Happy Thousand Times Day*

*I totally stole this from a child. Beck, I owe you a royalty payment.

wearing red skull shirt
not really punk rock, not hearts
it’s a perfect blend

Last night, the wee one was crying because he was over tired and pissed at trying to tape little packages of M&Ms to his valentines.

"Why are you crying?" I asked.

"Because every time I see the color red it makes me think of Valentine’s Day and that makes me angry and frustrated."

I think I can say with some certainty he is not alone in that sentiment. Though this morning he was very excited to go to school to see what kind of haul he’s going to get.

You know, nowadays your kid has to bring a valentine to every kid in the class or none of the valentines can get passed out. When I was little, I would labor over a list of kids in my class, deciding who was worthy of the messily ripped pieces of paper that said things like "Strawberry Shortcake Loves You and I do, too!" Then, after class, everyone would dump out their paper bags of Valentines and see who got the most (not me, though I was always safely in the middle ground).

I am going to go make a key lime pie now.

Ever since seeing the movie Waitress I can’t shake the compulsion to make and eat pie.

This pie that I’m about to attempt is going to be called the "It’s Not Really A Valentine’s Day Pie But Rather An I Amazingly Have All The Ingredients And I Love You Key Lime Pie." And I’m going to try to make whipped cream with whole milk because I don’t have any whipping cream and I am too lazy to go to the store. Is that going to work? I’ll let you know.

In other confectionery news, check out this kick ass tart I made for my friend. It’s called the "I’m Glad You’re My Friend And Don’t Think I’m A Stalker Vanilla Berry Tart"

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Four and a half years

nursing and writing
crawling, walking, and writing
now he’s writing, too

Four and half years ago I sat at my desk, the wee one on my lap, and I made it past page 33 of a story I’d started a few months earlier. I wrote and I wrote. He nursed and slept and nursed some more and I wrote. And a few months later it happened… for the first time in my life I had written an entire book – with an actual plot and a beginning middle and end.

I found an agent.

He helped me edit and rewrite and tighten. And while I was doing all of that, I surprisingly managed to publish Haiku Mama. It went through the editing process and the publicity process and the promotion process and all the while I was still working on my first book. Editing, perfecting, editing some more. The wee one had moved on from nursing and toddling to potty-training and Star Wars.

Then I was pregnant and promoting Haiku Mama, and the first book sold! The editing and rewriting began anew. The wee one became a big brother, the wee-er one joined us all and made everything crazy and wonderful.

And still: edit, edit, tighten, change.

Now here we are. The wee one is in school, writing his own fairy tales. The wee-er one is older than he was when I started writing the book in the first place. And I have just emailed the final edits to my editor at Random House.

So much has happened since those first words went on the page. So much.

Four and half years. Really, longer, if I count the original few chapters that are history now, but that introduced the main character.

The wee one was a tiny babe when this all began, and now I just finished telling his Kindergarten class about why being a writer is fun and how brainstorming means you can never be wrong.

Shoot. I need a Kleenex.

shaking in my boots

they are all so cute
with staring, unblinking eyes
sweet children of corn

I am on my way to talk to 21 Kindergartners about writing books. This is scarier than any other public speaking I’ve ever done.

I’m bringing the wee-er one, too, just to make things even more interesting.

We are going to rock the house.

Liveblogging! Grammy’s!

here we go my peeps
will she make it through whole show?
only time will tell

7:02pm – An early caveat… I don’t know who half these people are. So probably I will just describe people by their clothing. Example: Pretty Green Dress Girl Who I Think Is Alycia Keys is singing a duet with Sinatra. She has attractive pancake boobs tonight. Not a fan of the dress’ train, though.

7:06 – I would like to have a flaming ceiling like Carrie Underwood has right now. Whenever I’m angry, or the kids are driving me crazy – SHAZAM – flaming ceiling.

7:07 – or is that a wall? whatever.

7:10 – Prince and I could wear the same clothes. Does he shop at Anthropologie? I could totally use some jeans, but I am not forking over $188 for pants.

7:15 – Wachovia commercial. I always thought it was pronounced with the ch-ch-ch sound. So that it’s like a bank with a New York accent. "Yeah, dat’s right. I "watch ovee ya" money.

7:18 – These guy’s are performing for the first time in how many years? Ten? O-wee-o-wee-o my they are not good. Simon would have cut them off two minutes ago.

7:20 – Somewhere an emu is very cold because Rihanna has sheared it to make her dress.

7:24 – Not a fan of the praying hand thank-you gesture that famous people do.

7:25 – Yoko is wearing a tiny top hat! Well, not that tiny, really. Hillary Clinton should totally get one of those. You know she would rock it.

7:26 – If my umbrella had feet maybe I would stop losing the damn thing. I could just holler for it and it would come running. Awesome.

7:29 – This musical number has taught me an important lesson – do not take the wee one to cirque de soleie (dude I don’t know how to spell that). "An exploding punch buggy!" "Why is that lady on that swing?" "What is she up there for?" "Is that dangerous?" "What happens if she falls?" "Are there fireman at the grannies?"

7:33 – Note: I can play Hey Jude on the accordion but no one invited ME to the grammy’s

7:34 – Amy Winehouse wins best new artist. (i think that’s what the award was. I should pay more attention). Yay! I haven’t actually heard of any of the other nominees, though. I’m sure none of them have lyrics like "what kind of fuckery is this?" though. That line alone deserves a grammy.

7:36 – Also? Cyndi Lauper is hot.

7:38 – "A violin with a thyroid problem" hahaha. I miss arrested development.

Just a note here, I’m not doing a very good job of describing what’s going on, am I? Ah, well. If you aren’t watching the show, or have come by at a later date to read this, you must be like, wtf? Violins with thyroid problems? Huh? I just like to keep things mysterious, that’s all. Also, I am lazy and I’ve been reading Cormac McCarthy, so I’ve lost all ability to describe things.

7:46 – Kanye. Stronger. I like this song. And, in fact, was listening to it in the car today when I was driving behind a Toyota Corolla with a tiny tiny bumper sticker on it that said "I Heart My Vagina."

7:48 – Who backs up Kanye? A pyramid filled with midget Trons. Duh.

7:53 – [end PSA against elective plastic surgery]

7:55 – I never thought I would say this, but y’all? Fergie is boring. Bo-ring. Where is this Fergie?

8:01 – a message for Target, sponsor of the Grammy’s: Hi. If you’re reading this, could you email me? I have a fantastic idea for you. It’s very win-win. For real. Email me. Do it, Target. You won’t be disappointed.

8:05 – Tina Turner! Wrapped up like a ding dong with great legs! Somewhere Oprah is wetting herself!

8:08 – every time I finish putting the dishes in the dishwasher I’m going to do that arms apart, vibrating hands, spirit fingers thing. And I will sing Proud Kari Keeps on Burnin (Plastic Spoons In The GE).

8:14 – Nellie Furtado has on a great asymmetrical dress. Pretty.

8:15 – Score another one for Amy Winehouse! Sucks that her appealed-for visa came through too late. I bet that girl can give a kick ass acceptance speech. Somewhere, though, the person in charge of hitting the censor button is very, very relieved.

8:21 – Dave Grohl’s very nicely shampooed hair is trying its best to look greasy and gross but the product is winning this battle. His hair even looks like it smells good. Just barely floral… like the Honolulu airport.

8:27 – Do people win awards on this award show?

8:31 – In another existential question… is there anyone out there actually reading this? That is probably a resounding no.

8:33 – George Lopez is shiny and there’s a white strip across his forehead. I’m guessing he was wearing a hat while his bronzer was applied. George Lopez + bronzer = joke only he is allowed to tell.

8:38 – Best rap album. It is safe to say I haven’t listened to any of these. Kanye takes it. The Staples Center just exploded from his ego being unleashed. I wonder if he’s allowed to fly on airplanes with that thing?

8:44 – If I make fun of the gospel number, the tiny baby jesus with his tiny balled up fists will get mad at me.  Sorry TBJWHTBUF, but dude. What is up with the chorus guy back there? It’s like his head ate a fauxhawk and then he stood in front of a jet engine.

8:46 – Sorry again, TBJWHTBUF, but even you should recognize the crime against humanity that is a floor length satin skirt with random ass-expanding ruffles. I mean, for real.

8:57 – so. many. commercials. snore.

8:58 – oh, hey, I know who Feist is after all. At least this song I know. The rock I live under has a TV. Whew. I just saw the light glint off my water bottle and I thought my phone was ringing. I think I may be delirious from hating Kanye.

9:01 –  I just missed this lady’s name. Sparkly Black Dress Lady Who Won The First Grammy For A Group Thing Or Something Like That is fucking rocking with Kid Rock right now. This little number is great! Keely Smith. I know I just spelled that wrong.

9:03 – best rock album. Daughtry can suck it. How did he even get nominated? Foo Fighters takes it! Dave Grohl’s Honolulu airport hair still looks clean and shiny. He is my rockstar boyfriend.

9:13 – OK. I’m bored with all the singing.

9:14 – I don’t understand Alicia Keys’ new outfit. Formal shorts? Tights with the panties built in? The camera won’t show it. Is her hoohah showing? What is going on here? It doesn’t matter. I’m still bored.

9:18 – Vince Gill calls out Kanye! I am totally buying Vince Gill’s album now. Hahaha. I hope Vince Gill has a bodyguard. I am just going to keep saying Vince Gill because why stop now? Vince Gill Vince Gill Vince Gill.

9:26 – Rhapsody in Blue. This will always make me think of my mom’s Hooked on Classics tape. Oh I loved this song when I was little. Why don’t I ever go to the symphony? Right. Pesky children.

9:29 – It’s a piano race! I think i HAVE seen this on Tom & Jerry. Which one is Herbie Hancock? He’s Tom, I think.

9:33 – Best Rap Song Corroboration. Rihanna feat. Jay-Z for Umbrella. I don’t know what any of those words mean. I just write them down. Rihanna has traded in her emu dress for a blue number. Not great, but not bad. Jay-Z is funny, by the way. He was giving her shit. I like that in a man.

9:37 – Did you know that after the Super Bowl QVC was selling Giants gear? Like immediately after – 5 seconds after the game. It would be funny if they did the same thing after each Grammy winner. For a limited time only! Three easy payments! Rihanna feat. Jay-Z fitted ball caps! $29.95! You can’t beat this price, folks! This is a once in a lifetime opportunity! We have a caller. Hi there, Mary, where are you from? Des Moines? Awesome. WHya re you calling today, Mary? Because you love the suggestive lyrics of Umbrella? Of course you do, Mary. We all do, honey. How many of these ball caps are you getting today, Mary? Three?! Awesome, Mary. Awesome.

9:42 – Amy Winehouse!

9:42 – Her stick legs make me sad.

9:43 – But her hair is great. And her eyes are great. And her lyrics are great.

9:44 – Boy she looks nervous.

9:45 – Maybe they shot her with a blow dart before this performance.

9:46 – Not that kind of blow.

9:47 – Also, they put a bra on her tattoo. That is crazy.

9:49 – Record of the year. Amy Winehouse takes it! She looks stricken. Absolutely stricken. Now she’s picking it up a bit. "For my Blake, incarcerated." Oh man, that girl is messed up. I hope the aliens fix her, because really, she’s a great talent.

9:59 – I like the piano guy behind the grammy guy. The piano guy is Eldar. Did I hear that right? Am I delirious again? Is it L-Dar? Why doesn’t he have words shaved in his hair like Kanye? L-Dar has strangely segued into the the dead people montage. This is all very confusing. I need food.

10:04 – This may not be popular for me to say, but Josh Grobin makes me want to stab my ears with railroad spikes.

10:06 – Maybe I just hate his hair. It’s like a too-long flapper bob, but fuzzy. he sounds like he’s trying to gargle.

10:14 – Jerry Lee Lewis. When he "woooooooos" his waddle shakes tremendously. It’s great. It almost makes me want a waddle.

10:16 – When I went to Russia and spent 24 hours traveling on a train, with no sleep and little food, I was met at the train station by the family I was going to stay with for a few weeks. Instead of offering me food or sleep, they took me immediately to a gigantic talent show filled with singers and dancers and circus performers and tap numbers and may pole things. It never ended. In fact, it is probably still going on somewhere. At some point during the show I actually burst into tears because I began hallucinating that the dancers were dancing in thin air and glowing red. This Grammy show? It is that never-ending Russian talent show. 

10:24 – For real. SO MANY COMMERCIALS! HOLY CRAP!

10:25 – It IS the never-ending talent show. Will.i.am is killing me here with his medley. Do we really need this? Does this add to anything? Even he looks like, "The fuck, yo? Why am I here?"

10:26 – I’m changing my name to kar.i.anne

10:28 – Album of the year. How is this different from record of the year? Herbie Hancock surprises everyone! Kanye is going to tackle him and do that girl slappy thing I bet he does when he fights, and then he’s going to steal the grammy. Run, Herbie! Run!

10:38 – Done! And we are hasta la vista’d by a dude with bagpipes on his head. It is really the only fitting end. Good night, my peeps. This was weird.

Because you asked

Well, no one asked, but I’m doing it anyway.

Stay tuned for Super Spectacular Grammy Liveblogging! I make no promises to struggle through the whole show, but I will do my very best to make at least a handful of tired jokes about stupid rock star outfits, drug-induced hazes, and boobies.

Huzzah!

drawer guy

would be nice to live
in different dimension
where time don’t matter

While I’m waiting for the dude to show up to fix my cabinet drawer, I figured I would let you all know about two new words I’ve learned in the past couple of days. Thanks to Phillip Pullman and a movie review in Time magazine I can now use the words "tussocking" and "fuliginous" each in a complete sentence.

"The tussocking meadow makes me sneeze."

"Hopefully, the fuliginous walls of the cave were proof that the missing spelunkers had camped there for the night."

Reading does make you smarter! Or at least more capable of writing cryptic sentences.

In an unrelated note, I’ve been wearing my hair in pig tails lately, and the wee-er one has learned that while I’m sitting, she can get behind me and grab a pig tail in each hand, directing my screams, much like Little Chef does in Ratatouille.

In even more unrelated news: where the hell is that drawer guy?

I wish

protection program
not just one for witnesses
for famous folks too

I wish there was a program like the Witness Protection Program that could swoop in and steal Britney away from her life. The "I’m Not Really A Psycho But Everyone Around Me Is And They Are Fucking Up My Life And Oh By The Way No One Ever Diagnosed My Probable Postpartum Depression Thanks A Lot Assholes" Protection Program.

Girl needs a break. All these people after her. All these people making fun of her. Damn.

Seriously, if space aliens came down and swept her away from all of this shit, would anyone be surprised? I hope they get here quickly. And maybe they can also pick up Amy Winehouse while they’re at it.

super tuesday haiku

with this much hot air
am afraid the whole midwest
might just float away

Andrew Shue on news
a new reality show?
D-List politics

brownie or blondie
it is more than bake sale choice
will winner be sweet?

Texans bide their time
this one year out of many
primary may count

it’s too close to call
ask what would LBJ do?
find "missing" ballots

haiku politics
just as boring as real thing
someone cut me off

there is no school today

random holiday
celebrate with TV, crap
not even noon yet

The wee one is home today, due to a teacher work day. We are watching Mythbusters and eating "natural" cheese puffs and ripping the heads off of lego dudes. Fun.

Also, we ran into Austin’s most famous cross-dressing, quasi-homeless mayoral candidate Leslie when we went to pick up our weekly stash of soup. Leslie was clad in a leopard print shrug, tank top, bikini bottom thong, and heels. The wee one said, "I bet that person is cold." I bet so, too.

It is a quiet day so far. For that I am grateful.

done, for now

no sleep, freezing toes
all paperwork is turned in
now we wait til may

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All-in-all, the Crazy Ass Transfer Line Saga went really well. Once the line started moving, I was in and out pretty quickly. I really have to credit the Austin ISD employees. Everyone was incredibly friendly and helpful, and they even had a lady pushing a cart full of clipboards, pens and forms amongst the line goers, in case someone didn’t have a transfer form or needed a new one.

The only hiccup was waiting for my husband to come pick me up (I hitched a ride out there this morning). For some reason, only sensible to someone who has woken up at 4:30 am, I took with me both mobile phones and the keys to the car with both car seats. So there was some frantic drawer digging by my husband to find the spare key so he could drag the kids out to fetch me. But it all worked out just fine.

Well, we’ll learn sometime between May and August how well it worked out.

Also, I gave an interview with one of the local news channels even though I swore I would run from all cameras. Dorky hat lady on TV? That would be me.

Naptime.