Saturday, September 16, 2006

Where In the Hell Have I Been?

My home internet has been down for a week and work-computer time has been sucked up by . . .work. Let's do some catching up 'cause I missed you guys.

Maya is doing well. It hasn't been a skate in the park, but we're all adjusting. She is putting a lot pressure on herself to be an excellent student and that really touches me to see her so committed and serious. This self pressure has relieved itself in other ways like her sheer frustration of not meeting her BFF the second the first period bell rang on the first day. This, and her sprouting hormones, have made for a few after-school crying jags. These jags begin with defensiveness, flopping of the arms, rolling of the neck, looking at the sky, an inability to express herself about the meat of her frustration. During the jags, I have unleashed every weapon in my Superior Parenting Handbook which I quickly tossed in the trash. I start out cool and understanding and when the 2nd hour of crying and carrying on is rounding the corner I move into dick-mode. I'm pretty much like, "Bro, suck it up because I can't take not one more second." Last Wednesday was the hardest preteen day of my parenting career, and when we finally squashed it and exhaustedly hugged I said, "But seriously, Maya, I love you so much and all, but I really can't do this everyday." She has been pretty great since. Mina is running her 2nd grade class with her jedi mind tricks. She is also an awesome student.

Mina is at the age where she is mature enough to belly laugh to a good joke. She can now laugh with true feeling. And, really, there's no better sound. There was an exact moment when Maya started to laugh like that too -- maybe the same age as Mina now -- and I remember experiencing the same amount of joy from it. I told Mina last night, "You have a fantastic laugh." She said, "Thanks!" very proud of herself and then spent the next 10 minutes trying to fabricate the laugh I meant. She's hilarious.

By the way, this month's PMS is brought to you by my ultra sensitivity to corporate piggishness and general world corruption. Since being a vegan and more specifically since eating more rawly, my PMS really no longer manifests itself in grand sweeping moodiness where the closest in proximity to me pays the price, namely Husband and/or coworkers. Now, when the level of hormones rise, I more feel a swelling indignation about anything not liberally based. It seems that each month I become more radically left in my views. I don't apologize for this at all. I'm just saying how my PMS now effects me which brings me to last week at work. Last week was the worst week I have had as a semiconductor broker in many of my 14 years as a semiconductor broker. Let me just admit right off the bat that I have stayed a broker for so long because the money is disgustingly better than anything left-wing or creatively based. I have whored out. I don't know how much longer I can be a whore to technology money, but let's just say after last week, I hope it isn't much longer. Last week, a huge deal went awry. It happens. This particular deal, I am learning, is laced with deceit, possible counterfeit chips, and a general better-you-get-fucked-than-me mentality. It's not like all of the above haven't been a big part of my industry in the past and my company is not doing anything extra slimy, but my patience for our industry's greed, dishonesty and ass-covering is shot, gone. What do semiconductors brokers do to save the world? Brokers are their own world so in that sense, a lot. My hormonal indignation is swelling. In last week's messed-up deal which isn't resolved yet, I'm the one that has to "work it out" with the vendors which means lube 'em up in case they need to get fucked. This churns my stomach. The financial exposure on this is ridiculous which is why, as an employee, I have to do my part for our company, but to be quite honest, I feel like the stark morning after a night of black-out drinking and promiscuity is dawning. I feel gross.

Which is why I applied to college on Friday. Oh yes I did. I applied to earn a degree in holistic nutrition. I decided I'm going to save the world with natural food because god knows I'm not doing it with semiconductors. I had this holistic nutrition epiphany about a month ago but it just seemed so corny to blog about. But the truth of the matter is that I am beyond excited and it gives me hope. I feel like I have a solid exit plan. I feel like the student that strips to pay her way through medical school. Just a little . . . while . . . longer in this dirty tech industry . . .

I drive through downtown LA a couple times a week when I come home from the train station, and I have come to realize that the same group of about four homeless guys sit and lean against a fence on the corner of 3rd and Broadway. They are always telling stories and laughing; always laughing. They may be a little wasted too. Last Tuesday, there were more than usual, about six, sitting in a circle on the sidewalk in their regular spot. I looked over to check them out as I always do and one of the guys with a dark leathery face and who had wild white hair and a white days-old beard launched his head back and guffawed showing about three teeth missing. He held his stomach and tipped over leaning his elbow on the concrete, and I thought Hell Yes.

I'll talk to you guys Tuesday.


Alexandra S said...

Congrats! I'm excited for you about embarking on this new path. Hopefully you will convert us one by one by one to adopt a fully holistic, healthy nutrition way of life. I'll definitely be interested in learning through you as you travel down this road.

Jonathan K. Cohen said...

Where did you apply, Madness? I hope it's a good program that will let you get what you want out of it.

Marigoldie said...

It is such a good plan, mama.

I had to laugh because the scene you described with Maya--the exhausted hug and the "I love you but I can't do this every day"--was played out in my house last weekend, with me in the role of Maya.

Missed you too!

andrea said...

girl, you were missed.

and I think you would be most fantastic at saving the world with holistic nutrition... I know this to be true because I experienced some of that schooling firsthand. this is great news, D... such great news.

Maven said...

Hell Yes on your school plan.

athena said...

good to see you back. i miss it when you don't write often as you usually do. and i like your epiphany.

jenn said...

Everyone needs a bit of Madness in the morning, and you're mine (and every other blog reader!). I'm glad you're back, and so excited for you as you emerge from the slime to follow your heart.

Melinda said...

Oooh, back to skool! How exciting! (For you and, selfishly, for your rabid readers...) :)

LeS said...

You are pure inspiration.

I am a little freaked out about our parallels sometimes. Maybe reading this will help me FINALLY get out of my work-for-the-money-but-miserable-about-the-vehicle situation.

Do keep us posted and ROCK ON you natural nutrition left wing goddess :)

Irene said...

oh I so hope that one day I'll have as much wisdom as you and be able to look at my children with such loving clarity.

and yay for you for going back to school!!!

acumamakiki said...

Right ON!! Holistic nutrition will be a great career for you and going back to college will give you an empowerment and freedom you desire so even on those PMS days, you won't feel sick to your stomach because of your work. And where you all are living now, is the perfect location to practice your nutritional magic. I know that you've influenced me in a big go girlfriend.

And I'm relieved to hear a mama I respect and admire has dick-mode days because I speak those same words about the crying jags.....that I can't/won't take it and she needs to suck it up. Of course I say it with love. (=

michelle/weaker vessel said...

OMG OMG OMG! Congratulations x 1000.

I know exactly what you mean. I've been doing mostly hacky, unfulfilling marketing copy and web content writing for the last few years because the bank is relatively good and I can do it with one hand tied behind my back. But a few months ago I began to realize that I HATE it and that I'm wasting my chance to do something I believe in. It all solidified for me when I was reading a book on Buddhism and saw that one part of the Noble Eightfold Path is "right livelihood." Which, yeah, immediate two-hour crying jag.

It's hard to get disentangled, slow going, but congrats on making that first step. From where I sit, holistic nutrition looks like the place where you should be.



angela said...

Good for you! Damn, you are such an inspiration. Can't wait to hear more about your plans.

Kathleen said...

yay! congrats on the college track!

and. i have to say. you are such a rawkin' mom.