Thursday, January 31, 2013

No Language in Our Lungs

Update from my daughter's Chinese class:

She now knows the word for "Electric box."

She still has no idea how you would say "Blue."

I'm beginning to suspect colors have been declared capitalistic.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

You Love To See Me Crying

"Stop whining, you already ate. You just forgot. Go stare at the wall or something."

The cats cannot believe I'm not up on charges.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Things Look Swell, Things Look Great

"So, Quinn," you say to me, perhaps with some affection but more than a touch of justifiable impatience, "Are you ever going to blog again?"

I know, I know. But I have a good excuse. Two actually:

1. The paperback version of THE YEAR OF LEARNING DANGEROUSLY is coming out the first week of August, and I'm working on a new update for that. This would be going better had I not whimsically decided that NOW would be a good time to get a Spasmic Coughing Thing ™, which causes my sleep to come in bouillon-sized cubes, which slows the process of coherent thought down a touch.

2. The second is a biggish thing I'm working on that's kind of new terrain for me. If I stop this blessed Spasmic Coughing Thing ™, I hope to have it ready to unveil to you all in the next three weeks.

So bear with me, find me on Twitter as Quinncy - because 140 characters is about as long a thought as I can retain right now - and know that you're all in my heart.

Also, possibly in my lungs.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I Won't Grow Up, I Will Never Even Try

Planning tomorrow's schedule, I realized I needed to cancel Daughter's Friday math tutoring. I stopped what I was doing, found the tutor's number, called her and cancelled. I then basked for at least two minutes in a completely unwarranted sense of accomplishment.

"Look at me, remembering to cancel an appointment! Putting together how she'd be out until at least 5:30, thereby rendering a 5:30 tutoring session unworkable, and cancelling with more than 24 hours notice! Guess the grown-ups are in charge now!"

Bask, bask, bask. Inner Cabbage Patch dance. Willful ignoring that I just ate some leftover Halloween (possibly 2011) Smarties I found in a drawer. Because there's nothing more adult than denial.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

No Pill's Gonna Cure My Ill

Things I just realized:

1. The bottle of hand soap I bought-- which I was led to understand would smell like "Winter Cherries," whatever those are -- smells exactly like Robitussin. EXACTLY.

2. This is a very, very big bottle. I'm going to be reminding people of a persistent cough until May, at the very earliest.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Don't Fear the Reaper

Somehow a conversation with the kid about the efficacy of medical testing became a conversation about ALS. I did several minutes on the horrors of that disease, touched briefly on how Lou Gehrig may not, in fact, have had what we now refer to as Lou Gehrig's disease, and ended the dialogue talking about brain trauma in athletes and the rates of dementia among football players. I then played back the depths I had plumbed and apologized to my daughter for being a freak.

Daughter looked thoughtful and said, "You're a freak, but you're our freak."

So we now have my epitath covered.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

I Had A Dream, A Dream About You, Baby

The kid and I were at the mall, doing what one does after the holidays; using up gift cards and store credits before the cats eat them. A woman walked past us, smiled. I smiled vaguely back, assuming I knew her from someplace. She stopped, turned, pointed to Daughter and said "Is she your daughter?"

I frowned and said "Depends." Whatever the opposite of outgoing is, I am its queen if a stranger is interested in my child.

"Well," she continued, smiling warmly at me, "I'm a scout for Disney television and they are having an audition..."

This has happened to us before. I'm not saying the child is exceptionally beautiful or unbearably charismatic. I think she's rather nice but the scout wasn't responding to her dry wit or her interest in science. What the scout noticed was that Daughter is a carbon-based life form under the age of 13 in a city looking to constantly keep the machinery of tween television oiled with new bodies. If they ask a thousand children to come to an open audition, a few hundred might come and in there might be a single child who can read a line. It's worth their time so they keep sending scouts out.

"...come read?"

The woman waited. I realized she had kept talking while my mind drifted. Luckily, I knew my line.

"Thank you, but no."

We all smiled at one another and the scout walked off towards a mother with twins.

I loved acting; specifically, no one loved the bit between "Action" and "Cut" better than I did. If that was all acting was, I'd still be in it. I'd be unemployed, but I'd be in the game. But even if you're lucky, that part is no more than about 10% of your career. The other 90% -- the uncertainty, the powerlessness, the unhealthy fixation on weight and appearance -- erodes even the most resilient adult and I wasn't walking around the mall with an adult. My mother, my parents, had the character to have kept me sane and whole even with this nutjob hobby I had, but I wasn't prepared to gamble that I could do as well for the kid. Lucky for us, Daughter has friends who are actors and knows that acting mostly means you aren't available to have fun in the afternoons and that even if you could talk your mother in to it, you can't have a blue streak in your hair. In sum, acting is unenviable.

I couldn't agree with her more.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Working Class Hero

Today I have decreed to be Get the House Cleaned Up After the Holidays Day. Daughter has booked in Aimless Drifting and Starting But Not Finishing Projects for today. It would appear we are at cross purposes, emphasis on the cross. Being as she's winding up our annual holiday cold and will be starting Chinese and other complicated bits on Monday, I'm actually fine with her having a relatively quiet day, and have no interest in her helping me tear down the holiday set, as I work faster when I don't have to discuss the terrible brevity of the holidays and the general stench which is January. But that doesn't mean I want a puzzle dumped on the floor, where I have just swept up pine needles.

So a few minutes ago, I said to my excellent child "Listen to me very carefully. I am cleaning this house. If I see you -- if you cross my path -- I'm going to assume you're getting my attention because you long to organize the Christmas lights."

She blanched slightly.

"If you stay in your bedroom creating chaos, I will assume you have no interest in cleaning."

I'd speculate about her expression at that point but she was gone. I could already hear a box of something being dumped on the floor of her bedroom.