104.3

104.3 is a popular LA radio station. The kind of music you hear a lot in doctors offices. 

104.3 was also my daughter’s temperature at 3am on Thursday. It was even higher at 1:30 this morning, which resulted in seizure-esque jerks and twitching that had me totally freaked out. Turns out they were totally benign myoclonic jerks, which are apparently common in sleeping sick children. 

Needless to say, we’re pretty fucking exhausted around here this week. Poor Catch has to work a school dance full of idiot teens tonight until midnight, so I’m especially feeling bad for her right now. 

As for me, I am just going to sit here and self-medicate with some prailines & cream ice cream and mindless television. I should be working on our Halloween costumes, but at this point, we can all be zombies without any effort at all. 
I’ll leave you with a few pictures because it’s not all bad. Most of it is pretty damn spectacular. We’re just really sick of this radio station. 






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Leash Laws

On my way to work this morning on a very busy street—school on one corner, major hospital on the other, huge office complexes on another, and freeway on-ramps just beyond the intersection—I watched in horror as a 10-ish year old boy on a skateboard came within millimeters of being hit by a car. He flew into the crosswalk without stopping or looking just as the car in front of me was turning right. The car was barely able to stop in time. The boy never stopped at all, and just kept going as fast as he could. He wasn’t wearing a helmet.

Charlotte also flew into the street this morning. I was carrying our things to the car—her backpack & nap mat, my purse, lunch bag and coffee mug. She had been inside the house playing with her race cars, and I figured I’d just pop out there and load up while she was occupied. She ran out the door behind me straight into the middle of our street before I could even open my mouth to yell.

I don’t know what my point here is exactly, except to say that I am truly surprised that it is illegal for my dogs to be outside without a leash and a collar, but it’s frowned upon to do the same with children.

Manners and tantrums and feelings, oh my!

One of my mom’s friends—a very nice, very outgoing woman who has split her career between business and film (lots of IMDB credits for this lady)—started working at my office as a temp this morning. She’s at a cubicle about 25 feet from my office. I should REALLY go say hello. I have known this woman since I was a little girl. Instead, I am hiding in my office with my door closed because I am too damn tired to be social and play, “let’s catch up on the last 15 years.”

It turns out that two year olds can suck the life out of you faster than a newborn can. I always hated the phrase terrible twos because I felt like it implied that the child was terrible. I get it now, though. I love my kid. I do not believe she is terrible. But this particular developmental stage is terrible.

Everything is a battle of wills. My SIL thinks we give in too easily, but sometimes we just don’t have it in us to fight her. I mean, seriously, how many times can you stop your child from jumping on the couch like a wildebeest before you say fuck it. Let her break her damn arm. I give up.

OK, that was a bad example. We don’t actually do that. I mean, the whole jumping on the couch thing is a constant battle right now, and it usually ends with one of us picking a screaming, fighting child up off the couch, removing her from the room, and then chasing after her as she runs back to the couch laughing maniacally… rinse & repeat. I swear we do everything we can to keep her from breaking bones. You get the gist, though.

It feels like dealing with our kid right now is all about mind games. We have to outsmart the 2 year old. I am absolutely shocked at how hard it can be to outsmart a determined 2 year old. I mean, I am a reasonably intelligent human being, but that kid is a force to be reckoned with. My child has successfully used reverse psychology ON ME. It’s freaking witchcraft. Too much Harry Potter while I was pregnant.

Every day, I leave for work feeling so excited to get home and see my kiddo.  By the time I’ve been home for 30 minutes, I’m already counting the seconds until bedtime.

I just wanted to throw this out there to all of you because I know I talk a lot here about how my kid is my favorite person and how I love the age, blah blah blah. And while both of those things are often true, right now I am really longing for a few days free from all of this two-ness.

Petty

When Free Fallin’ was released in 1989, I was an 8 year old little girl living in Reseda. While there was no freeway running through our yard, mentions of the Valley… Mulholland… Ventura Blvd… they were familiar to me. It was my home. We “moved west down Ventura Blvd.” every day to get home from my school. I loved that song. That tape was rewound many, many times. (Right now, I am thinking about how my daughter will never have to rewind anything. Wow.)

Mary Jane’s Last Dance was the soundtrack to a one night stand pre-Catch.

Then, early in my relationship with Catch, I had a completely ridiculous and totally bizarre sex dream about Tom Petty. It was a running joke between me and Catch for a long time after.

Just last week, about 2/3 of my Facebook feed was filled with photos of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers at the Hollywood Bowl. So many of my friends were there. I wanted to go so badly, but there was no way we could afford the tickets. I appeased myself by saying we’d see him next time.

Last night, I asked Alexa to play Tom Petty while I was cooking dinner. After a few minutes Charlotte ran into the house and yelled, “No song! No song! Alexa, play Let it Go!” That’s about as far as my Tom Petty memorial got. His loss hurts my heart, though. He was the same age as my parents, and that’s kind of hard to swallow. My mom is going to live forever, right?

Someday, I will convince my kid to give Tom Petty a shot. I mean, he’s no Idina Menzel, but she’s certainly no Tom Petty.

Blessed (It’s not what you think.)

One of the last things my grandfather ever said to me will stay with me forever. “Does it ever just strike you how blessed we are to be here?” He was suffering from dementia, and it was pretty much the only thing he said that day that made any sense.

Some people might hear a dying man say something like that and feel like it’s some sort of ethereal truth about life. Not me. It stuck with me because I felt like he was full of shit.

Are we blessed to be here?

I’m not sure I can answer that. Not today, anyway.

I don’t deny that there is beauty in this world. There are moments that take my breath away. Moments when I’m so overcome with love for my life and this planet that I am (practically) speechless. (Let’s face it… I am never totally speechless.)

But in between those moments, there is a lot of “meh.”

Day after day spent sitting under the fluorescent lights of an office wishing more than anything that I could just be with my baby girl.

Struggles to pay bills and manage finances.

Traffic. Pollution. Overcrowding.

Sickness. Suffering. Cruelty. Brutality.

All around the world, children are neglected. People are starving. Homeless. Desperate.

Mothers fear losing their babies every day. Mothers do lose their babies every day.

Several years ago, a sweet basset hound was adopted from the rescue we volunteer with. He was later doused with fuel and burned to death.

This world we live in… it just doesn’t really seem all that blessed. And yes, there are lots of great people out there. People who work hard to do what’s right and bring some beauty into people’s lives one way or another… but will it ever be enough?

So while I appreciate the beautiful parts of my life… are we actually blessed to be here? Is this what a blessing looks like? Do we only fight so hard for the good stuff because the option is an endless string of “meh” or worse? What purpose does humanity even serve? We make films about aliens who invade planets and slowly suck them dry and destroy them… how are we any different from those aliens?

(Existential crisis, much?)

I know this sounds like the ramblings of a depressed person. I promise I’m not. I’m just sad today. Sad that my beautiful baby girl who positively radiates love had to wake up this morning in a world where people are gunned down at a music festival (or school—or the movies—or their workplace). How many of those people started their afternoon feeling like they were blessed to be here? And then what? They are shot at? Trampled? Why?

I am so incredibly grateful for all of the beauty in my life, but our world is broken. Humanity is not a blessing.