Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Snippets of May life.....

Most days, I have been reading until my eyes fall out. Between the endless articles and books that are stacked in queue for my project, I've been reading BIOLOGY chapters. Yes, biology. I will begin Biology class tonight. I have to keep saying it over in my head to believe it. I will begin Biology class tonight. I have not taken any science class since I was 16. (That would be 14 years....almost half my life if we're keeping track.) And I weasled my way out of high school biology by opting for chemistry instead. So, tonight, I will get my just desserts. The weasle will now face the biology that she narrowly escaped in her teenage years. Normally, I don't really doubt my academic ability, but this one has me a little nervous. Hence the pre-reading of Biology chapters. I'm really not that diligent of a student (in college I barely made it to 60% of my classes....and that's an optimistic estimate), but I do have my ego to consider and I just cannot drop from being one of the smartest kids in class to being stumped by god damned domain names just because I never took that god damned class. So, while most people will know my preventive reading as motivated preparation, you all will know it for what it really is....Ego-cushioning.


Things with N were fairly "friendly" for a time. I'm pretty sure this was caused by his perpetual thought of "I can smooth things over by being sweet...or funny....and I'll never-ever have to address any of the problems." Deep thought, eh? Yes, and one that annoyed the piss out of me. Don't get me wrong, had he come to me and actually wanted to wade into the mucky waters of issues of problems, I would've been hard-pressed to say no. Feelings don't die that quickly, and that sort of show of maturity would have gotten me. But, that's just not N. He does not face things. He does not talk. He does not even admit that any feeling not within himself is valid. Things became decidely less friendly this weekend. I don't know if he got upset that his smoothing over was being completely rejected, or if something else happened independent of our nonsense, but on Sunday afternoon, he declared in a very surly manner, that he was not coming back around for a LOOOOOOONG time. He wouldn't say why (shocking for a guy who doesn't talk?) and just kept repeating that it was "personal". Whatever. His melo-drama is just too old for me to give a shit about anymore. So that's that.


He finally took the God-box. I was happy to see it go. After trying to convince myself that I could become a fine cable-paying customer for the sake of Little A's Powerpuff Girls for three weeks, I cancelled the cable also. I just cannot pay for T.V. I just don't like it enough. I told her I'd get her Powerpuff girls from Netflix. It's worked out pretty well so far.


And lastly, in N-ish news, I've found that reading pages upon pages of feminist literature and theory during a break up is pretty damn good and so right now, I'm loving my thesis, though I suspect that its starting to get away from me. Occasionally I read something that makes me feel like a complete and total cliche, but on the whole, its very cathartic....to read...to be angry....to understand....to be less angry. It's good. I'm glad it's what I'm working on right now.


I'm pretty sure that the reason that Little A wasn't too distraught over the N exodus was because she had maybe started to develop a bit of a sibling rivalry feel about him. She seems very obviously happy to not have someone else in the house drawing my attention away from her...and it seems to have been worth the loss of his attention. I can't blame her, but it certainly doesn't bode well for any future dating. Luckily, I'm pretty done with it right now. It's time for a break anyway.


And as all things collide at once, Little A also received her first direct initiation into feminism. We were listening to a kids radio show on Saturday night and a president song came on, naming all the presidents up until Clinton and the following conversation ensued:

Little A: Who is Bill Clinton?

Mom: He was president before George Bush (she grimaces...she's already been initiated into that way of thinking). He was a good president. And maybe his wife Hillary will be president someday. Maybe.

Little A: There were no women in the song....why were there no women in the song?

Mom: Because there haven't been any women presidents.

Little A: WHY???

Mom: (Sure...at this point, I could've just said I didn't know and let her piece it all together herself, but I wouldn't have pieced it together when I was that young, so I told her...) Well....see men have most of the power now...like they are presidents and congressmen and all that. And they're afraid that once a woman becomes president she'll be so much better at it than they are, that they'll never get their power back.

Little A: Oh. So maybe a woman will be president soon?

Mom: Maybe. Maybe....

And that's been my life for the past couple of weeks. The excitement over here never ends...I'm tellin' yuh....

Monday, May 22, 2006

Telegram from the absent blogger.


Monday, May 15, 2006


I would be so much fucking happier if it would fucking stop fucking RAINING. Enough all fucking ready!

Eh hem....and...I'm not usually so worried about these things, but flooding. Great...flooding is supposed to be at its worst tomorrow. I live about 2 blocks from the Charles River and my apartment is 3 feet below the ground level. ACK! If my yarn gets all wet and starts to stank of unwashed farm animals, I'm gonna be PISSED!

In other uninteresting news, I watched a lot of the Brady Bunch this weekend. It may have caused permanent damage. I also obsessed about knitting/crocheting all my plastic grocery bags into real and reusable grocery totes. Obsessed I tell you. And though you may wonder why I would possibly want to knit up nasty plastic bags when I have lovely skeins of Socks That Rock and such sitting in my apartment, all I have to say is this: Turning crap/garbage/shit into something useful and/or beautiful is very appealing to me right now. Imagine that.

And though she didn't tell you all....today is ROO's birthday, so go over and wish her a happy one! She is a wonderfull friend and I'm so glad I've known her for many birthdays. Happy Birthday Roo!!!!! I hope its not raining in NYC!!

Friday, May 12, 2006


I'm feeling a little better. Not fabulous, but less pathetic, let's say.
Thank you all for all your comments and kind words and support and everything. It's soooo unbeleivably wonderful of you to suffer through my blog this week (uh...or any week!)....and still be so sweet and supportive.
I really am trying to focus on all of the reasons why it didn't work, but it gets hard sometimes, and in the end, I figure I might as well just get the grieving for all that over with instead of having it bite me in the arse months down the road because I completely ignored it. It is loss, and it will be fine, but right now...yuh know. It's just such a drastic shift. Less than a week ago, I really still thought we would find a way to work all of this bullshit out. Less than a week ago, I really thought he would always be there. Such a very different outlook today than last Friday. But I'm an adjustable girl, and I'll get used to it.
He's moving the rest of his stuff out today and I'm not really looking forward to going home and seeing the empty space, but what with my yarn fixation 'n all, I should be able to fill it up fairly quickly. And I made a wicked long list of stuff I should/want to do this weekend...so hopefully I'll be able to keep myself occupied intead of of sitting on the couch crying all weekend!
And yes, I will attempt less pathetic posts next week! Thanks again everyone...reallyreallyreally thanks a lot.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Not doing great.

Yeah, I'm not really doing so well. The sadness and loss has really set in and though I keep trying to focus on the many, many reasons why this is the right thing to do, I just can't go more than an hour without feeling lost and lonely, realizing N will probably now become a stranger to me, taking with him this security.

He's moving out to where his school is, a good 45 minute to hour drive from where I am, and a place I have no reason to ever go to. I won't see him. Anymore. And yeah, my head says, "That's good, it will be easier if he's not right there all the time....living upstairs....running into you...blahblahblah." And my heart just screams "He will be GONE. Say goodbye....gonegonegone." And I've never, ever been good at saying goodbye, even to people who I don't hold so close to my heart. And this one...at least partially, is of my own doing. I'm purposely losing someone who I love. He's troublesome, yes. But I'm LOSING him...LOSING someone I love because I supposedly want it this way.

And. I. just. feel. broken.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

And Day 2....

Well, she took it well. About N. This is generally how the first part of the conversation went:

V: Little A, I have something to tell you...and its sort of sad, and you can say anything you want or ask any questions, or whatever you need to do. Ok?
A: (Looking at me with a worried face beyond her years.)
V: N's moving out.
A: Why?
V: Well, sometimes grown-ups just can't work things out quite right and N and I can't really seem to make things work so that we're both happy.
A: Oh, okay.

And that was it. I, miraculously, held it together. And she was fine.

When I told her the gigantic God box was going with him....well, then she lost it. I believe her words were, "How will I ever get to watch Puffy Ami Yumi???" Ahhh...kids. So, I told her she could ask him that....haha! Its sort of a weird issue of contention. Anyway, I then told her that he was gonna come down to say goodbye in case he didn't see her again for a while and was she ready? She was. He wasn't.

I called him up (he was upstairs at his cousin's) and he came right down. He (unnecessarily...although we thought it would be necessary so I had him practice a little speech for me) gave his little speech. Very similar to mine, but add in..."We can still be buddies," and the like. Little A was still fine. N's voice broke at the very beginning of his speech. And he had to take several deep breaths to get through it. After we all talked for a few minutes, I sent Little A off to get ready for bed. N fell apart. He buried his face in his hands and couldn't/wouldn't speak for several minutes. N crying. I've only seen it once before, and he was drunk off his ass that time. It so rare that it's just heartbreaking. Even if you want to smack him for many things.

This led to another sob-fest for the two of us while Little A sang "Down by the Bay" at the top of her lungs from the bathroom. It was horrible and good all at the same time. I really needed to see him show that emotion. He had shown a little, but he was more playing the strong, huggable man until then. I don't know if I sound horrible saying that it was good to see that, but it was just something I needed. But it was horrible to see him like that. If I could turn off caring for someone that quickly, I would be SO less bipolar right now, but sadly it still hurts to see him hurt that much.

But Little A finished her medley of Down by The Bay and other unidentified kid's songs fairly quickly, so we sucked it up, cleaned it up, and that was that.

There was more to that day, pre-Little A, but I guess maybe I'll go there later.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Day 1 of hell week

Last night, at about 5:20 or so, N came back to the apartment. I pretended to be reading. He walked past me, and we didn't say a word. He was on his phone....a common defense mechanism for either of us looking to avoid the other. Eventually he got off his phone, and so I got on mine. I went outside and called L. It was good for a while, but L has a baby, and baby thought it was time for me to suck it up and go back inside, i.e. 'give my mommy's attention back to me'. So, I went back in. I gathered up some of his stuff that I didn't think he would know where I had organized it to and put it with the things he was packing up. We said next to nothing to each other.

After a while, I wrote him out a check for some money that he had over-paid-me-back. His response was "That's it?" He never ever understood how much I was taking heat for him money-wise. But I guess that stupid little check helped. I left the room again after that, but had to come back to ask him the one thing I really needed to ask. The thing that has been making me fall apart and blubber every single time that I think about it. I opened the door about half way, stuck my head in and immediately started to cry. He can't take crying and so all of the sudden he turned into Mr. Nicey-Nice. And so I took a deep breath and said, "I hope you'll say goodbye to Little A" with a gigantic body-shaking sob.

Yes, Little A has grown pretty attached to him. I mean I don't think she loves him, and she would never initiate a hug or anything with him, but she's liked that he's there. I think its made her feel a little more secure. She'll always ask where he is when he's not around and she generally seems to think he's pretty cool. They've bonded enough that this is a big problem. And she is a very sensitive kid who gets attached to everything and everyone in her life. She's already had an episode of crying because she's going to miss her 2nd grade teacher next year.

So, I've been pretty concerned about him just disappearing without a word to her. And my heart has been wrenching itself out of my mouth everytime I think about telling her. I think maybe dating with a kid is just not for me. As if its not hard enough on your own to go through a break-up, it just becomes nearly impossible to hold onto your sense when you know...because of your actions either directly or indirectly...you have to tell your own precious child something that is going to hurt them. This sucks the big one.

Anyway....I guess I digressed a little there. He said he would, of course, say goodbye to her. I was gone at this point. And he hugged me. And started the long evening of me crying, him hugging me and saying things to try to get me to open the "maybe this isn't the right thing to do" discussion. But I can't and I wouldn't. Everytime something like this came up, I just said something either totally matter-of-fact like, "So, are you staying with so and so?" or something totally doom-filled like "We were just soooo never meant to be....what a train-wreck." I know...sweet....but it was the best I could do. He tried to kiss me several times, but I'd just turn my head down so that it would land squarely on my forehead.

It was a horrible night. I was literally dehydrated from crying, and had a pounding headache. But that was nothing to what tonight may be. Tonight, I'm going to tell Little A. And I've arranged for him to come over around 7:30-8:00 to say goodbye. I just had to get it done all at once. And it will be hell. Cross your fingers for my little girl's tender feelings, ok?

Monday, May 08, 2006

N out.

N will be leaving the apartment this week. For good.
We broke up.
And though I'm sad, I'm also heaving a huge sigh of relief. I feel fine about it. I slept like a rock last night. Didn't fall asleep crying, didn't wake up crying when I remembered what had gone on. Which is starkly different from any other time we've had it out. I started packing up his things...I'm hoping he gets them out tonight. I'm just so ready to be done with this one. It has drained me completely.

I don't know how much I'll feel like posting this week. Who knows, I may need to rant every single day, but I may just be too tired. So I just thought a heads up was in order.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Friday Splat

My thing is languishing. It still looks like this. It will get some new life soon!

Lots of people knew this weeks Movie Tuesday. Yay! :) Spit ball fate reveals Rhonda as this week's winner! Email me your smail mail, and I'll send you a little prizey!

I joined Secret Pal #8 and I guess I'm supposed to post this questionaire on my blog, so here it is!Secret Pal thing...

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I like more fine yarns...DK or lighter. Wool, wool blends...but soft. I'm not against synthetic yarn, but I rarely find ones that I really like. I don't really like cotton, or cotton blends.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

A LARGE roll that I made.

3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

Seriously for about a year and a half. I've known how since I was a wee one. I think I'm pretty intermediate.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?


5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)


6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

For chocolate only (and a lot). Not really for other sweets.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I'd try almost anything DIY once. I built a weaving loom a few years ago, so sometimes I weave. I also crochet and sew quite a bit.

Sadly, I do not spin yet. I feel myself being pulled into the centripital force of the wheel more everyday, but so far I've had to resist because of money and space.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

Always a sucker for 80's music. I'm totally out of the loop when it comes to current music so anything I write here will be totally outdated. Like...the Beatles, Tori Amos (she's not outdated yet, is she??), ummm this would be easier if I could remember names of musicians. Classic rock...80's...angry girlie music. :)

9. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?

Purples...deep purples and blues.
Not so hip on orange, but I guess it can work in some things.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I live with my daughter, Little A. We have one temperamental cat.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

Scarves and hats - yes
Mittens and ponchos - no

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

That's a hard one. I like to knit socks quite a bit. That's probably my most consistent thing that I like to knit. But I like new things...like when the spiral scarf came into my world...totally had to try that.

13. What are you knitting right now?

I'm attempting to do some major finishing before I start new things....(haha) So, I'm working on an entrelac blanket for Little A, a pair of knee socks, a pair of regular socks - self striping, a tank top, a lace stole, and uh...I dunno...I think there are a couple of other things in the bottom of the basket. I'm hopeless.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?


15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

Straight, usually. Thought it depends. Same with the material they are made from. I like lace on bamboo...less slippery, but other things could be on anything.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?


17. How did you learn to knit?

My Gram taught me years and years ago. My sister (and some good books) refreshed my memory.

18. How old is your oldest UFO?

There are many crochet squares somewhere in the apartment that were meant to be a blanket. I started this at least 3 years ago, maybe more...

19. What is your favorite holiday?

Apparently I'm a holiday grinch. I can't really think of one I really like that much. I guess Christmas...just for the delight in Little A's eyes.

20. Is there anything that you collect?

Besides yarn? And knitting books? No, I'm not a collector. I just don't have the space in the apartment. Oh, I do have a lot of books....and cookbooks. Is that considered collecting?

21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

I subscribe to Vogue Knitting. That's it right now. There are many books on my Amazon wishlist. I really like stich guides...because I'm always making something up. I just can't ever do anything according to a set pattern. I love all of those beautiful hand-dyed yarns that are popping up now....Lorna's Laces, Socks that Rock, Koigu, Noro...along those lines.

22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

I'm going to learn fair isle soon. I AM.

23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

I LOOOOOAAAVE to knit socks. And I LURV it too. My foot is 9 inches long.

24. When is your birthday? March 21

Mother May I, Part 2

I wrote Part 1 for the May blog exchange and thought that May would be the perfect time to post a few snippets about all the mothers in my family. All the adult women are mothers, so it's quite a wealth of material. I'm not really sure where this one is going to go though....just warning you.

My father's mother - Gram

Gram is Gram. You may call her Gram. Actually, you must call her Gram. Even her sister now calls her Gram. She portrays herself as having not existed before she was Gram. Her history is kind of sorted (at least to her), and it makes her completely avoidant if you try to talk to her about the past. And so, though I know her the best of all of my grandparents, I also know her the least.

Gram's house has always been a refugee camp for everyone in the family. When anyone was down on their luck, in between jobs or semesters, or just kind of a deadbeat, they could and would retreat to Gram's house. She's that quirky mix that is straddles push-over and insanely tough cookie.

We lived with Gram for about five and a half years surrounding my junior high years. Those were some of my happiest childhood years, simply for the stability it gave me. Sure, I was still pretty low on the social ladder, but at least I was on the social ladder. Being the perpetual new kid usually sort of leaves you outside of any real circle of friends. But when we lived with Gram, I belonged. I had my nerdy peeps, and we were pretty happy.

My mom was not very happy. Which I never really caught on to until much later. Like the cliche mother-in-law/daughter relationship, theirs was strained, to say the least. And living in my Gram's house for years, made my mom feel like she had no home of her own and no control over her own existence.

On the surface, Gram is very easy going, very go with the flow. But she has some serious control, which she maintains through stealth. She plays good cop until everyone is on her side. She plays the gossip game with perfect invisibility and excessive spite. And she is the queen of passive-aggressive conflict, making such subtle moves that they are unseen by anyone but the person they are directed at. She is a queen of manipulation.

I'm guessing that she acquired these conflict skills of hers simply as a survival technique. From the little I've gotten out of her, or my dad, her life from her mid-teens to her mid-twenties was an endless stream of disappointment, abuse, fatigue, and workworkwork.

And then she left. She left her husband, his dying parents, her three sons, and all of her extended family. And she won't talk about any of this and tries every day to obliterate these events from history. She seems to consider this to be the most shameful thing she's ever done.

I think it was survival. I think there was probably nothing else she could do that wouldn't kill her completely, either physically, emotionally or both. And I think she should be proud that she was able to get herself out of that situation, regain her strength and then return to make things better for her kids and herself. It makes me so sad that she may never see this act with the glasses that show it as the act of strength and courage that it was.

Because despite all her manipulation and gossip-y control, Gram is an extremely kind and generous woman. She'd never let someone falter or be in pain if there was anything that she could do to help it. She's 84 and she still mows her own 1/2 acre lawn. She's an amazing cook and a comforting hostess. She loves animals, and like people, makes a place in her home for any animal in need.

The last couple of times that I spoke to Gram, she mentioned that ten of her friends had died in the past eight months. Her only sister and brother-in-law are very ill. And I can't imagine. I can't imagine having gone through so much in life only to end up watching so many people you love pass away, one by one. Every month, feeling another pang of loneliness as you say goodbye to another loved one. Gram is my only living grandparent and I hope that she is as okay as she pretends to be. And I hope that she's finding some peace and happiness despite all that loss. But I still just can't imagine.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Movie Tuesday

Thanks to Christina for her lovely post about her relationship with her mother. It made me feel so warm and fuzzy.

And now, Movie Tuesday. If you all don't get this one, I must be with bloggers who live under rocks. Email me at movietuesday at gmail dot com. I'll pick a winner at random on Friday morning.

Oh yeah...last week's movie was Renaissance Man, but no one got it.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Guest Blogger!

Today we have a guest blogger! As a part of the May blog exchange, here's Christina from A Mommy Story! I'll be over at her blog today if you want to pop in and say hi!

Mother May I

As a child, and even as a teen, I told my mother close to everything. I could keep no secrets from her. I don’t know if it was due to being just the two of us, or if I had no inner monologue, but I wasn’t someone who could easily keep something from my mother. If I wanted to do something, I was honest with her and asked for permission.

Once when I was a teenager, I was invited to a party after a school basketball game. There would be no adult supervision, and boys would be there. I worried that my mom would not let me go to such a party, so when I called her after the game, I asked if I could go over to a friend’s house to hang out. Just the two of us. It was a complete lie, but my mom bought it and told me to not be out too late.

My friends were in a hurry to get to the party, and I told them I was coming along. But then, right before we left, I detoured back to the pay phones. I couldn’t lie to my mom. I was angry with myself for not being honest with her. So I called her back, saying, “Mom, I’m sorry, but I lied to you. I actually wanted to go to a party.” Amazingly, my mom was very calm about it, and even gave me permission to go. I was floored.

Some of my friends envied the relationship I had (and still have) with my mother. I always felt I could ask her anything. She was the first one I told when I had my first kiss. I confessed to her about becoming sexually active. I drove out to her work so she could be the first to see my acceptance letter to college. She was the first to find out Aaron and I were expecting. I still speak to her almost daily, asking for advice, sharing anything interesting in my life and in general chatting as friends.

I’ve also never hesitated to ask my mom for help. When I was forced to give up telecommuting and go back to work after I had my daughter, I turned to my mom first. She offered to watch my daughter on her day off.

And now that I have a daughter of my own, I wonder if I will have that same type of relationship with her? I hope that she will never feel shy to come to me with any concern she might have. I want her to not feel scared asking me questions that might frighten her. If she wants to go to a party as a teen, I hope she will feel comfortable asking to go, and I hope our relationship will be open enough that I will trust her to be safe at the party. I want to be there for her as much as my mom has been there for me.

About the author: Christina has her own blog at amommystory.blogspot.com. She lives in Columbus, OH with her husband and her 19-month old daughter and works part time as a college student advisor (until she can find enough writing jobs to stay home full-time with her daughter Cordelia).

These posts are part of our May Blog Exchange on the theme Mother May I. Click around to read some of the other posts: Nancy, Vicki, Julie, Chase, Stacy, Christina, Jen, Mabel, TB, Mel, Izzy, Mayberry Mom, Amy, and Laurie. If you’d like to participate in the June Exchange, please email Kristen at kmei26 at yahoo.com. Enjoy!