Archive for October, 2010

I am not a fan of Halloween.  I attribute this to the fact that I grew up in the country, where you just don’t get much opportunity to do Halloween.  And I’ve never particularly enjoyed being scared.  Some people love scary stuff.  I am not one of those people. 

Spawn and my husband, however, love the scary stuff.  Love the paranormal and the spine tingling.  Love skeletons and spiders and vampires and the like.  So I am outnumbered around here. 

We are letting Spawn have another Halloween party, since Halloween falls on a weekend again this year, and we have precious little time left before we become a social liability.  To that end, I dragged out the two huge tubs of Halloween decorations and let my two kids (the 9-year-old and the 45-year-old) festoon our yard and home with all things otherworldly. 

Every year my husband preys upon my sensibilities by putting spooky decorations in unlikely places, like a rubber rat in the shower.  He’s a funny one, that man.  But rather than give him the satisfaction of scaring me and pissing me off, I have adopted a “fight fire with fire” policy.  So when he puts the rat in the shower, I wait until he’s asleep and I put it in his laptop case. 

Except this year, the rat is in a state of disrepair… his tail falls off.  So instead of the Halloween hijinks with the rat, my husband and my child have adopted some new players in the “Scare Mama” game: a ghost, a spider, and a raven. 

On Sunday night I found the ghost resting on the soap in the shower, the spider guarding my toothpaste in the drawer, and the raven peeking out at me from behind my pillow.  At this point I am not sure who’s put what where, especially since Spawn was asking some very pointed questions earlier in the evening as to whether I brushed my teeth before bed every night.  As it turns out, the two of them are in cahoots.  Spawn is the ideas person and my husband is the muscle. 

I am glad the two of them are building memories, even though I am the butt of their jokes in the process.  However, I could really do without a raven perched on my steering wheel when I am late for work. 

— Mox

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Oh, y’all. 

Nothing too strenuous, just your garden-variety nutso, but all in all, my life has been a flat-out whirlwind for the past month.  Or so.  It’s hard to pinpoint when the madness began. 

My office is once again on the move.  Our lease has expired and we are boxing up all our crap and moving to a new (read: less expensive) office across town.  I can’t even begin to wrap my mind around it.  In fact, I’m sitting here right now looking at four empty boxes that have my name on them, so marked because that’s where all my personal/desk crap needs to go.  I can’t seem to make myself do it. 

The problem here is this:  my boss has said, repeatedly, “one and done.”  Meaning, he has signed a one-year lease on the new office space, will work one more year, and then the end. 

Which is all well and good except that means I will be out of a job.  And I don’t know if you’ve looked lately, but jobs are pretty scarce. 

And I knew all of this, yes, over a year ago.  It’s amazing how fast time goes. 

Which is not to say that I haven’t been looking for a new job.  I have.  I’ve applied all over the place.  Competition is pretty fierce, and I haven’t even gotten an interview.  All I have is a sheaf of “thank you but we hired someone else” letters. 

That whole business this summer about me taking the GRE?  Yeah.  I don’t know how I’m going to afford grad school.  So I’ve set the idea aside.  My GRE scores are good for five years.  At this point it seems a little more important to oh, pay the mortgage and Spawn’s tuition.  And eat. 

I often fantasize about retirement.  That’s what it’s come to, folks.  I am, as my grandmother would say, wishing my life away.  But at least by fixing my eyes on retirement I am assuming that at some point there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.  I hope to god it’s not a train. 

And yes, I am battling my seasonal depression right now, too.  So that’s fun.  The temptation is there to lose myself in a bottle of wine every night but this isn’t college and I don’t bounce back like I used to. 

So, yeah.  Unicorns and rainbows and happiness all around.  And that, my friends, is what I came here to offer you today, as a way of apology for not checking in more often.  Bet you’re glad I did, huh? 


— Mox

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The wonderful thing about vacation is, when done properly, you can forget about your regular life for a few days. 

You can forget about the fact that you are woefully underemployed, have no money, are behind on paying bills, your mother makes you crazy, you’ve gained weight, and you and your spouse are like two ships passing in the night. 

No wonder it’s so tempting to chuck it all and start all over in a new city.  Vacation has a way of distilling things. 

Our annual pilgrimage to the beach was filled with the usual pitfalls — misunderstandings, wrong turns, frayed nerves — that under ordinary circumstances would have led to a scorched earth.  However, the generous application of warm temperatures, sunny days, and sea breezes acted as a tonic for those things.  A little sunscreen and a Coke Slurpee from the 7-11 and all is right with the world. 

During vacations, I am always reminded of why I choose to hang out with my husband and my kid.  Spawn is without a doubt a true blend of my husband and me, with my husband’s big personality and sense of humor and my love of nature and of discovery.  Though a bit aggravating at times, for the most part, Spawn is a cool kid.  And though a little misguided and out of touch, my husband is a good dad. 

I have accepted the fact that I am the lynchpin in this family, the one that everyone turns to when things go awry.  It’s not an easy position to be in most days and there are times I want to hide, but it’s me they turn to to fix it, what ever it is.  Most things I can fix.  The ones that I can’t, I’ve learned to let go of.  It’s been a hard lesson to learn. 

There comes a point in every vacation at which everyone is ready to go home.  With any luck, this happens at the end of the vacation rather than somewhere towards the beginning.  Mostly this is due to the arduous task of travelling, because mainly you just want to be home instead of spending hours and hours at the airport or on the road. 

For better or for worse, I am back inhabiting my “real” life again, with all the implications that come with it.  I have a handful of seashells and a few photos downloaded onto my laptop to sustain me until the next time. 

— Mox

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