Thursday, November 30, 2006


I woke up yesterday morning so tired that I could barely make it to the bathroom, where I did something that I have rarely done in my adult life: I peed and then went back to bed.

I wasn't particularly sick (as in I didn't feel like I was dying, just so very tired) although my sore throat and headache gave me a nice enough excuse to call in sick. I spent the entire day sleeping. Zac slept in until 9am and I took him to daycare at 10am or so and then climbed back into bed. Around 1pm, I walked downstairs, had some lunch, and then promptly fell back asleep on the couch until 5:30pm.

It's hard for me, with my Puritan work ethic and shame-based personality, to admit that I took the whole day for myself and did nothing other than sleep. It was even harder to justify my decision to Mr. Tugboat, who kept saying, "Are you sure your alright? You've just been sleeping?" He defines himself as a "worker bee": someone that always has a project, always going, and always gets up before 7am. I describe that as "hell on Earth". It's not that I'm lazy, just selective on how I exert myself, which wouldn't ever happen before 9am if I didn't have a small child.

All I can say is that my body must have needed, or really, really wanted, to sleep. I even went to the drugstore to get a certain test to see if I had a certain little thing inside me (I don't) because the last time I was this tired I was gestating.

My fatigue is occuring at a time when every day I marvel at Zac's emotional and physical development. The other day I realized that he has started coming home in the same shirt and pants that he left for daycare in. Either the daycare teacher started getting better with the her bib usage or Zac got more coordinated at eating - either way, I love it. I no longer have to wash four or five loads of strictly toddler clothing a week. He has started to go to bed without as much crying and wailing and he can give hugs and blow kisses. He's great. Really, just great.

I might be great if I wasn't considering hiding under my desk at work to take a nap. Wake me up when it's time to go home.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


I started today with the feeling that it would be a two-post kind of day (Hi April!) . I just got a call from the FOB. I've managed to not talk to him for two months, although the last time we spoke it involved me swallowing my pride to ask for $200 to help cover insurance co-pays and prescription medication costs. Much to the FOB's credit, he sent the money Western Union and I was able to use what was left to purchase a step stool for Zac to get up onto the couch and some extra sippy cups.

So, he called me today to say that it had been a long time since we had talked (duh!) and he was wondering how "the baby" was. Hmmm...well, the baby is no longer a baby. The baby is a full-fledged toddler with ideas, opinions, and desires of his own. He's starting to walk and - Oh, Happy Thanksgiving, asshole. Guess you could have called on the major holiday instead of waiting until I was at work to call.

I know, I know, I could have called him. I thought about it on Thanksgiving. I even debated it with Mr. Tugboat (who said that I under no circumstances should call him. If a father wants to talk to his son, he should call. Since that agreed with what I was feeling, I listened to him whole-heartedly). Zac isn't really saying enough words to make a phone conversation with him anything other than painful for all adult parties. It's fun to listen to him playing and "talking" to his toys in the background. That's about it.

Ugh, the worst part of the conversation was when I asked the FOB why he continues to call at all. I just don't see a point to it. If I told him that something was the matter, he couldn't do anything to fix it. If I said that Zac was a genius with a remarkable ability to fingerpaint masterpieces with his toes, what good what that information do him? I understand the curiousity factor. This child has half of his genetics and looks more like him than he does me (although his smile that lights up his face - that's all me, sucker). I can understand why someone would want to check in on their off-spring, it just shouldn't be half-assed. Either you are in a child's life or you aren't. To me, that's clear. Calling once a quarter should be reserved for stockbrokers and phone solicitors. Parents need to actually show that they care.

He said that he doesn't call more because I "always do this to him". The "this" being making him feel bad for NOT being involved in Zac's life. Honestly, at this point, I want him to leave us alone. When I was pregnant, I couldn't understand how a man could completely emotionally and financially abandon a child. It's done now. It's over. I had Zac and the State of Texas garnishes his wages. Other than $400/month in child support (which I am thankful for) and the very rare monetary gift to cover medical expenses, I don't want or need to talk to him.

Why would I?

Better question: What will Zac ever have to say to him? Dad, thanks for the money this month. Mom bought me a pair of shoes and cooked dinner six days this week. I really like food.

It will be Zac's choice to make whether or not he communicates with his biological father and I won't stop him from talking to the FOB. I just think that will be difficult for him to have a relationship with a non-entity.


When I picked Zac up from daycare last night, all of the Shoe Nazis were exclaiming with joy. "He's learning how to walk!" they shouted. They turned to each other and nodded in approval and looked down at Zac, who beamed up at all of them with pride. Ah yes, my son, he's becoming a walker.

I'm not sure why I feel like this is such an accomplishment (or why it makes me insanely happy. It just does, let it be at that). It most certainly has something to do with waiting and anticipating for the day that he would let go of the couch cushion and come toddling over to me. I was starting to feel like I would have to carry him on-stage at his highschool graudation in 2023 to accept his diploma, apologizing the whole time by saying, "The doctors say he's physical fine. He just doesn't WANT to walk yet." At that point, I'd be 43 years-old with arms the size of tree trunks and a permanently hunched back.

There will be a time when the thoughts of him when he was "little" will feel far away. When he's 8 or 9, I'm sure that the memory of his first tentative days of walking will blur into all the other memories of the first day at school, picking out a Christmas tree, or the first time Zac tells me that he loves me. Walking will be old-hat by then. Just something that he does everyday without either one of us giving it much thought - like breathing, thinking, or loving.

Monday, November 27, 2006


The Zac report:

1) He is feeling much better, thank you, and only coughs occasionally now instead of semi-periodically and I maintain that you can only really know the difference between those two terms after holding a coughing child in your arms.

2) He stole the show at Thanksgiving. All of my relatives doted on him and kept exclaiming, "He's such a happy baby!" (which he is. Until he's tired. Or teething. Or grumpy. Or wanting to take all the diapers out of the diaper bag and put them back one by one and his mean Mom won't let him because we need to go to daycare. Then, he's not so happy).

Basking in the glow of family members: Wonderful

3) He's learned how to signal what he wants with a combination of words and baby signs. More cereal? Points to the exact spot on his highchair where he wants it to go. Bottle? ba ba. Give me that toy, damnit! Opens and closes his hand repeatedly. If he's hungry? No. Thirsty? No. Try to take away any toy that he wants to play with? No no no no no no nooooooooo.

Language acquisition: Amazing.

4) Big news - Mr. Z took five steps between my Mom and my cousin the day after Thanksgiving!!! He's getting more confident every day and drops to his knees less and less when we hold his arms and walk with him.

Watching a 26 pound toddler learn how to walk: Priceless

Sunday, November 26, 2006


I'm not exactly sure what time it is....whether the clock has signaled the end of one day and the start of another. It's late and I can't quite sleep yet.

Seattle was good and there will be more stories to tell. Right now, I'm spinning a bit. My eyes are bleary and my heart is aching.

I just had a good cry. The kind where you call up a good friend that you know you can pour your heart out to and let everything fly. Oh, my, and did I cry. I thanked her as I was getting off the phone - thanked her for listening to me and for making me laugh. I told her, only half-jokingly, that she was my go-to person when I needed to cry. She said that there must be two or three other go-to people in my life because I hadn't called her for a while. Then I felt guilty for not calling more.

I realized that I don't get upset that often. I mean - really, really upset, that much. I just exist in a survival mode of diaper changes and alarm clocks, sweaty palms and library fines, soured milk and sippy cups.

Romance of course, changes all of that. I was ready for a romance to sweep me off my feet and, in the process, it swept aside all of my coping skills for surviving as Mom, single in a city where I know very few people and have a limited number of people I can call and request a date with a chai tea latte.

As I was bathing Zac tonight and he kept wiggling away from my grasp, howling, "Nooo, no, no, no, no" and clutching his cups protectively against his chest. He was afraid that if I got a hold of him, I would make him get out of the bathtub. He just wanted to sit and play with his cups in the warm water. To hell with his Mom's schedule or forces of chemistry that cause warm water to cool to the touch. To him, he was perfectly content in that moment.

I'm trying to reach that clarity. I am.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Update: Zac is fine. His Mom needs her head looked at. I've turned into one of those neurotic, crazy women that brings her prodigy into doctor everytime he coughs wrong (and in my defense, he DOES have a nasty cough. I was just told that instead of being croup or an upper respiratory infection, it was just some drainage from his sinuses that he's coughing out.)

I was told that Zac's physical development is just fine. Basically, as the Good Doc told me, he just doesn't want to walk yet. He can pull himself up, bear weight on his legs, move around, and even climb on the couch. Walking though, not so much. He just doesn't want to. I'm supposed to continuing encouraging him as much as possible. I've created a couple little cheers for him in his walking endeavors:

Walk them back, walk them back, WAAAAY Back

Walking, walking
W-A-L-K-I-N-G that's what we do when we get Rowdy
Yes, yes, get rowdy

Everywhere we go (Echo: Everywhere we go)
People want to know (People want to know)
When you'll walk (When you'll walk)
I tell them:
Whenever he wants
Oh yes, whenever he f'ing wants *clap, clap*

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Ugh...the babe is sick and has to go to the doctor before we all get on a plane tomorrow headed West. My Mom, Dad, Zac, and I are all going to Seattle to celebrate Thanksgiving. It's the first time that my extended family on my Mom's side will have the chance to meet Zac, in all of his coughing, snot-nosed glory.

That scene is fun to imagine: Me, handing my pride and joy over to my Great Aunt and Uncle, Him, coughing and crying. Them, quickly handing him back to me, assured that I only procreate sickly children.

Good times, good times.

Monday, November 20, 2006


I'm back. I didn't really go away, just took a little break from my obsessive internet posting/reading/stalking to live- blissfully unaware of all things outside of my happy circle.

Things are going really well with Mr. Tugboat (neurotic, "OMG, something bad is going to happen with this and I'm going to die a bitter, miserable woman, all alone" feelings aside. On the bright side, the frequency that I have those feelings of panic are greatly reducing in number. I might be actually - gasp - adjusting to being in a functional relationship.) I'm happy with him and I find myself wanting to spend time with him whenever he's on land. He works for four days on the boats and then has four days off. Those four days with him are usually a blur of juggling kids (mine and his), personal time, work obligations, and hyped-up personal grooming. Since when do I feel the need to shower twice a day? Or shave at least once? Or obsessively use body products? Fresh and new is a lot of work. Give me an old and comfortable relationship any day.

Fortunately, I get four days off from dating where I return to my normal state of disrepair and personal neglect. I fart frequently, grow out my leg hair, and refuse to pluck or wax any body part. Zac also gets me to himself for four days in a row, although he seems to like hanging out with Mr. Tugboat. He crawled into his lap the other night to play with a puzzle while I was on the other end of the couch.

For the first time since Mongolia, I'm letting my imagination and heart rule my mind. It's a giddy, heady feeling and I keep waiting for someone to come along and say: "Nope, you can't be happy. You've been doing a really good job of being Miserable in Texas. I want you to stay that way." I'm so good at telling myself that it won't last. That I don't need the complication in my already complicated life. That I'm going to get hurt, AGAIN, and wind up back on this blog complaining about my broken heart. What if I'm wrong though? What if I silence those voices, just for a moment, just a brief second, and let myself actually enjoy this? Whether or not Mr. Tugboat and I work out in the long run isn't the most important thing at this point. I'll still be thankful for the time I had.

That's a beautiful thing.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Today when I dropped Zac off at daycare, there were only 6 kids in his classroom. Which left me wondering: "Where in the hell did the other 8 kids go?" Clearly, I need to talk to the staff.

As for Montessori schools, Aunt Jen and I went to one when we were little. For me, it was a daycare/preschool. It was more of an elementary school experience for her until the school started going ultra-religious. We started praying every couple of hours in class and my Mom says that I came home with a story once about "laying our hands" on a student that had done something wrong. Apparently, a bunch of 3-4 year-olds were praying for the soul our wayward classmate. I'm guessing that I was picking my nose and lifting my dress up during that activity.

When we went into public school, I was 4 and went into 1st grade. My sister was 7 and went into 4th grade. I had to repeat a year because my motor skill development was behind (sound familiar? oh, the irony!). I couldn't cut straight or draw in a straight line and my feet didn't touch the floor when I was sitting at my desk. That last reason was clearly some 'short-kid discrimination' that I've never fully gotten over...Anyways, my first grade teacher found out how old I was and freaked out. I was put in her classroom for the first part of the day and was sent to a kindergarten classroom for the second half.

All I remember from kindergarten was getting to wear one of my Dad's old long sleeve shirts to paint in. The teacher had to roll up the sleeves 6-7 times on each arm and the shirt went all the way down to my ankles. I felt so safe in my Dad's shirt. Kindergarten was full of painting, cooking, coloring, and playing with kids that I ended up going all the way through high school with. At the beginning of the next school year, I had to repeat 1st grade over, even though I could already read and write. On the bright side, I am an excellent scissor-wielder and my juvenile delinquency didn't seem to have any adverse affects on my social or academic development.

I don't remember much from Montessori school. By the time I was in second grade, I was pretty much equal to my peers. I could still reader faster than the other kids, but I learned how to hide it better. In 5th grade, I tested into a G.A.T.E. classroom, which is the epitome of academic tracking. G.A.T.E. stands for Gifted And Talented Education. The aim of the program was to challenge and prepare' us for junior high school while still attending our regular elementary school. Not surprising, all of the G.A.T.E. students immediately went into 7th grade honors classes and then into high school Advanced Placement classes. All of the kids in the AP classes went onto four-year college, even though most of the other kids in my graduating class didn't.

So, if it seems like I take education of young kids seriously, that's why. I was tracked and escorted all the way through my public school education. It wasn't until I got to college that I realized that it didn't matter if you went to public or private school, if you were in an AP or IB program, or if your high school was a magnet school for math and science. It didn't matter how much money your parents had in their bank account. Those things weren't good indicators of academic success. What really matter the most was how hard someone studied and how much time they devoted to school work, rather than -say- acquiring a taste for beer (something that I master by the end of my first year).

I'd be lying, though, if I didn't acknowledge that studying was a hell of lot easier for me because I had been "preparing" for college since the 5th grade.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


If I had a quarter for everytime I started a question with the phrase, "Am I a bad Mom if...", I might have about $2.50. That's only because I usually keep those thoughts to myself rather than inflicting them on helpless strangers and acquaintances. My good friends know better than to let me complete any thought that starts out with that question because then they feel obliged to shout out, "No. You're a GREAT Mom!!" whether I really am or not.

Yesterday I realized that I was looking forward to Zac going to preschool and elementary school so he would get a chance to learn more during the day. About midway through that realization, I started getting a little worked up. I don't have to accept Zac's current daycare situation. "There must be something better out there," I rationalized.

His large chain daycare center watches 132 children, although the sign on the door from the fire department states that the max occupancy for the building is 102. Zac's "classroom" is in the middle of a large room divided with mobile walls and knee-high bookcases. It's a little like a toddler coral in a big kid rodeo. Fortunately, all of the kids in his class are shorter than the bookcases, so they probably don't even notice the other world of activity occuring 3 feet above the ground. There also most likely too busy sitting on each other and dodging large push toys to really pay attention to much else. There are 14 kids and 1 teacher coralled in a space (I swear I'm not making this up) approximately 10' x 15'. Each kid gets about one square foot of space, which is the legal state limit for both space and student to teacher ratio. 1 teacher is responsible for the emotional, physical, and developmental well-being of every child in her class.

I couldn't even keep the butts clean of 14 children, let alone manage their development. I'm just not happy with his daycare situation. He doesn't come home with many bruises and he's obviously being well-fed there, as his large Budda belly indicates. Every morning, he greets his teacher with a big smile and sometimes even throws his arms out to her so she can take him from my arms. He's clearly a favorite among the large, chain daycare staff and gets more attention than most of the other kids. For the "privilege" of going to work five days a week, 9 hours a day, I pay over $7,000 annually for someone else to watch my kid in a space smaller than most full-size SUVs.

Am I a bad Mom for wanting more?

I started researching other daycare options in Houston. Good Lord! I had no idea that Montessori schools were only for the rich and that any facility that puts an emphasis on education feels empowered to charge twice the amount of a daycare. There are tuitions at state universities in this country that cost less than these places. $900 - $1100 per month? Sure, I have an extra eleven grand or so floating around my checking account. Please, feel free to pillage all my money and ensure that I'll never be able to afford a downpayment on a house. That would be great. Oh, I'll make it easy for you and just give you my entire checkbook. That will save me the inconvenience of manually signing over my paycheck to you each month.

At least when you're in college you can get government-subsidized loans. Can I get a loan for daycare? Zac can do some puzzles and doesn't bite, can that qualify him for a merit-based scholarship?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


The-Child-That-Does-Not-Sleep finally went to sleep last night. He cried so hard before he passed out that for the first hour of slumber he had those giant hitches in his breath, where his lower lip gets sucked into mouth like a tire flap on an eighteen wheeler, from being asleep and still contemplating crying. Zac and I both slept through the night. When I woke up this morning, I realized how rare that was for me. I blame Zac for a lot of my fatigue, but really, I have my own sleeping issues. Months of getting up 2-3 times a night have trained my bladder that it really wants to be emptied at 2am or my subconscious that wants to be reassured that everything really is all safe and sound in the apartment.

It also helps that the weather is thinking about breaking. Today's high is 8o-ish degrees, which is still way, way too hot for mid-November. At night, my apartment gets down to 68-70 degrees. It feels like a cool glass of lemonade after the summer of sweat sleeping at 82 degrees.

My electricity bill is also dropping rapidly with the temperature. I'm no longer worried about leaving my cat in the apartment without cracking open a window and I don't wake up in a tangled mess of wet sheets and pillows. It's not all birds and sunshine over here, but at least I'm not cursing the morning for coming so damn early.

It's amazing what a good night's sleep can do for your perspective.

Monday, November 13, 2006


I'm not sure how many times my alarm went off this morning or how many times I had to get up out of bed to go to Zac last night. It was a lot, that's all I really know.

It started around 11:30pm last night when I heard the first sounds of a baby stirring. Well, screaming at the top of his lungs and throwing himself against the bars of his crib is a more fitting description. I went to him, asked Mr. Tugboat to move his leg over, and brought Zac into bed with the large tattoed man. Zac just laid there in my arms looking up at the Mr., then smiling at me, and looking up at him. I put him back to bed where he slept for about another hour. Then he woke up again. I went to him. Apologized to Mr. Tugboat. Tried to go back to sleep.

Can you see the pattern developing?

I'm not sure if the Mr. will ever agree to spend the night again with The-Child-That-Does-Not-Sleep. He had to wake up this morning at 5am to drive back down south to Port of Houston to board his tugboat by 8am. When my alarm went off, I thought I was going to have to peel him off the ceiling. I have - how can I put this? - an alarm that would wake the dead. Mr. Tugboat said that when the alarm went off that he started looking around for the fire extinguisher instead of the snooze button.

I think he left around 6am or so, but I can't guarantee that. I was so tired from the crying, the cuddling, the Orajel and infant Tylenol, and the alarms. So many alarms. I finally dragged my butt out of bed around 7:30am this morning and impressed myself by making it into the office at 8:05am. Oh, yes, I love living close to where I work.

So, Mr. Tugboat has seen the blog now. I kept referencing it in various ways, which made me appreciate, even more, people that choose NOT to tell their intimate partners or close friends about the existence of an online journal where you tell strangers about your personal life. How exactly do you do that again? He said that he's only been able to read the entries and comments about him and he would like to thank everyone that told me I should stop freaking out and overanalyzing the situation.

So, yeah, I like him. I like spending time with him and his son and seeing what a great Dad he is. I think he's great in general. Really, he could be too good. He could be an alien from outerspace or a convicted felon in five states, but that's just me overthinking the situation.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


My day actually did end up getting better. Forced productivity at work probably had something to do with it, although I also credit Aunt Jen for writing about running into the FOB...


When people ask me about single parenting, I usually tell them my 90% theory. 90% of the time, I love parenting by myself. 90% of the days, I look into Zac's face, see him reach out for me, and melt into a pile of single parent mush on the floor. 90% of the time, I'll sneak into his room at night - just to make sure that he hasn't kicked off the thin blanket that I use to cover his feet in his crib and that he's not laying on one of the books I let him "read" before he falls asleep. I love my son and the connection I have with him as his primary caregiver.

Then there are the 10% days.

Last night, Zac cried non-stop from 5pm - 7pm. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with him or why he was crying. So many times lately, that's the case. I hold him - he cries. I put him down- he cries. I hide on the stairs where he can't see me - he cries. Then I cry.

I used to never cry (and I blame my therapist for my renewed connection to something called 'human emotions'. Bastard. It's hard to really buy into the whole 90% theory while trying to clean the catbox, do the dishes, make dinner, and pacify a screaming child.)

I'm starting to feel like I can't do it anymore. People tell me, "It will get so much better as he gets older," or, "This too shall pass," and I can rationally understand that, it's just that my heart tells me that I've been alone, as a parent, for the past 27 months. I'm tired. I keep searching to find what I need, but I'm not sure how to keep putting one foot in front of each other. On nights like last night, I feel like Zac and I are in the exact same place: we know that we need something, we just can't figure out what it is.

The contract employer is really pushing me hard to reach these tight deadlines, but I can't even think about opening my laptop until Zac is in bed asleep around 8pm. Last night he didn't go to sleep until 8:45pm and I passed out around 9:30pm. I'm just so tired all the time and even though I know that it isn't true, it feels like everything that I do for Zac is wrong. If I could get inside his head and decode those screams, to figure out why he's not eating dinner anymore or doesn't want to play with any of his toys, I would.

When he woke up this morning at 6am, he screamed all the way through my shower, getting dressed, and walking out the door. He was still screaming when I dropped him off at daycare.

This is life at 10%.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


I had heard about things like "polling lines" before, I had just never actually encountered them. I pulled into the Baptist church parking lot to cast my vote and saw the line of people snaking out the door. (As an aside, let me say that nothing reiterates the philosophy of 'Separation of Church and State' better than a smiling portrait of Jesus looking benevolently down on you as you try to figure out the new electronic voting machines. These things make make MP3 players look easy to operate. It's nice to know that the state that won the Constitutional right to hang stone tablets (!) of the Ten Commandments in criminal courthouses hasn't given up on the idea of making sinners (those that vote Democratic) repent.)

Back to the story, though. So, I parked, got out of my car, and wandered over to the line, trying my best to avoid all of the volunteers encouraging everyone to, "VOTE KINKY!" I asked some of the people in line how long they had been waiting. My heart sank when I heard answers like, "2 1/2 hours" or, "I don't know. I sat down and rested in some of the pews for a while, then I got up, now I'm here. I don't know how long I've been here." A woman 32 weeks pregnant joked that her kid started out as a zygote when she started waiting to vote. It was that bad.

I had to weasel my way into the church to talk to the Head Voting Clerk. HVC was clearly having a bad day. His polling station only had 10 new voting machines for the entire zip code. Each zip code, or voting district in this circumstance, only had one polling location. There are 28,661 people in my voting district. If I had to estimate, I would say that approximately 85% of those were waiting to use those 10 machines. The HVC was sweating profusely and trying to quell the dissension among the angry voters. He wasn't too happy when I finally got a chance to talk to him and told him that I needed to fill out a Change of Address form.

I registered to vote in Texas when I lived at my parents' house. I never changed it because I'm lazy and I wasn't really sure if I was going to stay in my apartment very long. I thought I could just go to any district and vote. HA! Little did I know. The HVC informed me that I could fill out a nice little green form and then vote next year.

Good thing I researched the Texas voting procedures before I went church. I told him that I'd be happy to fill out the nice little green form and then he could give me my provisional ballot. "Ahh...yes," he murmed, "You CAN fill out a provisional ballot on voting day. No one ever does that." With a raised eyebrow and a cyncial expression, I thought, "Well, that's probably because you don't tell them about it because it makes your job harder. Now leave me in peace do to my patriotic duty before I consider trying to hack into your voting database and unanimously elect Chris Bell."

Provisional ballots are the craziest idea in voting since the Electoral College. Basically, because I changed my official place of residence without sufficient notice to the Secretary of State, I got a, "We'll count your vote if we feel like it" ballot, better known as a Provisional Ballot. The notice I received as I walked out the door assured me (in English and Vietnamese, but not Spanish) that, "A determination whether your ballot will be counted will be made by the early voting ballot board after the election. The notice will be mailed to you no later than the 10th day after the local canvass which is scheduled between 8 and 11 days after the election."

So I should find out whether or not my vote was counted between the 18th and the 21st day after I voted, or when the cow jumps over the moon and the next dawning of the Age of Aqarius draw near, whichever comes first.

This state rocks. The ironic thing is that I'll actually get to find out whether or not my vote was counted whereas everyone else that waited in line for the chance to spin the little wheels on the new voting machines will just have to wonder.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Election Day - the day were we all get to go out and participate in the legislative process of the government. Here in Texas, it might as well be called, "The Day We Scare the Crap Out of Every Living, Breathing American, Amen and Praise Jesus".

I've never lived somewhere that used such excessive scare tactics to persuade voters. The hot-button issue, of course, being immigration. I would have liked to have been in the room when the Republicans came up with the idea of building a fence between the border of Mexico and the United States. I imagine the conversation probably went something like:
White Guy A: "Even though the Southern economy would completely collapse without under-paid immigrant labor, we need to find a way to signal that we, as God-fearing Republicans, are TOUGH on illegal immigration."

White Guy B: "I showed my neighbor I was serious about kicking his dog's ass next time he crapped in my yard by building a fence. Then I got Charlton Heston to come over and personal autograph my 'Right to Bear Arms' poster in my driveway just to show that I MEAN BUSINESS"

White Guy A: "So what you're telling me is, you built a fence and then started patroling the fence with personal fire arms and small munitions? That's genius, but, wait, don't these guys already do that for us?

White Guy B: "Well, there are nearly as cool as the National Guard. Nothing says WE MEAN BUSINESS like getting armed service men and women involved to patrol our fence. Let's not forget, the Berlin Wall kept those dirty commies out for twenty eight years. I bet we could do better than that."

White Guy A: "*shuddering* Well, I'm not proposing building a wall. Just a fence. You can see through a fence, but you know what would be really great, is if we built not only one fence, but three fences! in a row!! Then maybe booby-trapped the area in between the fences and had some snipers on stand-by in the hills, just to take potshots at the folks trying to enter our country."

White Guy B: "Amen and Praise Jesus. The truth has been spoken and it is righteous. Now, I need to be gettin' goin'. I'm fixin' to buy some meth and have hire a male prostitute before dinner. "

That's just one of the issues that politicians in the Lone Star state like to get everyone riled up about. Let's not forget trying to scare people into believing that their PROPERTY TAXES WILL GO UP! or YOUR CHILDREN WILL BE EATING TAINTED MEAT AND E-COLI LADEN SPINACH IN THE SCHOOL CAFETERIA! if you don't vote.

Also, am I the only person that thinks it's weird that an organization dedicated to providing "non-partisan information for that votes can be based on issues rather than on personalities and popularity," only has issue stances for the incumbent, gubernatorial candidate, Rick Perry? That's weird, right?

Well, I'm not scared to rock the boat, even if the worst thing they can call him is a "gay-loving, anti-corruption, Washington liberal". Amen and Praise Jesus. Go out and vote.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


I've calmed down about Mr. Tugboat. Yes, there was and is a lot of chemistry between he and I, but it was more about my own insecurities than him. I thought maybe it was going to be the fairy tale romance, the kind that seems to exist for other people, but hasn't crossed my path yet.

I went over to his place on Saturday with Zac. For the time being, he rents a room at a bed and breakfast, while he's saving up to put a down payment on a condo. It's hard having a screaming toddler in one room with no where to put him down for the nap that he so desperately needed. Tugboat said that seeing Zac and I together made him miss his son and made him realize that he's ready to move into something with more than one room.

I ended up driving Zac back to my Mom and Dad's house just so the other tenants in Mr. Tugboat's house wouldn't think that I was torturing my poor son. Tuggie came in and met my parents, which I'm sure was quite a surprise for them. Not only hadn't I told them the name of the guy I was dating, I hadn't mentioned his age or that his sexy salt-n-pepper hair makes him look older than his 32 years. My Dad didn't go that gray until 40+ so I could seem them mentally trying to calculate his age. I think he made a good impression with the rents by immediately talking about cars with my Dad and complimenting the house with my Mom.

I wanted the awkward situation to end so I grabbed some clothes and we headed out to dinner at a Mexican restaurant. Over chips and queso, I asked him if he was talking to anyone else on-line. He said he was talking to 4 other women, but he only dates one at a time.

That's me.

It's strange being on the other side of the table when those words are spoken. I've dated more than one person at once, or dated someone while being interested in another, moving quickly from person to person. I'm just not in that place right now. I would like to take the time to invest in a relationship, to give it time and space to grow, to see if it's right rather than trying to juggle the feelings of multiple people.

At the restaurant, I was quiet, trying to not show my disappointment. He read through it. He grabbed my hand and told me not to be sad. He saw that I was trying to smile, but that it wasn't as genuine as it was before he said those words. We left the restaurant and even though my mood was dampened, it helped to know that he was checking the fringes of the relationship for something better. At least then I know that if the relationship fails, it won't necessarily be because of me.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


Time(s) that Zac woke me up this morning: 12:30am, 3am (when he fell off the bed), and 6:30am (when he decided to wake up for the day)

Number of things that I've been hit with this morning: 2

Hours that I wished Zac would lay down for a nap: 3

Amount that the vet. charged me for an annual exam and procedure for Honey: $395

Number of times that I've freaked out about money in the past two days: 5

I feel like it might be a long weekend.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


So...a couple people have been asking about my (lack of) love life recently. I stopped writing about it right around the time that the crazy-ex started harassing me and R.(Blakken) and I stopped dating. That was about six weeks ago and the gala was back in early October, or roughly three-and-a-half weeks ago. I decided then to take a step back from dating.

Sure, I went on a couple of dates. I went on a date with a guy that talked about his Porsche so much that he even sent me a picture of the vehicle before our date (that should have been the first clue that the wasn't the one for me - and, no, I'm not joking, this is the actual picture)

but he was from South Africa and had the cutest accent so it was dinner, a ride in the said Porsche, and then back to my parents' house. That's it.

I also met a man that works at Tiffany's while getting his second master's degree. I had to go into the store to pick up some gifts for the gala so I asked if B. was working that day. It was my first time actually in the showroom, although I had checked out their stuff on-line while shopping for these gifts. B. was working and he took a break to show me around, introducing to me to e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e that worked there and showed me the really expensive jewelry that they don't usually let people touch. Ah...I touched it. It was good.

The kicker is that I'm allergic to metal, well, to nickel to be more specific. Certainly, as my face can testify, I'm also allergic to the chemicals in hair dye and sensitive to mosquito and fire ant bites. Needless to say, showing me a gallery full of gleaming metal and stones isn't really the way to my heart. I can appreciate their beauty, but can't really see myself incorporating it into my life. B. later asked me out to his company dinner.

Then I met, Mr. Tugboat. Mr. Tugboat works as a Merchant Marine, which actually isn't a part of the armed forces, although their union in regulated by the Coast Guard. As I understand it, he drives tugboats - and he really likes it. He used to drive the really big boats when he worked for deep sea companies, but it kept him away from his son too long (and we all know that I don't want to date another Deep Sea Diver/Driver again). He has a five year-old son that he shares custody of with this ex.

He and I went out on Friday night to, "A quiet place where we can talk," aka: Chili's, on his suggestion. We didn't want the evening to end, so dinner led to a movie, which lead to hanging out and seeing where he lived. I laughed and had a great time. Really, it was the best first date I've gone out on in such a long time. I had forgotten how much fun dating someone and getting to know them could be.

We left the next day to go and drive his tugboat for four days in the Houston/Galveston Channel and came back into town yesterday. We ordered pizza, played with Zac, and watched tv (well, I tried to watch tv, he was trying hard to distract me). It was great. Just so much fun that I have a stupid grin on my face this morning.

So much so, that I feel like I'm going to fuck it up. I can't really be into someone this much and he can't really like me as much as he seems to. I'm so scared of actually liking someone that I have to keep telling myself to be cautious, to wait until he earns my trust, to take one day at a time, which is what my Mom keeps telling me to do.

I'm trying. That's all I can say. I'm trying.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


I was told in no uncertain terms that I was supposed to take pictures of the Halloween festivities. So, I took pictures:

This is a partial shot pile of kids at the Halloween party last night at the Sarcastic Journalist's house. Ellie was clawing frantically to get away from the group, using those cute pink boots to their full advantage: As SJ says in today's post, at her house there were: seven kids under 4 years old, four frantic Moms trying to keep the kids from stepping/crawling over each other, one laid back Dad that wanted to talk about Zombies and drink pumpkin beer, and one single, kidless guy that vowed to use condoms for the rest of his life. Nothing says 'use more birth control' like a big ol' pile of kids.

My munchkin went as a duck, seen here in the rare moment that he let me keep his hood on:

Really, he was dang cute. Even if the stupid kids at Jack-in-the-Box on the way to the Whitelands kept calling him a chicken. Clearly, he is a baby duck - NOT A CHICKEN!

Today, I'm all sore, achy, and itchy. It was 80 degrees and very humid last night when we went out trick-or-treating in SJ's hood. Very few of the houses (even those with Halloween decorations!) were passing out candy. Zacster was in his stroller and I was in my work clothes, sweating from standing in the sticky night air. I was stupid and stopped at a fast food restaurant for lunch yesterday on my way back from meeting with my contract employers. Yep, I'm now working full-time at one place and writing for another place. Sleep is overrated.

Unfortunately, it took us an hour and a half to drive 30 miles up to the Whitelands last night. Zac had a meltdown in the backseat: he was hungry and tired. I had to stop and get him so food so I pulled into yet another fast food place. I wanted to get to the party so instead of feeding him dinner at the restaurant, I gave him his burger and some fries in his carseat. He went nuts. It looks like there was a bread massacre in my back seat.

I guess I should have heeded the warning: