look what I can do!

This morning I biked the kids to Aberdeen and back – over one bridge that’s rather hilly, returning on one that’s treacherous traffic-wise. Our destination was the Canned Food Grocery Outlet which, the more you visit, the more awesome it is. Today I didn’t / wouldn’t be buying huge, heavy produce (we took the bus / bike combo for that, yesterday) but I did purchase various shampoos and soaps we’d been almost out of as well as a giant box of cereal my children requested. Then home, stopping by the Farmer’s Market for eggs.

Biking with 80 lbs. of children plus whatever weight the trailer is plus our coats and groceries makes me awesome. The fact that I am listening to the Hot Fuzz soundtrack at full blast on the iPod makes me a geek, but it makes me feel even more awesome as I do it. Check out the visuals (look at whichever makes my feat seem more impressive):

strategems for squatting; "let’s get a taco"

Days ago I pushed for an upstairs “living room” despite an initially uncooperative family (P.S. it worked out well enough, and my brother apologized for his reticence over moving his possessions, which I thought was very sweet of him, and I apologized that our move-in even happened, goddamnit, because I have not enjoyed displacing other people for our own needs). But as many Kelly Plans end up proving, my push for this space was a very smart move. No longer are we living in a two-room hotel situation – we have a whole wing of a house. In the mornings I have a rule that they are not allowed downstairs until I can go with them; I don’t need them all up in the Grampen’s business first thing in the morning. I also ask that we do some room and personal cleanup: making beds, toothbrushing, and (usually) getting dressed – before we descend.

So this morning we go downstairs and as they eat their breakfast I wash the dishes and clean the kitchen counters. Then I send the children upstairs to play while I do “computer stuff”. I know it probably doesn’t make sense to you, dear reader, but writing about my life has become an addiction. I wish I did it more, I wish I did it better. But the point is, it has become important to my own integrity, peace of mind, and whatever “body of work” I am creating to do it as often as I can. And without a space of our own upstairs, I wouldn’t have that ability. They’d be downstairs running amock and my father would be pissed, or maybe that’s just the way he always looks (thirty years and I’m still not sure!).

The children love having their toys here, love having bedrooms and “a living room”, and love having exact places to put our things and it really is possible for me to feel a sense of order and a lack of “cooped up”. Which makes all the difference in the world. P.S. No one except Ralph has truly acknowledged that his work is up and swimming the way it was expected to, and my work is a big cock-up. By “no one” I mean specifically my mom, who considers St. Ralph the most important in the family re: happiness, because he’s a man and because he throws bigger tantrums than me when he’s unhappy so must be mollified at all costs. I’m glad she dotes on him, honestly I am. She only dotes on me less because she thinks I don’t need coddling.

Boring, boring. In other news: today, our first visit to one of the many, many Mexican restaurants here. Guess what HQX has PT didn’t? Fucking chicken tamales. OK, yes PT friends, Rosa’s Mexi-Cart had amazing tamales. Where the fuck was she, ever? And why did they sell out by 10:30 AM every Saturday at the Farmer’s Market? Could you buy a bigger truck? Because all you’re doing, Rosa, is making me get my hopes up for tamales, and then – no tamale.

The food was good at this place and of course, reasonably priced. Even: we ordered just after two tables of four, but got our order first, and I believe this is because it was myself and two ninos. How sweet! My children ate their weight in authentic pinkish refried beans and rice and I grudgingly even let them have some tamale, although the relleno was mine, all mine.

accomplishments that are worth a damn to ME anyway

Tonight I brought the following dinner to a friend who recently had a baby:

  • Chicken salad
  • (chicken marinated in lemon juice, soy, rice vinegar, and sugar, then broiled)
    red-leaf lettuce, cucumber, carrot, baby corn
    sweet sesame dressing

  • Cold sesame noodles
  • Peanut sauce
  • Rooster sauce
  • Satsuma mandarins
  • Two-layer cake with chocolate frosting (my friend’s favorite), all from scratch.

I also made marshmallows and sewed hats.

And no, I don’t work my ass off nor have a messy home nor a rigorously clean one. Nor do I use TV to “babysit” while I do these various activities. I do however have a relatively ordered home, a joy in learning how to care for it, a husband who participates in housecleaning, and children who (more or less) know how to entertain themselves or even assist me in the sewing room or kitchen.

I have found my groove in life, again.

so, I was at a party last night, and I’ve discovered…

… in the world of womankind, the gossip quotient is staggering.

I’m not just talking about the, “Oh my God, did you hear that Betsy…” full-on reporting and back-talking that happens immediately after the poor woman in question is out of sight. I’m talking about the constant realigning and discernment of friends, foes, bitches, and ho’s (is that how you spell “ho” in the plural?”). I’m referring to the morbid interest women show when there is in-fighting amongst girls, especially former friends who used to be tight.

At the party in question I quickly self-segregated into the handful who were intermittently heading upstairs to the pool hall (read: smoking area – hey, I was a Designated Driver and needed some fun). Even though I didn’t make the rounds to everyone there, and had a relatively small number of interactions with different women, I was surprised at how many times attempts were made to seduce me into making or decrying particular alliances. A couple women bitched about a woman not present. One woman threw out a subtle barb referring to a perceived insult I had experienced from a third woman there (I didn’t take the bait, though). A couple women commented on my tank top (not revealing, but tight and busty) in a way that seemed not-altogether-nice. It was sort of like a bunch of cats all sniffing one another. Except everyone was drinking, so a little like cats in heat. Or something.

Now, for the exactly three fellows who read my blog, this isn’t to say I prefer the company of men, or that I believe an all-male get-together to be a more honest, open, and fun event. Hardly. First of all, the incidents where men get together – and do all the organizing themselves – are about once a year. If a man doesn’t enjoy the pasttimes of either A. killing things, or B. golfing, this number is even more drastically reduced. Also, on the flip side of the female’s more vicious inner workings exists a camaraderie, fierce love, and emotional openness that I can’t honestly see a group of men exhibiting (I could be wrong, having no experience there). Part of the package of the intuitive and maternal Goddess is the murderous Kali-bitch who has a string of heads hanging around her neck.

And for the record: no, I’m not interested in back-biting, no matter how tempting; and yeah, I was fine with how tight my shirt was and the resultant boobage and soft-middle that was displayed.