Monday, January 29, 2007

moved on up to the eastside

Thank you all for your constructive and kind words! It really helps. I went to the doctor on Friday for that crap and for the mysterious stomach attacks that have been plaguing me, perhaps they're connected. I'm getting an abdominal ultrasound on Wednesday, which should be fun.

But the best part is that I moved to Bellevue over the weekend. My place is now 3 times larger, and I have my precious piano back, which in itself is an anti-depressant. If you read me when the soap opera was in high gear, you'll remember how much I turned to the piano for an emotional outlet. So for now, I am going to try to get the stomach stuff figured out and play a ton of piano.

I have no internet for now. So bear with me through the infrequent posts. I am still trying to figure out what company to use. I piggybacked on someone else's wireless (with permission) at the old place. Any suggestions?

So this is my snuck-in update for now. I just wanted to say that I am doing better, mentally at least.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Upson Downs

This past year really has been a learning experience. As I trudged up the hill trying to find that peak we like to call Normalcy, I’ve hit and fallen into a few crevasses, and in an attempt to be “okay,” I isolated myself from my true feelings, so when they hit me, they hit me hard, and I woke up to the realization that more and more I was staring out the window, whether of the car, the bus or my office and picturing my gruesome demise as never before. I guess the reason I was perturbed was, rather than disturbing me, the thoughts of such things occurring created that same relaxing escape frame of mind that might ordinarily be produced by imagining yourself at a spa getaway. So though I’ve been trying hard to reach that aforementioned peak, I’ve come to the conclusion that really I’ve been walking up a down escalator that moves faster than I do.

I suppose I’m surprised by that. I’m supposed to be able to handle anything. I’m tall. I’m pretty. People give me things when I bat my eyelashes. Life is supposed to come easy for the taller, more attractive individuals of the world. Whole studies have been done. I’m supposed to be “strong” enough to handle it all. Pain is supposed to bounce off of my Schwarzenegger-esque emotion maker thingies.

So what went wrong?

Perhaps, for starters, I looked for “normal.” I looked for “supposed to.” I ignored resources for help that people so kindly sent my way. Because, as I said, I’m “strong.” I don’t need that fluffy deal with your problems stuff. I can handle it on my own.

Now, I’m thinking, not so much.

I know I have a lot to live for, and I don’t like that thoughts of my refrigerator crushing me to death are so comforting. So maybe it’s just a matter of me realizing that my “blues” have become EEK! “depression.” However, I don’t know that I want to go the medication/therapist route. It’s hard for me to grasp that I can’t handle “it” on my own. (As an aside: maybe I really just need help for my excessive use of quotation marks.)

I’m sick of these ups and downs. I know life isn’t full of highs, unless, of course, you’re a crack-smoking gangster lover. Hey! Now, there’s a path. Okay, maybe not. I just need the lows not to be quite so low for a while. Please bear with me as I try to make that happen.

*the title is a reference to Auntie Mame, but then if you didn’t know that you aren’t my friend, and those that did, you’re positively top drawer, dahlings.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

White stuff from the sky

There's nothing like having getting to take two days off of work because of your child, which I did last week. Once for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Apparently my bosses don't like black people, or at least that is the opinion of Wynn, who is half-African American. The next day, Sam text messaged me. "just in case you didn't know, school's canceled today"

I lept out of bed and whipped back the curtains. "ARGH!" There was snow everywhere. Glorious, beautiful snow. Great! I love snow. Except when the week before, I was late 3 hours one morning because I needed to argue with Steve, and late 3 hours the morning after that because a couple of inches of ice decided to turn the streets into a bumper car arena. So now I had to take a half-nationally recognized holiday and a freakin' snow day?

Well, Audrey and I made the best of it. After much cursing into my pillow, I dug my snow boots out of my pile of summer sandals and other shoes I haven't worn in months, searched hopelessly for Audrey's boots and then we trudged through the snow to Green Lake. We played at the park, threw chunks onto the iced-over lake, a sight I never thought Seattle would see, and built a snowman.

We even went to Starbucks, something that I never ever do with Audrey, because I never knew the name of any coffee shops when I was five. I suppose it was inevitable though. So we went in, and I got a Chai tea, because I don't drink coffee, and she got a hot cocoa of course. She gulped it down before moving on to my cup, declaring chai tea to be the "bestest drink in the whole wide world" and renouncing her previous allegiance to hot chocolate.

When I got back to work the next day, back to the grind, the ringing phones, for the first time in a long time I felt a twinge of sadness that I wasn't able to be at home with Audrey. I was home with her the first year, and while I've always treasured that time, I was ready to start a career. Entertaining a child all day every day, tending to a house, laundry, and those are your everyday aims and goals? I needed hours away from that. But now, Audrey has this great little personality, and we have actual conversations, drink Starbucks together and share an affinity for America's Next Top Model, I have a new appreciation for this little newt of mine.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

It's always a day away

I’ve been a grumpy bump lately, snapping, crying at the littlest thing, moping about like a miserable puke not wanting to do anything except play BrickBreaker on my BlackBerry. I was so excited when the final stroke of midnight finally brought 2006 to its bitter end, but January has royally sucked. Positivity (okay if negativity gets to be a word, why can’t positivity – screw Webster, I’m using it) has eluded me these several days, and I’ve been puzzled as to why.

Except that everywhere I turn there seems to be stress curdling and building up. There is so much that I don’t even want to write about here, because unlike before the big delete, when I wrote about everything, I can’t be as open anymore. Even writing this, the words feel stilted because of this censoring, but there is no alternative. I am weary of my life, though, and several of its crucial components. I feel like I am in a room full of chairs, but desperate as I am to sit down, every seat is bursting with thorns. I am strangled by the bad choices I have made in my past and cannot escape the ever strengthening hold they have on me.

At night, when I am trying to sleep, all of this churns over and over, and I whimper unknowingly until Steve wakes up and asks me what is wrong. How do I explain that it is the same thing as last night and the night before that? Instead I tell him he is dreaming, bite my lips in an attempt to prevent more sounds from escaping, and cover my head with a pillow with a hope that will somehow muffle my thoughts.

I have felt my agitation grow this month as Lee’s pregnancy comes to an end almost simultaneous to the first anniversary of the birth of my dead son. I find myself staring at her belly while we are at work, and I try to see through the layers of clothing, skin and flesh to the girl that kicks and flourishes within. My throat starts to close up as I fight the urge to warn her how all of this can be just fine, but babies die. My baby died! But she knows that, and I can’t say that. I know that everything will be okay for her, and maybe that is why all of this is hard for me. Because I knew everything would be okay for me, but it wasn’t. So I try hard to ignore what has happened and is happening to me. I keep our conversation lightweight and speckled with bits of advice now and again. But still as the days march on, she comes closer to giving birth, and Oliver comes closer to turning one in my heart.

I had a dream not too long ago that I got home from work to see Steve and Oliver there, just like it was normal, everyday. Steve had picked up Oliver on his way home from work. Oliver was 11 months old as he would be now, and as I knelt down in front of him, he let go of the couch and toddled over to me. His first steps. Steve and I marveled over him – so excited by his milestone. But then the phone rang. It was the doctor. Oliver had terminal lung cancer. I woke up crying, but for days after I replayed his first steps over and over in my mind, smiling to myself with pride, while trying to ignore the dire end.

I’m trying to pretend that I’m okay, with the thought that if I do, I will be okay – just like that. Today, I’m not okay. But that’s okay, because maybe tomorrow I will be.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

music machine

Like so many people, I love music. As a child I had sleeping issues, so I would lie awake singing every song I knew then making up my own. I wanted to be a songwriter, a creator of music, and though I never followed up on that particular dream, I still adore those little black dots that float along five black parallel lines to make sweet, sweet sounds, though, except for that one time in Ireland where part of our tin whistle education was to write notes into an exercise book, I’ve never created my own music. Instead, I’ve satisfied my love by teaching myself to play the piano and broadening my musical horizons.

Because my parents are very devout Christians, secular music of any kind was strictly verboten. But we still had plenty of music around, just different music. I grew up listening to Nathaniel the Grublet, Antshillvania and Psalty the singing songbook and many other Christian kid tapes. When I hit my tween years, I began listening to Amy Grant and several other Contemporary Christian artists. I never knew what I was missing. One night I was at a sleepover birthday party, and one of the games was to stick a word or phrase on the back of the guests and through hints, you were to guess who or what your were. Everyone else had long-since guessed hers, but I was the last one standing. Finally the mom stepped, because she realized I had no clue. When they took the sticker off my back and showed me the name, I shrugged in ignorance. Nirvana. I didn’t even know who Nirvana was.

So in recent years, I have been discovering artists to whom I was never exposed before. Steve has introduced me to a realm of 70’s and 80’s music I have come to adore, though my s nineteen year-old sister, who is firmly grasped by the twenty-first century is appalled by my new musical tastes.

But I am amazed by all that there is out there. I’d never heard of Roxy Music or the frontman Bryan Ferry, David Sylvian, or Al Stewart, and now I adore their music. David Bowie and Queen I’d heard only negative things about and of course Queen’s arena songs, but there is so much more to them. I’ve been devouring and entrenching myself in these new sounds that are old to so many: ELO, Kraftwerk, Leonard Cohen. I have however discovered newer recent artists as well. I was one of the first on the Snow Patrol wagon, I fell in love with Rufus Wainwright’s musical majesty, I adored Damien Rice, and Maria Mena, Rachael Yamagata, and Hooverphonic.

My favorite discovery of 2006 is definitely Regina Spektor. The depth and variety and creativity in her music confirm that she is a truly gifted musical genius, everything I dreamt of being as a child, I’ve found in her. She is me, the me I would be if I were true to the fullness of my childhood dreams.

So in the spirit of furthering my discovery of the world of music, I turn to you. Who is your favorite musician and/or 2006 discovery?

Monday, January 8, 2007

The me me

So because I'm tired from a day playing with email settings and the Blackberry Pearl that replaced the sucky, sucky BlackJack and the only other thing I'd write about would be how I groaned and moaned and spent Saturday night on the throne (oh did I forget to mention how awesome the Seahawks game was on Saturday? That Romo guy on the Cowboys has my luck.), I'm posting this meme, with which I was tagged forever ago by the lovely and terribly patient Dawn, whom you all should go say hi to as her New Years present was a pink slip . Don't worry, I won't tag anyone. I am fully aware that Christmas is completely over. I don't even expect anyone to read this. On another note, in case you're wondering, Audrey and I are better now, and as a favor of remembrance, the carpet is holding on tightly to the aroma of stomach contents. MMM. Boy was I glad to come home to that after work tonight. Nothing helps me come to grips with missing Audrey during her week with the Swine like puke fumes. Without further ado, an oh so tardy Christmas meme. Take it for what you will.

1.Wrapping paper or gift bags? I love paper when it's all Martha Stewarty, but since I don't go to that expense as it all ends up in the garbage anyway and use the same roll for everything, paper can be a little boring.

2.Real tree or artificial? I love a real tree. The smell, the feel, the appearance just can't be duplicated, but I am trying to decide which is worse for the environment, killing a tree, or the energy that goes into making, shipping and packaging the artificial tree. I'll think about it this year and let you know.

3.When do you put up the tree? I didn't this year - my apartment is too dad-gum small.

4.When do you take the tree down? Typically New Year's Eve. Every year only needs one Christmas tree, not one at the beginning and end.

5.Do you like eggnog? Yum. I never go to Starbucks or drink coffee, but this December I lived on their eggnog latte. But my favorite way to drink eggnog is in a chilled glass with ice cubes.

6.Favorite gift you received as a child? A keyboard - it was the closest to a piano I would get for years. I loved it and played "Heart and Soul" over and over and over and over....

7.Do you have a nativity scene? No. I plan to some Christmas when I get around to buying myself Christmas decorations.

8.Hardest person to buy for? My aunt, and for good reason. Even this year, she opened the gift and gave me tips for how I could have done better. Argh!

9.Easiest person to buy for? Steve. I could go broke getting him all the things on my list. I know how to make him happy. This year I got him a remote control Aston Martin DB5 among many other things. I knew he would like it, but not as much as he did. He eagerly ripped open the box and set it up and raved and raved. He'd always wanted a remote control car, and finally, at 44, he had one. I teared up a little.

10.Mail or email Christmas cards? Neither.

11.Worst Christmas gift you ever received? A puppy. I desperately wanted a kitty cat. I said I wanted a kitty cat, but the swine decided to fulfill my childhood wish of waking up Christmas morning to a holey box bearing a dog. Sweet, but not want I wanted. We got rid of the dog a few months later when I got pregnant. Me and dogs just don't mix. Some people like other people's children and are happy to go home without one of their own - that's how I am with dogs. They are just too needy for my taste. Did I just lose half my readership?

12.Favorite Christmas movie? Christmas in Connecticut.

13.When do you start shopping? Day after Thanksgiving

14.Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes. I gave my sister the shoe organizer, which my boss gave me at the holiday party. It doesn't work with my closet.

15.Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Goodness, I love it all, and lots of it.

16.Clear lights or colored on the tree? I love clear lights. Love them.

17.Favorite Christmas song? Judy Garland singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" from "Meet Me in St. Louis"

18.Travel at Christmas or stay home? I want to go somewhere warm - just get away next year. The weather here has been disgusting. My brother will be stationed in Hawaii

19.Can you name all of Santa’s Reindeer? I think

20.Angel on the tree top or a star? Star

21.Open the presents on Christmas Eve or morning? This year we did it all on Christmas Eve, because that is when we had Audrey. We pretended Santa came then.

22.Most annoying thing about this time of year? How stressed out people get about buying the perfect present. Christmas is supposed to be a happy time and gifts are just a gesture of love and thoughtfulness.

23.Do you have Jesus in your heart this Christmas? Not as much as I should, but yes.

24.What would you like for Christmas? An end to all the crappy drama in my life.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Huff, puff, and blow chunks

My apartment smells like puke. But it wasn’t me this time.

Yesterday, Audrey’s daycare decided to close early, something about in-service time or whatever, so that meant that I had to leave work early. My superior looked at me doubtfully when I told her, and I actually felt like I was leaving under false pretences. Isn’t it weird how we can make ourselves guilty for things totally above board? Or is it just me, the neurotic one.

Anyway, so I had to leave work early, and what do you know, Seattle was having another of its wannabe-Florida-but-with-hurricane-force-winds-rather-than-
sunshine-and-tanned-bikini-bodies storms. What is up with that? I walked as quickly as possible south from Belltown. I’d given up on my umbrella, for it was no good despite the pounding rain. I pushed down the street, laughing at those around me fighting their bumbershoots in the wind. Others pointed out how smart I was for carrying mine rather than trying to make it work. We all smiled at each other, marveling at the strenth of the system and mused at the way people's clothing was plastered against their bodies by the gusts. Nice how such things induce eye contact between strangers that would ordinarily deny the existence of each other’s presence. And even as the rain streamed down upon my uncovered head, like every good Seattle pedestrian, I waited at the crosswalks for the little white guy to appear before crossing the road. I felt like one of those reporters in a wind machine to demonstrate how this mph wind feels, except I was really in it. Each step was a workout, and I could actually lean into it at a forty-five degree angle and the wind held me up. I envied those with hoods and hats and was soaked by the time I reached Audrey’s daycare, thanking God that Steve had coincidentally needed to drive into Seattle to pick something up simultaneous to my need for a ride home.

When we arrived back at the apartment, Audrey and I set about drying off, and then had dinner before I noticed her looking a little peaked. She began burping A LOT, and went to bed early.

Steve came home hours later, and we cuddled on the couch together to watch an episode of “Are You Being Served?” to which I paid no attention. The sound of Audrey crying jumped me from my comfy position, and I burst into her room to find her standing in her closet – throwing up. Oh God! I grabbed her shoulders and guided her through the living room to the restroom as she threw up across the rug and the linoleum and then into the toilet again and again. My gag reflex went into overdrive, and I rubbed her back all the while wishing that the Swine had gotten this instead, since he probably gave her the blasted bug. I can’t remember when was the last time Audrey puked. Neither of us really knew what to do. She left strings of bile hanging from her mouth rather than spitting it out, and I was trying to comfort her without getting any on me, cause YUCK, and then I realized, I’m the mom, I’m supposed to get sick on me. So yeah, I smelled like puke, she smelled like puke, the bathroom, living room, kitchen and her room smelled like puke. I then ran screaming from the house vowing never to return until the putrid scent was gone, gone, gone. Either that or I drew Audrey a hot bath and marveled as Steve set about cleaning up the trail of puke and the dumpage in the closet.

As he scrubbed away, I went up to him and supervised for a moment before feeling a wave of emotion. A tear welled up in my eye, as I watched him gag a little. This wasn’t his kid, and yet there he was scraping up half-digested peanut butter and jelly. And then? He drove to the store to pick up some Febreeze even though he’d worked until 8, gotten home at 9, and was really, really tired. He totally wins. What I don’t know, but he definitely wins it. And I win too, because oh he’s the best.

After Steve Febreezed the crap out of everything, Audrey got hugs and pampering before we tucked her back into bed with a bowl and the instructions not to use the closet as her puking grounds next time. But she had no recollection of puking into the closet. Seems she was sleep puking, and the closet just happened to be the place to do it. Hmmm. I think tonight I’ll go whisper to her sleeping self that sleep puking should only be done in approved bowls and toilets that’s an order.

This morning, I smelled puke, but not fresh puke, 6 hours old puke, and I groaned, and then I groaned again and again. Oh my stomach. Ugh. It was horrible. Audrey’s came out the mouth, mine didn’t. I haven’t decided which is worse. So Steve went to work and we sick girls did fun things like watch stuff on the DVR all day, Meet Me in St. Louis and the Little Women with Katherine Hepburn were on the menu.

Tonight as I was tucking her into bed, I sang our favorite nighttime song, "Summertime," and she cringed, "You have bad breath, Momma." I slapped my hand over my mouth and she giggled, then sobered. Audrey wrapped her arms around my neck tightly and said, "I wish that I could be with you always."

"Me too, sweetheart," I said, smoothing her hair gently, and then I blew my breath in her face, and we crumpled together in laughter. It's an old parenting trick - deflecting pain with humor. I bid her goodnight, then promptly brushed my teeth. Twice.

She came into my room a little while ago. The burps were back, but I sent her back to bed hoping it was just a tad psychosomatic. However, my gut is still a'rumbling. Ugh. This sucks because I have a birthday party and candle party to attend tomorrow, but I don’t want to spread stomach rot. Guess we’ll just have to veg out with E.T. and the Little Women with Elizabeth Taylor.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Holiday Party Throw-up

Wednesday morning I nearly blew away when I walked into the office building, so when they said the storm on Thursday was going to be bad, I believed them. The office was abuzz with speculations and rumors and excitement, made all the more intense by the knowledge that our Christmas party was to be right as the storm was near its worst, and there was a home Seahawks game to boot.

The day of, we all stared out the windows waiting for the trees to start moving, but the branches were eerily still. We knew it was the calm before the storm. As the day aged, I wore out the weather websites and news updates trying to determine when exactly the storm was to hit. I had a hair appointment to get to.

I left the office with my boss, who wonderfully offered to give me a ride at the last minute. It. Was. Raining. Argh. I realized with a slap to the forehead that not only had I forgotten to change from my stilettos to more manageable walk through gusting winds and horizontal rain shoes, but I hadn’t grabbed my umbrella either. The wind hadn’t started yet, but the rain definitely had. Just how was I going to get back to the office with my hair looking anything like that of Bride o’ Frankenschtein? Oh, boy.

I ran into the salon, ten minutes late for my appointment, to find Wynn sitting in my stylist’s chair. He was running way behind. I painted my fingernails a deep merlot, while sitting at the station next to them and chatting away about living in Seattle and all the changes that Bellevue has undergone, and forty-five minutes later, Wynn emerged from Chuck’s talented fingers with her little afro smoothed into a sleek bob. After running out to Wynn’s car in torrential rains, I returned with her umbrella and settled in to have my hair done.

“I want red carpet,” I said, as he pulled out my ponytail, “Curls, big ones, but no prom hair. Definitely no prom hair. I’m going for Hollywood , not Sweet Valley .” And I cursed myself for not remembering that picture I’d pulled out of InStyle the night before.

He pulled his fingers through my hair, gazed at me critically for several moments, and an hour and a half later, I stood up with gorgeous locks reminiscent of that the models sported on Victoria ’s Secret Runway Show that was on the other night, just shorter. I thanked him profusely, then went up to the counter to pay.

“It’s much worse out there,” the receptionist warned as she handed me a plastic rain cap, “I’m so worried about your hair.”

What could I do? I had to get back to the office. I donned my coat, pulled the plastic over my pretty, pretty hair, pulled open the door and propped open the umbrella. Out into the tempest I went. As soon as I turned the corner, the umbrella was yanked inside out by the gusts of wind, and I found myself being pushed down the street. It wasn’t raining that much, so I tucked the umbrella under my arm and slipped and tripped my way as quickly as possible the 6 blocks back to my office.

By the time I returned the office was next to deserted. I grabbed my makeup back and quickly slathered on eight pounds of the good stuff, threw on my pearls and donned my dress. It was nearly six. Steve had left work in Bellevue at 4:45. I called him to find out how close he was.

“I haven’t even made it to the freeway yet,” he said gruffly. Traffic, the storm, hunger, and feeling bad that he was going to be so late were making him quite the irritated Englishman. “You’ll have to find another way there – take a cab, find a ride.”

I protested a little saying something about wanting to get there on time but with him, but that only upped the grump factor, so I asked one straggler at the office if I could ride with her. She said, sure, that we only had to wait for her husband. And wait we did. We stared out the windows at the traffic and wind and rain and waited and waited. Seven o’clock came and her husband still hadn’t arrived, and a call to Steve revealed that he still hadn’t made it to the freeway. I wished that I could call the Tower and tell them to hold the party off for an hour. Here I’d planned the whole thing, and I was but a mile away unable to enjoy it. If it hadn’t been for the water streaming from the heavens, and the high, high heels and the freshly done hair, I totally would have walked, but as it stood, I was all dressed up with no place to go, or no go to the place as it were, but that’s stupid.

I did get there eventually. Her husband arrived; we crawled through traffic, and took three elevators up to the 75th floor where the party was in full swing. I made a bee line for the bar, where I ordered a lemon drop. I gulped it down before hungrily throwing down a coconut crusted jumbo shrimp. I ordered a vodka tonic and settled in to enjoy the party after calling Steve to find out that he was just minutes away. Everyone shared their horror stories about getting through town to the party, and all the ladies admired each other’s dresses. We all looked fabulous. And of course, there was one woman in a red dress. I joked that I was supposed to be the diva, but it’s okay. My shoes made a good splash.

There was much more drinking and eating in the next couple of hours. We had a great time. My boss handed out the little presents, which had been our secret mission to find. No one knew they would be getting anything like that except him and me. So there was great laughter. He ended up getting me this hilarious shoe organization thing. Then we got our “office presents” – a $50 gift card to Starbucks and a spiral notebook Wynn and I designed. With that, the party was pretty much over, some people left to brave the storm, others like me went across the hall to the bar, where I had my fifth and final drink. Shouldn’t have done that.

The storm was rocking the building. Everyone was saying so. Not me. I kind of remember people pressing their faces against the windows to get the whole effect of the back and forth motion of the building, and I kind of remember people asking me if I could feel it. I suppose the alcohol canceled out the motion. Or something.

When we left the bar, I went back to the room to collect my gifts. Gone! What? I asked everyone. None of the clean-up crew had seen it, the desk staff was clueless, and I was one pissed off little drunk chick. “This is a private club,” I ranted. “I shouldn’t have to worry about theft here. My things were right here,” I motioned to the table we’d occupied earlier.

I wish I could say that the items were recovered, but it turns out my stuff and the gifts of three others for a grand total of $350 went “missing.” I was pissed, but there was nothing to do about it then.

Steve collected me and got me home where I promptly ran to the bathroom, struggling with the zipper to my dress to I could throw up without getting anything on it. I was a sight to behold, boobs hanging out, throw-up streaming out, and a dress gathered around my waist as I knelt my the toilet. After I was done, I drunkenly realized that because I’d left my camera on my desk at the office, I didn’t have any pictures of me. I pulled my dress back on and mumbled to Steve that he needed to get a picture of me.

But by the time he came into the bedroom, I’d passed out. How gentile of me. Below are the pictures he managed to get with my Blackjack phone. All that money spent, and this is all I had to show for it.

The next morning, Steve yelled at me to get out of bed. I was going to make him late for his meeting. The world was still spinning. I felt HORRIBLE, but I didn’t want to be the girl who stayed home because she had a hangover. Oh yeah, and there was no power. Lest I forget to mention, there was a huge storm. It knocked out the power. But life goes on, so I eventually pulled myself out of bed, stumbled around in the dark to put on whatever clothes were nearby (we are so not even emergency prepared AT ALL) and somehow made it out to the car. I realized dropping Steve at work was out of the question, since my blood alcohol still must have been point one something, so we drove together to my work. I shielded my eyes from the blinding street lights and groaned in agony, begging Steve to turn down the radio. I groaned and groaned, and when we pulled in front of my office, I realized that there was no way I would be able to handle it just then.

“Take me to your work; I’m going to have to sleep this off in the car. That’s all there is to it.”

So we went to Bellevue, he went to work, where there was no power, I went to sleep in the cold, cold car, woke up took three hours to go 10 miles because of accidents, trees in the road, no street lights and really, really bad route decisions. Work was deserted when I arrived. Most people had no power, or the streets were too icy to even get out of hilly driveways. So I sat at work with theworsst hangover of my life until lunchtime when Lee and Wynn took me to Dick’s for some greasy hangover cures. Bless them.

The club where we had the party gave us a gift certificate to make up for what was “lost,” and when I went home I had power, but Audrey’s room was flooded. Whee.

So that’s it -the story I have written in bits and pieces, probably wanders too much and desperately needs some editing, but I’m done. I really only posted it because I’d built up the dress so much. Here it is.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Auld Lang Swine

Ah yes, the new year. Thank God we made it. 2006 is the year that I will block from my memory cells for all eternity. Double oh seven has a certain ring of luck and intrigue to it. And three days in, I already feel like things are looking up.

We're moving back to the Eastside. Bellevue, here we come. We're actually going back to the same apartment building for old times sake, so it's a new beginning, but not really. It's a bigger, better apartment with views of Meydenbauer Bay, and no chance of flooding, which you know, is a really, really good thing.

I thought that the new year might bring new revelations that would perhaps brighten my dismal view of the ex-husband, but with the whole credit report thing and today's conversation, well that just isn't happening.

As I mentioned before, Audrey has been in Denver with the Swine et al, they are returning even as we speak. Early this morning, my phone woke me up, since it was the Swine, my heart started beating and I answered expecting something dire.

"Hey," he said, "I know it's early but Audrey really misses you and wanted to talk to you. Here."

He handed the phone to Audrey, and her chirpy, cheerful voice filled the phone, "Hi, Momma."

My froggy, groggy voice answered in return, "Good morning, Baby Girl. Momma was sleeping, but it sure is good to hear your voice. I love you."

"I love you too, Momma. Is Papa there?" she asked.

"He's sleeping darling. It's not time for us to wake up yet."

"Well, when the sun comes up will you tell Papa that I love him and miss him sooooo much?"

I said I would and with that she was done talking to me.

Later in the day while I was at work, Sam called me again. This time Audrey was crying and really, really, really missing me. Sam said, "Audrey really wants to see you, so can I drop her off when we get into town tonight?"

"You mean like at eleven?" I asked.

"Well, it'd be more like eleven-thirty, but yeah, then," he answered gruffly.

"Sam, I go to bed at eleven, and her room isn't back to normal from the flooding. I wasn't expecting her until Thursday," I said hesitantly, not wanting to come off like I didn't want to have her back.

"Okay, so I'll just tell your crying daughter that you don't want to see her. Is that what you want?" He was really pushing it.

"Of course not, Sam," I said, "Just call me when you get back into town."

After we hung up the phone I called my mom and told her about the exchange with Sam.

"You know," she surmised, "he has probably just had enough of her and doesn't want to have to bother with her in the morning, getting her ready for daycare and whatnot. They are going to get back so late, Audrey will fall asleep in the car and won't even notice if Sam tells her you will pick her up at daycare on Thursday."

"Well, he spent so much time with her in London. I don't see how he could have "enough of her," I said, pointlessly defending him.

"No he didn't," she retorted. "Audrey was either with me or his mother. They were hardly ever together."

"You're right," I remembered, wondering again why he pressed so hard for full custody. "I'm going to call him back right now."

So I did, when he picked up I said, "Sam, I just don't think it's the best idea for you to drop Audrey off tonight. She ---"

He interrupted me, "Fine! I'll tell Audrey. She's standing right here. Audrey! Your mother said you can't come home tonight. She doesn't want to see you. Do you want to talk to her?"

Anger surged through my veins, as I steeled myself for Audrey's tears.

"Hi momma," Audrey chirped.

"Hey there. How are you?" I asked.

"I'm happy now. I have to pee really, really bad."

I struggled to find the connection between happiness and the urge to urinate while relaxing with the knowledge that she most likely hadn't heard a ridiculously mean word with which Sam had attempted to upset her. Audrey handed the phone back to her dad, so she could find a potty, and he shut the phone without a word.

I decided to let it go at that, but I couldn't believe what he'd tried to pull. It's written into the divorce papers that neither of us shall ever disparage the other parent in front of the child. If you ask me, that was a blatant attempt to disparage this particular parent. Where's Trump when I need him? Because that Swine deserves to be fired.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Happy New Year

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Things sure did get pretty shaken up after my holiday party. I still have a half written post and some photos, but that will have to wait.

The past few weeks have been nutty - the storm brought flooding to my apartment, then more storms brought more flooding, so I exiled myself to my aunt's house in Kirkland, where alas I had no wireless internet, nor the desire to brave the weather in an attempt to find a cafe with internet purely so I could post to my blog. I went through some withdrawals, but mostly I knitted and enjoyed my family and shopped and shopped.

Christmas was great. My sister gave me fur, to which I shrieked, "Are you trying to get me sprayed with red paint?" before wrapping the rabbit puff balls around my neck and falling into a luxury-induced coma. Mmmm, furrrrrr. Thanks Bugs. Thumper, you're the best.

New Year Eve was okay. Yesterday was better. A whole bottle of champagne to myself? Yummm. Okay, so it was two bottles. Just don't tell anyone.

Audrey has been in Denver with her dad and his consort braving the storms down there. When I spoke to her today, she was morning the melting of her bestest snowman, so I suppose they'll be able to fly out of there okay, which is definitely a good thing.

Let's see, what else....oh yeah. I decided to take advantage of that free annual credit report thing, and all over again I want to urdermay the Swine. Folks, why didn't I do a better job separating our credit after the divorce? I was so not even paying attention to so many things I should have been paying attention to. So yeah, he's pretty much screwed me on a great many fronts. Objection! Operation Get Swine's Financial Ass Out of Mine is in high gear. GOOD LORD do I hate credit. Apparently his damage will be undone oh in about two thousand freaking thirteen. Shoot me now! I am going to be old, blind and incontinent before I can even think about getting a house. Add it to the list people. Add it to the list.