Tuesday, March 30, 2010


She's back, y'all!

Have I really only posted twice since Christmas? How big an asshole am I? I'm sorry. I haven't had time to read anybody's blogs, either, so if you dropped some huge bombshell on your followers in the last couple of months and you're wondering why I haven't chimed in, I haven't seen it. It's not that I don't care; I only work a couple of days a week, but those days mean less time I have to run errands and whatever, and I rarely if ever blog in the evenings, so it cuts into my blogging time more than I expected.

Speaking of work, I've had a job for five months now! SQUISH is such an ideal fit for me. It's the job of my dreams - a great combination of routine elements and endless potential for spontaneous creativity. My unique range of talents is appreciated. I've never had a job I liked so much.

So here's what you've missed, in no particular order.

1. Check out what R made for me for Valentine's Day:

It's my very own Penny necklace!
So creative! I love it.

2. My birthday was January 13th. I'm 39 now. I'm going to go ahead and call myself 40, and then when I actually turn 40, I'll have mentally prepared myself for a whole year and it'll be no big deal. I don't really fear turning 40. I don't really have any concept of how old I am, until I turn on the Kids' Choice Awards and don't recognize any of the presenters (except Los Hermanos Jonas, por supuesto!). I don't feel any age. I definitely don't feel like I look 39.

I'm really more freaked out about Beeb turning 13 this summer than I am about turning 40. More on that in a future post.

3. During a bit of downtime, I finally watched Grey Gardens. I'd been wanting to see it for a while. It had been recommended to me by several friends, and who doesn't love spying on crazy rich people? Last week R and I bought a Netflix-enabled BluRay player for our bedroom, so I would be able watch it instantly.

Anyway, I grabbed a Diet Coke and some pretzel sticks, got under Beeb's Snuggie and pressed Play. See, you can do that with a Snuggie, cuz it has sleeves. I hate myself for loving that stupid thing. But I digress.

I enjoyed Grey Gardens. Really, I did. I love the Direct Cinema genre. It's so real and raw and the people speak freely and unfiltered, from the overflow of their hearts. I love wondering what's going on in the characters' heads; or, at least, I love hearing the subtext of their words and trying to imagine the layers of emotions and the complex personal history behind them.

But it messed me up. Here's why.

I manage it (with varying degress of success) day-to-day, but I live in, quite literally, a CONSTANT state of anxiety when it comes to my children. Their health, safety and well-being are always at the front of my mind. I question almost every single thing I do in the role of my children's mother. I question what I'm going to do in a certain situation before it even happens, I question it in the moment, and I question it long afterwards, imagining my child tearfully recounting the story of whatever stupid thing I did on some psychiatrist's couch.

As I saw Little Edie's wistful reminiscence of the life she believes she could have had, had her overbearing mother not insisted she leave New York City, followed by her sorrowful acceptance of the way things are and the unlikelihood that it will ever change, I thought about how awful I would feel if one of my children missed out on their life's dream because of me. I would never forgive myself if my child didn't become whatever it is s/he wanted to become because of me and my own selfishness. NEVER.

It made me replay in my mind all the hurtful things I've ever said to my kids (Beebie, in particular) in a moment of stress, frustration or anger. It also made me replay all the hurtful things - many of which probably weren't meant to be hurtful things - said to me that I've internalized; filed away and absorbed, but never forgotten. It made me wonder which of those things said to me had a hand in changing my life's trajectory. Would I be a different person if I hadn't been picked on mercilessly in junior high? Even if someone didn't meant to be hurtful (and even if they apologized afterwards), many times the hurt leaves scars that never quite fade all the way.

It made me hyperconscious of the potential to change my children's lives with the things I do and say, and it totally freaked me out. It made me question my parental aptitude.

I've apologized for things that I've said, and I try really hard to be careful in selecting the words and actions I use in response to the childish things they do, but I have this constant sense that everything I do, every syllable I utter, every day, is going to factor into their future and determine whether they become productive members of society or the sort of people who walk into an office and just start firing away, and then, when interviewed by the media, answer, "I just got sick of my mom constantly asking me if I was born in a barn. NO, MOM. I WASN'T."

(You know that phrase, were ya born in a barn? It means, Will ya quit leaving the front door open, for cryin out loud? Do other people say that, or just me?)

I'm trying to remind myself, in moments of doubt, that there are a lot of things I should pat myself on the back about, too, but that's a topic for another post. I will sing my own praises soon. I'm actually doing pretty well, now. Expanding my social circle to include a happy lot of positive influences is helping.

4. Speaking of influences, I have recently purchased and begun reading my very first Fantasy Genre novel. Go ahead and give me shit. I can't believe it either. It's A Game Of Thrones, written by George R. R. Martin and recommended to me by a lovely new friend we're going to call Wes. We'll be talking more about Wes.

My tiptoe-ing into full-on Geekdom has been well-documented on this blog, from my first Pirate Fest, to my first Ren Faire, and of course, the now-legendary Star Wars Trivia Night. My resistance to this conversion from "muggle who mocks the geeks" to "geek who mocks the bigger geeks" has also been well-documented.

The fact that I just used the word Muggle to mean "outsider" is further evidence of my descent into worlds I never dreamed I'd enter. Sigh... the things I do for the people I like.

To wit, I've never read a book with a fake map of some non-existent place on the first two pages. Fantasy's not really my thing. I like reality. I love reality shows, as you know (Ooooh, have you seen my new favorite show, Undercover Boss??). I read a lot of autobiographies, when I have time to read.

I read Kathy Griffin's book Official Book Club Selection, which was mighty entertaining, and if you should ever doubt your parenting skills, I highly recommend Mackenzie Phillips' High On Arrival. You'll feel like Parent of the Year, I promise you. It brought me out of my Grey Gardens funk, that's for damn sure.

That's plenty for you all to gnaw on while I construct my annual Spring Break post! Again, we drove the Odyssexy to San Antonio and stayed with my parents for a week. And, as most Karma Family Events are, the highlights are blogworthy. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Talk To The Bunny!

It was Speed Racer's birthday last week. In order to explain what I got for him I have to give a bit of backstory. Heh, don't most of my posts start out like this? As you may know, I lived in San Antonio with my family for a few years after I graduated from college. My mom was transferred there in 1993-ish, I think. While I lived there, I dated a guy named Fred.

Look, I know I'm kinda kooky and quirky and whatnot, but I have to say that Fred had more neuroses than any human being I have ever encountered in my life.

Sometimes a wee bit o' neurotic is kinda charming (case in point - me, the goddess Neurotica), which might explain why I stayed with him for about two years, and sometimes it's just plain FUCKED UP.

If I were to introduce you to Fred back then (and it may or may not still be true, I have no idea), the first thing you would notice is his sweaty armpits. Fred never used anti-perspirant/deodorant because he believed a) it causes cancer, and b) sweat is our body's natural means of maintaining homeostasis. I'm sorry, but when you see a guy with pit stains, do you think to yourself There's a guy whose body is at homeostasis, or Dude, that's fuckin naaaaaasty?

The story that really captures the essence of Fred is the first time he and I went to see a movie together. He bought the tickets and I bought the snacks, and I even sprang for the big ass 50-gallon drum of popcorn so we could share it, cuz that's the just kind of classy chick I am.

We went and found our seats, I set the giant vat of popcorn on the floor for maybe two seconds while I took off my jacket, sat down, picked the popcorn bucket up off the floor, placed said popcorn bucket in my lap and offered some to Fred.

I don't want any, he says.


I'm not going to eat that.

NONE of it? Are you kidding me? You wanted it a minute and a half ago when I bought it! What's the problem?

You put it on the floor.


SO???? Don't you know what people DO in movie theaters??

Um, watch movies while eating massive amounts of popcorn?

Oh my GOD, Sarah! You seriously don't know???

Enlighten me.

People piss on the floors.

WHAAAAT??? Who does?

People do it all the time. Think about it. They don't want to miss the movie.

People piss on the floors in movie theaters. You're serious.


No, YOU think about it! Have you ever been sitting in a movie theater and heard the sound of pee hitting the floor? Or seen someone stand up and whip it out? OR SMELL URINE, like EVER???

Well, the smell of popcorn would mask the smell of urine, and that's how they get away with it...

Bullshit it would! The smell of fresh urine would totally override the smell of... Ican'tfuckingbelieveI'mactuallyhavingthisconversation.

They sit in the back where no one will see them, and with the slope of the theather, it all rolls down toward the front. It's disgusting.

Hang on, let me make sure I understand. So these people - and there are clearly enough of them in the world that there is, according to you, urine on the floor of every single movie theater everywhere on the planet - have the foresight to habitually sit in the back of the theater because they see nothing wrong with peeing on the floor of a movie theater full of people and they want to have that option to pee on the floor surreptitiously, but these same people lack the presence of mind to relieve themselves PRIOR to the start of the movie? What's to keep them from taking a dump? Or do they do that, too? Do they smuggle in a bag of M&Ms AND a roll of toilet paper??

Jesus, Sarah, calm down. You're making a scene. People are staring.

YOU fuckin started it! And second of all, it's not like I threw the individual popcorn kernels on the ground, picked them up and handed them to you; there's about two inches between the lower lip of the bucket and the place where the popcorn actually touches the bottom of it. I'm not disputing that these floors are filthy, but COME ON! What, the germs can just climb up the side and dive in and swim around?

And people jerk off, too.

Jesus Christ, what kinds of movies are you watching???

Well, I'm sorry I don't live in your little fantasy world full of rainbows and unicorns where nothing bad ever happens!

Rainbows and unicorns??

There are more stories than just that one, but that should give you a sense of what I was dealing with. How could I have stayed with such a freak, you ask? Well, there were things that I really loved about him, too.

He valued the silly little things I do. That's a big deal to me. Don't make me feel like a jackass when I write you a silly love poem or something like that. He was really cool about those things; appreicated the time and effort and creativity that went into them. He understood my love language (and if you haven't read The Five Love Languages, you really need to) before I even understood how important that is.

I should interject that Loving My Silliness is one of the countless qualities that I love about my husband R, and the Most Excellent friends with whom I surround myself.

I used to make Fred goofy little animals out of felt all the time. One of the animals I made was a little blue bunny. I made up an annoying voice and obnoxious personality for the bunny, and I'd get Fred to engage in ridiculous conversations with it. The bunny would ask Fred how his day was and give details about his own day, which was pretty much always the same - the bunny had been sitting in the drawer full of stuff I'd made for Fred, which he referred to as The Sarah Drawer.

If you have ever had the catastrophic misfortune of being subjected to The Big Purple Dinosaur Who Must Not Be Named, you may be familiar with the ungodly sound of Baby Bop's voice. The little blue bunny's voice was kinda like that, but mixed with Gir from Invader Zim. Imagine me putting this goofy little blue felt bunny in poor Fred's face and read the italicized lines in that voice, in your mind.

Hey, hey Fred!

(groan) Yeah, Bunny.

Hey Fred! Hey Fred! Hey Fred, howya doin?


Hey Fred, guess what! Guess what guess what guess what?

(sigh) What.

I'm a lil bunny, but when I grow up, I'm gonna be a BIG bunny!

Yeah, that's really great.

Hey, can we hang out tomorrow?

Hmmm, I don't know, Bunny. I have to go to work.

Will you talk to me when you get home, then?

Sure, Bunny.

Ok, bye!!!

Look, I'm not saying the shit's normal and I'm not defending my actions, I'm just telling the story.

The best thing about Fred was that I could get him to watch anything I wanted to watch - figure skating, gymnastics, diving competitions, dog shows, the Miss USA pageant, ANYTHING - and he went along with it because I'd watch Cowboys football with him back in the Troy Aikman/Michael Irvin/Deion Sanders/Emmit Smith days. I hate the Cowboys, but I LOVE Michael Irvin. And, for the record, I loved the cerebral sports humor Dennis Miller brought to Monday Night Football, too. But I digress.

One day Fred was in an extrordinarily shitty mood and when I asked him why, he didn't want to tell me. I was genuinely concerned.

Fred, seriously, what's wrong?

(Long pause)


I nearly wet myself laughing. But I figured I should hold it for the next time Fred took me to a movie.

Fast forward to the Speed Racer era. My buddy Speed has been subjected to some atrocities himself, such as The Jonas Brothers Concert Experience in 3-D.

And during the Winter Olympics two weeks ago, I got Speed to watch Men's - that's MEN'S, mind you, I'm talking Johnny Fuckin Weir - Figure Skating with me. He wasn't happy about it, but he did it.

So I told him the story about Fred and that Damn Bunny.
And here's what I got Speed Racer for his birthday.

Her name is D. B. for Damn Bunny.
You can't see it, but she's wearing ice skates.
And, AND... (Regis Philbin voice) are ya ready for this???
If you press her hand, you can hear a recording of my actual voice saying "Hey, hey Speed... Hey Speeeed.... come taaalk to meeeeee!"

It's horrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrible.

Kind of a miracle that I have any friends at all, isn't it?