Friday, October 31, 2008

Know what...

... I should be doing right now?

Working on my memoir. To finish it once and for all so that I'd be able to start my novel in less than ten hours. What am I doing instead? Venting on here. I can't help it. If I don't write it out, I'm gonna explode.

What's going on? You wanna know? Well, if you don't, then skip ahead to the pretty parts. If you do... here goes:

So, we go to IKEA for lunch because Ryan is home from school and he never gets to go out with us. I needed to pick up a few things from IKEA so I gave him the choice of eating there or a nearby restaurant and he picked "the bed store" (his name for IKEA). We go early so we can beat the crowds, cuz trust me, when children are on vacation, there ARE crowds. We get our meal and find empty seats JUST.IN.TIME. Behind us are at least fifty people standing in line and we only had to do so for about five minutes.

I'm almost through with my meal and am looking forward to having my coffee when I see a lady over to my right who is reading a paperback. That reminds me that I've brought my paperback copy of "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver (yes, my hippy bible) in my pocket. I have taken to carrying it everywhere in case we have a few minutes of down time so I can get a snippet in and since Sam hasn't complained yet... dot dot dot...

So, I reach in my pocket for the book when these two young teenagers meander near our table. They look down at our plates, standing really close. They seem to be peering at our stuff. I get nervous and take my hand off of my book and out of my pocket in case I have to jet after them (have I mentioned that it was two kids about this age that stole my purse in Paris a few years ago? loitering young people make me...alert, shall I say?). They come over to the other side of the table, one of them looking me directly in the eyes. I smile in hopes that it was accidental, but when he continues unsmiling eye contact, I'm a little shaken and even more nervous. I tear off a piece of bread and dip it into Ryan's half eaten carrot salad and tear into it to stave off the impulse to ask this punk kid if he wants to take a picture instead of keeping staring at me. He moves over behind Ryan and stands almost touching him, leaning over to look at his plate.

I look over at Sam and say, "Hey, these kids are making me nervous. They're standing a little close."

Sam says, "I'm sure it's alright. It's lunchtime. It's busy."

"Then why won't they quit staring?"

I'm saying all of this in English, so of course, Ryan understands and turns to see what I'm talking about.

The punk kid looks down at Ryan and has the nerve to say, "You wanna take a picture?"


"What did you just say?" I say, scooting my chair back from the table.

He gives me a puzzled look.

"Did you just ask him if he wanted a photo?" I say, feeling my face flush and the familiar tingle of mother bear instinct creeping into my belly, causing my voice to growl.

He lifts his chin and says, "Yeah."

"Are you kidding me? You haven't stopped staring at me until you got here! Do YOU want to take a picture?" My hands are gripping the table.


"Then, maybe you should get out of here." I say through gritted teeth.

"We're waiting for you to leave." He says.

"Well," I say and look over at our as yet unfilled ice cream cones, "you're going to be waiting a very. long. time."

"Okay," he says.

"Then move," I say.

And then I turn to Ryan and tell him to keep his hands and eyes to himself (in English) and tell him not to pay any attention to the STUPID punk kids behind him. (I think I sprinkled some profanity in there, but we'll just leave that to your imaginations.)

In the end, these kids' grandmother or something like that, came over and said, "What are you doing?"

The punk said, "We found some spots."

She said, "Why? There are a whole bunch of spots over here," and she directed them elsewhere. And thankfully.

I said, "I'm sorry if I embarrassed you," to Sam who was calmly eating and staring down at his plate.

"You didn't embarrass me."

"Well, you're not talking and you won't look at me." I say blushing.

"It's because I didn't know what to say. Everything I could think of to say to them would have been grossly inappropriate and I was trying to keep myself from jumping up and pounding that kid."

That made me feel validated.

I'm shaking at this point. The adrenaline that surged through my veins unused is now causing my hands to tremble as I feed the baby her food.

Just as I'm starting to calm down, this bitch comes over, slams her tray down, puts her kid up on a stool, scoots a chair over next to Ryan and says, "I'm gonna put my stuff here." Even though there's at the end of the bar where her kid is sitting.

I'm done, y'all. I actually uttered the words, "Fat bitch." And not just in my mental voice. Aloud. Can you imagine?

After that, I'm trying to drink my coffee, but all I can do is repeat my mantra, "The farm. It's for the farm."

As we're leaving the dining area, I am actually LOOKING for the punk kid so I can ask him, "So you found yourself a great spot and didn't even need to be rude to me and my family, huh?" in front of his grandmother. But, lucky for all of us, he was nowhere in sight.


On to updates...

Running: This week has been sucky because 1) it has rained every day all day long. So, I have run every day in the rain. 2) I was in a lot of pain leftover from Sunday because I forgot that you should go out the DAY AFTER and run a 30easy so I didn't get mine in until Tuesday. Then, Wednesday when I did my speed training, though it went super duper well, I was hurting all day afterwards. Yesterday morning I was supposed to do a 20easy, but didn't feel well in the legs. But, Sam said that if NOT going was going to make me cranky all day, I should just go. I went. It sucked. Because he was in a hurry, I cut my warm up time down to five minutes (from my usual ten or fifteen) and THEN, only got 13 minutes in before I just couldn't hack it anymore. I was in TEARS my shins hurt SO BAD (and had for several minutes already). I could barely walk back home. Had one of the park attendants come by on one of their golf cart thingies, I would have totally flagged 'em down. So, I had to take today off and will take tomorrow off, too, just so I can do my long haul on Sunday (11 miles). I have to do a 25k next weekend and don't want to overdo it. But now I'm gonna hafta find some exercises for shin splints. 3) I've caught something from the neighbor's daughter. She was complaining of a cold and a neck ache and at the time, I brushed it off as an excuse for her not to go to her swimming competition so she could stay and make bread with me (because miraculously her neck ache was gone the next day) but now I'm eating humble pie (let's just hope I heal as quickly as she).

Writing: As I said in the beginning, I have a few loose ends to tie up in the memoir before starting my novel. I doubt I'll be able to tie them up before midnight tonight. I should have been working on it all week, but Ryan has been home from school and I have had my cooking protege here every day this week. I can announce that the topic of my novel has changed. Remember how I said it would probably be a mystery set in Arkansas? It is now going to be a sci-fi and I won't reveal the setting just yet. I had a handful of ideas I pitched to Sam and I'm going with the one he liked best. (As an aside, he always seems so surprised that I can be as creative as I am. When I told him the different storylines, he had a huge amused grin on his face. When asked why he looked like he had just swallowed a canary, he says, "No, nothing. You're just crazy. The stuff you come up with." I can relate to that. I have a friend who is a kazillion times more creative than I and who is wicked good at coming up with all the little nuances of her characters and settings. Hi B!!!).

Miscellaneous: What misc? Between dealing with almost all of my kids being here almost all day long and the teenage neighbor coming over and hanging out for hours and not getting everything done and not staying in touch with all of my friends and constituents and gearing up for NaNoWriMo and putting up veggies, etc, I don't have any time for any damn misc. Check back later.

Okay, well, I'm gonna get back to working on the memoir and see if I can get anything accomplished before midnight. Don't be surprised if November is either 1) drier or 2) more verbose a month. This contest either makes me so busy I can't do anything but write the novel OR, it makes me write non-stop all over the place. We'll see what happens.

Until then, I salute you!

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