What up, August 14th?

I can’t say for sure until I do some research in the 20/20 archives, but I don’t think I have ever had NOBODY come to this blog. But that is exactly what happened — or didn’t happen — August 14th, 2011. I suppose I can’t really expect the viewing public, both of you, to look at 2o Fingers, 20 Toes if even I can’t be bothered to look at it. I am reminded of the early years, back in early 2008, back when I was in the throes of “full-time stay at home with my awesome daughters and lose my cotton-pickin’ mind”-ness. Truly. My early 40’s have been the beginning of the second half of my life. Nothing like the first life at all, except for the fact that my brain was still in my head, though only semi-functional. The first half of my life was spent indulging me, me, my friends, and me, then more of me. From what I can tell, post 40 is all about everybody else.

I miss “us”, you and me. You know who you are. You have never left my heart. Let’s spend more time together, shall we? xo J



Work, blurk

I must have titled a previous post ‘Work, blurk’ already. How could I not have? I’m already tired of working, and it’s only been regular since November, and it’s rarely more than 20 hours per week. Just call me 20/20/20/247/365. And it doesn’t have too much to do with the particular place I’m working, or the people, and not even the work. All of that stuff is pretty standard–even better than standard–in terms of office jobs. It’s not them, it’s me… I’m the one with the problem. Maybe I should seek some kind of pharmaceutical aid so that I don’t mind going to a building full of florescence and tasteful, green cushy chairs. Chairs to sit in while working on a computer. My urge is to move away from such heavy computer work. Not that I don’t loves me the interwebs. Or even the cool things that can be done on a computer. It just seems unhealthy and, ultimately, a little bit inhuman for so many people to sit in front of a glowing screen for such large chunks of their lives. Of my life. I didn’t know how to use a computer when I moved to Baltimore in 1998. I mean, I could get onto my Dad’s machine and make really ugly floral design resumes, and do writing and stuff, but that was about it. For the life of me I didn’t know where the files went to once I saved them. Can you imagine? And I gotta tell you, life wasn’t so bad before all of this. In fact, it was really fun. At least I can still inhale real fumes and mess with actual paint if I’m craving the visceral creative experience. Otherwise, it’s digital photographs and the blog.

Husband, Mimi, Beenie, Me, my old pal Ted and his daughter Lena spent the late afternoon (from about 3:45 till almost 7pm) as guests at their pool. It was luxurious. Steaming hot day today in Balmer, and sort of humid, too–perfect for the pool. It is such a treat to go with them. The baby pool rocks and the tattooed set is what’s for parents these days, which I find familiar and charming. I don’t have any tattoos, nor does B (spouse), but the girls both have temporary ones, and Ted has a big rusty colored one on his chest. Makes me feel like I’m back in Chicago in the early 90’s, and friends are just starting to do apprenticeships at local tattoo parlors. Or it’s almost 20 years later, and I’m still me, in Baltimore City and my contemporaries are aging, just like me, and having children in their late thirties/early forties, just like me.

I wonder what the NYTimes will be serving up to my demographic tomorrow morning. I can hardly wait to find out. There’s always something for me in my special newsprint Sunday friend.

And what do you do with this leftover goo?…

A lovely Memorial Day display of garbage floating in the water at Fells Point.

Really. How can the earth possibly continue to be habitable when the oceans are gunked up in muckity-muck-muck? Are my little daughters going to be able to enjoy any coastline on the North American continent, east side, y’alls, as adults? Will there even be beaches anymore? I’m having a hard time with this disgusting reality at the moment, but not as bad a time as the fish, birds, sea creatures and every living thing that happens to be coated in goo you-know-where. This is how its going to end, isn’t it?

I just spent the last two hours reviewing the vast WordPress themes for my sister’s new website venture. PMS CMS, y’alls. Get ready!

Why am I noticing men looking at my boobs and ass recently? I don’t know that my boobs and ass are on display more than usual or if they appear differently than how I think they do.  Is it hot mom syndrome? Once you’ve ejected humans from your body all bets are off? WTF? Maybe I’m aware of this strange phenomenon now that I no longer give a rat’s ass what men think of me. Oh if only I’d had this power as a younger woman… I would have definitely used it for evil rather than good. Damned hot hindsight!

World disaster to tits and ass in three steps. Thanks alot, folks. I’ll be here all week.

Damned, crazy moon…

I know what’s keeping me up tonight. As I lay in bed, eyes open, mind racing, it occurred to me the moon was going to be full soon… when? Got up, 1 a.m. Today of course! Or rather, this evening. I feel it. Can you feel the moon?

Sent myself the following email from work today, during what was quite possibly the dumbest discussion betwixt two people possible.

not interesting = the discussion re: printers and toner that is happening across the hall. it has lasted over 10 minutes. between two people who i’m guessing are making decent salaries. is this the kind of banal chit chat that is required to be a part of the office working world?

From what I remember of my past lives working in a variety of different kinds of offices, YES. Hmmm. This doesn’t bode well for the next fifteen or twenty years of my life, when I will be required — barring some kind of miracle, allowing me to travel, write, paint and make silly art videos for a living — to do such officey things to pay mortgages and fund two growing girls. Is this really what my future holds? Yes, its better than sitting home, depressed because I can’t be around grown-ups or make money. I acknowledge this. And am grateful for the perfect part time employment situation the universe has sent me. But shit. WHO FUCKING CARES ABOUT TONER!? It is true, toddlers are vastly more interesting than middle aged schmucks. Sigh. I suspected it all along, but had to leave toddlerland to see it for what it really is… Valhalla. Still enjoying wearing dress-ups in public, tho. My work costumes. Work makes me love my daughters even more than I normally do.

Tomorrow morning around 9 my next-door neighbor’s daughter, recent college grad, is watching the girls till around 1:30, while I go into the office. I know my work is coming between us, blog, old friend. I know I’m spending more time living my life than complaining about it. Don’t worry, I’m still full of complaints. And joys. All of it. Now where’s my goddam one million dollar check?!

calculatus eliminatus

Everyone loves you when you’re a freelancer. Or temporary. There’s a certain Je ne sais quoi about someone who isn’t in the office from 9-5 every day, won’t always be available for meetings unless you give them lots of notice. I’m still the new girl in town. I know it. I see the tired eyes of the full-time office workers. My eyes are tired, too — not from sitting under florescent lights all day, knowing there is no end to this existence — but from being woken up two times every night to get certain 3 year old ladies to the potty. Still, though, I am not yet a known entity. In many ways I don’t want to be known, or owned, as the case may be. I like being hourly. Some weeks I can make lots of moolah, hopefully balancing out the weeks I just can’t do anything because my girls have infected me with numerous illnesses. I like not knowing. As long as I complete my projects when I say I will, I hope things will continue to run smoothly.

That’s what I’ve been up to, ya know. Working. The ladies have been going to school from 9:15-3, MWF. That gives me four solid hours to either go into the office to work, or work from home. I like both. What has changed is this: time they are spending in school has transferred from time I spend cleaning the house, or going grocery shopping, or writing my blog, to doing web stuff, trying to make a buck. Attempting to appear bona fide. For real.

I miss this, though. I miss having an hour or two, once or twice a week to tidy up, drink a cup of coffee, think about stuff, by myself. I lost this part of my life this past summer when daily naps disappeared, then again, when I started working more and they started staying in school longer so I could work longer, so they could stay in school longer… uh oh.

Nothing creative has happened in weeks. Nothing creative will happen again, until it does. Until it must. I’m going to go downstairs, get a big glass of water, take the last pill of my latest course of antibiotics, and lie in bed. No cocktails, no stretching or thinking. Just laying down on my bed. Waiting for someone to wake me up to piss. I am happy last night/this morning revealed nothing more than a light dusting of snow. Thanks, mother nature. And I am also glad my daughters are healthy again, back in school, and generally wonderful. Both stripped five minutes before we went upstairs for the bedtime ritual tonight, ‘swimming in the pool’, which meant jumping naked off the purple chair in the living room, onto a pile of pillows they set up as ‘slides’. Brrrr!

Alone again, naturally.

Yes. It has finally happened. After what seems like months, but in reality has been about two weeks, I am ALONE. Quietly, sweetly, unbelievably alone. It is fantastic. It is incredible. Silence. The fact that my left ear is still clogged is enhancing the silence. All I can hear is the clickity click of my fingers hitting the keyboard. Just unscrewed the top of my desk so dear husband can whittle down the side a bit to accommodate the new, LOCKING file cabinet we got at Ikea this past weekend. For over two years, since the ladies became mobile and huge enough to rifle thru the shit on my desk, I know where absolutely nothing is. Especially important things that I should know about. But after today, I’ll put important things in my new locking filing cabinet, then LOCK IT UP. The next step to regaining small portions of my sanity will include keeping the keys in one place and not losing them. It is so easy to lose everything. I do it almost every day.

What kept us in our house for so long? No school, no work? The scourge. You know the one of which I speak. I was chatting with my doctor Monday as she faxed in a prescription of antibiotics for my ear infection, sinus infection and pink eye… she said when her now college aged twins were in their first year of preschool, they were sick EVERY MONTH for a year. But then they didn’t really get too sick afterward. A whole year. My girls have been sick pretty much every month since they started school. We get a week or two break here and there, but it’s been constant since September. And they infect their father and me. I can’t remember being this sick on a regular basis since I was a chain smoking, drunk 20something person, staying up all night doing god knows what, working shitty jobs by day. But damned if I didn’t look gooood! Skinny, spiky red hair. Somehow the sickness rarely got in the way of dragging my sorry ass out of the house to have some fun. Oh thin, glamorous, well-lived youth. I’m glad I had one! A nice long one, too. Makes me not resent the insane responsibility that has been thrust upon me (that I unwittingly thrust upon myself) and my husband. I’m too tired to be resentful. Besides, I’ve had some great years. And these child-full years are great, too, in their own way. Just different. And endlessly, germoriffically ill.

Now we’re all just hangin’ out, waiting for the 6+ feet of snow that have been piled onto every corner just to clear off the streets, to melt. I figure a few 70 degree days will take care of it. So we’ll be clear, when? Mid April? Maybe May?

Welcome to the Tundra…

Really. FOR REAL. Tundra livin’, y’alls. Right here. Charm City. Row house, Igloo, what’s the diff? Things is gettin’ all The Shining up in this shits, too. And I’m sick. Because the girls are sick. And spouse is getting sick. In a way, it doesn’t matter, since we can’t get outside anyway. The snow is covering the doors. It might as well be covering the windows. Quite a sight to see from inside our cozy row house. Here’s where I’d like to express my gratitude to whatever energy in the universe finds us in a safe, warm, electrified, interwebified, cable-riffic (though, honestly, I don’t give a rats ass about cable. fuck cable.) The water is working. I have cough medicine in the cabinet. Beenie got to the doc the day after the last storm, so we got antibiotics (that, of course, are giving her the shits. fuck you, antibiotics.) for her ear infection and pink eye. I’m sure I got what feels like strep throat at that doctor’s office. Somehow. We still have a roof intact. The basement hasn’t flooded. And I have not yet killed the other three people in the house, or the cats. Though there were times earlier today where I seriously wondered if that could be avoided.

Things move slowly when you live in the blizzard belt. Since it never snows here, till now, I don’t have proper winter attire. The boots I have are probably over twenty years old. They are too small. I think I gave away all my long underwear when I moved out of Chicago. “When am I ever gonna need that again?”

Ow. My neck hurts. I am going to look to tomorrow with some kind of hope, since today was pretty much shite. Tired, sick, disorganized, angry, trapped, sucky. Thursday won’t suck so much. Right? I want to give the girls haircuts, vacuum, clean the bathroom… oh wait, I’m sick. Maybe my goal for the day should be sleeping as much as I can. That seems like a less attainable goal, but you gotta have goals no matter what. Stay warm.