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Location: Upstate, South Carolina, United States

I think that the Meredith Brooks' song, "Bitch," summarizes me rather nicely. Or, if you prefer, X. dell says I'm a life-smart literary scholar with a low BS tolerance...that also works!

Thursday, March 31, 2005


I found out that my grammar doesn't suffer too badly when I write intoxicated! If you read the previous entry here on blogger, that was written after too much wine. I re-read it just now and thought, WOW, that's coherent! I woke up at 330a with a bad headache, so I know that I drank too much. Either that or I just drank too much without drinking water alongside it. I know better than to do that, but I think I was sitting at the computer while drinking, and I believe it made me lose track of trying to drink my water too.

Obviously, I don't have the kids with me this week. They are at Rob's because Ariana has the week off (spring break) and I don't. I get them back Friday. Alex shows up tonight, and then I'll leave him at the apartment tomorrow so he can work on a paper for one of his business classes. After school, I'll head on over to fetch my babies.

I'm really going to miss Ariana when Jared and I are over in France with Alex (April 30th-May 14th). Unfortunately, she just can't miss any more school so I can't take her with us! Rob will get to take care of Ari and also the cat, Chian. Jared only cares about France = Trains. He now asks me repeatedly, when are we going to France to ride the trains? I shake my head when he inquires about it. I want to correct him: "No, honey, it's when are we going to France to eat chocolate and cheese and drink wine!" Although I think Jared'll be missing out on the wine part. He IS only four after all. I'll have to bring Ariana back some French choccies and a few presents to make up for the fact that she can't be with us.

You know, my cat Chian is a hoot. He weighs....well, about as much as my children do. The boy lives for food. He gets his canned food treat in the morning and this is the highlight of his 13 yr old cat day. When a cat gets older, he or she sleeps and eats. Oh, and occasionally gets up to take a dump. Therefore, since he can sleep at will, food becomes the big focus of the day. Chian obsesses about chicken and meows and circles like a vulture while I cook it. Otherwise, his food issue is that he wants me to wake up and give him his canned food treat.

Basically, this situation means that I wake up early in the am to use the bathroom and MEOW! he's up from his place on my bed, circling me, weaving between my legs, howling excitedly...and then I go back to the bed and you can just HEAR the meow of despair. Sometimes he'll even swat at my ankles and try to STEER me to the kitchen. I think I have the world's only Australian Sheppard Cat because damn, can he ever herd with the best of 'em.

The best part about Chian, however, is that he is child friendly. We're talking this cat puts up with ANYTHING a child dishes out! When he's done being abused, he goes under the bed. But if he's not done being abused and I try to remove him from the situation because I don't want him to get hurt, he runs right back and allows for more fur pulling. For some reason, he just adores little ones.

I fear the day he dies. My kids will NOT take it well, especially Ariana. They already saw a previous cat pass away (Hecate, on Christmas Eve in 2003), and Ari's still upset by it. Jared deals with it by telling me Hecate is NOT dead, she's just lost and she'll come back. I guess life would be a lot easier if every living thing we love could die with us at the same time!


Ok, so let's review the wonderful students of yesterday. Not only did I get to see Brenda, who just plain rocks all on her own, but I also got to see Stephen who has a spare laptop with a wireless internet connection that he can let Alex borrow. Supposedly, he'll come to school with it today so that Alex can use it until A's own laptop is fixed! Alex's motherboard blew on his Toshiba piece of CRAP that the school made the students all buy. In fact, in that same week Severine's Toshiba's motherboard ALSO blew. Holy hell, over half of the students there have had the motherboard blow on their laptops! PIECE OF CRAP I SAY! Anyway, they are out of the part and so it's taking a while to repair. WHY are they out of the part? LET'S REVIEW! If just about every piece o' crap computer of theirs has this part blow out, I should say there's a shortage! Ok, so anyway, Stephen may be able to help out by lending his computer to Alex until either the end of april or whenever the laptop is repaired.

THEN I had a student who works for a really wealthy lawyer mention that he knew I liked wine....and that his boss just handed him $100 bottles of wine for no reason sometimes (or wait, something else he said might mean that his brother is the one working for the lawyer, but I thought it was HIM...hum...oh well, regardless, he gets this wine LOL). The guy is a beer drinker and he admitted he can't tell the difference half the time between crap wine and good wine, but he knows I can, and so would I like one??? SHIT YEAH!

Ok, and so THEN we also had Brit Lit Culture Projects this week, and a lot of the kids brought in medieval or renaissance recipes of food as part of the project. Yum! One of the items brought in was this deer tenderloin that had been marinated and rubbed down with lard (!) as per they'd do in the 13th century. My god was it good! The student who brought in the deer is one I had in 101...who tracked me down for a 102...and then who deliberately signed up for 205 this term only because I was teaching it. So, she loves me. When she saw how nuts I went over the deer tenderloin and I told her I liked to cook but never could get tenderloin to cook (the ex's brother was a hunter but he'd only give me the ground deer, deer sausage, or deer cube steaks...never the tenderloin!), she said, oh god my brother AND my dad hunt. My mom hates fixing deer. You want tenderloin? I'll try and bring you some next week. WOOHOO! Emeril's pecan encrusted tenderloin of venison, here I come!

I must have a big "gimme" sign on my forehead as far as students are concerned. They're always loading me down with stuff, even well after they have had me as a teacher and moved on. I really DO appreciate it though. Most of the time, I appreciate it not just because of the gift itself...but that they thought of me and WANTED to give me something. I guess I'm just sentimental like that.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Brenda's Back!

Some of you may remember my remarkable student, Brenda, from a blog I wrote last December. She was truly an inspiration. She came from the WORST upbringing imaginable, thought herself worthless and unable, tried school...and kicked ass! When I wrote about her before, I didn't know one other detail that I found out later on: her dad used to beat the crap out of her mom. Her mom was very pregnant with Brenda when her dad attacked her mom again, and her mom killed him in self defense. Her mom was acquited of anything due to the self defense, and it was in that environment that Brenda was born. She was told alternately that she was wonderful...and that she was stupid, ugly, and incompetent. My proudest moment as a teacher was when she hugged me at the end of the term and said, "You've taught me what I'm really worth!" Wow. Her family never gave her that encouragement, and she stuck to mine as a replacement. That's why I teach for crap pay.

So today she came into the Writing Center to say hello, and it was all hugs and babbling happy people. As Chuck commented later, "Well, it was a hallmark moment." Haha! Yes it was. And yeah, it was a bit intense...sickeningly sweet really...but Brenda and I were so happy to see each other. She's still at Tech doing nursing, although she had to cut back to two classes because the 1.5 jobs she holds were proving to be too much with four classes and three children. Very understandable. She bought her own house!!!! Her crack addict ex threatened her with a knife, and so he is not allowed around her or their child any more. She is doing so well, though....god I'm so proud....*sniff*

God I love that woman :)

Sunday, March 27, 2005


Oui is French for yes. I entitled this blog after my four year old son, who thinks it's fun to occasionally answer WEEEEEE (translation: OUIIIII) and giggle as he knows it means yes in French.

Well, ok, it's also a nice title for Alex after spending Tue night through this morning with him :) At least, that seems to be my constant answer for him. I keep wondering if I ever will stop being overstimulated by him. I remember the ex...it took nine months before my hormones wound down and I could go a day without sex. It hasn't happened yet with Alex. It's like I'm training him for the sexual olympics or something. No, seriously. The poor boy has been required to go at it more and more per day. This information is probably more than most of you ever wanted to know! LOL oh well. I just thought those things died down over time, not increased. I mean, that's been my experience until now. Hmmm.

So, Easter at the house consisted of the "Easter bunny" visiting and putting out baskets for Alex and the kids. No, Amanda, Alex's basket just had choccy and candy in it...sorry to disappoint! Ari kept begging me to put out a basket for myself because she wanted the Easter bunny to leave me one too. Well, I kept telling her that I had told the Easter bunny it was ok to not leave me a basket this year. Ari would hear none of it. So, when she woke up and spotted her basket, she slapped up a plastic bucket she had from her room. She had taped the word "mom" on a sign onto the bucket. Inside the bucket she gave me a pretty picture, a bead necklace she liked, and some harry potter stickers. Awwww...my kids are just too sweet.

Alex and I spent last night putting jellybeans in plastic eggs and then hiding them in the apartment so that the kids could find 'em in a hunt today. They enjoyed the hunt, enjoyed the candy, and loved the little Easter gifts they received. I really like the family feeling we have when Alex is here with us. Ari must like it, too, because when it was time to take Alex to the bus stop, she begged me to keep him and not let him go back. "Sorry, honey, Alex needs to go back and finish up school so that he can make money because mommy is a TEACHER, and that will never support us!"

We took them to a playground, and it was fun seeing Alex playing with the kids everywhere as if they were his own. I think it's precisely that part of my relationship with Alex that bothers Rob (the ex) the most. When he came to pick up the kids today, he told me that point blank, actually. He said he had adjusted to the part wherein Alex and I were dating, but that he can't stand the part wherein Alex acts as a dad figure to them. We talked about it for a while, but I think it's more than that. He also told me that if I marry again soon, he'll KNOW that it was my feelings towards Alex that made me decide to get the divorce.

Hum. Let's see, it was six months AFTER you smacked me upside my head that I even met Alex online, and it was six months AFTER I said that we would divorce that I met him in person. WTF does Alex have to do with the fact you turned asshole on me? Not a damn thing. Get over it and move on.

Let me tell the whole wedding ring story(ies).

When Rob and I got married in July of 1993, we had matching white gold plain bands. When I was seven, eight months pregnant with Ariana (my eldest), Rob had to go to a solicitor's conference here as that was the days when he was a prosecutor for the state of SC. He, like many of the solicitors, spent the entire time drunk as shit. At midnight one night he was there, he decided to go for a swim while intoxicated beyond belief. His ring fell off into the ocean and he never recovered it. Or at least, that's the story I received. Honestly, I'm afraid to find out if that's actually the truth of it. That was October of 1997.

So, what better thing can you tell a hormonal, very pregnant woman who feels fat and ugly than, honey, I lost the wedding ring? Bah.

This time, I found silver celtic interlace bands, matching, and we had a new set. I put my old ring in a box and put it away, wanting instead to have the matching set. For some reason, having matching rings was very important to me.

Ok, so fast forward to 2000. I was pregnant with Jared and he just...woof...well, that's when it all went crazy. Sometime in December of 2000, right after Jared was born, Rob pulled off his wedding ring to chop wood. He placed it, supposedly, on a log. Then he lost it AGAIN. He tried to hide the fact that he lost it for a month. When he told me, I told him he'd better go hunt it up because I couldn't stand the fact that he had lost yet ANOTHER wedding ring.

I consider the wedding ring symbolic of a lot of things, you see. If a man loses his wedding ring constantly, it's a clear sign of his wish, even though it may be subconscious, to pretend he's not married. When I have girlfriends who pull off their wedding ring so they can just "flirt" or "enjoy pretending being single, god that can't hurt anything," I inwardly shake my head. I know exactly what that means. There's only ONE thing it means, folks: the woman has issues with her husband. Happy women in happy marriages smack men who hit on them...they don't pull off their rings to encourage it. Ok, so with that in mind, and keeping in mind also that we were having hideous problems, I brooded about it for a week. Then...he smacked me at 6a on a weekend, Ari sleeping peacefully, little four week old Jared in my arms, cradled protectively as his palm of his hand connected with the side of my head.

Then it was time for MY ring to disappear.

Now, humorously enough, I was still loaded up on pregnancy weight. I was a good 15 lbs heavier than I was when I bought the ring. You'd have thought that sucker would have been wedged on TIGHT. Nope...suddenly, the second he hit me, my whole body rejected the marriage and hence the ring. That'd be January of 2001 (note to audience: I met Alex online on a geek forum in June 2001, and we didn't even start talking regularly ONLINE until August of 2001. See how little he came into play with the destruction of my marriage???). I would be talking, doing my usual enthusiastic hand gestures to emphasize my point, and WHOOSH, that sucker would fly from my hand as if it were a rock in a catapult. One time, I was at a kid's birthday party and I was talking to the moms, and I commented on something and waved my hand once. Damn, one of the moms ducked as my ring, projectile of death, flung itself from my hand and made a clatter across the hostess' hardwood dining room floor. There was silence in the room. Nobody there knew what was going on in my life, but it was almost as if on that moment, yeah, they knew.

Hell, at that moment, *I* knew.

It bothered me that my body had made this decision to reject the marriage. When Rob asked if I would want to purchase another set of rings, matching, for us so he could TRY AGAIN not to lose the ring, I just looked at him and said, no. I don't want to waste money on rings that will outlast the marriage. He blew me off because he knew how seriously I took the institution of marriage. He figured it was lack of sleep with a newborn that was talking. Heh.

Now, just so you all can follow the timeline here, the next year then entailed me moving out once and coming back to try marriage counseling. That'd happen around September 2001. We went through five, maybe six sessions before that exploded and in January 2002 I announced the end: I'm done. We're getting a divorce. My hand never missed the wedding ring. I had boxed it up that previous January 2001 and placed it next to my first one in storage. You'd have thought for as long as I wore it, my hand might feel naked without it. Nope, my hand felt relieved, just like the rest of me.

Heh, I still remember how bitter and angry I felt about the marriage and the situation when Alex announced that he wanted to come over in June of 2002 to visit me and see America. We had NOTHING going on except friendship, and I was sure as hell going to make sure he understood that was all he would get! LOL! I remember telling him testily on the phone, "Well, you can come to visit as friends, but if you want sex you just stay your ass in France." Poor Alex! haha! He was so embarrassed and reassured me that was NOT why he was coming over. Still, that hand never missed that ring until...well, until recently.

It started around this past December, 2004. I'm almost mortified to post this memory, but here we go anyway. I began to feel my wedding ring finger on my left hand itch and feel naked. I kept feeling like I needed a ring there, which was odd because the divorce papers had been filed and we were waiting on a court date. I wasn't needing it for Rob...I needed it because I had already placed ALEX in that role.


So, yes, Alex means the world to me. And yes, Rob, Alex and I may get married one day not so far in the future. But please don't tell me that he had anything to do with us getting a divorce. You smacking me and calling me a fucking cunt bitch whore and screaming at me on a regular basis had a HELL of a lot more to do with it than that.

We get along great most days--Rob/the ex and I, that is. Today was a good example. He came over to get the kids, and he decided we should all go out to eat for Easter dinner as a little family unit. The kids like that sort of thing since we get along great now and joke and tease and such. Hence, I agreed. We watched some of the NCAA basketball tournament together, watching UK choke to Michigan State in double overtime (bah, M.S. beat Duke last round, screw the bastards, and now they get UK? bah I say!). The kids played around, and we had a nice meal earlier on in the evening together. We chatted about history, politics, our kids, life...just so strange that we get along so well now, really. Maybe that's what delludes him into thinking we could have gotten back together: that now I don't nag at him or get disgusted with him. Well, why should I? He's somebody ELSE'S problem now! I'm not living with him, and as long as he does nothing to hurt my kids or ruin my credit rating, I don't care what he does. I have to remind him periodically things like, "Hon, I wouldn't be so happy around you if we were still married. You've been unemployed for over a year and a half while I struggle to make ends meet for our children, all because you think doing anything other than law is 'beneath you' and you don't have your law license back yet," etc.

Ok, onto another topic: ARG Severine thinks Hershey's is American chocolate! ARG! I sent back a small four piece truffle box from Godiva for her with Alex. THERE. How embarrassing to have a French gal think that Hershey's was the best choccy we had to offer! Ok, this offering should improve her opinion of our chocolate now. Whew.

Also, another item that picks at the back of my brain...talked to Bellybutton tonight briefly. He's having dinner for Easter with his mom. It's really the most remarkable miracle of the world: he now can stand and get along with the woman who beat the holy hell out of him as a child, told him he was a mistake, ragged on him for being a worthless no good piece of shit, etc. It's his mom who has made it so difficult for him to hold onto a relationship with a woman. So we talk, and I told him, my god I can't believe you talk to her and get along with her and all. He said, yeah, I just can't deal with any other women at all, period. I said, well, you get along with me, so I'm the exception, right? And Mr. Smooth Bellybutton replies: I meant mortal women, and you are not mortal...you're an angel. It'd be a line if it weren't Bellybutton. Angel was always his nickname for me and that never faded even after...uh...stuff. Gees. Ok, this episode is brought to you by the letter F, for Fucked Up! I have to feel badly for Bellybutton because I really doubt he'll ever have a normal relationship with a woman. I'm the only one who came close, and he chose to run away from a relationship with me for stellar reasons like, "there's nothing wrong with you, you really ARE like a perfect angel," and, "I would like to kill myself."

Really, folks, I need to stick with Alex 'cause he's the only decent one I've picked out...LOL Well, that and I love him more than I thought I was capable of doing. Uhhh and also he can put up with my redhead's temper quite nicely *coughs sheepishly*

I still have too much grading to do.

And that's MY life in a nutshell! How are YOU? :)

Friday, March 25, 2005

Piss Off You Wanker

You gotta love that English term: piss off you wanker. It's horridly descriptive and gets the point across immediately! Right now I'm directing those thoughts to two different people.

I run an online roleplaying game forum for geeks. Why? Well, glad you asked! Because I AM a geek, I reply! They all know I'm an English teacher. This one jackass on the forum has continually analyzed my posts for spelling errors for the several YEARS I've run the forum. She is the type of person who only feels better about herself if she can put other people down. That way, she feels superior. I am sick of it. I don't want to spellcheck every post before I slap it up just to have her not be able to point out that I have issues spelling daggar (I have always liked to spell it dagger for some unknowable reason). It's my place to relax and have fun, and I don't like how she announces to everybody OOHHH THE ENGLISH TEACHER MISPELLED ANOTHER WORD! If I thought my forum would be published, I'd correct my damn posts. But just like on this blog: if it's not turned in for a grade, I don't check because then the idea of writing is a release. I would like to stab her with several pointy objects right now. I really think that would make me feel MUCH better.

The other person who is pissing me off is my ex. Surprise! I found out that he basically feels that I pressured him into the marriage to begin with. WTF? Anybody who knows me knows I don't pressure men into jack all as related to me. Either they want me, or they don't want me. Pressuring a man into committment means he does it just to not lose you, and then he acts like jerk or in ways you don't want because he's not the one who decided to have the relationship go that way. I guess it just makes him feel better to say something like that, but it makes me angry because it's so different from my personality. Basically, all I DID say was, "Honey, you're a part time pizza deliverer who smokes pot and gets drunk more than half of all nights. I don't think we have compatable life goals. I'm moving home to Tampa with my parents so I can pursue further schooling for the goals I want out of life." That is not a threat of marriage or I walk, eh? But somehow I suppose it makes him feel better if he states that it WAS. His dad is now on wife number FIVE now. My god. FIVE. I can't blame him for being a little wonky about marriage, but I still would have never pressured him into the act. He also stated that marriage was supposed to be for better or for worse, and he was willing to stick it through so he's morally superior, I guess.

Guys, for better or for worse doesn't mean HE gets the better and I get the worse. *snorts*

So, a royal salute! Piss off you wankers! haha!

Ok, so on to other things.

Alex is here for the weekend. I spent the earlier part of my break in Columbia with him, and now I have dragged him back to the Upstate for the weekend. I hate that he has to leave early on Easter, but that's the only time the bus can cart him back. I found out when we were in Target that the Easter bunny never went all out for Alex when he lived in France or England. Sure, the Easter bunny occasionally got him eggs, but nothing like he should have gotten. The Easter bunny and I had a chat, and I believe there will be a basket now left for Alex on Sunday morning. You gotta love how accomodating that Easter bunny is!

Yes, Chuck, I still have a lot to grade. But I don't wanna *whines*.

I made a nice tomato, mozzarrella, and basil salad for later on. It's marinating. Smells good! God I love food. I am thinking of slow cooking some ribs later on today too. Why is it when I have free time, I cook and bake like crazy.

We're having a "that's my son" moment here. Jared is telling me his penis is gone, and then when I gasp and say oh no, he lifts up his nightshirt and says, "THERE IT IS!" hahahaha! Alex and I are laughing over it. Now to teach him not to do that in public...hmm....

Sunday, March 20, 2005

The Ways in Which Women are Stupid

I believe this entry will be an ongoing one.

This entry was inspired by daydreaming. I was counting up how many of my female friends in particular were doing one of the following: a) chasing after inappropriate men; b) in a relationship that clearly should end unless the man shapes up; or c) pining away/still in love with a hopping Penis of a Man.

I've seen men make some lousy choices with women in the past. It's not like this disease is exclusive of the female gender. However, I just see way more women going down these paths than men.

Please also understand that when I write about the above issues, I can also write from personal experience. I'm not saying that I'm so wise and all other women are just fools. Nope! I've been the fool repeatedly in relationships. I feel now that I'm at a good place, and now I write from hindsight. Beautiful thing, hindsight, eh?

1) He's got so much potential!

UG. This man is also known as the "fixer upper." You can't find the man of your dreams, so you find the man who is almost there and plan on doing some work on him. He's smart and funny and chemically attractive to you, so you decide to tweak the rest of the DNA to get the rest of the package. I think I've metioned my mom's words of wisdom on this topic, right? Marry the man you don't want to change! It becomes a more critical issue as you get older. Why spend all this time building your own man when you can wait a year or two, not get your heart broken in the meanwhile while you enjoy your friends and life, and THEN find a man who comes already perfect for YOU (not perfect--no human can manage that one--just perfect for YOU), already pre-made for your convenience!

Sometimes you think you've "fixed" an issue and it crops up again and again, too. That's another reason why you want to make sure you follow my therapist's advice: find a man who does what he does NATURALLY, not because he is trying to impress you. Ladies, one day he'll "get" you, and then the need to impress will go away. If he's naturally a slob but cleans up for you, one day you'll be doing all the cleaning when the glow of that first romance wears off. Trust me on this one. Can people change? Sure! But they don't change fundamental ways of thinking or life philosophy generally. If a person is, at heart, lazy, you won't ever have a man who can keep up with your high energy...if a person is, at heart, a pig, you won't ever have help keeping the house clean...if a person is, at heart, selfish, you won't ever feel like your emotions are any sort of priority.

Note, males: this can also be applied to the women in your life. Or note, lesbians: ditto.

2) Yes, I know he screams at me...but he doesn't hit me!

Oh please. Verbal abuse can be at least as damaging as physical abuse. Some people, when agitated, raise their voices. I'm not talking about raising a voice a bit to show emotion either. I'm talking about screaming. Yelling. Waking the kids up or disturbing the neighbors. No man should be yelling at you unless it's to scream, "GET OUT OF THE WAY BEFORE THAT TRUCK HITS YOU!" Do we understand, ladies? Screaming is unacceptable. Namecalling is unacceptable. Disrespect becomes a pattern.

"But Kira, every guy I ever dated screams when he's mad, you're being unrealistic!"

No, I'm not. My mom said my dad has yelled at her ONCE in almost 45 years. Just once. She told him that she wouldn't put up with it and my dad listened. My brothers never yell at gf's, wives, sig others of any sort. Alex doesn't yell. You can argue and get your point across without being abusive. I swear.

I find a lot of people with this mentality have been abused more severely in a previous relationship so that the current relationship seems great by comparison. Note to women: if male X was a TOTAL asshole, that doesn't mean you have to stay with male Z because he's "just" an ASSHOLE. Are we getting it? Unacceptable behavior is unacceptable. It's not less unacceptable because he doesn't do it that much.

3) We have kids. I have to stay for them.

WAKE UP!!!!! You will do more damage by staying. The result of a woman staying with a man in a bad relationship because he's the father of their children means that the children have the following result: daughters learn to expect the treatment your man gives you, and she will repeat the pattern in her own relationship. Sons see their father act that way and look to him as a model of how to act like a man. He then does the same things to his wife one day. Hell, what interests me a lot is how much one or more of the kids end up hating or ignoring or disliking the jerk who is triggering the uncomfortable situation in the household.

My friend Colin (aka Bellybutton) has thanked me repeatedly for getting out of my situation. His parents didn't divorce until he was 2o or 21. He tried to kill himself four times, has been in and out of therapy, and has been on several antidepressants. He narrows it down to witnessing the hell in his house. He also got to be the scapegoat for all of his mom's frustrations with her relationship with his father. Weeee.

Yes, I know there is conflicting information on how divorce affects children. When I first mentioned to my parents my intent to move out and go on, I got a slew of articles sent to me by my very Catholic mother on how my children would be scarred for life all because I walked out. However, if you see my kids today you'll understand why I know for sure I made the right decision. And now I get to model the EXACT kind of relationship that I hope my kids will have one day with the right man! I know too many people whose parents stayed together too long, and their comments to me were that they wished their parents had split up much earlier. YES, if person A leaves just because she is bored of the relationship, it will horridly affect the children. I'm not talking about that sort of situation. I'm talking about the situation wherein everybody who sees the two of them interact KNOWS they don't belong together.

If you pull off your wedding ring when your husband isn't around, that's a sign you need to leave. Hell, my whole body reacted negatively to my marriage after Rob thwacked my head. I couldn't keep the ring on my hand! Seriously! I would talk and use an Italian hand gesture, and WOOSH that sucker would fling off my hand, become a projectile, and friends would dodge it. Ahhhh the wisdom of my body, telling me what I already knew. Something is obviously wrong if you are trying to pull off your wedding ring, and you're a fool if you think the kids don't pick up on that. Kids pick up on everything.

4) I deserve what is being done to me

I can't help this one. I think I've felt that way a thousand times. It's not just low self-esteem; most of the time, my self-esteem is ok. It's just that sensation you feel when you are treated poorly for a long, long time. You begin to think, well, if I didn't deserve it, he'd treat me differently. No other man would want me...or if a man did, he'd be worse than what I've got.

Who cares if no other man wants you. Being single can totally rock. Buy lots of vibrators and dildos; buy a stepstool; buy a jar opener. There you go. Man-in-a-box without that annoying leave the toilet seat up and the toothpaste cap off feature!

Let me tell you what happens when you have this mentality and you start to date a man who treats you right: you start to stare at him funny and think, my god, I don't deserve this. Why are you so NICE to me? When I first met Alex, I actually had to run off to the bathroom to cry a couple of times because he was so nice to me and I couldn't figure out WHY. For the record, though, now I expect it :D

And you SHOULD expect it. You should expect to treat him like gold, and you should expect to be treated like gold. You deserve it, and so does he (as long as he's doing the same to you he deserves it I mean).

You don't deserve being treated poorly. I don't care how old you are....how ugly you think you are....how bitchy you've been told you are to the point wherein you believe it...how many men you've slept with...you deserve to be pampered and loved. The end. Shake yourself and repeat several times in front of the mirror.

5) He's the only one who understood me/I connected with/who really loved me even though it went away, and now even though he dumped me and moved on....or just moved away...I can't forget him

First of all, there's more than one man out of planet Earth's billions who will understand you and you'll connect with. There are more men who will REALLY love you, and some of those men will REALLY stay with you and not get committment phobic or get scared and run or whatever it is that made him flee.

Second of all, I have a theory on why you can't forget him. Let me play amateur psychologist right now. You did a few activities with fellow X that were very pleasurable--and I'm not even necessarily talking about sex! Now you have a pavlovian response to seeing that fellow = pleasurable activities. Your mouth waters, literally....haha! Find others who can fill that role and you'll be better off. For instance, if you connect him with the love of enjoying a good meal and the pleasure that follows, find another person--even a friend--who can fill that need you have that makes you feel that joy. I have an eating buddy, but unfortunately she lives in Tampa. Still, when I was in high school, Lee was my eating buddy, and I have a TON of good associations related to food because of this mental link. Did this man make you feel relaxed and happy? WHY? What situations were you in when you felt this way? Can you duplicate it? The more you realize you can get that "rush" elsewhere, the more likely you are to let go.

The best part is when you finally DO let go and realize, oh shit, not only have I found a man who has all of those qualities I loved in the man I miss so much, but he treats me better! OR...you realize, wow, being single is fun and I have friends who can do for me what he did.

6) I met this guy who is terrific but I can't be interested in him....what's wrong with me?

Welcome to womanhood. I know too many women who just can't be interested unless the man is totally or at least partially wrong for her. Why? I have NOT figured this one out yet at all. Women seem to like the devil in their man. The best men don't always have the devil in 'em. What a problem! And if there's no chemistry, there's no chemistry. I know of a particular man who shall remain nameless, and he is just wonderful. I've known him for what, 17 years or so now? I often ponder why I haven't been able to be drawn to him because we have so much in common and he's just so damn great. He knows how to treat a woman. He's funny, smart, interesting...why no chemistry from my end? What the hell's wrong with me? I feel very grateful that I COULD be pulled to Alex because he's just terrific. Why couldn't I get drawn to the other fellow? It would have been soooo much better for me to have dated him than the men who pulled me towards them. Ah, well, I can't figure out hormones, so this particular point will have to be left incomplete. If anybody has any thoughts on this one, I'd love to hear it.

Ok, there ya go. My musings for this Sunday evening.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Seeing Double

I want to know why I have strange second or third "echo" posts appearing after I hit submit. This last one appeared two days after I posted the damn thing. Blogger hates me.

So, student mentioned previously decided to not have sex with his girlfriend, and then one minute after they were together they both changed their mind. This is the part wherein I breathe relief that I had given him the stack o' condoms. Hopefully it'll delay any pregnancy for a while. It appears she can sneak out about once a week, so hopefully they have enough to last 'em for a while.

I'm eating half a cheesecake here. So much for watching my eating habits so I won't burst out of more clothes! Screw it.

Right now I'm supposed to be grading. I have more papers to hand back and I need to set up questions for an in-class essay tomorrow. I am procrastinating. Shock! Horror! What I'm mostly looking forward to is the break next week. If I can make it through tomorrow, Friday, Monday, and Tuesday, I have the rest of next week off. I can't figure out how to juggle kids and Alex. That is, I would love to drive down on Tuesday night and spend it with Alex, but that would mean not having kids. And then I want them back on Sunday if I do that so I could spend Easter with them (the Easter bunny never makes it to their dad's house). That'd work out great if I could just keep them at that point, but I can't: Ari has all of the next week off when I need to head to school. Therefore, they MUST stay with Rob from the 28th of March through the end of that week. I can't bring her with me five days in a row. Sigh. And Alex, of course, can't help me out because he has school. What to do??? I don't LIKE it when they are away from me too much. Sigh again.

I want to go buy The Incredibles. It just came out yesterday on DVD. I think just about anybody can appreciate that movie, but it's especially funny to me, the geek who used to also read comics compulsively when I was a teen. It covers so many of the comic stereotypes! I LOVE the whole thing about the capes! And getting the evil dude to tell the monologues! Terrific! I had taken the kids out to see it, and they loved it. We see too many movies in this house. I have no idea how it happened, but sometime when Ari was three it became THE thing we both loved to do together: see movies. She has always had an amazing attention span, so I was able to take her even before 3 to see a movie with no problems. Jared was four before he became ok in a theatre. Depends on the movie for him--Ari would watch anything, however.

Worst movie my kids ever forced me to see: The Country Bears. UG!

But we've seen a lot of good ones, too. Ari and I have enjoyed a lot more than Jared has. The one Jared really went nuts over was The Polar Express. Hey, it has a train in it. That's enough for him! He's still a Thomas the Tank Engine freak, plus just loves all things train-like. Ari liked Shark Tale, Shrek 2, The Pacifier, The Incredibles, Pirates of the Carribean, the Harry Potter movies, LotR (all three), etc. She also likes to torture Alex and make us all go see things occasionally like The Princess Diaries 2. Amazing how eager Alex was to take Jared out of the theatre to use the bathroom in the middle of that one! haha!

I think we'll see Robots next. That one sounds cute and it has Robin Williams in it, which makes it intriguing to me alone. Ari and Jared like the whole splurge thing at the theatre too. Jared just wants popcorn and soda (I get a bag for me, Alex if he's there, and myself to split...plus a large soda, free refills, for the three of us to split too). Ari wants her kid's pack. That involves a tray of popcorn, a cherry icee, and a pack of m&m's. Yes, I know that doing the food at the movies thing makes it twice as much, but I don't care. I was always told when I was little that we couldn't buy food at the movies due to it being ridiculously expensive, and I decided who cares. That is, I just will go to the movies less often but when I go, my kids can have popcorn! So there!

Monday, March 14, 2005

We Need to Train

Amanda and I ordered a large cheese dip at Monterrey's last night, and I am saddened deeply as we didn't finish it *hangs head in shame*, hence why I have the title: "We Need to Train." For the record, when I order the "large" cheese dip at Cinco De Mayo in Easley, it's about half the size as the large at Monterrey's *she says defensively*, and I can always finish that sucker with a partner. Still, we gave it a go. I think more practice is necessary...

I can't live without cheese. One of the best parts about France is the cheese. Mmmmm fromage course....mmmmm! I wish we regularly had a cheese course here too. Alex and I had wanted to order the cheese course at La Bastide Friday night, but I think we were too full (and too drunk?) to get it by the time we reached that point. Oh well. Maybe next time!

Today's fun: more poetry projects! The most entertaining group so far was a two girl team who decided their theme was "sexual innuendo." Part of their presentation basket to me had all sorts of objects I was supposed to take in a sexual manner: bananas, peaches, strawberries, hershey's kisses, charms blow pops, etc. They also included--for the pleasure of Alex and I later on--edible body paints (apple flavor), candles, incense, and several cds of "I'm in the mood sex songs." What a scream! They also included a couple of packs of flavored condoms. I distributed several to the students who wanted them and saved a fistful for one student in particular. Hell, I'm on the pill and monogamous, so why do I need condoms?

Why did I save a stack for one student from another class? Let me tell you why. I have a (male) young student who confides in me every little detail of his life. We are complete polar opposites in some ways as far as belief systems go, but we really respect each other a lot. Anyway, this particular fellow has NO experience with sex...neither does his girlfriend...and he's not supposed to be dating his girlfriend. She's 17 and FOLKS SHE IS NOT ALLOWED TO EVEN TALK TO GUYS. Her father thinks that if no male is allowed contact with her ever outside of family, he has no worries. The only thing he allows her to do as she is homeschooled is to attend functions with the youth group of the church. That's where they met. My student and this girl have been raised in a hyper conservative background where premarital sex is SUCH a no no that...well, guess what...it's now the biggest temptation that they can't resist. They sneak out places and get closer to the mark. He scared me when he told me they sort of "tested" to see if he "fit." Ack! I remember Angie writing a few items about teen pregnancy and why it happens. Here's one! Neither of them can go to their parents for information. Neither of them feel like they can get ahold of birth control. But neither of them can resist the hormones that are building. I swear I'll probably get fired if it ever gets out that I sat down and chatted with him extensively about condom usage and gave him sexual information nobody in his family/church/life would provide for him, but I couldn't (morally/ethically) NOT give him this information. He trusts me and he sought me out. If I didn't hand him the condoms and give him the information, they'd end up pregnant. They came close enough a couple of days ago and he's seeing her again twice this week. They sneak out in creative ways...and they are just way too young to be having babies.

I sometimes fall into the category of "I think this action is the correct action to do so I will do it, regardless of consequences." This whole situation is definitely in that arena. I know I did the right thing, so tonight I can sleep. If I had kept my mouth shut, when he came to me two months later and told me she was pregnant, I'd never have been able to sleep again. I know I'm not his mom...I know it's not my job...but I really care about these kids, and if I have a way to help them, I will. If I get fired for that, so be it.

You know what's cool? I told my boss all about the sexual innuendo project and she thought it was hilarious. I could have NEVER done that with the old boss. Robin rocks.

I'm having to hand out evaluations again this week. I hate handing those suckers out. I know I can't please everybody, but I really DO try my best, and hence I don't want to hear a bunch of whining and wailing that they aren't getting the A mommy told them they deserved. Or that they heard the word vagina in my class. Or whatever crap they want to whine about this day.

Whining ghost be gone! I exercise thee! I actually do that to my children when they whine. It irritates Ariana but Jared thinks it's funny.

Anyway, back to grading...

Sunday, March 13, 2005

...And A Much Happer Post!

So now that I have other thoughts out of my system, time to give an update to a happier moment!

Alex and I arrived at La Bastide around 5p on Friday. La Bastide is an exclusive French restaurant that is associated with the Cliffs at Glassy near Traveler's Rest, SC. They also have a simply marvelous little Inn associated with it. Alex had made reservations for the night in the perfect hotel room that they possess, plus reservations for 7p that night at the restaurant.

Let me describe the room to you!

It's done in antiques with a French flair. The bed is massive--king sized, but also with the thickest mattress and box spring ever known to man. Apparently they have steel reinforced flooring due, in part, to the weight of the beds! It's the most comfortable bed I've ever....yeah, and slept in too! There are tons of feather-stuffed pillows, along with the most thick and plush down comforter imaginable. Both sides of the bed have distinct nightstands with lamps, and on one side of the bed resides a fireplace as well. The other side has a full, door-sized window that opens up to a gorgeous view of the vineyards and mountains.

The room also has a Jacuzzi tub! It's big enough for Alex and I to enjoy at once, and we soaked in it twice (once the night we arrived; the other time, the next morning) until we turned to prunes. The bath has two sinks, a makeup mirror, hairdryer, separate toliet area, several bars of pleasantly scented French-milled soap, lotion, bath salts, shampoo, bath gel, conditioner, etc. Simply lovely!

Upon arrival, the staff bends over backwards to accomodate you. As part of their service (IE, no additional charge), the clients are offered a glass of wine. Weeee! We both received a glass of red wine. We sipped upon them while in the Jacuzzi. Note: the wine glasses are big enough to accomodate about 20 ounces or so of alcohol. I shit you not.

The room also has slippers, deliciously plush robes, little linen cloths to place down on either side of the bed, and access to the kitchen. The kitchen has unlimited coffee, tea, soda, bottled water, and snack products for the guests to access.

At 7p, we dressed up completely (no jeans, shorts, casual clothes allowed in the restaurant!) and went to eat. We decided to do the wine course with the meal. Basically, that means we got a glass of alcohol with each course, a glass that was especially chosen to pair up with our choices for food. OH GOD WAS THAT RIGHT ON TARGET!!!! The wine pairings were PERFECT! I love good wine, and honey baby dear, WAS THIS EVER IT! The third glass was actually port because it came with dessert. I had chosen this chocolate tart with a rasberry coulis, and as any alcohol expert can tell you, nothing goes better with chocolate than port! MMMM! Unfortunately, let's now tally up what Ms. Lightweight had to drink:

(1) glass of red wine that actually was about the size of (2) glasses of red wine
(2) glasses of white wine with the appetizer and main course
(1) glass of port with dessert

Hah! I levitated, not walked back to the room! My whole body was humming with the buzz.

I remember most but not all of what followed. Unless I want the blog to be banned from Lee's workplace AGAIN, I suppose I should leave out the details. Let's just say that the sashes on the robes are extraordinarily handy! I vaguely remember after a while looking up and seeing the sash tied up to the huge bedpost and giggling, telling Alex that those damn maids were a perverted lot...

Hmm I know we fed each other the homemade chocolate truffles they left for us after turndown too. See, here's another reason why I love Alex: there were three truffles and so he automatically assumed two were for me and one was for him. There was no convincing him otherwise. The ex would have insisted he got two because he was bigger...or if he was feeling particularly generous, he'd have cut the third one in half. But Alex made sure I knew: truffles are a WOMAN'S domain! Woohoo!

Also, for some reason my voice was nearly gone the next day and my throat was sore. Alex explained to me why, but again, let's just leave it to your imagination.

NO, Chuck, this does NOT mean you need to try and get me to talk tomorrow at work! Chuck is the evil bastard who saw a previous blog about me not being able to walk right and decided to send me to fetch paper from across the room so he could WATCH how I was walking! Evil I say! LOL!

Breakfast at La Bastide is included with the price of the room. However, it's not the "continental breakfast" of cereal and doughnuts that other hotels have. We had eggs with prosciutto and parmesan, croissants with homemade butter and marmelade, duck and turkey sausage, and applewood smoked bacon. Alex had his hot tea and a bowl of fresh fruit as well. I just stuck with the orange juice.

All in all, the whole experience was MARVELOUS!!!! SUPERB! TERRIFIC! I wish we could afford to do this sort of activity more often, but it's expensive and we're both broke. Still, what a wonderful weekend it was!

Musings and Closure

...so, poor Alex had to deal with a grumpy and sullen woman after the divorce hearing. I kept seeing Rob's sad face in my mind when the judge asked him if he thought the marriage could be saved. I went over and over in my mind how Rob still insists that he loves me and that he felt I just "gave up" when a REAL married couple would have stuck through it and gone onwards. After all, don't all married couples go through rough spots?

Yes, all married couples go through rough spots. However, if I look back upon my mom and dad, every rough spot they faced--my dad's stroke that paralyzed his left side being the worst of it--was due to outside forces and NOT one of them turning on the other and blaming him or her for all of life's travesties. It used to be, long ago, when Rob faced adversity and setbacks, he blamed himself or just got angry at life. Somewhere the second after Jared was conceived, it all became MY fault. I could cope with all manner of problems, but I couldn't cope with them AND be screamed at constantly. How could he claim he loved me all while yelling at me that I was a "fucking cunt whore bitch" and treating me like a pile of doggy doo? How does one love somebody that he treats as if he hates? I have so many memories...some bad, some good. The good ones: I remember dancing in the rain with him long ago, getting my feet muddy and laughing until the muscles on my mouth hurt. I remember creating worlds and gaming on them late into the night. I remember after he had to pull an all-nighter in law school...he became just nuttier than usual and had me in stitches with his "killer squirrel" impression (don't ask). We used to be able to laugh at everything the world threw at us. Yeah, I knew all along--well before Jared was conceived--that I pulled most of the weight in the relationship, but he made me laugh and feel loved, so I was ok with that. He dropped out of Duke twice and I dragged him back in both times. He started going crazed after he graduated, and I got up and left and moved back to Tampa. It was one of the harder things I ever did--leaving a man I loved to move far away for the betterment of both of us--but the end result is that a few months after I left, he got his act together and re-evaluated his life. Then I started dragging him through law school...we got married...I supported him and dragged him the rest of the way through...and I took care of all his life so he could do the minimum and be happy. When he was happy, that was good enough to make me happy. I felt useful. I felt needed. I felt loved. Without me, he would have accomplished nothing. I had inspired him to greatness!

When I became pregnant with Ariana, I had my first taste of Rob flipping out and directing it at ME. It used to be that he directed it only at himself; hence, this way of handling life is why he shot his own hand when he was at Duke. For a couple of months when I was pregnant for the first time, he freaked out and I felt lost...alone...afraid. Then he pulled himself back together marvelously. He went to the childbirth classes and the ultrasounds and participated in a baby shower. When I had to have an emergency c section with Ariana, he made sure in the hospital that he took care of our baby entirely so that she never had to go to the nursery. Between Rob and then my mom after we got home, my daughter was three weeks old before I ever changed a diaper! Ariana was a difficult baby. She had colic. She cried and cried and cried every waking hour. If a man had a right to flip out, it would have been THEN. But...Rob didn't. You just have to trust me on this fact. Rob did all he could to make life easier for his girls back then. I remember being exhausted when he came home from work one day and he walked Ari back and forth for OVER AN HOUR NONSTOP (if he put her in a stroller, put her down, or otherwise let go of her and stopped moving, the crying started back up again) so that I could nap. He'd drive us both around in the car for hours, Ari and I snoring in unison, so that we both could finally have precious sleep. It was rough on both of us and I was always amazed how a man who came from such a broken background could end up so marvelous with his daughter. There was no doubt in my mind that we could have a second child and be more enriched for it. He bonded hard with Ariana and kept telling me how much happier he was with her in our lives...

But then it all changed when I got pregnant with Jared. He knew from the moment of conception that a) Jared was in there and b) he was a boy. All of Rob's problems stem from his very abusive father, and I really think that reliving that father-son relationship is what flipped him out. My therapist told me that men and women who do not resolve personal childhood issues can hold it in only so long, and then sometime in their mid 30's they will collapse somehow. Rob was 34 when I became pregnant with Jared...and lo, he collapsed.

He hit me...just once. Once was enough. I remember my four week old son in my arms and my head bowing down over him, hands cradling him more tightly in reflex, as Rob's hand smacked across my head, whipping it to one side. I remember never being sure after that point--no matter how much he reassured me it would never happen again--that an intense argument wouldn't lead again to the same action of anger. I remember him saying, "But Kira, you KNOW I'd never do it again!" and my reply of, "But Rob, I KNEW you'd never do it to BEGIN WITH!"

I remember him making pig noises at me because I had worked on a two pound bag of m&m's over a two week period, calling me fat...when I weighed 115 lbs at 5'2" and had given birth to Jared only four months earlier.

I remember him telling me when I was pregnant how fat I was, and how I shouldn't touch him because I was just too hefty. I am a big snuggler, and my need to touch was taken away...my poor daughter was smothered with hugs and kisses because I couldn't get anybody else to touch me. I remember him telling me when I started to lose weight after Jared was born that "You're getting beautiful again..." or the other classic, when I told him about my six week appointment/checkup after giving birth, mentioning to him that the doctor could give the go ahead for sex at that point..."Well, I can't wait until you get skinny again so we can start having sex!"


I may have done 90% of the things around the house before Jared was conceived, but at least he appreciated me for doing them. I was told that I was beautiful no matter what I wore, and that he loved me. I wasn't hit or belittled or screamed at for any reason. We used to have one big blowout fight every two years that just sort of got it all out of our system. After Jared was conceived, it never was the same.

I remember having to fetch his drunk ass from the neighbor's house one night because he had court the next day and I didn't want him to pass out drunk and miss court. I think the term there is "enabler." I should have just let him face the concequences and stop holding his hand, but early on in the relationship I had established that my role was to caretake for him. I wasn't his wife; I was his mother. I remember how drunk he was and how he tried to force me to drink or smoke pot with the neighbor, despite being pregnant. When I told him that I would never endanger my baby that way, he called me a bitch. I remember the look of horror on my neighbor's face when he said, Rob's just drunk...he doesn't mean it...ignore him.

I remember thinking about the neighbor's look of horror on his face for days afterwards. It told me something that I hadn't figured out myself: Rob's way of behaving towards me was unacceptable. I had to pin him down when we returned to the house so that he wouldn't do some crazy stuff, and that was not the only time in my life I had to pin his drunk ass down so he didn't do something idiotic. Imagine this, folks: little 5'2" pregnant me, sitting on a 6' 190 lb man and pinning him down. It's amazing what a good ol' adrenaline rush can do for you.

It became about tension in the neck...about knowing whatever happened it would end up being my fault...about no trust, no respect, no security...about being unloved...unwanted...insecure...depressed...

All that bad stuff doesn't negate the good times I remember. It just makes me know I made the right decision. But long ago, I took on the caretaker role for Rob, so right now what I'm feeling is NOT the pangs of a woman who should be married still, but the pangs of a mother who deserted a child. This child, however, is a legal adult and needs to grow up. This child will never BE an adult if this mom doesn't toss him out of the house. It's tough love, right?

I really feel for Alex and what he has to deal with as far as my emotional baggage. All I can tell him for sure is this fact: I love him endlessly and will NEVER EVER take him for granted. It's been a year and a half since we started dating exclusively (longer since we started dating), and I can't stop staring at him sometimes as if he's a figment of my imagination and he'll go away. I met Rob when I was SIXTEEN and started dating him that year. Sure, we broke up for a year and I dated a lot of other folks, but then I got back with him. Rob is the bulk of my experience with men, and the reason why I have no expectations as far as men go. Yet there is Alex...and he is undoubtedly the best man I know who is not related to me...and I'm scared he'll disappear. Poof. I'll wake up and he's gone. Ug.

My therapist told me a couple of years ago that when the divorce went through, I needed to have closure by writing a letter to Rob that he'd never get, wherein I described to him both the good and bad memories I had of our relationship, how I don't regret the relationship because I had good things come out of it too (Ariana and Jared!), but that it was time to move on to situations that were better for me...and that this end was the best choice I could make. So there we go. You've all read it. I have good memories and bad memories of all that has passed with Rob. I have learned a lot. I have moved on to better situations.


Friday, March 11, 2005

...trix are for kids!

That's the rest of what Amanda MEANT to write...I swear! She had "Stupid Blogger" and it made me think of that old Trix commercial: "Silly Rabbit, Trix are for kids!" Yes, yes, that's dumb, but cut me some slack. My brain has leaked out of my ears.

The divorce is through. Rob and I met at court, and it all went smoothly. The judge kept asking me over and over again, "ARE YOU SURE?" as far as the terms. I think he was surprised (even though he's Rob's friend) that I wasn't asking for alimony or really, anything an ex of a lawyer usually requests. I felt like screaming back, "JUST LET ME OUT!" Anyway, we had ONE tense moment. The judge is required to ask if we think that the marriage is in any way salvagable. If either one of us replies yes, the divorce is not granted and we will be required to get counseling. He had already mumbled that he couldn't honestly answer any way but "I think the marriage can be saved." I pointed out to him a while back that it takes two people to want a marriage to work, and right now I was telling him that THIS party would never, ever agree to it, so there's no way it COULD work. He accepted that logic. Still, we reach that part of the hearing and the judge asks me, and I said, "There is no way the marriage can be saved, Your Honor." Hey, that's better than my original thoughts on how to retort: "Yes, we can stay married, but only if Your Honor wants to be hearing a case involving murder later on..." He then asks Rob and there was a painfully long pause. It was so long that I turned to stare at him, and my heart stopped beating in fear of what might follow. He looked down with the saddest, most painful eyes a human can have and mumbled, "I suppose not, Your Honor."

I felt shitty at that point. We're back to, yes I know I did the right thing, but I was raised Catholic so the guilt part doesn't just "go away." When we left the building, we both cried for a while as we hugged. Very strange. It just wasn't the vision either of us planned, I suppose.

So now I look forward to what Alex has planned: a nice meal with tons of alcohol at La Bastide and a night at the Inn. The room has a Jacuzzi and a fireplace. Woohooo!

Here, look at a sample menu:

Ari felt well today, but Jared feels yucky still. He now has diarrhea, so I believe he has a SECOND illness instead of one continuous one. I hate leaving him when he's sick. I know Rob will be clinging to the kids rather tightly this weekend due to our divorce, though, so I know he'll be fine.

My cold is mild and it will NOT interfere with my drinking capacity tonight. Guaranteed!

Amanda, when I tried to post on your blog, it told me your blog wasn't THERE. That was a new one! Anyway, all I wanted to add on was that my student told me that the folks who set themselves on fire were aiming for more than 30% of their bodies being burned. That is the magic number: any less, and they stay. Brrrr! I wish that soldiers like Brian would be sent home or in a less volatile position when they end up being the only parent of a child. That poor daughter of his has been through enough...

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Today I learned...

Today I learned...

Well, way more than I wanted to know about the Iraqi war experience. Apparently a student of mine was over there for 18 months. He was guaranteed a shorter stay but the military kept telling him that despite what they promised, they didn't have as many "experienced soldiers" as they needed, so they couldn't send him home. He went off about his experiences for 30 min in class today (it popped up because of the song lyrics we were going over in the poetry part of my basic lit class), and while he spoke he ripped up all paper around his hands into teeny, tiny pieces. I don't think he realized what he was doing.

He has been shot three times: once in Desert Fox (under Clinton, 1999) and twice in this war. He wasn't told what they were doing on the first day of the war. He just was expected with the rest of his 27 person platoon to secure an airfield and to "take out all hostiles." After all the smoke cleared, he was one of only three people from the platoon to survive that original attack.

He prefaced many statements with things like, "CNN won't tell you this one," or "What I never see reported here is..." He talked of how he watched 18 year old boys set themselves on fire so they could get sent home (the goal was more than 30% burns), kill themselves with bullets, overdose on heroin...women trying to whore it up so they could get pregnant and sent home...troops who were told that now, post capture of S. H., they were to a) secure the oilfields and protect them, and b) make the locals like them. Problem with the latter part: the locals occasionally strapped bombs to themselves to then detonate and kill soldiers. Yes, he saw that happen more than once too, watching a friend blown to smithereens as a result.He stated that the casualties of the war have been severely underreported (deliberately, of course). The gov't doesn't like to count soldiers who killed themselves either in the body count...they don't even acknowledge the amazing numbers of them who are doing it. Why? Well, he tells me, they just like to believe it's ok if OTHER soldiers from OTHER countries do this. But not AMERICAN soldiers!

He spoke of the humvees that they were promised would have bulletproof windows and solid steel thick doors...that were sent over with glass windows and hollow doors, and the casualties that resulted because some politicians wanted to save money and make a buck rather than save our troops' lives...He spoke of the horror of having to tell a young boy that if he deserted a third time, this time he'd have to shoot him and kill him because it was a time of war...of writing over 45 letters via email to families to announce to them their child was dead, unable to tell them HOW the person died because the military wouldn't tell him and he wasn't there to see it...of having his personal belongings stolen or just plain melting in the heat...and of how that song by Ozzy Ozborne, Crazy Train, came to mean the world to him.

The most interesting part of this experience for me was watching the rabid Pro-Iraqi war student who sat behind him sputter and desire to argue with the fellow, then back down when he realized that it would be (at the very least) not a good thing to do to a man who so obviously is suffering from what he has seen and had to do.

He also told me that many of the troops are becoming addicted to heroin over there (for some reason it's the easiest drug to access there?) and that we'll see, after the war, the fallout from it."All because," he said in a quiet and solemn voice, "SOMEBODY wanted to play cowboy..."



Ari threw up all over the place for Alex today. Therefore, when I came home, I started doing wash. Jared stopped barfing Monday AM, but he started running a fever again this afternoon (after this morning not having one at all--just like yesterday morning!). It's viral, so there's not a damn thing to do about it. Sigh. My poor kids...

So, they are really sick. Therefore, I've determined that a diet today of cheetos and sprite is FINE. They're miserable enough! They might as well enjoy SOMETHING. I never buy soda for the kids, so this is a huge treat. Cheetos is a rarity too. It seemed to perk them both up, so I'm glad I bent the rules.

Rob and I are to meet at court at 1030a tomorrow so that we can go over stuff before our hearing at 11a. Wish me luck! I can't wait to be free. I put up a sign that announced the absence of my classes tomorrow and the classes themselves have their work assignments to do in place of the class. Ug, I'm still behind on their grading though. I hate that grading. Love my students; love teaching; hate grading.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


That's my official message to the blogger community. Wtf is it that I can't comment over half the time on blogs the last couple of days? Angie, Amanda, I've read every post, but I can't comment because blogger hates me! Waaaahhh.

Ok, the good news: Rob is now back.

Now, for the rest of the story.

Ariana looked out of sorts this morning. I was afraid she'd be sick, but she's bumping up to her maximum absences allowed by the state of SC, so I went ahead and sent her. She didn't have a fever, so I figured it'd be ok. Sure enough, she's caught what Jared had. So, they can't reach me at home, and they call Rob...

What they don't know is that Rob is intoxicated. They describe things to him like Ari is going to die, so he decides to drive drunk to pick her up from school. Then he drives her back. Sigh. I get to the school, find out where she is, and head to Rob's house. Alex, Jared, and I are there and Rob confesses instantly that he's intoxicated. Yay! So then I tell Rob we have an option: kids come home with me and Alex stays with them tomorrow. I have to go to school of course (I'm already missing Friday due to court), but Alex is really too willing to stay and help out the children he refers to as "his." Rob confesses guiltily that he feels like Crap Father because he's drunk, but that he had no idea he'd have to get Ari since I had the kids today/this week. Sigh. Then he says he feels that it will impose upon Alex too much. I assured him that Alex loves the kids and would be delighted to help out, and then when I tell him that Alex already took care of them on Monday and Tuesday when Jared was sick, Alex jumps in with a telling of how they played Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, and made the gingerbread houses. Rob tears up then and shakes Alex's hand. "You're a good man," he said to Alex. Well, yes. He is. But I admit that I was stunned Rob admitted it and seemed to really FEEL it. He even referred to Alex as my boyfriend and seemed totally cool with it. He's never referred to Alex as anything at all before today.

Jared was fever free and perky this AM. Therefore, I took him to daycare. This maneuver turned out to be a mistake. After nap, he had a fever again of 101 and was groggy. I was amazed; he truly seemed to be all better and I couldn't have predicted it. The daycare worker said that the EXACT thing happened to another girl there: she was all better for a day, then she had to go home the next day to having the fever again. What the hell kind of illness is this??? My poor baby! I guess I have to be relieved it happened when Alex was around. He's completely reliable, has infinite patience, loves kids, specifically loves my (our?) kids, and is very responsible. I couldn't be more happy than to have him be the one to help.

I had better not be ill for our night at La Bastide, post divorce, Friday night!

Or sick on Sunday night. Time to get the cookies to Amanda!

I had some dumb ass student tell me TODAY, after two of the three days of the poetry projects have passed, that he must not have been around for the day of the group assignments and he has no group. He expects me to do something about it. Well, guess what? I AM going to do something about it! Hi, Joel, meet my friend Mr. Zero! Mr. Zero, Joel has asked for you personally, so please make him feel loved!

I always love the poetry project time. The students go overboard for the projects for me typically. Not only do I get power point presentations, hand crafted boxes full of poems, roses, and godiva, but I also get entertained royally. Today one of my students brought in a HUGE horse's mascot costume (Amanda: it's Josh, the guy who is hot who said he wanted to be a stripper to make money...he was in 101 then, but he's in 102 now with me) and started dancing around in it to the song he was presenting. My god, he wanted us all to dance! I got up and danced. Alex declined getting up to dance, so Josh made him get up and then grinded against Alex while Alex turned the most SCARLET shade I've ever seen skin turn! HAHAHAHAHA! Oh god, I'd have given them an A+ if they just provided me with tape of that later on for my amusement...

And last on the agenda: I think I can arrange to go to France for two weeks with Alex between spring and summer terms. I'll take Jared with me, but not Ariana as she can' t miss the school. Alex will fly over with us and take us back to the plane, then stay while he gets a few things straight in France before (hopefully, depending on the internship situation) coming back over. I can't wait to show him France, so I hope that Rob will let me take Jared with me. I think he will. I think that, as of today and what I observed, Rob realizes how good of a parent Alex IS to our children and will be fine with me taking Jared over with us. Whew.


Catchy title, eh? It's what I've enjoyed for the last few days! Jared started to barf on Sunday and has had a fever for Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. He's over it as of this morning...no fever, no barfing, looks drained but otherwise all right. Nothing sadder than a sick four year old!

The first time he threw up, I suspected he was going to hurl. We were in a Baskin Robbins and he just looked sick. He gagged and I asked him, "Jared, are you going to throw up?" He said, very firmly, "NO!"

And then, of course, he barfed.

I can't imagine it made the ice cream experience more pleasant for anybody in that store. Rocky Road, anybody?

It's a weird thing about four year old mentality. See, when I asked him later on why he said no to the "Are you going to throw up?" question, he answered with vigor, "Because I didn't WANT to barf, mommy!" It's that denial thing: if I deny that I feel the need, I can control it and it will go away. We all know this method doesn't work, but at four he hasn't figured it out yet. Therefore, it's actually rather futile to ask him if he's going to hurl. He will always say no as he wants to NOT throw up.

Interestingly to me, on Monday--when Alex stayed home with Barfing Boy and Ariana (who had the day off of school) while I went to The Premiere Technical School to teach--Jared's main concern was that he not be sent to his dad's house. He knew he was too sick to go to daycare, but he didn't want to be with the ex. When I told him he'd stay with Alex instead, he was visibly relieved. Hmmm. I know Rob is good with the kids typically, but I think that he's not so great at dishing out empathy to a sick child and Jared knows it. Alex did a bang up job...kids were happy and Jared was resting when I came home. Alex had "hoovered" (English slang term for vacuuming, kind of like how we say kleenex for facial tissue) and made gingerbread houses with the kids (from a kit, but still...how many guys would sit down and make gingerbread houses with kids???). It was such a relief to know that they were fine and with him. I didn't have to worry while at school. I'm just lucky he's got his spring break this week.

What was also entertaining to me was the image of Alex picking up Jared and holding him at arm's length, tearing down the hall to the bathroom to get him there before he spewed. Haha! It was almost like a video game: get the boy to the toilet before he ruins the carpet and YOU!

Ari seemed a bit out of it when she got home yesterday, but I think she's ok to go to school today. I, however, have a sore throat and an upset tummy now. I don't need to be sick on Friday for "divorce court"!

Speaking of that, you know what concerns me? I can't locate the ex. He was supposed to be back in town by Monday, and he's not back yet and it's Wednesday. My fear: he's run off so he won't be here for the divorce hearing on Friday, forcing me to hire a lawyer and wait even longer to get divorced. I told him we needed a divorce in January of 2002...I REALLY think I've waited long enough for this sucker!

Thursday, March 03, 2005


Today, a student of mine who works in the ER in an upstate hospital felt obligated to tell me about what is, perhaps, the single most upsetting case of child abuse I have ever had the misfortune to know existed.

Folks, I worked for the Department of Social Services as a foster care worker for a year. If I tell you "This is the worst case of child abuse I've ever heard," let's just assume it's the sort of thing that will make you run to the toilet and vomit.

I almost did. I'm not sure I won't, actually. Every time the images come to my head unbidden, I feel nauseated and I visibly shudder. Once or twice I convulsed.

How can someone do that to a four week old baby...to anybody, really, but especially a teeny tiny four week old baby? I've opted not to inform the world on my blog what happened. Why, you ask? I originally wanted to post it because I thought it would help me get over it, but then I realized...I'd be sending the rest of you home crying or vomiting or shuddering or just plain numb. And I can't do that. It's probably why we never saw about this case in the local papers. Some things we just don't want to see or hear, EVER.

I never thought I could shoot somebody. I'm squeamish about certain things. My standard joke was always, wanna make me a vegetarian? Tell me I have to kill my own food! Sure, I always knew I could hurt somebody in self-defense, or absolutely if a person tried to hurt my kids, the person would be visiting hell sooner than he or she planned. But just outright kill a person with a gun or poison or whatnot? Brrrr! Scary! I have been thinking about this male biological father THING that did unspeakable things to his four week old daughter and killed her in a brutal fashion, and I realized: if the gov't said, Kira, we will kill him but you have to do it, I'd be able to do it. I'm not sure if that scared me or comforted me to know I could take care of the Monster.


See, I guess that's the crux of it. I really can't conceptualize anybody capable of doing such a fiendish thing as a Human Being. Therefore, would it be worse than killing a chicken for dinner? No. It is the culling of the herd. It is justice. It is the squashing of an ant. But it most certainly is NOT murder of a person. And that is why I realized that I could do it. Wow, I could ACTUALLY pull out a gun and blow a thing's head off that resembled a human and not regret a second of it...amazing.

I learn new things about myself every day. At least I don't get bored.


So, now the current fretful worry is: can Alex get an internship here? Apparently there just aren't that many in SC, and certainly not so many for foreigners. I can't handle being separated from him for a year while he is interning in France. If that happens, I suppose Amanda and I will be hitting up every shop we can find for the latest rabbits together...

It appears that after 9/11, it has become a lot harder for folks to get green cards. Unfortunately, it's also much harder for the French than other countries. I don't have to spell the illogical reasoning of our gov't out on that one for you, now do I? Damnit. It also appears that marrying him might not solve the problem...but hey, I'm willing to try just about anything ;)

Alex DOES have two of his three professors pulling for him because he's impressed them so much. You want to know something hilarious? Alex doesn't think he is smart. No, really. He doesn't! He has an exceptional skill with numbers, and yet he doesn't perceive himself to be intelligent. His Global Finance teacher told him his work was outstanding and that he had a natural gift for finance. I'm not surprised! That's one of the professors who is going to bat for him. I remember once Alex looking puzzled as I insisted that he was brilliant. He seemed to struggle with the idea that I was using such a strong adjective. However, one day we were talking and I told him how there were a few things that were non-negotiables for me about being attracted to a guy. The main thing is that I can't date a guy with lower than a gifted level IQ. Am I an intellectual snob? Yes, perhaps...but just like some women can't be attracted to a short man or a man can be turned off by a woman who doesn't shave, I just have never managed to be attracted to an even average intellect man. Can't do it. Just...holds no interest. I like to be able to talk to a man about the world and have him follow me or him lead and ME follow. When looks fade, the brains are what is left. That's why looks are a lower priority for me on the scale of things. It's brains FIRST. As I said that, his conclusions made me laugh! He said...and I kid you not here...

Well, I know you do not lie. So if you tell me that you cannot date a dumb man, and that you only date intelligent men, then I suppose that MUST mean I'm intelligent.

Wow! Well, if that's what it takes! He's kicking butt at that IMBA program because he IS brilliant...so there! And I'm very proud. Now I just hope it can work out for an internship. Brrrr just can't think of him being away from me for another year...just can't....brrrr