20 September, 2012

May the Odds Be Ever In Your Favor

Remember the summer I had Ramona thought it would be awesome to read some Thomas Pynchon? Me either. I made it as far as the epic EPIC description of the desk, had a baby and all brain power ceased from thereafter.

I am still recovering.

I finally decided if I am to read during times of incredible busyness, then why not delve into some popular culture?

I started reading it on Monday and will probably finish it tonight. It is an amusing read, despite its incredible deficiencies. I completely understand its popularity among teenagers and young adults. I would have eaten this shit up at their age. Rough leading ladies keenly aware of the artifices of contemporary society, peppered with undefined romances and dystopian survival skills. Delicious. I would have probably pretended to be Katniss in the woods around our home. This coming from a girl who learned dance steps to Swing Kids in her free time......

I can't tell if it is so drab because the first-person narrator is sixteen, or it is just flat out horrible prose. It also feels like a smattering of Deliverance, Battle Royale, The Hunter, shall I keep going? Not the greatest, but amusing read before I nod off. I actually like it for what it is. I will give credit to the author's themes of gender as performance and furthering Shakespeare's idea of "All the world's a stage." 

I folded folks. I am reading teen literature to settle my brain after a hard week teaching Aristotle's Poetics to non-majors and production research for my upcoming play. Sometimes you just want an easy read.

Iris-Ramona Penny

Let's have a tangent, shall we? It may come back around. To celebrate ten years of meeting each other, Nathan and I had a gay ole time in San Antonio. Two years ago. I get around to writing about stuff eventually.

We stayed at the supposedly haunted Crockett Hotel, strolled about the River Walk and got a bit hammered at the Menger Bar. That bar is the shizz. Teddy Roosevelt recruited Rough Riders there during the Spanish-American War. I want to live in this bar forever.

Photo courtesy of Readcoco Blog.
As we sorta stumbled about downtown San Antonio, Nathan stopped at Ripley's Believe it or Not and exclaimed, "Let's do it!" I stared at a replica of the Eiffel Tower made out of toothpicks for 30 minutes. Good times.

Oh, and we made asses of ourselves in the Madame Tussaud's wax museum.

Lucky for you, they are on my husband's phone.

Remember that comparison chart of presidents Lincoln and Kennedy and all the eerie/interesting comparisons to their lives? They had a huge replica at Ripley's. It is one finger on the creepy, one finger on the fascinating, a middle finger on WHO HAS TIME TO NOTICE THIS!?!

Apparently I do with my daughters.

Ramona is in that fun, goober baby phase. She can interact, play games and be an overall joy and annoyance to her big sister. Iris is in first grade going on 50. She is testing our boundaries daily in the most joyful and annoying ways. I love noticing the intriguing differences between the two.The comparisons are amusing, mostly trivial, but are fun to notice. All in all, it shows us that each child is a new beginning. One different than the one before. Never expect one child to be like the other--it simply will not happen. 

06 September, 2012

Oh Hey There

Oh HAAAAIIIII, ya'll! Thought I shucked this two-bit blog, did you? Well I didn't. I took a significant break as I focused on my family, my health and living life full tilt. This blog, its purpose, and regular contribution will always be an uphill battle for me. I live rather than document the living. So if it is ten months since my last post, roll with it. I am.

So, yeah what have I done in the last ten months? A great deal, all in very positive directions.

1) Raising some truly sweetheart kids,

2) Moving into our first house (!).

3) Celebrating Nathan's badassedness with not one, TWO fellowships, allowing him to rock out the dissertation,

4) Identifying and fixing some health issues that have improved EVERYTHING,

5) Doing things that scare me/take me out of my comfort zone.

RELATED TO #1: The kids are doing great! Iris is a snaggle-toothed 1st grader. Ramona is a curly-headed rabble rouser. I spent all summer as a stay-at-home mom so Nathan could focus on his dissertation. I learned two things about myself: a) I am not hard-wired for being a stay-at-home mom, and b) the less employed I am, the more I drink.

I think it was harder being summer, but it felt we needed some activity/outing/project going on a few times a week or we devolved into eating Cheerios off the floor and watching Dr. Oz. And Iris was SOOOOOO BOOOOOORRRRREEEDDDD if we didn't have something to do every waking second of the day. I would notice my house was messy and would clean and (shudder shudder) do laundry more consistently. I IRONED clothes. There is a lot maintaining a house with sparkling floors and no one has to wear their undies inside out if none are washed. Mad props to you all who do this as your full-time vocation. I don't mind the work, but I will definitely do it with a bit of grousing. I would much rather have dust bunnies hopping along the laundry pile trail while I figure out how to build an awesome blanket fort and listen to sketch comedy podcasts.

When you have small children, the cleaning feels so futile. Like Samuel Beckett's Endgame, but Nagg and Nell learned how to get out of their trash bins. One can crawl and will eat coffee grounds out of the trash. I am Clov in this metaphor. Hamm is your inner voice with the incessant desire to gripe gripe gripe. Nagg and Nell will eff it up in 30 minutes anyway. It is all gray. Everything will have to be redone. You never sit down. I am such a effing theater nerd, I even use Beckett to describe how I feel about cleaning.
If she had a drink instead of a cloth in her hand, it would be easier.
RELATED TO #2: The great thing about being at home was all the cooking experiments. I nailed how to make my favorite Southern dish, smothered pork chops. Tyler Florence, you are a golden god.

I also did some canning and freezing and learned how to cook on my super high-tech Stove of the Future. This contraption looks like something Captain Pickard cooks his grits on inside Star Command. It came with the new house. I learned how to cook on a gas stove. Electric ones, especially ones from the future, have a steep learning curve. My poor family ate some sorta burnt chicken a time or two.

UPDATE: I was informed by my husband that "Star Command" is a separate show. The Enterprise has a food replicator that makes food at will for anyone. To which I replied, "As a maker of content on the Internet, it is my job to be inaccurate."

And I enjoyed some delicious libations. It was like a Prohibition speakeasy at least four days a week this summer. It didn't help our new house has a built-in bar and my husband makes one mean homemade margarita. The insight I gained into the summer was that doing nothing is great, doing TOO much nothing leads to alcoholism. And summer is for futility. And of great inward understanding. And smothered pork chops.

I will elaborate on on the change and settling in later posts. I am back, me loves. I will share as much as I can and as much as I want. This private girl will be more public. Promise.