In the can

While I enjoy my acupuncture afterglow (I can’t decide if I always feel energized after acupuncture because it’s working or because I get a 15-minute power nap while there), let me just say that the dirty chai is one of God’s gifts to womankind.

Also, if you know who I am and where I live, you can read my cover story on a famous director in my local alt-weekly. Please do enjoy and let me know what you think!

Oy. My valve.

God DAMMIT, why did I not know about this place when we went to Vancouver? Instead we ate at a semicrappy Greek place before wandering aimlessly around that overwhelming city. If I’d had the pleasure of a hot dog covered with wasabi mayo, nori strips, and fried onions, I would have been a happy, happy pregnant lady back then.

Y’all might as well go ahead and start giving me tips on places I should check out in San Francisco (a short list, I know). I’m going for a conference in March to give my paper on Waitress (and I found out that I’m chairing the panel — against my will — which includes the word “Herstories” in the title — gag) and am hoping to check out the city, which I’ve never been to before. So, if there are gems like Japa Dog lurking around, pony that info straight up, yo. I will not be counting POINTS that weekend.

I’m currently baking some cookies which, fortunately for my Weight Watchers journey, are not very good. I don’t know if it’s the dried blueberries I used (from the bulk bin at Whole Foods) or if the recipe calls for (or I misinterpreted the amount) too much white chocolate, but they’re just way too sweet and white chocolate-y. Which is a bummer, because I really wanted them to be good. For some reason, I’ve been baking a LOT lately, and I’m not sure why. On Friday I made some amazing raspberry-filled angel food cupcakes for my friend’s birthday — I could have eaten far more than the small one I ate as a tester before taking them before a jury of my peers.

Come to think of it, maybe I should skip weighing in tomorrow. I don’t know that the news will be good. Then again, this was a rough, rough week. I got my visitor on Wednesday and it just laid me out for two days. Then the birthday party and then a 1400-word piece that turned into 2100+ word possible cover story for the local alt-weekly. No pressure there. Matt was essentially a single parent this weekend while I, the stress case, drank too much coffee, went on rampages about insults both real and perceived, and repeatedly kicked him and H-town out of the house so that I could play Scrabulous write my story.

Then, of course, I get a call at 4 this afternoon informing me that I’ve got to add another couple of hundred words to the story because the paper’s editor has chosen cover art that only marginally pertains to my story. So, I’ve got to do another interview with another party (the party on the cover) and work that material into the previously finished piece. Yeah. Fun. Hence the cookie baking.

Did I mention that this story goes to press on Wednesday? As in, the day after tomorrow? I didn’t? Is my stress a little more understandable now?

Know what else I want? Ideas for dairy-free, WW-friendly lunches I can make on Saturday night and take with me throughout the week. Where might I find something like that?

Not much to say

I’m just here because I want to express my frustration that a 29-year-old graduate of my current university and one of this school’s most beloved quarterbacks, has just been hired on as some sort of offensive coordinator for the football team at a salary of $250K. Six figures for drawing Xes and Os on a board. Meanwhile, my friends who have completed their PhDs and gotten tenure-track jobs (including here) are making approximately $50K. I’m not good at math, but that’s something like five times less than what that jock with a Bachelor’s degree just signed on for.

I’d whine about how I’m in the wrong line of work, but it would be a moot point because a woman will never, ever get a six-figure job as a coach for a university football team. I wonder how much scrilla our women’s basketball coach was pulling by the time she retired. Something tells me it wasn’t anywhere near what this guy is.

So, to express my disdain for UX athletics, I’m going to the XU v. UX men’s basketball game on Saturday night with a gaggle of local XU alumni, and I’m on the hunt for some sort of XU gear here in my town to wear to the game. Not that I give a whit either way, but I feel the need to make a Statement. Via a t-shirt with a buffalo on it. Makes sense, no?

I mean, why fucking bother? No one places any value on what I do, what I’m passionate about. They just want to sit on their fat asses and watch Almighty Football on the boob toob while their arteries harden. I might as well just go back to waitressing.


So, yesterday sucked. It was totally exhausting. We left town around 7:45 and drove to Canyon Lake to drop Harry off with my dad and stepmom. Then we picked up Jeremy from the airport and then met with our lawyer. Lunch, and then headed to the mediation.

Fortunately, we only had to be in the room with John for about 5-10 minutes and it was relatively painless. He said some things that were blatantly untrue, although we’re unsure as to whether he was lying or deluded. The mediation started a little after 1pm and lasted until about 5:30. I might have said, at some point, “you can go tell that greedy piece of shit to go fuck himself,” but I can’t be sure. At one point, we were considering capitulating and assuming payments on the mortgage and insurance on the property as an investment, but I also knew that out of spite I’d want to vet every bush, every flower, every coat of paint, etc.

I don’t really want to say more than that; I will say that although we settled for a small amount that will be the basis of a college fund for Harrison, and we don’t have to worry about being sued for back mortgage and insurance payments and we don’t have to deal with John any more, I just feel really gross about this. I feel wrong about taking his money, I feel bad for him because he’s obviously not moved on from my mother’s death, but I also feel really angry with him for trying to soak us (this is my perception of his actions, anyway).

I didn’t even get my margaritas at Rosario’s, just a Shiner Bock at an inexplicable place called Beefy’s Backyard. We got home late and I was so exhausted, I let Harry sleep in bed with me until Matt came to bed. I’m still in need of cocktails, y’all. So, I’ve felt pretty down all day and have even picked a few fights with my wonderful husband, who was such a rock for me yesterday and kept me from flying off the handle. I excused myself in the afternoon to attend my first yoga class in a year, a hatha flow class that has my muscles screaming in pain tonight. Harry and I had dinner with the Masseys, where I had some much-needed Zinfandel and a lovely meal heavy on the vegetables.

I will confess that I’m trying really hard not to eat my feelings tonight or work my way through this bottle of pinot that’s calling me from the wine rack. And to ignore that bar of Green & Black’s in the freezer. Or the almost-vegan carrot-applesauce cake that Molly made that’s sitting lusciously in the fridge. Instead I will watch my DVR’ed episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, finish editing my syllabus, and hunker down with Atonement, which I’m reading veeeeery slowly. Harry went down like a rock at 8:40, not having napped today. Matt left at 5:15 to go hang out with his friend Phil — it’s nice to have some time to myself.

If one really good thing has come out of this, it’s that I feel so much closer to my brother. I spoke to him on the phone today while driving to yoga and felt totally comfortable crying about how bad I feel. I’ve never, ever been that vulnerable with him, not even when our mother died.

Tonight I feel a little older, a lot sadder, and maybe even more lost than I did before. But at least now I’m not going to get sued.

Friday Night Fights

On Friday afternoon, my brother and I (and our lawyer) are going to mediation on my mother’s estate. She died intestate in March 2004 and it has taken this long to settle affairs with our “stepdad.” Their house was in her name, which means that my brother and I are heirs to that asset. Three years ago, John (the “stepdad”), presented us with an offer to either sign away our rights to the property, and giving us full access to her personal effects (of which there were few, some crappy clothes and a very small collection of books; we’re not even sure if she even had any old photographs from when we were babies) OR start making mortgage payments on the house (and he would be responsible for the property tax). We rejected that offer and countered with the opportunity to buy us out of our interest so that he owned the house free and clear. It took him two years, but he rejected that offer and threatened to sue us for back mortgage. So, now we’re going to mediation in San Antonio.

There’s a lot more to it than this: nasty behavior on the part of his lawyer, John himself feeding misinformation (we suspect) to my grandparents, and just the usual complicated baggage that comes with being the children of a broken home followed by multiple remarriages. Lots of bad blood.

I’m really nervous about this mediation, mostly because it’s going to require me to be in the same room with John for 5 hours. Granted, Matt will be there, as will my brother, and my dad will be taking care of Harry (I think), and it’s not like he’s going to beat me up or shoot me or anything (at least, I hope not!), but I just cannot bear the thought of being in the same room with that creep, who seems hell-bent on punishing us for our mother’s death.

In some ways, I think this will help me with the grieving process, to get this ugliness behind me and have the specter of John and that g-damn house no longer looming over me. In a lot of ways, I feel like he thinks he “owns” my mom and controls all access to her (she’s buried across the street from his/their house), and I truly do think he blames us for her death (because, you know, we forced her to ignore the lump in her breast for 9 years).

I’m not looking for a payday, obviously, I just want some closure and I want what’s fair. I don’t want to have to pay mortgage on a house that I don’t have access to, and which we can’t afford. But I am just sick, sick, sick over what I’m facing on Friday afternoon. And you can rest assured I’ll be drowning my ass in margaritas at Rosario’s that night. And Matt will have to keep me out of Yarn Barn and indulging in retail therapy.

“The healthiest food is silent”

This morning on the way to church (um, picking up coffee from Starbucks), I heard this interview with Michael Pollan on NPR. I am looking forward to getting my hands on his new book (should check my mailbox up at uni — it might already be there!).

Vegan for a day (or maybe 2/3 of one)

Wow — I always thought that being vegan would be a boring pain in the ass, but if I can eat every day the way I’ve eaten today, I don’t think I’d ever be bored or inconvenienced.

For breakfast, I had organic apple-cinnamon oatmeal, half a grapefruit (sprinkled with a little bit of white sugar, so maybe not entirely vegan), and coffee with almond milk and Splenda. Then, at 10:30, when I decided to bag going to the coffeeshop in favor of working from home (always a bad choice), I ate a pear apple strudel Clif bar (which I shouldn’t have, but it happened, I’m acknowledging and moving on; also, the iced gingerbread flavor is way better).

Jillian came and picked me up for lunch at Mother’s, where I had the garden salad with cashew tamari dressing (O.M.G. Why has it taken me so long to discover this wondrousness?) and Santa Fe vegetable soup with some sort of vegan bread. Chips and salsa and water on the side. For dessert we split a slice of Belgian Mocha Fudge cake (also vegan). Holy wow. That was some good eating — this meal in particular may change my work habits over the spring semester. I might be writing my dissertation at Quack’s or Flightpath instead of Spider House on Tuesdays and Thursdays, simply due to their proximity to Mother’s.

There’s no telling how dinner will play out, but really? It doesn’t matter, because I’ve discovered that vegan doesn’t have to mean wheat roast (blargh) and tofurella.

Indie cred

My top 10 album list for 2007. Oy. Could I be any more of a (poseur) hipster fuck?

1) Beirut, The Flying Club Cup (Ba Da Bing)

2) Modest Mouse, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank (Sony)

3) Feist, The Reminder (CherryTree)

4) P.J. Harvey, White Chalk (Island)

5) Sigur Rós, Hvarf/Heim (XL)

6) The Shins, Wincing the Night Away (Sub Pop)

7) Arcade Fire, Neon Bible (Merge)

8.) Bloc Party, A Weekend in the City (Vice)

9) Of Montreal, Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? (Polyvinyl)

10) Stars, In Our Bedroom After the War (Arts & Crafts)