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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!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

It's the Wine Talking

Well, sorry for this random mish-mash here, but I had one (1) glass of wine on a completely empty stomach, and weeeeeee! I'm what is commonly known as a "cheap date." I can drink one glass with a meal and be fine, but I haven't eaten all day, so this one went straight to my head. Yay!

Why did I have this wine glass? It's been a rough 24 hrs, and the kids are at the ex's house tonight anyway. The ex has no idea it's my birthday. Those things don't matter to him; therefore, he requested kids today via a phone call last night. So I said yes, regretfully. Why? Well, I don't feel like going into it. Let's just say it wasn't a pleasant phone call, and I didn't feel like explaining que dall to him. So what did this mean? Yes, Ariana cried this am when she woke up and found out that she couldn't spend all of mommy's bday with her. Jared just was pissed he had to leave mom's side...he's a total mommy's boy. His exact words? "I wanted to go on SATURDAY!" Mind you, if it HAD been Saturday, he'd have said, "I meant NEXT Saturday!!!"

Feeling down from the previous conversation with the ex, I drove the kids to school. Ariana complained about being taken today the whole way over. My only comment was to ask her to make her father a card for his bday which is Friday.

Alex is in Columbia. My children are with their father. I'm here staring at a stack of papers I need to grade. However, considering how this one glass affected me, I doubt grading will come soon. Plus, my sister will call in a couple of hours, and that means I won't be grading anyway. We can talk for hours.

How have I entertained myself since getting home--besides the wine--you ask? Well, a sociology major from Clemson called to give me a survey! Woohoo! That'd be AFTER the glass of wine, folks. I remember laughter...lots of laughter...oh well. I'm sure giving out surveys is boring, so at least I made her night better. Typical exchange: "So that we may better classify you for our survey, in what income category should we classify you...." (me, interrupting): "I'm a teacher. Find the lowest bracket and check that one."

My cat knows I'm sad. How's that for odd? He's a very perceptive cat. He came over and licked my arm repeatedly...one grooming lick for his back, one for me...repeat. I now have a red strip on my arm that is devoid of hair due to his grooming efforts. He only does this when I'm out of it, which fortunately does NOT happen very often. It's a sandpapery tongue, and I don't need to lose skin. Hmmm...or do I? I mean, we PAY for exfoiliators. Maybe this is a free one, yes?

I have to focus on the good stuff. My kids may be gone, but they'll come back, and they'll be excited to see me. I have friends who are generous to me...even blogger friends who have NEVER met me and yet for some UNKNOWN reason are kind by listening to me ramble or sending me a gift certificate for my bday or walking money. I have students who seem to need me and listen to me. I can pay my bills. And this is a lovely glass of wine. Good, cheap wine: Linderman's Bin 50 Shiraz 2004. The 2003 is better, but near impossible to find at this point. I'd prefer a nice chateauneuf de pape, but $5 vs. $50 is a lot. Oh! And I should have a nice lunch with friends tomorrow. That's always good. It'll tide me over until I can see Alex again on Friday.

Last bit of ramble: mom told my brother Mark I was engaged. We have no feedback on his reaction. I told Ken and Rose because they have met Alex before on a number of times and communicated with him, and they love him. But Mark? Well, Mark's an impossible read. He also is difficult to talk to, period. Mark hid well that he loathed Rob; I never picked up on it. Neither did Rob. It came out the second I separated...sigh. So when Alex came along, he just bristled. He didn't think ill of him like he did Rob, from what I understand, but he just...is...suspicious. Since Mark was the sibling who beat up on me constantly as a youth--and Rose and Ken were like my extra set of parents because they acted that way and are much older than me--it seems strange. Why do my extra "parents" love Alex, and the guy who wanted me dead stares at all men anywhere near me with daggers in his eyes? He seems to get along with Alex, but he just doesn't seem to want me to be with ANYBODY. I guess I need to just realize he has "big brother syndrome" and that's that.

Oh well. Good wine, this. No more though...I need to grade!

And it's 36. I know you all are dying to ask, so as of today I'm 36. Bah.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Mmmm Chocolate Cake

So, my birthday is on Tuesday, but obviously I'm home and Alex is in Columbia during the week. The kids are with us this weekend, but next weekend they'll likely be with their dad. Alex decided, therefore, that he'd make me a cake THIS weekend so that we could all enjoy it.

Needless to say, my ex never made me a birthday cake. Honestly, he had something against all birthdays and holidays of any sort. That's why I get to have the kids EVERY holiday and birthday occasion: he doesn't give a rip and even hates those times of year. Don't ask.

Alex scoffed at me when I told him he could just do a box mix for the base of the cake since the icing alone can make or break the taste of a cake. I was worried about money, time, and other factors. Nope, he was horrified that I suggested doing something via a mix. Haha! Well, it's a rare day I do something NOT from scratch too, so I understand that.

It's an almost flourless cake with a very, very rich dark chocolate icing on it. Ariana decided it tasted and felt more like a brownie than a cake because the layers were as thick as one and the cake was more dense. Man, it's almost gone! I feel so damn spoiled :)

I'm telling you, the man who gives nightly massages, can bake a magnificent chocolate cake from scratch, opens doors, treats my children like his own, and knows the value of flowers is not restricted to special occasions or "I'm sorry" wins EVERY TIME! Haha!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Student Update

Bad news for those of you following the Student Z story: she bounded in to the Writing Center with a grin to tell me that she's getting married to Dickwad in March. Sigh. A student who doesn't know her who was next to me said congratulations. I told him to hold off on that as it wasn't a cause to celebrate. She took it in stride as I reminded her I couldn't be happy about this decision because I knew it was going to come back and bite her on the ass. Her smile wavered, and she agreed this was, potentially, not the best manuever she could have made; however, I'm under the impression her family convinced her that her baby needs a father. Dickwad hasn't been a father to his four year old son by another woman, ever. Why would he start now? I said to her, so how long since your fiance had his last seizure? She replied: since before break! Great. She's decided to marry the man based on the fact that he's been good to her for four weeks straight. Sigh. Would it be tacky to give her a "Free Divorce!" gift certificate from a local lawyer for her wedding present? Yes? Aw, damn. I'll have to think up something else.


One of my new students this term described her household set up as a child: Go to church on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Go to church twice on Sundays. On school days, the life that was pushed upon her was to come home from school, do her homework, do her chores, have dinner, then read two hours of the bible and pray for one hour. After that? Bed.

I was stunned. I have met Christian Fundamentalist families before here--it's the buckle of the bible belt, after all. I just have never met a family who did all of that regularly every week, children too. The student said that she was stunned when she got her first job and moved out. People cursed! People did all sorts of things she never knew existed! I told her to not tell her parents about me or they'd likely go nuts. She grinned wide. "Too late! They told me you were going to hell!" Well, at least I know now so I can prepare the ice bucket.

She told me it was all right, that basically I could catch a ride with her. See? Transportation arranged and everything!


I was tutoring a new student, and she eventually mentioned that I taught her husband. After telling me his name, I realized this was a fellow I taught in the summer of 2004...sweetheart of a guy, but not too bright. Ok, let's just say: dumb as shit. However, I didn't care as he worked and worked and worked to understand the material. He came through the Writing Center for EVERYTHING and busted his ass to make it through my English 102 class. Barely passing, he certainly deserved to get through the material based on effort alone. I liked the fellow. Hard work always impresses me. Anyway, this new student grinned at me and passed on that her husband now played basketball for a four year local university. "He said that no teacher ever, not in gradeschool, middle school, high school, tech, or at his school now, has ever compared to you. He told me that you were the best teacher he's ever had by far, and I was very lucky to have gotten you as my instructor."

Well, ok, that fed my ego nicely. I beamed. It's always nice to have these, "AHHHH so THAT is why I'm still doing this job for no money!" kind of moments. I had already run into Brenda earlier yesterday, too. She always is an instant reminder of how important my damned job is.

I really love being a teacher, despite the evil pay. Sure, the grading sucks, but it's just FUN, rewarding, and good brain exercise. I hope I don't have to mess with any other job for a long time!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Forgetting And Forgetting

Sometimes, I wonder why I bother to learn anything anymore. I just forget the crap as soon as I turn around.

I don't remember being this bad in college. I don't even think I was this bad in graduate school. Sure, I had to make a list to go to the grocery store, and if I forgot it I forgot something critical like toilet paper ("Hey, honey, it's ok, at least I remembered Kleenex!"). Reading and reading and reading in graduate school didn't push out of my head all of the cat and dog lore I learned as a vet tech. Going to work for DSS as a foster care worker didn't push out graduate school, but I noticed that the knowledge WAS starting to take up enough room then that I forgot some of what I learned at my undergrad.

Then I became pregnant.

Well, pretty much when I was about 6 months along with Ariana, I realized I had lost track of just about everything I had read and seen in my life that did not pertain to babies or the household. RATS!

The matter became even worse when I had Jared. As he became older and older, I lost track of so much more of my earlier days that it wasn't amusing in the least. I'm now reduced to having somebody ask me if I've seen a particular movie with my sole capable reply being "yes" or "no." What was it about? Well, hell if I know! And then when I have students who have read some of the same fantasy/sci fi books I have read? Damn me if it's a book I read in my teen years or early 20's. I can remember the title and author and maybe the main character if I'm lucky. I can remember liking it or disliking it. I can remember...uhhh what was I talking about again?

My brain has an amazing processor. I can speedily use it for logic and puzzles and figuring out life's travails. However, I am beginning to realize that my brain's memory lacks space. When I learn a new item, old items get pushed out.

My newest passion? Wine. The more I learn about wine, the more I lose knowledge of other sorts I have learned. What knowledge am I losing, you ask? Damnit, I don't know. Already lost it. Aw crap.


When I left Columbia to drive back to Greenville today, I stopped at a Wendy's that plain sucked. It's the one on exit 52 on I-26 for any in that area...don't go there. I had a combo, and the fries were OLD and COLD. Bleck. There I was, shoveling the fries in dutifully anyway thinking, well, I paid for these puppies so I'd better eat them. Then I realized the wisdom of Laurita: Ow. Ow. Ow. It worked. I had read on her blog recently about her method for stopping the forced eating situations like that. If I'm not enjoying it, I need to stop eating rather than feel obligated to clean my plate. Helpful suggestion, that. Thanks, Laura!


The drive back home makes me brood as I miss Alex the second I leave, and then I realize it'll be another five nights before I see him again. So, I try to distract myself. I was thinking over my options for Las Vegas and remembering that, thankfully, I will get one alcoholic beverage paid for by WordWhiz because she promised me one months ago...haha! Then I pouted that A* and Hof wouldn't be there...which for some reason led me to remember when Hof posted in the comments one time that he loved shiraz wine right now. I don't know why then my mind started processing what French wine would be best to throw at him since I'm really into French wines now, but hey, I figured it all out: Hermitage. Not only is that typically good stuff, but it's made entirely of the shiraz/syrah grape as it's northern Rhone wine. So, one time when those two fab folks are in NC and not that far from me, I'm bringing up a Hermitage for us to drink.

Then I started thinking about my bra. See, my brain doesn't move in normal directions. How did I leap from wine to bras? Drinking too much wine removes my bra? Hmmm. I have no idea. However, I WILL say that I'm thrilled by my bra on clearance from Victoria's Secret. They sent me a $10 gift card just for having a birthday this month, and the bra was already on clearance for $20 (down from $42). I love bargains like that. $10 for a great bra! You know what's even better? They accidentally sent me two cards. So, the other purchase I had with it was to buy underwear. Three pairs of panties--great, comfortable tangas--for $6! WOOHOO!

Eventually, I pondered the last kiss I had with Alex before I took off. You know, two years later, this man can still give me kisses that fill my nostrils, make my skin flush, my tastebuds all leap awake, and my bloodstream energized. I was lost in that kiss. I don't think I've ever had a two year relationship before in my life wherein the kisses were still such a lifeline. I like that...a LOT. I wanna be the 80 year old grandma type neckin' gleefully with her husband of 44 years or whatever, grossing all the young folks out one day! That's my goal, and I'm sticking to it.

Friday, January 20, 2006

How It Went

I'm sure you are all dying to know how my ex took the news. You're not? Ok, then don't bother to read this! haha!

I was planning on discussing the situation this week when we exchanged kids. However, my ex had to pick up Ariana from school on Tuesday due to being sick (asthma + cold = miserable Ari). Apparently, Ariana did not want to wait until I could discuss it. She lept into the car and told him IMMEDIATELY the following pieces of information:

a) Mommy and Alex are engaged and the ring is beautiful!

b) Guess what? I call Alex daddy too!


I asked her later on in the most neutral of tones why she decided to share b) with her dad. She shrugged and said, well, I don't really know mommy.

So, I go to pick up Ariana at my ex's house and he almost immediately asks me to walk outside with him while he smokes a cigarette so we can "talk." Hmmm. He knows I'm allergic to smoke, so I realized instantly that Ariana must have told him the news.

He was not pleased, but he took it MUCH better than he could have, so I'm relieved. He said he thought about it and decided that there were only two things he needed to be concerned with...that I was happy and that the man in my life treated the kids well. As he realized that Alex is excellent to the kids and I seemed happy, then he had nothing to add. He DID have to throw in that he felt that Alex manipulated, coldly and calculatedly, my feelings and emotions to alienate me from the ex and get me to marry him one day. He really just seems happier believing it, and there's nothing I can do to change his mind. Alex is the least manipulative person I know (and those of you who have met him already realize that fact). Not only that, but I didn't even know Alex EXISTED when the problems started in March of 2000...nor did I know Alex existed when he took it upon himself to smack me upside the head in January of 2001 while I protectively cradled our newborn son in my arms (if I had to pick one moment where my feelings for the ex started to unravel, that'd be it for sure). In fact, I only knew of Alex when he joined a geek game online I was playing in, and at that time we barely spoke to each other (that'd be in the fall of 2001). In January of 2002, I told the ex that's it...we're getting a divorce...I've had enough. I didn't get to meet Alex until June of 2002. Oh well. He's happier believing that somehow, somehow, his behavior towards me didn't do the trick of making me flee. I can't change that...as Hoss says, so it goes.

I'm just relieved too that the ex has his law license back. YAY! He will be starting up again on Monday. He's honestly the best lawyer I know (was THAT the problem? HAHAHAHA!), and I would totally go to him for anything legal at the drop of a hat. I told him that I thought that working again after two and a half years of unemployment would help him STOP brooding and get his life back in order. He totally agreed. So, here's hoping!

It didn't go so bad. I couldn't have asked for more. Whew!

Another side note...

If you are a male and you are in the shower, please make sure that Mr. Happy has all his soap rinsed off of him before you exit said shower. Otherwise, if your lover then decides to...well, um...please you the second you get out, she (or he) will feel like she's been a Naughty Girl who gets a bar of soap in her mouth for Being Bad. Thank you very much. This has been a public service announcement.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

And It Continues!

About a week ago, my ex presented to me an envelope that arrived in the mail addressed to me. The return address stated, "S. Claus" and the rest of it was addressed to me but at the old house. Odd, I thought. Wouldn't Santa Claus know I moved to the next city over a few years ago? Whoever sent this envelope obviously wasn't one of my closest friends or family as they all knew my new address.

Inside, there was a Christmas card. Unsigned. And a gift certificate to Bi-Lo...amount not listed. Hmmm. I contemplated who could have sent it. A former student, perhaps? Well, most of them knew where I lived because I usually mentioned it sooner or later in class. WHO??? I still haven't figured it out.

So, going on the theory that it's maybe a student, I figured it was probably a lovely $25 card at most, $10 at least. That was my guess. I finally went to Bi-Lo to use my grocery gift certificate card today and found out the real amount through the customer service desk.


I started to tear up when the lady told me how much it was. I couldn't believe it...and I can't even thank the person who gave it to me because I don't know who sent it. That person will never know that I had a blast using it today. I bought things I usually only buy when they are on sale, or I only purchase if I have coupons. I bought favorite items. I danced down the aisles, dancing and singing to the crap music on the speakers. Who wouldn't? I had a $100 to spend in the grocery!!! ON ANYTHING!!! OOHHHH!

I bought flank steak. I need that to make ropa vieja, and it's not cheap. Yay!

Boneless chicken breasts? Buy one get one free today! I threw in a pack of those!

The kids love those Trix cereal bars for breakfast. They're fast and easy on a school morning. They only get a box when they are on sale, but they weren't on sale today. HEY! I bought them ANYWAY because I could LIVE LARGE! Double yay!

Ariana's been having some headache issues that her doctor has said needed to be solved through ibuprophen. I needed to have an extra bottle to take to school and leave with the nurse so if a headache came there, she'd have the meds. No coupon, no sale, and I just threw it into the cart with wild abandon!

Dancing further, I threw in two yogurts with m&ms in them that the kids adore...some cheese and butter to replenish what I had to throw out over Christmas when the electricity went out...some buy one get one free soups...soda...aw, hell, I was a wild woman. I only needed one paper towel roll and I bought TWO! Periodically I would think about this random person whose name I don't know who was so kind, and I'd grin, then feel like I was about to start crying again because damnit, that was just the nicest thing to do ever. It meant so much to me. WordWhiz is right: we hear all the time in the news about the bad folks out there...but there's tons of good folks too. Including the person who sent me this gift certificate.

Unless you really think there is a Santa Claus?

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Living the Good Life

"Well, you're just happy to be here, aren't you?" --Willy Wonka

Since I'm not French, I don't mind revealing to you how broke I am. That is, in French culture, one never discusses one's salary. Money is just not brought up. Well, I'm American, so here we go: I make $19k a year as an adjunct instructor in English at a local community college. If I'm able to work over the summer, I make another $4k to $5k, but that is eaten up a lot by daycare costs. I have an ex husband who has been unemployed for over two years, and he borrows against his credit cards just to give me his half of the afterschool care payments for the kids. Why do my kids attend after school care if my ex lives ten min from their school and is unemployed? Good question. Ask him.

My brother and my parents are very well off, and therefore they periodically thrust money into my hands. They've learned a very specific dance they have to do with me in order to get me to accept it. I have too much pride. However, the truth of the matter is that their generosity allows me to do some rather fun things with my children that I could not otherwise, such as trips to the zoo, museum, movies, ice cream parlor, and whatnot. It's through them that I end up living the good life despite being poor.

A few years ago, a student told me once after I mentioned that I was heading to France, "You know what, Kira? You really live the good life!" I protested this idea. I mean, I'm POOR! I'm BROKE! How could I????

But I thought about it, and I laughed. He's right. I live the DAMN GOOD LIFE, and it's largely because of the wonderful friends and family I have been blessed with throughout my life. I don't know why they are all so good to me. There have been nights I've actually had tears fill my eyes because I feel so UNWORTHY of having such fine and fabulous people in my life. What do I have to return to them except my heart and hands? I try to be there for them whenever they need me, and in whatever way possible, but it just doesn't seem to equal what they do for me. I'm thankful they think it's enough even if I don't.

What is the good life? Well, my first trip out to France was paid for by Alex. That's how I managed to go. My friend Joe has visited me and brought down enormously costly bags of gourmet cheese which made me orgasm and moan (Joe, if you're reading this, I LOVED that last cheese you gave me. YUMMY!). He also tends to buy meals for me and/or my kids, give me long distance phone cards (I have no long distance service on my phone and that worries him), hand me my allergy meds, and once even bought me groceries (complete with two nice bottles of wine). Terry works for Adam and Eve, so he gives me....um...adult products and a stellar discount...haha! My dear friend Lee--one of my closest friends from the age of 13 onwards--bought my washer and dryer when I had to move out. She also sent me $300 this year just for "cat maintenence" because she became aware that my cat had to have a few things done. Lee's an amazing person, really, as she has been the kind of friend every girl begs to have. She has only jumped up and down whenever anything good happens to me, and when men hit on me or others want to spend time with me, rather than be jealous for even a second, she smiles at me and tells me of COURSE this is the way life is because I'm such a great person. Seriously--she's always happy for me no matter what, and she's always there when I need her. She drove up from Tampa when I moved out so I could have a shoulder to cry on (she wasn't allowed to help with the moving as a friend of mine from CANADA flew down to move me out...he told the customs officers who questioned him, "Yeah, well, I'm the only male strong enough to move her stuff who also won't hit on her while she's vulnerable, so I have to come in from Canada." HAHA!). That's REALLY why she drove up for over a week: she wanted to keep me company because she knew how traumatized I was by the whole collapse of the marriage. Various other friends purchase meals for me or little gifts...offer to pet sit even at great inconvenience....and do things like send me enough money to go to bloggercon. I didn't even go into the TWO TIMES my friends Rob and Madella took vacation time and drove up to tile my house, did I? One time it was "just" the backsplash. The second time it was my kitchen and dining room floor. Vacation time...to tile my house. Remarkable!

Do you SEE how lucky I am? I am poor, but I am rich. I cannot live the good life because I'm a teacher, but my friends and family make sure I can do all sorts of things I couldn't otherwise like travel, eat well, drink wine, and have fun outings with the kids. I don't understand why I have been so lucky to find and surround myself with such terrific people, but wow!

Even my students help me live the good life. They've given me alcohol like wine and grey goose vodka; treated me to many meals out; given me tons of clothes, shoes, jewelry, and food; and left me with books. The students usually have no more money than I have, yet they manage to give me gifts every single term. WHY?

I live the good life. And I live the good life solely because...I am the luckiest woman ever to live. I have met people, good people, who insist on loving me despite my odd quirks (like that I can't ever start up an msn conversation...or pick up the phone...I hate making First Contact...I can do emails though!). Confusing but true: who cares if you're poor if you're rich?

Thank you, my friends. You are so good to me, and I am so grateful. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Per Your Request

Well, I've had several requests to post a picture of the ring. So, here we go!

It's a marquis cut diamond, and yes those are sapphires on either side. Garnets are my birthstone (my bday is the 31st), but I prefer sapphires. Alex also made sure to obtain a platinum band because I don't like to wear gold. I've never had a piece of jewelry made up so perfectly to my tastes!

Oh, and if you want to see Alex's perspective, he just blogged about it...click on the link entitled, "The Perfect Man" to the left of my blog!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Duck, Duck, Duck....Goose!

So, let's recap the misery of the vacation...

First, we lost electricity.

THEN, Ariana came down with pneumonia.

And to top things off...my car was broken into in Columbia and all of my CDs were taken out of it. Please keep in mind that I can't afford to replace them. But the worst part? THEY STOLE MY FIVE YEAR OLD SON'S THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE CD!!!! BASTARDS!!! I can't find a replacement. I haven't told him yet because he'll cry, and I can't stand to see him cry. I'm considering prostituting myself for the cd: "Will Whore for Thomas CD". Sigh. I've looked everywhere (Ebay, amazon, local stores), and I can't find it. I don't care that they took like 25 of my cds. Big whoop. Bite me, felons. But taking a small child's cd just for resale? I hope a thousand fleas bite your testicles or breasts, whichever you've got, Mr/Ms Thief, and that one of those fleas has the bubonic plague. GRRRRR.

The only good thing to happen over break was a pretty damn good one, actually.

Alex asked me to marry him on Saturday in a wholly romantic, thoughtful way. Since I'm not an idiot, I said yes!

Now to return to the bad news, I have to eventually inform my ex. That will NOT be pleasant. I'm not taking off this beautiful ring. Therefore, if he notices it before I tell him, so be it. And I know that Ariana has been waiting for this day for a while now, so the second I tell her, BOOM! It'll be smeared all in the ex's face. She tends to like to mention Alex, how much she loves Alex, and how Alex should marry me and give her a sibling in front of her dad waaaayyyy too much as it is. Brrr. Won't be fun.

But hey! Who cares? I have proof on my left hand that the world's finest man, specially tailored for me, romantic, sweet, funny, smart, and handsome, is all mine. Woohoo! That HAS to make up for all the rest of it, right? Well, except for the Thomas CD. Damnit!

Friday, January 06, 2006

The Pen IS the Sword

Remember that old saying, "The pen is mightier than the sword"? Well, I contend that the pen IS a sword. All words can be used as weapons if the user is skilled enough. What really makes me ponder, however, is the decision by society to "condem" certain words as "curse words" that are inappropriate to use and wrong. Bad, bad johnny for saying shit! He said an awful word?

But is the word so bad...or is it how you USE the word?

If my five year old son stated, "Mommy, I need to go poo poo," nobody would blink. That's ok.

If my five year old son stated, "Mommy, I need to take a crap," there would be glaring at me for being a bad mom for teaching him that word.

If my five year old son stated, "Mommy, I need to take a shit," the gasps would be audible and the disgust would permeate the room. BUT WHY???

A pile of feces is a pile of feces is a pile of feces, folks. There's no subtlety to poo poo, crap, and shit that describes NICER feces. It's all doo doo. So why are some of these words "bad" and others acceptable? It's the random decisions of society.

Now, let's look at the word cow. Cow is not on the bad word list. We can say cow without anyone thinking it's horrid. However, if I walk up to somebody and say, "You are a stupid, fat cow," I've just taken an acceptable word and turned it mean.

I would rather my children shout out "Oh SHIT!" when stubbing their toe than to run around calling other children stupid, fat cows. It's how you use the words that matters...not the words themselves. But, I have already explained to my children that there are certain words they can't say no matter what the context or others will think ill of them. They have to know about society's norms...but I still object to some words being called "bad." The word cow is a penknife. The word shit is a claymore...a big ass, two handed claymore of doom that can lop off your head. But if I use the claymore to stab the dirt, is it so bad? And I can most assuredly kill you with a penknife if I wanted.

The words aren't bad. It's the use of the words that is bad.

And I suppose that's why I feel no shame about cursing :)

Monday, January 02, 2006

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride

Ok, so one week later...I know you are all wondering how Ariana is doing. So am I. See, the problem is that my daughter has two modes when sick: I'm acting as if fine, just like feral cats do in the wild, so that my predator will not sense I am weak; and, I am about to die. She had a check up at the pediatrician's, and she was acting GREAT. She was chasing her cousin Adam around the house, giggling, going full blast. We were having a problem getting her to rest. The doctor then checks her blood oxygen level and freaks out. They gave her two intense breathing treatments, one which included high powered steroids, and then they tested her blood oxygen level again.

What made me laugh despite it all was the pediatrician just...folded her hand underneath her chin and stared at my daughter bouncing happily on the examination table, babbling at us excitedly about this and that. She sighed. "I don't know what to do with this child," she mumbled to us. "I just don't know. Usually I'd immediately state that a child with the values she is spitting out to us would HAVE to go into the hospital. She SHOULD be curled up and miserable. But LOOK at her!" Yes, well, welcome to my daughter's world. She just doesn't complain unless it's a problem. She just doesn't complain until it's nearly too late.

So, the doctor decided to do one last ditch effort at keeping her at home by giving her more steroids and upped breathing treatments at home (we own a nebulizer due to Ari's asthma, so that was easily done). I thought that'd be that.

But poor dear...that was NOT it. The steroid overdose the doctor decided to give her triggered a migraine. My poor 8 yr old daughter got to vomit, whimper in pain that her head was about to explode, have light sensitivity, have smell sensitivity, and then as the migraine peaked...whimpered loudly that no one and nothing could touch her because it all hurt. It killed me to see her like that (but on the other hand, I was SO glad I got to go through all of this rather than her father...her father wouldn't have known what to do). I am scared that her propensity to react to the medicine with a migraine bodes ill for her future. My sister gets migraines. My mother gets them, my father gets them...and so do I. Damn. I am fearing that she will eventually get the family curse too.

The doctor cut back the steroid and spaced the frequency of the dosage. That helped, and for all we can tell, she's all better. But how does one tell with Ariana? I suppose I should try to get her into her regular pediatrician just to check this week because she's due to go to her dad's, and I'd just feel more comfortable if I knew she was completely in the clear!

We're in Columbia now. We just headed back today. Tomorrow we're back at the apartment, and I hope the damn electricity is back on by now...haha! Not looking forward to a (by now I'm sure) stinky sink full of dishes I couldn't wash before I left...


So, I was able to go to The Gathering, a collection of my high school buddies that happens once per year. No, I have not been able to go for a few years, so it was important for me to make it this time. I was wavering about disappearing Saturday night just because Ari's been so sick, but my brother shooed me off, and so Alex and I departed! The rest of my gang met Alex, and they all seemed to love him. He SO fits in with my geek friends. I drank a bit much Saturday night...not enough for a hangover, but enough that I was fighting the urge to crawl into the laps of some of my friends whom I have not seen in years...haha! Man, that was great. I sometimes think that I may be poor as shit, but I am soooo damn lucky to have the friends I do. My goodness...I am still friends with my entire circle of closest friends from high school! And college! And now I have Amanda and Angie, plus Shana, whom I can rely on for laughter, bitching, and a shoulder whenever I need it these days, right there near me for my convenience. Damn! And my family loves me too! And I have made so many new blog friends this last year! I'll stick with being poor if it means I get to have these people around me.


Speaking of poor, Ari's asthma episode will have cost me 900 dollars plus the unknown lab and xray costs (they get mailed this month...yay!). Fortunately, though, I only had to pay for 100 dollars worth of meds so far...the other 800 was covered by my dad and mom and my brother Ken. See? Family who takes care of me! Well, and my bro spoiled his niece rotten when she was so sick. He gave her a gameboy (she's always wanted one) so she'd sit still. I will get Ariana's daddy to pay for the xrays and lab work since my family unit covered 900 dollars so far, so I think I escaped this nightmare with just a hundred dollars gone. I'm soooo lucky.


Alex purchased as part of my Christmas present one of the finest wines I've had in years. It's a Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Vieux Telegraphe, 2003. It's a liquid orgasm, folks, if you like red wine...I swear!


Barbara, my dear friend from Columbia who took care of my cat over Christmas, is a hoot. She's like me: compulsive "helper." We came home and she changed a lightbulb in the spare bedroom; cleaned a window inside and out so Chian could "look outside clearly"; oiled up the deadbolt, other lock, and outside lock so they'd be easier to use; and--oh, this one is the BEST!--REPAINTED the number 315 on Alex's parking spot because she thought it was too faint. Haha! She also left Chian some Christmas presents. I had warned Alex that if we did anything foolish like left dishes in the sink or laundry in the basket, she'd do it, so we made sure we did it all. However, that did not also stop her from making the bed. Oh man, I love this woman.


The last thing I would like to mention is that I am SO TERRIFICALLY EXCITED AND THRILLED for A* and Hof!!!! Hof popped the question to A* over Christmas, and I'm so thrilled as they seem as happy and in love with each other as Alex and I are with each other. I thought for sure Hof wouldn't wait past early spring to do it and was mentally taking bets, but he surprised me by doing it this past December. I've had the priviledge of talking to A* via (insanely long, book-like) emails, and I've been able to see the marvelous woman she is. Hof is smart enough to recognize it...pretty rare for a Tarhole (don't hit me Hof...haha!). No, seriously, I love Hof. He's my second favorite Tarhole, actually. Yes, I am a Dookie who commits the ultimate sin of Tarheel lovin'...one of my best friends, Trish, received her master's degree from there. Oh, and The High Druid who comments here? One credit shy of being a Tarheel graduate too. So, actually, I am aware that there are cool UNCers out there, and Hof is one of them. They are a couple who know how lucky each other are to snag such a wonderful person...and I think that's the key to making it. They'll never take the other for granted. Perfect. I look forward to them blogging about their 40th wedding anniversary one day!