Ce Soir ou Jamais

tonight I write...or never

Saturday, May 27

Big M little m

Many mumbling mice
are making
midnight music
in the moonlight...

mighty nice

Maybe in your world, Dr. Seuss. But over here at Monkey Hill, they scare the beegees out of J Bo. (cue the Brother's Gibb 'He-he-EH')

Being that I own 3 cats who are indoor/outdoor, they tend to think that the grounds of Monkey Hill are their personal wildlife reserve, complete with game to toy with and prey upon as they fancy. The cats like to show off their skill and prowess by catching vermin then leaving them in most obvious places for their human's viewing pleasure. Their humans are then to praise the cats for keeping the property clean of disease infested city rodents and birds, hoping to find each kill mounted above the mantel, the place of glory. Alas, my cats have been heavy on the nip as I don't praise and I don't mount. Instead, I squeal like a little girl who's just experienced a titty twister by the most foulest of bullies on the playground then runs off to tell her teacher insisting that boy must be expelled.

Sometimes, the vermin my cats catch happen to remain alive once they cross the threshold. This is a little story about such catch.

The other morning, Darian was minding her business in the shower while Scott and I were putzing around in the basement. About 5 minutes into her shower, we heard the most blood curdling scream come out of our child's mouth. Before I could gain my balance to stand, my husband was in the bathroom, ready to avert crisis. Why was she screaming? Because as she was lathering shampoo through her locks, her eyes toward the ceiling, she spied a field mouse sitting upon the shower rod, peering down at her. Scott managed to corner the mouse, trapping it in a large candle votive that I had not yet known where to place in my house. (It is now referred to as the mouse catcher.) He rounded up the cats, taking them and the mouse outside to finish what they started. Outside.

Later that day, after spending hours away from home, we returned to an odorous stench permeating from Darian's room. No, it was not the smell of rotting rodent, instead, one of the dogs- most likely big dog judging from the size of what we found- had a nasty bout of diarrhea and chose Darian's hand made quilt- which she left on the floor!!- as his grassy patch of potty. (Oh, I will get to the dog momentarily; this one's about mice!) We used the opportunity of cleaning up the poo to reorganize Darian's room, getting it ready to move as the baby will be taking over her upstairs room. Darian was working at diligently decluttering while I was in the kitchen preparing a tasty meal when the squeal that Wes Craven needs in his next movie came out of her mouth. Our torti was back with the mouse and this time it's dead body was to be placed at the feet of the cat's human. An eight year old, unsuspecting human. Darian screams, I start screaming, we call Scott- (what can he do- he's at work!!) and then the mouse disappears!!! Our orange tabby decided to move the mouse!

All the while, Darian and I still have not stopped screaming and freaking out, yet I am managing to work on layering my lasagna. (Moms are master multi-taskers!) I happen to look to my left and there is my little dog, Ellie, shaking uncontrollably, tail between the legs, completely unresponsive to my sudden calm voice. I realize that to the dedicated Pomeranian, the screams of his master could only mean that she is being viciously attacked in the dwelling he guards. The split second of calm gone, I look to Darian with tears in my eyes, "My god, the dog is now having a stroke, or a heart attack!!"

But the lasagna...and the dead mouse in the house...and the freaking eight year old...and the need to remain calm else to scare myself into labor!! What do I tackle first? I kill 3 birds with one stone in that I pull Darian close to me, hug her, and pick up the dog and cradle him like a baby with intent of soothing his nerves. He is starting to respond to me and I then lay him down on the living room couch. I dig out some surgical gloves- because every mom has those on hand!- grab a roll of paper towels and a garbage bag, and head into Darian's room to find the mouse. While we had been in the kitchen, our tabby returned the mouse to Darian's room saving me from finding it inside of my shoes, or under my bed covers. He is a smart cat, by the way. I lay 500 paper towels over the mouse and in such a pattern as to only come in contact with 500 paper towels while using the garbage bag as disposing tongs and run it outside to the garbage. Washing my hands 32 times, then finishing my lasagna's cheese mixture, I end this saga with a gallon of cleaner on the floor of Darian's room to rid it of any mouse goo. Lasagne in the oven, timer set, house quiet, and all goodness in the world is now restored.

I rest momentarily on the couch with the dog and realize that all the windows in the house are open so my neighbors must think I really have gone off the deep end and dealt out some savage punishment to my child or pets. (They know how both can work my nerves and recently they have seen cops show up at our home. Just so y'all don't think that CPS or Canine Cops have been on my ass, our home's alarm system went faulty a few weeks ago and had been engaging while we were away. The hot cops at my porch were just courtesy patrol making sure we were all right!) Anyway, my mind just about cleared of the images and ickiness of the mouse, I called my neighbor to assure her that any screams she may have heard had nothing to do with abuse, but to do with a teensy dead mouse.

"J Bo, you mean to tell me that you can deal with all the crap from your little dog, like washing his bottom after he poos, and you can't dispose of a tiny mouse without freaking out?" she questions, as she is laughing uncontrollably. She made a gesture to help me in the future, but with the non stop laughter from her end of the phone, I know that if I call asking for help, she will show up at my door practically passed out from laughing so hard. That's what good neighbors are for: your personal laugh track.

So this past Tuesday, big dog shows us more of his love by turning our living room into a sea of diarrhea at 5am. He'd been relegated to the basement after my husband left for work, when I heard him suddenly crying. Thinking he was sick again, I waddle my way down the stairs to find him and the torti in the bathroom, noses toward the corner toilet. As I ask what is wrong- because you know my dog and my cat can answer me in English- A MOUSE SCURRIES FROM BEHIND THE TOILET AND THE CAT BEGINS THE CHASE.

I have never run up a flight of stairs as fast as I did that morning, slamming the basement door, and placing a towel along the foot of the door. CAUSE EVERYONE KNOWS THAT MICE CANNOT CHEW THROUGH TOWELS.

I have not been presented with the corpse of any mice, yet, but I have my neighbor's number on speed dial and am prepared to be the butt of neighborhood jokes for years to come.


Sunday, May 21

And All That Jazz

Darian and I just returned from an afternoon at the Paramount, sitting down in front (I really lucked out on fabulous seats!), enjoying the musical Chicago. During intermission, Darian noted, "Uh, there aren't any kids here and, uh, I think I know why. This is kind of a *PG-13* musical, right? But, it's OK for me to be here since I am with you."

Yeah, so I dragged my kid to a musical that is about murder, corruption, and a little screwin' around. Forget about that! I'm in it for the choreography and the music! Jazz hands! Fosse! I can't deny my kid those things! My husband thought I was crazy- not for taking our 8 year old to a racy musical, but for going to see it. Again. This is the third time in the past 12 years seeing this musical live; it's one of my absolute favorites. I compared the experience of going to the theater like going to a concert, but he doesn't buy it~ bands play new songs. Well this time round with Chicago, the set design had changed (there was no 'Hollywood Squares' type set), Roxie Hart's character was a little more goofy than I recalled, and Mary Sunshine was not so campy. That's the beauty of a traveling production: a new cast and crew to mix it up and make it seem like you are seeing it for the first time. I've never been disappointed.

Darian is now walking around the house in the midst of chores singing, "He had it comin'....he had it comin'..."

In other news....I'm going to have a baby in 3 months!! 3 months!!! Eeek!!!

Wednesday, May 17

Seen, Heard, Said in the Living Room

This morning, while moving the dog bed from underneath of the piano, big dog came up to my behind and goosed me with his wet nose. I jumped, squealing, "Dexter just sniffed up my dress!"

Darian looked at me blankly and stated, "He's just saying good morning to the baby."

Saturday, May 6

Everybody was kung fu fighting

The other day I was speaking with a colleague who recently had a baby. He said that the point where I am in my pregnancy, 24 weeks, was about the same time that his wife was completely stressed. Me, stressed? Oh, you have got to be kidding!! J Bo is a mellow girl who takes everything in stride and looks to the positive. (Stop laughing, Mom.) What could I possibly be stressed about? Could I be feeling any pressure at all while at work, knowing that my business is responsible for 24% of the company's total revenue? Nah! That one's easy- peasy! What about the fact that I am bringing another life form into this world in less than 4 months and I have done nothing with my home to make it baby ready? How do I prepare the dogs? What about arranging child care for when I return to work? Again, it'll be a cake walk. I can handle it. Um. Yeah.

Recently, I started taking Tae Kwon Do lessons and the kicking and punching was really helping keep the stress levels in check. For every roundhouse and axe kick I did, I was letting go of the anxiety that had mounted that day, or that week. For every punch and block, I was conquering the unknown of what the impending life change would do to me. I can win this battle. Tae Kwon Do is hard on a body, especially on one that was initially overweight and out of shape. Add in pregnancy and this equation adds up to equal agony and pain. I haven't been to class in the last eight days and my husband has now replaced the dojang's sparring pads. Pressure is mounting, I've begun to let off steam, venting my hot gasses onto my husband. This venting comes in the form of order barking and demands peppered into day to day conversations and hallway passings.

My husband is doing his best to deal. He, too, has been going to Tae Kwon Do and will actually be belt testing in the next week. In addition to this outlet, he bikes to work everyday, peddling away additional stress. He understands that my body is not able to take on the rigorous exercise that his can and thus he has been doing his best to be the husband on egg shells, not wanting to add any fuel to the fires burning inside of his wife, since I can't beat it out of the punching bag at class. (While I could beat on him and rack it up to 'sparring', we agreed that that we would never fight each other, unless it was for a gold medal, or a new iPod, or some other fabulous prize.)

Last night we were watching a movie when he decided to fix himself a sandwich. He returned to the tv room with what looked like 2 steak subs on his plate. Rather than wait for me to ask for a bite- which usually turns into him going back upstairs to fix me whatever snack he has decided to enjoy- he was a) proactive in making *2* sandwiches and b) asked me if I wanted a bite.

"You want a bite of my pastrami sandwich? In fact, I made two if you want one."

"What? What are you talking about? When have I EVER liked pastrami?" I reply with much hostility. I start to get mad. For one, we have never had pastrami in the house and for two, isn't that like some sort of pork product? He knows the only form of pork I consume is that of a chop, or a breakfast sausage. Does he not know me well? I then begin to raise my voice, "And what are you doing making PASTRAMI? When have you ever eaten PASTRAMI? When have *I* ever eaten PASTRAMI? WHEN? HUH?"

"Hey, I was just being nice in offering you a bite. And it was back in 1998 that you ate a pastrami sandwich. I happened to be at Costco the other day and this meat was an impulse buy. It really is good, if you want a bite."


"Look, why do you have to turn this into a fight? I told you before I was just being nice and you can't even acknowledge that? Have a bite of PASTRAMI!"


We left the conversation there, went on with the movie, then I fell asleep on the couch and he went upstairs to bed. This morning, I was doing laundry when I realized that we were out of laundry soap. I had to shake and shake the liquid container to get out the last drops of soap, all the while yelling, "YOU WENT TO COSTCO FOR PASTRAMI AND FORGOT THE LAUNDRY SOAP, TOO????!!!!"

He tried to ignore me and then came downstairs to reason with me; he let me know he forgot the soap and *I* said I would pick some up from Target. But then I was all in his face with, "No, I told you that they didn't have our soap at Target the other day before I left for Denver and you were all, OK. Remember? REMEMBER?!!" I then open the dryer to find my clothes inside- some of which should never go in the dryer. "What are my clothes doing in the dryer? And these tops? They can't be dried! And on the highest cotton setting? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!!"

My poor husband. He said he was just trying to be nice and take care of my laundry while I was away. And of course, me still riding my wave of stress, shout, "When have you ever done my laundry? And if you ever are to do it, you know, you KNOW to ask me what can be put in the dryer and what can't. Have we not done this for, OH, THE PAST 13 YEARS?!! YOU KNOW THERE ARE CERTAIN PIECES OF CLOTHING WHICH DO NOT GO IN THE DRYER...AND YOU KNOW THAT I DO NOT EAT PASTRAMI!!!!"

He left me in the laundry room of the basement with my anger, honestly, because he was trying not to laugh at me. I mean, c'mon. I was fighting about PASTRAMI and I tried to turn it into my deeper fear that the man I love has no clue what I want and what makes me happy. I eventually apologized later this morning- he made waffles, by the way- and he promised never, ever, ever to bring pastrami into our relationship.

And I need to get back to the dojang. Who knows what is going to set me off next!

Tuesday, May 2

Leavin' on a jet plane

Tomorrow morning I am going on a business trip with my boss to Denver, CO. I have never been there before, but already, my ankles have swollen to the size of elephant trunks thinking about the flight east. Imagine what they will look like after I get off the plane. Ew. Don't. I won't be in a skirt as I dare not scare my customers.

See you all on Friday!