Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I ask for so little in this life...

I will be SO PISSED if they end up closing the Queens County schools because of this swine flu bullshit. Mostly because having a kid at home will keep me from enjoying my newest favorite pastime, watching trashy TV at the gym.

I don't have cable, so I inhale the rot-yer-brain crap that's shown on the workout-vision TV sets that are conveniently built into the machines at my gym. This is amazing to me. You simply plug in your headphones and you have access to reality TV, soaps and about 9 different court shows. I don't know if I love working out now, or if I just spend an extra 20 minutes on the elliptical trainer because I just HAVE to see how that paternity test came out on Judge Hatchett. Either way, my ass thanks you.

Have you guys ever seen Steve Wilkos? I love this guy! I think I am having the same kind of weird masochistic sexual fixation on him that I had on the meat cart guy near the playground in my neighborhood; he's big, bald, sweaty, unabashedly masculine, and looks like he'd smell like a steak kebab. He flips over chairs when he gets pissed at the irresponsible babymamas on his show, but he's also tender and sweet with, say, the gangbanger who kicked his pregnant girlfriend in the belly, but really, really wants help to get out of the thug life, ya know?

It's really engaging. I can't get enough.

Even though a lot of moms go to my gym, I think I'm probably the only woman crying on the treadmill because I'm so moved by the transformation of a teen prostitute or because I've seen justice given to the woman who sued over the $200 faulty weave that made her very hair fall out of her head.

Thank you, Fitness Center, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Walt Disney is rolling in his frozen grave

For those of you who have been reading this blog for a while, (and I apologize to you folks, for so many reasons...but really, what the hell is wrong with you people anyway?!) you might recall me blogging about my weird-ass dreams. Recently I wrote a whole wastebasketful of nonsense about a recurring nighmare in which I have the painful urge to the pee and can only find filthy, feces-encrusted public toilets available for my use. Oh, and I'm also usually barefoot.

Last night's dream, though...I don't know WHERE that came from. I did drink a stoopid amount of pink champagne at a friend's birthday party and then go home and stuff microwave popcorn in my face while watching repeats of Grey's Anatomy, but I am not sure why I dreamed that Lily and I went on a vacation and had to share our hotel bed with two full-grown female lions.

The lions were tame(ish) and liked to cuddle, but shit, they were still fucking gigantic bloodthirsty jungle cats with claws specifically designed to tear flesh away from bone. And this thought plagued me as I crawled into bed with my child. Maybe it's all the Christian the Lion stuff I am seeing on the internet. I think they just wrote a book about that guy. Anyway.

So, it gets weirder. I'd also forgotten to pack any clothes for the trip, but my aunt was kind enough to supply me with an adult-sized Mickey Mouse bathing suit. But stuck inside the crotch was a used menstrual pad, filled with blood, and I couldn't seem to remove it.

Thoughts, guys?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I dyed my hair.

I call this shade, "Throw Me In The Water And See If I Float, And Then Burn Me At The Stake, EEEEEEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEEEEE!".

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mile High Club

It has come to my attention that I need to blog. I've been away on vacation for the last week and writing was not in the forefront of my mind. Ok, I was mildly inspired whence I was looking at Youtube videos of Chris Rock musing about Tossed Salads, but I couldn't quite conjure anything that would be acceptable for the masses. If you google 'Chris Rock' with 'Tossed Salad', you'll see why. But do so with caution.

Oh, but I had forgotten what an interesting experience it is to travel sans adult partner with your five year old child.
That's actually not true; I've never even done it. I have little to compare with this experience, in fact.

I can only draw upon one excursion, lifetimes ago, when our family was still intact, and we traveled to South America on a film shoot. Lily was a little more than two. My DVD player crapped out about halfway through the flight and the Benadryl I'd administered on the knowing urges of my jet-setting mother friends had the opposite of the desired effect, in that it made the kid hyper as hell. She spent a good part of the flight bouncing in her seat, kicking the shit out of her tray table and attempting to run down the aisle to bust in on First Class. Eventually she melted down and vomited all over herself and me, and a during our ear-popping descent, a helpful passenger offered her a stick of Juicy Fruit, thereby igniting the kid's lifelong obsession with gum.

All this was happening as her father was seated in the back of the plane among other film crew members, engaged in 'meetings' or something. It should be noted that at this time I was still trying to convince myself and everyone else how important my husband was, to our family and to the world at large. So important, in fact, that hey, we got this free trip to South America and all I have to do is sit with the kid on my lap the whole flight and not complain! Small price to pay for the experience, right? Right? Wrong.

But I digress.

Now my child is older and, presumably, more mature and will as a result be a more companionable travel comrade, I'm thinking. And I have to say, I was right for the most part.

It was Lily who sat pretzel-legged and unperturbed, watching "Hannah Montana" on my ipod when our tiny plane hit a patch of turbulence. I began to believe in magical creatures, swearing that a giant must have mistaken us for a toy plane and was punching at the sides of our vessel in a crude attempt to amuse himself. I was acutely aware of the thin membrane separating us from The Other Side—this being imminent death—and felt certain that every passenger had drawn the same number in the game of life upon boarding. The jig was up. Game over. What a way to go.

Lily was completely unfazed as I watched, from the unfortunate vantage point of our front-row seats, as the steward scrambled to his perch, quizzically located right next to the cabin door/escape hatch, and fastened his seat belt, then proceeded to hoist two mystery straps over his shoulders which I was sure were attached to a parachute. Son of a bitch, I thought. He's gonna totally ditch. He's gonna jump out of the plane and I'm going to die holding an empty peanut bag and cup of bloody mary mix.

But that didn't happen.

Eventually we sailed through the rough patch and the bile in my throat slipped back down to my stomach and all was well. And I realized that the most frightening thing about the experience wasn't the turbulence itself, because I've been on bumpy flights on my own before and never really minded. It isn't my chosen way to go, but I'll ride down in a fiery fuselage if it is my fate. I'll suck on the free oxygen and clutch my passport, so they can identify me later. I'm not really afraid to die.

What freaked me out was that I was on this plane with my child. With Lily, who has yet to experience much of the world and to whom I have sworn, by the very nature of our mother-child bond, to protect and keep alive at all costs.

And it's funny because she didn't even notice my panic, my racing mind, the fact that I was stricken and terrified and smearing the passenger window with my sweat-soaked palms, in an attempt to somehow control what was going on around us, to protect her from harm.

Yet another example of how motherhood is a total ruse, how completely unfair the whole thing is. But I guess, you know, that's alright with me.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Thug

Tonight we wrote a letter to the Easter Bunny, instructing him to please take the stinky pink and blue and lavender eggs sitting in the basket on the kitchen table and hide them "in a place where no one will find them" (this was Lily's request).

We left him a plate of baby carrots and a handful of Puffins cereal and I reminded her that EB would only come if she went to sleep early.

Then she asked, "Mama, how is the Easter Bunny gonna get in our house?"

This is a question I hate. Living in an apartment in New York City doesn't really allow for working within the framework of the Santa-coming-down-the-chimney scenario, or the Easter Bunny hopping in from...wherever he hops in from. All our holiday characters climb in the window from the fire escape like cat burglars and it doesn't exactly enhance the fantasy.

So I gestured toward the kitchen window. "I left it open a crack, so he could get in that way, see?"

Lily was horrified. She hopped up from the kitchen stool and promptly removed all the little plastic Princess statues from the window sill and transported them into her room.

When she came back I was smiling. "Is that so the Easter Bunny will have an easier time getting into the house, baby?" I asked.

She shook her head. "No. It's so he doesn't steal them."

I bit my lip. "Honey, he isn't going to steal your toys."

"Well, what if he does? What if he comes in the window and takes all my candy? Should we hide everything?"

Christ, Almighty. So I spent the next 20 minutes explaining that just because the Easter Bunny comes in through the kitchen window like a convicted felon, it doesn't mean he's gonna steal our stuff.

But getting her to sleep totally sucked, because every creak or cat mewl she heard had her convinced that the Easter Bunny was arriving ahead of schedule to make off with her Barbie Trans Am or Polly Pocket cruise ship.

Holidays shouldn't be this complicated.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Look what we got at the thrift store!

It rained like a bastard yesterday. God, it was endless. I stood outside waiting for the bus under the awning of our building AND holding an umbrella. And still I got soaked. Don't wear clogs in the rain, guys. Just don't.

So around 6 pm the sun sort of started peeking out and Lily and I decided to go for a walk and get a scooter pie.

And, of course, stop at the thrift store to see our friend Hope and so Lil could try and score a free crappy stuffed animal or dirty barbie or old heinous purse.

She really really wanted this.

And I couldn't, in good conscience, say no.

How could anyone?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Full circle

I have a history of bringing strays home. Not just men, but also animals too.

When I was about 19 and away at college, my suitemates and I thought it would be a good idea to get a kitten. This was after the rabbit debacle the previous spring ('Cadbury', bought around Easter and existing in my dorm room beneath crudely fashioned cage of a milk crate, shitting little nuggets everywhere and thumping his goddamned feet 24 hours a day, ended up the size of a large cat and 'escaping' from a hutch in my parents backyard that summer, before being transported by my Grammy Alice to a 'farm' upstate).

So we went to the pet store and picked out the frailest, most needy-looking kitten in the place. She had a drippy eye and sneezed nonstop. Of course this is the animal for me, I thought. Of course it is.

To make it up to our Jamaican suitemate, whom we did not consult on this purchase and who hated the us, we let her name the kitten. She called her "Nesta", after Bob Marley.

Well. Nesta did fine in our little suite until we had a fire drill. My friend Keri stuffed kitty in her parka and we ran outside, gathering near the building until we were told we could go back. Our RA came over to talk to us, and, oops, little Nesta popped her head out of Keri's coat to say Hi.

That was the end of the cat in the dorm, see.

So, Grammy Alice saved my ass again. She took the kitten and kept her as her own. She renamed her Cleo (for Cleopatra, as she was a gorgeous gold and black), and played with her ("She loves it when you put her in a paper shopping bag and swing it around! She just goes crazy!"), and loved that cat right up until the she died. Alice, that is. She lay in a hospice bed in front of her big window, slipping away from us, and we held her hand and told her it was okay to let go. And Cleo curled up in a ball at the foot of the bed, seemingly bereft. Devastated. Alice died last month at the age of 94. Cleo was 17.

Actually, I should say Cleo is 17. That cat is as old as fuck and still kicking.

And now she's living with me. I had promised Grammy Alice months ago, when my aunt and mother were dangling the assisted living carrot in front of her, that I would take Cleo and care for her when she moved out of her apartment. And I kept my promise, even though my lovely grandmother slipped away before she got to the assisted living 'sunset' of her life. Probably best.

So, Cleo came to me a few weeks ago, skinny, disoriented, pissed off and traumatized. She hid behind Lily's bed for about a week, coming out only to eat and poop and hiss at Sea Monkey, who was absolutely entranced by her.

We seem to have settled into a routine and the two cats are tolerating each other, though occasionally I'll be jolted awake by hissing and shrieking as they startle each other on the way to the litterbox or in the wee hours of the night. And this morning Lily came in wiping her foot, saying, "I think I just stepped in Cleo barf!"

But it's par for the course, I suppose.

And I'm glad to have the chance to do this for my grandmother. It's what she would have wanted.

And really, it's only fair.