Ugh, children

I'm feeling bored and hostile and I'm looking at you.

On Friday the 13th a black cat crossed my path! I was coming back from the garage when I ran into my neighbor who likes to take her cat out for walks. She doesn't use one of those little cat leashes, and consequently spends a lot of time talking to bushes: "Come out of there! You come out right now!" The cat's kind of skittish anyway and darts in and out of bushes as it sees fit. And thus with the darting it crossed my path, and I am accursed.

I didn't really feel the curse barrel into me until the next morning when, after taking Katie out for a poo on the grass, I was carrying the subsequent bagful of poo to the Dumpster when Katie shot between my feet from behind, nearly knocking me over. Normally she only tries to sideswipe me in her state of post-poo exultation, so I think the curse has slightly intensified her euphoria. She will probably kill me one day. When forty-two pounds of solid meat and bone decides to try to tear off your clogs, you can be assured that death will not be far behind. My skull will meet asphalt! The coma will be brief. They will bury the dog by my side, no doubt, before I'm even cold, as Jack has promised me that she would not live too long after a stunt like that.

Jackson got grounded for the first time ever last week. He ran out to play light saber fights with some neighborhood kids, and we told him that he had to come back inside in ten minutes because it was getting dark. Fifteen minutes later we looked out the window and no one was there, including our kid.

And thus Jack and I began knocking on doors throughout the neighborhood until, on our second visit to Javier's, because that's who everyone said he was with last, who should open the door with a warm tortilla in his hands but our little Jedi! Who was henceforth and forthwith grounded for two days. I think he liked it; not the being stuck inside, per se, but getting grounded ended up being a rite of passage that made him feel like one of the Big Boys. He wasn't shy about yelling it out everyone who came to the door. "YOU CAN'T COME IN TO PLAY, I'M GROUNDED!" It also gave him plenty of time to memorize our phone number, since he is now required to call us whenever he goes inside a friend's house.

So now I get calls like this:

Jackson: Mom?

Me: Hi, Jackson! Where are you?

Jackson: I'm at Boloni's. Can I have dinner over here?

Me: Sure. What are they having?

Jackson (after a whispered consultation): Meat.

Anyway, once the grounding was over and Jackson was again cleared for take-off, the whole goddamn neighborhood was back in our living room, and I'd just like to ask here: Why are children so annoying? Honest to god, we get a few of them over here and within ten minutes they start pestering me for snacks and digging through the laundry closet and helping themselves to Snapple or Gatorade or Coke, or getting all up in my business while I'm trying to work. A couple of them always start picking through the bead tray I never remember to put away, and asking me if they can spread it all out and make necklaces. Or they want to get on Jack's computer to play games or browse through Ebay(!), or grind Play-Do into the carpet. Honestly, it doesn't take long before someone's chasing Katie with a baseball bat and she's foaming at the mouth and I am so exsperated I have to kick them all out before it goes completely Lord of the Flies.

I always thought I'd be that neighbor lady that all the kids think is mean, but who is secretly nice and bakes cookies? But I was wrong. No cookies for you! And I'm keeping that ball you hit through my window, too.

I am still somewhat blue today, just not very enthusiastic about the details of my existence for posting purposes. Also a wee bit lonely, and feeling bereft of culture, but slowly planning for BlogHer next July, when I will be rooming with the astonishing and provocatively Canadian JenB, who sent me two wonderful books and an assload of candy just in time for my birthday last week:


And nowEmilyhas tagged me to do this list thing. I think it's the first time I've been tagged. I am imagining myself as a groggy polar bear with a dart in my butt and a plastic card dangling from a hole in my ear.

Five Weird Things That Mrs. Kennedy Admits To Doing Regularly

1. When I'm buying a book for myself, I always take the most beat-up copy on the shelf. This comes from working in book retail for one million years and consistently having customers ask me to dig around in overstock for a spotless copy of the book they wanted. Inevitably they'd claim it was going to be a gift, but I know better: you're all obsesive compulsive, WHY DON'T YOU JUST ADMIT IT? And so now I always take the crappiest copy so that some poor floor clerk will have another moment's peace to contemplate the fultility of his career path.

2. I walk under ladders. Another bookstore hangover, somebody's always coming at you down that skinny aisle and if one of us has to divert and go under the ladder, it may as well be me, you superstitious fuck. I can take the karmic debit.

3. Uh, I don't know. I don't like to wash my hair?



You can see why I never did one of those clever "100 Things About Me" lists.

And so another long-ass post comes to an end. Happy MLK day! We plan to celebrate the life of that incomparable civil rights leader by eating Mexican food and watching a Lakers game on TV tonight.