Shhhhh...Inside Voice Please
Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The other day Kendell and I packed up our soon to be overdue booty and scurried off to the library. Since I'm cheap and usually broke, we do not have internet at home. Our local library however seems to be able to grant us our fix for free and Kendell looks forward to logging some brain free time at the Disney site.

Some times we have to wait our turn. This night was one of those. I'm sitting at the card catalogue computer trying to pin down where I'm at on the list to get a book I'm feigning for when my turn comes up. A gentleman (and I use that term loosely) comes up to the computer that appears vacant and I look over and say,

"Hi, that computer is actually on a waiting list. I'm next."

to which I get a "excuse you" look and I can see the storm clouds bubbling over his partially balding head.

"But you're already on a computer!" he sputters as he begins to walk towards me to point out that I am indeed sitting in front of a computer. Can't get one past this guy.

"This is the library catalogue computer." I reply

"Well are you ever going to go over to the computer?!"

"I'm logging out of this program now. That computer just opened. I will be there in just a second."

I can hear a lady next to me muttering about this guy's apoplexy he seems to be having as I'm logging off the computer I'm on. He is standing glaring at me as if I've committed an unforgivable crime. I ignore him. I'm actually starting to enjoy ignoring him because I can see hamster in his brain scrambling furiously for some purchase. He marches over to the list where another befuddled young lady is signing up and looking around to see if anything is open. He angrily grabs the pen and signs up and loudly asks
"Is anyone even monitoring this list!"
To which a poor harried librarian hurries over so that he will just be quiet. She asks him what's wrong to which he goes into great and loud detail. Meanwhile I'm helping the lady next to me log off the internet and since she is next to Kendell I just go ahead and take her computer.

Even though she clearly thinks this guy has gone off her rocker, she's nice enough to point out that there is a computer open for the next in line.
He is still loudly complaining to the librarian about the process and doesn't hear her.
"And she hasn't even sat down at that computer yet and it's been FIVE minutes" I hear him say.

I look up from the computer, look him over very slowly while he is glaring at me and say "I've taken this computer. If you had been paying attention rather then acting like a two year old you might have noticed the open computer. I think perhaps you might try using your manners next time."

He didn't have much to say to anyone after that. He sat at his computer, his pale complexion slowly turning red, eyes glued to his screen in front of him.

...I bet he was surfing for free porno...

Hello World! Today I am Legal!
Tuesday, September 26, 2006

So today must be my day for deep confessions...of course, in my world, a wading pool is pretty damn deep.

But I digress (yah, like that's surprising)

Any who...I have been running from the law since February 1, 2006, the day my car tabs expired.

I didn't start out a criminal. I paid my tabs like any other regular Joe. Sometimes I was a bit late..but never like this.
Yes, I am a law breaker. You might think this is small potatoes, but let me tell you, I have noticed the longer I've gone without renewing my car tabs, the more police officers resemble Atilla the Hun.

Even my son has noticed my furtive actions and odd driving patterns.
I avoid major roads. I turn off immediately when I notice a cop in my rearview. I spend more time looking behind me then in front. It's amazing I haven't rear ended some poor law abiding fool.
I even avoided driving after dark...cause it's harder to tell who's behind you.

I'm like that little fish that swims under sharks eating crap off their bellies. I am most happy when I'm right behind a cop car. Why? Because that means they are not BEHIND me....where they can see the sordid proof of my crime.

Today however I made an honest woman of myself. I marched my not little butt down to the emission testing then hightailed it over to the licensing building like I was breaking outta prison.

Let me tell you, the feeling of relief was as palpable in my expression as a pregnant woman hitting the potty after a long road trip.

Eight months I went without current tabs...

I am one bad mama jammer.

Good News/Bad News
Monday, September 25, 2006

Good News: I won a two night stay at a local hotel

Bad News: Only male I have to take happens to be ten and hogs the covers...

Happy Birthday Daddy
Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I remember my brother standing in dress blues behind my mom at our fathers funeral, his white gloved hand on her shoulder, back straight, shoulders squared under pressed fabric, the flag covered coffin before them. The sound of the gun salute cracked the bright air with the suddenness of a whip. I watched as the white gloved hand convulsed on my mothers shoulders and a sob wrenched from his throat. I'd never seen my brother cry before, I can still see him, forever frozen in that one moment.

My father...

How can two small words convey what he was to me? He was (and is still) my hero. He was the chaser of all bogeymen from dark corners of a home clothed in night. He had the power to quell my fears by just being there. I was secure in my place in this world, one little peg in a board, snuggled into my life with the firmness of his will.

The world became a scary place the day we lost him.

He was one of twelve surviving children. He left home at 16 and fudged his birth certificate to get away from a father grown bitter and mean from unfulfilled dreams and pressing familial obligations.

My earliest memory of him is from Panama. I was about five years old with long sun streaked blond hair. I was the darling of the family, coming late (and a bit unexpectedly) in life. Dotted on by everyone by virtue of being born last. Secure in the knowledge that I could cry and bat my baby browns at my daddy and all would be made right again, much to my siblings chagrin.
This particular day I remember the world from my fathers shoulders. Clad in a flaming red sweat suit, hair in pigtails swinging too and fro to the rhythm of my sneaker clad feet that were clasped firmly in my fathers grip. I viewed the tropical paradise I called home, smug in my perch, a small yellow canary with red wings. We were walking to see my mom at the bowling alley. It was one of the few times I got him all to myself and the memory of that day I take out often and shake like a snow globe, watching the images fall around me.

I know he was on the shorter side, but I only know this from photographs. No one ever said it because it was never noticed; he had a presence that would loom over you as if from great heights. He was strong, honest,honorable, and one of the hardest working men I have ever met. As I grew older, I learned he was fallible too.

My dad was a Brigade Command Sergeant Major in the United States Army. He was the father of five children, retired after thirty years of service and went on to become a certified welder and mechanic. I don't believe there was anything my dad couldn't fix or do once he set his mind upon it. He used to keep a dictionary handy and every day he would learn a new word. It was the known joke in our home that dad went back to school after he retired so that mom wouldn't divorce him. He kept trying to run the house like he would run his battalion, only problem was mom was the commanding officer in that department. My father was not a stupid man, so off to school and work he went.

To this day, the smell of motor oil and old spice makes my throat tight and my heart warm.

He liked to play in the kitchen when mom wasn't looking. One particular dinner that I was an accomplice too was meat loaf with raisins. Yup...raisins. Sounded like a good idea to me when he proposed it..but then, I was only about eight. You could say that the rest of the family were a bit more ignorant in their appreciation of a creative chef.

Every morning I would get up to get ready for school and he would already be in the kitchen. Jeans slung onto his athletic frame, elbows propping him up as he leaned on the counter reading. The oven door would be open beside him, making the air warm and soft in the dimly lit kitchen. His dark hair, hair that normally was slicked into obedience, would always be this wild mess that I would secretly giggle about as I began getting ready for school.

I don't remember my father sitting much. He couldn't. His back had been bent and abused for too many years in the service and it hurt him to sit. So he leaned. He leaned in the kitchen the most but occasionally would come watch TV, leaning on the back of the couch. I watched the movie Jaws with him leaning behind me. Nerves tight, waiting for either the shark or my dad to pounce. He loved B movies, I loved them because he did.

We found out he had lung cancer and only had ten years to live when we were In Panama. I was five. I remember sitting on the counter of the bathroom in the bowling alley where my mother coached while my sisters cried. I didn't understand why they were crying..silly girls. Didn't they know that MY daddy could never die?

When I was sixteen he went into the hospital where they removed all but half of one lung. Two large oxygen tanks moved into our home and one small portable one as well. He would never wear the small one out of the house. Damned if he could breathe or not, that thing went into the car to appease my mother but I can testify it came off as soon as we turned the corner. My mother told him she would divorce him if she ever saw him smoke he started smoking in the bathroom. The smell of Salem 100's would waft from under the door and my mother would walk through it as if it didn't exist. After all...she didn't "see" anything.

He had a temper. I suppose it was passed down from his unhappy father and again passed onto us. With it came stubbornness that we also received in large doses from both our parents. Having five children on a NCO salary, living through wars, moving constantly..I imagine they needed both of those traits several times in their lives.

His words could cut you deep when you did something wrong, but when the shit hit the fan, I've never seen anyone calmer. I never heard him yell over the big things. I could take a reaming for my messy room, but when I told him I backed into the neighbors car on accident he went out, checked out the damage and came back in and said, "ok, I'll take care of it. Weren't you going somewhere?" and with that I was shoed out the door.

He lost his fight with cancer on July 27th, 1991. I was eighteen.

At his funeral there were men there that I had never seen. Quiet, standing back, most of them alone. They were men who served under him. Men who felt they were alive because of my father. Men he led to war and back. Here because of who my father was.

He smoke, drank, could cuss you under a table and cut you to the quick with some well placed barbs but he was more then that. He loved us, each one of us, like we were everything to him. He sacrificed and saved and went without so that us kids would not have too.

I remember shortly before he died, taking a car ride with him to the store. He looked at me and said, "you know I love you right?". My throat closed, I hadn't heard those words from him in years. "Yah dad, I do."

And I did.

He may not have said it aloud, but every step he made, every morning he got up when he was sick and in pain, every time he fixed what I may have broken...he said it many times in many ways.

I love you dad.

Happy Birthday.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Update: I was granted a continuance in order to submit more paperwork as well as an in person hearing. I should be receiving the new date and location in the next few weeks. Chalk one up for just plain ol stubbornness.

I'm sorry for the lack of posts lately and my neglect of your blogs. It's been a rough few months and I haven't been very good company(just ask Kendell). The child support hearing is tomorrow and I am expecting a continuance because I am requesting an "in person" hearing vs the phone hearing they have scheduled for me.

A couple reasons for this, one, I didn't receive the full packet of paperwork until September 8th requesting all my information. This packet let me know some of my rights, which include calling a witness as well as providing additional information about important things, such as the house fire and our losses, as well as the grief counseling costs for Kendell and costs for his ADD. Secondly, If we meet in the very least..even if they reduce The losers child support payment to $25 a month like he is requesting....He will still have to pay his attorney more money to attend a meeting in person....Yes, I am wicked. But I'm ok with that.

The reality is being angry at Kendell's father for his actions is like being angry at the wind. I can blow and bluster, I can cry and rant, but the wind is still the wind and my actions have no effect on him what so ever.

Money is really tight and I'm coming into the holiday season with nothing extra. Kendell's birthday is next month, then Halloween, then Thanksgiving and some family birthdays followed by Christmas. November is also the month mom went into the hospital. This time of year has stopped being a good one for me and I try to recapture some joy every year but fail each time.

I'm sure a better person would be able to reach beyond this moment and hold onto the small joys. I'm trying but my reach is a bit short right now.

So hang in there with me. My sense of humor is still here, just a bit darker then usual. Forgive my lack of attention to your blogs, I'll be around, I promise.

I'm going to be reaching into the past for some blog fodder. Sometimes the past is a warm knit blanket on a dark and cold winter morning.

I plan on doing some snuggling up here in the near future.

On remote location
Friday, September 15, 2006

I'm blogging by phone from a seminar on front desk safety. I think my coworkers might be trying to tell me something...

The Silver lining
Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Last night as I contemplated the depths my life has capsized too,
one thought buoyed my spirits...

At least now there is no where to go but up.


Then I remembered basements...

Further Proof That I Am Evil
Tuesday, September 12, 2006

hehehehe, she said "Ass-sending"...snort

She also says 'a-k' instead of 'ok'...and she says it after EVERY sentence.

and i'm sitting here typing this entry instead of paying attention...

What kind of person am I that all I can do is pick this poor instructor apart in my mind? I'm being taught formating by Mary Poppins...someone come save me! A.K!

Dating and the Single Mother
Friday, September 08, 2006

I had a date...

Yes, you heard right...a date, with..a man (just in case you were wondering if it was with a simian).

It has reinforced an opinion that has been circling my brain like a anorexic mosquito. I don't like to all.

I don't date much because it's work. Since I'm not fond of work that I don't get paid for...well, hence no dating. However it's a dilemma because I am fond of sex. Preferably sex that includes said male species since batteries tend to die out or fizzle away when wet (who knew).

Also, Kendell has put in an order for a father, especially one who likes to fish and play baseball. Since I have yet to find the "Potential Daddy" aisle at Walmart, I guess that means I have to venture out of my comfy little shell and brave the shark infested waters of the mating world. Quick, go get me some waders!

I'm not much for bullshit, so you can imagine this goes over well on a first date. We all know the first date is full of a lot of shit. Shit is coming out of everyone's mouths like water is falling off the Niagara Falls. Shit is on the menu and even available for take out.
That's alot of shit people.
You don't really get to know the person the first date..but you do get to know if this person ever has a chance of remotely stepping foot anywhere near your bedroom, yes..the shit is a good indicator of looming of bedroom occupotis.

But before we can even venture into shit land we have to get past Child Security. In my case that includes an interview by Kendell for any potential Dad/Mom love slave, applicants.
You might think an interview with a child is a no brainer...but you haven't met Kendell. He will find your weaknesses and turn you into a pile of chocolate pudding fit for pint sized consumption. He also reverts from willing Mother seller to prison warden in two seconds flat. He wants to know when I'll be home, where I'm going, and what I'll be doing there. There are also strongly worded warnings against kissing of any kind!

Once we have passed the child interrogation safely and left him behind to streak and terrorize his sitter at will, we venture forth into what polite company calls dinner. I call it the Jeopardy from HELL. "I'll take, 'Enduring Bad Jokes' for fifty, Alex."

I seem to have lost my ability to converse with someone I don't know. It's not that I can't think of something to say...I just takes so much damn effort to pretend I'm nice. You can imagine this is a great way to break the ice...kinda like the Titanic and about as successful.

I trudge ahead like the little soldier I am and rally the troops with the promise of dessert. Dessert that promptly comes back to haunt me when the dancing commences. Most men think dancing is foreplay, however if they had a mirror they might realize it's rather effective as birth control.

After convincing my date that "yes, I really DO want to go home." and "No, I really don't think a menage a trois is considered a double date."...It's time for the kiss goodnight. You can imagine my joy. The idea of swapping spit with a near stranger who just tried to impersonate Michael Jackson on the dance floor while pressing so close that the buckle of his belt is permanently etched into my belly...why it just makes me want to run screaming into the suburbs...but I don't. I pucker up like a good girl, hoping to God he doesn't try to use his tongue, when I feel what must be a weed whacker making mincemeat out of the soft skin of my face and the insistent probing of two lips that feel like dead fish, all to the pounding baseline of my son who is pressed against the window, shaking his fists and yelling, "I Told You NO KISSING!"

I'm gonna just buy fifteen cats and call it good.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Evidently Kendell got off at the wrong stop yesterday. Luckily for me he was able to hitch a ride from a friends mother and make it home where he stewed and pouted till I came home two hours later.

This year is hard on me. He has to catch the bus after I've left for work and he has to be home alone till I get home from work. All this on his small shoulders and it makes me wallow in anxiety. I know things will get better, but knowing I have no support system...It's hitting home hard right now.

The words that come to mind when I put fingers to keys...they are humorless in their stark mark of black against a white screen. I miss my mother so much these days. Her presence is an absence that keens inside me.

The child support modification hearing is this 19th and all along I feel as if the fates are conspiring against me. I didn't receive the paperwork so I called my support officer, he lets me know the date and that it will be a phone hearing. I call back two weeks later when I still haven't received the paperwork and request it get sent. I receive it and find out I have to call in, something they failed to tell me. I called the attorney for DCS and find out I didn't receive the whole package because I need to provide information about my income, not to mention she doesn't even have my file. Kendell's father is trying to reduce his support obligation to $25 a month, but surprisingly, he can afford an attorney to help him. Something I can't afford.

He has no income because he's a criminal. Seems I chose the wrong path, I should have gone on welfare, had a life of crime no one could find out about and then I wouldn't be held accountable for all the things in my life. I would have a nice college education paid for by Washington State and I would have had more lawyers up his nether regions trying to squeeze every last dime out...if just to pay back the state.

He hasn't paid more then six hundred dollars Kendells entire 11 years. So the system will look at that he has no income record, maybe take note of the attorney he paid for, and reduce the support he has never paid, down to minimal.

While I still have to cloth, house and feed my son with no help. All because I lead an honest life. All because I get up every day and work. All because I go without new shoes and clothes so my son does not.

There are men out there who are stand up people, I know this. But then there are men that think because they did not bear this child, they do not have to see to their future. I hate those men. I hate the system that enables them and I hate being angry about things I can not change.

My mother posted the following poem on my wall one day when I was sixteen. She knew me, inside and out, knew that I struggled with my perception of the world and the justice it didn't seem to grant to those who deserved it. She knew that on days like today, these words would be a balm to a torn soul:

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world's it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next. Amen.
--Reinhold Niebuhr

Watch Out World
Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Originally uploaded by KaraMia.
Today is Kendell's first day of fifth grade and he's at a new school.

I woke up with knots in my belly, Kendell bounded out of bed full of puppy enthusiasm.

I worried about what bus he needed to catch to come home...He was nonchalant.

I have been to the school's website five times already tracking his schedule and where he should be at, at this.very.MOMENT....

He is blissfully unaware.

The schedule said he should be home at 3:36...THEY LIED!

He didn't call me till 3:50 because the bus was late arriving at school.
Don't these malicious bastards know I'm a paranoid MOM??

He's home safe and we have both survived his first day of being more grown up then his mom.

Who Me?
Saturday, September 02, 2006

Originally uploaded by KaraMia.

Kendell and I decided to enjoy the last of the summer weather taking in a minor league baseball game last night. The day was wonderful, the smell of hotdogs and beer mingled with cotton candy and popcorn. I couldn't wait to find our seats so I could dig deep into the game.

Kendell on the other hand couldn't wait to find those incredibly bouncy toys some maniac decided was another great idea to fleece us parents out of money and deprive me of my American born right to watch baseball for a full nine innings.

I managed to pry his little sticky fingers from the mesh of the bouncy house and drag him protesting and whining up to our seats in the nosebleed section.

We've been there for maybe two innings when he gets a prize. He gets to go to the fan appreciation area to retrieve it. Being the nice mom I am and the fact that I wanted to see if we could score darn it...I let him go armed with a cell phone.

Soon other children that had left after Kendell began trickling back to their seats, then parents..then the neighborhood dog, some random sea urchins...still no Kendell.

He finally drags his behind into his seat with a oomph and a, "boy that was a long line Mom!"

I let it go....we watched another inning and I waited like the maternal predator I am.

As he's diggin into his bag of popcorn I casually say in aside, "so how was the bouncy house?"

"oh it was grea....uh, I mean, What?? I was in line Mom!"

I just give him the look, you know the one, the one that says..'yea right, I was born yesterday..uh huh'

He knows when he's been beat and gives me a chargined grin and a, "MOM, how did you know?"

"Kendell, I'm your mother. I know EVERYTHING."

I turn back to the game without another word...I like to make him sweat.
I think knowing that I know...was enough to put a little fear in my motherly super powers. Don' t You?

Friday, September 01, 2006

What do you write about when you can't seem to make coherent sentences out of chaotic thoughts?

Where do you go when you have ideas, but they elude you with clever uses of punctuations and abbreviations as props

My mind is a jumble, jamble, mass of yarn tangled into spider webs by catnipped kittens

My thoughts bounce against my skull in an endless game of wallball and the reverberation has me squinting my eyes against the bright light of inner confessions.

For every step forward I'm thrown back three and I can't seem to find the Get Out of Jail Card for Free.

I dream of black sand beaches with turquoise skies and wake to find ordinary, plain me, no pretense, no disguise.

I laugh at my life and look through a humorous guise, if only so that I can delay crying till away from prying eyes

There are times when my whole life makes zero sense but I just keep plugging away because good girls do, just like mama said.

I whisper "I wish" into my pillow at night but it just lays there silent, blind, deaf, and dumb to my plight.

I want a little of my piece of the pie but found that they've left me only the crusts.

I know things get better and humor is a strong crutch but sometimes that crutch slips out and leaves me landing on my butt

I've dusted off my ass so many times it aught to shine, and all I can do on this silly thing here is rhyme.

So I'm back to the drawing board once again, going to spell out what I need with paper and pen.

Spilling my guts for autopsy and diagnosis

But knowing there's no cure for my particular psychosis

So please excuse my long absence from making much sense

It's 10:30 a.m. on a Friday and my paycheck's already been spent

I'm going back to my hovel, my desk, my office, and try my best not to talk to any of my boss's.

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  • Name:Kara
  • Location: Tacoma, Washington, United States
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