Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Well, goddamnit....

I thought I'd be cute and re-format this thing in an easier-to-read format. Disregarding all those annoying little warnings, I did so, and have thusly lost all my links. Fuckity fuck fuck fuck.

The Man gave me some really strong beer a bit ago, so there's no damn hope I'm going to figure all this out tonight. So, really, it's his fault that my web page is in shambles. Please direct your complaints over here.

Whither to post pictures of my children?

Let's get this out of the way. I have the MOST beautiful children. Ever. And I am dying to show them off. Because they are Beautiful. And they are sprung from my loins, and thus I am a success. Thank them, for their attractiveness validates my VERY EXISTENCE.

But I do not want to invite trouble from any crazies out there. (Yeah, you, fucker. What were your Google terms, anyway? "Austin, MILF, station wagon?") However, my research suggests that there's no precedented need for concern.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? I know folks that never post pictures of their kids, and folks that do it all the time.

I'd love to post 'em. 'Cos, truly, you people are MISSING OUT. They're good-looking. Word. Your life is not complete unless you've seen them.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

That last picture?

Was actually about my poker game tonight over t' Adam's house. Tonight could not have sucked more if it were the Great Sucking Holiday "Sucksmas" from Suckyland.

I bet when I shoulda folded, folded when I shoulda bet. Even when I was the dealer - which came really, really early in the evening - I flipped over cards, misdealt, and generally irritated the regular poker players (see Wikipedia entry under "Crack Whores").

Grrrr. I know this is probably not worth blogging about, but if you play enough, it almost becomes a self-esteem thing. And, I'm usually pretty good, as I'm a bald-faced liar. However, tonight I couldn't have even sold my best lie to my mother. (Which is, of course, "No, Mom, I'm not drunk!")

And, this post sucks, too. NO, no, it does. Stop it. I don't want your pity. I'm going to bed before anything cataclysmic happens.

Monday, May 29, 2006

George Bush made me feel this way:

And I was only four. I was just sitting there, imagining his smirking chimp face at the helm of this country, and it HURT ME.

Or, maybe it was that my mother made me go to Penney's after she'd attacked my recalcitrant hair with a curling iron and informed me that it was time to sit still and smile, damn it.

I love her for buying these, though. I had the opportunity to do the same for the Older Girl this year on the second (!) round of school pictures, as she made the most godawful face for them. It was the least I could do for her.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Death and the Maiden, Part II

On the drive out to Hamilton Pool, The Man and I saw a dead deer. He murmured something about it to me so as not to excite the older girl too much. But, it came out later in the day that he and I had, in fact, seen this large, dead, animal, and had failed to alert her.

The Older Girl: "On the way home, will you show it to me?"

Me: "Well, if I see was kind of hard to see, we'll be on a highway and have to go fast, I don't know if I remember exactly where it was, blah blah BS stuff."

TOG: *sigh* "I really hope I get to see it."

Me: "Hmmmm....maybe if you're VERY LUCKY."

That's right, I'm not from Texas

I'm actually from a sensibly mid-sized, middle-class, midwestern city. It's accentless, or at least it's the accent that they train anchormen to use, as it's the most bland and nonthreatening of all. I hear it's a nice place to raise your kids, but I don't remember being all that thrilled about the experience, myself.

After college at my sensible midwestern university, I decided that that town needed to be blown (and not in the good way. Come to think of it, is there a good way?) Having no other acceptable course of action, I applied to various graduate schools, including UT. The University of Illinois offered me a full ride and a stipend, and a job. UT offered me nothing except a vast number of long-haired hippie men and extremely good convertibling weather. So, clearly, the choice was obvious.

Depending on my mood, I could draft extensive lists about either why you SHOULD or SHOULD NOT live in Texas. But, honestly, I'd be lying about having much knowledge of that subject, though I've lived here (jeez) 13 years, now.

Y'see, I believe that Austin floats somewhere above the rest of Texas, and though born of its soul, is somehow separate at heart. I just cannot resolve the fact that the city I love, and chose to call my home, is a part of the state that brought us this heinous mess of a president, this wretch of a governor, and the collective collosal sucking void that is our state government.

And yet, I have to accept the crappy salary that this state offers me. I have to swallow the bullshit about how Tom Craddick and company want to fund the schools on the backs of the poor (e.g. property and sales tax) rather than taxing the folks with the income. I have to look at Rick Perry. I. HAVE. TO. LOOK. AT. RICK. PERRY. People, do you know how hard that is for me? If I ever get close to him, I'm going to muss up his coif. They can't shoot me for that, can they?

Ah...but Austin. Has swimming holes, and Mexican food, and barbecue. It has Central Market, and good music, often for free. There's swimming pool movie parties, the Alamo Drafthouse (which does a recurring Buffy Sing-Along show, with props!) and there is a damned good excuse to drink beer most every weekend. It has the Hill Country right outside it (though the Bush bumper stickers are more prevalent out there; you kind of have to cover your eyes and do the "I CAN'T SEE YOU I CAN'T SEE YOU" thing. That's actually hard to do when you're driving, so take care with that, will you?)

Today we went to Hamilton Pool. I'd never been there. It's about a 40-minute drive away from Austin. (Get there early if you go; they have 75 parking spaces, and your ass will wait until one opens up. At 12:00, we waited about half an hour.) It's a nice, shady grotto - big, beautiful cliffs, a cold, clean swimming hole, and lots of little waterfalls to sit under. I can't believe it's taken me this long to get there...and there are lots of others that are on our list to attend during this, the Summer of Broke. The drive out was spectacular; Hill Country vistas all around, and if you squeeze your eyes just so you can ignore the McMansion kudzu that creeps ever further outside of Austin.

Next up: Krause Springs. And of course, Barton Springs and Deep Eddy are in the mix, too.

Tonight, because it has Austin in it, I love Texas. And tomorrow, Memorial Day. Beer will be consumed, with a dash of bitters due to my anger at this goddamned, Texan, misleader who continues to kill unabated. (And he'd still win this state if he could run again.)

Hey, what do you know, the pendulum shifted again! Damn, I hate this place*!

*That was a joke. Sort of. See, there was this whole post, about how I'm conflicted and all? And that ending statement was a coda, because I didn't have an ending for it? And if I explain it too much then I'm just killing all the humor? You know?

Friday, May 26, 2006

Idol, Shmidol!

That Lost finale? SO good.

Death and the (Six-Year-Old) Maiden

OK, this whole HTML maneuvering thing is starting to come along. Now that I realize that I need to use Firefox, I can see more clearly what to do. I deeply, deeply hate Explorer...and, though I'm a Mac user, Safari irritates me at times, too. (Now, I'll get flaming hate e-mails from the Mac Legions. Stop! Put down the pitchfork! I'm one of you! Though I do use a Dell at work, and it's not so bad most of the time and AIEEEEEE!!!!)

I've started to put up some links, to people whom I like and to other websites of coolness. Bits and pieces, bits and pieces. I know the world is clamoring for the musings of another working mother who used to rock and roll (see here, here, and here for better examples thereof,) so I'll be sure to get on it quickly. No promises, but I'll try to actually keep the damn thing going this time, so that I can justify my friends linking to me...Karla, have at it. I hope not to disappoint your many fans.

This evening in Austin, TX, is dry and windy. You'd like to think that the wind means that a brief thunderstorm might move through, but the radar says there's no damn hope of that. (Fuck you, Jim Spencer! My tomatoes are wilting, and it's NOT EVEN JUNE.) I don't know how we manage to have mosquitos when it doesn't really rain, but they are some hardy strain that appears to birth themselves directly from the cracking cedar planks on my deck. The children look poxed, yet do not seem to care one whit as they dig in the amoeba pit that is surely swimming in that plastic sandbox.

The older girl, a smart yet hyperactive sort, tends to worry (when she is not bursting out of her skin with excitement, which is conservatively about 60% of the time). For more than a year now, she's been obsessed, nay, fascinated, with death. She's the Tom Joad of mortality. If a cat kills a bird, she'll be there. If there's a dead worm on the driveway, she'll be there. She has related in serious detail ALL of the dead things she has found on the playground so far this year.

As she's a really good reader and all, and because she likes the old cartoon, I bought her "Charlotte's Web," my favorite childhood book. (A side note: If you haven't read it in a while, take a look at it again someday. I'd forgotten just how good it is. It's a perfect, small, story.) She does like the story, but tonight, I came into the bedroom and caught her skipping to the end of the story. She was repeating the lines, "She was dying," and "She never moved again" softly to herself. I sat down with her, encouraged her to read the chapter we were actually on, but what she wanted to talk about was:

OC: "Why did Charlotte die?"
Me: "Because it was her time, and everything dies."
OC: "You'll die, I'll die, (younger child) will die, and all my children and (younger child's) children, and their children's children will die. I have the eggs in my body RIGHT NOW that will make children who will die."
Me: "But, they haven't lived yet. You can't worry about death all the time, or you won't have any fun!"
OC: (tears) "Then I need to have a lot of fun and make good choices while I'm still alive."

I held her to sleep, and wondered about the neuroses I have fostered. Is it born, or is it bred? Do other parents of six-year-olds have this problem, or is mine INSANE?

To the pinot grigio. Stat.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

In which Mags drinks, because....

Da na na na, da na na na na na....School's....Out....For...SUMMER!


OK, for ten weeks. But, if you'd like to look at things from the perspective of a mother staying at home with a six-year-old and a two-year-old and little funds with which to pack them into assorted enriching (and yes, distracting) activities, well, then, forever doesn't seem so far away from the truth.

But, I bitch not. I intend to sleep as late as my children will allow me, to splash in pools with reckless abandon, and to push the Austin "free kids' movies" envelope as long as they'll let me in.

(Ah, hell, I was going to try to figure out how to post a link to the Alamo Drafthouse's summer movie program in the text. There were margaritas earlier, did I mention?) The bed beckons, so here's the link, not in cool texty form:

and here's the free movies at South Lamar:

There are plenty of opportunities to take the chillun to the library for fun (?? Oh, yes, I mean DISTRACTING) shows this summer. The schedule is posted thusly here:

But tonight, ah, for tonight...there is only the remnants of the happy hour buzz and the heartburn from too much chips and salsa. And there will be sleep, and no expectation of early morning pushing, prodding, cajoling, or threatening the older girl to kindly light a fire under it, will ya?

See you at the pool, chickens. (I'm the matronly looking one with two kids. Crap.)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Where to begin? Ah, yes, the omnipresent iPod meme...

(Note: I, being of a certain age (36,) and a certain demographic group (you know that horrible stereotype of the two children, marriage, mortgage, soccer games, piano lessons, and an energy-efficient, fiberglass station wagon? That one.), have not actually HAD an iPod up until this week. And it's a second-hand one, 'cause the whole extra $350 for the SWEET 60 gig video-playing I'm-so-sexy-look-at-me-because-with-this-in-my-hand-I-look-25 one is not a reality. Did I mention the two kids? And the mortgage?

And thus I shuffle...

How does the world see you?
"Walking Boss" - The Damnations. Hell yeah.

Will I have a happy life?
"Digga Digga Do" - The Asylum Street Spankers. I digga digga life. Yes I do. "You love me and I love you." Sounds about right. He's pretty goddamn amazing. But he has a tendency to get a big head, so I can't tell him that too much. Stop reading this, honey. I mean, you evil bastard.

What do my friends really think of me?
"Rhyme the Rhyme Well" - The Beastie Boys. They think I have mad hip-hop skills. Or that I curse like a sailor.

What do people secretly think of me?
"Come On Darkness" - Camper Van Beethoven. Absolutely. They think of the darkness at the center of my core. I'm very, very dark. Darkaroony, that's me. Or they think I might run away with David Lowery if he asked. Or if he didn't. He didn't, right?

How can I be happy?
"Hurt" - Johnny Cash. I can be happy if I make you hurt. That's because that's the only thing that's real. Actually, I think it's saying that I can be happy if I strike up a nasty heroin addiction. That's something I've been meaning to explore.

Will I ever have children?
"How Come You Don't Call" - Alycia Keys. The real father of my children? He never calls.

What is some good advice for me?
"Where it's At" - Beck. Bottles and cans, and just clap your hands, and just clap your hands.

How will I be remembered?
"Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!" - Abba. I will be remembered for the greedy, grasping bitch I am.

This thing is freaking psychic. I'm a believer, Mr. Old iPod! You have seen the world, and you are my teacher.

What is my signature dancing song?
"Be Good Or Be Gone" - Buckwheat Zydeco. I really fell in love with the man on our first trip to Louisiana, where he took me cajun and zydeco dancing in tiny little towns near Baton Rouge. The man loves to dance. (You know the guys that won't be the only ones on the dance floor? That's not him.) Listening to this song makes me want to abandon the children and take off with him to undetermined steamy Louisiana backwaters and cut a serious rug.

What do I think my current theme song is?
"Material Girl" - Madonna. Jesus. My iPod is Jesus.

What does everyone else think my theme song is:
"I am a Man of Constant Sorrow." Because I have no friends to help me down.

What song will play at my funeral?
"Baby, Please Come Home" - U2. I hope it works.

What is my day going to be like?
"Pressure Zone" - Beck. Actually, not so much; the school year is ending. I'm boxing and gossiping, that's pretty much it.