Semi-coherent thoughts are once again belong to us

Today is Jackson's first day of first grade.


1. Drop off child, drive home, park car, run laughing into the house, weep tears of relief and joy that you made it through the summer without killing yourself, though it was touch-and-go for the last two weeks.

2. Eat breakfast without being interrupted fourteen times to log into Webkinz because daddy's laptop lost its wireless connection again.

3. Read the paper without having Jimmy Neutron, The Fairly Oddparents, or Pokemon gnawing on your cerebral cortex.

4. Think about getting a job.

I drove down to Target on Saturday, which was a stupid fucking thing to do because all the while I'm speeding down the 101 to Ventura I'm looking at the northbound traffic and thinking, Huh! Look at those poor bastards, going ten miles an hour. Oh well, it will be all cleared up by the time I'm ready to drive back home.

I spent forty-five glorious minutes at Target trying on cheap Champion yoga clothes and finding khakis for Jackson to wear to school and selecting a long-dreamed of Kloss Model One radio so that maybe, please Bob Edwards, I'd be able to get enough reception to hear our local NPR station inside the house instead of having to sit baking in the car just to listen to Terry Gross interview two guys from Metallica.

There are a couple of good things about getting stuck in traffic driving back up the 101 from Ventura, and one of them is that it's gorgeous. You've got the sparkling blue ocean on your left and the dry, brushy, non-fire-retardant hills on your right, and maybe every song on your iPod doesn't suck. Bad things: For over an hour you're going 10 m.p.h. for no reason, you think, other than that it's a holiday weekend. When finally the lanes clear enough so that you can finally get out from behind that white Lexus from Florida with the "Zero to Bitch in Sixty Seconds" license plate frame, it dawns on you that you'd just created your own personal hole in the ozone layer on account of all the goddamn tourists who had slowed to a crawl so they could look at La Conchita. Jesus fuck, people! Your rubbernecking is about two years too late, but go ahead, see if you can spot one of the tragically crushed houses; marvel at the bravery/stupidity of a community built below tons and tons of unstable earth; reflect on the immortal words of Governor Schwarzenegger ("We will rebuild!"). Then pretty please step on the gas or get the fuck out of my way, I have turbo for a reason.

By the way, I love the Model One but it doesn't pick up KCLU at all, rendering my case for buying the bloody thing moot. I'm still going to keep it, because it sounds great and it's pretty, but I'm going to leave a comment on the warranty card saying DOES NOT MEET EXPECTATIONS. And then I'll go to Radio Shack and see if I can get a better antenna. Because I'm a problem solver. But only if I can mope first, and also have my husband point and laugh at my dashed hopes.

The good news is that *fingers crossed* decisions will be made this week in re that book proposal Alice and I wrote; we've had some serious nibbles, and if someone bites we'll have plenty of writin' work to do. If not, I actually will probably go get a job, there's just no excuse anymore, the kid's in first grade and I have a feeling this blog thing won't support my beading habit forever. Too bad my marketable skills are limited to (a) counting back your change correctly, and (b) using ten-year-old versions of Quark and Photoshop, kind of.