Saturday, May 31, 2008
Five has been a time of discoveries: of self, of reality vs. fantasy, of monetary values and property, of physical boundaries. It has been a bit difficult at times to live with, especially with that sassy mouth. The big ideas that lead to big messes. The reluctance to do what is asked, coupled with the annoyance that it hasn't been done. The resurgence of the many questions "why?"
But 5 is still so little. Five still wants snuggles. Five is willing to proudly wear clothes Mama made. And five is still not very self-conscious.
Today, as our groceries were being bagged and Daddy was paying, Sebastian stood by the manager's podium. At first, twirling slowly one arm outstretched, then gaining speed with two robot arms chopping. Then slowing again in preparation to scuttle toward the door, hands clacking like crab claws.
It was so joyous and natural and sweet and ridiculous (and so miraculously not in anyone's way) that all I could do was smile.
Friday, May 30, 2008
The downstairs was only marginally better. The laundry room, bathroom and dining room were livable. But the living room was filthy and disgusting and the kitchen would have to be painted before I would even think about putting my food in it.
It did have a workshop off the kitchen, that if you finished, would be a nice extra space in the future. It had a nice sized yard for a garden and room for the kids. It had plenty of space for our family.
It is right around the corner from us. In the neighborhood I desperately want to leave. And I tried to convince myself that it was different around the corner. There aren't any houses across the street from that house, therefore less neighbors. But there is a weird little trailer type house behind it that I am wary of because there is a heap of trash outside it at all times and I often hear yelling when we walk by. And while the real estate agent and I were standing outside discussing the situation, we could hear someone's phone ringing repeatedly at top volume and some dummy with a sideways cap came running out of the little trailer house and trailing a cloud of cologne, yelling, "Yo! Yo! Yo!" and jumped into a car booming loud music. This is exactly what I am trying to get away from.
So the search continues. There is only one property left that I haven't been inside. It is in the town with the nuclear power plant. And the fire department is right across the street. God help me.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
So, what have we been up to?
- My mother came to visit, and buy me pottery, and take me to the Riverview for dinner and a pomegranate margarita (my favorite!) in anticipation of my birthday this week. Thanks, Mom!
- Yesterday I took the kids over to Lake Spofford, which opened for the season on Monday, and correctly guessed the price of the season pass. I felt good about that. I did not feel so good that we were eaten alive by black flies. We were literally crusted in blood by the time we left. It ain't pretty.
- We swung by a house for sale which looked alright from the outside and had a nice 2 acres, but was a little pricey. I will not actually be viewing it as it turns out the entire kitchen has been gutted (no appliances, no counters, no nothing) and both bathrooms need replacing and the roof needs work.
- We picked up more of our new obsession, rhubarb, from the farm yesterday. We can't get enough of the stuff. It's so yummy! Why did it take me almost 32 years to try it?
- I've made arrangements to go see a house in our neighborhood tomorrow. It has a decent yard and a garage. But it has lead paint and is in our neighborhood, which I would prefer to leave. On the other hand, it is in our price range and is not falling into the ground which is rare for our price range, as you may have noticed.
I think that's it. It's enough anyway. Or it should be. Get off my back!
Sunday, May 25, 2008
We started watching The Wire (finally) and it just reinforces for me that I have a problem. My problem? That I find Baltimore still has this horrible magnetism for me. The seedier the better. Every time we have gone to visit I have been terribly disappointed by the utter yuppification and how it has become just another suburb of DC in some ways. Obviously, I am just not going to the right wrong neighborhoods.
The sight of a boarded up row house brings the sort of wave of nostalgia that most people only have for their favorite bakery or park. I was always attracted to the bad areas in a completely voyeuristic way. I had no desire to live or even walk around them, but I would arrange my driving routes to include as much squalor as possible.
My best/most terrifying trip was through the west side and I accidentally forgot to merge where rt 40 split. I ended up on Pulaski Street stuck at a stoplight. My friend Sakinah and I were more than a little concerned by the crowds of unsavory characters milling around, when we saw a sight I will not soon forget. A prostitute, who was rather on the thick side and wearing black hot pants not ample enough to cover her white granny panties, stepped into the middle of the intersection, legs spread. She took a hearty drag on her cigarette and, throwing her arms out wide, exhaled such a volume of smoke that hung in the humid air, obscuring her and everything else from view. It was a nerve wracking several minutes until we extracted ourselves unscathed, but traumatized and exhilarated, from the area.
I retraced my missteps on more than one occasion, but it never was quite as spectacular as that fateful day. And for now, safely ensconced in bucolic Vermont, I have to watch on DVD what I miss so much. There are projects here. There are raggedy people. There is drug traffic. But it just doesn't get my adrenaline pumping like my dear Charm City.
Friday, May 23, 2008
After a few months of refusing to nap, Dorian has turned into one of those children who just collapses if he sits still for too long at the end of the day.
This blurry picture was taken Tuesday. We went to the farm for our CSA share (with which we discovered the joys of rhubarb for the first time). Amanda arrived with her boys just as we were thinking about leaving. 45 minutes of chaos later, driving home, Dorian succumbs 2 minutes from our house. I roughly, but not too roughly, removed him from the car seat, trying to rouse him, but to no avail. I deposited him on the couch where Jeremy valiantly tried to wake him up an hour later and barely succeeded.
Wednesday, we did nothing very spectacular, but in the evening, as I made dinner, the kids wanted to listen to a French CD we took out of the library. This CD is pretty painful and insidious like all children's music produced with only a Casio and a children's chorus and I fall asleep with the refrain to "Madame L'araignee" on repeat in my brain every night. They, of course, both love this monstrosity and argue over who gets to hold the booklet. I had to tear myself away from the stove every 5 minutes to break up yet another of these arguments. 2 minutes after the last fight, Jeremy walks in saying, "Do you know what's going on out here?" Lord, what now? I think. Is the booklet torn? Did they spill something? No, Dorian is asleep on Sebastian.
I don't think he really wants to go back to napping. I'm not sure I even want it back. But I do think he's super cute all crashed out on the sofa.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
I did not want to use my old picture at all. My hair's a bit shaggy. I'm wearing a button down shirt with a small plaid pattern. I look like (gasp!) a mom. I know that I am a mom, but really, that picture is almost a caricature. I had my hair cut on Friday and felt totally prepared to replace that picture with a new one.
The first picture she took, she said my glasses "made it too dark" so I needed to take them off. I wasn't excited about this because I can't see more than 4 inches in front of my face and I know I look confused and blind without my glasses. She takes the second picture, admonishes me for not smiling, and tells me it will be a couple of minutes.
I would take that mom picture back if I could. I really would. It wasn't the glasses making it too dark, it was the circles completely around my eyes, not just under. Instead of a mom picture, I have the mugshot of a mildly retarded raccoon with a bouffant.
Why did I renew for 4 years?
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
And then, it was yesterday. After a bath time ruckus that we will not be getting Jeremy started on, Sebastian came out of the bathroom declaring that he wished Dorian were not alive and that I should have only had him.
I will, of course, be taking this announcement with a grain of salt as this is the child who repeatedly asks for another brother and a few sisters. I can't say it wasn't sad to hear. But I also can't say that I, as an older sister, didn't wish the same thing on occasion. (Sorry, Jack.)
Sunday, May 18, 2008
- I finally unloaded all that stuff from the big purge and then some. Last weekend, I put the TV and speakers on the street with a "free" sign and they were gone in 5 minutes!
- The peas we planted are emerging. So far, 17 of the 25 plants have visibly sprouted.
- I've finished 2 more sections and started a third on the never-ending blanket..
- I turned in the paperwork and was approved for a mortgage. Now I just have to wait for something good to come on the market.
- I've gotten 3 sunburns so far, so I obviously have managed to get outside and enjoy the weather. I have not, however, been capable of remembering sunscreen. One step at a time.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
What will Dorian and I do with ourselves?!
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Yesterday, as I was being chauffeured to exercise class by a princess, I saw the best sign I've seen in a long time. The jackass who moved here from California, claimed to be committed to the neighborhood (which he calls the "hood" and it boils my blood), said he wanted "to bring a little Berkeley to Brattleboro", started the most ridiculous neighborhood organization ever, and just generally annoyed the shit out of me now has a sign in front of his house reading For Sale By Owner. This proves my theory that he was not so committed as he should be committed.
I was invited to join their listserv despite living on a side street. Then I made them all mad by (gasp!) disagreeing with some of what they were saying. This family moved from CA without ever seeing this house or the street it is on. Had they bothered to visit, they would have known that the street is one of the major arteries in town and that their house is by far the nicest on the street, which everyone knows is not the house to buy. They decide to put up a huge fuss that cars and trucks are actually allowed to, of all things, drive on the street. When I said that I didn't think 10 cars in 10 minutes was an unreasonable number, they said they didn't want people "bringing negativity" to the group and said maybe I shouldn't belong. I told them if they only wanted people who would agree with everything they said, they could go ahead and remove me from the list. They, of course, didn't have the nerve. When I saw that someone else was ranting about how she shouldn't have to leash her dogs and no one at all took issue with that, I was totally done.
And now they are leaving! Though, they will probably only be replaced by another of their ilk, foolish enough to buy a very cute house in the second worst neighborhood in town.
Monday, May 12, 2008
The lights flicker. Everything goes black.
The phone is dead.
The power goes out for a full hour.
Luckily, I have lived to tell the tale, but what timing!
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Overall, it was very funny, but a little out of its time. Christine and I decided that it was sort of 80s-esque. In fact, it reminded me of Baby Boom. The cast was great. I loved the doorman character. And even Steve Martin's role didn't bug me-- mainly because he was limited to very short appearances.
The only slightly annoying thing was the happy ending. The ends were all tied up just a little too neatly. But, it is a comedy, so who cares?
Friday, May 9, 2008
So today I dropped off our application for pre-approval for a mortgage. After giving them every last detail of our financial life as well as the age of my first-born child (I'm pretty sure he's part of our payment for closing costs, so I guess I can't sell him after all), I just had to walk away and hope for the best.
The woman from the mortgage company called this evening and was pleasantly surprised by our lack of debt and outrageously high credit scores and said we were exactly the kind of victims, I mean clients, they were looking for. Apparently, our very modest income didn't totally dissuade her.
Of course, why I am considering looking for a house which will most certainly cost far more than our current rent is a whole other issue.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
S: No, 3.
Dorian: I'm hungry.
M: Daddy and I think 2 is plenty.
D: I have dis? [holds up bag of pretzels]
S: No, it isn't.
M: No, Dorian, it's only 9 o'clock.
S: You need to have 3!
D: I have some chips?
M: We can't have any more babies. No, Dorian, no chips!
S: Why can't you have any more babies? Why?
D: [sobbing] I want some chi-hi-hi-hips!!!
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Monday, May 5, 2008
I'm trying to ignore the fact that they will be gone again 4 months from now. I don't even need to think about that until at least August.
For now, I'm going to focus on the months of RockBand, sleepovers at the party house, and delicious potlucks I have ahead of me.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
First, we drove south on our way to the little town where our B&B was located. We decided we just wanted to get a sandwich or something for lunch and stopped in the larger town along the way. We walked up to a luncheonette, full of people, and discovered that the door was locked. And no one even looked up. Weird. This particular town gives me a bit of the creeps anyway, so I wasn't too surprised. We ended up having a nice Thai lunch and then popping into a couple of stores for some more weirdness. One was playing the worst children's music ever. I have heard a lot of bad kid music in my time, but this was in a class by itself. Like homeschool. Another store featured an Intelevision, the complete selection of games produced for the Atari, and a dude watching South Park. It was time to leave.
We stopped by an historic town, saw the $14 ticket for admission, and headed on ye olde merry way.
After dropping off our bag at the B&B, we headed into Northampton for the evening. We wandered the streets for awhile and then decided to get dinner. Jeremy knew of an Indian restaurant to try, but we didn't know where it was. Too bad you can't find a phone booth with the yellow pages anymore, we said. Then I look down, and there is a brand spanking new copy of the yellow pages on the stoop of a store. We did our research, and found the location only to encounter both a musty and a roach spray smell, so we turned around. And where did we end up? At the burrito shop. Scoff if you must, but the catfish tacos were great, and I still had room for ice cream. We got embroiled in a wedding photo op at the ice cream parlor, and headed to the mall for a movie.
Did you know that Iron Man would be such a big deal? I didn't. I also forgot we weren't in Vermont anymore. I haven't seen that many people in a very long time.
We saw Forgetting Sarah Marshall and loved it. It was grown-up Nick. Good times. And even that horrible doofus Jonah Hill didn't annoy me since they limited him to 30 second increments. And that Mila Kunis is so gorgeous, I don't know how he didn't forget Sarah Marshall instantaneously. That was really my only plot problem.
We woke up this morning to a wonderful breakfast, hit Trader Joe's, and came home to our sweet boys. They definitely seem sweeter after a little distance, let me tell you.
Saturday, May 3, 2008
Keep your fingers crossed that it will be more successful than usual. Our biggest foreseen obstacle will be the Gay Pride parade occuring in the town where we'll be. Will there be parking? Will the restaurants be too crowded? Will Jeremy run off with a fabulous gay man?
I'll be sure to let you know when we get back.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
I walked out of my house this morning without my keys or my wallet. And locked the door behind me.
I did this. Me. The person who, every day for the last 4 years of living here, has been so compulsive about whether or not she has her keys that she will put them in a purse or pocket, check 10 times whether they are actually in there, and still have to touch them while pulling the door closed.
I am not exaggerating. It is a sickness.
And yet today, I not only cured myself of that sickness, but didn't even realize that I didn't have the keys until I was on my way home, 5 hours later (walking, as you may have guessed). Luckily, I had (also foolishly) left the rear exterior and interior door unlocked, so we were able to get in. I definitely would not have wanted to be stuck outside with 2 kids for the next 3 hours until Jeremy arrived home from work.