Let’s Do the Time Warp Again

I have been lovingly creating this post for two or three days. It’s taken me so long to post because I seem to be having some issues with my Mac at home and Safari and WordPress. Some combination keeps kicking me offline. Thank goodness we have a PC at home also.

I never thought I would be this grateful for a PC.

X

Instead of spending last Friday with all the future Mrs. Ginas (i.e. the very bunch of funny and cool other bloggin’ Burgh moms), I attended the X show.

It was at the Rex Theater, on the South Side, my old stomping grounds. Walking into that concert was like going to 1996. Except everyone looked 15 years older (go figure). Oh, and instead of dating The Ex (more on that in a moment), I was with my husband of almost-seven years.

Attending the concert (if I can use so high-falutin’ a word to describe seeing the LA punk band from the 1980s) made me feel young. Primarily this was because everyone else around me was obviously older: a lot of gray-haired or balding punk guys, many of whom I was acquainted with (no, not like that) back in the day. The women, including myself, seem to have aged much better.

Although low lighting, make-up, and hair dye may combine to cover a multitude of sins.

I don’t know what I was thinking, but I wore a white shirt with my dark jeans. I stood out just a little bit in that sea of black. I partly attribute that white shirt to a lot of the looks I got that night.

But, if I may take a step away from the modest, self-effacing persona I affect: I also think I looked damn hot. And not just damn hot for a 37-year-old mother of two girls. I was just looking good. It must have been an excellent night for bloggin’ Burgh moms.

X was amazing. If I closed my eyes, I could have easily believed I was hearing them in their heyday. They were tight, they were loud, they played the hits and then some.

With my eyes open, it was a bit of a different experience.

This was my only time to see this band. Guitarist Billy Zoom… let’s say he has an odd stage presence. He stood at the very, very front of the stage, legs spread as far as 60-year-old hips would allow. Sixty-years old, looks about 45, silver-blond pompador and cold blue eyes — Rutger Hauer with a guitar. He smiled and nodded, and winked, and smiled and nodded — honestly I thought maybe he was stoned on something.

But, crikey, he played the hell out of that guitar.

John Doe looked pretty good for a 60-year-old punk bass player. He had great stage presence, too, talking to the crowd, being relevant and funny. Pretty good for a guy whose debut album dropped in 1980.

D.J. Bonebrake looked very good for a 60-year-old punk drummer. Although very, very bald.

Exene Cervenka looked like the creepy psychic from Poltergeist. DearDR actually leaned over and said, “This house is clean” when she walked onstage. The years have not treated her well.


(This is not Exene. This is the Poltergeist lady. May she rest in peace.)

This woman has a child with Viggo Mortensen, people. I don’t know what she’s hitting these days, but she should stop it from hitting her back.


The Ex

The weirdest, most time-warped part of the evening was after the show, when a number of people with whom I spent the most of my time in 1996 spontaneously assembled in front of the Rex. There they were: The Ex (married the same year I was; wife was home making cupcakes); The Drummer Guy (now divorced with three children); E (still a good acquaintance, married — his wife attended the show, too — with a 7-year-old).

And then we went down the street to the place where I drank more beer and spent more time than almost any other place in the years from 1991 to 2000: Dees Cafe.

And the weirdest part of this weird part was how The Ex was raving about how gorgeous I looked, and how I was getting the … love-sexy vibe from him.

The Ex — if I can call a guy I broke up with 10 years ago that — is a good guy. But, in the words of Douglas Adams, “He’s just this guy, you know?”

Ten years ago — well, to be honest, more like eleven years ago — I thought I loved The Ex. We lived together. There were times during that time I figured we were going to get married. There were times during that time I thought I wanted us to get married.

In retrospect, to be perfectly honest, I cannot adequately express how relieved I am that we did not get married.

The Ex is not a bad guy. He did not beat me; he did not cheat on me; he did not bilk me out of a lot (or any) money. Yeah, he smoked pot (I did too back then) and occasionally — like once a year — did heavier drugs (this very behavior was the thing that lead to our first of two break-ups). He was a fantastic cook.

The thing that lead to our second break-up was me figuring out what I wanted in a partner and finally recognizing that The Ex wasn’t it.

I wanted someone who was interested in me. I wanted someone who was interested in my life, my family, my passions. The Ex liked me, he said he loved me, and he never went out of his way to ever hurt me. But he really wasn’t interested in me, in being my partner.

To give you an example, here’s a conversation we had at one point when we were living together. The Ex was talking about buying a house. How much he wanted to own his own house. The type of house he wanted to buy, and where, and what he would do to it.

Me: So, would I be living in this house with you?
Ex: Well, yeah, if you wanted to.
Me:…. Well, do you want me to?
Ex: I would be happy if you lived in a house with me.
Me: I wouldn’t live in a house that you owned as your girlfriend.
Ex: …

Yeah, that’s kind of how it was. If I wanted to do what he was doing, he was perfectly content. If I wanted him to do something I wanted to do (i.e. attend one of my cousins’ weddings, go to one of my poetry readings) there were problems. Big problems. When I finally wised up and realized that he was not interested in a life together, I dumped him. Literally, almost, as I had to drive him, at 3 a.m., from the hotel at which we were staying (out by the airport) after my brother’s wedding back to his car (on the South Side).

My last words on that night were not very nice. There were two. One started with F. Do the math.

That was ten years ago. I didn’t talk to him for a long time. I had zero interest in being his friend, in seeing him at all really (I could tell that story about walking into the Big Bird on the South Side about a month after our break-up and seeing him in line with a big-boobed girl and what that did to my body, which felt simultaneously feverish-hot and ice-cold, and how I almost walked out, but figured I was going to have to deal with catching sight of him, and went ahead and did my shopping).

But now we see each other in social settings. He and DearDR occasionally play poker together. His wife is very funny (and chesty!), and pretty, and — I get the sense although I don’t know her well — can be sweet. He has a huge “crush” on Monkey, which cracks me up.

But it’s always weird because there comes a time in the night when we are saying good-bye, and he gives me a hug, and murmurs “I love you” in my ear, and I’m like, “Me too” because what the hell else am I supposed to say. Friday was one of those nights. His wife wasn’t around; he was kind of feeling me up with his eyes and going on about how great I looked (and I did look great, did I mention), and how lucky DearDR is (damn skippy) and when he sat down next to me in a booth at Dee’s he muttered something about not throwing me out of bed for eating crackers.

Yeah, so, that was my Friday night last week. The band rocked.

The time warp was weird.

Blogging Dilemma

I am having a deep dilemma. (In so far as blogging dilemmas go, anyhow.)

I really want to write about the X show, and my unique experience of it.

I want to write about what it was like to suddenly be in 1996 again, only this time with my husband, and the knowledge that I had to get up early the next day to take care of my kids.

But it is the Wednesday* after a long weekend, and somehow these things have lost their immediacy.

You may think that I would have had the opportunity, over the long weekend, to actually write about these things. Clearly, this is not the case.

The weekend was very busy. I have to say, it was a good one.

Friday night, for all of its attendant strangeness, was great fun.

Saturday, I bought my herbs, and two tomato plants, and I managed to get them repotted, even with my 3-year-old helping me.

Sunday I got a lot done, too, although DearDR, for all of his good intentions, did not come close to accomplishing what he set out (to plan) to do. Poor DearDR — his “adventures” this weekend would make a whole blog entry themselves.

Bun said several new words this weekend: eye; bug; boo-boo; eat, also making the sign; “mite-mite” for goodnight; “kay” for okay, and a couple of times something suspiciously like thank you, sounding like “tank-oh”. I think she is trying to say Monkey’s name, too.

Much puddle splashing was accomplished (Bun’s nickname on Monday: Stinky McWetpants), and plant watering, and bubble-blowing, and dancing, and digging in dirt.

And then I still have this back-log of experience of Friday night that will not go away. I am going to have to write about it, although it has little to do with my kids or my experience as a mother, which, ostensibly, this blog is about.

Guess I better get on it.

* I had every intention of downloading video and uploading this post yesterday. But then I got a call from Day Care Lady that Monkey had been crying all day and complaining that her ear hurt. I honestly did not believe her at first — Monkey had been great all weekend, more than great. But a 7 p.m. trip to the pediatrician confirmed her fourth ear infection in five months, with the added bonus of a perforated eardrum. We’ll be seeing an ENT (ear-nose-throat) specialist (and a chiropractor) in the next few weeks to figure out what is next.

Random News & Notes: The Bitchy Edition

Wow, those last 50 things really took it out of me.

Not really. Not very much good — or bad, for that matter — stuff has been going on lately. Just life!

First, the cute news: Bun is on the verge of that language explosion that takes place around now. She occasionally seems to be trying to repeat words (I think I’ve heard attempts at “apple” and “thank you”). “Hi”, “Bye” and “baby” are still the standards. She can find her nose, ears, and feet when asked. She can tell you what a duck says — “kak, kak, kak” in case you wanted to know. She signs “more”, “please”, and sometimes “eat”. I am trying to get her to work “cup” and/or “drink” into the repetoire. Because she’s cranky when she doesn’t get her glass of wine.

I took her to the chiropractor last night. The adjustment went well; Bun didn’t cry at all or squirm too much, and it certainly didn’t take long. Monkey, in the meantime, ran around like a maniac, although I asked her repeatedly to get a book and sit and read, or at least, stop running around. We had to go potty twice, of course, at the top of a flight of stairs. It was exhausting.

But if it helps Bun with the fluid in her ears, I am all for it. Doing the math as I was filling out the paperwork last night, I realized that Bun has taken about 40 doses of antibiotics since February. That seems like a lot to me.

Also cute: Monkey singing “Here Comes the Sun” with the Concert for George CD. DearDR decided to teach it to her. Without fail, when Joe Brown sings, “Little darlin'”, Monkey interjects, “Tadone calls me little darlin’.”

He does indeed, my sweet Monkey. I know why.

In other good news: We are the proud owners (of a big, fat loan for) a 2002 Toyota Camry sedan. Actually, the loan isn’t that bad because we were able to put some money down; the monthly payments are well within the budget.

On the not-so-fabulous side of the equation: DearDR’s car, a 1993 Chevy Lumina, the inspection sticker on which is almost two years out-of-date (yes, I know he could get a ticket. He DID get a ticket) gave up the ghost. To put it in my husband’s words, “No human being should get into that car and drive it out of our driveway ever again.”

All our options for getting a new car pretty much add up to: Go deeper into debt. And take the time to shop for a car. Yesterday. Between this message, DearDR’s long hours, and my continuing mandatory overtime, it’s enough to make our heads explode.

So I’m sending him shopping with his friend Pete and Burgh Baby’s Mom. I’ll get you two the terms. BBM, you won’t be looking at an Audi this time. Think Hyundai. A 2000 vintage.

And I was seriously pressed for time yesterday to get Bun to the chiropractor (for a 6:15 appointment, and I had to cross the Sewickley Bridge), so we went to Burger King.

Now, I know that for many families the occasional trip to a fast-food restaurant is nothing out of the ordinary. But it was Bun’s very first time in a fast-food restaurant; Monkey’s… fourth, I’ll estimate.

The primary reason we don’t go, of course, is that we are vegetarians. The other two reasons are: Supersize Me (seriously funny, but seriously disturbing) and Fast Food Nation (the movie is good, too).

I reconciled myself to the fact that the BK Veggie and fries were probably not 100% meat-free, in the interest of time, and in the interest of not having screaming toddlers on my hands. Practicality won over idealism.

Please don’t judge me too harshly. (Just kiddin’.)

Finally: The Next 50

51. States I have traveled to: Washington (Spokane, Seattle); Oregon (Portland); California (San Francisco, Santa Rosa, Napa & Sonoma — this was all in one trip); Nevada (Las Vegas); (also in one trip, a month-long drive across the country): Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North & South Dakota, Nebraska (just drove through), Iowa, Wisconsin, and so on — there were other states on this trip, obviously, but this is the only time I visited those listed here; Florida; Ohio, several times — Cleveland doesn’t totally suck to visit; Illinois (Chicago); Indiana (Noblesville, Indianapolis); Maryland, several times — I really like Baltimore’s Inner Harbor; New York (NYC); New Jersey (kind of adjacent to our NYC trip); Massachusetts (Boston, Cape Cod); Rhode Island (Providence); Washington, D.C.; West Virginia (just little pop-ins); Kentucky (Louisville — Hi, Laura, remember me??).
52. My favorite book of all time (non-fiction) is The Chicago Manual of Style. DearDR bought the 15th edition for me for Mother’s Day in 2006. No, I did not kick his ass.
53. My favorite movie is Blade Runner (I am partial to the original cut); my second favorite is The Princess Bride. If I had to pick a third, I would be hard-pressed to choose between O Brother Where Art Thou? and the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie.
54. My favorite author is Stephen King. For Mother’s Day this year I went and picked up his new book Duma Key, and read the first three chapters at the bookstore.
55. My favorite Stephen King book is The Stand — either version, abridged or unabridged.
56. Other top authors on my shelves: J. K. Rowling, Margaret Atwood, Susan Cooper, Madeline L’Engle, Guy Gavriel Kay, Neil Gaiman, C. S. Lewis, and Michael Chabon.
57. I am planning to re-read the entire Harry Potter series this summer (2008).
58. I am hoping DearDR will read it, too, and we can discuss it.
59. After all, I have read all of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings books, including The Hobbit.
60. And I have seen all the movies with him, in the theaters, too. DearDR… to say that DearDR is a fan of the Tolkien books is the understatements of all understatements. DearDR, if I would let him get away with it, would become a Tolkien scholar — just like the ones on the Lord of the Rings DVDs extras. DearDR, while watching the movies, can tell you if a character said the lines of dialogue in the books; if not, who did say them; and if not at the moment portrayed in the movie, when in the book.
61. Yes, I married a geek.
62. While we’re on the subject, DearDR better be planning to see all the Narnia movies with me, in the theater. So far, we have seen all the Harry Potters together. Maybe we missed Goblet of Fire in the theaters. I know we missed one.
63. The Narnia books and movies are my Lord of the Rings.
64. And it drives me nuts when we see the Harry Potter movies, and DearDR wants to know if such-and-such is in the book, and when/if such-and-such dies. My invariable response is, “Read the book.”
65. I seem to have gotten off-topic here, which is unusual. Sorry about that. More about me:
66. I used to be much more organized than I am now. It was easier for me to be organized before I got married and had children. Compared to my husband, however, I am the paragon of organization.
67. I am an avid list maker. I make lists daily. Who to call about what, errands to run, bills to pay, what to buy at the store. I can fly without a list, but it’s not pretty.
68. My Pandora stations (and the bands who are on them): Death Cab for Cutie; X; Bob Mould (Husker Du, Sugar); No Doubt; Gnarls Barkley (Red Hot Chili Peppers); Hem (Feist, Lucinda Williams, Madeline Peyroux, Sheryl Crow, Sun Kil Moon, The Innocence Mission); Joseph Arthur (Tori Amos, The Decemberists, John Mayer), Wilco (Fountains of Wayne, Radiohead), and The White Stripes (Green Day, Pixies, The Clash, The Kinks).
69. Bands I have heard on my stations whose albums I would now like to buy (those already listed, of course): The Killers, Black Keys, Sun Kil Moon, Interpol’s most recent, The Breeders most recent.
70. Other tops bands in my collection: Pearl Jam, U2, Beck, Coldplay, Modest Mouse, and The Shins.
71. When I get tired of listening to everything else, I turn to hip-hop, rap, and R&B. My CD collection includes Eminem, Missy Elliot, Outkast, and the Black-Eyed Peas. I don’t have enough!
72. With the comp time I am getting from all this overtime I am putting in, I am going to see Radiohead in Cleveland. DearDR has already offered to baby sit! (Of course, he was offering to baby sit for my brother-in-law-in-law — this is what I call Earthmom’s husband — I just jumped on the offer.)
73. Every summer my family — my whole extended Dad-side of the family — heads to Seven Springs, Pennsylvania, for a few days (some people come for the weekend; some for the week). This is roughly 150 people once you count spouses and children.
74. On my father’s side, I have 17 first cousins. On my mother’s side, I have 10.
75. I am the oldest child in my family. Being firstborn has its privileges — and its hassles.
76. On my mother’s side, I am the oldest grandchild. I beat my closest cousin by five months.
77. On my father’s side, I am on the younger side — my sister is the youngest grandchild. I’m about… 11th or 12th.
78. I have lived alone, in my own apartment. I think everyone should live alone at some point in her/his life. It teaches you to rely on your own resources.
79. I think you should also live with members of the same sex and members of the opposite sex (as roommates only). (That’s not the Catholic in me speaking — well, not completely — it’s experience.) (And while we’re at it, women should always have women friends. You need girlfriends, girlfriend!)
80. I chose special lullabies for my girls. For Monkey, I used to sing “Edelweiss”. For Bun, I picked “The Rainbow Connection”.
81. Now, I usually sing a silly lullaby or two for Monkey (along the lines of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star-io” or “Rock-a-bye Baby-seeta” — her suggestion) and for Bun I usually sing “You Are My Sunshine”.
82. I don’t know if you’re familiar with “You Are My Sunshine”, the real song. It’s not exactly lullaby material (neither is “Rock-a-bye Baby” come to that). We’ve changed (well, DearDR changed) the lyrics of the second verse: “The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping/ I dreamt I held you in my arms/ When I awoke, dear, you were beside me/ And I closed my eyes and smiled.” (If you don’t know, those last two lines are actually: “When I awoke, dear, I was mistaken/ Please don’t take my sunshine away.” It’s really a heartbreaking song.) There, now you’ve had a little lyrical lesson.
83. I am thoroughly addicted to coffee. I drink about four cups every morning.
84. I have given up coffee — once, completely, for Lent. The headache lasted a week.
85. I cut back on caffeine a lot when I was pregnant with Monkey, and cut back a little when I was pregnant with Bun.
86. And I mean, COFFEE. If my stomach could tolerate it, I would drink it black. Not cappuccino, espresso, frappaccino, whipped caramel lattes with sprinkles.
87. Strong coffee. With lots of cream.
88. I have weight issues. Not the usual “I need to lose 5 pounds” weight issues, just the opposite. If I am not careful about what I eat, I will LOSE weight.
89. I know you hate me now.
90. I am still trying to get back up to my goal weight of 130 pounds.
91. It would help if I could fit some weight training into my schedule. Muscle weighs more.
92. I am skinny, but I am out of shape. Every day I try to figure out how to get an exercise routine into my schedule. I haven’t solved it yet. Getting up at 4 a.m. just isn’t going to happen.
93. I am 5-feet, 10-inches tall in my bare feet.
94. I love to wear heels, but they are hell on my lower back.
95. I have worn glasses since I was in 2nd grade.
96. I have worn gas-permeable, rigid contact lenses since I was in 8th grade. While I would like to switch to soft contact lenses, the thought of LASIK terrifies me.
97. Naveen Andrews is my marriage clause. It used to be Hugh Jackman — and could go back to him when the Wolverine movie hits the theaters. (If you don’t know what a marriage clause is, the idea behind it is: You pick a famous person for whom you lust. If you ever get a crack at said person, go for it; no consequences. DearDR’s is usually Mariska Hargitay.)
98. I chipped my right front tooth in half when I was 9 years old. I have had a root canal, and twice undergone “bonding” to repair it. It looks like shit, and I really need to have it capped.
99. When I smile for pictures, I usually keep my lips closed. My mom says this is too bad, because she thinks my smile is my best feature.
100. I have green eyes. I think they are my best feature.

If you have not done this on your blog (or in your journal), I challenge you to do it. See how long it takes! I formally tag all the Burgh Moms out there to do it. I’ll add the links here as I get ’em. Have fun! (If you’ve already done it, and want me to link to it, just let me know.)

My Little Poet

DearDR tells of this conversation he had while in the car with Monkey, on the way home from dinner (I was in the other car, with Bun):

DD (glancing back and seeing Monkey looking out the window): How do you feel?

M: I feel good.

DD: You feel good?

M: Yeah. Like kissed lips.

DD: Did you hear that somewhere?

M: No. I just made it up.

You may commence melting.

The First of Many of “Those” Conversations

I have switched up the girls’ bedtime routine a little bit. Bun wasn’t dropping off right away in any case, and it saves me one up-and-down the stairs trip.

I take them together, now, after our nighttime treat and video. We all pile on my glider for a book (lately it’s been “On the Day You Were Born”, which is beautifully written and illustrated — we’ve read it so many times that I almost don’t cry when we reach the end — oops, off topic here…), then I send Monkey to wait in her room while I sing Bun a lullaby and lay her in her crib.

Then Monkey and I brush our teeth, she goes potty, and I sing two lullabies to her before lots of hugs and kisses for the night.

Last night, Monkey decided to go potty without me, which is not unusual.

What was unusual was the way she was standing in front of the potty with her legs and her, ahem, pudenda pressed up against the bowl.

“What are you doing?” I asked. My bewilderment was already giving away to suspicion that I knew exactly what she was attempting to do.

“I’m standing up to pee,” she replied.

Of course.

“Honey, you can’t stand up to pee. Girls have to sit down.”

“Oh.”

I got her sitting on the potty.

“Do you sit down every time, Mommy?”

“Yes, I do. Girls have to sit down.”

Pause. I knew it was coming:

“Daddy doesn’t sit down every time.”

“No, honey.” It was my turn to pause. How much do I explain now?

“See, honey, daddy has a penis. That’s why he can stand up and pee.”

“Oh.”

That seemed to be the end of the conversation. But I’m sure we’ll have many more like it in the years to come.

What would you/do you/did you tell your daughter?

I am 20 away from 100 things about me. I have definitely hit a block, not only in terms of what else there could be to tell you, but also in terms of time. Way, way short on time. Stress, though? Got that.

The Cuteness Cannot Be Denied

I wish every Saturday was just like this.

If you do not want to reach through the screen to cuddle Bun when she says hi to the camera, your heart is made of cold, hard stone.

My voice is super loud on here, but you should really turn up the volume to hear how cute Monkey sounds.

Sorry about Monkey’s pants. We’re working on it. But if she’s like her mama, she won’t have hips until she actually gives birth.

Happy Mother’s Day

Today, I want to celebrate the articulate moms out there who are able to put into words why we do this — this weird blogging thing that if you don’t get it, you really don’t get it, and if you do get it, you’re a little obsessed by it.

Mommy-blogs have come under some attention (or, if you like, scrutiny) by the media. Here’s my local favorite explaining why we do this on air.

So, here’s to some brave, articulate (again) mommies out there who I love to read, and laugh with, and think, “Oh yeah, I am right there.”

I have gotten away from writing the love letters to my children. I have been very bitchy lately. And since I am just working a lot and short of sleep — and not, say, going through days and days of labor — then I think I will work to stop bitching, and start to write those love letters again. Because like every mother’s children, mine are the most beautiful, most brilliant, most fun (and yes, most maddening) children in the world.

I will be spending the day in a bookstore with a sinfully rich coffee drink of some kind and the most recent Stephen King book. Ironically, sans the kiddos. We are meeting at a chain restaurant for dinner, because no one wants to cook and clean (Earthmom clan and my in-laws, too).

Happy Moms day. Happy mommy blogging.

Mama Called the Doctor and the Doctor Said…

“It’s probably a virus, and there’s nothing much we can do for her.”

Great, thank you. I missed half a day of work for this, which means I have to work half a day on Saturday? Fan-freakin-tastic.

Admittedly, when your 3-year-old starts screaming that her lady business hurts (yes, she knows all the scientific names for everything, she just chooses to use “lady business”, courtesy of DearDR) when she is peeing, you kind of figure something is up. And it’s better to go to the doctor than not.

And now, I’ve got a 3-year-old who seems to have no problem peeing when someone else is in charge, but when I take her, she balks and cries and says it is going to hurt.

The medicine I picked up at the doctor’s suggestion (takes the sting out of peeing; turns urine orangey-red) stains everything bright yellow. It is a pill, see, and I have to crush half of an adult-sized dose, then mix it with some kind of liquid and get the 3-year-old to drink it. That didn’t go over well at all last night, and now I have a bright yellow stain in the middle of my already-not-so-attractive kitchen floor linoleum. And she’s not going to be able to wear that shirt again.

I suppose I could ask her to snort it, but I might be prepping her for a bad habit later.

I am very tired, Internet peeps. And real peeps. And family members. I don’t think I have it any harder or any worse than anyone else — at work, at home, in my extended family. So, while I don’t want to complain, I really want to complain.

I’m tired. My head is splitting. I have been working from 7 a.m. to 4:30 or 5 p.m., Monday through Friday; I have to come to work on Saturday this week.

When I get home, it’s kids and house duty. I can’t get to bed before 10 p.m. even when I need to.

The children have gone to the doctor every month so far this year; some months, we have had to go twice. They have been on nine antibotics between the two of them, and had three viruses (at least).

DearDR works. That is what he does. He works every day, longer hours than I work, and he gets less sleep than I. On Sundays, he makes brunch and cleans the hell out of the kitchen. And, then, often works a little.

I’m tired. And I’ve got five more weeks of overtime to go. Oh, well.

Maybe it’s time to schedule that spa visit (DearDR got me a gift certificate for Christmas).

The First Fifty

Here is the first installment of 100 Things about Me.

I have number 51 written, too. But I am saving it for installment 2. I do not have #52 yet.

Once I get all 100, I will turn them into a page (i.e. “About”).

Thanks! Have fun.

N, you may leave suggestions in the comments.

1. I grew up in Erie, PA.
2. I moved to Pittsburgh when I was 19 years old, in 1990.
3. I lived on the South Side for 15 years before moving to the suburbs.
4. I stopped eating red meat in 1989.
5. I have been a complete vegetarian since 1991.
6. I am raising my two daughters as vegetarians.
7. Yes, I know they will probably eat meat someday.
8. I still smoke cigarettes — when the weather is good, usually one a night.
9. I have quit several times.
10. Although I found it very easy to quit each time I got pregnant, I used to dream about smoking cigarettes and drinking beer.
11. My parents have been married for 38 years. I was a honeymoon baby. Several family members counted the months between my parents’ wedding, and my birth (it’s more than nine, so my mother’s reputation is sterling).
12. I have two younger siblings, one sister, one brother. She is finishing chiropractic school; he is a dermatologist, married, with three sons.
13. I have four nephews and one niece; I have four god-children (only two of which to whom I am blood-related, my oldest nephew and my niece).
14. I am Catholic, and I love my faith. (I still have problems with the Church, per se, but I do truly love my faith. I don’t think this is contradictory at all.)
15. I have wanted to be a writer since I was in fourth grade. My career success varies, but all things considered, aside from being a mom and wife, I consider myself a writer foremost.
16. I am an Aquarius, and I think this is the best star sign.
17. I dabbled in astrology for awhile, and thus I know my moon is in Aries (which explains why I get on so well with N) and my ascendent is in Gemini.
18. I have known my best friend N for 37 years — give or take two months (she is exactly two months younger than I. And she never lets me forget it.)
19. I have known my best friend M since seventh grade.
20. I also have two other friends, A and H, whom I have known since high school.
21. I am still in touch with all of these friends. I wish I saw them all more often. A and I live in the same city — er, near the same city — and it’s still a minor miracle (or, depending how you look at it, a major feat) when we manage to get together.
22. I’m a published poet, nationally even.
23. It all started in sixth grade, when I won a poetry contest for a poem called “Scary Night”. I was, like, 54 out of 100, or something. The weird thing about this poem: It rhymed.
24. I have been published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, City Paper, 5A.M., and The Pittsburgh Quarterly. Among others.
25. For a long while, I was “the” erotic poet of the Pittsburgh poetry scene.
26. I even hosted, with a good friend of mine, The Erotic Salon, a series of discussions about sex and the body in art. It was very cool.
27. It’s been a long time since I wrote what I would consider to be a poem. Sigh.
28. I would like to get an MFA in writing, either poetry or creative non-fiction.
29. I have traveled to Italy (Florence, some villages in Abruzzo, and Rome) and France (Paris). Well, and Canada: Toronto a couple of times, Montreal, and Niagara. My next international trip will be to Ireland — yet to be booked.
30. I took piano lessons for something like 12 years. I recently discovered that although technically I can still read music, I don’t remember the left hand very well. At all.
31. The only song I ever managed to memorize to play on piano was “Send in the Clowns”.
32. I am tone deaf.
33. I used to play the flute, too.
34. I played basketball in 8th grade. We went to the state finals that year. I had very little to do with that, believe me.
35. I played soccer for about 8 years. I was on my high school team my freshman year.
36. Then I discovered my school newspaper.
37. I helped launch the literary magazine at my high school. We called it “she says…”
38. Oh, yeah, I went to an all-girl Catholic high school. The school is no longer all girls.
39. I went to Catholic school for nearly 16 years, counting my education at Duquesne.
40. I was managing editor of my high school newspaper my senior year. My friend A was editor in chief — she beat me out! The faculty advisor explained that while I was a better writer, A was a much better people person. (She still is. Hence, I am a writer, she is a psychologist.)
41. I received the Founder’s Award, a merit-based scholarship to Duquesne University.
42. I had really wanted to go to Boston University, and I was accepted into their journalism program. But they were an expensive school in an expensive city, and I didn’t get any money from them.
44. I was editor in chief of The Duquesne Duke, the student newspaper, in my junior year. It was a pretty big deal.
45. I lived on campus the first three years of my college education.
46. Except in the summers, when I lived on the South Side.
47. I didn’t buy my first car until I was 25 years old. It was a black, 2-door Nissan Sentra. I miss that little car.
48. My first two full-time roommates (i.e. not in an apartment I was subletting for the summer, but one I had actually signed a lease for) were men, Joe and Steve. It was a three bedroom apartment. My mother was still scandalized.
49. I lost my virginity when I was 18 years old.
50. I lived with a boyfriend (the one I drove across the country with; see #51) for about nine months. I walked out on him, although the relationship limped along for another few months. We broke up for good at the hotel after my brother’s wedding.