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Diverse Children’s Books

Since the birth of my daughter I’ve reminded myself that there are things that I would like to do for her that I was unable to do when I was younger.  One of those things was for her to have access to a diverse reading list and it’s been so much fun finding books for her and I wanted to share some of the books that I have found for her so far:

The Princess and The Pea by Rachel Isadora

A retelling of the classic fairy tale but retold with African fok art. This author has a number of books that are done in this style to different European fairy tales.  Absolutely beautiful.

The Cajun Cornbread Boy by Dianne De Las Casas

The Gingerbread Man retold Cajun style.

The Green Frogs by Yumi Heo

Two green frogs who love to disobey their mother.

Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe

A Cinderella story set in Zimbabwe.

Lon Po Po by Ed Young

A Red Riding Hood story set in China

The Rough Face Girl by Rafe Martin

From Algonquin Indian folklore comes one of the most haunting, powerful versions of the Cinderella tale ever told.

This is just a small part of my daughter’s growing library, I hope that you’ll find them as delightful as I did.


12 wks + 1 day

I mark the days now by how far along I am instead of days of the week.  It’s a countdown to August 9th and then the real fun begins.  

Symptoms: extreme fatigue, no appetite, hypersmell, phlegm-y, gagging, occasional headaches, extreme bloating.

Trying to find the energy to get stuff done that I need to get done is frustrating.  I get tired simply walking to the bathroom.  I don’t know how women do this.

Money is a little tight right now.

Lots of things to stress about right now that I can’t talk about.  

10 weeks, 4 days: 209 days to go

It still blows my mind that I’m pregnant.  I’ve managed to get to the advanced age of 36 without letting that happen and now I’m preparing to bring a child into the world.  Triiiiipy.

A lot has happened in the last couple of years: marriage, the launch of a new business, job and then no job, move to a new home and now this.  We’re gonna be ok.

I haven’t written since I don’t know when.  It feels rusty and I’m trying not the think and just letting whatever comes to mind hit the screen and not trying to self censor too much.

Also, the older I get the more rusty my memory gets.  It’s hard for me to know what I did last week, let alone last year and it’s getting worrisome.  Maybe if I write some stuff down it’ll make it stick a little more.

Not too much time to sit here and type out a wall of text.  Private party for Russell Investments at MOHAI to setup for.  Leaving the house in about 2 hours , must shower and get ready.  Who knew taking a shower would turn into a cardio exercise.  Not too much morning sickness but walking across the house exhausts me.  It’s going to be a long night.

The One Where I Get To See A Movie

So I actually went out and interacted with the world (somewhat) by going to see a movie at the Cinebarre – Transformers 3, midnight showing.

Beaux insisted we show up early because obviously hordes of fan boi’s would be camped out around the block and we needed to get good seats. Some sanity prevailed and we only went an hour early, just enough time to beat back the horde of 50 people in a theatre that seats 200.

We had already eaten dinner that night and I don’t like eating heavy foods so late at night, so instead I ordered a cookies and cream milkshake and the Princess Leia’s (i.e. cinnamon buns).  Nothing like a late night sugar binge.

Now for the confession: I didn’t hate Transfomers 3.  Visually, it was quite the spectacle (hey, Baysplosions galore!), there weren’t too many plot holes and the ones that existed it was easy to ignore and there were some genuinely funny moments although I think the movie was waaaaay too long.

The itty bitty things that did bother me:

  1. Why does Optimus only speak in cliches? I understand that it works for the cartoons but we need to seriously step his game up.
  2. The part where Optimus looks like a puppet.  Really?!  He gets done in by some freaking wires and has to dangle and wait until his buddies can come cut him down? But prior to that we’re treated with several shots of him just dangling like a metallic Pinocchio.
  3. The Lesson.  This just left a bad taste in my mouth, the Autobots are supposed to be the good guys.  Optimus had a conniption in the second movie when the humans got hurt but now it’s okay to let the Decepticons kill off thousands of humans and decimating Chicago.  Oh well, I guess as long as it’s not them harming anyone it’s okay.  Protectors of the planet, indeed.
  4. Carly’s lips.  Seriously, they are really distracting and not in a good way.  In the “wow, what a freak show” kind of way. Filler much?
  5. I can’t decide if I liked the Spock joke or not, my first initial reaction was, “Oh c’mon, really?!” but then I laughed.

Okay done kvetching about the movie now.

And as awful as this is, I really liked Ken Jeong and Alan Tudyk.  Their characters are so over the top and awful, I loved it.  Ken Jeong plays the role that he plays in every other movie – a crazy, weird ass Asian guy.  But he does it so well, I mean do you really want him to stop? I get that he’s the modern day Long Duk Dong but shit, at least he’s getting work.  Alan Tudyk’s character, Dutch, is a reprisal of Gerhardt from 28 Days but with a touch of badass.  I’m waiting for someone to write a fanfic that explains how Gerhardt and Dutch are actually the same character but I’m sure it would be ruined because they’d have him hook up with John Tuturro.  Ick. That’s not a picture I want in my h

So, not a bad way to spend the evening.  I went to see it in 3D of course, which didn’t hurt.  Someone kept complaining that they should have made 3D glasses to tie in with the movie that transformed into something.

Oh and the robotic Shai Hulud was kinda epic.

Just one day at a time, baby…

You know those days you have where everything seems a bit surreal and nothing makes sense?

The past week has been so whacked out.  Beaux was arrested on Monday or rather very early Tuesday evening (of last week) for a DUI and driving on a suspended license.  This was after I left the party in somewhat of a huff because he decided it was a good idea to dry hump a white girl that was there flirting with him, actually, she was flirting with damn near every male at the party but I was still pissed. I was in Federal Way by the time, he called me again on Terrance’s phone.  I can’t help but think the only reason why he called was because Terrance was so drunk he couldn’t drive and he had no way of getting home.  But of course, I couldn’t just leave him there.  I couldn’t just leave it as is, I didn’t want to run away because that’s all I ever do is run away.

I drive back to the bar and park in the back.  He calls me again and I tell him where I am and he comes running.  I wonder sometimes how long this “relationship” would have lasted if I hadn’t had a reliable mode of transportation and enough money of my own to handle the both of us.  I have no children and other than my usual bills, nothing really outstanding to pay for.

He loads his equipment into my car and then decides that he’s going to drive Terrance’s car home.  He peels out of the parking lot and proceeds to speed down Aurora at about 70 miles an hour for some reason.  I’m doing 50 and wondering what the hell is he thinking.  Terrance is laughing and when he sees the cop car pull behind him, he says, “Watch this shit.”

Lights flash.

We follow the cars into the parking lot at Goldie’s and wait to see what happens.  A couple of minutes later, what I had been hoping wouldn’t happen happens.  He’s out of the car and being handcuffed.  Terrance looks at me and says, “Calm down.  Everything is going to be okay.”

Of course, I’m not calm. Of course, I’m freaking the fuck out.

Terrance very calmly looks at me and says, “Do you want me to fix this?”  I don’t answer him but I’m sure the answer was obvious.  He gets out of the car (which I know is a bad idea) and he goes walking towards the cops.  I follow him to try to get him back inside the car.  The cop starts yelling at him to get back in the car.  I don’t remember precisely what he said but the gist was that if we didn’t get back in the car, we would be going to jail ourselves.

I yank Terrance back to the car and we get in.

As we’re waiting in the car, the cop comes and taps on the window, he asks as he holds up some keys, looking at Terrance, “Is this your car?”  He asks him if he’s drunk, which he freely admits he is since he’s not driving and the cop looks at me.  I smile at him.  He asks me if I’m sober and I reply that yes I am.  I try to determine where they are taking Beaux and they won’t tell me.

By this time, my stomach is in knots and I feel like I’m about to throw up.  What do I do?

I move Terrance’s truck to the parking lot across the street since otherwise it would get impounded and then Terrance demands that I take him to Jack in the Box while we try to figure out what to do.

After speculating aimlessly, I decide to head back to the house and call one of his friends, George.

Terrance hands me his wallet and all of his money, approximately $80 to help with bail if it’s needed.  I thank him and he passes out in his bedroom.

It’s about 3 o’clock in the morning by this point and I call George.  He picks up the third time I call him and explain the situation, he’s just gotten to sleep and not quite awake but he’s no help really.

Finally, I decide to the call the Shoreline Police Department and it’s routed to some sort of all purpose number in King County.  They tell me where he is and take my name and number to have someone call me back.

An hour later, I get a call from the same officer that took him in and he curtly replies that if Beaux doesn’t become more cooperative he won’t be out on bail. The conversation ends.

I try to sleep but sleep eludes me.  So instead I decide to do something self destructive, I snoop in my boyfriends computer.  I know it’s wrong, I hate myself while I do it but now the genie is out of the bottle.  I don’t know what I’m doing.  Now I know things that I don’t want to know. I’ve confirmed things that I wish I hadn’t.  And I can’t confront him about it because then I’ll have to tell on myself.  I’m so fucking stupid.

I spend hours reading things that I shouldn’t.  Making myself more and more heartsick.

Soon it’s morning and I call Shoreline Police Department again to ask about bail, I’m told that I can bail him out at noon but his court date is the same day at 2:30 p.m.  I drive up to Everett where the Snohomish County Jail is housed.  I end up spending all day up there waiting for him to be released.  Almost paying bail at one point but then deciding not to since his court date was so soon.

He was finally released at around 5:50 pm.  What’s funny is that I was there up until 5:20 ish or so when someone told me that he probably wouldn’t be released until around 11 pm.  I knew as I was driving home that he would call and sure enough, he did.  Turned right around and went back and got him.  He was standing on the street corner in his t-shirt, freezing his ass off.

His first question being, “Are you hella pissed at me?”

And the thing was, I wasn’t pissed at him.  I was more worried about him than anything else.  What happens now? His arraignment is scheduled for the first day back from Winter Break, January 3rd.  Nice.  We go back to the house and he takes a shower, we take a nap since neither one of us has really gotten any sleep.  He talks about stopping drinking, fears for his future freedom.  I don’t know what to say, it’s all so much to take in I can’t think of anything to say.  I try to be a combination of supportive, reassuring and give him a kick in the pants.

Terrance comes home and we give him the rundown of what happened since they both blacked out that night and they compare notes.  I return his keys and money to him with my thanks.

Before all of this had happened, we were planning for a two day getaway to the Oregon Coast.  A relaxing stay at the Starfish Inn, which sits directly on Agate Beach and boasts a beautiful view of the ocean.  I can attest to the truth of that since I’m sitting here tapping away with the pounding surf in my ears.  Do we stay or do we go?

It’s determined that we go.  He could use a couple of days out of town and I was just want to get away from it all and spend some time with him.  The drive down here was interesting, I didn’t get off of the right exit and ended up driving a longer route, we’re going to hit Jake’s Crawfish House in PDX on the way back home on Thursday.  It was a pretty drive down here though and we managed to talk throughout the drive about a number of subjects, I was a little worried about that.

I think he was a little surprised by how nice the lodgings were, although I can’t think of why.  I like staying at really nice places and they were running a special this week to probably try to fill the rest of the rooms.

So now we’re here at the Starfish, I’m doing some writing, he’s getting some work done and watching a little bit of TV.  We ordered some pizza for dinner (which was very, very good) and had a bath together in the Jacuzzi tub, watched movies.  He forced me to watch The Notebook (gag)  I’m just not for romantic movies.  On top of which, I suspect he relates a little bit too much with the main character; if our lives followed the arc of the movie, I would be the war widow.

We took a long walk on the beach and had a fabulous fresh seafood dinner in downtown Newport.  We walked down the boardwalk and did some window shopping, we talked about damn near everything on earth and laughed and loved a lot.

He’s invited me to a Sunday dinner thing with his friends.  These friends are different, their not his work friends, their not his house mate friends.  These are the friends that are also friends with his ex, and so our relationship will get back to her.  Which until now, he’s been hiding.  When he asked me, I asked him in turn, “Are you sure?” and he replied, “Yes.”  We’ll see if it actually comes to fruition but I appreciate the gesture.

Part of me wonders why I managed to fall in love with such a fuck up.  On the way back from my parents house on Christmas, I called him out on still being in love with Michelle, which he tried to deny.  I told him that I didn’t believe him.  He tried to say something about how illogical it was for him to be in love with someone who didn’t want him and I rolled my eyes.  The heart’s not logical, nowhere near, why do you think my dumb ass is still here? What’s the saying again? The heart wants what it wants (and logic be damned.)

Now he’s on this mission to prove to me that he’s fully present in this “relationship”?  Want to know the fucked up thing, I still don’t know what the fuck it is that we’re doing.  Are we dating? Are we in a relationship? He’s met my parents and they liked him.  I just added a line to my cell phone account because he didn’t have a phone and we all know those prepaid joints are awful. I don’t know what I’m doing; this is what happens when two people get together but don’t talk to one another.

I have realized that I have a limit though, there’s a line that if he crosses, I’m gone and I’ve told him as much.  Winter quarter starts on Monday and I cannot lose my focus the way I did this past semester.

I know, I know. I need to talk to him.  For now though, getting my thoughts straight on the page helps a lot.

Why does this have to be so hard?

I know it’s been a while since I’ve been in a relationship.  Hell, it’s been awhile since I’ve dated anyone on a regular basis and so now that I am, it’s getting really fucked up and confusing for me.  I’m not in the best headspace about it right now, I’m having a lot of doubts about what it is we’re trying to accomplish, I’m starting to doubt if his feelings are even real.

The crux of the issue comes down to some photos that I saw recently of him and his ex.  Now I can’t unsee them and I can’t stop thinking about it.  We weren’t officially together when the pictures were taken but they obviously look happy and then something happened the next day that made him call me and finish things with her.  I don’t even know if it’s reasonable of me to be bothered by this. I guess what I’m having a problem with is the fact that he seems to have moved from her to me rather quickly.  Is it unreasonable for me to ask him what happened?

And the thing is, I already know the answers to these questions, I’m asking.  We weren’t together when the pictures were taken, I need to let it go but I wish to god I had never seen them.

And then there seem to be my intimacy issues.  There’s that core of self that I don’t want to let anybody into and he’s asking to be let in.  I’m having a real problem with that but I’ve asked him to give me time and he’s accepted that answer for now.  I don’t know how to tell him that until I feel okay about his stability, I can’t give of myself completely.

I’m kind of dreading his call tonight because he always knows when something is wrong and I just don’t want to talk about it.  I don’t like playing games, I don’t like trying to read between the lines because I never get it right, I can’t read anyone’s mind and I don’t expect anyone to be able to read mine.  Why can’t I just say what I want to say and get an equally honest answer back? Of course that’s predicated on the fact that I trust him enough to believe his answers.  I don’t feel like he’s ever lied to me but I do think he’s held back and I can’t judge that since I’ve done the same.

*sigh* I need to find a way to let this go and be okay with it.


i’m now less than I was… literally.

*god damn*

That’s the word that keeps going through my mind this week as I’m dealing with the after effects and attempting to keep up with everything. It’s been a while since I’ve done an incoherent emo rambling post about life in general, I thought I was about due and maybe it’ll make me feel better to at least get this out in words instead of just festering in my head.

I had my gallbladder taken out on Tuesday.  It wasn’t scheduled, I had no idea that there was something wrong with it.  But at about midnight on Tuesday I had the most excruciating pain in my chest and back area, it was so bad I threw up, it was so bad I couldn’t drive myself to the ER and I was so scared about what was happening to me that I called 911.  My roommates weren’t home, had I been thinking more clearly I might have called someone to come get me but yeah, when you can’t breathe and you think your having some sort of stroke, reason kind of takes a back seat.

I was in the ER for about two hours before I was seen by a doctor and it was about another hour before someone came by to alleviate my pain by that time Carmen had found me and was good enough to sit for me for a very long time while they figured out what the hell was wrong with me.  A CBC, EKG and ultrasound later a surgeon walks in to tell me that it’s my gallbladder, it needs to be removed and they will be removing it now.

Like I said before, I didn’t even know anything was wrong with the damn thing and now they want to remove it posthaste.  I gave consent and things moved along very speedily.  I remember being in pre-op but I don’t remember when anesthesia was administered, just when I woke up in recovery and there was this little blonde lady sitting next to me, staring at my chest, counting my breaths.

Not too long after, I was whisked off to my room where I stayed for a day before being discharged.  And through it all, Carmen came, went and stayed with me. Your a trooper ,lady and I love you.  Thanks Tjada for bringing me something to alleviate my boredom, I put it together and it’s sitting on my bookcase now.

I didn’t tell too many people what happened, in some ways it really is no big deal to me and in some ways, I just don’t want to burden them.  My mother’s been having some health issues lately, she told me a week ago that she’s been coughing up blood and her voice has been getting week.  She’s had a battery of tests done this week and tomorrow at 2:20 pm she goes in to see the doctor and sees what the verdict is.  She’s convinced herself that it’s lung cancer, she says that her symptoms are the same as her father’s when he was diagnosed with it and she’s already given my sister the whole “some people die early” speech.

I’m a bit of a wreck tonight and what’s bad is that I don’t want to inflict it on anyone else and so I’m going a bit stir crazy.  Waiting for tomorrow is just fucking me up.  I tried to go for a walk and I turned around and went right back home.  I tried playing a video game and I wanted to smash my laptop.  Contemplating a drive but if I do that, I might not want to come back tomorrow and I have to be back by 2 pm.  My mind is too preoccupied for homework or sleep, I’ve caught up on my little shows and it’s early yet tonight.  I’m very tempted to see what drinking will do to my new gallbladder-less body but too scared as well.  I’m such a pansy.

I really need a hug and someone to try to convince me that it’s going to be okay.  And the one person who I wouldn’t mind that sentiment coming from is probably passed out in a drunken stupor or with someone else.