Monday, April 27, 2009

finding bliss in the canola oil

I stared at my computer screen for over twenty minutes last night, composing and recomposing a blog post. I didn't ever get anything down, not for lack of trying. It's not a big deal why--- I was so tired, I'm not sure if anything I was writing was making sense at all. In the end, I scrapped the whole ting, closed the laptop, and went to sleep--- Chip had already jumped ahead of me in that department, snoring away.

I like writing when I'm sitting in bed. It's a comfortable place. I'm at peace there. The bedroom is quiet around me, and the cats are usually somewhere within petting distance.

There are some posts that are rattling around in my brain for this week. A few of them about POETRY, seeing as how April is roaring to a close this week, and with in another national poetry month. I like the fact that we have a national poetry month, even if most people don't know about it. It makes us seem civilized. It makes us seem like we are sensitive enough to take the time to appreciate something small, something gentle. My life needs to take the time to appreciate poetry. I need the soft focus that reading it lends to a day. I dare say that our country needs to take time to appreciate poetry. More on this later.

Blog bleurgh

My theory of good blog writing goes something like this: find a balance between inner and outer thoughts. This is essential. Writing about those daily things that give context to the inner workings of a mind--and then writing also about those. To wit: coming back from our time in North Carolina, I kept thinking about Big Topics I wanted to write about, and I'm going to get to those. But not without first posting this dandy rambling entry, where I tell you about coming home, where I tell you about some stuff that could be VERY boring. My theory of good blog writing is born out of those blogs that I really like to read. I can get into them because these bloggers will talk about deep things and shallow things. They will ramble about the meaning of motherhood one day and the contents of their kitchen sink the next. There are blogs out there that only focus on Big Thoughts, and the writing is just fine. But without the context of daily things, I quickly lose interest. I need to care about a writer. And I need to know about some pretty mundane things to do that. On the other hand, there are blogs that only talk about daily life, the Small Stuff. And in just the same way that an Exclusively Big Thinker bores me to tears, so does the one who only talks about what they ate for breakfast (me: toast and some bits of leftover banana from Alice). So. That leaves me here, writing an entry today that few of you will ever get all the way through.

Being home

It's good to be here. Good to feel the house around me again. Good to check on the status of the now-dry-previously-flooded-hallway (all is well, thankfully). Good to spend time with some fuzzy kitty bellies (LOVE THE FLUV). Good to just be able to do dishes and mop the floor and make the bed and do the laundry. I may complain about it some time, but I like my life. Speaking of mopping the floor, Alice dumped half a bottle of canola oil on the kitchen floor last night. We'd been hanging out in the kitchen, she and I. I was talking to my mom on the phone, Alice was investigating the contents of a cupboard. Usually I move the canola oil onto the counter before she gets curious, but Alice was too quick for me. Just a moment before, she'd been carrying a can of Pam around, chewing on the lid (mmmm oily). Next thing I know, she's got the canola oil and she just chucks it to her left. The lid must've been screwed on pretty badly because as the bottle struck the floor, BAM--- oil chugging out onto the wood. In that moment of me moving Alice out of the stream of spreading liquid and simultaneously throwing a towel over the worst of it, I realized that I am suffering from a type of post-traumatic-stress-disorder associated with FLOODING, and specifically, associated with liquid on my floor, because I FREAKED OUT. I mean, any sane person would have just been like, Oh gee this is gross, but at least it's sort of slow moving, you know? I was all RED ALERT RED ALERT BEEP BEEP BEEP WHAT THE HECK DO I DO AND IS THIS GOING TO CAUSE PERMANENT DAMAGE RED ALERT RED ALERT FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAK OUT. In the end, I picked up the nasty towel (WHO THE HECK PUTS A KITCHEN TOWEL ON AN OIL SPILL?!?!), and used a hefty number of paper towels (so much better), stripped Alice down to her diaper, and then cleaned up the greasy mess with a healthy wad of Clorox wipes (Oh Clorox Wipes where have you BEEN all my life?). After I got Alice to bed, I mopped the kitchen floor, but not before I got another nice little blip of the PTSD RED ALERT when Alice peed on the bathroom floor in the 3 seconds she was diaperless prior to getting into the tub. I'm traumatized, people. TRAUMATIZED. Chip was taking a shower on Saturday night and we have a cloth shower curtain which usually does a fairly decent job. Chip had been in there a while, and had turned the shower head in a way that made the water hit the curtain more than usual. The outer curtain started sticking to the inner one, and the end result was a sizable puddle of water on the floor. What did I do? RED ALERT RED ALERT RED ALERT BEEP BEEP BEEP FREEEEEEEEEAK OUT. I swear there was even a red light flashing in the room. I threw a towel on the puddle, wiped it up, then poked Chip through the curtain and told him in a terrible hissing voice, YOU'RE SOOOOOO FIRED. Again, WHO DOES THAT? I do.

North Carolina and nary a southern accent to be heard

The trip was fantastic. It was so great to visit with M, the artist formerly known as The Wife and if you want to know why she changed her handle, go here and read a breath-taking post about identity. Her little boy is perfect and delectable. If one was to sample his scrumptious belly he would taste very much like honey bunnies because BOY did he and Alice have a hay day with thouse or WHAT? We had some really wonderful talks. We worked on a project for our dearest friend SS, who is all knocked up and stuff and we couldn't be happier about that. We ate vanilla pudding with Nilla wafers. We vexed M's husband Chris when we insisted on eating pizza my last night there (forgoing a trip to eat tried-and-true southern food, reason: we really wanted to sit on the floor and keep talking, so he brought pizza in and we did sit on the floor and it was AWESOME). There are some blog posts that are going to come out of our trip. But that's going to be later.

Is anyone still reading this rambling mess?

The good guys

You all are very sweet. Thank you for being so awesome about the terrible-no-good-green-shirted man at the Phoenix Airport. The most irritating part about that sotry is all the things I thought about saying to the dude after the fact. But I know why I didn't do anything at the time: I was scared. I felt exposed and alone, even in an airport packed with people. And in the end, I knew that my biggest responsibility was to Alice, and keeping her safe. I hated that she came so close to being hurt. I hated that it was her out there in front of me (in her stroller). And I hated that someone felt it was perfectly appropriate to actually OD A LITTLE TURN-IN-A-CIRCLE DANCE to show he had more power than me, and if he didn't want to move, he wasn't going to. I am in awe of both of the women who came to my rescue. That shows some guts, people.

The week ahead

We're heading out of town again this week. Because I am INSANE. But also because I can't bear to say goodbye to Chip so soon. It's a bummer to be leaving again, but at least in a hotel room Alice won't be able to find any Costco-sized bottles of canola oil to dump on the floor. Or, if anything along those lines does happen, I can at least share the clean-up duty with housekeeping.

Now. How are YOU?


artemisia said...

I always have BIG POSTS I want to write, but never the energy. Bah.

Sorry about the Canola oil. Man - I can't believe you are traveling again! You are a trooper.

Alice said...

oh man, i am no good at the Big Posting. i am far too moment-to-moment in my own head to be able to get Big Pictures with any clarity.

thinking about the green shirted man STILL makes me mad. RAARGGHHH.

Heidi W. said...

I am like you I would rather stay with Shawn on yet another trip than be without him even if I have to suffer through some really bizzare stuff! I almost had a red alert moment this week when my "new phone" was launched into the toilet by my skittish cat. You would think that any of the other 100 things stored on the counter would have suffered this fate but it appears my cell phones are attracted to water! Luckily Shawn was around and calmly suggested drying out my new phone with the hair dryer. Happily his suggestion worked and I didn't have to go for round 3 at the Verizon Store! I am sure they think we are nuts. Maybe Alice is trying to tell you she is ready to learn how to bake!!!

Heidi W. said...

I just read your story about the mean man in the green shirt. What a meany. I am sorry he made you so sad. But I am happy Chip was there to make you feel better. Try to stay away from men in green shirts on this next trip!!

M said...

The PTSD? Hilarious. I know I shouldn't laugh at your misery, but man, that was funny.

And Alice and the Boy? Delicious beyond description. He's currently trashing the place with books--his new favorite thing. That, and holding on to my hands and chasing down the cats.

I miss you, man. It was SO great having you here. But I'm glad you're home with Chip. He needs you. Showering? FAIL.

Kathy said...

No more canola oil, no more green shirts, have a fun trip!

Anonymous said... wood floor oiling! people slave for hours for that!

Poor dear.

My mother in law came to visit us once with a bag roughly the size of, well, her. She had it filled with vitamins and peanuts and seaweed and various other things that surely her son could not find and would die without. The sweet, sweet revenge came when a bottle of sesame seed oil exploded all over the inside of the bag and covered everything with a nasty goo film.

Sibley Saga .... said...

I'm sitting here thinking about how I miss my friends. I'd love me some pizza on the floor chatting with you both. I always felt more poetic and talented around you two. Right now I get to hang out and be haunted by all the fears and insecurities of impending motherhood. In between bouts of nausea I wallow in them all. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

OMG, the Canola Oil Incident is horrific. Blech. Then again I have a picture of a very slippery baby spurting out of your hands and flying across the room like in a bad comedy movie.

Happy travels to you!

wandering nana said...

I love reading your blog, but then I think how dull my writing is. Oh to be a whimsy writer.... such beautiful words and thoughts and so nicely put.