Today –to be accurate, around 3 or so this afternoon – my Girl turns sixteen years old.
Holy shit, y’all.
I won’t ask where the time went, because I know exactly where it went. It piled up like clouds in the Texas sky, an upended cerulean bowl marking the hours with streamers and cotton floss, golden pink sunrises and amber purple sunsets, lowering thunderheads and forgiving rains.
It’s been wild.
I can <mostly> remember the day she was born. I remember being in the labor tub. I can remember that I was done with the labor tub and getting out. I vaguely recall the slightly panicked faces of the midwife and the now-ex husband as I heaved my huge body out of the water.
I will never forget the feeling of waddle-walking to the bed, and the feeling that I needed to hurry hurry hurry because she was totally going to fall out1. I wanted to be in the comfy, king –sized bed to have her. It seemed important. I have NO idea why.
Being a parent is hard. You raise and care for and instruct and bargain with the gods and nudge and bribe and hold hands and shelter and then comes the part where you are supposed to just let them go. Like, “O HAI U R AN ADULT NAO” and what do you mean you want a part time job and how can you even think that getting driving lessons is going to happen and don’t you know that you are my baby?
But, she isn’t. Not really, anymore.
She is becoming a young woman, becoming her semi-fixed2 personality, becoming her own self.
“Take off, nuke the site from orbit…it’s the only way to be sure.”
Many people say this, without realizing that this plan DIDN’T FUCKING WORK.
Mild QA rant…
Because there wan’t a process in place. If you don’t have a workflow then shit happens randomly and WE are not to fucking blame for your fucking Xenomorph Queens laying waste (and clutches) where YOU didn’t think a process wasn’t important.
*huff huff puff huff*
And if you say documentation isn’t important, I’ll ram Carter Burke‘s personal memos/notes/leads up your ass so far you’ll think you’re seeing a monolith and start chanting “It’s full of stars….”
A little background: I use coconut oil for moisturizer. It doesn’t have a perfumey sort of scent and it works wondrous well.
That being said, most things tend to smell either like baby powder or vanilla on me. It is just the way my body chemistry works.
When I got home from work yesterday, I flopped down on the couch. Immediately, both my cat and my daughter came and flopped down on me.
I’m used to it.
The Girl was sprawled over my legs, talking about her day.
Suddenly, she sat up and looked straight at me.
The Girl: “Mom, you smell like baked goods.”
Me: “I don’t know why. I haven’t been around any today.”
TG: “Nonetheless, you smell like cake.”
Me: ….*pause* Well, I guess I can tell you the secret. All Moms have the ability to smell like cupcakes. It’s how we control the children.
<h/t to Questionable Content (and Faye) for the title idea. Seriously, if you aren’t reading that amazing webcomic I don’t know what is wrong with you. I really don’t.>
Sorry to have been briefly in absentia, again. This has been a somewhat crappy week month or so.
Let me ‘splain.
No, no. There is too much.
Let me sum up.
Buttercup I have had ongoing dental issues for years. In part, this is because I have an absolute terror of dental folk. It’s <mostly> not their fault, but that doesn’t change the fact that most dentists give me a case of the shrieking heebie-jeebies.
So, I avoided them like the proverbial plague for many years. On top of that, I spent a few years being somewhat lacking with my at-home dental care1. Which means I am now playing catch-up with the dental stuff.
About five years or so ago, I had a root canal on one of my lower molars. During the procedure, it was discovered that the roots of my teeth do not run straight, like most folks.
Even my teeth are bent, people.
When they went in to do the procedure, not only could they not get all the yucky material out of the root, but a piece of the tool snapped off and was left in my tooth.
Apparently this is quite common.
Fast forward to last month.
My face/jaw blew up.
Well, not literally.
OK, kind of literally.
I was running a fever, had excruciating pain, and felt pretty well awful.
I went to the dentist and they put me on antibiotics and pain meds because facial infections are bad, mmkay?
I wound up missing a few days of work because of all this.
I guess I should take this opportunity to point out that I work for a contracting company in a call center. Do you guys know how much sick time I get?
Fortunately, my company is actually a pretty decent one. I had to sign a piece of paper stating that I would not miss any more work/be late for sixty days. But I got to keep my job!
Fast forward exactly two weeks after I finished the antibiotics course.
Yeah. It re-infected.
This time the dentist referred me out to an endodontist. Essentially endodontists are root canal specialists.
Or, you know, torture masters. I’m not exactly sure which title they prefer, honestly.
At any rate, he wanted to do something called an ‘apical root canal’2 because torture master he deemed it to be the best course to get the situation permanently taken care of.
Now, I warned said Endo-guy that no, really…scared of dentists. He said “No probs! We will totally make sure you are completely unaware/do not remember anything! Trust me!”
They gave me medication, which I took according to directions. Apparently, it either was not a high enough dosage or it was a bad lot. Because shit went awry, folks.
I was awake and aware the whole time.
I wasn’t in pain, precisely. Well, except for the Novacain shots. Those hurt like a mad bastard. But, yeah. I totally was present for the entire thing.
Of course, poor endo-doc was pretty well locked into having to complete the procedure. What else could he do?
But, I am equally sure that having a terrified woman who couldn’t move except to sob while he worked was probably not one of his happiest moments.
I gotta say, it wasn’t one of mine either.
But I did it.
And I am not blaming (torture master comments aside) the endo-doc for the medication fuckup. He had started the process – quitting and rescheduling made no sense.
I get that.
But, I still feel like I should get a goddamn gold star for adulting that day. Because I was the adultiest adult who ever adulted last Friday.
When I got back to work, of course, there was some hemming and hawing and WTF happened and why were you out? sorts of noises.
Again, my contracting company is top notch, and everything got sorted. Still have a day job (yay!). But, I did have to bring a note from the doctor.
Which, yeah documentation, I get you.
But honestly? It kind of made me feel like a kid being called into the principal’s office for suspected truancy.
This may surprise some of you guys, especially those that know me in Real Life, but I am not a huge fan of summer.
It’s too warm.
I’m far too pasty to really enjoy the glaring death ball in the sky.
Really, it’s kind of sultry in here.
Multitudes of flying, stinging, buzzing things with their ouchy, itchy bites.
Walking barefoot outside is tantamount to firewalking with added tar & asphalt bits.
Christ, could we put the AC on PLEASE?
I like fall. I enjoy gentler weather, a dearth of the aforementioned bugs, open windows, and the ability to have a fire without feeling I am reenacting a scene from Dante’s Inferno.
But mostly I like that it means Halloween is right around the corner. Lots of candy, crazy costuming, and a 007 license to spook.
One of my favorite memories of my paternal grandmother1 is her reading us a scary story from one of the many books she had in her house.
She also had about a squilliion Reader’s Digest Condensed Books.
I told the Girl that I wanted to do a recording of me telling the story – as my grandmother had to us kids. She thinks this is a fab idea2.
I love this idea and am really looking forward to doing it for you guys. But now I don’t want to wait for Halloween!
Patience isn’t really my strong suit.
Sadism – being totally ready to fuck over a character in a game/story – is really my forte.
That a snappy sense of fashion.
1– One of the few. Mostly, my brother and I were treated as second-class citizens by that woman. 2– She gave me a Look and was like, “Ooookay, Mom.” It wasn’t outright laughter, so I will take it.
I woke up thinking about a scene I’d read years ago. It was in Stephen King’s The Stand. I don’t know if my dreaming brain was remembering it correctly. In it, Nick Andros and Jane Baker (the Sheriff’s wife) were essentially sitting shiva for her husband while he died.
“Mama! Fox is in the henhouse, Mama!” The Sheriff thrashed fretfully and moaned.
Do you remember how awful Captain Trips1 was? If I am recalling the statistics from the novel, it had a 98% mortality rate. Once you got it, you were almost certainly going to die.
I remember that scene being very powerful. I mean, it was not essential to the story in the grand scheme of things. And yet, it was absolutely crucial to the story in the way it set up the illness as a scythe that reaped through everyone – good and bad alike.
I didn’t know why that particular scene was in my head when I woke this morning. I mean, I haven’t read that book in years. And I certainly haven’t watched the movie(s).
I love you Mister King, but your books do not translate well to movies.
There is one exception. But only because Tim Curry was in it.
Nonetheless, I kept thinking about that scene on the way into work. I have an hour commute into work – at 5AM – and I have a LOT of mostly uninterrupted time to ruminate. Usually, I am contemplating why in the hell I am awake at such a crappy hour. But today I had this bit of book swirling in my brains.
I got all the way into work before I figured it out.
THIS. This right here. My brain was wanting me to think about books, again. Think about reading a scene and contemplate it from all angles; not just the wow, that’s so intense I love reading this what’s happening next angle, but the why is this such a good scene what is the author doing why is this character doing that why why? angle.
I think my brain wants me to write again.
And that is scary, friends.
My brain has been so damaged, so shredded for the past year that I haven’t written much of anything. Certainly no fiction, large or small has flown from the keyboard.
And now I have this overwhelming urge to read and analyze and think about characters and why why why.
Trust me. I’m your brain.
I am afraid.
What if I start and it all dries up again?
What if I start and it doesn’t? What if I publish something here and it gets torn apart by the jackals?
Worse…what if I publish something and no one notices or cares?
Anxiety Brain, you are a treacherous cunt. But, I have to try. To not try, to give up before even attempting to reach out?
1 – The superflu from King’s book was called a variety of names, Captain Trips being the one that stands out in my memory. The virus took a hellish, fevered week to kill its victims.