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the latest waddle:

good morning, wordpress - 10:36 a.m. , 2009-07-03

elaborate murder attempt - 2:56 p.m. , 2009-07-01

building a tractor in the basement - 10:42 a.m. , 2009-06-19

ask no questions tell just a few lies - 3:17 p.m. , 2009-06-09

my long lasting flavor really lasts long - 1:10 p.m. , 2009-06-04


2004-08-05 ... 3:21 p.m.

A day off can really refresh your perspective on all the Terrible Things In The World. Or maybe it just improves one's mood, and makes denial seem like a more plausible strategy. I am coming to really value denial, by the way, and I think that perhaps denial is a fundamental tool for happiness (whatever that is). Every time I bitch about the aforementioned TTITW and some nice person tries to cheer me up with his or her preferred coping technique, it always boils down to denial. Focus on your family, on the things you really care about? Denial! Give up, go with the flow, the planet will sort itself out eventually? Denial! Look on the bright side, there is lots of good stuff about being alive? Denial! Work like crazy to bring about change? Denial! (Well, not really, but there are so many problems that no one person or group of people can focus on everything at once---devoting your life to eradicating homelessness, for instance, means being somewhat in denial about all other issues.)

Lest you get the wrong idea, I have nothing against denial. To me denial is like the placebo effect; if it works, it works. And it seems to work. For lots of people. However, I seem to be missing some essential denial protein in my blood that would allow me to actually use denial for its sanity-preserving purpose. I have tried to talk to some of my friends (especially the ones who are also parents) about My Main Big Fear, which is that something horrible could happen to my child, and here is how the condensed, paraphrased conversation often goes:

Me: (fumblingly trying to explain Big Fear, and how vulnerable and scary it is to have your heart toddling around outside of your body)
Friend: (stuff happens, but I don't think stuff will happen to my kid)
Me: (that's nuts, stuff could totally happen, stuff happens to kids all the time)
Friend: (yeah, but you can't really think about it)
Me: (how can you not think about it?)
Friend: (well, it helps to not be insane like you)

WIGGLELUST DENIED

Yesterday's day off had been scheduled forever, but I kept forgetting about it because it is weird to take a personal day on a Wednesday. I "slept in" until 7 am, and the very fact that I consider that to be "sleeping in" is pretty sad, but it felt great. Then Nora and I ate oatmeal and played and goofed around until it was time to get on the bus for Wiggleworms. Sadly, the usual Wiggleworms teacher, who was specifically selected by me and LT for her hotness,* was absent, and we had some dorky guy as a substitute.

*I try to keep the dirty thoughts to a minimum while actually attending Wiggleworms class, and I hope LT does too. But seriously. We'd hit it. Although even in the dirtiest of my dirty fantasies my brain cannot quite get the guitar out of Hot Wiggleworm Girl's hands, or make her quit singing "She'll Be Coming Around The Mountain"** during our imagined sexual encounter.

**Oh ho! She could come around my mountain any day!

So the sub was irritating because he was not Hot Wiggleworm Girl, and also because after every other song he would say something like, "Great singing! Wow, you gals [arrgggh] have some real pretty voices!" Can the flirtation, buddy, this is a toddler music class, and we moms (it was all moms on this particular day) did not come here to get ego-stroked by your sad ass. Except that some of the moms were totally eating it up, and seemed oblivious to the icky cliché-ness of his little comments. Sigh. Sometimes I think there is no hope. Sisterhood could be powerful, but too often it is just devastatingly stupid.

I also discovered, during Wiggleworms, that I really enjoy saying "no" to other people's kids. Nora's class is for 1- to 2-year-olds, and I certainly don't expect kids that young to sit like little robots and behave themselves. But there has to be some middle ground between expecting perfection and expecting nothing whatsoever, and there were a few parents who just let the kid do whatever the hell he or she wanted. One girl named Janey came right up to Nora and tried to grab her tambourine, and I very pleasantly said, "No, sorry, that one is Nora's" and disengaged her hand, all the while making eye contact with the mother as if to say, "Hey, do you want to take over this task? You know, this whole putting-boundaries-on-your-child thing?" After the third or fourth grab it became obvious that Janey's mother indeed had no interest in doing that, and I was more than happy to step up to the plate. In fact, when Janey got mad at me for thwarting her efforts and tried to actually hit me in the face, I took great delight in holding her little toddler wrists, looking into her little toddler eyes, and saying, "No. We don't hit." During all this, Janey's mother continued to sing and clap to the music and smile benignly at the whole scene. Maybe she was on some awesome tranquilizers. Or maybe she's using denial! This denial shit is everywhere! The latest sensation sweeping the nation!

LIKE MOTHER LIKE DAUGHTER

Nora is a great sleeper (eleven hours a night, plus one or two more in naps). However, she is also a very light sleeper (I have no fewer than three sources of white noise in her room), and a very vocal dreamer. Last night it seemed like every time I would drop off to sleep the baby monitor would startle me awake by transmitting one of her yelps or squawks or brief sobs, and I would shove my glasses on and sit up all disoriented, only to have her quiet down in less than thirty seconds. Once she actually cut herself off in mid-shriek, and it was so eerie that then even though she was quiet I had to get up and go look, and it is not enough for me to merely get a visual on Nora---because I am crazy, I have to stand there peering into her room until she moves or breathes or otherwise lets me know she is alive. No wonder she's a light sleeper. I'd be restless too if a naked, bedheaded woman kept appearing in my doorway to watch me sleep.

This morning I met S. for breakfast before work and for once it was the journey to Hollywood Grill, and not Hollywood Grill itself, that was an early-morning freak parade. The #82 Kimball bus featured a man loudly delivering a soliloquy on his medical problems, and the way he kept insisting he had "thrombomosis" was driving me slightly apeshit. The bus driver herself told me I looked like a woman who works in her optician's office, who has an English accent and whose name is Sarah. (I had no clue what to do with this information.) I sat next to a guy on the Blue Line with some kind of terrifying warty skin condition, which was not his fault but which did nothing to lessen the surrealism. And at North and Wood, a young barefoot man was wandering around looking just generally kind of insane, doing a sort of aggressive stumble-shuffle and weaving all over the sidewalk, and when he turned around I could see that he had two GIANT firecrackers sticking out of his back pockets. I kept a respectful distance.

There is a flyer for Barack Obama where his face is sort of floating in the background (unfortunately I have not been able to find it online), and I think he is supposed to be in mid-oration but to me it looks more like mid-ejaculation, with a half-open slack mouth and really faraway eyes. I think he would make a terrific senator, but ever since I saw this I can't help associating "Barack Obama" with "orgasm face." Also I keep singing "Obama" to the tune of the terrible Toto song "Rosanna." Which is even more unfortunate. If I accidentally conflate the two associations, and start thinking about Barack Obama masturbating to Toto, I may have a nervous breakdown in the voting booth.

---mimi smartypants blessed the rains down in Africa.

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