Tuesday, September 30, 2008

All the News That's (Un)Fit to Print!

So I’ve pretty much decided to get my news from The Onion or not at all. Because these “American Voices” make me laugh and that’s what I want from my news: a chuckle.
Stock Market Posts Record Point Loss
After the defeat of the bailout bill, the Dow Jones plunged a record 777 points. What do you think?

Sean Morrison, Deli Operator

"Maybe now people will finally realize that there is, in fact, nothing more important in life than money."

Jenny Shields, Designer

"Uh, hello? J. Lo unveiled her new perfume on Monday too? Hello? Anybody?"

Ken Beatty, Art Teacher

"Congress really let the American people down, or really stood up for them. Honest to god, I got no fuckin' clue anymore."


It’s either The Onion or The Good News Network, an actual website that only prints good news. Because, you know, good happens. One such article? Living with Humans Has Taught Dogs Morals, Says Scientist. The article is available to subscribing members only, so I can only imagine the content. Men have taught dogs that it is unethical to sniff a bitch’s crotch without her consent? WaMu What? Ask anyone on the street and you will find that is totally 100% just as pertinent as the failing economy.

I figure I know who I’m voting for and there is very little I can do about the recession, so why bother? The only reason I stay abreast of current events anyway is so I don’t sound like an ignoramus in mixed company, and let’s face it: that’s just vain. So I’m going public with my decision. I’d rather be uninformed and happy than informed and anxious.

Oh look! Kittens!


Hugs and Kisses to a Better America!

xoxo,

Susannah

Monday, September 29, 2008

Introducing Zoey-D in "Toddlin' 'Aint EZ"

Yo, yo, bad ass mo fo 2.5 in da' house!

Let's hear it for the West Coast Madeline Mafia! Literate 4 Life, Boyeeeeee!



Crazy Eyes Killah! Lil' $yco, in Crocz we Trust.

6’n da mornin’ Zoey at my bed
Sippin the milkies, wakin’ the dead
Out to the livin’ room to watch the Dora
Swiper no swiping! But that fox is a whore-a

She’s a mama/daddy made monster of the Sesame Streets
Remote controlled by crazy gigglin’ toddler beats
But just livin’ in the suburbs is a serious task
Didn’t know what she wanted
She didn’t let me ask


Word.

Friday, September 26, 2008

No, That's Not Dandruff. IT'S THE GODDAMN SKY.


I mean, sorry. It's just-- Gah. I am so sick of worrying about the economy. I am sick of talking politics. I am sick of brushing pieces of the sky out of my hair. Yesterday I stopped at the supermarket to get milk. As I parked my car talk radio was serving up the death of WaMu with a tasty side order of Chinese baby formula laced with melamine. I bought my milk. Then I returned to the car only to hear about the probability of an asteroid smashing into the planet Earth and killing us all in an instant. I'm not even kidding.
I give up. This weekend I am turning off the doom. I am going to cut some bread in the shape of autumn leaves and make cinnamon toast with my daughter. I am going to meet my friends in the park and let Indian Summer lay its warm hand flat on my back. I am going to paint my toenails and dye my hair. I am going to turn off the split screen inside my head, stop the running footer of numbers and late-breaking news, ignore the flashing station identification and I'm just going to breathe.
What about you? What do you do to find your center?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I Swear: Tomorrow I Will Grow Up

I think I'm rebelling against myself because even though I vowed to tone down the crass content on this blog I find that I cannot stop. Everywhere I look there are boobs and poop and drop dead funny baginas and then there's this: the funniest bagina of them all. Perhaps it's my response to the economic climate. You know, the sky is falling so I turn inward? Whatever it is it's working 'cause this here video is a thing of MAGIC:


Not particularly safe for work. Unless you happen to work for a company that manufactures yoni necklaces and candles in the shape of fertility goddesses. Then I'd say you're good to go. On pretty much anything.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

An Open Letter to the Lady with the Turquoise Sandals

Dear Lady with the Turqoise Sandals,
This letter is not about your shoes, although god knows your choice of footwear merits its own Open Letter. Because really. Are those things rubber? And turquoise? Common sense tells me that you can either wear rubber shoes or you can wear turquoise shoes but you just simply cannot wear rubber turquoise shoes. Especially after Labor Day. Color me conventional but there, I said it. However, I am not writing this letter to address your shoes; this letter is to address your shit. You see, you have violated some of the long-held universal tenants of office pooping and I am here to school you. Draw those flip flops up to your chest lady. You can (have the) run(s) but you can’t hide (in that stall forever)--things are about to get a bit grotty in this here workspace. Ah, yeah. I'm going there.

For most of my life I only pooped at home. No matter if I was on a long weekend getaway or at work. I held it and held out and to all the world I had no butthole. Life was good (if a little crampy). Then one day things changed. I had to go. Like, really. I had to go. I’m still not sure if this is a positive side effect of aging: you get more comfortable with the fact that you are human and thus poop. Or a negative effect of aging: You physically cannot hold it in anymore for days on end. So now I poop. I poop at restaurants. At other people’s houses. I poop in Port-a-Potties if things are unfortunately dire and I also poop at work.
As a seasoned everywhere pooper I have done my homework on best practice of poop. This is what I know: the fourth stall is the best. It’s farthest away from other paying customers. It’s got a modicum of privacy. If someone is in the fourth stall you let them be. How do you know someone might be in the fourth stall, you ask? Well, a fourth stall occupant might choose to employ one of two moves: the Astaire, a subtle toe-tap, or a Camo-Cough, a phony clearing of the throat to alert all entrants to the bathroom that someone is in the fourth stall. If you hear either one of these moves then proper poop protocol clearly states that you leave the bathroom immediately so the pooper can poop in peace. You don’t rattle the handle like you did, Dear Turquoise Sandal Lady, and when a meek voice calls out someone’s in here! you don’t sigh as if someone stole your parking space. Because that, my friend, is called being a Turd Burgler. And clearly I was there first.
Number two (pun intended; poop puns are just funny): You don’t then go into the third stall. No. The third stall is dead space, a divider between the worlds of pee and poop, a taint, if you will, of the public restroom. The third stall does not get used, particularly when the fourth stall is clearly occupado and the other stalls are vacant. Got that, Turquoise Sandal Lady? No. Third. Stall. And yet there you were, your rubber turquoise sandals practically toe to goddamn toe with my ballet flats.
Then there’s this: you don’t trump somebody else’s poop. Because that’s what you did to me. You sat there in the third stall and tried to out-wait me. Oh, I toe-tapped and coughed and even rustled my jeans a little, a move I made up there on the fly out of desperation, but clearly you would not budge. So I was the bigger person Turquoise Sandal Lady, and I packed it up. I puckered and I packed, washed my hands (of nothing!) and left. Face Off. Turquoise Sandal Lady: 1 (#2). Susannah: zip.
I went back to my desk and I did some work. I gave you 10 minutes and then I did a quick Fly By (the act of scouting out a bathroom before pooping) but still you were there. I let 15 more minutes pass. But remember Dear Turquoise Sandal Lady I am now 36 goddamn years old. Too young for Depends but too old for a long weekend of nothing or a long morning with a venti chai and a bran muffin. Things were coming to a head and I didn’t want to have to walk around Crop Dusting (which is completely unacceptable, btw, no matter the situation).
So yes, I returned to the bathroom. And yes, those damn Turquoise Sandals were still there peeking out from beneath the third stall. And yes, I probably should have left. But I didn’t. I returned to my rightful throne in the fourth stall and set up shop. And so there we sat, two coworkers not two feet away from each other pooping. And that is just not okay. Because TSL? I feel I can call you that now, can’t I? After all, we’ve shit together, holding hands practically. TSL, my compadre of the can, I have a friend I’d like you to meet. Her name is Courtesy Flush. She is the act of flushing the instant your poop hits the water, thus reducing the amount of time the poop has to stink up the bathroom. Courtesy Flush, meet Turquoise Sandal Lady. Please meet her, greet her and use her liberally. Public pooping is not the time to worry about water conservation.
And last but certainly not least, there’s this. I finished first. What can I say? You were in there for a total of 35 minutes. Clearly you ate some bad fish tacos the night before or something but I had work to do so I finished first. Proper Poopiquette says that you wait there in your precious little third Turd-Burgled stall and wait for me to wash my hands and exit the bathroom altogether. But nooooo. You’re quite the renegade of the restrooms, aren’t you TSL? A defector of the defecation treatise. Because you chose the exact moment I was at the sink to come out of your stall. Dear Turquoise Sandal Lady, I have a vague notion that your hair is blonde but that’s about it. You forced me to do the Walk of Shame, both of us really, standing there side by side washing our hands in a cloud of colonic stench. I could not look you in the eye, could not meet my own eyes in the mirror, really, and now I am left with just this: the image of those goddamn heinously ugly rubber turquoise sandals.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mardi Merde de Gras


Words cannot explain just how happy the above image makes me. Really, I am slightly pathetic today, a sad sack Fräulein of Schadenfreude feeling like a stuffed bratwurst with her casing much too tight. Last night I ate a stack of Oreos and then sat for 20 minutes wearing Crest Whitestrips. I am a contradiction, an After when I swear I used to be a Before.
Ne temps fait pas, mes petites. It's PMS. This too shall pass. Happy Tuesday, a Mardi Merde de Gras. If you type that phrase into freetranslation.com you get "Tuesday fuck of fatty one." Not quite what I meant but I like it even more. Say it with me now: Happy Tuesday fuck of fatty one! Or if you prefer your angst in German, (and really, who doesn't?) Glücklicher Dienstag ficken von fettig Ein!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Don't Make Me Blog You

Happy Monday, I have no v*gina. And how was your weekend?
No really. From here on out I am a Barbie doll. Not even Barbie because she’s too sexy what with her waist smaller than her head and all. I’m more like Skipper, her sexless friend, or Ken or Midge or even the Dreamhouse, inanimate and safe. On Friday night Bryan perused my blog which he hardly ever does and said he thinks I say too much. About us “doing it.” About my boobs. He says that there are weirdos out there and I agree. The world is chock full of people gone bad, thieves and drug addicts, murderers, the p-word which I don’t even want to type as I don’t want any traffic associated with those people. (Hint: it rhymes with theyshouldbekilleddeadophiles.) And so even though it makes me laugh to imagine some creep sitting alone at his computer at night with a tub of vasoline, using one hand to search for “married people sex” or “doing it” or “boob cancer,” I vow from here on out to be a little more cognizant of my nether region. Wait, is that too much? Nether region? Down below? The area which I cover at all times with a thick poly/flannel blend printed with calico and dusted for fingerprints? Yeah, that. Shhh.

On Saturday we went out for breakfast. Me and my wholesome family. I ordered the veggie frittata. Is frittata too sexy? I think so, too. Okay, I ordered the veggie egg scramble cooked into a shape. The shape was not a p*nis but more of just a block, a brick of breakfast. There we were eating when all of a sudden this woman stopped by our table. Bryan? she said. And my heart dropped. Don’t blog about that, Bryan said later, and I am sorry. This is my life, too, he reminded me, and it’s true. He didn’t ask to be married to a blogger, a blabber, a Barbie doll with boobies and a computer. My waist is way larger than my head, though, and so when that woman stopped by our table I slid back in time. When we were 20 Bryan and I were broken up. But we weren’t. We were everything and nothing and boy was she something. Well she sure has gotten cankle-y, I said as soon as she left our table. Does Elmo want a bite of potatoes? Bryan asked Zoey. You can’t even look at me right now, can you? I asked him, trying to smile. I mean don’t you think? She’s gotten kind of fat? Surprise, surprise, Elmo would not eat the potatoes. Look at me, I said. No, Bryan said, nervously laughing. I’m afraid to. You’re going to freak out. It’s been 15 years and you’re going to freak out. And again he was right. I was. And this is his life, too. And so I cannot tell the story of seeing her again, how that woman standing by our table beckoned forth the ghost of a person I do not ever want to be again. Weak. I was weak then and now she is thick. And perfectly nice, yes, I am sure she is nice. Nice if you like v*ginas and wh*res and a knife in your he*rt. But I don’t. Not anymore, anyway. I am no longer that girl, twenty and weak. Because now? Now when I sit at the computer alone at night this is what I type into the search engine: Bryan. Zoey. Calico printed panties. Dreamhouse. My animate life, strong and safe.

Happy Monday. But I have this.

Blog poster from here.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tell Me Again About the Rabbits, George

There are so many things about Zoey that I want to remember forever: the small press of her mouth against mine, the smell of her skin warm slathered in sunscreen, the soft seashells of her fingernails. And then last night there was this: desperately trying to suppress a smile while pretending to be asleep in my bed.

There are so many things. Too many things. I cannot, do not, will not ever get enough of the way my life expands and contracts, expands and contracts, the rhythm of my heart breaking and falling in love, over and over and over again.

A Glass. OF SPIT! WTF?

*My deep apologies for the light postings this week but my husband has leprosy. Or maybe it’s toxic shock syndrome. Gout? I don’t know. The point is he is leaking from every mucous membrane and yelping as if I have accidentally stepped on his tail. Keep in mind he does not actually have a tail but if he did it would be stuck deep between his legs and quivering a feverish little shake, a lap dog nervously piddling on the carpet when the doorbell rings. Sick men are the most pathetic creatures known to (wo)man.


Yesterday I tried to quarantine him to the couch. I gave him some fluffy pillows, a roll of Charmin, a glass of water and the remote. But when I got home from work it was apparent that he had escaped. Wads of toilet paper littered our bed. A trail of toast crumbs speckled the keyboard. There was a glass of spit on our bedside table. A glass. OF SPIT. I reminded him it was trash night and that he needed to take the cans down to the curb but he said he was too sick. Then not two minutes later he asked if I wanted to do it. I eyed the thin thread of spittle that stretched from his mouth down to his chin as he said it and politely declined the invitation.
Later that night he complained that I was being mean to him. This after I had made him chicken soup, cleaned up the kitchen, dosed him up with Tylenol PM, tucked him in and lit a candle scented like Hawaiian Maile Vine. I'm not being mean, I said. I just know that next week? When I come down with this cold? And I think I am dying? Next week you’re going to have sailing practice or the surf will be good and I will be stuck here with a miserably sick toddler and all the plouffy toilet paper will be gone so forcing me to blow my nose with one-ply. Besides, I said as I left the room to go watch **The Hills, I lit you a scented candle to fall asleep to. And from the hallway I heard a most pathetic small voice say, You lit that candle for yourself. And darn it all if he wasn't right. Because every time he exhaled I thought for sure he had farted and the wall of pillows I had built around him would never pass any real scientific tests on germ warfare.
Back soon with something more compelling.
*And here I must wave off the demons of sick. Because you know that’s how it works, right? Things like leprosy, they have nothing to do with actual germs or viruses or cells dividing and everything to do with you taunting them. So hello leprosy, go away gout. I highly doubt Bryan will ever fall victim to TSS but if he does pass out one day in a public bathroom stall we know who is to blame for not reading the insert in the box of tampons. Moi.
**I would be remiss if I did not mention that I could barely watch The Hills this week so distracted was I with Lauren's mustache and Audrina's overly white/blue teeth. WTF is up with that???

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

One Thumb Up

Personally I would have gone with the penis tattoo, but that's just me. (Imagine the possibilities! I could finally dick slap someone!) But this--well, this is good, too. Lord knows should he ever hitchhike he'll get a ride purdy darn quick...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

It's a Little Gritty But Nice Nonetheless

Let’s pretend for a moment that I would ever be caught dead in a brown suit, brown socks and brown—good god—what are those? Buster Browns? Sure, yes, whatever. Buster Browns. Let’s pretend. Because the sky is falling and people are whispering here in my office, grim news, grim reaper, election, war, mortgage crisis, bubbles popping, bursting, exploding, blah blah blah, yesterday was very nearly black so here I am clad in brown, my head stuck deep in the sand, my ass slathered in Coppertone SPF 50. La la la, fingers in my ears, this is becoming my very favorite song, I caaaan’t heaaar youuuuuuu! Tonight we get to find out just who is Kelly’s Baby Daddy on 90210. Oh, I know I previously panned the show but what can I say? I’m a sucker for the time suck, the soul suck, the chupa chup chupacabra of crap tv.
Last night I went to a movie with two of my oldest friends. Vicky Christina Barcelona. That is not their names but the name of the movie. Erin Christine Tiburon. That was the name of my evening. Erin and Christine are some of my oldest friends. I have known Erin since we were 14, Christine since we were 6. Very coincidentally we were all pregnant at the same time. Zoey was born April 2006, Christine’s daughter Charley was born in May, then Erin’s son Porter was born in July. Toward the end of our pregnancies the three of us waddled into the Cheesecake Factory together one night looking very much like a line of very fat ducks wearing unfortunate jeans. Heads turned. We ordered and ate heaping platters of Thai Chicken Pasta and still had room for dessert. Now they are coincidentally both pregnant again, Christine a little over 6 months, Erin 8 weeks behind her. Last night we stood in the lobby of the movie theater talking, two full-bellied mama ducks and one relatively skinny scruffy pigeon (that would be me). One of these kids is doing her own thing, except I’m beginning to wonder. It’s like I’m starring in my very own annoying laugh-track sitcom with an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other, only this time there is a fetus on one shoulder and, well, what really is on my other shoulder? More free time? More sleep? More money? More freedom? A summer in Barcelona where I can make love to both Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz? It’s hard to personify those things to sit on your shoulder but if you look hard enough you can see them, fighting with a mythical fetus for what is not even there.
No baby was always a deal-breaker. And I won’t pretend it wasn’t a bit of a struggle. There was always another surf trip, another country that Bryan wanted to travel. But we did it and Bryan loves Zoey and the countries are miraculously still there, the waves still rolling in, the moon still full, the earth still round. But Bryan thinks that one baby is enough, that with one baby we can still one day move to Costa Rica and eat arroz con pollo for breakfast, lunch and dinner. One baby travels light. But two babies? Two babies are heavy. Two babies would weigh down the edges, two babies renders the world flat. I love Zoey and cannot imagine my heart any bigger. Two babies or no is not a deal-breaker.
And yet this weekend. This weekend we were cleaning out our garage. I love to throw shit away and had created a mountain of crap to recycle and toss: plastic growers pots, moldy blankets, worn flip flops. But as much as I love to throw things away is how much Bryan loves to horde and so he combed through my pile, a vulture with a wetsuit rash. This? We can’t throw this away! He would say, holding up a rake, the metal teeth arthritic and bent. And then he came across Zoey’s baby high chair and it was as if I had thrown our own screaming child on top of the heaping pile. We can’t throw this away! What if we need it again? And my heart. It stopped, and the horizon did not look curved at all.
Erin Christine Tiburon. Like Woody Allen I am kvetching and unsure. This past weekend Zoey told me she had a baby in her tummy and I have no idea where she got that from. Mama NO! She held out the flat palm of her hand. DON’T TICKLE MY BABY!, a two year old Bristol Palin. And I sat there in my Buster Browns wondering when the world starting moving so quickly. Who is Kelly Taylor’s Baby Daddy? Tonight we will know for sure. Chupa Chup. Let's just pretend.

Monday, September 15, 2008

And THAT'S One to Grow On

Now I'm no Tootie and this here blog is no Saturday morning cartoon but rather the ramblings of a middle class white woman about... about what really? Motherhood? Pop culture? Fear and loathing in Suburbia? Whatever. We need not solve that issue here. The thing is I know I'm not a political blog. I don't want to be a political blog. I don't know enough, I'm too passionate, I both care too much and yet too little. Still. I came across this Digg comment posted on The Avant Garde Retard and something about it rang so true that while reading it all I could hear was that clear and soft ding ding ding diiing! of my childhood memory. The More You Know... Me hunched on the couch drinking Nesquik and knowing what was true, what was right, and what was not.

What if John McCain were a former president of the Harvard Law Review? What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating class?
What if McCain were still married to the first woman he said "I do" to? What if Obama were the candidate who left his first wife after she no longer measured up to his standards?
What if Michelle Obama was a wife who not only became addicted to pain killers, but acquired them illegally through her charitable organization? What if Cindy McCain graduated from Harvard?
What if Obama were a member of the "Keating 5"? What if McCain was a charismatic, eloquent speaker?
If these questions reflected reality, do you really believe the election numbers would be as close as they are?
This is what racism does. It covers up, rationalizes and maximizes positive qualities in one candidate and emphasizes negative qualities in another when there is a color difference.
- Kelvin , Fort Worth"

Anyhoo. Like I said, I don't want to be a political blog (but it's hard these days when even the simple act of watering your lawn can be seen as a bi-partisan statement). And so I leave you with this: my pretty new ring. Like it? I love it. My mama bought it for me for my birthday. Which is kind of pathetic when you look at this photograph and see the wrinkles on my hands, but there you go. Pretty pretty, la la la, fingers in my ears, I caaan't heeeaar you!


Conjunction Junction, what's your function? Happy Monday, now I'm going back to bed.
Love,
S

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

First the Good:
Which is not so much good as it is great. Not even great, it's fabulous. Mother-effin awsome oh I'm sohappyiamforgettingallpunctuationexceptanannoyingpittypatofexclamationpoints!!!!!!!!!! My mammogram came back NORMAL! I made an adorable video of Zoey eating a celebratory cupcake and announcing the news that her mommy has healthy boobies, but apparently God does not want to bless me with healthy breasts and speedy internet connectivity in one day so it would not upload. Believe me, I'll take healthy boobies over fast internet connection any day of the week.
Which leads me to the Bad:
Hurricane Ike. A lot of my favorite bloggers seem to live in the Houston area or Texas at large so let me just say this: my thoughts are with you as you hunker down.
And what good would The Good & The Bad be without The Ugly?

Truthfully I didn't really have an ugly so I found this image on the internet. I think we can all agree that this pooch is a tad bit aesthetically challenged, no?
So there you go. Feel your boobies. Wait for the winds to pass. And then, uh, gnaw on your toenails? I dunno.' Shitty post this one, but I'm just giddy with my boobs right now.
Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Door to Hell (Just Around the Corner from A Stairway to Heaven)


There is a place in Uzbekistan called "The Door to Hell." I may be feeling a wee bit dark lately but I swear I did not make this up. So if you are searching for just such a doorway, look no further than the small town of Darvaz. You need not know the Devil to enter.
The images are stunning and the story is this: 35 years ago geologists were drilling for gas when suddenly the earth opened up to reveal a huge underground cavern. The equipment and camps fell deep inside, but no one dared go in because the cave swam with poisonous gas. So rather than let the gas escape they set fire to it. And now, 35 years later, the earth is still burning.
It took me until late morning to realize that today is September 11th. Never forget, people say, but life goes on and today is Thursday. Tonight I have dinner plans with my husband's sailing team. I drove to work thinking about Isis from America's Next Top Model. I ate a croissant. And yet seven years ago the world stood still and we all thought it would never be the same.
I mean no disrespect to those that died as a result of the terrorist attacks. I have only the highest regard for those that worked to save lives. If I really think about it I can remember that deep chasm of hopelessness I felt in those days right after, the creaking ache in my chest when I saw an American flag, when I smelled smoke. How one night driving home I pulled over just before I got on the Golden Gate Bridge because I did not like the looks of the truck in front of me. The world is not the same really, but it's also not all that different. Now when I cross the bridge I curse the fact that they just raised the toll to $6. My heart creaks for my daughter and when I see an American flag sadly I snort. Because I think our current administration is a joke.
I don't know what those geologists should have done when the earth caved in. Because really, which is better? Letting the poisonous gas slowly escape sight unseen, or setting it on fire to burn for all of eternity, an ulcerated wound on the world?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I Beg to Differ


People criticize the internet. Email. Websites. Facebook, Myspace, Twitter Bitter and Blog. (Ooh! Dibs! Great name for a blog. Or a legal firm.) They say it's impersonal, that the big bad world has gotten small with pockets, that instead of communicating face to face we now sit behind our monitors and emote to the click of a keyboard. But here's the thing: I don't know how I would have gotten through these last few days without you. Yes, you. You there eating the Rice Krispy treat and you, I see you, the one picking your nose? Thank you. Of course I am not through anything real yet. It takes a Laffy Taffy stretch of a week to get the results, but guess what? It's Day 2.0 and I love you for being there.

And I can't believe I'm saying this, and in public, no less, but my mom is right. (If you don't know what I'm talking about read her comment on the post below. How will you know which one is my mother? *snort* Look for the novel.) Growing up my mother sang along to every song with a beautiful voice but the wrong lyrics. Ever heard of the Top 40 hit by The Police Sausage in a Bottle? Yeah, no one has but Judy. And when I was in college I called to see if she had any of the English Lit. books I needed before I went to the store to buy them. She said she had I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and that she'd send it to me overnight. The next day I opened a package containing I Heard the Owl Call My Name. Toe-may-toe, toe-mah-toe, but today she got it right. I need to live as if everything is hunky dory because today? Today it is. Today I am going home to my Petunia Faced Girl. Today I am going to eat guacamole and chips with my husband outside on the deck as the sun goes down. Then I am going to take my mom's advice and DO IT. I heard the owl call my name and it's telling me to take that sausage out of the bottle.
Image above by the fabulously talented Chris Piascik.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Before of Nothing

I wonder what change looks like, fear. Physically, I mean. Is it bumpy and sharp? Wispy like a tumbleweed full of hot air? Or is it pebble-soft smooth, one of a million in a rain stick tumbling down?

Last night Bryan and I watched a mediocre movie. At some point I took off my earrings, small gold studs, and I hooked one into the other and rolled them around in between my fingers. Is this what it’s like? A spikey small thing, uneven and strange? I rolled them around like that until the pads of my fingers went numb, and then I placed them into the fold of my robe and ran my hand over the tiny bump in the chenille. Bryan sat next to me, transfixed by the tv. I don’t know if it’s a man thing or just a Bryan thing but when the tv is on he cannot see, hear, taste, smell anything but what is on the screen. I could change the channel to the Cantonese Home Shopping Network and still he would stare. And so he didn’t notice that for the entire movie I had one hand inside my robe rubbing small circles, first over one breast and then the next.
What does it feel like?
Which is not to say Bryan was not, is not, a fabulously caring husband. Throughout the movie he would tear himself away and kiss me. I love you, he’d say. You’re sexy. Me there in my robe rubbing my earrings beneath the fold. D’ya’ wanna’ do it? And I shook my head no. We’re not going to do it until you get your results, are we? And the thing is, I don’t want to be scared. This is silly. I am fine. Really, I am sure I will be fine. To everything there is a before and an after, and this? This is the before of nothing.
But last night my breast ached. A dull throb beneath the spot. Don’t be silly, I thought. And then I made my pinkie ache, just to see if I could. Ow, I thought. My pinkie hurts. Do it, see? Really. Think about it and your pinkie will hurt. It aches. My prostate, the one kind of cancer I am truly guaranteed never to get. Somewhere deep inside my backside I imagine a gland. I am not even sure where it is: my ass? My urethra? I don’t know, I do not have one, but if I think about it hard enough I can make my prostate hurt.
It aches. And I have to imagine that if I can make something I don’t even have hurt, then I can make something I probably don’t even have never appear. Because change looks like this: a 36 year old woman sitting on her couch in her bathrobe watching a mediocre movie with her husband. Trying to breathe.

Monday, September 8, 2008

So Yeah, This Happened, Too

Certain things make me feel like a good American: going to Target, balancing my checkbook, getting my teeth cleaned. Doing these things makes me feel good, pure, as if surely nothing bad could ever befall someone whose checkbook is balanced. Getting a pap smear. Logically I know this is not a “safe” doctor’s appointment. Cells could be abnormal, cancer could be detected. But a clean hoo hoo means that I am a good person so there you go. I am willing to put myself in the way of cells dividing. As you can imagine I was in heaven while pregnant, all those check ups, me married and pregnant, getting weighed, having my blood pressure monitored, jelly smeared across my growing belly. I wouldn’t have been surprised to find a pearl choker wrapped around my neck, I was just that good. So imagine my surprise on Friday when I went to the dermatologist to have some splotches on my neck looked at. I wear sunscreen. I don’t smoke. The dermatologist is another safe haven of health. I leave with free samples of Eucerin and assurance that I am good. But this time, this time was different.
There’s a fungus among-us. Of course the splotches on my neck are nothing a little Selsun Blue won’t cure. Despite the fungus inside I felt clean, until the end of the appointment when the doctor asked if I had any more questions and just because I was there I said yeah, you know? I’ve had this little spot on my breast for a few months? And I opened up my paper robe and the world slowed down, my body an hourglass, the sand falling away at my feet. The doctor looked at it, at me. She called in another dermatologist. He put on the visor with the magnifying glasses and I was exposed. 10x. No longer clean, pure, no longer good. I’m sure it’s nothing, he said, smiling beneath his magnified eyes, but we’re going to schedule you for a mammogram. And then it was over. The appointment was over and I went back to work where I traipsed into the bathroom stall every 10 minutes to open my bra and stare at a tiny spot next to my nipple that could be the end of it all.


At 5pm on Friday the doctor called me back. She said I really don’t want you to worry. I am almost sure it is nothing but you should have a mammogram anyway. But the thing is there are no take-backs on fear. You’re either good or you’re not and oh I didn’t really mean to scare you while patting my shoulder dappled with fungus is like gifting Christian Louboutins to a double amputee. On Saturday there was a breast cancer walk through my town and as Zoey and I nestled into my bed to take a nap together I could hear the hoots and the hollers, the cars honking their horns at the walkers all dressed in pink. Healthy boobies, Zoey said, which is what I taught her to say the last time we drove by the breast cancer walk and I rolled down the car window so she could wave at them. Sshhh, I said this time, Nigh-nigh time, and I shut my eyes and pulled the covers over my head.
I have my mammogram today at 3. I am sure it is nothing, the doctor said. But I no longer feel like a good American. My checkbook is off-balance and I am not clean.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Breathe

video

Inhale pink, exhale blue. Om, giggles and a diaper full of poo. Happy Friday!

Namaste.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

That Depends...

The first time it happened we were in the bathroom stall at Target. Ne touche pas! I kept saying to Zoey, because for some reason if I tell her in French not to touch something I feel like less of a nag. Plus, there is always the possibility that someone will overhear me and think I’m French which is just pathetic of me, I know. Meanwhile Zoey is growing up ne touching pas and watching her cabeza and hearing me say nein instead of no because certain words just sound better in other languages. But that is not what happened in the bathroom stall at Tarjay. What happened is that I was going pee and trying to distract Zoey with squares of toilet paper so she wouldn’t touch the door, the walls, the floor, so that she wouldn’t open the feminine hygiene dispenser to play with the mice inside. Ciò disgusta! I was saying when out of nowhere her tiny hand reached down with some toilet paper to wipe my влагалище.
When I was trying to get pregnant I totally pictured rocking my baby in the soft light of dawn. I closed my eyes and imagined my baby’s soft coo, her giggle, I knew one day we would play ring around the rosie and all fall down. What I did not picture was my daughter chasing me down the hallway with a postage stamp size bit of toilet paper yelling at me to stop because she has to wipe my butt. Alas, here we are, and no, my ass does not need cleaning.

A photo of Zoey and her other sudden fixation: washing her hands. Because you don't want a picture of her wiping my ass.

Perhaps this is an integral part of the potty training process that is not covered in the cinéma vérité that is Elmo’s Potty Time DVD? Because lately Zoey is obsessed with my bits. It’s September in the Bay Area which means that summer has just begun. When I get home in the afternoon the house is hot and stuffy. First thing I do is shed my clothes and don a short, thin cotton robe I bought in India. First thing Zoey does is go to the bathroom to grab small fistfuls of toilet paper. Mama? Your butt? If I am lucky she hands it to me. If I am not looking she will very quickly shove her hand up the back of my robe to clean me.

And here is where I reiterate: my ass does not need cleaning.

Is this normal? My daughter’s acute fixation with my personal hygiene? Because I thought this moment would not arrive for at least another fifty years. There is no argument that changing someone’s diaper is the height of love, what with all the poop and creases and shadowy places. And it feels terrible to turn a blind eye (not a brown eye) to my daughter’s outstretched offer of a hand, to run down the hallway away from her. But really. Ne touche pas, Petunia. Nein. Watch your cabeza, ma petite. Ciò disgusta!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sometimes a Bad Pizza Is Just Bad

I never thought I would say this but the new 90210? It's kinda' like pushing rope. And if you don't know that expression you're missing out because it is my new favoritest thing to say, ever. Not that I have ever had any experience with it (dear husband), or with rope of any kind (Dad, Mom, Andy, in-laws... why am I even writing this? Because the saying is just that good). So yeah, bring back babydoll dresses and David Silver singing because the new 90210 needs to just roll over and go to sleep.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Beginning of the Rest

On the eve of my birthday I was laying in bed reading People magazine, because that’s what you do when you’re 36, you read People, cover to freaking cover. See, when you turn 12 you get a subscription to Seventeen and then when you turn 20 you read Cosmo and then it’s Marie Claire around 28 and then in your mid-thirties you just say oh fuck it and read People and then I think around 50 you make the switch to Reader’s Digest except in saying that I am surely going to piss off my readers that are older than I am so slash that. When you’re 50 you don’t read at all because you can’t find your glasses. I kid, I kid. Where was I? Ah, yes, in bed reading People feeling sorry for myself for turning 36. And then feeling sorry for myself for feeling sorry for myself. And then I turned the page to an article about a little girl who has been missing and was probably murdered and just like that my 36 year old hormonal pity party ended. Feeling sorry for myself for aging is a luxury and I decided to shut the fuck up about it all. To which I am fairly certain I just heard a collective sigh of relief.
On Saturday we packed up the car and headed out to the beach in Point Reyes. For those that don’t know: Point Reyes is heaven. A peninsula protected as Point Reyes National Seashore. It looks like this:


On the drive out there Zoey feel asleep in her carseat and Bryan was driving and I had my feet up on the dashboard just sort of zoning out. And I suddenly realized: I am at peace. This is it. Peace. Long slow blinks in a warm car driving out to the beach with my family and a bag of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Peace. And I wanted to tell Bryan but I was afraid that the minute I said it the car would crash because isn’t that just the sort of thing someone says right before they die? I am at peace? So I waited but the feeling just wouldn’t go away so I said it quietly, hunching down. I am at peace, I said in a whisper. Hm, Bryan said back, and that made me happy because if it were a movie and the heroine had said that right before dying in a fiery car crash then surely her lover would have replied with something a little more final, right? His hm saved me.


Except now I just read that last paragraph and I wonder about writing it. Is this the blog entry that you will all read and re-read, wistful and dramatic, after somehow finding out a blood clot burst in my brain, killing me instantly on a nothing of a Tuesday afternoon? Killing me before I ever get to see the new 90210? Is this the blog entry you will forward to your friends with the subject line: This is so Incredibly Tragic! My life honored with a sad face emotion? If I point at it enough, the situation and the possibility of me being at peace inviting my swift demise, does that somehow render me safe? Because surely the universe wouldn’t be so hackneyed as to kill me after I posted about not only being at peace but thinking that I would die for saying that I am at peace, right? These are the thoughts that clutter my brain, this and calculating if Sarah Palin’s 17 year old daughter could have really given birth to the baby boy with Down's Syndrome and now be 5 months pregnant. I mean, does that work? This is the closest I get to ever really being at peace. And this is good enough for me.


Happy Birthday. ‘Tis the End of The High Holy Days and the beginining of the rest, 'til death do us part and Happily Ever After. We should all be so lucky.

Except this: Pins and Needles, I know. You are all on pins and needles waiting to find out who won the first annual Petunia Face ¡Cumpleaños Felices! Con Regalo!: the coveted fossil. It was a difficult decision, I mean what with all of you clamoring for the prize. But last night I read all of the comments and immediately disqualified my entire family from ever receiving a present from yours truly ever again and then I decided to give it to…


KristiniMartini! Come on Down!

I love love loved all of your well wishes and flattery (note to Nathan, you made my day and I am now going to walk up and down the mall hoping to run into you), but KristiniMartini was the only commenter to flat out say she wanted the fossil and that she had a place to put it. So KristiniMartini—email me where you’d like me to send it. From Agadir, Morocco to my house to yours: Happy Fossil To You!

xoxo,

Susannah at 36