best thing bout new house
carpet, walls, floors – they’re all clean
well, for a minute

We’re in the new house! We’re almost all unpacked! All of my furniture looks woefully crappy! Yay!

Having both closings on the same day went as smoothly as it could. There was only one small hiccup with a non-faxed HUD settlement statement, but my Realtor kicked some butt and literally took some names and all was sorted out.

Our three days of homelessness were enjoyed playing the wii at my sister-in-law’s house. When everything finally arrived at the new place on Wednesday morning, the movers broke a tiny part off of my TV and only bashed in one wall, so I’m calling it a success. With the piles and piles of stuff they were moving and the stoned giggles emanating from their grills, I think the damage report could have been much worse. Those guys were sort of fun in a "holy crap be careful with my stuff" kind of way. It almost made me wish I was a mover. Almost.

Right now our only major crisis (other than me deciding to keep driving the wee one to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays thus necessitating FOUR HOURS in the car for me. Bad idea. I’m totally gonna reneg on my promise, I think) is that the TiVo has decided to crap out. (Disaster!) So now our most important decision of the day is, do we get a new TiVo or go with the Time Warner DVR? I’m wont to go with TiVo because TiVo is incredibly cool, and there are all kinds of extras that the regular DVR doesn’t have (Season Passes, Amazon UnBox, and lots of other stuff). However, the DVR is only $6 a month or something.

I still have boxes to unpack, a school to call, floors to vacuum (I already miss my fake wood floors. I’m going to have to have a bake sale or something so I can put in some floors), a baby to feed, a book to finish, a never-ending list of to dos, but right now my only concern is the TiVo. Ha.

As a fun side note, during the move the wee-er one learned to clap. Every time someone would walk in the room or make a loud noise or rip open a box she would look startled for a second and then clap as if we were the London Philharmonic finishing up a spectacular concert. It was hilarious and wonderful.

The wee one taught himself how to land on his feet after jumping to the ground from six stairs up. Not quite so cute and heart-warming, but a talent we all need, I guess.

I am SO GLAD this move is over. I will end this post with unsolicited advice:

Putting your house on the market, cleaning it, staging it, selling it to people who will surprise you by going psycho five days before closing and back out on their leaseback agreement forcing you to move out and live with your relatives for three days, finding a new place, moving out, and moving into the new place ALL IN FOUR WEEKS is way too stressful. If you don’t have to do it that quickly, don’t. I have a new gray streak in my hair from all of this. At least it looks cool. (Well, I’m pretending that it does.)

I have to go call the TiVo people now, well, after I reassemble the wee one from yet another brusing jump off the stairs. Sigh. Have a good Friday

it’s the final countdown. ba da ba buuuum. ba da ba ba buuuum.

fine sprinkle of filth
the reason for dusting things
suddenly is clear

like small Volkswagens
how many things can you fit
boxes: not magic

joining the Luddites
many days Internet free
good thing I bought books

I’m getting ready to go off the grid for a few days. There’s nothing like inflexible home buyers causing your family to be homeless for a few days to really get your knickers in a snit.

We’ll be staying with family and paying with their wii (dirty!), not panhandling, so that’s good. I don’t know what my Internet access is going to be like, though, so chances are I won’t be back to the blog until late Thursday or Friday. If calamity strikes, though, I’ll find a damn Internet cafe to keep you apprised. This is how lame/obsessed/crazy/egotistic/suffering for empathy I am. So stayed tuned just in case.

Please do your Oprah thing and send positive thoughts out into The Universe that all of the closings and moving and buyer walk-throughs go well and stop costing me an extra $200 EVERY TIME I EFFING TURN AROUND. Except use better language. I think The Universe is mad at me for cursing at it so much lately.

OK. Off to pack more shit. And to find a saxamaphone to play on the corner so I can earn all of the extra money I just found out I have to pay for stupid dumbass crap.

Into the Matrix I go. Wish me luck.

binge worthy

hushing the shusher
it’s a very noisy way
to get some quiet

Last night I had about had it. So I went out ostensibly for a milkshake and some quiet time. Instead I bought $97 worth of books.

Some people, when stressed, binge on alcohol or food. I binge on books. It’s not like I have time to read them. (I still haven’t finished reading all of the cool middle grade books from my last binge.) But, oh did it feel good. I raced around the bookstore, grabbing hardcovers and paperbacks, fiction and non-fiction, old and new. I bought so many books my bag broke as I walked to my car.

I stood there, in the muggy rain, in the dark, using my quick mama-trained reflexes to catch my books before they hit the wet ground and I laughed and laughed, because at that moment I was so giddily happy over all my new purchases, I didn’t care if I was mowed over by speeding teens in the parking lot. I didn’t care I had just spent way, way too much money. I didn’t care that I was wet and exhausted and still milkshake-less. I had books. New books! And for a brief hour and a half of perusing and shopping and buying and driving I didn’t think about packing or scheduling movers or why in the name of all fartknocking assmunchers the buyers for my house are being such a pain in my jiggly butt. I was happy to surround myself with books and books and books and books and nothing else.

This move is going to be very detrimental to my pocketbook and my free time. At the new house I’m going to be so close to the greatest bookstore of all time that I could reasonably find myself there several times a week. I’m going to have to get cracking and write some more books myself so that I can fund my raging, book-binge habit.

Wanna know what I picked up?

The Elegant Universe, by Brian Greene (a book I’ve been trying to read forever. I keep checking it out from the library and renewing it until they won’t let me renew it anymore)

The $64 Tomato, by William Alexander (the true story of a guy – a blogger, I think – who is nuts over vegetable gardening – it’s a pretty funny read so far)

The Brief History of the Dead, by Kevin Brockmeier (such a great premise – the dead live on the earth with the living as long as the living remember them. There’s also something about an Antarctic research station. I haven’t started reading this one yet)

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke (another one I’ve been trying to read forever, and that the library keeps forcing me to return before I’m ready)

Sister Mine, by Tawni O’Dell (this is the one weird one. I don’t usually go for mystery/crime/chick lit novels, but this one seemed kind of fun, with smart girls and Russian gangsters. I’ll give it a whirl)

Heyday, by Kurt Andersen (it’s 1848 and technology is booming. Trains, photography, the telegraph, newspapers, the gold rush, opium… it’s a heady time and I’m a sucker for historical fiction)

It’s time to go read a book now, and ignore my responsibilities as long as I can.

Yay books!

Yay procrastination!

Yay Farrah hair! (The humidity has done something crazy, yet wonderfully ’70s, to my hair)


rescue remedy
not like a margarita
but I will make do

stressful yet boring
moving is a big ass pain
worthy ass pain, though

loan officer job
a special level of hell
so much paperwork

I’m calling and making appointments today – things like scheduling the movers and the carpet cleaners and the delivery of our crate o’ crap. I know this means that the closing dates are going to get all jacked up, though. Even trying to plan things a week in advance makes me nervous.

In order to save you from an incredibly boring post about moving and packing and house things and all of the piles and piles of weirdness I’m discovering in my garage (seven unopened tubes of white oil paint, anyone?), I’m going to stop writing now and continue with my calling and packing and yelling at the wee one and stubbing of my toes and sneezing from dust and silently weeping into my lukewarm green tea that I even initiated this process in the first place.

Oh, before I go – for those of you who knew this was going on, here’s an update:


For those of you who didn’t know that was going on:

Aren’t you glad you didn’t know?

OK. Gotta run.

soccer mom!

black and white round thing
oversized shorts billowing
look! it’s a flower!

The wee one has started soccer. This makes me officially a soccer mom. I find this both hilarious and wearying. For those of you out there who, like me, are an oozy mess that happens to drip outside of the "soccer mom" mold, here are some things I’ve learned.

1) Do not yell "kick it!" at your child. Soccer is apparently not about kicking. It is about dribbling. And while parents on the other team can yell things like, "Don’t be lazy!" and "Are you PAYING ATTENTION?!" at their 4-year-olds, you can never, under any circumstances yell "kick it!" at your own kid without earning yourself lots and lots of dirty looks.

2) Learn the names of all the kids on your child’s soccer team. Though you might think it’s funny to yell, "Hooray, Small Boy With Red Hair! Good job, Cute Girl With Pink Bows!" other people will not think you’re funny.

3) It doesn’t matter if the game is located exactly on the equator, if it’s set to begin at 8:45 am, the weather will be freezing, windy and drizzling, and you will leave your jacket at home and the picnic blanket in the other car.

4) Wearing your "WTF" t-shirt is inappropriate for the initial parent meeting.

5) There will always be one ringer per team. Even if the teams are full of tiny kids just learning how to play, there will still be one child with a budding mustache and muscles bigger than your own, who is ostensibly "5-years-old" and can play single-handedly against a troupe of five other kids, beating them easily. Except for on your kid’s team. Your kid’s team has no ringer. But they will be able to pick all of the dandelions on the soccer field in record time.

6) When you see someone riding on a motorized cooler you should not mutter loudly, "How lazy can you GET?" If you do, that person will hear you, and that person will end up being the uncle of a kid on your kid’s team. That uncle will then obviously and continuously ignore your child as he gives every other kid a ride on the Dumbass Cooler For Lazy People, and your kid will cry.

7) Don’t bring water for your kid to drink. Glow-in-the-dark sports drinks are the beverage of choice and you will be scored, SCORNED, by your child when you hand him a bottle of warm Ozarka and tell him cheerfully, "It’s warm on purpose – and it’s healthy!"

8) It is not a soccer costume, it is a soccer uniform.

9) Under no circumstances is anyone to urinate on the field.

10) Soccer is way, way, way better than tee ball ever was. Seriously.

just hanging out…

a cognitive leap
the world is coming alive
no time for sleeping!

Last night the wee-er one decided, after waking up every hour on the hour from 10pm-2am, to just stop sleeping completely. I’m thinking this is due to the 8-month cognitive leap that babies tend to have. She’s started standing in the past few weeks, and her babytalk has morphed from "hoo-ahh" and "mamamamamama" to something more complicated and pirate-ish like, "glargy, glarg!"

Last night, though, while she was giggling and talking like a pirate and trying to use my head as a hand rail to boost herself to a standing position, I was not very happy about this cognitive leap. In fact, I distinctly remember shouting, "IN THE MORNING YOU BETTER BE FRICKIN RIDING A UNICYCLE AND SINGING THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER!"

So, wee-er one, I’m sorry I shouted at you and requested that you perform circus tricks for me. Though you have to admit it would be pretty darn cool if your current cognitive leap repetoire included talking like and pirate AND riding a unicycle.

Babies! I shake my fist at you! (But not in a threatening way. Only in a frustrated way. A frustrated, exhausted, pirate-y way.)


A funny thing happened on the way to the grocery store

not just a packrat of stuff
but memories, too

Well, this was bound to happen. I’m starting to get a little mushy about this moving thing. It’s amazing how keeping your house uncluttered and spotless makes you actually enjoy living in it. And though my house is tiny and I don’t fit in very well in my conservative-nascar neighborhood, I really do love my abode. I love how we’ve painted the walls. I love the funky light fixtures it took us so long to find and buy. I love the ginormous backyard that gives full sun to my sort-of-successful vegetable garden. I love that my back porch has a ceiling fan, so I can sit out there and stare at the trees and almost avoid completely melting in the summer. I love that we live on a cul-de-sac and that the wee one has friends he can play with. I love that we have a new HEB Plus where I can buy hippie food without having to drive 40 minutes into town.


I also love that we are moving. I love that the new house is so close to downtown that my husband’s commute will be cut by a HUGE amount. I love that I’ll be able to buy hippie food at any fancy grocery store I want, because they’ll all be so close to us. I love that we’ll be able to eat out at non-chain restaurants. I love that we’ll be able to go to museums and the Capitol and UT without having to pack the car as if we were driving on a cross country adventure. I love that we’ll be closer to friends and family and that we’ll be less isolated.

I look around this morning and I can feel how the burbs are just jumping with growth. The house that we’re in right now is very close to a new toll road that just opened. There are plans for a huge water park and skate park and commuter train – all to be built within just a few miles of this place. Movie theaters, Targets, more new homes, a hospital – so many things are under construction out here. I almost feel like a fool to be moving away from all of it.

You know what, though? I’ll be more than happy to drive to the water park or skate park or whatever, more so than I would be to have to drive that same distance to get to a decent breakfast taco or visit a university library.

So I’m sentimental, but happy. I’m doubting, and yet as sure as I’m going to be. And even with all of the conflicting feelings I have, I can say with 100% confidence that I love the city of Austin. I love the people, I love the culture, I love the size, I love how the city looks, I love the weather, I love the vibe of this town. I feel so fortunate to live here and to be able to raise my kids here. Sure it’s not perfect, but that’s another reason why I love it so. I feel affectionate towards the imperfections of my town; those moles and warts make it great.

Watch out, mole-y, wart-y, beautiful, funky, taco-y, vibrant, lovely, traffic-y, suburban-lite south Austin. Here I come (as long as all the contracts go through).