Sitting on go

I am unacquainted with standing by.

Apparently.

Since I have finished school, I've found myself at kind of a loss. For…well, anything.

I sit at home and listen to the alternate fighting and love of my children. I think of all the things I should be doing – laundry, writing, reading, cleaning. Making things to hang on the walls since they are all presently blank. Also, there is a strange conglomeration of 8-9 nails on the wall above my couch and I spend more time than I care to admit sitting and wondering what could have possibly ever hung there.

 

I've thought about grad school. But…what? What could I do? I'm thirty four damn years old and really I have no more idea of what I want to be when I grow up than I did when I was nine.

I thought about teaching. Praxis testing is expensive. And what happens if I do all that work and find myself in front of however many kids…and then I hate it?

Problem is, I got used to school. I got used to being occupied. I also have the fortune/misfortune of being married to a man who is always on the go, so many nights the kids and I find ourselves at home, existing through the night. I don't mind it, though. I have time to watch King of the Hill, talk about movies and games with Max, play 4,000 games of various substance with Lucy, or decipher Pretty Little Liars with Ava.

Then I think about what I'd want to do, given the chance.

I'd be creative, I'd have a different outlook on every day. I'd solve and make and do and be.

Or I'd be Beyoncé.

Anyway.

Enough. Enough with the thoughts.

 

A machine for everything

My mother in law bought me a sewing machine for Christmas. 

 

This was an excellent gift, given my penchant for fancying myself a creator of cool things. 

I left it in the box for at least three or four days after Christmas, because to be honest….I was terrified. I didn’t know what to do or how to do it.

I got over that. I am my father’s daughter, after all, and no machine was getting the better of me. 

So I have pieced together a few squares for a quilt, and perhaps one day I’ll finish it – I would love to be able to sleep without being accused of stealing covers (Steen, I’m looking at you).

 

 

 

Part 2 of 2…about the catfish

So another movie I watched this past weekend…Catfish.

When I initially watched this movie last year sometime, that title was stupid and made no sense. Eventually it got explained in the movie but I can’t help but think the film would have maybe escaped obscurity if it had a different title.

Consultation services available upon request.

So the movie is about a photographer in NYC who becomes acquainted with a young painting prodigy named Abby, and through her he “meets” her family on Facebook.

Nev, the NYC photographer, who is totally adorable and down to earth, is drawn to the family because they are hip and with it and very…cool, for lack of a better term. He chats with all of them and gets into a pseudo relationship with Abby’s big sister, Meg. Texts and google chats are flying like monkey feces.

SPOILER ALERT:

Abby’s whole family is pretty much complete bullshit, all fabricated by her mom Angela. While Abby does exist, she doesn’t paint. Everyone else is pretty much fictional and the people who are real are not accurately portrayed at all.

This is interesting to me because I’m pretty sure a girl I went to college with is doing the same thing. She has made this entire life for herself, away from everyone who knew her in reality. She has, according to her photos – lost nigh unto 100 pounds and gained not only fashion sense but a completely new bone structure.

The thing is, THIS IS AN ASSTON OF WORK. Profiles. Pictures. Stories to go with the profiles and pictures. The movie chick even had phones for different characters and all sorts of crap.

My thought is…you know, write a book. Put that effort to some use. Creating new lives on Facebook is not exactly lucrative.

Vince Pierce: They used to tank cod from Alaska all the way to China. They’d keep them in vats in the ship. By the time the codfish reached China, the flesh was mush and tasteless. So this guy came up with the idea that if you put these cods in these big vats, put some catfish in with them and the catfish will keep the cod agile. And there are those people who are catfish in life. And they keep you on your toes. They keep you guessing, they keep you thinking, they keep you fresh. And I thank god for the catfish because we would be droll, boring and dull if we didn’t have somebody nipping at our fin. — IMDb Quotes: Catfish (2010 Documentary)


This concludes my series on movies that are interesting.

From beneath the ruins

 

Well hello.

 

In the aftermath of the holiday weekend, I should have lots to say.

 

Ava and Lucy hijacked my iPad and took some pictures.

 

In the weekish that I’ve been silent, things have been good. No news is good news, you know.

 

I’m pretty accustomed to just enduring the holidays. I have just never been a good mingler or family-gathering-goer, which makes me feel bad sometimes because I really do love being around family. I’m just not bubbly or vivacious.

 

Not that I changed that or anything, because I totally didn’t. 

 

But from somewhere in the rattling recesses of my soul, some damn happy bug bit me. 

 

I had so much fun.

 

Josh cooked (best meal ever), we made cookies, the kids were happy with all their loot. 

 

I also got those Tunisian crochet needles I’d hinted oh so subtly for, and a sewing machine. This should be interesting. 

Picture Heavy Hallow’s Eve

I’m not big on Halloween.
It’s not that I don’t like it, I do. I like the mischief and the scaryish moments. It’s that the planning drives me bonkers. And then there’s always this big letdown – months of planning and costumes and tweaking…..and then it’s over. Bags of candy and streaky makeup.

My kids were all about it, though. Understandable.

The other thing is that we’ve actually never lived in a neighborhood, so we don’t have the picturesque doortodoor smiley waving neighbor situation, and so trick or treating entails getting in and out of the car multiple times and rearranging costumes and making sure no friends or relatives miss out on cute costumed kids.

It’s a lot of damn work, and the only candy I get out of it is candy I steal from my kids.

SO NOT WORTH IT.

So we decided to take matters and deal with them creatively.

It was decided that we would buy our own inappropriate amounts of candy, build a bonfire, roast hotdogs, make s’mores, and generally party it up in our own backyard instead of bothering other people for candy we might not even like (there’s always those people who hand out those black and orange wax wrapped…things).

Ava even decided she still wanted to dress up. She was Katy Perry.

At the outset I was a little worried – worried I was stealing memories or some such. I mean, I know I cherish my fall festival memories of sitting on a table at church, manning a game.

But it was awesome. Seriously. Max and Josh were very manly and coordinated the bonfire, and Ava, Lucy and I supervised.

We did some pumpkin bashin’.

Lucy ran and ran and ran.

And as much as I was afraid of warping their childhood memories, I think these are going to be good ones.

This may become a yearly occurrence.

I also ate four s’mores.

Chapter 17

This is a project, people. I’ve talked for 6000 years about writing a book. My problem is that I don’t have a story. Nonfiction, I know – but I like the idea of creating my own world. So I’m going to sprinkle some chapter ideas here and there every week or so.

If we didn’t tell them what we were planning, it wouldn’t cause as much of a problem.

Easier to get forgiveness than permission.

So why was my heart beating all rapid? Why were my palms slick and my deodorant suddenly so fragrant?

Throwing up was not an option, but suddenly I was wistful for the thick gack of muck in the back of my throat. Anything to get rid of this feeling.

My fingers drummed on the upholstery. My eyes focused on the silver of the door he’d come from, so tightly frozen that every blink blistered the image into my retinas.

If we did this, I realized, if we went through with everything we planned, it would never be the same. Our lives would forever be defined by this choice. One shift of the gear into drive and there was no turning back. Well, that’s not true – it was a four hour drive. Then we had to find them, and that was probably not going to be as easy as I hoped.

Also we had to steal the baby.

That could be problematic.

So I guess technically there were plenty of chances for a change of heart.

Can you steal something that belongs to you?
For that matter, can a baby belong to anyone? Isn’t that like slavery or something? People aren’t property. But I made her, she was mine. I wanted her. If I didn’t have her, what was the point?

Of living, of dying, of making another. Eating or breathing. Loving. Skin to skin and eye to eye with another only to be thinking of how much I wished I could trade everything to be someone else. Someone’s mother.

This is what got me so whacked out. Thinking in terms of maybes and could be’s instead of what is and isn’t.

The door opened.

Head down and shoulders hunched, he was coming.

It was happening.

I rocked from the weight shift as he entered the car, smelled the unexplainable smell of him.

This was it. He breathed in and hummed his nerves out onto the dashboard, then turned to me, pulling the sunlight out of my shadow.

It was time.

Recap

I know I use pictures of this tree too much, but it’s so pretty.

So I took a tiny vacation from technology for a few days. There wasn’t a particular reason, other than I got a little overwhelmed about people and things and priorities. It was a good little break. I feel better about where I am and where I’m going.

For Labor Day we ate drunk chicken and drank tea (because good Baptists only use beer for cooking? I don’t know, something like that. It’s been so long since I’ve been a good Baptist that I forget the rules). It rained a whole bunch and now they’re talking floodwaters again.

But the rain? What it did for the weather? This is my favorite, favorite time of year.

In fact I’m going to knit a scarf just because I can.

Sounds like an STD

So, most of you know that I like to…well, craft, for lack of a less corny cheese grandma word.

It soothes me.

I’ve found it’s especially effective at being soothing now that I have so many other things I could stress about.

I’m a selfish crafter, though, for the most part. I make stuff and I really would rather just keep it for myself. Especially the difficult stuff. I mean, sue me, but if I stress over making it I want to wear that shit myself.

So at the risk of boring the pants off all of you, I have to tell you about this project I think I’m going to undertake.

The shawl/scarf/wrap above is called a Clapotis, and if you’ve ever perused the Ravelry discussion groups (knitting message boards, that’s RIGHT), chances are you’ve heard of it since it’s kind of a legend.

It looks fairly simple. Apparently it’s not. Apparently it makes you want to cut a bitch. But then if you survive the whole process of twisting stitches and dropping rows and CUTTING YARN OUT OF YOUR SHIT IN PROGRESS, you have this kickass piece you can wear and be all, “That’s right this is ALL ME.”

It came out as a public pattern in 2004, and I’ve heard tales of it practically the whole time I’ve been a knitter.

I’ve never attempted it because I’m a pansy and it outright scared me. Still does.

But I really want to try to do it. For this fall and winter.

So I’m currently trying to focus and decide on a yarn to use for it (and I know, Dan and Josh are all YOU HAVE SIX THOUSAND POUNDS OF YARN WHY WOULD YOU EVER NEED MORE, but this puppy needs 650 yards at least. I may have lots of yarn but I do NOT have that much of any one kind). When I decide, and once I start, I’m totally telling you about it. I need accountability here. Like a prayer partner to pray to LaQuee the goddess of craft.

So there it is. It’s out there. Now I have to do it.

Not exactly Hoarders

Do you guys use Pinterest?

If not, you should.

It’s like a virtual bulletin/idea/brainstorm board where you can keep track of things you like.

Interiors. Crafts. Foods (oh my GOD people spend SO much time on food! Bento, fruit flowers..). Clothes. Outfit ideas. Creative party themes and useful things like that. It’s also a total timesuck, because I look at this cool outfit and that amazing reading nook and ooh this sunroom and then WHAM two hours are gone and my kid is outside smoking.I love this idea. Looking at other people’s creativity. Seeing things people like. Feeling a sense of community in wanting to create things and make things pretty.

The bad thing is, though, that I often come away at a bit of a loss. I believe Moses would refer to it as coveting my neighbor’s ass or something similar (although my neighbors are PaPaw Buck and the invisible lady with the painted mailbox, so really, no worries there).

What I’m saying is I look at these beautiful creations, be they centerpieces, cute jeans with a surprising scarf and bright shoes, or a clever saying painted on a wall, and suddenly my hair feels greasy and my teeth feel dirty and I might as well go put on a bathrobe and a turban and start dipping tobacco because clearly I am a lost cause.

I love the house we live in. I love that these walls house people I care the very most about in the world. I love that my kids can run down the hall and have Dad (x2) and Mom and everyone can all be together. I love that we get two sets of Netflix movies. I love that my kids are growing up knowing that things don’t have to be normal to be perfect.

What I don’t love is the fact that we’re all kind of slobby. We all keep things we should probably toss. I’ve tried every trick in the book – cleaning for 30 minutes a day, throwing something out every time something new is brought in, cleaning obsessively all day.

I suck at it.

And the thing is, my mom was/is the ultimate cleaning banshee. She somehow manages to keep everything looking like Martha Stewart just came for cocoa and even when my 3 kids and my niece and nephew and the dog are all rampant in full force I would have no qualms eating off her floor.

So I kind of feel like a failure before I even begin.

I mean, this is my job, right? To make the home. To have things pretty and fresh and nice.

I’m like everyone else, I go through spurts of mania enthusiasm and things will get clean and organized and I’ll be really proud. Then Dan will make a tuna sandwich and make the whole joint smell like barf or Josh will cook a chef-caliber meal and the kitchen is suddenly filled with pots and pans. Or my kids will, you know, wake up.

So I look at the crisp and pristine loveliness on Pinterest or the living rooms in Facebook albums and I pine.

Well, I alternate between pining and scolding myself for pining.

The answer to this is obvious – just don’t look at it.

But then I get these bursts and I want to make things over – but I am crap at organizing. It totally escapes me. I used to (still do) wish I would wake up one day with a Monica Gellar yen for cleaning and organization, but thus far it hasn’t happened.

I wake up still me.

Still cursing the load of clothes I’ve left in the dryer for three days because I don’t want to put up clothes (PSA: it is not really possible for two adults and a toddler, along with all their clothes and shoes, to neatly share one bedroom and bathroom without some clever apartment type finagling. And I don’t have that. I’m not a finagler.).

Still wondering what to do with all the dog hair.

Still needing to find a system.

Still debating throwing down a paint cloth and just covering up the duck wallpaper.

A girl can dream, right?

Picassoschmasso

Yesterday I spent a lot of time playing with painting programs.

I also changed poopy diapers, washed pissy sheets, did dishes, made cookies and pasta, and played who-can-go-all-day-without-pooping with the dog.

But something tells me you don’t want to hear about that.

Anyway, so have you guys seen what is happening with technology these days? If I had some skills (and a stylus with a point) I could have totally painted a masterful work of art without once getting my fingers (and clothes and all the et cetera that goes along with that) dirty.

As it is, I painted these two…things.

And also, a portrait of Lucy that kind of made her look soulless. Like Chucky but weirder.

Oooh and yesterday the kids and I watched Ernest Scared Stupid.

Now, when I was thirteen or so and I saw that movie, I was scared shitless. Really. I’m not joking. Josh said it scared him too, which is how I know I married the right person.

But my best friend used to have that movie on video or something and while we all consistently got a kick out of Boogerlips and his bumper sandwich, I was apparently the only person who was not only terrified of the whole concept – this stupid redneck looses some demon troll who steals souls (I mean, hello? I live in Mississippi. Stupid rednecks are everywhere, who KNOWS how many stupid demons live in these civil war haunted grounds?) – but also the one scene where the little girl turns over on her bed and that damn troll has been laying beside her. Seriously people, that is the definition of stupid scary and I slept with my back to the wall for years after seeing that. Just thinking about it now gives me the horribles.

However, watching it yesterday in my grown up state, I am confused not only by how stupid I apparently was, but how movies like that ever got past the idea stage. Even my kids were like, “um, Mom, I think I need to go make sure Glory didn’t poop in her crate.”

Because even the possibility of cleaning up chunky bulldog poo is more enticing than Jim Varney and the troll who’s scared of milk (which I never really got the meaning of. The troll is afraid of love or something and so milk = love?).

Anyway, at least I have new painting programs to play with.