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And then we all lived fatter ever after.

8 Dec

Seriously, this having a baby thing just packs the pounds on, even if you didn’t give birth. It’s a combination of sleep-deprivation and B’s new schedule (2 to 11pm) (UGH) that has just made our eating habits all out of whack. B said the other day, “I am such a fat bastard!” and I was like, “Me too!” and then we promptly did nothing about it.

Le sigh.

I’ve been missing blogging lately, feeling a bit isolated with the stay-at-home thing. Can I tell you a non-secret? I suck so hard at being a stay-at-home mom. I guess I used to think the formula was No Job + Baby = SAHM. I was so wrong, and I don’t even quite know how to articulate why it’s difficult for me. It requires quite a bit of structure, which I’ve never been good at. It’s as if when there is a vast sea of time in front of you things seem like they can wait, and very quickly the house is a mess and the laundry is falling out of baskets and there are diapers everywhere and the dogs toenails look like some sort of vampiric horror show. THEN, by that point it all seems too much, and you are too morally depleted from the fact that you haven’t worn anything with a waistband in over six months and your hair is just a mess, and so you just call friends and talk about how hard it is to . . . well . . . do stuff.

First world problems, yo.

The flip side of all the whine is that I love to be with her. I do, I love being home with her and the thought of working makes my stomach turn. I think the solution is that I have to learn how to be a better SAHM. I goggled it the other day, and man was that a joke. I know I can’t be the only one that is so clueless about these things, yet the results page was either, “Make organic play-doh and count to 10 in Mandarin” or “Don’t stay at home it ruins your life”. Sweet options, internet. Can I stay at home and not ruin my life and not be a douche, all at the same time? I guess we will see.

In the meantime, HI! I love your faces. Here is a picture of Team Swan, being all festive and getting our “sleigh ride” on, which was really just a hay ride with “hay” crossed out.


You can’t make this up

18 Nov

So I had to go to this “orientation” for unemployment today. It was as fun as it sounds, let’s get that out of the way right now. Welcome to Unemployment! The pay is shit and the stress is free!

What is it with me and places filled with nasty people? Is it the universe feeding my “what if there was a zombie invasion right now?” fantasy? I mean, I’ll be honest you guys, I didn’t even do the zombie apocalypse thing in Winco, because that is just too terrifying. If I was trapped in Winco – I shudder to think. I cannot go there.

I digress. I believe that Oregon has the highest unemployment rate in the nation right now, so there were a ton of people at “orientation”. Why do I keep putting quotes around “orientation”? I only know that it feels right.

The following things happened at “orientation” (I can’t stop doing it!):

1. First off, I saw this bat-shit crazy lady in a big sarong fluttering around muttering about directions for something and I knew – I just knew – it was my ex-boyfriend’s mother. My ex and I were together for seven years, so I know this woman well. She was (is) crazy. This entire post could be nothing but reasons why I don’t want to see Ms. Nut Job, but do I really need to even list them? Oh, hi! What’s that you say? Your son is living in a mansion and married to a descendant of Mother Theresa? Fabulous! Oh, me? I’m great. You know, what with being at the fucking unemployment office and all. We haven’t seen each other since when? OH RIGHT. When your son cheated on me and I found a porn collection in my closet and I drove them all over to your house and gave them to you, because as the woman who fucked him up so hard, I thought you would like to share in some of the end-product. I hope you enjoyed Anal Adventures 25! Too-da-loo!

2. I had to take a math test. Y’all, I’m an English major. I don’t do math. Why am I taking a math test? The guy, who was obviously passionate about his job, told me to just do it because “nobody ever looks at it”. So I am not kidding or even exaggerating, it starts on Level 3, because it assumes that even a chimp can master Level 1 and 2. I had sweat through my bra by the third question. I choked, hard. I just started randomly clicking shit, figuring I had a solid chance of just passing it. NO. I failed. The computer automatically flagged the firecracker that had set me up and he comes over and is like, Oh, I’m not sure how to handle this. HECTOR HOW DO WE RESET THE MATH TEST TO BASIC LEVEL ONE? Hector, the only person on the block that didn’t hear him says, WHAT LEVEL? and so the firecracker has to say it again, BASIC LEVEL ONE! The guy next to me who was clearly homeless snorted like, you poor stupid fool.

The first question of BASIC LEVEL ONE shows a PICTURE of three dollar bills and a five dollar bill and says in a big font: COUNT THE MONEY. HOW MUCH MONEY DO YOU SEE? I die, internet. I just die.

3. I was knitting in between sessions because somehow I became that person, and I also had two things that the sign specifically said you could not have (a phone and a drink) so when they called my name I jumped and my yarn rolled down the row of people waiting. Not one of those motherfuckers bent over to stop it, either. A whole row of America, just watching my purple yarn roll down the row while I bumble behind it with my drink and my BlackBerry, half apologizing and half MURDERING THEM WITH MY EYES.

4. So the last part of the whole thing is where they explain to you how to find a job. Sigh. The lady who I got was this little Chinese lady who must have taken a liking to me when she saw me bumble with the yarn because she was really nice but OMG she kept explaining to me how the internet works. She was really, really impressed that the internet is open 24 hours a day, from any state. ANY STATE, she says, ANYWHERE, you just click the ling. That is how she said “link” if that isn’t the most awesome thing you have ever heard. It instantly became part of my lingo. You just click the ling!

5. When I left I opened the giant doors to step outside and just as freezing rain hit my cheek some random unstable man jumped in front of me and yelled HOW DO YOU LIKE THE FREEZING RAIN? Well, good sir, I hadn’t had a chance to process it yet.

I wish I had a moral to this story. Don’t get fired? Yeah, don’t get fired. Write that down.

My husband is forcing me to post

16 Nov

Me: Uncle. I can’t finish NaBloPoMo.

B: You have to.

Me: Can’t.

B: Sit down and write right now.

Me: I don’t have anything to say. NOTHING. I am a blank slate of nothingness.

B: Talk about . . . what you did today.

Me: I didn’t do anything.

B: Really? Nothing at all?

Me: Can’t you say something funny?

B: I’m sure I have.

Me: You haven’t. Not one funny thing all day. I called you once and you told me that someone got killed on your jobsite. That is the opposite of funny.

B: Well, I’m sorry I SHARE MY LIFE WITH YOU.

Me: Stop it.

B: You stop it.

Me: I am posting this conversation, word for word.

B: You really didn’t do anything today, did you?

Let us list it out!

16 Oct

*Disclaimer: I am too sick to keep trying to find the grammatical errors, everything is all swimmy. If you find them, you could leave a comment and tell me. Or just judge me silently. Just don’t mix the two and judge me in the comments. I’m fragile.

1. You know what would be nice? If my immune system could do me a solid and fight off one or two germs. I just got over a cold, and went to my sisters house on Saturday and when I was tucking in my nephew he sneezed in my face. IN MY FACE. I could see the germs coming, and it was like I was in slow motion, saying, “Nooooooooooooooo!”

Flash forward to today: I’ve only gotten off the couch to get food or pee. I guess it’s a good thing I don’t work, because I don’t even think Bill Gates has this many sick days.

(I bet if Bill Gates was reading this he would be like, Motherfucker, I’ll take as many sick days as I want . . .)

(A friend of mine worked for Bill and said said that he had a whole room in house that was a gift room. It was full of presents and wrapping and goodness, so that any time there was an occasion, they could just grab a gift out of the gift room. AWESOME!)

2. Being unemployed is really hard sometimes. It’s hard to remain positive, it’s hard not to have as much money, and it’s hard to lose the tiny bit of control over my future that I once held. Also: my eyebrows haven’t been waxed since before Obama took office, I haven’t had pedicure since the wedding, and my flat iron gets no love. I fear that unemployment has turned my frumpy.

3. My babymama news is this: we are waiting. She got her IUD out a couple of weeks ago, and she wanted to start testing right away, and then she had a period, so now we are back to waiting for ovulation. I think it would have been easier to just wait a month, but I also think she knows her body and this is just one of those examples of the strangeness of me knowing A LOT about her body. My guess is, however, that we won’t have our first go at it until next month.

4. alsdkfjwoeifh elksjdnflskfjlskj eoiwmfl wekfjn woe

5. Number four was me freaking the frack out at the waiting game.

6. In more babymama news, this last weekend we went to her sons first birthday party. So her whole family was there (and mine, in case you aren’t following this soap opera closely, she is the sister of my sisters husband.) I was a bit stressed about it, because I wasn’t sure how her mom felt about it. So we are all sitting around eating pizza and the baby wants some, so I cut up some pieces and give it to him. A few minutes later her mom says to her, “I can’t believe you gave him such big pieces!” and I was like, “ummm, I did that.” and she said to my babymama, “Are you sure you don’t want to back out?’ (in a totally joking way). So while I was embarrassed that I gave a one year-old child man-sized hunks of crust, I was relieved that it was out there, and in a joking way.

7. My babymama’s aunt is a lesbian, and she has a wife and they have a baby. They were all at the party, so my babymama tells them that she is going to be a surrogate, and I don’t think she was prepared for the onslaught of questions. You know, if you tell a straight lady that you are going to be a surrogate, she says, good for you! A lesbian lady with a child says, are you going to have an IUI or try at home? Have you spoken with a home nurse? When are you ovulating? My babymama was like . . . uh . . . she just wasn’t sure how much to share. They were, of course, totally supportive and awesome and full of resources. It’s funny to me how the gay and lesbian community feel like our biggest allies in this. I mean, I called four different law offices trying to get help with how to proceed and every place I called was condescending and kind of like, ummm, I don’t think we can help you. So I Googled “gay and lesbian attorney” and called the first person that came up. The guy on the phone, not even the lawyer, was just asking me questions like it was no big thing, and I said, “Do you think you can help us?” and when he said, “Totally!” I cried. I was afraid to tell him we were a straight couple because I didn’t want him to judge us. The reason I say it’s funny to me is that I see and hear this debate about bullshit things like Prop 8, and people are always talking about family values. Trust me on this, NO ONE has fought harder for family values than the gay and lesbian community. The reason most of this is moving forward for me is because thousands of lesbian women made it happen for themselves.

8. Whew! That went from “what I had for lunch” to “let’s talk politics” really fast!

9. Changing gears, because after all, this isn’t really a political blog. I really do want to talk about what I had for lunch today. I get in these food ruts sometimes, where I want one thing constantly. B loves it, to be sure. This week it is the fabulous tomato soup with sharp cheddar and ham sandwiches. I know, you are thinking that tomato soup isn’t really, by definition, fabulous. Behold:

It started with Molly’s version, found here. When I first went to make it I didn’t have two cans of garbanzo beans, however, and had to substitute white beans for one can. I loved it! Then, because we were having it again, I made it the original way, and I didn’t love it as much, I found that it had lost some of its smoky flavor. So this time (yep, the third batch) I have gone back to the one can of white beans.

Also, because we eat a lot of soup around here, I am a bit of a soup artist. Here are my two tips:

1. I keep a big plastic bag in the freezer, and I get it out every time I chop veggies. I put any extra in the bag, and then keep it in the freezer. When it is full, I make vegetable stock. Just dump in the frozen veggies, a couple of onions and garlic cloves, and really anything else you need to use up, salt it and let it simmer on the stove for the afternoon. Couldn’t be easier, and it really makes a difference in the soups you make with it.

2. The other thing that overtakes my freezer is Parmesan rinds. I NEVER throw them away, because they are so awesome to throw into any soup you make while it cooks. It adds a salty depth to it, just another really good layer of flavor.

So the recipe then:

Just heat up some olive oil and toss in three cloves of garlic and the leaves of three sprigs of rosemary. I hold on to the stalks of the rosemary and toss it in later. Let the garlic and rosemary cook up long enough for the olive oil to carry the flavor, and then add:

3 cans diced tomatoes
1 can white beans
4 cups veggie stock
pinch of sugar
parmesan rind
rosemary stalks
salt and pepper to taste

Bring to a boil, then simmer it for at least 20 min. I don’t bother to let it cool, I just dump in all (carefully) in my blender and puree it on up, until it is all thicker and yummy and gloppy. Oh, and don’t forget to take the rind and the stalks out first!

Then just add a can of garbanzo beans and heat through! You will NOT be disappointed! You could jazz it up further, if you wanted. I added shrimp one night when the husband was needing some meat in his diet.

10. Rumor has it that Bret Easton Ellis is teaming up with Gus Van Zant to make a film based on this Vanity Fair article that had me riveted awhile back. It’s a crazy story, I thought I would give you the link so you can have something to read while you eat the soup.

What can I say, I’m a giver!


28 Apr

Me: I am backing up itunes in my pj’s and you are in traffic. Who sucks it now?

Her: I have a direct deposit paycheck coming on Friday.

Me: Right. There is that.