Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

This morning I awoke to J ticcing again, often and loudly. Very disheartening because the medication he's been on seemed to be working really well. We thought we finally found "the one." So...I've got a headache. As I doled out the morning medications for the boys, I realized that I tend to live my life waiting for the proverbial next shoe to drop. The happy times, the peaceful times, are just moments in which we take a breath. I'm just waiting for the next bad thing to come along, you know? What's it gonna be next? A new disease, a death, a speeding ticket, job loss? A tornado? What, what, what's gonna happen NEXT?

This is an attitude I have to stop, change. And therein lies my New Year's resolution. What's yours?

Thursday, December 28, 2006


I see my last blog entry and it feels like Christmas lights on a house, long after the holidays have ended. Something new needs to be put up, the lights have to be taken down along with the Christmas tree and wrapping paper and decorations. Everything needs to be put into the old boxes and re-stuffed back into the garage. The thing is...every time I sit down to clean up here, one of the children demands something or other. Before long, I'm out of the habit. Like now.

So today's M's birthday. She woke up with a big smile, her front tooth missing after a goof-around session with A last night. "Mommy," she said, "the tooth fairy came last night! I got..."

She peeked into the plastic baggie and said, "Five dollars!"

D had put it there - we tell the kids the tooth fairy is kind and always leaves the tooth for the memory box we keep in the kitchen. I glanced at D, "Five That Tooth Fairy has become very generous."

"Increased cost of living, you know."

"What does the tooth fairy look like, M?"

"She's green and white. Green dress, green shoes, green face...and she wears a bracelet with a white tooth!"

"So beautiful."

A couple of presents came, by way of D who had already started cooking some bacon out in the kitchen. Roller skates, elbow and knee pads, a pink outfit from the Gap, and socks. All lovely. The house was warm, the boys were still sleeping, and Sassy was romping in the wrapping paper. There didn't seem anything wrong with having a post-Christmas birthday. We'd worried about that when we learned M's due date. Would she feel cheated, sad, bummed out? So good. Only time will tell.

Christmas seemed to fly by as usual. All holidays seem to do that. Every year seems to do that. Teaching has intensified the speedy feel of time because when I teach, I live lecture to lecture, test to test, assignment to assignment...focusing on the end of the semester. Poof it comes...then it goes...then the year starts up again. Very roller-coastery. When life stops, like now, during the holiday break, I feel like I just got off that crazy coaster, looking around, saying, "Whew!", dizzy, breathless, the memory dream-like. I see the children and they are so much bigger now, so...outside-the-womb.

I long to hold them again in Papa's rocking chair, rocking in the dark, feet deep in slippers.

We went to my aunt's house yesterday, spending a blustery day in Mission Viejo. At one point I turned to look at the kids outside, all the kids, cousins, second cousins, and they were running like mad against the wind, even J, looking to be swept away in that wildness. They laughed hard and I chuckled at teenage J having as good a time as nearly-5 CousinMG. We sang a birthday song for M but she couldn't bear the attention so she dipped her head down, fumbling with an errant string on her pants. At least she didn't cry. She used to cry when she was younger. At every birthday song. The moment that song started, she cried. Prescience maybe.

So yeah...Christmas is done with. The financial leak is plugged. We'll cry come January's bills, I can assure you. The Visa card was hot this month which we loathe but feel compelled to do anyway. The teachers, other kids, extended family, the selves. We tend to use Christmas as the excuse for buying what the kids need. Shoes, clothes, crayons, a new skateboard deck, a book of bass guitar tabs, books, a winter coat, socks and underwear. Then the few games and toys. The kids don't seem to notice. Thank goodness. They are the sorts where if it comes in a wrapped box, then they love it.

I got sweaters. Still need new jeans. Wish someone would have gotten me time, though. Time in a box. Maybe a trinket that slows up the clock and erases the wrinkles I see in my face. The laugh lines that no longer go away, the worry lines that don't fade with relaxation or sleep. Oh and what of all that whitish hair? You, dear readers, have no idea the greyness of my hair. I stopped coloring long ago, not able to keep up with the white roots that would shoot up only two weeks after a tint. At one point I was called, "prematurely grey." I think I'm passed the premature part, heading into forty-three. The hair seems appropriate.

Why do I feel like sighing? A sense of loss in the wake of the holidays overwhelms the moment. Some things are lost that can't be given back...some things are lost that I'll never re-attain. I think I've lost those things sooner than others lose them, sooner than I was ready.

I'll be back...I need to watch M skate in the front yard. Need to break up J and A who are battling in a back room. Damn it, I'm strapped into the seat and the attendants have called, "All clear," and the coaster is off again.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Happy holidays, everyone. May the world treat you gently, these days and always.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Everyone quiet...I'm blogging while I'm giving an exam. Yes! It's true! The students are trudging their way through a grueling legal research and analysis exam. They've got a case to read, a statute to analyze, and a page right out of Shepard's Citator. I feel all-powerful. Their futures lie in my reviewing of their exam will either make their "A" or bring them down to the "C" or the "D" or worse.

[Please, someone, hand me my sceptor..and that crown over there...thank you, oh so much you worthless subject, you.]

I kid.

Actually, this keyboard is really noisy so the flow isn't happening. I'm certain when I get home later I'll read this post and be horrified. I'll edit and re-edit and drive the Bloglines people nuts with the repeat posts (assuming that's what happens). But see, I'm compelled. I've been reading blogs lately and they all made me want to write. I'd love to slam out some fiction, or a really good memoir-type thingie. Sometimes though I think I've said it all. I talked about my mother's unbalanced ways, the lemon tree, the pine tree, the children, the husband, the marriage, the school...Tourette's, hypertension, bipolar...stiff muscles, overweightness (yeah, yeah, that's not a word) in the sink, sunlight in a dusty room...teaching, learning, crying, laughing.

There's just no more to say.

I have that trouble with photography. For the longest time I was documenting my suburban life--

[Student, that's called a true and false question. If any part of the sentence is wrong, then the whole thing is wrong. Right...if your notes indicate a different bit of must be...? So "true" is your final answer, eh? Okay on your way, you stricken student, you.]

I had oodles of pictures, plenty of beauty in my quiet urban-suburban town. Then one day I hit a wall. I'd taken a picture of that wall already. And that reflection. And that pond, and that graffitti-stained tree. And the kids. Oh the kids. They do keep changing, true. They are an ever-shifting subject...but...

I felt I'd seen it all, documented it all. I press my eye against the viewfinder and there is only familiarity.

Shhhh...the keyboard is driving me wacky. Two more hours to go. I'll edit tomorrow. No, no, I'll just write a new post.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


All right, I'm admitting it here, right now. Total confession time. Heard about Britney Spears' no-unders photos and had to look for them. I was curious...found it hard to believe, believe it or not, that she'd run around without...panties. I mean, COME ON! That's ridiculous.

I found the pictures.

I cringed.

I looked.

My mouth stretched into an "'s true..." and cringed again as I scrolled once more through the several, horrifying shots of Ms. Spears getting into a limo and then engaging in what looked like a group hug with the huggers purposefully hiking her skirt so the paparazzi could get a lower-than-low shot of...everything under the skirt.

I sent the link to all my friends and family.

I don't know...maybe I have to be a guy but I found the pictures intensely embarrassing. Then I got nostalgic. Awwww...I remember the days when I'd actually WANT someone to see my personal business. I remember the days when I could actually drink enough alcohol to not mind strangers seeing my personal business without getting a migraine headache and throwing up in the bushes. Remember those days?

Yeah, so...I'm blind now. Completely, utterly blind. I looked and lost my vision. Blackness, I see, colors blurring into black, background noise of my children demanding Christmas presents and cell phones and cards for downloading music off the internet and really expensive clothes. The noise I appreciated most though was little almost-6 M, chiming, "Mommy, can I get Snow White panties, huh, Mommy? Or maybe Ariel panties? Or...or...the Twelve Dancing Princesses panties?"

"Oh yes, M, you can have as many panties as you want! All the panties in the world!"


Once again, I offer my apologies to my loyal blog-checkers for not updating very often. Just the school and holiday blues - too busy - not enough quiet time. Blog posts rush past me every day - lengthy posts - posts about dreams and nightmares and Tourette's syndrome and then when I sit at the computer, nothing reaches my fingertips.

I'm disturbed on some level because not so long ago I imagined that just maybe I might eek out a living writing. I envisioned short stories, novels...I saw something real and plausible. Then I started teaching. And it seemed like all those ideas of mine disappeared. I started a blog as a creative outlet, as an alternative to making a living as an author. I put a lot into the blog - it was wonderful. Then the blog became an extension of my conscious and subconscious and suddenly it wasn't anonymous anymore but really me.

And then the "me" began to act just like I do at home - indulging in non-productivity. The silence of the blog is me on the couch. Wearing underwear, for those of you smarties out there. Underwear and jeans. And a top. A bra under the shirt or sweater. A well-covering sweater. With boots. Socks and boots. And beer in the hand. Or maybe a book. Or it could be no boots and socks and just slippers with M or A next to me. And the house is messy. And there is chili simmering on the stove. Bubbling chili with beans, Italian sausage, ground turkey, canned tomatoes and lots of spices. My sister's recipe that took me a week to finally pull together. Because lately, me-on-the-couch has been enjoying prepared food. BBQ pork, pineapple fish, orange-peel chicken wings, vegetable lasagna, turkey meatloaf. D and I love prepared food.

"Look, honey, I just have to stick the thing in the microwave and voila! All done!"

"Delicious. The salt will do wonders for my hypertension."

"No...that's the trick...low salt."

"Delicious. The blandness will definitely do wonders for my compulsive eating."


So...yeah...the silent Bliss Blog is Adriana on the couch. Wearing underwear.