Now, See, Joint Custard Would Be Delicious

It’s been about two months since Franny’s dad up and fucked off to an island, and things have really changed. When he was talking about moving before, I spent a lot of time looking at research and opinion on child custody. After four years of 50-50 custody, I knew I had an opinion about it: it sucked.

Yes, the child gets to experience both houses “equally” and doesn’t become a “visitor” at one of the houses. It’s better than that! The child is a disjointed visitor at both houses. I can’t tell you how many times in the last few months we’ve sat down to dinner and Franny’s tucked in and said, “Mmm, I’ve never had this before,” and before I can think, I say, “Really? I’ve made this several times.”

Whole weeks go by and you can’t stop living your life or pushing onward with your family. The 50-50 kid gets to hear about this later. There is a sense of unease, because the kid is coming and going and you have to say these Significant Goodbyes and Awkward Hellos because you won’t see/haven’t seen your kid for two weeks. They come back, and they are TALLER. You always have to plan appointments and playdates on the first half of the month, or your week. You say “no” A LOT because of timing. You don’t want to send her out to sleepovers because you feel like you hardly see her, but you want her to have a “normal” childhood. You don’t feel as close to your own child as you could, as you should, because there is this wedge of not enough time. You hear about sicknesses incurred, suffered, recovered from, all without any input or nurturing from you. “You had pink eye again?”

Now that she is here most of the time, things have changed. I feel closer to her, and I think she feels the same. There is relaxation and comfort where there was clinginess and rushing. There are inside jokes now. When she leaves, it’s just for three nights, every other weekend. She still complains about having to leave my house, but now she can say, “Oh well, it’s just the weekend,” and we can kind of laugh it off and talk about what we’re going to do and have for dinner when she gets back on Monday. I feel as close to her now as I did when she was a little baby and toddler, before the divorce when I got to see her whenever I wanted. Sometimes I ask myself if I could see the future, that I was going to lose access to my kid half the time, would I still carry on with the divorce? I honestly don’t know.

Give Us This Day Our Daily Humiliation

I have been making fun phone calls today and getting my ducks in a row for the fall. It was a day of those kind of phone calls where you feel like you would take the hit and just lose an arm rather than make. I have vivid fantasies about sticking a math compass in my leg repeatedly. How many pokes til I can be absolved of making phone calls? One of those calls was to my ex-husband, and I did not expect to hear from him for days, but he called me back that morning. Shocker!

I had the joy of asking him to pay half of his kid’s tuition. His stance on this as of a couple of years ago was, “Private school would be great if it was free,” so I haven’t spent a lot of time bothering him about money. But I am done working for the school and it is out-of-pocket again, and I have heard rumors that he is being less of a luser, so I thought I’d take a crack at it.

Rather than asking him if he would contribute, I told him what the total was and asked him how he wanted to handle it. We could pay the office separately? He just shut me down. “I owe something? Do I owe you for the other years, too?”

Then he made some vague noises about paying his half up front with the proceeds of the house he just sold, but I will knit myself a vagina suit if he actually pays.

I feel really weird about this, because on one hand, her school is “optional.” On the other, we agreed to it in the beginning when she was two and a half and for every year after that. I hadn’t even discussed the next school year with him til now, which I guess is my fault?

My face burns every time I think about it today. What do you do in a situation like this, when someone refuses to provide agreed-upon expenses like education and medical? And then they tell you they are optional? But they still want to spend all the 50/50 time they are entitled to. I wish I was woarlike enough to go to court all the time, except I’m not. Not that it would do any good, in the long run.

Then I told him I was having her molars sealed and he said something vague about having dental insurance himself now. That’s nice for his new family, I guess. Then he told me he was moving to the island for the summer, and could I keep Franny for a few extra days, because he was in California? And could he make that up later? Yes, you can make that up when I get a check for three grand. LOOOOOL

In Conclusion, bring me:

1. a mai tai
2. Ben Barnes
3. a pink taser with kitty head on it!

Now Fifteen Percent Less Bitter, I Tells You

Strudel and Mali boogie down to duck town. I say I am doing things like readings to “get myself out there” but it is actually to hang out with the cool people.

I probably embarrassed the hell out of Squid because I told her that my visit there in January was really helpful. I saw a loving, kind family in action, which was exactly what I needed right then after a rough fall and wrestling with the flu earlier that month. I came home and felt calmer and less yelly and better about my monkeys in general.

I haven’t told you the BIG news because I have been processing things all slowly as usual. It’s like you can see the hourglass over my head. Anyway, QUELLE SURPRISE, Seattle Federline is not moving away, so he gets to remain Seattle Federline. YAYS! My kid came home and told me, and then started crying. I am guessing she has no concept how pissed she is at him.

I am too, really, though I feel that impotent, kind of apathetic rage like you do for things in the universe that are totally out of your control. At least after six-plus months of threatening to move, he had the presence of mind to tell her he was staying for her. She was bummed, though, because she wanted to spend more time over here.

I have my suspicions, though, as I always do. I am hearing rumors now of him working at home and being given a company car. No one would give his useless job-hopping ass a company car…except his father. I think there’s been monetary intervention, again, because a few months ago he had to move because they couldn’t buy a house in Seattle, and now that is exactly what they are doing, buying a house here. And I KNOW what state his credit’s in.

Oh, you should have seen the look on his face when we were in mediation and he was realizing that there was no way we could be fifty-fifty and then I said the words “child support.” OHHH that was almost worth the $600. I sat down and though about it today, and his “almost move” cost us about $1000. I have learned. Next time something like this comes up, I am not budging. He can deal with it all.

Hey This Looks Dusty and Full of Cheerios

So it must be a VENT.

I have two things to tell you.


The Life of a Volunteer Coordinator

Stage One: Ask for Volunteers
“GREAT GOOGLY MOOGLY YES we’d love to do that for you!” You describe the job completely. “Yes, yes, we can do that in our sleep!”

Stage Two: Wow!
Wow. I have a team.

Stage Three: Call in Team
And then you say, OKAY, tiem to do jorb nao, and they say, “This is not as described. I have surgery/vacation/fallen arches.” And then I check my sent mail and see how I described the job exactly as it is.

Stage Four: Wine
I am stupid. Cry. Do job myself. Vow to never do this again. Mean it this time.


2. Today I told my friend a story about my ex-husband to make her laugh, as she was having a rough day.

Three years ago, I took my big kid to the dentist. This is when I was still under the impression that we were going to be splitting medical expenses and whatnot as outlined in the parenting plan. (“Parenting Plan: For When You Run Out of Hamster Litter.”)

So I sent him a bill for the dentist, asking him to pay half. I think it was around a hundred bucks total. What I got in the mail was a check for twelve-fifty.

“What’s this about?” I said.

“Well, that would be half the copay if either of us had insurance,” he replied. Clever. ELEGANT.

After I finished telling the story my friend said, “Is he…special?”

Yes. He’s very, very special. Turns out she gave me the laugh.

Keats and Yates Are on Your Side.

Wham. I stepped on a nail yesterday. I thought it wasn’t a big deal until the blood started dripping off the end of my toes. Of course I looked around to figure out which miscreant was perpetrating sabotagey on my house. It turns out that someone had nailed a piece of wall board to the ceiling for no apparent reason. It was connected to nothing, and doing nothing. Just nailed up.

So the last time I got a tetanus shot was ten years ago, when I stepped on a nail in my backyard in Phoenix. I’m going to ride this out though, because afflictions add +5 to character. I’m still sad my eye healed up recently. I can’t see shit anyway, so I might as well look more like my hero.

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That’s Right. Wolfman’s Got Nards.

Ah, after writing yesterday I am feeling better. I have come out the other side for now, and now I can laugh. Here is my laugh of the day, part of a tl;dr response that came after I moved for the first time that we go to mediation. I like it when people try to explain something to you that fundamentally doesn’t make sense in the first place.

I feel like I am already giving up so much time with F., and these arrangements are quite fair.
That being said, is there anything above that absolutely won’t work for you…and why? I might be
willing to give some ground, but I would like to see you do the same.

See, lemmie asplain to you how and why the sky is purple.

I read this aloud and Companion and I laughed and laughed. I never get tired of laughing with him. I should give ground and make compromises because…I am not voluntarily moving far away? And she wants to spend the majority of the time with me? lolololol

Plus, I am now hearing the cash register sound. This reminds me of how my ex had the great idea to decorate for xmas when we lived together, until he realized it costs money.

So hat tip to SeaFed for comedy relief this morning.

Oh Saint Dymphna Pray For Jerks; Plus-Two Stench Damage

You know what’s good for a case of the “mlehs?” Finishing some shit you’ve been putting off. I saw a recipe for making a vintage medicine cabinet into a jewelry cabinet with velvet lining and painted whichever way you want, which is fine, but everyone knows the best color to paint something is gold, like chicken planters, my bed, and my old living room with the red walls and gold trim.

I put it aside at the end of the summer because I borked some of the lining process and got all grumpity. But my friend was here yesterday with her knitting, and it inspired me to get it out. After hours of searching, my tired unorganized ass found my glue gun, and I fixed the lining and glued some Catholic religious medals that I scored at the Fremont Market to the front, around the mirror. Today we went down to Pike Place and I got about 50 milagros, and I glued those in the places where the religious medals weren’t. It is viva la Mexico ftw.

I even got a boobies milagro. I have never seen one of those.

“They are for warding off breast cancer, or for breast health,” the woman at the store said.

“Or maybe for fighting gravity,” I said.

I took pictures of the cabinet in progress all summer, and they are scattered through my photo folders. I want to take a picture of my finished cabinet, and make a gallery out of it. BUT, I have somehow lost my battery charger, so I am saving my last bit of juice for like when the aliens come. I will pick up a new charger soon.

You know what’s even better than hot glue gun burns? Do you? Freaking out and waving your hand around and having the glue dry on your burn. Now I have a blister under a glue glob. It’s like Science under Glass. Is my finger going to fall off? I hope not. It’s my special finger I reserve for choad poking.

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I Guess It Wasn’t My Lucky Lipstick After All

Today I was on the phone with a friend for twenty-one minutes and thirty-six seconds. I know this because when I hang up my phone immediately tells me how long I talked for. I guess this is supposed to be some kind of helpful feature, so you can keep track of how many of your alloted minutes you’re using. This never worries me, though, because we have approximately four hojillion minutes in the bank. As it is, it’s just another annoyance that makes me feel like my life’s being measured out and apportioned.

At the end of my twenty-or-so minute phone call, I realized that the house had gotten deadly quiet. Like the absence of people. That feeling you get when you come home and the stove’s cold and the house is stuffy and there’s a note on the table that says, “We went to the beach! (Fuck you!)”

“I should wrap this up,” I said. “My house is too quiet.”

“Uh-oh,” my friend said. “You better go find out what Strudel’s up to.”

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Back, and To The Left

I used to come to you with a Festival of Ranting, but now I only come with a Celebration of Tiredness. I am pretending my spazziness is sort of like a small town parade or something, with beaded necklaces for the crowd and handfuls of the cheapest and most putrid candy for the kids. Does there get to be a point when you have experienced the same thing so many times that you get sort of resigned to it? I suppose there is a point like that. I have a fucking crystal ball about how things like this turn out, so if you want to be surprised, read no further. I am going to pretend that this is a Harry Potter fansite and conspiracy theory away. *CONTAINS SPOILERS*

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Pushing Water Uphill

I had to ask Franny’s stepmother again this morning to notify me when they take her out of the state. Their reaction always makes me feel like such a spaz. I actually resorted to that incredibly lame, “Imagine if your kid was gone half the month, and you didn’t know where she was, etc.” She kind of yeah yeah yeahed me. She said that her notification was having Franny call me last week. Franny still can’t quite communicate on that level, and told me they had already gone on their trip, which was surprising.

At least she asked what the conditions of the agreement are this time. And then she turned on me, because we are going out of town next week, “Well, are you going to notify us?” Of course. I always do. Damn.

I feel like I can’t bring stuff up, but I do anyway. Perseverance in the face of…blaseness, I guess.