Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I'm still out here

I know I've been neglectful of this blog -- in fact, of most of my online connections -- for a big chunk of this summer. After finishing my manuscript, I wanted to take a breather from living in front of the computer monitor, and aside from keeping a few magazine queries out there, have been pretty quiet lately. Plus, I wanted to spend as much time as possible with my son, and he pretty much does his best to make it impossible to blog during daytime hours anyway.

Example: While I'm typing this, he is asking about what people believe regarding the Trinity, and how Jesus and God can be the same person, and not. I am trying to explain nuances of different beliefs, but have realized this is futile. So I'm just answering any questions he chooses to ask, and explaining it six-year-old style. His conclusion, thirty seconds ago, went something like this:
"So, they're the same person, sorta, but the parts that make them them are different and separate too?"
"Yeah; you've got it."
"So, it's like when Goku and Vegeta get together to make Gogeta?"
(I'm still trying to figure out how to answer this. But this is representative of how most of our conversations go.)

But, the school year is starting soon (about which I'm simultaneously happy and sad), and I'm stepping up my freelancing, so it's back to our regularly scheduled blogging.

So, to get myself back in the blogging spirit, and a by way of a mini-update on my frame of mind and activities lately:

Five things that make me happy today:
1. David. I gave him Pop Tarts this morning, which earned me the designation "the best mom ever."

2. That I signed up with YouTube at some point (though I didn't remember doing so), prompting it to suggest a whole string of engaging political videos for me this morning to listen to in the background while I was playing around with pictures preparing to get some work done. Now I just have to make sure that 1) I do in fact get work done; and 2) I don't let my husband catch them before he's fully awake, lest we start the day with a nuclear-level debate about whether Bill O'Reilly or Christopher Hitchens is the bigger pompous douchebag.

3. That I had an excuse to watch the movie Happy Feet for the umpteenth time with my son. (Think March of the Penguins, only more exciting, presented sort of as a halftime show. It's a lot more fun than you might think.) Any movie that can channel The Beach Boys; Sinatra; Stevie Wonder -- sung by Pink (!); Bread; Queen; Earth, Wind & Fire; The Beatles; Elvis; The Jackson Five and Salt-n-Pepa ("Let's talk about eggs, baby; let's talk about you and me...") deserves a chance.

4. That my hair color, which I thought yesterday looked basically OK, still looked non-freakish this morning. Plus, I only dyed a small section of my skin, which is fading nicely. On a related note, some lotion that was supposed to give me a "summer glow" but instead made my legs the color of basketballs has also worn off. This is nice, since I'm going to graduation in a few days. I'm not super nervous or conscious of my appearance, but I'd just as soon not look like an Oompa-Loompa the one time a year I see these folks.

5. That maybe someday soon, my husband and I will be looking seriously at moving into a house. We've started looking more seriously now that prices are going down, and even more seriously since our stuff/family has grown to exceed the capacity of our apartment. We bottlenecked in the hallway the other day -- literally got stuck -- and almost in unison decided we need to look for a larger place. The lease runs out in November, and we're determined not to sign on again.

...and Five that bug the living crap out of me:
1. Asswriting. You know what I mean -- the shorts/pants that have words across the butt cheeks. For some reason, there seems to be an invasion of it here lately. There's the usual Juicy (on girls as young as seven, which seems so wrong), and a plethora of others that range from funny to just incomprehensible: Juicy land, Bad Ass, 1892 (So... what? Your butt has a vintage?), Bull Dog (Asswriting for men! At last!), Pink (I don't get it -- the color? the singer? US porn network? Calvinist theologian?), aneteclilpse (goth boy asswriting), Love pink (with a butt-crack space break; apparently it's punctuation now), Love (crack-break) Hate, Lifeguard (on someone who clearly wasn't one), Alo (butt-crack break) ha, Sw (break) im, Hottie, Flirt, and recently, Grrrl (you're not as punk as ya think you are, OK? Especially when you're 10) . It's written, screened on, beaded, rhinestoned, embroidered, .... and how is it good that your butt is "juicy"?

2. In a semi-related item is the weird preoccupation with making kids, even babies, sexual. It long ago stopped being novel enough to be cute; it's just creepy now. I saw bikinis for eight-year-olds in the store the other day. Maybe innocent enough. But then I come home to find an article about high heels for infants. And that evening I get an e-mail advertising something about "painted babies" and "natural beauties" in a photo retouching service. I checked it out and not only is it inferior to what I could do with my own photos, it's the single creepiest thing I've seen in a while. I could rant about this, but others have done it much more eloquently. Just, eww. I'm glad I have a boy.

3. Graduation. This doesn't really belong in the things-that-bug-me category so much as things-that-are-causing-some-stress category. I'm stoked to graduate, for sure (well, stoked to get the degree, I don't much go in for the ceremonies), but I have to read from my manuscript and still haven't settled on a selection, mostly because we're limited to four pages and none of my vignettes are self-contained in less than ten or so. I feel like I need to give a preamble, something like "This really is more interesting than my reading makes it sound; I just chose a less dramatic, though no less exciting, topic for my manuscript." But I think that might be kind of lame.

4. That summer vacation is almost over. Overall, it's been an awesome summer break, but I feel like I haven't taken full advantage of every day with my son. And I even, in my darker moments, feel like I want a few moments all to myself, and then I feel bad for that. I guess any parent worth his or her weight in Pop Tarts would feel this way, but still.

5. Healthy eating. Again, I suppose this belongs in the first list. I've been eating much healthier foods and portions lately, especially since I wrapped up my manuscript and stopped living like one of those Hot Pockets-munching Red Bull-drinking computer nerds you see in movies. But I just baked a fresh batch of brownies and seriously want to eat like half the pan.

That's it for tonight. More posts to come soon (promise). Possible topics include the recent awesomeness of certain people I know, why I would like to hogtie my cat, the day recently my car became a boat and how to change pee-soaked sheets in one's sleep.