that homecoming crown is looking a little tarnished

Today as I walked down the hallway of the YMCA I saw a boy – a man – I went to school with. I hadn’t seen him in thirteen years or so, I’d imagine – I don’t remember him being at the reunion a couple years ago. But he and I recognized one another right away and said “Hi” quite warmly. Then he said, “Is this your son?” looking at Nels (Sophie was in the showers) and I said, “Yes,” and the man said, “He’s cute!” A beat later: “He’ll be a little boy genius like his mom!”

I said thanks – taken aback but pleased – and goodbye. I held Nels’ hand and we walked into the locker room and I tried to think of why it was nice to hear such a compliment – for myself and my child. Much of it was just the honest-to-goodness nice feeling of seeing someone you haven’t seen in a long time, and you both recognize one another and share a warm rapport. But another part of it was to be noticed besides someone I am responsible for cleaning for and feeding.

But who did he notice? That girl he knew – and did not even know all that well – does she exist? I used to be a person but there has been some fragmentation and now that I’m living where I grew up, I sense it all the more strongly. Yes, I went off to college and married but that wasn’t it. At some point my responsibilities ate my life up, devoured me, for a brief but intense bout I was in the belly of the whale. Then I got back above water but I’d changed while I was under. I don’t know how I changed exactly but in any case, whatever dreams or ambitions I had before I’d drowned in child-making and -raising were long gone and left in their place was a fulltime job of cleaning, cooking, worrying, bothering, fussing, and above all loving – loving intensely and selfishly. I added sewing and writing and housekeeping to the list and daily wish I had something more but not sure what that “more” would be.

Maybe another thing I’m seeing is that returning and seeing classmates and childhood peers, many of whom have children now and I sense a divide in them and who they were, too. I know this divide can and may exist whether or not we’ve started families; I don’t quite know how to bridge it. Except to say hello and to reconnect; to extend a hand and a smile and at least know that this is one reason people are often too scared to return to where they grew up.

lovely gifts in the mail. and … ass.

In a few minutes: the family all-out for Sophie’s 5th birthday party. Yay Sophie! Yesterday she received a simply lovely birthday package from her friend Olivia (daughter to my friend Abbi):


From left to right: miso pretty gum, picture of Liv, fabulous summer fisherman hat, optical illusion book, small pewter night and dinosaur card.

Thank you, Olivia!

A few minutes ago I overheard my mom quickly turn to my dad and angrily say, “He smells like shit. Check his ass!” (referring to the dog who came in from his afternoon outside dump). And my dad kind of shrank in his chair when she yelled at him because he knew he’d have to do it. 10 minutes later and I am still laughing, laughing, laughing.

walkin’

Have you seen the new Google pedometer features?


See if you can identify these halmarks of Abbi and my two-mile walk:

  • Abbi’s plantar fascitis acting up
  • Rosie screaming in my ear as I backpacked her
  • Really sweaty
  • Trespassing, through yard, hauling stroller and cranky, wet Nels
  • Sharp bowel pains strike (jalapeno + strong morning coffee)

My daughter is currently discovering soy milk. She’s enjoyed it before of course; but today she requested I buy it and I did. She is very pleased with the experiment so far.

i don’t do it when i’m babysitting, promise.

Last night I asked my children if they wanted a bedtime story or a spooky story. I had never raised that query before and Sophie immediately widened her eyes: “Spooky story.” The kids were silent as I ran through a couple I knew (the one with the hook hanging off the car door? I told it badly, but they got the general idea).

I decide to go off-path and tell a story about a scary tree – my hands make the creepy-looking branches and wave in the evil, cold wind. The tree snatches up children, names by request: Nels, Sophie, then Olivia. The children – trapped in the Scary Tree! Alone and frightened! I tell them Mama decides to go confront the tree; Mama gets dressed in clothes (bra, panties, two tee shirts, a long sleeve shirt, a hoodie, pants, socks, big boots, a jacket, mittens, scarf, hat) and marches out to find the tree.

[ smack! ] Sophie removes her thumb from her mouth, raises her eyebrows, and intones simply: “You’re going to get yourself killed.”

Note to parents: it’s tough to tell spooky stories when you’re stifling a laugh at the scariest part.

In today’s naptime version (Nels especially likes the thought of his friend Olivia being captured and held in the tree; he has a slight crush on her I believe): the method of dispatch for the hideous deciduous villian is that Sophie finds Grandpa and asks him to take his big bus and run the tree down, thereby freeing the children. Nels, up until now completely quiet, can be silent no more:

“AND NELS RIDES THE BUS AND SOPHIE RIDES THE BUS AND OLIVIA RIDES THE BUS AND GRANDPA RIDES THE BUS AND CYNTHIA RIDES THE BUS!”

“Lower your voice!” says Sophie, in the most adult tone her duck-like register can. Ready to hear the rest of the story. Nels’ eyes are filled with stars, thinking of riding in the beloved bus with all this loved ones.

"Do you have to use so many curse words?"

For the second time I find FM transmitter technology just isn’t cutting it for the enjoyment of my iPod. Oh sure, sure – it’s lame I’m even buying something so chintzy with a weird, cock-like appendage and an even weirder, cock-with-elbow-like secondary extender. After all, there are classier, more expensive ways to put your massive iPod music library in your vehicle. However, the well is not bottomless, and even though my iPod was this year’s sole Kelly expendeture from the Hogaboom coffers – well, I am looking for a more reasonable solution. After returning original FM doohickey (and vowing to hate radio technology, despite the lovely and informative article on the cellular phone I read in last edition of Invention & Technology magazine, P.S. I am not kidding, I really do read that magazine) today I find out from an IM conversation, innocently enough, that a simpler and more mechanically-based adapter is available in town. I rush my daughter and I out early for our date so I can hit the store in question and grab it up (and a quarter the price of FM device).

Inside the car I begin tearing at the packaging like a monkey (“That’s a little bit awful,” observes my biscotti-eating child-date watching me scratch at the vacuum-sealed sarcophagi), finally breaking the seal thanks to my keychain swiss army knife (yes! I’m a dork. But who’s laughing now?!?), plug the “cassette” in, mash everything on the face of my iPod (Sophie requests Starsky & Hutch‘s “Two Dragons” for our maiden listen), only to have the stereo readout tell me in its fuckspeak: “c | n ” – a code meaning either, “Please clean your tape deck” or, “I will never work again”. Don’t know which yet and get to find out.

Once again, no instant gratification for yours truly.

Oh, tonight’s movie; Eragon. Don’t see it. Billed as “Lord of the Rings Light“, I’d phrase it “Lord of the Rings LITE (TM) with ‘artificial meat flavors’ and Miracle Whip“. Why do I watch this crap? Oh yeah: because I have a daughter, and we go on dates, and I refuse to watch kiddy films. This movie works for her because she has a huge affinity for anything scaly (and an even huger affinity for anything huge and scaly). And even SHE was bored by the end. Your average crap fantasy film: a young boy’s turn to manhood and the loss of loved ones (you can predict exactly when they’ll go); evil badguy (with repetitive idle threats toward his minions that remind me of so many parents on the playground and their errant toddlers, and John Malkovitch enough already and retire please), his really evil-henchman (whose makeup inexplicably gets re-creepified 2/3 of the way through the film, but I still find Robert Carlyle cute only when he’s playing a psycho); token buff warrior dude with obligatory horrific mulletude (P.S. Hollywood, I want my Djimon Hounsou served up in a loincloth, gladiator toga, ass-cheeked thong, or half-nude in a period drama, thank you!), blah blah. It actually started to get better by the end, especially when I realized they were going to save some of the typical storyline for, yes! another film. P.S. I think something sexy was going on between the boy dragonrider and his dragon. Or maybe it was just my feverish, bored mind casting for something to enjoy. I gotta admit, it was kind of hot.

So in looking up links for the last paragraph I stumbled upon the fact I have seen two movies in one week with a main character named “King Hrothgar”.

Um… look. I’ve watched a lot of movies in the last few days, people. No really… I’ve been sick and had nothing else to do. Wait, don’t leave …

I’m going to go hang my head in shame now.

the horror

Today Blogger Beta (or I guess it’s not beta anymore but you wouldn’t know it from it’s assed-out performance) ate my post from earlier. Believe me, if you’d seen it, you would have thought I was witty yet heartbreakingly eloquent… You would have been moved to tears.

Given that I don’t have the energy to dredge up then post my awesomeness again, I’ll offer you today’s list of:

Other (Besides Blogger-Goofs) Top Annoyances / Evils of the World:

1. Bad hair. Normally I don’t care, but this quasi-Peter Cetera fuckup is pretty bad.

2. People who, once you find out where you disagree, hammer away to keep proving you’re “wrong”. I used to be good at this. I don’t do it anymore; at least, I try not to.

3. Girl-lisp. You know what I’m talking about. Contrived.

4. People who take me for granted. I’ll show them. I’ll show them all! P.S. have you noticed I’m not really speaking to you?

5. Cries for help. Just go get help already.

Enjoyments:

1. Texan girls. Why are they so awesome? The ones I run into, anyway.

2. My husband. He’s a goddamned hero. His ass looks good in jeans too.

3. My kids for enjoying scalding-hot baths with me. We Hogabooms don’t raise wussies.

4. Teapots delivered from Victoria’s Chinatown to my doorstep. Thank you!

5. Thai donuts from “1 2 3 Thai” restaurant. Yeah. That’s a name of an actual restaurant in town. Three seconds later, move said donuts up to “Evil” category.

walking on sunshine

It is merely a simple fact of life that a mother to two young children gets one sick day. 24 hours then I’m on to the daily grind no matter how well I’m feeling. Hey, headaches can be managed with Tylenol and the occasional dizzy spell (or more than occasional) just makes parenting more fun.

Today kind of fooled me, though. I felt so much better when I woke up that I jumped right into laundry, dishes, toilet cleaning before realizing I had to sit down else I puked. I’m not sure exactly why I felt so badly because there really are a few factors – besides being sick on Sunday this morning constituted over 24 hours now with no booze, caffeine, or cigarettes and only a few ounces of water and a half dinner. Let’s just say my body was not receiving its typical dose of poisons / sustenance. Not to mention that the rumors are true we may indeed move from our beloved burg (if my husband lands a certain job), the thought of which puts a little vomit in my mouth. Oh, and did I mention I am no longer napping my children and my husband is having a sort of multifaceted personal life crisis? All this adds up to one beleagured Mama.

Oh the kids? The kids are great. I have a digital camera on loan which improves self-portraits marginally. The three of us today:

Note festive thrift store light decor. And in real life, my hair isn’t pasted to my head and Nels isn’t usually yelling unintelligibly about a marble. Who am I kidding on both accounts.