Sunday, October 31, 2010

Comment: An Ever So Brief One

Another Halloween has come and gone, and once again, after carefully monitoring and limiting my children's candy intake, I've gone ahead and eaten too many Reese's pumpkins.

Ah, hypocrisy, thy name is adulthood.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Comment: Panda Hair Up the What?!


As alert readers know, I spent most of last week on a cavalcade of fun and admiration, participating in the celebration of my mom and her many achievements in northern climes.

Needless to say, when I got home, the house was a mess.


Let me say this: My husband ROCKS. He is a superhero as far as I am concerned. It is not easy to have the primary caregiver monkey travel when you have little kids, especially on weekdays, when you're supposed to be working more than full time at a demanding job, as he is.

So the fact that I could steal away for nearly four days DURING THE WEEK without repurcussions was HUGE. I just don't get away on my own that much because it's too hard to orchestrate most of the time.

Anyway, naturally, given the circumstances, I expected a mess. So I spent the past couple of days righting the house. I was in a truly workhorse frame of mind as I washed and changed all the sheets, vacuumed, tidied, cleaned, organized and washed every wooden floor and surface in the house. (Tomorrow? The only untamed realms left: The bathrooms. Quake in fear, my friends, quake in fear.)

So I've just been all business today with the housework. Woe betide anyone who gets between me and my mop, sponge or dustrag. (I just accidentally wrote "dustrage" and I think I've just coined a new phrase. Won't my friend and fellow blogger The Solipsist be pleased I have something else to repeat besides AspGap (TM)?)

DUSTRAGE=the irritability that occurs when anyone in your family, or friends, interrupts a cleaning bender

Anyway, fast forward to the evening, after a long bout in the kitchen, de-grossifying it. As my daughter waited for her turn in the bath, I noticed that her adorable bare behind looked a little, well, disturbing. Looked like somebody had trouble wiping.

Oh, how wrong I was. It wasn't poop, it was HAIR. For a split second I thought, this is one early pubescence, and a hirsute one at that! But then I realized it was...synthetic PANDA HAIR.

Yes, my daughter is going out for Halloween as a Panda, the costume having been worn more or less every waking hour since it arrived two weeks ago. And apparently this thing sheds. A lot.

Because she WAS wearing underwear, and yet, there was all this, SPH in her delicate little butt crack.

So disturbing.

Thank goodness for wet wipes.

Tomorrow, she wears shorts AND undies before donning that monstrosity.

But I'll probably still check to make sure it's all clear down there come bedtime.

Such is the glamourous world of parenting.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Question: Did I Just Lose Major Points?

I know I'm not going to get Mother of the Year this time around, but I'm having nagging doubts nonetheless.

Currently, I am a stay-at-home parent who is gradually ramping up part-time work.

Did I have to work today? No.

Was the Halloween costume parade extravaganza at my kids' school today? Yes.

Did I go? No.

I got my hair done. And went grocery shopping. And cleaned the house after a four-day absence which had left it in significant disarray.

Should I have gone?

That's up to me, right? Right?

It just stung a little when my five-year-old said, "I wish you were there, Mom."

I know the kids had a great time, and I'm going to be with them at Halloween. But I feel a teeny tiny bit of guilt that I didn't go, since I could have gone. Are you following this perverse logic?

So do I suck because I didn't seize the opportunity?


But the kids are growing up so fast, and there won't be that many more Halloweens where they will WANT me to be around.

And that stings worst of all.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Comment: Someone Worth Celebrating

Forgive the temporary silence; it was caused by neither seasonal nor hormonal change. (A first?)

I was in Canada watching my Mum win a prestigious award. My sister and I convened and flew together to see her. We cleaned up real nice and behaved ourselves (mostly) and watched her get the accolades she has long deserved.

My mom is my role model; she works in community development with people who almost instantly fall in love with her and allow her into their worlds. She is truly gifted in her ability to listen to someone's story, then write it in a way that others not from their world can understand. She has become a guru in her field. She is outstanding.

So we watched with great pride as she was feted, along with nine other good eggs, none of whom impressed me as much as my mother.

Helping people is so under-appreciated; it was a joy to see someone who truly champions the underdog get public recognition.

I could go on and on. But I think you get the point.

Yay, Mum! (Go Thew!)

I am proud to be her daughter.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Comment: Fear of a Uniformed Guard

Crossing guard, that is.

I am totally intimidated by this city's school crossing guards. I'm serious.

These are the toughest mamas in town.

They're all women, they're solid, uniformed, and they take no shit from anyone. They WILL blow their whistle at you if you're slightly over the stop line. They WILL shout at you if you drive 16mph in a school zone. They WILL wag their fingers, shake their hands, and glare at you with laser-like precision at you if you make ANY mistakes.

They are serious.

When I slowly roll up to a school crossing, I stop. I wait for an acknowledgment of my existence by said crossing guard. I sit, shoulders hunched, pulse quickened, for my instructions. She has all the power. She can stop me anytime she wants! I'm nothing to her, nothing!

I wait for explicit permission before I move an inch.

Because the crossing guard scares me.

Ar first, I thought it was just me.

But then at a gathering of friends the other night, after a couple of glasses of wine, I asked some of my dinner companions about this relatively new phobia of mine. Did they relate?

Both diners agreed that the crossing guards here kick some serious ass. You do NOT want to be on their bad side. They know you, they know approximately where you live, and they WILL find you. Both members of my informal pole were male, by the way.

I don't know what they put on the application forms for this job, but there must be something about being big, tough and scary. I'd never make it as a crossing guard. I'm plenty bossy enough, but I'm too lanky. I don't command a room. And I really don't like standing in traffic.

So all hail the great School Crossing Guards. They truly have the children's (and not your) best interest at heart.

Do NOT piss them off.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Complaint: Middle Age Blows

Are you female, attempting to be fabulous, and forty? Then welcome to Sagtown, population YOU. (The weather here sucks!)

I'm already a multi-year resident, but lately I am feeling the middle aged thing a little too acutely. My recovery time from things like an evening of mild debauchery (few and far between, natch) is getting longer and longer. I'm also more sore (sorer?) after a long run than I was at an equivalent pace as recently as earlier this year.

AND...I've recently taken an interest in my slightly disturbing hormonal fluctuations that might signal something...something CHANGING.

I find the fact that I'm now smack dab in the midst of the perimenopause eligibility period (ha!) to be disconcerting on so many levels. It's not that I mourn my decreasing fertility. It's the mood swings. I mean, it's bad enough to have PMS for thirty years, but you're saying now there's more to come? Come on, body, give a lady a break!

And things are getting, I don't, droopier, everywhere. As referenced earlier, things are just kind of, dropping. I'm seriously considering Spanx. And I really do need a bra, in spite of my petite stature in that realm. Somebody's gotta hold up these girls!

Middle age. Why does it sound worse than old age? Because there isn't the implied wisdom and reverence that, at least in some cultures, is honored. Our society ignores its elders and makes middle aged people feel like fat losers because borderline emaciation and youth rule the world.

It's a strange age to be. You have to make decisions about clothes that "too young" for you. And God forbid you wear clothes that are too OLD for you. There are very few retail outlets that cater to the middle-aged woman who doesn't like flowers or elasticized waists, but is too "mature" for a miniskirt.

Oh how I could go on. But you get my point. They talk about angry old women and angry young women. Don't forget about us angry forty-somethings. We have as much right as anybody, and we've got major hormone changes to back our shit up.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Just too tired to rant at the moment. Subbed today for fourth graders; it was amusing and not totally draining, since it was only for half a day. It reinforces my contention that I require extensive exposure to other people in a social setting, especially as the seasons change. Otherwise, no people no talking no light make Emi something something. *

I like people. I also like reading and sleep, which is where I'm headed now.

*Ten points for knowing that reference.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Complaint and Questions

There's a great song by The Cure, called Never Enough, which pretty much sums up how I'm feeling today. Well, not just today, but in this whole slow and painful re-entry into the workplace; I feel its words in a very significant way.

An excerpt:

however big i ever feel
it's never enough
whatever i do to make it real
it's never enough
in any way i try to speak
it's never enough
never enough
however much i try to speak
it's never enough

Frankly it's the story of my life.

I'm constantly feeling like I'm falling short. And in the workplace, it's all the more challenging, because I feel as though I've had so many tangentially-related jobs that I don't really have so much a career history as a pastiche of interesting and short term jobs. I've been in my marriage for well over a decade, but I've never worked in the same job for longer than three years.

So do I have commitment issues or don't I?

Anyway, we're in a recession; as a teacher, my job prospects suck. As an artist, my job prospects suck. As someone who needs a flexible enough job that I can be home at a moment's notice to care for my kids, my job prospects narrow significantly. I feel like I'm too old to be dabbling, a word I loathe, but one that lurks in my mind against my will. I'm good at more than one thing. How do you parlay that into a career? (Amazon can already hear me coming, twitching my double click "buy now" finger in anticipation.)

Should I go back to school? Again? For what, exactly? Not for more money. For a specific qualification? In what? A well-meaning relative told me I should be a speech language pathologist. I'm not so sure about that.

Do you choose what you love, or what is safe? Can you have it all? No. Can you compromise? God, I hope so. But I've been working at this balance for many years before the major childrearing era and in some ways, not much has changed.

Artists and teachers, especially those of the young, are under-valued and over-worked.

I think I need career counseling.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Comment: Pain=Gain

Have I mentioned I'm taking a meditation class for the first time in my life? Have I mentioned I really like it?

Honestly, it's such a relief to sit still. I'm a hummingbird 24/7, so it's enormously nice to sit and breathe deeply. It's very calming.

Sure, I still have major monkey mind. And for two weeks running I had to pee pretty much the whole time I was there. Tonight, for a change, I didn't have to pee, but my belly was a little more active than I'd wished. If it's not one thing, it's another.

But our teacher tells us that we should zoom in on discomfort (he's more eloquent than that, he did NOT say "zoom") and focus on it, and lo and behold, SOME of the time, it will disappear. He talks about our resistance to pain, and our resentment of pain.

And I thought, you know, when my kids are climbing on me and we bump heads or they elbow me accidentally and I'm in a good mood, I don't find the pain so bad. It's there, then it passes. But when I'm in a lousy mood and somebody marches across my stomach, the bad words and feelings emerge, and the pain lingers.

So I think we're on to something here.

I'm not saying I can control my pain or discomfort. I can't. Right now my ear hurts because I wore a dangly earring today for too long. (Vanity!) But instead of being irritated by it, I just notice that it's hurting, and then I move on.

It's also lovely to be in the presence of someone spiritual whom I do not find to be what I perceive as a whack job. Our teacher, Bhante, is a Buddhist monk who is currently working on his PhD in religious studies. He is calm, kind, and sane. Everybody in the class feels better just being near him. And he has perfect teeth. I don't think that matters in Buddhism, but when he smiles everybody feels happy. And at the end of the sessions, he sings in Pali. It's so cool. He is sensible, rational and helpful. I respect him.

You know, I haven't had a positive spiritual/psychological group experience, like, ever.

So this is very nice.

Even if my ear still does hurt right now.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Comment: Magazine Subscriptions and Dating Careers

Okay, my kids have yet another school fundraiser. Given that we pay through the nose for our children's education there already, we don't have a big problem being a seriously slacker family in the support-the-school-events realm.

Just the other night, there was a big do right down the street from us (No driving! Free booze! Well, it probably wasn't free, nothing is at these things) but we did not attend. And I did not feel guilty.

There is only so much shmoozing a person can do when they're running with a crowd they don't relate to. I'm not saying these other parents aren't nice; I'm sure some are, and some aren't. But it's a rarified kind of crowd, one I feel uncomfortable in; thus, avoidance is by far the best policy. I like a handful of people involved with the school. But I'm not a schooly-rah-rah mom.

So when my kids come home with fundraising things, I mostly ignore them. But then they found my Achilles heel: magazines. Cheap, plentiful, magazines. Magazines for the whole family. We love to read and I love to shop. Bingo. Plus the kids get rewards of some sort for selling one subscription. Now, I'm not going to subject my friends and neighbors to a door-to-door selling campaign. I wouldn't put my kids (or myself) through that. It was bad enough in Quebec in the 80s selling Florida grapefruit and oranges to belligerent or indifferent French Canadians door to door in the dead of winter.

But I did order a few magazines, giving a selling credit to each child, so that they can win their Pavlovian seller bonus prize of a bouncy ball or whatever the hell it is.

It just gets me thinking: we're all so extrinsically driven. We all want to be rewarded for our actions. And I'm the guiltiest one around these days. I shop too much because I'm bored and unfulfilled and I want to feel something. Desperate Housewives, indeed.

But I am working on moving away from this form of reward system. I will soon enough have my state teaching credential; but wherefore art the jobs? I think I have to go back to school (again) and I'm torn between doing what I think will get me a job and what I love. In fact, the two may actually overlap in some areas. I'm pretty sure they can, but I'm going to have to get creative.

Yes, I already have a couple of little teeny tiny jobs; this is great. But it's not enough. I want to be the type of person who can lead an itinerant-style career, which has in truth mostly been a matter of necessity due to frequent moves. But what I REALLY want is to settle down with something. Not settle. Settle down. I want to get married to a career, and stop dating. I want a ring, dammit! There's that materialism again. Argh.

I do want to at least get engaged to a career; I guess that's what going back to school is.

Well. That was quite the journey from magazines to career angst. But this is how the brain works. Mine, anyway.

I wasn't going to post this last night because I thought it was too self-indulgent, but then my dear and smart friend told me, "Hey, it's your blog, people don't have to scroll down if they don't want to" and so, my faithful readers, voila. Thanks, Christy!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Complaint: and Questions, lots of Questions.

I've recently been working at a downtown school, and on my way there, I always have to pass near (but not in front of) anti-abortion picketers at Planned Parenthood.

It's all I can do each time I go by there not to stop and interview the picketers with some of my many questions:

1. Why are you here?
2. What do you hope to achieve?
3. Do you know anyone who's ever had an abortion? Have you ever had an abortion?
4. Do you think it's right to intimidate people who are trying to salvage their own lives? Or get condoms? Or receive low-cost health care?
5. Do you really want to talk about this, or just judge?
6. Do you think a mother should die in childbirth rather than have an abortion?
7. Do you think rape victims should not be allowed to have abortions?
8. How about victims of incest? Have you seen Precious?
9. And why do you think holding up a judgmental sign is going to dissuade someone whose life may well be in jeopardy, be it literally or figuratively, to change their course of action?
10. And do you honestly believe that shaming someone who is already in turmoil is going to make any difference at all?
11. Don't you have something better to do? Go feed the homeless or adopt a kid.

There's a time and a place, people. And picketing a Planned Parenthood is just, well, lame.

Which reminds me of a time several years ago when I was teaching high school in California, and one day there were students (not ours) picketing our high school driveway, with signs depicting graphic images of vacuumed up babies. WTF?!

I can tell you I don't remember anything else about that day except that I was furious. I suppose that makes these pathetic little sign-holders nothing to fuss about.

But still, I'm really tempted to walk over and ask them a few questions.

Because I'm really, really curious.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Comment: Men, Math and Meatloaf

No matter what kind of day you have had, nobody had a better one than the Chilean miners and their families. This is the kind of good news that makes you believe in miracles. Really fantastic. I haven't seen any footage yet, but I know if I do, I'll cry like a baby. It's just such an amazing story. I am so happy those guys got out, and I hope any damage done to their bodies or their psyches is minimal, and will fade fast. Hurrah for everyone who had any part in that incredible rescue. Like so many people around the world, I had been following it week to week, hoping that things would work out the very best. What an ordeal for the people involved.

In other, far less important good news, I completed my second math class. I got an A-! So that's one more set of hoops jumped through.

Finally, and randomly, I have discovered yet another Trader Joe's frozen dinner that ROCKS. Are you ready for this?

Meatloaf Muffins.

No, they're not muffins made out of meatloaf, that would be disgusting! (Or would it?) (Yes, yes it would.)

It's just a little patty of turkey meatloaf, with a dab of spinach on top, then a further layer of fluffy mashed potatoes. It's quite delicious. And the best part?

It's dinner in muffin form!

There you have it: three causes for (varying degrees of) celebration.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Comment: A Meditation on...

I just got back from my second ever meditation class, and boy are my chakras tired! Hyuk. Sorry. There was no mention of chakras. I don't deal in the chakra realm. Just feeling a bit punchy. I mean, honestly, it's the longest I've been still since I got a chest x-ray five and half years ago, while also simultaneously going into labor.

But I digress.

Today we did a loving-kindness meditation. (I just accidentally wrote "mediation", which is a very reasonable slip, if you ask me.) This is the point at which you're supposed to tell yourself that you love yourself as you are, in spite of your flaws, foibles, and stinky feet.

This is not as easy as it sounds.

First of all, saying you love yourself sounds dorky. Or arrogant. But if we remove our grey-colored glasses of cynicism for a minute, it's probably a good idea to be okay with yourself as you are. Not that you couldn't stand to make some improvements. But self-loathing really doesn't do anybody any good.

I found it kind of an intense experience, but not in a college Drama class, cathartic way. It was more of a slightly bittersweet, quiet experience that left me thinking, wow, I need to stop being so hard on myself.

We're all imperfect. Or, rather, as The Buddha said, we are perfect as we are. My teacher tonight told us that what's done is done, and you are living NOW, and though there may be room for improvement, you have the opportunity to do better now, not in the past. What's over is over.

I find that concept extremely challenging. But it's one I'm going to work on.

This whole mindfulness thing is pretty amazing.

Who knew that something that sounds so easy is so hard?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Comment: Happiness

I don't think there's any kind of happiness quite like the one you feel when you see your children deliriously happy themselves.

Today is a banner day. My son had a playdate with his favorite friend, and was positively buzzing with joy as we walked over to her house this morning. And my daughter got to spend a special morning with mom and dad ON HER OWN, and she got hot chocolate and wore a tutu, so she too is happy as a clam.

Before having kids, I never knew I could be so happy just watching someone else's sheer delight.

This is definitely one of the perks of parenthood.

Pinkeye gone, virus on the way out. And now? The laundry, Lord, the laundry!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Comment: Virustown

Not much on the docket this weekend. (Is that how spell docket? What's the origin of that word? I'll have to look that up, unless my friend and fellow blogger, The Solipsist, beats me to it.)

We've got about three different viruses brewing in our house at the moment, including that age-old favorite, pink-eye! Nothing like looking at a crusty and pink eye to make your own start itching like mad. Along with itchy eyes, we have a little fever, a little sluggishness, an urge to sleep, and a couple of headaches spread out over three out of four of us. Tis the season!

This is one of the challenges of both having children, and in working with even smaller children. So many hugs; so many germs.

So goodnight from Petri Dish Central.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Complaint: Damn You, Dress-Down Days!

Okay, so my kids attend a school where there is a dress code. The uniform is simple, and keeps the kids from comparing labels all day, I suppose. The best part is, a uniform cuts down on Daily Dressing Drama.

Are you familiar with this? If you have small children, you are. Actually, if you have children, you are. Actually everybody, really, knows this, from spending time watching a spouse or partner or sibling trash their room trying to find the "right" outfit for the occasion.

So we're really happy with uniforms for our kids. And my son is to the point where he even wears his uniform on the weekends. It's chinos and a polo shirt, it's comfortable, and he appears to be comforted on some level by the predictability and familiarity of said outfit, day after day.

But today there was a "Dress-Down Day". Most kids LOVE this. They can wear whatever they want. Today's theme (yes, there was one) was Denim. (FFS)

My son doesn't wear denim. Really. He has one pair of jeans that languish in his drawer because his mother thinks one day he may wear them after all, even though he hasn't worn jeans since the kind that snaps all they way around the inseam, the better to access a diaper. (Baby jeans are seriously adorable.) And come to think of it, my daughter doesn't even own any jeans. She wears dresses. And skirts. And skorts. And jumpers. And gowns.

So this morning sucked for two reasons: 1. My daughter couldn't DECIDE what to wear. 2. My son couldn't handle the fact that he could wear something different, even though he didn't want to wear it, but he kind of did, because he didn't want to stand out, and yet he didn't want to do what everybody else does. So he sat in front of his dresser for 20 minutes, literally paralyzed by indecision. The poor guy. He just doesn't cope with change of routine very well.

So his dad had to calm him down, and I had to invent the perfect outfit for my daughter, invoking the goddess of outfits to assist me in picking the right one for the day. It worked.

So I just don't like Dress-Down Days. They upset the children. And they're way too much work.

Do you think I should complain to the principal? Perhaps I'll send him a link to this post.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Complaint: More Pseudo-Literary Musing

Still smarting from that Glee episode.

And still in the throes of hormonal imbalance. I thought I was over it, but I found myself yelling at my bacon today. So, guess not.

A little book review: Douglas Coupland, all around cool author, coiner of the term (and writer of the novel) "Generation X", has a new book out called "Generation A."

Naturally, when I saw this in the library, I grabbed it. He's quirky, he's zeitgeisty, and he's Canadian, to boot. What's not to love?

It started out looking moderately interesting: five different hipster young adults in a dystopian, undefined future where bees are extinct and pollination is done by hand, get stung by, simultaneously, by bees. This causes the five protagonists to be whisked away to various places where they are probed and quizzed and drugged, in order to find out the essence, the intangible why, as to they in particular among all others in the world, were stung.

Of course I was reminded of "Super Sad True Love Story", which I mentioned awhile back (I'm too lazy to look up the date. C'mon, I'm GenX.), which was also a novel about disaffected hipsters within a dystopian future. Guess I've got a theme going.

Anyway, Coupland's book chugged along in his inimitable way, but then he had his characters all start telling stories. So he's got stories within the story, and they're violent and, for lack of a better word, dumb. To quote the southern belle who briefly dates Jerry on Seinfeld, "It's all just so much fluff."

It really feels like Coupland needed an excuse to tell these random and bizarre stories, so he plunked them into what seemed a promising sense of a plot. And they just go on. And on.

Frankly, I just got sick of reading these stories. And when I looked ahead in the book, they went on until very, very close to the end of the book.

It's disappointing when a book you really like just falls apart, and you can't even make yourself finish it.

Sorry, Doug; I liked it at first, and I wanted to love it, but I couldn't finish it.

As a typical fellow GenXer, I just couldn't be bothered.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Complaint: A Warning to my Female Readers of a Certain Age

Please Note:

Do NOT watch this week's episode of Glee if you are in the throes of premenstruality.

Unless you have lots of kleenex. Those sentimental bastards.

Now I have to go cheer up by watching What the Buck?! on YouTube.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Complaint: Medusa was Grossly Misunderstood.

You know you're in the grip of extreme PMS when you see conspiracy theories at every turn.

This is where my mood has turned.

Funny thing is, I've had a kick-ass great day. I had coffee with one of my favorite people, went to a an informational interview that got me a job and connected me with a kindred spirit, and I still wasn't late for pick-up at my kids' school.

This was a vast improvement on yesterday, when I gently, ever-so-gently, rear-ended the mom in the Odyssey in front of me at the car line pick-up at school. After apologizing profusely, I went back to my car and sobbed silently. I should have known this was the beginning of hormonal hell.

Anyway, I think you feel the highs and lows even more acutely when you're in this heightened biological state. I had such GREAT day today, and then my daughter was totally in my son's grill while he was trying to do his homework and I finally sent her to her room where she howled for an eternity, it seemed. That kind of soured me. And I just got in the grouch zone big time.

And I noticed that I was more than a little pissed at the woman whose car I bumped because she called her insurance company.

Honestly, that's it.

Of course she called her insurance company. If it was me, I would have done the same.

I guess I would have liked to have talked more to her first, but what, really, would that have achieved?

When you see it in print, it doesn't look like a big deal. She made a phone call. Then I got a phone call. And it will all work out, hopefully without too painful a bump in our premium. End of story. So I needed to drop that storyline, pronto.

Then my husband came downstairs from his office to say he was missing dinner tonight and I totally over-reacted, as if he'd said he was going away for six months on a cruise without me.

This is PMS at its rich, delightful, best.

So I think I'm going to have to really Zen it up and pause before I speak for the next five or six days. And remember that the world is not out to get me. I'm pretty good at that all by myself.

And now, I will go and celebrate the good parts of this day. Which were many.

And Medusa? PMS. Duh. And a bad hair day, but that's another story.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Comment: A Cold Mess

Winter is upon us, and with it, the chills. Not just from viruses, though we know that's coming down the pike. But just plain CHILLS from being outside.

I took a walk today sans gloves (it is, after all, only early October) and I froze my fingers off! Seriously, I feel that sentence merits an exclamation mark. That's how I feel about it, Jake Jarmel be damned!

It took me close to an hour to stop shivering. And I think we're also entering the season when it doesn't matter how your hair looks, because your head will be buried under some form of hat for the next six months, minimum. God, I miss California.

Actually, what I'm really thinking about today is a meditation class I have tonight. It's the first session, and my first ever such class. Ironically, and natch, I am nervous as a bed bug in a four star hotel.

I've been angsting all day about how it will be, who will be there, if I'll be the lamest person there, etc. Crisis of confidence? You betcha.

It seems that I can hum along fine for a period of time, but then I notice that underneath it all, like everyone else, I'm a quivering mass of insecurities. Not very attractive, but there it is.

Anyway, I was reassured today when I spoke to the director of the yoga center where the class is taking place. She said all the right things and talked me off the ledge, because I was SO ready to bail on the whole thing and get into bed and watch 30Rock on Hulu tonight instead.

These yoga people, they're so...calm. And nice. And...friendly.

Makes me feel like I might get something out of this class.

So I'm gearing up for: Neurotic meditation! Uncomfortable positions on random cushions! A sincere desire to not fall on my face! Hope for the human race!

All this, and more, in tomorrow's QCC.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Complaint: Not a Good Idea

As a treat for our brains (and a break on the wallet), my husband has subscribed to The New York Times, weekends only.

This means that Friday we get a scrawny paper, Saturday we get a slim paper, and Sunday, we get a honking enormous paper replete with flyers and little glossy magazines full of 500$ shoes and 50$ edgy cocktail napkins. (Some of the pictures are really pretty. Also, there's a whole section encouraging me to patronize Amazon and get the latest tome by the latest young literary genius.)

But today, it didn't come. It felt a bit Waiting for Godot-ish. Is it here now? Have you seen it yet? How about now? My husband even called the company, but to no avail. They said they'd send it, but they didn't. Very Becketian. (Becketish? Becketarian?)

Anyway, I was forced to hightail it to technology in order to obtain my news, in spite of the fact that I really prefer my news on paper. It seems more real, and it stays in my brain longer.

So as I went to the front page online today, the first thing I saw was about more states allowing concealed guns into bars and restaurants. Take a minute to scan the article, I'll wait.

Okay, What the WHAT?!

How is mixing alcohol and artillery even remotely a sane idea?

Sure, they say the gun-toters have to drink soda, but do you really think that's going to be verified on a regular basis? Will there be breathalyzers at each table next to the mini-jukeboxes?

And what about the waitstaff, who are slogging away for crap pay while in the line of fire of some tipsy, reactionary, paranoid gun-toter who's pissed off at the slow service or lack of maraschino cherries in his daughter's Shirley Temple?

That is, for lack of a more artful term, completely fucked up.

This is yet another reason that this country is in rapid and inexorable decline.

The other reason (though arguably somewhat less dangerous) of late is that double-chicken-double-cheese-double-bacon-no-bun atrocity at Burger King. This artery-clogger is probably even going to fool some ignorant folks into thinking it's healthy because it's all Atkinsy, what with no overt carbs. Good grief.

I'm afraid Gary Shteyngart might be right. About everything.