Progress, Part Two

The "recovery" is moving along at a rapid-fire, lightning-quick pace now. Only 44 months later, the flooded-out, abandoned house that sat a block down on our street since Katrina, complete with moldy furniture, was finally demolished. Progress, people! Next up, cranes on the skyline....

Four-Year-Old Blues

Lately, I feel like I can't do anything right when it comes to mothering. Everyone has told me how wonderful four-year-olds are, that they're finally in a sweet, agreeable, tantrum-free phase, and some of the time, I agree with them. Emmeline is funny, and smart, and sweet. But she's also incredibly defiant, and I'm incredibly tired.

It seems like lately that everything is a battle. And I mean everything. It starts off in the morning with her arguing about what I'm fixing her for breakfast, we then move into an argument over whether or not she can have candy after breakfast, and then transition into the battle over what clothes, shoes, and underwear to wear to school. Believe me, I let her pick whenever possible--even when that means she goes off to school in a dress that's too short and is wrinkled beyond belief and is accessorized with a pair of scuffed-up old shoes that are worn on the wrong feet (for some strange reason, she prefers them to be on the wrong feet).


A Question?

Has anyone ever noticed? That Travers Mackel? Can't report the news? Without sounding like? A teenaged girl? Who makes every sentence? Sound like a question? Am I the only one? Who finds this? Really irritating? And thinks that he needs? Some coaching? And that WDSU? Is quite possibly? The cheesiest local television? News channel?

Just wondering. I don't know why I even watch their evening newscast, as none of the reporters really do it for me. And their constant patting of themselves on the back has me rolling my eyes constantly. I guess I watch it out of habit, because I like ol' Roop in the morning, and I prefer NBC nightly news at night.

But still? Travers Mackel is really irritating. As is Fletcher. And don't even get me started on how happy I am that the stupid DARN scale retired with Dan. And get off my lawn.


Conversations With a Four-Year-Old, Volume One

E: Mommy, Ryan was talking about his tee-tee at school today. He has a tee-tee because he's a boy.

Me: Yes, that's right. Ryan's a boy.

E: Yeah, he's a boy, but I told him I didn't want to hear about his tee-tee. I told him that's biscusting.

Me: Biscusting?

E: Yeah. Biscusting. That's when something's really gross.

A Quiz

If you woke up at 4:00 a.m., realized that your husband had never made it home from work, then called his cell phone and discovered it was either turned off or the battery was dead, what would you do?

A. Call his cell phone obsessively every 5-8 minutes in the hopes that he'd eventually turn it on and answer it.

B. Start calling hospitals to see if he'd been in an accident.

C. Start calling police departments to see if he'd been arrested.

D. All of the above.

I went with option D and didn't get a lot of sleep last night. I've never been so happy in my life to see him as when he finally showed up around 7:00 a.m. Of course, I was extremely irritated with him as well. Turns out his boss asked him to stay at the restaurant all night and re-inventory the food, as they discovered last week that there was some sort of error that was resulting in their food costs being off by about $150K. He just forgot to mention that to me. And forgot to charge his cell phone.

Husbands. Will they never get the whole "call me if you're going to be late" thing?

What I Learned Today

Whew--it's over. The grand opening of our new office and all of the minutiae that were involved in pulling it off are done. Now, for the things I learned today:
  1. If you send out 1,200 invitations to an event, consider yourself fortunate if 50 people reply to the requested RSVP.
  2. It's hard to plan how much food to have for an event when no one RSVPs.
  3. When people who didn't RSVP show up at the event, expect some of them to complain about the fact that there isn't enough food to go around.
  4. It seems that some people live for showing up at an event so that they can complain about the logistics of it.
  5. If you feed them, they will come.
  6. Portabello mushroom tarts taste a lot better than they look. They kinda look like something you'd scrape off of your shoe in horror.
  7. Some adults get waaaayyyy more excited about free pens than they should.
  8. My new office is pretty.
  9. Some people get really pissy when they don't have a pre-printed name tag because they didn't RSVP. My advice? Get over it.
  10. I now remember why I got out of the PR/special events business.
  11. All in all, it went really well.
 I can haz my raise now, please?


Note to Self

Try to be a lighter sleeper the next time Emmeline sneaks into your room at 5:00 a.m., finds the nail polish in your bedside table, and proceeds to paint her toenails and fingernails. And her toes. And her ankles. And her calves. And her fingers. And her wrists. And her forearms. And the sofa. And the coffee table. And the rug. And the floor. And the Elmo chair.

P.S. Find a new hiding place for the fingernail polish. And buy more nail polish remover.



Dear Charles:

I love you. I miss you. I remember you. I wish you were still here. It seems wrong that you're not. You should be 30 years old. You should be married. You should have kids, or at least one on the way. You should be here. You should be playing with Emmeline and be her favorite uncle. We should be sitting on Mom and Nick's porch, catching up on what's going on in each other's lives. You should have a good job that you love. You should be making Mom and Nick and Patty and Paul proud of the man you've turned out to be. You should be the brother that I love to hang out with during the holidays. You should be the person who's found himself. You should be here.

You should be here. I try to tell myself that you moved on because you were ready to do so--because you had one of the kindest, wisest souls that I've ever known. And it's true. But you should still be here. We weren't ready for you to go.

Eight years. I love you. I miss you. I remember you.

Charles Eric Johnson. 1978-2001.


I Think I Would've Gone With Mary Jane

My favorite part of the story appearing in the Times-Pic this morning entitled "NO Man Convicted of Attack on Tourist" would have to be this:

Rayfield, who was acquitted of an armed robbery charge in 2003, took the witness stand in his own defense, saying that after a night out with a friend on Bourbon Street he was walking up to his sister's apartment in the Iberville when police grabbed him and slammed his head into the wall.
His sister, Marijuana Rayfield, also testified for the defense that her brother couldn't have been involved in the crime that morning.
The jury deliberated for 1 1/2 hours before finding Rayfield guilty as charged.

Can someone please explain to me why you'd even consider naming your child Marijuana?


Us Versus Them

I don't know why this stuff still gets to me. Almost four years later, you'd think I'd be over it. That I would have long since grown accustomed to the callousness, insensitivity, and downright meanness of some of my fellow Americans. But after seeing the ridiculous mid-west flooding versus Katrina comparisons begin anew, it still brings out the same reaction in me that it would have in 2005. It makes my head start buzzing and my heart start pounding. It makes me want to cry and punch something at the same time.

If you haven't already, please go read Scout Prime's excellent post on the false comparisons that are being drawn between the recent flooding in North Dakota and the flooding in New Orleans after Katrina. She says it much better than I can.

I talked with an old boyfriend on Facebook recently, for the first time in oh, about 20 years. After telling him that I'd lived in New Orleans for the past 10+ years, had gone through Katrina, etc., his response was interesting. He said he'd been one of those people that sat around in their living rooms, watching the coverage of Katrina, and commenting on what idiots we all were for living there in the first place, etc. He said that I was the first person he knew of that actually lived in the area and was affected by Katrina and that, to be quite honest, he felt like a bit of an asshole for his earlier analysis. His comments didn't offend me--at least he was honest about it.


The Google

Today's odd Google search that led someone here: "Can chihuahuas have grits?"

I'm seriously concerned about some of the weirdos out there on the internets, a large portion of whom seem to end up at my blog. I'm also concerned about the fact that this blog seems to come up as the likeliest place to look for answers to some of y'all's very weird questions.