Thursday, August 31, 2006

afraid, but nevermind

it's nearly 12:30 a.m. uk time and i am hopelessly awake. don't really know why, but thought i'd take advantage of my moment of opportunity to update the blog. nice that it took my bro-in-law's computer a whopping 20 freakin' minutes to start up and cycle through all of the crap it has to go through to open. i don't even want to know what is on this machine. if it's illegal, he's into it. nevermind.

sam is snorting in the room, sleeping restlessly, and at this point, i have no idea if its adenoids or ears or teeth or what the hell. he was up numerous times last night and he has been pulling on his ears, but i think at this point it's probably teeth, unless the omnicef didn't work. sigh.

the title refers to all the fears that i harbor underneath that like to surface when i'm in insomnia mode. so here goes the random list. i'm afraid of:

1. sam's surgery. he's getting tubes two days after we return and i'm scared of his going under and not returning. really scared. irrationally so, as i know it's a three minute operation and millions upon millions of munchkins undergo similar surgeries on a weekly basis. but i'm still scared. he's my kid, after all, not a million of a million. i keep telling myself that this is going to make things better--no more ear infections, advancement in walking and talking and pulling up and doing the things he should (but isn't) doing. so far i haven't convinced myself.

2. dying in a fiery terrorist plane crash on the way home from london on monday. again, irrational, but it's late and i'm freakin' tired.

3. syd's not ever returning to normal. she has been so indulged here and has gotten so mouthy and obnoxious. she is hitting me every day and thinks it's hysterical, and she is just given whatever whenever. she will be in for a shock when we get home and the cookies and the chocolate and the crap are no longer lurking in every corner.

4. syd's language not returning to normal. she has adopted british pronunciations for words like 'bath' and 'dance' (think bbc proper) and 'water,' and now asks to go to the toilet instead of the potty. and in only two weeks, no less. i shall have a lot of undoing to do.

5. never having enough money to go on a proper vacation (eg not staying with relatives or sleeping on the floor)

6. not getting work again

7. not fitting into my clothes again, due to copious amounts of chocolate and crap on the vacation, and more italian food in the last week than i have eaten in the last year.

8. never publishing anything fictional

9. snakes. on a plane, in a car, in museum displays and in aquaria. hate them. all.

10. fish. irrational.

11. birds. or in particular, large overfed pigeons that lurk in every corner of london waiting to crap on my head or fly into me.

12. that our house will never sell or that we will be forced to sell at a significantly reduced rate.

13. that the move to dayton is going to suck because i won't make any friends and i won't meet people who think about life beyond their children (which i do, even though it may seem otherwise)

14. dying without making a difference.

15. not living beyond 44.

that's enough for now. it's been a rough couple of days here, although not without high points, to be sure. but i think more than two weeks living with inlaws should be illegal in most countries. it just isn't healthy. we have lots of people under one roof, few bathrooms, very little privacy and not enough valium to go around.

germany was aces, although there wasn't a whole lot to see in baden-baden. no prostitutes, to the boys' dismay, but an interesting bath house with lots of different pools and sauna experiences, and a nude bit that i opted not to experience. it was a beautiful area of europe, very picaresque, and if driving on narrow, mountainous roads didn't make me so nauseous, i probably really would have enjoyed the black forest. we did manage half a day in strasbourg, which made me ache to want to return to france for a longer period, but there you go. it rained a fair amount, and the last day i opted for a modern art gallery with a cool chagall exhibit, and a cup of coffee and my journal, rather than wandering off to see nothing and climb loads of hills to get there. and why could we not have gone to a beach, you might ask? our travelling companions, dh's cousins, don't like them and live within walking distance of one. next time i shall be more insistent.

we took our nieces to the west end one day this week and caught glimpses of big ben, the london eye and various other southerly sights. we ducked into the victoria and albert museum for a moment to get out of the rain, and then spent an hour pondering our existence and our dna in the science museum. we revived our legs in hyde park with a rest and some sandwiches, and later ate a bit of dinner before heading off to see Footloose in the west end. cotton candy fun but nothing to write home about.

yesterday, i set off alone to meet my friend claire in the west end (she came down from leeds on the train). i hadn't seen her in seven years or so; it was good to catch up and only awkward a couple of times. she was in lyon with me 12 years ago and brought some photos to prove it. too many drunk, laughing pictures, but what would you expect from a year abroad? we saw a bit of the tate modern and then had lunch, and i managed to score a single, front row ticket to avenue q, which was wonderfully hysterical. claire and i met up with celia, her sister, around four and the two of them went shopping while i checked out the national portrait gallery. very cool. some interesting warhol portraits of the queen that i didn't know existed. i spent several hours wandering downtown london, and wasted time in a bookshop thumbing through '1001 books to read before you die' and decided that the editors were way prejudiced against american writers. i mean, seriously, do we need to read everything jane austen wrote? i'm in the middle of sense and sensibility, and while interesting, it is not as good as pride and prejudice. they can't all be winners. anyway, it was on to avenue q with great music and puppet sex on stage, narrated by gary coleman, and then home on the tube at 11 p.m.

of course sam was up most of last night but there you go. today we visited dh's grandma and aunt, cousin and cousin's daughter, which was tedious but necessary. then my mother in law took me and my sister in law out for italian (big surprise!) and dh went to play snooker with an old friend (he's still not back and i'm trying not to worry, though it's nearly 1 am and the pubs all close at 11 pm, but never mind.)

tomorrow we are going to camden market for a bit. then we have to see lots of random people before we leave on monday, hopefully not dying in a fiery terrorist plane crash whilst en route.

i realize i have left out an entire week (prior to our going to germany) but it was seriously nothing of record--family gatherings with lots of relatives whose names and faces disappear from my memory from year to year, a drink at a pub occasionally, a little shopping, and for me, lots of reading, crossword puzzles, knitting, internet surfing (which takes ages) and sleeping, since there are so many extra hands about. now that both of dh's brothers have moved back home (at 32 but nevermind), it is truly a full house.

i apologize for the length and randomness of this missive, and for the lack of linkage. maybe when we return home, following sam's surgery, when i have some sort of gainful employment, i will find the time to link or post pics. but don't hold your breath.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Tagged--not it

Lazy Sunday morning (ha!) before heading on a plane Tuesday to the UK. Lots of prayers and happy thoughts that we make it across without incident.

Legion tagged me (argh) and since it's about books, I thought I might be able to answer. Perhaps. Althought when I think of books, everything intelligent (if there ever was anything there) goes out of my head. I'll try

1. One book that changed your life: Diaries of Anais Nin. I learned that it's okay to write about erotica and intimacy. Of course, now that I read what I wrote back then, it's a little sophomoric, but hey, it was in a formative time period. Another book was Skylight (well, it's a play) by David Hare. Love the structure, the minimalism. Lots of influence on my dramatic writing style.

2. One book that you have read more than once: Harry Potter (all of them) at least three times each, if not more.

3. One book you’d want on a desert island: Uhhh, nothing's coming to mind. A big, empty journal? Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley.

4. One book that made you laugh: Lamb: the complete word of God according to Christ's childhood friend Biff. Hysterical. And Bridget Jones's Diary.

5. One book that made you cry: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. So freaking sad. Hard to stop crying.

6. One book you wish would have been written: How to Sleep, Be a Mom of Two Children, Be a Wife, and Still Pursue Your Artistic Passions (or how to clone yourself and retain control of all the clones, while simultaneously enjoying the experiences of each clone as if they were your own).

7. One book you wish had never been written: The Mayor of Casterbridge. Thomas Hardy. One of the most boring things I have ever been subjected to. And as an English and French Lit major, and a lit teacher, I've been exposed to a LOT.

8. One book you are currently reading: Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. Wanted to remember what all the fuss was about.

9. One book you have been meaning to read: Uhhh... I read when I mean to. When I have time. Not often. Dickens? I don't know.

10. Tag some others: curb girl, lucy.

And legion, you should start with Ulysses (if you haven't already read it) before Finnegan's Wake. I've heard the latter is utterly incomprehensible, but the former is more so with assistance. I can recommend some resources... :)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

personality test

since i don't have anything better to do with my time (ahem), i took the personality test that Legion posted on his blog. Here are my results:

interesting, no? i love how it's "like all men..." but i'm not going off on a tirade.

if you test too, let me know your results.