••• Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Guest Blogger 

Mommy Doesn't Knit Here Anymore.
Mommy can’t come to the blog right now. She’s busy. She says that she’s studying, but when I peeked into her little rat hole down the basement, she was cleaning her toenails with a Barbie shoe, then sniffing it. Just like the woodchoppers at daycare.

I miss my mommy so much that last week I mailed myself to her, in a big box.

But instead of being happy to see me, she told me that I was acting all borderline and stuff, and that I am four years old (which I already knew) and should recognize that I am a whole entity, totally separate from her. Individuated. Even. And way past on my way to object constancy.

But then she remembered that I am just a little girl, and still in Kohlberg’s pre-conventional stage of moral development.

Then she said she was sorry.

Then she pulled the Barbie shoe from her bra, took two sniffs, and put it back.

Because mommy is too out of her fucking mind busy right now to write a post, she said I can show you a picture I drew:

::The following story is truly the creation of the Cakers, as told to her parents in describing the drawing. The previous portion of this blog post was not really written by the Cakers, but a grownup. Seriously.::
This is a picture of Cheddar. His one paw is longer because he's tapping his foot to Johnny Cash. Then he went upstairs to go to bed, but Daddy let a tooter and it smelled REAL bad, so he came down to sleep in my room. The End.
The Countdown.
Two days to go. I'm doing okay. A little wiggy here and there, but mostly feeling it's in there. Over the next two days, I will devote my study time to memorizing developmental stages, medications (family and generic name, side effects and specific uses),the finer nuances of schizophrenia and the complex, psychological makeup of professional nipple waxers.

What I won't be doing, anymore (promise!), is reading the soshul werk message board where all the people who have failed the test 3 or 4 times, congregate to complain about how hard the test is and ain't life a bowl of suck? ::I don't know why I kept going back there, but it kinda felt like I was checking for a headstone, with my name on it.::

Enough fun and games. I need to get back to my hole, as follows:

Notice the coffee cups (tea, actually.) and water bottles? No booze for me. For days. And days. and days.... Nothing stronger than the occasional whiff of grease board marker and toe jam. And stale dog pee. ::Stinky Rat Hole is built upon former Labradorian Sacred Pee Grounds. Thus, scented candles.::

Seriously. What are you still doing here? I gotta go!

If you want to truly understand something, try to change it.-Kurtis Lewin

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••• Friday, February 24, 2006

Love Bites 

D is for Dib-orce Court

A few months ago, my husband decided that he was going to eat only (or mostly) organic food. In support this new, healthier* behavior set, I made a conscious effort to not bring into the home, the usual, artificially enhanced crap, to which our entire family is readily drawn. ::Worse culprit: Momma’s Candied Crack, aka Keebler’s Rainbow Chip cookies. They’re Toxically Delicious.::

Even though I very much enjoyed my position as a beneficiary of my husband’s quest for farm fresh meats, poultry, vegetables and cheese, I found that the organic cookie left a bit to be desired.

Okay. A lot to be desired.

Okay. It was your basic asspatty;* a bleak mixture of oatmeal paste and water, sprinkled with raisins, then baked into a paltry, powdery puck. ::Seriously, how healthy can a food item be, if the shock of the first putrid bite causes a person to reflexively choke? Somebody could get hurt. Die. Even.::

But I digress. In order to support my husband’s momentary interest in healthful living, without putting every one else's life at risk, via a mother's, toxin-withdrawal-induced rage, I resorted to dubious measures.

Thus began my secret, all consuming love affair with these:

Because my husband was not familiar with the product or packaging, my dirty little secret went undetected, for several days. Then one day, upon arriving home from work, I was greeted at the door by the grim face of A Husband Betrayed.

So, how long has this been going on?


The ice cream bits, hidden in the freezer.

Oh My God.

Did you really think you could keep this from me?

Oh My God.

That's all you have to say?

You ate them, didn't you?
Without saying another word, I pushed past the pouty puss and headed straight to the freezer.

As I lifted the love package from its frosty loft, I easily assessed the damage, by weight. What earlier in the day was a near full carton of frozen dairy delights, had been gluttonously reduced to three pathetic nuggets.


You should have just ate them all, I said. Justifiable homicide.

But those last words never landed. He was already out the door. Minutes later,he returned with these.

While this might appear to be the perfect solution to this problem, it really isn't. One of us always finishes his carton first, then starts on the other person's cache. This inevitably leads to a bitch and moan session, which usually ends with someone storming out of the house, at all hours, and returning shortly with a new supply. One of the many dances of intimacy.

If you love ice cream and haven't tried these, I highly recommend.

Ain't they cute?:

Besides being delicious, what I like about this snack is that the bits really need to be eaten fresh outta the freezer, otherwise they get too melty and lose their intended, textural and temperature allure. This means I can only eat a couple at a time. And after 6 separate trips to the freezer, for a total of 12 bites, I am truly satisfied. Tired. Even.

If you do cave to temptation, just remember: Love Bites.

Okay, Okay. Before all you mothering types start yapping at me about studying...I'm goin'. I'm goin'.

*I still need convincing that there is anything healthful about consuming an entire loaf of organic raisin bread in one sitting. I know, without the preservatives, it goes bad.

**Is that a new one, Rabbitch?

••• Monday, February 20, 2006

My Weekend State 

If goat did know di size ah him batty-hole, him wouldn' swallow di mango seed.-Jamaican Grandmother

A couple of days ago, I decided that I had bit off more than I could, uh, doo, by thinking I could prepare for this licensing exam in a mere five weeks.

And yes, the testie from hell is all I ever talk about, lately. But people, I haven't been doing much else to talk about. No knitting. ::okay, maybe a little knitting:: No drinking. ::okay, maybe a little of that, too:: But mostly I've been working, studying and taking practice exams, while utilizing the How-to-Survive-On-Three-Breaths-A-Day strategies.

I'd like to say that the studying's been going great, but it ain't. While my practice exam scores are improving, they are not even close to stellar. I seek stellar.

This licensing exam is alleged to be the end-all measure of soshul werk competency for the entire universe (which includes the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and parts of Ft. Wayne, IN). That being said, if there are questions on that exam pertaining to material not mentioned in my study packet, I'm in for some serious fuckage.

With less than two weeks before the big day, I've started to partialize (BIG soshul werky werd) and hone in on my weak subject areas, of which there are several. This system seems to be working okay. For example, I've just learned that the prodomal phase of schizophrenia has nothing to do with getting free stuff, like brain-wave radio reception and Happy Thought seeds from aliens. That stuff is what they call pro bono. I know.

So, today is the last day of my mid-winter break (4 day weekend), spent at the cottage, of course. A weekend during which I devoted at least 24 hours to studying.

Unfortunately, a mother's neglect quickly takes a toll. Yes, that's my sweet Cakers, blown adrift. Literally...

...and figuratively. ::A face only Mrs. Lechter could love::

Here's some Northern Michigan, frozen tundra sky for Sandy, and fellow sky watch lovers:

And some twilight snow for twilight snow lovers:

And for knit lovers, content appropro:

I have lots more to talk about, but time is marching. Remind me later to tell you how a significant boner on my part, almost prevented me from being able to sit for the exam, but I wouldn't have have known until I showed up to take it.

I bid thee a doo.

*My husband thought he was helping me by taking the Cakers outside. Because the windchill was 14 degrees below zero, I wasn't concentrating much on the differences between structural and strategic family therapies. Instead, I was running through the cottage, to look out the various windows and watch for my baby's face to freeze and fall off, while trying to talk some sense into my husband via window taps and writing on note cards. On these note cards I'd written the current wind chill temperature and things like "You're all going to die out there, and make me flunk my test!" Fortunately, the girl was none worse for wear, and truthfully, there's nothing like a little hypothermic coma to keep house quiet for studying.

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••• Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Sonnet of the Moon
LOOK how the pale queen of the silent night
Doth cause the ocean to attend upon her,
And he, as long as she is in his sight,
With her full tide is ready her to honor.
But when the silver waggon of the moon
Is mounted up so high he cannot follow,
The sea calls home his crystal waves to moan,
And with low ebb doth manifest his sorrow.
So you that are the sovereign of my heart
Have all my joys attending on your will;
My joys low-ebbing when you do depart,
When you return their tide my heart doth fill.
So as you come and as you do depart,
Joys ebb and flow within my tender heart.

Charles Best

May love find you. ::smooch::

::I took that picture of the moon this morning while my dog went poo. It's my Heart Day gift to you.::

••• Sunday, February 12, 2006

No Thanks. I'm Full 

So, you're probably wondering what I'm doing here, and not studying. I could probably ask the same question, of myself. Except that would be silly, on account of already knowing the answer, which is: I'm full. Way.

Yesterday I logged about 10 hours of studying, which included outlining material on note cards. After refusing to acknowledge signals from my brain that it was time to stop (intrusive visions of Andy Garcia folding my laundry), my writing finger blew out. Seriously. I was writing along, when I felt this popping sensation at the base of Mr. Pointer, on my writing hand. It hurt like a mofo. Still does.

So there. That's two reasons why I'm not studying. Right now.

And in the spirit of Post-modern Existential Phenomenologicalistic Authenticity (I know, redundant.) I must share yet a third reason I'm not studying right now.

This shit done perpetrated a colossal smack down upon my sorry ass. Beat. Down. Like a yoga dog.

Here's the deal: I have a 60 hour masters degree. That's a lot of mastering. Mastering I did in three years, attending school part-time, while doing some other really scary shit, like going through a divorce and working full-time and being home as much as possible in between so I didn't lose custody of my boy.

I digress. Back to the test. See these books here? These are the study guides I am using to prepare for the test. In these two manuals is information that I accumulated (and mostly forgot)through my 60 hours of graduate school.

You know how when you're reading a text book for a class, and you train your brain to pick out the important information? How you know that not all the shit you're looking at is going to be on the test? Maybe the teacher or prof even told you what items you will be held accountable for knowing. For whatever reason, you skimmed. And it worked.

Well, there's no skimming these books. Every infinitesimal font particle contained within these little fuckers, is fair game. Tiny details that may show up at the very end of a sentence, paranthesized, are showing up, font and center, on the practice exams. The sorts of details that my brain has heretofore been trained to ignore. It's been like a daily punch in the cerebral cortex. ::that is the brain, right?::

In fairness to myself, I'm still reading the manuals and taking notes. But on the practice exams, I'm missing stuff I thought I knew, but evidently didn't. Stuff I just read, in fact.

For example, I need to know the finer details of Solution Focused Therapy. Of course, my first thought is: Shouldn't all therapies focus on, umm, solutions? Then I was up all night wondering if there is such thing as Problem Generator Therapy, and if so, will it be on the test?

Then there's the finer nuances of good ol' RET or Rational-Emotive Therapy. Which, of course, is not to be confused with the trickier elements of its poorer, distant relation treatment model, known as Irrational-Stuff-It Therapy (ISIT).

The one thing I did stash away in my pea brain is that Karen Horney and Harry Stack Sullivan are renowned Neo-Freuds. Put that in your train tunnel and smoke it.

I'm a Blob of Undifferentiated Family Ego Mass
You're not.

Okay blog people, this is taking way too long, so I'm gonna cut some corners and speed her up.

In addition to writing lame blog posts, I am also finding other ways to avoid my scholarly duties.

Pet Mashing:

::Seriously, I'm about to give this girl up for adoption. I finally figured to put out a fake text book for her to lie on, while I study. This only works, of course, if she's finished having her way with my nostrils.::

Easy Knitting:

That's another Mimi Long Scarf, that will be too short on account of not having enough yarn and is heading to the frog pond. The yarn is Classic Elite something. Silk and something. Hopefully, easy knit makes for easy rip.

Last night I cast on for this:

It's the Ocean something whatever shawl pattern, only it's going to be a scarf. The yarn is Onyx, a discontinued yarn from some yarn company in Europe. I think it's viscose and somethin'somethin'.

Taking sky pictures for Sandy:

::Am I supposed to be signed up or something for this sky thing? I am so out of it. In fact, I didn't know the Olympics were really coming. I thought it was just a internet propaganda thing perpetrated by people who like to make buttons and knit-a-long.::

And cooking a yummy Sunday dinner of Pork and Apple stew, including taking creative license with the recipe, and adding some uncalled for wine. I know, can wine ever be uncalled for? ::nod to La.::

Now, I really gotta get. Cakers is in the tub a la doting father and by 10 p.m., I need to be well-studied, in my seat, needles poised, ready to watch the continuation of Gray's Anatomy "Code Black."

::I don't think I've ever sworn as much, as loud or as vulgarly at a TV show, than I did last Sunday night. I couldn't sleep for half the night. And I can't wait to do it again, tonight. Anybody else betting that Meredith is going to do the bomb squad guy after he saves her life?::

And Mamacate, thanks for the good thoughts. The test is March 4th. 12:30 I think the games will be over by then, but the drinking will have just begun.

Sorry for the lameass posts of late. It shall continue.

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••• Thursday, February 09, 2006

When The Goin' Gets Crazy... 

...The Crazy Gets Goin.'

::Not going well::

::Send Brains.::


::Fried Clams::

::Hot Sauce::

::Go. Team. You.::

::Don't try to make sense.::

::There's none.::

••• Sunday, February 05, 2006

C is for Cheddar 

AKA: Choo-Choo, Chooch, Chupa-Lupa, Puppa, Poo-Poo, Butthead, Butt and Mr. Buckles (the latter is assigned only when he is working undercover security detail at my husband's office building.)

When I first met my husband, his mom and dad were volunteer foster pup parents through a local agency that trains service dogs. A few months after Eric and I started dating, the folks picked up this bitty bit:

Foster pup parents are responsible for providing basic training and socialization skills to their assigned puppy, who lives with them from the age of weanie to 18 months. The dogs are then returned to the agency, where they receive the specialized training to prepare them for service.

I can't remember what the dropout/expulsion rate for puppies in training is, but it's very high. Some don't make it past the socialization training, because of excessive anxiety or barking or health issues. Throughout the advanced training the dogs are continually screened for their compatibility with the program.

I'm proud to say that our Cheddar made it all the way through grad school, up until the day before being shipped to his new home. For unexplained (to us) reasons, the training team had a last minute change of heart and decided that Cheddar would not be placed after all.

Whenever a dog is removed from the program, the foster parents are given first dibs for adoption. This happened just before Eric and I got married. And because Cheddar, Cam and I all started out with this wonderful family around the same time, we shared a special bond. So we took him.

Even though it had been two years, Cheddar seemed to remember us, especially Cameron. He also brought along some unique skills. For example, whenever the phone rang, he would run to find it (we didn't have a special handle on it, so he couldn't pick it up). He would pick up coins when dropped and one time I actually got him to pull up the comforter on the bed.

It didn't take long to figure out why Cheddar was booted out of the program. Even though he was a very well behaved dog around the house, whenever he got out of alpha range, he went afoul of the law.

For example, every once in a while he would wander out of the yard when I wasn't looking, and absolutely would not come when I called him. If he was in a yard just two houses down, he would stop what he's doing, look at me like "I'll come when I'm ready, bitch," then proceed to sniff around. If I headed toward him, he'd give me another look: "Oh, I'm scared now. Whaddya gonna do, carry me home?" Then would slowly move further away.

The only way to get him under control in this situation, was to sneak up on him, in order to assume the physical range of authority. Then he'd be all "Hi! I'm so happy to see you. Sniff this! It smells ree-ree good!" Then he'd scootch on home.

Needless to say, this authority-proximity issue would be a huge consideration had Cheddar been assigned to a person with physical limitations. I picture him rifling through purses for mints and pantries for pop-tarts. And racking up thousands of dollars in 1-800-IMN-HEAT hotline charges, whilst ignoring his master's helpless pleas.

And he's also a bit neurotic. He barks at fire hydrants and sometimes barks at me, if I come out of the bathroom wearing something different than I had on when I went in (i.e. from pj's to towel).

Here are some other little bites on my Chooch:
-He's afraid of vacuum cleaners, but won't blink at the scariest thunder storm.

-He can hear a banana being peeled from a block away.

-He's the founder of the local chapter of The Lick-A-Wish Foundation, a research group that has been performing ongoing, steady and pleasantly torturous studies on the theory that chronic and repeated licking of empty ball sacs will cause the missing (and very much missed!) contents to reemerge.

-He eats poop.

-He does not eat barf poop. ::Can ya blame him?::

-His body is host to an alien life form known only as The Man Who Lives in Cheddar's Mouth. He only speaks at night. It's a real voice, not a noise. Sometimes he screams, but mostly just babbles. Words. In another language. I'm not kidding. Really.

-When I'm getting ready for work in the morning, he knows exactly when I'm almost done, at which point he moves from his bed to the door. Up until that point, he sleeps.

-Even if his back teeth are floating, he will not go outside if The Cakers opens the door for him.

-When he's happy in a particularly special way, his ears fold into pleats, thusly:

C is for Cherish.

Thanks for the sweet indulgence in response to my last post. I was sooo tired when I wrote that. It seemed pathetically funny at the time. Come morning, not so much.

The big test is four weeks from yesterday. I'm doing nothing much but studying while home, and when Child and Cheddar allow. This may be the only post this week, so you might wanna read it slow.

Instead of studying for finals, what about just going to the Bahamas and catching some rays? Maybe you'll flunk, but you might have flunked anyway; that's my point.-Jack Handey