Sunday, March 31, 2002

Happy Easter, for what it is worth

In New England, Easter is dawning dark and gloomy weather-wise. It is said to improve by this afternoon. It is dark and gloomy in other places on the globe, and not in the meteorological sense. The ongoing war in Afghanistan, which seems to be largely not interesting to the general public anymore, and the daily we kill you/you kill us barrage of suicide bombers with retaliatory bomb strikes in Israel.

Nothing ever changes. Does it?

Sorry to wake up with a gloom over my head. I'm just tired of the same old shit universe-wise and waking up in it every day kind of pisses me off.

I do believe in miracles, that the unthinkable can happen... a dead man is brought to life by a friend, that friend is arrested for this "crime" and many others, is mocked, crucified, dead and buried. That dead man rises from the grave and says "yup, what I've been sayin' all along is true kids... thanks for your support" and ascends into heaven. The USA hockey team wins a gold medal in 1980. Someone fell in love with me, and I had kids. Well that's not a miracle per se... it just was something I never thought would happen.

Miracles. I believe in them. I believe that things aren't randomly ordered and we're all subject to just loving each other or kicking each other's asses. I believe that God himself is an active participant in what goes on in this horrible little world. I believe he reaches out and does the unexpected and greatly appreciated task on occasion. I'd just like to see one happen somewhere on this planet, it's been a while since a nice big one.

Two Harvard professors (I presume one is Jewish, the other Muslim but I'm not sure) want Arafat and Sharon to read the same peace speech at the same time next Sunday. They don't have to look at each other, they don't have to acknowledge that the other is doing the same... these two professors think that if they do this, that the peoples beneath the leaders will stop fighting and embrace.

I somehow doubt it, as long as there are rogue, angry men (and women, the most recent was an 18 year old girl) who strap bombs onto their bodies and walk around looking for an opportunity to teach Jews that you better not fuck with Palestinians. Then the Jews turn around and air strike some building of the Palestinians'. Then a bomber says, "oh yeah, jerk offs, I'll blow your Seder dinner off the face of the earth" and hits a restraint filled with tourists. Then, the Israelis all get in their jet fighters...

Even if the Israelis completely stopped retaliating to the individual strikes, the individuals will never stop blowing stuff up. There will always be a few disgruntled residents who will continue to blow themselves and others up to send messages to the Jews. I hate to say it... but some people will never accept peace. There will always be some sort of caveat that has them continually unhappy. And they'll blow stuff up to express their dismay.

It isn't as easy as reading a peace promise in unison on TV. These Harvard stuffed shirts need to go soak their heads.

And the media doesn't make me any more happy by saying the "region is on the brink of war..." and "for the last 18 months things have been escalating to war..." Guess what guys, for the last 4000 years the region has been on and off and in the brink of war. The last 18 months nothing. What, 19 months ago things were nice there? People got along? Arabs and Jews strolled hand and hand down the desert primrose paths of joy that the rest of the planet (almost) seems to walk on... like a Canadian embracing his southern neighbor and sharing some Labatts? No. The place has been a living hell hole, a smoldering pot of unmixable content. And what is to be done?

Hell, I'm no diplomat. I wish they'd just stop it. Figure their shit out and get along. I don't want the United States to swoop in there and take control. I have no suggestions. I have no ideas.

Man, I need some coffee.

Anyway, I read a journal by a guy, "the Big Kahuna" aka Bob, who is living in Israel right now, and scheduled to go to Macedonia shortly. He is some sort of American Diplomat employee... not 100% sure of his job title. Sounds like he can't wait to get out of there... and I pray for him and the Jews and Arabs surrounding him daily. He doesn't write a lot of detail about what is going on there, but knowing that there is a human voice in all that mess kind of makes me smile... I just hope he is kept safe and able to go from one fire to the other (Macedonia is no cake walk either).

I doubt until the Messiah returns (or, if you are Jewish, shows up for the first time) and wipes the world clean that this "escalating conflict" will sit on the brink and fall into it once or a dozen more times. There is nothing I can do. Nothing I can say. And that's just crappy. So happy Easter folks. For what it's worth, I'm not feeling all sunshine and joy this year. Easter is usually my very favorite holiday, the concept of resurrection, the welcoming of spring and change, the warmth in the air... it's all dim and grey right now. I'm sorry to be such a big poop.

He has risen, he has risen indeed. That's the enthusiasm I can muster right now. Okay. Moving on. It's Easter. Christ rose from the dead, I can rise from the gloom. Do you believe in miracles?

It's early yet, and I am tired. Heard the guinea pig squeeeeeeealing this morning and went out into the living room at 6:30am to discover Geoff trying to make her fly. He holds her in the air under her front "armpits" I guess you can call them, and spins around.

Geoff enjoys feeding pigpigpig.
I wish she'd bite him so he'd be more afraid of her...
but she's so docile and sweet and only squeaks
in her own defense...

I have to go through this every morning with him. Now my goal is to make him be gentle with the pig, seeing as I can't get him to NOT get her out of the pen first thing in the morning when he gets up. He's unlike anyone in this family -- up at 6 or 6:30 on a daily basis. Rarely does he sleep past 7. The rest of us, Doug, Jess and I, will sleep until noon if not stirred. Where'd this kid come from?

Last night at about 8:30 the kids were coloring Easter eggs and I realized I had nothing for their baskets.

the white lines on the eggs are white crayon.
The kids wrote things on them before dipping.
they're really cute.

Duh? I do this every year. I said something to Doug and he rolled his eyes "You do this every year" he commented. Yeah, well, you could think of it once in a while too, damnit. So I ran to the neighborhood drug store and bought a few things. I had plastic tacky grass here from last year so I set two little baskets up and hid them in the house.

One in the shower, the other is under the living room table. Geoff hasn't noticed either... I asked him if he was going to look for his and he told me that he wanted to wait for Jessica to get up.

She has to be woken up sometime in the next hour to be ready on time for church.

wake up, wake up! find your easterbasket!!!
she looks thrilled.

So insanity will ensue in no time. Geoff is watching Playhouse Disney... we just got the Disney Channel for no reason on our cable. And it's kind of good because most of the shows he's never seen before, so he's psyched to have something new to watch instead of the same old episodes of the Powerpuff Girls or Blues Clues.

When the kids were coloring Easter eggs, they were so cooperative and good... it made me smile. That's a miracle right there I guess.

And my mom would be proud of me. I hate eggs in just about every way, shape or form. The smell of them makes my skin crawl and I feel the inner lining of my throat grow tight and bitter. My whole house stinks of hard boiled eggs right now, and will only stink worse when the other 75% of this family starts mao-ing on them. Ugh.

A lot of people can't understand my anti-egg stance. I cook/bake with eggs. But that's totally different. In mixes or recipes, the eggs become unsmelly entities that meld with other product to produce something happy. Fried, hard boiled, sunny side up, poached... they smell like death. My refrigerator stinks of hard boiled eggs. My living room has an acrid tang in the air, of eggs and cider vinegar used to color the damn things. I feel like hurling. Maybe that's my problem. I'm not upset about the world conflicts and the lack of a sense of God's presence in the world at large... I'm grossed out by eggstench. Yeah. That's the ticket.

Happy Easter y'all... if you celebrate. May there be some small miracle in your life, your day, that shows you the love of God, and the gift of new and everlasting life. That's all I can hope for all of us right now.

Anyway... I have to shower and get things moving here. The Geiger household is a quiet one first thing in the morning... hate to wreck that. But it's Easter. Christ rose from the dead, the rest of us can get up and dressed.

After another cup of coffee.

P.S. Just wanted to note that Jessica found her Easter basket and said "thank you Mom," when she sat on the couch with it.

"What are you saying thank you to me for," I said... "the Easter Bunny brought that to you."

"You're the Easter bunny." she replied with a smile.

"I am?" I pretended to be surprised.

"Yeah and you are Santa Claus too. And the Tooth Fairy," she bit into a piece of chocolate.

"When'd you figure this out?" I asked with a smile.

"I've known for a long time now," she answered.

"Does it bother you that I've lied to you and told you that these things are real when they were just me?" I asked, kind of worried.

"No... it makes it special."

"Do me a favor," I leaned to her, "don't tell your brother. I want him to figure it out on his own too."

She smiled, "He'll never figure it out."

I didn't think you would either, girl. Happy Easter and good job playing along for your brother's sake. She has been doing a good job of that... "Geoff, we have to go to bed or Santa won't come!" or, "Geoff! The Easter Bunny is going to leave stuff for us in the house tonight so we have to go to bed!"

The mark of a good big sister is that she perpetuates the myths for the littler ones. God love her. Perhaps that's my miracle today.

Friday, March 29, 2002

Good Friday

It's Good Friday, which if you understand anything at all about the crucifixion of Christ, it isn't a "good" day at all. It's the saddest day in the Christian calendar. Not so good, Al. Not so good.

I was going to get into a whole thing today on how it should be called "Not So Good" Friday, or, "Whattabummer" Friday due to the suffering Jesus had to endure on this historic day. But to be completely honest, I don't have the energy or the gumption to get into a whole "thing" today.

It's 8:30am. I'm tired. I don't have the energy to get into thinking creatively. I got up early so Doug could sleep in and so I could feed the dog, the pig, the boy. Doug ended up waking up a few minutes ago, so I feel the whole me getting up thing was useless.

Thank God for coffee.

If I manage to wake up enough, perhaps I will "screed" against the commercialization of Easter through colored eggs, bunnies and marshmallow peeps, and the overt secularization of this most holy week and its culminating day. Or perhaps I'll just dye eggs with my shorties. That'd be more constructive.

The family has the day off from school today, they give Good Friday as a holiday... which I honestly don't remember getting off as a kid.

Perhaps I grew up in too Jewish a community... lots of my friends were Jewish, in fact when I look back there was a time when I had no other friends except Jewish kids. I think it helped me learn a lot about the roots of Christianity and made me appreciate my faith better. It made me more aware that the Bible as Christians use it is 80% Hebraic, 20% Jesus. But most Christians only rely on the 20% Jesus part and ignore all but a few psalms and the creation story when it comes to living their faith. Too bad.

In honor of Good Friday, Doug is shutting the water off to the house and replacing our front sink fixtures, which is something that has needed to be done for a very long time.

We'll see how that goes, hopefully successfully. Doug gets very very ornery when doing anything home-improvement related. He would not be a good partner to have on my side for TLC's "Trading Spaces," or any other kind of DIY thing.

I enjoy home improvement projects, but man. He just does not. Never has, never will. He likes yardwork and gardening, whereas I can live without that and hire someone out or make the kids do it later in life.

Whoever designed our house was a complete and total shithead. The bathroom sink has no shut-off valves under it, so the source of the water to the entire house has to be turned off in order for any work to be done. What a piece of crap this place is! Houses built out of code back in the 60s. Aaaah, gotta love it. So I just called our tenants to let them know there would be no water for a while. Jen had some surgery on her back on Monday so she's been laid up for the week and is in no hurry to use water, and Pete isn't around for the day ... so today is the best day to get things done. No better time than the present.

I substitute taught again yesterday. The phone rang at 6:30am, and Doug and I knew immediately what it was. I was asked to do pre-school, which made me really happy... no middle school for me for a change. Woohooooo!

To be bluntly honest, I wasn't needed at all. Doug is familiar with this particular class and told me there were two classroom aides (one was out sick) so the one who was there had everything in control and I didn't have much to do. There were parent volunteers, a one-on-one aide for one of the kids, and at one point, there were six adults in the class of 14 kids. It seemed excessive. I kept asking her what she wanted me to do, and she'd hand me one small thing and do the rest.

So it was a cake walk. I liked the kids a lot, they were pretty well behaved even though the teacher's aide said some of them wouldn't handle a substitute well. A few of them had issues, one was exactly like Geoff in behavior and attitude so I talked to the aide to ask if he'd been tested for anything. She said he had auditory processing issues and Oppositional Disorder, which is the new hot-button term for kids who are constantly and unrelentingly oppositional (I think my friend Chris Kelly wrote an article on that once, and he should know... he was kind of that way too).

I think she could have handled the day all on her own, and the fact that they called me so early in the morning when they KNEW this teacher was going to be out (she was at a meeting that Doug was also at) made me think the teacher's aide was panicking the night before and requested a sub. It was an easy day. I enjoyed myself immensely.

Today is the day I mail in my first "timecard" for unemployment. How weird. It's kind of like a book of the month club or record club return card... where you color in circles and write words in big block sections. It made me laugh when I looked at it. It covers two weeks, and I am completely in the dark as to what they'll be sending me.

We told Geoff's school that his last day will be April 12th, so in the next two weeks I really need to finish the two websites I started up, fix his bedroom wall, finish painting the livingroom, and clean my bedroom, because I will have no time to do anything for longer than 10 minutes with him around full time.

Yikes. I wonder how long this will have to last. I'm willing, don't get me wrong, to be here with him and be mom and not work full time, but moneywise things come June are going to be hell if all that's coming in here is going to be my unemployment check. Good Lord. Doug's going to have to get a summer job that pays well. I don't want to raise the rent at all, it's not fair to them, and I can't earn too much while on unemployment or they cut my benefits. If I get paid for a website, I have to put the amount down (i.e. 800 bucks or whatever) and then they compensate for that week. What I might do is have people pay me in 100 dollar increments instead of lump sums, seeing as the two I'm doing are declaring that they are paying me, so it isn't under the table (rats).

I feel really weird collecting unemployment. I mean, I've been working full or close to full time for so long that I can't imagine that people do this. I feel like George Costanza... how long can I stretch this out??? But on the other hand I feel guilty. I should be working, not collecting. Sigh.

In other news, my sister called me yesterday to say she scored a waitressing job, which I figured she would. She still is looking for a full time office computer/training job, but the waitressing thing will get some quick dosh into her hands and help her out. She is hoping to score a "real" job within a couple months, once she figures out where things are. Employment agencies, head hunters, all these things that used to work are useless now, so she's relying on who has what connection, and when you are in a new place and don't know many people it can be hard. Cross your fingers kids... hope she can pull something out.

I just heard Doug yell something at the TV. I guess another news bubble head mispronounced "sepulcher" or something and he is mocking loudly now. As I've ranted before, get it right before you report it kids... get it right. Makes me laugh.

Oh, and by the by, the Black Crowes reference up there is just ridiculous. I couldn't find any picture that went with Good Friday except some of Christ on Cross and didn't want (as I mentioned) to get into that whole thing this morning, so my mind, being as it is, brought itself to a Crowes song. I'm not a big Black Crowes fan. I have "Shake Your Money Maker," which is a greatassed album, and another one called "By Your Side," which has a couple absolutely wonderful kicking songs on it, but for the most part, these guys are just mediocre.Except that dishy Rich Robinson.

No, no, no, silly. Not the lead singer, that's Chris Robinson.

That bag of skinnyassed pot-smoking Kate Hudson-banging bones ain't my scene baby. I'm talking about Rich Robinson is his brother, and the band's guitarist... and he's cute. Chris Robinson said in an interview once that he was sad his younger, quieter brother cut his hair ... "it used to make him look like Kathleen Turner," he said with a hearty smirk.

He (Rich) is Much cuter than skinny ole skinny mister man lead singer there. But it doesn't really matter on the whole. It isn't like I'd ever meet these guys or anything. The quote had to do with "good Friday," so I made the deconstruction. That's all.

I've got nothing else. I'm losing it. I should go back to bed. Snore.