back to basics

Why’d I call myself Cranky Mama again? Oh, right.

Here’s a list of this week’s peeves:

  • Yes, I can probably build that website faster than you can. No, that does not mean I will do it for 1/16th of my stated estimate because you ‘think that’s what it should cost.’ I post my rates prominently on my business site; if you can’t afford to hire a designer, don’t hire a designer.
  • That said, don’t come crying to me when your website looks like crap.
  • Especially if I did do you a favor and make some tweaks to your site on the cheap, which is RARELY A GOOD IDEA, so remind me of that next time, yes? 
  • Although sometimes it works out gorgeously, which lulls me into a false sense of security. 
  • Dear Public: Maybe you do not use the same internet I use. Because my internet gives me the ability to fact-check, while yours apparently just supports every crazy-ass idea that comes into your head. You should use my internet next time.
  • And on an unrelated note, having a long torso means low-rise trousers look terrible on me. Yet what is in all my drawers? LOW RISE, YOU HAVE WON THIS ROUND.
  • Hair. Specifically my hair, and the fact that it does not do what I want it to do. Why you got to be like that, hair? I style you. I buy you expensive shampoo. What more do you want from me?

Oh, but it’s not all doom and gloom at Chez Cranky! No sir and/or madam, there are plenty of reasons to put on a party hat and dance like the devil, and here I shall enumerate:

  • Easter candy. YES I SAID IT. Creme Eggs, people. I am just depraved enough to kidnap me a Cadbury bunny.
  • My kid woke up in the middle of the night and said quite clearly “The dinosaur doesn’t eat that. Okay, mama?”
  • Also: “Row, row, row your boat / gently down the drain…”
  • Clearance at Target = closetful of cute clothes for me. Yay Target.
  • I solved the Scone Issue that has been plaguing me and now have freshly-baked scones upon which to gorge. Burp.
  • I have mostly wrapped my head around floats (in CSS). Shut up, it’s exciting to me.
  • My new MacBook is all that and a bag of chips. It’s so sexy I keep having to stop myself from making out with it.
  • I’m almost up to 80,000 words on my book.
  • And stuff.

So, see, I am balanced. BALANCED I TELL YOU. Now be quiet: I’m hunting wabbit.

i’ll be over here

I always imagined that once I had kids I’d morph smoothly into some sort of calm, Earth Mother-y type. You know the type, right? The sort of mom who always has a story or a song and knows just the right thing to say, both to little ones and their parents. (In retrospect, this should have sent up a warning flag, because since when do I know the right thing to say to anyone?)

I was well on my way pre-baby, actually. I’ve always wanted kids, so I jumped at any opportunity to hang out with my friends with little ones. I was always volunteering to babysit, hanging out with the toddler set at parties, what have you. Back then, it was the easiest thing in the world for me to gauge a toddler’s emotional state and figure out what they needed to be happy.

And then I had my kid. I get my kid. I get his moods, his needs, his sleepy face and his fake cry. I know how long he needs to sit with me when we go to a new place before he’s ready to run in and play with the other kids. I can tell when he’s refusing food because he’s not hungry and when it’s just out of frustration with something else.

But other people’s kids? Forget about it. I feel like I’ve suddenly become one of those people who think kids (while cute and charming) are baffling, inscrutable creatures. You there! Why are you crying? What’s the – oh. Right. That’s just how you react to loud noises. Fine then, maybe you want – no? Okay. Tell you what, I’ll just be in the other room.

It’s like having a kid of my own ruined me for other people’s children. It’s sad, really.

belated tidings of nailpolish

I promised to report back on the nailpolish, didn’t I? Well, it’s a good thing I’m so prompt and not, like, almost a month late on that. Or anything.

nail polishAnyway, yes, nailpolish. I luuuurve it. The colors are fab, it’s super shiny, and it lasted forever on my toes. (Fingers = another story, but that’s mostly because once the polish chips at all I start worrying at it and the whole thing goes to hell. Yay, OCD!)

toesOne weird thing: it’s darker on the nails than in the bottle. Which I guess makes sense, seeing as it is essentially paint, and they say that about paint, right? Although it’s never quite made sense to me. It seems like it should be the opposite, and I can’t figure out why I think that but I do. So the Tramp Stamp color (pictured) is somewhat more gothy than I’d intended, which figures, since all my nailpolish is pretty gothy. I thought I was taking baby steps in another direction, but as it turns out I was wrong. Oh well.

So the verdict is that the butter LONDON 3 Free polish is a win, and I would totally buy it again if it wasn’t $12 a bottle. Or if I wasn’t so broke.

in which donuts are consumed

I’m out of coffee, so Ellison and I took a stroll and picked up a latte and some donuts. I love donuts. It’s not even the sugar – I really wish I could get raised donuts without any glaze. Then I would buy them by the flat and eat them for every meal of every day.

On second thought, maybe it’s best that I can’t get them.

I had an uneventful bout of online window shopping last night. For those who don’t know, online window shopping is much like actual window shopping, only in the comfort of your own bed. I am a huge proponent of activities which can be undertaken while snuggled under a blanket. I visited the Gap, where the denim pencil skirt I want so badly is still not on sale, and Old Navy, where it is inexplicably 1987, and, where the shoes are cheap but indexed so badly that you have to wade through twenty pages of bespangled mules to find a simple pair of flip-flops.

Despite adding several things to various carts, I didn’t buy anything until I got to Or, specifically,, which now shares a cart with I clicked over on a whim (and because the kid was sleeping on my chest, so what else was I going to do?) (digital illustration, shockingly enough, is v. difficult to do with one hand) and completely by accident stumbled on –

Well, here, let me give a little background: I’ve been searching for nail polish that is free from Formaldehyde, Toluene, and Dibutyl Phthalate ever since I got all weird and paranoid about chemicals (about the same time I switched out all my cleaning products for Method and Mrs. Meyer and Ecover) but it’s been just impossible to find. Which is weird, right? I live in Portland, for crying out loud; we’re practically the epicenter of the environmental movement. But, whatev. So I’ve been searching online, but aside from some weird water soluble (?) or peel-off (??) polishes, it’s been a big no-go.

BUT! When I clicked over to, I found butter LONDON 3 Free, which is not only all non-toxic, it’s British. I got some in Union Jack Black, Tramp Stamp, and Come to Bed Red. Will report back on final result, which I fully expect will be full of fabulousness.

The caffeine is finally hitting my bloodstream so I’m going into web design mode. Cheers, y’all.

like ten thousand spoons

Through my mighty powers of contagion, I managed to fell the rest of my household yesterday. Not So stayed home, which ironically meant that I got to sleep in. (Ironic, in this case, is apparently meant in the Alanis Morissette sense. Shush, I’ve had a fever.) Sleeping in when you have a cold is lovely. I highly recommend it to myself, and will keep it in mind for next time, when I will invariably be seized with a compulsion to clean the house the second I start feeling wretched.

What’s up with that, anyway? Whenever I get sick I get all over-achieve-y. When I was a kid, I used to know I was really sick because I’d voluntarily clean my room. (I was not a spic-and-span sort of child, obviously.) Now it’s cleaning plus work plus obsessively reading my RSS feeds because god forbid something should happen in the world without my knowledge. It’s almost a relief when the illness progresses to the point at which I can’t focus my eyes or stay upright.

But that’s all water under the bridge, since I’m better now. Well, except for a few errant sniffles. Er, and a bit of a hacking cough. Aside from that, though, I am the picture of good health!

Although maybe it’s a bad sign that I’m obsessively doing laundry…

red nose of doom

Oh my god, y’all, I am sick again. How can this be? I never get sick. Yet, here I am, with my second ass-kicking cold in as many months. It’s not right, I tell you.

*is sick*The good news is that my lovely husband got me the tissues with lotion in, so my poor beleaguered nose can get a break. Since I need to blow my nose roughly every ten seconds, this is a wonderful thing.

I hate being sick. I especially hate having a runny nose. When I was in high school we lived in the Santa Cruz mountains, way up in the redwoods, and my mom said she used to know when I was awake because I’d start blowing my nose. Which, way to recognize that your daughter is allergic to the damned trees, mom. So, yeah, I spent four years in asthma hell, and every time I get a cold it’s like high school all over again. Except with marginally better hair.

is it monday already?

It’s Monday. And it’s June. How the hell did that happen?

I foolishly jinxed myself a couple of weeks ago by saying – out loud – that I intended to take some time off in June. Now, of course, I am inundated with unsolicited projects, which is lovely, of course, because I love my job, but also a wee bit frustrating. (Not that my “time off” would be actual time off, per se – I have a novel to finish, after all, and a toddler to…toddle, and a house that desperately craves some TLC, or a reasonable facsimile thereof.) So I’m torn between doing a happy little dance because I’ve got new projects and kicking things. I could always do both! That’s the principle behind Goth dancing, after all.

But I did manage to kick last week’s Cold of Death after only a day and a half of real illness. YAY, IMMUNE SYSTEM! Managed to kick it and still get the house tidy enough to have a friend over on Friday. I never have friends over! It was glorious, and why don’t I do that more? I mentioned the social anxiety thing in my last post, but what I don’t think I mentioned is that my social anxiety is SO MUCH BETTER NOW. Seriously, the Wellbutrin might not have done a lot for my, you know, chronic depression, but it went to town on my social anxiety.

Used to be, I literally could not be in a crowd of people without feeling like I was stuck inside my head. You know, watching the whole thing from about three feet back and cringing every time I spoke? Yeah, was not what I would call “good.” But ever since I started taking the meds, I’ve had no problem being in group situations. Even if there’s more than two people in the room, I feel like I’m actually present. It’s so neat!

Curiously, the lingering bits of social anxiety seem to coalesce around the making and execution of plans. I still hate contacting people. I still would rather poke myself repeatedly in the eye than actually call someone on the phone. And I still spend the time leading up to a social engagement in a state of hair-rending panic, imagining all the myriad ways I could make a fool of myself and cause everyone to forever shun me, which I probably did the last time they invited me anywhere, and they probably just invited me this time to be polite, and OMG I SHOULD JUST STAY HOME.

But as long as I ignore all that, I always have a fantastic time. And it’s getting easier to ignore, sort of. Sort of. Depending.

In other news, I posted another video post. Whee!

some things I’ve realized

1. My house is never going to be really “nice.” I’m messy. Not So’s messy. We have a toddler. All of these things mean that we’re lucky when we can see the floor & the dishes aren’t overflowing out of the sink.

2. I am really, really bad at contacting people. I’m great at replies, but as far as making contact? I suck. Still have a bit of social anxiety in my system, obviously.

3. Having cute jeans that fit counts for a lot.

4. I do not like wine. Also, it gives me migraines. But on top of that, I don’t like it, and I never have, despite the fact that I really, really want to be the sort of person who likes wine.

5. My kid is capable of entertaining himself for a full nine hours while his mother huddles, feverish and full of excruciating sinus pain, under a pile of blankets. This is a Good Thing (as is the fact that Not So was able to come home for lunch to make the kid a sandwich & put on a new DVD. Which I would have done, but not competently).

6. I have a tendency to be overly ambitious. Oh my god, I know! You are all shocked at this, but it’s true.

7. I think my depression might be creeping back, and I’m contemplating talking to my doctor about upping my Wellbutrin. Is it so bad that my corresponding train of thought involved “…and maybe I’ll lose even more weight”?