Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A Vat of Virus

N started it all, over a month ago, when he came home with what was, admittedly, a very mild cold. A week later, to the day, Baroy began bitching and moaning about how congested he was, and how lousy he felt. But he, too, really had a mild case. A week after Baroy, it was my turn: My version was much less mucousy and much more collapsing-into-bed-with-a-headache-and-body-aches-y than theirs was. But still, fairly mild compared to what it could have been/has been in the past.

We hoped against hope that Em would escape, but no: A week after I succumbed--i.e., last Friday--she began to sound sniffly. Except in her case, there was a fever--relatively low grade to begin with--from day one. It is now day 6, and the fever has not only NOT gone away, but it was 102 this evening. She's miserable, and has cabin fever on top of her regular fever. Poor sweetie.

But that ain't all, folks: Last night, N began coughing again. This afternoon, when he got home from kindergarten, he asked to cuddle with me, and I immediately realized he was warm. By evening, his temperature, too, was at 102. I can hear him in his bedroom right now, coughing and moaning in his sleep. Poor baby.

And poor me. Because, apparently, this isn't the same virus he came home with over a month ago...or at least, it's changed enough for him to get it again. Which means Baroy (who is running the LA Marathon this weekend) is next in line. And then me, and then Em, and then...

What goes around truly does come around in this household.

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Wanna hear something crazy?

Thanks for all your notes and comments about Stalker Girl. But you wanna hear something crazy? I'm not crazy!

Well, let me rephrase that. I had a completely normal, not-at-all extreme reaction to her latest missive. I didn't act crazy. I didn't respond by spiraling into a greater-than-my-usual degree of craziness in this particular situation.

I'm not going to spend too much time clapping myself on the back over this, of course. After all, it's not that hard to stay sane when your husband's stalker starts stalking other people, when she turns her attention more or less away from your immediate family and onto other people. My fears have always been centered on her coming after my kids...I've worried about Baroy, and I've worried about myself, and hell, I worry about my BIL, but what I've always been SCARED of--what I get out-of-control TERRIFIED of--is something happening to my children. It's that primal thing that I haven't been able to tame. And this? Well, even I couldn't turn this into a potential attack on my children. Or at least not to any significant extent.

And so I've been slightly jumpy these past few days. That's normal in this situation: Baroy's jumpy, BIL is jumpy, BIL's wife is jumpy. But it's not a 24-7 thought. I'm not panicked. It hasn't taken over my life. I'm even able to talk about it--to discuss with BIL the ways he can handle it, and what I have and/or would do in his place.

In the not-so-distant past, that would have been impossible. Just TALKING about her--just hearing her name, just having her referred to obliquely, even jokingly--would send me into an immediate, full-out, no-returning-from-without-pharmaceutical-help panic attack. But some combination of therapy, time, and meds have helped. I have absolutely no expectation that I would hold up this well if she once again were to come at us--at Baroy and myself--full on. Still, baby steps. Going in the right direction, and all that. I can't help but being a little bit pleased.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007


Hey! Guess who showed up in my brother-in-law's colleague's emails today! If you said Stalker Girl, you guessed right! And yes, the overuse of exclamation points is a result of my pretending I'm excited about this, and not really freaking out! So, I apologize in advance, but I can't stop!

Because one never knows where Stalker Girl is, and because one never wants to know, one doesn't write details about her in a public venue--or about one's brother-in-law, who has to deal with this, too. But lemme give you the highlights of the email she sent to someone my bil has worked with and respects greatly.

According to Stalker Girl:

1. My BIL (who is a writer for a well-known periodical) is personally responsible for a recent widely covered news event in which a public figure publicly lost his mind and did some really stupid things. BIL arranged for this to happen, she says, so that he could write about said mind losing.

2. This is par for the course, since said BIL's brother (that's Baroy, making his de rigeur appearance in each one of her ramblings) has a history of drugging, raping, videotaping and blackmailing women.

3. It's also par for the course because said BIL's OTHER brother rigged an election on behalf of [insert name of lady running for the presidency].

4. BIL has to be stopped. His colleague--the one to whom the email was addressed--needs to stop him.

I should mention, I suppose, that this colleague is a very well known person, someone whose name probably three-quarters of you would know immediately, and the other quarter would need only a very slight bit of info to have it click into place. So not only is there the whole stress-spiking issue of her turning up again, a good year and a half after the last salvo, but there is also the sheer embarrassment of having this psychotic rambling directed at people whom we (i.e., BIL, Baroy, and the rest of the family) respect and to whom we really would rather not have had to explain why this person is doing and saying the things she does and says.

Not that the line about Lady Candidate is explainable, mind you. Because...what? Huh? It sort of defines the term non-sequiteur.

But, whatever. We do what we have to do. It's just disappointing, is all. Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water...

It never. fucking. ends.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Note to self

When you have a couple of gloriously free hours while Em is in Hebrew school..when you walk down the street to Barnes and Noble in air with only the faintest bit of chill, beneath a sky with only the faintest overcast...when you're feeling better for the first time after four straight days of flu symptoms and just wanting to sleeeeeeeeeeep...when you decide to blow off working at the bookstore and instead to just pick one slim volume from the shelves and just luxuriate in it for as long as you can before you have to go back...

Don't pick Elie Wiesel's Night.

I know, I know. What was I thinking?

I was thinking that I've never read it. I was thinking that I should, some day. I had it in my hands, and I started flipping through it, almost weighing it, wondering if and when I'd find the strength to actually do it, to actually take this pain on, knowingly, willingly. And the next thing I knew, I'd burrowed into one of the overstuffed chairs that was, miraculously for this particular B&N, empty at the moment. And the next thing I knew after that, it was an hour and a half later, and I had to go, and I wasn't finished, but I was done in the bone-wearying sense of the word. Done for the day.

The whole way back to the temple--much more overcast, the skies...much more fluish, my bones--I couldn't shake what I'd read. Not just the images. I've seen those images; I've read those images. But there was a new kind of devastation in this book...something in the spareness of the language, something in the last lines I read before putting the book back on the shelf:

I burst out:

"What does it matter to you? Do we have to regard Hitler as a prophet?"

His glazed, faded eyes looked at me. At last he said in a weary voice:

"I've got more faith in Hitler than in anyone else. He's the only one who's kept his promises, all his promises, to the Jewish people."

I walked to the library this afternoon to take the book out. I can't let it go, now. But I'm going to read the rest of it when and where it should be read: huddled in my bed, when there's nothing but sleep ahead, when there's nothing but night outside.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Thank goodness anti-semitism is dead....

...because otherwise, who knows what kind of horrendous attacks and legislative inanities we'd be subjected to whenever we read the news, right?

(Yes, my fellow Americans, that's sarcasm.)

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Crazy Walking Lady

Our neighbors think we're crazy, Baroy and I.

First there's Baroy, with his several-times-a-week runs up and down the main thoroughfare (really, the only thoroughfare) in our town. (He's been running lots of half-marathons, and now training for the LA Marathon, and runs a 3-mile stretch of said thoroughfare several times, back and forth. He's a creature of habit. The mere thought of doing the same thing every week over and over and over sends me into a spiralling depression, but to each his own.) Almost every parent at school greets me with "Saw your husband down on Main Thoroughfare today..." Actually, almost every parent at school eventually greets me with, "Tell Baroy I'm sorry for almost hitting him with my car today down on Main Thoroughfare..."

And then there's me and my walking. I walk to one of two grocery stores down on Main Thoroughfare, and then back up the hill again. (Baroy parks his car down there and then runs back and forth; even HE isn't dumb enough to trudge up the hill that we live on.) I walk to one of several drug stores. I walk to the library. I walk to Office Depot. I walk to the hardware store. I walk to Goodwill. I walk to the 99 cent store. I walk to the pet store. I walk to Starbucks. I walk to Trader Joe's. I walk nowhere specific, giving Snug some exercise. I walk and walk and walk and walk.

I, too, have become a neighborhood topic of conversation. Nobody almost hits me with their car, mind you, but I often get offers of rides back up the hill from friends and acquaintances. More than one mom at the school has told me that she just feels so BAD when she passes me by while I'm sweating my way up the worst of the incline with grocery bags in my hands. (After a minute of two, they'll usually add, "Plus, I feel a little guilty that I'm not out there doing the same thing.") Even after I assure them that this is what I WANT to be doing, they look at me askance. My neighbor and friend, Kim, has now just taken to yelling out her car window, "There she goes again! Crazy walking lady!" This makes me grin.

And now, to my daughter's deep chagrin, I've added *props* to my craziness. Realizing recently that I was unable to bring home some of the items I really need from the stores I visit, I bought myself one of those white-wire old-lady four-wheeled laundry basket/shopping carts. You know, the ones that homeless people keep all their belongings in? So now, about once a week or so, my usual quiet walk becomes a rattling ramble down and then up the hill. The first couple of times, it even embarrassed me a little; it's loud, and it definitely draws attention, and since I like to vary my route back home, I sometimes pass the houses of friends of Em's or Noah's from school.

It doesn't embarrass me any more, though. It makes my life easier. It makes my walks even more useful and worthwhile. It makes true multitasking possible--walking is when I do the bulk of my audiobook listening, after all--and that's key to me having any kind of satisfaction in my life. (If I had to choose between walking and grocery shopping, I'd have to sadly pick grocery shopping...and that would be a pity, because I love my walking time.)

And, besides, three people yesterday asked me where I got my cart. Three. I may just be starting a trend here.


Thursday, February 15, 2007


Just a few photos I downloaded from my camera yesterday and decided to share...Aren't you lucky?

This was N's Valentine's 'card' to us--a fridge magnet/self-portrait he'd done in the computer lab at school. It's a pretty good likeness, too! Makes me smile every time I pass it.

Thanks to some Chanukah gift certificates from my mom, Baroy and I were able to buy ourselves a new comforter set...the first new comforter in at least 10 years. It wasn't unti lI got it home that I realized how perfectly it provides camouflage to Benni, one of our two cats.

I had taken this fall foliage photo to prove to you all that we *do* get fall color in Southern California, especially up here in the foothills where I live. But when I think about it, the fact that I took this photo while walking home from my friend Susanna's house in late December in a short-sleeved shirt...well, maybe it doesn't QUITE make the point as well as I thought it did.

Who, me? Rubbing it in? Nahhhhhhh...

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Considering how much tsuris this stab wound's put me through, you'd think it could at least LOOK like a stab wound, instead of like a minor paper cut. People are starting to roll their eyes at me when I complain about the pain--oh! the pain! (OK, not so much pain any more, but still...) I think maybe people are thinking I'm a hypochondriac. I know! Can you believe it? I'm not a hypochondriac! I *have* things--like a stab wound!

Considering how much time I spend at my temple these days, you'd think I could figure out how to spell tsuris.

Considering the fact that N's already dealt with the loss/replacement of his kindergarten teacher, doesn't it seem unfair that he is now dealing with the loss/replacement of his Hebrew school teacher? (She's out on maternity leave and will, eventually, be back, but he's not taking it well.)

Considering the fact that Em is only 9, I think she's dealing extremely well with the latest turn of events, in which her beloved guinea pig, Buddy, has suddenly stopped eating and drinking. $100+ dropped at the vet's later, we have no explanation other than that he may be old (we don't know how old he was when we got him) or he may have diabetes, or kidney disease, or liver failure, or godonlyknowswhat. We could find out more of course, the vet proclaimed...if we do a $150 blood test, and $75 worth of x-rays! And then pay for the insulin shots, guinea dialysis, or piggy liver transplant!

Considering that the vet said all of this IN FRONT OF EM, forcing me to shoot daggers at him with my eyes while I explained that I wasn't going to spend that much money on a probably-4-year-old-or-so animal whose life expectancy, mind you, is five years, I think I handled the ensuing tears about how she only wishes we could find out what's wrong with him so maybe we could fix it with relative aplomb. I.e., I didn't drive back to the vet's office and kill him. (Our regular vet, a friend who lives on our block, doesn't have expertise with 'exotics.' That'll teach me to pick a vet out of the phone book.)

Considering that I've now spent my past three evenings syringe-feeding said dying guinea pig a mixture of mushed-up pellets, water and squirts of orange juice from the oranges on our tree, I'd say that I've paid part of my karmic debt for completely ignoring the last few years of the life of my own guinea pig, Streak, who I had from the age of 10 or so until he died of pneumonia when I was 15. Streak, of course, may feel differently.

Considering how far I've strained myself now to make this ill-conceived "considering" conceit work (or, rather, not work) in this entry, I should probably just stop writing and move on.

Consider it done.

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Friday, February 09, 2007

He thinks he's so funny

I found this attached to my computer keyboard today, courtesy of Baroy:

Ha. Ha, Ha.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

I'm an idiot

Haven't posted much of late because it's been work work work 24/7. Fun work, frustrating work, challenging work, inane work. But work. Which is, of course, a good thing.

Except for when it takes up every available neuron in your brain, leaving only enough for you to think, dully, as the knife you were using to try to pry apart the frozen salmon patties slips toward the meaty part between your thumb and forefinger: Oh shit. This is going to hurt.

I was right. It hurts like a motherfucker. (Sorry, Mom.)

[Baroy said it needed stitches, but after holding a towel to it for half an hour and then applying a 'second skin' bandage, it's stopped bleeding. It's impressive, though. A perfect stab wound. Maybe just over a quarter inch in length, but DEEEEEEP. Did I mention it hurts? Because it does.]

More another time, when I can type with both hands without cursing.

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Dying of Embarrassment

Baroy and I went out to dinner with Marc and Glen to celebrate my and Glen's birthdays, which are four days apart. We nabbed my friend's nanny to babysit for the kids, because she is The Greatest Nanny In The World, Bar None. My kids love her, I love her, Baroy loves her; it's a love-fest.

It's a pity, then, that we'll never be able to have her over again because I will never again be able to look her in the face.

Why? Well, because after she got the kids to sleep, she got bored, and to keep herself occupied, she decided to clean up the kitchen. The stovetop hasn't been that sparkling since we bought it. But that's not the part that's still making me cringe. It's the part where she said, "And I cleaned out the refrigerator for you. There was some very old stuff in there; I hope you don't mind."

Oh, my. I think the last time I had the chance to do a full-out, front to back, top to bottom clean-up of the fridge was...um...some time in the fall. I don't even want to *think* about what moldy crap was probably hiding way back on the bottom shelf. I do know that the veggie drawers, now so sparkling clean they hurt my eyes, were literally lined in bits of old celery and lettuce leaves that we hadn't scraped out of there. But she did. She also scrubbed the grape jelly off the sides of the inner walls, and washed AND SHINED the dripped-soda-encrusted glass shelves, best I can tell.

After thanking and paying her, we watched her leave, and Baroy turned to me, groaning, "Oh, my god, I'm so embarrassed. God only knows what was in that fridge."

"You? You're embarrassed?" I said. "You're a GUY. When she talks about the horrors in our fridge, she's going to cluck about 'That TC, the World's Worst Housekeeper, and her poor kids, who are probably being poisoned by the lunches she packs for them.'"

Uch. Every time I think about it, I just want to die. But I can't die, not now...because I'm too busy peeking into my miraculously clean refrigerator.

Now that I think about it, a little embarrassment never hurt anyone, right? Certainly not as much as months-old chicken salad could...


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