Wild Animals, Sort of Quickly.

1. A couple of weeks ago we went to Denver to attend Cisco’s uncle’s wedding. It was a real swanky affair, and the food was fantastic. I felt it was my moral obligation to eat as many lamb chops as I could, but don’t worry. I took breaks for truffled fries and prime rib. The low point of the evening was when I walked into the ladies’ room and found that I had large red spots all over my face. I spackled myself with concealer, and luckily the spots faded after a while… allergic reaction? I most sweetly asked Cisco if he might inform me the next time that happened and he said, “Oh sorry, I thought those were… already there.”


2. In other, less exciting Denver happenings, Cisco found some dude’s World Series something-or-other schmancy ring in the men’s restroom, and I saw a bear (tracks). See?

Just so you know, my foot is huge, so that’s a really big bear. Cisco thinks it’s a horse print, but have you ever seen a horse with claws? And don’t even ask where I got my shoes. You can’t afford them.

Here’s the ring, because Cisco would want you to know that it was FOR REAL.

He didn’t keep it. He just took pictures of it on the bathroom counter, and then some guy got all weird and said he’d give it back to its owner.

2. The day before the wedding, we drove up to Rocky Mountain National Park. Photos don’t do it justice, but it was spectacularly beautiful. Also cold. Also, we got altitude sickness up there at the top. I found myself desperately wanting to take a nap on the gift shop floor. It was the best day of our trip, though, and I wish we lived by the mountains.

(Cisco is not an angry person – I think he was just feeling too manly and outdoorsy to smile. He’s probably thinking about how he’s going to kill a wolf with his bare hands.)

3. Things with “the Pet” are escalating. Yesterday Snert came home from school, checked on his ant (the ant is the pet) and, as he ricocheted off the walls exclaimed, “Having a pet is sooooo fun!!!”

Sooooo pathetic.

Maybe Snert was just excited that the ant was still alive, since I had to fess up that no, I hadn’t “checked on it a couple of times” that afternoon. Disgusting negligence. This morning I was instructed to “give it a drink of water”, and this evening Snert was calling it “Buddy” and making noises people make at babies. Cisco tells me it really is time for a dog.

Your MOM is time for a dog.

4. Do you switch out your closets and dressers seasonally? Our closets are tiny, so off-season things have to go in storage bins in the basement. That makes it sound like we have tons of clothes, but we don’t. Our closets really are just that tiny. Anyway this situation means that twice a year I lug three storage bins up two flights of stairs, wash and switch everything out, and lug three storage bins back down the two flights of stairs. Without dying, because I am clumsy (in an adorable, romantic-comedy type of way).

Actually, that’s what is supposed to happen. In reality I lug three storage bins up two flights of stairs, empty everything on to my bed, kind of start to empty drawers into bins but get sidetracked cleaning up dust-antelope herds, and give up ten minutes later when I can’t see for the sneezing. Massive piles get moved from my bed to the lids of bins every evening, and back again the next morning; give-away bags get started and never finished, and Cisco develops a chronic twitch in his right eye.

This can go on for weeks. It’s that time again now, and I’m very confident that I’ll have it finished by Christmas.

5. If you’re a no-dairy or gluten-free weirdo like me, Trader Joe’s is your place. You probably already know that, but in case you don’t they have gluten-free, dairy-free brownie mix, and totally awesome coconut milk ice cream in strawberry and chocolate. I am writing about this out of the generosity of my heart, and not because it’s that time of night where I want to eat my arm off with dessert cravings.

6. My sister gave me an issue of Real Simple magazine, and they had a huge spread on universally flattering make-up. It was mostly useless, since I will not be paying $28 for a tube of lipstick unless it simultaneously tints and waxes my lip for me (um, not that I need it to). There were two brands in there that were affordable, though, so I’m passing them on to you so you can buy them and be beautiful. Apparently Maybelline makes a classic red lipstick called “New York Color Sensational Lipcolor in Red Revival” that doesn’t go all scary pink or orange. Also it has “Magical Anti-Sticking-To-Teeth technology”, which might disappoint you if you’re a high school math teacher.

See that? That was a heartless generalization. My personality doesn’t improve after 9pm. And that bit about not sticking to teeth was a lie. They don’t advertise that.

The other product was an eyeliner by L’Oreal Paris called “Extra Intense Liquid Pencil Eyeliner in Black”, and I don’t care about this subject any more so that’s all I’ll say about that. Both of these products are clearly legit because they have at least seven words in their names.

7. I just went to borrow Cisco’s phone so I can upload pictures, and found him looking very guilty. He refused to tell me what about, but opening up his browser confirmed my worst suspicions:

“You’re now in the process of choosing a dog breed that will suit your lifestyle, personality and requirements…”

I think we need to break up.

Have an awesome weekend, and go see the rest of the Quick Takes at Conversion Diary!


In Which I Compromise

I am not an animal person, and I don’t understand people who are. I see cars all the time with those little family decals on the back window – you know the ones with the parents and the two kids and the baby, and now increasing numbers of dogs? The other day I saw one that had about four dog stickers, and a few cat ones, too. I can’t even. (And that’s not nearly as baffling as the rainbow paw-print decal I saw yesterday – is there a gay dog-rights movement I’m not aware of?) Cisco and Snert have been talking about getting a dog for ages and ages, though. Cisco wants something huge and sheddy, but he knows that’ll never happen, at least not before we live on a farm, so they’ve been pushing for a mid-sized dog. I’ve told them over and over that we can get a dog as soon as they invent one that doesn’t poop. It’s simple, guys.

I grew up with a dog. We had a very sweet Yorkie named Muffin, and she was as good as they get. She didn’t shed, she generally didn’t smell too bad, and she wasn’t yippy. My sister got her either the year I was born or the year after, so for the first twelve or so years of my life Muffin was around. She slept on my bed (ew), and every day when we got home from school we could see her through the windows in the door, making crazed four-foot vertical jumps of happiness. She was a sweet dog, and I really did like her.

Then she got attacked by a Dobermin and, after several hours of struggling, died. I wasn’t crazy about that experience, so I certainly didn’t want to get attached to another dog. I think my Mom always wanted one, though, and she finally got one (a Morkie, I think?) when Snert was almost two. The other nieces and nephews were afraid of the tiny spazzy animal (Clementine could fit in a bathrobe pocket at the beginning), but Snert would sit on the kitchen floor with her, snorting and squealing with joy.

Begrudgingly, I admit that it was pretty cute.

Since then he’s done the best he can with stuffed animals – arranging them into tasteful vignettes and taking photos of them. I did not take this.

So, the dog issue has come up. Ultimately, I’d just rather not have one – they make me feel dirty, and I don’t like the idea of an animal living in my house and rubbing things on places. On the other hand, Snert is an only child and a dog would be a nice companion. It might bring out a softer side or something. Definitely a dirtier side. And I know it would make him happy, and that’s a big deal, right?

Whatever, most of the time I managed not to think about it, until last week. We were driving to school, and out of the blue Snert says, “I wish I had a dog. A black dog with white feet and a white nose and a white tip of his tail.” It was so specific that it kind of broke my heart.

All this build-up is to justify (?) the fact that yesterday we got our first pet. I have mixed feelings about it, but it was time. We still haven’t decided on a name, but Cisco helped Snert get it set up all cozy – food and water and whatnot, a bed. I washed dishes and tried not to think about it too much. I can get used to it, right? I don’t have to feel dirty all the time?

Snert’s thrilled. He was beside himself last night, jumping and shouting, “I’m so excited I finally have a pet!!! A pet flying ant!!!”

I will take that Mother of the Year award now.

Borrowing Children and Music Lately

Quick Takes – here goes.

1. At 5am yesterday morning Cisco’s sister and brother-in-law-who-is-also-my-cousin dropped off three of their kids for a couple of days, while they jet off somewhere tropical called Can-a-da. Snert is slap-happy, but for the rest of us it was a sleepy day, and the early start meant that I was ready for dinner at 4, bedtime at 5:30 and naps all day long. Hallelujah, bed time came at long last, for the kids first and then for us about five minutes later. We got them cozied up on the air mattress, and Cisco read On the Banks of Plum Creek, and then we all said the Rosary, and then two of them were still awake, so we said a bunch of extra prayers at the end (we are so holy, you don’t even know), and then they were still awake so we walked and rocked the littlest until finally she gave up and then are you asleep yet, too?

It’s called bet time with multiple children, Rose. Shock to the system (in a good way).

2. The youngest of the younguns, my niece (let’s give her a nick-name… uh, I’ll call her Monique because that name is awesome and classy and sassy all at the same time, just like her) is three, and she is a peach. She was telling me today about a friend of her mom’s, a lady who “Goes to wehk. And she has a sehvant’s hyte.” That’s “servant’s heart”, if you were wondering. Awesome.

3. Speaking of hytes, Monique has big time stolen Cisco’s. He moved to sit next to her after dinner, and she blushed and coyly draped her arm over his. She played it real cool, but her eyebrows shot up from trying to repress a smile, and Cisco melted into a puddle of cheese all over the floor. It was disgusting.

I wish I could give Cisco a daughter.

4. I just found this song on Cisco’s wish list, and it’s real nice. Watch the video – I love everything about it. I want to go to there and swing on that rope and sing a song and DAMN I wish I could dance. Now that I’m on the subject, let’s quit pretending I actually have anything to Take Quickly, and talk about some of my favorite music. Here’s another one that feels like Friday. Even though he says something about Mondaaaaaay and Tuesdaaaaaay in it. It’s mellow.

5. I don’t know why this song is on my wish list, except that I put it there. It feels like Friday to me too, though, what ever that means. I love a good beat. Speaking of a good beat, this song is really stupid but fun – and just so you know it has a couple of bad words in it, but that’s ok (?) because it’s one of the best uses of bad words I’ve heard. Just whatever, don’t let your kids listen to it. Geez.

6. I love this song – don’t know why really, except that I first heard it in the movie Ghost Town, which I also love and you should see. Great home-date movie. And here’s a new 0ne – from Hugh Laurie’s new album. I grew up on Jeeves and Wooster, which is infinitely better than House, so if you haven’t yet you should give Hugh a try. He’s a dude.

7. R-r-r-random. Let’s wrap this up. This is one of my favorite Wilco songs. This was all rather thin today, but I can’t care. I leave you with Flight of the Conchords, because they never get old to me. Have a blessed weekend!

In Which “Body Talk” Confounds Me

So, it’s been a while. I would have written sooner, but I only wanted to say bitchy things. Today is a new day, though! The sun is shining, my hair is greasy, my oatmeal was funky, and Snert is happily entertained by cousins. Conditions are perfect. (Please tell me you know that line, or do I need to link to this video AGAIN?)

I just overheard Snert’s cousin ask him, “Do you know what pwegnant means?”

“Yeah, it means you’re about to have a baby,” Snert answers. (You might wonder how he knows that when he’s never seen me pregnant, but everyone we know is pregnant 100% of the time. Oh shoot, I guess the bitchy isn’t totally out of my system.)

“Yeah, and then she POOPS the baby out! Ha ha ha,” snickers the cousin.

“Yeah, she POOPS the baby out and flushes it down the toilet… ha ha ha!” Snert answers. He has no idea what he’s talking about, but he’s always been one to up the ante.

I crept down the hall, wondering at what point I’m supposed to put a stop to it all, and what on earth I’m supposed to say when I do. Is this typical boy potty humor? Is it a big deal?

“This is funny… hee hee hee,” laughs Little Girl cousin. I can tell by her voice that she’s having the same reaction I am. It’s part funny, part disturbing, part probably-shouldn’t-be-talked-about, and part “isn’t that kind of true?”.

Having grown up a prude, these are situations I don’t navigate easily. I didn’t say the names of certain body parts until well into my twenties, and it took serious thought and effort on my part to use anatomical terminology with Snert, instead of calling his business his “shooter” or his “P” or his… business. To this day I have to be careful to examine my thoughts on these things. Sometimes my reaction is the gut reaction I had for so much of my life, the one that says “This is pretty much the WORST thing we could be thinking about or talking about, and forget about doing anything, or you might as well just light yourself on fire. Unless you’re married, then it’s cool…?”

(Nobody actually taught me that in words, but a kid can learn more than you think from what isn’t talked about. So when these special lovely BODY type of situations come up it takes a moment for me to re-direct myself, and remember that that’s not what I believe any more. That’s not what the Church teaches (quite the opposite), and it’s not how I want to live my life.)

I stood outside the doorway for a minute, sifted through my layers (and layers and layers) of thoughts/feelings/experiences on the issue, and determined that the kids weren’t being pervy, they were just being kids, and the joke for them was much more in the repetitive use of the word POOP than anything else. I probably could have just let it go, but I was tired of hearing POOP and so I said “Hey, it’s not polite to talk about POOP, and of course a person doesn’t POOP out a baby, you goofs!”

Poop poop poop.

As soon as it was out of my mouth I froze in terror, realizing that I had just opened the door to the second-most horrifying conversation EVER (the first being, you know). Where Does A Baby Come Out?

I reenacted it for you and edited it to look like something from a horror movie because that’s what it felt like.

That question is so scary that my sister-in-law once told her daughter that babies come out of your belly button. And she’s a nurse. Also, I don’t quite know how the little cousins’ parents are navigating these dicey (I mean BEAUTIFUL) waters. Also, I haven’t had nearly enough coffee for that today. Also auughghghghghg!

Glory hallelujah, there were no follow-up questions, digestive or reproductive. But I want to know, what would you do? Did I play that right? Should I have ignored the whole thing, or given spanks all around (kidding), or what?