Friday, July 30, 2010

Missing Reel


You need to take one look at my chin to see Vesuvius Erupting.

I whined last night to Mr. V. "Looooooook. You can see how stressed I am just by looking at my chiiiiiiin."

My chin is where my body shows stress.

It feels stress in my right wing muscle.

You know. The muscle along your shoulder blade that would work your wings, if you had them.

I mean, I'm so tired right now that I'm actually going to publish this blog post in which I discuss my facial eruptions. That's gotta be pretty tired.

I had high hopes this week. I had a cute idea for a post. It was going to be about how despondent I am over missing Pacey-Con. And I was going to tie it in to the evening earlier this week when I had three hours--three solid, kid-free hours--to work on my book, and what did I do?

I went to Starbucks.

Ordered an iced mocha.

Took out my pens and notebooks.

And spent those three hours playing Plants Vs Zombies.

(Mr. V still doesn't know that's what I did with my precious 'writing time'). (Don't worry, he loves taking care of the kids alone after working 8 hours so that I can destroy zombies using peas and spores. Wouldn't you?)

I was going to call the post "Geek Tragedy".

(Even Mr. V thought Pacey-Con was pretty awesome).

That little blog with the cute title just refused to be written.

(Missing Reel containing insightful observations and profound truths told with gentle humor).

This is where I would like to put a cute or funny ending. But it turns out the sleepies scare the witty away.

So I hope for today you'll accept this instead. Because nobody brings the witty like Mr. W(h)itter.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Introducing the Prizefighter of Longmont, Colorado


I told you about how Ayla lost her tooth. The next day she was involved in a little flesh bender (instead of a fender bender. Does that work? I'm not sure) on the swings at the park.

Her eye swelled right up and now she looks like we hire her out to fight the other neighborhood kindergartners.

She floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee.

Trust me, I would know.

Longmont is growing on me, a little. (Ssshh don't tell anyone. Contentedness totally ruins my tortured writer vibe). I like the people here who are very friendly without being all up in your business. People are kind to you, but not monitoring you for infractions. Big Brother is not watching here. Unlike other towns where I have lived.

"Welcome to Ft Collins, the best place to live for people who don't mind having this small chip implanted in their skull so we can monitor all their thoughts and actions and who never want to see anybody who isn't vanilla in every sense of the word ever again. Also you must drive slowly and sit at green left turn arrows for at least seven seconds before going. We don't like more than two people at most to get through any green arrow. It's just better that way!"

Although, they do have many delectable ice cream and gelato shops. And Longmont needs to catch up there.

Oh, also in Longmont it seems they actually allow children of the right age to attend preschool. In Best Place to Live Vanilla, I'm pretty sure they fill up all the preschool spots with changeling demons who have threatened to take the teachers souls and never return them if they aren't allowed to show up and paint and listen to stories.

Because I don't know anyone who's gotten in.

I went to a job interview with a temp agency and forgot my liar's hat. This lead to me doing pretty poorly in the interview. Did you know that when your interviewer asks you if a boring desk/receptionist job would be a position you'd be happy in long-term, you are supposed to lie and say 'yes'? I forgot until the very last second. I actually pressed my tongue to the roof of my mouth to say 'no' until I remembered: You are in a job interview!

I said yes like a good little spin doctor.

I hate all of it. I hate being asked what is my greatest weakness and being expected to talk up that weakness like it's actually a strength.(I do everything right all the time! Total weakness!)

Also, apparently "cheap wine and chocolate" and "re-runs of Full House on abc family" are not considered "professional" or "appropriate" answers to that question.

Oh yes sir, I love to work alone. Oh, you want me to work on a team? You know actually, I do work BEST with others. Unless I need to work alone. And then I do that really well too!

I drove home from Interview feeling immensely relieved to have it over with. I was so stressed going into it that I had three different stress dreams. One involved arriving thirty minutes late. Another involved wearing the wrong color lipstick. The third involved having to use the word "detail-oriented" to describe myself WHILE pretending that the term actually means something.

That third dream came true.

Interview is over, so now is time for beer and beauties:


Blue eyes, you're all that I see.

If you'll excuse me, I have some Wine in a Jug to drink.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Little Lights (Don't Forget)

fathers day lake

The other day at the grocery store, Indy said something that I don't remember, and I said, "That's crazy talk!"

And Indy said, "My crazy talk is beautiful".

Only she says it, 'few-full'.

She told the people in line that "my mom has red hair like a mermaid".

She told me she is four now instead of three because she ate a really big dinner.

And for her birthday she wants a box full of kittens.

The kittens were Ayla's idea.

Miss Ayla Beloved lost her first tooth. She showed me it was loose, went into the bathroom to look at it, and then came back to me with her tooth in her hand.

I got weepy.

She got two dollars.

Instead of buying ice cream at McDonald's, she put the money into the box for the Ronald McDonald house charity and I got weepy again.

My daughter might say things like, "we need to find a boy to show us how to work this gun" and, "I need to practice shooting this dart so when I get bigger I can shoot animals", but she also forgoes ice cream to help sick children so surely I must be doing something right?

She got her first shiner today at the park and cried for dad. That's ok. Dad and Ayla have a special bond. They will snuggle together on the couch playing video games or watching old movies. They like to go shopping for fish with the heads and eyes still intact. Dad made us plate-fulls of mussels and Ayla slurped them down greedily.

Just now Indy comes out of her room wearing a sequined skirt, thrusts out her hip, and cries, "Oh yeah, bebe!" Full up on sass. Then she proceeds to change her sister into a duck using "abra cadabra" and a wand from the dollar section of Target.

Ayla draws pictures of red-haired mermaids and scrawls 'I', and a heart, and the word 'mom'.

So you see, most times, we are doing all right.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

How To Marry A German

Vesuvius can't blog today because something happened and suddenly she is worried about what other people think.

Usually I sit down to write a blog pretending I have no audience and nobody is every going to read it. This gives the the freedom to write whatever I please and send it off into the ether without fear of criticism or judgment or repercussions.

Everytime someone makes a comment, I think 'Hey! Look at that! Someone read this one blog one time!" and it makes me very happy to have a comment. I enjoy the comment, or ponder it, and sometimes reply. And then I sort of assume in my brain that said commenter was a fluke, and won't be back to read tomorrow, and then I tell you my sob story, or my happy story, or the story of Vesuvius and the Unhinged Jaws or what have you, happily and without any fear or expectation of you coming back tomorrow.

It's necessary, when you write, to convince yourself as much as possible that no one will ever be reading your words. We all know the consequences of writing for the preferences of an imagined audience rather than one's own spirit from the movie "Little Women". You end up writing some pulp novel involving cloaks and sheaths and daggers and then a kindly German man will only be mildly encouraging about your work and will not want to marry you. To make the kindly German man marry you, you have to write about a woman who is exactly like you in every way. Only once you do that will you be able to pull your publication letter from your mailbox in the rain and run around to the village people screaming of your triumph over their common values and life of hard work.


Obviously the second option is better.

Mr. Vesuvius can't believe how much I worry over what people might think. I always imagine a silent, disapproving audience, whether at McDonalds or a fancy dinner or at my computer, typing a blog.

So: I had a few things to say, and then my brain went all, "but what if I come across like this? What if saying this makes people think that? What if when I admit this, everyone somehow figures out that I am totally geeky/socially awkward/lacking anything resembling a fashion sense or decorating skills or culinary cunning/once drove to a radio station in a bikini to win tickets to see O-Town/convinced I am right/unable to finish any Isabel Allende novel/religiously lapsed/perversely proud of that fact/look down on people carrying Coach purses/artistically smug/change my sheets once a month/tell people I've been listening to NPR when I've been belting along with Glee/watch science fiction/read fantasy smut?

(Cause you guys didn't already know all that. Right?)

I am really grateful to anyone who reads my blog.

Now I'm going to stop writing and start pretending that absolutely nobody does.

(You'll still come back tomorrow, won't you?)


Monday, July 19, 2010

I Crawl Out of The Internetless Hole

I feel like I might as well start with "Chapter One I am born . . ." because I'll tell you, living without the world wide web for two weeks and then getting it back feels like a rebirth, most definitely.

Everything is going swimmingly except for a minor blip when we had to drive to Boulder to procure mussels. (We only procure mussels from Whole Foods because they go through them by hand, one by one, and put them on ice. King Soopers just tosses them all in a bag, sandy and sound alike, and charges you for two pounds when you really only get about a pound and a half of good ones. And then they just wrap them up in paper. And mussels? I'm not sure but I think they're alive when you buy them. And they should be on ice. Any old Rick Bayless will tell you that)

At first I laughed when someone told me a house we were looking at was 'in a rough neighborhood'. It's Longmont. It's a small town. How could any of it be dodgy?

Now I see that almost all of it is dodgy. Thanks to the crime blotter in the weekly paper, I am currently living under the impression that there is more drug activity on my block than there is in all of Denver put together.

(We didn't move into the 'rough' 'hood. Don't worry mom.)

The neighborhood we moved to looks like Washington Park would if a bunch of working class people moved into it instead of a bunch of yuppies. Cool old homes. Big yards. Navajo blankets in the windows and swamp coolers dangling out the eaves like butt cheeks over tight jeans.

I think people are getting the impression that I'm calling my house as a crummy little shack so that I might fool them. They imagine they will drive up to my gorgeous new home with the beautiful landscaping and uncrooked blinds and their jaws will drop and I will laugh at them until I cry.

I assure you this is not so.

For evidence, I give you this:

washing machine

That is our washing machine. It is charmingly placed in the center of our kitchen. Our home is basically one room, a living room that runs into the kitchen. That means this little beauty is the focal point of the homestead. (You can see why we needed the rum).

But it doesn't matter. Having my own refrigerator after all this time is nothing short of a miracle.

The vegetables that fit in the crisper drawers. The condiments arranged neatly in the door and not falling all over one another. The lack of the stinkies. The stuffed graped leaves and fancy mozzarella and sparkling lemon water proudly on display.

Oh, don't get me started.

(I buy food like a millionaire and everything else like a pauper)

The blip went like this:

We were driving to Boulder to procure our mussels. I thought how much I'd rather live in Boulder than in Longmont, which lacks both the comforts of a big city and the charms of a small town. Then I thought, I don't want to live in Boulder. The people are snooty and concerned with doing everything the right way, with appearances.

Then I realized, I am kind of like that.

We got to the Whole Foods on 28th Street and saw more beautiful people in a ten minute trip than we've seen in two entire weeks in Longmont. (No offense Longmont. Its just. . . well as Mr. V said. Boulder is the Hollywood of Colorado. You can't expect the Scranton to keep up.)

We could see the lovely Flat Irons and the city had its vibe. You know the one. The vibe of hipness and culture. The taste of education and prosperity thick as incense in the air.

I like the vibe, ok? Knock Boulder all you want. You know you'd move there if you could afford it.

I wanted their goat cheese and prosperity pizza. Smug basil on the side. But I didn't get any. I sulked all the way home. I admitted I want to be rich and famous and shop at Whole Foods. At the same time I hate the whole thing--the constant gathering of more hip stuff, the worrying over the brands, and the appearances, the snobbery, the quiet but palpable flaunting of the wealth--

I want to be rich, but without all that. Without the greed and the consumerism and the grandly misplaced values and priorities. I want all the comforts of wealth. Doesn't everybody want to be rich? Aren't we just collectively not admitting it? Tell me if I'm wrong.

I want the opulence without the ignorance, it's true. But mostly I want the chance to laugh at you when one day you drive up and stare in awe at my million dollar house that I will have described to you as a crappy little shack.

And when you get a glimpse of my cheesy naked man fountains?

Joke's on you. Wearing my silk dressing gown, I will laugh until I cry.

Until then, darlings.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Notes from the Underground

I, Vesuvius At Home, come to you today from and undisclosed location along the northern front range. The reason for our secrecy is thus, dear readers: Vesuvius has gone undercover and sneaked onto a computer that does not belong to her at one local craft brewery.

This is because Vesuvius has moved and does not yet have the magic of the internets installed in her home.

It's going to be another week until this blogger can type her missives to you live from Longmont, which is otherwise known as Boulder's right nostril.

For now I can only tell you this: The official colors of Longmont appear to be bright cobalt and lime green. The official animal appears to be the goose.

I say this because I have spotted two of them in the enormous giant papier-mache variety.

One is outside the Blue Ribbon Dairy. It is black with white naked people on it in a style that is vaguely kabuki.

The other one is at the offices of the Longmont Times Call and somehow manages to resemble Benjamin Franklin.

Vesuvius has not yet discovered the reasons for this madness, but dear readers, it is my solemn vow to reveal it to you exclusively once it is known to me.

Darlings, as I type, this blogger was spotted--made, I was made!--by an unidentified member of the Oskar Blues Brew Crew.

He appeared to know me, but alas--I did not know him.

Could he be a member of a covert operation sent to discover Vesuvius during her sole foray into the wonderful and appealing world of the interwebs? Could he mean this blogger harm? Or maybe--just maybe--has he been sent to shine a ray of beer-filtered light into the bleak internet-less life of this lonley sojurner?

This blogger must now unclench her fingers from this lovely mouse and tear her eyes from this gorgeous blinking computer screen to crawl back to the depths of her undercover location.

Until next time.

From Longmont, I am Vesuvius. Signing off.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I Let My Daughters Pick Their Own Paint Color

Last night Mr. V arrived home in the big Oskar Blues truck with taps for pouring beer on the sides.

Mr. Vesuvius loaded all our furniture into it himself.

The couch, the fridge, the big kitchen table. The queen size mattress and box springs.

I mainly fretted and felt completely and utterly overwhelmed.

We left Ft Collins about 8:30 pm and unloaded the truck in the dark. Our new neighbors must think we're pretty weird, moving in in the middle of the night.

Maybe they think we are albinos or in the witness protection program or circus people.

There is a bakery across the street.

I drove the girls back to Ft Collins in a terrific lightning storm. I felt vulnerable, us moving alone. What if something needed to be lifted and I wasn't strong enough to help lift it? What if couch legs needed to be removed or doors needed being taken off the hinges?? Where was Mr. Aaron Galuzzi, moving helper extraordinaire??

(I know them G-lu's would have helped us if we'd asked them. Even the missus in her delicate state would have offered to unpack a box. But we didn't ask them.)

In Longmont Mr. V was up til 3 am painting the walls "Rejuvenate" and "Seafoam" and "Italian Fantasy".

I am hoping it doesn't look as bad as it sounds.

I wanted it to look just like Nie's but I think I missed the mark a bit.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Vesuvius turned on every light in the house, put on Firefly, and fell asleep to the sounds of her friends.

They were having shoot-outs and running from the gorram alliance.

Do not judging me for finding that comforting.

Hopefully in two days Vesuvius will be coming to you straight from the Little Shack in Longmont.

Until then, darlings.

--Over and out--

Monday, July 5, 2010

My Oh My, Miss July


The Fourth of July started with cranky Vesuvius.

Cranky because I was working on a query letter and query letters combined with browsing for names of agents who are sitting on their hands trembling with the excitement of receiving your query so they can take great pleasures in rejecting you is an extremely cranky-making activity.

And cranky because of the rain and the little shack we are moving in to this weekend.

So then I said to Mr. V: I have three dollars in change and if you drive me by Starbucks on our way to the 4th of July party I promise not to be cranky anymore.

And Mr. V said, how 'bout you promise not to fight over politics and religion with your family instead?

And I said, ok.

My sister threw a wonderful party with tiki lamps and red white and blue star lights and oh yeah Pink Pull Your Panties Down Punch. I didn't take any pictures because suddenly I am extraordinarily lame.

I told a friend I was moving into a crap house and she was so kind and said, "You can do amazing things with it though," and I said "No I can't but my sister can." And then I hoped I hadn't scared her. But the truth is, the last time anyone called something I did with any form of decor 'amazing', it was my mom and the medium was macaroni and green glitter.

We left in a big fat hurry to rush to the fireworks show, where we parked the car and immediately got caught in a downpour. We hid under a bridge with some people and Indy said hi to them and Ayla said 'Indy, they are speaking Spanish you don't say 'hi' you say something else'. And Mr. V and I thought of the time Indy walked past some Asian people at a McDonalds in California and called out "Ni-hao!". And Mr. V and I were kind of embarrassed because those people were probably born in Yorba Linda or San Diego or Detroit. But we laughed about it later.

Also, Mr. V swears it was Indy who said Ni-hao, but I swear it was Ayla and she said, "chi-chi!"

It rained and rained, and we were soaked. We were also fabulously unprepared. We had one blanket, no umbrella, and the girls were both in dresses with sweatshirts and nothing covering their poor little legs. We huddled together on top of our damp blanket and got sort of delirious and slap-happy from the cold and the wet and the uncertainty as to whether there would actually be fireworks or not. Mr. V and I laughed helplessly. Ayla fretted. Indy slipped into her alter-ego, Kitty Sprinkles. Kitty Sprinkles doesn't talk, she just points her nose up in the air imperially and cocks her head away from you, because she is royal and dainty, faintly bemused, and just too good to bother with you plebs.

Someone came and covered us up with their extra blanket and it didn't even smell funny.

Then the fireworks started.

And I spent most of the time watching giant sparks landing on the ground in front of us and off to our side, ready to dive on top of my children should one head for us.

And then we drove home in the rain.


I love these people.

Over and out.

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