Monday, December 31, 2007

Being Single, I'm Not One to Judge, But...

OK, it's New Year's Eve and I'm attached to a keyboard. I have a four-year-old and the stomach flu, so I'm all for uneventful evenings. I had high aspirations of writing meaningful things, but it's just not in the cards, stars, or in the air tonight.

And, well, things could be worse! Love me, love my dog? Did they have to send in a police dog?

Nude Couple Grapple Over Dog Near Shower

Monday, December 31, 2007

(12-31) 19:27 PST Bremerton, Wash. (AP) -- A 25-year-old woman was arrested for investigation of second-degree assault for getting into an argument with her boyfriend over whether his dog should be in the bathroom while the couple were taking a shower together.

A police report said the man, 26, wanted his dog to join them in the bathroom, but the woman objected on Thursday night.

The woman told her boyfriend that if the dog doesn't stay out, she didn't want to be his girlfriend anymore. He replied that maybe his next girlfriend would appreciate the dog more, and called her a name.

The police report said the woman punched him in the face several times and the man dislocated his shoulder after the naked couple grappled. He told police his girlfriend threw a picture frame, which broke and cut him.

The woman was taken to the Kitsap County Jail in Port Orchard. Bail has been set at $50,000.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ho Ho Oh Whatever!

I hereby admit to some degree of grinchdom. And I am the parent of a kid full of the wonder and energy of the holiday season. Were it not for that energy, I might go full grinch on y'all.

It's not so much that I don't want to celebrate the season. In fact, that's just it. I'd like to celebrate the season -- the coming of winter, the falling of leaves, the ice on the windshield, the crisp of the air, the changing of the year. I like to see the outside world get all cleaned up for spring. I like to think about what I learned (and didn't) during the year and what I want to do differently (be nicer to myself) or the same (veggies, exercise) in the coming year.

I also love getting holiday cards with obligatory letters. I love the lights. I love how all of those things that stretch my patience make my son's eyes light up.

We took him to Santa Cruz for the holiday lights train on the weekend. We ate kettle corn. We sang Christmas carols (see above admission to some degree of grinchdom). He told Santa he wants a real train to pull freight cars. I told him he should talk to Grampa Doug about full-size toys. He didn't get the joke (nor will most of you...).

@ and I went shopping the other day. He was pointing out things he wanted. He's four, he wants everything; it's a wonder he doesn't strain his arm with all the pointing... We sat down on the store floor to look at things and talk.

(Apparently, based on the looks I get, sitting on a store floor with a small child is really weird. I don't care. I'm going to talk with my kid, not at him from above.)

I talked to him about gifts. We decided that when he saw something he wanted, he'd think about who might like it as a gift. We bought a garden gnome candle for Jason (who happens to have a gnome tattooed on his chest), a dog ornament for Jeff and Katie (parents of Luke's best buddy, Butch), a tiny snow globe with Santa in it for X (clever kid, he gets to see it on his dad's tree), etc. You get the picture.

And then when he actually gave some of the gifts? Giant smiles as they opened them and giant smiles from them as well. Now there's a gift.

This morning he pointed out some of his toys and said that there's probably a baby who would like them because he's a "pretty big worker now."

Now there's another gift right there for me. I have one rad lad for a son.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

OK People, Enough. Quota Filled. Enough!

How do I say this without sounding cold, callous, inhuman, etc.? No more effing cancer. Six degrees of separation, percentage of friends/family affected, whatever!

It would be one thing if it were all of my Marlboro chain-smoking, 7-11 Big Gulp gimlet-drinking, toxic-waste bathing friends and relatives, but no, it's you healthy people! The exercising veggie eaters. The fresh air breathers. WTF people?!

Take a memo to your cells. Tell your cells I'm pissed. I've had all I can take and I can't take no more. Until I have to, then I will take what comes because you have to. I won't shrink away into the corner. I will drive you to where you need to be. I will buy your groceries. I will make you a damn meatloaf. I will stalk nurses in hospital hallways to make sure you get what you need. I will yell at the world on your behalf from the false privacy of my car. I will memorize your phone number and take your calls in the middle of meetings. I will.

The photo above has little do to with what I've written. I was thinking about the picture and was shocked to discover it was from 2004. I remember X, my brother, and I tried all the settings on my digital camera. Luke kept hoping for the flash to flash; I kept hoping I'd remembered to quell it. When I was taking the picture, the moon was an accessory. Now, the tree is the secondary element. It's the branches that get me.

(Dear grammarians appalled at the plethora of sentences for which prepositions are the last word: Breathe deeply, center yourselves, and get over it.)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Touching the Bases

Literal Bases
After tonight's softball game, my son and I performed our ritual of running the bases together. He does this with a massive smile on his face, though he does tend to slow a bit between third and home. (Ah, but this gives me hope that he will actually sleep when we get home...)

We played kickball in p.e. in first grade. I was on third base. They told me to go home! I did. All the way -- to my house. Apparently, it's not called fourth base. The first of many experiences along those lines.

I spent a long time with a relatively abject fear of embarrassment. Now, strangely or not, I embrace it every week by playing softball. I'm not good at softball, which is exactly why I play. I play to prove to myself that it doesn't matter that I'm not good at it. I play to prove to myself that I can fail with an audience. I play to prove to myself that I have nothing to prove.

(By the way, I did hit the ball today.)

Not-So-Literal Bases
Lately, everything seems like a big box o' details, tasks, checklists, steps to reach the next box, or to at least be able to recycle an empty box among the many in need of attention.

First base: I filed for divorce a few weeks ago. I initially had reasons for waiting -- X needed to get settled, his mom passed away, he had a hangnail. None of these reasons came from him. I manufactured them with the best of intent, then just couldn't get my act together until I actually blocked time on my calendar. None of this has to do with second-guessing the decision. But now I've filed the papers with the court.

Second base: Next step was to serve him with the papers, which has to be done by a third party. My mom, son, X, and I went out for lunch on Sunday while my mom was visiting. When we got back to the house, I handed her the papers and asked her to hand them to him. (Everyone was forewarned and fully in support of the process, so to speak.) Done deal.

Later that evening, X and I took our son to see the holiday light display at Vasona. The smile on that kid's face can make the most jaded adult second-guess any doubts of Santa's existence.

Third base will be arbitration and writing up of the legal agreements. Fourth base (!) will be the official decree of the most amicable divorce known to the County of Santa Clara. We've ended the marriage, yet retained the friendship that was the foundation of our relationship and continue our partnership as parents.

Other Bases
Getting through the holidays, planning a vacation (I've idiotically stopped accruing vacation), working on my house, reminding myself to slow down, and on and on.

More boxes with little tasks in them. Hammer out the tasks, recycle the metaphorical boxes.

Touch the bases.