Boo!
Me: (thinking she's actually got it this time) Boo who?
Mags: BOO! Hahahahaha!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Absolutely Unapologetic


Got into it with the neighbors tonight. Ended in some obscenities being screamed in the front yard. Kind of impressive, really. Long overdue, in some ways. Pent up stuff on both sides.

But for being someone who has kind of crippled herself in life by being afraid of conflict and ruffling feathers, I'm feeling pretty goddamned ok about the whole thing. Sure, I wish it hadn't come down to a screaming match in the front yard (in front of Mags, no less,) but it actually felt pretty good to stand my ground for once.

The whole issue? The state of the front yard/garden. Husband and I were doing some pretty agressive pruning back: he was pulling up the knee-high weeds, and I was cutting back the branches on the tall bushes that hadn't been trimmed in years and were so heavy they were just growing sideways. The end result was that yes, the ground was now bare in parts and you could see through the bushes to the neighbors yard. And for some that end result was a huge slap in the face to the neighbors, one more than the other. Which is funny, 'cause Husband and I were trying to help. And not leave an unfinished project in the front yard. And around these parts, plants grow back. But not only did we not get any thanks, we got a lot of "But *I* don't like it!", and my personal favorite: "You're just doing it because you like to destroy things and make things ugly!" That's when the screaming started.

Don't like to talk smack about people I know, and especially people I live with, and I know there are complaints in the opposite direction, but its really hard living with someone who openly admits to having a 'white trash' aesthetic when you don't having one yourself. No, I *don't* like the 'constantly overgrown' look in the garden, and I'm tired of being griped at whenever I try to prune anything just because the other person *does* like that look. And I'm tired of pussyfooting around someone who gets cranky when I do. I'm also tired of said person effectively laying claim to any bare patch of dirt on the whole lot, or having a compost pile started outside my front door on an area that had been sort of claimed as 'ours' a few years ago, or having to reclaim that patch everytime SOMEONE wants to plant something new! And I get tired of coming home a few times of year to see someone hard at work planting yet another batch of plants that THEY liked without, you know, touching base with other folks that live there. I'm so selfish! How have I lived with myself for so long?!?

(breathes deeply)

Do I want full control and responsibility over the front yard? Hell, no. The main problem is that we all have different visions for the unit and have never worked out specific guidelines or boundaries for how things are going to be handled. Which for like-minded people is not a big deal, but when you put pro-structure folks (ok, just me) together with those who have boundary issues (some more than others), it doesn't work.

And I'm pissed. Ruffling feathers this time actually feels GOOD. In fact, I want to rip off those feathers and start stuffing them in certain places. I am tired of cowering about this stuff. I'm not doing myself any good trying to hold stuff in. Not sure I'm going to be able to sleep I'm still so amped, in fact.

And for the record, yes, I'll be happy when the bushes grow back in some and it isn't just empty branches, too. But see, if you don't maintain it regularly - like, for two years - then yes, it has to be done aggressively, and all of the leaves that are just on the tips DO get cut off. AND THEN THEY GROW BACK! IT'S THE CRAZIEST THING! AND THE NEIGHBORS - WHOSE SIDE OUR BUSH WAS WAAAY OVERGROWING ON TOO - THEY TRIMMED THEIR SIDE AS WELL! AMAZING! I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE! AND I STILL LEFT FOUR FUCKING FEET WIDE OF BUSH THERE! ITS NOT LIKE I CUT THE WHOLE THING DOWN! AND ITS STILL AT LEAST 12 FEET TALL! IT WAS A FUCKING HAIRCUT! GET OVER IT!

I leave town next Tuesday, and when I get back, I'm going to be crazy busy sewing for the show. So yes, my intention is to finish getting those bushes trimed back, so that we can get to the the lemon tree (which when I stated that as a reason to trim things wasn't a good enough cause,) and so that I actually finish a project I start, and so that yes, the 5 foot overhang (not counting the 4 feet deep I left behind!) opens up more planting space and doesn't continue to KILL OFF EXISTING PLANTS IN THE YARD BECAUSE THEY ARE BEING SMOTHERED, like the daisy bush, and all those rose bushes (which incidentally are going to be getting a trim too!) In fact, I think the weather is supposed to be nice tomorrow. I think I might get me some fresh air -- and a step ladder.

PS - I wasn't actually the one who screamed 'Fuck you!'. But it sure did help to open my flood gates nonetheless. Next time, maybe. :) Now if you;ll excuse me, I need to go run about a dozen laps to burn off this energy.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Kind of Like Shooting Fish in a Barrel

So, Zombiegrrl sent out a call to all of her west coast friends to help her and her husband complete their collection of quarters from all of the states. So, a) being a good friend, b) slightly OCD, and c) in desperate need of a break from all the other stuff I should be doing, I sat down with all of the jars of loose change we had around the house.

We have 4 milk jars full of change. Actually there used to be 5, but one was recently turned in at the bank, and the other 4 were queued up to go in as well, so her timing is pretty good. Anyhow, I dumped them out on the dining room table and went to town. I ended up finding 8 out of the 9 she needed, so I was feeling pretty good ('cause everything is a competition for me.)

After I'd dug out all her quarters, I realized we had a lot right there on the table -- how close to a full set did we have on our own? So I went through the pile a second time (even raided Mags' piggy bank!) and came up with 43 states, all in one sitting. It felt a bit odd; Z said she and hubby had been collecting them since 1999, and here I was, after they'd all been released, going through 5 years of change in one fell swoop and nailing more than 80% of them all at once.

Ironically, I'd only be *2 quarters* short of having a full set if I hadn't been helping friends. Yep, 5 of them I'll be shipping across the country to my poor, poor friends who have been struggling for so long and fighting the good (quarter) fight. And I'm irritated all right. No, not 'cause the

And random coin trivia: pennies are made almost entirely out of zinc, not copper.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Quite the Learning Experience

I'm hard at work at my second set of costume illustrations. I have to admit, I'm learning a bunch in the process. No, not the ho-hum costuming stuff, but weird little bits of trivia and whatnot. Based on the notes I got from the director, I've had to do some reading on Mark Twain, learned the history of Colonel Sanders, the WPA, and was introduced to a word I'd never heard before: zaftig. All of this just because of some silly costumes! My horizons are getting broader -- as is my waistline with all of these midnight oil cookies I tend to eat. Dammit!

Fascinating Article!! (If you're a mom, anyhow)

Someone on the local Mom's Club sent this article to the list. I almost skipped over it, but am really glad I didn't, because once again I stumbled across someone else saying what I'd been afraid to say for a long time for fear of being labeled a 'bad mom' or somesuch.

The article is titled "The Case Against Breastfeeding", which immediately set off all of my hippie sirens and alarms. Yes, a goodly portion of the article talks about discrepancies in the claims of benefits for breastfeeding your child. But what caused me to sit up was to hear another breastfeeding mom talking about how much it, well, kind of sucked to have your life taken over by breastfeeding. To admit to being angry and resentful watching your husband freely walk out of the house to go to work and live a normal life while you had a child strapped to your breast. To say out loud how many hours of a day you actually lose to feeding alone, much less other child related activities. To say that breast feeding takes most of the equality out of marriage, regardless of how well intentioned it is or how you both decided on the choice.

If you've got the time (its a 3 page article,) read it. By all means, I'm not trying to turn anybody off of breastfeeding - I breast fed for 2 years; I'm still way to programmed to think that there are health benefits to it, plus there is a level of bonding to it that I will forever be grateful I got with my child - but I found it INSANELY refreshing to finally hear someone admit not only out loud but in a nationaly published MAGAZINE that there *is* a downside to breastfeeding, if not several.

I'd also love to hear what folks think about the article after reading it. Please leave comments.


"Sally" Salamander, unknown-3/21/09

A longtime resident of a Deadwood City front yard garden, Sally went missing from her Rubbermaid sandwich container on the bathroom counter and was presumed dead last Saturday evening. Cause of death is unknown, but could be contributed to being subjected to mutliple turns on the trampoline, being stuffed into a plastic easter egg, being rolled across the dining room table like a Play-Doh snake, or just being repeatedly mauled by a 4 year old in general.

Sally is survived by a dozen brothers and sisters, all of whom were smart enought to hide better in the garden when the alarm was sounded. She is predeceased by her friends Snail, Slug, and a large number of Worms who have gone to their fates in similar fashions.

Details on a service have yet to be determined. Mom or Dad will probably be the pallbearers; interment will most likely be the trash can. A memorial fund has been established and any donations can be sent directly to Mags' piggy bank.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Orange Ya Glad I Didn't Say Theater?

Turns out we have a developing card shark on our hands. Not poker, not bridge -- oh no. Uno. Mags is totally in love with the game Uno. And she's amazingly good at it too (and that's not just my uterus talking, either.)

The neighbors had a very similar game at their house - albeit with a fairly nerdy outerspace theme - thay we were invited to play a few weeks ago. Not only did Mags really take to it, when she lost she didn't freak out and start thrashing on the floor or pouting and sobbing (my daughter is known for refusing to play 'winning' games, because she so hates to lose. I have no idea where she gets it from.) In light of this fantastic development, I ran to the store and grabbed a copy of the game. Sure enough, she was off and running with it, and within two quick rounds, no longer wanted my help! She can't quite hold all the cards in her hands, so she lays them out on the floor behind a tall book, which works for everyone. But other than the cards can totally hold her own when playing against the grown ups.

Can I just tell you about the look of glee that shines from my daughter's face when she gets to play a skip or a reverse or a draw two on one of her parents? She can hardly contain herself. And the draw 4s? Oh happy day! Mostly its just great to see her enjoying herself and not getting upset. I admit I hold my breath when someone lays a skip or a draw x on her, waiting for the usual freak out. But with one small exception out of the hundreds of rounds she has since made us play, she hasn't gone there. She's also pretty good about shaking hands with everyone at the end of a round and saying 'good game', whether she won or lost (a rule that we made up to try and curb her poor sportsmanship at the height of her pouting, but we found that we try to use it with each other too.)

I wish my grandma could see her playing, as its part of my childhood memories with her, and god willing my grandma will still be around the next time we head back to MKE. The image of the two of them playing cards together warms my heart something terrible!

More Theater; Stage and Film

Went to go see 'Wicked" at the Orph3um Theater in SF last night with Husband and J&E. Have been wanting to see this show since it opened in SF back in, oh, 2003. Sold out that whole first run before I even knew it was coming to town, and as it is, for last night's tickets I had to buy them last October AND we were in the very last row of the topmost balcony! Whew!

However, the O is not the biggest theater in the world and we could see evrything just fine. And damn, what a show! I of course was in utter awe of the costumes - I often didn't know where to look! I wanted to buy a program to be able to keep images of them, but the books were prohibitively expensive, sadly. Technically it was pretty fantastic too, and I can see why they have someone who's job title is 'Flying Monkey Specialist'. Really. And the lights, and the stage in general? It was all just stunning. The whole package. Can't wait to see it when it comes back to SF in 6 more years. :D (happy sigh)

I also took myself to see the 'Watchm3n' the other night. Hmmm. I left the theater thinking "Who watches the Watchm3n -- and WHY?!" I am not one to walk out on a movie, but I almost did -- 3 separate times! It just went on and on and on. I had read the book several months ago, and I think that was part of the problem. The movie does such an amazing job of faithfully recreating the book nearly frame for frame that I was bored. Bored, bored, bored. I knew exactly what was going to happen for the entire thing! Well, except for the parts where I had forgotten exactly how violent this story is. (Urp.) On the other hand, if you didn't read the book, I could see how you'd be fairly confused. **rant below

What can I say? Husband came home after seeing this movie with a damp ring on the front of his pants. I probably should have known better.

** Spoiler/rant! below

And the whole penis uproar? Good grief. For all the flap I heard about it I expected Dr. Manhattan to be pole dancing with the camera at crotch level! Fully erect! Possibly even a second penis involved! But no, there were just a few scenes of full frontal from a bit of a distance. Wha-hoo. Stupid, prudish Americans. What, do these people have sex in the dark with their eyes closed too?!? I think as a culture we've been 'spared the rod' too many times, if ya know what I mean.

In Other Costume Related News

Went in for the first reading down in PA today. Met the director, the other writer, and the cast. Embarrassingly I was late, but luckly not the lat-EST (had some trouble trying to find not only parking but the correct building on campus. Yikes!)

Everything went really well, and it was great to hear the script read out loud. Really makes it 10x better for me. I always had trouble in english classes and whatnot back in the day. I can never get the full impact from just reading a play. I don't get the inflictions and such, and I feel like the stories always suck. The stories were not the be-all-end-all with today's read through, but they were loads better and, lo! actually contained funny parts as well. Who knew? I just though they were painful!

My first set of sketches for one of the two plays is due this Wednesday. Luckily its the simpler of the two in that it takes place in present day, but there's still a bit of a challenge (in my mind, anyhow) in making the characters not look like they could have just stepped on stage out of the audience. Plus, I pay no attention to modern fashion. I think its all pretty ridiculous. Actually need to grab some magazines tpo make sure the ideas I have are at least in the ballpark. Anyhow, I expect there will be somre revisions when I show her my sketches, bu tthat is to be expected. Am looking foreward to designing the other show more; while its not a period piece, it is also supposed to be of no particular time/era, including somewhat now. And there's a specific color scheme. I feel like I can be somewhat more creative here as opposed to just rfling throug someone's closet and making them wear it on stage.

Oh, and I found out what my budget for costumes will be. While its not a hollywood budget, and I'm still a pretty frugal shopper, let's just say I'm not worried that I'm going to run out of money. Wow. I am loving the idea that shopping is part of my job description! :D

I *Kinda* Feel Bad, But Not Really

I'm continuing to troll CL for more costumign jobs. Yes, I still have my design gig in Palo Alto, but that'll be over mid-May (always looking for the next job; an unfortunate side effect of being in costumes.)

Stumbled across another desn posting for Up and Coming Theater. And guess who? My friend the preschool teacher again! Still plugging away at trying to find someone to come in and work for $50. The posting is a bit more up front this time, but still not entirely. 9 hours of work, plus you have to make the costumes on your own time. Still no mention of the not-exactly-a-real-theater environment, though.

This is at least the 3rd posting for this job that's gone up since I interviewed. Today was the first time she's said a portfolio isn't necessary. The desperation is starting to show a bit, and its a little sad to watch. But not entirely sad as she has such completely unrealistic expectations. That part is almost more painful.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Things My Daughter Likes and Dislikes

Not to bore you with the minutae of our lives here; meant more as a record for what Mags was like when looking back through the ages through our hologramaphone of the future.


hard boiled eggs
bananas (boy howdy!)
chocolate milk
chicken and fish
stretchy pants ONLY (the tighter the better)
pretending to be an animal; specifically a baby animal
chapter books (but only Junie B. Jones)
drawing and generally making art
going to the pool center
anything 'barbie' (all small girl-shaped toys including polly pockets, barbies, and hanna montana)
flip flops
only taking things along "Just in case, right mom?"
pulling down her underpants and sticking her butt in the air (gets that from dad)
balance board
playing with and watching herself on the Flip video recorder
worms, snails and slugs (let's em crawl all over her)
the beach
face painting
being picked up last from school
Peep and the Big Wide World
having her back scratched :)

Doesn't like:
boring grown up talk
jeans, or any non-knit pants
any clothing in dark blue or red ('boy clothes')
hot dogs
peanut butter and jelly
green smoothies
not getting her way
being the last one picked up from school
cole slaw (aka spinach)
loud noises
playing games in which she might lose

Offspring Story of the Day

Heard coming out of the bathroom:

Mags: Mom! I just made a football poop! Oh, no wait - its just a baseball!

And at dinner last night:

Me: Come here, sweetie.
Mags: Yes, what is it, madame?

When It Rains...?

I actually had to turn down a job today. Granted, it was for the well-intentioned but *slightly* unrealistic pre-school teacher from last week. She actually called me Monday evening and left a message, but, ooops! I was at another job interview. Who knew?

Really though, I was just dragging my feet in responding; I'm not known for my skill in turning people down or saying no. Usually my MO is more ignore-the-problem-until-they-give-up-and-go-away. Trying to break that cycle, though.

Lucky for me she emailed and gave me an easy out that way. I could politely turn down the offer AND not have to do it face-to-face (or at least over the phone,) plus it let me use the left-my-phone-at-home excuse, too. Thought about using the haven't seen-my-phone-in-days excuse, but I figured she wouldn't buy that -- even if it is often the truth on this end.

Anyhow, uncomfortable situation dodged, maturity avoided, refusal given, better job obtained. Wins all around!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I'm Almost Afraid to Say It Out Loud

Dear Universe,

Please don't jinx me for telling people about that (gulp) new job I landed last night. You know the one - the COSTUME DESIGNER position for that theater down the peninsula? I know, I know, I can hardly believe it either! I am truly afraid that if I talk about it too much it will deflate and there'll be nothing there. Please Universe, help a sister out with this one, ok?

But they've already sent me the scripts to start reading over, so I guess I am really and truly in. What a bizarre combination; feeling like I am floating out of my body and screaming through the atmosphere with happiness, fighting with the weight of terror weighing me down in my stomach. Yay, I've arrived! and, holy crap! what have I just gotten myself into?!?

I'm not even mad at you for getting such a crappy night's sleep last night. Hell, being that excited, anyone would've been tossing and turning. Frankly its the best reason I've had in years for sleeping like ass. (But a good 6-7 straight hours tonight would be appreciated. Thanks.)

Did you think it was funny last night when I actually wished I had Tw1tter, just so I could tell the world about my good news? Yeah, that was probably one of the only times I'll ever wish that, but I think it was a pretty good reason. And walking home seemed to only take about 10 seconds. Had to do it, too. There was no way I could've sat still in a car. Was vibrating waaay too much.

Oh, and I want to thank you for not having me dribble indian food on myself before the interview, or show up with, say, an entire bunch of spinach stuck in my teeth. I really appreciated that. Really. The make up looked pretty good too, huh? And he didn't even see to mind the bright orange corduroy pants I was wearing. I think I'm gonna like working with these folks.

Anyhow, its you and me, right, Universe? Working together? Helping each other out? I'm counting on you for this one. I'll figure out a way to make it up to you. I promise.

Talk to you later -

P.S. Did I mention I liked how you decorated last night? That thing with the stars and the full moon? That was genius. And I'm not just saying that.

New Glasses!

Picked up my new glasses yesterday. LOVE THEM! No buyers remorse or ANYthing. Good color, love the shape, and I look like a girl! Sweeet!

Bonus points to Husband for noticing within 10 seconds of seeing me in them, too.

The Birth of a New Running Joke

Based on a true story. The names have been changed to protect the COMPLETELY DEAF!

(in the car)

Me: What time will we get there?
Husband: The little red house.
Me: (pause) I beg your pardon?
Husband: Down the street. You know.
Me: Are you completely insane?
Husband: What?!?
Husband: Oh!

Monday, March 09, 2009

No Offense Future Man, But...

Click on image to enlarge (I think.)

Things Are Going To Start Happening To Me Now!

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by someone on Flickr in regards to a photo I had posted a while back. "Congratulations!" it said. "Your photo has been selected as a finalist to be part of our webpage. If selected your photo will be seen by people as part of our interactive map blah, but we need your approval and information before we can proceed. If selected, we'll let you know in a few weeks. Oh, and ps, we're not paying you."

Well! The attention whore in me leapt up and oops! accidentally tore her bodice in the process (are those MY bosoms spilling out? Oh how terrible!) A chance to have my name in print somewhere? Sign me up!

And sure enough, a few days ago I got The Call (or in this case more correctly, The Email.) "Congrats! Your photo has been selected to be part of the sixth edition of our San Francisco guide!" Whoo hoo! I'm somebody now! My picture is on a website no one has ever heard of! The world is mine!

If you are interested, here's the link to my photo. And this is what it looks like if you have an iPhone. Ooooh, aahhh. Go look quick! It's only going to be up for a year! (Spilling bosom sold seperately.)

Friday, March 06, 2009

Surreal Job Interview

Like many americans, I am looking for a job. To be honest, a paid internship would also pretty much rock my world, 'cause even if the pay is kind of crappy, at least you are garnering experience and more stuff to put on the resume.

So I responded to a posting on Craigslist for a gig at a children's theater. Very VERY small - only about 9 hours worth of work - and very VERY small pay - only about $50. But having 'experience with kids theater' on the resume would look good, an there's always the whole making-new-contacts angle, so sure, I applied. Got a call back, can I come in for an interview? Sure, I said, and hung up slightly puzzled. Really, I was going to have to interview for a 9 hour, $50 gig? But nevertheless, I went.

I arrived at the address that had been given to me. My heart sank a little. Because 'children's theater' had just become 'local daycare'. Dammit. That was NOT what had been exactly advertised in the CL posting, although I GUESS you could interpret it that way. But I had hope.
Maybe this was her day job. Maybe the theater was off-site and we were just meeting here.

I came inside, and while waiting for the other applicant to finish, I walked around looking at finger paint art and sleeping mats. Then I was invited to come on up and have a seat. I looked down at the chair and table built for someone 30 years younger than me and barely suppressed a snort. I folded awkwardly down.

The woman interviewing me was probably 10 years younger than me. Braids with daisies at the tips poked out from beneath a 1970's macrame beret. "Did you bring your resume and references?" she asked me.

Immediately I was on the defensive, because of course I hadn't. And then even I - who admittedly is prone to feeling guilty about everything - realized this was kind of ridiculous. Resume and references?! For 9 hours and 50 bucks? For a gig that was going to be slapping costumes on preschoolers?! Sorry, Pippi Longstocking, but no.

But I was able to show her my portfolio, which was fine, and we talked (plus she *did* have my resume in her email inbox, which she hadn't bothered to print out.) Eventually I kind of bluntly asked her to tell me more about the job, as I was getting the feeling that this was nothing like I was expecting. And it wasn't. Basically it was the school's end of session program for the parents of the 4-5 year old's held there at the school. And that's it. It all sounded very cute, I will admit, and part of me was still kind of willing to do it, because a) preschoolers are pretty fucking cute, b) for looking like a kid herself, the woman was very into what she was doing and it was kind of addictive, and c) hey, $50 is still $50. That's at least...two family dinners I wouldn't have to cook at home.

But then we got down to one last teeeensy detail. The 9 hours didn't include making the 15 costumes they needed. Nor the shopping for the materials. I did the quick math, and suddenly there was at least, say, an extra 15 hours tacked on. 25 hours. $50.

I sat there in my midget chair, with my knees up by my ears, holding my ridiculously expensive leather portfolio, crazy overdressed and wearing makeup, and I realized, you know, this is not the job for me. Hell, even my inner id looked up at me and said, she's fucking kidding, right? So I closed up the portfolio, politely shook hands, and headed out. I passed the next applicant on the way and I tried to channel "Its not what you think! Turn around and just leave!", but I don't think he heard me.

I'm not sure there has ever been a point in my life where I have desperately hoped NOT to get a job. But I guess there's a first time for everything. Best part is, eight people applied for this job. EIGHT! Just more proof of how crappy the job market really is right now...

Thursday Lessons

It is best *not* to get a makeover at the mall as a means of getting free makeup right before a job iterview. Learn from my mistake, grasshopper.

Offspring Story of the Day

Me: Ok, we've got your lunchbox, your umbrella, your sleeping buddy -- oh, don't forget to grab the card you drew for L!
Mags: I'm not going to give it to her.
Me: Why not?
Mags: Well, 'cause it has potty stuff on it.
Me: What? Show me! Where?!
Mags: See, this here? This is daddy, and this is his penis, and he's peeing. So I can't give it to L now.
Me: You know, that's probably a really good idea...